H’s party, the groundwork

Well H’s birthday is nearly upon on us and he is heading toward the big 4 and therefore classes himself as a big boy. After a stressful year of relocating my life, I wanted stress free birthday party.  Subsequently, I was pleased to discover that I could order a party pack containing decorations and ready made party bags.  After contacting http://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk, a box arrived containing pre packed party bags, balloons and party banners, described by the company as the  Disney Cars RSN Bumper Party Supplies Pack.  The party bags were really impressive and were suitable for both boys and girls. I saved both time and money this year by ordering the party box, by reducing time spent attempting to anticipate what four year olds wanted in a party bag and spending out for this.  The decorations were also great as it gave the hired soft play room a personal touch for  H who loves cars!. He especially loved the large helium balloon included with the pack. I am aware that some people enjoy arranging  their own party packs and therefore this might not appeal to them, however I have such a manic lifestyle I am sincerely grateful for anything that makes my life easier , and with the added bonus of positive feedback from the “party goers”  I will be definitely purchasing these again!!


Perfect present idea

OK I have just read somewhere that it’s 100 days to Christmas; don’t worry it’s not quite time to panic just yet but it did get me thinking. Maybe this year I will try and buy toys and gifts that the boys could cherish and keep for years to come, instead of something that will be played with for a few days and then stuck in the corner to gather dust.. So here is my first present idea from a local business near me in Devon.

Little Devon chairs is a small family run business – Paul and Lucy, partners in life and business, hand make beautiful personalised children’s chairs. Each one is made with love and care, a proper heirloom and the perfect present for that special little person in your life. Perfectly in proportion, the scaled down seats are made from hand-selected pine wood and upholstered with your choice from a range of fabrics. You can leave them with a natural wooden appeal or they can be painted from a range of contemporary colours – have a look at some of the finished chairs at www.littledevonchairs.co.uk. They’re also exhibiting at the Westpoint Christmas Fayre 2014 , 28th 29th and 30th November if you want to try them out for size!

…..nothing goes to plan!

So, my last post was about taking the plunge and moving back down to Devon… fast forward just two days and the people we were buying from in Exmouth decided not to move on the agreed date (helpful) and decided to stay put for another 2 months (REALLY helpful). We then went back to the people buying out house and they wanted to move in within 2 weeks or else they would pull out of the deal (are you keeping up?). So, it basically left us with one option (well, two if you could homeless as an option)… live with the in-laws for two months. So I spent a somewhat stress-filled two weeks packing up all our stuff in Bristol and putting it all in to storage.

I have decided never to move again after this! Even if we have another child we will be staying put whatever!

So what horror stories have you got about moving? Have you been gazumped? Moved county or country?! I’d love to share the pain!




I haven’t done an ‘H-isms’ post in a while (a series of posts where I share the genius things my 3yo son Harry comes out with) – well, as H gets older his antics seem to get funnier…but a little bit more embarrassing.  Have you ever watched the film ‘Liar Liar’? If you haven’t seen it watch the trailer and you will get a glimpse into my life at the moment. The latest ‘H-ism’ episode happened last night when I was putting him to bed:

H- Daddy, did you leave your jumper on my bed today?

Me – Yes, why?

H – Well if you do it again you won’t be my Father!

Me – I’m always going to be your Father, H

H – Not with me

Me – I will

H- You won’t!

Me. – Um….Ok, I won’t do it again… Night.

It seems I was outwitted again by my 3yo son! In the morning we had another argument as I was trying to explain that O’s middle name is Michael and not chubby chops!

What’s the funniest dis-agreement you have had with your child recently? Am I the only one getting a barrage of ‘why’ questions too at the moment?


What a crazy few months

Hey I’m back!  Well its the middle of the May and this is my first post in ages. Sorry for the silence but thinking have been rather hectic in our world so far in 2014…

It was Christmas and my wife and I were thinking about what to do when she goes back to work (in May). If we stayed in Bristol she would have to go back to work full-time or the other option was to do something crazy and move down to Devon (our home county). We always talked about it; the bonus of help with childcare from our family was a big draw but also the idea of the boys growing up by the sea – you can’t beat it can you?

So, decision made, we put the house on the market and my wife applied for a few roles in Exeter and the plans for a ‘new life’ began. Fast forward a few months and my wife has started a new job in Exeter and the boys are getting ready to start nursery. The only downside for me is that I will have to commute from Devon to Bristol each day but I’m happy to sacrifice a few hours in the car so that the family can have a better way of life.

So what’s the craziest plan you have ever had?




Its been a while since I last posted, but since this time something has happened in our household. H has started saying ‘Why?’ , if I don’t respond within a few seconds he says ‘Tell me?’ Initially, thought this will be easy, as I enjoy boring people with facts, however its getting to the stage that a general knowledge book maybe required. Earlier today we had a conversation about the weather.

Me-Looks like its a nice day for the park                                                                                                H-Why?                                                                                                                                                                  Me-Because the sun is out.                                                                                                                   H-Why?                                                                                                                                                          Me- Or else it would be night?                                                                                                                H-Why?

I will stop now as you could probably tell I was starting to get out foxed by a 3 year old,  to make matters worse I was driving at the time so couldn’t even employ a distraction tactic and meanwhile look up the answer via google on my phone.

I was thinking how do I get around the why question or do I try and beat him with every fact and figure of the world?



What makes my Christmas Part 2 – Elf

In recent years my wife and I have created our own festive tradition of marking the start of Christmas by watching Elf on Channel 4. A lot of planning went into our viewing pleasure – we’d start the day by heading to B&Q for our tree, where I’d spend a good 20 minutes looking at each tree and then finally deciding on The One ( i.e. the one my wife wanted).  We would then head back home to decorate it, fuelled by some festive snacks. For me only three sort of snacks can be eaten while decorating a tree: Twiglets, cheesy footballs and Hula Hoops; then to drink it has to be Baileys, the taste of Christmas!

So, scene set, we’d settle down to Elf. This has to be my favourite pre-Christmas movie ever. Even more than the Muppets Christmas Carol but this year the ritual has been broken by Sky. To be honest I can’t work out why they would break this Christmas tradition which has grown over the year and I can’t see why anyone would subscribe to Sky just for that movie, Ho hum!

As a tribute to my festive favourite, here are my best Elf quotes (feel free to leave yours in the comments!):

“First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”

“Have you seen these toilets?! THEY’RE GINORMOUS!”

“Santa! Oh My God! Santa’s coming! I know him, I know him!”

“You Stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don’t smell like Santa!”

“Son of a nutcracker!”

….I will stop now as I could go on for ages! Now, where did I put that bottle of Baileys…


Stocking Filler/Secret Santas idea No.1

OK, recently I have been struggling to work out to buy for people either for stocking fillers or for secret santa. However, I was recently given some inspiration by H……When I say inspiration……… He came in to the front room with a key shaped bottle opener which I thought looked pretty cool. ( I did try to open a bottle once with my teeth and it ended up with a huge dentist bill) Then he announced “Dad this is your present from Father Missmuss,  but don’t worry this isn’t your main present”

So gift idea number 1 from IWoot


Key Bottle Opener


One of the things H inherited off my wife and not me is a slim waist.  This has caused a major problem when looking to buy trousers. Prior to writing this article while packing his bag for nursery I noticed that his trousers are a size 1-2 (H is 3 next month), although slightly short they are a perfect fit around the waist. We usually buy H jeans from Gap due to the great fit, however the main problem being the adjustable system inside the trousers once done up leaves enough elastic to go round him again. Therefore I started a search for an appropriate child friendly belt after a search on the net I  found Easybelts. The website was really easy to use and I ordered a plain stripy belt and also a stripy belt with the car on it.

The belts arrived a few days later, H was very excited as he’s not received any post since his last invite to a birthday party. His initial reactions were good and thanked me for his new skipping rope, and suggested that he would like to keep them safe. Therefore a little discussion regarding the belt was required, after which a big smile appeared across his face. After choosing which belt to use, which took about 2 seconds it was really easy to loop through his jeans. H really liked the way that the Velcro fastened and the noise that it makes.  He wore the belt for the whole day and it passed the ‘I need to pull my trousers down quick as I need a wee test’ due to the elasticity.

So overall its a great little belt for £7. We have previously used belts that have come attached to trousers and there is no comparison in quality, the easy belt wins in terms of its easy use and its look great.

Website (I have also found a discount code which means you get 25% off! xmas123 )



What makes my Christmas Part 1 – Christmas edition of the Radio Times

So what signifies the start of Christmas for you? Opening the first window on your Advent Calendar? Watching the Coca-Cola advert? When I was a child (how old do I sound!), two things meant the start of Christmas to me: putting up the Christmas tree and buying the Christmas edition of the Radio Times.

I remember going to the local newsagents with my mum to buy our copy and rushing home with it under my arm. In the past I hadn’t beaten my brother and sister to it, but this year I did and sat down on the sofa, felt-tip pen in hand. It was a serious task. I used to circle with precision, so I didn’t cross over to the next channel, and crossed out some vital information. I would then pick up the RT daily and work out if anything good was on and plot my day around it. I remember hopefully suggesting to my mum that maybe we should have lunch early one day, as there was a great movie on. These days I still buy a copy and sit on my own working out what’s films are on what day, but having a Sky Box has made the whole scheduling proceedure a lot easier!

If I had to pick my top three films I adored as a child it would be:

1.) Bugsy Malone

2.)Empire of the Sun

3.) Princess Bride

If you haven’t heard of any these films go and get a copy.  You wont be disappointed!

Films I always watched as a kid with the family at Christmas:

1.)Escape to Victory

2.) Zulu

3.) Indian Jones

Coming soon – What makes my Christmas Part 2 – One word ELF!

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