Sunday, 15 December 2013

Bristol does Christmas


A Christmas Nativity SceneThis post is mainly an homage to Bristol's quirk christmassy efforts, but you can't mention Bristol without first paying tribute to it's phenomenal creativity. This is the city that made a beautiful, cultural feature of the inside of a busy roundabout. The Bearpit is the first port of call for bus travellers, and it really amuses me. It forms the pedestrian intersection of various subways into different parts of the city. It was big, grey, dirty, imposing and a hive of crime and antisocial activity. But Bristol didn't like that, so Bristol made it pretty. 

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

It's not Goodbye...

It's not goodbye, but it is au revoir. For a little while anyway. The blog will be out of action for a week or two, while I switch internet providers. Hopefully I will be back really soon and able to do more with the blog, with a better broadband connection. See you all soon!
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Sunday Photo; Beautiful White Doves in Flight

Doves flying off from a garden wall
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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

House Cleaning: Budget Tricks and Short Cuts!

I do love a good old housewifely remedy for a tricky cleaning task. In our current economy, you can really save a lot of money by having a few household staples in your cupboard for tackling a variety of cleaning tasks. Sometimes, even if you are really short of cash and everything is looking a bit tired and dated, a good spring clean can make you feel so much better and give your home a much needed lift. 
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Monday, 14 October 2013

Ode to Someone Special

White Roses Just because I wasn't there,
It doesn't mean I didn't care.
In thought, in memory, every day,
As if you never went away.

I may have seemed distracted some,
A worker, friend, a person, mum,
With lots to do, deadlines meeting,
 Our precious moments, all so fleeting.
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The Versatile Blogger Award

Welcome to The Versatile Blogger Award! A lovely way to introduce new bloggers and celebrate established ones! (I nearly said 'old ones', but thought best not risk it!) I've got a bit obsessed with blogging since I had to leave my job. I really liked my job, but it just wasn't practical to spend more in busfares than I earned for working there! so it had to go. It's only been a week and I can feel myself going quietly loopy. So, as well as job applications, the blog is giving me some much needed sanity and routine! I've been really lucky, though, because I have met some lovely people who have been so supportive and patient while I work it all out. So, this is my chance to give a little wave to some great blogs that deserve a bit of recognition. But, first of all, the rules...
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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday Photo; Big Cousin Meets Baby Cousin

Two cousins side by side.
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What it is to Fail

`Boy throwing stones into the river Severn
I started writing this during the summer holidays, but it took a long time to get it right, as I couldn't seem to put into words what I was trying to say. It's a little out of date now, but I thought I'd publish it as it's written, I hope it makes sense! I can't be the only one who looks forward to the summer holidays surely? I know most of us suffer from over exposure to our kids at some stage or another, but I have to say I love having them home. I love the relaxed atmosphere, doing things at our own speed and having time to actually enjoy each others company. Today I spent an hour lying on my back in a tent in the garden, playing 'I spy' with a seven year old. 
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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Friday, 11 October 2013

Fixing Fifi. A Pelham Tale.

A Pelham Puppet PoodleMemories are funny things. My husband gets very frustrated when I can belt out all the words to I Am The One And Only, by Chesney Hawkes, but have forgotten to buy orange juice for the third time this week. What?! You don't find old Chesney Hawkes songs strangely uplifting?! Is that just me??!! Oh. Ok then. Anyway, I've found many times over the years, that the senses play their part in evoking different memories. Like, the smell of fresh tarmac always makes me think of hot summer days playing out in the street as a little girl, the smell of hairspray always reminds me of my mother, getting ready for a night out, because people seemed to wear a whole lotta hairspray when I was small!
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More Than Carpet Art!

There follows a guest post from my lovely friend Lisa. She is totally awesome and I love her to bits, she has created a fabulous entry for an art contest and it's so brilliant, I thought you'd all like to see it! Best of luck, Lisa!! 
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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Blog Your Heart Out Award

I received a lovely comment on my blog today from Jade at Jade's Journey nominating me for a Blog Your Heart Out Award! I thought this was a lovely way to show your appreciation for fellow bloggers and I am very grateful to Jade for thinking of me and making me smile! The rules are to answer five questions, then nominate your favourite five bloggers. So, here are my answers...
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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

An Apple a Day... Keeps Your Freezer Full!



I may have mentioned this before, but I consider myself very lucky, I do tend to go on about it a little bit, because we lived in a tiny first floor flat on a main road for a long time, until we moved here, and this beautiful parkland is our front garden now. 


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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Kids Capture the Colour

My son is 7 and has recently decided his whole world needs documenting one way or another. He's either drawing, videoing or taking pictures, so, when we heard about Kids Capture the Colour with Travel Supermarket we had to give it a go! So, here are my son's best efforts at capturing colour, as only a seven year old boy can!
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Friday, 30 August 2013

ASDA: A Shocking Display of Apathy

Dear Asda,

I tried very hard to avoid having to blog about this. I phoned, I tweeted, I used the fiddly little feedback form on the website, but you don't seem to have any medium to convey a serious complaint at all. Sometimes a standard 'Have a free delivery code' ping-back response is simply not enough. Sometimes, things go wrong and how you deal with them reflects how you operate as a company and how much you care about your customers. So, after pleading with you to give me an email address to communicate with you, in order to keep this a private matter, here is the email you refused to accept. Incidently, I don't think it shows a company in a very good light, when they don't have an email address. Makes me wonder what it is they're afraid of.
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Hair Today... Supporting The Little Princess Trust

Did you know I'm a little bit scared of hairdressers? I know it sounds silly, but I have really unruly hair and after a couple of bad haircuts, I just let it grow, so I knew where I was, with no surprises. This went on for several years, just having the occasional trim, and enjoying the savings I made on scarves and earmuffs as it got longer and longer, until... it all went a bit wrong.
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Monday, 19 August 2013

When Jade Met the King of Kings!

I am very proud to introduce my daughter Jade, with her first guest post for you. She is here to tell you all about a lovely place to visit with children. Birdland is a lovely, family friendly environment, with lots to offer. The prices are very reasonable, and there are extra activities that can be prebooked at fantastic prices. Click on the link to visit their website for more information, or join them on Facebook here. Anyway, enough from me, over to you, Jade!

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Thursday, 1 August 2013

British Barbecue Blethers with MoneySupermarket.com!

Like most families, we tend to hit the ground running when the sun comes out and head for the burger aisle! We love barbecues, especially the boys, so when I heard about The Charcoal Challenge from MoneySupermarket.com I knew I'd be getting involved! £50 is a lot of money, so we thought we'd better make a bit of an effort! So... Out came the napkins and flowers! Just because you're eating at home, there's no harm in creating a bit of atmosphere. The thing with barbecues, though, is they can get a bit samey, so we've got a few side dishes to add a bit of variety.
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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Kids Grow Wild at The Parent Game


 Fun in the Garden, Parent Game Style! 


Here at The Parent Game, we believe in a fun, relaxed approach to life. So, when a lovely Gardening Kit arrived from Money Supermarket, we knew just the friends to invite along for a bit of fun in the sun! The kit included everything you could possibly need to brighten up your borders, as shown by my lovely volunteers!
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Thrifty is the Word!

This is a competition post, in association with fromspendingtosaving and whichoffshore and it is on a subject we are very, very fond of at The Parent Game, saving money! Fromspendingtosaving is a brilliant new blog, by the writer of Northern Mum, charting one family's all-too-familiar road to solvency, surviving on one income. It's a story most of us know all too well and we all do what we can to make the best of it. It's all about imagination I think, when it comes to a thrifty life with children. We've all heard the older generation telling us how they managed to entertain the children with next to nothing but their imaginations and the great outdoors, but things were different then.
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Sunday, 5 May 2013

For the Love of Matilda Mae

On February 2nd this year a tiny light went out in the world. A light that burned with the love of devoted parents, who worshipped her. The little light was Matilda Mae and at just nine months old she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep. A victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
I'm a mum, and everytime I hear a story like this, heavy with the most heart wrenching, unbearable and utterly pointless tragedy, my heart breaks for the parents, the family and the many, many people whose lives would have been touched by such a wonderful little girl. There are never any answers and it makes me mad with frustration that parents all over the world, for generations, have put their little ones to sleep every night, with a little niggle of dread, that their most precious gift could be taken from them, silently, in the night. I would love to reach out to the parents of Matilda Mae. I would love to do ANYTHING possible to make their pain go away. But I can't. No one can. And that's the biggest tragedy of all. But, there is one thing we can all do. We can show our support for the parents of this beautiful angel by supporting The work of The Lullaby Trust, who fund research into SIDS to help provide the answers that parents so desperately need. They also provide vital bereavement support and a Care of Next Infant program to help bereaved parents on the next stage of growing their family. They also help educate all parents on the importance of safe sleeping. There will be an auction to support the work of The Lullaby Trust and the details can be found by clicking the Matilda Mae badge on my blog. Thank you.

REMEMBER MATILDA MAE XX

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Gold fit for Royalty (and possibly me!)

Welsh gold is considered the gold of royalty and it's not hard to see why. It has a wonderful pinkish tone that sets it apart from other golds and gives it a really elegant, exclusive look. I first became interested in Welsh gold when I met my husband, nine years ago. He had a beautiful wedding ring, inherited from his grandmother, which had the slightly pinkish tone attributed to Welsh gold. The ring dated back to the mid 1800's so it would be difficult to prove conclusively either way if it is pure Welsh gold, but it was very beautiful all the same. On the anniversary of the date we met, seven years later, we got married and I've never taken it off since (bit scared to, to be honest!) You can see it in this picture, though not very clearly, I just thought I'd indulge in a little nostalgia, as it's our anniverary next week!
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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Beautiful Birthday Boots

On my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Butterfly Twists, the clever people behind those amazing folding shoes that are so useful to have in your handbag or car. I actually had a lot of birthday emails, offering discounts off products on account of being another year older, but most of them required me to spend a disproportionate amount of money to recieve the 'gift'. So, I was a little sceptical when I read that I had been awarded a £25 voucher to use on the Butterfly Twist website. On further investigation though, I found that there was no catch, it was £25 to spend on any product! With Ballet Pumps starting from £25 and delivery from a modest £3, I couldn't lose, so I went shopping! Considering all the shoes are based on the same concept, the variety of styles is outstanding. Here are some examples of the vast array of different designs.
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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Let the Sunshine In!



It's raining again. In fact, according to some reports there's more snow in some parts of the country! I will admit, I am a massive fan of the sun. The yellow orb in the sky, not the newspaper! Although, I'm starting to forget what it looks like! I am one of those people, and there's a fair few of us, who start to feel a bit lethargic and low if the sun doesn't make an appearance for a while. 
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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dapper Whippersnappers? I think so!


It's such a nightmare sometimes, isn't it? Getting up each morning, trying to decide what to wear. What's fashionable? What looks great? And most importantly, does this outfit convey superhero status? Oh yes, for a six year old boy, it can be a wardrobe nightmare! My son suddenly cares what he wears. For example, Thomas the Tank Engine is 'out' and Spiderman is definitely 'in'. This has come as a bit of a shock, to be honest. I don't know many grown men who give too many hoots what they're dressed in, provided they don't have to iron it, but the playground is an unforgiving world, so suddenly it matters.


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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cheap and Easy Homemade Pizza!

I've been talking to a lot of different people lately, about saving money. It seems that whatever your walk of life, these days we are all watching the pennies. When I'm trying to save money, I really start to notice how much food we waste. Half a tin of this, a bag of forgotten that, it's hard to keep track of
what you haven't used, before it turns into half-frozen mush at the back of the fridge (or is that just my fridge?). The problem is, it's easily done, we're all busy parents so it's not always easy to think of recipes to use up what's lurking in the fridge, when all you really want to do is run to the nearest takeaway!
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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Homemade Bird Cake


I don't know why, because it still feels like the depths of an Antarctic winter to me, but our nesting box already has residents! No babies to show you yet, but above is a picture of the blue tits we had in 2009! The new arrivals this year look a little familiar and I'm pretty sure they're the same coaltits we had last year, but anyway, they were queueing up eagerly in the tree for breakfast this morning. We have had nesting birds for the last few years and the children love it. The first year we had them, they flew the nest and made their way into the world, only for the local children to keep bringing them back to us! Two little girls even knocked on our front door and asked if they could have one! It's always good to get children involved in nature and show them how precious and wonderful our world can be, but it doesn't have to cost a lot! Today, I bring you... a bird supper, on a budget!
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Monday, 4 February 2013

A Warm Williams Welcome!

A Warm Williams Welcome!

I don't like shopping. I don't like crowds, pushy sales people, horrid, over-stocked shops or wayward trolleys. Shopping makes me grumpy, it has to be said. But, sometimes, occasions demand it, so I was amazed, and relieved, to discover a gorgeous little place in the small seaside town of Porthcawl, in South Wales. Small, but well-stocked, this little jewellers is an oasis of calm in today's busy, consumer-driven marketplace. It is a modern outlet, stocking the most beautifully designed jewellery pieces for all occasions, in purpose built display cabinets, showcasing the best of their beauty. But it also retains a certain charm that harks back to the old days of quaint little boutiques tucked away in dusty side streets waiting to be discovered.
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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sesame Sticky Chicken!

Another fun recipe to do with little ones, this is fab for parties or picnics, though possibly indoors at the moment! Be prepared for a bit of mess, sesame seeds get everywhere, but at least they are easily swept up! You can use the back of a spoon to coat the chicken with the mixture, so you don't have
sticky finger prints everywhere for the rest of the day! It also helps if you don't coat the whole drumstick, but leave a little handle, to allow for easy eating!
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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Remembering Jack; A Little Man's Legacy

A lot of people seem to have opinions on online friendships. Some think that it's silly and you can't really know someone without meeting them. You can't even be sure they are who they say they are. Which is true. However... some people really see the benefit of 'meeting up' with online friends to chat and just pass the time of day. There are lots of reasons why people turn to the internet for company. It could be due to illness or disability, maybe someone has lost confidence and doesn't like to socialise in pubs, etc, on their own. Or it could be a mother or father of small children who wants to talk about something other than Peppa Pig! Whatever the reason, many people are finding their place in online communities through shared interests and groups. And it can be a really positive thing. 
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Sunday, 20 January 2013

The C Word is Courage- A Young Girl's Journey to Survival

Isn't it funny how you can be going about your everyday life, thinking nothing in particular, when, suddenly, you meet someone who has the power to change your way of thinking, or even the course of your life, just by being themselves. I suppose that's what makes us human in some ways, our ability to be influenced and challenged by those around us. I came across a really lovely young lady on Facebook today. She's the niece of a good friend of mine, and she told me the most wonderfully inspiring story of her brave battle with Leukaemia. What amazed me, was that the story was never about her illness, or her fear, or even her, often death-defying, road to recovery. It was a tale of positivity, survival and selfbelief. The guest post that follows is Shannon Humphrey's story, in her own words.
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Comp on our new Facebook page!

I have finally set up a Facebook page for the blog, which is brilliant, as it will be really easy for you to find out what's new! Even more brilliantly, you can see what great competitions are available as soon as they open! To start us off, we currently have a competition on the page to win a selection of make up. All you have to do is like the page and comment on the competition post with what pet names you have for your children. What are you waiting for?? See you there!
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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Guest Review by Karen Lancaster

I am always on the look out for innovative products to share with you, that are designed to make life a bit easier for us mums and dads. So, I was really interested to hear all about a new buggy design, from my friend Karen. She has three children under five, so really knows what's required when it comes to pushchair design. Here's a review she did of the Graco Evo . She also has a really cute dog, but don't let that influence you!

Note: No Spaniels were harmed in the making of this video!
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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Easy Tomato Soup with Bacon

There are over 10,000 varieties, they are cholesterol free and are, in fact, the world's most popular fruit. today we are talking about tomatoes! Everyone's discussing healthy eating at the moment, so I
thought today's Tuesday Cheat ought to be a healthy one. But also quick, because, I don't know about you, but the first thing that pushes me off the healthy eating wagon is usually lack of time.

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Sunday, 13 January 2013

New Year, New Active Lifestyle with Kidz Outdoors

Hello and Happy New Year!

So I've been missing in action for a while after falling victim to Hurricane Man-flu. It was a real stinker. And, of course, the problem with getting ill at Christmas is that it takes ages to get back into any kind of routine. Relatives visiting, children to entertain, lie-ins and too much food all lead to good intentions and not much else! Then, before you know where you are, it's the middle of January and you've already missed a couple of birthdays... or is that just me?
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