October Half Term Ideas

October Half Term Ideas

The beginning of October has gone and my children only have 8 more days at school before it’s half term!! How did that happen? I am now racking my brains for ideas how to keep the Pickles entertained. So thought I would share my October Half Term Ideas with you all.

It will be nice to have a week and a half again with no routine. No 6 am wake ups to get my eldest 2 to the bus stop by 7.30am.

Now I need to decide what we are going to do with the days that the pickles are off school. Well, my bank balance is still recovering from the summer holiday. Plus having to buy school uniform, shoes and bus passes, for the kids return to work last month. Also with the festivities only 11 weeks away (Sorry, if like me you are trying to ignore this!) I will be watching the pennies to go towards Christmas surprises.

Luckily we have National Trust Membership and lots of NT properties close to home. If the weather is fine we can go and explore some of the houses and gardens at local NT properties. One of our favourite NT properties is Stourhead, it always looks lovely in the autumn so definitely worth a trip. 

Not a National Trust member then I’m sure you will have a nearby park or woods. Where you will still go and have some autumn fun. If the leaves are dry the Pickles can collect a bag full of leaves and twigs as they make lovely pictures, this will give us an indoor activity if we have a wet day.  Although I am not a fan of walking in the rain I will have to brace myself if it’s  rainy as we all of wellies, raincoats and the 2 littlest Pickles both have rain trousers thanks to Dry Kids.

Now that the Pickles are a bit older on a fine day we will go the park with some bats and balls to have a game of rounders or cricket, although we don’t stick to the rules or are too strict on scoring as this prevents battles. It’s just so that they can all run around to let off steam and wear them out.

We have a subscription to Now TV  so love to have a film marathon, with buckets full of popcorn. Nothing like a lovely lazy film afternoon to relax and recharge our batteries.

When I was little we used to have indoor picnics on autumn afternoons. If you cook with your Pickles then this could fill a lot of the day as you could make cakes, sausage rolls, cheese straws etc with them and then have these at the picnic. Cooking isn’t my thing so I will get the picnic bits at the supermarket or just raid the fridge and do with what we have at home. 

I think am going to try an Indoor Treasure Hunt if it’s the weather isn’t on our side this Half Term. Now my children’s rooms are always untidy. It seems that as soon as I finish tidying it and walk downstairs the toys and books throw themselves on the floor!! So I am going to make a list, for each Pickle. For example, they can find a Barbie with clothes on, a red car. They will have to collect 10 things each and get a prize for doing it nothing massive. But before they get their prize they will have put their items away in the right place 1st.

My last saving grace for a wet half term is our local scrapstore. The pickles can go and have a rummage, picking up all sorts of bits for crafting, including big sheets of paper to stick the bits onto. At our local one, we can fill a bag full of goodies for a minimal fee. Coming home with enough to keep the Pickles amused for ages. There are now Scrapstores all over the UK, so I’m sure there is one local to you.

Well, I hope these ideas will help you have a great half term. I have now reminded myself of all the great things we can do and am actually looking forward to having the Pickles at home again.

Written by Jessamine aka Mummy Pickle, you can follow our families half term adventures over in Instagram

 

Read More

Chessington World of Adventures – family day out

Chessington the all around family day out.

As a child I have some fond memories of family days out at Chessington World of Adventures. So it is great to add to those memories by taking the pickles all too.
A few years ago we were invited to attend the launch of the Azteca Hotel, we had an amazing time and ever since I have wanted to return with the whole clan. Now we have our Merlin Annual passes, top of myself and most of the pickles theme parks to visit was Chessington.
After a rocky start to the holidays with the man of the Family breaking both of his wrists, I wasn’t sure if we should still go as he wouldn’t be able to go on any rides and could be bored. But seriously what was I thinking, after taking a good look at the website, I saw there was shows for him to watch and tons of animals to see.
So we set off along the M4 on Wednesday, loaded up with a hearty picnic and waterproofs well it is British Summertime so rain was forecast.
After several toilet stops, we arrived just after 10, I thought being the first week of the school holidays it would be packed but I was wrong, the park was pretty quiet, with most ride queues only being between 5-10 minutes.
We downloaded the Chessington app, which was really helpful, to keep an eye on queue times, showtimes, closest toilets (essential when your taking a recently toilet trained toddler), a map of the park and where you were in the park, plus planner to help you keep track of all the things our family wanted to do on this visit.

What did we do and see?

So going back to those childhood memories of mine, a firm favourite has always been the Bubbleworks and as it is closing in September we hot footed it there, we will be returning later in the summer hopefully once Faryl’s plaster is off for him to ride it before it closes.

Then we had a rest and a snack watching the sea lion show, next to the sea lion bay is the Land of Kings featuring Tigers, Lions and Gorillas. The lions were pretty sleepy but always for the pickles to see the sheer size of them close up. As we got to the Tigers one came out had  a wander around and the pickles followed her to the top of her enclosure, where she stretched out to bathe in the sunshine. We could watch the cheeky gorillas for hours on end, seeing the silver back get a little bit irritated by the young gorillas and beat his chest, then Aliza, 3 was so excited and proud that one of the baby Gorillas came to the glass and high fives her, definitely the highlight of her day.

I have seen the adverts for Pandamonium and have to admit I wasn’t so sure but, the kids were captivated and loved the interactive, entertaining show. Plus the baby Panda was pretty cute.

We headed to the sealife centre, definitely more interesting for the older pickles than the Little Pickles that were more interested in just dashing through until they found Dory, which the did and briefly looked at before racing off again.

We stopped for a picnic, but then it obviously started to rain, so we had to decamp and shelter under a tree finishing our picnic before the rain passed and we continued with our day.

My favourite animals are Giraffes so I couldn’t miss Zufari, the bumpy truck ride to see, Zebra, Rhinos, Giraffes and Flamingos.

chessingtongirafffe
Chessington – Giraffe

We donned our poundland ponchos and got soaked on the Dragon Fall, a complete must for a family day out at a theme park.

Then we did some other rides including Tomb Blaster, Scorpion Express (The Baby’s first roller coaster) and finally myself and the 3 oldest girls braved the Vampire ride which I remember from my childhood and it was just as heart racing as ever.

So what did we miss?

Things we missed the Penguins of Madagascar show,  Temple of Mayhem, Dragon’s playhouse, Canopy Capers and Jungle Bus plus several smaller rides. So plenty more to explore on our next trip plus you can never have enough goes on Zufari and of course the Bubbleworks before they close.

Plus all the rides Faryl missed out  whilst waiting with Grandma sporting his plaster cast duo!

What did we eat?

We took a bumper picnic like we always do on a day out, full of plenty of bottles of water and snacks as walking 16,000 steps (yes that’s what my iPhone told me) needs lots of energy.

We only brought the odd coffee and slushy from a kiosk on this visit but next time we will hopefully take advantage of our 20% Merlin Annual Passholders discount and fill up at one of the parks restaurants before our long drive home.

Kids verdict?

On the way home the kids actually said a huge Thank You off their own backs (no prompting, that is like a huge parenting win in itself). Then went on to say that Chessington was the best theme park they have ever been to and can’t wait to go back, so off to find my diary and schedule a date to return.

Read More

Our Summer 2016 To Do List

Little Pickles Summer 2016 To Do List

So the 6 weeks summer holiday lay ahead of us, here in our household we breathe a massive sign of relief. As the constant running around for school runs and extra-curricular clubs (yes between them my pickles do most of them, apart from playing an instrument, well that would be nice to have a pianist in the family ((off I wander to think which would be the best candidate, seriously woman we have enough to do)) where were we).

Yes the holiday are a time for us to chill out and recoup, but we also want to have a plenty of fun along the way. So I have asked all of the tribe to make a list of what they want to do over the break. We are proud owner of exciting Merlin Passes and members of the National Trust so we are planning some days out close to home and a little further afield.

summertodolist

So here goes with the kids wish lists.

Jolie, 7yo

  1. Go to see BFG in the cinema
  2. Complete the Big Reading Challenge at the local library
  3. Learn to ride my bike
  4. Go to Chessington
  5. Day out with Mum!

Lexia, 10 yo

  1. Go to see her cousins in Wales
  2. Visit Chessington World of Adventures
  3. Go to the Beach
  4. Go swimming at Oasis, Swindon
  5. Have a day out with just me and Mummy

Faryl, 5yo

  1. Make a Noah’s Ark
  2. Have a day out to Chessington
  3. Go to the Aquarium
  4. Try out Warwick Castle
  5. Go to my friend’s house

Firstborn, 15yo

  1. Go shopping with Mummy
  2. Take a trip to London
  3. Go to Swindon Designer Outlet
  4. Change our room around and get new bed
  5. Chill out alot

Aliza, 3yo

  1. Go to the park
  2. Go to Cbeebies Land
  3. See Finding Dory
  4. See Peppa Pig’s house
  5. Have fun

Mummy, do I need to tell you, ok! 33yo

  1. Stay in my PJs for the whole day
  2. Laugh until I cry
  3. Paint the hallway
  4. Go to see the AbFab Movie
  5. Get my hair done

So we have a huge list to achieve, hopefully you will see lots of updates over the Summer of our fun and days out for updates

Read More

Bottle or Breast? Your Doing Your Best

Yet again the breast versus bottle debate reared its head last week due to Jamie Oliver saying the the new sugar tax was just the beginning. And that breastfeeding should now be promoted as he believes it’s best and easy!

Wow what a statement from a man that has never had cracked nipples and a baby latched on for eternity!

But anyway that’s enough about Mr Ego and his next crusade to make parents feel guilty about their choices.

I believe that no mother should feel guilty or less superior for choosing or simply wishing to bottle feed. The bottom line is simple happy mother, happy baby. So be confident in your feeding choice, as bottle or breast as long as your baby is fed that is all that matters.

FeedingblogPic

I chose to feed all 5 of my pickles, it wasn’t always easy and each baby came with their own challenges. Even though they all had roughly the same length of breastfeeding. They have all turned out very differently. Some have allergies some don’t, some grew rapidly and others were slower to gain pounds, some slept through the night some didn’t, some were always hungry some had very little appetite, now they are older some are quick thinkers others take time to get things right, some are fussy eaters and some eat whatever.

We need to remember all children are different and embrace their uniqueness! 

So Mum’s forget others thoughts and enjoy your journey, you are doing your best xx

Read More

A Few Mother’s Day 2016 Gift Ideas

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we have a few pressie ideas for your Mum, Grandma, Nanny, Great-Grandma or Nanna.
B-Organic Lotion
B Organic Hand & Body Lotion and the Foot BalmB-Organic Foot Balm

They are both made with certified organic ingredients without the harsh, nasty chemicals. They do work great on Eczema and Sensitive skin or you just enjoy luxury, gentle organic skincare. They are made in the New Forest,
Hampshire. They are both multiple award winning organic products, including Winner of Beauty Awards.

 

The UnmuUnmumsy Bookmsy Mum Book

The Unmumsy Mum writes candidly about motherhood like it really is: the messy, maddening, hilarious reality, how there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and how it is sometimes absolutely fine to not know what you are doing.

The lessons she’s learnt while grappling with two small boys – from birth to teething, 3am night feeds to toddler tantrums, soft play to toilet training – will have you roaring with laughter and taking great comfort in the fact that it’s definitely not just you…
The Day That Frame

The Day That framed picture.

A traditional framed picture is a classic way to display landscape photography. Everything about The Day That framed photographs is of the highest quality; from the archival ink and paper to the high end frames with glass chosen to reflect the fact that we want your photograph to last a lifetime. Every photograph is personalised by hand and all the pictures are signed, adding that personal touch. There is a selection of frames to choose from, to fit with your Mum’s decor. A completely unique Mother’s Day gift.

 

deluxe skincare setTropic Super Deluxe Collection

Treat your loved ones or yourself to the ultimate range of our stunning freshly handmade, award-winning skincare. With everything you need to cleanse, tone, exfoliate and truly indulge, our most luxurious collections are the answer to your gift list this season.
Our collections come beautifully wrapped and boxed, so all you have to do is sit back and let these gorgeous products work their magic.
This collection contains:
• Smoothing Cleanser (120ml)             • Face Smooth (100ml)
• Night Repair (50ml)                            • Eye Revive (15ml)
• Tropic Headband                                 • Bamboo Face Cloth
• Vitamin Toner (120ml)                       • Skin Revive (50ml)
• Eye Refresh (10ml)                              • Organic Elixir (50ml)

 

Mums That Care

365 Quotes for mums that CARE book

A Unique gift book or to inspire you each day:

Daily quotes and thoughts in parenting and personal development to inspire

“Mums that Care”

365 is a must have for a Mother’s bookshelf. The book walks you through the entire year offering an amazing quote to start your day along with encouragement and inspiration. After each quote the Author Tarryn Hunt follows up with an explanation about how this may pertain to raising children and ideas of how the days Quote can be worked into your routine for the day. With so many ideas and helpful parenting advice it doubles as a guide and daily resource. I highly recommend this book as it warms the heart and soul while inspiring us all to be the best Mum possible.

Read More