Monday, 31 October 2016

A Pertinent Point about Sexual Sell-By Dates!

This blog has always been for parents of all children from little ones, to teens, students and beyond and there are some subjects that are relevant and important, but not necessarily child friendly. So, when I was sent this really funny infographic from Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor, I couldn't resist sharing it with you. It makes a very important point, whilst bringing in some humour at the same time. Perfect, for when you have to raise sensitive subjects with your older offspring. You can see the full image by clicking 'Read More', but be careful around younger children, as it may throw up some tricky questions! Check out the website for more information on family matters and sexual health. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Holiday Inn Cardiff, A Short (and Curly) Stay

Holidy Inn hotel room with title text overlayed I don't stay in hotels very often, but when I do, my needs are few. It's usually because we are travelling somewhere via the Megabus and need somewhere to stay for the night, because it's too far to go there and back in a day, so a bed is the main requirement. This week, it was just L and I travelling to Cardiff for the DanTDM Live Tour at St David's Hall. We ended up staying at The Holiday Inn, which was a new hotel chain for us and we were interested to see how it compared to some of the other chain hotels we had stayed in previously, such as The Travelodge. When we first arrived, we found a large and welcoming foyer. There were comfortable chairs to sit in and even computers where you could take advantage of the free wifi that was available for guests throughout the hotel.

My Sunday Photo: Leafing a Mess

Boy kicking up a pile of leaves in a park

Friday, 28 October 2016

What Happened on The DanTDM Live Tour

Excited boy in front of Dan TDM tour posterYouTube baffles me. I use it when I want to find a clip I remember that was once on the telly, or, most often, to listen to music. It's like a reference library for the 21st century. Except it isn't. For many people, particularly the younger ones, it's almost like a TV. They have their favourite shows, which they look forward to each day, and, most importantly, they have their favourite Youtubers. Who knew there was such a thing as celebrity Youtubers? With one or two exceptions, I had no idea this was even a thing. So I was amazed to find, when I went to book a stage show for L's favourite Youtuber, that it sold out pretty quickly. Yes, there are stage shows now and this one was actually pretty good. Two things I learned from this event, DanTDM knows his audience and there is a good reason why children love him. 

Win a £10 Amazon Voucher


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe - The Walking Dead Returns

The Walking Dead Poster
I have been given the responsibility of looking after Lucy's beautiful blog whilst she is at home currently attacking her router with a hammer (or more likely waiting for an engineer) and subsequently internet-less. So I have a little Zombie or should I say Walker related post for you to get your infected bite into: Not for years have I witnessed a show being so popular in such a varied demographic fanbase.

My Sunday Photo: Winding Pathway

Pathway viewed through trees


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Tips on Learning to Drive

Learning to drive is something most of us have to go through these days, if we want to maximise our job prospects and provide adequate taxi support for our future or current children! It's just getting harder and harder to avoid, with constant cuts to public transport and companies increasingly finding ways to outsource and amalgamate their businesses further away. Like any learning process, it's important to find the learning style that suits you. Some people learn best from practical application, where as others gain more confidence from reading and memorising. There is no right or wrong answer. Jade has recently started having lessons and these are some of the tips we came up with to try and help a bit.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Wilko Advent Calendar Review

Wilko 2016 Advent CalendarThis advent calendar review may seem a bit early, but there is a very good reason for that. All the best advent calendars sell out REALLY quick and this one is amazing value, so you don't want to miss out. We were sent one to have a look at and I have to say, it is incredible value for money. The rise in non-food gift advent calendars has really taken off in the last couple of years and now you can buy all kinds of different types, in every kind of price range. This elegant offering from Wilko offers a wide selection of cosmetics, that are a small, but useable, size and contain something for everyone. The best bit about this advent calendar is that because it is so varied in its contents, by December 24th, the lucky recipient will have an entire range to create a wealth of new make up looks for the new year. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Tips for Coping with Working Nights

Sunset with Title Overlayed
With jobs getting scarcer, contracts being flakier and the cost of living becoming an ever-growing struggle to meet, people are having to find smarter ways to make the most of their time. The stay-at-home parent is becoming less common as more and more people are having to juggle work and family to make ends meet. One way to hold down a job, manage a family, and earn a bit more, is to work nights. Night workers are not limited to public service professions and you don't always need to be skilled. You can often earn a premium, though, and there are benefits to your family life too. Here are my top tips for coping with working nights. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Win a Minions Single Duvet Set


How I Halved the Cost of a School Packed Lunch

Cubed cheese in pot, with title overlayedEveryone begins the school year with the best of intentions. Get up earlier, put clothes out the night before, locate all the shoes in good time, remember to read the newsletter, etc, etc. Not all of them will last the term, but there was one aspect of the school day that I really wanted to change this year. The lunch box. My initial thought was to try to reduce the amount of packaging we were using, but there was also an unexpected benefit too. The amount we spent drastically reduced. Happily, even a slightly fussy eater is tucking in just as enthusiastically as he was before and it really doesn't take much longer to prepare, either.


Monday, 10 October 2016

Cooking the Perfect Steak

Steak and Chips with Sauces
My husband and I disagree on many things, mainly because he is often wrong. The one thing he is most wrong about though, is steak. He is a total fillet-philistine. He likes his steak ridiculously well done and can't understand how I can eat it any other way. When he cooks a steak for himself (he's a little kinder to mine!), there is no way of knowing what type of steak it once was. By the time he's finished cooking it, it has all the taste and texture of something you would buy in Clarks and I have spent many years trying to convince him that there is another way. A tastier way. So far though, it has fallen on deaf ears, so I have enlisted the help of an expert. Steve Pooley is Chef Director at Jamie Oliver Barbecoa and knows a thing or two about food. Proving that I am right again, here is the expert's guide to cooking the perfect steak. 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Tips for Helping with Memory

Notebook and Boofle PenI don't really know why I have such a bad memory. I know it started around the time I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, so I guess it could be to do with that. It's a real problem, not least because no one gets it. When you say you forget things, the answer you will most often get is; 'Oh yes, me too! I have to write things down, I'd be lost without my notebook/ calendar/ organiser.'  This is a different kind of memory loss, though. The kind of memory issue I have can't be solved by writing things down, because when I forget something, I forget it ever happened. I forget I had the conversation when it was arranged. I forget the arrangement even needed to be made in the first place, and I would certainly forget if, and where, I wrote it down. If this is you, you will know how infuriating it is, but I have found some tips for helping with memory that have made things easier over the years. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Weighing Children in School; A Guest Post

I recently wrote about the National Child Measurement Programme and why I would not allow my son to take part. I received a lot of interest in the post and one of the main comments I received was that people did not realise their children didn't have to take part, or they are unaware that weighing children in school happened at all. This scheme happens in all state-run schools, every year (I'm not sure about Private Schools), but you have every right to opt out. The weigh-in takes place during Reception year and again in Year 6. If you don't receive a form to sign to opt out, inform your school in writing if you would prefer your children to be excluded. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Afternoon Tea at The Grange Hotel, Winterbourne, Bristol

Cake stand with sandwiches and cakesWe bought our Afternoon Tea experience using Virgin Experience Days vouchers and were really looking forward to it. I wasn't sure if it represented the best value, as I paid £39 for what turned out to be about an hour, whereas I spent the rest of the £100 voucher on a spa day for two, with a manicure and pedicure thrown in, but we are all big fans of tea parties in general and it's even better when you don't have to make it yourself! The voucher was originally for two, but I phoned and asked if I could bring L along as well, and if it would be possible for them to include some plain cheese sandwiches for him, as he can be a little suspicious of unknown sarnies, and I wanted there to be at least one he would eat. Otherwise he would soon be full of nothing but cake and I felt this could be a recipe for disaster in a confined space and polite company!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Why is Money Management not Taught in Schools?

British ten and twenty pound notes. Most things in life we are not born able to do. When babies are born, they have to learn pretty much every skill they will rely on later in life, from walking and using the toilet, to rolling their eyes and answering back. A lot of these skills will come from parents and in later life their teachers and peers will have an impact on how they grow and develop. Education falls into two camps; academic, which is mainly school-based, and moral, which often comes from a family focus. It should be a partnership between home and school to ensure that children get a complete education. Learning, not just the three 'R's, but also  how to make good judgements and wise decisions, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are encouraging here in Maria's post from Happy Mummy.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Win a £25 Amazon Voucher with Lesser Spotted Comper

There’s a new competition website launching soon for UK entrants and this one has a bit of a difference. The launch date is October 5th and the site will focus on Pinterest, Instagram, Low Entry and Local Competitions, giving you an opportunity to easily find competitions that sometimes slip under the radar. There will be giveaways throughout the day on the Facebook and Twitter pages on the day of launch, so it is well worth getting a follow in now, so you don’t miss out. Here’s Sandy, who runs the site, to tell you all about it and introduce a new competition to celebrate the launch!

My Sunday Photo: My Misty Mornings

Thick ground fog around trees
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