As the weather gets colder we find ourselves spending more time indoors and that can lead to full-blown bouncing off the walls cabin fever. So at this time of year I like to have some quick and easy crafts to do, like these bird feeder cookies. They’re child (and Mum) friendly, inexpensive, not too messy and really great for the birds – a parenting win!
3/4 cup of small birdseed
1 packet of gelatin
1/4 cup of water
Bring water to the boil over a medium heat and add packet of gelatin;
Stir until dissolved (1-2 mins) then take off the heat and leave for 5 mins;
Add bird seed and mix well;
Place the cookie cutters on the baking paper and fill with the bird seed mix. Push down to make sure they hold firm;
Stick a straw in the top of each cookie cutter to create a hole;
Leave to set overnight;
Carefully push the bird seed cookies out of the cutters and thread string through the hole at the top and tie with a loop;
Hang on a tree/branch outside!
By hanging the cookies near a window you can do a little bit of bird watching, count how many birds you spot and what types you have in your garden – All whilst having a cup of tea in the warm!!!
December is upon us and we are officially in the Festive Season. It is now acceptable to eat and drink ridiculous amounts of sweets, mince pies, shortbread and mulled wine each and every day whilst eating chocolate for breakfast – what’s not to love?!?
We headed to Blicking Hall in Norfolk where the house and gardens have been lit up with thousands of lights for Christmas. I have to be honest, although it’s December I haven’t been feeling as “festive” as I wanted to but this has kicked it off BIG TIME!!!
It was busy and we had to wait to get into the carpark but it was well worth it. The house was colourfully lit up and there were small Christmas Trees all the way down the driveway. The gardens and courtyard were a sea of lights and there were Christmas songs playing, it would have been rude not to sing along!
All the lights led on from each other naturally taking you around the gardens into the walled gardens and back to the front of the house. There were Venison Burgers, Mulled Wine, Soup and Hot drinks available at several pop-up cafes along the way as well as the main restaurant being open.
The children loved finding all of Father Christmas’ reindeers that were all around the gardens and we’re even going to try and have a go at building our own at home!
There was a real air of Christmas Magic and it has really kick started our Christmas. No children were lost, minimal tantrums and no injuries, so I think that’s a successful trip.
If you live nearby it’s really worth a visit. Christmas at Blickling is open until 10th December, 11am-6pm and if you’re a member of the National Trust, it’s FREE!
Today has been all about pumpkins. We usually grab some from the supermarket when we get our shopping but this year we headed to a pumpkin patch. We headed to Hill Farm Farm Shop in Norfolk.
The field was full of all shapes and sizes of pumpkins and the children loved it. They ran around finding the perfect one (which I can tell you took some time) loaded them in a wheelbarrow and we headed back to the car. We got 6 pumpkins for £9, which is actually cheaper than we would have got from the supermarket and we had the fun of hunting for them.
We don’t make a big fuss over Halloween, but every year we do take the children Trick Or Treating to the neighbours and have a Halloween tea. We usually do some Halloween crafts during the half term and these are some of my favourite.
Toilet Roll Ghosts & Bats
There’s always a surplus of toilet rolls in our house, so I’m a great fan of toilet roll crafts. These are quick, easy and all the children can make them.
Who doesn’t love a biscuit?!? I use a shortbread biscuit and the design is simple and really effective. You can buy lots of great decorations from the supermarket to make it really simply for the children to do.
I’m a real sucker for hand/foot prints and I don’t think there’s a year that goes by that I don’t have prints of the children. This is great for younger children, but to be honest it’s a lovely thing at any age.
Create a spider using pipe cleaners and a lollipop – simple!
There’s also the compulsory pumpkin carving which the children love and then it all comes together for a Halloween tea by candle light!
Just a quick trip to the supermarket, we only needed a few essentials, we’d be in and out (who was I kidding!) I’ve used scan as you shop before and loved it, not only did you get to play shops scanning everything, you pack it as you go so no touching the same item 10 times – win:win.
I’d already said to the children that we were only getting the things on our list, no toys, books or other “tat” that we didn’t need. We got our scanning gun and off we went, they would scan one item each and take it in turns – genius! (I only had 3 children with me).
It was working a treat and we were actually getting around the supermarket really quickly, This was the new way to shop with children. They were so happy beeping items they didn’t have time to complain or run off. I was feeling quietly smug that we could do the supermarket during the summer holidays.
But in the blink of an eye it blew up, a complete meltdown because it was “my turn to scan”. They then got very possessive over the gun and food because “that’s my cheese”. That was it, I knew time was up, no more shopping it was time to pay and leave. When I’m distracted by children I do the most random shopping and get nothing useful but luckily we had just about finished.
No one needs unnecessary stress do they? I can confirm I will be shopping online or when the children are in bed and I get the gun to myself!
As the mother of 5 wonderful children, soon to be 6, why do I constantly find myself making excuses or joking about how many children I have? I remember when I was pregnant with my fifth child I didn’t go around telling people as I proudly did with my first. It’s not that I wasn’t as excited but people’s reactions were not always positive and left me feeling angry rather than proud. So I find myself in the same situation again approaching 4 months pregnant with #6, up until now it’s been a wonderful secret between me and my husband but my ever expanding belly meant it was time to tell the children. It was a wonderful moment and they were so excited about another brother or sister. One daughter announced it to the whole class and my youngest would tell anyone, more than once, that “mummy had a baby in her tummy”, their excitement was infectious.
People seem to think if you have more than 2 or 3 children then you’re “mad” or “crazy” and should get yourself a television. Someone once asked how I had time to paint my nails, seriously. I have had positive comments usually about them wishing they’d had another but on the whole it’s complete shock and surprise that I would even think about another child as I already have 5. This is where I find myself making excuses and justifying why I am. Why do we get so caught up in what other people think, it doesn’t affect them and I’m not asking them to help with childcare.
The fact is (my husband repeatedly tells me) it doesn’t matter what other people say or do, at the end of the day when you close the curtains it’s the people in the house that matter. Simple. Be pregnant and proud, whether it’s number 1 or 10.