Aarrgh a 100 word challenge? But I am have verbal diarrhoea! This is for Save The Children (STC) and their work to end the health worker crisis. I spend a day with STC yesterday and heard about the challenges and problems in places like Sudan and East Africa. Read more about it from Save The Children or from read what other bloggers Mummy From the Heart.

sign the petition, 30 seconds work and a step closer.

Now to the challenge:

Then the challenge set by @HelloItsGemma and I is that we want (need) to see 100 posts of 100 words linked up here by Tuesday. If 100 bloggers each write a post about this and encourage more signatures that could make a massive dent in the 20,000 signature shortfall that we sit with right now!

sign the petition, 30 seconds work and a step closer.

My Feeble 100 words:

Not one health care professional in my life stands out. Hardly surprising… especially here in the UK, where we have access to not one, but TEAMS of healthcare professionals. As a child, I had my tonsils removed. Not one but 10s of people were involved in that process. When I had my children, again I was supported not by one, but 10s of people. I am lucky. I live in a country where there are 1000s who will care for me. There are people out there who never receive ANY medical help. We can help them. We must help them.

sign the petition, 30 seconds work and a step closer.


Now it is your turn… go on. Sign the petition and write your 100 words! You know you want to help, don’t you?

Here we have a fabulously crafty guest post:

Last week I was looking through the RedTed site for holiday ideas, I always start to dread the long summer break around now, kids getting bored, squabbling etc.  It never turns out too bad, I like to have a plan!

thomas cook

But this week my 6 year old son has been off school.  He has coeliac disease, only diagnosed at Easter, and he’s been getting on brilliantly with his new gluten free diet, no problems at all…until last week when he went on a school trip and ate a cornetto (duh).  Mistakes happen and I’m sure we’ll have more along the way, and while he’s been sick enough to stay off school, he’s not quite ill enough to sit about doing nothing all day.

So we made a start on the craft activities.  The Fly Thomas Cook competition to be precise.

You choose a story and use it as inspiration to make something related to it, and you could win some kids travel items.

Zach chose the Ghost Island story and wanted to make a bird picture using coloured feathers, but while looking through the craft cupboard (the one stuffed with crafty bits I buy and rarely get round to using) he found a box of mosaic tiles I bought ages ago.  So this is how we made our entry.

Said box of mosaic tiles, from Lidl of all places

He didn’t want to draw his own bird, he liked the one from the story which is actually a good, simple shape for a mosaic. So he traced it

(yes he is tracing that straight off the computer screen, we don’t have a printer!)

Transferred it to a board

(this is the top of an old camping stool, I think mdf or something completely flat would be better)

He sorted the tiles out by colour and started to lay the outline of the bird, and glued them down with pva.

We made a white border with bathroom tiles, and filled the background in with green.

Grouted the next day, and here is our finished entry!

He is really chuffed and im so surprised how easy mosaic is for children, its just arranging coloured tiles really.  I had to borrow some tile nippers, buy the green tiles and get Grandpa’s help with the grouting, but everything else was pretty straight forward.  I think we’ll even do a few more and put them up along the garden fence.  So thanks for getting us started RedTed, and roll on summer and using up the craft cupboard!

Born To Shine

Yesterday I had the fabulous opportunity to go and see the first show of Born To Shine live!

Born To Shine is an amazing programme created by both Save The Children and ITV – celebrating youth’s talent, celebrities are challenged to learn a new skill and preform – all in aid of Save The Children and raising much needed funds to help children all around the world.

From Save The Children, we hear:


In the world’s poorest countries, 8 million children under five die needlessly every year. They’ll never get the chance to fulfil their potential. Most are killed by illnesses we know how to prevent and treat, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. And every single day, thousands of children face starvation. In 2011, this is totally and utterly wrong. Save the Children already saves thousands of lives across the world, but you can help us save many, many more.


Right here in the UK, too many children don’t get the chance to shine either because they’re born into poverty. Children are going without warm, clean, clothes, a bed of their own or a healthy meal on the table. They have their own hopes and dreams, but often they fall behind before they’re even old enough to start school. We’re helping the UK’s poorest children get a better start in life. Support us and you can help them beat the odds and get their chance to shine. 

Born to Shine aired yesterday and we were treated to tap dancing, rapping and Mozart – as well as a bit of the fabulous dance group – Diversity. It was a wonderful to see all the acts right in front of you – you got to see so much more than the cameras show – as well as get a see the lovely Natasha Kaplinsky. A great line of indeed and certainly a fun way to spend your Sunday evening.

If you missed the first show, make sure you don’t miss next week’s. Check out the acts and cast your votes – and with every vote donate much needed funds to an incredibly important cause.

I also got to meet the lovely Eva from Nixdminx and her daughter. Check out her blog for an interview with Natasha and a *competition* for some tickets to the show!

I usually write at Red Ted Art. Come stop by for lots of craftiness!

Going Potty AGAIN

Remember how about 18mths ago I told you all about our excruciating potty training? Well it was only excruciating as we as parents didn’t really know what to expect. It was a bit of a trauma for US to have to cope with a bit of spilled wee and the odd bit of messy, uhm Nr 2.

Well we are there again. Pip Squeak is almost 20months and way ahead of Red Ted at the same age. So with the sunny weather I decided to GO FOR IT! Day 4 and life is ok… No major incidents YET. But we haven’t really gone very far… fingers crossed she susses Nr 2s soon.

And whilst we are waiting, look what a fab giveaway over at Green Baby:

Win this potty-training kit worth £40We must be potty! FREE with every order in the next 24 hours..our NEW larger size 400ml family Shampoo & Bodywash worth £12.95.

It’s definitely potty-training weather, click here for a chance to win this perfect potty prize worth £40! (we have two ‘kits’ to give away, yay!)  

Plus, LOADS of summer fashion 3 for the price of 2, and up to 50% OFF in our mid-season SALE event too!

Share the fun, do tell your friends about us, please click here to forward this email.

PS… we’d love for you to VOTE FOR US in the Prima Baby Reader awards… click here for a chance to win £250 spends!  

The Green Chain

PriceMinister launched a great new eco-blogging initiative.  The Green Chain enables bloggers to raise money for charity just by taking part in in their eco interview.  For each interview blogged, they will donate £10 to one of three great environmental charities –Surfers Against SewageTrees for Cities and the Young People’s Trust for the Environment.You can also tweet or join the Green Chain Facebook page as well as blogging,PriceMinister will donate an extra £1 for each. You can read all about The Green Chain and how to take part here.

I was tagged Liz over at Me And My Shadow.

Here is my interview, and if you’re also ‘super lucky’ I may have tagged you!

Turning the heating down by just one degree in your house saves 240kg of CO2 a year. It would take eight trees to soak up this amount of CO2! Are you currently doing anything to make your home eco-friendly?

My “favourite” energy saving activity, is to put the all appliciances (Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Breadmachine) on only after 9pm and before 8am. I manage this about 95% of the time.

I also invested in some heavy duty curtains both for the conservatory and the very drafty front door – made a huge difference to the warmth in the house. (Oh and we double glazing too of course). I usually add a layer of clothing rather than turn the heating on.

We don’t have a tumble dryer as I think they are environmentally evil: nature does this for us anyway, so why have one? If in “need” for something to dry quickly, I put it on the radiator.

Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface, now they only cover 2%. How are you reducing your use of paper?

My whole family is on “office paper recycle” alert.. and regularly bring home old paper/ file dividers and presentation covers. We use this for crafting with the children (and for ourselves) and it saves a MASSIVE amount of paper.

I also recycle envelopes, where I can, by sticking a new label over the top.

I try and use everything at least twice in our house!

The majority of cardboard boxes get turned into a recycled craft or a toy in our house!
At PriceMinister we believe that trading second hand items online is a great way to extend the life span of products. Have you ever thought of buying or selling second hand items on or off line?

I use ebay alot both for buying and selling. My children pretty much *only* wear hand me downs (I have some very generous neighbours) and we use freecycle. Both to give and receive.
One of the biggest environmental challenges we face is Freshwater Shortages. Are you taking measures to reduce your water consumption?

We have a make shift water butt in our garden – but we really do need to get  a better one. I bought a water saving dishwasher – which apparently uses less water than I would washing up. Water off when brushing taps. Share a bath with the children (sometimes). Any leftover water (left in our drinking bottles or glasses) I use for the indoor plants. Cooking water (e.g. from boiling potatoes) goes in the compost.

Could be better on this front!

How do you choose the produce that goes into your shopping basket?

Food shopping is probably my weakest point. I am price driven and don’t but as much organic as I should. I am however aware of “modern day” portion sizes and try and reduce the amount of meat we eat.

We also grow some veg and fruit in the garden.

And we use our local milkman for milk!

What is your favourite green space near home? 

Richmond park is wonderful.

Which charity will you support and why?

I’d like to donate to the Young People’s Trust for the Environment a charity which aims to educate and inform youngsters about sustainability.

Please give us the url of a fellow blogger (or bloggers) you would like us to contact to raise an extra £10.

I tag Becky at Babybudgeting

And Jess at Green Families UK

You will find more about me and all my recycled crafts over at Red Ted Art

Oh my word… I almost wish I hadn’t discovered these:  Fruit Yo Yos.

Fruit Nibbles My kids LOVE fruit… but you know what fruit sometimes end ups looking like after it has knocked about in a bag for a few hours: squished and squashed and bruised… and then they don’t want it anymore… or… you either  have an overflowing bowl of fruit or the bowl that is quite empty – never quite the right amount.

So.. these fruit Yo Yos are simply fab. They are fruity. They are delicious and I have to say “they look great” (rather important to kids, I fear).

I wish I hadn’t seen them as I will now be spending a lot of money on them *sigh* 😉

Oh and what is even worse. Not only are they tasty, look good and the kids love them… but you can bake with them!

Ok so this isn’t my photo (ours got eaten and didn’t look *quite* as pretty) but you can make SCONES:

Or.. you can even add it to porridge! Now my lot eat fruit, but they don’t eat their porridge, which they really need for a hard days play.. so these are perfect.

Dear Bear.

Please please please send me a year’s worth of free supplies.

Thank you.


I also write at Red Ted Art

I’m trying to win an iPad 2 in the iSave, iWrite, iPad competition from PlayPennies.com!

Craft with kids is a great way to while away an afternoon. The great thing about crafting is that it can be virtually free… And it teaches your children a great less about seeing the value in things that others see as junk or waste. Your children will enjoy. It will aid their development (imagination, creativity, self esteem, motor skills to name but a few) AND you have just ticked of a day’s activity for very little money…

As you may know I usually write over at Red Ted Art – where I regularly Get Crafty with my 2 young children.

Pirates (sneaky photo)When crafting with children, you can go through A LOT of materials very quickly. I strongly believe that crafting should not be expensive! I love it when we craft with inexpensive materials from around the home – Loo Rolls being a great favourite of mine – they are free and surprisingly versatile. We have made all sorts out of loo rolls, from crowns, to puppets to seedling pots. Your imagination is the limit! I even wrote a whole ebook focussing around the calendar year to help inspire you once a month!

Kids Get Crafty: 5 Little Ducks went Swimming One Day…My other favourite “material”, is crafting “with nature” – go out for a walk, collect some sticks and stones and then come home and make something! Make singing and counting games out of stones like in these stone ducks or simple delight your children with some stick men!

The only things I usually “buy” from the shop, are paints, glue and googly eyes… the rest is salvaged, saved or found out and about and in the home.

And you can get these shop bought items frugal from “poundland” type stores, that sell these end of line items off cheaply.

What have you got “lying around” that you could get crafty with?

“The tots100