Christmas for children is a wondrous time when magical things start to happen.

Far away, in a little workshop, sits a jolly, bearded man with all his little elves hard at work making toys so that he can fly round the world on his sleigh, pulled by reindeer and deliver all the good boys and girls presents.

If you listen hard enough, you might just hear the faint tinkle of sleigh bells in distance, or be sure you heard a distinctive “Ho, ho, ho!” on the air as Santa goes on his way.

Although if the Paypal company’s new Christmas advert is anything to go by, it’s Mum and Dad who go out and buy everything.

Gee, that scenario is SO much more exciting. Not.

The advert starts off with two little boys tucked up in their beds, saying that they didn’t think they were getting any presents this year as Mum and Dad hadn’t been rushing around like headless chickens (OK, I paraphrased the last bit:-) ) this year.

Cut to Mum and Dad laughing on the sofa as they’ve bought everything online via good old Paypal.


Way to put a dampener on Christmas, guys.

Its bad enough when some cow-bag gleefully tells you in the school playground at primary that he doesn’t exist (bitter, moi?) so to do it to the whole nation of children who happen to be sat near a television at the time of broadcast takes on epic Grinch proportions.

There’s plenty of time to find out life’s dull and boring bits, and at small children age it’s nice to have a bit of magic as it soon disappears quickly enough.

I’m perfectly aware that at the age of 8 and 12, I’m running on completely borrowed time and they probably won’t be putting the carrot out of Rudolph and the glass of milk and a mince pie out for Santa before they go to bed in the near future.

I think the 12 year old does know, deep down, but he’s refusing to admit it to himself.

Who am I to  argue? I still believe in all the magic and I’m thirty <cough> something years of age.

As Buddy The Elf would say, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

A lesson Paypal should take, in that they should get singing to banish the Grinchy blues and rediscover the magic of Christmas.

What do you think?

Have they ruined Christmas? Do yours believe? Or not?

The offending vid

Alongside all the yummy things you can already buy in Aldi (I recommend the brioche) you can now apparently get gin and tonic flavoured crisps.

Yes, you read that correctly. Crisps. Gin and tonic flavoured. Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!

It’s an outrage. Or at least, that’s one view over on Twitter where PC McNaney has tweeted her disgust.

The tweet voices the dismay at Aldi for a ‘totally inappropriate’ product, and asks what message it gives out to children.

Oh, come on.

Products have been around for years that aren’t suitable for kids. Chocolate liquers, for example.

Or how about we go down the path of calling out rum and raisin flavoured ice cream, and wine gums?

Why did we ever think they’d be acceptable, for goodness sake?!

Anyway, children won’t think too deeply about the type of flavour. They’ll be wanting the cheese and onion flavour ones.

If it’s the teens we’re on about here, I’m sure they see G and T as a Grandma drink anyway and they’d be more bothered about White Lightning Cider Down The Park flavour crisps.

Kids. You can’t always have everything, you know. Some things are just meant for the adults.

Deal with it.

Now I need to know whether our nearest Aldi stocks any……

What do you think? Please leave any thoughts in the comment box below.:-)

Another day, another food and drink scare-monger hitting the news headlines.

Last week we were told that red meat can give you cancer, and this week we’re being told to stay away from Diet Coke as it can give you heart failure.

Every week, it seems there’s something different that’s ‘bad’ and we have to stay away from it otherwise we’ll end up with some form of hideous, incurable disease or all our limbs falling off when we’re not looking.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I for one am fed up of being told what’s good, what’s bad, what we need to stay away from and what we can and can’t do.

Whatever happened to good old fashioned common sense? Anyone with half a brain knows that too much of anything isn’t particularly good for you. That’s where the saying “everything in moderation” came into play.

I think it’s more of a dangerous road to go down to start labelling food into bad and good categories.

That way lies fear, eating disorders, and general food anxiety.

Should I be eating this, should I not?

It’s a far more healthy attitude to push that no one food is ‘bad’, but a healthy, balanced diet most of the time with other stuff in moderation is the way to go.

We’re grown adults, we know what is and isn’t a healthy diet. We should be free to make our own choices instead of being thought of as children who need telling what to do.

Anyway, if past form is anything to go by, in a couple of weeks time they’ve probably changed their minds and red meat gives you superpowers whilst green leafy vegetables will make you cark it faster that you can say “cabbage.”

Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got a craving for a bacon butty and an ice cold can of Diet Coke….

Latest blah and wah stay away or die news

As usual, with half term, it seems to disappear in a frenzy of a mix of trying to keep the small ones amused, occupied and exercised.

Some days we spend not doing much, as I think it’s good to have some ‘down’ days too.

Whatever type of day we have, with two boisterous boys we have to include some exercise in the day as well otherwise they end up going crazy.

Not to mention me as they drive me slightly mad with their arguing if they get cooped up for too long.

Great activities we’ve done so far are…

– playing football

– collecting conkers

– running races

– letting off steam in the park.

One of my favourite autumnal pastimes always used to be finding lots of fallen leaves and wading through them, especially if they were lovely and crunchy.

With all this running around, though, they seem to get hungry all the time. I’m not surprised, though, with the amount of charging about they do – I get tired just watching them!:-)

Which is why I always make sure there’s plenty of snack type things to eat to keep their energy levels up, whether it be fruit such as bananas, toast, breadsticks or yoghurt.

It’s important to keep them refuelled what with expending so much energy, so I’m always keen to try new snack ideas to keep their interest.

As they’re big yoghurt fans, I was very eager to try out a new product which we hadn’t come across before, called Yollies.

For those of you who don’t know, Yollies are yoghurts in the shape of lollies on a stick. The novelty characters,such as a pirate, added even more fun to the product.

Much hilarity can be had by saying “arrrr!” pirate style as you crack into it!


The strawberry and the raspberry flavours were the firm favourites, and along with our usual portable dairy snack of Cheestrings, which we also love, would both make a great lunch box addition when school starts back next week.

I always like to include a dairy item in the packed lunches, and Yollies will definitely be featuring in packed lunches from now on, along with Cheestrings which we have had, and enjoyed, in the past.

Cheestrings and Yollies have a great website too called the Brave Bones Club which children can visit, collect online badges and play.

Netmums also has a page dedicated to more snack inspiration and ideas.


We were given some Cheestrings and Yollies in order to do this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are completely our own true ones.



As a huge Back To The Future fan, today is an exciting day for fellow geeks such as myself as we finally hit October 21st, 2015.

Yes, today is the day that Marty McFly and his friend Doc Brown arrived in after they stepped into the flying De’Lorean and travelled 30 years into the future.

“Great Scott!”

So, how far have we actually come in the last thirty years, and has the futuristic vision of 2015 materialised?

I’m still waiting for my hoverboard. Or my Pitbull. They’d be even better.

“Hey, McFly, you bozo, those boards don’t work on water! Unless you got POWER”!:-)

We may still be waiting for hoverboards, and flying cars, but in other aspects I think we’re doing pretty well.

So what have we got now that we didn’t have in 1985?

video calls

Marty McFly talking to Needles via video phone. A phone? That’s a video call? Stuff from Science Fiction Theatre back then. We can do it now though.

TV’s on the wall

a pretty ‘far out’ notion when they used to be big clunky things  in the corner of your living room.

Marty McFly Junior’s glasses

Don’t they look and sound remarkably like Google Glass?!

We’re getting there, people, we’re getting there. Sure, we’re still waiting for the Skyways to open to traffic, and hoverboards to become our favourite mode of transport, but we have made progress in the last thirty years.

At one point we laughed at the thought of video calls. Maybe in 2045 our children and grandchildren will be laughing about our past selves and lack of hoverboards.

How did we ever get about?!

I’ve always loved reading, and one of my all time favourite authors when I was small was the brilliant Roald Dahl.

Whereas other people wrote about adventures, fairies, or nice and fluffy things, Roald had a darker, more scary side.

From giants stealing sleeping children out of their beds and eating them up (then leaving a pile of bones underneath the window sill), to little girls getting trapped in paintings and never being able to get out – whilst living their life in the constraints of the picture frame instead, there was always some sinister elements to his tales.

So, in celebration of Roald Dahl Day, here’s 5 lessons from Roald Dahl.

Treat animals and birds the way you would want to be treated yourself

Oh, what fun, going out shooting ducks as a family! Bet you wouldn’t find it half as much fun though if the tables were turned and you woke up one morning and you’d traded places, would you?!

How would YOU like it if it was now the ducks who lived in your house, and you were tiny people with wings forced to build nests and dodge the bullets?

Not so much fun now, is it?!

The family in The Magic Finger found this out pretty quickly. Treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself, as you never know when it might turn round and get you instead…

Don’t be a spoilt little brat

I’m sure all kids have their moments, and stamp their feet when they don’t get their own way.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had a monumental brat in the shape of Veruca Salt.

“I want an Oompa Loompa NOW, Daddy!”

What happens to the children who are perpetually spoilt though? Always wanting more, and never appreciating what they have?

Yup. They end up in the garbage chute where they belong.

Don’t p*ss off the grandkids

Are you a cantankerous old lady with a mouth like a dog’s bottom? Let’s hope you don’t have a grandson like George then, or he might make you some of his marvellous (or not so marvellous) medicine.

Hide the hair cream. The bleach. The toothpaste. Anything the cheeky little upstart could try and mix up for you and pass off as medicine.

A lesson to remember in future…..

kids – washing too much is bad for you

One of the lessons I’m sure most soap dodging kids are the most delighted to hear. I mean, you don’t want too many baths, do you?

If you have too many baths then the witches can smell you more easily. Leave the dirt on, as freshly washed children smell of dogs droppings….

parents aren’t just parents, you know…

What do you mean, parents aren’t just parents? Surely their sole purpose is to be there for the child, watch endless Cbeebies with you and whatnot –  they came into the world as ready made parents without having a life of their own first, right?!

Something that Danny in Danny the Champion of The World found out when his Dad disappeared in the dead of the night and he found out he’d been sneaking out to poach pheasants…..

So much wisdom.

So much fun.

Tell us via the comments if you’ve got any more lessons to add….

There’s a few places in this world I’d love to see, and this got me thinking what my bucket list of places to go would be.

What would be on your list?

I’ve narrowed it down to my top 5 although there’ll probably be a lot more.

New York

From watching Home Alone as a child, to being a fan of Friends as a teenager, to reading Lindsey Kelk’s I love New York as an adult and re-igniting my need to go there upon reading.

Central Perk, where you can run free Phoebe style, to Kevin McCallister sticking his head out of the taxi window whilst zooming along the Brooklyn Bridge, to Angela Clark visiting Max Brenner’s chocolate place.


Prince Edward Island

As any Anne of Green Gables fan will know, this was the setting for the mini series of the book by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

On visiting, you can just imagine having your hair pulled by Gilbert and being called “carrots!” or Marilla chastising you over some misdemeanour… or Matthew being his lovely self.

Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island

The Ice Hotel, Sweden.

Yes, I like summer, but I’ve always coped much better in cold temperatures than hot ones. Winter will always be the best time of year for me. Can you beat a load of snow? No. I think not.

The Northern lights would be amazing to see, too. Apparently certain parts of the UK were supposed to see them last year, including here, but it never materialized. Hopefully soon…

The log cabins and champagne bars sound great… easily warm you up!

Ice Hotel

Sydney, Australia

It’s the other side of the world, and I’d love to go visit someday. See Sydney Opera House up close, instead of in Australian soaps or my favourite teen programme The Girl From Tomorrow.


Completely different culture to here, and one I’d love to experience. I already think I’d love the diet as well. LOVE  green tea, sushi, rice, noodles and tempura.

If you could choose anywhere to visit, where would you choose? Would anywhere on here feature? Or would it be somewhere completely different? Would love to know!


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