Friday, 31 July 2015

Summer Holidays and School work

I don't know about you but when it's the Summer Holidays I always struggle to get Kira to do any type of school work, whether it be, reading, writing or maths.

Did you know that teachers spend 4-6 weeks after they have gone back to school reteaching them forgotten material.

Here is 5 tips to keep your child learning through the Summer Holidays from Tutorfair

1. Play not work

Summer learning should be fun. Whether you're educating your children by yourself, or enlisting the help of a nanny or tutor, take the lessons outside the classroom and discover activities that your child will enjoy. Find out about next year’s curriculum; just hearing about a topic in advance helps pupils to learn it quickly in the classroom. Create a treasure hunt with subject-specific clues – this has the added advantage of keeping them occupied for some time, depending on how tricky the questions are!

2. Riveting Reading

Harris Cooper found that the poorest children lose the most reading skills, while those better off actually improved over the summer. The long summer break can be an opportunity for children to discover reading. Studies have shown that reading four to five books over the summer has a positive impact (comparable to attending summer school!) and on average students lose 2 months of reading skills over the summer.

Be inventive; even the most reluctant reader just needs the right trigger!
For the tech-savvy paper-phobic child you could purchase a family e-reader, or take a trip to your local library and encourage your child to choose books that she or she is interested in. You could also try the Summer Reading Challenge, which rewards children with stickers and certificates for free! (My girls are starting this, this weekend.)

3. Marvellous Maths

Adapt recipe quantities while cooking to familiarise children with dividing, multiplying and using fractions. These questions crop up everywhere from primary school to GCSE Maths. When your 6-year-old asks, again, how long till his best friend arrives: ask him to work out the time in hours and minutes (or days and hours, depending on how early the excitement starts to build…) Young children find time calculations a challenge, counting in a base of 60 instead of the normal 10s and 100s.

4. Whirlwind Writing

Long car journey? Encourage your children to pass the time telling stories, this will help develop their linguistic creativity as well as stopping them from pinching each other! You can even offer a prize for the best story.

Postcards are also a cheap and appealing way of getting a child to pen a few lines to a friend.

5. Summer Tuition


Children are remarkably good at learning in different environments with different people, and if you can afford some extra help, a tutor could be just what they need to inject some educational fun into the holidays.


This doesn't mean someone who will sit at home forcing algebra over the kitchen table! Most tutors are, by now, as fed up of painful exam-cramming as you and your children, and will be only too happy to rediscover the joy of learning over summer.

Try Tutorfair a website that helps you find the best tutors in your area, and for every student who pays, Tutorfair gives free tuition to a child who can’t.


*This is a Sponsored post*

Steampunk review by Kacy aged 9

Steampunk jewellery was a whole new thing to me, experimenting, in so many different ways. Keys, gears, chains and ribbons. You can make so many necklaces, bracelets and earrings, plus there are loads more to create. It only takes 10-30 minutes to make and maybe extra to dry, but either way, you'll never be bored in your freetime.

Loved the box it all came in, 
Steampunk jewellery even comes with a little tub, divided into parts to store everything that comes in the box. The instructions were very clear with pictures and diagrams.


I had such a great time creating. It comes with everything needed apart from a few things like scissors. The charms all look like mechanical objects, keys, gears and nuts. As well the jump rings which connect everything together are really simple, with a pair of blunt shears to open and close them.

The necklace and the earrings 


I had such fun making them. I still have some more to make and I expect I'll have tons of fun with them.

My favourite one 

You can buy these from Interplays website  RRP £19.99, I think this is good value for money and would be a perfect present.

*we were given this for my own honest review and photos.*


Monday, 27 July 2015

Sugar Bunny Zelf Review By Kacy Lawless

I don't have many toys. However, I do have a very big interest in zelfs. Sugar Bunny was my first dream zelf, so I was overjoyed when I found out she was coming!


She is my second zelf with an accessory, so I was even more excited then normal, I love Sugar Bunny's hair and since I have a zelf brush, I never get tired of styling it. There is a little shiny blue paw-shaped jewel on her chest, which I pretend is one of the precious gems of dreams. The imagination never ends. Her little crystal cloud tent is like a cloud inside, surprise! The small pink border and her paw symbol at the top.



Zelfs come in all different sizes but they are all the perfect size to fit in a bag and take anywhere. There is not a single one the same, Sugar Bunny has a bunny tail like the name suggests, but another Zelf of mine has no tail at all. No colour is boring , always vibrantly mixed. Shiny, sparkles and sequins. Loads to see.



You can go mad, sensible or both. Zelfs are so much fun, so go get yours!

*I was given this for my own honest views and photos*

Family Fever

Sunday, 26 July 2015

#MySundayPhoto






Walking Spirit 



This was Kacy and Kira first proper day of the Summer Holidays and Summers last day of preschool 





OneDad3Girls

Friday, 24 July 2015

The First Day of the Holidays

Kacy and Kira finished school on Friday, whereas Summer didn't finish until the following Tuesday, The Monday was just like a normal day, which meant that Nanna picked the girls up from our home at half eight, and then dropped Summer off at school and the older two children went to spend the day with Nanna.

On Tuesday, we dropped Summer of for her very last day at Preschool. The preschool have been amazing with Summer, when she first started last year, Summer barely said anything to anyone and when she did it was only somebody's name. Now she says a larger number of words, and is even putting sentences together, although she still gets embarrassed when ask her to say or repeat a new word. She has grown so much in a year.




After we had dropped Summer off, Kacy, Kira and I went into the woods to walk Spirit. Kacy & Kira finally stopped clinging to me, and went to go and explore the woods, they even climbed trees. Kacy did get stuck on a tree, which I had to go and rescue her from.  Spirit found some friends whilst walking. They were Jake, Ruben and some other dogs, that she soon became friends with.


I helped Kira climb up this tree and lifted her back down.

With it being a day with the older two, I wanted to go and do something different with them, I asked a friend, Christine (winwick mum) and her daughter, who is friends with Kacy, which we will call "F", if she fancied going formby beach so the girls could go exploring? The last time we went, I had to cut it short, I tried doing it, but it ended up with not having enough of me to go around,  but Christine found something much more fun to do.

We packed a picnic and warm clothes, which felt really weird with it being really warm. We then headed off to collect Christine and "F".  We then went to Chill Factore, Kacy, Kira and I have never been before, so it was exciting to go and see what it was all about.

We arrived and we decided to go in and see what else was on, they had a free taster of the rock climbing but we had no takers for it.  They had heart radio in doing free face paints, so all the girls got snowflakes painted on them.  We went upstairs to look at the snow and waste some time because we were rather early.




The girls asked if they could go on the balcony to feel how cold it was, luckily we had taken our coats in just incase but we weren't wrapped up.

Looking very cold after 2 minutes 
We headed back to the car to have our picnic, it was soon time for us to go in and have our go.  We got told where to go and what to get, we got our extra thick socks on, jumpers, coats, hats, gloves and a helmet.

It was a 20 minute walk around to be shown what they did and what they were planning to do and how it all worked, did you know each night the drop the temperature to -6 and they spray waters out of the jets which turns to snow, a whooping 16 tons of snow. 

It was then our turn to do a bit of sledding on a small hill we got 4-5 goes on it, on the last go Kira managed to fall off, but hasn't stopped her wanting to go back and have proper goes on everything. I think Kira might be my extreme sports child. 

It was definitely worth it, it was free which is always a bonus we got to see what they did before paying money out.  You have to book a time and they only do it on Tuesdays. 

We have got lots of other exciting things planned for the Summer holidays like:- Lots of playdates with friends that we don't often see, lots of exciting days out, Daddy being off for the week, Summer's 4th birthday (scarey), Summer is starting her speech therapy and Kira starting extra lesson to help with her school work. 

What have you got planned for the Summer holidays?


Beados Gems Design Studio Review


When the beados Gems Design Studio arrived, Kira was over the moon and couldn't wait to start making new things.  The Gems Design Studio was really easy to get out of the box and get it all setup ready for her to start making her first jewellery, that was the crown for her teacher.

Beados are the magic beads that join together with a spray of water, no glue no heat no mess


All set ready for her to make her Crown

I showed Kira how to use it, and assisted with the first couple of beads to show Kira what to do.  I then left her to do it, she then shouted me over because the bead wouldn't come out from the pen, I had to give it a shake, and it started working again, Kira carried on again and soon got stuck, this time it was due to the button at the top of the studio that pushes the beads down through the tube to the pen wasn't pushing them down, I moved the pen to the middle and twisted the beads.


It is a really good concept however there are some flaws, such as the beads getting stuck at the top or in the pen, There is nothing at the bottom to stop it moving so it slides around really easily, it could do with some rubber feet at the bottom to stop it moving, also because the bead tray doesn't hook to anything, if you or anyone else knocks the tray or the Design studio, all the beads go flying. This means starting again.
The water bottle leaked so I had to keep it empty until it was time to spray on to them. We found out the hard way because it leaked over night underneath the pattern and leaked all over the pattern and ruined it. 

Like I said it has some really good points to it.  you can keep all the beads in space so you don't have them lose every where. Easy to store and you leave your children to it to make there own Jewellery for them or as a present like Kira did. Kira had a fun making them maybe a slightly older child, who has more patience would be able to do it without knocking it flying. The more Kira used the Beado Gem the better she became at it making things quickly and knowing how to sort it out if the beads got stuck herself.  

The ones Kira chose to make. 
The Design Studio is suitable from 4+ and it retails at £19.99


*we got given the product for our own honest view and photos*


Family Fever

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Horrible Histories

Last weekend we were invited to the Imperial War Museum in Manchester to see the new exhibition Horrible Histories Blitzed Brits, we asked Nanna to have Summer so we could spend some one on one time with Kacy and Kira.  We arrived slightly early and got welcomed into a room and got to do some colouring in whist we waited for the rest of the families to turn up.  The staff asked the girls question to find out what they knew about the war, Kira wasn't to sure and Kacy answered all of them correctly.

Right to Left- Just before we went in and the girls colouring in. 

 We were then shown to the room which was just up the stairs, very well signed posted.  The room was very welcoming and very exciting, Kira charged off not really looking at anything, to look at everything. So I had a quick chat with her to calm her down and let her know that we would see everything that was there.

They had loads to look at, videos to watch, things to try, dress up, loads to learn. I could tell you loads of what we did, it would give it all away so why not go yourself its definitely worth the morning or afternoon trip out.

I liked the fact they had work books for the children meaning they had to find information out do tasks and get a letter from each station to make up a word at the end, meaning they were taking everything in.

Setting up their work books 

They had loads of items from the war including toys that children would of recieved for christmas, how food was rationed, if they didn't have a shelter outside what they would do with their dining room table. how they went to the toilet which made the girls laugh.

Some of my pictures 

They got to see what how it was like in a blackout, they got the milk a cow, dress up, play a game to see where you would go if you were a child who was sent to the countryside, listen to people's stories on the phone, watch videos of children getting on the train.

Watching the video of what it is like to be leaving your mum to go to the country, listening to real life stories and a game to see where you would end up 

The cows had to be painted to be able to see them, the girls milking the cow.

Daddy even joined in dressing up. 


Hopefully I haven't given to much away, here is Kacy and Kira's favorite part of the museum.

Kira:- My favourite part was the room to learn about how they lived at christmas and how they cooked in the war.

Kacy:- looking at the ration books and seeing what they could eat and what they couldn't, also the food they could throw away and what they couldn't.

The horrible history blitzed brits is on till April 2016 and it really is worth a trip over.

*we were given the first look for our own honest views and photos*

Brewers Faye

We were invited to the new opening of the children's play area the Brewers Faye  Burleydam in the Wirral.

We went in the afternoon for tea, the staff were so friendly and welcoming. We were the first ones to arrive, so we got the choice of where we wanted to sit.  You could either sit in the play area and eat or just outside of the room, the first thing I noticed was that the play area was in a separate area to the rest of the restaurant so other guests who didn't have children didn't have to worry about the noise, which I thought was fantastic.


The layout of the play area was brilliant, they had a section for toddlers, a big section that even Kacy enjoyed it at the age of 9. They had a tv room with different episodes of denis the menace on, colouring activities and with it being a reopening they had someone doing face painting.  The play area is £3 for 90 minutes, which I thought was really reasonable and especially cos you can stay and eat in there too.


The bean bags they had in the TV room and toddler area were brilliant for seating on. 

After Kira got her fix of the play area and before there was a queue, Kira went and got her face painted, one of the staff showed her where she was and helped her pick what she was having done, it took a while to convince Kacy to have her face painted but she had it done before we ate. Summer was happy with the wristband she got and some juice.

So much detail in the face paint and it took the lady minutes to do amazing. 

Then it was time to meet Denis the Menace, if you know my youngest you will know she is terrified of people in costumes, so we did get a fair few tears, it wasn't just once he came in he came in 4-5 times throughout the visit which I thought was really good, giving the children plenty of time to meet Denis, he even got into the play area with the children.  The staff were so patient with the children especially the ones that were unsure or scared, it took Summer an hour after him coming in and out of the room before she would go up and speak to him, then he started doing high fives with the all the children which amused them for 10 minutes

Girls meeting Denis the Menace 

Then it was time for tea, the staff asked everyone to sit down and to be patient with them due to the amount of people there, which was a lot more then I think they were expecting.

The food came, it all looked really well presented and was delicious, the girls loved the fact that they got denis the menace paper under there food. 

Left to right- Macaroni and cheese, Chicken and Chips, Pizza. 

Daddy had the burger I had smothered chicken.

Chocolate Fudge Cake, Lemon Meringue and the girls had Cookies with ice cream  

We all had a fantastic afternoon, we are hoping they redo our Brewers faye in Winwick, because we would definitely go again.

*we got given food and entry for free for an honest review and own pictures*





Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Dangerous of carbon monoxide on Holiday

Did you know 1 in 2 of us are in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning? 

New research reveals that millions of families are unknowingly taking risks with their lives, exposing themselves to carbon monoxide gas leaking from gas cookers, BBQs and heaters used inside their tent or caravan.

Gas safety champion CORGI HomePlan is campaigning for greater awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide facing campers and caravanners as they head off on summer holidays.


They survey of 2,000 holidaymakers by CORGI HomePlan revealed a worrying lack of understanding about the risk that campers and caravaners are taking, using appliances that emit the deadly fumes in confined spaces. 45% of people cook in their tent or awning, one in five have used a fuel burning appliance to heat their tent and a staggering 17% of people have brought a charcoal or gas BBQ inside the tent.


Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas created when fuel doesn't burn properly. Undetectable by smell, sight or taste it can quickly spread in a confined area.  A quarter of people who were surveyed thought they could smell it, where 1 in 10 believed you can taste it. Almost one in two do not know how the gas is created.

So here is the top tips for CO awareness:-

·   Don’t use a barbecue inside a tent, awning, caravan or motorhome. The smouldering coals of a barbecue release poisonous carbon monoxide (CO), which can kill
·      Never use a barbecue as a heater. Barbecues should be for outside use only
·      Remember - barbecues give off carbon monoxide during use, and may continue to do so for some while after use. Do not move a barbeque into a confined space until it is extinguished and has cooled down. NEVER use a lit or extinguished (but still warm) barbeque as a source of heating in a tent or awning
·      Don't cook inside your tent or awning as there may be inadequate ventilation and there's also the risk of fire
·      Always ensure there is adequate ventilation when using the caravan/motorhome cooker
·      Check there are no obstructions covering ventilators
· Never use a gas, petrol or diesel-powered generator inside a caravan, motorhome, tent or awning
·  Don't use any other fuel burning appliances inside a tent or awning such as a refrigerator, gas-powered heaters, lamps etc.
·   It is vitally important to have gas appliances serviced and tested annually
·   A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm is a good idea. Choose a 'Type B' alarm that complies with the BS EN 50291 standard, and install it1-3m (measured horizontally) from any potential source of carbon monoxide, but not directly above a source of heat or steam

For some more information please see the Corgi Website 

*we got given a free item for our own photos*
  




Sunday, 5 July 2015

All My Secrets book review by Kacy Lawless age 9


I love reading, I have been reading since I learnt to read but always looked and loved have a book read to me. When Mummy said I had a new book All My Secrets I wasn't sure, it's not a book I would have chosen for myself out of choice. This new book was a challenge to follow because it is a 12+ and I'm not used to books on this sort of topic.



I had never heard of Sophie Mckenzie but for the first book by her I loved it. I finished it in 2 days, not being able to put it down. It had an outstanding plot twist, where two of the most unsuspected characters work together but I won't say anymore so that you can read it without knowing the end. Evie our main character who starts with one problem to begin with, when she is left a £10 million. Trusting her Dad, her Uncle Gavin and her 'Mum' she goes to Lightsea to calm down after the shocking truth.

Where Mr Lomax comes into the picture, when Evie suddenly comes to the conclusion that maybe the truth she knows about the big secret isn't the truth, but as everyone knows you should NEVER jump to conclusions. She also meets Pepper, Anna, Kit, Josh, Samuel and Miss Bunnock, and yes two of them may or may not be the unsuspecting characters.

It is full of such adventure so if you're bored, don't hesitate to read it you feel like you're right next to
Evie!  

You can win your own free copy of All My Secrets by entering my giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was given a free copy for my own honest review and photos*






Saturday, 4 July 2015

Eisberg Non alcoholic wine

I really didn't like wine, I had tried all sorts and just couldn't stand the taste, but while pregnant with Summer I craved it, not a good thing to crave while pregnant.  After having Summer I started trying wines again, I soon found Rose wine to be my favourite, my preference is the Gallo Family the white Zinfandel or White Grenache.

I got offered to review a bottle of Non alcoholic wine, so I thought why not.  I got given 3 choices, but none of them were Rose,  so I stepped out of my comfort zone and thought I would try the White Chardonnay.  I received the wine really quickly.


Chardonnay Wine only 26 Kcal

It did get put on the side for a good couple of days for the perfect time to try it, the perfect day came when a really good friend came to visit from France, she loves her wines but with breastfeeding she told me she is missing have her glass of wine with her tea and having to wait for the baby who is 9 months old now to go to bed before she can have a glass, her Father in law had got her to try loads of different wines since being in France.   We both wanted a cold drink but not the diet coke, which I had sent Daddy out for earlier, that's when it popped in my head about the Non Alcoholic wine that I had put in the fridge the night earlier.

We got it out, my friend had a good look at the bottle and told me she had never heard of the wine and saying she has drank a fair bit of non alcoholic wine she was surprised. I got two wine glasses down, and poured half a glass each, we sat back in the living room with the children, so we had the cups of coffee/tea the glasses of diet coke now on to the wine.

You can see my friends glass through mine. 

I really didn't think I would like this wine, but I was very surprised when I tried it, It still had the nice taste of Chardonnay without the horrible aftertaste that I find when I do drink white wine.  It smelt really nice as well, which I wasn't expecting, it was a really refreshing wine, the biggest bonus of the wine it hasn't got all the calories you would find in normal white wine, it has 34 Kcal a glass. This is perfect for family parties, designated drivers, or for a midweek drink without the bad head the next day.

You can use the Chardonnay wine for making a mocktail which I was going to do, but we drank it all, whoops, so here the recipe so when you buy the wine you can have a go. 

Ingredients:
1OOml Eisberg Alcohol-Free Chardonnay
Cubed ice
Juice of ½ a lemon

1 tsp vanilla sugar
Cranberry juice

To Garnish:
Strawberry
Orange Slice


Method:
Add 100ml of alcohol-free Chardonnay to an ice-filled wine glass.
Add the juice of ½ a lemon, 1 tsp of vanilla sugar and a splash of cranberry juice.
Garnish with a strawberry and a slice of orange


The website for the Eisberg wine is here 


*I got given a free bottle of wine for my own honest review and pictures*