Tuesday Top 5 – After School Activities

So, the children are back at school after the long summer break, but there’s always that time after school that you need to fill, between them finishing school, and them having their dinner. I don’t know about you but I always seem to struggle to entertain them, to keep them, busy to stop them from arguing etc. before dinner. So I’ve come up with five activities, you can do to Entertain your children, for a couple of hours after school.

  1. Conker hunting – I don’t know about you but as a child I used to absolutely love collecting conkers and to be honest nothing has changed! Wrap up warm, grab a bag or a bucket, and go in search of some conker trees. I know there are lots near us, so we are quite lucky. If you don’t know where there are any conker trees, maybe ask your neighbours, or your friends, or family, and see if they know where there are any conquer trees and enjoy. On another day you could do something crafty with the conkers – conker caterpillars or conker people etc.
     

 

2. Lavender Play-Doh – you probably find the children usually come home from school they are extremely tired, hyped up or argumentative, and you just want them to stop arguing and calm down. Why not try some lavender Play-Dough the lavender will have a nice calming affect and smells amazing. I’ve found a lovely recipe from The Imagination Tree – here

lavender playdough

 

3. Teddy bears picnic – instead of waiting for dinner time to arrive, why not have an early dinner, and have a teddy bears picnic.  If it’s a nice night you could take the children to the park, take some teddies, take a picnic, and they can sit and have their dinner, play and have fun, when you get home you won’t have to worry about getting dinner and you can stay out longer because they will have already eaten, and they can just get ready for bed when they get home.  If it’s raining and windy, you could make a den with the children and have a picnic in the den.

 

 

4. Board games – another idea is to have a family games night and play various different boardgames there are so many to choose from and some of them are quite short so you could play a few in one night and keep the children entertained for as longus you need to. Some ideas of board games include: (I’ve linked each game to where they can be bought) :
Pie Face
Frustration
UNO
Connect 4
Chess

boardgames
5. Fruit painting – last but no means least I’ve chosen fruit painting, you can choose different types of fruits including; apples, pears, grapes, star fruit, and oranges etc. You can experiment with different fruits, different paints and different colours and create some lovely pictures; you could even turn the pictures into wrapping paper.

fruit printing

 

Advertisements

Four Years of Chloivia

Gosh where have the last four years gone? Chloivia was four years old on the 23rd of August. It’s been such an inspirational four years.

I thought I’d write a blog to reflect back over the last four years.

Things I’ve learned over the last four years are;

  • There are a lot of creative and talented people in the world
  • Being passionate and creative doesn’t guarantee business success, this requires a different scale altogether.
  • There will always be negative voices around you.
  • I’ve learnt how to build a website. (www.chloivia.biz) Shameless plug 😉
  • I’ve learnt and I’m still learning about social media, it’s a minefield out there!
  • Everyone is busy! Some just know how to be more productive weather with that time.
  • Over the last four years My business has grown from making and sewing just hair accessories to making and selling a wide variety of crafts, creating craft workshops and parties and now launching craft membership boxes.
  • I’ve also learnt how to network and become a networking host for Bizmums Stafford.
  • I’m looking forward to the future of Chloivia and hopefully it will continue to grow over the years to come.Best wishes
    Becky

Chloivia Craft Creations

Tuesdays top five – top five tips for selling online…

What? Where? When? How? Why?

What?

There are a lot of what’s when it comes to selling online; what is your product? What is your niche? What is your price range? Etc…

You need to decide what you are going to sell? Have you found something unique that isn’t already on the market? Or have you found a gap in the market for something? You need to find something that is exciting, and something that will make you money. Once you have found what you are going to sell you will need to decide what your price range is.

Some people know exactly what their niche is.  For others it’s a little bit more work to discover exactly what space you’re trying to fill (what value you’re providing) with your product or service, and who your target audience is. Finding your niche is an important step in building and growing a successful business.

Where?

So you’ve decided what you’re going to sell, and what your niche is, and what your price ranges are.  Now you need to decide where are you going to sell your products.? Are you going to sell them online at craft fairs in shops at markets?

How?

To try and market your products, you will need to come up with a solution of how your products can solve problems.  I know this may seem a bit strange but it does work.   A solution for one of my products is, the Button Art and Butterfly Canvases I sell, solve the problem of a bare wall – it transforms plain wall into A beautiful feature wall!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How are you going to market your product? Are you going to produce leaflets, Newspaper article produce a newsletter or use social media? When using social media you will need to be consistent with your posts. I newsletter would help to build a customer base.

 

When?

When are you going to market your product? If you’re thinking social media, there are ways to find out what time of day will give you the most optimal results for your posts.

Why?

Why have you decided to start selling what is the reason behind it because if you don’t know why there will be no passion and no reason for you to keep on going with your new venture.

Tuesday’s Top 5

Top 5 Tips For YouTube

 

youtubeblog2

YouTube has billions of visitors daily. Many of these visitors are children or teenagers.

Unfortunately some of the content on YouTube is not safe for children to view.

I have created a list of my top five tips to keep your children safe on YouTube.

  • Download YouTube kids I’ve put it in the secure and restricted mode.

youtubeblog3

  • Create a Google account that can be used by the whole family.

youtubeblog4

  • If your children create videos, make sure they’re signed into the family account and the videos are private.

youtubeblog

  • Subscribe to family friendly YouTube channels.

youtubeblog5

  • Disable the comments – this is the start any nasty comments from trolls.

check-disable-comments

 

YouTube-logo-full_color-300x187

This Too Will Pass!

So currently 2018 has had its ups and downs – Unfortunately more downs than ups.

At the beginning of this year I ended my marriage for reasons that I won’t go into. This was my choice, but I couldn’t carry on being unhappy. Thankfully the divorce is fairly straightforward and not too stressful but still a stress on the last.

Both girls have had several bouts of tonsillitis, Chloe has had around 10 in the last 12 months! Another stress for all of us! Thankfully Chloe has been given the go-ahead to have a tonsillectomy a huge relief but scary at the same time.

So now a single mum comes the task of juggling more than ever! School runs, business, work, Bizmums mums, blogging, after-school clubs, swimming, brownies, slimming world, cooking, cleaning, dog walking, working, laundry, gardening, days out, and other mummy duties… The list is endless, and has started to take its toll.

As some of you are probably aware, I suffer with depression and anxiety and have done for a number of years. Some days I feel absolutely fine, other days I can barely get out of bed.

Mental health illnesses are wide and varied, and sufferers have a broad spectrum of symptoms.

There is a lot of misconception that surrounds depression, depression isn’t feeling down for an hour, depression is a scale of one extreme to another. You’re either high with happiness, or so down you doubt the world will ever have colour again.

Depression isn’t just feeling a bit sad at home, it can hit you at any point; at work, out shopping, on the school run, at a party, etc – sometimes there’s no particular reason at all.

Somedays you’re as high as a kite, you think you’re better, you think you don’t need to take your medication any more. Don’t be fooled by this and never stop your medication without the advice of a doctor. One small trigger can take you right back to square one.

I find that I am a great listener, I can offer help and advice, but I’m rubbish at listening to my own advice.

I am also great at putting on a smile and pretending everything is okay, but inside I’m breaking. There’s only so long you can struggle on with this act, trust me at some point you will break. Only a Couple of weeks ago, I came home from work and I cried for hours. Nothing had happened, there was no reason for it, but there I was sobbing! It’s okay to cry though. It doesn’t make you weak.

My circle of friends at Conscious cr have been invaluable. I was offered a lot of support and kind words. One person gave me a quote to remember “this too will pass”.

I have another friend is also invaluable I’m not going to name her, but she knows who she is. We’ve been through thick and thin together and always come out of the other side, we both know we’re at the other end of the phone for each other – thank you!

I’ve gone the long way round to say it but what I’m basically trying to say is it’s okay not to be okay, what you need to do is make sure you have a support network around you. If you don’t, there are charities or groups that can help or speak to your GP.

What I need to do is listen to my own advice re-read this blog over and over again!

This too will pass!

Tuesday’s Top 5 – Summer Crafts / Activities

It’s coming towards the end of the summer holidays and you’re probably starting to tear your hair out, so I’ve put this blog together of 5 Summer Crafts / Activities.  I hope it gives you some inspiration to keep your children entertained.

Ice Painting – This is fun for all ages and also edible, but wear protective clothing as it will stain.

  • Ice cube tray
  • Small plastic bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Food coloring
  • Scissors
  • Thick paper
  • Craft sticks or disposable ice cream spoons

To make the “paint”, use mix some food colouring with water and pour into the ice cube trays. The more food colouring you use the more intense the colour.  Make a selection of colours and your children can experiment mixing the colours.  Put sticks into the icecube and put them in the freezer for 4-6 hours or overnight. Once frozen lay out some newspaper or a protective cloth and put some thick paper on a tray and then let your children loose with the Ice paint.

They will love painting pictures, mixing colours, and possibly even tasting.

Potato Masher Creatures- Who would have thought you can have fun with a potato masher?

  • Potato Masher
  • Paper
  • Card
  • Poster Paints
  • Glue

There are various creatures to make using a potato masher. I’m going to explain 3.

Caterpillar – Use your potato masher and some green paint and print onto paper in a “wave” shape.  Clean the potato masher and dip into the red paint and print at the end of the wave to create the caterpillars head.  Cut some circles to make eyes or you could use googly eyes if you have them and your catterpiller is complete.

Potatomashercaterpiller-2

Crab– Use your potato masher and use a colour of your choice to print onto paper once. Let it dry and then cut the shape out. Stick onto a piece of card.  Cut out 8 small rectangle strips and 2 small circles with a small rectangle cut out of it. Use 6 of the strips for legs and use the other 2 strips for the front legs and add the circles to make claws.  Finish off by adding some eyes googley eyes work best.

Lady Bug- Dip your potato masher in red paint and print onto some card.  Cut out some small rectangular strips out of black card and some small circles also out of black card.  Stick on the black strips to make legs and stick on the circles for the ladybug spots. Stick on some googly eyes and draw some antenna.

potatomasherladybug-2

Dragonfly Craft- This craft is so simple but so effective.

  • Dragonfly template
  • Acrylic paint in assorted colors
  • White cardstock
  • Q-tips / Cotton Buds
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint palettes

Print out the dragon fly stencil here.

Put various colours of paint out, so your children can get creative.  Use the Q tips and dip them in the paint and dab them onto the dragonfly, use various colours to create a unique pattern.  You could use gems down the centre of the body to add a bit of sparkle.  Cut out your dragonfly to create a neat finish.

This tutorial came from projectswithkids.com.

Nature Scavenger Hunt
A few weeks ago, me and the girls went on a nature walk with some friends.  They absolutely loved it and it was a great outdoor activity.  Don’t forgot your picnic 😉

I’ve found a website from Buggy and Buddy for free printable Scavenger Hunts here.

Bored Jar
How many times have your children said to you “I’m bored!” Hopefully this could be a solution- well for a few minutes at least.

You will need:

  • A old jam jar
  • Paper / lolly pop sticks
  • Pens

Use the paper and write a list of things you could do when you’re children are bored (see ideas below).  Then you can cut up the paper and put the individual ideas in the jar.  Alternatively you could write the ideas on lolly pop sticks and place these in the jar.

Here’s a list of ideas for inspiration:

  1. Read a book
  2. Write in your holiday book
  3. Tidy your bedroom
  4. Do one job
  5. Draw something
  6. Draw an animal
  7. Draw our house
  8. Paint something
  9. Watch a movie
  10. Make a gift for someone
  11. Tidy your desk
  12. Make homemade bubbles
  13. Have a bubble bath
  14. Make cupcakes
  15. Play on Moshi Monsters
  16. Go on Youtube and search funny things
  17. Make homemade Bubbles
  18. Make Gloop
  19. Make a treasure hunt
  20. Make something with a box
  21. Story starting – There is a monster in my garden….
  22. Story starting – Yesterday I went in a spaceship to….
  23. Story starting  – There once was a little girl who liked to skip….
  24. Write a story about you.
  25. Go to the park
  26. Go to the beach
  27. Find shapes in clouds
  28. Create a family flag
  29. Make a musical instrument
  30. Do the recycling
  31. Build a time capsule
  32. Find something in your house that starts with every letter of the alphabet
  33. Have a picnic – indoor or outdoor. Teddies allowed.
  34. Have a scooter race.
  35. Play with a toy you haven’t played with in a while.
  36. Learn ten words in a different language
  37. Play on the trampoline
  38. Make homemade play dough
  39. Make and decorate paper airplanes
  40. Let Dad choose something to do
  41. Let Mam choose something to do
  42. Walk the dog
  43. Make an animal out of the things in the craft cupboard
  44. Make something with a box
  45. Make a den
  46. Play guitar
  47. Tidy under your bed
  48. Look through the cook books and choose something you can cook us all for tea
  49. Build something out of Lego.
  50. Make a list of black and white animals.
  51. Write three things about every
  52. Paint your nails
  53. Make a sock puppet
  54. Have a bubble bath
  55. Play a board game
  56. Make a board game of your own
  57. Customise your clothes
  58. Make something with your buttons
  59. Play on the Xbox
  60. Play on the wii
  61. Draw a picture blindfolded
  62. Draw a picture with your feet
  63. Make a video
  64. Write a poem
  65. Google something to make
  66. Make a card pyramid
  67. Go and collect some stones and make them into bugs
  68. Dance to loud music
  69. Play on the trampoline
  70. Start a club with your friends
  71. Tidy craft cupboard
  72. Sew something
  73. Bake cookies
  74. Play out with friends
  75. Ride your bike
  76. Water balloon fight
  77. Wash the car
  78. Play with the chalks outside
  79. Make a bookmark
  80. Make some homemade ice lollies

keepcalm

Days out and depression…..

2016-04-08 12.48.56

On Friday the 8th of April we went to Lower Drayton Farm, but this was no ordinary day out.  I decided earlier on in the week that I would take the girls out for the day and decided on Lower Drayton Farm.

Well Friday morning came and I’d had about 2 hours sleep, I suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) and had been really suffering that night, so when I woke up after 2 hours sleep, I was exhausted, my mood was very low, and the last thing I wanted to do was go out for the day.  My mum was staying with us and insisted we go out I know she wanted to get me out of the house as it would do me good it didn’t feel like that at the time. I also didn’t want to let the girls down.

Anyway we all got ready, which always seems to take forever; packed lunches, drinks, coats, changing bag, wellies and a change of clothes it felt like we were going for a week!

We arrived at the very muddy lower Drayton farm, and went into the shop to buy our tickets.  We were greeted by a lovely lady, she was very welcoming, and took time to answer any questions we had. On that particular day the weather was looking particularly gloomy, and the forecast was rain, because of this we were given a family pass to visit the farm Again.

While we were buying our tickets the tractor have just returned and was getting ready to go again, so we hopped on board the trailer for our tour of Lower Drayton Farm. This was my favourite part of the day mainly because the girls behaved!

We got taken around the cowsheds where farmer Ray talked about the Combine Harvester, the cows, what they eat, where there milk goes etc. Next we went into a big field, still on the tractor and we were able to see and feed the Emu’s, black sheep, ponies, llamas, alpacas etc. and Farmer Ray explained all about them. I personally found his talk very informative and educational! He was also very friendly and jovial.

When we got back to the farm we had some lunch and then went to look at all the other animals, the girls were able to bottle feed the goats and sheep, Chloe held a guinea pig, Olivia prodded and poked said guinea pig, Olivia got pecked by a hen – her own fault she was told not to put her fingers in the pen.

After an enjoyable play on the play area it was time to take 2 grumpy, whingy, tired girls home.  Thank you Lower Drayton Farm we had a lovely time and can’t wait for our next visit.

Although the girls were grumpy, whingy, moany and very tired by the end of the day, I did have a good day and I am glad I went.  A lot of people don’t understand that with depression, even getting out of bed in the morning is hard work, leaving the house is even harder, so for me to go to the farm on that day was a big achievement!