Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sharing

When it comes to sharing, my boys aren't the best. Little man just refuses to share, shouting "mine!" as his defense. Big man is better at sharing. He knows that like it or not it has to be done, but he prefers it if he can "share" by having the thing first. However, it is middle man that has made me laugh this week with his views on sharing.

"Will you share with little man please middle man?"

"Share!?!   Never!"

I was a little taken back by his response until he continued

"Sharing means you have to cut things in half."


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Spiderman Cake Tutorial

spiderman cake

I have been a bit slow writing this one up! A year and a quarter to be precise. Middle man still is a spiderman fan, and for his third birthday I made him this cake. I know you can buy really nice spiderman faces in the shops, but there is something in me that says I need to make it myself  (although I did cave in and by a Spongebob cake for Daddy's birthday as I didn't have time to make one.)

The cake is really easy to make, however if I made one again I would make the face thinner as by time I had iced him, Spiderman needed to go on a bit of a diet.

Start by baking a round sponge twice and sandwiching it together with buttercream and jam. Then cut a face shape and cover in red roll out icing. I then iced a black line down the middle and cut out eye shapes from paper that I could use as a guide for the correct size later.

spiderman face cake

I continued with the black icing as webbing. Here I found it helpful to score the icing with a knife when I was doing the straight lines.


Lastly I cut around the eye templetes onto layered black and yellow icing.

spiderman birthday cake

Middle man was happy with his cake!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Bannatyne spa


I have always like Duncan Bannantyne on dragons den, but I must admit I have often been dubious of the spa days he offers at his health clubs. Although they are packaged as spa experiences, just reading through the advert, it made it sound like a massage in a gym.

This year however, I was "lucky" enough to win an experience for two at a raffle. My sister is always helping me out, so I asked her if she would like to join me. Booking was simple and although we couldn't get into the London one, we headed off to Banbury for some relaxation.

Well it certainly was an "experience." As predicted a pretty mediocre gym with a few treatment rooms to make it a "spa" I had requested separate treatment rooms but we were shown in together. The therapist didn't even offer to change things when I said it wasn't what I was expecting. We then had our chocolate back massages. This was nice enough. Then onto the head massage. Here I got confused. My sister appeared to be having one too. Which was odd seeing as she was booked for a pedicure. Time must seem longer than I thought and it must have been part of the chocolate treatment.....

Surely you wouldn't be given the wrong treatment?

Then they left? I turned to my sister - curls everywhere! Hmmmm odd pedicure.

I thought I must have booked it wrong. I checked. I hadn't! There was no one on spa and the girl at the front desk couldn't have cared less.

We had a microwaved curry (again not screaming spa to me) a chat and we left. I had a lovely time, but only because I was with my sister and we could chat and laugh about it.

We did go through to the heated loungers after our massage but they didn't have enough for the guests they had ( 5 loungers and 7 guests.) This is not a spa experience. It's a massage in a gym. When I returned I looked at trip advisor and it seems that this is a pretty usual experience at Bannantynes!

A customer survey landed I'm my inbox. Now this is what really gets my goat. Don't ask me to spend my time filling in your survey, telling you how badly wrong you got it and then don't even acknowledge that I had a bad experience. After 3 weeks I don't think I will hear back and to be honest if they offered me a free massage I wouldn't bother anyway!

Personally I think their experiences are a joke - it certainly made us laugh!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

DC Super Friends Review and Giveaway


Recently we were sent some DC Super Friends books for review and they have been a big hit. Big man isn't usually very interested in early reader books as they don't grab his attention. However he was keen to read these to his brother as he knows that middle man likes the Super Friends.



We received the Crime Wave  and Hero Havoc reading books. I am no expert but comparing them to big man's reading books from school I would say they are around a stage 6.


I intended the wipe clean activity book to be for middle man, but big man had started completing it before I could stop him. As he needs to practice his writing, I wasn't going to complain. As it is wipe clean middle man also got to use it, however, he opted to trace the words with his fingers. Along with writing there are puzzles to complete as well and the boys have completed and enjoyed these.

DC Super Friends Wipe Clean Activity Book


The sticker book appeals to all the boys including little man and we are saving this for an upcoming plane flight.


Finding books that keep my boys engaged in reading and writing is a challenge but these books have worked really well so I would certainly recommend them. Random House publishing have also offered a chance for 2 of my readers to win a set for themselves too. Just complete the rafflecopter entry below. UK entry only, Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Simply Gorguss Card Making Kit


Recently, docrafts sent me the Simply Gorjuss ultimate card kit. I have always enjoyed card making. However, with 3 small people to look after, I don't do it as often as I used to. This is why the card kit is good. You have everything you need to easily make the cards. All you need in addition are some sticky pads and double sided sticky tape. The kit contains a whopping 32 cards in 8 printed designs all with envelopes. There are then 20 die cut decoupage sheets in 5 designs that can be mixed and matched as you wish.  There is also some ribbon and gems included.


The decoupage pieces are labelled so that you can easily see how to layer them.


Pretty much any combination of the toppers and cards works nicely together. Here are some of the desgins I made one evening.

gorjuss cards


I think this is a great kit for a beginner at card making as it provides pretty much everything that you need to get started. I also think it is great for a busy Mum like me or anyone that enjoys card making as it is good value at only £14.95 (it works out as just under 47p for a beautiful card.)


I was given the pack for the purpose of the review but the opinions here are my own. I have also reviewed some of the docrafts baking range which you can read about here.

The Energy Show on Tour

methane bubbles at the energy show

On Sunday we headed up to the Science Museum in London to watch the relaunch of The Energy Show. It is currently on at the Science Museum until 11th April when it starts it's tour around the country. I took big man to watch it last summer, but when I asked if he wanted to go and see it again he jumped at the chance. I had initially agreed just to take him again as there is some quite high level science in it and I was worried that middle man would be scared. However, big man had got middle man so excited about seeing it that I had to ask if I could bring him along too.

liquid nitrogen

If you saw the show last year, then it is the same story with a couple of different experiments and even more Star Wars jokes. Big man whole heartily approved of this. The finale even included an experiment played to Star Wars music. There was a slight hiccup with one of the experiments not working (trust me as a Science teacher it doesn't matter how often you practise things go wrong in experiments) but the actors made a joke of it and the show went on.

Middle man (4) was pleased he saw the show (although was scared at times) and big man (6) sat chuckling at the show. If you have a child that loves science or one that isn't keen but is at secondary school, I would recommend that they see the show. It demonstrates the different types of energy in an engaging way.

Big man was keen to show middle man some of the experiments in the launchpad. Whilst we watched the show little man enjoyed some Science with Daddy.

hands on experiments


Whilst we were are the museum we also visited the Flyzone studio.  Here you are able to have your photograph taken on green screen as astronauts, fighter pilots or red arrows. This was good fun, even if my husband and I felt like Mr and Mrs Blobby in our suits.

Here we are visiting the moon.

dressed up as astronauts at Flyzone studio

We had a fantastic day and would like to thank the Science museum for out complimentary tickets to The Energy Show and our photo on the moon.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

E-Cloth Shower Pack Review and Giveaway

e-cloth


E-Cloths are microfibre towels which claim to have enormous cleaning power. Infact they state that they remove 99% of bacteria from hard surfaces using only water. If you want to know the Science bit just click here. I was recently offered a chance to review one of their products so I chose the Shower Pack. This comes with 2 clothes. A Shower Cloth with suction cup to hand it in the shower and a glass and polishing cloth.

I must say I find the idea of not spraying chemicals onto the shower area odd as it is not something I am used to. However, having the cloth in the shower does mean you can just give it a quick wipe down when you are in there, so it keeps on top of things. If there are more stubborn stains I imagine it takes a bit more elbow grease than if you sprayed the surface with a cleaning product and let the chemicals do the work. However, I do like the idea of using less chemicals.

e cloth shower pack

I was initially disappointed that the glass and polishing cloth couldn't be hung up with the shower cloth. For it to work it mustn't be too wet. However, now I have used it and seen how good it is, I don't mind at all. I effortlessly cleaned the bathroom mirror with nothing but a spray of water and it has never looked so good! With 3 small people in the house we have lots of little hand prints on the glass doors and in the conservatory, so this cloth is perfect.

So far I am really impressed with the product. They can be rinsed through daily and then put in the washing machine from time to time. The shower pack costs £9.49 which I think is a good price for 2 cloths when you will be using less bathroom cleaner. I have been given a second shower pack to give away to one of my readers so that they can try it out for themselves. Just complete the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway