Wednesday, 18 February 2015

How to have a happy half-term

You may have noticed I've been a bit quieter than usual on here. If not then why not ? Self-involved much ? Anyway, the combination of working full time and half term have been pretty challenging. Not helped by a last minute cancellation of one of the activities we had been relying on to help us with childcare. So, I've been thinking about how to keep the boy occupied, not least as a warm up for the longer Easter break and then the even longer summer holiday. Family have been amazing and he stayed with my parents and his auntie and uncle for a few days. They kept him very busy and he came home happy and tired, but he also missed us (yay !).

We always love to do things like going to kids club movies, craft activities and even the occasional outdoor trip. However, I also want him to have a proper break from school so some days we just want to hang around at home and do things that are fun, but don't involve travel. 

You will probably already know about Snapfish. They are the company that produce photo gifts, cards, wall art and calendars that when we first had our son we bombarded our family with. That first Christmas each family member got a photo album of photos of our beloved first born and in subsequent years they've had calendars, canvas collages, mugs and even t-shirts with photos on. The print quality is great and they arrive really quickly so I'm a big fan. All our thank you cards were from Snapfish this year with a collage of images of our son and a lovely thank you message in chalkboard style on the back. I also made a lovely valentine's card using images of me and Hubbie from the last ten years and I've designed mother's day cards for both grandmothers containing lovely photos of their favourite (and currently only) grandson and ordered some glossy copies of his school photos for them to keep and treasure too. All of these were delivered to me within a week, but for for an additional charge they will deliver direct to your recipient. 

In case you're not sure what this has to do with half term they also do some great - and completely free - printables online. These include characters and themes (eg. princes and princesses) and even some party kits so you can produce everything from invitations and thank you cards to bunting and personalised items like pirate or princess themed accessories for guests. They also have a range of printable cards so you can make and print at home if you can't wait. 

I'm going to drop some heavy hints that I'd like Hubbie to do some of the Mother's Day activities with our boy. These include origami flowers and a very tempting French country breakfast in bed kit. I think they can multi-task just this once can't they ? 

The other lifesaving half term helper we have discovered has been Amazon Fire TV. We set it up in our bedroom as the reception in there has always been poor so we thought having an online streaming service would be a better option. It's linked to my Amazon account so I can download apps to it online and as we have a Amazon Prime subscription there are lots of shows and movies that we can access for free too. The kit itself is compact and very sleek. I've been having great fun using the voice activated remote to choose programmes. We haven't tried to gaming controller yet, but I suspect that will be on the cards at some point during half term. 

It's proven to be a great decision to use this upstairs and in the morning when we aren't at work or school we can all lie in bed and watch movies or shows together with a better picture quality than we ever had before. The best feature for me is the memory as I rarely watch something in one sitting (I get to see about 5-10 minutes a day which isn't really the best way to watch a movie is it ?) so being able to go back and pick up where I left off is really helpful. At the moment I'm part way through 'The Watch' and my boy is back to back viewing 'Justin and the knights of valour' and they are both saved where we last left off watching. It's great having so many choices to watch and you can save up things to watch later. 

I think we'll be pretty prepared for the Easter break and look forward to even more fun with my boy both in and out of the house. 

The lovely folks and Snapfish sent us a voucher code to try out their products.
The lovely folks at Amazon Fire TV sent us the kit to try out.
All views are honest and no payment has been received. 

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