Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality

11 years, an eternity some days, but a split second on others.
You are forever part of my life,
I love and live by the rules you instilled in me,
I learn each day how important you have been in moulding me.
I am your echo, your legacy.
As my children are mine, carrying with them a part of me and, therefore, a part of you.
I hope they grow in to great men like you were.
I refuse to live my life in anger at your early death,
instead I remember the days we had.
I remember feeling safe and cradled in your hands.
I remember joy and freedom.
You are my hero, my guiding star.
I love you Dad and miss you each and everyday.

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The Gallery – Show me the Funny

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Tesco Greener Living Quiz and my Top Tips for saving Money

Did you realise that on average it costs £59 a year to run a tumble dryer?  I didn't, but itf you take a look at the Tesco Greener Living Quiz you will find out little nuggets of information like this and more.

There is also a cool interactive house, which you can use to try and find ways of living a greener lifestyle whilst also saving money at the same time.  You can save approximately £400 a year just by turning your heating thermostat down by one degree.

So I thought it would be a great idea to put together a list of ecological things that we can use to lower our expenditure, whilst still trying to be greener.  

My Top Tips:

Wash at 30 degrees and spot clean clothes
Turn down the thermostat on your hot water by 1 degree, then you need less cold water and the hot water needs less heating
Use a draft excluder at your front door
Shut your curtains as it gets dark, they do help keep the cold out and the heat in.
Have a throw on the sofa, that way you can turn the heating off an hour early and snuggle under it with your partner or even the dog!

Please comment and leave your best money saving tips

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We should talk more about Miscarriages

Having read about Lily Allens sad, sad loss today, it brought to mind, my previous losses. 

Losing a potential life is never easy and for me losing babies late in pregnancy made me really doubt if we would ever have a child of our own to hold.  So much so that Maxi didn't have a nursery until the week before he was born.

Miscarriage is something that many woman do not talk about, it often feels like a secret club that you only become aware of once you have experianced the pain.  Then people will often tell you that they had a miscarriage too.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 woman will experience a miscarriage and that 15% of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage, which are shocking statistics which are often not in the forefront of your mind when you become pregnant.

As one of these 1 in 4 woman I have to say that I experienced a wide range of emotions when it came to my miscarriages and also to peoples reactions to them.  My first experience of miscarriage was losing twins at 20 weeks, which was truly horrendous.  I don't think I could ever explain the horrors that we went through.  What has remained with me from that time was other peoples reactions and comments, which ranged from a polite I am sorry for your loss to a completely inappropriate "oh but they were not yet babies"

I think that woman should be a little more open about the terrible things that miscarriages can bring, they can shatter dreams and tear apart hearts.

So my heart goes out to Lily Allen, I can not imagine her loss, but I can remember mine.

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Freerange Parenting

Last week was my first experience of half term as a mum with two boys that are both in school, previously when I had two preschoolers, I used to dread the holidays coming along, as all the mum and toddler groups and other things were halted for the holidays and the soft play places and parks were fill of bigger, rougher and louder children (yes this is what I used to think).  

It is amazing the difference a year or two makes, as the minimads are now 4 and 5 and I have to say I have looked forward to this half term pretty much since the first week of school (as I miss my boys so much), but I have been really conscious that my children need a rest, especially Mini, who has found is tiring work being at school all day.

So I have held back my Miss organiser personality and only arranged one or two days out and play dates for the holidays and for the first time I am allowing the boys a little free reign and they have been out on their own. 

I gave the boys firm boundaries of where they could go and I also snuck out and took them  drinks and snacks regularly.  They had a whale of a time and the things that they enjoyed doing were using chalks, looking for crickets and bugs, making mud paint, scooting on the pavement and just running off some of their energy.

I have to admit that I find this freerange parenting hard, it does go against my nature, but when I talk to my mum and to MadDad, I am conscious that we were allowed much more freedom as children.  Now I don't want to turn this in to a debate about pedophiles and abductions, I am aware that there are bad people out there, but I am learning that my children can enjoy some outside freedom without me being attached to them.
So where do you draw the line, how old were your children before you allowed them to play out?

I have to say that I now want to buy walkie talkies, so I can check that they are OK!

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The National Railway Museum York

I have had a lovely day this week at the NRM in York with MadDad and the boys.  We were lucky enough to be able to meet up with Sandy and her boys too.

The NRM in York is a fantastic day out for anyone who has children, especially ones like me who have children that love trains.  As you would expect the museum is jam packed full of trains, but there is so much more to see and do, especially if it is raining.

The museum always make sure that half term and school holidays are jam packed with family events and we had great fun watching the turntable work and also listened to some great story telling too.  The boys and MadDad were looking forward to a ride on the restored replica of the Rocket, but it had broke down to had to settle to a ride on a diesel engine, but boys being boys they still enjoyed that too.

Mini was astounded that the Hogwards Express was at York too and was able to take a look in its cab, which as an avid Harry Potter fan really made his day.


Entrance to the Museum is Free and you can park all day in the car park for £7.00.  A road train runs every 30 minutes in to central York, but we spent all day in the museum on Tuesday.

There are plenty of tables for you, if you take a picnic (we always do) and a fine play area for the children outside on dryer days.  Not that the rain mattered to my boys, Mini was coming down the fireman's pole and relishing the puddle at the bottom! 

A great day out with something for everyone.

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Cooking with Children – Halloween Cakes and Biscuits

I love cooking and baking with the boys and for me the secret is letting go and dealing with the mess afterwards, plus good planning, making sure all the ingredients are out and the equipment etc.  I think that by empowering the boys to cook and bake it will stand them in good stead as they get older, plus they can start cooking dinner and feed me!

Also it might not look perfect, but I can assure you it tastes mighty fine.  So I bring you Maxi's chocolate cakes and biscuits.

Basic Biscuit Recipe

I use one without egg and it is fine if over handled, so perfect for children

175g/6oz Plain Flour
100g/4oz Butter or Margarine
50g/2oz Caster Sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180

Cream the butter or margarine and caster sugar
Stir in the flour and once mixed knead the dough together until it forms a ball
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 5mm thick

Spooky Chocolate Web Cakes

6 oz margarine
6 oz caster sugar
5 oz self raising floor
1 oz coco powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
Icing Sugar
Hot water

Cream margarine and sugar
Add eggs, flour, coco powder and baking powder, then 2 tbls of milk
Cook for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.

To make the web, mix icing sugar and hot water and cover the cake.  Create a swirl in black icing (we used Silver Spoon Black Designer Icing kindly supplied by Silver Spoon) and then take a cocktail stick and drag the icing out towards the edge.

These cakes are all Maxi's own work and they looked fantastic and tasted even better!

I would like to say thank you to Silver Spoon for supplying me and the boys with some of their cake decorating goodies.

We are entering in the Big Autumn Bakeoff with this!

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Sometimes I feel as though I don't know quite where I fit in this universe.
Almost as though I am living in a dream or dreaming of the world I am living in.
I wake often unable to tell the difference from real life and the dreams I must have had.
Unable to find things, as I must have put them away on in dream state.
A sudden sense of deja vu overtakes a moment, haven't I done this before?
but where and when?
Am I just going through the motions?

How do I tell the difference between the actual and the perceived?
I want to wake up and make the most of the day.
To grasp the precious time with both hands and squeeze it dry.
To live a worthwhile life.
But how do I do this, what is goal, where is the end line?

I though once out of the monotony of dirty nappies and night feeds,
I would start to see the difference in the days.
But sometimes I feel that I am in a hamsters wheel,
forced to live out everyday again and again and again.
Maybe this is why I find some much joy in the changing seasons.
In the small things that fill my day.

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Autumn Craft and Activity Ideas

With the weather getting colder, now is the time to make some plans about activities and crafts you can do on the darker evenings to keep your children occupied and keep.

My friend Becky at Baby Budgeting has produced her first ebook which is jam packed full of 50 ideas of things to do with under 5's in Autumn on a budget.  I have a copy and it is a great resource for when you are struggling for ideas.  Click here to get your copy best of all it is only £1.50.

You could also do some marble painting, which doesn't have to be messy.  Why not have a go at making your own wrapping paper or make a start on some Bonfire arts and crafts. 

Wax reilef panting is always good fun and you could leave some secret messages for your children to discover.   Have fun making Chicken cards with your children.

You can make Autumn collages either with collecting leaves or if it is too wet you can colour in some pre printed ones.  Use masking tape to make a boarder round your little ones paintings or drawings, it is remarkable effective.

So there are some ideas of things to do on this half term break and over Autumn, I would love for you to link your ideas too.

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The Gallery – Red, what every girl needs

When I am feeling down or low, I pop on a pair of red shoes (yes I have more than one pair) and they immediately brighten my day.

Do you have something that always make you feel better?

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