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When I first started blogging, it was just as an outlet for the thing I love doing most in the whole world – writing!

I didn’t think anyone would ever read my spoutings. I knew my mum would. Although I thought she’d be my only reader.

To be honest, I didn’t mind, as at the time of starting the blog, it was just somewhere to write.

People actually READING it were seen as an actual bonus. :-)

Which is why I’m a bit shell shocked at being nominated in both Blog of The Year Category and Best Writer category.

It’s nice to know my witterings are getting an audience.

I couldn’t have dreamt that 5 years later, I’d still be blogging, and actually getting opportunities, a whole blogging  community, and social media followers out of it.

If you’ve ever read my blog, and anything’s ever resonated with you or touched a chord (or even if it hasn’t, heck, do it anyway) I’d love a vote in the Best Writer or Blog of The Year category  (or both please  shameless  )

There’s a badge thataway entitled Mads Blog Nominate Me……….> at the right hand side of the blog.

If you could click on it and nominate me I’d be eternally grateful.

I can send virtual cake and wine.

Thank you! :-) (Especially if you’ve read this far and not fallen asleep. Stop snoring at the back.)

When you think the world can’t get any more bonkers, you stumble across news articles that make you scratch  your head and laugh out loud at the absurdity of it all.

The latest one to do this for me is this news that the NHS has set up an exercise boot camp for overweight children and toddlers in an attempt to drive down soaring childhood obesity rates.

Children are meant to have a little bit of puppy fat.

However, after saying that, if a small, toddling child is so frighteningly overweight that they’re deemed needing to attempt a kiddy fat camp, surely it’s the parents who need to attend classes seeing as they’re the one feeding and exercising them?!

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs if the NHS feels the need to set up million pounds initiatives to encourage toddlers to play with balls and balloons.

Parents should be doing that anyway, there shouldn’t be a need for an intervention.

Every parent knows that exercise is good for children, surely. If they weren’t bothered before to go out to parks, play football, etc, are they suddenly going to start because they’ve been told to?!

Exercise costs nothing and kids like nothing better than to run around if given half the chance.

As for getting the parents to read food labels, if you’re going to educate them, why stop there?! Give them cooking lessons as well and teach them how to cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients.

Teach them to say no to requests for endless snacks, unless it’s healthy ones. Unlimited access to the fruit bowl, and offer breadsticks, crudites, rice cakes if they need a snack.

Restrict chocolate to a once a week treat instead of everyday occurrences.

Toddlers shouldn’t be sent to boot camp. If anyone should be, it’s the parents of the extremely  overweight children.

What do you think?

Let me know via the comments box! :-)

To the untrained eye, a games console such as the Wii or Playstation is a fun pastime to keep the children happy and occupied.

To the more initiated though, they’re a torture device with some kind of mind warping facility that can render the most placid of children into rabid, foul mouthed demon monsters.

They’ll lull you into a false sense of security by being lovely and calm, so you let them turn it on for a nice game of FIFA football or whatever.

Then halfway through the game, if you so much as dare to say something to them, their language has changed beyond all recognition.

It’s morphed from English into some kind of grunt that only apes and chimpanzees would have a chance of understanding.

“We’ll be going out in a bit. So another ten minutes and then turn it off.”

“Ugg.”

<ten minutes later>

“Turn it off now, your time’s up.”

“UGG!!”

After a while of going round in circles, you end up unplugging it at the wall because they just won’t turn off the bloody thing. (Don’t worry, they won’t be in the middle of a game. They’ll have finished that, and just be doing something VITALLY important such as farting around choosing someone different for their team.)

To which you’ll get a round of Kevin The Teenager type wailings.

“It’s so UNFAIR! I HATE you! You’ve ruined my LIFE!”

Stomp, stomp crash.

Whatevs, Kev.

Even the innocent Mario Kart isn’t immune from a bit of sibling rivalry.

Mario, you see is a two player game which means they can both play together at the same time racing each other round the track.

Which you’d think would be all nice and lovely.

Nope, it just means that you get a double helping of bratty behaviour instead.

Two lots of “ugg” if you say anything.

Or whinging. “He’s deliberately driving in front of meeee!”” “Make him STOP!”

“Waaah!!” or some such rubbish.

Give. Me. Strength.

Not to mention the complete attitude and back chat you get for the hour or so after you’ve turned the blasted consoles off.

It’s like their personalities have been changed.

A recent experiment saw me unplug all consoles (Wii, Playstation) and hide the Nintendo DS’s so they can’t play on them either.

One whole week of absolute bliss and nice, calm children.

The minute they got plugged back in though? All hell broke loose.

So this is why they’ve been unplugged for weeks now, as it makes for a much more calm environment.

So are they getting plugged back in?

No.
It’s bliss.

If there’s one thing that will keep the 11 year old quiet for ages, it’s anything to do with different countries and places.

We went abroad on holiday to Mallorca last month, and as it was the first time out of the UK for him much excitement ensued as we flew across foreign landscapes.

As England fell away, and we soared over the sea and then France, all his previous trivia questions and games he’d played turned into reality as the different countries lay out beneath us.

Yes, we spend many an hour on quiz game sites here taking geography quizzes and seeing how many countries of the world we can name, or what country borders such and such ones.

We’re getting very good now.

I myself named every single country of the world within the 15 minute time frame the other day. (Go, me! :-) ) geek

We’ve also discovered a website that you can track planes on in real time and watch them take off and fly to their destination, and land. Pretty fascinating seeing and knowing where they’re going, and wishing we were off on our holidays too.

All in all, you might gather we’re a bit geography mad. Which we are.

Map wallpapers have some amazing wallpapers of all different places, which is just our thing.

My first thought was “oh cool! We NEED map wallpaper.”

We’d probably get nothing else done, as we’d be too busy looking at it all day.

I think one of these on the children’s wall would be a great idea, as not only are they pretty and come in different colours you can get maps of different continents to broaden knowledge there too. I love the fact they’re educational, as well as brighten up the place.

We’ll be unbeatable at any pub quiz game at this rate. We already rule when it comes to the Pointless TV show.

Bring it on.

Do you think you could beat us with random country names that no-one else can think of?!

This post is in collaboration with Wallpapered.

We’re quite unusual in this household that we only have the one TV, and that’s the family one in the living room.

If you want to watch television, if it clashes with somebody else’s viewing time, you have to either forgo the programme or set the dvd to record.

Pretty old school, really.

Which is why, sometimes I think that we should drag ourselves out of the dark ages and think about getting another television for another room.

Maybe one in the kids bedroom, or one in ours?

It would be kind of nice to watch a bit of telly in bed before going to sleep. If it was in the children’s room though, it would have to be off at a certain time to make sure they went to bed at a reasonable hour and weren’t up watching things at silly o’clock.

(Not that they would, oh no.)

I’ve been looking at different devices lately, and to a technophobe like myself there’s some pretty amazing models out there.

It’s not just a case of buy a big boxy shaped telly that takes up half the room, some of those on the market are fantastic, with features such as ultra high definition for extra picture clarity.

With all this in mind, I was looking at some Panasonic ones and this 4K Ultra HD TV in particular jumped out at me. Click here to see which one I’m on about.

I could definitely see one of those in the bedrooms, they’d be perfect.

Maybe then we might have a chance of all getting to watch what we want without the bickering and arguing starting!

How many TV’s do you have? Just the one like us, or more?

This post is in collaboration with Panasonic.

For some, Facebook is just somewhere to keep up with friends and family, and see what’s going on in their lives.

For others, it’s a place to have a rant, post selfie after selfie of yourself posing into a mirror, or tell the world what you’re having for your tea.

So imagine the surprise this poor unfortunate got when one of her so called ‘friends’ took umbrage to all the cooing baby posts on there and sent an anonymous letter saying “She crawls off the mat – WE DON’T CARE!”

Charming. Come on it’s what Facebook is all about surely?! I for one am a nosey mare at the best of times and love to see what everyone else is doing.

People with blank walls are boring. Where’s the fun in that?! I’d have thought the clue was in the name – SOCIAL media.

Be sociable, people.

If baby coos and whatnot are so offensive and annoying, there’s always the option of the hide button so you’re blissfully unaware of what they’re blithering on about today without going the frankly nasty and cowardly poison pen letter way.

What would Facebook be without any of these?! Get the finger flexing on the hide button for any of these (or the popcorn out and settled back for fun if you’re that way inclined like myself)

Top 10 Facebook No – No’s

1) Passive aggressive statuses. “If you have something to say, say it to my FACE!”

Um, quite. Ironic.

2) “So upset right now.”

cue…

friend 1- “What’s up hun?”

friend 2 –  “you OK?!”

original poster “I can’t say on here, sorry.

SO WHY BLEEDIN’ POST THEN?! Dear me.

3) “I’m having a friend cull! If you can still see this later then you’ve made the cut.”

Ok, bye then. No need for the announcement. Just chop people already without the fanfare. Jeez Louise.

4)”I’m out of lives on Farmville! Can you send me one?!”

No.

5)

This is a picture of my breakfast. This is a picture of my lunch. This is a picture of my tea. Hashtag nom yum food in my tum.

Eat it already, it’ll be going cold.

6)

Text speak.

“Hyy bbe hows u? I lyk ur pikkies of ur babbies. Gawjus hun.”

Come again?

7)Daily fitness app updates.

“I’ve just ran 95 miles with the occasional stop for a few lunges and squats.”

That’s nice. I’ve sat on my arse and eaten some biscuits. Does lifting arm up to mouth count as exercise?

8) “Toddler just done his first poo in the potty!”

I’m sure he’ll LOVE reading about that when he’s older. Cheers, mum.

9)

“It’s wine o’clock!”

What again? You alky. You’ll be progressing to the park bench with your brown paper bag next.

10)

Cryptic status updates that turn into a bout of virtual fisticuffs and hair pulling.

Poster:

“I wish I’d never spoken to a certain someone today. They proper do my head in.”

friend 1 – “That me you’re talking about?”

friend 2 – “NO, she must mean me. Biatch, come here and say that.”

friend 3 – (quivering behind keyboard having internal panic) “oh Gawd, it’s me isn’t it? She must mean me.”

friend 1 – “Nope, she deffo means me. Silly slag bag.”

You’ve got to love Facebook really, and before anyone starts on me I’m guilty of several of these and am probably already hidden for being an annoying git who updates 10 times a day with inane shizzle that no-one really cares about.

Oops.

The hide button, people – it’s your friend. Although it’d be a quiet and boring place with no drama or baby poo on there…

The sun’s beating down today, so for the first time this year we’ve taken the picnic basket out of hibernation and headed to the local park.

There’s something a bit special about having your dinner on a picnic blanket, surrounded by grass and bathed in sunlight.

It doesn’t matter if it’s bog standard sandwiches, or strawberries and cream, eating al fresco always livens the meal up and today, heralds the start of warm weather and summertime.

Whatever you’re eating, it seems more of an occasion if you have a proper wicker basket that you can lay out on a blanket.

Here’s ours, that we picked up brand new in a local charity shop for £5. Bargain! :-) There’s even a little wicker basket inside that holds two picnic sized wine glasses, if you want to have a dead posh party on the grass and crack open the fizz.

Not to mention some plates and a knife and fork.

picnic on grass3

Now, what to put in the basket for that all important lunch? Good, inexpensive items that everyone likes is always a good bet. Never mind all the Marks and Spencer and Waitrose luxury items, you can have a great grass party for a lot less.

In our picnic basket today we had:

– a mixture of ham and tuna sandwich rolls

– a tub of chopped cherry tomatoes

– scotch eggs (picnic staple!)

– bag of crisps

– apples

– bottle of water each.

Other great foods would be breadsticks, sausage rolls, a cereal bar or biscuit. Little pots are always good to take along too, such as mini pots of hummus or salsa to dip said breadsticks in. Or chopped fruit such as strawberries or banana slices.

A football is always a good thing to take along too, as if there’s anywhere with a stretch of grass my two love nothing better than a good game of football to let off steam which suits me fine as I can get five minutes with my newspaper in peace

Next time the sun’s out, take your lunch out too. What do you put in your picnic baskets?

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