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Let me preface this post with a trigger warning. I would hate to think that in trying to come to terms with my feelings, i inadvertently hurt someone else.

I feel conflicted today.

Today marks a hard anniversary for me and I'm struggling with how i should feel about it.

Twelve years ago i lost what would have been my second pregnancy. I felt different about it from the very start. Probably because i had already been through a miscarriage so i kind of accepted it had happened easier. Or perhaps it was because i wasn't going through that one alone. Whatever the reason, the second verse was different from the first.

I guess that was probably why i hated every second of my 3rd pregnancy with Agent M. Although i was happy to physically be pregnant with him and progress through the full 3 trimesters, i was a nervous wreck. To be honest I'm surprise he wasn't born pulling his hair out and biting his wee nails into stumps with all the tension and anxiety he must have sensed in there.

Luckily he was born a happy health 7lb 9oz of pure love. Even with horror movie that was his birth and the shit show that followed i would do it again a million times over for my little rainbow baby. He is my everything. My beautiful son that will forever walk this world holding a big piece of my heart.

A well needed Tuesday time out

Why must Christmas be so busy?

I've been swamped the last couple of days so not had any time to get my craft on and i totally forgot about Blogmas - Mia Culpa! I quite smugly completed the lions share of my Christmas shopping by November so today as i had to make the trip into town anyway, i thought i would get the last few bits and pieces.

Oft! I wish i had Hockey gear with me cause those people were mad! Shopping stresses me at the best of times but during Christmas season i feel like there should be referees on stilts ready to call time on the sneaky elbows and cheeky shoves out the way. People have zero patience and even less manners.

I ended up giving up half way though, figuring Amazon was probably designed for this very thing!

I did get to have a nice wee Coffee/Hot Chocolate with Agent M though which made it all worth while. I do love the time we have together and by the time we emerged from Costa the crowds had dissipated due to the rain so we didn't have to deal with everyone #Winning!

Grinch Hot Chocolate

"The Grinch hated Christmas! 
The whole Christmas season! 
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason. 
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. 
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. 
But I think that the most likely reason of all, 
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small."

Personally i think the reason the Grinch hated Christmas could have been cause he never got to try all the festive goodies the Who's had to offer. That Who-Pudding and the rare Who-roast beast ... or perhaps even a cup of delicious hot Who-coco.

Ok so maybe i'm overstating the yummy-ness of this drink but its delightfully chocolatey and definitely hits the right spot on a cold winters day. Even Agent M agreed that perhaps it might have put a smile on the Grinch's face - or at least gave him somewhat of a sugar buzz. 

The recipe below makes 3 medium drinks or 2 large drinks depending on how much you want (or are willing to share).

You'll Need
1 pint of Whole Milk 
100g White Chocolate
Green Food Colouring
Whipped Cream (Aerosol works best)
Green sprinkles (optional) 

To Make
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on low.

Once warmed, gradually mix in the chocolate, whisking all the time until melted.

Add in the green food colouring. You will only need a few drops (if using liquid) or a tiny amount of gel. Mix well

The milk will start to steam and its ready to serve.

Pour into the desired cups/mugs and top with the cream and sprinkles.

A glimpse at my Christmas tree

Lots of my pictures on Instagram recently have had my Christmas tree in the background, and it made me think ... maybe I should share with you all some of my decorations cause my tree is AWESOME!!

As you probably noticed I have said "a glimpse" ... cause to show you my tree in all its spectacular glory we would be here for a good wee while. I reckon honestly there must be about 80 decorations on that tree not including tinsel and lights.

So instead I'm sharing a glimpse of some of the baubles and trinkets that you might not have seen in my IG feed.

Malteser Fudge

Christmas time. It seems like its all go go and when you finally get a chance to chill out, you get some unexpected guests. Personally for me, i hate when i have a surprise visitor and i have nothing to offer with the obligatory cuppa. Just now though with all the events and activities this week, i need something quick to make ... and that's where this quick Malteser fudge comes in.

You'll Need
400g Milk Chocolate
1 (397g) Tin of Condensed Milk
1 (166g Share bag) Maltesers

To Make
Line your baking tin with grease-proof paper and set to one side. 

Break up the chocolate into a large microwave safe bowl and pour in the condensed milk. Mix and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds then mix. Repeat heating in 30 second blasts mixing in between. Mine took 1 minute 30 seconds total but it will depend on your microwave how long yours takes to totally melt.

Once melted add 2/3 of the bag of Maltesers and mix.

Pour into the lined tin and scatter the remaining Maltesers over the top lightly pressing them into the mix so they stick.

Place the tin the fridge to set. It will need at least 4 hours though overnight is better to be honest.

Once set, remove from the tin and remove the grease proof paper. Cut into small squares (you don't need to make them too big as they are quite sweet).

They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days (if they last that long) which makes them perfect to have for any unexpected guests.

Top 5 Family Christmas Films

During winter in Scotland you are pretty much guaranteed at least 80% of the time its going to be too cold/rainy/generally miserable to go outside. That's when watching a Christmas film comes into play. Along with a cosy blanket and a yummy hot chocolate, its a perfect night in in the crafty household.

So here are my top 5 family friendly Christmas films (in no particular order as they are all amazing in my eyes).

The Grinch - This live action take on the story by Dr Seuss is without fail one of the best Christmas films ever made! The story is about the Grinch who lives above Whoville, on top of Mount Crumpet. He absolutely detests Christmas and everything about it but when the who's who live in Whoville embarrass him (inadvertently) he decides to take matters into his own hands.

Its a great story about how we treat others that are different to us and how showing a little bit of kindness can make even the smallest of hearts grow 3 sizes (though not literally cause they would go into cardiac arrest and die - just an FYI).

The film is narrated by Sir Anthony Hopkins and the Grinch is played by the fantastically funny Jim Carrey. Also fun fact, Cindy-Lou is played by the totally cute Taylor Momsen, who grew up, discovered eyeliner and became a rock star.

My Sunday Photo - 3.12.17

One of the horrible draw backs to winter is the inevitable influx of bugs that make their way through. And no amounts of multi-vitamins or good bacteria is gonna save you. It turns out I’m the 1st in the house to get sick ... go figure.

Unfortunately being a parent, there is no such thing as a sick day. Where I would have loved to have lay in bed hoping I can keep my food down, instead I’m doing shopping, housework and cooking. Tonight being a stew as it's simple and I can just bung it all in a pot and leave it be. #Winning

Sausage and beef stew ... loaded with veg

But even when I’m feeling my worst, I would never give up being a mama. I love my little Agent more than anything. I'll just fall apart when he’s in bed like a normal person :) 

Making new traditions

I grew up in the 90's when the spice girls dominated the world and Blockbuster video was king. When we were younger Christmas was a BIG deal! I remember it being about family with the Christmas cake and jammies the night before Santa was due. In the morning we had to go wake mum and dad then had to wait patiently for the sound of the Christmas bells on the banister which signals Santa has indeed been. Even Christmas dinner I remember being with family. 

I also remember the day the jingle bells died. Standing on my Granny's front door step confronting my probably flustered mum for "lying to me" about the big man in the red suit.

I remember the tears as my whole magical world slammed it's doors in my face. That was me. I was evicted from my childhood almost. In one fell swoop my teeth were no longer a commodity, my chocolate eggs weren't dropped of by my bed by a giant bunny and the elves might as well have put me permanently on the naughty list for all the difference it made to me. The fairies were dead, the magic was gone ... and Christmas just became 'meh'.

When I had Agent M, I got to create the magic for myself. You almost get a second wind when you have your own kids. Like you can do all these magical things and you get to play along. I'm not gonna lie, going to see Santa in his grotto with Agent M made me goosebumpy as it flooded me with the memories if when my sister and I went to visit him. You don't actually realise how important all those little moments were till your older and seeing them through the eyes of your own babies.

You also don't realise how important they were to you till they are all gone. All over again.

The start of Blogmas 2017

As you've probably noticed. I've been a bit sporadic with my blogging recently.

It's been really hard trying to juggle home life, my store and my blog. I've always had so many ideas I want to cover but finding the time hasn't been easy.

I want to keep going though. I really love my blog and the neglect it's been enduring makes me feel sad. Like a tamagotchi that just beeps away in the bottom of a drawer.

Well no more and I've decided to use this year's Blogmas challenge as a way to throw myself in the deep end. Blogmas for those who don't know is a challenge to post and share every day from December 1st right up till the big day on the 25th. I'm hoping it will help me get my spark back and make me fall in love with blogging all over again.

So here's to the next 25 days ... here's hoping I have the stamina to keep up *gulp*

Our Disneyland Trip - Day One

Some people may or may not know i am a HUGE Disney fan! I would call it an addiction except that makes it sound bad when the reality is i just live and breathe that damn mouse lol.

This year was a big one for birthdays in the Crafty house with Agent M turning 10 and me turning 30 - so my sister and her husband decided to make sure it was incredibly special and gave us the amazing gift of 2 days in Disneyland Paris at the end of October.

We'd know about it since March but i had been trying not to let myself get too excited. I didn't want to run out of enthusiasm before we actually arrived but i needn't have worried. Nothing in my imagination could have got me as excited as actually walking through the gates of the park, seeing that beautiful castle and knowing that my little boy was finally going to get to see Disneyland in all its glory.

Our adventure started with the trip to the airport.

This was going to be Agent M's first time on holiday (outwith the UK) and the first time he would remember being on a plane. I hadn't been on one since i flew down to see my mum and sister with a not-even-two-year-old Agent M and it was to put it mildly, a nightmare!

I knew the odds of him screaming his head off the whole flight were very slim but since i suffer from depression and severe anxiety, it was a whole other challenge.

There where times where i didn't think i was going to be able to make it and on more than one occasion i was ready to burst into tears but i powered through, Agent M noticing when i was starting to panic and we got through it together. We got the whole row to ourselves as the plane wasn't full and after a little hand holding during take off as Agent M was a little nervous, We arrived at 
Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

The death of Halloween is coming

The world is pretty on edge at the moment. Between all the madness in America that has stemmed from the election of Donald Trump to the ISIS terrorist attacks that seems to be no-where close to ending. There is a new scandal in the papers relating to a celebrity and it seems everyone (rightly or wrongly) has something to be offended by.

Today being Halloween, its all about cultural appropriation and why your absolutely not allowed to dress your kids or yourself up as anything other than what falls into your gender/race/culture.

With so many triggers and ways to offend, it seems like the end of Halloween is on the horizon.

Image from Amazon
A fellow parent blogger from the States has decided that the latest Disney Princess, Moana, is the newest no-no for kids to dress up as. She feels that dressing up as the Polynesian Princess is wrong because she is based on "real history and a real group of people". The issue came when her daughter wanted to dress up as Elsa this year and Moana next year but she felt that there were race issues related to this.

There is one thing I don’t like about the character of Elsa. I feel like because Elsa is a White princess, and we see so many white princesses, her character sends the message that you have to be a certain way to be “beautiful” or to be a 'princess. That you have to have white skin, long, blonde hair, and blue eyes. And I don’t like that message. You are White, like Elsa—if you dressed up as a character like Moana, who has brown skin, you would never change your skin colour.”

Here's the thing ... I get where she is coming from to an extent but are we really going to turn Disney Princesses into a racist hot button? Why not let a white child dress up as Moana? I'm white and Scottish - I don't see any issue with a black child dressing up as Merida.

Halloween Bark

Have you seen those gorgeous slabs of chocolate with the weird and wonderful flavours like chili or beetroot. They always look amazing but a little to adventurous for my taste buds.

So while Agent M and I were experimenting in the kitchen I decided to try making our own but with a Halloween twist.

Let me introduce you to Halloween Bark.

While white chocolate and pomegranate seeds are a match made in heaven for adults, kids tend to go a little more old school with their chocolate so imagine how thrilled the kiddies will be when you add sweeties to the chocolate.

Minds will be blown!

Syn Free Mince Bolognese

Sometimes its really hard to make meals for the full family that are both Syn free and something everyone will eat.
One big winner for us is mince bolognese which is so versatile and can be used in a few different dishes.

You'll need
500g Extra Lean Beef Mince (Must be less than 5% fat)
2 Onions, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Grated
3 Carrots, Grated
1 Red Pepper, Finely Chopped
8-10 Mushrooms Chopped
2 Cartons Passata
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1tsp Basil Seasoning
Fry-light spray
Salt and Pepper

To Make
Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add 2 sprays of the Fri-Light.
*You might not need it if you have a really great frying pan however i find that because the mince doesn't have as much fat in it, it tends to stick to the pan.*

Add the mince and brown it off in the frying pan. Drain off any residual fat when cooked then transfer the mince into a dish and replace the pan back on the hob. If needed add another spray of fri-light and fry off the onions and garlic. Once soft add the mushrooms and peppers, and continue to cook for a few minutes.

Add the mince back into the pan and mix in the passata. Add the tomato paste and the basil seasoning.

Mix in the grated carrot and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Turn to a low heat and allow the bolognese to simmer for around 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly and the carrot will be almost unrecognisable amongst the mince.

This dish is so versatile as it can be used for pasta bakes, for lasagna and for spaghetti bolognese and you can eat as much as you like as its syn free - especially with plain pasta.

Top 5 Horror Movies

Although I don’t tend to restrict my horror movie consumption to only October (I’m a year round ghoul). There are many people who like to get their spook on during the Halloween season.

Since I am a bit of a horror movie buff I do get asked for recommendations quick a lot so I decided I would share my wealth of horror knowledge with you all. Below is my top 5 horror movies (in no specific order). Enjoy!

Art verses Reality

I've been thinking about this for a few days now and its compelled me to write a post as i am genuinely curious about other peoples opinions.

Is it possible to appreciate art, knowing there is a sinister reality attached?

Let me explain.

I love horror movies. I don't know that i would go as far as to say i have an addiction but i do enjoy them more than most people i know. Now, Horror movies are prime real estate for taking reality (however gory) and turning it into a film, or technically art. Many films are "based on" which i think gives them a bit of leeway as to how 'creative' they can get with the story line but the bottom line is that many are taken from real life events. Although you can really call into question how real the events were, as most involve possession which if Hollywood is to be believed is somewhat of an epidemic, taking from real life seems to be an accepted form of art. Biopics of wars or other massacres in history seem to bring in the big box office bucks and lets be honest, we all love to see our favourite Hollywood actors reenact these events (fact or fiction on the big screen).

Leonardo DiCaprio and  ‎Kate Winslet in a fictionalized account of a real event - The sinking of the Titanic

But what if bad things are happening off camera. Is it possible to look past these events for the enjoyment of a film? Even if what your watching is completely unrelated. Can you separate the reality from the art.

Breakfast Cups

Now that the schools are back, it's kind of nice getting into our routine again.

As much as I enjoy a long lie, it adds so many more hours to my day getting up, eating breakfast with Agent M then getting dressed to start the day.

Here in Scotland though it's been rather cold of late so I've been wanting to make sure Agent M has a warm breakfast to start him off. That's where these delicious breakfast cups come in.

They are simple to make using a deep muffin tin and you can add many different ingredients to change it up each morning.

I made ham and cheese, since that is Agent M's favourite ... This is how I made them.

You'll need

6 slices of bread
3 eggs
A splash of milk
3/4 slices of cooked ham
50g grated cheese
Fry-light To grease 
Salt and pepper to season

To make
  • Heat the oven to 180c and grease the muffin tin with the fry-light.
  • Cut the crusts off of the bread and flatten it out. Place a slice over a space in the tray and press in. You will need to overlap a little of the bread to make it fit. This will serve as the edible "cup". Repeat for the remaining 5 slices.
  • In a bowl mix the eggs, milk and seasoning together. Pour the mix equally in the 6 bread cups.
  • Shred the ham slices and distribute them among the cups and sprinkle in the grated cheese.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the egg mix has fully set. You can check by inserting a knife into the middle of the cup. It should come out clean when cooked.
There are loads of different ingredients you can use and they don't have to be exclusively for breakfast. Why not make them for lunch with sliced hot dog or fresh tomato and diced onion.

Mental Health - Self Care guide.

So I'm still trying to get back into the swing of blogging again. To be honest I'm quite peeved that i have abandoned it so recently. But that's one of the draw backs of having mental health problems ... The things you enjoy just kind of fall by the way side.

That's OK though.

I'm not going to get myself down about it cause at the end of the day i need to do what feels right for me and although that has involved a lot of sleeping recently, that's OK. Clearly my body needs the down time.

So when I'm feeling a bit low, it can be hard for my family too. Agent M will notice that I'm maybe a bit more quite that normal or that my concentration is non existent at times. Agent D has picked up on the fact that I'm not quite "here", rather starting off into space or having a total mental shut down. I'm my house we call it the Darkness - Que Supernatural meme here ... Or if i feel a bad spell coming on i say "Winter is coming" ... Shout out to all my GOT peeps.

My Sunday Photo - 6/8/17

I've been experiencing some parent guilt this weekend. Or Probably more specifically mammy guilt.

Shabba enjoying my freshly made bed
This weekend i have been alone as Agent M is away with his Papa and Agent D is away with the boys from work.

I have had mixed feelings about it though.

One one hand i have missed them like crazy and i cant wait for them to come back but on the other i have kind of enjoyed how lovely and clean the house has been. I have enjoyed binge watching the X-Files on Amazon Prime and i have definitely enjoyed getting to wake up on my own without alarms, the boys or anything.

But for some reason that enjoyment makes me feel kinda guilty. I feel like i should be sitting by the door like a little lost puppy waiting for my owners to come home. That's what a 'good' mum would do right?

Hell No! A good mum knows when to take the opportunity for down time. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with needing some alone time as a parent.

I may have done nothing really with my weekend but i feel refreshed for having it. I got a lot of work done for my store and i enjoyed my own company which is no small feat when you have my brain. No I'm not going to let myself spoil this weekend.

I've enjoyed the peace but I'm excited to have my boys back.

Leave out all the rest

Nine days ago an article popped up on my Facebook news feed. Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park had taken his own life aged 41.

I was gutted.
Photograph by Tibor Bozi / Redux

I hurt for the memories i had growing up listening to his music. I hurt for his family. His wife and 6 kids that now have to find a way to continue without him. His extended family, his band mates who undoubtedly have this void in their lives. But more importantly i hurt for him. Because i understand the pain he was in and i can relate to feeling like you just cant cope.

I am just sorry that he lost his fight.

Its unpopular my views on suicide. I don't agree with it by any stretch but i get why it can seem like the only way. I have seen it from both sides of the coin so i feel i have quite a good understanding of both arguments.

When i was younger i had a close member of my family attempt to take their on life, on more than one occasion. At the time i was incredibly frustrated and harboured quite a lot of hate towards them. I only understood it from a child's point of view. It was selfish and it felt almost like an attack on us. Were we not good enough as a family to want to stay?

To a certain extent suicide is a selfish act. But not in how you might think. Suicide is the last resort. It can often seem like the only solution when medicine and support just cant ease the constant pain. Unless you have spent extended periods of your life in constant pain or misery then you cant fully comprehend why someone might think suicide is a valid option. In that respect suicide is selfish cause the person in despair is choosing not to be in pain anymore.

Watercolour Postcards

I love to paint. I first learnt about the different mediums when i was at school and since then i have always had some form of paint project on the go at any one time.

But for those of you who have never picked up a brush, i can imagine it would be quite daunting. That's why I've created a kind of tutorial to show just how simple it can be to create something pretty no matter how little skill you may have to start with. 

Friday Phone Dump - 7/7/17

I love the end of the week when i clear out my phone folder. It gives me a chance to look thorough pictures i have forgot i took and lets me look back on the week.

This week was the 1st official one of the Summer holidays and its been a jam packed one. In fact today has been the first day that we have spent in our PJs, just chilling and watching Disney DVD's.

We've been to a bike show, held owls, practised archery, made butterflies, painted pictures, helped grow caterpillars, attended a double baptism, went swimming, attempted ice-skating, drank copious amounts of caffeine, spent time with family and broke a nail in at the quick ... and we're only 7 days in.

Zelda Triforce Birthday Cake

This week was Agent D's 28th Birthday and i wanted to make him a birthday cake. Since he's Zelda daft i thought i would make a Triforce cake. And what a giggle we had!

Now, let me preface this by saying I'm not and have never claimed to be a great cake decorator. 

I can bake amongst the best of them and it always tastes amazing but when it comes to decorating, i tend to go basic.

When I've made Agent M's cakes in the past I've preferred to paint them using food colouring or work with icing in pipe bags. This time though i thought i would try my hand at ready to roll icing. Oh how hindsight is a great thing.

Although my cake didn't turn out how i had imagined, it was recognisable, Agent M and i had a great laugh making it and Agent D was beyond thrilled that we made his day as special as we could when he wasn't expecting anything.

The cake itself turned out delish and you can find the recipe below.

My Sunday Photo - 25.6.17

Its Sunday ... and we're all tired. Between the heat and Agent M being a little under the weather the last couple of days, its been a nice change of pace just to sit and chill today.

While Agent D plays his PS4 and Agent M reads his new book ... I've decided to get a jump start on some planner band sewing.

I have so many different styles available in the store. At the same time i cant wait till they are all gone so i can use the profit to buy more to make. Its a cycle really :)

I've had to start making notes and carrying about a book with me to doodle in while I'm out and about too cause I've got so many ideas. I just hope i can turn them into something worthwhile and make some pennies for the house.

Hows your Sunday fairing? Busy with family or having a lazy one?

Fat Quarter Book Reviews

I have a bit of an addiction when it comes to fabric. I have stacks of the stuff in many shades, lengths and weights. I have piles of charm packs and meters of patterned prints but my favourite has to be, without a doubt, Fat Quarters.

For those who don't know, a fat quarter (or FQ for short) is a piece of fabric that is usually 18 inches by 22 inches. It is made by quartering a yard/meter of fabric hence the title.

FQ's are amazing because you can get a variety of fabrics (often in coordinating ranges) for a discounted price. You can also make so many things with FQ's.

I recently had the opportunity to review two wonderful books which specialise in Fat Quarters.

Fat Quarter: Home and Fat Quarter: Quick Makes use left over scraps and remnants of fabric to create decorative and useful items for the home and beautiful gifts to give to friends and family.

Each book has 25 projects which feature step by step instructions and beautiful photos to keep you right. 

Quick Makes features tutorials on lots of different makes from "Fashion and Accessories" to "Presents" such as fabric flowers and passport covers. There is a tutorial to make use of all kinds of FQ's and fabric remnants. 


Home features tutorials for decorative household items such as tote bags, tablet covers and half aprons. With sections such as "Kitchen/Diner" and "Living room" there is something to help you personalise every room in your home.


Both books have templates at the back so that you don't have to worry about going free-hand, Just trace, cut and go.

Each tutorial also lists everything you will need to complete the project so there will be no surprises half way through (though i always recommend reading the instructions through before you start so you know what your doing).

The projects in each book are designed for even the most novice stitcher with a techniques section at the beginning to help you out if you get stuck on how to do a specific stitch.

I had hoped to test out some of the projects by the time i was ready to review these books but unfortunately my sewing machine has decided to die on me. I have looked through the tutorials thoroughly though and i promise you they are really easy to follow.

Fat Quarter: Home and Fat Quarter: Quick Makes by Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden, published by GMC (£12.99 each, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)

**Disclaimer - These books were sent to me for free to review. However all opinion are my own. You can learn more about my disclosure policy here

Weight Loss 2.0

I was so proud of myself with how well i done on Slimming world world before my sisters wedding.
I managed to shift 2 stone in i lost count of how many weeks and i was enjoying feeling better about myself all round. I felt healthier and i was on the right track.

Then some things happened in my personal life that kind of shot everything down from the sky. My mental health went waaaaaay down hill and to be honest the last thing i could have cared about was counting those syns, There were days there i didn't bother eating at all cause i was so low and days where i looked for comfort in the bottom of a tub of Ben and Jerry's. At the time - Who cared. My life felt like it was slipping though my fingers and i was holding on for dear life.

So how are things now? Honestly i wouldn't say they are how they should be. Far from my happy little bubble i was living in, I'm slowly trying to pull my life back into some kind of semblance of normality.

One thing i have to really get on top of though is my weight.

Its getting out of control and I'm now heavier than i was when i first started trying to lose weight. I hate that i have let myself get into this situation but i did it to myself and only i can get out of it.

Last week i was 19st 7lb (I know -  That's big right!) and I'm kinda happy that this week i am down to 19st 5lb. Yeah its only 2lb but I'll take it!
I can only hope that this time, even if my personal life does take another swan dive, that i can keep going with the weight loss and hopefully find comfort in exercise rather than food.

Big Girl - You are beautiful

I'm in a bad mood.

Purely because I'm so fed up made to feel ugly just because i am a plus size woman.

I've been trying to lose weight. I have been working out but doing so in jeans is really uncomfortable. So this weekend i went for a look for some joggy bottoms/sweat pants and to be honest i wish i never bothered. Every sports shop we have in town seems to class "Large" as anything around a 12/14 ... But what happens if your not a 14? What happens if your needing a size 20?

Well i guess you're out of luck.

I decided to have a look in other clothes shops and the same ... It seems that if you are over a certain size then your not allowed to be comfortable when your trying to get healthy. New Look has recently stopped stocking plus size and thanks to BHS closing down there are no plus size clothes shops in my town.

I'm frustrated and thanks to the warm weather coming in, I'm sweating to death in my jeans.

I'm so fed up feeling ugly and frumpy and trying to lose weight is hard enough without having to realise that you kinda don't fit in with the "standard".

Maybe its just cause I'm warm and hungry thanks to this diet that I'm feeling so down but i just wanna feel pretty again.

Just cause I'm big doesn't mean i cant be beautiful too!

Tweens, the birds and the bees

I remember a night where Agent M was a wee baby, full of colic and constipation, screaming his little lungs out - and I thought this is the hardest part of parenting.

I remember a day in town just the two of us and he decided to throw a 'Grade A - mission abort - send in reinforcements' style wobbler. While trying to hold back the tears of embarrassment while wrestling this rabid monkey into a buggy I remember thinking this is definitely the hardest part of parenting.

Oh how naive I was.

The other day Agent M asked me what masturbation was ... now this. THIS is the hardest part of parenting!

A while back I got a bundle of letters from the school that Agent M had been collecting like commemorative tat in his class tray. In amongst the old sponsorship forms and requests for baked goods (god those teachers must think I'm a flake!), was a leaflet telling us that the school are going to start teaching the kids about sex and relationships.

I guess I knew it was coming (no pun intended) but I wasn't too phased about it. Agent M knew the basics from a young age. He asked so any questions so we took a trip to the library and the lady was very helpful guiding us to the age appropriate body books. He understood the fundamentals. "When a mummy and a daddy love each other very much they have a special hug ..." He got the gist and although eternally disappointed that he "left his tail in mummy's tummy" he never really asked me about it again.

Till the other day when he was playing with his magnitex and I on my laptop and out of nowhere asked what masturbation meant.

I have no idea what triggered the question. He said he heard the word as school so it had obviously been on his mind but me being totally unprepared was not how I wanted these kinds of conversations to go.

I have zero experience with raising boys. Agent M was the first boy born in my family for a while. I am used to baby girls. Being a girl myself I am fully prepared to have the period/boob talk. I'm not so well scripted on the boy talk.

Perhaps that's a fault on my part. It's not like I didn't know it was coming. I mean, he is gonna ask at some point but honestly I thought I had more time. He's only just turned 10. Can't he just stay young just that little bit longer?

Although my mum found the whole situation hysterical when i told her, I am grateful that I had her as I thought back to what she told me (and I adapted it to be boy specific).

I'm realising as Agent M is growing up I am having to adapt my parenting style a bit. He is so inquisitive that I feel being open and honest is the best approach with him. It's also important to me that he doesn't spend the majority of his adulthood recovering from his childhood.

That one question opened up such a massive conversation which caught me completely off guard - but I feel I handled well. I'm happy knowing that he understands that masturbation and Sex are both perfectly natural and normal parts of life. They are to be done in private and the latter only when you are old enough and completely ready. Never in a way that makes you or your partner feel uncomfortable and always in a safe way.

We left the conversation with him knowing that he can talk to me about anything else and that I will never judge him or be upset at his questions. In the mean time I'm researching the best books to read and going though parenting blogs like an FBI agent looking for evidence. I will not be caught off guard again dag nabit!

Surely that was the hardest part of parenting! *gulp*

My week in pictures - 7th April 2017

Its been a while since i blogged and i decided i would get back into it with a good wee phone dump. Its always fun looking through the pictures i have taken in the past 7 days - Visual reminders of the things we get up to.

With Agent M being on holiday, this last week has been all about family time. Unfortunately due to bad headaches on my part there wasn't much outside activity. I this will be rectified next week in the run up to Easter.

So instead we played with Lego and watched movies while drinking copious amounts of tea. I also took advantage of the down time and finally sorted my sticker books out. They are much more manageable now (however i ran out of space so will need to buy more rings to finish). Agent M got to have a mini vacation with his Papa though which meant that Agent D and i could go on a date night - We saw Ghost in the Shell and had dinner out. Its nice hanging out with a grown up after a week of pokemon/minecraft talk.

Being housebound also gave me the chance to get my orders sorted and ready to post before the deadline and i granted a few planner wishes too including making my 1st ever pocket letter. Not 100% i done it right but for a first time i quite like it.

I've been really slacking on my weight-loss recently which has meant that i have put some pounds back on (believe me i'm kicking myself over it) so i decided to try and get back on track - starting with Green Tea. Unfortunately for me i hate the taste of it on its own so i bought some Apple and Pear infused tea and top it up with diet lemonade (syn free) which makes it taste lovely and is refreshing now that the warmer weather is starting to make an appearance.

One big thing that happened this week was getting to meet our new baby cousin. Agent M was completely smitten with him as he is with all his little cousins and i got to have a wee cuddle which of course meant i was in hostage negotiations with my womb for the rest of the night.

All in its been a good week - I cant wait till next week though as my Mammy is coming up from England ... WooHoo!!

Chocolate Krispie Nests

Agent M is getting older and i know there will come a time when he doesn't want to hang with his Mama as much so until then I'm enjoying our time together. That's one of the reasons i absolutely love the school holidays - Well that and the long lies :)

One thing we tend to do during the holidays is bake or craft which is exactly what we done on this last holiday.

Easter is round the corner which means that there are loads of Easter sweets in stores. So after a trip to Home Bargains we decided to make some Chocolate Rice Krispie nests - Complete with Smarties eggs.

You'll Need
Share bar of Dairy Milk
Bag of Smarties Eggs
Rice Krispies

To make
You will need to start by melting the chocolate. I know there are ways to do this in the microwave but I've always opted for the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Obviously this part is for the grown-ups as boiling water is a no-no for kids.

Once the chocolate is melted its time to add the cereal a little at a time and mix after every add.

I deliberately didn't add how many grams to use as that is a personal choice depending on how chocolaty you like them. Personally we like a little extra chocolate to hold it all together (and it slightly pools at the bottom of the cases) but i know that some people like the nests to have a little coating of chocolate.

Next spoon the mix into cake cases and add the eggs on top while the chocolate is still wet. Allow the krispie mix to dry and it will harden.

Store in an air tight box.

My Sunday Photo - 26/2/17

I've been enjoying a somewhat relaxed weekend.

I got a phone call from my dad yesterday morning asking if Agent M and i would like to go to the cinema to see Moana. Even though i wasn't feeling very social i agreed to go and to be honest I'm glad i did. If you haven't seen it i really cant recommend it highly enough!

Today has been a little bit more chilled out which i like before the week starts again.

We went to our local leisure centre for Agent M's Swimming lesson and afterwards came home to have lunch and chill out. I've been filling orders ready to take to the post office tomorrow after my Dr's appointment and Agent M has been cackling his head off reading the David Walliams books on his kindle.

Its been a good day. Now for an early night :)

Its ok not to do it all

I’ve been kinda not well this last week and I feel like it’s been self-inflicted.

I’ve been in go go go mode pretty much since just before Christmas and I’ve not really had the chance to unwind. And it’s because I’ve not gave myself the chance. I have been working on the store, I’ve been trying to get the house into some kind of organised state, I’ve been trying to create blog posts (though not actually having the chance to type them up, trying to spend time with the Agents and at some point in this trying to have some me time - All while in a mental health slump.

Today I decided to stop.

I let myself have a small breakdown - almost like a reset and after which I looked at everything I was trying to do. I was juggling too much and it was making me stressed and tired. I’ve been randomly throwing up for no reason too, which I’m starting to think might be stress related.

It all got too much.

So as of today I am going to give myself a break. I don’t need to stay up till 1am folding washing - Its ok that I get it in the morning. Its ok that I didn’t get round to washing the dinner dishes tonight, cause I can get the plates washed in the morning - I’m allowed to go soak in the tub and read a chapter of my book. Does it matter that I didn’t get a chance to hoover today? It’s not putting the Agents or myself in danger … and neither of the Agents have even noticed that I didn’t hoover so really, being annoyed about it is really silly.

I’m going to allow myself to breathe. I’m not perfect and to be honest I never want to be, that’s too much pressure but from now on I’m going to give myself work hours and if I don’t manage everything then that’s ok … the world will not end and I can always get it tomorrow.

Boobies - Friend or Foe

First off i want to advise this post comes with a Trigger Warning.

So as you may have noticed i have been off line for a while. I felt i had to as i was having a really rough time and i didn't want that to convey in my posts. Its took me a while to get back on an even keel but i'm getting there. Part of it is sharing so others don't feel as alone.

At the beginning of December i went to a doctors appointment which i assumed would be routine but turned out to be mind altering. You see the nurse found a lump.

Years ago we discovered that there is a gene in our family which makes you more prone to breast cancer and since then i have been quite vigilant about checking. Silly me that i didn't actually realise i was checking wrong.

The reason i went to the doctors in the first place was i discovered my nipple was 'leaking'. And when the leaking turned to blood in my bra - i decided it was time to get a second opinion. I went assuming it was an infection but knew the nurse would insist on checking my breasts for any abnormalities. Did you know that you should check under/in your arm pits? I didn't! So when she found a lump i was floored.

It was a scary few weeks till i went to the hospital for my mammogram. As you can imagine i had many thoughts going through my head. I had horrible thoughts that Agent M was going to be left alone. Every time something sad came on the TV i was in tears. I spent the first 20 minutes of Fantastic beasts in tears terrified that i wasn't going to be around when the movies previewed came out.

I have always had a love hate relationship with my boobies. I have an 'ample bosom' and where many women would love to have a large natural chest, i haven't always liked them. They are heavy and they draw attention to me which i don't like. You find the nasty side of sexism when you have big boobs. At the same time my breasts (rightly or wrongly) make me feel more feminine. They had the ability to nurture my child (though i don't hold it against them that Agent M couldn't latch on - it happens). But when the lump was discovered - I felt like i was carrying a bomb around on my chest. One that could go off at any moment and ruin my life.

I felt really alone. I didn't really have the opportunity to talk to anyone as i didn't want to make it public unless there was something to tell. As much as Agent D was physically there, he just kept saying "you'll be fine" which didn't help as i just wanted to talk about my fears. Re-reading my journal from that time, i was in a really dark place. Its only afterwards that i found there are loads of groups i could have spoken to and many of them online so i could have spoke to someone in my darkest hours (night time while Agent M slept).

On the day of my appointment, i didn't actually want to go in. I was convinced that if i didn't know - then nothing would be final. I didn't want to hear it was bad news.

Looking back i realised how lucky i was. I was sat in the waiting room with other women who may have been diagnosed, some who may be going through treatments. Some who may have the all clear. It was pure luck on my part that i ended up being in the latter group. When i was examined by the doctor it turned out that the lump was actually a cyst and the nipple leakage was "perfectly normal".

I could have cried with relief when the doctor told me. I know that not every woman who has the same experience will get the same diagnosis.

So what is the reason for me sharing this?

Well after i spoke to some family/friends after it was all resolved. Only one woman knew to check under her armpits and 2 didn't know how to check at all.

So this is me sharing my experience and how to actually check your breasts. I want women to know that yes it might be scary but that finding a lump doesn't need to be the end of it. I was terrified and i could quite happily have burred my head in the sand but then i know my mental health would be even worse than it was.

Not every lump is bad - The NHS website has lots of information on other possibilities. But it is important to keep checking your boobies. Cause even if it is bad, its better to know early on as there is more that can be done.

Below is a video of how to check your breasts - Obviously it contains a topless woman but its important to know.

If you do discover any lumps or bumps its important to go to the doctors. I know its scary (trust me) but its better to know and get it sorted than to leave it blowing in the wind.

There are many support groups you can also contact

Breast Cancer Care in the UK
Lump to laughter in the USA

Please remember that you are not alone - and that no matter what, you are a wonder woman and can get through anything

Hugs xxx