Friday, 27 March 2015

Playground Politics

This is a guest post from Mummy to boyz.
 
This post has arrived coincidentally on a day J was "out of character."  She had an incident with another child and has been punished accordingly both at school and at home, and I am hoping that will be the end of it, after a sorry card has been made. But here is some great advice from Mummy to boyz.
 
 
When it comes to parents in the playground things can get nasty pretty quickly. We are all doing our best to protect our brood and feel powerless to help if they are injured whilst at school. 

I understand this can be upsetting but I also understand how upsetting it is to feel like everyone is judging your child. The one thing I do know is that children are not angels 100 % of the time and can do things completely out of character. 

If you do find your brood running into conflict you can do either of the following:

1) Ignore it & hope it sorts itself out.
2) Inform the teachers and ask them to keep a closer eye on your child when playing with the other child.
3) Talk to the parents of the other child privately to let them know and come up with a way of moving forward.
4) Slate the other child & parent on a public social media platform.
5) Fight the other parent at the school gates, use your pram and ram the other parent with a pushchair.
6) Refuse to send your child to school & home educate then so they don't encounter any more issues.

I wouldn't recommend some of these! .

Schools will work with parents to implement strategies to manage any behaviour issues so they must be the first point of contact. Our children are going to be spending years with the same children, teachers and parents in the playground. We are all doing our best to raise our offspring to be the best people they can be & the best way to do that is by setting an example. 

Lets leave the squabbles in the playground where they belong! 

A good nights sleep...

A few weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to review a mattress topper. I thought, yeah go on then, if anything, it would protect the mattress from drool, and sweat. Yes, disgusting I know, but we all do it in our sleep.
We bought our bed about 4 years ago, after having hubby's mum and dad's spare bed as our own when we moved into an unfurnished house when I was pregnant with J. After a year or two on a "spare bed" we realised, we had to invest in our backs. We bought a "top of the range" mattress and a sledge bed to fit it. It was like a dream, I couldn't feel hubby move during the night, or getting up for his early shifts. However, four years on, that comfort has slowly decreased. We haven't woke up feeling in pain, yet, but the WOW, this is comfy part has faded.
 
We had a phone call one evening, confirming our bed size, and delivery address, and when I say evening, I mean I was cooking tea, so it was gone 4pm. The very next morning... 9.00am it was here. Thankfully hubby didn't do the school run, nor was he at work so we could receive the item. I was amazed at how small it was wrapped.
 
I was told to unpack it, and leave it for a few hours to "breathe" and raise up.

 
The mattress topper, wasn't what I was expecting. It was a 2.5cm piece of memory foam, the size of the mattress. Hubby wasn't expecting it to feel any different. However, the next morning after the first nights sleep. Our best night sleep in ages, his words.... he took it back. It was so comfy. It changed the firmness of the bed, so it was a bit firmer, but still soft, if that makes sense? It was so inviting.  And it continues to stay inviting, ten days later. I am sure it will continue too as well.
 
We have deep fitted sheets due to the size of our mattress, so found it stayed in place with our sheets. The 2.5cm thick memory foam mattress topper uses your body temperature to mould to your body shape whilst you sleep, to ensure the perfect position for your body. The resulting pressure relief helps reduce tossing and turning for an improved night's sleep, and it sure did.
 
The mattress Topper we have tried starts at £19.99 for a single, raising to £34.99 for a king size, from Mattress next day. The R.R.P. is £49.99-79.99. You can purchase it from here.
 
I would highly recommend this mattress if you are looking for a good nights sleep. It helps put a bit more extra life back into your mattress.
 
How old is your mattress?? Could it do with a little bit of extra life yet??
 
 
 
*We were gifted the mattress topper, in return for an honest review. all words, and photos are my own.
 

Dogs are a Girls best friend....

Last Saturday, saw the M family travel up to Lancaster to visit Auntie H and Uncle C. They aren't actually the girls uncle and auntie, but we like to keep some old fashioned ways, and anyone that has been long standing friends, and whom the girls have grown up around and loved from the very start get the "auntie and uncle" title too. H and C love the girls as much as the girls love them, so the title easily goes. Winston their gorgeous Labrador, has also been around since the girls were born. We have video's of J less then 18 months feeding him a treat, and not letting go, so her hand just gets licked to bits, with hysterical laughter. When we were asked, "what would you like to do?" The coast was an easy decision, with it being over a 2hour drive away from home, any opportunity for some sea air, gets the go ahead from us. Plus it meant Winston could come too. H and C took us to the Heysham coast line, with some ruins from an old chapel. The girls were excited....
 
 
As it opened up to the coast line, we realised the tide was in, so there was no beach today... S was not impressed, she wanted to build sandcastles...  but the scenery was just stunning...

 
S soon forgot about the sandcastle building, and soon started chasing Winston around, with it being a race on who could get to the ball first... not really a fair race to be honest though...


After a bit of running around, little S needed a rest, and perched herself next to Uncle C, whom she adores...


...before seeing J making the most of the squidgy, soft grass, who was throwing her self on it, and deciding she wanted to copy, and have a grass fight...

 
Winston soon popped back with his ball, and so J was off, trying to get him to drop the beloved toy... a game of tug of war then proceeded.... J was definitely going to sleep well...
 
 
 Daddy then wanted in on the game, and just occasionally Winston would drop it long enough for it to be grabbed and thrown again....


....right into the middle of some brambles....  the guys then had to retrieve the ball....


Which left S to bundle auntie H, time and time again, doing super long run ups.... she was going to sleep well too....

                          
 
 After the ball was back safe, we decided to go and explore the ruins of the chapel, and when I say explore, J thought I meant climb...

 
The perfect doorway, made the perfect frame for a photo. The girls weren't in the mood for posing though...

 
After exploring the coast line, we then headed back to the car park, where we spotted a park. As the sun was shining bright and warm for a spring day, we decided to stay a little longer and tire the girls out just a little more...

 
We love the mini teacups at the park, as J loves loosing her balance from it... we always have a little giggle too, trying to see if she can walk straight after...

video
 
 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Binky Linky

MORE ACTS ANNOUNCED FOR GERONIMO!

The brand new children’s festival coming to Tatton Park
 
Brand new to the festival scene for 2015, Geronimo has added CBeebiesCook and Line from Swashbuckle and Alex Winters as well as pre-school favourites Ben and Holly to its 2015 line up.
Geronimo will make its debut over the May Bank Holiday weekend (Sat 23 – Mon 25 May) at Tatton Park in Cheshire and is set to deliver an exciting programme of acts, amazing experiences and wonderful adventures, resulting in a fantastic family day out.
Geronimites are invited to join Cook & Line from Swashbuckle (Saturday and Sunday only) for a rip-roaring pirate adventure full of fun songs and silly slapstick on the live stage.
A must for all under 5s, Ben and Holly will also be making an appearance (Sunday only) along with wonderful enchanting walkabouts across the weekend including Elsa, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and the Garden Fairy.
Calling all LEGO® fans! LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is bound to prove a hit with boys and girls alike as the Master Model Build workshops will be setting up base, perfect for all LEGO® aficionados to get creative. Bertie the LEGO®costume character will be meeting and greeting young fans and there will be vouchers given away throughout the weekend for entry to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.
 
Sea Life Manchester will be making a splash as they bring with them Geronimo’s very own Touch Pool where festival goers can touch and feel the exciting sea creatures. Sea Life’s Breed Rescue Protect Workshop is a make and take craft workshop. Geronimites are also invited to track down Tyler the Turtle, the costume character who will be making special appearances every day, plus parents can make a saving with the vouchers being handed out. 
 
In the 3ft & Under Zone, Tumble Tots will be offering taster sessions for children from walking – 5 years old.  Each 20-minute taster session will give children a fun and challenging experience on specially designed colourful, wooden and foam play equipment.  With parental involvement, each child will be given the opportunity to climb, balance, jump, land and crawl whilst exploring the circuit. Other activity confirmed in this zone includes a pop-up petting farm, donkey rides, giant sandpits, marvelous bubble shows and a super bouncy inflatable village.
 
The newly announced acts and activities join some of the biggest names in kids entertainment, including Cbeebies favourite Mr. Bloom and CBeebies ‘I Can Cook’ presenter, Katy Ashworth, who are both performing on the live stage.  
Making the most of the beautiful woodland backdrops at Tatton Park, the Adrenaline Zonewill challenge even the bravest adventurers with tree climbing, den making and a thrilling zip line that will reach speeds of up to 60KPH!
For those who like things a little less fast paced there’s also plenty of interactive storytelling with CBeebies favourite Alex Winters and Baby massage and baby yoga for all new mums who fancy a little escape from all the organized mayhem.
Creative kids can join in the many craft workshops in the Funky Junk Zone.  From cookie decorating to buggy makeovers, festival-goers are also invited to take part in Geronimo’s live art project throughout the weekend. Be prepared for a glitter overload!
Gasp in awe at the breathtaking aerial trapeze artists or laugh out loud at the clowns in the Circus Zone with regular shows taking place throughout the day. Fancy learning a skill or two? Head to the circus skills workshop and learn the tricks of the trade or catch the family classic Punch& Judy shows that will be taking place daily - That’s the way to do it! And keep your eyes peeled, you might spot a mini circus act roaming throughout the festival!
Other activity confirmed includes a pop-up petting farm, donkey rides, giant sandpits, marvelous bubble shows and a super bouncy inflatablevillage in the 3ft & Under Zone.
For kids who love a dance the Groovy Zone offers great activities including zumba workshops, dressing up areas, dance classes with Baby Ballet and even Geronimo’s own disco – playing all your favourite party tunes!
Tatton Park is famous for its beautiful gardens and attractions, including the beautiful deer park, magical woodlands and a working farm. With good motorways links, extensive on site parking and close proximityfrom Knutsford railway station, Geronimo 2015 is accessible for all.
Geronimo is aimed at families with children aged between 2 and 12 years old.  Geronimo Early Bird tickets are currently on sale priced £20pp, with family passes starting from £75 (limited number available). To purchase tickets and for more information visit geronimofest.com or follow on facebook and Twitter.
Don't forget you can still win a family pass, up to 4 people here.
 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How to form healthy habits

Why do we struggle so much to form healthy new habits? We know the pattern like the back of our hand – at first, motivation is high and you may be able to stick with your new resolution with almost military-like precision, but after a while, motivation wanes and you find yourself slipping back into your old ways. Willpower simply isn’t enough; to successfully change your habits, you have to use a combination of clever techniques to trick your psyche. 

1. Ignore your big goals, set little ones instead

Hold off on signing up for that marathon just yet! A big goal might seem more appealing (it’s always nice to imagine ourselves as athletic champions), but aiming high and taking a lot on is often setting yourself up for failure, or only very short-lived success. To ensure that a healthy habit is formed for life, set smaller goals, such as committing to running ten minutes a day or doing a yoga session every morning. 

2. Plan it out, and be prepared

We all want to eat healthily, but the most convenient food is often unhealthy; the beautiful quinoa salads you see in magazines can feel like a hassle to make, especially if you have a busy schedule. It makes sense that the more difficult a task is, the less likely you are to do it. This is where good organisation comes in – getting everything you need ready ahead of schedule and having a clear guide can make the whole process easier and more convenient. A slow cooker is a useful investment, and can help you stick to your plan.

3. Do it with a friend
 
Everyone's willpower will fluctuate, it’s just human nature! Buddying up can be the perfect way to ensure that when your motivation’s low, there’s someone there to encourage you to keep going. If you want to increase how far you walk every day, organising dog walks in a new place with a friend can be a great way to keep it fun, and keep you committed. 

4. Understand your existing patterns, and use them

Smoking is perhaps the hardest bad habit of all to break, and it is the top priority when turning to a healthy new lifestyle. People tend to try ditching the cigs completely, but don’t think about how they'll be able to get through the most difficult times without them. If you always smoke after a meal, or perhaps before bed, expect that to be a time when you may need some extra help. At these times, have
an e-cigarette or meditate, and slowly that, rather than the cigarette, will become part of your daily routine. It’s a great way to ease yourself into a healthier habit without disrupting your schedule.
 
 
 
*This is a sponsored post.


Monday, 23 March 2015

Win Tickets to Geronimo Festival 2015

Do you remember back in January, I announced that I was an ambassador for the Geronimo Festival that is taking place in Tatton park on 23rd-25th May. Here is a little recap...

What is Geronimo Festival, you ask??  Well....

Geronimo Festival is a long weekend of family fun. It will be debuting on the May bank holiday which is Saturday 23rd -Monday 25th May. It will be taking place in Tatton Park, in Cheshire, (WA16 6NQ)  and is set to deliver an exciting programme of acts, amazing experiences and wonderful adventures, resulting in a fantastic family day out.
 
Festival Director Simon Goldman said: “As a father of seven, I know how hard it is to find quality days out that cater for the whole family.  With Geronimo, we’ve created a festival that’s going to keep the kids entertained all day long, and create memories that will last a lot longer."
The family friendly festival will be in zones...

The adrenaline Zone (High Octane, thrills and spills)

 The geronostage zone (Main stage entertainment)  .

The 3ft and under zone (Big fun for the little ones).

The groovy zone (Lets get bopping)

The funky junk zone (Creative workshops galore

The circus zone (Big top entertainment

 

You can see my original post with some of the line ups, and more detail here.... We are super excited.


Well, I have now got the amazing chance to give one lucky family the chance to win their very own tickets for the date of their choice.

If you don't want to leave it to chance to get your tickets, you can purchase them at http://www.geronimofest.com/

If you would like to try your luck at winning, please enter below.... hope to see you there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Best Hangover Cure Ever!

This weekend just gone, saw us meet up with some good friends who we have known for many years. Due to the distance, we don't see each other often, so when we do, we like to make an occasion of it, and yes, most of the time, alcohol comes out the cupboard when the girlies are in bed!
 
Who doesn’t like a little drink on the weekend? The problem is the morning after especially if you have to go to work or have young children that need a parent to get them bathed, dressed, make the meals etc.
If you’ve woken up with a hangover and need a quick fix to get you back on your feet we’ve got the best hangover cure in juice form for you.
Don’t worry you don’t need much other than a blender, food processor or juicer and some ingredients most people will have in the fridge or pantry.

 
Ingredient list

  • 4 oranges
  • 1 piece of ginger (thumb size or less)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lime

Oranges, lots of oranges!


 Ever noticed if you have a hangover orange juice is one of the first things you reach for in the fridge? Citrus juice is a great cure for a hangover and the vitamin C is your body’s way of looking to replenish much needed vitamins.
 Take 4 oranges, yes 4 cut them up to a thumb size piece, leave the skin on if you have a cold press juicer such as the Oscar NEO DA 1000 http://www.vitality4life.co.uk/oscar-neo-1000/ that thing will crush anything you put in it’s way.
If you have a more standard blender or food processor unless it’s heavy duty you will probably need to peel them first unless you like a lot of pulp.

Who doesn’t love a bit of ginger?


Well if you don’t normally eat ginger, we seriously recommend you give it a go. It wakes your taste buds right up and will get your metabolism working fast.
Carrots are a great source of juice believe it or not and cheap too plus nearly everyone has carrots in their house. Not frozen or tinned ones though that won’t work ;-)
An apple a day keeps the hangover at bay – you got it just as the doctor said cut up an apple and chuck that in too.
1 lime is all it takes to give this juice a real kick, again roughly chop and pop in your juicer.
 
Drink it all up and you’ll feel better in no time. A good tip is to do this before you go out drinking.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Up on the cloud

When we moved to East Cheshire, just under a year ago, my dream was always to do country walks with the girlies, with a packed lunch, exploring everywhere around us. This hasn't really happened, and instead, we have been travelling further afield to national trust paces. Which are fab. But has left our countryside on our doorstep, untouched. Yesterday, I just had the urge to go for a walk, but wanted something a little challenging, but something that S could still do too. A little Google search later, I stumbled across a walk that started just 1.5miles from home. It was 2.54miles long, so a suitable distance for S, who seems to be walking more and more each time, but a little more challenging as it wasn't flat. The walk if you are interested, and in the area, can be found here.  Daddy also came along for the walk. So off we went armed with a picnic, making the most of the blue skies, spring is bringing with it. We started on quiet country roads, looking at the amazing houses, in such an idyllic location....
 
 
...and then climbed, very muddy, step steps, with a few little slips from S, they don't look that steep here, but closer to the top, I couldn't look down... when we got to the top, we realised we could of avoided these steps, and walked around them... whoops...

 
On the top, S was more then happy, as she could run free.... she noticed we were in the woods, and told Daddy she likes the woods, and off she ran...
 
 
It soon got a little more rocky, and she needed a balancing hand again... I was pleased that we no longer needed the pushchair, as I would of found it extremely difficult here, no matter how "off road" it is....
 

....We then came across the sign, that reassured us we were on the correct path.. yeay!!

 
Along the muddy up hill path through the woods, S spotted a lady bird, and made a beeline for it... the ladybird had other ideas though, and flew off, much to S's disappointment.

 
She was then on the hunt for more insects, and more importantly, a wand, as apparently all fairies, need wands...

 
After the woods, we emerged on to the common, with much bigger rocks to climb, to help keep the path together, there was one in particular that S actually had to climb...  and then she broke into song "she'll be coming around the mountain when she comes..." that was our theme tune this hike/walk.  She also found it really interesting, that the national trust men, were moving a really big boulder with poles across the common...


We, eventually hit the summit...  it was very busy on top, as a walking group were having their lunch, and had the same idea as us. The sky was still blue, and it was calm, perfect picnic weather watching the world go by.... its a shame it was so hazy, but we could still pick places out... if it was clear, we could see 360 degrees....

 
S wasn't interested in her picnic, she was too interested in telling some dogs not to eat her sarnies...


 
After our picnic, it was time to start the walk back down, so we wouldn't be late in picking J up from school. There was still plenty of views to be seen...


...and special spells to turn everyone pink, to be made.... a perfect spot for casting magic spells....

 
When it came to our first stile, S decided to climb under, rather then going over. She is so independent, its unreal...

 
...and said hello to some sheep... it was nice to see a farmer had sectioned off the right of way to keep us away from the live stock.... I am petrified of walking in fields with cows. The theme tune then turned to baa baa black sheep...

 
S then needed a little loo break, and wanted to play with a fallen tree, it was great lighting, but she refused to do a nice pose, instead, this was the best I got... BUT she is smiling...

 
We then came back along the path that we started on, and whoosh, she was gone....

 
After the country roads and having to hold hands again, we then opened up on to some grass by the car park, she put on a little dancing show, using a drain cover as a stage, and then asked if we could go home, I thought we had finally tired her out...

 
Then, she saw the huge pile of stones in the car park, and she wanted to play again... queue the "she's coming around the mountain...." whilst she climbed up, and ran down, time and time again...




 
Before leaving with a huge pile of stones for her "collection" of course...   It was lovely to have a walk at S's pace, and have the 2:1 quality time with her, away from phones, TV's and computers. Enjoying the great outdoors.... We shall be doing this walk again, especially as once J found out, she was very upset, that we didn't take her out of school so she could come with us... that's a day ticked off for the Easter holidays then...
 
Do you have any walks with great views near you?
 
 
 
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Binky Linky

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Fabulous Partyware

A few weeks ago we were asked if we wanted to review some items from Fabulous Partyware. J's birthday is in October, and S's was in January, so we didn't really have any more parties, as such. However, J was really wanting another get together with her school friends one day after school. So we decided to have them over for tea. Four extra girlies, plus my two....and a little brother.  I did not fancy that washing up, so fabulous partyware, came to the rescue with cups, plates, napkins, cupcake cases and a craft activity for them.
 
 
There was no reference to party, in the little bird told me range. However, it was pink, and very girly. The girls loved it.
I was really bad, and heated up chicken nuggets, chips and I managed to burn a pizza. However, it went down very well with all the little guests. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough chairs for them all, so an indoor picnic it was, in front of Barbie of course.
 
 
One of the mums offered to help clear up... thanks to Fabulous Party ware, all that meant was opening up the bin. So no stressful cleaning up afterwards. Yeay. The plates were very thick for paper plates, and the cups didn't crumple with cup after cup of juice. The napkins came in handy for a few spillages as well as for messy fingers. The quality was nice to see with party ware.
 
There was too many children to makes cakes, and they were far to hyper, preferring to have a disco in J's room, with no adults aloud, so we kept the cake making and craft idea for another day. .. today however, the crafts came out with S.
 
The craft idea was making a fairy or a dragon out of spoons. These would make great favours in a party bag. They look fab, with everything including apart from glue, and a colouring pen, all in their own packet. (instructions were also included)
 

S loved gluing the felt pieces on the dragon....


Whilst mummy completed the fairy, so the dragon had another spoon person to play with...

 
The final spoon pieces look pretty good if I do say so myself...  they would be perfect for a pirate and princess party, or princesses and knights etc....

 
We all know its the little things that make a party great...  and these would certainly help set a party, or help fill a party bag.  If you follow Fabulous Partyware on twitter, they do sometimes offer special codes too...  whilst your there, don't forget to follow me too here.
 
 
 
 
We're going on an adventure

Monday, 16 March 2015

Coronation Street Tour

Last week I got an email inviting me along to the Coronation Street tour. If I am honest, I haven't loyally watched it in over 10 years, since I moved out of home with my parents. My mum still enjoys watching the show now, and occasionally on visits, I get to see parts. I was interested in seeing how its done, and seeing all the props... with breakfast to sweeten the deal, not that it needed any sweetening.

 

The Coronation street tour is in the centre of Manchester, in Castlefield. It is easily accessible by bus from the centre, or by driving, with a large car park within a few minutes walk.
We were allowed to do a little bit more exploring then others on the tours, and actually allowed to get hands on, and step behind the tape... I had great fun weighing out sweets in the Kabin, drinking champers in Carla's "old" apartment, and walking down the stairs in the Platt's house.

 
After our own exploring, we were back on the "official" tour, that is run every 10 minutes. This is where we got all the facts, we got so many facts, some have disappeared into my thoughts and haven't been found again yet... I was amazed that it took 6 weeks to plan a set, another 6 weeks to build it, they would then do a block of filming, and then take it all down again so they could reuse the space for another set that was needed.... an example can be seen from the paint on the floor.. wood effect for Carla's flat, and the blue and yellow from the Kabin.
 
 
We were also shown all the dressing rooms, pictures of all the stars throughout the show, and the wardrobe.
 
We were then in the Rovers, where we got our picture taken behind the bar, these can be purchased as part of the tour, as your not allowed to take pictures inside the studio.
 
 
 
After the Rovers, we were straight into Under World, and checking out some of the other sets, like the Canal boat from the "affair" scenes back in 2009 and the Duckworth's with Jacks famous bar, that I even remember from all those years ago, plus THE chair... and poor Hayley's coffin made out of cardboard....
 
 
After all the sets, we were led through the editing room, which still has the Christmas decorations up from when the production team left that December, and never returned, instead going to Media City where it is now filmed in Salford Quays. It feels eerie but its a nice touch.... everything remains, except a few modern hi-tech gadgets, which they took with them...
 
 
It was then out onto the cobbles..... I was glad I wasn't wearing my boots, and instead my comfortable trainers...  this is where the public can now take their own photos, and roam at their leisure, exploring and posing, was great seeing some loyal fans re-enact scenes for their own cameras...
 
 
 
The tour has just been given confirmation that it can stay open until the end of the year, but any time after is uncertain. So, if your in Manchester, and looking for something a little different, or wanting to surprise someone as a gift, why not check the Coronation Street tour out. Tickets are £16.50 per adult, but will be rising to £17 on the 1st April. You can book your tickets here.
 
For children, they have a find the Meerkats in the sets, can you spot one in the Rovers pictures above?
 
If you wanted to make a day of it, check out our review of Annies afternoon tea, which is run by "Fizz" from Corrie.
Family Fever