Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Diamond Jubilee - Our Plans

I remember the Queens Silver Jubilee like it was yesterday. It was 1977 and I was 7. My Nan made me a red, white & blue dress out of crepe paper for a big street party we attended with our cousins. I loved that dress so much.

I enjoyed the Golden jubilee in 2002 just as much. A big group of us jumped on the tube into London to watch the Queen in her golden carriage. It was a fabulous day as we sipped champagne at Trafalgar square and joined in with a fantastic carnival.

I'm so excited for the Diamond Jubilee. It will be our Granddaughters first one and she is the same sort of age as I was for my first jubilee. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did back in 1977.

The jubilee weekend is also my middle sons (bottom row, 1st on the left in the red T-shirt) 21st birthday so it will be a double celebration for The Syders. I have been planning the weekend for months. We have family coming to stay and lots of guests.

We will be having a BBQ with karaoke and we have built a homemade campfire tripod for the evening. 

Papa's speciality is shredded pork cooked in cider with apple sauce & stuffing in fresh rolls. He will be cooking that over the campfire come nightfall and the kids can toast marshmallows.

I picked up some fab Victoria sponge cake toppers

I made some Union Jack bunting a couple of years ago but here is the tutorial if you fancy giving it a go.

We made some tea light holders from old jam jars and hung them in a tree in the garden

My youngest painted one of them...and a grand job she did too

So that's my Jubilee round up. 
Before I go let me just leave you with a photo of The Queen that I took when she visted Essex back in 2011. I was so thrilled to have managed to get such a good shot and she looked lovely.

Do you plan on celebrating the Jubilee too?

Linking up to Miss Lizzie's Jubilee Round up.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Gallery - Sunshine

This is why I Love the Sunshine...

Eating in the garden is one of my favourite things to do...

The sunshine means day trips to Brighton...

Long country walks...

and crabbing...

We just love the sunshine...

What do you love most about sunshine?

Linking up to The Gallery

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Thrifty Garden - Homemade Campfire Tripod

I was given the idea to create a homemade campfire tripod by a fabulous facebook friend Naomi, who inspires me daily. This lovely lady recycles, grows her own fruits & veggies and also homeschools. Naomi has a fantastic facebook page full of wonderful ideas, pop over and take a look here Backyard and Garden farming. Anyway I spotted that she had made one of these camping tripods and I decided to give it a go myself.

All you need is:
3 metal fencing pins - available from ebay
Approx 1 metre of chunky chain
3 or 4 meat hooks
Some bricks or rockery stones

Start by digging a small circle. We dug ours about 6 inches deep but its up to you how deep you would like it. Roughly place your bricks around the circle. This is to help contain your campfire. 
Hook the 3 fencing pins together by sliding the hook ends of the pins together, this takes a bit of fiddling about to get the tripod shape to stand rigid and secure. As you can see from the photo above we secured the pin hooks with a large meat hook. Then add your chain in the middle with a small meat hook on each end. Buy a pot with a lid and handles each side that your hooks will fit hook onto.

Over the weekend we tested it out and instead of using the big pot to cook we got an extra piece of chain (from an old hanging basket) and clipped it on to a griddle (from our BBQ) to cook burgers & sausages.

Using the tripod at home is a great way to teach the kids how to cook on a campfire and I'm sure we will be using it a lot over the coming months.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Magpie Monday - Get Busy With The Fizzy

As I walked past my local charity shop a few days ago I spotted this...

To say I nearly tripped over myself to get to it would be a complete understatement. The box was sellotaped up and my heart was thumping as I gently picked the tape off. I was praying it really was a retro sodastream inside. I wasn't disappointed. The box contained a sodastream from back in the day when I was a child of the 70's. The lovely shop assistant turned to me and said "Take it off my hands for 50p as the bottles are missing and I have no idea if you can get the gas re-filled!"

I wasn't sure either but some lovely friends on Facebook pointed me in the right direction for bottles on ebay and a shop that tops the gas up. Result!

The back of the box is just as groovy as the front, with instructions of how to use your new sodastream.
If you were a kid in school during the 70's who had one then you were the envy of all your classmates. We didn't have one as Mum would buy fizzy drink for Dad from the lemonade man who travelled round the streets selling glass bottles of every flavour you could think of.

The original price sticker is still on the box. A whopping £17.95! That was a lot of money back then.

Papa Syder fondly remembers his Aunt having one and every time they visited her they were allowed one drink each and no more because the gas was expensive. He remembers looking at it as it took pride of place on her worktop and he yearned to play with this new high tech kitchen gadget.

As I began taking photo's for Magpie Monday I suddenly realised that I recognised the male model on the box.  He is an old family friend and was a model for lots of stuff back in the day, in fact his wife was one of my Mums best friends. What a find!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tots 100 Film Club - Cats & Dogs - The Revenge of Kitty Galore in 3D

tots100 parent bloggers film club 

This months film review for Warner Bros & Tots100 Film club was Cats & Dogs - The Revenge Of Kitty Galore - 3D. A couple of months ago our six year old Granddaughter had asked if we could buy this movie in 3D for her to watch next time she comes to stay with us, so we were thrilled to be reviewing it this month.

First thing we loved about it before we even had chance to watch the film was the fantastic Blue ray case, as it pops right out at you (Papa tells me the correct name for this type of 3D case is a lenticular sleeve - He is such a 3D geek).

Cats & Dogs films really fascinate me and always leave me thinking " How on earth do they get these animals to act so good?" I know, I'm not completely daft in that I do realise cats & dogs don't actually talk but the movie is so well made that you start to believe they can.

The age old battle between Cats & Dogs comes to an abrupt end, as the former enemies are compelled to join forces and defeat ex agent kitty Galore, who is on a mission to take over the World. This movie is just as funny as the first one... full of silliness, cheeky humour and death defying action stunts. Another Thumbs up from The Syders, the film made us all chuckle (a lot), the soundtrack is good and the 3D effects are brilliant.

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

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful

It has been a funny ole week here at The Syders. The end of last week something happened at my Daughters School that confirmed my fears that she isn't in a safe environment there. I've had serious doubts about the school ever since I pulled my eldest Daughter out three years ago. I decided to give the school a chance with my youngest and to be honest its been one failure after another, such a disappointment because I was hoping it would work out. However, I still have reasons to be cheerful this week.

1) The home school issue was a decision that we haven't made overnight. I had reservations as to whether or not I'm cut out for the job because she is so much younger than my eldest was when we started homeschooling. However, our first week has proved very successful and we are really enjoying each others company and as the week has progressed so has my Daughters attention, concentration and eagerness to learn. 

2) The sunshine! It has been beautiful here in Essex. We are lucky enough to live on a river so we have the option to cool off in the evenings by going for a nice stroll. Its really lovely along the front as everyone has been celebrating this warm spell.

3) My Veggies are growing fantastically and all my lilies have started poking through the soil. My garden is looking colourful, at last and started to look lovely for our Sons upcoming 21st celebrations. We have built a campfire tripod from recycled materials ready to cook on the night of the party. We are very excited.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Gallery - Picture Postcard

This weeks Gallery is a really difficult one because I have taken so many 'picture postcard' photo's that it is really hard to choose which ones to use.

So I'm going with my favourite place in the whole World - Appledore in North Devon. I know, I know, I've told you a hundred times before what this place means to me. It healed my my broken heart after losing my Mum, as we lived there for 12 months shortly after she passed away suddenly to Cancer. As you can see the view from my bedroom window was breathtaking, it instantly calmed me down and eased my anxiety.

We walked daily, unless the weather was bad. After school we would grab our buckets & nets and head for the rock pools.

Even the dog enjoyed the views.

Everywhere you look in Appledore is picture postcard. It really is the most beautiful place with an amazing local beach.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking "Why move away then?". Well, We missed our eldest Son who was back in Essex and we were missing out on our Granddaughter growing up who was also here. We do miss the beach & the views but we are lucky enough to live in another picture postcard place, still on the water,  still a gorgeous place to live and we get lots of quality time with our Granddaughter. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Gold Medallists


    What a year 2012 is for the UK. First the Queens Diamond Jubilee, then we have the Olympic Games, being held from 27th July to 12th August. We are a buzz with Olympic mania as the whole Country becomes more & more eager to win some Gold. 




    Royal Mail will be recognising the achievements of every single one of Team GB's Gold Medallists by issuing Gold Medal stamps the very next day after their win. The main image of the stamp will be (wherever possible) a photograph of the athlete or team in action from their gold medal winning final. Where this is not possible, the image will be of the athlete’s gold medal winning journey taken from a heat or from their gold medal award moment on the podium. Royal Mail’s team of picture editors, graphic designers, etc, will be ready & waiting to capture the moment when Team GB win a Gold.

Sally Gunnell OBE, officially launched Royal Mail's exciting Campaignan and as an Olympic gold medallist in the 400m hurdles at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, Sally is one of Britain’s most successful athletes. 

Sally, an Olympic gold medallist in the 400m hurdles at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, and one of Britain’s most successful athletes, has showcased the special stamp. The stamp will feature, wherever possible, photographs of the Team GB athlete or team in action from their gold medal winning final. This will be the first time any host country has used action shots for Gold Medal stamps and issued them immediately, during the Games.

This will be the first time any host country has used action shots for Gold Medal stamps and issued them next day, during the Games. This will also be a first for next day stamps from Royal Mail. 

500 selected UK Post Offices will issue the Gold medal stamps by lunchtime the next day and on after each gold medal win by Team GB. They will then be distributed three times during the Games to a further 4,500 Post Offices nationwide. Plus, for the first time many of the 500 selected Post Offices will be open on Sundays during the Games.

Moya Greene, Royal Mail Chief Executive, said: “Royal Mail is proud to be involved in this once in a lifetime event and to recognise the success of Team GB. Our Gold Medal stamps will be unique souvenirs of the Games, marking the great achievements of our talented athletes. They will be a special way for people across the country to celebrate Team GB’s gold medal wins and help mark their amazing achievement. We look forward to issuing many Gold Medal stamps to honour Team GB’s victories.”

The Gold Medal stamps form part of a special line-up of Royal Mail’s Olympic products and Royal Mail's 'Welcome to the Olympic Games’ special stamps will go on sale on 27th July, which is the day of the opening ceremony. Then, on 29th August, Royal Mail will also become the first postal administration, whose country is hosting the Games to issue a set of stamps to celebrate the start of the Paralympics Games. In January, London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games definitive stamps went on sale, marking the Olympic year. This followed the issue of 30 stamps reflecting all the sports competed at the Games in a three-part series between 2009 and 2011. All the Olympic collection series can be purchased from their website so Be the first to get your hands on them by popping over there now.

Register your interest now and start collecting this fabulous Royal Mail collection. The perfect souvenir!


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Children's Rooms Toddler Bedding Review

When I was asked by the lovely people over at Childrens Rooms if I would like to review a product from their toddler bedding range I knew that my little Nephew Charlie would be the perfect person for the job.

It wont be long now before Charlie moves up to a Toddler bed from his cot so perfect timing for him to test out some 'big boy' bedding. Charlies lovely Mum Chloe was more than happy to help out by reviewing a Disney Cars 2 junior bedding set priced at £19.95.

 So let me hand you over to Chloe & Charlie....

"I have just put the quilt on Charlie chops' bed and its fab!! The quilt itself is great quality, its a nice thick material that you can tell won't wear as you wash. The colours are really bright and vibrant, which is great, because sometimes when you buy things like this there a bit faded compared to the picture from where you bought them. They didn't fade in the wash either Charlie absolutely loves it!!!  As you can see in the photos of him testing his new quilt out, he is grinning from ear to ear. He was rolling round on the quilt like a loon and pointing at it - I think its a lot more fun for him than the quilt he has at the moment, because its cream and beige with teddies, really nice but very neutral - so I think having all the bright colours and big images was a nice fun change for him." is a leading online shop for kids bedding, curtains and children's themed bedroom accessories, offering the widest selection of great value children's character duvets, curtains and matching room accessories, with fast delivery and excellent customer service. 

At Children's Rooms you will find kids bedding - single and double duvets - matching curtains, borders, wall stickers, bean bags, lighting and rugs, along with toddler beds, mattresses and bedding .... everything to create a wonderful children's bedroom.


*This product was sent to us free of any charge. We have received no financial reward for writing this review and as a Family we always give an honest opinion.*.

Big Thanks To Childrens Rooms and to Chloe & Charlie Chops for helping us write this review x

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Listograpghy - The Top Five things I Love About Kids

Kate's Listograpghy is back! Yay! It is now being hosted monthly instead of weekly and this months theme is the Top 5 things we love about kids.

1) Big Cheesy smiles & dodgy haircuts by Mum - I just love em! Especially if you can embarrass them with photographic proof in years to come. Papa & his sisters - groovy or wot! Love it! Sorry Guys, this had to be done!

2) Hilarious Sense of Humour - I love it when kids catch you off guard with something that is so funny you nearly pee your pants. My lot are crazy and my youngest never fails to have us all in stitches.

3) The funny things they say - "Grandad, Please don't go to the shop dressed like that...people will laugh at you!" She's got a point...

4) They think they have pulled the wool over your eyes - Kids forget we were once kids and it cracks me up when they are convinced they have you fooled. My youngest went to her friends for tea one afternoon. I didn't allow her cola when she was younger because it would send her wild. Her Friends Mum didn't know this, The result...One very hyper kid!

5) How complete they make my Life - It speaks for itself. My kids are what my life is all about. This quote sums it up for me,
"While we try to teach our children all about life,

our children teach us what life is all about" - Angela Schwindt
Linking up to Kate's Listograpghy

Bags Of Love Review - Personalised Banksy Style Canvas

Put your hand up if you love Banksy. I'm guessing that is the majority of you. Graffiti artist Banksy has become a national treasure despite keeping his identity a closely guarded secret for many years. Only a matter of days ago a new piece appeared on the wall of a shop in Wood Green, North London. Banksy is believed to be behind the art work which depicts a small child working on a sewing machine, making union jack flags.

Of course the new Graffiti has caused quite a stir and received lots of attention but how would you like to have your own photo transformed into a Banksy work of art? Well, over at Bags of Love you can do just that. They are totally brilliant at Photo on Canvas printing and by uploading a photo of your choice, their talented team will give your photos the Banksy style art treatment just like they did for me.

So if you are looking for an extra special gift for a loved one then why not take advantage of the Bags of Love limited introductory Banksy art offer of just £49 for Banksy style art on top of the cost of your canvas. Perfect if you are after a gift that is just that little bit different.

My canvas hangs on the wall of my hall right opposite the front door so everyone who walks through my door is instantly greeted by my Granddaughter Banksy style. Everyone looks so surprised when they see it and tell me that they would love to have one too.

The service I received from Bags of love was excellent. They email you a copy of your Banksy style photo before putting it on to the canvas so you can check that you are completely happy with it. The canvas arrived very quickly (within days of giving them the thumbs up) and is a top quality product.

*This product was sent to me free of any charge. I have received no financial reward for writing this review and I always give an honest opinion.*.


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