Easter Craft ~ How to make an easter egg box

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorate Easter Egg Box

Easter Craft ~ how to make an Easter egg box

We love crafts in our house and Easter always brings out our creativity!

So when our 7 year old’s school ran a competition for the best decorated Easter egg, you can imagine the making and creating that went on…

…and here’s how she made it.  (I say ‘she’ because apart from boiling the eggs, she pretty much did it all by herself!)

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorate Easter Egg Box

You will need:

A standard empty box

Hard-boiled eggs (it depends how many you’d like to decorate!)

Glue ~ pritt-stick type glue is better than gloopy glue because of handling the egg while decorating it… unless you want to look like a decorated easter egg yourself!

Felt-tips and/or paint ~ depending on whether you like really messy or not!

Paper for drawing pictures to cut out and stick on the eggs

Crafty things ~ anything crafty that you’ve got knocking around

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Get a standard egg box

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorate Easter Egg Box Step 1

Then get the glue

Easter Craft ~ How To make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Step 2

And some green ‘grass’ for paper

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Step 3

Stick the ‘grass’ anywhere on the outside of the box (the corners work well)

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Step 5

Pour some glue inside the egg box and stick some yellow ‘nest’ paper inside

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Result

And there’s your Easter egg box!  (our daughter won a prize for hers!)

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What do you like to make for Easter crafts?  I’d love to know!  Tell me by commenting below and then tweet me @AllSortsHere.

Thanks 🙂  

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How to run a blog ~ getting things done

Running a blog can be a challenge.

As any blogger can tell you, there are many different aspects to blogging and all that comes with it.

To that end, I thought I would give you a little insight into how to run a blog.  More precisely, how I run my blog (as a person obsessed with being organised and getting things done).

How to run a blog getting things done organisation to do list tasks jobs tick list sheet organised diary calendar

In this little series, I will cover:

  • My daily tick sheet
  • Taking part in linkys (blog hops/blog parties – call them what you like)
  • Blog promotion
  • Social media
  • Ad hoc tasks

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Let’s start with my daily tick sheet.  Without it, my blog diary gets overwhelmed!  By having a separate tick sheet, I can see at a glance where I’m at, what needs doing and what I’ve done.

This really helps because I can timebox more effectively and it gives me that sense of production and achievement, without wading through lots of to-do lists each day, which can be demoralising.

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On my tick sheet, I have tasks broken down into days (as ‘Daily Tick Sheet’ suggests!) and a blank box for the tick if it’s a task for the given day.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Check comments

As you can see, (sort of!) I check my comments every day but if the task was ‘write content’ some of the boxes under the days would be blanked out.

There are occasions when I don’t complete all my tasks that day and if they’re important for that particular week, I simply highlight the box in orange and start my blog work a little earlier the following day.

What I find really helpful is at the end of the day, I cross off ones for the next day that don’t need doing that week.  For example, I run a few blog linkys and if I don’t need to write content that week, I simply cross the box through the day before.

It’s similar to ticking the task off as you go but better for the soul!

To a non-blogger, this tick sheet may sound over the top, a little obsessive even…  I would have seen your point in my pre-blogging days.

But now, it keeps my blog diary free for ad-hoc daily tasks.  And perhaps the best thing is that I can print a fresh sheet out weekly for the regular tasks without having to physically write them in my diary each week.

This also gives me a clean sheet for the start of each new week – even better for the soul!

I’ve never been one to colour code my diary with coloured dots or washi tape.  Although I do love a pretty, functional planner.  The more compartments for slipping in pieces of paper and pretty paper clips, the better!

When it comes to ‘blog-min’, I love my highlighters, my daily tick sheet, my retractable pencil, my staples and my jumbo paper clips to bookmark my week in my blog diary.

How about you?  What do you do to keep ‘blog organised’?  I’d love to hear in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

Thanks 🙂

Next time I’ll be covering taking part in blog linkys/parties, which there are lots of and if I didn’t organise myself like I do, I’d have one BIG blog party hangover!…

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And then the fun began...
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The eco-warrior guide to making paper

I recently read one of those humourous posts on Facebook about ’10 things only people who went to university in the 90’s will understand’.

A recurring theme was how students ‘handed in’ assignments instead of emailing them, put notes on each other’s doors in Halls of Residence instead of texting or even WhatsApp’ing and generally used pen and paper because the technology wasn’t readily and/or affordably available to students ‘back in the day’…

eco-warrior guide to making paper recycling green environment how to pin

So it has come somewhat full circle that our little girl has been learning about recycling at school.  Yes, she has turned into quite the ‘eco-warrior’, giving us a lesson in Fairtrade and also recycling paper!  We found it really quite amazing that our little girl knew exactly what she needed to ‘make’ paper.

Within an hour, we had made 4 ‘sheets’ of paper.  She was really excited when one sheet turned blue because of the blue tissue paper that we put in the mix.  That was going to be daddy’s, she decided!

To make some paper you will need:

  • Toilet/kitchen paper
  • Tissue paper
  • A handful of ziplock (or at least sealable) sandwich/food bags
  • Enough water to make the mixture go soggy
  • Any decorations that are lurking around the ‘craft box’
  • Somewhere flat to dry the ‘sheets’
  • 2 small towels/flannels to ‘press’ each sheet
  • Patience ~ it takes a couple of days to dry…!

Ready?  Then let’s go…

  • First take the tissue paper and rip it up into fairly small pieces, popping it all in a bag.
  • Then you’ll need a selection of your choice of arty crafty bits and pieces.  We found that anything goes but the synthetic feathers work particularly well!  We also chose sequins, coloured tissue paper and pom poms…
  • Next gently and carefully pour enough water in the bag to make the contents soggy.
  • Now you seal up the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.
  • Squish it, squash it, squeeze it… but gently.  You don’t want any holes in the bag!
  • When the contents are really soggy, scoop them out onto one of the towels or flannels.
  • Take the other towel/flannel and press down on the ‘paper’.  Your little one will love this bit!
  • Now the ‘patience part’ ~ gently take the top layer of towel/flannel off the ‘press’ and leave the paper to dry somewhere suitable…

And there you have it… how to make paper 🙂

eco-warrior guide to making paper recycling green environment how to 1

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The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to settling your child into a new school

Welcome to my ‘Minimum Stress Practical Guide to…’ series of blog posts. After a complete rollercoaster of a few months when we had the stuffing knocked out of us, I decided to turn my journey into something positive.  Last week I addressed the subject of how to move house with minimum stress.  This week I’m looking at how to settle your child into a new school.

minimum stress practical guide to settling your child into a new school stress trauma settling in survive friendship moving handover friends teachers learning

 

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When you’re going through a family bereavement, the last thing you want to be doing is thinking about moving your child (who is experiencing grief for the first time ever) from all their friends. But that is what we had to do.  And this is what I would advise you to do:

As soon as you know your child will be going to a new school, make contact with the school (or schools).  Speak direct with the Head if at all possible, introduce yourself and arrange a short tour WITH your child.

Explain to your child’s current school that you need to take them out of school.  We took our daughter to school for morning registration, took her out immediately afterwards and returned her for lunchtime registration, meaning that she was there for afternoon registration and wasn’t marked ‘absent’.  We weren’t aware we could do this but the friendly receptionist advised us this could be done.

We were extremely fortunate in many ways.  For one, the only school in our new home-town had 2 places in our little girl’s year group.  This was a massive relief because I know of people who have been on waiting lists for months.

So, a quick call to the Head teacher and we had arranged an appointment to look around the school.  Even though we knew we wanted our daughter to go there – it was a mere formality for us but for our little girl, it was a vital step in the moving school process.

We wanted her to walk the corridors, see the playground, see where she would be eating her lunch, see her new friends ‘in situ’, to feel a part of her new learning environment and to breathe the air.

That same evening as the tour, we applied for a place at the school, submitted the application and waited with baited breath.  It seems all local authorities have different processes and our old City Council were quite vague on the whole process.  The new Head advised us to apply online through our new District Council, the new school would get an email, which they would then confirm a place was available with the Council and agree a mutual start date with us.  Therefore, ensure you know the Local Authority’s process, particularly if you’re moving out of county.

Thankfully, our new Council replied quickly to our submission stating that they needed proof of our new residency.  Hmmm, tricky because we weren’t due to move for another week…  Luckily, amid the chaos of an imminent house move, we had confirmation from a utility company of our contract.  The only issue was that me and our printer/scanner do not get on!  It was down to hubby to scan the paperwork in… which he did that same night. ‘Submit’ was pressed again and we waited with baited breath.

Thank goodness we did it there and then because that was the night that hubby fell foul to acute appendicitis.  Had we not submitted when we did, it might have been a different story and a much longer wait for our little girl to start at her new school.  As it was, we got an email at start of business the very next day with the magical confirmation that our daughter had a place.  Next was a phone call to the new Head and confirmation to start straight after half term.  That was another relief – both local authorities aligned with term dates, so our little girl would get a desperately needed week’s break at half term.  Essential for her given that she was grieving, given that she needed a break from learning and also from a psychological viewpoint; being able to say that she would no longer be needing her old uniform, having a week off and then starting in a new uniform would help her immensely, we decided. And in the main we were right.

Before she would start proper though, we arranged a half day’s settling in.  Although we were advised that she could wear her own clothes, we (with the help of Grandma!) sorted out her new uniform so that she would feel ‘normal’ and not stand out.

On her first full day, we were lucky that hubby was on a late shift and so we could all walk to her school together.  After we re-introduced ourselves to her new teacher, we swiftly left her to make new friends.  Important to let them get on with it, with minimum fuss.

Yes, she had a ‘wobble’ for a few weeks while she missed her familiar environment, she missed her old friends and got used to her new teacher getting up to speed with where she was at with her learning versus where her new class was at.  But on the whole she coped exceedingly well.  A few months down the line and she is mentioning the same names daily and it is clear that new friendships are being formed.  And it’s just lovely to see her skipping her way into school (I’ve even joined her in skipping once – with her permission so as not to embarrass her!) and it’s wonderful to see her confidence continuing to grow, along with her learning 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been on a right rollercoaster ride… I need a breather…

How have you handled situations involving new starts with your little one?

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The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to moving house

Welcome to my ‘Minimum Stress Practical Guide to…’ series of blog posts. After a complete rollercoaster of a few months when we had the stuffing knocked out of us, I decided to turn my journey into something positive.  Last week I addressed the subject of coping in a medical emergency.  This week I’m looking at how to move house with minimum stress (with and without children!).

minimum stress practical guide to moving house with children stress trauma settling in survive new beginnings packing organising

 

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The first piece of advice would be to have a plan.  Being organised can really help in the build-up to the big day, obviously.

Know who needs to be where, doing what and when…

My next piece of advice would be to remain flexible!  With us, it was all planned out, pretty much to the minute.  Hubby had the day off work to move everything, using Dad’s van, Dad and Mum’s helping hands.  I was going to finish up early and meet hubby at our little girl’s school while she was at after school club, we were going to parent’s evening and then back to the old house to ease bribe the cats into their carriers (we couldn’t move them until that point because of moving things into the new house!).  Then it would be onwards to the new home for fish and chips, obviously.

And then hubby was struck down with acute appendicitis around a week before the moving date with strict instructions not to lift a thing!  It was all turned on its head and we had to make a plan b.

We didn’t know who needed to be where, doing what or when anymore…!

We had to build another thing into the equation.  Hubby had a doctor’s appointment to have his wound re-dressed, it was in the ‘old’ town where we moving from and the logistics were, frankly, laughable.

So, up we got on moving day at 5 am, looked around at boxes, and boxes and boxes of ‘stuff’, convinced ourselves that yes, we did really need to take it all and so the fun began (to coin a phrase Sam!)

Without boring you with the finer details of loading, plenty of ‘right said fred’ moments, managing all of 10 minutes to grab something to eat and getting our little girl’s bedroom ship-shape, we just about managed it between us.

  • Hubby got to his doctor’s appointment
  • We got to parent’s evening
  • We bribed the cats
  • We only went and bloomin’ well did it!

By around 9 pm, I sat down, looked at hubby and said words along the lines of, “what happened there then?!?!  I’m absolutely exhausted!!” – this is a family blog after all 😉

As a conclusion, I suppose the one thing to say about moving house with minimum stress is that anything can (and does!) happen, so be flexible and above all, have a sense of humour.  We moved with no chain, with no keys to handover at this point, no incoming occupier that same day and no one moving out of the new house.  It would’ve been an interesting post to write if the latter had been reversed 😉

Next week I’ll talk you through how to help your little one to settle into a new school with minimum stress … but for now I’d like to ask about your experience of moving house when you had to revert to plan b?  I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to coping in a medical emergency

Welcome to my ‘Minimum Stress Practical Guide to…’ series of blog posts. After a complete rollercoaster of a few months when we had the stuffing knocked out of us, I decided to turn my journey into something positive.  Last week I addressed the subject of helping your child through bereavement.  This week I’m looking at how to cope in a medical emergency.

minimum stress practical guide to coping in a medical emergency stress trauma first aid hospital recovery

 

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It’s approaching midnight.  Our little girl is tucked up in bed and dreaming of fairies/princesses/being a vet/singer (or a singing vet – a blog post for another day!).  We’re tucked up in bed and I think I’ve just dozed off when hubby calls out, asking if I’ve just jabbed in the stomach.  Apparently it’s not uncommon for me to do this if he’s snoring!…

On this occasion though, I’m not guilty.  Hubby can’t get comfortable and says he’s in excruciating pain.  So when I ask him if I need to call an ambulance and he says, “not yet”… I know it’s not going away with painkillers alone.  Bearing in mind that we’ve just gone through the shock of a family bereavement, there are all sorts of scenarios vaguely flashing through my mind in my I-had-just-dozed-off daze!

So, after speaking to NHS direct and then the out of hours doctor, hubby is advised to go to the walk-in centre for further assessment.  It’s at this point that I ask if I should drive him because I don’t want him to get a taxi.  But our little girl was tucked up in bed oblivious (thankfully) and we didn’t want to stress her out with a post-midnight adventure.  So hubby drove himself slowly and promised to pull over and call 999 if it all got too much.

A short while later, hubby rang me – he had to go to A&E within the hour.  He had suspected appendicitis.  While he was driving home, I rang Grandma.  At gone 2 am, there’s no easy way of asking someone if they could possibly come over to babysit.  In the 30 minutes that it took her to shake the sleep from her head and drive over, I was grabbing a few overnight essentials for hubby.  I even managed to make our little girl’s packed lunch to save Grandma the job!  Funny how your mind works in an emergency…

…like making sure the ‘go-bag’ that you haven’t got ready to ‘go’ is packed with the essentials of toiletries, ipad and earphones to drown out the inevitable (often unpleasant) noise of A&E/ward.

…like making sure that while you’re driving, you go round the houses to avoid the speed bumps…

…like making sure that you’ve packed a couple of snacks for yourself because chances are you’re in for a long wait (eaten discreetly while hubby is nil by mouth of course!)…

…like making sure that when your hubby needs you most, you’re there for him when he dozes off while waiting for obs to be done in A&E…

…like making sure that the house still runs as it should the next day, including the school run, because the patient doesn’t need that added stress…

…like making sure you get an early night the next night, having been in A&E until gone 5am.  Because sleep is really not overrated and lack of it causes stress…

…like making sure that when your patient has their appendix out and are told they must rest up, recover and not lift a single thing… that you make sure they do just that.  Even if they are really not the words you want to hear when you’re about to move house! (grateful as I was that he was okay, obviously!)

With that in mind, next week I’ll talk you through how to move house with minimum stress (and a hubby who can’t lift a thing)… but for now I’d like to hear how you’ve coped in a medical emergency?

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The Minimum Stress Practical Guide to helping your child through bereavement

Last week I told you briefly why there hasn’t been much going on in the Virtually All Sorts camp from a blogging perspective over the past few months. We’ve had the stuffing knocked out of us…

minimum stress practical guide to helping your child through bereavement stress trauma death survive

… but I’m turning my rollercoaster ride into something positive: a series of blog posts to hopefully help others who may be experiencing some of the same events, like a family bereavement.

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Yes, unfortunately, we recently had an unexpected family bereavement and all of mine and hubby’s energies have been focussed on keeping life as normal as possible for our little girl (who is now 6).

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Yet right at the beginning of this challenging event, we asked ourselves if ‘normal’ is good for our little girl.  At some point, we all have to experience grief.  At some point we all have to experience the rollercoaster of emotions: anger, sadness, shock, exhaustion… and so it starts all over again.

…but not too young, surely?

We asked ourselves: Do we simply tell her that someone has died?  Or do we use phrases like ‘gone to sleep’ or ‘passed away’?

We found the Marie Curie website really helpful and reassuring.  And we approached the subject in a black and white, simplistic, age-appropriate way.  So far it seems to have gone as smoothly as can be expected.  Of course, there have been emotional days when our little girl, “can’t stop,” her crying, to which we’ve told her that it’s her feelings finding their way out of her body and she must let them out by tears if they need to come out.

It’s heart-breaking to see her go through this, heart-breaking to go through it with her but vital that she must go through it, in equal measure.

 

Next week I’ll talk you through how to cope in a medical emergency… but for now I’d love to hear how you approached this sensitive subject with your little one?

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