Ever Wondered What Anna & Elsa Would Look Like If They Were Real?

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 23 July, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Ever Wondered What Anna & Elsa Would Look Like If They Were Real?

These amazing pictures show how one artist has imagined what the Disney Frozen characters Anna and Elsa would look like as humans. The digital artist Jirka Väätäinen has created these works as the latest in his project "Real Life" Disney Girls, where he is "envisioning what the girls of Disney might look like in real life".

If you would like to see the whole of the collection, as well as the artist's other works you can find those on his website here. 

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School Bans Little Girl From Disco Because Mother Forgot To Buy Ticket

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 23 July, 2015 at 5:39 pm

School Bans Little Girl From Disco Because Mother Forgot To Buy Ticket
Most parents have forgotten to reply to letters sent home from school at one stage or another, but one mum paid a hefty price for forgetting to pay for her daughter's ticket to the school disco - the school promptly banned the little girl from attending.

The Daily Mail reports:

Ella Delaney, from Edgeley, Stockport, was hoping to attend tonight's disco at Cheadle Heath Primary School but her mother Georgina Edwards failed to confirm her attendance in time.

After missing the Tuesday afternoon deadline, Ms Edwards tried to pay the following day. But staff said it was too late and Ella could not attend. 

According to the paper, parents were first notified about the school disco back in April, and reminders were sent in the form of a letter and two texts closer to the event. But the school has stood by its decision, arguing that the deadline was necessary to help organise the event and ensure the safeguarding of those attending.

Speaking personally, I am a bit of a disaster when it comes to responding to letters and reminders from my children's school, so I can totally see this sort of thing happening in our house. And while I hold my hands up to the fact that I should be more organised and that it's my job to teach my children the importance of manners, time-keeping and organisation, I also think the school has taken its disco a little too seriously. It's an end of term event, not a visit to the Moon.

Could they not have accepted payment on the door, once parents had confirmed whether there child would be attending? As important as it is for parents to respect a school's authority, including deadlines for responding to letters, I think it's equally important for schools to teach kids that mistakes happen, exceptions can sometimes be made, and that rules can occasionally be broken - especially at the end of term and where a disco is concerned.

What's your view? Do you think it's heavy-handed of the school to ban a child from attending the school disco due to missing a deadline for buying a ticket? Or is the school right to expect parents to adhere to deadlines and respond promptly? We'd love to read your comments over on our Facebook page.

Mother Shares Picture Of Two Year Old Boy Inside Washing Machine

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 22 July, 2015 at 11:24 am

Mother Shares Picture Of Two Year Old Boy Inside Washing Machine

A mother who posted a picture of her two-year-old son inside a washing machine has been reported to the police.

The Daily Mail reports:

Courtney Stewart, 21, says the boy, two, had climbed into the machine of his own accord because he has a 'washing obsession', and she had shared the photograph 'as a laugh'.

But her neighbours in Erskine, Renfrewshire, have not seen the funny side of the photo, which shows the boy inside the machine, with an adult's hand on the door, and reported her to the police.

The little boy, who has Down's Syndrome, reportedly climbed into the washing machine which was unplugged whilst his mother was waiting for delivery of a new machine. She said the door of the washing machine was not closed, and that she posted the picture online 'for a laugh'.

Mrs Stewart removed the photograph after it was reported to the police, but says she has been called names and physically assaulted by another mother because of the image.

What's your view on this? I'm pretty dismayed by it because I dread the thought of my children climbing into the washing machine or tumble drier while my back is turned, so I tend to lecture them endlessly about the dangers of doing so.

And at two years old, how is a child to understand that it's ok to do this 'for a laugh' when the machine is unplugged, but not at other times? I'd be afraid that a child that young would repeat the experience when the machine was plugged in.

Do you think people were right to report this picture to the police? And have you ever taken a similar picture, only to face a backlash from people who failed to see the funny side?

'My Daughter Almost Choked On Sophie The Giraffe Toy' Post Goes Viral

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 21 July, 2015 at 6:03 pm

'My Daughter Almost Choked On Sophie The Giraffe Toy' Post Goes Viral

A mum whose six-month-old daughter started choking on a Sophie the Giraffe toy has shared the horrifying experience via her Facebook page, which has since been shared more than 2,200 times.

The Huffington Post reports:

Katie Jones, who uploaded a photo of the toy and a description of what happened, explained that her daughter, Paige, was happily chewing on the popular rubber teether. But when she went to grab something from the kitchen, Jones returned to see her daughter had "become quiet and lifeless".

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Dad Makes A Mario Kart 8 Baby Nursery

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 21 July, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Dad Makes A Mario Kart 8 Baby Nursery

Is this the best nursery ever? It's certainly one of a kind! Reddit user troymcklure took a year and a half to create this Mario Kart 8 themed nursery for his baby, making the vast majority of it from scratch.

He had already made a Zelda and a Yoshi's Island themed nursery, and he has posted videos on his website that show how he made the Zelda and Mario Kart ones.  There's an incredible amount of work gone into this room, and the baby does look impressed judging by his face!

This is one DIY project that looks a bit too ambitious for most of us, but I would be careful about showing this to your children in case they make a request for a room like this for themselves.

And guess what this Dad does for a living? He's a games tester. :)

Think you could give this a go yourself?

Dad Makes A Mario Kart 8 Baby Nursery

Product Recall: Sainsbury's Grow and Play Funny Caterpillar

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 21 July, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Product Recall: Sainsbury's Grow and Play Funny CaterpillarSainsbury's have issued a product recall on their baby toy 'Sainsbury's Grow and Play Funny Caterpillar':

We have identified a potential safety issue with this product which may result in a choking hazard.

This affects all batch codes. If you have purchased an affected product, please stop using it immediately.

We are asking all customers who have bought this product to return it to their nearest Sainsbury’s store, where they will receive a full refund.

No other products are affected by this issue, and we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.

You can find the full product recall on the Trading Standards website here, and on the Sainsbury's website here.

Royal Family Share Adorable Snap Of Prince George Ahead Of Second Birthday Celebrations

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 21 July, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Royal Family Share Adorable Snap Of Prince George Ahead Of Second Birthday Celebrations
Kensington Palace has shared an adorable new snap of Prince George, who turns two years old tomorrow.

The @KensingtonRoyal account tweeted:

"Look who's turning two tomorrow! #HappyBirthdayPrinceGeorge"

The picture was taken by renowned photographer Mario Testino in the gardens at Sandringham House, and shows the birthday boy in the arms of his father, the Duke of Cambridge.

"The young prince, who is third in line to the throne, was pictured grinning in his father's arms ahead of the occasion.... It was part of the series of official photographs taken by the renowned photographer following Princess Charlotte's baptism on Sunday 5th July."

A spokesman for Kensington Palace said:

"This photograph captures a very happy moment on what was a special day for The Duke and Duchess and their family. They are very pleased to share this picture as they celebrate Prince George's second birthday."

It is reported that Prince George's second birthday will be marked by the family with a low-key  celebration at Anmer Hall, their home in Norfolk on the Sandringham Estate.

I wonder if his very Royal granny will be popping in for a cup of tea and a slice of birthday cake?

Top 10 Ways We Embarrass Our Kids

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 21 July, 2015 at 10:30 am

Top 10 Ways We Embarrass Our Kids

If you've ever sidled up to your other half for a quick kiss or cuddle, only to be met with groans of 'Gross, Mum!' from your horrified offspring, then it probably won't surprise you to learn that there is such thing as Embarrassing Parents Syndrome (EPS).

That's according to the Express newspaper, at least, which reports that Thorpe Park has installed designated 'dad dancing' areas to spare children embarrassment during its Island Beats music festival which is taking place this summer. Presumably, that's off the back of *that* video we shared recently of a dad doing some seriously embarrassing dad dancing.

The theme park commissioned research, which found that children are most embarrassed by their parents at the age of 14, so I've at least got a few years to work up my best embarrassing parent credentials. I can't wait, actually, because embarrassing your kids has to be one of the best things about being a parent, right?

The paper reports:

"The study identified parents feeling younger than their age (38 per cent) as the top reason behind Embarrassing Parents Syndrome. Purposefully teasing their children came next on the list, followed by trying to be funny, “not realising what they are doing “ and a well-intentioned effort to improve their relationship with their kids. The research also reveals that Embarrassing Parents Syndrome (EPS) is set to reach peak levels over the summer as parents spend an average of 15 more hours per week with their children than during term time."

According to Thorpe Park's research, these are the top ten ways that parents embarrass their children:

1 Dad dancing
2 Public displays of affection to children or with each other
3 Using outdated slang and trying to join in with youth speak
4 Wearing age-inappropriate clothes
5 Telling cringeworthy anecdotes
6 Tidying up after children
7 Joining social media
8 Being useless at technology in general
9 Trying to explain the facts of life
10 Drinking too much

So, how many of these are you guilty of? I'm definitely the queen of number 5. But I can't see why number 6 is embarrassing - a bit of gratitude wouldn't go amiss, kids!

And what embarrassing antics would you add to the list? We'd love to hear your best stories about embarrassing your kids or indeed being embarrassed by your own parents! Come and share the cringe-factor over on our Facebook page...

Is Your Child Missing Out On A Sight Test?

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 20 July, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Is Your Child Missing Out On A Sight Test?

Did you know that your child is entitled to a free eye test?

If that's news to you, you may be among the thousands of parents whose children are missing out on routine eye tests once they start school.

According to a report in the news today, thousands of children are missing out on eye tests because only a third of local councils adhere to national screening guidelines to offer children aged four and five an eye test.

The Telegraph reports:

"Children are at risk of developing learning problems because councils are failing to provide eye tests at primary school, the College of Optometrists has warned. Fewer than a third of local authorities are following national screening guidelines to give all four and five year olds a sight test, the College warned."

The situation is deemed to be worse in London, where "just 18 per cent of councils said they were carrying out screening".

Few children will complain about problems with their eyesight - experts advise that sight problem in children tend to manifest in less obvious ways, so do look out for signs that your child might be struggling. These include sitting too close to the television, complaining of headaches, and rubbing their eyes.

Sight tests are free for children under the age of sixteen, so if you have any concerns about your child's eye-sight, don't hesitate to book a sight test at your local opticians.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this over on our Facebook page. Has your child been offered a sight test at school? What's your view on the subject?

School Chef Revolutionises Mealtimes For Children With Autism

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 20 July, 2015 at 4:29 pm

School Chef Revolutionises Mealtimes For Children With Autism

There was a brilliant article in yesterday's Observer about a school for children with autism, and how the arrival of a new chef has helped to revolutionise school meal times.

Jay Rayner writes:

"This is not merely another story of a school meals service revolutionised by the arrival of a trained chef, determined to prepare everything from scratch. It’s also about the vital therapeutic role good food can play in the lives of a community that needs it most. It is about the pleasures of the table that so many of us take for granted being extended to people for whom the commonplace is a struggle. And it’s about preparing vulnerable children for the realities of life beyond school."

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Things We Swore We'd Never Do... Till We Had Kids

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 17 July, 2015 at 11:00 am

Things We Swore We'd Never Do... Till We Had Kids

Hey, remember back when you thought you had parenthood all sewn up? Cast your mind back to w-a-y before you had kids. Back when - armed with nothing more than your judgemental observations of other parents and a breath-taking degree of naivety - you had views on everything from handling tantrums to tackling toilet training.

My friend Liza has a name for people like that - the kind of people most of us were before our kids came along. ‘Backseat parents,’ she calls them.“I was one,” she says. “I reckon we all were until we actually had kids."

"You know they type; despite never having been parents, they happily dispense their pearls of parental wisdom to unsuspecting friends and family - before skipping home to their immaculately tidy houses where they sleep uninterrupted for at least eight blissful hours. But the moment they have a child of their own, everything changes.”

Yep, I was one of 'those' people. So as an act of an attrition, here is my confession. These are just three of the many stupid things I fervently believed about how to be a brilliant parent. Before I actually met my kids...

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School Bans Doritos Roulette Crisps After Pupil's Breathing Difficulties

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 16 July, 2015 at 7:47 pm

School Bans Doritos Roulette Crisps After Pupil's Breathing Difficulties

Doritos Roulette have been on sale in the UK for a few months now, and the idea behind them is that one in every handful of crisps has been coated in a special super hot 'fiery' coating.

Now these crisps have been banned by The George Pindar School in Scarborough after one pupil suffered breathing difficulties after eating them.

A letter was sent home to parents warning them the snack can cause ‘severe distress’ after the pupil, who suffers from asthma, was left struggling to breathe.

‘In relation to the cautionary note in our newsletter with regard to the Dorito Roulettes, it was placed in there after an incident with a student where they had experienced some difficulty breathing after eating one,’ a spokesperson for the school told The Metro.

They added: ‘The student had a pre-existing respiratory condition which clearly made them sensitive to the ‘hot’ element of the Doritos chip.’

Doritos have responded by explaining that there are warnings on the packet that they are very spicy, and also that they are not suitable for young children. However it has been reported that they have been banned in the US already, and the advertising campaign boasts that they will "bring you close to tears".

So what do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments or over on our Facebook page.

How Much Does The Tooth Fairy Pay In Your Area?

by Nada in Misc on 14 July, 2015 at 9:55 pm

How Much Does The Tooth Fairy Pay In Your Area?

I spat out my tea when I saw that on Ex-Teen Mom Cast, Farrah Abraham's Facebook page that the Tooth Fairy she had gifted her daughter Sophia $600 (plus gifts) for her front two teeth. My children get a fiver per tooth and I thought that was generous enough.

That got me thinking how much does everyone else give? My friends give £2 per tooth, but my defence of giving a fiver is that I got £1 back in the 80's for my pearly whites.

PlayPennies Karen then showed me some pretty interesting "statistics" about how much some areas in the UK give on average per tooth.

The results come from a study of 1000 parents, living in the UK, with children aged 5-14, undertaken by The Magic Door Store (Fairy/Elf Door Retailer) and conducted by conducted by OnePoll.

Here's what they suggest:

  • 1. Belfast £1.76
  • 2. Newcastle £1.43
  • 3. Edinburgh £1.42
  • 4. Cambridge £1.36
  • 5. Manchester £1.34

This study also implies that "in the last 12 months alone, our kids’ pearly whites have cost the tooth fairy a staggering £19.8 million.".

That's a lot of money that us parents are popping under the pillow. We want to know how much you give! Come to think of it, we want to know what you do with all of those teeth.

Image Credit: Farrah Abraham Facebook

More Children Burned By Poisonous Giant Hogweed Plant (Graphic Images)

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 14 July, 2015 at 3:30 pm

More Children Burned By Poisonous Giant Hogweed Plant (Graphic Images)

A Father has called for warnings to be put in place in the area where his daughter received horrific burns from the Giant Hogweed plant to prevent other being harmed in the same way.

10 year old Lauren Fuller was playing near a riverbank in the Loch Lomond area, and picked the plant while building a den. Within hours she had bright red burns on her hands and face which developed into large blisters, and she may now need skin grafts to repair the damage.  There have also been several case of children being burned recently in other areas around Greater Manchester where the plant is common - these are Clifton Country Park in Salford and Moses Gate Country Park in Bolton.

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Three Things You Need To Know If Your Baby Doesn't Sleep

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 13 July, 2015 at 11:00 am

Three Things You Need To Know If Your Baby Doesn't Sleep

If you’re on your knees with exhaustion as the proud new parent of a baby who just does not sleep, here are three home truths that I reckon you could use. I learned them the hard way.

It’s my fault my baby will not sleep

Sleep deprivation does ridiculously stupid things to the human brain, but the very worst is the way it distorts your thinking until you’re convinced that you are in some way to blame for the fact that you have a baby who will not sleep.  So I’m here to say this loud and clear. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. It’s not because of something you’ve done or haven’t done, it’s not a measure of the sanctity of your soul, and it’s certainly not because you won’t cave to pressure from well-meaning relatives and just try controlled crying / give up breastfeeding / insert any number of ‘good ideas’ here. Think about it. Believing that it’s YOUR fault your baby doesn’t sleep is as absurd as blaming yourself because he or she didn’t arrive fully potty-trained and able to recite the alphabet backwards whilst painting a masterpiece with one hand tied behind her back. Sleep is a skill which must be learned, and there are endless reasons why some babies grasp it quicker than others. But IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Have you got that yet?

It’s the end of the world because I have a baby who will not sleep 
(It wasn’t.)
In years to come this painful period of sleepless parenting will actually become a dim and distant memory. Honestly. It’s not because it’s not the big deal you feel it is right now, it’s just because all the most demanding and difficult parts of parenthood do just eventually fade - that’s the only way Mother Nature can get us to keep popping out more of the little blighters. I realise this might not be much comfort to you right now,  but I found that it can actually help to take a moment to drink in the bigger picture when you’re going out of your mind with lack of sleep. Repeat after me: this too shall pass. It really, really will.

Everybody else secretly thinks I’m a rubbish mum
Surrounded by parents whose babies sleep for twelve blissful hours every single night, it’s easy to feel like a failure. Worse, it’s tempting to assume that everyone around you secretly thinks that your baby doesn’t sleep because, beneath your less-than-convincing facade, you’re just a really rubbish mother. Except no-one’s actually thinking that, and if they were they’d be the sort of useless friend that you shouldn’t bother your head about anyway. If anything, your friends are feeling gut-wrenching empathy for you and wondering how best they can offer you some support. My advice - pick up the phone and tell them what it’s like being the mother of a baby who will not sleep - they might not have a magic cure, but you’ll feel a whole ton better.

Oh, and did I mention that IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT?

Image credit: Flickr.com/Kenny Louie

This Gadget Will Tell You Where The Kids Are

by Nada in Misc on 11 July, 2015 at 9:02 pm

This Gadget Will Tell You Where The Kids Are

My son Ben likes to go out and play but he is always late coming in. There has been a couple of times he has been in a friend's house but I have not known which one. Off I go traipsing around door-to-door looking for him. All of his nearby friends are in his year at school but that doesn't stop me worrying where the heck is. LG have just solved my problem.

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Make A Jumbo Jammie Dodger with Asda Recipes

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 11 July, 2015 at 6:22 pm

 Make A Jumbo Jammie Dodger with Asda Recipes

Asda have a some recipes for giant sized party food in their recipe website, and as well as the Giant Jaffa Cake we showed you lst week you can make over-sized versions of favourites like Iced Gems and Party Rings. And then there's this Jumbo Jammie Dodger!

Made according to the instructions this huge version of the jam and cream biscuit will be bigger than  most cakes, so it's definitely one to share. Imagine that as part of a party feast or an alternative to a birthday cake?

Here what you need:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 250g plain flour
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g raspberry jam (smooth seedless is best)

And here's what you do:

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NEW Honey Girls @ Build-A-Bear

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 10 July, 2015 at 9:42 pm

NEW Honey Girls @ Build-A-Bear

There has been a lot of excitement about this in recent days, but today the new Honey Girls toys have finally arrived at Build-A-Bear, and they look like they will be hugely popular if the online reaction to them is anything to go by.

The Honey Girls are a girl band made up of bears Viv, Teegan and Risa, and on the Build-A-Bear website you can watch their music video, and soon you can download a free app available as well.

Each of the Honey Girls has their own dedicated page on the Build-A-Bear website with pictures, a biography and videos, with more content coming soon.

I didn't mention that you can buy them as well, did I? I suppose that's the whole point, but these are also the only toys at Build-A-Bear that have so much other stuff going on, and for the fans that's a big bonus. It's Build-A-Bear's first ever venture into a multimedia product, and it will be very interesting to see how it takes off and what more they come up with in the future.

Honey Girls are available online and in Build-A-Bear stores now.

Want To Be On "One Born Every Minute"?

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 10 July, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Want To Be On "One Born Every Minute"?

Are you addicted to Channel 4's massive hit show One Born Every Minute? The new series is coming later this month on 22nd July, but there is another series being made this autumn.

They will be filming series 9 in Liverpool Women's Hospital from September 28th to November 2nd this year, so if you are due around that time and that is where you are planning to give birth then you could apply to take part.

On the official One Born Every Minute Facebook page they have posted this information today, along with the following contact details for those who would like to be part of the show or who have any questions:

Call Sophia on 07720 760 290 / 07981 107 343 or email [email protected]

So what do you think? It's one thing watching the show and quite another taking part in it. Would you love to share your child's birth with the nation or are you going to stick with watching at home?

Which Kind Of Facebook Parent Are You?

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 10 July, 2015 at 11:00 am

Which Kind Of Facebook Parent Are You?

We all do it. Mentally categorise our Facebook friends into 'types'. Don't pretend you don't. (Please don't - you'll make me look bad for starters.)

Ahem, anyway. I laughed out loud at this piece about the rise of humble-bragging and it made me realise that I am *that* type of parent. You know the kind. Here's the definition of what we do:

...'An ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud.' according to the Oxford English Dictionary...

Yup, totally guilty. I'm also a bit of an over-sharer as defined in a recent  Metro article. They describe our type thusly:

When the over-sharer isn’t posting pictures of their child’s latest rash or a weird scab, they are giving graphic descriptions of their child’s latest explosive nappies. They have put you off your lunch on more than one occasion. Also likes to share 10,457 pictures a day usually of their child doing the same thing – but you have to admit those pictures are super cute. Most likely to post: Help! What do you think this is in my son’s poo? (picture of contents of nappy.) Least likely to post: Nothing. Everyone needs to read this stuff right?!

Here are three of my own to add to the list...

1.  The vaguebooker
Never let it be said that the Vaguebooker doesn't let you know what's on her mind. Well actually, scratch that. She never does, because she's too busy vaguely alluding to it without actually telling you anything at all, inevitably eliciting a rush of 'What's up, love?' replies and feverish likes, quickly qualified with 'I don't like this, obvs, hon!'. She doesn't MEAN to be annoying - she probably has some complicated dynamics going on which means she can't just come out with it, so making the vaguest of suggestions (driving your imagination into overdrive in the process) is about the closest she can get to getting things off her chest. Everybody needs their place for that.

2. The selfie queen
She posts almost daily snaps of whatever part of her (admittedly enviable) body is most capturing her attention on any given day. While you're suitably impressed and genuinely in awe of her washboard stomach / flawless skin / Kardashian-worthy pout, you can't help but feel a bit inadequate in the face of all those perfectly-curated selfies. So it's a good job she's as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside, otherwise you'd have no choice but to hate her. Fans of the Brelfie fit this category, too.

3. The shameless boaster
There's competitive parenting - you know, where you pretend not to be boasting about your kid's sporting prowess / educational achievements / all-round brilliance but secretly are, narrowly disguising it as good, old-fashioned humble pride - and then there's shameless boasting. We've all done this one so I'm in no position to comment on its shortcomings nor on how annoying it is for other parents to witness. Suffice it to say that the point of being parents is surely so that we have something more interesting to boast about than our own lame achievements, no?

So come on, tell us: which one are you, and which 'types' would you add to the list?