Monthly Archives: November 2013

Beauty buys to put on your Christmas list

I used to be something of a beautyaholic.  I adore potions and lotions  and BC (before Children) I would spend my hard earned cash on lots of new and exciting cosmetics that promised the world.  I loved the packaging, the anticipation and the whole buying something for me. Now my life is different.  The only time I get stuff like this is Christmas and Birthdays or if some kind PR sends me something! So this is my list of things that I have popped on my Christmas List.  Some have been previous PR samples, others products that I am getting to the end off!

The Best Ways to Bag a Bargain Beauty Treatment

We all love a bit of pampering and a trip to the spa may sometimes be at the top of the list. However, in austere times, it may slip to the bottom of your to-do list. This doesn’t have to be the case though, as you can bag some great bargains on your beauty treatments. Here are a ways to help you accomplish this: Beauty schools There are numerous beauty schools in London and this gives you the opportunity to take advantage of their services and bag yourself a great bargain? This is because some offer discounted beauty treatments and may shave off close to 5% of the standard charges that […]

Reindeer Food Tutorial and Free tag roundup 1

We love Reindeer food.  It is a tradition in The Mad House to go out and sprinkle it on Christmas Eve and to track Santa on Norad.  There are endless recipes for Reindeer food on the internet and mine is no different or special, but it is much loved and used over the years.

Christmas Eve Gifts and Making Christmas Eve Magical 7

Once of my favorite tradition over the festive period is the Christmas Eve Gifts which are left from our Christmas Eve Elves.  I adore Christmas Eve, there is something really special about the anticipation of Christmas Day and we spend it as a family as MadDad always tried to get it off.  We make sure we are prepped for Christmas Day and can be found in the kitchen as a family for part of the day.  I love the thought of making it magical and wanted to share with you what we do and how we do it! Christmas Eve Sacks

Do not let the thought of Christmas make you panic 6

I read a really thoughtful and insightful post over at Tales from a Happy Home, where Gillian noted that she noted the Christmas countdowns as they tended to make her feel panicked about Christmas looming ever closer. The thing is Christmas is not supposed to be a time of stress and strain or panic, but it is for many mum’s.  We are often the ones that keep the family ticking over whilst ensuring that everything is organised, made, purchased, wrapped and plans made. But I had an epiphany the year my mum died and realised that for me life is about the people I spent it with all year round and […]

My Autumn Winter Shoe and Boot Wishlist

People who know me will attest to the fact that I adore shoes.  BC (Before Children ) they were my main vice and I swear that I used to look at shoes and they would talk to me!  I still have most of the shoes I had because I was always told to take good care of them.  In fact my parents were huge advocates of buying good shoes and looking after them and taught me that a cobbler is a shoe lovers friend. As my life has changes, so has my choice of shoes, long gone are the heels and smart work shoes to be replaced with flats, converse and […]

The Most Fun You Can Have at Home

their own space, with the whole family helping.
How about all those daily or weekly chores that just have to get done? Involve the family in the weekly shop so that the drudgery turns into fun. Play “guess the price” as you’re drawing up a shopping list, and when you’re at the supermarket, delegate finding particular products to individuals.
For some reason, dads and kids love the visit to the local tip! So get them sorting all the rubbish that needs to go, with prizes for the fastest bagger-up, or for the cleanest and tidiest bedroom once the rubbish has been taken out!
Design a treasure hunt around the house and in the garden – even older kids love this, once they’ve had their chance to register a cynical sneer at the idea. You could also suggest turning the tables – so that they get to design the treasure hunt for their parents. Creates great hilarity and many crows of delight from the kids as you and their dad miss the obvious clues.
And once the family reverts to their usual individual activities of playing computer games, chatting to their friends on Facebook, or watching the big match on television, and you are free to relax…. How about indulging yourself with a spot of bingo with UK best online bingo site Jackpotjoy? It’s a great way to wind down and have fun, with the added plus of a chance to win cash prizes, and to connect with new friends in the chat rooms. After organising all that family fun you deserve to give yourself a treat

Looking after your feet in Florida

We are five days in to our once in a lifetime holiday in Florida and I wanted to share my initial observations and thoughts with you. Firstly the flight was fine with the boys.  We stayed overnight in Manchester the night before, so we didn’t have to worry about travel hold ups.  This meant that the we started the holiday without stress and worry and on the right foot. The one thing that you do need in Florida is comfortable shoes.   Even if you are on your feet all day in the UK, it is very different being on your feet and all the walking you will do in the […]

A new found love for cleaning products 2

I hate cleaning, but in order to keep my mind in a good place I need to have a semi clean and tidy house.  It helps me feel on top of things, but I also am well aware that there are various studies about the effects of cleaners, chemicals and even air freshener about and being susceptible to certain cancers I try to avoid all these things. I have been making my own cleaners for a while, but sometimes I need something a little stronger or would prefer something that doesn’t smell of vinegar or lemon! That is where Method come in.  They sent me a selection of their products and […]

Keeping Technology out of Kids bedrooms

I really struggle with sleep.  I seem to have been an insomniac all my life!  When I was a baby and child it was unusual for me to sleep more than four hours a night and it used to really get my parents down. This has continued in to my adult life and I have struggled with insomnia on and off for years. One of the ways that we try to control my insomnia is to ensure that the bedroom is a sanctuary and that w e do not have technology in that space.  It is for beds and other furniture.   I was really impressed with the beds available at  The […]

#CreativeTable and #AfterschoolFun Decorating snowflakes 1

The amazing Rachelle at Tinkerlab has a regular Creative Table Inspiration hashtag on Instagram that I love and it has really helped me in the way that I plan for my  After School Fun Activities with the boys.  This week we have been decorating some snowflakes that we have been sent from Yellow Moon.

The holidays are coming

It’s almost December and we appear to be rushing through the days in the countdown to Christmas. The long dark nights have the effect of making the days seem much shorter than they are, which means many of us are quite happy to hibernate after work ­– when a log-burning fire, a cup of warm mulled wine and a movie sounding like a much more sensible idea than braving the cold. However, Christmas doesn’t happen alone and there are a number of things we need to organise prior to the big day. Create a Christmas card list If like many, you have a number of relatives, friends and work colleagues to […]

Family Planners for 2014 – review and giveaway 54

As a mum, my calender is what keeps my household running smoothly.  The family planner is in the kitchen hung next to the kettle, so is the first thing I see when making a cup of tea in the morning. We all use the family planner and each have a section on it, so I know here each one of us is at any point in time.  It really is invaluable.  Next year we are going to have the Mums Fabric & Buttons 2014 Planner as our main calender.  I adore that it has sticky notes, a note pad and stickers and it looks great too and is only £10.99.  How cool is […]

Secret Santa ideas

The Telegraph recently reported that the average British household will spend nearly £3,300 on Christmas this year! I couldn’t believe this figure at first, but once you tot up the costs of the presents, food, wrapping paper and decorations, you’re well on the way to hitting that amount. My friends and I always look to save money wherever possible. Instead of spending a fortune on the same-old beauty gift sets for one other, we’ve started doing a secret Santa. All of our names get put into a hat, and we each select one person to buy for. This is a much more cost-effective way of doing gifts, without completely stopping buying […]

Stocking filler ideas

  Now that Halloween is out of the way, I am turning my attention to Christmas. Yes, yes, I know there’s still the best part of two months to go but you can never be too prepared. Plus, with my two boys, I need to grab every single shopping opportunity I can get! Are there any other parents out there who find it’s the little things that make the difference at Christmas? Thankfully, my boys are past the stage where the packaging is more appealing than the present, but last year I found that they were more interested in the yo-yo they got in a Christmas cracker, than the heaps of […]

Gadgets for the kids

When I was younger, there were no such things as gadgets – never mind one’s made for kids. Each Christmas, my list used to be topped by the latest pretty doll or a new sketchbook. I’m not going to lie, I don’t really like children using gadgets. We had tea in a pub recently and I was shocked to see one family dining in silence, with a child that barely took her eyes from her tablet computer. That’s what I don’t like about them – I would much rather see my kids getting active or doing something creative, rather than getting square eyes from staring at a mind-numbing screen. However, after […]