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5 family fun activities to do this Christmas Holidays

With so much free time with the little ones it can be difficult to find family fun activities to do during this Christmas Holidays. So we’ve decided to put together a list with 5 family fun activities that you can do to entertain everyone during this Christmas season.

#1 Watch some Christmas Movies

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So is it too cold to go outside? Nothing better than grabbing your blanket, getting cosy with your little ones and entertaining yourselves with a film for all the family. We recently created our own list with the top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season. That might give you a few ideas! 🙂

#2 Visit your nearest Winter Festival

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You don’t mind the cold weather and think the kids need to have some fun outdoors too? Search for your nearest Winter Festival. They will probably offer you a good range of activities for all ages. We went to Manchester Christmas Market at the beginning of the month and it was good, but the one we really enjoyed was one we had never been before, Bolton Winter Festival. It was more local to us, and we got to do Ice-skating, Giant snow slide and Santa’s grotto, all for just £16. It was definitely a good deal compared to other places.

#3 Get all crafty at home

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No better time to get messy, since the little ones will love it and you will have plenty of time to tidy it up later on. Rosie, from Little Fish Blog shared a while ago how to make a construction small world. Isn’t it great?! I have actually never thought of it, but it’s so original and you can go as far as your imagination goes. Go over to her blog to learn how to do it.

If you want to try something more Christmassy, LarabeeUK tells us about how to make snow filled Christmas ornaments. I never thought you could do them! but it can be something fun to try with everyone at home.

Lauren, from Dilan and Me, shared on her blog a few weeks ago how to make bird seed decorations. This could be perfect if you’re planning to go to the park with your little ones. So forget about the breadcrumbs and feed them on a very stylish way 😉

#4 Try some new recipes

Because you have more time than usual it’s a great opportunity to try your culinary skills and make something that you haven’t had before. We recorded ourselves not too long ago preparing Cau Cau de pollo, a Peruvian Chicken stew, that is easy, healthy and delicious for all the family. Watch our YouTube video and learn how to do it.

But, if you’re more into veggie food, Lou, from Mammy not Mummy showed us how to make Veggie and Cheese Muffins on her blog. We will give them a try this break, cause I think it’s always a great way to add more healthy stuff to the children’s diets. For my little ones, the only way they have some broccoli, for example, is if I put it on my veggie soup. We will share with you our recipe for that one day soon, cause it’s a really success with the “veggie-haters” 😉

#5 Find a new hobby!

I recently met with another Spanish mum at a Spanish families gathering in Manchester. You know how we are, good food, lovely people and we can set up a party within a few hours! haha

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Anyway, so she was telling me about her new project that she’s launched a few months ago. I believe so much in entrepreneurship, and I think us women, have the right qualities and skills to make things happen. So her business is called Printathome123, and her artistic name is Anantaviana, it’s basically the new trend in crafts for adults. If you thought the colouring was relaxing you might want to try papercutting. She designs beautiful templates that you can download for an affordable price and then print them at home and with your own paper and scalpel create authentic pieces of art. You can even create shadowboxes, if you have more than one layer.

I need to give it a go myself! Definitely worth trying while the little ones are on their siesta time or not around. Go over to her Etsy page and see all the cool designs.

What other suggestions do you have? This year is a special one for us, cause for the first time since moving to UK, hubby will be around for Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day, plus we will spend Christmas with his family over in Leeds and New Year with my family in Barcelona. We are so grateful for that! And J is so super excited 🙂 Because of that we have decided to leave the blog and vlog aside for the holidays. We want to focus 100% on spending quality time with all of them.

Don’t worry, we’ll tell you all about it when we’re back! With videos on our YouTube Channel, Pictures on our Instagram! and more stories on our blog of course. It will just be like you were a part of it. 😉

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND

A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!!

Eliana, Sam, J and E 😀

Confessions of a frustrated immigrant

Or should I say ‘expat’? Why when British leave abroad call themselves ‘expats’ and when we come here we are called ‘immigrants’? (By the way, I said British and I could have said Americans…) Either way, put whatever other nationality you can think of when mentioning the word ‘expat’.

According to the dictionary:

An ‘expat’ is  “a person who is voluntarily absent from home or country.” while 

An ‘immigrant’ is “a person who comes to a country in order to settle there.”

So they both leave their countries of origin because they chose to, otherwise they would be “refugees” being forced to do it. And they’re both trying to settle in a new place.

Is not that what we are all trying to do? It seems to me that the connotations are different though. Being an immigrant many times is related to all the negativeness of crime, taking advantage of benefits, lack of education, resources… If you’re lucky enough to come from a touristic place at least they will know where it’s located and the wonderful holidays they spend there. If not, good luck then. 

On the other hand, when you’re an expat, you have probably relocated because of a career improvement, your economical situation is much better and you don’t come to the country to take advantage of it but to contribute to it.

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Oh wait…aren’t immigrants doing that too? Working hard, accepting low-paid jobs that nobody else wants and moving the economy forward so we all benefit from it? I think that’s called “contribution” too. Yeah, I thought so.

Did you know that on our first year in UK

I tried to set up my own business and make myself a place within my professional industry? Back then we used to attend some Networking events to promote the business a little bit. One time, I came across a gentleman from the Marketing Association that told me quite clear that I needed to get a “proper education”. I explained to him I had a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Barcelona. (didn’t buy my degree in ebay, you know…) I worked and studied hard during 4 years to become a good professional. He belittled me, my studies and everything that I had worked for, just to sell me one of his courses…I left that room thinking  – you have all this knowledge about marketing, but let me tell you, you’re rubbish getting a sale done. I wouldn’t buy from you even if I had had the money to do it!-

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My husband has broken his back in every job position he is been. He’s helped beyond his duties, his responsibilities. Because of that he’s been taken advantage many times, never getting the promotion he deserved so they could keep paying him a low wage.

How do you think it feels when you come to a country full of expectations, well-prepared and you accept any non-qualified job so that you can provide for your family?

Bills need to be paid. And you can always feel proud of an honest job, regardless of your salary, category or whatever. But if on top of that you come across people that think that your profession is a hobby and what you do as a job is who you are, then, my dear readers, it becomes more and more frustrating.

Let me tell you, my husband is not a “whopper-maker” He worked hard and studied even harder when we lived in Barcelona. He got to finish his career while working at the same time, having a first child, providing for both of us, studying in Catalan, not his mother tongue (which is Portuguese), and on top of all that, getting good qualifications. He literally sweated every day. Leaving early in the morning and coming home late at night. His passion, his career, his drive is not to prepare burgers. He does a good job there because he is a responsible man, but he is so much more than that.

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I am so so tired of people who belittle you, who doesn’t see beyond a uniform or a desk. So tired of feeling that we can’t reach where we want. I should probably have written this some other day when I’m not full of pain killers and antibiotics, but this is real. The feeling is real.

Sometimes I wonder, who am I looking the praises from?

Do I really need that tap on the back from acquaintances, friends, family or even strangers? I know where to look up. But sometimes, it gets so hard. It gets so difficult to keep smiling to the ones who are rude to you, who don’t treat you well. I was telling Sam today – I can’t help be who I am. I am a kind person- It doesn’t come out that easy to shout back, say something rude or abrupt to people. Sometimes I wish I could do it, honestly. And I, obviously, have my rough days, I am no angel. But I don’t understand…of all the nice people that are in the world, how come I come across all the nasty ones?! I must have a magnet for them! A sign that says…”Yes, please, over here! Ignore me, shout at me, belittle me, it doesn’t matter, I’m an immigrant, right?!”

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Oh gosh, honestly, I wish I could finish this post on a positive tone. Believe me, I’m trying. This week I was thinking about my parents. About my parents in law too. Did you know that my father-in-law, who is a well experienced, educated man who pursued a career in economics and holds many titles, is currently working serving tables? When my parents arrived to Barcelona from Peru, I was just a baby, and couldn’t understand all their challenges. Both of my parents pursued different careers that due to family circumstances couldn’t finish. But they tried hard. They’ve currently got their own business, which has been running for a long time. They went through many hard, unbearable jobs to get to that point, though. Cleaning, looking after the elderly, working on weekends…the list is long.

I suppose that my aim with this post, apart from getting it out off my chest,  is to encourage everyone to see beyond the person.

Don’t just look at the outward appearance. Behind that tray, there’s probably someone who is dreaming to be something else, who has even prepared to be something else. Behind the lady that cleans your house or looks after your children, there’s maybe a fashion designer, or a doctor! Let’s start looking at people in the eyes and search for who they really are. Don’t be misguided by a job title, a salary or an outfit. Let’s be humans looking at other humans. Praising our efforts one another, because you know what, sometimes, this can be a terrible world to live in, but if we can find some support on another’s shoulder, life will get easier for everyone.

Again, maybe not my best week to write, but I needed to tell you this, I needed to tell you that you are GREAT, that we cannot let others, people, organisations, or society define who we really are or who we dreamed of to become. We can hope for better things to come, because we are worthy of them, because if we keep working hard, the tap on our back won’t be necessary, the results of our efforts will make us feel proud of who we are and what we do.

Since there’s nothing more positive than kittens and I can’t finish my post with an “all is happy” attitude, let me show you this hilarious video, completely unrelated to the post I just wrote.

Let’s laugh together at this poor little kitty…someone tried of its own medicine…hahaha

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Top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season

Nothing helps you more to get into the Christmas spirit than a good Christmas movie. Do not miss our top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season if you’ve liked some of our movie reviews. Maybe you can watch one every day for the last week before Christmas. Maybe you can do a little marathon movies with the little ones on a Friday night. Whatever you want to do, grab some popcorn, a few drinks and a blanket -nothing feels better than being under a blanket- and choose your movie:

#1 Home Alone

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This is a Christmas classic! Released in 1990, I was 7 years old when this movie came out but we watched it the other day with our little ones and our 5 year old couldn’t stop laughing with Macaulay Culkin’s interpretation. There are some things that are timeless and even though if that would happen nowadays mummy would just skype the kid and tell him she’ll be back soon, you still have a great time watching it.

#2 Miracle on 34th street

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Do you believe in Santa Claus? This is a tender movie that shows how the magic of Christmas brings back the happiness to a broken family through a non-believer 6 year old little girl and a white beard gentleman. One of the favourite movies of my husband to watch during this season.

#3 rise of the guardians

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Different to Guardians of the Galaxy, ok. Don’t get confused! I like that one too but today it’s all about Christmas movies. This 2012 animation is a perfect choice to watch with your little ones. It’s entertaining for all ages. It tells the story of how Jack Frost gets his powers back after he suffers from a period of amnesia. A must to watch with all the family. 🙂

#4 ELF

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Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the Christmas spirit all the time. But this Elf shows you how to face the real world and don’t lose a cheerful bubbly personality. This is such a classic that even though it was released more than 10 years ago people still love it and there’s always a meme, a quote or a scene referring to this movie. J’s school are watching it at a movie night next week! 🙂

#5 foster

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Maybe you haven’t heard about this movie. We certainly hadn’t before arriving here to UK but on our first Christmas we saw the DVD at a store and we bought it for just 1 pound. We didn’t expect to cry with it and enjoyed it so much. The story of this married couple who lost their son on an accident and then crosses paths with this peculiar little boy will touch your heart. Don’t be misguided for its low price or promotion, it’s a very good Christmas movie.

#6 the nightmare before christmas

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If you are into spooky things and Tim Burton then this is your perfect Christmas movie. We watched it last year at home and J spent all the month of the December singing “Halloween Halloween This is Halloween!” hahaha It is a fun movie to watch, maybe if you’ve got very young children might be better to wait until they grow a bit more. 😉

#7 Love actually

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Ok, I’m putting this one on the list against my husband’s will because according to him this is not a great movie. It’s a so-so movie. But there is something in this film that I truly love, maybe it’s the simplicity, the love stories or the scenes at the airport where families get reunited, but this movie has for me, a special place in my heart and I enjoy it very much. I am the one who writes this blog, so yep, this is one of my top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season.

What are your favourite Christmas movies? I’m pretty sure you’ve got some good recommendations too! 🙂