parenting


Dealing with Starting school 3

Dealing with Starting School is a paid collaboration with Bassetts Vitamins. Starting school and going back to school can be such a big thing for a child and for a parent.  I found both of my boys starting school one of the most stressful and worrying times in their lives so far. It was the first time that they were away from me for any length of time on a regular basis and I was really worried about them. How would they manage, would they eat school dinners, would they catch all the bugs that go round and how would they cope being without me!


Win a Double Mattress and Two Pillows from Otty worth £600 339

As all parents know sleep really is the holy grail of parenting, whether it is you not getting enough or encouraging the kids to go to bed and sleep or to stay in bed longer. So I am delighted to be teaming up with Otty for this fabulous giveaway for an Otty mattress and two pillows worth £600.  We have an Otty mattress (well Maxi does), so I can testify just how fabulous it is and how amazing this giveaway is.


How to Save on Back to School Shopping

How to save on back to school shopping is a paid collaborative post in conjunction with My Voucher Codes.  I would love to think that I am an organised Mum but half the time I am a fly by the seat of my pants mum, however, when it comes to saving money I am on it!  Raising children is expensive and any penny I can save means that I can spend it somewhere else, preferably on something fun.

How to Save on Back to School Shopping

Fab Teen Approved Family Activities 1

Fab teen approved family activities is a paid collaborative post with Track Days. Having a teenager is taking some getting used to here in The Mad House. No longer can I coax them out of the house with the promise of a picnic and park day as I have done in the past. No the lure of their Xbox and friends (and for some teens their bed) is far too strong. So I have promised the boys that we will do one teen approved family activity a week.


Money-saving tips for UK family holidays 2

Money-saving tips for UK family holidays is a paid collaberative post with Holiday Cottages. Holidays are when we make some of the best memories together as a family, but it can be hard to plan the perfect family holiday on a budget. Luckily UK holidays are becoming more and more affordable, and there are so many great attractions and places to visit across the country that you don’t even need to go abroad to have an amazing time with the kids. Holidays in the UK can be cheaper than you think, especially when you know how to make your money go further so it can be spent on the things that more »

Money-saving tips for UK family holidays

Why you need to share what you want to happen when you die

Why you need to share what you want to happen when you die 1

Things to consider when planning a funeral service is a paid collaboration with Beyond. Losing a loved one is heartbreaking and frankly horrible. I have been in the position of organising both my parents’ funerals, thankfully neither on my own and it was really hard work. I have been going to write this post for the last month, but a couple of close friends have died and frankly I didn’t feel up to it, However, it also reinforced the fact that it is so important to share what you want to happen when you die with your loved ones and close friends.


Should you pay your teens to do chores? 1

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…..


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!


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

Over 101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers – in conjunction with Goodfella’s Romano Pizza 2

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 »


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 »


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.


Dealing with Tween Sleep Issues and Simba Mattress Review

Mini has always been a challenge when it comes to sleep and now as a nearly 12 year old it isn’t much different, but I thought it would be worthwhile sharing with you our tips for dealing with tween sleep issues.  We have tried everything over the years and can firmly say that some things work better for us than others. Mini is a much nicer child when he has had sufficient sleep. We also wanted to share with you how using a Simba Sleep Mattress has made a big impact on Mini’s quality of sleep and why.


Crealy Meadows with a tween and teen 7

We were invited to Crealy Meadows over the Easter holidays for a 4 night/5 day break in one of their luxury lodges.  After a long and wet, cruddy winter I thought we all deserved some Devon sunshine and some time reconnecting as a family. Plus the last time we had been to Crealy Adventure Park the boys were about 7! However, I am not going to beat around the bush the boys at 13 and nearly 12 would be quite happy to stay at home and play fortnight all day on their Xbox! So how did our trip go? Read on to find out…


Body Confidence - Has it become an issue of privilege?

Body Positivity – Has it become an issue of privilege? 33

Are you bikini ready and body confident? I’m really struggling at the moment with body positivity. Having gone through a double mastectomy and failed reconstruction, I was always going to have issues with my changed body. However, it has really come to the fore this spring with the influx of social media campaigns declaring that all bodies are beautiful. A large number of these campaigns are run by people who I would consider to be attractive women of an average size. Of course, all women are prone to body insecurity. But I can’t help but feel that when an average-sized woman is presented as the champion of fat acceptance, it totally more »


National Citizen Service (NCS) – Why it is a must for your Teen 3

National Citizen Service (NCS) – Why it is a must for your Teen is a paid collaboration in conjunction with @Tots100 and National Citizen Service (NCS). Have you heard of the National Citizen Service yet? Well if like me you have a teenager then the NCS will definitely be of interest to you and your child.  Everyone that I know that has done it wished that they could do it more than once and that it is a right of passage for all young people today. Hey, the whole experience including food, accommodation and travel costs just £50 and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Plus a massive bonus that that more »


Adding a projector has made our family screen time more social 4

Screen time for me is the ultimate parenting conundrum. I am really aware that my boys’ are growing up with amazing access to technology and as a parent, it is my job to manage their access and help provide balance to their life but I have no framework or experience to build this on as it wasn’t around when I was a child.  We had one TV with 3 channels and a phone that had a dial and cable! I remember illicitly taping the top 40 on a Sunday hoping the DJ wouldn’t talk over the song and that I could press pause and play fast enough to minimise the gap. My more »


Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming a Mother 5

I am in such a reflective mood.  Maxi, my precious first born turns 13 in March. How on earth has that happened? I blinked and have a teenager. In all seriousness though it really seems like only yesterday when I was thrown in at the deep end of the parenting pool without a life raft or even armbands. I came to parenting pretty late and really had no idea what to expect and I had absolutely no idea how hard it would be.