A Mothers Ramblings: May 2011

Monday, 30 May 2011

Grease The Stageshow - A Review

We received two tickets to go and see the show and Top Ender drank two glasses of orange juice... the hussy.

One of Top Ender's favourite musicals of all time is Grease, (ever since we took her to see the film at an Open Air Film Festival), it has become a staple of her film collection. When we were asked if we would like tickets to go and see the stage show at Milton Keynes Theatre the only trouble was deciding if Daddy or I would go with her to see it. In the end Daddy valiantly stepped to one side allowing me to get out of the front door with Top Ender... although I think he was just worried that I would ban him from listening to the soundtrack in the car as I did with Chess after I was unable to attend.

Stealing a line from Greased Lightening, the atmosphere was "electrifying" with a large neon light Grease logo hanging down in the centre of the stage.

Grease The Stageshow Musical Logo

As soon as the opening few bars of a medley of Grease songs were played people were clapping along, singing and in Top Ender's case having a dance. The show was fantastically performed and for someone like Top Ender who has only ever seen the film version of the musical, it was different as things come in a different order and different emphasises are made on some songs. Luckily though she has had her Daddy and I to teach her all the songs that were being performed as main pieces that you only hear in the background of the film. The cast were great and each had a good handle on their part, and I was glad to see a lot more comedic moments in the background whilst the main characters were doing their stuff.

Danny and Sandy

If you are planning on taking your children, please do remember that some of the songs and dialogue are rather grown up in tone. At the moment we are lucky that Top Ender is young enough that most of these phrases go straight over the top of her head (I was well in to my teens before I realised what half the film was about!) and those that she has picked up we have managed to convince her she has misheard ("No, Top Ender!" he said "The Chick's will Scream, not cream" or "Pussy Wagon? No, pretty wagon, it's just his American Accent making it sound odd...") or just plain misunderstood.

The show is in Milton Keynes until the 4th June and moving on to Bradford, Southampton and Oxford and in several other towns as it's run is right up until the end of the year.

PS Top Ender helped me write this blog post, she wanted me to tell you all.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Disney's Tangled

We received a Disney Double Play Blu-ray and DVD of Tangled and the CD of the soundtrack.

During the February Half Term Top Ender, Big Boy and I went to the cinema to see Tangled. We made a Film Themed Day of it, and all had our hair cut and made paper lanterns and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. When Disney asked if we would like to have a copy of the DVD we said YES PLEASE! as with half term coming up and a few long car journeys planned we knew that we were going to have plenty of time to watch it. As usual though as soon as the package arrived and Big Boy saw the Disney logo the package was opened and the film was playing within minutes of being delivered!
Disney Tangled Double Play

In case you don't know the story is that of The Brothers Grimm's Rapunzel with a great Disney spin. Rapunzel is a kidnapped Princess being hidden away by a selfish (rather than evil) mother (Rapunzel doesn't know that she is her stepmother) because she has magic hair. After 18 years of being kept locked up in a tower, Rapunzel wants to explore the outside but has been denied this by her mother. Enter a handsome thief and add a few songs and you have a fantastic film that keeps Big Boy, Top Ender, Daddy and I all amused!
Sky Lanterns Scene Image from Disney's Tangled
Image from Tangled, borrowed from the Disney Tangled Mini Site
The Blu-ray and DVD Double play is available to buy now for a RRP of £22.99, but I have seen deals on the high street for a lot less, including in the Disney store where it was £14.99. This is a great film to watch not only this half term, but whenever you are needing a bit of Disney Magic in your life.

Top Ender Giggles - Blue Ribbon

On the day of Top Enders First Concert, Top Ender and I were discussing what she was going to wear. We already knew that she was wearing her school uniform, but she could go with trousers or a pinafore dress, or a summer dress, or a skirt or... you know anything that was school uniform. We then got on to the tricky subject of how she was going to wear her hair. 

Whilst we were talking, I was moving around the kitchen doing other chores; Getting Top Ender a drink, putting Big Boy's cup's for bed to one side, getting Top Ender an after dinner snack, trying to stop Daddy from eating food in the fridge before he had his dinner and just generally not letting my kitchen look like it did in that tour of my kitchen video (I did a follow up video if anyone wants to see of my clean kitchen, just to prove I am not really a slob all the time).

I reached into the biscuit tin and pulled out a chocolate biscuit for Top Ender, I looked at her and said

"Blue Riband?"

to which she replied

"I already told you I'm not going to wear any ribbons and if I did they would have to be GREEN!"

Daddy and I spent the next five minutes giggling and trying to explain to Top Ender that was the name of the biscuit she was being offered.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Just a few Random things!

Sometimes I am so busy living life that I don't get a chance to do anything else (Like clean my house, or write a few blog posts, or vlog); And then there are the things that we have done that just don't seem to warrant a full blog post, but I think are quite interesting and want to share... So I decided that I would just do one blog post mentioning a few things that I could think of.

A few weeks back Kleenex sent me a parcel of Tissues as I was having a particularly horrid time with hay-fever and a cold at the same time. The tissues that they sent were the Kleenex Balsam ones which have a bit of calendula in them (my Nan says it is a Marigold!) which stops your nose going all red and stops the skin start peeling which is oh so attractive. Anyway thanks to them I didn't get the peeling nose thing and so was at least able to keep some dignity whilst dripping snot and sneezing everywhere...

Kleneex Balsam Tissues

Then during Lent (yeah I know that was ages ago) Green & Blacks sent me some chocolate but I couldn't eat it because, well it was Lent. I put the box up high so I wouldn't be tempted and sort of forgot about it... and then I started my diet and so I can't eat it now because you know I have lost half a stone and I just need to look at food to put on weight. However I did give them all to my Sister who can eat a million calories and not put on any weight and she is going to share them with her other half. If he is lucky anyway. She says that Green & Blacks is the best chocolate in the world and unlike me she doesn't care if they are flavoured.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Top Enders First Concert

Do you remember way back in September when I proudly announced that Top Ender was starting to learn to play the Violin?

Well last night was her first concert.

I was so very proud of her, she did fantastically well (as did all the other performers) and I had a little cry but I think I managed to convince everyone that it was allergies.

Just so you don't miss out though, here is her very first public performance.

(Video can be seen at http://youtu.be/U9rhKqW-vCU)

When we got home we gave her a bouquet of flowers and told her that is what you get after fantastic concerts. She was so pleased that she made me cry again. Damn those allergies.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Big Boy Giggles - See I told you!

At the top of our stairs is a picture of Daddy and I on our wedding day. As Daddy brought Big Boy (formally known as Baby Boy) downstairs it caught Big Boy's eye and he told Daddy;

"I was a baby at that picture"
"You weren't there!" said Daddy
"Yes I was, as a baby" said Big Boy
"Was Top Ender there?" asked Daddy
"No, it was just me" said Big Boy
"You weren't there though, I was all day I think I would remember!" said Daddy
"Yes I was"  answered Big Boy
"No you weren't" said Daddy
"Yes I was"  answered Big Boy
"No you weren't" said Daddy
"Yes I was" answered Big Boy
"No you weren't" said Daddy
"Yes I was" answered Big Boy
"Fine you were there then." said an exasperated Daddy
"See I told you!" answered Big Boy

Big Boy being Sure of himself

PS Just to confirm he wasn't there, nor was Top Ender.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Silent Sunday

Top Ender and Big Boy having a Picnic

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 21 May 2011


(Video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/TvvFO4VdGio)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Slimavite - My New Diet Plan

My name is Pippa and I am overweight. Really overweight.

So overweight that I sometimes cry about it, because I want to lose weight but I have these bad habits that I have learnt and it seems I am sabotaging myself.

I don't go and try on clothes unless I really have to.

I don't remember the last time I had my hair cut, what's the point in looking good when the rest of me looks a mes?

Then I got an email, asking if I would like to try a product that would help me lose weight.

That would help me break those bad habits and to learn new good habits.

The product is called Slimavite and is a shake based plan and is a system of bites. Depending on if you are male or female and what you are wanting to do (lose weight, maintain weight) depends on how many shakes you have per day. Of course you can plan your day anyway you like, having a Slimavite shake for breakfast and one for lunch with an evening meal that when planned using the Slimavite dashboard means you can keep it within the right quantities for your plan.

I've been on it for two weeks now and I am updating on my YouTube channel almost every night, where you might of seen this video. Where I announced I lost 4lbs in my first week...

(Video can be seen at http://youtu.be/-o94Mp5xgrM)

I will be weighing myself in a few minutes and I think that I have lost 1lb this week... but we know what happened last time right?! Come join me over on Youtube to hear my updates and I promise I will update here too more often too!

Angelina Ballerina Pop Stars Girls DVD - A Review

We received a free DVD for this review. Top Ender thinks I am wonderful.

We love Angelina Ballerina in our house and would regularly watch the original cartoon series and read the books. We had caught the new show a few times on TV, but when the new Angelina Ballerina Pop Stars Girls DVD from Hit arrived Top Ender was most pleased and asked if she could watch it on bed that coming Friday. 

Angelina Ballerina Pop Star Girls DVD Cover

This is the new Angelina Ballerina, which I prefer as the old Angelina would grate on my nerves when telling us how to do simple ballet steps. This one is more about the performing side of things and attending what I guess would be classed as a stage school. Baby Boy and Top Ender have both watched the DVD several times, but so far they have not let me watch it because I am embarrassing as I sing over the top of the songs and dance around the living room like the characters on TV. The DVD is only an hour long and is great for all fans of Angelina Ballerina and with an RRP of £12.99, and with a U certificate it's suitable for everyone too!

Fireman Sam Ready For Action DVD - A Review

We received a free DVD for this review. Big Boy thinks I am wonderful.

We love Fireman Sam in our house and Daddy can do a scarily accurate impression of Dilys Price from the amount of it that we watch and play. When the new Fireman Sam DVD "Ready for Action"  from Hit arrived Big Boy grabbed the disc and put it on in the den. This was worrying, because I didn't know he knew how to put DVD's on and also because now he knew he could do it himself I was imagining coming back from the toilet to find him watching Fireman Sam yet again.

Fireman Sam Ready for Action DVD

Now as you can tell this is the new Fireman Sam, (CGI Fireman Sam) and I actually like him a little more than the Fireman Sam that I grew up with. Big Boy watched the episodes (there are five on the DVD) and we sang along with Elvis (he's my favourite character!) and were of course shouting at Naughty Norman Price. The best bit is that because it is only 50minutes long it was perfect for watching whilst we had a cuddle and a snack.

This DVD is great for all fans of Fireman Sam no matter how old they are (I'm 32 thank you very much) and with an RRP of £12.99, and with a U certificate it's suitable for everyone too!

Two Birthday Cakes For a Third Birthday! - Wordless Wednesday

Baby Boy with his Two Birthday Cakes
(If you want to see a better picture of the Tinkerbell cake, take a look at my Silent Sunday post and the Lego Duplo Block Cake take a look at my Win a Duplo Lego Birthday (UK only) post!)

Don't forget to leave me a comment now, a Happy Birthday will do!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Big Boy Giggles - Birthday Surprise

Big Boy was opening his presents in the morning of his birthday, there was a fairly large pile and Top Ender was encouraging Bigy Boy to open the gifts so she too could see what he had been given.

As Big Boy picked up a parcel, Top Ender exclaimed;

"I wonder what it is!"
"I don't know" said Big Boy "I hope it is something though!"
Baby Boy Opening Birthday Gifts

Monday, 16 May 2011

A Change of Name at A Mothers Ramblings...

Yesterday saw Baby Boy turn from 2 to 3.

That means that Baby Boy is no longer a Baby and so we have to change his name. I'll let him tell you about that though...

(Video can be seen at http://youtu.be/GwQ9JSlCrsE)

So that's that then!

Things To Do With Cardboard Boxes - Pretend they are Fire Engines!

Recently a lot of packages that we have been getting have been coming in cardboard boxes. The fantastic thing about cardboard boxes is that they have a multitude of uses with a little imagination, something which we have in abundance! A few evening's ago, whilst I was cooking dinner, I could hear Top Ender and Baby Boy playing in the living room and having a great time if the shouts of joy were anything to go by.

I went into the living room to find Top Ender pushing Baby Boy up and down the living room in a cardboard box we had received a delivery in (it had Baby Boy's birthday cake in it from Lego Duplo!). Between them they had devised a game of Fire Engines and were happily playing and making a lot of noise together too!
(Video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/Em-RVgU_4jY

It just goes to show that with a little imagination you can have Family Fun with the simplest of materials!

Win a Lego Duplo Birthday!

We received a Birthday Pack and cake. The cake tastes really really good.

Since Baby Boy was ordained a Lego Duplo Expert, the good people at Lego Duplo thought that a themed Birthday Pack and Cake for his 3rd Birthday would be a nice celebration. Baby Boy was quite pleased with the idea, as he loved the birthday pack when it arrived full of things to celebrate with!

In the pack there was;
  • 1 x birthday card from Lego Duplo (for me to write)
  • 20 x dinner colouring place mats
  • 20 x balloons
  • 20 x stickers (three different types)
  • 20 x paper plates
  • 20 x paper cups
  • 20 x napkins
  • 20 x party bags (empty for me to fill)
It was great to get a hand with organising BB's birthday and the cake that we received was very tasty and looked adorable too!

A Red Lego Duplo Brick Birthday Cake

If you want to be in with a chance to winning the same package all you have top do is send your details and don't forget to mention who you wish to win the package for to duplocompetition@digitial-outlook.com and in early July all the entries (as all the Duplo Experts who have had birthdays across April, May and June are running the same competition) and a random number generator will decide the winner! Of course the winner's birthday doesn't have to be in the same time period as Baby Boy's!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Silent Sunday

The Icing Topping to Baby Boy's Tinkerbell Birthday Cake

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Mustachioed - The Gallery

I love this weeks theme for The Gallery, mainly because I have some fantastic photographs that I get to share with you as well as a story I want to share and also who doesn't love a good Moustache?

First things first a story about a moustache.

I can't quite remember the details (okay so I can but I'm not going to share them all with you) but Daddy (who was just fiancĂ© back then) was over at my parents house with me when he got a message from his mustachioed Dad asking him to check his email. Daddy checked his email and saw that his Dad had sent him a picture. Daddy and I crowded round the PC and watched as the picture jerked down the screen in stripy chunks as it did in the late 90's.

The first thing we saw was a strip of blue sky with a bit of a TV Ariel. We could tell that the picture had been taken in the back garden.

Then we saw the top of a head. We recognised the hair as belonging to the man who was to become my FIL.

Then we saw his forehead and then his eyes, followed as you would expect by his nose.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Making Chores Fun - Do the Washing

The washing is something that has to be done everyday in my house, or pretty soon we find ourselves running out of underwear and the kitchen drowning in dirty laundry (that's where my washing machine and therefore wash box lives). This of course means that Baby Boy often helps me with this chore, as it is normally he and I at home during the day and I don't keep it all to myself like I want to when Cleaning shoes! I had got Baby Boy involved by putting clothes into the washing machine and telling me the colours of different items (we wear a wide rainbow of colours in this house!) but as much as this was a fun learning opportunity it didn't have the adventurous fun that Baby Boy wanted in this daily chore!

So we mixed it up a little.
Baby Boy deciding which colour wash to do

Now Baby Boy decides what colour wash we are doing, and loads the machine (with my help and guidance of course!) and he gets to call out the colours of the clothes as he is loading. Sometimes he will try to tease me by calling out the wrong colour but so far he hasn't caught me out!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Chilled Out - The Gallery

If you are looking for my Wordless Wednesday post it is here Hazeley Wood.

Shenley Wood

This is how we chill out as a family.

We go for walks in the woods, meandering down paths drinking in the freshness of the air.

We spend time chatting, catching up on things that we might of missed going on in each others lives. Explain things that we might not have time for in the normal busy routine that we call family life.

We stand listening to the birds in the trees and try to work out what they are saying, what they are copying and what they are as we use our bird book and binoculars.

We look at stunning vistas and find secret paths through the tree's. We pretend that we are a team of explorers, the first to explore and document the area.

We look at bluebell's and try to work out what the other flowers are and which ones smell the nicest. Which ones we think attract the most bee's.

We run until our lungs and legs hurt and our hearts feel they will burst out of our ribs and then stand panting in recovery together.

This is us at our best, when we are chilled out.

Gallery Badge

Hazeley Wood - Wordless Wednesday

Hazeley Wood
For another picture of the same Woods, see last weeks Hazeley Wood picture!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Rocking Out with Paper Jamz

We were sent a Paper Jamz guitar from Series 2 to review.

I play the guitar. Well I say I play it, I sort of know how and I should practice more often in order to get better but I don't. That doesn't stop me from pretending though and I can play the opening to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody quite well... When I had seen Paper Jamz in the past though I was a little sceptical. How can anyone play a paper guitar?! Turns out that they aren't actually made of paper, but are really made from plastic! Cue one stupid feeling Mummy, but not that stupid as it turns out that Paper Jamz guitars are printed with circuit-embedded paper, enabling you to play like a pro by simply touching the paper surface. See, easy mistake to make right?

Paper Jamz Logo

The thing is I could tell you all day about how each guitar has three tracks that you can strum along to with or with out the vocals, or that there are four modes for jamming along to (see I know proper music terms), or that it weights 500g, or that each guitar has it's own design and songs that you can play, or even that you can plug the guitar in to speakers or headphones so that you can be as loud or as quiet as your situation requires you to be. Instead though I shall get you to play the following video because it's much more fun and you can see the guitar in action. Just remember play the video right to the very end... you wouldn't want to miss any of it would you?

(Video can be seen at http://youtu.be/0j2hGJQebs0)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Silent Sunday

Breaded Mushrooms on a Stick

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Ambrosia Custard Coated Fruit Flakes - A Review

We were sent two boxes of Custard Coated Fruit Flakes to try... even though I am on a diet.

My Gran used to love to try new food products. It didn't matter what it was she had to give it a try to see if she liked it, even if other similar products she had tried in the past had failed her testing! It's with her in mind that whenever I am offered new food products to try that I accept and so when Ambrosia asked if I would like to try a new snack food ideal for lunchboxes or trips out as they will fit in your handbag or backpack!

The new product is custard coated fruit flakes and they currently come in two option banana and apple. Baby Boy and I shared a couple of pieces from each bag but Baby Boy still hasn't acquired my love of custard and so didn't like them, but did correctly identify that the insides were banana and apple. Top Ender tried them after school, but she didn't like them either not because of the taste, but she was expecting to be yogurt not custard.

Ambrosia Custard Coated Fruit Flakes

Daddy and I both loved them, and I was surprised that Daddy polished off the packet of banana flakes when he came in from work as trying to get him to eat bananas in custard as a pudding has not once resulted in success in nearly ten years of marriage!

The packs come in boxes of five and cost £1.89. They will be available in Morrisons and Sainsburys from x and are suitable for celiacs or anyone who doesn't eat Wheat or Gluten!

Herby Salmon Oven Baked Parcels

My Mum loves Salmon, and so it's thanks to her that I do too. I remember the confusion of a publican/restaurateur when my Mum asked for her Salmon to be prepared sans sauce as she enjoyed the natural flavour and I don't think that other than in a fish pie I have ever had Salmon in a sauce... although I am not opposed to the idea! I am pretty sure that the first time Daddy had salmon was with me and I baked it in tinfoil on the BBQ with just a knob of butter, a splash of Lemon Juice and a sprinkling Tarragon.

These days we have Salmon fairly infrequently because the Salmon is not as inexpensive as it was when I was growing up and when we do there is normally a fight between Daddy and I over who is going to prepare it. The last time we had it I won the fight and decided that I would season it with my mixture of Herbs that I normally use on Italian food; It's a mix of Oregano, Basil, Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Parsley and flaked Red Pepper.
Herby Salmon ParcelsHerby Salmon Parcels

Friday, 6 May 2011

A Tour of My Kitchen

Sometimes there are days when nothing goes right. This week I was tagged by Jen in a blog post asking me to show her my kitchen after she had shown me hers. She claimed that she hadn't tidied up before she gave us a vlog tour and this is what her kitchen looks like normally... I don't believe her. In fact just to prove that I don't believe her I went and took a video of my kitchen so that you can see what a truly not cleaned up kitchen looks like.

(Video can be found at http://youtu.be/LzcumpJlO5c)

This is not what my kitchen normally looks like, but I know you don't believe me. I am going to tag Tara at Sticky Fingers, CosmicGirlie at Mocha Beanie Mummy, Nickie at I Am Typecast and Rosie from Rosie Scribble because I know that they will hate me for it.

Pesto Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Baby New Potatoes

I am confident in my cooking skills, I know my way around and if needs be I can turn out something rather special. I have a Sunday Roast down to a fine art thanks to the Halogen Oven, my lasagne is legendary and whilst we might disagree on toppings or where they should finish even fish finger pizza tastes good if I have cooked it... so why was the news that my MIL was going to join us for an evening meal sending me into a tailspin? Like Daddy my MIL is celiac, but with the added restriction of a dairy intolerance too, and she had had a Roast Dinner with us just a few weeks before so I needed something new and special. I decided to go with Stuffed Chicken Breasts wrapped in Bacon. These are a favourite of Top Ender's and I normally make them with a cheese stuffing but with the dairy intolerance I decided to go with a red pesto filing instead.
Taking a chicken breast and slitting it to create a pocket for the sauce to sit in was strangely relaxing. I added one desert spoon of pesto to each breast and wrapped in bacon. I quickly seared the breasts to give them a bit of colour and then put them in to a glass dish in the oven on gas mark six for about thirty minutes as they were covered. To go with the Chicken Breasts I decided to roast some baby new potatoes with cherry tomatoes, and steam some green beans. The roast potatoes and cherry tomatoes smelt divine as I took them from the oven (same heat and time for the potatoes as the chicken, but I threw the cherry tomatoes in for the last fifteen minutes or so) and even Daddy came into the kitchen to see what the smell was and he doesn't like tomatoes normally!

Roasted New Potatoes and Cherry Tomatoes

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Terribly Clever Chocolate Mousse Starter from M&S

On my birthday it was our plan to have a Roast Dinner as the Birthday celebrant get to choose what food the entire family eats. Daddy, Top Ender and Baby Boy wanted to prepare a treat for me though as a surprise and so whilst I was in the lingerie department of M&S spending my birthday money they went to the Marks and Spencer Food Hall and had a look at what was on offer. When they found a Chocolate Mousse Starter they knew they had found the right treat for us to share.

Jar of M&S Terribly Clever Chocolate Mousse Starter

The idea is really simple, you get some double cream (284ml of the stuff) and whip it before adding in the chocolate mousse starter. After it is mixed it looks a bit like this...

Electronic Test Tube Aliens - A Review

We were sent an Electronic Test Tube Alien to review. My BIL wanted to know how much it costs to send an Alien from outer space to Milton Keynes...

Baby Boy turns three in just a matter of days and it seems the closer to his birthday that we get the more grown up he becomes. When he sees things like Aliens in test tubes he gets excited, there is something about them that cause his excitement to go into overdrive even though these toys are designed for children a few years older.

Baby Boy and the Electronic Test Tube Alien

After cutting out the Alien from the plastic packaging, I read the instructions several times until I knew them backwards and we went to the kitchen to start the hatching process. How to describe the hatching? It was like watching a tablet dissolve in water but slower and fizzier... you know what I knew that words couldn't describe the hatching process properly so we took a video!

(Video can be seen at http://youtu.be/u8Bz1DqVBwQ)

Lego MiniFigures Series 4

We were given ten packets of Series 4 Lego Minifigures to have a play with.

One of my favourite app's on my ipod touch is the Lego MiniFigures app and when it was updated with the new series four MiniFigures I couldn't wait to buy some, before I had a chance however we were sent some and Baby Boy and I decided we should open them up together. Well Baby Boy decided we should as I could build them and he could play with them!

The new Lego MiniFigures are so fun, and we decided to make a little comic strip with the figures we got...

Lego Minifigures

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

April - The Gallery

What sums up April was the question we were asked for The Gallery this week. For me April was all about Sunshine, family and walks. Which is where I took this picture of the green (which was last week's theme!) and pleasant lands near my home.

The Countryside in April

We had actually gone to this area for a walk in the woods which you can see on the left hand side of this picture, and as we had come down the path to this view, we knew we had found something that was beautiful. Even Baby Boy and Top Ender stopped to drink in this vista of Milton Keynes.

April was beautiful this year, none of the usual March winds and April Showers (although I hope we do still get May Flowers) and as such we spent a large amount of it outside enjoying the sunshine and each others company. I love getting out and about with the family, taking photos of where we have been and things we have seen and I hope that if an overweight Mum can manage a walk out that you can too.

Hazeley Woods - Wordless Wednesday

Daddy and Baby Boy through the Oak Leaves at Hazeley Woods

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

LeapFrog's Short Film Festival - The Finalists!

Earlier this year I was asked to be a judge along with Dave Benson Philips and for the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer Short Film Festival, I knew that it was going to be hard to select from all the entries just ten but we had a little family showcase and we came up with ten that we thought showed great family fun and inspired us to make another family video!

Tracks of My Years - 1998

I just realised that I hadn't put up my Tracks of My Years post, for this week, as part of Mum In The Mad House's weekly meme. So I put the first song I thought of up, which actually turned out to be a proper memory and part of my history that I think that not only my family but everyone else would like to read too!

I was part of Choir at the schools I attended. In the "old days" in the UK a Choir wasn't like the ones now made famous by the programme Glee (which I love), but a "proper" choir where you sang choral music and put concerts on in churches and the school hall. I don't know if our choir was usual in upper school (ages 13-18) but as well as the students being part of the choir there were also staff members who joined in. I loved this as it gave our sound depth and also helped some students to see that there were more to teachers than erm, teaching.
Pippa as a School Girl
What I looked like...
The choir was run by the two music teachers, Mr W and Mr P both of whom had great passion for music and tried to help me understand more than I liked to sing and could read sheet music... it didn't really work, but I passed my Music GCSE by the skin of my teeth thanks to them. I don't really remember a lot of the music we sang in choir, I remember there was  a concert in a church which I didn't go to and missed out on singing my solo which I had rehearsed for weeks for and I think we did some Christmas Carols but it's hard to separate the memories of all the choirs I have been in up!

The Sunflower Race - Week Two

This week has Top Ender chasing down Baby Boy's lead from last week (Week One) with both plants requiring straws to help prop them up... they are going to be planted out this week and staked properly but the straw was a good temporary measure we felt! As you can see Baby Boy still has the stronger looking plant, with four leaves having sprouted and Top Ender just having two. Daddy and I still see no growth and are wondering if  we planted them upside down or something!

Top Ender and Baby Boy's Sunflowers

And now to prove how stupid I am, (and that planting a seed upside down is probably entirely probable in my case), I checked inside a container that I had left on the garden table to see what was in there and discovered that I had planted a few sunflower seeds as back ups in case something happened to any of our plants. I then forgot all about them and haven't watered them or anything but still they have grown...

The Forgotten Sunflowers

Looks like Daddy and I might be "borrowing" some of these to help us along in the race!

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Lego City Police Boat #7287 - A Review

We were sent the Lego City Police Boat #7287 to review

We love Lego in our house, and will often all sit on the floor creating a masterpiece or three together. The only problem is that Baby Boy and Top Ender both tend to fight over creating sets that we have brought of been given and also don't tend to like to follow the instructions that come with the packets. I knew that if I wanted to build the Lego City Police Boat without half the pieces going missing that I was going to have to do it when Top Ender and Baby Boy were in bed...

Lego City Police Boat #7287

The seed had been planted. I would wait until they had gone to bed build the boat and then leave it out for them to discover the next morning. And that is what I did.

(Video can be seen at http://youtu.be/FrmnL3Kd35I)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Silent Sunday

Mine and My Mum's Birthday Cakes

Silent Sunday

A Bank Holiday at Ragley Hall

We were given family admission to Ragley Hall

On Bank Holiday Monday we went to Ragley Hall in Warwickshire for a Narnia "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" themed Easter hunt. Having seen pictures of Ragley Hall on the web we knew that the house was going to look impressive, but we weren't sure if the gardens were going to be as fabulous as we were expecting. The grounds had been open for a couple of hours when we arrived and there were already a lot of other families setting up camp for the day, one family was setting up a Fabric Gazebo and large BBQ!

The Back of Ragley Hall

We walked round the gardens hunting out the laminated sheets of A4 which gave us the answers to our questions and now don't need to watch the film seeing as how we know the story now! We also admired some of the sculptures as we passed them...

Baby Boy seemed to like the erm, 3rd leg...