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FLOWERS BY FLORISTS This worldwide network of local professional florists is offering Mumsnet 10% off bespoke, hand-delivered bouquets to friends and loved ones. Delivered same or next day, there is a wide range of beautiful flowers guaranteed to impress. Visit Flowers by Florists and use the offer code 'mumsnet10'.

Hello from Mumsnet HQ...

Where we're thrilled to have been invited to send a Mumsnet blogger to the G20 Summit. And, after a rigorous vetting of CVs, we're handing the MNHQ blogging baton over to the (marvellously appropriately monickered) policywonk. We've started a thread where you can feed your summity thoughts through to her. And we can't wait to read her MN-stylee take on Sarah Brown's hemline international power-brokering.

Back in the motherland, we've recently updated our parenting book reviews. If you can't spot your favourite there, please do add a review. And, er, ahem, we notice there are no reviews of Toddlers: A Mumsnet Guide yet...

Talking of great literature, you can now vote for our April Book of the Month. And there's still time to grab a copy of March's pick What Was Lost before the discussion on Tuesday 31 Mar, 8-10pm.

And, last but not least, you might want to print out the MN Mother's Day dos and don'ts for others to stumble across before Sunday.

Now for this week's parenting news ...

Girls-only best: Girls are far more likely to thrive and do better in their GCSEs if they go to a single-sex secondary school, according to new research. The analysis of the GCSE scores of 700,000 girls, conducted on behalf of the Good Schools Guide, reveals that girls who struggle most when they start secondary school reap the most benefits. But for all girls there's a plus: researchers found that, on average, all the girls who sat GCSEs in single-sex schools over a three-year period did better than predicted; by comparison, of the girls who took GCSEs in mixed-sex schools, 20% did worse than expected. (Guardian 18.03.09)

Kids too praised: Children are being over-praised by parents and teachers, leading to a generation of narcissists, according to an expert. Dr Carol Craig, chief executive of the Centre for Confidence and Well-Being in Scotland, told the Association of School and College Leaders conference that kids were developing an "all about me" mentality based on an obsession among adults with the "self-esteem agenda". "Parents no longer want to hear if their children have done anything wrong," she said. (BBC Online 14.03.09)

Other stories in brief

TRY OUT SOME SECURITY SOFTWARE - AND YOU COULD WIN £250! AVG is looking for 50 Mumsnetters to trial their latest internet security software. You need to be a PC user with a child aged 5-17 but, that apart, all you have to do is download it, try it and give your feedback on Talk. Everyone who takes part in the trial (and offers feedback) will be entered into a draw to win a £250 voucher for a store of their choice. If you'd like to take part, click here.

Hot threads


This week's altogether covetable 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).

CHILDREN'S WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL You know how important it is for babies and young children to have well-trained people looking after them in early years settings. A new graduate-level status has been introduced for those working with under-fives, called Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). Find out more and discover how to earn EYPS yourself.

Quote of the week

Wallace on her doomed attempts to stop putting things off: "I just saw that link to the article about procrastination and thought, 'That looks interesting - I'll read it later.'"

Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Mumsnetters say try:

The City Museum, Bristol: "There's a good cafe and play area inside for children, and some exhibits are really fun - there are loads of stuffed animals and dinosaurs and things to look at. And it's FREE!" WhatFreshHellIsThis
Butterfly World at Studley Grange Craft Village near Swindon: "Great place to kill time midweek. Good indoor play barn, indoor craft units, paint your own pottery etc. Then walk round the garden centre. Get there early if you go at the weekend." pickupthismess
Blackpool Zoo: "Great for kids, and across the road there's a big park, Stanley Park, with a boating lake – great for a laugh." purepurple

Aitch's TV round-up: The Apprentice, Wed 25 March, BBC One, 9pm
This may appear to contradict the point of a preview for The Apprentice, but I first want to urge you to watch the second episode of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (Mondays, BBC2, 10pm). He may no longer be the more attractive of the former Lee and Herring pairing (who saw that coming?) but, MY GOD, his is the biggest brain on television at the moment - and still dishy, even if his eyes appear to have receded alarmingly into his sweaty new pieface. I should've told you about it last week but my Apprentice obsession let me down. It let us all down...

Carmenere's recipe of the week: Hayley33's Simnel Tart
Mother's Day used to be known as Simnel Sunday, as serving wenches who were traditionally given the day off to spend with their mums would make a Simnel cake to bring home. As it is unlikely that you have a daughter in service, Hayley33's recipe for Simnel Tart is an easy substitute for missing wench-made deliveries.

That's all, we're off to obsess about The Apprentice.
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WIN £250 GIFT VOUCHERS FOR A STORE OF YOUR CHOICE! We’ve been asked by the Department of Health to find women (based in England and with a child aged 0-2) who are willing to help new parents-to-be by talking about the choices they made while they were pregnant. If you're interested in taking part, please click here. There's also a survey open to anyone who has given birth in the last two years in England. Everyone who completes the survey will be in with a chance of winning a £250 voucher for a store of their choice.

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