Monday 30 April 2012

Family Fun: Great British Walking Challenge

Finally got to week 8 after a short break! Yesterday's image brought me to the attention of the Great British Walking Challenge. They are looking to get people to get walking in the month of May.

As a keen if fair weather walker I am up for this so I have signed up! Are you up for the challenge? Add your pledge posts and any posts about walking below:

get the InLinkz code

Saturday 28 April 2012

Saturday Review: Maxi Micro Scooter

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We were sent a Maxi Micro Scooter for my 5 year old to test out. They are designed for 6-12 year olds but as he is the size of the average 7 year old it was perfect for him. There was plenty of excitement from both my children when they say what was in the parcel!

The scooter was pretty easy to assemble with a little red switch to press and then inserting the handle the right way round into the base. It felt pretty robust when it was altogether and my son was keen to try it out. First of all I made him look at the included safety instructions which had cartoons he could easily understand. Then he donned his helmet and we headed outside.

Both my children have had cheap character scooters since November so my son knew what to do. He wasn't used to the fact that the Maxi requires the child to tilt to steer but he seemed to learn quite quickly. There were plenty of runs up and down our street and it looked a lot more stable than his traditional 2 wheeler. Big sister was very impatient to have a go to so she got a few turns to. Here they are captured on video:

We had a trip out last weekend for which the children went on their scooters for speed. My son opted for his original scooter as he loves his Star Wars logos on it! My daughter was therefore very pleased to take ownership of the Maxi. It was a over a mile to our destination so it gave me a great chance to compare the two scooters. My daughter was a lot faster on the Maxi but I wasn't worried as it seemed very stable and she never seemed in danger on it. My son's scooter was a lot noisier and in fact a bit of it fell off en route! This is the difference between the £20 scooter and the £99.95 Maxi I guess you get what you pay for.

If you are in the market for a high quality scooter this summer and want to fly the flag for the UK in the year of the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics then they have brought out limited edition red, white and blue Union Jack versions:

These come at a price of £105 so I won't be able to get one just at the moment but they do look rather lush! Maybe I'll be able to get the Union Jack bottle holder to accessorise the one we have.

Now I just need to persuade someone to buy me the grown up version so I can keep up with the kids...

Friday 27 April 2012

#FlashbackFriday: Royal Army Medical Corps

My children's paternal grandfather was in the RAMC during world war two. Bet he would have had some fascinating tales to tell them if he had lived long enough to meet them:

Thursday 26 April 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful XXXVIII ( #R2BC )

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Here are this week's reasons to smile!

1) Family

Its been one of those weeks that living close to my parents has been a God-send. They have covered emergency and regular baby sitting to enable me to get through my week without tearing my hair out! So glad I made the decision to move up here nearer to them - not sure they always think the same ;-)

2) Blipfoto

You may have read that this week I made it to 730 photos on my Blipfoto journal. I have been amazed at the comments I've received and Bilpfoto asked if I minded my details being passed to the local press... Amazing where an addiction to taking photos may lead...

3) Friends

Wednesday 25 April 2012

#TheGallery: Action

Get well soon Tara! Here are my action shots for this week's theme:

Swinging High:

Kicking Low: 

Running Fast:

Scooting Slow:

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid

Sponsored post

You know I don't think I'd mind owning one of these!

If you want to know all the details then here is the official blurb:

There are many hybrids on the market, but none of them can match the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.

The world's first diesel plug-in hybrid is Volvo Car Corporation's most technically advanced model ever - an electric car, hybrid car and muscle-car all rolled into one. At the mere touch of a button you can choose which of your three cars you want to drive at any given moment in time.

The production version of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be launched in just one colour - Electric Silver. Sales get under way at the start of 2012, and the first cars will be built in the autumn of that year.

"Our plug-in hybrid has received considerable attention since it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Now we're taking the next step by presenting the production model, which is graced with a distinctive profile featuring a spectacular silver colour, an exclusive interior and generous standard equipment," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

Monday 23 April 2012

Happy 730th blipday to me!

Way back on the 24th April 2010 I posted my first entry on my Blipfoto journal. Little did I know how addictive this would be and that 2 years later I would still be doing it and have only missed one day (due to moving house...). 

Blip 1 Bodiam Castle
Being on Blipfoto has helped me to improve my photography by making me seek out better shots for that 1 daily photo. Seeing other people's photographs is also an inspiration. Even better I have met up with some of them and its been lovely to make new friends. 

These are the most popular photos I have taken on my journal:

And when it comes to ratings from fellow blippers there is a slight variation:

It has also been a great way to record events and show our transition from loving in Hastings to living in Cumbria. Along the way I have collected certain sets of photos including Postboxes, pubs and door knockers! Here are some of my personal favourites:

Kendal Gothic

A Passion for Kendal


Miss big eyes

I wonder if I can keep it up for another 730?

Friday 20 April 2012

Football Friday

My son loves his Little Kickers football and has been going for 18 months now. Here is showing his potential as a future Beckham and with a better dance than Peter Crouch:

Thursday 19 April 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful XXXVII ( #R2BC )

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Here are this week's reasons to smile!

1) Family I

On Friday my brother and my nephew came to our house for the afternoon and for tea. It was the first time we have been able to sit down to a meal with them in our new home. All the children seemed to be having a wonderful time together and my brother was brave enough to join in:

2) Family II

On Saturday we belated celebrated by granny's 95th birthday with 4 generations of us together for lunch. Granny seemed to really enjoy having family around her and trying out her great granddaughter's new baseball hat:

3) New Term

If I gloss over the fact that we are all finding getting up and ready for school very hard this week its great being back at work. As my job is still new and I have lots to learn it really does make me smile. I am getting to remember more of the 300 staff and I love the bustle of a busy secondary school reception. Long may I continue to enjoy it!

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Digital Joneses: The Talk 2.0

I have briefly mentioned that my family are one of the 10 families in the UK chosen to be part of Trend Micro's Digital Joneses project. This as an exciting chance for me to learn how to keep all my family safe online over the year of the project. We are being set a series of challenges to either test what we know or to teach us more.

The first challenge we have had to complete was The Talk 2.0 in which we had to make a video on an iPad showing us talking about staying safe online with our children. With my youngest being 5 I decided to complete this task with my 8 year daughter. She is getting into using computers and the Internet at home and school so I wanted to make sure she understands some simple safety rules without scaremongering or being beyond what she needs to understand.

It took a couple of takes but this is the video she and I made together:

As you can see she seems pretty clued up on staying safe online and even throws in some advice for me! At the minute she has to use a computer in the same room as me and I can control what she does on it, hopefully she will keep this lessons to heart as she grows and becomes more independent. 

I am looking forward to carrying on with the project and seeing what else it can teach us all as a family to keep safe on the Internet.

My son was a bit jealous about his sister's video and was inspired by seeing some YouTube Lego Star Wars videos to get me to make one with him:

Monday 16 April 2012

Back to school

That's it term started in Cumbria today so my children went to school and I went to work at my school. Where did those 2 weeks of Easter holidays go to?

At least it was a gorgeous if chilly first day back:

Saturday 14 April 2012

Silly Saturday: Photo Fun

My daughter got a bit bored at a family party today and had some fun with the iPad's photo options with these bizarre results:

Friday 13 April 2012

Friday Review: Hacky Sacks

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When I saw e-mail asking for people to review Hacky Sacks it took me back to my childhood so I asked for some for the children to try out. I find it hard to believe that they were invented 40 years ago but I can't remember seeing them for over 20 in the UK.This is why Wham-O have started stocking them again so we can introduce them to our children.

My 8 and 5 year olds were very keen to try them out but I wasn't a very good teacher - I should have remembered how bad I was as a kid myself! I think I will show them this fab video I found on YouTube which is a basic tutorial:

As it stands it looks like we need to get out and get more practice as all they have managed so far is:

Thursday 12 April 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful: XXXVI ( #R2BC )

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Another week and another set of reasons to smile!

1) A Passion for Kendal

Being involved in this was such a blast. I've already written all about it here and here so not repeating myself! Just sharing a picture:

2) Easter fun with my children

We had a lovely time at Sizergh Castle on Sunday. A really fun day for us all and a great way to recover from the Passion Play. Eggs and face painting for the children and gardens and castle for me. Lots of smiles all round!

3) Sainsbury's Blogger Network

Having been accepted onto the Blogger Network I finally got my promo on their site this week: More Marvellous Mummy Blogs do you recognise me from the description?

4) Loving the Lakes

Being up here is a reason to be a cheerful in itself and days like yesterday in Grasmere make it even more cheerful.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

A Day Out to Grasmere

I posted on Twitter a couple of days ago that I was looking for ideas as to where to take my children next after our day at Sizergh Castle to make use of our National Trust membership.  One of my Twitter friends just happens to do the official NT tweets for Grasmere and she suggested the newly opened Allan BankThe thought of free arts activities for the children and free coffee for me was a real draw! So just before lunch time today we packed a picnic and headed off to Grasmere...

Due to being distracted by back seat drivers I took a wrong turn at Ambleside so we took the scenic route to Grasmere via Langdale up and over a very narrow, twisty and steep road - great fun! With it being Easter the village was busy but we managed to find a place in car park for £5 for 4 hours. A stroll through the village showed lots of touristy temptations in the form of shops until we reached the National Trust information centre and shop to meet my friend. She gave us directions to find the house (with it being newly opened it isn't on the official maps yet).

The house is up a long winding drive with access only for cars with disabled badges. It is visible from quite a distance due to its position on the hill. You can see why the original owners chose to build it there back in the early 1800s.

#TheGallery: Easter

Tara has given me another excuse to dig out some of my favourite photographs from this Easter weekend. I'll do one photo from each day to sum it up:

Good Friday - Passion for Kendal

Jesus under guard from the Romans
Easter Saturday - Passion for Kendal

Easter Sunday - Sizergh Castle Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Monday - Spring Cleaning and Recovering

Tuesday 10 April 2012

TopThat Publishing: When I dream of 123 and Po-Tolo

Our family love getting envelopes from Top That Publishing with books in it to review. So it was great to get another couple to look at this month. This time both were aimed at my 5 year old son.

When I dream of 123 - Oakley Graham

This is a follow up to When I dream of ABC which we reviewed back in June last year. My son is soaking up learning in his Reception class so he immediately picked this up and attempted to read it himself. He could do the numbers and main titles but needed me to read the very amusing little piece on his number. For example:

Sea Horses

Sea horses like two things; swimming forwards and swimming backwards. Because they are rather small, they never get very far.

The illustrations are beautiful and my son enjoyed counting the items to make sure they book was correct. A lovely book for a pre-schooler or reception aged child to share with an adult. At the minute it is available from the publisher in hardback at £7.19 (RRP £7.99). We were sent the paperback version at £6.99. See if you can count all 100 stars...

Monday 9 April 2012

Family Fun: Easter Edition

Welcome to week 7 of the Family Fun blog hop. For more details please read the launch page. In the words of a classic 1970s children's TV programme this is about switching off the television and doing something more useful instead!

It has been the Easter weekend so I'd love you to share what your family has been getting up to! We have had quite an exciting weekend as we took pass the first Kendal Passion Play for 400 years. An amazing experience to be involved in this street theatre project. I wrote about the first part on Friday and the finale is on the official blog.

Yesterday as a reward for my children I dug out our National Trust member card, paid this year's fees and headed off to Sizergh Castle for our now annual NT Easter Egg hunt. Last year we did the same thing but it different weather.

The event is so popular that we had to park in the overflow car park and there were lots of families on the site. After collecting our sheets and pens the children hurtled off to find clue 1 with the aim of completing the search as quickly as possible. They barely left me time to capture photographs of some of the beautiful sights in the gardens: