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Showing posts from April, 2012

How to clean a dirty oven

I am not one for using many chemicals if I can get away with it and have always found cleaning my oven to be such a chore and hate the thought of using harsh chemicals on it. Not any more, the secret is Bicarb of Soda Materials Large quantities of bicarbonate of soda (not the little  supermarket baking  pots), Warm water. Bowl C loth A paint brush A scraper or  some sorts , I use a plastic pollyfiller knife, but a wallpaper scraper is fine You can get larger quantities of  bicarbonate  of soda from your local chemist or online.  I have used Summer Naturals in the past. Method Mix the bicarb and water into a thick paste, so that it  doesn't  drip Use the paint brush to coat the paste across the oven door and walls Leave for at least 30 minutes to allow the brown residue to begin to soften and melt Scrape off the paste For any  stubborn  areas reapply the paste and repeat. Using a clean cloth make sure you remove all residue You can also do the same with

National Trust's Free Weekend 2012

My friend Cass from A Frugal Family reminded me that this weekend is the National Trust's ‘Free Weekend’ where they invite people to visit over 200 of their properties for free.  This years Free Weekend is happening this weekend – the 21st and 22nd April. You need to make sure you register online  to get your free  voucher

Free Holiday Puzzle Pack from Netflights and Games for travelling

Maxi loves puzzles. He has a really analytical mind and loves crosswords, word searches, mazes and suduo.  He will quite happily sit for hours with puzzle books and is faster than me at most of them. Mini is going the same way too and we have lots of fun as a family playing word games and they both have puzzel books in the car. So when  Netflights  told me that they had a new free  summer holiday puzzle pack  on their site, I thought it would be a perfect thing to tell you all about. Games for travelling Eye Spy I don't spy  Who am I? - We pretend to be a person eg Doctor and the others ask us questions and we  answer  them without saying what we are.  What animal am I? Find 30 green things or other colours Think of a number Bake a yukky cake. When I bake a cake I use ..... then add an ingredient, everyone adds a new ingredient and says the previous ones,  until  someone forgets. Impressions Funny faces, we pull funny faces and the first one to laugh at

Free flowers for England's community gardens with Rowse Honey

We love bees.  Maxi even made a finger  print bee cup  for one of his teachers a couple of years ago. So we really like the project that Rowse Honey are currently undertaking (we have not been paid to tell you about this) Honeybees make the  yummiest, scrummiest natural fuel on the planet. To say thanks to the bees, Rowse are planting  thousands of bee-friendly flowers. But they want you to get involved! Write a thank you note to the bees on their  Facebook page , and they’ll plant a flower just for you, with your very own message on it.  Then they will send you a photo so you can see! That means there’ll be thousands of flowers all throughout England’s community gardens, with thank you notes to the bees from their fans. Over the next couple of weeks  Rowse will be  hand-writing notes, tending soil, planting flowers and snapping every one so they can send you your own photo. Then they will send all the flowers to community gardens. So co

Free school activity packs

The lovely people at Trutex, who make rather spiffing school uniforms (we reviewed Trutex school uniforms  on The Mad House ) have produced a spring and summer activity pack for primary school children. All you have to do to get hold of 100 for your school is contact with the name of a contact at your school and the schools address and they will post a bundle of 100 out for them.


The burst of Spring we had the other week has got me thinking about cleaning.  Now I am not a clean freak, but I do like to have a pretty clean house as I am a firm believer in tidy house, tidy head! One of the hardest things for me as a mum was balancing the need to have a clean and tidyish house with the constant attention that a baby, toddler, preschooler (delete as appropriate) required. It wasn't easy, but I did manage to get in to a routine and now that Spring is here and the boys will be back at school next week, I need a kick up the backside to get back in to it again. So I am going to include a weekly cleaning prompt on the blog and I do hope that you will join in. This week I am going to talk about my theory on housework. We all have jobs and the boys have been included in cleaning and tiding since they could walk.  They both had their own cleaning kits, including a feather duster, cloth and brush, so they could copy me when I cleaned when they were smaller. D

Quick and Easy Ways to Cut Your Weekly Food Bill

Tips to trim the pounds off your trolley Families in the UK are cutting back on how much they spend on food and household shopping, saving an average of £35 a week compared to before the recession. Now, more than ever, offers, discounts and vouchers are big news for shoppers. So here are some quick tips to cut your weekly food bill: Try own brands: Lots of supermarkets’ own brands are worth a look these days, and if you’re on a tight budget consider their ‘no frills’ lines, such as Essential Waitrose, Sainsbury’s Basics, Asda Smartprice and Tesco Value. Try them once, and switch back if you don’t like them. Budget supermarkets such as Aldi, Netto and Lidl offer massive savings – just because a brand isn’t a household name doesn’t mean it’s no good. Be savvy about coupons: Save all the coupons you can, and look out for discount offers on online shopping. Many food delivery services offer a discount on your first order, and there’s nothing to stop you shopping your way thro