Saturday, 31 March 2012

Saturday Matinee - Nanny McPhee

Welcome to the brand new family film feature, Saturday Matinee  I hope you have your ice cream money for the interval!  We love films here in the Grant house and I thought it would be fun to share some of our family favourites with you over the next few weeks.   To get started I have chosen one of our favourites, even though it is not all that new.  Nanny McPhee and Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang are fabulous family fun and have made us giggle even after numerous viewings.
Both films star Emma Thomson, who also wrote the screenplay for the first movie and then wrote the story and screenplay for the second movie.  She has translated the story to screen incredibly well, offering a realistic example of strained family relationships in both the Victorian era and during WW2.  With the absence of a parent the children are often led to fend for themselves or make do with inadequate domestic staff.  Obviously this leads to disruptive and very naughty behaviour leaving the remaining parent pulling their hair out at the struggle of trying to hold everything togther.  Knock, knock, who is at the door, but Nanny McPhee of course.  But she is no ordinary nanny, she is magical, wielding a cane that can change or stop actions with a single tap.  Her appearance is quite grotesque and actually makes the children stop for a single second and stare.  Yet as the childrens behaviour improves and the basic five lessons she is sent to teach have been learnt her features change, warts disappear and just as the children become more appealing so does her appearance. 
The antics of the chidlren in both films is hilarious and captivating, appealing to young children, Kitty watched both films reguarly when she was four, through to us grown ups too.  Offering an insight into the historical time yet making it believable to modern children, the Nanny McPhee films are a firm favourite in our house.  So make some popcorn, snuggle up on the sofa and prepare to laugh, smile knowingly and maybe even cry as you join Nanny McPhee and her charge on their magical adventures.

 Enjoy your weekend,

Friday, 30 March 2012

Family Holidays - PGL

Morning! Friday again and the end of term, phew, I need a rest.  Although working from home with five chidlren on school holidays is not what many think of as a rest! It will be lovely to not get up quite so early everyday and rush around making sure everyone has everything they need and then making sure they are all in the right place at the right time after school.  I know I am not alone in this and I think we should all be rewarded with a lazy afternoon watching movies or playing board games with our children.

As it's Friday I am thinking about family holidays again and as it's the start of a school holiday I thought I would look at PGL holidays. When I was younger they were known as 'Parents Get Lost' amongst my friends and I am led to believe that this is still the case!  Since 1957 PGL have been offering children the chance to forget their fears and have amazing adventures.  When I was about 17 I looked into being a playleader with PGL, having volunteered at a local playscheme for a couple of school holidays.  I don't actually remember why I didn't persue this but I know that even back then PGL Summer camps were providing children with a lifetime of memories.

Summer camps aren't the only thing offered by PGL, with a fantastic itinery for school trips, group residentials and family activity holidays too.  Connor has been lucky enough to go on a PGL holiday to France with his school and had a fantastic time.  He loved learning to canoe and abseil aswell as gaining some independance being in a different country without mum and dad.  However I am not sure I would choose to send my children on the summer camps.  This is my personal choice and has no bearing on the standard of care and support offered by PGL staff at the numerous locations of the camps.  I have been assured by staff that childrens safety is paramount.  Yet for me holidays are about spending time with my children.  In the US it is often the norm to send children away to camp for the summer which as a child must seem very appealing to head off to basball camp or circus camp and make new friends and learn new skills.  Here in the UK it is not the norm and I guess that's why many of us don't even consider it as an option.

For me the appealing part of PGL is the Family Activity Holidays.  There are seven options for these holidays and I know my children would love the Multi Activity option.  Imagine spending a weekend or a week canoeing, abseiling, quad biking, raft building or swinging through the air in a giant swing. In a world where technology plays a huge part in our lives I love holidays that let you be outside, away from distractions and spend time together as a family.  By partaking in activities and completing challenges together as a family trust builds and communication reaches new levels. 

So have you tried PGL holidays and loved them? Or do your children love heading off to Summer Camp with PGL? I would really love your feedback to know if the brochure and website live up to the real thing.  Oh and does anyone know if it really does stand for Parents Get Lost?!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone,

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Style Love - Vintage Circus Rocking Horse

Upcycled Vintage Circus Rocking Horse from Tatty Betty

This beautiful upcycled rocking horse would make a wonderful addition to any childs bedroom or playroom.


Children's Rooms - Cars

Morning, hope you're all well and having a good week. Isn't this sunshine just gorgeous, really hoping it lasts into the school holidays but I think I maybe disappointed. I can't wait for the school holidays, no rushing out in the mornings, no children yelling 'Mum where's my sports kit', time to sit and chat, play scrabble or go for a walk on the beach or in the forest.  With the long bank holiday almost up on us aswell I am sure many of us are planning on getting out the paintbrushes and power tools.  I am still trying to get the glossing finished, but this will have to wait until after the holidays in my house!

For todays Children's Rooms post I have been collecting inspiration for all of you with little boys who are obssessed with cars.  My sons used to play with a large box of cars when they were younger, now they tend to opt for a PS3 control and pretend they're Jenson Button.  But they still have cars on their curtains, F1 cars, but still they don't seem to have outgrown having cars in their room.  When Connor moved from a cot to a bed we brought a car bed, sadly this was a bad idea as he prefered to play in it than sleep in it.  However there are some cool car beds that I am sure most chidlren would play and sleep in. So should you go for a full on race track of a room or just maybe have bedding and curtains or a road rug? This is entirely up to you, but remember your little petrol heads also need to sleep in this room so it might be best to not overdo it.

Racing Cars Bedding from Marks & Spencer

Here, There and Everywhere Cars Duvet Cover Set from John Lewis

Going Places Kids Blanket from Designers Guild

Vintage Racing Car Wall Stickers from Rabbit & Gold

Around Town Cushion from Babyface

Traffic Bumper Set from Ella & Otto

Car Bookends from Giddy Kipper

VW Beetle Cushion from Rustic Country Crafts

Fiat Illustrated Cushion from Helena Carrington

Kokka Cars Fabric from Masons Cottage

Echino Nico Vintage Cars Fabric from Fabitat

Colourful Cars Fabric from Ankepanke

Felt Car Rug as featured on Ohdeedoh

Do you have a son or daughter with cars adorning their beds or walls? Or maybe you know of a fab product I've missed off this post? Be sure to share in the comments below or with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Have a fab Thursday

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Style Love - DVF for Gap Kids

At last it is here! DVF for Gap Kids.  I've just checked out the XXL (age13) measurements and might just squeeze in, the advantage of only being 5'3" ;)  But can I get away with wearing kids clothes, ahhhh I reckon, only way I can afford a DVF dress!!


Cool Kids Clothing from Sharky & George

Morning! I hope you are all well, is the lovely weather still with you?  All this sunshine has my daughters clamouring at the attic door, well if they could reach, to get the summer clothes out from storage.  I may have to give in at the weekend and send Drew up there to find the Summer attire.  Although this is always a cause for concern as I know all of my children have grown since last year and I know I will be having to restock their wardrobes, although they do pass clothes down to each other.  With this in mind I was very excited to learn that the incredibly cool childrens party company, Sharky & George, have launched a childrenswear collection.  Imagine t-shirts with their logo on, surf shorts and hoodies.  The perfect apparel from this fun loving brand. 

Blue T-Shirt £15

Navy Board Shorts £22

Absolutely love the regulation shark bite out of the hem of every product!  I'm off to find out how big the age 13-14 size is as I quite fancy the green hoodie for on the beach this summer.  Which item will be on your children's wishlist this summer?

Have a fab day

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Review - Wall Stickers from Spin Collective

Morning! I hope you all had a a good start to the week.  I spent part of yesterday climbing around on a chair for todays review! Well I like to make sure products are reviewed properly for you.  For those of you who read reguarly know how much I love the idea of wall stickers.  Kitty and Amber have some fab Charlie & Lola wall stickers in their room and I have been wanting to add some to other rooms in the house aswell.  So when the very lovely people at Spin Collective Wall Stickers invited me to review one of their wall stickers I was very excited! 

Spin Collective Wall Stickers have a fantastic assortment of wall stickers that are suitable for every room in your house.

They have Space Invaders for the games room.....

chalkboards for the office......

ducks for the bathroom......

dinosaurs for a boys room.....

russian dolls for a girls room.....

or a baroque headboard for mum & dads room.

There are an incredible selection of wall stickers available from Spin Collective Wall Stickers and I was a little spoilt for choice.  But then I spotted it, the sticker made for me!  I love quotes and I do have a favourite quote so when I saw it on the Spin Collective Wall Stickers website my decision was made.  However it was not that simple, I had to choose a colour too and with a choice of twenty colours I was a little flumoxed.  So I decided to work out which room this quote would be going in and then I could decide which colour was best.  I decided it would be going in the main bedroom, which is overdue a revamp, yet I already have an idea of a scheme so opted for black. 

The sticker arrived rolled up in a sturdy cardboard tube with a special applicator tool and excellent instructions.  So I cleaned the wall and set to work.  I decided not to cut the sticker and attempt to stick in the two strips that it had been sent.  Some of the Spin Collective Wall Stickers wall stickers will need to be cut out before placing on the wall.  I followed the instructions step by step and soon realised as I removed the sticker from its backing paper I would need a second pair of hands. Phew, Drew was at home and happy to help!  He also helped me to lift the sticker and place it on the wall.  I then ran the applicator tool along the sticker to ensure it stuck to the wall properly.  However the problem with curly script quote wall stickers is that little bits get tangled or misplaced.  As you can see below the the 'r' and the 'n' in learning are a little off balance.  This is entirely my fault not the wall stickers! 

So what is my favourite quote? Ta da......

So will I be buying more wall stickers? Yes, I will and Spin Collective Wall Stickers have such a fantastic collection I know I will be spoilt for choice.  I quite like the idea of another quote running up the wall along the stairs and I also like these letters for the girls rooms.

Do you love or loathe wall stickers? Please let me know I'd love to know.

Have a fab day,
Spin Collective Wall Stickers

Monday, 26 March 2012

Trunki PaddlePak Giveaway Winner

I have just popped the numbers into the Random Number Generator to find out who has won the Trunki PaddlePak.

Drum roll please...............the winner is..........

Comment number 16
 Congratulations Fiona P

Please can you email me ( with your address so I can have the PaddlePak sent to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered and be sure to check back soon for more giveaways.


Crafty Fun - Dress Up Crowns

Morning! Thank you so much for all the congratulatory messages and birthday wishes, you are all lovely :) I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and managed to enjoy this gorgeous Spring sunshine.  We've been busy gardening, still clearing the veg patch and making a new flowerbed in the front garden, transplanting the turf to the bald patches in the back garden.  Fingers crossed it works! 

Today I want to start a  new series here on the blog that allows us all to get creative, or more creative for many of us.  I find some wonderful ideas when researching posts for here and on Let's Plan A Party so I thought it would be fun to share some of the tutorials with you all. 

Today I want to share this great tutorial from We Wilsons for Dress Up Crowns.  When I was little I longed for a dressing up chest filled with treasures to take me on imaginery adventures so I have made sure my own children have had a large dressing up box.  I still have all the costumes, brought and homemade, which all get a regular outing as Kitty and Amber still love to play dressing up.  It has also come in very handy for various dress up days at school, on one occasion a knights tabard and trousers have swiftly become a spotty dinosaur!  These crowns from We Wilsons can be made for boys or girls and the instructions seem easy to follow to produce great results.

Happy making,

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A Big Huge Thank You!

Morning! I am still in shock at my little ol' blog being put in the shortlist for a Style Award in the Brilliance in Blogging awards.  The reason I am there is because of you sneaky lot, so from the bottom of my heart I say a great big, ginormous thank you.  Making the shortlist means a lot to me and I didn't even have a clue that I had been nominated. 

There are some amazing blogs in the shortlists of each category, including Drew's blog Dad's Cooking Tonight.  I'm having a lovely morning so far, going through the lists and seeing who to vote for.  Some of the categories I have already chosen who gets my vote, but I am still looking at every single blog in those lists!

So now I need a little favour from you all, pretty please with a cherry on top I would really love your votes to get me through to the final list. 

Style Shortlist

Don't forget to take a look at some of the other blogs nominated, there really are some amazing ones there.

Now I'm off to enjoy my birthday, have a lovely day everyone.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Family Holidays - Touring Around France

Morning! Hope you've all had a fab week and don't have too busy a day, well it is Friday.  The weather has been gorgeous here the past couple of days and I am led to believe that it is staying for the weekend. Warm sunshine will more than make up for losing an hour of my birthday as the clocks go forward here in the UK for the start of British Summer Time. As I head closer to the big 40 I've been thinking about once in a lifetime family holidays.  I know many of us have Disneyland Florida at the top of such lists, or maybe a safari in Kenya or surfing in Hawaii or Australia.  For me it would be a summer spent touring France and maybe a couple of other countries in a motorhome.

 Now don't get me wrong those other options are pretty cool but I think I'm a bit of a gypsy at heart and would love to pack up the children and head off to Europe for an adventure.  Just imagine the fun it would be, spending a few nights in The Vendee then heading down to Biarritz, across to Cannes, up to The Alps, across to the Dordogne, several nights in The Loire Valley and then up to Brittany.  Perhaps then we could cross the Atlantic to Plymouth and pop down to Cornwall for a few days before heading back home.  Perhaps not the best route, but that's why I have a super duper map reading, journey planning Drew.

I reckon we would fit in this!

I know, I know, six weeks with five children in a motorhome is crazy with a capital C but I like to think it would be fun!  Although one thing that panics me is doing the washing.  With so many children your washing machine is on at least twice a day, so how would I ever manage to keep on top of the washing? Although you seem to be able to wear clothes a little longer on holiday, maybe the sun melts the need to have pristine clothes all the time! 

So that's the washing issue sorted, we wear clothes for longer! What about food? Well that's easy, we'll be in France, food is plentiful and doesn't cost a fortune in those amazing Hypermarkets. Next on the list of queries, what if the weathers pants? Well that's why you have Nintendo DS's, books, magazines, a pack of cards, notepads to play squares or hangman in or even write a journal of the adventure.  Imagine, it would make a wonderful blog, 'Five Children   & A Motorhome'!

Now all I need to do is start saving, I think three years may just be enough to make my dream family holiday a reality.  What would your dream family  holiday be? Please share, I'd really love to know :)

Have a fantastic weekend,

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Style Love - Rubber Duck Towels

Rubber Duck Towels from Cath Kidston

I need to replace the towels in the bathroom and with a collection of rubber ducks around the bath, Kitty thinks we should have these! A little splash of colour and fun for the bathroom from Cath Kidston.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Childrens Rooms - Polka Dots

Hello, I hope you all had a good start to the week. I spent yesterday afternoon working out a new design that had been bugging me but I finally had that lightbulb moment and I was thrilled that it actually worked how I hoped it would!  I had started working on this particular idea a while ago but left it as I couldn't get it to look as it looked in my minds eye.  I know I am not alone in this creative torment but isn't it a fab feeling when you finally get there.  I will share with you very soon exactly what I have been designing, I promise ;)

Anyway back to todays post, the next installment in my new weekly Children's Rooms post.  I love spots, polka dots, dotty spots and I know I am not alone. Polka dots are a great accompaniment or main theme for childrens rooms, whether in a bedroom or playroom or even as curtains in the playhouse.  They mix well with stripes or gingham or even floral prints.  So here is my roundup of some fab polka dot finds that are perfect for children's spaces.


Love this spotty sausage dog cushion from Persnickety Pelican

Cute spotty hearts cushion from Shabby By Melissa

Love this tattoo style cushion from Dollydripp

Fab personalised spotty cushions from Sarah Hardaker

Wall Stickers

Big and fun wall sticker spots from Vinyltastic

and some polka dots for the boys too! from Evgie

Love this spotty owl wall sticker from Wall Art Design

These spotty trees from Jamie Kay Vinyl are so cute.

I reckon children will go dotty over these spotty letters from Kidscapes
(sorry, I couldn't resist a little spotty joke!)


This storage tub Brodders Tubs from would be great for packing away the Duplo.

Oilcloth makes this storage bag from Urban Harmony Design very sturdy, perfect for the playroom.

These spotty linen bags from Sarah Hardaker would be great for tidying away little things.

Aswell as storing snacks these spotty bowls from Plush Parties would be great for tidying up small crayons, rubbers, beads or buttons.


This cowboy bedding from Cath Kidston is a fab  example of mixing spots with a pattern.

Love the fresh colours used in this bedding from John Lewis

This handprinted polka dot quilt from MooChic Baby looks cosy.

Little Details

This spotty owl alphabet print from Dots and Spots would be perfect on a nursery wall.

The tiny dots on this heart picture from Lolly & Boo are adorable.

This polka dot bunting from Rosie Jo's is of course essential

And just because.....

Spotty floor tiles from Cath Kidston

I hope I haven't left you with spots before your eyes! Do you have anymore spotty suggestions for deocorating childrens rooms? Please share them with me here, on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

Enjoy your day whatever you are up to today.

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