Archive for January, 2013

It’s that time of year again (what, ALREADY?! Where did the last twelve months go?!) when the popular parenting website, Parentdish, hold their annual Parenting Blog Awards in the form of the MAD Blog Awards.

I was very honoured to be nominated in a couple of the categories last year, so I would love to be again and hopefully go further this year.

So if I ask very nicely, please would you vote for me by clicking on the little “Nominate Me” badge on the right hand side of this post and nominate my blog in any of the categories you feel I fit into?

Maybe something like Best Schooldays Blog, Best Family Life Blog, Best Blog Writer or which ever you feel most apt.

If you’ve ever liked anything I’ve written, or resonated with it (or even if you haven’t)…. have a little vote if you like.

Not that I’m begging or anything, you understand. I have far too much pride for that. Ahem. Although I might try bribing you all with virtual biscuits and cake…. 🙂


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snow dog

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Playing in the snow

The rest of the country, or so it seemed, had woken up to a blanket of snow this morning while we had been left behind and were just feeling the cold instead.

Much to the small people’s disgust, the snow fairy had decided to forget about us and just let us shiver instead without the fun bits.

In the past hour, though, she’s waved her wand and it’s started to come down thick and fast even though the silly, soggy pavements haven’t let it settle yet.

Will you be doing any of these in the snow if it’s snowing where you are?


making a snow angel

I showed the 5 year old how to do these the other year. He found it hilarious.

Well, the sight of me throwing myself backwards and then moving my arms and legs up and down to make the wings must have been a funny one, to be fair.


Snowball fights

I take no prisoner. I don’t care if you’re 5 or 35. You’re going to get a snowball chucked at you if it’s a snowball fight. No mercy.  (Although I might do it a little softer, ‘cos I’m alright really.)


Build a snowman

Don’t forget a hat and scarf to keep him warm


Step in the snow

Set off for wherever you’re headed at least half an hour earlier than usual as you’ll need to stop and put footprints in any piece of fresh, fluffy snow. Is it just me or is that stuff just impossible to leave alone?! It NEEDS pretty patterns put into it.

Wellington boots are best for this. They make big satisfying squishes of the snow and you get the sole imprint too.


Don’t forget to wrap up warm when you’re out in it, though…

Now let’s just hope it sets a bit so we can do all these things!



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I’ve been reading everything and anything that stands still for long enough for as long as I can remember.

As a household, we have a house that is groaning with books and we’re in danger of being overtaken by the books if we buy any more.

Reading, in this household, is just as important as breathing air in and out. It’s part of life.

Which is why I find it so hard to believe that apparently one in three children don’t own a reading book.

What? How is that possible?! If that is actually the case, I am glad of the initiative that Mcdonalds is undertaking, in which they pledge to give away books along with the Happy Meals.

If it gets children reading, then that can only be a good thing.

I can lose days, never mind hours if I step foot in Waterstones. The two small people have a bookshelf overflowing with books and both enjoy a bedtime story.

Even the nine year old still enjoys a bedtime story and being read to on a night, even though he is perfectly capable of reading all the stories himself.

The five year old loves his stories too.

Books are a place to immerse yourself in the unknown, the unbelievable, and the different worlds. They’re also a place where you can learn new things, and broaden your mind to other ways of thinking.

Bring it on, Mcdonalds. Including books with the Happy Meals is a good thing as it might get some reading who wouldn’t necessarily do it otherwise.


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Along with the rest of the population, the start of January saw me feverishly promising to be an all round Superwoman for  2013.

This year is going to be the year I :

– Miraculously become three stone lighter in the space of as many months

– get fit (I’ll be running marathons by the time December is upon us)

– be sooper-dooper organised and carry around a diary in my handbag for appointments (you know, instead of the usual scrunched up pieces of paper I usually fish around for in there. That’s if there’s any paper in there to start with.)

– To give up the dreaded drink and have some kind of healthy fruit tea habit going on instead on a night.

What is it about January that makes us think just because it is the start of a new year we can automatically change ourselves into different people?!

OK, we can, but we need to be realistic about it instead of trying to change too much at once.

I’ve decided to keep the original list, but amend it slightly for more chance of success.

A slow, but steady weight loss of a pound or so a week up until December is more conducive to success than some mad salad binge that sees you sick of the sight of lettuce leaves and craving chips by the time February rolls around.

Getting fit can be achieved by walking more, and adding more activity into your day where there is usually none, such as taking the stairs instead of the escalator.

A calendar on the wall with appointments on is a step in the right direction and one up on last year.

As for the wine? I’m keeping that to just on Saturday nights. Well, that’s the plan anyway and it’s working so far….well, you’ve got to have something!

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Now Christmas is over and it’s the start of a new year, my thoughts have been turning to the summer holidays and nice, sandy beaches.

Well, thinking about blue skies and (hopefully!) warm weather has to be preferable to the constant drizzle and wet we’ve had for the past few months.

Honestly, I’ll be squelching when I walk soon if it doesn’t stop.

The one thing that really annoys me about having two school age children is the fact that holiday prices can literally double in price for the duration of any school holidays.

Why on earth should parents pay double just because they have no choice in the matter when they take their holiday?

If you were to try to take them on holiday in school time, you’d end up with a stinking letter off the authorities and a lovely fine.

So why, just because holiday companies KNOW that you have no choice, should they be allowed to get away with charging extortionate prices?

It’s outrageous that for example, they could charge £400 for a Mon – Fri night stay the week before the holidays start, then the week after the EXACT SAME holiday, and accommodation would cost over £800.

How can they justify that? You’re still getting exactly the same holiday you would have got the week before if you had the luxury of being able to choose.

It’s pure greed, and penalises parents.

Get your act together holiday companies, and start treating families with the respect they deserve instead of treating them like mugs and penalising them.


This post has now been added to the Ranty Friday blog here as it certainly qualifies as a steam out of ears coming out of ears rant…

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