Monday, 31 December 2012

NYE & Anniversary

Today most people in the world will be celebrating New Year's Eve, however this special day is also mine and papa penguin's second wedding anniversary.

We celebrated dinner at a local Italian on Friday night as the in laws were around to babysit toddler penguin.  Baby penguin had to come with us as she still is exclusively breastfed but she was an angel. Today papa penguin had to work a half day so after lunch me and the kids met him in Ikea which is local to his work to buy some storage boxes to organise our xmas times!

I'm not sure we'll stay up to let the new year in due to the current sleepless nights baby penguin lets us have so we are enjoying a glass of bubbly and catching up on Arrow.

Happy New Year everyone !

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - December 31st

Monday - Pad Thai
Tuesday - Sausage Casserole
Wednesday - Beef Stir Fry
Thursday - Tandoori Chicken
Friday - Pasta with Spinach and Bacon
Saturday - Spag Bol
Sunday - Salmon Risotto

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful 2012

Looking back at 2012 I have a lot to be cheerful for.  

We moved into a house from a flat in January and it has come along way.  We've redecorated practically every single room, re-carpeted throughout and can finally say that it feels like home. 

In February I found out we were expecting another baby.  Even though it was very well planned we were over the moon! We also had our first snow living in the house....typically whilst our new windows were being fitted.

In March we had a shower fitted upstairs which meant no more running up and down the stairs semi naked in a towel.  I love showers, I think they were one of the worlds best inventions!

In April we celebrated toddler penguin's 2nd birthday we lots of family and friends who were also visiting us for the first time in our new house. He was very spoilt but had an amazing day.

In May we took toddler penguin to London Zoo which he loved.  We took him when he was younger but he was too young to understand all the animals and spent most if the time sleeping in the buggy.  In May we also had our 20 week scan which showed up a possible heart defect but a follow up scan gave us the all clear and we were so relieved to be having a healthy baby.

Wedding Bells in June rang for my mum and my now stepdad.  It was a fabulous day and I'm so happy for them both!

In July we had our annual holiday with our friends and this year it was the Lake District.  In fact we had so much fun we are going back there in 2013.

In August and 7 months pregnant I celebrated my 30th birthday with a little trip to Ping Pong Dim Sum  with my closest friends.  We also had a new kitchen installed which I am still in love with!

In September although I was made redundant it was a good thing as a good payout meant we could buy a new car and I could put some money by for the kids future and give myself a monthly allowance which means I won't need to work for just over a year.

In October I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl.

In November we celebrated the father in laws 60th, visited the sister in law on her stop over at Southampton.  She is currently working as a photographer on cruise ship and having an amazing time. My friend also visited from Singapore and more recently has told me she is moving back for good next year having been abroad working since 2009.

Finally that brings us to December.  Papa penguin went away for a few days (was not so cheerful about that) but it made me realise how grateful I am for him being such a great husband and an amazing father.  We had a wonderful Christmas.  First celebrating it at my mums at the weekend, then having it at home with the in laws.  I made way too much food (deliberately) so we've had lots of yummy left overs. Best being the turkey, ham and stuffing pie I made yesterday.  Looking forward to turkey curry tonight!  Best part of Christmas has been toddler penguin repeating the story of Santa coming down the chimney and watching him open all his presents.  He was definitely spoiled but I'm an only child so I can't complain!

We are celebrating our 2 year anniversary on New Year's Eve by going out for dinner tomorrow night. Baby penguin is still exclusively breast fed and has still not been offered a bottle so will be coming with us as toddler penguin is going to spend the night at his Granny's.  

Roll on 2013, no more babies or house moves but looking forward to seeing the kids grow.  I'm also going to be training to become a childminder so I look forward to getting the house ready for my Ofstead inspection.

Hope everyone has had a fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year ! x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Assisted Play Activities

I've come up with a list of ideas to entertain toddler penguin that gets me involved with too....

  • Playdough
  • Salt dough
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Stencils
  • Themed Arts and Crafts
  • Messy play
  • Role play and dressing up
  • Puzzles
  • Construction toys
  • Books
  • Water play
  • Beads and threading
  • Baking
  • Dancing
My plan is to put each bullet point onto a card or pinwheel when we can have a game of random choosing which activity to do next.

Please let me know your ideas too! I'm gradually making use of Pinterest with all the craft ideas I've found online. Check out my board here.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Crafting

Took a lot of planning but together with my mummy friend, whilst our kids were having their afternoon naps, over two days we got the sewing machine out and took inspiration from the Stuff by Ash blogger and made our babies a ribbon christmas tree baby grow.

We decided not to go with the ruffled ribbon look as suggested by the blog we follwed and instead layeredd lots of ribbons on top of each other then stitched them firmly in place onto some white material.  Using pinking shears we cut out a big triangle and cut a piece of brown felt for the tree trunk.  Bond-a-web was used to stick the tree to the baby grow and then topped it off with a handmade bow and a button I found in my sewing box.

Watch this space of a piccie of baby penguin modelling it on Christmas day.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

As I write this toddler penguin aged two and a half is at his last day with his childminder who I've been sending him to since he was 9 months old.  It was hard sending him there on my first day back to work but within a week I could see how much he enjoyed going.  He has been going three days a week since my return to work then when I was made redundant in September closely followed by my maternity leave he continued to go but just two days a week.  Had I not received a nice redundancy payout I probably would have had him finish there sooner but its been nice to let him to continue with his new routine when baby penguin came along and also for me to enjoy time alone getting to know and bond with my new baby.

Sadly we're not made of money and from tomorrow I will officially be a full time mummy to two gorgeous bubbas.  Part of me is excited about getting out there and trying new groups but part of me is scared as I know its not going to always be easy.  However why complain?  I am so lucky to have two healthy children and in light of whats been going on in the news I'm just so happy that they are safe. Lets also hope that tomorrow is not the end of the world as some people might think!

So 5 sleeps until Christmas....I'm soooo excited.  Mainly for toddler penguin as this is his first Christmas that he really understands whats going on.  We are having a mini fake Christmas with my mum this weekend then Christmas day we are seeing the inlaws and I'm cooking a yummy xmas meal.

Merry Christmas everyone......jingle bells...jingle bells....ho ho ho ! x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Planning

I've finally got round to sorting out my Christmas Day itinerary......The Organised Penguin loves a good itinerary!

Christmas Day Food
9am Breakfast - Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs and Toast with a little bucks fizz (just hubbie and the kids)
1030am Mid Morning Snack - Cranberry Christmas Muffins (joined by hubbies parents and aunt and uncle)
1230pm Afternoon Snack before toddler penguin's nap - Pigs in Blanket and Mozzarella Vol au Vents
3pm Christmas Lunch - Roast Turkey, Boiled Ham in Cider, Roast Potatoes, Parsnips, Brussels with Hustle, Caramelised Carrots, Sage and Onion Sausagemeat Stuffing, Broccoli, Gravy and Cranberry Sauce.
4pm Pudding - Yule Log and Trifle
7pm Evening Snack - Left Overs, Paté and Melba Toast, Cheese and Crackers.

Sadly papa penguin is working Christmas Eve so will have just something simple for dinner as I'll be spending most of the day juggling the kids and cooking prep.

Boxing day its just me, papa penguin, toddler penguin and baby penguin and I can't wait.  We've got so much food on Christmas day that there willb e so much left over that I won't really have to cook anything apart from the sausage sarnies we've planned for breakie!

I have also done a half hour slot itinerary on my iPad to refer to for timings on Christmas day so that I don't forget to do anything!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - December 17th

Monday - Fajitas
Tuesday - Chicken Stir Fry in Oyster Sauce
Wednesday - Hubbie out so I'll have Jacket or Pasta
Thursday - Spaghetti with prawns and rocket
Friday - Snack before we visit my mums
Saturday - Early Christmas dinner

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

I can't believe that its nearly Christmas.  We've not got both our trees up.  There is one in the playroom that has all my "tacky" decorations on.  I love penguins so you'll find a theme here.  This is an artificial tree that we bought last year as we loved that it was tall and thin and didn't take up much space. 

I've always wanted a tree that people can see when they drive past so we just had to have a tree in the front lounge.  Its a real tree and as I mentioned last week we don't have many decorations for it.  I've bought a few but looking forward to the Christmas sales and collection decorations every year.  I bought some baubles from a few shops in the lovely village of Ripley and a few from good old homebase.

Last weekend daddy penguin took toddler penguin out for a few hours and whilst aby penguin was sleeping I made her a stocking and I plan to personalise it at some point.  I have put hers (second from the left) on our fireplace with the others and can't wait to see them all filled - though Santa will have to leave these on the floor as I'm not sure they sellotape they are stuck on with will hold the weight!

We visited Santa at his Grotto at Chessington Garden Centre and it was amazing!  They had an Alice in Wonderland theme and it was truly spectacular.  So much attention to detail had gone into it and I lost count of the number of trees there were.  Toddler penguin was in awe of the whole thing though not as excited as we were...he just wanted to see Santa...but he enjoyed chatting to the elves and baby penguin slept the whole time!

Baby penguin had her 8 week check up (me too) and all is going well.  We even had been getting some lovely smiles from her...until we get the camera out then she goes all grumpy!  Really doesn't like her photo being taken but she was an angel during her check up and only cried a little when she had her jabs unlike toddler penguin who screamed before, during and after!

12 days to go !

Monday, 10 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - December 10th

Monday - Creamy pasta with asparagus and peas
Tuesday - Pitta Pizza's
Wednesday - Chilli con Carne
Thursday - Mexican Bean Rice Salad and Baguette 
Friday - Jackets with Beans and Cheese
Saturday - Thai green chicken curry
Sunday - party food - kids Christmas party

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week has gone surprisingly fast and boy am I glad as papa penguin has been away in Frankfurt since Monday morning. I've missed him so much that its made me realise how amazing he is when he is here.  I've coped really well and have managed to keep on top of housework (with the help of his aunt and uncle who helped with bath time on Monday and dinner time last night) but I am just absolutely shattered! Thankfully although baby penguin has struggled with naps, toddler penguin has been an angel and really well behaved.  Roll on tonight when he gets home!

Sadly we lost a part of our family over the weekend - good old Henry the hoover.  His suction hadn't been great recently and the nozzle had spilt but he finally sucked his last piece of dust after 10 years  of following me around the house Sunday evening. Thank goodness for internet shopping, next day delivery and online reviews I've ordered a new Bosch vacuum and am loving it.  I don't think I would have managed to hoover this week with hubby away but having a new gagdet in the house was like a new toy for me and even my 2.5year old was excited and he spent a good hour playing with it and helping me set it up!

Less than three weeks till Christmas and we've had some wasn't much but enough to get toddler penguin out of bed in a rush.  We bought a real tree at the weekend for our front lounge with "grown up" decorations and am looking forward to putting the fake tree in the playroom this weekend.  I visited Ripley village on Tuesday and treated myself to a few decorations for the grown up tree but have yet got round to putting them on.  Next week I'll upload a picture of the other tree as well as an updated picture of this tree.

Happy Thursday everyone x

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins

I found a bag of poppy seeds in the cupboard the other day and all of a sudden had a huge craving for lemon and poppy seed I made them!

125g spread
150g caster sugar
1 tsp grated lime rind
2 tsp grated lemon rind
50g poppy seeds
2 eggs
160g self raising lfour
40g plain flour

Lemon juice, yellow food colouring and icing sugar for icing.

Preheat oven to 170ºC and line a muffin in with 12 cases.

Beat the butter, rinds and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy.  Add the poppy seeds, eggs and sifted flours and mix well. Divde the mixture among the cases and bake for about 25-30 minutes. I use an ice cream scoop to get the perfect measure.

Cool on a wire rack and make icing.  Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Weekly Meal Plan -December 3rd

With papa penguin away this week I've decided to have a cheap week and raid the freezer! Well the shopping bill wasn't that cheap as I decided to take advantage and stock up on household and store cupboard goods as well as bits for Chrismas. 

I did treat myself to some yummy soups that with this chilly weather have been well needed! Also had papa penguin's aunt and uncle round on Monday to help me out with the kids so we got fish and chips. Yum! Roll on Friday when papa penguin is home!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

I'm a bit late with the reasons to be cheerful this week and I can't believe it is Friday already.  I'm not really sure what I've done this week that has made it gone so quick!

We got rid of toddler penguin's dummy last Thursday night via the dummy fairy and I can't believe how easy it has been.  I'm wondering if potty training will be the same!  He is a bit more attached to his mussies but who cares - we're dummy free ! ! !

I'm pretty much on top of my Christmas presents already.  Got a few items in online shopping baskets and I'm waiting for voucher codes before I checkout but apart from that I'm ready to wrap them and put them under the tree which we are buying this weekend.  

I had baby penguin weighed this week.  She was 7lbs 2oz when born, 6 weeks later she is 9lbs 11oz.  She is following the centile lines perfectly and I'm so happy as you can never tell how much milk they are having when exclusively breastfeeding. We are gradually getting out the newborn outfits and into the 0-3 months.  Its sad as I'm going to miss the newborn stage but also exciting to be wearing new clothes.  We've been very lucky to be given lots of lovely clothes from family and friends all in fantastic condition which means I've been spending the money I'd have saved buying girlie baby clothes on sales for 12months plus! I just hope I can find them next year !

Looking forward to reading everyone elses reasons x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 26th

Monday - Left overs from freezer as hubbie is away 
Tuesday - Chilli con Carne
Wednesday - Prawn Pad Thai
Thursday - Omlette and Chips
Sunday - Roast Chicken, Roast Potatoes and vegetables

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Bye bye dummy

Toddler penguin is 2.5 years old and has had a dummy since he was 3 days old when my nipples couldn't bear it anymore.  Recently after misbehaving and we have put him in the naughty corner we've taken the dummy off him at the same time and the whole two minutes he is sitting there he ends up screaming for the dummy and forgetting the reason why he was put in the corner in the first place so I decided it had to go.  Also he is starting to talk with a bit of a lisp - not sure if its dummy related but I want it gone as he relies on it too much.

He also loves his muslins or mussies as we call them.

So Thursday night on the way home from the childminders I told him a story about a dummy fairy who was waiting at home for us and wanted him to collect all his dummies and put them in a pot and in return he would get a present.  As soon as we walked through the door he was practically throwing dummies at me asking for present!  We collected all the dummies, I snuck around the corner and whilst pretending to chat to the dummy fairy. I returned with a small christmas present (Chuggingtons Action Chugger die cast toy) which he was over the moon with. He played with it all evening but come bath time he wanted his dummy.  I explained again that the dummy fairy took them away and proceeded upstairs to run the bath.  I put two sweets on the side of the bath and told him that the dummy fairy had left him a little treat for being so good.  Bath time was not a problem, though he did take a mussie in with him which obviously got all wet! Bed time was a breeze only asking once for his dummy then when I said good night he asked for it again and started to cry.  I told him that I didn't want him to cry as it made mummy sad and every night since he has said "I not crying, it makes mummy sad.  I happy."  Bless! Well he went to sleep with 3 mussies, George pig and Teddy.  He did wake up at 5am and came into bed with us and in the morning asked for it but I reminded him that the dummy fairy took it and he got Action Chugger toy and that maybe the dummy fairy had left him another present as a well done for sleeping through the night.  Turns out he'd been left a Noddy car and Noddy figurine.  Hours of fun with his two new toys and the dummy completely forgotten.

He has asked for it a few times and I've reminded him about the dummy fairy and he continues the story telling me what toys and sweets he got and we've not had a single tantrum.

I'm so proud of my little by, I really didn't think it would be this easy!  Fingers crossed it lasts!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

I could say this every week but I'm so happy to have two gorgeous children that are healthy and perfect.

I have had to remind myself of that every day this week as I have had a few rough nights with toddler penguin (aged 2.5) and baby penguin (5 weeks). 

Toddler penguin had been dragging out his bedtime asking for more and more cuddles then crying when we left his room.  Two nights ago I told him that I don't like it when he cries as it makes mummy sad.  Last night when I said goodnight to him he said "no crying, it makes mummy sad".  We said our goodnights and we didn't hear a peep all evening.  Sometimes he seems so grown up, I can't believe he remembered what I had said the previous night.

Baby penguin also isn't sleeping well at night, poor bubba is really suffering from trapped wind and I think may be a tad constipated.  Makes me so happy that I can breastfeed as it provides such a comfort to her when nothing else works! With both babies I found breastfeeding really painful at first.  I'd had my latch checked and still the pain in my nipples was just excrutiating. I used nipple shields for 7 months with toddler penguin, I couldn't have breastfed without them.  I lasted 7 days of the same pain with baby penguin and at the point of giving up I dug out the shields and 5 weeks on I'm still breastfeeding albeit with the shields.  They are a faff to use but I don't think I'd have continued otherwise.  We've had a few goes with them off but she has obviously got used the teats and won't latch on without them. Nipple shields have save my sanity!

Finally I've put all my maternity clothes away as I'm nearly in pre-pregnancy clothes and have unpacked a box of normal tops from the loft (I don't bother with breastfeeding tops but wear a strappy top under all my normal tops and do one down and one up). This has resulted in a empty cardboard box lying around until the weekend when papa penguin puts it in the garage.....oh what fun a box is....

You may or may not have noticed but I've done a little re-design of my blog.  Actually little is an understatement - its taken me about a week!  I used to do a bit of web and graphic design in my old job so I've got the skills....but they are rather rusty!  Hope you like it and please let me know your thoughts x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Recipe Review - Spaghetti con Gamberetti e Rucola

I found this recipe on Jamie Oliver's website which searching for pasta with prawns.  Papa penguin thought not only did it look amazing but it tasted amazing too.

I didn't have the sundried puree so used standard tomato puree and also added a sprinkle of basil and some grated cheese (goats for me and cheddar for hubbie).  I also used easy chilli's that are prechopped in a jar.

This recipe gets 10 out of 10 from us! It had so much flavour and was cooked in under 15 minutes.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Easy dairy free yoghurt and sultana cupcakes

These are yummy and so easy to make.

1 qty 125g Alpro Soya Fruit Yoghurt
1 pot Alfa One Rice Bran Oil (or vegetable oil)
1 pot Caster Sugar
3 pots Self Raising Flour
2 large eggs
2 pots Sultanas

Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat oven to 170ºC and line a 12 hole muffin tin with 12 paper cases.

In a mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid for this) scrape out one yoghurt then use this yoghurt pot to measure out the oil and add to the yoghurt.  Give the yoghurt pot a quick wash and dry well.  Measure out the sugar and flour and add to the yoghurt and oil.  Add the eggs and beat well.

Add the sultanas and stir with a spatula.  Distribute the mixture between the cases, I use an ice cream scoop for ease.

Bake in the oven for 20-25minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

Yummy yummy !

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 19th

Monday - Salmon and Leek Risotto
Tuesday - Tuna Stir Fry with Black Bean Sauce
Wednesday - Spaghetti con Gamberetti e Rucola
Thursday - Hubbie out so freezer food for me - most likely chilli leftovers !  Don't have to worry about Isaac as Tues and Thurs he eats at the childminders
Friday - Jackets with bacon, goats cheese and beans
Saturday - Chicken and bacon pie
Sunday - Sausage and Mash

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

I'm a bit obsessed with organisation (clue in the blog title) so this week I've been trying to get baby penguin into a routine. She is only 4 weeks so I know not to have any huge expectations but I just feel we need to be a bit more organised. We are following baby whisperers EASY routine. I used the EASY routine with 
toddler penguin and it really worked for us.  At the moment we seem to be feeding a quite a bit, I'm not sure if its a growth spurt or if she is just sucking for comfort but we are working our way towards 3 hourly and it really helps me understand what she wants when she cries. Being in a routine just makes me feel a little bit more in control of things!

One of my closest friends is back from Singapore for a couple of weeks and her and her hubbie came to stay. Since I've had kids our lives are completely different but she has made me realise that although I miss the city life, shopping, massages, cocktails after work etc....I'm loving being a mum so much more. Yes it is hard work but its so rewarding and so much more challenging that my previous life....I wouldn't change it at all!

I am loving my iPad right now especially during the night feeds....I'm getting all my Christmas shopping research done between the hours of 1am and 3am whilst baby penguin is feeding!

Looking forward to reading everyone elses reasons x

Monday, 12 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 12th

Monday - Chicken Korma and Naan
Tuesday - Shepherds Pie and Baked Beans
Wednesday - Chicken and Chorizo Risotto
Friday - Leftovers from freezer as hubbie is out
Sunday - Pork Schnitzel with new potatoes and gravy 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

My friend visited the other week and mentioned she had heard about Ferrero Rocher cupcakes so I decided to have a go. I did google some recipes but they were all a bit faffy so I used a basic victoria sponge recipe as follows:

6oz Self Raising Flour sifted
6oz Butter 
6oz Caster Sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk 
12 Ferreo Rochers

Put the chocolates in the freezer an hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Put the first 6 ingredients in a mixer and give it a good beating until fluffy.
In a muffin tin distribute muffin cases and put a teaspoon of the mixture into the cases then add a Ferrero Rocher. Then fill an ice cream scoop with spring handle two thirds full and add to each muffin case.
Cook in oven for approx 25 mins.

When cakes are cooked and cooled down make butter icing adding some nutella and milk. Yum yum!

Do leave me a comment if you make them!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

This has been my first week on my own with toddler penguin (2.5yrs old) and baby penguin (3weeks old) and it hasn't been as hard as I thought however last week my mum came to stay and I've been missing her loads. Not just the adult company but the help as well so mum if you are listening thank you so much for your help last week - I really appreciated it. Thanks for getting through my nasty ironing pile and hope the early mornings weren't too hard on you!

The funniest part of my mums visit was when I decided to leave her with a sleeping baby and a toddler that needed to be dressed whilst I showered! As I got out the shower I could hear baby screaming so I quickly got dressed and came downstairs to find toddler penguin in nothing but his socks running around the house doing the naked dance and mum cradling the baby! Turns out halfway through getting 
toddler penguin undressed, baby penguin started crying so toddler penguin continued to get himself completely undressed! Just as well he hadn't pooped in his nappy! Ahhh've got to love them!

I must also write about how amazing my husband papa penguin fact I might write this every week! He will get up with 
toddler penguin at weekends whilst I lay in with baby penguin. He plays with toddler penguin, cuddles the baby, does the nappy changes, does bathtime and continues to put the rubbish out, hoover and will generally do anything else I ask. Fair enough he doesn't get up in the night but then baby penguin is exclusively breastfed and I can seem to function on less sleep than him. Plus he will watch them both if I have a nap at weekends. I have married an amazing man!

I am also really cheerful that I meal plan. I've meal planned ever since papa penguin and I moved in together. Everyday around 3pm he would call me at work and ask what was for dinner or what did we fancy. I hated being put on the spot and could never decide on anything. We would either eat really cheaply using store cupboard ingredients or a pop to the shops on the way home which meant accidentally spending about £20 a night or we'd get a takeaway. Now not only do I meal plan but it goes on a shared online calendar which gets sync'd to both our phones....and it's on my blog. Being a bit sleep deprived at the moment it's hard to work out what I want to eat so we've been meal planning together then doing the weekly online shop.

Finally although I haven't kept this week simple following on from Mummy From the Hearts picture post, this picture says it all for me this week.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Weekly Meal Plan - November 5th

Monday - Lasagne 
Tuesday - Chicken and Okra curry with rice and naan
Wednesday - Pitta Pizzas
Thursday - Chorizo and Bean Risotto
Friday - Salmon Pasta
Weekend involves a visit to the in laws!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Knowing Me Knowing you Meme

My name is Lara. Although I'm not new to blogging, I'm reasonably new to Blogspot; I've been here since June 2012. The purpose of this meme is to bring bloggers together, to learn about the person behind the computer screen, it's a great way of making new friends.

The Purpose of this meme was to bring bloggers together, to learn about the person behind the computer screen, it's a great way of making new friends.

The Rules 
Nominate five other blogs in your post ( All must have less than 250 subscribers)
Post five random facts about yourself.
Answer the five questions that the tagged has asked you, then list your own five questions to ask others.
Let your 5 friends know you have tagged them by commenting on there blog/tweeting them.

My five random facts

1. I'm lactose intolerant but have an addiction to cadburys dairy milk!
2. I only have 9 toenails
3. I was in Joseph and the Amazing Techniclour Dreamcoat with Philip Schofield at the London Palladium when I was 9
4. I'm an only child
5. I have a fear of ships and clowns

I've been tagged in by Wendy at glitzygleam to answer the following questions.  

My five questions to answer

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging earlier this year to start a new hobby.  I'm addicted to being organised and I just felt the need to blog it. Once I'm settled into a routine with the newborn then I'm looking forward to blogging a bit more.

2. Whats your favourite film and why?

Most probably Practical Magic.  I love the magicness off it, it always make me feel happy and I love the soundtrack too.

3. If you could go anywhere in a time machine,where would you go and why?

I would love to relive our wedding day, it just went far too quickly !  I would have liked to danced more, have more photos of the two of us taken and generally stood back and taken it all in.

4. When did you last say "I love you"?

At 7pm last night when I said good night to toddler penguin!

5. Name one item you never leave home without and why?

Lip Balm - I'm addicted to the stuff !  Have a pot of vaseline in every room in the house and in my handbag and baby bag !

My 5 Questions to the next bloggers

1. What is your favourite day of the week and why?
2. What is your idea of comfort food?
3. What time of day do you usually blog?
4. When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
5. Are you looking forward to Christmas?

Tag - you're it !

Petit Moi - Big World
Confessions of a Stay at Home Mum
I'm in here somewhere
Mama Owl
Ups & Downs, Smiles and Frowns

Friday, 2 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

Continuing on from the letters R2BC I've decided to join X, Y and Z together...what difficult letters....I've been struggling!

X for kisses and the more the better! My kids get kisses from me all day! Toddler penguin comes into our bed every morning whilst hubbie is in the shower getting ready for work. Most most mornings I hear the squeak of his door then ours. I hear him put George pig, teddy and mussie on our bed then hear and feel him climb in. Yesterday morning I was so sparko that him planting a wet smacker on my lips woke me! What a fab way to be woken up! It's not just kisses from the kids that make me cheerful but from papa penguin too! We always make time for kisses throughout the day and if it's been a busy hectic one we'll always have a kiss before we pass out from the recent sleep deprivation!

Y for You, my readers. I didn't start a blog to be read but to document things I do and to start a new hobbie. If you are reading this thank you for sparing the time to listen to my rambles!

Z for Zzzzzzzzzz........any 40 winks I can't get right now is a blessing. It's currently 2:55am Friday morning and I'm just writing bed with baby penguin who is 17 days old and feeding. This is the first time I've written a post on my iPad and in the middle of the night!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Rose and Pistachio Cupcakes

Mmmmmm - from my Cupcake Heaven magazine - scrumptious !

Recipe also found here. This link takes you to the Ella Valentine eggs website.  Has anyone seen these pink egg boxes in Sainsburys.  They are cheaper than normal eggs, still free range but after a bit of internet research I've come to the conclusion that they are exactly the same as the other free range eggs on the shelves.

Weekly Meal Plan - October 29th

Monday - Chilli con carne and rice
Tuesday - Jackets with beans, cheese and bacon
Wednesday - Toad in the Hole
Thursday - Creamy Pasta with Asparagus
Friday - Fragrant courgette & prawn curry - yes we had this the last two weeks but my mum is staying and she wants to try it!
Saturday - Shepherd's pie
Sunday - unplanned at the mo - never know how long visitors will stay for and how long I have to cook something but we have a freezer full of meals ready for the microwave!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

Continuing on from the letters R2BC I've decided to join U, V and W together...

Umbrellatoddler penguin got a thomas the tank engine big brother pressie from his great aunt and he loves it.  He puts it up and tells us its raining even when we are indoors.  Luckily I'm not too superstitious and don't mind when he puts it over my head telling me quick lets get dry.

Umbilical Cord - It fell off baby penguin this morning whilst papa penguin was changing her nappy. I missed it as I was I the shower. I also missed it when toddler penguin's fell off. Ho hum I'm glad I could provide her of all the required nutrients over the last nine months!

Vehicle - this week we bought a new car. It was depressing paying the outset money from my redundancy money but we've gone for a more eco friendly car which will lower our monthly costs. Its a Vauxhall Astra EcoFlex and its very basic but at least it has air con and a CD player !

Vests - I've just purchased some vests from M&S for toddler penguin so we can layer him up.  I got short sleeved ones to wear under long sleeved t-shirts and long sleeved ones to wear under t-shirts to make them last through the winter a bit more.  Plus I love the look of white long sleeves under his t-shirts.  I found that not only are these great value but they are super soft and wash really well.

Weekends - We're getting lots of visitors over the weekends to come and see our pink bundle of joy !  Think I'm going to appreciate weekends with papa penguin around a lot more once he goes back to work on Tuesday and I become a full time mummy of two.  Well almost full time - toddler penguin will still be at the childminders two days until Christmas.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I can't believe my little pink bundle of joy is now a week old.  This week has flown by. I'm still getting to grips with breastfeeding, finding the initial latch toe curlingly painful but perservering. Baby penguin is putting on weight so thats the main thing. Night feeds aren't too bad, though papa penguin does nothing except sleep through it all.
Baby Penguin

Toddler penguin is being a great big brother.  We were prepared for more terrible twos but he's really been behaving himself and asking for lots of cuddles from baby penguin.  He has adapted really well with the new addition to our family and I'm super proud of him.
Brother and Sister cuddles

Today is also my fathers birthday.  He would be celebrating his 82nd birthday today but sadly passed away in 2005. I think of him every day, especially more so having just had another baby.  I wish he was still around to meet them and for them to meet their Grandad.
Me and my daddy