Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Father's Day & Hob Nobs

So we're coming up to Father's Day, which has made me think somewhat about what makes a 'good dad'.  I am extremely fortunate that my kids have an AMAZING dad in James.

My own childhood and memories of my own father are not that great.  Without getting into specifics, I never felt cherished or loved or that he was particularly proud of me.  Perhaps subconsciously I 'chose' a husband who was the exact opposite - phewww!

Rachael Jess is running a fantastic competition on her blog.  In conjuction with John Lewis she is asking fellow bloggers to write a blog on what makes their dad great.  I am therefore going to write this post in the words of my 5 year old.  When I ask Keani about her dad, this is what she tells me:

'My dad goes to work and wears a suit. He talks to his friends at work and eats Hob Nobs'

erm.... anything else Keani?

'I like his socks.  He wears stripey ones'

yes but what makes him great? does he do anything special with you?

'Yeah, he swings me around a lot.  And he chases me pretending to be a monster, like this, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!'

what else?

'He's really good at making sandcastles.  And I like doing somersaults in the water with him'

'I like it when he reads me stories at night.  And he tucks me up in bed and tells the bed bugs not to bite me.  Sometimes his chin is a bit scratchy though'.

So in conclusion, I think Keani is rather fond of her daddy.  He is definitely a 'fun dad', loves spending time with the kids, and loves them unconditionally.  Awwww!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Hoops, I did it again!

So Walkers in conjuction with Tots100 have challenged us to create a fun and yummy lunchbox for kids, using Walkers Hoops and Crosses.

As most of you know, Keani has food allergies which means that she always needs to take a packed lunch to school with her - which in turn means Dexter has to as well.  I'm always on the look out for new and exciting ways to furnish their lunches!

So I got thinking of the type of lunchbox Dexter might like to take to school when he starts in September (he's currently at pre-school).  I thought about the type of stuff he enjoys - superheros, pirates etc, and settled upon a 'treasure map' theme for his lunchbox.

I used flatbread with a topping of ham, cheese and red and green peppers for the treasure map.  Then little cheeses for the pirate faces (and the wax on the cheese as their bandanas).  Treasure was of course some Walkers Hoops and Crosses, and I added some grapes and strawberries for some balance and a little more colour.

Dexter was pretty pleased with the result and devoured the contents (and I can confirm the Roast Beef Hoops and Crosses are really tasty too, they really arrrhhhhhhhh!

This is our entry into the Tots100 #HoopsandCrosses competition.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Mummy #Fail

I was feeling pretty good about myself on Friday.  Normally I'm pretty unorganised, but I'd written myself two notes to remind myself that the kids both had non-uniform days at their respective schools (Keani didn't get a place at the school we initially went for, and Dexter goes to pre-school, so will be joining Keani's school in September).

Dexter's brief was 'wear something yellow for Daffodil Day' and Keani had a very last minute text from her school saying 'don't forget to wear something bright'. 

We picked some super bright clothes for Keani - a nice colour clash!  I'd even remembered to buy some chocolate for the tombola.  And so I was polishing my halo as we walked to school....

Strangely none of the older kids were in bright clothes, in fact they were all in uniform.  'Oh, it must just be the Reception class' I thought to myself.  As I approached Keani's yard it all became clear though.

It wasn't a non uniform day at Keani's school, it was Dexter's.  The reminder text had been from Dexter's school.  Poor Keani stood out like a sore thumb amidst all the grey - my beautiful rainbow!  Thankfully the teacher whisked her off to borrow a school uniform from the lost property before she burst into tears.

Bad mummy!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Our Favourite Family Portrait

Printerpix and Tots100 are running a really great competition at the moment and have asked bloggers to submit their favourite family photograph along with a description of  why that photograph has been chosen.

Like most mums I adore taking pictures of the kids - I have thousands upon thousands.  Luckily in this digital world, it is so easy to keep these precious records of our children growing up.  Sadly I am sure I'm not the only one who has SO many on my computer, and not so many printed out and in frames (bad mummy!).

What's more, I can pretty much bet that I am not the only mum who likes to keep herself out of the picture where at all possible.  I say why ruin a pic by having me in it?  I am trying to make more of an effort though as I really don't want the kids to look back on all their childhood photographs and wonder why I'm not there.  Moreover I don't want them to have the same insecurities with their appearance that I have, and so one of my resolutions this year is to <gulp> have more photographs with me in.

So on a dreary day a few weeks ago, I jollied the troops and suggested a group photograph.  Given the ages of Keani and Dexter (5 and 3) this is not the easiest of tasks.  Both kids more or less used to refuse to smile, these days they're getting better, though both tend to do that classic inane grinning thing that children do when you ask them to 'smile' or 'say cheese'.  It is so difficult to get a decent natural looking pic.

Anyhow with camera in hand, I sat it on the dining room table and aimed it towards the settee where I decided to take the photograph of all of us.  I then had to set it on the self timer thing, then rush back to get into the picture.  Say 'sausages!' I yelled out then subsequently went back to check the picture - and no, it was rubbish!  Again, timer set, I rushed back to my place, 'say chocolate cake!' looked at the picture again, nope, still not great.  And this kind of continued in a similar vein for a while.  We weren't having much success.

The children were getting restless and started jumping around and being silly and I started getting a bit stressed thinking we would never get that perfect family portrait I was after!  And then Dexter started hanging upside down on the settee.  His curly hair cascaded down and his little cheeky grin appeared.

And it was then, I had the Eureka moment!

Needless to say this was the photograph we finally took.  We actually flipped it round, so instead of us hanging upside down, it looks like we're flying!

I adore this pic.  It captures the kid's fun side (and ours too).  It doesn't look staged, it looks really natural, and fun - and actually it was.  It was so nice to be able to take a picture and have some giggles at the same time.

This post is my (Lisa's) entry into the Printerpix Photo competition.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pancake Day Challenge

Pancakes! I love them!  I particularly like chocolate spread and banana pancakes, or the traditional lemon and sugar.  If I could have any pancake at all though, it would have to be one drizzled with some kind of salted caramel sauce...   nom!

For the first time this year we have been able to celebrate Pancake Day properly - you see for much of Keani's little life (she's only 5) she has been allergic to eggs, so pancakes in previous years have been a no go.

Thankfully, she is growing out of her egg allergy and can tolerate cooked egg, which means, hurrah! we can all eat pancakes.  Fancy fillings, and expensive ingredients are out though, Keani is only 5 and Dexter 3 and we do have Keani's nut allergy to contend with too.

Anyhow inspired by some biscuit cutters the kids received from Santa, we decided to go about making our own biscuit cutter inspired pancakes.

We took a basic pancake recipe and made 3 lots of batter.  One a normal 'batter' colour, and the other 2 coloured with food dye, one a dark purple (for Dexter) and one pink (for Keani).

We then cooked the regular batter and flipped our pancakes.  Once the pancakes had cooled slightly, the kids got their biscuit cutters (heart shaped for Keani, scull and crossbone shaped for Dexter) and cut their shapes out of the pancakes.

We then made 2 more pancakes, one pink and one purple - taking care not to burn them.  Food colouring makes them more susceptible to burning I find!

The kids then cut their shapes out of the purple and pink pancakes, and inserted them into the original pancakes.

And............. ta dahhhhhhhh!

Dexter was being more receptive to the photoshoot at this point, hence him posing with Keani's pancakes!

I managed to bribe Keani to pose a little in this pic.  Dexter is looking a little bit cheeky on this one!

We decorated the pancakes with a little golden syrup and some bananas and strawberries and they went down a treat.

This is my entry into the Tots100/Center Parcs Pancake Day Challenge

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Silent Sunday

That's my Hero - Super Dex!

So MoneySupermarket and Tots100 are running a fantastic competition to find out about your child's or grandchild's superhero.

My two kids love their superheros!  Dex is a bit little to be drawing his own, but his personal favourites are Spiderman and Batman.

When I asked Keani (5) who her favourite superhero is, she said 'Super Dex' (this is what he calls himself sometimes).  I asked her what he does that makes him a superhero and she said 'he draws lots of crosses - lots of X marks the spot' (which he does - he's a little bit pirate obsessed too).

Anyhow after more questioning, it transpires that 'Super Dex' is a superhero who draws lots of 'X marks the spot' on the ground, and everytime he draws an X he leaves some treasure.  The treasure can be anything - from chocolate coins to pirate DVDs and Disney Princess dolls.

Wow, what a wonderful superhero!

This is Keani's depiction of 'Super Dex'.  I love the fact she's given him a curly quiff (Dexter has unfeasibly curly hair).  I especially like his green mask and dayglo tights too!

This post is an entry into the Tots100 MoneySupermarket That’s My Hero competition