Mother of Dragons…

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Oh my! I am fairly new to blogging and don’t have LOADS of followers…yet!…so was really surprised (and very excited!) to see I’d been nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award by one of my favourite bloggers; thanks Dan!…it’s so nice that someone thinks your writing is worthy of an award! … check out his awesome blog if you don’t already – Holes in my socks!

So, what does the Dragon’s Loyalty Award actually mean, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t got a Scooby, but in my head it means that I can now consider myself part of the Targaryn family, which is blinkin’ exciting! All I need now is Tyrion by my side and World Domination will be MINE!….she says, wielding an imaginary sword above her head whilst typing…I am AMAZING at multitasking!

To be honest, let’s face it any award with ‘Dragon’ in the title has to be pretty damn cool!

Basically, I’ve come to learn that these awards are given to bloggers from other bloggers who either want to know a bit more about you, or just think your blog is cool and want to give you a bit of recognition for it. Who cares – all I know is it makes you feel pretty bloody special knowing that someone is actually enjoying reading your blog enough to nominate you.

So, apparently I have to write 7 things that people don’t know about me, which is blimin’ hard actually, especially as you want them to be interesting, so this is for my fellow bloggers as all my friends that follow me will already know quite a few of these:

  1. I am 99.99% certain that I could eat my whole family’s body weight in Cheese!
  2. I have metal rods and screws holding my back in place – I am like Bionic Woman (shhhh – don’t tell anyone)
  3. I once tried to leapfrog a bollard in an evening dress and 4 inch heels…sadly, my 3 front teeth weren’t too pleased about it and went AWOL so were replaced with fakes, they don’t really get on with the other teeth; they’re outcasts and the others boast about being real, I think they feel a little sad sometimes….and excluded. I think it’s time I had a chat with the others about bullying.
  4. When I’ve had too much to drink I do the running man – I think I look very cool at the time, I know, what?! Then I wake up the next morning and remember random snippets, all involving me making an idiot of myself. Not good.
  5. I have written 2 children’s storybooks with my sister (awaiting illustration)
  6. Erm…struggling now – is 5 enough?…ok…I ran through my Mum and Dads greenhouse when I was younger, nope, not drunk; playing that game where you run round the stick! – Yes, there was blood, but I was very lucky and only really had a cut in my shoulder, my Mum and Dad were not in at the time and my wonderful sister cleaned me up – thanks Sis!…..Dad wasn’t too happy about me squashing his tomato plants tho 😦
  7. Phew! what next? er….I’m a dumbass when I’m drunk or play ‘running round a stick’….but then you knew that already….

Unfortunately I don’t really know that many bloggers and don’t follow many blogs yet so my nominations are limited, Holes in my socks and  Yellow Fever I love but they either nominated me or have already been nominated sooo, my other top favourites (even though some of them are only recent additions) are….

Food Fellowship and Wine

Peas and Cougars

Nailsbails

Highly Irritable

Please don’t feel obliged to do this if it’s not your thing! I won’t threaten you with impending death or suggest you’ll get eaten by a mad goat or anything if you don’t, we’re not on Facebook.

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Rocket Teabags….no drama! (Hopefully)

Those of you who follow my blog will be all too familiar with my Pinterest obsession and the numerous failures I’ve had trying to reenact them. Well tonight people, I’m trying the Rocket Teabags again!!! I’m excited! (Check out the last attempt if you can’t remember or have only just started following – disaster central!)

I can’t wait to tell the kids when I get in that I’ve acquired some ‘posh’ teabags to try this again…(I stole them from work)…ahem…

Notes to self:

  • DO NOT STEAL! You will definitely go to jail.
  • Buy teabags in the morning OR phone in sick

I know Bear in particular will be excited, well, I hope he will be; it’s actually entirely possible that the last attempt scarred them both for life so it could be another epic fail before we’ve even started!

So….I’m signing off right now but will continue the post when I get home; fingers crossed it’ll go better than last time…..

So, I’ve just got in and both of them are as excited as me! YAY! We are setting up….here goes….


YAY!!!! A Pinterest win! VERY EXCITING!

And one more time – just to be sure…..

Disclaimer
Just so I don’t get told off by anyone; this was totally supervised at all times, the children were never left alone with fire and I do not let my children play with fire……apart from on Tuesdays. 😉

Easy Peasy Thai Chicken Curry

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This wasn’t spicy enough for Beardy, he preferred the Green one I did a couple of weeks earlier (which I’ll post when I do it again but can’t remember exactly what I put into it!), but for a self confessed curry wimp like me it was perfect! (also I did notice that when I went to the kitchen to get myself a bit more Beardy had already polished the lot off – so he obviously liked it more than he was letting on!)

Although I put this on the menu this week, when I came to do it found I’d forgotten to buy practically all the ingredients so I made this up from stuff I had in the cupboard. I was a bit apprehensive because it ended up consisting of practically all dry store cupboard ingredients (and what on earth was a thai curry going to be like without fresh coriander?!) I didn’t hold out much hope, I always use fresh ingredients when doing Thai curry, it just makes it taste…..well….fresher. So, anyway I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be one of my better experiments!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (diced)
  • 1 small pack of baby corn (chopped into little chunks)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of water chestnuts
  • 1 tin of bamboo shoots
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground galangal
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 spring onions (sliced)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 200/400g tin of coconut milk
  • 1tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 cup Rice (I used Basmati, because it cooks quicker but ideally I would have preferred sticky rice – use half a cup per person)

This seems like a lot of ingredients, I know, but as you’re making your own paste it all gets chucked in together and whizzed up so it’s not a complicated recipe.

Method

  • Put the lime leaf, coriander, galangal, lemongrass, chili flakes, ginger, garlic, caster sugar, cashews, lime juice and fish sauce into a blender and whizz up, if it’s too gloopy and thick you can add a bit of water.
  • Put the chicken into a large frying pan (enough to hold the whole curry) and start frying the chicken in the paste you’ve just done.
  • When the chicken has sealed on all sides, pour the tomatoes and half the coconut milk (200g) in and simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Pop your rice in some boiled water and continue boil for however long the instructions say (usually about 10-12 mins for Basmati)
  • Add the natural yoghurt into the chicken. Simmer for a few minutes more before then adding in the baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and spring onions.
  • If you like your curry with extra juice you can add the remaining coconut milk here but you probably won’t need to if you don’t, it should be runny enough to soak into the rice. It’s your choice entirely!
  • Simmer for a few minutes more until all ingredients are hot and cooked through and then season to taste.
  • Drain and rinse the rice and season with salt

Serve up and Enjoy!

This serves 2 hungry curry lovers and took me an easy peasy 40 minutes to prepare and cook.

When a Shouty Song is the only answer….

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I woke up in a really bad mood this morning. Probably something to do with ending up in floods of tears last night after enduring the last episode of Game of Thrones and going to bed on a downer. I am dressed all in black today and told everyone at work not to talk to me, I’m in mourning, and I feel like shouting at everyone, I don’t even know what I’d say, just a big ‘RAAAA’ in a few people’s faces would probably help.

I flicked through all my playlists to try to find something that would satisfy my mood, I felt I needed something which required over-enthusiastic shout-singing and this little concoction, which is now my ‘shouty songs’ playlist, was just what I needed, especially after the kids added to my mood this morning by taking an age to get ready when I was already running late, then having to stand on a packed train all the way to work this morning. I put my headphones on as soon as I’d dropped the kids at the childminders and whacked them up full blast, then stood on the train staring into someone’s armpit (yuk!) for the next 45 minutes, if I didn’t think I’d come across as a total weirdo I would have definitely belted these out at the top of my voice!…whilst clenching my fists and choking back tears…and trying to hold back a few gag reflexes.

Sorry but no Living on a Prayer or Wonderwall on here; too predictable.

1. Lithium – Nirvana
2. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
3. Ulysses – Franz Ferdinand
4. I am what I am – Gloria Gaynor
5. Crazy – Aerosmith (basically anything by Aerosmith works
6. I Love it – Icona Pop
7. Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
8. I bet you look good on the Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys
9. Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs 
10. Stone Cold Sober – Paloma Faith
11. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morrisette
12. Since You’ve Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

My Top 10 Feel Good Tunes (for Monday’s – a whole week at work to get through….)

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My taste in Music is so completely random and sporadic that today’s top 10 will probably be completely different from tomorrow’s; it all depends what sort of mood I’m in. I’m at work today and it’s a Monday, so I’m trying to think happy thoughts, things that make me smile to get me through the day.

If you feel the need for a little pick me up, these did the trick for me this morning – a complete mish mash of magicalness! (in no particular order);

1. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
2. Business Time – Flight of the Conchords
3. Johnnie B. Goode – Chuck Berry
4. Mr Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
5. Beggin’ – The Four Seasons
6. Move Like Jagger – Maroon 5
7. Riding along in my Automobile – Chuck Berry
8. Wouldn’t it be nice – The Beach Boys
9. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
10. Shine On – Degrees of Motion

Obviously these are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but they put a smile on my face! 🙂

Avocado, Mango and Blue Cheese Salad

  

I feel a bit condescending explaining how to make a salad, it’s a salad, it’s not exactly difficult. I was using up stuff I had bought and forgotten about so I wasn’t really expecting a post worthy recipe, everything was telling me blue cheese and mango didn’t go but if I didn’t use it today it would probably get thrown out so I ignored the voices in head asking me what I was thinking and went ahead and did it anyway; hey! living on the edge!……. surprisingly it was super yummy! 

Instead of my usual lashings of salad cream I whipped up a dressing of natural yoghurt and Harissa. I loved the burst of zing the Harissa added; it complimented the mango perfectly.

Ingredients

  • Salad leaves
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Quarter mango
  • 1 avocado
  • blue cheese (I used blacksticks blue)
  • 2 tbsp Natural yoghurt 
  • 1 tsp Harissa paste

 

Method

There is no special method to this, I don’t think there really is to any salad, it’s all about the ingredients, it really doesn’t matter how to chop/slice them so you’ll notice that I haven’t put quantities of salad ingredients on here as you can just chop up what you need/want and chuck it in a dish. If you like tomatoes (like me) add a few more in, if you don’t love cucumber, leave it out – it’s totally up to you! One thing I will say though is crumble the cheese between your fingers so it breaks up quite small as large bits of blue cheese can sometimes be a bit much (and that’s coming from an avid cheese lover!) . 

Put the yoghurt in a separate bowl and plop the Harissa on top, give it a little stir but not too much, you want some of the yoghurt to have more Harissa in than others, then drizzle the dressing over. Obviously if you are doing this for more than one person you will need more dressing – this amount was just for me. Enjoy.

My Quote of the Day

I can totally relate to this! I know I’m supposed to be a grown up and all that but I hate it when sandwich shops assume I’m ok with the fact they cut my sandwiches in two! I want four sandwiches people! It’s always four! Two sandwiches is a man thing, they have big manly bear mouths which could swallow a sandwich whole if they really wanted to, but Ladies eat daintily, you’d never get an afternoon tea with big half sandwiches, always quarters! just tastes nicer that way……so this made me smile…..although mine would say “hell hath no fury like a woman who likes 4 tiny sandwiches from the sandwich shop and the sandwich man cuts them in two” ..not got quite the same ring to it tho’!….oh, and my grammar would be better than the person who wrote this too. Still, you get the point.

  

How do you deal with whiny children?

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I have just read something on facebook which I need to share, having endured a major whining session with Boo this morning.

At the moment Bear and Boo have a reward chart with various tasks on, Bear is doing very well, especially with his getting ready in the mornings. Boo however, not so much. Every time they do one of the tasks on the chart they draw a little monster in the allocated space, 10 monsters = small treat. So Bear got a monster this morning, Boo saw him drawing it on, she ran to the toilet and tried to force out a poo; she gets a monster for going to the toilet on her own and obviously thought this was more do-able than getting ready?!

Anyway cut a long story short she couldn’t do one and started whining ‘I want a monster, it’s not fair’ I tried to explain that she too would get one for just getting ready, more whining ‘I don’t want to get ready I want to do a poo’. I walked away so she whined some more. Bear rolled his eyes at me, whilst brushing his teeth – good boy.

10 minutes later and she’s still on the toilet! … And still whining. I hate the whining, it feels like my ears are bleeding. I always try to explain that I can’t understand her when she uses that voice or that it hurts my ears, whining is not going to get her what she wants etc. so, it felt like fate when I stumbled across a post on Facebook from Idealist Mum about ways to deal with it (check out the link for other top tips). I particularly like number 6 though (which I have cut and pasted below)…. so I’ve decided, we are going to decorate a glass together, her very own ‘whine glass’, then I’ll explain to her that when she whinges or moans about anything she needs to put it in the glass and empty it down the toilet – I know this will amuse her! I have high hopes! Oh, and I will definitely be buying the book ‘Monsters Eat Whiny Children’ (if only that were true!) Number 6 quote below;

Be playful. Here’s a foolproof magic trick to stop whining that’s worked for us when we’re out running errands. Or you could try reading this book to your kids.

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Debbie Granick of St. Louis uses a “whine” cup, or bowl or bucket or whatever’s at hand. “Whenever one of them starts, I say, ‘Here, go pour out your whine and bring me your regular voice.’ It gets a smile, or at least that ‘Oh, Mom’ look, and then they’ll usually change their tone.” She then thanks her child for using a “pleasant” voice. Or whisper your answer back. “You may have to whisper it several times, but your child will have to be quiet to hear you, and a lot of times he’ll mimic your tone of voice,” says Karen Shaffer, a mom of three in Highland, California.

Failing this; my other plan – for every whine she has I will drink a glass of it, by bedtime I’ll be so drunk I won’t care! 😉

Cheese on toast catastrophe – message to the World…..and to Cheese

How can anyone get cheese on toast wrong, it’s got to be the most simple thing in the world to make, right?

Well, the other day, I was really looking forward to some cheese on toast! Let it be known that I love cheese more than life itself; the thought of eating cheese on toast actually makes me dribble a little bit; anyway…I made, what can only be described as, the worst choice EVER, by trying to counteract my cheesy naughtiness with………….granary bread! I know, what was I thinking?! It was the worst cheese on toast I’ve ever had in my entire life. 

I felt completely deflated and downright miserable, (I might have even cried a bit) not to mention really guilty about the fact the cheese was probably pretty excited at being taken out of the fridge to lie on a slice of thick white bread; if Cheese had hands it would have been rubbing them with glee and slapping on the Worcester sauce whilst humming a chirpy tune before lying under the heat of the grill….imagine it’s dismay on seeing the granary (WTF?) I can almost hear the scratchy sound of a needle being dragged across a record ruining Cheese’s happy thoughts. Poor Cheese. 

I am not dissing granary bread as a stand alone product I might add, I’m not a bully I wouldn’t exclude anyone/thing like that, I like marmite on granary toast and prawn Mayo sandwiches on granary – it has its uses. Cheese on toast is not one of them though.

To Cheese: I am so sorry! Please forgive me. I promise NEVER to do it again. I love you.

To People: do not try this at home.

No-ones feelings were hurt in the making of this blog post.