Schools in Lancashire could win up to £1,500 and other great prizes for their pre-school club by entering the national Breakfast Club Awards.

85 per cent of schools* in the UK have a Breakfast Club which gives schoolchildren the opportunity to get something to eat in the morning so they go into the classroom with a full tummy and ready to learn.

The Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards recognises these great clubs that are running every morning across the UK and the people that make them happen.
A specialist panel of experts has been hand-picked to judge the awards and winner and runners up will be announced via a web broadcast on 9 November, by the star of Educating Yorkshire, Matt Burton.

Each winning school will receive £1,500 for its Breakfast Club, with runners up winning £500 and the 2015 Breakfast Club Awards Grand Winner receiving £2,000. Winners will also be invited to attend an awards ceremony in The Houses of Parliament.

Tonnes of other prizes will be given away too including George ASDA school uniforms and Hasbro Gaming Bundles for winners and runners up.

Lindsay Graham, School Food and Health Advisor said: “I am delighted to help judge the 2015 Breakfast Club Awards. The contribution of Breakfast Clubs to children’s education is tremendous. They offer a great start to the school day with a good breakfast which helps contribute to attendance, wellbeing, concentration and achievement, all being vital components of attainment.”

“They support working parents, feed hungry children, offer opportunities to extend informal learning with activities and socialisation.  I am really looking forward to seeing this year’s entries and would encourage schools and community groups to enter and share their stories about their Breakfast Clubs.”

Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards spokesperson Alison Last said: “We’re pleased to announce the return of these awards. Not only do Breakfast Clubs provide children with a friendly and relaxed environment in the morning, but they also provide a lifeline for many parents who may not be able to work without the ability to drop their children off at school a little earlier.”

“This year we’re asking schools to nominate their club for our Breakfast Club Awards, which hope to find the best clubs in the country.”

Kellogg’s supports 2,500 breakfast clubs across the UK with training, cereal donations and funding so that schools can run a sustainable pre-school club.

To find out more about each of the categories and to submit a Breakfast Club entry, visit: Entries close on 12th October.

*featured post in conjunction with Kellogg’s

Halloween costumes: the good, the bat and the ugly

It’s no secret that my favourite holiday is Christmas, but I have to wait SO LONG for it that I do love a good celebration for pretty much any reason. It’s Wednesday? Let’s party!

I know it’s only September, but I’m very much looking forward to the next party season… Halloween!

This holiday is one that has become increasingly popular in recent years. We’ve celebrated Halloween since being young children; going with our mum to do trick or treat and eating our own body weight in sugar.

Halloween has changed a lot for us since we had the boys. We don’t really do trick or treating in its traditional sense any more. We get dressed up, play some games and maybe have some friends over. Louis has a tooth condition which means he really can’t have too many sweets so I try to find healthier treat alternatives for the buffet table, but we do go all out on our costumes! This is my friend Jo – even I was freaked out by her makeup that year!

Jo Halloween

Louis, my eldest son, is OBSESSED with bats. He has loved them since he was about four years old. He asked for a bat detector for his fifth birthday and we have enjoyed many, many bat walks in the three years since. Bats are synonymous with Halloween too, so Louis in particular always enjoys this time of year. The only problem is, I always struggle to find a bat Halloween costume for him. Every year he asks for one and every year I have to persuade him to be Dracula or – when I’ve been scraping the barrel – Batman.

This year I was determined to find a bat costume – and I did. Check. This. Out.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

This beautifully frightening creation is the vampire bat costume and is one of the many brilliant costumes made by I’ve seen lots of people wearing MorphCostumes in the last few years – mostly at festivals – and they also sell Digital Dudz clothing which my husband is a big fan of. They’re made in the UK and are completely unique – I love everything about them. They even have a guide on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, which is thoughtful of them.

Now one thing Louis likes more than bats is… his daddy. Ted is Louis’ idol and he loves to do everything his dad does. So he is going to be *thrilled* when he sees that his dad has exactly the same costume! I’m going to have to up my game and ditch the polyester witches wig this year I think!

*partnered post

The Love Room

Some time ago, my seven year old son put a sign on his bedroom door. A way to mark out his personal space, his territory and perhaps even an (albeit futile) attempt to keep his little brother out.

Louis' Room 2

I thought it was quite endearing really, a rite of passage in a way. My boys is growing up!

Last week, he called me upstairs to look at something. He and Rowan, his brother, had penned a sign for Rowan’s room too, though it wasn’t quite as polite as the first one…

Rowan's Room 2

Amused and slightly disturbed by the threat of death, I gently pointed out some grammatical errors (I can’t help it!) and turned to go back downstairs. Then I noticed that my bedroom also had a sign! I don’t know how I didn’t laugh when I read it.

Our Room 2The Love Room? I don’t know whether that’s cute or a bit weird, but we’ll go for cute hey?

Lastly, the bathroom. As I approached the door I could only imagine how many references to poo there would be on this sign, particularly coming from two boys aged seven and five. The mere mention of the ‘P’ word sends them into fits of giggles at the moment so I was expecting pictures and all… but what I got was slightly better than that.

Bathroom 2

I was very thankful that they picked up on the relaxation of a bubble bath instead!

Do your kids have signs on their door? Did you make a sign for your own door as a kid?


Competition: Win a pet hamper with Grumpyishmum

I haven’t run a competition on Grumpyishmum for what seems like an age, so here’s a cheeky little something for readers with pets!

Many of us have a pet or pets at home, and I’m looking to treat one of my reader’s pets to a gift hamper in October.

Betsy Comp Image

Entering this competition is quick and easy. All you need to do is upload a photo of your pet to the Grumpyishmum Facebook page and tell me a little bit about them.

Maybe tell me their name, breed, their likes and dislikes or a funny story – I’d love to see the page filled with your happy companions.

Your pet doesn’t have to be a dog – chameleons, rabbits, birds… we’d love to see them all!

  • The competition prize is a hamper of treats for one pet.
  • One entry per person.
  • The hamper will be tailored to the winning pet.
  • The winner will be chosen at random.
  • Entrants will be contacted via Facebook and have 48 hours to provide their name and address details so the prize can be sent out.
  • Facebook is in no way associated with this giveaway.
  • The prize will be provided by and will be sent via Royal Mail recorded delivery.
  • UK residents only.
  • Entrants must be 18 and over.
  • The competition will end at 8pm on 22nd October and the prize will be sent out within 48 hours of receiving winner’s details.

Halloween crafts with Yellow Moon

Halloween will be here before we know it, and Yellow Moon are ready! They sent us some of their Halloween themed crafts to try at home, so we celebrated early this year.
Halloween Craft

I have talked about Yellow Moon before and how much we enjoy their craft kits. I love them because everything we need in included – most of the time we literally just add glue. For our first two activities we didn’t need to add anything at all!

The prices on the Yellow Moon site are great. You know you’re going to receive good quality items, pay a low price and even earn cash back for your school, group or charity. It’s a win:win situation.

Halloween masks – these were so easy to do. Rowan and I made all four within around 10 minutes and with guidance he managed to put his two together by himself. His pumpkin one didn’t look exactly as the image on the packaging but he was very happy with it, so that didn’t matter at all. Even the dog tried to get in on the Halloween photos!

Halloween Masks

We played with the Pesty Pirates next, competing against one another to see how high we could get our pirates to fly. Obviously Rowan won that  particular challenge (he ‘didn’t see’ my pirate almost touch the ceiling, apparently). At £2.75 for a pack of six these are great for party bags or to give to trick or treat visitors as an alternative to sweets.

We’ve got two more activities to do yet – the Bat Handprint Decoration Kit and the Halloween Foam Stickers – so look out for our next Halloween craft instalment later in the week. I’ll be involving Louis as well next time because bats are his favourite animal in the world.

If you’re planning a craft session at Halloween, why not make an evening of it and throw a little family party? There are some great Halloween party food ideas floating around on the internet at the moment and I’m sure it’d be easy to find some ghoulish games. I’ve bought the boys a great book to read in the run up to Halloween this year – it was a steal from The Works as part of their 10 books for £10 offer (great for stocking fillers in the run up to Christmas, too!).

My new Shaw Academy qualification


A little while ago, I spotted a great deal on Groupon for an online Social Media Marketing and Online Reputation Management course from Shaw Academy.

It cost me around £30, which is a tiny fraction of the £395 it’s going for on the Shaw Academy website. I was happy with my bargain buy and looking forward to starting the course.

The course itself was done via live webinars, and when I saw the dates of the sessions I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it, because they clashed with the boys’ football training sessions. Being a mum always comes first for me, so I was a little disheartened until I discovered that I could access the recordings and therefore complete the course in my own time – hurrrah!

So that’s what I did – and today I achieved my foundation diploma in Social Media Marketing and Online Reputation Management (with distinction, no less!). I’m certain it’ll help me take the blogs further than I’ve been able to until now, and I’d love to be able to start managing some third party social media accounts too. I think that having completed a course and gained a certificate has given me not just knowledge but more confidence in myself as someone who knows how to ‘do’ social media.

I really enjoy learning new things and short courses are perfect for me. I find I cannot commit myself to part time degree type courses that last years and years. I’m impatient I suppose and want faster reward. So this will do me for today, and I’ll no doubt be searching for more courses on the internet before too long. There’s a more advanced course from Shaw Academy on the same subject so maybe I’ll go for that, though I’d need a small windfall or another great discount I think!



The Blogger Chain

I always think it’s lovely when another blogger (or of course a non-blogger) says they enjoy my blog, or a particular post. The Blogger Chain is an idea I had to give bloggers the opportunity to do something for others, to build someone’s spirits, to pay them a compliment.

The guidelines are simple and you can read them here.

Without further ado, here are my three nominations.

RRM Name Only

Pippa at Red Rose Mummy was the inspiration behind The Blogger Chain. She works really hard on her blog, writes some fantastic reviews and co-hosts the always inspirational #WHWH linky. She manages all this while bringing up three young ‘uns too – not an easy task! Pippa is a super lovely person and a talented blogger too, well worth a read.


Kate at WitWitWoo never fails to make me laugh with her lighthearted posts (though she’s not afraid of the serious ones either!). Doing the parenting thing alone is not easy, but strong willed Kate takes it all in her stride. Kate doesn’t just blog at WitWitWoo though, she’s also one third of the team behind We Blog Travel, and she takes on freelance work too. Busy lady!

casa costello

When she isn’t ferrying her super talented children around their various classes and competitions, Helen at Casa Costello runs a weekly blog linky called Bake of the Week. I swear one day I’m going to try one of her recipes – though I’d much prefer it if she’d just call round with cake (Helen, if you’re reading this, email for my address. Cake always welcome). Helen’s food photography is brilliant and I love seeing her culinary creations on her blog.

Pippa, Kate, Helen: I would really love for you to help me spread some positivity through the blogosphere by nominating three of your own favourite bloggers and linking up here. Wouldn’t it be lovely to spend half an hour writing a short post, knowing you can use it to send three bloggers that warm fuzzy feeling?


The day we made London

Yes, you read that right.

We were sent a chocolate making kit by Choc on Choc and we made a chocolate model of Big Ben, a London bus and a cab. The kids really enjoyed doing this activity, although I think their favourite part was actually eating it (as was mine!).

Choc on Choc collage

The kit comes with everything you need to make one set of parts for Big Ben, one bus and one cab, but the moulds seem to be fine to re-use should you wish to do that. We left our chocolate to set overnight and it was delicious. Also included are two pictures one London to colour in while you wait for the chocolate to set in the mould, an instruction sheet and a chefs hat. I liked the extra thought that had clearly been put into planning and designing the contents of these kits.

Something else that tickled me about Choc on Choc is that they clearly have a sense of humour. I love that they’ve brought out a new way to get your five-a-day… in chocolate form. I’m not sure I’d get away with that at Slimming World, but it’d be a very welcome treat!

The thing I loved most about chocolate London (aside from actually eating it) was that the boys could do every part of this themselves; even melting the chocolate buttons. They needed supervision of course, and they made quite a mess when pouring it into the moulds, but they really seemed to feel they’d achieved something a little bit tricky (mostly) by themselves. They were certainly very proud of their creations.

Choc on Choc do some brilliant kits – you can even make your own chocolate house! They have some fantastic gift ideas suitable for adults and children alike, and their prices are very reasonable too. Chocolate London is £12.99 and would make a great alternative birthday present.

*We were sent this choc on choc kit in return for our honest feedback on the product.

Gnome cushion title image

Craft activity: Yellow Moon gnome cushions

The boys love to be outside as much as possible, but when we’re having a day in the house they love to get the craft box out and make a mess a new creation.

I did the gnome cushion activity with them a while ago now and thought I’d already written it up but apparently not!

Gnome cushion title image

Rowan’s teacher told me that one of the activities he most enjoyed at school was sewing, so when these came in a box of craft supplies from Yellow Moon I thought they’d be a brilliant activity for him. Turns out the boys both really enjoy sewing!

Everything you need to make these cushions is included in the set, which is £4.99 for a pack of two gnomes. Yellow Moon are great for craft supplies and craft inspiration; there are plenty of different types of kits, tools and supplies to choose from so kids never have to do the same activity twice – unless they want to!

The gnome cushion kit comes with simple instructions and the boys followed them with ease.

Sewing Gnome 1

Pieces of felt are pre-cut ready for sewing to begin straight away – once they’ve managed to thread that pesky needle!

The pre-punched holes in the felt for the gnomes body was sometimes not quite cut all the way through, but with a little help from me the boys managed to sew them well.

Once the sewing was done, then came the stuffing. The kids loved doing this bit, but needed a little bit of guidance on how much stuffing to add because at one point Rowan’s gnome looked like it had eaten one or two pies too many! The stuffing is also provided but don’t feel you have to use it all between the two gnomes.

Gnome cushion - stuffing

Eventually we got them both suitably stuffed and started on the clothing. All of the gnomes ‘clothing’ was made from sticky felt which had a peelable back. The protective backing was a bit tricky to get off some of the pieces so we had to take extra care with those, but once we’d sussed out an almost fail-safe way to do it the last bits of felt were added very quickly and our gnomes looked great!

Gnome cushion - stickers

The quality of these kits is really good. The felt is strong enough to withstand a little bit of tugging as children sew and stuff, the colours are bright and cheerful and the design of the kit is very user friendly.

If you (or your children) would like to make your own gnome cushion you can find them on the Yellow Moon website. You’re guaranteed to find other activities that take your fancy on there too!

Game Review: Aladdin’s Flying Carpet

aladdin's flying carpet

A recent addition to our games collection is that of Aladdin’s Flying Carpet. We have reviewed several products from the University Games range and the boys were keen to put this one to the test when it arrived.

Aladdin’s Flying Carpet contains:

1 Zephur the flying carpet
32 pieces of treasure
1 platform
1 hinged arm
1 bag
2 wires (1 replacement wire)
1 set of rules

The game is easily set up and play started less than five minutes after the postman had been with our parcel.

Aladdin 2

Once set up, the magic carpet is ‘flying’ in mid air as the wire below anchors it down while the magnet above holds it suspended in the air. It is quite tricky to get the length of the wire just right; it can be too short and not hold very many pieces of treasure at all (or just not hold up at all) or it can be too close to the magnet above and just stick to it, meaning the game cannot be played properly. Once you’ve sussed out that bit though you’re ready for the off.

To play, each player takes their turn to choose one piece of treasure from the bag (no peeking!) and place it carefully on the flying carpet. One too many will make the carpet fall though, and the game will be over!

The boys enjoyed this game and played five or six times before they moved onto something else, which I thought was quite good. We found that sometimes it only took a handful of pieces of treasure to weigh down the carpet, and other times it held almost all the pieces. Once it even held every last piece which pleased the boys greatly, but made me wonder whether I’d set it up right!

The best price I found Aladdin’s Flying Carpet available for was on Amazon for £18.00. I think it would make a great gift for a young child, and I agree that the recommended age for this game is four years and over – any younger and I don’t think children would grasp the importance of balancing the treasure and games would be pretty short.

This is a great game to get kids thinking about strategy, magnetism and balance. My five year old picked up very quickly that you can’t just put pieces anywhere on the carpet after a few turns, and he rapidly changed his approach to the game. The game presented us with a great opportunity to talk about magnets too, and games that go hand in hand with education tend to get my vote.

My tips:

*Take the time to get the length of the wire just right to avoid disappointed faces after ten seconds of gameplay.

*Always count the pieces of treasure back into the bag – when the carpet falls it’s amazing how far those little pieces can travel.

*We were sent Aladdin’s Flying Carpet for the purpose of an honest and thorough review. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.