Friday 31 August 2012

Caption Saturday 1/9/2012 #satcap

Paraylmpic Opening Ceremony Slideshow

I have managed to do put a slideshow into Blogger for the first time !

I will write more about this life altering experience soon but for now I will let the fabulous pictures even if I say so myself speak for what I at the lovely Jane Willis witnessed.

Prepare to be amazed ... Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Play on a budget #CardboardChallenge

Outdoor / Indoor  play really need not run into lots of money you can play outside play fun for little or no money. Take for example a simple card box this can provide hours of fun in the garden and in the home. You know how it is at Christmas they often prefer the cardboard box to the expensive toy that Father Christmas has bought them, much to the sorrow of their parents.

Cardboard Box play Boat.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Egyptian .... Adventure

So when my child asked about the Egyptians I took him to Egypt and my husband of course... I shall give you more information on taking a child to Egypt in further blog posts.  Keep an eye out !

Monday 27 August 2012

What I love about being a mother

What do I love about being a mum or Mummy, mmm tough one, I could go a sugary sentimental journey but that's just not me. So what I love the most perhaps the up-most, is arguing with my son. A puzzling choice , not a knee jerk reaction of a mother? Read on, then you will see why I love my son. After all, every good story has a truly heart felt conclusion doesn't it?

Well, when J was born he  was a normal baby until all the problems started happening, the constant eczema which is inherited. The sudden coughing fits and gastric problems. the fussy eating, the projectile vomiting.

As he grew then there was the sudden tiredness and falling asleep anywhere ( asthma ) the allergy to food colourings. The inability to leave my side, his allergy to cats ( we had to get rid of our cat). yes J was one nervous child constant trips to the hospital seeing various medical professionals.

Then more problems came when there was the problem with him being slightly sugar slow and then the bouts of anaemia. Whilst I appreciate these problems aren't as severe as many people experience with their child, it was still heartbreaking for me. Throughout this I had noticed  that J was not communicating , but he had passed his baby hearing test. Hardly rocket science when he took it.

J was born in September 1998 and looking at an entry from his health book dated June 2000 that he has made little progress with his speech. The silly health visitor said his comprehension appeared good, well it wasn't I assure you. The to-ing and fro-ing continued with the health visitors still ignoring me. This continued until around October 2001 when J still wasn't really speaking. Eventually after basically a sit in protest at the doctors we got a referral to the hospital where he was diagnosed with Glue ear. He had his operation to have grommets inserted after the usual long weight for an the operation.

Progress was slow but really came into its own on a holiday to Center Parcs in March 2022 when he was three and a half We were on our bikes and J was in a child seat behind me, a squirrel ran in front of me and J said " Bloody Squirrel" and j repeated this all day.

A shy toddler

J had been learning sign language at nursery and and a least now there was a focus on his language skills , of course this had now developed. He was a slow learner at Infant School because of his previous problems, nervous and clingy. We had  problems with parties etc he still wouldn't leave my side till he was nearly seven. I just plonked him into Beavers one day and ran , same with football. Cruel but kind and as a result he developed.

So that's why I love arguing with him he has developed into a heartfelt young boy who knows his own mind and is making his own way in the world. He is an academic high flyer, plays rugby for our County, top sport man for the school. Plays a musical instrument, he is an all rounder. What more could I ask for than an argument about his sock draw...?

New Unicorn ready for school

I remember when my son was starting school for the first time he had only been speaking for a year and a half so social situations really weren't his thing. You can read here why he didn't talk till he was 3 1/2.

To get him ready for school we had been dressing him for nursery in a very similar colour uniform to the school he was going to. And made sure he had a special bag that was his school bag.

So being the organised parent that I was I had bought his school uniform over the year so there was no panic when it came to the first day.

I thought I would get him into the habit of putting on his uniform himself no small feat for a child that had encountered so many medical problems early in life.So I told him :

" Can you please go put on your Uniform please ?"

He nodded as he was only really talking when he had to because of his speech delay.

He came down holding his new Unicorn.

"No Darling your Uniform not your New Unicorn!:

We eventually got there ..

Ready to start school.

So all those starting school soon it is daunting but its a life journey and they will get there.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Country Kids 26/8/2012 Peveril Castle

My son enjoying a walk up at Peveril Castle despite having his hand in plaster after having his little finger pinned in a two hour operation.

Peveril Castle is an ideal place to visit it has beautiful  stunning scenery and is easily assessable if you are fairly fit. There are plenty of places to rest on the way up , which I took full advantage of, my own son beat me and he had a cast on his wrist.

The ruins of Peveril Castle imposed thmselves on the landscape it nestles itself within the pretty village of Castleton in the heart of Derbyshire Peak district . I wouldn't want to live any where else with this on my doorstep.

Peveril Castle is mentioned in the Doomsday survey it is one of Englands Normans earliest Fortresses.

Peveril Castle.

Hope Valley Castleton  Derbyshire.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Silent Sunday 25/08/2012

Sleep is for the weak...

Its a long time since I had one of  .. what you call it now , oh yes a screaming ball of fury  which equates to you or I a baby. or a toddler which is equal to a moving weapon of mass destruction.

Long has it been since I grappled in hospital with what they suggested I clean my babies backside with cotton wool and water. Sorry maternity ward I ditched that one when you weren't looking and whipped out the baby wipes, which are the saviour of the human race.  Seriously have you seen what comes of a baby ? it is not I assure you sunshine and unicorns!

Also it the great scheme of things resting your baby sleeps is just not going to happen they are master of tiptoeing feet and your bum cheeks connecting  with your comfy sofa. But fear not in the battle of the baby/ toddler you can and will fight back, do not show them any fear otherwise those  eyes will suck you in.

The first situation I encountered was baby stealth  you know the one where they are not , hungry, not tired, they don't want to play, not dirty but you KNOW its time for a nap. The thing I used when it came to this was *white noise * switch on your vacuum and leave it running. This one confuses the baby but also the white noise some how soothes them and will hopefully put them to sleep. Obviously doing this at 2 am it the morning is not suitable if your husbands is on nights.

So my top tips for sleep inducing a baby/ toddler are :

1.What I also found was useful at the correct age ( medical information shifts all the time ) was Weetbaix just before the little darling went to bed.

2. Mashed banana.

3. Classic Fm or if they or you before Coldplay or what ever music you or they like.

4. Vacuum ( because of the white noise)

5. Putting them in front of the washing machine ( trust me it works ) The trick with this one is to give them a bottle making sure you watch them etc if they are doing it themselves. Putting the washing machine on a long long cycle. And watch the little darling nod off to sleep you can then if you are brave whisk them off to their cot or leave them where they are.

Sleep is the enemy to a toddler.
6. Make sure you have 2 of their favourite toys  you never not if they might lose it and that could mean hours of misery and heartbreak if you don't.

Have 2 of a childs favourite must loved toy.

Caption Saturday #satcap

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Gallery : Sky

Looking at the Sky through a wine glass at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen.

Ticknall Village Sunset.

So I was elated to see that Tara Cains Gallery theme for this week was sky. I  have so many shots of beautiful sky that I fear that this post could run into hundreds of pictures. So I will share some of my favourite pictures with you.

St Peters Church Chellaston
An English Oak tree.

Finland evening sky.
Skies are fantastic if you see an image you have to snap it there and there because you are never going to see a scene like that again.
Nelsons Column.

Warwick Castle.

Taken at Watergate Bay Cornwall.

Discovery Review The perfect Fajita Kit

I was sent The Discovery Fajita Kit ( Crispy Crumb)  for review.

Whats in the Kit?

Crispy Crumb Coating (Mild and family friends) (Gluten Free)
Sour Cream

Discovery The Perfect Fajita Kit

How easy is it to prepare ?

Very easy basically some oil combine it with the freshly cut up chicken and mix and that's it.

Mix the Discovery crispy crumb and the chicken.

Bake the crispy crumb chicken in the oven.
Is there anything you would change ?

Yes I would change the taste of the sour cream that came with the kit as it tasted too vinegary to me and my family.We opted for real sour cream in the end and if you look at the picture you will see that the real sour cream is the one pictured on the right. Also This part of this kit is labelled as being Gluten free this is only the chicken coating and not the wrap unfortunately.

Can you guess which one is the real sour cream ?

The Discovery Fajita kit ready to wrap.
What did we think overall as a family ?

Overall we enjoyed this meal as a family especially my son who was able to eat this one handed due to his other arm being in plaster.  I particularly liked that this was a mildly flavour spiced in comparison to other kits from other companies in the past that have left us all gagging for a drink. So all in all we would buy this kit again and enjoy a mexican night ...

The Discovery Perfect Fajita Kit is available from most supermarkets priced at £3.19. 
I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, my opinion is my own and not influenced in any way

The Bat in the Cat

Picture if you will a dark and stormy night with moonlit shadows hanging ominously, strange sounds that made the hairs on your arms stand up on end. Combine this with a night at the cinema to see at the time one of the most hyped films of the late 1980s then you have Batman.

Also throw into the mix after seeing this film a large Victorian house with rattling sash windows, creaking floor boards .

Coming back late at night after seeing you guessed it 'Batman' then mine and Mr T senses were somewhat heightened not tingling in a  Spider man sense sort of way but more alert than usual.

Suddenly there was a tapping at the window ....

"What the ****** was that ?" I cried.

And again there was an evil tapping  at the window. This time Mr T had heard it and in true SAS style he instigated the secret hand signal code.

Which consisted of pointing and gesturing at me to go investigated and in return I replied with hand gestures that I do believe are  not on a UN peace keepers mandate.

A sudden scraping at the window not like fingers down a blackboard but more like a serial killer trying to get in.

And as my old rattling Victorian house was ideal for number of killers to live Norman Bates, that rather nice chappy from the shining and the uber friendly dentist from Marathon Man.

It was left to me to investigate the situation arming myself with Mr T cricket bat, a girl guide whistle and a torch I opened the back door.

I jumped out shouting "Ah haaa in a Kato style ( that ninja chap from Pink Panther) ...

To find our old cat sitting there purring on the window sill with a bat in its mouth.

I rescued the bat putting in gently in a shoe box and directed Mr T to back that all important call to ...

"The Batman"

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Tiles #snapHappyBritmums

You have to look how Rollies stripes match with the tiles ...

Hours not to reason why

Hours are not ours to reason why,

I walk the hospital corridors not a sound I hear,

except the shuff shuff shuffle of some feet I fear,

Do I count back the hours ?

or forward to good news,

I think this is a situation I can not muse,

Lights a  flicker ,

A sound pierces my very soul,

Twenty pairs of feet rush to save,

I look around my child is here,

Safe and sound ,

But my fears unleashed,

To the operating theatre,

Dutifully bound ,

Nurse is tight lipped,

No comforting sound,

Reaching the destination,

You look for escape,

Sadly no turning back,

Child assigned to Morpheus,

Not a sight to behold to us,

So we are left with the hours,

When we must not reason why.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Caption Saturday 18/08/2012

Battlelines.. School Shoe shopping

It was a scene of destruction it was Waterloo all over again bodies every where, legs and limbs askew.

Tears and wanting the very best, only what was waiting on the other side mattered. Eyes were focused , but then another set of eyes  started glinting from the corner.

Well the battle lines was drawn , the red wait paint applied, the secret signals sent of silently mouthing the words " That's mine"

Quicker out the the blocks than Usain Bolt but what was this ? A Mo Farrah ( peoples champion coming through ) the troops eagerly willing them one !

So extra energy needed to be  applied knowing there was a reason for a lonely Jaffa cake in my pocket it spurred me on , with Mo at  snapping at the heels. A triumphant arm was stretched out clutching the prize , The customary Usain Bolt pose was taken.

Meanwhile my husband walked up and said "can we just buy the school shoes please" passing me a tissue to wipe of my red lipstick war paint.

School shoe shopping is war I tell you  . WAR.....

Triumphant was I slowly squeaking away in my Crocs ...

Shoe School Shoe shopping is war!

Friday 17 August 2012

Hello Canvas Review

I was contacted to see if I would like to do a Canvas for Hello Canvas and with Mr T photographing everything that moves I happily agreed and to be honest his pictures are rather good . This is the picture I emailed to Hello canvas the quality of the image has to be of a certain quality but they can talk you through all that , thats just what they did for me.

 And they can magic your picture into a black and white,Sepia or colour canvas.

Hello Canvas state if you order before 4pm it's delivered within 3 working days. With free packaging you are sometimes left wondering how it will reach you. But I needn't have worried as the canvas was in a bubble sleeve and in very very sturdy card board box ably delivered by a nice delivery man. Upon opening the package ( not the delivery man ) the cardboard box (task what were you thinking ?) This is what greeted me.

Prices for a canvas range from £13 - £99 - Available at

The canvas I received was £39 and I am elated with it. If had been a problem then there is a sticker on the back of the canvas for you to contact them so they can swiftly deal with it.
But my canvas was picture prefect in every way and I would certainly order from them again.

You can like Hello Canvas on Facebook: 
You can follow Hello Canvas on Twitter:

(Disclosure I was sent the canvas for review and  all thoughts and opinions are my own )

Satellite #snaphappybritmums

iPieces review

Get your fingertips ready and make way for a revolutionary gaming experience with the launch of iPieces from Jumbo

Jumbo Games are delighted to introduce iPieces which use innovative technology and interactive counters to allow up to six players to play family favourite board games such as Snakes & Ladders and Air Hockey on the iPad.  These brand new products promise to entertain the whole family as iPieces activates amazing special effects on your iPad.

iPieces has been developed alongside the downloadable app, bringing each game to life through stunning visual animation and entertaining sound effects. These games can be enjoyed at home or on car journeys, making iPieces the perfect addition to any iPad.
·         For the more traditional gamers, Snakes & Ladders comes to life with realistic movement and sounds as players use their iPieces to progress through the game.
·         Air Hockey brings the fun of the arcade to the iPad. Use your iPieces to hit the puck across the ice, collecting bonus balls, whilst staying clear of the cracks.

·         Jumbo has also developed a Fishing Game, where players use their iPieces rods to reel in their prize catch, collecting them into their bucket – but watch out for the heron!
·         In Game of Goose, players progress around the board using the goose iPieces in a challenge to be the first to reach the centre.

No time for missing pieces and dice, iPieces are easy and practical to transport, making them the ideal travel companion.  Taking the classic board game to a whole new level,iPieces brings games back around the table.

This game was perfect for me son who at least can do this with his hand thats not broken so it staves off the boredom. And also its ideal for taking on holiday especially if you are travelling by train, welcome distractions may the journey go faster.

(Dislosure I was sent this for review )

Thursday 16 August 2012

Repetition in Autism learning

 What I am finding teaching children with Autism is that repetition is key small steps and all that. So two weeks ago I was tearing my hair out because what  ever I did I just couldn't get them to understand it. I felt terrible because I wanted them to progress and I wanted to know that i  was making a difference in their world and in their learning.
So first time We started with  Peas went Pop'  and was well and  the child responded at the appropriate time s by saying 'POP' We then moved on to "five Fat sausages sizzling in a pan' and this is where it all went pear shaped as the child said 'POP' at the appropriate times instead of 'Bang' After this I decided to stick to one rhyme "Five Fat Sausages'

I followed 'Five fat Sauages' by doing a phonics sessions just a quick one from Big Cat Phonics and I am finding two weeks on that the child is making huge progress. So by sticking to one ryhme and moving 'Big Cat ' on one session at a time progress is made.

Tea for Two #snaphappyBritmums

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Ornament #snaphappyBritmums

Apricot, Carrot and Almond Jam

Are you already inspired by the Great British bake off ? Why not make some jam to go into the sumptuous mouth watering cakes they you are going to make!

Apricot, Carrot and Almond Jam


100g/ 3 1/4 oz carrot , grated peeled
600g/ 1lb 5 oz fresh apricots
5cm/ 2 in piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated
400g / 14 oz granulated or caster sugar
1 small lemon, juice only
50g/ 2 oz chopped almonds


Place the grated carrot into a lidded saucepan with 330 ml / 1/4 pint of water, bring to the boil and then cook until the carrot thread are falling apart and the water has mostly evaporated.

Meanwhile , halve the apricots, remove the stones and place the flesh in the pans with the carrots. Cover with a lids and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit starts to break down.

Add the ginger to the pan and cook with the lid off until most of the remaining moisture has evaporated.

Add the sugar and lemon juice, bring to the boil and cook until the mixture reaches 105c/220F on a sugar thermometer. Stir the jam as it's cooking, especially around the edges, as it sometimes catches and burns on the bottom.

Stir in the almonds.

Leave the apricot jam for a few minutes to cool; then ladle into hot , clean jars and seal immediately.

( Disclosure a Royalty Free image was used )

Monday 13 August 2012

Favourite Place #snaphappyBritmums

Wrapped around your little finger ...

Princess and Prince syndrome is probably en counted by every parent at some point in their daughters /sons life. From toddler tantrums to high maintenance teenage girls. it part of growing up and usually girls grow out of it.

When I dislike about "Princess and Prince syndrome ' is when girls turn nasty and manipulative even more so at a very young age of 6 . I encountered a situation where a group of girls where playing and one girl was very upset because she wasn't in the 'Gang' as the girl orchestrating the play called it. The word gang has many contractions mostly negative I hasten to add. It amounts to bullying in a word emotional bullying ., because the girl organising the play had given all those playing a sticker one girls sticker had fallen off. And as a result she wasn't allowed to play by the girl one had given out the stickers. I gently pointed out the errors of such play and that everyone should be allowed to play and giving out stickers at school creates such problems in the first place.

And aspect to "Princess syndrome " is the manipulation by little girls/ boys and often older ones to bend the will of the parents to their very will. From demanding chips and Candy Floss for breakfast and drinking fizzy drinks  I have seen everything whilst on holiday . It seems that parents and their daughters/sons  are in a vicious circle with no one stepping out of the circle to stop it. What I ate is seeing meals ordered and cooked and then child to hark " I don't like it ". It would seem that parents resort to the short sharp shock of the sugary snack to keep their child quiet.
Candy Floss for breakfast!

Do your children manipulate you ?


Saturday 11 August 2012

Caption Saturday #satcap 11/8/2012

You know what its like you are innocently wandering around the forest at Center Parcs and you run into this....

Thursday 9 August 2012

Vax W-90-RU-P Rapide Carpet Washer blog review

Now I wont go all Stepford wives on you about cleaning , I really don't  love cleaning, it's  actually soul destroying and however much I wish I was Martha Stewart it just isn't going to happen and if I declared how much I loved cleaning in reality you would all be gorging my eyes out now wouldn't you!

Never has a cleaning product been so anticipated I was hoping and so was Mr t that it would unleash the domestic goddess that lurked underneath. Though Mr T's wish of me turning into Nigella Lawson isn't going to happen *wafts tea towel to shut up smoke alarm *

Anyway to the mission in hand:

The Product… Vax W90-RU-P Rapide Ultra Carpet Washer 
Vax W90-RU-P Rapide Ultra Carpet Washer 
I liken this to a sports car  a rather sexy sports car that James Bond himself would drive.Let us look at its specifications:

Power under the hood

1000 watts

Fuel  Capacity
(what it holds in  clean water to you and I)

4.5 litres

On board gadgets

It has tools.

The ability to get rid of baddies...
(How much dirty water it holds)

3 litres

Is it light enough to save the world?
(If you have to rush down stairs because you have spilt your martini
is it light enough to carry upstairs again?

Yes as It weighs 10.7 g 

Can it reach all those ninja fighting stains?

Yes it has a cleaning reach of 11 metres

Other accessories that are included :
Float chamber, handle locking pin, pre treatment wand & holder, cleaning solution.
And the all important Wash tool ideal for cleaning your stairs or more importantly the seats of your Always read the instructions though there is a quick start guide on the back of the water tank for the impatient like myself !

Wash tool

The saviour to the those horrible stains is the the pre treatment wand ...

Pre Treatment will tackle those nasty lurking stains that look well you know....
The first job to use was the Pre-treatment wand that fitted to the front of the cleaner, again with the easy to follow  Pre-treatment instructions.

I started with the recommended pre-treatment as my bedroom carpet hadn't been cleaned since I moved in 5 years ago and its beige ( well it was more grey ) The solution needed to be mixed with water and then added to the cold water tank. Using the attached wand you then spray the desired area.

Vax recommends that pre-treatment is left for the full recommended 10-15 minutes before starting the full carpet cleaning process. Giving you time to either have a coffee or tackle the bombsite that is usually the bathroom!

This is a over riding factor to me that will be money saving as no more will I have to buy those supermarket bottle to treat the irksome stains that frequent my house on many occasions * shakes first at silver tabby Rollie *
The ‘Rapide Ultra 2′ 
"The Rapide Ultra 2 carpet cleaner takes all the hassle out of washing, so you can be confident your carpets look and smell as clean as your clothes, every day. Its flexible hose and wash tool make it easy to clean your stairs, upholstery and even your car seats. For really stubborn spots, there's also a pre-treatment kit to break down dirt and stains before you wash. 


It is quite a beast of a machine but its a one shot deal in my opinion buy this and it will see you through all your domestic woes. I would defiantly recommend getting one if you have just become proud new parents  if you wish your home to look the same now your little bundle of joy has arrived.

The ‘Rapide Ultra 2′ has given my now beige bedroom carpet a whole new lease of life no more does my bedroom scream boring.It was easy to set up and was easy to use fantastic.   The cleaner doesn’t let off excess water making your carpets soaking like many others tend to do. The inclusion of  the New Dual V technology ensures consistent, powerful suction to carpets dry really quickly. I really wish I had, had this carpet cleaner when last year I spilt a can of that pink paint that turns white onto my beige, hall and stair carpet. I bought a cheap carpet cleaner to try and do the job but it didn't work now if I  had, had the The ‘Rapide Ultra 2′  it would have done the job and saved me £2000 pounds and I would now be sunning myself in Barbados. *curses*

 This product is ideal is you have carpets that regularly require cleaning, especially if you have a child or children that partake in muddy activities as mine does rugby , football you name it he takes part in it !, Then  the ‘Rapide Ultra 2′ will be your ideal cleaning companion.

Disclosure I was  given the ‘Rapide Ultra 2′ for review. all views remain my own and the words are entirely my own.

Also no villains were harmed in the making of this review. ....