• Starting School
    Blogs,  Education,  Getting Ready For School,  Milestones,  Top Tips

    Starting School: Preparing for Day One

    The summer is almost over… although judging by the weather it finished a few weeks ago! For lots of parents the feelings of relief will be kicking in as they celebrate surviving another 6 week break, but for us primary school newbies, we’ll be spending the final week checking that we’ve gone fully OTT in our preparations for the kids starting reception. In our previous post we talked all about our summer preparations; buying uniforms, developing independence skills in our babies [*sobs] and generally just being ready for school in its entirety. However, as our little ones’ first day fast approaches there are a few more things to take into…

  • Gnome Roam Review
    Days Out,  Kids Entertainment,  Reviews,  Travel

    Gnome Roam – Newmillerdam Country Park

    Days out during the summer holidays can cost an arm and a leg and even just doing 1 or 2 a week that require paying for can really rack up the pound signs! I’ve been trying really hard over the last few weeks to keep our weekday activity costs as low as possible, so when a friend told me about a free ‘Gnome Roam‘ then we had to go and check it out. Newmillerdam Country Park, Wakefield Set in a beautiful part of West Yorkshire, this woodland walk offers a great family day out at little to no cost. The only cost we incurred was £1.30 for parking, but if…

  • Wall Art by Pug Pup Print - Featured Image
    Gift Ideas,  Home Products,  Keepsakes,  Reviews

    Wall Art by Pug Pup Prints

    Finding the right art work for your home or as gift for someone can be really tricky. For a while we’ve been wanting to find a nice piece to hang in the boys new play room so we were thrilled when we were sent a fab piece of wall art by Pug Pup Prints. In our house we are superhero mad, so when I saw the option to include a superhero picture that shows us as a family into the boys room, I knew it was the right one. It now hangs a constant reinforcement to our adopted children that we are a forever family, so wall art doesn’t get…

  • Blogs,  Kids Entertainment,  Top Tips,  Travel

    Avoiding The Journey From Hell

    The holiday season is royally upon us (not the Christmas kind, don’t worry it’s not one of those eager beaver kind of posts… we ain’t anywhere near that prepared!). The feelings of excitement preparing for a 5* holiday somewhere exotic in kid-free hotels are nothing more than a distant memory. Instead I’m going to spending the next week frantically planning on avoiding the journey from hell as we get ready to head off on our first all-inclusive, family resort holiday… during school holidays. SHOOT ME NOW! We did go to Menorca last year, late in September once schools were back, but in hindsight it wasn’t our best idea. All the…

  • Blogs,  Getting Ready For School,  Top Tips

    Starting School: Summer Preparations

    The summer holidays are looming and for both Pips and I, we won’t just be worrying about what on earth we are going to do for 6 weeks to keep the kids entertained; we’ll also be trying to get ourselves into gear as we prepare for the kids starting school. In a previous post we talked a bit about getting the boys ready for reception and developing their independence skills, which is great, but then there is sooooooo much for the parents to consider and start getting ready in time for day one! I thought I’d share a bit about my preparations and offer some tips, but the reality is…

  • Thinking about adoption
    Adoption,  Blogs,  Top Tips

    So, You’re Thinking About Adoption…

    I can’t believe my boys are turning 4! It’s seems like only yesterday that we started our adoption journey and that moment when they first crawled into our lives seems an almost distant memory. Looking back on our experience of the adoption process there was so much I wish I had known or really understood/paid attention to as we began that epic year in our lives…  not that I would change anything about where we are now, but just so that I could have felt better prepared or in truth being left to feel a little less aggrieved by parts of it. So I thought I would share some of…

  • parents travelling with different surnames to children
    Blogs,  Top Tips,  Travel

    Flying Carefree: The Importance of the Family Surname when Travelling Abroad with your Children

    In recent months I’ve been reading more and more articles on travelling abroad with your children if you don’t share the same surname, and what implications it may have on your travel. According to various news reports I’ve read on the internet, an estimated 600,000 families have been stopped, questioned and even in some cases refused entry because they didn’t carry the correct paperwork proving they had parental responsibility. As well as reading articles, I’ve even spoken to friends and work colleagues who have shared their [horror] stories about how mortified they were having to explain to border control their children were indeed theirs when ushered to a separate checking…

  • Blogs,  Humour,  Media

    “Radio Blah Blah”

    When a random email dropped into the Parenting Phil’s inbox asking if we’d be interested in becoming regular guests on Radio 5 Live’s parenting slot, ‘School Runnings’ with Nihal Arthanayake, it’s fair to say we got a little excited… OK we had to literally scrape Pips off the ceiling! Within just a few days and after a brief chat with a producer… BOOM we were booked to appear together the next week! It was a whirlwind of excitement versus nerves leading up to the day. We weren’t nervous about talking about ourselves… we could do that in our sleep, and we weren’t particularly nervous about actually being on radio talking…

  • Getting Ready for Primary School
    Blogs,  Competition & Giveaways,  Education

    Getting Ready For School

    If you’re a parent of a pre-schooler, then this week probably started with feelings of anxiety and worry about getting the primary school place you had hoped for. Here at the Parenting Phils, we were both fortunate enough to get our first choice schools which was such relief and we hope that’s a similar story for you too, and if not we hope you are happy with your allocated school… or good luck with your appeals! So now the wait to find out which school your child will go to is over, the next worry is getting them (and you) ready for September! Now I know what a lot of…

  • Blogs,  Health,  Lifestyle,  Parenting

    Self-Care: The Importance Of Looking After Numero Uno!

    The other week Phil asked me if I fancied doing a co-written piece with him on self-care for our blog, which I thought was a great idea because it’s been on my mind A LOT these days. Before I start though, it must be known that I am that typical disheveled mother, who wishes to be the yummy mummy but is too bloody knackered to do something about it, and the list of jobs and mothering boys (1&3) far out-way, well, ME!   Until this happened… A few months back a comment was made to me that literally THREW ME, and I thought something drastic needs to be done! I…

  • Adoption and the NHS
    Adoption,  Blogs,  Children's Health,  Rant

    Adoption & the NHS

    Before people start getting upset with me, I feel I should start this post with a disclaimer. I am a huge supporter of the NHS. I am very appreciative of the free healthcare we get in the UK and I want to protect our NHS desperately from the likes of Theresa May, who let’s face it, would sell it off to companies like G4S to line the pockets of people like her husband! OOOOsh Now that’s out of the way… BUT… it can be absolutely ridiculous at times and I’m feeling the need for a rant! For those that might not know, when a child is legally adopted they receive a new NHS…

  • Mother's Day Gift Ideas,  Reviews

    Mother’s Day – A Personalised Gift Idea

    Ladies and Gentlemen, soon the day will be upon us where we all celebrate just how wonderful our old Mum is, as Mother’s Day fast approaches on the 31st March. Now before you pop the shops for your box of chocolates and bunches of flowers, let me tickle your taste buds with something different. Something more sentimental and long-lasting, like a quality piece of affordable jewellery. I was really excited to be given the opportunity to try a piece of jewellery from our friends at Engravers Guild of London, who offered to engrave a beautiful locket with my own personal message. The service I received and the quality of the product is the reason why…

  • Scary Flowers
    Blogs,  Humour

    “Scary” Flowers

    I wouldn’t blame you for thinking a post titled ‘Scary Flowers‘, posted a week after Valentines Day, would be all about how I didn’t receive any flowers from my beloved or how the ones he got me where ‘shocking’ in some way (the shock being that he actually bought me some obvs). Well, you would be wrong… in most part. For the record I didn’t receive any flowers, rather Craggers opted to buy the person who is desperately trying to lose weight and resist the urge to drink on school nights, chocolate and gin! Do you remember that documentary called ‘Fat Girls and Feeders’ years ago… they could totally film…

  • The Goblin's Blue Blanket
    Books,  Competition & Giveaways,  Reviews

    The Goblin’s Blue Blanket by Kieron Black

    I love that getting a new book is like getting a new bike to a three-year-old! I never realised just how excited a kid could get opening a package to find a book instead of sweets or ‘Ralph toys’, which is what he was guessing as he opened it. He wasn’t disappointed at all. The unveiling of this amazingly illustrated children’s book took place after nursery, around 4pm, which made the next 3 hours until bed time unbearable! All H wanted to do was read the book before bed, so it needed to be bedtime at 4pm, 4.05pm, 4.15pm and pretty much every 5-10 minutes for the rest of the…

  • Blogs,  Home Improvements

    Team ‘LOVE IT’: Peaky Blinders

    I’m sure the title got you Peaky Blinders fans excited for our final instalment of TEAM LOVE IT!?? Well I’m really sorry to disappoint but I’ve never actually watched it… although Tom Hardy is in it so I’m not sure why I haven’t? Instead I’m going to talk about something slightly less thrilling but that can really transform your home, both visually and economically… your windows. I remember being a kid and having to wipe the window sill with a towel to mop up the puddle of water most mornings because of the condensation. Those days are long gone for most people thankfully but the world of UPVC windows has…