A Personal Panto 1

My Sister in Law and Brother usually substidise a trip for the children of members of the club to a local Pantomime each year, but his has been getting more and more expensive, so for the first time this year, a local company, The Beverly Artistes came and put on a panto for the children in the Club. What a sucess.  it was fantastic.  5 performers put on Cinderella.  The children loved it and all joined in.  The parents all joined in too and me and MadDad had a fantastic time. It was great that the children could really participate, move around pretty freely and just enjoy themselves in a safe more »

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Christmas Cakes are done and dusted 5

I have made and decorated 4 large Christmas cakes this year with the help of my wonderful family (recipe can be found here) This one is for my in laws, My Father in law loves fruit cake and prefers square cakes!! I am a fan of retro and old fashions cake toppers of my youth, so have grabbed them off my Mum and MIL when ever I have had the chance. This one is for my mum This one is for my mums best friend, who always treats the boys like her own grandchildren and is a very speical lady. Finally ours, which has had to have a full re-ice after more »


Reindeer Food, Hearts and Friends 14

I am a lucky lady you know.  I have made some wonderful friends over the internet.  I am blessed to have them and wanted to say thank you for all their support during this year. So, we make reindeer food as part of our annual christmas traditions, therefore, I made a little extra and have packaged it off to them and their little ones as a gesture of my feelings for them. Reindeer food I haven’t re-invented the wheel here, we basically use oats and glitter or coloured sugar. It is dead easy to colour sugar, pop it in a plastic bag, add food colour and shake!!  We use this as more »

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A Pause in Advent – Joy 6

joy / joi/ • n. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy the joy of being alive. ∎  a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan. • v. [intr.] poetic/lit. rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain.  2009 has brought me lots of joy, I have shed the above tears and I have a family that brings me joy every day.  In the bible joy is more than an emotion it combines a sence of happiness with a state of blessedness.   For me this advent has been a time of biblical joy.  I have found the time to find more »


Being the Birthday Girl 12

I have had a wonderful day with my family celebrating my 36th birthday   Homemade cards depicting me inside our home, fireworks and colourfulness. I received a lovely bear from Muttingsfromthemoor from MadDad Fantastic Cath Kidston Tea Towels A perfect tiny white tree (I have wanted a white tree since we were married) Wonderful bird decorations for it Afternoon tea at Bettys and yes that is minimad tucking in to mince pies (his favorites) MaxiMad enjoying mummys cup of tea Walking back to the car through the museum gardens How lucky am I to be able to visit my favorite place with my favorite people on my birthday.  I wasnt expecting more »

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Family Treasures Old and New 3

I have been reminded this weekend of why I make thing with the boys and for the boys. We have been decorating gingerbread house’s at my mums with my niece and we put up the snowmen decorations I made when I was 8 so they are 28 years old and the minimads loved them. I have to say the houses which we from Ikea were a nightmare to fix together and eventually both collaspsed under the weight of three children and excess sweets I fear. But as you can see they had a fantastic time making them. We also dropped off the plate I had decorated for my Neice and the more »


Bloggy Love 10

I decided to take part in the Christmas Ornament swap this year.  I already had the materials to make my ornament, so it would only be the postage costs.       My Ornaments received from my partner at ooodlesofnoodles.blogspot.com are fabtastic and look great on the tree,  I love them. I also received a lovely Circle of friends award from Penny at Pennys Hen House.  This means an awful lot to me, in fact I cried. Now I have to tell you 5 things I like to do: Smell my children Walk by the sea, even in the winter Sewing Having my hair washed at the hairdressers (Roll on Tuesday)!! more »

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No Cards, Just Cookies 12

I know that I am not alone in this as The Dotterel at Bringing Up Charlie blogged about it too.  I HATE CHRISTMAS CARDS. Yep, I shouted.  It possibly stems from the fact I am a Christmas baby and I would rather have my measly few birthday cards up instead of Christmas cards. This issue with cards has grown year on year, especially as I have to write most of them. It was fine when I worked, I would send out an e-mail saying Merry Christmas and that we wouldn’t be sending out cards, but donating to the NSPCC instead.  MadDad still does this with his work colleagues now. But it more »


Childrens Craft Showcase – Fabric Painting on Bags for Gandmas 8

We have been busy cooking, baking, crafting, drawing, painting and generally having fun. over the last few days.   One of the tasks this week for the mini mads was to make a Christmas present for Nana and Grandma Materials Stamps (poundland have some in) Fabric paint (I got mine when MaxiMad was born over 4 years ago from Baker Ross) Masking tap Plain shopping bags (99p from Hobbycraft) Card We were lucky enough to receive some wonderful Christmas foam stamps from a friend and they are great and that was how this came to mind. Mask off a square on each side and put the card inside to stop the more »

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A Pause in Advent 6

Well my pause for Advent this week has to be on the whole Nativity play in primary schools. MaxiMad is in Reception and his play Woops a Daisy Angel tool place on Wednesday and you can read all about it here.MiniMad is in Preschool (nursery), he is in the afternoon group, which are the youngest children in the school.  We went to his production on Friday afternoon and it was more than a joy to behold.  Unlike Maxi, he had been practicing his songs aloud for about 2 weeks and they were along a pretty traditional line, away in a manger, jingle bells etc. The most wonderful thing was that all more »


Doesnt everything Look Better in the Morning 11

Thank you so much for your kind comments last night, they were a real tonic.  I couldnt hit the sherry too hard, as we didnt have a lot left as I had used it in the Christmas Cakes and Puddings!!! MadDad and my wonderful FIL managed to get things sorted and now we are beginning the drying out stage.  They made a tiny whole in the ceiling and most of the water drained through that in the utility area. I have mopped the floor and we are starting on the washing moutain in the hope that some of the marks etc will come out of them. Things we have learned: It more »


Back to Earth with a Bang.. this year can not get any worse 18

I need to vent, I am sat in tears at the laptop.  Since we moved in to our lovely new build house just over three years ago, we have had nothing but issues with the heating and hot water culminating in 4 weeks without either heating or hot water for more than 24 consecutive hours last November. Now we haven’t had the best year as most people are aware.  I went into hospital for surgery in February and due to massive complications developed a major infection and nearly died, so spent most of March, April and May in the hospital.  This meant that MadDad had to take unpaid leave to help more »


Kirtie’s HandMade Christmas – Rant Alert 18

Now I love Kirstie with the rest of the country, but I feel a little reality check is required here. I was really looking forward to this and have waited until viewing all three episodes before letting rip.  I was hopiong to be able to watch it and get useful, practical, inexpensive, handmade ideas for Chritmas and maybe that was were I was going wrong. Yes it was beautiful, the artisans were increadably talented, but cheap it wasn’t!!  Gold leafing a pear, what a precious waste of good fruit, in addition to a frivolous, not make that mad way to spend £38 on a book of 24 carrot gold.  Dear lord more »

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Jelly baby jesus

Jelly Baby Jesus Cakes 12

  Ingredients Shredded wheat Golden Syrup Milk Chocolate Jelly Babys Royal Icing Cake Cases   Break up the chocolate in a bowl and microwave till melted, whilst scrunching up the shredded wheat. Add about a tablespoon of golden syrup to the melted chocolate (it keeps it melted longer, which is easier for the children) and then add the shredded wheat. Have a good lick at your spatula when you have finnshed mixing! Scoop out and place in to the cake cases, this is the chocolate straw. Add you Jelly Baby Jesus, very gently as not to wake him on to his bed of straw. Then cover him in a royal icing more »


Woops a Daisy Angel 12

MaxiMad’s Nativity play was held yesterday afternoon and MadDad made a mad dash down the A1M in order to get back for it. Now MaxiMads year (reception or FS2) is a very big year with excess of 70 children in it and 3 classes, so I can not imagine what work has gone in to this by teachers, Teaching Assistants and the children.  We were not asked to provide costumes, so I was very excited to arrive and see what was going to happen and what everyone was wearing. Maxi wouldnt tell me or MadDad anything about it at all, as it was a secret, he wouldnt even practice his words more »


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Why my Christmas’s will always be stuck in the 70’s 15

When I was growing up Christmas was a magical time.  It usually started after my Birthday on December 20th when we would put up the tree and the decorations.  Now this was no mean feet as my parents lived in a Edwardian house with very high ceilings and we would string paper chains from each corner to the ceiling rose in the centre of the room. The tree would also be placed on a table in the bay window and would be about 8 foot tall. My Granddad, who lived with us would always take me and my little brother out for a couple of hours Christmas shopping whilst my mum more »


Decorating on a Budget 2

I’m just a boy who helps around The workshop and I can be found Sawing for Joseph or shaping wood Helping a master who’s kind and good And now I’m here to wave goodbye To watch them go and know that I Am trusted to finish the table and stools And take proper care of the carpenters tools I have had a lot of of wonderful compliments on the Christmas Decorations here at TheMadHouse, so here are some tips for decorating on a budget. MadDad and I have been lucky enough to build up our collection since we were married nearly 14 years ago.  We decided pretty immediately that we wanted more »

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Pine cone door decoration 7

Mary I’ve packed the oil And I’ve packed the grain, The water is ready Now listen again – Here are the blankets and covers And your mattress there, So please, my sweet friend, Keep warm and take care Today I have a very easy Pine Cone decoration, which I totally pinched from Sweet Paul. It is very easy for an older child to do on their own, MaxiMad and I did this together.  We also made one for my mum with red ribbon and golden sprayed cones, but forgot to take any photo’s of it before we gave it to her yesterday. I couldn’t find my glue gun (my mother had more »


A Pause in Advent – Priorities 7

“The Messiah shall come to Bethlehem – That prophecy soon will come true For Joseph is going to take me there And I know that my baby is due”. Today we will light the second candle on our advent wreath and discuss the shepherds and their sheep with the children.  I will be making cotton wool sheep with the minimads and we will have a quiet (we as quiet as possible with a 3 and 4 year old) family day. Christmas is creeping up on us this week and I have done my best not to feel overwhelmed by the things that often need to be completed before Christmas day.  I have more »

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Christmas Decorations in TheMadHouse 8

Who am I? I’m Caesar Augustus! I live far away in Rome And I want to count all my subjects So, Mary and Joseph, GO HOME! Please let me take you on a tour of TheMadHouse dressed for Christmas…… First my wreath as you come to the front door Then the advent stockings hung over the fire Meet Rudolf one and Rudolf two the very annoying jungle bell rock singing and ear flapping reindeer that the minimads adore given to them my Grandma. My Plastic 1960’s Santa, which is older than me and pinched off my mum, which guards the dinning room door. More signing and dancing scary  soft toys, purchased more »