Explosions and experiments

I have just returned from watching a show FULL of explosions and experiments with a few electrocutions thrown in! No I wasn’t at some indecent over 18’s only dodgy show but at Brainiac Live at The Glow in Bluewater.

First of all this is NOT a sponsored post I bought the tickets and just wanted to share how good it actually was!

I was surprised though that the show wasn’t sold out as this was enjoyed by kids (boys and girls) and big kids alike. I took my eldest who is 15 who thoroughly enjoyed it.

The show starts with blowing up a little caravan, and then goes on non-stop from there! Anyone who is a fan of the show will know exactly what to expect, they ran through doors of plasterboard / wallpaper and attempted netting. They worked their magic with liquid nitrogen, airzookas, live electric shocks and spinning on chairs using fire extinguishers and rockets and much more.

Using airzookas trying to blow smoke rings to the audience!

The tickets only cost around £7.50 for this venue and the show lasted about an hour. It was noisy but definitely fun. I know the show is also going to run in London as well so really worth a look for something different to do with kids of all ages .

Check out their website here to find more details of where the show will be- everyone will love it.

Schools out- Summer Bucket List!

I have read a few posts lately about the impending school holidays. Love them or hate them they just won’t organise themselves!

I have found it much easier and more fun to organise when the boys were a lot younger. I envy  all of you with the 5-10 age group as there are LOTS of things you can do that cost NOTHING but a bit of time and planning- park picnics with friends, days at the beach, walks in the woods/ forests, kite flying…….and the list goes on.

However as they get older I find it becomes far more costly and a trip to the park is literally like you want to end their lives as they know it- SOOOOOOOOO uncool!!! Being able to get away with a ‘special’ trip to the cinema over the hols is now one of the main things they want to do……………….and money just does not grow on trees, whatever anyone tells you.

So I now find myself with a 15 and 12yr old, both boys ( and both mine- I didn’t just kidnap them off a random street), and the thought of trying to organise and keep a budget of any kind over the summer is virtually non existent.

However I will not be outdone, I will sort summer the summer hols, it will not break me *cough*. So here are a few things that I definitely want to include over the holidays, both for the kids, as a family, and some ‘just for me’ selfish ones thrown in too.

* Cinema trips- 1st to see Worlds End with the eldest ( as he is 15!) and 2nd to see The Internship with the 12 yr old (not my choice)

* Fishing day- this is already arranged with friends so I can say with confidence that this will happen- next wednesday to be exact!! ( I’m a fishing addict and proud LOL)

* See the Brainiac Live show that is showing at Bluewater and also up London hoping at least one of them will accompany me.

* Organise a huge swim day at a fun pool for both boys and whatever friends they want to bring. I have a 7 seater car so the more the merrier LOl

* Try the ‘Up at The 02’ experience, requested by my youngest- at £25 a ticket I have emailed them from my blog to see if they want a reviewer!! Cheeky I know but if you don’t ask you don’t get LOL- If not I will bite the bullet and let OH and youngest go.

* Take a trip on the new Greenwich cable car- with kids would be good but if they turn their noses up at it then just me and the OH!!

* A mammoth game of Monopoly as a family- this tends to go for hours and I can keep the arguing to a minimum by providing fizzy drink and sweets and snacks.

* Camping- we have actually booked this and are going for a week in Aug to the Isle of Wight!! I cannot wait

* Have some girlie friends round on a sunny evening to drink copious amounts of pink wine, talk crap and eat rubbish! ( even better get a take away)

* I would love a PJ’s day! Just for the sake of it, a lazy, not going out past the door, watching dvd’s all day just because I can!!

* A trip to my Mum’s in Plymouth- on my own LOL like that will ever happen!!! But you never know stranger things have happened as they say! My eldest is getting to go next week for a week on his own- to say I’m jealous would be the understatement of the day.

* Have friends round for a chilled out BBQ, everyone chipping in, kids off playing football out in the park and jugs of Pimms to enjoy for the adults.

* Get the pool up for the boys- I am nagging the OH as I type- he hates putting it up as It is huge- but may encourage youngest to invite his cronies round for the day!

* Sit in a lovely beer garden on a sunny afternoon enjoying a mega cold beer or G+T- this one with no kids and don’t really mind if it’s with girly friends or OH!

* Would love a day down at Dymchurch beach- a bit of a trek for us but worth it if you get the weather and time the tides right LOL

* A poker night! Ok maybe it’s not great to teach your kids to gamble but we love a game of Texas Hold’em in this house. We invested in a poker table with drink and chip holders!!

* A HUGE water fight while the weather is still hot, with friends as much more fun the more people you have- and we are lucky to have a huge park outside our back gate!! I feel a panic buy of water bombs coming on!

* Get to watch through the series 2 of The Killing in peace! I know I am behind on this but lets face it with it being subtitled I cannot exactly sit on Twitter and FB  iron or knit while watching it LOL

 * Become an expert in beating the teenagers butts at Swingball! One of the less energetic sports I can do LOL Just bought a new retro metal ‘old style’ proper one- BRING IT ON KIDS!

At the moment that is about it but I’m sure I will add some or change some along the way. Still hoping to get the teens dragged along involved in someway in at least some of my list, but only time will tell.

So wish me luck and let me know what’s on your list.

 

Another year another Birthday!

When you get into your 40’s (refuses to admit it) birthdays and the years actually seem to fly by. That can’t just be me surely?

I have just endured mourned celebrated my 43rd birthday this week ( Jaysus pass me another Gin!).

This isn’t a special birthday of any sort so the kids were at school as normal and the OH worked his normal early shift. I spent the morning in bed ( M.E related and not just spoiling myself LOL) and then got ready for the day. The boys were home early as they had their sports events that day, but being teens they just grunted as usual when they came in, raided the fridge for food and then disappeared into their room without a second’s thought.

So I decided I could either sit in and wallow or take myself out into the sunshine on my own. That’s what I did. I headed out to the local park where they have water activities going on, a lovely cafe and lots of people passing through to watch as I enjoyed a yummy cappuccino. This sounds quite sad but actually it was lovely and relaxing, sitting by the lake and watching the world go by. So after chatting to my mum and thanking her for my fab new Tassimo coffee machine ( love a Costa latte and cappuccino) I sat in the sunshine, switched my phone on silent and just enjoyed the hour or two on my own!

When I did get home, everyone was in so I got to open my pressies. Now I don’t know about you but I’m not really one for big expensive stuff, I don’t really do brand names or designer stuff and generally am happy with little bits as I like the thought that goes with it.

Therefore I was chuffed with my Tassimo machine that my mum and brother got me via my exclusive deal with Costa were it only cost a 1/3 of the normal price!! ( Oh I love a good bargain).

Tassimo in action with a Costa Cappuccino!! ADDICTED

I was chuffed to get a super duper electric toothbrush from my MIL ( something I have always wanted but refused to spend out on). Then came the pressies from my OH and boys:

Les Mis DVD……LOVE IT

New V shaped support pillow…..LOVE IT AND NEED IT

A new Ladyshave………..SO NEEDED IT

**** and a surprise**** an MP3 player……………LOVE IT………I DONT DO IPODS!!!! LOL

Then my friend popped round with a new Cath Kidston purse and sunglasses case……………SO LOVED IT AND HAVE CHANGED MY SMALL PURSE INTO MY NEW BIG ONE!! I will never go back to a small purse ever again.

Thankfully I didn’t have to cook ( seriously that would have just been WRONG) so we popped up to Bluewater and into Wagamamas, one of my favourites.

By the time we got home I was too tired and full to do birthday cake, so in true diva fashion I extended my birthday and we planned a day out to Whitstable the next day (without arguing kids), were we enjoyed a fab plate of fish ‘n’ chips and the required Mr Whippy ice creams!!

 

Gotta be done at the seaside.

After a cold Kopperburg in the garden I then had room for 2 big slices of b’day cake ( well it was my birthday after all).

Thankfully they didn’t put all 43 candles on it otherwise my face might have melted!!

All in all a good birthday was had and I know that the next one will come round far too quickly!!!

 

Anyone for tennis?

Tennis is one of those sports that you either love or hate. I don’t think there is an in between and you definitely need to know the game and scoring to get the full enjoyment from watching a game.

Although I am now in my *cough* forties I actually started to watch Wimbledon from the age of 16 or 17. My era of players were Becker/ Lendl/ Edburg/ Graf and Navratalova. I thought that era of tennis was exciting to watch, there were great rallies, different styles of shots, coming into the net more and a lot of variety which made watching the games exciting.

Then along came Sampras! Not that he doesn’t deserve his titles, the man was a machine, strong, fast and obviously unbeatable.

However, tennis then became boring. It became all about the biggest strongest serve and Ace after Ace…………not my idea of a match in any description. It became dull and not worth watching no matter how great the players were.

I have started to get back to it in the last few years. It certainly has had something to do with following Andy Murray’s progress through the ranks and tournaments. He has completely outranked the likes of Henman and Rudedski in my eyes. He is serious about his game and unbelievable competitive.

His game is very like the era of tennis I used to watch, a lot of the great players now are fabulous to watch, Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and lots, lots more.

This years Wimbledon has been amazing to watch. I have always watched the women as their game, with exception of the Williams sisters, have always been interesting to watch- especially now that they have almost stopped the grunt and scream with every shot!

This year I have been able to catch most matches, although I had to record the men’s semi-final as I was here and was so chuffed to escape hearing the score and watched the game the next morning. It has been, exciting, riveting and interesting tennis to watch and long may it last.

So now my aim is to eventually grab a seat in centre court for one of the big matches ( yeah dream on LOL) so I’m relying on winning the lottery between now and next June!

WISH ME LUCK!

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER FROM YOUR TENNIS ERA?

 

Rocking in Hyde Park

I feel like a real ‘cool’ ‘up to date’ ‘rockin’ sort of mum this week. I can announce I have been to 2 fab concerts in one week- Go Me!!

One was for the fab Robster which you can read here if you missed it. The other was a lot ‘cooler’ as I took my teen to Hyde Park to see Bon Jovi!!! I know I’m still reliving it LOL ( bear in mind I don’t get out much *cough*). This was actually a birthday pressie for him back in April, but of course being 15 he needed a chaperone (that’s my excuse).

Anyway I cannot stand for very long periods of time so was lucky enough to get tickets for the accessible standing area which gave us a BRILLIANT view.

Our view from the ‘accessible standing’ area!

We were literally behind this barrier and this photo was taken with no zoom either. We were actually in part of the very expensive ‘Gold ‘ area which meant a lot more room and view with the thousands of peasants left to bundle inside the park area!!

They were packed in like sardines!!

Sometimes having an affliction can come in very handy.

First up for us was the Kaiser Chiefs who were great and the singer was a really funny guy interacting with the crowd to.

Then it was the turn of the main band- BON JOVI!! Actually I’m not sure who was more excited and I did outscream shout much louder than my son. What are mum’s for after all?

As the evening wore on the light show was amazing too.

We certainly got our money’s worth as they played for around 3 hrs or so, playing all our fav’s……….Raise Your hands, Living on a Prayer, with an amazing rendition of Always in the encore!

We both had a fabulous time, with my son recording lots of his favourite songs on his phone to listen at home. We swayed, danced, sung our little hearts out for a few hours and I was given the seal of approval for being able to get him in an area closer to the stage!! This may be a good thing or not depending on who he has his eye on next LOL………

I have my uses after all.

Wembley, Robbie and Ollie too

That was me on Sunday………..at Wembley, watching Robbie but having to endure Ollie Murs first!!! (so NOT a fan).

However, it was worth it to see the Robster in action again ( really I must be too old to be thinking that now as I’m in my *cough* 40’s) I have seen him at reading a few years ago and at Knebworth which was just an amazing day with loads of support bands including Moby who were amazing.

But nevertheless there I was with a few friends screaming like 17 yr old girls ( actually we did have two 17yr old girls with us so not exactly exaggerating).

Our motley crew with me on the left looking far too excited!

Anyway, my view was this:

Which was a fab place to be to see it all. Like I mentioned above I did have to endure Ollie Murs, who the 17yr old girls with had come to see ( madness!) but in all honesty he wasn’t actually that bad, although I had threatened to go to the toilet when he came on LOL

An amazing set!

I was quite proud to put the youngsters to shame with my screaming once the Robster came on to the anthem of Let me entertain you!

My throat was sore as we left but it was all worth it.

Then to top it all off we noticed a young guy on the train home with a lanyard and pass in his pocket………turns out he was one of the lighting guys, and he lives at the top of the road! He was great fun and good for a laugh and we did try and reassure him that we wouldn’t stalk him………….WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!!!!!

Bless him he even waved to us as we drove passed the entrance to his flat………………that to me is definitely friend acceptance surely?

Anyway, I’m recovering this week before I head off to Hyde Park with my eldest to see Bon Jovi……….BON JOVI people ( I really must remember that this was his birthday treat and that it wouldn’t be cool for his mother to throw her knickers onto stage while with him!)

 

 

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Do you DIY?

This is something I have always put off as does my OH! His Dad has been a carpenter and decorator for around 50 years and is in his 70’s now- although still very able and is building us a new shed as I type ( I kid you not!).

But at the beginning of this year I took a fancy to buy an old welsh dresser and ‘up-cycle’ it by myself………………like I mentioned before this is totally OFF my radar. However, armed with the chalk paint and wax the cabinet went from this:

As bought with glass doors taken off!

To this:

Something I am VERY chuffed about for a complete DIY novice!

I must say I got a real buzz from knowing that I had done the work all by myself.Knowing then that I could do it has spurred me on to look at other parts of the house. I am currently repainting existing frames to use after my OH attempted a bit of wallpapering for the first time ever…………..after some helpful and expert advice from his Dad

It started with just a ‘feature wall’…….
To a ‘feature corner’!!!

Which in all honesty I think he did a great job ( although OBVIOUSLY I would never tell him that LOL) and a little re-decoration has gone a LONG way to changing up our front room on a budget.

Now although we have a wealth of information from our expert in the family my OH actually likes to do it off his own back without relying on his Dad, and for this the Internet is a Godsend. We actually came across a great little FREE  eBook download on the Local Traders site called ’28 Tips on How to Decorate’ which takes you through the basic of jobs like wallpapering, polishing wooden floors, hanging pictures properly and many more. It is also written plainly with no confusing jargon and is aimed at people like myself who don’t really have a clue where to start! It even walks you through the tools you are going to need for the jobs. PERFECT

Also in these economic times if you can do some of the simpler jobs yourself your going to save a few pounds towards the projects that DO need a professional brought in. So my next challenge is to pimp my hallway to match my lovely painted cabinet!! LOL Possibly another feature wall with wallpaper, up-cycling of my frames and mirrors, and if I can do that myself ( by that I obviously mean my OH) then I will have saved enough for new curtains out there to really make the difference.

 

**DISCLOSURE: this post is in collaboration with Local Traders **

Rollercoasters!

They are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them.

I love them and always have, as does my OH (except when they dive vertically down!) and my youngest will try most of them- but my eldest hates them ALL.

Our best holidays were definitely our two trips to Florida ( big thanks all round to mum without who we would not have ever afforded to go!) where literally you had all the roller coasters you ever wanted.

Years ago ( before kids) a group of us went on a weekend trip to Alton Towers which was fab and I still have great pics to prove it. We haven’t made it back though and would love to take our youngest there to try out a few. I’m sure it has changed immensely since we have visited.

Check out the video below that shows their newest ride ‘The Smiler’ the 1st 14 loop ride!!

THE SMILER

Looks amazing doesn’t it……….like I said I think Alton Towers has changed dramatically since I visited many moons ago.

Watch our video to see Alton Tower’s new record-breaking ride, The Smiler, in action for the very first time

 

Family favourite, Alton Towers Resort has unveiled the world’s first 14 loop rollercoaster, The Smiler.  Twice the size of Nemesis, The Smiler has been given the official Guinness World Record for the most loops in a coaster has officially been broken by the UK’s number 1 theme park, smashing the previous record of 10.

 

The Smiler, which is Alton Towers Resort’s biggest ever investment at £18m, has the equivalent of ten football pitches of ride-track and took over eight months to build. Not for the faint hearted, the marmalising rollercoaster also features a series of twisted psychological effects including optical illusions, blinding lights and jabbing needles designed to mess with your mind.

 

Watch our video to catch the first glimpse of the rider’s experience in action and meet the man behind the record breaking rollercoaster. You’ll also get to see what impact the 14 loop ride will have on a rider’s body and mind through facial recognition technology.

 

See if your family can handle it. The Smiler will be open to the public on 23rd May.

 

Some more quirky facts:

•           The track of ‘The Smiler’ is equivalent to 78 double decker buses lined up within a row

•           Track length – 1,170m. This is 3x the length of Oblivion

•           Highest drop is 30m, comparable to 17 black cabs stacked up on top of each other

•           Maximum speed – approx. 85km/hr. which is 10km/hr. faster than Air

•           3,000 hours of manual labour, equal time to flying to Australia 143 times

 

Love a bit of record breaking???

Then check out this new CBBC show due to start 11th March, it will run on weekdays at 7.45am.

Now I know this is rather early and lets face it usually a manic time on school days! However, thank goodness for the record button LOL. So put it to good use if your house is as manic as mine in the mornings.

In the meantime have a look at the link below to get an idea of what to expect, cross the original Record Breakers, with all the mad and awesome stuff people get up to nowadays and your will be getting close!

Officially Amazing starts this week so don’t miss it!

So you will see things like……

Longest fingernails

Longest distance dog surfs on wave!

Heaviest sportsperson,

Most people crammed into a Mini

……..and much more!

So check it out here before the show starts

My Mother’s Day!

How has your day gone?

Flowers?

Chocolates?

Lunch or dinner out?

Today I have had coffee in bed while I opened a few cards and a little pressie or two. I know these times can become very commercial so we always agree not to go mad and that it is the thought that counts. So I had a bought card from my OH but homemade personal ‘printouts’ from the kids (which I prefer).

I was chuffed to bits to get the soundtrack to the new Les Miserables film which has already been played today!

However, my definite surprise pressie was a fab onesie!! No laughing please I have really wanted one for ages but it’s not something I would go and spend money on for myself when there are lots of other things to pay for.

Sadly I look FAR too happy wearing this LOL

I am now sitting on the laptop while they are all ‘secret squirrel’ in the kitchen making dinner………………..I will admit I am slightly scared at the idea as my OH is the worst cook ever, so it will be like the blind leading the blind. However, like I said earlier it’s the thought that counts ( that’s until the food poisoning kicks in and then I will be swearing).

We also popped into Costa earlier(as my youngest had a party to go to) and I was able to have my favourite vanilla latte and caramel shortbread as a quick treat!

Calorie overload

AND to top it all off I have just seen that The Wizard of Oz is about to start on telly!!!

MY DAY IS COMPLETE.…………..if for some reason (possible impending food poisoning) I don’t make it to tomorrow, I can safely go knowing I had the BEST day today!!

Let me know how your day went.