Trick or treat?

Here is the trick to having Halloween treats for your children on a budget.

We visited Poundland and it is an amazing one-stop shop for all your Halloween must-haves. Even better, it is so easy to work out what you are spending with everything costing just one pound.


My children loved buying masks, make-up, costumes and broomsticks for the Halloween school disco.


We will have a little tea party at home using our ghostly wipe-clean tablecloth and cups and plates.


We already have decorations up with skeletons on the windows and pumpkin lanterns and a skull sporting a pink wig. We will put lights up on the night to get even more into the mood.

It was fun to visit Poundland for an affordable Halloween shopping spree. It’s the place to visit if you want to do Halloween in style and on a budget.

Poundland provided us with £25 shopping vouchers to enable this review.

I swear I get Julian Clary.

The other night he went on about being self-absorbed and I fall into that too often perhaps.



I am very tired which I guess is just the huge relief setting in.

I feel guilty for worrying so many people.

The whole appointment was quite an experience and I have lots I want to say about that in due course.

The most delightful bit right in the middle of the clinic was getting a text from @DownsSideUp saying “Any news darling?”. Almost thought I had a secret lover when I saw that until I realised it was that Hayley one, one of the only folks who has my mobile number.

It was so hard not to tell her the news first but I did feel family first in such a situation.

H was next and I asked her to tweet the news as I am fully aware just how many people were generously wishing me well yesterday. Not bad for a woman who too often says she is friendless. What rubbish – thank you to everyone for so many lovely thoughts and prayers. I think you blasted any threats away with all that positive thinking.

My real lover was clearly very relieved. We did something very mundane and normal and when you get your life back, that is just fine.

So as we sat eating our burgers, I babbled about how very healthy my breasts looked on the mammogram.

My husband said something under his breath that I did not catch.

So I asked my son what he said.

“I am not sure Mum. It was something like I always said you had great patriots”

Wake up everyone. I have not only healthy but apparently A GREAT PAIR OF TITS.

The futures starts here.

Huge thanks to all of you – you got me through this!

I have an appointment at the breast clinic tomorrow.

I have done so well over the last 2 weeks at staying positive and keeping things in perspective I think.

Now, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am relieved the appointment came through and I did not have to chase it up. I was planning to do that tomorrow but knew there was great potential for me to bottle it. The appointment letter arrived yesterday so now it is all about attending the appointment rather than making sure I get one.

Now it is so close, I have just started to feel a little panic-stricken. In any new situation, I worry about getting things right, so I have those sort of nerves. I am wondering if I should wear a bra at all or whether I should go an buy a new one tomorrow. As if any of that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Then there are the boobs themselves. I don’t look at other women’s boobs very often but have always thought mine a bit strange around the nipple area. My “well-travelled” husband says this is not the case but we get daft ideas about ourselves that stick sometimes.

I am not really sure what they are going to do tomorrow to me. I think my breasts get squashed at some point. That sounds like a blast, not!

There is the big worry too of course and that makes me have to think like a grown-up which I never manage particularly well.

I feel a bit guilty because as yet, this is not anything but something to be investigated and I know there are real women out there battling that disease everyone runs away from talking about.

Blogging helps calm me down though when I am emotional so hoping I will be forgiven for this post.

Nobody has to read it – it is for me really.

There is a bit of me that enjoys any drama weirdly. So many thoughts and feelings.

1. Hoping for just 10 years so I can see the children looked after and grown-up
2. Wishing I had not had such a little life and that I had contributed more
3. Wondering why I have always been such a scaredy-cat
4. Knowing some of the things that would go on my bucket list including a lunch with someone and a visit to see my half-sisters in Ireland not to mention learning to tap dance and writing that best-selling novel.
5. Being pleased Mum and Dad are dead as they would worry about all this
6. Realising how blessed I am despite my constant moans
7. Amazed and very touched at all the messages of support
8. Feeling a sudden need to push loved ones away. Stupid and self-defeating behaviour.
9. Wondering what blog post title will announce the results of the investigations – As I said, ever the writer and drama queen.

Meanwhile, I think the roast is burning a bit, the school uniform needs taking out of the drier and the big result I am waiting for is the X Factor one.

There – I feel better already.

I remember the thrill of being given the Argos catalogue at Christmas every year by my parents. I think they took the approach that Argos was a great one-stop shop that would sort my Christmas pile out nicely. As the youngest child and the only girl, the mountain of gifts was always impressive.

Funnily enough, my most memorable toy was the doll’s house my Dad’s best friend Colin made for me. He was a joiner so it was well done and then his sisters had fun decorating it. Ah memories …

These days I am more likely to shop at Argos by using their website which is easy to search.

My children have been trying out some toys from Argos recently.

My son chose a Hot Wheels set. He was into wheels from a very early age and I imagine him learning to drive as soon as possible.


My daughter added to her Design-a-Friend collection. It was wonderful because it was waiting for her as a treat when she returned from her school trip.

My older son has always loved Lego.


Lego is available at Argos online here.

Argos provided us with three toys to enable this post.

Stuffed pumpkins recipe

Stuffed Pumpkins


2 x 700-800g pumpkins, halved and pips scooped out

75g couscous

2 tbsp SuperValu olive oil

1 SuperValu leek, washed, trimmed and sliced

175g SuperValu chestnut mushrooms, chopped

50g SuperValu pine nuts

2 tbsp SuperValu parsley, chopped

100g SuperValu feta cheese, crumbled

Freshly milled black pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/ Fan 170°C/ Gas Mark 5.  Place the pumpkin halves on a baking tray and cook for 40 minutes.  

  1. Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over 100ml cold water and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a pan and cook the sliced leeks for 3-4 minutes before adding the mushrooms.  Cook for a further 5-6 minutes, until     the vegetables have softened.

  1. Fluff up the couscous with a fork then stir into the leek and mushroom mixture with the pine nuts, parsley and crumbled feta cheese.  Season with black pepper.

  1. Spoon the stuffing mixture into the pumpkin halves, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and bake for a further 15 minutes.

The SuperValu range is stocked in Budgens stores which are owned and operated by independent retailers. To find your nearest store visit