Friday, 30 September 2011

Because I'm (clearly not) Worth It

The unseasonably warm weather has presented a dilemma for those of us of pasty leggage who had believed that we were safe for another year.

Day 1 I went for the denial tactic - boots and tights - and almost expired from heat exhaustion. Day 2 - jeans and Converse...not an awful lot better.

Then yesterday morning I chanced upon a can of L'Oreal spray tan in the bathroom cabinet and figured this was a sign from above that I should dare to bare like the rest.

'Streak free' proclaimed the can. What could possibly go wrong?

I sprayed, according to the instructions. I dried as it told me to dry. My legs were still white enough to be seen from space so out came the long trousers again and a jolly day was passed with family and friends. Until...

Bedtime. Removal of trousers. Discovery that I had turned into a (mutant) zebra. Much hyperventilation, panic and scrubbing. To no avail.

(I offer only a small example of the horror - there is only so much leg I can expose on the world wide web under any circumstance)

Realising I had to take the girl swimming within hours I turned to Twitter for advice...which ranged from helpless laughter to the suggestion I buy a burkini.

The lack of late-night burkini shops in North London left me no option but to go for the only other advice from the Twitterati: lemon juice.

Now, in the cold light of day I am able to report back.

- I still look like a zebra.

- I smell like a pancake.

- I am being attacked by wasps.

- The 3yo has just seen the stripes and recoiled in horror.

- I have run out of time and options.

Don't suppose anyone has a wetsuit I can borrow?

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Curly Girlie Review Spot (No 1)

As the girl has been asked for her opinion on a number of things of late she, er, we have decided she should have her own guest spot on the blog to add her two pen'orth whenever the opportunity arises.

And so here, for your delectation, is the inaugural Curly Girlie Review post.

NB: she talks, I type. She hasn't quite mastered a qwerty keyboard yet - nor indeed the letters q, w and y...

Note from mum

My name is Cari and I am a Lakeland-a-holic. Whether it's my inner baker or my obsession with what OH refers to as 'kitchen porn' I cannot say - but it definitely tops the table of my favourite shops on the basis that a) it sells soup bags b) you don't ever have to try anything on and c) it's full of so many things I had no idea I ever needed. But oh I do need all of them.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview of the Christmas range (my list is long - very long) and to get a chance to try out some of the goodies for myself. The review for the fabby ice-cream maker will follow as soon as I've squeezed into the dress for my brother's wedding and can gorge on dairy desserts with gay abandon. So first up, the rather healthier Zoku 'Quick Pop' maker (RRP £34.99)

The core unit goes into the freezer for at least 24 hours before you want to use it. You then pour whatever juices (etc) you like into the slots and seven minutes later - hey presto, lollies. The three three year-olds who were trying this out fancied stripes - so stripes they got (simply pour in one colour leave for seven mins, pour on the next and so on)

The girl's verdict

First we put the sticks in and then mummy poured in the juice. It was a bit messy.

You had to put an orange handle on the end of the stick and turn it to make the lolly come out. It was a bit tricky so mummy had to help.

And then we had stripy lollies. Scrumptious. Can I have another one?

Editor's Note

The kids loved this, the mums had quite a lot of fun too. Someone with a steadier hand than me may not have made quite so much mess pouring the juices in - I found it a bit tricky to gauge how much I'd put into each slot but that's not a big deal unless you want every one to be exactly equal (in which case may be worth measuring the juices out first rather than sloshing them in and hoping for the best). We used orange, apple and cranberry but the possibilities are endless (tho low sugar drinks don't freeze well)

Screwing the orange handle round to loosen each lolly was easy enough for the grown ups but the kids struggled with it - although they were content enough just to see the results and get their hands on them as soon as possible. You could be a lot more adventurous and add chopped fruit etc as shown on the box - but we were all happy with the stripes.

One mum questioned whether she'd splash out when she could just make lollies in a regular freezer container - but the joy of this is not simply the end result - but the fact that you achieve it so quickly. Even the most impatient of small children can hang on for seven minutes and the instant ice was what we all liked best. You can make up to 12 lollies (ie three loads) before you have to refreeze so there are plenty for everyone.

I'd probably class this in the same way as something like a chocolate fountain (which retails for around the same price) - not something you're going to use every day but great fun when you do get it out of the cupboard and perfect for a treat.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Silent Sunday (25th September)

One picture. No words. My week

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Ten Years Ago Tonight

Ten years ago tonight I was saying goodbye to my brother in North Carolina and boarding a plane bound for London.

Ten years ago tonight I was flying over Manhattan when the plane encountered unexpected turbulence and the pilot told us to take our minds off it by looking out of the window to see "the magnificent sight of the twin towers".

Ten years ago tomorrow I finally arrived back at my flat and called my brother to say I was safely home but we'd had quite a lot of turbulence (I hate flying with a passion and bouncing around really doesn't help any).

Ten years ago tomorrow my brother replied "you better switch on the TV". So I did. And like millions of other people across the world sat and watched in horror for hours without moving.

Never have the words "there but for the grace of god" had more resonance.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Little Makeover

It's becoming increasingly clear that I am a hopeless case.

Have I remembered to put on the fabulous new mascara? Um...nope

Is my hair doing anything that I try to make it do? It is not. The dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards look is entirely unintentional

Can I walk in heels over an inch high? Alas no - if it's not Converse I've had it.

So this week I have focussed my attentions on making the blog look pretty instead on the basis that it doesn't involve trying anything on or standing in front of a mirror.

Thank you lovely Alex for your technical wizardry.

And I hope you like it!