Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Fireman Sam Spin and Rescue Game

Kaide was a big Fireman Sam fan, before he began school, and when he first saw this game, he immediately reconnected with all things Fireman like!

All of the children love memory games, and were all eager to play the game and beat their siblings.

The game can be played by two, three or four players, with different slots to put the players piece, dependent on the number of players.

The idea of the game is to collect your five rescue cards that correspond with your chosen character, however, all of the cards are placed around the board face down, so it is also a memory game.

The first player `spins' Fireman Sam in his little circle and whoever the hose points to gets to choose a card, depending on Fireman Sam's instructions,he will say "Okay, let's get busy!" if the bell sounds once, you get to pick one card, if the bell rings twice, you pick two, but if you hear Norman say "Quick Sam, get me out of here!" it means that Norman is in trouble, which means you have to give back one of your rescue cards.

The first player to collect all of their five hero cards wins.

I played this game with Lochlan aged 11, Kaide aged 6 and Eowyn who is 3, so we set the game up for four players, I love the fact that you can play with two, three or four and there are different set up options for the amount of players, some games you have to waste time waiting for the non existent players turn!
Lochlan and Kaide had no problem spinning Fireman Sam, however, Eowyn wasn't quite old enough to spin it properly, although it spun, it was not fast enough to set off Fireman Sam speaking, but with a little help, she managed OK.
The game kept them all occupied throughout and they enjoyed the memory game part, although as a mother I did get a little Fireman Sammed out by the end. Saying the same sentence over and over!!!
Lochlan was the final winner, I bet you would never have guessed!

It is a good concept for a game and can be made younger child friendly by not taking the cards away and showing them where their cards are.
I would recommend this game for any young Fireman Sam fan, in fact I have decided to get one of these games for my cousins little boy, who will be three next week. 
A good memory game with a difference, would be a good Christmas Present for any little boy, or girl as Eowyn loved it too... 

Fireman Sam Spin & Rescue Game is available from Argos , Tesco, Toys R Us, The Entertainer, Amazon and priced £9.99 RRP

Puddle Jumper - The Perfect Swimmming Aid

New Sevylor Puddle Jumpers offer fun and safety in the water for your child.
Puddle Jumper, an innovative new swimming aid from water-recreation equipment expert Sevylor. Perfect for the pool and at the beach, the Puddle Jumper has a super-stable design that helps to keep your child’s head out of the water. Offering the same level of security only normally gained from wearing a life jacket, Puddle Jumpers are perfect for boosting your little swimmer’s confidence.
Featuring a soft, no-chaff cover that is ultra-comfortable for your child to wear, the Puddle Jumper’s design allows for their natural movement in the water, offering greater freedom and meaning children can swim and explore with maximum confidence. The four bright colours, each with its own cute animal design mean that unlike other swimming aids your child will want to wear a Puddle Jumper. Available in four rainbow colours, your child can choose from four different animal friends; a penguin, turtle, crab or a bumble bee. Each Puddle Jumper is quick-drying, reducing the risk of uncomfortable rubbing against your child’s skin.
Puddle Jumpers have a durable construction and are fully adjustable for greater parental security. Fastened using a single buckle at the rear; strapping your child into a Puddle Jumper is quick and stress-free. No more struggling with an unhappy child at the water’s edge, instead you can relax and enjoy yourself too.

We were sent a Puddle Jumper for Kaide to try out, at aged five, he is very confident in the water, but has not yet mastered the art of actual swimming. 
We had tried a Rubber Ring, but Kaide had struggled to kick his legs and move his arms, because it was quite restricting.
Next we used normal armbands, but they kept his arms afloat, but his chest kept dropping.
When he put the PuddleJumper on, he seemed to take on a new found confidence, he was jumping into the Pool, but landing more on his chest, which enabled him to take up the natural swimming position.
The PuddleJumper was very easy to put on, and because of the material it is made out of, he could put it on his arms, whether they were wet or dry, which was always an impossible task with Arm Bands, I can remember with the older children having to wet their arms first, to enable the Arm Bands to be put on.
Another positive to the Puddle Jumper is that it did not leave any marks when it was removed, many times with other swimming aids, we would remove them to find either scratches or red marks where they had rubbed. There was none of this with the Puddle Jumper.
He loved the colour and the Crab on the front, which meant I had no issues with him putting it on.
I would definitely recommend the Puddle Jumper to anyone who is looking to build up their child's confidence in the water.
The only problem we had was that he became so confident with the Puddle Jumper on, he was too over confident when he entered the swimming pool in the garden and he realised he wasn't wearing it!!
This will definitely be used for the next two children, whom i'm sure will love it just as much as Kaide has.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Are You A Winner ?

Apologies for the delay in posting winners, we have had so much illness, but we are all fighting fit now!

The winner of the Earth Friendly Baby Giveaway is
Anna Aird    @annieanna24

The winner of Handy Manny is
Joanne Dodd    @mummy2five1

And Finally the winner of The Red Toolbox Giveaway is


Please could you contact me at and I will arrange to have your prizes sent out xxx

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Never Can Say Goodbye!

Don't worry, I am not talking about the Jackson Five/ Communards Song, and I have no intention of singing...

It's about my inability to say goodbye to my husband. I don't mean each day that he goes to work, or Rugby, but any other time.
He has gone to a conference in Bridlington today, which means an overnight stop, and I HATE it!
He only goes away a maximum of three times a year, but I have been like it ever since he started doing it ten years ago...
Not the actual being away or coping with the six children, but its the actual giving him a hug and a kiss before he leaves, it reduces me to tears everytime, from about 24 hours before he leaves I feel sick, when I think about it, as soon as he goes to hug me prior to leaving the house I become a blubbering mess,once he has gone and I am back looking after the children, its not a problem...
I take my hat off to all of those couples whose other half works away, I just couldn't do it....
So, am I a freak of nature or does anyone else have the same problem ?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Disney Princess: A Royal Celebration 25th November on Disney channel.

Disney Princess: A royal celebration
Disney Channel presenter Electra Formosa takes fans behind-the-scenes at the star-studded welcoming ceremony of Rapunzel in to the Disney Princess royal court


Disney Channel invites little girls to relive one of the most highly anticipated events of the year with the British television premiere of Disney Princess: A royal celebration this November.  The one-off special programme, which goes behind-the-scenes at the star-studded welcoming ceremony of Rapunzel in to the Disney Princess royal court, makes its debut on Friday, 25th November at 3:55pm on Disney Channel.  Disney Princess fans can catch the special again on Sunday, 27th November at 1:35pm on Disney Cinemagic.

I have always loved the Disney Princesses, from the very first screening I went to of Snow White with my dad, and throughout the years with my girls, the last one we saw at the cinema was the Princess and The Frog - they took me to see it on Mother's Day!

We have been to DisneylandParis twice when the eldest four were younger, and I can still picture the look of wonder on their faces when they saw the Disney Princesses.
They adored the parades, especially the night time ones, which really are magical.
I am currently being pestered by the eldest five to take them back to Disneyland Paris, and this is definitely on the cards, although I hope they have a cabin big enough for the eight of us!

I have already set the Sky+ for Friday, just in case we miss the start on the school journey.
Will you be watching with your own little princess,or indeed Prince,  do you have a favourite ?

Minnie's Bow-Toons New Episodes

Well Minnies Bow Toons has certainly found a place in Eowyns heart, so much, that she has changed her birthday cake request with Grandad, from Mickey Mouse to Minnie Mouse!

The bonus for me is that it is only a very short programme, and now that I have it saved on Sky + it is easy just to put it on, whenever Eowyn decides there is `nothing' to watch on the television.
And the first new episode is on her birthday....

Brand new episodes of Minnie Mouse’s first ever show, Minnie’s Bow-Toons are on from the 28th November to the 01st December every morning at only on Disney Junior.

“Trouble Times Two” - 28th November
Minnie’s nieces, Melody and Millie, are helping in Minnie’s Bowtique when movie star Penelope Poodle comes in to find a fabulous outfit to wear at an awards celebration.
“Figaro’s Friend” – 29th November
Minnie is making a Spring bow with Daisy. Figaro the cat is playing with a butterfly, which gives them an idea for a new bow
“A Shop in the Dark” – 30th November
Minnie plans a surprise birthday party for Daisy, but the lights go out.  They decide to use fluorescent paint to light the Bowtique so that the party can go ahead.
“Flower Fix” – 01 December
Minnie’s twin nieces, Millie and Melody, are taking part in a pageant, but their flowers keep falling apart because they are using real petals. Minnie is on hand to make them new ones out of fabric.

All of these episodes look like they are going to be welcomed by Eowyn, it is nice to know about the episodes prior to her watching them, we had an unfortunate incident with another children's programme that Eowyn used to adore watching, that is, until one episode featured a witch, not a particularly scary looking witch and the story did have a happy ending, but ever since then, she has refused to watch an episode of the show, even though I assure her the witch won't be on!
I guess the thought of seeing the witch on the programme is too much for her to deal with, which is  a shame, I do wonder sometimes if the people that produce these shows have children of their own, i'm sure if they did they may try to avoid such things as witches....especially for a toddler programme, oh well, looks like I shall be able to let her watch Minnie's Bow-Toons with no witches in sight....

Meccano Multi Models Review

Lochlan has always had an interest in building things, so when he was given the opportunity to review some Meccano, he jumped at the chance!
As he is aged 11, he was sent a set called Multi Models, it is suitable from ages 8 to 88, so we can all have some fun...
This is what the website says about the kit

"Build 7 different models including a cool quad with suspensions and steering wheels. Contains detailed building instructions for 4 models. Building instructions for the 3 other models are available at one model can be built at a time. Tools included. Contains 190+ parts."

Lochie decided to attempt the car, as shown on the box.

He began by tipping out the packet containing 190 pieces, which was not very clever, we spent the next five minutes rescuing pieces from the floor!

Lochlan retrieved all of the pieces and set to work....

As you can see, lots of pieces to challenge his thinking! 

I was surprised at the concentration Lochlan showed whilst making the car, it is unusual for him to sit still that long, unless he is really engrossed in something.

The length of time he sat even surprised Tyrus, in the highchair next to him! Or was it just the fact he has thrown all of his toys off of his highchair...

The furrowed brow is showing just how hard he is concentrating, not quite sure where Tyrus's highchair tray has gone either!

Not many pieces left until it is completed, I could not believe how long he sat there for, with the occasional piece of assistance from dad, who avoided the photographs.
Nearly there, just got to attach the wheels and check its all secure...

just adding the finishing touches and there we have it, a fully completed meccano car.

Although aged 8-88 I would think that a child aged 8 would struggle to build any of the models by themselves, Lochlan enjoyed the building process, but did require help at certain parts, from dad!

Some of the pieces are very tiny, so I would imagine that the older generation may require their glasses, in fact his grandad visited whilst Lochlan was building and struggled to locate the pieces for him.

With so many models to build in the same set, I would definitely recommend this set for any Meccano fan, especially for Christmas, there are endless opportunities for making the models and designing your own.

My husband also commented on the set as he is famous for never following instructions, so the fact that there are enough pieces to make your own models was perfect for him, and I am sure he and Lochlan will have many hours of entertainment, trying to outdo the other persons model!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Have You Joined Your Made For Mums Local Neighbourhood ?

As many of you may know, I am  a Community Manager for Made For Mums along with the equally wonderful Mymummyspennies and Mummy Vs Work. There are 25 of us in total dotted throughout the country trying to update our local areas with all of the amazing activities that are taking place, but as you can imagine 25 for the entire country is not very many.

So, to encourage people to help us out and add family friendly places, or write a review about somewhere they have visited, we frequently run giveaways.

At present I have a Snoozihedz to give away, just for submitting a review or family friendly place.

SnooziHedz is the ultimate travel essential for the car, plane, train or even a space ship! The 3 in 1 travel pal. The cute character simply unzips to reveal an inflatable insert for the pillow and a plush fleece blanket, ensuring little ones are comfy and warm from head to toe. The blanket also features a pocket for teddy to take some shut-eye too.
SnooziHedz features the unique Trunki Grip™ on both the pillow and blanket. This enables parents to connect the blanket to the pillow preventing it from sliding off in transit, leaving parents to relax safe in the knowledge their little one is tucked up and toasty!

Once you have added a place or review, just email me at or (I run two areas!)

Closing Date for this giveaway is 10th december 2011.

The area of Westminster is offering a Family Ticket for four to attend Bagpuss in London, all you have to do is email and let her know that you have left a review, it really is that simple.
If you are not lucky enough to win the Bagpuss ticket, they are running a special offer for early January.
Shows taking place between Wed 4th January and Sunday 8th January with all tickets costing £7.50 each instead of £13.50 by calling the Box Office on 0207 478 0100 and quoting `Made For Mums.'

More details on the show can be viewed here

So come on lovely mums, give us a helping hand and you may win a lovely prize.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Minnies Bow Toons starts 18th November - Don't Miss It

 Minnie Mouse gets her first very own TV series.

As many of you know Eowyn is a HUGE Disney Fan, and she has shown a real love for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, that was, until, she saw the advert for Minnie's very own show ...

Starting on Friday 18th November at 10.50am, on Disney Junior, the Sky+ box is already set, as I have a feeling this will be requested time and time again....

Known for her signature polka dot dresses and over-sized hair bows, Minnie Mouse made her first appearance alongside her leading man, Mickey Mouse, in the classic animated short Steamboat Willie, where she played a damsel in distress.  Whilst Minnie and Mickey Mouse are forever inseparable, Minnie’s Bow-Toons gives Minnie the chance to embark on her greatest solo adventure yet.

In the stylish new series of shorts, Minnie demonstrates the fashion flair that has inspired countless imitations, style icons and celebrities. Together with good friend Daisy Duck, Minnie runs Bow-Tique, a specialty shop, which stocks only bows and bow-ties. No matter what the occasion, Minnie has a bow (or bow-tie) for every possible situation. From using a rubber bow to fix some leaky pipes or shredded bows to make pom poms for a cheerleader – she has the answer!

We have had a sneaky peak at an episode and so far Eowyn has watched it 10 times, so I think this is going to be a hit with all the little girls out there.

The newly branded, learning-focused Disney Junior reflects the emotional and connection, generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary.

Disney Junior's programming invites mum and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids aged 2-7. Disney Junior's animated and live action series blend Disney's unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.

This channel is a firm favourite with Eowyn, Tyrus seems to also like it, but I think that has more to do with the bright colours and nice music.
It has been known that all six children will sit and watch Mickey Mouse together, proving that Disney really is suitable for lots of different ages.

Today I took Eowyn into a shop where she saw a poster of Mickey Mouse, she immediately began dancing and singing the theme tune for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse....

Friday, 11 November 2011

Options - Not the Chocolate Drink!

Xene as Luna Lovegood- Not her usual School attire!

Xene is approaching that age where she has to decide which GCSE options she is going to take, and that is quite a scary thought, she said to me yesterday, but what if I choose the wrong ones!
Which made me think about my own career path and would I have chosen differently if I could turn back the clock....
I definitely remember exams playing a big part in my choices-I was never very good under pressure, so anything that involved continuous assessment, or coursework (as we called it then!) was a big bonus.
Hence I chose Business and Information Studies, Integrated Humanities and Information Technology-all with no final exam.
I had a love for languages, but favoured German, which also meant two trips to Germany as part of the course!
The mandatory English, Maths and Science, which left one choice, so I went for Childcare!

And now, twenty years later, I think I made the right choices....

So how can I ensure that Xene does the same and decides correctly ?

At present she is unsure which career profession she would like to undertake, therefore, she will need to have a broad subject range, but at the same time I would rather she enjoyed her lessons and didn't look at her timetable and say YUCK!!

And so the search for the perfect balance of career, happiness and the desire to go to school begins...
Follow us on this journey and any suggestions or tips from mums who have already done it would be welcome, as this is a first for me, although by the time Tyrus is chossing I shall be an expert...I hope x

Disney Princess Magic Wand Game

Eowyn is slightly obsessive on anything Disney, from Mickey Mouse to the Princesses, so when we were given the opportunity to review The Magic Wand Game, she was VERY excited.

Although the game is from aged 3+, Eowyn is only one month from hitting the magic game playing age, plus she has two big sisters and two big brothers to help her out!

The game was very easy to set up, although an adult will have to push the studs into the moving magic pathways, as they were quite tough to assemble.

However the castle and gate were easy to fit together, just slotting the pieces into place.

The big bonus of this game is that it does not require any dice hooray....

nstead you have a very girlie pink magic wand that guides you around the board.

To activate the wand you wave it in the air and it says numerous different instructions such as  "Beautiful Princess I Grant you to move three spaces", each wave of the wand activates a new instruction.

To play the game you have the choice of four Disney Pricesses - Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Belle.

Each player takes it in turns to wave the magic wand, and follow the instructions, moving them around the board, with the aim of reaching the gate to the Castle.

This game was easy to play and the girls enjoyed playing it, properly, and also finding other `new' games to continue their enjoyment.

When Eowyn's princess was near to the gate, she had placed her too close, which resulted in the Princess being catapulted across the table when the wand opened the gate....

This provided much amusement and a new game was created....

The only slight problem with the game, was the same voice being heard throughout the game, every time the wand was waved, perhaps, different commands, could be said by different voices....

This would be a very good Christmas present for any little Disney Princess Fan, and is available from Argos, Toys R Us, Tesco, Smyths, Entertainer and Mothercare at 14.99 RRP

For more information on the game and other great games for young children visit Jumbo Games

John Crane have Sevi Hooray

For those of you that are familiar with John Crane Toys, you will know how absolutely adorable their toys are, well, they have just got better!

With the introduction of Sevi...

Sevi spans almost two centuries in  its devotion to wood, beginning in the 1920s Sevi excited the local market with small hand made masterpieces.

It continued to grow and in 1998 was acquired by the Trudi Company, remaining faithful to its founding principles and values; Sevi continues in hand crafted wood, caring for detail and dynamic creativity.

Finally, John Crane was chosen to distribute to retailers in the UK and a strong wooden partnership has been born.

My children have all adored wooden toys from a very early age, and I am sure they will continue to.
These bright colourful toys are perfect for little ones, and will continue to delight for many years to come.

They also have a fantastic range of Christmas Toys and Decorations, that would make any household festive.

For more information you can visit the John Crane website or like their facebook page.

The wonderful people at Blog Match enabled us to spread the word about this wonderful partnership.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Power Rangers Heading For Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Xene and Lochie used to love watching the Power Rangers when they were younger, so imagine my surprise when I walked into the lounge last week to find, Xene, Lochie, Neva and Kaide all sat watching the new series of Power Rangers Samurai on Nickelodeon...

When I was younger I used to live in South Yorkshire, and our BIG family day out, was a trip to Blackpool, I used to love the PleasureBeach and all of its rides.

Now, if you have children who are Power Ranger mad, or you are a secret Power Ranger fan, and you are anywhere near Blackpool, then head down there on Saturday.

To celebrate, the Power Rangers are heading to the UK’s favourite amusement park, Nickelodeon Land at Pleasure Beach Blackpool on Saturday 12th November to meet and greet with fans of the hit show.

Those wanting to meet with the action heroes need to drop by Nickelodeon Land, a new 6 acre area at Pleasure Beach home to 12 amazing rides and attractions. Saturday 12th November is made extra special as not only will the park be hosting the Power Rangers Samurai, but it’s also the last Saturday that the whole park is open to the public!

Guests will get the chance to meet the Power Rangers Samurai, as well as rubbing shoulders with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and many other Nickelodeon characters. Whats more, arrive dressed as your favourite Ranger and receive a free Nickelodeon goody bag.  All Wristbands to the park are buy one get one free when booked online at

I have to admit I am absolutely gutted that we live SO far away, all of my children would LOVE it, so I must try to arrange to visit next season, if you do decide to visit on Saturday, have a great time and come back here and let me know how great it was, I won't be jealous, Honestly...

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Bras 4 Mums Review and Giveaway.

I can remember (just!) when I was pregnant for the first time and I had decided that I would definitely be breastfeeding, my lovely sister in law had given birth eight months previously, so she passed on many lovely baby items, and some things for me, loads and loads of Nursing Bras in all sorts of sizes and some very handy Nightdresses with buttons for easy feeding.
I have to admit I took one look at the large pile of Bras and thought I would never need half of them, but how wrong could I be....
It is quite amazing how the size and shape of your breasts can change so much. I wish someone had told me how much I would leak too (but that's another story...)

If only there had been a service like Bras 4 Mums....

bras4mums was set up by Tracey-Jane Hughes when she was sold a nursing bra that fitted one week, but not the next, despite being fitted by a 'qualified' bra fitter. After researching bra fitting for pregnancy and for breastfeeding, T-J trained at De Montfort University, and was also a volunteer NCT bra fitter and trainer.
bras4mums offer a personal bra fitting service via their home bra fitting service & telephone or email advice with trained and experienced bra fitters.The website is brilliant and has everything you need for breastfeeding, including Bras, Briefs, nightwear, swimwear, slings and some fantastic accessories that would have been very gratefully received the first time round.

Now, as an accomplished breastfeeding mummy, doing it for the sixth time was not an issue, although I have to admit, some of my breastfeeding wear was getting a little worn.

The wonderful Bras 4 Mums sent me a pair of Nursing Pyjamas to try out....
To be honest I have never understood a mothers need to go on the school run in her pyjamas, however, after putting on my
Hot Milk Calm Rebellion Pyjamas I could quite easily understand why they would do this!
They are lovely, so comfortable and they make me feel quite sexy, which any mother who is constantly covered in milk will know is quite an unusual occurence!
The great thing about these pjs are that they can be worn whilst pregnant, as they are very low fitting, a problem I had with some maternity PJs was they stretched too far and had a tendancy to fall down after I had given birth....
The built-in support in the top is excellent for keeping everything in place, and makes me feel well supported.

The range of nightwear available on the Bras 4 Mums site is great, and I shall definitely be hinting at my darling husband for another pair on my Christmas List this year.
They have a great facebook page which has some great offers and lots of advice available, they really are a friendly bunch.

In fact, they are so friendly, they have given me a £30 voucher to spend on the site as a prize, to be in with a chance of winning, just do the following:
~ Have you breastfed successfully, do you have any tips that would help another mum who is considering breastfeeding, if so comment below.

You can gain extra entries by
~ Following Bras4mums on facebook
~ Signing up to my blog via GFC or Networked Blogs
~ Following Hex Mum on twitter
~ Following on Facebook

Closing Date: 8th December 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Wife In The Fast Lane!

Cupcake company Greens carried out research about women and men and how they spend their time.. it makes for interesting reading....

- One in three women have no 'me' time

I suppose it depends on each person's own perception of `me' time, as a mum of six, my needs come quite low down as a priority, it has been known that I have on occasion not even had time to brush my teeth before the school run - Thank goodness for packets of chewing gum....

- Hard-working women are so busy juggling their work and homes lives that one-in-three of them (31 per cent) have just 30 minutes to themselves on an average day. This is compared to a quarter of men (25 per cent).

30 minutes, wow I wish I had that much time! My time to myself consists of coming downstairs by myself in the  morning, making everyone a hot drink, and then sitting down to drink mine alone for approximately five minutes, other than that I seem to NEVER be alone....

- 75 per cent of busy British women are working up to twelve hour-days. In fact, their lives are so hectic that 63 per cent admitted to recording a TV show - just so they can fast forward the adverts to save time. The survey also saw a third of women vote for "lying in" as their top activity should they be given more 'me' time.

Recording a programme is the only way that I actually get to watch television, you can guarantee I will not sit down on any evening before 10pm, so watching television when a programme is scheduled doesn't usually happen! Although I am not really a telly watching person, I would rather put on a good DVD, although I will admit to being a Gleek!
Lying in is a nice thought, although Asa and I do take it in turns at the weekend to get up with the children, it is supposed to be a partnership, and I get up every night if a child wakes, so it is fair!

-Over half of women (55 per cent) feel like they are always fighting against the clock while 60 per cent said they never get the time or head space to carry out their "to do" list.  A third of women (31 per cent) said they often wake up in the middle of the night panicking about what they need to do the next day compared to less than a quarter of men (23 per cent).

That's because most men know that the woman in their life will ultimately do the things they need doing anyway-ironing, washing, household chores.

-Nearly one in two women (47 per cent) claim they rarely have time to themselves. They are spending considerably more time than men on daily activities such as chores and cooking with 39 per cent dedicating more than two hours to household chores, compared to just 15 per cent of men.

I guess it depends on whether the women surveyed were mothers or had no dependents, because I think it is only when you have had a child or two, that you realise just how much me time you used to have, however once babies come along there is NO me time...Two hours on household chores! Think of all the time you could be spending playing and having fun, don't get me wrong my house is fairly tidy and the washing machine and dishwasher are constantly on, but I would much rather stimultae the children...

-A fifth (20 per cent) of women spend more than two hours running errands, with only 11 per cent of men doing the same. The survey found that 14 per cent of men admitted to spending no time at all cooking, compared to a half (49 per cent) of women who spend more than two hours in the kitchen.

Two hours running errands-for what! There are only so many hours in a day, and I really think that some people should seriously prioritise. I guess its personal circumstances and what you value as important. Oh how I would love to spend two hours in the kitchen cooking, before we had children Asa and I would happily spend the afternoon making an Indian from scratch, last night we sat down for our Indian and Asa said wow you must have spent ages making this, I could have so easily said "Yes Dear" but No I was honest and said, as long as it took me to cook the chicken, open the jars and put the Bombay Potatoes in the microwave....

-Over one in ten of the women surveyed (11 per cent) get just 5 hours or less of sleep a night with 44 per cent agreeing they don't get to bed early enough because they have too much to do in the day. A further 66 per cent said they struggle to get to sleep because they find it hard to switch off. The research also showed that many people don't have time for sport or exercise with a third of men (31 per cent) and women (33 per cent) doing nothing at all.

Five hours sleep erm...maybe if i'm lucky, getting to bed early in this house would mean that I probably wouldn't ever get to speak to my husband without the constant interruption of a child!
That is a high proportion of people doing no sport or exercise, considering we are supposed to be so much more health conscious than in previous generations. I will admit I do not partake in an actual sport. but the running around In do after six children more than makes up for it, Asa, with a full time job, still manages to go Rugby Training twice a week and plays a match on Saturday. (That's because he has a very understanding wife that looks after the six children whilst he does this!)

-To cope with a lack of hours in the day it seems that women are turning to a whole host of time-saving devices with a quarter (26 per cent) admitting they often buy ready meals as they don't have time to cook. Forty seven per cent disclosed they rely on a dishwasher or tumble dryer to save time. Over half (55 per cent) of women said they would be tempted by any activity that could be fast tracked or sped up to give them more time to do other things.

Ready Meals with no physical exercise can only spell disaster, I appreciate that there are many people that do not haver much time, but seriously, how long does it take to make a healthy Prawn Pasta Salad. It will turn into9 a vicious circle, the ready meals will be high in salt and sugar and make you feel lethargic, which will mean you then have no get up and go!
Relying on a dishwasher and tumble dryer are definitely two things that take place in this household, my mum constantly nags that I do not hang my washing outside, but to be honest the time it would take to walk up the garden, hang it out and bring it back in again, not to mention hoping the chilsken don't try and attack it, would take twice as long as putting it in the tumble dryer.
We are constantly looking for activities that can be fast tracked or sped up, but no matter how hard I try the children still have the same pace each morning when getting ready for school!

-Sixty one per cent agreed that having more hours in the day to themselves would significantly improve their quality of life. The top activity of lying in was followed by a pampering session (27 per cent) and relaxing on the sofa (16 per cent). Thirty six per cent of women revealed they would like to spend time baking if they could, while 31 per cent said they would like to garden.

Pampering has never really had an appeal, much to my beauty therapist sister's disgust, but Baking and Gardening are areas that the whole family do enjoy. Has our society really become so bad that we have NO time to do these things, the children love gardening,  and being outdoors, I enjoy looking after the vegetable patch and Asa spends most of his free time outside.
I do think where you live has an impact on your lifestyle, and we have made the decision to raise our children on the East Coast in a rural village, between Asa and I we have lived in most parts of the Uk and we agreed that here would be our choice to bring up our family.

I would welcome other peoples thoughts and how they fit into this research. xxx

Bandana Bib Winner

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School Photo Day!

A few weeks ago we got `the letter' telling us that 2nd November would be individual and family photographs at school from 8.50am.
Now for those of you that have got children at school, this may not be a problem, but for our household it causes somewhat of a nightmare. 
Xene, now aged thirteen has been doing school photographs for eight years and is a pro, however since she began school, I have always had a younger sibling to take along.....
Throughout the years, and the ever increasing family we have had various scenarios that always make this day very entertaining!
I have given up trying to comb their hair into some kind of style, because my children being neat and tidy just looks wrong! 
One year Lochlan toddler, flatly refused to have his photo taken, and no amount of bribery would work, in the time that we had been sat there waiting, he developed a spot on his back, by the time we eventually gave up, this had increased to about ten spots-yes you guessed it, he chose that day to come out in chicken pox....
One year I had a lovely photo of the three eldest, but no amount of clapping or cheering could wake a baby Kaide, so we decided to have the photo with him fast asleep, very cute, but he was so wrapped up in his little cardigan, you could barely see him!
Two years ago Eowyn, aged one, was fine until the male phorographer came and moved her leg, the resulting photo was two very happy children and one petrified one in the middle!
Last year, Eowyn was going to be very brave and have her photo taken, we were the very last family to have it done and after 20 minutes of coaxing, we eventually settled for a photo of Neva and Kaide without Eowyn...
Xene and Lochlan had their High School photos a couple of weeks ago, and that was painless. 
So today arrived and I calmly got them ready, Neva insisted on having her hair straightened because it was `too puffy' (I think she is getting to that age!) which I had time to do, Eowyn let Neva brush her hair and make the sticky lolly bit disappear! Kaide however was perfectly happy with his bed hair and no amount of water or styling spray would make it like flat, so I admitted defeat and took him with a surfer dude look....Tyrus managed not to throw up all down his outfit for a change, so it was looking fairly positive.
When we entered the hall I did actually find myself crossing my fingers, but I had nothing to fear, Kaide jumped up on the stool like he did it every day, Eowyn still didn't like the man, and insisted that Neva helped her on the stool, facing Kaide, which was fine, Tyrus sat between them both and Neva stood behind them-everyone else had a maximum of two children, so the stool wasn't very big...
He took five photos and I am pretty sure that one of them will be acceptable (I hope)
So for any mummy that feels like me, it may not be as bad as you think.....
Then again, I still have the next three years of younger sibling photos to survive....
I guess the proof will be when I get the photo back xxx