If your kids have summer birthdays, you might have considered an outdoor party. It’s possible to throw a party outdoors even in the winter months. The great thing about having a party outside is that it means less mess in your house!
Putting together a picnic is a breeze! If you plan ahead, it’s an excellent way to pull off a fun party on a budget. All you need to do is get creative with the food that you make for added entertainment.
Food is relatively simple for a party like this, all you need to think about food that’s easy to eat. Crisps, fruits, sweets and sandwiches are all easy to make or buy. If you display the food in unusual ways, it will make it more entertaining.
Drinks are easy enough to make. You don’t want to fill the kids up with fizzy drinks. It’s a good idea to make large pitchers of lemonade, fruit juice and water. Of course, you can have some other beverages for any adults in attendance!
Either meet your child’s friends at a big park or have a picnic in your garden. I like the idea of laying out large gingham blankets. You could even consider leaving teddies around to make it feel like a teddy bears picnic!
As I said, you can have an outdoor party in winter. Marquees are the perfect way to stay warm and feel like you’re outside. I’ve even considered looking into marquee hire for my birthday party! You can add heating, a dance floor and so much more to a marquee. If you’ve got the space for one in your back garden, give it a go!
To make your party more winter-themed, decorate it with fake snow, branches and leaves. It’s possible to turn the rest of the garden into an exciting winter wonderland without it feeling too much like Christmas.
Think about the things kids love about winter. You could do activities based on creating things with leaves and branches. You could even wear a yeti costume – you can bet your kids will love it!
If you have a large garden, it’s not difficult to pull off a treasure hunt. All you need to do is to create a map or some clues and hide a few items around the garden. You could hide sweets and small toys and have a prize for whoever collects the most items.
The great thing about a treasure hunt is that it can slot into any theme easily. Pirate party? Hunt for treasure! Princess party? Look for precious jewels! All it takes is a little imagination.
If you don’t have access to a big garden, it is possible to do a treasure hunt in your local park or area. Going outside of the house can be much more complicated, so you might need to rope some friends to plan it with you. If it’s a public place, you’ll want to leave laminated cardboard clues and remember to collect them all afterwards. Don’t choose an area that’s too large or it’ll be hard to stick in groups. If you are going to take this idea outside, you’ll have to make sure all the parents are on board.
No matter what you do for your kids birthday, they’ll love it. Just remember to have fun too.
Last night Ollie and I were sat at the dinner table after the boys went to bed and I started telling him what the boys and I had been up to that day. Every evening we love reflecting on new things that they have done but i started to feel really sad. Even though we do this every evening, as Ollie doesn’t want to miss a second of the boys life, even though he works 10+ hours a day – i felt sad that we do this but i don’t record it anywhere.
That was the point of me starting this blog and i feel sad that i haven’t utilised it better, but like my lovely hubby stated, it’s not too late!
I admire bloggers that do regular updates of their children, what a lovely thing to look back on…. why i just can’t commit to doing this regularly is beyond me, i think it is always at the top of my ‘to do list’ and before i know it the boys are 6 months older than they were!
My plan of action is to do a monthly update on both the boys, i’m going to use my gorgeous personalised notebook that i got from Minted to record anything new that the boys do throughout the month and then do a round up post at the end of the month.
I feel so guilty that i haven’t done this sooner and will always regret the little memories that i thought i would remember of the boys that have faded into the abyss of my brain. I hate regret, there is nothing i can do about the past but i can bloody well make sure i record everything in the future.
So no more regrets, where’s my pen and paper…
My partner and I love to travel with our boys. As well as travelling all over the UK to visit friends and family, we also love planning family trips abroad. I look forward to our summer holidays in the sun more than anything else all year.
Although I love travelling and heading off on vacation, there is always a part of me that’s a little anxious because of the boys. As a mum, I know that with kids in tow travelling often fails to go to plan. Especially when planes and airports are involved.
After spending all year looking forward to our summer vacation, of course, I want it to go to plan. But ensuring that our travels go to plan isn’t always as easy as I would like it to be.
However, over the years I have learnt a thing or two about travelling with kids and am a lot more confident than I once was. In case you are new to taking the kids abroad, here are my top tips for ensuring a fabulous time is had by all:
Get the kids involved
Just like you do, your kids have lots of ideas about what makes a holiday fun. If you want them to have an enjoyable trip away, make sure to get them involved in the planning.
If you are stuck between two travel destinations, ask their advice. If you can’t decide which hotel to stay in, ask which they prefer. You don’t have to go with what they say, but getting the little ones involved is your key to holiday success.
Plan child-friendly activities into your holiday schedule. Obviously, you can’t do everything, but if there is something your child really wants to do, try to fit it in for them.
Pack a fun pack for the flight
As all mums would probably agree, the worst part of any holiday with kids is the flight. The constant fear that they will have a tantrum or be sick on someone is too much to cope with, in fact, it turns many parents into anxious flyers, i used to be Cabin Crew and witnessed this a lot.
If the idea of flying really is too much, look into UK family holidays instead. A holiday in the UK is a fantastic alternative to travelling abroad – it’s cheaper, easy to get to and best of all, involves no plane rides.
What I do now for travelling is make up a fun pack for each of the boys. I pop things like colouring books, crayons, mini toys, kids magazines, and travel games in it for them. Basically, anything that will keep them entertained goes into their travel packs.
I also make sure always to pack two pairs of headphones, a headphone divider and my computer loaded with kids movies and games.
Yes, travelling with kids can be a nightmare, especially young children. But when you arrive at your destination and know that you have a whole week to soak up the sun, relax and have fun, it’s definitely worth it.
Whether you’re a single woman or a mother, there are lots of great cars to suit your needs. Here are my 5 favourite cars for women.
- Ford Focus
One of the biggest concerns for female drivers is how reliable secure the car is going to be. Functionality is key. Who cares what top speeds it can reach or how many heads it turns when you drive it if it isn’t functional and reliable?
The Ford Focus offers women everything they need in a car. It doesn’t try to show off or be something it’s not. It just gets the job done without any fuss or hassle. And because they sell in such high numbers, you can pick up a second-hand model very cheaply.
- Honda Fit
The Honda Fit benefits from being deceptively large. It looks from the outside like a compact supermini. But once you get inside, you realise how wrong you were. Make no mistake, this is a family car and it has the space and efficiency to prove it.
You can quite comfortably fit three people in the back and not be short on legroom. All that space doesn’t make the car bulky though. You’ll have no trouble driving it around the city and the weight is kept light in order to save on fuel costs.
- Scion XB
There are some cars that are understandably appealing to female drivers. But the interesting thing about the Scion XB is that it doesn’t look like a car that would particularly appeal to women. It’s boxy and not particularly elegant, yet it has seen big sales to female drivers since its release.
Since then, they’ve released an updated model and are now targeting mothers with young families. The car has been made a bit bigger and extra prominence has been handed to the space in the back, making it perfect for families.
- Mini Cooper
Since the modern day relaunch of the Mini Cooper, the car has seen great success with female drivers and women are now regarded as its natural audience and target market. The ease involved with driving it and the cute physique of the car’s body might be responsible for this.
There’s a lot of crossover in the appeal of the mini too. The hatchback models are perfect for city driving but some of the larger releases can work well for families as well. And there are used models of both types at http://www.coopermini.co.uk. Like the Focus, their success works in favour of buyers looking for a used Mini today because they’ve become very cheap.
- Mazda MX-5 Miata
Where the Scion XB is not conventionally appealing to women, the Mazda MX-5 Miata certainly is. It’s one of those cars that has a feminine elegance but this isn’t what is most appealing about the MX-5 Miata. The fun and joy involved in driving it is what I think appeals to women.
It’s not a car for young mothers; it’s the kind of car that young, independent women like to drive. It’s stylish and fast yet smooth and quiet. You can take the roof down and let the wind blow through your hair on a summer’s drive.
Cars are too often seen as a male domain, but these cars prove that there are great cars for women out there too.
I have always been a lover of France and the French language; both the place and the words are seriously beautiful. Of all the places in the world I enjoy visiting, France is one of my absolute favourites. Thankfully, my husband and children also share my passion for visiting the country of snails, croissants and cheese! We are currently planning our holiday there for September this year.
As a mum, I like to make every trip we take as a family somewhat educational. A few years ago, on one of our earliest trips to France, I decided that it would be beneficial that one day our children would learn to speak French. Plus, I know that French is on Rowan’s school syllabus when he starts in September, and giving him a kick start would help him with his learning.
Here are my ten tips for helping my children to learn fluent French:
- Hire a tutor
While you can help your children to learn French, unless you are a fluent in the language yourself, you aren’t the best person to teach your children. If you are serious about your children learning French, it is important to take their education seriously and hire them a specialist tutor.
You can either organise joint lessons for your children, or if there is a large age gap between them, you can opt for separate lessons for each child. If you want your children to speak fluent French, it is a good idea to book each of them in for two French lessons a week, one for writing and reading and one for oral French.
- Pictures are an amazing tool
With children, especially younger children, the key to helping them learn French lies with pictures. For kids, being able to associate a word or phrase with an image, makes it easier for them to get that phrase to stick in their head.
The best way to use pictures to help your children to learn French is with flash cards. It’s amazing how easy using flash cards can make learning. Using pictures along with the matching phrases makes it easier for children to remember each word.
- Use post-it notes
Post it notes are ideal for helping your children to learn French. Write useful words or phrases out on post-it notes and stick them around the house, this will keep each word or phrase fresh in your child’s mind.
You could also use post-it notes to help your children learn the difference between male and female words. Use blue post-its for ‘Le’ words and phrases and pink post-it notes for the female ‘La’. Post-its could also be used to help your children learn their French verbs and alphabet.
- Incorporate French into the supermarket
The next time you do your weekly grocery shop at the supermarket, take the children with you and incorporate French into the trip.
Write your shopping list in French and as you go around the supermarket, ask your children to use the list to find what you need. As you walk around, you could also point to different items and ask your children what they are in French.
- Have a French dinner time
Choose one evening a week for French night. Create a list of rules that the whole family has to follow, such as everyone has to speak in French for the whole meal.
Having a family French night can be a fun and enjoyable way to get the whole family involved and learning together. You could make the evening even more realistic by serving French food, as well as speaking in French.
- Watch TV in French
Pick up a few of your children’s favourite DVDs in French, and explain to them that every other time they watch a DVD, they must do so in French.
You could also set your TV to French. While this might seem a little harsh, the more your children hear French, the quicker they will learn to speak the language.
- Download French apps
If your child has a smartphone or tablet, download a range of French games and French speaking apps onto it for them. There are so many amazing apps to choose from, have a look at what is on offer: just make sure to choose an app that is age-appropriate for your child.
For older children, you could also suggest that they set their phone and social media profiles to French. It might be a challenge at first, but after a week or so, using their favourite devices in French, will become second nature to them.
- Visit France
The more time your children spend with people who speak French, the sooner they will become fluent. Aim to spend at least a month in France each year, and while you are there make sure your children have lots of people to test out their French on.
The more your children speak in French, the more they will improve. Explain to your children that while you are in France, you would like them to speak in French as much as possible.
- Take part in a French exchange
Get in touch with your child’s school or a local French group and try to arrange a French exchange student to come and stay with you. Having someone who is fluent in French staying at your home, should give your children the opportunity to practice and hone their French skills.
- Make learning fun
For children, it is crucial that learning is fun. If learning is boring, your children will soon lose interest, but if you make it fun, your children will be more willing to put in the effort.Play games, go on trips, learn while you are out and about, make learning French as fun as possible. Don’t turn French into a chore, always keep it light and fun.
Follow these simple tips, and helping your children to become fluent French speakers is easy.
If your little one is about to hit yet another birthday, then you are most probably thinking about how you should celebrate their special day.
While the idea of throwing your child a birthday bash might sound like the perfect way to celebrate, the stress that comes with organising a party may not feel as appealing. For parents, birthday parties can be a somewhat stressful subject. Especially, when it seems that every other parent has better birthday party ideas.
But, there is no need to worry. With this fantastic guide, you can easily outdo every other parent at your child’s school, and all without any stress.
To plan the perfect party for your child, have a read of this fantastic guide below:
Best friends are key
For your child, the key to having the best time at their birthday party is having their best friend there to celebrate with them. So, if your little one has a best friend, before sending out the party invites, make sure to check that they are free to attend at the chosen date and time.
Trust us on this – it is worth checking, as it will save you a lot of stress and worry in the long run. You don’t want to send out invites, only to find out that your child’s best friend is unavailable – this will only lead to lots of tantrums and tears.
Get the birthday boy or girl involved
You might be paying for it, but the party is for them, so make sure to get your child involved in the planning. Asking your child what they want is much easier than guessing, and much less stressful, too.
If your little one if old enough, sit down with them and ask what they think about some of your party theme ideas. Create a list of all the birthday party themes you are happy to use and allow your child to pick their favourite off the list.
Do lots of planning
As previously mentioned, the key to a stress-free birthday party is planning. Plan where the party will be held – your home or garden or at a local village hall, who you will invite, what food you will serve, and what entertainment you will have.
The more planning and preparation you do, the less stressful the party will be. Aim to have everything organised at least two weeks before the date of the party.
Go all out with entertainment
As well as having traditional party games like pin the tail on the donkey and pass the parcel, think outside the box and come up with some unique entertainment ideas.
For instance, if your child is a music lover or loves to dance, you could hire a function band for their party. Or, if your child is a comedy lover, perhaps you could hire a clown or a comic children’s entertainer?
Children’s parties don’t just have to include party games. Some of the best parties are the ones with entertainment that is a little bit different.
Choose a fun menu
Birthday parties are all about the fun factor. Instead of serving ‘boring’ party food, get creative and think about how you can make the menu fun. If the birthday party is themed, perhaps you could incorporate the food menu into this?
Familiar snacks like pizza and fruit can be turned into fun foods with a star or heart shaped food cutter. There are so many easy ways you can make party food fun, if you are stuck for ideas have a look online for inspiration.
Follow this simple guide, and you can throw your child the best birthday party ever, and all without getting stressed.
Hope you are all doing well if you have took on the challenge to #MoveMoreInMay, apologies the posts stopped for a little while, we had a tummy bug going through our house! First me, then my eldest Rowan and just as he got better after 5 days, baby Fred got it…. poor husband is just waiting to see whether he gets it too! So i will just pick up where i left off, here is today’s motivation.
This week i made these Super Healthy Banana, Apricot, Date and Oat Bars – they have been great as a snack when i’ve wanted something sweet or for an easy breakfast, they contain no sugar, fat or syrup/honey so truly are super-healthy.
Over the weekend i tried this workout out – it was so good and made me sweat BIG TIME! Here is my beetroot face to prove it…
It’s from my favourite fitness channel Fitness Blender and the workout was called ‘Can You HIIT Like A Girl?’ and apparently i can! However i am seriously aching today (2 days later)
Try it, it is such a good workout!
I just love Dr Seuss and read his stories to my boys all the time, but this has to be one of my favourites. It’s Monday, we all have a weight loss mountain to climb so get on your way!
It’s Monday, a fresh page to the week ahead. Make it a good one, see you all tomorrow x
Recently i have been giving my nails the tlc that they so desperately deserve (no more biting nails!) and they are starting to grow. However, with 2 small, outdoorsy boys to look after, it means only one thing, we all have grubby nails at the end of the day (Yuck!)
In the past i have used standard nail brushes but i tend to throw them away quite quickly as they either get clogged with bits (erm… yuck again!) or i just can’t stand the spray that you get when scrubbing nails, i can just imagine, grime and germs flying everywhere!
The Bruzz Nail Brush is different, firstly it is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than a standard nail brush. It also claims to be the most hygienic nail brush in the world. It cleans the top, underside and tip of the nail in one action.
When i opened the Bruzz brush box, the first thing i noticed was the appealing smell of vanilla as the brush is scented. The brush is very lightweight and fits inside my hand comfortably. The bristles are super soft and gentle, ideal to use on my 3 and 1 year old tiny nails.
I use the brush whilst the boys are in the bath, I just add a small amount of their usual cleanser and brush their fingertips. They love it and giggle as they say it tickles. Standard nail brushes can be quite hard especially on small hands. I also use this in the shower or when my hands feel they need a bit more than a wash.
What i especially like about this brush is it doesn’t spray water everywhere, which is ideal when we just want to use it in the sink. After using the brush my nails do look lovely and clean and also my finger tips feel clean and refreshed too. I like to use the brush on my boys before they have their meals as i am reassured that they are eating with squeaky clean hands. The other attractive feature of this brush is you can remove the bristles to give them a good clean, no bits get clogged in the brush, so it looks as good as new after each use.
I personally love this nail brush, I’m not a complete germaphobe but i do feel reassured when the boys have nice clean hands after a day out getting grubby at the beach or in the garden etc. It’s been great for the whole family to use and looks great in my bathroom – i think this is one nail brush that will be staying in my bathroom for a long time.
You can find where to purchase the Bruzz Nail Brush on the official website HERE. The Bruzz Nail Brush retails at £9.99 which i think for the re-usability of the product is a good price.
Disclaimer: I was sent the Bruzz Nail Brush to review, this is my honest opinion of the product.
The bank holiday is now over and it’s time to get back into the usual routine, so here is today’s inspiration to keep going and #MoveMoreInMay
Did you over indulge a little over the weekend? Firstly, don’t stress! Today is a brand new day and you can make some healthy smoothies to help you feel revitalised. SkinnyMom has compiled a list of 7 breakfast smoothies to help you get lots of goodness into your bodies.
How about shifting a quick 100 calories?
Have a great day everyone!
So it’s bank holiday Monday, and hopefully the sun will be shining! So if you are planning to enjoy the day with family and throw a BBQ, i found this fantastic list off Buzzfeed for 23 Easy Tricks For A Healthier Barbecue. Only because you are trying to make changes to your lifestyle, doesn’t mean you have to be a killjoy and refuse all the lovely foods around you, just tweak things a little and you can still feel included.
Hey, it’s a bank holiday, so why not relax a little and try a bit of yoga? This beginners video is the perfect one to watch if you are a beginner or want to return to yoga.
Indeed! Woof Woof!