End of the Holidays

It feels like I’ve not been on here for ages and I think it’s only been a week or so.  I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter Holiday?  What have you all been up to?

We’re back to school and work on Tuesday, and I’m amazed at how quickly the holidays have flown. I was dreading having nearly 4 weeks off, but it’s actually been really brilliant.  The weather has been fabulous, we’ve visited friends, gone to the beach, gone to the Science Museum (great for older children, not so brilliant for toddlers), an Easter Egg hunt at my parents, watching the new Dr Who and of course the Royal Wedding .

We started on our raised veggie beds, but I need to infill them – not sure how I’m going to get the amount of topsoil needed to them though? My Dad reckons I need about a ton – but that is my Dad talking!  One of the beds is going to be Miss L’s and she’s got her herbs and flowers ready to go in, I just need to sort the dirt out.

The beautiful weather has meant that our garden is a month ahead of where it normally is a this time of the year. The peonies are budding and the roses are coming through too.   But it also meant that weeds have gone mad as well, and I had been trying to tackle them but not really getting anywhere.  When we went away to visit some friends, my parents came to dog and house sit, and they were supposed to be treating it as a holiday. You know sitting in the garden reading, visiting the market, playing with the dog but they didn’t do that.  Look what they did instead:

The cleared the bramble bed of doom!! Seriously I thought I’d need a week or so to do it on my own and bless them they did it in 2 days and replanted! They also de-weeded the patio, planted up some sweet peas for me and did some beautiful pink hydrangea pots.

They gave it to us as an anniversary present and frankly it’s the best one ever! All I need to do now is find some nice patio furniture this weekend and we can really enjoy it with a nice glass of Pimms.




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I was tagged by the lovely Rachel over at Tales from the Village – as Inspired by the Q&A in The Guardian –

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
– Sounds trite but my Mum. She is the most amazing woman, young mother, early feminist, working mum and would do anything for anyone. She can cook like a chef and has the most amazing ability to make a garden out of literally nothing. She’s amazing.

When were you happiest?
– I’m pretty happy now, but probably most happiest were my months living on my own in Vancouver , having lots of fabulous adventures.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
– A Greek Holiday with friends, I had to show my ass to a whole chemists shop after I’d sat on some sea urchin things. *the shame*

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
– MX5 Sports car which I kept for a summer and sold because it was awful in the rain. I still miss it!

What is your most treasured possession?
– My engagement ring,  it was bought for me in Brighton and 10 years later I still adore it.

Where would you like to live?
– Vancouver, the Rockies, Prince Edward Island – anywhere in Canada!

What’s your favourite smell?
– Sweetpeas

Who would play you in the film of your life?
– Gotta be Tina Fey!

What is your favourite book?
– I have so many…..I can’t choose!

What is your most unappealing habit?
– My complete inability to deal with the post – there are piles of paperwork everywhere.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
– Edwardian, I have the figure for it – I missed my fashion decade!

What is your earliest memory?
– Sitting up in a big old pram, surrounded by tall white buildings.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
– Violet Creams – they are the best chocolates ever!.

What do you owe your parents?
– Everything, they are bloody awesome.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
– To my friend Philippa. I never said sorry to her for arguing with some moron at her her 21st birthday party, or to tell her to have a great holiday.  I thought I’d say sorry when she came back but she never did, she and her boyfriend died there.  18 years later it’s the only thing in my life I really regret.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
– Paul and Miss L no question.

What does love feel like?
– Warm and easy. Not hard work at all.

What was the best kiss of your life?
– My wonderful husband – but I’m note telling when, just to keep him guessing 😉

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
– ‘Don’t run’, ‘mind that’ ‘do you need the loo?’

What is the worst job you’ve done?
– Serving food at the Phillips Canteen in Redhill when I graduated Uni, I burnt the crap out of my hands everyday. Be nice to people who serve food – hardest job ever!

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
– Nothing – it all happened for a reason.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
– Childbirth, no question if they’d left me another hour I’d have been dead.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
– Miss L she is amazing.

When did you last cry, and why?
– At Dr Who when David Tenant left on a re-run last week. I cry at pretty much anything on TV!

How do you relax?
– Surfing the web, hot baths, wine.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
– Somewhere indoors for the washing machine and tumble dryer.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
– You can’t change people, they have to want to change themselves.

I’m not going to tag anyone – you are all invited to take part! Just let me know so I can come and read – thanks x

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QR Codes

Okay so you know I’m an utter geek and need to get out more, well yesterday I spent a couple of hours playing with QR Codes (it was that or The Simpsons movie again!).  So what are QR Codes? I can hear you asking.  Well some of you may have noticed these little black squares popping up in Magazines, Newspapers and on Websites.

Now they look a bit weird and dull but in fact very, very cool and can contain all sorts of information!  If you have an a smartphone pop to your app store and download a QR Scanner.  The best one I’ve found is free on the Apple App Store and is just called Scan (made by QR Code City you can download it from their site)  – it must be on the Android Store too I would have thought? If not I’m sure they have their own version.

Once you’ve downloaded it you can can scan these little codes and find out what they say – try the one above for an example for the secret message I’ve put in it 🙂

But the most useful application I’ve so far found for them is adding them to your business or blog cards, here’s mine:

So when you scan it, it’ll create a .vcf file for your smartphone and you can just save it as a contact – no boring typing in, just scan and save.  It works off computer screens or from paper which is really rather nifty.  If you want to make your own QR code for business cards or websites, pop over to QR Stuff where there are lots of different codes you can make for your websites sites or your businesses.  Have fun!

(**Update** Nickie at Typecast has also done a great post about QR codes  – read more here )



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MAD Blog Awards 2011

I’ve just been reading through the nominations of the Mad Blog Awards 2011 and I’ve been nominated for:

Most Innovative MAD Blog category
Parentdish Blogger of the Year

OMG! Thank you so much whoever nominated me, you’ve made my day!!  Whoever it is I owe you a Pimms 🙂 *mwah* xx  I have no idea how you actually vote for me, but when I find out I’ll let you know!.


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{Mini Review} Feather and Black

Feather and Black sent me some Pajamas for Miss L to try as they have just launched a new kids range.   Miss L’s just gone into age 9-10 clothes despite being only just 8 (tall like her daddy!) and finding appropriate clothes for her age in that size is getting harder and in some shops.  She’s still of an age where she wants snuggly PJ’s and nighties which are pretty – not the easiest thing to find anymore I’ve discovered!

So Feather and Black asked her to choose a pair from their new range of girls pajamas and she chose the Lola Pajamas which in her size are £20 and £19 for younger sizes.

Image from Feather and Black

I liked them, they are of similar quality to White Company and Boden PJ’s and at the same price point.  I think unless she has another massive growth spurt (please no!) we should have about a year’s wear out of them which is what we normally get from White Company and Boden. I’ve washed them 3 times so far – seriously if there’s tea or jam about that child can get it all on PJ’s! – and they have come up just fine each time, even on a 60 degree boil wash.  They are a little more modern and less ‘little girly’ which Miss L liked, but they have a nice selection so check out their range for boys and girls here






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Day out in London

Yesterday I was invited down to London by Nokia for a focus group meeting with fellow geek mummies Jen (http://www.jenography.typepad.com), Liz (http://missielizzie-meandmyshadow.blogspot.com), Katie (http://www.feedingboys.wordpress.com) and Janis (http://mumversuskids.reallykidfriendly.com).  What a fabulously fun day, I don’t think I’ve laughed so much for ages discussing how we use tech in our lives.

It was mediated by Belinda who’s the founder of Lady Geek which is a fabulous female focused tech site – check it out if you want the low down on gadgets and apps from a female persepective.   It was good to hear such positivity from women about using tech gadgets and how all of us are pretty much addicted to our phones and laptops – it’s not just me! 🙂  Nokia have given me some toys to play with for 3 weeks (phone, bluetooth, mobile battery and speaker) and I’ll let you know what they’re like after the Easter Holidays.

After a wonderful sunny lunch with the ladies, I headed off to meet one of my oldest friends for a catch up. We’d not seen each other for I think about 6 years so it was great to see each other actually in person rather than on the phone or Facebook. We met up down by the river, had a good old chat and had some fabulous Italian dinner down at Borough Market – to the point I lost track of time and I forgot to go to a Blogger thing I’d been invited to at Conran’s. I feel awful but catching up with a friend was way more important.

The best bit about yesterday was rediscovering how much I love London in the spring, there’s such a cafe culture there now from Soho where the meeting was, to down by the Thames.  Everyone was out drinking and eating and having fun it was a brilliant vibe.  I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted as my phone battery died, but here’s a few that I took of such a great day.



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Easter Bunny Dresses

As most of you know I can’t sew to save my life, but fortunately Miss L is not taking after me. She was off school with a cold on Monday and she made this cute little dress for her Easter Bunny. She made a template from a dress she already had, got me to cut it out and then stitched the sides – she made it look so easy!  A really nice activity for the holidays, I think we’ll be making some more.

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Royal Wedding @ Etsy

Not that we are massively into it, but you can’t miss the upcoming Royal Wedding at our house.  Miss L’s been making signs, mini bunting and union jack dresses for her teddies.   I remember the Royal Wedding back in 1981 and the sense of community it bought about, the street parties, fancy dress competitions etc and I think it’s lovely my girl is going to get to experience that.  We’ve been looking at Etsy for some keepsakes and I’ve found some lovely stuff (Click on the photos to go through to the shops)


Bunting Stamp from SkullandCrossBuns
Wedding Tea Towel from TaylorsType
Keep Calm Postcard from eighteen9
Hip Hip Hooray Bunting from SewSweetViolet


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Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day to you all! I have been spoilt rotten today. Miss L bought me a Cath Kidston nail kit and some Violet Creams from her pocket money. I would take a photo, but they are nearly gone 😉

We decided that a Mother/Daughter shopping trip was in order. So we’ve spent the morning shopping in Cambridge – mostly it seemed in Build a Bear! But as it’s Mothers Day, I was allowed to browse the Market in peace. And I managed to finally find a plain cream tin for my dishwasher tablets – amazing how small things make me happy.

But I had to share with you all how beautiful Cambridge is in the spring. We walked past one of the collages and it was just gorgeous, so I took a snap. Happy Mother’s Day to you all xx


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Status of Africa Campaign

I get approached about a lot of charity campaigns, but this one is close to my heart.  I nearly died giving birth in a lovely safe NHS hospital and had there been no modern medical care or intervention, I’m under no illusions that both Miss L and I wouldn’t be here now.

AMREF, is Africa’s leading health development charity, and they want to raise awareness of the difficulties many women face in poorest communities of Africa. Every year 280,000 mothers die unnecessarily in pregnancy and childbirth because they lack basic medical care. AMREF is working to change this – to ensure no woman dies whilst giving birth.  Even just a simple inexpensive birthing kit can prevent deaths:

So this Mother’s Day AMREF are asking people to give up their Facebook status, change their Profile Picture or use their Twitter Status tweeting the hashtag #StatusofAfrica just for the Day to raise awareness and support for AMREF’s.   Alternatively if you’d like to donate here’s what your donation will buy and how to donate.




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