Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Gallery - Christmas

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. Every year I make a card for family and friends who are far away and don't get to see them growing as much as we would like.

Over the years they have posed for me but this is becoming more and more difficult so I have to be a little more inventive.

Here is a sneak peak of this years.
 For more Christmas pictures, head over to the Gallery, here.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

My Babies - The Gallery

This is one of my favourite pictures of my girls, mostly because Lola is just 3 and Heather not quite 7 and you can see all of their little personalities. Lola is bored after I have dressed her up and taken LOADs of photos, Heather is content to just smile and carry on, hoping it is over soon.

These are my babies, just starting to be friends as well as sisters.
Here they are today. The picture isn't great as it was taken with my phone. But you get the gist.

 For more babies go to the Gallery - here

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Gallery - Being a Parent

This summer, my husband and I couldn't take the same week off work. We have been having lots of work done on the house and so we didn't have a 'proper' holiday this year.

I decided I would take the girls without hubs away for a couple of days so that they could put their feet in the sea, and do a bit of rock pooling.

We went to Kings Lynn and had a lovely time, the sun shone but it was chilly as the summer was coming to an end.

I work full time and see weekends and holidays as a time to spend with my kids. The time we have with them is short.

This was a special time, just us girls. For me this is what being a parent is all about.

For more photo's like this go to The Gallery 

Sunday, 16 November 2014


My baby is twelve on Tuesday.


She is a little woman, and when I say little I mean she is as tall as me and wears the same shoe size.

She has gone from this -
To this -

She doesn't want hugs or kisses, but she still likes her cuddly toys, she is interested in make up and wants to shop at Lush with her pocket money.

For her birthday she is going to the cinema with some friends and she DEFINITELY doesn't want Mum and Dad in the cinema as well.

She is independent, funny, smiley, sulky at times and curious about everything.

My girl is twelve and it feels like I have blinked, she was a baby and now she is this woman child.

In 6 years she will be 18.

It is terrifying but I am so proud of her, she is bright and creative and knows her own mind. I think hubs and I must have done something right.

Happy Birthday baby girl xxxx

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Gallery - Spectacular

Happy Bonfire Night. 

The Gallery this week is celebrating all things spectacular and you can't beat a great fireworks display.

This is from one we went to see back in 2010.

I love the aurora around it.

And it doesn't matter how big or small a firework is my kids love them - especially sparklers.

For more spectacular photos pop over to The Gallery and check it out.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Pumpkin Week at Hatton Adventure World

In April I blogged about the lovely day out we had at Hatton here.

So I was thrilled to be asked to go again to see Pumpkin Week at Hatton. My kids are big fans of Halloween so we were all pretty excited.

The girls got all Halloweeny for their visit and looked fab.

We decided to wait to go to on 31 October so it was super Halloweeny. We were looking forward to the free pumpkin for every child and the pumpkin carving competition, having recently practiced at home.

When we arrived we were told they had run out of pumpkins, the girls were very disappointed and although they gave us a voucher for a hot chocolate instead, it didn't really replace the fun activity they were looking forward to. 

If it were me I would have got the kids doing an apple bobbing competition or something similar so there was another option for them.

None the less we went for it and the children still had fun - they still enjoyed Guinea pig village.

And the reptile area, particularly these two warring tortoises.

 Of course in April there were all the baby animals which my girls really liked.

The girls panned for gold and got a medal for getting so much gold. 

And played on all the other activities.

Hatton is still a fun day out for all the family, but I am surprised that they miscalculated the number of pumpkins they would need for pumpkin week, as I am sure my children weren't the only ones looking forward to this. Hopefully they will take this feedback on for next year and it will be pumpkintastic!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

GWR 60th Anniversary in Pictures, GIFs and Video's

In 2011 I blogged about our visit to the Guiness Book of Records HQ  I went again in 2013 but didn't get time to blog about it, this year they really out did themselves.

So, in 1955 the first Guiness Book of Records was published, this came from an idea formulated in a pub by Sir Hugh Beaver the then managing director of Guiness Breweries. An argument ensued about which was the fastest flying game bird (It's the Plover), and the idea was born.

This year overseeing and directing us was The Professor of Records who kept everything moving whilst being highly entertaining.

We had an introductory talk from Craig Glenday about the differences between the records from 1955 to 2015 (for example, back then the most expensive bottle of wine cost £8). Followed by being divided into 3 teams.

All the different Rubiks cubes, some of the lovely GWR60 people and Craig Glenday showing us some of the previous covers.
We met some record breakers, the man with the loudest burp (which was really really loud), the man who created the software for the fastest machine to solve a Rubiks Cube and Joe who had numerous records involving bunny hopping his bike.

Wow that is close to the professors face!
Each team was asked to take part in record breaking attempts, or asked for our opinions on the next cover of the book, the website or Facebook page.

The Mummy Bloggers may have taken the record breaking attempts quite seriously - what a competitive lot!
 The kids really enjoyed the moving jelly challenge - here is Lola giving it her best.

The kids really enjoyed being asked their opinions and trying to break records. This year was really well organised and put together. Of course they got their party bags at the end which really was an impressive haul for any self respecting 8 - 12 year old (The age group I was with).

Then when we left the record breaking didn't stop there - we saw the smallest caravan and the fastest shopping trolley (it goes over 70 miles per hour) . The creator of the shopping trolley even showed us how it went with the rocket engine at the back. (Apologies for the wobbly video work) All the kids were given ear protectors as the noise was so loud.

What a grand day out, and a totally unique experience for the kids. Thank you GWR. :)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Gallery - Light

Over at the Gallery this week, it is all about light.

Light in photo's can be magical, depending on how the light catches the thing you are photographing.

Sometimes it's about the subject of your photo knowing that they will be the focus of the photo, if they look to the light.

Clever kitten.

For more like this get over to the Gallery and share your light x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hatton Adventure World Competition Giveaway

A few months ago I was lucky enough to go on a blogging adventure at Hatton Adventure World, you can read about the fab time my family and friends had here. Hatton is in the Midlands and close to Warwick & Birmingham.

Well the lovely people at Hatton have given me 4 tickets to give away for their pumpkin event running from the 25th October to the 2nd November.

Each child will receive a free pumpkin on entry with daily carving competitions and pumpkin hunts. There is a spooky themed marquee plus all the usual farm and adventure activities.

So if you have little Witches or Wizards and want a free day out, this half term,  then this is the competition for you.

All you need to do is tell me your best spooky joke in the comments below. Judging will be on Wednesday 22nd October by  6pm  by my 8 year old and my 11 year old (so age appropriate jokes only please).

I will contact the winner Wednesday evening so I can post the tickets out 1st class on Thursday.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Gallery - Creative

So this week at the Gallery we are getting all creative. One of the things I like to do most with my camera is take super close up images with my macro lens.

Like this one of my 8 year old's eye.

I love that the iris has swirls and whirls, flecks of green and yellow. This is why I tell people her eyes aren't brown - they are something else. Her sisters are the same.

This is a tiny flower in my garden that I took a picture of today. The colour's are so beautiful and vibrant.

And this is how I get creative. If you want to see other posts like this get over to the Gallery and see what everyone else is up to

Sunday, 28 September 2014

11 reasons I hate being a dance Mum.

My 8 year old loves dancing, she is super creative and is always singing and dancing. At one point we always knew when she was on the loo because she would burst into big diva-like song every time she went.

And I love this about her, it keeps her active and confident. Her dance teacher is awesome and she has the patience of a saint.

What I hate is the competitions and the shows. They aren't that often but when they happen, oh my gosh....! So here are the 11 reasons I hate being a dance Mum.

1.Children in full make up
 Wrong, wrong, wrong.
2.The rubbish I eat
Scotch eggs, eaten backstage,  just to 'get through it'

3.The vast amount of costume changes
Cartoon Heroes

Little White Bull

Be my Guest

The Little Mermaid

Jessie from Toy Story

4. The late nights - we did Friday and Saturday night arriving at 5.30pm and home for 10.30pm. On the Saturday night Lola and I had an argument about how I pulled her hair (trying to brush out the vast amount of hairspray in it). Tired and emotional silence all the way home...and that was just me!

5. Alcoholism
Night one, drank several of these when I got home, again 'just to get through it'

6. More Alcoholism
Night two, didn't bother to wait to get home, started between costume changes. Still 'getting through it'

7. Logistics
The show usually happens on Lola's Birthday so logistically it is a nightmare with birthday parties and shows
8. Getting duped - This year on the Saturday night a Mum (who never normally speaks to me) says to me,

"Are you going to see the show tomorrow?"

 I say,


So Mum, who never normally speaks to me, says,

"Oh, can you look after my little girl then as I have tickets for the Sunday Matinee."

In this situation, you can't say no. If it had been one of the Mum's I sit and chat with, fine. Then when I tell people which child I am looking after, other Mum's say things like...

"Oh she's a bit of a handful" and "She is full of mischief".

As it goes, she was really quite good, apart from her obsession with make up, to the point that I gave up stopping her put lipstick on, so by finale she looked like a clown.

9. Never seeing the show - Because I won't do the above, I never get to see the show. Hubs would do it if he could, but because he is a man he isn't allowed as there are too many half naked girls/pre-teens and young women. This is the best I am ever likely to get.
At the side of the stage after the final performance whilst they do the presentations

10. The hair - please see number 4. The hair often has a different style for each dance - there is much brushing, messing with and hair spraying hair. And God forbid you get it wrong - I once did a bun in the wrong place (it was too high, apparently). I was ashamed.

This is from a couple of years ago, look at the state of that parting!

11. The costumes, you can't have safety pins showing (and trust me loads of them are held together with safety pins), you may be required to sew (see the little mermaid costumes, those bits of material didn't get there on their own), you will definitely end up with a bag that contains sewing kit, safety pins and scissors. This year Lola's duster from Be My Guest broke, fortunately one of the other Mum's had some electrical tape which got it back together again. I can't believe I didn't think of that.

But there are so many reasons why Lola should keep dancing that however much I hate the shows and the competitions, I love that Lola gets to dress up and dance, the self discipline it brings and as I said before, the confidence and you can't help but well up with pride when they have a little solo.
Rehearsing for a show in 2012, tiny ballerina.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Pondering on Friendship

Friendship is a precious thing. 

Some friendships are fluid and like elastic, you bounce back together after not seeing each other for ages and nothing has changed it is like you were only together the day before. 

Other friendships need more work and change over time as you and your friend grow and change - some times one of you may grow and change so much that the friendship just doesn't survive. Other times your differences and changes just make it a different stronger friendship.

Bob Marley, when talking about friendship said, “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” 

My question is how do you know when a friendship is worth the fight and how long do you keep on fighting for that friendship.

My best friend is my hubs, has been for years, I tell him everything and have no secrets from him. He knows all my history and I know his and he has been a brilliant friend and husband, particularly over the last few years when life has been more challenging. 

Playing ball with the smallest child

I have other great friends, who I see as often as life lets us. Some I have known since infant school and before, others I have met as an adult. 

All of my friendships are different. Two of my oldest friends love to travel and as they are both teachers they have taken their skills overseas. One is currently heading out to Borneo for 3 years whilst the other is on her way to China. I shall miss them, but with the great technology we have these days I can still talk to them with out the exorbitant costs we once had. 

Some of my other friends are home bodies like me and I see them when I can but we live in different parts of the country and because of the fatigue from the drugs I take I am often too tired to travel. One lives in Wales by the seaside, I would love to go and see her house but it is a three hour drive and I am not sure how I would cope with the drive. 

Other friends I had, at college for example, I have drifted away from, although I have reconnected with some via the magic of social media, which is nice.

I wonder how other people hold onto the more challenging friendships, do you find time, see less of your kids, work less, rest less so you can spend time with them?

I worry about my friendships. I think I know my friends less and less as I see less of them, and I am guessing that is probably the case, but then other friends just know me and visa versa. Are some of my friends less my friend then? 

I am probably over thinking it but it's complicated and I wonder what others think?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

World Photo Day - The Gallery

I am a bit late for this but I was traveling back from lovely Norfolk with my girls yesterday and a bit tired later on.

Any way, earlier this week it was World Photo Day and the Gallery was celebrating this, this week.

I have three photo's for this week - one is specifically for my pal Tara who runs the Gallery.

Whilst I was away, we went to Sandringham (The Queen's country residence), It is surrounded by beautiful woodland, and whilst the girls were playing I took this.

I love the sun coming through and all the different types of trees.

The second photo is  of the seaside, I love the seaside, one day hubs and I hope to end up living by the seaside.

I think my daughter sums up what it is about the seaside that I like, you can close your eyes, feel the sun on your face and here the sea rumbling behind you and be any where in the world. Lovely.

And finally, if I did believe in something bigger, photo's like this would help. The rays of sun shining through the clouds just seem otherworldly and awesome.

For more photo's like this head to the Gallery (link above).

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Sound of Music

We have always liked music, hubs and I although neither of us were particularly good at it, hubs used to play bass and I had played a little bit of guitar and trumpet, hubs had dabbled for a long time and I had stopped after school.

When we had the girls we thought to ourselves we really must encourage their musicality. We brought all the usual kids toy instruments, penny whistles and xylophones and they banged and blew loudly. As they got bigger we bought an electric keyboard and guitars.

Hubs decided to take up guitar again around this time. And he practiced, and practiced .... He has a little room in the house just for him, his computers and his growing collection of guitars and sound pedals. And he practiced and practiced.

The girls continue to wonder in and play keyboard with him, both of them have guitars and can play a little.

One year on my birthday I was woken to the girls and hubs serenading me singing and playing happy birthday. Possibly one of his most romantic moments ever....and he is good at the old romantic moment.

But if there is one thing I love, it is wondering around the house mooching, doing chores and I can here him strumming and picking out tunes I recognise. It's incredibly calming, soothing and lovely and he is literally filling our house with music.

learning the Travis picking thingy...apparently

Friday, 15 August 2014

Summer Holidays - Week One

I realise lots of you have already been off for weeks and enjoyed scorchio weather. (My hubs is included in this...not that I am in anyway bitter...ahem), but now the weather is a bit rainy and a bit colder it is my holiday time (OK, maybe a little bit bitter). So this is my week 1 of 2.

Day one. Saturday. Did nothing except the washing.  Boo.

Day two. Sunday. Went to see my friend Biggles as she is off on her travels again. A lovely goodbye BBQ.

Jon gets his sausages on
Here is her hubs in charge of the BBQ.

Day three. Monday. Had to go into work as I left an SD card there - had lunch with work friends and daughters wondered at the many buttons and security aspects of getting into my office....strangely they thought this was exceptionally cool. Which I will take as a win.

We came home and I played with my macro lens (not a euphemism) and got some pretty pictures.

Day four. Tuesday. Drove to Shrewsbury to take my Dad for an X-Ray. Afterwards we visited Biggles again, my girls played with her girl and their friends little 2 year old girl and had a lovely time, they also played with Tess the grumpy old man looking girl dog. Such a sweet thing.

Tess the girl dog that looks like a grumpy old man but is actually very lovely
Day five. Wednesday. We had to stay in as I was waiting for a parcel to be delivered (my smallest girls birthday present shhhhhhhh......)So the girls chilled out watching movies and I had a day in the pod and took some cat pictures.
Millie, our cat.
Day six. Thursday. Today we went to the local library for a treasure hunt. The girls are doing the 6 week reading challenge so it was linked to that. They caught up with some school friends and had a great time. All for free. It is well worth checking out what is happening at your local library. Then more macro photography for me.

Close up of the furry purple sage
Day six. Friday. Today we went to see my old pal Tara and went for a lovely walk round the back of a needle museum (who knew there were museums for needles...then again...why not?). The girls had a great time and much fun was had, particularly whilst paddling in the stream.

 So that was the first six days. More to come soon :)

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