Competition: Win a canvas print from Wallcreate


There’s no denying that living a fair distance from your family has its advantages.

No pesky relatives dropping in on you at a moment’s notice.

No getting embroiled in family arguments.

And no fights over who you go to for holidays, or who comes to you (if you live so far away, they have to take their turns).

But then you have children, and start to realise those with helpful grandparents just around the corner are the luckiest parents in the world.

Not only are we coming up short when we need to find babysitters, but we also celebrate some special events without our loved ones there to see it.

Which is why I like to send gifts that make them feel part of those milestones they may have missed.

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Win £200 of Sainsbury’s Vouchers with Active Kids



If your kids are sports crazy, you’re pretty much sorted when it comes to keeping them active.

In our town the majority of the local lads are either part of the junior football squad, or else they’re constantly kicking a ball around the local park or the school playground.

But what do you do when your boys aren’t at all interested in football – in fact, they’re not particularly sporty at all?

This is my quandary. When being active isn’t something which naturally occurs for your children in the school playground, or as part of a sports team, you’ve got to create opportunities for them to stay fit and healthy. Especially in this day and age when, left to their own devices, children like mine would happily sit staring all day at a computer screen.

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My Saver Story



Money and me. We’ve had a relationship full of ups and downs.

I’ve always respected those pennies and pounds. Being raised by a single mum, I appreciated that they wouldn’t always be in plentiful supply.

Which is why, when I was taken to open my first bank account at the age of 9, I relished the chance to stockpile my pocket money so I could buy things all by myself. Just small things at first. But it meant a lot when I could go to town and buy an outfit for the school disco, or I had my own spending money to take with me on family holidays.

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Dear Myleene: Hypocrisy and Oversharing



Dear Myleene,

How much damage can one little Instagram post do?

One little post on an account which has 77,000 followers.

One little post which is then Tweeted to another 461,000 followers, and shared on a Facebook page with 32,500 likes.

So in effect, one post with a potential reach of more than half a million people – and that’s before others pick it up and share it.

Really Myleene? Really? You thought you could post this and just get a few “likes”?

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The Difference Between Flu & Man Flu


Man Flu has taken hold many times in our household.

It’s bad enough with a husband who has asthma and diabetes, and is prone to picking up any bug that’s going around.

But with two sons, no doubt I’ll be privy to it a lot in the future.

So I consider myself something of an expert when it comes to the symptoms, and how Man Flu differentiates itself from your everyday flu bug.

With temperatures plummeting and research revealing Man Flu is sweeping the UK, it’s important to understand it, and to know what to look for.

Here’s what I’ve observed:

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Let’s Talk About Sex (but he’s six years old!)

sex education2

Last week my six-year-old…

(hold on, let me stress this. He’s SIX YEARS OLD!)

…said to me quite nonchalantly as I was doing the housework: “Mum, my willy tells me when a girl is hot.”

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A Year In Blogging


There’s no greater way to take stock of the last 12 months of your life than by looking over a blog.

While my mind tells me that 2014 was all work, work, work, Mummy Central tells me different.

I find looking back over the previous year a cathartic process, showing me what I’ve learned and how I want to move forward into this one.


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Being an invisible co-pilot on your teen’s road trips

With ever-busier roads and young people so keen to jump behind the wheel and start navigating them, it’s never been more important to get driver safety into conversation at an early age.

Statistics compiled by ingenie in their 2014 Young Driver Report indicate that 20% of serious road incidents involve under 25s. In 2013 alone, 1,290 young drivers were killed or seriously injured.

Alongside these unsettling statistics, the report provides real-life data about the way young people drive and how the UK’s bleak traffic accident figures can be reduced – with telematics insurance, one of the biggest moves towards better road safety.

What is telematics? Well, it’s all to do with a little black box fitted to a car, which transmits feedback on how the vehicle is being driven, via an app.

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A Word for 2015

There’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about choosing a word for 2015.

It’s all part of the Unravelling the Year workbook by Susannah Conway – where she encourages us to set intentions instead of impossible-to-live-up-to resolutions.

This seems like a good alternative – a word to live by for the coming year, to hopefully help me be healthier and happier. If you don’t believe in resolutions, I thoroughly recommend giving this a try.

And after a lot of thought the word I’ve chosen for 2015 is Acceptance.

That’s not to say there aren’t things I want to change. I do. I’m not accepting the status quo.

But I think struggling against things which are out of my control have caused me too much heartache over the last few years. Failing to accept how my own actions are contributing to some of my unhappiness has made things worse.

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The Last Nativity


“They won’t stay babies for long” people said. “Don’t wish the years away.”

And I nodded, peering at them through sleep-deprived eyes, stinking of poo and wondering when nappy rash cream became the only skincare I had time to apply.

There’s so much about the early years I’m really glad is over now, if I’m honest.

But the nativity is something I’m going to miss.

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