Monthly Archives: August 2013

Top tips for looking after school shoes

This week we have been to get the boys fitted and to buy their new school shoes  I believe that good quality school shoes are an investment and want them to last as long as possible and If your children are anything like my boys, then their shoes will take a real battering at school.  But there are a few things that you can do to make those shoes last longer and look good for as long as possible.

Walkers Mighty Lights – so good we turned them in to keyrings 5

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees (without the fan if possible)
Place a layer of silver foil over a cold baking tray
Iron your crisp packet (I put it under a towel)
Place the crisp packets on the tray and then place in the oven
Watch as they miraculously start to shrink (you think nothing is happening and then POW all of a sudden they start)
As soon as they stop getting any smaller remove from the oven and place a heavy book over them to ensure they stay flat
I punched a hole in the packet before placing in the oven for the one we turned in to a keyring. We then put an old keychain through the hole.

You could also make badges by gluing a badge back to one.

Encouraging boys to write – Comic Strips 1

Even though we have been having a #’freerangesummer, I have been trying to make sure the boys still do some writing and record what we have been doing this summer and I was delighted to see this fab video that the Etherington Brothers made where they give Scottish Friendly some of their top-tips for creating a comic.

In fact it inspired some comic strip making in The Mad House. Firstly I printed off some blank comic strip layouts and we discussed what we wanted to make a comic about and the boys and their friends they were going to do ones about their day at Lightwater Valley.

Lightwater Valley – Top Tips 1

We had a fantastic time and refused to let the very angry, rude, offensive and classless man who decided to swear at Mini and threatened to “give him one” for bumping in to his child in the Angry birds park ruin our day. When I took him up on swearing at my child and asked that if he had any issues to come to me as his mother, he then threatened to hit me too and called me a fat bleep! It has come to something when a four year old turns round and feels the need to tell an adult that swearing is unacceptable!

Driving in France Checklist 1

Unlike the UK the use of child car seats is not determined on height but on weight. Under French law, children up to the age of 10 must travel in an approved child seat or restraint.

Group 0: < 10 kg Rear-facing child seat placed either at the front passenger seat or at the back seat (if placed at the front, the airbag must be switched off). Babies can also travel in a carry cot (this can be placed at the rear seat only). Group 0+: < 13 kg Child restraints in this category are slightly bigger versions of those in Group 0. They must be installed under the same conditions as those in Group 0. Group 1: 9 - 18 kg Child seat with a harness or a protection tray. Group 2: 15 - 25 kg Booster seat or cushion with an adult seatbelt. Group 3: 22 - 36 kg Booster seat or cushion with an adult seatbelt

Trutex Uniform Review Update 1

Over a year ago I was sent some Trutex Uniform to review and I have recently been sent some more for the boys and I wanted to update you on how well they have washed and worn.

The uniform is of good quality and is the brand of sweatshirts we would get from the school with the logo on if we bought direct from them. The sweatshirts have washed and better washed throughout the year and have withstood nearly everything the boys could throw at them with the exception of black permanent marker that Mini somehow got hold of at school! In fact they have washed so well that Mini will be wearing Maxi’s hand me downs come September.

When not to behave like an 8 year old… 21

So we carried on with the holiday and I tried to manage the pain with over the counter painkillers and some delicious pink fizz.

The journey home on Saturday was interesting to say the least and Sunday morning saw me at A&E having finally admitted that I was struggling to cope with the pain.

So a CAT scan and a couple of x-rays later I have decided that it is time to start acting more my age than shoe size. I can tell you that broken ribs HURT like nothing else and mean sleep is pretty none existent in The Mad House currently. I also have a shadow on my lung, so am off for another x ray tomorrow to rule out scary stuff.

But even though lack of sleep and pain is meaning I am a grumpy bean at the moment. France was amazing and we had a super time.

Hyundai New Generation Santa Fe – Six go road tripping

I love driving. I only learned to drive when I was pregnant with Mini and ever since have never looked back, but I only have a little car, so when Cass and I decided to go on holiday together to Bognor Regis with our four children there was no way we could all fit in to my tiny car. Thankfully Hyundai came to the rescue and loaned us a New Generation Santa Fe for the week. The New Generation Santa Fe is a five plus two seater and we have three children in booster seats between us. My two boys use a high back booster whilst Master Frugal is a little taller and use uses a booster seat.

#whatmattersmost with John Lewis 1

John Lewis have asked me to find the item I own that matters most to me to help celebrate the launch of their first ever TV advert for Insurance.

So I had a long look round my house and actually realised that things are not what is important to me. I remember the heartache and hard work it was emptying Mum’s house after she died and I brought some of her things home with me, but for me the things that matter most are the things that we use all the time. I try not to keep things fo0r best. I adore the fact that I use my mums old rolling pin to make my pastry just as she would. I find that the items that matter the most to me are the things that bring my family together, so I decided that my item would be my teapot.

Tea is a drink to be shared. A pot of tea is a social experience. There is nothing in this world that can not be solved by a cup of tea.

I start my day with a cup of tea brought up to me in bed by MadDad and my boys have also caught the tea bug off me. We love the whole experience of making tea in a pot. They love pouring in the milk, offering sugar and then pouring their tea. It is a time when we all relax and take time to enjoy each others company and chat together. It slows us down. We have to be patient and wait for the tea to brew.

I am not a tea bag girl and inherited my Grandad’s love of tea leaves and I think this is why I have a thing for tea pots. Loose leaf tea is much nicer from a teapot, so we have pots of various size ranging from a single person pot to our family teapot which holds four good mugfulls. This is my favorite teapot of all. I think that it is due to the fact that we use it as a family. It is too big for two or three people, we all need to be having a cup or two to warrant its use. So it is the family teapot.

To celebrate the fab advert John Lewis have launched a competition on Vine to find out #whatmattersmost to people. You can find out more about the compeition here You need to share your vine video with the hashtag #whatmattersmost for the possibility to win a weekly prize of a Canon SLR and the grand prize £1000 John Lewis vouchers.


With children around the house, it is difficult to keep your antiques and collectables in one piece. Especially if said collectables are of the smaller variety. The collection of Eddie Stobart lorries I have is at a real high risk from the children. The livery is so distinctive and recognisable to the children, plus the lorries are much more interesting (and bigger) than their toy cars! The Eddie Stobart models can cope with a little bit of play though, even if it means hawklike surveillance. As long as they are following the “roads” on the carpet floor and do not have to tackle any jumps or perilous cliff edges on their […]

Win 4 tickets to the Fruit Shoot Skills Awards on 7th September 2013 15

This summer, leading children’s soft drink brand Robinsons Fruit Shoot, in association with Nickelodeon, launched Get Your Skills On, a campaign designed to give kids the chance to give kids the chance to learn the latest cool skills ranging from street dance to free style basketball to urban percussion. With the help of the Fruit Shoot Skills Crew, a seven-strong troupe of record breakers and skilled performers, Fruit Shoot scoured the nation in search of Britain’s most skilled kids.

Back to school Blog Linky – Stationery 3

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #CBias #SocialFabric. You can not have a back to school linky without talking about stationery.  Even as an adult my favorite part of back to school is new stationery!  My boys are not allowed to take stationery and pens to school, but it doesn’t mean that I have failed to introduce them to the joys of new stationery and the joyous first blank page of a new note book.  Mini and I recently went back to school stationery shopping at Asda (you can see […]

My mid-century modern style 1

As I get older I have found that I appreciate the classic style of the mid-century more and more. I have always loved the curves, angles, and general look of that era, but now I simply want to fill my home with it! When I was younger I was often pressured into having a more contemporary style. I would love to own vintage pieces, but they tend to be out of my price range and I am not a fan of reproductions or direct copies, I would rather something with a modern twist on it. I have to say that I really like the armchairs & footstools from Habitat.  I love this chair […]

Educational Things For Children To Do During Their Christmas Holiday

The school Christmas holidays are generally parents’ favourite school holiday because although they are just over two weeks long, at least one week is taken up with Christmas day, boxing day, New Year’s Eve and visiting family and friends which means that they only have around a week of boredom to fill. At Christmas time most people are generally much happier because they have a lot more free time and there are generally plenty of things to do that can’t be done the rest of the year, for example visiting outdoor ice rinks and Christmas markets. When it comes to occupying the kids this is also much easier as you’re dedicating […]