AndSoWeSaw // The Snow Dragon

What better way to spend Christmas Eve Eve then heading to the Hippodrome to watch Tall Stories production of The Snow Dragon.

Our visit started with Family Fun in the Foyers and the Small loved creating his reindeer and candle holder (I may have loved it a little too much and am still covered in chalk paints), this certainly set off the festive feels on a damp Saturday afternoon.


















Show time quickly came around and before we knew it we were whisked into a world of woodland creatures...Billy the Goat and his friends Spike (hedgehog obvs!), and Rosie (the piglet),  getting ready for their New Years Eve (which is very much like our Human Christmas Eve)

The thing that has struck me most about the show (and all other children's theatre we have seen) is that the children never once questioned the characters; as the cast of 3 played multiple parts. With jokes for the adults and catchy songs throughout, the audience were part of the journey from the off and all were encouraged to sing along and help Billy answer some questions along the way. 

After the performance we had the chance to meet the cast and all the children loved showing off their best howls. the cast were so generous with their time and paid special attention talking to the children and asking them what their favourite parts of the show were. 

With a running time of 50 mins, the Small was starting to get fidgety right at the end. Recommended for ages 3+ it comes with a massive thumbs up from us (Me, Small, Grumpa and the Other Half aka: our photographer for the day) 

The show runs at the Hippodrome until January 7th and is a great way to spend some time away from the chaos of the Christmas celebrations. 















We were invited to watch the show in return for a review. As always the words and 
thoughts our my own.

BrumBlogmas // RED

I love red

It is my all time favourite colour

Just like my Auntie Rose (she isn't red, she just loves the colour too!)

There is something about the boldness of the colour that makes me feel like I can take on the world

Ok, maybe not the world, but it makes me smile and that's a good place to start.

My red purse is by far my most extravagant purchase of all time.

It is the single most expensive thing i have ever purchased that I did not need.

My sister made me do it! 

We were in New York way way back in 2006 ish (i think) and we 'popped in' to the Louis Vuitton shop. 

And there it was.

Calling me.

After 10 minutes of ooooooing we left.

How could i spend that amount of money on a purse.

For the first (and last) time ever I had disposable income.

We went back in.

I paid $555 

Isn't it ridiculous.

However I've done a little bit of maths.

Over the past 12 years this purse has cost me 7.89 pence per day.

I think that's what is called an investment.

That's what i'm telling myself anyway.

I have no intention of replacing it anytime soon, even if the stitching is starting to go and the leather is starting to wear.

I'm sure there are some people out there who would be horrified at the state of this luxury purchase. But I bought it to be used. 

Come on, tell me, what is the craziest thing you have splashed out on, that was just for you?

I promise I won't tell anyone. 

Bah Humbug // Top 10 Christmas Peaves

Now by no means am I a Scrooge McDuck, BUT, there are some things I just can't quite deal with at this time of year...

1: Early Doors: Christmas does not start on November 1st (December 1st is as early as it is allowed)


2: Advent Calender's: What happened to just having a chocolate one? (don't get me wrong I'd love 24 bottles of gin, but we've all gone a bit mad now)


3: The German Market (why do we pay £10 for tiny cups of hot wine and giant hot dogs?)


4: Panto (honestly, check out local theatre productions for the kids, way more magical and festive)


5: The need to please everyone. As soon as you have a kid it's game over, it becomes about how many visits you can squeeze in over a 48 hour period.


6: Gift buying. Please don't buy me anything from the boots 3 for 2. I hate bath stuff and they will be re gifted


7: Sprouts. Have never been cool, so why do we force feed them onto our loved ones?


8: Work Drinks. I don't drink (Well not enough to count) and  I don't really like spending 40 hours a week with you, so why oh why do i have to socialise with you


9: Food Shopping. The shops are closed for 24 hours! it is not (I repeat NOT) Armageddon. As long as you've got your loved ones with you who cares if you eat a full roast or a crisp sandwich for dinner


10:T.V. Oh terrible Xmas movie channel's and re runs and re boots and everything in between. Can we all just accept that the only Xmas film is Die Hard and just loop that for 25 days. 


Well that feels better now i have got that off my chest! 

What about you? I'm sure there's at least one thing that drives you mad?






How Many Santas...


How many Santas is too many Santas?

We are one week into December and with my small already having seen three Santas (only one of them was actually planned!), i’m starting to realise I actually need to be organised with what events we go to at this time of year.

This is the first year that the Small ‘gets it’. And the questions have not stopped since he figured out this magical time of the year (yes, that was about mid October. Joy).

Why don’t we have lights outside our house (we don't own any)
Is it Christmas tomorrow (no. Repeated for approximately 55 days)
Why don’t we have a tree up yet (because mummy and daddy are quite terrible, and before you arrived it didn't go up until the week before C day)

Thank goodness the Small is just too excited to have noticed he has seen so many red dressed beardy men, but next year I fear he will most certainly spot my error!

So, thinking about our many encountered Santas I reached out to a bunch of wonderful bloggers and posed the question how many Santa’s is too many Santa’s?

(I appreciate it sounds like a bad cracker joke)

The general consensus is just One Santa will do.

Frances - whingewhingewine

One, as close to Christmas as possible! Too confusing otherwise, not to mention expensive!

Christy -  welshmum

I'm just doing one grotto and I have it booked in for the 23rd December. I'm not the type to spend all of December being Christmassy - I like to pack it all into the last week at most

And when the kids start to question why….

Mine were OK seeing a couple Santa's over the festive season. However, as they got older they would question why they had to keep telling Santa what they wanted. I used to say that he was old and forgetful. Now we just visit one Santa to keep the magic alive


Definitely only one or you have to explain why they look different and get into the old ‘he must be one of Santa’s helpers as the REAL Santa is so busy at the North Pole’ discussion

Caroline - carterfamily4

Mine have always known that the ones we see in garden centres shopping centres are not the "real" Santa.....he's far too busy at the north pole but they help him out and send back to him what everyone wants.

Louise -  astrongcoffeetogo

It was my youngest who had to explain to my eldest that he had helpers. So now I’m happy with the fact that they know it will be a helper. Still only want to see one though.

And what about those children that require a little more quiet time…


One is too many here. My son, who is autistic, would find visiting too noisy and upsetting and he would notice he was not real. I think it keeps it more magical anyway


We'll end up seeing three, maybe four. We do a Sensory Santa session for my autistic daughter, but we're also going to the Snowdome and a Christmas party on 23rd. I think she'll see one at school too! Luckily, she's a bit clueless about it all, so I don't think she'll realise!


How about yourselves? Did the kids start to twig something was a bit fishy? Or did you manage to avert disaster!

Thanks for all the lovely contributions, and it has certainly made me think more about what next year should look like.

AndSoWeSaw // 'Me'

It is clear that we are now into the festive season with full abandonment and so what better way to perk up our festive spirit than a trip to our favourite performance space; MAC over in Cannon Hill Park


Last Saturday we were invited to come along and watch Little Angel Theatre’s production of Me. I knew we would be in for a great show, as last year we watched their production of The Bear; and any show that makes me cry with puppetry has to be worth checking out.


As soon as we walked into the performance space Small saw the icy mountains and a Penguin sitting and waiting for us all to arrive.

'Mummy, what is the Penguin doing?’
'Let's take a seat and see what happens Monkey'

Based on the book Me by Emma Dodd; we were very quickly taken into the world of a freshly hatched baby Penguin as they explored the world around them. With just a single performer on stage and accompanied by some beautiful music, we were drawn into the icy magic.


The most joyful thing about taking Small to the theatre is seeing his reactions (along with the other kids around us).. Lots of questions being asked, and gasps as Little One gets into a couple of scrapes along the way.


Just 40 minutes long, it is perfect for those with wiggly toes and a great way to begin this festive season.


As I mentioned earlier this is the second Little Angel Theatre production we have seen, and we were not disappointed.


'Me' is only on until the 30th of this month, so grab yourself some tickets and start your festive season the right way


Oh, and on Smalls Christmas list? He wants his own Little One to go on adventures with.


Whilst MAC invited us to watch the show, my thoughts are all my own (and of course the Small’s)

Please Stop

I joined Instagram a little over 18 months ago as an extension to my blog.
It is now my biggest platform and it is the one i love the most.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I have found a tribe of amazing women.
We all have one thing in common:

We are fierce.

Each one of us has a different background
Each one of us can educate and inform 
And all of us have a safe place to share
You hear week after week that someone has taken issue with

Instamums
Single mums
Working mums
Stay at home mums
The kind of trainers I wear
People in general

STOP IT
STOP IT NOW

At what point in your life did your brain stop listening and decide that it is OK to knock another human down.
A human you know nothing about.

How would you feel if someone came up to you in the street and said right to your face 
‘You are a terrible human being’
‘You are not good enough’
‘Your Insta life makes me sick’

How would you feel if your child, niece, nephew, best friend, sister, brother came home and said

‘Someone told me i was worthless’
‘Someone said i’m a bad mother/ father/ sister/ brother/ human’

COME ON

You do not have to like everyone
You do not have to have the same beliefs
Parenting ideals
Life goals
Taste in pizza toppings

This is the joy of being an individual and being fortunate enough to life in a democratic world. 

It saddens me to see people who I really admire being pulled to pieces on social media.

If you don’t like someone 
Scroll on by
Even better?
Stop following them

My feed is full of people and places I want to see, 
To feel happy and inspired 
People who I engage with
Next time you go to type something mean, think about what you would do if someone said that to you 

This world is tough enough 

Be Kinder 

#MakeMotherhoodDiverse

Hustle + Haul

Places to Poo Before you are 2

So if you haven't guessed by the title then this one is all about our delightful SmallHumans and some of the most random places you have found yourself and your child having a moment.

Ours......The Beach


Imagine the picture perfect scene, SmallHuman had his first experience of being in the sea and he was drying off in his poncho. As he stood up and walked towards us we saw he had left us (and everyone else) a beautiful pile on the beach! Thank goodness it was late in the evening and the end of the summer holidays

So now we have shared our moment it is over to some other lovely people who were happy to share their tales...

At Home:
Nicola from Mummy to Dex shares the most common place...
'The bath! Seems my little Dex does it every. single. time that I'm solo parenting! He also loves to try and pick it up as it floats past him while I shout 'Stop!' 'Get out of the bath!' and wail inconsolably'

Always important to find a quiet space 
'In the toy cupboard I thought she was quiet and playing hide and seek could poo - opens the cupboard and there she is covered!'  (cheers Lianne from AnkleBitersAdventures)

'In a wardrobe and this was me!' (love your honest sharing Kate!) 

The classic stop and drop: 'Behind the sofa. It was the first and only time that my wee one chose somewhere other than the toilet. I spent all afternoon scrubbing the carpet' www.mebecomingmum.co.uk

'Up the garden...and then announce it for the neighbours ' Emma of www.readyfreddiego.com

Friends/ Family (and your other half's boss!):
DevonMama shares: On your parent. Lovely moment midway through our newborn shoot! 

and another...

All over your big brother mid way through a photo shoot and then all over the photographer as she try's to help 🙈http://www.thestrawberryfountain.com

My absolute favourite tale... On Daddy's regional manager, the first time you met her 


On your baby brother  www.thriftymum.com

Out & About:
On your Nana at your Christening (the leaky sort of go everywhere poo obviously). Http://www.countingtoten.co.uk/

Nicole shares her tale...My oldest pooped in her shape sorter bucket at my in laws' place when she was potty training. My husband had the unfortunate experience of finding it! 

Another winner for the beach
Omg my daughter once did a poo on the beach at Scarborough. We were walking towards the sea and she was behind us. We turned around to find her squatting down on the sand doing her business! We were so embarrassed and didn't know what to do so we buried it! 
Www.cossinsmusicschool.co.uk/blog 

And Finally. 
Most unusual...
In the box of exam papers mammy is supposed to correct' courtesy of www.themammafairy.com

Can you add to this brilliant list? I can't wait till these kids are older and we get to tell them these brilliant memories.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this it's nice to know we are not alone! 






Potty Mouth

We have come out the other side of the dreaded toilet training, and so I thought I'd have a bit of a rant on the olde YouTube. 



AndSoWeAte // Siamais

It is not often that one is invited to a blind bloggers dinner date. And so when this opportunity popped up I jumped at the chance.


My blind date, was not so after all; as I was matched up with the always delightful Bryoney . And so we met in town and walked up to Brindley Place in the glorious sunshine to find our venue.


We arrived into Siamais and I was immediately struck by the decor. Umbrellas and birdcages hanging from the ceiling (and I may have also got some strange looks taking the below snap in the ladies later in the evening!)
Anyway, we were taken over to our table and given some time to mull over the cocktail menu, which was full of so many wonderful creations, it took us quite a while to decide.


Final first choices were a Rose Mare for me (Gin, Mango and Rosemary) and an Aperol Spritz for my dinner date.




After much deliberation we also finally decided on our meals. I went safe for my starter with a ‘Golden Parcel’ which was minced prawns and chicken wrapped in rice paper and then fried. They were deliciously crispy and the filling was packed with flavour. I may have had food envy when Bryoney’s Soft Shell Crab arrived and wish I had been a little braver


For my main I was a bit braver and broke out of my comfort zone and went for the Char-grilled Lamb which was served with a Thai Preserved Salad and it was so good I am dreaming about it again. The lamb steak was grilled to perfection and so tender to eat (which is no easy feat!) and who knew that a pickled salad would be the perfect accompaniment. The freshness cut straight through the char of the lamb and also went really well with the cheeky coconut rice I ordered too!




Starters and mains demolished we couldn’t possibly have room for pudding could we? But of course. It is well known that pudding has a separate place in your stomach so no matter how full you are it will always fit!  I did myself proud and went for the green apple sorbet which was the perfect ending for me after 2 rich courses.


Throughout our meal the service was fantastic. I often find that as Brits we can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to hospitality service, but at Siamais the team were warm, welcoming and we were made to feel at home.


There were a variety of diners in on our visit from single diners (presumably on business trips),to groups and couples and everyone received the same level of service.


I will most certainly be back as a diner and even just to pop in for a few drinks on a night out. If you fancy something a little different go check them out next time you're in Brindley Place


I was really lucky to be fed and watered for free. However the thoughts and words here are entirely my own.

AndSoWeWent // Birmingham Bullring Haul

AndSoWeSaw // Sarah & Duck

I reckon the best place to start with this post, is to point you to another I wrote HERE, that will explain our love of this show and excitement at going to watch it.

I booked tickets for me and the small human before Christmas
Best friend and ‘NotOurSonsDad’ wanted to come along
That makes 3
Sister wanted a slice of the action
Booking Number 3
Brother In Law was quite upset he wasn’t automatically invited
Booking Number 4
4 Adults
1 Child
See, this is a good show and all the cool kids are going to be there!

6 Months Later

A beautiful Sunny Sunday Afternoon and we arrive at MAC Birmingham.
Running late, as per, we bundle on in with 3 minutes to spare, to see that we were ok as the doors had just opened (phew!)

We hadn’t told Small Human we were off to see Sarah & Duck and when he saw the pictures his beautiful face lit up like it was Christmas

In we go and into our seats we sit

The lights go down and the show begins.

The world in front of us is a wonderful blend of puppetry, storytelling and music. What always amazes me with shows like this is the children never once question why the grown ups are moving the characters around, they 100% believe and use their imagination to it’s full capacity.

The story is set around Scarf Lady. She has lost her birthday and so Sarah decides to throw her a surprise  ‘birthday-soiree-do’ with the help of her friends, and so we are whisked into a world of magic and fun for around 50 minutes. I have read reviews from ‘proper papers’ who said this wasn’t original and wouldn’t capture the audience. I beg to differ (isn’t that what reviews are all about?). Watching his face light up everytime a character popped up, or seeing him get worried when it looks like the party might have to be cancelled because it’s ‘too windy’ was just wonderful and a memory for me I will keep. Looking around me during the show, everyone else appeared to be just as immersed into the world as we were.


The show continues to tour for a while longer so if your kids love the show, then this mum (and fan) recommends you go check it out.

If you are ever looking for something different to do with the kids, check out the MAC programmes as they have so much going on all year round for people big and small (plus we get to support the venue as they recently lost 70% of their funding).

I must add as a short and final note; during our performance there was a slight prop mishap in the first 10 minutes so the show had to be paused while they did a quick Health and Safety check. The cast and team at MAC were great and it didn’t dampen our experience of the show.