Category Archives: Families and Parenting

Fabulous families great Mother's Day gift

5 Valuable Mother’s Day Gifts That Don’t Cost the Earth

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and we all want to show our mothers how much they mean to us. But for those on a budget, no matter how important our mum is, finding that perfect gift can be something of a pressure. So here are five ideas for a Mother’s Day gift that let you show how much you care, without costing you a fortune.

Cookies in a jar
If your mum loves cooking (or maybe even if she doesn’t!), a cookie recipe in a jar is a great gift. There are lots of recipes online, such as this one for Brownies in a Jar, which tell you all the ingredients you need, give you instructions for assembling your jar, and include the recipe for baking your delicious cookies. You will need a reasonably large glass jar, such as a 2L Kilner jar, which has the added advantage that your mum can keep it and use it afterwards. Layer the ingredients for your chosen bake in the jar to create beautiful stripes. Then you simply need to write out or print the recipe, stick it onto a label, and tie this to the lid over a small piece of cheerful fabric for a fabulous look.


Fabulous families taking great photos of your child

5 Tips for Getting Great Photos of Your Child

From the moment your child is born, you’ll want to take photos, as a memento or maybe to share with others. No doubt you will take dozens, recording all the important (and less important) moments of their lives. But sometimes you may want to take photos that are a little bit special, rather than everyday shots. So how can you make your photos different from the run-of-the-mill snaps you so often see? These tips may help you to take some extra-special photos of your child.

1. Preparation is essential

The most important step in getting great photos is to get your child used to the camera. Naturally, there will be times when you want them to pose for a photo, but if you photograph them often when they are playing or involved in an activity, they will soon get used to the camera, and not feel self-conscious being photographed. This can help you get get a really natural feel if you are aiming for some informal photos.


Fabulous families child asleep

5 Tips for a Trouble-free Bedtime

With the start of the new term, getting back to a good bedtime routine is a must if you don’t want your children to get tired and irritable. So how can you encourage them to go to bed without having a major battle on your hands?

These five tips will help you towards trouble-free bedtimes.

1. Have a daily bedtime

Once your children are used to going to bed at a regular time, they are less likely to act up when you announce that it’s time for bed. Make sure they know exactly what time they are expected to start getting ready. Even young children can get the hang of this; put a small sticky note or blob of plasticine on the clock face, and tell them ‘When the big hand reaches here, it will be time to get ready for bed’. When the moment arrives, resist all cries of ‘Just five more minutes…’, and usher them firmly towards the bathroom!


A Taste of the Past: British Schools Museum, Hitchin

The Lancasterian Schoolroom

They say that schooldays are the best days of your life. Of course, that may be true for some, but I daresay for others the idea of going back to school is not a prospect to delight the heart. But there is one place that could just change your mind.

The British Schools Museum in Hitchin offers a unique insight into life at school in Victorian times. This gem of a museum is housed within historic school buildings dating back to 1837, and includes the only surviving school room built to the specifications of Joseph Lancaster. This forward-thinking educational philanthropist set himself the challenge of providing much-needed education for the poor children of the area, at a time when such ideas were almost unheard of. His solution to managing the difficulties of teaching 200 children in one room is a masterpiece of innovation, and you can get a taste of how it all worked (even down to practising your copperplate handwriting), as you tour the museum.