How to spend a night in with your hubby #AD

With two boys at home and a limited supply of babysitters, nights out with the Hubby are in short supply. I'm not complaining, in fact over the years we've got rather used to having awesome night's in.



What you'll need:



The perfect movie

You'll want to find a movie that has a big of everything; moving, romantic, and even sad. The most important thing though, is that you watch it together. If you're unsure which movie to choose, why not try Me Before You? It's a movie that will have you reaching for a Kleenex within about 30 minutes of starting.




I headed into London for a special screening of Me Before You recently and loved this movie, it's a romantic comedy that will really pull at your heart strings. Based on the book of the same name by Jojo Moyes Me Before You takes you on a journey and while you might not get the ending you want, you're still left smiling. It's the perfect movie to watch together and will make you want to hang on to your partner tight and never let them go.







Kleenex

Movies such as Me Before You will result in crying, whether it's you or your partner, so be sure you have Kleenex nearby. Crying makes you want to be closer to your partner so he/she can make it all better and as long as you have Kleenex to wipe away the tears (and don't use his/her t-shirt!) you're set. If you choose to watch Me Before You you'll definitely need those tissues, it is a seriously weepy movie and I have no doubt you will end up crying, like my friends here:





Kids in bed

To have a great night you need to have the kids in bed and settled so that you can enjoy special time together without interruptions. Spend time beforehand reading bedtime stories, giving them a hot bath with lavender scented bubble bath, or letting them drink hot chocolate, it all helps to settle them. My boys are 7 and 12 years old so once BP goes to bed at 9pm the night is ours - we just have to stay awake long enough to enjoy it!



Somewhere comfy to sit

Whether it's a sofa, a futon, or like the Hubby and I a recliner, you absolutely have to have somewhere comfortable to sit. 



A blanket

What's better than snuggling up with your partner to watch a movie? Snuggling up with your partner beneath a blanket to watch a movie. Find the snuggliest, softest blanket you have in the house and have it with you when you start the movie, if either of you get chilly you can grab the blanket and continue to enjoy the movie.



Your drink of choice

Whatever your drink of choice have it made and ready so you don't need to get up, or pause the movie and be separated.


Combine all these things together and your night in with your hubby will be fantastic.



Giveaway

To help you enjoy a night in with your hubby I have a Me Before You DVD and Kleenex goodies to give away. Simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
UK Only.

This post is written in collaboration with Kleenex

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Post Comment Love 28th - 30th October

Post Comment Love is back again for another week of linking and giving those posts the extra love they need. Link up your best post of the week and we'll show it the love it deserves!

As you can imagine this week has been hectic with the boys being at home for half term. I was a little less organised this time than I'd like and we haven't managed to do an awful lot but we combine a trip to a theme park with a visit to see family on Wednesday. It was great seeing my dad and they got to see what the boys are like when they're going crazy!

The boys are looking forward to going trick-or-treating on Monday, and BP has invited one of his friends along with us which means he'll get into the spirit of it (I hope). LP cannot wait, and this year we even bought a pumpkin - the carving ought to be fun!

The darker days are starting to get me down a little so I'm making the most of the daylight hours by sitting in our lightest rooms and trying to get as much daylight exposure as possible. Of course it is nice to snuggle under a blanket at night when things get colder.

How are you coping with the colder weather and darker days?



Stephanie and I have been putting our heads together over the last few weeks to try and make things a little easier for you. As a result we've come up with a list of questions that you can choose to answer instead of the regular Blogger Showcase feature. We'll put the list of questions on our Pocolo pages so you can look at them and answer them whenever you like but as a starter both Stephanie and I decided to answer them. I'm hosting Stephanie's answers here and she's hosting my answers over on her blog.

We thought this was a great way to make the Blogger Showcase easier and more fun for you. You can still write a regular feature if you choose but if you want to be featured in Blogger Showcase you now have a choice. You can answer our questions or you can write your introduction - it's completely up to you.


Blogger Showcase Stephanie from Life at 139a


Who are you? 


Hello! I’m Stephanie and I blog over at Life at 139a (www.lifeat139a.com), I live in South London and now have the most amazing walk to work through Greenwich Park! I blog about all kinds of homes and garden related things, and our holidays and days out. And a bit of cycling too. Oh, and some crafting - I need to do some more of that soon! 

I live a busy life (who doesn’t?) and want my blog to be a good reflection of me. I’ve also got a bit of a thing for yellow, that’s more apparent on Instagram though!


How did you discover blogs/blogging?


Well, one day at work many years ago the CIO decided he wanted to blog so I thought I’d better find out a bit more about it. So I read a book on corporate blogging (yes, zzzzzzz!) and read lots of blogs, that was a much better way of doing some research!

I found a blog written by a local lady and started following along. By all accounts her life was quite ordinary, but when she stopped blogging, I kind of missed her and found myself diarising some time each week to see if she’d changed her mind. She didn’t, but that made me realise just how powerful blogs can be. I mean I’d never met this lady, but already I’d formed an emotional connection…


Why did you start blogging?


I started my blog as we planned and scoped some major house redecorations back in 2013. I wanted to write about our schedule, progress (and lack of it) and the frustrations along the way. I didn’t share it for a year, but found the writing cathartic. Then I left my job in the City after thirty years and found I was repeating myself a lot answering the “what are you up to now” question so I blogged about it and shared that instead.


What do you find most challenging?


My first thought was time, but that’s not just blogging related! So instead I’m going for self-promotion, I find that hard.



What is your favourite topic to write about?


I love to write about our garden, and the progress and growing successes on our allotment.



Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?


A bit of both really. I do enjoy it and can’t imagine not blogging and I do want to improve all sorts of things about it. I have a stack of blogmin tasks I should be doing, but I’d much rather be creating content and catching up with what everyone else is getting up to!



What is your favourite thing about blogging?


Having a creative outlet - and through blogging I’ve reignited my love of crafts - and the community of bloggers. I’ve met some brilliant bloggers online and in real life too and made some real friends, which I never expected to.


Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?


Yes, I’ve been to a few now. Blogfest was my first one and that felt a bit odd as I’m not a mum so I felt a bit of a fraud being there to start with. I soon got over that though as everyone was so lovely and there was so much going on. Since then I’ve been to BlogCamp and BritMums live where I met up with Morgan for the first time almost six months after we started to co-host #PoCoLo. I’m off to Blogfest again in November so hope to catch up with lots of you there.



What are your 3 best posts?


I’ve interpreted best as posts that have meant the most to me and the ones I’ve had fun with, so here goes: 
The post that started it all - What Stephanie did next http://www.lifeat139a.com/139a/2014/04/what-stephanie-did-next.html



Describe yourself in three words!


Into almost everything!



Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?


… Erm both!



What's your idea of a perfect night out?


A night out with MOH involving heels, fancy clothes, steak and chips, red wine, some kind of chocolate pudding and a taxi home!



Your perfect night in?


In front of the TV with our latest box set (we’re still working our way through Lost, yes still!), a bottle of red, some good food and a cuddle.



What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?


Gah! I set this question, but it’s hard to answer… I can think of lots of things they’d say that probably wouldn’t be my best quality… 

I’d like to think MOH would say it’d be getting things done, even if he did add an eventually to that. And I think my mum would say it was my assertiveness, rather than me being bossy! In response I’d say she raised me to be a strong woman so she’s only got herself to blame…



Great answers Steph!
I'm loving the new questions for Blogger Showcase - what do you think?

If you'd like to be featured in Blogger Showcase simply send your answers to postcommentlove@gmail.com.


Now for our first reveal - it's the "I was featured on Blogger Showcase" badge!


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If you're one of our past or future bloggers featured in Blogger Showcase feel free to grab the badge.



Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out our list of questions or email us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

And now the new Post Comment Love badge!


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The Bigger Ones Tag

Getting my boys to talk about anything is difficult, when I ask them a question I usually get a one word answer. Sometimes I can have whole conversations with them but this only happens on rare occasions when they're feeling particularly sociable.

A few weeks ago I was tagged by the lovely Catie over at An Imperfect Mum for The Bigger Ones tag. I get to ask my boys 10 questions and maybe learn a little bit about them!



An interview with LP (7 years old)



Who is your best friend?


Dylan.


What do you want to be when you grow up?


A typer. Someone who types.




If you could have one super power what would it be?



Teleportation.



Bustin' a move with Frubes

My boys love yoghurts, for the boys they're tasty treats and for me, it's an easy way of making sure they get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in their diet. LP has always liked milk, he has it with his cereal in a morning, has milk at school, and, like I said, he loves his yoghurts. BP is slightly more difficult to please, he won't drink milk and refuses to have it on his cereal so making sure he gets plenty of calcium and vitamin D in his diet is a little more challenging. 

Frubes is the largest portable yoghurt brand, you can put them in lunchboxes or school bags as a healthy treat during the day. Available in Strawberry, Red Berry, Peach, and Banana flavours they contain vitamin D and calcium which help to build strong bones. 




You see it's not just babies that need help building strong bones, according to the National Institutes of Health taking care of your child's bones whilst they are young is important as around 90% of their lifetime bone mass is set by the age of 18! Your little one's body can't make calcium, they have to get it through their diet and vitamin D is important too as it helps the body absorb calcium. 

Which is why I choose Frubes to help my boys get the calcium and vitamin D they need. To celebrate Frubes' partnership with the must-see family film of the year, The Angry Birds Movie, Frubes has created a squawksome dance-off between the Angry Birds and mischievous Pigs. First of all we visited the website angrybirds.frubes.co.uk to see how the Birds and Pigs did it, then my boys picked sides; LP (7yrs old) was with The Pigs and BP (12 yrs old) was with the Angry Birds, and we busted moves, got our groove on, and basically shook the house (or garden)!

We visited the website and had some fun with the dancing Angry Birds.

BP efforts, given that he's 12 and likes to take on his tween persona a lot, were impressive. I was surprised that he wanted to take part and while he doesn't particularly enjoy the dancing, he did enjoy his Frubes!



LP was a completely different story. He got into the spirit of things by doing pirouettes, funky walks, and he loved spinning. We spent a little time outside busting our #FrubesMoves and I happened to mention there were masks to print on the website. He immediately wanted to go inside to print a mask so he could do different moves with a mask, so that's just what we did.









As part of The Angry Birds Movie partnership, Frubes is running an egg-citing on-pack promotion until 31st October, offering families the chance to flock to the Bahamas for a fun-filled island holiday to spot exotic birds and swim with pigs? 

The competition includes a weekly draw to win a whole host of Angry Birds Move merchandise, with a grand prize of a family holiday for four to spend six nights in Bahamas! Doesn't that sound brilliant?

How would you bust your #FrubesMoves?

This post is an entry for BritMums' #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes.

10 Games to play with your school-aged children

Regular readers of Morgan's Milieu know that my boys are 7 and 12 years old and we regularly play games together. It could be computer games or board games, either way you're spending time with your children having fun.


The games we like to play depends on what kind of mood we're in and how much console games the boys have played recently. Below you can see my game suggestions and what I think of them.


Console Games



Splatoon


Paint your base with your colour using paint guns, huge brushes, paint bombs... Paint your opponent's area in your colour. But beware - they're trying to do the same. The winner is the team with the largest coloured area.

Me Before You signed poster giveaway with Warner Bros.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited down to London for a special viewing of Me Before You at the Warner Bros. Studios. It was the first time I'd ventured into London alone when I wasn't going to a blogging conference and I was rather nervous. 

As it turned out I got into London on the train without any issues and managed to find my way to the Warner Bros. Studios. It was quite daunting walking into the place and as I wandered up to the reception desk the gentlemen welcomed me and handed me my pass. 

Before we were shown into the screening room I thought about the movie I was about to see. I'll be honest and say that I hadn't even heard of Me Before You. Looking at the promotion images I figured it would be a romantic comedy, I love romantic comedies and was looking forward to watching.


Even Batman was looking forward to watching!

Starring Emilia Clarke (played Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (played Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games) Me Before You is no romantic comedy. From a few minutes into the film I soon realised Me Before You is no romantic comedy, in fact it is based on a book of the same name by Jojo Moyes.



About the Movie


Me Before You is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is not the type of movie I'd have usually chosen to watch but I'm so glad I was invited to see it. This movie touched my heart and had me rooting for the main characters even though I'd started out disliking one of them. 

A few minutes into the movie I spotted Lou's shoes, they reminded me of Irregular Choice shoes and I instantly respected her choice in footwear. Her wild and enthusiastic character is evident right from the start and you know that she is going to have a positive impact on whoever she meets. 



Then she meets Will.

At first I didn't like Will, he was rude and abrupt, but as I learned more about his character I began to warm to him. Despite his own efforts he became considerate and kind, and by the end of the movie I felt like I knew him. 

That's the magic of Me Before You, you're taken on a journey along with the characters and by the end your rooting for a particular outcome, even though you know it's unlikely. As a result of seeing Me Before You I want to read the book! That's the sign of a good movie.


Here's the synopsis:


Louisa "Lou" Clark (Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet. Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge. Taking a job at the local "castle", she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior, and whose whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up. That is until Lou determines to show him that life is worth living. Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for, and find their lives - and hearts- changing in ways neither one could have imagined.



And the trailer





I don't want to ruin your enjoyment of the movie by telling you what happens but you should definitely watch Me Before You. 


Signed Me Before You poster giveaway


Warner Bros. would like to offer you, my lovely readers, the chance to win a signed Me Before You poster.

This is the cover of the DVD

The poster is signed by the cast and filmmakers; Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jojo Moyes, Thea Sharrock.

Simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
UK only.

Good luck!
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Post Comment Love 21st - 23rd October

Hello my lovely fellow bloggers! Welcome back to another Post Comment Love where your posts can get some extra love.

I've been struggling this week to cope with everything, I've written less posts, I think blogger's block has been lurking, and the house is a mess. On the plus side I did tidy the kitchen yesterday and I now have an island unit that is not completely jammed with papers and toys!

I was so busy last week that I forgot to post a photo of my new glasses! So here it is people...

Do you like my snazzy earrings too?

They're almost the same as my old ones but less purple (boo!). I hate picking out new glasses because whenever I find a pair I actually like I know that by the time I need new glasses they won't make my frames anymore and I'll have to change again! At least I've learned the style that suits me best, I love these frames with the frame at the top and nothing at the bottom. I did try the rimless frames at one point but thought it looked very strange. Anyway, enough about glasses.

Half term is upon us! ARGH! The boys will be at home all week next week which means I'll probably get nothing done apart from separating them and yelling a lot. The good thing about half-term is that I get to see my mum and dad, which is always great.

Halloween is on Monday and the boys (or at least LP) are looking forward to getting dressed up to go trick-or-treating. LP always loves it and has such a great time, it may have something to do with all the sweets. This year he's asked if we could get a pumpkin too so I'm going to have to learn how to carve it!

Do you have any great plans for half-term or is it business as usual?



Blogger Showcase


It's been a couple of weeks since our last Blogger Showcase and in that time Stephanie and I have had some time to think about the feature. We know how difficult it can be to write a whole post and there are changes afoot. There's also going to be new badges, one for #pocolo and one for being featured in #bloggershowcase, the big reveal is next week so be sure to join us!



Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do email us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.

Post Comment Love
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10 things to do during half-term

After the long summer holidays the October half-term can whizz by without you leaving the house but with a little planning you (and your children) can have as much fun during half-term as you did in the summer.

All those activities you did during the summer are still valid, you just have to prepare for colder weather. 


Chester Zoo


We visited Chester Zoo in the summer holidays, the day we chose to go it poured with rain but it didn't make much difference to our day. We took coats and an umbrella and wandered around the zoo. The great thing was that the weather had put people off so there were less people than would've been there if it had been sunny. That meant we could walk around and see the animals without lots of people blocking LP's view. Chester Zoo even have an indoor picnic area so you can still take a picnic with you. Win!


Make Christmas Special with a Magic Santa Letter

As my boys have grown I have an increasing fear of the magic of Christmas disappearing so every year I try to think of new ways to keep the magic alive. For BP it's difficult, he's 12 and he knows the secret but I still try to make it special and magical for him. LP is 7 so it's a little easier to convince of the magic and this year I've found the perfect way to bring a smile to his face.


A Magic Santa Letter


How would your child like to receive a letter from Santa? 


You can make your little one's Christmas for as little as £3.99 with a Magic Santa Letter, a personalised letter written by Santa and delivered to your home. The envelope will have your child's name on, the letter will be addressed to them and they will receive a special 'Good Child' Certificate. The letter and certificate are sent in the standard "North Pole Express" envelope.

Post Comment Love 14th - 16th October

Welcome back to Post Comment Love where your best post of the week gets the extra attention it needs. It's great to see this linky doing so well week after week and I'm so proud to be the co-host with Stephanie.

I'm still playing catch up but as always I'm getting there. It takes a lot of effort to keep up the progress every day for hours on end and sometimes you just need a break. I took the break but unfortunately that means I have to spend time catching up. Like I said though, I'm getting there.

I now have my new glasses and I can see again! Not that I couldn't see before but things are a lot clearer from a distance and driving at night is much better now. It was great driving to the supermarket and not being almost blinded by the cars driving towards me.

I have to keep reminding myself of my routine, it's the only thing that is keeping me on track. I keep checking my lists and ticking off the jobs when they're done. Which reminds me, the Hubby and I have been checking off jobs too. When you've lived in a house for a long time you end up filling spaces with junk, or at least we do. Over the past 12 years we've kept a lot of junk and filled rooms that could be used for other things. The last few weekends we have been doing small jobs around the house to clear out the clutter and make the space we have more usable. We even managed to decorate LP's bedroom which has needed doing for a few years!

Having clear rooms helps clear my mind, it's funny how that works isn't it? I'm able to concentrate on tasks better when things are organised.

Half term is in two weeks and I'm on track to have caught up by then - typical. I'll be working extra hard to ensure I don't get behind again!



Blogger Showcase


There's no blogger to showcase this week but if you're interested in being featured please do get in touch, Stephanie and I would love to showcase your blog right here.



Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

If you'd like to be featured in our Newbie Showcase please do email us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.



Post Comment Love
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Creating a brightFuture by making small changes with Unilever

When I was in school (many years ago) I used to fret about the future of the world. I worried all the time about environmental issues, whether people and animals would have enough of what they needed to survive. I was concerned because it seemed like not enough was being done to ensure a brighter future.

Fast forward to now and I'm feeling much better about the future, much like most parents (between 70-80%) who believe that, compared with themselves, their children will live longer, have a better education and better job prospects, and will enjoy life more, even if they will have to work harder to reap the rewards of the greater benefits ahead.



Small changes


In the last few years I have made a few small changes to my everyday tasks that make me feel better about ensuring a brighter future. We keep a large cardboard box in our kitchen to keep all the small recyclable cardboard in before putting it into the recycling bin. Doing that has completely changed our recycling habits and we actively search for things to recycle now.



empty-plastic-bottles-for-reuse
We also keep our plastic bottles and put those in the recycling bin too. The boys help us when it comes to recycling day by squashing all the bottles for us so we can fit more into the bin. I tend to keep the smaller empty plastic bottles to re-use for LP who takes them to his sports clubs after school. I fill them with squash and they're a handy size to keep in his sports bag so I don't have to worry about him drinking enough while playing sports. He stays hydrated and we're helping the environment a little too.






One of the main changes we made in the last few years though, and one that I think has made the biggest difference is swapping our BMW 3 series for an Audi A1. The BMW emissions were not good, it was an old car (about 9 years old) and guzzled fuel and after doing a little research we realised that we could get by perfectly well with a smaller, more efficient car. We use a lot less fuel, the emissions are very low, and we save money too. Swapping our car was one of the best decisions we made.

audi-a1


As a parent it's important that we teach our children about the small changes we make too. I love chatting to my boys about the reasons why we recycle and why we swapped our car. The best bits are when they ask questions and suggest other ways we could make a bigger impact. I think it's great when the children get involved, did you know that six out of ten parents say that they have started to live in a "greener" way at home at the suggestion of their children? They're thinking about their future, and how their actions will make an impact. Brilliant.



#brightFuture


As part of the #brightFuture challenge Unilever have asked what every day actions we take as a family to change the future for the better. As well as the recycling and swapping our car I tend to park further away from places I'm visiting, like the supermarket and the school. Even with a low emissions car driving less is not only good for the environment but it helps to keep me healthy. And like 9 out of 10 parents and 8 out of 10 children I agree that if everyone does small things to improve the environment "together we can make the world a better place".

Unilever's brightFuture initiative focuses on small changes that can make a big difference and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people (!) to improve their health and hygiene, including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.



Big names helping to make the world a better place


By using different everyday products you can make small changes to daily tasks that contribute to a more sustainable way of living. 

Products like Domestos to keep our bathrooms clean, we all know how important sanitation and hygiene is. Domestos has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce school dropout rates and improve quality of life. I use Domestos to keep the toilet bowl clean, with two boys (who have trouble aiming!) it can be frustrating but ensuring the toilet is germ free is a top priority to keep those bugs at bay.

domestos-on-toilet



Persil encourages our children to get outside and play, inspiring them to grow and learn in an interactive way. LP loves to be outside exploring the garden and he particularly enjoys it when things get a little muddy! Using Persil means we can use less water and wash at lower temperatures, helping to educate our children about the little changes we can implement to make a difference. Not only that but Persil has backed a global initiative "Learning for Tomorrow" partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the world's toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education.

persil-wash-at-low-temperatures



The confidence and self-esteem of our children can play a large part in the difference they believe they can make to their own future and the Dove self-esteem project has worked closely with leading psychologists, academics and experts to create materials, making a positive impact on 19 million young lives. With a hormonal tween at home I try my best to boost his self-esteem, believing in himself makes him feel like he can make a difference. I hope he would count himself in the 83% of children that continue to feel optimistic about their own future and the 59% who feel optimistic about the future of the environment.

dove-deeply-nourishing


These days I am a lot more confident about the future of the environment, while things still aren't perfect we're making changes that impact the sustainability of living well. I make conscious choices on a daily basis that I hope helps with our family's impact on the earth and by teaching my children about the difference they can make with small changes I believe we're creating a #brightFuture.

boys-playing-bubbles

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever.


Best of Worst

Tips for getting your children to do chores

I wrote a post a while ago about children's chores and what they teach them about responsibility but actually getting your children to do those chores can be a challenge. 

My boys, LP and BP, both do chores every day and we've settled on what works for us. There are lots of ways to encourage your children to do chores and you need to use what works for you, that can depend on the age of your children, your lifestyle, and your parenting style.

Below I'm listing things I've used in the past and the method I use now with the reasons they did or didn't work for us. 



Lists


First things first, the best way of getting results is to have a list of chores that your children can see. If they can see the jobs they need to do they can choose which ones to do first, this gives them a little control and makes them think they have a say. You can use a written list for older children but for younger children that can't yet read perhaps try pictures.


Simple ways to enjoy family time away from technology

With our lives continually revolving around technology it's easy to forget the simple things that can bring us joy and fun. But if we take a minute, focus on enjoying ourselves, and take a step away from technology we may find joy in surprising places.

Months ago (perhaps even years!) I bought 2 bubbles things for the boys and put them away. Over the weekend the Hubby and I were clearing out our spare room and we found the toys. Once we'd finished the job we gave the boys the bubbles toys and headed outside.

For 15 minutes the boys had a great time making bubbles, trying to catch them, and popping them. The sun was going down, but still shining, and we were all outdoors. As I stood watching my boys have fun I couldn't help but smile. Apart from my phone (to take photos) there was no technology in sight and the boys still had a great time.













The bubbles toys cost about £1 from the supermarket and the boys enjoyed their play time, and there's still more left for when they want to play with bubbles again. 

It might not seem like much but that short time outside made me see that you don't need to be surrounded by technology to have a good time with your family. 



Board Games


From Monopoly and Game of Life to Catan and Carcassonne board games get you together and get you laughing (or bickering). Our board game collection keeps growing but we love it, with LP being 7 years old and BP at 12 years old the choice of games we can play is expanding. It is the perfect way of getting them off the iPads.






Geocaching


Get outdoors, go for a walk, and have a treasure hunt on the way. Geocaching is becoming very popular and you can find some great caches. No matter where you live you can find Geocaches nearby, all you need is the app. 




My boys love Geocaching, LP particularly, and whenever we suggest going for a walk LP grabs our "Geocaching bag". It's an easy way to get your kids outdoors being active without them realising they're getting exercise (essential when you have teens/tweens).



A Home Project


It could be decorating your child's bedroom or clearing out a room but if you get your children involved too you'll all work together while staying away from your tablets. 

During our clear out at the weekend we had the boys helping us, they collected all the cardboard and put it in the recycling bin and all other rubbish they put in a bag to be taken to the local recycling centre. By helping us clear out the room, and seeing the finished product at the end of the day, they had a sense of achievement.



Lego


Anyone who reads this blog knows how much I love Lego, the Hubby and I enjoy putting our sets together. Not only is Lego a great way to relax it's also the perfect way to spend time together. You have to work together in order to find pieces and build. LP loves helping us with our sets, especially when we're rebuilding and trying to find pieces.



If you have little ones you could buy the smaller sets to introduce them to Lego and work together to build. Make it a family project and they'll love it just as much as you do.



Gardening


Our garden is a work-in-progress (always) and during the cooler months we often go outside to tackle a few of the larger jobs like cutting trees back. While we don't ask the boys to cut trees we do ask them to help with the tidying afterwards. They take the cut branches and leaves to the bin, making the job go that little bit quicker. Again you're getting your children outdoors and they may find they enjoy it. 




Technology controls so much of our lives today but that doesn't mean we have to forget about spending time together. There are so many ways to enjoy technology-free time together. 

How do you spend tech-free time together?