emspace thoughts

What's floating around in Em's brain today?

Friday, August 17, 2012

We want to be Toyologists, please! 

It's been a busy few weeks, but with tea in hand and plenty of pictures of my babies on my screen, I sat down and wrote my review as part of the application to become ToysRUs Toyologists. If you have read my blog from the beginning, you'll know I have an opinion on a lot of things and especially love raving about things when they are good, so I think I'd enjoy this as much as the kids if we got this. Anyway, I know Geoffrey and his gang will be visiting this site at some point to look at the blog (Hi Geoffrey!), so I thought I'd dedicate a post to him and also put my review up for all to see!

Emerson & Jasmine’s “Can’t Live Without” Toy…..

Taking pride of place in the centre of the playroom in all its shiny blue plastic glory is our LITTLE TIKES BLUE WHALE TEETER TOTTER. It’s a big name for a rocker, but we love it because it really does prove that “Simple is Best” – especially when it comes to a pair of active twin toddlers!

Who are we?
We are Emerson and Jasmine. We have just turned two and love nothing more than running around in the garden, scaling the heights of the climbing frame at the park and whizzing down the slide at nursery. Unfortunately, we live in a country that is rather prone to rain and this summer in particular has proven to be a very wet one, which means we end up stuck inside a lot.  Fortunately, we have a great toy that we can play with any time, come rain or shine, indoors or out.

What is it?
The Little Tikes Blue Whale Teeter Totter is a whale shaped rocker and seesaw.  There is a wave shaped platform, where we can put our feet, and two yellow handles that are just the right size for us to grab. When there is just one of us playing, we can sit in the middle and use it like a rocking horse (or should that be rocking whale?). When we both want to have a go on it, we can sit on each end and play on it like a seesaw and when our best friend Sophie comes to visit, she can sit in the middle and we can all play on it together.

Daredevil Sonny

Why we love it….
Emerson loves this toy because it is blue and he loves blue things.
Jasmine loves this toy because she can play, exercise and watch TV on it at the same time. Mummy says that girls are good at multitasking!
We love the toy because it has helped us build our confidence with trying out new activities. When Mummy first bought it, we weren’t too sure about it, but with some encouragement, we have really grown with it and now we like to show off by climbing on and off it ourselves and even doing stunts on it –  “Look! No hands!” It makes Mummy a bit scared when we start climbing and rocking at the same time, even though we know exactly what we’re doing.
Another great thing about this toy is that it is always out in the playroom, so whenever we want to, we can climb on and have a go. Our favourite time for a quick go on the rocker is just before bedtime when we’re using up the last of our energy for the day.

Why Mummy loves it (and some things she doesn’t like about it)…
Mummy loves the Teeter Totter because it is sturdy and made from tough plastic that is easy to keep clean and has no sharp edges for us to bump into. She thinks that the design of the rocking mechanism is very clever because the wide wave platform stops our little hands from getting caught underneath and the whole thing seems very safe because it is very difficult to tip it over. She also likes it because it doesn’t need batteries or make any annoying sounds.
Sometimes Mummy complains that the toy is a bit bulky and takes up too much room in the playroom, but it is light enough to be moved around and put away when she needs to tidy up. She also grumbled a bit about the price when she bought it because there are cheaper versions of it around, but really she doesn’t mind paying a little bit extra if she knows she is getting good quality and reliability from a the clever, trusted people at Little Tikes.
Most of all, Mummy loves the toy because we love it so much, it helps us get plenty of exercise and have lots of fun playing on it together

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Testing the Android app with a food post 

Can't restart the blog without a food pic, so will do one whilst testing the Android blogger app.

This is Lamb Veg Greek stew-type-thing with rice from Zorbas in Manchester Arndale Centre's market food court. £4.50 a portion, which is reasonable but probably on the pricier side of lunch. Co-op staff get a free can.

The meat is beautifully soft and there's a good mix of veg in a rich tomato and herb juice and just enough of a kick to make it interesting. If you're into strong flavours, then go next door for a curry, as this is quite delicate.... ideal for my sensitive palate. Yum!!

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Dusting off the cobwebs once more! 

So much for re-starting my blog over a year ago.
No excuses really, okay, the biggest excuse was that the kids, work, facebook, lack of sleep and stupid Sims Social have consumed my life. Simple as that.

But back here again, negotiating my way around the new blogger interface and wondering how long it will be until my next blog post.

Why? 2 reasons....
1. My hubby has been re-reading my blog posts and doing a lot of reminiscing. That's kinda nice, so it will be nice to have more posts to reminisce over in the future.
2. My boss asked me to do a Myers-Briggs test today as part of some work he had to do for his management course. So as has become tradition, I must log my current state-of-mind on here for posterity. I am currently an ESTJ.

Most of my life over the last few years has been encapsulated on FB, so for those that know me, you shouldn't be too far detached from what's been going on. For those who still read this and don't know me personally, firstly - thank you and to fill you in, I have had twins and they have kept me busy.

As for today, it started out quite ominously. As I drove out of our road, I noticed a strange looking cat bounding down the road. Then I realised it wasn't actually a cat, but a rabbit. It was closely followed by another one. Pretty weird considering I live in a town. Things at work were pretty weird as well, people getting brews who don't get brews, people drinking coffee who don't usually drink coffee.... then to top it all off, the roads were full of nutters on the way home (or maybe that's just normal for Bury?).

I think I need to get back into the swing of this blog malarky, but there are too many meaningless 160-character snippets out there, so maybe it's time to take a step back and start writing stuff that's still pretty meaningless, but at the very least is made up of sentences and paragraphs. Otherwise our brains will start shrinking and we'll all turn into smartphone-wielding monkeys. Oh, hang on.... spoke too soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why I'm blogging again.... 

It's pretty late and I really should be capitalising on this time to catch up on sleep, whilst my little ones are snoozing away, but I really want to capture this thought before it drifts away into the land of sleep deprivation.

I had a dream last night during a rare period of REM sleep that made me want to start writing some kind of diary again. I can't really find the time or motivation to dig out my big paper diary, so I've bitten the bullet, downloaded the app and revived my blog for this purpose.

The dream was about a race. It was my first day at 'work' but my boss had allowed me to take part in this race around a course that started in a castle-dungeon setting and then evolved into a TVB studio of sorts. Along the way, there were tasks to be completed and competitors were staggered so each person arrived at each checkpoint alone. I also had a camera and my work ID pass. As I ran this race, I remember thinking I need to hurry and complete it and get back to work. I wasn't thinking about winning it, just getting through it. The obstacles included a logic puzzle, which I painstakingly completed only to find it had been sabotaged ages ago and I could have gone straight in and picked up the next instruction had I have checked it first. Another obstacle was having to deal with a very stuck up producer and convincing him to let me pass his area. Random celebrities were dotted around the course as well as an area with some plants in.
When I finally reached the end of the course, I gathered in the waiting area to see who had won the £1000 prize. Everyone was shocked when the winner was the girl who was 16th fastest to complete the race. Then the compere explained that the race was not just about who gets to the end first, but also about the experience and what had been captured on the camera. This girl had posed with every celebrity she met along the way and even taken pictures of the insects living on the plants. The real prize for her was being able to relive each experience over and over again.

As I waited for the kettle to boil this morning for my kids' milk. I made my resolve to capture more of my life and not just whizz through without anything to show for it. I don't usually analyse my dreams, but this one had a clear enough message.

Back again! 

Back properly this time!
If you're still reading this and wondering where I've been, here is a clue....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Back to the blog...

Can't help wondering if anyone still visits here any more, but have torn myself away from the brain-numbing addiction that is Facebook to pay some more attention to this rather neglected blog of mine. For my last hols, I even posted my diary on facebook as well, but it's only fair that I share everything on here - the original and best of Em's travelogues!

Back with more later...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

(Copied from Facebook notes)
Postcard from Pattaya - No 2

Another rainy day, so we headed to our favourite place in Pattaya (Central Festival) and caught a movie in a swish Thai cinema this afternoon. We opted to pay the extra 20 baht (40p) and get VIP seats that reclined, whilst we watched Disney's new release "G-Force". Great way to spend a couple of hours whlist the thunderstorms passed by outside - and the price for this experience - 3 quid each! Bargain.... I think we'll be heading back there on Friday when we have to entertain ourselves for 8 hours after checking out of the hotel and before our taxi comes to pick us up.

We also got to experience the best of Thai patriotism when we all had to stand and pay respects to the King as they played the Thai national anthem before the film started. Oh, and their 'switch off your phone' clip features a cute panda - beats the Orange one hands down.

The storms were here yesterday too, but cleared up in time for us to go and accomplish one of our missions for this Pattaya trip - to go and check out the baby tigers at Sriracha Tiger Zoo. Okay, this place may have had some bad press about how they are treating their animals and we did see one or two elephants that were going a bit doolally and they do keep animals in cages, but on the whole there were many other animals that seemed to be quite comfortable and it is the only way that Joe Public can go and get close to these wild animals in some way. Ethics aside, Tony got to feed his baby tiger...

Hope the weather clears up tomorrow, we're going on a boat ride to Ko Lan (Coral Island) to go fish-spotting on a glass-bottomed boat...


Sunday, October 04, 2009

(Copied over from Facebook notes)
Postcard from Pattaya - No 1

Arrived safely in Pattaya yesterday and checked into our hotel - The Siam Bayview on Pattaya Beach. It's a bit old and dated, but it's really handy because it has 2 pools, is across the road from the beach and most importantly, it is right next door to Pattaya's brand spanking new shopping complex Central Festival. Important for 2 reasons: aircon and places to eat.

I think we got a bit spoiled in Bangkok because we got a deluxe suite (with kitchen and huuuuge bathroom) to ourselves when we were there, so the typical sized hotel room here with diddy bathroom isn't so great in comparison. On the bright side though, we don't need to get skytrains or taxis to go anywhere and we got a fab nights sleep because the aircon temperature in the room is just right.

Started the Pattaya leg of our food journey with Burger King ('cos Tony wanted to know if it was any different from UK - the answer, UK BK is much better). Then in the evening, we went to Sukishi - a kind of fusion Korean BBQ / Japanese Sushi place. Tad pricey for Thai standards, but still bargain at UK standards and we don't get KBBQ in the UK, so didn't need any more justification than that really. Also, BBQ king gets to show off his cooking skills...

BBQ King shows off his skills at Sukishi...

(Yeah can put pics up on this computer!!)
The set included chicken, beef, pork, scallops, octopus and tiger prawns. We also got some teriyaki pork chops just in case it wasn't enough for us.

Then we picked up some fruit, water and other provisions at the food hall - I got some fresh pomelo.

Lovely fresh pomelo!!

Said last time I'd talk about the food a bit, so here goes - with pics as well....
The guidebooks say that the best food in Thailand is served on the streets on plastic tables and chairs, but with all the traffic fumes in Bangkok, we didn't opt for this for fear that our stomachs wouldn't last til the end of the trip. Instead, the closest we got to street food was the MBK foodcourt, where you'd buy coupons to exchange for food at their indoor street market (and of course we had aircon seating too). Here's what I got for 45 baht (90p) - crispy roast pork rice and soup:

My 90p lunch at MBK.

Then there's the fair share of chain restaurants such as Mos Burger... this was my chicken teriyaki burger meal.

Mos Burger (this one's for you Kin...)

We also got our fair share of high end stuff (well, we justify this by not spending money on alcohol), but unfortunately in these places, there is a strict 'no photo' policy, so you'll just have to take my word for it. On our last night in Bangkok, we decided to splash out at the 18 pound a head 'Oishi Grand Buffet'. Even though this is the equivalent of about 75 pounds to a normal Thai worker, it still gets really busy, so we went early at about 5pm and were surprised to be told that we could stay until 10pm if we wanted. We didn't, but did get our fair share of food in, starting with a tray each of teppanyaki, then bbq tiger prawns, sashimi, sushi, tempura and then desserts. Lovely...

Right... off to do some sunbathing now that my breakfast has gone down!

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

(Copied over from Facebook notes)
Postcard from Bangkok - No 2

It's a bit rainy today, so we decided to head back to the safety of the shopping centres and as there's only so much wandering around on hard marbled floors you can do before the feet start aching, we're back in one of our favourite haunts at the rooftop internet cafe above the Paragon foodcourt. Today there are a bunch of kids here also hiding from the rain and they are all playing online games. One of them is a little kid who looks about six years old playing some war game with his headphones on and Tony is in awe of how skillful he is at his "trade".

We took an excursion out of Bangkok yesterday on a river cruise down the Chao Phraya river to the old capital at Ayuthayya. It was perfect cruising weather in the morning, just a little cloud and not too sunny nor too rainy. The temperature was just right and it was so relaxing sitting on the top deck, enjoying the scenery and counting the temples on the riverside. The sun came out when we arrived and we started off our tans with a walk through the King's Summer Palace at Bang Pa In in glorious sunshine. Final stop of the day was the ancient ruins in Ayuthayya city, quite eerie seeing the skeletons of what has been reproduced in Bangkok.

The 85km journey from Ayuthayya back to Bangkok took about an hour. Then the 3km journey from the riverside back to the hotel took about an hour and a half..... such is the crazy Bangkok traffic. Thank goodness we are staying near a skytrain station!!

Off for a seafood buffet tonight.... next postcard will talk about the food I think!!