Meal Plan Monday w/c 5th March

I’m giving meal planning another try. Every time I’ve tried before I’ve stopped after a week or so. But trying to get organised because taking the wild child on a weekly shop is getting more and more difficult. It’s either clashing with naptime or he’s just trying to escape the trolley and I leave in a rush forgetting half the stuff on my list.

Last week I placed my first ever order online for a weekly food shop. If you saw my Instagram stories you’ll know how ridiculously over excited I was for this event. Quite frankly, I could do with getting more of a life, but sod it. It was thrilling.

It was slightly nerve wracking, because we’ve all heard the horror stories about odd substitutions or missed items etc, but it went really well! I ordered with Iceland because they were the cheapest quite frankly, there’s free delivery if you spend £35 and they don’t substitute anything just email you on the day to let you know if anything won’t be delivered, and you’re not charged.

I was really pleased, the only thing missing was a bag of apples, everything else arrived in great condition, fruit and veg was fresh and meat had good dates etc.

I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now, but I was, and clearly still am, far too excited about this new (to me) world of online food shopping!

So now my routine will be to sit down on a Sunday and plan the meals for the week ahead, place my order online for delivery on a Tuesday (because I work on a Monday) and use my lunch hour from work to pick up any little bits that I couldn’t order online. Like today I nipped over for some cotton buds.
My meal plans won’t always be as long winded and rambling as this I promise!
Monday – BBQ chicken fajitas
Tuesday – Toad in the hole, mashed potatoes and peas
Wednesday – Cawl and dumplings
Thursday – Lasagne and garlic bread
Friday – Lentil curry, rice, naan bread, poppadum’s, dips
Saturday – No cook Saturday
Sunday – Mother’s Day tea (surprise!)
Do you meal plan? What’s your favourite meal to cook?
Mrs H xxx

The Band Musical – A Review

It’s very rare that I go to see a theatre show having no real idea what it’s about. And it’s even more rare for me to go and see a show, if I’m totally honest, that I actually wasn’t too bothered about seeing. I’d seen a musical based on Take That songs (a musical I love by the way!) and wasn’t in a big rush to see another one. 

And usually I’ve heard all about what a show is about or already seen it 3 times (Wicked and Billy Elliot I’m looking at you guys!) but when Cardiff Mummy Says invited me to go with her to see The Band Musical I went along having no idea of the story. 

I mean I knew about the music, it’s all Take That songs, and that the guys playing “The Band” were cast from a talent show, but I’d only seen about 10 minutes of the whole series, so apart from that my knowledge of the storyline was non existent. 

The story starts by following 5 school friends, it’s 1992 and they’re 16. Their love for The Band is all consuming, and we watch their joy and promises they make each other for their future. All this dotted with the classic Take That songs, making for a bubbly, lively and thoroughly enjoyable start. 

Tonight’s performance did experience some technical difficulties (though we’re not exactly sure what they were) which meant that the first half was stopped about half an hour in, and paused for 5 minutes, but it didn’t seem to interrupt the flow or the energy of the show. 

The young cast were absolutely spectacular. Their acting just blew me away, being able to confidently hold an audience the way they did, they could have easily carried the entire show without an issue. Watching as the characters came from their first concert, making plans for their lives and making promises to each other gave me flashbacks to my own childhood, and I could have spent the evening watching them record Top of the Pops and making up dance routines. But of course the story continues. 

I’m not going to give away too much about the storyline, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone going, but the story does then see the “girls” 25 years later. Did their lives go as they’d planned as teenagers? Spoilers ;) 

I was surprised as to how the “Band” were incorporated into the story, more of background singers than the main show. It was very different, but I thought it worked great. It made for some very funny moments, and also meant that some of the famous Take That costumes and dance moves could be incorporated. It’s very difficult to properly explain their role (I guess you’ll just have to go see it if you really want to know!)

I did find that the sound could be a bit unbalanced between the cast and the band, both the musical band and the singers. A lot of the songs were punctuated by dialogue and sometimes this was lost as the songs and music were a touch too loud. 

The lighting certainly gave the “rock concert” effect. Plenty of moving lights, dramatic changes and blinding flashes. 

The adult cast were equally superb. The strong female characters were portrayed brilliantly, and the sense of historical friendship could really be felt. 

More of Take That’s modern songs were incorporated, really bringing home how many people have literally grown up and loved the band through most of their lives.

I honestly believe that an audience can tell if the cast are genuinely enjoying themselves, and it gives a show an extra edge. This show certainly had that! 

This evening I’ve laughed loudly, sobbed loudly, sang loudly and danced wildly. 

It was a perfect night out to spend with partners, girlfriends, boyfriends or family! Basically anyone could go and see this, and I really think you’d have a fantastic time! 

You may also have heard that 3 special guests turned up at the very end. Opening night of the new tour, and Garry, Howard and Mark made a special appearance and performance. Of course this made tonight’s trip extra special (not as special as if there’s been a chance for a selfie, but you can’t have everything!) but honestly, I’d have come away feeling as good as I did if the show had finished as it usually would. Take That showing up was pretty special, but the show holds its own as a truly fantastic night out. 
If you want to get a taste for the show, and a guest appearance from Take That, head over to The Herniman House Facebook page, where you’ll find a live video of the performance! I will warn you though, the filming is VERY shaky! I’d sobbed and cheered until I was no longer able to hold a camera steady haha!! 

The Band is showing in Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre from 9th-20th of January, and it’s exactly what you need to blow away the January blues. 

Mrs H xxx

Disclaimer – I was given a ticket in exchange for a review of the show. All thought and opinions are honest and my own 

Hello January!

A new year and a new chance to set goals, make resolutions and make decisions, big or small.
I can’t say that I have a great track record with resolutions, I don’t always choose what’s actually important or realistic, but I do like to take a little time to set some out. Whether they’re hit or skewed along the way it’s just a great time to start a fresh outlook on things.
I’ve set out a yearly plan of goals for the blog this year. I won’t bore you all by listing them all here! But I can say that I want to make more of an effort with it. I really love the writing and everything (well mostly!) that goes along with blogging, and I’d love to be able to make it a hobby that starts to pay its way.
Health! I am not going to be making a resolution to lose weight (that’s a whole other blog post and rant!) but I am going to aim to be healthier and fitter. I absolutely will not be giving up chocolate or crisps, but I need to get out and moving more. I’ve tried different gyms and activities over the years, but I just haven’t found what works and motivates myself yet, and fits in with my time around the kids. So, I’m hoping that this year I’ll be able to find what works best for me. I won’t lie and say that a bit of weight loss would be welcome but I’m more concerned about being able to chase after the kids without passing out haha!!
Being more selfish! I’ve mentioned before that 2017 was a bit rough for me personally and my mental health, and I want to take this year to make sure that I stay on track. The last few days I haven’t taken my medication, purely by accident, but I could really feel the negative effects of not taking them, even after 4 days! And why hadn’t I taken them? Because I found “more important” things to do and forgot. But really, what’s more important than my own health? Self-care isn’t selfish, and I can’t expect to look after everyone else if I’m not looking after myself. I’ll be trying to take more time to look after myself, whether that is an evening reading or a trip out to the coffee shop by myself, or even just getting an early night! Mental health is just as important as my physical health, so I’ll be trying to take care of both of those this year.
Travel more and enjoy family time. Mr H is getting busier with work, I’m getting busier with my work which are both great things, but it does mean that it’s more important to spend quality time together and as a family when we can. We did pretty well with this last year, so we’ll definitely be continuing this and making even more of an effort to visit new places, visit some well-loved places and enjoy all the time we can together.
Have you made any goals or resolutions for 2018?
Mrs H xxx

Wrapping Up 2017

This past year has been chaotic, hard but wonderful.
I wouldn’t have been able to survive half as well without my fantastic husband, and family. They were there through all the best and worst and mundane parts of 2017. Also I’ve had some new and old friendships really develop. Both online and in “real life” though some are crossing over which is just fantastic! I’m really starting to feel content with who I’m surrounding myself with, and have such a supportive village. That’s not to say there aren’t many more people I don’t get to see so much, who I’d like to see more of. But all our lives get so busy it’s not always easy to do.
2017 has been a year of learning for me. Learning how to parent two small children, learning to let go of the eldest when he went to school, learning new systems when returning to work after maternity leave, learning what I want from myself in life, and also learning to deal with my own mental health.
None of these have been particularly easy, and all of them will be on going learning experiences. However as the year ends I finally feel content. Not that I can sit back and do nothing, there’s plenty of hard work to be done in the new year, in all parts of my life. But I feel happy with the way things are progressing and the plans I’m starting to have to push forward in all these areas.
As with any year, I guess, there are regrets. My biggest one is not focusing on my mental health sooner and taking so long to sort it out. It’s only really within the last two months or so that I finally feel like I’m in control of it and that I’m in a good place. I’m sad that it took so long, mainly because of the affects it had on my parenting and my behaviour around the children. Not that it was a drastic as that may sound, but I just know that it could have been so much better, with more patience and understanding.
I’m not dwelling on the negatives, as much as I might regret things in the last year, there’s nothing I’m able to do to change what’s been, I can only focus on learning from the experiences and making for a better 2018.
This year hasn’t been all bad, far from it. It’s been an amazing year for travelling and exploring new places with the family.
Abroad we visited Portugal and France. Portugal has fast become one of our favourite places to visit, and we already have the next visit booked! France was the first ‘big’ trip in the motorhome. It wasn’t without struggles (family sickness bug whilst cooped up in a caravan on wheels anyone!?) but mostly it was a lovely trip, great company (thanks mum and dad!) and plenty of lovely food.
In the UK we were lucky enough to visit Bluestone, Minehead, and our annual trip to Tenby.
We certainly were very spoilt travel wise – hopefully we can continue that into 2018!
It’s been a big year for the boys too. G has started school, and is now going five full days a week! He’s thriving and absolutely loves it, and despite all the stress beforehand we are so happy with our choice of schools. The staff are just fantastic and are a great support for G and also for us as parents.
B is no longer a baby but a hurricane of a toddler. He’s a force but incredibly sweet too. His personality is really coming through, and they’re both learning to share and play together, which is just wonderful to watch. I’m so excited to watch them grow together this coming year, and see what new experiences are in store for us all.
So overall it’s been a bit of an up and down year, but then I guess all years are really. The most important thing is that it’s finished feeling positive and looking forward. I’m happy and excited to build on everything in the New Year.
Wishing all my wonderful readers a very happy and prosperous new year, and I look forward to chatting to you all through the year!
Mrs H xxx