Sunday, 28 November 2010

If you can see this, then you need to Subscribe to my new blog!


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Come and see my new blog

If you are reading this then you havent changed your subscription to my new blog


Friday, 19 November 2010

All Change and the Blog may be down for a couple of days

Hello my lovely readers, You will be seeing some changes over here in the mad house over the next week or so, but as part of this the blog will be down for a couple of days - possibly.

So please don't be concerned and can you all please do me a big favor and change your subscriptions and any blog links you have to

See you on the other side!


Making our own spotty shirts for Children in Need

Like lots of mums, I packed my children off to school this morning wearing something spotty in aid of children in need.  Now like lots of mums, I couldn't find anything spotty at all, so I decided that we should make some ourselves.

The boys had so much fun armed with my permanent markers and a shirt each, they made their own spotty t-shirts.

Don't they look grand?

We popped some card inside the t-shirts to stop the pen going through to the  back and then I left the boys to it.  Maxi was amazing in helping Mini.  He drew a lot of his circles for him and then the drew a line in the middle and coloured in half each/

It was a joy to watch them work so well together and whilst they did it we talked about all the children less fortunate than them in the world and decided to give away 4 toys each to the charity shop, which I dropped off on the way home from taking them to school this morning.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Gallery - Before and After

I love cooking and baking, there is something magical in putting together a list of ingrediants and turning them into something delicious.  So for this weeks gallery I give you:



Come and join me on Frugalicious Food, as I am taking you step by step through the soaking, making and baking of Christmas cakes and puddings, as Sunday is stir it up sunday.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Self Promotion - You can buy Christmas Gifts from Me

I have been busy making and have lots of new and lovely makes available, so I though I would have a little self promotion, as I can not see me getting these all on the Folksy shop before Christmas, so here they are.  If you are interested in purchasing anything, then please e-mail me or tweet me.  I except payment by paypal.

Tea Cup Candles (please click on the image for more details of the scent) large ones are £8.00 plus £3.00 postage and the small ones are £3.25 to £3.20 each.  Each candle is lovingly crafted by myself with 10% fragrance oil added.   They are made with 100% Eco soy wax, which has numerous benefits including being longer and cleaner burning (Soy wax is non-toxic and burns cleaner than paraffin, with no petrol-carbon soot which can blacken walls).  You can wash the used tea cup in hot soapy water and reuse the tea cup.

Washable learn to set the table mats.  These are again made my myself and are backed with towelling and make the placement of cutlery child play. £6.00 each, plus £1.90 postage.

Crayon (£4.00) and Pencil (£6.00) rolls complete with the pencils and crayons, postage is £1.90.

Mini bunting, the pennants on the bunting are 4 inches to tip and there are 12 on each length of bunting.  £5.00plus £1.90 postage.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Spiritual Sunday - For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

As a mother I can imagine nothing worse than sending my children to battle, knowing the chance was they would never return. 

Whilst we are thinking about the dead, I would also like to point you to a very moving, but amazing post by an inspirational lady over at Brighton Mum Teenage Angst.  Karen's beloved husband and partner died in October and this post is all about quality of death.  She is so, so right, how can you have a quality of life without a quality of death.  Please do you and read it, but have your hanky at the ready.

Me and the boys had no luck with paper poppies this year, they kept losing them, so I decided to make a couple of felt ones with them.  They cut the felt out and then I sewed on a button and a broach fitting on the back, which made them much more secure.  We still donated for more poppies too.  I was also amazed at Maxi telling me why we did the 2 minutes silence on Thursday (both boys were home ill).


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Possibly the Best Fireworks in the World Ever

We were lucky enough to tag along as guests of the wonderful Rosie Scribble and Sally to Drayton Manors firework spectacular on 30 October.

Now I have to say it wasn't just a Fireworks Spectacular, but an amazing laser, light and sound show too, which had the boys and I mesmerised.  It was simply the best fireworks I have ever seen in the world ever, but don't take my world for it.  I have popped two small videos of the day below.


Friday, 12 November 2010

Win a Maileg Pixie in The Great Toy Guide's Guide to the Best Reuasable Advent Calendars 2010

As you might be aware I am Deputy Editor of The Great Toy Guide, which is a fantastic site where we take toys and give them to our own children. Our children are really lovely, but they DO like to do things like dunk toys in orange juice. They send action figures on missions that involve being thrown down the stairs. They pull, prod and shake things just to see what happens. And when they’re done, they leave their toys on the floor for passing adults to stand on.

I know we’re barely past Halloween, but at the Great Toy Guide, the team have been hard at work testing out the best alternatives to chocolate advent calendars. We’ve brought together some of our favourite cardboard, fabric and wooden advent calendars.

This year we are also offering one of our readers the chance to win a magnificant Maileg Christmas Pixie advent calendar. Designed in Denmark, this festive pixie stands at more than 1.5 metres tall and will make a fantastic addition to your Christmas decorations. To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment on this post at The Great Toy Guide telling us your favourite Christmas tradition. A winner will be picked at random on November 25th, and the calendar shipped to you in time for December 1st. UK entrants only. Good luck!


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Gallery - Four Seasons in one Day

I have commented before how much I love the fact that in the UK we have pretty clearly defined seasons.  As a mum, sometimes I feel as though I am stuck in a time warp and nothing chances, the same old things day in and day out, but it is the changing seasons that let me know that time is passing and that life is ever changing.

For The Gallery this week the prompt is seasons.  I wish I had a photo of the same place each season, but I don't, although I AM going to do that now!

Spring - The wonders of new life everywhere you look.

Summer - Days out at wonderful places like Whitby Abbey

Autumn always means fireworks to me

Winter - Snow

Finally so I can leave you singing it all day, I give you Crowded House.



Monday, 8 November 2010

Poo, Mummy you a a stinky Poo from a Poo hole

Oh yes, the poo words have started and will not stop here in The Mad House.  You are a stinky poo face mummy.  Daddy has a poo hole.  Ner ner na ner ner, poo, poo,  POO and more POO.  My boys may look angelic, but I can assure you the noises that are coming from those mouths are not in anyway of the saintly variety.

What is it with boys and the words poo, botty burp, parp, fart, plump, pump, plop, poot. boff, trump and lots of other words that are all in the same vane.

Yes I am living in a house full of toilet humour, where Mini thinks he is the height of sophistication for farting in the bath and creating his own jacuzzi!

And it seems that I am not the only one experience this, oh no.  I took the boys to a 6th birthday party yesterday and all the boys are at it.  They think it is hilarious.  Who can burp the loudest, say their name in a burp, make the best trumping sound using their armpit and hand and who can make the loudest raspberry.  They are constantly engaging in battles of this nature, in between the dancing and the food that is!

So to all mothers of boys over 5, please do let me know how long this is going to last, or is this it and I am just going to have to join in too?


Sunday, 7 November 2010

A Cracking Fireworks Party!

I am fortunate to have a brilliant Brother and Sister in Law who run a sports and social club (like a workingman's club) for the local steel works and every year, they put on a wonderful childrens party and fireworks display for bonfire night.

This years Party was wonderful and I want to say a great big thank you to them (My SIL's mum has been in hospital for the last 9 weeks and is very unwell). 
Maxi and my Niece dancing together


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Edible Child Safe Sparklers

Last year I made Edible Sparklers with Mini and we made just a few, but this year it was like a production line and we have made enough for both Mini and Maxi's class at school!


Bread sticks
Cake Sprinkles
Hundreds and thousands

We melted the chocolate in the microwave and added some honey to make sure it didn't set too fast on us. 

We then used a silicone brush to cover the bread stick with some chocolate and covered the coated part in decorations.

 Leave them to set and voila, child safe edible sparklers.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality

11 years, an eternity some days, but a split second on others.
You are forever part of my life,
I love and live by the rules you instilled in me,
I learn each day how important you have been in moulding me.
I am your echo, your legacy.
As my children are mine, carrying with them a part of me and, therefore, a part of you.
I hope they grow in to great men like you were.
I refuse to live my life in anger at your early death,
instead I remember the days we had.
I remember feeling safe and cradled in your hands.
I remember joy and freedom.
You are my hero, my guiding star.
I love you Dad and miss you each and everyday.


Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Gallery - Show me the Funny


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

We should talk more about Miscarriages

Having read about Lily Allens sad, sad loss today, it brought to mind, my previous losses. 

Losing a potential life is never easy and for me losing babies late in pregnancy made me really doubt if we would ever have a child of our own to hold.  So much so that Maxi didn't have a nursery until the week before he was born.

Miscarriage is something that many woman do not talk about, it often feels like a secret club that you only become aware of once you have experianced the pain.  Then people will often tell you that they had a miscarriage too.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 woman will experience a miscarriage and that 15% of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage, which are shocking statistics which are often not in the forefront of your mind when you become pregnant.

As one of these 1 in 4 woman I have to say that I experienced a wide range of emotions when it came to my miscarriages and also to peoples reactions to them.  My first experience of miscarriage was losing twins at 20 weeks, which was truly horrendous.  I don't think I could ever explain the horrors that we went through.  What has remained with me from that time was other peoples reactions and comments, which ranged from a polite I am sorry for your loss to a completely inappropriate "oh but they were not yet babies"

I think that woman should be a little more open about the terrible things that miscarriages can bring, they can shatter dreams and tear apart hearts.

So my heart goes out to Lily Allen, I can not imagine her loss, but I can remember mine.


Monday, 1 November 2010

Freerange Parenting

Last week was my first experience of half term as a mum with two boys that are both in school, previously when I had two preschoolers, I used to dread the holidays coming along, as all the mum and toddler groups and other things were halted for the holidays and the soft play places and parks were fill of bigger, rougher and louder children (yes this is what I used to think).  

It is amazing the difference a year or two makes, as the minimads are now 4 and 5 and I have to say I have looked forward to this half term pretty much since the first week of school (as I miss my boys so much), but I have been really conscious that my children need a rest, especially Mini, who has found is tiring work being at school all day.

So I have held back my Miss organiser personality and only arranged one or two days out and play dates for the holidays and for the first time I am allowing the boys a little free reign and they have been out on their own. 

I gave the boys firm boundaries of where they could go and I also snuck out and took them  drinks and snacks regularly.  They had a whale of a time and the things that they enjoyed doing were using chalks, looking for crickets and bugs, making mud paint, scooting on the pavement and just running off some of their energy.

I have to admit that I find this freerange parenting hard, it does go against my nature, but when I talk to my mum and to MadDad, I am conscious that we were allowed much more freedom as children.  Now I don't want to turn this in to a debate about pedophiles and abductions, I am aware that there are bad people out there, but I am learning that my children can enjoy some outside freedom without me being attached to them.
So where do you draw the line, how old were your children before you allowed them to play out?

I have to say that I now want to buy walkie talkies, so I can check that they are OK!

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