Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Finding peace

For those of you that know me well, you will be aware that I don't do 'me time'.

It's not a lack of wanting, or perhaps lusting would be a better word? It is simply a lack of, well, time..

You see, four children, 2 cats and a husband just leaves little room for me, especially when you add on the after school clubs, toddler groups, essential shopping trips, family obligations, housework, homework, PTA and school friends committee commitments that I have too. Oh and lets not forget my frequent doctor and therapist appointments..

My husband keeps telling me that now the three girls are all at school full time, I will have some 'Me' time  and that I should rest up and do things that I want to do. Yet it really isn't all that simple, is it?

Our little man will turn 2 years in a few weeks and he is at the 'independant, yet seriously lacking in sufficient skills' stage of life and therefore requires a lot of attention and interaction. He is overly active, all the time, and thus also requires a nap. This nap can range anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 and a half hours across the middle of the day, so my time is very much dictated to his moods and whims. Doing 'what I want' isn't usually an option.

Husband also neglects the fact that doing what I want does not often involve dragging a mischievous toddler around like a rocket ship in a vain attempt to stop him a) screaming b) throwing things at me or passers by c) sitting in the middle of the street because he neither wants to be in a stroller nor have the embarrassment of holding his mothers hand, and d) running off in the direction that I've just spent the past 20 minutes coaxing him to come.


Yesterday, husband had a late start at work, so we did the school run together, much to the delight of the children, who get very excited at little changes to our normal mundane routine.
I then had the pleasure of driving hubs into work for 9.30am. So, what to do, I thought to myself..

I have to drive straight past the entrance to the Mall car park, so I thought it rude not to pay it a quick visit.
Parked up and ready to go, the little man and I hit Norwich City. We window shopped, read some books in the library, checked out the newly refurbished Marks and Spencer (Yep, I'm so rock 'n roll aren't I?!)
and grabbed a  Boots meal deal to share for lunch on the way back to the car.

11.32am and I was already City'd out! It was a lovely day, warm, sunny and beautifully autumnal with gorgeous oranges, reds and browns starting to spring up all around the car as I made my way out of the City.

I decided to take a more scenic route home and enjoy the colours and peace (Che had just fallen asleep in his car seat) when I happened to find myself driving past a park. I had only visited this particular park once before and the kids and I loved it, so I thought why not, and pulled into the little car park.

Grabbing the stroller and our lunch we headed off.

I think I'll let my photos do the talking now..

The sunlight filtering through the trees was stunning!

The colourful, crispy autumn leaves were amazing

Che and I ate our lunch on this bench, with the leaves falling all around us!

My happy boy on the swing!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Love for photos

I am certainly no photographer. I'm not trying to be one either. I have no desire to 'make a living' from photography.

Ever since the children were born I have taken hundreds upon hundreds of photos of them. Some are total rubbish. Blurry, over exposed bits of tat. Yet they all hold memories.

In the past few months I have found Instagram. A mobile app that showcases your photos to your followers. I love it!

I follow some amazingly talented photographers and some equally talented amateurs I can't get enough!

I photograph things I enjoy looking at. The sun, trees, buildings such as churches, castles and cathedrals. Wildlife, landscapes, and of course, the occasional picture of my children.

If you would like to see my photos you can find me by searching for either "KezLewis" or "Kerry H".

Oh, and do check out the 'popular' section, there are some beautiful photographs there :-)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Dora's going on an adventure!

"Break out your dancing shoes because Dora the Explorer’s dance class is having a big show! In this brand new special Dora Ballet Adventure, Dora is opening the ballet show and she can’t wait for her family to see her perform. She just needs her dance slippers, but by mistake the Delivery Duck has brought scuba flippers instead! The show can’t start without the slippers. Can Boots help Dora find a pair of dance slippers and save the show?"

Having two hardcore Dora the Explorer fans in the house (and 2 more that pretend they are far too old to watch Dora, but are secretly glued to the TV whenever she appears!)when I was asked to review the new Dora feature show, 'Dora's Ballet Adventure' my house was filled with overjoyed screams and shouts!

Since seeing the TV promotional advertisements of the show, all four of my children have been very excited about seeing it (I have 3 very enthusiastic Ballet dancers in my brood!)So when I told the kids that we were getting the DVD to watch before it airs (Tomorrow, Friday 30th September, at 4pm on Nick Jr.)they were overjoyed, as was I, Dora = Peace in this house!

I have the full review coming up for you tomorrow to co-inside with the launch, but for now, set your TV recorders to Nick Jr and catch this magical exciting adventure with Dora and all of her friends, it's a guarenteed hit for any budding ballerinas out there!

Want to see what all of the fuss is about?

Watch a preview of Dora's Ballet Adventure here.
Play the game here.
Colour here.
and check out Dora's very own part of the Nick Jr. website here.

Dora's Ballet Adventure will be showing on Nick Jr. on the following days at the following times, make sure you catch her!

Friday 30th September at 4pm and 6pm
Saturday 1st October 10.30am and 5pm
Sunday 2nd October at 1pm
Monday 3rd October – 8.30am and 4.30pm
Tuesday 4th October – 10.00am
Wednesday 5th October – 2pm
Friday 7th October – 4.30pm

Monday, 12 September 2011

Olive the Ostrich : Review

"Get ready for imagination and adventure, as Olive the Ostrich comes to Nick Jr."

Launched on Monday 5th September and shown every weekday, Olive the Ostrich is sure to be a big hit with the pre-schooler in your life.

Olive is an ostrich with a huge heart and a big imagination. When she buries her head in the sand, she goes on fansastical adventures, popping up somewhere new in every episode. She is friendly, enthusiastic and loves to solve problems wherever she goes.

Narrated by Rolf Harris, each episode features characters, props and backgrounds created by children aged 6 to 9 years. Selected schools from across the UK hosted workshops to inspire creativity and develop storytelling skills. Pupils learnt about the film making process and created artwork which was used in the finished episodes, after being brought to life by the show's animators.

Olive the Ostrich is created in partnership with The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts.
For me, as a mother, having to sit through many hours of children's TV, the show I would most liken Olive the Ostrich to is Franny's Feet. It certainly shares the same concept of imaginative adventures. However, the addition of the artwork from UK-wide schools to help create the show is inspiring and certainly captured the imagination and creavite skills of my older children who, insidently also loved the show, desptie being aged 6 and 7!

Bailey, my 4 year old daughter helped me review Olive the Ostrich and we have put together a little video for you to enjoy!

You can catch Olive the Ostrich every weekday on Nick Jr. (Sky 615, Virgin 715, TalkTalk 318) at 8.15am and 6.30pm.

If you can't wait that long to see Olive, you can pop along to Nick Jr's website, by clicking here to play and watch cilips of the show.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Wedding

For those of you that know me well, you will know why it has taken 25 days to publish a blog all about 'The Big Day'

I won't go into further details here and now, but will throw myself into this blog post instead.

Friday June 24th 2011: The day I became Mrs. H.

11 years, 4 children, 2 cats, 5 house moves, and 4 cars. And NOW we are getting around to tying the knot..

The ceremony was held at Norwich Registry Office, in it's Churchman Suite at 4pm.

We arrived in style, in our Hyundai ix 35 Premium (Massive thanks to everyone at Hyundai (especially Jos) for giving us the car for the week!)

We wanted short, sweet and intimate.
37 of our nearest and dearest attended. Lots of them were children.

My dress was by Debut at Debenhams and was in 'Cadbury Purple'
It was strapless, had a lace up back and a small train. I don't 'do' dresses but this one was lovely. I didn't want white. I'm not a traditionalist. I wanted purple and that's exactly what I got.

Drew and Che wore plain black suits with lilac shirts and ties that matched the purple of my dress.
Lauryn, Ashley and Bailey wore purple tired organza dresses which complimented my dress perfectly.
There were my bargain buy at £16 each from Matalan!

Everything went well, apart from us forgetting all of our bouquets... Yep, seriously!
Oh and my little nephew, Harry, belching the frogs chours in the middle of our vows, which made both Drew and I (and everyone else in the room, bar our Registrar, who was very straight laced) fall about in fits of giggles.

In the next blog I shall reveal our music choices and readings from the ceremony and a couple more photos (yes, I know I shall be lynched if I do not provide some more photos..)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Quick view! #CMWedCar

This is part two of the Cybermummy/Hyundai #CMWedCar VLog!
Once again, you may have already seen this on the day, but as I said in the previous blog, Hyundai UK most definitely deserve all the plugs I can give them after being so amazingly fabulous!

YouTube Video

If you would like to find out more about the gorgeous Hyundai ix35 Premium, you can take a virtual tour here.

Hyundai #CMWedCar

So I have finally managed to get everything sorted after the wedding and Honeymoon and of course Cybermummy!

This was posted on Twitter on The day, but I thought I'd add an official blog post for the lovely people at Hyundai, especially Jos who was amazing! (Thank you soo much, lady!)

VLog 1 on our way to Cybermummy :-)

YouTube Video

NB : This was filmed at 6am the morning after our wedding day, tired doesn't come close!!

Silent Sunday

Check out the rest of the entries here.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Wedding VLog- Part 2

Part 2 of my sneak peek wedding Vlog shows you the flowers, Mini best man's suit and some teeny tiny black shoes :)


Monday, 6 June 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

If you follow my blogs and/or my Twitter account, you will by now know that in just 18 days time, (Yes! 18 DAYS!!!!) I shall become Mrs. H!

Wedding stress, family stress and illnesses along with the usual daily life crap have left me truly exhausted.
Add to that horrendous BPD cycles and what do you get? A bald patch. Yes, you read correctly.. A sodding BALD patch!!!

Just what every 28 year old Bride-to-be needs, a mere 5 weeks before her wedding is to develop a case of stress related alopecia*!!!

*AKA Alopecia Areata

Luckily, I guess, I had (please notice that I use past tense there) thick hair and the loss is located on the underside of my mane thus invisible unless you go looking for it. However, my hair has thinned out dramatically to what it used to be and although there is some small regrowth on the patch now, I am told that it is colourless!!!

So now I have less than 3 weeks until the big day and I am getting more stressed by the second.. Which as I'm sure you can imagine, doesn't bode well, given my current predicament! (There's still time for me to by a wig yet, though, right?!)

And for all you non believers out there, and my 'friends' on Twitter who think that my Tweet..
"I'm turning into Gail Porter's fatter, uglier twin.."
was a joke.. I shall now provide you with cringe worthy photographic evidence.

Oh, and please, please don't tell me to "Stop Stressing" it's not something that I can control, I honestly wish I could...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Today is a day, I feel lost and alone
There's no place around that I could call my own
The light alludes me, as darkness draws near
There are no smiles on my face, today, no cheer

People around me, seem safe and secure
Wrapped up in their worlds, where they're loved, adored
They don't see my pain, and I'm grateful for that
'cause I paint on my smile and wear my 'happy' hat

No-one can help, with this spiral I'm on
The days that go by, when I'm lost and so alone
Even the joy on my children's faces isn't my own
As the darkness consumes me, and I feel right back at home

Monday, 30 May 2011

Fighting Back

I've had quite a long break from both blogging and social networking in general (well, dodging Facebook completely and skipping the time lines of Twitter in favour of merely replying to mentions and direct messages)

I've been very stressed what with family commitments and the wedding, fast approaching. I have also been BPD's biatch a lot recently and my Doctor and Therapist both advised me to start writing about it all again, as that did actually help a lot in the early days.

I used to write about all of the depressive crap on my Falling Starlett blog and while it kinda helped keeping things in little boxes, it also started the beginning of a downward spiral.
Looking back, having 'bouncy, happy' Kerry here and 'dark and depressed' Kerry over there, split me in two. I soon lost the buzz I initially got from blogging and ended up retracting myself from both sides of me and becoming severely reclusive. Not just in the virtual world, but in the real one too.

I have found some fantastic people over the past couple of months who have really helped open me up to the idea of being part of the world again. It's been a long and slow process and one that I couldn't have done without Drew's continuous love and support too.

I'm still trying to break back into things, trying to find my stride, my place to 'fit in'. It's going to take a while longer yet, but I'm making a start, and the first thing I'm changing, are my 'boxes'.

This blog will still firmly remain a family orientated place, but I will no longer be keeping the different sides of me separate. If and when I feel the need to rant and rave and be depressive, it will be written here instead of Falling Starlett. I want to get back into my product reviews too, I've turned down a lot recently as I just couldn't face having anything else on my To-Do list.

I'm looking forward to CyberMummy in 3 weeks time and of course my wedding, and I shall be updating you all with part 2 of 'Sneak Peek -Wedding VLog' very soon :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

Feeling hot, hot HOT!

A couple of my fellow Mummy Bloggers have posted this week about sex after children, and are asking the question, "How do you keep things hot and sexy?"

After a conversation with Julie over at Allaboutus and such like we both decided that we would write our own views on the subject, originally bought about by the wonderful Karin at Cafe Bebe.

So, brace yourselves ladies and gents, as although this is a family blog, I am not about to shy away from the issue with a 'flowery' post!

Having 4 young children, clearly, I am no stranger to sex, and this also proves that of course, there IS sex after children, duh..

However, now that my child rearing days are over, sex ceases to have a 'purpose' and has now returned to its rightful place in my life of being all about the fun and enjoyment *does happy dance*

So how do D and I keep things all hot and sexy?

Well despite a laundry mountain that could rival Everest, and the upcoming nuptials doing our heads in, oh and of course 4 kids aged between 7years and 18months, we actually have a very good sex life, thank you very much!

We've listened to each other, and we know what the other likes and dislikes. That's a simple task, right? The hard part is putting it into practice.

So here is my personal advice:

1) Touch! Touch is very important in any relationship. Cuddles on the sofa or in bed while reading. Holding hands or linking arms while out and about, starting and ending the day with a kiss and a hug, just like you do with the kids.

2) There are, of course, issues with time. And in reply to that... NEVER underestimate the power of a quickie!!

Seriously, some of the best sex I've had, have been down to quickies.. When the baby is napping and the 3 girls are having their snacks and watching a cartoon, we race upstairs, lock the bathroom door and don't even bother getting fully undressed! Wham Bam, Thank you Ma'am - Fantastic!

3) Talk. Tell each other what you want, what you like, what gets you excited.
I LOVE it when D kisses me (usually on the forehead) for no reason at all, guaranteed to put a huge smile on my face :) it's silly little things like that, that add up throughout the day and leave you wanting more when the opportunity presents itself..

4) Romance. Now this is a tricky one for me, as I'm not the most romantic girl in the world. I don't 'do' flowers, I'm always on a diet, so no chocolates for me, ta.. We don't have childcare so a night away or even a day trip alone is a no go area.. It really does come down to what you personally find romantic..

Personally, if I don't have to ask D for something, I find that romantic. If he willingly cuddles me up tight, kisses me, out of the blue, rubs my back or strokes my hair... To me, that's romantic. I'm all about the small things... *cough* No, I'm NOT talking about that!!

5) Smell. Now this one may sound weird to some, but for me, my sense of smell is very powerful.

If you're walking down the street and smell some gorgeous aftershave/perfume, you turn around.. Right?! It's inbuilt, natural. Yes, you may be disappointed by the view when you look, but it was the initial attraction.

D very often has 'The Lynx Effect' over me and I can't even begin to describe how hot that makes me, as things would quickly spiral out of control and get a bit dirty ;)

So there are my little gems of knowledge, BUT, what about the male perspective??
Well here is D to add his own thoughts...

I like tits..

No, I can tell from the look that she's giving me that this won't suffice.

I don't feel in any way qualified to give advice or tips. Most of the time I just give it the old British try, hope that she's vaguely enjoying it and not counting the swirls on the ceiling artex, and doing my best to make it through without farting. However, if I ever want to have sex again, I have to do this, so bear with me and brace yourself (coincidentally the words I use as a form of foreplay).

The biggest challenge we face is the kids. I love them to bits but when it comes to sex I wish we had a shed at the bottom of the garden we could raise them in. Raising 4 kids is difficult and a lot of the time one, or more usually both of us, is knackered, so sex can often be the last thing on our minds. It takes as much effort and compromise as any other part of a relationship, which sounds like hard work, but if you look at it in the right way it's another demonstration of how much you care about each other. If I know K is really tired but goes to some effort to initiate things because she knows I'm in the mood, it's sweet, and it shows how much she cares. Likewise there are things I can do that I know she likes which aren't really my cup of tea but I make the effort for her because I love her and I like her to be happy. Like writing this...

One of the biggest changes to our sex life since kids is the need to become opportunistic bonkers, as K mentioned earlier. If the chance is there, no matter how limited, you literally grab it with both hands. If it's a choice between a five minute quicky or nothing at all, it's an easy decision to make. And if it means being sneaky and leaving the kids in front of the TV (with the sound turned well up) then so be it. Again we have to be opportunistic while we can because they won't fall for this forever. Thankfully "Handy Manny" is enough to distract them for now (with the added bonus that if I can hear it "during" it acts as a more effective diversionary delaying tactic than counting Mississippi's or going through the names of the England team in my head...).

Anyway, that's my two penneth. I'll pass you back to The Boss.

Erm... Thanks for that insight into the male mind, D, but as usual, although you've vaguely amused me and made some kind of effort, you have kinda missed the point of the question *rolls eyes, and tuts*

So there you have it, this is how we roll (pardon the pun)  I have no idea if this would be of any help to anyone, but blimey, if nothing at all, it shows that even with a midget army to raise, we can still get hot and steamy in the bedroom (Or should that be bathroom...?!)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

My Idea of Heaven

There are places I want to visit and things I want to see, but my idea of heaven, right now is to be smack bang in the middle of London.

I want to gab a sandwich and my iPod and head to Regent’s Park.

I’d find a quiet spot where I can lay and watch the clouds shape-shift overhead. I’d listen to my favourite music, and waste the entire day, daydreaming.

I’d people watch, and idly run my fingers through the blades of grass. I’d bask in the sun, shining on my face. I’d let the peace and contentment wash over my body.

I’d be truly happy.

I can’t wait to get my idea of heaven.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sneak Peek - Vlog

So, with the wedding a little over 3 months away, and many of you asking how the preperations are coming along, I thought that I would try my hand at a quick VLog.

Enjoy! :)

(BTW it's my first every VLog and I was very nervous, you will be able to tell that from the get go! Sorry!!!)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Will you be there?

We all like to think of ourselves as understanding, caring and giving people, but are we really?
What do you do to do your bit for those less fortunate?

The saying goes "Charity begins at home" and while I agree with that, especially as I come from a very large family, and I have 4 children myself, I always think that with a little amount of effort everyone could help others, no matter what your situation.

Charity donation bags are always being put through my door, so even if I only have 1 item that I no longer need/want I know that that could go on to help someone else.

I raise money for a few charities each year, and although its never an earth shattering amount (usually between £100 and £400) I know that every little helps. I don't do this to make myself feel better, although I am proud of my achievements, I do this because I genuinely want to try and help others.

Today, I am talking about Race for Life. 

Set up in aid of Cancer Research UK, the Race for Life is a  sponsored 5 or 10 kilometer track event aimed at females (there are many other sponsored events that take place for both genders, see website for details)

I shall be taking part in the Norwich event on May 15, 2011.

This will be my 8th year with Race for Life and I'm hoping I can get a bit of speed up now that I'm not pregnant!

Me (and Che bump!) with my best mate Andie at Race for Life, Norwich

The atmosphere is always amazing, and the money raised at each event is a huge help to the cause.

Most people know or have known someone who has been affected by Cancer, and if you are attending the event for the first time, remember to take some tissues with you, as those tribute back signs really do bring you to tears.

If you would like to sign up for Race for life, you can find your local event here.

If you can't make it, but would like do donate, you can sponsor me online for my event, via my fundraising page by clicking here.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Dodo is back!

With the two most popular proposal days (New Years Eve, and Valentines Day) behind us, I thought that I'd share with you my secret weapon in getting organised and staying on top of things for my upcoming wedding.

Upon hearing about my forthcoming nuptials, the lovely people at Dodo Towers sent me a copy of their beautiful wedding organiser, aptly named "The Dodo book of the Big Day"

9½" x 8" (240 x 200mm), laminated ring binder with 100 pages, 12 pockets/dividers, clear zip lock pouch and a strong elastic bandeau to hold everything neatly inside.
"If the sound of wedding bells is driving you batty, then this gilt-edged wedding organizer is the indispensable journal to bring together anything and everything to do with keeping your wedding plans in order"

I have to say that I'd honestly not even given a wedding organiser a thought! Just jotting things down on a bits of paper, but then I realised how useful this binder really is.. My four children trashed my living room one day, along with it, all of my notes and many hours of research!

With it's handy tabbed dividers giving you a separate space for everything you need to arrange and book, it's easy to keep on top of things and keep yourself organised.

Each section has its own little pocket for storing any extra bits and bobs or business cards that you collect along the way and with 100 sheets of it's own unique graphed Dodo emblazoned paper, you can't really go wrong.

Cute little sayings and quotations accompanied by gorgeous illustrations are also printed throughout the organiser, and the strong plastic zip lock pouch at the back keeps everything together.

If you are in the midst of organising your wedding, or you know someone who is (this really would be the perfect Engagement gift) then pop on over to Lord Dodo's website and get your very own wedding organiser.

If you are not in the market for such a book but are looking to make 2011 your year to be super organised, then Dodo Pad is still the place for you. With a great range of organisers, diaries and gifts, there's sure to be something for everyone.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Lifes little luxuries

What is your idea of luxury?

A candle lit bath? Shopping without the kids?

This is a tricky one for me.

At the moment, my idea of luxury would be just to have a couple of hours in a peaceful darkened room, not doing anything, just relaxing.

If I were to be more elaborate, then it would be.. Well actually, it would be the same, but with vodka, candles, some gorgeous Italian food.. Oh, and maybe a tall, dark and handsome to share it with ;)

Monday, 28 February 2011

15 Things

There is a list of 15 things that I want to do in my life:

  1. Take the kids to Disney, Florida
  2. Visit Australia
  3. Get married
  4. Visit Canada
  5. Retrain my feet to love sexy high heels again
  6. Go on more cultured mini trips
  7. Visit more places around the UK with the kids
  8. Go back to college and complete teacher training
  9. Visit Hawaii
  10. Attend  more music concerts
  11. Attend a Cybermummy Conference
  12. Visit Rome
  13. Meet my children's children
  14. Visit the Tate Modern Gallery in London
  15. Go on a girlie holiday with my friends
What's yours?

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Family Sunday

I love Sunday's.

Sunday is our one day a week that we have together.
No shopping, no football, no errands, just us.

Since 2011 arrived, I've been making a huge effort to get the family back on track with things like this, as towards the end of last year, with the business of family birthdays and Christmas, things got a little slack.

We've so far enjoyed 8 Sunday's as a family this year. We've done various things.
We've taken trips to the Dinosaur Park and the Millennium Library. Gone to the Norwich Castle Museum and to Eaton Park to see the frozen boating lake. And even trekked through muddy woodland in search of squirrels.

This week, however, we had a 'making day'.
This was the 7 year old's idea, as all four children have been ill this week, and are still ill with coughs, colds and temperatures.

Here's what we've been up to..

The Hama Beads came out:

Then we did some junk modeling:

Followed by a bit of sewing:

And Den building:

Not forgetting drawing:

And, of course, cooking baking :)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Getting there.. *Extract*

This blog is an extract from my wedding blog.

I have the dress, I have the shoes. I also have the boquet on order.

Lauryn, Ashley and Bailey's dresses are great and they look soo cute in them!

We have an appointment to give our 'notice' with the registrar and today I booked the DJ for the reception!

There's still a lot to do and only 4 months to get it all done, but things are slowly starting to come together now, and things are getting crossed off the list.

The next big things are the decorations, shoes (for all four children) and the 'boys' outfits, which are still undecided upon. *Hits Andy 'round the head in a desperate attempt to get a decision*

The kids are going through yet more phases of sickness, so I am beyond happy to have managed to cross a couple of things off this week.

I'm feeling a little more possitive about the whole wedding thing, which is starting to creep up on us fast!

On a very exciting note (for me and no one else!) I received my Cybermummy conference ticket the other day :) I am really looking forward to meeting all the other parent bloggers whom I speak to daily on Twitter.

Of course, I am also very much looking forward to spending an entire night away with my new husband, minus the children.

That's not to say that I am not very nervous and apprehensive about our night's stay.
It's a HUGE thing for me and the children (and Nanny and Grandad 'Glasses' too), as it's new, and the children have never been left for more than a couple of hours.

I do think that Andy's parents are probably more nervous than me though, the poor things will probably be begging us to return and be pulling their hair out after half a day with our brood!

They are good kids though, and they are beyond excited to be having a sleep over.
They have already declared which rooms and beds they would like to sleep in and what they would like to eat for tea!

But for now, I'm happy just to be crossing things from lists. We will encourage/console the Grandparents nearer the time..

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Takeaway Jamie Oliver

The Sun newspaper is currently running a promotion everyday in their paper between 5th and 11th February 2011 for you to collect tokens which are instantly redeemable at Tesco stores against the complete 12 episode series of Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie at Home'.

The promotion starts with the first voucher in The Sun's Buzz Magazine, on the 5th and continues with daily tokens featured in the paper.

I have to admit that I find Jamie Oliver somewhat of an annoyance with his so called 'cheeky' Essex come London banter. With words and phrases like 'Little Tiger', 'Herbage' and 'That's rock 'n roll' where some may find this endearing or fresh, I find cheesey and cringworthy.

My personal dislike of Jamie Oliver aside, I actually really enjoyed this series. It is well thought out and cleverly produced.

I loved the fact that it wasn't filmed in a show home kitchen, like most celebrity chef's shows. Jamie at Home had a much more relaxed feel about it, set mainly in his garden complete with an outside oven and barbecue. I also thought that the fact that all the vegetables used in the series were from his own organic vegetable garden was an original and welcome feature. 

Jamie's gardener, Brian Skilton also featured heavily in the show, offering up some very knowledgeable tips and facts about the food being used in each show. Jamie himself also produces some great gardening tips for the avid veggie grower like 'heeling in' (Episode 3) and 'Clamping' (Episode 4).

The show kicks off with 'Furred Game' and animal lovers will not appreciate the opening scenes of Oliver shooting rabbits and the talk of culling deer, however, if you are a true foodie, then you will certainly appreciate the fresh, organic nature of this show.

'Italian made Essex' is a heavy influence throughout the show, and its definitely not for those of us on calorie controlled diets. However, if you are looking for fresh, organic, tasty home cooked food, Jamie at Home is most definitely for you!.

Sound good? Wish you had your own copy of the series? Missed some of the tokens in The Sun?

Fret not hungry people as I have a copy of the entire Jamie at Home series to give away to one very lucky blog reader!  

All you have to do to win your very own copy is to write a comment below and a winner will be picked at random on Friday 11th February 2011.

The winner will be announced and contacted on Saturday 12 February 2011.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Exploring Shapes

This weeks prompt for Tara's Gallery is 'Shapes'.

It got me thinking about food, nature and architecture.

Suddenly, while watching my little man play, inspiration struck and I remembered some photos that I had taken a few months back on his 1st birthday.

So, here you go... Shapes!