If you’re wondering, ask your 4 year old.

We were just on our way home from a quick Asda run, and a fire engine pulled out of the side road.

Hubby said to me “ahh, you don’t see many of those any more”, to which I agreed.

I pulled the car in to the same road, where the fire engine had turned out from, to see another fire engine, two ambulances and one of the yellow CCTV police vans.  There were loads of people around, but we couldn’t really see anything.

Looking out of the rear window, Gning voiced his idea on what had happend; “I think someone must have been stung by a buzzy bee”.

Yep.  Valid reason for all the attention right there.

29 weeks and counting…

Can you believe that I am now 29 weeks?!  I know!!  I’ve been wondering where the time has gone myself.

Oh yes…  Before I continue; here’s an updated pic of me…

Bump and Me

Tuesday was a rather busy day for us…  First thing in the morning was the first of my “growth scans”.  Everything looks good.  The sonographer commented that he (baby) is a perfect size, looks nice and healthy, but has a “big belly”.  Taking after me already then.  Immediately after the ultrasound was an antenatal check with my consultant.  She’s happy with my progress, and stated that she will be able to “pencil me in” for my section during my next appointment (which will be 32 weeks).  I’m rather excited to say that I’ll have a prospective date for when my little man will be joining us.

That wasn’t all…  Immediately following the antenatal clinic, I had to give my bloods to check for any abnormalities.  This morning, I got a letter stating that I am anaemic.  I need to increase the amount of iron in my diet as a matter of urgency – I have also been advised in this letter that I should get a prescription from my doctor for iron tablets.  Something else for me to add to my current list of ailments.

Going back to Tuesday though, we headed home after the hospital, for an hours ‘rest’ before having to go out again.

Tuesday afternoon, we went to a shop called “Hello Baby”.  This is a specialist shop, offering 3d and 4d private scans.  I honestly think that this visit was number 7 for us…  Hubby and I decided that Tuesday would be the final one though.  All other attempts on trying to see our little mans’ face were unsuccessful.  He had his face firmly buried in to my placenta, so was determined that we were not going to see how beautiful he was until his birth day.

Not so though.  He was in a perfect position, and we got to see his face…

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The above, Insanely Normal followers, is going to be the latest addition to our household.  So exciting.

Just to top Tuesday off (as if all the above wasn’t enough), I had an appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner in my local surgery for a Whooping Cough vaccination.  Meh.

Oh, what I didn’t mention is that a few weeks ago, I went to see a specialist physiotherapist, who stated that I am suffering with pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain (PRPGP).  This basically means that all the bones in my hip and pelvic area have separated slightly to adjust for the pregnancy, but the bones are not as supple as a “textbook pregnancy”.  Hmph!  Unfortunately for me, I can barely make it around Asda for my weekly shop without having to stop halfway around the shop to have a “breather”.  It’s actually so I can rest, and give my bones a slight chance to catch up with the rest of me, lol.

Anyway, as far as I am concerned, as well as upping the iron in my diet; increasing the amount that I drink (apparently I am dehydrating myself too); having to keep an eye on my sugar intake (gestational diabetes); and having to check my blood sugars five times a day; I think I’m done for now.  If anything else crops up in the mean-time, I think I’m just going to scream!!  Ha ha.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Tomatoes

This recipe is slightly different to my Italian Chicken in Tomatoes; where as I used slightly different ingredients, and I cooked this using my slow cooker (crock pot).  However, if you don’t have a slow cooker, you can very easily make this in the oven too.  I have included both methods – one for the slow cooker, and the other for the oven.

I absolutely, well and truly think that this recipe beats my previous Italian Chicken in Tomatoes.

Enjoy x

 

Ingredients

1 (or 2) chicken breasts per person

Garlic and herb cream cheese (I used Asdas’ own)

1 tin of peeled, plummed tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

A “good shaking” of paprika (I used approx. 1 dessert spoon)

Salt & pepper

About 80g of your favourite hard cheese (red Leicester, Cheddar, Cheshire, etc.)

 

Method for the slow cooker

Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts (this is when you slice the chicken breast in half, but not all the way through).

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Using a butter knife, spread a “good” quantity of the cream cheese inside the chicken breast, then close it back up.  You now have a “stuffed chicken breast”.

Place the breasts inside the ceramic pot/bowl, inside of the slow cooker; trying not to overlap each piece.

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In a jug (or bowl), pour the tinned plum tomatoes, and “mush” them up with a fork.  If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the tomatoes instead.  When you are happy with the consistency of the tomatoes, add the olive oil, paprika, and salt & pepper (to taste).  Give a final stir.

Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken breasts, and place the lid on (I got my son to help me with this).

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Turn on your slow cooker to “HIGH” for 5 hours, or “LOW” for 8 hours.

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When there is only approx. 30 minutes to go, carefully lift the lid and sprinkle some grated cheese over the chicken breasts.  Replace the lid and allow to continue to cook.

Serve with anything you like (veg, potatoes, pasta, rice…).

Enjoy!

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Method for the oven

Preheat the oven to 210C (190C for fan assisted ovens).

Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts (this is when you slice the chicken breast in half, but not all the way through).

Using a butter knife, spread a “good” quantity of the cream cheese inside the chicken breast, then close it back up.  You now have a “stuffed chicken breast”.

Place the breasts inside an oven proof glass / ceramic dish; trying not to overlap each piece.

In a jug (or bowl), pour the tinned plum tomatoes, and “mush” them up with a fork.  If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the tomatoes instead.  When you are happy with the consistency of the tomatoes, add the olive oil, paprika, and salt & pepper (to taste).  Give a final stir.

Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken breasts, place the lid on and place in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes.

When the time is up, sprinkle the grated cheese over the breasts, replace the lid, and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with anything you like (veg, potatoes, pasta, rice…).

Enjoy!

Day 2 – To dye, or not to dye

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Day 2 of my coffee rehab is almost complete.  I’ve not been at all bothered by my lack of coffee today, although I did look at the machine when I was on my lunch in work.  I was good though.  I turned away and didn’t look back.  If I’m going to do the non-coffee, I’m going to do it properly.  Afterall…  I’m getting used to the taste of tea.

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If I’m being perfectly honest, I’ve never been a tea drinker.  Tea was just for the elderly…  Or for when I was ill:  But even I can’t deny that tea tastes so much better when served in a real china cup, and it makes you feel all posh.  Someone pass the cucumber sandwiches.

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Drinking tea out of a mug, like I have been doing, just isn’t the same.

I went to Asda (again) last night.  Wow.  Anyone would think that I had a bit of a thing for the place…

Anyway, I thought that I would have a quick look at the hair dyes, mainly to get a price on any ‘super bright’ ones that I could use to ‘dip dye’ my hair.  Last time I bought an auburn cherry coloured dye, which looked ok but not great, and I’ve always wanted to dip my hair again.

Normally, nothing catches my attention, and it’s just various blondes, reds and browns that line the shelves, however this must have been a sign.

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Excuse the nails.  I am in desperate need of a manicure.

These three caught my eye.  All three are semi-permanent, and according to the box, usually last between 8-12 washes.  Because of the colour of my hair, this would probably mean that it would last about 3 months in mine, until it gradually washes/fades away.

Shocking pink, raspberry and electric blue.  I liked the blue and the pink, although the more I starred at them, the more I wasn’t convinced.  The blue wasn’t enough of a statement, but the I thought the pink was too much.  Hence, I bit the biscuit (so to say), and I bought the raspberry.

Here’s the dye in action…

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It wasn’t until it was already on that I read the instructions…

You normally always apply a permanent dye to dry hair.  One of the differences between semi and full is that you’re supposed to apply a semi to damp hair.  Oops.

Anyway…  I think it would have only made a big difference if I was going to be having the dye all over.  As I was only having it ‘dipped’, or in this case ‘painted’, I didn’t think it would make much of a difference, and may even be more vibrant.

45 minutes later, I was out of the shower, and hair was wrapped up in a towel.  As with any big change, I was rather anxious as to what it had turned out like, but I was patient, and only dried my hair 20 minutes after having it wrapped up.

This morning I straightened my hair (hubby dearest did the back for me), and here’s the result:

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Not the best picture in the world, but it didn’t come out too badly, huh?

Day 1 – 40 days of posts

Tuesday, 4 March 2014 was Shrove Tuesday within the Christian community.  It’s known all over the world under different names…  I learned yesterday that it’s called “Fat Tuesday” in the USA.  Here in the UK, we call it “Pancake Day”.

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I didn’t realise what day it was until it was too late.

I headed out to my local Asda to pick up some pancake mix.  Nothing.  The shelves were empty for the batter mix, nutella, golden syrup and maple syrup…  So I thought, ‘ok, let’s do this the real way.  I’ll buy some flour and I will make my own batter!’ So, I headed to the baking aisle…  What?!  The shelves were empty of both plain and self-raising flour!!  Slightly upset and annoyed at my forgetfulness, I returned to my car carrying treats for my little man and a few bits for the house.

Outcome of the day?  No pancakes 😦

That brings us up to date.  Today, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 is Ash Wednesday.  Today is the first day of Lent in the Christian Church.  Lent is when Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting in the desert.  The more modern tradition is to either give something up for the 40 days and nights, or to take something honourable on (such as volunteering, etc.).  Many people choose to give up chocolate, or alcohol.  It may seem so pitiful, however, that can be a big deal for some people.  I have never participated in Lent before.  However, last night I decided…  ‘I’ll give up coffee…’  

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So, today is day 1 of my coffee rehabilitation.  I have had no coffee what-so-ever, yet I have had 4 cups of tea (which, even though doesn’t have anywhere near as much, still has caffeine in it).  It was rather amusing this morning in work, as I was rather jittery, and I did get the giggles at one point.

Oh, I feel that I must make it known at this point that my regular consumption is anywhere from 6 – 15 cups of coffee per day.

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This afternoon, things died down, and I felt like normal.  Thinking about it, I don’t think I am going to have a problem in giving up coffee.  Sure, I miss the taste already, and my colleagues’ freshly brewed coffee smelled so scrummy today, but in the long run, this will benefit my health.

On the way home from work I had also made the decision to make a blog post every day for 40 days.  I honestly don’t know what I’m going to blog about on a daily basis, as if I blogged about my life I would surely bore you to tears.  So, I will try to keep you (and myself) on your toes by making little quips here, photo’s there…  Even if I just post a one lined joke, I will count that as a post.

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Giving my history of “I promise to post more often”, would you like to make a bet as to how long I can actually keep this up for..?

Review – Asda’s Striped Donuts

A couple of days ago, I bought a new type of donut that is now being sold by Asda.  There are two different types: vanilla striped and strawberry striped.  Priced at £1.10 for 2, they are also on offer at the moment at 2 boxes (with 2 donuts in each) for £2.  So, in order for me to give these a real trial, I just had to buy one of each.

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The picture above shows the box of the vanilla striped donuts, but inside I have already eaten one of those, so I replaced it with a strawberry striped one.

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Don’t they look absolutely yummy?!  The vanilla one is shown on the left, with chocolate glaze, and the one on the right is the strawberry donut.  But obviously, that did not need an introduction.

The smell when you open the box is divine. The vanilla, mixed with strawberry is something that I just couldn’t explain.  I just wanted to shove my face in there…  Ha ha.

I bit into the strawberry.  The strawberry essence in the icing was amazing.  Asda had used just the right amount of flavouring.  However, I thought that the donut itself was a little dry…

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Sorry for the bad photo there, but you can see that the texture of the donut is more like bread rather than the average donut.

My mark for the strawberry is 8/10.

The flavouring is perfect, but the donut is dry.

On biting in to the vanilla donut, I wasn’t that impressed.  The chocolate stripes on top of the vanilla icing was too overpowering.  The actual donut was dry…  On looking at the bitemark, I thought that these donuts have not been made in the conventional way of dropping batter in to boiling oil, rather, these donuts have been baked.  There was no proof to say either way, but I thought if that is how Asda have made them, then well done!  I never would have thought it was possible to make a donut that was baked…

My marks for the vanilla?  4/10

Once again, the chocolate overpowered what little vanilla there was, and the “bread” was dry.

My overall results have to be that these are definitely worth the price tag.  Hop on over to Asda to see if your local sells them 🙂