Thursday, 13 June 2013

Father's Day Ideas

Are you ready?  It's very nearly Father's Day!  If you need a quick last minute idea, here are a few good ones.

This year, we have made Motorbike Man this cute Shirt & Tie card that I recently blogged about.  

For local readers, we've also ordered some delicious cookies from The Custom Cookie Co which has a great range to choose from, there is sure to be something to suit the man in your life - biscuits shaped like power tools, golf clubs and ties to name a few.  

I've also devised a questionnaire for the kids to fill in but Motorbike Man - I got the idea from Meet The Dubiens but I wanted a slightly more personal version (although they have a free printable if you're strapped for time!)  Obviously I helped Doodles to write down her answers down but Spiderboy will fill in his own, and this makes for very funny reading.  I had to try very hard to stop myself from laughing when I was writing down the answers Doodles gave me...  You can tailor the questions to suit the age of the child, I did a simplified version for my 2 year old and included more questions for my 4 year old, and added photos of them with Daddy over the years.  I really hope there will be some laughs on Sunday when we hand these over.

There are some really fun edible ideas rounded up by Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons to be found here.

Craftionary has some great ideas for photographic presents here... what daddy doesn't love photos of their gorgeous offspring?!

If you're short on time, Small & Friendly has a cute printable for a wallet sized picture here, which wouldn't take long to make.

Whatever your gifts, I hope you have a lovely family day spending time with the man that helped you bring your precious children into this world.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mamatography - Week 22

We had such a busy half term week, jam packed with days out and plenty of fun.

Day 146 - Sunday 26 May
Up early for a boot sale, which was a big success - I managed to sell lots of the baby items we no longer have a use for...*sniff*.  I was clearly too busy counting my takings to remember to photograph anything!

Day 147 - Monday 27 May
It was a sunny Bank Holiday so there was only thing to do...head to a fete!  Spiderboy loved the chair-o-plane.

Day 148 - Tuesday 28 May
It was raining when we woke up so I made some bath paints and let the kids loose in the bathroom!  

Day 149 - Wednesday 29 May
Grandad was up to his tricks again and had given Spiderboy a packet of flies and spiders, which he forgot to remove from his trouser pocket before putting them in the wash.  I got quite a fright when I pulled the washing out of the machine!

Day 150 - Thursday 30 May
A busy day for us!  We went on a bug hunt in the woods and found lots of creatures...

Later that day, we did a canal cruise dressed as Pirates & Princesses!  

Day 151 - Friday 31 May
A day out on the Watercress Line with lots of there a child that *doesn't* like getting their face painted?!


My kids actually think it's a treat to wash the car...shhh, don't tell them :)

Day 152 - Saturday 1 June
A friend was celebrating her recent wedding with a cruise along the Thames so Motorbike Man and I had a lovely evening on board, watching the sunset and enjoying the BBQ.

This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project hosted by Momma Jorje and Diary Of A First Child.  We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year.  Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Without further ado, here are the Mama/Papatography2013 participants!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Child-Friendly Paella

Last year my sister bought me a paella dish.  It is wonderful, and I have created some deliciously authentic paellas in it.  However, I am pretty sure Spiderboy and Doodles wouldn't be too enthusiastic about chowing down on an octopus leg so I made this child-friendly version recently and am delighted to report it went down a storm.

1 onion
Clove of garlic
2 small chicken breasts, diced
1 red pepper
300g rice
1tsp turmeric
750ml chicken stock
2 chipolatas, cooked & sliced
100g small prawns
Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onion & garlic, cooking for a few mins.  Add the chicken & seal for around 5 mins.  Add the red pepper and cook for a further minute.

Rinse the rice in cold water and add it to the pan, stirring thoroughly along with the turmeric.  Keep stirring for around a minute or so until everything is coated and mixed.

Pour in the stock and leave to simmer for around 15 mins, or until all the stock has been absorbed by the rice.  

Add the sausages & prawns for the pan and simmer for a further 5 mins before serving immediately.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Pirates & Princesses Canal Cruise

During half term last week, I took the kids on a Pirates & Princesses cruise organised by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust.  I wasn't sure what to expect but thought they might enjoy the experience of being on a boat coupled with the chance to dress up.  I was right.

We arrived to find the staff preparing the boat, each and every one of them dressed in pirate costumes.  We watched excitedly from the canal side for 5 minutes, and received a friendly greeting as we boarded.  We were seated at pre-allocated tables and the captain then explained that they had come across some mean pirates on their last cruise and we had better watch out for them!  The children listened eagerly whilst peering out of the windows.

The staff handed out party poppers and we were told to set these off if we saw any other pirate boats.  On the front of our boat was a cannon, which was fired with a button triggering smoke and a loud bang but thankfully no cannon balls.  This would also be fired when an enemy ship was spotted!  Throughout the trip, all the children on board took turn after turn to "fire" the cannon - it was incredibly popular.

We set off along the canal, stopping at each lock as the pirates hopped on and off to work the gates.  Spiderboy was very interested to see how the locks worked, and loved the rising up of the boat as we waited for them to fill.

We came across the rogue pirate boat and spent a good five minutes booing and hissing at the bad guys to a background of party poppers.  One of our pirates managed to capture their treasure chest, and bought it back on board to be shared out amongst us all - biscuits, juice and golden chocolate coins.  With the children happily munching away, us grown-ups were treated to a glass of sparkling elderflower cordial and some cheese straws.  

Next it was time for some colouring in, or an ice-cream if you were tempted, and a sing-along led by the captain.  We encountered the rogue ship again and this time managed to rescue the princess, who came back on board our boat.  Spiderboy particularly loved this battle as they came almost close enough to touch on our side of the boat, and he spent a good long time shaking his fist at them while they fired their "guns" at him.

After all the excitement of the final battle, we enjoyed a seat out on the front of the boat for the return journey, and enjoyed watching the banks pass by - Doodles was enjoying it I promise, she just doesn't look like it :)

Along the way, there were lots of things to spot such as toy parrots that had been strategically placed along the banks, and an inflatable crocodile floating on the water.  

Back on dry land at the Loxwood Canal Centre, and there was just enough time for a photo inside the character cut outs before it was time to head for home with two tired children.

Out of the many things we did last week, this was hands down the favourite of both my kids. I can't wait for the Halloween trip!