Sunday, 11 August 2013

{Learning Topics} Under The Sea

So, the second week in our summer learning topics was "Under The Sea".  I gave M the choice from about four different topics and this is the one she chose, mainly because it would include a trip to the aquarium!!

Our week started with learning the names of some "Under The Sea" creatures using the printable banner and sea creature printable from SparkleBox...

Next we made an under the sea picture by painting bubble wrap with green and blue paint and printing it onto a huge piece of paper.  L, especially had fun with this and she was printing bubbles all over the place!

I let M cut out some fish shapes and coral and decorate them with glitter to stick on our scene...

L did some writing practice, which I was really impressed with!  We've been working on her pencil grip this summer as she starts nursery in September (which I believe is the same Pre-Kindergarten in the States) and not only did she totally get how to hold the pencil, she managed to control it to draw along the dotted lines too!  Not bad for three and a half :)  

For writing practise M wrote some paragraphs about Octopuses as she decided this was here favourite animal (for that day!).  

Then came our trip to the aquarium.  The girls were thrilled with this as they love anything animal related.  M was really interested in the names of the fish as well as seeing some of the things we'd learnt about, including an Octopus and Seahorses (my personal favourite!).

Of course no Under The Sea project would be complete without watching Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid and The Reef on DVD, which we did, twice!!

I wish we'd completed a few more craft projects for this topic (I had some toilet roll octopuses all lined up ready to make!) but we had a few play dates with friends booked in for the week just flew past us. 

Next week I think we're doing On The Farm, but as yet its to be decided!

Friday, 9 August 2013

{Favourite Pin Friday}

Although there are a fair few weeks left of the holidays for us here in the UK, my thoughts are starting to turn towards what Im going to do with my time once the girlies are in school.  I will admit, my first thought was "Go back to bed" closely followed by "Sit and enjoy the peace and quiet".  However, neither of those are particularly productive and I know I'd feel rubbish at the end of the day if I did infact, sit and do nothing (as appealing as that sounds).  

So my thoughts and pins have been centred around organisation as, come September, I will have large chunks of time to myself to organise our home.  Im looking forward to it!  Infact, I've already made a (very small) start in my kitchen. 

Here are a few of my favourite organisation pins from around the interweb.  You can see the whole board here.

I love this ladies blog and this planner makes life so much easier!  Its one of the best ones I've used and will be sticking to it (and I've used a lot of different planners!).  From Just A Girl And Her Blog.

Love the labelled baskets in the pantry.  That way, everything has its place and no one can say they dont know where that is!  Jen from IHeart Organizing takes us on a tour of her super organised kitchen in the post too. 

Some of the ideas in this post are just plain common sense (doesnt mean I thought of it though!)  Read more over at Mad In Crafts.

The Ultimate Meal Planner!  Im relatively new to the whole meal planning concept but this would make it a breeze and I reckon I could knock up something similar to go in my kitchen.  By Better Homes and Gardens

This would be perfect for my office area and am on the look out for inexpensive boxes to put all our crap important paperwork in.  Inspiration from Decorology.

So thats just a couple of the pins I've been pinning.  I also follow a few amazing organising blogs (see my side bar) that are full of inspiration.  Do you have a favourite organising blog?  Do let me know, Im loving finding new ones!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

{Sibling Rivalry} The "Be Nice" Jar

Im not going to lie (what would be the point?!) some days the holidays are challenging.  Over tired kids, crappy UK weather and tired Mummy can make for not great days.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Since L is now old enough to argue back with her sister, some days see my two girlies do nothing but fight!! 

I got so fed up of asking them to say sorry to each other after they had pushed, bickered, hit, taken toys away from each other (they're nice kids really - honest!).  I got to a point where I realised just saying sorry really wasnt having the desired effect i.e. they'd say it then carry on arguing.  I wanted to give them something to occupy them and create a happier vibe.  Cue, the "Be Nice" jar!  

Its a similar concept to the "Im Bored" jar where you put a bunch of suggestions on sticks and whoever is the offender gets to pick one out.  I used an Ikea spice jar and some craft sticks written on in biro and I prettied it up with some ribbon and card.  All the sticks have nice suggestions on them to do for the other...

Things like "Draw a picture for your sister" and "Give your sister a hug".  It really wasnt long before I got to put it to the test.

M picked out "Draw a picture for your sister" and drew her this.  Sweet huh?!  It took her mind off whatever she was squabbling over (I dont even remember) and got her to focus her attentions to doing something nice.  All in all, a resounding success!  We got to use the "Be Nice" jar another four or five times before the day was out....Im a bit suspicious they enjoy it too much but hey ho, it still had the desired effect as there wasnt much bickering at all. Hurrah! 

UPDATE: I've had a couple of requests to include what I've written on the sticks for the jar. There are one or two I've included a couple of times as I thought they were good ones!! Here is what I included...

- Give your sister a hug
- Smile nicely at your sister
- Ask your sister if she would like to play
- Help your sister tidy up her toys
- Help your sister with something
- Draw your sister a picture
- Give your sister a kiss
- Play a board game with your sister
- Find a tv programme your sister would like to watch
- Tell your sister a joke
- Colour a picture with your sister

Liking up to:

Sunday, 4 August 2013

{Learning Topics} The Weather

So far so good! We're managing to keep up with our topics, have fun, and learn, which is kinda the point of having a "themed" summer holiday.

Our first theme was The Weather.  I thought this would be a good one to start with as I had a few crafty projects in mind, a few learning projects and lets be honest, its and easy topic of conversation!

Our first thing to do was put together our Weather Chart.  L, being the littlest, could easily get involved with this one as all she had to do was look out the window and say what the weather was like!  She then picked the correct symbol to stick onto the chart each morning. M had the more tricky bit of finding out the temperature from the thermometer on my phone, filling in the temperature and colouring in the thermometer.  

Sometimes our weather chart had three different symbols on it and truly reflected the British weather!  

We had some weather words to learn and I wanted M to go a bit more in depth with it seeing as she knows sun, rain, snow etc, so I printed off some of the different types of clouds for her to learn which she enjoyed cos lets face it, when you're seven you think there's pretty much only one type of cloud!

M had some comprehension to do which is new to her in school but I was keen to keep it up in the holidays.  I didnt want to make it too complicated for her (or for me to set up) so I printed out the Doctor Foster poem.  L coloured it in and M read it out loud, then had some questions to answer about the poem.

Time for our crafty project!  Now Im not big on mess so I let the girls choose what they would like to do...make a cloud from cotton wool or hand print suns using paint.  They chose the suns of course!

See?  Mess!  They loved it though and the result was two lovely bright suns to brighten up our Learning Wall!

All that, combined with lots of pool play and walks to the park, took us up to Thursday then Friday was pack up and ship out for a week at Nannie's house, but think we achieved a very good first week of the holidays!

We start a new theme tomorrow and I've decided our theme will be Under The Sea.  Mainly because the weather is set to be rubbish so we can do a lot of indoor projects and also, Im dying to visit the aquarium again!  You can take a peek at a couple of things we're going to be doing over on my Pinterest board.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Favourite Pin Friday

Hello and welcome to another Favourite Pin Friday....on a Saturday?!  Apologies, have been on holidays this week visiting in laws and, well, you know the rest!

Anyway, have been pinning some "Back To School" ideas this week.  I'm hoping to throw a Back To School party for my girlies this year as I know they will be excited but also a little bit nervous about staring a new school year.  M will be starting junior school which for her will mean more work and less play!  L will be starting nursery which means new uniform in tiny sizes and going to "big school" where her sister goes (tissues will be at the ready on her first day).

So, here are some inspiring ideas I've found over on Pinterest to get them thinking about going back to school and also for our Back To School party!

Back to school interview printables by petite lemon
Back to School party printables from Catch My Party

My favourite party tablescape from Chrissys Crafts at Catch My Party
I'd like L to start thinking about leters and numbers and what perfect way to do it, with princesses!!  Free pack printable from Over The Big Moon

So thats my inspiration for our Back To School Theme which will be the last week of the holidays, culminating in our Back To School Party!

You can check out all my boards over on Pinterest!

Bye For Now! 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Favourite Pin Friday

Hello and welcome to a new regular feature....Favourite Pin Friday!!  I love pinterest.  It is my favourite source of inspiration at the moment and one of the best ways I know to waste a couple of hours!

I've been pinning a lot of activities to match our themes for the summer holidays.  Kinda makes me wish the summer holidays were a few weeks longer as there are TONS of things we can do.  Needless to say, thanks to pinterest, we wont be bored over the next six weeks, which coincidently, starts TODAY!!!  Have just picked my oldest up from school and my youngest had her last day at pre-school today so the holidays have officially started!  WOOO! Think we're all ready for a break from the school year routine.

Anyway, here are a couple of my favourite pins from the last week or so.

Weather vocabulary from  These will be perfect for M in the Weather theme we are doing.
Going to make this a rule in our house!  From

Ok, so not had a go at this yet (as you probably can tell!) but had a look at the instructions via and it looks like something I could do!  So I will do it....I will!!
For our "In The Garden" theme.  I have two little girlies who are going to adore making this.  From
If you are interested in following all my boards, they can be found here!

Looks like this weekend is set to be another scorcher.  So I'll be busy putting the finishing touches to our Summer Holiday Themes (more about that next week) on my sun lounger, in the shade, watching my girlies play in the pool!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Recipe - Oh So Simple Banana Muffins

I'm no great cook.  Infact, I wouldn't even go as far to say I enjoy cooking.  Its something that involves patience, which is not something I am blessed with.

I do however, enjoy baking cakes with my children and hell, if I can incorporate some sort of fruit or veg into baking all the better as my oldest is what we call a "fruit dodger" in that she dodges anything that resembles, smells like or looks like a piece of fruit.

These quickly became a family favourite because a) they are simple and b) they are YUMM-MEEE!!  What else do you need from a muffin recipe, right??  These are perfect after school snacks, lunch box snacks, anytime snacks really!  


Makes 4 large or 8 mini muffins

1 large over ripe banana
40g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
1 small egg
65ml milk
100g self-raising flour

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190c/375F/Gas Mark 5.
2. Peel and mash the banana in a bowl using the back of a fork.
3. Mix in the sugar and oil.
4. Crack the egg into the bowl and pour in the milk.  Stir it all with spoon.
5. Pour in the flour to the wet ingredients and fold in well.
6. Spoon the mixture into your cases until they're almost full.  If you're using silicon moulds spray with a little oil spray so they don't stick.
7. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Summer Holiday Planning

Ok, so not a lot of tidying has been going on around these parts....mainly due to the amazing weather we've been having!!

Here in the UK, any kind of extended spell of dry sunny weather is cause for celebration.  So we've been having a lot of fun outdoors, spending time in the pool, playing in the garden and generally anything we could normally do indoors, we've wanted to do outdoors!

Im pleased to say I've got into a routine of keeping on top of the kitchen.  Getting up half an hour before everyone else works wonders as I manage to clean up all the dishes, put a load in the washer and out to dry, get all the lunches done and breakfast prepared before anyone else surfaces.

However, my organising has not gone out of the window completely!  I am in full on "Summer Holiday Planning" mode.  Which may or may not involve new schedules, themes and LOTS of fun activities to do over the six weeks holidays (which start here in the UK this Friday).

With two very active girlies, who are prone to fights and squabbles, its important for all our sanity that we have some sort of structure to our day.  So, I have planned out the six weeks with a theme each week.  Each theme will include craft activities, books to read, writing and reading practice for my oldest and colouring and counting practice for my youngest.

You can visit my pinterest boards here and see some of the fun activities we'll be up to.

I've also found some awesome printables from some of my favourite blogs to help me plan our days.

Daily Summer Schedule by IHeart Organizing
This one will be our daily schedule, how I would like our days to run (roughly) hour by hour.  It avoids me doing chores for hours and the kids watching rubbish tv for longer than they need to.  It sets our lunch at a certain time (unless we are having way too much fun!) and will help the day run a little smoother.

Weekly Summer Holiday Planner by Netmums
I plan to incorporate a day trip at least once a week, incorporating where I can our theme for that week.  So one week we're doing "Under The Sea and On The Beach" so naturally I want to visit the beach, weather permitting, and also an aquarium as the girls love looking at fish!  This will help plan which days we do what so we're not getting up in the morning thinking "what will be do today".

I will be back with more about our themes for the holidays and other bits I have been planning! 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Hello and welcome!

If you are reading this you are about to join me on what promises to be an epic journey to find organised perfection!

Ok so, why am I doing this?  What has made me start my project?  I need to organise our family space to feel more like a home than just a place we exist in.  I love our house, we are lucky enough to have a big four bedroomed house with a very generous back garden.  Although there are only four of us in a four bedroomed house, it is fill to bursting with clutter, toys and other stuff Im sure we just dont need!

Beware, some messy shots of my home coming up....

Oh the shame!!  So I think from that its very clear some organising needs to happen in this house!  Goodness Im exhausted already :o(

There's only one thing for it...time to make some lists!

Until next time.....