Bank Holiday Ideas For Families

The first Bank Holiday of 2016 is almost upon us. Yes, Easter arrives this week, and families everywhere are looking for ideas and activities that will keep their little ones occupied, whatever the weather. As a mother of a very active, 7 year old boy, I know how tiring it can be keeping children who are used to being busy at school, occupied once they come home. But there are things you can do, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

  1. Indoor picnic and movie day.

Yes the weather isn’t great, so grab a duvet, pick your favourite dvds – Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks are always great, and then all you need is the movie snacks to have the perfect afternoon. Tesco Direct have a range of offers just in time for the Bank Holiday so you should be able to make some savings on all your family favourites. You could also do an adult version of this which you can read about here.

2. Make use of your local park.

Whether you take a football, a bat and a ball or the dog, local parks are a great way to pass the time away. They cost nothing to use, you can take your own picnic and they can be used in a myriad of ways, from playing on the swings and slides, to taking part in a nature trail. If you have just the one child, parks are a lovely way of letting your child meet and play with new friends.

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3. Visit a castle.

All children love the romance and beauty of castles, they fuel the imagination in so many ways, transporting kids to a land of Kings and Queens, Knights and battles. Warwick Castle is an amazing example of a working, intact castle, but castle ruins can be just as much fun. We visited Criccieth Castle in Wales last year and had great fun running around the ramparts with a wooden sword. Entrance was less than £5 and the views were spectacular.

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4. Soccer Camps

If your child has a love of football, it may be a good idea to check out one of the many soccer camps that Professional football clubs run. My boy is a West Bromwich Albion fan, and spends at least part of his school holidays playing football in soccer courses that are organised and run by The Albion Foundation coaches. These are brilliant for keeping children active and engaged, and the presentation ceremony at the end of the week sees all children leaving with a well earned trophy.

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5. Swimming

It may not be beach weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make use of your local pool in order to enjoy some water based fun. Some pools will have additional activities and inflatables during the school holidays that make sessions twice the fun. (We enjoyed a total wipeout style assault course at our local pool which was hilariously funny – even if you were just spectating.)

What will you be doing this Bank Holiday?

 

X Factor – latest Fashion Catch up

It will soon be drawing to a close, with just one week left for those requiring their X Factor fix. The series has not been classic in the fashion stakes compared to the wonderful years of Dannii and Cheryl, but there have still been some great style moments, and in Kelly Rowland, a genuine style icon has been born. Here is a review of the outfits from the last two weeks of X Factor.

Tulisa’s Looks

Tulisa has sported four looks in the last two weeks, and the safest thing to say is that some looks have been more successful than others. Bodycon was the theme for two of her looks, with Herve Leger’s raspberry full length dress looking  good on her super slim figure. However, the straightjacket style dress with cutout shoulders was a poor choice which was both ugly and unflattering. This sort of style needs to stay in the bad days of the 1980s!

Get the Look

Silence + Noise Cut-Out Maxi Dress Web Exclusive £75.00 

Lipsy Cut Out Halterneck Maxi Dress £60.00 

Reiss Harmony ruched dress £179 

Tulisa’s other looks were again hit and miss. I loved the silver futuristic dress that she sported for the results show on Sunday, but hated the frou frou animal print prom number worn the previous week. The forced peplum, the front zip, that puffball..I don’t know where to start with the post mortem of this number.

Get the Look

M&Co twist waist dress £56.25

Calvin Klein Shift Dress 

 

Kelly’s Looks

Kelly has had a home run of immaculate, stylish looks during the last few weeks of X Factor. One shoulder dresses seem to be a bit of a favourite with ‘momma’ and this is definitely a style that suits the girl’s mentor. She has sported this style in both bright and pastel shades, with a blue and lime number by Georges Chakra  proving that the old adage ‘blue and green never be seen’ is completely ridiculous, while she also wore a stunningly pretty pale pink version by Hugo Boss.

Get the Look

Ted Baker Aloia one shoulder dress 

Kelly’s other looks were equally fabulous. Her full length Jenny Packham dress was a real Marilyn skin and beads dress and looked just glorious. It was great to see Kelly yet again flying the flag for British fashion, something she has done a lot this series. Her second look was more paired down, but oh-so-chic. This was a monochrome dress from Osman, that she teamed with Nicholas Kirkwood blue shoes for a touch of colour pop.

Get the Look

Sheath/ Column One Shoulder Floor-length Sequined Evening Dress

Gigi FRONT TWIST DRESS BLACK £189

 

French Connection…my picks for Pippa and Kate, Tulisa and Kelly

I love French Connection, I think it is one of the most stylish stores on the High Street, and many celebs seem to agree too. Cat Deeley, Pippa Middleton and Tess Daley are just some of the famous ladies who have worn this brand to great effect, and it struck me this morning that you could shop for four of the most famous ladies around at the moment at French Connection.  Here are my key picks for Kate Middleton, Pippa Middleton, Tulisa and Kelly Rowland.

Pippa’s Pick

Pippa loves red, looks great in it, and has an enviable collection of coats,so this great red Nuovo Melton Bow coat  is perfect, and now its been reduced to £132. Bargain!

Nuovo Melton Bow Coat Now £132

Kate’s pick

We all know that Kate has much love for pencil skirts, and this one is absolutely perfect for Christmas. Black velvet and spotty, this is so stylish, but the polka dots add just an element of fun to the proceedings. Love it!

*Velvet Spot Pencil Skirt £75.00 

Kelly’s pick

Kelly has been the queen of full length and fabulous dresses on this years X Factor. Kelly always opts for an elegant look, and I think the beautiful Aztek drape maxi dress fits that bill. Just look at that embellished neckline.

*Aztek Drape Maxi Dress Now £144.00 

Tulisa’s pick

Whilst Kelly often opts for the full length dress,  her fellow judge Tulisa is more often than not found in something short, sparkling and sexy. This silver Samantha sequin dress certainly ticks all the boxes.

Silver Samantha Sequins Dress £165.00