Thursday, 22 March 2012

How not to cook..

When I mentioned to Mr G that I was going to write a post about my domestic capabilities, I was expecting him to suggest I was similar to Nigella Lawson, or Kirstie Allsopp. You see, I have visions of myself as a domestic goddess, there is nothing I like more than the image of winning first prize at the country show with my Victoria Sponge cake...however..anyone who has had the misfortune to taste one of my Victoria Sponge cakes will tell you it is more sea sponge than sponge cake. So, Mr G suggested sharing my domestic disasters may be more appropriate, and no doubt more hilarious to read.

So baking is not my strong point, in fact cooking as a whole is often a challenging experience and I end up using every saucepan, plate, fork and spoon just to create something as simple as scrambled eggs! (Does anyone else do that or is it just a Goriami thing?) The first meal with your relatives is always a special one, and as Mr G's nephew was coming to visit, I wanted to make a good impression. You know, be the one who can cook who's with Mr G, rather than the one who presents a microwave meal still in its tray. I set about cooking what I hoped would be a Chinese banquet, including special fried rice and Crispy Duck with pancakes...well, i like a challenge!

Having absolutely no common sense, I worked out the timing for the special fried rice, but not the duck. I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that if I can order a Chinese takeaway to collect in 20minutes, duck and pancakes must take about the same time as special fried rice, right? WRONG! As I stood in the kitchen peering in the oven (quietly wondering why the duck was still looking fairly raw) I come up with the genius idea to just turn the oven up, that will make it cook faster, right? I decided to go and sip wine while I waited, thinking to myself this cooking thing is just as easy as a takeaway...Oh how wrong I was! Before I knew it, there was smoke billowing through the kitchen, the rice was stuck to the wok, the oven spilling out black smoke which stung my eyes and made me cough, Mr G dashed in armed with a small fire extinguisher (totally unnecessary of course..) and I start to cry as I realise that the duck was more than crispy, it was utterly frazzled on the outside and undoubtedly still raw on the inside! 

On the plus side, I didn't poison anyone, as the duck was so frazzled I didn't attempt to rescue it.. but..I did do something wicked which I will now confess to.. In order to save face, I called the local takeaway and passed it off as my own cooking. Yes I confess, I am a fraud, I have no idea how to cook anything remotely resembling a Chinese banquet.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Have you visited the City of Friends?

Have you visited the City of Friends yet? The City of Friends is a fun pre-school show which centres around the three emergency services and introduces each services job, and also quite simply how to be a good citizen by helping each other, and being polite.

The series originates from Norway and was created by a member of the Norwegian State Police! It airs on the Milkshake Show on channel Five every morning at 6.20am, each episode combines plenty of fun with a strong moral aspect, e.g. Abi the Ambulance runs off as she is frightened about having a check up, but when there is a serious accident she knows she cannot let them down as someones life may be at risk, so she puts her fear aside.

Boo and I were introduced to this hit pre-school series this week thanks to an email from their PR asking us if we'd seen it, we watched the trailer and Boo instantly showed interest. It was Elphie the Elephant who Boo instantly liked as he found the idea of an Elephant as a fire fighter quite amusing! The characters are a great combination of animals and people, all working together as friends. 

As a parent I like the subtle way in which the programme teaches children about what to do in an emergency, for example not to move someone who has hurt their back or even as simple why you should always keep tidy so you can find important things in an emergency! It gets Boo thinking a little more about his actions and accident prevention - he's already started being a bit tidier with putting his toys away! Boo likes the fact it is has animals doing jobs with the people, and is very colourful! Be warned the theme tune is very catchy and you'll soon find yourself singing along!

You can learn more about the City of Friends by visiting their Facebook Page!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Hidden Treasure!

I'm not sure about you but I'm always short of storage, we never seem to have anywhere to put toys or craft things or well..things! I despise the ugly plastic storage boxes which seem to be offered everywhere as the answer to every storage problem, they're bulky and lack character.

Hiding underneath a pile of books, bowls and some beautiful vases I saw the potential solution to one of my storage dilemmas!

It was incredibly dusty, but after a good clean it looks lovely, it was surprisingly heavy to carry as it is quite solid! Boo has already filled it with as many toys as he can find, which slightly ruins my romantic thoughts of possibly turning it into some sort of memory chest!

Have a look at all the other fabulous second hand finds on Me & My Shadow - Magpie Monday

Elmo's Dinosaurs DVD Review and chance to WIN!

We were excited to receive a copy of Elmo's Dinosaurs on DVD to review, not least as Boo has become quite interested in Dinosaurs over the last few weeks (admittedly often as he confuses them with Dragons..) but also because E loves Elmo! So this may well be the perfect combination for our household!

Packaging Design © 2012 Abbey Home Media Group Ltd. TM / © Sesame Workshop.

Elmo introduces Dinosaurs in a really positive manner and starts with simple activities like how to act like a Dinosaur, something Boo very much enjoyed joining in with..."Raarrrrraaaaaaagh!" There are counting activities, and introductions to different types of dinosaur as well as introducing the idea of a trip to the Natural History Museum. Boo was quite impressed seeing the giant skeletons in the piece on the museum, and I now feel we're well on the way to be prepared for a trip to the London Natural History Museum! Boo also learnt some new words, and that Dinosaur bones are discovered by being dug up! So we had plenty to talk about after watching!

There is a great bonus feature too, I loved seeing Big Bird again, and Boo and E both thought it was funny meeting lots of different Seasame Street characters!

We found the DVD both great fun and educational to, I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a fun introduction to Dinosaurs!

Abbey Home Media have kindly offered 5 copies of the DVD as prizes for readers of my blog! 

To enter all you need to do is answer the very simple question and leaving your answer as a comment on the blog, please make sure you leave either your twitter ID or an email address so I can contact you if you win!:

- If you were a dinosaur what would you be called? 

(e.g. I think be the goriamisauras!)

You can also get an additional entry for each of the following steps, but please leave each as a seperate comment or it will not count.

- Follow @abbeykids on twitter

- Subscribe to the blog!

Competition closes at 9am on 30th March 2012

Terms and Conditions:

I reserve the right to re-draw the winner, in the event that winners do not reply within 72hours 
Winners will be selected using 

Only one entry per household. 

Only entrants who complete all required entry steps will be eligible to win.

Only one prize per household. 

Winners will be required to provide their postal address in order to be sent their prize.