Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Number 31

Hi y'all,
How are you all doing? The weather has been beautiful hasn't it - so warm and summery! Makes me happy, however having hair like the orange sun and skin so sensitive I may burst into flames one of these days are a bit of a hindrance when it cones to outside fun.

Michael had his appointment this week with his new consultant, and I must say from an information point of view it went better than expected. The doctor was very thorough, did all sorts if excersizes and activities with Michael to check his function and mobility. He confirmed the cerebral palsy, and while it isn't degenerative it is affecting Michaels muscles - meaning as he grows he will deteriorate. He said that Michael is disabled (a word that made me very sad), but he did assure us that they were now on top of it and were going to get him all the help he needs. He now needs to see a pediatric neurologist, an occupational therapist, a physio and his consultant every 4-6 months. We explained to mike about his problems, in the basic sense and he now understands that he is poorly and it won't get better.
Having been told that he is challenged (I can't bear the other word) it really hit home that he won't be able to do some things. I think I had kidded myself that he could. I know most boys have dreams of being sportsmen but with Michael his passion for the games he does is incredible. I really thought he could go all the way and play for a professional sport, ie rugby, but unfortunately he now can't. We haven't told him this, and well continue to help him in whatever he does but my heart broke a little when I realized his dream won't cone true. I hope he is able to refocus it when he is older without too much resentment.
The challenges he faces are many, and many different health problems that come along with it. Do you know what causes cerebral palsy? As with a lot of illnesses and diseases there are different factors and scenarios that create different outcomes. In michaels case his problems were caused whilst he was in my tummy. I had three horribly nasty urine infections whilst I was pregnant and unfortunately they caused Michael to have a stroke. He was able to recover and heal whilst still inside but it left him with a permanent weakness on his left side, bladder problems, pain threshold problems and other things too. Now I know it was one of those things, and not my fault but the guilt that is associated with knowing that my infection caused this is crippling some days.

Well I have spoken about his problems in so many of my blogs lately, and I assure you it's not all C.P centric but with the stuff we have been through lately it was nice to be able to vent a little. Thank you xxx

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog posts...

We went to our first cricket training with Michael on friday, it was brilliant! So relaxed and a lovely atmosphere, needless to say he loved it! We had some lovely feedback from his coach too which made us very proud.

We have a very small select family (which is how we like it) and this Saturday we had a 50th birthday party, children invited too, for my uncle in law. This occasion called for a good cake of course so I asked if I could make it and bring it as our pressie. He is an avid Scarlets rugby fan like my husband and so I made a rugby too cake for him. U replaced the sponsors with his name and age but kept the same colored so it still looked right. Thankfully it went down a treat and everyone loved it. The party was brilliant, wonderful company, no drama, great food and a very happy atmosphere. The boys were on their best behavior and enjoyed the festivities as much if not more than us. They met their little baby cousin for the first time and fell head over heels for him-what a cutie he is. We love a good party!

This weekend also saw the Olympic torch coming through our local big town of Haverfordwest. Along with 20,000 others my family and I went and stood to welcome it, patriotically in red white and blue, waving various items and eating far too many ice creams - very British. It was so lovely to see it, loud music, everyone cheering and clapping, the man carrying it looked so happy and proud it brought a tear to my eye (yes I am soppy). The funniest thing for me was once the torch had past, we made to leave and my little Mo asked shy hadn't the torch gone past... Bless him I think he was expecting a flashlight torch!! We explained but he did seem very confused! :D

Over the coming weeks we have quite a few events coming up, both family and just robs and I, which we are really looking forward to. Birthday parties, bbq's, wedding reception, drinks out, picnics, talent competition and beach days. I can't wait for all of it!

I am blogging to you in the car today, sat outside my husbands work with the music a little louder than perhaps it should be, waiting for my huh and kiss.
He's just arrived so I'll sign off now but rest assured I'll be back soon.

Oh and make sure you wear suncream!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Number 30

I feel like I need a drumroll...

30 POSTS! I stuck with it and an proud to see the number 30. I hope you've enjoyed thus far and will continue to follow along with the next 30.

So back to the post content I know your eagerly expecting.
I mentioned in number 29 that I have a to do list going on, and well it's still there! Heehee. A few things have gone on the back burner for the time being but I have started my diet again and have started training. I am loving it! I've even treated myself to a new pair of trainers.

So I completed my first run today, 0.5 mike run, then the same walk, then repeat. I mentioned in front of Michael that I was training and he asked if he could come too, I agreed but was a little nervous about it. I worried that he might fall, or it would hurt him, or he'd be in pain afterwards.
Well we embarked this afternoon and I have to say that he is absolutely amazing. He ran practically the whole way, including running ahead and then back to me, skipping, jumping and didn't even break a sweat! He had done p.e in school earlier in the day too and wasn't too tired to help his mum. When I was running the final half a mile uphill, I was flagging a bit, and he stayed behind me, encouraging me, telling me to keep going and that we
were nearly there and that I was doing really well. Bless him he was absolutely amazing the entire time, then when robs came home he went and did it again with him!

He fills me with so much happiness I feel I may burst, he is an amazing little boy. Oh also in other news I have finally managed to get him an appointment with a doctor in the hope we can get some help with the C.P. Yey!!

I have been knocked back with the college, as they are unsure I'll be able to do it as I have been out of education for so long (I understand but I WANT to do it). They suggested going a different way and volunteering in a school whilst doing an NVQ (which incidentally have been abolished and it's now called something else - GVC or something). So I tried that way and was knocked back by my first choice school :( oh deary. I am not entirely sure what to do now, still mulling it over.

Yesterday to cheer myself up a little, I planned a romantic picnic on the beach with my lovely husband for our date night. It was wonderful! We had lots of lovely food, a peaceful relax on the beach and then a lovely walk along another beach. The weather was perfect and we both came away from it feeling relaxed but re-energized at the same time.

I hope you have all had a bit of me time this week and some cuddly partner time too.
Signing off for now, going to see Elin, her boyfriend and our nephews :) another happy filled evening!
Much love

Friday, 18 May 2012

Number 29

Feeling a little like Tom thumb at the moment. Do you remember the verse?
Well he had his hand in plumb pies and I feel very much like I have my hands in many different pies at the moment, so I'm going to get organized! I have completed the crafty bits I wanted to do so they are no longer in the back of my mind bugging me, but I have so many other projects on the go, that need to be completed!

I've been looking back through previous posts to check what I'm supposed to be doing... I think maybe I write to much! Hehe.

1. Finish children's book illustrations
2. Blog about millionaires shortbread recipe
3. Study GCSE Maths, English and Chemistry
4. Create photo book online
5. Compose a letter to the council with the pictures from our litter picking
6. Bake and decorate a cake for my neices birthday (pressie)
7. Bake and decorate a came for my uncle in laws birthday (pressie)
8. Start writing the recipe/tutorial book

Now with the exception of the studying which is ongoing over the next three and a half months the rest of this needs to be done asap.

I also need to add to these which I haven't mentioned to you yet, so here goes...

9. Start the diet, again!
10. Start my 20 week training
11. Run the Cardiff half marathon
12. Raise sponsorship to go to Scope

Yes my wonderful readers, I have slipped back into old habits and regained 6lbs :( my own fault! So exercise and motivation was needed and so I have signed myself up for the half marathon that takes place in Cardiff on October 14th this year a two days after my 28th birthday. Those of you that know me, and from what you've read for those that don't, I'm sure you'll agree that I'm the last person you would expect to be running, at all, let alone a half marathon! But I have bitten the bullet and signed up.
I must say too - I am so excited!
Here is the site for the run: http://www.cardiffhalfmarathon.co.uk/index.htm

The run itself isn't for charity, but I have e-mailed Scope and asked them if I can do it for them to raise some money to help them continue doing the wonderful work they do! In case you missed the post where I talked about them, they are a charity that offer help and support to sufferers of cerebral palsy - like Michael, and their families.
Visit them here: http://www.scope.org.uk/

So my list is ever growing but I am feeling more positive now. I had such a fabulous response from everyone who read post 28. Not only did it uplift but it pushed me on again after I felt a little at a standstill.

I have been pushing with the doctors to get Michael followed ip with and have had an apology and admittance that they were in the wrong and they let Michael slip through the net! So he will have an appointment soon (yey) so we are hopeful for some physio soon. Thank goodness.

Finally for today ibthought I would share with you my training schedule, it's pretty hard going (for me-a couch potato of sorts) but I can't wait to get started!
Here is the PDF site: http://www.runningthroughlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Half-Marathon-20-Week-Training-Plan-Level-1-Beginner.pdf
Also robs is going to try and do the training and if he enjoys it he's going to sign up too - amazing and makes me so happy!

So I leave you now, and hope that next week I will be able to cross some stuff off my list!

Have a nice weekend lovely readers!
xxx Mrs J xxx

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Number 28

Today I come to you from a sad and unhappy place.

I have talked lots about being a mum, about positivity, and I always try to keep a smile on my face but some days it's just too hard.

Michael my beautiful middle son is poorly, he has cerebral palsy, which I have told you all before. He appears to be deteriorating at the moment though, quicker than I have ever seen. His left side is weak, and his left leg is in constant pain.

He tries so hard everyday to keep moving despite the pain, he plays rugby, runs and swims every week. We know that we have to keep him active so that he doesn't loose the use of his limbs. That thought kills me.

Yesterday he had his swimming lesson as usual but was less keen to join in, he struggled to get out of the pool - he would normally pull himself up on the side but he couldn't do it, he had to use the ladders and that's not like him.

After rugby the last few weeks he is so tired once he's finished, it's as if he gives everything he has to join in, then as soon as the whistle goes he slumps and hobbles off the field.

He wants to start cricket this week, which is wonderful, and I will take him, but I just know that he will be in pain again afterwards which makes my heart hurt.

He is so strong and smiley, he seldom complains and is so helpful to everyone. All his friends in school love him, he's the joker in his class and keeps everyone including his teacher smiling.

You know when parents say that they don't mins what their unborn little ones are like, as long as they are healthy? Well strike that, as long as they are happy it will see you through the tough times, their smiles are worth all the money in the world!

Even though everyday sends a new load of challenges you have to keep going, easier said than done some days, but check out your little ones smile and you'll be able to find the strength I'm sure!

Frustratingly, we have had to change consultants which feels like having fought for three years to get a diagnosis we have gone back to the beginning, and this is not helped by the fact that I can't get in touch with this new doctor and his secretary won't call me back! I am also super nervous as the last appointment we has with the orthopedic pediatric consultant who was very unhelpful - he asked Michael to walk in a straight line, which he did as he can force his leg to walk straight, so instead of seeing his natural walk he saw that, and then said that there is nothing wrong with him! Argh!!

Anyway I will leave you now and go and give my boy a big hug and play zombies with him for a bit :) sure to cheer me up and will definitely keep that gorgeous smile on his face!!


Friday, 11 May 2012

Number 27

Hi again,

Did you enjoy the previous two crafty blogs? I have had a really good response from them so I promise I shall do some more soon. For today I am focussing on baking and i have 'The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie' recipe to share today.

I made these last week and they went down a treat with the boys and my mum. Mathew has asked me if I'll pack a homebaked snack in their packed lunches on a Wednesday! High praise I think you'll agree.

Before I share the recipe, I wanted to tell you of another book idea I have had (don't worry the children's one is still happening)... If you recall I mentioned previously that I ran a cake company - We Love Cake, well seeing as I love helping and inspiring others I thought why not make a book called "We Love Cake - Recipes and Tutorials. Filled with my favorite recipes, my own of course, and tutorials on icing techniques, figurine animals, decorating inspiration for cupcakes and cake pop how to's. What do y'all think? Would you be interested in owning a book like that? Plenty of illustrations and simple to follow step by step instructions. It's just that no matter what I'm doing everything brings me back to cake! Eating it, baking them, teaching techniques. Something I'm thinking about anyway :D

Now... To the kitchens!!

The Best Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g light brown soft sugar
170g melted and cooked butter
100g golden caster sugar
1 tbls vanilla extract, or 1/2 tbls of vanilla essence
1 egg yolk
200g milk chocolate chips
125g white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 170degrees or 150 degrees for fan assisted ovens. Line a flat baking tray with parchment/grease proof paper.
1. Start off by diving the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl combine the melted butter with the sugars and vanilla essence until the sugar dissolves
3. Mix the egg into the butter/sugar mixture.
4. Add the sugars to the flour mix and whilst combining add the chocolate chips.
5. Separate the mixture in half then half again.
6. Take one of the four sections and roll into a ball, then rip it in half and keeping the ripped section turned upwards place the rounded bit onto the baking tray.
7. Repeat this, leaving enough room for them to spread to the size of cups -remembering to NOT push them down!
8. Bake in two batches for 11 minutes, the edges should start to be golden and the middles still soft to the touch.
9. Eat and enjoy with a glass of cold milk.

What do you think? Not the simplest but the results will speak for themselves!

I had a wonderful weekend at the wedding I mentioned a few weeks back, and thoroughly enjoyed having a night away in a cute cottage! More on that in the next edition.

Signing off for now, cuddle time!
Peace out buddies!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Number 26

A day later than promised, and rather short but sweet I'm afraid!

This blog comes to you from my IPhone as alas there has been a death in the family... My laptop. Losing him, sadly, at the young age of 18 months came as a shock to me, I refused to believe it - begging the doctors (tech support lol) to save him, but alas it wasn't possible, so here I sit, finger tapping on my trusty iPhone.

Hehehe in all honesty I am gutted, but hopefully will have another in a few weeks time, once I've saved up a bit.

I promised you a second craft blog so here it is - button letter frames.

A few months back I purchased a bagful of buttons in various shades if cream, green and blue (the same colored as my boys room will be once decorated) with the purpose of making a collage of sorts fir their bedroom door.

Last night I got to gluing and cutting and finally finished this price, and here is how to do it (apologies for lack of photos, but glue, I phone, buttons and me would of ended in something more than likely being stuck to my head!).

You will need:
A block photo frame (so that the buttons have room to stack)
150/250 buttons in assorted sizes and styles
PVA glue

1. Start by printing a very pale grey letter centrally on a piece of paper the same size as the frame.
2. Cover the letter with a thin layer of PVA - don't worry if it goes over the lines, it will dry clear.
3. Start sticking the larger buttons all over the letter.
4. Stick smaller buttons to fill in the gaps.
5. To cover the remaining gaps apply a layer of PVA onto the back of the final buttons and stick on top of the already stuck buttons, doing it evenly to ensure it looks good.
6. Allow to dry and then frame.

It's simple but extremely effective I think. The boys thought it was cool too!!

Right signing off now, but will be back with two recipes next time - double chocolate chip cookies and millionaires shortbread.

Hugs and hopes that your technology ( unlike mine) doesn't fail you!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Number 25

Craft Blog time!

I have had a few different crafty things I've wanted to do for a while now, and so this bank holiday weekend I thought 'hey - no time like the present'.

So this is the first in a series of blogs about crafting - Today's topic - Trouser Monsters

I am fed up of having to buy new trousers every time my children make a hole in the knee, so I have devised this quick fix, which not only fixes the hole but according to Mo is "so cool".

A few tips to start with - 
These don't need to be perfectly sewn, monsters are scary, scruffy things so don't panic over the details too much.
To make a knot at the end of your thread, wrap it around the tip of your finger 3 times, then roll it off, push it down and it will be in a knot.

Use a different colour thread to the colour of the eyes, black, blue, green or brown work really well.

You will need:
Trousers with a hole
Red fabric
White fabric
Thread for hand sewing
Sewing machine (you can hand sew on all steps however if a machine isn't available)
Contrasting bobbin thread to the trouser colour for the machine
1 large button
1 small button

1. Take your old pair of trousers and trim the hole so it is an oval shape with no frayed bits of fabric.
2. Cut out a piece of red/black/green fabric that will cover the hole - you want to have about 1.5cm overlap so you have enough room to sew it.
3. Cut a white piece of fabric to look like spiky teeth, and pin it to the top of the red/black/green fabric.

4. Hand sew (if you know how - I don't) or use a sewing machine and sew across the top of the  red/black/green and white fabric so that it will stay in place when you sew it into the trousers.
5. Turn the trousers inside out and place your red/black/green and white fabric mouth and teeth to cover the hole, then pin all the way around, make sure the teeth are shorter than the gap as you want them to stick out a bit and not be sewn.
6. Hand sew (yes even though I can't) around the edges with just a simple in and out motion, so that it will be easier to keep in place while sewing on the machine, I found the pins got in the way at this point - hence the hand sew!

7. Thread the trouser leg onto your machine and sew around so the fabric is fixed together and the hole will be mended. Don't worry that you can see the stitching on the other side, this will give your trouser monster more of a shape, you could even use the zigzag stitch to create a spiky monster.
8. Turn the trousers back the right way and attach one large and one small button just above the mouth.
9. Pick out all the thread you hand sewed with to keep the fabric in place before the final sew - you should be able to just pull it and it will come out.
10. Ta Dah! Show your little monsters the trouser monster that has invaded their trousers to rapturous applause! heehee.

So there you have it, a quick fix and a cool way to renew the life of your little monsters trousers - this could also be done on coats, t-shirts or anything else that gets a hole in.

I will be back tomorrow with another craft filled blog, but for now I am at home looking after my oldest and youngest, and myself as we all have tummy bugs - yuck!

Hope you all enjoyed this - let me know what you think!!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Number 24

It's all change here at Me Plus Six headquarters!

We have been planning our future a bit over the last couple of weeks and came to the conclusion that I need a career when the boys are all in secondary school so we can continue to have a wonderful life once they are all grown up.

As I have mentioned before we are on a strict budget - the like of which means all our bills are paid, our debt reduces each month and we get to spend money on the boys and doing up the house. It also gives us a deficit that we are saving for our holidays every year.

So career wise I have never really had one. I decided to take a year out after my G.C.S.E's (I had had a very difficult final year, being bullied and mistreated) before I did my A-levels, and then when I was almost 18 I gave birth to my gorgeous first son Mathew - so that kind of stopped everything. I had always wanted to be a mum. It was the only real job I wanted to do with my life - but alas that doesn't pay the bills so I have tied my hand at a few things over the years.

When I found out I was pregnant (it was a bit of a shock), I took it upon myself to go to a training organisation to gain some qualifications (I had a bit of a panic when I thought I was going to have a son and no A-levels) in Information Technology - or computers to you and me. I did it and gained four, which I was very pleased with, but then I was poorly towards the end of my pregnancy so had to stop at that. I got my wish however, as I then became a mum to the most beautiful, content little boy, a little earlier than planned but still very much wanted and loved. I stayed at home with him, and then with his little brother Michael until he was about eight months old. We needed a little extra income at this point and so I started working in our local Spar stores part time for about five months.

After Morgan was born and about seven months old, again we needed a bit more income so I happened to stumble across a job with Pembrokeshire County Council where the only qualification I needed was to be able to speak Welsh. Done. I stayed with them for two years - most of which I enjoyed - I was a Road Safety Officer teaching children how to cross correctly and how to ride their bikes carefully on the roads. My father died just before I left and when they heard I had cancelled a school i had for that week they were furious, so I told them to stuff it.

I wanted to pursue a career so decided I needed to get into college and get qualified, and I had always been interested in cooking and food so why not give that a go. I was accepted and thrived. I even found myself a trainee chef job in the Giltar Hotel Tenby with a wonderful head chef named Chris, who was coming to the end of his career and eager to pass on all he had learned. I absolutely loved this job, but unfortunately the hours were killing me - being away from my boys for 14 hours every day, and missing their concerts, plays, sports days was making me terribly depressed. I stayed with them for a year and then both myself and the head chef left at the same time, I couldn't bare the thought of being there without him, so it gave me the out I needed - the college course was a bust too as our practical tutor was rubbish - I ended up teaching her how to do things! Ridiculous, so I left that too.

So after being home for a few months I had had the opportunity to make cakes for friends and families birthdays, and the compliments and the way it made me feel was superb, so I bit the bullet and decided to start my own business - We Love Cake. I set up a Facebook page and blog, I eventually had a website too and the business grew and grew. I started with making 1 - 2 cakes every week and when I closed at was at the top making 8-9 big cakes, 100 cupcakes and 20-30 cake pops every week. I loved every second of the year I had doing this job, I even enjoyed being up until 3am making sure a cake was perfect, and then getting up at 6am just to check again. Unfortunately a lot of horrible things befell our family during this time, and so I took the very hard decision to close after my health deteriorated.

So this leads me to where I am now. I have been doing nothing but getting better and enjoying being a wife and mum for the last ten months, with the odd cake thrown in for family for good measure. We have panned the next two years finances completely - every single day is accounted for with the lowest possible income and highest possible expenditure to ensure we can afford everything. Every year we will have roughly the same deficit - although it will increase after this year once all the debts have been paid off. Rob and I then got to talking about the future and worked out some of the things that will change when the boys get older - for example they will all start to drive - costly, they may decide to go to university - extremely costly, they may have children - super costly, ad as we want to be able to provide everything for our boys so they don't have to struggle as much as we have we needed a plan.

When the boys leave secondary school we will stop receiving child benefit and child tax credit. These aren't huge amounts but money in is money in. We should have less outgoings - as the weekly shop will decrease (hopefully heehee), the electricity/water should decrease and our fuel bills for running them all over the place should decrease by quite a bit. We still want to be able to travel though, and enjoy our later years (at the ripe old ages of 41/42), and be able to support the boys and their families if needed.

So this brought us along to talking about pensions, retirement and my career, or current lack of.

As I mentioned earlier I have only really wanted to be a mum, so what is next when I'm not needed any more (or not as much)? What can I do to help make sure we have enough money to cover everything and still be able to save and go on holidays, or treat the kids/grand-kids?

Long story long, I have decided after many discussions with Rob as to what would be a good career and path forward to become a teacher - primary school, junior age group. What brought me to this? Well I love children, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching them when I worked with the council and I think I have done an OK job with mine. Also the hours are good, the holidays are great and the salaries aren't bad either, even at the lowest end. There will always be children so there will always be a need for teachers, a definite plus point. I love passing on my knowledge to people, and enjoy making people happy, both good points for a teacher. If we decide to move away or to a different county, well everywhere needs teachers.

For this to become reality - is to get qualified, but I still want to be a stay at home mum while the boys are still young. My first stop was the Careers Advice Service from the government, to see what qualifications I need, what training courses there are and what the different paths are to get into teaching. This service not only told me everything I needed to know and how to achieve it, but it also tested academically to see in what areas I would need to improve.

The next step is to get A-levels, which will then help me to get onto the university course I need. I searched and found that the best ones for me to do were core subjects so I applied to do English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Chemistry, I was a little disappointed to see that there are no local colleges that offer a Welsh A-level, but never mind. I am currently waiting for my interview and then to fin out if I have been accepted - I am super nervous but also looking forward.

So that's where I am at the moment - in limbo but with a plan! I have been out and purchased the G.C.S.E course books for the subjects I have applied to take so I can brush up over the summer and be, hopefully, as if I have gone from year five to sixth form. Well that's the plan anyway.

I hope you have all had a good couple of days, mine have been ok - bit down in the dumps but feeling better today after my lovely friend Melanie said something really poignant - I said I felt as if I was at the bottom of a mountain staring up, and she said "but just imagine the view when you reach the top!" How brilliant is that eh?! So happy again today - I managed to do all the cleaning and bake some yummy treats, play with the kids and mow the lawn while Robs worked this Saturday helping out our best friend. Brilliant isn't it. Funny how words can really change your mood!

Right I better sign off - It's getting late and it's movie time!

OO one more quick thing - I forgot to tell you the other day about a shop I came across in Cardiff shopping centre - Americandy, ever heard of it? It is basically an American sweet shop. They stock all the brands you see on your favourite US sitcoms, they had every possible flavour of pop tart, all the soda's and water brands and they even had Lucky charms, Fruit Loops and Flintstone's Boulders cereals. I loved everything and more importantly wanted to buy everything!

Hugs and smiles.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Number 23

As promised here is my mini blog post about the Avengers Assemble film we watched last week. Now If you haven't seen it and plan too, there may be some spoilers so please come back and read afterwards, and let's compare notes!

The first 20 minutes was quite slow, and had none of the comedy of Iron Man, so I was feeling a little apprehensive that it was going to be a flop, or that I was expecting too much. But then... Iron man appeared and the whole feel of the film changed. All the characters blended well together (although in the film the characters didn't get along) and the comedic value of them combining was plain for all to see - the entire cinema was in hysterical laughter at many parts. 

Overall the film was amazing. I am a huge fan of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor and was so excited to be seeing the culmination of all of these films. Included also was Hulk, and I have never been a fan of it before. I felt the films were weird and uninteresting, this film however has completely changed my mind. The way they portrayed Dr Bruce Banner and The Hulk was brilliant - 'Hulk Smash!' hehehe. He had some comedic-ally brilliant lines and scenes, and he blended in well with the other characters.

I did embarrass myself at the end of the film - Stan Lee was absent from the entire thing, which was bothering me, and then just before the credits - there he was, well I threw my hands up and shouted 'Yey, Stan Lee!', much to the hilarity of the audience. Heehee - well I was a happy bunny! 

Oh finally too - we along with the majority of the audience stayed until after the initial credits and it didn't disappoint as there was an extra 2 minutes of footage leading on to the next film... I AM SO EXCITED!

I hope you enjoyed the review - but please bare in mind that this is the review of an uber fan, so please don't hold it against me that I loved it if you didn't.

Signing off for now, but will be back soon I promise!


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Number 22

I am coming to you today from a rather sleepy place, but never the less a VERY happy one.

To Start off - an apology for not writing about the Avengers movie yet, it is on my to do list and I will get around to doing it soon - promise, but for now I want to share with you the amazing weekend I had, away in Cardiff - or The 'Diff ans I am affectionately calling it.

Well Friday night was filled with excitement and nerves about leaving so not much sleep occurred, however I woke fresh as a daisy and finished packing. As I left the house my four gorgeous boys stood at the step and waved me off, blowing kisses and shouting messages of love and telling me to behave. Cute. 
We stopped off initially for a McDonald's breakfast - a road trip staple - it was my first one in months so was   happy to be eating it! The traffic was good and we arrived at about 11:00am to the Dexby Townhouse (which is owned by Marie and James Church, Charlotte Churches parents). We were greeted by Brain the manager and shown to our room - it was beautiful. It was stylishly decked out with flat screen TV, gorgeous bathroom suite, beautiful bedding, patio and plenty or storage. Brian was funny and I'm pretty sure though we were more than friends (Elin and I) which was so amusing, and so we cleared it up asap! We unpacked and had a cup of tea and our complimentary penguin, heehee, then off to the centre for shopping.

We walked through a beautiful park next to the castle, which is on the route of the Cardiff marathon too. The weather held up, except the wind, so no overcoats needed.
I am by no means a fitness guru, I don't work out, run, gym, Pilate's or zumba, but I have been known to enjoy it when I take part - Elin on the other hand loves to run. We went to Run and Become - now I had no idea that there were different running styles or techniques, well Elin needed new running shoes so they measured then got her to run up and down outside so they could assess her style (this was much to my amusement - I even took pictures!). They found the perfect ones and off we went. Next door was an authentic comic book shop - just like off The Big Bang Theory - I noticed it on the way to the other shop then completely forgot about it on the way out - so I will have to go back to go there for sure!
Elin took me then to the shopping centre where all the best shops are. It was like combining Swansea, Carmarthen, Tenby and Haverfordwest all into one area, shop wise. I went in so many and yet there was a weeks worth there I didn't even notice! I managed to get a gorgeous dress in the Debenhams sale for a wedding I have in a couple of weeks - YEY, I also managed to pop into the Disney shop and buy the boys some pressies. 


After spending 5 hours shopping and eating (cookies, smoothies) we went back to the hotel in a taxi to primp and prepare for the night ahead.
I had bought before I went up there a jumpsuit - yes I know risky - and I have to say I haven't felt that comfortable or pretty in a very long time. It was a deep purple and a got a 3/4 denim jacket to wear with it - I accessorised with peacock feather earrings and a bangle of the same colouring. Those and my heels and I felt a million dollars - not self conscious or fretful someone would think I looked horrid. I was bang on trend and feeling great.

Off we went to Red Hot Buffet for 7:00pm. Well I can honestly say that I have never been to a restaurant like this one. After being seated you get to go around multiple food stations where you can pick up as much food as you like. There are also stations where you can have dishes made especially for you - noodles, risotto, pasta, Mexican, Indian. It was completely insane, and then once you have finished your plate, the waiters come and remove it and off you go again, as many times as you like. AMAZING! Needless to say I took full advantage - here are some of the things I tried:

Mango cheese tart
Caribbean mango and spinach salad
Crab and cheese stuffed mushroom
Mushroom and chili pasta (made especially for me)
 Crispy duck
Mexican chicken sausage and burger
Stone-baked pizza
Baby potato's marinated in mustard and chives
Brushetta with avocado and sour cream
Slow roast pork with fennel
Lamb kebab
Onion bhaji's
Vegetable samosa
Spring roll

I know this sounds like lots, but almost everything was available as bite sized pieces (although I did have several helpings of certain things). Desserts was a place of absolute heaven. I had a plate with bite sized morsels of 4 different cheesecakes, chocolate and mango mousses, orange sponge cake (the best I have ever tasted) and i can't remember what else. Unbelievable - and all of this is only a fraction of what was available. In total there were well over 150 different dishes. Needless to say I think everyone should go as often a possible - and for £15 you can't go wrong - please go and check out the menu here.

The Old Library was on our hit list next - for a sit down and some drinks - was lovely in there and much bigger than I thought it was going to be! Cheap too.

Tiger Tiger club was our final stop (unfortunately no hunky welsh rugby men to stare at - heehee) - now the dancing and music was brilliant, but the drinks prices wee outrageous - £16 for two. needless to say we had one each. We spent most of our time upstairs in the 60's and 70's disco, grooving along to some classic tunes.

I had such a wonderful time - and Elin is fabulous for coming with me and showing me such a wonderful time. We even called in to McArthur Glen Outlet Shopping Centre on the way back for a spot of extra shopping and munching - did you know there is a Cadbury shop? I was in heaven and bought a handbag full, heehee. 

I missed the boys so much, but felt renewed and so happy when I got home - straight back into mum mode with ease and did the washing up. 

We are planning to go back soon but with our other halves so they can enjoy it too.

So there you have it, probably a bit too much information, but I could of gone on and on, trust me. I'll be back soon and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too.