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.   

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Blackpool is brilliant

Over the summer holidays me and the boys visited Blackpool.  It was my first visit in 20 years and the boys first visit.  

We had a fantastic time., in fact it blew us away and the boys are desperate to go back.  I had such preconceived ideas about what Blackpool was like and it has come a long way, in fact you could say #BlackpoolsBack

But don't just take mine and the boys word for it, take a look at 'The Kids Resort Guide', an interactive guide, written by Blackpool's biggest critics... the kids.  It shows Blackpool's top attractions through the eyes of a child. 

Why not take a look at what my boys though of Blackpool and you will see that it is ace and we had a super time and really want to visit now the illuminations are in place. 

Have you recently been anywhere that blew away your preconceived ideas? 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The days are short but the years are long

My boys went back to school this week and I can not believe that they are in Year 4 and Year 5.  It only seems like yesterday that we were bringing each one of them home from the hospital in their car seats.

I often wish there was a manual for parenting, that there was a book I could look at or better still I could do a google search and get the answer I am looking for.  Another thing that I really wish someone would invent is a way to bottle up the memories and slow time.

I look at those boys now, who seem to be getting bigger by the moment and are currently eating for England and are bottomless and I still remember the fear and concern I had at them being able to carry their tray and cut up their food at school lunch.  I have never been concerned about learning in a typical sense, more their manners and their pastoral care.

This year Maxi is a lunchtime buddy and for 15 minutes each lunchtime he helps the reception class with their meals, carrying their tray and cutting up their food.  This makes me smile and also just reminds me of time passing.

I am really fortunate that I work from home and have since my boys were born, so I have been able to spend this time with them and some days I resent the fact that I have to send them to school, but I get them when they come home and weekends and I have learned to really grab the small stuff that makes our time together precious.

Fairy want to remind parents to make the most of their time with children by giving them an extra soft cuddle today and embracing the #PowerofSoft 

Just take a look at this video and I guarantee you will give them an extra large squeeze when you next see them.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My top #ThriftyFamily tip

If you had to give just one thrifty tip for family living what would it be?  This is something that Scottish Friendly asked me.  They are currently encouraging people to share their #ThriftyFamily tips with them on twitter with the chance to win £100.

Scottish Friendly launched the #ThriftyFamily campaign with Louie Spence this week. Over the coming weeks Louie will demonstrate some of his favourite money saving tips with a series of videos. These videos will be posted daily via Scottish Friendly’s Vine, Instagram and YouTube accounts.

The best tip will be awarded with a £100 My Rewards card prize at a glittering online ceremony on 25th September (full Ts & Cs here).    

I thought long and hard about this and I have loads of thrifty family tips.  

One would be to always use cash.  
Another would be to always plan your purchases.
Meal planning was high on the list.
Never shopping when you are hungry would be in my top ten too.
Second hand is not second best - Buying preloved can save you a pretty penny. 

All these are great tips, which will save you money as a family, but what would my number one tip be?  Well you will have to watch this really short video to find that out (it is only 15 seconds)!

I would love to know what your top #thriftyfamily tip would be.  Leave it in the comments and I will do a blog post sharing them all in a few weeks.

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