Monthly Archives: June 2012

A special interview with the creator of the City of Friends – Carl Christian

The creator of City of Friends – Carl Christian pictured between characters Max and Elphie. 

  • What inspired you to create the series?

Carl Christian: As a child I dreamt of one day becoming a Police Officer in my home country – Norway. In 1998 I graduated from Police College and I was very proud! I worked in various departments, and learnt that to solve cases we needed to work together with the other emergency services and work as a team. Through working as a team we often built great friendships, and it was this that inspired me with the City of Friends. I began telling my son stories at bedtime about my experiences and my son was fascinated quickly learning which emergency service would be needed in an emergency scenario. The City of Friends developed from there. 

I started to write the stories down, and even sketch what I thought the characters would look like. One day I was asked to read the stories I had created at my sons nursery, and the children were as fascinated as my son! The idea to turn it into a tv show came while I was watching childrens tv! So I began speaking to Norwegian broadcasters and the Ministers of Culture and Art! 

  • What do your children think of City of Friends?

Carl Christian: I now have 3 sons, and they all love the adventures of the City of Friends Characters! 

  • It seems that the City of Friends is popular worldwide – it is now airing in 150 countries! People are talking about the valuable lessons it teaches children – can you explain about that?

Carl Christian: I wanted to teach children about friendship and teamwork. Taking care of the people around you is so important!

Exciting things are happening during 2012 with the City of Friends, including a fabulous music CD! 

DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post, we have included this interview as we are fans of the City of Friends.


I would say I’ve been quite lucky in life to meet some amazing people and make some terrific friends. This weekend has been a fabulous reminder of just how lucky I am. I’ll be honest since having children the social butterfly I once was has flown and I’ve been somewhat cocooned, partly due to the requirement to sleep rather than party and also I was the first of my friends to have a child – while they were out in the pimms tent I was walking a colicky baby around in my pjs armed with a bottle of infacol.
I’ve had times when I’ve felt intolerably lonely and I think many parents do, it isn’t restricted to the baby stage. But since joining the blogger community and meeting in the virtual world some like minded ‘virtual friends’ I have begun to realise that even in my thirties I can still make friends who make my world a little more magical. This is a special post dedicated to all the lovely people i’ve had the pleasure to spend this weekend with. Liz, Amanda and Molly this is an extra special thank you for making me sit up and think about how amazingly lucky I am to be able to call you ladies friends.

Pet Shop Bowl – for all your pets needs!

I was contact a little while ago by PetShopBowl, they wanted me to order some pet supplies from them and offer my readers a totally honest view about what I thought of the website, products and of course the service. I took quite a while looking through their site before I ordered, and was quite impressed that I could order bits for our fish tank at the same time as food for the dog and treats for the bunny!

Having spent a little time on the site, I found it easy to navigate and there is a good selection of brands of foods including specialised foods and brands such as Butchers. I have to confess I ordered a 6 pack of Butchers dog food as I was pleased with the fact that so many varieties were on offer, but it did cost a fair amount more than I normally pay.

However, looking at things like Pedigree Dentastix when purchased in bulk – 4packs – work out considerably cheaper than my normal pet supplier! 

I was impressed by the variety of training aids and specifically Halti products on offer, as when my dog gets excited she tends to pull! Having the day before ordering, looked at a training lead in a large pet store, I was delighted to see the same lead slightly cheaper from Pet Shop Bowl. I love the training leads as I can vary the length and attachment to ensure when I’m walking the dog through livestock I remain in control but a looser lead can be used for walking along the adjacent fields. 

We keep tropical fish, and their tank has been in need of some TLC for a little while to keep it interesting for them and aesthetically pleasing for us to look at! To find ornaments for the fish tank we tend to have to travel a little distance to have a good variety, so I was impressed that Pet Shop Bowl offer such a good selection! I ended up buying this little pagoda which priced at under £7 was in my opinion an absolute bargain and will certainly brighten up the tank – picture of it in the tank to follow soon!

What impressed me with Pet Shop Bowl, was the free delivery when you spend over £19.99, which is a relatively small amount for us by the time we’ve purchased rabbit bedding, tropical fish food and anything else we need! While the dog food I wanted was more expensive than it is elsewhere, I appreciate that to get it delivered to the door has a cost implication and certainly in the winter months I would consider buying it from here! They also offer a helpful option called ‘bottomless bowl‘ which is an automatic ordering system, so you can stop worrying about forgetting to buy the pet food! Customer service is excellent, and when I had problems with placing my order they were quick to assist. The items arrived very well packaged and I was delighted with my order.

You can say hello to Pet Shop Bowl via twitter!

Disclaimer: I received a store credit in return for an honest review.

First Words..

Mr G and I have started to get excited, as E has started to make sounds which sound like words.. In truth, he has quickly gone from babbling and now definitely says certain words.. Daddy, Mama, Ducky (his favourite bath toy) Socks, and Biscuit. He’s 18months, and the words started about a month ago with Mama and Dada, but I tried not to get to excited after Boo didn’t speak until he was 2 and a half almost 3, infact nothing apart from “juice” was uttered until E arrived, and he had to make himself heard! 

This week the words from E have started to come quickly. To my amazement he picked up his teddy (Pooh Bear) and started saying “weee Pooh” ok, so he wasn’t very accurate but it was getting there and provided me with entertainment as I tried to get him to say “winnie” and ended up with “weee-wee”. Now he happily squeals ‘Winnie the Pooh!’ Whenever he sees Pooh Bear and even pointed it out on his Huggies Nappy this morning! Obviously words that get used the most are coming first, and I can’t help but laugh that Winnie the Pooh obviously is a popular name in our house! I must try to capture a video of him shouting it while he’s still small and cute!

With the start of E talking, I’ve noticed a change in his temperament, he’s gone from being quite happy and content to easily frustrated when he doesn’t get what he wants! He’ll yell and shriek while I stand trying to work out what it is he is trying to say, then when he gets it he stares at me in wonder as to why it took so long for me to work out what he wanted in the first place! So, now I have the tantrums to deal with, just as things were starting to get easy a new challenge in parenting arrives. Yes, I know I’ve done it before, but the boys are so different, I need a fresh approach!

Olly the Little White Van App Review

Olly the Little White Van, voiced by Justin Fletcher has become a favourite of both of my boys! When we discovered there was an app for my iphone and it was FREE we hurried to download it and Boo couldn’t wait to try it out!
The app is fairly simple, and Boo quickly completed it, but still asks if he can play it again and again!

Fix It, is shape matching in the form of finding which bits go where on the cars to ‘repair’ them, Boo loved this and really giggled as he completed it!

There is also the chance to help Olly deliver his parcels as quick as you can in the Delivery Race, this is set out as a maze and you have to locate the parcels! This Boo found a little easy but I imagine soon E will be able to use this bit of the app with a little assistance!

The app is accompanied by the theme tune to Olly the Little White Van, which Boo will sing along happily with not matter where we it’s not ideal for us to use for a few minutes peace and quiet! (Even if he does sing it very nicely!).

The Olly the Little White Van App is available to download FREE from iTunes!

What on earth should I do with Boo..

We didn’t get our first choice primary school for Boo, and it has led to much thinking on my part of what we should do. We don’t need to educate him until the term after he is 5, so that would be next September, although in reality with a little encouragement certainly he is ready to learn. I have thought long and hard about home education, I was educated at home for a large portion of my school life, so I know that all the things which worry most parents about home education are untrue – inability to socialise and inability to gain qualifications (I love socialising – always have, and i’m very well qualified to..). I am still undecided that school is a good decision, and especially after the meeting in the offered primary school which laid down their school policies.

 I am sat with my head spinning unable to decide what is or isn’t a right decision. I was put off mostly by the statement that children shouldn’t be allowed to read what they want. I believe that any reading should be encouraged even if it is a comic, I remember I used to love reading the local paper at a young age mostly because I had to have lots of help with the words from my parents! The school is incredibly religious, something else which leaves me uneasy, I want Boo to love his religion not despise every minute of it which I feel he might with their preaching rather than teaching. 

I have shed tears, and for the first time since bringing him home from hospital I can hear myself thinking..What on earth should I do with Boo.

Huggies Little Swimmers – my must have for Baby & toddler swimming!

I’ve written before about Huggies Little Swimmers and it seems appropriate to write about them again as we’ve started to take the boys for regular swimming sessions! E is 18months old, and not quite at the potty training stage, so I want to know that when we go swimming he’s not going to have any leaks! The nappies are easy to put on with easy to adjust sides – they can be pulled on and adjusted if your little one is like mine and doesn’t like laying down to have a nappy put on! They have bright pictures of Disney’s Nemo and Winnie the Pooh characters which E loves, and he is happy to look at the design while I’m getting changed! I often thought as the boys got a bit older going swimming would be easier, but infact it poses its own new challenges – E will try to slip out from under the changing room door if I’m not looking! I keep a bath toy in my bag for when we go swimming, so it is something fresh to keep him entertained in the changing rooms!

Little Swimmers

Huggies Little Swimmers are running a special competition for Huggies Club members where you can win anything from a pedicure to 2-4-1 on a family day out! We tried the competition out and were delighted to win a free family swim, which we shall enjoy using next week! To enter, sign up to the free Huggies Club  which is full of helpful advice, competitions and even money off huggies nappies vouchers! Enter the details from your Huggies Little Swimmers when prompted, then you have to select an item from the paddling pool, something which E enjoyed helping me with – squeaking and pointing at the screen! So when you next grab some swim nappies and take the children for a swim why not take a lucky dip? Good Luck! 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. Huggies are sponsoring me to attend BritMums Live. 

An Olympic Meme..

An Olympic Meme

It is nearly time for the Olympics, the first time they have been hosted in this country since 1948. I have been tagged in an Olympic meme by the lovely Ali from Dragons and Fairy Dust
The Rules
“Here’s how to join in… simply write your own blog post answering the Olympic questions below and then tag other bloggers to join in and share their answers. Don’t forget to share the love with links to the lovely bloggers you are tagging and back to me if you are feeling generous!”
So here we go
1) If every day tasks were Olympic events what would you get a gold medal in?
Nappy changing, I appear to be able to change a nappy with one hand while playing knights and castles with the other, quite a skill I feel? 
2) As a child (or now even) did you excel at a particular sport and if so which one?
Not really, I was at ballet school for a number of years and then took up sailing. Sailing, arguably I was quite good at! 
3) Michael Phelps (swimmer) or Michael Johnson (runner) – which sport appeals to you more?
Hmm, swimming as I have no speed when running. I lack style when swimming but seem to be relatively quick in the water!
4) How fast can you get out of bed and ready to go out the door if you miss the alarm and sleep in?
I would guess about 10 minutes?? If I have the boys then this time extends to about 20 and then we get out and I discover one of them has no shoes on – or similar!
5) What fantasy sport would you like to see made into an Olympic event?
Pogo stick racing..hahah!
6) Claim to fame time – Have you ever met an Olympian and who was it?
I’ve met a couple! I shall name you two the first one I met was the very inspiring Shirley Robertson (Gold Medallist – Sailing) and of course my lovely friend Pippa Wilson (Gold Medallist sailing)
7) What event in past Olympics can you remember most vividly?
Gymnastics in about 1992, I had a vague desire to be able to somersault and spent the entire summer trying to learn..i never could and still can’t.
8) Tuning in at home, not for me or tickets clamped ready in sweaty palms?
I’ll be watching at home, I’d love to go but didn’t get tickets the first time round and now money is reassigned to pay for things like car repairs! For the events I want to watch, i think I’ll enjoy it more watching on the tv anyway as I’ll be able to see it all!
9) Who do you think most deserves a gold medal (any walk of life not just Olympians)
Ok that is a really hard question, there are so many people I can think of in the world who deserve a medal for being totally amazing, so I can’t really answer!
I am tagging Amanda at The Ana Mum Diary and Kay at Brink of Bedlam

Crazy Faces! Bank Holiday Fun with Ice Cream!

With the arrival of summery weather, we’ve been looking forward to ice-cream in the garden! With the typically British weather this weekend, ice-cream in the garden has actually become ice-cream in the kitchen looking at the rain through the window! But Askey’s Crazy Faces ice cream cones, have ensured that our Bank Holiday family fun is plentiful no matter what the weather!

Crazy faces come with two foil wrapped packs of cones (6 in each pack) and two sheets of ‘faces’. The faces are rice paper, and there are a fabulous selection of eyes, ears and noses to create either favourite animals or monsters!

E is a little young but did with some help manage to stick a face on his ice-cream!
Boo, managed really well and excitedly chose which bits he’d need to create his crazy faces and carefully pushed the bits out of the rice paper. I was impressed that they didn’t tear when he pushed them out!

As you can see he was delighted with his initial efforts, and he has asked if we can have a packet for his Birthday at the end of the month! The great thing about them, is they allow Boo (or me..) to be creative! With the addition of sauces or sweets you could create something really impressive! Or just keep it simple fun! They certainly brighten up Vanilla ice-cream without creating a mess!

My favourite has to be the elephant! (Boo added the hundreds and thousands decoration to it’s head as he said it needed ‘hair’!)

Askeys Crazy Faces are available at good supermarkets! We’d recommend them for a family friendly treat! 

Disclaimer: We were sent a pack of Crazy Faces for the purposes of the review, all opinions are my own.

Colour Block with Long Tall Sally A/W ’12

One of my favourite fashion trends this year has to be colour blocking, it’s one of those trends which can enable you to turn heads for all the right reasons when you walk into a room! Long Tall Sally have a few fabulous ideas sure to turn heads in their Autumn/Winter collection arriving in stores at the end of July!

This tailored outfit seems so appropriate for Jubilee year in regal blue – it’s  fit for a princess! I could imagine the Duchess of Cambridge looking radiant elegantly wearing a similar style. The peplum adds a real touch of glamour to this otherwise simple but sophisticated top. The pencil skirt is hugely flattering with the dark side panels slimming the appearance of hips and thighs. I’ll certainly be waiting to try it when it arrives in store!

For those wanting a casual look, check out this fabulous jersey boat neck sweater perfect for brightening up Autumn afternoons!

Teamed with the skinny bright jeans, it really is a bold on trend outfit, ideal for lunch with the girls or simply the school run! Not sure I’d have the confidence to wear this one, but I love the look!

For more information on Long Tall Sally see their website

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, all Images used with permission from Long Tall Sally.