Child-friendly Radio Stations

Radio for Kids

Radio for KidsI was on the hunt for a children’s radio station to have on in the background while my daughter was playing.  I don’t want to shelter her from the rest of the world but find some of the current news is a bit graphic for a 7 year old and many topics I’m not quite ready to discuss.  You just have to look at a few of the current Headlines ‘8 Dead in Florida House Shooting’, ‘Islamic State Plots to Behead’ and ‘Suspect Murdered his Wife’ to see what I mean.

I don’t tend to pay attention to a lot of lyrics in songs and happily sing along not having a clue what it’s about and I’m sure my daughter is the same, but I’d rather not have her singing things like  “stay up all night to get lucky”  and “I know you want it”.  Call me old fashioned!

After a quick Google search I came across Fun Kids, which seems perfect, good selection of tunes old and new and slightly censored news.  They have iphone and ipad apps but as I have a Sonos Stereo I simply searched for it using the Sonos Software and then added it to my favourites, so my daughter can easily access it via an iPad.

Child-friendly Radio Station UK


Happy Listening!

Do you eat your Pizza with your hands?

‘Everybody likes pizza! It’s a quick and easy clean-up meal’ – Buddy Valastro

Do you eat with your hands?I’ve always eaten pizza with my hands.  However, once moving to the UK, I noticed more and more people eating it with a fork and knife, which I find a tad strange.  Often when I go out with friends, I always find myself apologizing in advance that I will be eating mine with my hands.


I’ve tried eating it with a fork and knife to look less of a heathen but I find it painstakingly slow, maybe it will slow me down so I eat less but I can’t be bothered.  Isn’t the whole point of the crust so that you can eat it in a similar vein to a sandwich?

I was invited down to Prezzo in St Albans, Herts last week to try out the new menu.  I took the opportunity to take a long time friend so we could have a proper catch up over some food and a glass of wine.  We’ve known each other long enough so I didn’t feel I needed to do the usual, ‘sorry I eat my pizza with my hands’.  The waiter also agreed with me.

Normally, I’m a bit predictable and normally have a Fiorentina Pizza, which is basically a Spinach Pizza with an Egg plopped on top.  But, as a seafood lover, I spotted a Lobster and Prawn option on the menu and asked the waiter which one I should have.  He quickly said, you can’t compare the two and you have to have the Lobster and Prawn one.  He couldn’t have been more right it was absolutely gorgeous.

You expect me to eat all of that?


I wish we would have got a picture of my face when it arrived at the table.  No word of a lie, it was as wide as the table and enough for at least two people and we’d just shared a Bread Board.  Plus, it came with a pizza cutter so I could cut it into slices and dive in with my hands!

Bread Board to Share at Prezzo, St Albans, Herts

I’ve been to a couple of other Pizza chains in St Albans, Herts and have only been to Prezzo once before, but in my opinion Prezzo was far superior.  The others I find a bit chainy, very open plan and clanging with noise.

We had a lovely table, it wasn’t heaving but still felt that we could have a decent conversation without competing with all the background noise, the service was excellent, reasonably priced, great selection of wines and both of our meals were gorgeous.  My friend opted for a Raviolli pasta dish and it was just as nice as my pizza and they were very accommodating when she asked if she could have mushrooms added to it.

So the big question is, do you eat your Pizza with a fork and knife or with your hands?  Please do leave a comment.




Rubbish – Children’s Play in London

Theatre for Kids in London – Easter 2014

My daughter rated yesterday as a 110 out of 10!

We popped into London yesterday to see Rubbish – a playful look at junk in the Purcell Room of the Southbank Centre by Theatre Rites.  We took the train direct from St Albans to London Blackfriars and strolled along the Southbank in the sun.  It’s only a short 5-10 minute walk and avoids using the underground.

A review of Rubbish - Kids Play in London

I have to admit for the first 10 minutes I was wondering what I had agreed to as the characters each came onto the stage, without narration to plinky plonk type of music as they explored a mountain of rubbish.  I was worried that it was going to be some arty farty presentation from Eco Warriors, but boy was I wrong.  It was just a gentle way to introduce the characters, their friendship, set the stage with only a light environmental message.

One of the UK’s most celebrated theatre companies for children imagines a world that celebrates its rubbish; where at the touch of a puppeteer’s hand, the contents of a bin bag can come alive before your eyes.

It’s really hard to describe, but it’s all about the 4 friends who are excavators and take turns going through the different bags of rubbish and you’d be amazed what they found and brought to life.  This is when the puppetry started at times all of them would be involved with bringing the garbage to life.

One of my daughters favourites was the tin puppy dog who wasn’t very good at playing fetch.  My favourite was the lost glove looking for its pair.  They magically recreate the skyline of London with rubbish and then cleverly make it look like he is walking down the street.  You’d have to see it to fully appreciate how clever it was.

It’s playing from Friday 11 April – Monday 21 April 2014 with shows at 12 noon and 3pm.  Running time is 75 minutes and is suitable for 5 years and up.  Tickets are £12 for adults and £6 for children.

Disclosure:  Tickets were complimentary for purposes of this review.





9 Strange Easter Traditions from Around the World

In Association with First Choice

Easter Traditions in Other Countries

happy easter

I’ve been living in the UK for 15 years now, originally from Canada and for the most part Easter and the traditions around it are fairly similar; people giving up things for Lent, attending church, decorating Easter Eggs, a visit from the Easter Bunny, overindulging in chocolate, making Easter Bonnets and of course you can’t forget the Hot Cross Buns.

For us as a family it’s more about the celebration of the beginning of spring.  We enjoy decorating Easter Eggs and we always have a small Easter Egg Hunt at home and on occasion join in more organised Easter Egg Trails elsewhere. I think it’s the only day of the year she’s allowed to eat chocolate before breakfast.

I always thought the Brits were a bit odd!

However, I have discovered one rather strange Easter Tradition here in the UK and that is the annual Pancake Race on Shrove Tuesday.  Pancake Day wasn’t new to me, as historically people had pancakes to use up all of the rich ingredients such as butter, eggs and sugar that they were giving up for Lent, but competitively racing through the streets with a frying pan definitely was.

ScreenHunter_215 Mar. 28 15.20

Apparently, this tradition originated when a housewife was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time and when she heard the church bells she ran out of the house still carrying the frying pan.

This got me thinking about other slightly bizarre Easter Traditions around the world.

Luckilly in this day and age it has been easier than ever to reach other countries for Easter, for example First Choice or Thompsons offer flights to countries like Portugal, Spain and Greece, all of which celebrate Easter too.


9 Strange Easter Traditions from Around the World


1) In parts of North East England and Scotland they roll decorated Easter Eggs down a hill to see which one cracks first.


2) In Poland, they have a tradition of using a mold to create Butter Lamb Sculptures which are presented in decorative bowls or baskets and symbolize the ‘Lamb of God’.


3) In many places in Greece, including Crete, the children spend the day collecting materials for a bonfire and then after Midnight Mass on the Saturday the light an effigy of Judas.


4) I don’t fancy being a female in Slovakia.  The girls are chased through the streets while the males whip them with sticks made from willow branches.  Apparently this ensures fertility and beauty.  Sounds a tad barbaric to me.


5) You won’t find the Easter Bunny in Australia, where bunnies are deemed to be pests, instead you will find Chocolate Bilbies.  Australians use this as an opportunity to build awareness for this endangered species.

6) In Hungary, they are partial to a giant water fight where the men throw water on women dressed in traditional clothes.

7) Easter in Finland, look a lot like Halloween in other parts of the world.  The children scour the streets looking for treats while dressed as witches with brooms.


8) The Germans take the opportunity to mark the end of winter and beginning of spring by burning their Christmas trees!


9) And I always thought New Zealanders were gentle easy going people, but instead of an Easter Egg Hunt they partake in The Great Easter Bunny Hunt where hunters join together in teams and shoot as many bunnies as they can.

Some of these look like great fun and others slightly cruel.  I think we’ll stick to eating chocolate and wishing for Spring.

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What would you banish to Room 101?

What are your Pet Peeves?While I was on holiday, the lovely Ruth from Geek Mummy challenged me to Room 101.  I honestly had no idea what she was on about.  But once I went through her post and scrolled through the everyone else’s posts on it, I managed to work out what it was.

Apparently it’s a Torture Chamber in George Orwell’s book  1984, which I’ve never read if I’m honest.  Following on from that, there’s a TV programme where celebrities are encouraged to banish their pet hates to Room 101.

I’ve been known to have the odd rant or two, especially if I’ve had wine.  I’ve even been known to pick holes in other people’s arguments even if I agree with them, just for sport!  It’s not one of my best characteristics and I’m working on it.  However, I do love a good debate especially on issues that I haven’t decided on how I feel about it.

As I’m increasingly turning into a grumpy old woman, now that I’m in my 40s, I’m finding it really hard to narrow it down to three.  There is a plethora of things; mostly people who I’d send packing.

Can I help you?

I’m not sure why this winds me up so much.  It may have to do with working in the service industry when I was in university.  When I walk into a shop and if I’m lucky and the young shop attendant doesn’t just look me up and down, tut  and then walk off;  because they assume that I am beyond help when it comes to fashion.

They sneak up behind me with military precision and utter those infuriating words ‘Can I help you?’.  Yes, I’m fairly sure that you are capable of helping me as the store wouldn’t have hired you otherwise and I’m guessing that you have had some training?  Don’t you mean ‘may I help you?’  It takes me all my power not to say ‘yes, I’m sure you can but…….’  I would just end up looking like a deranged person.

Parents who steal your thunder?

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this.  I know some parents, for whatever reasons, possibly lack of fulfilment on their part,  live vicariously through their children’s achievements.  When my daughter was a baby she didn’t sleep through the night until she was 6 months old.  I had a bottle of Champagne in the fridge waiting to pop it the first time she slept through.

There is nothing worse, than when you haven’t slept in months for someone to skip in refreshed as they’ve had unbroken sleep to say ‘my baby slept through since we brought them home from the hospital’.  It’s like a punch in the stomach.

Or recently, I saw a parent excited that their 5-year-old was just coming off their stabilizers.  It did cross my mind to mention that our daughter never used stabilizers as we went down the balance bike route but I managed to keep it to myself.  But as predicted, some mum, who probably meant well, pipes in saying ‘my child has been riding them without stabilizers since they were 3’.  Why oh, why do they do that?  Whoopee ding, your child is a genius but how does that make the other mum feel?  Within a second they have gone from being excited to deflated.

So please, do think before you speak?  There is nothing wrong with celebrating your child’s milestones but timing is everything.

Chewing gum

Let’s face it, chewing gum is unattractive, there are no two ways about it.  This is true for snotty nosed kids to spotty teenagers to supermodels.  No matter how much you try, even if you do it with your mouth closed,  you’re going to look like a masticating cow or worse a 90-year-old who has given up wearing their dentures at tea time.  It’s disgusting and distracting so just don’t do it!

Sorry guys, but I’d love to hear what 3 things you would send to room 101 and tag 3 others to do the same.


Chicken Ruby

Northern Mum

What are your pet hates?  Please do leave a comment below.