Magic, storytelling and play at The Hancock’s Magic Worlds exhibition

The Great North (or Hancock) Museum is hands down Joss’ favourite day out. In Newcastle’s city centre its a haven from the shops, “goin a see a dinosaurs” is a frequently used phrase in this house and we’re there most weeks, sometimes multiple times a week!

When I heard about the Magic Worlds exhibition we had to go on the first day!

It didn’t disappoint, a V&A Museum of Childhood visiting exhibition with the Hancock until the summer there is bags to see and do, today we focused on fairy tales and must go back to see more of the magic and play!

As a lover of fairy tales I’m keen to share this interest with Joss, I found the displays really sparked my crafty imagination and the Alice in Wonderland play area is amazing and we couldn’t drag her away from the Mad Hatters Tea Party!

The staging is amazing, woodland, elven, witch, fairytale and magic with a sweet little reading area, some great examples of patchwork cushioning and intricate wood cut trees, dark spaces and magic mirrors and loads of puppets, including Sooty himself and a scary Hansel and Gretel witch!

I can’t wait to go back and explore some more with Joss, an awe inspiring day out!


Taxedo / Tagxedo tutorial – recording memories, first words and phrases

My last Taxedo / Tagxedo tutorial had a lot of interest, I wanted to share my latest, which captures some of the interesting phrases Joss has been coming out with!

Here it is!


You can either point Tagxedo to a website, your blog perhaps, and have a tag cloud created out of common words on the site, or write a string of words as I did.

You may need to install Tagxedo first:


Click on Load on the left and type your text in the box:


If you want to record a phrase use a tilde between words to keep them together i.e. sit~down
Click submit and have fun playing with the colours and shapes on the left, there is a lot of choice!


Click save and share to save your design and upload to your blog as you would any photograph or print to make a sweet greetings card (and remember that you cannot use Tagxedo for commercial purposes)

The Out-takes

I laughed out loud when I heard about Mama Geek’s new outtakes linky for poor photography, if there was a MADS 2014 category for Worst Photography I’d be up for nomination, hands down, cropping, filtering and scrapping and starting again are my best foto friends!

This week we’ve had a blast of wind and rain on our Team Honk walk…


A great shot with metal railings from the coast…


…and a murky snap of an axolotl (that’s a walking fish)


But they still all made the cut because they’re true to life, in the words of Joss, and her favourite song of late “I don’t care…I luff it!”

A look back on a relay great week!

Real Life

This week saw the advent of Joss and I taking part in the Team Honk Relay it was brilliant to be part of this Sport Relief adventure, our journey started with Three Boys and a Cat at the Angel of the North and ended with Mumsdays at Baltic Square – I am very proud of Team Durham and have met two lovely ladies as well as raising money for a great cause!

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This week at work I’ve been musing about work blogs, the budget and new projects I want to get involved in, it’s also been a brilliant week for sleep, which is a brilliant week full stop in my book with Joss sleeping 10 hours straight for two weeks now, wowsers, all this fresh air is so good for her!

Blog Life

Popular on the blog this week have been two thrifty tutorials of sorts, one on recycling wrapping paper and the other on creating a container garden, which has been my baby for the last two blogging springs and the source of much inspiration!



This week I was inspired to do some baking for Joss by Charlotte’s Kitchen didn’t manage to snap the blueberry muffins we baked as they got snapped up quickly but I did get a shot of the chocolate ones I made for work

On the crafty front I really want to try turning some tulle I bought ages ago into a tutu like this for Joss

And I discovered a new read, Dadbloguk through this post – we have talked about the way we both work and how we might accommodate at the very least a Daddy day, so DBUKs post was food for thought this week

And finally…

My favourite photos from this week, after our big Team Honk walk, a spot of hide and seek, now where’s Joss?…


There she is!

– See more at:

International Day of Happiness Inspiration

Today is International Day of Happiness. I shared some resources from the brilliant Action for Happiness recently here and received positive feedback so I thought I’d share some things that I find help keep me on track, you may just find them all very obvious, but I like a little inspiration from time to time and its easy to get caught up in thoughts, worries and habits.

The first photo is one I took on my way home from work, the others are pins from my happiness board:











Hurrah! Hurrah! We hit our Sport Relief Team Honk Target while I was at work today!

We’re over the £500 mark and the overall figure just hit over £24,500! I forgot to share this, don’t tell anyone on the Team Honk crew but the banner made an excellent medium for being pulled around the floor on! I’m sharing this as my Small Steps Amazing Achievements as it was lovely to share my TeamHonk experience with Joss!

To celebrate I made cupcakes to take to work today, and was cheered when I came home by a game of hide and seek and seeing the cherry blossom out in full bloom, now where is Joss? I can’t see her anywhere?!

A Relay Great Day for A Team Honk Toddle

Many thanks for your support everyone, we completed the walk in record time today, Joss walked the last half mile in the wind and rain, what a trooper!





The baton is now on its way North with Hannah on route to John O Groats, we’ve collectively raised over £23,000 and counting and had a brilliant time along the way, your support and sponsorship is very much appreciated, thanks also to those who texted support messages along the route, came out to wave and cheered us on, we needed it!


Much love,

Angela and Joss x

Thrifty Home: Create a Yarden Retreat (Back Yard Container Gardening)

Who says you can’t have an enjoyable outdoor space without a garden?

This is our outdoor spot, a lovely place to sit out with a cuppa on a nice day and it’s shaping up to be a sweet little spot for Joss to potter too!

Start planning and planting now and you can have a lovely patch too!


Here’s my rundown of five top tips for container yardening:

1) Reflect the light with white painted walls!


2) Pots in different colours add interest

Save some cash here, you only need the odd flash of colour amongst the green to add an eclectic feel, shop around in charity shops or supermarkets for great deals



3) Build a small planter from wood or brick

We built this small brick area with our neighbour one nice summer, 100 bricks, mortar a DIY book and three cheap trellis transformed this space into a planter for climbers, none of us had built a wall prior to this!


4) Use all of the space

Look up, use wall space to add baskets and climbers on trellis to add height, mix up your pots so you get good height difference in your floor coverage


5) Plant what you love

Lily of the valley for me, starting off some herbs and salad for Joss to grow


Prose for Thought

Team Honk Relay 2014 The Baton Arrives at the Angel in Gateshead!

Today we met Grace from Three Boys and A Cat under a brooding sky to take the Team Honk Baton to Bill Quay ahead of our walk tomorrow morning.


We were pleased to hear that Grace and her group were greeted with lots of Honks on the motorway!


We’ll be giving the baton a cuppa and a rest after its 20 mile walk today, ready for handover to Hannah from Mumsdays tomorrow!


We’re doing well with our sponsorship but still need your support!