Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is right round the corner and I have a few ideas for the mums, step mums, adoptive mum, any kind of mum you know and would like to treat this year. I have created a free printable for you to find a nice A4 frame for and voila – present! You can download it here.

mother

My own mother loves carnations and a thoughtful gift, even if it is home made. As a full time step mum I also get to experience Mother’s Day and I would also appreciate a home made gift far more than something bought in a shop. All mothers have a different idea of what showing appreciation would mean to them. I have created a Pinterest board showing a few great ideas for home made gifts and a ton of free printables.

My father died four years ago and it makes me even more grateful for my Mum, who even at 35 is still always there for me and my brother. Take care of your Mommas on this special day and show your appreciation for all the hard work it took to raise you! Have fun!

My perfect planner

Perfect planner by creativeclack I’ve been trying to get the perfect planner for my needs for some time now. I started out with a bullet journal and although I’m a whizz on photoshop I can’t draw for toffee! I looked on instagram at all these amazing bullet journals and had serious bujo envy! I knew the only way I would achieve something that worked for me would be to create it myself.

All the planner printables I could find were for mums or bullet journal templates or ones for work. I needed a planner that I could use every day for work and to keep track of the tasks for my team and one I could keep track of my home tasks and goals too. I can’t be the only working mumma out there!

I tried the traditional bujo method of a notebook and quickly realised my longer term goals were going to outlive my current notebook. I needed a system I could move pages around when needed and add to it without having to keep rewriting longer term goal pages with each new notebook.

Pinterest research

I started by researching on Pinterest what I wanted from my planner and to see which free printables I could use, no point in reinventing the wheel unless necessary! I created a board with all my favourite planner pins on including the free printables in this post.

Perfect planner

I had an old A5 Filofax planner hidden away and started to use this as my planner. I love the Filofax because I can add pages, move pages and take out pages without affecting my long term goal pages like my #40for40 list and a gift list I keep for Christmas gift ideas when they pop into my head.  I keep my divider tabs and a yearly calendar with school holidays marked.

Yearly planner

Yearly calendar and sticky divider tabs

I like to keep my work and home calendars separate so I have two in my planner for each month, but I’ve kept them visually different. The calendars are both from another great blogger Oh So Lovely! They can be downloaded here, check out all her awesome designs!

I was then stuck because I had the ideal system but I couldn’t find a printable anywhere which would look professional in work and allow me to manage the team, but also allow me to do home tasks like meal plan, keep track of cleaning and make personal to do lists.

Solution

So my solution was to create a weekly calendar for home and work with a to do list for the team on one side and home life on the other. When the home life to do list is on the left I can also see my personal home notes for that week. When the planner is in ‘work’ mode on my desk in the office no one knows what’s on the other side for home. So far it’s working perfectly!

 

Personal planner

Work planner side with weekly calendar

Weekly planner

Secret personal planner pages

One of my long term sections is for parties, the next big party I’m focused on is a Motown themed party for my momma! There is an amazing blogger called Eliza Ellis who has absolutely tonnes of free printables on her blog. The below party plan pack can be downloaded here.

Party planner

Party planning section free printable from Eliza Ellis

Free printables

I created my own template in excel using page view so I could see how much of the page I was using for each section and to allow me to double side print. I have added the weekly spread and the To do list as free downloads for any other working mummas who want to try my system out. Let me know how you get on!

Travel essentials to ensure the perfect family holiday

Top 10 travel essentials

Mark Warner Holidays have just launched the search for their latest Blogger Ambassador programme for 2017. They are asking for our Top 10 travel essential must haves. This has come at a perfect time for me as I have recently returned from a family holiday to Tenerife. Our essential items are still fresh in my mind!

I normally holiday with my partner and my 8 year old stepson, they both love travelling and exploring the area we are staying in. My stepson (Master Clack) is absolutely obsessed with swimming, I’m pretty sure he was a fish in a previous life! Swimming and exploring are always on our agenda and our essentials reflect that.

Before the (very light) tan fades I created a Pinterest board with links to my Top 10 travel must haves. My must haves are split into essentials you need whilst travelling there and then essential items you need once you arrive.

For travelling the essentials are:

Travel Wallet – needed to put the whole family’s travel documents together in one place, I have this exact wallet and the strap feels secure, it has plenty of space and I can walk around the airport when we have established ‘base camp’ for a bit of me time browsing the duty free goodies, feeling like it’s a clutch bag.

4 wheeled suitcase – these are a recent revelation to me! I have travelled quite a lot in my life but I have never experienced the joy and ease of using a 4 wheeled suitcase! Master Clack took two of these large suitcases through Birmingham Airport in January all by himself, makes getting you and all your luggage through the airports much easier when you can all pitch in because they’re so easy to use.

Packing List Free Printable – I like the organise (obsess) over my holiday plans before going. Google map walking the streets to see what’s around the hotel, printing out maps of things I want to see. A free printable packing list is always in my travel plans to ensure I don’t forget anything.

Whilst I’m there my essential items change and it becomes more about protection for the whole family!

While I’m there essentials:

Vodafone Euro Traveller – always sorted before I leave so I can stay in touch with home and Master Clack can stay in touch with his bio mum while we’re away. Uses all my existing data plan, I would definitely go over £21 in data charges if I didn’t use the Euro Traveller! #notanadjustgood

Character Swim Vest – an essential for Master Clack, I can’t get him out of the pool to reapply suncream as often as I would like so this swim vest stops him being burnt to a crisp! Plus he looks super cute in it!

My number one travel essential

Spray Suncream – I have tried both cream and spray suncreams and the spray is so much easier for quick rubdowns of the kids as they’re whizzing past you into the pool.

Comfortable Backpack – I recently became a donkey in Tenerife when I was loaded down with Master Clack and Mr Clack’s bits and bobs from sunglasses, baby wipes to spare suncream. Getting a backpack with comfortable straps can save your shoulders and back from breaking while you cart the family’s belongings around the nearest beach.

Comfy Trainers – A child seems to develop more energy on holiday so a pair of comfortable trainers is important for all the running around keeping up with them, from swimming to kids discos, walks around the town to hiking around the nearest water park. Comfortable shoes are an essential item, it always makes me suspicious when I see another Mum dolled up to the nines in 6 inch stilettos with a small child!

Digital Babysitter – Lets face it as exciting as holidays are, not all of the travelling parts are fun and attention-capturing! Your friendly digital babysitter can prove invaluable when stuck with an airport delay or a long flight. I joined Amazon Prime for £7.99 a month I can listen to music through the app on my phone while Master Clack watched TV programmes and films I’d downloaded onto my Fire Tablet before we left. See the don’t disturb me I’m travelling face below!

Digital babysitter

List of great hacks for holidays – I do a lot of research before going away to make the most of my time away. Ideas like taking a double fitted sheet to use as a sunbed on the sand are ingenious and it’s always worth looking up other peoples’ essential items before leaving in case they give you ideas.

My number 1 essential item

Ultimately none of these essentials would be needed without my gorgeous travel buddies who I would go anywhere and do anything with so my number one essential must have is my family and I don’t mind where I am, as long as I’m with them.