From The Cutting Room Floor

28.08.15

I love sharing photos of the kids on the blog, but today I thought I’d share a couple from the cutting room floor.

You know how it is, you say, ‘just one photo and then you can head off and carry on bashing each other and bickering’ and these are the results…

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Eventually I managed to magically click the shutter button at the one second there was no daft faces, bouncing, glaring, or anyone blinking or pretending to be a train and I got 2 passable shots!

Neither of them are ‘perfect’ but they both present an accurate picture of my kiddos. Ez loves pretending to be scary, but loves Annie more than life itself, and Annie is the queen of posing!

From The Cutting Room Floor | Out takes Of My Kids | snowingindoors.com (6)From The Cutting Room Floor | Out takes Of My Kids | snowingindoors.com (7)

Any outtakes you’d care to share with the group?!


Posted in category: Parenting, photog, The Kiddos

Sunshine Blogger Award

26.08.15

I have been nominated by the lovely Mac from Reflections of Me for the Sunshine Blogger award.

Mac is an Australian blogger who takes lovely photos and often appears in Point + Shoot with her work, even winning it a few weeks back.

The questions she’s posed for me are:

  • Have you always loved writing?
  • What keeps you passionate about your blog?
  • What other passions do you have and do these compliment your blog?
  • How has your style of writing or your website changed over the time you have been blogging?
  • If you are not found behind your computer, where would we find you?

Have you always loved writing?

As a kid I was a massive book nerd, I read my way through my local library and my love of words naturally translated into a love of writing.

Don’t get me wrong, just because I really enjoy writing, I am not saying I’m any good at it, but being able to get my thoughts down on paper (or more often a screen these days) helps keep the inside of my brain tidy.

What keeps you passionate about your blog?

I love thinking up blog series. Some of them die a death very quickly, but ones like my Make The Move To Manual are so much fun to write, and the feedback I get from readers is wonderful. Knowing that I’ve helped someone understand an aspect of photography is awesome.

Also having blogger friends helps. Before I found my circle of bloggy buddies I’d occasionally get demoralised with the blog, but being friends with people who know exactly what you’re going through really helps. We all need a kick up the butt from a mate every now and again!

What other passions do you have and do these compliment your blog?

My biggest passion (not including Jon and the kiddos!) is probably photography, which goes hand in hand with blogging. I need photos for blog posts and I write about photography too, explaining aspects of it and sharing tips and tricks.

Sunshine Blogger Award |snowingindoors.com-1

I am also a geek and am currently trying to kick off a blog series on Minecraft.

The great thing about blogging is you can write about your passions and there will always be someone who reads it and thinks, ‘wow, I love that too’, no matter what the topic is.

How has your style of writing or your website changed over the time you have been blogging?

When I started blogging I hand coded the site and had to write posts directly into the html, it’s safe to say that blog was replaced very quickly with an easier method.

I’ve always liked clean looking blogs with large photos so while tiny details have changed, the drive behind the design has remained the same.

As for the content, I have made the move to wordier blog posts over the past 6 years, and they’ve gone from being simply updates on our lives, to including a wider range of topics, so as to appeal to a wider audience.

If you are not found behind your computer, where would we find you?

I’m like a ninja, you don’t find me, unless I want you to.

Alternatively you’d probably catch me on the school run, curled up on the couch reading, either on my Kindle or to the kids, or out somewhere with my camera, photographing the tiny monsters I call my kiddos!

Thanks for choosing me Mac x

A little bit more about the Sunshine Blogger Award, the rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you
  • Answer the questions from the person that nominated you
  • Nominate some other bloggers for this award
  • Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated

So without further ado, I nominate:

Your questions are:

  • Do you have a favourite quote or quotes?
  • If you could go back in time to when you first started blogging, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
  • What experience, book, game or TV show from your childhood can you not wait to introduce to your kids?
  • Apart from blogging, what do you love to do in your spare time?
  • What inspired you to start your blog?

Posted in category: Blogging

My Weekend – The Definition Of Bad Timing

25.08.15

When your other half is away for the weekend and you have 3.5 days of solo parenting, the thing that you really want, is a horrible bad back and a day long migraine, am I right?

NO, no I am not right!

As I spent most of my weekend horizontal or hobbling around like a granny, ours was the quietest of weekends.

We were lucky enough to be visited by friends, one of whom even bought lunch for us all and doughnuts, that’s the definition of true friendship isn’t it?!

Because standing up is problematic right now, I have very few photos to share, so enjoy these couple and then, if you want, share your weekend adventures with Point + Shoot so I can enjoy your weekends vicariously!

My Weekend - The Definition Of Bad Timing | bad back and migraine | snowingindoors.com My Weekend - The Definition Of Bad Timing | bad back and migraine | snowingindoors.com

What did you get up to this weekend?
Were you ill or out and about?


Posted in category: Point & Shoot

Point + Shoot – 25.08.2015

25.08.15

Thank you to everyone who joined in with Point + Shoot last week.

My post this week is a very quiet (and slightly self pitying) one thanks to my back which is still knackered – that’s the medical term!

Our winning post from last week comes from the wonderful Amy at Mr and Mrs T Plus 3. Holly looks like she’s having a blast (sorry, terrible pun!) at At-Bristol and the video at the end of the post is just gorgeous.Caught in a vacuum stream

I am very happy to announce that our favourite post each week will receive an awesome colour bright photo mug from the lovely peeps over at Photobox.

You don’t have to play every week, just drop by when you have something to share. You don’t need a fancy DSLR either, a phone camera works just as well.

As for the photos, they can be absolutely anything. If you saw it, or did it, at the weekend, then photograph it and link up.

snowingindoors


Posted in category: Point & Shoot

Our Day Out at Bristol Harbour

24.08.15

Last week we were lucky enough to spend the day in Bristol courtesy of the Bristol Tourist Board.

I’ve not visited Bristol properly since I lived in Somerset (donkeys years ago) so last time I was there At-Bristol was still being built and the regeneration of the harbour was in it’s infancy.

Returning to the area 16 years later the change is amazing. The harbour side is glorious, full of gorgeous architecture that makes the most of the natural light and views to the water.

Outside of At-Bristol is a fantastic open space, with water features that are not only lovely to sit and watch, but that you can paddle in and actually use.

There were also two life size whale sculptures built from used drinking bottles and Somerset willow. They commemorate Bristol’s status as European Green Capitol and they look breath taking.

Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (2)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (30)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (27)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (1)

When I was younger I used to love going to visit the Exploratory, so I had an idea of what to expect from At-Bristol, a hands on science museum built with the aim of making science accessible to everyone.

It’s built over two floors and it didn’t take long for the kids to find their favourite areas. Ez was intrigued with the water section and spent ages making it rain, experimenting with dams and locks, and lifting water uphill using the Archimedes screw.

Annie worked her way around the ground floor trying each station in turn. She loved videoing herself jump and then watching it back in slow motion.

I think her favourite bit was the wall that showed how babies grow and what size they are from 4 months onwards. She removed each one and commented on the weight of it, when she got the full term baby out she immediately dropped it on it’s head because it was so heavy!

Both kids milled their own flour to take home and use in banana bread later in the week.

Upstairs is the animation studio and an area filled with huge LEGO bricks and a little house that kids can tile the roof of and build walls for.

This section was very popular and where my two spent most of their time, wearing hard hats and fluorescent jackets.

My favourite part was the space area, where we pretended to be astronauts on a space walk and got to watch ourselves bobbing around in decreased gravity.

The clever thing about A-Bristol is the wristband everyone gets on admission. It has a barcode on and you can scan it any of the stations so you can re-watch the experiments when you get home.

Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (4)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (3) Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (5)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (6)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (7)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (8)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (10)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (9)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (11)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (12)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (13)

Eventually our rumbly tummies told us we should probably head off for some lunch, so I led the way to Za Za Bazaar, somewhere I’ve always fancied trying out.

We weren’t disappointed. The service was great, the food was phenomenal and there was so much to choose from. Even though there were lots of tables, you didn’t feel crowded and because they had food from all over the world, both kids got to find food that they loved.

I loved the way it was decorated, real care had gone into making the space look attractive, with ‘graffiti’ on the walls, lovely lighting, and well marked food islands, so you could find exactly what you were looking for quickly.

I was happy to see that kids under 5 ate for free and Annie was only charged half price for her food, so with drinks our lunch only came to around £33, a bargain.
Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (14)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (15)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (18)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (16)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (17)

After lunch we walked over to the Bristol Aquarium. It has quite a small footprint, but thanks to some ingenious floor layouts, it feels really large.

Some of the sections were dark so you could see what was in the tanks easily, but both kids were a bit freaked out by this and we didn’t spend as long in there as I’d have liked, I like watching the jelly fish floating around.

We made up for that speed by spending ages watching the turtles and in the underwater tunnel.

The turtles were ridiculously cute and swimming around so you got really close to them. There were 3 lined up on a log and 1 on the log in front, just sat, watching everyone watching them, it was hilarious, they looked like proper characters.

The underwater tunnel was a lovely length, and as it wasn’t busy we could spend as long as we wanted watching the fish and sharks zooming around overhead.

The other lovely thing about the aquarium were the plants. In some places we’ve been they use plastic foliage, but as far as I could tell it was all living plants in the Bristol Aquarium. Ez had his mind blown by seeing a banana tree in real life and I loved seeing the bougainvillea, one of my favourite plants (and plant names!).

Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (19)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (20)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (21)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (22)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (23)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (24)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (25)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (26)Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (28)

By this point in the afternoon both kids were exhausted so we shelved our plans of going ‘Shaun spotting’ for a later date. We did get to see the Life Aquatic one outside the aquarium which was gorgeous.

Our day out was wonderful. It was brilliant to return to a place from my youth and see it so well regenerated and feeling so complete.

At-Bristol was awesome, neither kiddo wanted to leave and I’m sure we’ll be back in the autumn to have another walk around.

Lunch at Za Za Bazaar was fabulous, much better quality than I’d hoped, tastefully decorated and such great value for a family lunch.

The Aquarium felt much larger than it actually is and the underwater tunnel was stunning. Also it didn’t have that ‘musty’ smell that lots of aquariums suffer from!

Both kiddos have been asking when we can go back to Bristol and I am very happy to tell them, next school holidays for sure.

Our day out at Bristol Harbour At-Bristol Aquarium Za Za Bazaar | Review visit Bristol | snowingindoors.com (29)

Disclosure: We were given entry to At-Bristol and the Aquarium free for the purposes of this review and received expenses to cover travel costs and lunch, however all opinions are my own.


Posted in category: Review, Tiny Adventures

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A Happy Sibling Relationship = A Happy Summer Holidays

21.08.15

The summer holidays are drawing to a close and even though they may not have gone entirely to plan, rubbish weather, my bad back, the car dying on us, it has been an amazing 5 weeks.

The thing that has really ‘made’ this holiday is the shift in Annie and Ezra’s relationship.

They’ve always been close, Ez adores Annie and she puts up with his hero worship and loves him to bits, but this summer has seen their relationship get even stronger.

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Despite spending all day every day together, they’ve had sleepovers in each other’s rooms 5 nights out of 7. They take it in turns to sleep on the floor, or sometimes top and tail it in Ez’s bed and then they read until they decide to turn out the lights.

Annie will make sure Ez has books and his favourite toys and then she’ll read to him, or they’ll talk about their day, Minecraft or what they want to do tomorrow.

They’ve even had sleepovers on nights when Annie has gone up to bed later than Ez. She will sneak into her room, give him a kiss and then read in bed silently.

When they wake up in the morning they’ll stay in bed and talk more or play until they’re ready to get up and start the day.

They’ve had sleepovers before, but normally I have to go up multiple times to tell them to be quiet, or solve an upset, and when the morning comes Annie retreats to her room for some time alone, but not any more.

The sleepovers aren’t the only sign that their relationship has changed, they choose to be in photos together, Annie loves to photobomb Ez too, a new things she’s started this summer. They also play together far more in the daytime with less arguing between them.

There are still times when I consider sticking them both on eBay because they won’t stop winding each other up, but, it does seem to happen less often.

I can only assume that Ez has finally reached the age where he can follow the rules to Annie’s games well enough to be allowed to join in, and his imagination is mature enough to add to the games and think up ones they can play together.

Whatever the reason, I’m so glad to see the pair of them happy to spend time together, they’ve made me a very proud Mama this summer holidays.
A Happy Sibling Relationship Happy Summer Holidays | snowingindoors.com (1)A Happy Sibling Relationship Happy Summer Holidays | snowingindoors.com (3)

Do you have any tips to help build strong and happy sibling relationships?
How well do your kiddos get on?

Any horror / funny stories to share?


Posted in category: Parenting, The Kiddos