Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Eve 2012

Another quiet day for all of us, I think we have needed the quiet this Christmas after a very busy month and lots of illness. Its been very much a pj Christmas (SO glad I bought us all new Christmas pj's!!) We've really chilled out, played lots of games, talked and watched a lot of films. 

New Years Eve was no different, hubby was working for most of the day so we had a quiet day in. Ruben built his new Lego Hobbit game the night before so it was ready to play, he was quite worn out as you can see:


But throughly enjoyed playing it with Daddy and Cordelia!


Cordelia and I baked some mini choclate tarts for our little NYE buffet, the children don't normally stay up but they really wanted to this year.

She helped me make sweet, shortcrust pastry and then roll and cut out the tart shapes. 


Whilst they were cooking in the oven she broke up the milk and dark chocolate pieces


Then she heated up the double cream


Before melting in the chocolate pieces making a delicious ganache filling for our tarts


I completely forgot to take photos as they were eaten so quickly-its going to happen in a house with 6 people!
We watched two movie's "The Adventures of TinTin"-which was rather brilliant and very funny and the kids favourite at the moment "The Muppets" (despite watching it twice the day before!). We had a great game of Monopoly Millionaire and were just in time to see the fireworks in London on the television before we all flopped. Well it has been a busy year and I'm anticipating a big year for 2013. 

Friday, 28 December 2012

Friday Pantomine

My dad and his lovely girlfriend bought us tickets to see the panto this year for our Christmas present. It was such a lovely gift and perfect for the after Christmas slump/limbo feeling. It was nice to get out (and dressed) for a bit and the panto was such good fun. They all really enjoyed the Gangham Style dance....and I think if you asked them that would be the bit they most remembered!





Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve & The Hobbit

Hubby was still working on Christmas Eve so we had a relatively quiet day, my brother came and stayed over so he was here too. Its nice really, as he is only 20 months older than Bailey so they get on very well and had a good time playing Xbox! We had a visit from Piper's Godfather and his daughter lovely little Rose. By the time I had took my brother back home it was time for a very quick tea and straight out to the cinema for, what was quite possibly the most anticipated film of the year-THE HOBBIT!! We had all been looking forwards to it for ages, especially given how completely into Lord of the Rings they all are at the moment!



It didn't disappoint at all, I sat with the boys and hubby sat with the girls as it was so busy, its the first time we have ever gone to the cinema Christmas Eve. When the children were all small they were usually in bed early as we have four early risers who all need their sleep and sitting through a long film on Christmas Eve would have been like torture! But they all sat very happily through the Hobbit and it was so action packed that they didn't have a second to get bored. Ruben was so enthusiastic throughout the film and it really made me laugh-he watched it like only a 9 year old boy could-behind his hands, cheering with arms in the air, using his arms to run through the fast bits and laughing his head off at the funny bits. I think I'm appreciating this behaviour more and more now the older three seem to be losing their excited-ness and are more calm and casual about things. Its the strange things you take for granted with children, things you take for granted and only notice them when there gone like how excited they used to be about everything that they'd find it hard to contain. Bailey has been like it for a while now, then Piper and so very closely followed by Cordelia. I think the closeness of the girls has meant that Cordelia has matured along with Piper which is nice to see but every now and again she gets all silly and I see she is only 10! (well ever so nearly 11)

The film ended at a great point for Ruben and I as its just about where we are up to in the Hobbit book. When we got home we started reading this book:



I bought it early on in December but to be honest we have been too busy/too unwell to sit and enjoy it. It made the perfect bed time reading on Christmas Eve and even the girls enjoyed listening to it. Before bed we left Father Christmas a chocolate milkshake, choc chip cookie and a carrot for Cupid on the hallway table under the little Christmas tree and we also sprinkled some reindeer food that we bought from a craft fair in Buxton, just for good measure and to keep those reindeer's flying! They have a lot of work to do after all..

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL FROM THE BARRAS' XXX

Thursday, 20 December 2012

12 Month Tree Project Part 1

I've always wanted to do this so I'm starting today. Here is the tree I have chosen, its not too far away from where I live so that should make it easy for me to keep up this project! This is the first photo and first month:



Beautiful blue skies in January :)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

New House new house.....

Hubby and I joke that we're like Alice in Wonderland in the scene at the table when they say "Clean cup clean cup everybody move down move down" only with houses rather than cups! Exactly 15 years to the day since we moved into first home together (a very small 1 bedroomed flat) we moved into our eighth home! I moved a lot as a child so its perfectly normal to me and I have to admit I get bored of living in the same place for too long. I do worry that the children will get upset by moving but then I'm reminded that my children are very, very happy little souls who have a mum and dad who love them very much and their home is wherever we are altogether. I suppose the thing I lacked in my childhood was stability but my own children are lucky to have it in abundance, in fact its not luck at all, I would do anything for them not to have to go through the same things I have and so far I have managed exactly the opposite of my own childhood. They see moving house as we do, a big adventure! Plus our new home marks the start of a new business venture for us in the very near future.....

Since we moved in we've had some house teething problems including a broken washing machine (7 days of no washer and 6 people was rather dramatic!) but its finally sorted. We have all been really unwell with an awful head cold which seems to have dragged on for a while now, no internet for 2 and a half weeks, which is a long time when we all rely on it so much! The girls had their Christmas concert with their singing group, which was lovely and they both sang beautifully. Hubby and I celebrated 13 years of marriage, I bought him this fab vintage book from 1913, it has been very good reading and quite a lot of fun quoting things to him hehe!



The family car is currently in the garage having a cambelt change (a very expensive but crucial part!) and we are awaiting it coming back. So its been a rather busy few weeks. Meanwhile, the children have still been playing Lord of the Rings Lego and watching the film several times a week too.




Cordelia has been very busy hand making Christmas presents for her fiends and she managed to squeeze in some time for baking too. It was supposed to be for our Friday group friends but we have been too unwell to see anyone :-(


 This cupcake is supposed to look like yours truly....
 And this one is especially for the Daddy Bear....loving the beard!


We had so many plans for making and baking but this horrid lurgy has so far put paid to all of that!! I can just about see the wood for the trees though and it feels like we may just be coming out the other side in time for a lovely Christmas......fingers crossed anyway.....


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Harry Potter Studio Tour for Piper's 12th birthday!!

*WARNING SPOILERS* Just in case you haven't been yet maybe don't read this post as I don't want to spoil the MAGIC for anyone......

For Piper's birthday we bought Harry Potter Studio tickets, she has been a huge fan of Harry Potter since she first read the books at the age of 7. She has always been a fantastic reader, she is also a big fan of the films, as we all are! Cordelia has also read all the books, I have only managed the first one though and the boys haven't read any of them. Still, we were all very excited as I'd heard so many good things about the tour. We arrived a full hour early as the motorway was quiet and we'd given ourselves plenty of time just in case (We really don't do being late!). The hour gave us time to take some photo's outside and have a look around the giftshop before picking up our tickets. The gift shop was mega! But it was quite expensive, I'm not surprised really as it all goes with the ambience of the studios. Piper did have birthday money but there was nothing she wanted to buy. By the time we had finished it was time for us to get in the queue. As we waited in the queue we had a look at the cupboard under the stairs where Harry lives when with his nasty uncle and aunty. It was very small! Then we all went into a big room full of the advert posters before proceeding into a large cinema style room where we watched a film about the making of Harry Potter. At the end the screen rolled up and there were the doors to the Great Hall!! We thought it was just scenery until they opened up and we walked through them into the Great Hall. A big bonus for us was that it was decorated for Christmas, with the 8 original Christmas trees and all the Christmas puddings and desserts. Its such a big room and there was lots of time to look around and see the actors costumes, Piper took lots of photo's on her phone and was speechless throughout most of it to be honest.







The next room we went through to contained lots of scenery and different rooms from the films including the floating candles, Hogwarts gates, Griffindor common room and bedroom, Dumbledore's office, the potion room, Hagred's hut, Yule ball food table and the chocolate feast table (Piper asked for that to be re-created for her birthday next year so watch this space!) the Weasley's kitchen, too many props to mention, Ministry of Magic, Delores Umbridge's office (I know she was a meanie but I liked her costumes so I took a photo of them too!) It was all quite a lot to take in to be honest. Hubby spent a lot of time asking which film certain bits were from as he hasn't watched the last three films as yet but we were all so enchanted by the magic of the place.













And just when you think you've seen it all we stepped outside to see the purple night bus, 4 Privet Drive, Potter's Cottage, the flying car, we even walked over the bridge from Hogwart's! And of course had a sip of butter bear (only two places you can officially buy it!) and I took the children's photo's with the chess pieces (which were huge!).





Then we went through to all the animatronics and prosthetics studios, its amazing when you see the moulds of the faces how you recognize the actors immediately. the hours and hours of labour and hard work that go into everything is truly amazing, the attention to detail is just fascinating and awe inspiring. Piper freaked out a bit with the giant spider but to be fair it was rather big! Hagred is so big when you stand next to him and Dobby is so very sweet!





The next part to walk through is Diagon Alley, I really can't tell you how exciting that part was, even I felt like a child again! It was so cool, there was even the footsteps in the snow from when Harry walked there in the invisibility cloak! It felt like walking on to a film set which I suppose is exactly what we were doing!( I think that was my favourite part to be honest) Piper loved all of it, every minute. As you walk through the last part there is a huge model of Hogwarts-it has to be seen to be really appreciated as its so intricate and detailed and so very big! Bailey is thinking of building something similar for his Warhammer Army..... We spent quite a while in the last bit just taking in the sheer size of Hogwarts.











It was a truly amazing day and I can't recommend it highly enough if anyone is thinking of visiting, I think the money was extremely well spent and I actually wouldn't mind visiting again in the future....