Music makes everything better….

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I feel all excitable today! I’m actually working from home right now (apart from having a tea break to write this) doesn’t sound particularly exciting you may think, but oh how wrong you are, I’ve got the wonder that is Spotify playing in the background with a barrage of 80’s music, yes I’m a self confessed cheesy 80’s music fan (much to the embarrassment of the Hubby who makes uhh! noises when my 80’s playlist comes on). I’m sure everyone will agree that work just gets a whole lot better when you’re listening to music which makes you want to dance, no matter what era it is!

Apart from the fact that I may look a bit weird to the outsider (postman) who can see me energetically jigging away at the computer through the window, (I’m sure it’s put a smile on his face today), it lifts your spirits, puts you in a good mood, especially when you have extremely boring work to contend with, ok so you might have to check occasionally that you haven’t written music lyrics into an important email to the boss, he might not appreciate you telling him he doesn’t have to take his clothes off to have a good time, or maybe he will, who knows, it might actually brighten his day too?! Maybe there should be a campaign to have music blaring out of every office building during lunch hour, I think people would be a lot less aggressive and stressed.

So, if you’re that way inclined and having a so far boring day, I challenge you to dig some music out which always makes you smile and turn it up loud – REALLY LOUD, enjoy the moment and dance your hearts out! Happy Thursday Everyone!

A snippet of awesomeness to get you on your way to brightening up an otherwise average Thursday…..

 

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Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

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Its another ‘YAY!’ On the Bear and Boo chart – Beef Stroganoff is a massive leading contender with a 9/10 from The Bear and a whopping 10/10 from Boo! Such a simple homemade quick and easy recipe too, took me half hour with prep!

Recipe – serves 4
Beef (I used frying steak for ease and quickness but any cut will work)
Mushrooms, sliced
Onion, sliced and diced
Sour cream, as much as you want really but I used a 300ml tub (I like it creamy)
Tomato purée, 1 tbsp
Garlic, 2 cloves
Beef stock, 450ml
French or Dijon mustard, 2 tsp

Method
Whizz up the mustard, stock and tomato purée in a blender.
Fry the garlic and onion off until the onion is soft then add the beef and mushrooms to the pan. Once beef is brown add the liquid and simmer until reduced by half (if you find this reduces too much you can add more water). Add the sour cream and warm through. Job done! Simples!

I did this with basmati rice as long grain takes too long to cook! I don’t like meals that take forever. Quick easy meals for working mums are the way forward.

PS4 Zombie Amazingness!!!!

Now I do love a zombie, whether it’s being chased by them through the streets of London or just watching a film and because of this I now fully understand why men get so engrossed in PS4/Xbox games. I am currently sitting here watching Beardy playing The Last of us on his new PS4 and I have my hands over my eyes screaming at him to ‘stop running into corners!’, ‘get him!’, ‘watch out!’ ‘RUN!’ All of which are followed by an ‘aaaaaargh!’ I actually have butterflies in my tummy – this is like a film – and you star in it! Also helped by the fact that Joel (the hero) reminds me a lot of Gerard Butler and is shit hot at fighting (I guess that really depends on the player though) I particularly like the throat punch and the knocking off of heads! Not that I’m a violent gal you understand, I’m just sayin’ now I get it. It’s actually quite funny also watching the little prompts come up asking if you want to make it easier, clearly recognising the players inability to complete the level and seeing Beardy getting all antsy because he doesn’t want to admit defeat, telling the prompts to ‘f*** off!’ Lol! I’m a nervous wreck but I’m actually really enjoying this!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AaOWRvmtEFQ

Frozen Frenzy

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If you have a daughter aged between 2 and 7 your house probably looks a lot like mine at the moment, full of everything ‘Frozen’. So today we went out to spend Boo’s birthday money and what did she choose; yes, a singing Elsa doll. The Anna doll, the puzzles, the whole series of Frozen figures, the dress, the shoes and the colouring books clearly weren’t enough, so once again I have had ‘Let it go’ played continuously since 3pm today (that’s a solid 4 and a half hours!) and I have been knelt on the floor re-enacting the WHOLE of the film, including songs. Heaven forbid I get any words wrong, I am corrected by a stroppy 4 year old who uses a cuddly monkey which doubles up as both Hans and Kristoff and a teddy Tiger for Sven, stamping her foot when I say a word out of place. I have lost count of how many times I have had to do this, enough already! When will the Frozen Frenzy subside????? Please – Let it Go!!!! (I know, I know, but it had to be done!)

New Mums – Top Tip

*Brown Sugar*

Constipation!

It’s all too common in little ones and especially frustrating when they’re so small you can’t give them medication. Both my two suffered from this and the doctor told me to put teaspoon of brown sugar in their warm milk, has to be brown, that’s it! So simple and it worked for us.

Kids Menu Ideas

good stuff

Urgh….it fills me with dread thinking about what to cook the kids for dinner (and I love cooking!), what a palava! For those of you who have young children, you’ll be all too familiar with comments such as ‘I don’t want that’,  ‘yuk!’ (thanks kids!) or, my personal favourite and the most over-used dinner time phrase in our house, ‘I don’t like it’ (before they’ve even tried it) whilst you’ve spent over an hour preparing a new meal in your effort to get them to try something new. So instead of forcing it down them, if they don’t eat it, it gets thrown away and NO! you may absolutely NOT have dessert! They frown …I wait…and there it is…impending doom descends down upon them and  they melt into pools of hellish goo on the floor.

So…to avoid these situations I have told them, in no uncertain terms, this is the way it’s going to be; they WILL try at least one new thing a week, if they don’t like it, fine, but they MUST try it, they will mark them out of 10 and if it’s a ‘YAY’ (6 and over) it’ll go on the menu again next week, if it’s a ‘BOO’ we will wait a few weeks before trying it again (weirdly this seemed to work, I think because they have no concept of time and they think ‘a few weeks’ is an eternity (Mummy 1 – Kids 0)….evil laugh.

This is the first of many (I hope) recipes that The Bear and Boo have actually NOT responded with impolite, ungrateful language.

And so it begins……

soy chicken

Soy Chicken and Rice – YAY! (Bear 8/10 Boo 9/10)
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4412/soy-steamed-chicken-with-oriental-rice

New Mum – Teething Top Tip

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New Mums! I got a top tip from a friend of mine when my kiddies were small and teething was a nightmare, natural liquorice! Apparently it numbs the gums; if you buy them in sticks they chew on it for aaaaages and worked wonders for my two! Also – put a wet flannel in the freezer for a couple of hours, rolled up like a sausage, when frozen, let them chew on it – not such a hit with mine as they are not that partial to eating a bit of flannel but apparently works for some!

Favourite Storybooks for Kids

The Giving Tree

I love reading stories to the kids, not necessarily always at bedtime, but there are some truly wonderful books out there which always make me smile, no matter how many times I read them. The obvious choices, such as Julia Donaldson, what a complete genius she is, always go down well in our house (my kids are 6 and 4) but there are also others which I never tire of reading and equally the children love. This page is dedicated to just that. If you do choose to read them, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

If you have any suggestions yourself, please do share and I’ll add them to the list, no book is a bad book!

  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Penguin – Polly Dunbar
  • The Adventures of Bert – Allan Ahlberg & Raymond Briggs
  • Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe – Brian Moses & Garry Parsons
  • Big Mum Plum – Daniel Postgate
  • Someone Bigger – Jonathan Emmett & Adrian Reynolds
  • Who’s in the Loo – Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds
  • Each Peach Pear Plum – Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers
  • We’re Going to a Party – Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
  • Dustbin Dad – Peter Bently and Russell Ayto
  • Jennifer Jones won’t leave me alone – Frieda Wishinsky and Nel Layton
  • Jack and the Incredibly Mean Stalk – Gemma Cary and Kelly Caswell

I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like a Julia Donaldson book but some of our favourites are:

  • Charlie Cooks Favourite Book
  • Tiddler
  • Room on a Broom
  • Zog
  • What the Ladybird Heard
  • Jack and the Flum Flum tree