Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year's Eve

It's New Year's Eve and I've got a streaming cold.

A cold that started on Boxing Day.

That's six days of coughing and sneezing.

First Defence couldn't defend me from this one.

I've almost gone through three boxes of Kleenex.

I feel lousy.

But not lousy enough not to have made inroads into that bottle of Pink Champagne I won in The Christie's raffle!!


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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Another WM strategy - how to cheat with dessert!

Got people coming over for food?

No time to make a fabulous dessert?

Got some leftover Christmas Pudding?

Try this recipe.

I made it on Boxing Day and displayed it on the buffet. It looks stunning and if you crack the filo a little after cooking, it looks like bark on a Christmas log.

Guests thought I'd conjured up a delicious dessert especially for the occasion.

Little did they know..........

Monday, 27 December 2010

Emergency Plumbing

A lovely Christmas was had in the WM house. We had a gorgeous goose for dinner with all the trimmings, a Black Sheep Brewery Christmas Pud which I'd bought in August, Christmas Coffee from Whittards and Christmas Dinner Chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

Mum and Dad livened up the evening by producing a variety of wind up toys they'd bought from Hawkins Bazaar and we all proceded to race them across the coffee table. The sight of the false teeth chasing the dinosaur was very amusing!!

MIL went to Yorkshire and we promised to keep an eye on her house.

All went well until this morning .......................

My mum and dad had gone home last night so we had a lie-in and then hubby said:

"I'll just pop over to mum's and we'll all have breakfast when I get back"

Five minutes later I got a phone call from him:

"Do you know where mum's stop tap is?"

Turns out that a pipe had burst in the garage, the condensing pipe had frozen up and her heating wasn't working.

She was due back this morning.

The clock was ticking, we had to fix this or she would never go to Yorkshire again at Christmas.

I rushed round with daughter and I started to sort out the heating while hubby dealt with the burst pipe.

I released the condensing pipe, got the heating working again and started to defrost the frozen pipe.

Hubby dashed to DIY store for plumbing stuff and home for his tool box then he set to work on the burst pipe.

He was just fitting the last little bit when BIL's car pulled up and MIL got out.

She went straight into panic mode, but I was able to say:

"Don't worry, everything's okay, just checking on your house"

Then we discreetly packed up and left for a very late breakfast.

Disaster averted!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Well, I made it.

It's Christmas Eve and I've still not got a cold!

Not only that, MIL is on her way to Yorkshire, the goose has been collected from the butchers, the wrapping is all done, there is a mountain of food in the kitchen, favourites have been circled in the Christmas Radio Times and the tin of Quality Street is about to be cracked open.....

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............. it's Chriiiiiiiiistmaaaaaaaasss!!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Fingers crossed!

I preface this post with the plea: "don't judge me".

The plan for Christmas is that we have MIL one year, husband's sister has her the next, etc. This year it's SIL's turn. It is very much her turn. I can't have my Christmas spoiled again by complaints, tears and negative comments. It's the first Christmas in years that I've been well and I really want to enjoy it. My parents are coming and they are much more fun. There's plenty of Christmas cheer, silly games and laughter when they are around. I am so looking forward to a fun-filled Christmas. (And they help with the cooking and the dishes!)

However, SIL lives over the Pennines and there's been a bit of snow around here lately.

MIL says she won't drive over there.

Fair enough, so BIL is coming to get her on Christmas Eve.

MIL says they're are snowed in and can't come and get her.

They were at City's match in Manchester on Monday night so not snowed in then!

MIL says all roads over the Pennines are closed.

The Highways Agency says they aren't (I know, I've checked!)

MIL says she won't go because she doesn't want to get stuck there and not be able to get back to look after her house.

We've promised to check on the house.

MIL said that if she had somewhere else to go she would phone SIL and say she's not coming.

I have instructed husband not to invite her here thus giving her a get-out clause.

(Of course, we would have her if she truly couldn't get over there; I wouldn't leave her alone at Christmas, but while there's a chance she can go somewhere else.............)

Tomorrow is D-day.

BIL is still on schedule to pick her up.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Finally, presenting........ "Snowflake Shower"!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

This Year's Christmas Cake

The Working Mum Christmas cake is a much anticipated affair in my family. My Christmas creations are now legendary. One year my mum even asked me to take my cake to her house to be the centrepiece on the table so she didn't have to make one!

I always try to make a yummy cake in October half term, then I feed it with brandy for weeks and finally, I enjoy decorating it after I've broken up for Christmas - just me, Nat King Cole on the CD player and a ton of icing sugar.

Well, this year's has now been completed; it's the first one that I've designed myself and it's very topical. However, I have been trying for three days to upload a photo of it to this post and Blogger is not playing ball! So, you'll just have to wait to see it in all its glory..............

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

How to work Father Christmas

My daughter has met Father Christmas on three occasions so far this Christmas. On each one she has been delighted and the look on her face has been a picture I want to treasure forever. However, beneath the angelic smile and the perfect manners lies a far too-clever-for-her-own-good little schemer.

How so?

Well, on the first occasion she asked him for Toffee the Pony.

On the second she asked for Barbie's Tawny Horse.

On the third she asked for Barbie's Magic of Pegasus DVD.

Then she told me her plan:

"Every time I meet him, I ask him for something different, so then I get everything I want!"

When did she become so devious?

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....

Okay, not roasting, but chopped up and made into Chocolate Chestnut Cupcakes. But more of those later.

Life has been typically busy in the Working Mum household, but this Winter there's one big difference ................

.................................... I'm not ill!!!!!!!!

I'm not pumped up on paracetamol and existing on Soothers, Venos and Lemsip! A couple of weeks ago I was starting with a cold, but on the recommendation of one of my pupils, I tried Vick's First Defence. I swear, they have invented the cure for the common cold. Two days after starting with a cold it had gone!

Now I'm feeling full of energy and life and have been asking my colleagues "Is this how the end of term should feel?" I haven't felt this good at the end of term for years. Not only that, I've now lost over a stone in weight, I feel great!

So, armed with unseasonal energy, I've been a Christmas whirlwind. I've almost done my Christmas shopping (just hubby left to buy for), most of the presents are wrapped, half of them are delivered, cards done and posted (including one to Australia which I'm usually too late for), tree bought and decorated and I've been baking. Boy, have I been baking!

Not only did I make two dozen Christmas cupcakes for the School Christmas Fair, I've made another dozen and a half for daughter's school Christmas party, I've made three dozen Orange, Cranberry and Almond Mince Pies which are now in the freezer and today I made a new Christmas Cupcake.

Last year, following a Christmas Cupcake Course at Leah's Pantry, I made a variety of sponge cupcakes with icing decorations:

but this year I spotted this recipe for Chocolate Chestnut Cupcakes in Good Food Magazine and thought they would be a perfect sophisticated cupcake for Christmas. So today I made a dozen which I will take into work for my department who can be guinea pigs and tell me what they think. If they're a hit, I'll make some more for Christmas Eve.

Have to admit that to a chocoholic like myself they do look scrumptious:

Just one more week of school, three Christmas Concerts with choir and then I'm ready for the big day. Bring it on!

Friday, 3 December 2010

I'm a parent of a year 2 pupil and ...........

On Monday I donated books and toys.

On Tuesday I donated toy and sweet filled jam jars for the hoop-la.

On Wednesday I donated three boxes of chocolates for the chocolate tombola.

On Thursday I donated four bottles for the bottle tombola.

Today I made two dozen cakes for the cake stall:

And tomorrow I get to spend an obscene amount of money trying to win or buy them all back!!

(Yes, it's our School Christmas Fair!)