Channel 4 One Born Every Minute Are Looking For Mums To Star In The Next Series

by Nada in Misc on 16 September, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Channel 4 One Born Every Minute Are Looking For Mums To Star In The Next Series

One Born Every Minute (or OBEM) is one of the most talked about programme on television. The beauty of it is that it such a natural thing but watching it on the screen makes it even more fascinating . Have you ever watched it and thought I would REALLY like to be on that show? If the answer is yes, then read on as they are looking for the future stars for the upcoming series.

There's criteria you need to fulfil in order to be considered. You MUST be due to have a baby in October, November or December at the Liverpool Women's Hospital. Perhaps, you know someone that is? If you don't fit these requirements then don't apply as you will automatically be disregarded.

If you do fall into these categories then EEEK I am excited for you, and I demand you to message us, so we can look out for you.

What do you do if you wish to apply? Simply call 020 7033 2311 or email where you will be contacted by the production team, who will discuss your eligibility.

I watch it and I would have loved to have had my last labour filmed, but not shown on national television. OBEM is a favourite of mine and it give me an excuse to coo and blubber over the beauty that is childbirth. My little boys love watching it too, it actually helped prepare them for the night I went into labour with their little brother.

Best of luck to anyone who applies for the next One Born Every Minute series. You can find more details on how to apply over here.

We Need You! Playpennies Is Looking For An Administrator

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 15 September, 2014 at 12:41 pm

We Need You! Playpennies Is Looking For An Administrator

The Playpennies team is growing again! We're looking to hire a freelance administrator to maintain our voucher section, respond to emails and help with general admin tasks.

Due to the freelance nature of the role, you'll enjoy the flexibility of working from home and you will be able to manage your hours to suit your home life.

 What you need to know:

16-24 hours per week

Work from home

Flexible work hours

The role :

Updating and managing Playpennies' Voucher section

Ensuring new content is uploaded quickly (you will need to check in for an hour or two on weekends to check for updates)

Dealing with marketing emails and queries

Assisting Site Editor with any general admin tasks, audits,

About you:

You're conscientious and hardworking with great initiative and attention to detail.

You enjoy learning new skills and being a part of a team, ideally you've experience in an office environment and knowledge of the workings of blogs and social media.

It'd be great if you're already part of the Playpennies community so you have a basic understanding of what we do.

How to Apply:

Send you CV and cover letter detailing any relevant information and your availability to and make sure we receive it by Monday 22nd of September.

What do you think? If you'd love to come onboard, we'd love to hear from you!

Child Support Agency (CSA) Arrangements Are Ending

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

Child Support Agency (CSA) Arrangements Are Ending

Are you aware that all child maintenance arrangements made previously by the Child Support Agency (CSA) will be ending between now and 2017?

No, well read on…

If the CSA handles your maintenance, you’ll get a letter telling you when your maintenance agreement will end and how and when to make new child maintenance arrangements.

The letter will be sent between now and 2017 and you should expect 6 months notice. Any arrears will also have to be paid even after any agreement ends.

So what next?

Well according to GOV.UK you can either make new arrangements yourself or you’ll have to use the new Child Maintenance Service. Notably, to even apply for this new service there’s a £20 application fee. The only way you won’t have to pay this is, is if you’re under 19 years of age, living in Northern Ireland or a victim of domestic violence.

What do you think about this? Will financial issues be sorted between separated  parents or is that more fantasy then reality on the part of the government? Do you think the £20 fee to apply will put single parents off?

We'd love to hear your views!

Hidden "Easter Eggs" In Disney Movies

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 13 September, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Hidden "Easter Eggs" In Disney MoviesWhile there's something wrong with the title of this post on M-Magazine's website - these aren't really hidden messages - the 20 Easter Eggs (an intentional inside joke, message or in the case of Disney, future character from another movie!) in these Disney movies are quite entertaining to discover. I'm sure you'll find yourself watching them a little more closely next time!

I just loved Goofy and Donald Duck attending the concert in The Little Mermaid!

Well, it's a fun way to kill 10 minutes on a Saturday night. You can thank me later.

For the best in Disney and Frozen deals, follow PlayPennies on Facebook and Twitter!

Can Dads Really Get Morning Sickness?

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 11 September, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Can Dads Really Get Morning Sickness?

Harry Ashby, a 29 year old from Birmingham, is reported today to be the first man signed off work for “being pregnant”. Mr Ashby has told reporters today he can identify with the Duchess of Cambridge who is pregnant with her second child and is reported to be being treated for Hyperemesis Gravidarum once again.

Apparently Harry’s stomach and back pains are so bad he’s had no option but to visit his doctor and reports suggest he’s also been prescribed medication for his condition. As well as the pains Harry has also reported food cravings, wolfing down salt and vinegar crisps which he “normally hates”.

After research on the internet Mr Ashby convinced himself he had Couvade syndrome and as this isn’t a recognised medical condition, many will remain sceptical about his claims.

I must admit I’m one of them. In true stereotypical fashion, if everyone in our house has a cold my other half has the flu and he takes to his bed at the drop of a hat. I think if he’d mentioned any pregnancy symptoms to me while I was pregnant, well let’s just say it wouldn’t have ended well. Especially if like Harry he was concerned how HE would handle the labour pains…..

But maybe I’m being unfair, maybe men really can and do suffer when us mums are pregnant, what do you think? Did your partner display any of these symptoms while you were expecting?

Free! Aldi Lunch Box App

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 7 September, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Free! Aldi Lunch Box AppIf you're anything like me, packing lunch boxes for the kids or yourself can be mind numbing. You open the fridge and just stare at it before closing it, completely lost for ideas. Not just me? Good.

Aldi have a free iPhone and Android App that you can personalise with your child's name, a picture if you fancy, and a 'lunch box colour', then choose your child's favourite snack and choose five things they don't like to eat, and you're set.

The App then gives you lunch, snack, fruit, drink and extra snack ideas for every day of the week. Don't like or have on hand what it suggests? Just refresh and try again. It also adds everything on your 'menu' to a shopping list, so you can easily add it to your trolley.

Even if you don't use it all, it could be fun for some new ideas, don't you think?

Foraging With Kids This Autumn

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 4 September, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Foraging With Kids This Autumn

Here's a great resource for foraging for children. It's slightly American in the title but the blogger is in London but the rules apply and a lot of the same foods can be found in our British Hedgerows.

Have a look at the book Food For Free* currently reduced at Amazon too!

Elsa and Anna are BACK! Frozen Short Film Arriving Next Spring!

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 3 September, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Elsa and Anna are BACK! Frozen Short Film Arriving Next Spring!

Disney hoped that after a few rough years, and movies, Frozen would continue their successful streak after the likes of Tangled BUT no one could have predicted the phenomenon that the film Frozen would actually become.

Children across the word were captivated, parents found themselves frantically scrambling for merchandise, while suppliers struggled to keep up with the demand – Disney were back in business.

Therefore it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that they’ve decided to capitalise on this and it’s been announced that there will be a Frozen short film released next Spring.

Announced during a television feature in the US earlier this week on the making of the movie, “Frozen Fever” will see the return of Elsa, Anna and Kristoff as Anna’s birthday comes around. Her sister and friends are planning to give her the best birthday ever but the celebrations are once again interrupted by Elsa’s icy powers.

The original team are back writing and directing what promises to be an instant hit, while the Oscar winning songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez will be penning a brand new song for the short film.

Could it be as good as “Let it Go?” Will Olaf make an appearance? Who knows! All I do know is never mind the kids, I can’t wait! What about you?

"Unsafe" Loom Bands Charms From The Entertainer Recalled

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 29 August, 2014 at 9:54 pm

"Unsafe" Loom Bands Charms From The Entertainer Recalled

This summer will go down in history as the Summer of Frozen and/or Loom Bands, as I'm sure most parents across the country are all too well aware, but now it's come to light that some of the Loom Band charms that adorn the bracelets are actually being withdrawn because they contain overly high levels of pthalates of the banned variety.

What's the problem with the recalled loom band charms?

In order to make plastic flexible, a chemical called phthalates is added. Within the EU producers are legally allowed to add 0.1%  phthalates to plastic, but about seven phthalates have been banned under EU legislation for being potentially damaging due to their carcinogenic - that's cancer causing - properties.

While Phthalates can be found in cosmetics, pharmaceutical drugs, carpets and loads of other 'every day' things, it's about the levels, and if it's under the 0.1% limit, it's generally considered 'safe'. The problem here is that these were tested by the Birmingham Assay Office and found to have from 1% to 40% pthalates!

Tester Marion Wilson said: "Phthalates will get into your system through sucking and obviously a charm hanging off a bracelet is a very high risk item, a thing most likely to suck just as you're fiddling with it.

Is it all loom band charms?

"Unsafe" Loom Bands Charms From The Entertainer Recalled

Apparently it's not all loom band charms, but the Birmingham Trading Standards are investigating various samples across the city as well as liaising with colleagues in other local authorities.  The packets that have been identified so far had foreign writing on them and the CE stamp indicating they were within European safety law.

The primary seller for these is The Entertainer, who have now made it their priority to withdraw these from sale.

A spokesperson for RMS International, which supplies the loom bands, said:

"We would like to reassure the public that loom bands are entirely safe and this only involves a number of PVC loom charms. Any concerned consumers should return their product to the retailer from where they were purchased."

RMS International which supplies these loom band charms also sells to Tesco, Asda and Argos, however, these stores do not stock the PVC charms which are under investigation.

What do you think about these loom band charms making it onto our market in the first place? Join the discussion on our Facebook page!

Freebie! Open Heritage/Open Doors Days 11 - 14 September Across the UK

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 26 August, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Freebie! Open Heritage/Open Doors Days 11 - 14 September Across the UKIf you like a bit of culture, open spaces and old buildings, take advantage of the Open Heritage or Open Doors Days around the UK 11 - 14 September.

There are properties across the UK but they're called Open Heritage in England and Open Doors in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Across the country there will be free events from castles to gardens to farms and museums. For most of them you can just turn up, but for others you may have to book in advance, so make sure you check to see what's close to you, what's on there and if you have to do anything before going.

Otherwise, just go and enjoy  good family day out and be a tourist in your own town!

Thanks to wiggywig and thewongwing101 at HUKD

Playpennies Ice Bucket Challenge

by Nada in Misc on 24 August, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Oh my Goodness! I think I have more than shown my commitment to my fellow Playpennies girls. HUKD nominated us for the Ice Bucket Challenge and well we had to decide who was going to be the poor soul to do it. I am the newbie so I volunteered, well because of that, and because I am always up for a bit of nonsense.

Anyway, here's the video. BTW the water was absolutely freezing, so much so that it took my breath away. My son Ben joined me as he is a wee trooper and he loves any excuse to get soaked. My other half and my eldest son James participated in soaking me, even little baby Daniel got in on the fun.

Holiday Pirates you have been nominated! The clock is ticking, get those buckets filled. It's all for a good cause, the ALS Foundation, our donation will be made shortly. To see where the money goes click here 

iPhone 5 Battery Problems? You May Be Eligible For A Free Replacement

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 24 August, 2014 at 11:28 am

iPhone 5 Battery Problems? You May Be Eligible For A Free Replacement

Apple has determined that a number of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these problems and meets the eligibility requirements, Apple will replace your iPhone battery free of charge.

From August 29th if your iPhone is affected you’ll be able to get a replacement battery using one of the following options :

  • Apple Authorised Service Provider : Find one here
  • Apple Retail Store : Make an appointment here
  • Apple Technical Support : Contact them here

If you believe your iPhone 5 was affected by this issue, and you paid to replace your battery, you can contact Apple directly with regards to a refund.

There’s a few steps you have to follow to protect items stored on your iPhone with regards to removing the battery and you can check them out here.

Have you been affected by this issue? Let us know.

 Thanks to Dappy at HUKD for the heads up!

Kids DIY Sessions @ B&Q Kids Classes

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 19 August, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Kids DIY Sessions @ B&Q Kids ClassesIf you've been 'meaning to' get the kids to B&Q over the summer for their DIY sessions, you have two chances left to do so.

This weekend 23 and 24 August, youngsters will be helped to make their own magazine storage racks, and next weekend, 30 and 31 August they'll be making pencil cases.

These classes are suited to 7 - 11 year olds and are aimed at helping children learn basic DIY skills through small projects.

They're normally charged at £5 a session but members of the free B&Q Club get them free.

To become a member, simply click here to register online (you'll be sent a confirmation email with your membership code in). If you're already a member, you don't have to re-register.

I know in our local B&Q the classes have been fully booked every Saturday and Sunday, but that's not been the case at them all so it's worth checking out if you're after some activities for the last two weekends of August.

Ignore No More App : One Mother Fights Back!

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 19 August, 2014 at 9:54 am

Ignore No More App : One Mother Fights Back!

If your children ignore your repeated calls and text messages to reach them, you simply lock their phones until they call you back.

Ignore No More is an App designed by Sharon Standifird a mum from Houston, Texas.  After her texts and calls were ignored one time too many by her son she decided to be proactive and designed the app currently for sale for £1.19 at the Google Play Store*.

In a nutshell, this app allows you to take control of your child’s smartphone. You simply click their name and enter an unlock code twice which secures control of their phone. The screen goes black and they are forced to call a pre-approved contact to gain a password to have it unlocked.

Importantly kids will still be able to make calls to the emergency services during this period but won’t be able to make any other calls, texts, play games or browse the internet on their phone.

Over on Google Play, it’s described as “easy to install” and “virtually impossible” for it to be removed by a child once installed and parents are raving over it with one commenting :

This is genius! I wish someone would have come up with this about 3 years ago when I bought my son his first phone. He keeps telling me that he doesn't know his phone has rang nonstop for the last hour or that he didn't see the text messages. We tried it out tonight with his galaxy s4 and my lg g flex and it worked great! Now i guess we will see how many of those calls he really doesn't here and texts that he really doesn't know come in... thank you! !!!!

Not everyone is such a fan though. Bradley, Sharon’s own son and the inspiration behind the app,  thinks it’s a great idea but “for other people not me”.

Currently only available for android devices, there are plans for an iPhone version soon.

What’s your thoughts on this? Great idea or a step too far?

We’d love to know!

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!