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The world always needs more kindness and these 110 acts of kindness for kids are a great way to encourage children to be kinder than they need to be. We use these every year at Advent and lent and also over the summer.  What I really want to do is instil a kindness mindset in my children and sometimes using a list like 110 Acts of Kindness for Children makes it much easier for the children to choose what they want to do.

I think most of us get caught up in our own lives and the day to day stuff often forgetting that the simplest of things can make the most significant impact on someone else. A smile, a hug or a compliment can really make someone’s day.  Our 110 Acts of Kindness for Children is perfect for using within a classroom or group too and most of the acts of kindness cost nothing or very little.

It is fabulous that our random acts of kindness and good deeds can make someone else’s entire day and that often when we make someone happy they pass that on to other people.  it is great to see that a ripple can make a wave and who doesn’t need a little extra kindness in their lives?

Here are 110 random acts of kindness and good deeds that can help you carry out kindness daily and become an everyday hero.

110 Acts of Kindness for Children
  1. Donate clothes to charity (leaving a happy note in the pocket)
  2. Donate to the local food bank
  3. Leave change in a vending machine
  4. Sort through your toys and donate any that you no longer play
  5. Leave chalk messages around where you live
  6. Sharpen all the pencils in the classroom at break time
  7. Write a letter to your sibling telling them why you love them
  8. Leave a beautiful homemade bookmark in your library book and give one to the Librarian
  9. Leave the pound in the shopping trolley next time you go to the supermarket
  10. Deliver cookies to your neighbours
  11. Tidy your bedroom without being asked
  12. Sit next to someone you normally don’t at the lunch table
  13. Make a bird feeder
  14. Send a care package to someone in the military
  15. Find three of your toys to give to the local children’s hospital
  16. Pass on some of your books to friends
  17. Give a lottery ticket to a stranger
  18. Donate books to your school library
  19. Leave out water for the birds Write thank you cards for your teacher, coach, Cubs leader or people that have influenced you in a positive way
  20. Clean up the area where you live by picking up litter.
  21. Make sure you wear gloves and do it with an adult.
  22. Help around the house without being asked to
  23. Donate pet food to a local shelter
  24. Put together a shoebox for your local church
  25. Write a thank you note for the bin collectors and post person
  26. Wash your parent’s car
  27. Give a homeless person a blanket
  28. Take everyone in your class a cookie
  29. Offer to help an elderly friend or neighbour
  30. Make a thank you card for the school crossing staff
  31. Offer to pack the shopping bags of the person in front of you and behind you at the supermarket
  32. Invite a new friend for a play date or out to play
  33. Walk someone else’s dog
  34. Give out a compliment
  35. Give out free hugs today
  36. Hold the door open for people all day
  37. Smile all day
  38. Let someone go in front of you in a queue
  39. Introduce yourself to someone new at school and chat with them
  40. Ring an elderly relative and have a nice chat with them
  41. Dontae this week’s pocket money to charity
  42. Do a chore for someone without them knowing
  43. Tell a joke
  44. Leave happy notes around town
  45. Put a small bin in your car to collect recycling
  46. Call your grandparents and ask them about their childhood
  47. Bake dessert for a neighbour
  48. Check in on an elderly neighbour
  49. Set the table for dinner
  50. Leave bubbles on someone’s doorstep
  51. Tell someone why they are special to you
  52. Buy a coffee for a stranger
  53. Pass out stickers to kids waiting in line
  54. Garden for a neighbour
  55. Bring flowers to your teacher
  56. Tape change to a parking meter
  57. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while to say hello
  58. Tape money for the ice cream van to a friend’s front door
  59. Read a book to someone
  60. Leave pennies on the pavement
  61. Donate a book to a doctor’s office waiting room
  62. Tell someone how much you love them
  63. Say hello to everyone you see
  64. Make someone else’s bed
  65. Wave at kids on buses
  66. Invite someone to play on the playground
  67. Tell the head teacher how great your teacher is
  68. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth
  69. Make a busy bag for a family with young children
  70. Help make dinner
  71. Donate new pyjamas for poorly children in hospital
  72. Make a get-well card for someone
  73. Bring your neighbours’ wheelie bins or garbage cans up for them
  74. Take care of someone’s pet while they’re away
  75. Share a special toy with a friend
  76. Tape a video message for faraway friends
  77. Leave kindness stones at the park
  78. Buy extra school supplies for a teacher
  79. Teach someone something new
  80. Reuse paper when you are drawing
  81. Give someone a hug coupon
  82. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  83. Collect money or items for your favourite charity
  84. Donate colouring books and crayons to the children’s hospital
  85. Write a poem for a friend
  86. Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts
  87. Adopt an animal online
  88. Make a homemade gift for someone
  89. Clean up your toys without being asked
  90. Dry the slides at the park with a towel after it rains
  91. Make play dough for a friend
  92. Send a postcard to a friend
  93. Volunteer to help coach younger kids at sports
  94. Empty all the bins at home
  95. Empty the dishwasher without being asked
  96. Handout ice pops/popsicles to friends
  97. Water a neighbour’s garden if they are away
  98. Write a letter to your mum and dad saying why you think they are special
  99. Try saying yes for the day
  100. Offer your seat
  101. Help your coach with any sports equipment
  102. Visit a sick friend or relative
  103. Buy a cool drink for someone
  104. Don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking
  105. Help someone cross the road
  106. Bring your parents breakfast in bed
  107. Make some kindness hearts
  108. Sort the recycling
  109. Every night before you go to bed, think of three things you’re grateful for
  110. Don’t shout today
Download your 110 Acts of Kindness for Children

I would love to know if you have any I could add to our next list – just leave me a comment below.

The post 110 Acts of Kindness for Children appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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These football crafts or soccer crafts for my US readers are brought to you in conjunction with MandMDirect.com.  For those of you that don’t know, I have two football mad boys.  Maxi is a defender (and a very good one at that) and plays in a team and has since he was five years old.  His team is an ace bunch of lads who now play in Division one and finished in the top half, which is great for a team that started out in division four.   At the moment with the Euro’s on my house is everything football, when they are not watching it they are playing it.  So now is the perfect time to round up some fab football crafts.

To celebrate the end of your children’s football season and the start of the Euro’s we are sharing with you some of the fantastic football boots that mandmdirect.com  have to offer.  They  feature the biggest brands  such as Adidas, Mizuno and Nike the lowest prices with up to 75% off.  So the minimads have had a browse on the website and picked out some great bargains (which I have also bought for them)!

Adidas Black Shorts these are perfect for everyday wear, but I have just bought these as Maxi’s PE shorts for school.  The Adidas ClimaCool Training Top is a fab bargain, my boys wear these in place of t-shirts and this is perfect for Mini’s school PE top.  We have a couple of these already and they wash and wear so well.  They are perfect for holidays as they dry really fast.  When it comes to football boots and trainers my lads are currently into Adidas so have picked the Adidas Boys F10 Football BootsAdidas Junior Predator Football Boots and Adidas F5 AstroTrurf Boots.  They tend to wear Astroturf boots on a day to day basis!  The trick with MandMDirect.com is to keep an eye on the site, which is what we do and I regularly get some great bargains for the boys and the husbeast too.

The post Football crafts or Soccer Crafts appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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Over 101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers is a paid collaboration with Goodfella’s Romano Pizza. As my boys are getting older I am finding that keeping them entertained over the summer is getting more expensive and it appears that I am not alone in finding it pricey,  A study by Goodfella’s Pizza discovered that during the six weeks summer holiday parents spend an average of £127 a child to stop their offspring becoming bored.  “I’m Bored” is one of the phrases that I have banned here, in fact over the years I have used it to my advantage with our Bored Jars.  So I have partnered up with Goodfellas and their Romano Pizza to share with you over 101 ideas for summer activities for teenagers perfect for a bored jar

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101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers

As with all our bored jars, there is a sting in the tail for teens if they need to use it and utter the dreaded words “I am bored”, they risk picking out a chore which they have to do before picking out another activity.  The majority of the activities are low cost or even no cost.  Over the years the boys have got used to keeping themselves occupied on a small budget which means that I spend much less than the average person according to the Goodfella Pizza research.  It also means that I can splash out on a summer trip to the water park or even a theme park for all the family.

Over 101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers
  1. Read a book
  2. Arrange a Clothes Swapping Event with Friends
  3. Take the dog for a walk
  4. Bake cookies
  5. Dry Ice Science
  6. Go on a Bike Ride
  7. Go to the Beach
  8. Make a Stop Motion Video
  9. Go swimming
  10. Let’s cook – make pizza
  11. Put on a DVD
  12. Let’s cook – Make popcorn
  13. Call on a friend
  14. Get the paints and pencils out
  15. Board game
  16. Go to the library
  17. Go to a park
  18. Find five things to give to charity from your bedroom
  19. Do the Laundry
  20. Water the plants
  21. Borrow the camera
  22. Make a coke/mentos rocket
  23. Make slime
  24. Plan, shop and make Dinner
  25. Have a sleepover in the garden
  26. Make Mocktails
  27. Make ice cream
  28. Go for a walk
  29. Clean your bedroom
  30. Vacuum the stairs
  31. Sweep the ground floor
  32. Have a makeover with your friends
  33. Have a pamper/spa session
  34. Research your family tree
  35. Write 5 things you love about each member of your family
  36. Draw a comic
  37. Wash the car
  38. Empty the dishwasher
  39. Make Jelly/Jello
  40. Go to a Museum
  41. Rearrange your bedroom
  42. Have a water fight
  43. Make a volcano
  44. Do some Gardening
  45. Go to a Theme Park
  46. Go and See your grandparents
  47. Make Coke Floats
  48. Make pancakes
  49. Personalise your clothes
  50. Make something off Pinterest
  51. Facetime a friend
  52. Go to a Pick your own farm
  53. Play board Games virtually with a friend
  54. Do some Yoga
  55. Have a Movie Night
  56. Go to the Gym
  57. Make homemade Jam/curd
  58. Make greetings cards
  59. Learn Something New
  60. Make Jewellery
  61. Go Geocaching
  62. Go to the Skate Park or Ice Ring
  63. Sort your wardrobe
  64. Make cupcakes
  65. Create a band
  66. Start your own Youtube channel
  67. Water the garden
  68. Groom the dog
  69. Play a card game
  70. Pick an activity to do with a parent
  71. Ask a friend to come round
  72. Mow the lawn
  73. Try 5 new foods
  74. Go on a bike ride
  75. Go fishing
  76. Design your own website
  77. Create a playlist
  78. Play sport with friends
  79. Watch a box set
  80. Learn a new craft
  81. Take a sewing lesson
  82. Buy an item from a charity shop and sell it on ebay for profit
  83. Buy a new magazine and read it
  84. Plan and arrange a BBQ
  85. Offer to babysit
  86. Go trampolining
  87. Go to a concert
  88. Go on a bat walk
  89. Make and fly a kite
  90. Have a Nerf fight
  91. Create some street art
  92. Visit a water park
  93. Go on a picnic
  94. Create a scrap book or Smash Book
  95. Write a play, story or poem
  96. Make a time capsule
  97. Make smoothies
  98. Write a song
  99. Start your own business
  100. Learn a new sport
  101. Listen to an audiobook
  102. Perform 5 random acts of kindness
  103. Stargaze and spot the constellations
  104. Go bowling
  105. Try embroidery
  106. Make an ice cream cake
  107. Watch scary movies with friends
  108. Arrange a sleepover

I would love to add any more summer activities for teenagers you can think of, Leave me a comment and I will add it to the list.

Download your free 101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers Printable

Links to our other Bored Jar Posts

150 Low cost or no cost summer bored jar activities

Goodfella’s Romano Pizza Review

Another way that I save money over the summer is by encouraging the boys to cook meals and making family meals at home a regular thing.  It saves us lots of money on eating out.  We are big fans of pizza and movie nights (even more so now we have a projector) and the boys are something of pizza experts.   The Romano Pizza range is a premium (and tasty) range of premium frozen pizza with a stonebaked base and fab toppings which cost around £2.50 and if you consider that the report said that parents spend around £609 on meals out, then you can make a huge saving by just being prepared and having some pizza in the freezer.

Mini likes his pizza classic and simple and he loved the four cheese and basil pesto pizza.  I think that simple pizzas are often the hardest to get right and this one was a big hit.  There was too much cheese and the cherry tomato didn’t make the topping too moist which can sometimes be Mini’s issue. The other vegetarian option, chargrilled vegetable and pesto pizza was delicious and full of taste too.

We really enjoyed all the pizzas (yes we ate them al fresco thanks to the fab weather recently) but had a few that real favourites.  MadDad really enjoyed the chicken, roquito pepper and red onion. This pizza had all of his favourite topping on and was really tasty without being too fancy and overpowering.

My favourite was the Calabrese salami and spicy ‘nduja sausage, topped with a chilli and black pepper flake pizza, it was tasty with a bit of a kick but not overtopped which I find a lot of pizza’s to be. Whereas Maxi’s favourite was the pepperoni and chorizo.  

Find out more about the Goodfella’s Pizza Romano range here.

The post Over 101 Ideas for Summer Activities for Teenagers – in conjunction with Goodfella’s Romano Pizza appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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2 Ingredient Fromage Frais Silly Putty is a paid collaboration for the #FeedTheirPlayfulNature campaign sponsored by Munch Bunch Organic.  Mini always has a packed lunch for school and I am always on the lookout for something to add to his lunch box and were delighted to see that Munch Bunch Organic comes in pouches perfect for lunch on the go.

I am passionate about encouraging children’s creativity and love that Munch Bunch are all for encouraging children to feed their playful nature.  You see children love to play and they learn so much more through play than anything else.  They asked Mini to share his favourite joke with you –

Why did the one eyed Monster’s school close?

It only had one pupil

We love jokes, in fact, I used to put one joke a day in Mini’s lunch box at school.  We are fans of really silly jokes, the sillier the better.  One thing I am glad is that the boys’ joke telling has got better as they have got older!

Whilst we were laughing and being silly, I remembered making silly putty with the boys with fromage frais when they were younger, so we decided to have a go together. Mini is a sensory seeker, he loves to engage and play with different textures and this silly putty is totally safe for children of all ages to play with as it contains food ingredients.

It is a cross between slime, play dough and gloop and smells amazing as well as being so much fun to play with.  I know that some parents really struggle with messy play at home, but this silly putty is perfect to make and play outside with as it will do no harm to animals or plants at all.

You can make it outside and play with it outside too.  And as the fromage frais pots are small you can make a small amount at the time and just make more the next time you want to play,  It is so much fun and yes it might be out of your comfort zone, but why not give it a try and feed your playful nature too.  The husbeast can often be found absentmindedly playing with doughs that we make.

2 Ingredient Fromage Frais Silly Putty

Ingredients

  • 2 pots of Munch Bunch Organic Fromage Frais
  • 1 1/2 pots of cornflour (cornstarch in the US)

Yes, seriously that is ALL you need.  It is totally taste safe and perfect for having a fun playtime with kids of all ages.

How to make Fromage Frais Silly Putty

It is as simple as mixing the two ingredients together and adding more of one or the other until you get to the consistency you like.  If it is sticky add more corn flour, too dry then it needs more fromage frais.

When the mixture is no longer sticky, pick it up and roll the putty into a ball.

Why not experiment and try different flavours of fromage frais to enhance the sensory experience.  There is something really calming about silly putty. It is brilliant for strengthening fine motor skills and to use in sensory play.

This will not keep for more than 48 and you need to store it in the fridge.

I love that this doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients and is safe for children as long as they do not have a dairy or gluten intolerance.

How to extend the play

A lot of people would look to add glitter to the dough, however, that would really spoil the fact that the silly putty is taste safe. So if you are going to add anything then make sure it is edible glitter or cake sprinkles would work really well.

Why not encourage the children to make their own potions with daisies from the lawn and small flower pots if you are playing outside. I am a fan of adding things from about the house such as buttons and feathers

Make sure you visit the Munch Bunch Facebook page to find ways to recycle your pouches and pots when you’ve finished eating your fromage frais.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/munchbunchdairy/ for more advice and tips

The post 2 Ingredient Fromage Frais Silly Putty – #FeedTheirPlayfulNature appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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I do love a freebie and even more, I love a homemade card, so if you combine the two you have free father’s day cards and printables and you are on to a winner.  Over the years I have had some fabulous cards and printables designed and I wanted to round them up so you can see them all in one place.

As a parent, I know that there is nothing that touches the heartstrings more than a handmade card plus they are so much cheaper than shop bought ones which leaves more cash left to spend on chocolate and who doesn’t want more chocolate? Father’s Day is no exception and if you asked my husband he would say spend the pennies on Maltesers and just make me a card.  So that is what the boys’ do.  They also give him the Maltesers and if they are lucky and have done a good job on the card front then he might share the chocolate with them!

I pretty much have a card for any type of Dad or age of child!

Free Father’s Day Cards and Printables

The post Free Father’s Day Cards and Printables appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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Things to consider before bringing a dog into your family home is a paid collaboration with Drontal to highlight the importance of using worming treatment every three months (Drontal is something we use, so I am delighted to be working with them). We are big pet lovers in here in the Mad House and love having Alvin as part of our family. However, bringing a dog into your home is something that really needs to be considered very carefully.

Things to consider before bringing a dog into your family home

Do your research and talk.

There is so much to consider even before you bring a dog into your home. You all need to be really honest about the answers to this. Even though the boys’ were adamant that they would be involved in looking after Alvin realistically I am the one that takes on 90% of his care. Plus did you know that you have to be over 10 years old to be legally responsible for a dog outside the home?

Questions you need to ask yourself and the rest of the family include:

Do we have time for a dog? Not only for walks but also grooming, training and upkeep. For example, did you know that in addition to annual boosters it is recommended that you worm your dog every three months in order to protect both your dog and your family? By proactively treating your dog with Drontal worming tablets every three months (for dogs that are a part of a family with small children, monthly is often recommended) you are helping to protect ALL your family. Certain types of worms can be transmitted from dogs to humans, including roundworm which can cause toxocariasis, Children are often at the greatest risk.

Can we afford a dog? Alvin is a pedigree dog and we did buy him.  We have our own reasons for that including the fact that we wanted a specific breed as Maxi as afraid of dogs but loved Buddy (The Frugal Family’s Bichon).  But in addition to the cost of buying your dog, you also need to factor in food, boosters, microchipping, insurance, regular treatments, grooming costs, vets bills, dog toys and equipment (leads, crate, poo bags). Then there are the associated costs when we go on holiday. Alvin goes to pet sitters when we go on holiday.

Can we make the commitment to a dog? Most dogs do not like being alone, so it isn’t just about the time it takes to look after a dog but also to be its family and be with it.  Alvin loves company. He likes to play and go on walks but he also likes to just sit with you. He doesn’t like long periods of being on his own.  We have even taken Alvin on dog-friendly holidays with us. The average lifespan of a dog is 12 years. So it is a long-term commitment that you are making.

Do we have allergies to consider?  Think about getting a nonshedding dog if you’re worried about loose hairs or kids’ allergies. Dogs that are regularly professionally groomed shed less in the home. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog since all dogs produce dander. Alvin doesn’t shed, but he does need a lot of grooming.

I have some tips on choosing the best dog for your family and really believe that every family can benefit from having a dog.

Having a dog is a big responsibility – just after having a child in my opinion and they can be hard work like children too.  You have to pick up their poo, feed them, wash them, brush their teeth, give them medication and train them.  However, the reward for this is priceless. Alvin is part of our family and we all love him and wouldn’t be without him.  He has given us so much joy

The post Things to consider before bringing a dog into your family home appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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Any man can look his best without having to spend thousands of dollars on clothing. It all comes down to the strategy you have when it comes to clothes shopping. It is a general misconception that you have to earn a lot in order to look impeccable. On top of that, you don’t have to wear designer clothes to look classy and polished.

Still, you can incorporate some new habits. Before we talk about that, note that your expectations should be realistic when your budget is limited. It’s true – you can stay fashionable on a budget, but it’s not as easy as it would be if you had a higher sum of money at your disposal.

The selection of clothes isn’t as large when your budget is restricted. And this shouldn’t come as a major surprise. That being said, you might not find what you’re looking for each time you’re out shopping.

Pay Attention to the Fit of the Clothes

This is, perhaps, the most important consideration. Even if you were to invest in the most expensive garments on the market, if they don’t fit your figure, you won’t look impeccable. The key to looking exquisite is investing in clothes that are tailored to your body.

Nevertheless, some of the items you’re likely to find might not fit you like a glove. In this case, you shouldn’t give up – an option would be upgrading the garments at a professional tailor. Of course, this refers to simple alterations that aren’t that costly, such as minor shortenings of the cuffs, in the case of pants, jackets or shirts, shortening the hem of shorts and jackets, taking in the trouser waist for a more secure fit, and the list may go on.

That being said, we advise you to pick clothes that could be easily altered so that they could fit you accordingly. Those are the garments you’ll keep going back to – the investments that will be worth your money.

Choose Versatile Garments

In order to get the most out of your money, you should focus on picking versatile garments that can be worn in numerous scenarios. This means that you shouldn’t bother with fashionable items that go out of style after a couple of months. In fact, we consider versatility as the most important quality in a piece of clothing. It means that you can wear it a lot, allowing you to get plenty of use out of your purchase. By ordering your versatile picks online with Plusvouchercode.co.uk you’ll get that bang for a buck, as well.

For example, even if you’ve seen an excellent looking shirt, if you end up wearing it once or twice, it’s not worth it. On that note, focus on picking items that feature classic designs, which come in neutral colours. These can be worn in numerous combinations. Rest assured, though, classic items don’t have to be boring – you can make your outfits stand out by adding unique accessories.

Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales

Another way in which you can save a lot of money when it comes to shopping for clothes is to take advantage of seasonal sales. While online shopping is a great alternative, as well, seasonal sales allow you to save a lot of money.

Nonetheless, the key to benefiting the most from this is embracing a sensible approach. That is to say, you shouldn’t buy something simply because it has a discounted price – not to mention that some garments are supposedly discounted, when, in fact, they aren’t. In other words, don’t be taken aback by the red price tag. If the price is too high, that rate might actually be the original price at which the retail intended to sell that garment.

On a different note, online shops offer great discounts as well. For example, let’s say that you’re shopping for a high-quality tux. You probably know that tuxedos are quite pricey. However, you might be able to save a considerable sum of money if you were to order your tux online with an everything5pounds discount code, for example, a 10% discount code is now available on all orders. Thanks to the money you’re going to save you could buy an extra accessory or save to purchase the piece of clothing you love on your next order.

Invest in Core Wardrobe Items

Building your wardrobe means investing in a few core pieces that you’re likely to wear for many years to come. When it comes to these items, you shouldn’t be cheap. We’re referring to those items around which you can create your day-to-day outfits, such as a few pairs of high-quality pants and jeans, some shirts, a few wool sweaters and perhaps a suit for business occasions.

When you have these core items, it will be much easier to combine them with more affordable garments and still look exquisite.

To conclude, even if you are on a budget, it is still possible to create a beautiful, timeless capsule wardrobe. You just have to shop wisely and invest in versatile pieces that you’ll wear for months to come. Yeah, we usually look at the quality over price. Let the shopping begin!

The post Keep It Classy – Frugalist Guide to Staying Fashionable on A Budget appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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I have a friend that always buys the best gifts.  She is a gift fairy and someone that I aspire to be.  There is a real knack for buying the perfect gift, a gift that will be loved and used. I have partnered with Braun to produce this Father’s Day gift guide to help you no matter what his style find a Father’s Day gift that he will use and love day in and day out

Father’s Day Gift Guide

This gift guide includes affiliate links, which means that if you purchase after clicking on my link, I might get a few extra pennies (enough to keep me in tea), but they will cost you NO MORE. 

Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3080s Shaver

This is the current shaver that the husband has and it was a series 3 shaver that transformed the way he shaved when he first got one back in 2014.

It is a great shaver and works for him whether he is clean shaven or has facial hair.  It is a wet or dry shave and one charge lasts a whole week.

Tassimo Machine

The husbeast would LOVE a bean to cup machine, but they are way out of our price range, however, he does love the Tassimo machine we have.  He thinks it makes a great cup of coffee and the boys are big fans of the Suchard hot chocolate.  A big benefit of the Tassimo is that the boys have been able to make a decent cup of coffee for years, as we let them use it much earlier than we did the kettle.  We have had 2 machines since 2013 and wouldn’t be without one.  We keep our disks and then send them back to be recycled using the  Terracycle scheme.  We collect our used T-discs and once we have a good box full we print off a label and send the disks to be recycled.  We have nominated a preferred charity to receive donations.

Retro Sweets

Often the way to a man’s heart is through his mouth! MadDad loves introducing the boys to retro sweets.  They have a laugh and decide which is the best!

Personalised Plant Pot

I am a big fan of Snapdragon, they produce affordable and unique pieces.  Succulents are a great gift and a personalised plant pot is a great idea and do you recognise that drawing?

Dad Sweatshirt

I blooming love Parent Apparel and am just waiting for them to do clothes for fat chicks!  Until that happens it will be all about the Dads here.  This is perfect for MadDad who’s New Year’s resolution was to be grumpy with style! He currently has a Waking Dad T-shirt from Parent Apparel and it is great quality and washes well showing no sign of the letters coming off (even after tumble drying)

Bluetooth Speaker

Although he might not share it, MadDad loves a good boogie and he loves being able to listen to his music anywhere.  This cube speaker looks and sounds great and is really affordable.

Outdoor Pizza Oven

What is it with men, they love the lure of cooking outside and an outdoor pizza oven is a great addition if you already have a BBQ.  Our pizza base tastes amazing when cooked in a wood fired pizza oven!

Mug

The husbeast had a fab Dad is King mug from Emma Bridgewater from 2012 and last week it cracked! He was distraught, so we will be replacing it with a new one.

Message Beans

These magic beans are laser engraved with different messages. The beans quickly sprout to reveal a special personalised message engraved on the plant’s central bean. A guaranteed hit for the kids and for Dad too.

An Experience Day

Experience being more lasting happiness than things and there really is something to suit every Dad, including a sausage making day, craft brewing experience, bread making class, foraging class or even a blacksmithing workshop.

Disclosure: I’m working in a paid relationship with Braun and Tots100

The post Father’s Day Gift Guide appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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This is a paid collaboration in association with Subway UK & Ireland. Did you know that American Football is the fastest growing sport in the UK? I certainly didn’t. That was until I started researching it after being invited to the Leeds regional NFL Flag tournament sponsored by Subway.  I had a fabulous afternoon watching four schools battle it out for their chance to be part of the National tournament.

So what is NFL Flag?

I am going to admit that American Football baffles me, but it is great fun to watch and having watched it when MadDad and I visited Boston I was unsure how the game would translate to non-contact and also for children under 12. Essentially it is a non-contact version of American football and you can find a full explanation of how to play the game here.

Why NFL Flag is great for Kids

What I loved about NFL Flag was that it is an inclusive game, even encouraging classic non-sporty children to get involved.  The teams are mixed sex and it was great to see girls being integral parts of the teams (which was definitely helped by the fact that they are often taller than boys at this age). Also being part of the team doesn’t depend on your speed or ability to throw or catch a ball.  An NFL Flag Football team needs blockers, defenders, strategists, in addition to great ball throwers and catchers.

What do you need to play?

All you really need is some open flat ground, an American football and some flags, but don’t worry if you don’t have them bibs tucked into shorts work well too.

The reasons above are why grassroots American Football is on the rise in the UK. Subway, who are the presenting partner of the NFL London Games and the official NFL Flag sponsor, have enabled the NFL Flag programme to deliver an inspiring (and free) 12-week flag curriculum programme into schools for children aged 9 to 12. They work with universities who already have an established American Football team to train up players to go in to local schools as NFL Ambassadors where they focus on the NFL core values of respect, integrity and responsibility  They develop the character of the children, improve their nutritional knowledge, teach them how to play NFL Flag and encourage them to be more active. The program culminates with a regional tournament which was what I attended today.

The children who were not actively playing in a team took part in an obstacle course with coaches and worked on their knowledge of nutrition, they developed cheers for the teams and also talked about what it takes to be a good team player.

How to get Involved?

NFL Flag presented by Subway currently operates in 8 cities throughout the UK with plans to expand to Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, so why not register your school’s interest here or send the link into your school so they can see what’s on offer.   They are also supporting schools to start the NFL Flag programme independently (without the coaches coming to the school). The free of charge support package includes:

  • Providing training to staff to enable confident coaching of the skills needed to play NFL Flag
  • A flag starter pack including 17 balls, 40 flag belts, and NFL Flag jerseys for the class to practice in
  • The 12 week NFL Flag presented by Subway curriculum
  • Support for facilitating local fixtures

The atmosphere at the Leeds tournament was electric, with singing, chanting and lots of encouragement. It was a real joy to see. So thank you to Subway for inviting me. My boys are great Subway fans and they will have a themed NFL kids pack out in October, so keep your eyes peeled.

Disclosure: This is a paid for post in collaboration with Subway 

The post Subway NFL Flag – A fabulous inclusive sport for children appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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Anyone who has tween and teen boys knows the way to their hearts is through their stomachs and one of the ways that I get them out of the house and doing something with us as a family is the promise of food.  My boys’ are also big fans of a BBQ, so when you add the two together it really helps get them to do family stuff.

We are so lucky where we live as it is 3 minutes drive from the beach and about 10 minutes from the North Yorkshire Moors. We also love about 40 minutes away from Dalby Forest and all are great places to go with the boys.  They can let off steam, enjoy playing with the dog and I can sort out a picnic.  I am not going to lie, it can be hard to get the boys to stop what they are doing (get them off the XBox), however, once they are there they always have a blast. We call this failure to transition and I will do anything to make it easier and I am not immune to a spot of encouragement (or blackmail as they call it) in the form of offering them a BBQ.

Having tried portable BBQ’s in the past I am going to admit that we just tended to buy the disposable ones when e were going on a picnic or camping, but we were offered an Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill to review, so decided to put it through its paces.  The BBQ is billed as the next innovation in charcoal cooking is ready to cook for up to six people in less than five minutes and uses up to 85% less charcoal than conventional barbecues.

We cook with charcoal at home and the husbeast is the main BBQ chef, but when we are out it is over to me to cook.  The Alfresco Smokeless BBQ Grill only weighs 4 kg (and over 2kg of that is the cast iron skillet) and only takes 250 grams of charcoal briquettes to offer between 40 and 100 minutes of cooking time.  It also comes with its own carry case.

The heat is regulated by a small battery operated air flow system which once you get the hang of it is super easy to use. it is brilliant for using in any environment as it is cool to the touch on the outside. it is also super easy to clean when you get home as all parts except the fan can go into a dishwasher.

Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill Review

We decided to really put the Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill to the test.  I took it along to a football tournament for Maxi’s team and cooked sausage sandwiches for fourteen hungry 13-year-old boys.

Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill – What we loved:
  • It is lightweight, compact and easy to transport. It even comes with its own carry case.
  • It is super simple to clean after use – just remove the battery pack and pop in the sink or dishwasher.
  • It does heat up fast (but not five minutes in our experience, more like 10 to 15).
  • You don’t need to carry lots of charcoal with you – I cooked all the sausages (3 packets) on one load of charcoal)
  • It is easy to light – you use lighting fluid.
Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill – We weren’t keen:
  • Well, it isn’t smokeless. Yes, it has a reduced amount of smoke compared to other BBQ’s as the coals are not open to falling fat.
  • Some areas of the frill are hotter than others, but that is the same as all other BBQ’s but not as claimed by the Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill.

So as you can see I really loved the BBQ once I got used to regulating the head, which takes a little while.  It is also fabulous for teaching your children to BBQ on as there is less likelihood of flares with the coals being covered.

If you are regular campers or caravaners then this is a great piece of kit that you will get a lot of use out of.  I am really looking forward to a good summer so we can take it out more.

Disclosure: We were sent an Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill free of charge for the purpose of this blog post.  You can buy yours online at Camping World and Wayfair (RRP of ~£99.99) – However, it is currently under £40 on Robert Dyas

The post BBQ’s on the Go – Al Fresco Smokeless BBQ Grill Review appeared first on Mum In The Madhouse.

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