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……

Souped Up: soup recipes for a healthy lunch.

After an Easter heavy on Mini Eggs, I am trying to eat more healthily. As is often the case when I embark upon one of these fads, soup is featuring heavily and here I share some of my favourite, easiest recipes.

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…

Podcast obsession

I am mad on podcasts. My coolest friend introduced me to them a couple of years ago and I am totally obsessed with them. She is obvs much cooler than me now as a journalist living in Dublin; she goes to gigs on school nights and jets round the world at weekends, whilst I’m in…

Brilliant beauty buys.

The response I got from my post about beauty in the Aldi aisles confirmed that I am not alone in my love of a cosmetic bargain. I must reiterate here, that I am no glamorous minx, and on the surface, nobody you’d look to for advice in this field, but I DO love a good…

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…

Lemon cake and poor fine motor skills.

The Easter weekend was a busy one for us. As is my wont in the school holidays, I was stricken with the sort of horrible germs that left me with a banging head, throbbing ears, chesty cough and a husky voice. “Like Mariella Frostrup?” I asked, hopefully. “More Les Dawson,” my husband confirmed. There was…