What’s El been up to?

Hello there my little squidglings and how are you today? Is that new? It suits you!
My apologies (Or apo-logees as they say in Blackadder. Well in one episode. And they only said it twice.) for not writing recently but we have been on our holibobs! (We’ll write about that later when I’ve finished my movie about it.)

Seeing as it’s been so long  I thought I’d give you my top 3 things I’ve been doing recently.

1. Went on holidays to France as mentioned above. We all had a lovely time, ElDad celebrated a lovely birthday there.








2. Went to the Olympics. I saw football and beach volleyball with Eye. (And an adult  obviously.) The relative we went with (lets call him Bee) was also a Gamesmaker and saw some basketball and handball. He also guarded some stairs and scanned some tickets. He really enjoyed it!

3. Made an animation about Dr Who with Eye. I did that today actually. Hopefully if we are able to put it on YouTube you’ll be able to see it!







Must go now but I hope you have a beautiful day! And if you’re reading this at night and your day is basically over then I hope tomorrow is beautiful.

TTFN (I love saying that)

Back to Blogging


August 15, 2012. Tags: , , , . Stuff we love. 1 comment.

Utterly Awesome Blog: A Thrifty Mrs

Awesomely thrifty Mrs

Here is this week’s Utterly Awesome Blog, and it’s a new favourite of El’s. And it’s written by another El!

It’s superscrimpingly awesome.

It’s A Thrifty Mrs

It’s thrifty, but generous with the awesome sauce.

We like this post about how to make your own lemon lip scrub and we are planning to have a go at making some this weekend.

The posts are all really well written and you will like them even if you’re not going to try the tips. The photos are great too.

El thoroughly enjoys reading the money saving tips and she has no need to be thrify as she is only 12 and thrifty-ness is Jae’s job. (Jae is not so sure about this).

El, meet El

We met El, the real life Thrifty Mrs at Cybher and she was really nice even though she could’ve been cross not to be the only blogging El. She has been on Superscrimpers AND Harry Hill’s TV Burp. (We almost went to a different talk. Phew!)

She seems like a really nice person so go check out her blog!

I’m serious. Read it. NOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! GIVE HER YOUR LOVE!!!!! SHE’S AWESOME!

We have got a special badge for you A Thrifty Mrs! We will email you the code (people have been having trouble with the code)

El & Jae

The Awesomeness Police

ps We are not stalkers

May 24, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Utterly Awesome Blogs. Leave a comment.

Children’s book review: Pegasus and the Flame by Kate O’Hearn

Today we have a guest review from Eye, El’s 8 year old brother, and a tip for how you can get free kids’ books.

A while ago, Eye read about the Hachette children’s books review crew in the back of one of his How to Train Your Dragon books. We went on to the website and filled in his details. We didn’t expect to hear anything else, but then a package arrived with a free book for Eye! He was so pleased.

Eye received Pegasus and the Flame by Kate O’Hearn

It was quite long for a children’s book (over 350 pages), but he read it all and this is his review:

Eye says:

“I like that this book has two stories – one of them is myth, and one of them is in real life New York. Then some of the mythical stuff comes to New York city. Pegasus the winged horse crashes on to a roof and another man crashes on to the streets and another mythical person crashes in to Central Park.

The characters are trying to save Olympus before the Olympic flame burns out. This is an exciting story with lots of action. Boys and girls aged 9 and over would like this book. Some of the words I found a bit hard but I kept reading because it’s a good story.”

So it’s a big thumbs up from Eye for this book, and a recommendation for the review crew if you are interested in reviewing new children’s books.

April 2, 2012. Tags: , , , . Reviews, Stuff we love, Top Tips. 1 comment.

Mothers Day – A live blog post

Hello El here. I’ve decided to live blog mothers day from a childs point of view. ElDad is away so it’s up to me and Eye to make mothers day perfect for Jae. It is also my first ever live blog so wish me luck!

5:55 – I am woken up by Dennis the Cat. He is padding at my leg. Occasionally it feels quite nice, like when he walks on my back and it feels like a mini massage, but mostly it is quite annoying.

7:10 – After snoozing for a bit I go on the iPad and try to find somthing to watch on BBC iPlayer. I find nothing that I haven’t already watched so I go on Tap Zoo 2 and pick up the coins that are magically floating above the animals heads.

7:40 – I put on my TV and watch some Teleshopping. I make a mental note to recommend a steamer thingy to Jae. It looks really good. I then get annoyed by the demonstation man’s voice. I change the channel.

8:15 – I creep into Jae’s room to see if she’s awake. She’s not. I cannot see her face and she looks a bit like a puffball sticking out of the duvet. I leave her alone.

8:30 – After re-aranging some of my posters for a bit  I check on Jae again. She is still in her Puffball state. I go and talk to Eye who is also up.

8:31 – I force Eye to clean his desk because it is a tip and it would amuse me to watch him tidy it. I help a bit.

9:00 – We check on Jae. The Puffball has not moved. Assuming she was completly unconscious I wisper to her to try and plant subliminal messages to get her up. Suddenly the Puffball whispered “What did I tell you about not waking me up?” Me and Eye run for our lives.

9:05 – I go back in. All is forgiven. Jae is demanding tea.

9:15 – Me and Eye bring tea and toast. The toast has homemade jam on it (not homemade by us, we’re too lazy but homemade all the same).

9:16 – Me and Eye eagerly bring in our presents for Jae. I have got her:

Sewn with love!

A cuddly heart that I made myself. I have sewn the word mum into it.

A nail varnish (dark purple).

A 100g bar of Bubbly Galexy Bar.

Eye has got her:

A box of Milk Tray – one of them is called Nut Secret and not Nazi Secret as we first thought by mistake

A 230g bar of Cadbury Fruit & Nut

And from us both:

A box of Lindlt

A 200g bar of Cadbury Bournville.

Choccies for mum!

We have no wrapping paper so it is wrapped up in old Dr Who comic pages. We show her the pictures we like best. “Look mum there’s Rory!”

9:30 – Jae banishes us so that she can read her kindle. She is reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for her book group.

10:00 – Eye starts to watch our rented copy of Johnny English Reborn. I decide to live blog mothers day.

11:30 – Jae gets out of bed after reading Great Expectations.

12:00 – Jae does ironing and doesn’t moan about it. She says that’s her Mothers Day gift to us.

1pm – We make chocolate fairy cakes and put a square of Bourneville chocolate inside each one. Yummy!!! We also sing along to Pink I don’t want to be a stupid girl because we don’t. And I do a bit of a dance to So What.

2:30 – I go to the shops to return Johnny English Reborn and to buy essentials such as biscuits.  I do not realise until it is too late that milk + bread + biscuits + Flora + thin carrier bag handles = Pain!

3:10 – Our friend and her little baby come round for tea and cakes. We have not seen them in a while as they have been in Cyprus.

4:00 – Poomaggedon! Baby does a huge poo. As me and Jae are talking we hear our friend going WOW! as she gazes at her babys poo explosion. I go for a look.

6:15 – Our friend and her baby leave. We were sad to see them leave as I was teaching the baby to high five.

7:00 – Jae does more ironing. Still not grumbling but might be secretely inside. I do my spanish homework.

Happy Mothers Day from El and Jae

7:30 – I finish my homework. Here is a little bit:

Mi madre Jae tiene los ojos azules. Tiene el pelo corto, liso y rubio. Mi madre es guapa, activa, simpatica y graciosa.

Which translated into english is:

My mum Jae has blue eyes. She has short, straight and blonde hair. My mum is good looking, active, nice and funny.

8:00 – I have a shower. I am now clean and smell a lot nicer.

9:00 – Bedtime! Jae is staying up to keep her chocolate company and to welcome ElDad as he arrives home from Wales.

Hope you had a lovely Mothers Day with your mum or your child

March 18, 2012. Tags: , . Stuff we love. 1 comment.

Things there should be a word for

With all the words in the world, why are there no words for this?

  • That minor feeling of disappointment when you think a puppy is coming towards you but it turns out to just be a small dog. That happened to me the other day. To say my face fell is an understatement.
  • The combination of crushing desperation, then relief when it looks like there’s a big load of ironing in the basket but it turns out to just be towels, socks and pants. Similar to when you think you have a big load of homework and it turns out to be just some spellings you already know.

    El's famous anti-homework face

  • Being so desperate to finish a fantastic book that you start reading it at inappropriate times like when you’re crossing the road or already late for work/school.
  • El’s anti-homework face. That surely deserves a word?
  • Telling a story then remembering half way through that you already told it to the person you’re telling it to, and they’re just humouring you to be polite.
  • Funny little noises people make when they’re eating or sleeping
  • When you don’t tweet about something because somebody who might see it has sent you an email that you haven’t replied to and you don’t want to get into explaining why not.
  • When your cat meows for food even though there’s already two types of food in his bowl.
  • The sadness when you realise that the UK is going to fail in Eurovision once again. I mean really? Engelbert Humperdinck? Why not Jessie J?!!!!! Or Adele!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The sadness you feel when you hear about the time your mum thought she saw a puppy coming up the road, but when it got closer it was a small dog and she was disappointed.

El and Jae.
There’s a word for that.

March 11, 2012. Tags: , , . Rants. 1 comment.

Children’s book review: Project Jackalope by Emily Ecton

What a surprise (not) El has been reading again! The publishers sent us a new book called Project Jackalope to put to the bookworm test.

About the book:

A jackalope is a mythical creature which looks like a cutesy bunny rabbit but with super sharp antlers. Jeremy’s troubles begin when his eccentric neighbour, Professor Twitchett, leaves him an ‘experiment’ for safe-keeping;  a Jackalope! Then government agents show up at Jeremy’s house, everything goes crazy bananas. It seems the government wants the Jackalope for their own purposes, and they will stop at nothing to get him. Jeremy must find a way to protect the Jackalope, and himself, so he reluctantly joins forces with Agatha, his holier-than-thou genius neighbor and classmate. With the Jackalope (and his weapons-grade-antlers) tucked away in a backpack, they have only one chance to save Jack and still find a way to get their science fair projects in on time.

What El liked:

The idea and the imagination of it all. It’s a good idea and has a lot of potential. It’s written well. It’s not really my type of book but I can see lots of other people liking it.

What El didn’t like:

Well to be honest it wasn’t really my type of book. I lost interest in it a lot. However just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean that many other people wouldn’t enjoy it.
I’m also a bit worried about the age rating. There is one swear word that I noticed which I believe was not suitable for the book’s target age group (10 and up). I’m also a bit concernernd about the jackalope’s fondness for booze. But hey if that’s the legend of the jackalope then I guess it’s gotta be in the book.

This is a good book for:

Boys aged 10 and up whose parents don’t mind them reading the occasional swear word and like unusual stories.

Project Jackalope by Emily Eaton is published by Chronicle Books, price £9.99

March 10, 2012. Tags: , , , . Reviews. Leave a comment.

Brace yourself London, here come the bloggers!

On Sunday we had a blogging trip to London. This is like a normal trip, but you blog about it. Plus we brought an extra blogger as Daisy’s Amazing Random Stuff Extravaganza came too. She even offered to wear glasses, even though she has perfect eyesight. That’s the effect of the Eljae. And here we are!:

We went to the Southbank Centre Imagination Children’s festival, where there was a discussion by children’s authors who’d won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. It’s World Book Day season so we were in the mood for some AUTHOR CHAT.

First of all we saw Cathy Cassidy signing books, and took a sneaky pic. Look there she is in the background behind El.

Thumbs up for Cathy Cassidy

Then we saw Michael Rosen, Liz Pichon, Louise Rennison and Philip Ardagh talking about their books. They were super funny. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!! LR even irish danced for us.

And then we met Louise Rennison, who wrote Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging and Withering Tights.

We love Louise Rennison!

Thank you to the Southbank Centre for giving us tickets to the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. They have lots of cool events for kids and families so check them out.

It was a beautiful sunny day by the river, we had ice cream and there was wifi, which is all you need for a bloggers’ day out.

El and Jae
Back in Brighton, reading

March 1, 2012. Tags: , , , . Reviews, Stuff we love. 4 comments.

Murder in time for tea – a short story

This is a horror story by El, rated 12, so not suitable for anyone younger than that. DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EASILY SCARED OR PRONE TO THE CREEPS.
Note from El: I’m not sure why Jae is so scared I don’t think it’s THAT scary!

Murder in Time for Tea
My friends are dead and the murderer is still at large.

El has joined the Dark Side

I went to all of their funerals. Emily was the first, then Suzie, then Debbie and finally nerdy little Eddie. Emily’s body was found rotting in a field that me and my mother used to hike through. Suzie suffocated in an air proof cupboard at her school. Debbie was found in her home with a massive grin on her face. It seems she died laughing. Finally Eddie, in the school library, reading his book. The librarian glanced his way and his book had had page after page ripped out and stuffed in his mouth choking him, killing him.
The police inspected the bodies. Emily’s was too far dead for anything much to be found. Suzie had bruises on her arm and the police verdict was that she had been shoved, pushed, forced in. A school child prank gone too far? Or deliberate? It wasn’t clear what Debbie had been laughing at but many suspect Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. Nobody should watch that show. It’s just too darn funny. Eddie clearly died in pain, with paper cutting his throat. Not a nice way to go.

Am I the next victim? If the pattern continues then it seems so. But maybe not. They were starting to exclude me, leave me out and I found it hard to make new friends. Maybe whoever decided them as its victims never noticed me. A sadistic murderer looking into a playground noting its victims, yet not seeing me, hunched up in a corner reading Black Beauty. Perhaps you would say I’m lucky.
I survived. I’m never lonely at school. Some kind soul is always there to comfort me even if I need no comfort.
Like I need their pity. I was the one who killed my friends. They were always leaving me out. One day they were huddled in a group talking to each other. I crept behind them, ready to sneak into the huddle and be included. Then I heard whispers.
“Urgh don’t you all just hate Jo?” I gasped silently. For Jo was me. Or Joanne if you would like my full name. They continued “I pretend to be nice to her but she’s such a weed! Nerdy, annoying, sneaky, snotty and she thinks I actually like her!” A silent tear slipped down my face as they all agreed. It was unclear to me as to who was saying these cutting words but that didn’t matter. They all had to go.
Emily was first and she was probably the hardest. After attempts at strangling, stabbing and hitting a combination of them killed her. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t even scream. I scrunched her up in a picnic basket and discreetly dumped her as my Mother hiked ahead of me enthusiastically.
I won’t give you the details of everyone one else. I’m running out of time. The police are coming to get me. But that doesn’t matter. I’ve completed my work. Goodbye. Goodbye…

El and Jae
Don’t have nightmares!

February 25, 2012. Tags: , . Fiction. 2 comments.

EXCLUSIVE Interview With Author Keris Stainton And Review Of Her Book Jessie Hearts NYC

Got a Keris book for my b-day!

For my birthday last December Jae gave me the gift of Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton. Well she is twitter buddies with the author. A few of my friends had read it too so I gathered some questions and Jae emailed Keris. Here is our awesome interview with the author.

Why are you so amazing?

Wow, what a question! Thank you! Well, I don’t think I am, I think I’m very ordinary almost all of the time. 
What’s the hardest part of writing a book?

The hardest part for me is the rewriting. I finish the first draft and feel quite excited about it, then I read over it and am filled with horror at how rubbish it is. So then I start making notes and rewriting and trying to make it all better and as I’m doing that there’s ALWAYS a point where I think I can’t possibly do it. You know when you’re playing a game and you’re losing and you want to throw the board in the air? That’s how I feel when I’m writing a book. “Oh just FORGET IT!!!!” (But I’ve learned that if I keep going it gets easier and I can finish it after all.) 
What inspired you to write Jessie Hearts NYC?

The main inspiration was New York. I absolutely love the place and really wanted to set a book there. And then I was listening to a song called If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz – it’s about a boy who’s in love with his best friend’s girlfriend and I really loved that idea. And then Finn just popped into my head, wearing a tux, holding a bunch of red roses and trying to flag down a cab in Times Square. 
Do any of your books relate to your life?

There are always little things I take from real life. Della’s dad, (from her first book Della Says OMG!) for instance, is quite a lot like my dad – he used to sing “A pretty girl is like a melody” when we were going out – but he didn’t have a deli and my mum wasn’t a model. I went to The View revolving restaurant in New York and did actually get confused about the bathrooms like Jessie does. The next book after Emma is set in Italy and that one probably relates to my life the closest, because the main character’s dad has just died and I wrote it not longer after my dad died, but everything else in that book is made up. 

Pleased to meet you, Keris Stainton!

Why did you decide to become a writer?

I always really loved writing, but for some reason I never thought about being a writer. Actually, I did want to be a journalist, but I never thought of writing a novel. And then one day, when I was about 25, it just popped into my head – “I should write a novel!” – and once I thought of it, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me sooner! I started trying to write one straight away, but it was rubbish. In fact, I think it took another eight years for me to finish a book I was happy with. Luckily that book got me my agent and publisher!

What was your favourite book when you were 12 and can you recommend some for us?

When I was 12, I was obsessed with these teen romances called Sweet Dreams books. You can read all about them here. I don’t think I’d be writing the books I write now if I hadn’t read so many Sweet Dreams books. I wouldn’t exactly recommend them (I’ve reread a few recently and they’re a bit rubbish) but my favourite was Thinking of You by Jeanette Nobile.
There’s so much fantastic YA fiction out now – teens are so lucky. My favourites are Split By a Kiss by Luisa Plaja, Girl Meets Cake by Susie Day, Fly on the Wall by E Lockhart, The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot and A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone, which is written in verse, but you shouldn’t let that put you off because you stop noticing and it’s just wonderful.

El’s review of Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton

I really enjoyed reading this book! It’s all about this girl called Jessie who goes to visit her mother in New York with her best friend and a  New Yorker called Finn who’s in love with his best friend’s girl friend. I loved hearing about NY because it’s a place I would love to visit. All in all it’s a very good book that I would recommend.
There was nothing wrong with the book, I couldn’t fault it. It’s perfect in every way and a cracking good read!!!

El. 🙂

February 9, 2012. Tags: , . Reviews, Stuff we love. 2 comments.

Introducing El

Let me tell you 5 things about El

It's El!

  1. El was born with 100 miles of personality. I was there so I know.
  2. Sometimes people at school call El a nerd. I tell her that this is great because nerds rule the earth now, but I don’t think she’s totally convinced.
  3. El likes to read 3 books at once. She lines them up in front of her all open and reads a page of each in turn. She does not find this at all confusing. She reads all day long, never leaves the house without at least one book and gets a bit miffed with anything (like school) that cuts into her reading time.
  4. Embarrassing confession: I was once waiting at a cashpoint queue with El, waiting for the lady in front to finish, when El piped up in her loudest voice: Mummy, that lady’s got a big bottom. In her defence she was only 3.
  5. I think El will go a long way in life, as she has the total package of brains, beauty, sense of humour and a kind and loving heart.


January 8, 2012. Stuff we love. 1 comment.

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