Sunday, 31 July 2011
Saturday, 30 July 2011
Not too far from where we are in Milton Keynes is a Forest called Salcey Forest and it is in Northamptonshire. We have been several times as a family, to walk around the routes as not only is it a great place to visit to see some magnificent trees and wildlife but it is also a great place to get a bit of exercise, especially on a Sunday afternoon to work off my infamous Roast Dinners!
Last Sunday it was nice and bright and warm so we decided to head over to Salcey Forest to try to wear out Top Ender and Big Boy and we wanted to get a dose of Vitamin D too! We parked by the cafe and toilet block (the toilets are clean and big and the cafe is always busy when we go during it's opening hours) and paid for our parking on the very handy pay by phone option. There are three routes around the forest, The Woodpecker Trail, The Church Path Walk and The Elephant Walk. We have been so often and know the routes so well, we sort of just made our own walk up following a bit of The Church Path Walk and The Elephant Walk!
Friday, 29 July 2011
With it being the Summer Holidays we are having a few late night treats here at A Mothers Ramblings. Nothing too late, or too extravagant but late enough that for the first time in ages Big Boy is sleeping late in the morning allowing Daddy and I some extra time in bed to balance out the late nights!
Earlier this week Daddy, Top Ender and Big Boy went to Asda for a few supplies for our trip to Camp Bestival and decided to buy some ice-creams for themselves as a treat to eat on the way home. When they got home Big Boy came and sat on the sofa in the living room and we filmed this...
Thursday, 28 July 2011
There are some chores that I'm not the one responsible for completion of, I don't mean chores that I get the children to help out with like Cleaning the Windows, but I mean I really just don't do them! I don't put the bins out (although I do), I don't put petrol in the car (although I will) and I don't mow the lawn (unless I am trying to induce labour). They are Daddy's jobs (he has a few others and always helps out if I ask him to) and he too understands that making chores fun means it isn't just the children who enjoy the benefits of making a chore a game. In the words of Mary Poppins;
It's fun because everyone works together and I think that everyone will agree that a mowed lawn makes a garden look fantastic!
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
We were given the Glamour Mansion from Argos to review.
When I was younger I had the biggest Dolls house ever. It was as tall as me and meant that my Sindy's (I wasn't a Barbie girl) had plenty of space to store their clothes, working shower, working lights, red leather sofa and countless other accessories I had collected or inherited (Thanks Aunties T and C!). Top Ender did play with it a couple of times, but to be honest it just wasn't sturdy enough as it was made of plastic which is going brittle with age and cardboard. Argos let me know about the new dolls house, or rather Glamour Mansion, that they were going to be bringing out and asked if Top Ender would like to have one to review. Knowing that with the 60+ dolls and accessories that she has that this would make perfect sense we eagerly agreed.
I don't know what I was expecting to arrive, but the Glamour Mansion was a very pleasant surprise. The dolls house is self assembly, but the wooden pieces are really solid and I put it together surprisingly quickly considering that Big Boy tried to help me and Daddy says I have terrible DIY Skills. The house is really solid and has taken a fair battering from Top Ender and Big Boy and even Daddy said that nothing needed tightening!
Just like my dolls house when I was younger this Glamour Mansion is perfect for Barbie and Sindy sized dolls (I think they are called Fashion Dolls these days!) and the different areas of the house are well designed meaning that even Top Ender hasn't yet come up with a situation that she hasn't been able to set somewhere in the house! Even the balcony has had it's fair share of conversations, arguments and dance parties!
It isn't just Top Ender who has been playing with the house though. Big Boy loves the dolls house and will often be found moving the dolls around the glamour mansion whilst they take part in some game of his. It's been brilliant watching him and Top Ender play together with the dolls house whenever they can.
I must admit that I have been playing with the house a fair bit too, it is just so inviting sitting there with its accessories (A bed, hanging rail for the bedroom, kitchen unit, sofa, bath and a few other pieces) and the dolls that Big Boy and Top Ender have to make sure are tucked in at night before they go to bed too! Who knows maybe I will even video a little story for us all based on a day at Glamour Mansion!
The Glamour Mansion is £129.99 in Argos and will be in the catalogue out on the 30th July.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011
Findmeagift.co.uk sent me a Garden Journal to review.
I love looking at Find Me a Gift, not just for gift ideas for me but... okay just for gift ideas for me. I swear I could buy half the website and live quite happily just looking at my own stuff. Anyhow occasionally I do think of other people and will browse through for gifts for friends and family and have already sent a few links to my sister with gift suggestions for my Mum for Christmas (Yes, I plan early but then you all already knew that) but when I was asked if I would like to review the Digging up Memories From you to me garden journal I immediately thought of my Step-Mother in Law who has a very green thumb.
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Saturday, 23 July 2011
Just in case you forgot Rowse Honey paid for Top Ender and I to go to Latitude 2011.
Last weekend Top Ender and I went to Latitude. Top Ender has already sort of given her impression of the day in her guide to Festivals for Children, but now it's my turn! What can you say about a day spent in a muddy field listening to music whilst being rained on? Well, if you spent the Saturday at Latitude you would probably say something about it being amazing and an experience that I would want to repeat, and if possible to repeat soon!
I was really disappointed that the two groups that
Spending one on one time with Top Ender was fantastic and even though she was complaining about being cold and wet and that she didn't like the performers that we were watching she did manage to survive the day and I think that she did actually enjoy herself, especially when the sun came out in the afternoon and dried us both out a bit. And to make it even better she got her face painted in the Rowse Honey tent and got to play a few games and to find out from a real Bee expert about the lives of Bees!
I think that for me the festival was good as I hadn't heard good music live for quite a while and hearing some performers (like Ed Sheeran) who I had heard but never really listened too gave me a deeper appreciation for them... and has meant that I have been buying tracks like nobody's business!
Would we go again? Absolutely! Maybe I'll even become a Festival Going Regular!
Friday, 22 July 2011
This Summer Top Ender, Big Boy and I are off on a world tour. For the next six weeks we are going to eat exotic dishes, learn about different cultures and customs take in a few sights and if we are lucky pick up some foreign languages. It is going to be exhausting cramming it all into the summer holidays, but we know that we are going to have fun together and hopefully learn something new everyday.
Well, this isn't strictly true. You see we are going on a world tour, this Summer holidays but from our own living room, which means that we can do our 100 Free Things To Do In The Summer Holidays too!
Each week we will visit the landmarks the country is most known for (either by creating them ourselves, finding something similar locally or the good old Internet), create something crafty from the country and of course plan our meals to reflect the cuisine of the area we are visiting. We want our passports to get stamped in every country we visit too so we shall be making our own passports and making our own stickers to stick on our pin board suitcase too.
We like making things in our house, it doesn't matter if it is a mess or a tower or dinner or things out of toilet rolls we just like spending time together making things! A few days ago Big Boy and I were a little bored and so we decided to make something out of toilet rolls (we have plenty of them around) and as we grabbed four of them we decided that we wanted to play bartender and we made glasses of juice.
I'm not claiming to be the worlds best artist (It's okay I know I'm not) but I was pleased with the way that they came out as we knew what they were supposed to be. Just in case you don't know from left to right we have a glass of Lemon and Lime (see the lemon and lime wedges there are ice cubes too but I don't think you can see them), Raspberry and Blackcurrant (with Ice), Water (again with the ice) and Orange (See the orange and the ice?!).
Thursday, 21 July 2011
When we went to Latitude last weekend it was Top Ender's first real festival and as such I had tried to warn her about what I knew about Festivals. As it was really my first real festival too this mainly consisted of information I had gleaned from friends who had been to festivals in the past and also what I had learnt from reading books where the main character goes to a Festival. As you can tell my information with a bit patchy and mainly aimed at adults so Top Ender has come up with a guide to Festivals for Children.
1) If it has been raining wear wellies. You will need to wear them because there is a lot of mud at Festivals and also the floors in the toilets are sometimes a bit disgusting and this stops you from treading your trainers in poo.
2) Wear Clothes you are comfortable in. If you are going to be dragged from stage to stage and from activity to activity you need to be comfortable. I think that wearing layers is a good idea as that way you can take a layer off if you are hot. Don't forget wear shorts if it is sunny and trousers if it is raining!
3) Take your Raincoat. Even if you don't like it because it covers your mouth take it and wear it. You will stay dry in the rain and if it doesn't rain you can use it as a floor cover to sit on. Also if it is raining take spare clothes, you will need them.
4) Take a bottle of water. Most festivals will let you take in an opened bottle of water. I opened mine up and took a swallow of water whilst we were parking our car so that the security guards could see it was an open bottle more easily.
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Last Friday Big Boy and I went on an adventure. I knew that I was going to be away from Big Boy for the whole weekend and so I thought that some quality one on one time might make it easier on
Big Boy me us. We started the day by Daddy giving us a lift to the far end of the high street. We walked through a church yard looking at decorative grave stones with carved marble hands clasped in prayer, Angels and prayer books and details of the loved ones who had been left behind.
We carried on our adventure by going to the park and played on the swings and slide and climbing apparatus and made a friend who Big Boy played in the wild flowers with (and I think I made a new Mum friend too) before we both set off on the rest of our day.
Big Boy and I walked up the high street, pretending to be a band performing on the band stand, looking in the shop windows at the wares for sale, laughing at the greengrocer who was juggling tomatoes and the butcher who was pretending to juggle his knives. We jumped over the cracks in the path and made our way to the local supermarket to pick up some food for an impromptu picnic lunch.
We walked to another local park and found a place to have our picnic in the middle of the field before finding a recycling bin to recycle our rubbish in. We cuddled and munched and slurped our drinks and enjoyed the sunshine of the afternoon.
Big Boy chased after bubbles and zoomed around excited to have so much space just for him. He made friends with a couple of ladies on their lunch hour who had come to the park for a gossip and catch up and who enjoyed just watching him enjoy himself.
We went into the play area and Big Boy swung on the swings higher than ever before and screamed with laughter at the ground rushing up towards him as he swung.
Monday, 18 July 2011
There is such an innocence in digging your toes into the sand and splashing in the waves that I think everyone should do it when life is starting to get too much. Who knows maybe if we can keep that childlike innocence in our everyday lives, the world might just be a little bit better.
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Saturday, 16 July 2011
When from Curly and Candid tagged me in this meme I was actually quite pleased. Give five songs that you live your life by, your philosophies, your reasons for the way you react the way you do that is so easy for me so here are five songs that sum up how I live my life and how I would like to see my children live their life.
Everybody's free to wear sunscreen - Baz Luhrmann
|Daddy creaming up Top Ender on a trip to London|
Friday, 15 July 2011
We received a Morphy Richards Kettle and Toaster from the Accent range to review as part of the Morphy Richards House Proud Innovators scheme.
There is one gadget in my kitchen that doesn't get used more than once a week, and even then not for the reason that most people use it for. What is the gadget? Well, it's my kettle. Being LDS I don't drink tea or coffee (don't worry, I keep them in stock so if you pop round I can offer you a cup) but I do make gravy every week for the roast dinner or if we have bangers and mash or sausage pie or...
Anyway kettles. Yes. So my old kettle has seen me through University (Pot Noodles, Cup A Soups and Instant Mash Potato were my friends) and the first ten years (well nearly) of my marriage but it was starting to get a little tired and so I was so pleased when Morphy Richards said that the House Proud Innovators scheme wanted to send me a new one from the Accents range. They even asked what colour I would like! The colours that the range offers are cream, lime green, red and jet black . I decided to go with cream as I figured that it would go with anything should some magic fairies come to redecorate my kitchen (Please Magic Fairies come and redecorate my kitchen) and waited for it to arrive.
The day it arrived I had been out having some fun with the family and so my neighbour kindly took in the package. He brought it round that night and I was a little confused as the box was HUGE. This was either the worlds biggest kettle or Morphy Richards had made a mistake and had sent me a very short person to make us
It turned out that Morphy Richards had decided that we should also have a four slice toaster too.
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Whilst watching the Sky One TV Coverage of the premier of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part Two we were commenting on how different the actor's and actresses who play characters in the film look in real life. I told Top Ender to look out for Emma Watson, who plays Hermione because she has had her hair cut really short. When Emma Watson came on screen I said;
"Look, that's Emma Watson, see I told you she had her hair cut!"
"Hermione you mean?" asked Top Ender
"No, Emma Watson, that is her real name" I answered
"I thought you said Emma whatshername!" answered Top Ender
I'm not entirely sure why I am posting this other than Daddy told me too, because he likes the idea of Emma Whatsername...
Both Top Ender and Big Boy loved the soap because it smelt nice and made their hands smelly (their words not mine!) and also because it made some nice bubbles too! I liked them using this soap because the soap is faster at killing germs which means that even if they don't follow my sing happy birthday twice rule they are still more likely to come away from the sink with cleaner hands than they started with!
The carex soap is available from most big shops and has an RRP of £1.55 for 250ml
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
I was reading an old post from Diary of A desperate Exmoor Woman where Jane googled herself and found out who she was (well who shared her name anyway) so I thought I would nick it and turn it into a meme.
|Will the real Pippa please stand up?|
* An author and according to The Bookseller
I know I know wordless, but hang on a minute so I can explain this one. Daddy asked Top Ender and Big Boy to give a nice natural looking smile so he could take a new picture for his phone background and this is what happened.
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
On Saturday night, the Foo Fighters concert taking place at Milton Keynes Bowl could be heard at our house, which is around three miles away. As is normal for us we lay on our bed in the dark with the windows open for a few minutes each time there is a concert to see if we can "hear" what the performers are saying or singing. Top Ender had joined us (as she was awake) and had come back from the bathroom and laid down between us when Daddy said;
Daddy disposed of the spider just moments before Top Ender's return. Top Ender sat up and turned to look at where the spider had died and found a rather large Spider leg still on the duvet. We all laughed at this gruesome sight and Daddy disposed of the leg commenting;
"I wonder what else the spider has left behind"
"Smithereens?" offered Top Ender
"Smithereens isn't a part, it's a description of how many pieces the spider was in!" laughed Daddy
"Oh!" said a giggling Top Ender
We were sent a BubbleBum Inflatable Car Booster seat to review by Cheeky Rascals.
Big Boy and I often go into London together for various blogger events, I hate taking Big Boy on the underground when we are in a rush or it is the rush hour and so we will sometimes travel in Taxis to events. The problem is that not many Taxis have car seats and even though it isn't the law that there has to be one it makes me feel safer to know that Big Boy is the right height for the seat belt! So when we were sent a BubbleBum inflatable car booster seat I was really pleased as this was the product I didn't know I needed!
The Bubblebum was the idea of Grainne Kelly who as a Mum herself knew that carrying a "normal" booster seat around was an inconvenience, especially when you were also trying to cope with a toddler, carry a bag and whatever else you might need for a day trip or holiday.
So what did we think of the Bubblebum? It takes no time at all to inflate and putting it into the backseat of a taxi was surprisingly easy considering I hadn't practised and had no idea what I was doing. Big Boy felt very happy sitting in the seat and I was much happier knowing that the seat belt was across Big Boy in the right place.
The BubbleBum seat because it is inflatable is soft and not rigid like a traditional booster seat. This gave a comfy ride to Big Boy (and Top Ender who had a go in our car) which as anyone who has ever been in a London Cab knows is a good thing. As is the fact that it can be wiped clean...
The BubbleBum seat is simple to put away (just roll it back up into the handy bag) and then it sat nicely in my handbag (I have a big handbag) until we needed it on the way back home. As the bag is so compact it has taken to living hanging from the coat hooks in our hall, which is great as we can grab it as we leave the house and we don't have to worry about losing it in the loft.
Cheeky Rascals sell the Bubble Bum for £29.99, which as it can be used for a child between the weights of 15kg and 36kg (roughly 4 years old to 12 years old) is a great price.
Monday, 11 July 2011
When we went to see Shaun's Big Show, Big Boy was quite excited as he really loves the animated series of both Shaun and Timmy.
We were all sat in the auditorium and as the show started Big Boy was immediately transfixed by the dancing sheep and Bitzer (the dog). A few moments passed before Big Boy realised that there was a huge secret that only he knew and he had to share with his family so he stage whispered to us;
"There are people in those costumes!"
Those in the seats around us started to giggle whilst we reassured Big Boy that we had known there were people in the costumes and that we had known they weren't real animals.
The costumes were really great though.
My sister received the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Breast Pump so it could be reviewed here.
When I was pregnant with Top Ender, my Mum brought me a breast pump as it was reduced in her local Boots store. I knew I was going to breast feed (well attempt to) but hadn't looked at breast pumps and had no clue what I was looking for in a pump. My sister was just as laid back and with her first pregnancy, she knew too that she was intending to breast feed but from conversations I remember from the time she wasn't all that fussed about what breast pump she had. I was lucky the pump that I had suited me and for both Top Ender and Big Boy it served me well helping me provide milk to stock up the freezer with and for times when I wasn't available for my babies to get milk direct from the source! By the time my sisters third baby was born she still hadn't found the right electrical breast pump that she felt best for her (She had discovered that the Tommee Tippee manual pump was good for her though) and this is where Tommee Tippee stepped in, offering her the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump to review.
My sister was quite excited about the pump and after sterilising it (in the sterilising pot that it comes with) used it for the first time. She was impressed, the suction did feel natural (or rather like a baby sucking) and she expressed a few ounces in a relatively short amount of time too. Chatting we worked out that it wasn't that noisy compared to other electric breast pumps, but if you are used to manual pumps it's very noisy!
The pump comes with a few accessories such as breast milk storage pot, a bottle and some disposable breast pads (always good for making Breast Pad Snowmen with) and of course the sterilising pot that I mentioned. If you want to pump and you aren't near mains, it does take batteries, but my sister and I are guessing, that like my pump, the less juice in the batteries the less powerful the pump... just a point to watch out for! I didn't read the instructions booklet, as I wasn't going to use the pump and unusually for my sister she did read the book, so she could tell me all about putting the thing together when your over enthusiastic partner has taken it all apart in an attempt to be helpful... luckily if you read the manual it is fairly straight forward but there are a few fiddly bits that if you have sterilised you might be hesitant about touching with your fingers and making unclean. As I have always said though trust me it isn't going to matter so don't sweat the small stuff.
So my third niece had milk expressed using this pump, but would my sister use it again? Well, yes she would and she is going to at the start of next year (2012) when she has her fourth baby! That's right I'm going to be an aunty again!
The RRP for the pump is £84.99, but there are discounts to be had on the Tommee Tippee website and a quick google search found it on both the John Lewis website and Amazon for roughly half the price.