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Family

Argos has revealed their top toys for Christmas 2015 and we were one of their toy testing families. We chose to try out the Chad Valley 3 Storey Summer Winter Dolls House. Talitha immediately made the connection with Frozen and said it reminded her of Queen Elsa’s ice castle. In fact, her Elsa plush doll and Sylvanian family rabbits moved right in. This house is actually sized for Barbie-sized dolls, though, I’d say. We were toying with the idea of giving her a Lottie doll, which would work well in

The moment Talitha woke up this morning, before she’d even got out of bed, she asked in the dark (I was still in the bed beneath with Ophelia), “Mummy, can me and Effie open our Advent calendars?” In years past, I’ve made intricate calendars like this toilet roll tree, complete with an activity planned for each day and a Bible passage. This year, I spotted standard chocolate Advent calendars at a fundraising fair for Easton Jubilee Trust, a non-profit organisation my brother and my sister-in-law are involved in, and I

I’ve mentioned here before that we got our cats just before we had our first baby, Talitha. Maybe it was a hormonal thing but I just desperately wanted pets. Already at home on my maternity leave, I loved having them around and it was a good time getting those little kittens settled into our home. When PetPlan, the UK pet insurer with an impressive history of working with animal rehoming charities, asked me to share a memory that marks how important our cats are to our family, quite a few

As someone who wound up learning to drive in her late twenties and only passed once she had two kids, I really wish I’d done it sooner. It’s given me so much more freedom and made family life much easier. However, I found scheduling lessons around childcare and adjusting as a new driver with a screaming newborn (and sometimes a screaming two-year-old too) in the backseats more than a little stressful. I kind of think I should have done it when I was younger, with less responsibilities and inhibitions. It’s

Last week, Laurence took Talitha to a Rugby World Cup game. Of course, I couldn’t resist asking him to blog about it here… I was lucky enough to get a couple of tickets for Fiji vs Australia last week. I’ve been wanting to go to an England game for years, but the prices are reeee-dunculous, so I was quite pleased with the prices for the Rugby World Cup… I thought I’d take the 4yo. A few folk, including Adele, where a bit worried about taking a kid so young. I

On our way for a weekend in Dartmoor, we stopped off at Castle Drogo. We try to plan stops at destinations rather than service stations when we’re going on longer journeys and our National Trust membership has helped perfectly with that. I also thought it would be a good time to photograph the iCandy Raspberry pushchair that we’ve been trying out for the past few weeks. The main reason I agreed to review the iCandy Raspberry is that you have the option of making it parent-facing. In fact, it’s really

When I was heavily pregnant with Talitha, I was mad on the idea of getting a kitten. We ended up adopting Hero and Bojangles from a local family. Laurence kept saying that it was a lot of responsibility but I figured we were having a baby so we weren’t alien to the idea of responsibility. In retrospect, it has been a much bigger undertaking than I appreciated at first. For those of you thinking of taking the leap, here are a few things to think about when getting your family

I’ve had the word “balance” on my mind a lot recently, probably because the concept has felt elusive for a long time. I try to grab hold of it by making the most of naptime and planning our days the day before, making sure we have a good mix of days in and days out, parent initiated activities and free play. I sometimes successfully edge closer to it by going to bed on time. I strategise for balance by sending my kids to a childminder (both girls for three hours

I mentioned in my last post that Laurence and I have been a bit stressed this week and, as usual, our money situation has factored in that. I find thinking and talking about money a struggle because it’s so abstract. I actually just find it a bit boring. Which is ridiculous and childish. When talking about a budget or ways to improve your credit score, I find it easier to knuckle down and work things out if I visualise what looking after money means to my real life. I could

So many times this blog has been a place to talk about breastfeeding; about what it can mean for mothers and children, and about how we can protect it. As more and more Syrian refugees make their way to the Greek islands of Kos and Lesvos, we’re faced with a situation in which supporting breastfeeding is absolutely vital. UNICEF states “artificial feeding with breast-milk substitutes in an emergency carries high risks of malnutrition, illness and death and is a last resort only when other safer options have first been fully

It was our sixth wedding anniversary on Saturday. We’re not great at doing much to celebrate it. Twice we made a huge effort. On our first we went glamping in Pembrokeshire. Come to think of it, that’s the only anniversary we’ve had sans kiddos. Hadn’t realised that until about now. Another time we went to Harptree Court, mainly because we were expecting Ophelia and it was a last/first chance to spend a night just the two of us before starting the newborn thing all over again. But we’re pretty sure

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