Archives for March 2014

What difference does ten minutes make?

I used to ask myself this question, pre-Mushroom, as I stood on the underground platform before or after work, waiting for my train. I’d think ‘Why is everyone in such a hurry? What difference does it make if they’re a few minutes early/late? In the morning, I kind of got it. Depending on what you do/your boss, you might not want to be late for work. I once reported to someone who waited until a performance review to tell me she noticed I sometimes hadn’t logged on until 9.05am some days. Despite the fact I used to regularly work through lunch and stay late, my whole review became about those five minutes, but I digress… Before Mushroom, I was particularly laid back about getting home from work. What did it matter if I had to wait two or three minutes for the next train? Why was everyone in such a hurry..?

What difference would ten minutes make?

Well, ask me the same question now and the short answer would be… Possibly none. But possibly £10 and a call to social services.

A £10 fine

These days, I run to the tube, having invariably stayed at least half an hour later than I intended at work, then stand there tapping my foot impatiently until it arrives. Once I’m en route I’m relatively calm – if I’m on the train I can’t make it go any faster – then I walk briskly/run to the nursery to make sure I’m there to collect him before it closes at 6pm. I am generally there around 5.45pm but there has been the odd occasion it’s been later. There is a £1 per minute fine for lateness, which is standard across most nurseries but rarely enforced at Mushroom’s unless you’re a repeat offender so if I were, ten minutes tardiness would lose me £10.

A call to social services

The week the difference ten minutes can make really hit home was when, after I’d been late once or twice, there was a day when the tube stopped in a tunnel for what felt like an eternity, and, on exiting my local tube station, I called the nursery to say I was on my way. When I arrived, dreading a fine, I was told that it was ok, I’d done all I could, but could I please let them have more emergency contact details?

It turned out that Mr B had been called when I hadn’t arrived and was unreachable. In the absence of any other contacts, they had been about to contact social services just as I called saying I was on my way! I have since given them several alternative contacts should the same thing happen again.

On a more positive note…

The above episode is what triggered this post but there are plenty of other ways in which that ten minutes can make a positive difference too!


An extra ten minutes means that if the evenings are lighter and he’s not too tired, Mushroom and I could stop by the park on the way home from nursery for a bit of playtime before heading home.

More relaxed bedtime

I’ve noticed when I pick Mushroom up before 5.30, he’s a lot more relaxed in the evenings. I don’t know whether that’s because I’m more relaxed as I’m not rushing, or because he has a ‘crazy’ cut off point before which I need to collect him or he becomes overstimulated from staying too late at nursery.

Time to transition

If I get close to the nursery with time to spare, it gives me ten minutes to sit in the park and let go of work before collecting Mushroom. This really makes a massive difference as I miss the downtime I used to get coming in after work, when I could take off my coat and shoes and even had time to get changed to transition out of work mode. Obviously I still take off my coat and shoes when I get in but it’s not the same with Mushroom demanding his dinner and playtime from before we even walk through the door.

Time for a bath

Unrelated to transport issues now, if Mushroom sleeps an extra ten minutes in the morning I can have a bath. Yep, a ten minute bath feels like forever to me now!

Time to write!

Ok, I’ve never written a whole blog post in ten minutes but it is enough time for an idea to form! If I let Mushroom nap for an extra ten minutes then I can write basic drafts for future polishing. I have written poems in ten minutes before though, it happens! Some of my poetry is over on Honest Speaks if you’re interested.

And more…

An extra ten minutes a day adds up to just over an hour a week. I could do so much in that time… Or even, just do nothing. Which would be equally rewarding.

The pre-Mushroom me looks a little smug from where I’m standing now..! What difference does ten minutes make to you?


No crust pizza quiche | Another easy recipe

If you’re read any of the other recipes on this blog you’ll know I’m a big fan of lazy easy cooking, and that I usually get Mushroom involved in some way. As baking is often a ‘go to’ activity for a rainy day, we always usually have the staples in the cupboard and fridge. One item we never get tired of is eggs. As a healthy fast food option, they’re unbeatable (sorry).

So, today I’m sharing my easiest ever recipe – no crust pizza quiche. Mushroom and I love pizza but Mr B is less keen. I’m not sure why, but we get round it by making pizza-esque dishes such as this one every now and then. I like it because although without the dough, it feels lighter than pizza, it’s actually more filling because it packs a real protein punch.

Here’s the recipe (I use this term very loosely!):

About 4 eggs

A handful of halved cherry tomatoes

A squidge of tomato puree

A handful of basil

A splash of milk

Some sliced red peppers

A bit of Salami

Mozzarella cheese, torn. As much as you like



Beat the eggs (Mushroom loves doing this)

Add all the other ingredients, placing the tomatoes juicy side up and adding the mozzarella last.

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Stick it in the oven at 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and wait 30 minutes/until centre is cooked through and cheese is bubbling….

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Done! Of course you can change the toppings (and even make this with egg whites only) to suit dietary requirements – we add chicken and spinach sometimes, and/or whatever veg we have leftover from previous meals!



Making the most of the warmer weather

Spring has well and truly sprung.

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We’ve been making the most of the warmer weather this week so I’ve decided to share our adventures with some photo montages…

Last Sunday we managed to get Mr B to come out on a nature walk with us, where we ran around and then stopped to play pooh sticks…

In the week, we went everywhere by scooter. He’s getting so fast that I’m getting a bit of a workout keeping up with him! Now that he’s no longer just riding to the park on the corner and back I really need to adjust his helmet and get him used to wearing it again…

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We did some running around the maze in Coronation Gardens…

And today, the pirate ship was finally open, yay!!!

I’m linking up with Coombe Mill‘s Country Kids blog linky with this post. To find out more and/or add your own, click on the image below:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Mushroom’s mouth | My first interview

It’s my birthday soon. Yay! I am very excited as this year I will be having a Tiny Mites party. I love singing and dancing so it’s perfect for me.

Mummy’s birthday was last week and it was Grandma’s the week before but they’re not important as they are too old for parties (although we did go out for dinner for Grandma’s birthday. I liked that as I got to see all my cousins so I behaved myself. Mummy said I did very well).

Because I am so very important… And big. I am bigger than Mummy now. She disagrees but I don’t think she understand what BIG means, really… I did an interview for you. Mummy came up with the questions so I could tell you all even more about me. Because you’re surely more interested in me than her, right? So I expect more comments than she got for her recent Mummy meme (meme. That’s a funny word). Anyway, here you go:

How old are you?

One *laughing*


No. I two.

When is your birthday?

Another day. Not today.

What are you doing for your birthday?

Party!!! I Tiny Mites! I dancing! *shaking hips*

Why do you like Tiny Mites so much?

Music Mummy. Dancing. *sighs*

What’s your favourite colour?

Blue. *side eye*



Blue or Red?

Blue. Red…. Red.

What’s your favourite shape?


What does ‘I love you’ mean?

I love you Mummy! *hugs tightly* I happy! Mummy happy?

What is love?

*covers eyes and whispers a girl’s name*

What’s your favourite TV programme?

Bubble Guppies! Gruffalo!

What’s your favourite activity?


What do you like to do best at the park?

Run! Slide, this this: Wheeeeeee!

Do you like sleeping?

No! I not tired!

How old is Mummy?

One. *laughing*

…and Daddy?

One. *hysterical laughter*

What do you like best about nursery days?

Playing! Friends! Painting. Sticking… X (keyworker). X is my friend. He have crisps today.

What do you like best about days at home with Mummy?



Make cakes. Park. See Peanut… and Strawberry!*

Note from MushroomsMum: I totally stole the interview idea from another blogger, having seen her son’s interview last year but I can’t remember who! If it was you, apologies for stealing your style. Please let me know so I can credit you! Thanks.

*Peanut and Strawberry are friends from before nursery days… Peanut’s Daddy is a Daddy Plus… And here’s a photo of Mushroom and Strawberry playing together.



Silent Sunday

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Nature in the city 8: A half and half park

By half and half, I mean half old-school and half new. I may have mentioned earlier in this series that all the parks in Waltham Forest have been getting a make-over recently. This is another one that’s been updated to make it more ‘natural’ looking. This park, however, has retained much of it’s popular original equipment, which sits alongside the new stuff. This gives it the impression of being a bit ‘half and half.’ I kinda like that.

Here’s the old school:

And the new:

Also this week, we have been out looking for our shadows…

It's behind you!

It’s behind you!

And banging railings with sticks.

Never gets old.

Never gets old.

I’m linking up with Coombe Mill‘s Country Kids blog linky with this series. To find out more and/or add your own, click on the image below:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Is your little rascal a restaurant wriggler?

Do you ever take your toddler out to dinner? If so, how likely are they to sit still and behave through the meal? Not very? Well, you’re not alone!

According to the results of a survey over at Wriggly Rascals*, about eating out with toddlers, over half of the parents who responded said that their biggest challenge when it came to taking their little ones out to restaurants was getting them to sit still, with 30% saying their child was too noisy and a further 20% concerned that their little one throws and breaks things. And that’s without worrying that it might be the day they decide to have a complete meltdown.

Eating out with toddlers_Wrigglyrascals


Mushroom and I often eat out at family friendly restaurants during the day in the week, when they are a bit quieter and if he wants to get down and run around a bit, it’s not frowned upon. Evening meals, however, are a bit trickier. He tends to be tired by about 6pm, the restaurants are busier and we’re less likely to see other toddlers around, which draws more attention to us! Sometimes, though, like last weekend when we went out for a family meal to celebrate his Grandma’s birthday, it can’t be avoided. So, in order to make sure it went as smoothly as possible, I made sure we were prepared! Here are my top tips for eating out with a toddler who does not like to sit still:

  • If possible, go to a family friendly restaurant in the daytime! This makes everything easier. If this isn’t possible, then;
  • Phone ahead to check whether the restaurant has high chairs – even if your child doesn’t end up sitting it it, their response will let you know how used they are to having small children!
  • If you can, make a reservation and ask to be seated somewhere less conspicuous, like in a corner away from the middle of the room. That way if you have to deal with a meltdown it won’t become the evening’s entertainment for other diners
  • If your toddler still naps, try to put them down a bit later so that they are less tired in the evening. If they don’t nap but are usually exhausted by the evening, consider forcing a nap early afternoon by taking them out in the buggy or car if you can! Or at least have a long period of quiet time to prevent over-tiredness later
  • Bring along some snacks – fruit is always popular with Mushroom and sometimes we take rice cakes or breadsticks – in case there is a long wait for food
  • Take some small toys that they can play with quietly at the table – a small colouring in book and crayons, a favourite mini stuffed toy (Mushroom likes to ‘feed the baby’ while waiting)… Anything that will fit in their hands and can be played with on the table/in a high chair tray. Mushroom has some small toys based on of one of his favourite books (can you guess which one?) – he took these, and a couple of other mini favourites, along last weekend and they were perfect.

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If all else fails and it’s just too much (for you or your toddler!), pop outside for a walk or even be prepared to ask for a doggy bag and head home early. Toddlers are simply not programmed to sit still for long periods of time and if they can consistently sit nicely, wait for food and eat it before playing up, you’re a step ahead of the rest of us!

Do you take your little ones out of dinner often? If so, what are your top tips for making the meal go smoothly? Please do share your experiences in the comments!

*Shona Motherwell, a frustrated mum of twins Mhairi and Archie, created Wriggly Rascals to get mums together to share pregnancy, baby and toddler advice via quick surveys to get the facts about what other mums do. If you would like read or share some advice, click on the image below.


Silent Sunday

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