• Hardest of Words math the Hardest of Times Blog Image
    Blogs,  Parenting,  Share A Story

    The Hardest Words at the Hardest of Times

    Losing a loved one makes for a difficult time for everyone, but for a parent to young children there are many challenges to be faced for both you and them. Having to teach a child to grieve feels like an unthinkable concept for any parent or carer but sadly it is a reality for many families. To mark Children’s Grief Awareness Week 2019 we have this touching guest post from Jon Lomas who shares with us his story of loss and fatherhood. Jon wrote this piece a few months back whilst reflecting on the conversations he had with his son and wanted to help other parents struggling with those difficult…

  • Christmas,  Games,  Gift Ideas,  Reviews

    BEAT THAT! – The Bonkers Battle of Wacky Challenges

    DARE I SAY IT…BUT ARE YOU THINKING OF CHRISTMAS YET? A couple of months back, Phil and I had the pleasure of meeting a very talented and fun-loving husband and wife game designing duo [Zack and Kate] at the BlogOn conference. Here they introduced their exciting new board game ‘Beat That!‘, which in our opinion is set to top the Christmas #1 for family party games. IT’S THAT GOOD!   ABOUT THE GAME Officially launched in September 2019, this brand spanking NEW activity game is the ideal party game, which can be played between 2-8 players and enjoyed both by kids and adults. The age range of the game is 11+,…

  • xmas giveaway
    Blogs,  Christmas,  Competition & Giveaways

    UK Bloggers Christmas Competition

    Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s h…. STOP! OK, OK, it’s definitely too early for a festive rhyme, but it’s never too early for a competition in time for Christmas, right? We are delighted to be taking part in this years UK Bloggers Christmas Competition, giving our readers the chance to win one of five hampers, worth £65, from Virginia Hayward. Prosecco, Christmas Pudding, fudge, chocolate and some more chocolate are just a few of the goodies contained within this fab-fat-filled prize! I’m pretty sure I’ve gained weight just looking at the picture, but hey it’s almost Christmas after all!…

  • Adoption: So What's Stopping You Blog
    Adoption,  Blogs,  Lifestyle

    Adoption: So What’s Stopping You?

    14th-20th October 2019 I can’t believe I’m sitting writing this post almost 4 years to the date when we first walked into an information session to learn more about adoption and almost 3 years to when we actually became parents to not one, but TWO awesome little boys! But what really hit me this week was reading an article on The Guardian’s website that stated that there are only 1,700 families waiting to adopt yet there are actually 4,100 in the system waiting for their forever families! It’s truly heartbreaking to think of so many children living in temporary care having already experienced so much hardship in their young lives. Now…

  • click bait blog post
    Blogs,  Parenting,  Rant

    The Parenting Phil’s Philippa Caught in a Compromising Position

    I should point out right from the start that this post has nothing to do with Pips and her ungodly antics, but hopefully you’ve opened this post because of the scandalous title and are not too disappointed!?! The truth is the only compromising position you’ll find her in these days is slumped on a sofa with one finger jacked up her nostril! Rather, I wanted to write [rant] about ‘click bait’ and in particular how it’s being used by some ‘parenting’ pages on social media (see the tedious link!). So what is ‘Click Bait’? The dictionary explains it as ‘content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to…

  • Popcorn-Eating ~Squirrels Go Nuts On Everest Book Review
    Books,  Competition & Giveaways,  Reviews

    Popcorn-Eating Squirrels Go Nuts On Everest by Matt Dickson

    Our bookcase is over-flowing and we couldn’t be happier! Especially when you are sent fab titles such as ‘Popcorn-Eating Squirrels Go Nuts On Everest’ by Matt Dickinson, to help fill it up with! We now have a few titles from Shrine Publishing and this latest release definitely lives up to the high standard we’ve come to expect, so we are thrilled to write this book review. About the Book Popcorn-Eating Squirrels Go Nuts on Everest is the second in the series by Matt Dickinson and it’s the popcorn-eating squirrels’ greatest adventure yet! A million pounds and popcorn for life is the incredible prize on offer if a team can meet the challenge:…

  • 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…