Free Summer Planner and Share your top family meal and win 39

It certainly feels like we are on the home stretch of school before the summer holidays now.  My boys only have five weeks of school left and I am excited about planning for the summer.  Earlier in the week I share with you how we customised a recipe book so that we can keep a record of all the family meals we cook and today I have a fab free summer planning calendar for you and a super competition.

Win the brand new LeapReader from LeapFrog 245

We are huge fans of LeapFrog and have been since the boys were small.  They grew up with LeapFrog and are only just at seven and eight leaving that stage of their life behind.  We have been putting the new LeapReader though it’s paces and it is certainly an improvement and step up on the old one, however, you can still use most of the tag books with it, which is great.  Mini loves going to0 be and listening to an audio book on the LeapReader.

Discover the savage world 29

We have so many books in the Mad House that we had to buy a new book case for Mini’s bedroom last week.  Not that I am complaining.  I love that he is a book worm and I really wish that Maxi would have the same relationship with books that iIni does. Both the boys really love “fact” books and they are great for encouraging boys, who can often be reluctant readers.  We are fans of Miles Kelly Publishers and have received and bought books from them before and they sent is the new Discovery Channel Discover the Savage World book to review and also set us a couple of challenges […]

Perfect presents for the man in your life and a giveaway 341

I adore my husband.  I have spent nearly  half of my life with him and I hope to grow old with him by my side.  As the years have past I have learned lots about him and also lots about my gift buying for him.  Never buy him clothes.  I buy what I would like him to wear rather than what he really likes to wear!  Times have changed and when we were younger and have duel incomes he really wanted for nothing.  If he saw something he liked then he would buy it for himself, but now we have little spare cash and he actually has a wish list again, […]

#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.

Crafting our Dream Car #DreamCarCraft 1

Carcraft are challenging people to craft their dream car to be in with the chance to win £50 worth of Amazon vouchers.

It is really simple to enter all you have to do is:

1. Help your child (or children) craft their dream car.
2. Take a photo – there is room for more creativity here!
3. Finally, tweet us your photo at @Carcraft with the hashtag #DreamCarCraft.

But get your skates on as it ends on Friday. To find our more take a look at the craft your dream car terms and conditions.

Today has been one of those days where we have all played hokey cokey with the weather (in, out, in, out, in, out) so we took the opportunity to work on our car drawing when it was raining.

Win a Haven Holiday 3

Fancying winning a 3 night weekend or 4 night Midweek break with Haven Holidays? I thought you might…………

All you have to do is share a picture of one of your Haven holidays saying why you think nothing beats a holiday by the seaside using through Haven’s Facebook app before 14 April 2013.

Then Rory the Tiger will choose a winner and they can either have a 3 night weekend or 4 night Midweek break in a Deluxe caravan for up to six people before October 2013 (but this excludes July and August).
Now I know that I am lucky to actually live by the sea, so I am biased, but I also know that nothing beats a seaside holiday. There is something about the sea that makes me and the rest of the family relax and feel grounded. The boys adore the sea. They never seem to feel the cold of the water until they get out! They love digging and making sandcastles and honestly nothing beats fish and chips out of the paper at the seaside.

When I was growing up even though we lived by the sea, most of our family holidays were taken in our touring caravan at the great British seaside resorts. In fact look at the photos my brother found of one of our holidays!

I love the fact that no matter how hot it was my Grandad would be fully dressed!

I love reliving my holidays of past with my children, so why not enter and see if you can win a seaside holiday.

For full terms and conditions please see the Haven Facebook app page

Al Fresco Holidays Young Story Writers competition

Do you have a budding novelist in your house?

Thompson Al Fresco Holidays have a fantastic Young Story Writers competition at the moment. The competition is for budding young story writers aged 6-12 years old and open until the 31st March 2013. Your child has to write a short story no longer than 500 words with the theme My Fantastic Journey. You never know they could win a family holiday for up to six people.

You might want to get your young story writer some inspiration and Jeremy Strong’ has created his very own story created exclusively for Al Fresco Holidays.

LEGO Duplo Cars 2 and an Amazing Competition 6

o matter how many times I profess my love of LEGO Duplo and LEGO, I just don’t think I can put into words just how much we love it as a family. Yes we are opn the cusp of the top end of the age range for LEGO Duplo, but due to the fact that it is compatable with LEGO (yes you can connect and interchange the bricks) it is still one of the most played with toys in The Mad House.

We were sent a super duper selection of LEGO Duplo Cars 2 sets to play with as part of the expert program. Rather than do a straight review of the kits (which are fabtastic), I thought I would give you a run down on why we love it so much: