Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle decorated eggs

Do your kids decorate eggs for easter?  It is one of the things the boys love and they have egg decorating competitions at school, cubs and also the Easter Party we attend annually. We are one of those families that believe in the kids decorating their own eggs, so I sit on my hands and provide encouragement only!  These Teenage Mutant Ninja decorated eggs won Maxi the cubs competition this year and even better they are simple and all his own work! teenage mutant ninja turtle decorated eggs (more…)
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Simple paper plate nests

I have been looking after my friends three year old and we have been having so much fun with some easy, but satisfying craft projects.  One of which is this super simple paper plate nests for our pompom chicks.  Once we made these he had so much fun playing with both the nests and chicks. PAPER PLATE NESTS SQUARE (more…)
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Easter Bonnet Ideas

Part of our Spring tradition is making an Easter Bonnet for the Kids Easter Party.  I used to be one of those parents that wanted it all to be perfect and symmetrical, but over the years I have learnt to sit on my hands and let the boys take over.   In my humble opinion my boys Easter Bonnets might not look perfect, but they are kid made. easter bonnets (more…)
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15 Spring outdoor activities for kids

Oh I adore Spring.  The lighter nights, the warmer days and the promise of things to come.  We are a pretty active family and the boys take the opportunity of lighter night to play outside.  In fact they don't come home until we go find them and can often be found playing football under the light of a street lamp.   But for those of you with kids that are reluctant to leave the warms and familiarity of the screen for outside play here are some  great spring activities. 15 outdoor spring activities (more…)
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20 Easter egg decorating ideas for kids

We are so looking forward to the Easter holidays at the Mad House and one of our traditions is to decorate eggs.  Not only as it is fun to do, but also for a competition at my brothers club and the cubs too.  We never do anything overly elaborate, but we really enjoy it. 20 egg decorating ideas for kids (more…)
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Paper plate hand print chick

Spring is my favorite season and yellow my favorite colour, so this Paper plate hand print chick really makes my heart sing.  It is a simple craft, but is a fun way to include your child's hand print in to crafting.  Chicks are a perfect signifier for spring or Easter and if you are a chick fan then you might like my easy chick cards or pompom chicks. We didn't have any yellow paper plates so we decided to paint our white plates yellow, which added in another step, but we love painting and remember it doesn't have to be perfect.  this is your child's craft, so let them take the lead depending on the age they are.  If you are not a fan of paint you could use crayon, pens or even oil pastels to colour in your plate.  The beauty of this paper plate chick craft is that it is made from items that you are likely to already have in your craft box. chick square (more…)
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Munch Bunch twitter party on 25 March @8.30pm

The Easter holidays are nearly upon us and Spring has sprung, it’s the perfect time for a Nature Trail!  We are big fans of encouraging you to get out and about no matter what the weather, but the lighter nights and warmer days make it so much easier for everyone. munch bunch 1 To help encourage you get outside and take your kids on nature trails, TV presenter and mum of two, Angellica Bell is sharing her tips on getting down with nature and helping children learn where food comes from in a Twitter party on Wednesday March 25th, 8.30pm. (more…)
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Homemade Pizza Recipe – Cooking with kids

We have been making homemade pizza's as a family since the boys were small.  It has become a tradition in the Mad House that Saturday night is pizza night and over the years we have perfected our homemade pizza recipe and now it is perfect and great for cooking with kids. cooking with kids pizza dough   (more…)
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Paddington Bear crafts, activities & free printables

Have you seen the Paddington Bear movie? We loved it in the Mad House   It was the perfect family feel good movie and even the husbeast enjoyed it and we will be happy to purchase it on DVD or Blue Ray when it comes out on 23rd March.  It was one of the best family movies we have seen in ages. So to celebrate the release of the movie I wanted to share with you some fabulous PB crafts and activities and also some fab free printables too. paddington square (more…)
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Pompom tailed bunny garland

How cute is this bunny garland! I have not hidden my love of pom poms from you and Easter is the perfect time to use pom poms in your crafts.  This pompom tailed bunny garland is adorable and so simple to make.  If you don't fancy making pompoms for it, then make it smaller and use cotton wool balls for the fluffy tails! pompom tailed bunny bunting (more…)
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15 Frugal decorating ideas for Easter – #fabulouslyfrugal 14/03/15

I love Easter.  It really is a wonderful time of the year.  A time of renewal, a time for rejoicing and also new beginnings.  I love to decorate our home with the changes of seasons and Easter is no exception. I also love how our decorations are building up and being added to over the years.  Most of them are homemade and hold lots of memories and none of them were expensive.  My top tip is to buy them after Easter is over in the sales and put them away for next year, just remember where you have stored them! 15 frugal decorating ideas (more…)
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My Mum shaped hole

The more I mother, the more I respect and appreciate my own mother.  The more I mother, the more I want to tell her just how much my opinion of her has changed. But the gap she has left in my life is more than that.  I want to ask questions. Was I really as bad as Mini at getting to and staying asleep.  Is Maxi as precocious as I was? mum (more…)
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Chocolate cornflake nests – cooking with kids

This shop and recipe for chocolate Cornflake nests has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias Sometimes when you are trying to encourage your kids into the kitchen you just need a simple recipe that is fun to make and chocolate cornflake nests fit that bill and are super fun for kids of all ages to make as there is no baking or oven involved. cornflake nests (more…)
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Cinnamon Apple Fries

Back in 2013 we visited LEGOLAND Florida twice, yes twice and one of the highlights for me was the Granny Smith apple fries, which are delicious cinnamon apple fries. I have tried to bake these fries and also attempted to cook them in the air fryer, but trust me you need to actually fry these in vegetable oil to get the crisp coating.  The secret is to cook a few at a time in a really hot oil, that way the outside crisps and prevents the inside absorbing oil. Cinnamon apple fries (more…)
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How to make button bracelets, a beautiful homemade gift

Is there anything better than receiving a homemade gift made with love?  This beautiful button bracelet would be the perfect Mothers Day gift or tween craft.  I would be delighted to be the recipient of this gorgeous unique piece of jewellery which was made by Utterly Scrummy Food for Family's daughter. Button Bracelet_2

How to make a Button Bracelet

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Spring clothes for boys

Oh how do I adore the lighter nights and warmer days  It makes going outside so much more fun.  I am currently working with Melijoe, a fab website filled with wonderful kids clothes and here are the MiniMad's picks for spring clothes for boys. spring picks for boys (more…)
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How to make picture tile coasters

Picture tile coasters make great gifts for Mums or Grandparents and are so easy and fun to make. They also make great frugal teachers gifts.  We picked up our tiles from the discount section of the DIY superstore as the box was broken and it was £1 for 10 four inch tiles and we have been using images from our fab FujiFIlm Pop Books. picture tile coasters (more…)
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30 Frugal Mother’s Day Gifts – #FabulouslyFrugal 07/03

There is only a week until Mother's Day in the UK and there really isn't the need to spend a lot.  In fact most mothers would just be delighted with a handmade card and a lie in, trust me on that one! However, if you do want to spoil your mum on a budget then you have come to the right place. 30 DIY MOthers day git ideas (more…)
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Family recipes and free printable recipe card

There is something special about picking up a recipe book or a handwritten recipe that is marked with fingerprints, oil splatters and the holds in it all the history of the times that meal has been cooked for loved ones. mum and autnie chri My mum didn't have a recipe book, she cooked from memory, she even baked from memory.  She was an excellent cook and other than a few notes in an old Mrs Beeton's Cookery book from 1959 and a Bero Book with notes in and a few pages torn out of magazines.  Then she died so suddenly a lot of her fabulous recipes died with her.   (more…)
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Celebrate International Women’s Day with a fab giveaway

In honour of International Women’s Day this Sunday 8 March two great Belgian brands are offering six lucky Mum in the Mad House readers the chance to win some amazing prizes. celebrating womans day (more…)
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How to make simple paper roses and beautiful roses for Mothers Day

I love Mother's Day.  Yes it might be overly commercial, but it is a wonderful reminder for us all that Mothers are amazing.  Plus with two little boys in the house that love giving and making cards and gifts it is the perfect opportunity for them to express their creativity. simple paper roses square As much as I adore homemade flowers such as our beautiful cake case daffodils, nothing beats roses. (more…)
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Do you have a Ninja dog?

Can you believe that is is nearly two years since we brought Alvin in to our family.  He turns two on April 18th and we can not imagine life without him.  After being a cat family we have tuned in to a dog family and are really looking forward to watching Crufts this year! al and maxi We have also had a great deal of fun the last few days watching these fab "Ninja Dogs" who will get you if you disrespect the chocolate in Balsen Pick Up Biscuits! We have a sneak peek of the advert for you below........ (more…)
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Real kids bedrooms designed by regular Mums’

There are loads of inspirational kids bedrooms on Pinterest, but a big part of me kn0ows that my two boys will never have a bedroom like that.  Not down to the fact that I don't have the imagination, but down to costs, size, time and the fact that they just would not keep it clean (well Mini wouldn't). Don't be disparaged by all the beauty that there is, here are some real kids bedrooms designed by regular mums' like you and me. real kids rooms (more…)
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The best Carrot cake in the world – c is for carrot

Yes I know it is a big things to say, but this really is the best carrot cake in the whole wide world.  We have tried others and nothing comes close and other people have made out best carrot cake in the world and agree with us. We do to even peel the carrots, just wash them and top and tail them.  This is a beautifully moist cake that is delicious and if you have kids that refuse carrots this will really turn them round. This recipe is great for making with kids as you do it all the mixing by hand. cooking with kids carrot cake  

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Pies, Cooking with kids

Hoorah! Its British Pie Week! We love pies in The Mad House, both savory and sweets ones and they are perfect for using with leftovers and also for cooking with kids.  So in celebration I have a cooking with kids pie special.  For the purpose of this round up, I am also including tarts and quiches which have a pastry bottom!  For those reader in the UK I have teamed up with pie makers Higgidy to celebrate British Pie Week, so do read to the end to see our fab giveaway. pies cooking with kids (more…)
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101 Low cost activities for Spring Bored Jar

I can almost taste it, Spring is in the air and that means a whole new bored jar and a whole new list of low cost or no cost activities for Spring for kids and families.  Sometimes we just need a nudge in the right direction, some inspiration to encourage our kids away from technology and that is what this fantastic list is. Not sure what a bored jar is, well here I tell you how to make your own bored jar. Our Spring Bored Jar has all the below activities in and a bunch of chores too.  I hope that the added chores encourage the children to think twice before dipping in their hand and using the term "I'm bored"! bored jar square spring (more…)
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15 Frugal Sensory Tub ideas – Low Cost or No Cost

Sensory tubs really are a delight for all the senses.  You dont have to fill them with expensive materials or items and often you can repurpose things to make a fantastic thrifty Sensory tub.  So I want to inspire you with these fab frugal sensory tub ideas. You really do not have to go out and buy expensive materials, you just need to take a different look at what you already have in your home and go from there. Fabulously Frugal sensory Bins (more…)
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Cake case daffodils

I love real flowers, I really do, but there is nothing that makes me smile more than than the handmade ones that grace my desk which have over time been made by my boys.  They are often so simple to make, but they last forever and these cake case daffodils are so simple to make, but look amazing.  Even better this is a mess free craft. cake case daffodils 6 (more…)
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Tips for getting through the monotony of parenting

Being a parent can be a slog.  I am not going to lie there are times when I find mothering a monotony.  Now do not get me wrong, I adore my children and have come to know that I was born to be a parent, but heck there have been days and even months when I have wanted to tear my hair out over thinking about cooking yet another meal or wiping another bottom (thankfully baby days and toddler days are long gone). Escaping the monotony of motherhood Kids thrive on routine, well at least mine do.  They like to know what we are having for dinner, what time is lunch and Maxi likes to be in charge of making sure the timetable is strictly adhered to (a sergeant major in the making that one)! So how do we make sure we escape the monotony of motherhood? (more…)
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10 Recycled playsets – #Fabulously Frugal 22 February

I love making the most of what we have and that is what Fabulously Frugal is all about for me this week.  Making the most of things that we already have in the home and recycling or upcycling them to make playsets. 10 Recycled playsets square (more…)
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Homemade flowers for kids to make

Spring is on it's way in the UK and I for one am looking forward to spring flowers, but you can have flowers all year round and they mean so much when they are fantastic kid made flowers.  So We have a round up of homemade flowers for kids to make. Homemade flowers for kids to make These homemade flowers are perfect to give for Mother's Day or to bring some Spring colour in your life. (more…)
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35 Spring Lamb and Sheep crafts

My husband's family are farmers.  Dairy Farmers, but the start of Spring is always heralded by the arrival of Spring Lambs.  2015 marks the start of the Chinese Year of the Sheep too.  So I have 35 Spring Lamb and Sheep crafts to share with you. We have a super selection of sheep and lamb crafts to marks the beginning of Spring, so lets get crafting.  There are some for kids, some for adults and some for you to do as a family (my favorites).  I love sheep crafts a lot and if you have any that I haven't featured then please do add them to the linky at the bottom to be included in the next round up. 35 Sheep spring lamb crafts

35 Spring Lamb and Sheep craft

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B is for.. Banana Muffins – Cooking with kids

So here is part 2 of our fab new series the A-Z of cooking with kids.  You can find A is for Apple Muffins here.  Today is B is for Banana Muffins.  My kids have been know to allow bananas to turn so that they can make these as they are their favorite muffins in the whole wild world. These are simple to make, delicious, moreish and perfect for freezing. simple banana and choc chip muffins (more…)
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How to launch a business as a Mum

One of the hardest things about being a mum is balancing work, home and parenting. Now just balancing it, but dealing with the guilt that comes with it, no matter what you do.   Before Maxi was born I was determined I would go back to work full time we even paid for the months nursery, but then he was born and had a health scare and I changed my mind.  We moved 300 miles to make sure that I could be a stay at home mum for the first years of my boys lives, but I understand that isn't possible for everyone. How to launch your own business as a mum (more…)
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Homemade Gifts – #FabulouslyFrugal 15 Feb 2015

Who does love a homemade gift.  They are much more thoughtful that a purchased one.  I love the thought and love that goes into them, plus they are often less expensive too.  We have some amazing links to last weeks Fabulously Frugal, so please do keep them coming.  I know that these gifts would make a wonderful Mothers Day present.

homemade gifts

Homemade Gifts

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Vegetable & Salsa Verde Scone Pizza – Kids in the Kitchen

I am a huge advocate of encouraging kids in the kitchen and my boys cook with me at least once a week.  Sometimes getting kids to eat new foods and choose a healthy option can be a battle, but I find with my boys that they are much more likely to eat things that they have actually cooked. We have homemade pizza approximately once a week and this version made with whole grains is a new version to us, but looks and sounds delicious, but more than that it is perfect for cooking with kids. Vegetable & Salsa Verde Scone Pizza 2

Vegetable & Salsa Verde Scone Pizza Recipe

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Encouraging kids to save

Natwest Fairer Savings have asked me to share with you #MySaverStory past, present and future.  The truth is I have never really been a saver, well not until my health scare.  Before that I pretty much winged though life.  Both the husbeast and I were in great jobs and we were off the mindset that credit was fine and we would be OK.  Ha, ha, ha well we were wrong! Life stepped in and it was a big fat wet fish in the face and we got in a pickle that we are still working our way out of five years later! Encouraging your kids to save (more…)
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MWorld, A new way of learning

Our children are growing up and learning in an environment so different to when I was at school.  Online technology is a given.  Video content is available at the click of a button.  I remember the school only having one TV on wheels and often my class would come to my parents house to watch a TV program! For the last month or so we have been reviewing the MWorld app and I can safely say that the boys have loved it and both MadDad and me think it is a fantastic way of reinforcing learning without kids even thinking they are learning.   Tecnology

What is MWorld?

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10 Ways to raise active kids and Win £200

I understand the importance of raising active kids.  I have talked about the benefits of team sports for kids previously.  Having sporty kids is a real blessing and I am always encouraging them to be active. 10 Ways to get your kids Active

10 Ways to raise active kids

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Free valentines printables

With Valentines Day nearly upon us, free Valentine’s Day Printables are a fantastic way to celebrate the day and keep the kids busy too. Today I have 5 child friendly Valentines Day printable sets to share with you including gift tags, valentines cards to colour, cake toppers, labels and gift tags. free valentine printables square

Free Valentines Printables

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Recycled Art Projects – Fabulously Frugal

My kids love recycled art projects, they are a great way of using up our household recycling and repurposing it into something amazing and it seems like we are not the only ones.  At last weeks Fabulously Frugal Linky we had some amazing recycled art projects and activities linked up.

Recycled Art Projects

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40 Amazing pancake toppings

We love pancakes in the Mad House, they rock our world and as far as we are concerned they are not just for pancake day.  But with it coming on February 17th we wanted to share with you some amazing pancake toppings. 40 amazing pancake toppings

40 Amazing pancake toppings

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Using an Editorial Calendar – CoSchedule review

Can you believe I have been blogging for seven years and only just made the move to using an Editorial Calendar, specifically CoSchedule.  I have been using it for 3 months now and wouldn't be without it, so thought the time had come to share with you my thoughts on using CoSchedule  as an editorial calendar. Up until now I have been using a paper system, which works well, but I decided to integrate CoSchedule in my normal day to day routine and it has been great and saved me time and my sanity which is great. Save time blogging coshedule review

Using an Editorial Calendar - CoSchedule review

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A is for Apple Muffins, cooking with Kids

We are going to be sharing with you our A-Z of cooking with kids over the next year and we are starting today with A is for..... Apple Muffins.  These easy apple muffins are simple to make with kids and are perfect for freezing and using in lunch boxes. Easy apple and cinnamon muffins  

How to make Easy Apple Muffins

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How to make a Pompom sheep

We love pom poms.  They are fantastic for using up scraps of yarn and making them is great fine motor skills for the boys.  With 2015 being the Chinese year of the Sheep and the new Shaun the sheep movie die out anytime, we decided to try our hands at making pompom sheep. How to make a pompom sheep (more…)
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Encouraging learning at home for older children

Both of my boys are at an age where they have a real thirst for knowledge and there are times when they want to continue that learning at home.  We were recently sent some Letts "Wild About" learning books. This got me thinking about when it is appropriate to use workbooks at home and how best to integrate them in to our home.  I am big on learning through play and this is something that we have always concentrated on, however with my boys getting older (they are currently nine and eight) they are also reaching the point that they want to start working on some other ways. Encouraging learning at home with older kids

Encouraging learning at home with older children

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How to make Valentines surprise crackers

We love crackers in The Mad House and our homemade crackers  and New Years wish crackers  such a hit, we decided to make some valentines surprise crackers for the ones we love. Valentines surprise crackers

How to make Valentines surprise crackers

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Heart shaped paper chains – 5 minute craft

Sometimes you need a simple craft that will only take five minutes or so and heart shape paper chains are one of those crafts.  It is mess free, simple and perfect for kids of all ages. How to make heart shaped paper chains

How to make Heart shaped paper chains

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Salt dough jewellery

We love salt dough.  It is a brilliant art and craft material and we love creating with it.  It is not just a kids craft material and to demonstrate that we wanted to share with you our heart shaped salt dough jewellery which is the perfect craft for preschoolers through to teens. We used our go to salt dough recipe and the salt dough jewellery was made with half the recipe. Salt dough jewellery

How to make Salt Dough Jewellery

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How to make heart shaped sugar cubes

One of the highlights of my days as the boys get older is afternoon tea.  Once they get home from school we sit down to after school snacks and a pot of tea.  I don't take sugar, however, the MIL always sugared the boys tea and they love adding a sugar lump, so we have mad fun making our own heart shaped sugar cubes. painted heart shaped sugar cubes Even better I love the fact that we have my mum's sugar tongs and bowl and it makes it such an experience. heart shaped sugar cubes

How to make heart shaped sugar cubes

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