Pregnancy Tips: How to Stay Cool This Summer


Pregnancy Tips (1)

I’ve been pregnant through the heat of summer both times and it’s not fun. The little bundle of joy you are carrying is a radiator and it can be tough going in the warm weather.

I asked some of my friends to share their best tips on how to stay cool when pregnant this summer.

They are not all practical (Merry) but some are very funny!

 Umbrella up, cool drink and feet in the paddling pool Carolin Mader

Don’t be pregnant. No nookie after September until January. True story Merry Raymond

I used a product called Magicool and highly recommend it, don’t go out in the hottest hours and always try to wear light cotton clothing. Kelly Finn

Ceiling fans and fans in bedrooms, feet up and plenty of fluids Amy Sheridan

Feet in cool water, plenty cold drinks, shade and breeze. Ooh and when I was expecting I wore Evans special shorts made of tights material to stop chafing under dresses/skirts Becky Willoughby

Always wear thin layers built up, even when it seems like it’s not going to be a warm day, that way you can strip down layer by layer instead of being forced to choose between a jumper or a vest when the weather changes while you’re out and about.  Emily Leary

Stay out of the sun, or if you must then float in a body of water, like lake, sea, river, pool. Monika Mumonthebrink

My sister had a summer pregnancy and I remember her eating lots of ice! Samantha Beharry

A cooling foot spray to take out and about with you Denise

Have a cool water spray in the fridge and pop it into your bag if you are going out. Clare Nicholas

Giant paddling pool. Victoria Wallop

Fruit pastille lollies Natalie Hickey

What are your top tips?

5 Ways to Save This Summer Holidays


5 Ways To Save This Summer

The kids are off school and they are bored and want to go out which means spending money. Summer can be an expensive time so here is some tips on how to save this summer.

Take Your Own Food

Food can be one of the most expensive parts of a family day trip so take your own. Pack a picnic and save those pennies (or pounds). Don’t go overboard with food as you could end up overspending. Pack each person their own pack lunch, get them to help so you pack what they like and there is no waste.

Leftovers are great for picnics, pasta, rice, chicken and potatoes can be eaten cold. We rather like cold lasagne!

Take Your Own Drinks

Bottles and cartons can be so expensive to buy especially if you are a larger family.  Pack your own drinks; pop them in the freezer the night before so they are extra cold. By the time you get to your destination they would have melted.

Check the venue you are going many have drinking water points where you can refill your drinks.

Buy Your Tickets Online

You can save up to 54% at some theme parks buy buying your tickets online. Always check before you go to see what offers they are running.

Check out our guide to the best offers this summer.

Free Events

Have a search for free local events. Checkout your local council website they should have a list of events.

Coca Cola are running Park Lives Events in Newcastle, Birmingham and the London Borough of Newham. Take part in these free activities including buggy fit, tai chi, bowling taster, Futsal, football and family fitness.

Embrace Second Hand

Keep your children entertained by embracing the charity shop. They are a treasure trove of toys, books and DVD’s. Give them £1 a see what they can get. They will love the challenge and will have something new to play with.

6 Perfect Bags for Mum This Summer


summer bags (1)

Looking for the perfect bag this summer? We understand as parents you need a bag that’s sturdy, fits quite a bit and looks stylish. Whether it’s for a trip to the beach, park or shops you need a bag that works for you.

Here at Kids One Stop Shop we have a fabulous selection of bags.

 bags

Top Row

Babymule Original

Paris Real Leather Baby Changing Bag

Middle Row

Kitty Baby Changing Bag

Book (Wine) Club Tote Bag

Bottom Row

Cotton Shopping Bag

Bella Baby Changing Bag

Great Offers on Summer Days Out


summer days out

Yesterday we gave you 20 things you could do this summer.  We missed out the theme parks and zoos because day we have a post packed full of summer offers and discounts for you.

West Midlands Safari & Leisure Park – Save up to 10% when you book online and up to 30% on groups of 6 and more

London Aquarium – If you are traveling the London on the train then you can get 2 for 1 plus free guidebook when you show your national rail tickets and print off a 2for1 voucher from Days Out Guide.

Sealife Centre – You can save up to 40% on tickets if you book online.  The discounts depend on which venue you attend.

Drayton Manor – Save £11 off adult tickets and £7 off children’s tickets when you buy online. Children under 4 go free this summer when you purchase you tickets online saving you £5.

Thorpe Park – Save £24 off adults tickets when you buy online and £16 off a child’s ticket. Stay for two days for an extra £6!!

Warwick Castle – Save up to 30% and get the rainy day guarantee

Chessington World of Adventure-   Save up to 46% when you book online. Upgrade to a two day ticket for just £6

Blackpool Pleasure Beach – Get 3 for the price of 2 on wrist bands with Daysout.co.uk

Cbeebies Land at Alton Towers – Save up to 25% when you buy online

LEGOLAND – Save up to 30% when you buy online

20 Things to Do This Summer Holidays


20 Things To Do This Summer (1)

The summer holidays are upon us and it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with then children.  Don’t worry we have some brilliant ideas for you to do this summer holidays.

Days Out

If you want to get out and about this summer there are plenty of events going on throughout the country.

Mini-beastastic: 24th July

Old Winchester Hill National Nature Reserve, Hayden Lane, near Warnford, Hampshire, SO32 3LF

Can you jump like a grasshopper, run like a beetle, flutter like a butterfly, dance like a bee, hunt like a dragonfly? Come for our mini-beastastic activity session, play some marvellous mini-beast games, uncover some mini-beast mysteries – about dancing bees & farming ants!

Open Air Performance of Jungle Book: 6th August

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Join Mowgli on his wonderful adventures with the loveable and wise Baloo the Bear, the powerful panther Bagheera, not to mention mischievous monkeys and the terrifying tiger Shere Khan! A guaranteed summer hit for all the family.

Hungry Bug Play Day and Picnic: 6th August

Weoley Castle

As part of National Play Day we are hosting a hungry bug play day!  Have a go at our butterfly hunt, make yourself a caterpillar hat, and enjoy our bug-themed play area.  Why not bring along a picnic to enjoy in the castle grounds – because all us bugs get hungry after a good play!

Strawberry Fields Festival:   8th-10th August

Cattows Farm, Heather, Leicestershire LE67 2RF

WOW! 2014 – and now entering our FIFTH year, Strawberry Fields Festival is widely regarded as one of the fastest growing and most exciting independent festivals in the UK.

Little Monsters Bash: 9th August

Stanmer Park, Brighton

LMB logo landscape

Little Monsters Bash is a fun festival for mini festival goers aged between 0-10 years old and their families. The event is being held at the glorious grounds of Stanmer Park in Brighton, East Sussex on Saturday 9th August 2014. Enjoy the main stage hosting a variety of celebrity live acts and shows or visit one of our many specific Monster zones which have their own entertainment schedule and activities which are free for visitors to participate in. Families who attend get to enjoy a fantastic fun day out, where children get to enjoy interactive learning and play as well as having fun!

Hobbit Adventure:  12th August

Brockholes, Samlesbury, Preston

This Hobbit themed adventure is guaranteed to excite and entertain the whole family whether they are seven or 77!

Summer Exhibition Family Workshop:  13th August

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

A visit to the Summer Exhibition is the perfect way to introduce your children to art, bringing together some of the most exciting work being created right now. From sculptures and paintings to drawings, prints and photography – prepare to be inspired! Book now to take part in a fun interactive tour of the galleries, led by our engaging artist-educators, followed by an art making session inspired by the works on display in the Summer Exhibition.

Blenheim Palace Sportive and Family Cycle Day: 17th August

Blenheim Castle

Blenheim Palace Sportive and Family Cycle Day

Enjoy this once a year exclusive family opportunity to cycle around the picturesque Parkland of Blenheim Palace, a World Heritage site. Bring your bicycles (and helmets) and cycle around the spectacular Lake and over the Grand Bridge, take in the scenery and fresh air, stop for a picnic and make it a day to remember.

New Forest Fairy Festival :  16th-17th August

Burley Park, Burley, Hampshire

Come and join us for a friendly uplifting fun weekend. Enjoy the magik in the enchanting home of the New Forest Fairies.

Live acoustic music, Folk bands, Morris dancers, story telling, belling dancing, Platform Mediumship, lots of activities and workshops will heighten our senses with love and joy. Let your spirit run wild and free!

Dress in your finest fairy and elf costumes and be sprinkled with Magik Fairy Dust!

Children’s Week:   18th – 23rd August

Paignton Green

Five day fun for all the family returns to Paignton Green

There’ll be fun and entertainment for all the family as Torbay Children’s Week returns to Paignton Green.

23rd August – Family Fun Day from 11am. Fireworks display at 9pm!

Closer to Home

If you want to stay closer to home then make the most of your local facilities.

Summer Reading Challenge

This year’s summer reading challenge is Mythical Maze .

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all FREE.

National Trusts 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾

Why not set your family a challenge to do at least one of the 50 things this summer. Many of them can be done in your garden or Local Park. You can register online and track your progress

Go Swimming

There is no better way to cool down then taking a swim.  Check your local authority site to see if they have any free swimming offers on this summer.

Go Camping In Your Back Yard

Pitch your tent in your garden and have camping adventure. Sing songs, tell stories and toast marshmallows on a fire (or BBQ).

Go On a Picnic

Pack a picnic and spend the day at your Local Park or forest. If you don’t fancy going too far then have it in your garden or even on your living room floor if the weather is wet.

At Home

Let’s face it you don’t want to be out all the time. We all love a lazy day at home especially when the weather is looking grim.

Get Baking

There is nothing better than baking (and eating) cakes. Try out fairy cake recipe or for something more savoury give our cheese scones a go.

Get Crafty

Get the glue and paint out and let your little ones get creative. Make your own play dough or make a flower bookmark.

Family Film Time

Pop some popcorn, snuggle on the sofa at watch a film. Bored of the films you have? Why not have a film swap with friends! You can hire films from your local library.

Sign up for a free month’s trial with one of the film streaming companies and watch as many films as you like.

NOWTV – Free one month for Sky Movies get all the live movies plus movies on demand

Netflix – Free one month trail

Amazon Prime Instant Video  – Free one month trail

Fun & Games

Get the board games out and have fun. If the weather is nice play them in the garden. Charity shops are a good place to pick up cheap games or have a games swap with friends.

Give our animal pairs game a go. Just print, cut out and play.

Free Printable Game-

Whatever you do this Summer have an amazing time!

Teacher Gifts and Crafts for Kids To Make


Teacher Gifts and Crafts for Kids To Make

The end of school year is almost here and it’s time to start thinking of those teachers gifts. Nothing says thank you like a handmade gift.

We have found a selection of gift ideas for you to make:

 These Apple Print Tote bags from Mum In The Madhouse look great and so simple to make.

Try these yummy looking Edible Sparkle gifts from Domestic Goddesque

Strawberry and White Chocolate Edible sparkle treats

Red Ted Art has been making these super cute hama bead keyrings.

 

Have fun making Snafflesmummy’s Story Stones.

We have a great free printable to help you make Flower Bookmarks

Mothers Day Flower Bookmark

Have a great homemade gift or craft idea? Add it too the linky below and we will share with our followers.

How To Make The Best Ever Potato Wedges


How To Make The Best Ever Potato Wedges

My family loves potato wedges.

Nice big, fat, crunchy potato wedges. They are great with sausages, chicken drumsticks, burgers or just a big bowl with some BBQ sauce to dip in.

It has taken us a little while to perfect our wedges but we have realised the key is the amount of oil, the potato you use and then length of time you cook them for.

We have found that Maris Piper make the best wedges (and roast potatoes).

Here is our recipe for the potato wedges ever

Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 Mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins -1 hour

 

Ingredients:

3-4 Large Maris Piper Potatoes

1 Table Spoon of Olive Oil

1 stock cube (chicken or vegetable)

Fresh Thyme (optional)

 

Method

Pre heat oven to 220, 200 fan

Place a large roasting tray in the oven to warm

Cut each potato into 8 wedges

Rinse them in cold water to get rid of the excess starch and pat them dry and put in a large bowl

Add oil to potatoes and toss until them are all coated

Crumble stock cube over them and toss again

Place them in the heated roasting tray skin side down

Sprinkle on fresh thyme

Cook for 45 mins – 1 hour the need to be crispy on the outside

Enjoy

Potato Wedges

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Link up your recipe of the week

40 Things I Learnt at Britmums Live


40 Things I Learnt at Britmums Live

The sessions I attended at Britmums Live this year were really inspiring and packed full of great advice. Instead of writing up each session individually I thought I would share some of the thing I learnt from the conference.

Writing Recipes:

List ingredients in then order they are used

Test the recipe at least 3 times

Never copy and paste a recipe from someone else

If your recipe is inspired by someone then credit them

List equipment needed

If it’s a baking recipe indicate what size tin is needed

 

How To Make Your Blog Gorgeous:

Your header is your first impression; keep it crisp, clean and in keeping with your blog

Don’t overload your sidebar it distracts from your content

Use 2-3 colours only

Embrace whitespace

Think about your font style it needed to be readable

Keep your text and pictures in alignment

 

Instagram:

Create a life not a career

Take pictures in natural light

Think about composition

Be part of a community. Comment and like photos

Take part in weekly #’s

Keep # short

Use a maximum of 3-4 # per picture

 

Video:

Video mistakes include: Props left in camera view, inappropriate dress, wrong filming environment

Invest in tripods and lights to make your videos more professional looking

Edit your videos.

Use iMovie or YouTube to edit

Film in landscape

Have a script but don’t read from it

Make videos short and snappy around a minute or a half

Use the stats function in YouTube to see when your viewers stop watching

 

Tech Knowledge

Keep images below 640px

Back up your blog! Use plugins in WP or download your blog in Blogger using the backup/restore function in template

Use Copyscape to check if someone is using your content

 

G+

It is not a social network it’s a social layer

Claim google authorship

Add yourself as a contributor to any publications you have written for

It’s all about your personal profile try to use that rather than pages if you can

Always post links in the link box not in the main content box

Use more text. Don’t be afraid to write more

510px is the magic number for G+ images

Always share to public first and then adapt and send to circles

Set up influencer circles

 

Finally…..

You can be a feminist and still wear a tiara!

Did you go to Britmums Live? What did you learn?

Britmums Live in Pictures


We sent our community manager and blogger Carol along to Britmums Live last month. Later this week she will be sharing her top blogging tips from the conference but today we thought we would share a few photos from the day.

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10 last MinuteFather’s Day Craft and Gift Ideas


Fathers Day

Still need a gift for Dad for Father’s Day? This is the perfect opportunity to get the kids to make one!

We have found a great selection of Father’s Day Crafts and gift ideas for your little’s ones to make. Who doesn’t like a homemade present?

We love, love, love these personalised mugs from Mum In The Madhouse.

Why not give this Bonebraid Keychain Craft from Free Kids Crafts ago.

Image of Bonebraid Keychain Craft

This Football Pitch Mouse Mat is perfect for your footie fans dad and just in time for the World Cup.

Football pitch mouse mat craft

Try these Chocolate Spoons from Tesco Living they look really yummy.

This is such a cute idea from All Kids Network. Make a Father’s Day coupon box. 

fathers day giftThis Car Shirt from The Blue Basket is amazing. You can print off the map from blog so its really simple to make.

Fancy a bit of baking? Try these Father’s Day Tie Cookies from No Time for Flashcards

This Father’s Day desk golf set from Domestic Goddesque is a little bit awesome.

Father's Day Desk Golf Craft

Don’t have time to get crafty? Try this free Me and My Dad printable from Love and Marriage.

Me and My Dad - Father's Day Printable

Finally we have our Cereal Box Photo Frames.

Cereal Box Photo Frames