Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Mummyfesto by Linda Green - review




I've never been a big fan of politics but lately my interest has grown, particularly as a mother. Often the government lets families down and it seems like the whole political world is money focused rather than life focused. The Mummyfesto takes this into consideration as it follows three mother's on their journey to try and change the world of politics.
From great ideas like funding for children's hospices  dementia care plans and anti-bullying measures to the ridiculous ideas like privatising the Royal Family and replacing the House of Lords with Mumsnet, the mummfesto starts off it's life in the kitchen of one of the mothers who ironically lives at number ten!
The three main characters, Sam, Anna and Jackie, each have their own family issues, Sam has a seriously ill child, Jackie a mother with Alzheimers and Anna troubled teenagers. Other issues include unexplained infertility and a loveless marriage. They start out with a campaign to save their local lollipop lady and end up standing in a general election, facing many life changing challenges along the way.
There is something to appeal to all in this book, laughter and sadness, friendship and failed relationships, love and duty. While at the same time making the reader think hard about the changes they would like to see in the way the country is run. The reader is actively encouraged to put forward their own suggestions for a mummyfesto by visiting the site www.mummyfesto.co.uk or by tweeting @QuercusBooks or @lindagreenisms using the hashtag #mummyfest


Linking this post to Catch a Single thought Book week linky;
WORLDBOOKDAY




Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sponge Bob Ear Plugs- Review

Spongebob Squarepants is the loveable kids character who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Now he is available on these children's ear plugs.



Star has recently started swimming lessons and had a few problems at the start. She didn't like the water in her ears and she couldn't cope with the noise. So she was happy to try out these ear plugs from Cirrus Healthcare.
They arrived in a cute carry case holding three pairs of ear plugs. Star said they feel soft and squidgy. She wasn't too sure about having them in her ears at first but liked that they made things sound quieter. We tried them out at the swimming baths and they stayed put while keeping her ears dry and the noise out. She said she would prefer them in pink (her favourite colour) but I told her that Spongebob is yellow. Her reply was his friend Patrick is pink. Maybe Patrick could appear on later packs just to please fussy little girls who will only like things in pink.
When Eldest Daughter spotted them she grabbed a pair for herself. She has trouble sleeping and often wears ear plugs to help keep out noise. Luckily she didn't mind them being yellow and even at her age is a Spongebob fan.

In my opinion (and I did try them myself) I do think they are a little large for tiny ears, Star is 7 and they just about squidged in. Although they don't have to go right inside the ear, they stay in place because they are a little sticky. They are very soft and they do the job they are intended to do.

The earplugs  are supplied in packs of three printed reusable pairs in a waterproof carry case. The recommended retail price is £4.99. You can purchase them from Boots, Sainsburys, Superdrug, Lloyds, Tesco, Waitrose and online suppliers.



Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Colour Red - Book Review



I recently purchased Loss De Plott by Stephan J Myers and the author asked me if I would like a copy of The Colour Red which is a children's book.
Loss is a little girl who loves to draw and one day one of the characters from her drawings came to visit with a gift, a book for her to record her dreams. 
The story is written in prose and my girls loved the story. We had to read it through several times so they could pick out all the rhyming words. There is nothing like poetry to get the little ones interested in reading for themselves. 
Full of beautiful illustrations the story takes you on a magical journey through dreams and drawings. Completely enticing and enjoyable for all ages.



You can purchase The Colour Red on Amazon and for the month of March Stephan J Myers is donating all royalties to Save The Children charity. How brilliant is that?
You can follow the author Stephan on Twitter and Facebook.

I'll let you know what I think of Loss De Plott when I've finished reading :-)










WORLDBOOKDAY

Monday, 25 February 2013

Weighing it All Up

I've decided to lose a little weight. I've not really got back to normal after having three kids in seven years and seeing as Little Man is now two I think it's time I did something about it. So today I've started a diet, nothing to drastic, just watching what I eat and quitting all the bad stuff. My bathroom scales are broke, I think the Little Man did it, he breaks everything, so I ordered some more online. Well, they arrived today broken! They are mechanical scales and stuck on 9st. I called up the supplier to ask them about a return and replacement. This is the conversation that followed.

I started by telling her they were scales and they were broken. Then she started giggling and said
"sorry, but my computer is asking if you would like a discount"
I said: "no, they are broken and no use"
She said: "I know, daft isn't it, maybe they think you could still find a use for them"
I said: "well they are actually stuck on 9st, I guess I could pretend and just give up the diet right now"
She said: "ohh send them over to me, I'll have them, I would call them Dr Feelgood Scales (they are actually called Dr Style)"
so now we are both giggling and decide that you don't need diets, just scales that lie.
Calming down she continues
"it could take up to 21 days for a refund, the product has to be returned and tested before a refund is issued"
then she starts giggling again
"I've just imagined some fat bloke jumping up and down on them trying to make them go higher"

So I may not have working scales yet, but at least phoning up to complain has made me smile.




Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sunny Day in February

Yes, it doesn't happen that often does it, sunny days in February I mean. Just last week we had snow, and today it's raining and miserable, but yesterday the sun was bright and it was fairly warm, just perfect for a trip to the Nature Centre. It also happened to be Dad's birthday so it was really nice to have a day out together.

We let the Little Man loose from his buggy and all three had a real good run around. The girls were intent on giving names to all the animals they saw. First up were the goats and the ostriches. The Ocelot was beautiful but also very sleepy so we didn't get to see much of her. There were some gorgeous little monkeys, some with gold fur and some with beards, so very cute (but I did notice how sharp their little teeth were!) Dad took the girls in to see the bugs and Boo came out traumatised by the tarantula...mmmm, guess why Dad took them in and not me? I do like the snakes and lizards though. We managed to fit in a play in the little playground where the kids burnt off their remaining energy. So much so that Star decided she just couldn't walk to the bus stop, and Little Man slept all the way home.
We can't wait to go back in the summer with a picnic!

My Family and Other Animals













Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallLinking up with Country kids from Coombe Mill, click badge for more posts

Sunday, 17 February 2013

You Are Never Too Old - Sunday Inspiration


All to often I am reminded that I'm not getting any younger, just yesterday I had a random thought while on the bus, I will be retiring the year of Little Man's 21st birthday!
So age bothers me, but only in the sense that I will not be  young while my children grow, but that's what comes with having children in your forties. There was a time when I thought I wouldn't be having any more children even though it was something I'd dreamt of. Even when my partner came along I thought that maybe it wasn't going to happen as we tried for years. Then, along came my three little ones and yes, my older body struggled at times but we did it and they are here and I want to be with them as long as possible. I never really gave up on the dream just because of my age.

I am linking this post to Baby Budgeting - Sunday Inspiration



Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pancakes - Center Parcs Monthly Challenge

I asked the family what sort of pancake filling would you like?
Eldest Daughter says "banana and Nutella"
Star says "sugar"
No1 Son says "sugar and lemon"
Daddy says "strawberries and cream"
Boo (5) says "sausage, chicken, chips and beans" 

So, after a lot of hard thinking (ok, it was pretty easy really) I decided to make banana and Nutella pancakes. But strawberries and cream sounded nice too. Ok, I made both...with some sugar and lemon ones thrown in. I did decide to give the sausage, chicken, chips and beans one a miss.

First up, I made the batter. I really don't understand why people buy ready made pancakes. Well, ok, they are less messy, less effort and and less likely to go wrong, but that's all part of the fun of making them. Anyway, I think they are supposed to be cooked in the microwave, and I don't own one. I've also seen tubs of pancake batter in the shops, just add milk and cook. Again, something I don't understand, surely, flour, eggs and milk are staples in any household, why would you need a mix?

This is how I make pancake batter. I put flour in a bowl. I don't know how much, I just tip in enough. Then I add an egg. I've made pancakes without egg and they don't really taste any different in my opinion, but as recipes state add an egg I will add an egg today. Then I add the milk and mix until it looks right. I know, I'm really helpful, but trust me, pancake batter is easy to make.

I put a big frying pan on the heat and add a spoonful of cooking oil. Some use butter but you need the pan really hot and butter burns. Burnt butter is a pet hate of mine. So when the oil is hot I swirl it around the pan and tip it out. (usually into a cup so I can use it again)
Then I add the batter in the middle of the pan and swirl it around until it fills the pan. After a few seconds I will shake the pan to ensure the pancake hasn't stuck. Then a few seconds later I give it a toss. You have to toss your pancakes, it's the law! Ok, you can turn them over, but trust me, it's easier to toss, just don't get carried away. I've never had a pancake stuck to the ceiling. Eldest Daughter reckons that pancakes taste better when your arm hurts, so keep tossing. When cooked plonk onto a plate and fill. This is the best bit, well apart from the eating of course.

So, here's mine. 

How do you eat yours?
Create your own unique pancakes, take some photos and put them on your blog. Then visit Tots100 and see how your pancakes can win you a fantastic Center Parcs break. Competition ends February 22nd at 4pm so even though pancake day is almost over, you still have time to get your entries in. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Meltdown

It starts with the colours
Flashing before my eyes
I can't  think straight
What where you saying?

Then the noises
All jumbled and muddled
I can't hear you
Did you say something?

Then the faces
All around
I can't think straight
Go Away

Are you ok?
Are You OK?
R U OK?
NO! Go away

I can't think straight
I can't see straight
I can't hear straight
What were you saying?

BANG
It Hurts
It makes it go away
BANG
It makes it stop
It makes it go away
BANG
It hurts

Breathe
Breathe
Breathe slowly
Breathe slowly

Quiet at Last
Please leave me alone
I want it to be quiet
I don't want you to ask

Please leave me alone
Please don't go


SOB

*************************************

Two of my children have meltdowns. The youngest is currently at this stage. The eldest has learnt coping mechanisms like me. You see, I wrote this from my perspective. From what I remember how a meltdown feels. People say I'm soft, laid back, too easy going. I have to be. If I get upset or angry I could meltdown too. Like my eldest I go to my room and deal with it myself. It's hard to see your child meltdown. With the youngest there is often more screaming involved too. Sometimes a gentle but firm hold can help, sometimes you have to leave them to get on with it. It's never easy, but it does pass. The key is to avoid the things that trigger them but that's not always possible. It's not bad behaviour, it's not a tantrum. It's just being unable to process what is going on around because your senses are all mixed up. It's not about hate or anger, it's not having control.

This post was inspired by a post by Jonty Babe over on It's a Crazy World, she's got iron clad superwoman knickers, I swear!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz



The Wizard of Oz has always been a favourite of mine so I was thrilled to be given the chance to review a copy of the new book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published by Carlton Kids. The story is magically retold by Stella Gurney, and wonderfuly illustrated by Lorna Freytag.
I am also able to give away a copy of this lovely book to one of my lucky readers, just follow the instructions in the widget below.


As well as being wonderfully illustrated this book also has great pop-ups and pull the tabs to make reading it a fully interactive experience. I read the book along with Star (7) and Boo (5). Star is an advanced reader and had no trouble reading this but just to break it up for her we shared the reading. We all shared the fun of pulling tabs and making things move, and reading the little extra stories about the characters. The girls favourite page had to be the one with Oz's balloon flying off without Dorothy. After I finished reading with the girls they continued to look at and play with the book while I cooked dinner. They were really impressed.


The story is a retelling of the original Wizard of Oz but it doesn't stray too far. It still contained the old favourites like the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow as well as the famous yellow brick road.

Also this year is a fantastic live action Walt Disney Film, Oz:the Great and Powerful, a sequel to the original story, and an animated movie, Dorothy of Oz.

Now for you chance to win a copy please follow the instructions on the following Rafflecopter widget.
Any questions, please ask in comments.
UK only, sorry!






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 8 February 2013

Flip Your Way to a Holiday!

As you are probably aware it's pancake day next week on Shrove Tuesday. In our house we love pancakes and we don't always wait until  pancake day, why would you when they are so easy to make, so delicious and can be made with so many different fillings.
Next week I'll share our special creations but I wanted to let you know in advance that this months Center Parcs Challenge is all about pancakes. You can full details here: Tots100 Center Parcs February Challenge.

So get mixing and tossing and add your favourite ingredients. Take some piccies an post on your blog and you could be in with a chance of becoming the next Center Parcs Family Blogger and win a fabulous Center Parcs break.

The challenge closes on 22nd February at 4 pm

Good Luck!


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Haircut One

Today was a momentous day, my gorgeous blonde curly headed boy went for his first haircut. It was time. I couldn't hold back any longer, it was time for my baby to become a little boy.

So Little Man, how do you feel about having a haircut? No need to be rude!


I know it's a little scary having it done for the first time, sitting high in that chair with a big black cape hiding the rest of you.


Gorgeous as you are, that hair definitely needs cutting, I'll look forward to seeing your big blue eyes.
 And the hair comes tumbling down. Hey mum, do I look like my teddy bear?
All done, looking good son, looking good.

I'll just weep over my little memento, boo hoo.


My Little Man looks all grown up now, goodbye baby xxx

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Postcard From Ghana! #TeamHonk





Dear Anne

How colourful and welcoming this nursery at the Virtuous Women's Bakery was. Lots of bright posters on the wall. Lots of children who wanted their picture taken while their mums baked bread. We arrived to children singing and dancing and mums catching up before worked started.

Love Penny


This is a digital postcard sent from TeamHonk (www.mammasaurus.co.uk;www.aresidence.co.uk; www.mummybarrow.com) during their travels with Comic Relief in Ghana celebrating #goodwork.

For the past 25 years the money raised through Red Nose Day has been changing the lives of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa. Let’s Keep Up the Good Work. Find out how at rednoseday.com

For other digital postcards please do join up and check out the linky on www.teamhonk.org






GoodWork

Friday, 1 February 2013

Review- Aqua Maris

I'm a mum to a toddler, of course I'd have the chance to review a product for blocked up noses. How does someone so little get such big monsters in his tiny nose?
The worst thing about a stuffy nose is the sleepless nights. He'll keep waking because he can't breathe properly and when he does sleep he snores like a gorilla.
Aqua Maris is a nasal decongestant made with water from the Adriatic Sea which is recognised for its benefits to the respiratory tract.
The bottle emits a fine spray into the nose by pushing down on a ring around the rim. I reviewed the junior product, there is also one for babies which comes with a dropper for application.
I was a little worried on how having a spray in the nose would feel to a toddler, but the Little Man reacted quite well. He did say 'ouch' when I sprayed but it didn't really bother him much, he was soon off playing again. I found that he was able to breathe more easily after application and we actually managed a fair amount of sleep, which is usually rare when he has a stuffy nose. After a couple of days use the nose was less stuffy and more runny but overall he cleared up much quicker than usual. I was under the impression that stuffy or runny noses where something that lasted a couple of years! It was so nice to have my Little Man's nose in good working order again.
I then set the product to work on Star, my 7 year old. Now she must have a constantly irritation in her nose as she is forever wiping it, sleeves, cushion covers, endless tissues, wipe wipe wipe. She often has that crusty red patch all around her nose. So I tried Aqua Maris on her in a bid to help clear up her nasal passage and hopefully stop the wiping. After a few days I noticed that her nose looked clearer, but she is still wiping so I think it's a habit she needs to break. Hopefully with a clear nose for a longer period she will stop.
I would use Aqua Maris again, and I would recommend it to my friends.


Aqua Maris can be purchased from chemists and health food stores or you can order by phone on 
0191 383 6918

I was sent a bottle of Aqua Maris nasal spray Junior for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 




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