At what age should you kids be sleeping through the night? 11

From the moment my babies were born the first question I was asked was “Are they sleeping through the night?”.  Well the fact was my boys never slept for more than 4 hours at a time until they were eleven months old and I thought that I was the exception and that babies were supposed to sleep, you must have heard the sleep like a baby quote and thought that is was a good thing!  So at what age should kids be sleeping though the night?  

I look so peaceful when my kids are sleepubg

Pumpkin paper plate weaving 14

Are you feeling all autumnal yet?  We certainly are.  We picked the last two butternut squash from our garden this week and are enjoying lots of pumpkin soup.  We are also still in the mood for pumpkin craft and I had some orange yarn left over from our pumpkin paper plate lacing craft, so we came up with a variation on our Sunflower paper plate weaving, Pumpkin paper plate weaving.

Pumpkin paper plate weaving

free adult colouring pages for halloween

Halloween Colouring pages for Adults 23

You must all know by now that I LOVE colouring.  I find it really therapeutic and it enables me to switch off whilst spending time with the hubby.  I just can not sit and watch TV and not do anything with my hands!  With Halloween coming, I was inspired to put together a list of free Halloween colouring pages for adults and teens.

How to tighten your budget without impacting upon family life 10

As a family, we’re always trying to save as much as we can. We can’t necessarily afford to put a great deal aside each month, but it’s always so reassuring to have a little bit put away for things like holidays, days out, and, of course, Christmas and Birthdays. But, with the children growing up quicker than I ever thought possible, and things like university, moving out and, dare I say it, weddings, looming ever closer on the horizon, I’m trying to find ways in which we can cut back and save more.

Vacation entertainment concept. Handcrafted countryside style wooden desk items in creative disorder laptop internet page on screen color pencils booklets plate strawberry glass orange juice

Simple jar lanterns for Halloween

Simple jar lanterns for Halloween 12

I love decorating seasonally and also with the dark nights, I am a big fan of using light to decorate too.  Last year we made some super simple jar lanterns for Halloween and we decided to add to them this year.  These Halloween lanterns are really easy to make Look great too and are a fantastic way to reuse any old jars that you may have.

Haunted Gingerbread House – Cooking with kids 20

One of our annual traditions is making a Gingerbread House at Christmas and decorating it.  It is such a fun activity and we decided that doing it only once a year was not on and a poor use of our mould, so we decided that for the next year we are going to make a seasonal house and this is our haunted gingerbread house.  We had so much fun making and decorating it.

Haunted gingerbread house

Star Wars Books for Kids

Fab Star Wars Books for kids 1

I have talked before that it can sometimes be frustrating as a parent when you want to instil a love of books and reading in your kids and they are reluctant readers.    Over my years as a parent I have struggled to reconcile the fact that Maxi is not a book worm like I am and that Mini has become.  However, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t read,  just that he reads in different ways.  I have also learned that I need to find something that engages him and with the new Star Wars movie coming out later this year these Star Wars books really did.

The UK’s Best Festive Cake – Christmas Tree Cupcakes 16

I love baking and cooking with the boys.  It is something I did with my Mum and I am sure that she did with hers too.  I have had them in the kitchen with me since they could sit in a high chair and we always have lots of fun baking.  I especially love baking and making with them at Christmas.  Just take a look at these fabulous Christmas tree cupcakes that Mini made and decorated.  Another one of our annual traditions is making our not to gingery gingerbread, which we use to make Gingerbread houses and reindeer cookies.

Christmas Tree Cupcake

Firework Art – Cable tie firework sculptures 19

Do you love fireworks?  I have such fond memories of the annual firework displays that used to take place on the stray each November 5th when I was growing up.  Cold toes, hot chocolate from the flask and sparklers in gloved hands.  I remember  looking at the sky in awe at the beautiful bright bursts of colour and them making the fact that I was cold so worthwhile.  We loved making these zip tie (cable tie) firework sculptures, just look how beautiful they are and they were super fun to make too.

Firework Art - Zip tie firework sculptures

craft stick fairy doors

How to make craft stick fairy doors 15

One of the great things about children is their imagination.  How stones become treasure, dandelion clocks are fairy wishes and every rainbow has a pot of cold at the end.  So we decided to make some craft stick fairy doors to welcome the fairies in to our garden this summer.

Hairy Hot Dogs or Scary Spaghetti – Cooking with kids 13

We first made hairy hot dogs or scary spaghetti back in 2009 (just look at how cute and small Maxi was back in 2009) and they have become an annual Halloween tradition here in The Mad House.  They are super fun to make and something that the boys can make on their own now they are older.  Making these is great fine motor skills for children of all ages too.


Toilet Monster Decal

Toilet Monster for Halloween 22

I love creating and decorating seasonally and I also like a little of the unexpected in my home.  So I have created this fab toilet monster for halloween.

How to make a bubble snake maker 9

We are making the most of the good weather at the moment and trying to make things that we can use in the garden and this bubble snake maker is so fun and easy to make from things that you will already have in your home, all you need to do is add a sprinkle of imagination.

Bubble snake maker squa

Pumpkin paper plate lacing craft

Pumpkin paper plate lacing craft 18

Can you feel the change of season in the air.  Autumn is certainly upon us and this fab pumpkin paper plate lacing craft is a great way to celebrate the season and decorate for Halloween too.   A craft like this is perfect for working on fine motor skills.

Yvolution Y Fliker Lift Review 12

I am really lucky that I have two boys that take no encouragement to be sporty and active.  They love being out playing with their friends and often only return home if they are hungry or it is dark!   For the last three weeks the MiniMads have been testing out the Yvolution Y Fliker Lift.  Want to know what they thought of it?  Read on…

Yvolution Y Fliker Lift

Vampire Bite Cupcakes

Vampire Bite Cupcakes for Halloween – Cooking with kids 20

We love baking and these vampire bite cupcakes are perfect for Halloween and super simple to decorate (I feel a little embarrassed even doing a tutorial for them), but they are perfect for baking with kids and you can let them take over.

Glue Resist Art Project for Kids – Pumpkin 25

We love glue resist art projects, one of our favorites was the watercolor leaf garland we made last Autumn and this year we decided to try a variation using black paper for our glue resist pumpkins.

Glue resist art project for kids pumpkins

parenting hacks

Parenting Hacks – Share Yours and Win! 38

Parenting is the hardest job I have ever had.  In fact it isn’t really a job as I can not resign, can I?  So anything I can do to make it easier is great by me.  In the past I think parenting hacks were often just called tips, but no matter what they are called I totally dig finding new ones.  I used to think that some of these hacks were just old wives tales (like the vapour rub on feet), but when you have a child coughing at 3am, you will try anything!