Monthly Archives: November 2014


Make your own Christmas Crackers 19

One of our family traditions is homemade christmas crackers.  Since as long as I can remember we had small cracker presents on the dining table usually made by my mum.  They were precious things that were small and once I got older we each took a turn year on year to make the crackers and full them with cracker presents. When Wrap.me sent me a couple of sheets of their amazing personalised instagram wrapping paper I knew just what I wanted to make with them……. Christmas Crackers. How to make Christmas Crackers


Make an Advent Candle or wreath 2

We love advent and one of the ways we celebrate is to have an advent wreath or ring that we light each sunday to help celebrate the lead up to Christmas.  The first Sunday of advent for 2014 in November 30th.  Me and the boys have spend the last few days making this years advent ring, even though it is more of a plinth! People light one candle on the first Sunday of Advent, two on the second Sunday, three on the third Sunday and all four on the fourth Sunday. Some people then continue to light all four candles during the Christmas period. Traditionally an advent ring has three purple and more »


Don’t Be Blind: Keeping Your Nursery Safe and Stylish

In the midst of the “nesting” phase of pregnancy, most prospective mothers (and fathers, for that matter) are excitedly preparing a nursery for their imminent arrival. It’s certainly one of the most thrilling parts of the nine month period – but few would disagree that it’s also incredibly daunting. While we don’t want to put too much of a downer on this period, there’s far more to decisions than what paint to throw on the wall. As you may have guessed through the title of this piece, we’re specifically going to concentrate on blinds here and highlight just what considerations need to be made. Unfortunately, these don’t all relate to style more »


Santa Hat Christmas Cards – 5 minute craft 32

We are all about the Christmas cards at the moment and today I want to share with you a really simple Santa Hat Christmas card that is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to make.  It is also the perfect 5 minute craft that is going to be our family Christmas cards this year. Nothing says Merry Christmas more than a homemade Christmas Card specially when it comes to family and grandparents a card from children is a card to cherish.


Our #PaypalMoments on The Polar Express UK 3

We are working with PayPal this Christmas on their Magical Christmas Moment #PayPalMoments campaign.  It is an ace competition where they are giving people the chance to win some great prizes (find out more on the PayPal Facebook Page). They challenged me to shop for Christmas using PayPal and then share with you our Magical Moments that we created with the time we saved. Well here is the first. The Polar Express UK The MiniMad’s are eight and nine and WANT to still believe in Father Christmas.  They both often have questions about if he is real, but are unsure, so when we were offered a trip on The Polar Express UK at more »


After school snack ideas 142

My boys seem to have hollow legs they are always eating.  They both have school lunch and then we eat together as a family at six pm each evening during the week.  So I need to find them an after school snack that satisfies their hunger, but doesn’t overfill them. They also have Judo, cubs and football, so it is all about balancing their needs and wants, which isn’t easy when you are 8 and 9! Healthy after school snack ideas


Easy Ribbon Christmas for kids to make 18

There is nothing nicer than receiving a homemade Christmas card and these easy ribbon Christmas cards are so easy for you to make with kids of all ages. You don’t need lots of different materials to make lots of different styles of DIY Christmas cards made with ribbons. I love that I have turned my kids into crafters.


Ways to use your free advent acts of kindness printables 20

So you saw my recent post with the 50 advent acts of kindness with the two free printable sets designed by the lovely Purple Pumpkin blog. Well I wanted to share with you ways to display them or use them. We tried to make it easy for you all by offering them in two different sizes (A4 and US letter size) in addition to two designs christmas trees and also gift tags. We love Anna from The Imagination Trees Kindness Elves and this would be a great list to use for Kindness Jars


Electra Skateboard review and giveaway 172

For the last month or so the boys have been getting active on a couple of Elektra Skateboards (£12.99) and an Elektra Pogo Stick (£19.99). I am a great believer in encouraging kids to be active and get outside when they can and they both scoot or bike to school, so I have known that it wouldn’t be long before they wanted to try out skateboards.  So when the opportunity arose to review them I said yes, knowing that it would make me the cool mum! We do have rules and I was pleased to review the matching helmets(£14.99).


Engaging books for reluctant readers aged 8/9 12

Even though we have read to or with the boys most nights since they were born, Maxi has been a reluctant reader for as long as we can remember.  However, Mini was a very early reader and has devoured books since he could read his first word. It has been really hard to find books that engaged Maxi, he was always a competent reader, but just didn’t want to read for fun.  I have to admit that it baffled me.  What was I doing differently with Mini and how could I apply it with Maxi?


An Alternative Advent Calendar – Acts of Kindness by kids 33

Advent, we love it.  It is a BIG thing here in The Mad House.  We use advent as a way to celebrate the build up to Christmas and to take the commercialism out of it.   The MiniMads have not yet had a chocolate advent calendar, although I might bend to their wishes this year!  We have an activity advent calendar instead and this year we are having an alternative advent calendar, where we are going to do an act of kindness each day


Be inspired to craft with the kids and eBbay voucher giveaway 34

eBay asked me what Inspired me at this time of the year?  Well I didn’t have to think all that long to know that it was doing art and crafts with the kids.  The fact the evenings are darker, so they are not out playing gives us the opportunity to get creative together. Plus I love this time of year for all the inspiration to craft and make together. We love to make homemade gifts, cards, art and food.  It is part of who we are and I feel that it is important for boys to be exposed to creativity, which is why we have a six pm limit on screen more »


Autumn and Winter picnic food

As a family we love picnics and just because the weather is cooler in Autumn and Winter it doesn’t mean that picnicking has to stop.  No indeed for us it just means that we move to more warming food and sometimes we have them inside on a rug and sometimes we have them sat in the boot of the car! In fact having an Autumn picnic is in our Autumn Bored Jar!  We also carry a pop up tent in the back of the car and it is great for picnicking in when it is windy. We keep the food simple warming and filing.  We have a couple of flasks that more »


So where those Startrite shoes made for scooting? 1

You may remember we have been working with Startrite on seeing how their boys school shoes hold up.  Well they have been wearing them for eight weeks now and I thought I would share with you how they have been wearing. I am going to preface this by saying that the boys last pair of shoes didn’t last six weeks and they scoot, walk or bike to school.  They play football with them on the MUGA (astroturf) at break time, so I didn’t hold out much hope for ANY shoes. So this is how the boys shoes looked at week two. And this is how they look after eight weeks of more »


Pinwheel Poppies – A Remembrance, Armistice or Veteran’s day activity 23

Both my boys take part in the annual remembrance parade as Cubs and this year it is the 100 anniversary of the start of World War One.  This has really captured the boys imagination, so we made Poppy Pinwheels. Remembrance Day, Armistice Day or Veteran’s Day as it is sometimes called is November 11th.


The Small Stuff – October Edition 12

Wow what an October it was.  The mildest one I can remember and we had a great time even through all the sickness that plagued us during the month, however, as always the small stuff is what made it a month to remember. We started our month with an epic trip to London with Superbreak, in fact it was the best family weekend we have ever had in London.  We saw the poppies at the Tower, saw the amazing Matilda, visited the Art of Brick and stuffed ourselves silly!