Category Archives: fun

The Ideal Home Show at Christmas in London

This I am very excited about and thankfully only have a week to wait. This years Ideal Home Show at Christmas will be taking place at Olympia London for the first time ever. The UK’s biggest Christmas exhibition will be open from the 25th – 29th of November to provide everything you could possibly need in the run up to the festive season, from over 600 exhibitors showcasing top Christmas shopping inspiration, a plethora of celebrity appearances and a Christmas bandstand hosting live entertainment……………c’mon you Christmas lovers what more could you need?








I’m feeling festive already and cannot wait to see the venue transformed into a winter wonderland. There will be exhibitors across 7 sectors, as well as a host of festive favourite celebrities including Gino D’Acampo, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Olly Smith and Katie Piper who will be making her Christmas show debut and  experts will be on hand at the show offering their own festive hints and tips to make your Christmas Ideal.


There will be live entertainment for visitors to enjoy as they shop, a wide range of expert talks and advice,  a food & drink theatre featuring top tips from celebrity chefs, and even a champagne bar as well ( so that’s me sorted then!).

The Ideal Home Show at Christmas sponsored by has everything you could possibly need to create the perfect Christmas all under one roof! So, for a chance to be part of history and experience Christmas for the first time at Olympia London, get yourself a ticket!


To book tickets log on to or call 0844 209 7330.  For Group bookings call: 0844 412 4650

Weekday Adult £12.00
Weekend Adult £14.00
Weekday Concession (Over 60’s) £10.00
Weekend Concession (Over 60’s)     £12.00
Children (Under 15) go free when accompanied by an adult      

Timings for Ideal Home Show at Christmas:

Wednesday 25th November 2015 10am – 6pm

Thursday 26th November 2015 10am – 9pm

Friday 27th November 2015 10am – 6pm

Saturday 28th November 2015 10am – 6pm

Sunday 29th November 2015 10am – 5pm

I am looking forward to spotting some lovely new Christmassy bits to add to my ever growing collection that I manage to add to each year. Our decorations go up at the start of December and I love the festive run up to the big day itself. However, I do think my OH may disown me if I buy any more fairy lights for him to put up…………………………………… so watch this space.

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Some Easy Craft Ideas For Kids This Christmas

christmas bunting picture

As my boys are now 17 and 15 years old this is something I am starting to miss. We used to do quite a lot on the run up to the festive season and even made lots of sweet treat pressies like the hot chocolate cones, decorated biscuits and cakes. Once they hit mid teens the enthusiasm for crafting waned and it is definitely something that I miss these days ( I expect I have to wait until I become a granny- although I am in no rush for that just yet!). My 15 year old however, will still decorate his own bedroom and will happily make Christmas paper chains if he is in the right mood……..and he won’t thank me for telling you that! I always think doing Christmas crafts starts all the build up and excitement, any time from Oct/ Nov all parents are already talking ‘Father Christmas’ to the kids and the crafts become an extension of that, I still have their school home made decorations too.

Take a look below for some fabulous and EASY craft ideas to get you started:

Some Easy Craft Ideas For Kids This Christmas

Christmas is the time for kids to enjoy and rejoice. This is the time when they get time off from school and are able to spend quality time with parents. So most of the time parents try to bring in new craft ideas that they can enjoy with their kids while preparing for Christmas. You can even find many craft products for your kids at Baker Ross.

Christmas stocking

  • Take a felt cloth and cut two pieces out of it in the form of socks.
  • Now sew or staple them together in such a way that top remains open.
  • Stick the sides with lace to hide the staple and use felt pieces and buttons to decorate the socks.


  • Use patterned paper to cover cardboard tubes.
  • Now cut a triangle for reindeer head and two small and big oval shapes for ears from paper.
  • Now paste the small one inside the big one and fold them in half. Now paste these oval ears on the two sides of the triangle.
  • Now paste the triangle on the cardboard.
  • You can have antlers prepared for your deer using pipes and straws.

Christmas tree with cones

  • Take cone water cup and paint it with green colour.
  • Now use ribbon or rick rack to wrap around it.
  • Now decorate it with pom-poms.


  • Cut the shape of some snowmen out of felt cloth.
  • Now prepare some hats for snowmen from some coloured felt.
  • Now glue the hats on the snowmen.
  • Put holes inside the snowmen and pass a string through it.
  • So you will have a series of snowmen together.


  • Get sugar cookie dough for your kid.
  • Roll them and ask your kids to cut different shapes out of it.
  • Bake the cookie and now decorate them with cream cheese or peanut butter.

Kids with strong motor skills grow up to become active and intelligent. Different art lessons and craft activities helps kids to improve their motor skills as well as strengthens the muscles of wrist and hands. Some of the ways to improve the motor skills are:

  • Playing with play dough helps kid to use its hands to stretch and squeeze, thus strengthen their hand muscles. They also develop their sensory experience.
  • Painting helps in improving eye and hand coordination. So why not give your child a paper and paint brush to start working on it.
  • Drawing and using colour pencils also helps to improve the motor skills in kids. Moreover, they learn to hold the pencil using the forefinger and thumb.
  • Making craft items helps the child to widen their imagination and bring in creative ideas.

Kids should be encouraged to get involved in more of such craft and art lessons. Click here to get these products for less from your favourite stores.

What are your favourite crafts to do with your kids at Christmas?

Wool obsessed………..

I do have a wool obsession and I totally admit to it- but this time I’m not talking about me!

I have 2 cats at the moment and had another before the youngest came  but he unfortunately is no longer with us. My eldest cat Tilly, is 5yrs old and during that time I have always been a knitter, this means I have stashed wool everywhere, and I mean everywhere. However, not once has she bothered to even take it under her notice. Our second cat George when he was alive only bothered when I was actually trying to knit as the slight movement of the ball of wool would be too tempting.

Now our youngest cat, Minnie is a total minx. Not only does she love a ball of wool but she can sniff them out at a hundred paces and can find them and take them for a walk wherever I try to hide them and believe me I really do have to hide them now.

Here she is looking like butter wouldn't melt in her favourite sleeping spot ......

Here she is looking like butter wouldn’t melt in her favourite sleeping spot ……

Do not be fooled by the lazy appearance, she had just worn herself out while I had been out. I came back to find this…..


Not just the one ball of wool, normally the red one that she finds tucked away under a desk in my bedroom ( that one is like a little surrogate baby to her), Oh no she went to town and decided to get through a plastic bag full of wool that I have been using to make a crocheted blanket with…….

This bag was tied closed with everything inside!

This bag was tied closed with everything inside!

It can be such a pain in the arse at times especially when you are using the wool to make something for someone, but equally it is a bit cute when she sneaks downstairs with a ball of wool in her gob with the strand of wool leading all the way up two flights of stairs!! We have tried letting her have the red ball to play with but she is never satisfied with that and I can find chomped balls of wool downstairs, up on the landing, in the boys rooms, and up a second set of stairs in my room. I need something cat proof……………………… like a whole separate house for my wool stash to be safe ( not sure the hubby would agree to that one though). I suppose it could be worse, she could bring me presents of another kind, like dead things and that would NOT be good.

This post is linking up with: 


Virgin Active- ‘Active Crew’ review


We were invited to be one of the first to try a new exercise class soon to be launched in Jan 2015 aimed at 8-16 year olds in particular called ‘Active crew’. My 14 year old son decided he would give it a go to see what it was like.

We headed over to The Virgin Active Club in Acton were the launch was taking place and were lucky enough to grab a chat with the founder of ZUU Chimps, Nathan Helberg who was extremely lovely, chatty and enthusiastic about the exercises the kids were about to try. He explained how it was fun so kids didn’t realise that they were exercising and empowers them at the same time.

The class itself was broken down into several stages ranging from ‘animalistic’ style movements to  coordination and agility style exercises that included the use of Sandbells and Fitlights with rest periods in between and a lot of high fiving along the way. Another element of the Active Crew is SAQ (Speed, Agility and Quickness) training, a programme that has actually been used by a variety of sports starts from Andy Murrey to the Manchester United Football Team.

At first my youngest thought the exercises were a bit weird considering they were called ‘gorilla’ and ‘bear’ and ‘iguana’ amongst others! But as the time went on and the high fiving continued he felt more relaxed within the group which is essentially one of the key characteristics of the class anyway.

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317_Virgin Active Crew[1] 326_Virgin Active Crew[1] 327_Virgin Active Crew[1] 341_Virgin Active Crew[1] 355_Virgin Active Crew[1]   As you can see by these pictures that were taken during the class  all the kids were definitely engaged and focused with all the range of exercises they were asked to try. The fact that it’s non competitive meant that the ones who were shy or embarrassed at the start of the class weren’t overpowered by either louder, or stronger kids that were taking part, and this part of the class is just as important as the exercise itself. It’s fun games, that do not exclude anyone, that get 8-16year olds off their backsides, away from the technology that is taking over their lives and socialising face to face with other kids and adults in a friendly, safe environment.

This is the group my son took part in complete with the Virgin Active Crew and Founder of Zuu Chimps, Nathan Helberg

This is the group my son took part in complete with the Virgin Active Crew and Founder of Zuu Chimps, Nathan Helberg They all look pretty happy to me!

When I chatted to my son afterwards he said he enjoyed it, that it was something different and that his legs had literally gone to jelly!!!

The exercise could in effect be done in the smallest of places with no real fancy equipment so could be suitable for a number of groups, for instance, we are volunteer leaders at our local Cub Scout group and some of the exercises based on animal movements would be a great activity to run for that age group. So we will be calling on my son ( as a young leader) at the group to put the kids through their paces soon!

Active Crew is currently running in 25 clubs and will be launching nationwide in Jan 2015. To find your nearest club visit

I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I may have been paid expenses, and have been supplied with a product sample for this review, but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.”
 This is a Netmum’s sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

Popping my Britmums Live cherry- 2014

First of all this post is really, really late but I will explain that in another post!

Anyway on to the cherry popping.

So Britmums Live again, after listening to all the talk on Twitter last year, looking at all the fab pictures and generally feeling like I had missed out, I decided that 2014 was definitely the year I was going to go.

An amazing venue

An amazing venue

The venue was fabulous even on the outside.










To say I was nervous was the biggest understatement. It’s ok to be brave chatting to people from behind a screen via Twitter and Facebook but going inside when it seemed everyone knew each other was daunting. Thankfully there was an arranged meet up beforehand for some newbies in a local Starbucks. This was great as we were all in the same position and it was good to meet a group of people before getting inside the venue.

The place was huge and absolutely mobbed with hundreds of excitable bloggers in a party mood.

Friday night awards with Katy Hill

Friday night awards with Katy Hill

I learned a lot from Britmums Live 2014. The agenda was packed and I certainly made the most of being a newbie and attended loads the sessions on offer. I was inspired by Capture by Lucy and I came away with some fab ideas, from sprucing up my site, talking better pics and generally being more confident about what I do. My favourite one was definitely Geekmummy who ran the tech session which was absolutely packed to the rafters and my pen was whizzing down dot com’s all over the place to help with the technical side of making changes on my site. I’m such a bloody technophobe it’s embarrassing!

It was rounded off by the Bloggers’ Keynote which had me laughing and then crying within minutes. Between that and the amazing opening keynote that morning from Benjamin Brooks- Dutton at Life as a Widower who reduced us all to blubbering wrecks from his speech but managed to be engaging and funny and upbeat all at the same time.

All in all I did thoroughly enjoy Britmums Live although I still felt very awkward and new and out of place, I met some lovely bloggers in the same position, had some great fun at the sessions and enjoyed some fabulous food from the Morrisons kitchen. However, due to my M.E the 2 days took it’s toll and so with that in mind I have decided that next year I definitely need to stay over in a hotel…………….. you know just to cut down on the travel……………..and not have such an early start on the Saturday………………nothing at all to do with staying out afterwards for a sneaky cocktail and a cooked breakfast in the morning……………. no not that at ALL!