Sunday, 19 October 2014

Making Jelly Monsters

How often do you tell your kids that they can not play with their food.  Well this weekend we made an exception and had a blast making Jelly (jello) Monsters with a selection of Jellies from Hartley's

Firstly we made the jelly's.  This is great fun for kids.  They cut up the blocks of jelly using scissors, measure the boiling water, mixed, added the cold water, poured into moulds and then took them outside to set.  In fact my boys at nine and wight did this all without me!

Then I let the lost with the Jelly, some icing and some sweets and they had THE best time making Jelly Monsters.

Even better, once they had finished making them they enjoyed eating them and then kept telling me they had monsters in their tummy.

So why not take a leaf out of our book and play with your food this coming weekend.

Friday, 10 October 2014

My Top money saving tips in the Bathroom

I am going to admit now that we don't buy inexpensive bathroom products due to two reasons, one the boys have both suffered with eczema and two I have an issue with SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) making me itch.

So it is important for me to make sure that our products last and I am going to admit that I learned this tip from Lizzie at Me and my shadow and it has transformed how much we spend on products and how long they last.

Did you know that in the UK we spend around £14 million on toiletries and I am going to admit again that I possibly spend a large proportion of that, so anyway to save money is good to me!

So what is this phenomenal tip that I received?

Just use less........................

Yes, really just use less and this is more important with products that contain no parabens or SLS as these are often the foaming agent,

We are programmed to only think that toiletries, especially soaps and shampoos are only doing their job is they are foaming and that we must use enough to get foam and lots of foam at that.

It works, it really does, just read the amount on the bottle and use that.  A 50p amount of shampoo is more than enough for my thick shoulder length hair.

It is amazing.  I have been making sure that the boys just use a pea sized amount of toothpaste and so are we.  It is now lasting us twice a long.  So that is a 50% saving by doing one thing.

I also make sure that we use all of the product too, which often means cutting the top of the bottle and we often get at least another three of four applications that way.

The other biggest spend for us in the bathroom is loo roll.  Kids always use far too much, it just comes off the roll to easily.  So I squash the roll making it less circular and less easy for the toilet paper to just come off the roll!

My hope is with all the savings we are making we can afford a new bathroom. I have been browsing bathroom suites for ages as we don't have a shower in the family bathroom and the biggest way to save water is to have showers and not baths and with two boys who play a lot of sport this would be a big saving for us.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Meal plan w/c 29./09/14

I am trying to get back in to menu planning after a week of illness, so here is this week's menu plan.  Only till Thursday as we are off to London on Friday afternoon for some family fun.


Chicken soup with dumplings (using leftover roast chicken)


Homemade fish, chips and mushy peas


Homemade pizza and garlic bread


Baked potatoes with beans and cheese

What is on your plan for this week?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Win a goody bag of Rebel Kitchen Mylks delivered to your door.

Jump on the latest coconut “mylk” trend with this fantastic competition to win a selection of Rebel Kitchen’s nourishing, delicious and naturally dairy free drinks!

Rebel Kitchen is on a mission to make tasty, nourishing snacks available to everyone, everyday, everywhere. The range launched earlier this year and includes three delicious varieties of grown-up drinks (Chocolate, Matcha Green Tea and Chai) and three varieties of kids’ drinks (Choco, Banana and Orange Choc). All of Rebel Kitchen’s drinks are made with a base of coconut milk blended with pure spring water from Somerset. They are free from dairy, lactose and refined sugar and contain absolutely no additives, no preservatives and so, no worries!

Tempted? Enter the giveaway to win a goody bag of Rebel Kitchen Mylks delivered to your door.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Talking point - Kids and Inappropriate Selfies

Recent research by My Voucher Codes has shown that 38% of 18-24 year olds have sent an inappropriate selfie.  

Compare this to the fact that 87% of the parents asked who said that they didn't think this is something their child would do.

The sort of selfies my boys take! 

So why the disparity?

What worried me about these statistics as a Mum was that this was kids who had SENT an inappropriate selfie, not taken one or had one on their phone.  When I was growing up photographs were something that were taken on film and sent away to be processed, so there was no way you would take an inappropriate picture!  The only alternative was a polaroid camera and the film was prohibitively expensive. 

Then there was also the fact that it wasn't so easy to share pictures when I was younger, there was no facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and once the negative and image was destroyed it was gone forever.  Nothing that goes on the internet ever disappears.

How I am dealing with this as a Mum?

My boys are eight and nine and as of yet do not have mobile phones, but I feel that it is important top have an open line of communication when it comes to online safety and appropriateness. 

They already know that anything that goes on the Internet is permanent and there is no way to take anything back.  

As my work is online, I tell them that I never share anything online I wouldn't let people see, so I would never pop an image on facebook if we wouldn't be happy having it in a photo frame.

I hope by talking about this now, I prepare them for a time when they do have phones and access to online technology.

How would you handle it?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The MiniMads perfect Hotel Kids Pack

We have stayed at a QHotel before and one of the things the boys loved was the kids packs they received on arrival.  They are currently looking for family ambassador and this is something we would love to be.

So I asked the boys how could the pack they received be better?

This is there thoughts:

  1. Backpack or gym sack style bag would be great.  You could have the hotel brand on it, perfect for keeping all the pack stuff in and also great for our stuff when traveling.
  2. Magazine. We love magazines and our favorite is the free LEGO one.  It comes for three different age groups and you could have a preschool, Junior and kids.  That way it would have age appropriate reading, activities, puzzles and colouring.
  3. Multicoloured Pencil - rather than crayons, which are hard to use for puzzles, crosswords and such.  A pencil that you change the lead in to colour with. 
  4. Pack or cards - We love cards, they could have hotel pictures on the rear.  Great for simple games such as snap or poker for teens  Or if you want to be really clever you could have Q Hotel top trump cards!
  5. Postcard and Stamp - We loved that our pack had postcards in, but mummy never has a stamp.  it would be great to be able to fill your postcard out and leave it with the receptionist to be posted. 
  6. Bath Duck - Rather than have this in the pack, they could be hidden in the room like a treasure hunt for us to find!
  7. Q Hotel Passport - A kids passport which you get stamped at the hotels you visit.  It would also be great if there was a question or a fact that you had to find about each location too. 
  8. Sports bottle/Cup - We are always thirsty and worry about spilling our water in hotels.  A leak proof cup would be a great idea 

As a parent having age appropriate packs makes such a difference.  If I had a toddler then colouring and crayons would be more appropriate, but for my boys at eight and nine these would be a waste of money. 

I also asked the boys why we would make good ambassadors
We love visiting new places and having new experiences.  We have learned that we would rather have an experience than a new toy.  
If Mummy and Daddy could take us to all of the QHotels we would tell people the best places close by for Kids by Kids. 
As parents, we love showing the boys around the wonderful county we call home.  We are blessed in the UK to have such a wonderful range of places to visit and being ambassadors would mean we could really experience the UK.  Another part of me would love to do this with the boys in a way to wean them from their reliance on technology and screen time.  I want to go back to basics and enjoy family fun without screens.  I want to switch off and enjoy life.   

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