Monday, 29 November 2010

Christmas is coming

The school Christmas trees were delivered today. I watched the caretakers positioning a massive one in the crisp, cold quad this morning amid the frost (the quad that some children say makes our school look like Hogwarts, so you can imagine how fantastic it looks with a 20ft Christmas tree!).

My new cookbook arrived today:

And this Sunday I have my first Christmas concert.

Oh, and I have a scratchy throat, a chesty cough and I keep sneezing.

Yep, Christmas is coming!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Were there more than twenty four hours a day.........

20th November already?!

I don't know where the time goes.

So what's been happening?

Well, Prince Edward visited our school and daughter was most disappointed. She thought he would arrive in a horse drawn carriage and wear the full Prince's regalia a la Cinderella.

He didn't.

She did say, "He looked liked Dadddy................. only Daddy's fatter"
(Yes, her father appreciated that one!)

Yesterday was Children in Need and I've spent nearly every evening this week making Pudsey Bear cakes and biscuits for school inbetween trying to help daughter learn lines and songs for the Nativity (she's Angel Gabriel, but doesn't understand why when Gabriel was a boy and she's a girl - explain that one!).

I've been back to my GP about my plantar fasciitis (foot problem) and am now being referred to a Consultant Podiatrist, but I was supposed to phone for an appointment last Friday and still haven't managed to do so due to being rushed off my feet at work. I'm sure there's a pun in there!

This morning I was in school for an Open Day (hate being at work on a Saturday).

And of course, there's been the usual trying to fit in all the housework at weekends whilst husband is at various football matches (last weekend he went to three!) and failing miserably. I've now written the word "DUST" in the dust on the TV stand in the hopes that husband will see it when watching football and do something about it.

I know. Futile.

And it's that time of year again. I've got 130 tests to mark and 130 reports to write within the next two weeks on top of my normal job.

And I know I'm getting stressed because I was supposed to go to Ikea this afternoon to buy the storage for daughter's bedroom, but the M60 is closed due to a jumper and I find myself thinking "how inconvenient of them to commit suicide when I need to go to Ikea" rather than "how terribly sad".

Need to get some perspective.

I may be some time...........

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Live Nation reply

You may remember my annoyance at the disappointing time my husband had on his birthday treat from me; A Platinum Experience of A Question of Sport that turned out to be more brass than platinum. (I'm not recounting the whole story, if you missed it click here)

Anyway, I wrote my letter to Live Nation detailing my complaint and my refund requirements and sent it off.

Yesterday I received my reply and I have to say, not bad customer service from Live Nation. A personalised letter addressing each of my points after investigating them, some calculations of the refund (which I mostly agree with) and a cheque for a reasonable amount. I am happy that the matter has been resolved.

With the cheque burning a hole in my pocket I thought I would buy some tickets to something else for husband and I to go to. I knew that there was a gig coming to Manchester that I really wanted to go to and the tickets went on sale on Monday. I also knew that it was likely to have sold out in hours, but I tried.

I tried one date, sold out.

Another, sold out.

Another, sold out.

And so it went on.

Eventually, I thought I'd try one last date and guess what?

Two tickets available!

I nearly dropped my laptop.

So we're off to:

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Party Times Cupcake of the Month


My Autumn Maple Leaf Cupcakes have been chosen as the "Cupcake of the Month" at the Party Times, the on-line party magazine from Party Pieces.

Check out the blog for lots of lovely information and tips on creating wonderful children's parties and check out Party Pieces for all things party related, especially the Christmas section. I am going to have to indulge in these holly gold lace cupcake wrappers for my Christmas cupcakes:

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Someday my prince will come.....

I think my daughter has unrealistic expectations. I blame all those fairy stories. You know, girl meets prince, falls in love, lives happily ever after.


Well, next week, The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex is visiting our school.

Daughter has asked me to do her hair in plaits that day so that she can be at her prettiest to meet the Prince!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Super soup!

Lizzy at Quest for Yummy Mummy Status has tagged me. It's been ages since I've been tagged. I'm usually too busy to do the long list ones, but this one was very close to my heart. She's asked me to share a winter warmer soup recipe.


We have soup every Monday because it's easy to get it ready after arriving home from work and before dropping daughter off at Rainbows, then I've enough time to come home, cook it and whizz it, then I pick her up and come home and reheat it. Any leftovers can be frozen for school holiday lunches. Perfect!

But which recipe to share?

I love to try different recipes and recently borrowed a Covent Garden Soup Company recipe book from the school library (how school libraries have changed!) and did the Maple Roasted Parsnip Soup. Nice.

I'm currently waiting for Jerusalem artichokes to come in the shops so I can make my Cream of Artichoke soup and of course, I've already said that I've been making plenty of Thai Pumpkin Soup recently.

Well, in true Working Mum style, I thought I would tell you about the quickest, easiest, tastiest, storecupboard soup that I make when I'm rushing in from work, no time to peel or chop and with nothing in the house. A real 'WM Strategy' Soup.

WM's Butterbean Soup:

  • 2 x 410g cans butterbeans
  • 1.5 pts vegetable stock (I like Just Bouillon)
  • 1tbsp green pesto
  • 1tbsp sun dried tomato paste
Tip the butterbeans in a large pan and add the stock. Heat and then simmer for 5 mins. Add pesto and paste, then whizz until smooth. Voila!

PS I love my hand held wand blender for whizzing, no transferring soup to a blender, just do it in the pan; if you get one with a stainless steel shaft you don't have to wait for the soup to cool, either. This is mine:
PS Tag can be picked up by anyone with a lovely winter warmer soup recipe, just let me know if you do it so I can try out your recipe.

Monday, 1 November 2010

A Pony Palace!

As promised, here are some pictures of daughter's bedroom now that I've finished decorating.

Here's the entrance:

(Notice the sign above the door? - The Princess Sleeps Here)

Now, this is the play part:

And this is the sleeping part:

I'll admit it's not quite finished, there are a couple more pictures to put up and we need to get some Trofast storage from Ikea for the rest of her stuff (I can't believe she has sooooo much stuff!), which will go here next to the wardrobe:

But I thought I'd better take the pictures before daughter moves in and it no longer looks like this:

A Pony Palace!