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Elf On The Shelf- Idea’s & Planning

It’s not long before Father Christmas sends his helpers down from the North Pole to keep an eye on all the children (& Adults) to make sure they are doing their best to stay on the Nice list! I know The elves are not for everyone but they are a firm favourite in our house. They always have to be factored into our Christmas planning

A few Years ago Twinkl & Puddin arrived at our home. on December the first They brought with them a special present  – A book all about them.

The Idea behind the Elves is that they are sent from Father Christmas to live with families and then report back to Santa anything that he needs for the Naughty or nice list!

Unfortunately the Elves are only children themselves so need a little guidance on how to behave themselves!

Here are a few examples of the things ours have got up to during their time with us!

Some days when They are tired they just sit at the Christmas tree or on the mantlepiece.

This year I am anticipating the elves return on the 1st of December and I think they will be up to their antics again!

Ok So now to the planning –

After going through pinterest for Ideas – I print off a calendar and start jotting down some ideas!

Once the month is full of ideas I can prepare an accessories bag for each day.

each Morning they leave a clue in our wooden advent calendar as to where they are or what activity we are doing that day.

The big twins really love heading down to look for the elves each morning. I just hope the little two leave them alone and don’t take their magic bay touching them.

I hope I have given you some inspiration.

Let me know what your Elf gets up to!

Happy December


Sometimes I open my mouth and my Mother comes out!

OMG I’m turning into my mum


No I don’t mean the hairs that I constantly have to pluck from my chin, or that I look in the mirror and see my mum (Shit I actually do?) Those lines at the corner of my eyes! Where did they come from?

Nowadays your monthly salon visits aren’t for having highlights or a bright colour they are a necessity – I mean it’s not just a myth, if you pluck a grey hair 2 more will grow…. I must have plucked hundreds!

Coupled with this, sometimes you look around as you hear your mum say something only it wasn’t her – It was you! You opened your mouth and your mum came out!

Blue Twin had a strop the other day about wanting pudding and gave me such a filthy look.

“Don’t look at me in that tone of voice” I said

I had to stop myself carrying on with “It’s smells a funny colour”

Then it hit me – It’s not just this phrase, there are loads of things I say to my kids that, even as they leave my mouth, I cringe that it’s my mother talking!

When they are whining about something hurting just to get out of doing something – “But Mummmmy my (blank) hurrrrttttsss  – My reply “your bum will hurt in a min if you don’t (blank) “

Or what about?  “Because I said so!” Normally this in reply to a ‘why can’t I…’ question that you either are too tired to answer or don’t know why!

These are some more I remember my mum saying to me…

  • “If the wind changes you will stop like it”
  • “I want never gets”
  • “Are your legs broken? Well you can walk then!” – When wanting to be picked up!
  • “I’ll see” – Meaning nope no way not ever oh go on then!
  • In response to it’s not fair “no but it’s not raining”
  • “No I’m not going to sleep I’m just resting my eyes!”

I think I’ve already said all of these too.

Oh god!

Send the wine I think it’s too late for me I’ve already turned into my mum!

Run quick save yourselves

Have you turned into your Mum? What phrases do you say that your mum taught you?


Neveo Family photo Journal – |Review| AD

When I was around my big twins age I loved to create little newspapers for my family. I would fill them with articles and little images that I’d drawn or cut from magazines. I think that’s why The Neveo Family Photo Journal appealed to me.

Neveo Family Photo Journal

The Neveo Journal is a monthly Photo Album created by you. You can chose up to 50 photos per month to add to the monthly newspaper style album. There is space to add a little caption to each photo too so you can really let the gift receiver know what you have been up to over the past month.

How does Neveo work

Firstly you need to set up an account and chose who is going to receive your family album. Then you can get choosing your photos for the month.

You can add other family members too so that they can contribute to your family album.

As I said you can pick up to 50 images from your device, google drive or from instagram. Then add a comment to each picture letting your family member know what you have been up to.

You can log in to the Neveo site at any point which means you can add a photo a day or a couple a week or all in one go like me at towards the end of the month.

You have until the end of each month to add, move or change the images before your newspaper automatically gets sent out to your gift receiver.


Back when my Nan was with us she would nag me constantly for me to print out some photos of the kids. She wanted to see the adventures we had been having. I wish this product had been available then she would have loved it. It really is the ideal Gift for grandparents this Christmas.

I think in this digital age we can often forget those that don’t have access to social media like our grandparents. This is a great way for them to still feel connected Especially if they live far away.

I Chose to send our family Journal to my mum. Although she has social media quite literally at her fingertips she loves the feel of a magazine in her hand. I thought this would be a great gift for her each month.

The first month I chose to send her our Cornwall road trip adventure album. Carefully choosing my top 50 images to put in. I put a comment with each photo so she would know where it is and what we are doing.

It’s so easy to set up and create your family newsletter with Neveo. The only hard part for me is choosing which photos to put in each month.

There is a christmas promotion at the moment which means that If you head over to the Neveo Website and use the code SPENCERSARCMUMMY You can get your first month for free!

I hope You and your family enjoy The Neveo Family Journal as much as we are.

Nina x

This Blog Post was written in collaboration with Neveo. I received a year long subscription to the family Journal in order to review the product.

As always all opinions are my own!

10 Tips For Surviving Soft Play.

You either love them or you hate them. Soft play is a necessity for parents sometimes. However you can leave feeling even more stressed than when you went in. Here are 10 Tips for surviving soft play.

Picture it if you will…….

We are at grandmas for breakfast.

A cold and wet Saturday.  It’s rained on and off for a few days. The garden is wet and muddy and the kids have their cousin over.

Soft play

The men are doing some work in the garden so there are tools everywhere.

There’s Mud Everywhere

Mud is being trampled in and out and I don’t know how many times a child has come in hurt.

I suggest taking the big kids to soft play for a couple of hours to run off some energy.

So There I am. Sat with my cuppa. Watching all the kids gate crash the bouncy castle. The Bouncy Castle that has been paid for by the birthday party in the corner.

The birthday parade starts and the kids inevitably ask me if they can join in.

I need a plan.

A plan to survive this couple of hours of soft play chaos.

Tips for Surviving Soft Play

1. Take another grown up.

 Although the noise of 50 + kids may break the recommended noise levels that humans should endure taking another adult means at least you can try to catch up with some important gossip. Also they will be on hand if you need to nip one child to the toilet or change a baby.

2. Find a soft play with comfy corner.

 One of our local soft plays has a couple of sofas I try and get the sofa before anyone else. Then you can …

3. Enjoy a cuppa.

 While sat on your comfy sofa, drinking your hot cuppa you can at least pretend your at home. (I mean don’t go picking your nose or scratching your bum your still in public)

4. Take advantage of the fact someone else is going to cook dinner and clean up the mess.

 Some soft play food can be half decent, so let someone else do the hard work.

5. Juice jug.

 The best way to keep the kids hydrated is with a jug of juice. They are normally the same price as one of the bottles of juice yet they normally last 2 kids 3 top ups. Plus your being kinder to the environment by not having disposable bottles.

6. Take a magazine or a book

The kids will probably just go off and play so long as bellies are full and they have been watered. So take the opportunity to catch up on your important reading.

7. Go out of peak time

. Generally we only use soft play as a last resort. (Like most parents) Like when the weather is bad and there are no other plans. That said I sometimes use it as a treat. In that case I pick the quietest time usually after school hours when some soft plays will have a meal time deal. These are normally quieter times.

8. General hygiene & Antibacterial gel

 Kids carry germs fact! Make them wash their hands and use your antibac gel too. Especially before they have food along with before and after using the toilet

9. Don’t get into the “can I have just one penny”cycle

. Some soft plays. Ok most soft plays take advantage of stressed out parents by adding more ways to part them of their cash. They add dreaded grabber machines or those machines or toy vending machines. Those little suckers will be dotted around soft play with their bright lights. Enticing children promising them their dreams will come true and they will win some amazing prize for just £1. We got caught in the habit of letting the kids have just one “penny” too many times now we are trying to break the habit. Try not to get into the cycle. Stand your ground you can do it!

10. If you can’t beat them join them

Sometimes you just have to squeeze yourself into their world for a while.

I hope these tips help you survive your trip to soft play. If all else fails instead find a pub with a playground inside. Then at least there is gin to take the edge off!!

Nina x

Autumn Half Term Bucket List

It’s that time again, The run up to another School Holiday. This year our Autumn half term has two weeks instead of just one so there are even more days to collect memories. As always in order to keep the weeks running smoothly I like to have some ideas of activities for our days together. That’s why writing an Autumn Half Term Bucket list is a must.

Autumn Half term Bucket List

So here goes for our 2019 Autumn bucket list


Where will we venture out to this holiday? We don’t have any plans as such but I always like to add the seaside to my bucket list no matter what time of year. Its my favorite place to be is by the sea!

  • Seaside – A must on every bucket list
  • Pumpkin Picking Farm
  • Rufford Abbey & Park – There is a light show happening that looks really magical for all the kids.
  • Library- See read at the bottom of the post!


A trip to the cinema with the biggest twins is a must. We love these little trips its a chance for them to get a bit more time with me without the demands of the little twins. Though sometimes we also like to snuggle in the front room all together or head out to our very own cinema room for a movie afternoon.

  • Shaun The Sheep Farmageddon – Cinema Trip
  • Hotel Transylvania trilogy – We still haven’t seen the full set despite them being on our bucket list for years
  • Harry Potter – I really want to get the books for the kids for christmas but I think they are more likely to read them and follow them after seeing the films. Besides who doesn’t love Harry potter


I was such a creative person in the past but I get so frustrated with myself when the things I try and create don’t turn out perfect. However with that in mind I do try to be a little creative during the half term with the big twins.

  • I’m Sure there will be some kind of creative homework challenge for the half term so this will be at the top of our list.
  • Mini Concrete Pumpkins – I’ve seen some made using tights and really thick concrete mix so thought I might give it a go!
  • Pinterest Is full of halloween crafts that will keep us going forever but I’m going to let the kids decide what they want to make.


As a family with four kids having activities to do is a must some days. Don’t get me wrong simple family days are great too but if every day had no activities the “I’m bored” whines would soon get on your nerves.

  • Geocaching – Always on our activities list
  • Movie Afternoons – This is a given, October half term is when we start ticking off films on our christmas movie list
  • Trick Or Treating – Obviously I’m not going to get away with not going am I? I mean there is sweets to be had!
  • Mini Party – I like to give the kids a bit of a treat usually at the end of term but this year I think I’ll leave it until closer to halloween. I dont go over the top just a little buffet tea and a few decorations.


I have been very lazy of late and i’ve not really read anything other than instagram posts and blogs. I’ve listened to the kids reading their school books but no where near often enough. So this half term I aim to sit and listen to them a little more as well as reading to them. I’d love to get them into some bigger books like Harry Potter and things. I’m thinking a trip to the library is in order.

I hope this gives you a little bit of inspiration for keeping everyone amoused during the half term break.

I’d love you to recommend me some halloween days out and some books to read with the kids that will keep them engaged.

Nina x