Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

New Bed 18/365

My new bed has arrived!! Just need the snow to stay away until Mr k gets here to build it!

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January 18, 2013 Posted by | Home | , | Leave a comment

Costa at home with Tassimo

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Last month I blogged about my new favourite kitchen appliance, which I would like to say was not a sponsored blog in any way. However, through the Tassimo UK Facebook page I was lucky enough to be selected to taste test the new Costa range of coffees. All you Tassimo lovers can now get your hands on Costa’s Americano, Latte and Cappuccino to drink at home. So here is my verdict……

The Americano is spot on, a great coffee to drink black or white and as always with the tassimo machine you can + or – on the strength to get it exactly how you want it. The flavour is all there, exactly as you would expect if you were buying it in Costa. It is a large size drink, which for me means “normal” as I tend to drink from big mugs!

The Cappuccino is again exactly as you would expect from Costa. With the milk pod and coffee pod to make the drink each pack makes 8 large drinks. Don’t however assume this is the same as a Costa large, it is a Tassimo large, again, a normal mug size, probably a medium if you were in Costa itself.

Next is the Latte, if you like a good Latte then here we have it, it’s an XL size, the only XL I have yet found with Tassimo, it’s smooth, it’s creamy, it’s the taste I love from a good Costa coffee. Yes this one is my favourite, although I am a Latte lover anyway I know I will always have these in my cupboard.

All in all these coffees taste like they have been picked up from Costa itself. Price wise they are on par with other t-discs for the system, which makes enjoying a Costa coffee a lot cheaper! You can get them online through Tassimo or at leading supermarkets, and you can purchase from Costa too. Have you tried them and what do you think?

November 19, 2012 Posted by | Home | , , | Leave a comment

Dark Nights

I guess there is now no denying that winter is looming. Tonight I had to drive home in the dark. I wouldn’t mind but I left work at 5pm and it was already almost pitch dark! It really wasn’t a nice feeling. I know the clocks changed last weekend and that does make a big difference, but I am surprised every year about how quickly the nights draw in at this time of year!

So how do the dark nights impact on you? Here’s my top things about dark nights:

  • I’m more tired in the evenings – once the curtains are shut and it’s dark outside I go into hibernation mode, I want to wrap myself up in a blanket and go to sleep!
  • I eat too much – when I am cold and tired and wrapped up in a blanket in front of a feel good movie, I comfort eat. It must be the hibernation thing again, building up my fat stores for the winter, try telling my body I have enough though!
  • Evenings are rushed – in the summer when it is light, I lose track of time a bit, we eat around 6pm summer and winter, but in the summer it always feels like there is more time to do things in an evening I don’t know why!
  • Snuggles – on the plus side, wanting to snuggle up with a blanket is great fun with Mr K, and I actually really enjoy listening to the rain and wind outside when I am snuggled up in the warm, I just find it really satisfying!

I’d love to hear your views on how the dark nights effect you, or any tips on how to keep motivated when it’s dark, and especially eradicating the comfort eating!!

November 1, 2012 Posted by | Home | , | Leave a comment

A Coffee Lovers Dream

I’ve always loved coffee. When I met Mr K, our second date was a day in my local town and we had a few coffee stops, we both love a good coffee, and we both like the variety you get these days in coffee houses. Whenever we are out and about we always stop for coffee somewhere. Thing is though, it gets expensive always going out for coffee so I looked into coffee machines and decided it was time I invested in a good one!

I decided after reading countless reviews and comparing prices to go with the Tassimo T55 and I have never looked back. It is so easy and it is not just a sales line when it says “Perfect coffee every time” its true! Like I said I read countless reviews so if you want to know the technical stuff have a look elsewhere as I am going to tell you what I think is important about this machine rather than how many litres of water it holds and how much the average coffee costs!!

The first thing I love is that it’s not just a coffee machine, you can get T-Discs to make a variety of teas and hot chocolates too, and when I ordered T-Discs from tassimo they also sent me some t-disc blanks which you can use to make iced drinks, I haven’t done this yet though so won’t review that right now!! The varieties available are great, from Kenco and Twinning’s to Milka, Suchards, Jakobs and the new Costa range. If you love hot drinks, there will be something for you, although some varieties are only available online.

The water tank on this model includes a Brita water filter which for me is amazing. Our tap water is awful and to drink plain water I have to buy bottled, it’s ok for juice and I thought it was ok for tea and coffee, but how wrong I was! The difference it makes to hot drinks is astonishing really! It adds to the perfection of each and every cup, and how nice it is to have a cup of tea without the “scum” from the tap water floating on top! Ok the filters are not cheap, but each one lasts a month and there is an indicator on top of the machine to tell you when it needs replacing. You get one filter with the machine to start you off and I just bought a box of 6 filters for £16, which works out at less than £3 per month. Considering my machine makes from 1-10 drinks per day I’m definitely using it enough to warrant the cost of the filters!

Now if you are like me, quick and easy is best, I hate it when you get kitchen gadgets that are a pain in the neck to clean, but this is as easy as making a coffee. No really, you get a cleaning and descaling t-disc with it, and you just put it in and press the button and it does a cleaning cycle! All you need to do is wipe out the area where the t-disc sits and wash the removable cup stand! The cup stand itself comes off to put larger mugs under, or can be set higher for making espressos so you don’t get the mess of coffee splashes!

It really is so simple to use to, you put in a t-disc, which will only go in one way so you cant get it wrong, you close the lid, place a mug or cup on the stand and press the button! There are also + and – buttons so you can make your drink stronger or weaker to taste, the only down side is this alters the size of the drink. If you press +, this makes the drink weaker by adding more water and – makes it stronger by adding less water. I tend to + most drinks as I like a taller drink and that’s the right strength for my taste, but it was only by playing around that I have learnt that! I even let B make her own Hot Chocolate because it is so easy and safe, she is no where near the hot water that comes out and she loves that she can have a hot chocolate for bed without disturbing me when I am sorting out H.

So if you are a coffee lover and haven’t got one of these then I would recommend one without a doubt! As it’s that time of year maybe you should get writing to Santa!

October 19, 2012 Posted by | Home | , , , | Leave a comment

Lets make a House a Home

I’ve been separated from my ex husband for 4 years now, and have lived where I do now for the last 3, thing is I have never really felt at home here. Last summer I decorated the kids rooms and they loved it! To me though I still didn’t feel fully at home. I guess a part of me never really believed I would stay, I had come home after the break up and needed time with my family but for a long time I felt lost, not sure if I would stay or move somewhere else. I didn’t know it at the time but I see it now, maybe the depression I had before Christmas was part of the whole healing and moving on process to enable me to put down roots. So what made me realise?

Back in January I decided it was time for change, the only thing I had left from my married days was the sofa and so I decided it was time for a new one, not just because it was from when I was married, but it is looking old and tired (I will NEVER buy a beige sofa again!). So I went sofa shopping and was very surprised to find one I fell in love with and was comfy to sit on. Sofa ordered and home I came, to a lounge in a mishmash colour scheme. I had never really noticed before but the green and beige walls and brown floor, the brown rug and black and brown furniture along with the yellow curtains almost made me cry. My newly ordered sofa was black and grey with a hint of purple….I loved the sofa but really, it wasn’t going to look at home here!

Feb2012 005

I took the “before” picture as I was packing up to decorate, so ignore the mess, but you get the picture!!

After a number of trips to Homebase, who I really can’t thank enough for their helpfullness, and too much money spent in Dunelm Mill, well, take a look at what I did…….

Feb2012 008  Feb2012 010 

Feb2012 012  Feb2012 023 

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I’m pretty proud of myself I have to say. And this is the moment I felt at home, the moment I realised I’d been living on pause for a while, the moment life really does carry on! Oh, and that’s not the new sofa, but that will be arriving in just over a week and then my house really will be my home!

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Home | , , | 2 Comments

Not Again

Well it is official I have fallen out of love this Valentines Day. It’s been one of those relationships that’s had it’s ups and downs and this time I think there is no way back. My car is out of action again! Now back in November time my car was playing up and I had some work done on it and since then it’s been fantastic. It’s coming up to MOT time again and I know it won’t pass, but on top of that, this morning it wouldn’t start. Tomorrow it’s getting towed away to find out what is wrong.

So, I now have the task of weighing up how much it is worth ploughing money into this car. I do a lot of miles for work and can’t work without wheels and I have been lucky enough not to need finance for anything since becoming single. I don’t want to live beyond my means, but yesterday I found out my job is definitely secure for another 2 and half years, so in that sense maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and cut my loses with this car.

Then there’s the whole emotional thing. Back in October I had half term off, was ill for all of it and was shortly after signed off for 5 weeks due to my depression. On the plus side I am now slowly reducing my meds and should be off them by the end of the month. Today is the first day since my dosage reduced that I have seen the me from months ago. I panicked about the car, I burst into tears and started with the whole “curse of half term” thoughts. I did however, get myself out of it. I walked to where I needed to go, yes it took about 2 hours instead of 30 minutes, but I have still done what I intended to do today. Tomorrow I am still doing what I planned to, but I’m no longer driving – no great issue there either. I’m thinking positive and not letting myself fall – 5 months ago I wasn’t able to do that.

Now it’s a waiting game, see what gets said tomorrow as to where I go with it, fingers crossed for an easy cheap solution! Here’s hoping!!

February 14, 2012 Posted by | Home | , | Leave a comment

Project Kids Rooms

Over the summer I had a decision to make, to move or not to move. I live in a lovely 3 bedroom house but with all the stuff that comes with kids, it feels very small some days. The main issue I had was that B had no space to store things in her room and never spent time in her room so most of her stuff lived downstairs. Similarly with H, her room still felt like a nursery, although to be honest was just a dumping ground for things that wouldn’t go anywhere else. Her old baby toys were in there but nothing else. She slept in there and that was it. My tenancy runs out in November so I was thinking about moving. Trouble is, if I moved would it be just me and the girls or would the move involve Mr D? So we had the conversation and both agreed we like our own space as well as time together and now isn’t the time. Neither of us said it never would be the time so now my decision was 1 – stay put until we reach a point where we all move together or 2 – move, but then possibly move again in a years time if we decide to make that move! To be honest, I decided that November isn’t the easiest time of year to move house and so got thinking of how I could make this house work better for us.

For 3 weeks in the summer the girls were with their dad so me and Mr D had our adult holiday and then on the day we got home I decided over dinner and on no sleep for 36 hours that I would not only decorate the girls rooms but would swap their rooms over and get new bunk bed’s for B, and I would start the next day! I don’t know how I did it but I did, between work and decorating I didn’t miss my babies as much as I would have normally and now we are much more organised at home so mission complete!!

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This was H’s room, soon to become B’s room with a bit of inspiration:

 

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Kids rooms 032   Kids rooms 036    Kids rooms 012

 

Next up we have what was once B’s room, being transformed into a Princess bedroom for a Princess!

Kids rooms 016   Kids rooms 013   Kids rooms 018

Kids rooms 021     Kids rooms 024     Kids rooms 029

 

I still can’t quite believe I got it all done, who says girls can’t do blue jobs?? Although if you’re reading Mr D….B still needs her shelf putting up!!!

September 10, 2011 Posted by | Home, Parenting | , , | Leave a comment

The Joys of Gardening

I hate gardening, mud up my nails, creepy crawlies, mud and grass trodden into the house, not really my cup of tea. Things is though, I love sitting in a nice garden, having beautiful flowers to look at, attracting the wildlife, bottle of wine on a hot summers evening. Now that I can do! To get to that stage my garden needs some serious TLC though!

Clear Patio

Last year, I cut my grass twice! It’s a job my dear dad used to do, but as he did his back in last year it wasn’t really practical for him to have the upkeep of his own garden and mine! We didn’t go out in the garden much and I trimmed the shrubs once, but it was like a jungle out there!

Pruned Shrubs

 

 

This weekend, the sun was shining and I thought right, it needs doing, so with the help of Mr D – ok, by help I mean, he did it while I did the “women’s” work, baking cakes and cooking dinner! Anyway, a start has been made on the garden. So now I feel like it’s achievable and I’m counting down to lots of garden fun this year!

Garden Fun

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Home | | Leave a comment

Grandma’s House

Inside these walls a lot has happened,

Memories that aren’t just for me!

The echoes of a family, the generations, the years.

As a child these walls to me were home, I remember the words

Going home for the week”

To visit the family, rest, laugh and cry.

I never lived in that house, although I stayed over a lot

If a place could hold the meaning of love this is it.

For marriages, christenings and funerals alike,

we’ve congregated, celebrated and mourned

We’d take out the old, and bring in the new,

eat mushy peas and mint sauce as the years passed.

The women in the kitchen, the men in the room, the kids mingling and being told to move

The dogs that always got special treats, even though no dog had lived there!

Now those walls sit empty

Not one of us want to let go

But what are walls without the people that make them?

Grandma’s House

It’s not the same without Grandma, life and age have meant that she’s with us in our homes.

No matter what happens from here, when the time comes I pray the echo’s of the years and generations shout through

And I hope the same joy is blessed on the next family

Look after it and it will look after you!

xxx

 

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Home | , , , | 3 Comments

How do you deal with clutter?

Right, bit of a different post today because I am after advice. I have an issue. Clutter. It’s everywhere and no matter what I try it just ends up annoying the hell out of me! I know if I had the money I would go out and buy a new filing cabinet to put my paperwork in and also a cabinet or side board with cupboards and drawers to replace the desk at the dining room end 1gl @ Flickr.comof my downstairs room. Storage downstairs is a nightmare. There are no in built cupboards other than in the kitchen which are all in use. Upstairs I have 3 wardrobes and 1 cupboard in my bedroom and before anyone assumes, only 2 of them are full of clothes so I do have space up there to put some stuff. The problem though is mainly toys! If I had a filing cabinet the piles of paperwork would be gone.

B insists on having toys downstairs, she really can’t get the concept of taking things away, but, in her defence her room is so full of stuff as it is that if she tried to put things away in her room it wouldn’t all fit. She won’t “downsize” on her amount of, what is mostly naff little bits. To her it’s all special and as such I am ok on the most part with her keeping things. H on the other hand, doesn’t play upstairs although has some of her little toys in her room from when she was smaller. All her other toys are down here. I sorted them out about 4 weeks ago and changed the storage so that it would hopefully work better, but oh no, it still is just a great big heap of toys that no matter what you do looks a mess!

The thing is, I am actually a tidy person. I hate the fact the house is always in turmoil and I look forward to when the kids stuff is all in their rooms. I can blame the storage and the toys and all the rest of it, but other people manage – I don’t know of any friends whose houses look as unorganised! So, practical solutions, cheap solutions. (The unit I want for my dining room is £160 so won’t be getting it for a while). Any advice, please???????

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Home | , , | 2 Comments