Sunday 30 August 2015

Book Review: A Year In the Life of A Playground Mother by Christie Barlow

Whether it's your first term in the reception playground or whether you are secretly watching your 9 year old go into class because you are apparently an embarrassment in the playground everyone knows there is more than 1 type of parent, and if you don't you soon will.
When I caught a re-tweet about Christie Barlow's "A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother" I thought this is one I have to read, and I was lucky enough for her to send me a copy for my e-reader.  That night I promptly ran myself a bath and Amazon Fire in hand started the book.

Less then 10% in I was nodding along and thinking YES this is our school playground. Just like Rachel Young, the main character in this novel, I thought the kids starting "Planet School" would be my chance to meet new people but no, due to work I only visit the school playground on a Friday afternoon, this makes me a bit of an outsider.  In a way this is great as it gives me time to playground watch,not so much fun at the numerous parties you are obliged to make conversation at.  

I could totally relate to this book pinpointing where the playground mafia stand and whose mothers they are.  Just like Rachel I couldn't give a monkeys what I wear on the school run, hey if I could get away with my Eyeore onesie you betcha I'd wear it.  How some of these mothers turn up with not a hair out of place and fully made up is beyond me. ... I mean they should be grateful I managed to remember what time pick-up was.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Summer Holiday: Stockeld Park, Wetherby

I stumbled upon this place a few months ago when we were looking for something to do.  Me and the kids think Mr Bloom is great and as he was appearing I tried to persuade him to make the 3h journey (each way) on public transport to go.... he wasn't amused and put his foot down.   So when mum asked me for places I wanted to go when we were camping at Sheriff Hutton I immediately thought of here, in a car it's only an hour from mine.

If you haven't been and you have small children it's definitely one to put on your to-do list, the boys (and us) had the most amazing time.

The park is split into 8 zones (9 if you count the cafe) and we explored most of them, this isn't a trip that takes a couple of hours, we were here from 12-5 and could easily have stayed another hour if we'd had the time.

Friday 28 August 2015

Lush: August Haul

Another pay day and another trip to the little shop of goodies.  I will admit I stepped foot in there a couple of weeks ago just to pick up a couple of the new ones as I couldn't wait but I'll add that to this list ......

It's a new season for Lush and with it come lots of new products and the in-branch launch of some previous Oxford Street exclusives.

It's safe to say glitter is the flavour of the month in Lush HQ this season.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Summer Holiday: Whitby

Having not been to Whitby for years and years I then ended up going twice within a very short space of time.  Once when on holiday with my family and then again last week when we went away with my mum for a few nights.

Whitby has changed very little since featuring in Bram Stokers "Dracula", an ancient port with a working harbour and ruined abbey not to mention sandy beaches with donkey rides, amazing ice cream and fantastic fish and chips.

The town is divided by the River Esk with a ”swing-bridge” across it which lifts to let larger vessals through.

There is so much to do in and around Whitby but we'd have needed weeks to see it all.  Here's my pick of what to do when there if you only have a day.

Monday 17 August 2015

Made In Sheffield: Theatre Deli, Sheffield

Tucked away in the old Woolworths building is this little gem of a cafe, the Moor Deli or Theatre Delicatessen to give it it's full name.  This building feels far more than just a cafe. it feels like a community hub.   It's just soo relaxed,  no airs and graces, and no feeling like you have to go the minute you've finished. ....totally my sort of cafe.   And while it's pouring with rain outside where best to sit in the warm with some Lemon and Ginger Ice Cream?

Children are more than welcome, not only is there is a ping pong table and a pile of games you can play if you wanted to wile away a wet afternoon but you are actively encouraged to draw on the (chalkboard) tables!!  I want chalkboard tables at home!!!  ............ ok so mummy may have had more fun here than the kids did!!

The Theatre Deli team have already had great success in London and when they found this building they could see it's potential with it's "atmosphere, [with] secret corners and dark rooms".

Saturday 15 August 2015

Recipe: Rock Buns

This year was the 100 year centenary of Ben's school, which meant lots of fun and festivities.  Among this was a dress up day and a bake sale at the school fair.

The dressing up bit was relatively painless, thanks to ebay.

But the baking element ... well actually I had an idea for this before I was even asked.  You see 20+ years ago (ouch) we did exactly the same.  MY primary school took a step back to the Victorian age.  We dressed up, we had an experience day and we (well I guess my mum) did some baking.  What did she cook?  Rock Cakes (buns).

I distinctly remember dressing up and taking my basket of Rock Buns to Colne Valley Railway.  From what I remember these buns were slightly more rock then bun.  With this in mind my confidence was grown, even if I overcook these no one will notice :)

Thursday 13 August 2015

Review: Sizzling Pubs, The Park

We love this restaurant, and generally if we are going out for a family evening meal this is the pub of choice.  You may remember a couple of years ago I actually voted it one of my favourite places to eat.  I was therefore eager to try them out for breakfast when I found out they had started to do it.

Me and my son got there around 9.15 today (Thursday) and were the only ones in the place. We ordered our meals (a small brekkie for me and pancakes with strawberries in syrup and fluffy cream) at 9.20. 20 minutes later it arrived!!! Now granted it was fresh but even I can cook 1 sausage and 1 piece of bacon in less than 20 minutes. Heck I could have walked to the local shop, bought it and cooked it in that amount of time.  In fact I am sure our last evening meal came faster!!   I can only assume they didn't have any hot plates switched on or prep done.  The toast turned up dry and when I tried to ask for some butter the one member of staff had vanished. The next time I saw him was very briefly as he went past us into an office when we were leaving.  We were never asked if we needed anything (other than cutlery), whether our food was ok, or offered an apology for the length of time it took.

Classic Breakfast:  egg, bacon, sausage, half tomato, hash brown, baked beans, toast with butter.  £2.49  + Cup of tea (£1)

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Tesco Orchard Review: Summer Fruit and Veg - Strawberries

The boys loved Tesco's fresh juicy strawberries which we tried as part of the orchard programme and would definitely get again.  They lasted a really long time and are so versatile.

These summer buckets and spades we bought from Lakeland make the perfect receptacle for them to be eaten fresh out of........

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Bad Mums Club: How judgemental are you?

There's not many times I read a post and want to hug the person writing it, to say a huge THANKYOU for making me realise we are all crappy parents sometimes.

For making me realise it's not just me who gets the dirty look because that observer has seen me boil fury at my boys for asking a question ....... who doesn't realise that it's the 30th time in 10 minutes they have asked it and every time have got the same reply.

Thank you John Kinnear for making my night.........

Why???  Read his post "Dear Crappy Parent" here.......... and welcome him as an honorary #badmumsclub member.

John also has his own blog

I'm off to read some more of his fab posts......"4 Things I Buy for My Kids That Are Really For Me" ...... anyone else relate completely??

Sunday 9 August 2015

Tesco Orchard Review: Summer Fruit and Veg - Carrots and Peas

When Tesco asked me to try their fresh summer fruit and veg range I noticed a lot of it was on 3 for the price of 2.  Having already picked up some carrot spaghetti I decided to try their freshly packed peas and carrots.   I'll admit I'm not the best when it comes to buying fresh food but carrots are one thing I will buy, all be it, these are normally whole carrots that I prepare myself.
  Peas, unless in pods or sugarsnap, are generally bought frozen.

Saturday 8 August 2015

12 weeks to go .... Halloween Party Ideas

The next few months are really busy for us.....
I still have a few days camping with the boys planned with my mum in August
Back to school and the start of a new job for me in September
Both Ben and hubby's birthday's in October
Bonfire night in November
then Christmas in December.........

Before we know it we'll be singing Auld Lang Syne and hoping next year doesn't go so quickly.

Friday 7 August 2015

Lush: Strawberry D'Fluff Shaving Soap

What do Lush say?
"We’ve whisked up our shaving soap with fresh strawberries and cocoa butter to create a gorgeous bit of fluff that leaves you silky smooth. This marshmallowy treat contains coconut oil, golden syrup, and egg whites to create a light texture that makes de-fluffing a dream."

And it does just that, from the smell the minute you open the pot you are hit with a great strawberry scent, almost good enough to eat (though I wouldn't suggest it).  and your skin feels silky smooth when finished.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

You are entitled to your opinion...... but it's wrong

I hope you will appreciate why I have disabled the comments on this post. I'm so angry at something that happened yesterday that I wanted to have a little vent, however due to the nature of the opinions I didn't want the post to become a ground for argument.

Some of you may have watched the 3 Day Nanny on channel 4 last night, personally I didn't.  From what I can gather the nanny suggested the parents used a cry it out technique on their child.   A friend on facebook posted how this was a form of child abuse.
I pointed out that I had used the cry it out method and it worked for me, my children still knew they were loved.  My boys are confident strong willed children now, they are cuddly and loveable (most of the time).  They don't resent me, they don't say "do you remember when you made me cry lots at bedtime when I was x years old"....... no... they more than likely can't even remember (these are kids who can't tell me what they did the day before!)  And yes - I do have a naughty step too.

Monday 3 August 2015

Tesco Orchard Review: Summer Fruit and Veg - Carrot Spaghetti

Ben is becoming really picky when it comes to veg recently, peas are too green, corn on the cob too hard (he has wobbly teeth) but sweetcorn too boring (unless swimming in butter).  Carrot's are usually too hard or too soft ..... my patience was wearing a little thin.  Tesco were there for me again, carrot spaghetti.  This was something new and therefore something the boys were happy to try, they loved it.


Sunday 2 August 2015

Summer Holiday: Filey

Staying at Blue Dolphin the Haven camp near Filey we couldn't not go here.  So having arrived and pitched our tent we decided to try out the coastal walk.   The 3 mile walk took us about an hour and a half and is well worth it for the views alone.



Saturday 1 August 2015

Review: Chemist Direct

Like most people with a family of 4 we go through a LOT of toiletries and medicines in a year, this can really add up.  I'm not a 'brander' - I will happily buy a pack of Ibuprofen for 16p then splash out £1.80 for the same thing by Nurofen (except their cold and flu tablets, that's a different story).  When I was asked to try out Chemist Direct for a review I was a little excited.

But the toughest decision was what to choose!!  My head told me to be sensible and buy the bits I know we would use and the things we always buy and stock up, the little devil on my shoulder reminded me to add a couple of treats to the basket.

Product Range

The product range is HUGE and there's plenty of choice.  Whether you are after paracetamol (16 options) or Suncream (54 options), toothpaste (156 options) or handwash (32 choices) it really is all there.

As they have a team of pharmacists on hand you are able to order pharmacy only medicine, such as the morning after pill, thrush treatment and Skinoren cream.  You can also send them your prescription to be fulfilled should you wish (normal charges apply).

There's even a range for pets!