Monthly Archives: May 2019

Bedtime routine

I couldn’t decide today what to write for my blog post. I feel a bit lost in my thoughts at the moment as Ethan’s birthday creeps closer and only weeks to go.
I thought about a few subjects but instead I decided to write about something a little more light hearted. As the ones that came to mind where potentially heavy hearted.

I’m going to touch on two small subjects, both on the subject of toddlers! The first being routine. We got Alfie onto a routine when he was first about two months old and I’ll be honest, my first thought was , why didn’t I do this sooner? Truth is looking back now I know it was because I was enjoying squishy baby cuddles and I was tired from the night feeds and couldn’t think straight. Obviously our routine has adapted over the years depending on circumstances and of course Alfie’s needs. The routine we have at the moment for him though works really well. So let me tell you our nighttime routine. Three days a week Alfie goes to nurser, I pick him up around 5 pm and take him home. I let him watch tv as he’s been playing all day and using his brain which gives me chance to make some tea. Ste normally gets home about 6pm so I try and make sure tea is ready for them just because I don’t want Alfie eating too late as then he won’t eat. Which I’ll go into later.
After we’ve had tea we let Alfie sit and relax and watch t.v.i don’t really want him playing with toys at the rate as then he just gets giddy and silly. We all know that silly behaviour before bed time is a big no no!
Now on nursery days, because it’s late and we don’t have long before bedtime, unless he’s super messy I won’t bath him on nursery days. He’ll sit and chill until about 7:20 when I give him some warm milk and then we go upstairs and get him ready for bed after his milk. We read him a story although it’s been known for him to bribe us for about 3 or 4 stories ha ha.
It’s usually about 8pm by the time we’ve done everything and then we give him kisses, cuddles and tuck him in.
He might not always go straight to sleep but he’s used to the routine now so he will talk to himself until he wants to sleep.
As for who puts him to bed that depends on how I feel and if Ste is working. It really works for us though this routine, we don’t have any messing now and it gives us a nice peaceful evening.
Just another subject I will touch on is eating. I really struggle with Alfie and food. He will try everything but actually getting him to eat is really hard. I recently bought a new plate from Aldi and I have to say it’s worked really really well. He eats from each section and eventually when he’s eaten everything he gets his treat from the castle at the end well worth the money if you ask me.

I would love to know if you have any tips or how you manage with your little one and eating.
I’d also love to know your bedtime routine with your children xx

Emma’s Bites – Lunches

Lets talk lunches. I don’t know about you but it’s the one meal I really struggle with. I try and avoid too much bread which means I them get stuck on what to have.
One of the most recent things I like to have is what I call a picky plate. I got some fabulous boxes from B&M I think which separates all the food out. In it I put; crackers, two types of cheeses (I use cheddar and Wensleydale), nuts, pepperarmi, red grapes, peppers, cucumber and bits of cooked meat. It’s really really tasty and healthy too! It’s also great for taking to work for lunch.

The other one that’s a bit different and tasty is homemade pot noodle.
Get some noodles and cook as per packet instructions. I use egg noodles which take 4 mins in a pan. When that’s cooked, drain and add, beef or vegetable stock, soy sauce, any herbs and spices. I got some pre cooked veggie kebab pieces and added that in, pan fried some frozen peppers, mushrooms and onion then mixed that with the noodles and sauce. Pop it in a mug and enjoy!

I love a good crispy jacket potato sometimes and also mug shots with those gluten free ciabatta rolls crisped up.
We also recently got a Toastie maker which can also make paninis so we are enjoying trying different fillings with that.
I recently got back into pasta salads too. Cook some pasta, add raw peppers, cucumber, red grapes, feta cheese, pepparami and top with croutons. Seriously really tasty.

I hope that helps give you some ideas. I would love to know what you enjoy for your lunches.

Parenting with FND

One of the many things I get asked about with having FND is how I manage with having a toddler (a wild child toddler at that!).
Now I won’t lie it’s not without great difficulty. The first thing you have to try and wrap your head around is do not feel guilty. This is something I am getting better at but I do still have days where if I don’t do much with him then I feel really guilty.
Something as parents, actually scrap that, as human beings we are very guilty of comparing ourselves to others and how we should be doing things. We really shouldn’t do this, it’s not good mentally. On my days with Alfie if all I can manage is to help him get dressed, feed us, stick the t.v. on and may be help him with a jigsaw or something then I should be proud of what I have achieved as quite frankly in those days you can guarantee I probably feel like going back to bed and staying in my pjs. As a parent though I can’t do that!
So anyway. Let’s chat about staying in with a toddler and how to manage if your like me and have a chronic illness or may be your just not well and need tips on how to get through.
T.v. Majority of us have one, it’s not a terrible thing, it can be educational, fun, it keeps them quiet. It really isn’t the end of the world if you just let them watch t.v that day.
If people want to judge you then remember this 1) they are probably lying if they have never used the t.v for the day with their child and 2) they probably haven’t been in your shoes where you can’t physically move off the couch. Good for them but they aren’t you so stuff them lol.
Books! Interactive books especially. So many things to educate them, touch, sounds and visual too. Books are fantastic and we have so many for Alfie already and he loves reading anyway so winner!

Colouring is also a good one and requires minimal input from you, however you could end unfortunate like me and have a child that doesn’t like colouring! He will do some colouring but not much.
I recently got a bag of items that I had collected from eBay and Amazon that represent various nursery songs we can sing. I didn’t pay much for each one, but I tell you what we have so much fun with it and Alfie acts out some of the songs with the item he pulled out. See picture below for inspiration on the items for the song.

Alfie has a box of wooden train track and another box of toot toot car track. This is brilliant he loves playing with this and all I have to do is get the box down!

We also love doing jigsaws and playing some games particularly from Orchard as they are perfect for his age group at the moment.

The other thing we love to do is bake! We have been exploring a lot of Betty Crocker cake mixes. They make such gorgeous homemade mixes and they don’t take long to do which is perfect when your baking with a toddler!!!

The other thing I do is lead by Alfie. Let him decide what to play with. Whilst it’s good to guide children and give them encouragement on things to play with. It’s also great to let them free play and entertain themselves.
I would love to know how you entertain your children if your not well or you have a chronic illness.
Much love

It’s pie time!

So here we are again at Emma’s Bites and another meat free meal.
For this you will need;
Filo pastry or shortcrust
Goats cheese (Feel free to use a different cheese if you want. Feta may be if you don’t like goats cheese)
3 eggs
Baby potatoes
Red onion(s)
Grab your pie dish and stick your pastry in.
Cook your potatoes to the packet instructions, slice them to about 1cm thick. I know I’m getting a bit cocky and specific now lol 😆
In a jug mix together, 3 eggs and 3/4 of your goats cheese. Don’t ask how much. I pick some up in a roll from Aldi lol! Add some salt, pepper, dash of lemon juice, garlic and parsley.

When you’ve done that pop half the potatoes on the pastry and then put half the mixture on top.
Add the rest of the potatoes and then the rest of the mixture.

Now the recipe I found left it at this but I wanted more colour and well more interest. So I caramelised a red onion, personally if I was doing it again I would do two instead of one. When you have caramelised these add them to the top of your pie and stick the whole thing in the oven until it’s cooked.

So there you go.
My husband wasn’t too sure about this but he actually really liked it and is looking forward to having it again!

I hope you enjoy this nice cheap, easy and family friendly meal. Just make sure to tag me in your creation or send me a photo.
Much love

Another baby.

Another baby
Don’t get excited. I’m not pregnant. It’s rather personal this to be honest but something I wanted to share.
It really bugs me when people start asking personal questions about when are you having another baby, oh just one more, you can’t let Alfie grow up as an only child, it will be nice, two is great…….
Since when was it allowed for people to be so damn nosy about how many children people have?!
Then if you do have more all I hear from people is that they get told ‘oh you must have your hands full’ then when you are pregnant you get comments on how you look, if your bump is big enough or if it’s too small.
I mean really what’s wrong with people.
Firstly let’s just get this out there. Regardless of what you say, Alfie is not an only child end of.
Secondly we went through absolute hell and a real trauma to get Alfie. It was a blessing he was born healthy and alive!
Furthermore, unless you haven’t gathered by now, I’ve actually been pretty damn poorly. I’ve collapsed a few times, my husband dresses and feeds me some days and if I’m home alone I’ve had crisps for food because that’s all I can manage. So adding a newborn baby into the mix really isn’t a good idea is it when I’m trying to recover from this stupid condition and get to a better way of living for me and my family.
People forget that we have William as well, I guess it’s because he doesn’t live with us.
However we still have to pay towards him growing up and clothes etc, so combine that with the extortionate nursery fees then please tell me how we can manage another as well! Short of a lotto win it just isn’t happening!
I always wanted two children. Two of my own living children. You know the whole 2.4 children married crazy arse yet fun and loving family.
You don’t always get what you want though.
I have one child in heaven, one here, a step son who we don’t see as much as what we would like too but hey he’s a teenager.
Not exactly what I had planned out.
However I still love all three of my boys every much.
I would love another one yes.
Realistically it won’t happen. I’m not well enough and the risks would be too much. However having Alfie is just amazing and we are so truly blessed. I’m just not sure I could go through the trauma of having another baby again wondering if it will come home in my arms or if I take a box home. Wondering what more damage I’ll do to my body.
I could loose the use of my legs all together. Doesn’t sound fun really does it.
So yes, I would like more. I love our boys so much. The things is it just isn’t practical for us.
So next time you tell that couple about about how many kids they should have, think again.
I’ll be honest, it hurts and also, it really isn’t any of your business lol!

Meal Plan

I thought I would post my meal plan separate this week as otherwise it the meal recipe would end up toooooo long!
So here’s my meal plan for this week;
Breakfast- cereal
Lunch – Toastie
Dinner – Leftover roast beef, homemade chips and gravy.
Breakfast – poached egg on toast
Lunch – picky plate
Dinner – gnocchi bake with homemade garlic bread
Breakfast – french toast with berries
Lunch – pasta salad
Dinner – Quorn nuggets and cheesy chips
Breakfast – sausage butty
Lunch – pasta
Dinner – potato and goats cheese tart
Breakfast – poached egg on toast
Lunch – toastie
Dinner – homemade pizza, salad and wedges
Breakfast – mc.donalds fakeaway
Lunch – hot chicken and stuffing butty
Dinner – kale Mac and cheese
Breakfast – pancake stack
Lunch – toastie
Dinner – roast pork dinner
If you see anything on my meal plan and you want me to centre an Emma’s Bites edition on that please just let me know.
Hope you enjoy these ideas.
I always plan breakfast and lunch to stop buying random stuff and having nothing in. I do change it if I want to tho as long as I have the stuff in. I don’t always stick to it 100% but it’s great for not over spending at the shop!
Much love
Emma x

Emma’s Bites. It’s all about ham.

So I asked on my Instagram and the majority bite was for a gammon / ham joint into 3/4 meals.
I did this recently and it was great. I really made it stretch that one joint. All these meals served three people each time.
I got a large piece and on the first day I glazed it in honey and cooked as per the instructions. I used some on the first day for Gammon, egg, chips and peas.
I prefer poached eggs and I use frozen garden peas which only take a few minutes in the microwave. Chips are easy. Get a few jacket potatoes. Leave the skin on and slice into wedges. I cook them in the microwave wave four minutes with a bit of olive oil. Then place them even spaced on a baking tray and pop in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. Keep checking them and shuffle them around otherwise they will stick. I also put some sea salt on them or chip seasoning which you can buy. I think it makes them extra crispy.
When your gammon is cook, wrap it in tin foil and stick in the fridge.
The next day I made carbonara. Get a jar of your favourite carbonara sauce. I can make my own but let’s be honest sometimes we just want a quick tea! You will need some bits of gammon from your joint and then some tagliatelle pasta. Cook the pasta, drain and then add the sauce and gammon. Heat through. Serve. Done! That’s another meal for three people.

The next meal I used it for was probably one of my favourites actually! It was so bloody tasty I can’t wait to make it again.

You will need some shortcrust pastry. Double cream, chicken stock, potatoes, your left over gammon and some herbs. cook your potatoes until a knife or fork just about goes through. Don’t over cook or you will ruin them. Pop your pasty base down if you want a base, add the potatoes and chopped up ham. Then mix together, 120mk of chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of cream. Of your adding herbs add these now. Keep us simple tho and not many. If your not sure what just add a teaspoon of mixed herbs. Sorted. Add all this to you pie filling. Pop your pastry on top, make two small slits in the top and brush with some milk or beaten egg. Cook in the oven until brown which is usually around 15/29 mins I think. Keep checking it though.
Serve with your favourite vegetables. Bloody delicious!
Now if you have any left, either use in a salad or on a sandwich.
Now that’s a lot of meals for one piece of meat.
If you make any please send me a photo or tag me. I would love to see your creations.
Thank you.
Much love
Emma xx

Me and my Step Son

William and I have been spending time together cooking recently. He’s not a massive fan in baking so given the chance he much prefers making a meal.
I have been in his life since he was two years old, he’s now 14.
I love how our relationship is changing now he is older. It’s almost like having a friend. I’m so lucky to have him as my ‘bonus son’ (my friend has a ‘bonus daughter’ I’ve nicked this phrase from her!), he’s been fantastic through my whole FND journey. Loving him is easy because of who he is as a person, you only have to meet him to know this.
The only thing that bothers me sometimes is what kind of impact I can have on his life. I’m not a blood relative but I have known him and cared for him as my own son for so long that I want him to grow up with something that I have taught him. I want him to say in life, my step mum taught me that. That way it doesn’t matter that I can’t walk properly or that I’m not a blood relative. What will matter is that I make an impact on his life.
William honestly means the world to me and I love the time we share together. He really is such an amazing kid.
So if he wants to learn to cook then I will absolutely teach him! I’ll teach him everything I know and more and then he can do one better than me.
Do you have Step Children? I would love to know how you feel about how you make an impact on their life.

Emma’s Bites – Breakfast style

Sooooo this week on Emma’s Bites is all about breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kicks starts your metabolism and sets you off for the day.
I used to be just a cereal girl. Never strayed. I bloody love my cereal.
Now I try and vary it a bit so I thought I would share with you some of my favourites.
I absolutely love poached egg on toast and I have to say I’ve become a bit of a pro at poached eggs now lol! Bit of salt on top and a really good runny egg. Perfect 👌🏼

My other favourite is French Toast.
Get two slices of bread (I use wholemeal), an egg, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla essence, chocolate spread, sweet freedom chocolate shot and either strawberries or raspberries.
Spread some chocolate spread on one slice of your bread. Then mix your egg, sweetener and spices together. Sandwich your bread together and dip in your egg mixture. Pop in the frying pan (spray with fry light first) and fry on both sides until golden and a bit crispy.
Slice into two big triangles, add your fruit and drizzle in chocolate shot. Slimming World and calorie friendly and down right tasty 😋

My other recent favourite is McDonalds fakeaway! You need; an egg, sliced burger type cheese (I’ll be honest I call it floppy cheese 😆), sausage pattie (I use the Quorn ones as I find it a lot tastier and so does my hubby and father in law! However you can get meat ones) and English muffins.
If you get the Quorn patties they only take a few minutes in the microwave. Toast your English muffin and make your poached egg, or fried if you prefer. Then later it up! Butter your English muffin, Pattie, cheese and then egg. Make it a double if you can handle it! High in calories, not sure on the syns, however I can tell you one thing. It’s bloody worth it!

My other amazingly favourite recipes is chocolate pancakes! Yes I’m addicted to chocolate lol!
Get 40g of oats, blitz then until they are fine. Then add an egg, 1/2 tablespoons of plain yogurt. A tablespoon of coco powder and a bit of vanilla essence. Mix it all together and then use a small mini egg frying pan to fry your pancakes one by one. It’s usually about two tablespoons to make a patty of mixture for a pancake.
If you want something for in between your pancakes then mix some yogurt, vanilla essence and coco powder. Add some berries and choc shot by sweet freedom and enjoy!

I still have my cereal, however I love to vary it.
If you decide to change it up a bit and try a different breakfast. Let me know and tag me in your photos.
Much love.

I miss you

I miss the person I used to be.
The one that could go out when she wanted, walk where she wanted. I miss the person that could be anyone and go anywhere.
Now I am restricted and I have to pace myself. I really hate that. Pacing myself. I’m 34 I don’t want to rest after taking a shower before I can get dressed.
I person I used to be.
The one that could clean the house in 2 hours and it be spotless. Now it takes me three bloody days.
I miss the person that could go anyway, drive anywhere and do anything. Now I have to plan and rest before hand.
I’m miss the Mummy I used to be, the hands on, let’s go everywhere and do this Mummy. The Mummy who could always play and had energy.
I miss the wife I used to be, the one who wanted to keep the house clean and tidy, provide a good home and cook and bake wonderful meals.
I miss the person I used to be.
The one that could walk and walk and walk, talk all day, cook all day and clean all day.
I miss the old me. The one who had more friends and a better social life. I miss the old me, the one who didn’t have FND and had the career I worked for….