Saturday, 4 February 2012

Sliding fun with my baby boy

The very generic MP3 player shuffle game!

A wee while ago I saw a blog post, and made a note, thinking "I MUST join in that meme" - then lost the note and forgot who it was who posted it - but then, thanks to the magic of twitter, I found out where it began and BOOM - @seasiderclare - who blogs at Seasiderinthecity was the originator of the (stolen from Chris Moyles) generic MP3 player shuffle game!

I heard the generic shuffle that same morning and I loved it - loved - and planned to blog it, and then forgot - and thanfully someone with better sense and timing than me managed it, and now I can join in! HURRAH!

The rules are this: you put your generic mp3 player onto shuffle and you tell the universe what the first five songs that come up are (NO CHEATING!) 

Then you tag five bloggers to join in (or more, or less, that part is ok to fiddle - but the actual songs are not!)

Now for those who follow me on twitter (@Eliza_Do_Lots if you don't!) you will know that actually getting music onto my iPhone is a pain in my arse - it's way more complicated than it needs to be (this in no way being connected to my utter lack of skill and/or knowledge about technology) and tonight I had a breakthrough and actually got music on there for the first time ever (I know) so I'm thrilled to be able to do this!

The first song that came on (hurrah) was this: I LOVE IT. 

To my shame it was followed by this: (I like some Jessie J stuff - not the whole album though!)

Oh lord, this just gets worse............

Kill me now.....Really.

I was praying that the final song would redeem me. It doesn't, at all. At least the first song is good!

I think whoever I tag in this is safe - it's never going to be more embarrassing than what's on mine, let's be honest. 
In my don't think there IS any defence. 

So I tag
@motherscuffer (because I doubt she has any kind of mp3 player and her blog about THAT will amuse me if nothing else!) 



I got the best email EVER last week - and I mean EVER. I was contacted on behalf of The Fabulous Bakin' Boys and offered free cake, so I could tell you all about cake.

I know. 

I had been having a rubbish day at work - and my co-worker had been complaining that she needed cake all day - and then boom, there it was, the magical offer! 

"Do you want to sample our new cake range?" - erm, what a foolish question!

A couple of days later, they arrived - magical, magical, tiny little pastel coloured cakes that taste of fluffy, sweet joy! I'd opted for the fruity cakes because I only ever buy chocolate ones, and wanted to shake things up a little. And they look pretty. 

Happily the gambol paid off - I took the box into the office for my team of experts (read: cake addict co-worker) to assess - in a very scientific manner.

I thought the pink ones were the nicest - my friend thought the yellow ones were - but we both tried the orange ones again just to be sure.

As someone who doesn't normally go for fruity cakes I was very pleasantly surprised - and with a first birthday party coming up I think these are perfect to have to share with the small people so that they all get the joy of cake (really tasty cake) but not too much of a sugar rush before I hand them back to their parents - they're a great size cake, two bites which is just enough, but though sweet they aren't sickly. 

I didn't think I'd end up thinking 'you know what, I might not even buy the chocolate ones, I might get these again' but that's exactly what I think. Not even just because I was given them for free - though that was really nice! 

So thank you to Claire, who sent me cake, and thank you to my co-worker who assisted in the sampling process!

This is what the release I was sent says about the cakes:

Fancy a treat without feeling guilty? The Fabulous Bakin’ Boys have come up with the perfect solution – a Mini range! Yes, that’s right theboys have been bakin’ yet again and produced a fantastic variety of scrumptious mini muffins and mini cupcakes.

The Choccy Mini Muffins, which come in both chocolate chip and double chocolate flavours with a chocolate flavoured filling, are available in packs of 12.

The Mini Cupcakes are available in two different varieties – Fruity and Choccy. The 12 pack of Fruity Cupcakes have an assortment of scrumptious strawberry, lemon or orange toppings, with the 12 pack Choccy Cupcakes boasting white, milk or dark chocolate flavoured topping. 

The individually wrapped Mini Muffins and Mini Cupcakes are the perfect guilt free treat for anyone worried about tippin’ the scales with festive indulgence or fittin’ into that special little black dress.  Both the Mini Muffins and Mini Cupcakes have less than 70 calories per product and contains no artificial colours or flavours and has been lovingly baked in a nut-free bakery.

The Mini Muffin and Mini Cupcake range will be available at a special introductory price of £1 per pack of 12 (RRP £1.50) in Tesco, ASDA, Sainsburys and Co Op stores nationwide from January 2012.

(I was sent a box of cakes to try - I did share them, honest, with more than one person, because I'm nice like that - almost as nice as the cakes, I do so love cake!) 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Apparently, I'm a versatile blogger!

The wonderous, spangtacular, boobalicious super star that is my chum @MotherScuffer - known to people in real life as Corinne - who blogs on motherhoodjourneys tagged me with the Versatile Blogger award. I'd prefer wine, but she can't reach since she moved up north (around the same time as I moved south - I like to think that it was a coincidence - but she'd say otherwise) so this will have to do!

The deal is I give you seven facts about myself, that most people will most likely already know since I have no boundaries and a nasty case of self obsession, meaning I am my favourite topic of conversation. 
Once I've numbed you with that I shall name a bunch of other people who blog, whose blogs I like to read, who shall be awarded with this magnificent title in kind.

I begin with the facts...

1: I'm very vain (that's not the fact, everyone knows so it's not new) but I hardly ever shave my legs - that's what tights were invented for.

2: I cannot stop buying toys from charity shops and the staff noticeboard for my boys - I work on the theory that if it's second hand it doesn't count because I'm actually doing a good deed (donating to charidee or helping some poor woman clear space in her children's I have given up telling my husband in advance and just try to sneak things into the flat. This is very hard because the flat is TINY.

3: I check property websites at least twice a day in the hope that something magic happens in my sleep and I can buy my dream house. Or any house. I think about it all the time. Probably hourly. I struggle to pass a for sale sign without scoping the place out and wondering if we could live in it. 

4: Following on from point three, I am CONSTANTLY decorating my dream house with my dream interior - I window shop for curtains and carpets, and have even been known to go into carpet shops and pretend I just bought a house and am looking for quotes, just so I can stroke the carpets.

5: When I do my fantasy interior shopping I strut around very importantly, pretending to be wealthy, saying things like "So twelve thousand for downstairs? That sounds fine" as if I will ever have twelve thousand pounds for ANYTHING ever in my entire life.

6: A huge amount of current events and pop culture entirely pass me by - I can't seem to take it in, even though it's my job to! I am VERY interested but even if I really take an interest in something, a week later it's like I've never heard of it. This can be news articles, films, music, celebrities, projects at work, or conversations. There's a limited amount of space in my brain and it's full.

7: I can't drive or walk past a police officer without feeling like I've done something really naughty and am about to get caught. Even though I can't recall having done anything illegal I feel like some mafia mol about to be picked up for being a master criminal. I sit up straighter in the car, adjust my posture if I'm walking and try to look like A Very Nice Girl so they won't stop me. 

I'm going to tag some peeps now:

@fartandculture - because I want him to post another blog post, he amuses me more than anyone else in the world.
@mumonthebrink - because she is amazing, and clever, and a wonderful friend.
@bangsandabun - because there's a slim chance she might post it, and her blog genuinely brightens my life each day.
@mamasaurus - because clearly she hasn't enough to do already ;-) 

That's all - I can't think in straight lines now so I'm going to bed :-D

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

CLIC Sargent and Yummy Mummies

Actress Patsy Palmer hosted a glamorous tea party for deserving mothers earlier this month as she launched Yummy Mummy week 2012. Patsy is also calling on mums across the UK to do something yummy to raise money for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

Eastenders favourite, Patsy, was joined by author and celebrity chef Annabel Karmel and hosted elevenses for five mothers whose children are currently undergoing treatment for cancer. The event took place at Cavallino Restaurant in Chelsea.

The tea party was held to launch Yummy Mummy Week, which runs from Saturday 10 March to Mother’s Day on Sunday 18 March, and Patsy commented: “As a Patron of CLIC Sargent I’ve seen first hand the charity’s wonderful work supporting young cancer patients, and their families, at a very difficult time in their lives. I’m lending my support to Yummy Mummy Week as it’s a great way for mums to get together, do something yummy and have a great time in aid of a great cause!”

Television regular Annabel, who brought along some specially made delicious cupcakes said: “I’m supporting CLIC Sargent, a fantastic charity that does so much to help children affected by cancer. Yummy Mummy Week is a fun way to raise money and help CLIC Sargent continue its incredible work.”

Yummy Mummy Week is a fun-packed fundraising campaign during which mums do something yummy for children and young people with cancer, whilst spending quality time with their own children, family and friends.  Money raised throughout the week will be used by CLIC Sargent to provide clinical, practical and emotional support for children and young people with cancer and their families.

Katie Turton, National Events Manager for CLIC Sargent said: “We’re delighted to have the support of Patsy and Annabel for Yummy Mummy Week. Yummy Mummy encourages mums to hold any type of event from cake sales and coffee mornings to dinner parties or pamper nights and have a great time knowing that all the money raised from their event will make a real difference to families affected by childhood cancer.”

To find out more about Yummy Mummy Week 2012 go to or call 08451 206 658 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            08451 206 658      end_of_the_skype_highlighting to register for your fundraising pack.

Go on - get ready - March is getting closer very quickly, so join in and do your part.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Glow stick fun times

I love glow sticks.

I can't even begin to explain how much I love glow sticks.

I had a ROTTEN day today. Just horrible. Except for the time before I left for work - when I got up early, and played cars with my two small humans, and sang songs, and did races and laughed at how clever Midget Gem is with his car noises.

Then I got home and my WONDERFUL husband had cooked one of my absolute favourite dinners (pasta putanesca - yes, I know what it means, no, I'm not one, shush) and then we turned off all the lights, all piled on to our bed and opened a bag of glow sticks! 

Crack, crunch, pop, shake - glow!

We danced, we shook, we laughed, we chased and tickled and sang and danced some more - and it was just brilliant! 

When we'd had lots of fun dancing and being silly in the bedroom we all decamped to the bathroom with the glowsticks and a pair of scissors - and we cut the tops off and splattered the contents all over the wall (this is only advisable if you have a tiled wall and some bleach!) 

It was SO cool. Seriously - look at those pictures! So cool - it was brilliant and it looked great - and the boys LOVED watching us do it, and loved the dancing, laughing, glow sticks and silliness of our evening.

And so did I.

Sometimes, when you've been having a bad day, you just need to switch off and be silly with your children. There's nothing as magical and as healing in the universe as the sound of your children laughing, and nothing makes you feel better than a happy cuddle with them after a bad day.

b-scene coats

I recently got into a very nice conversation with Sara from Kids One Stop Shop - a cool new website that has all kinds of clever tricks, tools and news for parents. 

There are tons of topics on there - from a directory showing all kinds of kid related businesses and places to go, to the amazing competitions page (but don't enter, m'kay, cos I kind of want to win - the prizes are hot!) 

As well as all that there are some great discounts on some great products - and I'm not just waffling here.

My husband and I are very safety conscious for our boys - so much so that he picked a bright orange pushchair that was much more visible than the cool black one I had selected - and we put reflective stickers on the wheels, strapped reflective strips around the bars and - at night, if we're walking - toddler had a reflective vest to wear. 

Only the reflective vest was way too big - and he could easily take it off and - let's be honest - he looked ridiculous.

This product here though - check it out - this is a magical safety conscious coat - that happens to be super stylish - for kids, created by the clever peeps B-Scene

The coat - in stylish designs for boys and girls - has a clever little trick - check it out:

Now - I don't know why nobody thought of this before - but B-Scene have incorporated some clever threads, made with reflective magic, that work in the same way as that embarrassing, ugly vest that we used to put on the toddler - and it fits, it's stylish and it's warm.

This coat - in different designs for girls and boys, both very stylish and smart, is a genius safety creation for parents with small humans who dash around like crazy folk on walks - when the nights are short and you're nervous out and about, this is just an amazing idea.

So Sara, from Kids One Stop Shop, got in touch with the offer for me to chat to you about her website - which is great - and offered me the chance to review this coat. I had already decided we needed to get one of these coats, so I was thrilled. Even more so when it arrived and it's not just clever, it's brilliantly well made, warm, comfortable and makes the toddler look extra dishy. (He's very dishy anyway, and I like when things make him look stylish!) 

Jellybean thought he would help out putting the coat through its paces the day it arrived: we popped the coat on first thing and headed into town - Jellybean loved that he could fasten it himself and the hood (he's a fan of hoods - I can't decide if it's because he can play peepo, or if he's a wannabe gangasta) 

He obliged by wiping his nose on the sleeve, chewing on the cuffs and then coughing until he vomited all over the front. Nice. 

So we got to find out very quickly how comfortable, how warm, how stylish and how cute it was - AND how well it washed and dried on a quick wash! I was pleased with how well it washed - his last coat went all lumpy and bobbly the first time I washed it - but this one came out looking exactly the same as it had brand new (that morning) and the vomit came out very nicely! 

It can't be washed above 30 degrees - but I'm down with that, being the energy conserving type! 

Another thing this coat has that Jellybean likes is lots of pockets - he can zip, velcro and pop things into his many pockets and then spend ages digging around in them and telling people all about the contents - this isn't always convenient - but it's cute!

So I'm thrilled with this coat - he wears it every day and in the mornings as I drop him with his childminder, and in the evening when we get home, he's warm, comfortable and - most importantly in the gloom of winter - clearly visible to any passing traffic. 

What a very, very clever idea!

You want to know something even better? B-Scene coats are half price - that's what I said - HALF PRICE - at the magnificent Kids One Stop Shop, and you can wrap this super brilliant product around your child, keeping them warm and safe all winter, for a mere £22.50 - don't even think about telling me that isn't a great price for an excellent product?!

Pop over there now to pick your own coat up - and whilst you're there, click around - the website is growing every day with new info, new lines, new pre-loved offers and new ideas for things to do in your area. Couldn't be better, right?!