Four Ways To Get Ready For Going Back To School


I know what you’re going to say. You’ve only just started your holidays and now I’m banging on about school again!

Well, up here in Scotland we’re coming to the end of our fourth week of the Summer break. There’s only three weeks to go before the kids return to the classroom.

And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s rushing around at the last minute.

Believe me, it’s amazing how quickly the time goes and before you know it, the new academic year is about to begin.

Just like New Year, a new school year always feels like a fresh start.

But it’s always best to prepare your kids for the challenges of the year ahead. Here are my top tips:

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When The Circus Came To Town


The circus.

It’s a generations-old live show that has changed and evolved over the years to survive.

Yet when I first took the boys to see Zippos a couple of years ago, I’ll admit I was sceptical about whether a show like this could hold their attention.

Because, in a strangely ironic twist, the very things that are no longer allowed in circus acts are the very acts which are most likely to hold my boys’ attention. Animals.

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New 4D Chocolate Adventure at Cadbury World

Inside Cinema 2

One of the boxes I’m determined to tick over the Summer holidays is a trip to Cadbury World.

Especially now it’s got a brand new attraction – a 4D interactive cinema experience which lets you feel what it would be like to dive into a pot of melted chocolate, ride a Crunchie rollercoaster and then take to the skies in a Creme Egg airship piloted by the Caramel bunny.

Sounds like the average dream for a chocaholic like me!

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What I’m Doing Now


I’ve been tagged by the lovely Jayne at Mums the Word in this meme.

Hey, it’s just a bit of fun, and a great way of getting to know the minutiae of each other’s lives (get me with my big words eh?)

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My American Dream


Now that our sons are a little bit older, Mr G and I are getting braver about holiday plans.

Long flights have never been a possibility for us. Not with two active boys who can’t sit still, and have the kind of shrill screams which could shatter glass (hardly ideal at twenty thousand feet).

But this year we voyaged to Egypt – a five and a half hour journey in the sky.

Thanks to the fact they’re growing up, getting more sensible – and both have tablets to play games/watch movies on – we made it unscathed.

So now it’s looking like there are more destinations within our reach. Which makes my American dream that little bit closer.

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Is it better to give our kids a practical education?



Do you ever worry what’s facing your kids when they leave education?

Unless you happen to be Donald Trump or Lord Alan Sugar, of course you do.

There just aren’t enough jobs these days – and those that are available require people with experience, rather than qualifications and letters after their name.

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Win A Family Pass To Cadbury World #FreeTheJoy

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I’m always telling the boys not to play with their food.

But when it comes to Cadburys Marvellous Mix Ups, that’s exactly what they’re made for. So how can I deny them?

There’s a Maynards pack and an Oreos pack, both mixed with scrummy chocolates, so there’s something for everyone.

But the different shapes and colours lend themselves to a bit of artistic expression – just before you pop them in your mouth and eat them.

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It’s All Possible Now England Is Out


There’s a certain football tournament happening right now.

You might have noticed. It’s a pretty big one.

Am I following it?

*Looks around and whispers* Why? What have you heard?

As a rule, I’m not a football fan. But it’s a bit like the Olympics. When the whole world is watching, you’ve got to get into the spirit, haven’t you?

But listen, I’m English (a Geordie, to be more precise) and I live in… Scotland.

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Carrying the crown for Gala Day


Our town’s gala day rolled around again this weekend.

It’s a fabulous local tradition, where children from the four local primary schools have their names drawn from a hat to play roles from Gala Queen to lady in waiting, from Queen’s champion to junior guard.

We experienced the thrill of being part of it a couple of years ago, when Brodie was picked to be a junior guard.

So when Blake’s name came up as crown bearer this year, I was thrilled that both my boys would have their day in the spotlight.

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My Family Travel Bucket List


I’ve always had travel ambitions.

But there’s something about wanting to show your children the world. Your priorities change.

Bear Grylls recently came up with a top 25 “must see” travel destinations.

And while they’re all likely to have made my list before I had the boys, there are a few others I’d add now that I’m a mum.

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