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I’m moving!

Hello! 

I have been writing on Rabbit and Roo for a couple of years now and I love writing about my children, but recently I’ve wanted to get back some of me as an individual, not just as a mum. 

This blog has always felt very family focused but now I feel I need a space where I can write for myself as well as my children – so I have decided to move to a new blog!

The Diary of Emm is now live! and I am attempting to post daily so I would love it if you would follow me over to my new site! 

I am writing about what’s going on in my life day by day which is exciting because no one can know what’s around the corner. As well as regular posts about my chaotic brood and all they get up to. 

I want to thank my followers on R&R for your support so far and hope you will continue on the other side. So please feel free to check it out via the link above!

Thank You! 

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Lovely late birthday presents!

Although somewhat put out when best friends forget your birthday, it is a nice surprise when they randomly turn up out of the blue with a present.

This year I got a fab book called A Year in Crafts! 12 months worth of projects to keep me occupied. A month to some might be plenty enough time to get a project done but unfortunately the busyness of my life will probably mean I’ll fail on the 12 month concept!

But I am looking forward to delving in a learning some new skills on the way.

Thanks Bestie! X

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Lovely Jubbly!

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My Seven Weeks of Summer!

Weeks 5 and 6

Writing this now I can hardly believe how quick the time has gone. The last two weeks have been pretty busy but here’s a quick run down of what we’ve been up to…

  • Painting,
  • Baking,
  • Cake decorating,
  • Outdoor den making,
  • Paddling pool fun and a build-a-bear party too!
Phew!
So I won’t ramble on today with all the details but here are a few pros and cons I found to each activity.
Painting – indoors
Pros
It’s great fun for the kids.
It’s let’s them learn to mix colours, and use their imagination
You can get some really cool tool packs from supermarkets and craft shops like the one below.
If you can’t buy sets like that you could use potato shapes and keep it old school.
Think this was two sets about £2 each

Think this was two sets about £2 each

Cons

The mess! I can let my kids bake all day but if I have to let them paint my stress levels go through the roof for some reason.

Finding somewhere to put their works of art – my two got a bit carried away and before I realised we had to cover every surface in the dining room to dry their work.

Occupying the kids while you tidy up – there is a lot to sort out and it is often messy by the end, trying to get them cleaned up and occupied with something else is a priority if you don’t want paint all over the house.

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Baking and cake decorating

Pros

It can be easy – as long as you are prepared there are some really easy recipes out there.

Kids baking and cooking from a young age is fantastic at teaching them about food, and how to use equipment safely.

It can taste amazing – that’s if you get a look in.

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Cons

I personally don’t think there are any unless you hate all the washing up – I love baking with the kids!

(Oh actually there can be a time when they both want to do the same thing so set different tasks for them to do to avoid too much arguing.)

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Outdoor den making

Pros

Adventure

Imagination play

Letting them work together to construct things.

We only had some foam squares but it was funny to see the excitement on their little faces when they could sit in it together

cheeky monkeys

cheeky monkeys

Cons

Again arguments can pursue, task setting and team work encouragement helps.

They can get grubby especially sitting on the floor or being near dirt – make sure they don’t have their Sunday best on!

Lack of resources – I found we didn’t plan this so we had to make do but we could probably make a really cool one if we had better stuff.

Paddling pool fun

Pros

It’s good for children to be around water when they are well supervised, my children haven’t learnt to swim so I think it’s important for them to get used to the water before lessons begin.

Summer fun, if it’s a hot day it’s a good way for them to cool down – just don’t forget the sun cream!

Cons

You have to supervise continually don’t leave them for a minute even if you think the water is shallow enough.

If your children are like mine they will love the idea of running in the house when they get out – this can make a huge mess and could be dangerous if they slip. Keep towels close by so they can dry off before they go in.

Toilet breaks – we are fortunate to have a loo still outside however if they are desperate and very wet it could get messy.

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Build-a-bear party time!

This was a friends party, which my daughter was a guest at.

Pros

The kids get a gift so really you don’t need to worry about a party bag – even though we were kindly given one on this occasion too.

It is super interactive, there is time to play games while they are stuffing the bears so they don’t really get bored.

They can accessorise – if they had a cheaper bear they were allowed an outfit, which my daughter loved.

Cons

If you don’t pay extra for an exclusive time slot you have to have the party when the shop is open, it wasn’t too bad on a Sunday afternoon but I can imagine a Saturday is manic! They also have other parties booked afterwards so you aren’t encouraged to hang around at the end.

They have a set budget for each child, however we had a few other parents asking for more expensive bears. This was fine for them as they paid the extra to the birthday girl’s mum, however my daughter asked the same and I didn’t have any money so I felt this put me in an awkward situation – I think they should have stuck to the budget.

The accessories can be pricey – if your child wants extra things or something not included in the budget you need money with you.

There isn’t much space, so if you have pushchairs or other children you might struggle.

No food after. This didn’t matter for our party as it was at 1.30-3.00 so we had just had lunch, but if you had planned food it would mean having to go elsewhere and that could cost more money.

I would recommend Build-a-Bear parties however as it was great fun for the children!

With Pawlette

With Pawlette

See you next week for our last round up!

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Get Zentangled up!

It has been so nice during my summer break from uni this year, almost every evening I’ve really felt I’ve been able to just bury my head in all things crafty! Today I wanted to tell you about my new love – Zentangle! Now I’m still not sure why it’s called that but I heard about it only a couple of months ago. For those who don’t know, Zentangle is the process of colouring or designing really intricate patterns, and can be used as therapy for people with Alzheimer’s, stroke victims and to combat stress. Now I used to love colouring as a child and these patterns are just like a grown up version.

Over the last few months for various reasons my stress levels have been through the roof and so when I heard Zentangle could be good at chilling me out I thought I’d give it a shot. Now you can buy some really expensive pens out there but I just bought a pack of Crayola Supertips, loads of bright colours and they have a point to help with detail.

There are loads of patterns on Pinterest for free and this is a great place to start if you want to just dip your toe into a new craft like this. They sell books all over, in craft shops, book shops, even the supermarket – but shop around – I had my eye on a book in Hobbycraft, which I then found for £6 cheaper at The Works!

All you need!

All you need!

I have found completing Zentangle patterns really therapeutic, concentrating on such a detailed piece really helps you forget your worries and there is also great satisfaction at creating something beautiful in the process (I loved my first piece so much I have it framed on my sideboard!). I haven’t tried it yet but it may even help to have soothing, relaxation music or wave sounds in the background while you are doing one to really calm you down.

Tadah!

Tadah!

So whether you have been doing Zentangle for decades and I just didn’t know it existed, or you can’t wait to give it a go I hope you can get as (Zen)tangled up in this new craft as I have – it’s almost my favourite!

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My Seven Weeks of Summer!

Weeks 3 & 4

Hi!

I’m sorry for the delay with this post, it was a very hectic week at home and work last week and so this is the first chance I’ve had to catch up. Hope you’re all enjoying your ‘summer’ (remove ” if you don’t live in the UK!)

So here’s what’s been happening at our place…

The other weekend we went to one of our local National Trust properties. We are really lucky as there are two near to my parents that are both lovely. If you haven’t visited with the National Trust I definitely advise you do! Although in the past it seemed that these places were reserved for OAP coach parties, these days they seem to be much more accommodating to families of all ages. With quirky little treasures built from the forests you walk through, to spotting activities when your parents drag you around the stately house. Their cafe’s seem to have facilities for very young children with microwaves and bottle warmers (check your local properties before you go I don’t know if it is standard), and last year they created a fun activities scheme called ’50 things to do before you are 11 3/4′ – we are yet to start on these but next year we will definitely get into making tepes and pond dipping I’m sure!

The property we went to had some dressing up at the end, my daughter wouldn’t get out of it and they even had some giant games out in the grounds! With membership that can be as little as around £5 a month for a year I’d say if you can get to them regularly it is well worth the money.

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This week we went to the other property where they had a Teddy Bear's Picnic in the vegetable garden - as you do!

This week we went to the other property where they had a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in the vegetable garden – as you do!

Fun times at my favourite shop!

It’s interesting what you find out without even asking sometimes. You might not know this yet but I love love love Hobbycraft, in fact if I was locked in there by accident for the weekend I’d have a ball. Anyhow whilst picking up a few bits a couple of weeks ago I was given a flyer at the tills – as I had the children with me – about activities they were holding over the holidays. It may be getting a bit late now but I think they are running until the end of August. Completely free and you just turn up any time between 11 and 3. We went in for the face painting the other day and it was good. No queues, nothing to pay out (well as long as I looked and didn’t touch hehe!)

Little lady went for an owl !

Little lady went for an owl !

Loving Pinterest this holiday!

Well I’ve been delving through the pins again and this week we chose to make a lego marble maze! It was great fun for my 5 year old as he had to figure out where to put the bricks so the marble could get from one end to the other. It was quite a quick activity but he played with it for quite a while afterwards. There are hundreds of ideas on Pinterest so if you aren’t signed up you should definitely get on it!

Concentrating face!

Concentrating face!

A-maze-ing!

A-maze-ing!

Then it all got a bit manic! Little miss turned 4 this week and so it was all hands on deck as our family descended on Friday evening. As she finished Nursery I wasn’t sure whether to give her a party with her nursery friends or not. In the end we decided to book a party at the Wacky Warehouse.

She loved it! Face painting was included and they gave us way more food than was needed (needless to say the parents didn’t leave it to go to waste 😉 )

These parties may seem a bit lazy, but with entertainment provided, food supplied, party bags thrown in and no cleaning up I don’t think you can go wrong! We were also really lucky as it was such a nice afternoon we had the whole place to ourselves and you normally have to pay extra for that kind of exclusivity – bonus!

5 Elsa's and 1 Anna were requested poor face painter!

5 Elsa’s and 1 Anna were requested poor face painter!

We finished this week with daddy baking gingerbread – OK I know it isn’t Christmas!- gingerbread is such an easy recipe for children I think, and they get to create different shapes including the traditional men. This time we tried out our Dr Who Dalek and Sontaran cutters they were super geeky but tasted amazing!

We picked ours up from Lakeland at Christmas!

We picked ours up from Lakeland at Christmas!

Have a great week, blog to you soon!

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Those little things they do…

So we are almost half way through the summer break and I think I’ve coped quite well so far. This year is the first time both children have been at an age when we can start to successfully do an activity together without too much drama. However I thought I’d post today about the little things I’ve only noticed since spending so much time together. These little things are not so much cute but are actually rather infuriating and I thought I’d share them so hopefully other mums and dads out there don’t feel so bad about being infuriated by them too. Or it’s just me in which case I should have just kept it to myself!

So here is my list so far…

1 – Buying lunch (which is never cheap!) while you are out for the day and your child refuses to eat it or leaves most of it after playing for half an hour.

2 – How when you wear flip flops they unintentionally manage to stand on your feet at every opportunity (it really hurts!)

3 – Having to make an important phone call during the daytime and even though you have explained it really easily for them that they need to have some quiet time they decide that is in fact the best 15 minutes to ask you a question, shout, scream, sing at the top of their voice and fight with their sibling!

4 – This is one that particularly drives me barmy or should I say potty! When your child responds no to 5 seperate requests of please go to the toilet before we go out, only to need it desperately when you get to where you are going and there is no loo like you warned or you are half way round the supermarket with a full trolley.

5 – Or maybe even more frustrating, dragging you to the loo when you are half way round the supermarket, and then not doing anything.

6 – And finally my daughter’s favourite right now, begging me to do her hair in clips or bobbles then constantly moving her head while I’m trying to do it.

OK so I hope some of you can relate to this and it’s not just me! All I can say is I am not ashamed to be a little relieved when it’s time to go to work for a couple of days and I take my hats off to all the full time parents out there. Kids are amazing fun but sometimes can drive you a little mad!

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My Seven Weeks of Summer!

Week 2

Hey guys, week two already? How time flies when you’re having fun, or generally living a madly busy life without the kids being on summer break at the same time!

So this week has been great fun. We kicked it off with a little engineering experiment. After finding this activity on Pinterest I knew we had to have a go. It looked relatively simple and I knew my son would enjoy a little challenge. So what am I on about? A recycled loo roll marble run of course! We found cutting some in half worked better for slopes and then allowing to drop through whole tubes so it didn’t ping off. Unfortunately using masking tape was a fail. It was good at not pulling off the wall paper but it lasted on the wall for about a day – so use something stronger if you can! This activity was good at getting the children to work in a team, they both had a role and there weren’t too many squabbles; until they started racing the marbles that is!

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Tuesday

Today turned out to be a bit of a fluke, with two appointments at either end of the day I knew I had to find something which would be time savvy. Originally I had planned to go to a local National Trust property, but unfortunately it rained (when has it not this month!), so instead we had a quick planning session at the side of the road and made a diversion into town to go and see Pixar’s new film ‘Inside Out’.

inside out

(If you go to a Cineworld cinema you can save 10% by booking through ‘mycineworld’ online or through the app)

I always find it tricky getting our children to sit still through a whole film especially with the immense amount of trailers. I thought the film was really good, quite funny even for grown ups at times. However I thought the concept of the characters being emotions inside someone’s head which think and talk for them and store memories, a bit of a hard one for younger children to grasp. I think they enjoyed the characters individually but they didn’t really understand their role in the film. I would give it 7/10.

Little experiement

Later in the week I wanted to have a go at making ice lollies. Could I find moulds anywhere? No, why? Well apparently even though it wasn’t even August at this point, all the supermarkets decided to remove all their summer gear and get ready to send the kids back to school! Luckily I spotted some in my local newsagent for £1- Bargain!

I had a go at making an ice lolly and an ice cream with fresh strawberries. The lollies were easy, I chose apple juice from concentrate and watered it down with a 1/3 water. With the ice cream I tried to move quickly as it’s not recommended to re-freeze melted ice cream. I left them over night and they were done. This is where I realised the ice cream idea didn’t quite work out. Unfortunately as it was so soft it had not gripped the stick strongly enough to bring the ice cream with it resulting in an ice cream stuffed mould in one hand and the stick in the other! Therefore in future I’d definitely stick to ice lollies and experiment with different combinations of juice, maybe even trying to add fruit. I don’t know how the ice lollies tasted but the children didn’t complain so I’ll take that as a win!

fruity fun!

fruity fun!

Daddy took the quick route…

On Friday, my husband decided to make cookies with the children. However he decided to cheat a little a bought a Betty Crocker mix. It was really easy to make up, and the house smelt amazing, however I think he should have used grease proof to line the tray as they stuck to the bottom and he also forgot to set a timer so they were slightly over done! I’ll give him some credit for trying, sometimes these pre-mixed batters are a great little time saver!

And that’s all folks…lots coming up this week especially with my Frozen-obsessed little girls birthday!

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