Stuck Indoors For The School Holidays

A few weeks ago something happened which stressed me out so much that my cortisol levels went haywire and it left me with a bubble of fluid in my actual eyeball. My retina to be precise. More on that later but as I am currently viewing a very wibbly wobbly world I am having to avoid driving (or going outside if I can help it).

The timing of this is not brilliant. Easter with kids means 2 weeks with the little darlings at home. Fortunately the weather has been utterly rubbish so that has limited outing options anyway. Remember last years Easter break weather?

We spent the fortnight getting cracking on the planting of stuff last year. It didn’t grow (obviously, gardening and I do not mix well) but at least we were out there I suppose.

It did occur to me though when looking back through Instagram pics that we didn’t really go anywhere last year either and despite starting this holiday feeling more than a bit guilty about it, I am actually ok with not being my child’s Minister for Entertainment. Here’s why

1 Only boring people get bored 

Having nothing planned means that your child must fill that gap themself. This encourages creativity which can only ever be a positive, right?

When your mind is full of everything in your life it is incredibly hard to think creatively – the same is true for your child. My brother used to be able to get from one end of our home to the other without ever touching the floor (as that was lava of course) and I am sure that was bred of moments of pure boredom

2 Home does not = boring

You do not need to go to a farm or a theme park. Just look em in the eye and ask them what they want to do and engage with them on their level.

Why not let your child paint some rocks and go and hide them for other children to find?

Do they love to play on their gaming console? Then grab that second controller and be their player 2. No stress, no financial outlay, just time to connect. They will love you for it. 

3 Boredom teaches independence 

You can’t always be there to tell your child what to do every step of the way, and you shouldn’t have to. Being bored teaches your kids that they have to rely on themselves. It teaches them to be independent with their learning and find ways to entertain themselves.

4 It’s a life skill

Coping with situations which they do not find very exciting or stimulating is definitely something your child will need to learn how to do as they grow. I cannot begin to count how many times this has happened as an adult but if I add up all of those work meetings, Toddler groups (sorry, they are boring. You know it and I know it) and times when my child is telling me about minecraft. Well, it’s a lot.

Being bored as a kid has allowed me to perfect my “this is so interesting” look (while mentally preparing meal plans or planning my next creative writing masterpiece)¬†

5 Boredom doesn’t really exist

The word “boredom” was first used by Dickens in Bleak House in 1852. Of course, tedium has been around a lot longer but the actual word boredom is relatively new.¬†

As an adult I quite enjoy moments of nothingness. Just silence to sit and fill with my own thoughts. As a Mum it doesn’t happen often.

not bored at home

Boredom is a choice. I choose not to get bored, instead I value the time and use it to be mindful which I think is really important for mental health and generally feeling Human again! This is something I am hoping my children will learn for themselves but what better way than to lead by example?

How do you cope with bored children over the holidays? 

 

Alienwork Quartz Watch Review and Giveaway

This week I was offered the chance to try out the¬†Alienwork quartz watch. Happily the email landed in my inbox just as I was attempting to find a present for Cols upcoming 17th birthday. What’s even better is that I was offered an extra one to give away to one lucky reader!¬†Result!

I chose the black on black design with a Milanese style strap and decided that it would be the perfect gift for 17 year old Col.

The Watch

The watch arrived quickly (I love Amazon Prime) and came packaged in a felt wallet with button detail. I thought it made a nice change from a box and would come in handy for travelling and such. I have nabbed the wallet for keeping jewellery/make up in my handbag.

The watch itself is surprisingly good quality. It has a really slimline and lightweight design but it does feel like it would withstand life on a teenagers wrist quite nicely. I chose the black design which Col absolutely loves but I did notice that it’s not the easiest to read in dim lighting.

mens watch

Because Col is a bit of a rake I was a bit worried that perhaps the watch strap might be a bit loose for him. Luckily the strap is adjustable. It fits him perfectly and will continue to as he grows. Col loves how smart the watch looks and I agree, it is understated but really stylish.

For an RRP of £32.22 (and currently on sale for just £20) this watch has exceeded my expectations. I would definitely recommend it as a fabulous unisex gift. You can find them here

 

Win an Alienwork Quartz Watch #4

Easter Gift Guide 2018

Easter is all about the chocolate. People might try to tell you that your kids deserve better or more but (frankly) at least when they get fed up with chocolate, you benefit!

That said, I can concede that there is a LOT out there to choose from and sometimes you might not want to buy a mountain of chocolate. So, with that in mind here is our guide to some cool Easter buys for 2018

Hotel Chocolat

All of it. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with an Easter treat from Hotel Chocolat. We love the Easter H box which contains 15 spring tiddly eggs brimming with caramels, pralines and tipples, all in our Chocolate Easter Egg Box. They say it’s great for sharing, but nobody is going to make you…

Tiddlytubbies book

If you have a very small person to buy for this Easter you might want to look at non edible gifts. This Tiddlytubbies book is reasonably priced, brightly coloured and best of all you can order it without leaving the house.

Divine Milk Chocolate Popcorn Easter Egg

This fair trade popcorn Easter egg is made with Divine’s signature smooth and buttery milk chocolate, and is encrusted with air-popped gourmet salted caramel popcorn from award-winning popcorn brand Joe & Seph. The first of its kind, this totally fair trade egg is contains two extra snack-sized Joe & Seph’s salted caramel popcorn sachets.

Holland and Barrat Moo Free Bunnycomb Easter Egg

This dairy free Easter egg is made from award winning organic, dairy free alternative to milk chocolate in a factory that has only ever been used to make dairy free products. Now available is original, orange and bunnycomb.

 

Smiggle Easter rubbers

the ultimate easter gift is back! Contains 6 scented 3d and puzzle erasers. get in quick, designs are only available in this easter carton. plus find a lucky white egg in your easter carton and you could win a 150 pound smiggle shopping spree.

Easter at Queensgate – Moose & Bess’s First Qblogger Event

When I was asked whether I thought my darling offspring would be up for coming along to an Easter event I knew it wouldn’t be a hard sell. The opportunity was one I suspected that they would jump at the chance to attend. I was (as ever) right.

Along with Jaymee and Sabina we enjoyed an evening of some serious (ish) chocolate sampling. Here is a small selection of what is on offer for you this Easter at Queensgate, Peterborough

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat is one of my most favourite shops in Queensgate at the moment. I love their seasonal ranges and Easter is no exception. Bess said she loved the Elizapeck Chocolate eggs (£6 each or 2 for £10) and I thought the Egg on Toast was a great buy (£2)

Carluccios

Ok so setting aside that I always forget that Carluccios has a shop in the restaurant (I blame baby brain – he is 3 so I will be milking this excuse until I can no longer) I was really impressed with what they have to offer! We loved the¬†Half Dozen Chocolate Hens’ Eggs (¬£10.95)

Lakeland

Kids love marshmallows. I don’t know what happens to us as we grow older to make us forget how good they are but marshmallows are manna for (most) children. Lakeland have a lovely big jar for ¬£6.

John Lewis

John Lewis can always be relied upon to deliver the goods and this Easter is no exception. I absolutely loved the hanging eggs (£2.50). So pretty! Moose adored the chick basket (£3.50) and was thrilled to be able to take it home. He has been carrying it around ever since and I know it will feature heavily on Easter Sunday.

M&S

I really love the M&S Easter range this year and was lucky enough to get a guided tour of one of their new stores – you can read about that here

My favourite is the burrowing bunny egg (¬£15) but I also loved the hand painted eggs and the Percy Pig egg (who doesn’t love Percy?)

What Did The Kids Think?

Bess was really impressed by the visual impact of the Butlers easter egg from John Lewis (£12.50)

Moose hasn’t left his chick basket alone yet but he also really liked the fill your own carrot crackers from John Lewis (¬£10). We all agreed they were a really unique idea.

I think I might be a bit addicted to the City Chocolate Caramel Bunnies from Hotel Chocolat (£6 for box of 16)

I think if this was a democracy then John Lewis would take the top spot but luckily it’s not. Hotel Chocolat are my winners for creating such cute characters as Elizapeck.

Thanks for having us Queensgate, we had an eggcellent time!

M&S Foodhall Opens in Bourne

I really like Bourne town centre but as I usually stay close to home for shopping I was unaware of its charm until this week. I was invited to come along to the opening of the Burghley Shopping Centres latest addition – an M&S foodhall.

A great start

Store Manager, Isabel Meyer, marked the opening with her 50 M&S colleagues ‚Äď many recruited from the local area ‚Äď by cutting the ribbon at 10am and welcoming the first customers into store.

By the time we arrived the store was full of happy customers making the most of their new store.

Lisa Stevenson was the first customer through the doors and lives in Bourne. Commenting on the opening she said: “I found out about the opening and had to come down – I’m here with my daughter and the store is lovely. It’s so busy and it’s great to have an M&S Foodhall on our doorstep.”

Spend it well

I love that when you shop at M&S you are assured a great quality product. As part of our tour around the store Rory told us that wherever possible M&S always do their best to source in season produce locally.

M&S offers something for everyone from their¬†Gastro to their Taste products to their ‘Made Without’ gluten/dairy free range. Incidentally, all M&S sausages are gluten free and most of their fresh meat is traceable.

 

Click and Collect

With three quarters of online M&S customers collecting in store, customers at Bourne can use M&S’s popular Click & Collect service. Really helpful to have this service now available locally. This provides the option of having M&S.com Clothing and Home orders delivered to the store the next day, free of charge

Find the store

The Bourne M&S Foodhall is located at Burghley Shopping Centre, Bourne, PE10 9EG, and opening hours are from 8am ‚Äď 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am ‚Äď 4pm on Sundays.

Outside the store there is a car park offering 2 hours free parking and a bus station just a short walk away.