Tuesday, 8 May 2018

I'm back...

So sorry that it's been a while since I updated this blog but life has been mega busy lately......but in a good way :)

I'll try and re-cap some of what's happened since my last update.

First of all, DS is going to be part of an autism study. I am mega excited about this!
The study is going to be conducted by a Cambridge University student.
I accidently stumbled across the information and as I read it I was thinking 'Wow! DS would be perfect for this' so I put us forward for it.
The study is a language and communication focus and I knew he would fit the criteria for it straightaway and he has! :)
I'll update the blog on this as we go along :)

We've had a few mini breaks away which are always fab! :)
I had an adult walking break (without DS as it was term time) in the Peak District. We would walk/hike during the day and would always finish up in our favourite country pub with a roaring fire, delicious food and lovely wine - bliss! :)

Then at Easter, we had a family break in our fave cottage just outside York.
DS absolutely loves this place! The jacuzzi bath is a massive hit with him and he asks for one everyday :)
We visited York's Chocolate Story for the first time and as DS and I are serious chocoholics (it's in the genes!) we were in our own kind of heaven with lots of chocolate munching and chocolate smells everywhere <3


I'm still cooking from scratch and knocking up healthy fakeaways on the weekends :) I haven't had a proper takeaway for yonks now and I don't think it's any coincidence that I have lost another half a stone in just 3 weeks! :) :)


Speaking of cooking......I have been baking my little family fresh homemade bread using my 'new to me' breadmaker.
I have baked my own bread by hand for ages but it is time consuming.
Last week, I spotted that someone was offering their unused breadmaker on my local Freecyle and I jumped at it!
It's brill! I love how I just pop all the ingredients in, switch it on and it does everything! :)


I have also been making my own natural beauty products :)
This week, I whipped up a sugar & thyme bodyscrub and a shower gel using coconut oil and tea tree oil - I think I might be a bit addicted to the smell of this - so divine!


I'm so loving this warm weather this week and hosted my first BBQ of the year which was amazing! DS loved everyone around chatting and eating in our garden and even sat with us to eat :)

This week has been lots of sunny days out in parks on his scooter and then stopping at pretty little cafes for a cool drink and a sit down :)


We have also made a few trips to the local garden centre to buy some pretty plants and flowers.
DS has taken quite an interest in these and will help me water and care for them :) How super is he?! :)

Hoping we will see a bit more of this weather as I'm quite enjoying this view :)


Speak soon,

Love Amanda xxx



Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Happiness Revolution...

So yet again, we're at the end of the month which means my happiness list :)

Just like everyone else no doubt, I am really looking forward to seeing the signs of Spring and the temperature warming up a bit. It won't be long now :)

Okay so here are the big and little things that made me happy and smiley during February :)

Here we go...

1) Reaching my 2 stone award! :) I feel so happy that I have lost 2 whole stones! :)

2) Having a lovely and fantastic girly night out with the best, uplifting and feel good women ever!


3) Celebrating Chinese New Year in China Town in Liverpool with DS. We went to my fave Chinese eatery which he thoroughly enjoyed :) though I suspect the train ride was his highlight of the day :)


4) Having a gorgeous and pampering manicure at my local salon :)


5) Enjoying a relaxing and cosy half term break in Chirk with DS and my family. It was slow paced which was perfect! :)



6) Absolutely loving lounging in front of the open fire in the cottage on our break in the evening. I would have a glass of wine and happily watch the flames flicker all evening - it was bliss!


7) Re-connecting with a special and dear friend who I had lost touch with. It's been lovely to meet up again and catch up. Really lovely :)

8) Dragging my butt to my local community centre to try and get back into some exercise classes. They have been hard but I am really enjoying them plus I'm already feeling great after working up a sweat from them :) Zumba is my absolute fave! :)

9) Baking and cooking. I have been busy baking to use up foods before they go past their best before date. I have had a few sorry looking Plums last week so I made a Plum & Apple Crumble.
I also had some left over Almonds which I chucked in a loaf of bread I was making.
I hate food waste and do feel down if I have to chuck something out that I didn't get to use.
To be fair, chucking food out very rarely happens in my house but this month NOTHING has been wasted as I have been extra clever at using it for something else :)

10) Hanging washing out to dry!! Yes really! This is making me happy! :D
I have been hanging our washing out for the last week and it's been drying!
I am fed up of having clothes airers indoors everywhere and the tumble dryer is soooo expensive to run so this has had me smiling for sure :)

So there it is, my happy list.

Keep warm as we are warned that we are going to have another cold spell towards the end of the week.

Speak soon,

Love Amanda xxx


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Fakeaway Magic...

So recently I suppose I have given myself and my little family a lifestyle overhaul.

Towards the end of last year, I took a long hard look at my our habits and thought about how I could change them to make them healthier or just better for us.

One little sneaky habit that had crept in was regular take aways.
Those days where I fancied a night off cooking or I felt that there was 'nothing in' the fridge or cupboards to throw a half decent meal together would have me reaching for the phone to order out.

I then started to look at the nutritional value of my favourite regular take away foods. I looked at the calories, fat, salt and sugar content and it was an sobering realisation!
My fave Chinese dish contained the calories and fat for a whole two days of food alone!

Also at over £20 a pop it was also expensive.
£10 per person to eat a fat and sugar laden meal when I can make something tasty and healthy at under £1.50 per person!
It is no brainer.

So I've since introduced homemade fakeaways on a Friday or Saturday night - or even both sometimes! :)
It takes no time at all, saves calories, fat and also pennies :)


So far, I've rustled up Lamb Rogan Josh, Sweet 'n' Sour Chicken, Egg Fried Rice,Chicken Chow Mein, Red Thai Curry, Beef in Black Bean Sauce, Skinny Lamb Doner Kebabs and my all time favourite - KFC Chicken!
I have found the most awesome KFC recipe! DS's Dad didn't believe me that it wasn't actually from KFC when I used him as my tester! :D


I have made no secret in the past that I am a sucker for wine and chocolate :)
They are my all time weaknesses.
This year, I have really curbed this habit limiting chocolate to just one night a week and a glass of wine if I fancy it but to be honest, more often than not, I have opted to have a mug of coffee instead :)
In fact, I have had no alcohol since the end of January just because I haven't fancied it.

I think it's no coincidence that just last week I hit my 2 stone weight loss.
Two whole stones gone forever - I am so chuffed! :)


Cooking my favourite meals from scratch and making them healthier seems to be working an absolute treat! :)
Saving money on overpriced takeaways just adds to the beauty of it :)

Speak soon,

Love Amanda xxx




Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Happiness Revolution...

I actually cannot believe that I am writing my January's happiness revolution list already!

Historically, the month of January has always been a loooong and dreary month but this year, to my absolute amazement, it has whizzed by!
Not quite sure of the reasons for that ...

I will be writing another post in the next week or so about the changes I have made at home this month and how they have impacted us :)

Okay, so here are the big and little things that have made me happy during January :)

Here we go...

1) Booking our family Summer holiday and cannot wait! :)

2) Going on lots of random train rides with DS :)
DS is loving train rides at the mo' so we crammed in a few train journeys before he went back to school. It didn't really matter where we went just as long as we sat on the train :)

3) Making a healthy and yummy fakeaway every Friday/Saturday night. It's saving money as well as calories and I really enjoy cooking them :)

4) Having planning permission granted on an extension to our house! Yaaaay! :)
The extension is going to a sensory/play room for DS.
It's been an hard and very long slog getting to this point as we hit snags at every turn so for most of the year it was one step forward and two steps back!
So glad that we have reached this point though there are a few things to do before we can start to build yet....

5) January is my birthday month and I was totally and utterly spoiled!!!
I was taken for a gorgeous Spa break for my favourite treatments, prosecco was on tap and I slept under the stars! Magical!


6) The view I woke up to on my Spa break and the 'posh' coffee I was left :)

7) The Peppa Pig birthday cake Daddy & DS bought me and DS blowing out my candles :D


8) Celebrating with my Mum on hitting her 4 stone weight loss!! 4 stone!!
She is an inspiration and has lost the weight so healthy, steadily and stuck at it!
Well done Mum :)


9) Spending chilly but awesome days with DS. We all love family days out together <3


10) The homemade soups and casseroles I am making. My slow cooker is always out at this time of the year and nothing beats walking in from a frosty day out to the smell of a yummy casserole or stew simmering away :)

Can I be naughty and add an 11th one??

11) Really enjoying and absorbing the Mindfulness course that I am currently doing. It is a free 8 week course for parents of children on the spectrum.
I'm finding it so beneficial - it's fab! Just this morning, I found myself practising the breathing techniques as well as a bit of meditation.
Also I'm meeting other 'autism Mums' as an added bonus :)

So that's my happy list :)

Promise to do another post very soon,

Take care & keep warm,

Love Amanda xx

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happiness Revolution...

Happy New Year's Eve! :)

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas :)

Our Christmas was perfect. It was quiet, calm and predictable. All vital ingredients for a successful and happy Christmas for DS :)

We all thoroughly enjoyed it, though I am absolutely dreading getting weighed in the new year! (too much Baileys and Prosecco spring to mind) eeek!

This is my second happiness revolution post and I am loving writing them. I think its good to concentrate more on positive happy stuff :)

So here is my little round up of the things that made me happy during December......here we go...

1. We visited the Lantern Parade at Chester Zoo.
I find that there's just something so magical about walking around the zoo after nightfall, carrying colourful lanterns and seeing all the twinkly lights.
This definitely got me into the mood for Christmas.

2. Visiting the Christmas markets.
I always have a little overnight city stay in December which I combine with Christmas shopping and then a relaxing mini break before heading back home the next day.
This year didn't fail and I bought lots of handmade quirky gifts including delicious homemade Elderflower Wine! :)


3. Enjoying a gorgeous Spa day with my special Mums and the yummy afternoon tea for lunch :)

4. Snow!!!!! We got a beautiful blanket of snow and it made everywhere so Christmassy and magical :) :)


6. Walking through the forest all Snowy and Wintery was just amazing! I absolutely loved it! :)

7. Meeting up with my oldest schoolfriends for Secret Santa fun and a long overdue catch up though we are putting that right in 2018! ;)

8. Having an awesome festive Family day out and enjoying a old fashioned carousel :) We did train rides, lunch out and stopped for naughty Mulled Wines  - DS was his usual fantastic self and loved the day! :)


9. Having the best Christmas Day ever with DS.
We've definitely got Christmas pretty much spot on for him now though he does keep changing with his tolerance to things so I try to gauge that and alter stuff where I think it's needed to keep up with him :)


10. Being taken to a lovely old stone house in the countryside by a dear friend to rest after a busy year and Christmas. Delicious home cooked food, steaming hot bubble baths with a couple of glasses of prosecco, roaring fire and not to mention waking up to this pretty Winter view.
It certainly was a great way to end the year :)

There's so much more that I could go on and on as December was truly magical but I'll stop at these 10 :)

So all there is to say is here is to a great 2018......see you then :)

Love Amanda xx




Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Happiness Revolution...

I am a pretty positive person anyway but I have decided to list the things that have made me happy and smile this month :)

I hope to do this at the end of every month, like a little sort of re-cap of the month.

It will be fab to just remind myself of things that made me beam or cry with laughter :) as well as to be able to look back on.

So let's forget all about negative stuff for a mo' :) here we go....

10 things that have had me smiling this month are...

1. Visiting the lovely autism friendly Thomas Centre and enjoying Lincolnshire. DS absolutely loves it there and I am starting to feel a little lovely connection to Louth :)
We have already booked to go back for our FOURTH visit! :)


2. Watching our own little firework display and seeing DS's beaming little face at all the pretty lights and colours :) Also enjoying the slow cooker Chilli Con Carne, chunks of fluffy homemade bread and 'special' baked potatoes that I made for afterwards :)


3. The very naughty Christmassy breakfast that I had with my Mum one morning after the school run. Mince pie and Toffee Latte! Mum and I promised each other that it would strictly be a one off! :D


4. DS and I catching the local bus into town on a Saturday afternoon to pick up some bits and even popped into my favourite cafe for a drink and toast. He was amazing and not to mention how brilliant he waited at the bus stop and sat on the bus beautifully for the journey home! Wow! :)

5. Learning to make pretty bath bombs and soap with my lovely new village group. I know already that I have made some life long friendships there and I so enjoy meeting up with everyone :)

6. Making the house more pretty and cosy. I even impressed myself with my DIY skills! :) My sawing was ace and precise even if I do say so myself! haha

7. Made the Christmas cake! It is only my second time at making this but last years Christmas Cake was a success so I decided to make it again this year using the same recipe.
The house smells so lovely and Christmassy that it's making me want to pour myself a glass of Mulled Wine -  like now!!


8. Not only did one of my lovely Mum friends get married this month but it was the first wedding that DS has attended. It was such a lovely and relaxed wedding which was perfect for DS.
He sat beautifully during the ceremony though he did do some of his own singing which made the newly wed couple turn around and smile at us! :) I am so proud of him! <3


9. My sofa, chair and carpets had their 6 monthly shampoo clean this week. I always love it when they have been done as they looks so new and shiny :)

10. Ditching sugar & artificial sweetener!!
I have always had sugar or sweetener in my tea. This month, I decided to retrain my taste buds and get use to unsweetened food and drinks. I am a few weeks into this change and find it more than okay.
As a result, I have decided to do a bit of a diet overhaul and have also cut out chocolate to just one night a week, I am drinking alot more water and am barely drinking wine and prosecco.

I definitely feel better for it and as a super bonus I have lost just under half a stone in weight in just a fortnight!

So there we have November's happy highlights :)
Feel free to join in too

Keep warm!

Love Amanda










Saturday, 28 October 2017

Desensitation/Making things a little bit less scary...

When it came to hospital & GP visits, DS would be ultra cool about them.

He didn't mind these sorts of appointment visits at all and I would even go as far as to say that he would actually look forward to them! :D

It wasn't always like that though. It took a lot of forward thinking, work and lots of time to get to that stage but once we were at it then it was a breeze!

Unfortunately, since then DS has had to have two blood tests quite close together. He hated it and it was mega traumatic for him.

Ever since, he has developed mega anxiety to anything medical related; so that's GP surgeries, clinics, hospitals and even dentists.

I am gutted as I feel we have gone about 18 months to 2 years backwards :(

Of course, I will start again trying to build up his trust with these sorts of visits but with his fantastic memory of those nasty blood tests, then I worry that he may never be okay about visiting the GP again.

However, I really want to start working towards this as soon as possible.

I have taken DS to the odd GP appointment with me, just to observe that it's all fine.
He has been anxious about it but been okay.

Today I decided to move our own little desensitation programme on a little bit.
This involved us driving to our local hospital and having a drink in the coffee shop.

I told DS where we were going and he wanted reassurance from me that it would just be the coffee shop within the hospital that we were visiting. I reassured him of that and he walked in with me, though still a tad anxious.

DS sat beautifully though as we drank our drinks and he munched on his apple :)

I am so happy that he was more than fine with it.
I will repeat this coffee shop visit several times before moving it on to maybe having a little walk down one of the hospital corridors....

Baby steps is the key here but I am so pleased that today was a success.

I am so proud of how he copes with so much.

Have a great half term! :)

Love Amanda xx