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5 kids’ characters who make me want to SCREAM

Big news! They’re bringing back Super Ted! In case you weren’t around in the 1980s, Super Ted was a Welsh [...]

By |February 24th, 2016|Books, Parenting|124 Comments

We’ve had a makeover!

Today I’m coming to you from our brand new sparkling website! After almost two and a half years we’ve waved [...]

Ella’s Kitchen finger food review: let weaning commence!

Just when you’ve settled nicely into a routine, it’s time to change it again and get used to a new [...]

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

Apparently two thirds of parents don’t have enough time to read to their kids, and a third say they suffer [...]

By |April 17th, 2015|Baby, Books, Family days out, Family life, News, Parenting, Reading|7 Comments

Bing DVD review: this bunny will last beyond Easter

We’ve decamped to Dorset and the New Forest to grace the grannies with our presence over Easter. This year we’ve [...]

By |April 6th, 2015|Baby, Books, Family life, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

Is it ok to go straight from the school run to the pub?

We’ve had a sobering email from BB’s preschool. After Easter they’re going to start introducing phonics and teaching the children [...]

By |March 25th, 2015|Baby, Books, Breast feeding, Family life, Parenting, Reading, School|0 Comments

Mum & Me book review: perfect for Mother’s Day

It’s almost Mother’s Day and if you haven’t sorted out a present yet I’ve got just the thing: a Mum [...]

By |March 13th, 2015|Baby, Books, Family life, Parenting, Pregnancy, Reviews|0 Comments

Why don’t pregnant women use wheelchairs?

That’s among the questions three ‘pregnant’ dads have posed just days into their mission to wear pregnancy suits for a whole month. I left BB and Little B in the capable hands of Misery Guts on Sunday to go and write about their story, among others, and it really is an interesting one. There’s no doubt the world would be a different place if it were men who gave birth. The three dads are wearing 15kg ‘empathy bellies’ – the average weight of a full term pregnancy – day and night in the run up to Mother’s Day to see what it’s like for all us mums out there. […]

Paddington: there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats and Cornishware

There’s much excitement in the crummy mummy household: Paddington the movie has finally been released and we can’t wait to go and see it. Admittedly most of this excitement is from me: even though I’ve promised BB there are no Scary Bits she’s slightly dubious after our last trip to the cinema, when I took her to see Book of Life without researching the plot (ghosts + lost souls + Land of the Forgotten = lots of Scary Bits) Mostly I’m excited because there’s nothing like a good old British film at Christmas – acting greats including Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, famous London landmarks such as Paddington Station and icons of Britishness like stripy Cornishware pottery (pictured) all brought together – what more could you want? Of course there’s no doubt there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats, Cornishware and everything else Paddington-related as a result, and good on them: I like it when everyday, honest things nobody usually notices get their 15 minutes of fame. […]

I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything’ card

I think it’s fair to say BB has taken to being a big sister like a duck to water. After six weeks of broken nights and being generally unsettled in the run up to Little B’s arrival, almost a week in we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. She goes down at night without a fuss about ‘the baby in mummy’s tummy’, sleeps through the night and no longer wakes up grizzling. She loves kissing him, looking at him and lying next to him (pictured), and I may have overplayed the ‘he won’t actually be able to do anything yet’ card as she’s delighted when he simply grips her finger. […]

‘Everything I learnt about the First World War came from the pages of dog-eared history books’

As we followed BBC2’s coverage and took part in ‘Lights Out’ to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War on Monday (pictured) I couldn’t help but think what a legacy the commemorations will leave for BB and children of her generation. When I was little everything I learnt about the first and second world wars came from the pages of dog-eared history books or a teacher’s scribblings on a black board, but with the advent of the internet and social media a whole new world has opened up, quite literally. My dad has spent the last few months uploading photos and information about his grandfathers – BB’s great-great grandfathers – to the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War ‘real lives’ database, meaning that at the click of a mouse she will be able to learn all about the roles her ancestors played. […]

By |August 6th, 2014|Books, Family life, News, Parenting|0 Comments

Top Bananas! The best family recipes ever

At last. It may have taken two years but Mumsnet has finally compiled a cookbook featuring Mumsnetter’s best recipes, which means no more bookmarking pages from the website and balancing my laptop precariously next to the kitchen sink while attempting to recreate the concoctions. The compendium of wise is called Top Bananas! and features the tried and tested recipes of more than 300 mums with dishes ranging from basic Broccoli Balls to Luscious Lamb Shanks. As well as speedy suppers you can create while simultaneously emptying the washing machine and doing general mum things, there’s proper meals for the grown-ups even Misery Guts is game to try. My favourite bit is the chapter devoted to unashamedly unhealthy but rite-of-passage party treats such as Ice Cream Cone Cakes and Party Toffee Popcorn, which will surely send the anti-sugar brigade into overdrive. I can’t actually remember the last time I saw such naughty recipes in a family cookbook – probably my mum’s good old 1980s Jane Asher party cakes book. […]

By |May 30th, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

‘He was standing on the loo proudly displaying his willy’

We’ve been on a trip down memory lane in our house lately. It started when BB’s granny gave her a 1984 copy of I Want To See The Moon by Louis Baum for Christmas (pictured), a fave when I was growing up. If you don’t know the story, it’s about a little boy called Toby who wakes up in the night and wants to see the moon, but of course it’s behind the clouds. In some ways it’s very PC: there’s no sign of the mum (I always assumed she was at work) and the dad is the one who takes Toby out of his cot to the loo before making him some hot milk. But at the same time it contains illustrations you just wouldn’t get in a kids book today, like Toby standing on the loo proudly displaying his willy, also pictured. (‘You wouldn’t get away with that today!’ a male friend said when he saw it this weekend). […]

By |April 7th, 2014|Books, Craft, Family life, Fashion, Money, Parenting|3 Comments

How to childproof a bedroom (aka death trap)

We’re about to reach another milestone in the crummy mummy household: it’s time to turn BB’s much loved cot into a bed. The only reason she’s still in it at two and a half is because she flatly refuses to sleep anywhere else, but it really is time to get her out of nappies and onto the loo by herself at night, so the sides have to go. Which means I’ve realised just how much of a death trap her bedroom really is. Aside from the fact we live on the 4th floor of a block of flats with nothing but a sheer drop onto concrete outside her window, there’s the draw cord for her blind which dangles dangerously because we’ve never fixed its holder to the wall, a 6ft freestanding bookcase just waiting to be climbed and toppled when I’m not looking and a radiator which gets burning hot despite being off thanks to a heating system shared by all 49 flats (all pictured). […]

By |March 7th, 2014|Books, Family life, Health, Parenting, Potty training|0 Comments

Recipes your toddler (and you) will love

I’ve suffered my triannual anxiety attack in which I fear we’ve come to rely too much on sausages and potato waffles and the same meals on the same day of each week. In a fit of renewed I-must-get-more-vegetables-into-BB I went in search of a new cookbook featuring meals I know she requests seconds of at nursery (when her little friends are sat beside her happily tucking in) like spaghetti carbonara and chicken curry but won’t touch with a barge pole at home. Nestled between the River Cottage baby and toddler cookbook with quinoa this and spelt that (too poncey pretentious for me) and the obligatory Annabel Karmel recipes (always far too time consuming) I found The Baby-Led Weaning Recipe Book by Felicity Bertin and Emma Ogden-Hooper. As an advocate of baby-led weaning but with a toddler who now refuses to suck the tips from a tree of broccoli or peel the layers off a sprout I discovered a book packed full of normal, simple family recipes like cottage pie and fish cakes all with a healthy portion of ‘hidden’ veg. […]

By |February 3rd, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Reviews, Weaning|2 Comments