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SLEEPOVER TIPS. Thanks to all who submitted tips on how to survive a sleepover. Check out the best tips here for the chance to win a sleepover-survival kit (portable DVD player worth £50; children's DVD of your choice, and £40 Space NK vouchers), courtesy of DryNites. Good luck!

Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

If the fair-weather optimists (Bank-Holiday alert) among you have any burning (or rather not) questions for Boots suncare scientific adviser Mike Brown, get 'em in quick: we'll be sending them over to him shortly. And thanks for your Qs for happiness maestro Ben Renshaw: his As are in the building and should be live on the site soon.

Don't forget to vote for your pick of our footie-themed suggestions for June's Book of the Month. Full-time whistle blows for the poll on Monday (31 May).

Now for this week's parenting news...

Older mums on the rise: The number of births to women over 40 has almost trebled in the past 20 years, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, and continues to increase. This bucks the current trend, with overall birth rate actually falling in 2009 – perhaps, say some commentators, due to recession-hit couples postponing childrearing because money is tight. (Daily Telegraph 25.05.10)

The '49-minute family': Parents only spend an average of 49 minutes a day with their children, according to a survey for National Family Week. Of the 3,000 parents surveyed, 68% cited money as a barrier to spending more time with their family. And money worries are rubbing off on kids, too, say the researchers: more than 25% of the eight to 15-year-olds questioned said money was the most important thing to them, coming ahead of health, education, sport or music. (BBC News 25.05.10) 

TREAT THE FAMILY THIS BANK-HOLIDAY WEEKEND at Frankie & Benny's - Kids Eat Free! Includes refillable soft drinks, main course, dessert and a fantastic activity pack. Offer valid with an adult main course purchased from the delicious new main menu. Click here for your voucher.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week: A toddler-scarred colditz wearily disillusions Facebook-tastic PFB parents: "Oh, oh he's your little fwuffy bundle of luvs, is he? You just wait till he's smeared a £30 lipstick into a £400 sound system for the second time that week..."

Competitions
This month's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat).

EXCLUSIVE PIZZA EXPRESS OFFER: TWO LEGGERA PIZZAS FOR £10! The Leggera ("light" in Italian) is an entirely new kind of pizza. Each pizza is around 500 calories and less that 5g saturated fat. Click here to enjoy two Leggera pizzas for only £10.

Looking for a fun day out over half-term? Mumsnetters suggest:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local - and once you get home, please add a review in our Days out/Attractions section.

Aitch's TV round-up: The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, BBC2, Mon 31 May, 9pm
So, I think we all know enough about television to compile a 'period drama' checklist, don't we? Ribboned bonnets? Heaving bosoms? Carriages and big houses and women getting the rough end of the stick, generally-speaking? Check, check, check and check – what ye seek, this dramatisation of the life of Yorkshire landowner, industrialist, traveller and diarist Anne Lister will provide. Ah, but there's a twist. Anne was, as the BBC press information rather bizarrely puts it, 'a pioneering lesbian'. I hardly need say that Sarah Waters does this sort of thing rather better but this is still a fine biopic of a remarkable (and fortunately wealthy) woman striking out for herself at a time when women of all particularities were slaves to their gender. Maxine Peake, who, let's face it, we all have a crush on, stars as Anne...
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.

Recipe of the week: WelliesandPyjamas' fabtastically easy strawberry ice cream
The perfect hurrah-here-comes-June Bank-Holiday-weekend treat of a pud that's easy to make (no ice-cream machine needed) and super-slurpingly delish to eat.
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's it. We're off to purloin a brollie or two...
Love, MNHQ

HOW TO BE A HAPPY STEPMUM (Vermilion, £10.99) is the definitive guide for stepmothers. Based on extensive research, it addresses the common difficulties associated with stepfamily life and offers practical tips and advice to help women adapt to their role in stepfamilies. The author, Dr Lisa Doodson, is a family psychologist. For more info, visit Lisa's website: www.happysteps.co.uk

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