Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Gallery - Halloween (My World Vision Lantern of Hope)

This week on the Gallery Tara's has aptly chosen the theme Halloween.  I never really get involved with Halloween; the dressing up, trick or treating or pumpkin carving.  In fact I had never carved a pumpkin until yesterday.

The reason I decided to carve one this year is because of world visions 'A Night of Hope' I was asked to support the campaign which they discribe as, "Our children enjoy the frights of Halloween one night a year, but for many children around the world there are real things to be afraid of. World Vision is fighting to make the world a safer place for young people vulnerable to child marriage, malnutrition, dirty water and more. Read more about how we helped Sylvia from Uganda escape child marriage at fifteen on our campaign page:

Carve a pumpkin as a lantern of hope to stand together with us and Sylvia to spread a message of care instead of fear."

What better way to carve my first pumpkin than to use the experience to bring awareness to a wonderful cause.  I would hate for my children to have to live in such fear, so my photo for the gallery this week is my lantern of hope carved by me the teen and the mini teen (little man thought pumpkin was t0o yukky to join in).

Head over to the Gallery to see some more Halloween fun.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Our first Duet

I may have blogged about this photo before, I'm not sure, but this is one of my favourite photographs of the teen before she became a teen.

Her excited grin as she clung to her rabbit in the early hours of the morning in a Spanish car park waiting for our coach to arrive and take us to Castell Medieval.  However it is not the memories of Castell Medieval that makes this special to me but the fact it was our first holiday with just the two of us.

Being only 18 when I had the teen I never had the chance to have the 'girls holiday' experience.  I holidayed with my family (mum, brother & dad if he could be bothered) and we always went back home to Barbados.  Not that I'm complaining, going to Barbados was then and is still a wonderful experience for me and time spent with my extended family but it was always one where I had to wait on other people to want to go somewhere.

When I decided on this trip Spain I booked all inclusive but we did not do the relaxed, stay in the hotel or travel to the nearest beach type holiday.  We would pack a day bag and jump on the train and head to whatever destination it took us, most days this was Barcelona.  We love Barcelona.

The memories that this photo brings me are of pure love,  I believe going on holiday is an experience that can really test any relationship and travelling alone with a child has the potential to be very stressful.  My princess made it a joy for me and we bonded more than ever which is why this photo will always be one of my favourites. 

I'm linking up with What's the Story and Magic Moments x

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Monday Melodies 28/10/13

The Teen Princess has been bugging me for weeks to listen to this song by Jessie J.  I have to admit that I do really love a bit of Jessie.  Her vocal range is awesome and having seen her at Hackney Weekend She sounds even better live than on CD.

So I've finally listened to it and the teen was right, It's beautiful.  It was written about someone who has dementia  If you haven't heard it already, you may have to open up in youtube but here it is...

I'm joining in with Monday Melodies click the badge to find out more x

Living with Mr M & Les Enfants

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Saturday is Caption Day

My little man is not too impressed when it comes to different textures, so exploring in the park is not always his idea of fun.  What is this face saying?

Mammasaurus - Saturday is Caption Day!

There was Cake

My sister and I took the children to feed the ducks and see the dinosaurs in Crystal palace park on Tuesday, it was  fun.  The boys laughed, we laughed and most importantly there was cake!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Dream Family Garden

"How do I fancy winning £750 to transform my garden into a fab family play area and be given the chance to test some of the best toys around for the next year?"  That's exactly the question that Activity Toys Direct is asking bloggers who want to become a play ambassador with them so of course I jumped at the chance!

I had asked the teen to design her dream garden but as things go with teens sometimes either homework, meeting up with friends or plain old "Not in the mood right now mum," got in the way.  Little man of course was much more receptive but I'm not sure you can make out what his ideas are from his rather fetching sketch.

My Garden as it stands is basically a long patch of grass with a shed and some trees thrown in for good measure.  I'm not great when it comes to the whole gardening thing and would rather sit in an ice cold bath than mow the lawn but when the weather is good, and someone else has done the mowing, my garden, bare as it may be, is one of our favourite places to chill.

My feeble attempt to mow the lawn before someone else stepped in and took over!

First on my list for my garden would be to invest £250 in an artificial lawn.  No mowing = happy mummy = happy children.  That's a double win situation.

As I'm not completely selfish I would make sure that a vegetable patch remained along the side of the garden because little man (and mum when she's in the country)  love a bit of gardening.  Nothing like growing your own tomatoes to get a toddler excited! So that's 3 wooden pallets at about £2 each some wood glue and a large packet of nails (£7.00) to turn them into raised bed planters plus £65 for compost and seeds.

Then for the fun stuff, toys!

At the moment we are storing a picnic table for a friend which little man loves so I would definitely invest in getting one of our own.  Activity Toys Direct have a great picnic table that doubles as a sand and water tray for £84.99  and I spotted some sand for £2.99 on the net.  

I'd wait it out on freecycle to see if I could get a table for us big people.

In this little family we are all a wee bit competitive, I used to compete in athletics, rounders and netball in my school days and the teen has so far competed in football, netball and cheer-leading.  We all love a good run around and think the TP Toys Garden Game set would be the ideal thing to keep us on our feet and at £38.99 you don't have to be a genius to work out you'd be getting a great deal.

Ready, Set, Go!

And of course we love to have the family around and this gas BBQ for £79.49 would be just the thing to get the party started.

And last but not least these...

The Axi Noa Playhouse at £185 and the TP Toys Activity play pack at £22.50, which would fit perfectly inside it.  All of that would leave me with a grand total of £8.04 which I would then use in the pound shop to pick up some sand toys and other bits.

I'd probably have to add some money to do all the things I want to do with my garden, but with £750 it would look something like this.

Plan made at

We'd also still have plenty of room for this...

What would you do with £750 to fix up your garden and inject some fun?

This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity toys Direct garden makeover competition.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Dear Daughter

My Dearest Teen Princess,

You're coming to 'that age' where the world in all it's mystery is there for you to explore independently.  I've thought hard about exactly how to word this letter and I came to the conclusion that as our relationship has always been based on honesty, I should write this in the most open and honest way I can.  

I know a lot of people say that you can't be a parent and a friend but I have tried to raise you in such a way that you will never feel embarrassed to hold my hand.  I have and will always hold you close to my heart.

 My desire for you is that you live your life as I have lived mine, only better.  

Mistakes are meant to make us stronger.  

I want you have a first love, choose him carefully.  Don't be so guarded by all I've told you that you put up a barrier, not all men are bad.  You may get hurt but hurt only lasts for a season.  

I want you to mix with the wrong crowd if only for a little while.  By mixing with them you will realise that in their company is not where you belong.  You are a leader and I love that about you.  When you see people doing wrong you aren't afraid to speak up, even if it's me.

I want you to ask questions about everything that intrigues you from the way you 'build a splif' to abortion.  I don't want you to be afraid that anything you are thinking of doing or have done are so bad that you can't talk to me.  I've been there.  My life has been far from perfect.  

From STDs to same sex relationships, theft to taking drugs.  I know enough to answer your questions.  If I can't answer them I will find someone who can.  Life is for living, make the choices you feel are right for you.  When you make the wrong ones I will be there to catch you.  I want you to chose your own path, don't feel that my beliefs should dictate yours.  You are your own person.  

Believe in God should you choose to and despite my grumbling when you doubt, don't feel that I will love you any less should you go your own way.

The world can be your teacher but when you can't find the right page in the chapter of life call mummy, she's read that page already.

I love you T-boo.

From Mummy x

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Body Parts - The Gallery

The theme this week on the gallery is body parts.  I took this photo about 5 years ago on a holiday to Malaysia.  I was teaching at the time and the puppy puppet is in the photo because he would travel with myself or a child in my class on weekends and holidays, we would then write about our experiences. (A Barnaby Bear type character).

It's not the best photo in the world but what I loved about this piece of art was that the women's breast is represented here as a symbol of motherhood and fertility, just the way it should be.

For more body parts or to join in head over to The Sticky Fingers Blog x

Monday, 21 October 2013

Oops Moments

My living room at the moment is beginning to resemble a laptop graveyard.  I have a HP G62 and an Acer with dodgy mother boards, 2 HP G60s with broken screens and some other bits like batteries and chargers.

This could mean one of two things, either I make poor choices when buying my equipment or I live in a house full of clumsy people.  Option two is probably more fitting.  The teen princess is the most graceful human being when she's up in the air as a flyer for her cheer leading squad but put her in an empty room and she will find a way to break something.  

Little man is not much better though he prefers throwing things to falling over them, which can't really be described as clumsy as he's doing it on purpose, and then there is me.  I am known to drop things, glasses, plates, phones and as I can be quite forgetful I once forgot my nephew was still in his pushchair and started folding it (sorry sis).

Needless to say I'm in the market for a new laptop, or at least a repair for my old one.  Unfortunately as the saying goes, money doesn't grow on trees!  So for now we will make do with a HDMI lead and the TV to use the broken one, lord help us if the TV goes on the blink :-)

Are you as terrible as my family when it comes to breaking things?

This is a sponsored post though unfortunately we really are that clumsy.

Lunch Less Ordinary Movie Wrap

The challenges for last weeks Lunch Less ordinary blogger were:

1)      Theme your lunch on a different country each day for a week. For inspiration, check out our facebook page for some of our new recipes themed around the different exotic destinations you can win as part of our Lunch Less Ordinary Promotion – link   
2)    Put unusual flavours together in a wrap and get the kids to eat them blindfolded. They need to guess what the weird but it works flavours are. Best of 3 ‘what’s that wrap’ wins! And whatever their favourite is goes in Monday’s lunchbox. Yum!
3)    Make a wrap based on your favourite book or film – e.g. The Italian Job – Green Rocket, White Mozzarella and Red Tomatoes
4)    Can you make a ‘free lunch’? We’ll send you some wraps as a starting point and then ask friends and family to donate one item each and see what you can create – the weirder the better! ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’

In keeping with the season I chose to make a wrap based on one of my favourite Halloween movies...

The finished wrap, though very strange, tasted quite nice.  I would only recommend in small portions as a treat as both the pumpkin and the chocolate make it very sweet!  

I was sent some delicious wraps for taking part in the competition.  You can find Mission Deli on their facebook page and check out some more fab wraps.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Monday Melodies

So what's happening in the life of me this week, what tune has got my feet moving and my blood flowing.  It's this one, shallow some might say but I've been imagining everything I could do if I were a billionaire.

If I had a Billion dollars I'd work on making this happen more often...

Making my children happy is the best feeling in the world.

Click on the link below to join in with Monday Melodies

Living with Mr M & Les Enfants

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Once Upon a Time I was 21

Girls night In - My Bday

Saturday was my birthday, although I still like to go out on occasion and shake a leg, I decided that I'd make this one really relaxed.  I spent the morning with my mum and little man, had breakfast in bed and didn't lift a finger except to put the fork to mouth.  

The teen had decided to run away to her friends house on Friday so I wasn't sure I would see her, but up she popped, friend in tow with a gift and a birthday cuddle before heading off again.  She has a better social life than me!

In the evening I jumped in my girl Chan's car and went down to my sister's for a pre-planned girly evening with lots of cake, lots of snacks a couple of movies and most importantly lots of laughter.

My beautiful bestie aka lesbo lova

@kimmychyna my big sister <3

My eldest sister.  Love it when my sister smiles <3

P, @fudgyann & @kimmychyna

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday is Caption Day!

Here is what happens when a toddler gets hold of his sister's plastic lips.

Mammasaurus - Saturday is Caption Day!

Lunch Less Ordinary Hits the Roof

As you may already know I've been chosen to take part in the Mission Deli Wraps Lunch Less Ordinary Blogger Challenge and as such my brain has been running away with itself to find less ordinary ways to enjoy my lunch. They've even asked for everyone to contribute ideas on how to challenge us over on their facebook page 

Out of all the fabulous challenges this week, I chose to have lunch in a less ordinary location.

As a teen I had the pleasure of living right next door (one on either side) to some of my best friends in the world.  One of which is a godmother to my Son (Chan) and the other is the one that performed his blessing, Eric.

God mother (Chan) in the background and Eric (blessing Little Man)

Eric and I lived in adjoining houses and my dad was not a fan of me having any male friends, especially not one that was so very close to home.  My brother and I used to sneak him and his cousin Tei (who is sadly no longer with us) into the house.  When we heard dads car pull up we had two options, they would either run through the back door or escape through my brothers bedroom window onto the roof of our extension and straight into Eric's bedroom.  We would sometimes have late night music sessions through that thin bedroom wall (I'm smiling at the memory.)

This gave me my idea for a less ordinary lunch location to have my Mission Deli Wrap...

For me this weeks challenge was not just a lunch less ordinary it rekindled memories of the best kind.

My wrap was really simple to make: 
  1. I chopped up some halal chicken & paprika slices,
  2. chopped some spring onion into small pieces
  3. grated some cheese 
  4. threw it all on my Wheat and White Mission Deli Wrap
  5. put it in the microwave for 10 seconds 
  6. rolled it up and sliced.

Hey presto I had a tasty wrap that made mum jealous so I had to make another - our verdict DELICIOUS!

And because once is just not enough I went back up there on my birthday to enjoy another!

Egg and Chicken wrap