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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
Its world mental health day once again. This time of year can be a huge trigger for my mental health to start taking a dip. I have in the past suffered with anxiety and depression and had a few more diagnoses thrown in to boot.
Mental health can affect anyone. From the young to the old! It can come in many different forms, anxiety, postnatal depression, post-traumatic stress, bipolar, schizophrenia and more.
Sometimes symptoms can be helped by doing little things each day to boost your mood. Sometime you may need a little more help from therapy or medication.
If you or anyone you know seems to be suffering from mental illness please contact your health provider. Do not sit in silence. Seek help!
10 ways To help when your mood drops or anxiety creeps in.
Eating healthy. Eating a healthy diet gives you essential nutrients that can, in turn, make your body produce chemicals that improve mood.
Art. It has been proved that art & craft has beneficial impacts on your mental health. Activities such as painting, knitting, pottery where you can immerse yourself in the activity is a bit like being in a meditative state.
Exercise. We all know by now that exercise is an essential part of everyday life that we should be participating in. However, still, not enough people are doing the recommended amount per week. However, even just a 10 min brisk walk outside can improve your mood. The vitamin D from the sun even in a winter, the fresh air into your lungs and the fact that you are moving creates chemicals that boost mood.
Yoga. I’ve put this separate to exercise just because it encompasses more than just exercise. The stretching, the controlled breathing and the movement all help with getting you on the right track to a positive wellbeing.
Gratitude lists. we did start writing 3 things we were grateful for each day and share it between myself hubby and stepson, lately though we haven’t been doing it. You could put them in a journal, or write each one on a piece of paper and put it in a jar.
Declutter – A cluttered home creates a cluttered mind. If there are things piling up around you it doesn’t create a calm space for your mind to relax!
Be in the moment – Take a moment to be here and now. use your senses to really feel present. smell the coffee your drinking, taste your lunch rather than just gulping it down out of necessity, get down and play with your kids the way they do!
Let it out – If you need to cry, cry – stick on a weepy movie grab some tissues and have a good sob!
Talk – Grab a cuppa with a friend and tell them how your feeling, or seek out a counsellor who will not pass judgement and tell them whats bothering you. Sometimes when you talk about things they don’t seem as bad as they did in your head.
Get enough sleep – Sleep is so important for our mental state of mind! We should aim for 7 -8 hours a night. Sleep gives our brains time to process information that it has been given through the day. sleeping can help aid recovery of traumatic events.
It’s so important to seek help if low mood turns into something more. Please reach out to someone your trust. A Dr, a friend or a family member.
Confidential emotional support for anyone who may be feeling distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write, or in most cases talk to someone face to face.
We are always on the look out for a new adventure. This summer was no different. That’s why we took a road trip to explore Devon and Cornwall in a motorhome. Find out more about Our motorhome hire from Just Go.
Motorhome Hire From Just Go.
The process of booking was so easy using the online search. Just simply fill in the dates you want and how many adults and children you have. There are two pick up points one is Luton and one is Edinburgh. You can then add optional extras to your booking. We didn’t really chose any extras.
Once you get to the payment page you can just pay a deposit for you holiday. Ideal if you are booking for Summer 2020 like we will be doing with our loyalty discount. The discount is given to you when you drop off your motorhome after your hire.
Prior to our hire I realised that I had double booked for the first few days of our booking. I emailed customer services and they were happy to postpone our collection date for a couple of days later and adjust the balance owing accordingly.
Getting On The Road
Before the trip you are asked to check in and add your driving licence and passport details as well as anything else you need like eu driving permits etc. Once this is done the picking up of your hire vehicle is so much quicker on the day.
You are given a tour of you holiday home on wheels and once the refundable damage deposit is paid you are off.
Driving the Motorhome was a little scary at first but once you get used to the size it’s really nice to drive.
Chris actually took over all of the driving as he used to drive large vans as a teen.
The drive itself was really comfortable up front there are arm rests and plenty of leg room and in the back the kids all sat around the table. There are 6 belted seats in the model we chose. Which is rare in a motorhome that can be driven on a normal licence.
Wide Load Coming Through
We had already booked sites for most of our motorhome hire and I had done lots of planning of day trips however there were still a few changes we made along the way. Driving and more to the point parking a vehicle the size we had can be a challenge. Low bridges, narrow roads and carparks that only open to motorhomes during set times have to be taken into consideration.
Google Street view can be your friend on a trip like this as well as using common sense. We did have a few moments where we would shout at our satnav (even the one specifically for motorhomes.) It tried to send us down roads that to be honest a bigger than average car would struggle with.
You also need to be prepared to use public transport and or do a lot of walking. We found that most town or village centres in Cornwall were a little on the narrow side. However most had large out of town car parks that more than accommodated for motorhomes.
Time For Bed!
The layout of our Motorhome meant that the big twins shared the double bed above the cab while the little twins shared the bunk in the rear. This left the top bunk for me and chris or the table. The top bunk was ample big enough for myself and Chirs. We would be moving each day so it made sense to not use the table. It meant we didn’t have to dismantle the bed every morning.
Bedding isn’t included in the price of hire but can be added as an extra. The big twins took their sleeping bags. The little two took their own little duvets and pillows and we opted to add extra double set for us. When you do this you also get a couple of towels too.
Mum I’m hungry
We decided on simple meals as with limited space cooking a roast dinner for 6 wasn’t really an option. Even cooking a pizza was a challenge I had to cut them in half to get them on the baking tray. There is a toaster, stovetop kettle oven and Three Rings though. So cooking bacon buttues or beans on toast is ideal. Though there is limited storage for food there is a massive fridge with freezer box for storing those all important icecreams for the kids.
Would We DO It Again?
There were times that we (I) felt a little overwhelmed by being in each other pockets so to speak. Kids that dont know whisper or “forget” to pick up toys can be challenging in a confined space. On the other hand “Camp’ life gave us some amazing memories.
Pulling up to beach side car parks letting the kids have a splash around the rock pools before heading back to a hot chocolate or a warming pie and gravy. Right there at the beach.
Sticking up a portable screen on the side of the motorhome and watching a movie. Which did make us a couple of friends on occasions.
Making friends on camp and being able to let the kids go off to the park on their own.
You dont have the worry of towing and I wouldn’t be able to tow a caravan big enough for us all anyway as I dont have a licence for it. You can drive this motorhome on a normal Category B Licence.
Being in the Motorhome meant we could go out for the day yet didn’t have to buy expensive meals out or have to drive anywhere for lunch, and nap time. We could simply make lunch in the motorhome and then they could nap in bed. The big twins would use this time as they do at home to play minecraft together while me and Chris had a cuppa and did a little work or some reading.
I would so love to do this again. The freedom of booking into a different site every couple of nights or so is great for exploring a large area like Devon and Cornwall. Infact I’m already planning our next road trip already. Where to next year? Scotland or Wales?
Just Go Anywhere
We booked our Motorhome hire from the lovely people at Just Go. We paid for our hire ourselves however in return for a few posts and review they kindly gifted us our second driver for free. Which means both myself and Chris got the pleasure of driving our home on wheels through the stunning Cornwall countryside.
There is often offers on their website and securing your hire is so easy with a small deposit. So your next adventure could also be a road trip similar to ours. There are Motorhomes from 2 berths right up to 6 berth like ours.
I hope this is helpful if you are looking at booking your next adventure if you need to know anymore head over to the Just Go Website or send me a message and I will try and answer the best I can.
Nina, Chris & The Kids
All thoughts are our own and we only work with brands and companies that are a fit with our family and lifestyle.