What Dads Really Need To Hear This Father’s Day

A poignant post from Man vs Mommy.

Make sure you click through to read all the post.  It is worth it.


What Dads Really Need To Hear This Father’s Day

My Dearest Husband,

Sometimes I forget.

I forget that you too have had a hard day at work.  When I toss the kids at you the second you walk through the door, I take for granted the fact that I have not even given you a moment’s break before beginning your other job as daddy.

I overlook the fact that this new crazy, wonderful, stressful, magical, difficult, beautiful, maddening life we have created is also an adjustment for you too. I wasn’t the only one whose life changed when we heard Man cry for the first time.

I lose sight of the fact that when you have to put your job first, you really are putting us first. It takes a lot to provide for a family of four and maintaining a job is a key component of that.

I lose track of just how many Saturdays and Sundays you take them out and give me a chance to rest. You see it, you see how hard it is, and you understand how much I need a break.

Click here to go through to the post on Man vs Mommy to continue reading.

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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The Most Amazing Kids Toy EVER!!!!

Springfree TrampolineLook at this baby!  Isn’t it the most incredible looking trampoline?

We have been lucky enough to have a Springfree Trampoline* in our back garden for the past 4 weeks.  The house has been so quiet I have forgotten (almost) I have two boys as they have been out on it whenever they are not eating or sleeping.  They simply adore it.

Your kids will absolutely love it.

The trampoline comes with some great accessories such as a step to get on and off but far more fun as far as the kids are concerned is the ball and hoop that attaches to the top of the net.  AWESOME!



What’s so great about it?

It’s FUN!

The kids have been out playing on it every spare second and it is so great to see them enjoying themselves so much while getting a lot of exercise.  Three year old loves to kick his football round and round the trampoline going faster and faster.  I love the fact the ball doesn’t go over the neighbours fence.

I’m not sure if Springfee would approve but the trampoline makes an excellent creche for Babygirl while I did some gardening!  I just made sure that she was shaded and she happily bounced and played while I weeded.

The kids and I have spent a lot of time lying on our backs looking at the clouds and watching the birds and planes flying over.

Daddy and the boys watched the stars, curled up in sleeping bags on Springfee (as the trampoline is now called!)

I did my first full 90 degree swivel for 20 years on Springfree!

Springfree trampoline

The Technical Stuff…

The trampoline uses a unique system of flexible composite rods that lie beneath the jumping surface, at right angles to the jumping surface not horizontal with it. This means that there are no exposed springs to injure those bouncing on the trampoline.  This is the big selling point of the trampoline, it’s raison d’être.  Keith Alexander, creator of the trampoline explains that the rods take the place of springs and you can think of them as something similar to a fishing rod in that they are made of fibreglass and are bendy.  (But a lot stronger!).

  1. It is an extremely well made trampoline with:
    • Polypropylene mat tested to a 5000 hours UV resistance.
    • Stitching is covered by a yellow webbing (see the yellow lines on the trampoline!) that protects it from both UV damage and abrasion damage from people jumping up and down on it.  Stitching is one of the first materials to wear on a traditional trampoline.
    • The anti-climb net is of an extremely tough weave that is UV protected and very flexible.
    • The frame is made from the same protruded fibreglass rods that support the mat of the trampoline.  They are very strong yet flexible which means no injuries from hitting hard metal supports.
  2. It has a tough, 2 section zipper opening that is simple and easy to use.  You can open it one handed.  My three year old has no trouble trying to unzip or zip up the opening at all.
  3. It comes in different sizes and shapes to suit different space restrictions and budgets.
  4. Great accessories available.
  5. 10 year guarantee.
  6. Comes with easy to understand installation instructions as well as online instructional videos.

The Competition

Our old traditional trampoline is only 4 years old and look at the state of the poor thing, it’s basically a football storage area now.  I can tell you that the Springfee will not look like this in 4 years!

This traditional trampoline came with a very badly written install booklet.

Also, if the kids ran into the side with enough force they would hit the metal poles.

traditional trampoline

That was the pro’s.  Any cons?

The only recommendation I would give is to be aware of the edge of the jumping pad where it meets the net.  This is where the top of the rods meet the jumping pad.  It forms a fairly ridged ring around the base of the net.  This is no problem for older kids using the trampoline, but younger kids may bump themselves on it.  My little 3 year old bumped his head a couple of times.  No damage (to him or the trampoline!) but it is something to be aware of.  It certainly didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for Springfree.  Maybe Springfree Trampolines could secure the net to the inner of the yellow webbing rings which would go a long way to alleviating this…

Any suggestions I have?  Yes.  Springfee Trampolines can you make a SPF rated cover to go over the top of the trampoline?  Stops the bird droppings and leaves getting in and good for storage over winter.  And excellent for shade during Springfree creche duties!

Even better if the cover had some height to it so you could use it during play to stop the ball going over the net!

That’s it!

Having experienced the Springfree Trampoline it is now the only trampoline we would have.  It is certainly worth the investment.  Can’t recommend enough.

The trampolines start at $1119.00 USD or £935.00.

Springfree USA

Springfree UK

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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An Update! Want To Look Gorgeous This Summer? Check Out Boots No7 Anti-Ageing Sun Protection and Sumptuous Make Up – All Bases Are Covered!

Here is a quick update to this post  to let you know that No7 has released a lovely make up collection for summer.

They are perfect for packing in the suitcase for upcoming summer holidays.The mini range includes:Boots No7 Summer Make Up 2014

Boots No7 Summer Make Up Range 2014

I love the Radiance Bronzing Highlighter, it’s great for cheeks and eyes.  It gives a lovely shine and warmth to your summer look and the Geranium BB Lips is an on-trend red/orange.  It shouts summer.  In the photo on the right I am wearing the bronzing highlighter on my cheeks and lids and the BB lips in Geranium on my lips.  I also put a hint of the Geranium onto the apple of my cheeks for a little colour.

Boots No7 Summer Make Up Collection 2014In the photo on the left I am wearing the Brilliantly Bare Beauty Enhancer with the Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation, Stay Perfect Mascara and the High Shine Lip Crayon in Tropical Beach which I also have on my cheeks.  The colours are so flattering.  I also have the Radiance Bronzing Highlighter on my cheeks and lids.

The nail collection is so pretty as well.  I’m loving the pale yellow and muted orange.  Perfect for summer.  I would show you swatches, but my nails are in such bad condition I don’t want to compromise the lovely colours in any way!
Boots No7 Summer Nail Collection

Make sure you check this collection out and pick up a few items for your holiday.


 Here is my original post…..

No7 have some wonderful sun care, makeup and skincare for this summer.  In today’s post I am having a look at some of my favourites.

Suncreams, after sun care, beauty balms, and some truly bright and beautiful liners, blushes and lipsticks are just a few of my picks from the great products from No7 this summer.

No7 Sun Protection

No7 Anti Ageing Sun cream

Anti-Aeging Sun Protection range

Firstly, the Anti-Aeging Sun Protection range.  It consists of:

  1. *Anti-Ageing Sun Protection Spray (£12.95) –  good sunscreen for all over the body.  Lotion consistency.
  2. *Anti-Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection (£12.00).  This is  a very good sunscreen for protecting against sun damage on the face.  It has a thick, cream consistency.
  3. *Anti-Ageing Shimmering Lip & Eye Screen SPF 30 (£7.50).  A favourite is this Anti-Ageing Lip and Eye Screen.  This is a very moisturising and light lip and lid balm that gives protection and the mearest hint of shimmer.  It’s packaged just like a lipstick so super convenient.  Very subtle and very elegant.  I love it.

Another plus is the range is available in SPF 15 or 30 and the Anti-Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection comes in SPF 30 or 50 which is great.  It’s 50 all the way for me!

No7 Body Shimmer After Sun (£9.50) and the Facial Recovery After Sun (£8.50) is a great way to treat the skin after a day in the sun.  They contain antioxidants and vitamins so you can be sure that your sun exposed skin is in the best of care.

I just have to mention about the Shimmering Lip and Lid Eye Screen again.  So good!

No7 Primer

No7 Brilliantly Bare Beauty Enhancer

Next up is the *No7 Brilliantly Bare Beauty Enhancer (£12.50).  I was a little unsure what this product would actually be, but was very pleased to see it is a primer for the skin.  It is a colourless, lightweight formula that glides onto the skin.  It leaves the skin feeling extra soft and very smooth, just like velvet.  It reminds me very much of Benefit’s Porefessional but unlike Porefessional, this No7 product is colour free.  As with all primers, Brilliantly Bare Beauty Enhancer will help keep your make up where you put it and not sliding down your face in the summer heat!  This is definitely a must have product for summer if you like your make up to stay picture perfect all day.  And there is nothing like the softness and smoothness that a really good priming product gives the skin.  Bliss!

No7 Stay Precise Liquid Eye Liner

No7 Stay Precise Liquid Eyeliners

No7 Eyeliners

Now, onto my favourites things.  Make up!  No7 has some absolutely gorgeous colours and textures for summer.  Starting withNo7 Stay Precise Liquid Eye LinerIMG_2055 these eyeliners.  Take a look at the colours.  I absolutely adore Sky High and Mermaid.  There are also a couple of metallic colours, the Metallic Royal (pictured) is a gorgeous navy blue. Any of these colours would be stunning for beach wear with a bright pop on the cheeks and a slick of coloured gloss on the lips.  You would be so good to go.  These must have  *No7 Stay Precise Liquid Eyeliners (£7.50) come in 8 very wearable colours.  (The golden brown and green would be perfect for the evening too!) These do not budge.  Great staying power.

No7 Cream Eyeshadow

No7 Stay Perfect Smoothing Eyeshadow

No7 Stay Perfect Smoothing Eyeshadow’s

I’m loving the *No7 Stay Perfect Smoothing Eyeshadow‘s (£8.00) too.  They are convenient to pop in your bag, easy to use as they glide on and can be patted into place with your finger or a brush.  And when they are dry they do not budge.  The colour selection is lovely too. There are 6 colours.   Pretty Pink, Pale Green and Iridescent Purple are so pretty and summery and the Nude, Bronze and Pewter Shine are simply the best for an easy, quick sexy, smoky evening eye.  I really rate these as they are so simple to use, do not budge once set and have a gorgeous shimmery colour that is very attractive.  Don’t miss out on them.  They really are lovely.

No7 Mascara

No7 Lash Impact Mascara

No7 Lash Impact Mascara

Now where would a girl be without a fab mascara?  I’m always on the look out for a mascara that is a really good black, a creamy consistency that glides on and does not clump.  Clumping really annoys me.  There is nothing worse than having to take the time to comb your lashes through after you have applied your mascara.  *No7 Lash Impact Mascara (£10) has gone straight into my favourites drawer.  It fulfils all the criteria.  It’s black (it also comes in brown/black).  It does not clump and it packs a lotta punch.  I love it and have been wearing it non-stop since I got it.  It has knocked Maybelline’s The Colossal of it’s perch as my favourite, go to mascara. Thats really saying something.  Great mascara at a great price.

 No7 Lip Gloss and Cream Blush

No7 High Shine Lipgloss

No7 High Shine Lip glosses

Finally lips and cheeks!  Well, as mentioned above, for the beach or by the pool you need some bright colours on the cheeks and happy, shiny colour on the lips.  No7 has these covered too….. The *No7 High Shine Lip glosses (£9.00) come in 15 attractive shades.  And there are some real candy and neutral shades that have to go in you beach bag this summer.  Pink Sherbet, Tangerine Twist and Almost Pink are my particular favourites.  They are high shine indeed with a lovely flavour that reminds me of sweets.  You can’t get much better than that!

No7 Pop And Glow Cream Blush

No7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush

To match these lippies, No7 have their new No7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick (£9.95).  (I reviewed them here.) The easy to use and easy to carry blushes come in 3 colours, Rose Blossom, an icy pink; Mango Sorbet, a delicious orange and Classic Rose, a deeper pink.  Again, just throw them in your bag and you are good to go.  These blushes really are the essence of convenience but it is the colour and formulation that really makes my heart beat faster.  As you can see the colours scream summer and co-ordinate beautifully with the high shine lipsticks.  The sticks do glide easily onto the skin and and are perfect for building if you want more intense colour.  I like the fact they are non-greasy.  The remind me of a cream to powder product though this is not mentioned anywhere in the product description.  I recommend!

So that’s my round up.  All the products mentioned I have tried and can absolutely recommend.  Summer is just around the corner so get yourself ready!

I’ve added some pics of looks I have done with the products.  Hope they give you some inspiration.  Enjoy!

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Seven Steps To Being Less Hard On Our Kids

Here is the article mentioned in my post yesterday.  I found this post by Andrea Nair really helpful in dealing with that all important trigger moment,  to use that deep breath to formulate kindness not harshness.

Tips to shifting thoughts and actions from the negative to the positive

After reading Rachel Stafford’s moving post, “The Bully Too Close To Home,” I thought a lot about the choices available moment to moment that make such a difference in our lives and the lives of our children.

Stafford realized she wanted to stop being hard on her children and decided to put that wish into action. Many parents have asked me how to be gentler with kids, which can certainly be hard to do.

The most important thing to remember is that we have a choice. We can actively choose to be friendly instead of harsh. The trick is to have a strategy in place — I call this an Angry Plan which helps when you don’t feel friendly. In an angry plan, you list the steps to follow each time anger brews. When a plan is in place that is repeated often, eventually the plan will automatically be followed without much thought to it. This is not a quick fix but can help immensely with continued practice. You can use the steps I have listed below to create your individual plan. This is what mine looks like.

One of my mentors the other day asked, “What radio station are you emitting over the air waves? Stop-Annoying-Me? I-don’t-have-time-for-this? Life-sucks? or J O Y?” People can feel what we are giving off. It seems to me that children can really pick up the vibes their parents give off. When we are aware of the station our head and body are on, and have a plan to alter that, connections improve all around.

Here are my suggestions minimizing harshness in a method I call “Thought Awareness & Correction.”

See your negative thoughts

The first step is to notice when your thinking turns sour and your radio is on the Negative Nelly station. Initially, don’t try to change your thoughts, just notice them. You can use the 3-A’s rule: notice when you are aggravated, agitated or annoyed. Observe when you think it is everyone else’s fault or that your world would be so much better if this happened or that person did it right. Awareness can actually make the thought less powerful.

Don’t try to suppress a thought at this point we need the chance to process it a bit, before we can make it stop; otherwise the effort may backfire and the thought becomes more powerful.

Hit the pause button

Before your negative thought turns into a negative action, hit “Pause” or “Stop” as Stafford does. We need to stop ourselves so we can move from our more primitive part of the mind (that I call the “freak out” part) which might tell us to panic, snap or lose it, to the rational part (“check in”).

Think of a way to pause that will work for you. I say, “Freeze Sister!” which works (most of the time) for me. I sometimes hold my hand up and say, “Stop” out loud to myself. Think of what might work for you — try a few different pause buttons until you discover one that is effective.

Release the pause button slowly

Honestly, the best way to do this is to breathe. Fill your lungs entirely with air from the bottom to the top then empty them completely out. Do this at least three times. After your last deep breath, go into slow motion. Don’t speak until you feel fairly certain you are doing no harm, at which point you are shifting nicely into the “check in” part.

Create an alternate thought to the negative one

When you feel calmness coming in from the breath, try a thought correction. That means to create a thought you’d like to have instead of the negative one. What do you want to believe right now? Even if you don’t believe it, identify it. For example, Instead of “I don’t have time for this!” try changing to, “Okay, time is tight. But I think my doctor won’t cancel my appointment if we’re ten minutes late.”

Act on the new thought

If you believe the new thought, act on it. If you don’t believe it, ask yourself how someone who believes it might act. In the example above, a person who accepts she and her child are just going to be late might loosen her jaw, lower her shoulders, and speak more calmly. Perhaps instead of stuffing the child into the car seat, she can remember some clever tricks to firmly, but not harshly, invite cooperation from her child.

Regularly adjust your tuning to an empathetic station

The last step from moving from harshness to kindness is to continually be aware of improving empathy. This means really attuning to what you and your child are feeling. If your child is having a complete and utter melt-down or has made a mistake, remind yourself what it feels like to be overwhelmed and to wish things would go your way. Those things that you want when you are experiencing big feelings are likely what others want, too — space, help, understanding, or a hug.

Changing the dial to friendly requires making an active choice to do so. Even if you are weighed down with intense feelings and telling yourself that your child is such a jerk, you can choose to not react from this state. You can choose to change your dial to the more empathetic, “My child is angry — I wonder why.”


This will not eliminate your blow-ups right away but with continued awareness and practice, things will improve. Becoming more empathetic and being able to see your child’s inner loveliness even when you’re angry and stressed is like learning a new language. It takes trial and error and lots of practice.

See more here.

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Mamasimx           About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

Calling all Mums of Teenage Daughters… This One Is Just For You!

I have wanted to do a post on reasonably priced make up for some time now.  There has been an explosion of brands offering  make up collections at a great price.  Ideal for teens just starting to get into make up.

So I was really pleased when I received four exciting palettes to play with from Beauty UK Cosmetics*.  I did manage my expectations however, I don’t expect to get highly pigmented shadows that last the day when I am paying £3.99 to £5.99 for a palette containing 6-10 shadows.

There was no need for managing however.  I was seriously impressed with the colour payoff and longevity of these shadows.  (Check out my looks below to see the shadows in action!)  The acid test for me is would I actually buy these again myself?  The answer here is yes.  I haven’t tried any other products from the range, so can’t comment on the lip, cheek or base products.  But based on my experience with the shadows I will definitely be purchasing some to try them out.

Here are the palette’s I received:

  1. Eyeshadow and Eyeliner Palette in No2 Amazon
  2. Posh Palette No3 Festival
  3. Eyeshadow Palette no1 Pastels
  4. Eyeshadow Palette No5 Twilight

I can tell you now that you will be ‘borrowing’ these palettes from you daughter to do you smoky eye look for a night out…. oh and a pretty, natural day look at the office.  The colours are on trend, come in a mixture of mattes and shimmer textures and are so flattering.

Here are the looks I created.  I particularly love the purple smoky eye using the Twilight palette and the warm day time smoky eye with the warm browns and a hint of cranberry (great for autumn/winter looks).

Definitely check them out and buy them for your daughter (and you!).  www.beautyukcosmetics.com

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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How To Make The Best Playdough for Kids – Playdough Recipe

Playdough RecipeThis is a lovely Playdough recipe with the real Playdough feel!  If you keep it in a sealed container it will last for ages in the fridge.


Ingredients for Playdough

1/2 cup of salt

1 cup of plain flour

1 tablespoon of cream of Tartar (a natural raising agent)

1 tablespoon of oil

1 cup of boiling water mixed with food colouring.

Method for Playdough

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then mix vigorously with hot water.

To make it extra special, add.a few drops of essential oil like peppermint or lavender for a lovely smelling Playdough.

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Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

The Children Three Day Rule

the three day rule

No, I’m not talking about the old dating chestnut, but a technique I use to introduce my baby to new patterns or things.  I have my ever wonderful sister and brother-in-law to thank for this pearl of advice, given to me early in my parenting ‘career’ and it is something I have found very useful ever since.

It sounds a little stringent, but basically in our experience it generally takes 3 days/nights for a baby to get used to new routines or things.  For example, when you move baby from your room to their own, or when you take away the dummy (oh, thats a whole other post in it’s own right!) or when you introduce a new food you need to persevere for a period of three days before it will generally be accepted by your little one.

Now you may be lucky, and have success with your changes immediately, but generally, as we know, little ones do not take well to the unfamiliar or the different, they like repetition and to know what is coming so with anything new you are introducing you need to give it time to become familiar.

This means that you are going to have to battle through the tears and/or the sleepless nights for three long days and nights, until the little one understands or at least accepts the new routine.  Always try your utmost to persevere with kindness, patience and good grace; remember it is as difficult for your little one as it is for you.

But at the end of the 3 days I find that my baby is, if not happy, is resigned to continue  to continue as if the new routine has in fact, always been this way.

Perseverance is key!


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.


© 2012 Simone L Woods