I meant to take Dubz for a haircut last week, but didn't get around to it. So on Monday, when his teacher asked me if Dubz was able to see properly through his hair, I knew I had to take action. But I forgot to take him after school, so at bedtime I grabbed the scissors and thought I would just give his fringe a little trim. Surely it wouldn't be that bad. Well, it was. I am such an idiot. But I have learned my lesson, and will be keeping away from the scissors. I took Dubz to the barber the next day. His hair is now way too short, but at least I won't have to worry about another haircut for a month.
I have mentioned that Dubz has been obsessed with superheroes for the past year. So when I saw an advert for the Marvel Universe Live show, I knew we had to take him. Last weekend we told him that we were having a surprise day out, and we made our way to North Greenwich tube station. In the two-minute walk to the O2, we saw several mini-superheroes. Dubz asked if we were going to a superhero show. The secret was out!
Marvel Universe Live is a fun family show. The show is centred around superheroes trying to find the Cosmic Cube fractals that the baddies are trying to use for no good. Crowd favourites include Spider-man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Wolverine. Thor's brother Loki was the head villain and proved quite menacing. Both Dubz and Moozles were quite scared in the beginning and clutched onto me for dear life. But then the Avengers starting kicking, punching and fighting, and my kids were enthralled.
Most of us have a body part, or three, which we dress to disguise. But sometimes the feature you're trying to hide cannot be covered. What do you do when you hate your face? I remember being 10 years old and the boys at school would tease me. 'Your lips are so big, you must trip over them when you're walking'. And other similar quips. I remember holding back the tears and not letting them see my sadness. I would spend hours in the mirror, trying to find ways to make my lips look smaller. An obviously futile exercise.
As a teenager, I turned to fashion magazines for tricks to help me minimise my lips. I started wearing lipstick at 15, and would line my lips so they would appear smaller. Fast forward 26 years and I continued trying to make my lips look smaller. At this point though, it was so natural that I didn't realise that I was doing it. Then last weekend, I got my make-up done, which is quite a rare occurrence. Not only did I get a bright lipstick, but the make-up artist filled in every inch of my lips.
I was initially surprised at how full my lips looked. And I could hear those 10-year old boys taunting me. Then I remembered that there are women who inject toxins into their lips to make them fuller. Some people actually want big lips. Big lips! Like mine. And I have wasted years trying to make them smaller. Just because of some stupid little boys. Isn't it funny/ridiculous how we can carry so much baggage from childhood? And you don't even realise that you have let it effect you.
Did I tell you about the time I went for a boogie with Peter Andre? Well, actually, Moozles, Dubz and I went to an event to promote Fit to Dance and Peter Andre was there as their ambassador. But still, we boogied in the same room. Surely that counts. Anyway, Fit to Dance is a new programme brought out by the lovely people at Disney On Ice. They are encouraging children to create stories through dance. This in turn encourages children to be more active as well as to use their imaginations.
When we arrived at the event, Moozles was so nervous. She was worried that she wouldn't do a good job of dancing. But the lovely dancers from Disney on Ice stressed that we were dancing for fun, and that anyone could take part. The children came up with ideas for their story, chose their characters and their movement, and were even able to put together their own costumes. Dubz was feeling shy, so he just sat next to me eating apples. But Moozles had a brilliant time. Not only did she enjoy the dancing, but she loved the creative aspect of helping to create the story.
Last Sunday we met up with some friends at The London Eye. Not to actually ride The Eye. But to visit the playground next to it. Some times you want to go into central London, but not actually do anything expensive or touristy, and who doesn't love a playground?! And yes, there is a playground near our house (several actually), but nothing quite compares to the backdrop of The Southbank. These photos aren't great because of the sun glaring behind the kids, but I love how it looks like Moozles and Dubz are climbing The London Eye. Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!
Earlier this month, the family and I went on our annual camping trip with our Leamington friends. After last year's bone-breaking 10-hour car ride to the Lake District, our friends took pity on us and we all agreed upon Dorset as our destinations. After packing the car to the gills and a speedy two-hour ride, we arrived in Poole.
Upon arrival at South Lytchett Manor, I was impressed at how easily it was to check in. We then had someone personally show us to our pitch and we got to unpacking our car. Although we liked the Low Wray campsite last year (our pitch was lakeside so it was lovely), we did not enjoy having to park away from our pitch. It just made life a bit more time-consuming when it came to unpacking and packing. Our pitch was next to a water tap, which was also quite handy when it came to cooking. Though it was a bit annoying as people kept walking by our pitch to fill up their water containers.
South Lytchett Manor also accepts motorhomes, and they have caravans and sweet little Romany caravans to rent. But we have bought this camping gear and are determined to get our money's worth. This year we got a few new items including a bench table and seats and an electric coolbox. You can pay for electric hook-up at the campsite, so we thought we would get it and make life a bit easier. This meant that I could bring my straightening iron - oh happy days! The campsite also had the cutest red phone box that they used as a library (one of those 'leave a book, take a book'). And there is a playground, though the time we went it was heaving and we were the only adults there. The campsite wasn't that picturesque but it is a very practical campsite.
Husband has had the week off and we have been having a staycation at home, visiting some of the attractions that London and Surrey have to offer. On Friday we visited Hampton Court Palace. We had taken a boat there before from Kingston, but had only walked around the free grounds and had lunch at the cafe. This time we borrowed a friend's membership card (shhh, don't tell) for a proper run around. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was a beautiful day for a visit.
Besides visiting the Magic Garden and the Maze, we also went into the Palace itself. I took a million photos, so I thought I would share a few. The top photo was actually taken by a very kind stranger (she saw us taking the selfie at the bottom and took pity on us). We have so few nice family photos, and they're normally a bit staged, so it is wonderful to have a photo taken on one of our family days. And it's not at all blurry and we're all looking at the camera. Hooray!
A few weeks ago, I headed to the London Zoo with Moozles and Dubz. The lovely people from Greggs wanted to celebrate their new healthy range as well as the new options for kids, and we were eager for zoo fun and yummy food. I often pack lunches and snacks for our days out (my children are constantly eating and we can't always afford to eat in restaurants), but this time Greggs had it all covered.
We wandered around the zoo for a couple of hours - we saw the monkeys, gorillas, lions, tigers, penguins, butterflies and a building full of bugs. At this point we were starving so met up with our group for some delicious food. The new balanced range from Greggs includes soups, flatbreads, salads and fruit pots. And all are under 400 calories. I had the teriyaki chicken noodle salad, which was delicious (and shockingly was only 256 calories).
Moozles and Dubz had the ham and cheese rolls and the juice drinks (which do not have any added sugar or colours and have added vitamins). It is such a relief when kids' food is made simply. Although Moozles eats most things, Dubz is really fussy and will refuse to eat things he deems strange. Check out this super cute video from Greggs about kids' reactions to various sandwiches.
About six years ago, we had friends who told us of a magical place where you could go pick your own fruit and vegetables. It was cheaper than a supermarket, and much tastier. We went with our friends, and two-year old Moozles and had the best day. We said we would return every summer. And every summer, we haven't managed to go. But this week, we finally returned to Garsons, and this time as a family of four.
If you've never heard of Garsons, it is the UK's largest pick-your-own farm and is located in Esher, Surrey. It takes about 30-40 minutes from south west London. From the end of May until October, customers can head on over and pick fruit, vegetables and flowers. We picked corn on the cob, carrots, courgettes and strawberries. We picked a couple of blackberries but they weren't ready, so we moved on. At home, we found the corn to be so tasty, and we have finished it all in four days. Sad times.
Moozles loves a dress. So she was thrilled when I presented her with two new dresses last month. To be honest, the girl is not too picky when it comes to clothing. I, on the other hand, am very pernickety. I like dresses to be made of cotton, durable and able to handle stains. I also don't like slogans or cartoon characters. But I don't want her clothing to look boring. And the girls and boys clothes from Milk & Biscuits fit that bill to a tee.
The tropical leaf print dress is definitely my favourite. The cotton is really soft and the print is really cool. Moozles has been wearing this dress loads. It is perfect for sunny, but not sweltering, summer days. But I can see her wearing it loads in the autumn and winter as well. And I love three-quarter sleeves as it makes the dress feel quite modern. Also, we have washed this dress many times - I have managed to get stains out every time, and the dress has not shrunk one bit and doesn't need any ironing (the last bit is my favourite).