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.
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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.

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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?
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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
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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.
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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!
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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*
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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!!
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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.

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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 :)


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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.
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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
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