Humour · Kids · Uncategorized

Most Annoying Kids’ TV Characters of All Time

Back in 2011, I wrote this post for Listography over at Kate Takes 5 and it’s been one of my most popular posts of all time. Of course, Sausage moved past the age where she watched the shows mentioned in that post and onto stuff that we actually love as a whole family (such as Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time etc.) so we aren’t bombarded with Dora the fecking Explorer (bit of pop trivia: did you know, her name is Dora because the Spanish for explorer is ‘exploradora’?!) quite as much any more but there are still several childrens’ TV characters who set my teeth on edge at the mere mention of their name, so I thought I’d share a few in case you agree:

Norman Price from Fireman Sam

Norman Price, Public MenaceNorman Price (or Norman the Knobhead, as he’s known in our house) is the most wilfully stupid, genuinely dangerous child I’ve ever seen on TV and I’m of the opinion that he should be locked up immediately for the safety of himself and the whole village of Pontypandy. It doesn’t matter how many fires/floods/landslides the annoying brat causes, he still does the same thing all over again and I’m getting to the point where I think Fireman Sam should just leave him to drown or be buried up to his neck in rocks rather than waste precious time and resources on saving the little twerp.

Mr. Lopart from Handy Manny

Mr. Lopart

Do you know what I think it is about Mr. Lopart that I hate so much? The sheer hubris of the man. Everything he EVER does is a disaster which requires him to be saved in some way by poor, overworked Manuel, yet he’s STILL arrogant enough to think that he can do things by himself. The man is a Darwin Award waiting to happen. I really hope Handy Manny’s patience runs out one day and he just sits in a lawn chair, sipping a rum and coke while Mr. Lopart gets carried off like Icarus into the sun on a giant bunch of sweet-shaped balloons.

Egbert from Poppy Cat

Egbert, Poppy Cat

Even aside from the fact that Egbert sounds like he’s got permanently impacted sinuses, the antisocial shitbag blindly turns down any invitation to go on adventures with a self-importance and rudeness which would make even my super tolerant, gentle-hearted mother-in-law swear. If I asked someone to do something every single day and was told “No, I’ve got something FAR more important to do…”, I think I’d end up punching them. In fact, more fool Poppy Cat for continuing to ask him along on her adventures. I hope she loses her shit one day and makes him into badger stew.

The Wise Old Elf

The (Not So) Wise Old Elf

I love a bit of Ben and Holly.

Err, I mean THE KIDS love a bit of Ben and Holly…

Anyway, the so-called “Wise” Old Elf is always claiming to be an expert at something which he then completely fudges and has to defer to the, frankly awesome, Nanny Plum to help him out with the magic that he’s spent the whole episode looking down his nose at. So, my question is this: Who decided he was so ‘wise’? Is it a name given to him by other elves? Because I see no real evidence of any sort of deep wisdom which warrants such a moniker, and if it’s a self-styled title then that makes him an arrogant dick.

So, come on, who gets on your nerves? Leave me a comment below!

Christmas · Crafts

Best Home Made Christmas Decorations

Since Sausage came along, I’ve made it a bit of a Christmas tradition to make home made Christmas decorations to go on the tree and around the house. We always make our own paper chains, usually from Christmas printed paper or old rolls of wrapping paper from the year before but the main event is the decorations for the tree. I have a dream that, one day, when I’m old, none of the decorations on my tree will be shop bought, but all handmade by the girls and I over the years, so that when our grandchildren, should we be lucky enough to have them, come over for Christmas I can show them all the treasures their Mum and Aunty made when they were little.

This year, as it’s BB’s first Christmas, I thought we’d make salt-dough stars from their hand prints – we’ll cut out the shape of their hands (providing BB plays ball!) and then decorate them with white paint and glitter.

Some of my blogging chums have got some absolutely stunning ideas for home made decorations so I thought I’d pull together some of my favourites, to give you some inspiration for the run-up to the festive season:

Cas from Mummy Never Sleeps wrote a guest post for Carolin at Mummy Alarm showing us how to make a gorgeous, kid-friendly, cheap window display from things you’ve probably already got around the house. home made paper christmas decorations

Joy over at Pink Oddy has made some simple but effective salt dough stars which are perfect for making with little ones. I also love how versatile these are in terms of the millions of different ways you could decorate them, even to match a specific colour scheme or as gifts for family or class teachers.

Christmas Salt Dough Stars

As a single Mum, my friend Aly from Bug, Bird, Bee is one of those amazing people who makes her budget stretch as far as possible by foraging, making home made gifts and some seriously savvy charity shop shopping and I’m always impressed by her skills. I love these Hama bead (which you can buy from Craft Merrily) creations for Christmas and I can totally see a Hama bead Angel sitting at the top of our tree!

Christmas Hama Bead Angels

My friend Vanessa from HPMcQ is one of those people who is ridiculously stylish and talented so I just knew her handmade decorations would be something aspirational – and I wasn’t wrong. These paper tealight houses (for battery operated tealights, of course) are utterly adorable and would look at home on even the most minimalist of mantlepieces. I really want to try making these but I suspect they might be a ‘mummy-only’ project!

Christmas Battery Operated Tealight Houses

I absolutely LOVE this home made wreath, for which Ali at Kids Chaos used upcycled books. I’ve never been one for outdoor decorations before but I love this idea so much that I’m definitely going to put something on my front door this year. We’ve actually got a pine-cone giving tree in our garden AND a holly bush, so I’m thinking I might be able to make this without any expenditure whatsoever!

upcycled books christmas wreath

For me, Christmas should be a time to treat all of your senses, and these cinnamon stick tree decorations from Cass at Frugal Family are the perfect way to tantalise your sense of smell! Nothing says Christmas like the smell of cinnamon, and true to form, these gorgeous decorations are super cheap to make. home made cinnamon stick tree decoration

No craft round up would be complete without something from the Queen of Craft, Maggy at Red Ted Art! Her site is awash with amazing Christmas-themed crafts, but these cork snowmen and Rudolph would make such a lovely, colourful addition to any tree – and it’s always good to have an excuse to accumulate a lot of corks!

Cork Snowmen

Otilia, over at Romanian Mum, made this gorgeous paper tree garland, which I reckon Sausage would love to make too, especially as it involves glitter glue! I guess we could use other shapes too, such as snowmen and stars.paper Christmas tree garland

My own offering may not be quite as slick at the others, but I was so super impressed that my woollen baubles worked last year! They’re super messy to make but very cheap as you only need water balloons, wool and PVA glue.

home made woollen christmas baubles

All of these will be added to a Pinterest board of the best home made Christmas decorations from around the web, so if you’ve got a post you’d like me to add, please leave a comment below with a link to the post. We’d love for you to follow the board too, so you can see all of the new Pins as they’re added.

Follow Mum’s The Word’s board Home Made Christmas Decorations on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading and happy Christmas crafting!

Personal

The Best Decision I Ever Made…

shield-492993_640When Husband and I met, its safe to say that things moved pretty quickly. We met on 22nd February 2006 and by the beginning of March were living together. By 1st April, we were engaged and planning a wedding and by August we were man and wife. Right from the beginning, people were sceptical of our relationship. We kept ourselves to ourselves but people still felt the need to impress upon us how THEY thought we were moving too fast and that we should wait a while before we got married. Sometimes, it’s not easy to be so bold and a bit of reassurance from somewhere like The Circle might really benefit you if you need it.

Neither of us were starry-eyed teenagers; Husband was 27 when we got married and I 22. We’re relatively intelligent people who aren’t prone to dangerously impulsive behaviour and we both felt that getting married was the right thing to do. Before we met, we were both of a mindset that marriage and kids weren’t something that would be in our futures, yet when we came into each others lives, all of that changed. Suddenly, commitment and family was something we could see ourselves sharing with each other.

Marrying Husband was one of the best decisions I ever made and I’m so glad I refused to listen to other people’s concerns. Two months after we got married, Chuck came into our lives. Two years, almost to the day, Sausage came along the day after our second anniversary. Eight years after we met, Burrito Baby came along. Life isn’t a magical mystery ride every single day and we often get bogged down by the drudgery of domesticity, by we’ve all got each other and we’re happy.

What I’m trying to say is, sometimes when you know something, you just know. I knew that Husband was right for me, I knew what I wanted and I went for it. Being bold can really pay off and as long as no one gets irreparably hurt along the way, what’s the harm in taking a chance?

Go on. Be bold! But if you need advice, don’t forget about The Circle!

Christmas

Christmas Present Ideas for a Six Year Old Girl

Telescope_by_vladstudioOur Sausage is a unique little pickle with widely varying interests. She’s just as happy playing with her Barbies as she is watching documentaries with her Dad, or surfing Wikipedia to learn something new. As well as the usual toys and games that she’s got on her Christmas list, Husband and I like to think outside the box and buy her gifts which are slightly different and encourage her imagination in some way. I thought I’d share a few of our ideas, just in case you’re keen to buy something a little unusual for your quirky kid.

A Microscope

Sausage is super inquisitive and loves learning, and we thought a microscope would be a brilliant present to encourage her thirst for knowledge. There are some great kids sets available and we can’t wait to see her reaction when she sees how different things can look when she sees them under a lens.

A Telescope

Looking at small things is fun, but looking out into the Galaxy is just as, if not, even more stimulating so we’re hoping Sausage will love a telescope. She’s already fascinated by the Planets and knows all of their names and order from the sun, and the recent landing of a probe on a comet has been a huge source of interest for her, so this will hopefully expand upon that.

A Chemistry Set

Just recently, Sausage and her Dad did the ‘bicarb and vinegar’ volcano experiment and despite the fact that I’m (and I’m not even kidding when I say this…) still cleaning stains off of my ceiling, the look on Sausage’s face when she saw the chemical reaction was utterly priceless, so a chemistry set could be just the thing to nurture her interest in science.

A Penknife

Husband and I are passionate about teaching kids knife skills, rather than keeping them away from anything vaguely sharp and with proper instruction, knowing how to use a Swiss Army Knife is a really important life skill. She already owns her own fire steel and know how to use it to start a fire, and while we’re not expecting to have to survive in the wilderness any time soon, knowing how to is super important, especially when most people can’t even cope without a TV and a Co-Op on the corner of their road.

Books!

When I was a kid, books were a staple part of our Christmas stash but people don’t seem to do this any more, favouring battery operated whatsits with bells and whistles attached. Sausage is an avid reader and uses both a Nook and real books – her library card gets a regular bashing! We’re currently looking for a full set of Horrible Histories books for her and there’ll be a few ‘lighter’ reads too – she’s favouring anything mermaid or fairy related at the moment!

So there you have it. Will you be buying any of the things on my list? Have any suggestions? Let me know!

Christmas

Well Played, John Lewis. Well Played…

On Thursday afternoon, I saw the new John Lewis Christmas advert. I was, it’s fair to say, pretty underwhelmed by the whole affair, especially after having seen so many people talking about how moving it was across social media. I mean, it’s cute enough and all that, but it didn’t make me feel in the least bit Christmassy, nor did it make me want to shed a tear like so many of my friends seem to have upon viewing it. I mentioned this fact on Facebook and inadvertently managed to surprise a lot of people who felt that my lack of enthusiasm meant that my heart must’ve been replaced by a swinging brick, but the whole thing just felt wrong to me.

This morning, I was browsing the internet and guess what? John Lewis has sold out of cuddly penguins featured in the advert.

John Lewis Penguins Monty and Mabel

I toddled over to the mobile site and found that not only were John Lewis selling cuddly penguins, including a huge one for just under £100, they were selling a whole bunch of ‘Monty the Penguin’ branded goods. MERCH ALL UP IN YOUR FACE. And you know the worst part? John Lewis has actually sold out of almost all of it. The hapless consumers have played right into their hands.

Now, I’m not naive enough to think that a company as huge as John Lewis would make an advert at Christmas, the busiest retail period of the whole year, just for shits and giggles; they’re trying to sell us stuff, plain and simple. But to me, creating a specific character, crafting an overly-sentimental advert around it and then merchandising the hell out of it, seems like a new low. I’m not even going to get started on the fact that people are buying a £95 cuddly toy.

The sudden lack of stock on their online store could be one of two things; either the British public really has lost its tiny mind and bought these exorbitant fluffy buggers in their thousands, or John Lewis is applying a bit of renegade marketing by only releasing a certain amount, thus creating a sell-out situation, and making demand for them go through the roof. What’s the betting we see people selling them on eBay, in early December, for hundreds of pounds to beleaguered parents whose kids want NOTHING but Monty the Penguin, only for John Lewis to miraculously find a mountain of stock right before the big day?

I know that for most, Christmas is not really a time of spirituality any more, and if you know me at all you’ll know that that’s really not my bag anyway, but I’m really nauseated by the blatant manipulation that John Lewis has employed in doing this and I certainly won’t be buying into it. It all seems so dreadfully cynical.

Have you bought any of the John Lewis Penguins or do you think the whole thing is madness? Let me know.