Archive for Mum Stuff

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Crabtree and Evelyn Gift SetWith Mother’s Day just a few weeks away, Laura Mason aka Laura Loves, has come up with some great Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for us and you…….

Mother’s Day is an opportune time to show just how much you appreciate the mother figures in your life.  While recognition doesn’t just need to be limited to the one special day, I personally take the occasion to make my mum feel special.  Take a look at some of the following gifts that I think would be lovely presents for mummies-to-be, mothers or girlfriends….

Mum's NotesThe Mum’s Notes journal is a stunning book available in a blackberry, raspberry, silver or peppermint shade with reptile-effect hardback cover.  This striking journal is carefully designed to record thoughts, daydreams, inspirations, words to remember, you name it.  A great keepsake for treasured memories.  Priced £12.95 from

Because mothers are the often the queen of hearts, the sentiment of Whittard’s Queen of Hearts biscuits is a genuinely adorable gift from one to another.  At just a fiver it’s a great gift for children to spend their pocket money.  Priced £5 from Whittards.

Protecting your phone is a key necessity whatever your kids or your age.  Proporta recently released the Ted Baker Audio SS15 Ted Baker iPhone Covercollection, meaning an iPad and iPhone can look stylish in a funky new case wile having the practicality of leaving it safe and protected from little hands.  Prices start from £24.95 from

Photobox has so many customisable gifts featuring images of your choice.  The personalised ‘Mum Book’ is an amazing gift that can bring to life the thanks for all the wonderful things they do.  It’s simple to do and can be treasured forever.  The books start from £16.99 with a range of finishes from

Foot SpaGive mum’s feet a break with the Elle Macpherson Aromatherapy Foot Spa.  Mood boosting LED lighting along with aromatherapy mist and oils make this the ultimate luxury when it comes to foot therapy. The innovative design allows for both integrated hydro and vibration massagers and acu-pressure nodes that stimulate reflexology points.  Priced £74.99 from

For a Mother’s Day gift with a difference the Lumie Bodyclock Starter could be the best gift a mum will ever receive!  It is a clever clock that helps sleep deprived mums to get back into a regular sleeping routine with the introduction to waking with light.  It’s a medical device clinically proven to promote a better sleep Photobox Photobookso once baby is in a routine it should improve mum’s sleep quality allowing her to wake brighter and feel more energised and productive throughout the day.  Priced £59.95 from

For time out for a new mum at home, the MamaBabyBliss Pamperng Gift Bag contains a few small essentials to help restore some inner peace.  The set comes with ‘Ooh…’ – a lush healing bath soak, ‘Bliss Stick…Uplifting Oil’ designed to give mums an instant boost, ‘Aaah…Soothing Mummy Baby Balm’, a natural rescue balm for mum and baby and a little book of hints and tips to help relax.  Priced £22.50 from

Many parents will be able to relate to the ever so popular Peppa Pig TV programme.   The good news is the merchandise doesn’t stop at little ones and with a wide range of Mummy Pig gifts you Best Mum Hamperare spoilt for choice.  The Mummy Pig ‘Mum in a Million’ Socks are a nice discreet nod to the pig family!  Priced a great value £2.50 from Asda.

For a thoughtful gift of the chocolate variety the Best Mum Chocolate Hamper from Bath chocolatiers, Choc on Choc, is a must. This decadent hamper features a selection of finest Belgium boxes of chocolate including a ‘Best Mum’ pack as well as a selection of strawberry champagne truffles and the brand’s best-selling flower, cupcake and vintage teacup designs.  Priced £24 from

The Rose Tree Organic Relaxing Gift Set is a beautifully presented gift in a stunning box containing an organic hand poured candle and a bath treatment oil.  The brand specialises in luxurious all natural skincare products jam-packed with nurturing vitamins.   The luxury candles are made from 100% pure vegetable Rose Tree Organic Gift Setwax and are scented with pure essential oils and the uber indulgent bath treatment oil leaves skin subtly scented and silky soft, made with 98% organic ingredients.   The set is priced £50 from

There’s something special about personalising a gift so for a wide range of jewellery Love Silver has a choice of silver and gold items including pendants, key rings, initials, bracelets that can be adapted by their tem of craftsmen with a name or special message.  Prices start from £9.99 from

For anyone that craves some organisation within their crazy lives, British designer Victoria Green has some fabulous bags bursting with compartments and practical features.  The Love Hearts Traveller bag features vibrant red hearts for mums to wear with pride and comes with two roomy compartments, one for mum’s stuff and another for their child’s.  Priced £14.99 from Debenhams.

Being a mother is a celebration every day so share a toast with a glass of the finest Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne.  This delicious rosé is produced under a meticulous process called maceration, whereby it is aged for at least four years in the LaLaurent Perrier Cuvee Roseurent-Perrier cellars, creating a mature and fine Champagne.  Priced £42 from

Sometime as a mum you struggle to get out the house for your weekly shop let alone your nails so a nice DIY pick me up is the Rokit Gel Polish Professional Kit.  The gel manicure kit provides a salon quality without the effort with a one step process to ensure shiny nails that last up to 14 days.  Priced £99.99 from Debenhams.

A really lovely gift is the new Crabtree and Evelyn Pear & Pink Magnolia Luxury Fragrance Gift Set.  This indulgent gift offers a selection of travel-sized fruity and floral fragrance Pear & Pink Magnolia treats, perfect for a pampering.  Priced 25 from Crabtree & Evelyn.

Mum to 2 Under 3 and just finished maternity leave, Laura is a journalist and Mum. She enjoys reviewing products with her children, exploring new trends and more importantly, life as a mummy. ‘Continuously trying to get a ‘grip’ of motherhood and back to a size 10!’

Returning To Work After Having A Baby

mother and babyReturning to work after having a baby brings with it an abundance of feelings.  An emotional cocktail of excitement, liberation and energy merged with feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, guilt and fear!  You still want a career but you need flexibility; everything has changed, someone new has entered your life and frankly, they come first.

The truth is, change can be scary; but it is vital to remind yourself that the physical, mental and emotional change your body has gone through doesn’t suddenly mean that you have lost your motivation, capability and career experience. Quite the reverse, your motivation as a working mother is arguably stronger than before because you have made the conscious choice to combine motherhood with a career.

Becoming a mother is the most natural and important job on the planet.  But mothers and employers need to appreciate that they have, and are gaining skills respectively, they have not lost them.  Becoming a mother means that you are now richer and more Mum drinking coffeefulfilled as an individual and many of the skills you have developed in becoming a mother and those you will gain as you continue in your motherhood journey, can be effectively translated to the work place which is great news for your employer too.

There is clearly a great deal of dedication and commitment from mothers who want to work, they have made a conscious decision to juggle a career with their home life (whether that means working part-time or more flexibly) and they will put their life and soul into making that work.

But it does mean that you need to be really organised if you want to blend your home and work life together in a manageable way. Try breaking your day down into focused blocks of time.  Split these chunks of time into things you need to do for your career and those you need to focus your energies on as a ‘mother’.  It’s all about finding a way that works for you and your family.

What is fundamental when you are juggling work and motherhood is that your home is running smoothly.  So if you have taken time off to have a child don’t leave it to the last minute to sort out your childcare, instead make that investment and get those arrangements made at least two weeks before you return to work so that both you and your child are established in your new routine. That way you won’t return to work with a heavy heart but with one full of enthusiasm, safe in the knowledge that you are leaving behind a happy home.


Juliet Turnbull from


Hire Expectations – Maternity Wear Rental

Hire ExpectationsYou’re pregnant! Having a baby is a wonderful time in any woman’s life but it can also be a daunting time. Added to all the physical changes in your body is the problem what to wear for the last 6 months when the bump gets bigger! I absolutely understand that many of you don’t really want to spend a small fortune on specialised maternity clothes that only last for such a short time.

I would recommend a selection of items that are your ‘must haves’ for this time which you can easily pick up from any of our great high street stores. All the garments I have selected will keep you looking modern and fresh during your pregnancy;

How To Style Your Bump!

Remember one thing…..your body needs structure to give it shape, wearing baggy will only make the area appear larger than it is – it’s all about the shape & style.

  • Don’t shy away from bold colours & print when you are pregnant
  • Maxi dresses are super for any mum to be and will continue to work for you after the baby is born, use them for daytime and evening looks.
  • A longer length jacket will accommodate your bump. Any single breasted or boyfriend blazer jacket with a low cut neckline will give the illusion of a longer, slimmer body
  • The empire line will work brilliantly both in tops and dresses. It will be tight under the bust then drapes over your tummy
  • Do buy a couple of pieces with an elasticated waist – these will not only bring you comfort but will look super teamed with an empire line tunic

As an Award Winning Fashion stylist, I wanted to be able to take the worry away from pregnant ladies and offer them the opportunity to look amazing for occasions such as Birthdays, Christmas, Christenings and other major events……..Hire Expectations was born in May!

Hire Expectations is where you can rent both Maternity & Breastfeeding dresses perfect for special occasions! So why buy when you can rent?

  • Hire a dress for 5 or 10 days
  • Choose a back-up size for free
  • Dresses available in sizes 6 to 16
  • We take care of the cleaning

We stock fabulous brands such as Isabella Oliver, Keungzai, Crave, Butter by Nadia, Sweet Belly Couture and Picchu.


Lisa Talbot of


Happy Birthday Prince George

Woah – time doesn’t half fly! Can you believe that Prince George is nearly a year old already?! Yup, the most famous toddler in the world will be celebrating his 1st Birthday on July 22nd. It really doesn’t seem five minutes since the world and his wife took up residence outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital ready to pap anyone and everyone who went in and out. Really they were there for the ‘big announcement’ but ‘cabin fever’ took hold and the reporters from around the world took to spouting all manner of royal pregnancy ‘trivia’ to fill airtime. And do you know what……… even the most cynical republicans amongst us rather enjoyed it.

When Prince George was born at a whopping 8lbs 6oz he was pronounced, one of the heaviest royal babies in history. Apparently there were more than 25,000 tweets per minute about the royal baby’s birth and then we waited with baited breath for the royal baby name announcement . When it came, we were a tad surprised by how traditional it was. Yes, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge sounds like a fine name for a future king but it would have been nice to have had a more modern name in there somewhere. Nothing way out, just something a bit more contemporary? Clarence House’s official tweet announcing George’s name was retweeted over 18,000 times. The infographic below has plenty of fun trivia facts about George’s birth!

Prince George infographic

Apparently, as you can see, William and Kate have given poor Prince George the nickname PG Tips because of his initials. Good to see they have a sense of humour! A quality which they needed when they took George on their recent royal visit to Australia. After throwing his wombat gift on the floor and snatching another child’s toy in a playgroup visit, George certainly tested his parents’ patience. Instead of stressing they took it all in their stride and laughed it off.

Prince George, Catherine and William have had a heck of a year with many significant milestones passing without comment. Has George started walking yet? We don’t know but we do know he’s well on the way.

The one question we’re all asking now, is when will Prince George have a baby brother or sister? Will 2015 be another royal summer? Oh and …… Happy Birthday Prince George!

The Benefits of Perinatal Yoga

Yoga Stretching WomanIt doesn’t matter whether you’re completely new to yoga or have been practicing for years, pregnancy is the perfect time to start.

Earlier this month academics from Newcastle and Manchester Universities found that pregnant women who attended a yoga class every week for eight weeks experienced less anxiety compared to those who received normal antenatal treatment, with a single yoga class during pregnancy having the potential to cut anxiety to mothers-to-be by a third! Perinatal yoga carries so many health benefits for both you and your child. It is so much more than your usual gym class… it’s a training in deep relaxation and preparation for birth and motherhood. Founder of YogaBellies, Cheryl MacDonald, tell us about the benefits of perinatal yoga.

Perinatal Yoga

– Yoga plays an important role in the actual birth of your child. After practicing for up to eight weeks your body is stronger and has more flexibility which helps you adapt to various positions when in labour. You will find that your ligaments are more elastic which can reduce labour pains.

Woman Yoga-When we practice yoga, the love hormone, Oxytocin is released. Oxytocin’s main functions include preparing the female body for childbirth, stimulating milk production so that the baby can nurse, and encouraging the bond between the mum and her new-born baby. Deep breathing and stretching warms the body and allows us to release further oxytocin. By taking the body through the practice of yoga, we warm the muscles and joints, making the physical body more comfortable and relaxed. By continuing the practice with savasana (deep relaxation) and meditation, we encourage the production of oxytocin even further.

-Yoga asana (stretching exercises) relieves aches and pains which are common in pregnancy as well as promoting the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body to relax the mother’s body and mind. Posture can be a problem during pregnancy as your pelvis shifts forward as a response to the increased weight of the growing bump but yoga postures will help your abdominal muscles strengthen and make you stand tall!

-Pregnancy and birth also shifts the position of the internal and digestive organs, causing problems with digestion such as indigestion, trapped wind and flatulence. Yoga can help to restore healthy digestion and ease any discomfort.

Yoga Bellies logo– The pelvic floor muscles are there to support your baby during pregnancy and the vital reproductive organs. Practising yoga in pregnancy or at any other time can strengthen the pelvic muscles and help with supporting this extra weight. Even more important is continuing yoga after childbirth to help rebuild the pelvic floor and prevent from further health problems such as lower back pain or incontinence.

–  Breathing is not something we tend to think about day to day, it’s a natural function of the body. But during yoga it’s beneficial to focus on every single breath. By practicing deep breaths you learn to breathe to your belly, which effectively means you are using the abdominals to breathe and using your diaphragm and ribs to breathe. Learning to breathe properly and make effective use of breathing techniques can calm the mind, body and soul, even in frightening or high-stress situations such as childbirth.

by Cheryl MacDonald, who specialises in perinatal yoga and natural birth preparation classes with Yoga Bellies

Birth Trauma

baby being bornMy Birth Trauma Story by Jennie Harrison

There have been several articles published recently by midwives on the pressure that they are facing and what it means to the health of Mums and their Little Ones.

There is a huge staff shortage with no budget for more midwives and there is also a fear of litigation, which creates a system focused on reducing costs rather than the best outcome for Mum and her baby. Lots of women give birth with absolutely no complications and a straightforward, healthy birth is possible for most women. However for some this system will impact on both them and their baby as this defensive practice can lead to intervention after intervention and result in a traumatic birth.

When a birth becomes prolonged or more complicated, the stress on both Mum and Little One is increased and can affect sleep and anxiety levels. As a Mum you don’t have time to process this experience as you are thrust into the most amazingly exhausting time of your life, so the fear, guilt, sadness, newborn babyanxiety get tucked away only to come back and haunt us later. Little Ones are the same, they can’t process what they’ve just been through and this can cause anxiety and sleep issues, again for years to come.

I experienced a traumatic birth with my little boy, so I understand how it feels. I had a textbook pregnancy and felt very calm about the birth. I had planned a water birth with gentle music, dimmed lights and very few people there. Due to a cascade of intervention in hospital we ended up with an emergency forceps delivery in theatre, bright lights and 12 people. My stay in hospital was not a good experience and I was happy to get home. Although I was elated and being a mum came very naturally to me, I couldn’t ignore the underlying anxiety, flash backs and panic attacks that I experienced. I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), although according to my doctor I was just an anxious Mum that needed to get out without my baby. I was lucky that I had trained as a Reiki Practitioner prior to becoming pregnant, as it was these treatments that eased my anxiety and helped my Little One sleep.

mother and babyI didn’t return to my full time job as I couldn’t leave my little boy and couldn’t have coped with the corporate world. I made the decision to help other mums who had experienced birth trauma and set up my own company. I have since worked with lots of Mums and Little Ones who have experienced a traumatic birth, although this is not the reason they come to me. The majority of Mums I work with approach me because their Little One is not sleeping. Whether they are babies or 6 years old, they are still affected by their birth, still struggle to sleep and normally have some sort of anxiety as well. I help both Mum and Little One to move on from the birth, to feel safe again and to sleep!

“The Mind of Your Newborn Baby” is a fascinating book by Dr David Chamberlain, a psychologist who uses hypnotherapy to resolve trauma. He has found that many adults are still affected by the birth trauma that they experienced and when under hypnosis can recount the whole event. I had read this book so had some understanding about how babies form memories about their birth, however I still felt shocked when 3 months ago my little boy started talking to me about his birth. He is nearly 3 and was toddlerable to tell me how scary it was as well as act out the process of being born. He said he was scared for me and I was scared for him. I used Reiki Treatments, gentle conversation and lots of cuddles to help him move forward from this so that the nightmares have stopped, he is sleeping again and his anxiety has reduced.

Childbirth can have a huge impact in shaping you as a Mum and your baby as a person, but you don’t need to suffer in silence. The anxiety, fear and guilt do not have to stay tucked away and you can feel ‘normal’ again. I know, I’ve lived it and I’ve come through the other side of it.

As for the system that can create this type of experience, I have decided it is time to speak up, to raise awareness and push to change it so that fewer Mums and Little Ones suffer. If you would like to share your experience please take part in my Birth Trauma survey . The more voices we have, the bigger impact can be made.   If you feel you need help to deal with your experience my website is

by Jennie Harrison

What Type of Childcare is Right for Your Family?

baby being fedThere are a lot of different types of childcare out there. When you’re looking for childcare it’s easy to get your head in a spin so what type of childcare is right for your family?

Is a childminder or nursery best for your child? Do you need a full-time or part-time nanny? What type of childcare is right for my family?

Here’s a list of 5 different types of childcare, which can make your life much easier. Once you have figured out what is right for you, you can find your perfect care solution at

A Mother’s Help

You’re not going crazy, you just need a quiet cup of coffee and five minutes in the bathroom without a little one screaming through the door that she needs you now. nanny with babyStay-at-home parents can sometimes feel uneasy about hiring someone to help around the house, but needing a helping hand doesn’t mean you lose the “Super Mum” title — it just means you know when to take a breather from those ever-energetic kids! A mother’s help usually plays with your child when you’re in the house. Depending on your requirements a mother’s help can also do some housekeeping and cleaning. Having a trusted mother’s help will relieve you for a few hours a week. Meaning you get some uninterrupted time to get work done, cook dinner or read an actual book.


A babysitter is something that every parent should have in their arsenal. Whether you ask one to watch your children while you run errands or go on a date night with your partner, babysitters make your life run smoothly. Babysitters will play with your kids, feed them and even handle bedtime. They’re great for a few short hours when you need a break. Lots of families hire younger babysitters to fill this role. Look for someone with the age and maturity to do the things you need. Will they be making dinner and putting your kids to bed, or will the kids already be asleep and the babysitter just has to sit in the house while you go out for the evening?

Full-Time Nanny

Nannies can be particularly helpful to working parents. They care for and entertain babysitter and babyyour child all day while you’re gone. Parents who work from home often rely on nannies just to get a full day’s work in. While balancing work and kids in the home may sound good in the beginning, anyone who has tried to compose a simple email with kids underfoot knows it can be counterproductive. This shouldn’t be a source of guilt. Nannies are career childcare professionals who can be depended on every day. Nannies are different from babysitters because they watch your kids for longer periods of time and are more involved with their development and education. For help understanding your responsibilities when employing a nanny, visit Nannytax.

Part-Time Nanny

Sometimes you need someone who is a mix of babysitter and nanny. That’s where part-time nannies come in. Maybe you need someone to watch your children for a few hours every day during the gap between when school finishes and you come home from work. Maybe you need someone to watch your children all day when baby girl sucking thumbthey are on school holiday for a week — but you can’t take a week off work. Babysitters aren’t the best option because you want someone who is more hands-on with your children and is trained in childcare. And you don’t need a full-time nanny who will watch them all day. So post a job for a part-time nanny and get someone who fits what you need.

Backup Sitter

You’re lucky enough to have a reliable, you-can-always-count-on-me babysitter, nanny or daycare provider, but what happens when your unfailing caregiver….well, fails? They’re only human, which means sometimes your babysitter will fall ill, go on holiday or have a date night of their own when you really need them. And if your little one goes to nursery or a childminder, there’s that always-looming chance your child could get a temperature — and have to stay at home. So it’s always a good idea to have someone trustworthy you can call in case your usual helper can’t watch the children for one reason or another.

Article provided by

Taking Care of New Mums after Giving Birth

Having a baby is the most wonderful time in a young woman’s life, a time of joy, and love and new beginnings. That’s what every young girl is told anyway; the constant tiredness, the aches and pains and the endless poo are not mentioned at all!

Mum with babyAnyone dealing with a new mums can do a lot to help them at this stressful and, yes, magical time.

First of all it must be accepted that there is a major change in the home dynamic; a couple has become a family and this can cause ripples throughout the infrastructure of the home. Even the most timid and reticent of us may well become vociferous defending our child’s well-being. Couples-time falls away in favour of the many activities that go into keeping a baby happy, healthy and well-fed, and this can cause a strain on even the strongest partnership if it is allowed to. For at least the first six weeks, and possibly longer, a partner should not even hint at the resumption of a sex life – apart from the extreme tiredness and stress of being responsible for a brand new life, physically intercourse will be too uncomfortable to contemplate for a while for most new mums, but many supportive hugs will be gratefully received. Partners should also be prepared for changes when play does resume – babies do leave their mark on the –ahem – exit! To help with this the new mum should be encouraged to resume gentle exercise as soon as she feels able. Pelvic floor exercises can help everything ease back into place smoothly, and taking up a gentle routine will encourage the flow of endorphins which will counteract mood swings, as well as providing the obvious health benefits of an exercise regime.

New mums should always be treated with respect. Even if there are mood swings, tears and slammed doors never blame it on her hormones, or treat her as though she is dim-witted. Mothers-in-law and older sisters or even friends who already have babies just love to give advice. While absolutely fine in its place (it can occasionally be very useful, indeed) sometimes the flow of information washing over a young mother can overload her; especially if it conflicts with thoughts and customs that she holds dear. Circumcision, baptism, even something as trivial as the correct way to wrap baby for a feed, all of these can become points of contention if so permitted. All third parties must realise that decisions to be made about the babies health, future and upbringing will be made by the baby’s parents and no-one else. In-laws especially must take a step back, and allow their children to make the best decisions for the grandchildren without interference.

Baby BrainAll mums will become acquainted with ‘baby brain’ – the slowness of thought, almost dull-wittedness common to all new mums. While completely normal this can knock a woman’s confidence quite badly and she may need plenty of reassurance that she is still beautiful and attractive, even though her libido has gone on holiday for the duration.

Worrying about her appearance is not something a new mum should be doing. Very few women can look after a brand new baby and maintain perfectly made-up faces and well-styled outfits. Mums should be encouraged to not worry about looking perfect, or even about regaining their pre-baby figure too quickly. Assuming that life will snap back into its pre-baby order too quickly is a perfect recipe for depression. Maternity leave, at least six months, should be spent getting to know the baby, not catching up on chores and renovations. Mums should sleep when baby sleeps – she may not get 8 hours in a convenient block, but as long as she naps when the little one does she is likely to clock up a decent number of sleep hours over 24 hours, which will come in handy for getting up for those 3:00am feeds.

New mums need to remember that the bad times (sleepless nights, alarming , smelly nappies, and endless tiredness etc) all pass and that Mum and child will come through it all, knowing each other and ready to enjoy the rest of their lives together. The most important way to support and help a new mum, bearing, as she does, the brunt of this new relationship, is to give her plenty of praise for what she does for the new baby and to stand-by ready to help when she needs it.


About this article: This article has been written by Mary Murphy, the communications manager for Irish based website – Ireland’s largest online community website for mothers with over 100,000 members. The website publishes regular pregnancy advice and guides for mums. Feel free to visit the website and join our happy community!

Preparing for our Family Holiday in France

GB Sticker

We have three young children and were all heading off on our first family holiday abroad.


We thought that choosing a holiday that didn’t entail too much time in the car would be a good idea so France was a logical destination. We thought that a drive, a ferry crossing followed by another drive didn’t seem too bad and would keep the cost down and give us our own transport when we’re there.

I made a list of all main things I would need from passports, tickets, foreign currency and insurance policies. What more would I need besides beach wear, sunscreen & first aid box!

As this is all new to us I decided to look on the internet and was surprised to read the ‘other essential things’ I needed.

So I thought I’d share them with you too:

  • Valid Driving License (both the photo card and paper counterpart)
  • A GB sticker clearly displayed on the back of your car (unless your car has ‘Euro-plates’ – number-plates that show a circle of 12 stars on a blue background)
  • Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your headlights when you’re driving on the right, so your lights don’t dazzle motorists coming the other way)
  • Single Use Breathalysers are obligatory in all motorised vehicles as of 1 July 2012 (Road users are advised to carry at least two breathalysers at all times & kits should complying with French regulations and carrying the “NF” label. Available from Halfords from £3)
  • Carry a Warning Triangle (Compulsory)
  • Reflective Jackets (jacket must be stored in the vehicle not kept in the boot) Non-compliance is a fine able offence

While driving in France, did you also know:

  • Children under 10 can’t travel in the front seat
  • The drink-driving limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – lower than the UK limit of 80mg per 100ml
  • The speed limit is 50kph in towns, 80-100kph on open roads and 110-130kph on motorways
  • It is illegal to cross, even partially, on to the hard shoulder of a motorway without due cause.
  • In built-up areas, if there’s no yellow diamond sign, you must give way to any cars coming out of a side turning on the right
  • In-car radar detectors and satellite navigation systems which warn of the presence of speed cameras or radars are illegal whether in use or not. Their use or possession can attract fines and/or, confiscation of the device and the vehicle.

Bon Voyage  x

Trick or Treating: The Etiquette of…


sure, a bunch of us grown-ups think trick or treating is a cheap and tacky American construct that fosters the inner hooligan in children. i’m here to tell you that you’re soooo wrong. where good manners exist, there is fun to be had in DROVES!!!

i’ll tell you how i do it, shall i?

my little boy and i will be Trick or Treating after school and will only walk down our road (granted, it is a long road lol), but he will have had his tea, will be adorably attired as Buzz Lightyear – i will be the accompanying WitchiePoo [no jokes] and after half hour, we’ll go home and entertain other Trick-or-Treaters at our residence until 8pm. hubby will be at home to put out the decorations before we get back and will be dressed as a ghoul or zombie [again, no jokes lol]. when we get home and check out his sweetie hoard, he’ll only be allowed to keep wrapped sweets (health and safety, and all that)…

Trick or Treating

first off, if a house has NO Halloweeny accoutrements or decorations visible from the front gate, then the residents are NOT INTERESTED in sharing their sweeties. DO NOT KNOCK at that house! if you are lucky enough to find some participating homes, you wait patiently for the door to be answered and say ‘TRICK OR TREAT!’ and then WAIT to be offered sweeties! DO NOT GRAB at the bowl as if you’ve not had dinner! (note: feed your kids and make sure they do toilet before leaving home!)

at the age of 4, our little boy’s a seasoned trick-or-treater and is fully aware of the required etiquette.

so you bitter grumps out there [yes, you!] who prefer to label this day as a day of trouble, think about what you can do to change that. want some suggestions?
try this:

  • don’t open your door to strangers after 8pm – all respectable trick-or-treaters will have finished by then;
  • if you do want to participate but don’t want to spend any money on the day, have a bowl of your old, left-over sweets hanging around the door (just in case)
  • if you DO want trick-or-treaters to knock, give some indication to the non-mindreading public that you HAVE TREATS TO GIVE by putting a sign or a decoration on your door or gate
  • NEVER GIVE MONEY! that’s not fun and it’s not what trick or treating is about!

now, i know you’re wondering about the flip side of the coin. yep, i know you thought you’d got away. no you haven’t. if you come to my door trick or treating and you’re NOT in costume? you’ve wasted your time walking up my garden path. if you appear to be over 16 and have no younger children in costume about you? again, you’ve wasted your time ringing my bell. looking for money? seriously? i think you’ve figured out what my response to that would be!

Happy Halloween and have fun trick-or-treating! muhahahahahahahahaha