Welcome to Mum’s Arcade

Welcome to Mum’s’ Arcade!  Imagine a day’s shopping where you experience the retail therapy without the sore feet.  A day where you can either browse or buy from the comfort of your own home.

Mum’s Arcade is the place to visit to see honest and independent reviews of products by real mums and their families.

Mums lead increasingly busy lives juggling many different roles.  So here’s to you as a parent, partner, carer, employer, businesswoman and student.   Rather than squeeze shopping into your busy day leading to buying disasters, check out products and trustworthy opinions from mothers just like you.

We tell it like it is saving you time and money.

Nine Lives – a novel

Mum’s Arcade founder Kate is currently reading the book below.

The most wonderful thing about this book so far is how it describes all-powerful attraction between a man and a woman and how a relationship develops over time.

It looks at people’s motivations well and a particularly strong feature is the detailed descriptions of places that make you want to find out more.

Kate is looking forward to reading more.

Nine Lives Dan Fox Debut novel …… a journey through life…..

Men are sensitive too…

Dan Fox’s debut novel NINE LIVES is a deep and powerful love story that’s both beautiful and emotive, taking the reader on a poetic journey to many exotic and emotional locations while raising a variety of thought-provoking issues. The novel sensitively explores the random effect of timing in our lives along with questions of fate or karma, man’s good amidst evil and nature’s cruelty.

This the story of a journey through one man’s life – but in many ways it’s also the story of us all. Written with surprising masculine sensitivity, NINE LIVES follows the life of Dan Roberts, his first love, his first grief, his first despair and the way he learns to deal with regret as he faces his past and his faith. Along the way, the author weaves a host of other experiences into a wonderfully described journey.

“A beautiful book; deep and powerful; Nine Lives is primarily a love story; but it is also truly a journey through life”.

The title Nine Lives derives from Dan’s feeling, common to so many of us, that our lives can sometimes seem to be made up of different chapters; as if some events must have been experienced by somebody different – and lived in a different life. This book takes the reader on an emotional journey encompassing many feelings and reflections on life to which all readers can relate from their own experiences. It deliberately provokes discussion in the reader’s mind, as well as quiet contemplation, without seeking to give a view – indeed, it is as if the reader is joining the author on this journey. The author has a distinctive voice and a unique style of writing, which flows poetically with an incredibly honest approach and rawness.

“It does help people ‘deal with any loss’ in their lives. I set out to write a story that would be emotional and encourage the reader to reflect on various issues in life that affect us all. In particular, I hope it will help deal with the inexplicable sense of loss that we can all too often experience.“ – Dan Fox

Editor notes

Fiction: Literary

Fiction: Romance – General

Fiction: Romance – Contemporary

ISBN Complete: 978-1-905553-69-3

United Kingdom £5.99 GBP

Author’s Biography

Full date of Birth: 2nd January 1965

Place of Birth ‐ Town & Country: Hastings, UK – Gun Hill, East Sussex, UK TN21 0JS

Current place of residence ‐ Town & Country: Chateau d’Oex, Switzerland

Country of Citizenship: UK

About the author:

Dan Fox is the nom de plume of Ian Wilson, a father of three who was born into the typical middle class environment of an old English seaside town. At a young age Ian left for the bright lights of London and after studying law at King’s College London, he spent 8 years in Hong Kong. He soon left behind his burgeoning legal career as ‘too boring’ and has since built successful business interests that have taken him all over the globe. He now lives in the mountains of Switzerland with his beautiful wife, children and three dogs.

Nine Lives is Dan Fox’s first novel. Further projects, including his new novel ‘Blood Love’ are currently under development.

For more information about ‘NINE LIVES’ go to http://www.danfox.ch/nine-lives.html

Celebrate the Royal Wedding with News of the World giveaway



Free Double Party CD for Every Reader



No party is complete without a sound track – and starting this Sunday, readers of the News of the World will be able to get their very own ultimate party CD, completely free of charge.


Britain’s biggest Sunday newspaper is giving away the fantastic two-disc CD filled with 16 classic floor fillers – including Karma Chameleon, The One and Only, Walking on Sunshine and Don’t You Want Me.


The collection, called ‘A Right Royal Knees Up’, is available from this Sunday (April 10) with CD1 in a collectible wallet, and continues the following week (April 17) with CD2. It’s enough to get any party started.


The vouchers for the free CDs will be printed in the News of the World on Sunday April 10 and 17, and CDs are available to pick up at all Tesco stores (except forecourts) nationwide.


CD1 comes with a special collector’s edition street party sleeve, with space for CD2 to be added the following week. The full track listing is as follows:


CD1 – available from April 10


1. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon

2. Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine

3. MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This

4. Chesney Hawkes – The One and Only

5. Bryan Ferry – Let’s Stick Together

6. Heaven 17 – Temptation

7. Pato Banton feat. Ali & Robin Campbell – Baby Come Back

8. The Swinging Blue Jeans – The Hippy Hippy Shake


CD 2 – available from April 17


1. The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

2. Belinda Carlisle – Heaven is a Place on Earth

3. Human League – Don’t You Want Me

4. Kajagoogoo – Too Shy

5. Supergrass – Alright

6. Huey Lewis and The News – The Power of Love

7. Tommy James and The Shondells – Mony Mony

8. Jeff Beck – Hi Ho Silver Lining


The CD will be promoted with a TV advert across both weekends. The ad continues the comic set-up theme of the paper’s on-going ‘The Big Stories Start Here’ campaign and depicts a guest singing along to her CD during a wedding ceremony. It airs from Friday April 8.





News of the World is £1 nationwide and is available every Sunday.


CD1 voucher valid from 10/04/2011 to 16/04/2011.


CD 2 voucher valid 17/04/2011 to 23/04/2011.


This offer is not running in the Republic of Ireland.


Terms and conditions are on the vouchers which are printed in the paper. One coupon per product purchased, subject to availability, may not be used in conjunction with any other offer, not redeemable through Tesco.com, no cash value to voucher, no change will be given. Coupon remains the property of Tesco Stores Limited and is not for re-sale or publication.


bonprix – Affordable Fashion for Sunny Days


There’s nothing quite like it, is there? The first time you don a summery frock after swathing yourself in layers all winter.



So, say hello to summer and show off your pins in a selection of flirty styles; vibrant block colours and beautiful draping detail prove that plain needn’t mean boring. Perfect for tapping into this season’s colour blocking trend, mix and match your hues to create a fresh, exciting look.


Or have fun with florals in these pretty printed styles. Dress them up or down with cute flats or a pair of striking peep-toe heels.


A hit at weddings, great at garden parties and sure-fire winners at the races, these bonprix beauties will breathe fresh life into your summer wardrobe!




What does your handbag say about you?

What do the contents of your handbag say about you? Find out with Sudocrem.


Are you someone who doesn’t have just one, but two mobile phones in your

bag? How many sticks of lipstick do you carry? Do you ever leave home

without your hand moisturiser? All these things could tell a deeper story

about you and your personality.


Sudocrem Skin Care Cream (SSCC) has teamed up with the UK’s leading

Bagologist, Debbie Percy, to offer a limited number of FREE handbag readings

on the SSCC Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/sudocremtube.




It’s simple – just visit http://www.facebook.com/sudocremtube, ‘like’ the

page and then upload a clear photo to the Facebook Wall of your handbag

contents. Three bags will be randomly selected by Debbie every weekday

(excluding weekends) for a reading and her analysis published via

http://www.facebook.com/sudocremtube. To be considered for selection, uploads must

be made between 11th April & 10th May 2011. Please note that by uploading

your photograph there is NO guarantee of receiving a reading.


The first 50 uploads will receive a FREE tube of Sudocrem Skin Care Cream.

Terms and Conditions apply.




This is not a competition, but by uploading a picture of your handbag

contents for analysis it is assumed that you have read and agreed to the

Terms and Conditions of this event. This process is open to both men and

women anywhere in the world. The acceptance, disqualification or deletion of

uploaded pictures, without explanation or prior notification is entirely at

the discretion of Forest Labs, as set out in the Terms and Conditions found

on http://www.facebook.com/sudocremtube. Content should only be submitted by

someone of 18 years and above. Only one upload is permitted per person.

Photographs can be submitted up until 12pm on Tuesday 10th May 2011.


Celebration Cake from Carnation

Carnation Celebration Cake

Celebrate all things British with this gorgeous berry-topped cake, filled with strawberry jam and spread with a rich butter cream icing. Perfect for picnics, street parties or to brighten up a rainy day!



Serves 12


Preparation time: 15 minutes


Cooking time: 25-30 minutes






200g (7oz) plain flour


405g can Carnation Condensed Milk Light


2 eggs


2tsp vanilla extract


150g (5∏oz) margarine or butter


3tsp baking powder




6tbsp strawberry conserve or jam




200g (7oz) icing sugar


100g (3∏oz) margarine or butter, softened


2tsp vanilla extract


200g (7oz) mixed summer berries, to decorate


You will also need:


2 x 18cm (7in) sandwich cake tins, base lined with parchment




1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C for fan ovens), Gas Mark 4.


2. Place the flour, condensed milk, egg, vanilla extract, margarine and baking powder in a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy.


3. Spoon into the tins and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until springy to the touch and golden brown. Cool slightly then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


4. Place one half of the cake onto a serving plate and spread with the jam. Sandwich together with the other half.


5. Beat the icing sugar, butter and vanilla with a few drops of water to bring the mixture to a soft consistency. Spread onto the cake. Arrange the berries on top in a Union Jack shape if you like!




· Look out for natural vanilla extract – not essence. It is widely available in all good supermarkets and makes all the difference to baking homemade treats!


· Make a chocolate version of this cake – substitute 25g of the flour for the same amount of cocoa powder in the sponge. Substitute the same 25g of the icing sugar for the same of cocoa powder and top with white and dark chocolate curls, pink wafer biscuits or sugar sprinkles. Delicious!


Girly gifts from Find Me a Gift Website

The little girl in Mum’s Arcade life loves to make and do.

She adores making cupcakes with Mummy and spends every spare moment drawing, painting ad glue-ing.  She is very creative and a joy to  watch.  Her birthday is coming up soon and I have checked out the Find Me a Gift website at http://find-me-a-gift.co.uk

If you have not found this website full of the most wonderful treasures for any member of the family or your friends, do take a look.  There are items for different tastes and budgets.

I particularly liked the bright and cheerful retro-looking apron in red with white spots.  It is really pretty but sturdy and hard-wearing too.  That makes for a happy little girl and a smiling Mummy too.  The pinny has a big pocket on the front too perfect for carrying all life’s little essentials for  the crafting or baking mad girl who also has a taste for fashion.  The apron can be washed too which means it will last till your little girl moves up a size.

Another favourite are the great chunky fabric markets in bright and washable colours.  They are great for decorating boring cotton shirts, caps, canvas trainers and more.  What fun!  Something the whole family can get involved with.  The colours can be air-cured for 24 hours or fixed immediately by iroing on a medium setting.  Obviously but worth a reminder that the ironing should only be done by an adult.

We loved these but if they are not quite to your taste or needs, do check out the website for more ideas at http://find-me-a-gift.co.uk

Find Me a Gift helps you to get the housework and cooking done

Here are some great and fun ideas from Find Me A Gift website.

Buy them for yourselves or for a friend or family member.

Domestic Goddess washing up gloves rrp £3.99 http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/rubber-gloves-novelty-washing-up-gloves-domestic-goddess.html


These are really bright and funky and define you as a Domestic Goddess even on the days when you feel far from it. They are generously sized so offer proper protection. The best washing up gloves we have ever seen and at a reasonable price too.


Mr Messy Apron and Oven Glove rrp £9.99 http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/novelty-aprons-mr-messy.html


The man in the Mum’s Arcade life loved this set. He is the sort of bloke who likes quirky gifts. I swear he is cooking more meals now he has a nice apron to wear. We all love Mr Men so this is just fabulous. It makes the children giggle too.



Punk Washing Up Brush rrp £5.99 http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/novelty-kitchen-washing-up-brush-punk.htm

Diva Sponge rrp £5.99 http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/novelty-kitchen-sponges-diva.html

Practial Shirley Bassey like sponge with attitude. I work best with fun and practical products. Why should washing up be boring?


Domestic Goddess Apron, Oven Mitts and Towel – 50s Kitchen rrp £24.99 http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/domestic-goddess-aprons-mitts-and-tea-towel-50-s-kitchen.html


I love all things Fifties and this is just the most brilliant trio of items. Just call me a goddess!






Raspberry Muffin Recipe – bake with mum





Raspberry muffins




Mother’s Day is a great opportunity for us to say a big Thank You to all our mums and what better way to show our appreciation than getting mum out of the kitchen and cooking something special for her instead? Yummy raspberry muffins are a real treat and easy to make using Loseley Summer Meadow Butter. Loseley Summer Meadow Butter is spreadable straight from the fridge and yet has all the creamy taste of traditional butter making it incredibly versatile. You can use it in baking and as a spread so once you’ve made the muffins










Self –raising flour 200g (7oz)


Baking powder 1 tsp


Caster sugar 75g (3oz)


Egg 1, beaten


Milk 175ml (6fl oz)


Loseley Summer Meadow Butter 125g (4 1/2oz, melted and cooled)


Fresh raspberries 175g (6oz)








1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Line a muffins tin with 9 muffin cases. Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a mixing bowl.

2. Whisk the beaten egg with the milk and cooled Loseley Summer Meadow Butter and stir into the dry ingredients, until just mixed (don’t over mix). Then add the raspberries.

3. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and lightly golden. Enjoy one while still warm! Then leave the rest to cool on a wire rack.




15 minutes preparation time


20-25minutes cooking time


216 Kcal per portion


13g fat per muffin of which


7.6g is saturated


Makes 9 muffins


Suitable for vegetarians + freezing




Cooks Tip




If you have raspberries left over from your punnet, stir them into Loseley Yoghourt and top with runny honey for a quick and tasty pud.


Loseley Summer Meadow Butter is packed in a 250grm tub and costs £1.29p.




Loseley Chilled Foods are available from the chilled cabinet of local independent grocers, Morrisons, Waitrose and now Iceland. Visit http://www.loseley.com for more information.

How to never forget Mother’s Day flowers again


We’ve all been there when you walk through the door only to be greeted by cards reminding you of the birthday you missed or worse, the silent treatment because you forgot your anniversary. Help is at hand as Taylors Flowers has created the Forget-Me-Not package allowing you to order flowers for all the key occasions in one click.




Taking the worry out of trying to remember birthdays, Mother’s Day and anniversaries is the three-bouquet package available from just £99.99. But what if it isn’t a birthday or anniversary and you just want to say hello or cheer someone up? Well with the four-bouquet package you can ensure birthdays, anniversaries and others day are sorted and still have a spare arrangement for just such moments. Available from £129.99 from http://www.taylorsflowers.co.uk or by calling 0845 0099 304, the team at Taylors Flowers are on hand to help advise on the best arrangements available.




So if the love of your life adores tulips you can pre-order a bunch for their birthday, or for your mum who prefers pink and yellow roses, all these requests can be made when ordering. What’s more a personally written message can be added to all arrangements to add that finishing touch.




Founder, Kelly Taylor, has created an award winning boutique flower delivery service that offers a personal touch to each and every customer, wherever they are in the country. This one-to-one service combined with the use of only the best quality flowers, presented in an attractive and protective packaging, ensures every detail is covered to guarantee the lucky recipient will receive a striking bouquet, that will be as special as if you had hand-delivered it yourself.




So this year earn some brownie points for being more organised by letting someone else take care of the details. Find our more about the arrangements from Taylors Flowers by visiting the website http://www.taylorsflowers.co.uk or calling the team on 0845 0099 304.



Cafe Nueva – the first triple certified instant coffee

Cafe Nueva is the first triple certified instant coffee – it’s Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic and it has just hit the supermarket shelves

Mum’s Arcade has tried Cafe Nueva and finds that its ethical base certainly does not compromise on the taste quality experience.

Cafe Nueva has a velvety, intense and strong taste that gives a wonderful coffee-drinking experience.

Why wouldn’t you drink a lovely coffee that also ensures that farmers and producers are rewarded fairly for their craft and skill?

Cafe Nueva – ethical, tasty and highly recommended.


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