How to survive the holidays.

They're back again.  How?  How can this be?  They were only on holiday about 5 minutes ago for half term.  (ok so this is where you know you're getting super old, when time starts speeding up faster than you can keep up with it) 

But no, it's true, it's Easter.  And to be fair, my children are super ready for this break.  As I said yesterday, they are tired and crabby and just in need of some down time.  Being honest, I do love them being at home.  Actually, being really honest, I like not having to do the school runs, make a packed lunch and ensure there is enough clean school uniform and the relevant sports kits are ready to go.  

Ok being really really honest, I'm going to fess up here.  The novelty usually wears off by about 4pm on the first day. 

There.  I've said it.  Basically I could do with the holidays being only one day long. 

In my head, we spend long and lovely days, exploring London, going for walks on nature trails and having civilised lunches in pubs. 

In reality, it pees down with rain for three weeks, I lose one of them in London (along with my patience and any sort of sobriety I had managed to maintain for 24 hours), the mere mention of a country walk is met with the same level of hysterical protestation usually reserved for prisoners of war about to have their fingernails removed and a civilised lunch in the pub doesn't happen as I can't trust myself not to order a bottle of wine with a straw and sit sobbing in a heap in the corner. 

Except that you're not allowed to admit that. 

And in truth, now that I've written it down, the reality isn't *quite* that bad (easy for me to say sat at the hairdressers when they're still at school...).   But I've been here too many times to realise it's not easy.

So this time I have a cunning plan. 

If I'm happy, they're happy (to a point admittedly - there is a bit/lot of give with this take) 

Firstly - I need an incentive (yes I am secretly 10 yrs old).  I find the whole thing more bearable if there's a treat at the end (ok so maybe not 10, verging on 8). 

A teensy tiny treat to keep me going and lighten the load.  Brighten the load even and what is better in this miserable weather (although the sun is randomly shining for 10 mins at the mo) than a bit of jewellery.  A Summer piece of jewellery at that.

I have a new obsession (ok so this can join the list) and I did first consider them last year but never got round to buying one. However I was lucky enough to be given one for my birthday this year and I am just loving it. 

Hipanema Bracelets.  Here is mine.  I have been wearing it for the past week actually, you may have spied it in the photographs but it makes such a difference to an outfit and my mood .  A little bit of Brazil on your arm.  Totally lifts a neutral outfit with that injection of colour that you might not normally wear.  


The genuine articles here.  No they're not cheap but then I don't wear a lot of bracelets and there are other options if they're just too big a treat (my kids can be REALLY vile)

Hipanema Chihiro Friendship Bracelet £70

Gorgeous shades of pink with the Bora Bora Friendship Bracelet £70

Found some cheaper though (I don't think these ones are this season's colours... bothered??)

Hipanema Madness Bracelet was £90 now £36 from The Hut

Hipanema Lovleyness (their spelling..?) cuff - was £95 now £38

And the Happiness bracelet in coral again from The Hut was £90 now £36

Now you don't have to spend that much - you can get a similar look for a lot less with individual stretch bracelets (not so great if you've got toddlers but at this price you can replace them really easily).  New Look have a great selection and they're currently on buy one get one free.  What's not to love......

Mint Green and Red Beaded Bracelet Set £5.99

5 pack orange beaded bracelets £5.99 from New Look 

Multi Coloured Beaded Tassel Stretch Bracelet £5.99 from New Look 

Have also found some perhaps more similar to the Hipanema ones (ie a complete copy....) in that they're one piece with the magnetic clasp.

Hipanama Inspired bracelets from Viva Design at Not on the High Street £27 (their words not mine)

Lots of different designs to choose from:-

So there we have one treat idea.  I have three weeks to come up with loads more so if these don't float your boat, there's bound to be something else shortly that you can get for completing your Mummy Don't Shout Star Chart.

Secondly - what to do with the little darlings?  The age old problem.  What would make them happy?  Sitting on the xbox for 12 hours a day for the two boys and watching some irritating Disney Channel on loop for my daughter.  Which all in all doesn't sound like too bad a plan, bar THE GUILT.  Yes, I'm Catholic, but I still think any mother feels more than a shade of eek as she can actually hear her children's brains atrophying with every snippet of canned laughter - or god forbid, the dulcet tones of Stampy Longnose. (if you don't know who he is, do google him but forgive me first)

And this holiday for us, it's even more relevant for the oldest as she has her 11+ looming.  How to make it important but not an issue?  Well, and I know I mentioned it before but honestly honestly honestly, it has been such a god send and I have had so many people email me and message me on Twitter saying Thank You for the recommendation, that I'm going to share my secret plan again and that is The Maths Factor. 

The only reason I'm harping on about it is that it works.  The 6yr old now knows (in half a term) nearly all his times tables.  Thanks to Carol, the 10yr old now understands long division using two digits (and so do I having totally forgotten how to do it.  The. Shame)  

The 8yr old is admittedly more interested in playing the Maths Games but the clue is in the first word - he's playing games but they're still Maths.   He's on the computer which he thinks is the biggest treat next to the xBox and I can breath a sigh of relief knowing that they're learning something.  It can only be a good thing.

Am also mentioning it as there is another offer on to coincide with the holidays - as before, the first month will only be £1 for new subscribers who sign up by April 6th.  But as it's Easter, on completion of their first month, they will receive a Maths Factor Mug and Mini Eggs.  Alas, I shall have to purchase my own mugs and mini eggs for my kids (actually I'll have to buy double as I'm not a chocolate fan but can hoover mini eggs without blinking) but if they actually do 30 mins to an hour of this a day, that's a bargain.  And believe me, I hold my hands up and say it's not difficult to persuade them to do it.  I promise I'll write a blog for you to read whilst your children are tapping away at their maths.

In order to incentivise them even further (can I get them to do an hour a day?), I've bought the boys each a new Disney Infinity Figure which are two for £15 at Tesco at the moment (and only a tiny Easter Egg as we're still eating chocolate from Christmas - I kid you not.  I'm hoping the children don't notice that they're actually Lindt mini chocolate reindeer and not bunnies.....why don't they make Christmas mini eggs??) and you will be able to see my halo from space. 

So I think if we manage to get the children sorted for the hoildays, assuage the guilt and treat yourself to a small something, it means maybe.... maybe, we may enjoy the whole charade. 

My other option is to treat yourself to something large at the end for getting through and self medicate with wine.  The small bracelet and improving your children's numeracy is probably the more sensible option.

Finishing with outfit from today.  Interesting trip to the hairdressers this morning.  Three hours later and I appear to be ginger - the same colour as our new puppy.  They've promised me they're going to sort it out, in the meantime, just call me Bonnie and I'll do you a triple time step.  You have to laugh, otherwise you'd cry. 


White linen tee - Max Studio 
Ecru dungarees - H&M
Beige and grey jacket - Zara
Mole suede Oxford brogues - Seven Boot Lane
Dune monogram scarf - Louis Vuitton
Tan bag - Prada
Friendship bracelet - Hipanema 

I shall be back tomorrow with another surprise I found on the High Street - slightly towards the higher end but certainly nowhere near as expensive as I had thought and I would say definitely worth looking at.  

Last day of school today - football after school for the boys, the 10 yr old is off to a Renderman Presentation (which is the technology that Pixar use in their animation) at BAFTA.  Don't ask.  She found a seminar online and asked if we could go.  I booked tickets as I assumed it was for children.  I then find out it's for industry peeps and said it's not really appropriate.  She then emails the organisers, saying she's 10 and wants to work in animation when she's older and can she come along.  They said yes.  She's going with Daddy....... 

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29 comentarios:

  1. I absolutely love those bracelets! I like some chunk on my wrist - ooer - what I mean is I like big watches, large jewellery - I also like dainty but it doesn't suit me whereas big, I think, does :-) So i will be treating myself to one (so many to choose from!). I wish my kids were all little and would be happy with a day at the park and feeding the ducks, but alas, with them being 21, 19 and 15 - the Easter plans mean I'm no longer included - and if I try to join them, I'm often ignored :-) Still...upside is I can drink wine and they can't make me feel guilty! Love your posts by the way. xx

    1. I have NEVER had those kids who were happy at the park and feeding the ducks! But then randomly that's my idea of hell so it's not something we ever did. But spookily I don't mind soft play or play dates - weird weird weird/ I appreciate. They're a pretty good age now though and yes I am very much included in their plans and they are things we all like doing thank goodness. Mine actually want to go swimming this afternoon... outside?!

      And the bracelets are amazing - happy choosing!

  2. I'm now fixating on the ginger reference, since that's been a major issue for me over the last year or so. My colour either turned out unexpectedly ginger in the salon or gradually turned ginger between appointments, despite going to a top notch salon. My husband was beside himself with amusement (and I was not), because ginger is neither my natural colour nor what I was aiming for. Anyway, a trip to a lovely Aveda salon (where they mixed blue in to my colour, believe it or not, to de-ginge) had it totally sorted. Totally agree about the holidays. I can't even seem to manage to do a food shop whilst they're off x

    1. I end up going to the supermarket every other day or even every day, just nipping in to get stuff as I can't face doing a huge shop with them all and hate shopping online.

      Right, this has never happened to me before with the my hair. GAH! I'm supposed to be going back later today to get it sorted as it looks like I've attacked it with the sun in at the moment.. has never happened before. EEK

  3. Haha! Great reading all this! Our kids just have a few days off at Easter but two weeks free in May. I know what you mean, the first day is great, not having to pack lunch and hurry them avond but by the end of day 1 you wish they could go back to school tomorrow. I give them one PJ-day with unlimited Minecraft and Waltdisney and that we'll be back to normal routine. Till now this has been enough to keep them happy. And they may choose diner each once( bloody pancakes, hate the stuff!) and there is one trip to mc Donalds. I call naturewalks something like trailhunting or so, but That trick doesn't work anymore ( eldest is 8) in general if they get to do what they like a bit there isn't so much moan about what I want to do, so far......( still need copious amounts of wine) you'll toughen it out!

    1. It will be fine. The Maths Factor has made such a difference to my not feeling guilty - you can track what they do and get sent reports when they finish a section so it's easy to give them a target and then they get their own time when they've finished. Works for them, works for me - then bring on the Minecraft! Although today, the weather looks good so we're off out to play footie (them not me..!) and maybe even swimming.... (NUTTERS!)

  4. I have the exact same problems in the holidays but I have 17 & 16 yo girls that just want to do their own thing or stay at home & grunt so I only have to 'entertain' the 6 yo boy - with the attention span of a gnat! So far he has planned cinema, skatepark, swimming (ugh!), cinema, golf, Edinburgh Castle and cinema!
    I have to admit doing a little snort at the ginger hair reference, hope it gets sorted out! However, I'm going intentionally ginger (or ombré auburn à la Emma Stone!) at my next appointment in a fortnight :) x

    1. I think it's harder with just one - my boys definitely entertain each other (lazy cow alert...) But with only one it's much cheaper than having three!!! A couple of days out planned and then we're off to Ireland next week!

      And yes, my hair. ARRGGGHHHH I wouldn't have mind it if was something I wanted but....

  5. Oh no - ginger is my big issue and fear. It doesn't look ginger in the pic though. I even have a ginger mirror - like a fat mirror but to check whether my hair looks overtly brassy or not. Ftr I'd love to be properly red-headed, just not the crap brassy dye job I've done in the past!

    1. Every mirror of mine is a ginger mirror it seems.... Think Garfield.

    2. Nooooo. I am sure its not *that* bad, but they'd better bloody fix it!

  6. Ginger!? Call it Auburn, it is a gorgeous colour, honest!!. I'm sure it's lovely really! If you really don't like it Aveda do a gorgeous shampoo called Blue Malva, to be used after you've had blonde highlights (balayage would be very useful here!) and an ashy tint put through.
    PS love the bracelets. I think I'd remove the tassled ones before wearing, but chunks of colour on your arms are lovely!
    Lu xx

    1. Alas, it's not Auburn, it's full on Garfield ginger. It's just cheap sun in style highlights gone wrong. What does the shampoo do? And yes, I have Balayage as opposed to classic foil highlights- she does it freehand with cotton wool. normally not a prob at all, I LOVE it but this time - omg the colour is so so so wrong. SOB.

      And yes, the bracelets are lovely. I need more..

    2. The blue shampoo neutralises any brassy tones, smells lovely too! Hmm, I think she needs to help you out pretty pronto. Garfield was good as a cartoon. ..he wasn't a fashion icon!
      Lu x

    3. Hmm that's interesting. I think it's actually the toner she's put on the whole hair that has changed the colour of the highlights? Even better - with my hair down today I look like bloody Dougal from The Magic Roundabout. Going on Friday morning.....

  7. I love this carol . I have this to come with my 8 yr old girl
    I am also loving those ecru " dungs" on you Kat . We haven't broken for school yet, I have booked tnrw and Thursday off work to myself though first xx

  8. Luckily mine still love the cinema which is something we do a bit but that and even a trip to mcdonalds and you're talking £50!! Got a fair bit planned though and we're going away next week so got lots to look forward to. And HA HA HA about not speaking to randoms on tinternet. My 10yr old really wants her own blog. "You've got one" she says.. er I'm 42!

  9. Haha, loved the comments about school holidays, sadly I do know who Stamp Long nose is! We have been off since Friday, but the weekend was filled with children's parties and swimming. Yesterday we went to a children's Spring Fair with loads of animals, in gale force winds... brrr. I feel justified staying in today. It might involve making a chocolate cake and tv.

    I love the bracelets and bought some cheaper one from River Island, but they were so tiny I gave them to my then 8 yr old! I might have to look at some more. I had noticed yours, perfect for spring.

    Re the auburn tinge, I have once-dark hair that is now turning silver (sob), last year I went lighter and something similar happened. My hairdresser put it right and "cooled it down" but I think it can easily happen. Silverising shampoo or conditioner is your friend.

    1. I may have to invest in the Blue Malva or whatever it is shampoo from Aveda . I'm going to go and have a chat with them at Bluewater tomorrow. Weekend sounds fabulous. We've got baking planned for tomorrow afternoon after a shopping trip (school shoe shopping. Kill me now)

  10. I love your outfit - the scarf and bag really set it off. Berlin Clothing

  11. I am glad you reminded me about The Maths Factor. I didn't make a note of it and it went flying out of my head in the time it took me to down a couple of glasses. I love the bracelet. I, kind of, hashed my own version last year but these are a stroke of genius i.e each bit stays in place. I have nearly 4 weeks of Easter holidays so I think I may deserve a slightly larger treat. ;) Regarding your' hair, wtf was the hairdresser on? It has happened to me and they still stand there and say "ooh yes the colour looks much better" Pfft. H xx

    1. Oh honestly it's brilliant. Do it! Yes, there is something about them all staying in place through the day that I do think makes a difference. I am in love with them! FOUR WEEKS! Wow. Yes, that's Prada bag territory!

      And that's so funny - there was a lot of "oh it's fine, really not that bad at all"in the hairdressers... yeah right... But they have agreed to do something about it if I'm not happy which I am so so pleased about! And obviously I paid even though I wasn't happy. DUH!! First thing The Husband said - Did you pay??!! OOps.

  12. Even without kids this is v entertaining to read! I love those bracelets btw and got a few lookelikeys last year from EBay - I think on your recommendation! X

    1. I've tried to find them again on ebay and can't!! Good buy xxx

  13. Omg, I think I need white overalls immediately.... So summery and cool, you look fab!

  14. Every Mother for all eternity can relate to this Kat! This has so made me giggle! I could of done with another week off the but the reality was I was happily packing my 2 younglings off out the door back to school on Monday!! On another note... how could anyone not smile with one of these on their wrists?! x