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This advertisement feature was written in collaboration with LEGO City When we received an invitation to the attend the LEGO City Hero Academy event at the London Transport Museum I knew that myself and the girls had to attend.  They both already love LEGO just as much as their older brother did when he was growing up, which I simply adore.  LEGO has made huge strides in appealing to girls and boys with a number of its collections, and it’s a toy that is going to be enjoyed in our house

Teaching children about money is one of the most important life skills you can pass on to your kids.  I had a really poor example set to me about money, and in all honesty it took years to undo.  My parents were quick to use credit cards and didn’t save for things that they couldn’t afford.  As a result, debt was a normal part of life, and I didn’t fully understand the costs involved in borrowing money until much later in life. Teaching kids about money and setting a better

Where on earth did December go? One minute we were cracking open the advent calendar and the next minute it’s like 3 sleeps before we will be tracking the big man doing his rounds on the Santa tracker. I’m putting it down to it being a really busy month.  I’ve had lots to sort out from work deadlines, the occasional life curveballs and everything else that goes with family life.  It’s not left a lot of time to feel Christmassy,  and that’s something I’m determined to change. I love the

Dear son, How on earth are you turning 21 years old this week.  I have no idea where the years have gone, yet here we are and you are all grown up and not even living at home that much anymore. It goes without saying that I want to wish you a very Happy 21st Birthday and I hope you have an amazing day.  This is now the 3rd birthday we haven’t spent with you and to be honest it doesn’t get any easier.  We miss you so much while

Do you remember a while back that we were getting ready to send teen back to university for his second year?  Well, I’m not going to lie, there are two aspects to this change in our family that I really struggle with.  Firstly, I miss him so much when he’s gone.  I thought I would have been used to this by now, but it turns out I’m not.  Secondly, I can’t help but worry about him either.  I do wonder if we ever stop worrying about are kids, and at

Halloween is just around the corner everyone and if you are anything like me you are super busy and before you know it this spooky night will be right on top of you.  Will you be prepared for some spooky activities and play ideas with the family? Halloween is a fab opportunity for you to have some fun with your family and create new memories, and I really don’t want you to miss out. Even if you’re not a fan of trick or treating, and I know lots of people

Collaborative Feature  Fostering is a truly unique dynamic. Fostering will affect everyone with the household, and especially the family where dependent children still live. However, this doesn’t mean it’ll be negative or a risk you shouldn’t take.  A Family Approach to Fostering Fostering, by its very nature, doesn’t sit within the confines of a regular job or even a regular relationship. Therefore, when you choose to foster, the whole family are fostering too. Understandably, your children are your priority. Therefore, the questions you have regarding the impact on them should

Advertisement The summer is a such an important time for our family. With my son now at university, to have him home with us for 3 months is precious to us all.  We love being able to share family meals again whether it’s trying out my son’s student recipes or sharing a home cooked Sunday roast together. We all miss him so much when he’s away, but I think his younger sisters feel it the most. When ever Brook and Indie talk about missing their brother they cry and I

Tomorrow will be your first day of school my little one, so I wanted to share a letter as I think we are both feeling a bit emotional about the changes ahead.  Firstly, I want you to know that you are going to be OK, in fact you will be more than OK when you get settled in.  You have spirit and it will get you a long way in this life. The glue ear has been a challenge for you, and we’ve talked about how it’s made some sounds

How to keep youngsters entertained during the school summer holidays with a new adventure around every corner SCHOOL’S out and to help parents avoid hearing the dreaded words “I’m bored”, Parkdean Resorts has partnered with some very savvy UK bloggers.  I’m absolutely delighted to feature in the line up and share my top tips and tricks for an adventure-packed summer so I had to share these ideas with Zena’s Suitcase readers. The days when a simple colouring book or toy would entertain children for hours may be long gone, but

Back to school is a really exciting time of year.  The kids are recharged from their summer break, and some of them are even looking forward to getting back to the school routine and seeing their friends.  My daughter was actually mortified when I told her there was 4 weeks left of the school holidays the other day, she’s really looking forward to going back to school. As a Mum who has left arranging the Back to School checklist until the last minute, I can testify to the panic you

When my eldest was born I didn’t really think about kids savings at all.  I was quite young myself, and having just had a baby things like preparing for going to university seemed like a long way off.  I didn’t open a child savings account for him and I didn’t think to save regularly using any other method either. My approach was, I’ll get round to finding the best savings account for kids one day and it will all be OK.  Well that one day never happened and you would be

If you have children in primary school my guess is at some point you will have come into contact with head lice and lice eggs.  Because head lice are so common in children I thought it would be helpful to talk about how to get rid of head lice today.  In September I will have 2 girls in primary school and I know there will be regular messages home about reports of head lice and nits going round the class.  If you are one of those parents who regularly finds

Super Wings is a fun, action packed TV show for young children and we are delighted to announce that we are going to be Super Wings Super Summer Mission ambassadors over the holidays.  We are going to be joining Jett, Dizzy and the rest of the crew on some fantastic new adventures and completing the #SuperSummerMissions along the way. We would absolutely love it if you and your children would join in with us too. If you haven’t watched Super Wings yet, you can catch episodes on Cartonito, Tiny Pop

Going Back to School is something I’m very much thinking of at the moment, as come September Brook will be starting Reception for the first time.  The wheels are very much in motion to get her ready for that exciting first day, with meetings planned with the school, taster sessions arranged and of course buying her very first school uniform. Being my last child to go through school, we’ve been through a few school uniforms over the years and I’ve learnt a few things about what to expect from both

I think most parents have struggled with how to get their children to do their homework on time at some point or another. It took a long time to encourage my son to get into the routine of good homework habits, and we are just starting getting homework sent home with Indie now. When Indie gets older, I’m definitely going to check out cheap essay to write her homework essays for her, it will save her so much time and effort! That won’t be for a few years yet though!

Seeing expectant parents or a newborn baby are both things that fill me with absolute joy.  Having a baby is such a special time for parents and the love you experience for a new baby is like nothing else you’ll ever experience.  It’s the beginning of a very special journey for your new family. I’m not sure that anything can really prepare you for having a new baby arrive in the house as it’s so difficult to comprehend how much change this tiny little person can bring with it.  Along

Foster care works. When a child lives in a loving, nurturing home where they are loved, cared for and protected, they thrive. But there is no denying that the traumatic, fractured and chaotic life some children experience impacts on them. Research from across the globe concludes that foster care does work, more so if everyone involved in the foster care process are knowledgeable on how to work with looked after children. And that includes foster carers. Developmental Issues Children in foster care do thrive and develop, often ‘catching up’ with

If you saw my letter to my daughter for her 6th birthday, you have probably twigged that Indie has been celebrating this week.  The excitement has actually been brewing for weeks, as her 6th birthday party was actually the week before her actual birthday.  We arranged it this way as we spent her birthday at the lovely Darwin Forest surrounded by snow, but I’ll share more about that in another post.  She’s still super excited as she knows her Grandparents are coming to visit her this weekend, which of course

Dear Indie Happy 6th birthday to you my beautiful little angel, it only seems like 5 minutes ago I was writing your 5th birthday letter but here we are celebrating another birthday with you.  You are turning into quite the young lady, and I love how full of spirit you are.  You are going to be a person full of passion when you grow up and I hope we give you the skills and opportunities to follow your dreams and ambitions. There is absolutely no doubt that you are an

Monday always seems like such an abrupt start to the week, don’t you agree? After those lazy weekend mornings, the alarm going off at 7am and the flurry of activity that follows is quite a shock to my system.  Everyone started stirring when the alarm began to ring through the house, and I decided to peek through the curtains before heading downstairs to get the breakfast started. I wish I’d put off looking outside now, as it was definitely cats and dogs weather out there and this particular Monday was

I love reading a bedtime story to the girls.  It’s a really special part of the day as well as being an important part of their nightly bedtime routine.  When its story time they know it’s time to snuggle under their warm duvets and cuddle up with their favourite toys.  They listen intently to what’s be said, fighting the urge to go to sleep until we get to the very end of the book.  When the lights go out I know they are drifting off to the land of dreams

This post has been rattling around in my head for a while now, and I was keen to get people’s thoughts on this particular topic too.  I was originally going to call this post ‘the joys of being pregnant at 21’, but I didn’t want you all to think I was encouraging 21 year olds to run out and have kids.  I decided that talking about ‘when is a good age to have a baby’ might be a better angle. I was actually 21 when I was pregnant with my

Making sure my kids eat a healthy balanced diet and enjoy an active lifestyle is a constant priority for me.  As you might know if you have followed my blog for a while I have experienced issues with my weight for a long time, since I was a child in fact.  I have always been overweight and it isn’t a legacy I have not wanted to pass onto my children. Being overweight really is no fun, and when it’s something that is part of your earliest childhood memories it’s pretty

Hello everyone.  I hope you don’t mind, but today I’m feeling the need to get something off my chest.  If you are new around here, you might not know that last year we discovered my daughter had glue ear.  She had grommets fitted and her adenoids removed last September. We definitely saw progress in her hearing and communication immediately after the surgery, so we felt it was worth it. Speech Development Plateau At the moment though I’m feeling like her progress has plateaued but we are struggling to get her

How much sleep a child is getting can be a real cause for concern for parents.  Sleep is so important for healthy development in babies and children and it would be a dream if things went smoothly in this department.  As an adult I really value my sleep, but sometimes children don’t feel the same way and there could be any number of reasons for this. My first baby slept beautifully.  It was like he read the textbook on ‘how should babies behave’ before he arrived.  I have a distinct

When I was expecting, I suffered a lot with foot and heel pain during pregnancy as well as swelling in my feet and legs.  If you are looking for heel pain relief or you are experiencing swollen ankles, then I’ve got some great tips for helping you manage foot pain during pregnancy. Firstly lets talk about why you might be experiencing foot and heel pain.  There are potentially a couple of factors here.  The weight gain caused by pregnancy can effect your centre of gravity and cause you to change how

How close is Christmas now folks?  It is literally around the corner, so we thought we had better get some of our Christmas traditions ticked of the list before we ran out of time.  This year we added something new to the agenda, hoping that the girls would enjoy it. We had been invited to the National Ice Centre to check out their new family friendly skating arrangements, and when I told the girls they were going on the ice, they were so excited.  Indie told me she hadn’t done

With Christmas only around the corner, you might be on the hunt for fun and exciting things for the whole family to enjoy as we enter the festive period. With so many options on the run-up to the Christmas holiday, you might find it difficult to choose just one! To give you some inspiration to keep you and the kids busy this Christmas, here is just a short list to make sure you create some great Christmas memories this year. Visit the Christmas Markets Every year the UK embraces its

My girls really love making crafts.  When we are at home, setting up a craft for them helps to keep them busy for a while.  They love being creative and enjoy the sense of achievement they get when they have completed a piece of art.  This easy Christmas tree paper plate craft is something we are going to enjoy making for the entire festive season so I thought I would share it with you too.  It took me about 10 minutes to set up and the girls really enjoyed making

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