Family Getaways in Wales

Imagine the scenario; you’ve planned a trip to Wales, home of roaring fires in holiday cottages and acres of stunning scenery. Travelling with you are your partner, three children and the family dog, all of which are looking for a thrilling holiday with something for everyone to explore and a good place to recharge before the next day’s adventure. What do you do? What do you do? Luckily for you, deciding to visit Wales means that you have already won half the battle, because the region is home to some remarkable contrasts, ranging from its stunning mountain ranges to miles of unspoilt natural beaches. Factor in a plethora of varied and more »


DIY Festive Clay and Cork Trees

DIY Festive Clay and Cork Trees 2

If you are a long-term reader then you will know that I have a real passion for clay crafts with kids.  These DIY festive clay and cork trees are a really simple make and you do not need any special tools to make these.  In fact, all you need is a rolling pin, knife and cardboard, which makes then perfect for making with kids or for your first clay project.


Do you know what your kids get up to online? 4

Do you know what your kids get up to online? is a paid collaboration with Tots100 and McAfee. It seems that I am not alone in being my children tech this Christmas. In fact,  45% of people are planning to buy the latest gadgets for Christmas this year, putting tech at the top of Brits’ Christmas shopping lists with 22% of people say they plan to buy connected toys this festive period, a 7% increase on last year.  However, less than a third of parents (31%)  are currently speaking to their kids about what they do online.  Do you know what your kids get up to online? 

Do you know what your kids get up to online?

Sony Xperia XZ1 – A Review 3

Sony Xperia XZ1 A review is a paid collaboration with Sony and Tots100 and a follow up to our Sony Xperia XZ1 First Impressions post three weeks ago.  Since getting the Sony Xperia XZ1 in November we have been putting it through its paces as a family.  However, it has mainly been split between Maxi and me, so this review is from that perspective. We also tried to make sure that we really put the camera and phone through its paces, so this is our view after a month with the phone.


Robinsons Fruit Creations: A great alternative to alcohol this festive season 8

Non-alcoholic Drinks for Adults is a paid collaboration with Robinsons Fruit Creations.  I am not really a drinker, in fact, I am often found to be cradling a cup of tea rather than an alcoholic one at parties, but that is due to the fact that I am not a fizzy pop girl and often there is no alternative.  This is where Robinsons Fruit Creations come to the rescue.  Fruit Creations is the grown-up squash for adults and contains twice the fruit of Robinsons single concentrate and designed for the adult palate.  

Non-alcoholic Drinks for Adults

Switch and Save on your Utilities

Switch and Save on your Utilities

Switch and Save is a paid collaboration with E.ON, to help advertise their wide range of tariffs. Although I was paid for this advertisement, all views are my own” We are regular untility switchers here in the Mad House.  In fact, I pop the date on my calendar and do it as soon as our contract ends.


Easy Monkey Paper Puppet with Templates 35

I am delighted to be teaming up with Nature’s Path to share with you a fab Easy Monkey Paper Puppet with Templates.   Nature’s Path, the organic and gluten-free expert, is bringing its two well-loved kids cereals ‘Envirokidz’, to the UK. Already family favourites in Canada and the US, Leapin’ Lemurs and Choco Chimps are delicious organic and gluten-free breakfast cereals with an environmental heart. Choco Chimps is a delicious combination of fair trade chocolate and organic corn, while Leapin’ Lemurs is a tasty mix of organic corn, chocolate, and peanut butter! The MiniMads have been putting the Envirokidz cereal to the test and LOVE it.


Fingerprint Christmas Cards

There is nothing nicer than receiving a handmade Christmas card, and even more so in today’s electronic age. They are a great way to get crafting with your children and fingerprint Christmas cards are perfect for doing with kids of all ages.


Sony Xperia XZ1 First Impressions 6

Sony Xperia XX1 First Impressions is a paid collaboration with Sony and Tots100.  I am going, to be honest, and admit that we do not have any android devises in this house, so I was intrigued to see how we felt about an android phone.  Over the next month or so I am going to be sharing with you our thoughts and opinions here and over on Instagram and Twitter about what we all think.  I am going to start today after we have had the phone for a week with our first impressions of the Sony Xperia XZ1.

Sony Xperia ZX1 First Impressions

Whoville Christmas Tree Inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 9

This fabulous Whoville Christmas Tree is inspired by the classic Dr.Suess How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  Do you know that it is 60 years since it was first published and HarperCollins sent me a fabulous 60th anniversary edition of the book which totally was the inspiration for this Green Ginch tree!


10 Things I love about Winter

10 Things I love about Winter is a paid collaborative post in association with TruPrint.co.uk.  One thing I love about living in the UK is the distinct seasons. Although I am going to admit that I am not a fan of the shorter days I do love winter too and I have been asked by Truprint in association with their #picturesintopresents campaign to share my favorite winter moments. The campaign is all about making the most of those special captured moments, rather than them just sitting on our phones. I am a big fan of anything that encourages to use and share those photo.  Each year I make a calendar for my Mother in more »

10 Things I love about Winter

Five ways to encourage your teens to do the ironing

Five ways to encourage your teens to do the ironing 3

Five ways to encourage your teens to do the ironing is a paid post in collaboration with Euronics.  I think that mum had me ironing tea towels and pillowcases from when I was about ten years old, however, I wouldn’t have trusted my boys with an iron at ten, in fact, it is only recently that I have felt that the boys’ are responsible enough to be trusted with something so hot!


Does a Dishwasher Save you Money? 1

Does a Dishwasher Save you Money? is a paid post in collaboration with Sainsbury’s.  Since getting a smart meter a few months ago, the male proportion of the household has become obsessed with comparing the cost of devices in the house and one of the things that have come up is that using a dishwasher is more expensive than washing by hand.  Hmm – as the one who ends up doing any pots that need handwashing this made me decide to look into it.  As I LOVE my dishwasher, it saves me time as we fill it up during the day, set it to wash overnight and then the husbeast empties more »


4 fabulous sets of Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar Printables. Random acts of kindness perfect to print and use for an advent calendar or kindness jar

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar Printables

It is hard to believe that we have been doing an acts of kindness advent calendar for four years.  It all started when I was concerned that the boys were becoming rather immersed in the commercialisation of Christmas and of advent. I wanted them to understand and learn about Christmas and advent being about giving, so came up with the idea of an alternative advent calendar.


My top tips for Saving Money on your Shopping 5

Shopping, is it a necessary evil or something you enjoy? I have to admit that I LOVE to shop, but more than that, I love to shop well. I like to know that I have got the best deal I could but with two tween boys, most of my shopping is done online these days.  It is quicker, there are no boys moaning and I can compare prices and find the best deal for me.  So I have teamed up with MyVoucherCodes to share with you my top tips for saving money on your shopping as part of their #SavvySquad.


Fab things to do with Kids in Devon 7

When planning a family holiday with young children (or bigger kids for that matter), it pays to have a good idea of some exciting activities and potential places to visit before arriving at your intended holiday destination. Indeed, it is a truth universally known across the UK that rain is seldom dampened in its enthusiasm by holidays, but that holidays can easily be dampened by the rain. Fortunately, while Devon and the English Riviera are famed for their beauty during the sunny summer months, the entire region has plenty to offer regardless of what tricks the weather is up to. Enjoying the Local Environment Let’s be honest with one another, no more »


The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 122

I am working with NPower to mark this year’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month sharing a personal story about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and giving away a Nest Protect Fire and Smoke Alarm (RRP £109) to one lucky blog reader.


15 Free Printables for Christmas 1

Celebrate the festive season with these wonderfully creative and Free printables for Christmas. Lots of great ideas for kids and grown ups including games, coupons, prints and cards.


Simple Healthy Breakfast Recipes and Giveaway 404

I am always looking for ways to make mornings easier and for me, that means that simple healthy breakfasts are a must.  I have been working with Prices on their #Mumsontherun campaign and it really has opened my eyes to just how easy and healthy using canned fruit is for breakfasts.  We have already upped our porridge game with a decadent, but healthy peaches and cream porridge.

Fabulously fruity - simple healthy breakfast recipes that are fast, family friendly and oh so tasty.

Oreo Owl Cupcakes - Cooking with kids

Peanut Butter flavour Oreo Owl Cupcakes – Cooking with kids 3

How adorable are these owl cupcakes all made by Mini with Peanut Butter flavour Oreos.  We have been challenged by Oreo to produce a recipe using one of their exciting new flavours range that most suited our personality.   The options were Choc’o Brownie flavour Oreo – smooth, Mint flavour Oreo – cool, Peanut Butter flavour Oreo – nutty or Strawberry Cheesecake flavour Oreo – fruity.  Well seen as we are The Mad House there really was no choice – it had to be nutty!