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The Dog Eats The Leftovers

About This Blog

This Blog is meant to be a light-hearted look at how a parent as to navigate his or her way through life whilst bringing up two teenagers on a very limited income. We want to share what we have learnt and hopefully help anyone else out there struggling to make things work in a seemingly chaotic world. I don't always get it right and I am certainly not perfect.....

Memory walk For Alzeihmer’s

Families Posted on Sun, September 13, 2015 19:11:41

Adam and I did the Memory Walk for Alzeihmer’s today. We went there, did it and got the T-Shirts. I was walked out by the end of it but it was a very positive experience. I’m not sure if they will ever find a “cure”. It’s such a complex condition. How much of any disease is caused by diet, lifestyle, stress, relationships………we are such complicated creatures. Perhaps if we all learnt to enjoy the present a bit more and count every minute as a blessing we might all be healthier.

After wards we went to see mum and dad. Its a rare occasion for them to have both their children there at the same time.

What to do when your kids don’t need you.

Families Posted on Sat, September 12, 2015 14:42:58

I’ve worked in schools for most of my life, primarily as a freelance drama and dance teacher. I used to enjoy the school holidays even though money was always tight. Unfortunately I never got paid during holidays, but you can’t have it all can you?
Spending time with the kids when they were young was a privilege. I was never one of those parents that said “I’m glad they’ve gone back to school” or “They’re doing my head in!!” (popular Leicester expression).

To be truthful, I always felt very depressed when they went back after the holiday. The house felt empty and the thought of six weeks depressing school run in the slowly darkening mornings and evenings put a dampener of everything. Not to mention the Autumn term being the longest and toughest for most teachers and and the oncoming Christmas the most expensive.

This Summer break was different. I’d just lost a job, had no money and no chance of a holiday (not had one for 10 years! nothing new there). But, apart from that… kids don’t need me anymore. They need me to provide food, hugs, counselling and laundry service. They also need me as target practice when something or someone gets them angry and they need to project it onto a crash test mummy/dummy.

To be honest, it was a very lonely 7 weeks and I’m feeling like I’m wasting my potential.

So….time for a new outlook. Time to think ahead.
Maybe a career change. its never too late.

Noel can get a job though. He’s eating too much.


Family friends and their dogs

Families Posted on Thu, July 09, 2015 17:58:26

Oh, I just couldn’t resist this. My lovely friend Mel, her dog Iris. She has hay fever and can’t stop scratching. I laughed like a drain….Iris can’t see the funny side. Mel’s daughters put H.M.S TITANIC on the first one, but it popped!

Cooking from scratch

Families Posted on Mon, July 06, 2015 12:33:08

I don’t really want this blog to be all about food. It’s just that
purchasing food seems to be what I do the most and it is my biggest
bill. The chips are down financially (no pun intended) and, when
that has been the case in the past, food shopping is always the first
to get hit. I am a little tired of TV programmes promoting the
“cooking-from-scratch” and “shop well for less” idea and,
much as I like Jamie Oliver, his thirty minute meals cook book
required me to buy a load of equipment that I couldn’t afford. To
prove my point I went out and bought the ingredients to make my own
pizza bases and toppings. I quite enjoyed the process of making them
with Hayley and, as the photo suggests, they were full of
promise…..but when they came out of the oven they had ballooned,
the mozzarella was a river and there was no taste there at all. Now
there are massive slices of the stuff taking up most of the fridge.
I’m vegan but tried the dough and it was a bitter disappointment.

you are going to experiment Mum can you do it at lunch time and not
at dinner. And if you do, can you warn me.” Noel suggested.

Hayley patted me on the arm “It’s OK mum, you tried your best, you
always do…it’s just this time you didn’t succeed.

Noel was bothered about the waste and said he would eat it cold later
on in the evening……..It’s still in the fridge. I suppose I shall have to filter
bits to Ollie over the next few days. He already had his eyes on it
last night and wouldn’t go for a pee until I’d given him a taste. He
can sniff out a leftover from miles off. He’s easy to please.

The home made baked beans were amazing though. Although it is
cheaper to buy a tin from Aldi and, next time I shall just pop over
the road to Asda and get two Pizzas for a quid each because, at least
I know they will be eaten.

Now I need to find a use for a large bag of bread flour and some left
over yeast. I can’t even give it to my ex-husband, who is an artisan
baker. He only uses organic, locally milled flour. The kids are too
old for me to turn it into Play-dough.

Cutting corners is difficult. Cheaper toilet roll is useless as well.


Families Posted on Sat, July 04, 2015 17:12:35

I am trying to teach my son some basic cookery skills. It looks like I am going to have to work some evenings and weekends in the near future so I am hoping that I can come home to a cooked meal that has been rustled up by one of my children.

I watched him wrestle with the ring pull on the baked beans, “It’s going to splash back at me, I’ve got my best T-Shirt on.” He then spent the next ten minutes trying to make up his mind what he was going to have with the beans so I started to do it for him.

“Mum, I can cope much better if you stopped staring at me.”

“Do you want me to go Noel?”

“Yes….it would make my day!”


I did put the random comment on my previous post saying “I made my own baked beans”. And then the doorbell rang and I pressed the submit button by mistake.

One can of chopped tomatoes, some tomato purée, one can of haricot beans in water, drained. Make the sauce first, reduce slightly and add the beans. Absolutely gorgeous! Twice the price of buying ready made baked beans but well up on taste and no added sugar.


Families Posted on Sat, July 04, 2015 16:50:41

Ok, so someone gave me a marrow. I am demonstrating the size of the thing by juxtaposing it with the glasses, which I didn’t need to wear to see it. I am vegan so I’m used to dealing with vegetables but I find marrow a bit tasteless. The kids aren’t keen. I think I’ll just look at it for a bit until I feel inspired.

Yesterday I made my own baked beans

Feeding time

Families Posted on Fri, July 03, 2015 17:59:41

Noel came downstairs today with a lean and hungry look and said
“Well, I’ll have a pot noodle then. There’s nothing else to eat.
You’ve got nothing to snack on”. This was said in his usual
downward inflection whilst I am unpacking yet another three bags of
shopping with food in. I then looked in the cupboard and pulled out
an empty bread-stick packet, two empty egg boxes and a biscuit box
with a wrapper in. In the fridge was an empty grated cheese bag and a
juice bottle with a thimble full of liquid in it. “So, I’m supposed
to be a mind reader am I Noel? I’m supposed to guess when the bags
and boxes are empty.” he said “Well, all you’ve got to do is look
inside and you’d see they were empty. I left them there to remind
you.” I suppose he had a point.

The question is…….would it be cheaper to do a big shop? Or is it
easier and more cost effective to shop by the day and just buy the
basics like pasta, rice and sauces etc from Aldi? I’ve given up on a
meal plan. We all eat different things and sometimes we eat at
different times.

Do you know what? I don’t really care. I hate unpacking it anyway,
I only eat vegetables and the dog eats the leftovers and the the
guinea pigs are eating the grass. I must be making a saving