Pik-Nik cheese sticks and dealing with mum guilt

Parenting is an eternal battle between doing your best and the guilt of feeling that it’s not enough. That doesn’t stop in the summer holidays, if anything it just gets worse. This week’s dilemma was whether to send Libby to holiday club when I didn’t need childcare. In the end, I handed the decision to her and asked her if she wanted to go. The answer was a resounding “yes, and can I have a packed lunch?” Packed lunches with Pik-Nik cheese sticks Libby’s school is incredible in many ways, not least because the food they provide is so good.…

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Review of English Heritage Kenilworth Castle dog friendly family day out

We’ve been National Trust members for many years now and always enjoy our days out with them. This year though, we decided to take out an English Heritage membership as well. We’ve already explored Goodrich Castle and Witley Court, which are our two closest English Heritage properties. So this time, we headed a little further afield to dog-friendly Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, West Midlands. About Kenilworth Castle Originally built in the 1120s, Kenilworth Castle came into Royal hands in the 1170s when Henry II used it as a Garrison and subsequently bought it in 1180. After many years of Royal…

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Thursday photo #220

Summer holidays are finally here. I’ve been looking forward to them and dreading them in equal measure but now they’re here, I’m delighted. After a manic weekend, we’re spending some time at home before kicking into full-on holiday mode next week. A manic weekend I don’t mind admitting that I’m often terrible at saying no to fun things, even when we haven’t really got time. That’s exactly what happened at the weekend. I’d decided months ago that we’d go to the Nozstock festival. I’d thought we might spend most of the weekend there, although it meant finding someone to look…

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A family day out at the Muller Anniversary Games

There’s nothing quite so inspirational for a child as seeing something happening in front of their eyes. Parents and teachers can wax lyrical about a child’s potential. They can race their peers and win – or lose. But watching a world class race and seeing athletes they aspire to doing something amazing brings home the realisation that it is possible. About the Muller Anniversary Games I was chatting to a family friend about London 2012 at the weekend. As a London resident, she was amazed at the way the whole atmosphere of the place changed during the Olympics. People suddenly…

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Nozstock the Hidden Valley Festival with children and families

Based in rural Herefordshire, the 20th Nozstock – the Hidden Valley Festival has just come to a close. It’s a relatively small festival with some big names and a massive atmosphere. But, is it suitable for families with young children? We headed there at the weekend to find out. About Nozstock Twenty years ago on a working family farm, a tiny festival was born. It started with friends, family and acquaintances and grew over the years into something much larger. These days, there are nine stages with all different types of entertainment. From music of numerous different genres through to…

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Why and how I lost a stone in weight

There is a big movement on social media at the moment around body positivity. Accepting yourself as you are, being confident and embracing your curves. And it’s great to see. It’s the perfect counterbalance to awful trolls fat-shaming people who are just trying to get on with their lives. And I wholeheartedly agree that we should all be confident in our own skin. But the body positivity movement is not for me. Why lose weight? Weight loss, for me, isn’t about looking good. It’s not about feeling more confident and it certainly isn’t anything to do with what other people…

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100 ideas to prevent boredom in the Summer holidays

As parents, we spend most of the year looking forward to the Summer holidays. And yet, dreading them in equal measure. The positive is six weeks spending time with our beloved offspring. The negative is six weeks spending time with our beloved offspring. So, with the help of my four and six year old, here are 100 ideas to keep children busy this Summer. We might write each one on a piece of paper and pick one at random when the girls are bored. They’ll enjoy some more than others! At home – indoor summer holidays play 1. Make Christmas…

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