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Archive for May, 2012

For as long as I can remember  I’ve always loved magazines, and even to this day, long after my teens, I still dash to the shops when all the new titles are out.

I remember the obsession starting around the time an aunt who used to work in a newsagent used to give me a handful of different comics and magazines every week.

I’m no better nowadays, in fact I’m worse!

As a child. it would be Twinkle comic, and reading about the antics of Nurse Nancy looking after her dolls in her Toy Hospital.

Then a little older,  I’d get off the school bus and it’d be a trip across the road to the local shop to buy the latest copy of Look – In, Smash Hits, TV Hits,  or Just Seventeen magazine.

Then getting home and carefully taking out the posters and sticking them up all over the wall.

If you wanted something to read apart from the celeb goss and music interviews, you couldn’t beat the good old fashioned photo stories you got.

The ones with the photos and the speech bubbles coming out of of the people’s heads. Can you even get them anymore?! I haven’t seen one of those for ages….

Blue Jeans, and also Patches magazine were both firm favourites.

Nowadays I still read everything and anything, from Heat for the weekly celeb gossip to Take A Break for the real life stories.

I’m sure there’s lots more I used to read that I’ve completely forgotten about!

Were you a magazine nut like me?

 

You can find what others used to read and have some more nostalgia moments over here: http://saveeverystep.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/old-teen-magazines-lifes-a-journey-blog-hop-week-18/

 

 

 

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As it’s been a gorgeous sunny week so far, we’ve been out and about in the sunshine a lot and the two small ones each had great fun washing the car for us.

It was all the 8 year old’s idea. He decided the car looked grubby and asked if he could wash it. As he never wants to do anything for free nowadays (there’s always a catch with money involved!) he said he’d wash the car for us for £2.

Bargain. A clean car and something to keep them occupied for a while?! Sounded OK to me.

So armed with a washing up bowl full of warm water and a little bit of washing up liquid, both he and the 4 year old gave it a good clean.

4 year old:

“This is funny washing the car up, mummy!”

*sings* “Scrub dub a dub dub, dub….”

:-)

We ended up with a nice clean car, two occupied children who had found something more interesting to do than moan they were bored/argue, but £4 lighter.  (Well, had to pay the small one for his efforts, too!)

Worth it though!

So, do your children do jobs to earn any pocket money? Or do they just get money regardless? I’d love to hear what others do….

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According to new research, women are adding inches to their waistlines because they don’t do as much housework as the previous generations.

Whereas the previous generations had to get scrubbing at those clothes and tramping on them in big buckets or whatever, apparently nowadays we have it easy as we have all the gadgets to do it for us.

Yes, we’ve got gadgets that help us out more, but does that really mean that we don’t do as much work as our great grandparents used to do?!

I for one still get down on my hands and knees and scrub my kitchen floor by hand. (When I can be bothered. It’s a bloody big kitchen floor and it takes 2 hours to clean properly. Gah.)

Surely that puts me up there with those tramping up and down on their washing 70 years ago?!

I walk everywhere as I don’t drive. Including the two mile round school walk trip twice a day.

Women can still burn up to a 1000 calories a day just like they used to be able to.

A couple of hundred calories chasing about after the small ones (let’s face it, you burn off many pounds trying to keep them out of mischief). Another couple of hundred traipsing up and downstairs all day, every day lugging random toys from room to room to put away.

Ironing endless sets of clothes from an ironing pile that never seems to get any smaller, no matter how many times you attack it. (I’m sure it breeds when you’re not looking, or something.)

So never mind the ‘women are putting inches on’ rubbish.

We’re all working just as hard, thank you very much.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2149356/Women-6-inches-waists-60-years-And-main-reason-They-dont-use-elbow-grease-housework.html

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New research has revealed that parents are more than likely to offer more than one choice at the dinner table for their children.

The survey, carried out by Flora Cuisine, revealed that 34% of parents cook up to three different meals a night for their small ones in order to cater for all the different tastes.

I could understand that if I was running a bed and breakfast, or a fancy hotel with paying guests.

For the family mealtime though?! Not so much.

Talk about making work for yourself. Whatever happened to the old fashioned adage “If you don’t like it, lump it?!”

As a child, that worked perfectly fine for me, and it’s working perfectly fine as a rule nowadays, too.

If we’re having chilli con carne, for example, which we all love apart from the 8 year old, then he’s perfectly entitled to sit there and pick out all his kidney beans if he so wishes. That’s entirely up to him. He’s not getting a different tea to the rest of us though, if he doesn’t want to eat it, then that’s up to him!

Likewise with the 4 year old and shepherds pie.

“Eat up, that’s what the tea is, and if you don’t like it, never mind. You’ll be the hungry one!”

Is anyone else harsh like me?! Or do you cook a multitude of different dishes, each catered to your child’s and/or partner’s different tastes?!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2148086/The-Masterchef-Mothers-Mums-cook-THREE-different-meals-day-fussy-children.html

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This week’s Mix Tape Monday is apparently a free style with no theme, so in the light of the deaths of two major disco stars this week, my theme is called Disco Fever.

Cancer has claimed both the lives of Bee Gees Robin Gibbs and Dancefloor Queen Donna Summer this week, so I’m tweaking the rules and having TWO songs, one of each in tribute. (Well, it is freestyle this week and I’m a rebel like that. :-) )

Hot Stuff

A great classic which I still can’t hear without doing the ‘Dole Queue Dance’ from the film Full Monty!

Night Fever

(Dig out your flares and find your high singing voices to sing along!)

 

Now let’s have our own little disco party and let’s hope wherever they are now they’re still filling up the dance floor and bringing joy to people’s dancing feet….

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There’s lots of little things about kids that you’ve just got to love, in between all the things that they do to wind you up, that is.

Their innocence/gullibility

The fact that if you told them the moon was made out of green cheese and little men lived on it, they’d believe you.

They’re complete sponges

No, I don’t mean they leech you dry of any money that you have lurking about in your wallet, leaving you with nothing but fluff in there.

(Although they have a funny habit of doing that, too.)

I mean that their minds are a blank canvas, ready to be filled with knowledge and they have a sponge like way of being able to soak things up straight away.

Their imagination

They get the most inane pleasure out of simple household objects and have an uncanny ability of turning the most boring object into a thing of wonder.

The mixing bowl? Well, if you turn it upside down and put it over your head, it apparently instantly turns you into Buzz Lightyear with his space helmet on, enabling you to race about the house shouting “To Infinity, and Beyoooooond!!”

Old cardboard boxes become pirate ships in the middle of the sea, and the carpet is suddenly shark infested waters.  Be careful not to fall out….

Their ability to embarrass you in public

I’m including this one because you’ve just got to laugh, haven’t you?! Even though you’d prefer to tape their little mouths up.

The then 3 year old in the toilets of a department store:

“Mummy, what are you doing in there, a number one or a number two?”

Cue sniggers of laughter from other toilet goers.

Or in the changing rooms of the local swimming pool:

“Mummy, you haven’t got a widgie! Where’s your widgie gone?! Has it fallen off? It has, it’s fallen off!!”

Shurrup and get changed. Sheesh.

The way they look so cute when asleep

They might have acted like the spawn of Satan himself during the day, but when they’re fast asleep, it’s like butter wouldn’t melt. Ah, they’re so cute when they want to be.

Let’s hope they’re just as adorable when they wake up….

See what other things people love about kids over at http://katetakes5.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/listography-top-5-things-i-love-about.html

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Former Miss World and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is in the news for refusing to lose her baby weight straight away and daring to be in the public eye looking less than perfect.

Apparently, she’s been accused of ‘letting her country down’ and because she’s a Bollywood actress, she has a duty to look good and fit at all times.

I’m sorry, but what?! She’s just had a baby, for goodness sake! Why should she be expected to ping straight back into a size zero or whatever size just because everybody expects her to?!

It takes 9 months to make a baby and put weight on, so it makes sense that losing the weight gradually over the months is a lot better than losing it all on some silly crash dieting, a 1000 star jumps a day or a stint at some boot camp.

It’s nobody’s body, or business, but hers. As she has a little baby to look after, surely she should be concentrating on looking after her small one than going out for 5 mile runs at 6am with personal trainers, or living on nothing but steamed vegetables?

We’re too used to seeing all bones in the media, and the sight of anything such as a perfectly normal, healthy size 12 or 14 starts to looks ‘big’.

I’m sure she’ll lose the weight when, and if she’s ready. Not because the world tells her she should be.

Which is the way it should be – if you’re happy in your own skin, and with who you are, then why should you bow to pressure from others to lose baby weight quickly?!

Leave the new mums alone, and let them concentrate on their babies. They’ll do it when they want to!

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2145340/India-slams-Bollywood-actress-Aishwarya-Rai-Bachchan-failing-lose-baby-weight.html

 

 

 

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Mix Tape Monday

The popular meme Mix Tape Monday is back, where we share our favourite songs with others.

Mine has been chosen simply because today it’s actually lovely and sunny here (which I’d better not say too loudly or I might scare the sun away – it’s been pouring it down for weeks here!)

So this is a happy, feel good, sunny type of day song. Oh and it’s got yummy Mr Smith in it. Winner.

Bring on the BBQ and pub beer garden weather……

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNqrMYHotHo&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL56A8DA7AD8B5312A

You can find what others are listening to over here: http://iwantmymummy.co.uk/2012/05/14/mix-tape-monday-the-comeback/

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As it’s nearly the weekend and they’ve been good at school all week, we decided to go for a tea-time treat today at Frankie and Benny’s.

We’ve been meaning to go for a few weeks now, but what with the husband doing funny shifts at work, we’ve been waiting until he’s been free to come with us as well.

So today, we finally got round to it, and set off to the Frankie and Benny’s outlet in Crown Point, Leeds.

Set in the heart of the Crown Point shopping outlet which is just on the outskirts of the city centre, you can hardly miss the American/Italian restaurant with its distinctive green and red awning.

All hungry from a hard days work at school, we went in and got shown to a table straight away by a lovely, friendly waitress who brought an activity pack to keep the small ones occupied.

Always a winner if they know how to keep the little ones amused…

It didn’t take them long to decide what they wanted from the menus.

The 8 year old plumped for the hot dog and chips from the Junior menu, whilst the 4 year old decided on hamburger and chips from the kid’s one.

There was plenty of choice on both (even with all that choice, they both went for the chips! Can’t say I blame them though!)

The fussy 8 year old was most impressed with his hotdog and polished off the lot, and liked the fact that the “mustard, ketchup and onions are in separate pots, as I can put what bits I like on myself, and  I don’t have to put the stinky mustard on!”

4 year old declared his burger “yummy.”

As you can see, he was doing his best to clear the plate….

Although we got a dish from the kids menu and a dish from the junior one, the kids hamburger choice was a huge one and could easily have been from the Juniors’ – the burger was nearly as big as him! Not as if he was complaining, mind… :-)

As I’m supposed to be watching my weight, I was most impressed with the fact that there’s a Light option menu which details calories and shows you which is the healthiest option to have.

It didn’t stop me ordering from the normal Lunch menu, though. Oops.

I started off with the bruschetta, and had a penne pasta and meatballs dish which was absolutely gorgeous – the meatballs were delicious and really meaty tasting.

I couldn’t be tempted by a dessert, though, with not being a ‘pudding’ fan, even though they all looked lovely.

The husband, as a vegetarian, went for tomato and basil soup with doughballs to start with, and the Mediterranean Vegetable Burger as a main.

Those dough balls floating in the soup looked lovely and I almost wished I’d got them myself!

There was one testing moment, though when he ordered cheesy chips as a side dish.

“Would you like fries or cheesy chips?” asked the waitress.

So on getting the cheesy chips, he was disappointed to see it covered in bacon bits being a vegetarian!

Maybe the servers could clarify a bit more when offering them that they have bacon on, because if you don’t go that often, like us, you’re not automatically aware that it’s on – even if it does actually say so on the menu. Doh.

The staff were lovely about it when we asked to change it for some chips without the bacon  on though, so no harm done.

They couldn’t have been friendlier, the waitress serving us was great and brilliant with the kids too.

In the name of research, and me wimping out of the dessert menu, husband took it upon himself to test the sweets on offer. (Any excuse)

So he opted for this:

Chocolate brownies. Yum.

Grandma was with us too, and  was most impressed with her soup, chicken pasta and ice cream sundae.

The 50′s/60′s themed music made for a great atmosphere, with tunes from Roy Orbison (Pretty Woman), Elvis, and others playing.

“Ooh, it takes me back…” said Grandma.

So, if you’re looking for good food and music or for a special meal out, Frankie and Benny’s suits all ages and tastes.

Make sure you go when the special lunch time deals are on (Mon-Fri 11am until 5pm)  and it’s even better value – when it’s £8.25 for 2 courses, or £9.25 for 3 courses, you can’t go wrong!

Frankie and Benny’s kindly sent us a voucher to put towards the cost of the meal for this review. All views described are honest, true opinions of me, the husband, Grandma and the munchkins. :-)

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