Monthly Archives: December 2009


Been There, Done That 20

We have come a long way baby, we really have since 2000. I used to be a hard nosed career woman living in Berkshire with the love of my life. I  loved my job, I was good at it and relished the challenges it brought.  I managed projects, relocated 600 people in to a brand new 160000 square foot campus and I did it with time to spare and nothing but commendations.  I was super organised and a super organiser!! In 2000 my dad was fatally injured in an industrial accident.  They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, well this tested us all and MadDad was a tower more »


Toilet humour and the best present of the holidays according to the minimads 8

My Brother bought MiniMad  “Pooh is that you Bertie?” It has been the biggest hit of the holiday, we seem to be reading it constantly and the boys love the toilet humor, in fact we have been parping, boffing and tooting ever since. Who would have thought a book about farts could have been so much fun!


Social Club Childrens Party 7

I somethimes think that pictures can say things much better than words, but have to say a great big thank you to my wonderful sister in and law and the Ladies of Steel for putting on such a fantastic event yet again!! Cousins in the calm before the storm Kissin Cousins The Club looking all festive Best friends having a bop Mince pie number 5 Putting the world to rights! You can never have enough chocolate mum! Oh no, see the lip just starting to wobble Ending the night raving on the stage Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box The boys fell asleep in the car on the way home at more »


A Home Made Christmas 13

Pennies have been tight this year at TheMadHouse, so we have put our heads together and made as much as we can. Rice and Lavender hot pad with removable cover   Felt pocket tissue cover   Home made tea cup candles   Basic wrapping with brown paper, wool, string and ribbon  – I am of the opinion that good packaging detracts from the homemade feel   I tied home made gingham and mother of pearl hearts to the wrapping. We  had printed postcards of some photo’s we had taken over the year at Moo. I made pouches to hold them The minimads decorated 90p shoppings bags from Hobbycraft   I made more »


A Wonderful White Christmas 4

I do hope that everyone is having a great Christmastime.  We have been having a fantastic time here in TheMadHouse. Christmas Eve was spent wrapping, wrapping and more wrapping, as all the presents were hidden in the loft until last minute to make sure that we dont spoil it for the children. We also made sure that we ate the mince pie and carrot and also drank the drink left for Father Christmas.  The Mini’s managed till about 5.50am, but we didnt come downstairs until 6.30am.  The rule here is that stockings are opened straight away and that other gifts after breakfast and once we are all dressed.  Rhis was no more »


Christmas Eve Elves 9

We have a tradition here in the mad house which has evolved from when I was small.  I always got a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve to go to bed in. I dont know when I stopped thinking they were from the elves and know they were from my parents, but we have carried out this tradition throughout our grown up life too. We have also been keen to do this for the MiniMads and this year decided to expand it a little and leave a bag of goodies from the eveles on their door.  We have been lucky enough to receive a couple of DVD’s as gifts for more »


A Personal Panto 1

My Sister in Law and Brother usually substidise a trip for the children of members of the club to a local Pantomime each year, but his has been getting more and more expensive, so for the first time this year, a local company, The Beverly Artistes came and put on a panto for the children in the Club. What a sucess.  it was fantastic.  5 performers put on Cinderella.  The children loved it and all joined in.  The parents all joined in too and me and MadDad had a fantastic time. It was great that the children could really participate, move around pretty freely and just enjoy themselves in a safe more »


Christmas Cakes are done and dusted 5

I have made and decorated 4 large Christmas cakes this year with the help of my wonderful family (recipe can be found here) This one is for my in laws, My Father in law loves fruit cake and prefers square cakes!! I am a fan of retro and old fashions cake toppers of my youth, so have grabbed them off my Mum and MIL when ever I have had the chance. This one is for my mum This one is for my mums best friend, who always treats the boys like her own grandchildren and is a very speical lady. Finally ours, which has had to have a full re-ice after more »


Reindeer Food, Hearts and Friends 14

I am a lucky lady you know.  I have made some wonderful friends over the internet.  I am blessed to have them and wanted to say thank you for all their support during this year. So, we make reindeer food as part of our annual christmas traditions, therefore, I made a little extra and have packaged it off to them and their little ones as a gesture of my feelings for them. Reindeer food I haven’t re-invented the wheel here, we basically use oats and glitter or coloured sugar. It is dead easy to colour sugar, pop it in a plastic bag, add food colour and shake!!  We use this as more »


A Pause in Advent – Joy 6

joy / joi/ • n. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy the joy of being alive. ∎  a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan. • v. [intr.] poetic/lit. rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain.  2009 has brought me lots of joy, I have shed the above tears and I have a family that brings me joy every day.  In the bible joy is more than an emotion it combines a sence of happiness with a state of blessedness.   For me this advent has been a time of biblical joy.  I have found the time to find more »


Being the Birthday Girl 12

I have had a wonderful day with my family celebrating my 36th birthday   Homemade cards depicting me inside our home, fireworks and colourfulness. I received a lovely bear from Muttingsfromthemoor from MadDad Fantastic Cath Kidston Tea Towels A perfect tiny white tree (I have wanted a white tree since we were married) Wonderful bird decorations for it Afternoon tea at Bettys and yes that is minimad tucking in to mince pies (his favorites) MaxiMad enjoying mummys cup of tea Walking back to the car through the museum gardens How lucky am I to be able to visit my favorite place with my favorite people on my birthday.  I wasnt expecting more »


Family Treasures Old and New 3

I have been reminded this weekend of why I make thing with the boys and for the boys. We have been decorating gingerbread house’s at my mums with my niece and we put up the snowmen decorations I made when I was 8 so they are 28 years old and the minimads loved them. I have to say the houses which we from Ikea were a nightmare to fix together and eventually both collaspsed under the weight of three children and excess sweets I fear. But as you can see they had a fantastic time making them. We also dropped off the plate I had decorated for my Neice and the more »


Bloggy Love 10

I decided to take part in the Christmas Ornament swap this year.  I already had the materials to make my ornament, so it would only be the postage costs.       My Ornaments received from my partner at ooodlesofnoodles.blogspot.com are fabtastic and look great on the tree,  I love them. I also received a lovely Circle of friends award from Penny at Pennys Hen House.  This means an awful lot to me, in fact I cried. Now I have to tell you 5 things I like to do: Smell my children Walk by the sea, even in the winter Sewing Having my hair washed at the hairdressers (Roll on Tuesday)!! more »


No Cards, Just Cookies 12

I know that I am not alone in this as The Dotterel at Bringing Up Charlie blogged about it too.  I HATE CHRISTMAS CARDS. Yep, I shouted.  It possibly stems from the fact I am a Christmas baby and I would rather have my measly few birthday cards up instead of Christmas cards. This issue with cards has grown year on year, especially as I have to write most of them. It was fine when I worked, I would send out an e-mail saying Merry Christmas and that we wouldn’t be sending out cards, but donating to the NSPCC instead.  MadDad still does this with his work colleagues now. But it more »


Childrens Craft Showcase – Fabric Painting on Bags for Gandmas 8

We have been busy cooking, baking, crafting, drawing, painting and generally having fun. over the last few days.   One of the tasks this week for the mini mads was to make a Christmas present for Nana and Grandma Materials Stamps (poundland have some in) Fabric paint (I got mine when MaxiMad was born over 4 years ago from Baker Ross) Masking tap Plain shopping bags (99p from Hobbycraft) Card We were lucky enough to receive some wonderful Christmas foam stamps from a friend and they are great and that was how this came to mind. Mask off a square on each side and put the card inside to stop the more »


A Pause in Advent 6

Well my pause for Advent this week has to be on the whole Nativity play in primary schools. MaxiMad is in Reception and his play Woops a Daisy Angel tool place on Wednesday and you can read all about it here.MiniMad is in Preschool (nursery), he is in the afternoon group, which are the youngest children in the school.  We went to his production on Friday afternoon and it was more than a joy to behold.  Unlike Maxi, he had been practicing his songs aloud for about 2 weeks and they were along a pretty traditional line, away in a manger, jingle bells etc. The most wonderful thing was that all more »


Doesnt everything Look Better in the Morning 11

Thank you so much for your kind comments last night, they were a real tonic.  I couldnt hit the sherry too hard, as we didnt have a lot left as I had used it in the Christmas Cakes and Puddings!!! MadDad and my wonderful FIL managed to get things sorted and now we are beginning the drying out stage.  They made a tiny whole in the ceiling and most of the water drained through that in the utility area. I have mopped the floor and we are starting on the washing moutain in the hope that some of the marks etc will come out of them. Things we have learned: It more »


Back to Earth with a Bang.. this year can not get any worse 18

I need to vent, I am sat in tears at the laptop.  Since we moved in to our lovely new build house just over three years ago, we have had nothing but issues with the heating and hot water culminating in 4 weeks without either heating or hot water for more than 24 consecutive hours last November. Now we haven’t had the best year as most people are aware.  I went into hospital for surgery in February and due to massive complications developed a major infection and nearly died, so spent most of March, April and May in the hospital.  This meant that MadDad had to take unpaid leave to help more »


Kirtie’s HandMade Christmas – Rant Alert 18

Now I love Kirstie with the rest of the country, but I feel a little reality check is required here. I was really looking forward to this and have waited until viewing all three episodes before letting rip.  I was hopiong to be able to watch it and get useful, practical, inexpensive, handmade ideas for Chritmas and maybe that was were I was going wrong. Yes it was beautiful, the artisans were increadably talented, but cheap it wasn’t!!  Gold leafing a pear, what a precious waste of good fruit, in addition to a frivolous, not make that mad way to spend £38 on a book of 24 carrot gold.  Dear lord more »


Jelly Baby Jesus Cakes 12

  Ingredients Shredded wheat Golden Syrup Milk Chocolate Jelly Babys Royal Icing Cake Cases   Break up the chocolate in a bowl and microwave till melted, whilst scrunching up the shredded wheat. Add about a tablespoon of golden syrup to the melted chocolate (it keeps it melted longer, which is easier for the children) and then add the shredded wheat. Have a good lick at your spatula when you have finnshed mixing! Scoop out and place in to the cake cases, this is the chocolate straw. Add you Jelly Baby Jesus, very gently as not to wake him on to his bed of straw. Then cover him in a royal icing more »