Mama OWL Blog: December 2016

A Festive Feast at The Frome Flyer

Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas Day when I was growing up was always a big event, culminating in the family dinner mid afternoon with everyone together around the table. It just isn't Christmas without a beautiful roast dinner, and Mum & Dad always put on a fantastic feast with all of the trimmings. No expense was spared and they always put so much effort into making it a memorable day for us, so when I was invited to visit The Frome Flyer to sample their Festive menu recently I decided to invite my parents as well as my in-laws out to treat them all to a Christmas dinner that they wouldn't have to cook!
More importantly, I wouldn't have to cook it either.
The Frome Flyer is a Table Table restaurant in Somerset, part of the Whitbread Inn family, offering traditional pub dishes and good value for money. We were greeted warmly by staff and seated after a short wait at the bar on what was seemingly an exceptionally busy Wednesday evening. We had pre-booked our menu choices in advance, so after a quick recap of our order we enjoyed drinks as we waited for our food to arrive. We had all gone for the traditional main course choice of Roast Turkey, and we all opted for the classic Prawn Cocktail starter except for my father-in-law who chose to have the Garlic & Herb Breaded Mushrooms, served with a BBQ sauce.
The starter was beautiful, accompanied by a crisp salad and brown bloomer with butter and was enjoyed by everyone, and there was not long to wait until our main course arrived. The Roast Turkey is served with crispy roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding, sprouts, pig in blanket, chestnut and cranberry stuffing, roasted carrots and gravy with some cranberry sauce on the side. The portions were very generous and I think for three courses, considering the size of the helpings, £16.49 is very reasonable.
Dessert for most of us was a delicious and very sweet Christmas Brownie served warm with mince pie ice cream, caramel & chocolate sauce and topped with festive gold stars, while my father-in-law enjoyed Mince Pie ice cream and a wafer. Other options for dessert are traditional Christmas pudding with chopped cranberries and brandy sauce, or lemon cheesecake with lemon curd and drizzled with raspberries in sauce.
There are a wide range of choices for all three courses which also include vegetarian options, and additional extras like cauliflower cheese, or coffee and a mince pie. We all thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at The Frome Flyer with pleasant staff and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. The food was delicious and well cooked with generous helpings, and was served promptly without any long waits between courses. For two courses, the price is just £12.49 but in my opinion you'd be missing out if you didn't have all three which is only £16.49 (and so worth it for that Christmas Brownie!)
To make your Festive Menu booking at your nearest Table Table restaurant, visit the website at
We were invited to Table Table's The Frome Flyer restaurant to sample their Festive Menu for review purposes. All words and opinions are our own.

Family Fever

Remembering These Days | Blogging Our Memories

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The drafts folder of my blog has more half finished posts than I wish to acknowledge. My kids are reaching an age where they don't necessarily need or want everything documented, but at the same time I do want to keep a record of our life, the things we enjoyed, the places we went, the little things that one day I will have forgotten all about - like the time L got E to draw a moustache on her own face and all hell broke loose during the 30 minutes I had gone out for on a 'Santa run' one Christmas. I think that this blog is important to continue, and I want it here in case the day ever comes that I can't remember, so at least I can read about it and smile.

There has been so much going on over the past few months that I have all these things I want to get written down (or rather, typed) but I still haven't managed it. So this is me saying I am going to start making more of an effort to keep it together, to organise the chaos in my brain into words and get it 'on paper', so to speak. I have been taking an online Social Media Marketing course in a bid to branch out into freelance and make more use of the skills I have taught myself over the last few years, and to hopefully end up with a recognised qualification at the end of it - I'm currently busy reviewing the class slides and webinar recordings ready to take the exam. I'll be continuing with the Advanced Social Media Marketing diploma in January, in addition to a Blogging and Content Marketing course that I'll be taking at the same time.

The children are all growing up, and fast. Our home life has changed so much this year, both big changes and small but all making their impact felt in our day to day life. A has gone off to uni, J and L are both studying for GCSEs with J in his final year meaning college and sixth form applications and lots of revision, H is in his last year at primary and has just turned 11 a couple of weeks ago so it's all getting very real and emotional for him. E will have SATs next year, and is constantly at gymnastics squad training (she's up to five hours a week now) which is a lot of pressure for a six year old but she absolutely loves it and is so good at it too. The boys are all still playing sports which means lots of running around to their football, rugby, and tae kwon do, and I am also the admin for H's rugby which is of course extra responsibility for me but a role I really enjoy - even if just for the social aspect because that is the closest thing I have to a social life these days, we've made some great friends through rugby.

Now of course Christmas is coming, and I feel massively unprepared, it is only 18 days away and I am simply not ready. This time last year I am fairly certain that I was ready to go - everything wrapped, groceries ordered, everything prepared and in place for the big day. This year? I haven't even started, everything is half finished and half assed and I feel completely overwhelmed. I've made a mental note to begin preparing for next Christmas in January, I feel like I have dropped the ball this year and I have tried to spread myself too thinly with our family commitments - lesson learned.

So if anyone else feels like they are slowly losing their grip, that they have too much to do and not enough time or money to do it, then rest assured that you are not alone. Just think, in a couple of weeks we can start drinking prosecco at breakfast time and nobody will bat an eyelid. Hang in there.


A Very Shopkins™ Christmas

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

If you have a child in primary school then I am relatively confident that you will have heard of Shopkins™. I have been trying to resist but they are now very slowly infiltrating the house and E is completely obsessed - every time I hear the distinctive "Shopkins, Shopkiiiiiins" tune playing from the TV it is sure to be followed by a little voice shouting "MUUUUM - CAN I HAVE THIS FOR CHRISTMAS PLEASE?".

The new Shopkins™ Kinstructions sets offer hours of building and construction fun with a huge variety of colourful Shopkins™ locations and scenery. The mix and match buildable figures allow your child's imagination to run wild and create their very own Shopkins™ characters, and each Shopkins™ Kinstructions set contains at least two!
The sets start at £4.99 (just the right size for a stocking stuffer) and these mini pack assortments include two shopping trolley and two checkout sets, with two different characters inside such as the Shopkins™ Kinstructions Shopping Cart with Freezy Peasy & Wild Carrot. Larger sets, like the Shopkins™ Kinstructions Fashion Boutique are £9.99 and are perfect for 'on-trend' Shopkins™, featuring hairdryer, till, and two seats for Shopkins™ as well as including three fashion inspired Shopkins™.
The Kinstructions sets are also compatible with other construction kits to make for endless creative play, as well as lending themselves to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning possibilities. Trends UK have a wide variety of Shopkins™ Kinstructions sets including the larger £19.99 sets like the 175pc Cupcake Café with four cute little characters that can be separated and rebuilt.
The sets are hugely collectible and are the big thing in the playground at the moment, E is very keen to expand her collection and they are a great toy for hours of imaginative play so I am more than happy to encourage her and I have a feeling that Father Christmas will have a set or 2 (or 3 or 4...) under the tree for her this year.
E received Shopkins Kinstructions sets for review purposes. All words and opinions are our own.
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