Spring Plant Markers And Critter Crafts #BostikBloggers

We moved house last week, so we are a little late with our BostikBloggers post this month, but moving house and crafts don’t mix.

No matter though – the boxes are almost all unpacked, the seeds are planted, and despite the biting cold, the sun is shining, so we turned our attention to crafts. The box this month had loads of spring themed embellishments, a frame, a paper bag, lollipop sticks and Blu Tack and Bostik Glu Dots among other things, so I let the kids decide what they wanted to do.

Plant MarkersRead more: Spring Plant Markers And Critter Crafts #BostikBloggers

The Importance Of Writing Love Notes To Children

I’ve been thinking a lot about a dying-out medium, that of letter writing, and specifically, writing love notes to children.

My mom and I had what I remember as a difficult relationship during my teen years. Not an uncommon story, I know, but still something that impacts into your adult life.

A few years ago, my mom’s cancer took a terminal turn a few weeks before Christmas. On Christmas eve, the UK was deluged in rain and our garage flooded, along with many parts of the country and some of our neighbour’s homes. On Boxing day, my mother died, and all flood debris was ignored until a few weeks later.

I was going through a trunk full of old photos, cards, letters, and other things I had at one point deemed important enough to keep, when I came across letters that I had quite honestly forgotten about. Discovering them was shocking to me, because I had forgotten their existence. But it was powerfully affirming of my mother’s love for me. I mean, I knew she loved me but seeing those letters reminded me of the days I’d come in from school and find a letter from her on my bed. Love Notes To ChildrenRead more: The Importance Of Writing Love Notes To Children

8 Ways To Not Lose Your Mind When Moving House

Moving to a new places is fun. I should know. I’ve done it a dozen times in my adult life. Moving to a different house in the same area lacks a lot of that excitement because, well, all that’s new is the place you’re moving to. Moving house with children however, is a whole new ball game. You’ve heard those jokes about tidying up with children being like making a smoothie with the blender open? Or brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo? Those apply to moving house with children too.

And add to that home schooling children and it’s like being caught in an episode of a really bad slap-stick comedy. I can just visualise it. Pack a box of toys, go make dinner, come back to those toys all over the living room floor. Repack the box of toys, sit down to check your emails, telling the kids to get ready for bed. Go to put them to bed and find that same box of toys all over their room!

Yeah, it’s not funny when you’re living it. So here are some things to consider doing if you’re moving house with children.

  • Find somewhere else to stay

I’m not kidding. I grew up military and whenever we moved we’d have two weeks in a hotel on our exit destination and a week in a hotel near the new house. I thought it was a nice gesture from the army. As a parent I realise that it was the military’s way of keeping military wives from mutiny!

Find a hotel or a holiday park, spend four or five hours a day packing, then leave. Have somewhere comfortable to sleep, cook healthy food without having to think of what to pack and what to leave out. Get to your accommodation, have a swim, relax, get to bed early, start fresh the next day. It’s for your mental health!

  • Get one room completely finished first

If you can’t stay somewhere else during your move, or if you still have children around while you’re packing this is especially important.

Get one room packed up and cleared out as your first priority. The temptation might be to get the biggest job done first, but by getting one room done you either have a place for the children to ‘be’ without being surrounded by boxes, or you have a place for all the boxes to go once they’re packed, making the room out of bounds. (We weren’t able to do this this time, and it showed in the constant unpacking and repacking of not-yet-sealed boxes.)Moving house

Read more: 8 Ways To Not Lose Your Mind When Moving House

I’m A Freakin’ Parfait {Or The Many Layers Of Mothers}

I’ve had an odd week.

Things have happened, I’ve connected with an old friend, taken a walk down memory lane, had totally unusual conversations, and you know what – I’ve been fully there with it all.

Does anyone remember this scene from Shrek? About the layers?


See. Layers. Like a parfait.

Motherhood changes you. You go from spreadsheets and workshops (if you were an adult educator and project manager like me) to nappies and breastfeeding in a blink of an eye. Unless you make an effort to stay current in your work place, you can quickly be left behind. It’s just how it is. World news has to be big to even break through the fog and haze of sleepless nights, sore nipples, and the mind-numbing awareness that you’re probably doing something wrong.

It’s just how it is.Read more: I’m A Freakin’ Parfait {Or The Many Layers Of Mothers}

Dragon Tales Story Sticks #BostikBloggers

We’ve really struggled with the #BostikBloggers challenge – dragons – this month. Not least because I’ve had a chest infection that’s left me feeling like a fire-breathing dragon myself. So I have a bit of empathy with dragons right now. It’s hard work, breathing fire!

Dragon Tales Story SticksAnyway, I decided to go for our old standby on this one, and created story sticks. The good thing with story sticks is that they aren’t fully formed puppets. They leave a lot to the imagination. I like that, because kids don’t really need everything spoon fed to them.

The Princess

Princess

I stuck a lollipop stick into the polystyrene ball, and put a veil and crown on it. Can’t be easier. And the girls love their interchangeable green haired king, or veil wearing princess. Depending on what the story requires.

The Knight

Knight

Every good princess needs a brave knight to keep her safe. This knight is always ready for battle, wearing his helmet. (Our knight has wonky eye sockets. Never mind.)

The Wizard

wizzard

All medieval stories need a wizard. Ours wears the moon in his hair. He’s just that cool!

The Dragon Guarding His Treasure
Dragon

A paper golden chest filled with golden coins and jewels… guarded by a ferocious dragon. Well, not that ferocious. Actually he looks kind of cute with those droopy eyes.

The girls have enjoyed telling stories about their characters, and everyone from the princess to the knight have had a go at vanquishing the dragon. And in some versions the dragon is more like a family pet, and no one has to be vanquished.

Simple crafts, hours of fun. Winner!

How To Raise Confident Children

Children face a fair amount of adversity over the course of their youth and are often faced with tough situations, like moving to a new city or starting over again at a new school. Smart parents know how to instil a confident attitude in their children from a young age (And they can save money on assorted literature about the subject by using Discountrue.com coupons).

Confidence

Read more: How To Raise Confident Children

ChildMax: Salary Insurance For Working Parents Of Sick Children

I lost my mom to a rare cancer a couple of years ago. During the 19 months between her diagnosis and her funeral we experienced a variety of highs and lows. One of the lows was financial – from the six months I spent in Australia unable to work, to having the whole family in my house during her final weeks – increased heating, increased water, increased everything else* – to one of the biggest shockers after her death: My phone bill! Calling people on three different continents in the middle of the night, when your heart is broken and you can’t be fussing about with call cards really has a knock on effect when your bill arrives a few weeks later.

Even though my mom insisted on about the cheapest funeral we could manage, it still ran into thousands…. and then I could barely drag myself out of bed for six weeks after that. And that was for my mother. If it had been one of my children? I’m not sure I’d be able to get out of bed for months.

The ‘bonus’ of it being an adult, however, is that there’s at least a chance that they’ll have life insurance. 43% of people don’t – but that means 57% do 1. Children rarely do. I know mine don’t.

When I heard about ChildMax, I was really interested, because knowing how an adults illness (and death) can affect the family finances, I can only begin to imagine how it would be if it were a child. accounting-761599_960_720

Read more: ChildMax: Salary Insurance For Working Parents Of Sick Children

  1.  http://www.bestliferates.org/blog/2015-life-insurance-statistics-and-facts/

Children’s Bed Options After Cosleeping

I’ve been cosleeping for over 6 years. When Ameli was born, I had a nursery set up on the other side of the house, where her crying wouldn’t disturb us in the night. Did she spend a single night in that room, once she was born? Not a chance. Within an hour of her birth, my baby and I were asleep in the king sized bed her daddy and I shared. And now, six and a half years on, with a dabble here and there in other beds – especially when a new baby joined the fold, we are still cosleeping – Ameli, Aviya and I, still in that king size bed.

But the time is coming where my girls are going to have to sleep on there own, because this mama, while I still love the cuddles, clings to the edge of the bed at night, dreaming of a time when I too, can be a starfish on my own again.

I keep going round and round the bed options in my mind – two single beds? bunk beds? or a small double bed?villa-885936_960_720

Read more: Children’s Bed Options After Cosleeping

Easter Gift Baskets #BostikBloggers

We used all the felt from our #Bostikbloggers kit last week to make Easter themed felts, but we still had loads of goodies left over in our box from CraftMerrily, including all the embellishments – eggs, buttons, flowers – that are as much Spring as they are Easter.Easter Gift Baskets

We received a miniature basket, some ‘hay’ as my children call it, but it’s not hay! It’s the stringy stuff though, and a supersonic glue. It’s called Bostik Blu-Tack Fast Tak and seriously, this glue is like Spiderman got it on with superglue. Get that stuff on your hands and you spend the rest of the day clinging to everything around you. It’s effective though.

For these gift jars or gift baskets we made egg shaped biscuits, which the children and I decorated. You could make anything though – Jellybean Fudge is pretty and looks kind of egg shaped too. Or if you don’t have time to make something, fill it with chocolate eggs.Easter Gift Baskets

We then stuffed the ‘hay’ into the baskets, leaving enough overlapping so the glue has something to cling to. You could glue the strips in, but I didn’t really find that necessary. It clings quite well on it’s own. These little baskets are only big enough for about 2 – 3 tiny eggs, so don’t over fill it. Easter Gift Baskets

Spray the glue (or use your regular glue) to the eggs, and lay them inside the basket.Easter Gift Baskets

Fill a jar with biscuits, fudge or other Easter treats.

Easter Gift Baskets

Thread a strand of the ‘hay’ through the basket handle and attach it to the jar. You could wrap it around the lid of the jar so that there’s easy access, or you can seal it by threading it through the clasp.

Give your friends and family their beautiful Easter gifts!

We receive a craft pack as part of the #BostikBlogger project once a month. This contains craft materials and Bostik glues to hold it all together.