Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wicked Wednesday


S is a very picky eater. Well she eats anything, if she wants to, but the amounts are tiny, I am amazed she has so much energy on so little calories. Yesterday she spotted the "teddy bear ham" in the shop, and I gave in.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Diggerland, Where heavy machinery and fun come together...

J eagerly went to measure herself against the minimum height board, and jumped excitedly up and down. There was nothing I could do but stand back and watch as my 5 year old climbed up onto onto the enormous bright yellow, mud covered JCB. Was she really allowed to sit behind the controls of this mean machine, and then take the controls, and drive off out of sight?

Monday, 27 April 2015

Dancing at Pineapple studios, for Annie

The temperatures outside was the hottest of the year, and as we walked in, it felt even hotter. The air was filled with excitement of both the children and the mums, some of whom travelled from miles. The sound of sweaty little feet pounding the floor, round in circles as the giddy children ran of the excess energy. It was then time to get down to business.... "It was a hard knock life".

Thursday, 23 April 2015

A day at the beach, M's style...

In half term last spring, we visited Crosby beach for the very first time. Its where my logo badge was captured. It was a great day out, albeit very muddy, when we were not expecting mud. You can read about it here. We had so much fun, that we decided to go back again this half term, with some different friends then last time, with 3 boys. Crosby beach is famous for the 100 cast iron statues of naked men, which the girls found hilarious last time.
 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Wicked Wednesday


J having a paddy as she is cold... a real "I told you so" moment. She got soaked in the sea, when we told her not too, she had to strip off on the beach, and wear my hoody... she has got that moody teenager look worked out, and she is only 5!! 

brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

FARM Jigsaw and sticker book review

Just before half term, we were sent this Farm Jigsaw, and sticker book by Little Tiger press, to review with S. It got a little battered by the post, but inside was still perfect condition.


Inside the box was a well made floor puzzle, with 36 pieces. When I say well made, I mean durable, and not likely to break unless chewed and munched on. It was pretty much solid. We have had many floor puzzles, and can tell when they will last, this one will. It also comes with a sticker book, with pages that match up with the puzzle.


S wanted to do the puzzle first. She loved matching up all the different animals...


...But we made the edges first, so we knew how big it would be, and roughly where everything would be..


She LOVED it, it kept her concentration, and she completed it all, with only a little bit of help.


Once it was completed, there was another activity... on the border was animals she had to find within the picture. Again S loved this activity, she even started counting them.


After the puzzle, we opened up the sticker book. Immediately, S recognised the backgrounds as the same as the puzzle.


In the sticker book, there is a few lines, to tell you what your child needs to add to each page. S really enjoyed personalising her own farm, putting the animals in her very special places.


So, what did S think of this activity pack which retails at £8.99 ... well I think you can tell she gives it the thumbs up.. You can buy it from here.




*We were sent this pack in return for an honest review, all words, pictures and opinions are my own.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Tudors on Tour Ryschewys recipe

King Henry VIII is visiting the North-West for the very first time this bank holiday, 2nd-4th May, when he and his couriers take up residence at Tatton Park, as part of Tudors on Tour. Tudors on Tour is a spectacular outdoor family festival, where guests can be expected to be transported back to the year 1526 and get swept away with the excitement of the Tudor court on Royal Progress, when the king would travel around the country staying in the castles and manor houses of nobility.
It will boast a pop up palace, jousting daily, Tudor theatre, a hands on history zone, family zone, and access to the farm, as well as a quest to see if you are fit enough to meet the king himself, after visiting the costume tent. With every ticket purchased, you will also get a free ticket to Hampton court too, to use within the year.
The festival is being run by Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that cares for six palaces.
 
Advance tickets (Before May 1st) cost £30 for a family (up to 2 adults and 3 children), £12.50 an adult, £6 for a child, and £10 for concessions. You can book your tickets here.
 
S and I got into the spirit of Tudors on tour this afternoon, and made the "Ryschewys close and fryez" dish. To be honest I had never heard of these before, but we were ready to give them a go. They are delicious, and we will be making them again. I would say they taste similar to mince pies. So, for my girlies sake... old fashioned mince pies, aka Ryschewys close and fryez.
 
If you would like to make some, here is the recipe.
 
To make 12
Filling:
3 Dried figs
3 Chopped dates
A tbsp. of currents
Half a tsp. of mace, aka nutmeg for the non Tudors
Half a tsp. of black pepper
Half a tsp. of canella, aka cinnamon for the non Tudors.
Paste/Pasta:
100g flour
Dessert spoon of sugar
pinch of saffron dissolved in a little bit of water.
 
 Method:
1. Pound the figs in a mortar. We don't own a mortar, so used the end of a pastry brush and a bowl... it seemed to work.
2.Add the dates, and currants and pound some more
 
3.Finely chop, grind and mix the spices.
4.Add the spices to the dried fruit, and mix thoroughly.
5.Make a paste from the flour, sugar and saffron water.
 
6.Roll out the paste as thin as paper.
7.Cut out small circles, about teacup size.
 
8.Add a small amount of fruit mix
9.Damp the edges of the paste with water, and close forming a pea-pod shape. (Ours didn't resemble pea-pods, but at least they were parcels)
 
 
10. Shallow fry in oil, or in a deep fat fryer, until golden brown.
 
 
11.Serve warm, sprinkled in sugar. (I dropped them in a bowl of sugar)
 

 They are meant to look like this...


The original recipe photo looks more appealing doesn't it?
The verdict?? J enjoyed them, but stopped at one....


S who made them... wasn't keen., and preferred the currants as they come...

 
Both myself and Daddy liked them. I think I will re-attempt this recipe around Christmas for a lighter version of a mince pie. Delicious. If my instructions are not clear enough, you can cook along with Tudor kitchens at Hampton court palace at www.tudorcookery.com
 
 
 
 
 
*We were sent the ingredients, and the recipe to cook Ryschewys close and fryez in return for a write up on Tudors on Tour. All photos are my own.
 
 
 
 


Interplay Fairy Garden review

We were sent the Fairy garden by Interplay to review over the half term. Both the girlies are fairy obsessed, so were fighting over who would test it out. It is recommended for children over 4, and as S was being a handful on the chosen day, and only being 3, J got to do the majority of it. I would say children as young as 3 could do it, with supervision, and help building the house. It comes with everything you need except compost. We had some left over from our spring seeds planting session.
 
 
It comes with the instructions, bowl, glitter house with carpet, and roof, stones for a path, a shell for a water feature, plastic flowers, washing line, complete with sheet and pegs, toads stalls. grass seeds, sparkly stars, as all fairies like sparkles, and some pixie dust. Not forgetting the girls very own fairy too.
 
The entire kit took about 30 minutes from start to finish to make. Please excuse the pyjamas in the photos, we were having a "lazy" indoor day. We started with filling the bowl with the compost.
 
 
Before assembling the house. This is probably the trickiest part of the set for little fingers. J (5) did manage to do it by herself, but took a little bit of time, and concentration.

 
Once the house was placed in the garden, it was time to lay the path. S helped with this, and they carefully placed all the stones.
 
 
Before inserting the shell, and the washing line.

 
We then scattered the grass seed. I think this is a great touch, as grass grows quickly, and the girls don't have to wait long to see some progress. (We removed the washing line, whilst J watered the seeds). From our experience, we use a squirter for watering young plants, otherwise with young children, they end up flooded.
 

After it was all watered, and almost set up, it was time to add the sparkly stars, and the magic pixie dust, along with the fairy, to help the grass grow.

 
J was very happy with the end result.... well I say end result. It still has to grow...  and in the instruction book, it has other options you can add yourself. We are hoping to add fir cones, and flowers when the grass has grown.
 


 
 
It is a great craft set for young children with imaginations. They have enjoyed watering it over the past 5 days, and we already have about a fifth of the grass seeds growing. It is the perfect size to keep on a windowsill too, without it being to big. S has played with it with her dinosaurs. I would recommend to anyone who likes fairies. S has seen the dust particles floating through the house as the sun is pushing through, and is already saying the fairy garden is working, its bringing fairies....
 
8An updated picture of the fairy garden...
A photo posted by Stacey McCall (@mummymsmemories) on

 
* We were sent the Fairy garden for the purpose of a review. All thoughts, words, and pictures are my own.

 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Sorry... not sorry

I am sorry I have been so quiet on the blog over the past two weeks. Well, I am not really...
 
I have been making the most of the precious time with my girlies. We have had a busy two weeks, with lots happening, which has meant in the evenings we have either got in very late, or I just needed to unwind with a few vodkas... I will be writing all our events up very soon, well more then likely next week, as S starts her 15hours a week in nursery, and J returns back to school... I am hoping I will have plenty of time to catch up... But here is a sneak glimpse to what we have been up to this Easter half term... hope you like it...


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Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Sunday Photo


I have so many beautiful photos that were taken this week, it was hard to pic just one. But I have... this one... it was taken whilst at Crosby beach, and I think it shows the freedom, we should allow kids to explore, and the adventure ahead... think it helps that the fog had burned off to beautiful blue sky too.

OneDad3Girls

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Buying tyres online

As much as I would like to say that we are an outdoorsy family, we do rely heavily on our cars. This has become so much more apparent last month when my car was off the road, for almost the full month. If you follow me on Instagram, you would have known the misery I went through....


Well I am happy to say, both cars are back on the road now... yippee... Where we live, I do need my car, and we need both cars as hubby's working pattern means he works very unsociable hours, and with a 50 mile round trip, its a lot of miles, if I need to take him to work if I need a car that day.
 
With having two cars in the M family, this means, its always something going on with one of them, or even both. Last month, we had mine off the road completely, with a duff battery, failed water pump, and bearings... Daddy M, has a dodgy tyre, or two, that needs pumping up weekly, and a suspected bearing going too.
We are travelling to France, via car next half term. This means this month getting the car fully maintained is our main priority.
We already know Daddy needs two new tyres, and with the size of his wheels, this usually means big bucks... For the past 3 years at least, we have never bought our tyres direct from a garage, unless it was a real emergency. The tyres instead we ordered online, waited a few days, then we had them delivered direct to the house. This then meant we have to find a local garage, who would then fit them for a small fee. This was fine, as meant we saved money, although a pain to have HUGE tyres around the house with young children. However, I have recently been informed of a new website 'point-s.co.uk' who do the same tyres, at around the same price we would have paid to be sent to our house, and then cart off and pay another garage to fit. This saves all the hassle, and the storage problems. We can book a time at the garage and turn up. Bonus. That's our tyres sorted.
 
So anyway, I am rambling now.... with our trip looming.... just 50 days away.... our car maintenance check list is as follows....
 
Tyres - know, check and maintain the tyre pressures, as well as double checking the tread and condition of the tyres.
Engine oil - Check the sufficient amount is in the car. Too little can harm your car.. too much, can leave you in a big ball of smoke, and at a standstill... yes, this did really happen to us....cough...daddy's fault...cough...
Water - Check your car has enough water, and coolant in at all times, (my car had a leak, which meant it didn't, hence the water pump failure) And also in the window washing section too,(with screen wash) driving with a dirty window is dangerous...
Wiper blades - If you can not clear rain, or debris off your windscreen to be able to see, you may not see a small child crossing the road, or the huge traffic jam in front of you. ..
Lights - Lights need to be checked on a weekly basis, if your braking the car behind needs to know. If its dark, you need to be able to see, as well as letting others know you are there... its common sense really...
Bodywork - I didn't realise this is in the maintenance check list. My car was bought with a dent in the back of it, and I haven't fixed it, as its just cosmetic, the money is spent better elsewhere... maybe I should look at getting it fixed to stop the rust setting in...
 
So.. this is just general maintenance that we all need to check weekly on our cars, whether your going to France, or just down the road...
 
 
 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Mr Yipadee and Alex Winters Easter Tour

This morning we were invited back to see Mr Yipadee and Cbeebies Alex Winters, on the Easter tour they are doing. We last saw Mr Yipadee at Christmas, which you can see here. The girls had so much fun, that we didn't hesitate to accept the offer. The show is touring the North West, and it is coming to an end, with only a few dates left. We chose our old haunt "Giddy Kidz" in Warrington, as it was our most convenient soft play area on the tour.
The tour is a big party. A Pirate and Princess party, which means the girls favourite Princess at the moment would also make an appearance.... this was a great excuse for lots of children to dress up, however, I really didn't think about it, and I think my girls were the only ones not in a costume...


We were greeted by the usual smiley face of Mr Yipadee, who got all the children participating right from the start...


After a song or two, it was time to get his partner in crime out... Alex Winters . He didn't get the memo he needed to come as a pirate, and instead came as a Princess, with a very girly "Arrr.."(attempting to be a pirate, with a little princess kick. This again had all the children laughing..


After a few more songs, and general banter with the children, the shakers came out, this really interested S, who actually started to calm down, rather then the hyper running around screeching phase...
After trying to sing the Elsa song, but getting the lyrics mixed up , Elsa from StarKidz came to the rescue. All the girls loved this moment, and after she showed them all a few arm dance moves, she sang her famous song, and she did it very well.
The Easter bunny also made an appearance, bringing enough chocolate eggs for all the children...
A few more dances, and banter, and the giggles were in full flow...

Before the end of the party, they had to get the adults involved... so a good old Hokey Cokey got all the adults up too...

At the end we were able to buy Mr Yipadee's albums. The Christmas album went down extremely well, so we were more then happy to get the latest addition. Which you can purchase from here.



The girls had a lovely morning, having a party, just because its half term, having a lot of giggles, and just being silly. If you are in the North West, and want in on the action, the rest of the tour is listed below.... watch out on his Facebook page for his next tour, we will be....

08-Apr 10:00: Warrington-Giddy Kidz
08-Apr 13:15: Wigan-Run & Jumo
08-Apr 16:30: Tarleton-Jollies Play Barn
09-Apr 10:00: Leigh-Toyfields
09-Apr 13:15: Chorley-Clown Around
09-Apr 16:30: St Helens-Playdays
10-Apr 10:00: Oldham-Tower Of Fun
10-Apr 13:15: Cheadle-Funtime Kids
10-Apr 16:30: Hyde-Slide & Seek



*We were given complimentary tickets, in return for an honest review. All pictures, words and opinions are my own.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

National Forest Adventure Farm Easter visit

We love the National Forest Adventure Farm. We were invited back again for Easter, after our visits in the February half term, and Halloween, and the girls always have fun. There is always something different going on. This visit was all about Easter, and of course spring, with all the baby animals on the farm.
 
Our day didn't start as smoothly as yesterdays trip to Liverpool, with S deciding she didn't want to go out today, and stripping off just minutes after I had got her dressed, in a way to sabotage our efforts. We also ran out of squash, and my girls refuse to drink water, so we had to nip to the shops first.... this all meant that with the hour drive to get there, we arrived just before lunch. We looked at the timetable of events, with various events at specific times, we didn't want to miss anything that the girls really wanted to do. We started off with feeding the animals in the barn, which costs £1 for a cup. The cows knew what the cup meant, and ran straight over to the rail nudging the girls. Both girls found it hilarious. I know that cows don't have top teeth so cant bite, so encouraged the girls to feed by hand.... I managed to capture the moment.... J has fed cows before, but she obviously forgot how wet they are... check out her face.... you can just imagine the EEEWWWWW......
 
 
S didn't want to just feed the cows, and after we saw some of the slightly older lambs being fed pellets, we tried too...
 
 
After the feeding of the animals we headed to the outside paddocks where there was meant to be pony grooming. This is on twice during the day, one being at lunch time, the other right near the end of the day. This was the one activity that J jumped up and down to do in excitement. We headed out, and asked if we were in the right place, 15 minutes we waited, with other families joining in the wait, before we all gave up.... no one showed up at the ponies for the grooming. J was devastated and started crying.... after mentioning it to the original member of staff, he went to chase it up... came back saying they were with a sheep who was giving birth so couldn't come. However, we spoke to another member of staff a few hours later, and she said no lambs were born today! Either way J was very upset, and they had about 7 unhappy children who waited for nothing.
 
 
On passing the animal barn again, the petting zoo was open, and the guinne pigs were out for a stroke, this made a perfect distraction, to get J out of her crying state.
 
 
Closely followed by lunch. The Adventure farm is great for picnics, with picnic benches outside, or under cover in the barn. Since Halloween they have tented it up even more to keep the wind out, and its even warmer... the girlies didn't complain once about eating outside, rather then in the café.
 
 
After lunch we decided the trip to see the Easter Bunny was a must. This involved a bumpy tractor ride, (makes it more fun!) which was running constantly up to the opposite side of the farm. The girlies loved the longer journey, and all the board animals they had to spot and shout out. It built a great atmosphere on a packed tractor. When we got to the other side, it was a small woods. We were given a pencil and an answer sheet. On our little walk, there were 7 questions, all around the subject of rabbits, with a riddle, and game from the mole thrown in too.
 
 
At the end of the little walk, which took no time at all as the girls whizzed through it all in excitement, from one board to the next, was the Easter bunny waiting just for them.....
 
 
 
It was then back to the main farm, scoffing the chocolate they were rewarded, on the tractor. The next activity the girls wanted to do was make their own cress head...
 
 
 This went down very well, with the girls making their own faces on the cups, filling them up, seeding, and watering afterwards... we now have them on our windowsill. If they grow, we can take a photo and pop them on the Facebook page, in hope of winning a competition.
It was almost time to bottle feed the lambs, this really is a must at spring, but J had time to squeeze in a barrel ride first. S was insistent that she would NOT ride it today.... instead she picked through the gravel on the path deciding which stones she wanted to take home....


We then made it to the animal barn again just in time for them to bring out the milk. The barn was very busy, and this meant that the bottles had to be shared. They have bottle feeding three time during the day.... J loved it, S was more interested in watching them, but did have a go....


 
 After the feeding of the lambs, and of course the hand washing, we had one last hunt to do. Around the fun field, and yes it is a field packed with lots of fun things, we had to find the names of 12 characters, to get a prize on leaving. This helped J practise some of her reading, and S recognising her numbers. With all the too-ing and fro-ing from one board to the next, S went through a puddle of mud... she is no Peppa pig, and stopped and exclaimed she was stuck.... I was not in wellies, and not impressed....  but of course I had to snap a picture of her moment in hilarious distress....


It was then time for some serious fun, before the drive home. There is so much to do in the fun field. The girls chose the giant bouncy pillow. It sure is giant, and very bouncy....


...before trying to make a sand castle...


It was then getting late, and it was time to go home ready for tea... but not before collecting the prize for the last hunt...


It was a great day out, and I would highly recommend. Which ever season you choose, there is always something to do to keep you there for a day.




*We were given complimentary entry, in return for n honest review, all photos, words, and opinions are my own.
 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall