I spend a LOT of time in the car. In addition to the every day mooching around, I take Millie from St Helens to Manchester 5 times per week for synchro training (between 25-35 miles depending on which pool). As a result our choice of music to listen to is very important. The rest of the time, I am normally accompanied by Tara – and everyone knows that a 2 year old gets the choice of what to listen to, don’t they?
Our synchro journeys are a chance to catch up on current affairs, find out what the rest of the world is up to and indulge my rather eclectic music tastes. I’m having a bit of an 80′s throwback at the moment with tunes from Human League & Phil Oakey featuring heavily. Millie think they are terrible!
Yesterday though I reckon I heard the ultimate car journey song played on Radio 2 (when did I turn into my mum?) Meal Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell. Fantastic and it goes on for ages. Does anyone else know all the words?
Nominate your favourite driving song via a hashtag on Twitter (#carcraftsingalongs) or share a suggestion on our Facebook page.
Be part of our survey and nominate the songs you love
All the nominated entries will then be added to a list here on the Carcraft website and voting will be opened to find the overall favourite.
We hope to gather a list of sing along songs that make people drive happy!
This Wednesday, I’m travelling down to London and back in the same day with Derm (not the best date I agree) to collect Mil from England Talent Squad – Any suggestions of good toons will be gratefully received. We are likely to be in car for at least 8 HOURS!! Comment below otherwise he might make me listen to Coldplay *shudder*
This is a sponsored post however all declarations of bad music taste are my own! I also realise that I have shown my age in my choices
We are a massive Lego family – we have whole cupboards, huge boxes, small boxes and now a Lego Head dedicated to the stuff. Its become an important element of Christmas that on Boxing Day the dining room table is cleared and our comes the Lego kit that Santa delivered a day earlier (He’s never let us down yet!)
We’ve had alsorts over the years – A plane, An Airport, A House, Fire Station but I reckon this year’s is my personal favourite… A Lego VW CamperVan (I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before about our other obsession of VW Campers too – and yes, I still haven’t finished that knitted Camper!)
The kit came with over 1300 pieces and said that it was designed for age 16+ – Not a family to be deterred by a challenge, we set about it after our Boxing Day lie in.
There were about 12 bags of different sized Lego pieces (some of which were the teeniest I’ve ever seen). If you needed 3 of a certain size, you couldn’t guarantee that all 3 would be in the same bag – You have to be a Lego fan to know that this is the fun of the chase – the endless hours you can spend searching for that tall 2 piece with the rounded side ‘Nooo! That’s rounded on the right, we need left!’ Recognise it?
The Camper took a good few days to complete but didn’t drag on endlessly. The end seem to come quite quickly and we now have it on display – No-one is allowed near it!
Our favourite parts are the glass on the table, the fab retro curtains which really hang and being able to see the engine in the boot. Definitely a winner and a great investment for any VW Camper or Lego enthusiast.
We are now thinking forward to our next project – I’ve got my eye on the Town Hall or the Shop.
Disclosure: Father Christmas brought our Lego Camper – I believe he bought it from John Lewis for £79.95 and that it was worth every penny. We were not sent the Camper to review – I’ve just done so because I love it!
Well, its been quite a week for sport putting it mildly. Although we are still in France, Olympic fever is still strong here (except for French TV not showing Tom Daley in the diving tonight but I won’t harp on about that!)
The beginning of the week started off with our Olympic adventure from Biarritz to London and back again within 36 hours (blog post to come soon!) and by Wednesday we were all back in the sea. Even Tara has developed a new obsession with the waves.
A long time ago you may remember me posting about my list of things to achieve before I’m 40 (53 weeks tomorrow by the way!) Having a go at surfing was on the list – I have to admit I’m not sure why, I’ve never been THAT desperate to have a go but on the list it was.
I was having a rare moment alone in the sea (anyone who has ever been on holiday with a 10,6 and 1 year old will know that you don’t get an awful lot of time alone) when Derm joined me complete with surfboard telling me I was having a go. Tara was being looked after by a friend and Vi was having her daily afternoon beach sleep. I started blustering about not being ready, not having the right costume on but it fell on deaf ears. My bully* of a husband said I couldn’t tell the girls to do new things if I wasn’t prepared to try so off I went.
I wasn’t a natural. I fell off. I nearly popped out of my cozzie. I didn’t manage to stand up. But it was really really funny. I will definitely have a go again and am so pleased my girls have seen me have a go. Millie has mentioned it is one of the highlights of her holiday so far. (So much for the amazing trip to the Olympics -it seems 10 minutes of seeing your mother look like a drowned rat beats that!)
Thankfully, there is no photographic evidence of my surfing efforts but I can leave you with a much prettier sight courtesy of our friend, Rob who was busy snapping the girls having fun surfing a day earlier.
I’m adding this post to Tara Cain’s Gallery as this week’s theme is Sport – I’m expecting tons of fabulous entries as the country seems so inspired by the fantastic Olympics.
* He’s not really a bully
P.S. Its raining tonight in Biarritz so I’ve taken the opportunity to catch up with a little internet time – Back soon!
According to the Foodies 100 it is National Picnic Week this week – we have been asked what is our favourite food for a picnic. Being a massive outdoor, caravanning, picnicking family we have hundreds of picnics every year so am always on the lookout for interesting nibbles on the go.
I’ve never been a massive fan of the sandwich – I find that the kids get bored so quickly with various flavour (especially as they take packed lunches to school too), the bread or wraps so soggy so soon and don’t get me started on sandy butties on the beach! My previous life as a food hygiene trainer doesn’t help either as I like to stay clear of any meats/fish or generally anything that can result in picnic poos.
So what do we take on a picnic? I introduce to you, the Costello’s Spicy Herby Potatoes. I’ve taken them on every picnic imaginable since I discovered how fab they are – Freezing cold New Year’s Day walks, meals on the beach in Biarritz in sublime temperatures, the grotty picnic room of local outdoor play areas – you name it, they’ve been devoured there!
Preparation time: 2 minutes Cooking time: Up to an hour
1 packet potatoes: Salad potatoes, New potatoes, any will do. Small potatoes are best as they don’t need chopping, which all saves time.
1 glug of oil
1 tbsp of chilli powder (use less if your children prefer less spice)
Hefty sprinkling of mixed herbs
Large knob of butter
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180C – Dont worry if the oven isn’t up to temp, just bung them in!
2. Wash the potatoes and place in an oven dish.
3. Mix through the oil so each potato is covered.
4. Sprinkle over the chilli powder, herbs & salt and pepper.
5. Cover with tin foil and cook for up to an hour or whenever the potatoes are soft.
6. 5 minutes before you are due to go out, put the butter in and stir through.
7. Pack the oven dish in a double carrier bag (careful it will be REALLY hot) and leave the house.
8. Enjoy your picnic and come home absolutely shattered and filthy after a wonderful day!
We are not a particularly competitive family but once a year an event happens that gets us all excited. Its the Great North Swim in Windermere where hundreds of swimmers of all abilities swim a mile in the Lake – some for charity, some just because they are crazy!
My husband and my sister are two of those crazy people. Its the second time that they will be swimming against each other and neither wants to tell the other how fast they are likely to be swimming.
We make a weekend of it, staying up in Ambleside and the rest of the family join us on the day, cheering them both on.
But who do I cheer for? Who comes first … husband or sister? As fate would have it, I don’t have to choose. On Saturday morning I will be driving from Ambleside to Manchester as Millie takes part in her first real synchronised swimming comp. Think routines, gelatined hair and sequins. Its all going on!
So good luck Derm and Maz (in strictly alphabetical order!) Hope the swim goes well and the best person wins (EEK!) or you both get identical times. xxx
The cakes for this week may not be the biggest or the most elaborate but they are definitely no less special.
I’m giving you two cakes for the price of one this week. The first cake is a 21st cake for Daniel. Daniel is the son of a good friend of mine, Donna. I met Donna when our daughters started school together and I’m so glad I did. Just one of those people and families that you are glad to have in your life (and she’s good at drinking wine too!) Daniel has complex special needs and is unable to actually eat any of his cake but that really made me want to make it even neater than normal. They were having 50 million people round to their house yesterday to celebrate with Daniel – Hope it all went well!
The second cake for this week is sadly a very quick cake (and another Hello Kitty). Our lovely Violet is 6 today but still wanted a cake to take with us on our holidays. She has requested a Hello Kitty for this week and a Moshi Monsters for her party the day after we get back – Help! The cake has travelled all the way to Abersoch intact and stands a good chance of being dished out at the Jubilee party on Tuesday. There’s no way us 5 can make our way through it all on our own.
Violet has had a lovely day. We realise now that she genuinely doesn’t need much to make her happy – a few presents and being stuck in the van as it is blowing a gale outside has made for a perfect day. She got to choose her tea (chippy) which we enjoyed on Hello Kitty paper plates and cups – complete with paper umbrellas. You can take the girl out of St Helens … Can’t believe V has been with us for 6 years – they’ve been brilliant. She has so much energy and enthusiasm – long may it continue.
How the Costellos celebrate birthdays in the van!
I’ll try to put up the linky for Cake of the week but the internet is a bit dodgy on the campsite – If you want to join in but can’t link up just put the url of your post/picture in the comments and I’ll find them when I get back from my hols.
There will be news of Aardvark Cakes next week – its too long to include in this post. Watch this space! For now, enjoy the bank holidays and your parties is you are having them. I’m off to eat more of Violet’s cake!
It that time of year already – The Costellos are on the move and preparing for our first trip of the 2012 season. Every winter we completely empty our van (even down to putting the cushions in the loft) so we have to start from scratch on the first trip of the year.
If I was organised I would probably have a comprehensive list of everything we need … but I’m not. As you can see from the picture, the clothes cupboards are still very empty (I have got a pile mountain of clothes waiting to go in them but it still seems very empty compared with how it ends up at the end of the season.
Our first excursion of the year is always a small one, not too far to travel in case we forget anything major (I did hear last year of a couple that travelled 250+ miles and forgot their caravan keys!) I’m still panicking though that we will forget something vital – we are somewhat lighter than last year anyway as we don’t need the Moses basket or the steriliser but this only adds to the panic!
Here are some of the items that we have forgotten in previous years (I’m not talking practical items like hammers and water tanks here (Dermot’s job), I’m talking necessities to keep a family of 5 going through a night – I NEVER forget wine!)
Real Cups and Glasses – Yes, they are a bit of a faff to roll up and keep safe, but there are few things worse than wine out of a plastic tumbler.
Toilet Roll – Its the first thing you do when you arrive at site and the first thing you remember you’ve forgotten!
Hand Towels – Every blinkin year.
Toys for morning – Invariably, the kids wake up before they should and inevitably we forget the ‘keep the kids occupied while we pretend we are having a lie in box’
Pen & Paper – Vital to write down the things to bring next trip.
PJ’s – always mine, it was a cold night that night!
Dish cloths & Tea towels – every tried to wash up with your hand?
Bin Bags – Amazing how much rubbish a family of 5 accumulates.
I’m off now to fill the van a bit more – Place your bets here as to what we forget this time. Anything you can think of that we need to take?
Well all the Christmas festivities are now over and so our attention turns to the caravan season. It may only be 2 months since we last went on our travels but we miss it already.
Our plans for the 2012 season are slightly different this year. We have decided not to go with a seasonal pitch but instead to explore quite a few caravan parks.
We have loved being in Abersoch for the past 2 years but there are sites in the Lake District, Yorkshire and Cumbria that are really easy to get to for us. Mr Costello is still loving his surfing (and no, I haven’t joined him in the water yet) so I feel a trip to The Gower is on the cards this year too – as well as our yearly trip to the South of France. The world is our oyster as they say!
We are still undecided about whether to go with a new van or hold on a bit longer. Our van is still in good shape but with only basic bathroom facilities. We have discussed perhaps joining in with some caravan rallies but would need a proper shower in the van first. Rallies are renowned for being amazing fun for the kids and I’d love for M & V to experience at least one.
Violet is still convinced she doesn’t like walking but this doesn’t stop us exploring when we are away – she doesn’t seem to notice that she has walked miles when we are at the caravan – especially when we stop off at every coffee shop we find! Millie is happy as long as there is a play area and somewhere where she can explore and have a little freedom.
As for the rest of us, we are looking forward to exploring, meeting loads of new people, good food and plenty of fresh air. Can’t wait – 2012 caravanning here we come!