New Year paper plate countdown clock 1

Do you celebrate the New Year with your children? As my boys are getting older they are starting to be involved in our New Years celebration and I thought that a paper plate countdown clock would be great fun to make and use. What you need:


Christmas, it is all about the presence not the presents 1

The older I get the more I realise that Christmas is not all about what you give or get, but about being there with your family. This was compounded with a health scare and even more when my mum died at Christmas four years ago.  So now MadDad and I focus on our presence rather than the presents. Growing up my dad always told us the following rules and this is something we have tried to instill in our children.


Cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice 3

We live in Northern England and during this time of year it is dark and we love to light up our home with candles and decided to make some cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice.  Maxi decided to make them in the shape of the sun to celebrate the shortest day and welcome the lengthening of the hours of sun we would receive. We used our white clay recipe, which is really easy to make, so much so that Maxi made it himself and once the dough had cooled down we used cookie cutters to shape our tealight holders.


White clay dough. Corn Flour dough, a fab alternative to salt dough 3

We have made corn flour dough before, but using salt, however, I was keen to find a different recipe with more of a smooth texture that was a bit more malleable for the boys to use. We have tried Nurturestore’s 2 ingredient white dough  and love it, but we also tried the following white clay recipe and the boys decided that this is their favorite go to salt dough replacement. How to make white clay:


Be inspired to cook with your kids and win an eBay voucher 4

I hope that my previous post about crafting with your kids this Christmas inspired you to get creative with your kids.  Now for part two! So what else I am inspired by at this time of year, well if you are a regular reader then it will come as no surprise to you that it is getting kids in to the kitchen and creating with them, baking making and having fun. Creativity is part of my make up.  It runs through my veins and has since I had the boys.  One of the biggest things I want my kids to remember is having fun making things.  I also want to to have more »


Holidays are coming – Give a little happiness 11

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming, holidays are coming, its always the real thing…………… You know when the Coke advert comes on that Christmas is on it’s way and now even the Coke lorry tours the country.  We have never seen it, but Cass from Diary of a Frugal Family has. This year however, I have to say that I adore Coca Cola’s new advert, has made a big impact in The Mad House.  The mini mads are forever to be found singing “let’s make someone happy”.  Have you seen it?


Robin Thumbprint Mugs 4

Every year we make fingerprint mugs for the teachers for Christmas.  In the past we have made Reindeer mugs and flower mugs, pigs, caterpillars and bees.  This year we decided to do Robin’s like last years Robin cards.  These Robin thumbprint mugs are so simple to make and really effective for kids of all ages.   How to make Robin Thumbprint Mugs


Great gifts for Bloggers 280

Bloggers we are a fickle bunch and we seem to have a gift list as long as your arms, well the ones I ask do, so here is our great gifts for bloggers list curated by Mum in the Mad House.


Great gifts for Dad’s 16

Men can be difficult to buy for, so I thought I would share with you some of the things that Husbeast has had and loved.  Some of these recommendations are of things we have received to review, some of them, things that we have bought and he has loved. So here are the Mad House’s guide to great gifts for Dads. Tools


Great gifts for Mums 75

When I was younger I would have got really upset at receiving something for the house as a present, but no it thrills me to get something that I want! I also have found that the older I have got the more expensive my tastes have become!  Below are The Mad House’s guide to great gifts for Mums. Great gift ideas for Mums   Smellies


Putting together a Christmas Eve Hamper and other Christmas Eve Tradition 16

One of our Mad House traditions carried over from my own childhood is new night wear on Christmas Eve so that we always look smart in the photo’s on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is a magical time, full of excitement and awe and we have a Christmas Eve party each year with my best Friend and her four boys, so it is a wonderful time in The Mad House. For the last five years or so the boys have been given a mini hamper on Christmas Eve Morning for things to see them throughout the day.


How to make cake case Christmas trees 17

Christmas is a great time for encouraging kids to get creative and a great way to do this is to present them with an #invitation to create.  These Christmas trees decorated with cak cases are so easy to make and can be adapted for kids of all ages.   How to make Cake case Christmas trees


One pot wonder – Beef and ale with crispy dumplings 101

We are big fans of winter cooking and one of the best things about the cold weather is the change to come home to a fab home cooked meal and one of our family favorites is Beef and ale with crispy dumplings.  It is something that both MadDad and I remember fondly from our childhood and thankfully the boys both love it too. How to make Beef and ale with crispy Dumplings


Making the most of the magic 2

One of the highlights of having children is getting to re-live the excitement of Christmas. That magic and mystery that gets lost somewhere around the dawn of our teenage years is suddenly back and it’s so much fun to experience it again, this time as a parent. It feels imperative to make the most of it while it lasts, as with all the fleeting joys of childhood. What would Christmas be without the wonder of it all? With so many fond memories of our own Christmases back in the days of innocence when we believed in Father Christmas and his team of loyal elves working away in the North Pole, there’s more »


Movies, Festive Popcorn and Festive Popcorn boxes -#Spon 16

One of our favorite family tradition is all snuggling up together and enjoying a family film and to celebrate this we are working with Sky Movies this Christmas and sharing their personalised Sky Movies #MovieMe Christmas Cards, along with our festive sugar and spice seasoning and free popcorn box printables.


Animal Safe Magic Reindeer food and free printable labels 23

Reindeer food is one of our Christmas Eve traditions and we love to make it as much as the boys love sprinkling it outside for the reindeer.    We have great fun each year making it for family and friends and this year I am excited to share with you 7 great free printable labels for you designed by The Purple Pumpkin Blog using the same designs as our Advent Acts of Kindness.   Traditionally it is just oats and glitter, but, we live in a pretty rural area and we stopped putting glitter in our reindeer food a few years back.  Now we use other things to make it pretty more »


Coping with Eczema as a family 15

Both my boys have suffered with Eczema throughout their lives.  This is something that we have had to manage as a family and they go through phases when it is worse than normal, but thankfully we mostly have it under control as a family.  Yes I say as a family, as looking after their eczema is a family affair and has affected the whole household. When Maxi was a baby we went though lots of product and sought out lots of advise to try and understand his eczema and learn what worked for him and us.  Now at nine his eczema is pretty much under control and as long as we more »


Christmas Memories Book and Christmas reflections printable 16

Can you remember what you got for Christmas last year or the year before?  I know that I can’t.  In fact as I get older these things seem more and more important to me, so this year I am going to create a Christmas memories book for us to use. Sort of like a scrapbook where we can record our memories of the festive season.  Experiences and people that made it special. I always promise that I will do scrapbooks, but I never seen to have the time, so I am happy for this to be quick and simple and I am going to pop it in a bag in the advent more »


5 fantastic Kid made gifts 23

Is there anything better than receiving a homemade card……. yes, a homemade gift and I love receiving gift a child has made.  Over the years the boys have made lots of gifts, in fact it is something that we have become know for.  We make the Grandparents and family gifts and also their teachers get a kid made gift at Christmas too. 5 kid made gifts that you would like to receive!  


Tree decorations inspired by The Fir Tree 24

We love making decorations as a family for our Christmas tree and this year we are joining in again with 10 days of kid made ornaments and this year they are inspired by a book.  So ours are tree decorations inspired by The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson. Each year we buy new christmas books for our Advent basket.  This year I bought a book for me.  It is a beautifully illustrated edition of The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson.