Month: March 2016

Competition #2


WIN a copy of Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Recipe book. See her website Amazing, mouth watering recepies!


Please click the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway



Once upon a time: Reading, for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. What we can do as parents to encourage our mini book lovers.

No one is too young for stories!

  • Read a story to your child…

Read aloud, night or day to your baby, your voice is soothing and it encourages bonding. I read the newspaper to my little boy! Buy picture books and board books. They are colourful and can be chewed! Encourage your little one to look, point, and touch. Choose books with repetitive text to build language skills and find some that are crinkly and shiny. For older babies pick books with rhyme and simple language that introduce the concept of shapes, colours and numbers.


Leo loved the touchy-feely books from Usborne.

Easy make crumbly cookie cakes. Double the yum.

So here it is my first foody post…

@Esquirecare asked my take on a recipe they had posted, available here for a gander: If you want cookies asap and have a bag of ready prepared cake mix in the cupboard, amazing tasty things can happen. I sought the advice of my four year old chief taster, who said he would prefer vanilla cookies with lots of rainbow bits, to the chocolate cookies of the original recipe (weird child). ‘Bits’ is kid-speak for hundreds and thousands.

  • 400g Sainsbury’s Vanilla Sponge mix.
  • 2 medium eggs.
  • 110ml vegetable oil.
  • Icing sugar/hundreds and thousands.

The recipe is simple; it took me less than ten minutes to make, and ten to bake which is great for a child with the attention span of a bluebottle. We chose Sainsbury’s Vanilla Sponge mix (400g) because it is only £1 and I thought that would give the best measure of mix to egg ratio (as the original recipe did not say). I love a guesstimate ingredients game.

A review of Devon’s Crealy family adventure park.


My giant monkey friend…

Opening times: Summer it is fully open 10.00am – 5.30pm, Winter 10.00am-5.00pm excl. water rides (they close over Christmas), and term time 10.00am-5.00pm check on the website what rides are open.

Age: Brave. Ideally I would say 1-12 and grandparents.

Location: Exeter, Devon.

‘Leo get up.’ No reaction. ‘Leo get up we are going to Crealy.’ The boy is dressed, breakfasted; he even brushes his teeth in the space of 3.5 minutes. Slight exaggeration but I do not have to drag him by the ankle out of bed as per normal. I do have to convince him we can’t take Ted as he is likely to lose him in the ball pit.

Five year old boys are 3 feet of overexcitement and superhero sound effects, best when outside and active. Crealy Adventure Park is a family attraction located just outside of Exeter. It has over 60 rides, indoor and outdoor activities and lots of animals to pet. I tried to steal one of their fluffy lop rabbits once. INEEDITINMYLIFE. The animals are clean and well cared for. Leo loves it. He would live there if he could, I get a migraine from getting vertigo on the rides after the 10th go, but they make good coffee so I can deal. I think with the type of rides the park caters best to the under 12s…and for parents reliving childhood.

Sleep. So your child doesn’t do it! A diabolical mastermind in a polka dot onsie.

Watching children sleep every parent feels a profound upsurge of pure love. They look angelic, they are quiet. You remember that you like being a parent; savour the memory, you croon, and think you should have more. They smell like gummy bears and warm milk. Then, they move in their sleep and you think, oh god no please don’t wake up you little bugger.

My favourite book is aptly entitled ‘Go The Fuck To Sleep’ by Adam Mansbach (narrated by the eternally cool Samuel L Jackson). Youtube it, you will feel better about life.  It completely epitomised the frustration I felt with Leo, who I swear must be the original source of pro plus. From birth to 19 months he woke every 90 minutes. I am not flip-flopping with you. I cried more than him.

It was sometimes a blissfully brief stir, to check I was still devoted and gritty eyed besides the cot; he would feed, sigh victoriously and doze back off. Other times all toys needed to be evicted from the toy box, or the apocalypse would happen if we didn’t go check that Mr Tumble was still on Cbeebies. I almost took out a mother who told me her 2 week old slept for 8 hours a night.

Why do they wake so much? To be sick again or think about being sick?

My ‘Mumisms’. The top ten phrases that I overuse as a Mummy.


  1. 1Don’t put that in your mouth. That is not for licking. Did you eat that stamp?
  2. GET DOWN….(seriously, is he part ninja..?)
  3. You pooed where?!
  4. Put on your shoes. Take off your shoes. Where are your shoes? Stupid shitty shoes..(The last part is under my breath).
  5. Now we have to go apologise to the neighbours.
  6. Raspberries are not an appropriate response.
  7. Why can’t you just listen?! (Oh god I have turned into my own mum).
  8. If you do this I will give you a treat. Yes that is a bribe. No it’s not illegal if it’s with smarties.Where did you learn about bribes??!
  9. Don’t ask me WHY. The answer is NO. (And I can’t think the reason).
  10. I love you to the moon and back. (I love you more than you can know. I am so bloody glad its bedtime, I need a cup of tea. I hope I am doing ok).

Most of these you may say from sitting on the toilet with your head in your hands.

15 Tips To Survive First Playdates For A Parent Who Has No Clue What They Are Getting Into (*Smiles & Waves*).

Welcome to the wonderful world of playdates and playmates


Connect. If it’s a first playdate, invite a parent in and have a cuppa or two. It will give their little one comfort, settle better and offer reassurance you’re not an eccentric pirate ninja.

Playdates are great for developing social skills, especially if you have an only child. Like my son they may switch between Jekyl and Hyde. There were scathing cries of ‘that’s mine’, tears and an attempt to smother a friend with a buzz lightyear pillow. It’s good to talk beforehand about how other people will be playing with their toys, review expected behaviour and plan a reward for good sharing. I set brief rules of ‘play nicely and have kind hands’ soon after pick up and have an open door policy so I can hear when voices get above a certain pitch.

Screaming = Uhoh.

Let your little one pick who they want to come play! Don’t be bossy troll mummy, their opinions are important.

Start with one before attempting to juggle two or three children. Don’t rave before you can tap-dance.

If it’s an after schooler check kids usual bed and dinner time. I had one little boy who ate dinner at 4 while we usually eat at six. You don’t want another person’s child starving and having to eat your wallpaper. (Ask sensible questions like do they have allergies and make sure you have parental mobile numbers). If it’s a first playdate say you will try for an hour or two and see how it goes, things may descend into chaos and overtired crying. Other kids will have caffeine for blood and their parents are not worried if you come home at 9pm..or at all. If our kid is at a playdate at someone else’s house, we just want a quiet drink and to watch homes under the hammer.

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