Olive And Orange Orla Kiely Women’s Bicycles From Halfords {Review}

It’s summer folks. SUMMER! That little bit of promised land, an oasis of …. oh, no, wait. We’re in the UK. It’ll probably rain. But that’s okay. The plants will be happy.

If it’s not raining, however, one of those quintessential things about summer parenting is taking the kids cycling – but who wants to be running in two directions after two children on bikes?  Much better to cycle with them, steering them in a general direction!

So when Halfords got in touch and offered me one of their women’s bikes (we also have two kids bikes from them) I was really excited to give it a try.

I’ll admit that the Olive and Orange bike range from Orla Kiely is very girly for me. I don’t normally go for ‘girly’ things, and would probably have chosen a run of the  mill, standard men’s bike, so I’m glad that I had to choose from a specific range as it made me go for something very different from my norm.

Isn’t it pretty? I had to add the straw hat, because, come on. It just needs a straw hat!

bikeRead more: Olive And Orange Orla Kiely Women’s Bicycles From Halfords {Review}

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Being Enterprising & Learning Entrepreneurship With Clever Tykes Books

I grew up in South Africa where we had little to no social welfare system. As a result we were known as a very entrepreneurial people. You’ve never seen anyone with a bag of maize, a giant pot and some polystyrene plates till you’ve a South African turning a profit on the side of the road!

Teaching children to be entrepreneurial and enterprising is equipping them with a skill that will stand them in good stead for their whole lives.Clever Tykes Read more: Being Enterprising & Learning Entrepreneurship With Clever Tykes Books

Six Ways To Kill A Revolution

I don’t know why this is on my mind tonight, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with what I normally write about. And yet it does, since politics affects us all whether we pay attention to it or not. I’ve been thinking a lot about the events of the last few weeks – haven’t we all – and there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: why isn’t anyone demanding justice over the lies from the people we’re supposed to trust to lead us?

The few people I have spoken to about the fact that I am angry that voters for the EU Referendum were lied to from so many sides that even intelligent, interested people walked into the polling stations still unsure of what to vote, have all said the same thing: That’s what politicians do. 

So, a few weeks have passed, xenophobic attacks have died back a little, angry people are still smarting, but life goes on, and we’ve had other things to worry about, so we’re not sitting stewing as loudly in our disappointments – or victories, for those who wanted Out.

But I’m stilll sitting here wondering why the owners and editors of newspapers that emblazoned lies in capital letters aren’t held accountable. Why politicians and people speaking on behalf of them aren’t held accountable. Why people – all people, both sides of the vote – aren’t in uproar over the lies. Aren’t furious that interviews that ‘came clean’ weren’t held the day before or the day of the vote rather than the day after. Aren’t insulted at being taken for fools. Aren’t livid at how powerless we really are.

I’m fairly certain that if I applied for a mortgage, say, and supplied misinformation and blatant lies, I could be ‘done’ for fraud? I’m equally certain that if I dressed up in a police officers uniform and grabbed someone’s car claiming ‘police business’, I would still be ‘done’ for theft or at the very least impersonating a police officer – even though I never actually said I was a policeman.

So where is the accountability? Why is there one set of laws for them, and not for me.  How do I teach my children wrong from right if they can’t even see it in the pinnacle of leadership in our country? Why aren’t people furious about this? 

I’ll tell you why:

Distractions Distractions Distractions

6 Ways To Kill A Revolution

1. Give the people a common enemy

My daughter asked me this morning “what does ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ mean? I don’t even know where she heard it, but it got me thinking about this. Give people a common enemy and they will draw together, even if only for a time. Give generally decent people from both sides of the vote a common enemy aka the ‘indecent’ people – the bigots, the racists, the haters – and they’ll put aside their own differences to fight their common enemy. Or all those people who voted ‘out’ simply to protest vote against Cameron and his government – even a lot of people who were gutted after the results were announced saw his resignation as a relief. Enough of a relief to not demand answers?

I’ve written frequently enough about my experience of growing up in a country at war, and one thing I knew as a nine year old child was this: give people a common enemy and they band together. That new unity becomes a temporary distraction.Read more: Six Ways To Kill A Revolution

Indoor ‘Sports’ Activity Cube {Bostik Bloggers}

I think to myself, “Summer holidays are coming”  – duh duh duhm – then I remember they’re not in school so summer holidays are pretty much like every day, except there are loads of festivals and activities on the Island I live on, and more traffic, and (hopefully) a little more sunshine, so there’s really nothing to panic about. And yet, I like to have things prepared for the summer so that I can actually have some down time too.

Unfortunately we no longer have a garden, and being in Britain, there’s every chance of rain pretty much every day, yet the kids still need to be active and burn off their energy. I decided to make activity cubes for this months’ Bostik Blogger sporting theme. Activity Cubes

For these cubes you’ll either need fantastic free hand skills, or to print off four copies of this template.Read more: Indoor ‘Sports’ Activity Cube {Bostik Bloggers}

The Feel Brave Series – Helping Children Cope With Big Emotions {Book Reviews}

We’ve recently been reading The Feel Brave Series, a series of books by Avril McDonald that deals with the big emotions and experiences of childhood in a friendly, kind, but honest way.

There are a few things in this series of books that I would just repeat if I said them about each book, so let me first say this about the series as a whole:

The books are beautifully illustrated. I’m new to the work of Tatiana Minina, but I do hope we see her in more stories. The bright, bold images really bring the story to life – scary characters aren’t frightful, and little touches like a wolf surround by hearts as he runs up the hill feeling loved gives it a game-like feeling of movement through the images. Absolutely lovely.IMG_20160705_133949

The Feel Brave series by Avril McDonald is a collection of five picture books for children aged 4-7 but I’d wager there’s movement around that and that even older and younger children will be drawn to the images, the hypnotic rhyming langauge and the themes covered in the stories. The books are designed to help children explore positive psychology and emotional intelligence in a safe and non-threatening way and all the while reading them I kept thinking about this quote:

Fairy tales do not tell children that monsters exist.
Children already know that monsters exist.
Fairy tales tell children that monsters can be killed.

The Wolf is Not Invited

In the first book, The Wolf is Not Invited, we are introduced to the characters Wolfgang and Catreen who are best friends. A new friends comes along and Catreen is lured away, leaving Wolfgang broken-hearted – a moment every parent has experienced their own heart break! Catreen soon realises that her new friend isn’t all she thought she was, and comes back to find Wolfgang, but he, in the meantime, has met another friend. Tears fall, forgiveness comes, and soon all three are playing together, before Wolfgang’s new friend leaves, and Catreen and Wolfgang are back together again.

It’s a sweet story with a hopeful ending, though not always how things work out in real life, so it does lend itself to further discussion on how we can handle it if our friends don’t come back!Read more: The Feel Brave Series – Helping Children Cope With Big Emotions {Book Reviews}

Num Noms Collectables {Review}

If your kids are anything like mine, they love little figurines, and will happily bankrupt you on all the collectables in the world. New to the small world collectables market recently is Num Noms, a collection of dessert themed stack’em style toys that kids are sure to love – I know my 4 & 6 year olds had them out the packet before I could properly photograph them!Num Noms

We were sent the series one Num Noms in both a deluxe* and starter* kit.

The deluxe Num Noms set has 6 Nums, 2 motorised Noms, a spoon, a cupcake lines and a collector’s menu.Num Noms

The beauty of these Num Noms and what makes them different from for example Shopkins is that they can be mixed and matched, so that you can put for example stack Pinkie Lemonade onto Caramelly Go-Go and pop them into the cone. There are probably thousands of combinations. There are also some motorised Noms, which are like little vibrating balls of energy. They make an incredible racket on a wooden floor for something so small! The kids love it. I’m not so sure about the downstairs neighbours though!

Ridiculously cute #numnom races #review #bloggerlife

A video posted by Luschka (@luschkavo) on

Read more: Num Noms Collectables {Review}

New: Go Jetters Magazine {Review}

Today is launch day for the new Go Jetters Magazine from Immediate Media. We were sent a pre-release of the magazine so that we could tell you about it, which you can find out more about in the video below… but for those who like the highlights, read on!

Go JettersGo Jetters is a magazine for children around 4 years old. If you haven’t seen the Cbeebies show, Go Jetters are aliens who visit different landmarks in different countries, learning about them as they go.

In the first issue the chosen landmark is The Eiffel Tower – on the first page you meet the Go Jetters – then a story where they set course for Paris with a few stops along the way (or not), like Niagara Falls and so on. There’s everything you expect from a children’s magazine: sticker pages, colouring, spot the difference, matching activities and more.Read more: New: Go Jetters Magazine {Review}

Learning Games: Using Go Fish For Anagram Words

We’ve been working on a bit of a loose ‘ocean’ theme the last few weeks, so I decided to let the literacy activity for this week be ‘go fish’.

For this game, we used a magnet to pick up our magnetised fish – say, 5 fish, or pick a number – then make up as many words as we can from those five letters. Pretty simple, really, and great for word exploration, spelling and a general word-building exercise, without looking or feeling like learning.Go Fish Game

Read more: Learning Games: Using Go Fish For Anagram Words

Jungle Art #BostikBloggers

This month’s Bostik Bloggers box arrived full to the brim with Jungle themed stickers, animal print tape, foam sheets, feathers, buttons, and a few other bits and pieces, including a small square canvas.

Matisse pictures

We immediately set to work using the canvas to create an animal themed picture for the girls’ room. While the theme is ‘jungle’, some of the stickers included pigs and a horse, but we left those out as they didn’t fit our theme. When we were in France recently we wanted to go to the Henri Matisse exhibition, but unfortunately we were too far away. We received a book with his paintings a while ago, so we’d been talking about him. Known as a sculpture and a painter, he was diagnosed with cancer and bedridden, so he began doing cut-outs. He called this ‘painting with scissors’ and we learned that he used to arrange his cut-outs on his canvas, sticking them down lightly till he was happy with their arrangement, before gluing them down permanently. Read more: Jungle Art #BostikBloggers

A Letter To My Children After The Orlando Shootings

Dear Girls,

Sometimes really bad things happen in the world. Things that can hardly be explained among grownups, never mind being explained to  young children.This weekend one of those bad things happened. A bunch of people were in a nightclub in Orlando, dancing and having fun, when a man walked in and started shooting. He killed 49 people that night, simply because he didn’t agree with some of their choices. It wasn’t any of his business, really, but he felt they deserved to die. And ended up dying himself, leaving behind his own wife and child.

The whole situation is terrible, but there’s one story I want to tell you about. One person who really touched me. It was a young man by the name of Eddie Justice. He was 30 years old, and while he was pinned down in a bathroom, held hostage by the gunman, he was sending texts to his mother. When I read that, I cried. Read more: A Letter To My Children After The Orlando Shootings