Any Way To Stay At Home - Wanting to work from home, crafting and parenting.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
Hi, I'm a parenting and lifestyle blogger. I write about days out with my little boy, crafting, spa days, holidays and more. My blog follows my dream of becoming a Stay at Home Mum, the reasons behind it and all the joys of trying to work with a toddler.
Oh I have been wanting to write this for so long but life has very much got in the way. Last year for L’s birthday we spent the weekend at Chessington World of Adventures. It was amazing. AMAZING.
Enjoying the rides at Chessington so much
I’m not really sure why we ended up going to Chessington for his birthday, I’d just been browsing the internet one night and saw that there was a great offer for a hotel stay and two days park entry for around £140 and that we could go for his actual birthday.
Getting ready for his birthday
Husb and I both love a theme park but L had never been to one and can be a bit funny about rides. So Chessington with its theme park and safari was perfect. I figured even if he hated the rides we could easily spend a couple of days seeing the animals.
Then we got husb’s parents onboard, they were well up for a birthday trip away for their grandson. Turns out my father in law loves a fast ride! It also meant we had extra people to keep L amused and that I might get a few rides in too. Plus I had someone to spend the evening with, my mother in law and I have got it sussed. We bought a bottle with us and chilled in the room after L was asleep drinking and wrapping a few last-minute gifts.
A massive giraffe in the hotel entrance and L was at home, his giraffe Gerry was very excited
I don’t really know where to start with just how amazing our experience was.
He couldn’t believe there was a giraffe waiting for him
We stayed in the Safari Hotel. The grandparents had their own room, just a standard room that had a double bed and bunk beds. It was clean, tidy and absolutely huge. We had paid a little more to stay in a Giraffe Theme Room, it was only a little extra about £20 if I remember, but it meant L had his own sleeping area which was well worth the money. It also meant some awesome giraffe themed decorations, a safari view and free entry to the Savannah Pool. It was well worth it.
Iguanas in reception!
The rooms were great and the whole hotel was lovely. There was a little cinema area, iguanas you could see and the restaurant had great views over the safari park. There was a lovely decked area outside that you could stop for a drink on or meander over to the animals. Due to the time of year we didn’t have the late access to Wanyama village but that didn’t matter. Not a jot.
L’s section in the giraffe room at Chessington
Next door in the adjoining Azteca Hotel there was a second restaurant, The Temple Bar, where we enjoyed breakfast which was good and plentiful. L loved it as there was a fountain in the middle, piranhas and leaf cutter ants to see. Again it was just amazing!
Giraffes in the bathroom
On that note every single member of staff we came across was brilliant too. Really helpful and friendly. Most places even had little pop badges for the kids to collect, L got quite a few during our stay.
The coolest lift I have ever been in
Everything, everywhere, was themed. Carpets, lifts, rooms, restaurants, rides. It was magical. Actually magical and that’s from me as an adult. L’s mind was blown. He could get over it, every thing he looked at was just really cool.
Watching the animal from our room was pretty special
We did use the Savannah Pool and it was brilliant. There is an adult pool, that was warm like a bath, honestly I’ve never been in a swimming pool so warm. A spa pool that I tried to use, but L clocked me and was determined to get in too, so I had to cut that short. Same goes for the steam room and sauna, I couldn’t even try them. The kids section of the pool was such a hit, L spent almost the full time slot in there. With sprays and a slide and a giraffe that was spitting at him. L loved it so much he asked to go back the next day.
Exploring the tree top adventures at Chessington
The zoo was so well laid out, you could walk around most of it on one path. We saw gorillas, lions and tigers. Penguins, monkeys and fish. It was brilliant and a great place to escape the hubbub of the theme park and chill out a bit.
I am so excited to share this craft with you, it’s something I have wanted to make for ages and when Hobbycraft asked if I had any ideas for a Mother’s Day Craft I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a Terrarium. A lovely gift for anyone really, or just as something to do for yourself.
I have been wanting to make my own Terrarium for years now, but was never really sure how. I thought it would be complicated and I am not at all green fingered. As such I’ve got two options for you, using real or fake succulents. It’s not hard at all, it only took me 30 minutes to pull together and I couldn’t be happier with the end result.
Cactus and Succulent Potting Soil (Amazon, Garden Centres)
Live Succulent Plant (Garden Centre)
For me a Terrarium is as much about the layers as it is about the plants and the container.
I love the lantern I have used from Hobbycraft, it looks fabulous and has a good sized opening at the top which is important for air circulation. It is also hinged making the creation of your terrarium easy and watering the plants simple too.
Layer one – I fine gravel for good drainage. I used almost the whole bag of grey course ballast that I had chosen. When you are happy with the depth and that it’s level, top with a layer of tulle cut to size. It will keep your layers separate in the long term.
Layer two – soil. I would use soil whether you opt for an artificial plant or real plant. I personally think it makes it look more realistic if you go for the artificial option, it’s obviously vital if you want a real succulent to survive!
Plant – with the Succulent Pick, just cut the ‘stem’ to size and poke through your layers so it is firmly in place. If you have opted for a live plant, take it out of the pot and plant in the soil layer. Make sure it well watered in.
Layer three – another layer of tulle cut to shape, with a whole in the centre for the plant.
Layer four – stones. I used nice chunky, natural stones to finish off the layers on my terrarium. I think it gives a nice finish and went nicely with the decorations I had picked out. You can go for anything for the top layer. More gravel, glass beads, water beads the choice is yours.
I went for a real plant, but I loved all the succulent picks you could choose from
Artificial or Real?
This is a tough choice. Really tough as to be honest the artificial succulents look just a real as the live ones. I’m surely not the only person out there who thinks succulents look like toy plants?
If you know you’re always going to forget to water it, or you want something in a conservatory that’s always going to be bright and hot then go for artificial.
If you’re not bothered either way, go for artificial.
If you love plants and having live plants growing in your house brings you happiness. Or if you just want the challenge of growing a plant. Then I would go for a live succulent.
Decorating is fun
This is the fun bit. It’s where you get to really personalise your terrarium. I wanted a natural look so added little bits of moss poking out from the around the stones and a few seashells as well, they are so pretty.
You can make a whole little world if you want, adding lights, little garden features, like a pond made out of foil tucked amongst the stones. Pop in some fairies and toadstools. The larger container you go for the larger you can make your world.
You can even go big and bold with a few brightly coloured plastic geometric shapes.
Terrariums are a wonderful way to express yourself and the perfect thing to personalise as a gift. Do they love unicorns, cats, the seaside, books? Whatever people love you can find a miniature to decorate a Terrarium with.
A perfect gift
Disclosure – I have received the products to make this project in return for the article.
Next week L and I will be taking part in an awesome Vampirina Twitter party and to get us in the mood he was sent the biggest box of Vampirina Toys you could imagine.
I am going to tell you a bit about those toys and what we think of them, I’ll try to tell you about the TV show they all stem from and also at the end of the review let you know about the upcoming Twitter Party, hopefully you’ll find it interesting.
Vampirina is a relatively new show, well at least to us, you’ll find it on Disney Junior. It’s all about Vampirina (shortened to Vee), her family and her new friends. She’s a vampire, her family are vampires and they have a ghost and gargoyle live with them, as well as a hell-hound turned cute. They’ve moved from Transylvania to Pennsylvania and it’s been a bit of a culture shock.
A bat-tastic rockstar
It’s all about not fitting in and being yourself, the importance of friendship and just being nice. It’s also great to see a show with a great female lead who doesn’t seem to take any nonsense. The show is filled with music and fun and seems to appeal to a lot of children. L enjoys it and it doesn’t drive me crazy, so that’s good.
Wow we got a lot so I’m going to try to keep it brief!
Spookylele and gloves
Vampirina Spookylele and Gloves£22.99
Good points. It looks fab, plays loads of tunes and sounds, lights up and can be turned off!
Bad points. They so easily could have made a real spookylele with strings and ditched the sounds effects and I think this would have had more lasting appeal to kids.
What L thinks. He loves the skull design and moving mouth. He likes the guitar sound effects and the fun lights but he hated the gloves. Overall it’s definitely a hit and getting a picture of him using it has been tough because the rockstar moves are VERY energetic.
Vampirina Bat-tastic talking Vee and Wolfie£44.99
Good points. Pop-up and light-up wings, so much fun. Removable necklace. So many phrases and different sounds with a the flying mode. The detailing is superb and she looks just like she does in the show and you even get a Wolfie toy. Again she’s got an off button hidden on her side under the dress, I love that.
Bad points. Let’s be honest here, the price is somewhat off-putting and I would say unless you have a major fan on your hands there is no way this is worth it. Oh and the bat wing hair clips fall out easily.
What L thinks. He loves the wings and will sit popping them up and down for ages. Otherwise he likes playing with Wolfie more than Vee. She’s quite big and for whatever reason just doesn’t appeal to him.
Good points. This vehicle is a great size to play with. It has Lights, sounds, music and accessories including a Vee figurine, coffin table and popcorn because when you flip down the back it transforms into a moonlit movie theatre!
Bad points. The other character figurines, that I’ll talk about in a minute, don’t fit in it.
What L thinks. Straight up his favourite thing. He loves the fold down back and now wants our car to transform in a cinema, fabulous. The lights, sounds and music are great fun. He just really enjoys playing with this and with the little figures that go in it.
Ghoul Girl Doll
Ghoul Girl Doll£9.99
Good points. This is a lovely sized Vee doll, around 15cm. Wearing her outfit from the show it looks great and the removable rucksack is a lovely touch. It is fully articulated which makes for easy play.
Bad points. I have literally nothing bad to say about this doll. It’s brilliant.
What L thinks. He loves that this doll moves and can be sat down and made to do different poses. It’s a really nice size to play with and he straight away wanted the backpack popped on her, though he found that a little awkward to do himself.
Best Ghoul Friends Vee and Wolfie
Best Ghoul friends figures£7.99
Good points. There are three sets to collect. Vee and Wolfie, which we got and also comes with a little rucksack. Vee and Gregoria, plus a little spookylele. Poppy and Demi, and a little creature or toy I haven’t seen in the show yet, oops! I like that you get a few bits to play with and the small size is really appealing.
Bad points. You need to buy the Ghoul Glow Chamber Playset to see your glowing figure actually glow, but you do also get to hear additional sounds when you buy this set.
What L thinks. He’s enjoyed playing with these and they are the right size and articulated so fit in Hauntley’s Mobile which adds and extra level of play.
For my birthday a couple of years ago I was given a great book ‘Calm’ and a journal from my friends. To help me find some calm in my life and to de-stress a little. I have been writing in my journal everyday since and on Wednesday’s (or late on a Tuesday) I go through the daily highlights I’ve written down and pick out my 10 favourites.
Wow things have been busy this last week. I had a few days off work which was nice, apart from the fact I just worked at home instead!! We did have a nice family day at the beach though.
Here are my top ten moments from the last 7 days:
Just what everybody wears to bed, right?
We had a nice Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t working and L was at nursery so I was super productive. Always good. But we finished off the day with some great food and a bottle of fizz. Now that was nice.
Sea Life fun
Popping into work on my day off to have lunch with my friends. I’m really glad I’ve made such lovely friends at work. It makes life so much easier. Especially in such a small team. They all love L too which is great, they’d even bought him a little valentine’s gift which made his day.
Our family day out! Started off with breakfast at the Station Bistro, neither boy had forgiven me for going without them a few days previously. Then heading off to Hunstanton for the day.
I love the turtle
Having fun look round the Hunstanton Sea Life Centre. I love the Seal Hospital there and L loves searching for Nemo and Dory. So cute.
He found nemo
Buying a cheap net, bucket, spade and kite and having a blast on the freezing beach. The rock pooling was pointless, we did get loads of great shells whilst we were digging though and I loved kite flying. The kite was definitely for me, it is an owl kite, so much fun.
Husb and I had a child free together on Friday so we of course spent it doing paperwork and never left the house!! We did make a good amount of headway into our extension plans and talking to the mortgage company though. Then we researched holidays and before you know it they day was done.
Me and my kite
I got to work all day Saturday whilst the boys went to the beach, clearly unacceptable, so when I got home I booked our holiday. A nice little all inclusive number in Turkey. I am so excited.
At the beach without me
Sunday was an odd day. L and I had a pleasant morning chilling out in the house but when we all decided to head to the zoo he was horrible. The pictures might look like we were having fun, but trust me, we were not. What was nice was to get out and have some fresh air and a good walk.
I love a zoo trip
A day of organising and sorting out odd jobs with the help of my little man turned out to be quite fun. Laundry is always easier with a helper, as is replying to emails whilst getting great cuddles.
Such a beautiful horse
L asking to watch Fred Claus. I’m all up for Christmas films any time of the year. It was funny watching him get really worried when he Santa got sacked and cheering on the elves when they were working to get enough toys made. It wasn’t how I planned to spend my time but a chilled out movie day was just what we needed.
I’m really glad I write down a few positives from each day and then go back through them each week. It helps keep me focused, calm and therefore happy. It is also a great way to keep a note of the things we’ve done.
I’m linking up with #BloggerClubUK, #BestandWorst & #CoolMumClub just because I love them.
Here’s the latest instalment in my series of posts all about what makes our lives here at home tick. This week it’s all about excitement. I seem to spend a lot of time just going through the motions and trying to keep my head above water. Last year I decided to change that and now I have loads to be excited about.
I got to thinking last year that I wasn’t at the top of anyone’s priority list, not even my own. That realisation made me me a bit sad. In fact it made me really sad. Not that others never put me first, though of course that is upsetting, but why would they when I couldn’t even do it.
So I took a positive change and put myself first for once. I started taking time out for just me. Going out with friends even if that made life awkward for my husband, he would have to cope. I started walking and doing yoga and being healthier. I even started to spend a bit of money on myself. Hello Gin Box subscription.
There was a lot of excitement in putting myself first and in many ways it has lead to everything I’m about to write about.
Bluestone Christmas Holiday Fun
For the last few years the only holidays we have had have come directly from the blog. That has been fabulous and I am so lucky, dare I say it…. #blessed. But those holidays are indeed holidays for the boys, for me they are a lot of work. Fun work, but work nonetheless.
It’s not work I’m going to stop, we have some amazing trips lined up this year with the fabulous Herbert Woods boating on the Norfolk Broads and Bluestone, exploring the Welsh countryside. L was really little the first time we boated with Herbert Woods, so I can’t wait for him to be a bot more aware this time round and it was Christmas last time we stayed at Bluestone, so I can’t wait to see what it’s like in the summer.
Excitingly though, especially for me, we’ve booked a break to Turkey. No work involved, though of course I’ll write about it, I won’t be able to hold myself back! All inclusive, so no cooking or cleaning. A new place for me so that will keep my travelling urges at bay for a while and the first time on a plane for L.
To be fair, this is as stressful as it is exciting. Honestly it’s verging on being more stressful than exciting at the moment. But we’ve really put the wheels in motion. Plans are drawn up, builders are quoting and the mortgage is in progress. All that stuff is the stressful stuff. I can’t even think about the actual upheaval.
Excitingly though this will mean a larger living space with room for a dining table, maybe an odd thing to be excited about but I’m fed up eating off our laps. It will also mean a cupboard, a large one, a place to hide all our coats, shoes, cleaning equipment and maybe even some filing, whoop.
The most exciting part is the spare room as it will be mine, well kind of. It will be a spare room (futon), extra storage room (wardrobes), blog workspace (desk and chair), craft area (draws and more draws) and quite area that I can do yoga and meditate in peace. It will be amazing.
Going to gigs was something we used to do all the time. Since we have had L we’ve only been to see one band that I can think of. Unless you count chilling out to Justin Fletcher and Dick and Dom at Jimmy’s Farm Festival, which to be clear, I do not.
It’s for several reasons. There haven’t been many tours we’ve been interested in and the bands coming to Norwich seem to have really dropped. Well at least the ones we’re interested in. Finding childcare is a hassle and then there’s affording it, there’s always been something else more sensible to spend our money on.
This year I have put my foot down, in a big way. We are seeing Feeder, Fall Out Boy and Foo Fighters this year. Just because I really, really wanted to, and I need to things I want to a bit more.
I am excited to see them all. Feeder will see me catching up with an old friend, Fall Out Boy means a tick off the bucket list and Foo Fighters are just always amazing and I cannot wait to see them again.
This year now feels full of hope and promise. It’s going to be a hard year. L will start school, that will be tough on me. We’re going to be busy. So, so busy. There will be plenty of planning, organising and going without to finance everything,
Ultimately though I’m feeling more excited than I have in a long, long time. We have so much to look forward to and 2018 is shaping up to be awesome.
Finally, I’m linking up with #TwinklyTuesday, #Blogstravaganza, #StayClassyMama and #fortheloveofBLOG
It’s not long until Mother’s Day on 11th March so I’ve pulled together a few items that would make lovely gifts. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration.
More Than Words
For a truly amazing gift, that is personal and beautiful the framed poems from More Than Words are hard to beat. At£28.00 for a beautiful framed, one of a kind poem, I think you’ll struggle to find something more personal. We had one made up and absolutely love it.
Tribe + Fable
Want to get your mum some gorgeous jewellery and help women at the same time? Handmade tassel necklace label, Tribe + Fable, are perfect. All pieces from the collection are handcrafted and ethically sourced from around the globe. Crafted and packaged through a social enterprise group in Kenya, Tribe + Fable gives work to women living in Nairobi slums so they are able to feed themselves and their children. Prices from £16.00.
Awesome Enamel Book Pin
Some of the cutest gifts I have found are the lovely enamel pins from House of Wonderland. There is so much choice and they are really kitsch and super cute. I’ve got a couple on my bag and will be adding more to collection as I’ve fallen in love with their website. Pins start from £6.00 and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
For the mum’s out there who just want a few minutes peace and quiet the Nelsons arnicare bath & massage balm as a lovely treat. It’s a luxurious dual-purpose balm, perfect for pouring into a bath to create a gorgeous fragrance that will help busy mums to relax and unwind after a hectic day. The natural properties of Arnica montana extract and sweet scents of Lavender and Grapefruit essential oils are ideal for calming senses and melting away tension. It costs £8.55 and is available from Boots and Amazon.
Carbotti Bag from Attavanti
Now I strongly believe that mums are worth spoiling, so why not spoil her with one of the stunning and luxurious Carbotti Handbagsfrom Attavanti. I’ve fallen in love with this classic leather bag in a wonderful shade of orange. It’s big enough to hide all my things in and so practical for day to day use, whilst still looking beautiful enough to make my heart skip. Attavanti have so many styles, colours and brands to choose from you’ll be able to find the perfect bag at a price that suits.
The Makery – Purse Kit
All the mums in my family, me included, love to craft. We are all very different in our crafts. I like to dabble in everything, my mum likes to sew and mother in law is a knitter. This is why I love ‘The Makery’ kits from Crafter’s Companion. With kits to make a clasp purse or a cute Embroidery Hoop they come with everything you need, so perfect even for a new crafter, or someone trying out a new skill. Both kits come supplied in delightful presentation boxes and start at £9.95.
Renunail Nail Strengthener
One thing I love to do is paint my nails, but boy do they take a beating. Not only are my nails horribly weak due to years of mistreatment. But now I’ve finally got some they are subjected to motherhood! Washing up, baths, fixing of toys (have literally used my finger nail as a screwdriver), lack of time for care. So whilst it may not seem exciting Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Strengthener is the gift she didn’t know she wanted. It is amazing, worth the money for sure. You can buy this from Amazon for around £20.00.
Mentos Lip Balm at Primark
For me Mother’s Day isn’t all about lavish gestures. It’s about something to me from my child. Be it a scribbled drawing or a little something they have saved their pennies for. The fresh and fruity Mentos Raspberry Lip Balm from Primark is lovely and available at a bargain price, perfect for pocket money spends.
For something a bit different I like the Anhängsel Vase. It is really cite, there are loads of choices and the price is amazing. The Anhängsel is the smallest polygon vase and you can attach nearly everywhere making them the perfect accessories for home, bikes, cars or pushchair. You can choose from artificial plants, air plants or empty for your own filling.
Tutti Frutti Designs
Mother’s Day wouldn’t be right without a card. I am loving Tutti Frutti Designs. Lesley is a freelance artist based in Dorset who makes the most lovely greetings cards and the Mother’s Day Bouquet is perfect for showing some love. Made with love and care this card will bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Disclosure – I have been sent a selection of items to consider for Mother’s Day Coverage. I have only recommended those I truly would buy myself.
Looking at the lives of successful people we find that they have done many things in their life that we cannot even dream of. The Sun never rises earlier and sets down later for them. They have the same 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. We also have the same time every day in our life, but can hardly do a part of what they have achieved.
We go to the office in time, and with the intention of doing many things. We try to work from home, around kids and chores. We have lives to lead, jobs to work and families to raise and yet we started a blog as well!
Everybody talks about time management. We never sit idle but still, we cannot finish our jobs in time, and everything seems to be wanted yesterday. So what we should do? Time management is the toughest part of the job.
Although sounds impossible, it is not so in reality. We are concerned about the way the things are, and the way the things should be. Our attitude and behaviors are based on these assumptions. There is an old saying that things that matter most must never be left at the mercy of things that matter least. Based on this, time management can be described as the process of organising and executing the priorities. This implies that, for managing time, we should manage ourselves. There are four ways of spending time, and we follow any one of these four ways.
Our activities can be divided into four segments
Important and urgent activities: Crises, pressing problems and deadline driven projects.
Important but not urgent: Prevention, planning, and building new opportunities
Not important but urgent: Mailing, reporting, and meetings
Not important and not urgent: Trivial activities and time wasters (hello checking Pinterest for the umpteenth time)
Do you effectively divide your tasks into these groups? I don’t!
Here are some tricks to help you out.
Prioritising holds the key
Prioritising everything is essential, necessary, and vital to achieving success. Now that you know the four quadrants of activity categorise the jobs in these segments and prioritise those accordingly. It is better to do these in advance setting deadlines for completion of the jobs. This will ensure that those are done well in time for better results.
Break the jobs down
As you prioritise the jobs, break those into manageable parts rather than looking as a whole. The task should be made specific, and there should not be any generalised statement. This will let you schedule days and weeks ahead.
Use weekly/daily planner
Using the conventional notepads is a simple and effective way to see everything at a glance. Jot down the details so that you can do the jobs in the timeslots allotted. If you feel bored with using notepads, you may also use task management software, or a pretty planner. I love mine, with daily, weekly and monthly sections to help me plan. Oh and stickers too.
Stick to the plan
Once you have made a priority list, schedule the jobs accordingly. You should prepare a things-to-do list and make every effort to stick to the plan. In case you have to deviate from the schedule, which you will if you have kids, you need to re-consider the prioritisation. Assess the jobs again and make a fresh priority list.
Online shopping saves time
With the recent surge in online shopping, there is hardly anything that is not available on the internet. I reckon that by doing my grocery shopping online I save myself 2 hours a week, not to mention saving a bit of money because I’m not distracted by offers and definitely saving my sanity!
Learn to delegate
There is no point in struggling with the workloads when there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Only perfectionists are afraid of delegating the jobs. Mind, everyone has his or her ways to do jobs, and as long as the goal is achieved, there is nothing wrong with it. I often feel like I’m failing if I ask for help, but honestly, that’s just silly. Of course I need help with the laundry or getting product images shot every now and then!
Put your phone down
Your Smartphone must be flooded with notifications. We all know very well that it is difficult to resist checking a red dot with a number. So turn your phone off, leave it on charge in another room, silence it. Whatever works for you. Just stop looking at it.
Find somewhere you can focus
Even office workers will agree, it can be better to work from home when you need to focus on something very serious, without distractions from co-workers you can get loads done. But you need somewhere you can focus, a proper desk, a home office or a least a quiet corner of your own.
You must say no sometimes
People are sure to come to you for help now and then. They will definitely be pitching you ideas and asking for you to feature things. Mind, you cannot please everyone every time, when fighting with the workload. You should be very clear about your priorities and must push them back. Do you really want that review? Can you afford to do someone a favour by running that article? Do you have time?
Minimise maintenance requirements
If you’re lucky enough to have your own office space, you don’t want to spend loads of time maintaining it. Better introduce some no-maintenance material for revamping the office interiors. This will save time on repairing. When you do wall paneling of the office interior, those make the walls vibrant and build up an upgraded office ambiance. By installing the Wall panels, you can let the paint chip inside without affecting the office decoration. Moreover, if there is any formation of cracks on the walls, those also remain masked by the custom wall panels.
You can get the 3D wall panels made of different materials and in a myriad of designs and colors to complement your decoration theme. These textured decorative panels are available modular form, and they form a beautiful pattern with illumination to make your space warm and welcoming.
Today is Random Act of Kindness Day. A fabulous day that just makes you think a little bit more about those around you and a day I wholly support as I love random acts of kindness all year round, so to celebrate them is fab. Who knows what random acts I will do today? But I do want to share a fab charity with you.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) – specifically the charity’s nook appeal.
10-year-old Euan enjoying time with members of his family and EACH staff
I live near an EACH Hospice and have been supporting them since I was a child. Our school would get involved from time to time and as I’ve grown it’s always remained close to my heart.
The nook appeal needs to raise £10 million to build a new hospice as they have out-grown Quidenham. I support them because they are local, help local families and are there for people when they need support the most.
As I mentioned EACH has outgrown its current hospice in Quidenham and the charity, which cares for 50% more children and young people at Quidenham than at its other hospices in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, often has to cancel much-needed short break care to provide end of life care.
The nook, as a purpose-built central hub, will enable the charity to give both at the same time.
You may remember I mentioned the appeal before Christmas when intu Chapelfield started to sell EACH butterfly baubles and since then I have been keeping tabs on things.
There are loads of things you can do to help raise money for this appeal, or in fact any charity that is close to your heart. I know there are a lot of charities out there, so we all pick the ones that are important to us, it’s only natural. If you want to do something but have drawn a blank on how you can help, read this fab fundraising article, it’s packed with ideas!
Personally I’ve kept it simple and whenever I’ve fancied a trip to Costa at work I’ve popped the money I would have spent into a little jar at home instead. When it’s full, I’ll add it all up and donate it. It’s crazy how quickly it adds up and it’s certainly helped with my hot chocolate addiction! OK, sometimes I still have the hot chocolate, but no way near as much as usual and because that makes me feel bad I’ve still been putting the money in my jar!
Enjoy today everyone, be kind and be random. Maybe even be randomly kind to a complete stranger or a charity, it’s what the day is about and they’ll appreciate it.
The way you decorate your home is important. It has a big impact on how you and the rest of the family feel.
The problem is finding the time to do it. When you have kids, putting aside a weekend to strip back the lounge and repaint it is rarely viable. Fortunately, you can keep your home in a good state of repair by spending a couple of each week do small decorating jobs.
Often, you can involve the kids. This keeps them quiet for a bit and allows you to focus a bit more on the task at hand. Here are a few kid-friendly decorating projects to get you started.
Create some canvas prints for each room.
Canvas prints like the ones you can buy from hellocanvas.co.uk look fantastic. They work in virtually any style of home and it only takes a few minutes to order one, once you have found the image you want. Plus, you can use any image or photo. If you are ordering one for your child’s bedroom you can let them go through the photos until they find one that they like. Or you could ask them to paint or draw something, scan it, and send that off to be turned into a canvas print. Kids love seeing something they created turned into a work of art. For most children, it can be really inspirational having one of their drawings turned into a proper canvas print.
Children love painting. The first time they do it things can be a bit messy, but it is surprising how quickly they pick things up. So, if you are painting a room let them have a go at the wall that is behind the sofa. You will need to supervise a bit and maybe go over some of it again, but it is surprising how helpful having a little assistant can be.
Wallpaper is coming back in vogue and kids love getting involved with this DIY project. Even quite young children are capable of mixing the paste and paint it onto the wallpaper. You will be pleasantly surprised by how helpful it is to have someone to do that task for you. You just need to take a quick look at each piece before picking it up to hang it. Sometimes you may have to fill in a bit that has been missed or remove a little of the paste because your child has been a bit too enthusiastic.
Putting together flat pack furniture
This is really a project for when the kids are a bit older. Having an extra pair of hands around when you need to put together your flat-pack furniture really helps. Plus, some kids are great at spatial awareness. Oddly, enough a 12-year old can usually put something together far faster than you can.
Creating decorative items
If you like to make some of your soft-furnishings, wall hangings and other items it is really easy to get the kids involved. Most children will happily sit at the table or on the sofa and help you. This article should inspire you to create decorative items for your home with your children, it includes some fantastic ideas.