Thursday, 5 April 2012

Make your own Easter Chicks (or Angry Birds!)

Boo has been pestering me for a while to do some more craft activities with him, we stopped for a while to encourage him to paint or colour but now it looks like we're back on the making things front!

We bought some Polystyrene balls from The Range last week, a bag of about 6 was £1 and I thought we could create something with an Easter theme, although I really had no idea quite what! I eventually decided we'd make Easter chicks, I was feeling ambitious!


So, we painted the balls bright yellow with poster paint, we discovered that washing liquid lids worked well as stands while painting!

While waiting for them to dry we found some pipe cleaners, googly eyes and feathers which had been hiding in the bottom of the crafting box! Carefully applying some PVA glue to the googly eyes Boo stuck them on. With a bit of help from me we made a beak from an orange pipe cleaner - the good thing about using polystyrene balls is no glue was needed for attaching anything which can be pushed into it! We used colourful feathers to make wings and a tail, we just pushed the feathers in to the ball, although make sure you select feathers with a rigid bit at the end or they really won't go in easily!!

This was Boo's first attempt, he said it looked a bit like an Angry Bird (which Daddy has on his phone!) and so decided he wanted to make some more as an Easter present for Daddy! He gave them all slightly different eyes, and variations on beaks and feather arrangements, but I think they've come out really well!

We are now trying to make an Easter nest for the chicks to live in, brown paper sizzles from a hamper will I hope glue together to create it! I'll update if we have any success!

                   Wishing all our readers a very Happy Easter!

The Weigh-in.. Jenny Craig week 1

I have to confess, I woke up nervous as I needed to weigh myself this morning. While my jeans feel looser, I have to confess after a meal out and a visit to a friends (involving cake) I wondered whether the scales would be kind. 

Before I tell you about what happened when I stepped on the scales, I must first explain that my eating habits appear to have altered dramatically and in only one week. I am thinking 'do i really need that?' and instead making myself a cup of tea while I contemplate raiding the biscuits. In the time it takes me to drink my tea it has been time for a snack according in line with my menu. 

Eating out I decided to choose a fairly healthy noodle option laden with stir-fry veg and chilli, on the back of the weekly menu it gives you tips on how best to eat out according to your calorie allowance. I looked at the desert menu and decided there was nothing I really wanted. I was happy in the knowledge that this meant I could treat myself to a low fat hot chocolate at home before bed!

So, according to the scales I have lost 5lbs this week! Which I'm amazed with! I have gone from having no waist to having a hint of one in the space of a week. To be honest, I'm less interested in the lb's I have lost and more excited by the fact I can sit down in my jeans without feeling like I'm about to be cut in half!! Anyway, I now have to refocus on the week ahead, I have a fabulous lasagne for dinner to look forward to which I'll enjoy with a big portion of vegetables, who'd have thought I could have lasagne as a diet food?! My goal for this week is a 1lb, as I'm sure over Easter I may find myself eating out more and let's face it..if I get a visit from the Easter Bunny I might find myself eating a small Easter egg!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Growing our coppers..

I've been trying to teach Boo about saving, at age 3 he understands that you need money to buy things and that you work to get money, but he doesn't quite grasp that you don't instantly get enough money for whatever it is that you might want (wouldn't it be nice if you did?!).

To aid the teaching process we've started giving him any copper coins we have, and he puts them in his money box! Every month we empty the coins out and count them, if he has a whole pound we bag them up and take them into the bank with him, so he gets used to the idea of handing the money over and seeing his account updated. 

While this money isn't a huge amount, it is slowly adding up and we talk about what he might spend it on when there is enough. So far he's suggested everything from toys to a car, but he's quite content to let it grow at the moment.

Simple things we do to save our pennies: 

  • I try to buy second-hand where I can, preloved clothes and toys save us a fortune and often allow the children to be super stylish without the designer price tag! Ebay and charity shops are great, but don't forget carboot sales - and don't be afraid to haggle!

  • Ask for a discount! I was recently purchasing a kitchen item but the store had just (in front of me!) placed the last one on display, I asked if they'd reduce it and they gave me 10% off an item I was going to buy anyway!  If you don't ask you won't get! 
  • Days out - we try to plan in advance so we can utilise special offers, there are often 2 for 1 entry offers on. Taking snacks with us on days out saves a small fortune and allows us the chance to treat the boys to an ice-cream instead!

  • Getting Boo to help with the shopping list and talking to him as we shop about which is best value for us helps him and ensures we save some extra pennies too!

 This is our entry for the BritMums Piggy Bank Tales competition, sponsored by Virgin Money.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Easter Events at Festival Place

With the sunshine we've been enjoying the last few days thoughts turn to gardening and being outdoors! Festival Place Shopping Centre in Basingstoke have planned a weekend of Easter fun for all the family, there will be a visit from TV gardening expert David Domoney who'll be creating gardens for some children's favourites - Peppa Pig and Scooby Doo! There will also be visits from Bearemy the Build-A-Bear bear, and Environmental Dude (or ED as he's better known!) who is the festival place mascot to encourage recycling!

The fun starts at 11.30am and will be on until 4pm on the 6th and 7th April 2012! Grab some great ideas for your own garden or window box, while you're doing your last minute Easter Egg shopping!