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It’s been 2 weeks since our first camping trip, definitely time to share our adventure with you. My children have been part of our local District Scouts for the past 3 years. Both of them have camped out at our local Scout Hut and my son has been away camping. When we received an invitation to a Family Camp at Phasels Wood we jumped at the chance to experience camping together. Now I haven’t camped since school but we were excited to try camping as a family. We were camping at Phasels Wood Scout Campsite and Activity Centre about 30 minutes from where we live. We were cooking and eating with our Scout group which meant all we needed was our own tent and sleeping stuff. Our first family camping trip with the Vango Anteus 600 Family Tent Some friends advised us to try out Go Outdoors so we went to check out their line of tents. Many of their tents were on display which really helped us decide on the Vango Anteus 600 Family Tent which slept 6. My son was sleeping with the Cubs but we thought this would offer us plenty of room when we camped as a […]

The post Our first family camping trip with the Vango Anteus 600 6 Person Family Tent appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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Earlier this year we threw a Minecraft themed party for my son. He just adores Minecraft, as do his friends, so this seemed like a great way to celebrate him turning another year older. He enjoyed helping me plan his Minecraft birthday party. Thankfully we found lots of ideas we could adapt on Pinterest. 5 Minecraft treats for your Minecraft party bag It’s not a party without some kind of party bag and I had great fun putting together Minecraft party bags for our guests. Inside each bag I placed a bottle of Creeper Juice and a piece of Minecraft birthday cake. I found the Creeper juice labels through Pinterest and just printed these off and stuck them onto regular bottles of water. I also found free Minecraft party printables for party poppers. There were both Creeper faces and TNT so I used both. They were too cute not to use! I also wanted to add bubbles as it’s just not a party without bubbles. Again I found free Minecraft party labels via Pinterest saying Potion of Healing, printed these off and attached them to the bubbles. The final item I put together were small bags of sweets. This meant […]

The post 5 Minecraft treats for your Minecraft party bag appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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With so many sporting events going on over the next few weeks we were excited to receive the Fantastic Gymnastics Vaulting Challenge from Hasbro Gaming to try out. My children love playing games together and this one looked really fun. Fantastic Gymnastics Vaulting Challenge from Hasbro Gaming The Fantastic Gymnastics Vaulting Challenge Game includes a gymnast figure, vault track, vault base, landing mat, and instructions. It requires a little assembly which was something my 8 year old was able to do. Once the game was assembled they were ready to go. The idea is pretty simple. Players time their speed and rhythm to gain momentum to flip the gymnast figure. At the right moment, hit the release button to let her fly, and try to stick the perfect landing. Get her to land on the mat on her feet for the win! There are 3 different areas, worth 25, 50 and 100 points. You can play solo, head-to-head, or challenge friends to a tournament. A little booklet is included with tips for getting the perfect 100-point score. The faceless gymnast is a little freaky but otherwise my children loved the game. It seems really simple (and is!) but the skill lies in […]

The post Fantastic Gymnastics Vaulting Challenge from Hasbro Gaming appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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I love receiving happy mail, especially when I get the chance to try something new. I was recently contacted about My Greeting Box which is a monthly package of card making supplies delivered straight to your door. I love making my own cards and couldn’t wait to try out this new crafty subscription box. My Greeting Box -a subscription box review My Greeting Box is a monthly package of card making supplies, delivered straight to your door. Each month you will receive everything you need to make fun and special cards including supplies, tools, technique tutorials and inspirational designs. Everything arrived in a large flat cardboard box which I couldn’t wait to open. Inside were the supplies to make 3 magical fairy themed cards. Your first box also contains a starter kit comprising of a pack of colouring pens, black ink, an acrylic block, foam tape, a pencil, pair of scissors, ruler, rubber and a sheet of tips. I’ve never tried making my own cards before. I’ve bought a few clear stamps but been a little clueless about how to use them. So I was excited to receive everything I needed to make cards using clear stamps. I read through […]

The post My Greeting Box {subscription box review} appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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As I said in a previous post, I’m always looking for ways to save money.  If you google the cost of raising a child in the UK, the figure that you get is an incredibly scary £230,000.  OK, that’s to the age of twenty-one and it does include the cost of sending them to university, but even so, how do any of us ever manage to do it?  No wonder that money is always tight.  It makes you realise just how important it is to protect your family financially, so here are my suggestions for making your money go as far as possible and for protecting the family finances from unforeseen events. Entertain your kids with free activities I’ve written a lot about arts and crafts stuff that you can do with your children for next to nothing.  It’s not just about entertaining them cheaply though, because the experience they get from working with you and using their imaginations is actually a much richer one than an expensive day trip to a theme park where you stand in a queue for hours on end.  If you live in a city they’ll be plenty of free museums, parks and events on […]

The post Top tips for saving money and protecting your finances when you have kids appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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At the start of this year I had huge plans to tidy up my craft stash. My 2018 Craft Goals included sorting out my craft books, fabric stash and pile of WIP’s which were out of control and needed reining in. We’re almost half way through the year so it seems like a good time to write a little update here on my blog. My 2018 Craft Goals {6 month update} I have stitched a few of my WIPs, not as many as I wanted to, but still. At least I have been sewing more. I finished the sashiko stitching panel and London bus pin cushion kit. I’ve picked up the Shipping forecast panel too but sadly keep ignoring it – sometimes a project just feels *too* big to tackle. I’ve been really good and not bought any new sewing kits this year which feels like a big achievement. Instead I am trying to only work through my stash. Last year I bought myself a few fabric kits, including Janet Clare’s Village Embroidery Kit which I bought at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show. I don’t know why it took me so long but I can now tick this one […]

The post My 2018 Craft Goals {6 month update} appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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How the Light Gets In is the exciting new book from award winning short story writer and novelist, Clare Fisher. You may remember that I reviewed her debut novel All the Good Things last year. From the publishers that brought you Attrib and Other Stories by Eley Williams, How the Light Gets In is another spellbinding short story collection. How the Light Gets In by Clare Fisher A book of very short stories that explores the spaces between light and dark and how we find our way from one to the other. From buffering Skype chats and the truth about beards, to fried chicken shops and the things smartphones make you less likely to do when alone in a public place, Fisher paints a complex, funny and moving portrait of contemporary British life. Clare Fisher has a unique voice and is able to go straight to the emotional heart of any subject. I enjoyed reading this book. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book of short stories (some are only 1 page!) but I found this style easy to pick up which suits my lifestyle (usually reading late in bed when I should be fast asleep). The stories are very short, no one story goes beyond four pages. […]

The post How the Light Gets In {book review} appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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With the Summer holidays looming here in the UK I have everything crossed for lots of sunny days. I like my children to get plenty of fresh air as it really helps to tire them out. Nothing beats water play in the open air but there are actually very few places you can go near where we live in West London. I thought I would share our favourite places for outdoor swimming or water play in west London. Places for outdoor swimming or water play in west London Ruislip Lido Our favourite place was water play is Ruislip Lido in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Ruislip Lido is an amazing place for families, but does get pretty busy in Summer. Ruislip Lido is a large area and includes a miniature railway, nature reserve, ancient woodland, splash park, sandy beach, cafe and toilets. You can easily take a picnic and spend a day at the Lido. There’s a lovely splash area which opened a few years ago. You’re not meant to go in the water so the splash park is perfect for family fun. There are a couple of car parks but we usually park at the entrance to the woods and walk through. Entry […]

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Happy Monday everyone. Hope you had a great weekend. It was our first weekend at home for a month and so lovely to relax nad just go out for lunch and to the park. I love starting off each week by writing my Monday mindfulness – 5 happy things blog post. It’s a great chance to reflect on the things that made me happy in the previous week, as well as to record some of our family adventures – it’s a post I always enjoy writing. Monday mindfulness – 5 happy things My poor Year 3 son survived Assessment Week. He had a different assessment each day which I think he found a bit tough. He was happy to come home with a Teacher’s Award for his Medusa art though and was also identified as a Whole Class Music Hero. This means he has been making exceptional progress in his music lessons and been invited to perform alongside the county Junior Band. Unfortunately he doesn’t want to so I don’t get to be a proud mum just yet. I’m hoping that he’ll get a chance another year. I was busy working last week but did manage to pop around our local […]

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The other day I mentioned that I’ve been trying out subscription boxes for my children. As much as I enjoy crafting at home I also love a subscription box, which does all the hard work for you! Both my children love to make and create so as I bought my daughter the Unicorns & Rainbows box, I sent off for a Mud and Bloom box for my son. Mud and Bloom: a nature and gardening subscription box for kids My 8 year old is really creative and loves the garden which is why I picked the Mud and Bloom box. It aims to inspire kids aged between 3 and 8 to connect with the outdoors. Mud & Bloom delivers fun and educational nature and gardening activities through your letter box each month. We received the June box which was stuffed with activities including Make your own jam jar lantern, Grow your own beetroot, Grow your own calendula, Make your own nature journal, along with a Butterfly search and Nature news for June including plants, animals and insects and birds. The first thing my son wanted to do was plant his seeds. He enjoys helping in the garden and was excited to grow something from scratch. We found pots, placed the […]

The post Mud and Bloom: a nature and gardening subscription box for kids appeared first on the-gingerbread-house.co.uk.

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