Top tips on getting your family involved in party planning.

With all the celebrations coming up you can find great hints and tips for parties, picnics, tea party’s all over the Internet.

I think it’s important with any occasion ( birthdays, Christmas, Easter etc) that the kids get fully involved otherwise I think it would be difficult to celebrate these events as they get older. I believe in the importance of celebrating things along the way and would love my boys to still be doing some of my little traditions when they both have children.

If your the same and love to get the children involved then tune into a great WebTV show today at 3pm.

With last year’s Royal Wedding celebrations still a fond memory for most; the excitement is now building for this summer’s celebration – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! It is fast approaching and many of us are preparing to party – and panic!  

Whether you are attending one of the thousands of street parties that are set to take place, or having your own Jubilee celebrations, there are lots of ways to get the whole family involved and take the pressure off at the same time…

The Flour Advisory Bureau is launching a campaign to remind people to Love their Loaf this Jubilee year and to help us avoid any catering crises, they have put together an invaluable free party planning tool kit to help people across Britain plan effectively for what looks sure to be a record breaking few months of socialising and entertaining.

From classic buffet recipes, tips for truly modern sandwiches, delicious drinks to pour and advice on handling your guests, the guide contains everything you might need to deliver a Jubilee party to remember.

Over half of those planning on organising parties during this summer of celebration, whether it is street or back garden based, proudly proclaim they will be making everything, or almost all of their party food from scratch. But what will feature on our menus and what quintessential British dishes are the must-haves for our patriotic parties?

Tune into our live and interactive webTV show where celebrity baker, Paul Hollywood, and event planner, Catherine Borowski, show you how to party plan as a family.

Show date: Thursday 24th May

Show time:  3pm

Tune into our live and interactive webTV show to hear more from Paul Hollywood, Celebrity Master Baker and judge on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off and event planner Catherine Borowski.

Paul Hollywood and Catherine Borowski join us live online at on 24th May 2012 at 3pm

Click here to submit questions before the show:

Top Parenting Tips

When we become parents we have sometime very definite ideas on how we are going to be as parents, how are children are going to be brought up, how they will behave etc.

Anyway as all parents know that plan goes completely out of the window the minute the baby is born! As a new parent we are thrown in at the deep end and pretty much left to get on with it as best we can.

Each stage of a baby/ child’s development brings new worries and stress as we hope we are doing things right. We learn from books, and friends, and family about what works for that particular child. So it’s always interesting when others offer tips of what works for them. Sometime the ideas are new and sometimes they are tried and tested.

I have included a video link below from Myleene Klass revealing her top parenting tips.

“Umbilical whiplash?!”

From separation anxiety to breastfeeding in public, watch our video where celebrity mum, Myleene Klass reveals her top parenting tips

Motherhood presents plenty of challenges and all of us mums know just how different life becomes when the little one arrives and becomes part of the family.

Whether you’re a working, stay-at-home or a celebrity mum, it is hard to know the best way to overcome any challenges you may face. From breastfeeding to separation anxiety, shopping and sharing, it is important to remember that when it comes to parenting, there is no size that fits all.

No one knows more about balancing a career and the pressures and joys of motherhood than Myleene Klass. Mum to two little girls under five, Myleene knows all too well the worries that every parent faces in trying to do the best for their children: “There are so many things parents have to think and worry about when bringing up their children, what they are eating, if they are warm enough, if they have good manners, but feet always seem to get forgotten.” 

Myleene has this year joined forces with Start-rite shoes with the aim of promoting to like minded parents, the importance of having their children’s feet properly measured and fitted with quality fitted footwear to support their long term healthy foot development. “Many parents don’t realise just how malleable children’s feet are right up until their teens and hence the importance of looking after them right from the very start.  By ensuring children wear shoes that properly fit their feet you can help prevent problems in later life.” 

To find out more and hear about what Myleene has to say go to the Start-rite YouTube channel

July will also see the introduction of a dedicated Start-rite by Myleene Autumn/Winter 12 range of shoes which supports her passion for children’s fitted foot wear with an injection of her own sense of style and personality.

In our video, Myleene Klass shares the top parenting tips that help her get to through daily life with two young girls. From thoughts on breastfeeding to separation anxiety or “umbilical whiplash” as Myleene calls it, watch the video to find out how you can strive to create a balance and be the best mum you can possibly be.

Check out the video below:

What are your top parenting tips?

Tips to help with energy levels – M.E Related

I struggle with my energy levels on a daily basis. Even if I wake up and feel OK ( doesn’t happen that often!) my energy can be zapped by just getting in the shower and dressed. That can be enough to stop me doing anything else for the rest of the day ( I’m so not kidding).

I live in a terraced house and we had a loft conversion done a few years ago now before I had the illness. So my bedroom is 2 floors up!!! This can be horrendous on some days, as you can imagine. Walking up a set of stairs will be like doing the London marathon for me. This is generally Ok when there is someone else in the house as they can go upstairs for anything I need. However, I spend most of my time on my own, my boys are at school during the day and my hubby works shifts!! So along the way I have altered my way of doing things to make my life a little easier.

Top 5 tips on saving your OWN energy:

1. I suffer with the cold so I have hot water bottles downstairs and upstairs. So if I need instant heat and I’m upstairs I just fill it from the tap (as hot as it will get). This saves me going downstairs to boil the kettle and then having to go back up a flight of stairs!

2. When I get dressed for the day and I’m ready to go downstairs I always take the boots or shoes I’m going to need to go anywhere down with me. So although I always wear my lovely thick and fluffy slipper boots inside, once downstairs I then have my boots/ shoes I need for the day ie: for the school run etc.This may seem very trivial to some but all my shoes are kept in my wardrobe (2 flights up!!) therefore I need to make it a routine to always lift them out and bring them down. If at last minute I have to go up 2 flights of stairs in one go…….I might as well kiss goodbye to the rest of my day!!

3. Most days without fail I go back to bed after taking my son to school. By then I would have been up for 3 hours or so and my body is generally screaming out to rest!! (sad I know- I sound like a really old lady). However, when I do wake up like most people I need my coffee to get me kick started. If I’m up in bed that would mean coming down 2 flights of stairs and then back up to get ready………I NEVER DO THAT!! Instead I make myself a coffee that I take up in a flask!!  GENIUS I know lol, but it truly is a life saver when I wake up!!

4. One device I have recently purchased which has been fab has been my Electric Can Opener!! So how does this save energy? Well you obviously haven’t seen me try to open a can……………..IMPOSSIBLE. I have no muscular strength in my wrists and hands due to my M.E, and I have complete numbness in my left hand and arm most days ( gripping anything is a joke!!). So this little device does all the hard exhausting work for me, and it saves my hands from ceasing up the next day.  I LOVE IT!!

5. Ok this one is a true confession!! I have one of those very attractive * cough* old lady trolleys! There I’ve said it and it feels like a huge weight off my shoulder. If I’m on my own and need to get anything this is a life saver. On a good day I can pop to the high street pick up what I need, shove it all in the trolley and Bob’s your uncle. This was a necessity as I was always having to have someone with me when I went anywhere in order to carry my bags ( I sound like the Queen now). However, I’m not out and proud!! I still lower my head when  I go out with my trolley- inevitably I always meet someone I know too! But this gives me an independence on a good day to be productive. Hail the old lady trolley…….YAY.

So there you have it………….my very own energy saving tips to get me through the day.

Can you think of any others that may help or that you have used and want to share?




Top tips for keeping warm – M.E Related

I have decided to  share my experiences of M.E with you in the hope of raising awareness for what seems an ‘invisible’ illness. Click here for more information.

As anyone with M.E will know we can still feel cold in the summer, let alone deal with winter temperatures.

I have put together some of my own tips that I use in order to keep warm without breaking the bank by having the heating on all the time!!

Top Tips:

1. Wheat heat pads are a great investment. They are relatively inexpensive to buy (but you can aways check in your local charity shops too). I have several of these and they only need heating in the microwave for around 1m 30 secs and you have instant heat!! They are also good for muscular aches and I use them to ease the pain in my ankles and neck but also as ‘instant heat’!!

2. The good old hot water bottle, it never fails. You don’t need to buy fancy or expensive either. At this time of year they can be found in abundance in the pound stores. I also have a mini one that is great to take with me on the school run as I can warm myself in the car before getting out into the cold to collect my son. Also, a cover is great and helps to keep the bottle warmer for longer…………..but don’t buy unnecessarily- use and old jumper that the kids have outgrown to cover it or make one if your ‘crafty’ enough.

3. Thermals- underclothes and socks. They are truly a worthwhile investment. Again these don’t have to cost much, I have seen leggings and long sleeve tops available in Primark- but sports shops are great for this too. Thermal or ‘heat’ socks I have in abundance and again can be found just in sports shops.

4. Thermal insoles for shoes/ boots. These I cannot do without and you need to invest in a decent set that will last. I have one set at the moment and I transfer them to whatever boots I am going to wear for that day……………….they truly make a difference.

5. Wrist Warmers! I have recently knitted myself a basic pair of these just for wearing indoors. My hands are always cold ( even in the summer) and when I am working on the computer they get absolutely frozen. Knitted wrist warmers either made or shop bought are a great way to keep hands and wrists warm whilst still being able to type, read a book, knit or whatever else you do!!

Hope some of these tips help. I have lots more to share and would love you to pass on to anyone you know who suffers with M.E/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or similar.

It would be great to have an online ‘help’ community that could share what works for them and therefore may help others.