Category Archives: personal

New Opening Hours for Impala Impressions

As a work as home mum, I thought I had the balance right but as Impala goes from strength to strength I’m finding it difficult taking calls at 7.00pm at night and at weekends which is precious time for me to spend with my family. New opening times are found on my website.

Mon – Friday – 9.00am – 3.00pm
Sat – Sunday – Closed

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Filed under baby casting kits, Fantastic gifts, NEWS, personal, useful advice for parents

Keep Full Maternity in Maidstone Hospital


On Friday, Feb 19, at 9.30am, Kent County Council are meeting to decide whether they should ask the Government to intervene and try and stop the Health bosses downgrading Maidstone maternity. This is a public meeting SO PLEASE PLEASE COME ALONG IF YOU CAN.

The meeting is open to the public. It is in Sessions House – next to County Hall. A good showing of members of the public will really help our cause. I hope you can join me there – Peter Carroll

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Hop Farm Christmas Market introduces baby casting kits at the weekend

Last weekend saw Impala Impressions selling baby casting kits at the Hop Farm, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the County of Kent. To book tickets click here or ring: 01622 870821.  They have a wonderful Santas Magical Kingdom going on at the moment and all the children and parents I met were having the time of their life.  Although a fairly quiet weekend (considering it was meant to be the busiest shopping weekend of the year!) alot of fun was had with other stall holders.  There were lots of interesting stalls to be found and one in particular, Cupola Potter with really unusual stoneware in 3 distinct styles, all individually handmade and all one off pieces.  The price is good too so have a look! 

Demelza House had the stall next to me and are there until the 24th December, please take the opportunity to visit them, their work with terminally ill children is truly amazing, Demelza supports children and young people who are expected to die before reaching adulthood, and their families. Due to the hereditary nature of many of the children’s illnesses, some families may have more than one affected child. In many cases there is no cure. In others, treatment has been tried but failed and the focus has transferred from active to palliative care.

When a diagnosis is given which offers no hope or where treatment is abandoned, families often feel very isolated and alone in their grief. Many of the conditions from which the children suffer deteriorate slowly over a number of years, placing an enormous strain on family life. Often the child will need constant care throughout the day and night and whilst families willingly invest their total love, energy and attention into caring for their sick child, they can and do become exhausted. Healthy brothers and sisters often feel left out as attention focuses on the sick child.

Children’s hospices provide the necessary short breaks and a range of services benefiting the children and young people themselves and their wider family, which are simply not available elsewhere.  If you could take the time to donate to this fantastic charity please click here

Don’t forget to order your baby casting kits from Impala Impressions this week to guarantee for Christmas

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Filed under baby casting kits, Fantastic gifts, lifecasting, NEWS, personal, useful advice for parents

Half Term on a budget by guest blogger Gemma Johnson, Co-founder of

Half Term on a Budget

Half term is nearly here, and the kids are looking forward to lots of action packed and exciting days out. But how do you balance the budget when it is nearly the end of the month and Christmas is approaching too? In this article you can get some tips for low cost and no cost activities which will keep all the family happy.

Start by making a plan. Write down the days of the week, and make a list of things that the kids have asked to do, appointments you have to attend and ideas that you have.

Free activities include
• Dressing up.
• A walk to the park.
• Exploring the local woods.
• Visiting local attractions with no entry fee. Look in the local paper, local parenting magazine and on the local council website for ideas.
• Visiting the library: ask in advance about free half term activities.
• Getting the children to put on a play. This could be based on their own ideas or a book from the library visit.

Low cost activities
• Giving each child £1 and exploring the local charity shops to see who can get the best toy, book or game
• Baking. Offer the kids the chance to make their own sandwiches, create an indoor picnic or even bake a cake. This need cost no more than your meal would have cost anyway, or you can spend a little extra on some treats.
• You could look at special half term activities put on by local attractions as well as Hallowe’en and fireworks events.

More activities
If your children have great ides about visiting theme parks, buying new DVDs and computer games and lots of meals out, work out in your head how much you have to spend on half term activities. Look for discounts of 10-45% on days out and theme parks offered by cards like BaBeeCard. This card also offers savings on the London Dungeon, paintball and activity camps.

Booking tickets in advance can save you money too: don’t forget to ask if there are good deals for family tickets. If your kids are old enough, give them an idea of the budget for half term activities. This can help them weigh up what they really want to do. It might also cut down on requests for you to buy them things if they know that the ‘half term fun’ money is being saved for a great day out that the whole family can look forward to.

Author note:
Gemma Johnson
Co-founder of

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Filed under baby hot topics, Fantastic gifts, NEWS, personal, useful advice for parents

A mothers Love for her Child

A mothers love for her son

A mothers love for her son

I thought you might like to see the casting i have done of myself and my precious son Ethan, to me no words are necessary as this shows my love for him. I hope you like it!

I have just dropped off four hand lifecasts of an 18, 11 and 7 year old girls and hand and foot cast of their 2 weeks old brother, sorry no piccies but hopefully if I get recent job of cupped hands of an adult to be a garden feature – I’ll definately get some pics of that!

Enjoy !

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Schoolgirl, 16, lost eight fingers in plaster of Paris accident during art lesson

What a complete nightmare story – it just shows that you should never put your hands into plaster to make a mould. Impala Impressions uses Alginate Impression material which is completely safe and produces wonderful results – for more info see the news article attached from The Daily Telegraph.

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Does sleeping with your baby cause cot death – current discussion on BBC radio 2

Just listening to Jeremy Vine, subject Cot Death is caused by sleeping with your baby, putting the onus on the parents – tune in or take a look at the article quoted below.
I would value your comments on this, I personally think there is nothing wrong with sleeping with your baby, I didn’t as he is such a light sleeper he was better in his moses basket but he always come into bed every morning for a cuddle. Do you sleep with your newborn?

Parents’ Drug And Booze Link To Cot Deaths
9:24am UK, Wednesday October 14, 2009

More than half of cot deaths happen when a baby is sleeping with a parent, a study has revealed.
Researchers said this could be linked to the baby’s parent having been drinking or taking drugs.

Despite a dramatic drop in the rate of cot death in the UK since the early 1990s, experts are advising parents to avoid dangerous co-sleeping arrangements.

The study was led by a team of researchers at Bristol and Warwick universities.

They studied all unexpected infant deaths – aged from birth to two years old – in the south west of England from January 2003 to December 2006.

The parents were interviewed shortly after the death and information was collected on alcohol and drug use.

It is really important that parents should not fall asleep with their baby on a sofa as it is very, very dangerous.

Lead author of research Professor Peter Fleming

A detailed investigation of the scene and circumstances of death was also conducted by trained professionals.

Of the 80 cot deaths analysed, more than half (54%) occurred while co-sleeping compared to one-fifth (20%) co-sleeping rate among both control groups.

Much of this risk may be explained by the combination of parental alcohol or drug use prior to co-sleeping (31% compared with 3% random controls), and the high proportion of co-sleeping deaths on a sofa (17% compared with 1% random controls), say the authors.

A fifth of cot death infants were found with a pillow and a quarter were swaddled, suggesting potentially new risk factors emerging.

Lead author Professor Peter Fleming, Professor of Infant Health and Development Physiology at Bristol University, said: “It is really important that parents should not fall asleep with their baby on a sofa as it is very, very dangerous.”


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A tale of a tail end of a Hurricane in Dorset…!

Off we set on a weeks camping to Longthorns Farm in Wareham, Dorset and were pleasantly suprised at the friendliness and laidbackness of Sally and Mark who let us pitch virtually anywhere we wanted. We chose the tipi field which was very quiet and see photo for the view!

Our view

Our view

We were told by Mark that unfortunately Hurricane Bill had just left America and we were getting the tail end of it! It was a wet week but a fab time was had at Monkey World where they do the most amazing work. Check out their website and why not adopt a monkey?



We took Ethan Mackerel fishing on a boat from Weymouth which was fantastic fun and brought back many memories of my time fishing on the McCombies yacht and we caught loads! We gutted them at the campsite and even our neighbours had some! They were delicious!

You can just see the fish eye in the bottom right of the picture!  Mummy wasn't quick enough with the camera!

You can just see the fish eye in the bottom right of the picture! Mummy wasn't quick enough with the camera!

Despite the wild winds, rain etc we had a fantastic time visiting Lulworth Cove, catching loads of crabs (mackerel as bait is a good tip!), seeing the jousting at Lulworth Castle, taking the steam train past Corfe Castle to Swanage and eating lots of seafood!

I would recommend Dorset to anyone!


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Anyone out there who is losing their first child to school this year?

I’m finding it hard to deal with and would appreciate some comforting words, I really get the feeling I’m going to lose him forever! I know he’ll be ok and I’ll be ok but I can’t help being worried, will he make friends? Will he be lonely – any comments will do.

I thought you might like to read the poem we made for his nursery, his last day on Friday ~

A is for Alex who is lovely & bubbly
B is for Babys so bouncy & cuddly
C is for Clairey who’s so shiney shine
D is for Drawing & colourings I design
E is for Ethan who will miss you all
F is for Fun, it’s been a ball
G is for George my bestest friend there
H is for Happy, it’s obvious you all care
I is for Imagination you broadened for me
J is for Jumping about with such glee
K is for Katie, she’s very smart I say
L is for Laura with her happy smiles all day
M is for Music bugs, Kimbo’s just fab
N is for Never going to forget you, today I feel sad
O is for Outstanding consistency all the way through
P is for Playing, my favourite thing to do
Q is for Quaesitosaurus, dinosaurs I love so much
R is for Rabbits, Carrot in his hutch
S is for Scrummy lunches, especially the hotpot
T is for Teaching me such a lot
U is for my Uniform, I’ll come and show you soon
V is for Vicki who is pretty and teaches good tunes
W is for the Week days I know now by the song
X is for Xylophones which we bash and play along
Y is for Yoga, Tattys favourite crew
Z is for Zillions of reasons I’ll miss you

Hope you like it!
Don’t forget to visit my website or please sign up to my blog.

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Glastonbury……….. for the 1st time

I have to admit I was sooo excited but abit scared on the journey to Glastonbury having heard nightmare stories about parking 7 miles away from your camp and the toilet stories …… well I’m sure most of you have heard about them!

On arrival with my soon to be good mates Nicky and Nicky we found “Vickys Place” very easily and only a 10 min walk from the car. Clare and Vicky had arrived on the Wednesday with the campervan and put up our 3 second ‘throw in the air’ tents so we were greeted with nothing to do but have an ice cold g & t to celebrate the start of the festival.

Walking down into the festival on the Thursday night took my breath away – it is like a small city! wrist bands and tickets sorted we were in and straight into bands, people, dancing and later …………. the famous Glasto rain!

I was blown away by the festival, like living in a different world, full of peace and harmoney and the music was awesome. Lily Allen blew me away but not as much as Blur on the last night – the memory will last forever and I think about the performance every day since being lucky enough to have watched them.

See for some great photos and details of the festival. Hope to see you there next year!

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probably the most dangerous chocolate cake in the world!

A Little touch of wicked:


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract and your favourite tipple (optional)

1 large mug

Add dry ingredients to your largest mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using), vanilla extract and a drop or two of your favourite tipple, then mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!


Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.



(Serves 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).


If you’re feeling very,very naughty cover liberally in Bailey’s Irish Cream or the like. A scoop of ice cream is lovely too.

This is the most dangerous cake recipe in the world because now you are only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!


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Easter break for Impala Impressions

Easter started on Friday with a trip to Howletts zoo and what a fantastic day was had by myself,hubby and 4 year old son. The gorillas were so funny, we could have stayed all day just watching them. Tickets, if booked online at are at a 20% discount, well worth it and you can print your tickets off automatically so no need to wait for them to arrive in the post! Your ticket is also valid at Port Lympne wild animal park for 6 months too so well worth the money. On saturday we had the in-laws for an early Easter lunch and then off to sunny Staplehurst to meet friend for a fun evening.
Sunday saw a fantastic day at Went House in West Malling for drinks and eats with friends from our local The Lobster Pot. Many many thanks to Ian for such a wonderful spread and a fantastic day/evening.
Monday we visited Leeds Castle – which has to be one of the most beautiful castles in the UK with a mass of history, a maze, Moat, golf course, easter egg hunts and much much more and what’s better still is your ticket lasts for a year so many picnics are to come in the scenic grounds.
don’t forget to check out my new website

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Lullaby or pop song parent …………..?

despite research that claims parents favour pop songs to sing to their babies to send them to sleep. Infacol, a specialist in tummy care surveyed 2,353 parents and found that only 1% would choose to sing a pop song compared to 59% who would stick to old classics such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Hush Little Baby to sing their baby to sleep.

Richard Jenkinson of Lullaby Babies commented “I’m pleased to see these classic lullabies are at the top of the charts where they belong! Theses songs are hundreds of years old and have been passed down from generation to generation. I think it’s important that new parents continue this tradition by lulling their baby to sleep with the same songs their parents and grandparents used to sing to them.”

I personally used Swing Low Sweet Chariots quite alot!!!! but also Twinkle Twinkle is still a favourite of ours. Let me know what you think………………… are you a lullaby or pop song parent?

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Mumpreneurs – do you work on Mothers Day?..

So what do you think? lets start a discussion going on whether you HAVE to work or if you give yourself the day off?…………..


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Rugby tots……… leads to England glory

Sunday was Ethans first go at Rugby tots in Sevenoaks along with 7 other little chaps aged 3.5 to 5yrs and what a fantastic hour of fun and learning the beginnings of how to play rugby. Max and James were fantastic with the boys, giving just the right amount of praise but also letting them know when they were wrong. Of course I’m going to say this…… but Ethan was a star and did shine with his excellent catching skills.

After a huge Roast lamb lunch we watched the England France game together and for once Ethan could wear his pride and glory england rugby shirt! Well done boys, what a performance, lets hope it can carry on!

So a glorious sunday, weather wise and rugby wise.
Any mums and dads out there who would like to encourage their little ones (girls too) to play rugby see – it really is a must!

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What a fantastic weekend…………

Friday night was a great, a visit to our local pub the Bull then onto The Bombay for a wonderful curry, an early rise on Saturday morning and a trip to our local Asda to get Ethan some trackie bottoms, we have registered him with rugbytots (see )

Saturday afternoon saw a trip to Vigo rugby club see… where the first team were playing 2nd in the league Cranbrook, Vigo put on a stunning second half to win the game by seven points.  Saturday night was spend in Sissinghurst at my brothers with good friend and a spectacular curry (a Gordon Ramsey recipe I believe).  Quite a late night………….. Sunday took us to the Hop farm in the beautiful sunshine see which is a must for all to go to with loads of new attractions.  Sunday night was an early one to get ready for the week ahead…………..  thanks to Bruce my very very gorgeous husband and my beautiful son Ethan for making my weekend so fab.

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