Friday, 30 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 90

I was looking through my clothes to find something suitable to wear on my shopping trip tomorrow. I searched and searched but really struggled to find something. What I did find instead was a huge amount of clothes that I haven't worn in months, have no hope of ever fitting into or worse than that....forgot that I'd even bought! Now that I've cleared the wardrobe out I have space to buy some more tomorrow..... ;-)

Ravensburger Rabbit Parade 200xxl puzzle

The latest puzzle we've received from the Ravensburger Puzzle Club is in keeping with Spring and all it brings.

The picture is of seven cute and cuddly rabbits on a field of daisies and dandelions.

The puzzle is suitable for ages 8+ and is of good-sized pieces. Using the Puzzle Store to sort the puzzle pieces 4 of us put the puzzle together one evening but it was a case of 'too many cooks....' as we were getting in each others' way! It was challenging enough to do, with similar-looking pieces because of the blades of grass, but not too challenging that an eight year old couldn't do it on their own.

We think this would make a great gift if you were looking for an alternative to easter eggs.

Please excuse the lack of photos. I've lost them somewhere on my hard drive so they'll be added at a later date!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 88

I'd had a bit of a stressy day yesterday, with one thing and another, and being the hormonal, incapable-of-dealing-with-anything-remotely-stressful person that I am I was close to tears by late afternoon so imagine how I felt to open a parcel from Nickelodeon to find a lot of chocolatey goodies! There was also a pack for the children (because all of the chocolate was for me...right??) which included a dvd of Dora, Team Umizoomi and Tickety Toc (a new show being launched in April) and some colouring cards.


Thanks Nickelodeon!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

On My Birthday meme

On my birthday

I was tagged by Kate to do the On My Birthday meme. It sounded like fun and I've been wanting to take part ever since I was tagged but I just haven't had time. Finally I can sit down and answer the questions!


When is your birthday? 
9th February 

Pick three people who share your birthday and share what you know about them.
Lennard Pearce-Grandad from Only Fools and Horses
Mia Farrow-actress and humanitarian. Married to Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn and partner of Woody Allen until he ran off with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi
Holly Johnson- singer with Frankie Goes to Hollywood.


I knew about Holly Johnson but I didn't know about the others. 
Is anyone listed as being born on the same day as you (ie the same year)? If so, what do you know about them?
Wikipedia shows Charlie Day, an American actor I only know from Horrible Bosses, and Georgios Korakikis who is a Greek footballer. I know nothing more of him!

List three people who died on your birthday and tell us what you know about them. 
Bill Haley from Bill Haley and the Comets. Who doesn't know 'Rock Around The Clock'?


Barry Evans. A British actor (who I had a bit of a crush on) most known for being the language teacher in Mind Your Language (where my sister's name came from incidentally) and I also remember him from the rather naff but typically British Adventures of A Taxi Driver. My Dad had it on video and me & my sister thought it hilariously risque to watch. If I saw it now I'd just cringe at how poor it was.


Princess Margaret. I don't think I need to say what I know about her but what I do remember about her death is that I found out about it while reading an English newspaper in Charles de Gaulle airport awaiting our flight home from Paris.

List three notable events that took place on your birthday.
Top of the list is 474 Zeno crowned as co-emporer of the Byzantine Empire. In 1965 the first US combat troops are sent into Vietnam and on a happier note The Beatles first performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, with an audience of 73 million viewers. 

Tell us about a holiday that falls on your birthday.
It's Christian Feast Day, which I'm afraid means nothing to me.


I see that many others have already taken part in this so rather than tagging people feel free to take the meme but make sure you link up on Kate's blog with your birth date.


 

What was number 1 in the UK music charts when your baby was born?

I was tagged by Kara to do the meme about the songs that were number one when your children were born.

I never really took much notice at the time, probably because I was busy with a newborn (that sounds better than 'I didn't listen to the charts'!)

Here in chronological order are my three;

According to Wikipedia Girl's is Obviously by Mcfly but I think we'd put the previous week's number 1 (Britney Spears-Everytime) in her baby book.
Middle's was A Moment Like This by Leona Lewis
Tidgy's was Good Times by Roll Deep (I have to confess to not knowing this one at all!)

I wish that these meant something to me but they don't. I'd listen to Mcfly but not by choice, I don't like Leona Lewis and Roll Deep....who?!

It was still a great idea for a meme though. Hopefully the following bloggers will fare better with their songs!

@ForestFlower23
@seasiderclare
@innocentcharmer
@caroleheidi
@a20somethingmum

Apologies if you've already done this meme ladies. It's hard to keep track of who has done what!!





A Year In Photos-Day 87

It's that time of year where evenings are spent winding down by tidying the garden after the children have played out after school and by watering all the new plants and seedlings we have growing. It's my favourite time of year.

Ten On Tuesday No 23

This week I am very honoured to have Amanda Egan, otherwise known as @Mummy_Misfit, writing for Ten on Tuesday


Who are you and what do you do? I'm Amanda Egan and I'm the author of 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' and 'The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit'  My novels take a humorous look at private education, the mothers you meet at the school gates and the chasm between the ‘Haves and the Have Nots.’

How did you get started with writing? I’ve always written, for as long as I can remember, but my son developing school phobia at the age of eleven eventually set me on the journey.  I needed to remain at school with him for three years - either outside the classroom or in the car park.  This led to me reading hundreds of books and then writing my own on a laptop in my car.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Writing full-time and earning a comfortable living.  I’d also love to have my own writing shed.  Sadly that would mean I’d have to move as my townhouse garden is way too small.

Do you have an embarrassing crush? I do.  Geoffrey Palmer from ‘As Time Goes By’.  He’s craggy and ‘lived-in’ but has the driest sense of humour and fantastic comic timing.  I find all that incredibly sexy.

If a film was made of your life, who would you choose to play yourself? Meryl Streep.  She’s so incredibly versatile and can totally become the characters she plays.

Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? I am a Twitter addict.  I think it’s probably because it’s so immediate.  You ask a question and instantly someone comes back with a reply.  As a writer, I never feel lonely now.  I’ve made some great friends on Twitter - some writers, some not - and I’ve sold most of my books through daft conversations that I’ve struck up with Twitterers.

What was the last album you bought? I’m blushing here but … Olly Murs!  His music makes me happy.  I know I’m a mother and not a teeny-bopper but so what!

Who makes you laugh? Apart from my husband, son, mum and friends, Tim Minchin.  He’s Australian and an absolute genius in my eyes.  He plays the piano and writes incredibly funny and complicated songs. I can watch him for hours.

What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? Oh boy, this is embarrassing (not for me, for my husband).  Before we were married, we bought a tiny one bedroom flat and were starting out with nothing.  For my birthday he bought me a food processor.  I was not best pleased!  I did go on to marry him though and he’s never stuffed up again - he now buys excellent presents.

What’s your guilty pleasure?  Chocolate - and although I should, I can’t say I actually feel guilty about it.  Why should I?  I love it and it tastes good so what’s the point of ruining the experience?  I am a firm believer that the minute you start to feel guilty about eating something, is when you start to pile on the pounds!
 


Amanda Egan is the author of two novels ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’  and ‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’ available on Kindle at Amazon (currently on special offer at £1.91) and in paperback at Lulu.
She can be followed on Twitter @mummy_misfit
Her Wednesday blog can be found at Diary of a Mummy Misfit Blogspot
She is currently editing her 3rd novel - unrelated to the Misfit books.



Thanks so much for this Amanda. I recently ordered your novels and I'm really looking forward to reading them.

Monday, 26 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Playing catch up (again!!) Days 82-86

After yet another busy spell, and poor internet connection, I was unable to find the time to post daily updates to #project366 so here are 5 days in one post.

Day 82
The children bought a cherry tree for me for Mother's Day and hubby planted it on Thursday afternoon. In 8 years of being together it was the first piece of gardening he'd done, and no doubt the last!

Day 83
Tidgy has recently learnt to climb the slide by himself...but he hasn't learnt that he needs to sit down straight away to prevent more grey hair for Mummy.

Day 84
On Saturday we went away to Cambridgeshire for hubby's birthday weekend. We visited my favourite National Trust property: Wimpole Estate. We've visited three times since September 2011 and if I lived closer I would go every day. I love it there and my favourite part of the estate, without a doubt, is Wimpole Hall. I took the photo below as we wandered around the park before the estate office opened. It was a glorious and wonderful day.

Day 85
On Sunday it was hubby's birthday so after opening cards & presents and stuffing ourselves with a massive breakfast we headed to Duxford Air Museum. Neither of us had been there before  and we were thoroughly impressed. We were there for 6 hours but there was still more to see. The children loved climbing aboard the planes. I wish I'd taken some more photos but we were too busy taking in the sights.

Day 86
There wasn't much to take a photo of today as we spent the day shopping, or rather hubby spent the day spending his birthday money. It was burning a hole in his pocket. Honestly, you'd think he was 14 not 40! What I did get was yet another shot of my cheeky little man :-)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 81

I took Tidgy to a new toddler group today, well new to him. I used to take Girl but then stopped when Middle was tiny because it became too cliquey. Tidgy needs a lot more stimulation now and the ability to run around more so I thought we'd attempt a new group. Despite him looking rather nonchalant in this picture he did enjoy it! I'm happy to say that it wasn't as cliquey as it used to be and I knew a couple of the Mums there. Looks like we'll be returning soon!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 80

Ten on Tuesday No 22

This week it's the turn of @Patorford

Who are you and what do you do?  
I am retired from a very successful career in Corporate Sales and Marketing in the IT industry.  Now involved in village life, the church, friends, wine club, book group, scrabble afternoons, helping friends who run the Pump Street Bakery by taking their bread and pastries to the Snape and Southwold farmers market.   I also sew cushions etc which I sell at the Orford Country Market and have just acquired a printing press so my latest love is Letterpress


How do you spend your spare time? 
I love  to cook for family and friends, love cinema, music, singing, walking, reading. I love going to exhibitions in London, sewing, printing, eating with friends and last but not least with my 3 little grandchildren.


What are you looking forward to most in 2012  
The Jubilee and the Olympics, (I have tickets), what a great year it will be, a once in a lifetime year


Who inspires you? 
My late mother, I still find myself quoting her most days, she would be one of my guests at my fantasy dinner party along with Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonard Cohen, Adam Faith,  Barak Obamah, Charles Rennie Macintosh, Le Corbusier, Janis Ian and Mary Queen of Scots


Describe yourself in 5 words 
Passionate, obsessive, optimistic, warm and friendly.


Who makes you laugh? 
My grandchildren

What was the last thing you treated yourself to? 
A Master Class at University College Birmingham; well it was a gift from my son


Do you have a favourite song? 
It has to be one of Leonard Cohen's but which one, A Thousand Kisses Deep.


What would you tell your 16 year old self?
Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.   You are responsible for your life, nobody else is.


What is your favourite meal? 
I love aromatic Middle Eastern food especially North African, so an aromatic tagine, cous cous, baklava, pomegranates, dates, etc etc



Thanks for taking part Pat. It sounds like you have a very busy life despite being retired! 

Monday, 19 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 77, 78 & 79

I've really struggled with #project366 over the last few days. I had been really busy with preparation for hubby's party on Saturday and photos were the last thing on my mind!

Here are Saturday, Sunday and today's offerings.
The top photo is of Girl & Middle at hubby's party. The man who ran the disco provided dozens of glowsticks for the children and they spent most of the night collecting as many as they could to link them up.

Bottom left is one of Middle taken on Sunday. We were mucking about with the camera and I took this one of him. His eyes look huge here!

Bottom right was taken in my garden this morning. I have a few of these flowers growing in amongst all the weeds and dead leaves and I think they're a much-needed, gorgeous splash of colour.

Jungle Junction review

If you didn't already know, Jungle Junction is an animated children's show on Disney Junior aimed at preschoolers.

The characters are animals with wheels and their home is a jungle with roads. As they zip around the jungle on their adventures they help the children watching to learn about the environment and literacy skills.

The three main characters are Ellyvan, a blue elephant/van, Zooter, a pink pig/scooter, and Bungo, a rabbit who loves putting signs all over the jungle.

We were asked if we'd like to review some Jungle Junction toys and the eldest two were adamant that Tidgy would love to test them. I think they were cheekily answering for themselves!

We were sent a Zooter Bath Time Character, Bungo Plush Character, Ellyvan Pull-back and Wheel Around Fun Set.

The Zooter Bath Squirter is one of five collectables. You can also get Ellyvan, Toadhog, Taxicrab and Hippobus. This caused many giggles in the bath, and a wet Mum!

Tidgy loved the Ellyvan pull-back toy. The back doors open and there's plenty of room in there to fit one of the small characters from the Wheel Around set in and a few signs. It won't take the plush toy though despite Tidgy trying rather determinedly! Ellyvan's trunk turns with a clicking sound to Tidgy's delight. (Little things....!)

Tidgy took to giving the Bungo plush toy lots of cuddles. It runs smoothly along the floor and he has had great fun playing with it with his brother and sister.

The Wheel Around Fun Set (age 3+) consists of a card playmat with Jungle Junction scene, 3 characters, road signs and some stickers to be added to the playmat. Tidgy is perhaps a bit young for this but he soon got the idea and pushed the wheeled characters around on the mat. Girl and Middle barely let him get a look in when they are home from school though!

The Jungle Junction toys we had were all well made and very sturdy, which is a must-have requirement with heavy-handed toddlers. The card playmat mat not last a great length of time though, especially with my toddler around.

Often children's tv merchandise has very little resemblance to the characters in the show but these are easily recognisable.  All three of my children enjoying playing with these toys and they get a big thumbs up from them.

Take a look at the Flair website to see what else is available in the Jungle Junction range.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 75

It was a beautiful afternoon so after the school run we spent an hour in the garden enjoying the sunshine.

This photo is of the boys being builders and 'fixing' the playhouse.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 74

I had the camera out to take some photos for a review so when Tidgy sat on my lap I thought I'd try to take a decent picture of me & him which is an impossible task with me in the frame but I liked this one. He was busy watching the Disney Channel rather than paying attention to the camera!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 73

Girl has settled in to Brownies tremendously well and she was beaming when she returned tonight with the two badges she earned this week.

Ten on Tuesday No 21

This week it's the turn of Nicola from @HalfpennyHome


1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nicola Gouldsmith and I live in Suffolk with my grown up son and a funny little dog called Bob. I run Halfpenny Home, a haberdashery with a difference! I have an allotment where I keep chickens and attempt to grow stuff. Last March Cico Books published 'A Green Guide to Country Crafts' as part of their 'Green Series' which I produced with Jacqueline Mann, it'srecently been translated into German, Finnish and Estonian!
2.How did you get started?

 I spent a couple of decades supplying hand-made soft furnishings to the interior design trade but a few years ago decided that I would like to pass on some of the skills I had aquired to other people. There's been a renewed interest in making things lately and some crafts which have been looked down on in the past are (at last) being looked at through an appreciative eye! The internet has helped bring crafters all over the world together, it's brilliant!
3. Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Blimey! In five years time? I would dearly love to do some more writing and working with Jacqui Mann is great fun so producing more craft or interiors-y books would be nice. Having been single for so long (I separated from my son's father 13 years ago) it would be nice to be happily settled with a partner. I have recently started dating a friend who I have practically lived next door to for the last 5 years and he is a very nice man so fingers crossed please everyone!
4. What item would you be lost without?

Unkind people will say my BlackBerry as they do say that I'm obsessed with Twitter but I think it would have to be my trusty old trade bike! Nearly 100 years old and it once belonged to a clown named Bert, I love it!
5.Do you have a guilty pleasure?

 This would have to be glass! I am to glass what spotters are to trains....anything from Roman to mid-twentieth Century, I collect Dartington glass designs by Frank Thrower and some under valued designs by Whitefriars. I also have a very unhealthy obsession with Pyrex.
6. What was the last song you listened to?

Kool Thing by Sonic Youth
7. Who inspires you?

Since becoming ill (I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Artritis in 2009) I have found that I'm now inspired by a whole new load of people and I've 'met' them all through Twitter. There are a few people who have PA like myself, some that have Rheumatoid Arthritis which is very similar in both symptoms and treatment and a few runners who are cancer survivors. Who wouldn't be inspired or motivated by people like that?
8. If you were asked to say 2 positive things about yourself what would you say?

 People do say that I'm always smiling and seem to be very bright and cheerful! I do try to see the bright side of things and stay positive, I also make the best Scotch Eggs around....
9. If you had a time machine when would you return to?

Either the late Victorian/ early Edwardian era or the 1970's...I can't decide but I guess that if I have a Time Machine I can visit both?!
10. What are you most looking forward to it 2012?

After starting a new treatment last summer I am relatively pain-free for the first time in many years so have recently started jogging! I don't go very far or very fast but I love it and hope to continue and build up my strength and fitness this year. 

National Science and Engineering Week 2012

Each March National Science and Engineering Week highlights how science, technology, maths and engineering are used in relation to everyday life. It's hoped that it inspires the next generation of scientists by garnering their interest in fun activities.


With over thousands of events across the country you should be able to find something to whet your appetite for science. See here for more information on events local to you. 


My eldest two love to experiment and they've always been inquisitive so I enjoy seeing their enthusiasm. More often than not I learn something new too!


To celebrate National Science and Engineering Week we were sent two kits to try; Interplay Practical Joke Soap Laboratory and Green Science Solar Rover.




The children couldn't wait to get started on the Practical Joke Soap Laboratory. The kit contains everything you need to make revolting eyeball soaps, gruesome brains and your own soap creations.


The kit is suitable for ages 10+ but we found, with adult supervision, that my 5 and 7 year old were more than capable of doing a lot of the work. You do need to melt the glycerine soap in the microwave so that's the one thing I didn't let them do as the pot can get rather warm.


We started off making 2 transparent soap balls and then used up what was left, after adding a little titanium pigment soap, to make some shapes using cookie cutters. The instructions are very easy to follow and it didn't take as long as I expected to make the soaps. Whilst mixing the soaps they were able to discover liquid solid transitions and all about suspensions and pigments. The particularly liked it when the mixture went 'fluffy' and they were able to mould it in their hands to a shape of their choice.


They're very keen to make some eyeballs and brains for the grandparents as presents. I'm not sure how well they will go down!




We'll be making the Solar Rover in a few days (probably when we've had some sunshine!) The Solar Rover you construct using a can (not supplied) and the parts supplied in the kit to make a vehicle that moves with solar energy. Middle is very excited about this one but I've been told he'll be making it with Daddy. Cars are a boys thing apparently!

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 72

Tidgy was playing in the kitchen as the rest of the house was out of bounds because of the builders. I found him exploring under the table. Who needs expensive toys?!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Playing catch up


I'm a bit behind thanks to one thing and another so here we have days 69, 70 and 71 in one go.

The photo on the left is of Middle at home from school after another bout of the sickness bug. He's engrossed in the tv and I just love Tidgy's expression here. His eyes look full of mischief.

In the middle is yesterday's photo. Girl and I went to see Chicken Licken at the New Wolsey Studio. It had been booked for months but we weren't sure we'd make it as she fell ill the night before as well. Right up until an hour beforehand I was hoping I could find someone to take the tickets from us but she decided she was well enough and wanted to go. They very kindly reserved us two seats as close to the door as possible in case we needed to make a quick escape! The actor came and sat next to Girl before the show started. She loved it but sadly it will probably be the last show I take her to at the Studio as she's getting too old for the children's shows.

On the right is today's photo. It was a glorious day and as hubby was ill (yep you've guessed it- sickness bug) we had a day at home so me and the eldest two started getting the garden into shape. They helped me to weed their small plots on the garden and we sowed some veggie seeds. Eat your heart out Mr Bloom!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 68

The toddler seems to instinctively know when to play up. Yesterday I had a migraine so he decided it'd be fun to keep head-butting me and hitting my head with toys. Today I have very little energy so he decided to make a run for it while I was trying to dress him!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 66

The builders had packed up and gone until they could return to plaster the walls in the warmer months and all that is left is for me to clean up the thick layer of dust left behind....
..and then we noticed they hadn't done the work needed on the two most important walls and need to come back again this week. AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ten on Tuesday 20

This week features the incredibly busy Sue from @suffolkclean


1.Who are you and what do you do?  
My name is Sue Hall.  I am probably best known in Suffolk for running the Ipswich branch of Women in Rural Enterprise but I also run my own business. Maid2Clean.  It is a domestic cleaning agency which provides work for local people fitting around their other commitments, while at the same time solving the problems of busy men and women or people unable to keep on top of the housework.  In addition, I have a few other voluntary roles.  I am an Appropriate Adult, Independent Visitor to 2 looked after children, Roving Ambassador for the New Wolsey and most recently a new role as Internet TV interviewer on Felixstowe TV.  They have given me a channel to interview women business owners in Suffolk which is very exciting.  Safe to say even though I don't have children, I always have a lot going on!


2.How did you get started?   
I have worked in London most of my life except for a year spent travelling round the world in the mid-1980’s and when I was a Tour Guide in Europe and then I was all over the place!  My last job was in London and involved a lot of travel – I spent most of my time between the UK and US and only saw Suffolk very occasionally which was really never the plan.   Along with the long hours and strict demands of the job, it all started to take its toll on my health so I resolved to take control.  It was a life changing decision!  I believed I was not good enough at any one thing to start my own business from scratch so went through the crossroads process.  You know where you sit down with that pad and do your lists of what you like, don’t like, what makes you happy etc.  I came out the other side of that realizing that aside from having better control of my time, there were five major things that were fundamental to my future happiness:   I wanted to do something that helps people, I wanted to create opportunities, I wanted to be able to pursue my desire to do voluntary work, I wanted to be involved with people and I wanted a dog! So all I had to do was find a job that gave me freedom and time off as well as money and I would be home and hosed, ha ha!  As I said before, I had no skills that would make a business of my own so I looked at the franchise route.  Maid2Clean ticked all the boxes and after the due diligence was done, and knowing nothing about cleaning except I didn’t enjoy it, I was on my way.  


3.Do you have any plans/resolutions for 2012?   
I am continuing to grow the business and my goal is to acquire another territory eventually.  I have entered one of my dogs for Crufts in March as he qualified for it last year.  Not sure I will continue to show him after that but I want to go for the experience!   And my partner is 50 this year so will be dreaming up a plan to celebrate in appropriate style.


4.Describe yourself in 5 words  
I am sure my 5 words would be different to everyone else’s but I did compare my list to the one my best friend came up with and we had three traits the same so I am maybe not too far off…. fun, generous, supportive, vivacious, dynamic.


5.Any claims to fame?  
Sadly, not really.  My ex husband's nephew was Pat van den Hauwe (Spurs player) and my gynaecologist in my 20s/30s in London was Dr Sam Hutt, otherwise known as Hank Wangford.  He has just played Ipswich actually but it felt weird to go see him!


6.If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?  
The countries I have spent the most amount of time in during my life are Australia, America and France so I would always be happy to return to any of them.  If I had to choose somewhere new, South Africa is definitely on my list as is Cape Verde Islands.


7.What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?   
The Niche Expert by Rachel Henke.  She is a member of my WiRE group and this book is an absolute must read for anyone who needs clarity, focus and direction to run their own business.


8.Who makes you laugh?  
Tommy Cooper.  Only Fools & Horses.  Green Wing.  My best mate.  My dogs.


9.What was the last thing you bought yourself?  
 A hot stone massage and mani/pedi


10.What song makes you smile?  
Corny I know but anything by Abba is very feel good for me.  And anything from Grease gets me smiling and singing.  When my best friend's mother died a couple of years back, they played the Birdie Song at the end of the service.  Was very uplifting watching everyone start dancing and smiling and moving their feet, nodding their heads etc., at what is normally quite a sombre occasion.  Rose loved her holidays and that song was all about that for her.  Great way to bow out! 


Thanks Sue. I had expected to mention your time on stage with the Spamalot cast as one of your claims to fame ;) 


My 5 year old son loves Abba and regularly bursts into Mamma Mia or Dancing Queen in the middle of a restaurant or supermarket but it's so lovely to hear and makes me smile.

Monday, 5 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 65

I was having a sort out of the hiding place where bits and pieces are kept for hubby's upcoming birthday and came across a Christmas present for him from the toddler. Oops!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 64

The toddler was having a nap, Girl was upstairs sleeping off a migraine and hubby was out shopping so we took the opportunity of the peace and quiet to do Middle's homework.

Yes, we're the family that leave it until the night before it has to be handed in....!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Competition: Win Justin Fletcher's new cd

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL THOSE THAT ENTERED.


Late last year we were excited to get our hands on a preview copy of Justin Fletcher's album Hands Up. You can read our review of the single Hands Up here

Justin really can do no wrong where my children are concerned. They love the album and want it on all the time. It gets us all singing along in the car and our favourite has to be the title track, Hands Up. We saw Mr Tumble at Harvest in September and it was the first time we'd heard it. The atmosphere was electric. Thousands of children and parents joining in with the Hello song from Something Special was an incredible moment too!

The album includes fab versions of party favourites like The Hokey Cokey, Music Man, If You're Happy and You Know It, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes and many more.

The release was delayed for a few months as Justin is such a busy man but it'll be out on Monday 5th March. You can purchase the cd from amazon or alternatively you can try to win a copy here on my blog.

I have two copies of Hands Up to giveaway to 2 lucky readers.

The following are COMPULSORY conditions of entry

  • Leave a comment below telling me your child's favourite thing about Justin (make sure you leave a way of contacting you ie. twitter, email)
  • Tweet the following 'I want to win something special with @Him_Me_Three' and add the link to this competition post to your tweet (leave a separate comment below with the link to your tweet) 
The following are OPTIONAL

  • Follow me on twitter and leave a comment informing me that you are following (one extra entry)
  • Follow this blog with GFC (leave a separate comment below stating that you are following) (one extra entry)
  • 'Like' my facebook page (leave a separate comment below stating that you are following) (one extra entry)
  • Leave a comment on an archive post on this blog (leave a separate comment below stating that you have done this and post the link to the post you've commented on) (one extra entry)

Maximum of 5 entries
Competition closes on 31st March 2012 at 12pm. Any entries after this time will not be counted.
Winners will be announced on the blog and on twitter.
If I haven't had contact from a winner within 3 days I will re-draw.

A Year In Photos-Day 63

The viewing area at Landguard Point, Felixstowe was a favourite spot of my late Nanna & Grandad. I spent many a relaxed Sunday afternoon sat in the car with them and their flask, newspaper and sandwiches so I love the fact that my children look forward to us parking up to watch the huge cargo ships sail in and out of Felixstowe Port.

Friday, 2 March 2012

A Year In Photos-Day 62

Today was a big day for Girl. Her school choir was invited to take part in the Gala Concert at Ipswich Corn Exchange.

As you can see from the top photo we were on the wrong side of the hall and had a very limited view of her!

The bottom photo shows her enjoying a well-earned ice cream during the interval.

I can see Middle having a career in music as he was tapping his toe and 'conducting' his way through the first half. He wanted to stay for the second half as he was enjoying it so much but Girl was incredibly tired so we came home, under much protest from him.

Questions and Answers

I was tagged a couple of weeks ago by @ClaireLouise82. The idea is that you answer 11 questions set by the blogger that tagged you and then set 11 questions for those that you tag. After asking questions for Ten on Tuesday for the last few months I thought it would be a nice change for me to answer the questions.


Here are Claire's questions:



1. How old was you when you gave birth to your first child & was this planned?
I was 28 when I had Girl. She was (kind of) planned. When hubby and I met we both knew that we wanted children and didn't want to wait long as we both felt we were getting on but didn't expect for me to fall pregnant straightaway. She was born one day before we had been together for a year. Whirlwind romance? Not half!
2. How did you feel both physically and mentally following the birth of your child, for example, how long before you felt yourself again, fitted in your old clothes, returned to work etc.?
I was a mess. Physically and mentally. I fitted back into my pre-pregnancy clothes within a few weeks but PND soon kicked in, although it took me a year to admit it. It was probably another year before I felt a little more normal.
3. Did you experience the “Baby Blues” or suffer postnatal depression? If yes, are you over this, slowly getting better, or maybe things are still quite hard?
As I answered above, yes. PND was featured in our lives a lot until Middle was about 2. I've suffered with depression from the age of 17 so things won't ever be easy. Like most other people I have good days and black days.  
4. What are your family values?
Hmmm, this one is hard to define. I guess I  want us all to respect each other, be able to communicate and be honest with others, uphold family traditions,  be responsible and care for others.
5. Are you a SAHM or a Working mother?
I'm a SAHM although I'm looking for something part-time and flexible to cover what money we will lose when our tax credits and child benefit stop. I'm in 2 minds though. One day I think it'll be great to have time to myself and get out there to enjoy adult conversation and company but then I realise how quickly the eldest two have grown and don't want to leave the toddler before he's at school. I'm fortunate enough to be able to be choosy at the moment and find the right job for me.
6. So, why did you start your blog?
I started blogging in 2009 for a radio feature on families during the summer holidays.Apart from a short break when I was pregnant with the toddler I haven't stopped writing.
7. Do you feel less isolated when blogging and interacting with other bloggers through social networking sites and if applicable, blogging events?
Not necessarily so. Twitter makes me feel less isolated and often keeps me sane but it's not in direct relation to other bloggers.
8. Are you going to Britmums Live and if yes… what are your reasons for wanting to attend? “waving hand in the air… I’ll be there”
No. I applied to go to Cybher first and cannot afford the time away from my family for two trips (or rather hubby won't look after them for two weekends!)
9. As a blogger do you ever help the promotion of certain charitable organisations or engage in campaigns for a good course? If yes, what charities and why?
Occasionally I have RT'd requests or tweets about something I truly believe in but as a whole I avoid the twitter campaigns as it annoys more people than raises awareness. Sad and unfortunate but that's the way it is. Many have admitted that they scroll past charitable tweets and don't read them. I'd rather be involved in something that would actually raise awareness. I did write a post for the Save The Children campaign as it gave me a platform to write about my fabulous health visitor. I'm not sure many read it though.
8. What’s the most amazing experience you and if applicable, your children, have experienced as the result of your blog?
Our Vosene trip to London Zoo was our first PR event and quite possibly the best one we've been to. Even hubby was impressed and he hates things like that! The children have fallen in love with London since we went to the Vosene event and can't wait to return.
9. Do you have a goal you want to achieve as a result of you’re blogging talent? Maybe it’s to write an E- Book, start an online business, start vlogging, or like me begin self hosting (I think I’ll be taking this leap in the early summer)?
I don't have a lot of faith in my writing and I still struggle to take compliments, especially when the likes of Suffolk Days and Cheeky Boo have asked me to write for them but I would love for writing to be part of my 'career' in the future. Hubby has looked at writing courses for me but we just can't afford them at the moment. One day.....
10. Name one blogger who regularly inspires you
I can't say that there is anyone in particular as I'm terrible at keeping up with my blog roll but recently I was brought to tears by Kara's post on domestic violence. It was a courageous post to write but I'm so glad that she did.
Georgy  regularly makes me laugh with her blog posts. She lives fairly close to me so it's my mission to meet her in 2012.
Finally…
11. What piece of advice would you offer to a new blogger or anyone considering starting a blog?
Write for yourself, not anyone else, and don't get obsessed by stats. It's very carthartic and free therapy and most of all have fun!

My 11 questions are;
  1. How many children do you have and how many did you plan on having?
  2. What would you tell your 16 year old self?
  3. If you could go back in time when would you go to and why?
  4. What would be the first thing you bought if you won the lottery?
  5. Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery?
  6. How did you & your partner meet?
  7. If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would you choose?
  8. Is there a film that you could watch over and over again?
  9. What is your favourite drink?
  10. What would be your ideal career?
  11. Do you have a cringeworthy crush on anyone? 


I tag 
@innocentcharmer 
@randomhousehold 
@jennypaulin
@scottish_mum
@welshmumof3boys
@notsoslummy
@welshmumwales
@caroleheidi
@purpleshark_lc
@multiplemummy
@persianliving

Apologies if you've been tagged or done this already!
The Rules:
You must post these rules.
Each person must post 11 things about herself on their blog.
Answer the questions the “tagger” listed for you in her post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
Choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post.
Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.
Also please leave a comment for me after you have joined in so I can take a look at your answers.
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