Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Christmas Films for kids & big kids ;)

I LOVE a Christmas movie.  I'm a big fan of Christmas and the time leading up to it and have done for years, even pre-twins.  Now that the kids are that bit older, I'm hoping there will be even more magic in it for them too and I'll be introducing them to some Christmas films this year now that they've finally succumbed to my brain-washing on Disney and other fab films.  Not really brain washing but they were never interested before and only wanted Bing (WHICH I HATE!) but I persevered and after an inital love of only "Froggy" (The Princess & the Frog), they now love Tangled,  "Monsters" (Inc.) - I adore it when Kalyan says Mike Wazowski - I NEED to get that on camera!

So here are some of my favourite Christmas themed films suitable for youngsters (not necessarily toddlers though).  Please tell me yours and which ones you would recommend for 3-year-olds!?


Home Alone of course, such a fun film with adventure, silliness, plenty of Christmas spirit and a bit of cheesy love stuff.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

SANTA!!!

On Sunday we met Santa at The Llama Park, he's the real deal.  I believe.

Full review of the experience to follow but here he is, in his beautiful, cosy cabin...


I'll be sharing more photos of Santa and his reindeer in our full review soon but one of my photos is exclusively gracing the cover of Uckfield Matters' December issue (I've seen a sneaky peek and I love it)!  Out early next week, look out for your copy filled with exciting local news, stories and events.  I'm looking forward to joining the writing team next year too!  :)

Monday, 27 November 2017

Preview from Laura Aziz - twin family session aged 3

It's that time of year again, when we invite the awesome talent that is Laura Aziz of baby, picture this, to hang out with us for a couple of hours (sneakily extended by me offering to pick her up half way so we could natter in the car!) while she makes beautiful art out of our lives.

She knows I've booked her every year until she retires and here's why...


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Into Mills 20% discount code

As promised to those of you who didn't win our recent giveaway of Into Mill's gorgeous mugs.  Sally has kindly offered Olive Dragonfly readers a whopping 20% off! 

Photos by www.bexphoto.com

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Mums The Word #WildChild Halloween Party - event review

This has taken me longer to write than I hoped but it's the busiest time of year for me with the twins birthday right before the lead up to Christmas, plus my day job has been extra busy and a bit stressful lately plus I'm working on getting bexphoto up and running properly so I'm wearing pretty thin at the moment!  I've also got my first radio chat with Jacqui at Uckfield FM this morning at 11:30!  You can listen in live on the website if you're not local, just follow the Uckfield FM link and click on LISTEN LIVE at the top of the page.  (There's a webcam too so I better get myself organised so I don't look a mess!)

Anyway, as well as being my most busy time of year, October onwards is also one of my favourite times!  I love Autumn, the light and the colours but especially Halloween!  As well as the twins' birthday party being a little early this year with a Halloween theme, we also attended a massive Halloween toddler/baby rave party near Tunbridge Wells at Salomon's Estate.  Run by Mums The Word Events, #Wild_Child parties are events designed just for little ones and their parents.  I first came across them at Joy Festival back in May where they held one in the woods with bubbles, dancing, crafts galore and generally a lot of colour and fun.  I was there without the twins but thought they'd love it so I was thrilled to be invited along to photograph and enjoy their Halloween event with the whole family after meeting the lovely sisters behind Mums the Word at a Mamas Meetup in Brighton (another one I've yet to write about as well as their Mamas Supper Club quiz which was a great laugh).


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Blackberry Farm birthday party

The twins were invited along to a birthday party at Blackberry Farm last weekend and had a great time (in between tantrums and clinging to me that is)!  It wasn't our party so I'm not going to "review" it but I will say it was awesome and the twins and all the other kids had so much fun!  I have permission from the Mum to share a few photos with you of her little boy's awesome day out with his friends.

We started off meeting by the cafe before all heading through to the petting area with rabbits and guinea pigs.  Most of the little ones were great, sitting down patiently waiting for their turn to hold or stroke the animals.  The twins were in a bit of a funny mood (possibly related to my stress dealing with a poorly timed tantrum as we left the house - all Priya's fault declaring that it was HER birthday and no one else could have any cake, setting Kalyan off crying and complaining to me that Priya said he couldn't have cake, me telling her it was Eliot's birthday and his cake to share triggering her meltdown - the joys!) so they didn't want to touch the animals and were pretty clingy with me so I didn't get many photos here as Daddy was at work so my camera was swiftly tucked away again.


Creamy Christmas Fudge recipe

I decided to re-post this old recipe without all of my old waffling (gosh I did used to go on about all sorts of random stuff in my blog posts back in the early days!), this one was from Dec 2011, my first married Christmas when I went all out with the festivities, it was so much fun!  This recipe was from the Hairy Biker's 12 days of Christmas recipe book which I love!

Ingredients:
150g butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
50g mixed dried fruit (I used cranberries, apricots and raisins)
3 balls of stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped
100ml dark spiced rum (e.g. Captain Morgan)
1 cinnamon stick 2 star anise
1 x 397g tin of evaporated milk
500g granulated sugar

Method:

Grease an 18cm square cake tin or 26x16cm tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.  Grease the parchment and set aside.

Put the dried fruit, ginger and rum in a small non-stick pan with the cinnamon and star anise. Bring the rum to the boil and cook until it has completely evaporated/absorbed by the fruit, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.


The twins 3rd birthday - Globalls at Brighton Marina - review

After a fun morning opening their presents on their birthday, we all got ready for our family day out in Brighton.  We gave Kalyan and Priya some options, including bowling or the cinema, and they chose dinosaurs so we went to Globalls Jurassic mini golf at Brighton Marina.  We'd never been to the Marina before but with lots of activities, free parking and loads of places to eat we thought it would be easy and fun.  

It was amazing, the Jurassic mini golf course already had the Christmas theme added with Santa and gingerbread men amongst the neon dinos.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Hunting of the Snark with Eastbourne Theatres

We were invited along to Devonshire Park Theatre last week for the twins' first ever theatre trip to see The Hunting of the Snark, based on Lewis Carroll's poem.  The theatre was easy to get to and we managed to park right outside on the street (it's free after 6 but we were there in time for the show at 5pm so it was £2).


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Giveaway winner - Into Mills mug gift set

Thank you to all who entered our giveaway with Into Mills.  We are thrilled you all liked the mugs so much, I obviously chose a good set for you guys to win!  ;) 

Without further ado, the winner is.... @owlgatherround!  Congratulations Emily Clark, I hope you enjoy your new mug set!  Please get in touch with your address and I'll get the set in the post to you asap.

Everyone else, don't despair!  The lovely Sally from Into Mills is going to give me an exclusive discount code for all you lovely readers/followers in time for Christmas so watch this space!


I've also got another giveaway coming up with tickets for a family festival in Kent and I'm sooooo close to hitting 2k followers on Instagram so when I do, I'll see if I can cook up something special for you.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Guest Room makeover plans - Home Inspiration in East Sussex

This post contains some affiliate links.

Our spare room has been largely left since we moved in.  It's well used as Nik's parent currently stay over every Sunday night to look after the twins while I work on Mondays, or when my parents visit from Malaysia or any other guests like when Gems and Aldo come to visit (and on the odd occasion of snoring/illnesses meaning Nik or I use it)!

I made a little collage which shows a few products I like (some of which I've already bought).

Top L-R: Human print - £28 - Violet & Thistle, "Stiffkey Blue" Paint - £43.50 - Farrow & Ball, 
Archie Table Lamp - £49 - M&S, Zzz LED Lightbox - £27.50 - John Lewis
Bottom L-R: Hexagon Gold Mirror - £25 Oliver Bonas, Irving Bedside Table - £29 - Asda, 
Designer's Guild "Quill" Wallpaper in Cobalt - £59 - John Lewis, 3 Cactus Ornaments - £39 - Love Frankie

Sunday, 12 November 2017

GIVEAWAY! Mug gift set from Into Mills homewares in Lewes.

Just in time for Christmas, you could win a gorgeous colourful gift set of mugs worth £24.95 for a loved one (or keep it for yourself) from Into Mills!



Friday, 10 November 2017

Spiced Pear & Walnut Chutney recipe

I do love Kirstie's Crafty Christmas programme and this recipe featured in 2016 was one that caught my eye as something yummy which would go well with our Christmas cheese board as well as making nice little gifts.  I thought I'd post it now as it takes at least 1 month to mature so get cooking in time for Christmas!

On the programme last year was a chutney recipe by Angela Malik.  I previously made her chai spiced chocolate baked cheesecake from an old series.  Unfortunately I couldn't find her chutney recipe online anywhere and after rewinding and pausing the TV a few times, it seems they don't actually give you all of the information to make it!  Very annoying but I managed to figure out the main points and have made up the rest!  So here's my recipe inspired by Angela Malik, it's delicious!



Friday, 3 November 2017

The Framptons Tunbridge Wells, review by Bex

Mum and I enjoyed an afternoon out on our own on Wednesday as I'd taken the afternoon off following a staff meeting in the morning.  The twins were at the childminder for the day (making gorgeous glittery firework pictures) so we enjoyed an afternoon of freedom with lunch and shopping in Tunbridge Wells without worrying about children getting bored or hungry or potential meltdowns or naps!

I'd recently discovered new cafe/restaurant The Framptons in The Pantiles via Instagram and their food looked amazing, we'd tried to go before but couldn't get a table (and had hungry twins with us then) as we hadn't booked.  This time we were lucky and got to enjoy a delicious lunch which filled us up for an epic afternoon of shopping!

I had a latte when we got there and Mum had a cloudy cider while we perused the menu.  

Lots of things on their new winter menu sounded lovely but I was most excited to try The Pantiles Crumpet - Homemade crumpets topped with 14-hour oak & whisky smoked beef short rib, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and pickled shallots for £9.  I also ordered a glass of Malbec to have with it.


Thursday, 2 November 2017

New adventures with Uckfield FM!

I am delighted to announce that I have joined the team at Uckfield FM!  I will be doing a new monthly chat slot with Jacqui Rushton (who interviewed me last month about the blog).


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Raindrop cushion - Pin It Do It & Tutorial

Well, here's a post I started writing in November 2014.  I'm sure you can imagine why that was such a busy month (what with the twins being born!) and it never got finished.  But, we have the return of #pinitdoit, I was reminded to finish this one and I recently shared a pic of the cushion on Instagram too.

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