The Big Hour Tea Time for The Rainbow Trust

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Have you ever uttered that phrase “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”?

What if you felt like that was literally true – like time with your loved ones was slipping away?

The children’s charity Rainbow Trust is asking people across the UK to take part in its biggest annual fundraising and awareness campaign known as The Big Hour Tea Time.

The event is centred on that extra hour gained when the clocks go back later this month, highlighting how crucial one hour is for families caring for a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

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Review: Nintendo 3DS XL

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Brodie got a Nintendo 3DS XL to try out, and took his role as a reviewer very seriously.

My eldest son is 8 years old and in Primary 4. He’s had an original Nintendo DS for the past couple of years, which we bought second hand to see whether he’d like it or play with it regularly.

It gets picked up much more in the colder months, when he’s stuck indoors. Or we bring it on long journeys or visits to doctor’s waiting rooms and the like, when it helps to pass the time.

Brodie likes to stay active, so gaming consoles aren’t always on his radar. But he does like returning to his DS every now and then, especially when there are new games to be tried.

We were also lucky enough to get New Super Mario Bros 2 to play on the console.

So what is 3DS XL?

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Review: Nintendo 2DS

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The trouble with games consoles is that no sooner do you buy one, the company brings out a new, upgraded version.

Before you know it, you can’t get games for your old-fashioned console any more. And all the newest, latest games your kids are nagging you to get are only accessible to them if you fork out another £100-200 for version 2.0 of the player.

It annoys me. And with this in mind, a couple of Christmases ago, when we were buying the boys their very first Nintendo DS consoles, we got second hand reconditioned ones from a store.

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What I learned from the Independence Referendum

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Well it’s all over now.

That is, the vote has happened. But the discussions and recriminations will continue for a long time to come.

In the end, 44.7% of Scotland said Yes to Independence. Leaving 55.3% preferring to remain in the United Kingdom.

I made no secret of how I was voting, but the closer we got to September 18, the harder it became to predict the outcome.

Passions, and in some cases tempers, were running high. Staying away from political discussion was like trying to get out of quicksand – the more you struggled, the more you got sucked in. Especially on social media.

But here are some things I learned from Scotland’s historic referendum:

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How much do you know about nutrition in pregnancy?

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So last month the lovely people at Aptaclub gave me a fantastic prize of a nine-month subscription to Abel & Cole to give away.

To enter, all you had to do was fill out a survey, revealing what you know about nutrition in pregnancy. You didn’t even have to get the questions right. The idea was to get a snapshot of what mums really know on this subject.

Around 250 of you completed the questionnaire before the closing date. And the company have chosen a winner at random from those entries.

But, as promised, here are the answers to the questions in full. I know I’ve learned a couple of things I wasn’t aware of.

Oh and the winner is announced here too. Congratulations if it’s you.

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Taking too much credit?

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It’s at this time of year that bills start to mount up in our household.

With the little one’s birthday in October, a holiday coming up over the half-term, and then the build-up to Christmas, it’s tempting to just bung it on the plastic and worry about it later.

What does it matter?

Everyone does it, right?

And we can always pay it back in January anyway. Sound familiar?

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Walking back to happiness

A long time ago, in a country not so far away

We’re lucky in Scotland to live within a short distance of some breathtaking walks and scenery.

From the Pentlands in Edinburgh, to the Ochils in Stirlingshire, there’s many a hill that’s just as stunning as the ones Julie Andrews used to run through, warbling about the Sound of Music!

Back when Mr G and I were a young, carefree couple (oh so many years ago) we often went munro-bagging.

Granted he was more into it than I was. But I joined him on a few weekend jaunts up hills I could barely pronounce – like Buachaille Etive Mor and Beinn a Bhuird.

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Win a nine-month subscription to Abel & Cole

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Do you know how much Folic Acid you’re supposed to take during pregnancy? Or which foods contain Iodine?

How about all the foods you should avoid, and what you should eat more of to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals?

I must admit, I know the basics but I’m probably not as knowledgeable as I should be.

Nutrition in pregnancy is important to ensure both you and baby remain healthy throughout pregnancy and well into baby’s first months.

And now the folks at Aptaclub want to put you to the test in their latest survey.

Whether you get the answers right or wrong, you are still in with a chance of winning a nine-month subscription to Abel & Cole organic fruit and vegetable delivery.

That will entitle you to one medium box per month, worth £18.75. A nine-month subscription would cost you £168.75.

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Captain Bravado and the Quest for Responsibility

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If you’ve got kids, then your house will sometimes become inhabited by an invisible force – a ghost perhaps, or a poltergeist.

This thing spills juice, or breaks toys. It drops crisp packets on their bedroom floor and generally makes a mess.

If you ask the children who did it, they immediately say “It wasn’t me.”

So it must be some Casper-life mischief maker. I like to call him Captain Bravado.

He lives within your child and appears whenever a kid wants to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.

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Carrot and orange cupcakes

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Who doesn’t love a cupcake?

They’re a regular request in our house. They go great in the kids’ packed lunches, they’re served up for birthday parties, and they are the required comfort food when somebody is feeling unwell.

With the recent hot weather, cupcakes with a glass of lemonade have gone down a treat as an after-paddling pool snack in our garden, when the boys have friends over to play.

So when Waitrose asked me to recreate a great British picnic recipe, what else would I do?

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