Reach for the stars…

kids, Reviews, safety, travel
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Ah yes. The first sniff of fine weather (a bit of sneezing and runny eyes…), and any responsible parent is reaching for the sun cream. You know how it goes – caught unawares, you root around the back of a cupboard for last years left overs and stumble upon a bingo callers collection of different factor sun cream bottles, none of which are completely empty. You kept them, thinking that they could be used next summer. Then sorting through the odds and ends you look at them and decide there’s not enough to last for a 2 week holiday and buy some more. etc. etc.

My solution? You don’t need to spend a fortune on sun cream. Just check the UVA star rating on the back. I found some 5 star- ultra (top rating) Tesco value suncream at £1.97 a bottle. It has quite a pleasant smell, and whilst the packaging won’t win any design awards, it’s definitely a winner for your bank balance. And as sun cream is alleged to lose it’s protection over time, you won’t be weeping at the end of the year when you throw the dregs away 🙂

Fabulous by name, fabulous by nature!

cooking, Reviews, school
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Here’s a story any working Mum (or Dad if he does the cooking!) will identify with… a letter comes home from school asking for home made cake or biscuit donations to sell at the school fete. For a guilt ridden moment, you toss up the thought of sweating over a hot oven to bake some masterpiece and prove that being a working parent means you are some kind of superhuman being versus taking the easy option and popping down the shops to buy some to pass off as your own. Then common sense takes hold and you are off to the supermarket to get some Fabulous Bakin Boys cup cakes.

Imagine my horror when I got home to find that the icing on my yummy cakes was defective and not of a suitable standard to palm off as a ‘fake bake’. Then I came up with an idea. Read the rest…

Shake it up

food, kids, Reviews, Thrifty
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Getting the boys to drink enough milk is always a struggle. They’ve never been big milk fans. But when they started to get split nails, something had to be done. So I relented and bought some milkshake concentrate in an attempt to make it more palatable for them.

Inevitably, it was more appealing with some artificial flavours added, but it still seemed to have something missing. Then I stumbled upon the perfect gadget in the kitchen drawer.

IKEA milk frotherA while ago I went though a cappuccino stage and purchased an incredibly cheap battery operated milk frother from IKEA. It was just 99p, but was rubbish at making frothy coffee. However, it is just the ticket for making frothy milkshakes. Fill the glass about 3/4 full with milk, dip the frother in the glass, but make sure you don’t switch it on till it’s on there and switch it off before it comes out or you’ll have one hell of a mess! Agitate it up and down near the surface of the milk and very soon, you’ll have the perfect milkshake. Add a straw and in no time, the kids calcium levels will be inversely proportional to the amount of milk left in the glass!

Tick, tock, bunny clock…

kids, Reviews, sleep
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Enough about real rabbits. Time to move onto something less likely to escape with possibly a greater life expectancy!

For those of you with little ones who just don’t get the concept that, although your eyes are open now, they were previously closed and this doesn’t necessarily mean you are awake now, there are several potential answers.bunny-clock.jpg

One such solution is the bunny clock. It’s a really simple concept. The clock has a rabbit face, and when you set the alarm, the rabbit closes it’s eyes and keeps them tightly shut until the appointed hour, as indeed should the child in question.

It’s not cheap (or what I would call cheap) at around £20 + p&p (£25 inclusive on bunnyclock) and I have a couple of comments to make (inevitably!)

Read the rest…

Nellie the Elephant packed her Trunki

Reviews, travel
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Actually, it’s a good job Nellie didn’t have a Trunki – as she’d never have been able to slip off unnoticed at night! For anyone who is not yet acquainted, then have a look at the Trunki. I believe it was featured on the Dragons Den – it’s basically a hard case with wheels and a strap, contoured for little bottoms so it can be used as a ride-on and sized to meet airline hand luggage restrictions.

Trunki

At £24.99 RRP, it’s not unduly expensive, and is really functional – being a hard case, you can cram quite a lot inside to keep the little darlings amused on any kind of holiday; from an overnight bag to an 8 hour flight amuser. The downside of being a hard case is that even empty it’s heavier than a canvas bag, so brace yourself when it’s full!

The bright colours are very appealing to children, and eye catching in a busy airport! I bought the cases for a trip to Florida. Passing through Gatwick on the weekend before Easter, you can imagine it was a tad busy. The Trunki’s kept my two in tow (quite literally!!) and we had a ball catching admiring glances wheeling round the airport.

I was a little disappointed in the quality of the strap and the fixings for it, but having said that, it managed to withstand a fair old battering. Being plastic, I’m not sure how long the clips will last, but they’ll probably have been worn out being dragged round the house and garden rather than through holiday use. In addition, there are no straps internally (as you would expect to find on an adult case), so unless it’s packed to the gunwhales, the contents might rattle round a bit. Luckily Iggle Piggle’s blanket filled it out quite nicely…….

If I’m being ultra-critical, it would have been nice to have colour options other than just the stereotypical pink or blue – but the boys seemed happy enough customising their blue cases with a few well placed stickers.

In summary, we love our Trunkis. Be ahead of the game and get one now 🙂