A half term holiday survival kit


Okay ‘survival’ might be stretching it slightly. Half term can be tough, depending on the weather but it’s not out and out guerrilla warfare (though technically I am outnumbered by 3 to 1 most days). But as the half term holidays approach (haven’t they only just gone back after Christmas?), I thought it was worth remembering a few ‘essential’ items to get you through the week, whether you’ll be home or away.

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who will be jetting off to sunnier climes (damn you), then I think some decent rainwear is essential kit at this time of year. Joules really is top dog when it comes to nice macs both for me and for the kids.

If it’s time for a camera upgrade (or not but you just fancy a new, sexier one), look no further than the Olympus Pen E-PL7. I’ve had mine for a year now and it really is a great camera, especially if you want a DSLR effect without the shoulder ache or price tag. You can justify this because you need to document all your holidays (even rainy ones) and the wifi feature allows you to instantly upload images to social media (as long as you have wifi of course!).

Aside from the camera, try to minimise electronic gadgetry and go trad with good old fashioned board games. Being bored is how kids finally learn to play games like chess and this 2-in-1 chess and backgammon travel set won’t take up too much room.

While the kids are occupied with that (or alternatively the iPad), take the opportunity to catch up on a good book or delve into a beautiful, inspiring magazine such as Kinfolk: the weekend issue.

Being borderline addicted to hot caffeinated beverages, I get a bit twitchy if I’m more than 100 yards from a cafe so I always insist on packing a thermos to take on long walks or journeys. I can stand to stay out at least five minutes longer on a windswept beach if I’m cradling a cup of something hot in my hands.

And finally, I think you deserve a treat if you’re solo parenting all week and the launch of the amazing sounding Chanel Les Beiges healthy glow foundation would be just the ticket. It’s SPF 25 and has a barely there effect, which means you can get that no-makeup makeup look on holiday without too much effort.

While I was putting together this shopping list (and don’t forget, if all else fails and the kids are driving you up the wall, I find online shopping really counts as therapy), I thought it would be a good chance to test out a recent discovery of mine: easyfundraising. Essentially it is the ultimate conscience cleanser as it enables you to raise money for charity while buying stuff online.

NB: you don’t pay any extra, the donation comes from the retailer – now that’s feel good shopping eh? Registry is quick and simple, and once you’ve chosen your elected charity you can shop from hundreds of top retailers that are involved. You can even download a little widget that sits on your computer’s toolbar and every time you visit a retailer that’s linked to easyfundraising it will flash to give you a gentle reminder that you can use that site to make a donation.

All of the items I’ve picked out here are from associated retailers including John Lewis, Debenhams, Joules, Lakeland and WH Smiths. For example, I’ve just ordered the foundation (yes I really do need it to get through the holidays) and it was really gratifying to be sent an email following the transaction to confirm how much money I’d just raised for my charity by making the purchase.

As we all increasingly shop online, it’s nice to know that whether we’re buying essentials such as food shopping and travel or more non-essential, luxury items we can make the experience a little more altruistic and give something back at the same time.

Hope you have a good one, whatever you get up to.


Disclosure: collaborative post



Slummy single mummy //

I can’t believe it’s nearly half-term already! It literally feels like they have JUST gone back to school and then boom, there they are, at home again. I’m not even outnumbered!

lori //

Loving the Olympus Pen, I really need to upgrade my camera and also get the newest copy of my favourite mags to enjoy! x

Alice //

Ahh, I was sold on a bright yellow mac but now I’ve seen these stripes I’m wavering. That one is just gorgeous!!

I’m so excited to use my PEN this summer too xx

Eleanor //

I wish I could afford the Olympus Pen, I’ve been umming and ahhhing over a new camera and this is the one I really want!

Kathryn //

Worth every penny Eleanor, otherwise I’d highly recommend a Panasonic Lumix which is a bit cheaper and really good too x

Amanda //

Every time I see an Olympus Pen, I shed a photography inward sob, I wish the chappie at JL hadn’t persuaded me to get a different one. Eek, oh yes half term, must make plans!


Thanks for mentioning easyfundraising.org. I hadn’t heard of it before. I’m now registered with them so will hopefully raise some much needed money for a dog rescue charity I support at the same time as treating myself.


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