{The Ordinary Moments 14} #15 'Amazing Chocolate Sweetie Tasty Things.'

on Sunday, 13 April 2014.

I often feel guilty that I am not the best Mum I can be to my girls.  Don't get me wrong, I am the best Mum for them, I love them with all my heart, but I mean in terms of creative activities.  I am not very crafty, and I often feel like I don't make enough effort to do things like that with them.

We have our own little routine, our own little structure to the week and it suits us perfectly.  They are in nursery two long mornings a week and then on the days where they aren't we rarely are in during the morning, mostly out with friends or Grandma and then the afternoon is taken up by nap time.  While I relish their naps and am so grateful they nap at the same time (hello blogging and trash tv time), we don't get a huge amount of time to be in the house just being creative.

I often opt for the easy life and I make no excuses for the fact I should be doing more crafts with my girls.  It is something which I feel guilty for and something I should try more of.  However since January one thing that I have been trying to do is be more adventurous in the kitchen with Mads.  I am a disaster chef, Mr E does the cooking, and I don't really enjoy it, but Mads adores to make things with Mummy so I am trying to bring out the creative side in her by baking together.  She loves it and I really enjoy watching her little face light up when we do these things together.

Therefore this week we decided to make our own recipe modified from something I saw on a friend's facebook timeline.  We called it the very original 'Amazing Chocolate Sweetie Tasty Thing' and honestly it was quite possibly the best thing ever.  But perhaps not for the healthy eating,

chocolate bark

It is a really easy thing to do with young children as there is absolutely no baking required.  I think out of all the things we have done Mads found it the most enjoyable because she could really get involved with it properly.


All you need is LOTS of sweets and some chocolate bars.  Quite possibly the best ingredients ever.


I guess you could choose any sweeties but we had Smarties, Haribo and Mini Eggs as a homage to Easter. (and because everyone quite frankly knows Mini Eggs rule.)


All you need to do is melt your chocolate bars together (we used three large white chocolate bars) and then pour it on to a plate with greaseproof paper.  Even a disaster in the kitchen like me can melt some chocolate.  Just.  Then my beautiful assistant set about placing the sweets into the melted mixture.  (We put more sweets in our mouth but that's compulsory really)


Then pop your horrendously sickly but all kinds of amazing creation in the fridge until it sets again.  Mads was very impatient at this point and kept peering into the fridge to see if it was hard enough.  So did I. 


And voila!  Break into pieces and serve.  Trust me, you need to experience this.  It doesn't look anything special but it is better than anything you could ever imagine. ;)

chocolatebark 4


This post should probably come with a disclaimer.  This is the most sickly, unhealthy treat you could imagine and it is definitely not good for the waistline but is so easy and fun to make for little ones.  Mads and I made a fair bit and we wanted to leave a big slab for Mr E.  Unfortunately for Mr E, his slab ended up being rather small as the chocolate just seemed to want to be in our mouth's.  Oops.

So if you have zero willpower like myself and my three year old then perhaps it isn't the best thing to make as you will just want to eat it ALL.

We had a great time making it together, and an even better time eating it.  I love these ordinary moments with my lovely little girl.  She's even worth going in the kitchen for.




My Sisters In April.

on Thursday, 10 April 2014.

At around ten past four each afternoon I walk up the stairs and shout 'Small Bean'.  LL is the first one I collect from her cot, normally she is standing up waiting for me by this point.  She gets upset when she hears me shout her current most used nickname, frustrated I am not getting to her quick enough.  Then we pretend to knock on the door and go and get her big sister from her room.  

Every day without fail Mads rustles around under her covers and pulls out Pongo.  Pongo is a cuddly dalmation, but he isn't just any old spotty dog, he is Mads absolute favourite friend.  The one she needs to sleep, the one she wants when she is sad.  Every afternoon she holds him out and gives him to her little sister, who pulls him in close and giggles.  This simple act of sisterly love never fails to make me choke up a little bit.  The fact that Mads wants to make her sister happy by giving him her most treasured friend.

Both are still blurry eyed from nap time, and normally have damp, bedraggled bed hair from getting sweaty in their slumber.  I carry them, one in each arm (harder than it looks!) down the stairs and plonk them down on the sofa.  I turn on the television and put on a film for us to watch- the current favourites being Frozen, Toy Story 2 or Monsters University.   I leave them there together, still a bit sleepy, and go and get a biscuit from the treat drawer in the kitchen.

Most of the time it's a Rich Tea, but sometimes we are flash and have a pink wafer biscuit which is all of our favourites.  They snuggle together close, neither saying a word, just staring intently at the television while nibbling on their biscuits.  Sometimes I join them, usually with both sat on my lap, Mads playing with my ear and LL cuddling in close.  But most of the time I sit at the other end of the sofa and watch them.

That half an hour or so of quiet time is one of my favourites of the day.  Both are so cuddly after they wake up and they snuggle together closely.  Mads always puts her arm around LL gently, LL still doesn't climb so we often worry she will fall off the sofa.  LL doesn't loosen her grip on Pongo the spotty dog, she holds him tight, occasionally pressing her face into his soft pretend fur and smiling.  Mads often takes him away and gives him straight back to her, enjoying seeing her little smile when she gives him a cuddle.

The best thing about being a mother to two is watching these simple moments.  The way in which my girls effortlessly combine together.  The way in which their sisterly bond is ever present.  The way in which when I study them closely I can see that actually they do look pretty similar.  I relish that half an hour every day before the madness and loudness starts again.  

I couldn't resist taking some photos of them like this, and luckily they were so engrossed in Toy Story 2 that they didn't even notice I had my camera out.  There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing these two little girls develop and watch their love for each other grow stronger and stronger.  Of course they get grumpy and have mini stops with each other, this is happening more and more as they grow older.  I can tell that they are going to wind each other up constantly in the future.  

But as they sit on that sofa after their nap each afternoon, I see two little sisters who are the very best of friends.

And nothing makes me prouder than that.










This month I am sending you over to have a look at Carie's blog.  Her blog is one of my favourites, and the way she writes often has me feeling really teary even if there is no need to be!  She has two little ladies a similar age to mine and another on the way.   


'My Fitness Mission' - March.

on Wednesday, 09 April 2014.

We are well into April now and so it is time for me to reflect on my fitness mission for March.  The past month has flown by crazily fast with lots of busy days and weekends, as well as some serious bouts of bugs for me.  I can't believe I am only three months into this journey, I feel like I have been running for so much longer than that.

I turned 30 at the start of the month, something which in part I think is contributing towards me wanting to feel better about myself.  I just want to get my confidence back and feel good about myself again, of course Spring and the thought of Summer makes me want to do this too.

Anyway to this month...



I am still addicted to running, I cannot believe how much I enjoy it.  The hardest part for me is getting on my trainers and actually going, I really do often feel like backing out and not doing it, but once I am out there I feel so much better.  Although of course occasionally I decide not to bother.  I have got into a little pattern of doing one or two short runs in the week of just 5k as I have found a perfect little loop that takes me right back to my house, and then a longer run at the weekend.  The most I have done is 8 miles and I felt amazing, but my knee hurt for a fair few days afterwards.

I have had two sickness bugs this past month which has really put a stop to my running as it has left me feeling really weak and not good at all.  So this has hampered my overall progress.  I find that I am really competitive with myself though and enjoy trying to break my records.  When I started running in January I could hardly run a mile and was doing 5k in about 35 minutes.  My fastest time to date is 26.35, so I am really pleased with how I am doing. 

Mr E supports me so much with my fitness and running, like he does in everything and for my birthday he bought me a Nike Sports Watch.  It's really brilliant and means I don't have to carry my phone about anymore.  It also syncs to the Nike+ community on my phone too and I am loving it so far.  He also brought me an iPod shuffle from the girls with a message engraved on the back from them meaning I have some great playlists to keep me motivated.  

I have set myself the goal of running three races so far this year including two half marathons.  They are still pretty far away so I am not too nervous about them just yet, but I know I will be nearer the time.  If anyone fancies sponsoring me, my Just Giving page is here.  

I decided to cancel my gym membership that I started in January because I just wasn't going regularly enough, I much prefer getting outdoors instead.  However because I am wanting to tone as well as shed fat, Mr E brought me a kettlebell and at least once a week I do a kettle bell workout off You Tube.  They are great and I really feel like my muscles are working when I do them.



Food wise I have not been so good this month.  I have eaten out a fair bit, for my birthday, for random nights and days and for a recent hen weekend and as such I have no willpower when it comes to tasty treats.  Plus I cannot resist cinema pick n mix and the odd Dominoes pizza!  Also because I have had the two tummy bugs I have not really eaten properly at all for a few days and then been starving so eaten rubbish as a result.  However because I am exercising I find that I can treat myself every now and again.  

I find that I am really good and won't need or crave chocolate or sweet things, until Mr E has some in the house and then I literally don't have any willpower at all.  I cannot sit next to him on the sofa while he is eating mini eggs and not eat them and then once I have one it's almost like I have unleashed my inner chocolate monster and then I eat far too many.  

We are still really boring with our evening meals and I do need to try and be more adventurous.  I struggle with lunch times especially as I need something quick, so I usually eat two Warburtons Sandwich Thins with chicken and rocket and then some Vegetable crackers.  But I do find wheat bloats me so if anyone has any yummy lunch ideas do let me know!

I have been quite bad with my water intake, I started off so well at the start of the year but I have gone back down to hardly even drinking half a litre a day.  I am also drinking way too much diet coke again, as it satisfies my sweet tooth.




Overall March has been a funny old month.  I feel like I have taken a step back with my running a little due to the fact that I have been poorly, so in April I am going to concentrate on trying to run farther for my long weekend runs.  However I am really pleased with my times, I just need to try and up my distance. 

I haven't lost any more weight as I have hit my one stone target of what I wanted to achieve but I have lost another inch around my waist, meaning that I have lost 4 inches overall.  That is quite amazing really, but I still do have a rounded tummy- it seems the more I lose everywhere else the worse my tummy looks.  I know that I have had two children, but I do want to try and tone it a little more if I can. 

I feel so much more confident in myself and it's having such a great effect on my wellbeing.  I got some birthday money and went shopping, and for the first time in about three years I actually felt ok looking at myself in the changing room mirror.  I am loving having new outfits and not hiding in old, frumpy clothes.  I also have a lot more energy and just generally am having a lot more of a positive outlook, and that is what I wanted to achieve the most.  

This is the longest I have ever stuck at regular exercise and I definitely have running to thank for that.  My lovely husband is also training to compete in a dualathon in May, and we are both really enjoying this new found shared interest we have.  It's honestly great, and if you are wanting to start exercising but are nervous or unmotivated, I couldn't recommend it enough. 




(Check out my January and February fitness posts)





A Child Free Weekend in Bath...

on Tuesday, 08 April 2014.

This past weekend I had my first child free weekend ever.  I have been away before for the odd night when we just had Mads and I went away to Brussels with work for two nights when Mads was around eleven months old, but I have only been away from LL for a night before.  I was excited and a little nervous about leaving them for the weekend.

The reason for my travels was it was one of my best friends hen do's in Bath.  Her wedding is in a couple of weeks and I am bridesmaid so I was really excited about spending some time with her and her friends, as well as one of my other closest friends from uni.  

We had a great time, the only downside being that I was not well earlier in the week and on the Saturday it came back with avengence, meaning that I got glammed up ready to have some drinks only to find that my stomach was so painful I had to go home early.  I was so disappointed and upset, typical that I am poorly on the one weekend that I get to go away. 

Here is my weekend in iPhone photos...


Arrived in Bath early on Friday for a spot of lunch with the lovely Lucy.  


We had a wonderful time catching up. 


Bath is so beautiful and also has some lovely quirky shops, could have bought everything in this toy shop.


Beautiful country house for the weekend.  Check. 



Gorgeous room. Check.


Warm fire. Check.





Bathroom selfies and my two best uni friends.  One in a toilet paper wedding dress.  The other the actual bride.  


Not a bad view to wake up to.  


Actually had time to eat breakfast for once.


Most people have limos for their hen do, we had a horse box.


Kicked out his transport.


This little fella was an hour old. 


Cuddles with another baby and a spot of shooting.


Super shooters.


Relaxing in a huge bubble bath.


All glammed up and fizzy willies.


A little treat brought home for my little ladies (and Mr E!) - some chocolate ducks!


A little card for Mr E. 

It was a lovely weekend and it was nice to be able to just relax and not have to be 'Mummy' for a while.  I was the only Mum there bar the hens Mum, and for once all my conversation didn't revolve around tantrums, nappies and sleeping patterns, although I kept showing them all photos of my lovely little ladies.  The girls had a great time with Mr E and when I spoke to them on the phone Mads kept saying she 'missed me so much.'  I came home to the biggest cuddles and they didn't leave my lap for the whole afternoon.  

They definitely missed me just as much as I missed them.  

Roll on the wedding! 



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