Shrove Tuesday, Lent and Ash Wednesday

So lets do this in order shall we….. We used up our eggs (fresh from the butcher) and all had a wonderful evening meal with tons of pancakes. In fact it is one of my most pleasant memories from childrhood, pancake day, reinforced every year by the same routine and due to the joy that this memory brings me, I do the same with my little men   Table set for a dinner of sweet pancakes, sugar, lemon juice, raspberry sauce and golden syrup, tea cups for all and also sugar cubes and a large pot of tea.  Mum (yes me) in the kitchen on what seems to be a conveyor more »

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What is in my handbag Meme and an award

I have been tagged by Emily at Babyrambles to show you what is in my handbag, so all for keeping it real, here is what is in my great fatface bag (which was a great bargain in the sale for £15 with my Christmas money). Firstly a need a washable bag, secondly it is great now I no longer need a nappy bag woohoo. In the front pockets, I have my iphone, in its cath kidston case and my coin purse In the bag I have: Organised mum diary Bright ideas note book Shopping list book Camera Tissues Colouring pencils 3 pens purse aromatherapy oil 2 lip glosses Spare Specs for more »


Menu Plan Monday and shortbread recipe

It is half term for me and the minimads this week, so I have lunches to make for all and then MadDad will be on on Friday, so we are going for a day out Monday Lunch – Sandwiches Dinner – Curry and rice Tuesday Lunch – Pancakes Dinner -Spag bol Wednesday Lunch – leftovers Thursday – Jambalaya Friday Picnic and pot luck Saturday Home made chicken burgers and wedges Home made pizza Sunday – I am not sure what meat we will be going with this week, I will see what is on offer at the butchers I also wanted to give you the recipe for the almond shortbread biscuits, more »

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Spiritual Sunday – St Valentines Day

What are we celebrating today?, Who was valentine? Well wikipedia says He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner — until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor — whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn’t finish him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. MadDad and I have told the boys it is a day for recognising the people you love and for standing up for the more »


All that Remains

White on white, raised and hard So obviously foreign in their origin Not flowing, not organic Just Jagged and sharp Like quiet footsteps on a hard floor Pattering against the soft smooth skin puckered, raw and taught  Alien in the lunar landscape gripping pain, prevents rest and sleep no amount of rubbing can realise me I press against my muscles with my fingers Too tense they refuse to give electric currants pulse through the wires still no release from the incessant pull warm swimming feeling from opiates in mind pain penetrates all options I sink in to the deep warm water hoping for some realise Deeper holding my breath stifling the more »


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The Secret Post Club, Are You A Member?

  Heather at Notes from lapland come up with the idea of a kind of pen-pal thing, well it is a post club, once a month you get details of someone to send something (anything) to. Anyway heather does the club better than I could here. I decided that it is lovely to send and receive something, in fact I love the feeling of anticipation when I know the postman will have a parcel for me and I also love the fact that it doesn’t have to cost a lot, so I signed up. These 2 little parcels are on the way to my swapper, could it be you?


My Most Surreal Mummy Moments

Well I have been parenting for nearly 5 years now, so I am obviously an old hand at this lark, yeh right.  But one thing can be sure, is that my children surprise me everyday. One of my moments actually happened at Parents Evening for MaxiMad, he has a red book that is filled in with observations etc by the teaching staff.  MadDad and I were sat reading through it whilst waiting for our turn to see his teacher.  We came across the following entry: Maxi is in the construction area, using the blocks to build a boat, when asked who was in the boat he replied “this seat is for more »

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The Best Carrot Cake in the Whole Wide World 2

  Receipe 140ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing 2 Eggs 200g light brown sugar 300g grated Carrots, (grated weight) 100g raisins 75g pecans or Walnuts, chopped (optional) 180g self-raising flour 1 pinch Salt 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg 1/2 tsp Mixed spice Orange cream cheese icing – this rarely gets put on in this house, as everyone eats the cake before I get chance!! 50g cream cheese, chilled 50g Butter, at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 275g icing sugar, sifted 1 Orange, zest only Method 1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Oil and line a loaf tin with greaseproof more »


Meal Plan Monday and More Frugal Food

Sunday Dinner was Mince, onions, dumplings and lots and lots of vegetables, one of my big tips for being frugal and following your meal plans is to make it as easy as possible, so today food will follow on and utilise yesterdays leftovers and additional amount that we cooked. Monday Lunch – Leftovers Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognese, utilising mince, onions and any left over veg with the tomato sauce we made over the summer Tuesday Lunch – Spaghetti on toast Dinner – Lasagna, bulked out with cottage cheese and vegetables Wednesday Lunch – Leftovers Dinner – Dahl and Naan Breads Thursday Lunch – Sandwiches and soup Dinner – Sausage casserole and more »

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Spiritual Sunday – Grateful

  Maxi getting excited over playing with his Fun Domino’s (a christmas present) I am grateful: My wonderful Saturday lie ins and being woken by my boys with a cup of tea. Living nearby the sea, I love the ever changing landscape the sea brings. The crocus’ just poking out their green tips in next doors garden Family dinners. That my mums hand has healed well and that they have popped a fibre glass pop on which is much lighter for her. That we have packed mums case and she is all set to go on holiday tomorrow That the boys adore their cousins and spent a lovely afternoon with my more »


Roses – why wait for valentines day!!

  I never used to like roses, but they have literally begun to grow on me.  I have been lucky enough to get a couple of bunches from Aldi over the last couple of weeks. My images don’t do them justice, these are a very pale lilac colour and have a parchment coloured tip.  There are two weeks old and a lovely now they are on the wain.   I got these with my shop this week, they are a pale cream with a peachy centre and they are just divine.    It is wonderful how a bunch of flowers can make a real difference to my mood.  I like these more »

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More Makes, laptop pouches and valentines hearts

I have been wanting to show you a couple more of the things I have been doing with the mini’s this week, but it is so dark, photo’s are not the best. I don’t know about you, but it seems once Johnnie Boden gets a hold of your address, he sends you a million and one catalogues, STOP Johnnie, you must be single handed responsible for the decimation of the rain forest.  Plus the models are so smug with their little snippets of their lives.  I don’t want to know that Verity loves chocolate cake, especially when she looks about a size 2!  I can not bear to throw them in more »


Giving and Receving

I have said it before and I will say it again. The Internet, the WWW, the blogosphere, it has been wonderful to me. It has kept me sane on the dark nights when sleep has refused to blanket me with it warming cocoon, it has kept me company whilst sitting in bed waiting for healing to start and it has made me giggle in my darkest moments.With this is mind, I am always more than happy to give when I can to fellow bloggers.   First off, a small piece of fabric for the lovely Mary Poppins, Mary is making a curtain and this will be used in it, Mary and more »

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simple heart crafts for kids

Valentine Heart craft for kids

Well this week, we are going with a valentines theme.  Yep seasonal over here at TheMadHouse.  Again, I am hoping to inspire you out there with children to craft and play with them.  To get over your need for perfectionism and fear of mess and just go with the flow and enjoy. If we do inspire you, then please use the McLinky below and link to any post that you do about crafting with children.  I would love to see and hear about your time crafting with your children. One of the best things I bought in the sales was a large paper punch in a heart shape (mine is 3inch), more »


Menu Planning and Frugal Food Part Two

The Basics and MummyMads Rules I have a few golden rules that I always abide by and also make sure I have a larder with basic ingredients in. I don’t scrimp on chicken I always buy a good one or a happy one as I call them (free range), as they make better stock and just taste nicer with more meat in my humble opinion.  The same with eggs (our butcher sell local free range ones cheaper than the supermarkets).  I pop in to the local butchers and see what is on offer meat wise too. In the store cupboard and fridge I always have flour, eggs, caster sugar, lentils, beans, more »

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Menu Planning and Frugal Food Part One

One thing that has come out of our lack of cash is my ability to feed us all well on less and less cash.  The two things that has enabled this to happen has been our menu planning and our garden. I thought I would give you an example of a weeks menu plan and how I feed us all. I do a main shop on a Thursday and base my weeks menu plan round our Sunday Dinner (chicken, Mince, Beef, or Ham).  This week it will be chicken. Friday Fish, oven chips and mussy peas.  I make sure I buy frozen cod or haddock fillets when they are on offer, more »


Spiritual Sunday – The Power of Tea

  There is no trouble so great or grave that is can not be diminished by a nice cup of tea  Bernard-Paul Heroux Sometimes there is no words or actions that can make a week any better than it was, this week just gone was one of them.  Mum broke her arm and mini mad has discovered a rage inside, which has started to cause issues at preschool.  I have felt pulled in every which way. My mum is OK, sore and in a pot from fingertips to elbow and a sling, but she can still go on holiday to Florida with my brother next week and once she was all more »

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Snowy Satuday

We woke up this morning to a good three inches of snow, football tots was cancelled and we have had the joy of a morning of not having to be anywhere and beatiful soft snow and sunshine.   I went out with MiniMad and we took some photographs whilst Maxi and MadDad cleared the cars.  The sun was shining  and everything looks clean and just wonderful. This is what is left of the mint that we love in the summer in our herb pots, it just looked so wonderful with the snow on top. It looks even better with the sun reflecting on it, this snow isn’t going to last, so more »


The Pig of Happiness

I saw this and love it on Mary Poppins Blog, so just had to pass it on and share.  The minimads loved it too!


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Please don’t call me brave.

Please don’t call me brave, please don’t tell me I have done the brave thing.  What I have done was the easy option, the only option I felt open to me.  It was Hobson’s choice.  How could I live knowing the risk I had and not worry with every passing moment that a cancer was growing inside me.  No I took the easy way out. Please don’t call me brave.  I have never had to tell my children, my husband, my mother or my friends that I have cancer.  I have never had to make them feel that everything is going to be OK, when actually I want them to be more »