Monthly Archives: November 2011

Stockings, not on your life, I had a pillow case 6

rowing up, I never had a stocking, oh no I had a pillowcase that we could hang downstairs for Father Christmas to leave our gifts in. Yes all our gifts pretty much fitted in to a pillowcase, except for the large ones, like my Sindy house (which was pre loved and already assembled and covered in a bed sheet. This was something that carried on for me until Maxi was born when I made a Christmas Stocking for him and the following year when I made one for Mini too

2011 Advent calenders and a Pause in Advent 14

We also have two more calenders to add to that this year, both in the same format of 24 little books, one is the nutcracker and the other the Christmas Story, which I hope the boys will become attatched to in the same way as I am to my calender.

Finally, as I am not really a scrooge the boys do both have a chocolate calender this year from Hotel Chocolat, who also do the most divine Christmas hampers too

Why and how to use a cost comparison site 3

One of the most effective ways to save money is to use an online cost comparison site such as These sites work by providing you with a list of quotes or prices based on the information you enter into them. They do not charge the user, but make their money from charging a commission on any products bought through them. They provide fast and current information in a timely manner, however, it can be daunting and also time consuming if you do not have all the information you need before you start.

So this week I want to talk about how to get the best out of a cost comparison site. You can find utilities deals, the best credit card deals, insurance quotes (home, car, travel, wedding, pet, life, dental and buildings and much more), find the best broadband deal, the best mobile phone deal for you and much much more.

Conflicted 17

I am feeling miserable at the moment, down, blue, grumpy and just plain not happy.  I feel as though I am being torn in two directions.  I have the boys who are so happy that Christmas is coming and that Father Christmas will be on his way and the thing is as much as I love Christmas it currently fills me with a sense of dread and overwhelming grief for my mum. I do not want Christmas to become a time of mourning for the boys, I want them to feel all the joy that Christmas brings to Children, but I also want to remember my mum and understand that I am still grieving for her. I […]

Homemade Christmas Cards 8

We love making our own cards here in The Mad House, But I do realise that this might not be the same for everyone with children, but I thought I would share with you our favorite Christmas Cards that we have made. I think that Christmas cards that the children have made are a lovely thing to give, but often they can be messy, difficult, time consuming and complicated to make.  Not these. Card Masking tape Green Paint Sponges Glue Sequins or stars Glitter You start by cutting a tree shaped template in a piece of card.  The easiest way to do this is fold it in half.  You can make it […]

Children in Need 1

You can not really have missed the fact that this Friday is Children in Need. Children in Need is one of the charities we support as a family and the boys are always keen to make their own contribution, as are we.

This year they will be showing their spots for Pudsey on Friday by wearing spots to school and taking in £1 each, plus we have been challenged by Baking Mad to bake for children in need and they will donate £10 to them in exchange for our bakes, so we will be doing this on Thursday for MadDad to take to work on Friday and sell.

Why we will not be participating in Operation Christmas Child 39

Every year at around this time, I receive a letter from the school asking for the boys to fill up a show box and give a donation of £2.50 in order to participate in operation Christmas Child.  We do not take part for a number of reasons: Samaritan’s Purse who run the show box scheme are essentially christian missionary’s and I feel uncomfortable.  Their mission statement includes the words “seeks to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people suffering from war, poverty, disaster, disease, and famine, with the purpose of global missionary work attendant on humanitarian aid”.  For me charity and christianity do not have to go hand in hand. Evangelical literature is placed in the boxes or handed out along side […]

A thrifty Mum 2

I wanted to introduce you to my new website A Thrifty Mum. Being thrifty and frugal has become a way of life for me since resigning from work when I was expecting Mini. There is only fifteen months between my boys and I wanted to be able to spend their early years with them at home.

In order to be able to put this plan in to action and afford to be at home with them we relocated from Berkshire to our Native North East of England and I became a thrifty mum.

So to share with you my hints tips and tricks not only to save money, but to also make money, I have set up A Thrifty Mum. I am not alone in living frugally, so have teamed up with some fellow thrifty mums to bring you:

Do your children eat fish? Fish is the Dish 4

My boys love fish. If we eat out it is what we order off the menu. In fact I would take fish over meat every day. Some thing the boys would too. When asked what they wanted to eat for their back to school feast they both chose sea bass, which made me happy and very sad at the same time. Why you may wonder, well seabass is £27 a kilo four times the price of steak and I was sure that I would ruin it whilst cooking it. This is one of the most comon reasons we do not eact fish, my fear of how to cook it and spoil it.

Let’s talk about Meningitis 1

What comes to your mind when you think about meningitis? I have to admit for me it is shocking images of children who have lost limbs to this terrifying disease. But what do I know about meningitis, well the fact is not very much at all, so when the tots 100 invited me on an event on unfolding the complexities of meningitis I was intrigued to know more.  The event was set up to demistify the disease, to provide accurate information about symptoms and to answer any questions we may have about meningitis.  The event was attended by the three UK meningitis charitites Meningitis UK, the Meningitis Research Foundation and theMeningitis Trust, in addition to Dr Rob […]

Disney on Ice

We were lucky enough to be invited to watch the opening night of this years Disney on Ice at the Metro Arena Newcastle. Both the boys adore Disney and we have never been to anything like this as a family, so had no expectations. I have to say that we adored it, The boys were spellbound at the characters and even more so that they were on ice!

All their favorites were there, including Cars, Tinkerbell (who Mini adores with a passion), The Little Mermaid and many, many more. It is such a slick performance (not that I would expect any less from Disney) and perfectly magical. A great family event.