CLOSED Win one of 4 sets of 1000 Instant Print Business Cards.


Latest comp here A pair of Thriller tickets and dinner for two!

Instant Print gave me the chance to design some new business cards. I was impressed with the quality, they have a shiny, almost photograph-like film on them which makes them feel extra special. Both the text and images I chose reproduced really clearly although sorry my phone camera hasn’t reproduced that smoothness here.

I decided to go for a collage, as I like visuals and it isn’t easy to get across the different things I do in a few words. Rather than have my blog header I wanted a card I could use more generally too.  Images also make a good talking point when meeting new people whether in a work capacity or at a blogging conference.

Originally I wanted someone else to design them but with all my arty friends busy in the run up to Christmas, I designed them myself. It was actually really easy, I used Picmonkey to make the collage and a Publisher template Instant Print supplied me. Instant Print also have templates for other art programmes like Photoshop. Delivery was super fast.

Congrats to @fivegoblogging, @sophiescouse, @mymummyspennies @mizzielizzieb

GIVEAWAY – Instant Print have 4 x sets of x 1000 cards to give to 4 lucky winners

Winners get to submit their own design to Instant Print (in the same way I have) – which will then be printed by Instant Print, to enter just leave a comment below and please subscribe to the Alexander Residence by reader, or by email:

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Up to 3 extra entries for each of the following, but please remember to add an extra comment for each one you have done.

  • Like Alexander Residence on facebook
  • Follow @Aresidence on Twitter.
  • Tweet something like:  Win a pack of 1000 Business Cards with @Aresidence and
Terms and Conditions
  • Four entries maximum per person
  • Entrants need to use a separate comment for each entry
  • The winners will be selected at random.
  • The prizes will be supplied by Instant Print, not by Alexander Residence, and are non refundable and non exchangeable.
  • Closing date Midday Thursday 28th February.
  • Winner will be notified by email and have 7 days to respond, after which time a redraw will take place
  • UK entries only


TEAM HONK reveals the #secretthing #goodwork

Today is the day we reveal the secret thing! After a very short burst of listening to me, I’ve thrown in a cracking tune to help you shake off any tension we’ve built up:

So now we’d love your help…


We would love some help to make Comic Relief’s 25th anniversary celebration go with a BANG! Could even be that your donations from the last 25 years have helped to fund some of the work we will be seeing.

 Everything you need is here at

Annie from Mammasaurus, Tanya from Mummy Barrow and Penny from Alexander Residence are visiting four projects on 4th and 5th February to see for themselves the difference Red Nose Day money has been making. They are tweeting and blogging live during their two day visit so people can follow their progress.

 You could:

 Host one of our #goodwork badges in your sidebar, code here

We would love to send you a digital postcard from our adventures, to share on your blog. Just email and we will do the rest. If you would especially like to hear about a particular project we visit, let us know, our itinerary is on the Team Honk site. We will do as many as we can, first come, first served!

There will be digital postcard blog hop hosted at

Please look out for, and share, our posts and videos, and digital postcards on your social networks. Find us on Twitter @aresidence @mammasaurus @mummybarrow #goodwork

Check out Comic Relief’s social media: TwitterFacebookPinterest , Instagram

Look out for more from the amazing blogging networks who are supporting us Britmums, Netmums, Mumsnetbloggers and Tots100.

Britmums are hosting a #goodwork Twitter party on Tues 5 Feb at 11am,please do join in if you can and spread the word.

Although this bit is about celebrating #goodwork, when we get back we plan to do lots of funny stuff for Red Nose Day on Friday 15th March, to FUNRAISE and FUNDRAISE.  We’d love to have you on #TEAMHONK. More on that on our return.

Lots of love and thanks for joining the celebration!

Annie from Mammasaurus, Tanya from Mummy Barrow and Penny from Alexander Residence



Many thanks to the help and support from:

BritMums - Leading the Conversation MBNetmumsTOTS100 top UK Mummy and Daddy bloggers Cybher 2013

Chapter 3 – The #SecretThing confession tape

If you’ve not heard about the #secretthing where have you been?*

I always thought I was the strong one when it came to keeping the #secretthing under wraps. But last night they broke me and forced a confession.

*If you’re still clueless you need to read the fabulous Chapter One – So here’s the thing over at Mummy Barrow’s blog and the sensational Chapter 2 Send Help! which is lodged with Mammasaurus blog. To be continued on all three blogs tomorrow.

Meanwhile debate rages over at Mumsnet regarding the #secretthing and potentially a sweepstake, we will bring booty back from our adventures for the winner.

Have you seen Mammasaurus or Mummy Barrow?

Picture courtesy of Mummy Barrow.

10 Things Women Should Always Carry While Travelling

suitcases (version 2)

Today’s guest post is really useful one for me as I start packing for my visit to Ghana with Comic Relief on Sunday:

10 Things Women Should Always Carry While Going on Holiday

Travelling alone gives you a chance to experience exhilarating adventures, sights and experiences at your own pace. However, if you’re a woman travelling alone, you need to take extra precautions when preparing for your trip. Although packing may be the least pleasant part of your trip, thorough preparation will ensure that you can experience your holiday to the fullest.

Important Documents – If you are flying abroad, be sure to bring your passport and the contact details for your country’s embassy. International travel procedure can be very strict and sometimes unforgiving. Even if you aren’t flying abroad, you must bring a few important documents with you, your identification and a list of the addresses and phone numbers of each place you will stay during your trip.

Money Belt – Losing your money while on a holiday will quickly ruin your trip. Avoid a financial disaster by bringing along a money belt. Worn under your clothes, a money belt protects your money and other small items from thieves.

Fake Wedding Ring – If you don’t want to attract romantic attention during your holiday, consider wearing a real or fake wedding ring to discourage hopeful suitors. You can usually find an inexpensive ring at a thrift store.

Small Purse or Bags – Carrying a large bag while on vacation may attract attention from thieves. Take multiple bags of varying sizes with you so that you can easily switch bags as your daily needs change. Continue reading

Child Friendly Places to have a Cuppa

Today’s guest post highlights some great child friendly cafes around the UK:

You and your friend agree to meet for a coffee, but the adult atmosphere and restrictive high chair is the bane of any toddler. Soon your little one is frustrated and hogging all of the attention. But never fear, Show & Stay shows you where you can enjoy a cuppa and your child can enjoy a bit of café culture.

Babychino time

Coffee 1st, Clapham, London

No London theatre break is complete without a trip to Clapham. After taking a hike around Clapham common and shopping until you drop in the wonderful boutiques on Northcote Road, stop for a drink in Coffee 1st. As well as high-quality coffee, this family-friendly café has a fantastic range of fresh fruit juices and smoothies which your little darlings will love. Cots and high chairs are provided, as well as a selection of books and toys to keep the kids occupied. When the weather is sunny, they can play outside in the safety of the enclosed garden while you enjoy some adult conversation or browse the internet on the free wi-fi. Continue reading

Wedding replanning

Table at our wedding

Seven years on our wedding feels like a bit of a haze. Like I dreamt it. Although I lived and breathed it for at least a year beforehand. I haven’t been to a wedding for a couple of years and it feels like ages since anyone close to me tied the knot. There are a couple of weddings on the calendar this year at last, and even a hen do.

I felt like a complete amateur organising my wedding, I was the first of my friends to get married, I’d only been to a couple of Mr A’s friends’ wonderful weddings, so we didn’t have vast experience to base it on.

Our wedding was at Quarry Bank Mill, a National Trust property. It was a white wedding and in many ways fairly traditional. Getting married in places other than churches or registry offices was still quite new. It was completely perfect and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Mr and Mrs A

But, sometimes I wonder how we would do it if we had the chance to do it again? There seem to be more options now. I’ve camped at a wedding festival, been to one in a Tipi and will be surrounded by retro caravans at a wedding in Cornwall this Summer. Taking kids to weddings is a whole new experience as this lovely photo shows: Continue reading

Famous Miss L and Mr G!

Miss L (6) and Mr G (4) took the vlogging crown and have only gone and landed on the YHA’s (Youth Hostel Association) website as part of the YHA’s amazing holiday offers for February. Do check it out if you are after a thrifty, fun filled and outdoor family adventure.

L and G vlogged a tour of a family room at Losehill Hall Youth Hostel in Castleton, Derbyshire.

Find out more about the YHA here and read our whole review.  We had an amazing time at Losehill Hall, Castleton last year and can heartily recommend the new face of family youth hostelling.


Polarno O Pyret

Polarno O Pyret spotty dress

Miss L got wind of the fact I am away with work for a few days soon, so we agreed to calm her wobbles about missing me with a mum and daughter morning. It was also two years to the day since my Mum died, so finding mother and daughter time seemed like the right thing for the day.

I’ve been reading lots about Oliver James’s book Lovebombing, the idea of resetting a child’s emotional thermostat through quality time together, where they set the agenda. So I let Miss L choose the activities. We baked cakes that didn’t rise properly because she didn’t want to go and buy the right ingredients, we iced them with brown, vanilla flavoured glace icing and a whole box of sprinkles. Continue reading

Me, My Dad and the snowy walk


Me and my Dad took a snowy walk in one of my favourite places, Ilam, in the Peak District. Ilam has a stunning Youth Hostel, an amazing National Trust cafe and the grounds are a paradise for children and grown ups. In Summer it is wonderful for picnics, in Autumn the trees burn every shade of auburn, red and gold and in Winter, well, it’s he first time I have visited, but in Dad’s words, ‘it’s like fairy land’.

We started at Ilam and walked across snowy fields to the Dovedale stepping stones. Continue reading

Advertising Watch – Andrex

dawn porter washlets andrex

Dawn O’ Porter filming the advert for Washlets

One of the best things about teaching Media Studies was unpicking the adverts. Ads are short and simple but jam packed with clever stuff. So I thought I might make advertising watch a bit of a feature here on my blog. Like Spring watch or Autumn watch but instead of spotting nature’s trends I’ll unpick some advertising ones.

So we all know mums and babies are a real trend in advertising, if it is good enough for a newborn it has to be amazing right? So are the mums at the baby yoga class going to convince you that your bottom needs this? Continue reading

Quick beauty tips for busy mums

bridget jones pantsToday’s guest post is on a topic I definitely don’t have enough time to think about, never mind write about, so I’m pleased to host

Quick beauty tips for busy mums

If you’re constantly making packed lunches, doing the school run, taking the kids to the park and putting the little ones to bed, it can be hard to find time for yourself. Being a parent is challenging, but there are ways to lift your mood and feel like a yummy mummy – no matter how busy you are. Continue reading