Thursday, 20 November 2014

Fireman Sam's New Ocean rescue

Join Fireman Sam for the launch of the new Ocean Rescue Centre in Pontypandy. There is a new coast guard called Ben who is going to be working alongside the rest of the team to keep everyone safe on the high seas.

We were invited along to meet Sam in London and watch the new DVD. We went on a speed boat along the Thames and it was a really great experience which the kids loved. Both of my little ones were really shy at first and didn't want to go near Sam but they soon warmed to him and by the end, George was picking on Sam, trying to take things out of his pockets and generally being a cheeky monkey.


You can buy the new Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue [DVD] from Amazon for around £8.78

I have 2 copies of the DVD to give away just complete the Gleam form below to enter, Good luck! 


Skimlinks Test

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Great Outdoors is Closing In



FAMILIES EXPLORING THE GREAT OUTDOORS HAS DROPPED BY A THIRD IN ONE GENERATION


·         British parents say getting outdoors as a family is ‘stressful’
·         Report reveals the more children you have, the less time you spend outside
·         Parents are nervous about their children’s safety while outdoors

The UK’s families are a nation of home nesters as new research reveals that 60 per cent of parents prefer to spend quality time with their children at home rather than going out together. The Family Time report*, commissioned by child mobility experts, Britax, explores family lifestyles and adventures in the UK and shows that families are spending 33 per cent less time outdoors than they did in their own childhoods.

Whilst 65 per cent of the 2,000 parents surveyed agree that family time outside is fun, almost one in five (18%) families labelled it as ‘stressful’ with a further 41 per cent worrying about their children’s safety when they are outdoors.  

With the dark evenings and winter gales now in full swing, the unpredictable British weather is a key factor for families staying at home for over 50 per cent of parents (54%). Other challenges to family outdoor freedom include:

·         High costs: 63 per cent say the cost of family days out limit quality time together out of the home
·         Time: 35 per cent say the time it takes to prepare and leave the house with children is a deterrent
·         Equipment: Almost a quarter (25%) cite the amount of equipment needed (pushchairs, changing bags, bottles etc) as a de-motivator to heading outside
·         Housework: Balancing household chores and family life is a major factor for 27 per cent of parents
·         Tantrums: 22 per cent say the fear of their children throwing tantrums in public tends to keep them inside for family time.

I   I have to admit that I agree with some of those statistics above especially the time and the tantrums, well more challenging behaviour rather than tantrums for us, I have 4 children and it chaos trying to go anywhere all together but we get there in the end and we never seem to leave the house that early for a day out which can be frustrating if you are going to a place that needs the whole day to explore.  Once we are out we usually have a great time, there are the odd occasions where everyone ends up with the hump and we all go home moody but that very rarely happens as its good to get fresh air and exercise and this always lifts our spirits.

Despite the deterrents, 61 per cent of parents still recognise that getting out with their children is important in terms of building memories with their family,  with activities like family holidays (47%), days out with the family (15%) and playing outdoors with friends (25%) topping the list of the best memories from their own childhoods.

Family life specialist Dr Pat Spungin commentsWhilst spending quality time at home together is still incredibly valuable for any family, powerful life long memories can be made by discovering new things together outdoors.

“But it’s not always easy. This research shows how families feel the odds are really against them when it comes to getting outdoors, but there are some really simple steps that parents can take to make the process much simpler and more stress free. Whilst excursions and theme parks can be expensive, don’t underestimate the value of simply taking a walk out in the park with the children. You’ll all get some fresh air and will have lots of fun in the process.”

Dr Pat Spungin has created a series of expert tips at http://babyonboard.britax.co.uk/en designed to help minimise the stress of getting out together as a family.

More children, more challenges...


The Family Time report shows a direct correlation in the number of children in a family and the amount of time spent together outside. Whilst 40 per cent of families with one child say they try to go out to the park together each weekend, this decreases to 33 per cent for families with three children.  Over half (56%) of parents with three children said they rarely try something new at the weekends and prefer to stay at home.

The probability of watching TV together as a family also increases with the number of children in the family. Only one out of five (20%) families with one child watch TV all together at the weekends versus 30 per cent for a two child family and 38 per cent for three children – almost double the amount of one child families.

The report found that families in East Anglia dedicate the most amount of time outdoors together, followed by Wales and the North West. Northern Ireland was revealed as the region that spends the least amount of time outdoors as a family.**

“We believe that becoming a parent is really about becoming yourself and that every family has the right to live their life to the full” comments Amy Voller, Brand Director EMEA from Britax. “We understand how challenging this can be for modern families however so are committed to making travelling and exploring with children as easy, safe and as stress free as possible. That’s why we will always go far beyond what’s required and won’t stop until we’ve achieved the safest travel solutions for outdoor family adventures.”

How often do get outside with your kids? and what are your best tips for getting out and about with lots of little people? 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Hair-ee Spring Magno-Z Characters

Hair-ee Spring Magno-Z Characters


These springy little toys have been a great hit with all 4 of my children. Ranging from 15 down to 2 years old, they have all been instantly attracted to them as soon as they saw them. 


They come in 6 different colours and not only are they springy but they also have have 4 magnets, 1 at the end of each arm and leg meaning you can stick them to things or each other and have fun thinking of ways you can use them. Bracelets, hair decorations or they could be stuck to a bike or scooter, which in my opinion is a great way for your little one to take a toy out with them and not lose it because it attaches easily to any metal surface.  If we walk anywhere my little man takes his scooter as he gets worn out quicker if he walks, he takes his Magno-Z character out with him and they stay in place the whole time. They keep him entertained if I have any bits to do while we are out and he has fun trying to make them stick to things where ever we go. 
Suitable for ages 3 and above they come in six different colours and nine different characters and there are 50 to collect. Each character has a different name and personality. They are great pocket money toys priced at around £3.99 but you can buy a pack of 2 from Amazon for £5.99

With Christmas coming up these would make the perfect stocking filler or any child, mine have had great fun playing with them and have gone back to them time and time again, G takes his to bed with him at night time. Even the dog took a liking to them and stole one! 

We were thinking of things we could make with them and here is what we came up with, some we tried and some we are yet to try...
Bunting, belts, bracelets, hair accessories, bike or scooter decorations, decorate your own tin, wrap them around a jar and put a tea light inside (with adult supervision of course!) or around a plant pot and of course they can be used on the fridge, great for entertaining them while you are trying to cook.

I have some of these to give away, 2 lucky winners will each receive 3 Magno-Z characters and in time for Christmas too. Just complete the Gleam form below






Magno -Z

We were sent these as part of an ambassador programme in exchange for this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Did I Tell You How Proud My Son Makes Me?

Did I Tell You How Proud My Son Makes Me?


Well if not, the answer is so proud I could burst. He has had plenty of challenges already in his young life with having Aspergers and ADHD. Not being diagnosed until he was in senior school because nobody would listen or seemed to care that he is different, my own family included, thinking I was talking rubbish or just trying to put a label on my son, brushing me off with a patronising "oh he's fine!".
He even went through an assessment and was also brushed off by two different health professionals. 
We finally got an appointment for a new assessment, the lady sat and listened to him and understood that he felt different to everybody else, he came out with a beaming smile just because someone other than me had acknowledged him and the way he felt. When he had talked of ending his own life because of his own frustration and anger at being bullied and not being able to communicate properly this was a massive step for us that would change his life forever.
He never made friends at school and was bullied for years, not being able to deal with it properly or even stand up for himself, it broke my heart sending him to school everyday, he never found any interests outside of school, he would just collect things and play with Lego. Not seeing any emotion from him was the hardest thing to deal with because it was so hard to understand 

It started off with Scouts, he loves being outdoors and so we thought this would be a good way to get him interested in something. Another heart breaking approach, the group nearest to us were quite ignorant to our situation so we approached another group. I am a believer in the saying "everything happens for a reason". The leader of his group was brilliant about it and soon had him joining in everything that was going on, he won every shooting competition whilst he was there and has an amazing shot. Then he progressed to Army Cadets, I wasn't keen at first having had first hand experience of the Army and knowing how bullying is just known as banter but I guess when they have children in their care things are different. In the space of a year,  have a different son, he has made friends, he quite often goes out to meet up with them and goes on camps regularly with Cadets. He has passed all sorts of courses from first aid to shooting, radio communications and various other Army related subjects. He has progressed from basic to passing his 1 star and is now training towards his 2 star and last night at the annual inspection he was promoted to Lance Corporal. He was awarded his stripe by the Colonel who was doing the inspection. I am so proud of him right now, he has a permanent smile on his face which is so amazing to see and writing this makes me see even more how far he has come despite the challenges he has been dealt.



I am sure he will succeed in his career choice and although you may think it will be the Army from what I have said, it's not he wants to be a fire fighter and is also doing a Public Services course along side his GCSE's to enable him to progress to the next level when he leaves school next year. He totally amazes me, he is a star! He has travelled a long road and achieved so much already.


Romanian Mum

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Magical Halloween Fun With Tree Fu Tom - Toms Big Spell



DVD on sale from Monday 6th October

Travel with Tom to Treetopolis for Seven Magical Stories

Tom and his Treetopolis friends are back for more spell-binding, action-packed adventures! When Tom's trip to Spell School ends in magical mayhem he needs your help
Young children are set to be spell-bound this Halloween with magical stories from pre-school super hero Tree Fu Tom in the brand new DVD Tom’s Big Spell which is released on Monday 6th October.

The hit CBeebies show is set in the enchanted world of Treetopolis where movement creates magic and viewers are encouraged to join in the fun and interact with the show through physical actions.

Tom appears to be a normal eight-year-old boy but when he puts on his magic belt and performs a special sequence of movements (known as Tree Fu) he transforms into a tiny but mighty, magical super-hero. Children are all encouraged to join in the Tree Fu magic moves.
In the DVD Tom is off to the castle for an exciting day at Spell School with Treetog. A drop of Magic Motion Potion brings some familiar objects to life but Tom finds the new spell quite hard to master. A flying book, a naughty broomstick and Zigzoo’s wagon run riot around Treetopolis when they become enchanted. Tom needs you to help him perform Big World Magic to restore calm to Treetopolis.


Title: Tree Fu Tom: Tom's Big Spell



Release date: Monday 6 October

Format: DVD

Certificate: U


 I have one copy to give away, you can enter by using the Gleam widget below. Good luck!





Hello Kitty Celebrates Her 40th Anniversary at Hamleys

MEET HELLO KITTY & CELEBRATE HER 40TH ANNIVERSARY!
Beloved icon Hello Kitty will be celebrating her 40th anniversary by spreading happiness and hugs in London’s iconic Hamleys store.
Since 1974, Hello Kitty has been spreading kindness all over the world, and in 2014 she’s been celebrating her big anniversary and giving hugs across the globe.
Now in London, Hello Kitty will be marking her 40th anniversary celebration through the global hug-a-thon at Hamleys, on Saturday 1st of November between 12pm and 4pm.
Hello Kitty will also be unveiling a very special, life size cake complete with an edible ruby bow! Come along with all your friends to have a slice of the delicious cake, and have a hug with Hello Kitty on her special day.
Date: Saturday 1st of November
Time: 12pm – 4pm, big cake unveiling at 1pm
Address: 2nd Floor, Hamleys, 188-196 Regent Street, W1B 5BT

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Stokke Scoot, the Perfect Stroller

As you may have guessed that I love a pushchair, I don't just write about the things that people send me for review, if I find something that I love that I think others will love too then that inspires me to write about it.

Stokke have an amazing range of baby products and my love for the brand first started when I bought a second hand Tripp Trapp for my third baby, I wish I had discovered them sooner! Easy to clean and sturdy, never has it tipped over and it is still going strong on the 4th child, child number 3 never really wanted to pass it over so we had to get a second one, the children love them and the fact that they grow with your child, I have often been found perching on it when I can't get to another seat, how many high chairs have you seen that can seat an adult, exactly... None!

Anyway onto the purpose of this post...

Finally a stroller that not only is parent facing, the seat unit is fixed higher up so you can have more interaction with your child.

The first thing I look for when shopping for a pushchair or stroller is one that faces me, I love being able to hear what my child is saying to me and being able to respond to them immediately instead of asking them what they said 10 times over. Most pushchairs that are parent facing are the bigger ones that can be travel systems or just the heavier bulkier pushchairs.
I must say I have struggled to find a good quality stroller that ticks the boxes for me.
We walk a lot, not only for the school run but on dog walks, to the woods, the beach, a river, we get around and finding the right set of wheels is a massive thing for me, I guess its like men and their cars really.



 As you can see my husband is happy pushing it too, the handle height can be adjusted really easily, he likes the handle to be higher up than me as he is taller.

The lie flat position is pictured and look you can still get really good access to the basket, another big plus in my opinion. Its a really great size too, there are also clips to attach your changing bag to the stroller, Stokke really do think of the the little things that matter, I always worry about someone snatching my bag if I am not carrying it, well if I am travelling in London on the tube for instance, not if I am walking in the woods.
My little girl loves being in there, she looks very comfortable with plenty of head room.

Another thing that I look for when buying a pushchair is the footrest, its important that my child is comfortable and can easily make use of the footrest when needed, this one is also adjustable and has 2 different positions and can be moved to the front or back of the frame, whichever way you have the seat unit facing. The clips are also easy enough for me to use with being able to put one side in at a time and not fiddly at all, great if you have a tantrum on your hands because who can hold a child in position and clip both straps in at once? Although my little one isn't too bad on this front so far, I know I shouldn't speak to soon, there is always time for this to change!  As you can see the height of the straps is also adjustable and they are well padded for comfort.


The brake is a simple clip you push down to activate and then back up again to release, it works brilliantly and I am more than happy with it.

The hood stays in place really well and has a bit at the front that can be flipped out or tucked in depending on how much the sun is shining. 

This is also a pushchair that almost impossible to tip over, I don't really hang bags on the handle but I can lean on it with my full weight against it and it won't tip back, at all, this has made handling kerbs a little harder but that hasn't really bothered me that much in favour of the safety of my child and knowing she is staying put. 

There is a new updated version of the Scoot available that has some lovely upgrades, the wheels being one, I prefer big wheels for some reason, maybe because of the multi terrain that we travel on and I think those new wheels would improve the kerb handling, making for the perfect stroller. You can view the new improved version on the Stokke website and see the other changes that have been made.

Overall I really love the Scoot and I highly recommend Stokke as a brand that I really trust with the safety of my child. 



 


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