Things that boil my blood (and eggs)

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Grab a cuppa….we could be here a while!

I should tell you now that this post includes a recipe for some delicious baked eggs, if you would like to skip my moaning and jump straight to the food (I wouldn’t hold a grudge) then click here to go to the lovely Rachel Khoo’s original recipe.

Now, you know me, I’m not one to moan BUT….!

Having been on a rather long journey towards motherhood I’ve managed to tot up a disturbing number of gripes about the subject before, during and after my eggs have finished baking (tenuous food link!).

So, Mr T and I have been married for 8 years this May and have just welcomed our first little bundle of joy, Little Miss T joined us in October and (just FYI) was conceived completely naturally dispite the fact we have been a child-less, married couple for quite a few years.

This childlessness was partly by design and partly due to nature.

My mother passed away (you will know the details from previous posts) the same year that Mr T and I got married. This left us with a huge amount of healing to do but also with a house to sort (hoarder!) and sell on- it eventually took almost 5 years to get through (the house that is) and was such a tiring  process that the thought of going through it pregnant/ with a young baby was hard to contemplate and so we kept putting starting a family off until the house was sold despite half-heartedly trying from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, if it had happened for us during this time then we would have been over the moon but it just didn’t.

Even once this obstical was out of the way, making the final decsision to whole-hartedly commit to staring a family took us some time. We love holidays and socialising so we spent a while giving it a go and then when it didn’t happen we just went on holiday and thought ‘oh well, at least we can drink and spend whatever we want without a worry’.

This all changed New Year 2015. We were in Las Vegas living the highlife, sipping beer at 9am whilst popping dollars into the BlackJack machines and we both agreed, that whilst living said highlife was mucho fun, we both wanted more and so Little Miss T’s journey into this world began and my long list of annoying comments began to grow! Continue reading

Yep… I disappeared again!

Well, I started 2016 with the best of blogging intentions. I endeavoured to combine my teaching blog with my beloved personal blog, gave it a face lift and then walked away!

You see… I have had a very busy, stressful and tiring 7 months and despite all of my good intentions, I just never got back to my blogging bliss. Let me give you the run down of the last 7 months…..

Work- we started the Spring term with a bang! A new Head Teacher with lots of ideas does not an energetic, relaxed and thumb-twiddling teacher-blogger make! In truth, I was worn out and working my ass off just to keep my head above water- think ‘swan’ metaphor only my cool, calm exterior often slipped!

Then in February we discovered the most amazing news EVER!!!! Mr T and I are expecting the first Mini T to join our team this coming October. We found out quite early and now, at almost 7 months, I feel like it is the longest pregnancy known to woman! Add this news and new found definition of exhausted to the work related changes and you can begin to see why I struggled to keep connected to you guys.

To top this all off, we bought a beautiful, almost 200 year old house last year and whilst planning what decorating we needed to do before Mini T arrives, we discovered we not only needed new double glazing (can you hear the bank account weeping?) but that we have rising damp in most of the downstairs rooms- I wish this news was as funny as the TV show! So, even when I am home, organised, relaxed and feeling like I can possibly stay awake past 7:30pm, my time is taken up inspecting the latest work, cleaning up after said work or prepping for upcoming work! JOY!

Yes, I concede that this post does have a slight air of ‘moaning’ to it but I just wanted to let you know that…

sometimes life gets in the way of even the best of blogging intentions

Continue reading

‘Twas the week before Christmas break….5 teacher tips and treats to see you through! Xx

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5 ttt
Worn out? Check! 

‘Comfy’ clothes for school? Check!
Desk a mess? Check!
‘To-do’ list a mile long? Check!
Glitter in unmentionable places? Check!
In need of a spa day? Check!

This can only mean 1 thing……it must be the week before Christmas break!

Teacher-wellness at this time of year is very important so, in order to help you to take a moment for yourself and get into the festive spirit too I’ve complied a little list of teacher tips and treats…
Monday
School- have all cards, calendars and decorations made ready to be sent home at the end of the day to avoid that last minute panic!
Home- indulge in a minced pie whilst taking 5 minutes to enjoy the twinkling christmas lights on your tree.
Treat- Scholastic Voucher Codes and Discounts for December
Click here
Tuesday
School- double check all assessments are done and get that data handed in (if you haven’t already) so you’re not sat on Thursday night still compiling it!
Home- take a hot bubble bath to some festive tunes!
Treat- Paperchase- Treat Me
Wednesday
School- colouring in is therapeutic- let the kids doodle away to some festive tunes while you make sure you’ve got any paper work ready for those who need it and you’ve got the photocopying done for the first day back in January- I know this seems early but you’ll thank me later!
Home- get in the festive mood with a Christmas film and a few chocolates!
Treat- Bodyshop- Voucher Cloud deals for December click here
Thursday
School- take down the festive displays and get the boards backed ready for the first week- there’s nothing worse than realising you still have all of your festive stuff up when you just want to go home on the last day!
Home- Prep a tasty meal to have when you get in from work tomorrow- you deserve a feet up end to the Autumn term!
Treat- Dorothy Perkins- Voucher Cloud deals for December click here
Friday
School- let the kids watch a DVD and take some time to file any paper work, tidy your desk and do some general housekeeping- you will not be wanting to do this once the bell has gone- trust me!
Home- Glass of wine? Hot chocolate? You decide- it’s officially the holidays!!!!!! Celebrate!
Treat- Photobox- Hot UK Deals codes for December click here
And to help you stop getting snowed under and keep your Christmas cheer I’ve made a little checklist for you to use-

Have a wonderful last week of school- let’s make it a stress-free one!

Whole 30 Success: Top 5 Tips

confessions of a try hard Whole 30I am currently half way through my second Whole 30 experience and I am loving it just as much as I knew I would- my energy levels are high, my skin is clear and smooth and I KNOW I’ve lost some weight too which is an added bonus.

I love that every day I am indulging in tasty, well prepared and ‘good’ meals but I know that this experience could all so easily have gone wrong.

This is my second Whole 30 but it is actually my 5th ‘go’ at it!

Thinking of starting Whole 30?

Don’t do what I did the last 3 times and buy the food only for it to rot away with my good intentions in the veg draw!

Follow these 5 simple steps to Whole30 success…
confessions of a try hard Whole 30This sounds simple, like duh, but in the run up to my previous 3 attempts I failed to really look at the events already planned in my diary. Don’t get me wrong, you still have a life on Whole 30 and it’s quite easy to eat out whilst doing it but unlike my previous 3 attempts, this time I don’t have anything where I will be out all day with no options in front of me. Look for periods of time where you are not on lots of training courses, at weddings or away for a weekend. You want to be able to relax on Whole 30 and not stress searching menus or turning down delicious meals for an empty tummy. Make sure you start your Whole 30 during a quiet period of time where, for the majority of the 30 days, you can take control of your eating and meal planning without feeling although you are missing out.
confessions of a try hard Whole 30Pinterest is my Whole 30 heaven!!!!! I love getting new ideas for recipes to try out and taste sensations to experiment with! Just be careful to read the ingredients lists carefully- many recipes which pop up on Whole 30 Pinterest searches are, in-fact, Paleo and need some adjusting to be Whole 30 friendly but don’t let that put you off- usually with a tweak or 2 they can be totally compliant and yummy! Instagram has some excellent visuals and links to blog post- check out the hashtag #whole30.
confessions of a try hard Whole 30Make time to plan, cook and enjoy your food! Once I’ve gathered all of my inspiration I like to sit and think about the week ahead and what meals will suit which days. I make sure I am up in plenty of time to have my breakfast because banana and egg scramble takes longer to prep and cook than toast! Being up that little bit earlier also means I get to curl up with a cuppa (no milk of course) and enjoy my breakfast rather than shoving it in my gob whilst I do 6 other things!! The same goes for the other meals- because they’re all made from scratch then I like to make sure I start in plenty of time so that I can enjoy the cooking process and still eat at a reasonable time. The key, I think, is to not rush. When you rush you make bad choices and that’s when Whole 30 fails!
confessions of a try hard Whole 30Yep, I love a list. I list the recipes I want to try, I list the weekly meal schedule, I list the things I have, I list the things I need to buy…. failing to prepare is preparing to fail after all!!!

Please promise me you won’t head to the shops without your list- please!!!! If I walked into the supermarket with no list then my eyes would start to wonder but with list in hand, I’m focused and on task and much, much less likely to stray!

For a basic Whole 30 shopping list, click here to download it from the official site.

confessions of a try hard Whole 30Yes the chances are you will loose weight along the way but I strongly suggest that you don’t make this the sole reason for doing a Whole 30. If you do then you be come a scales-addict and that isn’t good for anyone….you’ll become discouraged, loose sight of the other positives and most likely give up!

Do Whole 30 because you want to refocus your eating habits, explore making better food choices, find alternatives to the food which makes you sluggish and bloated and because you want to fall in love with food again- NOT because you just want to loose weight- Whole 30 is so much more than that!

Check out this blog post to follow my first Whole 30 journey and gather some ideas and inspiration.

I’ve tried hard to make excellent eating choices and some yummy meals this past week and I feel fantastic!

Join me this Friday for my Whole 30 Winter Warmer Soup!

Until then…

Mrs T Xx

The Long Distance Friendship Problem

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So, I’ve got plenty of friends, IRL friends I mean not just people who have clicked a box on a website or app. If you’ve read any of my previous posts then you will already know that there is a little circle of ‘girlies’ whom I love to keep up to date with over a cuppa and a slice of cake (such a meeting took place on Monday!) and I am lucky enough to have some lovely co-workers who I count as dear friends too. Outside of these central groups I have my bestest friends in the whole wide world- my cousins!

But then there is Clare. Clare and I lived together for a year, one of the hardest years of both of our lives. We were training to be teachers and both found ourselves newly single. We laughed, we cried, we sang and we cooked together for 1 whole year and then she moved back to Ireland.

 I can totally be myself with Clare, I know nothing I say will sound too rediculous to her and my singing is always, always a rival for Beyoncé in her eyes!!! The problem with a ‘Uni’ friend comes in the years after. You move back home, you carry on with your life, grow up (a bit), take on responsibilities at work, get married, buy houses and have less and less time to chit- chat on the phone. Despite this Clare and I have remained friends- we’ve spent a couple of NYE together, been to a festival together, slobbed around watching TV together and even scrubbed up well together to be a bride and bridesmaid but in the last couple of years our friendship has mainly existed on Facebook. Until today…

I’m currently on the train to London to spend a couple of days being a tourist with my Clare. I can’t wait!!!! Even the gloom and downpours scheduled for tomorrow won’t put a dampener on our plans. It’s Wicked tonight and then general sight-seeing tomorrow! I can’t wait!

Like all ‘long distance’ relationships it’s effort that is needed. I’ll be honest, in the last year I’ve not made much effort, between selling my childhood home, moving house myself and general work stresses, I’ve just not had the energy to make the effort but something’s changed. Something has given me a push. The online teaching community.

Last year, around Christmas, things in work took a slump. People whom I thought were friends masks slipped, I didn’t feel comfortable around them anymore and the whole atmosphere in the staffroom changed. I ate lunch in my classroom so not to be around the whispering and hushed conversations, avoided asking for things I really needed so not to be accused of being demanding and generally sunk into myself. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing friends in work whom I cherish but they too were feeling the gloom!!! Unable to pull myself out of it, I looked elsewhere for support and somehow bumped into the world of Instagram teachers. Brimming over with positivity, encouragement and inspiration I finally felt the clouds shifting. I was inspired to change things in my classroom, refresh my teaching and change my outlook. I began a teaching blog too (year2tastic.blogspot.co.uk) and I love it!!!

Most of my ‘virtual’ friends are American and the community they have created is a comfortable, friendly, funny and inspiring one! Unlike most UK educational blogs, my US friends have a chatty feel to them. I can come home, read about their days, catch a glimps inside their classrooms, see resources they’ve found useful and feel like their equal. It’s turned things around for me and I know many others too. I’ve found my tribe!

You see, many of these online teachers have also become friends IRL. They host yearly meet-ups, periscope, email and Google Hangout together. And, believe it or not, I’m not only meeting my longtime friend Clare in London but a new friend too. I’m off for lunch with Myranda the blogger behind Keep Calm and Teach 5th Grade. She visits London every year to help at a summer camp so knows the city better than I do! We’ve supported eachother through blog link-ups, give aways and general Instagram pics but today we get to drink cuppas and plan future greatness to come!! We hope to continue our intercontinental support of eachother through some joint online ventures so watch this space!!!

Obviously the same long distance challenges face us too- effort!!! The difference is our friendship is a public one- the pressure is on to make the effort since it’s posted on Instagram and our blogs- we have to deliver!

Thanks to my friends and their endless cups of tea, hugs, texts and blog post over the last school year, I’ve managed to turn things around. 2014-15 was a marked improvement from the gloom and doom of the previous school year and I’m heading into 2015-16 with a positive, can-do attitude and tons of inspiration! How about you?

How do you nurture long distance friendships?

Have you ever needed a friend to lift you out of a slump?

I’m going to try hard to keep my friendships strong and make a big effort to keep in touch…

Let’s see how it goes!

Mrs T Xx

Whole 30 and DONE! 

  For the past 4 weeks I’ve been sharing with you my Whole 30 journey- I’m writing this post 4 days short of finishing for real but lunch today will be my last supper so to speak. I am currently on the train on my way back home to my family for my cousin’s 30th birthday celebrations. The food was preordered a couple of months ago and I’m looking forward to relaxing in the company of my best friends and having a good giggle!  

 It’s not for the drink or the food that I’m stopping my Whole 30 dedication today, it’s the ‘no pressure’ feeling. I managed on my friend’s Hendo and at a christening without drinking or eating anything other than Whole 30 compliant foods but I had to focus and think carefully and tbh, tonight I don’t want to have to think! I’m allowing myself a break I’m ok with that. I intend on finishing up my Whole 30 on the 2nd July as always but because of tonight, I’m viewing this morning as my last ‘pure Whole 30’ meal. I’ve loved my Whole 30 journey and there are many, many things I intend to keep making and eating as the weeks go by- I’m not suddenly stopping and going back to my old habits and I think that was my ultimate prize- a total change in attitude and taste! 

Another thing I’m going to keep going is my ‘ask if they can…’attitude. Yesterday I had a bit of a wait for my bus and it was warm and sticky out. I needed a drink but Costa was the only place open- I didn’t want a hot drink so looked at their coolers menu- I really fancied an ice-tea but figured it might have added sugar so I asked! Rather than making it with the syrup in, the lady offered to make it for me without and add slices of lemon- amazing! I didn’t even ask if they could- she simply offered!   

 
Along this journey I found people to be amazingly supportive and helpful. My husband and friends have totally understood what and why I’m doing this and haven’t made a big deal of it- my lovely teaching BFF still make me a cuppa but doesn’t even think twice now- she knows I’m not having milk! People out and about have been very accommodating too- read my last post to find out more. 

As if I needed anymore inspiration to keep my new found ways going- I jumped onto the scales this morning- 14 1/2 pounds lighter!!! That’s just over a stone people!!!!!!! I also struck a pose and snapped a selfie…   

 I know I’ve still got some way to go but I can actually see the curve above my bottom and into my back now and I look more like 3 months preggers not 6!!!!! Bonus!!! Apart from the weight loss my other positives are that my usually dry skin is smooth and clear, I have much more energy, I never feel sluggish or bloated and I’ve been sleeping soundly every night- why wouldn’t I continue? 

Some of the meals I am most certainly going to keep going are..

Breakfast no more toast and marmalade-   

 
This is my new go-to and I love it! 

Lunch I am most certainly not falling back into my school dinners routine of the past-    

  Amazing salad or left overs are my new lunch box staples. 

Tea even Mr T has enjoyed these yummy eats- 

 

To see my full meal plans and links to recipes click here and here.

So, this is it guys, my last post as a Whole 30’er but be sure to check back because I’m going to try hard to keep my new-found eating habits up and I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going!

Have you just finished a Whole 30?

How have you found eating post ’30? 

I’d love to know…

Catch you soon

Mrs T Xx