Monday, 30 April 2012

Lucy Loves - Craft Supplies

Morning! I hope you all had a fab weekend and didn't get too wet.  It's almost May, so these April Showers must almost be over! Lucy is back today for her 'Lucy Loves' column and she is very like me in that she gets excited just looking at gorgeous craft supplies.  She has been spending some pocket money this weekend, but I shall let her tell you all about her recent purchases. 

I have recently spent my pocket money on beads. They are gorgeous and really cheap. Also for Christmas I got a sewing machine so I’ve been looking for fabric that’s not too expensive that’s when my mum said to look on Fabric Rehab. So below I’ll tell you all about TheBead Shop Scotland and Fabric Rehab.

Fabric Rehab have some gorgeous fabrics that come individually but also sell bundles that are not too expensive for such gorgeous things.

This would be great for this summer!

yummy, scrummy!

They also have some brilliant themes and sewing kits. The sewing kits would be a great gift for a small child or a teenager.

I love all of the retro fabrics but the pears are my favourite.

This reminds me of a Paperchase design!

This kit rocks!

This is cute

I love Fabric Rehab but I know some people I would like to make fabric, Dots and Spots, especially her apples and pears, also Poppy Treffry whos pea badge design I would buy loads of and Snapdragon whose letter print would make an awesome bag.

The Bead shop Scotland

I love all the beads they do, they are so fun! Also they sell moulds for the beads so you can make your own beads.  The bargain basement on the website has some great deals. Also there beading kits make great gifts.

So cute!


This is cute but a pack of multicoulored ones without the leafs are £1.95 and you get 50!!!
Love this charm

Even small children can use these to make necklaces.

These are awesome!!


Are they real?

Now I have to wait for the postman to arrive with my new beads!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Saturday Matinee - Ramona & Beezus

Welcome back for another family film fest.  Last weekend I found my daughters watching Ramona & Beezus again, they have watched this film so many times, they are beginning to know the script! I actually don't mind as this is a fab film.  I read all of the Ramona stories as a child and was so thrilled to see that the Beverly Cleary characters were  being brought to life.  Of course there is the instant appeal to my children as Beezus is played by Selena Gomez, of 'Wizards of Waverly Place' fame.  For me the films appeal got even better when I realised SATC actor John Corbett, who played Ade, was Ramona & Beezus's dad! Anyway with that aside, the biggest issue with bringing books to life is whether they live up to our expectations. 

Having recently been reading the Ramona stories with my daughters they were already familiar with the characters and the film takes several of the books ideas to make a brilliant feature film. Ramona is a nine year old girl whose best intentions usually end in mishap and her imagination and creativity is brought to life perfectly by the young actress, Joey King.  Her family is always on hand to deal with the mishaps she creates and the films story is uplifting, especially when they seem set to loose their home. But fear not as Ramona actually manages to inadvertently save the day. With the romantic sub plot of Ramona's Aunt Bea and their neightbour, Hobart, this film maybe a little sickly sweet for some but for me it is quite simply adorable and reminds me that nice things really do happen to nice people.

As a fan of Beverly Cleary's stories I am happy to say the Ramona & Beezus movie is well worth watching and I am sure you won't be watching it just once!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Friday, 27 April 2012

Family Holidays - Keycamp

Morning! Hope you're all well and I am sure are glad it's Friday.  After all the rain I thought for this weeks family holiday post I would head off to the warmer climes of Europe. With news of a double dip recession I am sure many of us are revising our travel plans this summer but this doesn't necessarily mean we have to stay in ol' blighty.  Keycamp offer affordable family holidays in nine European countries.  Personally I would choose France but there are what look to be some great campsites with Keycamp in Holland, Spain, Italy, Potugal, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia aswell.  They can also be found in the USA. 

Swimming pool at Les Chateau des Marais

Keycamp offer comfortable accomadation in a variety of campsites and apartment resorts.  We have stayed at Le Chateau des Marais, nearly five years ago, which is a small campsite in the Loire Valley, very close to the beautiful chateau at Chambord.  Due to the size of our family we stayed in a three bed Villagrand Deluxe, which meant we had two bathrooms, decking, a gas bbq, full sized fridge freezer, cooker and microwave.  Even with five children this caravan was sufficent, especially when we spent most of our time exploring the Loire Valley or in the swimming pool at the campsite.  There is also a shop, bar and restaurant on site aswell as tennis court, bike hire, kids club, playgrounds and an information centre.  The main reason for us choosing this particular campsite to the others in the Loire Valley is that it is small.  With under 200 pitches this meant that the pool was never too busy, the campsite didn't seem crowded.  We actually went a week before the schools were on summer holidays, however there were still families holidaying at this time, but I am not sure if it would feel busier at the peak of summer hols in August.

Treehouses at Keycamp

Perhaps you don't really fancy a caravan holiday, well Keycamp offer other options for you aswell.  They have treehouses at eight of their campsites and I have to admit they do look like a lot of fun!  Sadly my family are too big to enjoy this type of accomadation as the treehouses sleep a maximum of six people.  Alternatively they have Lodges at two of their campsites or Mountain Lodges at one of their campsites in the Pyrenees.  For an even more affordable option you could book a Supertent, which sleeps up to six people and has cooking facilities (oven and hob), full sized fridge and foam matresses.

Mountain Lodges at Keycamp

Having stayed at a Keycamp campsite I would personally choose a small site over a large site, which does limit us slightly and many of Keycamps smaller campsites don't have large enough accomadation for our family of seven.  Yet this does not put us off holidaying with them again, as they are affordable, with prices including eurotunnel or ferries, sometimes with small additional cost.  Sadly I am unable to workout the cost for our family as you can only have up to 4 children when using their website to book, but at £924 for six people for 7 nights 24-31 August at Les Chateau des Marais I think you will agree that is fairly reasonable.

Have you stayed at a Keycamp campsite before? Were you impressed or disappointed?  Do you prefer the smaller or larger campsites? I woud love to know your thoughts.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Homemade Home For Children by Sania Pell

Morning! Hope you've got your dinghys ready, today we are set for some serious rain here in the UK.  Best stay indoors and get your craft on and I have the perfect book to inspire you!  Last week I was very lucky to receive a copy of The Homemade Home for Children by Sania Pell to review.  I literally shrieked as I had a quick look before the school run (our postie is always late), if ever there was a book made for me this is the one.  The Homemade Home for Children is quite simply beautiful and the projects are adorable. 

Some of you may already be familiar with Sania Pell as she has also written The Homemade Home, brimming with beautiful and thrifty projects to make your house a home.  The Homemade Home for Children is in the same vein but of course with projects aimed at creating beautiful things for our children.  The book is split into six chapters with at least three projects in each aswell as three 'Quick Ideas' for that theme.  Starting with the Nursery Sania shares some wonderful projects to make your tiny babies first room special.  As your child grows their bedroom decor changes and the next chapter has some great ideas to add a more grown up feel to your childs bedroom.

Children love to play and with projects to make a bumblebee costume, matchbox mice and a play sail amongst others I am sure there are plenty of ideas to add to your childs toybox.  The fourth chapter brings ideas to wear, including Shrinkies charm bracelets.  I loved Shrinkies when I was little and Lucy recently made Shrinkie charms at her best friends house.  Sania also has ideas for a fun satchel, cloud sweater, flower hairclips and much, much more.  We are already swapping our shoelaces for ribbon!

When you have children you never seem to have enough storage, but fear not, Sania has created some fab projects to leave even the messiest of playrooms neat and tidy.  These ideas are so great your children will even love tidying up!  The final chapter takes us outside, well maybe not today.  Some of you may already have seen the Clothesline Playhouse in this months Country Living Magazine and Lucy, Amber and Kitty already have big ideas to help me make a whole street of houses to hang in the garden this summer.  With Alphabet Pebbles and an Animal Tracks Picnic Blanket among other projects in the sixth chapter I know you will all find something to add to the wonderful imaginations that playing in the garden leads to. 

The best thing about this books is that none of the projects are impossible and most can be made with things we already have, scraps of fabric and ribbon, wire coathangers, felt.  Also some of the projects are for children, they can help make things that they can play with or have in their bedrooms.


Tomorrow (Thursday) is the official book launch for The Homemade Home for Children in Little Liberty.  This is the perfect setting for this book launch, having finally visited the new childrens department in my favourite shop last week.  Sania Pell will be there to sign copies between 2pm and 5pm and you will be able to try out some of the projects from the book aswell.  However spaces are limited so please email to book your place. 

The Homemade Home for Children by Sania Pell is available from all good book shops and of course Amazon.

Stay warm & dry everyone,

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

National Stationery Day

Morning! I hope you are all well.  I understand there were some issues with Blogger yesterday not adding comments to posts, I'm hoping it is all ok now and you can add comments, especially if you are trying to enter the London 2012 Photoshoot Competition or the Happy Feet 2 Giveaway.  Also because I love to read your comments.  Today is National Stationery Day and this makes me smile! I love stationery, pretty Liberty covered notebooks, envelopes handmade with patterned paper or a diary I can write in.  There is nothing better than writing, scribbling, doodling on a fresh page in a new notepad.  For todays post I thought I would share some fabulous notebooks from British designer makers and I know some even have special offers just for National Stationery Day.

I love all of Beckys designs and Lucy is hte proud owner of Dots & Spots notepads.
Visit Dots & Spots website to choose your favourite.

The Green Gables have some fab designs, I especially love the vintage typwriter one.
Visit The Green Gables website before midnight to get 30% off all stationery, using code NSD12
(includes notebooks, postcards, notecards, giftwrap, gift tags & decorative tape)

Fabulous notecards, some that can be personalised from Goseberrymoon.

I dream of owning a VW campervan but for now I would be happy with this notepad from Snapdragon

I love this illustration of 'Clifton Balloons' from Emmeline Simpson

Lucy & Kitty both adore elephants, or Squirt as they are affectionatly known as in our house. This design from cloud cukcOO designs is very cute.

Of course I had to include some beautiful stationery from Liberty.

And my pen of choice would have to be a Cross fountain pen, with green ink.  Do you have a love of stationery too? I am sure i am not alone! So let's celebrate National Stationery and buy British.

Happy doodling,

Monday, 23 April 2012

AXA PPP Supports Race for Life Runners With A Live Webchat

Hello and welcome back.  For a while now I've been thinking about running again, I mean properly running, with the idea of training for something acting as motivation when really I want to stay under the duvet.  Yesterdays tragic news from the London Marathon reminds us all how quickly life can be taken.  My heart goes out that lady's family and friends. Just as cancer seems to take so many lives, I am sure we all know somebody whose life has been lost or put on hold whilst they fight the dreaded disease, I know I do.  So I am seriously considering joining the women at the starting line for the Race for Life.  I have just checked on their website and my local Race for Life is on 17 June, will this be long enough to train to run 5k?

image courtesy of AXA PPP

Well I needn't worry because Race For Life sponsors AXA PPP have a fantastic 'be healthy' section on their website for runners of all abilities.  Whatever your fitness level AXA PPP have a team of experts to advise and guide you through eating healthily and planning your training.  This Thursday (26th April) they are putting their health knowledge to good use by offering runners of all experience the chance to ask the health experts questions in a dedicated runners live chat.  You will be able to ask the experts advice about training whatever level you're at, diet and nutrition for runners, taking care of injuries and much more.  The program for Thursday is as follows -

10am– 12 noon - AXA ICAS, sports and exercise science expert John Crudington, who has previously worked as a personal trainer, fitness tutor and physiologist.
2pm – 4pm - Personal trainer Lucy Wydham-Read, who has spent the last ten years helping people improve their fitness – even the odd celebrity, and at one point an entire football team!
5pm – 7pm - Nutritionist, Dr Sarah Schenker, who is regularly quoted in the national press and is one of the most influential nutritionists in the UK.

To join the live chat on Thursday at anytime click here

 image courtesy of AXA PPP

As if all this support from AXA PPP wasn't enough they are also offering runners in the Race of Life the chance to increase their sponsorship by up to £200 in weekly prize draws.  Every Friday, until 3 August 2012, AXA PPP will top up one lucky entrants sponsorship fund by £100 for an individual runner or £200 for an AXA PPP healthcare member (either your own or as part of a corporate scheme).  Now that is one more reason to join the Race for Life and help Cancer Research UK even more.  All you need to do is raise at least £50 in sponsorship and have a Just Giving page to enter the prize draw.

Are you planning on running in the Race for Life? Be sure to join AXA PPP on Facebook or Twitter for running tips and exclusive updates on special events at the races.   

I'm off now to dig out my running shoes!

This post has been brought to you in association with AXA PPP.

Giveaway - London 2012 Family Photoshoot with Tony Jones Phototgraphy

Morning! Hope you all had a fab weekend and managed to enjoy some time out and about in between rain and hail showers.  Today I have a very exciting giveaway to share with you but first lets meet the business behind this.  AphroditeNet Wedding & LIfestyle Photography is based in Kent and specialises in wedding, portrait and product photography.  I love the idea of family photoshoots, capturing precious moments that can be treasured forever. 

Even though digital cameras and home editing software have allowed us all to take many more photos than previous generations, family photoshoots let you all have fun in front of the camera.  With either a conversation or meeting prior to your photoshoot, Tony will know what you are expecting from your photoshoot.  He works predominently in the South East of England and London and will take your family's protratits in the comfort of your own home or on location.  With a choice of three packages I am sure you will agree a family photoshoot is a fantastic and affordable idea.

AphroditeNet Wedding & Lifestyle Photography have teamed up with Zoe & Drew to share a fantastic giveaway as we approach a Summer of celebrations in our capital city.  The  winner of the London 2012 Family Photoshoot Giveaway will have a one hour family photoshoot with Tony Jones of AphroditeNet Wedding & Lifestyle Photography, in Battersea Park, London, the location of The Queens River Pagent festival this Summer.  They will also receive a complimentary CD of ten hi-res images of their choice from their photoshoot.  Images will be shared here on this blog and on Tony's blog and website. 

Now if that wasn't enough AprhoditeNet Wedding & Lifestyle Photography have very kindly also offered five runners up prizes.  Each of the five runners up will receive a £20 voucher towards a Silver Package Photoshoot. (Silver Package costs £60 for a 45 minute location photo session and includes a complimentary £10 voucher towards the purchase of images or products from a secure gallery).

How do I win this fantastic prize I hear you all shout! Well for this giveaway Tony and I want to know why you want to win.  We want you to write in the comments below or in an email to me ( in 200 words or less why you think you should win this prize, before midnight on Sunday 6 May 2012.  As this prize is location specific I am happy for relatives or friends to nominate somebody for the prize, in 200 words or less, but they must be able to attend the photoshoot at Battersea Park in London in June or July this year.

Now for the terms and conditions -
  • Employees and family members of  AphroditeNet Wedding &Lifestyle Photography and Zoe and Drew are not eligible to enter.
  • The winner and runner-up entrants will need to sign model release forms to enable images from the shoot to be published on Tony Jones Photography websites and blogs and the Zoe & Drew blog.
  • Photo shoot must take place during June or July 2012.
  • Giveaway closes at 11.59pm (BST) on Sunday 6 May 2012.
  • This giveaway is open to UK residents only. (Sorry to all of my international readers).

Good luck and I am really looking forward to reading your entries.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Saturday Matinee - Happy Feet 2 Giveaway

Welcome to another Saturday Matinee.  This week I have a giveaway for you, courtesy of the lovely team at Warner Bros.  I have one copy of Happy Feet 2 to giveaway but this is no ordinary copy of the film.  This is the all singing, all dancing version! In one box you will receive a Bluray 3D, a Bluray, a DVD and the code for your Ultraviolet digital copy.

What do I have to do to win this fab prize I hear you all shout! Well here's how to enter -

In order for your entry to count you must leave a comment below. Please leave a seperate comment for EACH action you take.
  • Leave a comment below stating where Emperor Penguins live.
  • Tweet "I've entered the Happy Feet 2 Giveaway on @ZoeandDrew blog".
This giveaway will be open until 11.59pm on Saturday 28th April 2012. A winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be announced on this blog on Monday 30 April 2012. This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
Good Luck!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Family Fun - National Trust Free Weekend

Morning! I hope you are all well and am sure looking forward to the weekend.  Instead of my usual family holiday post today I wanted to share a great idea for getting out and exploring this weekend.  The National Trust have free entry to their properties for this weekend only, so you can get out, explore and spend some time together as a family.  They are also offering a 20% discount in their cafes aswell, if you spend over £15, so no need to worry if it's a bit wet or chilly for a picnic!  Sounds fantastic doesn't it, sadly  there is a downside.  Larger families, like ours, will have to pay the entry price for some as the free entry is for 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children.  However I think this is a fantastic opportunity to visit some of the beautiful estates and houses owned by the National Trust.  Also the perfect place to try tick off some of the things on their '50 Things To Do Before You're 11 3/4'.  I am very pleased to say we have done most of the things on this list and our favourite, rolling down big hills, or shingle banks at Felixstowe in our case!  So which National Trust place will you be visiting this weekend? Here are some of my favourite choices -

Monks House - The coastal restreat of Virginia Woolf

Red House - the iconic Arts & Crafts home of William Morris

Corfe Castle - I spent many hours playing in the ruins of this 1000 year old castle in Dorset as a child.

Trelissick Garden - This looks like a wonderful place to visit for chidlren to explore!

 Do let me know if you visit anywhere with the National Trust this weekend and if you ticked off anymore things on the 'list'!

Have a fab weekend,

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Book Review - Road To London by Barbara Mitchell Hill

Afternoon and welcome back. Did you try the French Toast Cumpets for lunch? I'm back this afternoon to share a book review from Lucy.  She was very lucky to receive a copy of Road To London by Barbara Mitchelhill, which is available from bookshops this month.  Lucy is an avid reader and has recently saved up for a Kindle as she had run out of bookshelf space! She reads all sorts of books and is often rescued from under the pages when I go to bed as she has fallen asleep whilst reading.  I have to admit that I haev not as yet read this book so will let Lucy share her review.

When I was asked to review the book ‘Road to London’ I was very pleased since I had just finished my books from the Library.

The book ‘Road to London’ is a fun and exciting adventure about a boy who wants to travel with Shakespeare and his actors but is not allowed. Then he meets Shakespeare in his house in the boys village. He reminds Shakespeare of his son which is just his luck since he is offered to come along and watch his show the next day. But from that moment on every thing goes wrong since he goes poaching and is almost caught so he has to escape before he is killed. On the way to London he meets some bad people and a good one who is about to change his life forever. This person is a girl of his age who works at a bar and is whipped and does not like it there so she helps him escape to London, which is where she used to live.

The boy joins Shakespeare’s group and everything is going brilliantly till the girl returns, this time with a boys hair cut. It turned out she had been working for  a foreign man. From that moment on there is a fire, a show for her majesty and almost a death!

I would recommend this book to anyone 10 or over.  It was fun reading about children in Shakepseare's time and I like his plays as I have read some that have been rewritten for children. I also like history and enjoy adventure stories so this book was perfect.  Thank you to Andersen Publishers for letting me review this book.


This teaser trailer has been made by third year students at Staffordshire University.

I know that Lucy really enjoyed this book and I am sure your older children will too.  

Enjoy your day

Family Food - French Toast Crumpets

Morning, I thought I'd share a quick recipe with you today that is perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch or even an after school snack.  French toast crumpets are delicious on their own or with crispy bacon and I promise the children will love them too.

French Toast Crumpets Recipe


4 Crumpets
1 egg
A generous splash of milk
Butter for frying
A sprinkling of cinnamon

1. Put egg, milk and cinnamon into a bowl.  Whisk lightly with a fork.

2. Melt butter in a frying pan.

3. Dunk crumpets into the eggy mixture and put directly into the frying pan.

4. Fry crumpets on both sides.

5. Serve on their own, with crispy bacon or a little squeeze of ketchup.

There you go, that's all there is to it!

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