sick toddler boy crying in bed

May all your dreams be sweet dreams or 8 ways to help prevent nightmares 3

 Sleep issues, we have had them all as most of your are aware.  We are also no stranger to nightmares and anxiety at bedtime or during the night.  Most of these things can be helped with some proactive thinking.  Many children around five to nine get nightmares due to becoming aware of the scary things in the wide world.  My friend was worried her little one might start to have nightmares when he moved in to his big boys childs bed, which was provided by Time 4 Sleep.  So we compiled the ideas we for preventing nightmares in kids that we came up with below:

An Autumn Nature Walk 9

Today is such a beautiful autumn day so we decided to take a walk in our neighbourhood and the boys grabbed their cameras so they could snap their images for the Kids Capture the colour competition. We were like pied pipers and started the walk with two children and a dog and ended up with five children!  We are really lucky that we have so much beauty and wildlife on our doorstep, in fact this is less than 2 minutes walk.

maxi's capture the colur

Dotcomgiftshop badge

Need, want, must have – Dotcomgiftshop 2

I lo0ve dotcomgiftshop.  I think they are fab and I have bought lots of things from them in the past including my fab nightlights.  I was so excited this morning when I saw that they had a whole new selection of nightlights available and all of them under a fiver, which makes them superb value.  So I decided to put together my need, want, must haves from Dotcomgiftshop and as Maxi is home unwell, he had to add his 2p’s worth too!

My Autumn Manifesto 2013 4

Make a start on homemade christmas items
Encourage the boys more in the Kitchen
sort the boys toys, sell, give away and recycle all that we can
Find something to occupy me at junior football matches
Learn something new
Decorate Maxi’s bedroom. We have some great things that GLTC and Next have provided for it, so really need to crack on
Talk to my consultant about operation that I need
Summer 2013 was a great time, the BEST summer we have ever had as a family. It was relaxed, filled with fun and sun. It was a summer that will go down in history, that we will look back on in years to come. I see it as a faded photograph with curled ages, slightly worn through over handling, but something treasured to be held close to our hearts. I think that the weather made the summer, but also the fact that we all tried new things, went new places and really tried to embrace the changes that surround us. We succeeded in less electronic time as a family, but didn’t manage to get camping.

Feel free to join in and make your own goals and aims for the autumn, I would love to know what they are.

autumn man

10 ways to encourage your reluctant sleeper

10 ways to encourage your reluctant sleeper 12

I have posted many times that Mini Mad has issues with getting to sleep.  It is something that he (and us) has suffered with since being a toddler.  In January this year it got so severe that we sought some professional guidance and we have been consistently working on it since then.  So how do we go about encouraging our reluctant sleeper?

Need, Want, Must Have – Kia Sorento

MadDad’s car broke just before we were off on our trip to France this summer and thankfully Kia offered us the use of a Kia Sorento for the week.  As we were taking the car to France MadDad was going to be the main driver (I am not keen on driving on the other side of the road) and we needed a car that would fit three stage 3 car seats in the rear.

Kia Sorento review

girl wearing glasses holding piggy bank at her ear

3 ways to explain Interest to children 2

Do your Children save?  I have learnt that my children each have different money personalities.  One is a saver and the other is a spender! However, as their mum I feel it is really important to teach them about financial management and money and this is how I introduced them to interest.

Dr Bedckmans

My Back to school round-up 2

Dr Beackmann Stain Removers

Mini is just noise with muck on and I have come to rely on stain removers to help get his clothes clean. I am a real fan of the Hygiene White product for school shirts and polo tops. I use it once every half term on them and it really makes a big difference in lengthening their life. I keep my kit together with my other laundry kit and use it regularly and replace when I have run out.

Learning to take a step back and not push my ideas 3

holds stronger and longer to a multitude of surfaces. This time they asked us to produce a fabulous window scene. Me and the minimads had a chat about what they wanted to do and if they wanted me to help. The result was an Autumn scene and a rainbow and NO they wanted to do it all on their own.
So I sat on my hands, which was blooming hard to do and gave them the post it notes, scissors and some window crayons and left them to it. The result is the below art work, which is amazing and delights me. They worked together to produce this on our french doors between the dining room and the conservatory. Me and MadDad thoroughly enjoyed sitting and watching whilst they explained what they were doing and why and the discussion soon lead to why trees leaves change colours over the Autumn and how rainbows are just refracted light through the rain water.

3M have just launched Post-It Notes Colour Cubes which have many more bright and lovely colours. Why not check out Post-It UK Facebook Page for more information on the new range of Post-It Notes and see other peoples pictures too.

window art post it notes


Did you know that UNIQLO sell Childrens clothes too? 2

I didn’t, not until they asked me to take part in the Family fashion challenge.   So I let the boys go online and pick what they wanted from the superb choice of boys clothes.  They both chose a Long sleeved T each, which at £7.90 each was great value.  The hoodies they chose were less than £13 each too and look fantastic and are spot on fit wise.  They also chose a pair of trousers ach too, which came out a little long, but look cool folded up.  I was really impressed with their choices and they have washed and wore well.  Mini’s trousers have a great stretch to them more »

What activities have been keeping the boys busy this summer 2

e kit did make for some interesting conversations about crystal structures and we spent one evening researching this on the computer and looking at salt and sugar under the microscope. Now the boys are at school I think this will get a lot more play as it is something they can start after school and continue with the next day.

The Human Body

As a family we LOVED this kit. It costs £27 from Hobby Craft, but is jam packed with things to do, games to play and experiments, such as building your own stethoscope and finding out about finger prints. It really tapped in to the boys imagination at 7 and 8. I think it was perfectly pitched for their age range. The kit is full of primary coloured based kit and is really engaging. It is not something you have to spend hours with all at once, as it is broken down in to different sections and covers the five senses. This has been returned to again and again over the summer and we still have more to do and use, plus it comes with a 48 page book. A super buy.

Puzzler Brain Games for the DS

This came in to its own on one of our many long road trips. It is perfect for all ages and both the boys, their cousin and the Frugals played with it. At under £12 it is a great value game for any DS owner. Rather than use it in main game mode, which is a 90 tournament designed to improve your brain, they played it in practice mode, which is more like accessing mini games. The 20 puzzles are based on training 4 different brain function categories – Visual, Word, Mathematical and Memory. During all thge time it was played over the summer the boys never had the same content twice, which was pretty impressive.

Boys busy

archery lesson

The best weekend of the Summer – #EpicKielder 3


Sunday morning was a little more leisurely. We had breakfast and then made our way down to the pool where the boys were booked in to have a go at water walking. Both of the boys thought it was great fun, but were pretty tired out after their allotted 15 minute session.


We could have stayed at Kielder for a whole week and still had more to see and experience. We were amazed at the dark skies and the amount of stars that could be seen from the balcony of the lodge. The lodge really was a home from home with everything you could need including a washer, dryer, cooker, fridge freezer and a dishwasher. It really was an epic experience.

Disclosure: 7 nights accommodation in a Lodge at Leaplish Waterside park ranges from £349 a week. Special offers and discounts are available at certain times of year, see the Kielder Website for details. We received 2 nights free accommodation, free meals and activities for the purpose of this review. You can see more photos of our trip on Facebook.

Top comics for 7 and 8 year old boys – tried and tested by the Mini Mads 1

top comics
LEGO Club Magazine – Free, quarterly

A free quality childrens magazine, yes I did say free. The boys love their LEGO magazines and are glue to them from the minute they pop through the letter box. There is a Junior magazine for under sevens and it really is filled with hours of fun. It gives you ideas of things to build with your LEGO, stories, comic strips and puzzles too. There is also an interactive version of the magazine too.

Anorak – £6 per addition, quarterly

Anorak is “the ‘happy mag for kids’ is aimed at boys and girls aged between 6 and 12 years old” and it is a beautiful magazine. Printed on recycled paper with vegetable inks, the pages are matt and it has a wonderful book smell. It isn’t a throwaway publication. Just like much loved children’s magazines and annuals of the past, it is designed to be collected and kept. In fact it is in the front of our bookcase and the boys go back to their previous copies on a regular basis.

The Phoenix – £2.99, weekly

This is a 32 page weekly comic, which is aimed at children aged 8 to 12 years old it features 7 or more exciting story strips, a puzzle competition and a new non-fiction strip every week of the year. If you have an avid reader then this is the comic for you. It is fun, full of quality stories and delivered every week. Both the boys love The Phoenix, but it is too regular for us. We would prefer it on a monthly basis as when they are busy they just pile up and you need to read them in order as some of the stories are longer than one week. If you have a very reluctant reader then The Phoenix is available on the IPad.

top comics

Tefal steam generator

The Tefal Steam Generator means I can iron with broken ribs

There is no way I could have used a traditional iron and have been so thankful of my Tefal Steam Generator as the iron part is much lighter as the water for the steam is not stored in it, rather it is stored in a separate part. The model I have is the Pro Express Total Auto Control – GV8930, which retails at around £299.

Now I appreciate that this is A LOT of money for what is an iron, but really it is more than that. Since getting mine I have halved my ironing time. I used to take around an hour on a Sunday to iron 5 mens shirts, the boys school shirts and tops and all the rest of the weeks ironing. Now that is down to 30 minutes. Plus is it easier and looks better too.

The Pro Express Total Auto Control means that I do not have to set the irons temperature, but I do have control of steam with its two preset steam levels. It has 5 bar of steam pressure which means that the results are pretty impressive.

It also comes with the following:

Tefal’s unique anti-scale collector and Auto clean soleplate
Unlimited ironing time thanks to the permanent refill and 1.8L detachable water tank
Added safety with the auto-off feature
Environment friendly product with an “Eco” setting saving 20% of energy
The cord winds back in to the iron
The iron locks on to the base, even when hot

Back to School 2013 5

Back to school 2013
After what has been an epic summer the boys went back to school today. I am sure that the summer of 2013 will go down in the anals of history. It couldn’t have been better weather wise and they have experienced the summer I have always wanted for them.

I am a little sad to see them go back to school, but know that they have so much to look forward to this coming year. It is also amazing to see how different they are this year in comparison to this time last year and the year previous. How their likes have changed and developed.

Both of the boys had first day nerves today as not only do they have new teachers, but also new class groups too. Maxi is going into year four and Mini year three. Hard to believe that both my boys are in junior school!

My hope for them this year at school is that they have fun, stay happy and learn to get on with new people. I want them to continue to remain individuals and learn to stand by their morals and opinions. I also want them to remember that learning is not a spectator sport. So get stuck in and enjoy it boys, when I look back at my school life, primary where the happiest and most carefree time of my life.

Mini sept

back to school

Wishlist – Back to school for me 2

Alphabet Index Tabs – Papermash. Oh stationery how much do I love thee! I adore index tabs and these are a little bit quirky with their different fonts.

Shoes – Clement Derby from Hobbs. Not your typical court shoes. I adore these for the understated chic. Perfect for girly dresses or with jeans for the autumn and winter. Grey goes with pretty much everything

Journal – Paperblanks. Nothing screams back to school to me more than a blank journal. The potential of a new book, with words to flow and fill the page. I love the decoration on the outside of this journal which is inspired by Buddhist monks.

Faber-Castell UFO Perfect Pencil – The Pen Company. I love pencils and this is a great way of making a standard HB pencil look that little bit more grown up. I love the fact that it extends the size of pencils and it has a built in sharpener.

Now I just need a fairy godmother to look down on me and fulfil my wish list!

What would be on your back to school wish list?