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To become... mum/food: fiendish food for Halloween with Princes

Halloween is just around the corner and there's lots of things you can do to keep your little horrors entertained - for a few minutes, at least!

With it being half term, why not get them to help out at lunchtime and create something a little creepy, but a lot of fun?

Princes Tuna has shared with me some spooktacular snack ideas that are packed full of good things and have a Halloween theme too.

I had a go at creating fiendishly fun food; my tuna spider cups! It was just a simple idea - take a cupcake wrapper, fill with a mix of tuna and tomato sauce / puree, add slide onion, cucumber or carrot as 'legs' and a cherry tomato for the spider's body, and finish with a dab of sauce for the eyes. Simple, tasty and fun!

Here are some further suggestions from Princes...

To become... mum: app-y kids

Since Ethan was little, I have found my iPad to be really useful. It helped me stay awake and keep me distracted during long night feeds and as Ethan got a little older, I started to use it to play music and try out a few apps just for babies.

One of them was KidloLand. We had the free app download and Ethan loved listening to three classic nursery rhymes and the bright animation caught his eye. I was recently approached by the team behind the app as they wanted to show me all the different things it now includes, for an annual subscription of £29.99. Remembering the app from Ethan's baby days, I was excited to download KidloLand again and see what it had to offer - and it wasn't long before Ethan took it out of my hands to have a play himself!

This app is packed with over 800 different songs, games, stories and activities. Plenty to keep little ones busy, right?

To become... mum: a book review for working parents

When you find out you're going to be a parent for the first time, you do a lot of reading. Blogs, magazines, books; everything is new and there's just so much to learn.

We all know the old saying - children don't come with a manual - and it's true, we all just have to figure things out as we go.

But there are resources out there that can help us be as prepared as possible. When I found out I was expecting Ethan, I started this blog and reading other parenting blogs as a means to share ideas and find support. I also bought a couple of pregnancy books and started reading the relevant magazines each month. The more information I had, the more confident I felt.

Since Ethan was born, blogs have been my main source of information when it comes to this parenting malarkey. It's a lot of trial and error and every child is different, so I haven't really sought any 'expert' advice, other than other people who like me blog about their adventures, and challenges, in parenthood.

However, when I saw that there was a new book called 'The working parents' guide to raising happy and confident children' by Nadim Saad, I was keen to review it.

We all parent in different ways and I still feel like I am finding my groove, particularly when it comes to discipline or dealing with tough mood swings. I am all about structure and finding a good way to do things, but I am also the 'softer' parent and I have noticed that Ethan doesn't always listen to me straight away and at times, I feel like her can run rings around me.

To become... mum: fun things to do at home this half term

I'm always looking for new places to visit and fun days out, butd I also like finding new ideas for fun activities to do together as a family.

Come rain or shine, we do our best as a family to enjoy different activities together at home and with the autumn weather and half term upon us, we could all do with a few ideas of how to make the most of the break even if the weather isn't on our side.

So, here's some of my suggestions of fun things you could do together this half term...

To become... days out: Places to visit this half term in the Midlands

So half term is upon us and whilst Ethan isn't yet at school, many of our friends are teachers and it's hard not to get carried away with half term madness - and the lead up to Halloween.

I've pulled together some our favourite things to do and places to see across the Midlands that are well-worth checking out, as we all know it can be hard to keep little ones entertained and you need to make those pennies stretch as far as you can...

To become... dad: Legends of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses at Symphony Hall Birmingham

I have been working with Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham for a little while now and have been lucky to see some great shows - including Stick Man, Sarah Millican and Sue Perkins - and the weekend before last, hubs and I enjoyed a very different kind of evening.

I have never been to see a full show of classical music but when I saw the Legends of Zelda show at Symphony Hall, I was excited - because my husband is such a big fan of this game series.

I really enjoyed the change of scene but to give you a real flavour of how good this show is, may I hand you over to the much more knowledgeable Stephen - aka To Become Dad - to tell you more...

My job involves a lot of writing. Sometimes, sitting in a busy, open plan office, it can be hard to concentrate, to focus on the task at hand, so what I like to do is to pop some headphones on and listen to music. Because I’m writing, however, I can’t listen to music with lyrics, for fear of suddenly writing something wholly inappropriate into a new business bid. So instead I listen to soundtracks and those soundtracks are mostly from my favourite video game series. World of Warcraft. Deus Ex. Final Fantasy VII. Civilisation V. Epic, sweeping scores that get the creative juices flowing and bring back strong, vivid memories of playing those games. One of my favourite game series, featuring one of my all-time favourite main themes, is the Legend of Zelda series.

The Legend of Zelda series has some of the most recognisable music in gaming. The fact that a number of the games, in particular Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, feature heavily the use of a musical instrument used to effect gameplay means that there are likely millions of gamers out there that would instantly recognise Epona’s theme, or the chest-opening jingle, or the roaring main theme.

To become... mum: kindness is contagious #BrightFuture

I am a positive person by default and as Ethan gets older, I am realising just how much my mood, my actions and what I say can have upon him. He is really impressionable at the moment and doesn't miss a thing, so I am conscious of considering my behaviour and being a positive role model for him.
So when I heard about the Unilever #BrightFuture initiative, it felt like something fun and relevant to be a part of.
Their goal is to unite communities and encourage small changes in everyday life that have a positive impact on the world.
According to their research, 83% of British parents felt the birth of their first child made them want to change some aspect of their life for the better. Nine out of 10 parents and 8 out of 10 children agree that if everyone does small things to improve the environment, “together we can make the world a better place”.
And it may sound like quite a big claim to make, but I do think that when you become a parent, you do see the world a little differently and you know that you want to do what you can to make the right impression and lead by example.

To become... home: hassle free housework

I like to keep a tidy house - to me, a tidy house is a tidy mind - and I seem to spend my life picking things up, putting bits and bobs away and clearing clutter.

Honestly, I don't know where half of it comes from sometimes!

With a husband who likes to spread out a bit, a three year old who seems to have a zillion toys and three furry pets that like to rule the roost, it's no wonder really that there's always something to do in our house - and that's before you put me into the equation, with all my stuff. Work stuff. Blog stuff. Clothes and bags and too many lipsticks.

This is perhaps why I am better at tidying than I am at cleaning. I don't mind cleaning really, and when I do do it, I feel a great sense of satisfaction. And it's easy to get carried away, as soon as one area is looking spic and span, another area doesn't look quite so good in comparison.

The trouble is, things never stay clean for very long. Particularly at this time of the year.

A house is for living in, after all, and we lead busy lives so there's always something we'd rather do.

I like to have a good deep clean every season and Hassle, the cleaning service with staff available in many cities across the country including Birmingham where we live, contacted me to lend a helping hand.

How could I refuse?

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