Rate the Date – Mr A’s take on Direct Line Icy Roads

A few weeks ago I was invited to take on the skid pan in Kettering with Direct Line. As it was a night away from the kids and the sort of thing Mr A would love I asked if I could bring him too, Direct Line kindly said yes and that he could probably get a quick lap of the skid pan. On the day another blogger dropped out so Mr A was lucky enough to get the full experience.

The end of the clip says it all really, don’t you think?

My account is over on my other blog parentshaped.co.uk, but I’m handing over A residence to Mr A today: Continue reading

Avert Valentines Day Meal Disasters #Win a meal cooked in your home by a Masterchef!

Its the simple things, Mr A made me a heart shaped jacket potato

I bet you have some funny or painful Valentines Day meal stories. I know I do.

I will never forget the Singles Valentines night me and my friend J threw at university. We cooked heart shaped pizzas for all our single friends. The evening was going well, wine flowing, a few sparks of romance flying, mainly though, just good friends having a blast. Continue reading

Yankee Candle Happy Halloween: Is it just me or does this thing smoke bats?

I kind of have to tell you the story here, and hope it translates as well to the page.

I was at my friend Amanda’s house having coffee, she told me she had a Halloween candles from Yankee candle, in fact she had two. Amanda is a bit of a candle fan, she has a gorgeous home full of beautifully placed vintage vases, candle holders and scented candles. Really lovely, you can sneak a look at The Ana Mum Diary blog if you want to see more. Actually she is an authority on candles.

So, I started to tell her about my Yankee Candle Happy Halloween candle. How it smelt like Black Jacks and black licorice. She was…a little jealous. Continue reading

The Alexanders do Halloween Costumes, at sea.

This year Halloween is going to be a bit different! We are on our Mediterranean cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines. I had no idea whether this means we need costumes. We’ve been pretty focussed on making sure we all have enough everyday clothing. But I checked and it appears there will be Halloween decorations, lots of spooky fun, and we can bring costumes if we fancy. Continue reading

On buying my daughter a mirror – what I see when I look in the mirror


Shortly after completing the Story of Mum project I was invited to take part in the What I see Project.  I love all these online celebrations of women, it is so empowering to see, hear and observe all these stories being told.

Go see my video on the site here, among lots of others. I love the mix of voices and amazing range of responses to that one question ‘What do you see when you look in the mirror‘. Continue reading

Little Legacy: The Legend and Story of Mum

Legend, from I’m a Mum and a…

Today I am curating the Story of Mum online tour. The idea is, as a curator, you choose something from the Story of Mum Gallery, and contribute something yourself. I chose Legend as an image (above), from the I’m a Mum and a...exhibition, because it jumped out of the gallery at me, it had such power. Continue reading

The one where I am converted by a cupcake

Wonky retro cupcakes for L’s 6th birthday

I’ve always been a bit anti cupcake. I’m the first one to sneer when someone produces a batch of 12 perfectly iced creations. When I was a kid, you knew where you were with cupcakes, they were generally wonky, iced with glace icing and covered in dolly mixtures. So that is the kind of cupcakes my kids usually get.

That was until Emily from A Mummy Too blog moved round the corner from me and turned up one snowy day with a batch of rum laced, beautifully iced Christmas cupcakes. This Summer she invited me and the kids to come and decorate cupcakes with her. How could we refuse? Continue reading

We came, we saw, we conquered, Camp Bestival 2013


This was our second year at Camp Bestival and we still found loads of new things to keep us busy. I think it took us longer to get into the festival mood this year, Mr A and I had less time to switch off from work, and the kids being older, wiser and more used to the site, had very strong ideas about what they wanted to do which caused some frictions. (TIP: On Friday everyone is fresh faced and wants to do everything, so there are more queues and people, so try to save some things for other days!)


No I will not wait ’til Sunday when it is quieter to make slime in the Science tent Mummy!

But I always think festivals are a winding down, transformative kind of ritual, and by Sunday breakfast, Camp Bestival’s magical work on us was complete, look: Continue reading

We’ve come a long, long way together. Mr A and I celebrate 15 years.

15 years ago I walked into a pub in my home town with my best mate from school. We’d finished Uni and had enough of signing on and applying for jobs, we wanted to let our hair down. We spotted a Mr A, who we’d known for years, he was up from London dog sitting for his Mum. We dragged him to a club and the rest is history. Continue reading

Guest Post: Discover Paris en famille


paris22q by kikasso, on Flickr

Many people think of Paris as a romantic getaway. A place to go if you’re planning to propose or celebrate your anniversary. But the French capital is also worth visiting with kids. And we’re not just talking trips to Disneyland Paris either. Away from the world-famous theme park, there’s plenty for families to do. So hop on a ferry and discover Paris en famille. Continue reading

We’re so excited!

Excitement is really mounting, rather like this 10 second snippet of L’s happy dance at last year’s Camp Bestival. Only a few sleeps to go and we’ve been lying on her bed tonight talking about all the things we want to do together while we are there.

I am now especially excited about the sing along Jungle Book screening and the paper plane world record breaking launch to celebrate Disney’s Planes. The prospect of sneaking some cocktails with some fellow bloggers in the Bollywood Bar is also very appealing. I can’t wait to see Ash and The Levellers. And that’s just me… Continue reading