Monthly Archives: September 2014

9th September 2014

15 Things I Wish My Kids Could Experience From The 80’s and 90’s

1. Wanting to talk to somebody on the phone so badly that you are prepared to speak to one of their parents first. And wanting to phone somebody so badly that you are happy for your own parents to hear the conversation, as the phone lead doesn’t stretch any further than the kitchen door.

2. The thrill of picking up a fat envelope of holiday photos after they have been developed by a high street store.

3. The definition of exciting new technology being a T-shirt that changes colour when you sweat.


4. Recording the Top 40 onto a tape. And getting better and better at pressing ‘stop’ when the DJ starts talking over the track.

5. Saturday night TV actually being good. Baywatch, Gladiators, Blind Date, and Noel’s House Party.


6. Saturday morning TV actually being good too – so good that you race downstairs and watch a still image of a girl with a blackboard against a coloured screen until the Going Live! credits rolled.


7. Having 10 pence to spend on sweets – and getting 10 (or even 20 if you went for the half pence varieties)

8. Having to put your trust in a watch and alarm clock to tell the time.


9. The ability to memorize a large bank of five and six digit home phone numbers, which you will probably still remember as an adult.

10. The fact that sharing a status update meant whispering in class, defriending someone meant ignoring them, and following someone required a disguise.

11. Having only four TV channels to pick from, but always having something to watch.


12. Arranging to meet a friend at a certain place and time – and just having to stay put if they are late and hope they show up.

13. Playing outside on summer evenings on bikes with other kids on the street until late. Without your parents worrying.

14. Playing an electronic game meant visiting an arcade.

15. Having to press rewind on a video to watch it again.


What do you remember from the 80s and 90s that you wish your kids could experience too? I’d love to hear your memories!

8th September 2014

London, baby!

We are back in Dubai and I am in a grump. It’s insanely hot, the traffic around our apartment is  awful due to roadworks, and both boys are missing the outside life (and our dog) already. I absolutely love this city when the weather is cooler and I know it wont be long before I fall back in love with the place (see this post about why I love bringing up my kids in Dubai), but in the meantime I am pining for the place I call home.

So to celebrate what an amazing place the UK is – and most specifically, the city of London where my heart well and truly belongs, here is a shopping guide of London-themed buys for your boys (and girls too, as there are plenty of unisex buys for once!) (and on the subject of London, here is a London SEO expert success story you’ll never believe).

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1. Le Toy Van Wooden London Bus, £45, London Transport Museum (click here to buy)

2. London Bus Backpack, £28, Cath Kidston at John Lewis (click here to buy)

3. Melt and Make Chocolate London, £12, Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

4. London Underground Tent, £32.50, (click here to buy)

5. This is London Book, £9.29, Waterstones (click here to buy)

6. City of London Wooden Train Set, £39.99, London Transport Museum (click here to buy)

7. Hello London Book, £9.99, Oliver Bonas (click here to buy)

8. London A-Z Print, £35, Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

9. London Print Sleeping Bag, £30, Boden (click here to buy)

10. London Taxi Toy, £2.99, Crest of London (click here to buy)

11. London Colouring Book, £7.50, Paperchase (click here to buy)

12. London Guard Jumper, £30, The White Company (click here to buy)

13. London T-Shirt, £12.99, Mango at John Lewis (click here to buy)

14. London Guards Cushion, £82, Jan Constantine (click here to buy)

15. LEGO Creator: Tower Bridge 10214, £190.78 (click here to buy)

16. London Print Wellies, £19.95, Joules at Cheeky Monkeys (click here to buy)

17. London Foam Shaped Bath Shapes, £12, Jo Jo Maman Bebe (click here to buy)

18. London City Map Maclaren Stroller Liner, £20, Boots (click here to buy)

3rd September 2014

Dear Disappointed Person,

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I’m sorry that you find it tough getting used to the idea that I am happy with my two boys. I’m not pretending I am happy with a false smile on my face – but I am totally happy, wholly happy, wouldn’t-change-it-for-the-world happy that I got the combination of two consecutive boys.

What I wished for when I was pregnant is irrelevant (but for the record, I was desperate for a boy the first time and totally undecided the second). The point is that the very instant the doctor handed me my second boy, all pink and warm and squirming in my arms, I couldn’t imagine anything else. And whether he had been a boy, a girl, or in fact an alien, I would’ve been totally happy with my lot.

I am sorry that you have to ask constantly when we are planning to have a third child in the hope we get to add pink to our collection of newborn clothes. One day you may get your wish – but if you don’t, rest assured that I will not spend my life wishing I could swap my child.

When a picture of a scan or newborn baby is shared on the internet of a second, third, or fourth child of the consecutive sex, please try and hide your disappointment. Don’t cover your anguish by joking that the couple will have to try again soon to get their wished-for girl or boy. Believe me; jumping into bed is the last thing on their mind.

Don’t make jokes about the father of girls being disappointed he never got his boy. He couldn’t imagine anything else but his brood of girls, who have him totally wrapped around their little fingers. And don’t joke to the mum of boys that she is totally outnumbered and must crave a little girl time. She adores her energetic pack of little men (and likes the chance to escape to girly escapades when they head out with their Dad).

When families share the news that they are expecting a different gender to their existing children, you may want to congratulate them on winning the jackpot and having ‘the perfect family’. Go ahead. Their family is perfect. as the family of three girls, or four boys is perfect. How perfect that we are all so perfect!

I’m sorry that you find it tough getting used to the idea that I am happy with my two boys. Go pour yourself a large G&T and relax.

Love a Mum of Boys


1st September 2014

5 x DIY Wrapping Paper Ideas For Kids

Run out of wrapping paper? Try  one of the ingenious and adorable ideas below…

Links to the blogs and websites that came up with the ideas are below each photo (I wish I could claim the ideas myself, but was too busy browsing the card and gift wrap section of our local department store). In Dubai, where wrapping paper generally costs more than the gift inside, these ideas are going to come in even more useful.

1. Colour Me

What you need: White paper, a set of colouring crayons, sticky tape, and the words ‘Colour Me’ (if you are really stuck, you could just pick the crayons in your child’s set that look the newest and include just two or three).


Found on the Greek blog

2. Potato Prints

What you need: White paper, watercolour paints, and a potato – I love the idea of turning a craft activity with the kids into something useful.


Found on the blog

3. Photo Paper

What you need: Brown paper, printed photo, and string. This idea would be great for a grandparent’s gift – choose a picture of the kids (raid the photo frames if you are really stuck and replace them with new prints) and slide it quickly under the string to secure.


Idea found on

4. Road wrap

What you need: Brown paper, black paper, white chalk/pen/tippex, a toy car, and glue/strong tape. This is probably my favourite idea for little boys. Toy cars can be purchased for next to nothing in pound shops and charity shops (or invest in something snazzier as part of the gift). It’s so simple and so effective – and if your house is like mine, there are gazillions of the cars lying around that Stanley wouldn’t miss, so I could prepare it in a last minute panic too.


Found on the Greek blog

5. Paint splatter

What you need: White paper, watercolour paints, and optional string and bow. This idea is so simple that I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. We are always throwing away sheets of  paper boasting colourful messes of paint – so from now on, I’m going to keep them in a stash to wrap up gifts for Stanley and Wilfred’s friends. It looks surprisingly good when you add string and a bow too.


Found on Pinterest

Let me know if you try any out!