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Crocktober….

I genuinely can’t believe that it’s October already!

September is usually a month where I usually feel a bit all over the place as we settle into a routine after the Summer Holidays and this year was no different other than the fact that the older the kids seem to get, the more after school activities they seem to be doing.   I love the activities they’re doing at the moment and I really feel like they are getting something out of them.

But…. It makes like pretty difficult as far as sitting down and eating together as a family most nights seeing as we have nights where activities cross over, nights where one is late in and the other one is too hungry to wait for them.  Add to that the fact I work one later night at work each week and Mr Frugal usually works two nights and it’s a bit chaotic around here at meal times right now!

There is a solution though, I just need to be a little bit better organised and more creative!

I find nights where I use the slow cooker to make tea to be much easier though as the food is there, keeping warm and ready to be served whenever anyone is ready for it but I don’t have many slow cooker recipes so I either learn some new ones or we get bored of the ones I do know.  Alternatively, I can just cook however many different teas every night and give up all hope of sitting down and relaxing until everyone has been dropped off, picked up and fed.

Can you guess which one I prefer? ;-)

Bingo!  I’m going to be learning some new slow cooker recipes!

Which fits in perfectly with the fact that Crock Pot UK have asked me to join in their ‘Crocktober’ campaign which is to encourage you all to get our your crock pots and slow cookers and get cooking.  They’ve challenged me to use my crockpot (a spangly new one that they’ve sent me) EVERY day in October.  They’ve even sent me a little lunch warmer for my meals so I can take my leftovers to work for lunch.

I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find enough recipes but I have an hour set aside today to Google them and then I’m off shopping with my crock pot friendly shopping list!

I’ll be updating you on my progress weekly on here but I’m going to be posting daily (I hope) on Meal Planning Made Easy if you want to pop over there too.  You can also find lots of inspiration over the Crock-Pot UK Facebook page if you want to join in.

Disclosure – Part of my slow cooker shopping bill has been covered by Crock-Pot UK as well as them providing the crockpot and the lunch warmer. 

Win £50 to spend at Skate Hut….

scooter collage

I know I’ve said this before but we LOVE scooters in this house.

The kids use their scooters on a daily basis – to go to school, to call for their friends, to go to the shop, to go to the park…. You get my point, don’t you?  ;-)

So when Skate Hut asked if I wanted to hold a giveaway for one of you lovely lot to win £50 to spend with them, I jumped at the chance because not only it a great prize, it’s also highly likely to come in very handy when you’re Christmas shopping in the next couple of months!

Even if your children’s Christmas wish list doesn’t include skates or a scooter, you’re still sorted because as well as the scooters and skate equipment, they also sell shoes, clothing and accessories, plus gifts and gadgets

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition will run from now until 11.59pm on the 10th October 2014 and although there are four different ways to enter, you don’t have to do them all.  Each one is an entry in to the draw so if you do all four, you’ll have four entries, if you only do one then you’ll have one entry.

Rafflecopter widget has been set up by Skate Hut and they will let me know shortly after the draw who won.  Please make sure your contact details are right as they will redraw if we haven’t heard from the winner 48 hours after we let them know they’ve won.

Good Luck!

Monday’s Parenting Pin It Party #72….

Welcome to this week’s fantastic Parenting Pin It Party.

I say fantastic but actually, we need your help to make it fantastic.  We need all of your best parenting posts linked up this week so we can have a bumper week filled with even more brilliant-ness than usual.

Basically, all you need to do is link up a parenting post to the linky at the bottom of this post and we’ll do the rest.  We’d also love you to add the badge but you don’t have to.

The very lovely Helen is hosting this week and she’s poised at her keyboard to get pinning all of your posts to the brilliant Parenting Party Pinterest board so don’t keep her waiting.  Next week’s host will then choose  her favourite two posts to be featured in their post next Monday.

It couldn’t be simpler could it?

Parenting Pin It Party Badge Monday Parenting Pin It Party #21

The Parenting Pin it Party is co-hosted each week by myself, Romanian MumKiddy ChartsMum of OneMummy AlarmAll you need is love and cake and The Fairy and the Frog


The limiting screen time for kids debate….

In the real world, we don’t all agree on everything.  Sometimes, you think you’re right and actually, someone comes along and shares their point of view with you and you start to think that they have a point.  Or at the very least you have a better understanding of where they’re coming from. So, once a month I’m going to post my opinion on a particular issue and ask another blogger to share their differing views.

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Last month was all about packed lunches Vs school dinners and this month, we’re discussing something that affects lots of us – screen time!  And because I know that Jen has some great points to make on this subject as we’ve discussed it over a chai latte once or twice, I’ve asked her to share her opinion with you too.

I personally don’t have a set limit on the amount of time that my children are allowed on their electronics.

That’s not because I’m happy for them to sit in front of the TV or play on their XBox or iPads all day – I’d be really sad if that’s all they wanted to do and I would have to step in at that point.  It’s more because we’ve tried it in the past and it really didn’t work for us as a family.

Firstly, I found a set time limit quite difficult to stick to because they would often ask for a little more time as they needed to finish something off that they were doing but then when that time was up, they’d want more time.  Either that or one of their school friends would come on-line just before they were due to turn off and they would want to play with them for a while.  If I stuck to the screen time limit we had, I’d say no so they’d come off unhappy and if I said yes then there really wasn’t a point having the limit at all.

I genuinely feel like imposing a limit on screen time makes them want more time and if I’m perfectly honest, I really don’t mind if they want to spend a whole afternoon playing on their electronics or doing nothing but watch TV every now and again because I know it’s not every day and that the number of times that they’ll want to spend the same amount of time outside with their friends will far outweigh these times.

I get that I’m the parent and if I set a limit or tell them to turn off then they need to do it but I don’t really want to set a time limit as I feel it’s unnecessary.

non technology

We have lots of electronics in our house including an Xbox 360, a Wii U, a 2DS and a 3DS, and iPads and both kids even have a TV in their bedrooms (no TV ariels though as they’re just to watch DVDs on at the moment) but to balance that out we also have a giant trampoline, bikes, scooters, a go kart, skateboards and a stack of board games the height of Master Frugal.  We go swimming once a week and try and spend at least 20 minutes of time outside having fun EVERY day, no matter what the weather’s like.  I guess what I’m saying here is that I’m happy that we have a good balance.

I don’t like them playing on their electronics just before bedtime but rather than set a no electronics rule, I’ve made that time the time that we tidy everything away for the day that we’ve had out (rather cleverly including electronics) and we sit together and relax for a while.

There’s much more important things for me to stress about in life which is why I’m perfectly happy with our rule that there is no rule on screen time.

How do you feel?