Rollercoaster Mum: May 2013

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Macro Monday

Look what I found in our porch one morning (clambering over the scooters!) A May Bug or Cockchafer - I think it is a male one as it has seven 'leaves' on his antennae (as opposed to the female's six) They are funny things - large but harmless and very bumbling if you see them at night.

May Bug
Check out the seven 'leaves' on his antennae

May Bug
He looks almost friendly!
MM3

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Silent Sunday

Costa Coffee

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Year in Pictures - Week 21

Phew, this week's been a busy one. They are all busy but this has been a whirlwind. It started with the school fair last weekend where thankfully the sun came out and stacks of money was made. It was followed by shoe shopping and a visit to a ship. At school it was 'walk to school week'(even in the rain), there was sports afternoon, a frustrating visit to the dentist, more frantic shoe shopping, friends for tea and a car to be serviced. Finally it all culminated in the Star Award for Little Miss Sunshine this afternoon and that could only mean one thing - cake!

Fundraising ideas - Human Fruit Machine
The Human Fruit Machine at the School Summer Fair

Historic Ships
The rigging on HMS Warrior (declared not as good as HMS Victory)

!school sports day
Sports afternoon - not paying attention in the sack race!

Walk (or scoot) to school week - we usually walk anyway but made an extra effort this week - even in the rain.
kids shoes
New shoes!!!

cake
Sooo happy about getting the Star Award at school :)
Linking up with those 365 photo peeps over at The Boy and Me:

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Macro Monday - all about herbs

I love herbs, I'm not sure why you wouldn't really - the glorious smell, fantastic foliage and some even have pretty flowers which the bees all love. We have recently built a new herb bed just outside the back door in an awkward corner of the patio which I have great hopes for as it is a lovely sunny spot and it's fab to be able to just open the door and pick some herbs when you need them for cooking. So far we have thyme, sage and parsley in it along with basil and coriander seedlings just waiting to be planted. Elsewhere in the garden we have bronze fennel, mint, chive, golden marjoram and a rather poorly rosemary.

I thought I would double up this week, linking with Macro Monday and Mammasurus's fab new linky on how does your garden grow - so not all the pics are macros today.

herb border
The new herb bed (complete with umbrella also planted in it!)

Fennel
Bronze Fennel

chives
The flower head on a chive

garden mint
Mint growing in an old strawberry pot

Golden Oregano
Golden Marjoram (or Oregano)  - we have an enormous clump of this that comes back year after year and later has pretty blue/purple flowers that the bees adore.
parsley
Curly leaf parsley
thyme leaf
Golden thyme

Sage leaf
Variegated sage
chive flowers
A forest of chives

MM3


Mammasaurus - How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Silent Sunday

dandelion seed head

Saturday, 18 May 2013

A Year in Pictures - Week 20

It's been a fairly ordinary week - dominated by the relentless routine of life, spiced up with a dash of lying (don't ask) and a pinch of pride as both girls are in the school Achievers Assembly this week - much to the joy of Little Miss Sunshine in particular who couldn't stop smiling at the thought of her first 'cerkificate'.

Just look at that smile - she was grinning like a Cheshire Cat!
One of the huge joys for me this week was realising how green everything looks all of a sudden, despite some pretty dodgy weather the countryside looks like someone has taken to it with enormous amounts of green paint - glorious when the sun does deign to shine.

English countryside
Look at those green fields
Loved this card too that Little Miss Sunshine did for the Knights and Princesses party she went to last Sunday!

childs drawing
Check out the sword!
Linking up with the Boy and Me for lots more pictures of May 2013.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A little bit of Flower Magic!

We have great hopes for the garden this year - mind you don't we do that every year? Last year was soo cold and wet though that nothing much happened and we got thoroughly disheartened but with gardening every year brings new hope and you pick yourself up and have another go. I think it was Alan Titchmarsh who said that gardeners are a always a hopeful, optimistic bunch - you have to be really.

Rollercoaster Dad is in charge of the veggie patch and although I do get involved that bit is his thing. So far the rhubarb is doing spectacularly in the old bath, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, runner beans and peas have been planted and we are nurturing a couple of courgette plants and some tomato plants that were planted earlier in the year. The strawberry plants have started to flower and the gooseberries and currants are looking good too.

The revamped flower bed - just waiting for the plants to grow!
Now to the flowers - this is my bit as Rollercoaster Dad is not really that interested in these. We have two main 'flower' beds - neither of them huge. One has been a bit of a disaster the last few years so this year I am determined to get it going again so we have lots of pretty flowers in the summer. Looking at pictures from a few years ago when Little Miss Star was a toddler it did look gorgeous for at least one summer (until the builders doing our extension decided it was a great place to dump their rubble - hmmmm) so it would be nice to think it could again. Last week I splashed out on a few new perennial plants from the local garden centre and these have now been planted, bark chips put down and plants I didn't want taken out.

That bare patch that needs filling with flowers
The other has been quite successful and has become reasonably established with perennials like Phlox and Geraniums but it does have one rather bare patch without any plants. I wasn't quite sure what to put there so I was very pleased and rather intrigued to be sent some Flower Magic from Miracle Gro recently. This seemed ideal for filling that gap. Now what, you might ask, is Flower Magic?

Miracle-Gro Flower Magic Multi-coloured Mix 1kg shaker jar
The pack I got came in a nice pink colour and promises all sorts of wonderful flowers such as Marigolds, Californian poppies , Candytuft and Cosmos amongst up to 29 other varieties. The pack contains flower seeds, feed and coir all in one and you simply shake the pack,sprinkle the contents evenly over the soil surface, water it gently and leave, just watering if it drys out. There is even a handy indicator as to when it has got too dry as when it turns a lighter brown it needs watering. It really couldn't be simpler. You can continue to sow with it up 'til mid June so it's still worth trying it out if you have some areas that need cover - especially with our late spring this year.I sprinkled my magic about two weeks ago and as promised the first few shoots are now beginning to appear. According to the packet I might expect flowers in about 4 weeks so here's hoping. I'm certainly impressed as to how easy it is as although we grow our veggies from seed I have rarely used seed for flowers. If you want to have a go the 1kg packs cover up to 4 metres square and cost around £11-£14. I'll let you know how the magic works in a few weeks!

Miracle Gro Flower Magic
Not the clearest photo but you can just see a few shoots of those magic flowers showing through!
Disclosure: I was sent a pack of Flower Magic for the purposes of review but all words and opinions are my own.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Macro Monday - Water droplets (and a sneaky bee!)

This week we have gone from this:

Gratuitous bee - because I love them and the the sunshine!
to this - sun to rain - I hated losing the sun but taking photos of water droplets was cool!

Alchemilla Mollis

Achemilla Mollis

water droplets


Acer


MM3

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Silent Sunday

sunshine

A Year in Pictures - Week 19

For a short (working) week this has seemed like a really loooong week - why is it that a week after a holiday seems like that? I can't even remember what did happen last weekend - oh yes it was sunny and we had BBQ's. I think we even ventured out - to a great free local event called Grow For It - at one of the local posh schools. Alan Titchmarsh was wandering around and the kids got to pond dip, make bird feeders and collages, paint flower pots and plant things, amongst others. The rest of the week was mainly about rashes and Rainbows - both featured by Little Miss Sunshine. The sun slowly disappeared - the wind and rain came back with a vengeance and Little Miss Star featured in Achiever's Assembly (again!)

blue sky
Blue skies - ahhh!

Rainbow uniform
My rather rashy and proud little Rainbow off to her first ever Rainbows meeting

municipal planting
Not normally a fan of municipal planting but these tulips looked so amazing

spring blossom
Candy pink blossom - who can resist that pink fluffiness!

Linking up as always with Th Boy and Me and all the awesome photographers on the 365....

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Making Lunches fun with a bit of Monkey Business

The postman rat-a-tat-tatted on our door last Saturday - always fun as that means a parcel - yay! I was a bit non-plussed by this particular package until I remembered that I had said I would review some of Walkers Baked Hoops and Crosses - their new crispy snacks.
What's in there then?
The rather exciting looking box was fallen on immediately by the girls who wanted to know what it was all about - the intriguing hole in the top leaving us guessing. There were squeals of delight from Little Miss Sunshine when she found a toy monkey holding a bag of crisps inside. Much undignified monkey business followed as they fought over said packet of crisps.

Awww it's a monkey -and crisps!!
The packet we were sent was Roast Beef flavour and we all thought they were very tasty, light and crsipy. The girls in particular fell on them with great delight - although to be honest I've rarely known them turn down a crisp as they are very much treats in the Rollercoaster House. They would probably have enjoyed all the flavours - there is also Prawn Cocktail and Salt and Vinegar.

Yummy!
The Hoops and Crosses are fun (although I'm not sure I really need to encourage my kids to play with their food!) The relative healthiness is obviously a good thing- they are 56% wholegrain with no artificial colours or preservatives and only 85 calories per bag (I think that's good but I don't tend to take too much notice of calories!) The wholegrain thing is more of a biggy I think - we always have brown bread and my kids get plenty but apparently 27% of kids don't get any - nada, none at all - that's quite shocking so Walkers Hoops and Crosses will give you some in a packet of crisps- gotta be good for some. I would buy them again and the girls would be delighted to get a packet in their lunchbox as their Friday treat and I would be happy to put them in my lunchbox too!

And as for the monkey - she has been named Martha the Monkey (don't forget the the or you will be in trouble) and has been added to Little Miss Sunshine's forever growing menagerie!
 Martha the Monkey
Discaimer - This is a sponsored post and I was sent the marketing pack for review. All words and opinions are my own.
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