Saturday, January 12, 2013

Planning School Holiday Fun with the kids input

My Husband is presently on holidays for 2 weeks.. So he is nearly 1 whole week into his holidays.. This past week was all about 'back to school' - organising the kids books, uniforms, school bags etc.. That, I can say with genuine relief is now all FINISHED! Yesterday and today have been about getting the little jobs around the house done.. so yesterday we re-hung all of the photo frames on the wall, tethered some of the furniture to the walls, did a general spring clean and got on top of all the washing - today Hubby has been doing the yard work, taking down the Christmas lights (funny how you tend to forget the ones on the roof!) so by tomorrow we should be ready for a week of School holiday fun!!

So yesterday I gave each of us (including myself ~ for Mr 1 of course) 2 pieces of note paper and asked the kids to write down 2 activities they would like to do on the holidays.. I stipulated they had to be realistic and affordable and then on the overside they could write 1 activity they thought they would love to do, but mightn't be realistic or affordable (as sometimes you never know your luck..)  Hubby and I did this also and we got a great response.. Hubby was hoping they would all write down the same thing so we could get out of it easy, but no such luck lol.

We had varied responses from going scooter riding at the park to going to Movie World.. My favourite was the idea of a Beach holiday or Shopping at Pacific Fair (funnily enough Mr 1 requested both of these things ;). So we compiled a 'doable' list & this is what we have based next weeks plans loosely around.

It's a great idea as at the end of the holidays the kids can't say we didn't do anything they wanted to do & we've been able to keep them entertained for minimal cost as asking them to consider affordability made a lot of their requests very wallet-friendly. It was also nice to see some of the things they valued such as 'having a BBQ dinner' 'a movie/Wii night with the family' were just lovely 'together' things. The elder two tried to plot an escape by writing down 'sleeping at friends houses' which Hubby & I also didn't think was a bad idea (pre-teens can be a little tedious at times)

So yes, next week's holiday plans are pretty well all mapped out, kicking off Sunday for my Birthday & continuing till Sunday next week & then we'll work out a week of fun for me & the kids to do for the last week when Hubby trudges back to work (or skips back happily - odd mental image :\)

How do you plan holiday activities? Do your kids get input into the activities you do?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Heading Back to School with + Exciting Giveaway!!

To celebrate the launch of 2Kool4Skool's '26 Days of Kool Giveaways' I would like to introduce my readers to their great range of back to school products.  Please feel free to read my first ever review post below & be sure to enter my fantastic giveaway to win yourself some of these fantastic products!

I can hardly believe we are already over the half way mark in the kids school holidays and it's at about this time that the mind wanders to the dreaded impending 'back to school'. But unlike previous years I am more than happy with my back to school preparations thus far. 

Not only have I organised the kids uniforms and shoes, but I've also bought everything on their book lists and ordered some personalised labels from Stuck on You.  I thought this was pretty impressive in itself, BUT it's already all covered, labelled and ready to go!!! Super keen or what??

I must admit, I did have a little bit of motivation this year as I couldn't wait to try out the new products from!  2Kool4Skool is an online business that specialises in reusable PVC Book Covers and cool coordinating stationery. I was first introduced to 2Kool4Skool late last year prior to the launch of their website and ever since I must say I have been very impressed. Impressed not only with their products, but also their friendly service, their dedication in getting a new business launched and their presence on social media. 
Some of the funky book covers and accessories for Mr 7's books.
So when it came to ordering supplies for back to school 2013 I didn't hesitate! I actually looked forward to jumping online and picking from their extensive range. The kids helped too, because I know they love stationery shopping (who doesn't!) and I loved the fact the website was so easy to use, stock was readily available,  postage was lightening fast, packaged perfectly and the order was spot on!

With 4 kids at school (3 Primary and 1 High school) back to school shopping is never a walk in the park for us but I found many of the back to school basics such as pencil cases, lead pencils, crayons, erasers, rulers and pens through 2Kool4Skool. The kids all chose their favourite designs which they were very excited about and we found there was something for everyone (which is usually pretty hard as I have fussy kids!)
Miss 11 loving her 2kool4skool stuff!
Each of the kids loved their pencil cases and were able to choose a design that reflected their personality well. They are using the Satchel style pencil case for their coloured pencils, pens and crayons and their Gym Boot pencil case for everyday items such as pencils, erasers and sharpeners etc. I found this way of organising pencil cases has worked perfectly in the past and helps the kids to be more organised and minimises loss!

Miss 11's Pencil Case - Cool Chick
Mr 12's Pencil Case - Danger!
 One of the kids favourite things was all the smelly stationery, they absolutely loved the Scratch n Sniff labels and went label crazy on all of their items! The labels were great not only for the books, but also for their folders, calculators and even their glue sticks!

The Scratch n Sniff labels are great for naming folders, glue sticks, calculators, etc.
The stickers look great even on large A3 Art Blocks.
Miss 11 went scented stationery crazy and found the scented markers, highlighters, Fun in the Sun Eraser and scented ruler right up her alley.. her pencil case smells divine!
Miss 11's array of pretty and smelly stationary
I road tested some of the stationery items myself and was impressed with the writing quality of the pens, the erasers rubbed out neatly and cleanly and the pencils and sharpener, sharpened easily and well. The crayons and markers were a big hit, were nice and colourful and would be great for smaller children as they are nice, chunky and easy to hold.

Testing out the rubber!
BUT The product I am most excited about is the 2Kool4Skool Book Covers!  WOW.. The amount of hours I have wasted over the past 7 years using contact, brown paper and gift wrap all flashed before my eyes and if I had $1 for every air bubble I got in the kids books  in the past I'd be a rich woman! Sooo I was a little more than excited over the prospect of never having to use contact ever again!!! We had 51 books to cover this year of various sizes, but predominantly A4 and Scrapbook and once again I was able to buy designs that would appeal to each of the kids, some of them even matched their pencil cases!
Miss 11's Book cover's.. Exercise, A4 and Scrapbook Size.
Mr 7's Scrapbooks from the Gobble & Google Eyes Sets.
Mr 9's Exercise Books with funky cover's.. His favourite was the Lego 'Lil Dude' pack.
I actually covered the books last night and even the kids were able to help, they got a kick out of, because it's something they haven't been able to help with in the past.  It only took 1 and 1/2 hours to cover and label all of the kids books from start to finish and the part that took the longest was deciding on the designs that each of the kids wanted!  But because we had a few different packs we were able to mix and match the designs so they had a great variety. I even found some of the packs were unisex and would be great for people with 2 kids because you could share packs easily amongst the kids even if you had a boy and a girl. 
Overall my experience with the brand as a whole has been a positive one and I would thoroughly recommend them to all of my readers.. So much so that I have an awesome prize pack on offer to share;

To be in the draw to win, please follow the Rafflecopter below.. if something isn't working with it please leave a blog post comment with the answer to the following question; What 2Kool4Skool book cover design do you like the best?

The Prize Pack Contains
1 x Satchel Pencil Case/ID Holder
1 x Packet of Bubblegum & Chocolate Scratch N Sniff Labels
1 x Packet of Colour Appeal Crayons
1 x Pack of Exercise Book Covers
1 x Pack of A4 Book Covers
1 x Pack of Scrapbook Covers
1 x Fun in the Sun Eraser
1 x Valentines Pencils
All brought to you by the great people at  I am sure they will be able to make your back to school 2013 experience as fantastic as mine has been this year!

You can find the full range of products here:

* This has been a review post for however, all opinions expressed above are that of my own & I was not paid to write this post
a Rafflecopter giveaway )