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Children's Books Product Reviews

Review of Escape from Nettle Farm by Justin Davis

What a lovely book for children to read. I read it with my 7 year old and 9 year old every night and they really enjoyed the book. They would get into bed and have the book ready for me to read and sit quietly engrossed in the story. Some nights my 7 year old did the reading and we listened to her.

Escape from Nettle farm by Justin Davis is about a puppy called Harvey who didn’t have the best start to life, he was living with his brothers and sisters at Nettle Farm with the grumpy old farmer Greaves. All his brothers and sisters found new homes leaving him behind. Until one day he manages to escape and finds himself a lovely family however that isn’t the last he sees of Farmer Greaves.

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This book is a great size for young readers it has easy to read chapters and beautiful colourful illustrations by Claire Adele, throughout the book to bring the story to life. The story is written with lots of description giving children the sense of being in the story and helping them to learn descriptive words. The book has action and adventure to keep children entertained and is easy to follow along and get into.

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Escape to nettle farm is available on Amazon

Find out more about the Author by taking a look at my interview with Justin Davis.

I was gifted Escape to Nettle Farm to be able to do the review, I have also been given Justin’s new follow on book Spy Danger which we will be reading and a review will be coming soon.

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Why not take a look at my other children’s book reviews –

A Pirate Song by Justin Davis

Oscar the Orgo by R J Furness

Spy Danger

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Parenting Advice Product Reviews

Why the Olympus TG-5 Tough is a great camera for parents that love to take pictures!

I love photography. It is my other passion along side writing.

I like to have pictures of our family days out and activities so we can have them as lasting memories. I have my Nikon D3330 which I love and use a lot for my photography however it is not the type of camera you can take with you on a beach day when you have children to run around after. I also worry when the kids ask to use it as they want to take some pictures that they may drop it.

I decided a while ago that I wanted to get an action camera so I would never miss a family moment at the beach or of the kids playing in the water. I searched for ages and looked through so many different cameras I was baffled. I wanted something that was water proof but that also took great pictures but not with an extortionate price tag.

It was when a very talented photographer Paul Williams recommended on his page the Olympus Tough 5 as it has an amazing macro function as well as being fully waterproof and drop proof.

I am fascinated with macro and underwater photography so that was it I was sold and ordered my new camera. That was over a year ago and I still love my Olympus TG-5 Tough and now I wanted to share with you why it makes a great camera for parents. I have managed to take so many amazing photos from it and capture family moments that otherwise would have been lost in time.

At £420 (the price when I bought mine) it is by no means a cheap camera but for me it was so worth the money and I have never regretted it. The camera is lightweight and small so it can fit in your pocket or bag making it easy to carry around with you.

It claims to be drop proof up to 2.1m drop height although I can not verify this as I am not brave enough to test it out but it makes it the perfect camera to let little ones use knowing that if they did accidentally drop the camera it won’t break.

It is fully waterproof up to 15m deep without the need of any specialist case so you can run in the sea with it and take pictures of your little ones and come away with beautiful pictures to remember the day. It is also perfect for snorkeling and capturing the amazing creatures that you encountered lurking under the water.

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The Olympus  TG-5 Tough is also freeze proof up to -10C so you can take it out in the snow without any worries and capture the fun you all had on those rare snowdays (if you live in the UK).

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It has a brilliant macro feature on the camera allowing you to really get up close and come away with stunning detailed images.

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It has a good 12mp camera that you can use to capture images of days out, family photos and landscapes. The camera has lots of functions to help you take photos in different light conditions however from using my DSLR I like to shoot on manual mode to get the most out of my pictures and light condition which you can’t do with this camera but for a point and shoot camera the images are decent enough quality.

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It has wifi so you can easily connect it up to your phone to either use remotely or to download photos with ease.

Take a look at the Olympus Tough T5 (aff link).

If for you feel that this is too much to spend on a camera take a look at my post on cheap action cameras instead.

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Product Reviews

Photography and well-being walk with Claire Victoria Photography!

When Claire from Clarie Victoria Photography asked me along to her well-being photography walk I just couldn’t say no. Photography, mindfulness and nature are some of my favourite things and to have them all in one event sounded perfect.

The event was held in the beautiful Old Church Farm in Rudgeway which is over 40 miles away from where I live down the M5 so no matter how hard I tried not to be I was anxious, I couldn’t stop my anxiety over getting there, going on my own and meeting people I have never meet before.

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When I arrived anxiety still had a bit of a grip on me but Claire was amazing and soon had me feeling relaxed and engaged in the moment focusing on where we were and our surroundings.

Before we even got to taking photos Claire worked with us to help us relax and connect us to the environment that we were in. We started to take in the sounds, smells and feel of where we were and the beauty that surrounded us.

Claire helped us notice the detail within our surroundings looking at the colour contrasts and textures that were all around us. When we went off to take our photos Claire gave us some basic themes to help us concentrate on and capture images that showcased this. She got us to really think about what we were capturing and how that image felt to us.

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Once we had taken our photos we then regrouped to show them and talk about why we had taken those shots and what we liked about them. Everyone was so supportive and I found this exercise very beneficial as it got me to really think about what drew me to capturing that image in the first place.

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After the event not only did I have some beautiful photos, with some new photography tips  to take back with me I also felt so relaxed, my mind was cleared and any worries I had were gone. Even thinking about the drive back home afterwards didn’t faze me this time.

I enjoyed attending Claire’s wellness walk and saw the amazing benefits of attending. They are not just photography focused so you don’t need to be an expert or even have a fancy camera to take part. I look forward to going to another one soon.

To attend one of Claire’s Wellbeing events take a look at her website for more details and to book https://www.clairevictoria.co/wellbeingevents

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Categories
Product Reviews

The Ultimate Diary Planner!

I set myself the new years resolution to be more organised and productive this year as with children, work and trying to build a blog and write children’s books on top I found myself running around like a headless chicken forgetting important things and trying to do everything at once.

There is just so much to plan and remember!

I decided that to be more organised I needed to plan, so before Christmas I went on a search for a diary/planner that would have everything I need. I do love stationary and have loads of notebooks, diaries and address books so I wanted to find something to combine all of these. I searched and looked through a few different types of planners and diaries until I came across ‘The Ultimate Diary Planner’ by ladies that plan and it had everything I needed.

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I needed a planner to cover my family life, my work life and also to help me plan and be more productive with my blog and this diary had it all. There is a month and week planner, daily diary, goal setting, progress tracking, turnover, note space, important dates and important people section and my favourite part of the planner daily to do list space. I love a to do list!

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The cost of this planner is £24 and when I bought it I was sceptical that I had just wasted money on a planner when I could have just got a cheap diary and a notebook instead but I have been amazed by how much it has helped me.

I have now been using my planner for a few weeks and I can honestly say it was the best investment I made. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with a long list of things to do running around in my head, I find that just taking a bit of time to get those down into my planner that I am a lot more chilled and get so much more done.

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Before the month starts I will write on my month planner a list of things that I want to achieve that month then slowly put them into my daily to-do-list so they get done.  The biggest improvement I have seen is it has helped my blog be more productive, rather than me panicking with all the things I need to do and the deadlines I need to meet, having everything  written and planned out means I have a step-by-step plan to getting it all done.

The planners come in fun, colourful designs both on the cover and throughout the planner, with colourful pictures and uplifting quotes. It is ring bound so you can turn the pages with ease and it is not too big considering it has so much in it. Even when it is delivered it is beautifully packaged.

For anyone with a busy life or who is running their own business alongside looking after a busy family then I highly recommend getting yourself the ‘Ultimate Diary Planner’.

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Categories
Parenting Advice Product Reviews

Managing the Mayhem of Meltdowns’ Parenting course review

If you haven’t heard of Growth & Grit as a parent then you really should take a look at their website. It is packed full of resources and advice for parents and the owner Eloise is so knowledgeable. She has almost 20 years experience working with children who have various needs. She is a teacher, with a specialist focus on emotional intelligence, Autism and different behaviour approaches not to mention she is a certified parent educator, relax kids coach and certified MHFA.

I have been trying out her new course ‘Managing the Mayhem of Meltdowns’. This is an online course that takes around an hour and half to complete, it is broken down into handy sections so if you are short on time you can do a section at a time.

At the beginning there is a handy resource pack that you can download and use during the course which has space for you to fill in and answer questions about your own experiences.  It is also full of helpful information and resources that you can take away with you after finishing the online part and use again and again.

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The first thing that I found with this course is that is very well researched, it hasn’t just been thrown together with what you should and shouldn’t do. It is clear that Eloise has put a lot of time and effort into it, the videos are packed full of knowledge and she has put a lot of research into it so as to give parents the best advice possible to manage children’s meltdowns.

The first section of the course is all about the science behind meltdowns in children and an insight into what is happening in their little brains that got them to this point. It also covers the different types of meltdowns in children and gives you an explanation to why and also what is happening to them during these meltdowns.

What I think sets this course apart from others is the understanding that Eloise has with parents, there is no judgement at all and she recognises how hard parenting can be and  shares some of her own experiences. The course focuses just as much on why tantrums happen, as it does on ways to best deal with a meltdown.

All the videos in this course are clear and easy to follow. Everything is explained in a simple to understand way including the science part. Eloise has such a caring and relaxed manner about her that really shows through in the videos that helps you to stay focused.

I am a note taker and find writing things down as I watch helps me take everything in and the speed and pace of the course works perfectly.

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Since taking this course I do feel better equipped to helping and understanding my children’s emotions and how best to try an avoid or guide them through any meltdowns they may have. I have also been implementing her mind, body and soul section and spending at least 10 mins a day with my children, uninterrupted, with no smart phones or tablets just doing what they want to do and it has had amazing effects on us as a family already.

The cost of the course is £120 (it will be on sale from 24th January 2019 – 1st February 2019) , this shouldn’t be looked at as a cost but as an investment. When you break it down in terms of will it better my family life, will it help with stress associated with my child’s behaviour, will it help me manage my children better, will it help me to feel less anxious when on an outing with my child, will it help my child’s future? When the answer to all of these are yes then the £120 seems like a great investment.

For more information on this course please take a look at the Growth and Grit website.

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I have been given free access to this course in order to write a review.

Categories
Product Reviews

The Pyjama Factory Review

My girls are over the moon with their new pyjamas that they were gifted from The Pyjama Factory.

The Pyjama Factory have a huge range of kids pyjamas on their website that it took my girls ages to decide on the Pyjama’s they wanted as they liked so many of their designs. They were really spoilt for choice but after some decision making finally settled on a pair each.

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Bella loves Cats so when she saw the grumpy cat pyjamas she feel in love with them and knew they were the ones she wanted. Despite only being 10 years old she is very tall for her age so it was great to see that their kids pyjamas go up to age 12-13 years old. She has been feeling a bit under the weather recently so being able to chill in her new comfy pyjamas has helped her feel a bit better.

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Bless she is still feeling a bit under the weather hence the sad face

Lia loves football so she was excited to find pyjamas that pretty much sum up her life at the moment, ‘eat, sleep, football, repeat’. She is very happy with her pyjamas and now wears them every night and has been putting getting in to them as soon as she gets home from school.

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Alexa picked the french bulldog pyjamas with the saying ‘I’m not listening’ which suits her down to a tee as she is so cute but never listens, she does look adorable in these though. 

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I have bought pyjamas from the pyjama factory before and have now been gifted pyjamas to review and both times the service I have received from them has been excellent. Their website is easy to use and navigate round, they communicate well through email to keep you updated on the progress of your order and their dispatch and delivery times are super quick.

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The Pyjamas I bought from The Pyjama Factory before.

The pyjamas themselves are very good quality, the designs are great and the fabrics are soft and comfortable. My girls certainly love wearing them and their prices are very reasonable. They are also easy to wash and so far have kept their softness and not faded at all from washing.

As well as children’s pyjamas they also have adult pyjamas so you can kit out the whole family with their comfy pyjamas. I would highly recommend using The Pyjama Factory next time you are looking for a set of PJ’s. 

Website https://www.pyjamas.com/

Instagram www.instagram.com/thepyjamafactory

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Product Reviews

Silasip – An ingenious cup lid for toddlers!

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Anyone who has or has had children will know how difficult the transition phase from bottle to cup is. Hand eye coordination and a steady hand in children takes a while to build up especially with a toddler that is always on the go.

If you go from bottle straight to a cup then you are probably going to end up mopping up quite a few spills. I made the mistake once of giving my daughter a cup to early and she spilt the whole contents of the cup all down her front and that put her off using a cup again for quite a while.

The other alternative has always been to use a sippy cup however the spouts get chewed, are a nightmare to clean and they are bad for children’s teeth.

Dr Burhenne a family and sleep medicine dentist found that using a sippy cup prevents normal development in the mouth and can also cause cavities in children. 

I never liked using sippy cups when my girls were young and they never really got on with them so instead we struggled on with cups and constant spills.

Now the answer to this problem is here!

Claire Massingham of Silasip has created an answer to solve our problems. She has made a simple yet so effective spout-less lid that will go over almost any cup. Not only is it great for parents as it means a lot less spills and no more scrubbing those hard to get too spouts it is also perfect for children as it gives them the sense of using a cup and builds their coordination without them soaking themselves.

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This is Claire’s story of how she came up with this genius invention –

It was when my daughter Rose, now 3, was starting to drink out of a cup that I had the idea for a spout free, stretch cup cover. I wanted something that would give her the real feeling of drinking from a cup but without the straws, spouts and fiddly bits to clean.

After watching her throw her drink all down herself a number of times and also having had to deal with the tedious cleaning of various bottles, sippy cups and all their various parts, I needed to find something different. Then one day I had what some may call a ‘Eureka’ moment and Silasip was born!

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After a few tweaks to homemade prototypes we were on our way to solving the problem of juice going down their fronts and being able to let them drink happily from their ‘grown up’ cups without me having to hover around them ready to catch the spills.

The great thing about Silasip is, we’ve kept it simple.

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It’s as close as you can get to drinking out of a cup independently, with a lot less spills. After all, as an adult I don’t have numerous, spouts and straws when I drink out of a cup!

By keeping it simple it has proven itself to be more than useful, and not just for children.

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Silasip is also being used in a number of different situations where there is a need to lessen the spills, with the elderly, people with special needs, those physically impaired, anyone with shaky hands and it’s also great for use whilst travelling for example in motorhomes or on a boat, the list for its uses goes on.

You can get in touch with Claire at Silasip via her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/silasip/.

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Categories
Product Reviews

Mumpreneur on Fire 4

Mums in Business Association (MIBA) are about to do it again and produce the fourth book in their Mumpreneur on Fire series and I for one am really looking forward to its release.

I have read the last 3 inspiring books that all made it to number 1 best sellers on Amazon and have really enjoyed reading them. If you haven’t read one yet each book contains the stories of 25 amazing women sharing their trials and tribulations and how they have overcome them to become successful mums in business.

I was giving access to a taster of one of the chapters in the MOF4 book and I have to say it has left me wanting to read more.

The chapter I was privileged to have a sneak preview of was written by the lovely Jen Parker of Fuzzy Flamingo and what a chapter it was. Jen has battled on through serious health issues that have made life for her a struggle at times. She has had to give up jobs she enjoyed due to her health problems which in turn had an effect on her mental health.

Even through the hard times, what you feel from reading her story is not once does she dwell on her illness or feel sorry for herself; the whole chapter is written in a positive and motivating way. She shows that there is life beyond illness and although still hard at times there are always ways you can adapt to suit your needs. Her story will no doubt help thousands of women who suffer every day from illness.

In the background of her story, Jen talks about her mum and shares a bit about her life and struggles and just from reading the small snippets you can tell that her mum is also a true inspiration and no doubt has passed her can do attitude on to Jen.

A massive thank you to Jen and the other 24 women who have been brave enough to share their stories to help other women overcome their obstacles.

Due to the high demand already for people wanting to buy the Mumpreneur on Fire 4 book it has been released for pre-order early and have made it to number 1 on Amazon. You can buy your copy here http://bit.ly/BuyMOF4 

If you missed it take a look at my review of the Mumpreneur on Fire 3 book…

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Categories
Product Reviews

‘Cold Toes at Christmas’ Book Review

The very talented Jo Fitzgerald has done it again and written another amazing children’s book.

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Her new book is a lovely heart warming Christmas story called ‘Cold Toes at Christmas’.

We can’t always be together with our loved ones over Christmas and it is hard to be away from them. Jo has really captured the feelings in this book that we have when we miss our loved ones.

This magical story is told by a grandma to her grandchildren of such a time that she was away from someone she loved at Christmas. It is a touching story, filled with love and magic from the big man himself Father Christmas but with a very different look.

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I love how the story highlights how togetherness and love is more important than presents and material things and that we do not need presents to be happy.

The illustrations are beautiful and really bring the wonder to the story. All together this book was a lovely read and great for children at Christmas especially those who are away from someone they love.

The book is available to buy on Amazon https://amzn.to/2CZ0XDK

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Categories
Product Reviews

Mumpreneur on Fire 3 Book Review

Wow, I have been left in awe of these 25 inspiring ladies that have been brave enough to share their stories in the new Mumpreneur on Fire 3 book! Yet again Mum’s in Business Association (MIBA) has produced an amazing book that has had me gripped the whole way through.

I have previously read ‘Mumpreneur on Fire 1 & 2’ and I was so lucky to have been selected to review the 3rd book before it is released. Again it is another great book which details the stories of 25 amazing ladies who have battled their way through troubled times and come out as successful mums running their own thriving business.

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Everyone of these ladies unique stories has inspired me, their hard work and dedication to succeed is mind blowing. I found reading about the hardships, struggles and traumatic experiences that these ladies have been through heartbreaking and their has been tears but to see how they have overcome their troubles to become happy successful business owners and are now sharing their story to help others find their way is just amazing.

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As each story is completely different it is like 25 mini  stories all in one great book that will leave you feeling inspired and motivated. The stories have all been written by the ladies themselves so you will find there are lots of different writing styles within the book which some are easier to follow along with than others but they all effectively communicate their experiences across and nearly all of them had me wanting to hear more.

This book helps show that being successful is not about how well educated you are it is about having the drive and determination to succeed. There is more to life than the 9-5 and you can be both a mum and successful in business as these mums have proved.

Order your copy here bit.ly/mof3preorder