Clarks are still Cool for Kids Shoes 13

I am a stickler for making sure my boys have decent shoes and that they fit well and for school shoes that has means a mixture of Clarks and Startright and recently Geox, Doc Martians and Kickers. This has been fine with my boys, but for trainers it has been another matter, until recently!

Clarks are still Cool for Kids square


Personalised Party Crafts: Dom and Geri Wrapping Paper 16

This fab personalised party crafts post is brought to you by Sara-Jayne from Keep Up with the Jones family.  A certain little someone from The Jones family is going to have a birthday soon so I asked Sarah to share with us her love of all things party and see what she could do with this beautiful photo gift wrap from Dom and Geri.

Teaching kids budgeting – Cash versus card 1

Money, we never seem to have enough, or that should be we have a habit of living to our means,  Raising children is an expensive business.  Mini killed yet another pair of school schools this week.  This is his third pair since September and they do not come cheap.  I try to make sure I budget and save for unexpected expenses, but some months it fee’s as though we are robbing peter to pay paul, even more so when my clients do not always pay on time (the joys of freelancing)!

Budgeting - Cash versus card


Tall Tales at the Top of the Tower 5

There is nothing more magical than a story and imagine being told a tall tale from the top of the tower.  Yes, really this extra special experience will take place on Saturday mornings throughout May and June at the top of the Blackpool Tower.

How to clean your Washing Machine 10

We have just got a new washing machine and I am determined to make it last by ensuring that it is cleaned regularly (although our new machine is self cleaning)!  My last washing machine was cleaned on a monthly basis and lasted nine years, so I am determined that this fantastic new Hotpoint RSG964JW SMART+ Washing Machine lasts at least that long (well it does come with a ten year parts guarantee)!  

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Upcycle glass jars into a stunning glowing photo jar luminaries. This beautiful photo luminaries glow when you add a candle and make the perfect gifts. What a fun DIY craft.

Photo Jar Luminaries 15

These photo jar luminaries are remarkably simple to make and perfect for upcycling empty jars and even for jazzing up candles.   I am passionate about ensuring that we eat together as a family and I love making our dinner table a wonderful place for my family to connect and these photo jar luminaries are a real talking point.

A month of Screen Free Prompts for tweens – #SpringForward 14

It has been nearly a month since we were  challenged by The Institute of Inertia in partnership with as part of my work with them, to reduce our screen time as a family.  So it is time to check in and be honest about how we have done and also set some resolutions going forward. 

happy family touching the smart phone

Believe in yourself colouring pages

Believe in yourself adult colouring pages 22

The whole adult colouring pages phenomena is showing no sign of slowing and for me, it isn’t surprising.  I am a big fan of colouring.  it is a great way of switching off and doing something creative that I can do anywhere.  Today I have a fantastic selection of three believe in yourself adult colouring pages.

Mythbusting – Head lice and NITS 17

One of the most challenging parts of school and parenting for me has always been head lice and nits.  I remember the “fear” I had before my boys had even started school.  But critters (as they have come known in our home) are really part and parcel of bringing up children.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a LOAD of myths and inaccuracies out there about them.  So in conjunction with KIT & COCO I am bringing you this myth-busting post, so you have the true lowdown on head lice and nits.

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This butterfly rain art is a super process art activity for kids and a great way to investigate the science of colour

Butterfly rain art – The science of colour 18

Butterfly rain art is a wonderful process art activity perfect for rainy days, alternatively, you can use a spray bottle of water to get the same reaction.  We thought that there was something magical watching the rain fall and change and mix our butterfly’s colours.

5 reasons why every family needs a dog 17

My early years were spent in a family with a dog, but after some issues with the last one, we became a family without animals.  Then after suffering a miscarriage we decided to get a couple of cats to keep me company and I imagined growing old as the mad cat woman that everyone talked about.

Alvin square

2016 The year of House Updates 13

Last month I shared with you that we needed to update our playspaces in our home as our boys are getting older and we have started to implement some changes.  We have been in our current home nine years and we had nearly all of our furniture from way before then.  In fact, we were still using towels, cuttlery and placemats that we were bought as wedding presents over 21 years ago.



Dinosaur footprint loaded flapjacks 19

These delicious Dinosaur footprint loaded flapjacks are inspired by Flora’s breakfast flapjack recipe and are ace for breakfasts on the run.  I am sure you have days when you really need to give the children something healthy and delicious and these flapjacks are perfect.

The Big School Big Decision 11

Last September like lots of parents we made the rounds of the local senior schools with Maxi.  We were and still are in the position of living in a town/village with no Senior school, although it has a three form entry primary school.  Yes, you read that right, there are seventy odd kids in Maxi’s year at the local primary school, but the council knocked down the Senior School and combined it with another in the next village over.

boys back to school


Screen time – Setting House Rules 14

This Spring  challenged by The Institute of Inertia in partnership with as part of my work with them, to reduce our screen time as a family.  I am not going to beat around the bush, during this wet UK winter we have all become too reliant on screens and something needed to be done.

Win £250 Tile Mountain Voucher 272

I am sure I am not the only one who is in the middle of Spring cleaning and organising.  As soon as the sun starts shining through my windows everything starts to look as though it needs a good clean.  Also, as our home is aging I can also see the areas that need an update and makeover and I am delighted to be working with Tile Mountain to offer you the chance to win a £250 Tile Mountain Voucher.


A fabulous faux stained glass art activity for children. This is a fun and simple process art activity that is great for tweens and teens. With a fab tip for making sure the paint doesn't flake and for keeping clean up simple and easy.

Faux stained glass art for kids 11

I love creating with kids, making art for the sake of enjoyment is a wonderful this and this faux stained glass art for kids is a brilliant process art that can be adapted for kids of all ages. Faux stained glass art for kids My boys are 11 and nearly 10 and at the moment, they are loving anything to do with paint and this process art was no exception.   I can see this being a great activity to do with a group of kids on a larger scale using a huge piece of cardboard and black electricians tape. Materials Carboard – we used a cereal carton Tin foil Clear more »

This Szechuan Beef recipe is a real crowd-pleaser and so simple to make. It is a great fakeaway for all the family.

Szechuan Beef recipe – cooking with kids 13

This Szechuan Beef recipe is a real crowd-pleaser.  We first had this at my sister in laws (she is an amazing cook), so we pinched the recipe off her and it is a great weekend fakeaway, which is much loved by my boys.   I am delighted to bring you this recipe in conjunction with Simply Beed and Lamb as part of their live slow campaign.