It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that us grown ups were in fact the children, but in the grand scheme of parenting it might as well have been a hundred years ago as it’s changed that much.

Who remembers these?

Going to the pub

Pre Wetherspoons days, where the pubs are family friendly places that stay open all day, that is.

Back when the pubs used to just open on a lunchtime for a couple of hours, and when they did, children weren’t allowed in the actual bar so had to sit outside with their Mum and Dad as well with the can of cola and bag of crisps.


No car seats

Car seats and booster seats for kids? Unheard of. Just strap yourself in the back, and away you go. As long as you had a seatbelt, that was all that was needed!

Brightly coloured food

The more gaudy, the better. E numbers? What are they?! It’s not a real party if the jelly’s not bright red, and the sweets don’t turn your tongue blue.


Clouds of smoke wafting over your food as you eat lunch whilst out? Parents or relatives smoking in the car whilst you silently gag in the back due to all the fumes?!

Yuck. Hard to imagine life pre smoking bans now, isn’t it?

Luckily for kids in these times, the dangers of such things are more widely known, and inventions such as car seats, additive free food and smoking alternatives are now widely available.

Vapelux disposable e cigarettes are one such invention, and provide a way to give up smoking.

They come in a variety of different fruity smells, which smell infinitely nicer than clouds of smoke!


What things did you do as a child that aren’t the norm?

I’d love to know via the comments box below!


This post is in collaboration with Vapelux.




One of the best things for us about the upcoming summer months is the loading up of the car and the heading off to the beach for a bit of seaside fun.

It’s what memories are made of. A bit of sun, some sand, and a bucket and spade to build awesome sandcastles surrounded by a moat an the obligatory flag (usually an ice lolly stick) waving proudly out of the top.

Not to mention some paddling in the sea as well. Which would usually be freezing, but that’s half the fun!

waters edge filey

The car journey for us when we were little would begin with everyone piling into the car, Dad driving and Mum with the little bag of pear drops and sherbet lemons to suck on as Dad manoeuvred the streets to take us to our coastal destination.

Wales was always a firm favourite, so quite a lot of driving was involved for this.

Just hoping that we didn’t actually ever get lost, because actually asking for directions was never on the cards. You can’t ask for directions, that’s far too easy! Surely you’re meant to go round and round in circles getting more and more irate when you can’t figure out which way to go?!😀

No? Just us?! Oh well…….

As there can be a lot of driving involved for summer holidays, don’t forget to check your car tyres and make sure there’s some spare ones in the boot for emergencies.

Point-S  has a great range of tyres available in all kinds of tyre types and brands, so there’s bound to be one to match your needs and car.

What are your favourite car driving and trip memories?

Wherever you go this year, make sure lots of good memories are made!:-)



This post was in collaboration with Point-S.



When the kids have had a full day’s work at school, you’d think the first thing they’d want to do is kick off their shoes, take off their uniform and just veg out in front of the telly.

If your household is anything like ours though, once school is over there’s a whole lot of different places to be.

Between our two, they have Cubs, swimming lessons and football practice.

I suppose it could be worse, as we do have a couple of evenings where there’s nowhere to go and they can just play on the Wii or read or whatever.

On the days that we have lessons though, there seems to be a mad dash to get there and somehow to fit tea in as well.

Dilemmas such as do we have tea before or after swimming?

If it’s before, we need to keep it light so there’s no feeling like a lead balloon in the middle of the pool.

If it’s after, they’ll be complaining they’re dying of starvation and need to eat RIGHT NOW.

“Is it ready yet? Is it READY yet?!”

<counts to ten>

It’s the after school club evenings that I find myself rushing to cook, so to make it easier when I cook a dish, I always make a bit extra so that it can easily be frozen and taken out for an instant ready meal.

Bolognese sauce and soups freeze brilliantly, and we just take them out of the freezer and put them in the microwave to defrost and heat up thoroughly.

It works well for weaning babies as well – cook and puree vegetables separately, and let them cool completely.

Then pop them into an ice cube tray so you can pop out carrots or potato etc whenever you need them!

Just thoroughly defrost and heat up and you have a meal all ready to go.

It’s a great time saver, and Panasonic microwave ovens have a great range to choose from, whatever it is you’re looking for.

Quick and easy is the way to go, whilst still staying healthy and getting the right food to keep us active and sustained.

Do you find yourself rushing to and from after school clubs? Or just have busy days in general?

If so, what do you do food wise on these days?

Share your tips and/or what you do in the comments below!



This post is in collaboration with Panasonic.



It might have taken its time showing up, but the sun has finally made an appearance this week which can only mean one thing…. barbecue season.

Yes, it’s that time of year again when we decide that cooking is best done outdoors, don our pinnies  and start cremating sausages over hot coals.

(I don’t know WHY food tastes better outside, it just does. Laws of physics, or summer or something like that.)

You don’t even need a great big garden and barbecue contraption that wouldn’t look out of place at NASA.

Look, see? Bucket travel BBQ’s. They’re the future. (As Peter Kay would say.)



In our case, we get out picnic blankets to sit on (to stop pesky ants trying to crawl up your skirt and whatnot) and get the coals suitably hot enough to start cooking food on.

Which takes approximately eleventy billion years, give or take.

By which time you’re seriously wondering whether to start nibbling at the aforementioned picnic blanket.

Nibbles. Nibbles are good. Maybe not of the picnic blanket variety, so make sure you have a nice big bowl of salad and some corn on the cob to keep you going until the burgers decide to cook.

Bat away all the flies that decide to descend and join you in the garden (they’re friendly like that.)

Although we’ve got wise to them now.

Ha, try supping my wine NOW, loser.


All that needs to  be done now is fill up the punch bowl with a drink of your choice.


If you’re feeling generous, you could make it a non alcoholic one so all the little kiddywinkles can have some too.

A nice fruit based one, orange or apricot based always goes down well.

Or fill it with bottles of white wine, orange juice and some nice chilled grape slices and face plant yourself in it with a big straw.

Happy summer, everybody!


As a blogger, a prolific Tweeter and avid Facebooker, I’ve been known to blog milestones in the small  people growing up.

Oh, and recently Instagram. With faces obscured, or random body parts such as hands holding objects.

The tooth fairy visiting?

Past April Fool jokes?

All very well and good on the blog, as I never put pictures of faces or actual names on here.

When it comes to Facebook though, as it’s all set to private and I only have people I know on there, I have been guilty of putting ‘proper’ pictures up and silly anecdotes.

The eldest is now nearly 13 (!) so if I take a picture I automatically get a “that’d better not go on Facebook.”

I totally respect that. I don’t think I’ve got a photo of him online actually showing his face anywhere for the past few years.

I see bloggers, with tales of what their kids are getting up to. Accompanied with pictures, and how they are overcoming potty training posts and I’ve even seen potty like pictures.

I’ve never done any post so personal, but when the child gets to nearly age 13, do you stop and think “hang on, do they want to be seeing this as they’re growing up?!”

They’re their own person, after all.

Do they want their entire childhood splashed openly online for anyone to see or search?

Us, as the adults, get the choice. Do they, really, when we’ve been putting it out there since they were born?!

What do you think?




As the evenings are getting lighter and the promise of spring and warmer weather is just around the corner, my thoughts are starting to turn towards carefree holidays, laughing children and relaxing parents.

Then my brain comes to a screeching halt and reality kicks in when I suddenly remember with a lurch the hell that comes with a family hotel room.

It’s all fine before you go. You’re anticipating a lovely night or two away, and are looking forward to days strolling along the beach, maybe a spot of swimming, and general fun and games.

Then, after a day of fun and laughter, the kids will be tired from all the activities and sleep like a log.

It’s great to maybe open a bottle of wine and have a drink after the small people have gone to bed and have a bit of a conversation.

Oh, come on, get real.

You know what actually happens is that instead of relaxing, as soon as bedtime hits all the stresses of the day that magically disappeared when you were all beach strolling and sandcastle building is going to come racing back.

This being because the little darlings flat out refuse to go to sleep, and take great pleasure in winding each other up instead.

Plus, how are they ever going to get to sleep when you and the other half are in the same room – this, to their mind, just means more opportunity for fun and games.

There’s no escape in one room, either.

Your options are turn the lights off and pretend to go to sleep yourself (whilst secretly hiding under the cover with your phone sending out SOS messages on Facebook and screaming to your online pals to help keep you sane.)

Or hiding in the bathroom whilst sitting on the toilet lid and reading a book as it’s the only way you’ll get some peace.

No thank you. I’d rather poke at my eyes with a rusty spoon than endure the hell that is a family hotel room.

Arrrgh. All the people who do this on a regular basis – you’ve either got angel kids, or a serious desire to inflict pain and suffering upon yourself.

Nope, it’s a three bedroom apartment here situation or nothing.

I suppose I’d better get saving up…..



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As Britain gets ready to decide whether or not to stay in Europe, actress Emma Thompson has waded into the debate by declaring the UK “a tiny little cloud bolted, rainy corner of sort of Europe – a cake filled, misery laden grey old island.”

Putting aside the fact she’s inexplicably lumped lovely cake into a rant about how crap Britain is, the fact of the matter is she certainly doesn’t speak for me when she says she feels European.

To say you feel proud to be British seems like a taboo subject sometimes, and being patriotic frowned upon.

So, as a British person, not European, here’s 10 things that make Britain, Great..


1).Our ability to make cups of tea. Only we know it’s the answer to all life’s ills. Get the kettle on. It makes everything better. (Other countries can’t even begin to compare. Glass cups and hot water? What’s THAT all about? Bring on the mugs.


2) Queuing. A great British pastime. Whether it be for the bus, or waiting to pay  at the till. We all know to wait patiently in line.


3)Apologising for everything. Somebody stood on your toe? Or barged into you by accident?! Doesn’t matter, we’ll still apologise for it even if it was the other daft sod’s fault in the first place.

“Sorry! Sorry about that.”


4) Regional dialect. An abundance of fantastic accents abound from Yorkshire to Cockney, and all with their own unique ‘language.’

By ‘eck, it’s reet grand.


5) The beautiful coastline and gorgeous beaches. Little coastal towns with their own special charm. Being an island, wherever you live, you’re never too far away from a beach.


6) The food. Depending on what corner of the UK you live in, you’re sure to have your own local delicacy.

Be it Yorkshire puddings, Lancashire hotpot or jellied eels, you’re bound to have a traditional dish of your own.

7)  The history. From Viking invasions to the Romans, the history of our green and pleasant land is a fascinating one and is celebrated in many different ways.

York celebrating their annual Viking Festival this week being just one of them.


8) The lush countryside. There’s a great mix of city and country life, and when you get out of town and into the country, the fields and wildlife are something to behold.


9) The mad but endearing traditions, from cheese rolling to welly boot flinging competitions. Delightfully charming but bonkers as well.


10) Freedom of speech. Something we totally take for granted and forget that other countries aren’t as fortunate as ourselves.

Want to say that you hate your Prime Minister and fling insults? You only need to take a look at Twitter to see that people frequently do.

Try doing that in certain other countries and see how far you get.


So there you go, Emma. Being British isn’t a bad thing at all really. Identify as a European all you like, but don’t write off an entire island as a cake filled misery laden one.

As the one you’re looking at looks a lot different to the one I see.




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