Why Are There Painted Rocks All Over the Place? Love On The Rocks!

A few days ago my daughter was walking home from school when a rock tucked to side of the path caught her eye.

It was a medium sized rock which had been painted with a figure and the words BE HAPPY on one side. On the other side it said LOVE ON THE ROCKS PETERBOROUGH. KEEP OR REHIDE.

love rocks peterborough

We had to find out what was going on so I of course opened social media and there was indeed a page created on Facebook called Love On The Rocks Peterborough. 

What Is It?

The rocks were a project which began in America 6 months after the tragic deaths of 2 little girls named Abigail and Anna who were hit by a car outside their home. They and their family had completed a project for their parents wedding where they had decorated rocks to give to guests and some for guests to write messages on for them to gift back to the family. You can learn more about that here

The idea is that the rocks are painted and hidden in public places for strangers to find. When you find a painted rock you can take a photo and then choose to either keep it or re hide for someone else to find.

Can I Join In? 

Yes! The more the merrier. I think it is a great way to spend family time together and all you need is some large stones, some paint and a little time. 

How Can I Decorate My Rocks?

The beauty of this project is that you are limited only by your imagination. I would probably recommend keeping your design family friendly because there are a lot of children hunting for the rocks but aside from that, there are no limits!

You can check out this Pinterest board for some great ideas and don’t forget to add your local facebook group name to the back so that photos can be shared!

You don’t need to buy expensive paints, any cheap acrylic or even nail varnish will do. If you want to protect your painting you can buy a clear varnish from a DIY store. I would recommend the use of a sharpie for any finer detail. 

Why Am I Taking Part? 

I really love the idea of this project. As well as being good exercise, something we can do together and a great way to use up our old craft supplies I like the sentiment. Each stone is painted with care and will bring happiness to a stranger. You don’t really benefit from it personally other than knowing that you have sent a smile out into the world. I like the message that sends and I think anything which might add to a sense of community in 2017 has got to be a good thing!

If anyone wants me this weekend I will be mostly painting rocks! 

Mokuru Fidget Desk Toy – review and giveaway

WITH THE FIDGET SPINNER I WAS LATE TO THE GAME 

Poor Bess didn’t tell me she wanted one so I assumed she didn’t. First rule of parenting a tween? Assume nothing.

With this in mind, when we were given the opportunity to review the next big thing in the fidget toy universe we would have been utter fools to resist.

At first glance this piece of beechwood looks like the handle from a skipping rope (it still looks like this after a few glances to be honest) but it is so much more!

The Mokuru arrives with no instructions. We had absolutely no idea what we were meant to do with it other than to “flip it”.
mokuru Fidget Desk Toy

It seemed like a good idea

I thought it would be fun to see if we could figure out this thing without going online. Our method was to (with some force) kind of flip it over and throw the Mokuru down onto the breakfast bar. 5 minutes in and I concluded that we needed some help before we started taking chunks out of the kitchen.

You tube saved the day

So it turns out that Mokuru is already pretty popular. There are loads of people showing off their skills online. We picked a vid and 2 minutes later we were having a go for ourselves.

We were overthinking it if anything. You kind of just gently push it over and it flips itself. Some kind of magic science not meant to be understood by the likes of me but needless to say it was not long before both Bess and I were hooked. It did admittedly bring out our competitive streak but we were soon keeping the Mokuru flipping between each other for ages! The great thing about this toy is that you really do get better every time you pick it up.

WIN!

We have 2 Mokuru fidget toys to give away. To enter just follow the instructions in the form below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

1. The prize consists of 2 Mokuru Fidget Sticks. There will be two winners who will each receive one Mokuru fidget Stick. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
2. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over.
3. Closing date for entries is 12:00am on 30th September 2017
4. Mokuru stick may come in a variety of different colours
5. The winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries
6. The winners will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen
7. The winner’s name will be available on request
8. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address
9. Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

 

Middletons Steakhouse & Grill Peterborough

Despite being born in Peterborough and having lived here for 31 of my 35 years I didn’t know that the walk through from Bridge Street to the back of the town hall has a name. It does, it’s called St Peters Arcade – and that is where you will find Middletons Steakhouse & Grill.

tables and chair steakhouse

Middletons isn’t just any old restaurant

All of the meat served here comes from their own butchery based in Norfolk. Middletons is a large 230 seater restaurant set over 2 floors with good disabled access and stylish decor. I absolutely love steak (who doesn’t?) so when we received an invitation to come along to one of their preview nights, how could we resist?

seating at middletons

So much choice

We were seated quickly by Shona and John came to introduce himself as our waiter for the evening soon after. Following a long look over our menu I decided on the Calamari to start. It arrived in good time and was fresh, crispy and golden. It was also big! Each golden breaded ring was about the size of my fist! An excellent start to the evening.

calamari from above middletons

The menu at Middletons offers a massive array of delicious sounding meals but as we were at a steakhouse it felt only right that we should choose steak. I went for the “Steak & Sticky” which was a 6oz sirloin with a half rack of sticky BBQ ribs and a chilli & spring onion garnish.  All meals from the grill menu come with a choice of 1 side. I chose Coleslaw which was really creamy – perfect for me! The ribs were wonderfully juicy and the meat just fell off the bone.

The star of the show though was of course the steak. My knife glided through my medium rare sirloin without any trouble at all. The meat was succulent and melt in the mouth perfection. One of the best steaks I have ever eaten in fact.

jaymee from the mum diaries blog

After a quick loo break during which I ran into my sister blogger, Jaymee, from The Mum Diaries it was time to order dessert. After much deliberation I decided upon the Creme Brulee. My dessert was the perfect ending to what had been a fabulous meal. 

middletons creme brulee

Would i go again?

Yes, I would. In a heartbeat. There are so many dishes on the menu that I think it would be difficult to get bored here. Prices range from the £50 36oz steak all the way down to the £9.99 set menu so there really is something to suit all budgets at Middletons.

The staff were friendly and attentive without being overbearing and our water bottle was kept replenished throughout our meal. 

I noticed that there is also the facility on their website to pre order your food when you have a table booked – a very useful function when you don’t have much time to spare! 

I think Peterborough finally has the steakhouse it has needed for a long time.

 

Disclaimer: We were invited to have a meal in exchange for a review. All opinions are as ever our own.

GCSE Results Day

crossroads

This is what you have been headed towards since school began

Since you donned your first pair of shiny black shoes and trotted off through the doors beginning your school career it has all been about you getting these results. A piece of paper showing the world what you can do if you apply yourself.

I will never need to know that

The problem with education is that it is (for the most part) wasted on the young. Of course we all know that teenagers already know everything they need to to succeed in life. Probably. Will you write BOOBS on a calculator more often than needing to know how to use long division. Also probably. Will you apply your knowledge of how to make an erupting volcano in any other setting than 1 homework project for your child. Unlikely.

Problem is though that if you didn’t recognise that the point of learning this stuff was to pass a test then maybe you didn’t apply yourself and are now looking at a piece of paper showing 1’s, 2’s and the odd E if you are lucky. Don’t fret.

You are more than your grade

Of course you wanted better for yourself. I am sure your family did too. Those 1’s and 2’s do not show that you are passionate about things in your life outside of school though or your sense of humour and willingness to get the job done. You can blame your results on all kinds of things if you want to but when all’s said and done, they are YOUR results. The results of whatever effort you did or did not put in. It’s ok to feel badly about them – it’s also Ok to accept that this is a blip in the great scheme of things.

YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE PAST BUT YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR GRADE

You now have a choice. Carry on as you have been or you can take this as a learning curve and do something else. If you have received a grade of lower than 4 in Maths or English you will have to re sit those exams. You will be given a year of lessons alongside your full time college course to help you to improve your grade when you retake the exam so you have a chance. My advice would be to grab it with both hands!

If you never fail, how can you measure success?

The thing about GCSEs is that I am now 35 and it has been many years since my results mattered. Some people aren’t academic by their nature but education works best when it lights a fire rather than filling a bucket.

You should find something you enjoy and do it. If you are a practical sort of a person then find something vocational. Want to see the world? Why not study travel and work in another country. Some – maybe even most things – cannot be learned in a classroom. So go and find what makes you smile.

Its been a while

Its not just me. Hear what other bloggers have to say below and comment! I would love to hear how you did and what you want to do next!

Katie: I left school with no GCSEs. I’m now self-employed, earning more money than most people I know and super happy, confident and comfortable with how my life is panning out.

Abi: I got pretty good GCSE results, and wasn’t disappointed or surprised with any of them (although, the geek in me would think I can always do better!) I went on to do A Levels, which is what I wanted to do, and now have a good job with a good wage, even though it’s not my “dream job”. I think the fact I was so academic at school stopped me doing something creative that I loved, such as writing for a living. So whilst I earn a good wage, and I’ve no doubt that my good grades play a role in that, I also think they probably squashed my creativity a little in the strive to continually “perform well”.

Vikki: I did reasonably well in my GCSE’s , but certainly not as well as I could have done. My results did enable me to do everything I wanted to but they certainly wouldn’t have been make or break – there are so many options and alternatives available to young people now. My advice to the young ones would be to always do your best – to make yourself proud. And to not panic if your results aren’t what you hoped – you will be just fine – look at all your options

Alana: I did better than I thought I would, but as my teachers expected. I went on to do AS Levels, but made the mistake of choosing subjects I thought I should do, rather than what I really wanted to. I ended up with an AS Level in Business Studies after a year of hating the subject, and dropped Human Biology for English Literature, which I loved.
I’d advise to do what you enjoy – there’s no sense in taking subjects you think are important or useful if you don’t like them … it’ll only end up being harder work!

Lynette: I didn’t care about my GCSEs and gave my future no thought. I did okay in the exams, especially considering I didn’t do any revision. At the time I had no end vision, no goals and I do think that is quite a negative thing. It didn’t really harm me, I went to the Open University in my mid-twenties.and now I own my own business. I do think that it did hold me back, but there are always different roads to travel

Pete: Don’t worry about how all your friends did, just concentrate on your own results. My GCSE results weren’t too bad. But I felt a little down when nearly all of my school friends received straight A’s and A*’s. If the grades are good enough for what you want to do, then well done!

Kate:  Family of 3 – me 10 0-Levels nearly all As and Bs – skint, my brother – average grades – travelled the world as singer and teacher , other brother only managed 1 o-level in woodwork and became a multi-millionnaire. Some of us develop in different ways at different times. That’s OK and there are more ways to be rich than career success and the funds that come with it

 

#Blogtober17

Picturing Hetty Feather At The Foundling Museum

Reading has always been something I have loved to do. bESS TOO!

Ever since I was a small child I have enjoyed the escape offered by a good read.

Bess has thankfully inherited this love and is rarely seen without her nose stuck in a book. Her most favourite author is and has been for some time. Jacqueline Wilson. She has read everything Dame Wilson has written but has a special fondness for a character called Hetty Feather.

You can imagine how excited we were to receive an invitation to travel to the Foundling Museum and have the opportunity to meet Bess’s aforementioned idol!

Getting There

As we don’t often get to spend one-to-one time together I decided we should make a day of it. My brother kindly did his Uncle duty and agreed to look after Moose overnight so that Bess and I could catch an early train.

We hopped on the 7am train to Kings Cross and we were off! It was nice and quiet for most of the journey so we spent time chatting about how excited she was to meet Dame Wilson.

The Foundling Museum

The Museum is found on Brunswick square – the nearest tube station being Russell Square. It is set inside the Foundling hospital which was established in 1739 to offer care to babies at risk of abandonment. The founder, Thomas Coram was helped in his endeavour by the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. Over the years many artists have become fellows which allows them to use their talent to create a project to inspire and involve young people and contribute to the work of the museum.

In 2008 Jacqueline Wilson became part of this fellowship and she created the character of Hetty Feather.

Picturing Hetty Feather

The exhibition is situated in the basement of the museum. At first glance it isn’t that big but to a Hetty fan I can assure you that it is a trove of delights! As well as costumes and props from the television series you will find other items such as a meal planner for the hospital and a set of rules for Matron.

watching Hetty Feather

I call this look; “sweaty, frizzy tube hair”

As well as things to see, the children could also dress up in some of the costumes from the series. Sadly I couldn’t persuade Bess to do so this time.

It was really interesting to explore the museum and try to imagine the lives of the foundlings and as a Mother I found some of it quite emotional. To have reached the point where signing your child over seemed like the best choice for them must have been so desperately sad.

Meeting Jacqueline Wilson

So, as we walked through the exhibition I saw a small set woman with white hair sitting quietly next to a desk and it took me a minute for my brain to catch up and realise that it was Dame Wilson.

Bess took her place in line (and grumbled a bit about deciding to leave her copy of Hetty feather at home) and soon it was her turn. To say Bess was starstruck was a bit of an understatement. She very politely asked Dame Wilson if she could please take a photo with her and told her that she was a massive fan. Dame Wilson was really lovely and thanked her for her kind words.

After that Bess didn’t stop grinning. We stood and listened to Jacqueline Wilson speak about Hetty Feather and her new book ‘Hetty Feather at Christmas’ as well as a book she is working on about a character called Rose Rivers which will be one to watch out for next year!

Admission

£8.25* Adults
£5.50* Concessions
FREE for children, Foundling Friends & National Art Pass holders

An additional £3 applies for Picturing Hetty Feather (FREE for children & Foundling Friends)

*Ticket prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation

Open

Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday, 11:00 – 17:00
Monday closed

Joanne Whelan (Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones) is one of the impressive cast from the CBBC series

She just cannot walk past one without having a go (we didn’t get chucked out this time)

We really enjoyed our experience at The Foundling Museum and I would visit again. There are plenty of activities for families over the summer and into September. You can find more information here

 Bess hasn’t stopped talking about meeting Dame Wilson and I hope it’s something she will remember for a long time.

Love 

Mummy & Moose