Tiffin/Rocky Road

In an homage to my fellow MAD finalist Nick at My Daddy Cooks, Mini and I made a twist on his and Archies Tiffin  We followed Nick’s basic recipe, but made a few tweaks as we went along. 125g butter250g digestive biscuits4 tbsp golden syrup3 tbsp high quality cocoa powder75g raisins250g plain/dark chocolate Instead of using the microwave we melted our butter, golden syrup and chocolate over the stove, for me I love the way it all melts together, so smooth and silk like. We then added it to our biscuit mix and added in raisins and mini marshmallows. What is truly great about this recipe is that mini did most more »


Manners Maketh the Man or Boys, but what is imporatant?

I have said many times that I want my children to be happy in life, but in order for me to be happy with them, I need for them to have a firm and good set of core values and beliefs, so below are a list of things we are working to instill in them. Respect for the opposite sex It is incredibly important for me that the boys, value, cherish and respect girls.  That they understand the differences and uniqueness and celebrate them for it.  I want the boys to become good men. Family To me family is everything, I want the boys to learn to love our family, to more »


Spiritual Sunday – Grateful

I spent a wonderful day yesterday with my Mum.  For the first time since she was in hospital in March we spend the morning  pottering round our local shops (yes I took and she filled my shopping trolley).  We then came back to themadhouse and spent an afternoon as a family.  So I thought a gratitude post was due. Things I am grateful for Sunshine – this makes such a difference to life, we shopped in town, hung washing on the line, went to the park and sat in the garden . Mum feeling happier – even though mum is not physically any better, she is mentally on the mend, she more »


Spring Swap

As you know I really do enjoy a nice swap and have signed up for quite a few recently.  I was paired with Helen for Molly Cupcakes Spring swap and look what she sent me I was lucky enough to get some wonderful things including some CK smellies, napkins and chocolate of course. A lovely tin bird house, which the minimads have popped on the front of their playhouse! A hand painted sign, which is now hanging in my kitchen. A beautiful lavender filled bird, which I adore. A pink bead heart A super cute bunny.  I was overwhelmed and love it all.  Thanks Helen If you want to see what I sent Helen, more »


International Postcard Swap

We signed up for the International Postcard Swap over at Playing by the Book and have been having a great time sending the postcards to our families we were allocated. Maxi helped write the cards, letting everyone know about the boys favorite book Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Court. Mini decided that he likes the taste of stamps.  We were somewhat disappointed that our village post office and that of the two closest to us didn’t have any interesting picture stamps, so sorry folks. The boys also looked up the destinations of their postcards in their atlas, Germany, Canada, USA x2 and UK. They then stuck the relevant more »


Writing Workshop – My Spring and Summer Manifesto

Dear Voters (well my boys in this one) We will make life fun, we will focus on laughter and giggles and grasp what we can get out of the day. We shall enjoy the seaside and I will ensure that we have the wet suits in the car at all time. We shall endeavor to make the most of the sunshine and of the environment around us. We shall picnic in our secret place and run free on the moors. We shall barbecue in the garden on a Saturday evening focusing on good food and great company. We shall enjoy the harvest from our garden. We will make, bake and create more »


The Gallery – Men

This week’s prompt over at The Gallery is Men. Pictures of the men in your life – dads, sons, uncles, teachers, partners, brothers.   Let’s hear it for the men! So I give you the men in my house:   My wonderful constant companion thought life, he can be many things to many people, including a maker, an educator, a boss, a colleague, a lover, a husband, a dad, a provider…. He has and is there for me and the boys when we are unwell, always putting us first no matter what.  He is a wonderful daddy and they couldn’t have asked for more. He is fun, amazing and just wonderful, as I have more »


Children’s Craft Showcase – Painting

Sometimes painting with children can seem such a daunting task, it can take on a uncontrollable pace all of its own, which is why it is often great to use paint with an end in mind. So I set up the painting tings on the dining table yesterday for when I collected the minimads from school and decided we would do blow painting with a straw and then do some marble rolling. Materials Paint Water Paper Straws Marbles Tray (A bowl would be better from smaller children) Method You need to water down your paint for this to make sure that it blows and rolls easily.  I tend to drop blobs more »


The Best Ever Oat and Raisin Cookies in the world

I dont say it lightly, but these cookies are amazing and never last in our house.  They truly are the best.  This is an American Recipe (it came on the back of some sunmaid raisins from the US), but that said is super easy for the boys, as I have some plastic cup measures that they use. So here goes Ingredients 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine 1 cup soft brown sugar 1/2 cup caster sugar 1/4 cup milk 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup plain flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats 1 cup Raisins   more »


Spiritual Sunday – Happiness

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. Guillaume Apollinaire This kind of hits it on the head for me at the moment.  I need to stop all the hustle and bustle, all the pushing and pulling and just be.   So this morning I am thankful for the boys returning from the shop with some lovely flowers and I bit my tongue about not having enough money.


A little help for my friends

I have been ever so lucky in this wonderful world of blogs to have made some great friends and have met some really inspiring people, so today I want to tell you about a couple of them and ask you to help where you can. Firstly Stephanie.  Stephanie is an inspiration to me, has been since the moment I first read her blog Bah! to Cancer, you see Stephanie has been dancing with Breast Cancer (you don’t die from dancing do you?) and  doing so in a dignified and insightful way. One of Stephanie’s Ideas is the Bah! Brilliant Book Bonanza, This is a great way of giving uplifting books to more »


Mini(isms)

Me and Mini take my mum shopping every Thursday and whist in the car on the way yesterday we were chatting as you do and he just stopped me in my tracks.  I can not believe this little man of mine, my baby, my cuddler will be 4 next month and I just had to record some of the things he says and I love.   Although shopping with Mini and Mum can be stressful, I love the speical time I have with mini on a morning, I love our cuddles and our little chats. You want to be a nurse, not a doctor as you don’t want to wear a more »


Please Vote for me!

I am such a happy little blogger right now, I have reached the top five in the Family Fun Blog Catagory in The Mad’s, the awards for  Daddy and mummy Bloggers in the UK.   To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement, especially when you see the others in the Family Fun Blog Category, I am in such good company.  So I am asking you to please vote for me, but I would also like that vote to be a fair and just one, so please let me introduce you to my fellow and somewhat amazing peers: Have a Lovely Time Have a Lovely Time is a collaborative blog written more »


The Gallery – Hidden Places / Secret Britain

This week The Gallery theme is about painting a picture of the world we live in: The hidden bits, the bits you feel are special and people should know about. The bits people wouldn’t necessarily see. It is inspired by the  BBC initiative to discover Secret Britain.  When Countryfile was on TV on Monday night this is what the boys said their secret place was. We have a place that we go, a place that is just perfect.  It has a fjord, so the boys can watch as the cars drive through it. It has a beck so the boys can paddle, now they don’t care if it is in wellies more »


Whats going on In TheMadHouse

Things are moving forward in the MadHouse at the moment and we have so much going on, so this is a bit of a mixed bag of a post to say the least! Mini and School My wonderful, adorable and perfect little one is due to start school full time in September and I am finding the transition and knowing this really hard at the moment.  I commented on his preschool review that I was disappointed that they had been unable to move him to mornings with his key worker to enable the transition to full time easier for him and guess what, the head of year informed me last week more »


Locomotion – A great day out

The boys took me to Locomotion, which is part of the National Railway Museum, but based at Shildon, as they had a steam gala on today and the Tornado Peppercorn Steam Train is there this weekend. Yes, even though it was raining, we decided to make the most of the holiday weekend and take a picnic anyway! So I made chocolate cakes and biscuits with the boys first thing, we packed a flash or two and also took some hot-dogs and buns in our food flask and set off. It is a great place, with loads to do for the children, games of all sorts and we had a great time.  more »


Writing Workshop – Untill the next night

I am anxious, trying not to think about what might be wrong I am trying hard to banish any worrying thoughts from my mind To compartmentalise my health worries Separating them from our everyday life But I am tired, oh so tired, exhausted beyond belief Trying hard to keep up with my boys which I do manage most day’s But my nights suffer for it The thoughts they run free in the dark No longer masked by the bright sunshine of the day They invade my sleeping hours Leaving me no where to hide So how do I verbalise my worries? Will talking about them make them feel more real? I more »


The Gallery – Portraits

This weeks prompt over at Sticky Fingers for The Gallery was Portraits, how apt seen as I received these from school this week. They don’t get much more adorable than this, do they? I am so lucky to have two such wonderful children, so some special things about my boys. I love nothing more than my morning snuggles with Mini, he often comes and joins us at some point during the night and we love it, we are cherishing the fact that he wants to be close to both me and MadDad.;;;;;I I love the fact that tucking Maxi in to bed is always such a treat, he is usually asleep before more »


A weekend spent in the Garden

I said that I had grand plans for the garden this weekend, well the weather was mostly kind and we did manage to get quite a lot done Onions have been planted out, 2 varieties, Red Barron and Bedford Champion.  We have also sown some spring onions (Lisbon) direct in to the bed. Rainbow Chard has been transplanted in to the bed too, alongside side Chinese Broccoli, which is a new vegetable for us. We have also direct sown the runner beans, peas and dwarf beans in to another bed. The potatoes have been planted in to our two barrels. Our Sunflowers have been transplanted too, the boys are so excited more »


Come over and take a look at TheMadHouse Makes – Blatant Self Publicity!

As you know I love to craft and make things, whether that be with the boys or for the boys.  They have certainly brought out the creative side of me. So in order to help fund my fabric addiction and also to try and bring in some extra money (which we sorely need –  £82 for 2 pairs of school shoes!), I have decided to start selling some things that I make. Now I have no idea what will sell, so I am dipping my toe in the water, but I would also like to say that I can make to order should anyone wish. So please take a look and more »