Best birthday parties – Cheshire and beyond!

I realised, last weekend, that I have thrown 15 children’s parties, making me experienced, if far from expert. Since it’s a proposition that seems to throw a number of my friends into the pits of despair, I have written a post with some different types of celebrations that have been tried and tested.
The venues and services listed are local to me, in Cheshire and thereabouts, but there will be equivalents, whereever you are.

Back to school

As the summer holidays wind up, here are a few thoughts about the return to school from a teacherly perspective.

The Clowance Estate, Cornwall – a review

This is just going to be a quick post – but after struggling to find much information about The Clowance Estate before our holiday there last week, it struck me that a review might be of use to other holidaymakers. (Just to be clear, we paid in full for our holiday and I have received…

Keeping the masses happy – best buys for holiday harmony.

Mid-Summer holidays, I have compiled a list of books and other activities that I have bought over the last year or two which may be of use in keeping your troops entertained and out of mischief during idle moments or rainy days.
All have been rigorously tested and approved by my little badgers.

Easy peasy birthday cake.

I am writing this from our holiday. I meant to write it before we set off, but birthday demands, end of term shenanigans and holiday packing left spare time in short supply. Apols, therefore for formatting of a poorer standard than usual – there are a number of things I am struggling to work out…

Super speedy Key Lime Pie and Father’s Day fragility.

A late-ish night at a brilliant party on Saturday left me feeling a little ‘tired’ on Sunday. I can only attribute my headache on waking to the loud music we danced to with such skill and vigour. It was a true treat to not be woken at 6 with a request to replace the hair…

The perils of cat ownership.

The house is alarmingly quiet this morning with the little badgers being ‘on holiday’ at Nanny and Papa’s for a full weekend; in part to accommodate our party-going tonight and in part because it’s so much more fun being spoiled rotten there, than being harried by a tiresome mother at home. It has been rather…

French escapades: 5 brilliant things to do in Picardy.

After a lovely week in France, I have been boring anyone who will listen with a litany of Picardy’s virtues. For anyone else thinking of visiting (and it’s lovely, you really should) I’ve compiled a list of brilliant things to do with kids.

Camping for the clueless: my 5 top tips for beginners.

My husband has been promising our firstborn a camping trip for several years. Last summer, in a bid to lend credibility to his promises we bought a tent, but busy lives, disappointing weather – and perhaps a faint undercurrent of reluctance – meant it has lain dormant. Until this last gloriously sunny Bank holiday weekend……

Lunchbox friction. And dairy-free banana chocolate biscuits.

About to tackle the second week back at school and the Easter holidays seem like a distant memory, entangled as we are, once more, with Biff and Chip and PE kits and morning rush hours and after-school clubs and snack boxes. Packed lunches are a somewhat contentious issue in our house. The junior takes one…

Fat Rascals. (A treat, not an insult.)

Five days into the school holiday – of which four were the long weekend, where double parental supervision was applied – and we have worked through pretty much everything in the programme of activities I suggested, and now we’re lapping ourselves. It seems hopeful that the dismal drizzle and frosty temperatures may improve as the…

11 steps to a brilliant night’s sleep.

I seem to have been somewhere on the continuum between moderately fatigued and totally exhausted since my firstborn came onto the scene in early 2009. Of course, nobody with a small baby can realistically expect to have a decent amount of sleep, but somehow, even though my children reliably make it through the night without…