Monthly Archives: November 2019

Mum’s Christmas Wish List

We all talk about Christmas gift guides for children but what about us Mum’s too? I mean we work really bloody hard and put ourselves at the bottom of the pecking order all the time. 

Then when it comes to Christmas it’s oh just money or vouchers thanks…….

Then what happens to that? Be honest……it probably goes to the kids or the house. I’m right aren’t I? I know I am super guilty of this. My mother in law was very quick to notice this and one year she got me a voucher where I had no choice but to spend it on me! Another year I was under strict instructions to buy myself something and not Alfie ha ha! 

So why do we find it so hard to think of gifts for ourselves? Well I don’t know about you but I think it’s because, we put that much time and thought and effort into our children. Helping them through the world and being their voice when they can’t speak, we want what’s best for them. How many times have you shared your bath because it makes them happy? Or your food because they were still hungry? Or your drink because they wanted to be like you and copy.

I think the reason why we don’t have a big long list when it comes to Christmas is because ultimately the things we want are not much. After putting the kids before us every day and us to the back, we miss out on things that shouldn’t be a luxury but now are.

So when it comes to Christmas, these are my first thoughts on gifts for me……..

Socks and underwear. I really should update these, holes in my socks and 

knickers that quite frankly have seen better days. I mean when the kids have growth spurts they comes first don’t they!? Well my eldest is 15 now and so that’s a long time to wait for decent socks and knickers isn’t it!?! (Please note I do have decent underwear if anyone is worried however some have still seen better day’s).

I’ve got slippers that have been used as a setting for pirate ships, a bridge and god knows what.

Right now a long hot bath or shower would honestly feel a spa day……

I can’t remember the last hot meal I had where I wasn’t helping Alfie eat because and I quote “my arms don’t work today” or “my fork is being funny” (FYI apparently laugh at it then is not an appropriate response to his just so your aware!)

I’ve got pictures on my pjs that are so worn you can’t make out the character anymore…….

And if Mario Dedivanovic ever saw my make up bag……..well I think he’d have a heart attack (he’s a famous make up artist – yeah I had to google one,I’m not cool lol) 

I mean I ran out of perfume months ago and it won’t be replaced unless Santa brings some.

So to anyone reading this. If you ask a Mum what she wants for Chrsitmas, yes she might want a new mirror, dining table and a new unit in the hall because that one is broken. (this is genuinely me lol 😂 it’s all been moved to next years list now for us to save and buy ha ha!)

She won’t ask for them though and she won’t ask for anything else. 

She probably wants the simple stuff in life, pjs, slippers, underwear, socks, perfume and maybe some chocolate and her favourite drink to herself! An uninterrupted hot bath with a face mask will feel like spa day!!! 

If you let her have time for shaving her legs followed by a no kids allowed hot grown up meal (with green stuff if you like!) then my god let me tell you……..next year you will get the best pick of the homemade Christmas cards let me tell you lol 😂😂😂

Be sure to tell me what’s on your Christmas list year?

Much love

Emma xx

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Risotto

I have to say that Risotto can be so wonderfully versatile. We used to have it a lot when Alfie was 1, he had a dairy, soya and egg intolerance so it was just an easy meal to make that was fuss free where we could all enjoy it. However, we had it that much that Ste got fed up with it and when Alfie outgrew his intolerance.

Anyway, our oven broke recently (which you will know if you follow me on Instagram @mrs_shep_unplugged) and I needed a quick easy hob meal. So out came the old faithful risotto!!

You can put all sorts with risotto but this is how I made this one.

For this you will need:

Risotto rice

Chicken stock

Bacon lardons

Red onion

Goats cheese

First thing is first, get your rice on. I think I used 300g with 900ml of stock. You then need to constantly stir until all the stock is absorbed.

Meanwhile, pan fry a chopped onion and your bacon lardons, I used frozen red onions because I find it easier.

Add this to the rice just two minutes before the rice has finished. Stir in a bit of your goats cheese. Once this has all mixed together, serve it up in a dish and top with some more goats cheese for extra cheesiness!!! It may not be the healthiest meal but I promise it will leave people wanting more. Serve with crusty bread or on its own.

Tag me on Instagram if you re create this, I would love to see.

Much love

Emma

P.S Ste asked for more lol!!

A weekend in the Lake District

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I recently went away for my Mum’s 60th birthday.

We had such an amazing time that I want to share it with you. 

This was paid for by us. Nothing was gifted or anything. I just wanted to share with you that’s all.

So, we stayed in a converted chapel called Kaber Chapel in Kirby Stephen in the Lake District.

Having seen the photos in the website and now in person. You just cannot appreciate how gorgeous this converted chapel actually is. 

It sleeps ten people and had five bedrooms. Three double and two twin rooms. All with their own bathroom, three are en suite and the two twin rooms have bathrooms situated in very close proximity.

Two double bedrooms are upstairs and the other bedrooms are dotted around the downstairs of the building. 

Each bathroom has; two towels, two bath robes, two sets of slippers. The owners have also placed in the bathroom; cotton wool, cotton buds, shower cap, shoe mit, sewing kit, sanitary disposal bag and some face cloths. 

Each bathroom also consists of body wash, body cream and hand wash which I believe is refilled regularly. 

The owners have clearly gone to great lengths to ensure that you have a really comfortable stay. 

The hymn board displayed happy birthday 60 on it and the organ had a happy birthday music sheet on the stand. 

These little touches made my Mum’s day and made her feel quite special. 

Around the main living area are cupboards where you will find a wonderful extent of books, games, Baird games, DVD’s information regarding the chapel and how to guide for everything but also some leaflets on places to go. 

You could also find little pots of honey fitted around and in each bedroom on each bedside were some sweets wrapped up or some rasins. I mean it was just such a lovely idea and such a friendly and welcoming touch. 

Now. The main living area. 


The actual living room is upstairs, it has for double series and two beanbags in the window. One thing of room to sit and chat, play games or simply watch tv. 

Upon entering the building, past the coat rack area, is the dining and kitchen area. Wow. Just wow. It was utterly amazing when we walked in. With high ceilings, beams and a kitchen of dreams it really was amazing. 

There was 11 of us that went (Alfie slept on a mattress on the floor in our bedroom)  and I can honestly say that we didn’t feel ok too of each other in the kitchen area. We had plenty of room for a few of us to be busy and make food and drinks. 

I also really loved it because the kitchen and dining area really felt like the hub. Where it all happened. It felt central and homely. 

People came out of bedrooms and we could greet people from the kitchen / dining area. You could chat to people sat at the table while cooking and making drinks. 

It’s just how I imagine being around a lot of people in one house. It was perfect for what we wanted. 

With games, books and DVD’s and lots lots more, you honestly didn’t actually even need to leave the chapel. You could easily spend the whole weekend in the chapel and not feel the need to leave. 

Then finally. Let’s discuss what made us click that book now button! 

At the back of the building, they have put in; a sauna. An indoor bbq and an indoor hot tub! I mean wow! 

The sauna was lovely and seated 4/5 people more than comfortably. It wasn’t too hot either, perfect temperature and even had a radio / music system plugged through into the sauna! They’ve laid towels out in the sauna to sit on as well. I mean it was just glorious! Especially in the cold weather we are having here in the UK now! 

The hot tub was just wow! There’s a window just behind the hot tub which is nice, you can look at the views, admire the wildlife or simply open it to cool down lol! 

The indoor bbq area is just incredible! It’s so cosy and lovely. There are candles, blankets and cushions. While someone cooks, the rest of you can sit around the warm bbq and just take in the surroundings. It’s not something I have seen before but my gosh it’s just wonderful and a definite visit. 

With 11 of us staying. I won’t lie I had concerns that we would feel like we where all in top of each other and that you couldn’t get a moments peace. It was completely the opposite. It was homely, brought us together and I honestly couldn’t have been any more relaxed and at home. I truly felt at home here and I am already thinking about another trip back. 

let me know if you’ve had any great weekends away recently and if so where?

Much love

Emma

Emma’s Bites – Curry Night

It was curry week recently and we love a good curry in our house! So this is our recent curry we made.

I don’t know about you but when we make a curry they always come out different! Mainly because we have so many spices and we just go with it each time. 

So this time we decided to document how we made one and you can have a go. 

It wasn’t too spicy this time, just had a kick to it. 

So for this you will need;

Rice

Chicken

Onions 

Chilli

Cumin

Coriander

Turmeric 

Ginger 

Paprika 

Garlic 

Coriander leaf 

Fromage frais x4 tbls 

1 tinned tomatoes 

Any vegetables that you may want to add such as spinach, peas, peppers….

Firstly add your chicken (if it’s not diced Make sure your rice it first) then chop your onions and add to a hot pan with olive oil. 

When the chicken has started to cook, add a teaspoon of each spice. Continue to cook for several minutes. 

Next you will need your four tablespoons of fromage frais. Stir together then add your tinned tomatoes. 

Once you have added in all your ingredients leave to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. The longer you leave it the better your flavours will be. However you must stir and ensure that your curry isn’t sticking to the pan, if it is just add a drop of water. 

While your curry is cooking you will need to cook your rice. Follow the instructions on the packet. I find that a drop of olive oil in the rice while cooking helps to fluff it up and not stick together. 

Now everything is cooked, plate it up and enjoy! 

If you have leftovers may be enjoy your curry with a jacket potato. 

As always tag me on Instagram if you re create this. 

Much love 

Emma 

One Year with FND

It’s been a year now since I got diagnosed. 

I’ve been unwell for a lot longer but a year ago to the day I got admitted to hospital to the neurological unit. 

They diagnosed me with this thing called Functional Neurological Disorder that I had no clue what it was. I had never heard of it. All I knew was that it was here to stay, they had no idea how much better I could get and there was no tablets to take. 

A year later I can honestly say it’s been a tough journey. There’s a lot I have learnt and there’s a lot I still have to learn. I thought having an answer would bring relief but honestly it’s brought more questions and complications.

It’s been a hell of a ride and I thought I would share it with you. 

I had no idea a year ago what FND was. All I knew was this recovery was going to be bloody tough and unknown. 

—————

Denial

I refuse to accept the fact that I will forever have to pace myself and watch what I do. Keep stress to a minimum. Do exercises. No. I refuse. Why? I mean why do I have to work so bloody hard just to be about 70/80% battery life of what I was? It’s not fair! Nope. I refuse to believe it and this will go away. 

Acceptance

Part of me has accepted what’s happened however there will always be a part of me that will refuse to accept that I’m now disabled at 34 and every day life is a struggle for me. I refuse to accept help because I am so young. A few years ago I was helping others. It’s hard to accept that some days I have to ask my husband to help me dress myself, feed myself and help me walk to the bathroom.

Anger

I am so bloody angry this happened to me. It’s robbed me of so much. I’m so god damn angry. Why? Why me. 

I try not to get as angry these days but it’s so frustrating. I just want to be able to do everything I know I should be able to do at 34.

Frustration

I honestly can’t tell you how frustrating it is to look at your feet and think just walk! Or see your hands and think why can’t I lift that cup. Or lie on the couch unable to move speak or eat and think why the hell cant I just get up. It’s highly frustrating. One moment you can do it and the next you can’t. 

Sadness 

With a chronic illness comes great sadness. To be physically so dibilitating on pretty much an every day basis is beyond sad. It’s not something I asked for. I didn’t want to be like this. So much has been taken for me because of this illness. It’s not just sad for me though, it’s sad for my family too. 

Loss 

This is a big one. I have lost so so much.  I have lost my career. Everything I’ve worked for had gone. I’ve lost friends, companions, colleagues. I’ve lost part of my independence. 

I’m certain there are lots more stages of emotion to having a chronic illness. 

Before I sign off I do have one positive stage. 

Beauty

I see beauty in the small things in life. I find peace and beauty in things that would have passed me by before. I also have some concrete friends now that have stuck by me that I know will be here for the long haul and for that I am beyond grateful.

Much love

Emma