Monday, 11 December 2017

La Petite Soirée - The Most Amazing Family Show


La Petite Soirée was everything I hoped it would be and more. This extraordinary cabaret show deserves every award and glowing review it has ever received.

Upon arriving at the beautifully refurbished Aldwych theatre in central London my family's expectations were a mixed bag. I'd done some research so I sort of knew what we were heading in to see but my family had no real idea apart from the little I'd told them and you really can't do it justice until you've seen the spectacular for yourself. The girls were up for the ‘posh circus’ as they'd named it and I could see that my husband and 14 year old son were reserving judgement.

We headed in to collect our tickets, not knowing what the PR agency had booked for us and were pleased to find we had ringside seats. These are general admission seats so we were given a wristband and able to take a seat wherever we fancied within the ringside area. Our arrival at 2.40pm (20 minutes before the show started) gave us a good pick of the seats but the closest we could get was 4 rows from the front. I'd imagine you’d need to be at the theatre about another 20 minutes earlier to get front row seats but of course you also need to be prepared to join in and be a good sport if you sit in the front row!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Completing the One4all Challenge - What will we Do?


Recently I wrote about how the people at One4all Gift Card had challenged me to treat one of my kids to a truly memorable Christmas activity.

After checking out the One4all website I discovered that we had hundreds upon hundreds of options open to us for great things to buy or do. I didn't want to use the money on the card to just buy things that might be used once and then forgotten so I decided that the bulk of the money would be spent on a night away for the two of us. When I had asked Miss E what she wanted for Christmas this year she had said 'time with you mummy' and this seems the perfect way to fulfil that wish.

Hotel Stay over
I discovered that I could book hotels via the Superbreak site using my One4all card, so after a good look round the site, I decided to book the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel and Spa in Surrey. My husband and I have stayed at this 4* hotel before and had a wonderful time and it is only about 30 minutes drive from my parents. This is perfect as Miss E had said she'd love her Nanny to be involved in her treat too, so this will be an extra nice surprise for her. The one night stay for the both of us booked via Superbreak is £110.

Images thanks to Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel

Monday, 4 December 2017

12 Ways to get your Teen off their Tech this Christmas Break

Teen with Mobile Image courtesy of Shutterstock

In 2017 I think most parents of teenagers are suffering from the same thing. Deaf ears. My son doesn't hear a word I say when he has his headphones on and is in the virtual world of game play with his mates online. Manage to get him offline and he'll wander downstairs grunt a hello and grab his phone from his pocket and be at it again. Sound familiar? Yes, I thought so but fear not as I have some great ideas for you to help get your teen off their devices for at least part of the Christmas holiday.

I wouldn't recommend a full tech-free fortnight though as I think we need to be realistic as parents and nowadays our teens very much live in the digital world. Some online time is fine, that's how many of them stay connected to their friends when there isn't any school but we know that a full-day online is too much and they will just end up withdrawing even more than usual. A good balance is what we're after.

You might find it a little hard to implement changes if you've never restricted your teens tech access before but perseverance and open conversations go a very long way. Make sure you share your concerns about excess screen time with your child so they know why you are doing this and be willing to limit your own time online too, so you are setting a good example.

Try to give your teen the choice of what tasks they want to do instead of dictating to them as they will buy in to it more if they feel they have choices. I always find that once my son gets in to other tasks and puts his tech down he actually ends up enjoying them and starts self-regulating himself on his tech anyway.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Making Simple but Beautiful Christmas Tree Mini Wreaths

Tutorial for making Christmas wreath decorations that are a fantastic gift, they are simple enough for a child to make but are cheap and look really effective.

Miss E and I have been making some Christmas wreath decorations to gift to her teachers and Godparents this year. I'm really pleased with how they have come out and think they are a fab gift. The best thing is that these were made by a 10 year old and are really simple and cheap to make.

Here's what you need -
  • Curtain rings (wood ones as they ave the metal hoop at the top) We used ones compatible with a 28mm pole and picked these up in Homebase for £1.29 for 6
  • Wool in any colour you fancy, green if you want them to look like traditional wreaths (£1 in Poundland)
  • Multi-size gems - I bought 2 packs of different size ones for 99p each from Hobbycraft
  • 3mm ribbon in a colour of you choice (40p per metre)
  • Hot glue gun (or another firm glue)
  • A pair of scissors
Tutorial for making Christmas wreath decorations that are a fantastic gift, they are simple enough for a child to make but are cheap and look really effective.

How to make the Christmas Wreath Decorations

1.  Cut a long length of wool. Tie it on to the curtain hoop close to the metal ring. Take care to wrap the wool around the hoop, pushing it close to itself every so often and ensuring you keep a tight hold. If you run out of string, you can tie another piece on and the knot will sit at the back so it won't show, Once you have finished the full hoop tie off the string around the metal hoop and make sure it is secure.