Spruce Up Your Spring Picnic {With Bostik Bloggers}

I don’t want to say it too loudly, in case I frighten it away, but this week, for a moment, I was pretty sure spring was finally here! We’ve been making flower crafts for our Bostik Bloggers box this month and wanted to show them off in the sunshine with a spring picnic. In true British style, it was still really cold, and windy, but we had a good go at it anyway!

Spring Picnic

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Making Hot Air Balloon Bird Feeders {Bostik Bloggers}

It’s women in aviation week this week, and as it happens it’s also Bostik Blogger’s ‘Flying’ theme this month, so having already learned all about Amelia Earhart recently, we looked at someone different this time – Élisabeth Thible, the first woman to fly in an untethered hot air balloon.  From Wikipedia:

Élisabeth Thible, or Tible, born in Lyon was the first woman on record to fly in an untethered hot air balloon. On June 4, 1784, eight months after the first manned balloon flight, Thible flew with Mr. Fleurant on board a hot air balloon christened La Gustave in honour of King Gustav III of Sweden’s visit to Lyon.

We decided to make hot air balloon tea-light candless, which looked really pretty floating about in our indoor lemon tree… until they got nice and hot and started melting the foam sheets and the glue! So we decided that perhaps a candle wasn’t the best idea. Fortunately we were able to pop out the tealight candle and fill the holder with birdseed – which isn’t much use on our indoor tree, but will be once we transfer it outside!

Hot Air Balloon Bird Feeder

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Teaching Girls About Women – What Woman Is

Sometimes life collides in several places at the same time, creating a series of thoughts or actions that can change us forever. This is the story of such a change for me – how I realised that womanhood is a gift, and how I grew to love being a woman.

I don’t recall ever hating being a girl. I was ‘lucky’ in that I was raised fairly free of the limitations of feminity. We were always dressed in beautiful, home-made, pastel coloured dresses with lace trimming that I hated as soon as I hit puberty, but we were never discouraged from climbing trees, or riding bikes, or participating in sports. The only ‘it’s okay, you’re a girl’ thing that I remember from my childhood is an inability to do well at mathematics, and being told that it was because I am a girl. I didn’t go on to do a doctorate in maths. In fact, I still suck at it. Whether that’s just a quirk of being me, or some latent reaction to being told I couldn’t, I will never know. I can do my budgets, bake my cakes, work out the tire pressure for my car. I do okay. I never really needed to know what a is equal to anyway.What Woman IsRead more: Teaching Girls About Women – What Woman Is

How To Make: Flower Easter Egg Baskets

Is it just me or does the universe just give us a reason to eat chocolate pretty much every month for at least half of the year? Right now we’re getting ready for Easter and when our #BostikBlogger box arrived full of little eggs, ‘nesting’ paper and a handful of bunnies, it was pretty clear I was going to have to head out and buy some chocolate eggs (because I really needed the excuse!). While the eggs themselves need no ceremony to be eaten, we thought some Easter Egg Baskets that gave a little nod to spring would be ideal.

I started making these Easter egg baskets with plain yellow paper that came in our box – I thought we’d make daffodils, at first – but then I remembered this gorgeous book for Spring and Easter Patterned Paper I bought a few years ago. I only had two sheets left in the book, and this seemed an ideal project to finish it up on. (This particular book called Spring & Easter Patterned Paper from Crelando doesn’t seem to be available online. I found it at Lidl some years ago. You can find other Paper Packs on Amazon though, or use plain or printed card to achieve the same effect.Flower Easter Egg BasketsRead more: How To Make: Flower Easter Egg Baskets

Easiest Valentine’s Bookmarks For Kids

Valentine's Day Book MarksWe received loads of little pretty goodies in our BostikBloggers box this month and I simply loved the beautiful rose paper. I could have used it to make a card, but that’s so fleeting, so I wanted to make something else with it. I decided to make Valentine’s day bookmarks (that would work just as well for Mother’s Day or similar!) to include in the Valentine’s Day cards for my girls.Read more: Easiest Valentine’s Bookmarks For Kids

Pop-Up Valentine’s Day Cards

A few years ago, I was sorting through one of those boxes of random things that just end up in a corner at the back of the wardrobe, when I found a small box filled with letters my mother had written to me when I was a teenager.  The thing is, my mom had died three months before and finding those letters were like a little gift from heaven. I decided then that I had to make sure that my girls received letters from me. Letters that I will keep in their memory boxes for them, that they can rediscover one day. When we received our #BostikBloggers box this month, with its Valentine’s Day theme, I decided this was a perfect opportunity to write each of my girls a letter.

Pop Up Valentine's Day Cards

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7 Valentines Gifts To Give Yourself

I’ve finally managed to get the last of the Christmas wrapping out with the recycle bins last week, so you know what that means? Time to think about Valentines Day! Yay!  Well, actually, I’ve not celebrated Valentine’s day in a long while, but while the shops are filling up with red hearts and bad chocolate, what better time to treat yourself (myself!) to something that no one else is likely to give me?

Valentines

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NSPCC New Launch PANTS Campaign

I get a lot of press releases in my inbox every day, and mostly, I just scan them and move on, but the NSPCC reached out this week asking bloggers to help them spread the word about their new campaign.

If you’re not familiar with the PANTS campaign, PANTS is a tool which parents can use to teach their children, in an age appropriate way, important messages, like that their body belongs to them and that they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried.NSPCC Campaign

This week the charity, launched a new mobile phone game and began running a prime time TV ad which runs until the end of the month. You can see the ad here:

When you consider that one child in every 20 (in the UK, I suspect) suffers some form of sexual abuse the importance of having this conversation as early as possible becomes so vital.

It is also important to recognise that ‘stranger danger’ now only applies in a small percentage of cases, with a third of all child sexual offences committed by other children and 90% of perpetrators being known to their victims.

The good news is that there is an easy way to talk to your child about how to stay safe without using scary words or even mentioning sex. At the NSPCC we simply call this Talking PANTS.  From P through to S, each letter stands for an important rule for kids to remember – Privates are private, Always remember your body belongs to you, No means no, Talk about secrets that upset you and Speak up – someone can help.

It’s not an easy conversation to have, and it’s not a pleasant one to have to think about, and I know I for sure hope it’s something I never have to deal with, but like many other things – prevention is better than cure.

Helping us to spread this message is Pantosauraus the cartoon dinosaur, who was recently introduced to the world with a catchy song and activity pack and now has his own game which is free to download from the iOS and Android app store.

The game features four mini challenges where children test their skills against Pantosaurus and his friends whilst learning the PANTS rule. The game enables children to have fun while learning about staying safe and what to do should anything happen that they feel uncomfortable about.

Handmade Mitten Gift Tag Crafts #BostikBloggers

I saw a picture of mitten Christmas tree ornaments and thought it would be a really sweet way of tracking growth in the early years, but also a personalised gift tag that can be kept by adding the child’s name and age so we set about making just that: personalised mitten gift tags.
Mitten Gift TagsRead more: Handmade Mitten Gift Tag Crafts #BostikBloggers

Bonfire Night Snack Jars #BostikBloggers

I can’t quite believe how quickly the months seem to pass at the moment, but here we are again, ready with our next #BostikBloggers project, this time Bonfire Night Snack Jars that can be used for your fireworks snacking, but we are filling ours with Smores Cheesecake.

The #BostikBlogger theme this month is Bonfire Night, so we wanted to do something with fireworks.

For this craft we used an empty jar and a variety of  Bostik Glitter Pens per person.Read more: Bonfire Night Snack Jars #BostikBloggers