… But more sweet!

Today we celebrate the birthdays of my precious Lil Man, turning 11 today, and my darling Mum’s birthday too!

Mum, 11 years ago, I gave you a gift, I could be ever better… Your first grandchild. All I can give you now are a multitude of thanks. For being my mum, for making me, for being there all the time, my rock, loving me no matter what…

We wish you a most wonderful birthday today, and hope to see you soon to celebrate properly 😍🎂🎁

Lil Man, 11 years ago, you finally popped out, and into our world. A screaming ball of love and fun. So wanted were you, our first born, that when you were placed on my chest, we didn’t even think to ask whether you were boy or girl. The years of turmoil and heartache were worth it. 

You have grown into a young man I am so proud of, coping with difficulties with gumption, a superstar in your chosen sporting activities, a champion dhol player, and an all round wonderful boy.

Today is bittersweet because as I wish you happy birthday, you’re not here with us. Instead you are celebrating your birthday away, with your school friends. I know you will be having fun, but know that we miss you and love you so much!

When you are back, you will have grown even more, in so many ways. A new maturity, after being away, and another year under your belt. Who cares if you haven’t gained as many inches as your peers. 

Great things come in small packages, and you, my darling son, are one of the greatest small packages I ever did see!

Happy birthday Mum, and Lil Man!


Shahi Paneer – Fit For A King

One of the numerous benefits of going home to visit my folks is the chance to eat my mum’s wonderful food.  She is  a great cook. And I know most people think that of their mum’s cooking, but my mum seriously is an amazing cook!

Our plan nowadays involves me watching her make certain dishes, at least one every visit, and writing the recipes down, because, as she likes to remind me, “not in a morbid way or anything”, she won’t be around forever!

This time, I requested a particular dish for Hubby Dearest, who is home alone, pining for us.  He often craves for a dish called Shahi Paneer. Shahi is the word associated with the royalty, so it is essentially quite a rich, sumptuous curry with paneer, which is Indian cheese.

Mum had planned to make it for me take home anyway, but the cooking process became a full on tutorial, and I thought I would be a good member of the Blogily, and share the processes.

Please forgive me, but there are no amounts for the ingredients, as my mum uses andaaza. This basically is when you just know! It’s a skill I think many mothers hone over the years while cooking the family favourite dishes!

So here goes…



Some of the ingredients


Paneer, cubed
Onions, ground to a paste
Cumin seeds
Fresh tomatoes
Tinned chopped tomatoes
Garam masala
Kasoori methi
Single cream
Cashew nuts


  • Add a little oil to a large saucepan and heat. Add cumin seeds and onions that have been ground to a paste. Cook on a low heat until the onions start to change colour, to a light golden brown.
  • Grind ginger, garlic and chillies and add to the onions, cooking for a few minutes.
  • Grind the fresh tomatoes, and blitz the chopped tinned tomatoes too. ( You gotta love the grinder!) Add these to the pan. Be generous with the tomatoes, they help to make a beautiful gravy for this dish.
  • At this point, add turmeric, salt, black pepper and garam masala, to taste.
  • This mixture needs to simmer gently until it begins to separate, and you see the oil rise to the top. Make sure the tomatoes are cooked well.
  • Take a handful of dried Kasoori methi in the palm of your hand and grind it to a sort of powder before adding to the pan. Another Mum tip: Griding the dried leaves with your hands actually releases the flavour better!
  • Time to prepare the cashews. Toast a handful of cashew nuts. Mum used the microwave for about 2 minutes… Who knew you could toast nuts in the microwave?!  Use a pestle and mortar, or that faithful grinder to grind the nuts then add them to the mixture.


  • Using a hand blender blend the masala mixture in the pan. Shahi paneer requires a smooth sauce.
  • Add milk during the blending and, and some hot water.Give it a good whizz, then taste, and adjust seasoning if required.
  • Add the cream then cook on a low heat for a short while.


  • Meanwhile, we need to get the paneer ready.
  • Cube the paneer, then lightly fry it until the colour starts to go golden brown. Drain the paneer and add it to the sauce.


  • Allow to cook for a few moments then turn off the heat. Sprinkle fresh coriander over the top, and the dish is ready!


Another mum tip, if you are eating straight away that is fine, but if you are planning on allowing it to cool for later, or freezing it, decant into a glass or earthenware container to cool.  She is convinced the tomatoes and cream could react to the pan metal.. though she isn’t sure!!!

Enjoy this dish with naan bread.


Mum made a huge VAT of this for us, so I will be freezing some too!

Birthdays Birthdays! It’s all going mad here!

turning 10

As I wake this morning, I will be very aware that I am getting older…

This morning, my son, Lil Man, reaches his first big milestone age.  He’s hit double figures today, 10!

Where did that time go? How did that happen? Surely not??!!  But he’s my Lil Man!!! He is a little person truly, and doesn’t look like he should be 10, so it makes it even harder to comprehend!

10 son

I still feel like it was yesterday, when we were struggling to conceive, and then that day arrived when he couldn’t wait, and dive-bombed into our life 3 weeks earlier than expected!  It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions from then, but the biggest one is love, unconditional love for our Lil Man.


I love this little man so much, and he will be there, my Lil Man, forever and a day! Happy birthday son, your mummy, and daddy are so proud of you and love you so much!

Wait, it doesn’t finish there…

10 years ago, I managed to give my Mum the best present ever… something that I don’t think I could have even planned… you see the day my Lil Man dive-bombed into our lives was already my wonderful mum’s birthdate!  So, what a present we gave her that day!

mum bday poem

And truly, a heartfelt ‘Happy birthday’ to you too, my inspiration, and the mother I aspire to be like too! Love you to the moon and back mum!

mum mug

That’s my mum, a true vintage!

So please join me in wishing my Lil Man and mum a very happy birthday Peeps! I’ll eat cake on your behalf! 😛


All in a day’s work…

A teachers work is never ending
It always feels like something’s pending…

Up at 6am… At school at 7.30am…

A busy day stretched ahead…

I didn’t wave goodbye to school until 5.15pm…

Systems to understand, observations to log…

Home for a quick dinner, then mum duty again…

Yup just because I’m teaching, I can’t let the children’s clubs suffer!

But I spend 1.5 hours of their dhol drum and Bhangra dance lesson, with my files and folders out, working!

Came home and had at least another half an hour of things to complete…

Before household work hits, yup, you guessed it, ironng again…! 

And it’s now 10.36pm and I have to get lunches ready too!!!

Hope you had a good day Peeps!!! 

I’m shattered, but still smiling!!!


Where the Wild Mums Are!

I have already mentioned this week, how mum’s sometimes want a break, but it doesn’t mean that they no longer want to be mum… they just need a change, once in a while…


Know this book? It’s a great story about a little boy, wrapped up in his own fantasy land, when he has been sent up to his room… well, today, I found this on the book store, and HAD to get it!


This is about a mum who has just had enough… And her journey, via a bubble bath, to the Land of Where The Wild Mums Are!!! Oh she parties, dances, balances drinks on her head, and gets crowned Queen of The Wild Mums, but knows when she’s had her break, and needs to get back to her reality…


I read it to my kids and explained that though mummies love their families very much, even they sometimes need a break… Hint, hint!!!

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