Monthly Archives: October 2017

10 Inspirational Quotes From Children’s Books

Some of the greatest wisdom of all time can be found scattered between the bright and cheerful pages of children’s books. The stories we find ourselves reading over and over to our children often contain important messages for adults too.

Here we’ve put together a list of our ten favourite inspirational quotes by A. A. Milne, Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling and more…

1. By J. K. Rowling from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

2. By Giles Andrae from Giraffes Can’t Dance

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

3. A. A. Milne from Winnie the Pooh

4. By J. M. Barrie from Peter Pan

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

5. By Aesop from The Lion and The Mouse

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

6. By A. A. Milne from Winnie the Pooh

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

7. By Roald Dahl from The Twits

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

8. By Antoine de Saint Exupery from The Little Prince

9. By Louisa May Alcott from Little Women

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

10. By J. K. Rowling from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Inspiring Quotes From Children's Books

Budget Halloween Ideas

Budget Halloween Ideas

My daughter announced last year that she likes Halloween more than Christmas. No pressure there! Unfortunately, our budget does not extend as far as I’d like it to. I want to make Halloween extra special for her but it also has to be done a shoestring.

Halloween can be an expensive business, especially as it always falls around half term. Costumes, parties, days out and activities all mount up. However, there are ways to make it special without spending a fortune. If you’re also looking for cheap or free Halloween activities, crafts and events then here are some ideas to help.

Events and Activities:

Check out:

Your local library:

 Our library has free Halloween craft sessions during the October half term and I’m willing to bet most other libraries will do the same. You could also pick up a few spooky stories to share.

Cost: Free

Shopping Centres:

Budget Halloween Ideas

 Our local shopping centres also put on free crafts and activities. They also do face painting, which costs a couple of pounds. It worth seeing if your local shopping centre puts on activities at half term.

Cost: Free or under £5


 I know it’s unlikely to be Halloween themed, but some churches organise alternative celebrations. For example, on Halloween our local church is having a ‘Light Party’. There will be games, craft, a bouncy castle and food and it’s all free. All they ask for is a donation and you don’t have to be a regular church goer to attend. Have a look and see if your church is organising something over half term.

Cost: Free (with optional donation)

Arts Centres:

Our local arts centre is really going to town with Halloween activities this year. There are zombie invasion workshops, craft sessions and a spooky cinema. They do charge but the cost is lower than many other activities.

Cost: £5 – £10 per activity

Sppoky Halloween Walk

Budget Halloween Ideas

If you can’t find anything suitable, how about organising a spooky Halloween walk in the woods? All you need to do is cut out some Halloween pictures of cats, spiders etc (which you could find in free magazines from supermarkets and other stores) and hang them in the trees. Then take the kids and create a Halloween trail to find them.

Cost: Free. Weather dependant!


 All young children love making Halloween decorations. Here are some ideas of cheap Halloween decorations you can make, which don’t involve hacking up a pumpkin!

Spooky Halloween Hanging Decoration Here’s an easy decoration that even the littlest of hands will be able to make.

Cost: Under £5

Intestine Jelly I love this idea and the effect is pretty gory!

Cost: Under £5

Spooky Fruit For Halloween If pumpkin carving isn’t your thing or you run out of time to get one, then this is a fabulous alternative. I think the effect is just as good, if not better than a pumpkin.

Cost: Depends how much fruit you use, could be as little as £1.

Pebble Monsters For some reason, all kids love stones and pebbles. If your kids are anything like mine, you’ll likely have a stash of pebbles and stones somewhere in your house. You can put them to good use my making them into pebble monsters! All you need is acrylic paint, some googly eyes and a permanent marker pen.

Cost: Under £5 (depending on how many colours of paint you use).

Hama Bead Decorations If your kids are into Hama beads, why not make some Halloween decorations from them?

Costs: Free if you already have Hama Beads, but you can buy them for under £5.

Hand Print Spiders Another brilliant budget activity, which is easy for younger children to take part in.

Cost:  Under £5

And don’t forget to check out our three budget craft ideas for kids here.

Budget Halloween Ideas

Shop Around:

Pound stores and discount shops often have tons of cheap Halloween decorations and costumes, as do stores like Wilkos and Matalan. Don’t forget to check out the extensive Halloween ranges at Lidl and Aldi too.

Home Activities:

 A Spooky Film Night: My daughter loves having a spooky film night around Halloween. All you need is a film, some popcorn, a dark room and some candles (or these cute Mummy jars).

Some of our favourite film ideas are: Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Casper, The Adams Family, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie, Harry Potter, Halloweentown, The Worst Witch, Labyrinth, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and The Witches.

Cost: Under £5

Pumpkin Bowling: This is guaranteed fun for all the family and all you need is a small pumpkin and some toilet roll! Simply take 6 toilet rolls, cut out three circles from black card to stick on each (to make two eyes and the mouth of a ghost). Stack them up like bowling pins and use the small pumpkin as a ball. Easy, cheap and fun!

Cost: Under £5

DIY Candy Stand This is a brilliant idea and the result is so dramatic, kids will love it. You will need to use a bookcase, but I haven’t included that in the estimated cost.

Cost: Under £20 (not including the bookcase)

Halloween Party: A small party doesn’t have to be very expensive. By visiting discount stores you can get cheap decorations and serve up pizza or cheap party food from Iceland. Possible themes are Witches Tea Party, Harry Potter party in the Forbidden Forest i.e. your local woods (here are some ideas and free printables) or a spooky film night for older children.

Cost: Entirely dependent on how much you want to put in but could be done for under £20.

Aimee Foster is a mum, freelance writer and social media manager, bookworm and sea lover. Find more of her ramblings over on her blog, New Forest Mum.


How to Help Your Friend Through Baby Loss

How to Help Your Friend Through Baby Loss

This year, Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place from the 9th to the 15th October. Sadly, one in four mums will suffer miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss at some stage.

I am one of them.

My second daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with a serious heart defect at my 20 week scan and she passed away only twenty four hours after birth. There are no words to describe the torrent of  grief and emotions we are left with. Our friends and family have been incredibly supportive and I am grateful every day to them for the love they give us.

I recently started to wonder how it must feel to be the friend of someone who has suffered such a loss.

We saw a grief counsellor after we lost Grace. I will never forget the wisdom he offered about other people’s reactions to loss.

He said, ‘At least one person will tell you not to worry because you can have another baby. There will be at least one friend you will never hear from again because they don’t know what to say. And there will be at least one shining star – someone who  goes above and beyond in their support for you.’

He was absolutely right on all three counts.

How to Help Your Friend Through Baby Loss

If you have a friend who is grieving the loss of a baby and you are finding it difficult to know how to show your support, here are some tips for helping them through it:

Just be there

There is really nothing you can say or do to ease your friend’s pain. Just being there to listen, hug and talk about the loss will be a big help.

My friends came to see me almost every day for the first few months after we lost Grace and just knowing they were there was very comforting. There have been a couple of friends that I haven’t heard from since Grace died. I understand that it must be difficult to know what to say and do and perhaps they found it easier to say nothing at all.

Honestly there is nothing anyone can say or do. Just being there is more than enough.

Talk about the baby

Sometimes it may appear kinder to talk about something other than the loss because you don’t want to upset your friend further. But believe me; your friend will want to talk about her loss.

Look at the pictures of her child with her and any other memories she has (such as a lock of hair, hand and foot prints and hospital tags).

Grace’s life was so short, I want her to be remembered and I want to show people the photos and memories we had of her. By talking about her and sharing our memories it enables us to keep her alive.

How to Help Your Friend Through Baby Loss

Don’t mention trying again

After losing a child, the last thing your friend will want to think about is trying again.

Shortly after Grace died, someone remarked to me that I shouldn’t’ worry because I could have another baby. Although the grief counsellor had warned me I would hear this comment, I wasn’t prepared for the sting. While I’m sure the person in question was just trying to help, having another baby was not something I was ready to think about for a long time after losing Grace. And even now, five years on and after having a rainbow baby, he will never be a substitute or replacement for Grace.

Don’t forget

Your friend will never forget her loss and will grieve for her child every single day.

While it’s very important to be there in the days and weeks following the loss it is equally as important to be there for the long term.

Your friend will need your support forever. If she has days when she seems down or not herself, always remember that she is still grieving and may need a shoulder to cry on (however long has passed since her loss).

The loss may change her permanently –  try to understand and accept the changes. I know that I am no longer the same person I was before my pregnancy with Grace.

I have a friend who mentions Grace on every Christmas card she sends. It means so much to me to know she too is remembering Grace at a time of the year when her absence from our family is even more evident.

Support her through future pregnancies

Subsequent pregnancies will be difficult for your friend. She will feel a cocktail of emotions – guilt, worry, excitement, happiness and sadness.

I found my third pregnancy very difficult at the beginning – I felt guilty for ‘moving on’ and terrified that something bad would happen again.

It’s important to acknowledge the baby that she lost. At the beginning of my third pregnancy, a friend asked me how it felt to be having a second baby. I had to point out it was actually my third baby. This obviously caused her some embarrassment and I’m sure she simply hadn’t wanted to upset me my mentioning my second pregnancy.

I carried Grace for 8 months. And I spent twenty four hours with her before she left. It’s ok to acknowledge that – it won’t upset me. On the contrary, acknowledging Grace and her place in our family is very important to me.

Remember the anniversary

It will mean a great deal to your friend if you always remember the anniversary of her child’s birth and death. Sending her a card or even just a text on the day will let her know you are remembering too.

Help her celebrate her child’s life

You can ask her if she would like any help arranging the funeral or, if she is thinking of fundraising in memory of her child, offer to help. I have a friend that threw a fundraising party to help us with our fundraising efforts in memory of Grace. This meant so much to me as did the support of everyone who came along to and helped out at the fundraising events we organised.

Don’t forget her partner

He will feel the loss just as much. When you see him, give him a hug and ask him how he is coping. He will appreciate knowing that you are there for him as well as for your friend.

Life goes on

If you are pregnant or become pregnant after your friend’s loss – don’t hide it from her. Share the experience with her as you would with your other friends. She won’t want to feel left out or that you are treating her differently.

A few weeks after I lost Grace, a friend announced she was pregnant. I’m not going to say it was easy to hear her news, because it wasn’t. But I was genuinely happy for her and grateful that she shared her good news and pregnancy milestones with me.

How to Help Your Friend Through Baby Loss

If you are trying to support a friend through baby loss, you can be the shining star she needs. Find out more about Baby Loss Awareness Week by visiting the website here.

Aimee Foster is a mum, freelance writer and social media manager, bookworm and sea lover. Find more of her ramblings over on her blog, New Forest Mum.

3 Easy Halloween Crafts

3 Easy Halloween Crafts

These three Halloween crafts are cheap and simple to make. Younger children will need help with the cutting aspects of the crafts, it will be better to cut everything out for them before you begin.

All the crafts pictured were made by my eight year old daughter with a little help from me!

 Halloween Lanterns

 You will need:

A glass jar

Coloured tissue paper

Googly eyes

Black card

Watered down PVA glue

Electric tea light

To make a pumpkin, cut orange tissue paper into strips and glue it to the jar (ensuring that you cover all of the tissue paper in the watered down glue). Add some green tissue paper to the lid or around the top of the jar in the same way.

Cut out some eyes from black card (or use googly eyes) and do the same for a mouth. Stick them onto the jar.

Add an electric tea light (not a real candle) to the jar to make it glow.

You can make so many variations of this. Use white tissue paper to make a ghost or make a multi-coloured jar with a silhouette of a witch flying.

3 Easy Halloween Crafts

Paper Plate Ghosts

You will need:

A paper plate

Black and red marker pens

Tissue paper cut into long strips

Black and white card

Some string

Cut out a mouth and eye shapes from the black paper and stick them into place.

Cut out two arms with hands from the white paper and tape them to the back of the plate.

Cut out two circles from white paper and stick one into each eye, adding a black circle with the pen as pupils.

Use the red pen to draw on the cheeks.

Tape four or five strips of the tissue paper to the back of the plate (on the reverse side).

Cut some string and tape it to the top (reverse side) to make the hanging.

Window Hangings

 You will need:

Black card

Orange and green cellophane wrap

Cut the black card into different shapes. You could make a castle (pictured) a pumpkin, a ghost or any other type of Halloween object.

Cut some holes in the card e.g. windows for the castle or eyes, nose and mouth for a pumpkin.

Cut the cellophane into small squares and stick it onto the back of the card, covering the holes.

Stick to a window for some spooky decorations

Aimee Foster is a mum, freelance writer and social media manager, bookworm and sea lover. Find more of her ramblings over on her blog, New Forest Mum.