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Have Parental Control With Star On Disney+ | AD

25 February 2021

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Disclosure - This post is in collaboration with Disney+ however we are subscribers of the service already so any thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

We have been subscribers to Disney+ since it was DisneyLife and have watched it grow over the years to include Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and The Simpsons. Just when we thought it couldn't get any bigger, Disney+ also now includes Star and also new easy to use parental controls.

Boys watching TV


What Is Disney+
Disney+ is the streaming home for entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. Disney+ brings you exclusive originals with new feature films, shows, short-form content, including the world's first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian - streaming only on Disney+. You can also watch the new Marvel mini series WandaVision. 

As a Disney+ subscriber you have unlimited access to thousands of the Disney movies and shows that are completely advert free offering you a high-quality viewing experience with unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices.

What's New?
As mentioned Star on Disney+ was launched on 23rd February alongside a new feature for parental controls. 

Parental Controls on Disney+


Parental Controls
Disney+ offers robust parental controls to ensure that Disney+ remains a suitable viewing experience for everyone in the family. We have three adults at home and little J who will be turning 8 soon so I was eager to find out how subscribers can set access limits on mature content and also create PIN-protected profiles to give us parents and guardians peace of mind.

Easy To Use
When opening Disney+ for the first time after the launch of Star on Disney+, subscribers will be asked
if they want to opt in to access mature content. This will change the content rating on their profile from 14+ to 18+. Opting in as an 18+ subscriber will give you the full content catalogue available within Star on Disney+. If you choose 'Not Now' your content will set to a rating of 14+, which gives you limited access to the Star catalogue on Disney+. 

Once you decide to make the change and have full access to the Star catalogue on Disney+ you enter your password to confirm the change.
 
As I said earlier we are a household of 3 adults and 1 child and as every household is different Disney+ allows you to create up to seven profiles per account. This allows each profile to have a viewing experience tailored to their age. 

When you click on the main account avatar there is an option to edit profiles. You can click on each profile to edit the content rating for each member of your family. 

It was really easy to turn on parental controls, however this could not be done on our TV we had to do it from a mobile device or desktop. If you do need any help setting up the parental controls there is a short 1 minute video 

Parental Controls on Disney+


The content rating options are 0+, 6+, 9+, 12+, 14+, 16+ and 18+. Content ratings provide guidance for parents and children on all TV series and movies. Each TV series and movie on Disney+ has been given a specific rating to offer a recommendation on its suitability. 

I thought it would be a good idea to give an example of movies and series for each content rating.

0+ Disney Junior series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, The Sound oO Music
6+ Disney Pixar movie - Soul
9+ Disney Tim Burton movie Alice in Wonderland, We Bought A Zoo
12+ Marvel Series WandaVision
14+ Star on Disney+ original Big Sky
16+ Comedy movie Borat
18+ Drama Crime Series Sons of Anarchy

Kids Profiles
Kids profiles are also an option that can be selected on Disney+. These profiles are specifically designed to be used by a younger audience and feature a unique design and user experience. All content available in this profile has a content rating of 7 and below, and will not include any content that features a content advisory warning.

Kid Proof Exit
If your child decides to click to exit their kids profile the kids proof exit feature makes it harder to leave a kids profile with the addition of an exit question. This feature can be found under a new Parental Controls menu, within Settings and account verification will be required to turn this feature on.

Profile Pin
An extra feature to provide parents with peace of mind that their child will not access mature content now available with Star on Disney+ is a profile pin. Account holders can secure profiles set to an 18+ content rating with a profile pin. 

After we had set up our Star on Disney+ access to 18+ it did ask us if we wanted to create a profile pin then however account holders can set a pin at any time under profile settings.

Star tile on Disney+


Star On Disney+
Now that you have set up your parental controls you can explore the whole new world of entertainment. Star is now fully integrated in to Disney+ and offers over 75 TV series, 280 movies and four Star Originals plus new content will be uploaded every week too.

Star has its own tile on the Disney+ home page. When you click it, it will bring up a choice of movies and series based on genre, featured or our favourite bingeable series

TV Series
When I saw the list of TV series that will be available my eye instantly went to Grey's Anatomy. Grey's is a favourite of mine and I know how popular the show is so I think this will be a very popular choice with the first 15 full series available to watch. 

John is looking forward to X Files. He has been wanting to binge watch the series for years but never got round to it so that will definitely be on our 'to watch' list. 

Grey's Anatomy and X Files are just 2 of over 75 series available including Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Modern Family, Glee and How I Met Your Mother to name a few. 

Movies
280 new movies are available to with Star on Disney+ so you will never be stuck for something to watch. I have checked the whole list and there are so many to look forward to including Pretty Woman, Shallow Hal, Moulin Rogue, The Devil Wears Prada, Die Hard 2 and 275 more!

Originals
One of my favourite features of Disney+ is the originals available. Originals are exclusive to Disney+ and I am pleased to say that Star has an initial four originals of their own. 

Crime thriller Big Sky
Love, Simon spin-off series Love,Victor 
Adult animated sitcom Solar Opposites
Drama series Helstrom

How Much Does Star On Disney+ Cost?
Star on Disney+ is included in your Disney+ subscription. If you are already a subscriber, the Star on Disney+ content will be available from 23rd February 2021. 

If you do not subscribe to Disney+, UK customers can subscribe for £7.99 per month, or £79.90 annually (annual price available at most retailers). 

Full details on how to subscribe will be available on Disneyplus.com. Current prices for existing subscribers (prior to 23 February) will be honoured for six months, with the price change taking effect on the monthly or annual renewal date following 23rd August 2021.

Disney+ is a service that offers so much entertainment in our home and the addition of Star on Disney+ has given us a whole new range of entertainment to enjoy.

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Are you a Disney+ subscriber? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you have been watching recently.

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Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
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Create A Movie Night At Home

24 February 2021

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We have spent the last year trying to come up with different ways to keep busy while staying at home. It's hard to make things exciting when really all you want to do is go out for a meal, go to the cinema or just get out of the house. Last week I stumbled across Odeon At Home and I thought it would be perfect way to entertain the kids during half term.

snacks


Odeon At Home has everything you need to prepare your home into an  Odeon experience. To get started we downloaded the PDF of the at home kit and created our Odeon at Home.

First pretend to work at the Odeon by popping on your name badge and also your favourite film. My favourite film changes all the time so I would struggle to fit just one on there.

Create the viewing screen by labelling your TV/Projector with Screen 1 and write the name of the movie you are going to watch next to Showing.

Odeon at home ticket


Then you need to create the tickets. The PDF includes 4 ticket stubs but if you need more you can just print out another sheet. 

Once we created the viewing area it was time to sort out snacks. Usually at the cinema you would have a choice of hotdog, nachos, popcorn, pick and mix and drinks. We had lots of fun creating the Food and Drinks section of our cinema. 

First we started with the drinks. Little J got a slush puppy machine for Christmas and John has just mastered how to make the perfect slush so this was definitely on the menu. We ordered some Coca Cola Cups from amazon which were perfect not to big or small, they were 400ml. 

Hotdogs on baguettes and nachos were easy enough to make and again we ordered the trays and hot dog holders from Amazon. The nachos were lightly salted Doritos and I had read lots of reviews saying the Riccos Nacho Cheese Sauce is just like the cinema. You can buy it in Costco however we ordered it from Amazon. The sauce did not disappoint. 

Part of the print off is make your own popcorn boxes. These were actually really easy to buy and there was no need to use cardboard, paper worked just fine. 

I popped a few tubs of pick and mix on the table with spoons so the boys could pick their own or add to their popcorn. 

Boy sitting on the sofa


Last but not least it was time to watch the movie, but before that we enjoyed an introduction from Odeon and then a selection of trailers from upcoming movies. This is available via a link which you can type in direct on your TV if it has access to the internet. This really made us feel like we were at the cinema and it was quite emotional listening to the voiceover that we have heard so many times in the past at our local Odeon. It made us all realise just how much we have missed going to the cinema. 

The movie night was a success and with the added extras it really did feel like we were at the cinema.

Unfortunately our giveaway is no closed. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Have you ever created a movie night? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Growing my social media is something I work hard on. If you would like to follow us - Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

If you have found this post or our blog particularly useful you can say thanks by - Buy Us A Virtual Coffee

If you think a friend of family member would like this post - Tap the share button below.


Michelle

Competition closes on Sunday 14th March 2021

Entrants must have a valid UK address. 

Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 

All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 

1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 

Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 

The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 

The winners must respond within 28 days, if no response a new winner will be chosen. 

This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative 

The Prize : £20 amazon voucher to spend on sweets and treats for a movie night in. 

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Half Term At Home | Living Arrows 8/52 (2021)

22 February 2021

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We were so ready for half term when it finally arrived. You know the kids are ready for a break when they can't be bothered with school work anymore, they are tired and whiney and if I am honest I felt the same. It had been a term of ups, downs and lots of juggling between home school and working but we got there in the end. Like most we had no plans at all and we planned on spending most of our time at home other than our walks, but it was nice not to have to worry about zooms and work for a week.

boy making pancakes


I am so glad we remembered pancake Tuesday. We do usually forget and then have to rush out to the shops to pick up some pancakes and toppings but I had already ordered them on the shopping so was very prepared. 

I gave the boys a choice of jam, Nutella, sugar, M&M's and Haribo. Little J decided to pile everything (except jam) on to his pancake and enjoyed every single bite. Big J also enjoyed his pancakes and was definitely the best flipper of the pancakes. 

Stepping Stones


We managed to head out for a few walks in-between wet and windy days as it is important to get out and about especially with little J as he has lots of energy to burn off.

Boy eating ice cream


One of little J's favourite things when we head out for a walk is to find an ice cream man or somewhere he can get an ice cream. He was so pleased when we visited a new park last week and there was an ice cream parlour. He always chooses bubblegum flavour if its there and he was pleased when it was. 

Odeon at Home ticket

brothers watching a movie


We finished off half term with a trip to the movies. This was in the living room but we made it extra special using the free resources from Odeon At Home. The boys had an amazing night with lots of cinema food, drinks and snacks and a very funny movie. 

Michelle
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Ideas To Keep The Kids Entertained The Half Term

15 February 2021

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Disclosure - We were gifted Pizza Punks kit to include in this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

February half term is my least favourite of all the school holidays. The weather is always cold, there isn't much to do and there also isn't really anything to look forward to. At least with the other half terms you can look forward to Easter, Summer, Halloween and Christmas. This half term will be a tough one even more as we are still in this national lockdown. I have been thinking of ways to keep the kids entertained this half term and I have come up with a few ideas. Most of these got us through the first lockdown last year so I know we will enjoy them again this half term.

three boys in the woods




Not Just Another Walk In The Park
By now I am sure you may be a little bored of your local park but there are ways that you can make it so it's not just another walk in the park. Go on a scavenger hunt. There are lots of free scavenger hunt tick off sheets on google that make a visit to your local park or woods a lot more interesting. Scavenger hunts will have your little ones running around trying to find all the things on their list. You can always make your own and if you are stuck for some ideas I have a template below which you can use. 

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

pizza punks ingredients


Make Your Own Pizza's
Creating our own pizza was one of the activities both boys enjoyed during lockdown. We used wraps or ready made pizza bases and added a variety of toppings. Within 10 minutes the pizzas were created and ready to pop in the oven. It's a simple activity but very enjoyable.  We recently came across Pizza Punks and their Pizza Punk It Up DoughIY kits and I wouldn't use anything else from now on. You choose how may pizzas you want (2 or 4) and 4 toppings from a large selection and the kit will be delivered direct to your door. The sourdough is ready to be shaped in to a pizza base, the sauce and topping are ready to be added, top with cheese and pop in the oven.

Pizza


The whole experience was a hit with all of us, not just the boys. We chose meatballs, ham, pepperoni and salami however you can be as adventurous as you like with lots of toppings to choose from. The ingredients all fit within a large pizza box and come in their own individual pots, you even get a little pot of flour. The packaging really adds to the experience and the boys haven't stopped talking about their pizzas since. 

two bowls of popcorn


Host A Movie Night
Enjoying a movie night brings the whole family together and it's a nice activity to while away a few hours. When it comes to hosting a movie night you can be as adventurous as you like. In the past we have made tickets and enjoyed lots of cinema snacks. I have seen others give their children some money to buy their snacks from a selection available at the pretend cinema kiosk.

I spotted Odeon are offering cinema goers the chance to have a full odeon experience at home. All you need to do is download their Odeon At Home pack and print out your tickets, activity pack and even popcorn box. To make the experience even more realistic you can scan the QR code on the downloadable pack and you will see some trailers. 

sleepover


Siblings Sleepover
Having a sleepover with friends may be off the cards but if you have siblings that don't share a room you could create a sleepover for them both to enjoy. Having a sleepover is fun and half term is the perfect opportunity to let the kids stay up a little later than usual, eat snacks in bed, play games and watch rubbish movies.

Depending on the size of the bedroom you could even make it more fun. Add a tent, a den or there are lots of companies now that offer sleepover kits but I think you can't beat your own bed so just pop their mattress in there. 

making a scrapbook


Create A Scrapbook
This past year has been a crazy rollercoaster and I am hoping we will soon come to the end of the track and it will be time to get off. Create a scrapbook of all the things you have done, celebrated and enjoyed over the past twelve months. We will never get time like this again so it will be nice to create a book that you can look back on in years to come when we all stayed home to keep safe. 

Remember that these are very unusual times. Be kind to yourself and maybe loosen the screen time limits a little or let the kids have a PJ day. Our little ones have had a very strange year and if all goes well they will be heading back to some kind of normality soon so let them enjoy this last half term where everything is closed and there is not a lot to do. Pretty soon we will all be back to our usual busy selves trying to juggle 10,000 plates at once, let's just enjoy this moment while it lasts. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Are you looking forward to Half Term?Leave us a comment below and let us know what you have planned. 

Growing my social media is something I work hard on. If you would like to follow us - Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

If you have found this post or our blog particularly useful you can say thanks by - Buy Us A Virtual Coffee

If you think a friend of family member would like this post - Tap the share button below.

Michelle
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Happy Valentine's Day | Our Sunday Photo 7/52

14 February 2021

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Happy Valentine's Day. 

Rapunzel Loungefly Bag


Michelle
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Our Post Lockdown Travel Bucket List

10 February 2021

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post lockdown travel bucket list

I first published this post last year during the first lockdown and I remember writing it with lots of hope that in 2021 our travel diaries would be jam packed full of days out, weekends away and at least one trip to a Disney park booked. Unfortunately our travel plans are exactly the same as last year - zero. 

As it's just the beginning of the year we would have only normally visited local parks and beaches anyway but it's the short breaks, days out and holidays planned we are really missing out on and struggling with. 

Whilst it's rubbish that we haven't been able to travel we are safe and healthy at home and the extra time at home has been great for saving for holidays and break aways when it is safe to do so. I'm not sure what travel will look like this year but I really do hope we manage to tick off at least a few from our post lockdown travel bucket list.

Southport Pier


Southport Pier
I'm thinking we may be a little nervous travelling outside our local area for the first time so I know we will want to stay close. Some of our favourite memories as a couple, a family of three then a family of four are at Southport Pier. A nice stroll along the pier, a visit to the penny arcade and fish and chips overlooking the beach might be just what we need.

Wicker Man At Alton Towers


Alton Towers
As a theme park loving family this is what we are missing the most, a visit to Alton Towers or any of the Merlin theme parks . In between lockdowns and tiered systems in 2020 we did manage to squeeze a trip to Alton Towers Gardens and Alton Towers. Knowing what to expect when visiting Alton Towers after lockdown will really help us perpare for our next visit as is it very different. 

Season of the superheroes at Disneyland Paris


Disneyland Paris
We are all in need of a walk down Main Street at Disneyland Paris. Seeing the castle is my favourite thing and I just cannot wait till the day we can visit again. I absolutely love Disney but after watching all the Marvel movies in chronological order in 2019 we headed to Disneyland for the Marvel event, Season of the Superheroes and we were blown away. It added a little bit extra to the trip and meeting Captain America was a highlight for us all. We have just started watching the movies again so I have everything crossed the Marvel event will go ahead in May and June and we get to visit. 

The Lake District


The Lake District
A visit to The Lakes will definitely be a must if it's safe to visit during the Summer months. We have visited many areas of the lakes over the years but our favourite is definitely Bowness on Windermere with a nice boat trip over to Ambleside. We head up to the lake district a few times a year including a big family trip each Summer staying in a cottage it's such a beautiful place. 

The Disney Castle

Disneyland
At the beginning of the year we got talking about visiting Disneyland in California. We have visited Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in Paris so it was only natural to think about Disneyland in California. John wasn't too keen on the idea mainly due to the flight time but now I think if we ever get to travel to the USA again I think it will definitely be on our travel plans.

Unfortunately at this moment we have no idea what travel will look like in the future but we can still plan and dream that one day the world will go back to normal.

Michelle
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All About The Art | Living Arrows 6/52 (2021)

9 February 2021

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The countdown to half term has begun. There is just one more week of home schooling and it can't come soon enough. John and I work it between us and I am in charge of Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I like knowing that I am here to help little J when he needs me. On Wednesdays, Art is on the timetable. I am not the best at Art but little J seems to love it. 

boy painting

Last week little J was given a task of cutting out three pictures of flowers, sticking them on paper and then he had to match the colours by mixing paints together. I had no idea where to start but little J got stuck right in and starting mixing. He knew that all the colours could me made by using combinations of red, blue and yellow. 

flower painting
I am sure at some point in my past I knew this but it's been a long time since I have done art so I'm glad he knew the colours to mix and didn't ask me for help, I would have had to use my trusted friend Google. 

Michelle

Living Arrows
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Quizzie The Robot Giveaway

6 February 2021

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Disclosure - We received a Quizzie for the purpose of this post and also another for a giveaway prize. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Quizzie The Robot


We are now the owners of a Quizzie Robot and he certainly cheered us up last week. Quizzie is a cute little robot standing approx 10cm tall with the cutest of faces however he does have a cheeky streak, so beware. 

Quizzie The Robot


Quizzie has three game modes that are all equally as fun and easy to play. 

Quizzie The Robot

Quizzie The Robot


Yes / No
Record up to five yes / no questions and then pass to a friend or family member so they can answer them. Quizzie will play back your question and the player has to guess if the answer is yes or no and press the corresponding button. If they guess correctly they can move on to the next question but if not then they will be squirted with water. 

Memory Game
Quizzie will change his face and you have to remember which face he was showing you. Was he smiling, winking or sad? Guess wrong and its a squirt of water in the face for you. 

Lucky Chance
This is a little like pass the bomb. You pass Quizzie between players and if he stops on you then prepare to get wet. 

Quizzie The Robot


I have teamed up with Wicked Uncle to give you the chance to win your own Quizzie Robot. All you need to do is enter our giveaway below using the form and make you sure you keep popping back as I will add bonus chances to win throughout the giveaway. 

Good Luck

Michelle

Competition closes on Sunday 21st February 2021

Entrants must have a valid UK address. 

Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 

All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 

1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 

Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 

The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 

The winners must respond within 28 days, if no response a new winner will be chosen. 

This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative 

The Prize : Quizzie The Robot

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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

4 February 2021

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Disclosure - We were gifted some of the products mentioned below. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post include affiliate links.

Valentines Day Gift Guide
Valentine's Day will soon be here and although it's not something we go over the top with to celebrate we do always make sure we do something together. It might be a movie night and a take away or a home cooked meal. However this year as there isn't really much to look forward to we have decided to celebrate Valentine's Day and buy each other a gift. If you celebrate Valentine's Day with your loved one then I've popped some Valentine's Day gift ideas below. 

plastic free razor and shaving brush
Clear Confidence Co’s plastic-free bamboo safety razor will take your shaving experience to a new level. It’s authentic, effective and sustainably manufactured using natural materials. Team up the razor with the plastic-free shaving brush. The unique shaving brush uses grass-based bristles and offers a great alternative to badger or boar hair shaving brushes. 
Bottle of Small Batch four roses
A delightfully mellow and perfectly balanced small batch from Four Roses. Utilising four original and limited Bourbon recipes to create this sweet and spicy small batch. Savor its unique aromas and flavours neat, on the rocks or in your favourite Bourbon cocktail.
Forever Hydrating Cream
Add a boost of hydration to your skincare routine with Forever's Hydrating Serum. Absorbs quickly into surface layers of the skin and visibly plumps appearance of skin while enhancing texture. It can boost your skins hydration whilst shielding it against environmental stressors. It will also help to minimise appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

buyagift voucher for afternoon tea
Enjoy an afternoon tea at home from Piglet's Pantry. The traditional afternoon tea for four people includes a selection of treats will be delivered straight to your door. Enjoy sausage rolls, fresh cakes, scotch eggs, cheese and chive quiches and fluffy fruit scones smothered with clotted cream and strawberry conserve. Set out your table at home or relax in your garden with a cup of Earl Grey. This is the perfect excuse to get together at home and satisfy your cravings with some mouth-watering sweet and savoury bites.

Escape Room The Game 2
Your favourite Escape Rooms may be closed at the moment but you can enjoy an Escape Room at home  with Escape Room The Game 2.  3 exciting escape rooms to choose from including panic on the Titanic, Alice In Wonderland and Dawn of the Zombies.

Milk Tray Chocolates
A selection of delicious Cadbury milk chocolates with NEW additions of the Salted Caramel Charm, Truffle Heart and Apple Crunch. Two layers of ten milk chocolate varieties in box makes a perfect chocolate gift. 

Artistry Studio Soft as Silk Hand Cream Trio.
Pamper your hands the Shanghai luxury way with the Artistry Studio Soft as Silk Hand Cream Trio. They’re balmy, delightfully lightweight and floral fresh. All-day moisture and protection keep your hands feeling soft as silk on any adventure. Scents include Lotus Blossom, Pomelo, and Vanilla.

Spice Pots lucky indian spice tin
Spice Pots Luxury Indian Spice Tin makes the perfect gift this Valentine's Day. Treat your loved one to a delicious meal at home. Each Luxury Tin contains  5 perfectly balanced, 100% natural spice blends, 150 page cookbook and a bespoke cook's candle to help eliminate cooking odours.  All presented in a gorgeous tin.

willow tree you and me figure
The 7 Inch hand-painted resin 'You and Me' figure by Willow Tree expresses love, closeness, healing, courage and hope. Artist Susan Lordi hand carves the original of each Willow Tree piece from her studio in Kansas City. You and Me is cast from Susan's original carving and painted by hand, the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.


Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? What plans do you have?

Michelle
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January 2021 - Looking Back

3 February 2021

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I'm a little late posting our January 2021 looking back post and if I'm honest I didn't think I would have a lot to share, but amongst all the home schooling and stay at home days we did have a nice January.

brothers hugging

I try to take photos as often as possible and I am so glad I do, as looking back at photos is a great reminder at what we get up to.

brothers riding a bike


Bike Rides
During the first lockdown John taught little J how to ride a bike. He hadn't shown any interest in a bike before, he preferred his scooter. Now he would much prefer to head out on his bike and the boys have enjoyed lots of lovely bike rides in our local area. 

I don't own a bike and sometimes I feel like I'm missing out but it has become something that just the three of them do so I don't want to ruin that so I stay at home and go on my exercise bike instead. 

a boy baking
Baking

Both boys have enjoyed baking this month. Little J had a maths activity that involved weighing so we decided to make it a little more interesting and turned it in to a baking activity. He made delicious cookies and it got him away from the table for a while. 

Big J decided he wanted to make us a meal which was a lovely treat. He made us a chicken dish and it was really tasty. He created it all from scratch and I think he enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one. 

three boys making pizza


It was also nice to have another night off from cooking when the boys all made their own pizzas. All three of them love pizzas and creating their own is their favourite meal. 

boy making a snow angel

snow angel print


Snow Days
We had a few snow days this month and although it wasn't very deep it was enough for us to head out and have snowball fights and make snow angels. The days don't seem to vary much at the moment even the weekends are a bit meh, so it was nice to have some snow and it really did cheer us up. 

boy sat at a table working on a computer

boy sat at a table working on a computer


Home School 
Home schooling is pretty much our life at the moment. Little J begins the day with a zoom call with his teacher and classmates and then has four lessons to complete with another zoom call at the end of the day. John and I are in a nice routine with John doing Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings and I do Tuesday morning, all day Wednesday and Monday,Thursday and Friday afternoons. Little J usually has his work wrapped up by lunchtime so it leaves the afternoons free for us to play games, build lego or just chill in front of the TV. 

Woman and boy on beach

Weekend Walks
This used to be the highlight of our week but as we are limited to where we can visit it's not as much fun anymore. We joined The National Trust just before Christmas and we were looking forward to exploring the UK but that will have to wait. 

mum and son walking

boy and dad waling by a marina


Having said that we have managed to enjoy a few local walks including a trip to the beach, a snowy visit to Speke Hall and a cold and a windy walk along the waterfront.

In Other News...

John and I have tried to spend some time together as all we seem to do is work and homeschool at the moment. We have enjoyed an Escape Room at home but mostly we have just been watching tv and films together. We've watched so much this month which is quite unusual for us as we are usually busy doing other things. We managed to watch all Mandalorian, Finding Alice, The Pembrokeshire Murders and up to episode 4 of Marvel's Mini Series WandaVision which is just amazing and we can't wait for Friday to come around so we can watch another. As well as series we have also watched Star Wars Episode II, III, Rogue One and Episode IV. It's crazy that we have all this free time to watch these programmes and films. Usually this amount would take us months, maybe longer.

positive planner

exercise bike
I have been working hard this month to be positive and to try and exercise. Lockdown is tough and it can be quite difficult at times to think of positives in what seems like a permanent doom and gloom situation. The planner helps me pick out positivity activities to do each day and also plan in some self care. My bigger goal this year is to get fit. I have tried diets over the years and they fizzle out so my self care for year is to try and get fit and if weight loss comes with that then it will be a bonus. 

Big J has been so busy in his placement in a school training to be a teacher. At first he wasn't sure how it would work with the school only open for smaller numbers however on some days he has had over 20 kids in so almost like a full class. He is really enjoying it and seems to be able to plan and execute the lessons with ease. This is his first placement and I said to him that it will be after this one when he will realise if this is actually the job for him, he's sure it is which is great to hear. 

Fireplace with yellow and grey rug in front
Lastly we have given the living room a little colour makeover. We have gone for yellow and grey. We bought a new rug, cushions, lamp and other bits of furnishing. It's nice to change it round every few months as it feels so much brighter and fresh. 

So in the end January wasn't as dull and boring as I first thought and it's definitely my least favourite month of the year so I am glad it's done. 

Michelle
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