Argos Christmas Toys – Chad Valley 3 Storey Summer Winter Dolls House

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 this house. I think we were all a bit blown…

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Simplifying Advent

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 thought, “Why not?” I’m absolutely certain the kids found these…

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Should You Make Your Child Learn To Drive?

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 made me think I’d really like to encourage my girls…

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Taking a child to the Rugby World Cup

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 think they’re imagining football fans and worried for her safety.…

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iCandy Raspberry review and a wander around Castle Drogo

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 easy to turn the seat around either way in just…

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Things to think about when getting your family a cat

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 a cat. This is a long haul venture Cats generally…

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Finding “balance” and letting it go

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 one day and just the toddler for three hours another).…

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