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33 Weeks Pregnant where has time gone?

I wonder if I tell myself enough times I will realise that I am 33 very nearly 34 weeks pregnant and that means I only have 7 to 9 weeks max before the baby is born.

Physically I am very aware, the bump is growing at a rather an alarming rate and the kicking is more and more powerful. It is the stage where you watch your top move with a mix of wonder, amazement, shock and a little bit of horror.
The swelling has started, I already have my rings on a necklace, the lesson I learnt from baby number one. Do not leave trying to take your rings off until you are two weeks overdue and about to have an emergency c section, to put it politely it is the last thing you need. Think Dr and nurses in scrubs and soap!!!! I was beginning to wonder if the fire brigade would be called to cut the rings of my finger or worse still cut of my finger, I think you can sense the stress level at that point. Shoes are getting tighter and adding to the fun of trying to get them on and worse off I am starting to l…

Meal Plan catch up Monday September 21st to Monday 5th October

I have realised its been three weeks since I last managed to post a meal plan, it has been rather manic in the MC&W household. We are having building work, Mr MC&W has continued to be working away from home, we have all had the most horrid colds and I am now 28 weeks pregnant.

Shall we do a massive Meal Plan Catch up......

Deep breath and Lets go
Week commencing Monday 21st September
Monday - Chili I must admit I buy a packet of mix to do this with. Then stick it in the slow cooker and it's ready for me when the boys are asleep. They also had this and did seem to enjoy it as I chose a very mild one.
Tuesday - Roasted Vegetable Pasta for me, I had a mix of courgette, peppers, red onions mixed in with pasta and some cheese grated on top. Boys had pasta with tomatoes and broccoli
Wednesday - Chicken and Noodles for myself and the boys, I loved it but the boys hated it safe to say it was a total disaster.
Thursday - Omelette's and chips for me and the boys 
Friday - Fish, Chips an…

Spring Bulbs and Wildlife

It is the time of year that bulbs need to be planted ready for spring flowering, though Tulips are best planted in November. This year I have got lots of ideas.....

As you're aware last spring I bought plants and made some displays in pots with differing levels of success, they did look pretty for example my Hyacinths looked stunning and smelt wonderful but fell over. I did not have the wow effect of spring flowers that I was looking for, one bluebell here with one daffodil there was not the result I wanted. 

Last Years Spring Planting

This year is all change and I have decided to go for bulbs and lots of colour. Part of the motivation is that the babies due date is the 1st January and it would be very lovely to have plants that would give us all some beauty with not too much effort.

I have been doing some research as I wanted to improve the wildlife aspect to the garden and what I have found is very interesting. The fact that bright, yellow, beautiful daffodils do not have much polle…

Meal Plan Monday 14th September 2015

I am sat here as ever doing a last moment meal plan, honestly I have no idea where the time goes. The weather is wet and cold making every meal I want to cook be in the slow cooker or involve comfort in the form of cheese or red meat not the healthiest week.

Again Mr MC&W is away Monday night to Friday night so all meals are for myself and the boys.

Monday - sausage casserole with jacket potatoes for us all, this tends to be a mass use up of half tons of beans and chopped tomatoes or veggies that can be eaten up.

Tuesday - left over lamb Ragu I always search online and make a mix of three or four different receipts I find

Wednesday - Tuna Pasta Bake this is ultimate comfort food for me and contains lots of veggies like Peppers, mushrooms, sweet corn and anything else I have in the fridge.

Thursday - stuffed peppers using quorn mince, rice, carrots all mixed together and then finished off in the oven with Parmesan on top and sErvec with salad.

Friday - Fish and Chips with peas

Satu…

Meal Plan Monday 7th September 2015

We are a bit crazy in the Mud Cakes and Wine household, a few reasons, school and pre school are back, Mr MC&W is on a new work assignment he will be away from home Sunday night and returning late Friday night we only found this out late last week and it's for the next 8 weeks lastly we have a wonderful family wedding to get ready for.

Food has to be easy this week and that can keep warm either in the slow cooker or normal cooker so I do not eat too late

Monday - Jackets with baked beans and cheese for the three of us

Tuesday - a simple pasta and broccoli gratin I can prepare earlier and buy in a cheese sauce then pop mine in a low oven ready for when the boys are down. The boys love broccoli, pasta and cheese sauce so I hope a winner.

Wednesday - courgettes Mediterranean style this is one my mum made for us at home it's courgettes, haricot beans, chopped tomatoes all cooked and served with rice I will get pre cooked rice and pop the sauce in the slow cooker. The boys will…

Meal Plan Monday 31st August 2015

Again its late, this week I am mainly going to blame children going back to school.... not quite sure of my excuse for next week I am sure I can come up with one.

Cooking times are fun and games as Mr MC&W is on an assignment in London and we just never have any idea about when he will be home meaning we can be eating really late, not good for a pregnant lady.

Monday - Cheat night a ready made Chinese Meal

Tuesday - A roast veggie and pesto puff pastry tart - this is one made up by little old me and I have a photo as it was very nice. This will be accompanied by boiled new potatoes and lots of salad. The boys will have the same but its tomato and cheese

Wednesday - I really like the Birds Eye Fish in a Mediterranean sauce we will have this with rice and roasted peppers, Courgette, red onions. The boys are having jacket Potatoes with breaded chicken and Broccoli

Thursday - Gnocchi with a tomato sauce with chorrizo and baked in the oven with mozzarella on top. The boys will have the…

Meal Plan Monday 24th August 2015

Sorry it's late again, but here we go
Monday - Bean and Rice Tortillas we were meant to have these Friday night last week but Mr MC&W had to work late so they were moved to this week.
Tuesday - Mushroom and Bacon Stroganoff. Boys will have mini roasts with homemade tomato sauce.
Wednesday - Vegetable Bake - mix of roasted veggies and pasta for us all.
Thursday - Caesar Salad, the boys will have Carbonara
Friday - Fish and Chips with peas for everyone.
Saturday - Chicken, Avocado and Bacon burgers. The boys will have chicken curry.
Sunday - Roast Beef with all the trimmings as entertaining the MIL

Meal Plan - Monday 17th August 2015

Not having fun writing meal plans as feeling very stuffed after every meal and busy with the boys, so finding a good moment to think about food is rare. But here we go

Monday - Large chicken samosas, the below is with Turkey but we have some cooked chicken, I am going to try the boys with a simple version of this, not sure how it will go down.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/jumbo-turkey-samosas

Tuesday - a lentil and onion soup from Rachel Allens Easy Cookbook, have to laugh as it's rather a winters evening food but it's not BBQ weather. Boys will have cheesy pasta with broccoli on the side

Wednesday - My lovely sister and family are coming to see us, we need a quick and easy dinner lets  do jackets with tuna mayo for all of us

Thursday - A lovely cannelloni idea from slimming world I found, please I am not trying to loose weight I am just going for healthy ideas making food lighter. I again am going to try the boys on this

http://www.slimmingworld.com/recipes/baked-cannello…

Meal plan catch up - Monday 3rd August to Sunday 16th August 2015

I promise I have been doing our meal plans but with school holidays, the baby bump and not knowing were Mr MC&W was going to be based for work I seem to have lost track of writing it up. So here is a little update from the last couple of weeks....

Monday - A ready meal we had left over from holiday as it was catch upon all housework and Mr MC&W was in London

Tuesday - From the Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt - Mushroom, Broccoli and Gnocchi we all had this but no mushrooms for the boys.

Wednesday - One my Mum always made us Milanese style sauce with spaghetti. This is a family recipe which we love, we all had this one.

Thursday - Homemade frying pan pizza, always a family favourite

Friday - Chicken Curry- I must admit I do buy the sauce, it will be Korma as they boys have got into curry

Saturday - Mr MC&W was on his brothers stag do so the boys and I had Jackets, Beans and Cheese as I had no idea how long it would take to get the boys down to sleep.

Sunday - Ready Meal - As …

Meal Plan Monday 20th July 2015

I am having to get a tad more organised  as it's the summer holidays and I am going back to online shopping, taking those two boys to do a weekly shop would not be fun in the slightest.

Monday - Cabbage, potato and chorizo  bake from the lovely Rachel Allen's Easy meals - I always pre  cook my potatoes so they go fluffy when roasting and cook this in the oven for time and allowing me to finish other jobs. The boys will have mini roast potatoes with a tomato sauce.

Tuesday -    From my slow cooker cookbook a Caribbean style chicken dish

Wednesday - I am going to do a quorn  Chinese meal I will be honest the sauce will brought in for this one as we need quick simple meals some days. However if healthier I may try this one as it does not take too long. The boys love noodles so I will do this for them as well.l

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7769/chicken-chow-mein

Thursday - A lovely BBC Good Food meal that's healthy and tasty. The boys hate bits so they will have carbonara…

All day morning sickness

As most of you are aware we are expecting our third child with the rather amusing due date of 01-01-2016, also I am sure you have been aware that the posts have dried up including the weekly meal plans. This is a short post to fill in some gaps about those first three months. 

The main reason for the lack of the food posts has been the joys of pregnancy sickness, please do not worry I am not going into any details. I know some poor woman get this very badly and can end up in hospital, I am lucky and no where near that bad. However I feel sick 24 hours a day, from the time I wake up to when I go to bed and can and frequently wake in the night still feeling ill. I have tried every form of eating to make this go away, I eat large meals and no snacking, I have tried snacking all day the test result's have revealed shock horror that nothing works. I also tried giving the bump a firm talking too, I am being ignored before the baby is even born.

Of course you do not like to tell people for…

Monday 13th July 2015

Its been a while since I last managed to write a menu plan, I have been feeling so rough the little one that I have been eating but just not been able to blog about it.

Monday - Mushroom Stroganoff with Rice. The boys will have Spag Bol from the freezer.
Tuesday - Diet Coke Chicken this I found this one on the Slimming world website. I am going to try this on the boys.
http://www.slimmingworld.com/recipes/diet-cola-chicken.aspx
Wednesday - Potatoes, Cabbage and Chorizo - I love this simple one pot meal from Rachel Allen Easy Meals Cookbook. The boys will have mini roast potatoes with a tomato sauce with broccoli.
Thursday - Roasted Vegetables with CousCous. The boys will have tomato risotto cooked in the oven. 
Friday - A homemade Chicken Schnitzel with new potatoes and a slaw made with fennel. I will do this for us all, though not the fennel slaw for the boys.
Saturday - Enchladas for everyone
Sunday - CookMeal as its our wedding anniversary I will get the boys a meal a long with one …

Exciting times

As your aware the Mud cakes and Wine blog has been a bit up and with with posts over the last few months especially the weekly meal plan I would write. The reason for the meal pan not being around so much is that I have totally gone off food, I can not smell it or think about it with out feeling very sick and eating it has been even harder.

The reason for this is that six weeks ago we discovered we are expecting our third child.




We are thrilled, excited not to mention a little scared but I wanted to share with everyone and lets hope in a few weeks time I can eat again and feel less like I could fall asleep at any given moment.


Toddler with Social Communication Difficulties Moving Forward

I wanted to write a short post about our experience of a child who is autistic and the ability to show someone that they care. All children on the Autism spectrum are different, however when talking with friends who also have children who are autistic we have similar experiences when it comes to the ability to show and understand emotions, it does not come naturally to our little ones.

Let me show you how far we have come in the last couple of years, when OB first started pre school and I would come to collect him, all the other children would run arms out stretched to their Mummy or Daddy. OB would sit on his 121 lap then look at me and get up to run of and play with toys. In essence OB had to be shown what you do when your collected . Well now, as soon as he sees either myself or husband come to collect him, he sprints down the corridor and launches himself into you for the biggest cuddle, a massive smile on his face saying Mummy/Daddy..... It was not that he was unhappy to see us o…

Rambling Rector Rose

I can not put into words how much I love this beautiful rose. Its wild and crazy climbing, growing into any corner of the garden along with it being delicate and majestic. We have given this poor old rose a tough time over the last year, it was growing very happy around a willow we had at the back of the garden, but the willow was about to fall over at any point so had to be removed, along with two dead conifers the area was totally cleared and the rose was hard cut back. To add insult to everything we put up a shed.




I knew we had to do this work but at the same time had a sinking feeling we had done for my early summer delight, but there was no stopping this courageous rose as this year we have the most wonderful display of flowers.

As you turn the corner into the back part of the garden you are met with this heavenly smell along with the hummm of the bees. The whole plant is alive with bees, I was trying to count but it was impossible I ended up lost in the noise and the smell.





Here…

Meal Plan Monday 8th June 2015

Not sure what's happened but we have a meal plan ready to go on Monday, that's following a new post. Think I need to rest up now.

Monday - Falafel burgers in pitta bread with salad and coleslaw. Meant to have this Friday but Mr MC&W passed an exam so had a waitrose ready meal instead. The boys will be having cheesy pasta

Tuesday - Jamie Oliver Greek Chicken with Couscous and salad. The boys will have chicken in breadcrumbs, peas and mash

Wednesday - Frozen Fish with rice I will add courgette, peppers and mushrooms to. The boys will have plain fish and plain rice with peas on the side

Thursday - Jackets with baked beans and cheese for myself and the boys. Mr MC&W will have tuna mayo

Friday - Gnocchi with mushrooms, broccoli and cream sauce. The boys will have with tomatoes 

Saturday - I am going to cheat and buy in Pizza with lots of salad

Sunday - It's the Mother in Laws birthday and we are hosting, think it's going to be a lovely meal prepared by Cook.

Weeds, weeds and more weeds

It seems ages since I last sat down and wrote a blog post, we have had a lot going on over the last couple of months. Sadly something had to give and that seemed to be the garden, this is even more of a shame as as I use the garden time to relax and lose myself from the everyday stresses. The post is a very honest insight into where we are at the moment with the front garden, let me pre warn you it's not pretty.

But I want to share the realities of our gardening adventure, as I am sure many of you will understand the photos I am about to share with you. How easy it is to have a garden that can become untidy and look totally neglected after only a month or two of being unloved.

I did a lot of work on the front garden in the spring, it was looking lovely. I had spring flowers planted up, adding some lovely colour to the dull, cold grey skies.
http://mudcakesandwine.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/spring-planting.html?m=1
I have been struggling to find time to get outside and this is the sorry …

Meal Plan Monday 1st June 2015

Can not believe how fast time is passing and yet again I am late with the meal plan.

Monday - Greek Style Feta and Spinach Tart taken from Jamie Oliver meals in 30mins. The boys had cheese Filo Tarts with salad

Tuesday - Left over Lamb Shoulder made with a curry sauce.

Wednesday - Thai chicken bake this will be both for us and the boys

Thursday - Sausages in a Fiorentina baked pasta. Boys will have pasta and tomato sauce

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3220/fiorentina-baked-pasta

Friday - Falafel burgers in pitta bread with salad and coleslaw. Boys will have spag Bol.

Saturday - Crispy Chicken Tropicana - this is from the Ready Steady Cookbook from years ago but we love it. Boys will have a chicken in gravy with mash and peas

Sunday - Roast thinking pork but not sure.

Meal Plan Monday 25th May

Wow we have been busy and I am sorry I have not seemed to find any time to write up the meal plan so here we are for this week, I am going to try and write up the missing ones soon.

Craving spring flavours and colours at the moment but reading the menu plan it does not scream spring, maybe more next week.

Monday - Chili with rice and all the trimmings. Ha ha though not exactly spring food. The boys had spaghetti Bol.

Tuesday - Tagliatelle with tomatoes, bacon, peppers and mushrooms with lashings of Parmesan. The boys had just pasta and tomato sauce.
Wednesday - Quorn and blackbean stir fry. Boys will have homemade pizza.
Thursday - Courgette and Basil Pasta from bbc good food

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/749669/courgette-and-basil-pasta-with-pesto-crumbs
Friday - Battered Fish, Chips and Peas for the boys and Mr MC&W as I am out at a charity quiz night
Saturday - Tacos from the lovely people at Old El Paso 
Sunday - Roast Lamb from our fab local farm shop old spot


Meal Plan Monday 4th May 2015

This whole week Mr MC&W is in San Fransisco and not due back until Sunday afternoon after being awake for who knows how many hours.

While he is away I have the support of my lovely mummy coming to stay. So for a week I will have a clean house and drink far too many glasses of red wine during the evening and too many cups of tea during the day

Monday - Breaded Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Veggies both myself and the boys will be having this.

Tuesday - Spaghetti Milanese style for all of us.

Wednesday - Cauliflower Cheese bakes a lovely one from BBC good food it's a lot of work but very tasty

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/166618/cauliflower-cheese-and-spinach-pasta-bakes

Thursday - Spring Risotto filled with peas, courgettes, asparagus the boys will have a tomato one

Friday - Simple Quorn Curry (this will be coming from a jar) boys will have the same but with chicken as they are not too keen on Quorn

Saturday - Homemade frying pan Pizzas - mainly for the boys as they j…

Spring Garden Plant Delights

The garden seems to be going crazy at the moment and needs some serious attention. I have discovered that my soil despite being heavy clay and at the moment resembling the Sahara dessert it can grow some seriously healthy weeds.



The mint seems to have come back to life and as strong as ever, it's now all over this border.



We have an wonderful selection of primroses and they are popping up all over the place, the variety of colour amazes me and I will be honest I have not planted one of them. But these delicate tucked away plants in the most odd places in the garden always makes me smile.









Our wonderful traditional rose the rambling rector I must admit I always want to call it the rampent rector maybe that's due to it being a beast and goes mental but I can not find the words to say how much I love it. This is a picture of last year.


Our pretty clematis has come into flower, it's over our back door and urgently needs some work to train better. It's a wonderful draw for t…

Meal Plan Monday 27th April 2015

We have another interesting week for cooking, as again Mr MC&W is working rather a long way from home leaving early and getting home late. The meals are mainly just myself and the boys. Saturday is OB birthday and Sunday Mr MC&W is flying out to the USA for a week.

Monday - Special Fried Rice I am going to try the boys on this one just keep it simple.

Tuesday - gnocchi with tomato sauce for the boys. I will have it with broccoli, mushrooms and a cream sauce from the wonderful Madhouse cookbook by Jo Pratt

Wednesday - I will be having roasted veggies with couscous and humus. The boys will have waffles, poached eggs and peas

Thursday - Massive salad for me with avocado, crispy bacon and a honey and mustard dressing. The boys will have Carbonara

Friday - Fish, chips and peas for us all

Saturday - OB birthday so it's family round and his favourite meal of pizza, chips, lots of cucumber, tomatoes, carrots and dips

Sunday - Just me and the boys something simple a Bologniase minc…

Meal Plan Monday 20th April 2105

We have had a hard couple of weeks since the sad passing of Mr MC&W father, our eating as you can imagine has been all over the place. But the meal plan is back and I have to juggle Mr MC&W working lots of strange hours.

Monday - It's just myself and the boys so we are having Jacket Potatoes with cheese and beans easy for me to pop in the oven when putting the boys to bed and simple to grab when I get downstairs.

Tuesday - Is the burial so there is no way we will want to cook so I must be honest with you I have gone for freezer everything. Steak Pies with Mash and Peas no real cooking. The boys we have got a ready made little dish meal

Wednesday - As it's little old me and the boys again, the boys will have a tomato risotto and I will have a mushroom risotto these are oven baked again allowing food I can just grab when I come downstairs.

Thursday - Tuna Pasta Bake for myself I will be using the slow cooker to keep the food warm so I do not have to cook once the boys ar…

Dealing with Autism, a toddler and Death

You may have noticed we have been a little quiet in the MC&W household, tragically and very unexpectedly Mr MC&W father died in his sleep on Easter Sunday night. I can not put into words the whirlwind we have been living in for the last few days.

We as adults are coming to terms with the huge sense of loss, but how do you tell a 4 year old with autism, delayed speech and understanding and his three year old brother who both loved grandpa dearly that he would no longer be coming to see them.

Being the modern parents we are we turned to Google, this I must admit scared the wits out of us. We read advice stating be careful of talking about him being good so going to heaven as they may think I have been good I will die. Do not say he was ill as they may worry if they get ill they may also die. We ended up convinced we were somehow going to scare our children for life on giving them the news.

At this point common sense coupled with a glass or two of red wine prevailed, we have to b…

Meal plan Monday 30th March 2015

I am very sorry I was not that well on Sunday and the eldest OB was ill a couple of days before that. I must admit thinking about food was not on the agenda. Adding to this Mr MC&W has an assignment meaning he is leaving early and getting home late, luckily we found out he can have a main meal at lunch times.Monday - Mushroom risotto for myself and the boysTuesday - Tuna Pasta bake for me the boys will have cheesy pastaWednesday - this is a use up day as the shop is coming on Thursday so we are using up from the fridge and freezerThursday - Gnocchi with a homemade tomato sauce then finished under the grill with mozzarella. For me I will add peppers and mushrooms to the sauce.Friday - Fish, Chips and Peas for everyoneSaturday - Fajitas for Mr MC&W and myself for the boys spag bolSunday - We are having the Easter Lunch from Good Food Mag. Potted prawns, leg lamb and cheesecake Monday - Ready Meal for everyone as a rest from cookingI added Monday as its a bank holiday werkendv

Meal Plan 23rd March 2015

A bit of a busy week in our household and for once I have managed to get my menu plan written up

Monday - Coconut Quorn Curry for myself and Mr Mud Cakes and Wine. The boys are going to have  the same lets see how it goes.....

Tuesday - Aubergine Parmigiana the boys will have pasta with just a plain tomato sauce

Wednesday - Jacket potato with tuna for Mr Mud Cakes and Wine and baked beans and cheese for boys as I am out with my special needs mummy's

Thursday - Mr Mud Cakes and Wine is out tonight so I will be having a Jacket Potato with beans and cheese the boys will have a Jacket Potato with broccoli and breaded chicken

Friday - Taiwanese Style Chicken Salad the boys will have a mini roast dinner

Saturday - A treat of a ready meal for us and the boys to give me a little rest from cooking

Sunday - Beef In The Slow Cooker with mashed potatoes and veggies

Always looking on the Green Side

Shhhhh this post is a confession that I feel I need to get off my chest. I used to be totally obsessed with evergreens, when I was looking at plants all I wanted was a green garden all year round. For some reason I am not even sure why this was all I thought about, will it give me year round green.

Please do not get me wrong I have always loved the turning of winter, we visit Sheffield park and wonder at the amazing and vast array of reds and bronzes. I drive along watching as the leaves turn and winter slowly takes it's grip. But for some reason I had it in my head that I wanted to keep my garden as some green oasis in a sea of plants that had died back for the winter.

Since I have become more interested in gardening I have taken a step back and wondered what I was thinking about, I want to witness the changes in the seasons in my own garden. This is the first spring I have ever really paid attention to, yes I am like most people ohhh the daffodils are starting to come through an…