It’s funny now……Rocket Teabags!

teabag

So, easy peasy lemon squeezy, cut the top and bottom off a teabag it says (yes, you guessed it, Pinterest again – you’d think I’d learn!), empty the contents into the bin, set fire to the top of the teabag. The fire burns and the heat that gets captured inside the teabag lifts it into the air, like a burning rocket. When I read this out to the kids we all looked at each other and said ‘Coooooool!’ Loved the sound of this. Couldn’t be easier right? WRONG!

What they fail to mention is that this will only work with those posh teabags that are stapled at the top, the long ones, like the Twinings herbal teas! (who buys those? I thought they were ‘special’ teabags that you only get at work!) We tried 3 times with a ‘normal’ teabag. It burned. We watched in anticipation, very excited…….it went out. We tried again. Same thing happened. Then once more, not having learnt our lesson the first two times we watched, again, excited. The teabag fell over and we all screamed, Bear ran over and tried to blow it out and blew it right off the table, headed straight for Boo! She screamed. Bear shouted. I batted it out the way and burnt my hand. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (unless you have a posh teabag).

Do try this at home – Pinterest Eureka! moment

If you read my blog you will be aware of my addiction to Pinterest, it’s not necessarily a good thing, especially when looking for crafty things to do with the children, you are basically setting yourself up to be bitterly disappointed and feel like a complete failure. The pictures and instructions always look amazing and easy to follow, we’ve mostly had fun trying them, but my expectations are always waaaaay too high and although I think we’ve done well and proudly puff out my chest when showing off photos,  I get a reality check when people laugh heartily at our efforts. Luckily, we laugh too.

Evidence below….

Banana Penguins!

How it should be done

banana penguins

Erm…..how it was done!

IMG_4038

Not quite the same, but we had fun trying, they’re slippy little suckers.

HOWEVER….

Da da da…..we’ve found a good ‘un! NEVER I hear you Pinterest pessimists cry, oh but it’s true.

Apple Volcanoes!

I was looking after a friends little boy and I thought what can I do with them all that’s a bit different, I umm’d and ahh’d about looking on Pinterest after my first disaster with the iced toys incident (see Pinterest disaster post) when I found this and thought that’s a typical boys-y thing, they’ll love it!

apple volcano

I was all set; I’d given all three of them the equipment to get started and told them what they needed to do, I stepped back and watched with trepidation, chocolate at the ready to ply them with if it all went wrong, tissues on the table for the tears that would surely come after another Pinterest epic fail and a steady supply of apples, baking soda and vinegar to keep trying if necessary. BUT….none of it was needed coz  it only bloody worked!

Such an easy activity to do with things that are generally in the cupboard, granted, it doesn’t last long, but it’s worth it.

  • core an apple
  • stuff the apple full of baking soda
  • pour vinegar into the baking soda…simples.

You can add food colouring to the vinegar for extra effect, which is what they’ve done in the picture above.  The kids were so excited, their little faces were a picture. Little tip: Stock up on baking soda, they will want to do it more than once!

My faith in Pinterest activities has been restored….until next time!

Don’t try this at home!… Pinterest Disaster

I confess, I’m a serial Pinterester, not a word but it should be, there are lots of us out there. I’m constantly finding stuff on Pinterest that I think Wow! that looks amazing, I’m going to try that with the kids, they’ll love it. So, my first one, a while ago now, imagine this, a hot summers day, play date with two other 5 and 3 year olds, all running around excitedly and I pipe up ‘kids, I’ve got an amazing game for you!’ ….excitement escalates….

I found this on Pinterest and was sucked right in.

iced toys

Chuck a load of small toys in some water in a plastic container and freeze overnight, give the kids some salt, warm water and some tools to try to ‘free’ the toys trapped in the ice, genius you might think, as did I. When I finally got the ice out the container, which in itself took a while, the kids beamed with joy, not only because they got to splash water everywhere but also because they had real tools (not sharp I might add, I’m not a maniac!) and were stabbing at the ice like crazed mad men. I left them in the garden doing this while I watched them through the window in admiration as they sprung into superhero mode and tried their hardest to free the ice-olated toys (see what I did there?) feeling very chuffed with myself that I’d chosen such a wonderful gratefully received activity…..however….my silent wallowing in my own sheer awesomeness was disturbed minutes later by shouts of ‘Mummy! can you help us’ and as I walked over I was met by, not only 4 children squirting warm water in my face but, the block of ice having one tiny dent in it! I was saddened by the sight and told them they can’t be trying hard enough…an hour later… after I’d roped in another mum and the kids had gone off to play something else, frantically trying to break free the, now terrified, toys who could see us coming at them with sharp knives and pumpkin carvers, we managed to get out half an airfix toy soldier by amputating his leg. I held him high above my head in celebration ‘I did it!’ I cried….. literally, then swiftly slumped into a bedraggled heap on the grass whispering ‘I did it’ over and again. I will not be trying this Pinterest activity again. Epic fail.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

2015/01/img_4916-3.png

Its another ‘YAY!’ On the Bear and Boo chart – Beef Stroganoff is a massive leading contender with a 9/10 from The Bear and a whopping 10/10 from Boo! Such a simple homemade quick and easy recipe too, took me half hour with prep!

Recipe – serves 4
Beef (I used frying steak for ease and quickness but any cut will work)
Mushrooms, sliced
Onion, sliced and diced
Sour cream, as much as you want really but I used a 300ml tub (I like it creamy)
Tomato purée, 1 tbsp
Garlic, 2 cloves
Beef stock, 450ml
French or Dijon mustard, 2 tsp

Method
Whizz up the mustard, stock and tomato purée in a blender.
Fry the garlic and onion off until the onion is soft then add the beef and mushrooms to the pan. Once beef is brown add the liquid and simmer until reduced by half (if you find this reduces too much you can add more water). Add the sour cream and warm through. Job done! Simples!

I did this with basmati rice as long grain takes too long to cook! I don’t like meals that take forever. Quick easy meals for working mums are the way forward.

Frozen Frenzy

-Frozen-disney-frozen-35351041-800-600

If you have a daughter aged between 2 and 7 your house probably looks a lot like mine at the moment, full of everything ‘Frozen’. So today we went out to spend Boo’s birthday money and what did she choose; yes, a singing Elsa doll. The Anna doll, the puzzles, the whole series of Frozen figures, the dress, the shoes and the colouring books clearly weren’t enough, so once again I have had ‘Let it go’ played continuously since 3pm today (that’s a solid 4 and a half hours!) and I have been knelt on the floor re-enacting the WHOLE of the film, including songs. Heaven forbid I get any words wrong, I am corrected by a stroppy 4 year old who uses a cuddly monkey which doubles up as both Hans and Kristoff and a teddy Tiger for Sven, stamping her foot when I say a word out of place. I have lost count of how many times I have had to do this, enough already! When will the Frozen Frenzy subside????? Please – Let it Go!!!! (I know, I know, but it had to be done!)

Favourite Storybooks for Kids

The Giving Tree

I love reading stories to the kids, not necessarily always at bedtime, but there are some truly wonderful books out there which always make me smile, no matter how many times I read them. The obvious choices, such as Julia Donaldson, what a complete genius she is, always go down well in our house (my kids are 6 and 4) but there are also others which I never tire of reading and equally the children love. This page is dedicated to just that. If you do choose to read them, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

If you have any suggestions yourself, please do share and I’ll add them to the list, no book is a bad book!

  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Penguin – Polly Dunbar
  • The Adventures of Bert – Allan Ahlberg & Raymond Briggs
  • Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe – Brian Moses & Garry Parsons
  • Big Mum Plum – Daniel Postgate
  • Someone Bigger – Jonathan Emmett & Adrian Reynolds
  • Who’s in the Loo – Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds
  • Each Peach Pear Plum – Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers
  • We’re Going to a Party – Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
  • Dustbin Dad – Peter Bently and Russell Ayto
  • Jennifer Jones won’t leave me alone – Frieda Wishinsky and Nel Layton
  • Jack and the Incredibly Mean Stalk – Gemma Cary and Kelly Caswell

I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like a Julia Donaldson book but some of our favourites are:

  • Charlie Cooks Favourite Book
  • Tiddler
  • Room on a Broom
  • Zog
  • What the Ladybird Heard
  • Jack and the Flum Flum tree