The best places to eat in Walt Disney World (not in the parks)

When we're on holiday in Walt Disney World food plays a big part in our enjoyment of the holiday. It is one of the things we look forward to most. Most of the time that's because Hubby and I have been dieting beforehand but it's also because there is so much choice and nice treats that it's hard not to get excited about it. I've been thinking about the places I'm looking forward to and thought I would share the best places to eat in Walt Disney World - not in the parks. That means any restaurants or snack places that are in the hotels or elsewhere within Walt Disney World.



Breakfast


There's so much choice that it can be hard to settle on just one choice for breakfast. Not only that but there are the different types of breakfasts, like buffet style (where you go up to the food and grab what you want) or a regular a la carte menu.





There is no sincerer love than the love of food. 

George Bernard Shaw





Boma


Boma is a buffet style restaurant you'll find in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It tops our list, we eat there often - mainly because we stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge - but also because the food is fantastic. From succulent meats (think ham, turkey, etc) to potato salads like you won't believe - and yes, that's for breakfast!


Plate of food from Boma restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World


Have your omelette made to order in front of you or pick out some of your favourite pastries from the selection. Some of the boys include cinnamon rolls and blueberry muffins. And of course there's always cereal or toast.


A plate piled with tasty pastries from Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World


One thing you have to try if you have breakfast at Boma is the Jungle Juice - it is luscious.



Chef Mickey's


Another buffet style restaurant that we visited last time, and it's one where you can meet Mickey and the gang. At this restaurant, after you've been to get your food and you're sitting down to eat Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and others will stop by your table to say hello!


Mickey Mouse with his hands on two boys' shoulders, in a restaurant


Despite us thinking the boys wouldn't be interested in this for our summer trip this year they were quick to inform us they definitely wanted to go to Chef Mickey's.



Lunch


With so much choice it's difficult to choose whether you want to head to an amazing restaurant where you sit and choose your food (a la carte) or to head to a place where you can order something quickly and sit, eat, and be off to your next rides within about 30 minutes. We tend to do both, depending on what we're up to that day.



Rainforest Cafe



Rainforest Cafe from across the lake at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World
Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs. This photo was taken back in 2008, it looks a little bit different these days.


An experience in itself. As soon as you walk into the Rainforest Cafe (located at Disney Springs AND there's one just outside Animal Kingdom) you realise this is no ordinary restaurant. With gorillas sitting on walls surrounded by jungle foliage, monkeys swinging from trees, and snakes hissing in your ear, this restaurant will make quite an impact on you and your party, especially the children.


Inside the Rainforest Cafe in Disney Springs Walt Disney World.
That blurry thing in the top left corner is a moving monkey!


But Rainforest Cafe don't just focus on the presentation, the food is amazing too. In classic American style everything is bigger than you'll find at home in the UK. I find it difficult to finish an entire meal and it's got nothing to do with it tasting bad. You can order classic burgers or pizza, or if you're feeling particularly hungry you could try the Ribs, Steak & Shrimp Trio.

Be sure to check out the cocktails too (for the adults in your party) they're super tasty and meant to impress.

With animals in the jungle and the restaurant guests wanting to chat while eating the Rainforest Cafe gets loud. It's certainly not a place you should choose to eat if you need some quiet time, because you won't get it here.



T-Rex



T-Rex restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World


Much like the Rainforest Cafe (it is run by the same company) T-Rex is all about the Dinosaurs, as you would imagine. All the food is dinosaur themed, including the size (!), and it is definitely one to visit with dinosaur fans in your party.


Pies and burgers at T Rex restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World
Look at the size of that pie!! 😱


A plate of food - a burger, waffle fries, and coleslaw from T-Rex in Walt Disney World


The drinks are just as impressive as at Rainforest Cafe and I have no doubt you would be able to find something you'd enjoy on the menu.


A tropical looking cocktail in a T-Rex glass from T-Rex restaurant in Walt Disney World


T-Rex also has a Build-a-Bear style shop just outside the restaurant where your little ones can stuff their very own dinosaur. BP got one for his birthday when he was 9 - his grandparents bought it for him - and he still treasures that dinosaur to this day.


A "flaming" dessert in T Rex restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World
This dessert was amazing - and very impressive.


Be sure to take a little walk around the restaurant when you visit too - there's a mesmerising aquarium near the bar where you can see some exotic fish!


A T Rex model in T Rex restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World.




Dinner


Dinner is when you get to experience some truly amazing restaurants and eat exquisite food. That is no exaggeration - the food is so good! If you're going to want to eat at a popular restaurant I would recommend booking your reservations early - like before you even get to Walt Disney World. You can book restaurant reservations up to 180 days early for some places!



The Wave


A lovely restaurant that is quiet (ish) with stylish decor and comfortable seats. The Wave is located at the Contemporary Resort and is somewhere I'd recommend if you're looking for a long sit down to eat a meal and enjoy the somewhat quiet space.

The food is amazing - this is where BP, at 11 years old, first tried swordfish. He promptly declared swordfish his favourite food and spent the rest of the holiday searching for it on all other menus. Getting your children to try out something new is always good at Disney restaurants, the food is so good that even if you're children might not like the sound of something they may well eat it because it tastes so good!



Sanaa


The only place you'll find curry (as far as we know) in Walt Disney World. Be prepared for spicy choices with "African cooking with Indian flavours". Sanaa always features on our "go-to" list and we always look forward to it. Located in Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and situated right next to the Savannah you can sit at your table and watch exotic birds, zebras, giraffes, and more animals wander right up to the windows by you.


Entrance to Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World


I always love visiting Sanaa, the decor is bright and colourful as well as being rustic and I love it. Oh, and you can dine with an animal specialist (for extra cost) if you want to!



California Grill


Contemporary Resort photo taken from inside a boat on the lake in Walt Disney World
The Contemporary Resort - California Grill is the top level, with all the windows.


Located on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort you can sit by the windows and look out at breathtaking views over Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon while enjoying an exquisite meal. The food is presented in creative ways, like a children's candy sushi, and is some of the tastiest you'll find anywhere.


A plate of sushi made from candy. A children's dessert in California Grill at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World.


California Grill is another place I'd suggest children try something new, and even you if you're feeling brave. I've had some amazing food here, including Seabass, and a donut style dessert!


Donut dessert from California Grill at Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World




Artist Point


At the Wilderness Lodge (another amazing hotel) is Artist Point. Try lovely meals and the best cobbler I have ever tasted. With waterfront views and rustic decor it always makes me think it would be a brilliant place to just sit and write, or even paint! I am always inspired here, which is why it's my favourite restaurant.

Paint the Mickey dessert at Artist Point in Wilderness Lodge in Walt Disney World.



The boys love Artist Point because they got to "paint" their Mickey chocolate dessert and we love it because it has amazing food, wonderful views, and is a beautiful place to visit.



Hoop De Doo Musical Revue


If you're looking for entertainment while you eat your dinner I couldn't recommend Hoop De Doo Musical Revue enough. It is, by far, the best show while you eat. With actors singing and dancing, giving you a show, then waiters bring out food and you eat, then the show continues.

It's a family-style meal, meaning there's not a menu - they just bring out food and you eat what you want. You can even ask for more of something if you need it, but they do bring out lots of food so it's unlikely you'll need more!

Hoop De Doo Musical Revue is something we enjoy so much that we book it twice. I would highly recommend booking this one early though as it gets booked up quickly.





One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. 

Virginia Woolf





During our six weeks these restaurants will feature more than once, plus many more. It is so difficult to choose when there are so many restaurants but the few above are a small selection of the wonderful things you will see and eat while in Walt Disney World.


Learn where the best places to eat in Walt Disney World (not in the parks) are!


Where would you most want to try?


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Why I give my children chores

My boys have daily chores, a list of jobs they have to complete in order to do the things they enjoy like playing video games. For years now they have both had to do these jobs and we've gone through many ways of recording which jobs they've done. I often get asked why I give my children chores and to be honest it's just something I did, I didn't have a plan with it, but since we started I've learned that it really is a good thing.


LP, a 9 year old boy - stands in a garden wearing green gardening gloves. He is helping with gardening as part of his chores. Image for "Why I give my children chores".


My boys hate having to do chores and more than once I've heard the "... but my friends don't have to do chores." Of course I know it's not true and I reiterate what I've always said "I don't care what your friends do or don't do - you have chores to do." This is part of what makes me evil mum, but that's my job right?





My favourite way of getting out of doing chores is by acting like I'm asleep. But it never works.

Devon Werkheiser





When the boys come home from school their first job is to get their homework done. Once that is finished they have to complete their chores. For LP his chores include tidying his bedroom (picking up dirty clothes, putting toys away, etc), taking dirty plates into the kitchen, and making sure his coat and school bag are hung up at the end of the day. Because BP is older he has more chores and ones that actually help me like vacuuming, dusting, and we're starting to think about adding loading the dishwasher to his list.

Their list is changes all the time. The older they get the more jobs they can do, and sometimes it makes my life a little easier when it's something that I can either stop doing or do less.

That may sound awful, me being a stay-at-home mum an' all, but even though I know they hate doing chores, and the house isn't as tidy as it could be if I did the chores every day, I am doing the right thing. Here's why...



Teamwork


Giving the boys chores, and even getting them involved in a cleaning day, teaches them about teamwork. The jobs only get done when everyone does their bit, and if they don't pull their weight the job takes longer.



Confidence


Teaching them about chores and the jobs I have to do every day teaches them to be self sufficient. They are learning to take care of themselves, which means I'm more likely to trust them and pop out to the shop alone. My boys are learning to clean up after themselves, and that's a great quality to have. When they complete their chores, and the house is looking tidy again, it teaches them self confidence. They can be proud of what they've achieved and enjoy a tidy house.



Responsibility


My boys both have their own lists of jobs to complete, and they have both taken responsibility for those tasks. They each know that if something isn't done it is their responsibility to make sure it gets done, and they can remind their brother if they didn't do their jobs. They both know that no one else is going to do the chores for them, and if they don't do it they don't get to do fun things.


Toy dinosaurs spread across a red carpet. Two brown boxes stand empty next to the pile of dinosaurs. Image for "Why I give my children chores."



Structure and routine


Having daily chores has taught my boys routine and they're slowly coming to realise that chores get done before games get played. They're learning about priorities and know what they need to get done.   Getting them to stick to the routine is still a tough task, but we're getting there.



Discipline


They never feel like doing their chores, I mean really - who does?! But they still have to get them done. They know they have to do the things they don't like, to get the things they do. I read a line in an article which made me giggle "They'll build a routine and eventually it'll become natural for them to fulfil their commitments..." now I haven't managed to get to this stage yet, but I'm working on it!



Sense of achievement


When either of the boys have done a particularly good job I always make sure to praise them. I want them to get that sense of achievement from completing a task well. LP's bedroom can get into a shocking state at times, but he does know what needs to be done. Once or twice he has spent an hour sorting out his room and I've gone in there to check how he's getting on to find a beautifully tidy bedroom and made bed. It always makes me smile when he does that and I am always sure to tell him how happy I am with him and that he should be proud of himself.





I learned a lot when I was 14 and 15 years old doing chores inside and outside the household, and as a result, I grew up with a good work ethic.

Jack Kingston





Despite the chores causing lots of arguments in our house I will be sticking to the chore lists and find that having our boys' lists on the side of the fridge - where they can tick them off - helps them to get everything done.


I give my children chores to teach them about life. They need to learn how to look after themselves and this helps.


I have a chores list, where you can write in your own chores, for you to download if you'd like to get your children started on the chores.

Do your children have chores?



My Random Musings

Exploding Kittens Review

When I was sent Exploding Kittens as part of the Blogger Board Game Club I have to say I was a little unsure - I mean, who calls their game Exploding Kittens? I was seriously doubtful we would enjoy the game and to be honest wasn't looking forward to playing. But once again the saying holds true - never judge a book by it's cover, or a board game by it's name.



About Exploding Kittens


In this highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette, players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game - unless that player has a Defuse card! These can defuse the Kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens.

Even reading the blurb didn't get my hopes up about the game, but when I read it to LP he cheered and was looking forward to playing.





For people who are into kittens and explosions... and laser beams... and sometimes goats.






Setup


Super simple. All you need to do is remove the Defuse cards and the Exploding Kittens from the main deck, shuffle and deal 7 cards to all players. Then you insert 1 less Exploding Kitten cards into the main deck than there are players, so if there are 4 players you insert 3 Exploding Kittens into the deck. Then you deal 1 defuse card to each player and put the rest in the deck. Shuffle the deck and place it on the table, leaving room for a discard pile.


The card game Exploding Kittens set up on our table.


All you should really see now is a deck of cards in the centre of the table and all players should have a hand of 8 cards.



Playing the game


After reading the very short rules we got to playing the game. It took just a few minutes to set up and within 5 minutes we were playing. 

It's so easy to understand and even a youngster, maybe 6 or 7, could play. You basically choose a card out of the ones in your hand and place it on the table, then follow the instructions on the card. If you want to you can play more cards, or end your turn by picking up a card from the main deck. 


I hold a hand of 5 cards from the card game Exploding Kittens in my review.


If you pick up an Exploding Kitten you are dead, out of the game, unless you have a Defuse card. If you do have a Defuse card the Exploding Kitten gets put back into the main deck - you get to place it secretly wherever you want, you can even put it right on the top for the next player to pick up. The Defuse card gets discarded. 

You continue play until there is only one player left. This will always happen because you placed enough Exploding Kittens for all but one player.


The finishing hands of Exploding Kittens set out on a table
I won!



What we thought


Exploding Kittens is a super quick, super fun game. All you need are the cards, so it's a good one for travel (maybe on a plane?) and it's fun for everyone involved. The descriptions on the cards are funny with amusing illustrations and the children will love it. 





Pick a player to go first. (Some sample criteria: most impressive beard, most intimidating odour...)






The game is quick enough that you may want to play it again and again. 

It's also one the children could play alone with each other.


We review the card game Exploding Kittens - and we were blown away!


Exploding Kittens costs £19.99 and is meant for players aged 7+. There can be 2 - 5 players and playtime is about 15 minutes.

Have you ever played Exploding Kittens?

Splendor Review

As part of the Blogger Board Game club I was sent another board game this month, this time it's Splendor - a game I had never heard of until now. The box makes it look mystic and I was intrigued to find out how to play and how much fun it would be, as were the boys. 



About Splendor


Amidst the European Renaissance, there are more ways of becoming rich than ever before! Global trade routes are now a reality and nobles, once content with large castles and fur robes, now seek dark sapphires and glittering diamonds. 

Experience the riches of this ear in Splendor, a fast, elegant, and intuitive game of simple actions and difficult decisions!

As a wealthy Renaissance merchant, acquire mines and transportation, hire artisans and woo the noble patrons. Begin by collecting precious stones to trade for development cards. Use the cards to accumulate more gem stones and create the most fantastic jewellery, appeal to the nobles and gain the prestige you need to win!



If I'm honest I don't think that describes the game very well - in simple terms it is a token and card game. You collect tokens to buy cards, the cards give bonuses and help you buy more cards with points on them. Once you've collected enough points you win the game. 



Setup


Setting up the game was fairly easy, it was just a case of reading the instructions/rules and laying out the cards and tokens as specified. 


Splendor board game cards and tokens set up on a wooden table.


But that really was the easy part.



Playing the game


Like most games we play, we read the rules then try to play - all the while checking on any rules we're unsure of. Unfortunately with Splendor we had to have the rules on hand and referred to them quite a bit in the beginning of the game. 


Playing Splendor with the family on our coffee table.


The rules could be clearer, I had to keep checking the rules of the development cards and tokens. 





Reach 15 prestige points and win!






Once we'd played for a while I started to understand a little better and think we got into it. As I said, it's basically a collecting tokens to buy cards game. 

While playing the boys kind of understood but there seemed to be a lot of confusion around the collecting and spending of their tokens. 


Splendor board game cards and tokens set on a wooden table.


As it was our first time playing I'm going to give it the benefit of doubt and we'll be trying it again. I think in our second play through we'll probably understand better and be able to get on with it without too much trouble. 



What we thought


Once I understood (kind of) the rules Splendor reminded me slightly of Catan, in that you collect resources (gems/tokens) to buy development cards. Of course in Catan you build roads and settlements but there's nothing like that in Splendor. There's no board, just cards and tokens.


Splendor cards and tokens set on a wooden table background


The more development cards you buy the more bonuses you get and that helps you buy more cards. The cards sometimes have points on them too - the idea is that you buy enough to win the game. 





... bonuses allow players to purchase development cards for a lesser cost.






I'm not sure Splendor will make it into our favourites list, but we are going to give it another go. It's one we're still a little unsure of. 

Have you ever played Splendor?

Post Comment Love 25th - 27th May

It's Friday and that means it's time for Post Comment Love. Join Stephanie and I for our fun linky and  link up your favourite post of the week. We'd love to see you joining us.

I'm feeling good this week, I've got lots done and the weight loss is going well. Planning for my holiday is going well too - I've planned out my posts (something new for me!) and I know what I need to do. Now all I need to do is the work!


A bumble bee collecting pollen from brambles.
I'm going to be a busy bee this coming week... (see what I did there?! 😉)


The Hubby and LP have been on their bikes a lot this week, and we even bought a bike rack for the car! This is something I never imagined we would do but it's happened. They're planning on riding their bikes back from the mother-in-law's house to home, it's about 50 miles but they're only planning on trying to get half way. It's quite a challenge for them but they're both looking forward to doing it. Their first try is going to be tomorrow (Saturday), I'll let you know how they got on next week.

It's now half term too - LP is off school today, which makes getting any work done a lot harder. Of course that's going to be the case all week. But we'll cope I'm sure. We've got a few things on our list for days out, we're hoping to go to Chester Zoo at some point and LP wants to go to Blackpool again. Do you have anything fun planned for the Bank Holiday?

Well I think that's it for the update today, but now I need to ask you something...

Would you like to co-host Post Comment Love during the summer?

I am going on holiday for the summer (Disney here we come!) and we're looking for people to co-host the linky with Stephanie. If you're interested in co-hosting get in touch with us. You don't have to send us an email, you could DM us on Twitter, get in touch via Facebook - whichever you prefer. I am away for the entire summer so we're looking for people to cover 6 weeks. Perhaps you were thinking about starting your own linky but aren't sure? Give co-hosting a try!

We can't wait to hear from you.



Blogger Showcase Jacqui from Mummabstylish


Jacqui is a fashion and lifestyle blogger who shares posts about her outfits and occasionally lifestyle and beauty posts too. She prefers tea and biscuits (but likes cake too!) and describes herself as sympathetic, caring, and thankful. Head over to Stephanie's blog to read Jacqui's answers to our questions. 



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.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.


Come join Stephanie and I for Post Comment Love 25th - 27th May - we'd love to see you there!


Thank you for popping by.


Post Comment Love
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Everything you need to know about Fastpass+

Fastpass+ is a service Disney offers to park guests which allows you to book time slots to go on rides in the parks of Walt Disney World. It has been running for a long time now - for as long as I can remember - and we use it every time we visit. It allows us to jump the queue and get on a ride quicker than you would if you were in the regular line. Below you can learn about Fastpass+ and when and how to use it.


Space Mountain, in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World.



What is Fastpass+?


Basically the Disney Fastpass+ service allows you to reserve access to rides, entertainment, and even character greetings, in advance

For example, we are heading to Orlando in the summer and today we could reserve a day and a time when we want to go on Kilimanjaro Safaris and ensure we get on that ride. It's a great way of skipping the long lines that form for some of the rides.

There is no extra charge for Fastpass+ - it is included in park admission.





You're never too old to be young.

Snow White





How does it work?


In order for you to get access to Fastpass+ you'll need park admission tickets and you'll have to register online and link your tickets to your account. You can also access Fastpass+ via the My Disney Experience mobile app.


Morgan Prince with Minnie Mouse in Epcot, Walt Disney World
Use your Fastpass+ to meet characters like Minnie Mouse.



Making selections


You can start making selections at 7am (Eastern Time) up to 30 days in advance of your stay. If you're staying in a Disney resort you can make selections up to 60 days prior to check-in for the entire length of your stay. One of the many benefits of staying on property in Walt Disney World. 

To make selections before you arrive in Walt Disney World you can use the mobile app or go online. Once you're in Walt Disney World you can continue to use the app, go online, or you can use the Kiosks located in the parks to make bookings or change current bookings (depending on availability). 



How to use Fastpass+


At any of the parks you check in at the Fastpass+ entrances during the indicated time. By using the Fastpass+ you have little or no wait. 

The wait times do vary though, sometimes we can get straight on a ride without any wait, other times we've had to wait for a good 20 minutes. The busier rides, like Toy Story Mania, do end up busy even in the Fastpass+ line - so be sure to book yours in advance.



How many selections can you make?


For a single park you can make 3 selections in advance and you can cancel or change (subject to availability) them at any time. You can make additional selections once you've redeemed your initial set.

Additional selections can be made one at a time i.e. Make a selection then use it. But once the selection has been redeemed you can make more selections - subject to availability. 

Our experience with making selections is the earlier you make them the better. Changing your selections on the day has varying results. We have had some success with changes but other times we haven't been able to find a useful time slot, sometimes we've even been unable to book another selection because all the Fastpass+ slots have been taken. 


Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie with Belle and Stitch as well as other famous Disney characters



Kiosks


You can find Kiosks in the parks where you can book, change, or cancel your selections. These kiosks only allow you to book selections at the park they are located but you can view and cancel any of your selections regardless of location. 





Over at our place, we're sure of just one thing: everybody in the world was once a child.

Walt Disney





What do we think about Fastpass+?


We have found the Fastpass+ service very useful for the popular rides like Soarin', Splash Mountain, and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. The rides, entertainment, and greetings that get busy and tend to have long wait times are the ones you want to concentrate on using Fastpass+ for. Sometimes we've used Fastpass+ for less busy rides (Carousel of Progress, It's a Small World) but we tend not to try to because you can usually ride them via the regular line without much wait. 


Here's everything you need to know about Fastpass+ - Disney's "skip the line" service.


Choosing which rides you want to go on and when, 60 days before your holiday (30 days when staying off property) may seem weird but it's actually good. It helps with knowing what to do next (on the day you're in the parks) and you don't have to worry about queue times so much.

I would highly recommend using Fastpass+.

How will you be using Fastpass+?

Why it's awesome being a mum to Tweens/Teens

When you first embark on this parenting malarkey you have absolutely no idea what you're doing, you're terrified you'll break the little baby in your arms and you question everything you do. It's a scary time. But once that little baby grows and starts to answer back or argue when you ask them to do something you wonder what you were worried about all those years ago. This new stage of parenting while testing (so much!) is also a wonderful time for so many reasons - here's why I think it's awesome being a mum to teens/tweens.


Teen boy holds an ice-cream in front of his face.



How old?


LP is 9, officially a tween. Over the last few months we've seen glimpses of the teen he may become with bouts of answering back or arguing about things he disagrees with. He is not afraid to voice his opinion and is happy to tell me he thinks I am wrong. But he is also caring, friendly, and outgoing. He likes to stay active, taking bike rides with his dad on a daily basis, and he likes to discuss all kinds of topics. He loves to learn.

BP is a teen, just - 13 years old (14 in August). He's quieter than LP, he'll keep his opinions to himself until they burst out of him in an almighty strop. He's a thinker, and he lets his feelings fester. He won't talk about something if it's bothering him. BP is also a wonderfully creative person, he loves writing and his stories amaze me. He feels things deeply and is loving.



Discussions


We can talk about all sorts of different topics with our boys, and they're both interested in different parts of the topics which makes for a more interesting conversation. We learn about their opinions, they ask questions and they can give their own answers by explaining their thoughts. While they are both still children our conversations with them get more and more interesting the older they get.





It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. 

E. E. Cummings





Fun time


When the boys were young we had limited choices for fun, they couldn't go on roller-coasters at theme parks because they were too small. We couldn't play board games because they didn't understand. And we certainly couldn't take them to the cinema - it would've ruined it for others. But now they're older we can take days out, go bowling and more!

Theme parks, cinema, mini-golf, to name just a few things we've enjoyed in the last year. We get to have fun, talk about new topics while having fun, and even play more interesting board games. And so long as there are no tantrums (yes, even as teens there are still tantrums) we all have a great day.



Reading


With LP's reading age at 11+ and BP reading more interesting things for school it's always lovely to see them expanding the types of books they read. BP has just finished reading An Inspector Calls - a book both the Hubby and I have read and enjoyed and one that BP will be studying next year for his GCSEs. LP has just finished The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and is currently reading Around the World in 80 Days.



Entertaining themselves


I don't have to entertain them all of the time, which means I get time to myself! Whether watching movies, playing games, or going out with friends they can find ways to entertain themselves. They can be relied upon to give me some space when I need it - which is brilliant.


A Macbook, headphones, an iPhone, and a selfie stick laid on a white background.
There's so many devices to choose from how can they get bored?



Up early


By giving them an alarm clock to use they can get themselves out of bed (some of the time) and get ready for school without too much trouble - giving you a chance for a lie-in. Of course this hasn't quite worked out for me just yet, BP has a terrible knack of ignoring his alarm and going back to sleep so we haven't perfected this one, but we're getting there.



Feeding time


This is a new one for me and I'm not quite ready to give up the reigns. BP has started to do his own breakfast, toast or cereal, and he's cooking in school. He can make sandwiches for himself and his toast is fine, but he needs more practise. I still make a family meal every day so we do eat properly but seeing the progress into wanting to make his own food is a good thing - I think!





Adolescents are not monsters. They are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves. 

Virginia Satir





Board games


As you know board games are a family favourite here and being able to try out more interesting games is great. We've gone from really simple ones, and having LP on a "team" to playing Scrabble and Ticket to Ride. It's so much fun for us all and we've got a growing collection of games.


Catan, the board game, has been played. The game board is set out and the houses and roads are set up on the board.
Catan, another great game to play with your older children.



While it's stressful being a parent to a teen and a tween there are good sides to it. Navigating the emotional waves and tantrums is much easier when you can look forward to things. We look forward to our board games and our discussions and I can see my boys growing up day by day. It's a wonderful thing.


Why it's awesome being a mum to teens - it's not all bad, promise!

What do you enjoy about being a parent to a tween/teen?


Enjoy more time to yourself by getting your teens to do chores too! Grab your free downloadable chores list here.


Pink Pear Bear

Burnished Chaos

The Pramshed

My Random Musings


Mother of Teenagers

Post Comment Love 18th - 20th May

Welcome back to another Post Comment Love, these Fridays keep rolling around don't they? How does it happen so fast?! We're on Monday, then I blink and it's Friday!

It's been a weird week this week because we've been having the kitchen decorated so things have been hectic and out of routine. I don't like it much. The decorator started on Monday and he's been painting since then. Then yesterday he started doing the tiling in the kitchen. The thing I hate most about it all is the disruption at lunch times - I've had to really think about what to have for lunch that is quick and didn't need much from the kitchen. We've had to clear out the kitchen and it's messed with my routine.

I don't do well when my routine is messed with.

On the other hand it has made me think about meals a bit more and decide to try out a few new recipes when the kitchen is finished. I will be glad when the decorator is gone so that I can get back to normal and try out these new things.

I'm still enjoying my yoga class, it was the second one this week and I ached less which has got to be a good thing right? I'm hoping it helps me with my weight loss but really it's more about doing something for me. I really enjoy it and it's a chance for me to truly focus on me. It's brilliant.

My sketching has been continuing and I'm really enjoying taking the time to do a little every day. I've got quite a collection of little Disney dressed bears now and I love them. I don't know what I'll do with them yet, but for now it's fun creating them.


Here is Sheriff Bear, Bear Belle, and Bear Sparrow. I also have Bear Elsa and Anna, Bear Jasmine, Bear Aladdin, and more!


Well I think that's it for the update today, but now I need to ask you something...

Would you like to co-host Post Comment Love during the summer?


I am going on holiday for the summer (Disney here we come!) and we're looking for people to co-host the linky with Stephanie. If you're interested in co-hosting get in touch with us. You don't have to send us an email, you could DM us on Twitter, get in touch via Facebook - whichever you prefer. I am away for the entire summer so we're looking for people to cover 6 weeks. Perhaps you were thinking about starting your own linky but aren't sure? Give co-hosting a try!

We can't wait to hear from you.



Blogger Showcase Mandy from Mom Mandy



Who are you?


I am MomMandy. A 30-something blogger writing about the working mom lifestyle. On MomMandy you’ll find articles about balance, budget, parenting and personal stories.



How did you discover blogs/blogging?


Looking for anwers on Google I came across some awesome bloggers. I love to have a peak in other people’s lives and learn from other women.



Why did you start blogging?


I felt an internal urge to write down what I was thining. To me, writing and blogging is very therapeutic!



What do you find most challenging?


I find it very hard to get exposure on my blog and my article. There are so many great bloggers in the Blogospehere that’s it’s not easy to be seen.



What is your favourite topic to write about?


What I love to write about are personal stories. Sharing my personal experiences, struggles and dilemma’s. In these topics I can truely write from the heart.



Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?


Heck yeah I have goals! Blogging isn’t just for fun. I want this to be my career, my income, my life.



What is your favourite thing about blogging?


The writing part is the most awesome thing and second, getting in touch with other creative people.



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


I have yet to partake in my first blogging conference.



What are your best posts?


There was a post that went mini viral. It was about Pinterest Finds on activities you can do with your toddler.



Describe yourself in three words!


Creative Spiritual Quirky



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


Coffee and cake please!



What's your idea of a perfect night out?


Having dinner with my girlfriends. And after that, go dancing! Of course more wine and snacks are involved.



Your perfect night in?


A handsome man rings the doorbell and hands me my order of delicious food. My husband and I settle on the couch (my son is sleeping of course). We feast and drink while watching a new movie together. After that we pass out on the couch from our food coma.



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


My bestie would say I’m a pure and spiritual person.


Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Mandy, feel free to grab our 'featured' badge and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog.



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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.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.


Join Stephanie and I for Post Comment Love 18th - 20th May - we'd love to see you there!


Thank you for popping by.


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