Believe it and weep!

Believe it and weep!

rocknrollerbaby
September 9th, 2011
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Hello again, hardly seems any time at all since I was making my last post and yet we’ve done so much. I know this sounds a bit mean but truth be told, I’m actually quite pleased that the kids have gone back to school. Everywhere was so frenetic in the holidays and even though it did have its benefits; those two days of sunshine we enjoyed, being able to have my ten year old sister come out and about with us (Florence adores her), and the ice cream van making an appearance every day (Florence dancing to the tune it plays is priceless), I have to say I prefer term time. All the little clubs and groups we attend shut down in the school holidays; which makes deciding what to do every day that little bit harder and that little bit more expensive! And it also means no more teens sitting on my wall smoking pot all day which is the best news ever! I think I have finally turned into my Mother being annoyed about people smoking pot but seriously, at least when we were young we tried to hide it, these kids have no shame! One day I caught them smoking a bong in broad daylight sitting outside the front of the houses on my otherwise quite respectable street! Shocking!

 
So, the things we’ve been up to this week…  Firstly I have to let you in on a little secret I’ve recently discovered. If you like shopping and you’re a Mummy then you’re going to LOVE this! So we’ve all heard of those daily discount websites but here’s one dedicated to us Mum’s with the deals WE really want! ‘Savvy Mummy’s’ is the exciting new community-based daily deal site that offers mums super-sized savings on all things mummy related. With ‘Mum Time’ deals for when you have your mummy hat on and ‘Me Time’ deals for when you are looking for some self indulgence; Savvy Mummy’s offers everything from baby clothes to childcare, toys to holidays, fitness to family activities, dining, beauty and more! With deals sourced by mums for mums, the new site aims to bring discounts of up to 90% across a range of products and services for spend savvy mummies across the country. Free to join, Savvy Mummy members receive exclusive access to daily deals – so you’ll never miss out! To become a ‘Savvy Mummy member’ sign-up at  www.savvymummys.co.uk. This fabulous new venture was launched by a group of university friends from Clapham and their aim is to bridge the gap in the market for good quality affordable baby products and services available through the ease of online purchasing. Katy Rowley, Founder of ‘Savvy Mummy’s’, states: “There are many mother and baby activities available but they aren’t particular well advertised so often mums aren’t aware of them. ‘Savvy Mummy’s’ not only helps Mums save but it brings new and exciting activities and products straight to their email inboxes.” Well, what are you waiting for? Get signed up for your area and take full advantage of the offers each day!
 

 
Aside from shopping (It’s a hard life!) we’ve been doing some really great activities too. We’ve been to the ‘V & A’s Museum of Childhood’ in Bethnal Green and the ‘Museum of London Docklands’ situated at West India Quay. Two really great and FREE activities to do in London with absolutely tons and tons for the little ones to do. I talk about the ‘V & A’s Museum of Childhood’ on my blog for www.kidsfunlondon.co.uk  this week and will be bringing the wonderful delights of ‘The Museum of London Docklands’ on there next week. They’re both well worth a visit and of course to get to The Docklands you need to hop on the DLR which always seems a treat no matter how old you are! Perhaps I am an over grown child? We’ve also had the pleasure of having my little sister Phoebe stay with us just before she went back to school so she and Florence were having a really great time together and now Florence is mentioning Phoebe as well as her favourite ‘Daddy Pig’ in her sleep! It was at the weekend just gone so the weather was absolutely fabulous as we enjoyed those two days of sunshine I was talking about. It was so hot we couldn’t resist another visit to ‘The Princess Diana Memorial Playground’ where the girls must have felt like they were on holiday splashing about in the water feature.
 

 
I also took Phoebe to see a brand new film which hasn’t been released in cinemas yet and although I can’t say too much at the moment I can tell you it was BRILLIANT! We couldn’t believe our eyes as we were escorted into the Charlotte Street Hotel’s cinema, given a drink and seated in arm chairs to watch this film a month and a half before anyone else! Phoebe was VERY impressed and when I can tell you more about it I’m sure you will be too! Oh, ok then… Just a sneaky peek then! The film’s called ‘Will’ and here’s a trailer to whet your appetite! (Never was very good at keeping secrets me)
 
http://myspace.vertigofilms.com/WILLTRAILER.zip

 
 
While Phoebe was here we took the opportunity to take up the invitation to visit ‘Ripley’s Believe it Not!’ Museum based in Leicester Square, Central London. Robert Leroy Ripley, the man who coined the phrase “Believe It or Not!” is an icon in the world of cartoon art and the founder of an entertainment empire based on the premise that “truth is stranger than fiction”. Bringing his love of all things strange and curious to the masses in America and sharing his collection of weird and wonderful things with the public soon turned into an empire which now, decades later has crossed the pond too! It’s hard to describe Ripley’s really, it’s a strange experience. It’s good, it’s interesting but it’s all a bit random really. So when you enter the building you are given a little taster of what’s on offer; two headed sheep and cows with legs growing out of their backs and then you enter the lift which whizzes you up to the top floor with great excitement and flashing lights. You then work your way down through the floors visiting all the unusual things on the way. There are paintings made with dead butterflies, wedding dresses made out of toilet roll and replicas of people who are unusual such as the tallest and fattest men in the world. There’s a few interactive exhibits such as the scales to see how many of you can make up the weight of the latter and you can pull the trigger to electrocute a prisoner. They warned this might be frightening for the children but personally I found it quite upsetting for myself! As you work your way down the floors there are some really interesting things to see like the Marilyn Monroe exhibit and we loved sitting in the giant rocking chair! The mirror maze was fun too. There was a floor where you enter and then have to find your own way out; we all had a giggle in here. We were also interested to read about the unfortunate animals that were born with unusual disabilities and it was fascinating to learn there is a farm for just such animals in the States (Well it wouldn’t be in the UK now would it!) for you to visit and see for real. However, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad for these poor creatures, stuffed and displayed forever for people to gawp and laugh at their misfortunes. Perhaps I’m a sentimentalist but it just didn’t seem right to me. We did enjoy the museum and we’re really pleased to have gone but we don’t think we’ll be going back. If it was a little bit cheaper, a standard adult ticket is £25.95 and there was a little bit more to actually do for that money then we’d be recommending it as good value but actually it’s a little bit on the pricey side for what it is. It’s in Central London and right at the heart of the tourist trap so I guess you can’t expect anything else but for us, the ‘Museum of London Docklands’ which is FREE, has just as many interesting things and with a whole lot more to do is a better day out. Sorry Ripley’s, you were good, but just not quite good enough compared to the rest of London’s offerings! One thing they were absolutely brilliant at though was accommodating us with a buggy. There are stairs to each floor and whenever we’d finished one there was always someone waiting to guide us the back way to a lift. The people working here are really pleasant and friendly and we have to say thank you for the really great service!
 

 
So that was Ripley’s but do you remember I mentioned last week that we were going to take a visit to the ‘Innocent Drinks Hungry Grassy Van’? Well today we made that trip and boy are we glad we did! The van which is touring around the country with recipes from it’s recently published book ‘Hungry?’, started in London today and is serving up healthy alternatives to fast food favourites all for a very healthy price too! We went along to it’s first stop to sample some of the delights and this is what had; veggie burgers, squash, tomato and chickpea curry, chop chop salad, carrot cake and washed down with some of the delicious smoothies in the Innocent range! We thought the food which are all from recipes in Innocent’s new cookbook ‘Hungry?’ was absolutely delicious. I was very sceptical as to whether Florence would go for it, she’s a very picky eater and usually turns her nose up instantly at new things but honestly, she loved it! I’m not just saying it, she ate absolutely loads of the curry and I was a bit miffed truth be told at how much of my burger she ate! We liked the curry so much that we’re cooking it tonight for my cousins who are visiting and if you fancy having a go before you have time to rush out and buy a copy of ‘Hungry?’ then please see the recipe at the bottom of this page! From now until the 24th September the van will be stopping in many places on it’s way to Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow before making it’s way back to London again. Check out their website www.innocentdrinks.co.uk for the stops they’ll be making and also I’ll be tweeting about it so follow me @rocknrollerbaby and have another way of finding out! Visit the van and kick start your five a day! Go on, you won’t be sorry and the kids will love it! Yum!
 

 
Don’t forget to enter my competition peeps! Email me by 23rd September at [email protected] your best children’s joke for your chance to win the Trunkisaurus Chums! Three great accessories to coincide with the launch of the new Trunki’s Rex and Rox! If you don’t by now already know what I’m talking about then take a butchers at this!
 

There’s going to be another competition coming soon where you can win a family ticket to see ‘Peppa Pig Live’ at the venue of your choice so do come back and see us again plus I have some wonderful reviews coming up! We’re off to Disneyland Paris next so that should be a real treat! Until then have a wonderful week and keep making lots of fun where you are!
 
From the recipe book ‘Hungry?’ by ‘Innocent’
 
In a hurry to make this curry? No need to peel. Just chop, squash ad let it bubble away.
 
Serves 4
3 portions of your 5-a-day
 
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A few curry leaves or 1 teaspoon curry powder
A small bunch of coriander, leaves finely chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into medium chunks
Juice of two limes
A drizzle of honey
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 400mltin of coconut milk
Flatbreads for serving
Natural yoghurt for serving
 
Bash the mustard and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar
 
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a big pan over a medium heat and cook the onion, garlic and chilli for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the curry leaves or powder, coriander and ground mustard ad fennel seeds and cook for another couple of minutes,
 
Next, add the squash, lime juice and honey and cook for a minute or so. Squash in the cherry tomatoes using your hands, then add the tinned tomatoes, drained chickpeas and coconut milk and simmer for 20 minutes, until the squash is cooked through.
 
About ten minutes before serving, pop the flatbreads into the oven on a low heat.
 
Season the curry and serve with the warm flatbreads, a dollop of plain yoghurt and a few sprigs of coriander.