Archives for December 2017

All Aboard for Camp Bestival 2018

Camp Bestival 2018 first acts announces

The theme for next year's Camp Bestival has been announced and it sounds totally brilliant!

Camp Bestival sets sail in 2018 so it's going to be all about a life on the ocean waves! Everyone loves to dress up to the theme so this year I'll be expecting to see lots of mermaids and pirates perhaps? Sailors and sea creatures? I bet there'll be loads of pimped up trolleys in every shape and style of boat... can't wait to see those!

The first line up has also been revealed for next year's fantastic family festival, held at the beautiful Lulworth Castle, Dorset..... and it's looking good!

camp bestival 2018 line up

 We absolutely love Camp Bestival... 2018 will be our 3rd year and it really is one of the highlights of the year! Taking place at the start of the summer holidays, it's the perfect way to get away from school and work and let the kids run feral for a few days! THE best way to kick off a brilliant Summer!

My children talk about it all year!

Camp Bestival has won many awards and it's easy to see why. It's jam packed with amazing entertainment for kids and adults alike. From the stellar music acts through to the endless attractions for kids, some of which are truly magical, there's literally SO much fun on offer we never get round to doing it all! But it's not just the main events, it's the little quirky touches that make this festival unmissable.

The Early Bird tickets for 2018 are on sale now with payment plans to suit all budgets. With an array of camping options from the ordinary... did you know that one step up from the basic camping option is the Camping Plus, which enables you to pre-book a camping plot? The showers and toilets are superior with this ticket too! There's the Boutique Camping options, the Hotel Bell Tents and PodPads... these I would love to try next year!

We are already getting excited about it again and I would say if you're thinking about going next year... DO IT! You'll have the best time! Head over to check out the payment options now on the Camp Bestival website!

How to explain to your kids that you are moving home

Moving home can be an exciting and incredibly stressful time in equal measures. Not only do you need to make sure that everything is organised and sorted prior to the big day, all that de-cluttering, time spent at the estate agents and packing up boxes can impact your usual household Zen. However, when you are moving with children, your stress levels may even go through the roof! Not only do you have to juggle all the last-minute tasks with childcare, explaining to your kids that you are moving can be very delicate and difficult to bring up in discussion. So, if you are moving home soon, or still in the planning stages, then follow these tips to make having that all important conversation as stress-free and straightforward as possible.

Talk to your children

If you are moving overseas for a job, to be closer to family and friends or even because you are after a change, there’s no harm in taking time to talk to your children. Once you begin talking to your kids, you can find out just which aspects of moving make them anxious or upset. If they have to change schools, they may find the thought of change upsetting or stressful. While younger kids will find it hard to digest the idea that they are changing bedrooms. In the run up to your move, make sure that you mention your relocation regularly, and provide your kids with the opportunities to have a calm and adult discussion. Encourage them to voice any concerns, and make sure that they participate in any plans that you have for your new home – from choosing wallpaper and paint, to deciding which family member has each room.

Plan to perfection

As any parent knows, any activity involving small children requires even more planning and preparation than usual. When you are moving with small children, make sure that you write a list or put a removal plan in place, so that you can tick off all the tasks that need completing. Make sure that you pack everything in order, so that you aren’t left needing an item before you even move.

If you think that having your kids around on removal day will be far too difficult to manage, then be sure to book any childcare well in advance. The combination of small children and removal men will not make for a positive experience for all involved, especially if you choose a company that is less professional. Take time when researching your removal firm, and obtain up to three quotes to make sure that you know exactly what is included in their services. If you are relocating overseas or moving a long distance, then you could also consider getting help when packing too, to keep all your furniture and decorative items protected. Check out websites such as if you are after more information and are ready to begin planning your move.

Get the kids involved

Now you’ve taken time to talk to your kids about your move, and have got your planning well underway, you can begin to actively get your kids involved in your moving process. You could begin, by getting them to sort through any toys or books that they no longer use or read, and organise a car boot sale or a charity donation. Next, help your kids begin their packing.  Decide which items need bubble wrap or some extra padding, and help your children assemble and pack their own boxes.

Older kids and teenagers express worry or anxiety in different ways, so it’s crucial that you make moving to a new house a positive experience for your older children too. If they want to help the removal men, then encourage them to get involved, providing that they listen to instructions and are extra careful. You could also ask them to help you write your removal plan, so that they feel like their opinion and input matters.  Finally, if you can’t sort a babysitter, then ask them to look after your younger kids on removal day. This will make them feel like they are being treated as a responsible adult, and validate any doubts that they had in their mind about moving.

Address any upset

Moving to a new house can be an upsetting and trying time for all family members, so it’s important that you address any conflictive or upset emotions. Make sure that you address the issue of change, and don’t shy away from having any awkward conversations. If you are moving to a new house because of divorce or a separation, then it’s essential that you address the changes and emotions that your kids are going through. Make sure that you don’t take sides, and try to remain open and unbiased as to how your kids are feeling. Chances are they will be finding it difficult with a mixture of guilt and upset, in addition to the fact that they are soon moving home for reasons beyond their control. It’s crucial that you address any upsets as soon as your kids start to demonstrate that they aren’t happy, before these escalate into more serious issues.

Moving home can be a stressful and scary time for adults, so just imagine what it is like if you are a child. All that packing and organisation, not to mention the fear of what awaits you at your new address can sometimes turn your excitement into anxiety and nerves. However, when you are moving to a new house with children then you need to make sure that they remain your priority even before you move. Get your children involved in any preparations for the big day, and make sure that you offer them the chance to have frank and candid discussions to talk through how they feel. Be sure to arrange a babysitter for younger kids, so that they don’t cause extra stress on the day, or give your older children more responsibility. Now you can enjoy this new chapter of your life with your entire family, safe in the knowledge that your kids are happy and healthy in their new home.



Celebrating the Taste of Christmas with AEG

It's always exciting when the festive season begins. It seems to get earlier and earlier.... our tree and decorations went up towards the end of November and I'm not in the slightest bit sorry! Time goes by so fast these days and the kids absolutely love the lead up to Christmas so my thoughts are.. let's make the most of it and enjoy it for as long as we can! (It was also our only free weekend for a while so had to really!)

I love all the Christmas foods. Those delightfully packaged party foods and the fun festive cakes... it all looks so inviting! I start buying it as soon as I see it all in the shops!

I don't consider myself to be a very good cook but when I have the time, it's lovely and satisfying to make something really good, fresh from scratch! Wish I made the effort to make new things more.... I tend to make the same meals over and over, in rotation, because I always feel I'm too busy to spend hours in the kitchen trying out new recipes. The kids usually don't like whatever I've created anyway when I have made the effort... so it's often pointless!

That's why when I received an invite to the AEG Taste of Xmas event with Currys PC World, I was very excited! It was taking place at The Cookery in Hoddesdon and we were going to make some Christmas treats and eat lots more! I was hoping to pick up plenty of hints and tips about Christmas cooking to put into practice at home this year!

aeg taste of xmas christmas cooking

The Cookery is a fantastic, purpose built cookery school in Hertfordshire which you can book for individual or group cookery lessons, parties or work do's.. they even do kids cookery lessons! It's also open as a coffee shop during the day and days when there are no events planned. It's a gorgeous space, not too big or clinical as industrial kitchen areas can sometimes be, but very welcoming and cosy.

the cookery hoddesdon aeg teaste of xmas christmas food

The most striking feature of the space was the wall of AEG ovens! There were LOADS.... all looking very sleek and modern. Each one seemed different to the next, with different features within to provide the best environment for cooking up the most delicious feasts! When I walked in, seeing all the Christmas decorations and smelling all those delicious aromas from the food that was already in the ovens... I knew I was going to have a fab day!

aeg ovens taste of xmas christmas food


aeg taste of xmas christmas cookery mummy matters

After a glass of prosecco (don't mind if I do!) and some chit chat with Sabina here from Mummy Matters, the owner of The Cookery and our host for the day, Simon Atkins came over to mingle with everyone before announcing what we were going to doing! Simon has always loved food and started baking at the age of 14. Over the years he has worked with some great people and he has always had a burning desire to open a cookery school to allow the ordinary person to come in, learn and enjoy, and also to take away skills that will help them, their families and could very well be passed down through their children.

aeg taste of xmas Christmas the cookery

First up, we would be making a Vegetable Wellington! Simon gave us a demonstration and was very technically informative, explaining exactly how to put it together step by step. The vegetables were already pre soaked so the main thing to worry about was the filo pastry... eek!

vegetable wellington cooking

So off we went to our designated work stations, put on our aprons and, in my case, attempted to put together our starters!

aeg taste of xmas

aeg taste of xmas food vegetable wellington

I have to admit to finding the filo pastry tricky to work with as it dries very quickly and flakes off all over the place! Luckily Simon was on hand to give me some reassurance that this was fine, then it was oven time! The AEG ovens are really quite something, there's the Steamboost.. did you know that steaming your roast meat improves flavour and texture while preserving crispiness – turning every meal into a masterpiece? There's the Sensecook Ovens that understand how to cook your meal to perfection... how YOU like it! A bit clever me thinks! Or how about the Surroundcook? No need to turn around your dishes anymore! Or maybe you'd like a combination of all three? It's a whole new world of supersonic cooking.

aeg ovens cooking

Here's my finished vegetable wellington which I have to say was absolutely delicious.... I barely had enough time to photograph it.. I couldn't wait to eat it! Served with a flavourful jus made from red wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and butter. Mmmm!

aeg taste of xmas food christmas

While the wellington was cooking, we were treated to another demonstration by Angela Vescuso, who has a wealth of experience which she brings to The Cookery School. She talked us through making the perfect pastry! For mince pies!

the cookery school aeg

Some tips included adding salt.. this balances out the flavours; using strong flour for dusting your work surfaces when rolling as it doesn't clump as much; not adding too much flour to the surface as this causes the pastry to become too dry and split! Once the pastry has been chilling in the fridge for a while, leave it rise to room temperature before rolling. About 3mm is a good thickness and don't over fill your mince pies!

Here are mine pre cooking...... I was rather pleased with them!

aeg taste of xmas mince pies christmas

So we made the starter and dessert, all that was left was the mains. This was already prepared for us by the team at The Cookery so our job here was to EAT it! It's a tough job I know 😉 Simon shared with us some more of his wealth of knowledge about cooking meat to perfection before retrieving the meats, beef and turkey, from the ovens which were cooked to perfection I might add. He then carved them up for us as we went round with our plates, like being at a Carvery!

aeg christmas dinner food the cookery hoddesdon

christmas dinner

It was all absolutely delicious! I love Christmas dinner, I really look forward to it! This year we will be going to my mother in laws as we have done for the past few years. My plate is usually overflowing and it's the one day a year I think we can all just pig out.... and eat all day! I drive up to my Dad's for the week after Christmas to see in the new year with him and we have a second Christmas dinner there! Love it!

Sitting down to a full on Christmas dinner in November, some of which I made myself, in this lovely setting with a lovely bunch of people, really did kick the festive season off in the best possible way! I had a fantastic time and would recommend The Cookery to anyone! I'd love to try out one of their one day courses at some point in the future... maybe take along the kids as they would really enjoy it too!

Thank you to everyone at AEG And Curry's PC World for a wonderful day!


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Why You Should Take Your Kids for a Health Check

It’s easy for issues such as poor eyesight, aches, pains and ailments to go unnoticed in your children, as they won’t often tell you themselves. If something is wrong with your child’s overall health, it may not get picked up during a routine trip to your GP or nurse, so you must keep vigilant to any changes in behaviour that may indicate that something else is going on. Schools and nurseries are rife with bugs and germs at this time of year, so it’s best to try and keep aware of what illnesses are doing the rounds if their classmates are sick and unwell. If you think that something is wrong with your child, then don’t delay in making them an appointment with the relevant health care provider.

 Book a trip to the opticians

There are a range of signs that you should look out for if you think that your child is having sight related problems. If they are blinking or squinting, or if one eye is looking upwards or in a different direction to the other, then this is a clear sign that something isn’t quite right.

Other signs could be that your child is sitting incredibly close to the TV, rather than remaining on the sofa where they usually sit. Do check in with your child’s teachers if their school report is slightly under par, or perhaps they have noticed some strange or unusual behaviour – often a drop in the standard of schoolwork can be attributed to them not being able to see the whiteboard adequately. It’s important that you tell your little ones exactly what to expect before their appointment. All Eyes are an Optician in Cambridge who will make your children feel welcome and excited about their eye test as soon as they begin their visit. Why not talk to children about their favourite characters, such as Harry Potter, who wears glasses, and explain to them that they will soon be too. Make this as fun and light hearted an experience as possible.

Visiting the doctors

Visiting the doctors might be scary or daunting thought for your child, so it’s important that you make them feel as relaxed and safe as possible. My twins used to be petrified of the Doctor and would never let him/her listen to their chests or check anything! It was always forced and incredibly difficult. Explaining that they are visiting the doctor to help them feel better sometimes helps. Most children hate having injections, or their temperature taken, so try to keep your little one as calm and relaxed as possible during any examinations. You can reward them afterwards with a treat or healthy snack, so that they associate any further trips with a pleasant experience.

A trip to the dentist

Most children, and adults, hate visiting the dentist. So be prepared for distress, tears and tantrums before you’ve even got them out of the car! Teething and the loss of milk teeth can be an incredibly painful experience for younger children, so make sure that they understand the dentist is here to help them. Once they are at the dental surgery, you can get your child to interact with their dentist, by counting the number of teeth that they have lost, or are yet to lose. Make sure that the visit to see the dentist remains a positive experience, as hard as this may be. Remind your child that poor oral hygiene will see them have a return visit sooner rather than later – even more of an incentive to ensure that they brush their teeth both morning and evening.

Poor eyesight, toothache and aches and pains make your little ones grumpy and grouchy. Be sure to book them in for a health check if you feel that they need medical attention straight away.

*Collaborative Post



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