Going Green

As a family, we try our best to look after the environment. It’s sometimes tempting to take the easier, potentially less Eco-friendly option, but we do employ a few simple tricks to make sure we are always reducing our carbon footprint. Things like recycling old clothes and toys by donating to charities and closing the taps off when not in use all add up. For more ideas, check out this great infographic:

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Excellent advice, I’m sure you’ll agree. Taking care of our planet is as vital as looking after ourselves, and it is imperative that we teach our children how to do both. As for us, we will continue trying to protect the environment for our children, and raising them not to take its resources for granted. We have just taken over an allotment, so our green adventures are only just beginning! Keep in touch for regular updates of our progress.

Fancy Winning Some Loom Bands?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this year, you will have heard of loom bands. Tiny, brightly-coloured elastic bands that get everywhere. Despite the annoyance that comes with removing them from the filter of your hoover (oh, is that just me?), there’s a lot to be said for them. They’re easy to use, keep kids away from screens (and quiet to boot), and are cheap as chips to replace, once you’ve suffered the initial outlay of the all-important first kit.

Before the summer, Miss J spent a long time learning how to make bracelets with loom bands at school. I resisted for a long time but, in the end, I bought her one of these kits:

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This set is perfect for the novice as it contains the loom, the S clips, basic instructions and thousands of different coloured bands, neatly organised into compartments. Miss J has had hours of fun with this set, although the bands are now just chucked in any old order. She says that makes it more interesting…

Anyway, the lovely people at Hobby Craft have given me one of these fantastic kits to give away. This would make the perfect gift for Christmas or birthdays, or be a great way to add to an already-established collection.

To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a comment on this post telling me what you would make from loom bands if you won. Then, like our Facebook page and you’re done. The competition closes a week today (31/10/14) and the lucky winner will be announced next weekend.

Good luck, and tell all your friends!

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Planning a Halloween Party

Since the boy was a newborn, we have hosted Halloween parties for friends at home. By “friends”, I mean little people the children know; we’ve never had an adult Halloween party. In all honesty, I don’t really see the point of them. Halloween, in my eyes, is just another way of having fun with children. If it weren’t for my two, I highly doubt I would pay it any attention at all. Here’s a photo from our initial foray into Halloween partying…

Halloween

Clearly, the boy was not impressed. Miss J, however, has always been a fan. Each year since, we have had a few friends over during the week leading up to October 31st. I try to incorporate crafts and fun foods, and there is usually time for a themed movie, though the children often lose interest in this after a while. Perhaps this year, at the respective ages of four and almost six, they will sit through a whole DVD? Just in case, we have Room on the Broom, Toy Story of Terror and Monsters University on standby.

I’m not going to lie, my favourite part of Halloween, aside from seeing the kids happy, is choosing which craft activities to try. This year, I’ve been scouring Pinterest and have found some corkers. I tend to choose simple crafts – things that will hold the interest of the children and be attainable by all. Obviously, they should be fun and fit in with the theme, too.

Here are my ideas for this year’s party:

Witches wands and edible hats

Two great and easy crafts to keep the little ones amused. Simple, yes; cheap, of course but, most importantly, effective.

witch wands

witches hats

Cotton bud skeleton handprints

I had been thinking about using chalks on black sugar paper to create skeleton pictures, but these handprints are even better. Again, so simple and cheap but they look great, and the kids probably won’t have made them before.

skeleton pictures

Apple print pumpkins

I love these for a little splash of colour. With six children attending the party, we won’t have time (and the small people will probably not have the inclination) to hollow and carve individual pumpkins, so this is an alternative nod in that direction.

pumpkin apple printing

 

Spooky satsumas

Finally, I will provide a bowl of satsumas and a couple of markers so that the children can replicate traditional pumpkin designs in a safe manner. Of course, they may well not turn out quite like those pictured, but I am sure the kiddies will have fun regardless…

Halloween oranges

I look forward to checking in next week with a party update and, hopefully, some photos of our very own Halloween crafts.

20 Things You Probably Never Knew About Me

During my English class today, my teacher noted, with some surprise, a little-known fact about me.

“Well, there’s a lot you don’t know about me!”

I said in reply. That got me thinking and, having realised what a dull life I’ve led, here are 20 things you probably don’t already know about me:

1) I have no qualifications
2) I have never seen Bambi
3) There are 19 years between my (soon-to-be) husband and me
4) I don’t know my left from my right
5) My middle name is longer than my first and last names
6) I have a phobia of being sick
7) When I was small, I wanted to grow up to be a teacher
8) Despite having three sisters, I’m technically an only child
9) My grandad has six children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren but I’m the only one who inherited the ginger gene
10) My left (I think) thumb
is double-jointed
11) 15 year old me was obsessed with Gareth Gates
12) My specialist subject on Mastermind would be: The Life and Times of Father Ted
13) Rob Brydon once fell on my foot
14) I was born on a Sunday
15) It took me five months to realise I was pregnant with Miss J
16) I adore Christmas
17) I am a total pedant when it comes to spelling and grammar
18) I eat food from my plate in ascending order of preference and prefer the ingredients to all be separate
19) I have never been a bridesmaid
20) The first funeral I went to was of someone I had never met

Now you know a little more about me, please feel free to leave a comment with a random fact about yourself!