Wednesday 29 February 2012

The Gallery - Friends

A lovely theme from Tara at Sticky Fingers for the Gallery.

Friends. I have a few close friends but I am not a collector of friends in the facebook sense. I love my friends, someone to share with, smile with and moan with should the need arise. I am however the worst at keeping in touch. I admit it and recognise my failings. I don't have friends from childhood that I am still in touch with which saddens me but I moved with my family several times through my school years and life happens and you lose touch. Particularly if you are me. Rubbish friend. Don't have me as a friend.

The Mr however is still very close to a friend that he made in his first years at school. They have been through a lot together. They have known each other for coming up 40 years (he will hate me for saying that). Can you imagine that? I can't, but I see how valued they are to each other as friends and I hope that in years to come they will still be friends, comparing cars, standing at the bar and giggling at each others jokes and discussing what their grandchildren are up to!

The Big One has a couple of special friends, one of which is the Mr's best friend's son. They have known each other since birth, they have hardly ever argued, they have been on holiday together and had sleepovers. They live miles apart so are not at school together but they consider each other as best friends. The Big One calls his friend his 'zero-eth' friend because he is better than a first best friend. Logical and lovely.

Here are the two generations of best friends. I hope it will always be so.

For more reflections about friends, go to the Gallery.


Tuesday 28 February 2012

Snap Slappers - From Sulky To Silly

Based on a really dull and sulky sort of Monday I felt the need to perk myself up a bit with silliness!

The Princess was in a strop yesterday, for pretty much the whole day. There was a brief interlude of smiles around about the same time as we finished off the Wee One's birthday cake. Coincidence? Possibly.

No idea why she was being so moody. She had a good nights sleep, she had a generous dose of cbeebies, she went to the shops and chose a new book and got to adorn me with stickers, lucky girl.

The day ended in a standoff. Proper bottom lip sticking out, arms crossed and stamping feet. And that was just me. The Princess has a good teacher and managed all of the above plus screams. Screaming with your bottom lip sticking out is not easy. I have tried and I am here to tell you it takes a lot of practice.

All is now quiet. I have wine and chocolate and a little photo editing to ease the tension. I suspect there may be more sulking tomorrow when she catches a glimpse of what I have done to a photo of her I took over the weekend but I'm prepared to risk it for the minutes of pleasure it provided.

After a little therapeutic editing!

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day :)

Have you got a gorgeous photo made even more gorgeous with the aid of a little editing? Then link up and cheer up my day.

Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers

Sunday 26 February 2012

365project Week 8

Another week and another birthday.

This time it is my baby Wee One who is 2. Where exactly did those last 2 years go? I have looked under the sofa where I normally find anything that is lost, like my mobile phone or the salad servers (yes really) and no sign of 2 years of my and his life.

I must have blinked and missed them.

Thank goodness for 365project which forces me to capture each and every day in some way so that even if my own concept of time is faulty and days, weeks, years fly by, I can look back and recall that moment of that day.

Talking of time flying, this is my 200th post. I do know where that time went though... *stares at computer screen*

Here is my week.

For more weeks in pictures you can click on the 366 badge and go to The Boy and Me's link up.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky


eating cake

Silent Sunday mocha beanie mummy
Sunday Funny!

Saturday 25 February 2012

Saturday Is Caption Day

Wanted: One caption. Must be good looking with a great sense of humour.

No children were harmed in the taking of this picture. Although I may have sustained a hernia laughing.

Post you captions in the comments box and then head over to Mammasaurus where a plethora of captionless funniness awaits.

Saturday Is Caption Day

Friday 24 February 2012

My Difficult Dozen

Never in the history of memes has one so difficult or complicated been pointed in my direction but always up for a challenge and a bit of nosey-parkeriness I am armed with 12 facts, 12 answers for BlueBirdSunshine and Mum Of One, and my very own 12 questions.

My dirty dozen
  1. I have one dog called Misty Moo who was once top of the pile but has been gradually nudged done a few pegs with the arrival of small people. She does still get space on the sofa though so life ain't all bad.
  2. I have a date with two lovely twittery folks in a weeks time and I am super excited. Mostly because it is a lunch date so I can be a lady who lunches :)
  3. There are three small people vying for my attention constantly so it is a marvel that any blogging ever gets done. Be greatful people. 
  4. I have size four feet. Sometimes 3 1/2. Small. It's a wonder I can balance on them.
  5. In my head I have a fantasy five star lifestyle that one day will come true
  6. I have picked the six winning euro millions numbers for tonights winning draw (see point 5)
  7. Seven sleeps till my lunch date.
  8. I have only eight nails worthy of a manicure for my lunch next saurday.
  9. I have nine books on my bedside table all screaming read me and I can't choose.
  10. My little Princess can count in tens. Genius child.
  11. 'Eleven' only ever rhymes with 'heaven' in kids songs.
  12. Twelve pounds to loose before Britmums and the going is tough.
In answer to  Mum of One
  1. Favourite book? - I loved Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger but Tracey Chevalier's Girl With The Pearl Earring tops the list.
  2. First famous crush? *hides behind cushion and whispers* David Essex.
  3. Worst film ever watched? I watched The History of Violence on holiday last week. That was up there.
  4. Red or white? Red.
  5. Chicken or fish? Chick chick chick chick chicken.
  6. Still or sparkling? Sparkles are a girls best friend.
  7. Favourite post written by you? Crikey, er, this one about the perfect family afternoon on the beach.
  8. Favourite post read in the last week? Even more crikey-ish. This one from Flossing The Cat.
  9. The blog you think we should ALL be following? Motherventing. Awesomeness of epic proportions. Laughs all the way even through the tears.
  10. Favourite song? Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega
  11. Your best joke? Knock Knock. Who's there? Whoo. Whoo Who? Don't get over excited, it's only a joke.
  12. Mahahaha… are done! Tease!

In answer to Blue Bird Sunshine
  1. What’s your favourite cheese? Boursin - garlicy goodness on a cracker.
  2. Where in Europe would you go, or have you been lucky enough to have been, on a romantic weekend getaway? Before children there was Dublin and Amsterdam both of which were pretty darn marvellous and I'd go back in a heartbeat.
  3. Do you have a beauty regime, if so what is it? Depends what you call a regime really. Does a quick wave of a wipe and smear of moisturiser count?
  4. What song would you do at karaoke? I have never ever done karaoke and nor will I. Ever. Believe me, it is for the best.
  5. Name something you dread doing. Any form of housework.
  6. Post your favourite photo, of anything, from any time. You are joking right? A favourite picture? All levels of crikeyness!
  7. If you suddenly had an extra hour in the day today, what would you do with it? Take more photos.
  8. What’s your favourite family tradition? Sleeping. We do it very well in our family and we all like it. A lot.
  9. Do you believe in ghosts or spirits? Not first hand experience but I have had a couple of close encounters which leave me suspiciously convinced.
  10. If you could choose anyone at all to write a guest post on your blog, who would it be? It would have to be a woman, with a sense of humour of which there are so many to choose from. Jenny Eclair based on this quote, "If I was unemployed I would spend my dole money on a cleaner." Woman who understands me.
  11. What are your top three girls and top three boys names? Do you have any idea how many baby name books I read to come up with just 2 boys names? And you want my three favourite? All I can say is that my favourite names are celtic sounding but spelt in a sensible way!
  12. Tell me one thing you really want to do before the year is over. Lose a stone.

Next it is my 12 questions. This is a word association game. What is the first thing that comes into your head when I say...
  1. Dozen
  2. Days of christmas
  3. Months
  4. Zodiac signs
  5. 12
  6. This meme
  7. Sequel to Ocean's 11. Ocean's...
  8. Monkeys
  9. Double six
  10. Diameter of single on vinyl
  11. A foot
  12. Jurors
I am supposed to tag 12 more bloggers to do this meme but there aren't 12 alive who haven't already done it I don't think. If I am wrong and you haven't done it and fancy answering my questions then please feel free. Let me know in the comments so I can pop along to check out your answers.

Remember 12 facts about you, 12 answers to my questions and 12 questions of your own to pass on to 12 more bloggers! Couldn't be easier.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Brilliance In Blogging Awards

*swallows pride*

I never ask for help, or very rarely, except if it involves toys all over the floor and there are children nearby.

So here I am, shuffling my feet, twiddling my fingers and staring at my shoes, asking if you would consider nominating me for a Blogging Award, specifically the Snap! category. This is where BritMums Bloggers are recognised by the blogging community for their photography 'skills', creative eye and use of photo blogging tools. *cough* Snap Slappers *cough*. There are other categories too so nominate your other favourite blogs while your at it.

Nominate me (please).

There I have said it, out loud. Click the badge here or on my sidebar over on the right before 15th March and you will find yourselves instantly transported to the nomination pages. Too easy.

Brilliance in Blogging: STYLE!

That's it. I'm off now. See you later (on the red carpet maybe).

Sand Art Fun

I was sent a couple of Sand Art kits from Kids Bee Happy to review and it was not without a certain amount of trepidation that I let the kids lose. I have an aversion to glitter and sequins to the same degree as The Princess has an attraction to them. Sand I had yet to dislike, but I was pretty sure that I could add it to glitter and sequins by the time this activity was over!

"Can we cut and glue and glitter, Mummy?"

I have probably exhausted the excuses.

Sand Art then. So sand. And glue. Having just come back from a short beachy holiday in Wales we are already knee deep in residual sand in the car so I was not 100% sure about adding more to the house but Kids Bee Happy had been very kind to send the kits, one for the Princess and one for The Big One (no definitely NOT one for the Wee One), that I had to let my guard down and get creative with sand.

But I needn't have worried. NO GLUE! Genius. There was sand though :/

Each kit contains 2 images on card, enough sand for even the most generous of applications for each picture, a mini coloured picture to show you what the finished art should look like, a sealable pouch to display your finished creation in and a hanging mount. They have seriously thought of everything*.

Sand suitably contained. So far so good!

The genius bit is that you just peel off sections that you want to fill in with easy to apply sand dispensing pens. The sand is coloured and very fine so it flows really easily through a small point, perfect for accurate application.

Bunny Girl

Peel away to reveal self adhesive pre cut sections. NO GLUE!

Easy sand dispensing pens

When the fun commenced we did struggle a little to peel off the sections. Longer finger nails are essential and for very small sections an adult will need to help, but on the whole the kids could peel off the sections themselves. I also gave the kids a tray and some newspaper to work on to catch the inevitable excess sand.

I could build a castle with all that sand.

Delicate application

I    AM     A     ROBOT!

The resulting colours, and the fact that the sand only sticks to the pre-defined areas, result in a really clear picture that the children were, rightly so, very proud of. It had them engaged for almost 2 hours (unheard of!) and their confidence grew such that they decided to mix up some colours and try to create patterns.

Picasso Robot

The finished works of art were hung in the kitchen art gallery very proudly and were shown off to Daddy.

The finished masterpiece

I would really recommend these kits for an afternoons entertainment and are perfect for age 3 to *cough* 43. Yes, I may have 'helped' a bit.

Kids Bee Happy hold childrens parties across the UK and can also do in school workshops or attent events to entertain the children or the young at heart!

* If there was a niggle about the sand art kits it would be that they don't come with a dustbuster to hoover up the inevitable sand dunes that seem to have formed under my table ;) And if anyone knows what I should have used this little yellow stick for, please let me know.

If this is the spade, where is the bucket?

Wednesday 22 February 2012

The Gallery - Landscapes

How timely is this theme from Tara for the Gallery?
That is of course a rhetorical question given I have just come back from North Wales.

I have been to some lovely countries with beautiful landscapes like the Sahara Desert or Ngorongoro in Tanzania, the Tatra Mountains in Poland, and our very own Lake District just to name a few. They all stand out in my memory for their beauty, all differing wildly but equally jaw droppingly striking.
Sadly, all the photos are in the loft buried under boxes of Christmas decorations. One day (or month) I will catalogue them all properly, or at least put them into some albums so that I can relive the memories and share them with the children who I hope will see some fantastic landscapes themselves one day.
So instead I give you North Wales :)

This was the view from our living room window.

Porthmadog view

Yes, I know. This is Porthmadog harbour and Ffestiniog behind. The only downside to this view is that you had to climb steps equivalent to a 4 story house to get to the front door. Small price to pay.

And the same mountains as seen from Borth-y-Gest with a lucky (and rare) break in the clouds.

Borth-y-Gest View

In the park in Porthmadog, playing with the kids I happened to look up and saw a horse on the top of the hill directly behind the houses. Weird to see a horse where you would normally expect to see a cloud.

Admittedly, not the most technically accomplished photo I've ever taken but demonstrates the point I feel!

Finally we took a trip to see Snowdon *ahem* on the wettest and cloudiest day of our holiday.


Look! There it is. Behind that blanket of cloud. I think. Spectacular landscape I'm sure you agree.

I'm going on a virtual journey around some stunning landscapes over at Sticky Fingers. Bring your passport!

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Snap Slappers - Beach Style

We may have been on holiday last week.
We may have been somewhere that is known for rain.
But that did not stop us heading to the beach, in full wet weather gear (almost), and kicking back. Well, to be more accurate, we skimmed stones with varying degrees of success, we hunted jellyfish and we played chicken with the waves.

Here is The Big One successfully escaping the jaws of an enormous breaker *ahem*

Playing Chicken With Waves by FiveGoBlogging

And here he is again showing the real reason he is running away.

Jaws by FiveGoBlogging for Snap Slappers

Beware the beaches in north Wales is all I can say. *reapplies shark repellent*

Anymore for anymore? Add the badge to your post and link up below. Hope you like the new linky format ;)

Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers

Sunday 19 February 2012

365project Week 7

Half term week was spent mostly in Wales, Porthmadog to be precise. A short notice holiday with friends was hard to refuse even if February probably isn't the ideal time of year for a beach holiday in that part of the country.

The week started with the Princess's party, swiftly followed by lunch with Grandma, a rendezvous with hearts and romance and then we reached the North Wales beach. Armed with raincoats, jumpers and wellies we found some great beaches and wildlife (check out the jellyfish), scaled mountains by steam train in pursuit of an evasive view of Snowdon and searched for the perfect pebble. The scenery was amazing, stark, shiny and wet and was all the more striking in the rain!

The highlight of the holiday was seeing the kids have so much fun on a deserted beach in the rain. The lowlight was the rickety cold steam train, travelling at 3 mph, in the rain, beside a lake, with no view of Snowdon. An hour of my life I will never get back, all the more painful because it was my idea.

I watched some intrepid hikers, weighed down with more wet weather gear than should be necessary that far above sea level, heads down against the driving rain and walking poles primed ready to tackle the mountain. As I watched them stride out, I loosened my scarf in the warmth provided by the cafe, looked down at my latte and figured I had made the better decision! Maybe next year.

FiveGoBlogging 365project week 7

See you next week.

I am linking up with The Boy And Me where more 365projects are underway.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky


The Knockin Shop, Knockin, Oswestry

#silentsunday #sunfun

Sunday Funny!

Saturday 18 February 2012

Saturday is Caption Day

It was wet and wild but Five had fun in Wales (with some friends).
Here is one of the many snaps I took over the week and I think is primed and ready for a caption from your good self. Yes, you there. *points* Yoohoo!

So here is it.


Make of it what you will and caption it up in the comments.
Then head over to Mammasaurus for more caption making opportunities.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Snap Slappers - The Love Edition

It is Valentines Day, just in case you hadn't realised!
Easy to miss it I think so happy to prompt anyone who may have been living under a rock since Christmas.

In celebration of all things lovey dovey I would like to offer you this beautifully romantic photo.

Amigurumi bear

No? Not quite seeing the lurve? Allow me...

Amigurumi bear

May St Valentine visit your door x

Now join in with your your photo edits, romantic or not, I will let you decide x

Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers

Monday 13 February 2012

My First...

... meme about first things!

I was tagged by Just Above Average Mum for this list of ‘firsts’. Hers were very inspiring and made me smile so go and take a look.

My first boyfriend
Not strictly a boyfriend because I think the love was very much one way and I don't even remember getting kissed, but Peter Collins, age 6ish, was the love of my life in Year 2 and I even scratched his name on my wooden pencil case.

First person you kissed
David, in the bus shelter, raining, age 15. Not quite the magical experience I was expecting.

First job
Oh the glamour of that green gingham polyester uniform as I sat at the grocery check out every Saturday. I interviewed at the same time as my friend for a Saturday job in Debenhams. She got to work in ladies fashions. I got to work in their instore grocery. I was a little miffed to say the least.

First pay packet? What did you buy with it?
Blatantly exploiting my friends staff discount card for ladies fashions, I blew it on a top.

First cd you remember buying?
Nope, absolutely stumped on this one. I have no recollection of ever buying a CD, and certainly not a Now That's What I Call Music #3 and a 1/2. Not me.

First holiday abroad
I was a sweet innocent big brown eyed girl when we flew, yes on a plane, to Spain, age 3. Apparently I made friends with a lovely little french girl by the pool. We conversed in the language of all 3 year olds - Dolls. Then there was my first holiday abroad with friends which was to Ibiza, of course, aged 18. I returned with a lobster tan, no money and fond memories of Club 18-30.

What age were you when you moved out of your parents home?
I was a late starter in that regard, leaving home at 22 to move to London to further my career as a retail guru. Mum and dad were relieved.

And now I want you BlueBirdSunshine and you Older Single Mum to spill the beans on your firsts.

Sunday 12 February 2012

365project Week 6

This week started with snow and sledging frolics and culminated in the Princess turning 4 so we have been out and about, wining and dining but the party is yet to come. You'll have to wait till next week to see my daily snapshot of that or go to my 365project page where I am sure you'll catch it as it happens! In other news, Bugger the Bear has been admired from many quarters and it appears that he may have a friend or too in the not too distant future. You heard it here first folks.

FiveGoBlogging 365 Project week 6

Now head over to The Boy and Me and catch up on many more projects.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Silent Sunday and Sun Fun

Image credit: Private Eye

One funny picture, no words.

Sunday Funny!

Saturday 11 February 2012

Saturday Is Caption Day

It is that time again when your wit and humourous bones are required to do their stuff and add a giggle to this picture.

I cannot imagine what you will come up with!

Happy captioning over at Mammasaurus!

Thursday 9 February 2012

February Sunshine

I have been blessed with the gift of sunshine from the ever so sunny From Fun To Mum.
Isn't she a poppet? She must have known it has so far been a grey old month with only the occasional glimmer of anything shiny. And she is indeed shiny :)

To be worthy of this covetted award I have to reveal some of my favourites.

Favourite Colour: If you were to look through my wardrobe you would be forgiven for thinking it is grey but it is in fact purple, juicy plumy purple. Or orange. I am rather partial to orange too.

Favourite Animal: There is a dog reclining on my sofa, actually hogging my sofa, and as annoying and irritating and noisy as she can be, she is my favourite animal.

Favourite non-alcholic drink: What no alcohol? Okay then if I can't have alcohol then I will have caffeine! Either hot, milky and strong in the form of coffee or cold and fizzy in the form of diet coke.

Facebook or Twitter: I love the quick fix of twitter and the 140 characters or less stories that get told. Facebook has it's place but decreasingly so in my online life!

Favourite Number: Three. Because I have 3 children. Ahh! *bucket*

Favourite Day of the Week: Sundays for their lazy starts, big lunches and time together as a family. Ahh! *bucket (again)*

My Passion: It would be wrong to say Chocolate wouldn't it? 

Getting or Giving Presents: Err hello?!? Getting obviously. Unless it is giving to your children because there is nothing quite like the look of excitment as they rip the paper. Ahh! *bucket (AGAIN)*

Favourite Pattern: Orla Kiely stem print. Fact.

Favourite Flower: Lavendar smells so lovely and is calming but for looks I love gerberas, daisies and tulips, bold colours and simple structure.

I believe I should be nominating some more worthy sunshiny people but do you know what? We all deserve some sunshine so help yourself. Loads to go round. No shoving at the back!

Happy Sunny February everyone x