Weaving my way through motherhood whilst trying not to mess up adulthood. An observational lifetstyle and parenting blog

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Book Review:The Winter Children







Olivia and Dan Felbeck are blissfully happy when their longed-for twins arrive after years of IVF. At the same time, they make the move to Renniston Hall, a huge, Elizabethan house that belongs to absent friends. Living rent-free in a small part of the unmodernised house, once a boarding school, they can begin to enjoy the family life they've always wanted. But there is a secret at the heart of their family, one that Olivia does not yet know. And the house, too, holds its darkness deep within it . . .

I never judge a book by it's cover but rather the first page and from the moment I settled into reading Lulu Taylor's The Winter Children I was transported into a world of deceit, forbidden love and suspense. An easy read, with words that flow so effortless off the page that for an hour or two I completely forgot where I was and instead became entwined with the lives of Olivia, Dan and Francesca.

From the beginning we find out one of the deepest secrets, something I have never experienced in a novel before, so throughout reading the novel I felt like a nosy neighbour who already knows too much but yet still wants to find out more.  The past of 1950 Renniston hall is merged into the now of Olivia and Dan's story and with each page I turned I would wonder which world I was looking into. We are introduced to new characters whose lives are plagued with the same dark romance as the present counterparts . I didn't find it jarring the switch in tenses or that it interrupted the pace although it could have easily been a stand alone novel.If anything I couldn't wait to revisit the boarding school and discover its history and the fate of its pupils.

Lulu Taylor writes her characters with a realistic notion it would be easy to find an Olivia in your local Costa, Francesca strolling through Harrods and Dan who I liked the least showing off about nothing worth talking about to a bored recipient. When I'd closed the book I felt myself really thinking about each one of the characters past and present, trying to understand their plights and wondering what I would have done in each situation. I felt the deepest sympathetic connection to Francesca, a woman who has a life of  handsome outfits and champagne balls but who chooses instead to  latch on to the the Felbeck's new family....

You will have to let me know if you agree and what you think of The Winter Children, a thrilling, suspense filled, twisted romantical novel that I definitely recommend. It is best accompanied by a cosy blanket and a mug of something warm...hot chocolate was my pick.

The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor

Thank you to Mumsnet  and Pan Macmillan for providing me with a copy of  the novel in return for an honest review.
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Dear Santa, hold off on the brussel sprout farts






Dear Santa,

In less than a month you will collect your red suit from the dry cleaners, give your beard a trim, nothing too drastic  just a little tidy up-of course whilst you wait for your elves to dust off your sleigh and load the boot( do sleighs have boots?)  With all the brand new toys and books and gizmo's and gadgets for all the children who still believe in your magic.

I am excited for your arrival, I always have been, I could have sworn that I heard the faint jingle of bells as your sleigh flew over my house when I was younger and I was amazed that you knew the exact doll I wanted having just seen it in the shop the week before.  Your apologetic letter when you ran out of wrapping paper has never been forgotten especially as you have the best handwriting ever! And even now, as the official countdown begins my little Lei can’t wait for her stocking to be filled, especially as you never miss out the rice cakes that she loves so much!

Now,  when you visit the houses and you drink your belly full in milk or something a little bit stronger  and you leave your cookie crumbs on the table and let your reindeer nibble at the carrots before you leave in your obvious tell-tale trail of snowy footprints, can you tell me why I didn’t make your Christmas list?

Oh, I know I’m too old to believe, but I do and if I squeeze my eyes really tight and say I do believe a few more times, I’m positive a couple of fairies will regain their long lost wings. But this isn’t about fairies, it’s about you and me Santa....baby.

I’m not asking for much, and I have been an awful good girl this year, mostly...okay I haven’t folded the laundry straight away and have left it to resemble a clothes store sale rack and I’ve let Lei watch way too many episodes of Dora and Friends oh and if we wanna count that one time after a night-shift I overslept and missed the school run but I’m sure when you check your list twice, you will see that I’m not too much of a rotten egg.
So here's my list, I'll keep it short

  • Ban Musical Instruments :Two years ago Lei got a drum set for Christmas. Oh she had such fun, oh she made a racket oh I hated those drums!!  But what took the piss was the generous giver of such present gave it in the knowledge that it would do my head in! So please, no toys that can create a constant musical noise with no off switch!
  • No Cooking disasters : I love baking at Christmas, you should know as I've left you a slice of my Christmas cake last year. However, I can't quite master cookies. They either all merge into one giant biscuit that has to be scraped off the bottom of the tray or taste off- Not cool!
  • 10 more minutes sleep: On Christmas morning I will be bleary eyed and giddy with excitement and exhaustion  as I watch Lei open her presents, so a lie in on Boxing day will be perfect, please.
  • Hold off on the Brussel sprout farts: I don't fart, no I  really don't...not when I'm aware anyway and definitely not by force! So you should know Santa darling, that those induced by little cabbages and done by my dinner guests make me just that bit queasy.
  • Thou shall not procrastinate:  Honestly...if you have a solution I will leave you an extra mince pie
  • Christmas and Chill: When all the food and drink has been drunk and everyone is slumped on the sofa full of gammon and merriment it would be perfect for us to all stay awake to watch Christmas television or  movies without falling asleep...perhaps you should take special note of my request for more sleep!

I think Santa, this must be your easiest list to date, but if it's too much then honestly don't stress. I'll just do your job for ya, because seriously...how hard is it to nibble a carrot, drink some milk( or something stronger) leave a trail of crumbs from a mince pie and fill a stocking with pressies or grant a mum a lie in on Boxing day?

With lots of Christmas cheer and extra tinsel on top

Jade Priscilla

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Monday, 16 November 2015

Ruby's and Cottons



We didn't have much of a plan, but we did know that we wanted the evening to have lots of food, plenty of belly laughs and a cocktail or two to set the pace for the evening.

We decided to visit a new restaurant in Luton called Ruby's, a family run caribbean restaurant which has now taken pride of place in an old nightclub I used to visit when I was a younger. It is always amazing how buildings can transform and evolve, I was impressed with how Ruby's was able to shave all traces of the club away and instead replace it with a warm and inviting restaurant of black and red tones, colourful bar and friendly staff.

The music played was soulful and a true mixture of different genres and despite us sitting next to the speakers it was not too loud or irritating. One of my pet hates when at a restaurant is not being able to hear each other speak or having to shout so much that you leave the restaurant with a full stomach and a sore throat- not good.

My dinner dates: Maria, Saran and Liane

Our drinks order was placed and we gossiped and put the world to rights whilst we waited to place our food orders.  The menu offers a wide selection of foods sure to take your taste buds to the caribbean isles. We ordered three different rices: jollof rice, plain white rice and fried rice and two meat dishes( curry mutton & jerk chicken) and a fish dish.
Jollof rice, fried dumplings, curry mutton & plaintain

Now, one thing about hunger is that it can make you impatient, restless and prone to being slightly snappy which is what happened when we had to wait quite a long time for our meals to arrive, it didn't help that we could see meals for other tables, who had come after us, getting food- we were getting  serious food envy! haha. The staff told us that the reason for this is because it is not a fast food service so the meals take a little while to prepare, they did thank us for our patience.


Thankfully, our patience paid off as the food WAS delicious and came with complimentary sides of coleslaw and plantain- yum! Oh and the portion sizes were amazing, sooo much food that we could have easily shared instead of ordering separately.
Source: Cottons

Full we headed towards the train station to get the train to Camden; Cottons is a restaurant and bar with a real caribbean vibe, the décor transports you to an island bar with its wooden shack walls, slogans and caribbean flags waving proud to salute. There was a dj and although the space left to dance was incredibly small, he managed to get everyone dancing and having a really good time.



Sorrel is my favourite Christmas drink and so when I saw it on the cocktail menu where it is described as a Sorrel Sling  which is made with a large measure of beefeater gin mixed with fresh lemon juice, sorrel squash, cheery brandy and topped with soda, it was always going to be my first choice and oooh was it good! Cocktails are made right in front of your eyes by bartenders with Hawaiian shirts and feet that tap along to the music.

It's not a good night without a blurry selfie


We had a brilliant evening and not even the disappointment of missing the train home and having to get a replacement bus service could dampen our moods. Ruby's and Cottons until next time.....

Tell me all about your favourite local or London hangout...;-)



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Friday, 23 October 2015

Haunted walking tour in theatreland with Every Hotel Picadilly





Every hotel is located in the heart of theatre land


Hidden behind the razzmatazz of London's theatre land is a textbook of history and spooktactular tales. Tales of severed heads, amputated legs and of the ghosts that hunt the alleys and guard the stage doors of London's most popular theatres. This was the theme when I was invited to a haunted theatre land tour with Joe blogs and Every Hotel Piccadilly .

On my 18th birthday, I saw my first ever musical production- Chicago and from then on I have had the theatre bug. I attend regularly and have introduced my love for all things song and dance to Lei who I have taken to see Matilda and Billy Elliot and although my favourite musical changes after each show, one that has stolen my heart and my voice to it's songs is the lion King. Never too old for treats and a night out, my mum and I went to the show and had dinner at a nearby restaurant. We didn't stay the night, instead we braced the cold and the over crowded train back home , a trip which could have been avoided had we stayed the night, which next time I will do and my first choice will be Every Hotel Piccadilly.


Every hotel Piccadilly is an incredibly modern hotel with plans to expand to every major city not just in the UK but worldwide. Guests are welcomed by their hosts who can recommend a tasty meal from their menu or directions to the nearest theatre show and so much more.
Coffee lover?

Modern and super tech-savy is the motto throughout the hotel as it boasts smart tvs, treadmills that help your run be that bit more entertaining with in-built televisions. To cater to all music lovers, with the swift download of an app over their FREE wifi connection you can select the music that plays in the restaurant- think 1950's jukebox at a diner!

Kai Bleul the hotel value centre general manager showing us the hotel rooms



How comfy does that bed look?


I love to sleep, my middle name should be 'sleep' not Priscilla which is why I was so impressed to learn that Everyhotel Picadilly have rooms with sound proof windows and amazing king sized beds with enough room to starfish, rolypoly or sleep in that annoying awkward position, one word- bliss!

Feeling hungry? The hotel's menu offers an array of delicious pizzas, burgers, pasta and fresh salads perfect for a pre-show dinner and in the morning before heading home you can have a hearty buffet breakfast!



Dinner is served

Not a limp lettuce leaf in sight-fresh and crisp




Delicious!



If you are visiting London and not only want to watch a play or musical, have you ever thought of doing a haunted theatre tour? Diane, our tour guide from secret london walking tours  had us gripped with ghostly stories about some of London's most loved theatres.

Diane our tour guide was great and kept the tour  spoocktactular

We never lost sight of our tour guide- spot the green and black brolly


Goodwin Court, Diagon Alley's doppelgänger
 Did you know?

  • The Royal Haymarket is putting on a production of Mr Foote's other leg about actor Samuel Foote who had his leg amputated without any general anaesthetics! It is believed that the saying 'break a leg' was coined from his misfortune
  • The Coliseum theatre is haunted by a solider who has a seat of choice in Row G - Could be worst ay? 
  • The Lyceum theatre home to the Lion King has a lady more specifically Madam Marie Tussards who is known to sit amongst the audience with a severed head on her lap, but hey Hakuna Matata!
  • It is considered bad luck to whistle whilst working in the theatre, so whistle while you work is not to be done under any circumstances! 
  • The most haunted theatre in London is Theatre Royal Dury Lane (currently showing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) with one of it's three(!!) ghosts being a clown which appears in the mirrors. I think this ghost is a bad nut! 



Hakuna Matata  even if a Madam has a severed head in her lap
Fancy sitting next to a solider? The coliseum is your best bet

The next time your in theatre land be sure to look out for any spooky shadows lurking in the aisles but at least you will be ghost free and comfortable if you book your stay with Every hotel.



Do you have a favourite musical or play?  :-)


 











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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Letters to Saint Nick: Christmas on a budget



source



 When the carved pumpkins wilt and turn into compost and the last firework has exploded into a million colourful sparks across the sky; little children with great imaginations and a heart full of dreams and wishes will choose their favourite pen and the brightly coloured paper with the curly edges to scribble a letter to dear old Saint Nick for presents chosen from the backs of catalogues or the latest cartoon craze taking over the nation.

And if like me, you still keep the magic of Christmas alive then as the last 't' is crossed and the final 'i' dotted you will be ready to trawl the internet and the supermarkets for all the Christmas goodies on the Christmas list.

And on Christmas day, as the clock strikes three on Christmas afternoon and family and friends from near and far, clamber into their living rooms with Christmas hats balancing awkwardly on slightly tipsy heads, stomachs filled with turkey, goose fat potatoes and two helpings of Christmas pudding and a toast is made to honour the Queen's speech we will be thankful for another year, filled with festive cheer and togetherness.

 The rest of the evening will be spent playing board games, watching an array of Christmas specials, eating way too many chocolates and struggling to put over excited children to bed and as that calm takes over the house, the realisation that the two months of planning is over and that all that is left is the glimmer of gold tinsel and the scrunched up wrapping paper shoved into the bins  alongside the brussel sprouts that no one liked.

On boxing day as you pick at the cold meats and contemplate tackling the sales from the comfort of your living room, it's only then with a bank balance verging on empty will you stop to really reconsider the cost of Christmas....


 If we had to stop, stop right now and really think about what we'd like for Christmas, is it a want or a need? If there was no December 25th would you be able to go without that swanky new coat or could little one go without that extra furniture for her doll house? Most probably and with the cost of everyday items raising ( 5p bag anyone? ha! ) I for one will try to curb my Christmas spending and not go to crazy whilst on Father Christmas duties, although I'm sure I won't beat one lovely lady I know who spends well over five hundred pounds on each of her children and grand children!!!


How are you budgeting for Christmas 2015?


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Monday, 19 October 2015

Only children are selfish


Nine months, nine months of morning, afternoon and evening sickness that by your due date you are so emotionally drained you could create your own emoji. As a new parent you find yourself inundated with cards, gifts and congratulations from friends and family who will comment on the colour of your pushchair and  demand a retelling of your birth story whilst also wanting to know how your feeling, sleeping and feeding your baby! Then amongst the offers of babysitting and advice to enjoy the baby stage, there will be that one question, this one question that even to this day, six years after giving birth annoys me....


  • So when you having the next one?

Why would you ask that to a mother who has been up all through the night, cleaning sticky yellow poo and feeding on demand from breasts so painfully heavy you feel as though you're walking around with a lorry attached to your chest. I was asked this weeks after Lei was born and I never knew what to say because to be honest, creating another baby was the last thing on my mind

As the weeks turned into months and the months now years, that question is being asked but now with Lei added in for extra emphasis:

  • Doesn't Lei want a brother or sister? 
I can remember when Lei was about three and we had a conversation that went something like this:

Lei: Mummy can I have baby sister?
Me: Where am I going to get a sister from Lei?
Lei: Tescos

Unfortunately my shopping lists never include babies and Lei has outgrown asking me this question all the time, although if you do ask, she will say yes, she wants a sister but don't all children want siblings? I remember wanting a sister when I was younger- I got a brother! So we can't all get what we ask for ay? ha!



  • Only children are selfish

A mother with four children with the comforting lilt similar to that of Mma Ramaotswe told me that I should extend my family as only children grow up to be selfish, she meant well but it struck a nerve. Selfish is not a nice word to be branded with especially as children with siblings can also be just as reluctant to share or think of anyone other than themselves. One of my best friend's an only child and selfish is not a word I would call her at all, so that statement is such an unjust stereotype.

  • Only children are spoilt

I only have one daughter, my entire focus is on Lei , she has all of my love and time with no one else to compete with so of course she is going to be well looked after. However, there is a very thin line between gratitude and bratitude and if Lei ever goes over to the latter I will always reign her back in. She understands that not everyone is fortunate to have what she has and that she has to be grateful and thankful. Also, having only one child does not rule out the possibility of parents who have more than one child spoiling their other children whether they have one child or three.


I am not completely ruling out the possibility of having more children and by the time Lei is a teenager, she might still be an only child or have her own personal cheerleading team; but for now I am content with my one special little princess.

Are you an only child or raising an only child? or tell me why you chose/ chose not to extend your family in the comments below :-) x










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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

9 things not to say to people with allergies





 
Source


1. Omg, you can't eat [ insert a-z of your chosen food allergy],  What do you eat?
- Food. we eat everything you eat, just not anything that will make us sick, no we don't miss it, yes, we can live without it, and no we are really not missing out

2. I brought this cake, it has nuts, I know your allergic but you can just scrape them off the top

- Thank you for remembering that I have an allergy. Thank you for buying said item to blow my  face off. Thank you for telling me to scrap it off. I hope you have the emergency services on standby!

3. Go on, just try a little bit

--Why? Why would you ask me to do that? I am not an experiment, I am not a toy. I can not try it, not even the smallest bite

4. Why havn't you outgrown it?

--The same reason the sky is blue....I really don't know

5. Just because you have an allergy, doesn't mean your child has an allergy

--This is usually said by someone who doesn't have allergies and doesn't understand that it can be passed down from generation to generation

6. My cousin so and so from far far away was allergic to ants and got this syrup called chddjnfggygysdshkkk. You should try it!

--Maybe, I shouldn't. I understand some people just want to help, but if I wrote the number of times some aunty's brothers best friend's cousin  had a remedy I would be rich

7. So you can't eat peanuts? what about peanut butter?

--   * sigh*

8." Are you alright?"
    "Just hayfever"
    "Are you sure your alright? I think your getting a cold"

--Nope, just hayfever. I'll be okay once I sneeze ten more times and itch my eyes for the hundredth time

9. So your 'electric'? or some other hilarious allergy related joke

--My sister when she was younger knew I had a nut allergy. She asked me whilst she was eating peanuts if I was 'electric' ( she meant allergic) and threw a peanut at me. Hilarious at the time because she was only little. But not so funny, if the sufferer has severe reactions to touch and scent


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Saturday, 26 September 2015

How to avoid bedtime


7:00 pm

 The bubble gum happy children television presenters say goodnight, bedtime stories are read, soft cheeks are kissed and the night light shines bright until morning time

Good night, sleep tight mummy and daddies across the world whisper as little eyes flutter with the urge to keep awake but not quite managing as the force of tiredness transports our little darlings to the land of sweet dreams

As I close the door, I take a minute to listen, to listen for the toys that turn on suddenly by themselves, the cracks of crayons getting trodden on or the drone of a once loved musical teddy bear losing it's tune. We listen....

Silence, lovely

8:00 pm

Time to catch up on what's baking in the bake off tent, all the latest celebrity gossip from the weekly magazines, or watch that movie that everyone keeps telling you that you would love, all whilst scrolling through my social media platforms and live tweeting throughout

Then just as Paul Hollywood samples his fifth sugary delight, I hear the pittar patter of tiny feet across the landing, then it goes silent replaced by the long drone out call of:

"Muuuuuuuuum"

Sigh

Thank God for the ability to pause live television, because even if I wanted to watch it, a little munchkin is standing in front of the screen demanding attention in the form of cuddles and more goodnight kisses

And resume: The show stoppers are amazing and you manage to finish the show without any interruptions just a niggling urge to empty all the cupboards and bake, even if it is with the help of  good old Betty Crocker

9:00pm

How many times can a little one jump out of bed?
How many times can a little one ask for more cuddles, teddy bears, water, turn the light on, turn the light off, no, no...turn it on! 
After all of that is usually done and all is quiet for a second, I will often hear this from my Lei-Lei:

"Muuuuum"
"Yes Lei?"
"Just checking your there"

10:00 pm

It has gone quiet although any noise, be it a stray cat screeching at the moon, or the neighbours taking out the bin, you think it is your little one waking for the 100th time and you catch yourself stopping and pausing throughout the evening.


Three Bedtime tips and tricks
  1. Avoid Co-Sleeping: If Lei could get away with abandoing her own bed all together than she would. As a tiny tot, it helped us both to get a good nights sleep but as she got older I realised that the longer she avoided her own bedroom, the harder it would be for her to want to stay in her own room. If it can be avoided, do not give in to little one staying in your bed, you might find yourself going back and fourth about ten times through the night, but it will be worth it.
  2.  Choose night comforts carefully:   A night light is the number one choice for a night time comfort, these are okay as they are not much of a distraction. As lei gets older, she wants all sorts to join in with the night time routine and whilst a night light is fine, I draw the line at her tablet as I know she will be playing games or watching cartoons until tiredness wins her over.
  3.  Establish a routine: .7:00pm is bed time unless it's the weekend or holidays then I will relax the routine slightly. A routine has been key for my family as I have worked so hard on it .Most nights Lei will sleep from seven until seven in the morning and then on the other nights she will test her luck with as many 'I don't want to go to bed' tricks! haha


Does your little one sleep through the night or do they try their hardest to avoid bedtime? Let me know in the comments below :-) x






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    Friday, 18 September 2015

    Hello, is your mother home?





    It's the kind of morning when the snooze button has been pressed five times, resulting in you being half an hour late as you rush around trying to pair the right shade of grey socks together, find the missing school shoe, book bag and sparkly fluffy pencil for little one to show the  class!

    It's the kind of morning where your feeling lucky

    The queue is long, the lady in front of you is sharing gossip with the cashier, they laugh and you feel annoyed that they are making you wait to talk about EastEnders.

    Finally your turn, you  ask for a lottery ticket and the cashier looks at you and asks for some form of identification and on that particular morning, despite feeling exhausted and looking exhausted,  you have never been so happy to hand over id to prove your age

    source


    It's that kind of afternoon, an afternoon with no plans or expectations
    The kind of afternoon where you change into pyjamas and become one with the sofa as you binge watch an entire box set on netflix
    The kind of afternoon where you sit legs crossed, cup of tea nearby whilst you lose yourself in the chapters of a new book
    The kind of afternoon where you feel like baking and then two hours later your kitchen and tummy is welcoming the warm, sugary aromas of biscuits and cupcakes
    The kind of afternoon when you are having a 'no make up' day and there is a knock on the door...
    You're not looking your best but gingerly you open the door and it's a door to door sales man
    It's the kind of afternoon where you are not in the mood to be sold windows, guttering, mood rings and silver but then he is not interested in you, because out of his mouth, like music to your ears he says: " Hello, is your mother home?"

    And on that kind of afternoon, you become thirteen again, no longer do you live in your own house and pay your own bills, oh no! On that kind of afternoon you reply: " No, my mum's not home and won't be back until late"

    When you are  younger, you can't wait to surpass certain age milestones, often wishing the youthful years away. Then when they're gone and seventeen seems so far away you become grateful for the small reminders that perhaps we don't look as old as we feel, especially when you have a little munchkin like my lei who for some reason thinks I'm ancient...

    • Lei: Mum, in the olden days, did you have netflix?
    • Lei: In the olden days there used to be dinosaurs, mummy did you see them?

     So, tell me do you get mistaken for looking younger or older than you are? :-) x

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    Sunday, 13 September 2015

    Roald Dahl Day

    Welcome, one and welcome all into the wonderfully, absolutely spectacular writing room of Mr Roald Dahl. A man who has created magic with literature for millions and millions of children and adults around the world.

    Today,  the 13th of September, Mr Dahl's special day, his birthday, we remember his creative use for words and appreciate some of the work he has produced. Happy Roald Dahl Day!


    The Witches
    "An idiotic vitch like you must rrroast upon the barbecue!"
     Synopsis: Immerse yourself in the world of The Witches. These detestable creatures disguise themselves as ladies and they hate children with a passion. Luckily one boy, thanks to his grandmother, knows how to recognise witches and knows about their tricks and schemes. With the help of some Formula 86, they might be able to get rid of them for good.

     My favourite scene from the book is when grandmamma is retelling the horror of what witches are capable of doing. The little girl who got entrapped in the picture scared me so much haha! But still, I read on completely gripped from start to finish.



    The Twits
     
    Synopsis: Mr and Mrs Twit are the most disgusting and smelly of people. They're not nice, and love to play tricks on each other - tricks that include glass eyes, slimy frogs and wormy spaghetti. But the Twits don't just treat each other badly, they treat everyone and everything badly, and soon the monkeys they keep in a cage and the birds they trap for bird pie will play the biggest trick ever on the pair of them.

    • The best couple award goes to the Twits! The muggle-wumps revenge is the greatest although the tricks the twits play on each other is dreadfully funny as well, wormy spaghetti anyone?


    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    “Whipped cream isn't whipped cream at all if it hasn't been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn't poached eggs unless it's been stolen in the dead of the night.”
    Synopsis: Enter the world of Golden Tickets, chocolate bars and the mysterious chocolate factory owner, Mr Willy Wonka. Charlie has won the chance of a lifetime and is one of the five lucky children to be allowed to enter the chocolate factory, but what delicious surprises await them on the other side of the factory gates?
    • My favourite scene is when Violet Beauregarde blows up into an enormous blueberry after chewing the gum which is a three course dinner.( I can't blame her for trying it, it sounds amazing, why has noone invented gum like that yet? ha ha)

    Lei's favourite Roald Dahl book is Matilda; I took her to see the musical earlier in the year which she loved, she still sings the songs. Next will be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is amazing to see the stories come to life on stage. Can you imagine The Twits as a musical?


    Which Roald Dahl book is your favourite? Have you seen any of the musical adaptations?


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    Friday, 11 September 2015

    When I grow up




    School
    The home of favourite teachers and carefully planned lessons
    The home of sticky little hands and classrooms that smell of play dough
    The home of times tables, reading and spelling tests
    No running, No shouting, No picking on the teacher's pet
    School dinners with friendly dinner ladies coaxing you to eat your veg
    Hopscotch, hula hoops and skipping ropes too
    Watch out for the football coming towards your head!
    Rinngggggg, saved by the bell
    No running, No pushing, form an orderly line
    A question is written, so clearly to see
    When you grow, what do you want to be?

    There were many a sunny afternoon when my friends and I would ask each other what we wanted to be when we were all grown up.  We asked in the playful, sing song tones that children use to create a sense of fun and it was entertaining as we shared different professions not quite knowing the intricate details of any of the roles.

    One of my friends, no older than six at the time stated that she wanted to be a lawyer. Great ambition for such a little girl, a little girl who is now a grown up, fulfilling her dream career.

    As I watch Lei pretending to be a teacher as she writes on her whiteboard, call out a register and put names on the 'happy or sad' face section of her board it brings me back to my nanny's kitchen. A kitchen where many was meal as prepared while I played contently with my toys; but on this day, I'd discovered a new way to keep entertained. I traced every picture from an A-Z book and for every animal or object I created a story. I never tired of doing that, I was happy....

     I wanted to be a writer

    What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you following your dreams?




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    Wednesday, 2 September 2015

    The truth about tipping: Do you leave a tip?







    Scenario one : The date is set, outfit planned, restaurant booked
    It's a special occasion...a new job, new car, new house. Congratulations
    Your palms are sweaty, mouth dry as you walk into the  warmly lit restaurant
    It's a grill house, your favourite and you already know what you are going to order
    The front of house is friendly, she leads you to your table and offers you drinks with the promise that your waiter or waitress will be straight over to take your order......

    Then you wait.....

    5mins later: It doesn't matter, you are thirsty but you are surrounded by friends and family

    25mins later: Your drinks arrive, no apology, no smiles, just a sullen face of a waiter who looks like he just wants to be at home watching re-runs of Top Gear.

    The meal is nice, but the customer service you receive throughout has put you off.

    The bill arrives....Do you leave a tip?


    Scenario Two: Happy Birthday little one! Excitement overload as you guide your excited son or daughter and two of their bestest friends into the restaurant of their choosing.

    Balloons, colouring books and crayons- you never knew a wax coloured pencil could bring so much joy, but it does and as a parent your happy that your children are happy.

    Then a fellow diner says, not to you, but loud enough for you to hear " This is why I hate coming here,  so many noisy  children"

    Oh.

    You hadn't noticed, you remind yourself that perhaps it's your super parent ears allowing you to filter and eliminate noise.

    You apologise but the diners faces remains in a scowl and you realise that although your children are quiet the restaurant is still a jingle with the clatter of dropped cutlery, screams of hungry babies and laughter of parents and children.

    The service was amazing, but your fellow diners made it slightly uncomfortable.The bill arrives...Do you leave a tip?


    Beauty, hair and lifestyle blogger

    Megvictoria_xx




    What do you think? Are you a generous tipper or do you not bother? Let me know in the comments below :-)






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    Wednesday, 26 August 2015

    Believing in make believe






    As we near the end of summer many will dread the return of the darker evenings and the chilly
    autumn bite on the napes of our necks that we fight away with woolly hats, chunky knitted
    scarves and hot chocolates in our favourite novelty mugs.....

    September skips by with school children at its heels wearing brand new uniforms and shiny black shoes, anxious mums riddled with first day nerves and relieved dads, thankful they made it through the six weeks holiday

    October with it's fallen leaves, trick or treats and bobbing apples

    Shy November not one for fuss makes way for its neighbour….

    December, when good 'ole Saint Nick will be bestowing gifts , candy canes will decorate Christmas trees and festive songs will serenade us as we go about our daily chores

    December, the month when parents drink the milk left for Santa, leave a trail of cookie crumbs and nibble the carrot left for Rudolph. The month that parents become Father Christmas….

    Throughout the year parents take on new roles as we use our imagination and creativity to become the tooth fairy, Easter bunny and many other fictional characters

    We create Easter egg hunts, fill stockings and tiptoe into rooms, careful not to wake our little ones with feet that are not quite as nimble as a tooth fairy's

    Growing up I loved when Father Christmas left a handwritten letter and that the tooth fairy never  missed a tooth. I  was quite saddened on the day that I realised that none of these fictional characters were real.

    Fast forward and along comes Lei and I couldn’t wait to re-live the magic that I so believed in.

    One problem: I have a daughter who questions EVERYTHING!

    Christmas

    Lei: Mummy how will Santa know I'm at nanny's?
    Me: Oh he knows everything 
    Lei: How does Santa get all the presents?
    Lei: But we don't have that thing Santa goes down?
    Lei: Mummy is Santa pretend?
    Me: ................................



    Tooth fairy

    Lei: Mum, are you the tooth fairy?
    Me: Um.....
    After watching an episode of Once Upon a Time
    Lei: Mum is the blue fairy real?
    Me:why?
    Lei: I was just wondering if she could be the tooth fairy.....

    Is it fair to completely confess that none of it is real when I know that Lei, despite her many questions, still loves to place her tooth under her pillow in anticipation for the tooth fairy and that at Christmas, she will hang her stocking up and try her hardest not to fall asleep so as to catch Santa bringing her gifts. So for me no, I will keep playing make believe until Lei stops believing, after all being Santa is a serious job.....

    What is your approach for confessing that the Easter bunny/tooth fairy/ Santa is not real?
    Do your children still believe? Let me know in the comments below :-)



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