It’s another Blogiversary!

Today celebrates my 6th year of my Insanely Normal blog.

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It’s been fun, although a little slack, and I know that I have said it time and time again, but that can now change…  I have a lot more time to be able to publish, and I have all sorts of ideas!

So, without further ado, let’s revisit my top three posts…

At number 3…

This post has somewhat amused me since I published it in 2014.  It was a review (a negative one at that!  And badly wrote, haha) about a local franchised café.  I can remember visiting the place – it was bloody awful, and I imagine nothing has changed, because I’m still receiving messages agreeing with my post!  You can read about the Pound Café in Huyton here.

At number 2…

2015 seems to have been the year that brought in most of my subscribers (hello stalkers!), and top of the shot (again), was my Christmas Ham post!  My second most popular post in 2015 was for my slow cooker sausage casserole…  With just under 10,000 reads throughout the year, it definitely got the attention it deserved, ha ha.  You can try the slow cooker sausage casserole recipe here.

Drum roll please, because at number 1…

Every Christmas, I make a ham.  It’s by far the best thing I have ever made, and you all seem to agree, as the amount of views that post has received is amazing!  I first published the post in 2012, and it seems to be a recipe that is used right throughout the year, as it’s always my most read…  My “best” stats for this recipe was on 1 December, 2016, when I had a little over 4,000 views – just on that day!  You can read my Christmas Ham here.


So, it seems that my stalkers like recipes and negative reviews!  Ha ha.  Yes, those were my top three posts in the past six years, and other posts in my top ten include more recipes, a holiday post, and how parenthood drives me crazy.

So, here’s to more exciting times – more recipes, more random stuff, and I may even through in a mini-comp somewhere…

Every penny counts…

I decided last night that I was going to be taking part in the “Money Savings Challenge” this year.  It sounds relatively easy enough, and from my calculations, I could very easily put away just over £1,300 by the end of the year.

I have made myself a spreadsheet to work by, using Microsoft Excel.  There are several columns, one of which is the date, where I have made a list of the date of every Wednesday throughout 2015 (see picture a little further down).

The name of the game is that you put away £1 in the first week of the year, £2 in the second week, £3 in the third, etc., so you eventually put £52 in the “pot”.

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(Click to make the image larger)

The way I have thought about it, even if I can’t make it right the way through the year, by the time “Donut” appears (due 13 June 2015), I will have saved £300.  That’s already a lot of money.

If I can last right the way through to making a final payment on 23 December 2015, I will have saved £1,378.  Wow!

I did originally think about buying a money box – one of those that you cannot get in to without “breaking” it open (with a tin opener), but I thought that was too easy.  Instead, I have renamed two of my online savings accounts in my bank – One is now entitled “Savings Challenge 2015” and the other is for “Holiday Savings 2015”.  (I’m just going to be throwing whatever I can afford at the time in to the holiday account…)  The only problem I have there is that both of these accounts are easily accessible to me via my online banking, so this will still take some self control.

Here’s to having a bit of “pocket change” to play about with in the next several months 🙂

So how about it?  Will you take on the savings challenge too?

Sleigh bells ring; can you hear them?

No?  Me either.

It’s 2nd December, and no matter how hard I am trying, I just cannot get in to the festive mood.

Our Christmas tree is up and decorated; tinsel dons the picture frames, and lines the Welsh dresser; our fireplace is decorated with tinsel, advent calendars and stockings…

Then there are empty boxes scattering the floor; bits of “broken” tinsel lay uninterrupted where they landed…  Three wrapped Christmas presents are in the middle of the floor; amongst the yet-to-be-disposed-of boxes; because I just can’t be bothered putting them under the tree.

It could be down to hormones.  I’m still overly tired.  Even when I do the simplest thing, I’m convinced that I need to go to bed to ‘sleep it off’.  I know I can’t do that though because I have an amazing three year old little man, who is always on the go.  I have enough energy to play with him; in small bursts; but no energy to make the front room look “liveable” again.

In fact, other than the pregnancy thing, I’m fairly sure that I was in this situation last year too.  I just couldn’t get the Christmas spirit then either.

And I refuse to turn in to my “Scrooge McDuck” husband (only joking, ha ha)…  I really want the Christmas bug, but I just can’t find it to get bitten by it!

Anyone else feeling the same?  Is it too early in December to start worrying that I am turning in to the Grinch?

The Holly & the Ivy…

I have had the most unusual past couple of months…  Some amazing news, a holiday, another bad spell at work, and more…  I think it’s about time to say hello to all of you again, and I shall get you all up to date!

It’s the first of December today.  Where on earth did that come from?  It was my sons’ third birthday; I blinked; and now I’m here…

I think I need to share a picture with you…

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Oops, did I just tell you all something big..?  Ha ha, yep.  That’s my boy!

Not long after the above was discovered, we jetted off for a week in the sun to Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands.  It was a great holiday, although I can’t help but feel that I slightly ruined it for the little man and the hubby, as I was terribly sick for the whole holiday.  All I wanted to do was sleep…

Anyway; a couple of weeks after our return, we got this picture:

Donuts first picture

This, everyone, is “Donut”.  My little man decided to call the baby Donut, until we know whether it is a he or a she…  Although, I am convinced that it is a girl…  Shall we take bets?

My estimated due date is 13 June 2015.

That near enough brings you up to date with me, other than the fact that I am still suffering from pregnancy related sickness (I refuse to call it morning sickness), and I have been signed off work by the doctor for a few weeks to recover.  It’s official…  I am suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe sickness).

Oh…  One more thing…  The Christmas tree is up 😀

Our Scottish Holiday

I think I should warn you…  This video is rather long…  Ha ha ❤

Merry Christmas!

I’d like to take the next five minutes or so to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and all the very best for 2013!
It’s been a very hectic year, yet the whole of 2012 has just flown by. I suppose that has happened because I have a 15 month old little boy…

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. However, it was only a few years ago when I couldn’t stand it. I wondered what the point of it all was. I honestly looked out of my bedroom window one Christmas morning and said to myself, ‘why do we even bother to celebrate Christmas. People are only interested in it because of all the gifts…’ I lost my faith there and then.

There are too many people, even now, who say ‘Happy Holidays’. Yes, this is a holiday time, but why say that? Have you forgotten that without Christ, there would be no Christmas?

When I first saw those double lines on that ‘wee stick’, and I started to tell people that I was expecting my little man, it was then that my faith started to become restored. I had a difficult time in conceiving, and (I’ve never told anyone this before) I actually began praying to God to help me. My son really is my little miracle, and every day I do thank the Lord for my Blessing.

But without preaching, as that is the last thing I want to do, I now look forward to Christmas.

I have spent SO much this year. My house is a Christmas Grotto (tastefully, of course), and we literally cannot get anywhere near to the Christmas tree due to all the gifts underneath! And that’s not including the gifts that Father Christmas still has stashed away for my son.
All the food has been bought, all the drinks, the table has been decorated, my napkins fancily folded…

But isn’t that going against what I’ve just said..? No. It’s not.

I have my faith, and this evening I took my son to our local church for a ‘Carols by Candlelight’ service. My mum and dad joined us too. My husband decided to stay at home as, in his own words, ‘singing isn’t my thing’. It was beautiful though. The whole atmosphere was. My little man didn’t seem to agree.

He got all excited in seeing his Nanna and Grandad come to pick us up… Then we were inside a dimly candle-lit church and about a hundred or so strangers singing… He was totally overwhelmed. He did try to sing along to ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, but when everything went quiet afterwards, he decided that was the time to start crying as loud as he possibly could.

That wasn’t the only thing. Just before the service started, he got a little excited in being somewhere different that he was ‘running’ up and down the aisle (not all the way – within easy reach… Maybe three or four seats away), and tripped and headbutted his Nanna’s knee. Oh the blood! It appears that he bit his lip. So I suppose that, mixed with the aforesaid really didn’t help.

Once back home, he was all smiles and giggles as he usually is. And, it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow!

I’ve done it a few years on the run now (trying to get the Christmas Spirit), but I’m really looking forward to tracking Father Christmas on his run around the world. Have you ever done it?  Visit this link to track Santa LIVE! via NORAD – http://www.noradsanta.org/en/

So, there we go.  I’ll try to write another post before the end of the year, but I can’t promise.  But here’s my resolution for 2013 – I promise to blog a lot more – more recipes, more crafts, more travel reviews…  All I can say is bookmark / like / follow me on here!

Once again, have a wonderful Christmas, and a very happy new year xx