How to Save on Back to School Shopping

How to save on back to school shopping is a paid collaborative post in conjunction with My Voucher Codes.  I would love to think that I am an organised Mum but half the time I am a fly by the seat of my pants mum, however, when it comes to saving money I am on it!  Raising children is expensive and any penny I can save means that I can spend it somewhere else, preferably on something fun.

How to Save on Back to School Shopping

Money-saving tips for UK family holidays

Money-saving tips for UK family holidays 1

Money-saving tips for UK family holidays is a paid collaberative post with Holiday Cottages. Holidays are when we make some of the best memories together as a family, but it can be hard to plan the perfect family holiday on a budget. Luckily UK holidays are becoming more and more affordable, and there are so many great attractions and places to visit across the country that you don’t even need to go abroad to have an amazing time with the kids. Holidays in the UK can be cheaper than you think, especially when you know how to make your money go further so it can be spent on the things that more »


Breaking up with my Straighteners – Learning to love my Frizzy Hair 4

Learning to love my frizzy hair is a paid collaborative post with BaByliss as part of their #LoveYourHair campaign. My hair has always been a challenge, too thick, not curly enough, too curly, frizzy, grey, unruly, hard to brush and just a real challenge. When I was growing up I used to gaze longingly at the girls with the sleek bobs as much as the girls with tidy plaits. My hair never conformed and after a particularly difficult session trying to get the knots out my Mum just cut it all off!

Learning to love my Frizzy Hair

Why you need to share what you want to happen when you die

Why you need to share what you want to happen when you die

Things to consider when planning a funeral service is a paid collaboration with Beyond. Losing a loved one is heartbreaking and frankly horrible. I have been in the position of organising both my parents’ funerals, thankfully neither on my own and it was really hard work. I have been going to write this post for the last month, but a couple of close friends have died and frankly I didn’t feel up to it, However, it also reinforced the fact that it is so important to share what you want to happen when you die with your loved ones and close friends.


DIY Phone Amplifier and Stand 12

This craft was born out of necessity as I couldn’t find the little Bluetooth speaker we have for our phones.  So instead we went low tech and created a DIY phone amplifier and stand from a toilet roll and a couple of paper cups.

DIY Phone Amplifier and Stand

Make your own Ring Wing Glider 2

Make your own Ring Wing Glider is a collaborative post with The Year of Engineering.  Anyone that knows me will confirm that I am big fan of encouraging kids to be creative and imaginative and try and get them off screens. This is one of the reasons I love #TheHolidayMakers campaign from the Year of Engineering. They are a series of challenges (one a week) over the summer holidays that parents can do with their children aged seven to sixteen to keep them active and to inspire them about engineering.


Summer bored jar activities 28

Summer holidays is nearly upon us, which means updating our summer bored jar activities.  We have had a bored jar for the last four years and it has become something of a tradition in the Mad House, but the boys are getting bigger, so in addition to a bored jar, I have got a fab printable too


Free Summer Colouring Bookmarks

Free Summer Colouring Bookmarks 7

These free summer colouring bookmarks will really brighten up any summer reading that you do.  They are perfect for any summer reading program and are a fun addition to a rainy summer day.  They would make the perfect addition to any book you might gift too.


Lemon and Ginger Scones

Lemon and Ginger Scones is a paid collaboration with Opies as part of their #FreetheGinger campaign.  These lemon and ginger scones are just perfect for afternoon tea and remind me of summers with my Mum and a nice big pot of fresh tea. The combination of lemon and ginger is refreshing and slightly fiery at the same time. They are brilliant serviced with butter, but also equally delicious with either clotted cream and lemon curd.


Should you pay your teens to do chores? 1

Should you pay your teens to do chores? is a collaboration with Indesit. I used to be one of those smug mothers, you know the ones.  I thought that I had it sussed. My children helped with chores, they cleaned up, tidied and didn’t complain.  I even wrote about ways to get your kids to help do the chores.   Oh well, what I can tell you is that karma totally is a thing…..


Classic Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe (and a fab giveaway) 99

This classic peanut butter cookies recipe is a paid partnership with Skippy the original American style peanut butter.   Peanut Butter fans can now rejoice as the original American-style peanut butter SKIPPY® Peanut Butter is now available to buy in major UK supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Ocado, Tesco and Costco.


Noise with Muck on…coping with cleaning boys clothes and eczema 3

I have commented that Mini is known in this house as “noise with muck on”. He stays clean for all of 5 minutes and his clothes take the brunt of his lifestyle. I expected this as a mum of boys, however, I also have to contend with Eczema which for me rules out using harsh chemicals when cleaning the boys clothes.

Maxi is my main suffer but both boys have periods of really sore and itchy skin, so I was delighted to be able to try out the new Ecover Zero products.


Top 10 Tips for getting kids to unplug on road trips 2

Top 10 Tips for getting kids to unplug on road tripsUnplugging on road trips is a paid collaboration with Aviva.  It seems that car journeys for kids have changed a lot since I was small, mostly for the better.  I remember being carried to the car in my PJ’s in the middle of the night and laid down on the back seat to go back to sleep without seatbelts, yes I am that old!


A plea to Instagram 4

Yesterday my Instagram account was hacked.  I could have sworn I had two-factor authentication activated, I do for all my other social media accounts, but didn’t.  So I reached out to Instagram via their official channels to ask them to look in to it and try and get my account back and this is a story of how they have decided that they are unable to confirm my identity and denied me access to the account favouring the hacker.


110 Acts of Kindness for Children 2

The world always needs more kindness and these 110 acts of kindness for kids are a great way to encourage children to be kinder than they need to be. We use these every year at Advent and lent and also over the summer.  What I really want to do is instil a kindness mindset in my children and sometimes using a list like 110 Acts of Kindness for Children makes it much easier for the children to choose what they want to do.

110 Acts of Kindness for Children

Football crafts or Soccer Crafts 12

These football crafts or soccer crafts for my US readers are brought to you in conjunction with MandMDirect.com.  For those of you that don’t know, I have two football mad boys.  Maxi is a defender (and a very good one at that) and plays in a team and has since he was five years old.  His team is an ace bunch of lads who now play in Division one and finished in the top half, which is great for a team that started out in division four.   At the moment with the Euro’s on my house is everything football, when they are not watching it they are playing it.  So more »


Over 101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers – in conjunction with Goodfella’s Romano Pizza 2

Over 101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers is a paid collaboration with Goodfella’s Romano Pizza. As my boys are getting older I am finding that keeping them entertained over the summer is getting more expensive and it appears that I am not alone in finding it pricey,  A study by Goodfella’s Pizza discovered that during the six weeks summer holiday parents spend an average of £127 a child to stop their offspring becoming bored.  “I’m Bored” is one of the phrases that I have banned here, in fact over the years I have used it to my advantage with our Bored Jars.  So I have partnered up with Goodfellas and their more »


2 Ingredient Fromage Frais Silly Putty – #FeedTheirPlayfulNature 8

2 Ingredient Fromage Frais Silly Putty is a paid collaboration for the #FeedTheirPlayfulNature campaign sponsored by Munch Bunch Organic.  Mini always has a packed lunch for school and I am always on the lookout for something to add to his lunch box and were delighted to see that Munch Bunch Organic comes in pouches perfect for lunch on the go.


Free Father’s Day Cards and Printables

I do love a freebie and even more, I love a homemade card, so if you combine the two you have free father’s day cards and printables and you are on to a winner.  Over the years I have had some fabulous cards and printables designed and I wanted to round them up so you can see them all in one place.


Things to consider before bringing a dog into your family home 4

Things to consider before bringing a dog into your family home is a paid collaboration with Drontal to highlight the importance of using worming treatment every three months (Drontal is something we use, so I am delighted to be working with them). We are big pet lovers in here in the Mad House and love having Alvin as part of our family. However, bringing a dog into your home is something that really needs to be considered very carefully.