Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Doctor Who Experience


This was my 3rd visit to the Doctor Who Experience and probably my last as it is closing at some point in September this year. It was very different from my last visit which was on a cold Monday afternoon in March 2013. That time, Matt Smith was the Doctor and there was only one other person on the Tour with me. It was almost like having a private tour that time.


This time it was definitely a lot busier and it seems like most of the tour time slots were full. There were plenty of Cybermen walking around for photo opportunities. Thankfully none of them were looking to upgrade people visiting tho)ugh there were opportunities to be voluntarily upgraded but tickets for that sold out pretty quickly.



The tour is partly interactive and partly exhibition. The interactive part involves the finding of crystals whilst coming up against some of the Doctors greatest enemies. I remember how one little boys face was in awe when we were in the TARDIS and it started moving.  The exhibits are the largest part and the area for photos.  There were various TARDIS sets from different Doctors, Costumes worn by the Doctors and some of the companions, the Doctors enemies, obviously, as well as some of the iconic props from series 10.

 There is also an opportunity to have your photo taken on a green scene and choose from 8 different backgrounds. I did not partake this time as I still love the one I had done last time and also the queue was much too long and the others did not have the patience to wait.












You can spend as long as you want in the exhibition centre but the average length of time is a couple of hours which is plenty of time to look at everything and get the photos you want. It’s a shame it is closing as the props and costumes are fascinating and even now I cannot get over how tiny Jenna Coleman must be looking at her outfits. Hopefully it will re-open in a few years with a whole bunch of new props from the new Doctor as well as more props from the classic series.


Whilst in Cardiff you can also undertake a walking tour of the outdoor locations used in Doctor Who but you don’t need to wander very far to see some of them, Cardiff Bay has been used in relation to episodes which featured Captain Jack and Torchwood with David Tennant . The Millennium Centre was the Hospital on New Earth, again with David Tennant and Billie Piper. If you walk over a little further to Mermaid Quay, you will find Eddie’s  Diner which is the Diner in which the 11th Doctor met River, Rory and Amy when he knew he was going to die. It was also the Spaceship that Clara went off to travel with Me. Booth 11 is the booth that the Doctor, River, Rory and Amy sat at and it is marked with a couple of photos from the time they were filming. You can also still see the doors to the Tardis if you look right at the back.




Tuesday, 25 July 2017

What I have been doing 10th -23rd July 2017


It has been a busy week with some unexpected early morning excitement thrown in. Monday was Quilting club where I continued on with my hexagon flowers for my bed quilt. I managed to complete a whole flower again. I had intended on starting one of the advent calendar panels for my nephews but did not really fancy lugging my sewing machine to the club plus I was cannot get there for the start of the club so there are generally no plug sockets for me anyway. I could do them at home I suppose, but they will have to be finished in 2 months as my Mum is going over to Australia to visit my sister, brother in law and nephews.
On Tuesday it was the monthly WI meeting which was a week late due to the hall having a long standing booking on the evening of our monthly meeting. We had 2 cute visitors called Percy and Beryl who kindly brought  along their owner from Manchester Dogs Home to give us a talk about what they do and of course the dreadful fire in 2014.



Wednesday morning started rather early and unexpectedly when we were awoken by the sound of an engine running. Normally I don’t hear things like that but the engine was revved a little when it was started. Craig got up to look out of the window expecting to see a taxi but instead saw two men loading a motorbike onto the back of a van. Craig shot downstairs and opened the front door and shouted out. The two men ran off leaving the van and the bike. Craig took the keys out of the van, and tried to see where they had gone. Another neighbour across the road had also heard the noise and had come out. Whilst Craig was inside calling the police and putting a top and shoes on, I stood at the door talking to the neighbour. Would you believe it, but one of the thieves came back hoping to take the van, but as soon as he saw us he ran off again. The police arrived after 20 minutes and took details and did what they had to do. By the time they had finished it was nearly 5.00am and it wasn’t worth going to back to bed.

Matthew said he had heard the noise but didn’t come out of his room as he was too comfy in bed. He also complained of feeling dizzy and sick. I felt really guilty sending him into school but when he has said this before he has been fine. This is the downside of being a working mum-the guilt when your child says they don’t feel well but you have very little choice but to send them into school anyway. I had a bad feeling when Matthew phoned me as he got to school as he was a bit weepy saying that he still felt ill. I told him to get a drink and see how he feels. Anyway to cut it short, 20 minutes after school started I got a phone call from the school saying he had been sick and could I come and get him. Luckily, my boss is pretty understanding and because my job could be done pretty much anywhere when I am not required to train someone, I worked from home for the rest of the day.
Thursday and Friday were pretty uneventful with just normal routine things.

Saturday was another early start (4.30am) as we were going to be driving 4 hours down to Cardiff  to go to the Doctor Who Experience before it closed in September. It has been a few years since I last went and it was certainly a lot busier. I will write a whole blog post on the day. If oyu do get the chance then go to visit before it closes. We also had a walk around Cardiff Bay which was being turned into a beach for the summer and also down to the Barrage where we watched the boats going up and down in the lock. Before we left we ate at Eddie's Diner which was where they filmed the Diner scene in the episode where River kills the Doctor. We were lucky enough as well to sit in the booth that they all sat in as well.









Sunday was just a lazy day as we got back about 11.00pm the night before and I needed to catch up with some housework and especially the ironing.

Next week is going to be all about Matthew as it is his last week in primary school and there are loads of things going on.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Menu Plan for week Commencing 17th July

]
This week on the menu we have:

Monday- Slow cooker Irish stew
Tuesday: Curried Mince beef and rice
Wednesday- Steak and salad
Thursday- Pan Haggerty (a potato and onion dish with ham) from Slimming World
Friday- Quorn Bolognese (Emma's friend is coming round and she is a vegetarian)
Saturday -Eat out in Cardiff
Sunday -Spinach, tomato and red pepper cannelloni.

In the Craft Basket.

I recently bought 2 craft kits from The Range and thought I would at least do one this week.


]
On my Reading List.


I watched a couple of episodes of the TV series when it was on last year but missed the first one 'Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death' so I thought I would get the book. Whilst searching for it online I saw that the Book People were doing all 20 books for £19.99 so rather than pay £7.99 for the one I bought the whole series. This book is the 9th of the series and I have enjoyed the others. They are light and easy to read and unlike some other books the culprit is not obvious. 

I am looking forward to:

Going to the Doctor Who Experience  in Cardiff on Saturday with the family, especially now we know who the next Doctor is going to be. I had a feeling it was going to be a woman especially with how well 'Missy' was received. Although I liked Jodie Whittaker in Broadchurch it will be interesting to see her in a VERY different role. With the previous Doctors I had not seen them in anything else so I had no other characters to compare them to ( I know Peter Capaldi was in an episode of Doctor Who, but that was just a one off).
It will be a long day as we will plan on leaving about 6.00am as the time slot I have booked is 11.30am. This should be plenty of time but you can never tell with the motorways, even on a Saturday.

Quote of the Week
Home,
Where the Soul finds comfort
and the heart finds pleasure
                                         Dolly Parton


I will be linking up with Organising Junkie and Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Hope you all have a good week.

Deborah

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Diary for Week 10th-16th July 2017

This week hasn’t been too bad and quite enjoyable for me as there were fun things to do. Monday was the Craft club at the WI I go to. I will admit that there are times the project the group is doing does not appeal to me so I always take a little project of my own that I can work on. This session though was felt brooch making so I thought I would join in. I had an idea of the design but then when I saw an earring that could be used for the centrepiece I completely changed my mind on the whole design. The brooch was simple to make as it just involved cutting out the felt, sewing the brooch fastener on the back piece then because the black piece had a sticky back I just peeled the backing off and stuck it down. The next piece and the centre piece were then glued. The little sheep brooch I did cheat with as it was already made up so all I had to do was sew the brooch fastener on.



We got Matthews SATs results on Tuesday and he passed them all so as a reward we went to Krispy Kreme and then to see Despicable Me 3 at the cinema. I love the Minions and because of that I enjoyed the film.

Wednesday was another trip to the cinema (a bit further away from home). This time it was to see ‘Spiderman-Homecoming’. I definitely thought it was the best Spiderman film I have seen and what made it even more enjoyable was the fact that the cinema screen had recently been refurbished and all the seats were recliners with little movable trays for you to put your snacks on. I will definitely be going to that cinema again especially if all the screens are going to be refurbished.

On Thursday I had to catch up with the ironing and make chocolate brownies for the Wimbledon lunch we were having on Friday at work. Unfortunately I didn’t get round to making the brownies until 9.30pm as Craig had asked the local councillor to visit to see the trees that we would like to be cut back as they are getting too big and we have had a few branches fall and break the shed roof. She is going to see what can be done and is going to push to get the whole area cleared and turfed as it is a little bit further down the street. That would be brilliant and look so much better.

The Wimbledon lunch did not take place as planned as I was the only person who brought anything in so it was business as usual. Friday evening I was feeling pretty tired so we just watched  The Fast and Furious which I wasn’t overly interested in.
My plans for Saturday did not come off completely as I wanted to do a Zone clean in the back and front rooms but as usual Craig had other ideas so they did not get done. I did manage to order the food shopping to be picked up on Sunday however so that I didn’t have to worry about not having time to get that done.
On Sunday we took Emma to get her own DSLR camera which she is paying for out of the money that she has saved. We ended up with a really good deal even though it ended up costing us more than we anticipated. Craig has this habit of wanting to get everything all at once when it comes to gadgets so she has 3 lenses, 2 camera filters and the accessories bundle that you get for ½ price if you purchase it with the camera.
Craig and I then had a canal cruise along the Bridgewater Canal  and Manchester Ship Canal from Castlefield to Salford Quays. It was a very pleasant meal but I have to admit if I was to do a canal cruise again I would go somewhere more scenic as we saw mainly graffiti and brick walls.




So all in all a pretty enjoyable week with lots of fun things but I do need to spend the rest of the month catching up with housework and doing some zone cleaning so that I can stay calm and happy.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Skinny Coffee Club review


Although I have been in my target range at Slimming World for 6 months I am at the top end of the range and I would rather be at the lower. Unfortunately I seem to be stuck at the top end. I had seen loads of posts on Facebook and heard people talking about Skinny Coffee so through desperation I decided to give it a go.

I bought the 28 day programme from Holland and Barrett. When I opened the box all there was inside it was the packet of coffee. I was surprised to see there was no suggested diet plan with it or even a sheet giving suggestions on what else you could do to help you lose weight as there seems to be with any other diet related product.

I suppose this was better in a way because any suggested diet plan if followed could result in a weight loss and it would be impossible to tell if it was the diet or the coffee or the combination. I decided that as I was already following the Slimming World plan it would at least be a review of the coffee as I knew the plan did work as I had already lost weight.

The coffee is meant to be drunk in the morning and to be taken black without any added sweetness. I have to admit I drink my coffee milky and with 1 sugar added so I wasn’t looking forward to having to drink it black. I was very pleasantly surprised though as the flavour is very mild and not at all bitter and I enjoyed drinking it.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to follow the plan for the 28 days as I ran out of coffee after 16 days despite using the recommended amount. I also stuck to the Slimming World plan for those days. Did I lose weight? NO.

 After looking at Facebook comments it seems that if you purchase the coffee through the website then you are emailed a diet and exercise plan which it seems requires you to cut out dairy and sugar. By following that plan then you would lose weight anyway without drinking the coffee so I would save the money by not purchasing the coffee and find a diet plan which is balanced and does not require you to cut out food groups without getting medical advice. However if you do like drinking a mild tasting black coffee and having the extra energy from the high levels of caffeine then by all means pay the £24.95 for the programme,  but personally I would rather spend the money on a new top or skirt.

This is not a sponsored post and I have received no payment of any kind for this review.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Zero Inbox



I hate junk emails as much as I hate normal junk mail. When I see them in my inbox I don’t even bother opening them, I just hit delete. It has got to the point where I have set up an email account for all of those situations where they ask you to sign up but you know they are just going to send what I would class as junk. With that account I go in once a week, have a quick review and then hit delete on them all.

I then have my gmail account which is one of the 2 main email accounts I have.  I decided to set up a gmail as it was easy to access anywhere. I use that account for things that I am interested in such as online courses or newsletters that I will read. With that account I read or print out what I need then I either delete or move to a folder for future reference.

My main email account is my first one which I have had for over 16 years. I do get a lot of junk in that one but  that account also has a lot of emails that I need to keep so that also has a lot of folders which I move them into again for reference.

I believe in only touching an email once and I deal with it straight away. That is generally easy to do with my personal emails as I only need to read (with the exception of some W.I Committee emails) and file.

Work emails are different. I do get a little stressed when I come back after annual leave to find a couple of hundred emails in my inbox. My heart rate increases and I need to focus on clearing it. Fortunately a lot of them can be deleted straight away as they are either junk or somebody else would have dealt with it as it was part of a group email. That still leaves about 15% that I need to deal with and I do not feel calm until they have all been dealt with. My aim for each day is to finish with an empty Inbox.

It has become a bit of an obsession to have  Zero Inboxes because then I feel more organised and in control. I guess it is a control thing as I need to have tidy drawers and a clear desk all the time at work. This is probably because it is an area of my life that I have most control over as I am the same with my car.  I am the only one (at the moment) who drives it and I have a  little bin to put rubbish into, a cloth to wipe down the dashboard and doors and it gets vacuumed out regularly.  I hate getting into Craig’s car as I feel stressed as it is a mess with sweet wrappers, little stones, dirt and dust on the carpets and dashboards. When I get that car it will have to have a full valet before I will drive it.


This zero inbox obsession has only manifested itself since I have felt more out of control at home. This has happened over the last 6 months or so and I really cannot pinpoint how it started but I do need to get it sorted before it gets to worse to stop me spiralling down into depression as has happened in the past. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Menu Plan week commencing 3rd July 2017



I have to admit I have been feeling pretty 'meh' for most of last week. I find when things are quiet in work it affects me at home and I do not feel motivated to get anything done unless I absolutely have to.

Quote of the week

To go along with how I have been feeling most of the week especially around the house.




Looking around the house

All though on the surface it doesn't look too bad I know the furniture needs to be pulled out and hoovered or swept underneath and there is a big pile of papers that need to be sorted out.

On the Menu

Monday-Poached egg and potato cake
Tuesday - Lasagna which I have already made and frozen so just needs reheating
Wednesday- Grilled Cheese Toasties and Soup and I will have a Mango, Banana and Kale Smoothie as I have a Parent's Evening at Matthews' new school and won't have time to eat anything beforehand.
Thursday- Slimming World Red Pepper, spinach and sweet potato tortilla with salad
Friday- Slimming World Special Egg Fried Rice
Saturday -Fakeaway KFC Chicken
Sunday -Slimming World Baked Cannelloni

What I am looking forward to /From the camera


The whole family are big fans of Doctor Who so we were very upset when we heard that The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff was closing in September. The summer weekends are pretty busy but we decided to do the trip in a few weeks time and get an early start and do it in a day. I went on my own a few years ago whilst I was doing some training so this picture is me on Matt Smith's Tardis.



I can't wait to go again with the family and see all the Peter Capaldi Doctor's props and characters.
Doing my usual link up with Happy Homemaker Monday and Organising Junkie

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

What I have been doing (19th-26th June 2017)

As this blog is called 'DIARY of a Busy Working Mum' I thought that I need to treat it like a diary and let you know what I have been up to ( It isn't 'Secret Diary... after all).

It was a busy week which started out at Quilting club on Monday. I am making a throw quilt for my bed and wanted to do hexagon flowers. I have made a few up to now but there are still plenty to go as I am hand sewing them all. It will probably be ready for Winter 2018 as the only chance I generally get to do anything is at the club which is once a fortnight.

 (1 down, 49 to go)

Tuesday was a big day for Emma as she had been invited to the Student of the Year presentation at the Lowry Theatre by her college. Some of the students had overcome tremendous obstacles to stay in college and I really admired them for their resilience and courage to complete their studies. Emma didn't win Student of the Year but I was still proud of her for getting Student of the Term
She is now looking for an apprenticeship doing photography or videography but there is little out there at the moment but she is definitely trying hard. She wants to be a travel photographer eventually but is willing to do anything to get experience.

Wednesday brought Emma a little closer to buying her own DSLR camera when she came into work with me to do a research project for my boss. She has been in a few times before doing other projects and it is what made her decide that working full time in an office was not for her. ( I can't blame her, I wish I was in a more active job sometimes)

I managed to resist temptation on Thursday when I took Matthew to Krispy Kreme for a treat. I stuck to coffee whilst he tucked into a sprinkle doughnut

I love going there and watching the doughnuts being made. This time they had the glazing machine on as well. We have been lucky in the past and have been able to go behind the counter and see how the doughnut mixture is made and then filled and ate our own doughnuts. Matthew has also been to a party there and came back on such a sugar high from all the doughnuts he had eaten it was a wonder he wasn't sick.

I was in cooking and organising mode on Friday when I made the Spicy Lamb kebabs from Prima magazine for my brother in law, J.  Craig and I then helped him organise some paperwork he needed for the legal separation from his wife. J had a massive stroke nearly 3 years ago and isn't able to organise the paperwork himself due to the brain damage he suffered.

I also did my own planning for the week and decided to start decorating my planner the way I have seen people on Instagram and Youtube. I have made the inserts as I have not yet found exactly what I want and even these aren't perfect but they are close



The weekend was spent mainly out of the house visiting friends and family. I did lose 1 1/2lbs this week at Slimming World putting me a bit safer in my target zone. I want to get to the lower end of my target zone so that I have got a bit of wiggle room for events and holidays. I also managed to get these planters to brighten up my front garden a little.



We went to Morecambe on Sunday and ended up catching the last part of the kite festival. The kites were huge and it was a good job they were well fastened as it was extremely windy on the front.


We ended up getting back a little later than planned from there because of the Kite Festival so I have got to spend this week catching up with housework. I am glad there isn't much else planned for this week.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Menu Plan week Commencing 26th June 2016

Wow, I can't believe how quickly last week went by. It doesn't seem two minutes since I was posting my last menu plan. The best meal of the week was the Spicy Lamb kebabs. It was quite a busy week which is probably why it went so fast. I hope everybody else had a good week.

The weather 
Thankfully cooler than last week ( I am not a great fan of the heat). It stayed dry today for Matthews sports day but there is rain forecast for most of the week.

I am currently reading;
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It is about the laws of attraction and how you can get anything you want by asking for it and believing you have already received it. I will probably do a blog post about this once I have read it as I definitely think there is something in it.


In the craft basket:
In the quilting group I go to I have decided to make a throw quilt for my bed using hexagon flowers. I am paper piecing and it is all going to be hand sewn. Based on the size of my bed I figure  I need 49 flowers plus a white hexagon between each flower emphasise each flower. At the rate I am going it will be ready for winter 2018 but I am not in a rush as I do find it relaxing

On the Menu:

Monday - Nobody but me is eating at home so it will be whatever I can be bothered doing
Tuesday: Slimming World Chilli and Rice (cauliflower rice for me)
Wednesday - So juicy Chicken with cubed potatoes and steamed vegetables
ThursdayFresh tortellini with a tomato and mascarpone sauce with garlic bread
Friday - Burger in a bowl with salad
Saturday: 1 pot BBQ chicken and rice (recipe from Countryside Cravings)
Sunday = Garlic and herb penne pasta

On my to do list

  • Make appointment for contact lens check and eye test
  • Clear out and tidy shed
  • Decorate planner for next week
  • Decide on goals for July and write blog post
And finally

From the camera



We went to Morecambe to see the parents of friends of ours and we saw these sculptures on the front. They look like they are made of wood when you see them close up but colour wise they blend with the rocks.

The Kite Festival was also on and we caught the end of it, just as they were reeling them in. Some of these kites were huge as you might be able to see from the size of the people in the picture and you might just be able to make out a kite in the shape of a diver. They definitely chose the right day for it as it was exceptionally windy on the front.

I am linking up with Sandra at Happy Homemaker Monday and Organising Junkie


Have a great week

Deborah

Monday, 19 June 2017

Menu Plan week commencing 19th June 2017

I hope everyone in the UK is enjoying/coping with the heatwave we are currently experiencing. We had a busy weekend with Emma's 18th birthday party and Fathers Day Barbecue at my sister in laws. I was glad there was plenty of shade to keep a little bit cooler in.

Anyway, I thought I would do the menu plan post a little differently as I found Happy Homemaker Monday on Diary of a Stay at Home Mom so I will be using her format to give you a little more than just a menu plan each week.

The Weather.  

Glorious but I am glad it is going to cool down during the week. There is nothing worse than being in work when the weather is hot, hot, hot.


On my reading pile

I have recently re-purchased some books that I had when I was trying to get organised but I must have given them away in a clear out a few years ago. Anyway I bought them again as I feel that I need to sort out myself out as things have 'drifted' so to speak. So they are

Totally Organized by Bonnie McCullough
Confessions of an Organized Homemaker- Deniece Schofield
The Family Manager takes charge - Kathy Peel.

They were only 1p on Amazon (with £.2.80 delivery on each book ) so I couldn't resist. 
I am not going to read them cover to cover, they are more to dip into to get inspiration and ideas.

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend
Doctor Who
The Pioneer Woman

On the Menu this week

Monday -YOYO (You're on your own)

Tuesday- Chicken Stir Fry

Wednesday - Gammon, Eggs and Slimming World Chips

Thursday - Vegetable risotto

Friday- Spiced lamb kebabs and salad

Saturday - Curried Mince Beef and Rice

Sunday - Roast Chicken Dinner

On my to do list

Make contact lens check and sight test appointment
Do the WI newsletter
Buy the curry for the Curried Mince Beef
Student of the Year ceremony-Tuesday (Emma has been nominated ;)  )
Make an list of all account numbers and contact numbers (utilities, pensions, insurance etc) so easy to find if need to contact and also all in one place to grab in case of emergency.

hhm

Also hooking up with Organising Junkie as usual.

Have a good week.

Deborah