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



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



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



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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Review: Back To School with Clarks


It’s the Back To School job I always dread.

Shopping for school shoes can be about as pleasant as going for a tooth extraction at the dentist, as poking a fork in your eye, as standing on a piece of LEGO (and I’ve done that a few times!)

Especially since I always manage to leave it to the last minute, when the crowds are descending, my boys are whining and wriggling because they hate shopping, and I’m sweating like a … well I think I’ve packed enough similes into this post already to tell you how much I dislike this task.

So when Clarks invited us to sample their back to school range, I knew it was an errand we’d be running anyway, but I can’t say I was relishing the idea.

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Competition: Go Ape on a tip top treetop adventure

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When I say my boys are like a couple of monkeys, there are many ways I draw that similarity.

Their cheeky attitudes, their love of bananas…

And the way they enjoy swinging through the trees.

They’ll often ignore the play equipment in favour of hanging from the branches of the silver birches at the back of our local park.

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Safeguarding your child’s dental health


From the moment your child gets his first tooth, which according to experts is typically between six to 12 months, you’ll want to make sure those pearly whites stay bright and healthy.

Advertisers are always coming up with new ways to raise dental health awareness and educate kids in ways they enjoy, including apps and games.

Your main contribution, aside from helping children stick to their cleaning routine, is to provide the nutrients teeth need to develop. And cut down their exposure to sugar, starch and other hidden additives in foods which makes them vulnerable to decay, tooth loss and many other long-term dental issues.

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Review: Den building with pl-ug




“Can we build a den Mum?”

Every weekend when they have friends round, it’s the same question.

And although I know that a “Yes” will keep them happy for a couple of hours, I also know there’s a price to be paid.

Mainly that they’ll pull out every blanket they can find in the cupboard – and sometimes the duvets from their beds – to make a house.

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Competition: Win a £40 voucher for All Fancy Dress

If there’s one thing I’ve always loved about having kids, it’s the dressing up.

Them, that is, not me.

When they were babies, I enjoyed dressing them up just to see how cute they looked.


As they’ve grown, dressing up has really sparked their imagination.

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Healthy packed lunch ideas: Baked vegetable frittata


Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am to cooking what Jedward is to singing.

That is, more enthusiasm than talent.

(I just wish my enthusiasm could make as much money as theirs has!)

But I’m always prepared to give new recipes a go, and there’s plenty of places online to pick up tips and ideas for food that so simple even I can’t mess it up.

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