Monday, 30 December 2013

Xmas Snapshots....

There are not very many pics of this Christmas which is a bit disappointing but the fact is we were without power, hot water or heating for the whole 6 days! The storm on the 23rd cut off the power and that was that so the extra level of organisation needed left little time for snapping. We were at my mum and dad's in Hampshire which thank goodness has a generator that could power the kitchen and provide lighting and keep the AGA on so we managed to cook most of the Christmas lunch. We substituted the turkey for beef which takes much less time and uncle Jim fired up the barbie for pigs in blankets and it was, I can honestly say, delicious! Luckily my dad also has a cellar full of wine and a cabinet full of Laphroaig so the cockles were constantly warmed! At teatime everyone grabbed torches and candles, put on that 4th spare jumper and tucked hot water bottles in beds - it was like living in a Dickens novel (well, minus the typhoid and with battery powered light!) and was actually quite fun for a few days - by day 6 the novelty was wearing off! However, we will never ever forget this year and did have a wonderful time - thank you so much Granny and Grandpa.
Cousin Archie defeated by the dragon

the turkey substitution meant we came home with a 20lb turkey...... for 2.5 of us!!!!! Turkey curry anyone?!

Uncle Jim

Mo Bot doesnt mind the dark



This was the best present. Thank you so much godfather Will - he refused to take it off all holiday!

Miss Chalk the Teachers Daughter

warm at the pub

candlelit Xmas eve dinner

Father Christmas has been!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunday Snapshots.....

I am pooped. The lead up to Christmas seems to have been non stop. I took the boys to see Father Christmas at Longleat this week with our friends Alice and Indigo. It was totally awesome. I have never been before. I did slightly gawp at the £31 entry fee however for what you see it really is worth it. We drove through the safari amongst tigers, lions, rhino, zebra, elephant - the list goes on - and as Lenny is completely obsessed with animals but never seen any of these apart from in books or on the TV he was totally bowled over. A boy in heaven. I could not believe how close you get the big cats and other potentially lethal creatures! Make sure you put the child locks on the windows and doors!!!! We then took a magical train ride through a winter wonderland to see the reindeer and the big guy himself which was fantastic but I forgot the babybjorn and you cannot take buggies so had my hands VERY full with 2 kids and all our stuff so sadly did not get any pictures - that would have tipped me over the edge! Anyway, if you want a family activity I highly recommend Longleat - take a picnic and make a day of it. The rest of the week was spent at various Christmas parties, eating mince pies, wrapping presents, trying to get a grip on the washing before we leave for the holidays, taking some walks and cooking pancakes. We also made a cheeky early start on some of the boys presents - I know this is a bit naughty but this way we get to open some at home and they get spread out a bit. Thank you so much to all the godparents and Gran and Grandpa - what a spoilt brood we have! Have a fabulous Christmas everyone.

over the shoulder terror

have you ever actually seen an anteater - they are WEIRD!!

JOY - thank you godfather Tops

Lenny's cardboard box train - all aboard!


pretty big tree


so pretty

Lenny LOVES elephants and totally fell in love with Anne - she is recovering at Longleat from abuse elsewhere poor thing


ladies relaxing

learning the art of pancake making

yikes one metre away!

loves Thomas and mega blocks - winner thanks Godmother Anna!



new friends ted and frog - thanks Godfather Dom!

Chilling in my mega new shoes (I want some of these!) - thank you Gran and Grandpa

where are you going to little brown mouse? come and have tea in my treetop house....

the master

just a porcupine hanging with his meerkat buds

rhino. amazing

rip rip rip

WOW! Lucky boy - thank you Gran and Grandpa

a wolf in sheeps clothing

nearly busted picking that nose


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Sneaky Stocking preview.....

Quite a few people have been asking me what I think Father Christmas is putting in my boys stockings. Given that they are 2 years old and 5 months the answer should be a cardboard box and a tangerine but I fear festive madness has had a hand and some toys may be on the cards. Obviously I have no idea what Father Christmas has planned, we will have to wait and see, but if I had to hazard a guess here is what I think they will be getting.

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post but as you will see St Nick has favoured a certain online retailer named after a rainforest in South America (I think he was a little pushed for time). You will definately be able to source all these toys from smaller independent retailers.


1. Luigi the frog - £34 Bla Bla Dolls - this was in fact a birth present but he got so many lovely things it was saved for Christmas.
2. Bubbles - 50p our corner shop
3. Rainbow Stacker - £6 Sainsburys
4. Honks the Goose - £3 Amazon
5. Crocodile clacker - £1 Wilkinsons
6. Books (see below)
7. Alphabet Abacus - £4.95 charity shop


1. Kaleideoscope - £9 Amazon
2. Bouncy Balls - 10p our corner shop
3. Chocolate money - £1 our corner shop
4. Swallow toy with real bird call - £7.25 Amazon - these are lovely they have most birds and when you press their tummy they sound their song.
5. Vintage Fisher Price drill - £8 Ebay
6. Chuppa Chup - 10p our corner shop
7. Bubbles - 50p our corner shop
8. Mr Potato Head - £15 Amazon
9. Grunting Pig - £6 Amazon - this is meant for a dog (!!) but they are brilliant and Lenny thinks they are hysterical!
10. Tangerine - 6p Sainsburys
11. Recycling Truck - £3.50 Early Learning Centre
12. Glockenspiel - £15 Amazon
13. Train Whistle - £4 Amazon
14. Books - (see below)


Our books wishlist this year, as always, is big but I hear Father Christmas favours them as they are so everlasting and educational (?!) so here is our Christmas hit list:

Animal Gym
The Saggy Baggy Elephant
The Very Helpful Hedgehog
The Happy Lion
The Incredible Book Eating Boy
Lost and Found
The Dot
Bear Has a Story to Tell
Those Darn Squirrels

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


This man is a genius. Yes, this may be festive mush, mush, mushy von mushyness but it's fantastic. Grab the kleenex - gets me everytime. Enjoy.

Rainy Daysssssssssssss

At 11am this morning it was dark. Dark, wet, blowy and yuck. I hate days like this - quite apart from all the lights having to be on and the bitter draught whipping through every window I have 5 hours of indoor childcare to fill before my self inflicted TV curfew of 4pm. At 4pm The Little Mermaid is going on and we shall get under the blanket with tea (I don't always stick to this curfew it has to be said!!) We decided to make paper plate snakes. You need: paper plates, scissors, string and any arts and crafts stuff you have knocking around. Cut the plate into a long coil, settle the child at the table armed with glue/ paint/ glitter and see the mess unfold. Stick on some goggly eyes and a tongue (we used a pipe cleaner) and hang up with some string. Lenny loved it and it used up all of 15 minutes of the 5 hours I had/have - if you have a child with a longer concentration span then lucky you!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sundays Snapshots.......

Well, I feel tired, happy and old. We have been very busy hence the tumble weeds floating across the blog recently! Rupert was in London all week so it was just me and the boys for my birthday on Wednesday so we headed to Exeter and had a pizza in the square with a dinosaur and a glass of pinot grigio. It was very low key and great. The weekend saw me being very very spoilt as Rupert and I headed to The Watergate Bay hotel in Cornwall - wow what a treat..... I seriously could not recommend this hotel more - couple friendly, dog friendly, foody friendly and child friendly although we left our smalls at home with my in laws. Thank you Granny and Grandpa - mmmmmm, being say that rather a lot recently! Next stop, CHRISTMAS!!

Could there be a nicer pool?!

Oi! Hand of.....


Father and Son

Goats cheese and beetroot - yummers

I guess this spot will be OK for a coffee!!

Our lunch guest


where they lead nobody knows

these glasses now go EVERYWHERE


Cool Dude.


Merry Go Round




sea view


sea bass and artichoke - ooooooo

rather a lot of food shots.....!!..... calamari


lucky birthday girl