Day 45 in the Big Brother house. Seems a little surreal that we have been in isolation for 45 days and I am sat typing a post on ‘lockdown activities’. A phrase I never thought I’d say in my lifetime. Last year was jam packed with so many days out and adventures and this year, well, this year is a complete write off. It’s also created a big gap in my blog as a lot of my posts were centred around days out with the kids.
So, I wanted to share with you what lockdown activities we have been up to through our very own ‘Stuck Inside Guide’. As well as binging Tiger King, our daily walks and DIY round the house (have you really been in isolation if you haven’t done any of those things?!), I have done my best in bringing the outside in. A little bit of ‘normal’ in the comfort of our home.
As you can tell by my roots, this was one of our first lockdown activities we put together. A week into lockdown and I soon realised that the majority of my time is spent eating out or participating in what is now classed as non-essential business. So we decided to get dressed up and head down to La Cagney Grillhouse (aka the front room) for a slap up meal.
Harvey and Lola took it upon themselves to cook and serve the meal and Lola put together a menu for us. She even created a kids menu for Mila with activities on like they have in restaurants.
They both did a blinding job and even made the burgers we had from scratch. I wasn’t allowed to help at all, which was lovely as I could just sit there and drink my Prosecco. Mila asked for the Happy Birthday song so we whacked on the funky version you get when you’re out to eat and brought out the chocolate dessert singing it. Not only did it give us something to look forward to throughout the day, the kids also had fun in planning the meal and creating the menus.
We had been so excited for the new Trolls movie to come out and isolation wasn’t going to stop our cinema experience. I had told the kids earlier in the day that I was going to rent Trolls and we’d have a movie night. Lola being Lola, decided we needed cinema tickets and with the effort she put in making them, I had to up my game to more than just a bowl of popcorn on the sofa.
You can’t go to the cinema without grabbing a bite to eat first and what says ‘cinema grub’ more than hot dogs and nachos?! I got the baskets off eBay (I’ve linked them here) and lined them with greaseproof paper. The striped paper bags were from Asda (linked here), I already had these in the cupboard and I filled them up with popcorn and magic stars.
Blankets at the ready, including a special guest appearance from Poppy herself. I even threw in an Easter Egg for extra mum points too.
Again, the kids loved it and it gave our movie night its only little twist. Film was a winner as well, we got to keep it for 48 hours and Mila played the game of ‘how many times can I watch this film until it expires?’
(The answer was 5 by the way 🙂 )
Before lockdown was enforced, I had been put forward for a campaign with Aquabeads in which we were to be sent a huge parcel full of their products to produce an ad. They couldn’t of arrived at a more perfect time, as I was running out of things to keep them busy. Ended up being the holy grail of lockdown activities as I hardly heard a peep out of Lola for three days straight and she made loads of really cute designs that she’s put up around her room. The Aquabeads Starter Kit is available from Amazon (linked).
Camping Underneath the Stars
Living in a flat I had to improvise on this one and I wanted it to be a complete surprise for the kids. I told them we were going to have a movie night but they needed to go in their room out the way, whilst I set it all up. Of course, food was involved as camping isn’t complete without S’mores is it? I also made strawberry and marshmallow skewers as it was the next best thing to roasting marshmallows over a campfire.
I brought my mattress into the front room and found a campfire effect on YouTube to play on the TV. The week before I had ordered a star projector so that it would complete the setting, I just got a cheap one on eBay (linked) and it did the trick amazingly. We watched a movie all snuggled up and then lay under the stars laughing and joking until we fell asleep. This was my favourite thing we have done throughout lockdown definitely and I put together a cute little video over on TikTok of the kids reaction which you can see here.
Like many others during lockdown, I jumped on the TikTok hype and its one of our most fun lockdown activities. It honestly has got us through isolation, just having a laugh and being silly. Plus, the messages I’ve had off people who have said that they love watching them and it cheers them up, has been amazing. What’s also exciting is that one of our videos went viral, and is currently at 70k views! My TikTok is @holliecagney if you fancy checking out our videos.
Family Quiz Nights
Family quiz night over Zoom has been a regular Friday night occurrence since lockdown started. Not being able to see my family or having time to just be ‘me’ has weighed down heavy, so Friday nights I always look forward to as it’s a tiny bit of normality (kinda). We all get together and have a drink and have a giggle and it feels like I’ve had a night out kid free. We even did bingo one week which was fun, especially as I came away £17 richer.
Capturing this crazy and unique time to look back on in years to come, we have created a Lockdown 2020 Time Capsule. Some of the things that we have put into our Time Capsule are;
- Letters from the kids to their future self
- Short story about their isolation experience
- Menu from dinner & cinema film tickets
- Printout of the Queen’s speech
- Letter from Boris Johnson telling us to stay home
- Daily polaroids to sum up each day
It hasn’t all been rainbows and sunshine, there have been days where they’ve done nothing but watch TV and played on their phones. As well as days where I have hidden in the bathroom to have a cry because it’s all gotten a bit too much. We’re used to always being out doing something, so bringing a bit of the outside, inside has kept us in touch with the ‘old’ way of life. The preparation for some of the lockdown activities has kept the kids occupied throughout the day too which is a win.
My main goal I set at the start of lockdown was that I wanted the kids to look back and think of how much fun we had and how much we laughed. We’ve also stressed out and lost our shit, particularly when we’ve had the really hot weather as we’re stuck in a flat. But we will never get this much time together again and as much as I can’t wait for normality to resume, I’m going to miss being in our own little bubble.
Rest assured though, I am no Mary Poppins and we all tend to only post the ‘good’ on social media, so don’t think that you’re failing or beat yourself up because other people seem to be living an isolation fairy tale. I promise you that’s not the case.
You are all doing a great job and I’ll cheers to that.