How to Host a Christmas Movie Premiere at Home

 
Christmas is going to be a little different for most of us this year. However I am more determined than ever to make it as magical as possible and to make the best out of a bad situation. 


How to Host a Christmas Movie Premiere at Home



Christmas theatre and cinema plays a big part in our usual festivities and we will really miss our regular pantos and Christmas performances. 

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31 Scary Movies to Watch this Halloween

 Steve and the boys absolutely love a scary film and as we are staying at home this year, have set themselves a little challenge of watching a scary movie every night in October. 




I will probably watch a few of these with them, especially the retro ones but to be honest, despite loving scary films when I was younger, I don't like being scared these days so will probably leave them to it a lot of the time. 

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What's On for Kids - October Half Term | North East England

 

What's On for Kids - October Half Term | North East England
 

If you're looking for more ideas for days out, why not join our FREE days out Facebook group here. 
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After School Fruity Weetabix Cookies Recipe

 

I spotted a recipe for Weetabix Cookies over on the Weetabix Instagram. My three love Weetabix (of the chocolate variety) and I had all of the ingredients in the house so thought I would give them a go with a few little changes. 

90% of the time I try to include some kind of fruit / veg into the kids as part of their after-school snack and these seemed ideal. 

Scroll to the middle of the post for ingredients and method. 


After School Fruity Weetabix Cookies Recipe

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12 Reasons I Love Sky Q

 
I know some people aren't fans of Sky TV and say it is expensive (which I agree with) but as a family, we watch loads of TV - especially Steve and they boys. We have been Sky customers for years and the last time we upgraded was 6+ years ago when we moved into our current house (that was to Sky+ HD). 

12 Reasons I Love Sky Q

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20+ Children's Book Ideas for your Autumn Book Basket

Ad - this post includes affiliate links.
 
There is so much uncertainty around at the moment - will we return to home schooling this year? Will our children need to isolate at home soon? Can we still enjoy the autumnal days out we are used to? I find the unknown very stressful and I am someone who likes to be prepared. I also absolutely was not a fan of home learning and really hope I do not have to return to it any time soon (although if we do - so be it, things could be a lot worse for us and I am prepared to do my bit).  


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Where to Shop Online with North East Businesses this Christmas

 

 Like many, I really want to support our local businesses at Christmas where I can. However I also know that Christmas shopping is going to be a little different this year - there will be no browsing of Christmas markets where we can chat with stallholders and sample products, it is unlikely that I am going to want to spend hours shopping with my mam this year and to be honest, who knows what the next few months hold. It is all so uncertain right now. 

Where to Shop Online with North East Businesses this Christmas


On a personal note, I already know my income is not going to be en par with the last few years. A big chunk of my income comes from advertising big Christmas events and these just not going to happen this year. I know many small businesses will be in the same boat - relying on the last quarter to boost their yearly income and it is a worrying time for us self-employed folks. I strongly believe we should try and support our small and local businesses where we can. 

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Ouseburn Farm - is it worth the £3.50 entrance fee?

 
This post is based on a visit to Ouseburn Farm in September 2020. 

Ouseburn Farm is one of our favourite places to visit in Newcastle. I have lost count how many times we have visited over the years, especially when the kids were little. All of my children love animals (especially Heidi) and we have enjoyed various activities and visits over the years from just popping in to a reptile spa day (which was a favourite) and even a summer camp where the kids spent the full day learning how to be farmers. They still talk about catching chickens and herding sheep to this day. 

 Scroll to the bottom of this post for directions, booking links and FAQs  

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Great British Bake Off Themes & Easy Bake Along Recipes


The Great British Bake Off is back! This year we are really planning on making the most of it and will be watching together as a family. In the past, I have half-heartedly baked along or been inspired to bake something after watching but this year, I am going all in and I am going to bake-along to match the themes. 



Is there anything better than a homemade bake whilst watching Bake Off? The answer, is no. 

I am not a fantastic baker, in fact it is a running joke in my family that my sponge cakes are more like biscuits. I am just a regular mam who can follow a recipe so hopefully my bakes will be easy enough to follow along - do not expect any showstoppers - I will leave this to the experts. 

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Life Lately - September 2020

 




Back to school 

The kids have been back to school for a few weeks now - Jack in Year 5, Heidi Year 7 and Harry Year 9. I didn't think the kids had really missed school that much but now that they are back and with their friends / kids their own age again, it has made the world of difference. They are no longer in each others pockets so the fighting has dramatically reduced and it is so lovely that they have their own little personality and lives back again rather than us all being one unit. I now have a huge appreciation of how important school is for my three (I know all kids are different) and really hope we never have to return to home learning again. I think I am unrealistic in this dream though. 

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30+ Ways to Have a Magical Christmas at Home

 
Who knows what is going to happen with Christmas this year. As a family of 5, I am starting to worry that we may not be able to plan any of our usual get-togethers with friends and family. This is so sad and I try not to think about it too much. For me, Christmas is very much about family and friends (oh and food). Fingers crossed restrictions change by then...... 

30+ Ways to Have a Magical Christmas at Home

2020 has been a tough year for all of us and Christmas is something we usually look forward to and is the time of year we can inject a little magic into our lives. Whatever happens, I reckon most of us just want to try and make the best of it. 

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Toffee Apple Nachos Recipe

 Toffee Apple Nachos are a quick and easy snack. I like making them for when the kids get home from school but they are just as good as a movie night snack. Perfect for those cosy nights at home when you have the curtains drawn, the candles lit and are snuggled up on the sofa. 

Toffee Apple Nachos Recipe

I like to think that this snack is a nice mix of nutrition and treats too - the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, this dish cannot be made in advance but it only takes a few minutes to prepare. The dish is best enjoyed with your fingers but it can get a little sticky and I find that individual portions work best. 

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Low Hauxley Nature Reserve - Free Accessible Wildlife Walk

A quiet, accessible wildlife walk with bird hides near Amble in Northumberland. This post is based on a visit in September 2020.

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve

During our recent stay at Cresswell Towers, we decided to pay Low Hauxley Nature Reserve a visit. It had been on my list of places to visit for ages and after my in-laws visited and mentioned it was lovely, we decided to bump it up the list. 
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Easy Mini Chocolate Orange Cheesecakes

 

These mini baked cheesecakes are super simple to make and are ideal as an after school snack, to prepare for a school Christmas fair, to take into work or bake if you have a friend coming over for coffee over the Christmas period. If your school allows a little chocolate, you can sneak one into lunchboxes too. 



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Life Lately - Back to School After Almost 6 Months Off

 
The summer of 2020 has definitely been a weird one. I have felt a real mixture of sadness for H, H and J that they are not enjoying the summer we are used to and have not had a holiday this year (spoken from a place of privilege I know).  Sad that sleepovers / end of school trips / our usual trips to museums, swimming pools and theme parks have just not been possible. I know these past few months have given us a chance to enjoy a slower pace of life, but 6 months is a long time. 


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