Monthly Archives: August 2019

I am a warrior

I clearly remember this time last year being at my in laws house for a weeks holiday.
I couldn’t walk far at all. I had a wheelchair that I used more or less all the time. I was in two crutches. Putting one foot in front of the other was almost impossible. I could barely feel my legs. The pain was unbearable.
I had no idea what was wrong with me. August 2018 I was still none the wiser on what was wrong after 18 months of testing. I just knew something wasn’t right, the doctors knew something wasn’t right either.
Eventually I got my diagnosis. I had FND. It wasn’t cure-able. There was no tablet to take. No one knew what it was. We had no idea why I had it. We had no idea if I would even walk properly again. Everything was unknown and I was thrown into this unknown void of my future.
It’s been a rocky time this year of 2019, I’ve had many obstacles to over come. I’ve faced more things than I ever thought.
You know what though? I’ve done it. I’ve fought hard. I haven’t given up and I’ve done what I can. I fight every battle that comes my way. I go to every appointment that comes my way that might offer me something to get further in my battle to feel
Some kind of normal. I want to be able to walk with confidence. To take my son to the park by myself and not feel like I am letting anyone down because of my condition. I manage better now but I do still have to use a mobility scooter, I always have a stick of some sorts with me.
Let’s hope this time next year I can say I’m walking without aids!
Much love
The warrior bracelet was kindly gifted to me from @dollsanddudes on Instagram. A fabulous reminder of how far I’ve come.

Couples Weekend

So if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that Alfie spent a long weekend at his Grandparents house.
Which meant that Ste and I finally got a break!
A little background information for you, Ste and I have been together for almost 13 years. As William is 14 we have always had a child to look after.
In between looking after William all those years ago, I was studying for my degree and Ste worked. So time together was well basically non existent!
Our circumstances are that we don’t get much help with the children or chance for a date night or few hours to ourselves. I’m 100% certain we are not alone in this though and we didn’t have children for someone else to look after them.
That being said, Alfie is quite hard work. Ste works a lot to make up for the fact that I can’t work at the moment. Then as you all know by now with this stupid neurological condition I have it means I do really struggle to look after Alfie and take him places some days. So a break whenever it presents itself is always welcome. I also think it’s good for Alfie to be with other people and do things with them that we can’t.
So when Sue (my mother in law) offered to have Alfie for a long weekend to give us a break we where both relieved and nervous (ok I was nervous Ste was happy as Larry lol!)
So off Alfie went and we were left with a quiet house!
So why am I writing this I hear you ask? What’s the point of this? Well keep reading and you will find out.
So with 4 days child free we decided to decorate the downstairs toilet. (No giveaway as to what it will be like, just keep and eye on my Instagram for details.)
We had trips to all sorts of hardware stores for bits and pieces and guess what? We actually held hands! I know! I was surprised myself ha ha ha.
It was really really nice.
I mean I missed Alfie like crazy don’t get me wrong, but let’s face it, when they are around you can’t get a word in edge ways to each other. Every other sentence out of your mouth starts with please don’t or just a minute.
Every meal time consists of please just eat Alfie.
When your discussing something important with each other and your toddler suddenly shouts one of the following: Mummy I had a poo, Mummy wipe my bum, look Mummy it looks like tractor……..please insert any other comment on toilet related conversation.
So for the whole weekend Ste and I not only managed to hold hands but we managed uninterrupted conversations. Yes yes it actually happens I promise 😂😂
Tv at will.
Broke all the rules such as snacks (Alfie doesn’t eat well so we’ve had to cut out snacks) and tv at meal times and phones at the table.
We had all evening jobs done by 7:30 and sat down with gin and whatever film we wanted without wondering how many times Alfie is going to get up that night!
We laughed, smiled and reminisced together and generally felt like two people in love.
We weren’t just parents, my disability didn’t get in the way. We just had quality time together, a brew in bed when we got up, cuddles, conversation and laughter.
The thing is that when children are around it just makes it that little bit harder to remember the care free and in love couple and not just the other parent who your asking to help you with a job or otherwise.
So if you haven’t guessed my point of this now……..
My point is this….
Whenever you do get the chance to have time alone with your other half. Take it. Embrace it. Do whatever you both want to do, cinema, redecorate or binge watch tv.
It really is so important to have some time where you are both just you together and not parents or running the house etc.
Thank you so much Ste for simple yet wonderful weekend. I loved our laughs together the fun we had, binge watching Harry Potter and above all else holding hands in B&Q without running after a toddler at the same time!!!
Much love

Emma’s Bites – Loaded Potato Skins

So! Welcome back to Emma’s Bites.
Today I wanted to share with you my recent love of loafed potato skins. It was so bloody tasty!
So, I’ll write this recipe up for one person. If you want more then we’ll make more lol! Double or triple the ingredients basically 😂
So get a jacket potato and cook in the microwave for about 8-10 minutes until you get a soft centre.
While its cooking turn your oven on so it gets hot.
When the potato is done. Half them and pop them in the oven to soften them further for about 5 minutes.
Remove then scoop out the middle and pop in a bowl. Place the skins back in the oven to crisp up.
Get the insides of the jacket and mix in 1 large tablespoons of soft cheese and grated mozzarella – probably about about 2 tablespoons. When your happy with the skins on your jacket, remove and add the mixture back in.

On top of the mixture add a little mozzarella, chopped ham or bacon, spring onion and a small slice of cheddar.

Place them back in the oven.
When it’s golden and bubbly on top, remove and enjoy! We had ours with a salad and I swear it was so delicious! We are definitely having it again.

Enjoy and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you give it a go.
Much love
Emma xx

Legoland Manchester- disabled access

So as you have probably gathered I’ve been trying hard to get out a lot more at the moment.
We recently went to Legoland in Manchester.
We have been many times before but not for a while and Alfie has been asking so as it was a wet day, off we went!
Armed with my scooter and our passes, we figured we had cracked it.
Now, we love it there and the staff are great. However our recent trip wasn’t as successful but that was not the staff’s fault at all.
So disability access, they have a lift to get upstairs where the whole thing is based, downstairs is just the entrance and shop.
At the first ride we went on just as you go in, I was given a green lanyard to wear so I stand out to staff and also you get a card which let’s the staff write on how long you’ve had to wait for the ride etc.

Before I carry on I will say that they currently have a magical theme going on. So there’s Lego statues of wizards everywhere. There’s a magical carriage which you can get a photo in. There’s also a game to play where you have to find all the magical words in Legoland, at the end you can hand your results in to enter a competition to win the Harry Potter castle.

They have on display places from around the U.K such as London, Alton Towers and Blackpool, with moving parts. There’s even a football pitch! It’s incredible that some had built these.
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Moving along they have a virtual reality section.

You can build your own car of sorts and race it along the tracks they have then pose for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.

They have a ninja’s soft play area, a cafe, go car area and a climbing wall!

During the magical theme event they have they have a magician on as well.

They have a duplo area for younger children and a craft room as well with set times of activities.
The 4D theatre is great as well! They’ve just changed the move so we where thrilled to see a different mini movie when we went.

I do believe you can have parties there as well.
Ok so, whet was it a bad visit I hear you?! Well apart from the fact that it was so incredibly busy, to the point where I couldn’t drive my scooter because of all the Lego on the floor………(doesn’t look much in the photos but trust me it was everywhere and I kept getting stuck!).
The air con had also broken! Not fun! I have to say though that the staff where excellent and still as helpful as ever. They gave out free slushies as the machine wasn’t working properly and also gave out play dough to all the children when they left. I have to say that they really worked hard to ensure that everyone still had a great day.

We unfortunately cut our visit short due to the heat and me not being able to drive around properly because of all the Lego on the floor. However we weren’t disappointed, Alfie still had fun which was the main thing. We did miss a lot of things I would have like to do with him however it couldn’t be helped.
We will definitely be going back as we love it, the staff are friendly and helpful and apart from Lego on the floor it’s really accessible for me. I can get on the rides, they have passed for disabled guests as well and accessible toilets.
They also have wristbands for all guests with a time limit, this is during their busy period so that there isn’t too many people at any one time and it keeps a constant flow of guests.
All in all, definitely worth a visit just be careful with the Lego on the floor!!!
Much love
Emma x

Alton Towers – Disabled Access

So we had a recent trip to Alton Towers. Another episode of days out with a disability.
Starting with prices we have a merlin pass so we can go any time we want. I imagine prices vary depending on the time of year, however we decided that we would save money and get a pass each year. This way it enables us to go to places like Alton Towers and Sea Life Centre often with the boys and despite their age gap between the boys we all enjoy going to these places.
As for parking, parking is brilliant, they have a huge car parking availability and it’s all labelled so you can find your car at the end of the day. They also have a monorail that you can jump on to avoid or much walking through the car parks.
If like me you have a disabled badge, there is parking right at the front of Alton Towers. Which is great because my battery on my scooter only lasts for a certain length of time! It also provides a lot more space for me and my scooter to be able to get in and out of the car.
Getting through the gates is very good. It was easy for my scooter to get through, they have security as well so everyone had their bag searched upon arrival. Which I think is a bloody brilliant safety feature to be honest! They have lots of lockers at the front, we have never used them as we have always had my scooter or a pram with us. However I do think this is a great idea, especially if you are taking your lunch with you and snacks, you can easily pop it on their and come back for it later. Or you could leave spare clothes in there and collect later. It’s a great idea, just be aware you will have a long way to walk for your stuff if you are on the other side of the park!

Now something else I want to mention, if you have a disabled badge, go to the information centre on the right hand side. In here you can get a wrist band which enables you to get on the rides via disabled access path. You can’t get a scooter or wheelchair down many of the regular paths and if your able to walk you may not be able to stand for long – like myself. So this band is a must. It also enables three other people in your party to come with you but you must sit with someone who is 14 and over in case you need help off the ride, this meant I sat with William and Ste had to sit with Alfie. You also can’t go on a ride alone, this is just for safety reasons.

If you don’t have your own set of wheels to get around you can hire one from the park but I do believe it’s first come first serve.
The only complaint I have is the shop to the left. Now I went in with Ste and Alfie whilst William went somewhere else for something. There are 3/4 stages to this shop, I could only access the top and the bottom part but I couldn’t get to the middle because of steps. The only way to the top section was to go back out of the shop and go up the street and back in again. I won’t lie of Ste wasn’t with my I would have left, for two reasons, I can’t exactly go out of the shop without paying to go back up the street to go to the tip section to pay. This is really really terrible if I am honest and put me off straight away. Also just the fact that they haven’t considered disabled guests makes me not want to shop there lol! Bad form Alton Towers.

Now before you arrive at Alton Towers, if you have a smart phone I really really recommend you downloading their app. Not only does it tell you where you are in relation to everywhere else, it helps you with directions to where you want to go, more importantly it tells you of any ride closures and waiting times which I think is just amazing! It meant we had a quick access to ride waiting times in such a huge park – amazing, it also means you can prioritise where you want to go next. You can also purchase tickets from the app, get directions to the resort and find out opening times.

Let’s talk about CBeebies land first. If you haven’t guessed by it’s name and didn’t already know, this is the place for young children. They have many rides for them from Peter Rabbit ride, tree top challenge, in the night garden to a merry go round type of ride for any age and size child. They also have places to go for children that isn’t a ride, such as Justin’s House (flying balls everywhere and yes it can hurt, approach with caution), Furchester Hotel ( this is a little show and me and Alfie loved it) and Charlie and Lola’s House (which Alfie really enjoyed, I think we went here about 3 times!)

Alfie’s favourites where, Charlie and Lola’s house, Peter Rabbit ride, octonaughts, tree top ride and go jetters. He absolutely loved them
Alfie and I stayed here on our own for a good hour whilst Ste and William went on a few big rides. I was nervous as I am not as able bodied as I used to be it makes me nervous having Alfie in a place like Alton Towers and me not being able to manage him well enough.
However the staff are incredible and helped me in and out of places and one lady even recognised us, I commented on how lovely this was and her reply was it’s my job to recognise children just in case they get lost or something. This made my day, that someone takes their time to make note of children and who they are with, ensuring the child’s safety.
The staff also helped Alfie to get on a few rides that I wasn’t able to help him on to. He was able to go on the ride on his own, however the Peter Rabbit ride for example, I could drive in to help him sit on the ride but he wasn’t tall enough to jump on. So they helped him up, it really made my life a lot easier.
They also have a play area which is great. I mean I know they children are having fun on rides etc but we all know those wold child toddlers of you have one need a good run around to let off more steam. So the park area was also a huge hit for us.

There are plenty of toilets through CBeebies and the whole park, including baby changing, adult changing facilities and disabled toilets. It was never an issue for me to find an accessible toilet. Bonus!
CBeebies land also has a tent area where they have shows on through the day at certain times which you can check at the entrance. There are more toilets and changing facilities, a huge area for children to run about then smaller tents around the outside which had things like bowling in and stacking bricks. Alfie loved it but my only concern was that I couldn’t always keep up with Alfie and with him still being young, I don’t feel able to leave him to wander off safely and come back to me. Call me over possessive or untrustworthy of my son but with my circumstances in my disability the fact is I have to be careful. I can’t run after him so I need to make sure he’s safe and I am able to follow him. So due to this I felt a little bit worried about being at the big top tent but Alfie loved it which is what matters most I guess.

Alfie was able to go on a few rides outside of CBeebies land which where the runway train – this was brilliant even though I was a little scared but as I said I am a wuss! We also took him on a pirate ship ride in the pirate section of the resort.
The actual ground of the resort park, really are beautiful. They have some stunning views and the castle is so pretty.

They actually have the fireworks at the castle over the lake on bonfire night which if you get the opportunity to go is incredible. The display they put on is phenomenal and they even open some rides up again after the show which means you can go on some rides in complete darkness. Not for me but Ste and William enjoy it.
Eating. Now we always take some lunch with us but if you want to eat there there is absolutely loads of places to choose from be it sit in or to take away, there’s also many places you can sit and eat.
You can buy drinks to in many varieties, slushes, juice or a brew, You can buy a brew in a travel mug and get refills through the day for just £1.
We have never eaten at the resort but the food always smells amazing, the only thing I do recommenced that we have had is the hot donuts they sell! They are bloody gorgeous and you really need to try them!
Now the other thing I will say is that you can stay at over at Alton Towers but it does come at a price. We haven’t stayed over before but it isn’t that far for us to go so we have no need to. They also have a swimming section to the resort which is a separate entry fee. We went before my disability really kicked in, it was fabulous though with loads of slides etc, fun for all the family and a few where all of you can go on and enjoy it. I can’t swim at the moment due to my FND but I’m hoping we can go back one day where I am better.
Now finally lets chat about the big rides, I am personally not a fan. I’ve done some of them once but it isn’t my thing and I am a complete wuss so I asked Ste about them and his response is to do them all and get to the popular ones first. So the popular ones are Wickerman, Smiler, Nemesis, Galactica, Oblivion, Rita and Thirteen.
All really good but they do have long waiting times so pick which one you want to try first and go and soon ad the park opens. That’s our advise. Plan your trip before you go and have an idea what you want to do when. We decided on but rides first and CBeebies later. Then Ste and William revisited some later whilst Alfie and I did some shows.

Have you ever been to Alton Towers? If so what’s your favourite ride?
One last bit of advise. Take spare clothes for all of you. You never know! We have been caught before being soaked through!!
Much love

Emma’s Bites – Roast Beef Dinner

*contains images of raw meat*
So today on Emma’s Bites I wanted to give you a firm family favourite!
Roast beef with vegetables and amazing Yorkshire’s and roast potatoes. This was based on two adults and a child portion just to give you an idea.
So let’s start with the beef. You need to read the instructions on the packet but it was 20 mins per 0.5kg plus 20 minutes on ours so it worked out as 1 hour 10 mins. I used a small roasting my tin, I put about an inch of water in and covered the beef with sea salt and cracked black pepper and rub it in.

When it’s finished take it out and pop the meat on a plate and cover with tin foil and towels to keep warm.

Meanwhile while that’s cooking the next thing you need to do is your roast potatoes. Get three large potatoes, more or less depending on how many your serving for. Peel and chop into small ish size and part boil for 8 minutes. Now Ste has tried speeding this up by using the microwave to part boil but I’ll be honest with you they aren’t as good to me.

When you have done this, drain and get a colander and give them a really good shake until the edges are fluffy. Once that’s done grab a big roasting tin and drizzle the bottom with oil. I usually use olive oil but I did having any the day we made this. Pop your potatoes in and cover with sea salt, make sure your potatoes are evenly separated and then spray them with fry light and stick them in the oven on about 180. You must try and shake the potatoes to turn them part way and if you can do that twice that’s even better. They take around 30/40 mins to cook.

So that’s both the big things done so to speak.
Yorkshire puddings will take around 20 mins in a hot oven.
For this you will need, plain flour, eggs, milk and salt. Ste used the BBC food recipe and it never fails!
Firstly get some oil in your tray your using (we use a muffin tray, trust me it’s much better) then stick it in the oven with the temperature on max.

Measure out 140g of plain flour, add four eggs, 200ml milk and some salt. Whisk it all up and get a spoon to get any four from the edges to make sure it’s all mixed up. Ste said he moves the whisk in the opposite direction to which it turns to get lots of bubbles. I recommend using a jug to make this in.

Take your tray out that the Yorkshire’s are going in, & for god sake be careful lol! As you made this in a jug this will be very easy to do, you need to add your mixture into each muffin tray as quickly as you can. It must fill each section. As soon as you’ve done this pop it back into the oven quickly. Now here’s the important bit……..for god sake DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!!! If you do then you can kiss goodbye to amazing Yorkshire’s.

Let’s move on to veg. Vegetables shouldn’t be over cooked otherwise they loose all the flavour. So, get yourself a microwaveable bowl, add some peeled and chopped carrots, peas and asparagus or green beans. Cover with cling film and pierce the cling film and pop it into the microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Meanwhile make your gravy. Grab a pan, add four tablespoons of Bisto Best gravy powder, don’t bother with any thing else this is the best gravy you will have lol! Then add the meat juices from earlier and bring to the boil all the while stirring with a hand held whisk (not an electric one, a hand held one), this helps get any lumps out. Or you can make it in a jug and add half a pint of boiling water and again stir with a hand held whisk.

Now the most important part is to serve it up and enjoy it! It’s best followed up with a big slab of cake!

This goes down an absolute treat with all of us including the children. It’s simple and tasty with no fuss and no added extras with random slices and herbs. Just plain and simple roast beef Sunday lunch! You really can’t get much better than that.
Let me know if you try it and don’t forget to tag me in your attempts on Instagram @dyspraxicdomesticatedmummy
Much Love
Emma xx