14 Reasons To Hate My Bathroom (The Ice Box Of Doom)

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One can dream.

IMAGINARY INTERVIEWER: Don’t hold back now, tell us: what exactly is wrong with it?

ME: Well now you ask, it’s a lean-to extension of nightmares. A breeze-block built flat-roof topped testament to shit building work everywhere. Wait. I’ll put it in list form. It’ll be easier for all of us.

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The Wind Is Howling. Eat Up.

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Horizontal sleet means two things in my book. Light the fire and have comfort food. Lilly Higgins has a great ‘Give Me Five’ series in the Irish Times – recipes with just five ingredients – and because I love her attitude to food I always look it up.

It’s usually not veggie but last weeks was, and coincidentally, I had put it on the meal planner for today.  I mean, I’d only filled in Monday and Wednesday so that’s not really much of a plan, but look, it’s a start.

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Unbreakable Me

I’ve written before about some great female-led dramas on Netflix, so it goes without saying I’m pretty excited about their upcoming new show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt especially with the incomparable Tina Fey as the creative force behind it.

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After living in a cult for fifteen years, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper – The Office) decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, she’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore.

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Elements of this sound a bit familiar to me. I was feeling pretty breakable in the run up to leaving my cult job at the end of last year. I had spent fourteen years on and off in the same job, one year abroad and two-baby-having stints giving me respite from the treadmill. Oh it was rut central round here for sure; scrabbling through each week, getting to work on time, try to leave work on time to get to crèche on time. An hour to play with the kids before some bedtime stories and a quick cat nap on the floor of their room while they settled down before oh yeah…tomorrow’s lunches. My soul was sapped, and I saw no evolution in my near future.

So when the dark rumours of redundancy started to surface in the office I spent a weekend doing sums and seeing a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Change! Taking charge of my own future felt so empowering even if taking the plunge into the unknown is really scary.

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Would I immediately look for another job, one that fulfilled me career progression wise? Or would I stay at home with the kids full time for a bit, something I swore I would never be suited to? How would I cope with two crazy little dudes and a distinct lack of adult company and the correct temperature coffee?

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I’m two months into my new life. Client requests and urgent deadlines are gone out the window to be replaced with statements like “Everyone has to have a clean bum before we start to make muffins”. Yep, I heard myself say that the other day.

So I haven’t moved from a bunker to New York like Kimmy, but still, the small differences are great; I’m there for my boys, doing school picks ups and hanging out in playgrounds, the three of us having impromptu dance parties and (inevitably stressful) baking sessions. It’s not all fun; there’s been some long cold wet days where we all get each other’s nerves and I feel like one of the boys will put the other in A&E by the end of the day but my spirits are lifted knowing how much potential my life has now.

The rate of change has gathered pace since leaving my job – I’ve been accepted onto a course so I’m going back to college part time next month. I don’t know how I’ll balance it all – there’s little in the coffers for student life and childcare but compared to how I felt last year what’s ahead feel pretty exhilarating.

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So excuse me while I indulge in the future. I’m feeling pretty Unbreakable myself right now.

All 13 episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will premiere on Netflix on Friday, 6 March.

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Are you sick of super foods yet?

What? Cacao and avocado do not a mousse make? You don’t care that you’re supposed to be doing post-Christmas food penance (it’s january still?), cauliflower rice is not a ‘thing’? You glide past bags of dark irontastic kale thinking of the washing those curly little buggers must need even if they’re only 39c this week?

Ah, but be intimidated no more! I have the kale use for you!

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A Week In Dinners: What We Ate Round Ours.

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As part of a look at what ‘real’ families eat, Sinéad over at Bumbles of Rice started a ‘Week In Dinners’ linky. I’m always interested in what other people are chomping down on, and I think it’s important to represent for the veggie contingent here in the Properfud house.

Monday: I concocted something with bulgar wheat, chickpeas and a creamy nutty dressing which was FINE but a bit forgettable. It got eaten by everyone but the leftovers are still in the fridge. I suppose I should chuck them now.

Tuesday: A random walk through the Marks & Spencer food hall meant some items threw themselves in my basket like Cheese Tasters, overpriced dark chocolate and stem ginger cookies (for a trip to a friends house), a Nutty Superfood Salad and a Sprouted Bean Salad.  For dinner the husband cooked up some quorn pieces with red pesto, a little stock and frozen spinach and we ate that served with the salads. The boys picked the bits they wanted out of the salads and we ate the rest. I didn’t even try to make them eat any more than they wanted because I wanted it all to myself.

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Me, when I get my hands on Cheese Tasters

Slim-With-TinaWednesday: I got my hands on the Slim With Tina book a couple of weeks ago. You can find out more and buy it here.

I’m not slimming (see above), but I do really like Tina’s approach to health and fitness and this book includes lots of great meal ideas. I learned to run properly on a Run With Tina group course, and have had a strong social media friendship with her since.  My ever-popular pancake recipe even made it into her book with some healthy modifications! I was like a proud mammy when I saw that in there.

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Anyway, she has a delicious simple Chana Masala recipe in the book. I had run out of chickpeas so it was technically Bean-a Masala, as I used a couple of tins of mixed beans. This is a real store-cupboard meal for me, I always have the ingredients (or substitutes!) on hand. I picked at food as I cooked and then ran out the door to my Boxfit class as the boys sat down for dinner. Plates were cleaned!  I also did some grilled aubergine and courgettes on the side because I swear I get itchy if my day doesn’t have enough veggies in it. My husband didn’t even offer them to anyone so I ate them all later *burp*

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Thursday: I made both banana bread and scones on Thursday so had run out of steam a bit by dinner time. Baking with a toddler is double the work, and due to waning enthusiasm for both bonding and cleaning up obviously I dispatched him to in front of the TV while I rolled and cut them. That tiny baby bib is what he insisted on wearing as his apron. It protected NOTHING.

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Luckily I found some Lorraine Pascale marscapone gnocchi in the freezer – this stuff is so good, I always make a good big batch and freeze some. I fried that up, served it on rocket with basil pesto, avocado and yellow peppers. Plates were served according to taste preferences – that is no leaves, loads of pepper for the kids. I think Teddy robbed about half my gnocchi.

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Friday: I cooked up some fresh rice and the boys ate leftover Chana Masala. I didn’t feel so great with a crappy sore throat, and the husband had his eye on a takeaway. I eyed up an avocado smoothie recipe in a bid to make myself feel healthy. Then I thought about the Cheese Tasters for a bit. Curse you M&S and your tasty snacks! I relented and made the smoothie (and it was delicious). Did I have takeaway later? You’ll never know…

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Don’t forget to look at all the other Week in Dinners posts over here!

Creepy Bedtime Conversations With My Son.

This is a Hexbug. For reference. Not cuddly even.

INT. NIGHT. DARKENED BEDROOM. STORIES HAVE BEEN READ. LIGHTS ARE OUT.

Deep Thinker Child: Will this house break?

Reassuring Parent: No, we’ll look after it.

DTC: Even when we’re all deaded?

RP: Well, someone else will have it then.

DTC: [PanickedBut what about my toys?

Crazy Toddler Child: [Half sings, half screamsHumpty Dumpty sat on a WAAAALLLLLLL

RP: Another little boy or girl will have your toys then.

NOTE: I realise now that wasn’t the slightest bit reassuring.

DTC: I don’t want them to have my toys!  When I’m deaded, I want all my toys around me in a big circle. And my Hexbug on me.

RP: Shhh. It’s okay don’t worry.

DTC: Why? Do only old ladies die?

I don’t answer, because his voice is fading to sleep

 DTC:  [quietlyI wish there was no such thing as the sea.

FADE TO SLEEP

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photo credit: Joz3.69 via photopin cc