Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The one where DD loses her coat and I stamp! but not my feet!

So, before we had the exciting holiday in California (you didn't think I was going to stop talking about it yet did you?) I had the fun parenting moment of

"Mum, where's my coat?"

Of course like a million mothers before me I replied "where ever you left it!"

But alas like a million children she had no clue where that was. We searched the house, we tidied her room (steady on! she's a teen this was a whole blog post on its own!) But no coat was found. We searched bags, cars, car boots (trunks for the American readers) and still nothing.

"Could it be at school?" I enquired?

So next day she promised to look but came home ominously coat-less. "No luck then?" I asked. "Did you check lost property?" and here she looked straight at me and said

"Well there was a coat like mine hung in the classroom, it was the same size as mine, it was on my peg, it had sweets in the pocket like mine, I just wasn't sure it was mine"

So after I banged my head against the wall for a while I politely suggested maybe it was hers! But it wasn't labelled, so she didn't want to take it in case it was someone elses! "Take it!" I yelled, "If it's still there tomorrow, take it!"

Of course it was her coat and as amazing serendipitous luck would have it that VERY DAY I was asked to review Stamptastic, a naming system involving no writing, no sewing, no ironing! How fortuitous.

The premise is pretty simple, Stamptastic create a personalised stamp on a rather nice transparent acrylic block, and send that along with special indelible ink on a pad and you stamp the name into the clothes!

I gave it a go, it's quick, clear, easy and actually pretty fun! Pretty soon I was stamping all her stuff, shoes, pants (you never know - she is a teen!) shirts, the lot. I nearly had to give up with her school jumper as it's navy and the only white space to stamp was the tiny label but I even managed to squeeze it onto that.

That's the only downside (and it's not really a big one) that you need a white (or pale) space to stamp. But it's so quick and such fun I imagine that you'll find yourself squabbling over who does it, I bet your kids would want a go!

Because it's not only good for clothes, you can stamp pens, pencils, rulers, pencil cases, lunch boxes...well even your child I guess! It's .. well it's Stamptastic!

 Photo credits - Stamptastic

Stamptastic sent me a stamp and ink set for the purpose of this review but the post is all my own!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Happiest Place on Earth

After a day chilling, shopping and lazing about, we finished the day with a delicious dinner at Denny's, surprised me as much as you, I had the pot roast and it was delicious. 

Then we went to bed early to prepare for a day at Disneyland.

We set off late-ish to miss the traffic around LA and arrived in time for an early lunch...brunch? So we popped into the Rainforest Cafe and had another lovely meal. M and I both had a chicken sandwich and DD had a burger, I sneaked in a Cheeta-Rita (margarita) as I wouldn't be driving for many many hours..hours of fun!

The park was busy of course but I had a disabled 'return later' pass (due to my Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) so we didn't have to actually wait in the line, we could save the spot and return later. We started with Space Mountain and Ms screams and the look on her face in the ride photo were hilarious. We rode lots of fun rides, saw parades, looked around, I was genuinely happy...

Seeing so many happy little kids, girls and boys dressed as their favourite characters, princesses, pirates and a couple of big bearded guys with their My Little Pony themed clothing and toys....

I bought some Maleficent styled Mouse Ears and later bought a Minnie Mouse hoodie with ears...I think they put something in the water that makes you want to dress up...oh no, that's just me!

We took lots of pictures but they are all on my camera so I'll upload some later. We even went on the Small World ride again and I took a bit of video.

We ate pasta for dinner in the park, then went on Space Mountain again, did a bit more shopping and then left at about 11pm for a two hour drive on the freeway to the hotel. Finally in bed at about 1.15am. A long happy day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We're gonna need a bigger boat...

So we went whale watching. Up at 5.30am for an early start, 8am at the dock. We took M who has lived here 27 years and never been because she was scared it would be horrible. I have been whale watching before, out of Boston, so I knew what to expect.

The morning was cool but clear and we set off on an 85foot boat. (Many shark jokes were made) The harbour was calm as a mill pond of course, but even past the harbour wall there was hardly any movement on the sea. We had all taken seasickness pills just in case anyway. So when we smelled Chef Paul start to cook bacon .. BACON. ,... We were straight into the galley! I had a BLT with Mayo and it was delicious, I washed it down with a cup of coffee (no lid on the cup, and I wandered the deck with no spills!) M had bacon and fried potato and a Bloody Mary! We watched the pelicans, and the sun sparkling on the water, it was beautiful.

Then we were joined by pods of common dolphins. They are so lovely with their attractive markings and the way they leap and play. They swam with the boat, sometimes leaping right out of the water, playing in the bow wave just because it was fun. No wonder fishermen imagine dolphins are the souls of dead seamen, it would be a fine place for your soul to reside.


We didn't see any whales on our three hour trip. (In news that cheered DD we didn't see any sharks either) But the bacon and the dolphins ensured it was a relaxing and fun trip. M was pleased she came, she thinks she might even do it again, earlier next year, and take her sister.

We came back and went for lunch at Taco Bell, then we chilled, lazed about Ms house, watched TV and later went out for pizza. Early night as we were tired from our early start.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The wolf man

So the day dawned cool and overcast, yes really, in california, don't they know who I am!

DD and I showered and dressed, preparing for a trip to Venice Beach. Last time we visited was in 2009 and when we passed the Freak Show on venice beach it was closed, I love a freak show! So I was really sad to miss it. For the last five years I've been dreaming of visiting. This year I checked the times (it only opens at weekends, and only from 12pm - 6pm) and the price ($5) and I told M and DD that we were going to have to visit. 

We drove along highway 1 again, and by the time we left if was sunny and hot, we took the roof down on the car.

We parked right by the beach and the freakshow, and I couldn't pay fast enough! I was not disappointed. We saw oddities such as various conjoined animals, some stuffed or wet preserved but many alive! I have never seen so many two headed turtles! (And I'm fairly sure I never will again!) a two headed snake, and the cutest little five legged dog, Rocky.

There was a show, of fire eating, sword swallowing and some pretty gruesome "hooks through the face" stuff, a guy that let you staple money to his bare skin with an industrial staple gun (ouch), a girl that sat in an "electric chair" and lit bulbs in her hands, and even used a spark from her finger to like a gasoline soaked rag!

We saw the bearded lady, a pierced guy that had no skin un pierced! He was virtually a human pin cushion, several "little people" and my favourite...Larry, the wolf boy. (Well you know how I like a beard)

The whole of Venice Beach is full of freaks though, they are not all in a freak show! We wandered along the boardwalk looking at the shops, the skate boarders, the buskers, the stalls, the sun bathers, the people mediating, and all is pervaded by the strong smell of the "medical" marijuana that is on sale at every corner.

We even went for a quick paddle in the sea before returning to the car and driving to Cronies Sports Bar for curly fries and beer.

What will we do on Sunday? Fish and chips by the ocean is planned, maybe squirrel fishing, and some shopping.