Should you pay your teens to do chores?

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) 91

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.


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 3

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 1

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.


Keep It Classy – Frugalist Guide to Staying Fashionable on A Budget 1

Any man can look his best without having to spend thousands of dollars on clothing. It all comes down to the strategy you have when it comes to clothes shopping. It is a general misconception that you have to earn a lot in order to look impeccable. On top of that, you don’t have to wear designer clothes to look classy and polished. Still, you can incorporate some new habits. Before we talk about that, note that your expectations should be realistic when your budget is limited. It’s true – you can stay fashionable on a budget, but it’s not as easy as it would be if you had a higher more »


Father's Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day Gift Guide 7

I have a friend that always buys the best gifts.  She is a gift fairy and someone that I aspire to be.  There is a real knack for buying the perfect gift, a gift that will be loved and used. I have partnered with Braun to produce this Father’s Day gift guide to help you no matter what his style find a Father’s Day gift that he will use and love day in and day out


Subway NFL Flag – A fabulous inclusive sport for children

This is a paid collaboration in association with Subway UK & Ireland. Did you know that American Football is the fastest growing sport in the UK? I certainly didn’t. That was until I started researching it after being invited to the Leeds regional NFL Flag tournament sponsored by Subway™.  I had a fabulous afternoon watching four schools battle it out for their chance to be part of the National tournament.


BBQ’s on the Go – Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill Review 1

Anyone who has tween and teen boys knows the way to their hearts is through their stomachs and one of the ways that I get them out of the house and doing something with us as a family is the promise of food.  My boys’ are also big fans of a BBQ, so when you add the two together it really helps get them to do family stuff.


Make your own Jelly Bean Watercolours (Taste Safe) 1

Do you have a little one that likes to put everything in their mouth? Well, these jelly bean watercolours are a great sensory activity that is totally taste safe. Sometimes it can be challenging when you want to do an art activity when you have kids of different ages to find something suitable. Maxi always loved painting and mini did too, however, he always put his hands in and then put them in his mouth.  This is a fab solution and also a great way to add some science in for older children as you can talk about how you can make the colours darker by adding more sweets and less more »


Shape Rocket – a fab preschool activity 2

This build a shape rocket is a brilliant preschool activity for shape recognition, working on scissor skills and also for colour recognition. In fact, it is a really fun, simple activity that can be used lots of ways and is really inexpensive.


10 Ways to Make Your Bedroom A Sanctuary 3

Make Your Bedroom A Sanctuary is a paid collaboration with Vaulia. One of the things that has always been important to me, more so since having children is making our bedroom a sanctuary.  I don’t hide the fact that I suffer from insomnia and that it has become so much worse since having children.  However, there are a few simple rules that can turn a bedroom into a haven and mine is my go-to place when I want some peace and tranquillity. Yes, my bedroom is a sanctuary for me and using these simple tips you can make your bedroom a sanctuary too.


Red, White and Blue Layer Cake 3

Not only is it The Royal Wedding this Saturday it is also the final of the FA Cup and our patriotic Red, White and Blue Layer Cake is a super simple make perfect for any celebratory occasion. The secret to making a great Red, White and Blue Layer Cake is to use gel food colouring. that way you get a fabulous colour but also a light sponge with great taste.  I am going to admit that this is a very rough and ready cake and it would also look fab with less icing as a naked cake. Red, White and Blue Layer Cake Ingredients for the cake 375g/13oz butter or margarine softened to room temperature 375g/13oz more »


Chicken Sausages and Roasted Vegetable Traybake 304

Chicken Sausages and Roasted Vegetable Traybake is a paid collaboration with Richmond Chicken Sausages.  I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Richmond Chicken Sausages last week and after trying our some fabulous recipes using them cooked by Angelica Bell (who won celebrity Masterchef) I came home inspired.  They were truly delicious and have 30% less fat and 20% fewer calories (find out more on Richmond Foods Facebook Page).  I was really impressed with the fantastic taste and could see straight away how they would fit into our family menu plan.


Crushed Jersey Royals – Cooking with Kids 1

The first Jersey Royals usually herald the start of the BBQ season here in the Mad House and we are delighted to be working with Tesco to share with you our Crushed Jersey Royals recipe using Tesco Jersey Royal New Potatoes now that they are finally in season. You have the Beast from the East to thank for the season starting later this year! Tesco Jersey Royals are delicious, earthy and nutty and one of the traditional foodie signals that Spring has arrived.