Olympic Meme and a claim to fame

Should pulling faces be an Olympic Sport?

I’ve mentioned on here before that I’m slightly excited about the Olympics and every day we get closer to going, we get that little bit more giddy. The Olympic torch will pass M & V’s school, Derm’s Shop and T’s nursery on Friday (Ooh the pressure of deciding where I’m going to watch it!) so it seems like a good idea to join in with the Olympic Meme. Its supposed to be a bit like the Olympic Flame and carry on going until the Olympics start.

I was tagged by Kate from the Five F’s as she has heard me blathering on about the Olympics before. The Meme was originally started by Lou from Bloggomy asking us nine Olympic related questions.

So here goes …

1. If every day tasks were Olympic events what would you get a gold medal in?

Cakes perhaps? Procrastinating? Talking? Drinking Gin? Certainly nothing practical and house related.

2. As a child (or now even) did you excel at a particular sport and if so which one?

I was a good swimmer (yep, it runs in the family) and enjoyed synchronised swimming but I was always a bit too concerned with what everyone else was doing to be fast enough. Other than that, I hated sports – Sports Day were my least favourite day of the year and still make me shudder.

3. Michael Phelps (swimmer) or Michael Johnson (runner) – which sport appeals to you more?

Duh! Michael Phelps of course – amazing guy. I still get goosebumps remembering him winning those 8 gold medals n Beijing 2008.

4. How fast can you get out of bed and ready to go out the door if miss the alarm and sleep in?

Ha! We are a family that frequently only get out of bed at 8.25am and still manage to be out of the house at 8.50am so quite quickly! And yes, the kids do have breakfast in that time, have hair done, sometimes their uniforms ironed and packed lunches made.

5. What fantasy sport would you like to see made into an Olympic event?

Ferrero Rocher eating? Watching episodes of Greys Anatomy? Having three conversations at once? Changing a wriggly one year old’s nappy? Getting the children home from school without WW3 breaking out? Sitting by a pool watching my kids swim. I’d win em all!

6. Claim to fame time – Have you ever met an Olympian and who was it?

Erm yeah! I go for coffee with one every Saturday morning. Really. That only occurred to me when I was asked the question. The athlete in question is Ann Griffiths who competed in the 1500 metres at the Barcelona Olympics.

7. What event in past Olympics can you remember most vividly?

The Zola Budd and Mary Decker race in 1984 – God, I sound old!

8. Tuning in at home, not for me or tickets clamped ready in sweaty palms?

Flying in from my holidays in South France to watch the synchronised swimming duets and then flying back to finish my holiday! Now there’s commitment – I just wish my tickets would arrive!

9. Who do you think most deserves a gold medal (any walk of life not just Olympians)?

Olympians: It would have to be Tom Daley. I know his Dad would be so proud of him and it would be such a fitting tribute. I really hope it happens.

In every day life, I would award medals to the people that work in care homes who really try to make a difference. Those people that don’t watch the clock, they spend time talking to and caring for the residents even though they quite often must get nothing back. Thank you for looking after our loved ones, you are few and far between but your work is noticed.

And now the really hard part, who to tag to carry the torch going …

Cara at Freckles Family
Michelle at Mummy From the Heart
Kate at Another Goldfish
Sarah at Tilly Mint Boutique
Janine at ChouxChouxBeDoo

If you fancy joining in, feel free. Give me a shout and I’ll give you a mention. Ta! Hopefully one day young Mil will fulfil her dream of competing in the synchronised swimming at the Olympics – My money is on 2020 (which is rumoured to be held in Azerbaijan)

Foodie Penpal – The Big Reveal

There’s a new craze sweeping the nation this month (No, its not queuing for petrol or pasties)..Its sending total strangers packages of food goodies. Carol Anne from This is Rock Salt has co-ordinated us all in joining in with an idea started by Lyndsey from The Lean Green Bean. Basically, we find out what sort of food our foodie partner likes and send them a mystery package. On the same day of the month, we all blog about it. Easy!

There’s always an air of expectancy and a slight frisson of nervousness with these things. What if I really hate my package? What if I get my package to send completely wrong and my partner hates theirs?

I needn’t have worried – I was really pleased with the package that I received from Rachel. So what did I get? A lovely Recipe Journal with a handwritten recipe for Bara Brith immaculately written inside, and some tea-soaked fruit (which smells divine) which will be used this weekend hopefully. I’ve been meaning to buy some marmalade for ages after going to a WI session run by an expert on Jams & Preserves – I have bad memories of tasting marmalade as a child and hating it. I’m hoping my taste buds have matured a bit now and as luck would have it, my parcel included some locally produced marmalade from Rachel’s area in Cardiff. Yay! A total success. Thank you so much.

In the package that I sent to Fiona, I included a chocolate transfer sheet, some bronze lustre paint, some jams and a book called Bite Size (which I believe she has used already). Just in case Fee was having a savoury day, I added a jar of Pesto. I put everything in a box that used to have cards in it to use as a recipe organiser. Fiona has embraced the Foodie Penpal group so much that she has started her own blog and her big Foodie reveal is going to be her first post! Looking forward to reading it!

The Life of a Toddler – Imperfect Parenting

I’m good at being an imperfect parent – very good, in fact.

I’ve mentioned before on here that Tara is very fond of eating cat food. We have done everything to try and stop her. I’ve tried reasoning and explaining with her (yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds to a 1 year old), I’ve ignored her (thinking she might not like the taste – she does!) and I have been known to raise my voice  bellow like a fishwife. So I’ve given up. When I remember, I move the cat food bowl where she can’t reach it, but this means that Darren the cat can’t reach it either so he is less than impressed. I’m hoping its a phase that she will grow out of …soon!

To add to this, Tara has now started another phase – how could you let me forget that toddlers do this? The empty everything out of every kitchen cupboard phase. Its endless – the plastic beaker cupboard cupboard has been tidied away 4 times already this morning, the tin cupboard is now reduced to a holy mess instead of my normal anal, faced up-in use by date order and the biscuit cupboard is just full of crumbs. I’ve got through 3 children without having to put locks on my beloved kitchen cupboard doors so hopefully at the end of this stage I might deserve a new kitchen?

I had just taken this picture when I read Michelle from Mummy From The Heart’s post inviting us to join in if we are an imperfect parent – I think I fit the bill?

Books By My Bedside

Jen at Mum In The Madhouse tells me I have been tagged to share with the world what books are currently by my bedside. The books I have by the side of my bed are a real snapshot of ‘Me’ at a moment in time.

I always have a book on the go (and probably another in my handbag, and maybe another in the bathroom, and maybe even another in the car) and there are always a selection of books that I just like dipping into for those few moments before I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. I think these are commonly known as coffee table books but I don’t have a coffee table.

So my list:
Reading Books
Lizzy Harrison Loses Control by Pippa Wright – I actually finished this last night so it is due to go in the WI Book Swap Box.

I bought Me Before You by Jojo Moyes at the same time as Lizzy Harrison so have no idea what to expect – anyone read it?

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – I’m over half way through this and made the fatal mistake of picking another book up before finishing it. Some bits have been pure brilliance but I’m wading through some sections. I. WILL. FINISH.

Crafty Books
I must have told everyone I know last year about wanting to learn to knit/crochet – I have conquered the knitting and the crochet will come soon. My Christmas presents reflected my new hobbies in the form of books:

Twenty Mini Christmas Crochet – Val Pierce
Twenty Bunting & Pennants – Kate Haxell
Hat to Knit – Guild of Master Craftsmen
Meet Me At Mikes – 26 crafty projects and things to make

Cake Pops – Bakerella – THE queen of Cake Pops – I will master them this year! This book is brilliant.

And the list goes on … I also have a couple of issues of Mollie Makes in there, the March issue of the Caravan Club mag and 2 Sirdar booklets on knits for little ones.

No wonder I’m always exhausted when I wake up – my mind is always on the next project!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jen for forcing me to dust my bedside drawers – The shame of the dust there before this picture was taken!

So what reading matter do you have by your bed? Share it with us and lets get a snapshot of your bedtime reading.

I’m tagging the following but if you would like to join in, you’d be more than welcome.
Cara at Freckles Family
Sarah at Tilly Mint Boutique
Kate at Another Goldfish
Beth at The Pieces of Me
Kate at Parents to Bee

In My Kitchen – January 2012

Cake of the week is taking a week off due to basically not having any time to make any cakes this week. I thought I’d use the opportunity to join in with the In My Kitchen Link Up run by Fig Jam and Lime Cordial which is a lovely blog that I’ve recently discovered. On the first of each month Celia shows us what she has going on and plans to do for the next month and invites us to do the same.

Our New Year’s Resolution of getting the children to eat new food and us all to eat more homecooked food is going really well. Tonight we had duck wraps in Chinese leaves with pomegranate and hoisin sauce. After the initial discussion about eating dead ducks (Violet) and not liking lettuce (Millie) we dove in – and very successful it was too. The duck was a whole duck, ready seasoned with sea salt and pepper – I think next time we will try to experiment a bit more with some spices to try for that authentic crispy duck flavour.

We are drinking Yorkshire Tea at the moment. Long long ago when I was a checkout operator at Morrisons the one thing that used to make me die of thirst was scanning boxes of Yorkshire Tea. The boxes haven’t got any fancy sophisticated packaging but there was just something about them that made me long for a brew. And today I finally bought some!

In the cupboard there is a huge box of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs. I’m getting ready for launching the Valentines homemade gifts that I will be selling this year. This will be the week that I’m going to get some made! And I’ll try not to eat too many Creme Eggs as I’m doing them ;-)

My kitchen smells absolutely wonderful due to the St Eval Bay & Rosemary candle that I got for Christmas. I’d forgotten how relaxed a burning candle makes me and how much I love the smell of a scented candle. I can feel ANOTHER obsession coming on.

In the oven as I type is tomorrow’s tea – Gammon with Honey and Maple Syrup. I didn’t realise quite how big this beast was when I bought it – Feel free to come along, I’m sure there’s enough for everyone!

And of course, there are some new books for me to work through. Every time I try a new recipe I always make a little note on a post it next to the recipe. I love to think of the girls reading through these when I’m gone and thinking ‘Thanks Mum for the info!’

I’ve bought the Baking with Julia book myself – I fully intend on baking along with the Tuesdays with Dorie gang this time as they work their way through the Baking with Julia book. There’s some massive challenges in this book for me so expect a rollercoaster along the way!

I’d heard great things about the Leon Baking book so was really pleased to receive it for Christmas along with the Cookie book – The girls are delighted to see a book that promises 50 different cookies – I think they think I’m going to bake them all at once!

And so that’s my kitchen for January. Hopefully by February there will be lots more finished articles to show. For now, why not check out a few of the other kitchen in Celia’s link up – that’s where I’m going now!

What is going on?

A new week and a chance to look at what is going on in the Costello household. This blog is a chance for us to look back at what we did (and what we spent our money on!) If you fancy joining in with ‘What is going on?’ feel free – if you are not interested, again feel free to click on other posts.

Some weeks the questions may change but the general gist will stay the same.

What are we watching?
The Tour de France is on every night in our house. This time last year I had morning and evening sickness with baby T – I feel so much better watching it this year! The crashes are gruesome and how the cyclists get around those bends with a sheer drop at the top of a mountain is beyond me. Compulsive viewing!

What are we listening to?
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Don’t know why this one has come out of the archives – I had a phase of listening to it at uni and it has magically appeared on the playlist in the car – the kids aren’t convinced …yet!

What are we reading?
Millie is working her way through the Secret Seven – I can’t see them taking her long. She’s nearly read a full book tonight.
I’m halfway through Sisters by Rosamund Lupton – really enjoying it, easy to read and moves along at a pace. I’ve put myself under pressure to complete Second Coming as part of a book group by the 15th too. Eek!

What’s going on in the Costello kitchen?
A christening cake for Sunday and some lavender biscuits from Vanessa Kimbell’s book, Prepped for a book review.

What’s going on this week?
I really must book Tara in for her 16 week injections – she is now 19 weeks. Argh!
Dancing is slowing down for the summer as the show finished yesterday. Millie will now concentrate on swimming for a couple of weeks before hols.
Vi is due back at Rainbows for the second time on Wednesday – she loved the first night so, so far so good!
Hopefully this week I will catch up with some friends for quality time before the madness of school holidays and I want to book in for a cuddle with baby Harry that I haven’t met yet.

What are we looking forward to?
Millie’s birthday next Monday and a trip to the van at the weekend.

I’ve included a linkup if anyone does a similar post – would love to hear all about your weeks.

Britain’s Biggest Mess

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Louise over at Bloggomy in the Britain’s Biggest Mess Meme. The aim of the game is to share the bits of our house and garden that need a little TLC or in my case, a blinking good tidy up!

I’m ashamed to say that any of the messy parts of our house are down to me. I am very lucky to live with a man who loves DIY – he seriously has been known when bored some evenings to potter down to the shed and get the emulsion and proceed to touch up near enough every wall in the house. Needless to say, we really haven’t got any DIY projects that need attention.

So we live in a palace, a shrine, a showhome? … Nah! I’m the messy one (aswell as the three children.

On my list of tasks to complete before I’m 40, is the ironing. This picture shows just a part of the ironing. Oh how embarrassing this is.

The next embarrassment is an area in our dining room devoted to my business. I store most of my cake equipment at my Mother-in-laws but last week brought some stuff home that I hope to use in the near future. It hasn’t ‘quite’ made its way into cupboards yet …

And now for the last one. This is our spare room/office but soon to be crafty/pretty/girly room – I am learning to sew/knit and this is where my creations will live. Already I can visualise a shrine to Cath Kidston. I can’t wait.

Well, if that hasn’t spurred me on to tidy up, nothing will. I promise our house isn’t a complete dump – maybe one day I will be tagged in a meme that shows perfection!