All posts by Kim

About Kim

Wife to Tom, First time Mummy to Little Boy Freddie and Auntie to 4 Boys & 1 Girl.

12 Ways To Keep The Kids Busy When They Visit

So, you’ve invited the family over. And they’re bringing the kids. Great!

You might think entertaining the kids would be difficult. But you’d be wrong. Here are some tips that help you keep the kids busy while they visit.

Stacking Cups

This might sounds as if you’re scraping the barrel a little bit, but don’t forget kids that the world is new to kids. And working out how things like gravity work is actually fun for them.

Stacking cups is a great, mess-free way to keep them entertained. They can make all sorts of structures out of cups and develop their spatial skills.

Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is an excellent way for older kids to practice their organizational skills. Here they can craft a collection of their own memories. And they can preserve some of the things that they find valuable.

You’ll need some glue, and you can visit Glue Guns Direct for quality glue guns. You might also need a printer if they want to print out photos to stick in their scrapbooks.

Don’t forget to make pouches in the scrapbook. These can be places where they store all the trinkets that they value.

Plan A City

Back in the 1990s, a computer game called SimCity 2000 launched. In this game, you had to plan out a city. You had to master things like zoning residential property. Planning where commercial buildings would go. Placing fire stations in the right place. Making sure there were enough police stations to keep crime down. Ensuring that each block had water and power. The list was endless.

City planning is a great activity for kids too. Give them a big sheet of paper and get them to plan out where they would put all the things they see in the city. How would they deal with traffic, for example? And where would they put all the schools?

Spying On Nature

Kids love animals. But unless you spend a lot of time looking, nature can be shy. Give the kids some binoculars and a camera phone to snap pictures. Then they can make a scrapbook of all the wildlife they’ve seen.

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Paper Airplane Competition

If there’s one thing that kids would love to master, it’s the art of making a great paper airplane. Who can throw their plane the farthest can be a fun and exciting competition.

But there’s more to paper airplanes than meets the eye. Working out how to fold the planes correctly is a sophisticated and abstract activity. It’s a challenging pursuit and will keep them occupied for hours if they have the right materials.

Meal Planning

Learning to create attractive and healthy meals is an important life skill. Give the children a blank sheet of paper and then get them to think of a list of ingredients they’d like from the supermarket to make meals. They’ll have to find out what goes into individual recipes. Then if you’re feeling brave, you could make one of their recipe ideas with them.

Get Baking

Baking is one of the most fun activities on any child’s calendar. There is, of course, the delicious reward at the end. But baking offers endless scope for creativity. Kids can design virtually any bake they want, and the possibilities are endless.

As long as you don’t mind your kitchen being wrecked temporarily, baking can be a great way to entertain the kids. How about making a big raspberry coffee cake from spelt flour? Or maybe you could bake a big tray of brownies.

Kids love the magic of baking. How the simple addition of heat can turn a wet batter into something delicious. (Or more delicious).

Go Superhero

Kids love superheroes. And let’s face it, a lot of adults do too. We’re desperate for people who can save us from the machinations of evil.

But perhaps making a superhero cape can save our kids from the machinations of boredom too.

Again, they can design it for any superhero they like. They might even want to create their own superhero with its own super powers. In fact, thinking about what abilities their superhero would have is half the fun.

Have Fun With Playdough

You don’t have to go out and buy playdough. There are plenty of home recipes you can use that are both safe and effective.

It’s amazing what kids can make with play dough. Be sure to provide them with all the usual cutters and rolling pins that they might need.

You could even set them a challenge of designing something, and you have to guess what it is.

Sock Puppets

 

Making sock puppets is an old time classic activity for kids. And it’s still a lot of fun today. Sock puppets can be endlessly customized with buttons, multicolored hair and googly eyes.

What’s more, they’re another avenue for creativity. Perhaps two sock puppets have a less than perfect relationship. (Think Punch and Judy). And perhaps there is some conflict that they’re trying to resolve. Maybe your child could come up with their own soap opera. Maybe they could generate their own story about the relationships that their sock puppets have with each other. And then maybe they could act out those personalities according to a script.

Get Creative With Popsicles

 

Making popsicles is the quintessential summer activity for kids. And here again is their opportunity to let their creativity shine. Kids can play with practically all flavors in the kitchen cupboard.

You can have apple and yogurt lollies. Avocado and pear for a rich effect. Carrot and Blueberry – the list is endless.

Popsicles are a great activity if the kids are staying for a few hours. They can be made when they arrive and then eaten just before they leave.

Make Friendship Bracelets

There’s something appealing about the idea of friendship bracelets. They are a physical reminder that you have a connection with somebody else. Kids seem to love that idea.

Plus, making bracelets requires a bit of skill and learning. Finding out how to weave threads together in the right way takes practice to master. But once learned, it’s a skill that will stay with them for life.

Wedding Planning: Choosing Guest Accommodation

After a long engagement, I will finally be getting married this year. There’s a lot to consider when planning a wedding. Luckily, I’ve had a long time to think about it! One of the major choices is obviously the venue. No matter what you do, some of your guests are probably going to have to travel. It’s possible that some might go home at the end of the day, but a lot of the time most will stay the night. If that’s what you think will happen, should you book some hotel rooms? It can make things a lot more convenient. The other option is to book a whole property. Consider some of the things below to make the right choice.

Combining Wedding Venue and Accommodation

When you search for somewhere for your guests to stay, it needs to be convenient. No one wants to have to go miles to go to bed after the reception. Plus, there might be a lot of drinking so many people won’t be able to drive. The most convenient thing to do is have everyone stay where you host the reception. It could be a hotel or another venue that allows for both weddings and staying overnight. When the party is over, all everyone has to do is stumble to bed. Before you settle on a final venue, consider whether your guests are going to be staying overnight.

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House, Hotel or Something Else?

Hotels are often the most convenient wedding venue if your guests need accommodation. You can have the wedding reception and rooms all in one, and perhaps the ceremony too. However, they aren’t the only option you can consider. One of the other things you can think about is large holiday homes. Some venues are suitable for a civil ceremony, your reception, and putting everyone up for the night. It’s almost like renting a small hotel. If you need a few more bedrooms, you could look at nearby hotels, B&Bs or neighbouring properties.

Who Pays?

One of the big questions when it comes to hotel accommodation is who is going to foot the bill. Like a lot of issues to do with paying for a wedding, it can be complicated. Some people decide to pay for rooms for their guests. Attending a wedding can be expensive, and it might mean the difference between someone being able to come or not. However, others decide to leave it up to their guests. If they can’t afford to stay, they can usually leave to go home as the reception begins to wind down.

Negotiating Prices

Talking of paying, you want to make sure you can get a good price. As you arrange your wedding, you can become an expert negotiator! It’s important to try and haggle the price so that you can save where you can. You might be able to get a discount or to get some freebies thrown in. If you don’t ask, you have no chance of getting what you want.

If you want wedding accommodation for all your guests, you need to start looking as soon as possible. Don’t leave it until the last minute if you have a particular date in mind.

Your Guide to Kitchen Remodelling

Remodelling your kitchen is a big task, but it can also add a lot of value to your home. This guide will give you the help you need to get the process off to a start.

Consider Your Needs First

Everyone wants something different from their kitchen, and everyone uses their kitchen in a different way. So, before you do anything else, you should have a think about what you need from yours. Consider how you use your kitchen and how you’d like to use it in the future. Remodelling your kitchen is all about getting it exactly how you want it, without worrying about other people’s opinions. You can get ideas from other people’s kitchens and from magazines and blogs.

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Hire the Best Professionals

If you are going to make a success of your efforts to remodel your kitchen, you need the help of professionals. They will be the ones who take your eventual plans and turn them into a reality. There are many different types of professionals that you will need though. You will need to hire construction workers to do the work of carrying out the kitchen remodelling. But you will also need plumbers from a company like www.bestportlandplumbers.com. They will sort out your new kitchen’s plumbing demands.

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Plan Out How You Use Space Carefully

Start this part of the process by making a floor plan. This will decide how your room is used and what the layout will be like. When you are doing this, you are not thinking about what the kitchen will look like. You’re simply focusing on how the room will be set out and navigated. You need to make sure that there will be enough space for you to move around and do everything you need to do in the kitchen. It will also help you to decide where you want to put all the different appliances to suit the space you have.

Select All the Fixtures and Furnishes

There are many different fixtures and furnishings that your new kitchen will need to have. So, you need to spend some time selecting what you want them to be. It’s a good idea to start with the kitchen cabinets. You need to decide what colour, finish and door style you want them to have. Then you should move on to choosing the countertop material. The colour and type of material you choose for the countertops is very important. Then you need to choose the appliances, sink, flooring and lighting. You can find out more about kitchen lighting at places like www.familyhandyman.com.

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Finalising, Deadlines and Finishing Touches

Once you have done all the planning and buying, you need to finalise everything. This is when you sit down with the construction people that you’ve hired and give them your final plans. Once that has been done, they can buy any extra materials that they might need and set a deadline for its completion. Make sure that everyone is happy with the deadline. You might want it done a little quicker, but it’s best to let them do the work properly and safely. When the work is all done, all you’ll have to do is add the finishing touches.

Check out Corian worktops direct

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Photographers, Food & Mud #LittleLoves

How is it the first of April already? A quarter of the way through this year.  Well unfortunately there has been no 2 weeks off for me like some of you lucky buggers.

How has your week been?

Read

Trying to read up on different photographer’s for our wedding.  So many different thing to choose from and to take into consideration.

Watched

Erm…. This week I seem to have watched quite a bit, Soaps Emmerdale & Coronation Street, Super Vet – even if it does make me cry.

Wore

Mud… On bank holiday Monday me and my fiance decided we were going to jet wash the drive and the patio out back.. well 3 hours later it was all done but I was covered head to toe in splattered mud.

Made

I do really enjoy cooking but when I’ve been at work all day I like to be able to come home and just rustle something up that s quick and easy.  This week I had a late night at work as it’s month end so quite busy.  I got home and thought I will just make tuna pasta bake.  Me and my fiance both love this meal, quick and simple to make.

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Heard

The very sad passing of Ronnie Corbett aged 85.  He was a great entertainer on television.  It such a shame this year has started off with deaths of lots of famous celebrities.  Such sad news, RIP!

And Finally…

May have eaten quite a lot of chocolate.

Hope you have all had a great week

The Baby Show 2016 – WIN TWO PAIRS OF TICKETS!

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Win tickets to The Baby Show at NEC, Birmingham!

The next Baby Show with MadeForMums, is set to return to the NEC Birmingham from 13th to 15th May 2016.  The ultimate pregnancy and parenting shopping event for new and expectant parents, it will be home to over 200 exhibitors showcasing the very best baby and infant essentials. It’s the only show to feature all the major baby retailers alongside well-known brands including iCandy, Stokke, Tommee Tippee, Britax and Chicco who will all be selling amazing products with equally amazing discounts! Everything you need for bump, baby and you…

The Baby Show highlights include:

  • Over 200 trusted brands offering visitors amazing discounts and the chance to test and try before you buy.
  • See exclusive product launches and demonstrations from market leading brands
  • The Baby Show Stage with MadeForMums will feature a selection of renowned experts, including nutrition specialist Annabel Karmel MBE.
  • Catwalk shows with all the latest fashions in maternity, baby and toddler wear.
  • A complimentary crèche where parents can drop off their little ones and enjoy the Show knowing they are being safely cared for
  • Exclusive show offers and competitions from top parenting brands.
  • A dedicated feeding area provided by Tommee Tippee and the ALDI Mamia Baby Changing Area with wipes and nappies all included.
  • Emma’s Diary free Shop & Drop and Collect-By-Car services allowing you to leave your shopping bags with them until you’re ready to leave.

The Baby Show is taking place on Friday 13th, Saturday 14th, and Sunday 15th May, open from 9:30am-5:00pm each day.  Standard on the door tickets are £20 and I have two pairs to give away. www.thebabyshow.co.uk

I went to the baby show last year with my sister in Law Rachel from Parenthood highs and lows.  I had a fantastic time with her and her little one Benjamin.

I now have the opportunity to give not one but two pairs of tickets as a giveaway to lucky readers. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget to be in with a chance of winning. Please ensure you complete the entries as directed as they are validated and any incomplete entries will be disqualified. Please see all terms and conditions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

  • The closing date is Sunday 24th April 2016 at 11.59pm GMT
  • There is one prize of a 2 pairs of tickets to the baby show birmingham available
  • This competition is open to residents of the UK only
  • Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question in the widget – this is the ONLY mandatory task. Comments must answer the question. Comments such as ‘great prize, fantastic giveaway’ etc will not be counted. You can gain extra entries in the draw by completing the other tasks in the widget. All entries will be verified.
  • A winner will be chosen at random using the widget
  • The winner will be notified via email within 5 days of the closing date, and must respond within 28 days to claim their prize.
  • The prize will be dispatched within 21 days of receiving the winners details buy the company.
  • The winners name will be displayed on the widget

 

Easter, Birthdays & One Born Every Minute #LittleLoves

Woo Hoo….Finally a nice long four day weekend, Yes I know some of you get 2 weeks off.  Work has as always been crazy and it’s not looking like it’s getting any quieter any time soon. Happy Easter Everyone.

Anyways this weeks Little Loves:

Read

A few blog posts and that’s about it really.

Watched

I have watched the new series of One born every minute, Tuesday’s 9pm Chanel 4.  I have been watching this ever since it first came on the TV.  I love watching it even if it does make me super broody.

Wore

A dress to a friend’s daughter wedding reception.  It was a lovely evening.  I never have a clue what to wear to weddings/wedding receptions.  I need to get some more clothes for special occasions as I have quite a lot of weddings/receptions of family and friends coming up.

Made

I don’t think it counts much as “made” but I plaited marzipan to put on top of cake at my friend’s house. It doesn’t look very pretty as marzipan is hard to platt without it breaking.  But here’s it is.  I do love marzipan.

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Heard

It was my nephews birthday on Monday he turned 8 Years Old.  I just don’t know where the years are going.  He had his party at Laser quest and had a fantastic time with all his school friends.

And Finally…

Were off to my cousins this Easter weekend to catch up after not seeing her and fiance since last year.  So excited to see them both.

Hope you have all had a great week and Happy Easter and don’t eat too many eggs.

Planning for a wedding – Our Engagement

In February 2014 me and my boyfriend decided we were going away for a weekend, we decided on Suffolk for our 5th anniversary and Valentine’s Day, the weather was cold but lovely and sunny, we arrived early afternoon and we went and checked into our hotel, we stayed in a Premier Inn and went up to our room, unpacked and decided what we were going to do for the rest of the day/evening.

We headed out and had a wander round the town to see the sights, and we paid a visit to the arcades on the beach front later on in the afternoon too, I love arcades and have done ever since been a kid. We spent about an hour in there in total with me on the 2p machines and tom on basketball games and other machines, both getting addicted and winning lots of tickets to buy prizes with.  It was very busy with lots of families and kids playing on all the different machines.

After we had finished in the arcades, Tom said shall we go for a walk along the beach before we head back to the room to get ready to go back out and find somewhere to get some dinner, it was a lovely evening with the sun just setting overhead, the quiet sound of the waves washing up over the sand and stones.The beach seemed to go on for ever.

We stopped to just look out over the sea and watch the moon rise over the sea and that was then when it all happen…. I turned round to see my boyfriend had got down on one knee and asked me to marry him on the beach with the sun setting overhead……it was amazing and perfect in every way.

I got choked up and cried, I was so excited and wasn’t expecting it at all. We had spoken about getting married and looked at rings but that was it really.  I couldn’t wait to phone all my family and friends up and tell them that I was engaged.  I couldn’t stop smiling and still look at my rings every day and just smile to myself.

We have been engaged for 3 years this February and together for 7 years. Now we have finally booked and are starting to plan our BIG day for July 2017.

 Have you got any wedding plans?

Hobbycrafts Fair at NEC Birmingham

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On 20th March I headed out to the Hobbycraft show at the NEC Birmingham with my friend Heather. I was offered a pair of free access all area press passes to go.

There were lots of different exhibitors some I had heard of, others I hadn’t.  It was very busy as we went on the last day the show was on.

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We arrived in the halls at around 10.30am after finding the press office to collect our “Press passes”.  felt like real VIP’s for the days.  We did stop for lunch around 12pm and then wondered round another hall, 3 in total to explore.  We left around 2.30pm.

Some of the exhibitors I saw were:

This is a yearly show that happened around March time.  I love going as you can get lots of bargins for your crafts.  I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been but have been previously with my sister in Law Rachel and my Mum.

If crafts is your hobby then going to this will be so worth your time.  Great day out and the atmosphere is good too.  Bargins everywhere.

*I was given a free pair of press passes for the show all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Safe Sip Review and Giveaway

Safe Sip No more spills….EVER!

I had never heard of this company or product before today but wow i’m impressed.

I was asked if I wanted to review their products which are called Safe Sip and they are silicone tops that fit virtually on any Can, Mug or Glass or Cup.

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With having 4 Nephews these will be perfect for when they come over so I don’t have to worry about them spilling their drinks by accident if they are sitting on the sofas or if they get knocked over.

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As you can see they fit exactly on an mug or glass.  Sadly I didn’t have a can to try it on as I rarely buy cans of drinks.  They fit tightly around the glass/mug creating a suction seal to keep it in place so when it does accidently get knocked, dropped or tipped it stays in the exactly the same place as you put it.

This company offers different pack sizes, single, double, triple and even quad, they also include other accessories and all can be found here.  The one thing I would say is I feel they are a little on the expensive side but do offer free delivery when you purchase certain packs and they do delivery outside the UK.

I am now giving you lucky readers the change to win a quad pack of “SafeSip” silicone tops worth £12.50.

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter widget below. All terms and conditions can be found at the bottom of the page.

**Please leave the ‘URL’ box BLANK when writing a comment unless you are a blogger or a website owner – failure to do this will lead to disqualification from the giveaway**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • The closing date is Sunday 10th April 2016 at midnight
  • There is one prize of a pack of Safe sip Silicone tops. No cash alternative.
  • This competition is open to residents of the UK only
  • Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question in the widget – this is the ONLY mandatory task. Comments must answer the question. Comments such as ‘great prize, fantastic giveaway’ etc will not be counted. You can gain extra entries in the draw by completing the other tasks in the widget. All entries will be verified.
  • A winner will be chosen at random using the widget
  • The winner will be notified via email within 5 days of the closing date, and must respond within 28 days to claim their prize.

Hatton Locks, New Clothes & Sun #LittleLoves

Well Hello again FRIDAY!  It has been another mad week, but it was topped off with a lovely sunny walk round Hatton Locks with the In Laws and there 2 dogs on Sunday.  The weather has been lovely but now it has started turning wet again.

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This week Little Loves consists of:

Read

Not much this week at all, think I read a couple of pages on my kindle book before I fell asleep while reading it in bed.

Watched

Nothing this week, just don’t seem to have had time to watch anything.

Wore

Not yet, but brought myself a couple ok maybe 4 pairs of new shoes, nothing special, a new top and a pair of leggings on my lunch from work.

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Made

I was asked by a colleague at work if I could make a birthday card for her to send to the US to family member.  She wanted something pretty with lots of colour and sparkly, she had a look through my Facebook page and decided on the iris folded cake one. I used satin ribbon to give it a different effect.

Heard

Nothing out the ordinary this week.

And Finally…

No extra news I’m afraid this week.

Hope you have all had a great week.littleloves2