Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Etsy Love - The Halloween Version


I realise I am a little bit early, it not being even October yet however very soon I'll be doing my Christmas version and by rights Halloween ought to come first, no? Besides which, many of these lovely items will no doubt come from the US which means planning ahead. So there.

Firstly let me start by mentioning my children are Halloween crazy. Halloween season starts at the beginning of October and normally ends around February in our house...my little boy is completely obsessed with pumpkins and "spookables". Secondly, I don't get the whole American thing of dressing up in non-scary costumes at Halloween. For us, it's all about pumpkins, spiders, witches and ghosts.

I've scanned Etsy and here are a few things that have caught my eye on the Halloween theme.

Boo Bowl - love this, maybe a fluffy bowl isn't practical but me no care.

Halloween Hat - scary, but cute (bit like my kids...)

Fairy Wings - these wings are amazing.

Ghost Studs - Oh how I wish I had my ears pierced.

Lizzy Borden Dress - So this is very creepy, I know, but I think it' wicked. (Read about Lizzy Borden here if you don't know who she is).

Pumpkin Earrings - More cuteness!

Posh Legs - Do these come in adult size?

Pumpkin Shoes - Sparkly, orange, pumpkin MJ's? What more could a girl need?

Witch Tutu - I ADORE this and am extremely tempted...

Pestle & Mortar - Very fun!

Wicked Witch Costume - Fabulous, great witch costume.

Ghost Necklace - need it, want it!

Bat Dress - Fabulous! (If I was a Size 6)

Bat Necklace - Could be worn with above dress? Overkill on the bat front?

Gothic Dress - Okay, I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this. Screw Halloween, I'd wear this on every occasion, even to do the grocery shopping if I had no other excuse.

So there it is, my Etsy love for all things Halloween. Seen anything you like?

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Be good to your daughters...

I was tagged in this post a week or so ago by Kate at The Five Fingers Blog and I'm just catching up. (Sorry Kate!).

The meme is apparently based on the lyrics of a John Mayer song called "Daughters". (I had no idea who John Mayer was and had to Google him and still had no idea who he was. Apparently he's an American musician/singer/songwriter/producer.). Anyhow, these are the lyrics from his song;

Fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters too…

The meme asked the following question;

If you are a daughter, what did you learn from your father or mother, either positive or negative?

In all honesty? Not a whole lot. I love my parents completely but I'm not sure they were the best parents. I don't feel that they taught me anything - but on the other hand perhaps by saying that I've just shown myself they did teach me something. I'm pretty sure I don't and won't parent my children in the same way they did me so maybe that's what I have learned.

Whilst I know they loved me and had my best interests at heart, they were never really interested in me. I don't mean I was ignored or neglected, of course I wasn't, what I mean is that I don't feel that they really made an effort with me. We didn't go many places, never really had birthday parties, rarely went on holiday. They took little or no interest in my eduction or what I did with my life. Never tried to steer, guide or advise me - not because they wanted me to find my own way, more because I think they were just lazy. I know that sounds horrific to say, but I do feel that was the truth. I don't blame them because I think it was probably how their parents were with them.

I am so unlike my parents in many ways, they have no real interests to speak of and no ambition in life whatsoever. So yes, my parents have taught me not to be like them.

If you have daughters, what lessons have you passed/will you pass onto them?

I have a daughter and I've often thought about what I hope to pass onto her, and to my son too for really, it applies to them both. I want to teach both of my children that anything is possible, the sky is the limit and they can do anything, go anywhere, be anything.

Children have this wonderful innocence about them which means they truly believe they can be spacemen, ballerinas and rock stars. I think it's only as we get older that these beliefs get knocked out of us and our confidence dwindles. Even as a teenager I still believed that I could reach for the stars and it was only as more and more people told me I couldn't, that I started to realise that you dreams were just those - big useless dreams that would never come to fruition.

I want to teach them that there is a great big world out there and it should be explored.

I'd hope that by doing this I'll open their eyes to the opportunities that are out there. It worries me that so many young girls these days aspire to be WAGs. That's all they want out of life?! I hope to teach my daugther enough for her to realise that she can and should be able to achieve a lot more than that!

Do you see something in yourself which you recognise as an inherent (unlearned) trait from your parents?

I actually don't think there is a trait I have inherited from my parents. If I had to pin one down I could say my temper, but then, don't we all have a bad temper from time to time? I think I'm actually a lot more patient than my parents.

Right, I'm done. I hope that I have answered those questions sufficiently and now I'll tag a couple more people.

Happy Elastic
Whimsical Wife
Cooking, Cakes and Children

Here are the rules...

Nick the badge above, mention the blogger who tagged you (ie me), do the post and tag some more lovely bloggers if you know any.

If you haven’t been tagged, feel free to join in anyway. Leave a comment or post a link if you've blogged about it before.

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Mortadella & Mozzarella Frittata


Yes, another frittata recipe but it just wouldn't be a good week on the blog without one would it? This recipe comes to you via the wonderful new Nigella "Kitchen" book and was the second thing I attempted. (I'm not doing this in the right order am I?). It again called for the much-fabled garlic oil so I just used normal olive oil and on this occasion didn't add any extra garlic.
It was very simple and very nice. My one and only complaint is that it took a lot longer to set than the time stated in the Nigella book so for information I've added my own notes to the method below. Timings are approximate - I do find with frittatas you generally have to play it by ear. Ingredients are strictly as she has listed them either as I don't always have fresh Parmesan in and I rarely sprinkle herbs on the tops of dishes at the end of cooking, you may do so if you wish and therefore you just need a little extra parsley to whack on the top before you serve.

Mortadella and Mozzarella Frittata

Ingredients

6 eggs
125g mortadella, chopped
125g fresh mozzarella cheese ball, chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Maldon sea salt flakes and pepper
1 tbsp butter olive oil (or garlic oil if you have any).

 Method

Turn on the grill to a high heat. Beat the eggs together in a bowl then mix in the chopped mortadella and mozzarella. 


Whisk in the tablespoon of parsley along with the Parmesan and some salt and pepper. As Nigella states in her book, the mortadella will be salty so go easy.

Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan. Once it is hot and starting to foam add the omelette mixture to the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes over a gentle heat (no stirring!) until the frittata is set underneath and golden.

Transfer the pan to the hot grill and cook the frittata until it is set on top - this should take just a minute or two, keep a watchful eye so it doesn't burn. Leave to stand in the pan for a couple of minutes before carefully removing and serving!

I served this up for Mr M and I with a fresh, crisp green salad. Little Miss also had a small wedge. I have to say that the mozzarella in this was fabulous and I am now wondering why I've never thought to use it in a frittata before? It's given me an idea for my next frittata so I'll be trying that one out soon.

love & kisses
Mrs M x


PS Please do take care when putting pans under the grill that a) the handle is ovenproof or make sure you leave it sticking out and b) if you do put it under all the way under the grill you put an oven glove on before touching the handle!

Friday, 24 September 2010

I am a Twitterholic!

I have been tagged by Kate at The Five F's Blog on her new meme about being a Twitterholic.

It's true, I am a Twitterholic and I don't care!

When did you join Twitter?
(Find out by going to bwitterday)

I am most surprised to find out I joined Twitter February 27th 2008. That seems like such a long time ago!

Why did you join Twitter?

I was getting a bit narked off with Facebook and a friend of mine told me to join Twitter as that was where "all the cool kids were" - those were her words, not mine. I really didn't "get" it to start with, I'm not sure many people do but once I started Tweeting I quickly built up some followers.

Who is/was your first or oldest follower? Who did you follow first? Tell me all about them! (check our First Five Followers)

Believe it or not my first ever follower was a cat. Yep, a lovely little kitty called Daphne. Daphne's housemaid Kate was my second follower and the person who introduced me to Twitter. As I didn't know anyone else on Twitter at the time I suspect that Kate and Daphne were the first people I followed too. I "met" Kate through a forum a few years ago but we're really only in contact via Facebook and Twitter these days as both of those are more than enough to fill up your spare time! Kate works for The Guardian and you'll occasionally see her on BBC News 24.

Do you have any celebrities following you, or have you ever had a DM from a celeb?

I've had to check back through my list to see if there are any celebrities following me and this has taken a good chunk of time!

Does a restaurant count? I'm slightly alarmed to find Pizza Express is following me - I must Tweet about going there a lot... The lovely Rowetta, formerly of XFactor follows me and we've had a few Twitter conversations in the past, she's a very nice lady and if you love a Davina fitness DVD I am Twitter buds with her lovely personal trainer Jackie who is so much fun but the real celebrity I can pull out of the bag is...Jamie Oliver and it's a verified account so I know it's actually him and not some sneaky imposter.

I've never had a DM from a celeb but I have had a Twitter convo with the absolutely lovely Sarah Brown (as in Gordon's wife) and she has retweeted some of my Tweets in the past. I think I have a bit of a girly crush on her, it made my day when she Tweeted at me.

I don't really follow many celebs myself as I find them a bit boring on the whole and most don't reply to you so I don't see the point. I make an exception for Katy Perry and Russell Brand because I love them very muchly.

If you could follow anyone not on Twitter - alive, dead, real or fictional - on Twitter, who would it be?

I am going to be incredibly shallow and say Robert Pattinson. You'd expect nothing less of me surely? Failing that Robert Winston, Adam Henson, The Queen (or Prince Phillip - he'd be hilarious!), Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins...so many interesting people.

Which came first - Twitter or blog?

Blogging came first for me, I first started blogging in 2005, some of the posts have been copied over here. This is actually my 3rd blog I think, I got fed up with the others. Twitter has certainly helped gain readers of my blog though!

In time honoured tradition, I am now going to past this meme on to some other great Tweeters and bloggers!

Whimsical Wife
Cooking, Cakes and Children
Happy Elastic
(Mostly) Yummy Mummy

The rules, as defined by Kate, are;

1. Nick the badge at the top, and mention the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions. (Duh!)
3. Tag some other great twitterholics bloggers.

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Tarragon Chicken


This is the third recipe I have tried from Nigella Lawson's new book "Kitchen". Okay, I've not got round to blogging the first two but they'll follow shortly, I promise.

Tarragon chicken then. Whilst it's something I've most certainly had before I'm not sure I've ever actually made it myself. I don't tend to have much call for tarragon in my house so was most surprised when putting the groceries away to find that I had already got a pot of dried tarragon hiding away at the back (now I have two...reminds me of the cloves incident last Christmas) which leads me to believe that I have possibly made something chickeny and tarragony before now. Anyhow.

The verdict was good. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the chicken was extremely tender and the sauce was tasty. Mr M enjoyed it too and Little Miss had a small morsel from my plate (she'd had school dinners already) and gave it her seal of approval.

This recipe serves 2 and is adapted from the Nigella version to show exactly what I used as she does give you scope to play around with it a bit and did you know that fresh tarragon is rarer than hen's teeth? It is! Also the bloody garlic oil that she talks about almost constantly through this book appears to be something that supermarkets of the West Midlands don't stock so I fiddled with the recipe a smidge.

Tarragon Chicken

Ingredients

2 tsps olive oil
1 fat garlic clove, minced
4 spring onions, finely slice
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
80ml white wine
1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes
60ml double cream
ground white pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a small casserole dish. Cook the garlic in the oil for a minute or two. Add the spring onions and sprinkle in half of the dried tarragon, stir well and allow to cook in the oil for a minute.

Pop the chicken breasts into the casserole dish, curved side down, and cook for around 5 minutes. If the spring onions start to overcook and burn a little, scoop them up and pop them on top of the chicken breasts.

Turn over the breasts and add the white wine. Let the white wine bubble up and sprinkle in the salt. Put the lid on and turn the heat down to low, leaving it to gently simmer for around 10 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through by making a small cut - if not cooked through, simmer for a little longer before checking again.

Remove the chicken breasts and pop onto a couple of warm plates. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil. Add the cream and stir well before sprinkling in the rest of the dried tarragon. Stir well again and add a good pinch of the white pepper to taste.

Pour the tarragon sauce over the chicken and scatter some fresh tarragon or parsley over the top to serve.

I think you can easily get away with the last part as I didn't do it and can't say I missed anything! I served this up with hot, buttered new potatoes and green beans. I'd really like to try this with chips as I think I'd enjoy wiping up the sauce with them - such a classy bird!

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

I'm H-A-P-P-Y!

I'm playing catch up with some blog posts and as I am at work at the moment I only have time for a quick one. I was given this award by Michelle at Spread a Little Happiness a few weeks ago and I've only just got round to posting about it! Thanks Michelle!


So the deal with this one is I'm meant to post who gave it to me which I have duly done above and then state ten things I like. Only ten?! *deep breath*

1. Red wine
2. Crisps (all flavours)
3. Countryfile
4. Shiny new unread magazines
5. The smell of petrol
6. Sitting in front of a warm fire
7. The cold side of the pillow
8. Dancing
9. The Bee Gees (yes, really)
10. Enid Blyton

As with all blog awards, I must now pass this on to other bloggers - ten of them, however I suspect that most have already received this so I may just do a couple...

Kate at The Five F's Blog
Amy at Cakes, Cooking and Children
Nicola at Nic's Notebook

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Monday, 20 September 2010

Restaurant Review: Loch Fyne



We recently visited a local Loch Fyne restaurant. It was our wedding anniversary and a very busy weekend meant we weren't able to do a whole lot more than that but as we'd had never been before we thought we'd give it a try.

I'd always meant to visit a Loch Fyne before but never made it. As I get older I seem to like seafood more and more so the menu was very appealing to me. Mr M is slightly more fussy so it's harder to please him in a restaurant like this but I was confident of being able to find something he'd like (I generally help choose his meals!).

First impressions of the restaurant were good - busy with quite a buzzy atmosphere even if the majority of customers were upwards of 60. Interior was quite nice, style of tables made me feel like I could be sitting near the sea somewhere, however being positioned next to the coffee machines was not entirely pleasant. Every time a member of staff walked past they kicked the back of Mr M's chair. It started to grate after the 3rd time and also what is it with those coffee machines that they have to bang and whack the hell out of?! Someone please explain! It certainly destroys the ambiance somewhat.


Service was pretty good. We were shown to our table quickly and talked through the specials. Unfortunately our waiter wasn't English and it was very hard to understand him so he probably received a few blank looks from us! Our drinks arrived promptly as did the food throughout the night.


So, what did we have? To start with Mr M ordered the Thai fishcakes with sweet chilli and coriander dressing (£4.95) and I had the chilli and garlic prawns with crusty bread (£6.25). Whilst both of these were tasty it was not a good indication of things to come. The portions were tiny, I in fact had 5 prawns on my plate and we're not talking the big mahoosive prawns you get, we're talking the prawns that supermarkets like to call king prawns, about the size of a £2 coin. Okay, I accept it's only a starter but for £6.25 I expect a little more.
Main course for me was the Loch Fyne moules marinieres with chips and crusty bread (£9.45). Value-wise this wasn't too bad, they literally present you with a bucket full of mussels but let's face it, there's not a whole lot in a mussel! The portion of chips was a good size although the two small pieces of crusty bread were a bit disappointing. Mr M opted for the marinated king prawns served with chips and lemon mayo (£13.95). Looking back now I'm not sure why we didn't send this back. These were the large king prawns, all 4 of them. Bearing in mind once you've removed the shell, head and tail there's not a lot left I felt that was incredibly poor for the cost. Also considering I got a decent size bowl of chips with my meal, it seemed a bit odd that Mr M got literally 10-12 skinny fries with his. Of course I did the nice thing and let him have half of mine.

We decided to skip dessert as we were already feeling a bit hard done by and the whole meal including a couple of drinks came to £48.10. Not unreasonable, I've paid more for dinner but I've never paid that much money and left a restaurant hungry!


Would I go back? Not on your nelly. There are far better value restaurants of equal or better quality which give you far more reasonable portions for your money.


Have you ever eat at a Loch Fyne restaurant? Do share your views with me!

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Beautiful Blogger


You see that? Yes, I am a Beautiful Blogger. I was tagged by the lovely Roisin on her blog But it can't be from Dolly Clackett. She gave me an Easter egg! If you haven't even seen Roisin's blog, you should because her posts are always interesting, entertaining and she has the most amazing collection of dresses and shoes!

So for being a "Beautiful Blogger" I get this badge.


This now means I have to share seven little known facts about myself and pass this award on to five other bloggers.

1. I can't swim
I've stole this one from Roisin, but it's true. I can't swim. Not even a little bit. I've tried but it's just not for me, I hate the water and I'd go as far as to say I am scared of it. I can't bear it in my eyes even in the shower! I keep meaning to learn and now my children are learning I probably should start but I just hate the thought of it and doubt I'll ever get round to it.

2. Robert De Niro scares the beejesus out of me
It's totally true! I can just about bear to watch him in something like Meet The Parents but outside of that no way. I once had an incredibly evil dream about him but think this probably came from watching Cape Fear. I'm probably being unfair to Robert as I seem to have an irrational fear of any Italian American man...



3. If I could live anywhere in the world it would be...
Majorca. I am completely in love with the island and would move there in a heartbeat if I had enough money for us to live on! The people are lovely, the food is so good, there are so many pretty villages and beautiful beaches and the capital Palma is such a great place. There's nothing I don't like about Majorca, aside from Magaluf.


4. I am left-handed
Not an amazing revelation but a revelation all the same. Neither of my parents are left-handed and apparently neither of my children. If we were being official I would probably be classed mixed-handedness (not ambidexterity). I use my knife and fork the "right" way round but if I was to play a guitar I'd play it the wrong way around. I think with sports I could hold a bat in either hand but you know, I was never very sporty and have not picked up a bat in about 16 years so it's hard to remember!


5. I have an unhealthy love of cheese
All cheese. I probably have about 7 different types of cheese in my fridge at any one time, although I am not sure Dairylea counts? As I get older I get more adventurous in my cheese choices and I love a good stinky Stilton and I also get rather excited by "festive" cheeses like Wensleydale with cranberries. "You can never have too much cheese" is one of my mottos in life.


6. I have am obsessed with The Tudors
This may actually be well-known, I'm sure I've talked about it before. I love Henry VIII, I love his wives and his children. I actually can't read enough about him and the whole Tudor period. It's completely fascinating to me. I'd love to go back in time just for a little bit to see what it was like then.


7. I appreciate a good bridge
That might be the most weird statement I've ever made but there it is, it's out there. I like well designed bridges be it a canal bridge, suspension bridge or functional motorway bridge. I don't think there is any excuse for a bridge to be ugly and I like to see good design. I feel at this point I must point out I don't go looking for bridges specifically, I just notice them when out and about. I'm not some weird bridge-spotter.




Now it's time for me to nominate my bloggers and I am going with;

Kate at the
Five F's Blog
Ms C at
Happy Elastic
Lucie from Cooking at Marystow
Sarah at
Sugar and Spice
Michelle at The Nail Polished Princess

I'm looking forward to reading some little known facts about them!

love & kisses
Mrs M x


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Virtual Shopping Autumn/Winter


I've spent a lot of time doing the old basket dance recently. I need some new clothes desperately and there are so many nice things out there. That's part of the reason I am struggling with what to buy. The other reason is that I'm carrying a little more blubber than I'd like at the moment but I keep trying to tell myself, that's no reason not to buy nice things. I think a shopping trip to the Bullring is in order very soon. In the meantime, things I keep looking at on the interweb....

My favourite shop, Fever. I just love all there dresses but I'm having a hard time buying anything as at the end of last season I managed to pick up most of what I wanted for half price. It's a tough call as to whether I bite the bullet and buy what I want to wear so I have it for this winter or wait until the sale.

Fever A/W 2010


I haven't shopped in Topshop for ages but there were two pairs of boots I really wanted. Sadly I've just discovered one is no longer on their website! That's what you get for procrastinating. There was also an amazing leopard print coat on there that appears to have vamooshed?! Anyhow, this navy pom pom coat will certainly be mine.

topshop

Warehouse is not always somewhere I think of shopping but I think I need both of these. The dress would be perfect for parties and this jumper dress is the stuff of dreams, literally. I often imagine me cooking Christmas dinner in a sequined jumper so I think this fits the bill and might be a purchase?

warehouse

In danger of being dreadfully unfashionable, I will admit to quite liking Avoca Anthology. I've never owned anything, mainly as the raincoat I loved was hideously expensive but they do have some lovely coats. Hard to find stockists in this country though.

avoca

Irregular Choice. Tell me. Where on earth would I wear this skirt? I don't know either but it doesn't stop me LOVING IT. Also these boots are so pretty!
IC
I'm a big fan of Darling clothes and nearly peed myself when I saw this blue/green coat in a shop window. It comes in black too but I think this one is more striking. I can't actually get it off my mind.
darling
So how about you? Have you seen anything you like for this Autumn/Winter? I'm still looking for the perfect long red leather gloves a la Alice in New Moon (yep, total saddo, but I love them, she looks fab!) and some amazing black boots. What's on your wishlist?

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Cheese, Mushroom, Leek & Potato Tortilla


I am fast becoming the self-appointed frittata/tortilla queen, perhaps I'll need to change to the title of this blog to Frittatas-R-Us soon. Yes, I realise that I talk a fair bit about frittatas but they are perfect for helping to use up a glut of eggs and they're also so quick when you can't be bothered to make much else.

This one was a bit daring. I can hear you thinking "daring?, hardly!" but it contains leeks and you know, they're green and vegetable-like so the very mere mention of a leek is enough to make Mr M run for cover. I'm pleased to report that he braved it like a trooper and I didn't get one anti-leek comment. The truth is, you barely notice the leeks, especially if you slice them up quite small. They just add a nice oniony twang.

I enjoyed this one very much, it was very satisfying and even my 4yr old enjoyed it. It was her first foray into the heady world of tortillas as she's only recently started eating eggs but the fact that her plate was cleared says to me that she enjoyed it!

Recipe is from Delicious and Serves 4. Allegedly.

Cheese, Mushroom, Leek and Potato Tortilla

Ingredients


2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 medium potatoes, cut into small dice

1 leek, trimmed and sliced

250g sliced mushrooms
6 eggs

Handful of fresh chives
150g mature cheddar, diced


Method

Heat the oil in a medium, deep, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the potato and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until just about turning golden. Add the leek and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring, until softened and wilted.

Beat the eggs with 2tbsp cold water in a bowl. Snip in the chives, then stir in the cheese and season well. Pour into the pan and cover using a large plate or a clean baking sheet. Reduce the heat to low.

Cook for around 15 minutes. Tilt the pan every now and again so that any uncooked egg runs to the edges and cooks. The tortilla should be just set and golden underneath.

Pop the tortilla (still in the pan) under the grill for a few minutes to lightly brown the top.

Divide the tortilla as you so wish and serve with a leafy green salad and some crusty bread.

This would also be lovely cold for a packed lunch or picnic.

I just realised looking at the ingredients list that I completely forgot the chives. Obviously didn't miss them though so it's clearly fine without!

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Happy Anniversary!


To me & Mr M!

Yes, this time last year I was doing this...



What a day! I can't believe that a year has gone by already. We had the most amazing day, it truly was the best day of my life. What a cliche huh. The weather was outstanding - hot, sunny, perfect blue skies all day and all our close family and friends were there to spend the day with us.


Of course having been a bad Catholic girl and having had children out of wedlock meant our babies were able to join us and even though most days they are a royal pain in the bottom, on our wedding day they were perfectly behaved all day and pretty much stole the show!


Looking at these photos makes me realise I still haven't sorted out getting any copies printed or getting an album sorted. Better add it to the things to do list!

Cheers! Here's hoping the next few years of marriage are as happy and full as this last one!



love & kisses
Mrs M x

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Remembering...


...all those who lost their lives in the horrific events of September 11th 2001.


I'm sure everybody remembers where they were, what they were doing, who they were with when they first heard news of the attack.


I was at work in Coventry when my boss rang up to tell me "a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center". At that point we all thought it was just some terrible accident however it quickly became apparent that wasn't the case. Someone rushed out and bought a TV and for the next couple of hours no work was done as we all sat around watching the live coverage. We all knew it was bad but nobody anticipated that the towers would actually come down. It was one of the most shocking things I have ever seen and even now TV footage still makes me stop what I am doing even though I must have seen it hundreds of times.


My boss sent us all home early that day. It was eerie heading towards the train station that afternoon, everybody was talking about the same thing. I went home to an empty house as my parents were away and my boyfriend at the time was also away and just sat watching Sky News all night. I remember my boyfriend phoning me at about 7pm that evening from the car - he was traveling back from Scotland with his parents. Amazingly, they'd been listening to CDs all day in the car and had no idea what had happened.


I visited Ground Zero on a trip to New York in 2004, however I didn't take any photos at the time because it didn't feel appropriate, it wasn't a tourist attraction after all and I didn't feel it should be treated as one. There were a lot of personal memorials, flowers and notes left by people and what surprised me was the size of, what was by now, the makings of a construction site. Everywhere around the site was pretty much back to normal however you could still see the scars on many buildings. It felt strange to stand there, right where it happened and try to imagine what it had been like that morning.

I find it incredible that this event that touched our lives will just be some historical event to my children, of little importance to them. I wonder if they'll sit open-mouthed when they see it for the first time like I did. I doubt it, but they will learn about how and why it happened because what happened in those attacks 9 years ago is still affecting peoples lives on a daily basis. We still have soldiers fighting and losing their lives in Afghanistan and we're still at risk of terrorism here in the UK, the current level from the Home Office being "Severe" which apparently means a terrorist attack is likely. 9/11 shouldn't be confined to dusty history books.

There but for the grace of God...

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Feel Good Kids Drinks Review


A few weeks ago I was asked if I would like some free samples of Feel Good Kids drinks for my children to try. I have strange children who quite often prefer water over any other type of drink however they do love fruit drinks - juice, smoothies, Fruit Shoots - anything really, so I was pleased to have the opportunity for them to try a new drink.

I will admit to having seen the Feel Good range in the supermarket before now but not ever having purchased one of the products. This may all change though...

The kids loved the drinks, already having favourites - madam likes the blackcurrant whilst the boy prefers the orange. They are easily won over by a carton of any type (easy to please?!) so the fact that they had a little carton + fruity goodness was enough to have them asking for another, and who am I to refuse, especially when there are zero nasties in these drinks.


The fact that these are just purely juice and water (2/3 juice + 1/3 water) somehow passed me by before and I was pleasantly surprised to see on the packaging that the ingredients were 100% natural. Another plus side is the cardboard box the products come in is completely recyclable. The juice drink is fruity without being overly sweet (yes, I did have a quick slurp) and to compare it (perhaps unfairly as they are slightly different products) to one of my daughters other favourite carton drinks, Innocent Smoothies, I kind of like that the Feel Good Kids drinks are lighter and well, juicier! I'd be more likely to give the kids a smoothie at breakfast and one of these drinks alongside their lunch or dinner.


I think the cartons are perfect for lunchboxes (as it suggests says on the packaging) but even moreso for slinging in your bag on a trip out - I know that's when I am most likely to want a product like this.

The recommended retail price of £1.99 for a box of 4 drinks might be slightly pricier than other childrens drinks however I don't really think that 50p a carton is an unreasonable amount to pay. You can find Feel Good Drinks in Waitrose and Asda stores across the country.

The most important question is would I buy them in the future and to that I would say yes, I certainly would!

love & kisses
Mrs M x