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…

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…

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…

Staying sane in the hols.

School here has just broken up. I think parental emotions were mixed. Some seemed merely relieved to be avoiding the tyranny of 8:55 registration and acceptable packed lunches for two weeks, others focused on the 24/7 x 2 nature of the upcoming interaction with their progeny. Holidays without plans can  be hard-going. I am not…

Story time: brilliant books for young children.

It sounds revolting, in retrospect, but when my oldest daughter was in Special Care as a premature bambino, I took picture books in to read to her. I thought – maybe was told? – that it was important she heard my voice even from her incubator, but it was hard to make one-sided conversation with…