Make Ice Cream In A Bag!

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 15 August, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Make Ice Cream In A Bag!

Think the kids would enjoy making Ice Cream in a Bag?  My 7 year old loves this one and heads to the trampoline as it helps with the mixing process apparently.

The bags do get very cold, just one small thing to watch out for with very young kids in what is otherwise a fun, not to mention tasty, activity. Using very little ingredients with minimal effort it's possible for the kids to make tasty ice cream at home with no fancy gadgets required.

What do you think?  Going to give it a try?

Goodbye To The Tax Disc From October 1st 2014

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 13 August, 2014 at 9:28 am

Goodbye To The Tax Disc From October 1st 2014

Are you aware  that from the 1st of October, there will be no more tax discs? From that date, if you have a disc in date, you can remove it from your windscreen and destroy it. All records from that date will be held electronically. You’ll obviously still have to tax your vehicle and with no physical reminder, the DVLA will send you one by mail.

For the first time ever you’ll also be able to pay your car tax by monthly direct debit. You'll also have the option to pay six or twelve monthly by direct debit if that suits you better.

Other big changes if you’re buying or selling a car. In the past the tax has been transferable but no more. If you’re a buyer, you’ll have to tax the vehicle yourself, while if you’re the seller, you will be refunded the amount due on the remaining months but you have to notify the DVLA.


What do you think? Will this make things easier for motorists?

Dairy Free Sugar Free One Ingredient 'Ice Cream'

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 11 August, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Dairy Free Sugar Free One Ingredient 'Ice Cream'Did you know that if you blend frozen bananas enough they become like ice cream in texture? And did you know that you can then add cocoa or berries or anything else to make a perfectly healthy 'ice cream'? I like blending it and then putting it into the Annabel Karmel lolly mouldsfor perfectly toddler sized snacks that don't give them a sugar high.

Further Issues With The Cosatto Giggle Pushchair

by Nada in Misc on 9 August, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Further Issues With The Cosatto Giggle Pushchair

Do you own a Cosatto Giggle? Last year, on BBC's Watchdog it was exposed that Cosatto's bestselling pushchair had a very dangerous fault with the chassis.  It would appear that there's more pushchairs affected than previously discovered. Yesterday, I received an email from Cosatto as I had registered my very own Cosatto Giggle late last year.

Here's the jist of what the said....

We see that you registered a Cosatto Giggle under our 4 year guarantee. This is just to let you know about an Important Product Improvement Notice and what you might need to do.

If it is, please follow the instructions provided to arrange for us to carry out the important product enhancement. If your Giggle has been through the product improvement service already your product is not affected and no further action is required.

We’re really sorry if you are affected. We know it can be frustrating when these things happen but we promise we will all work as hard as we can to get you back on the road as fast as humanly possible!

Now, they have worded this like they are doing us Cosatto customers a favour but I had a telephone conversation yesterday with a Cosatto Customer Care worker, and he confirmed that they urge customers to send the chassis back in as it is possible that some have safety issues with the chassis.

I don't wish to slate Cosatto because I have had no problems with other baby equipment manufactured by them, but here at Playpennies we thought it was a good idea to share this information with you all. Afterall, some of you may not have registered your pushchair and will be unaware of these on going issues.

The bottom line is you must visit the Cosatto Giggle page to recheck your chassis number and the site will prompt you on what to do next if your pushchair is affected. Even if you have checked it before, it's worth doing again as Cosatto have confirmed that previous "satisfactory"  batches are potentially faulty.

I was advised from Cosatto that some people may be able to get a loan chassis whilst their chassis is being "improved". However, these are not always available. An alternative method is to contact the place of purchase, where they may arrange a loan pushchair and the altering of the chassis with the manufacturer.

The Ultimate List Of Summer Boredom Busters For Kids

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 5 August, 2014 at 4:07 pm

The Ultimate List Of Summer Boredom Busters For Kids As I sat down to write this, the heavens opened up and our trip to the park was rather spontaneously cancelled for this evening. Hopefully that's not the end of summer - rather just a welcome relief from the scorching days we've had recently! If you're starting to run out of ideas for keeping the kids busy, here's the self proclaimed Ultimate list of summer boredom busters for kids. Hope you find some sanity savers in there!

Lost Your Lego Instructions? 3300 Building Instructions Available Online @ Lego.

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 4 August, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Lost Your Lego Instructions? 3300 Building Instructions Available Online @ Lego.

I don’t know how many Lego sets we have, it may not run into the hundreds but it sure feels like it sometimes! The building instructions often seem to get lost or torn and it can be frustrating for kids and drive adults to the brink trying to remember and build the sets without them!

I didn’t realise until recently  Lego had over 3300 building instructions available online.  All you do is search for replacement instructions by set number, key word or brand. Scroll down after you submit your search to see the results dating all the way back to 2002.

Hope some of you find this as useful as we did as a family!

Create A Garden Blob In Under 20 Minutes

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 4 August, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Create A Garden Blob In Under 20 MinutesAccording to this blog, a bit of painters plastic, duct tape and an iron can give you leak proof fun in your garden. I really love that you can make it pretty much any size that suits your space too. Some of the comments mentioned adding glow sticks or glitter, which would be pretty cool too! Anyone tried this? It looks like such fun!

Parents Outraged At Toys R Us Over Baby Doll With Realistic Penis

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 3 August, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Parents Outraged At Toys R Us Over Baby Doll With Realistic Penis

Have you read this article yet? Parents are “outraged” over the anatomically correct version of this boy doll made by “You & Me Change My Diaper Doll” for Toys "R" Us

Disturbing or a whole lot of fuss about nothing?

Some parents felt it was perfectly natural asking “What makes seeing a penis or a vulva dirty or sexual?'” while others were horrified stating “They’re for CHILDREN. Can't they at least have SOME semblance of innocence?”

What’s your thoughts on this one? Would you be happy for your tot to receive this doll?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Meet Your Favourite Characters @ The Entertainer This Summer

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 31 July, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Meet Your Favourite Characters @ The Entertainer This Summer

If you think your little one would enjoy meeting characters like The Minions, Poppet, characters from Power Rangers or Star Wars, check the link and see who’s coming to an Entertainer near you and when.

There’s lots of different locations and different dates with more being added all the time, hopefully there’s one near you!

Free Lego Printables & Over 70 Lego Learning Activities

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 30 July, 2014 at 9:00 am

Free Lego Printables & Over 70 Lego Learning Activities

I love using things like this with my daughter, where she’s learning but also having fun at the same time.  This is a cracking blog that’s centred around the ever popular and universally loved Lego. It includes LEGO Sensorial Activities, LEGO Math ActivitiesLEGO Cultural Activities and a whole lot more.

It looks as though it would be great for children of all ages, younger kids would benefit and enjoy the “Learning To Read” with Duplo, while for older kids there’s things like “Lego Chemical Reactions”.

It’s all set out clearly with step by step instructions and includes free printables too.

What do you think?

Frozen Party Ideas, Games, Food, Decor & Elsa Cake

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 28 July, 2014 at 10:46 am

Frozen Party Ideas, Games, Food, Decor & Elsa Cake

I went to a party last week where the birthday girl had this cake. The doll was a birthday gift and the cake looked so good, I wanted to find out more. According to mum it was easy to make but I’m not much of a baker so wasn’t convinced. I have to say the step by step instructions provided here have made me think I could do it!

There’s a whole load of fab party ideas on this link, including Olaf party favours, food, Olaf cupcakes and party games and projects including, Pin the carrot on Olaf Game, Snowball Play Dough and DIY Elsa Crown and Sven Antlers.

Think you’d give any of these a go?

Easiest Ever Dairy Free And Egg Free Chocolate Cake

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 26 July, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Easiest Ever Dairy Free And Egg Free Chocolate Cake

We know that loads of you have little ones with dairy or egg allergies, and sometimes it can be a real pain to give them a bit of a treat. I've been making this Vegan chocolate cake for years for friends who can't have egg or dairy so when Beth asked on Facebook about and egg and dairy free chocolate cake, I thought I'd share this one! It's so good we sometimes make it even though we're not egg or dairy free. Unlike a lot of other 'free from' products, you'd never know it was!

To make it even better, you can mix it up in one bowl, and bake it in the same, so less washing up too!

Fun Stained Glass Jelly Recipe

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 24 July, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Fun Stained Glass Jelly RecipeA quick and relatively easy win with the kids, we think! This Stained Glass Jelly Recipe can be made ahead of time and brought out on a hot and sunny afternoon. We think the little people will love this fun and different alternative to standard jelly and it's so easy to make too!

FREEBIE: Get A Little Help From The Tooth Fairy

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 22 July, 2014 at 4:00 pm

FREEBIE: Get A Little Help From The Tooth FairyI found myself in the unusual situation of having the tooth fairy visit my two year old earlier this year and she somehow had the whole tooth fairy idea firmly in her head. I didn't really know where to start, really, but fortunately the internet is a very resourceful place!

If you need a little help from the tooth fairy, click here for info About the Tooth Fairy, printble Tooth Fairy Money/Tooth EnvelopesTooth Fairy CertificatesTooth Fairy Door HangersTooth Fairy LettersTooth Fairy Notes and Tooth Fairy Colouring Ideal if you have a little one with a wobbly tooth.

Thanks to Fairyfeet1964 at HUKD

281 Boredom Busting Summer Ideas

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 21 July, 2014 at 2:14 pm

281 Boredom Busting Summer Ideas It's day one of our school holidays, and I've already had 'Mum, I'm bored' once today. I'm wondering how many times I'll hear that over the weeks to come! If, like me, you'd rather be prepared for it, then here are 281 boredom busting ideas for your kids this summer. Some are a hidden 'job' like sorting bookshelves, but packaged right, you could even get help with the house work!

Click here to download the list from The Happy Mom

Ways To Earn Cash And Vouchers Through Survey Sites & Mystery Shopping

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 20 July, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Ways To Earn Cash And Vouchers Through Survey Sites &  Mystery Shopping

Whether you have a job, be it full time, part time or you stay at home with the kids, extra money or gift vouchers are always welcome. I stayed at home when my daughter was younger and used these sites, well basically for treats for our family.

The first question people ask is “How much can I make?” closely followed by “How much work is involved?” and unfortunately there’s no hard and fast, no easy answer. Many of my friends use these and similar sites and depending on the work you’re offered (I’ll explain that in more detail later) and the hours you put in, the rewards can vary hugely. Some people I know use it for family days out, some for ice creams on a family day out and some to pay for Christmas presents for the kids. So yeah, it varies hugely.

So survey sites, which ones are worth joining? There are hundreds on the net but these are all ones I’ve used personally or know someone that has.

  1. i-Say (Formerly Ipsos) is a good place to start. They’ll email you surveys and you can build up you points to exchange them for high street vouchers and eGift cards for the likes of Amazon.
  2. Swagbucks. Swagbucks is slightly different in that you earn “bucks” for taking polls, playing games and watching videos. They pay out in cash or git cards.
  3. GiftHulk. GiftHulk is a lot like Swagbucks, it has the same idea and the rewards are similar too.
  4. Valued Opinions. Valued Opinions has been around a long time and you’ll be emailed surverys, your eligibility will be decided and for every one you complete, you’ll be able to build up points to exchange for vouchers (such as M&S and Amazon)
  5. Pinecone is regarded by many as the best survery site to join but unfortunately it’s by invitation only. Know someone that’s a member? Ask them to let you know the next time the sign up link becomes live. Otherwise it's just looking for banners on websites that they're looking for new recruits or word of mouth (so keep an eye on this blog!)

There are a few things to bear in mind if you sign up to any of these sites that can help and make things easier. Firstly, use a separate email for your surveys but make sure it’s one that you check often. Valued Opinions for example will send out surveys to a load of people but when they have enough replies, you’ll simply get a “closed” when you click the link. Also fill in your profile as much as you possibly can. You’ll receive more invites and have a wider appeal to the companies.

Mystery Shopping.

Mystery shopping is another way to earn extra cash for your family.

I use Grass Roots and it’s ideal for beginners. Here you apply to join and once accepted, fill out your profile, where you can work, hours you can work etc, and again they will send a bulk email regarding new assignments for everyone in that area, so you need to move quickly. One you accept the assignment you’ll be emailed instructions and you fill in the results online too. They pay in cash and the amount of assignments you are offered will vary hugely by your postcode. Typically you’ll receive a fee for carrying out the work and be reimbursed for any expenses you have. This will all be clearly outlined in the brief.

ABAi is another site you can register to carry out mystery shopping. I’d say this is a “step up” from Grass Roots in that the application process is slightly longer and is just a little more involved. The premise is the same in that it will be dependent on your postcode how many jobs will be available. I've never used ABA-I but my friend does and loves it, it's rather too involved for me but I guess it depends how much spare time you have and how serious you are about it.

Survey sites and mystery shops aren’t going to allow you to pay off your mortgage but they can be a great (and sometimes fun!) way to boost the family income. While the kids are in bed, you could be on your phone in front of the TV completing surverys or doing a mystery shop at the same time as the weekly grocery shop in one of the big supermarkets.

Remember to use a separate email address, to fill in as much of your profile as you possibly can and to check email or boards for work as often as time allows.

Each site will have more details regarding specific assignments and payouts including timescales.

Never join a company that requests any sort of payment from you up front ever and don’t let your cash or vouchers build up too long in any one either. Valued Opinions for example have been around for years but who knows what the future holds? Cash out, whether in hard cash or vouchers, as soon as you’re able.

Lastly just to be aware if you’re thinking of doing this to check out the HMRC with regards to any possible tax implications.

So what do you think? Something you would give a go? If any of you do similar already and have any advice or tips we’d love to hear them!

Fun Disney Frozen Activities

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 20 July, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Fun Disney Frozen Activities If filling your days for the week ahead fills you with fear and despair, it's time to put a little planning into it. Preparation can make all the difference to how a week with children goes, and this blog post has 80 ideas for crafts, games, printables and other Frozen themed fun. Some are intricate, some are easy, but I'm sure you'll find at least five activities you can do or adapt with what you have in the house! Click  here to fill your week with Disney Frozen Fun.

Remember to check the blog for all your Disney Frozen discount needs. Click here for more!

Four Minute Summer Pudding

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 19 July, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Four Minute Summer PuddingI'm sitting here scoffing this four minute summer pudding right now. I made it yesterday when friends came over for dinner, and the left overs today are even better. No baking in a boiling kitchen, no slaving over a hot stove and the kids can get involved in the whisking and laying out of biscuits too. Is there anything better in this weather than a light and refreshing fridge cake? Click here for the recipe!

Write To Your Favourite Disney Character & Receive A Postcard Reply

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 18 July, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Write To Your Favourite Disney Character & Receive A Postcard Reply


This is something my daughter has did a few times over the years and I thought it might be something your child would like to do too?

A few years ago, you could write to your favourite character and in return you’d receive an 8x10 autographed picture but I guess Disney got one too many of these and now you receive a Disney Princess postcard (pictured in the centre above) reply, with a message from Cinderella on the back.

It’s sweet and my daughter loves writing letters and waiting for the replies by post. It can take around 6 to 8 weeks for the postcard to arrive, so it’s not for the impatient!

We’ve never did the “boys” letters and replies but my friend has and they seem to receive a Cars or Mickey Mouse postcard.

The address we use to write to is :

  • For the attention of (Insert Character Name)
  • Walt Disney World Communications
  • P.O. Box 10040
  • Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

and my friend has used that one and also :

  • Disneyland Resort
  • Guest Communications
  • Attn: Character Fan Mail
  • P.O. Box 3232
  • Anaheim, CA 92803-3232

What do you think? Something you think your child would enjoy doing?

Next Withdraws Babygrows From Sale Over “Penis” Drawings

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 17 July, 2014 at 11:02 am

Next Withdraws Babygrows From Sale Over “Penis” Drawings

Have you read this article yet?

Father of twin girls Shane Gallivan was feeding his daughters when he noticed an unusual shape on their sleepwear. After recovering from his "shock", closer inspection discovered they were covered in “penis” drawings and he promptly contacted Next, who after receiving complaints from another customer, withdrew them from sale.

What’s your thoughts on this one? An over reaction by parents or a mistake on Next’s part? Does your daughter have these and will you continue to dress her in them following this?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this!