Thursday, 30 September 2010


What a fun way to see the sights.
Your kids will love it, we did!

We went on the one in London, you get to see the sites on road and then it drives right into the river Thames.
It is alittle unnerving but my son loved it.
Now it's not the most informative tour and was rather rushed but we would do it again!

On land (as you can see by Liam's face he loved it).......

and on water!


"It's fun, it’s quirky and it’s different!"

"A Duck Tour is a totally unique way to see the sights. You are rewarded not only with a live guided road tour of the City of Westminster, passing landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, but you are also treated to an unforgettable trip on the river, without ever leaving the comfort of your seat! All this on an historic vehicle used for the D-day landings in 1944."

There are also duck tours in:


Have a great family fun day out!!!


2011 is London's New Year Day Parade's 25th Anniversay!

The London Parade 2010
January 1st 2011. 12pm to 3pm.

The New Year's Parade is a free event which has taken place in London each New Year's Day since 1987. More than 10,000 performers take part: it takes about 2 hours 30 minutes for the full parade to pass by. There are marching bands and cheerleaders: many of these travel from the US to take part.
There are also historic vehicles, animals, clowns and giant balloons.

Look here to find out more.

Have a fun family day out!!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


You could find somewhere local that are having an event.

 Here's a list of some Apple Day Events around the country

For the price of a bag of apples you and you family can have a few hours of fun.

Who can peel an apple with the longest peel competition.

Shrunken Heads are fun and great for Halloween to.

Bake an apple pie.

Make some apple cider.

Make an apple print bag.
or a pump bag

I think this paper bag apple is so cute.

You could also make some apple from fabric scraps.
I will find you a pattern.

And of course there is bobbin apples.

Have some fun with your family!!!



St. Mungo's Woolly Hat Day - Friday 22 October

Join St Mungo's first ever Woolly Hat Day and raise money to help homeless people change their lives for good.

Be as creative as you can to raise money and to show your support on the day.
Don't worry if you can't knit, you can recycle an old woollen jumper. Just felt it (put in the washer on a really hot cycle) first so it doesn't fray when you cut it. Or just wear one you aready have.
Wear a hat for the day and donate £2, get sponsored to wear a silly hat or incorporate a hat in any way you choose to fundraise.

Ask your colleagues at work or the children at school to wear a hat and make a donation.

Here's great idea to make a hat from an old wooly jumper.
It's so simple the whole family could make one!

Have fun with your family!!!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010




"With tuppence for paper and strings
You can have your own set of wings
With your feet on the ground
You're a bird in a flight
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite

Oh, oh, oh!
Let's go fly a kite
                              Up to the highest height!
                                Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring
                                    Up through the atmosphere
                                     Up where the air is clear
                                     Oh, let's go fly a kite!


Sorry I couldn't resist it was going round my head. LOL

We have decided our kite of at least six years "nessie" is far to easy now. She is a single line kite with a whopping 6m tail, and really easy to fly.
So we are going to make a sled kite from one of the two kite books I found in the charity shop (I have had these for years just waiting to have a go)

Spirit of Air Rainbow Sled Parafoil Kite

Like I have said, we are using instructions from a book, but this sites instructions are very similar.
But I am planning on using the heavy duty clear plastic sheeting from the local DIY store, and drawing our designs on the plastic sheeting with permanent marker pens.

I will post some pics after the weekend.
I do hope it's windy this weekend. LOL

There are afew kite festivals listed on here you could go to.
(check out the events list page)
There are kite days at some National Trust properties too.

Have fun with your family!!!

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Well it's here guys CONKER SEASON,
so get outside in your local parks and find your winner.

A conker is the seed of the horse chestnut tree.

When you find your first one call out
"Oddly oddly onker my first conker".
This ensures good fortune and few tangles throughout the coming season.

 Prepare your conker for playing.

The best conkers to play with are uncracked and  firm. 
Make a hole through the middle of of your chosen conker.
Thread a strong piece of string about 25cm long, through the hole and tie a knot at one end.

How to play conkers.

Players take turns at hitting their opponent's conker.
If you are the one whose conker is to be hit first, wrap the string around your hand and let the conker hang down.
The conker is held at the height your opponent chooses and is held perfectly still.

Your opponent, the striker, wraps his conker string round his hand just like yours.
He then takes his conker in the other hand and draws it back for the strike. Releasing the conker he swings it down by the string held in the other hand and tries to hit your conker with his.

If a player misses hitting his/her opponents conker they are allowed up to two further goes.

If the strings tangle, the first player to call "strings" gets an extra shot.

If a player hits his/her opponents conker in such a way that it completes a whole circle after being hit - known as ‘round the world’ – the player gets another go.

If a player drops his conker, or it is knocked out of his hand the other player can shout 'stamps' and jump on it, but should its owner first cry 'no stamps' then the conker, hopefully, remains intact.
(You may want to omit this rule LOL)

The game goes on in turns until one or other of the two conkers is completely destroyed.


The National championships are held on the second Sunday in October every year, in Oundle, Northamptonshire.
As you can see from these photo's they take it very seriously. LOL

Conker wreath (threaded onto a wire ring)

Have fun with your family.


Well October is here and Halloween is coming, so why not find a local pick your own pumpkin farm.
You can look here at the pick your own farms but check they grow pumpkins
Some farms have activities going on to, so you can make it a great fun family day out.

Remember not to go to early as they wont keep but don't leave it until the last minute either.
Also think about what you are carving onto the pumpkin so you know what size and shape you need.

Have fun with you family!!!

Saturday, 25 September 2010


"So why not get everyone at home drawing.
It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, how about a game of pictionary or some sidewalk (chalk) art.
You could even buy some wallpaper lining and stick it to the lower part of your wall and let the kids create their own mural.
Or there's always the portraits sitting you could do your own or each others, see what your children really think you look like. Be warned these are not always favourable, but good fun

Checkout THE BIG DRAW WEBSITE for ideas.
Also check your local area as there are many things organised over the country, that you can join in.

My son was convinced he couldn't draw, then I bought him this book and he realised his pictures didn't have
to be perfect. Quinton Blake is a good example of this.
Also there are a good range of Klutz learn to draw books.

Have fun with your family!!!


Wednesday, 22 September 2010



Well I have started to think about this years party, and much to all the kids (young and old) disappointment, I have decided not to throw a big Halloween party this year (see Halloween party 2009 for ideas).
BUT have a pumpkin carving party instead, as they are older now so can hopefully carve the pumpkins themselves without cutting any fingers off. So instead of the 25 + people we had over last year (the number increases every year) we are just having afew friends around and children and adults will carve together, and have some food and a family fun this year.

So I will post as I go along.

I have bought some school craft aprons as they are quite cheap. Although I am thinking of dying them black, as the pumpkin flesh stains, and at least then the aprons can be again.

I already have a large box of the kids carving tools (there are lots of kits available cheap), also a lino tool, and several different sized small pieces of copper pipes (they are great for making eye holes etc). Lots of metal ice cream scoops and large metal spoons. A large bottle of talcum powder, will let you know why soon.
And to prolong the life of the carving Vaseline (petroleum jelly).

Must remember to save lots of old newspapers and buy some black bags and baby wipes. Also photocopy lots of the carving patterns, there are loads of free patterns over the Internet you can use.

You can try these sites but there are lots more:

Pumpkin masters are the best at this, and have a new book of patterns ever year, they are American but you can buy them in this country.


Pumpkins, Pumpkins and More Pumpkins!!!

Fabric Pumpkins

Wire Pumpkins

Carved Pumpkins.

Painted Pumpkins.

Decoupaged Pumpkins.

Willow Pumpkins

Tin Pumpkins.

New HALLOWEEN Metal Pumpkin Tealight Candle Lantern

Big ones, small ones and way they come ones.

More Pumpkins, LOL
I am going to make cake pops instead of cupcakes this year.
check out for intrusctions.
You make a cake, you crumble it, mix the cake with icing, roll it into balls, freeze them then cover in chocolate. They are so morish!!!


The main part will be the pumpkin carving
but I have had requests for a treasure and a couple more games so here's what I have been thinking about.


Line up three large pumpkins with stems, to form a ring toss.

Use embroidery hoops or make hoops with rope and duct tape.

Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns trying to ring a pumpkin stem. It doesn't matter if the players make a "ringer" or not, reward them with small prizes or stickers.

Smaller children can attempt to ring an entire large pumpkin with a hula hoop.


Use butternut squash as pins.


Pumpkin Halloween Craft
Free printable pumpkin boxes here


Carving Instructions

Step 1) Preparation

For easy cleanup, place your pumpkin on several layers of newspaper before carving.

Step 2) Draw and Cut Lid

Cut a six-sided lid, big enough so you can reach in and clean out all the pumpkin gunk. Angle a saw or knife toward the center of the pumpkin to create a ledge that supports the lid. Make sure the hole is large enough to reach in and pull out the seeds and stringy membrane. The bottom of the pumpkin could also be cut off instead; this will allow the pumpkin to sit up straight and make removing the seeds easier.

Step 3) Clean and Scrape

Using the flat-edged ice cream scoop or the special pumpkin scoop, clean out the seeds and strings. Where you plan to carve, scrape the pumpkin wall until it's about one inch thick. If carving a challenging pattern, scrape the pumpkin so that the wall is about one-half inch thick.

Step 4) Print and Attach Pattern

Select the pattern you want to carve. Tape it in place with masking tape (normal sellotape doesn't stay on)

The pattern may need to be slightly folded to fit on a rounded pumpkin. Fold the pattern so that the pattern lines match up. (If the pattern is too large or too small, you can use a copier to reduce or enlarge)

Step 5) Transfer Design
Using the poker tool, poke holes along the design lines.
 Check to see you have transferred the design completely, then take the pattern off the pumpkin.

And cover design in talc and rub it into the holes. This makes the design clearer for carving.

Step 6) Saw Design

Using the carving saws saw dot-to-dot using a gentle up and down motion. Saw gently, the saws can break if they are forced.

Liam's finish pumpkin

And mine....I don't know where he get's his weird sense of humour from mind.

To preserve your pumpkin you can cover the raw cut edges with Vaseline or use a spray on clear vanish.




I spotted a post card very early in the year and used it on our invites this year.
I loved it and really quick and easy to do.

Then printed this verse on the other side:

Do join us for a spell,
It's fancy dress, that's mum's and dad's aswell.

Make sure your costume's give a fright,
And bring a coat it get's cold at night.

Halloween night is the date,
Be there at four or you'll be late.

Witches, wizards, pumpkins too,
Our wicken fest won't be the same without you!



This year I made a NEW SEW!! ghost cape for me, is was really easy but used alot of fabric. Sorry but I have no photo's but click on the link to see a photo on Martha Stewart' website.

Liam went as a mummy, I bought some cheap white pj's and stitched bandages onto them.
You can see this in the bobbin apples photo below.


Oh, the decorations I have accumulated over the years. I almost have as made Halloween boxes in the lost as I do Christmas decorations. I tend to buy them from all sorts of stores including the pound stores which seem to have last years items in for, yes you guessed it a £1.

But I do like to make some myself.

This was made from a polystyrene ring covered in floristry moss and spiders glued to it.
Then I blue tacke other spiders to the doors so they looked like they were all crawling the same way into the house.

The mirror was created by covering it in windowlene then just before it is completely dry drawing on it with my finger to remove it in places to make the eyes 

I sat night after night cutting out these mice which I stuck around the house, from the Martha Stewart site.

And here's the finished products

 I decided to put a shadow on the back of mine.
Which is really easy you just add a second carving on the upper part of the back of the pumpkin.
Then put it close to a wall.


I love this free Halloween bunting. (if to be used outside laminate it)


Last year was the same as the year before hot dogs for the children, chilli and baked potato's for the adults. This is because it is quick to pull together and the potato's can be put in early and the chilli can be made the night before.


Well this year I came across a bag full of plastic Halloween rings and I had a PING! moment.
Now I am not fantastic at cake decorating but the kids loved these. (I cheated and bought shop bought cakes and decorated them at home).



Which was a treasure hunt.
I hid 16 numbered, laminated cards (with a clip art picture of a mummy on them)
around the garden with Halloween characters on them.


I split the kids into two teams and encouraged to adult friends to be the mummies (thanks Nic and Steve).
I gave each team four value loo rolls and five minutes to cover the adults as much as they could.
the best covered mummy won.


I bought a cheap large childs drawing pad (A3) and a marker,
 cut little bat shapes out and wrote words assosiated with halloween on them,
they had to draw broomsticks, witches hats etc



I bought trick or treat bags (in the sale last year at 2p each) and I have each family to bring a large bag of sweets or small toys and each child goes round and collects their candy and goodies at the end of the night.

Fancy Dress Award Certificates

You could give each child a (free down loadable) certificate  for different categories ie. scariest costume, cutest costume, most original, so every one gets one.

Halloween Spider Web Pie

cake slice favour box free printable template


I was really bad this year and didn't send out any thank you memento photo's.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


This year was Liam's 9th birthday and he wanted to go to an outdoor adventure park.
But me being me I wanted to have the boys back for food and fun at our house afterwards.
(This could be adapted for a girlie party by using pink camouflage, so cute!)


Too come soon!!!


This year was real easy on everyone as Ashcroft park provided the camouflage jumpsuits for the kids, which they thought were fab.
Also gave them black and green face paints to camouflage their faces, a piece of camouflage fabric to tie around their heads, Arnie style.
And when they were split into teams a torn strip of red or blue fabric to be tied around the upper arm to determine which team they were on.




I printed off poster for Briton wants you army recruitment posters and also Uncle Sam posters too.
Union Jake flags and U.S flags. (can also be strung together as bunting laminate if to used outside)
 these army themed papers can be used for a multitude of things.


I removed the original water bottle label and printed off free camouflage paper
and placed a sticker with each child's name so they would not get mixed up.


This was a last minute thought and next time it wouldn't be left until midnight and I would print the name labels off and not hand write them but it saved me going threw lots of paper cups.
Also I only had alittle camouflage paper left.


Liam had requested hot dogs so, as he was the birthday boy, that is what they had.

For desert they made their own ice cream sundaes (not very soldier like but never mind)
They had ice cream, squirty cream, raspberry sauce, sprinkles, chocolate flakes, smarties and they loved ever minute of it. They couldn't eat all they had made but that doesn't matter.


I don't know if you can see but I decided to put they little green Toy Story soldiers onto of some cakes and again some camouflage cake picks on others. The boys all went for the toy soldier ones.
P.S I cheat and buy ready made cakes from the local bakery and decorate them myself, I don't think it matters and it leaves me time to sort out the decorations and games.

Due to the fact that we went camping the week before the party and then I was back at work straight after we had a not very exciting shop bought cake this year.
This is what I wanted, BUT in green (Liam wouldn't have been too happy with a pink cake)
I would have one layer and no beads


On arrival back home I gave each boy the same medals which I had printed off and stuck them onto double sided sticky tape. The object of the game was to secretly remove others medals without them noticing, throughout the afternoon. If the other soldier felt them removing their medal the had to give it back and also one of their medals (this is where the honour bit came in). Who ever had the  most medals at the end of the day was the winner. This caused all sorts of fun and a some sulky boys LOL.


The soldiers had to first find the laminated cards (a small clip art picture of a soldier) hidden around the garden, the run back to base with the morse code dots and dashes on them and decipher the letter, from the list on the table. when they had all letters they had to unscramble the letters which would lead them to their goody bags.

Which I had hidden up in the apple tree at the end of the garden.

More fun and games to come!!!!!


The backyard was decorated with camo nets and lots of random things to hide with buckets of filled water balloons behind each. And off to war they went.


Carrying homemade riffles, the boys had to:
 climb the slide ladders and slide down
run through tires (fun inflatable pool tyres from the pound shop)
across a balance beam (a plank of wood on breeze blocks)
crawl under a camo net (or a pop up tunnel will do)
weave in and out of a row of swim foam noodles stood up right in buckets of sand
crawl under a table filled with black balloons (bombs)


Split them into the red and blue teams,
select one in each team to be the injured party.
get them to wrap the injured soldier using one full loo roll.
then they must carry the wounded soldier back home on a stretcher (a large beach towel)
first team home wins


Place red and blue flags at two far corners of garden, you stand with your back to them between these flags.
 The soldiers creep up whilst your back is turned, but have to freeze when you turn around,
if you catch them moving they are out. first team to get their flag wins.

As Liam's birthday is in the summer holidays, and I  thought the boys are getting to old for little knack toys. I bought them each a camouflage water bottle for the new school year with a sweets inside. I also printed of some individual dog tags for each. (saying ie.  Sam Thanks for coming from Liam) punch a hole and they were attached with a caribeena clip.


The thank you notes were yet again a photo memento of the day, a group photo in their camouflage jumpsuits for all children who attended. For people who sent Liam cards and presents a photo of just Liam, in gear.

Or each guest and birthday child could posed for individual pictures in front of a large flag.
They all were to stand at attention and salute for the photos.

Friday, 17 September 2010


This is our inflatable tent!
It is a Karsten Tent and so easy to put up.
This is the only reason as a single mum, we can camp, I can put it up alone.
It has been tested to force 12 gale winds, which is great as two years ago in Dorset our tent poles were snapped like twigs and we had to come home after less than 24 hours.
It stood up well in Norfolk this year as other tents were crushed by the wind around us one night.

Karsten Dealers - Camping Travel Store

I will post some pics of our fun trips fossil hunting in Dorset and boating on the Norfolk Broads soon.


These are some of the games I downloaded as we were  very short on space to take games, but needed something incase the good old british weather let us down.
So I download these and we used white and milk chocolate drops and sweets as counters.
So much yummy fun!

Connect four - tbc

Domino's - tbc

And here's the rest for you to check out
Battleships -
Noughts and Crosses - 

There are lot's more ideas on all these websites and they are fab and free.

And here are some pics.

Skipping Stones in Kimmeridge Bay - I can't do it!
Large fossil on Lyme Regis Beach - Too big to take home mind!

Sandcastle Bowling - Cranford Cliffs

Liam's Drippy Sand Palace - Swange Bay

I just had to share this
The Bucket And Spade Tree - Lulworth cove/Durdle's Door

Of course we did all the normal stuff too - build sandcastles, buried Liam neck deep in the sand, body boarding, cards, ball games, frisbee etc

And on the way home we called in at Stonehenge.

Phew! I should have needed a holiday when we got home after all that. LOL
We had a fantastic time.