Saturday 29 March 2014

Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway Supercomputer in Bromley

Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway Supercomputer in Bromley
Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Supercomputer Will be at 'Intu Bromley' (formerly The Glades) shopping centre in Bromley  on Sunday 30th March 2014 from 10am to 5pm (although even Supercomputer needs to take a few breaks).

"So why not come and say hello and you can even register for a chance to play to try and win places on our plane heading to Florida (5-12 April)
You must be 18 or over to participate. We will allocate waiting numbers to people who register but not everyone will get to play. If selected to play, participation times vary. Further terms including extra prize information will apply on registration. The Supercomputer will reward you if you perform your best! So show the Supercomputer your talents, big personality and show that you really want that prize"

Emma in Bromley xx

Science Dress Up Day - Science and Engineering Week

A week ago last Friday, at the end of National Science and Engineering Week,  and Blake's primary school had a science dress up day to celebrate.
Blake Clement Science Day dress up

I'd never heard of science dress up day before and in all honesty, I wasn't quite prepared, as a reception parent I'm still very new to all this and I'd just conquered my very first World Book Day!  I'd been second  guessing the prospect of a sports relief dress up so was surprised to recieve the school email newsletter with only a week's notice explaining Friday would be science dress up day! ( School - please note, a week is not long enough for newbies!)

At first I went into panic mode - we have heaps of superhero costumes and a few random ones (Wall.e and a Dragon) but nothing in the "science theme"!

I headed online but a new costume such as an astronaut or a lab coat with postage to arrive within a week would have been at least £20 so I enlisted the help of my very talented mother in law who came up with a wonderful lab coat and bow tie from an old blouse (and a scrap from my old PJ's) for Blake! 

My mother in law worked hard on Blake's lab coat and he looked a real star! We teamed it with Blake's bright red jeans, his stripy shirt and a pair of children's sunglasses with the lenses popped out. We slicked Blake's hair into a side parting and my father in law made a little book of inventions for Blake to carry.

I noticed at the school, many children had lab coats made from men's shirts, there were lots of Doc Mcstuffins and nurses, skeletons and a star! One of Blake's friends was an astronaut with a proper helmet - a tinfoil covered cereal box helmet :)

I'm going to be one of those annoying parents for just a moment and gloat - Blake won best costume in his class :-)

Emma in Bromley xx

Sunday 23 March 2014

Olly the Little White Van books

Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van BooksWe were sent a set of new Olly the Little White Van books to review - from the popular preschooler cartoon, 100% written, designed and animated in the UK and currently showing on Milkshake.

Chunky Storybooks
Each of the chunky board books of Olly and his friends has painted edges and is perfect for little hands 1+. RRP £3.99 
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books

There are four different ones to collect - Olly, Bazza, Royston and Jethro.
Each board book has a curved painted edge and is a great size to pop in your changing bag. My youngest (age 2) loves the Royston (fire engine) book the most.
Each book has a good story to it and bright eye catching pictures.
Story Books
These wonderful story books have fabulous story lines, big pictures and are fantastic quality. RRP £3.99 
There are two story books to collect and they are taken from episodes of the tv show with the pictures being stills from the animation.  
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books

Press-out Sticker and Activity Fun
Children will have hours of fun colouring Olly and his friends, playing with the press-out pieces, board games, stickers and finishing all the super-cool activities. All activities are designed to help your child practise skills such as logic and problem solving. RRP £4.99
My four year old has really enjoyed making and playing the board game inside this activity book.
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books

Sticker and Colouring Fun
There are lots of pictures of Olly and his friends for you to colour, and you can use your stickers to decorate the pages, too! RRP £3.99
Both my children are sticker mad and have thoroughly enjoyed making sticker scenes and colouring in pages to decorate further with the stickers.
Emma in Bromley xx
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books
Blake and Maegan  Clement reading Olly the Little White Van Books

Moving House - The Fear!

moving house boxes
It's been well over a year (more like 5) since we decided to move house - our little man is firmly settled in reception at primary school and as a family of four, we've more than outgrown our bijou 2up2down starter home.

But why aren't we on the market yet? Quite simply, trying to organise and sort and turn such a small over crowded home into a "show home" whilst living in it with a 2 year old and a 4 year old is impossible - trust me, I've tried! For well over a year! I'm never alone at home, I always have a helper. Our evenings after the kids are in bed are chaos - a little like this:
Hubby gets home just at bed time - usually when I'm a soggy, tearful mess after bathtime and witching hour.
We both do bedtime - one child each.
That takes us until about 8.30pm when I then cook evening meals for us - never the same food - I'm veggie, husband is all about the meat. 
After cooking, eating and cleaning up, ironing shirts for the next day, sorting out the school bag and home work folders (reception get 2 homework folders a week!), preparing as much of the packed lunch as I can and suddenly realising it's way after 10pm and I haven't even sat down all day  - the last thing I have the energy to do is sorting out the house - all I want to do is watch a bit of Revenge/Bones/TOWIE/ mooney boy/ revolution or curl up and sleep! I'd also quite like to paint my nails, do a bit of my own hobby, blog or read a book but given it's 11pm and I'll be up at least twice in the night and out of bed by 6am - I can't fit everything in can I?! 
So we made a decision, a tough one, we're taking advantage of my kind inlaws and taking advantage of them while we sort out our home. 

We've hired a storage unit and I've bought a million (well, 8) massive plastic storage boxes from Jojo Maman Bebe for the kids toys - I love that they don't charge for postage!

Our plan is a simple one, make our home look clean and tidy, touch up the paint, plant some plants, store some of our things (mostly toys, books, clothes and paperwork), and until we have an offer we accept, use family to help out. After having an offer until completion we will try and keep it looking like a show home. Then we will look for our new home and all the toys and books and clothes can come back out.

But this is where the fear kicks in ...

Lets start with my son's primary school, he started a few weeks late as he was on a waiting list for a school place. It's 2.4 miles away from our current house and I don't drive and there's no chance of getting on a bus after school with a pram so it's currently one heck of a mission - I'm not exaggerating when I say I have to set off at 1.30 just to collect my little man from school and it's 4.30 by the time we get home again! 

Similar houses in our current area in Bromley are about the £280k mark and this time round we will be buying on just one salary - I still have student loan debt so I count as negative equity! the cheek!

My biggest fear is what happens if and when we sell our current home - which apart from now being to small for a family of four and too far away from school - is actually lovely and has the best view from the upstairs window, a lovely brand new kitchen and the perfect fireplace. It's only 5 mins walk to a station that takes 20 mins to reach Central London and it's taken us almost 9 years to turn it from the hideous state it was in to a lovely home. There's a lot in our current home, a lot that I will miss and don't really want to part with, I actually really love our current home!

But I'm terrified of being priced out of the market, what if we sell and we can't get a home in the area we need? We have to be within a reasonable walk of the school our son is already settled in, we also need to be in a reasonable walking distance of a train station. 

There's a house up for sale at the moment that is 5 min walk to school - 20 min walk to the train station. It's a semi detached and needs a lot of work - the tiny kitchen and bathroom are dated, as is the conservatory/lean to. There's no off street parking (besides being a prime parking spot for 2 primary schools, it's also opposite an adult college - parking on the street is very difficult on this stretch of road) there's no rear access or garage for the hubby's motorbike. The bathroom upstairs weirdly can only be accessed via bedroom 3 which is so small I don't think you could actually use it as a bedroom - because it's the only bathroom access there isn't actually enough space for a bed. I guess there's potential - there isn't enough room at the front to create off street parking but in the long run, perhaps with planning permission you could do something about the tiny kitchen, replace the conservatory and maybe a loft conversion and lose the weird small 3rd bedroom. But we certainly couldn't afford to do all that or even have the will power to do it with two small kids. But the real kicker - this house is a sickening ridiculous £550k - yep you read that right! 

Other houses in the area on offer include a semi- detached on a near by street with a garage and an upstairs bathroom you can access without traipsing through a bedroom - at a whopping £620k. A beautiful detached house ticking all our needs - except its right next to an electrical house and opposite an area being treated for Japanese knot wood will set you back a mind boggling family friendly £800k to be frank, I haven't seen anything under half a million - even the real grotty houses in this area full of terraces and semi's - I'm not talking beautiful family homes ready to move into - those, like the one on two streets away from school are an impossible for an average local family to buy at £900k plus.

I've been talking to estate agents who all claim that half the houses they sell never make it onto the websites because the sell so quickly. Every single one has been quick to advise me to sell first. Not one has been able to show me that my fears are unfounded and that the "half of their houses" that never make it online are what we can afford and need. In over a year, I haven't seen anything that ticks most of our boxes and is affordable.
There's three reasons why prices are so dizzily expensive in the area we are looking at.
1. It's in reasonable walking distance of 5 primary schools.
2. It's within a 25 min walk to a train station into London.
3. Most buyers are second time buyers moving out from Central London and want the station link and can afford to trump the local families who need to be close to the 5 schools. 

The competition is going to be ferocious - in the unlikely event of something coming up that we can actually afford - it's going to be in less than ideal condition and in need of serious work (I don't want something hideous all over again - we've done mouldy carpets before thank you!). We will be competing with lots of other families and people moving out from central London. And those who qualify for The government help to buy scheme. 

I'm terrified! Are we setting ourselves up for homeless doom? What on earth do you do if you find yourself priced out of the market?! If only our current home was twice the size and in a different location ha ha! 

Seriously though, I'm terrified!

Emma in Bromley xx

Since writing this post, I've also written about choosing a Bromley estate agent

Elephant Silver Dummy Clip, Walnut bar chairs, Toto Knits Chick Cardigan, Nattiot Knitted Pouffe

This week's shopping spots are a wonderful collection - I love the hand knitted pouffe! and who would have thought? silver dummy clips!

Elephant Silver Dummy Clip 
Normally £30 on offer at £22.99 until 25.03.14 
Elephant silver dummy clip

Black and Walnut bar chair - also available in white. Usually £152 on offer at £97.99 until 25.03.14
Black and walnut bar chair stool with arms
Black leatherette and walnut bar chair - also available in white. Usually £139 on offer at £89.99 until 25.03.14
black leatherette and walnut bar chair stool

Toto knits hooded chick cardigan - other animals available - I love this brand, we have their Lion, monkey and crocodile cardigans! Usually £35 on offer at £18.99
Organic and hand knitted in a small Kenyan village. On offer until 24.03.14
tot knits hooded chick cardigan organic wool

Nattiot hand knitted pouffe normally £59 on offer at £19.99 until 24.03.14
Nattiot hand knitted green pouffe

Happy Shopping :)

Emma in Bromley xx

Saturday 8 March 2014

Daily Deal - Tree chopping board, little helper art station, vintage style jacket, monsoon accessorize dining,

This week I've spotted these deals which I thought I'd share - I particularly love the chopping board and the art station!

Tree shaped beech wood chopping board with lovely bird detail, usually £26 on offer at £16.99
Beech Wood tree chopping board

Monsoon Accesorize butterfly milk jug and sugar pot set usually £20 on offer at £16.99

Monsoon Accessorize milk jug and sugar pot

Monsoon Accessorize set of plates usually £27 on offer at £14.99

Monsoon Accessorize set of plates

Ballet shoes canvas storage cube usually £11 on offer at £6.99

Ballet shoes storage cube

Three big floor puzzles - tractors, dump trucks and trucks - tempted to pack these away for all the upcoming birthday parties! Normally £30 on offer at £9.99 for all 3
set of 3 big floor puzzles big trucks, big tractor, big dump truck

Beautiful vintage style jacket  by Iska  normally £35 on offer at £20.99

Iska vintage style jacket

Little helper wooden art station with easel and blackboard usually £80 on offer at £54.99

Little Helper Art Station with blackboard and easel

Happy Shopping 

Emma in Bromley xx

Fancy meeting Gary Barlow?

I can online auction Gary Barlow
A chance to meet Gary Barlow and bid for other new prizes in I CAN's online auction!
Bid now in I CAN's online auction for some incredible prizes including a chance to meet Gary Barlow, stay in Andy Murray's Hotel, or pick up the limited edition 007 'The James Bond Archives collectors book'.
You can also bid on prizes that will make great Mother's Day presents; the 'Mothers Day Hearts' painting, Karen Millen vouchers or a fantastic family day out in London including tickets to The Velveteen Rabbit and a trip on the London Eye!
All our auction prizes have been kindly donated by friends of I CAN, which means the money you donate goes to I CAN's Million Lost Voices Appeal to help us support children's speech, language and communication.
Get bidding and help us to change the lives of thousands of children with communication difficulties
The auction will run until Sunday 16 March 2014.

Emma in Bromley x

Monday 3 March 2014

Boden Spring Summer 2014 Press Day round up

A little while ago I was privileged enough to pop along to the Boden press event to preview the spring summer 2014 collection. The event itself was amazing - I'd battled freezing windy rain and passed the outdoor ice rink at Sommerset House to get there but stepping through that door was amazing! The effort the Boden team had gone to to set the theme was fantastic and exciting - it was warm and cozy and felt summery! There was an ice cream cart, real sand, deck chairs, candy floss, lemonade, a boat and the most amazing bursts of colour everywhere! I forgot how cold and wet I was just a few moments earlier (but my frizz ball hair didn't)!

I always intended to post about the collection sooner but with everything that's happened since then to now, it just felt that now is the right time to talk about it! You see it's now almost spring 2014, it's still miserable outside but we're all itching for pops of spring colours and Boden are starting to sell the collection - like hot cakes! and these clothes are happy clothes!

I'll start with the kids! Here are my fave spots from Mini Boden, Girls, Boys and Johnnie B

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

I fell in love with the Donkey on the baby girl dress! Isn't he adorable! I have to get him for my daughter!

I love the little spring chicks on the woollen dress and the birdie print - with matching knickers.

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

This little knitted jumper with sailboat appliqué is so snugly and I love the details in the crab and sea dog tee's I need all three for my little boy!

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

Anchors Away! and Attention!

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

Beautiful floral playsuit

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

Detailed prints - space invaders!

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

Love this bright red flower pattern

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

Amazing sailboat full of fish sat in the middle of the Mini Boden room!

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

Wonderfully bright prints everywhere!

Mini Boden spring summer 14 press day

And onto the ladies -  I'd really like the French knot jumper (Mega hint to the husband!) I think it's perfect and I spotted it in two colours Navy and Yellow - I can't decide which I need first! 
Boden spring summer 14 press day

Adorable cardigan to go with everything! - note the bag - love it!

Boden spring summer 14 press day

The perfect summer white dress ... look out for it in yellow!

Boden spring summer 14 press day

I have to have this sun dress, Nancy - I love the seaside print.

Boden spring summer 14 press day

This has to be the ultimate polka dot weekend dress

Boden spring summer 14 press day

Happy Happy flats!

Boden spring summer 14 press day

The embroidery details on this dress are superb!

Boden spring summer 14 press day

See! I told you it came in yellow too!

Boden spring summer 14 press day

I'll take one of everything please!

Boden spring summer 14 press day

Oh and one of everything in pastel too please :-)

Boden spring summer 14 press day

Ooooh Lime!

Boden spring summer 14 press day

All these photos were taken on my ipad ... if I'm lucky enough to be invited to the next one - I'll have a digital SLR to take with me!

Happy spring shopping everyone - I hope you like my favourite spots from the SS14 press day!

Emma in Bromley xx

Saturday 1 March 2014

Alice in Wonderland at Greenwich Theatre

Alice In Wonderland

alice in wonderland at the greenwich theatre

Sat 24 May - Sun 1 June 2014 Greenwich Theatre
It all starts one summer’s afternoon, when Alice drowsily falls asleep under a tree and catches sight of a White Rabbit in a waistcoat running beside her... Desperate to know where he is rushing to, Alice jumps down the rabbit hole after him… And the adventure begins...
Lewis Carroll’s classic characters spring to life in an enchanting new adaptation for the whole family, bursting with music, madness and mystery.
Join us in wonderland this Spring, for a glorious tale of adventure and imagination. Sip tea with the Mad Hatter, run with the White Rabbit, grin with the Cheshire Cat and play croquet with the Queen of Hearts.
This stunning adaptation is brought to you by Sell a Door Theatre Company; the producers of Seussical (West End), Spring Awakening (Debut UK Tour) and Lord of the Flies (UK Tour). Join them as they recreate Lewis Carroll’s enchanting tale at their London home, Greenwich Theatre.