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?

There is a wonderfully large and growing British Mummy Blogger community. I first dipped my toe in it a little under a year a go and didn’t have a clue about anything, least of all what a BMB carnival was. I then got rather confused by the fact, that I saw the same carnival appear in lots of different places (I was naive). Anyway… for those of you new to blogging: a blogging carnival is a collection of posts from around the blogging community. Bloggers take it in turn to “host” and write it up. Sometimes the carnivals are themed, sometimes they are not.

Today I am hosting and I decided to loosely theme it around “The Good Life”. Yes yes, that is because this blog is called “The Good Life Bloggers”, but also, because it is nice to stop and share what is good about what one’s way of life… and maybe inspire others to change things or have a go at something new.

So… to the carnival! I grabbed some pics of our lovely ladies too… Isn’t that Good?!

A fabulous way to kick this all off, is a very positive post about Becky over at Baby Budgeting loves about living in Britain. From the NHS (that other’s moan about) to our free libraries, to our parks and even car boot sales!

A slight reverse take is Jade’s post about “What is in that pot“? A great post to help us understand better what lurks in our hand creams and face creams and if indeed you want a good life, what to avoid!

My PhotoEmma from Mummy has a Headache, explores on whether your life is better knowing nice people or not so nice people… mmh. There s indeed an intriguing dilemma to resolve.

Ellen from World of a Mummy shares with us how getting her boys involved in the kitchen makes their lives good! Needless to say there is a lot of mess involved too. But you need to go and take a look and read it for yourselves.

tiddlyompompomOver at Tiddlyompompom we have more kitchen activity with some yummy cake. My favourite line of the whole post is “Silly Mummy”.  Followed by licked off icing… Perfect.

Notes From HomeElla from Notes at Home muses over what their Good Life would be. Judging by the gorgeous photos she posted, where they live is already pretty good, if it were not for the work – life balance issue. Go read more!

My PhotoEmily from Pants With Names, makes me want to say aaaaah and ooooh, nooooooo what do I do now?!?! As we endlessly “debate” whether we are a 2 baby or a 3 baby family (2 at the moment, pondering the third, or not), Emily will tip you towards three… are you ready for that? Then read on!

Nova a Cherished By Me shares the joys of being together as a family – keeping this simple, but happy and good!

Ipshita at Mini Edition writes a fab post about their good life with lots of great links – including Apple Chutney and my favourite “Toddler Crafty”. Yay, life in my books, is good when you can get crafty.  Don’t forget to share all your crafts on my weekly Kids Get Crafty, over at Red Ted Art!!

Cass from Frugal Family shares a giggle with “No Secs in this house“… You have to read it to believe it! As well as some more fab kids’ quotes!

profileKate from the Fives F Blog really hasn’t been her cheery self these last few weeks. Something about January does this to her. But she knows what the Good Life is about and puts it behind her.

Coming soon, Georgie bird sewing kitsRuth from Summerland made some monsters out old PJs, now if this isn’t the good life, I don’t know what is: some recycling, some crafting, some cuddly fun!

Kelly from Domestic Godd-esque shares with us her fabulous list of things that make her life good… and touches on the origins of this blog’s name – an 80s (?) series called “The Good Life”. I am definitely a Barbara and The Englishman a Gerry.. Visit Kelly and find out what they are and what makes them happy!

Pippa at A Mother’s Ramblings shares a lovely post on the things that make their life good – it includes some great links to good food recipes, some great friends, a good marriage and faith. A fabulous good life round up!

Peg shares with us the journeys they take on their Narrow Boat home. Now that is something I have always been intrigued by – what IS life on a narrow boat like? Where are your roots and your home? For Peg, the place of her girls’ birth is key.

us1Rachelle from the Little Green Blog shares her wonderful thoughts on the pains of growing up -both for the child and the parent, reminding us to be patient, love unconditionally and cherish those wonderful close moments (e.g snuggling up together in a nest made of pillows after a DVD).

Michelle from Mummy At The Heart recounts why her life is so good: she has the perfect work – life balance, having her cake and eating it! However, she makes a very good point about making your own luck – and that having a  postivie attitude can make things better.

As you know my “main” blog is Red Ted Art, where I spend lots of time doing crafty things with my children. Although, there are many things that contribute to my Good Life (including attempts to grow veg and look after some chickens), the crafty stuff is making us very happy: for us (!) it is a win win situation: the kids love it and I love it. Can’t say fairer than that and my weekly schedule is the incentive to regularly Get Crafty.

And here is a sneaky addition (sneaky, as she has been too sick this week to submit anything, so I am doing it for her): Chris from Thinly Spread – to me here WHOLE BLOG is about the good life that she shares with her wonderful family of 6. Visit her blog for some great recipes, some lovely crafts, some gorgeous photos or just a “chat”.

Is being held on The Good Life Bloggers! Yay!

So don’t forget to send me your fab posts for 1st Feb 2011 by Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 – to info (@) redtedart (dot) com

Also, there is a THEME: the theme is all about “The Good Life” – what makes your family life good?! Is it, good food, is it lots of play, is it the great outdoors? is it being green? Or is it getting crafty?

I would love to hear all the lovely good things!

Look forward to your posts!


Ali blogs: Ah, I’ve been nagged for AGES to invest in some of that “stuff I can stick my hand in to make a little model” by my youngest one. This is due the fact that when he was very weeny, he DROPPED the little cast we made of his hand, and the fingers broke off… being the sentimental type (both of us) we kept the broken hand….

So finally, I tracked some down on a fab art supplies website, and we set about making A MESS in the kitchen.

Tip: get him to wear a long sleeved bib – it goes everywhere!

We used the bag which came with the box of ‘stuff’ and he tried out a few positions with his hand in the bag, then we mixed the ‘pink stuff’ . Slight gender alert from small boy: “will it turn out pink mummy?”

And had to act quickly, poured it into the bag, and he loved sinking his fingers into the gooey pink mixture, it dried out SO quickly, but he managed to keep his hand still for a good minute (amazingly).

Then gently wiggled his fingers and released his hand from the mould (as the ‘pink stuff’ had become).

Next we mixed the plaster with water, and poured it into the mould – I’d say be careful here, as we had a couple of holes which we had to plug with a bit of blue tack (it still leaked a bit, so we sort of leaned the mould against the kettle!)

We then……..waited……..24 hours (a long time when you are little or an impatient @incredibusymum)

And thoroughly enjoyed gently removing little plaster cast model of my ‘baby’s hand’ from the the pink mould.


Linking with this week’s Kids Get Crafty over at Red Ted Art.

“The tots100