Depths of perception are running an excellent ocean competition for us bloggers. All we have to do is post a photo of the sea and a small description! Easy…our children just love Lyme Regis, we have relations there so we visit at least twice a year. We love low tide as the children love looking at the fossils and finding the tiny crabs that hide in amongst the rock pools. Of course you also have the Cobb, made famous by the movie French lieutenants woman.

So my photo is of my children looking in the rock pools and enjoying the ocean. Charlotte is on the left, Eleanor in the middle and William is on the right.

imageThis is Slummymummys entry to The Depths of Perception photography competition.

Making fun summer memories

We adore CentreParcs and try to go every year. We have four children who love bombing down the water slides and trying out all the activities. When I saw that Tots100 were running a competition about making memories I felt I had to have a go at it. We read Steph Tilley’s ideas and love them, I especially like the jar idea, every year we do something similar at the beginning of the holidays. I get each child to write down several things they want to achieve by the end of the holidays. This works brilliantly and they always come up with new ideas. However, this blog post is more about recording memories – my children love the idea of scrapbooking, so that’s what we did.

We are currently on holiday in Rome; it’s a shame really that the closing date isn’t a bit later as we are away until the day before school begins. So I am attempting this with an iPhone on a slightly dubious wifi connection!

I read the tips on making memories with interest as just before we went away we did our usual trip to poundland to get some bits & bobs. The children begged me to buy them small jotter books so they can log and write a daily journal of their time here. I always take photos, in fact this year I have been using a gopro as it’s great in the pool, the children are already begging me to print photos when I get home.


So far this holiday Eleanor age 6 has lost both front teeth, apparently in Italy it’s not a tooth fairy but a tooth moose that collects them! We have seen lots of Roman ruins at Ostia Antica, swam in the hydromania water park, befriended lots of cats and generally had a lazy time by the poolside.


These are photos taken tonight of the children updating their journals today, they are drawing pictures,adding tickets and writing about their experiences.


“This is my blog entry for the August Center Parcs Family Breaks Club monthly challenge. My preferred village is Elvedon!”

A new opening!

Yale are running a superb new competition all about doors. The prize is fantastic too, £2000 to use towards a new front door!  Well, we have two front doors, we aren’t greedy – it’s just the way it worked out when we did our extension. The original front door is white and old, the step is rotten, the letter box hangs off the inside since the postman was a bit too vigorous at pushing the post through and the paint is peeling – so we could really use a new front door. In fact I was so desperate to enter I am writing this while on holiday in Italy!


Our new front door is lush – it’s red (they always say you can tell someone’s character from the colour they choose from their front door) I’m not sure what red says about me as I chose it! The man came round with the books and there was a completely bonkers front door in it, it was really modern and wouldn’t have suited the house at all, and above all I knew hubby would really dislike, so I pretended to my husband that I chose it. I told the salesman after seeing this bonkers choice he would agree to anything including the red that I really wanted – and it worked like magic. The salesman was amazed as my final choice was so far removed from what hubby would have chosen! (I know how to get things passed in our house!)

I’ve also had a few other funny incidents that have happened at the front door. I remember being desperately sleep deprived with a new baby and hearing a knock at the door; it was the postman, but in my state I didn’t realised that my boob was still out from breastfeeding. He looked a bit shocked and averted his gaze!

More recently I had bought onesies for my friends boys; the eldest of which is not far off my size. I decided to give it a try on, it was a full on gorilla suit. Well, my mum was due round and as soon as I had zipped it up (taking care not to wreck the labels) there was a knock at the door. I went thinking it was my mum and instead it was the scout leader dropping something off. Boy did he laugh, and I don’t think he has ever forgot to as he still jokes about it!

this is slummy mummy’s entry for yales door competition




Seabrooks sarnies

I’m all on for making quick meals – life is way too short to spend it slaving away in the kitchen only to have the children turning their noses up at what is presented. So when I saw TOTS100 were celebrating crisp sarnie week with Seabrook Crisps I just had to enter the competition with a favourite sandwich of mine. If you want to enter you need to do so by the 1st September – you can find out more about the competiton here.


Apple, mayo and Seabrooks Canadian ham crisp sandwich

So to make my quick and easy apple, mayo and Canadian ham crisp sandwich all I did was I used mayonaise, grated apple and Seabrooks Canadian Ham flavoured crisps…here is some instructions

IMG_4654 (Large)1. Get your ingredients together, I used apple as it goes with Ham crisps really well and some mayo to bind the apple together – it stops it being too messy.

2. Grate the apple with a standard grater and combine with the mayo.

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3. Arrange the bread, and spread on the apple and mayo. Then tip on the full packet of Seabrook Canadian Ham crisps. Arrange it so all the slice is covered.

4. Crush the two slices together to break the crisps up a little and press them into the bread and apple.

5. Slice your sandwich in half, eat and enjoy . . . fabulous, quick and easy!

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“This recipe is an entry into the National Crisp Sarnie Week competition with Seabrook crisps”


#TigercubHideout – keeping the children busy

Our children love the outdoors, they have a trampoline, swings and slides but would simply love what I would call a ‘wendy house’ to call their own. Our garden is always in a constant state of chaos so it might actually give us a shove in the right direction to sort it out!

Below is Eleanor (age 6), William (age 9) and Charlotte (age 11) with their entries.

aAnyway, it is a great competition, all you need to do is get the children to use their imagination to come up with a picture of their dream house. Ours were very excited at the prospect of incorporating a phone to call into school and tell them you are sick, slides from one level to another and projectors and hot tubs. They certainly got into the swing of what they would like in a dream house – no homework or housework was mentioned as well! If you want to enter too, the link is here.

Below is Charlotte’s (age 11) entry for her dream house – my favourite feature is the automatic dressing machine, it reminds me of Wallace and Gromit!



Below is William’s (age 9) entry – my favourite feature is the telephone that calls into the school on your behalf – very Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Below is Eleanor’s (age 6) entry to the competiton – I love the automatic dishwashing and washing line she has in one room and three chimneys for some reason!


The children had great fun doing this competition, it always amazes me with what they come up with!

 I hope it is ok to enter all three on the one blog as they all wanted to be part of the competition. Please take this as Slummy Mummy’s entry to the Summer blogger competition: Win a Tigercub Hideout House!










Don’t smoke, don’t drink, what do you do!

I’m just loving the new competition I have found from Bobatoo – its all about bad habits. Bobatoo offer insurances of all kinds which are so important when the unexpected happens.

When I saw the post it reminded me of my 1980’s youth, and Adam Ant’s song, I was well behaved; in fact too well behaved. I came from a nice part of the village, had well mannered friends and was an only child. I wasn’t a wild child under anyone’s terms. I now kind of regret my ‘misspent youth’; while my friends were partying I was having early nights with a book, while my friends went to university I was working. On the upside and as a consequence of my virtuous youth I didn’t gain the usual bad habits of drinking or smoking, I wouldn’t know a drug if I saw it or smelt it (although I am currently being educated by season 2 of ‘breaking bad’) – so when this competition mentioned habits the usual ones didn’t come to my mind. I don’t even go to Costa for expensive coffee or hanker after expensive shoes like most girls!

Bad habit #1 – diet cola

photoDespite everyone telling me its bad for me I am still hooked, I don’t drink masses of the stuff but I do like a can (ok, pint) if I am out. I guess it’s not as bad as most habits but I would say it is my downfall and my only source of caffeine as I don’t like coffee, I reason it through that as I don’t have coffee it’s not so bad. However, I have rubbish teeth; I mean they look good but are just not very strong. I always end up with having fillings done when everyone else gets a ‘see you in 6 months’. I have tried to cut down but just love the stuff, I have even alternated with water when I go out, I have found this is by far the best method of reducing my intake! But honestly when I see my friends getting drunk I am quite glad that I never found my alcoholic poison but found diet cola instead!





Bad habit #2 – dresses

With me it’s not shoes; it’s dresses. I took up dancing almost a year ago and have finally found my thing. I love doing circuits at the local gym, but I have to admit wearing ‘sportswear’ isn’t my thing. I love to dress up in 1940’s wear, I love all things swing. I love being glamorous (well, trying anyway) so I buy dresses. I have a wardrobe busting at the seams, I cleared it out about a year ago with a friend and its now back to the same state, I don’t spend a lot of money on them, I tend to buy second hand, eBay or from charity shops. I haven’t tried to curtail my habit but instead have tried to sell some of my old stuff, and the children’s old stuff to fund my addiction. I currently have a healthy balance on eBay so yesterday I bought myself a couple of dresses from China.

IMG_2872aLeft – My latest dress purchase – a Betty Page dress second hand from America, I got loads of great comments about it! IMG_1527 (Large)

Right – Me and my children at one of my first 1940’s events






Bad habit #3 – always carrying a camera

It might not sound like a bad habit but when it means that you carry a camera instead of something important it probably is pretty bad. I was known at baby group for always having my camera; usually in place of a spare change of clothing for my child or even a nappy. In fact quite a few times I have had to buy emergency packs of nappies when I have gone to the park as I have been without any. I never had a changing bag in the conventional sense, just a camera bag! This has been solved by the children getting older and not needing changes of clothes – good solution; I still have my camera but no longer need anything else!



Bad habit #4 – loosing stuff

This one is a biggie. I am always losing my purse, keys and my phone, well, not loosing just misplacing (maybe I need insurance!). With a busy household with 6 of us coming and going, often stuff gets put on top of them. I have recently bought a bag (I don’t really like handbags) that I keep my bits together in and for dancing I actually have a small carryon suitcase to keep everything together. I think the solution is to be more organised with my things, I think as the children get older they will help me look too, maybe not the best solution but as good as it gets at the moment!



This post is my entry into the Bad Habits blog competition.


#getyourskillson with Robinsons Fruit Shoots

We all love a challenge and something to entertain the children over the summer holidays so when I saw Tots100 were teaming up with Robinsons Fruit Shoot to challenge our children to keep busy by doing a list of challenges I thought I had to join. If you also want to enter the details are here, but hurry it closes on the 18th August and you have to do at least 10 of the activities listed!

Meet my children, I have four…my eldest has now hit teeanage years so he seems to live in a different time zone to the rest of the family. Matthew is 13, Charlotte is 11, William is 9 and Eleanor is 6. The three that took part are seen holding Fruit Shoots for their time and effort!


We began the challenges on the first day, The younger children were especially willing to have a go at them.

Challenge 1 – Show us your best skateboard moves (twitter)

We entered via twitter – two wheels William spent the last few days at school attempting tricks on his board. He has managed to stay upright on it now which is big progress from lots of accidents to start with. He is now mastering trying to go down kerbs with it and jumping back on afterwards!


Challenge 2 – Can you put a biscuit on your face and eat it ? (instagram)

William just loved the challenge (well, who wouldn’t!) Here is our entry! I think the outtakes are funnier than when he actually managed it – I would say no biscuits were harmed in the making but we managed to get through 3 jammie dodgers in the process! Brilliant fun and a great way, to slow them down eating the biscuits! I think this challenge was the most fun of all of them!

Challenge 3 – Roll down a hill (twitter)

The children love rolling down hills so were quite keen on this challenge ‘roll down a hill’ sent via Twitter. They rolled and rolled some more – I always say if they don’t come home tired and dirty it’s not been a good day out!


Challenge 4 – Do a head stand (twitter)

headWilliam was also keen on the task ‘Do a head stand’, he chose the safety of his bedroom and the comfort of a pillow, gone are the days of doing this outside like I used to! Photo entered via twitter.


Challenge 5- Hula hoop for 15 seconds (vine)

Eleanor loves the hula hoop so was keen when she saw this challenge, we entered via Vine which I have only used a couple of times but it did a great job. Eleanor loves hula hooping and managed to keep it going for almost a minute without dropping it!

Challenge 6 – Climb a tree (twitter)

William and Eleanor love trees so didn’t need asking twice when we went to Pecorama in Lyme Regis. They saw a tree, I mentioned it and they climbed it, Eleanor is always more cautious than William! Entered via Twitter.

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Challenge 7 – Swing as high as you can (twitter)

My daughter Eleanor at the park, she loves it! Enteredswing via Twitter.

Challenge 8 – Can you do a handstand and drop into a crab? (instagram)

Charlotte loves gymnastics and has been trying to do this for a while, she can just manage it on the trampoline but is hoping to be able to do it on the flat soon too.

Challenge 9 – Show us a new street dance move? (instagram)

I think the answer is no to the cc, but we had great fun trying it out, and William did some other cool moves in the process! William chose the safety of the trampoline to attempt a baby freeze and cc and general street moves.

Challenge 10 – Build a sandcastle (twitter)

This is Eleanor building a sandcastle on the beach in Clacton, she had a lovely day. The sandcastle didn’t stay up long but she enjoyed making it!



Challenge 11 – Knock down some pins or skittles (twitter)

We booked bowling for over the holidays so it was perfect timing to catch a celebratory pose of Eleanor when she managed to knock quite a few pins down in one go! She did really well this time and even did a few bowls without using the children’s frame to help. missymoo_2014-07-13 (Large)

This is my entry to the Robinsons/Fruit Shoot Tots100 competition.

BritMums and McVitie’s BN biscuits are running another fabulous competiton to win £100 worth of shopping vouchers, and all us bloggers need to do is eat biscuits (very hard work) blog about them with #sweeet hashtag sharing our tips for surviving the holidays with the children. Well, aphoto (4)s you might know I have four children under 13. Matthew is 13, Charlotte is 11, William is 9 and Eleanor is 6, I would say it becomes harphotoder once the eldest reaches those teenage years, as they no longer find the fun in going to ball pits and having picnics in the park as there is always one saying they don’t want to go. My top tip is at the very beginning of the holidays give your children a sheet of paper and get them to write down what they want to achieve over the school holidays, these can be as different as learn a new skill to going to a certain event. Charlotte’s (age 11) list this year included having a waterfight, going to a water park, having a sleepover, going roller skating, swimming in an open air pool, walking to the park with friends, getting the cats lion cut, and going to a trampoline park. William (age 9) wrote down several similar things but also included learning how to do some basic programming before he begins middle school, flying a kite on the heath, and reading some of his new books. Eleanor (age 6) wanted to spend time in the garden, get the outdoor paddling pool set up and to learn her times tables. photocrumbsa Above – My daughter spent an hour taking the photos for this collage, which she loved doing – a brilliant rainy day activity which meant she needed to eat the biscuit too! Below – Here are some images we have taken so far this summer popped into a flipogram. When we go out for our days out we nearly always pack up a picnic as buying food out always works out expensive for a large family. We have been taking the BN’s with us as the children just love them. In fact we have now discovered the mini’s which are very handy to pop in your bag as a handy sized treat instead of buying sweets. The children tried both flavours (and shush, so did I) and all of us agree that the chocolate is just yummy. We have since then had to add them to the weekly shopping list! So thanks McVities for giving us the opportunity to try your biscuits, learning how to use flipogram and potentially win some money in a competition! This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVities BN