The Happy Cat Kids Blog


Valentine's Day - a day of romance and intimate candlelit dinners yes?!? Well probably not this year!! Stuck at home in lockdown with all your kids traipsing around the house demanding snacks may not seem like the most romantic environment but it is what it is right and if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!! So with that in mind, I thought I come up with a few ways for you to enjoy the day this year at home with the kids!


  1. Get the kids involved decorating the house! You're stuck indoors, you may as well get crafty with the kids and make the house look cute! Here's a few simple ideas:

Salt Dough Hearts - if the kids are partial to a bit of playdough then use this simple recipe to make some salt dough which you can then roll out and cut into hearts, cook in the oven then paint as artistically as you like!



You will need:-

  • 250g Plain flour

  • 125g Table salt

  • 125ml Water

Method:-


1. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.


2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and stir until it comes together into a ball.


3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, roll it out and cut it into hearts. You could even make a hole in the top of the hearts so they can be hung up.


4. Put your finished items on the lined baking sheet and bake for 3 hrs or until solid.


5. Leave to cool and then paint. You could even decorate with glitter too if you're feeling brave!!


Valentines Themed Colouring Sheets - Colouring-in can be such a calming activity for adults and children so why not colour pretty valentine's pictures which you can use to decorate the house when you've finished. There are so many lovely ones you can do, simply type Valentine's colouring pages into Google, print off your favourites and get colouring! I've even created my very own Happy Cat Kids colouring sheet which you can download for free here:

live. laugh. love
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Download PDF • 68KB

Table Centrepiece - The lovely Nikki Golding will be doing a live make-along on her Insta page on Friday 12th Feb showing you how to make a simple Valentine's centrepiece so I'll definitely be tuning in for that! Make sure you're following Nikki here so you can have a go at making one too!


2. If your kids are old enough - bribe them with a movie night/sleepover in one of their rooms, ply them with snacks and then have the downstairs of the house a kid-free zone for the evening!!


3. If you have younger kids and lucky enough to have ones that actually go to bed then lucky you - get them to bed and enjoy your civilised adult evening!


4. If, like me, you have kids that won't go to bed and will want to be involved with everything then why not let them be the waiters! They could create their own restaurant, design a menu, take your orders and maybe even cook/bake something for you to eat if you're brave enough to allow this! Perhaps there could be a dress code for the 'restaurant' to force you out of your PJs and maybe even slap on some make-up!


5. Get your kids to host a Valentine's quiz! Let's face it we've all become quiz experts over this last year so why not ask your kids to write a Mr & Mrs style quiz for you and partner to find out who knows who the most! They will love channelling their inner Alexander Armstrong!!


6. If all of the above just sounds like a little bit too much effort then just chuck on your PJs, grab the whole family under the duvet, order in a pizza and snuggle up with a movie!!



Happy Valentine's All!!



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Well here we are again! Right in the thick of yet another national lockdown and another bout of home learning for us and the kids!! Even though we probably saw it coming and, yes, we have done it all before, it doesn't make it any less challenging to be battling through it once again! I find myself once more being tested to the very edges of my abilities (and patience!) so I thought I would try to draw on my experiences from last year and come up with a little set of commandments to help get myself through! So here goes, my top commandments for surviving lockdown school:


1. I will set my daily expectations ridiculously low!


I am someone who is an eternal optimist and is always wildly over-ambitious with what I think I can get done in any one day so during this current lockdown I am forcing myself to reign that in as it can only lead to disappointment! These are crazy times and we are being pulled in many different directions so if I set my expectation low then I might just have a hope of achieving something! And when I saw low I really do mean low! If I've got dressed out of my PJs, each child has learned one thing and we've all eaten then I'm taking that day as a win!


2. I am most definitely not a teacher so a teacher I will not attempt to be!


Whilst I am in awe of teachers and the incredible job that they do, I think our first stint of lockdown school last year taught me that I'm most likely not personally suited to the teaching profession!! Therefore I try to remember that my role during this lockdown is to be here for my children to help them to emotionally cope during this time, to support them as they attempt their school tasks and to tell them it's ok when they struggle! For me personally, this time is not an opportunity to boot camp the kids into broadening their skills by setting them extra activities or insisting that we all learn a new foreign language or advanced algebra, it is time to muddle through together, just doing what we can to get to the other side!


3. I will not compare myself to others!


One thing I know for sure is that everyone's individual situations are wildly different from each other and no one lockdown experience is the same for any one person so I will not allow myself to be affected by people sharing insta-worthy 'homeschool' set ups on their social feeds when we are all crowded round a messy kitchen table being disturbed by the cat walking over the computer or arguing over the WiFi! I will try to smile fondly as I see yet another image of children 'making memories' out in the woods when my own children have not got dressed out of their PJs in 4 days and I will appropriately ooh and aah when little Tommy in my son's class shows us his intricately built and fully working scale model of the entire London underground network that he has built with his Mummy that morning in-between morning and afternoon registration when the only achievement I can attribute to my own child is that he has managed to brush his teeth!


Yes, believe me, there are times when I want to scream as these seemingly over-achieving parents to get a grip but the reason I stop myself is because we never know someone's full story when we see these snapshots! The insta-worthy homeschool set up may be masking a parent who is so riddled with anxiety that creating a calm oasis to work from is the only way she can manage to get out of bed each day. Perhaps those families 'making memories' in the woods are just so grateful to be out of the house because their children have spent an entire morning fighting with each other and refusing to do any school work so this is the first peace the family have had all day and maybe little Tommy with his working model of the London underground was up half the night in tears missing his friends and school so much and declared that this was the only thing that he wanted to do the next day. So his Mum reluctantly agreed (anything to see the smile back on his face and knowing full well that she would then have to work well into the night for the next few days on her own work to make up for the time she would need to take out to build said model with her son!)


Who knows? Certainly not me, so I won't compare and I will try with every fibre of my being not to judge either!


4. Normal screen-time rules will temporarily not apply!


Screens get a bad press a lot of the time but I try to remember how incredibly lucky our kids are to have these diversions at the fingertips and how now more than ever, we truly appreciate them! If watching some inane YouTuber keeps my kids happy and entertained for a while so I can get some work done or just have a little peace and quiet then I am most definitely not going to deny that! If my daughter can while away some of these endless lockdown hours by playing Roblox with her school friends then I say go for it! These are crazy times and I feel that anything that keeps us all sane is a necessity in my book!


5. I will keep the cupboard stocked full of snacks!



Oh I had forgotten just how much food two small people can get through whilst permanently stuck at home! It is immense and, let's face it, a bored and hungry child is like the worst possible combination so I will keep that cupboard full of treats - the most unhealthy, crappy snacks that I can get hold of and I refuse to feel guilty about it! Allowing my kids a few weeks of grazing on party rings and hula hoops is fine by me if it allows them a little joy in these somewhat miserable times!


So there you have it, my own personal lockdown commandments, if any of this resonated with you guys in any way and this little rant helped even a tiny bit then I am so happy to share this with you! Let's all try to remember to be kind to each other during these crazy times and more importantly, to be kind to ourselves!

Rachel x


P.S Don't forget to keep the wine rack stocked too! I hereby declare dry January completely null and void this year!!



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I hope you are all enjoying browsing through my Christmas Shop? You may have noticed that one of the sections in the Christmas Shop is Rachel's Top Picks - I thought I would just write a little blog post to explain this section in a bit more detail...


So basically, When you're looking for gifts I know that sometimes it can be hard to know where to start so I created this little collection to help inspire you with your gift buying! What you'll see is a selection of some of my top picks for Christmas gifts this year! They have all been personally selected by me because they are some of my best sellers, firm favourites from when I've shown them to people at markets or just ones that I and my little product testers personally love!


There are 25 gifts in total in my top picks section and believe me when I say it was so hard to narrow it down to just 25! I hope you enjoy browsing through the whole selection but I thought in this blog post I'd just highlight a few of these gifts in some more detail...


First up is our ever popular wooden peacock colours



Choosing this particular toy was a bit of a no-brainer because not only do absolutely love it, you guys do too! Every time I get some of these in stock they sell out straight away and it's easy to see why! Kids really love how fun the world looks through the different colours and parents love how this toy not only looks beautiful but can be a great education aid as well, encouraging little ones to explore the effects of mixing different colours over the top of each other! At just £17.50 too it's a very reasonably priced wooden toy that will last and last! I will have one more delivery before Christmas of these beautiful toys arriving at the start of December and I anticipate they will sell out fast again so you can pre-order yours here!


Next I want to highlight these beautiful little knitted dolls that come in gorgeous gift boxes!


I literally cannot get over how adorable these little knitted dolls are!! Am I too old to have one myself?!?


Next up, let me show you these super sweet little my first teddies...

Made from natural rubber and organic cotton, these little teddies are suitable from birth and make perfect natural teething toys too! No nasty chemicals in these lovely friends! Which would you choose - Alvin the Elephant or Havah the Bunny??


Finally, I had to share with you with the absolute sweetest little wooden train...



I chose this super cute little train because not only is it painted with such beautiful pastel colours, the little animal characters that ride in the carriages are unbelievably sweet! What little one wouldn't enjoy pulling this train around? And at just £19 there is a lot of play value in this toy.​


I hope you've enjoyed these little highlights from my top picks, click here to see the full collection which I hope helps to inspire your gift choices!


Happy Shopping!


Rachel x