> The Beesley Buzz: July 2013

The big screen and the small screen - My Budget Bucket List with MoneySupermarket.com

Inspired by the 2007 film The Bucket List, with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, MoneySupermarket.com have challenged bloggers to think of what's on their bucket list.

The idea is to think of one budget item and one extravagant item that you'd have on your bucket list for a chance to win some cash to go towards actually doing it!

Let's start with the extravagant one. If money were no object, I would want to see the Grand Canyon. Perhaps this item on my bucket list was inspired by a film too (I mean who doesn't remember the emotional roller-coaster of an ending of Thelma and Louise).

Whenever I see photos of the Grand Canyon, I am just mesmerised by the breath-taking beauty of the landscape - such an amazing natural wonder.
Image from USA Today.
As we home-school the children, I often find myself day-dreaming about how a trip to the Grand Canyon would not only be a big tick on my bucket list, but would make for a pretty awesome geography outing for the kids, eh?

Now onto the budget item.

Still inspired by the screen, we are big Doctor Who fans in our household. When we found ourselves having a spontaneous visit to Cardiff a couple of years ago (another perk of homeschooling - you can just take off at a moments notice to explore anywhere that takes your fancy), we spotted a few locations that have featured in episodes of programmes like Doctor Who and Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood. Then we spotted a film crew arriving at the hotel we were staying at to do some filming for Sherlock.

That's when the thought occurred to me... perhaps there's a way of combining the two things and getting to spot the Doctor himself on location!!!

As a teenager I used to do crazy things like sit outside The Grand Hotel in Brighton stalking Boyzone to get a glimpse of them, so what would be so different about hanging around in Cardiff to a glimpse of The Doctor.

I guess the thing that is stopping me is a lack of time to do my research and get organised as I think a bit of pre-preparation with finding out seasons for filming would be handy. Also I find that I am far more self-conscious about things like 'hanging around' to catch a glimpse of someone these days than I was as a teenager. So I guess that is what's stopping me from doing my budget bucket list idea!

So in the meantime, I'll just have to be satisfied with my toy TARDIS moneybox whilst I save up those pennies to complete my dream bucket list ideas.

This is my entry into the Moneysupermarket.com Budget Bucket List competition. I am tagging the following bloggers who may like to take part too:
A Strong Coffee
Rachael Jess - Just so
Shay and Family


Wot so funee - Food and Flowers

A couple of #funees courtesy of 7 year old D again:

T was wearing her t-shirt which, as well as printed flowers, has a few fabric flowers sewn on. (Typically, I couldn't find a clear photo to show you what I mean, but you can just about see one of the pink fabric flowers in this photo).

D sees T wearing this top and says to T: "Have you been growing flowers again?"

Now food is one of D's favourite topics. In his own words, he is always hungry. So I wasn't surprised when he said this the other day:

D: I want McDonalds
Mum: No we're not having Mcdonalds because that's unhealthy.
D: yeah - well so am I.

Linking up with Actually Mummy's Wot so Funee.

Wot So Funee?


Giveaway: Nuby Bundle of Bath toys

We were going to wait until the one year anniversary of our blog going live at the end of August to do this lovely giveaway of Nuby Bath toys, but with all the fantastic hot weather we've been having, we decided to celebrate early!

As Nuby bloggers T loves playing with her Nuby bath toys both in the bath and also for water play out in the garden. You can find some of our Nuby reviews by clicking here.

So here's the rafflecopter widget to fill in. If you are not familiar with rafflecopter, there is a great guide to using it over at Superlucky. (If the widget isn't showing, then try refreshing the webpage.)

The only mandatory entry is to leave us a blog post comment. Please note that comments are moderated so may take up to several days to appear.

Good luck!


This competition has been listed at The Prizefinder:
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Nature's Checklist Center Parcs Family Challenge

As our regular blog readers will have seen, we have taken part in all of the Tots100 Center Parcs challenges since last November until now and had great fun with the family in doing so!

We very recently found out that we were picked as one of the wildcard winners through doing the challenges to join the Center Parcs team of family bloggers (there are some totally amazing bloggers already on the team and it feels such an honour to have been picked!)

This months challenge is A child's nature checklist and closes really soon - so if you are thinking of taking part - get your skates on and do it now.

Our children really love looking at nature whether it is on an organised mini-beast hunt or spotting birds, flowers and bugs just out and about in our day to day activities.

Here are a few of our favourite moments that we would never have thought to include on a nature checklist, but just by keeping our eyes open got to see:
We think this is a kestrel which we spotted outside our Karate lesson!

We spotted this snake in the grounds of a local castle. We think it is a grass snake.

These baby bluetits were nesting at the bottom of one of those tubes that protects tree-saplings.

Our top tips would be to keep your eyes open wherever you are - We once spotted a kingfisher on a high street sat outside of a church!!!

Always handle bugs carefully and put them back where you find them.

Be careful not to disturb other creatures e.g. we made sure that we didn't touch the bird's nest we saw and we kept our distance when we were watching it.

And most importantly, have fun!

Find out more at about the Center Parcs blogger challenges over at Tots100. There is one more space as a family blogger to go so keep an eye out for the August challenge too.


Ever fancied breaking a Guinness world record?

If you've ever wanted to be involved with helping to break a Guinness world record - here's your chance: You can help make the longest chain of paper dolls ever!

For more info and to download a template to join in, here's the link


A big thank you to our facebook friend and blog reader Tricia for letting us know about this as I'm sure it is something my kids would love to get involved in as they love crafts.

If keeping the kids busy during the summer hols is not enough of an incentive for you, then there is the added knowledge that PanMacmillan are donating 10p to Save the Children from every doll that joins the chain.

You may remember that Save The Children have joined forces with other charities in the #IF campaign.

Wot so funee? You bucking idiot

This hot weather we've been having (which I am not complaining about) reminded me of a #funee moment that happened to my friend a couple of years ago during a hot spell which is too good not to share (I won't mention any names so I'm sure she won't mind).

Imagine the scene, hot day, car windows rolled down all the way, kids fed up on the school-run heading home after school. There is a rather tricky junction to pull out at and whilst waiting in the queue of traffic at the junction, a couple of the cars ahead of them had a minor collision.

Out jumps one of the drivers shouting profanities at the other driver all within clear ear shot of all the other cars around as windows were all down.

Things calm down, the two cars involved exchange details and drive away.

My friend carries on her journey home at which point her son (aged around 6 or 7 at the time) asks, "mum, what's a bucking idiot?"

Wot So Funee?

Do you have a #funee story to share this week? Why don't you join in Actually Mummy's blog hop (or for non-bloggers - feel free to leave a comment with anything #funee you want to share).

"My name is Sarah Jane Smith and once I travelled around the stars. I went to places beyond my wildest dreams...I saw amazing things out there in space but there's strangeness to be found wherever you turn. Life on earth can be an adventure too. You just need to know where to look."

This photo is my entry into Moneysupermarket.com's #PhotaYourMota competition
Ok, ok my name is not actually Sarah Jane Smith and I haven't actually travelled in space (yet!) But I do have one thing in common with Sarah Jane, the space travelling, alien fighting, sonic-lipstick carrying heroine from Sarah Jane Adventures and that is my favourite car. My absolute dream car would be a Nissan Figaro like Sarah Jane Smith's!

I know there is zero chance of that right now as for starters we couldn't fit us all in - but a girl can dream, eh?

I have chosen the above photo as my entry into Moneysupermarket.com's Phota Your Mota competition which is being judged by top photographers Jason Dodd and Nigel Harniman. I am well aware that I am not the best at taking photos - but that doesn't stop me from trying!

So armed with a camera each, me and my 7 year old son (who is usually more at home in the kitchen in front of a camera than behind one), set off to get some photos of Sarah Jane's car. We had spotted this Nissan Figaro in a town around 10 miles away from us on several occasions in the past and me and the kids had always been rather excited each time we spotted it.

This time was different. I had to actually manage to get a photo of the car (and ideally a reasonably good photo of the car). Adrenalin was really pumping. Me and D felt like we really could be the real Sarah Jane and one of her young side-kicks. Would we be spotted? Would we be questioned? Would we even be able to track down the car?

I'm not sure exactly what our 'crime' was that I was worried that we were committing by simply taking a few photos of a car we like - but it certainly felt like we were in an undercover operation.

We parked our car around the corner. We checked there was no-one around. We casually walked towards "Sarah Jane's" car. Cameras out and snap, snap, snap.

Suddenly...A lady approaches us...

"Is this your car?" she asks. (Oh no, we've been caught red-handed. Exactly what we've been caught doing, I'm still not quite sure).

"Um, no" I explain. "We just really like the car so we just wanted a few photos of it." D nods dutifully. Phew. Has she believed us? Is she the owner of the car?

"It is a really cool car" she agrees in her American accent as she takes out her camera and takes a photo of it too! Phew - she was just a tourist passing by. We got away with it.

So we didn't have any alien encounters on our Sarah Jane style adventure but at least that encounter with the American lady confirmed that we have good taste in cars as she seemed to really love it too!

The reason I picked the above photo as my entry is partly because the wheels are just so quirky. They actually differ from the wheels on the one used in the Sarah Jane Adventure's programme but these are way more quirky and look so different from what car wheels generally look like. As Sarah Jane says "there's strangeness to be found wherever you turn".

There's something so beautifully simple and retro about their style. The word FIGARO is inscribed across the centre of the silver circle on the wheel. The silver is so shiny, and the white so white, that it is immediately apparent that this car owner certainly cares about their car. You can even see a reflection of the green grass and the house on the opposite side of the road actually in the wheel!

In this photo, the wheel arch and car colour seem to frame the photo perfectly. It didn't need any cropping or editing in any way.

The photo just shouts out to me that it is the perfect wheel for the perfect car!

Just to see the wheel in context, here is the car in full:

And the photos we took today will always remind me of my own special adventure with my son. Our very own version of Sarah Jane Adventures where "life on Earth can be an adventure too. You just need to know where to look".

Caught red-handed: D's photo of me and my camera
It might not enable me to space travel but the Nissan Figaro would be my favourite car to travel in.

And in case you still haven't figured out what I am talking about with all my crazy talk of space and aliens, you can find out about CBBC's Sarah Jane Adventure's here.
This blog post (with the first photo shown at the top of the blog post) is my entry into Moneysupermarket.com's Phota Your Mota competition. None of the photos in this post have been photo-edited other than to remove the digits from the number plate for privacy. I would like to tag the following bloggers who may wish to take part:

In memory of Elisabeth Sladen 1 February 1946 – 19 April 2011. This family was a big fan of hers in her role as Sarah Jane Smith.

Reasons to be Cheerful this week...

Just this weekend, I spotted my Black Tower bottle on the shelves for the first time! We went to a bigger ASDA store to have our eye tests and sure enough - there it was. It is also pretty cool seeing my design all over Black Tower's facebook page at the moment too. I never thought in a million years something like that would happen to me - but it did!

We had a really lovely break last week in Cornwall. Mummy from the Heart's R2BC post this week made me realise just how blessed we were to have such lovely weather there, that the journey's were manageable (rather than a complete nightmare!) and that the bed both in the Travelodge and also at Sands Hotel was firm and comfy for my back. We have had to cut short so many holidays in the past where the beds just haven't been firm enough for my back to cope with and my arthritis then flares up meaning we have no option but to head home early. Thankfully it was very different this time and we were able to really enjoy every second of our time there.

I briefly mentioned about J's amazing day in the last R2BC we joined in with - I finally got to writing up a post about it here. And D did one too as he was so proud of his big bro.

We got a shiny new badge for our blog side bar from Nosy Crow after being accepted to join the Nosy Crow Crew. A perfect role for our boys who adore books, apps and reading so much!

And finally, we were asked by The Toadstool to co-host a lovely giveaway. It is being co-hosted by Family Fever and us - so it is always nice to make new links with other bloggers as despite blogging for nearly a year now, there are relatively few bloggers that I feel I know very well. If you haven't entered yet, please do if you wish to - Here's the link for the giveaway. As this is all a bit new to us, would love it if anyone wanted to share the post on facebook or tweet about it to help spread the word.

It has encouraged us to get the ball rolling on another giveaway that we have been offered to host for sometime, but just didn't find time to get around to it. So keep your eyes peeled for that one too! (And any advice / tips on hosting giveaways would also be appreciated - as I say it is all rather new to us).

Hope you all have some reasons to be cheerful this week too!

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart


A busy weekend

We recently had a 'town' day where we live. Thousands of people came together to have lots of fun watching dragon boats races and supporting lots of local businesses and charities.

The special needs drama club that J attends were represented there and with very kind and generous donations from Moshi Monsters and Topps Direct, we were able to have a stall raising awareness and funds for the drama club. Lots and lots of children (and their parents) came along to find out more and have a moshi tattoo and take part in the moshi themed tombola.

J and D were busy helping all day and I am really proud of them for their patience and endurance. J had got up early and had a really early start setting up the stall and we were the last to leave so it was a really long and busy day for him.

Having a well earned break for bacon butties

Testing out the moshi tattoos

Moshi themed stall was a big hit!


A few days in sunny Cornwall

I want to say that we've just got back from a few days away in Cornwall, but it has actually been a week since we got back. Don't ask me where that week has gone as I still haven't caught up with myself yet!

We had a really lovely time and I was going to pick out a couple of our fave photos to share like T body boarding at just 15 months old and discovering how much she loves playing with the sand on the beach and splashing in the water, and the gorgeous sea views we had from our room and watching the sunset each evening. However, Daddy has beat me to it by putting together a little video with a selection of photos in (some I hadn't even realised he had taken!).

We were so lucky with the amazing weather that is was just perfect for the beach and pool. After last years holiday to Cornwall I concluded that I adored Cornwall but it is just too far to travel, so this time we had a stopover night on our way there in a Travelodge which just helped to break up the journey and meant that we arrived fresh at our destination the following day. So having discovered that travel tip, which made life so much easier, we hope to visit again at some point in the future!


Produced in Kent Live final

J receiving his prizes
For the second year running, J made it to the live final of the Produced in Kent Create a Fruit and Veg masterpiece competition. Considering they had over 600 entries that is a pretty grand feat in itself, so of course we were proud of him.

But for J, we knew the real challenge would be taking part in the actual final. There, you see, are real people around him, people he will be expected to say hello to and make eye contact with. He will have his 'task' to do which he is confident and able at doing at home, but in front of others and with the hustle and bustle of the other participants around, would it all be too much for him.

After all, the reason we home-school is that the sensory aspects of school with the hustle and bustle of other children and adults around him at a time when he is needing to concentrate was too much for him to cope with.

So this is the true reason we are so proud of him. Yes he did struggle to make eye contact and say his hello's, goodbyes and thank you's. But he held it together without a single moment of meltdown to do his 'task' of replicating his entry picture, and then joining in with high tea and cake, and then sitting through the awards.

Much to his and our surprise, this year, he got first place in the individual category! Of course, that made us proud too but not as much as the fact that he got through it and he got through it well enough to really enjoy it too.

The Brilliant Chef was so proud of his big bro that beat us to it with writing up about the day. Read his blog post here (and there are more photos so you can see the picture J created!). And you can read about last year's final here.

J with judge and sculptor Guy Portelli

A special thank you to all at Produced in Kent for running such a fabulous competition and for all their hard work organising the final, thank you to the judges and sponsors of the event, and to sculptor Guy Portelli who was one of the judges, and thank you to our local Waitrose store who gave J a £25 gift voucher to buy the vegetables he needed as they had a good supply of local produce.

Nosy Crow Crew Update

Following on from our previous post about being accepted onto the Nosy Crow Crew - Here's our shiny new badge as members of the Nosy Crow Crew!

Nosy Crow is a small independent publisher of children's books and apps and have a clever skill in bringing the two together!

Some of the best-known authors and illustrators can be found at Nosy Crow (including some of our favourites, Philip Ardagh, Holly Webb and Axel Scheffler).

Both boys adore reading (and, if I am honest, I have to admit that I love children's books far more than any other books too) and I have had many a blog post idea about what reading and books means to them and us as a family. But there never seem to be enough hours in the day to write all the blog posts I want to write so hopefully being Nosy Crow Crew members will remind me to get on with it and write up a few of those posts at least.

You can find out more about our love of books and reading and read our family's book reviews here.

Clothes that make you grow taller!

I recently found out that I had won a trip for two to Noma, the world's best restaurant in Copenhagen. We are still awaiting dates about when we'll be going (as they get fully booked for months and months in advance!) but one thing we have decided, is that we would love for 7 year old D to come with me.

We considered paying the additional cost and taking him with hubby and me as a third person (especially as Granny announced that she most definitely would not be prepared to look after all three children - which to be honest, I can understand given J's difficulties, but it made us realise that if she wasn't prepared to then no-one else would either) but for lots of reasons we decided that actually it would make the most amazing experience for him to come along in place of Daddy. That way J and T would not be unsettled by the experience of me being away as they can just be looked after by daddy.

Anyway, after that long intro, onto the funee...

We saw this fantastic suit jacket and shirt reduced in price and quickly snapped it up as it would make a perfect outfit for D for his special visit to Noma.

He tried it on at home later that day and as he admired himself in the mirror, commented, "I just need to go and measure myself now to see how much I have grown" and he ran off to find his height chart.

He seemed to think that because the smart clothes made him look like a grown-up that he would magically grow to be the height of a grown-up too!

Now I just need to find an outfit for me - eek!

Joining in with Actually mummy's Wot so funee linky.

Wot So Funee?


Giveaway: Maud n Lil cuddly toy!

*This giveaway is now closed*

The lovely Niki at The Toadstool has organised a giveaway of a Maud n Lil cuddly toy, and has asked if we would like to co-host. As Joshua was so pleased with his Cubby Bear (you can see his review here), how could we resist?

So, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and enter for this great chance to have your very own new cuddly toy!

*This giveaway is now closed*

The prize draw is being run by The Toadstool, and they are responsible for the fulfilment of the prize.

We have also listed this giveaway at ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Have you seen our other giveaway currently running? Click here to find out more and enter.

T at 15 months

Last week, T turned 15 months.

These are her highlights:

She got new shoes as she is pretty stable with her walking now.

She loves said shoes so much that when she is not wearing them she carries them around saying 'shz'.

Although we don't have any particularly clear speech yet, it turns out she could give The Mimic a run for his money as she makes brilliant seagull noises, can copy a dog sneezing, and can replicate the sound of the last dregs of sun lotion puffing out of a bottle. Oh and she has been 'woofing' since she was 8 months old!

She has even had her first go at body boarding! Something that has taken me 35 years to try for the first time.

She loves sand and water play.

And she does a very cute scrunched-up smile to deliberately look extra cute at times!

Amazingly, much to my surprise, I am still breastfeeding her twice a day. Out of all three children I totally expected that I would only be able to breastfeed a short while because of our commitments of home-schooling and J needing so much attention with his Aspergers and yet incredibly, this has been the longest as I stopped with both J and D at around 10 or 11 months.

Neither she nor I am ready to stop just yet - so we'll continue and take each day at a time and see how we go.

Power boating on the Thames - the only way to see the sights!

Last week we had an amazing day in London and went power boating on the Thames with London Rib Voyages. Power boating is not really something I had ever particularly wanted to do, but last summer I won a Red Letter Day voucher for it with Drench and so I thought we'd give it a try. (Although it is suitable for all ages, including babies, we wanted to wait until baby T was old enough to be left with granny without needing a feed as we weren't so sure she would enjoy it and so we finally went last week.)

At Christmas, we won a further Red Letter Day voucher for this blog post, this time for a spa day for me, but as with all Red Letter Day experiences, it could be exchanged for any experience to the equivalent value. As J and D had done all the hard work for that winning blog post, it seemed only fair to them that they got to benefit from the prize rather than just me so we exchanged it for a further two tickets for the Power boating meaning that all four of us could now go!

I was so surprised to find that I loved every second of it! The boat goes really fast once it get's past Tower Bridge and into the fast zone of the River Thames and then Bond music comes blaring out making it a really exciting thrilling experience. The photos were taken before Tower Bridge, so when the RIB was travelling fairly slowly!

We had gorgeous weather and so we didn't even need to wear the additional jackets and trousers that are available, but only needed to pop on a lifejacket.
Even though the boat went really fast, I actually felt totally safe and having done that, I don't ever really want to travel the Thames any other way in future.

A thank you to Drench for the prize of powerboating for two, Red Letter Days for helping book our day smoothly, Tots100 and Distilled.net for the crafty Christmas prize, and London RIB voyages for an amazing day out! (We had Amy and Nick as our crew and they were fantastic).  

J's Cubby Bear Review from The Toadstool

This is J's review of Cubby Bear from The Toadstool which he has written all by himself:

I like my bear. I have called him Bucky.

He is really soft and I love him loads.

I took off the ribbon because it is scratchy at night (note from mum: The ribbon was not particularly scratchy but because of J's aspergers and sensory processing difficulties, he was overly sensitive to it and was worried it would be scratchy).

I have him in bed every night along with my other 5 favourite soft toys.

He is a small bear.

He is a greyish colour.

Disclaimer: J was given a budget of £30 to spend at The Toadstool as a thank you for helping them out with jokes and he chose this bear as one of the items to purchase, spending the rest on a Sorgenfresser worry-doll toy for D.  

Going on holiday with Stephen Fry: Holiday Habits Infographic

We have just got back from a short holiday today so it was rather timely to find this infographic waiting for me in my emails. We were one of the bloggers that Moneysupermarket.com had asked to take part in their poll which fed into this infographic.

And just so it is made very clear to hubby, yes, I definitely was one of the 15% who said I would change nothing about my partner when on holiday and that they were perfect!

Have to admit the choice of Stephen Fry as a holiday companion would not be our first choice. Both hubby and me (and we reckon granny would agree too as she is a big fan) would pick the fabulous and hilarious Miranda Hart as our fave celeb to go on holiday with.

Without further ado, here's the infographic with the results of the poll:

Image source: MoneySupermarket Travel Insurance

We were given a small incentive for participating in the poll but have not received anything for sharing the infographic on our blog.

Reasons to be Cheerful...

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Just quickly joining in with Mummy from the Heart's R2BC linky this week before we head off on a short break away next week. So I guess that is my first reason! The weather is forecast to be good and I think there is an outdoor and indoor swimming pool where we are staying so the kids will love that!

Other reasons this week are that T got her very first pair of proper shoes, J had his birthday (well technically his birthday was last week but only got round to blogging about it this week) and I got to see my design go onto half a million bottles of Black Tower wine - so that was really exciting!

I owe R2BC-er's and other readers a big thank you for your help a few weeks ago with the Noma comp that had been changed to voting. They actually reverted back to judging the competition (which is was it was supposed to have been) and amazingly my video was picked. So me and D will be going to Noma sometime later in the year hopefully. But I really do want to say a huge thanks as I know that many of you very kindly did take the trouble to vote and I really do appreciate your support.

My top-tip beauty post was featured in a Mumsnet beauty round-up. So lots of things to be cheerful about.

Also had an amazing day today with J - he made me so proud - but will blog about it separately another time as it deserves a blog post all of its own.

I am still struggling below the surface with some sort of post-natal depression yet I know it is a phase that I will pass through with the right help. I am guessing that one day I may be able to blog about it properly as it has been a real eye-opener for me to see things from this side rather than an on-looker to someone else with PND/depression as I have never been affected with any sort of depression before and never thought it could just 'happen' to someone so readily. But for now, I want to try to keep the blog a positive-ish place for me and the kids to enjoy as I am also always conscious of how involved they are with their little reviews of books and toys and Joshua's jokes feature and I want to get the balance right between being honest about things but also not to worry or upset them with anything on here.

Hope everyone has a great week and lots of reasons to be cheerful and I look forward to catching up once we are back from our hols.


Oldies but goodies


Have been meaning to link up to 3 Children and It's Oldies but Goodies blog hop for ages but never seemed to have posts that were old enough but now we have been blogging nearly a year, I can dig out some posts to join in with.

Here's the first, originally posted last November and I can think of another post that links to this month's Oldies but Goodies theme of beauty too so will link that one up too.

I love how much beauty T brings into all our lives and how she brings out the very best in others too...

Baby number three: We all love Trinity sooo much

It is way past my bedtime. Trin will probably wake shortly for a night feed as she has started doing again (I know, I know, bad habit to get into but don't feel ready to face any sort of controlled crying just yet), but couldn't let the day be over without saying just how much we all love Trinity and how lovely it is having her around. She always has the sweetest smiles, the cheekiest grins, and the giggliest giggles and is just such a happy baby.

Yes it sounds soppy and twee but I don't care. To think that a few years ago we were not even sure if we were going to have a third baby, and now it feels like she has been here forever. She seems to have a magic that is infectious and makes everyone around her happy. I remember when we went on the tube trains in London where nobody normally speaks to each other or smiles, in our carriage there were so many people smiling at Trin and commenting how lovely she was.

I can't get over how smitten the boys are with her. I thought that the novelty of wanting to 'hold the baby' would wear off but 7 months on, here they are always asking "mummy, can I cuddle Trin".

I especially love it that however cross and angry Joshua gets with the rest of us, he always only has gentleness, smiles and oodles of love for Trinity. It is just so special.

And as for Daniel, I have never heard of a more original excuse for staying up late and not getting to bed as he is stroking Trin's head and talking baby language to her, I tell him to get to bed. He replies "but it is not my fault that Trinity is soooo cute. It's God's fault for making her so cute!"


Nosy Crow Crew

We recently received a little bundle of goodies in the post from publishers Nosy Crow.

Because of our absolute LOVE of children's books, we have been accepted as part of their Nosy Crow Crew! Hopefully we will be able to share more news about it soon.


World's Weirdest Foods Infographic

D and I were just chatting about how some foods that are eaten around the world can be really rather unusual and that very same day this infographic came through from MoneySupermarket.com so it was interesting to have a peek at this!

Created by MoneySupermarket Travel Insurance

Disclaimer: We were incentivised with a small incentive for sharing this infographic. The views expressed in it are not our own.

Nature spotting

We went to see the deer at a local deer park the other day. I remember taking J when he was just one and he used to say 'gog-gog' for dog. He thought all the deer were dogs! And now he is 9 years old and has a baby sister who thinks the deer are dogs.


This white one really stood out against the other deer.

And T did some of her own nature spotting watching this caterpillar crawling on the ground!


New Shoes!

T is nearly 15 months. She got her first pair of 'proper' shoes at the weekend.

Since then she has been keen to walk everywhere.

All of a sudden it takes even longer to get anywhere and things like ants and drains become extremely interesting features to be admired for ages before moving on.

My little baby girl is now a toddler!


Water Maze fun with the nudie brothers

One of the biggest benefits of home-schooling (especially in the summer months) is that once the work is done for the day, we can get outdoors and have lots of fun. So when all the work was done early in the morning, we set off for a fun day out. 

We love to visit a local attraction where there is a water maze feature (the idea is to get to the centre without getting wet - yeah right - like that's going to happen with my boys!) We have learnt that the boys always get soaked wet so we always pack their swimming trunks these days. 

Now I know what you are thinking from the title of the post and from these photos...

But no, they weren't actually nude. It was just that the reeds in the water maze had grown so tall that it appeared that way as they were running around. They had great fun pretending that they had no clothes on and trying to trick any passers by.

Linking up with Actually Mummy's Wot so Funee

Wot So Funee?


Moshi Birthday!

Sweeny Blob cake
Our little boy turned 9 recently. Nine! Nine years old! That's nearly 10. That's nearly a decade. Where has that time flown to.

He asked for a "Sweeny blob" cake (one of the newer moshi characters) so I did my best with limited time and limited cake making bits and pieces (and some top tips from facebook friends - thank you!). Not the best cake I have ever made but he was happy with the outcome and I guess that's all that matters.

He got some lovely Moshi goodies from Granny and Grandad including Moshlings and a very 'loud' pair of Moshi shorts.

Although these photos are all smiles, we actually had a pretty difficult day. Mainly down to me handling things badly. I think the Asperger's makes the excitement of birthdays harder and that coupled with the expectation that things should be all happy and fun on a birthday (my expectation more than his), and perhaps I also expected more of him now that he is 9, all made for a disaster of a day. Silly of me really as he is no different from the day before when he was 8. Anyway, I hope that these smiles and happy memories are what he will remember most from his 9th birthday.
Happy Birthday J!