Monday, 29 September 2014

number 23 off the bucket list...


Yes you read that I right. I managed to do more than I had set myself on my bucket list. I wanted to runa  10k race and not walk any of it. Yesterday I ran my first half marathon- that is 21K!! so more than double my original target.

It was  glorious autumn day, the kind where you want o sit in the garden and enjoy the last of the sunshine. Not the kind of day to make a long seaside run comfortable! LOL
Still lots of water drunk and some poured over the head to cool as I ran and I finished it. I am impressed with my time 2:23:59 I wanted a sub 2 hour 30, so I achieved that with time to spare. I am so pleased with myself.

This was me near the beginning of the race.

Me and my medal at the end.
Oh I also ran a park run on Saturday, they are 3 miles long. I got a personal best there as well, running it in 27 minutes. So all in all a fabulous, but exhausting weekend.

Sunday, 21 September 2014


We've had a lovely weekend. Both children were home. On Saturday we did the usual swim/ gym/ shopping things. Then went to my aunt's. One of her dogs had puppies  in August. I can't believe how they have grown!

There are 6 of them altogether. Cute little terrors! The one at the top loved Dylan's trainers he is called chunk as he is the biggest. The one Stephanie has sat with her, and is also in the lower picture is Pippa.

Today Stephanie and I went to buy a suitcase, she is going on Brownie camp and our handy sized one has a broken zip. So we popped to Matalan and got a new one. It was meant to cost £22 but they had a 30% off for members day so I only paid £15.40! That was a happy surprise. We then went to  a local country park where they were having a countryside day.

decorating a frisbee

We watched the man making this owl. It was fascinating to watch.

Decorating a butterfly.
We had a fabulous time.
When we got home I sent Stephanie out to the garden to collect some carrots for dinner.

I love how home grown carrots grow!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Colman's English mustard

I was contacted a few weeks ago to see if I would like to review some Colman's English mustard. This year is the Colman's 200 year anniversary! As part of their anniversary celebrations they have released some jars of Mustard with celebratory pictures of the brand. I was sent 3 jars of mustard to trial.The information I was sent from the brand;

This year, celebrate the 200th anniversary of one of Britain’s best loved brands, Colman’s, with its three limited edition mustard jars.
The new jars have been inspired by a stunning collection of vintage adverts used by Colman’s throughout the past two centuries and highlight the proud history and rich heritage of the brand.
The unique designs include slogans and images from Colman’s iconic advertising campaigns. The polar bear image signifies the medicinal properties that were traditionally associated with mustard, from relieving tooth-ache to curing colds, whilst the ‘Meat needs Mustard’ and butchers image communicate the historic link between Colman’s and meat.
Colman’s was created by Jeremiah Colman at his Norwich factory in 1814.  Subsequently granted the Royal seal of approval in 1866 - when Jeremiah was appointed mustard maker to Queen Victoria, it’s no surprise the iconic English mustard has earned pride of place on the great British dinner table.
Lola Danlos, Brand Manager of Colman’s comments:
“We are delighted to be launching these celebratory jars and embrace the opportunity to delve into the rich history of our brand to mark such a special milestone. These images vividly showcase the heritage of Colman’s and exude the personality so unique to this long standing family favourite.
Enjoyed for so many years, we hope the vintage labels rekindle the charming history of Colman’s and remind us all why it remains one of Britain’s most famous and loved brands today, and for many more years to come.”
The unique jars filled with Colman’s Original English Mustard will be a perfect collector’s item and a charming addition to any family meal table. Colman’s has been at the heart of British meals for two centuries, providing taste and quality that families know they can rely on.
Whether you put a fiery helping on your roast, stir generously into your gravy or lash onto your sandwich, mealtimes just wouldn’t be the same without Colman’s mustard.
The jars are available in all retailers with RRPs of £0.99 (100g) and £1.59 (170g).

I love the polar bear picture- it is my favourite picture of the 3!

I have to hold my hands up- I always thought that I do not like mustard. I have had it on hot dogs/ burgers etc and have not liked it at all. However, I know that my taste buds are changing and so I agreed to the review. It's good to try things we think we won't like sometimes. I have used the mustard in three recipes so far. And I am surprised to report- I have loved all of them! See changing taste buds. I actually thnnk that the mustard really improved my tried and trusted meals of cheesy pasta and fish pie, the first 2 recipes I tried. So tonight I decided to try an unkown meal- honey and mustard chicken. Again I loved it. I think it is official I now like MUSTARD! The children have both enjoyed the meals as well. Stephanie has on ly had the fish pie and cheesy pasta as she is at her Dad's tonight. But Dylan has also eaten all 3 meals and enjoyed them.

I used my tried and trusted cheese sauce recipe for the pasta, it's my fall too recipe for a simple sauce.

Cheesy pasta
cook pasta as per instructions. Whilst it cooks make the cheese sauce. I don't measure to make this sauce so I have given approx. amounts

ingredients for the sauce:
milk up to a pint
plain flour- large spoonful
margarine/ butter- dessert spoonful
Colman's English mustard.- 2 tablespoons
grated cheese

melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour. Slowly add a little milk at a time as the sauce thickens. I like to stir with a balloon whisk for this as it reduces lumps. When the sauce is the required thickness add the mustard and cheese. Cook for 3-4 minutes more.
Drain the cooked pasta and stir into the sauce.
Serve and enjoy. We had ours with left over roast gammon and steamed vegetables. Delicious.
This is making the sauce- I forgot to take a picture of the finished meal.

Fish pie.

Mashed potato
your favourite fish, this time we had salmon and haddock.
white sauce.

Steam your fish. Whilst it steams make your white sauce. It is the same sauce as above- without the cheese.

Once the fish, potatoes and sauce are all ready you are good to cook. Place the fish in the bottom of an oven proof dish. Stir in the sauce. Top with potato. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden. Serve with your favourite vegetables.

Ready for the oven. Again we got stuck in so quickly I didn't get a picture of the finished meal!

Honey and mustard chicken.

Chicken pieces.(I had drums and thighs in the freezer so I defrosted these for use, you could use breast fillets if that is what you have, or even wings.)
2 teaspoon of honey
2 teaspoons of mustard
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.

Mix the honey, mustard and balsamic vinegar in an oven proof dish big enough to fit your chicken pieces in. When thoroughly mixed roll the chicken pieces in the sauce until well coated. I then left mine for a couple of hours, to marinade further. Although you could cook it at this point. When you are ready to cook place in a warm oven until cooked through. Checking several times to baste the chicken in the sauce.

This was a delicious dinner, that I will definitely be repeating.
Do you have any tried and tested mustard recipes that we might like to try? We have the taste for it now, and want to see what else we can make.
I did not receive any payment for this review, I did receive the 3 jars of mustard for free. As always this review contains my honest opinions.

Monday, 1 September 2014

School prep

This morning I had a
quiet start to the day- both children stayed at their dad's last night. I woke up around 6 read for a little while- a luxury that stops tomorrow! Then put the washing out before making breakfast and heading back to bed with it!!
Once I had eaten I stayed there just long enough to sew in all the name labels ready for the start of term. Thank goodness I only have to do one child's now- Dylan refuses to let me name label his clothes anymore ;-)

Didn't seem so much of  a chore laying in bed. It was soon finished then I had the lot to iron and put away. I got dressed and it was soon time for Stephanie to come home

We had some snuggles and  a catch up about how her weekend has been before she decided that as her last treat day of the holiday with me we would go swimming!

Stephanie has an extra couple of days of school than me and Dylan so she is off to spend a couple of days at her dad's house so she doesn't have to get up too early. Also it means that her Dad can take her to school for her first day of year 4- what happened to my little baby girl??!!