Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Spring Walk

It was a lovely Spring day for a walk today and my friend Lucy suggested Broughton Castle which has some great grounds open to the public. Hannah and her children also joined us.

 After playing by the moat and having a picnic the children hunted for fairy doors..
 Then they decided to build a 'fire'

 before putting it out again with their 'hoses'!

Despite Joplin sitting in sheep poo it was a lovely trip out!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


We had a very exciting delivery this morning - Feijoas!!! Thanks so much Pop!
When we lived in NZ we had a Feijoa tree in the back garden and I just adored them - you don't seem to find them anywhere other than New Zealand and most people outside of NZ haven't even heard of them. They are absolutely delicious though and such a distinctive flavour. I miss them loads, but Dan's wonderful Dad has peeled, sliced and dried out a massive bag full, and sent them half way across the world so we don't miss out! Eden loves them too although Joplin isn't so sure (good - all the more for us!) Our cupboard now has the wonderful Feijoa smell as we open it! Yum!
This is how they would look fresh - you scoop out the insides with a spoon.
 This is our dried kind that arrived today. Still very yummy indeed!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Gaydon Motor Museum

A bit late posting as the pics were on Dan's camera but I thought I'd post it now.
We were wondering what to do as a family on Easter Sunday when I noticed that Gaydon Motor Museum had an Easter hunt. Joplin had been there with his school a few weeks previously and he was very keen to show it to us. (And even more how to get there - when I asked 'what did you do' after the trip he told me 'you take the M40, then then at Junction 12 take the B4451 then the B4100 !!! Yes he was right when I checked it on the map!)
Anyway it seemed like a good plan so off we went. The Easter hunt entailed finding the location of various sheep cut outs placed in cars with clues to find the next one. It was fairly simple but did provide a route around the museum and kept a focus to the day. Plus the lure of handing in the completed sheet to get a chocolate treat at the end!
It is a really nice museum with some really interesting facts and gorgeous cars. I particularly loved the exhibit with the history of William Morris's life of the Morris Minor. He started out making bikes. A days admission price entitled us to a year's entry which is great as we will certainly go again. The kids went free to as they are under 5. There was a really lovely spacious area with very clean tables to have our picnic and space for the children to have a bit of a run around (all inside) and in the warmer weather there seemed to be a good new playground.
Dan enjoyed it more than anyone and I'm sure if he were writing this post that there would be a lot more detail about the cars. From me you'll just get some family shots!
One of the first cars we saw as we came in was actually the first car Dan ever owned - a Vauxhall Viva HA -

The boys were fascinated by the car that been split down the middle:-

And Joplin was very excited to see Lady Penelope's car from the Thunderbirds!
The cars that you were allowed to get in and 'drive' were a massive hit - Eden could have stayed there all day!

 And the brass rubbings were great fun!

 I loved the car in situe in it's garage setting!

Overall a great family day out!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Visit to Mercedes GP

Whilst I was at work today Dan took the boys to work at Mercedes GP. They saw all the behind the scenes stuff that you aren't allowed to take pictures of and have been talking ever since of seeing the bits of the car being made and meeting Daddy's work friends! Pictures could be taken of a completed car shown though and the boys were having a great look!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Bunny's Birthday!

The fifth member of our family is Joplin's Bunny! He was as Easter present for bump before Joplin was born and he has become an extremely important part of Joplin's life! 
And so when he turned 5 this year Joplin asked if we could give him a party!
 After I did the invites it was time to do the cake. It was all a bit of a rush as we had been in Clacton all week and so I wanted to keep things as simple as I could. I was going to make a carrot cake but when I asked Joplin if that was what Bunny would like her told me "Bunny's fed up of carrots - he wants a chocolate cake!" Fair enough! I decided on a 'Mr McGregor's Garden' style and totally cheated with a Betty Crocker mix and frosting! The carrots were half a green jelly bean stuck on top of an orange jelly bean. Then they were stuck in rows on the cake. Quick and easy!

I can't not do themed food but again it had to be quick! Joplin is rather fond of scotch eggs, so these egg and cocktail sausage bunnies were easy and fun. 
 I found this idea here - bread rolls bunny with a humous tummy and veg dips. I cut an old soup tub to shape to hold the humous so it didn't soak into the bread and the hollowed out tummy part became the tail.  I held the rolls together with cocktail sticks.
 Cookie cutter bunny sandwiches (ham and cheese spread) on a lettuce bed...
 And lemon bunny biscuits! (Cutter in the sale after Easter!)

 Evie was the first guest and I was amazed that she had brought bunny a present! She had made a lovely card and the present was an absolutely awesome crochet cake that Evie's mum had commissioned from another friend down the road - the very talented Jacquie.

 'Feel Bunny's ears - they're so soft'!

Another friend arrived with a Peter Rabbit activity book for Bunny - I really wasn't expecting anything at all for a soft bunny's party! He also was the proud receiver of an encyclopaedia which Joplin and Bunny haven'r stopped reading since!
 My very clever friend Claire had even made a most awesome backpack for bunny to keep his carrot in! So fantastic! Bunny loves it!!

When everyone had arrived after a few mad moments with balloon swords we played some games. Pass the parcel of course, pin the tail on the bunny, treasure map hunt (this is prepared by using a pirate map (Bunny customised of course!) with a red crayon cross on the back. This is taped up to the wall where the red cross doesn't show and everyone writes their name and a cross where they think the treasure is. When everyone is done, the map is taken down and placed up to the window where the cross is revealed! We also had a bunny hop race around the kitchen and 'bunny Gangnam Style' (not my idea this one!!!) I had intended a carrot hunt around the garden and lots more races but unfortunately the weather just didn't allow it. 
After games was food and cake! It all seemed to be enjoyed and there seemed about the right amount. 

A one off but a very fun time! One very special boy and bunny!