• Food,  National Cake Week,  Share A Story

    Guest Post: Can I Be Bothered?

    National Cake Week is upon us and continuing our @Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Thanks for the Grub!’ theme we have Jenny McIlveen, a mum of two (and big sister to Phil) and keen baker, guest posting for us. Here, Jenny tells us all about why she loves to bake with her kids and shares a simple recipe for the non-natural parenting bakers amongst us to help us get started. Can I Be Bothered? by Jenny McIlveen Can I be bothered with the faff of getting out the ingredients and equipment and then the mess of clearing up? Baking with your children often takes far greater motivation than other activities, but hopefully this article…

  • Blogs,  Food,  Interview,  National Cake Week

    An Interview with Greg Fraser, Founder of The Bottled Baking Co.

    To kick start our month long ‘Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Thanks for the Grub!’ theme and just in time for National Cake Week, we have a great interview with Greg Fraser, the founder of the Bottled Baking Co. who has kindly provided one of his creations as a giveaway to one lucky Parenting Phil reader. Read on for details on how to enter. Greg, from Leeds, set up The Bottled Baking Co. in 2016 as a small venture in his own time… well the little time he had to himself by the sounds of it, as he worked as a website builder and was also raising his son (2yo at the time). Hi…

  • Adoption,  Blogs

    Saying the Right Things

    For today’s blog I had planned to write a really lovely post about how much we enjoyed our first family holiday abroad to Menorca last week, but if you follow us on Instagram or Facebook then you’ll know that it wasn’t quite the perfect trip I had envisaged. Quite frankly I need a kid-free holiday to recover, so I’ll save that joy for a cold wintery day when perhaps I’m reflecting more fondly on the whole experience. Instead I thought I’d share a bit about how I’m feeling at the moment as we have just posted our first letters to the boys birth family through a process called ‘Letterbox Contact’.…

  • Days Out,  Reviews

    Lotherton Hall

    At the start of the summer we posted our ‘Top 7 things to do along the m62 corridor this summer’ blog and one place that we most definitely over-looked was Lotherton Hall. Located in North-East Leeds, just minutes off the m1, this gem of a place is great for a family day out. This wasn’t my first time at Lotherton Hall, however it was the first time I really got to experience and enjoy everything it had to offer because; The boys were a bit older so able to enjoy everything a bit more independently Weather was better than previously and most importantly… I remembered the bloody buggy this time! It’s…

  • Blogs,  Lifestyle,  Parenting

    The Sleeping ‘Rod’

    Finding a parent who hasn’t had or who isn’t currently experiencing difficulties with kids and sleep is rare, and when you do find one, there are two things you can say to them; “LIAR” – You need to shout this and point at them (or just use an outstretched finger in their direction if you don’t want to shout ‘liar’- can be equally as effective) “Good for you” (said with a sarcastic tone that lets them know you’re calling them something unspeakable in you’re head!) It is really tough and so easy to get yourself in a mess over, because I’m pretty sure sleep deprivation is the biggest killer in…

  • Blogs,  Lifestyle,  Parenting

    The Feeding ‘Rod’

    Trying to get kids to eat the good stuff… or even eat at all in some cases, is tough! It is a very easy category to ‘grow’ multiple rods for your own back in, but hey, if they eat something green that’s a parenting win, right? Here’s some of our ‘Feeding Rods’… make sure to tell us yours in the comments section below! #1. Pudding- I use pudding as a bribe, I swore I wouldn’t and it goes against everything my food bible (‘Getting The Little Blighters To Eat’ by Claire Potter– full review coming in October) tells me, but it’s happened and I do it! I grew up having…

  • Blogs,  Lifestyle,  Parenting

    The Travelling ‘Rod’

    To kick start our ‘National celebrate the rod you’ve made for your own back’ week we thought we’d break our many ‘rods’ down into topics. When Pips and I got talking about our ‘rods’, the obvious ones were sleeping, eating and managing general behaviour but when I mentioned to Pips about having a ‘Travelling Rod’ blog, her response to me was that she doesn’t have problems in the car with her kids so “you can write that one“, my response was ‘good for you’ (and not in a passive-aggressive, eye-rolling, sarcastic tone at all… okay maybe just a bit). Well travelling with my kids can be ‘testing’ (shall we call it)…

  • Blogs,  Humour,  Parenting

    National ‘Celebrate that Rod’ Week- 3rd-9th September 2018

    “They’ve made a rod for their own back”…  A line we’ve probably all said ourselves about someone and a line that other people have almost definitely said about you and something ludicrous that you probably do with/for your kids. It’s got to be hands-down one of the worst phrases in the world of parenting and one I ashamedly have used (and will probably slip up and use again). As a parent, it’s a line I dread to think people have used about us [me] and probably because I’m feeling a little bit embarrassed or frustrated by what it is I’m doing, that I try to avoid any reference to it…

  • Blogs,  Kids Entertainment,  Lifestyle

    Superhero, Super Inappropriate?

    Rewind 8 months or so ago and it was one of the happiest days of my life. My then two-year-olds learned to say Hulk and Spider-man… they couldn’t string a sentence together, but they could recognise some of my favourite things! As a kid I absolutely loved all things ‘super’ related. My first love was probably the Thunder Cats (still haven’t quite forgiven my mum for getting rid of all those figures) and it progressed into the world of Marvel. X-men specifically. I was obsessed! So, when the boys started showing ANY signs of liking superhero ‘stuff’ I jumped on it. It was also a welcome relief from Thomas the Tank…

  • Days Out,  Kids Entertainment,  Reviews

    Top 7 Things to do along the M62 Corridor this Summer

    The summer holidays have landed… I’m only just starting week three and already pulling my hair out thinking of what to do with the kids. I’ve been researching a bit and recounting some previous great days out, so thought I’d share with you the top seven places I intend to visit over the next few weeks. Driving too long with my two can be a trauma at times so I’ve looked for simple routes, all along the M62… starting East and moving over to the West (and all places I can get to before Toy Story 2 finishes and all hell breaks loose). #1 The Deep- Hull I really love…

  • Blogs,  Child Development,  Parenting

    The Urgent Rush

    Crawling, walking, talking, feeding themselves, tripod grips, potty training, counting, saying the alphabet, dressing themselves, able to brush their own teeth… it’s literally one thing after another from birth to adulthood that a child has to start doing… and we seem to be in an urgent rush to get them all down! Why? For me potty training is the perfect example. Once the kids turned two it seemed that EVERYONE is interested in where you are up to with it. I don’t think a day goes by where I’m either asked about how they are getting on or I jump straight down someone’s throat to let them know how we…

  • Blogs,  Lifestyle

    Ten things that make me happy

    I’m often considered [wrongly IMO] a ‘miserable git’, so when Katie at Heels & Hooves tagged me to take part in the ’10 things that make me happy’ blogger challenge, I thought I’d rise to the occasion and prove I’m not such a misery after all. Wish me luck I might get stuck by no. 6, but here we go, in no particular order… #1 The Terrible Twins Of couse the boys had to be numero uno, whilst they drive me up the wall, stop me sleeping, interrupt gin time and all the other parenting woes, they bring so much to my life and I can’t imagine life without them. Being a…

  • Children's Health,  Health,  Reviews

    Tamanu Balm by Tropic

    Tropic Ambassador (and lovely neighbour of mine), Louise, kindly sent me over a little pot of magic called Tamanu Balm to try out with the kids. Knowing that I had three year old twin boys in the house, I think Louise might have assumed we have lots of bumps, scrapes, splinters, bruises, rashes… and she assumed correctly!  The balm comes with quite an extensive list of ailments that Tropic believe it is great for and the menu also claims that it is an ‘all-in-one skin saviour’. It retails at £16 for a small pot, so at that price I thought I’d give it a proper run for it’s money over…

  • Adoption,  Blogs,  Humour,  Working Parent

    Dumbing Down?

    I’m writing today’s blog as I catch up on yesterday’s episode of Love Island… the one after the post Casa Amor recoupling episode… you know that s*** is about to hit the fan. So, I’ll start with an apology for poor grammar and spelling ‘cos I’m well distracted, ain’t I’  (said in my best Essex accent).  For you non-Love Islanders; don’t worry this post isn’t going to be about how Georgia is going to react to that cheating scum bag Josh or how brilliant it is to see Wes getting his karma as he’s ‘mugged off’ by the villa’s resident skank Meg… Yes I went there, if you watched it…

  • Home Products,  Reviews,  Sleep

    Kid’Sleep – Classic Sleep Trainer

    Review: Claessens’ Kids Kid’Sleep Classic Sleep Trainer Sleep is for losers… said no one… ever! I love my sleep, my god I NEED sleep! Pre-kids I was a 10 hours a night kinda guy and now I’m still in need of a good 8… but probably average about 6-7 hours now thanks to the Claessens’ Kids Kid’Sleep Classic Sleep Trainer … or as we call it in our house, ‘The Rabbit Clock’. The boys were bought this clock at Christmas by Aunty Helen (with a gentle prompt from Daddy!) which was perfect timing as we had gone through a period of poor sleep with Haribo, which I wrote about a…