Coming soon, our experience on What Would Your Kid Do with Jason Manford.
I've set myself a challenge this year and that is to take part in Vlogmas.
Vlogmas in a YouTube event that sees vloggers upload a video everyday in December. Some people do all of December, other do up to Christmas Day. I'm not sure what I will be doing yet, I'll see how it goes.
Our first vlogmas video is how to make a Christmas cake.
This year we are using Mary Berry's recipe. We love Mary Berry, but the problem is, I don't do any cooking, EVER!
My husband Mark likes to do all the cooking at home. But I have made a Christmas cake in the past using a Be-Ro recipe, so I thought I would give this one a go.
Here is our video of me and my son Jacob making the Christmas cake. We hope you enjoy it.
It would be great if you could subscribe to our channel.
175g (6 oz) raisins
350g (12 oz) glace cherries, rinsed, thoroughly dried and quartered
500g (1lb 2oz) currants
350g (12oz) sultanas
150ml (¼ pint) sherry, plus extra for feeding
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
250g (9oz) butter, softened
250g (9oz) light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp black treacle
75g (3oz) blanched almonds, chopped
75g (3oz) self-raising flour
175g (6oz) plain flour
1½ tsp mixed spice
To finish and decorate Mary Berry's Christmas cake:
About 3tbsp apricot jam, sieved and warmed
675g shop-bought almond paste
Packet royal icing mix to cover 23cm/9in cake
1. Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the sherry and stir in the orange zest. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak for 3 days, stirring daily. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140C, 120C fan, gas 1.
2. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
3. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
4. When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don't remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)
5. Decorate with almond paste and royal icing.
To prepare the Christmas cake ahead: Prepare the fruit and soak in sherry 3 days ahead - this is essential to plump up and flavour the fruit. Make the cake and wrap as in stage 4. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, following stage 4. You could also freeze the cake before decorating, for up to 3 months; defrost at room temperature. Recipe taken from Mary Berry's Christmas Collection, available from Amazon, RRP £17.00 (Headline RRP £20.00)
I can't believe how big Halloween is now in the UK.
I remember the days when I was a kid, we would go trick or treating in the close that I lived in wearing a bin liner and a cheap plastic mask!
I never did throw eggs at any windows as when we knocked on the door, no one said trick! But I wouldn't have dared anyway!
Those days are well and truly gone.
Now, thanks in part to America, Halloween in the UK is a huge event. Aisles full of Halloween goodies, costumes and so many sweets can be found in every supermarket.
Everywhere you look, people have gone bigger each year with fancy dress and decorating their houses.
My daughter who loves a bit of gore and zombies, wanted to be made up to look like she had been bitten by a zombie (que the Walking Dead music).
So I took up the challenge and headed to YouTube to see if there was an easy tutorial I could find and use things I had lying around the house instead of having to buy lots of expensive special effects make-up.
Luckily for me, I found one, and I managed to create an open wound on Amber's head and arm.
How to make a wound, what you need:
Toilet paper/cotton wool
Foundation (to match your skin tone)
Fake blood (we used lighter red and a congealed looking gloopy dark red fake blood)
An old small paintbrush (to apply the PVA and blood)
Make-up sponge to dab the foundation on
I can't tell you how easy this is to do, and the effect is brilliant. See for yourself in the pictures of Amber.
Here's what I did:
Step one: Using the paintbrush apply a thin layer of PVA glue onto the skin.
Step two: Rip off small bits of toilet paper and stick to the glue.
Step three: Continue with the PVA glue and toilet paper layers.
Step four: Once you have got about 6 layers on, leave to dry. Or cheat and use a hairdryer on a cool setting for quickness.
Step five: Very carefully using small scissors, gently cut a small hole at one end of where the wound will be, just in from the edge.
Step six: Cut the glue and toilet paper to the desired length of the wound you would like.
Step seven: Gently open the glue to create an opening.
Step seven: Trim the excess off, but leave some of the edge sticking up.
Step eight: Use foundation and sponge to gently pat make up all over the outside, on the top of the glue and toilet paper. Cover well.
Step nine: Dab black eyeshadow in the opening.
Step ten: Dip some of the congealed blood and spread out inside the wound, then add some of the lighter (fresh looking) blood around the outside.
Here are some products you can use (contains affiliate links)
Looks real doesn't it! Ewwww.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out to say I have never done it before. I love a YouTube tutorial.
Amber went out trick or treating with her friends, and we decided to do a little Halloween party at home for our son Jacob.
Jacob didn't know I would dress up, so he was a little scared when I opened the door when he came home from school. He wanted to wear his Dracula outfit, complete with fangs and dripping blood!
We had great fun making Halloween biscuits, we had a couple of fails with the icing though which you will see in the video below.
Daddy carved the pumpkins after the kids designed the faces they would like. Does anyone ever make anything with the inside of pumpkins? We always end up throwing it all away!
When Amber got back from trick or treating, she had a bag full of sugary goodies.
Where we live, we never get anyone coming to our door on Halloween, as we live on a road without a pavement and the houses are quite spread out. But we always get sweets just in case, and what a shame, no one came again this year - oh well, we will have to eat them!
When Amber got back, my husband Mark asked if anyone said 'trick'. She just looked at us blankly. She had no idea that if people said 'trick' rather than 'treat', you would have to play some kind of trick on that house.
Let's face it, that never happens nowadays.
I think our little party was a great success, and now all the decorations have gone back in the loft to wait for an even bigger Halloween next year.
I made a video of our Halloween party, see below. We'd love you to subscribe to Our Family Life channel on YouTube.
Sometimes it can be tricky getting the right balance in your child's packed lunch.
If like us, you have a little fuss pot that only seems to want the same lunch over and over again, then these new Scrummies from Clearly Scrumptious might help you out.
These little packs of healthy goodness can get one of your five a day into kids without them realising, thats always a win in my book!
Scrummies are a mix of juicy cranberries and succulent raisins with natural fruit flavours.
There's no artificial flavours, just lovely soft fruits with nothing added and nothing taken away.
With no added sugar, no sulphates, 100% vegan, wheat gluten and dairy free they are a welcome addition to any packed lunch. And you can buy 20 (20g packs) for £10. They are for little ones age 12 months and over.
These little packs are great for snacks on the go. If you have a long car journey or are going on a family day out, these are perfect.
They come in 5 flavours: Blackcurrant, Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry.
Clearly Scrumptious was developed by founders Rick Wadsworth and James Feddo. While running in the Yorkshire Dales they realised a gap in the market as they were frustrated at the lack of high quality dried fruit snacks available in snack sized portions to carry in their rucksacks for a natural energy source.
The Blueberry, Raspberry and Strawberry fruit snacks, sold in a multipack (5x20g) are available in more than 200 Morrisons stores across the UK.
And if you parents keep pinching the kids packs, then fear not, they also sell them for adults.
You can order them online direct from Clearly Scrumptious and I have a discount code for my lovely readers which will save you 15% off all items in your cart. Just enter Ourfamily15 at the checkout.
We decided to do a taste test with our son Jacob. He always gives an honest opinion (like kids do), I think you will see they went down very well. See below for the video.
Disclaimer: We were sent some of each flavour complimentary to try.
I am kind of getting to grips with my new Canon G7X camera, I love recording footage of our family when we are out and about.
I have uploaded our second Day in the Life video on to Our Family Life YouTube channel.
In this video we go out for some lunch to a lovely place in Folkestone, Kent called Googies Art Cafe. If ever you are in Folkestone, I'd recommend a visit to Googies, it's a great place and the food is yummy!
The kids (and Mark) go scootering on Dover seafront. We enjoy some chocolate cake in the Waterfront cafe where Jacob ends up eating most of the cake!
Then it's back home. While Jacob is tired from all that scootering and decides to have a nap, I get chance to chill out for a bit with a cup of tea and have a read of The Sunday People and Sunday Mirror newspapers.
In the evening on a Sunday we always like to Skype my mum and dad because they live in Yorkshire. It's a great way to keep in touch with them.
Then it's story time for Jacob and time for bed. When the kids are in bed, me and Mark enjoyed a Chinese takeaway and watched a film.
It's great to keep memories of those little days out, when in years to come we will have probably forgotten about it!
I don't think I am quite ready to take the daily vlogging challenge. I'm really impressed by people who vlog everyday.
I don't think anyone who watch videos on YouTube realise just how long they take to edit. It usually takes me around 5-6 hours to edit one video! But I really enjoy the process.
I'd love you to have a watch and let me know what you think of it.
Our Family Life have had a YouTube channel for just over 4 years.
We have a variety of videos on our channel, but I was never quite sure where it was going.
I have recently seen the growth of vlogs, especially parent vloggers. I really like watching A Day in the Life videos so I thought I would record one with our family.
I have just bought a new camera, a Canon Powershot G7X and I love it. The video quality is fantastic and there is a screen that flips up so you can make sure you're in the shot.
I really enjoy editing the videos in iMovie. I am self taught in this, with the help of a couple of 16 year olds on YouTube tutorials!
Have a look at our first Day in the Life vlog and let me know in the comments what you think.
If you would like to subscribe to our channel that would be fab.
Jacob was super excited when the HEXBUG® BattleBots® Arena™ arrived, and so was I.
If like me, you enjoyed watching the TV programme Robot Wars which started back in 1998. Then you will love this new toy from HEXBUG.
This huge box arrived and my son Jacob was desperate to open it. So we decided to record a video of Jacob opening the box and having a battle against daddy!
Here's a little bit about HEXBUG®.
By leveraging our robotics expertise, we entered the toy industry in 2007 with the launch of the HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures product line. HEXBUG was designed to give children a positive experience with robotics at a young age. Our passion for robotics, as demonstrated by our VEX Robotics program, was the main catalyst fueling HEXBUG's inception. Hence, the brand was born! People are drawn to the HEXBUG brand for our products’ fascinating behaviour, intelligent bug-like attributes and eye-catching packaging. Some of the products are so animated, they even fool cats, dogs and some humans into thinking they are alive!
What's in the box?
The lights dim as the audience roars, you have just entered the ultimate robot showdown! Modeled after television’s favourite metallic war-zone comes HEXBUG® BattleBots® Arena™.
- Two push activated pulverizing hammers
- Battle-worn detachable robot pieces
- BattleBots I/R Witch Doctor included
- BattleBots I/R Tombstone included
- Realistic protective walls
- Fold-out game board
- Batteries Included
- Ages 8 and up
Jacob had so much fun playing with the BattleBots. The remote controls are a perfect size for little hands. He took great pleasure in trying to beat daddy. Even though he did cheat a bit!
Check out the video of Jacob and daddy's battle. If you like this video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to Planet Jacob. Thank you for helping to grow our channel.
Disclaimer: We received the HEXBUG BattleBots Arena free of charge. All views our own.
It has taken me 8 years to talk about this! *Takes a big gulp* Here goes...
When I became pregnant with our first child, my husband Mark and I had a big chat about what would happen when I had to return to work after maternity leave.
Without hesitation, Mark said he would be a stay at home dad so that I could continue my career as a newspaper designer.
He worked in various positions since we left college, and at the time I was Art Editor of The Sunday People newspaper, so he said it made sense for him to be the stay at home dad. We always said if we had children, one of us would try and stay at home if possible. He was very nervous, but looked forward to it.
2 weeks before I gave birth, Mark left his job. Honestly, I couldn't have done it without him. He was and still is amazing. I can't praise him enough.
I went back to work when our daughter, Amber was 10 months old. I did feel sometimes I was missing out on the life of our growing daughter. But with the rise of smart phones that could take pictures it helped me stay in touch. Mark would regularly send me photos of what they got up to so I didn't feel left out. But I work 70 miles away from my home, so I couldn't just pop home for lunch.
As I work full time, my days off were spent with Amber. Mark always looks after everything to do with the house, cooking, cleaning, washing, and I mean everything! So I was lucky I could spend all my hours off work with her.
One day Mark had popped out to do some shopping, so I stayed at home with Amber. I had tried (like you do), to trim Amber's fringe whenever it got a bit long. To do this, I invested in some proper hairdressing scissors, you know the super sharp ones.
The scissors were kept out of Amber's reach at all times. Until this one day that I'll never forget.
Amber was now 5 years old, and we were happily planning our wedding. We had been together 14 years (we didn't want to rush these things) so in about 6 months we would be celebrating our big day, with Amber as our much loved bridesmaid.
Amber was playing nicely, so I sat on the sofa, then I put my feet up. Big mistake! I only went and fell asleep.
I'm not sure how long I fell asleep for, but the sight that greeted me when I woke up is something I'll never forget or forgive myself for.
Amber had a big chunk of hair in one hand, and the hairdressing scissors in the other. She stood in front of me looking like Dave Hill from Slade.
Everything went in slow motion. I thought I was dreaming, sadly not. She had managed to cut all of her fringe off, and there was just a little tuft left like when you plant grass seeds and they first begin to sprout.
Mark returned to find Amber with her new hairstyle and me looking like a dog that had done something it shouldn't on the carpet!
I was so upset that I had fallen asleep, how could I? I was supposed to be watching Amber. Bad mother!
For the next 6 months she went to school wearing a rather large headband on the front of her head to try and hide what a bad mum I was.
The headband was also clipped on with some cute hair clips, just to make sure I could hide my shame as much as possible. Bless Amber she kept it on the whole time.
I'm sure all her teachers had a sneaky look to see the horror the headband was hiding.
Needless to say my husband has never let me forget it, and photographed the evidence! Every so often it gets brought up and we have a laugh about it. Mine is a nervous laugh obviously and it still makes me shudder to this day.
He says to me, imagine if it was the other way around and Amber had cut her hair while he was looking after her! Well yes, I wouldn't have been too pleased either!
Yes, we do have pictures, of which I have never shown anyone before.
And luckily, Amber's fringe had just about grown back in time for the wedding...phew!
Amber, now she is 13, finds the pictures hilarious, but I told her how I felt like a bad mum for letting it happen. If only I hadn't fallen asleep!
Our son, Jacob is 6 years old, and I still have those scissors, and yes I do cut his fringe from time to time, but they are kept well and truly hidden, I'm not going through that again!
I haven't talked about it for so long for fear of being judged by other parents!
As parents, we are only human after all and we all make mistakes, that's what I keep telling myself anyway. And after 8 years, I can finally talk about it!
Has your child ever cut their own hair? Come on, I can't be the only one! Leave a comment below.
I love pom poms! At work in The Sunday Mirror we printed a picture of Paloma Faith wearing a fantastic jumper covered in pom poms.
People at work know I like to craft, so I said I would do a step-by-step tutorial for the paper. I also made a video.
Who doesn't love a soft, squishy pom pom? They're all the rage at the moment with many pages on Instagram dedicated to the brightly-coloured balls of fluff. A great accessory to bring a pop of colour to any outfit.
Gone are the days when you have to spend hours making one pom pom. I remember cutting out 2 circles of card from a cereal box and spending ages threading the wool through the circle and over, through the circle and over, again and again. Yawn!
I love gadgets, especially ones that are time-savers. As a full-time working mum of two children, anything that saves time gets my vote. Whoever came up with this little time-saving gadget deserves a crafty medal, or maybe a pom pom garland.
The Clover Pom Pom maker, a favourite of craft queen Kirstie Allsopp and should be in every crafters sewing box. You will find 4 different sizes in my favourite craft shop - Hobbycraft.
They can look a bit tricky to use, so I have done a step-by-step guide on how to use them. I've even recorded a video so you can watch and pause every step of the way. I learn so much of my crafts from watching videos on YouTube.
What you need:
Clover pom pom maker
Wrap the wool around one of the arcs (one arc is formed of two arms). Continue to wrap the wool around until the arc is completely covered. Repeat for the remaining arc. Close both the arcs.
Insert your scissors into the slit on the side of the machine, and cut all of the way around both arcs.
Insert a piece of wool into the middle of the machine and pull tight, secure in place with a knot.
Gently remove the pom pom by releasing both arcs of the machine. Remove the central sections by gently pulling on both sides. Trim off the little sticky out bits.
I have made a step-by-step video. Enjoy!
World Book Day is on Thursday 2nd March. I know lots of parents panic about World Book Day because of the stress of finding something for your little one to wear that even slightly resembles a character from their favourite book. It can be a bit overwhelming.
Luckily for a lot of parents, supermarkets seem to have finally cottoned on to the idea that we need an easy way to dress up our kids without breaking the bank.
My son Jacob will be dressing up as Cat in the hat. He loves the outfit, and I didn't even have to make it! We bought the complete outfit, hat and all from our local supermarket for not much money. Yes I feel like a bit of a cheat, but hey, it made things easier this year and I'm all for that!
Our teen daughter Amber is too cool for dressing up now, but in the past she went as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. We still have the Harry Potter robes so when Jacob is a bit bigger, he will be Harry on a future World Book Day. The joys of hand-me-downs! I got all flash one year and managed to make Jacob a Peter Pan meets Robin Hood outfit for World Book Day a couple of years ago out of green and brown felt. I found a pattern online.
My husband Mark and I have managed to cobble together some outfits in the past for World Book Day. But if you're not a dab hand at sewing, then this infographic from Bright Horizons will help you put together key pieces to create your kids favourite book characters.
I absolutely love Hobbycraft. I'm like a kid in a sweet shop whenever we visit. I spend ages in the shop looking at all the lovely crafty things available. My husband Mark usually leaves me to it as I'm in there for at least a couple of hours. Easter is fast approaching, and I can't wait for spring to arrive.Read More
It's the first time we've been to the cinema since... well I can't remember the last time! 20 years ago we watched the original Trainspotting in the cinema and I thought it fitting that we did the same with this one.Read More
You know when your child comes home from school, you look in their book bag, and then you see it, the dreaded letter that says: We would like you to make a model of a dinosaur. My reaction is yikes, my husband Mark's is woohoo!Read More
Our Family Life have been invited by Mumsnet to be involved in a video on giving advice to new mums.
When you are a new mum, it seems like everyone wants to give you advice, or tell you what they went through when they had their children (I have done this myself).
This is a short video with some helpful advice from mums. See below to watch the video
Don't kids grow out of their clothes quick! I recently sorted out my daughters clothes, socks, tights etc.. and found that she has 6 pairs of tights that are too small, then I had an idea...Read More
I recently bought a gorgeous Welsh dresser from eBay. When I bought this pre-loved item, I thought I would paint it. A bit daunting I hear you say. Well let me tell you, it was easy-peasy!Read More
If you have a little one who likes to get themselves dressed in the morning, your nice tidy T-Shirt drawer can become messy. I love that my son knows what he wants to wear, and we always encourage him to get himself dressed. So I decided to tackle the drawer and make it easy for little hands to grab a T-Shirt.
Here's what I did..
This is what my four year old son's T-Shirt drawer looked like before I tackled it!
Grab a T-Shirt and lay it front down on a surface - the bed is good as you can sit down while you tackle the mountain of T-Shirts!
Fold in the sleeves towards the back of the T-Shirt.
Grab one whole side of the T-Shirt and fold in to the centre, and do the same on the other side.
Fold up about one third from the bottom.
Fold up the bottom third to meet the top.
Turn the T-Shirt over.. and there you go! Easy peasy!
Lovely folded clothes. This gets much easier and quicker the more you do it.
Look how much space I have saved! Also much easier for little hands to get a t shirt out.
I have also shown my 11 year old daughter how to fold clothes like this so she has done her clothes too, and she enjoyed it!
I'd love to hear any tips on how you keep the kids clothes tidy. Leave a comment below.
When you are younger and you start anything new for the first time, you walk into the room and think to yourself, 'What are they going to think of me?' When you get older, you walk into that same room and think, 'What am I going to think of them?'
This was something my mum said in a recent conversation. It got me thinking of how we see ourselves when we are younger compared with when we are older and more experienced in life. Do we feel as old as we look?
I was at work the other day and I went to put my lunch in the fridge, and as I reached for the handle, I thought, who's hand is that? When did my hands become so old looking?
It also sparked a conversation which I think about a lot... Just how old do we feel? Have a think now, how old do you feel? I am 39 and on the inside, I feel like I am about 18 years old.
Yet I am married, have 2 children, a job that I love, a big mortage and responsibilites that go along with all of these.
I remember as a child thinking, wow, mum and dad know everything! Now I am a parent, I think, I don't really know what I'm doing, just muddling along and trying as best I can to get through any situation life throws at me.
When I was a child, I stayed a child for longer. I think this is because my brother is seven years younger than me and I always played with him and his toys. My husband thinks I sometimes still act like a child when I'm sitting watching a kids film, when the kids aren't interested in watching it!
I decided to ask my mum, to see, at the age of 58, just how old she feels...
Her reply was 'I feel about 25 years old'. I've never really thought about it. Mum thought the same about her parents, they were invincible and they knew everything!
I once remember asking my 82 year old grandma just how old she felt inside and her reply was 'I don't recognise the person I see in the mirror, that's not how I feel inside'.
My grandma has, in the past, been a little bit offended when someone once give up their seat for her on the bus. Thinking, why is this person giving up their seat for me when I don't feel old!
I was always taught as a child to respect my elders and if I was sat on a bus, and I saw an older person standing, I would offer them my seat. But what I see of that person, isn't maybe how they feel. Of course we are all different, and I will continue to get up so someone can have my seat. But it's really interesting.
At what point in our lives does our brain stop ageing?
So do we ever feel like a grown up? I guess not!
I'd love to know how old you feel on the inside, please leave a comment below.
Are you superstitious? Most people say 'Of course not'. But how many of you touch wood, don’t walk under ladders, don’t open an umbrella indoors, or if you spill the salt, throw some over your shoulder?
Ah, now you might say yes!
I am superstitious to a point, I always say 'I salute you Sir magpie', if I see one on it's own, no matter where I am, who I’m with or what I am doing, and yes this can cause some funny looks from people wondering what on earth I am up to, especially if I'm driving my car on my own!
I have read some really unusual superstitions throughout the years and I thought I’d list a few. I still do most of these!
- So you might think getting out of bed is easy enough, but you’d be wrong. You must get out on the right side (the side you got in). If you don’t, you will be irritable all day and your friends will say ‘Did you get out of bed the wrong side this morning!’ You must also put your right foot out of bed first or you will do things wrong all day.
- If you discover a knot in your shoelace, that’s lucky!
- You must put on your right sock and shoe first, if you forget, you are likely to have an accident before the day is out.
- Ever put an item of clothing on inside out? It’s lucky, but only if you keep it like that all day!
- Never put new shoes on the table, this is bad luck.
- Salt was a precious commodity in the days before freezers and cans, as salt was used to preserve food. Because of it’s value it was thought to be unlucky to spill even a grain of it. In Yorkshire (I’m a Yorkshire lass), it was thought the devil lurked around the table at meal times, waiting to do mischief. Spilt salt gave him the chance he was waiting for. To foil his evil plans salt had to be thrown over the left shoulder by the person who split it, where it would hit the devil straight in the eye!
- In early times crossed knives were a sign of hostile intentions, it was important to lay your knife tidily on the plate next to the fork. Many people still do this.
- If you have a spare knife, put it under the front door mat - it will keep the witches out!
- After breakfast, don’t throw your eggshells on the fire or the hens will stop laying.
- If you have to pass under a bridge, try not to speak when you walk under it - it’s thought to be unlucky to walk or drive under when a train or car is passing over the top.
- If you do accidentally walk under a ladder, you can solve the problem by crossing your fingers and keeping them crossed until you see a dog.
- Brooms must be locked away, in case a passing witch should steal one and cause havoc (thank goodness for the good old vacuum cleaner)
- Do not pass anyone on the stairs, this is bad luck, but you can get rid of the bad luck by crossing your fingers or touching wood.
So if you see someone walking around with clothes on inside out, throwing salt, saluting magpies whilst walking around with knotted shoes, say hello to me!
I'd love to hear what things you do if you are superstitious. Leave a comment below.
International courier ParcelHero looks at how Mum would have spent her day back in 1965.
1 Washing nappies
Terry cloth nappies, fastened with large safety pins, were by far the main type of nappy in 1965; leaving Mum the gory task of scrubbing and washing baby’s best efforts in her Rolls Razor Twin Tub. By the end of the 1960s Pampers disposables had become hugely popular – one of the fastest switches in consumer buying patterns ever. We wonder why?
2 Slaving over a stove
With no ready-meals or microwaves, Mum spent much of her time cooking. Meat and veg was the staple meal, with take-away fish n’ chips a weekly treat. ‘Instant’ food was limited to Spam and other tinned items. Mum didn’t launch into spaghetti bolognaise or prawn cocktails until the 1970s.
3 Shopping, shopping, shopping
Much of Mum’s time was spent shopping. In 1963 only 3% of UK homes had freezers. She probably visited the corner shop and the grocer daily; and the local butcher, the fishmonger and baker more than once a week. There were only 572 supermarkets in the UK in 1961. By 1969 there were 3,400 including Gateway, Fine Fare, Tesco and Sainsbury. Thrifty Mum was careful to collect her Green Shield Stamps.
4 NOT going to work…
Most women either chose to give up work or were ‘let go’ when pregnant! In 1960 only 35% of married women worked at all, and most chose to give up work when they had babies. It was still legal to sack someone who was pregnant until 1975. Only 17 percent of moms who worked during pregnancy in 1961 went back to work before their children were five, compared to 65 percent of women today.
5 Leaving kids in front of the TV – but only for 15 minutes!
There was no all-day TV and no DVDs, so Mom looked forward to 1.30pm when, despite its name, she could leave the kids to view Watch with Mother on their own while she enjoyed a rare break. Andy Pandy and The Flower Pot Men were great for keeping toddlers entertained. For older kids Doctor Who was already a Saturday favourite and Thunderbirds proved to be a F.A.B. hit from lift-off in 1965.
6 Not doing much for Mother’s Day!
Poor Mum wasn’t likely to receive a Mother’s Day gift from her grown-up kids. There were no courier services to pick up the parcel from the senders’ door, no choice but Royal Mail’s prices, and definitely no Sunday delivery! Few families ever went out to a restaurant or drank wine, so no big celebrations. It wasn’t until the arrival of Bernie Inns and Mateus Rose, Black Tower and Blue Nunin the 1970s that eating out and enjoying a glass or two became popular.
7 Wearing a wedding ring
It may be thought of as the permissive swinging ‘60s, but only 5.8% of babies were born to unmarried mums in 1961; today 44% of mums have not tied the knot.
8 Pushing a heavy pram
Heavy metal Pedigree prams were still most popular for babies, their basic design hadn’t changed much since the Edwardian era. They needed a hefty push to climb kerbs, and forget getting them on a bus – especially as lowfloor buses weren’t introduced until the 1990s.
9 Having a cigarette
Half of all women smoked in the 1960s, compared to 1 in 5 today. It wasn’t until 1964 that the first major report into smoking health issues appeared. Women continued to smoke during pregnancy and, if they were anaemic, doctors would also often prescribe them free Guinness on the NHS!
10 Collapsing in front of Corrie!
Busy Mum picked up her kids from school in her shiny new Mini, Fiat 500 or Beetle, helped with homework, fed them Birds-Eye Fish Fingers, kept them amused with Thomas the Tank Engine, Barbie and Batman toys, before she finally collapsed in front of Coronation Street, complaining Dad didn’t help out much. How times have changed… Or maybe not!
Says ParcelHero’s Head of Public Relations, David Jinks: ‘Mums certainly had it tough 50 years ago, and, despite modern conveniences, it’s still massively hard work for today’s mothers, and they are probably holding down a career too! Mum deserves a treat so, rather than sending parcels, we’re sending one lucky mother and her guest on a pampering £400 spa visit. She can choose from a wealth of luxurious Wahanda spa venues, with indulgent treatments, breakfast, bubbles and dinner.’
David explains: ‘Entering our #senditwithlove Mother’s Day competition is simple. Just visit the ParcelHero Facebook page and tell us why your mum deserves her spa break. What’s the most wonderful thing she has done for you? In what way is she the Queen of Mums? We’d love to hear. For full details visit www.parcelhero.com/competitions/mothers-day