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Birth Order


I never thought that birth order played that much of a part in shaping children’s personalities. Until, that is, my children started to grow up.

When one of them, mentioning no names, started to move away from being a parent pleaser and more towards being a pal pleaser, I started to look into what effect birth order might have had.

This is what I found

First borns are used to watching their parents pouring milk without spilling, colouring in within the lines and other correctly performed tasks. This can lead to perfectionism and the need to excel at school, at being a sibling, at being a son/daughter and other roles they are given. It can lead to frustration if siblings don’t do as they are told and firstborns  can get a reputation for being ‘bossy’.

First Born traits; Perfectionist, achiever, leader, bossy, responsible, motivated, conscientious, controlling, cautious and reliable.

‘Middle child syndrome’, myth or fact? As a middle child you are bound to experience less attention than the fascinating firstborn or the helpless baby and this often results in middle children forming a close group of friends around them as a substitute family. Wanting to differentiate themselves from their  responsible older sibling can often lead to a rebellious phase or two. Having said that, middle children learn that to get what they want they have to be excellent negotiators and are often peace makers with good social skills.

Middle Child traits; Independent, adaptable, go-between, people pleaser, rebellious, peace maker, social, resourceful and secretive.

The youngest is brought up in less of a hot housed atmosphere, where the parents are less cautious and less likely to micro manage their every move. The parents of the youngest have likely felt a sense of nostalgia knowing that this may be their last baby and have, unwittingly, rewarded immature behavior and given them less responsibility.  Hence the youngest child is often free spirited and tends not to attract responsibility. After seeing their older siblings getting the attention by being either an over achiever or a rebel, the youngest learns to seduce people with their like ability and charm and can be the life of the party.

Youngest  Child traits; Social, outgoing, charming, can be manipulative, fun and self centred.

Stereo typical load of guff or accurate?

Try Our 5 Ice Lolly Recipes To Make At Home

These are such a great, inexpensive way to give the kids a treat and they can easily help you to make them too.

1.  Salted Caramel And Yoghurt



1/2 cup of Salted Dulce de Leche ( available in most supermarkets but I have bought it in Sainsburys)

3 cups of natural yoghurt

Vanilla paste to taste

Mix the vanilla paste into the yoghurt and gently fold in the warmed salted caramel. Pour into moulds and add sticks. Freeze.


2.  Blueberry And Honey

f4f8052dc6fc94661c44a6e28ca2b59e4 cups of frozen or fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup of water

Puree all the ingredients and add to the moulds. Freeze.


3.  Frozen watermelon slices


Slice the watermelon in half and then slice it similar to slicing a loaf of bread and then cut these slices into thirds. Peel and use a wooden lolly stick before wrapping in separate greaseproof paper and freezing.


4.  Lemonade And Fruit


Cut up a selection of fruit, some work better than others. Berries are the most successful but they don’t have to be perfect! Add to the moulds and fill up with lemonade.


5. Pineapple And Ginger Coconut


1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup of  ginger beer

2 tablespoons of honey

3 cups of roughly chopped pineapple

1/4 cup brown sugar

Combine the first 3 ingredients in one bowl and the pineapple and sugar in another then alternate the 2 in the mould allowing 20-25 mins freezing time between layers.




5 Ways To Improve Your Picnic

1.  Bread with all the sandwich fillings baked into it is a great way keep the number of different bags and boxes to a minimum. Try this one from M&S Cook App. Asparagus And Goats Cheese Loaf 

picnic loaf

2.  I love these strawberry, blueberry, brownie and marshmallow kebabs which are pretty and delicious.

strwberry and brownie kebabs

3. We always take our plastic lined picnic rug away (or just into the garden) with us and will be forever thankful to my sister in law for such a thoughtful present, but failing that, a blanket and a shower curtain do just as well.


4. Bunting is great to liven up a party picnic and you could always blow up some balloons to add as well. Bring some clothes pegs to hang up bits and pieces that may be damp or you just want to avoid the creepy crawlies getting into.

picnic bunting

 5. Even if you are not planning on staying late use some candles( citronella can be useful) for a bit of fun and don’t forget some tunes if you are in a secluded spot!picnic candles

Top 5 Sun Creams For Kids -and the ones to avoid

Everyone wants the best sun cream they can afford for their children’s young skin but are we being emotionally blackmailed by big brands into feeling that if we don’t spend copious amounts of money we’re harming our little ones?

Consumer watchdog Which has been looking into suncreams for us and the results are somewhat surprising.

These Suncreams all passed the Which tests and were actually the SPF stated on the bottle..

  • Calypso Sun lotion SPF30 proved to be the cheapest suncream  (£1.20 per 100ml)


  • Aldi Lacura Suncare Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 (£1.24 per 100ml)






  • Asda’s Protect Sun Lotion SPF30 (£1.74 per 100ml) and Sainsbury’s Sun Protect Lotion SPF30 (£2 per 100ml), both passed and have the added convenience of being available in supermarkets.






  • Avon Sun Clear Spray SPF30 (£4.76 per 100ml) comes in a convenient spray bottle which i like although the price I’ve quoted is only available in the sale.






  • Ambre Solaire Dry Mist SPF30 (£4.25 per 100ml)was another one I liked with it’s ultra light spray. I might find that it lasts longer than the cheaper products because I’m not dispensing so much.






And these below did not pass..

  • Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch SPF30 (£11.33 per 100ml) This was the most expensive of all tested






  • Malibu Protective Lotion SPF30 (£3 per 100ml)






  • Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion SPF 30 (£8.33 per 100ml)






As we’re off to Madrid very soon I will be putting my favourites through their paces. Thanks again Which!




Going Crabbing

It’s Crabbing Season!

As a family, we love crabbing. We crab from the pier in Oban, in our seawater quarry at the bottom of the garden or from Tepco, our wooden dinghy.

Where ever you are crabbing the rules are more or less similar…

Gone Crabbing

Do find a spot that has shelving rocks this offers crabs protection and shade.

Do make sure your line reaches to the bed or rock so the crab can get a good grip.

Don’t use a hook (you may well be going to eat the blighters but don’t let them suffer).

Do use a piece of bacon, liver or some mackerel and tie it securely onto your line.

Do lift the line up slowly and have a net ready, when the crab is out of the water it will jump off!

Don’t store too many crabs in the same bucket.

Do offer them some shade and change the water regularly.

Do release them humanely if not taking them home for tea.



Ice cream

Home-Made Ice Cream

I don’t always manage it but, where possible, I try to keep my family’s sugar intake low.

Ice cream

One of the ways of doing this is by making our own very easy ice cream. Keep some peeled and chopped banana in the freezer and then, for a quick pudding or ice cream cone if friends have turned up after school, I whizz it up in the magimix and dollop it into a cone. It can get a little runny on a hot day, so if you have the time pop it into a freezer proof container and back into the freezer for 30mins. Delicious! Other ingredients you could add are

  • a spoonful of peanut butter
  • nutella
  • honey
  • other frozen fruit eg raspberries
  • choc chips
  • cinnamon
  • cardamon
  • ginger

but bear in mind that any ingredients you add, like honey, will make the consistency looser.

ENJOY!Ice cream

Less Sugar

Whilst election candidates are focussing on the NHS needing more money, nurses, midwives etc, they are ignoring the fact that huge food and drink companies are making us think that it is lack of exercise causing the rise in obesity, then in turn they promote their sugar laden products to children.

We need more education to tell people to stop eating high sugar/carbohydrate and low fat diets and do a moderate amount of exercise.

Read more here

The hooded towel co






The hooded towel co


Mmmmm. I’ve never been one for tattoos myself, it probably stems from working on geriatric wards where I came across some very old tattooed skin. However I am preparing myself for the fact that my children one day may choose to get one/some. I came across this lovely article showing babies with their tattooed parents and find it quite beautiful. See more here.

Hooded towels

The Hooded Towel Co. Working From Home

I am lucky enough to be able to work from home and so like to have an office that feels good to be in, having plenty of storage and light.

cactus-2The Hooded Towe lCo.    The Hooded Towel Co.The Hooded Towel Co.










My husband added a corner unit to my Ikea Billy bookcases.

My daughter helped me to paint a magnetic board onto the wall, if you are trying this be sure to use at least 6 coats of magnetic paint, I used the whole of a 250ml tin.

With my Tin Tin poster framed and some little cacti I was ready to start work again!