Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy's Girl

My eldest daughter is a Daddy's girl, he can be really strict with her, but she loves him - totally. She believes he can do anything. And most of the time he can. It's lovely and I love them both.

Do I feel jealous? Nope - I still feel the same about my Dad, it's a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Autumnal money savers for Christmas

The leaves are falling off the trees and autumn is here...So now it's time to think about how to save money this Christmas. Here are a couple of things I will be doing.

Helpful Tip number 1

Take your sunflower heads and dry them out a bit (for about a week). When the top feels dry to touch pop out the seeds. Then leave the seeds to dry out on a plate on a sunny window sill (you may have to sort out the seeds from some chaff, but get your children with their little fingers to help with this, they will love it)

Print out lots of pictures of sunflowers (or cut out from magazines) and glue them onto little envelopes. Put 10 seeds in each, great as gifts for all your children's school friends or into hampers.

Helpful Tip number 2

Dry out your herbs (just by hanging them in your kitchen) then crush them up a bit and pop them into little glass pots (4 for £1.99 from Ikea). Buy some sticky labels, cut to size and hand write your labels (best handwriting, please).

Helpful Tip number 3

I have nicked this idea off a friend but I think it is worth sharing. If you want to make hampers for friends it can be quite an expensive exercise. Why not buy something for your friends and family's hampers every week leading up to Christmas so it isn't such a massive expense - one suggestion is these Green and Black chocolates from Ocado they are on offer so if you need to buy a few of each item (I usually make 6 hampers) this kind of offer is fab.

Have you got any hints and tips you could share in the blogosphere to save money this Christmas?

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Blasting off about expensive toys

My baby girl turned three last Sunday. She isn't really a baby anymore, but a big girl.

One of her presents was a voucher for a well know toy store, so off we all troop to get her gift.

After much serious consideration we got something we knew she liked and she was thrilled.

So we get home, spend several hours with pliars untwisting the wires (that is a whole other issue, that infuriates me so much that I can't actually talk about it!)

Finally, she has the toy, plays with it for nearly a whole 5 minutes and then moves on...marvellous.

Later, I am reminded why a child's imagination is better than any toy.

Lola (my 3 year old) wonders into the house and asks me to draw a rocket. I ask her why, and she says 'so I can go to the moon' - Obviously, I am clearly an idiot for not realising it.

So off I go, and do my best illustration in chalk of a rocket (with moon and stars), which I have to say I am quite proud of.

There follows about an hours worth of good play, with lots of counting down, blasting off, martians and buckets for helmets.

So the key to a great afternoon with your kids - chalk and a bit of imagination. Expensive toys..forget about it.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Futurologists, Balaclava's & Strange days

For work last week, I went to the BT Centre in the centre of London.

I was their to find out about Workforce Optimisation and it was really good (because, I am not very secretly, extremely nerdy), although BT were actually trying to sell us some really spangly software (which, if I was the queen of the budget, I would buy without hesitation), they talked to us about other things.

A lady called Dr Nicola Millard is a Futurologist, she looks at the psychology of people and technology. She talked about Generation X to Generation Z (I didn't even know there was a generation Z), how we communicate and our relationship with technology. She was fascinating and animated and reminded me why I enjoy my job so much.

Anyway, whilst we were there, protesters broke in to the building in balaclavas, protesting that because BT have a contract with the Ministry of Defence and are therefore arms dealers, allegedly. (and just for the record, I did have a moment of 'this could only happen to me')

So, although I was loving the information that was being shared, I had this weird sense of; Oh yeah, they are a big corporate business and yes, they probably do things for money that I would be less than comfortable with. Which got me thinking.

As I have got older, I have noticed, that things aren't black and white anymore and compromises are made. When I was younger I was vehemently anti-war (probably not to the storming buildings in Balaclava's sense, but still..).

Now, if I thought anybody was threatening my children and their lives were at risk, I would put myself in the way of any harm and if necessary use any means necessary to defend them. I am sure anyone would.

So the futurologist is talking about the up and coming next generation meanwhile another generation is unhappy with the now..and I am thinking what buttons would some one have to push to make me kill...It was an extremely strange day.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Girlymers - Part 1

These are some of my friends, at a Christmas Girlymer.

What is a Girlymer?
A Girlymer is a meal with my friends.

These are not just any friends, these are my oldest friends , there are seven of us.
My newest friend, I have been friends with for 24 years, one of them I have known since we were babies, the rest I either went to junior school and or secondary school.

We have been together whilst having children or choosing not to have children, whilst getting married, getting divorced and getting re-married.

We have lived close together and far apart, I have shared a house with one of them, shared boyfriends with none of them and my brother has married one of them (please see:

With this length of friendship, our friendships have changed, developed and evolved. We can argue like family as we know the love is unconditional, they can frustrate me, like family, and they can show their love in the most unexpected but great ways.

I am lucky to have them and appreciate them and think about them often (as I don't live close enough to pop around for a coffee).

I am currently trying to organise the next girlymer at my house, I will let you know how that goes soon ...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

365 to 42: Blog of the week - Pictures, Poetry & Prose

365 to 42: Blog of the week - Pictures, Poetry & Prose

Plaster Removal, The Ice Rink & Ferris Bueller

Today we had the appointment at the hospital for daughter No 1 to have her plaster removed. Hurrah, there was some concern that they may have to put a new one on after being checked - but no, all was well. And because of this I was on a promise to take daughter No 1 to the ice rink for a session ice skating.

So off we went, with me thinking that I haven't done this for years and may end up in plaster myself, but husband and I had decided I was the best man for the job (so to speak) as his limited experience of ice skating resulted..... whoops, have just asked him to tell me the story again, but he has vetoed me, as he doesn't want it 'out there'. Suffice to say I have limited experience but it is more than him.

So daughter No 1 and I turn up and the ice rink is closed...till October, secret victory dance goes on in my head, whilst I solemnly explain that it is closed. Much disappointment but a promise of painting when we get home cheers her up no end.

So painting happens and ends, what next (Blimey, 7 weeks of school holidays is a long time to keep a six year old entertained - what do teachers do in this 7 weeks?)

(There should now be a red triangle warning - bad Mummying follows):

So I suggest we watch a film, what about Ferris Bueller's day off? She is keen when I summarise the plot, although I do wonder why it is a 15 rating? I don't remember anything bad in it.

So away we go, Ferris has fooled his parents that he is ill and is in the shower with Mohican hair preparing for his day out, when the first s**t is heard, and so it continues. Do you remember loads of swearing in Ferris Buellers day off? I certainly don't. My God. 10 minutes later we are watching the Disney Channel and Daughter No1 is trying to work out which words were bad (all of them!).

Thank goodness for teatime, the return of husband from work and daughter No 2, and general ensuing chaos...

Smoke and mirrors boys, smoke and mirrors..

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