40 Things I have learned 39

I am a the cat’s pyjamas You can not have a champagne lifestyle on a larger income Less is more You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream – C.S Lewis Sew a little love into every stitch That life is not a one way journey, you can make turns and even go backwards if you chose. Being wonky is good The sum is greater than the parts Fairy lights are for all year round, not just christmas Family is EVERYTHING Most things can be healed by spending time with children That I am not the only person in the world to have a stationery and washi more »

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My word for 2014 – Nurture 16

My word for 2013 was Joy, or more specifically Choosing Joy.  I focused on looking past the negatives and choosing to find joy in all I see, do and make.  It wasn’t always easy, but the more I did it, the easier it became and I actually found that I started to do it automatically without thinking about it.

nurture

christmas tree

Putting Christmas in to perspective 10

It has been something of a challenging couple of weeks here in The Mad House.  I was not very well up on returning from our fantastic holiday in Florida (more on that to follow) and have had to spend some time in hospital.  Christmas and my 40th Birthday have really had to take a back seat to me getting to a stage where I could be at home.


Day 12 of the Center Parcs #CPGift Christmas Competition

We are delighted to be Center Parcs family bloggers here at the Mad House and cannot wait to start planning our trip to Whinfell Forest and enjoy our first family Center Parcs holiday. Center Parcs are currently running a fantastic competition to win a stocking full of goodies OR a family break at Center Parcs. Below is the stocking full of goodies you have a chance of winning if you enter.

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throw

Our favorite Christmas Movies 1

We are an eclectic bunch in the Mad House, but one thing we all love is Christmas Movies and snuggling up on the couch watching them together.  Now thanks to Laura Ashley we have a new throw to snuggle under and watch our movies and the Tartan Cranberry Check Cotton Mix Throw is perfect in colour to match our traditional red and green decoration, so henceforth will become known “The Christmas Throw”!


Kid Made Christmas Decoration’s – Cotton Reels 2

I love this time of year, It makes me feel all crafty so the boys and I decided to make some vintage spool christmas decorations to combine my love of sewing and their of making things for Christmas.  They love looking back at the decorations they have made in previous years.

cotton Reel

Halifax partnership

Giving extra this Christmas with Mum in the Mad House and Halifax 61

I am a huge fan of making Christmas memorable and one of the ways I do this is by giving gifts that we have made.  So I am delighted to be working in partnership with Halifax the bank who give you extra to inspire  more of you to give extra this Christmas by taking the time to produce homemade gifts for that special someone. I want to share with you some ideas and inspiration for craft ideas that can be produced by you and your family and given as christmas present this year.  None are hard to do and are fun family activities and I guarantee you the receiver will be over more »


2013 Gingerbread House 6

One of our advent traditions is to make  and decorate a gingerbread house.  With being out of the country this year we accepted a pre cooked one from Sykes Cottages to build and decorate.  Unfortunately ours came a little damaged (hence the silver foil bottom), but I managed to get it stuck together and then provided the boys with a selection of sweets and icing and left them too it.

gingerbread house

croods

Getting Croodiacious with Dreamworks in LA 1

Back in September (yes it seems like ages ago), I was fortunate to go to LA and visit the Dreamworks Campus and get a sneak peek in to how The Croods was made.   My trip to DreamWorks was to celebrate the release of The Croods on DVD and Blu-ray.  Now I have to say that as a family we adored The Croods and went to see it at our local cinema over the summer and the boys were delighted that it was on our flight home from Florida last week.


Can shoes look good and still be comfortable? 2

Do you have to sacrifice style to have confort?  I would like to assure you that the answer is no, you just need to know where to look for things and I am going to share with you my fantastically hot purple heeled boots as an example.

hotter collage

tea light holders

Festive Jam Jar candle holders 2

  I love candle light, especially during the Autumn and winter months when the dark nights are upon us.  There is something warming and comforting and these festive jam jar candle holders are so easy to make.


Kettler Go Kart Nitro Extreme

I am a BIG advocate of free range parenting and getting children to make the most of the outside.  My boys had as much of a free range summer as I could afford them and have bikes and scooters.  Their best buddies also have a Kettler GO Kart that they adored using over the summer.  This Autumn we have been putting the  Kettler Go Kart Nitro Extreme through its paces. The Kettler Go Kart Nitro Extreme is a go kart aimed at children aged 7 to 12 years old and we have had children on it from aged 6 through to 12 so can attest that it is suitable for a wide age more »

Go Kart Nitro Extreme

panacea

Strengthening Our Winter Defences

One of the things I miss most about living in Berkshire is my next door neighbour Louise, who runs her own business Panacea Holistic Health and Beauty.  Louise is one of those people that has an innate ability to make you feel good about yourself and I was lucky enough to be a client of hers. She provides a variety of holistic therapies and beauty treatments, gift vouchers and natural health and beauty products.  Her massages are divine and she tailor makes her treatments according to your requirements and needs.  She has the ability to put people at ease and make your treatment relaxing and refreshing. She made a superb inhaler and roller ball of a special aromatherapy mix for Mini and his tantrums, which more »


top beauty buys

Beauty buys to put on your Christmas list

I used to be something of a beautyaholic.  I adore potions and lotions  and BC (before Children) I would spend my hard earned cash on lots of new and exciting cosmetics that promised the world.  I loved the packaging, the anticipation and the whole buying something for me. Now my life is different.  The only time I get stuff like this is Christmas and Birthdays or if some kind PR sends me something! So this is my list of things that I have popped on my Christmas List.  Some have been previous PR samples, others products that I am getting to the end off!


Reindeer Food Tutorial and Free tag roundup 1

We love Reindeer food.  It is a tradition in The Mad House to go out and sprinkle it on Christmas Eve and to track Santa on Norad.  There are endless recipes for Reindeer food on the internet and mine is no different or special, but it is much loved and used over the years.

reindeer food

Christmas Eve Gifts and Making Christmas Eve Magical 7

Once of my favorite tradition over the festive period is the Christmas Eve Gifts which are left from our Christmas Eve Elves.  I adore Christmas Eve, there is something really special about the anticipation of Christmas Day and we spend it as a family as MadDad always tried to get it off.  We make sure we are prepped for Christmas Day and can be found in the kitchen as a family for part of the day.  I love the thought of making it magical and wanted to share with you what we do and how we do it! Christmas Eve Sacks


Easy child friendly Fabric Christmas Cards

Making christmas cards is tradition in The Mad House.  We love making them for people that we love and we don’t buy many cards at all. This card is fantastic for encouraging cutting skills and you can use any off cuts of fabric and felt that you have.

fabric Christmas card

Do not let the thought of Christmas make you panic 6

I read a really thoughtful and insightful post over at Tales from a Happy Home, where Gillian noted that she noted the Christmas countdowns as they tended to make her feel panicked about Christmas looming ever closer. The thing is Christmas is not supposed to be a time of stress and strain or panic, but it is for many mum’s.  We are often the ones that keep the family ticking over whilst ensuring that everything is organised, made, purchased, wrapped and plans made. But I had an epiphany the year my mum died and realised that for me life is about the people I spent it with all year round and more »