Get your Christmas Pants on with Captain Underpants…

Need a funny movie to keep the whole family entertained over the Christmas period, or the perfect stocking filler gift for someone who loves a funny movie?Captain Underpants may be just what you are looking for…

My kids think it is hilarious and it’s perfect family watching.

George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When their mean principal threatens to separate them into different classes, the mischievous boys accidentally hypnotize him into thinking that he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants. The result of this is a comedic adventure that will make you laugh, a lot. 

Captain Underpants is out on the 4th December on DVD and Blueray and you should get your hands on a copy to watch it!

We also have one copy of the DVD to giveaway. 

One lucky winner will get their hands on a copy. All you need to do is comment on this post telling us who you would send some magic superhero underpants to, to make them laugh, and then follow the Rafflecopter link to complete you entry. 

Ends 18th December

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Terms & Conditions

One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and will be contacted to organize delivery of DVD.  Winner has 28 days to reply, then another person will be chosen.

Over 18 entrants only

No cash prize alternative offered. 

Spam entries will be deleted. 

Winners must complete all entry requirements to qualify.

This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, WordPress, Twitter or Instagram. 

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Stuff we love – November

Welcome to our monthly update of things we have liked, loved and sometimes not been so exited about… 

This month is brief, because of course everyone is focusing on Christmas coming but some of the things we are sharing may be just what you were looking for for a gift idea so read on… 

Fun stuff…

I had never heard of insta snow, until my children told me about it, apparently they’d seen it in action at school. It’s brilliant stuff. Just add water, and you have what feels like snow. It’s perfect for kids at toddler groups/messy play, if you need fake snow and we added glitter and had so much fun at the group I run for small children. You can see that here 

I bought ours on Amazon, but you can get it at garden centres and also some toy/craft shops too. 

Food and Drink…

Do you like gin, or know someone who likes gin? If you do, then you need to get your hands on a bottle of Blogger Gin. It’s the creation of blogger Tanya Barrow (also known as Mummy Barrow) and it is utterly delicious. Well worth investing in for Christmas.

Two food allergy finds this month. Just Love Food make some lovely cakes that are nut free and yummy. Cocoalibre are a brand that make dairy free chocolates that are really good too. Mr Kipling also now makes some gluten/dairy free cake treats as well. I can personally vouch for those brownies. As a mum/wife who lives with a food allergy family, finding things that work but also taste great is always a personal high five moment! 

For me and the kids…

If I told you that this razor, which retails at less than £4, from Aldi, is far better than any of the much more expensive branded razors, I would not be lying. I use a man’s razor for shaving my legs and this one is brilliant. The husband is also a convert and it saves so much money to buy this one and it’s blades. 

When you have a child with sensory issues who struggles with plasters/band aids/dressings on cuts and small grazes, but you need to cover them and keep them clean, this wound glue from Germolene is amazing. It forms a layer over a small wound and protects it, and keeps it clean and dry. I keep a bottle at home and in my travel first aid kit. 

This lovely pillow spray from Ren smells amazing and helps with relaxing at bedtime, when you are trying to ease into sleep. A little goes a long way, but it does help. 

For the cats…

Lest we forget of course the most important beings in the house 😉

This dry to wet cat food from Pure has gone down so well with our cats and we have been very impressed. We will be sharing their thoughts in a proper review next week, but so far they are loving it, so I am happy! 

So, that’s our brief sweep for November. See you after Christmas for what we loved or maybe didn’t in December!

*this post is not sponsored, we just share because we care 😉*

 

 

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My Sunday Photo

Glorious pink sky

Photalife

The Creepy Stuff That’s Trying To Get Into Your House This Winter

If your home is your castle there are enough threats out there for you to want to make it a fortress, particularly around this time of year. Christmas trees, bulging Christmas stockings and glittering piles of presents can attract the attention of thieves and burglars so we make sure that we double lock our doors and that our burglar alarms are working. Unfortunately, ne’er do wells aren’t the only ill intentioned entities trying to get into your home. All year round, there’s a menagerie of malice that can creep through the tiniest of cracks in your house’s armour and wreak havoc with your home and your health. Here we’ll look at some of the creepiest of crawlies that will try and infiltrate your home this coming winter, and all year round.

Cute? No, actually they can be a real pest!

As you make your festive preparations make sure that drunken inlaws are the only household pests getting into your home.

Dry Rot

Combinations of wet winters and warm summers create the ideal conditions for this irksome fungus to invade your home and eat through the parts of the wood in your home that give it its strength and integrity. The trouble with dry rot is that if left unchecked it can spread with alarming speed across your home, making the wood brown and brittle and structurally unsafe. Dry rot treatment is left to a professional as it needs a trained eye to ensure that all traces of the fungus are destroyed. You can find advice on identifying dry rot here.

 

Termites

Though they’re traditionally associated with American homes, termites are active in certain areas of the UK and have been identified in numerous parts of the country including North devon and the Midlands. They are active all year round and can create extensive structural damage to your home. They may be known as nature’s architects, but they’re also some of nature’s most aggressive demolitions experts.

Squirrels

They may look cute and fuzzy but non native grey squirrels are notoriously aggressive creatures who have virtually decimated the indigenous red squirrel population through a combination of aggressive breeding, eating their food source and carrying the squirrel parapox virus which is fatal to red squirrels. Such is the damage they have done to the British ecology that it is illegal to release a grey squirrel found in your home back into the wild. Conversely, it is illegal to destroy a red squirrel or cause damage to their habitat.

Grey squirrels are known to try to infiltrate homes in colder months and can be aggressive when confronted. Consult a specialist pest controller if you have signs of a squirrel infestation.

Wasps

We all know that bees are essential to our ecosystem and that we all need to make an effort to ensure that their numbers are sustainable. Wasps, on the other hand are… just awful. They have Darth Vader faces and chase you when you run away from them. While drone wasps will die off in the colder months, the queens will find a dry place to hibernate before building her nest there when the weather gets warmer. This place may be your cellar, basement, garage or shed so be sure to consult an expert if you see signs of wasp infestation.

*this is a collaborative post*

Barbados calling…

There are many places I would love to travel to, and visit. As a child I was fortunate enough to spend time in many countries, either living or on holiday with families, that have given me many amazing memories. 

I do have a wish list of places I haven’t been to, and if you asked me “where would you go, if money were no object and leave and family responsibilities were not a worry” then I would say “I would love to go to the Carribean”. All of my friends, family and colleagues will tell you that it’s somewhere I have talked about visiting, often. 

Barbados would have to be the spot I would choose.

Barbados is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and is the most easterly island in the Caribbean island chain, situated above South America, northeast of Venezuela and north of Guyana. The Atlantic Ocean sits to the east of the isle, and the Caribbean Sea to the west. The capital city is Bridgetown, located in the parish of St Michael.

I think Barbados is the perfect spot, for a luxury holiday. A tropical paradise with stunning beaches, and amazing wonders to explore, and warm sunny weather, when the season is right, where you can relax on the beach, swim in the sea, sail, explore the island, enjoy local culture, taste new foods and enjoy all that the island has to offer. 

You can plan every part of your trip, and travel, where to stay, and what to do. It’s easy to book luxury accommodation with Barbados vacation rentals and choose somewhere to stay that will suit your needs depending on who you are holidaying with. You might be planning your honeymoon or a special anniversary romantic trip, or even getting married and want to celebrate that in Barbados, or you may be planning the ultimate family beach, sun and see holiday, and want a space to accommodate your family in style. You could opt for a relaxing holiday doing not much at all other than soaking up sunshine, or you could plan lots of activities to keep you busy. 

Once you have chosen where you are staying, and booked your flights, you have the hard task of planning your itinerary and what you want to do during your stay. That really is the tough part. For me, long days enjoying the beach, swimming in the sea, exploring the island, then enjoying a meal in one of the many local places to eat, sounds ideal. Barbados to me makes me think of relaxing, getting some much needed sunshine, and being able to really switch off and enjoy a blissful beach holiday. 

I honestly don’t think anything could be better than a Caribbean holiday, on a beach island. What more could you ask for? The husband and I are planning a special anniversary trip in a few years, and Barbados and it’s beautiful beaches are high on our list of places we are considering. We can’t wait!

*this is a collaborative post, images used with permission*

 

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Cats needs some Christmas Treats too… Happy Catvent!

It’s the first day of December, and for many people (including adults) that means getting out advent calendars and having 24 days of something special in the countdown to Christmas Day. Some people have chocolate filled calendars, some have traditional paper ones, some people do candles and you can even get calendars with beauty treats or gin in them… 

But what about your pets? It only seems fair to the cats in our life, here in the Mad House, get a treat too. 

Why do the big and small humans get all the fun? We want Advent Calendar treats too…

The lovely team at MoreThan have come up with some fabulous ideas for treats for your pets this Christmas, from specially warm Christmas Jumpers to tasty snacks they may like but if you are feeling really creative you could come up with something fun and make your own advent calendar for your pets. 

We have made a Catvent Calendar for our cats. It was quite a lot of fun, and involved some creative thinking, but it worked out really well, and the cats have something to look forward to every day too. I have had to put it out of their reach, or they would help themselves to the treats all in one go…

It’s quite easy… You can see how to with this step by step guide…

 

Mine doesn’t look quite as pretty, but the cats don’t seem to mind, as long as they get their treat…

So, have you made special plans for your pets this year? Cans of tuna and catnip all round, say Jasper and Layla…

*this is a collaborative post*

 

 

 

 

7 ways to take care of your mental health

In life, it is vital that you take excellent care of your mental health. There is no point in looking after your body, if you are neglecting your mind and soul. Understanding the way that your mind works will help you to manage stressful situations effectively, visualize a positive future, and interact with the world around you. If you are determined to enjoy a long and happy life, read the following. Below are seven ways that you can look after your mental health.

Embrace the joys of meditation

Meditation is an excellent way for you to escape the stresses and strains of daily life. It is an exercise that allows you to clear your mind and to control your breathing. It is also a great way for you to restore your mental energy for the day ahead. Once you have finished meditating, it is likely that you will find it much easier to make decisions and solve problems. Furthermore, the breathing techniques that you will use for meditation, will also come in handy in everyday life. Say you are nervous about delivering an important presentation or attending a serious business meeting, you will benefit from having relaxation techniques at the ready.

Laugh every day

You should also make sure that you take the time to laugh every day. This will help you to embrace a positive mindset and to lift your spirits, even in the darkest of days. It is important that you are proactive in your approach to laughter. Whatever you do, don’t just sit back and wait for the good times to come to you. You need to take matters into your own hands. You could watch your favorite comedy show, attend an open-mic night, or arrange to meet up with your funniest friends. You could also treat yourself to a joke of the day. This is the best way for you to ensure that you always have something to smile about.

Talk to a therapist

Even if you are fairly comfortable with the state of your mental health, you should still consider talking to a therapist. This is a brilliant way for you to sort through any unresolved issues and to prepare for all of the twists and turns that lie ahead. You could even attend a therapy session with your loved ones. This could help you to strengthen your relationships and work through any unresolved conflicts. You might find that one therapy session is enough for you to feel more confident in your mental health. However, you may find that therapy is something that you would like to carry forward into the future.

Embrace an honest lifestyle

It is said that honesty is the best policy, and this really is the truth. If you spend a lot of your time worrying about what people think of you, now is the perfect time for you to embrace a more honest approach to life. Speaking the truth will help you to avoid unnecessary amounts of stress and anxiety. It will also help you to understand what it is that you truly want. If you are worried about adopting this new approach, try to start small. Perhaps you could pause for three seconds before answering any important questions. This will give you the time to think carefully about your answer. If you find yourself moving towards a lie, ask yourself if the truth could be a better option. Perhaps you don’t have the time to go out with your friends, but feel anxious about telling them. Instead of rushing to say yes, why not push yourself to say no? You might be surprised by how understanding people can be. Your social circle might even prefer your honest approach.

Evaluate your career path

If you are working day in day out, it is vital that you are in a profession that makes you happy. Spending your days stuck in a dead end job could have a disastrous effect on your mental health. That is why you need to think carefully about your career path. You need to make sure that you are excited to go into work and that you are spending your days in an environment that suits your personality. You don’t want to look back in regret. Perhaps you could speak to a careers advisor, a recruitment agent, or a close friend. Even if you end up sticking with your current source of employment, the most important thing is that you are taking your happiness into account.

Take excellent care of your body

Remember: healthy body, healthy mind. That is why you need to take excellent care of your physical health. This will allow you to look forward to a bright future, without limitations. It will also help you to boost your body confidence. You need to make sure that your health kick isn’t centred on losing weight or changing your appearance, as this could negatively impact your mental health. Instead, you should be focusing on all of the positives. Remind yourself of the intrinsic benefits of getting fit, going outdoors, and pushing your boundaries. You should also respect your body and think carefully about everything that you put in it. Perhaps you could create a weekly health and exercise plan to help you through this process.

Talk to your loved ones

In this day and age, mental health is no longer a taboo subject. That is why you should feel comfortable talking to your loved ones about their mental well-being. You might be surprised by what you find out. Perhaps one of your friends has always struggled with their self-esteem. Maybe a family member has dealt with bouts of depression throughout their life. Having these conversations may be awkward at first, but it is a fantastic way for you to bond with the people closest to you. It is also a great way for you to work out who to turn to if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

*this is a collaborative post*

Keeping mum’s happy with Milton and Infacare (giveaway)

At nearly 11 years into this parenting job, with almost 21 years of childcare working as a nanny, then a nurse and now working with families, I feel like I may know a thing or two, although I am still mostly learning as I go, and I know that how I parent and what works for us, isn’t always what works for someone else. (that’s the first rule of parenting, learn what works for you and your family and don’t worry about what other people are doing!) 

There are some tried and tested products that I have used down the years, both at work and with my own children, so when I say I like and recommend them, you know that I really mean it. 

Milton products have always been a big favourite of mine, and their cleaning wipes are something I use even now, mostly for work, but we do keep a packet in the car, for travel too. Their wipes come in a handy packet that can fit in a bag, and because they are made by Milton, which has been a brand trusted by many through the years, you know they will do the job.

Ideal for travel and quick clean-s ups at home or on the move with baby

Suitable for soothers and teats

Use for highchair, toys, changing mat, potty, baby’s bath, kitchen work tops, door handles, public facilities, at work, restaurants, telephone, toilets

Kills 99.9% of germs

100% biodegradable tissue of natural origin

Fragrance free

No need to rinse

Dries quickly

Leaves no trace

Made in France

I find them so handy for wiping surfaces and toys, at the toddler group I run, and for grabbing to clean up where a little bit of extra hygiene is needed. I also like to carry a bottle of hand gel in my bag, for emergency hand cleaning and it’s something I have done since I had my own babies, and continue now, because you never know when you will need to clean hands…

We have also always been big fans of Infacare, and their bathtime products. Their ultra mild Night Time Baby bath, is perfect fdr a gentle bath and bedtime routine, to help ease your little one into sleep. It’s very mild, gentle, pH balanced and a little goes a long way to make lots of bubbles. Every little thing helps when you are trying to keep bathtime into bedtime calm and nice, to hopefully help your little ones with a good nights sleep!

 We are delighted to be able to offer our readers a little giveaway, in collaboration with Infacare. We have two bottles of their Night Time Baby Bath to giveaway. Two winners will each get a bottle sent to them. 

All you need to do is to comment and tell us what you do at bathtime and bedtime to help keep it calm and easy, and then follow the rafflecopter link to complete your entry.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

Two winners will be chosen and contacted via e mail to organise delivery of their prize. Winners have 28 days to respond then a new winner will be chosen.

No cash prize alternative offered

This giveaway is not affiliated with WordPress or any social media site it may be shared on

Over 18 entrants only

UK residents only

All entry requirements must be fulfilled, spam entries will be deleted.

Giveaway ends 28th December 2018

This is a collaborative post. 

 

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Proper Little Pies

Do you like pie? If like me you are fan of pies and love to try new things, then you may want to get your hands on some of these Proper Little Pies, from the makers of Square Pies. 

These are fab little bundles of pastry and yummy filling that you can pop in to the oven (from frozen) and enjoy as a snack (being on a bit of a pre Christmas health kick, I was impressed that the calorie count per pie is very reasonable and below 200) or as part of a main meal or if you are working up towards all those Christmas parties and events and want to add something delicious and simple to cook to your menu, then these pies are where it’s at.

We happened to sample two of their delicious range recently and were very impressed. 

These two are vegetarian, which is handy too. 

They are, as I said, easy to cook, simply pop one (or if like me, you are greedy, more) onto a baking tray and set your oven timer, and wait (impatiently) for them to be ready. 

They are tasty, and the fillings are different but delicious. The pastry is perfect and pie like and they are handy if you want something warm and filling for lunch, or as a main meal, served with veggies and whatever you fancy.

Spinach, goats cheese and sweet potato. Comforting, and filling. 

You can find them in the frozen section, and because they cook from frozen there is no faffing about with defrosting or remembering they need to be taken out of the freezer. 

I have actually popped a box into the freezer at work, for lunch, this week, and to keep for emergencies when I don’t bring my lunch, or I can’t pop out to get something. 

So, if like me, you are a bit of pie fan, I think you need to try these. They are yummy and filling. I don’t think you will be disappointed…

Pie anyone?

 
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Swim like a superhero with Zoggs and the new DC Superhero Collection

We are swimming fans in our house. I have always loved swimming, and the tween swims regularly both for her school team and also as part of a local swim club. My boy took a lot longer to learn to swim, because of his sensory issues, but now loves it as much as we do, and swims at school, and also enjoys family swimming time on holiday. 

I recently started getting into the habit of swimming more regularly, after my knee surgery. I am not allowed to run, for exercise at the moment, but swimming is allowed. I pulled out my swimming costume and realised it was looking a bit sad and sorry for itself, and needed replacing. 

A little bit of retail therapy for a new swimming costume is most certainly needed. 

My children already use a few items from Zoggs as part of their swimming kit. Their goggles are brilliant for kids learning to and practicing their swimming, in fact we rewarded our boy with a pair of really cool Zoggs goggles when he learned to put his face in the water, and blow bubbles (a big deal for a child with sensory issues) and we have used some of their floats as part of helping them to learn to swim.  

Zoggs have recently launched a brilliant new range of swimwear and kit, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. Their new DC Superhero range is perfect for kids and also adults and with the new Justice League movie out now, it’s not surprising that they have chosen to base a rang on amazing superheros. 

Their new range includes lots of fun as well as practical kit and because Zoggs aim to make the best quality swimwear and equipment that anyone from a beginnner swimmer, to someone who swims for sport, can wear and use, there is something to suit all needs, ages and abilities, from learning to swim to practicing skills or just helping you to feel confident in the swimwear you are wearing, be it on the beach, or by the local pool swimming with your family. 

The range out now indludes Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman branded rucksacks, kids printed goggles (for children up to 6 years), silicone caps (for children up to 14 years), armbands (for children aged 2-6 years) plus kickboards, splash balls and dive balls (all ages).

Don’t tell the small boy but one of these may be under the Christmas tree this year for him, he is a big fan of all things Batman and will love this for helping him at his swimming lessons, and it looks pretty cool. The husband was a bit sad when I told him he’s too big for one! 

Learning to swim styled as a superhero? I don’t think any little one would say no!

But that’s not all, Zoggs  also have some more fabulous items coming out in 2018 as part of their DC Superheroes Collection, including swimwear for both children and adults and if I told you I may have my eye on a WonderWoman swim suit for myself, I would not be lying 😉 and their collection of swim suits is as my tween would say “pretty cool”. 

Perfect for making swimming even more fun, or for Christmas gifts, for those in your life who love swimming! 

Zoggs DC Superheros Collection is available now from Zoggs.com, Amazon, eBay, Wiggle, Places for People, Parkwood, Everyone Active and other leisure centres. 

*this is a collaborative post*

 

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