As we returned from the sunny climate in Barbados I was relieved to see the Indian summer was still continuing at home and what with the wonders of online shopping my grocery shop I did whilst on holiday arrived on Thursday with all the goodies for the kids party today – phew!
I’d already been and bought all my bunting, paper plates, cake stands, balloons, party bags and any other birthday paraphernalia before we went away thank goodness. (Obviously I wanted to make lots of gorgeous bunting, decorations etc but ended up being a cope out and buying them all from a supermarket!) one day I will be an arts & craft mother!
I felt terribly guilty that we were landing home on Zachys birthday and was really worried the day would be a wipe out but as usual he soldiered on refusing to sleep during the day! After opening some presents Daddy and Flo went for a nap whilst we had some quality one on one which is almost a present in itself in our home given Flo is now 1 and Zachy 4. We spent it playing guitars, Buckaroo and watching his new Lego film.
After a long day and a treat pizza birthday tea with grandma and grandad a tired boy went off to bed and didn’t wake will 10am the next day!
Friday bought Flo’s 1st birthday and this little bambino didn’t rise till 10.15am either (one of the good things about jet lag!) She enjoyed opening her pressies but soon became a little overwhelmed as babies do. Luckily being the second time for a 1st birthday we carried on with our day as normal – I know with Zachy I wanted the day to be magical and special but to be honest they really don’t know what’s happening and just get freaked out most of the time.
Well today is the day! I have mountains of food, the culmination of at least 4 days work clearing the back of the garden and at least 5 hours erecting the new birthday trampoline yesterday should all be worthwhile when I see their little faces having a great time. Happy days! Keep your fingers crossed that the rain stays away! I’ll let you know….
So one of Zachy and mines new weekly trips is to our local library in Hayes. As well as lending books, audio etc they also run a lovely bumps and babies group on a Tuesday which is a great way to meet other parents and have a break from the norm. Plus chatterbooks, stay’n’play and books aloud groups. (See their website link above for more info)
It’s a gorgeous building set in some nice green gardens with tennis courts where we have been for an Easter egg hunt ran by our local West Wickham NCT group and his preschool have been for a teddy bears picnic.
As a lot of us know our libraries are under threat and it’s a very much use them or loose them philosophy that we need to adopt. As many of Zachys friends have gone off to ‘big school’ this September he feels a little left behind, to be honest he would be ready for an Easter intake if they still did that these days so I felt he needed some extra stimulation. We have decided to visit our library every Thursday after preschool as it’s on our way home and get out two books of his choice (with a little guidance :)) This has many benefits including giving him some control, some fresh reading and amongst others saves our already overflowing bookshelfs which consists of lots of peppa, Thomas, mr men and until recently ‘that’s not my’ books of which the latter have moved next door to Flo’s room although still walk back!
We took an easy and reliable Peppa Pig book the first week. Just this last week, one stage 1 reading book – ‘the sad princess’ which encourages reading with short sentences and short words and another ‘the magic porridge pot’ (my fav as it turns out!) which is for children who can read basic sentences.
Another exciting part for Zachary, as if picking books isn’t enough, is taking it to the counter with his special card and having a chat with our super friendly librarians 🙂
I’m really looking forward to continuing this with Zachy as I always found visiting my library as a child super exciting!
Do you have any recommendations for this stage of learning as it’s all new to us? 🙂
Also just to note I didn’t feel the need to ask is it wine o’clock yet after our library visit 😉
Last week I visited Havet Restaurant in Bromley. It always surprises me how busy this restaurant is on any day of the week! It’s a tasty Turkish restaurant which has an open grill (behind a screen) with fresh salads and tasty starters (their hummus is to die for!) with friendly efficient service. I accompanied my Meal which consisted of a lamb kebab/chicken kebab combo, tomato salad and bulger rice with a bottle of the tasty house white wine (or 2 🙂 )
Over the road The Barrel and Horn provided us with some after dinner Gin & Tonics – I love the vintage theme in this bar which usually accommodates the over 25 clientèle – a nice respite from the 18 year old drinkers that Bromley tends to attract in many places. Although it wasn’t that busy seen as it was a Tuesday night I have been here before when it’s rammed, sometimes with a live singer or band. My friends even gave us a quick rendition of chop sticks on the piano – perhaps best left to the professionals they have in!!
In kiddie world this week we collected plenty of conkers to thread Daddies old shoe laces through and have conker wars – it’s easy peasy – just get a screwdriver and run the lace through the middle with a knot underneath and take turns to hit each others conker off first. My (nearly) 4 year old loved it and couldn’t wait to ask every person who stepped over the threshold for a match – simple things 🙂
Lastly I had the pleasure of attending the JSA boat party down the Thames on Sunday. It’s a yearly event which includes the families of their clients rather than an evening event. This year they surpassed themselves! The entertainment which ranged from face painting and tattoos to balloon men, caricaturists and magicians to George Michael and Keith Lemon kept everyone entertained whilst taking in the sites of London. The Keith Lemon impersonator was soooo good and really engaging, we met him as Tim nice but dim when we first boarded 🙂 My facebook video of George Michael has had friends asking if it really was George which speaks for itself really!
I’m awaiting the twitter handles for the entertainment team as I highly recommend every single one of them! – UPDATE: All the entertainers were brought together by Zap Magic . The caricaturists are Simon & Sheba of www.bitterandtwisted.org
With a paid for bar i sampled the fizz on arrival and a nice dry white wine aboard and sampled a very nice white from Laithwaites on my arrival home which i will let you know the name of when I get home!
What wine have you tried this week??
So kiddie time began with just one on Thursday whilst my other was in pre school so a pub lunch was on the cards at The Crown & Anchor in Bromley. This pub has always been a favourite of mine as I used to live round the corner and frequented it plenty of times before I had children! Saying that it is kiddie friendly having a little tikes climbing set in the garden and the staff are super friendly so I highly recommend it for mums, dads and kids. Apart from the lovely internal decoration the pub has an added area adjacent to the garden which is open plan in the summer and closed in for the winter so perfect for hiring for events and parties.
My friend and I both had burgers from the menu which is all very reasonably priced (£5/£6 for a main) and my Union Jack burger which included a fat home made burger, blue cheese, tomato and onion chutney was lush and served with fries and coleslaw. Yummer yummer!
As I mentioned in my previous blog I had a work event in the evening which was held at Jewel Bar, Covent Garden and I must say the staff there were fantastic and the evening was a huge success. I tried a porn star martini and another personally made cocktail by my amazing event manager Natalia. If you need a function place with a fun atmosphere and yummy cocktails this is the place for you!
On Saturday we were all excited to go to the tall ships festival in Greenwich. The festival celebrates tall ships (hence the name!) and we saw plenty sailing up and down the Thames. The DLR was the start of the fun for my eldest seen as there’s no drivers so that was his job 🙂
It was rammed in Greenwich which was hard going with a 3 year old and a baby in a buggy but the festival village was quite cool with people dressed in reenactment costumes, a band stand with live music, and the usual beer and food tents. Highlights included giant fighting lobsters!, Captain Jack Sparrow and helter skelters (which the other half loved more than the 3 year old I reckon!)
We couldn’t stay for fireworks but I heard they were spectacular.
It was exhausting though so I was so relieved to get home for a nice glass of centro plaza prosecco (currently on offer at tescos!)
So Sunday is here already and all I can wonder is what wine I can try this week when it’s wine o’clock 🙂 what do you recommend??
Have a good one peeps!