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Ice Cream for Breakfast

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 09:38:00 +0000

He passed!  The Wee Man passed his soya challenge.  I cannot quite believe it.  I need to monitor him for the next 36 hours in case he has a delayed reaction.  But all being well, come Monday I can introduce soya into his diet.

It was a bit touch and go during the test.  At one point he complained of an itchy tongue and started scratching it quite vigorously.  That's never happened before and it's one of the signs of anaphylaxis.  The Big Man and I got a wee bit anxious at that point.  But the itch came and went quite quickly.  We think there must have been an allergen on the straw he was given.  A straw as it turns out that is left out in the open so it was very likely to have been contaminated with something.  Most likely milk.  

The contaminated straw!

He also had blemishes appear around his mouth.  Not so much hives but red irritations that were itchy.  And again they came and went quite quickly.

A quick phone call to the Consultant to discuss these strange goings on and she confirmed that they do not constitute an allergic reaction and the challenge test had been passed.  We were told to wait 72 hours and watch for any signs of a delayed reaction.  If after all that, nothing untoward happens then it is a big fat pass! 

I am ecstatic!  I cannot begin to tell you how much of a difference incorporating soya into his diet will make.  Pretty much every free from food has soya in it, in one form or another. I've spent the last couple of days surfing the internet for new foods he can eat.
He can finally, finally have ice cream.  It's the one thing I have been unable to find or make an alternative for.  We did once find a rice ice cream but the Wee Man thought it tasted "Yuk!" and I haven't been able to find it anywhere since.  I've also found an egg, wheat and dairy free ice cream cone he can have.  So finally after five and a half years the Wee Man will be able to eat an ice cream cone.  And he can now eat chocolate!

That is why on Monday he will have ice cream for breakfast (with chocolate of course).

As always the Wee Man was great at the hospital despite spending eight very long hours there.  His favourite activity?  Painting and glittering in bed!   

Mum's Muffin Top

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 06:42:00 +0000

Whilst cuddling with the Wee Man he said...

Wee Man:  Mum, you have a very nice tummy.
Me:  Do I?
Wee Man:  Yeah.  It's not fat and it's not thin.  It's medium.  

Yay, muffin tops!  Yay, middle age spread!

You see I can't go on a diet.  If I do I will be a bad Mum that gives bad cuddles.

No, this isn't my muffin top.

Tea Cup Craft Challenge

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:13:00 +0000

It's been a while since I got my craft on.  I started this blog primarliy to chart my foray into the crafty world and I'm pretty sure I haven't done anything crafty that's blog worthy this year.  Oops!

So to get my craft on I've decided to do a bit of tea cup crafting.  Tea Cup crafting is everywhere on t'internet and everything always looks gorgeous.  I do love a tea cup.  So I'm going to give it a go.

I've got lots of mismatched tea cups dotted around the house, but I've chosen a tea cup set that I bought on my thrifty travels to craft with.  I'm always wary of spoiling a good tea cup with my cack handedness so this set it perfect as it is gorgeous and it's not a known maker.  So I think I can just about live with any mishaps.

I'm not setting myself a time limit on this as I do have a tendency to phaff when it comes to crafting.  So to keep you happy in the meantime here's some pics of the tea cup set I'm going to sacrafice  use.

Four tea cups from the same set but each one is a little bit different.  There's matching saucers and tea plates with them too.

Jeez, the nerves are already starting to set in.  Can I really bring myself to "do" something to these beauties?  I'm off to google and pinterest for some inspiration.  Yikes!

This post is shared on Tea Cup Tuesday.

A weekend with Quinsy.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 16:52:00 +0000

Whilst everyone has been resplendent in red, white and blue and bigging up the queen I've been "nursing" a sick fool!

The Big Man has been complaining of a sore throat for 5 weeks.  Ever since I had tonsillitis 5 weeks ago so I've been nagging at him to see a doctor.  Being the big strong man that he is, NOT, he decided to fight it himself.  Surprise, surprise he ended up at the emergency Out of Hours GP on Thursday night with a raging fever and difficulty swallowing.

The doctor diagnosed quinsy and declared his tonsils were the worst that he had ever seen.

Dr. Google said

"Quinsy is a complication of tonsillitis.

It is a collection of pus that develops between the back of one of your tonsils and the wall of your throat. This is known as an abscess. An abscess can develop when an infection spreads from a swollen tonsil to the surrounding area.

The medical name for quinsy is peritonsillar abscess."

So I've spent the weekend with a pus filled abscess!  Hope your Jubilee weekend is better than mine.

Look away now if you are of a nervous disposition.  

Here's a pic from Google image for your amusement.

We Won! "In the Night Garden" Live Show

Wed, 30 May 2012 11:18:00 +0000

I won my first ever blog giveaway!  Woo Hoo!  I was so excited when I got an email from the lovely Jenny at "Treading on Lego"  I did a happy dance.  An actual bona fidey, bum wiggling, high fiving happy dance!  The Wee Man thought I'd gone crazy but then I told him what we'd won and he joined in with his own street dance version of a happy dance.And what a wowser of a giveaway I'd won.  A family ticket to the VIP Gala performance of "In the Night Garden Live" at the O2.  Note the "VIP" and the "Gala".  That's right we've gone up in the world.  VIPs r Us.The Wee Man has always, always loved In the Night Garden (ITNG).  He use to do baby signing as a tot and he made up his own ITNG sign.  He'd hold his hand out flat and trace circles on his palm with his finger (just like the start of every ITNG).  Took me a while to figure out what he meant but I got there in the end.  We've spent many, many happy hours watching Iggle Piggle's antics.  The Big Man worked on the TV programme so he has a love hate relationship with it.  But we won't mention that.  Though I can understand how watching ITNG for 10 hours every day for 12 months could drive anyone a wee bit potty. On Saturday we put on our glad rags and headed to the O2.  It took a while to find the Night Garden cos the O2 is mahoosive!  We wandered about for a bit aimlessly then the Wee Man spotted this...Cue, happy dance.  Though a more sanitised version suitable for public viewing.  How fantabulous is that?!  "Ha Hoo! Ha Hoo! Ha Hoo!" and so it went on until the Big Man put a stop to our silliness.The Wee Man was given a very huge and heavy goodie bag filled with ITNG goodies.  I must admit some of the stuff was a wee bit too young for him but he loved his illuminating windmill thingie that spun round.  We were treated to some delicious treats.  Filled croissants, bagels, pastries, fruit kebabs anyone?  I'd of course packed some treats for the Wee Man too. After a wee wait and an interview with a lovely presenter and camera crew (the Wee Man, not us) the doors were opened and we took our seats.  The theatre is laid out so that wherever you sit you get a very good view of the stage.  There's plenty of space for children to get on their feet and dance or do whatever children want to do.Another wait for the VVIPs (Very Very Important People) to take their seats and some celeb spotting for the Big Man and me.  I saw Emma Forbes and Sara Cox.  I didn't recognise anyone else but I'm pretty rubbish at things like that.  People always look different in real life to what they do on the telly or newspapers, don't you think?Spot the Big Man.  Hint He's also affectionately known as the Baldy Man. The show was unbelievably fantastic.  The way they've stage managed it is amazing with panoramic projections and puppets of varying sizes but that's from a Big Person's perspective.From a Wee Man perspective, it was magical.  It was a fully "immersive theatrical performance".  That's the fancy way of saying it felt as if we were actually in the Night Garden.  He loved seeing Iggle Piggle fall down and we all especially loved Makka Pakka's dance.  The Wee Man danced and sang with Makka Pakka and I may have joined in too.  ;0)  Makka Pakka seems to be the Big Person favourite as was evident when we all went "Aw!" when he came on the stage.It's a show that every child should experience, because it really is an experience.  It's so much more than just a show.The show will be touring the UK with dates at the O2, Richmond, Brent Cross (London), Manchester and Birmingham.  Tickets are very reasonable priced from £10 - £27.50.  I say reasonable because you get a very good view wherever you sit in the theatre.  So £10 seems very, very reasonable.  There are two different shows, ea[...]

Under 300 Followers Blog Hop

Thu, 17 May 2012 06:29:00 +0000

Last week I came across a fabulous blog by the gorgeous Amanda.  She's hil-a-r-ious and has the cutest little twin boys who likes to impose themselves on her daily wees(!)

She's hosting a Blog Hop today so I thought I would join in.  Go have a clickey and see who and what you can find.

Chequered Cake Tin - The Result

Tue, 15 May 2012 08:48:00 +0000

A couple of weeks ago I bought an interesting chequered cake thingie with the hopes of making the Wee Man a little treat.

Well last week after school, the Wee Man insisted we make a chequered cake and I know I could have put my foot down and refused but I secretly wanted to give it a go too.  So without the right amount of ingredients to make the full size version.  I played about with the recipe and quantities to make a two tiered one. 

It kinda worked out.

We had to kind of squish the cake mixture into the rings.  This was very fiddly and frustrating.  

Carefully ease the rings out...phew!  The white cake batter is lumpy cos it has banana in it.  Just so you don't think I didn't mix it right.  

Ta-Dah!  Baked and out the tin.  Marvel at how the rings have baked into each other but not actually "bled" into each other. 

The second tier. 

Some butter icing between the layers and....Voila a chequered cake!  

A definite hit with the Wee Man and all the kids at school the next day.

This post is shared on Ta-Dah Tuesday.

Numb Bum Day - The Follow Up

Thu, 10 May 2012 12:37:00 +0000

We'll we had Numb Bum day a couple of days ago and I'm pleased to report we are home and the Wee Man is at school.  It was a long, hard, anxiety filled day, to put it nicely.  I've learned how much of a performance nurses and doctors go through on a daily basis.  The words "putting on a brave face" seem irrelevant when you realise what they have to do to placate parents and young patients. I think the Wee Man's medical team deserve an Oscar for their acting performance.  It wasn't until we were finally discharged that the nurses and doctors let on how dangerous Numb Bum day really was.  We knew it was dangerous, otherwise why do it in a hospital.  But there was that bit in my brain that thought it would be ok since we were in a hospital filled with nurses and doctors.  His Consultant was on the ward all day who is an allergy speicailst, his allergy nurse was within ten feet of us all day.  So all was well in my uneducated mind.  But throughout the day we had little indications that what was happening to the Wee Man was pretty much as life threatening as you can get, short of sticking your finger in a socket whilst sitting in a bath of water.So what made me think all was not as rosy as I had thought?  Well... 1/ The Consultant's instruction to give the Wee Man a good dose of his anti-histamine before anything was done to him was the first indication.  Seemed a sensible idea to me though.2/ Then we were advised that a cannula was to be put in...just in case.  That was the first real warning that the day wasn't to be as "easy" as I had first thought.3/ The Wee Man was given the bed directly facing the nursing station, despite there being lots of other available beds, again innocent enough until I realised that all the nurses were keeping a very vigilant eye on us.4/ The extra, careful scrutiny the nurses and doctors had on what each other were doing whilst they were with the Wee Man.  I'm pretty sure it's not "normal" for nurses to ask, and ask and ask doctors if their gloves are latex free or for them to order doctors to "wash your hands!". 5/ At the end of the day, Nurse K the allergy nurse, revealed to us that she had been carrying Epipens with her all day.  This is a Nurse who on a daily basis performs food challenges on allergic children.  Literally feeding allergic foods to children with proven allergies to the food and who are at a very high risk of anaphylaxis from any contact with the food.  Carrying Epipens on her person is not "normal" for her even in those life threatening situations, so for her to do so on Numb Bum Day made me realise just how much danger the Wee Man had been in.  And finally the biggest indication that Numb Bum Day was indeed a Big day was when we were finally given the all clear and the whole medical team physically relaxed into themselves.  It was so strange to watch and experience.  I could see the tension ebb away from Nurse K.  She slumped into her chair and her whole body just ..relaxed.  The tension on her face melted away and she was our Nurse K again.  The smile on her face was nothing like the forced grin she was displaying all day.  She was herself again.  I had a chat with Dr. H., the Wee Man's Consultant, and even she showed physical signs of relief.  This woman is a first class Consultant who's seen and dealt with just about anything you could imagine an allergy Consultant would have to deal with.I thought maybe I was projecting my own sense of relief onto everyone but thinking back to what was being said, how it was being said and their physical demeanour, I'm pretty sure the relief the medical team felt far outweighed the relief I felt.  They must have been pretty stressed.  Despite all of that the Wee Man too[...]

Numb Bum Day

Mon, 07 May 2012 10:05:00 +0000

It's been a while since I wrote an update on the Wee Man's allergies so I thought this was an oppotune time to do so.  You see tomorrow the Wee Man goes into hospital to have his immunisations.  Not something that a child would normally go into hospital to have but for the Wee Man it's a big day. For a couple of years now Dr. H his Consultant Peditrician and allergy speicalist has been trying to source latex free vaccinations for him.  Her searched failed miserably and she's been consulting other allergy experts worldwide for solutions to our dilemma. With the Wee Man's latex allergy it means any jabs of any kind are life threatening.  All vaccinations have a latex bung on the bottles that the needle passes through to get to the solution inside.  That needle is then usually inserted into the patient and injected.  That plus the fact the solution has been swilling around latex makes the whole thing rather risky for a person with a latex allergy!  So after much consultation she concluded that the best course of action was to take the bung out of the bottle and get to the solution directly.  The Wee Man will get 10% of the solution initially and after a period of observation, if there are no adverse effects he'll get the full dose.  The Wee Man is not too thrilled with the idea of the needle.  Up until a couple of months ago he had no fear of needles whatsoever.  In fact he loved having blood tests as it usually meant a lot of female attention from all the nurses (he's such a ladies man!).  But a couple of months ago he had a bad experience with a blood test where he didn't have the numbing cream and the person taking the blood was, to put it bluntly a sadistic bastard.  He was literally poking the needle about inside the Wee Man's arm.  Jabbing the needle in and out and wriggling it around whilst inside his arm.   He failed to get to a vein and then inisisted he try the other arm.  I had to put my hand over the Wee Man's arm to stop him from continuing.  Since then the Wee Man has been wary of needles. Fortunately the Wee Man has been blessed with parents with the ability to make any situation funny! ;0)  We have allayed his fears by advising him that we will ask for numbing cream to be applied before any needles go anywhere near him.  But of course, jabs are usually given in the bum region.  For the cream to work it has to be applied to the area for at least 45 minutes and cling filmed on.  So we have told the Wee Man he must have his bum cling filmed.  Plus the numbing cream, really is numbing, so he won't feel his bum for a few hours afterwards.  So he won't know that he is sitting down and also because he won't be able to feel his bum this gives his parents the right to tickle his bum to their hearts content.  ;0)That is why, tomorrow is affectionatley known as "Numb Bum Day". [...]

Car Boot Loot #18

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 09:29:00 +0000

Finally some sun!  It's been so long that I've forgotten what sunshine looks like.

I think the whole of the UK has me to thank for the sun!  Yesterday we all trooped out to buy the Wee Man some wet weather gear.  Not only a windproof, waterproof jacket but also an all in one rain suit thing.  The type that you zip yourself into with just your face and hands showing.  

So because of this timely purchase of wet gear, the sun has decided to spite me and shine it's smug glorious face all over us.  Shouldn't really complain should I.

What the rain did stop us from doing this weekend was go car booting.  They were all closed because the fields were pretty much lakes.  So I don't have much to show this week.  Just some goodies from charity shops.

First up, a beautiful set of Paragon tea plates.  They are the right shade of green and the pink roses are gorgeous.  I do love pink roses.

And another train game for the Wee Man.  He has so many board games they are taking over my house but for £1.50 and it's a train game, I had to buy it.  It'll be a lovely surprise for him when he comes in from school today. 

That was my lot for this week.  Not much to show really.  The rain really has a lot of answer for.

If you liked my Car Boot Loot post have a look see at my other Loot posts.  Just click here.  

This post is shared on Magpie Monday Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Vintage Easter Swap

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10:03:00 +0000

 I've been slightly tardy with this post.  A wee while ago the lovely LissyLou organised a Vintage Easter Sap and I was lucky enough to be partnered with Katie. I was thoroughly spoiled and received lots of gorgeous goodies.  The goodies were wrapped in pretty pastel coloured paper and ribbons.   I love receiving gifts that are prettily gift wrapped.  It makes me smile.  What was inside the pretty wrapping paper?  Gorgeous pastel coloured crcheted bunting!  The bunting is currently decorating the top of my dresser.  The little roses really make the bunting special.    Some sweet smelling Cath Kidston smellies.  I usually take showers, so I'm keeping the bath melt to use for a special occasion i.e. when I have the house to myself and I'm not rushed out of the bathroom with shouts of "MUM!" or "MADISON!".  Which is more often than you would think.   A set of gorgeous hand painted glasses.  I've been hunting in charity shops and car boot sales for a set of painted glasses.  How did she know?!   A very handy sewing kit.  I have been known to bung some needles and thread into a plastic food bag to take with me when I feel the need to sew on the move.  This little set is perfect to keep in my handbag.  A sweet little pink bucket.  It's so cute and the pink is the perfect shade of pink.   And inside the little bicket was a handmade hanging Easter egg.  Look at the detail on it.  I originally thought it was shop bought until Katie told me she had decorated it.  It's perfect!  The fabric on the egg is completely wrinkle free.  How did she do it?!  And of course you can't have an Easter without Easter chicks!  These were given to the Wee Man.  We've been hunting for some Easter chicks to put into his plastic Easter eggs and they've all been either too big or too small.  These were the perfect size and he promptly stuffed them into his eggs ready for his Easter Egg hunt.   I was rather spoiled wasn't I?I can't seemed to find the photos of the things I sent her.  I'm off to have a more thorough search.  Where are those blimmin' photos?! [...]

Car Boot Loot #17

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 13:56:00 +0000

Hasn't the weather improved?!  It's so lovely and sunny here I can finally believe that Spring is here.Yesterday we hottailed it to our favourite car boot sale in a neighbouring town.  It's about a 25 minute drive away but well worth it.  Unfortunately there were not that many sellers there yesterday.  Only a quarter of the usual amount so the pickings were rather slim. So slim in fact I only got two things for myself.  The Wee Man on the other hand got a huge bag full of books and a game.First up for me was this cute little ceramic hen.  The seller informed me that is was a gravy seperator.  I thought it was a wee bit too small for gravy but smiled nicely and accepted her 50p offer.  I think in fact it's an egg seperator.   See the little lip on the hen's chest?Unfortunatley I have no use for an egg seperator as I do not cook with eggs that often because of the Wee Man's allergies so the hen will be for display purposes only.  Love her eyelashes.  Next up a chequered cake set for all of £1.  It's always a challenge to make exciting and different treats for the Wee Man and I thought this cake set would make a little surprise treat for him.  The seller said it belonged to her Mum so maybe it's vintage, though vintage "Made in Taiwan" is a bit of a stretch. Reading the instructions I think there is a lot of room for disaster, but I'm willing to give it a go.  Maybe the cake will be more splodge than chequered?  Either way, I'll post some pics of the results once I get round to using it.  The Big Man observed that the cake set will most likely end up in the box of stuff for us to sell at a car boot sale!  Humph! That was it for me.  I also got a huge pile of books for the Wee Man, a lot of them old Ladybird non-fiction books, for £1.Also a Mousetrap game which unfortunately had no instructions in the box.  I bought it from a man who had just got a call to say his daughter was in labour with his first grandchild.  I didn't have the heart to keep him back whilst I checked the contents.  He was desperately packing up and I think the buyers felt his desperation because a crowd converged on his stall picking up anything and everything and demanding a price for it.   For the record I was already eyeing up the game when he got the call, so I was not one of the vultures, though to be honest I did have a quick squizz around his stall to make sure there wasn't anything else I wanted.  Am I naughty?And last but not least a fantastic Egypitan craft set.  My 10 year old niece is obsessed about all things Egyptian.  She can name all the rulers of ancient Egypt, who their parents were, how they got to be ruler and anything else you would care to know about them.  I always keep an eye out for anything Ancient Egypt related for her.   The box is full to the brim of crafty things.  She's also very arty and crafty.  I can't wait to give it to her.  She will be so excited.  That's my lot for this week.  We were suppose to go to another car boot sale today but the Wee Man and the Big Man are off riding miniature steam trains instead.  If you've enjoyed reading my Car Boot Loot post why not have a look at my other Car Boot Loot posts. Just click on the link,  Madison's Car Boot LootThis post is shared on Nifty Thrifty Tuesday  Magpie Monday[...]

Welsh Slate Tile Chalkboard

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 10:40:00 +0000

One of the places we visited on our Welsh holiday was Chirk Castle.  I'll write a more detailed post about our visit later but for now I want to show you the souvenir I bought from the very pricey farm shop on the castle grounds.

In amongst all the lush homemade cakes and goodies, organic meats and treats, plants and flowers was a huge pile of slate tiles.

I ignored all the goodies and went for the slate tiles.  At 50p each how could I resist!  The slate tiles were taken from the castle roof itself and were rather manky to say the least.

I thought they would make a great hanging chalkboard sign.  Unfortunatley they all seemed to have only one hole in them probably where they were nailed down.  But after a lot of rummaging around I found one solitary tile with two holes.  I know I could have asked the Big Man to drill an extra hole in but unfortunately I have a husband who does not really prioritise my crafty needs i.e. he would have chucked the tile into his "workshop" in the hopes that I would forget about it!

After much scrubbing of the tile, it came up lovely.  I couldn't find any twine in my stash so have had to make do with some ribbon (I hope it's strong enough).

The sign is now hanging in my porch.  It's all lumps and bumps and rather difficult to write or draw anything neatly on it.  But I think it all adds to it's charm. 

This post is shared on Frugalicious Friday  Show and Tell Friday Nifty Thrifty Sunday

The Perfect Railway Holiday (aka as the "Best Train Holiday EVER") - Part 1

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 10:20:00 +0000

Where do you go on holiday if your child is mad about trains? The answer is simple, Wales.  Berwyn to be precise where for a reasonable amount of money you can hire the Station Master's house at Berwyn station.  It's situated right on the railway platform where regular steam and vintage diesel trains run.Here's the link if you want to have a nose. Berwyn Station Masters HouseI can't remember how I found the house but find it I did and I booked it there and then. I can hand on heart say it is the BEST holiday home I have ever stayed in.  The view from the living room is stunning with sweeping views of the platform and the River Dee.   Berwyn station is a vintage lovers dream with lovely vintage touches here and there.The house is beautifully furnished with everything you would ever need on holiday, including an iron.  Several of our past holiday homes were without one so I was especially thrilled to find an iron in a cupboard.  Simple things!  To welcome us on our arrival at the house there was a lovely bottle of wine and beautiful fresh flowers.  And of course the obligatory carton of fresh milk in the fridge for a cuppa.  The Wee Man spent many happy hours playing on the platform.  The station is rather quiet with not many people getting on and off at Berwyn so he had the run of the platform and for one whole week he was the Station Master of Berwyn railway station, complete with train cap, whistle, flag and official badge. As part of the holiday home hire we were given complementary tickets for the railway which allowed us to ride the trains as many times as we wanted during our stay.  This made the holiday very worthwhile as at £12 for an adult ticket and there being four adults we saved a lot of money.  The tickets were used almost on a daily basis.The majority of the railway staff are volunteers and were exceptionally lovely which really made the Wee Man's holiday.  He was given a tour of the signal box at Llangollen station, allowed into the driver's cab of a steam train, helped with the coupling up of several trains and the highlight for him was a ride in the driver's cab of a vintage diesel train. I think you need to be a parent to a train mad child to fully appreciate why all of the little extra treats were really special.  I have to add though that the little extras are not part of the holiday package, but merely the staff recognising how especially train obsessed the Wee Man is and indulging him in his obsession.  He really is obsessed!More holiday posts to follow where the Wee Man's train obsession will become very apparent.[...]

Car Boot Loot #16

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 12:05:00 +0000

Well I'm back from my hols in Wales and the Wee Man had a fantastic time.  More of our Welsh Adventure at a later date.  But today a quick - ish rundown of all the loot I have gathered since the last Car Boot Loot Post. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to go to as many charity shops as I had hoped to on hols, but I still found some treasures during my travels.First up a vintage Oxo cube tin.  All for a mere 10p.  The tin design was the winning design in the Oxo Graphic Design Award for schools and colleges in 1992.  It was designed by a very talented Martin Sanders age 19 and the theme shows that OXO can be enjoyed by everyone throughout the day.   (I write this as if I am knowledgable about all things Oxo tins, but really I'm only copying it from the tin!)My favourite part of the design is the circus lion licking it's lips.  I wonder if he's eyeng up the cup of Oxo or the lion tamer.   Next up some serious vintage china porn. Four very gorgeous Johnson Brothers tea cups and saucers.  I love the bright Spring colours and the lovely floral detail.  My first ever handled cake plate.  It's an Old Foley one bought from a charity shop in Porthmadog for a very reasonable £1.99.  The price sticker said £2.99 but the lady behind the till gave it a look and said it was only worth £1.99, so that's what I got it for.  And of course I put a little donation in the collection tin at the till.   We found an attic sale in a church hall and amongst all the toot there was this fine example of a stately tea pot poking it's spout out of the chaos.  It's Royal Albert Inspiration and is currently looking lovely and serene on my dresser.   And lastly a "little" something I picked up on our last day on hols.  Two lovely and very heavy red enamel pots.  The colour reminds me of "Keep Calm and Carry On" and I'm thinking of either stencilling the logo on to the pots or using a decal.  Not sure yet.  Bought for a meagre £1 each from a vintage steam train station platform.That's my lot today.  More holiday adventures to follow.  I hope you all had a fabbo Easter holiday.  Not sure what your weather was like, Wales was wet!If you've enjoyed gawking at my loot, why not gawk some more at my other Car Boot Loot posts here.This post is shared on Magpie Monday Nifty Thrifty Tuesday Flea Market Finds Time Travel Thursday Vintage Thingie Thursday Thrifty Things Friday[...]

Do I need to check my Home Insurance?

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:56:00 +0000

play date (noun) The occasion of a child having a friend come over to play at their house.

The play date is a fairly new concept and one that I associate with a particular episode of "Friends" where Ross takes his son on a play date with a stripper and her son, much to Rachel's annoyance.

In my day we were shoved out the house to roam the streets in a pack with our runny noses and scraped knees.  Our social lives weren't managed by our parents.  We made our "dates" in the school playground with questions of "Yoo goan oot t'play the night?".  Plans were made to meet at a street corner where many happy hours of skipping, bouncing balls and hula hooping were to be had.  Those were the days.

Now it takes at least an email and three texts before children can play with their friends outside of school.  Parents have to check their child's diaries to find a suitable slot between gymnastics club, tennis club and spanish lessons.

The Wee Man has been on a few play dates with class mates.  I always tag along of course, under the pretence of the Wee Man's allergies when in fact I just want to have a nose at other people's houses.  :0)  Not really. I'm sure  the parents expect and indeed demand that I tag along with the Wee Man for all his social engagements.  I'm pretty sure they don't relish the thought of having to deal with an allergic reaction and I for one wouldn't trust them.

It seems I have been rather selfish in the play date department though and have not invited any of the Wee Man's classmates to our house to play.  The Wee Man has asked several times and in fact one child practically followed us all the way home, all the while his mother trying in vain to reason with him. Only a well timed Milky Way bribe distracted him enough not to follow us onto our street.

So, this term I am going to invite at least one child over to play.  In preparation I have moved all the Wee Man's toys into his room to try and contain any ensuing mayhem. I told the Big Man my plan and a brief look of panic skipped across his face and he said two words to me and walked out the room.  "Home insurance".

Really?  Do I really need to go the the extreme of checking my home insurance?  What are the chances of a major disaster happening that needs me to hunt out our policy documents?

Note to Self:  Hide the Chalk Paint

A Week in Pictures

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 17:11:00 +0000

We've been struck down with lurgy, well the Wee Man and I have.  The Big Man is decidedly smug in his healthiness. My brain is still not functioning right so instead of words here's some pictures to show you the week that was.The AudienceThe ActorsThe GameThe ViewThe Mothers' Day TreatThe CookiesThe Mother's Day FlowersNormal service will resume soon...I hope![...]

Car Boot Loot #15

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 09:37:00 +0000

Well after a rubbish start with the new charity shop, it's finally come good.  Remember I missed out on the lovely F&M picnic hamper?  I've been visiting the charity shop nearly every day after I drop the Wee Man off at school and over the weeks I have come home with some rather fabulous finds. These are my most recent.A set of gorgeous mini playing cards.  I bought them to put my handmade flower hair clips on.  I thought the pink birdies on the backs would look lovely.  It wasn't until I got home and had a proper look at them, I realised what a bargain I got.  All the face cards are different and oh so gorgeous.  Instead of Queens there are "Ds" and the Jacks are "Bs".  I'm thinking Duchesses and Barons?  Anyone know? I showed them to the Big Man and he suggested they should be framed since they are so lovely.I also got a set of vintage "Lexicon" playing cards.  I know they sell on Ebay for a fair bit so I'm toying with the idea of selling them on, however my wannabe crafty mind is going into overdrive thinking of things I could do with them.  A Google search is in the offing.Of course some more vintage china.  A set of Royal Albert Gossamer tea cups, saucers and tea plates.  I love the colours and the fine marbling detail.  A bit different from my usual vintage flowery desgins but the colours are divine.  That's my lot for this week.  What Loot did you get?  This post is shared on Flea Market , Nifty Thrifty Tuesday[...]

Floating in a cloud of gingerbread

Sat, 10 Mar 2012 14:37:00 +0000

For the past couple of days I've been a gingerbread man making machine.  The Wee Man's school teacher asked if I could make gingerbread men with her class.  Without hesitation I agreed and also agreed to make them with the other Reception class too.  That's sixty kids in total. 

It was hectic, frantic and a whole lot of fun.  For two days the entire school smelled yummy with gingerbread and even after I left the school I could still smell it.  It must have been clinging to my clothes and hair and yummy scrummy they smelled too.

I couldn't take any pics of the kids making the gingerbread men obviously so I took some pics of the men (and ladies) themselves.  All the kids and the teachers gave them a big thumbs up.  Not bad for their first taste of wheat free, dairy free, egg free and soya free gingerbread men.

I think in all honesty the teachers were amazed how good they tasted.  I think like many adults they hear of the Wee Man's allergies and suspect he "misses out" on a lot of treats that other children get.  When in actual fact he gets way better treats than "normal" kids.  How many other kids get a regular supply of homemade goodies?  

I Love Tea Cups!

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 11:15:00 +0000

As you may have gathered from my many thrifted vintage china finds, I love vintage china, especially tea cups.  I was so pleased to find a few tea cup linky parties in blog land.  It's another legitimate reason for me to droll over gorgeous photos of tea cups.  They do make my tummy go flip flop.

So I thought I would join in with one of my favourite tea cups from my collection.

It was bought for me from my very generous Mother In Law from an antique centre we were visiting.  It looks a wee bit boring on the outside but wait until you see inside. 

Sigh!  I love the colours and the details in the flowers.  I could stare at it all day.  

The saucer is just as detailed and just as pretty.

It's made by Foley and has pride of place on my dresser.

This post is shared on Sweetology, Rose Chintz Cottage, Time was Antiques,

Car Boot Loot #14

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 11:11:00 +0000

A very quick post today as the Wee Man has the lurgy.  I was all set for going to a car boot yesterday,the first time this year, then the Wee Man was struck down with lurgy.  I was so excited but needs must and we spent yesterday stuck indoors entertaining a poorly Wee Man.  Sigh!

I was able to get to town last week and did a quick tour of the charity shops.  I found lots of lovelies but only came home with one.  Charity shop prices have gone mental.  I know there's lots of blog posts about charity shop prices so I won't bore you with another one.  Alls I'll say is "BLIMEY!"

Lookey at this gorgeous Royal Albert tea plate.  It makes my heart sing.  I'm going to put some plates on my dining room wall and make a plate display.  All I need to do is get rid of all the Wee Man's "art" first.  Which may be a wee bit tricky.  

And of course I can't go into a charity shop without coming out with a pile of books for the Wee Man.  He's such a book worm.

So the Wee Man did better than I did this week.  Next Sunday will be a wash out also as we'll be visiting family.  So I'll lose another week of car booting.

Will I ever get to a car boot this year?!

This post is shared on Magpie Monday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Flea Market Finds, Vintage Thingie Thursday, Time Travel Thursday

Gingerbread Men Recipe - Free from wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, soya

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 08:39:00 +0000

I've been asked to bake some gingerbread men with the Wee Man's class plus the other reception class, next week. That's sixty kids in total.  So earlier this week, the Wee Man and I had a play in the kitchen and we came up with this very easy recipe for wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and soya free Gingerbread Men. (Because of the Wee Man's allergies the recipe for school needed to be allergen free.  The risk of cross contamination from ingredients is too scary to think about)"This one's got a belt , Mum!" Makes approx. 10 gingerbread men350g/ 12oz “Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour”1 ½ tsps “Doves Farm Xanthan Gum” 100g/ 4oz “Pure Sunflower Spread”1 ½ tsp ground ginger1 tsp bicarbonate of soda175g/ 6oz light soft brown sugar4 tbsp golden syrup 1 tsp “Orgran No Egg” whisked with 2 tbsp cold water 1.      Pre-heat oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 42.      In a mixing bowl add the flour, “Pure” spread, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda and the xanthan gum.  Using finger tips, rub the mixture until it resembles bread crumbs.3.      Add the sugar, syrup and the “No-Egg” mixture.  Mix until a firm pastry mix is formed.  At first it looks like the mixture won’t combine but keep kneading and it will all come together. 4.      Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick, on a well floured surface.  5.      Cut out shapes using cutters and transfer onto a greased or non stick baking sheet and bake for 10-13 mins. 6.      Allow the gingerbread men to cool before decorating. The Wee Man decorated his Gingerbread Men with raisins and white icing.  It's amazing what you can do with raisins.  These were thoroughly enjoyed by the Wee Man and we gave some to his teachers to sample too. They  taste very much like "ordinary" gingerbread men.  I'm excited and nervous about beking with all those kids.  I can see myself being completely stressed out but I'm sure I'll have fun (I hope).[...]

1001 Shocking Science Facts

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 13:19:00 +0000

As it's World Book Day I thought I would share with you a great book I've just discovered.

I volunteer at the Wee Man's school library two afternoons a week and on Monday I came across a fascinating book which has become firmly in-trenched in my all time great books list.  I brought it home and for the past few nights it has kept the Big Man and me very amused.

Some interesting titbits from the book :

"It only takes about 10 days to die from a total lack of sleep"  Well my record so far is 5 years!

"When you sneeze all your bodily functions stop momentarily"  Really?!  How did they figure this one out?

"Each person's tongue print is unique"  Remember not to lick anything when you are committing a crime!

"Rats can't be sick.  Rat poison kills them effectively because they can't throw it up"  So it's just the rat poo we have to worry about.

"Hot water freezes more quickly than cold water"  Huh?!

"A giraffe can lick inside it's own ear"  Nice!

"It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open" I remember a science teacher telling me this years ago.  Something to do with the force of the sneeze pushing out your eyeballs if your eyes are open.

...and so it goes on.  1001 shocking facts about the world around us.  This is one of those books that is guaranteed to get people talking about it.  If you see it at a car boot, charity shop or even a regular book shop, you must get it.  It really is that great. 

Silent Sunday

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 07:38:00 +0000

Happy Pancake Day - Gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free recipe

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 09:59:00 +0000

Happy Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday everyone.

To celebrate Pancake Day, the Wee Man and I will be making and consuming copious amounts of pancakes.  Not that we need an excuse to do so, but with it being officially Pancake Day, there is a little less guilt associated with my soon to be bloated tum.

The Wee Man is determined to see me toss a pancake.  I'm not really sure if I can do so as I use a very heavy iron skillet to fry pancakes with.  I could end up with a broken wrist, so I'm hoping I can talk the Wee Man down.

We'll be using my yummy allergy free pancake recipe that is free from gluten, wheat, dairy and egg.  The recipe can be found here.  I wonder what shapes we'll come up with today?