Monday, 30 April 2012

Magpie Monday - The Retro Blues

It feels like ages since I last joined in with Lizzie's Magpie Monday. I have been Charity shopping this week and managed to pick up some little beauties.

First up is a lovely retro tea set that I fell in love with. Everything about it really appeals to me... the pattern, the colour and its daintiness. I paid £3 for it.

Then I found some more retro loveliness, a red, white & blue cotton tablecloth. I think it will be perfect for our Diamond Jubilee BBQ in June. It cost me £1.50.

Turquoise is one of my favourite colours so my eye was instantly drawn to this pretty scarf. I will tie my hair up with it over the summer. It was only 50p.

Then last but not least I found a pile of straw hats and this one is perfect for keeping me cool while I'm gardening on sunny days. It was £2.50, a bargain!

Linking up to Magpie Monday

Tots 100 Film Club Review: Happy Feet Two in 3D

tots100 parent bloggers film club 

This months Tots100 Film club review was Happy Feet Two in 3D. We have had a 3D TV for about a year now and have watched quite a few 3D movies on it. It was Papa's 40th birthday pressie, I asked him if he could pick anything at all for his 40th what would it be. He didn't even have to think about it as he quickly blurted out "A 3D TV!" As a family we always enjoy the 3D animated movies the best and I must say we were not disappointed with Happy Feet Two.

From the minute the film started we were rolling around laughing. My 20 year old Son was in the same room as us, sitting on his laptop. He grumbled as we put the movie on and said "Not sure I really can be bothered to watch this Mum". But the minute he heard our hysterics he said "Go on then Dad, pass me some glasses". He spent the remainder of the film glued to his seat, in fact we all did.

The story follows Mumble (from Happy Feet) and his really cute penguin son called Eric. One day, feeling gloomy and a little different from everyone else because he can't tap dance like the others, Eric wanders off with his Friends, away from his Mum. A frantic search begins as Mumble rushes off to search for him. While they are gone there is a glacier catastrophe back home and all their friends & family become trapped. It is left to Eric and his dad to rescue them.

This film is 'Glee' Penguin style! The soundtrack is superb - A real toe tapper. And you know a movie is a winner if it makes the whole family laugh, and I mean real belly laughs, in union. The Syders give this movie a massive thumbs up and would go as far as saying it gets a 10 out of 10! The 3D effects are top class and if you watch it in 3D keep watching until the credits at the end and the bubbles float right out of the screen urging you to pop them.

*Huge Thanks to Warner Brothers & the Tots100 Film Club for supplying this movie for the purpose of this review*

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful

I've had a wonderful past few weeks. Easter was fab, as my Sister in Law spent a fortnight with us. It was so great to catch up as I haven't actually seen her for eleven years up until now and our friendship was renewed. Missing her now though :-(
But not to worry she will be back for The Queens jubilee & My Sons 21st birthday in June, Yay!

So going back to this past week, my reasons for being cheerful are:

1) Free Wine! Yes, you read that right. We changed our service providers and they rewarded me with eight bottles of wine & four crystal glasses. They are being put away for my Sons birthday...Well, I will try, I swear ;-).

2) I began seeding my vegetables last week. Its such an exciting time of year as I anticipate how well my veg will do and what kind of crop I'll end up with.

3) We have blossom on my young apple tree! I'm so chuffed about this because the year before last the tree caught some kind of blight and I thought it was dead. I was devastated as we had been getting some lovely juicy red apples from it. We cut the diseased trunk off and just hoped for the best. Last year we got no blossom & no fruit so I decided to see how it went this year and if we got no blossom I was going to remove the tree. So signs of blossom has made me so very happy, hopefully get some apples this year.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Monday, 23 April 2012

Chest Of Drawers Makeover

Back in 2010 I gave our then nine year old Daughter's bedroom a makeover. We went for a pretty shabby chic look, Papa built her a mid-sleeper bed and I painted her old furniture to match the decor with a Cath Kidston style wallpaper. The room served its purpose well but now she is twelve she wanted a more grown up look to her bedroom.

Rather than buy new furniture I always prefer to makeover our old stuff especially if its quite an oldish piece as they tend to be much better quality than what you can buy now. Her chest of drawers is a piece of furniture that my Mum gave me about ten years ago and its dated from about the 1960's. It was originally a teak colour but I painted it white and put some china, teddy bear handles on it. I removed the old handles as they are now a bit babyish for a twelve year old, then gave the surface a gentle rub down.

I decided to match her bedroom to her new 'One Direction' bedding set which is pink & black so I thought for a real modern feel I'd paint the chest of drawers with a black satin paint which was only £12.00 for a 2.5ltr tin.

I bought some chrome handles to finish the makeover off perfectly.

I'm pleased with the makeover and the bedroom looks really nice, even though our Daughter has completely covered her freshly painted pink walls in Justin Bieber & One Direction posters. I'm keen  to encourage self expression so I guess I can live with the posters for now.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

#Win a £50 Experience Days Gift Voucher

The winner is Sista-T  @supermommy1983
Congratulations, I have tweeted you!

Experience Days is the home of experience gifts and experience days in the UK, where you’ll find a stunning range of unique gifts, presents and activity days. Whether you’re looking for the perfect romantic gifts for a partner or an activity day out with the family; They have got the experiences to ensure you make it a day to remember. 

They have a fantastic range of themed gifts for 21st birthday or 30th birthday treats, including amazing photoshoot days to transform them into a model for the day. Or, at the other end - they have steam train journeys to turn back the years for the perfect 50th birthday or 60th birthday gifts. If you’re looking for wedding or engagement gifts to spoil the newly weds, check our special occasions section to see how they have got every occasion covered.
Experience Days specialise in having a wide range of activities, so whether you’re itching to launch yourself off the UK’s only bridge bungee jump, or whether you’d just love a professional pamper days for pure relaxation – look no further to get inspired! 

To be in with a chance to win an experience day for yourself or a loved one, then all you have to do is:
a)  Tell me in the comments below which experience day you would pick for yourself?

You can earn 3 extra chances to win by:
1) Tweeting  #Win a £50 Experience Days Gift Voucher with @mamamakes here
2) Like my Facebook page 'The Syders'
3) Subscribe to my RSS feed.

Please leave a separate comment for each of your entries and don't forget to leave your Twitter ID or email address so that I can contact you if you win.
Competition Closing date is Sunday May 6th 2012 at 12pm. I have one £50 Experience Days gift voucher to giveaway.
Open to UK residents only

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Moon Sand Pet Shop Review

Moon Sand Pet Shop enables your kids to create adorable pets made from sand. We were really thrilled to be picked by to review this as moon sand is something I've never bought before. The kids were really excited to try this toy out and all eagerly sat around the table waiting for the box to be opened.

The kit is really aimed at ages 3 - 7 yrs, although it wasn't just my 6 yr old Granddaughter who enjoyed playing with it, my 12 yr old Daughter & 11 yr old Niece also thoroughly enjoyed it too.

The kit includes Pet Shop, 13 moulds, 2-in1 tool & 2 colours of Moon Sand. However contents do vary. 

The kids really liked this toy and what I liked about it was the sand really doesn't dry out, just as promised on the box and it was something all three girls loved even with the age gaps.

Any Downsides? Not for the kids but for Mum or Dad it can be a bit messy, although easily cleans up.

NEW Moon Sand Pet Shop
£14.99 SRP
Available from: Argos, Tesco, The Entertainer, Smyths, ELC & Sainsbury’s

 *This product was sent to us free of charge for the purpose of this review. As a family we always give an honest and unbiased opinion.*

Listography - Top 5 wishes For My Children

Kate's Listography is back this week with a bang! Kate asks us if we were granted 5 wishes for our kids what would they be. 

1) For each of them to enjoy our natural world and all it has to offer.  To fully love the Earth and feel a sense of peace and calm from their natural surroundings. During times of stress to be able to sit by the sea, a river, a mountain, a farmers field, the forest or rolling hills and feel at ease with their worries.

2) To be successful in living a self sufficient lifestyle and living off the land, giving back to it as they take from it. To have the skills to be able to provide for their family using their bare hands if they ever needed to.

3) To never become obsessed with the material world and that they never measure their success in life on how much money they have. Of course I'd like them to have nice things but not if it means they will choose to sacrifice time with their family to get those nice things. For them to know & understand that it isn't possessions that will make them's love, time and building memories that will truly fulfill them. Cherish the people who love them, treasure the ones who care for them because one day they might be gone. 

4) To have no regrets. I want them to live their life feeling no regret which might mean taking a risk every now and then. I want them to realise everything that happens in life has a reason behind it, even the bad stuff. The bad stuff will make them stronger and provide them with the mental tools to make important changes in their lives.

5) To always look on the bright side of life. To never entertain negative thoughts. Life is beautiful, even if it hurts sometimes. Live their life without judging anyone as we all have a story, we all have a past even the ones who appear perfect have probably been through rubbish times in life. People who are different are interesting, people who live their life in a way we choose not to are interesting. The world would be very boring if we all did the same. For them to enjoy the Diversity of Life!

Linking up to Kate's Listography

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Growing Vegetables In Raised Beds & Potatoes In Bags

Since giving up the lottie last year we have spent the winter preparing my back garden for growing my veg. I don't have as much space for growing vegetables in the garden as I did down the lottie but I'm still determined to harvest a good crop. Even just growing a few veggies, and fruit if you can will save you money off your supermarket bill.

First thing Papa & I did last year was put in some raised beds. My garden is surrounded by a lot of trees that suck the nutrients away from almost everything I try and grow beneath them so raised beds are a good solution.

We were very lucky to find these old crates while Papa was out salvaging wood. There are a few factories near us that very kindly give us their old pallets for recycling and one day they had three of these that they gave to Papa. I was thrilled as I instantly knew what I would use them for.

To save me from the hard work of digging the grass out from inside the raised beds I lined the bottom with old cardboard boxes which killed off the grass. I emptied my compost bins into them and left them covered all over the winter. Then this week I topped them up with some fresh bought compost.

So in my first bed I planted red onions and carrots. I use onion sets instead of seeds. Sets are basically mini onions and they tend to be a little easier to grow than seeds with more success. They come in bags or nets that usually have quite a few in them. I paid about £3 for my bag.

I always grow my onions alongside my carrots. I was told by a wise allotmenteer that carrot fly do not like onions so if you plant them in alternate rows it combats the carrot fly problem. This has worked wonderfully for me in the past so I'll stick with this method.

Carrot fly can smell carrots from a mile away and its during the process of 'thinning out' the seedlings that the carrot fly are attracted to your crop to demolish it.

When you plant your onion sets just make a small hole and drop one in with the top just poking out. Blackbirds love to pull the newly planted onion sets clean out so if you wish, you could cover with some fleece until they get going. I don't bother though, I just replace the odd one that goes missing.

In my other beds I planted parsnips and swedes. I will plant out some more onions and carrots in a few weeks time as these are the two veggies we use the most.

During the Easter holidays my lovely Niece helped me seed up my tomato's. We have planted four different varieties. They are safely tucked away inside the green house and when they are big enough I will transplant them into grow bags.

So as I am limited on space this year I have decided to grow my spuds in bags. You can buy re-usable bags that are specially for growing potatoes very cheaply online but I'm using my old compost bags which are free (even better). 

They have to be compost bags that are black on the inside and all you do is turn them inside out, roll them down and put about 10 inches of compost in the bottom.

Then pop four or five seed potatoes in the bag with the noggly bobbly bits facing up (this is where the plant leaves will sprout from).

Cover the seeds with more compost. Make sure there are a few small drainage holes in the bottom of the bag. Position in a sunny position, water and leave to grow.

As soon as the plant shoots start appearing unroll the bag slightly, cover the shoots up with soil and keep doing this process as they keep growing through.
Hopefully at the end of it you will have a big bag of spuds.

Here's how the veggies are looking eight weeks later

 Watch this space.

So are you growing anything this year?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Gallery - Easter

We have had a wonderful Easter. Papa's Sister and two of her kids decided to come and stay with us for a fortnight. To say we were excited is an understatement. We haven't seen them for years so we couldn't wait to spend some quality time with them. First thing we did after they arrived was go crabbing.

We caught lots of crabs.
The kids really enjoyed it.

We have also had our Granddaughter staying with us for the school holidays. as you know we always look forward to her visits.

We got a new Bunny called Harry...

Three new hens and a cockerel.

We rode our bikes..

Played at the park

Fed the local alpaca's

and we laughed  so hard that our sides hurt

We went to Brighton pier

where we went on all the rides, ate fish & chips

and lots of candy floss

We had a BBQ for our friends & family

which was lovely catching up with people we haven't seen in a while.

Easter for us this year has been amazing.

How was it for you?

Linking up to The Gallery


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