Tuesday, 19 August 2014

One Year Later

A year ago I posted this, Star and the Broken Neck, at that time I had no idea what was going to happen to her.
Almost exactly a year later Star was taken to the theatre for the fifth time to have her second halo removed. It was an emotional day and we really had no idea what to expect. The last time she had the halo removed in March, My Angel Loses Her Halo, we noticed almost straight away that it hadn't worked.

In June she had two operations, one a manipulation to straighten her neck, and the other was a seven hour operation to fix her spine together with pins, plates and bone graft, and we saw the return of the halo. An Update on Star

When Star came back from theatre she kept asking if the halo was off. I'm guessing it felt very strange for her. She had been fitted with a collar but the consultant had already told us it was only for her comfort. She only has to wear it when she's feeling pain, or if we go out. She is due to have another CT scan in September along with a clinic visit and hopefully all will be well.

It feels strange looking at my little girl without a collar and with a straight neck, she looks so different, she looks so grown up.

It will take her some time to get used to using her neck properly again, and she will never regain full movement because she is pinned in place, but the big difference is she is now safe from danger.

It's her birthday on Sunday and we are doing the same as last year, taking her to pizza hut with the whole family. Last year we were just starting out on this journey, now we are hoping it's the beginning of the end. Of course we accept that she will never be 'normal' but just being out of danger and straight is enough. Maybe, in the future, there may be some way of her regaining some mobility in her neck.

When she first came around and kept asking if the halo was gone

Enjoying a wrap, halo and collar free

back home with her siblings

Monday, 18 August 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Carrot Cake

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen where you can link up your posts about your kids cooking and recipes. If you would like to know more then please read my Kids in the Kitchen page. The rules for linking up are really simple and I accept old posts and new, so do come and join us.

This week I'm sharing my Carrot Cake recipe and the Little Man was my helper.

First I'd like to say thank you to last weeks linkers.

On Autism Mamma you can find the most delicious looking Freddo Chocolate Cake.

The Brilliant Chef made scrummy looking Orange Choc Chip Cookies.

Thank you for joining in, I've shared the posts on Twitter and Pinterest too.

Carrot Cake

This is a very simple carrot cake which contains no nuts or extra flavourings, just carrots and a little cinnamon.
You can cover it with a cream cheese frosting, or butter cream, but we like it as it is.


185g sugar
180 ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
130g carrots grated (about 3 medium carrots)


mix together the sugar oil and eggs in a large bowl.
Sift in the flour baking powder, salt and cinnamon
Add the grated carrots
mix well

bake for 50 minutes at gas mark 5

If you would like to join then please link up your posts old or new below.
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

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You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

42 Days of Summer!

We have 17 days of the school holidays left here, so what have we been up to so far.
Summer for us means Birthdays! All three Littlies have two weeks or less between their birthdays and they are all in the summer holidays. So we spend a lot of time partying!

First up it's Boo, who this year turned seven. We had a Frozen party with snow and snowball fights, we even had snowball bowling. All this on the hottest day of the year! I made her a Frozen Cake and we hosted the party at home in our house and garden.

BN Biscuits make a perfect addition to the party food table. The kids loved both the chocolate and the raspberry flavours. I love the combination of the crispy biscuit with the creamy filling and the smiles and winks on each biscuit are so cute.

Then it was the Little Man's Birthday. He had a few friends around for a little party and loved his Paw Patrol Cake I made him.

Next Up it's Star's Birthday, just a few days after her operation (she's off to hospital tomorrow) We will still be celebrating and have booked a family party in Pizza Hut. I have to somehow fit in time to make her a Pokemon Cake.

It's not all been partying though, we have filled the summer days with other activities too. 
We went to a lovely BBQ hosted by our local church.

We had a meet up with some other bloggers and their children at a City Centre Park.

Then Last week we had fun day out at an Adventure Farm

So despite Star not being well we have had a summer of partying and fun, making the most of every day. 

My tips for making it happily through the Summer Holidays are:

  • Make the most of the sunshine and get out as often as you can, even if it's just the garden.
  • Try Something new to alleviate boredom, maybe find some local activities your children in with. In our area there were some circus classes, we couldn't take part because of Star but they looked like lots of fun and they were free.
  • Find somewhere new to go. We'd not been the City Centre Park before and were surprised at how much fun it was.
  • When the weather is bad you can go to the cinema or visit a museum. There is always something aimed at children going on.
  • You can still have fun if you are stuck at home, get out the board games, or do some arts and crafts. You could even get the kids cooking and join up with my Kids in the Kitchen Linky, or just check it out for inspiration :)

Happy Summer Everyone!

This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVities BN. Learn more at 

Friday, 15 August 2014

National Forest Adventure Farm

We were lucky to be invited to visit the National Forest Adventure Park in Burton-on-Trent earlier this week.
We found the park pretty easily after travelling up on the M42 and the A38. Lucky as it was my first long trip in a few years.

We started the day with a tractor ride around the farm, we had to spot the scarecrows along the way. The Littlies found this really exciting, but I do believe it was OH who was shouting out 'Scarcrow' the loudest.

The Littlies were excited to go to the playground so we headed over and they were straight into the sand pit. They then tried the bouncy castle slide, the Jumping Pillow, the Water Splash and the Mini Assault Course. We came back later for a go on the Go Karts and the Little Man was playing Beat The Goalie. A great time was had by all, even Star was able to join in with a few of the activites. We let her in the Water Splash while it was quiet (only us) even though she's not supposed to get wet.

A big favourite was the Quad Barrel Ride, where they rode around a mini maze in big barrels.

We then went to look at the animals. Here are some of the smaller ones. Throughout the day there are animal demonstrations to help you learn more about the animals and how they are cared for.

We had lunch at the restaurant which was really busy. We had to wait quite a while for our food, but it was nice when it arrived and lovely big portions which meant it was worth the cost. If you don't want to dine at the restaurant you can go to the smaller cafe or bring a picnic. There is even an option to purchase a picnic and then you can eat outside in one of the picnic areas.

One of our favourite activities of the day was making scarecrows. The Farm is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest display of scarecrows which is currently 3311 and is held in Cincinnati. You can take a scarecrow with you or make one in the scarecrow workshop. We had loads of fun making ours which were numbers 1951, 1952,1953. I really hope they reach their target and break the record.

Sticking with the theme of Scarecrows the farms 11th annual Maize Maze features the Scarecrow's Wedding, the new book from Julia Donaldson. There is a quiz you can do on the way around the maze by finding the clues. We didn't manage to do the complete maze as it is over 3 miles of pathways and bridges. We managed the shorter flower maze and found the Wedding Scene in the big maze. It was all very exciting, but also very tiring, especially for Star. (Maybe we should have tried it out earlier before her energy was waning.) 

We had a fabulous day and would love to go back again sometime. I thought the entry price looked a little high at first, but I didn't really know what to expect and there is really so much to see and do the price seems very reasonable. Tickets are around £9.75 each with under 2s free. It's cheaper to go in the winter and off peak. 

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Linking up with the fabulous Country Kids
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Disclaimer: We were given free admission to the farm for the purpose of this review all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Picnic in the City!

One of the nicest things about blogging is that there is a whole blogging community that you can become part of. I'm often meeting up with other bloggers, either at events, or meet-ups, so I had to jump in when I heard there was going to be a meet-up in Birmingham, my home town.

We picked a lovely day for a picnic and had decided, at the last minute, to meet up at the fairly new Eastside Park which is situated outside the Think Tank museum at Millenium Point. The last time I went there it was a car park so the transformation was very pleasant. As well as a stream and lots of grass areas with plenty of seats, there was a lovely little maze, and a great sensory park. There is also the Science Park which is part of the Think Tank, which means it also comes under the Think Tank fees....But, it's free after 3pm and well worth a visit.

I was first to arrive, having swiftly found the car park despite being the first time I've driven into town in over two years and coming from a completely different direction after moving home. Go Me!

Other's were not so lucky in finding the car park, mention no names *wink*

Then everyone seemed to arrive at once and we all went into the little play area where the kids got to know each other.

The Little Man instantly took a liking to Zoe's (from Mama Geek) daughter, although he was a little pushy she didn't seem to mind. The Little Man is just like his dad, he'll get on with anyone! Boo is similar and was soon joining in with the others games. Star is a little shyer but soon found common ground with some of the little lads.

I know I was a little quiet on the day but while I have Star in her halo I seem to be very edgy whenever we go out, she doesn't seem to worry, but I'm terrified she might fall or get hurt, or even hurt someone else, those rods can give a good bruise.

I did have a lovely day though and it was really nice catching up with everyone.

The Olivers Madhouse - Jaime
Mama Geek - Zoe
92three30 - Erica
Mummy of 3 Diaries - Chris
Pink Oddy - Joy

Here is the Sensory Park

And the Science Park

A couple of my favourite photos from the day.

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