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The Ultimate Guide To Combatting Hay Fever
Family Health Home & Garden

The Ultimate Guide To Combatting Hay Fever

Before I became pregnant with Josh, I hadn't had the slightest symptom of hay fever. People who do not have hay fever genuinely do not know the woe it causes you. It is utterly miserable. For me, it started at around 7 months pregnant, and it's never gone away. (more…)
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Marriage Allowance – Here’s How You Can Claim It!
Adult Time Family Money Matters

Marriage Allowance – Here’s How You Can Claim It!

***Updated 18th January 2020*** No one would throw away money, would they? No one would pass on getting free cash, surely! So why is it that 2 million of us are doing exactly that?! Are you missing out? The government set up an initiative in 2015 for married couples to get free cash. Yep. I bet you didn't ever think you would hear that sentence; the government wants to give us free money.  And there isn't a catch. If you meet the criteria, you get it - up to £891.50 to be exact. (more…)
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No Child is Born Racist
Family Parenting

No Child is Born Racist

Today, Finn based his Black History homework on 12 Years A Slave, and when I spoke to him and read it, it made me really proud. I was so unashamedly proud of his values; I could have shouted from the rooftops! However, before showing me his work, he had so many innocent questions: Racism is a choice, isn't it, Mum? None of my friends were born not liking someone because of the colour of their skin, or if they have a religion. Do you learn racism, Mum? Like when Dad told me not to support Chelsea like Uncle Darren when I grow up? Is racism the same? You get told to be racist? Why would someone do that? Why do some people not like other people and other people do like other people? Who tells them to do that? And why do they tell them that? I can't work out how to answer any of his questions because I just don't understand racism. It makes zero sense to me how and why individuals and communities are racist. It makes zero sense to me how and why such a despicable crime started in the first place. It makes zero sense to me...
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I Think He Really Enjoyed Meeting Santa…
Christmas Days Out Parenting

I Think He Really Enjoyed Meeting Santa…

For this particular Santa, who wanted to greet a happy, deliriously excited child, he must have been gravely disappointed. Instead, he was met by a screaming banshee who was terrified by the very nature of being popped on Santa's lap that he peed himself! So much so that it leaked out the side of the nappy, went through all of his clothes and then, not so discreetly, soaked into Santa's finest attire requiring poor old Santa not only to look very unimpressed but as we walked out of the "Winterland of shame" to the exit, we overheard him say; "Jenny, I am going to have to change my trousers. I have a wet lap. Tell the other children I will be back in a moment! Tell them I have Santa duties to attend to with the chief Elf!" I'm not sure why, but it made me really laugh. I think it was a nervous laugh, but also the fact that he stayed in character while telling Jenny The Cockney Elf this information when there were absolutely no other people around. Jenny, hastily and smiling awkwardly, bustled out of Santa's grotto to the exit where we were waiting and said she...
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Why We Are ALL Terrible Parents… Yes, You’re Guilty Too
Family Just For Fun Parenting

Why We Are ALL Terrible Parents… Yes, You’re Guilty Too

What are the rules we always tell our kids? Always tell the truth. Always be kind. Never trust a stranger. So what do we do as parents? We screw our kids up! If I'm honest, I'm surprised our kids (collectively throughout the world) aren't traumatised because of the adults in their lives that they trust, yet we lie to them every day and break all three of those rules we have attempted to instill from a young age. THE EASTER BUNNY I kid you not, as an adult, if we believed this, we would think our drink had been spiked. A rabbit that lays multi-coloured chocolate eggs and leaves them scattered everywhere once a year. Does that not sound weird? I always remember catching Josh eating 'mini Maltesers'. He was around two years old when we got our first rabbit. And now, it all makes perfect sense. I was the one who told him it was ok to eat rabbit shit. I created this weird Easter tradition in our house, and I didn't even realise the flood gates I had opened. They were not Maltesers, FYI. My kid was eating balls of rabbit poo because we had a rabbit, and I said...
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Hair Loss During Pregnancy And Looking Like a Rockhopper Penguin
Beauty Health Just For Fun Pregnancy

Hair Loss During Pregnancy And Looking Like a Rockhopper Penguin

Having hair loss as a woman is a challenging thing to come to terms with, whether it's from pregnancy, stress, a hereditary condition, Alopecia, or Cancer - in this case, mine was caused by pregnancy, and it was coming out in clumps by the handful every day. It started at around seven months pregnant. Before this, pregnancy had gifted me beautiful shiny locks of hair by the bucketload, and I loved my new full head of lush hair. That was up until the morning I woke up thinking we had got a cat without me knowing, and it had slept on my pillow all night. Alas no, it wasn't that, it was my hair! And I was devastated because it just kept coming out. I spoke to my health visitor straight away, who told me it was normal and not to worry. But I was suffering because even the kids started noticing, and they never notice anything. Poor Beard was also well aware as he was yanking metres of it out of the plughole. It really was bad. Then I had the grand notion of going online and Googling why it was happening. The first post was reassuring, and it...
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What Your Partner Gets Up To When They’re Babysitting?
Adult Time Just For Fun Parenting

What Your Partner Gets Up To When They’re Babysitting?

It's your first night out with the girls (and Prosecco) since your baby was born, and for just a few hours, you can be you again. You've expressed within an inch of your life, and you've written a long list of things the other half needs to remember and be aware of. Plus, you feel safe knowing that a couple of his friends are also coming over with their older kids. Everything will be fine. Image themirror.co.uk I wonder how long he had thought his kids head looked like a kiwi? But even more importantly, how have we never seen this similarity before?? Image: Reddit.com I mean, why wouldn't you plunger a child to take them shopping? But how on earth did the poor little bugger get it off his back? Image: demotivationalpost.com Do you think this Dad was just waiting for the second his wife stepped foot out the door to eagerly run upstairs and create this masterpiece to get on the lads WhatsApp chat??! Image: Furygoat At least the little one seems to be enjoying herself. Image: Google.com Ah, the infamous bearded baby. Image: boredpanda.com I wonder what the baby was thinking? The problem is, this Dad has stitched one...
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50 Signs You’re Getting Old
Adult Time Family Just For Fun

50 Signs You’re Getting Old

The one thing that is a weird concept to me is this getting old malarky. I remember being a kid and looking at my Aunt, who was probably younger than me and thinking, "corrr, she's well old!"  Whereas I don't think I'm old at all. I still consider myself as one of the kids; totes down with the cool kids. I'm a selfie pouting pro, and I flashing the peace sign at any opportunity, just for the gram. Now that's a visible sign I'm still young, right? But apparently, I'm just embarrassing, says Josh. Finn nods in the background with a solemn look on his face as if they're just about to take me to the vet and put me down. In my opinion, I am not at all old... these are the official 50 signs you're old: 1. Saying "in my day..." before you begin your sentence 2. Replying to a child by stating "back in my day..." and finishing with "you don't know you were born." 3. Referring to foods such as Chow Mein and Chicken Tikka Massala as "foreign." 4. Having to go to Sainsbury's on Mondays. You can't go any other day. You simply mustn't. Only...
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Are Dogue De Bordeaux’s Good Family Dogs?
Family Just For Fun Lifestyle Pets

Are Dogue De Bordeaux’s Good Family Dogs?

Owning a Dogue De Bordeaux is never something you should just DO - you need to seriously think about it. Do some research. Go on Facebook and join groups, ask questions - really find out if a Dogue De Bordeaux is for you. Yes, they are fantastic loving dogs with huge personalities. However, they are also high maintenance and bloody strong, not to mention the slobber they produce. Aside from all that, they really are gentle giants who just love to play. Since owning a Dogue, we often got asked what Ernie is like with the kids and would we recommend the breed as a family pet. Our answer always has and will always be, YES! They make excellent family pets. Ernie was our first DDB and, sadly, will be our last because it would be too painful to own another one. We lost Ernie extremely suddenly when he was six and diagnosed with lymphoma. Ernie became very unwell very quickly, and we lost him one week after Christmas. Cancer is common in these giant breeds and treatment can be hugely expensive and not always treatable. He was the most exceptional dog, full of character and loved so much by everyone who met him, so we just couldn't...
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The Ultimate Guide for an Awesome Halloween Party
Family Food Halloween Just For Fun Parenting

The Ultimate Guide for an Awesome Halloween Party

Halloween is a huge big deal in our house, the kids absolutely love it, so last year when I inadvertently booked a holiday meaning that we would be sat on a beach in Sardinia on the 31st everyone in my family hated me - even though I did bring along some spooky props for us, apparently it wasn't quite the same. (more…)
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Step-by-step Guide To Make Your Own Vegetable Patch
Family Food Health Home & Garden Lifestyle

Step-by-step Guide To Make Your Own Vegetable Patch

If someone had told the former me that I would be a bit of a 'green-fingered' grow your own-er, I would have laughed in their face. I've always loved being in the garden but being in someone else's perfectly preened outdoor space on a lounger with a Mojito. I certainly couldn't have given a rats arse about a veggie patch! I remember walking past the allotment after school (many moons ago) and thinking why do you old folk stand out here and grow carrots when you can go to the supermarket and pick up a bag for 60p!!!??!! I always figured they had nothing better to do. Same goes for Vegans. Anyone who was Vegan at school, I assumed they were being mistreated by their parents. Now it's trendy. I started growing our fruit and veg in pots, which works perfectly fine, but when Beard landscaped our garden, I begged and pleaded for a little spot for the family patch. Reluctantly he agreed. If you are thinking of starting one? Here is how... 1. You'll want to choose a particularly sunny spot for your crops so choose wisely. Next, create your plot. Our veggie patch is made from railway sleepers in...
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Photographic Proof That Spiders In The UK DO Bite
Health Home & Garden Just For Fun

Photographic Proof That Spiders In The UK DO Bite

***WARNING if you hate feet, do not "continue reading" because the images might make you vomit - equally if you have a foot fetish, do not "continue reading" because the pictures might make you vomit. If you're indifferent to feet, don't "continue reading" because the images might make you vomit anyway. WARNING*** (more…)
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What It’s REALLY Like Being A Self Employed Working Mum
Parenting Working Mum

What It’s REALLY Like Being A Self Employed Working Mum

When I fell pregnant as a BA student in my first year (with our first son), I was instantly deemed as a failed student by a lot of people — destined to walk the Green Mile of the benefit cul-de-sac with no qualifications. After completing my first year of university and just 5 weeks after Josh was born, I was back in education doing an evening course and an 88-mile round trip travelling to Brighton University just to get another qualification under my belt in the year I was taking out from my degree course. It's hard if you want to be a successful Mum - not only for the criticism you're likely to come against. But your maternal instincts will be shot to pieces because there's simply not enough hours in a day for you to be all the things you want to be! (more…)
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21 Tips For Travelling With Kids
Family Holiday Parenting Travel

21 Tips For Travelling With Kids

Going on holiday with children is the stuff nightmares are made of. Nothing can prepare you for it. Whether it's being trapped in a car as you drive halfway across the country, stranded in queueing traffic as you attempt to board your boat, or feeling helpless as you wait (for what feels like hours) on the runway for the plane to take off and jet you abroad. If you're a little more adventurous than hiding in a villa in Spain and actually want to be around other families, you could take your brood to Disneyland, Florida. Personally, I couldn't think of anything worse than Disney songs on repeat for two weeks with screaming ankle biters (that aren't my own) everywhere I turn. Just thinking of it reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds; except there's a role reversal. The adults are the kids trying to run for freedom, and the kids are the birds attacking the parents demanding that we queue for 16 hours to have a poxy photo with bloody Cinderella or shrieking about spending $100 on some shitty merchandise that is going to be rocking up in Oxfam precisely 3 days after coming home. One thing to remember,...
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Why Your Kids Really DO Need To Look After Their Teeth
Health Parenting

Why Your Kids Really DO Need To Look After Their Teeth

Why is it that kids will do anything to get out of brushing their teeth? What is so terrible about 4 minutes of brushing in 24 hours? That equates to 1,440 minutes of opportunity a day for a mere 240 seconds of cleanliness?! We have tried every type of bribery, every reward chart, but still, they say they've brushed, and they haven't. I don't know HOW they walk out that front door to go to school with morning breath - I just couldn't do it. From a young age, we have instilled dental hygiene. However, this is fine up until about 4-years-old, and then it all goes Pete Tong. Despite this, I now have the perfect way to encourage your child to brush their teeth! It's foolproof. Is it a special toothpaste? No. Is it a special toothbrush? Nope. The answer: Let. Their. Teeth. Fall. Out. Or in this situation, yanked out! I'm pretty sure it will make them think twice about skipping a little brush here and there. Josh has a real thing about brushing his teeth, not only because he's a kid who does what every other kid does and refuses to brush, but because he cannot stand...
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First Pregnancy Nostalgia. Thinking Back To That Day That Feels So Long Ago…
Family Labour Parenting Pregnancy

First Pregnancy Nostalgia. Thinking Back To That Day That Feels So Long Ago…

I'm still struggling to realise that in just one month, the eldest of my three is starting secondary school. It doesn't seem possible. I remember Josh coming into the world as if it was yesterday. I was 21 when I fell pregnant with him and as odd/mad as it seemed to everyone else, he wasn't a mistake, we planned him from quite early in our relationship. We didn't think we would ever have kids; Beard had to have an operation at a young age that put his meatballs in potential danger, and I had multiple cysts on my ovaries resulting in a surgeon having to butcher them. In our minds, the chances of two defunct people creating life were pretty much slim to none. So we started trying for a little family as soon as we realised we were made for each other. Mr "one-hit wonder", as Beard named himself, was King of the Gods, Creator of Life, Super Star of the Galaxy, and although Josh was planned and we wanted to start a family, in reality, it was quick, and in retrospect, we weren't ready for it. I was in my first year of University studying Fashion Design & Business...
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The Things I Wished​ I Had Said To All The People Who Have Ever Judged Autism
Autism Parenting

The Things I Wished​ I Had Said To All The People Who Have Ever Judged Autism

I still remember the day we were sat down and told Josh had ASD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I remember hearing echoes and everything merging into one blob of fuzziness as I stared gormlessly at my child who was mumbling to himself in a corner. Oblivious, he was lining up cars in height order, involuntarily shaking his head at the repetitiveness, before erratically destroying it and then starting the whole process again. It was only when our Paediatrician rubbed my shoulder and said: "you know it's ok to cry, no one's judging you now." At first, I thought, thank you so much for pre-empting what you know I want to do; cry, sob and scream, WHY!?! But just as a single tear rolled down my cheek. "No one's judging you now." Hold on, so you were all judging me before this? You were all thinking we were terrible parents, and that was the reason why, as a toddler, he used to smear his poop everywhere?! Trying to get him to go to sleep eight maybe twenty times a night because he wanted to know what the meaning of life was, or how many molecules are in the ocean, or because he couldn't...
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When Feeding The Ducks Really Is A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Days Out Family

When Feeding The Ducks Really Is A Series Of Unfortunate Events

I love being self-employed and having the ability to work from home. Spending time with my kids without any work interruptions as and when I choose. Today was one of those days. A beautiful sunny June. And Austyn decided to sleep in until 8.30am. Today, despite it being Monday, it's already a good day. I can feel it. As beard leaves the house, he shouts "bye guys, have a great day! BBQ for dinner tonight! Mummy, I didn't get a chance to water the veg patch, my work shirts need washing and don't forget to use up that bread that's gone stale. Go to the park, don't chuck it!" Why does my husband call me "Mummy" in front of the kids?? The veggie patch watering can wait. I'll say I did it - the sprinkler was on for ages yesterday, I'm sure my tomatoes will survive. Plus if I get the hose out the dog chases it, gets tangled up and tries to eat it. I want a stress free day today. The work shirt situation, however, does need addressing. I do need to put the washing on, and there's no getting away from that. However, the stale bread is the perfect...
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A Heartfelt Note To The NHS From An 11-Year-Old…
Family Health

A Heartfelt Note To The NHS From An 11-Year-Old…

The NHS is the Marmite of society in the UK. Despite being deemed as the number one health system in the world and being consistently praised for efficiency, there is a minority who continue to create a backlash over safety and affordability of the system we are privileged to have. Recently we had the first-hand experience of how fantastic they are when my son's condition became life-threatening. You can read more about that, here Thankfully, due to the NHS, our son survived and has since recovered. There is no amount of praise, or love I can give to those in Princess Royal University Hospital who treated Josh. There are no words I can offer. So, instead, I wrote the words my son told me to write. In a card to the ward that looked after him when he was too weak to do it himself...    
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How Appendicitis And The Fear Of Sepsis Nearly Tore Our Family Apart
Family Health Parenting Uncategorized

How Appendicitis And The Fear Of Sepsis Nearly Tore Our Family Apart

It's hard to believe that after 3 bouts of sickness and a call to the GP resulted in one week later, our 10-year-old having surgery, his organs failing his fragile body, and currently in a wheelchair unable to support his own body weight. (more…)
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