'The Bog Baby' by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward is one of our favourite picture books, being that rare beast that can captivate both a seven-year boy and a three-year old girl time and time again. I couldn't count how many times I've read this to the kids, but it still brings a tear to my eye too (in a good way!!).
I've made a simple linocut of a Harry Potter Firebolt broomstick as part of a project I'm working on for G-Man's birthday. It's intended to be the first of a few themed linocut prints, and though I have something very specific in mind for it, I couldn't help but play around with a few other ideas too.
We are big fans of a classic Victoria Sandwich sponge cake in our house, but this variation is also a favourite with it's hint of zingy citrus flavours, tangy mascarpone cream filling and sharp blackcurrant. It looks so pretty, it makes a great cake for special occasions too, but is really easy - and cheap! - to make.
Though I love letting my kids get stuck in to some messy play, I sometimes find the thought of the inevitable cleanup just too daunting. On days like that, I often resort to our tried and tested fallback -the cleanest messy play imaginable - bubble play!
G-Man didn't want a birthday party this year, instead he wanted to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour just outside London. So we took him and one friend along for a magical day out in January 2017. As it was his birthday treat, and as we knew beforehand that everything there would be exorbitantly expensive, I put together a Harry Potter-themed party bag for the boys to supplement their pocket money purchases in the tour's shop. There are tonnes of ideas for Potter gifts on the internet, and not only was it great fun to do (and a big hit with the kids) it also saved us a whole heap of pennies.
If you're planning a trip yourself, or are lucky enough to be hosting a full-on Potter Party, have a look at our DIY wizard treats for a little Hogwarts-style inspiration!
This week we took G-Man and friend to the Harry Potter Studio Tour as his birthday treat (instead of a party - hurrah!). We had a great time geeking out on all the amazing Potter film artefacts and sets (especially, I must confess, us grown-ups in the group). It's a fantastic experience that, despite the horrendous cost, I definitely recommend. It is also one of those places where a bit of research and prep beforehand really pays off - especially if, like us, you are taking young kids. So here are my top tips for avoiding misery, saving money and making the most of a family trip to the Making of Harry Potter studio tour!
After seven years of living with the grottiest bathroom on the planet, we've finally managed to update it - huzzah! Now I realise this blog isn't really about interior design, but I was so excited I had to share it.
Yes, it was bad. Oh so very bad. Nasty dark green tiles on every wall, wrinkled linoleum, a mouldy bath and cracked sink. Not to mention manky old exposed pipework sticking out of the wall over the bath taps. Yuk...
It's amazing what you can live with (seven years!!), but now we finally have a beautiful, fun, funky and actually rather peaceful bathroom of our very own.
Every September, members of our local community are invited to make and display a scarecrow for the annual festival, and then everyone troops around all the houses looking at what we've all done - which is actually a whole heap of fun, and also involves a stop for tea and cake at the Community Orchard, making it even more fabulous. This year's event was only a few days after what would have been Roald Dahl's 100th birthday, so of course our scarecrow had to be Roald Dahl themed!
I've been making a few odds and ends with the kids over the holidays in preparation for this September's Scarecrow Festival (yes, I know it's still only August!). Last year I managed to rope in friends on my street to do Alice in Wonderland scarecrows. This time our scarecrows will be characters from Roald Dahl's books, in celebration of what would have been his 100th birthday. I've got grand plans for our tableau (which will be a character and scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and one of the things I wanted to include was Willy Wonka's iconic hat, laid casually on his desk as if he'd just popped away for a moment. Making the hat turned out to be surprisingly easy - read on to see how I did it!
G-man's birthday this year happened to coincide with the release of arguably the most anticipated film of the century - Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And since we're all big Star Wars fans here, he absolutely had to have a Star Wars party.