5 Top Tips For School


Schools have been back almost 3 weeks now and if your house is anything like mines the novelty of seeing friends again and a new class will have worn off.  I can’t be the only parent with a child who refuses to get up on a school day but will bounce out of bed at the crack of dawn at the weekend.  Long lie?  What is that? 

Here are my 5 tips for making school days a little easier.

  1. Preparation:  Have everyone’s clothes ready the night before.  Hang school uniform together.  Tie, socks, underwear, the lot.  Having everything ready means no hunting for matching socks or missing shoes in the morning.
  2. Get Up Early:  Resist the temptation to hit snooze.  You know that saying, the early bird catches the worm?  Well this early bird doesn’t catch the worm but she does enjoy a quiet coffee on her own before the morning mayhem begins.
  3. Pre-Pack:  Pack school bag and lunch bag the night before, ready to go in the morning.  How many times have you spent 10 minutes searching the house for an elusive gym trainer? 
  4. Leave With Time To Spare:  You know the score.  You’re half way to school when you realise you have forgotten a water bottle, gym bag, lunch money or all of the above.  You have to return back home leaving you rushing to school, now running late.  Leave early, enjoy the walk to school.  If you forget something you will have time to go back and collect it.
  5. TV Is Your Friend:  They are home from school having done “nothing” all day, they don’t want to talk, are grumpy and tired.  Don’t be hard on yourself, let them sit and watch t.v., recharge their batteries and chill out.  They will soon be back to their best!

What tips do you have that you would like to share for making school mornings easier?


Online Safety

How many of us have children who are approaching the age where they will begin to use social media? How many of us have children who are actively using social media and the internet? Now, how many of us know how to protect our children when they are online?

As adults we are familiar with the World Wide Web and the use of social media. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or maybe Google+ is your thing. My daughter is 5 years old and although she is too young to be using it she is definitely aware of Facebook due to my use. Social media is a minefield. I worry about her safety in the real world but when the time comes, I will also be worrying about her online safety.

We teach them of stranger danger but how do we approach this in the digital age?

o2 are running FREE workshops throughout August aimed at helping you discover how to keep your family safe online and will also cover basic digital skills. Click here to find one near you and book tickets.

With o2 in partnership with the NSPCC and DigitalMe, who work closely with schools on the digital front, I know I will be heading to one. Details on the Glasgow workshop can be found here.

What’s On Renfrewshire

Well it’s back to normality.  Summer holidays are over (boo), schools are back (anyone else glad?) and unsurprisingly the weather has turned.  I for one am finding that I have a little bit more time on my hands since the eldest went back. Probably because I am spending less time tidying up the constant trail of destruction.  Why is that?  She is like a tiny, little human wrecking ball.  And now that I have a spare hour to myself most afternoons I have decided it’s time to give the living room a new look.  I’ve decided to do this without redecorating but by changing the colour scheme of my curtains, cushions etc.  I have yet to visit the new Dunelm Mill store in Paisley but have had a look on their website and have seen some great key pieces in lovely colours. 

Although there are less activities on now with the kids being back at school there are still plenty of after school activites and weekend fun to keep the family entertained.  Below I have rounded up the listings from Mumsnet Renfrewshire which are getting the most interest.



Thursday 21st August 10.30am – 11.30am

Paisley Museum, High Street, Paisley

The fun and interactive sessions for pre-school children aged 6 month- 4 years old & parent/carer return to the Paisley museum.  Thes multi sensory, relaxed and fun sessions are specially created to enjoy with your wee one(s).  The sessions include live music, singing, storytelling, art, film, dance and drama.  Each session will have a different theme and focus.

Ticket includes FREE healthy snacks.

Find our full list of baby & toddler groups on Mumsnet Renfrewshire.



23rd – 30th August; 13th September – 4th October

Paisley Arts Centre, New Street, Paisley

For ages 11-16 years and taken by an expert tutor who will help them to realise their creative potential with a series of art classes. Whether it’s to learn new techniques, develop skills or use the studio space to work on a project, these teenage art classes are perfect.

The experienced tutor will offer guidance in various art forms and help to explore new methods in print-making, painting on canvass, T-shirt design, pottery and clay sculpture.

Find our full list of weekend classes on Mumsnet Renfrewshire.



Saturday 23rd August 10.30am – 1pm

Lagoon Leisure Centre, 11 Christie Street, Paisley


The popular Jack & Jill market returns to the Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley with stall selling quality, nearly new maternity, baby and children’s wear.

Find everything you need for baby and children, all under the one roof.  Whether it’s large items from the large items gallery or clothes, toys, books and equipment from our quality nearly-new stalls, you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for.



Find our full list of other local events on Mumsnet Renfrewshire.



Burrell Collection

Monday 25th August 11am

There will be a meet-up on Monday, 25th August in the Cafe at the Burrell Collection.  Coffee, cake and nattering from 11 till about 3.  Kids are welcome although the older ones will all be back at school. Pop along to the local talk thread if you fancy meeting up with your fellow Mumsnetters.


Asda Click & Collect Review

I was lucky enough to be asked by the lovely people at Asda to review the click & collect service at my local store, Asda Linwood.  In return I was given a cheque of £100 towards my shopping.

Time to be honest.  When I sat down to write this review I had a wee bubble.  The boy started crying and rolling around the floor having a tantrum because I wouldn’t get his toothbrush and his big sister was crying from upstairs about being unable to find her Frozen shoes.

If only writing the review had been as easy as using the Asda click & collect service!

The service is very simple to use.  Order your shopping online to collect from the store at a time that is convenient for you.

I usually do my shopping in-store, spending more than planned, with 2 grumpy children in tow and then having to make a few return visits to pick up the things I forgot on the original shopping trip.

I spent a good while deliberating over what to spend the £100 on.  Eventually deciding upon plenty of fresh meat and vegetables which would allow me to make home cooked meals for the family for a week, much to the annoyance of my partner who had his eyes on an Xbox One game!  Ordering online meant I could spend the money wisely and stopped me spending extra on items I didn’t need or even plan on buying.  I booked my collection time for the next day, in a two hour slot for a time which suited.

When I arrived at the collection point, which was well sign posted and easy to find in the car park, I was met by a manager,  Stephen MacFarlane and the community life champion, Amanda Wood.  It was then that I was presented with a big comedy cheque.

20140808_145835I think I would receive some funny looks taking this to the bank.

After the snaps were taken I was then given my shopping by Lucky Diwana, the home shopping section leader.  He gave me my receipt and pointed out a couple of items which had been substituted as my ordered items were out of stock.  I have always been wary about using click & collect as someone else would be picking my shopping but I was very happy with everything I received.  The fresh food was well within date and was great quality. I was also really pleased and impressed with how quickly I had my shopping in my car.  From leaving the house to collecting my shopping and being home again it had only taken me 20 minutes.


Click and collect is so easy and convenient to use I will definitely be using it more.  It gives me more time to do the things I love and lets me fit doing my shopping in between working and the kids.