Quick and Easy Ways to Keep Car Seats Clean

It may have been suggested that being messy helps children learn, but if you’ve ever had to remove the kids car seat from the back seat, you may know what I mean when I say there’s a whole new world of grim there!   And not just under the seat, but the seat itself can be covered in anything from snacks to half the beach from your last holiday. I’m sure I’m not alone at having been tempted to just bin the lot, rather than have to face cleaning it. But that’s not particularly cost effective. 

With the average first-year cost of having a child being over $10,000, many parents will want to save money any way they can – keeping your car seat in good shape is a great way to start! If your child is partial to making the odd mess or two, here are some quick and easy tips to make the clean-up job a whole lot easier. Read more: Quick and Easy Ways to Keep Car Seats Clean

Keeping Up With The Kids: How to Be the Most Tech-Savvy Mom on the Block

The technology of the 21st century is revolutionizing the way we do everything—and it all changes so fast. For moms who want to understand what their kids are talking about and doing, it seems like a full-time degree level course with graduation getting further away every day. At the same time, all the low-tech jobs of being a mom are still there, screaming for your attention. What are the developments of the moment that really justify your time?Tech Savvy Mother

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Stockings Brimming With Sweets

My four-year-old has suddenly cottoned on to the idea of Christmas stockings. Whereas in the past they have been purely decorative parts of Christmas, this year she’s insistent that they will be filled with gifts flowing freely from the bounty of the North Pole, and that Santa himself is going to fill them – she even suggested we keep them downstairs so that the big man doesn’t have to waste time heading up the stairs after dropping the gifts off in the living room. How considerate of her.

I tried to explain to her that historically, the stocking would contain an orange because ‘in the olden days’ oranges were a rare treat that only rich people could eat regularly. (Or there’s the version that said Saint Nick heard of a man with three daughters who couldn’t afford their dowry, so he threw some gold down the chimney and it happened to land in their stockings set out by the fire to dry, so now we put oranges in stockings to symbolise the gold the generous St. Nick gifted) But aside from not believing me, she is not at all interested in this version of a Christmas stocking. No, you see, her stocking will be overflowing with sweets.

I am of a mind to buy her a much smaller stocking. Read more: Stockings Brimming With Sweets

How To Dress Your Kids Smart For A Wedding

Although many modern weddings steer towards a ‘no children’ policy, there are still those who love nothing more than including the whole family, kids and all, for the celebrations. One of the best weddings we’ve ever been to was one where the bride spent ages on the dance floor with the children! There’s a lot to be said for having children at a wedding; they add an element of cuteness and fun to the whole day and just look adorable in their smart little outfits.

However, if you’ve been invited to a ‘family-friendly’ wedding, then you need to think long and hard on how to dress your kids for the occasion. Their outfits not only need to make them look smart, but to make everyone’s day more enjoyable there are a number of practical elements to consider too:

Let them be kids

Typically with weddings there is a smart dress code, which can be the perfect excuse to splash out on something your children wouldn’t normally wear. But before you get carried away don’t forget that kids will be kids and will want to run around, play, jump and inevitably get a little messed up. So rather than battling with them and spending your day worrying about their expensive threads getting trashed, choose something that can withstand a little playtime without getting wrecked.

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Creating a Home Gym for All the Family

Hands up how many people have had the seemingly sensible idea of installing a gym in their home? Especially if you’re home with kids in the evening! On the face of it this is a good idea – no more dragging yourself out of the house on evenings, or crashing in front of the telly since you’re stuck at home anyway or calling in at the gym after work; no more sharing sweaty machines with lots of other sweaty people.

What could be nicer than having your own shiny, clean facilities just waiting for you to amble in and use any time you want? But how many people have spent an absolute fortune on gym equipment they never actually use? There must be tons of dumbbells, ab crunchers, treadmills and whatever else, all expensively and uselessly gathering dust in spare rooms and garages up and down the land. So it’s clear that, if you really want a home gym you have to give it some careful thought.active-19413_960_720

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Six Ways To Kill A Revolution

I don’t know why this is on my mind tonight, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with what I normally write about. And yet it does, since politics affects us all whether we pay attention to it or not. I’ve been thinking a lot about the events of the last few weeks – haven’t we all – and there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: why isn’t anyone demanding justice over the lies from the people we’re supposed to trust to lead us?

The few people I have spoken to about the fact that I am angry that voters for the EU Referendum were lied to from so many sides that even intelligent, interested people walked into the polling stations still unsure of what to vote, have all said the same thing: That’s what politicians do. 

So, a few weeks have passed, xenophobic attacks have died back a little, angry people are still smarting, but life goes on, and we’ve had other things to worry about, so we’re not sitting stewing as loudly in our disappointments – or victories, for those who wanted Out.

But I’m stilll sitting here wondering why the owners and editors of newspapers that emblazoned lies in capital letters aren’t held accountable. Why politicians and people speaking on behalf of them aren’t held accountable. Why people – all people, both sides of the vote – aren’t in uproar over the lies. Aren’t furious that interviews that ‘came clean’ weren’t held the day before or the day of the vote rather than the day after. Aren’t insulted at being taken for fools. Aren’t livid at how powerless we really are.

I’m fairly certain that if I applied for a mortgage, say, and supplied misinformation and blatant lies, I could be ‘done’ for fraud? I’m equally certain that if I dressed up in a police officers uniform and grabbed someone’s car claiming ‘police business’, I would still be ‘done’ for theft or at the very least impersonating a police officer – even though I never actually said I was a policeman.

So where is the accountability? Why is there one set of laws for them, and not for me.  How do I teach my children wrong from right if they can’t even see it in the pinnacle of leadership in our country? Why aren’t people furious about this? 

I’ll tell you why:

Distractions Distractions Distractions

6 Ways To Kill A Revolution

1. Give the people a common enemy

My daughter asked me this morning “what does ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ mean? I don’t even know where she heard it, but it got me thinking about this. Give people a common enemy and they will draw together, even if only for a time. Give generally decent people from both sides of the vote a common enemy aka the ‘indecent’ people – the bigots, the racists, the haters – and they’ll put aside their own differences to fight their common enemy. Or all those people who voted ‘out’ simply to protest vote against Cameron and his government – even a lot of people who were gutted after the results were announced saw his resignation as a relief. Enough of a relief to not demand answers?

I’ve written frequently enough about my experience of growing up in a country at war, and one thing I knew as a nine year old child was this: give people a common enemy and they band together. That new unity becomes a temporary distraction.Read more: Six Ways To Kill A Revolution

Take The Quiz To Find Your Perfect Father’s Day Gifts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that we’re almost in June – which means Father’s Day!  It can be really tough to know what to buy for dads for Father’s Day, specially when money is tight, or dad isn’t a resident parent, but I think it’s really important for the children rather than the adults, to acknowledge important days. And by the time kids are over half a decade old, well, you’ve done the hand print crafts, you’ve done the commemorative jewellery and you’ve done the photographs so what’s there really left to do?Father's Day Quiz

I saw this video last year where they identified 10 types of dads – Tesco have narrowed that down to six types of dads, with really apt and rather clever categories.

Take the quiz below to see which category the Father in your Father’s Day falls into, then pop on over to Tesco to find the perfect gift for your kind of dad.

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Find Your Perfect Holiday Destination

I’m on a total quiz binge right now, killing time while I wait for our pending holiday to arrive.

I really, honestly need this holiday too. It’s been a rough couple of months, what with moving house and a whole host of issues around that, an epic 9-week cold and flu, complete with chest and sinus infections, a broken toe and a sprained pinkie finger. I’m fairly exhausted, and I really, really want a holiday close to nature, relaxing in fresh air and hopefully, sunshine.

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Temporary Victory For Term Time Holidays (And Why This Really Matters!)

I am so excited today about the High Court’s verdict in the case of Jon Platt versus the Isle of Wight council. For those who don’t know about this, Mr Platt took his child out of school in April last year for a term time family holiday. As is normal, he was fined £60 by the Isle of Wight council for removing child from school, and the fine was doubled to £120 when he refused to pay it. In October, Mr Platt went to court because he was of the opinion that he was within the law, which states that children have to be regularly attending school. The exact wording of the law says:

If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence. 1

In the previous year, Mr Platt’s daughter had 93.6% attendance at school 2 which he deemed constituted ‘regular’ attendance – which is what the High Court today agreed with.

This ruling may not affect me personally, but I am beyond happy with it. My children are educated at home, so we can (and do) go where ever we want, whenever we want, and the inability to have term time holidays was a big – obviously not the only, but a big – part of why we opted to home educate. statues-919023_960_720Read more: Temporary Victory For Term Time Holidays (And Why This Really Matters!)

  1.  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/section/444
  2.  http://news.sky.com/story/1695495/father-wins-court-battle-on-school-holidays

Can You Identify Celebrities As Drawn By Children?

I’m fairly useless when it comes to the names of celebrities. I’m always like, ‘Oh, it’s the guy who played in that movie where the world was going to end and he was one of the guys that saved the planet?” – Yeah, I really know how to narrow it down 😉

I’m always interested in the way children view the world. Like when my daughter drew her father as Jack Sprat and me as that wife. You know, the one who “could eat no lean”? Thanks for that, kiddo.

But looking at children’s drawings can be really enlightening. It can show what they value, it can show how they see the world around them and it can be a valuable insight into their minds. Kids Celebrity QuizRead more: Can You Identify Celebrities As Drawn By Children?