Sunday, 4 December 2016

Hogwarts in the Snow Haul | Warner Brothers Studio Tour


On the 30th of November was a dream come true for me thanks to my parents, Liam and my Auntie too. I went to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, a tour of one of my favourite film series, Harry Potter, and to top it off we went during the Christmas period, known as Hogwarts in the Snow.

I was lucky enough to get some spending money from my Auntie so I was able to treat myself to some goodies and I just wanted to share what I picked up while I was there.

I brought a souvenir Butterbeer in the backlot which is about half way through the tour, the souvenir Butterbeer comes with a tankard or stein which you can take home with you. £6.95

In the gift shop there was so much to me buy but I managed to restrain myself.

The first thing I picked up was the chocolate frog, this is in the authentic film packaging and comes with a famous witch or wizard card, I received Helga Hufflepuff. £8.95

I also picked up a Hufflepuff scarf as on Pottermore I was sorted into the Hufflepuff house and wanted to be true to that, lol, its sounds a little sad now I look back but hey. £26.95

Lastly I had looked online before we went to see what they had and I noticed a Hogwarts in the Snow charm and charm bracelet. these you had to buy separately but they were very reasonably priced. £4.95 each.

I had the best day and I can't wait to get my main post written but I have so much to tell you, but in the mean time here is my vlog from my day there.

 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Mummy + Me • November 2016


Wow! We are so close to the end of 2016, just one month left and here I am writing my Mummy and Me for November. We have have a lovely month we a couple of little outings and everything kind of falling into place.

We attended our local Christmas light switch on a couple of weeks back where Lilly also saw Santa, she wasn't too sure of him and just did a tiny wave, she also went into a human snow globe which she was super excited for. Its an inflatable dome with fake snow in and a festive picture at the back, she loved jumping around and throwing the snow around too.

I finally feel like I have gotten there with sorting the house and bills out for the next month which has taken a stress off of my shoulders, the only thing is that I still have my car up for sale but hopefully soon it will go so I can get a new one. I luckily have amazing friends who take me and Lil's to nursery in the morning and Liam takes me to pick her up.

You can certainly tell it's November with the weather this month, so many wet, cold or windy days especially last week with Storm Angus hitting at full force, We are right on the South East coast and the wind was dreadful. We lost our wheelie bins but luckily nothing else this time. Did the storm affect you at all?

I hope you have had a wonderful November and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

x

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Friday, 25 November 2016

My Christmas Cake • Recipe & Method




I have created a 6 inch round Christmas cake for 2016 which is smaller than normal but this time it is just for me and Lilly. I had a few problems on the way like dropping the cake for one, luckily I managed to scoop it back ito the tin and cook for a bit longer to set it.

Here is the recipe and method for you all, it's not to late to make one for yourself.


Recipe

700g Mixed fruit
25g Ground Almonds
50g Glace cherries
150g Plain flour
1/2 tsp Mixed spice
150g Butter
150g Brown sugar
1/2 Lemon rind and juice
3 Standard eggs
100ml Rum/Brandy/Whisky

Method

1 Preheat oven to 200oc/gas mark 6
2 Line sides and bottom of cake tin with double parchment paper
3 Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
4 Beat in eggs one at a time, if starts to curdle add a little flour
5 Add rind and juice of the lemon
6 Mix flour, ground almonds and spice together
7 Toss mixed fruit and cherries into flour
8 Add fruit and flour to other ingredients a little at a time, add half the rum ( or soak the fruit in alcohol overnight) Save some to feed the cake if haven't already soaked.
9 Place mixture into the prepared tin and press down to make it even. 
10 Tie brown paper around the outside of the tin so its about 2 inches above tin
11 Place on baking tray and place in the middle of the oven
12 Turn oven down to gas 160oc/ mark 3 for 1 hour
13 Turn oven down to 150oc/ gas mark 2 for the next hour
14 Turn oven down to 140oc/ gas mark 1 for the final hour
15 Check mixture every 30 mins after until a skewer come outs clean
16 Feed for next week unless you have soaked the fruit
17 Marzipan and Ice and decorate

If you do create this I would love to see it :)

Saturday, 19 November 2016

I can't play with this.....it's for boys

Lately Lilly has been coming out with the idea that she can't play with something because 'It's for boys' and this really gets to me.

She has always loved her toy cars and we have always let her play with them, it keeps her entertained for ages but lately she has been reluctant to play with them. We then asked her why this was and she told us that she didn't want to play with them as they are boys toys.....I was so shocked and upset for her to think that.

Another time she has mentioned this is after nursery one day. She had been playing with babies (as usual) and told me that one of the boys wanted to play with them too, she told me that she didn't think that he should of because he was a boy and dolls are for girls.

both times I have explained to her that she mustn't think like this, I hate gender prejudice and I didn't think that I would have to deal with explaining to her at such a young age (only 4). I will always let my daughter play with toys that she wishes and I will always explain to her that toys are not specific to a gender as in my eyes they need to learn to be who they want to be.

Am I wrong to do so?

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A Day at Port Lympne










Back in September we visited Port Lympne Animal Reserve in Kent for Lilly's 4th birthday and wanted to share our day with you all.

We booked the tickets online the day before as it was cheaper to do so but for the three of us it was still £58.67 which to me is quite expensive, that does include the safari truck adventure to the African experience. 

On her birthday we wanted to make a full day of it so we left at about 9am to get there for  close to 10am which we did.

When you first arrive you have to cross a bridge across the road to the main entrance where you walk past a small baboon enclosure with one in, he seemed very happy to be sitting there watching people come in and out and Lilly got very excited to see him. 

Once in the park there are two enclosures which we thought were closed but at the end we found out that Liam's favourite animal was hiding in there.....but we'll come back to that. 

We sorted everything out and did the toilet business, Lil's had a play in the play park there and then we decided to walk down between the Rhino enclosure and the Guinea Baboons enclosure, sadly the Rhino's were the other side but we still got a good look at them. The Baboons were so cute and not at all phased but Lilly's excited noises.  

We headed towards the 'Primate Trail' which included the Palace of the Apes, Gorilla Garden, Tapir Hill and the Money Walk. quite a few enclosures seemed to be unoccupied or the animals were well hidden but we did get to see the most beautiful Gorilla who was enjoying playing with the straw in his enclosure. He kept picking bits up and blowing it off then all of a sudden noticed us and stopped. The palace of the Apes was quite quiet but It may have been because it was quite warm, there were a few in the inside area looking for food or just chilling, one was at the bottom of there slide just looking round. The Tapir's were well hidden and we didn't managed to see any.

We then headed to the Dinosaur Forrest which Lil's was most excited about, this is part of the reason that we picked this place and she loves dinosaurs. I must admit it was a lot better than we expected and lot longer to go around too. Lilly wanted to sat hello to every single one of them as we went round and we spent a good 30 minutes going around. It goes into a full loop back to the entrance. The loop went round through the years from the Triassic period to the time of the Mammoth.

After then we visited the Carnivore Territory where the Fossa's, Cheetahs, Fishing cats, Pallas cats and the Lynx live. Again a couple were quite hard to find but we did managed to see them all. The Cheetah was very chilled looking through the wire and the Fossa's were beautiful. We then stopped at a play park and had some lunch too. There was a Tiger enclosure there but we didn't see anything in there. 

We headed back up to 'Base Camp' to wait for the Safari truck which was already there. We went in the trailer at the back as the truck in front was full. The Safari started and we passed the Rhino's and Warty pigs while we headed to the Asian Experience. We saw a few animals in there including a fair few deer's but a lot were hidden under the tree's for shade. We then headed into the African Experience which was incredible. We saw lots of Giraffes through the tree's and even got a glimpse at the newest arrival which was born back in July. We also managed to get a glimpse of some Zebras, Wildebeest and so African painted dogs. 

There is a short stop at the top of the experience at the Discovery Zone. At this point there are some Meerkats and a reptile centre which ended in the gift shop for that area. There were some beautiful snakes in the reptile centre but Lilly was not keen at all. We then headed out and Lil's played at the play park for a bit before heading back to the truck. On the way back we were stopped twice by animals being in the way, the first were two deer drinking and the second was a large Rhino in the road, he was casually walking towards us then turned onto the grass. 

At the end of the truck ride we headed back towards the start, this is where we checked the enclosures that we thought were closed only to find one was the home of  some snow leopards which are Liam's favourite animals, one was up in a tree watching the world go by while the other walked straight towards us. The second enclosure had two beautiful female Lion's in, they were both looking after a lump of meat and lying down to keep cool. 

We were just about to go into the gift shop when I noticed a sign saying Wolves and Tigers were just up ahead. I was super excited about so we headed that way. The first animals we saw were the Wolves, the enclosure are right next to a small camp site with some small wooden hits to sleep in. I would love to stay there so close to the animals. We finally found the Tiger enclosure which had the most beautiful Tigers lying in a slightly sunny part. We were stood there a couple of minutes when all of a sudden he raised his head more and turned towards us, it was incredible, a great ended.

The gift shop at the end is well stocked and Lilly found exactly what she wanted to, and luckily it wasn't too expensive.

Will we go again, probably not. I am not saying it is bad or anything but I personally prefer a more zoo like place with the animals being more interactive with the people visiting. But we do understand that this is a reserve so it is more for conserving the animals as well as educational for everyone it just wasn't 100% the day we had thought about. It was a great day out and we didn't leave until 4pm so it was a full day indeed. Lilly seemed to enjoy herself and we have some lovely memories from her birthday and we got to see some incredible animals. 



Friday, 11 November 2016

We Will Remember

We will remember....

This time of year is so important to me, I not only pay my respect to the fallen and remember.

I will remember the stories of my Grandad fighting and being in a prisoner of war camp which to me is heartbreaking.

I will remember the photos and stories my Dad has shared with me from his time as a soldier.

I will remember the news stories from when I was younger with all the soldiers in Iraq and the terrifying scent shown.

Each and everyone one of them in my eyes is a hero, they deserve respect, remembrance and a huge thank you for what they have done.

So today, when the clock struck 11am I served two minutes silence in respect to each and every soldier from past present and future.




Friday, 4 November 2016

Currently Reading | Billy and Me & Christmas with Billy and Me


I am getting through the books this year which is so rare for me, I am usually a really slow reader but it seems to help with my anxiety at night.

This currently reading I have two books to show, Billy and Me and Christmas with Billy and Me, I thought that it will take me at least a month to read the main book which will put us into December to coincide with Christmas. I have been holding out to read this book for month because of this reason.

I have only just started reading this story so can't really tell you a lot about the story or anything,

This was Giovanna Fletcher's first novel of many. I love how she writes and am looking forward to getting to know a new set of chanracters.

Originally Published: May 23rd 2013, November 6th 2014
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Followed by: Christmas with Billy and Me, Always with Love
Genre: Romance