a transatlantic mommy / mummy blog – my kids say "tomato" & "to-mah-to"

#MumsNight – How to be a Crafty Mum


how to be a crafty mum

One of the things I always thought I’d be when I’d be a Mom/Mum would be to be a Crafty Mum. I’d have crafty fun projects for my kids to do, all organized and ready for them to express their creativity – and we’d display it with pride around the house.

The reality has turned out quite a bit differently. I don’t have some some wonderful storehouse of crafty doodahs, no tempera paints or supplies, I don’t have ideas on what to have the kids make, the time to organize or do it – or the energy to clean it all up.

That desire though – to be that Mum and do those Crafty things is still there though – so for this week’s #MumsNight I’ve enlisted the help and wisdom of Maggy – the crafty goddess behind RedTedArt the blog where she shares her crafty ideas and projects.  Maggy via @RedTedArt twitter account will be co-hosting this week’s #MumsNight

Please join us at our Twitter Party on Twitter Monday Nov 12, from 8:30 -9:30 pm using hashtag #MumsNight to share tips, ideas and stories on “How to be a Crafty Mum”

To help you be a Crafty Mum – we’re doing a giveaway of these craft supplies to help you get ready to be crafty!

A “Mister Maker Art and Craft Chest”

Mister Maker Art and Craft Chest

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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8 years ago 7 Comments Short URL

Winter warm-ups with Polarn O. Pyret

There’s a nip in the air and we’ve begun putting away the short sleeve shirts and breaking out the winter gear. I made the rookie parent mistake (yes I still do these) a couple weeks back of bringing my son “Peter Pan” (age 4) into the UGG store to sit with me whilst I tried on some boots. I left the store without boots – but he left his heart behind with a pair of black toddler UGGs. He then proceeded to ask me each time I opened my computer if I was ordering his boots, and every time we went past the post to ask if his boots had arrived yet. *Sigh*

Luckily while in the US recently I visited Costco and found a pair of black shearling boots that look remarkably like UGGs but costing about only 25% of UGGs which seeing as how he’ll have outgrown them in a few weeks or months is certainly a better value proposition. He calls them his “sunshine boots” as we only let him wear them when it’s not raining as they’ll stain, being made of suede.

As I’ve begun packing the summer gear away and bringing out the winter – I’ve also begun doing some shopping to stock up on layering items that always seem to magically disappear like hats, gloves, scarves – and also to look for colorful stylish clothes for the boys to wear that will keep them nice and toasty. (Hello jumpers and jackets!) We’re a fan of layers and bright colors so it’s no wonder that Polarn O. Pyret caught my eye. I love the fun colors and I’ve found their size/fit to be pretty spot on. If you haven’t heard about Polarn O.Pyret, they are a Swedish kids clothing company where the focus has been “children need clothes they can play in.” They have designed clothes that let children be children- good-looking clothes that make life easier. Clothes that can withstand wear and tear and are handed down from brother to sister. (Yes! finally a brand that understands that clothes should be rugged, long-lasting and timeless in design so they can be handed down!)

I also agree with their thoughts that children feel the cold differently. Some are constantly moving while others sit still. Finding clothes that work in both rain and freezing weather is not easy. Dressing in layers lets you add or remove clothes as the weather changes. No matter what type of child. Seeing as how I’ve got one who’s always too hot and the other that feels a little chilled. Layers are a firm favorite around our house.

Polarn O. Pyret advises the following:

  • Layer 1 / Base layer
    In really cold temperatures, a base layer in wool or polyester keeps children warm. Cotton underwear does not wick away moisture, and the wearer will feel cold. A polyester base layer is soft as silk and ideal for active children. A wool base layer is best for very cold temperatures.
  • Layer 2 / Mid layer
    A good mid layer wicks away moisture and retains body heat. If the garment does not “breathe”, body temperature will fall. Fleece and wool blends are comfortable to wear and ideal for outdoor play. Both fabrics transfer moisture and trap a layer of warm air.
  • Layer 3 / Outerwear
    Good outerwear protects against wind and rain. Children’s outerwear should also be tough enough to cope with play and adventure. This layer should be easy to open, and easy to close in wind and snow. Our outerwear has a coating that wicks away moisture and prevents water from seeping in.

“Captain Hook”s” favorite thing about his Puffa Coat – besides it being comfy and warm are the thumb-holes. I like that it has an inner sleeve that extends past the outer sleeve so it will fit under his gloves and keep the wind out of his sleeves. I also like that it has multiple reflector patches.

“Peter Pan” loves his new trousers and cardi (green denims and fairisle cardigan) – and has of course paired them with his shearling “sunshine boots.” He asked to wear this outfit for photo day at school – and has put it on for each of his new babysitters when they’ve come to visit. I like how the trousers are a nice fit without being too long, and the quality and color has held up through multiple washings.

On Monday Nov 26th – I’ll be hosting a #MumsNight about Winter Warm-ups – sharing tips on layering, ideas for keeping warm at home and on the go, money saving ideas for keeping warm, and other tips.

Polarn O. Pyret will be sponsoring that #MumsNight with a £50 Gift Card for which you can enter now! (Giveaway closes Nov 26th, 9pm)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Polarn O. Pyret provided the clothes for this review – and will be providing the gift card to the giveaway winner. All opinions are those of myself and my family – no other compensation was received. Please visit my Disclosure Policy if you have further questions.





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8 years ago 18 Comments Short URL

Join us Monday June 11 for #MumsNight – Stock Your Pantry

Come join us for our next #MumsNight, Monday June 11th  to share your tips, tricks, ideas and learn from other UK Mums. Come for the advice, chat or just for fun!

Stock Your Pantry

We’ll be discussing how to

  • Organize your pantry
  • Create a pantry or larder with no storage space
  • Essential pantry items
  • How to make your own pantry items
  • How to cook from your pantry
  • How to properly store different items in your pantry or larder

We’ll be sharing tips, swapping personal stories and advice to help you stock your pantry!

Please join us on Twitter from 8:30pm -9:30 pm BST Monday June 11th.  I’m delighted to announce @crumbsfood and@clairemaccy are cohosting #MumsNight with me on Mon! Join us 8:30pm

Follow @TransatlantiMom and @crumbsfood and@clairemaccy and the hashtag #MumsNight to view the discussion – and be sure to add the hashtag #MumsNight to each of your tweets to join the conversation.

We’ll be giving away a FoodSaver V2860

(If you don’t win, it is available from www.amazon.co.uk RRP £119.99. )

Not familiar yet with a FoodSaver?

The FoodSaver™ System is designed to remove air and extend the freshness of food up to five times longer than conventional storage methods. FoodSaver™ has helped millions of households keep food fresh longer in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry.

With a Food Saver and accessories, you can freeze food (preventing freezer burn), refrigerate, store (food and non food), microwave, marinate, control portions and cook sous vide. Food Saver has the best technology in vacuum food storage, offering more options, control and ease-of-use than any other, with a broad range of products and accessories.

Visit www.foodsavereurope.com for more uses, tips and recipes.

(Disclosure – I’ve in no way been compensated for this giveaway, although I’d really really love one of these – Food Saver will be shipping the prize to the winner directly)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to grab a badge and add it to your blog to let your readers know what you’re up to!

I’ve been inspired by #MumsNight
Many of the #MumsNight guests have been inspired by some of the ideas and recommendations shared at the #MumsNight Twitter Parties and this has led to action. If you’ve blogged about something you learned or did following #MumsNight please let us now about it! We’d love to see what you’ve been up to. Inspired by #MumsNight


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8 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Travelling with Car Seats doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare

Travelling with Car Seats doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. Our boys each started travelling with us at around 6 weeks of age. Since then we’ve been going non-stop. Amazingly, babies come with a bunch of stuff! Who knew?

One of the things we found most challenging if it wasn’t a road-trip was what to do with our car seats?

When we first flew from Chicago to Belgium with both of the boys to visit their Grandparents – the Grandparents were confused about why we wanted to either bring carseats – or have them borrow a set. Why couldn’t the kids just take the 45min journey from the airport in our arms? *Sigh*

So we’ve found whether it’s visiting in-laws, or flying and renting a car, often it’s easiest to take our car seats and booster seats along with us.

Different airlines have various rules about 1. if the carseat can come on-board, and 2. if sent as luggage, whether there is a charge or not. It’s best to call the airline ahead of time to get that info. Even if you have that info – don’t be surprised if you get a different answer from the the ticket agent and then again at the check-in desk at your gate. If possible come prepared with a printed copy of the airline’s policy from their website. It will be harder for the airline employee to argue with their company’s publicly printed policy.

So if you are bring your carseat along on vacation with you here are several things to keep in mind.

It doesn’t matter how expensive and amazing the carseat is – expect it to be handled like a sack of rubbish. So, being armed with this knowledge in advance, take necessary precautions, because as I’m sure you know carseats aren’t cheap!

If you are going to take your carseat onto the plane – remember you’ll need to carry it throughout the airport. Also remember you’ll be dragging child, carry-on, purse and any other sticky stuff your child hands you. Thinking about this in advance – it may be good to take something that will help you carry the carseat. While you could take the low-tech option of strapping it to your carry-on while you stroll with a ropes or cords – you may want to consider something specifically designed to carry a large car seat. Strangely – I’ve found not so many options for sale here in the UK so I’ll share some of my favorite American options – which you can order online.

1. Think of it as like a carseat “dolly” or cart. Britax offers their own version – to go along with Britax car-seats, but other brands also come highly rated. (cost is about $60 USD)

2. Throw it over your shoulder. Whether you’re attaching it to your bag, or on your bag – there are options to either carry it in a bag, or back-packs specifically designed to carry your large car seat. My favorite option for this is the “Pac Back” (cost is about $30 USD)

3. Strap the car-seat to your rolling suitcase. Special clips have been designed for that. (No need to resort to ropes or bungee cords). (Cost is about $15 USD)



If you are checking your carseat – consider purchasing a carseat cover. While you can purchase one of these new, depending upon how frequently you think you’ll use it, this is one item that can be purchased lightly used on Ebay that will yield a considerable savings!

Booster Seats

While I wouldn’t normally recommend purchasing a car-seat used, if you are travelling and need a booster seat for your child – think about buying a set you could leave or discard at your destination.

On our recent ski trip with the kids to Switzerland – we were told that it would be 10GBP ($16 USD) per day, per child to rent booster seats. That means it would cost approximately 140 GBP ($224 USD) for 2 children to have booster seats for the week which I think you’ll agree with me is pretty outrageous!

While I do understand the dangers of purchasing a second hand car-seat and fully support not buying a used car seat for the following reasons:

  • you don’t know how old it is
  • you don’t know its history
  • you don’t know if it’s been in an accident

In my personal opinion (of which you should make your own informed choices and I’m certainly no expert on the subject) I’m ok with second hand booster seats.

Here’s why in my opinion I’m ok with it – for booster seats, the point isn’t to protect the child from impact etc, it’s to boost them up higher in the seat so that the seat belt can fit them properly. The child needs to continue to use the booster seat until the vehicle’s seat belt lies correctly across the child’s chest and lap. The belt should sit comfortably across the lap, hitting the upper thighs, and the chest strap should cross the child from the shoulder and not the neck.

So for our recent trip to Switzerland – what I did was purchase 2 used Britax booster seats from Ebay (3GBP each) and throw them in a plastic carry-all which we checked as part of our baggage allowance. We then had 2 booster seats there at the airport ready to use when we arrived to pick up our rental car, which we had no trouble leaving behind. (Especially since on the way back our baggage increased with purchases, souvenirs etc. )

These certainly aren’t the only options – and I’d love to hear your ideas on how you all have managed travelling with car seats. I’d love to hear about your experiences and any tips or advice you have to share!

So, as added incentive I’m creating a giveaway for a “Pac Back” car seat carrier giveaway!

Please share your ideas and or experience in the comments below – and you’ll be entered to win a new “Pac Back”

About the Pac Back: Conveniently transport your car seat from one place to another while keeping your hands free. Designed by a mother who frequently travels with her children, the Pac Back is an easy-to-use car seat carrier system. Lightweight and durable, this innovative carrier is manufactured from materials that are built to last: tough, high-density nylon with heavy gauge shoulder straps. A padded waist strap, padded hip protectors and soft padded lumbar support provide comfort while carrying. The Pac Back fits all car and booster seats.

It has numerous positive reviews on Amazon (which is why I bought it in the first place )
“The Pac Back made it possible to carry the car seats and still have both hands free. ” quote from Amazon review

Prize Eligibility
Only persons residing in United Kingdom who are at least 18 years of age can enter.
Giveaway Entry Period Starts
May 6th, 2012 @ 06:30 am (BST)
Giveaway Entry Period Ends
May 15, 2012 @ 09:00 pm (BST)

- Only those over 18, who reside in the UK may enter.
- Entrants must be over the age of 18
- Entrants must be based within the UK
- 1 winner will be selected at random to win a prize
- Entrants must comment on this blog post to qualify for entry

Entrants can enter the Sweepstakes for free by emailing transatlanticmom @ gmail (dot) com and requesting details about alternate registration.

(disclosure – I purchased this item, its new, never used – we ended up not taking the train trip we’d intended for it then the boys grew out of car-seats and on to booster seats. I have been in no way compensated by this post by any of the brands or products mentioned.)

8 years ago 5 Comments Short URL

Dr. Seuss Giveaway


Dr. Seuss is one of mine and my children’s favorite Authors – in Celebration of World Book Day (being celebrated by my child today at school dressed as BumbleBee Transformer – but of course that’s another story..) and in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, 108 years ago today I am helping sponsor and promote a Dr. Seuss giveaway!

In school, library’s and home all across the world the GREAT Dr. Seuss is celebrated with books, games, and events focused on getting our children interested in reading.

Together with Tailor Made Momma, and 23 other blogs we are happy to help you celebrate with a Dr. Seuss giveaway!

We are happy to be able to offer to our readers not one but two incredible Dr. Seuss prize packs!

Prize Pack

Click here for details on what is in each prize pack.

Special Thanks to all of the participating blogs: Kelly’s Lucky You, A Helicopter Mom, Social Media and Blogging Tips, The Spring Mount 6 Pack, Upstate Ramblings, Libby’s Library, The Shopping Duck, About A Mom, Cute-Ecakes, Savings Is Free, Coupons Deals and More, Couponing for 4, How to Have it All. Transatlantic Mom, Happy Birthday Author, Alpha Wife Adventures, East 9th Street, The Go To Mommy, Naptime Is My Time, The Frugalette, How Was Your Day?, Mama Luvs Books, and Tales From the Nursery

Click here to enter now  by using the Rafflecopter form on TailorMadeMama’s blog. Good Luck!

If you want to learn more about Dr. Seuss or the difference between US and UK bedtime stories and favorite authors, check out my previous post about it here.

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8 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

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