Monthly Archives: April 2020

Lockdown update

So it’s been a whole month since I left the house for something other than a walk on the back field.

There’s a few things that I’ve……..well I guess you could call it learnt. 

Anyway, this is my thoughts and fluff and stuff on a page for you to read if you want about my isolation so far.

My husbands job is actually more important than I realised.

I love Alfie to bits, he’s far to much like me. The difficulties we face with him are hard and I really need to get to the bottom of things sooner rather than later. 

I’m worried about my FND, not driving or walking around or going out as much could mean my brain will forget everything. It can happen so quickly and I have worked so so hard. I had got worse anyway over winter and now this has happened I do fear for my health and what it means for my FND. 

I have learnt that I need space and time alone. I’m very much a family person, but being isolated in a house with your family and only one reception room and a kitchen that barely fits two adults in. Alone time is basically none existent. Someone always finds you. Even the cat. I love them all but shit a girl needs space sometimes.

Being on lockdown has made me realise that we didn’t go to many places but I miss the fact that it was our choice not to go anywhere. I also really miss not being able to just nip out for bread, milk or ________ ( insert anything you miss here that you can’t just nip out for). 

I can be the parent I wanted to be. I wanted to be this Mum who always had fun things to do and ideas and creative things. My problem was that I never quite knew what to do or where to find ideas and resources. Thanks to lockdown it feels like more people are actually sharing ideas of things to do with their children. Activities and fun things to try, websites to access or anything like that. People are sharing them. Maybe it was just me but before lockdown it felt like I wasn’t privy to this knowledge or I needed a special password to be able to know these things of places to find information on stuff to do with children. Now it seems this knowledge is accessible and I love it. People sharing ideas and tagging people. It’s brilliant and it has made me feel like a better Mum.

It’s made me realise that people really can’t follow simple instructions. 

I wish we lived somewhere closer to more places to walk with more outdoor space. 

It’s the small things that count. Having that brew in peace whilst it’s still hot. A FaceTime with someone you miss or a film night faith family. These small things can make all the difference.

When your husband says he’s painting the kitchen ceiling, he will probably end up painting the whole kitchen.

Lockdown birthdays are ok but it never quite feels like your it was your birthday.

Finally I think after this, I thinK it might make me realise about the kind of person I want to be and how to live my life.

It’s also made me realise who I can rely on and who’s a real friend.

Other people you have never met can really wind your back up. 

If you don’t come out of this without learning a new hobby or a stone lighter you’ve not made it worth while. Or some crap like that. Well excuse me! Some of us have just been trying to juggle about 16 balls all at once! 

Feeling under pressure to create memories. 

Let’s set this straight. 

My back garden is not big enough for a tent to camp out. 

Sharing a bed or bedroom or living room floor with my son is not my idea of fun. 

Last time I shared a bed with him I got bruised to buggery. He fidgets like no tomorrow. 

I already feel like I can’t do the same as everyone else. I can’t run around in soft play or play tig in a park or do anything else that requires a) a lot of stamina or b) me to be on foot a lot. Thus so, creating memories I’ll be honest just makes me feel like more pressure. I’m just winging it and if Alfie looks back on this whole thing and thinks I have something fun I’ll take it as a bonus. I will not however be striving to create everything I see on social media that other people are doing. 

(This being said I will still sometimes feel a little bit shit that we didn’t camp in the back garden or anything else that’s labelled as fun) x

Easy Curry Reciepe

Hey! Welcome back to Emma’s Bites.

Today I have an easy curry recipe for you, it does have meat in it but any of the meat and vegetables can be easily swapped for something else.

Ingredients

Chicken – I used a pack of diced chicken

White onion

Spinach

Tinned tomatoes

Vegetable stock cube

Cinnamon

Paprika

Turmeric

Mustard

Ginger

Garlic

Coriander

Cumin

Chili flakes

Salt

Pepper

How to make it

Chop your onion and stick it in your frying pan with some olive oil or fry light.

Pan fry for a few minutes until softened. Once this is done you can add a tea spoon (at least I think that’s what I did– bet you lot love my exact foodie blog measurements don’t you ha ha!!!) of each seasoning – apart from the salt and pepper, to your onion.

Fry off for a few more minutes. Next you need to add your chicken and brown it off. When your chicken is brown, add the spinach (however much you fancy), 200 ml of stock, tinned tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Leave to cook on a medium to low heat for about 20 minutes.

If you are having rice, making chips or naan breads etc then now is the time to do so.

When everything is cooked just serve and enjoy!!!

Tag me over on Instagram if you re-create this. @mrs_shep_unplugged

Much love

Emma xx

Quick lunch idea

Hello and welcome back! How are you all? Today’s foodie blog is a quick lunch idea. Pizza!

All you need for this is

Bread

Cheese (grated)

Tomato Puree

Seasoning (you can use pizza seasoning or mixed herbs or none!)

Any topping you like.

First of all you need to lightly toast the bread.

While that’s being done get your toppings ready if you are having any. I used red pepper, red onion and ham which and I pan fried them all as I prefer my toppings cooked through and when you grill these at the end you won’t be doing so long enough for these to cook. So this is just preference.

When your bread has been lightly toasted, spread some of your tomato puree on.

Now it is construction time!

If you are seasoning now is the time to do so. Then add the toppings, followed by your choice of cheese.

Finally pop it under the grill on a medium heat until the cheese has melted.

All in all it should take around 10 minutes really. Which is great as it’s a quick lunch and very tasty.

Please tag me on Instagram @mrs_shep_unplugged if you have a go at this.

Much love and stay safe

Emma x

Lockdown with children

So it’s been a few weeks now here in the UK where we have been on lockdown and honestly still don’t think I am used to it yet.

I’ve comfort eaten, I’ve had a birthday on lockdown and cried about all sorts.


Anyway, while I am not expert and you will never seen me as a pintrest type of Mum on any of my platforms or even crafting every day creating masterpieces or grabbing the paints to decorate immactulate window displays. However I do have some experience of being ‘stuck’ inside the house. Although people are saying safe inside rather than stuck, whick is fine but I do sometimes feel like I am stuck or even trapped some days and I honestly beleive that if that’s how you feel then it’s ok to feel like that.


If Brenda (this is a completely made up person by the way) wants to get up at the crack of a sparrow fart and clean the house, do a work out, make everyone a healthy breakfast with smiling faces on and be ready to teach all said children at 9am sharp with a strict schedule then that’s fine. If that’s what your after though then my friend this week’s blog is not for you!!!!
So my aim of this blog is to try and give you a few tips when being inside with children. I’m not saying it will change you life but hopefully it might help a little bit.


Baking
I can already feel the dread and tension as you read that word lol. Don’t panic though. If I can cook with a wild child you can do it too.
The easiest and quickest way to baking with children is quote simply to use a packet mix. We have been big fans of Betty Crocker for a long time now since I developed FND. It’s easy enough to follow and I can stand long enough to make them and it’s short enough to hold Alfie’s attention.


If you can’t get hold of a packet mix you can still bake with them. The trick for this is to get everything ready in the kitchen for them before they come in. That way your not measuring stuff and getting things out of the cupboard while they are in the kitchen, because lets face it they will get bored and give up. Then that’s when raised voices start, tears happen and feeling like your not a great parent because your cooking segment didn’t turn out like Mr & Mrs Perfect down the road. So get everything out and ready and measured before hand. Also stick to simple things, your not getting ready for the next British Bake Off with your child no matter how much they love it! Unless they are at Mary Berry’s standard at age 4 stick to flapjacks, rice crispy cakes and simple cakes/cupcakes.


Cinema
Now I know what your thinking, they are all closed, but what’s stopping you creating this at home? William has a tv in his bedroom (if you don’t know this already William is my 15 year old step son who stays with us every other weekend), so at the moment he isn’t coming over to stay because of the pandemic as it is safer for me this way (decided by Ste and William’s Mum). So while he isn’t here we are making the most of having another room to spend time in with a tv. It’s not got much in it and he’s got a pull out bed. So a few weekends ago I decided to create a cinema experience. I made some cinema tickets, made some popcorn, got some other snacks which was a mixture of healthy and treats. We had hot drinks. Now I don’t know about your house but in ours it takes us ages to pick a film, so I chose a film we hadn’t seen so it’s just like it is in the cinema. No option of which film to see! Honestly it was really good and we all loved it. We also had a no phones policy like at the cinema. If you don’t have another TV in the house then just use the living room, close the curtains, take tickets from people at the door, have snacks out etc.


Indoor Picnic.
This doesn’t have to be fancy, just grab a blanket or a large towel if you don’t have a blanket. Stick it on the floor and give them their lunch in lunch boxes or in a few bowls. Basically just something a bit different. You don’t even need to have special picnic food, just whatever you were going to give them anyway.
This leads me on to another topic…….


Teddy Bears Picnic
Now this idea was something I got from @peppawithana over on Instagram. Grab a blanket or a towel (get your little one to help set this up), get them to pick some teddies and a book. Get a book about teddies or even the book teddy bears picnic if you have it. Set up some plastic plates and cups, if you have pretend food, plates and cups great. Get a little juice for your little one, a hot brew for you if you want and maybe a few biscuits. You can even make a sign “teddy bears picnic”. Then all that’s left to do is to let them serve pretend food and drinks to the teddies and read the book(s) they chose.


Cardboard
I don’t care if this makes me a bad person, I do not like crafts!! However I can manage to make stuff from cardboard sometimes. If your brave let them paint it, if not maybe they can colour it or stick stickers on. Either way, those extra parcels that are coming to your door, save the boxes and maybe make a castle, a pirates treasure box or something else.


Books
I think I may have mention this before but Alfie is like the Tasmanian devil (do you remember the tv show?), so getting him to sit can be rather challenging! However he does love books and even more so bringing these books to life.
So basically we pick a book and using items around the house (& Alfie’s large selection of teddies) we find things to bring the story to life and in a way I guess act it out. So far we have use the following books; Dear Zoo, Gruffalo, Room on the broom and The Tiger who came to tea. For Room on the broom we made a wand from cardboard and a straw, we don’t have a witch but Alfie does have a dragon.


Music/Songs
Ok I’m cheating for this and putting two ideas here!!!
First idea is quite simply put some music on and let them dance!!
My other suggestion is (and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this), a while ago I collected certain items from eBay that represented a nursery rhyme and they are all kept in a bag. (If you don’t have them then you could print them off, cut them up and put them in an envelope). Then let your little one pull an item out of the bag and then you all sing that song. Now I realise this may not be for everyone, it’s not my husbands cup of tea to do this activity, however Alfie loves it and it keeps him occupied.


My last idea for you isn’t really an idea it’s just some advise.


TV and iPad.

Don’t feel guilty. Your not a bad person. You haven’t failed. Some days you just need a break and guess what, so do they! You can’t have idea’s all the time, not everyone can keep being on the go all the time, so chill!! Some days you just need to do nothing, it’s called re-charging. If you children won’t sit for tv thats fine, give them an ipad, if they won’t sit for that, let them play with their toys, let them get them all out. When it comes to tidying up later, get a tidy up song on on youtube and see who can tidy up the quickest with a promise of a prize for the winner at the end (biscuit maybe?).


I hope these idea’s are helpful to you. If you try any I would love you to let me know below or tag me in a photo over on instagram @Mrs_Shep_Unplugged.
Also if you hav any tips I would love for you to share them with me and if you want some more ideas please comment below and I’ll do another round up of ideas.
Much love
Emma