Toddlers Are Obsessive Creatures

SpongeBob SleepingToddlers are a funny little species .. they are small people developing their independence and forming their personalities. 

This is not an easy time .. now I am not talking about the full blown toddler tantrums (and but the way the teen tantrum by far outweigh the toddler version)  

I am talking about the obsessions …

We have had some rather interesting obsession from the hoover to washing machine and also some Peppa Pig chucked in for good measure but Joshua’s old obsession were merely a passing ‘like’ in comparison to this newest one. 

SpongeBobHaving watched one episode of the Sponge related kind, my little man has developed an all-consuming need to talk about spongebob, sing the spongebob song and watch spongebob! … 

And I am shattered, shattered of hearing about the spongy fella and his shoe wearing snail sidekick ….. yep that’s right if you have not seen these programmes I can confirm that the snail ‘Gary’ not only wears shoes but meows like a cat … no really! 

It is the first thing he utters once both eyes are open in the morning and its the last thing he speaks about after the bedtime story has been read and he has his 3 stuffed friends (SpongeBob, Patrick and Gary) …. yep he sleeps with them too!

As far as obsession go this one is seriously beginning to slowly drive me to distraction. I have now banned SpongeBob on TV to a restricted to 2 episodes a day … although I have to watch out on Daddy since he loves SpongeBob too it could run into all day marathons the moment my back is turned! 

Is is just me that doesn’t see what the obsession is with the yellow sponge that lives in a pineapple, krabby patties and a snail that thinks it’s a cat? 

I am hoping that this too is a strange toddler obsession that will be a passing phase too … I just hope it passes quickly.

Do your toddlers/Children have any strange obsessions?

Posted in Feelings, Toddler | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Pre-Teens on Holiday: What To Pack To Keep Them Entertained

Guest Post by Lisa Bradburn

Another sunny weekend passes and we’re a week closer to our holidays. I can’t wait to get away this year. My business has reached an unprecedented high and as jubilant as I am, it’s left me breathless and I need a break!

My friends and family call me ‘the toy hunter’ – I hunt down unique gifts for children – and the title rings true even when I’m on holiday…or perhaps especially when I’m on holiday. 

While work is never far from any business owner’s mind, when I’m on holiday I come face-to-face with the toys children play with and the activities they favour. As I’m always on the lookout for something new and original, taking a vacation to the beach or a campsite means children will be nearby and that inevitably throws up dozens of new ideas.

This year, I’m captivated by ‘pre-teens’. Like the ‘terrible twos’, pre-teens have been categorised by awkward emotions and demands for things (especially responsibilities) beyond their years.

Taking opportunity to chat to Anna, a friend’s 12 year old daughter ahead of our holidays, I asked her what she and her friends would take away with them. My aim was to enlighten myself and all parents, and to provide a packing list beyond the ordinary that caters to their imaginations, emotions and the latest trends.

Here’s what Anna and I came up with for both boys and girls. What would you add?

Loom BandsJewellery

If you’ve been eclipsed by Loom Bands I congratulate you. They’re everywhere – and they get everywhere. Every parent I speak to complains about the tiny, multicoloured Loom Bands littering their homes.

But Anna reassured me jewellery kits are a great holiday idea for pre-teen girls. They require concentration, creativity and practice which means your girls will be occupied for hours.

Nail art

No school means painted nails are finally permissible. With stickers as well as polish available and space-saving kits that take up no room in the suitcase, this is a clever addition to the packing list. If nail polish is a no-no during term time in your household, as it is in mine, this is a really special holiday treat. 


Both educational and relaxing, you can’t beat a good holiday read. Books can also be a great bonding opportunity. The Harry Potter series is technically for teenagers but I couldn’t put them down! Some of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy-themed books offer thrilling storylines for teenagers and adults alike. Just make sure you have enough book marks for everyone who’s trying to read the same book!


Football and tennis were high on the agenda for Anna and her friends, too. Swimming kits and trainers were an essential part of the fun. This makes me think it would be great to add water bombs to the suitcase for a fun-filled poolside afternoon in sunnier climes.

DSNintendo DS or PSP

Eek! The awkward subject of screen time! Unstructured and unlimited, screen time can be damaging for all – and that goes for parents as well as pre-teens. But there’s no doubt that focused time in front of a screen (be it the TV, computer or indeed a Nintendo or PSP) can be a good way to switch off. I love an amble through Pinterest at the weekend. With dozens of activities available during the holidays, packing a computer game might not be such a bad idea. How do you handle screen-time when you’re away?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this list – what would you add to ensure your pre-teens remain entertained?

*Lisa Bradburn is the managing director of what2buy4kids - a place to find quality, unusual gifts for kids. Lisa built her business out of first-hand frustration at the lack of interesting and available gift ideas for children. Now, she hunts them down so you don’t have to and provides endless entertainment inspiration for children of all ages*

This is a collaborative post

Posted in Holidays, Sponsored, Tween/Teen | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

#52LittleThings Week 31 – Explore The Great Outdoors

52LT-Week-31So here we have it for 30 weeks so far I have been taking part in weekly challenges with  AXA PPP healthcare to make small changes in my lifestyle one week at a time to become healthier and happier and I have to say where has the last 30 weeks gone? 

So for week 31 its all about exploring the great outdoors! 

Easy you may think, and as much as it used to be for us, Ollie’s hips and back have made sure he is in constant agony and along with me setting up my own business and actually working from home I have not really addressed my work life balance … which I have vowed to make changes to in September…. however I digress.

To get the ball rolling however I have decided to share why we love getting outside:
Out and about

  • We love the quality time it gives us being out 
  • It’s great finding somewhere new to visit 
  • Everyone gets to stretch their legs
  • There is almost always something for every age range to do
  • Vitamin D is good for us! 

Since the Summer holidays have now started for us and so we can drag take the teen along with us, I have started looking as some new places for us to visit to keep everyone occupied. 

With it now also being National Parks week it made sense to check out what the Peak District has to offer us as this is the area closest to us and one in which we have been saying we would like to visit! 

So this Summer holidays we are going to finally go and visit Bakewell, I have had the privilege of visiting before but hubby is saying he hasn’t and even with his ropey back and hips there is plenty to see and do and we have to stop for a sit down there is plenty to look at! 

We are also planning through the holidays to visit some local parks and places of interest such at Colwick Park, Wollaton Hall and even Sherwood Forest and the Major Oak (the village in which I grew up)

As it stands we may not be hiking over the North York Moors this year but if fitness improves next year it may just be an option!

Team Honk Blogger RelayAlthough you never know if another charity event such as the epic hike I undertook for the Team Honk Bloggers Relay is anything to go by … I certainly explored outdoors … even If I couldn’t walk for 2 weeks afterwards. 

So where would you like to get out and about to explore this Summer? 

Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with AXA PPP healthcare’s #52LittleThings, in which I have been compensated. However all words and thoughts were developed and written by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse 

Posted in Fitness, Health, Sponsored | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Magic Moments 28/7/14

Magic moments Link Up BadgeWell Happy Summer Holidays … I think its now official that here in the UK our children are now all on Summer Holidays, that being said I am rapidly trying to come up with some magic ideas for both of my kids… how about you.. what do you have planned?

So on with Magic Moments this week ….

Feel free to tweet me your links throughout the week several times if you would like and I will happily retweet you every time you do .. (please don’t tweet me every post you write this week .. just the Magic Moments one) 

I will be sharing your links on the Magic Moments Link up page on Google + so if you are on G+ it would be fab to see you guys over there too, its kind of lonely over there on my own.

I will try and tag you on G+ if I know your account but if not I will still post over on the groups wall too and feel free to tag yourself and shout up so I will know for next time.

If you are new to Magic Moments never fear you can find some further information over HERE.

Don’t forget that linkys only work when people take the time to visit and share with others. With such a large crowd linking in please don’t think you have to comment on every one. I know many of you don’t have time for this and it’s unrealistic, however please visit as many as you can manage to share some love and build community spirit.

If you would like to join in  I would love it if you would pop on the Magic Moments badge or a link back to me  as it also helps others to see where you are linking up and they may decided to pop over and link up too! Remember the more people who take part and link up, the more people who are likely to visit, but its only a polite request not a prerequisite 

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Silent Sunday 27/7/14

Silent Sunday

                                                          Silent-Sunday   4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9 (1)

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Project 365 Week 30 of 2014

week 30week30So it’s really only 22 weeks till Christmas?? … does that mean in my excited warped way I can start to get excited? 

Back to this week .. what have we been doing in The Oliver’s Madhouse….

Saturday 19th July – I spent the morning with the teen while she had a young driver driving lesson in Nottingham .. We loved them 

Sunday 20th July – Some Maxi-Cosi time in our new car seat (Maxi-Cosi Axiss) it even swivels! 

Monday 21st July – After wanting my implant out for a while it seemed that it had gone very deep and so I had to have a special appointment to dig for it! .. needless to say it was not the most pleasent! 

Tuesday 22nd July – My best friends daughter (my soon to be goddaughter) was visiting her new nursery for a few hours as my friend is going back to work after maternity leave and so I went to spend some time with just me and my friend … although still got some Freya smiles so it was all good.

Wednesday 23rd July – Another fantastic delivery .. we are total crocs fans and these are the hubbys and toddlers pairs 

Thursday 24th July – A day jet washing and garden tidying meant Joshua decided to inspect my work in his pants and vest! 

Friday 25th July - I spotted some random flowers sprouting at the end of the road earlier in the month but for the last couple of days I have been taking photos of them as they really are beautiful! 

So what have you been up to this week? 


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Posted in Life, Linky, Project 365 | Tagged , | 16 Comments