Monday, 30 April 2012

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Review

I've often blogged about the love of sport in this house, and how, with two boys who play rugby and football and a dancing gymnast, our weekends are full on to say the least.  We always like to re-group in the afternoons and will quite often settle down on the sofas with a bucket full of popcorn and stick on a DVD.  We belong to the local Londis film club, where for just £1 we can hire all the latest movies.  We also Sky+ a lot of films and as a fully fledged member of the Tots 100 Film Club we get to review new and classic films every month!  

This month I choose a modern take on a classic.  As a child, I was captivated by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory which of course, is the film version starring Gene Wilder.  We had recently watched this and so, I decided to see what the 2005 adaption directed by Tim Burton would be like in comparison.  Nothing to do with Johnny Depp of course.  *Ahem*.

Now, this version starts of in the same way, we are introduced to the "Brats" which of course causes much pantomine hysteria in our house - "oh she is SO bossy" "I would NEVER do that" etc etc  

Tim Burton of course adds a dark and twisted element to the film - as we are waited to be introduced to Willy Wonka himself, we see a jovial merry go round that then catches fire and melts.  Scary. Twisted.  Twisted but Oh so good.  

The plot of course is the same but it has more edge.  It's darker version of the original but different enough to still be good as a stand alone film.  There are some AWESOME lines in the script, I particularly like Violet saying "Daddy, I want another pony".  However, the Oompa Loompas disappoint.  I much prefer them in the original film, and my kids will often sing to me when I call them the "brats"....

"Who do you blame when the kid is a brat?  Pampered and Spoilt like a Siamese cat
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame, you know exactly who's to blame"

The MOTHER and the FATHER............................."

This is a great film, we all enjoyed it and I would highly recommend.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Monday, 23 April 2012

The day I sent the kids to Jail

I have three delightful, confident, well rounded children.  They are all popular within their peer group, able to converse with both adults and children alike and although some traits are identical, they are characteristically different which means I have to parent in different ways.  They consistently shine in school and get glowing reports.  Lots of reasons to be proud there.

However, tonight, for the Nth time, I have had to have "words" with the boys.  They are both the alpha male, want to watch what "they" want, turn everything into a competition of "I am better/quicker/cleverer" than you.  They are close in age and have the same interests, but they cannot play nicely for any length of time before it descends into arguing/physical fisticuffs.  

It wears me down and despite the usual tellings off, I knew that tonight I needed to take action.

So, in a flash of inspiration/desperation, I told them that "if this squabbling continues, you are both going to your rooms until morning".  Naturally, I was in the kitchen tidying away the supper things when I heard a SMASH! and lo and behold, my lamp was smashed where they had been playing rugby.

This was it...I now had to carry out my threat or face losing face.

I took them both upstairs accompanied by many tears, wails and shouts.  I calmly washed their faces, brushed their teeth and got their jammies on.  I put them both into bed with a big kiss and cuddle and said "I'll see you both in the morning, think about your behaviour please" and went downstairs to wails of "Mummy, you have put us into jail, I can't believe you have done this".

However, they are both reading quietly in their respective rooms and have both independently told me "I'm sorry mummy, I will listen to you in future".

I am feeling shitty but happy if that makes sense.  I am pleased they are taking notice that I will follow through with threats but also shitty because I do feel quite mean!

Am I being over-sensitive?  Do you "jail" your kids?

What would you have done in this situation?

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Friday, 20 April 2012

Hold a chicken in the air, stick a deckchair up your nose.....

Ok, hands up who remembers the above lyrics?

This may jog your memory, although if you were a true child of the 80s you would know it already!

This was number 1 for 3 weeks in May 1986, the year I was leaving primary school and we sang it to death.  I remember the whole class singing it out loud to a supply teacher who was in hysterics and joining in!  That wouldn't happen nowadays would it...hmmmm

I have been discussing with Beansey how music has changed.  He has only recently started getting into tunes and I recently blogged an open letter to Olly Murs as I was gobsmacked by some of the current music in the Top 40 and how I wasn't happy for him to be singing some of the lyrics.  He asked me what music videos were like in his day, googled "song from the 80s" and this came up.

Needless to say, it has been played to death, they play it to all their friends who come around to play and the "chicken song" is once again, reigning supreme (chicken?) in our household.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Am I losing the plot?!

I have a confession to make.  It's very embarrassing, but one I definitely feel I need to talk about, as I truly believe that a LOT of you will be nodding in agreement with me.

You see, my little Pixie is starting nursery at the same school as the boys in September.  This feels my heart with glee as it means we get to walk to school every day again.  For the last year, we have spent a fortune in petrol as well increased our carbon footprint as it is an impossibility to get the boys to school and Pixie to her pre-school all before 9am.

However, with her starting school in the same place, means that I have to share my dirty little secret.  I am not proud to admit it, but I hope, in fact I am sure you will understand.

My Rugby Superstar

We are huge fans of rugby in this household - it really is a big part of our lives and HAW as an ex Scotland schoolboy, was keen for the boys to play from a young age.  Consequently, I have ended up being the manager for Beansey's age group and HAW is one of the coaches for BoBo's age group.

The club is at the heart of the community and unlike other clubs who trial the boys, only taking the best, we are totally inclusive and are the only club in the country who have recently signed three under 16's to the England Squad. 

One of the major tournaments at this age is the Curtain Raiser Cup that is held at the Stoop in Twickenham. It is a Country wide competition and all of the big clubs enter a couple of teams.  You get allocated into a group and throughout the winter, if you qualify in your various groups, you then go to the quarter final, semi final and of course, the grand final.  We did very well last year, reaching the final but losing to the eventual winners.  A great achievement but one we wanted to better this year.

We qualified through every round and last Saturday made our way to Twickenham for the final.  Beansey was beyond excited but very, very focused.  His maturity towards the game astounds me as that is not his usual manner!

They played amazingly well and thanks to a golden try went on to WIN the final!!!

I am so proud of Beansey and the team, they were all superstars and deserve all the success in the world.

We are the Champions!!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Peppa Pig Portables - Review

For the past few years, my poor little Pixie has been on the sidelines of pretty much every football and rugby pitch in the South East and at times, she finds this very frustrating as she wants to be running around with the boys (don't worry sweetheart, you'll be with them in September!) and getting stuck in.

It has been very hard to entertain her at times, and this is when the ipad has come in very handy as she has been able to read Ladybird books and play games such as Peppa Pig's Party Time and Rockfords Rock Opera which has been a massive hit with all three children.

Golden Bear have obviously realised that there is sometimes a need for us to entertain the kids where perhaps they would get a little bit fed up, and we were sent the following Peppa Pig products to review:

Mini Sketchy Fun - £5.99
Mini Stick on Felts - £9.99
Mini Dough Set - £6.99

That very day, we were going on a train journey and so I took the Mini Sketchy Fun with me in my handbag as a surprise for on the journey.  She loved it and not only played with it on the train, but also in her buggy around the shops.  Now, I just keep it under my buggy for those times when she needs occupying such as going to the shops.

AS it was the Easter Holidays, we had ample opportunity to try out the Peppa Pig Stick on Felts and mini dough set both of which were a great success.  Even with BoBo who is soon to be six.  He really enjoyed the felt set and made up lots of stories to narrate the pictures he was making.

I feel that at £9.99 the felt set is pricey for what it is, but the play dough and sketchy fun are good value for the hours of entertainment (and distraction!) the provide.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Disclaimer: We were sent the products to review free of charge.


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Competition - Win Maca Powder from Organic Burst

Wow, you remember I blogged about how I  had discovered the Exlir of Life?

I am such a huge fan of Maca and even though I hated the taste a few weeks ago, I have to be honest and say, it really is growing on me now.  

For those of you not in the know, Maca root has been used in Peru for energy and endurance for over 2,000 years.  It has high levels of manganese, phosphrous and iron, which all aid enery, metabolism and reduce tiredness.  

I suffer from all sorts of metabolic issues as I have an underactive thyroid and PCOS which are both hormone disorders.  So much so, my endocrinologist has said that my metabolism is that of a 70 year old (hello, I am 37!) and one of the key reasons why I struggle to lose weight despite being active and eating relatively well.

Look at my lashes!!

Oh, yes.  There is a god of all things beauty.

For years I have battled with my eyelashes, whilst they are a decent length, they are quite sparse and fair and so, for years I have resorted to "blinging" them up lashings of mascara.  I dabbled with false eyelashes, but after one to many, they'd always end up sticking to my cheek or dropping into a cocktail glass at the end of the night - not a good look.

Eventually, after a lot of trial and error I discovered that Lancome were the prefect partner to give me perfect lashes - no flaking, no smudging and long lasting but, Oh so time consuming.  I was spending about ten minutes a day applying, waiting to dry and then sticking on another coat in order to get the look I was after.  Long, dark and fluttery.   

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Everywhere I look I see them.  The schoolgirl, sneaking into the park next to her school for an illicit smoke with her best friend as they plan and plot the weekends escapades.  Then, a young, exuberant girl surrounded by a group of friends as they share a picnic and wine.  She is throwing her head back and roaring with laughter, no cares in the world as she relaxes in the sun and peeps at her latest beau from under her fringe.  He really is the most handsome boy she has ever seen and I can see from the light in her eyes that she is in the flushes of first "young love".

Sunday, 8 April 2012

How to save money the Super Amazing Mum Way!

Ten years ago, I had a huge salary, drove a convertible and dined out in the best restaurants.  Then I had the kids and my world changed.  I gave up a career I loved in order to be a SAHM, and although the pay was 100% less, the rewards were 100% more. 

HAW left a very well paid job in 2005 to set up his own business.  With his change of career came the loss of huge bonuses, so we have really had to watch the pennies in order for me to have the luxury of being a SAHM. 

Here are my top 10 tips for saving the pennies without sacrificing on quality whilst still enjoying life!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Silent Sunday

technorati claim


Best day out in London.......

It's no secret that I am a MASSIVE fan of Bugsy Malone - in fact, on introducing my Pixie to people, the first thing people of a certain age ask is "oh, like in the film Bugsy Malone?" and yes, I have to say, it was my inspiration for her name.

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Crazy Gang

My beautiful friend Tamsyn who blogs at Manic Mums Blog came to stay for a few days this week.  She has recently relocated from France after her husband Alex suffered a life changing, brain injury whilst playing rugby.   It means I am getting to speak/see lots of her, but of course, the circumstances that bring her this close, I wish I could magic away with a wand.

Between us, we have seven kids.  This means, that when we do meet up it's crazy, hectic and often the kids in charge!  Our little posse gave themselves the name "the crazy gang" and it certainly is that!  

The "crazy gang" sans Pixie who refused to get in the photograph

Master Obi vs Darth Vader or something.......

AFTER they agreed to get married - its young love for Mitzi and BoBo

BoBo and Lola who lost her tooth overnight!
I think, at one point, each child took it in turns to cry/moan/whinge and Tams and I still marvel at the fact that we are in charge of these lovable brats!  We took a picnic to our favourite parks for the day which freaked Tamsyn out as she used to run cross country there as a child, talk about a trip down memory lane.  We had a lovely picnic, took it in turns to "lose" a child and then went for a lovely walk around the lake.  Another friend of mine joined us so we had 11 kids on the loose!  

The last time we had a sleepover, it took us until 10pm to get the kids into bed, so after reading them the riot act we were so pleased that they were ALL sparko by 820pm.   We even managed to remember that Lola needed a letter from the tooth fairy and a few golden coins under her pillow - high five us!

It was a lovely two days - hectic and exhausting, but lovely nonetheless.  I love watching the kids interact and run amok and know they will be friends for a long time.  They are already asking for another sleepover - pass the gin darlings!!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo