Archive for June, 2011

I’ve Lost My Cooking Mojo…..Handmade Thursday.

| June 30, 2011 | 10 Comments
I’ve Lost My Cooking Mojo…..Handmade Thursday.

Let me start by saying….I’m not a great cook!

However I enjoy feeding my family, we always sit down for dinner every night at around 6 o’clock, once Tall Dad is back from work.

I firmly believe that it’s extremely important that a family sits down around a table, has their meal together at least once a day rather than on the go – of course sometimes this just isn’t possible! 

When you eat together you enjoy the family, find out what everyone’s done that day and children also learn table manners. It’s where families can enjoy time together. Great for kids to open up, if they have anything that they want to share.

I do try to cook a meal from scratch for my family every day. Well (and here is the confession bit) up until recently, and it’s only been in last couple of months, I’ve gotten really lazy! Though we’ve still sat down as a family, I have relied a little too much on convenience foods, and I have let things slip.

Well from today I was determined that this was going to end. I was going to start with my favourite dish. Its easy to do, and yummy!!

Vegetarian Lasagne

here are a few photographs of the process

  • 1 red and 1 white onion, sliced.
  • 1 courgette roughly chopped.
  • 1 red pepper, sliced.
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced.
  • Olive oil.
  • Garlic (add at the end, so not to burn)

Really I just used what I had in my fridge. I prefer everything to be in fairly large pieces, so you can actually taste the individual ingredients and textures. Either that or I’m a lazy chopper ;)

  • 2 tins of chopped Tomatoes.
  • Seasoning, and a little sugar.
  • Handful of herbs, chopped.
  • Splash of red wine.
  • Generous squeeze of tomato puree.
  • You can if not vegetarian, add a drained can of Anchovies at this stage too.

For the cheese sauce I make  a roux, (butter and plain flour) cooking this out and adding warmed milk, which has had a bay leaf and an onion in it, until thickened. I take it off the heat and add a little cheese (I also add english mustard at this stage as well) and stir again.

I actually couldn’t find any cheese, apart from parmesan, which I sprinkled on the top – so it was a bechamel sauce really.

And here is the finished dish. A tad messy eek!

Dished up

So, I am going to try my hardest to make more of an effort.  Not only with the cooking and trying new things. I am going to try to really make an effort with this precious half hour in our day when we can sit and relax and chat away the day, whether it’s about success’, or just a plain old moan and groan.

Please take a look at all the other Handmade Thursday posts on this link:

Inspire Me Beautiful

Thank you for reading, please please subscribe!

theanamumdiary x


Silent Sunday

| June 25, 2011 | 21 Comments
Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday


Where are you Charley Bear?

| June 24, 2011 | 4 Comments
Where are you Charley Bear?

When we were asked to review the brand new TODAY (24thJune) iPhone App ‘Match and Play’. That features one of Miss A’s favourite TV characters, Little Charley Bear, we jumped at the chance. We were not disappointed!

After a short prelude where Miss A squealed with delight, saying when prompted by Gavin & Stacey star, James Corden.

‘Where are you Charlie Bear, where are you!’(she really did jump and squeal)

Miss A decided which scene she would like to do first. You can choose from, flying on a plane, on safari, at the race track, or at the circus.

Miss A choose the flying scene. You tap the scene twice, once you have scrolled across the choices. I was a little worried, this bit would be tricky. However, Miss A got the hang off it really quickly. You then watch the clip. It has all the favourite characters, and music from the show, so it is very easily recognisable.

You are then taken to another screen where you need to drag and drop various items (Miss A called these stickers) into their places.

Up, Up and Away

Once you have completed this, you press a flashing arrow and watch the scene as if you watching Charlies imagination come to life, cool huh!

My only criticism would be that this arrow is very close to the icon that takes you back to the start, but again this became easier with use.

The app is FREE, which surprised me, as it’s very comprehensive for a free app.  It’s easy to use, and great for the ages of 2-4 years in my opinion. Younger than two years may also enjoy it, but would need you to help with the screen.

Overall, we both loved that app, and had great fun playing it together.

Can’t wait for the release of even more scenes (there are plans for a further 6) as well as more apps in the future.

So if there are any Charley Bear fans out there, go get this, its great!

Available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and iPad2 – Here

We give it 5/5!

Thank you for reading

theanamumdiary x



| June 23, 2011 | 1 Comment

I wanted to introduce you to my friend Claire, that I mentioned here. Believe me she’s REALLY fab at what she does. She a Travel Advisor, she works from home and is an amazing Mum!

Over to you Claire:

Firstly let me say thanks matey for asking me to come onto your new blog.

Hello to all the followers of the theanamumdiary!

Thought I would tell you a little about myself, and the work that I do.

I am a married mother of two who has recently returned to the travel industry after a career break to bring up my family. I enjoy reading,  socializing and spending time with my beautiful family. I have travelled extensively visiting many destinations in Europe, America, the Caribbean (cruising) and Africa so I am able to use my own personal travel experiences to recommend beautiful places to clients.

My Travel Experience

I have spent the majority of my career in the travel industry. Upon leaving college in 1992, I joined a local independent agency whilst completing my NVQ qualification in Travel and Tourism. I quickly learned all aspects of the business and was responsible for arranging both personal and business travel. I had many regular customers for whom I booked tailor-made trips, cruises, packages, UK breaks and flights as well as dealing with foreign exchange. I joined a multiple in 1999 as an assistant manager so took on management responsibilities in addition to arranging travel but my main priority was dealing with customers and this was something I always took pride in. In 2001, I had a career break to bring up my family and worked part-time in a local pre school whilst keeping in touch with a lot of my clients from years ago. I joined Co-operative Travel as a Personal Travel Advisor in December 2010.

Why Book With Me

I feel I can carry out the research for busy people who simply do not have the time to spend trawling through brochures or waiting in queues in high street travel agents. I am mindful of people’s budgets especially in the current times of financial restraints. I am passionate about travel and always give honest, unbiased advice. I am very much a “people person”. I am friendly, honest and have always regarded securing the best possible deal for my clients as my main priority. Every customer is equally important to me whether booking a UK break or a round the world trip. When booking your holiday with me you can rest assured that you will benefit from Co-operative Travel’s financial strength and ATOL licence. You will also receive rewards such as points against your membership card. Please feel free to call me anytime that is convenient for you. I look forward to hearing from you and making your dream holiday come true!

Here are all of Claire’s official details:

Priding herself on a high level of customer service, you can be assured of friendly,
honest and first-rate advice courtesy of Claire Winiarski, your local Personal
Travel Advisor.

  • · Backed by The Co-operative – a trusted name in travel
  • · Available at a time that suits you – when the High Street is closed
  • · All holidays on offer, including last-minute bargain escapes
  • · ABTA membership and ATOL bonding for complete peace of mind
  • · Earn Co-operative membership points on your booking
  • · Book with an established travel professional

Claire has access to some fantastic deals, whether you are looking for family
holidays, tailor-made Itineraries, cruises, UK or ski. She is available 7 days
a week, on hand to assist with your travel requirements…

Benefit from the true personal service you deserve.

Contact Claire with your travel requirements

Call 0843 459 0990 (local rate


Thank you for reading


This is not a sponsored post