Friday, 22 February 2013

Our Day out at London Zoo

Last Sunday, we were invited for a day out at London Zoo by Virgin Money and as the boys were playing in a Rugby Festival, Pixie and I decided to make a girls day out of it.

Rather than blog in the traditional way, I've put together a little montage - after all, a picture speaks a thousand words.

Let me know what you think!!!!




Peace and Love


S.A.M xoxo 

Disclaimer: Our day at the Zoo was paid for by Virgin Money but all thoughts, photos and cheeky monkeys are my own! Virgin Money Travel Insurance was voted "Best online Travel Insurance Provider" at the Your Money Direct Awards.

Monday, 18 February 2013

New Baby on the way!

I appear to have a new baby on the way.  After much debating and researching on breeds, we have decided that a Tibetan Terrier is the dog for our family.  Not only do they have hair rather than fur, (making them less smelly) they are also gentle, loving and loyal.  

I've felt for a long time that a dog would complete the family and after talking to a friend who has a TT, I've decided to take the leap of faith.  

So, here is our latest family member at 2 weeks.  Her name is Dolly (I still want Purdy but been overruled by the kids) and we collect her on the 23rd March 2013.  I have a feeling our life is never going to be the same again!







Peace and Love


S.A.M xoxo

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Making Waves for Alex Winter Wonderland Ball

Blogging is a strange World.  So many people I know, just don't get it.  They think it is full of random weirdos who have no friends,  who say what they like behind a keyboard, but wouldn't say boo to a goose in real life.  I am sure there are a few bloggers like this, but the majority of people who I have had the pleasure to meet, are lovely.  Truly lovely.

One of my bestest mates is the gorgeous Tamsyn who blogs at Manic Mum.  We started blogging at the same time nearly three 3 years ago now, and hit it off straight away.  We'd comment on each others, blog, set up a shared linky and even spoke about hooking up in France when we were on our holiday.  Life however, took a tragic turn for the Woods as Alex suffered a life changing brain injury back in October 2011.  Tamsyn made the decision to bring the whole family back to the UK and within days of landing, not knowing a soul where she lived, we were visiting them.  The kids all got on famously (as we knew they would) and our friendship deepened and strengthened.

Tamsyn is no slacker, when faced with adversity (and God, do give her a break now please) she digs deep for everyone.  She has just (with the help of some amazing people) pulled off a fundraising ball and raised over £12k for making waves for Alex with the funds going towards vital treatments and equipment for Alex to aid him on his slow, slow recovery.

The ball was amazing, it was the most emotional evening I have witnessed, the highlight for me being when Alex got out of his wheelchair with the aid of his carer and friend and danced with Tamsyn.  The love shone right through the room.

The blogging community came out in force on Saturday night, we had two tables full of raucous beautiful bloggers who had never met Tamsyn but were touched by her story.  We ate, drank, danced and gossiped and everyone had such a brilliant night, all in a good cause.  For anyone who says that bloggers are shallow, friendless and weird, well you should have sat at our table on Saturday to see that the opposite is true.

It is still not too late to donate, you can do so on the making waves for Alex fundraising page, every penny raised will go toward his rehabilitation.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from Saturday Night:



















Peace and Love


S.A.M xoxo

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Family NIght in

I've blogged before about the crazy week we lead, and how with three children all interested in different things means that I am often torn in a million different directions and juggling a schedule that leaves very little room for error.  So, when the opportunity presents itself for a family night in, we jump at the chance!  In fact, Thursday is the only day of the week that we don't have ANY activities and so once homework is out of the way, we all kick back for some family fun and relaxation.




One of the nicest ways to do this is by playing a game.  With the children ranging from 4-9, we have found the best games to be bananagrams, appletters, junior scrabble, Monopoly (and I play with Pixie) Fairytale dominos and operation.     Once I have picked them up from school, we pop into our local tesco for some snacks which the children are allowed to choose and drinks (coca cola for me and HAW, sparkling water for the kids) and head on home for some family time. 


First up, we change into our chill outs and then the fun begins!

This week the kids wanted to play appletters which is a fast paced, domino style game where you connect the letters rather than the dots.  It is the perfect game for us to play as Pixie can also join in.  It has really helped her with her letters and is great for the boys are they get to put words together. 
























It also means that we have a lot of "banter"  lots of "mummy, is this how you spell flea?" and "can I put down the word poo?" and, as it has a degree of competitiveness, it is taken quite seriously.  I also find that if the kids have any problems or issues with anything, if we bring it up over a board game on family night, it tends to get discussed with everyone contributing.

Of course, things don't always go to plan and there will be the inevitable squabbling over who won this week, but I find that if we play a game that they each choose, it alleviates any tantrums.   I know that people lead busy lives, and the thought of having to stop, turn on the TV or latop and all form of technology can be hard, but to just sit, chat and play for one night after school is a lovely way to spend time together as a family.

In the Summer we tend to do something in the garden and have a picnic tea, but the most important thing is to actually be there for your children in the present time!

We ended up playing appletters for over an hour tonight, and with lots of supplies to keep us going, we had a really lovely family night in.

Do you have a dedicated "family night?" we also do the same on a Sunday but tend to throw a film in for good measure!  You can check out our album over on Google Plus HERE

Peace and Love


S.A.M xoxo


Disclaimer: I am a member of the collective Bias Social Fabric Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #cbias #SocialFabric and although I have been paid to write this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.












Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A postcard from Ghana - Team Honk, Good Work


Hi 

Here it is!!!  Your photo from Ghana.  

This school is on the edge of a slum in Accra.  A slum that is home to 75,000 people.   All of whom that we saw waved, high fived us, and wanted to show us their homes.   The school has 250 pupils ranging from 2 to 16 and was started 10 years ago.


This is a digital postcard sent from TeamHonk (www.mammasaurus.co.uk; www.aresidence.co.uk; www.mummybarrow.com) during their travels with Comic Relief in Ghana celebrating #goodwork. 
For the past 25 years the money raised through Red Nose Day has been changing the lives of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa. Let’s Keep Up the Good Work. Find out how at rednoseday.com
For other digital postcards please do check out the linky on www.teamhonk.org


Thank you so much Guys!!!


Monday, 4 February 2013

Must see new Disney Short - PAPERMAN

This is the latest Disney short - Paperman.

Watch, share, learn, comment and love.

Disney at its very VERY best.




What would you give this out of 10?

Peace and Love


S.A.M xoxo

A perfect day out in London

Most Sundays during the winter months sees us pitch side as the boys play rugby and so, yesterday, after a bout of sickness from Pixie last week, I decided that we needed some "girlie time" that didn't involve the boys!

I am very conscious of the fact that trying to divide my time between three children, running the household, my business, my blog (always the most neglected, sorry!) and friends and other commitments is a gentle one of balance, and it is something that I struggle with daily.    I try and spend  each time with the children on their own before bedtime and we have a set day after school when the other two do activities for some "one on one" as well, even if it is just to do homework!

We were invited to a screening of Hotel Transylvania at the Nat Geo store in Knightsbridge, right opposite Harrods.  Pixie enjoyed the film but I think it is better suited to the boys age wise - it was certainly the little boys who were squealing and laughing their way through the film whereas she was a bit restless.  It was nice anyway to catch up with Jo and H and the coffee was superb (but I am still bemused that at a PR event we had to pay for our own coffee - bizarre)

After the screening we popped over the road to Harrods as I wanted to see if they were stocking astalift which is being heralded as the new anti ageing wonder cream.  If you haven't heard of it, it is set to become a cult classic (you heard it here first!) and has had amazing results and accolade worldwide.  I was all set to buy some, but unfortunately  Harrods are not stockists - GUTTED.  Not sure if I will get a chance to get up to Selfridges in the week which I know do stock it.

Pixie was by this stage, getting a wee bit restless and so, I told her that I had an amazing surprise and that she was going to get her own pair of "Cinderella slippers".   You may recall that back that in 2009, Harrods had a "Wizard of Oz" theme at Christmas time including a room where you could get your very own pair of Ruby Red Slippers.  This was Pixie's first Christmas and Santa delivered her a pair of red sparkly shoes which I credit for her insatiable appetite now for all things sparkly!  She wore them lots and when she outgrew them, I turned them into a Christmas tree decoration so we will always remember her first pair of shoes - she still loves them today and they look fab on the Christmas tree!

Harrods Wizard of Oz


On the 4th floor of Harrods is a "disney pop up" area, over 7,000 square feet of disney magic with a "cinderella slipper room" as the centrepiece.  Here from just £24 you can get your hands on your very own pair of cinderella slippers!  Pixie was in awe, she was ushered in and measure for her own pair of slippers - would they fit my princess?  There were were plenty of mirrors to parade in front of and she was thrilled that they were the perfect fit!

My only misgiving?  They had a small heel.  She of course was delighted to have "clippy cloppy" shoes but as much as I hate them, I couldn't bear to not let her have them after promising her a surprise (the flats in her size had sold out) and I figured that if she only wears them to parties, what harm can it do?  I'll get another gorgeous Christmas decoration out of it and as they say, if the shoe fits, wear it!




Harrods cinderella slippers




The Disney "pop up" isn't going to be there for much longer, so this really is your last chance to buy your very own pair of exclusive Cinderella slippers.  My only regret - I didn't get myself a pair!!!  They would have been "perfect" for the winterwonderland ball this coming Saturday in aid of making waves for alex.

Am kicking myself now!  

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo



Saturday, 2 February 2013

Lets talk about "Tiger Mothers" .......

We all know one.  In fact, you may even be one and depending on where you live you may know several.  In my side of London suburbia, I know plenty.  I am of course, talking about the "tiger mother" or "pushy parent:

The Oxford Dictionary definition of a Tiger Mother is:

Tiger Mother - Noun 


"a strict or demanding mother who pushes her children to high levels of achievement, using methods regarded as typical of childrearing in China and other parts of East Asia"



 A few years ago when Beansy was aged 5, I was shocked to find out that one of his friends were being tutored.  It wasn't something that was ever spoken about between parents, but the child was very open about going to his tutor as he wanted to go to X school.  Now this X school happens to be one of the best Grammar schools in the Country, yet this child who was just 5 at the time, went on to tell me that he had to study very hard to get in and that he had to do exams at home so he was used to practising.  I was gobsmacked to say the least.I have nothing against tutoring whatsoever, if any of my children were struggling in a subject, I would be the first to get some additional help,  but I strongly believe that if a child needs to be tutored to get into a school, what on earth is going to happen to them once they are there?  Will the parents have to carry on tutoring in order for their child to keep up?  How much pressure will that put on the child?I've then watched as more and more parents take on more and more extra curricular activities in order to be "one step ahead" of the game.  All of my children do extra curriculum activities, but I break it down into Summer and Winter sports.  They have two nights of a week and I actively encourage them to have "downtime".  When they are "chillaxing" they will get out a board game, or help me in the kitchen or even just *shock* lie on the sofa and watch kids TV.  However, other children I know, go straight from school then onto at least 2 sometimes 3 activities per night.  EVERY NIGHT.These children don't have a chance to unwind, the majority have poor social skills (maybe to busy being hurried around to actually sit and chat?) and they all look exhausted.As for the mothers, well harassed is being polite!
So why are they doing this?  Is it to fulfill their own ambitions?  A fear of not "keeping up with the Jones?"
I used to think that getting my kids into the "best" (results driven) private school or grammar was a matter of life or death, especially as HAW and I both went to very good schools, heck my school is the best for girls in the country and HAW's is attended by Royalty, yes it is a wonderful achievement but the pressure to perform?  Way to high.   I'm not sure I want to put my kids through that.  Would you?
Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo