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Friday, 28 July 2017

The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book

In the world of digital media, many children would prefer to pick up a smartphone or tablet rather than choose to read a book.  So Zappar has launched a new title to bridge the gap between technology and literature, with an augmented reality book for children aged 7 - 11 years, called The Boy With His Head Stuck In A Book. 

augmented reality, Zappar


The paperback book tells the story of an ordinary boy who is reluctantly dragged to the library one Saturday afternoon, where he discovers an ancient, mysterious book and quite literally gets his head stuck within its pages. He finds himself catapulted into a magical world filled with dinosaurs, ghosts, dragons and pirates as he tries to free his head from the book!

The Boy With His Head Stuck In A Book


Downloading the Zappar app allows readers to scan the pages and bring them to life. The images and characters are animated in this innovative digital pop up book. There are buttons to press to activate the scenes and the letters on the pages spin around the page.  It is definitely a great way to engage reluctant readers!

The Boy With His Head Stuck In A Book


The book references a whole host of classic titles, opening up young readers to a range of texts that they may wish to further explore. The referenced books include:

  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  • Red Riding Hood – Brothers Grimm
  • The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  • The Iron Man – Ted Hughes
  • Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie
  • Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
  • Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  • Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  •  Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • King Kong – Merian C. Cooper/Delos W. Lovelace
  • The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  • Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
  • The Sword in the Stone – T.H. White



At only £5.99, this product is an affordable way of keeping children engaged with reading in an interactive way over the summer holidays.  The Zappar app is free to download from Google Play or the App Store. You can find The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book on Amazon.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Lacura Sun Care Range - save money without compromising on quality

The summer holidays are here at last!  We are really hoping that the sun makes some appearances over the next six weeks, especially as Aldi has invited us to join their unofficial ‘Lacura Sunseeker’s Panel’. Aldi have sent us a selection of their Lacura suncare products to see us through the whole summer and we will be sharing our experiences on social media.

Lacura has a variety of sun care products that will ensure you can enjoy your summer, safely. The Lacura brand means top quality products at great value prices, with the Lacura SPF 30 sun spray recently being revealed as the lowest costing sunspray to pass the Which? SPF testing. When it comes to protecting the kids' skin, I don't want to compromise on quality, so knowing this is really reassuring. I can save money but be confident that the range is safe and reliable. 

sunscreen, sun protection, aldi


With a selection of creams and sprays suitable for a range of ages and skin types, there is something for every family member. The range includes:

•             Lacura SPF 30 Spray 200ml - £2.79 
•             Lacura SPF15 Spray 200ml - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF15 Oil Spray 150ml - £2.99
•             Lacura SPF 30 Lotion  200ml  - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF 15 Lotion 200ml - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF30 Kids Sun Spray 200ml - £2.99
•             Lacura SPF30 Clear Spray 200ml - £3.29
•             Lacura SPF50 Clear Spray 200ml - £3.29
•             Lacura Kids water resistant SPF50 Lotion 150ml - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF 50+ Kids Spray 200ml - £2.99
•             Lacura SPF50+ Sensitive Lotion kids/adults 200ml - £2.79 
•             Lacura Aftersun Spray 200ml - £1.99

As you can see by the prices, these are a fraction of the cost of high end branded sun creams and sprays, but yet the sun spray passed the Which? testing, letting you buy with complete confidence. The savings made can go towards treating the family during the summer holidays.  Now all I need is some lovely sunshine and I can get testing these products and sharing my thoughts!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Our day out at the British Music Experience

We were lucky enough to be invited along to visit the British Music Experience, and as I have a family of music lovers, we happily accepted!  The BME. is housed in the Cunard Buildings in Liverpool and is a new attraction, perfect for guests of all ages.

The museum houses a collection of music memorabilia that tells the story of the evolution of the British music scene from 1945 to the present day. It chronicles the history of modern music from the early days of jazz and skiffle through the eras of rock 'n' roll and Beatlemania to the psychedelic sixties through punk rock and glam rock and right up to the present day. From Hendrix's guitar to Bowie's kimono to Suggs' anti-apartheid suit, there are some amazing pieces on display. Handwritten lyrics by Adele and Chris Martin feature alongside Leona Lewis's diamante microphone and the signed, Africa shaped guitar from Live Aid.

There are lots of interactive displays where you can listen to interviews, search news archives and discover musical facts from around the country. Big screens show photos and musical performances from a host of artists through the decades. The centre stage show transports you to the excitement of a live performance where you can experience iconic acts such as Amy Winehouse, Led Zeppelin and Elton John. A special performance by Culture Club's Boy George is given via the technology of a 3D hologram. There is a music trail that children can take part in as they walk around the displays, answering questions from each decade. Completed trails can be exchanged for a certificate.

BME


In addition to the collection of music memorabilia, the British Music Experience has lots of hands on activities. There is a dance studio where you can learn a dance from one of the featured decades. We had a try at some Ska dance moves made famous by Madness, dancing to One Step Beyond. We also recorded a vocal demo of the Cold Play song Yellow in the recording booth.

The Gibson Brands Interactive Studio is an amazing space where visitors can try their hand at playing keyboards, drums and guitars. We absolutely loved it. There are tutorial videos to follow and the staff are on hand to offer advice and encouragement. The instruments are brilliant and we all had a go at playing a host of electric, bass and  acoustic guitars, an electronic drum kit and a full length electronic piano. Ian loved the Epiphone 335 electric guitar. It was such a great place to have a go at playing quality instruments in a relaxed, fun setting.  

Roland drums

Roland

Epiphone, Gibson


My girls performed an impromptu duet playing songs together. The very lovely Abigail, who is one of the staff at the BME joined in, singing harmonies with the girls and chatting to us about music. Her knowledge and passion for music and her love and enthusiasm for her job shone through. She is a wonderful asset to the museum and made our experience really enjoyable.


Gibson, singing

Performing a duet at the BME


There are some craft workshops making dream catchers and interactive story telling and sing-along sessions going on as part of the Summer Holidays Programme at the British Music Experience, making the summer holidays a perfect time to visit for families.

Find out more at http://www.britishmusicexperience.com/.

Epaderm Junior Range #OneTwoFreeYourSkin

Epaderm is recommended by doctors as the number one prescribed ointment for eczema in the UK and when used for two weeks, Epaderm Cream is clinically proven to relieve the symptoms of dry skin. #OneTwoFreeYourSkin

As a mum who has seen three children suffer with eczema, I know from firsthand experience how horrible it is to see little ones suffer with dry, sore, itchy skin. My youngest daughter suffered terribly and still has scars from some of her worst flare ups. So hearing that Epaderm was launching a new junior range, I was interested in finding out how well it would perform. It claims to relieve symptoms and make improvements to skin hydration and smoothness in just two weeks and I'm willing to try anything that can help relieve a little one's suffering.

The Epaderm Junior range is suitable for babies and young children with dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and has been specially developed by dermatologists. Epaderm Junior is free from nasty additives such as fragrance, colouring and SLS. Such additives can cause irritation and are best avoided.

The range offers complete emollient therapy with a 2-in-1 Epaderm Cream; a skin moisturiser and cleanser and a 3-in-1 Epaderm Ointment; a skin moisturiser, cleanser and bath additive. The cream comes in a pump action bottle and is lighter for daytime use and the ointment, which comes in a tub, is heavier for nighttime use.

We have been sent some for a trial and although both my youngest children's' skins are actually quite clear at the moment (a perk of it being summer) they still have some dry patches. We like the texture of the ointment, which feels a lot like a rich body butter. It is quite greasy, but feels nourishing on dry skin. It didn't sting at all, unlike some brands we've used in the past. The cream is very convenient in the pump dispenser and although lighter than the ointment is still quite heavy, staying on the skin and feeling hydrating. The multi-purpose nature of the products makes them a good substitute for soap, which is very useful when dealing with a child with eczema. The products are fragrance free meaning that although they don't smell great, they are made without unnecessary perfumes.

eczema cream


The new products officially launch today and are available in Boots where the 25g tub of ointment is £2.49 and the 150g bottle of cream is £7.29. These are well priced everyday emollient solutions for eczema, dry skin and psoriasis for kids of all ages.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The British Music Experience Launches their Summer Holidays Programme

Throughout the summer the British Music Experience in Liverpool will be welcoming families of all ages to come along and experience the story of British Music through costumes, instruments, performance, memorabilia and some special activities exclusively for the summer.

BME


During the school holidays the British Music Experience really does have something for everyone with highlights including the chance to get your hands on a top-flight electric guitar in the Gibson Interactive Instrument Studio, daily story time and sing along sessions for the little ones and fun craft sessions.

Open Sessions - 22nd July to 3rd September 1 pm-3pm
 Meet the Visitor Experience Musicians who are on hand every day from 1 – 3 pm in the Gibson Interactive instrument studio. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced musician, you can unleash your inner rock star with experts on hand giving valuable tips.

Story Time Sessions - Everyday at 1.30pm
Enjoy an interactive, fun for all the family, storytime session with a musical theme. Sing along to well-known tunes and embark on an adventure in the Summer of Love, meeting friends and helping solve some puzzles along the way. Suitable for all ages.

Craft A Dream Catcher - Everyday between 11am-3.30pm
In the spirit of the Summer of Love you can make your own dream catchers in a workshop that encourages kids to create a take home craft. Free and fun for everyone.

In addition to the activities, visitors can enjoy the museum, which has a collection which boasts outfits worn by legendary artists such as Freddie Mercury, Dusty Springfield, The Spice Girls, Adam Ant and X Factor finalists not to mention musical instruments played by some of the world’s most renowned artists from Noel Gallagher to the Sex Pistols. There are hand written song lyrics from Adele, the original statues from the Brits and the Apple Corp front door from Saville Row.

You can learn a musical instrument with the best music equipment available, from drum kits to keyboards and even try your hand on a Gibson guitar in the Gibson Brands Interactive Studio. Teenagers will love putting their singing voice to the test in the vocal booth while younger children can Dance the Decades in the dance pop routines studio.  Perfect for music lovers of all ages.

After the main event browse an exclusive range of gifts, clothing, books and memorabilia from the Merch Store or enjoy a selection of snacks and meals in the Star Café.

Tickets are available to buy online here and directly from the Box Office at The British Music Experience. 

Adult £16
Child Under 5 FREE
Child (5-15) £11
Concession £14.50
Family Ticket £43


For more information visit: http://www.britishmusicexperience.com/

Monday, 17 July 2017

Boost your energy this summer with Berocca

There is no denying that life can be tiring at times. Just this weekend I hosted a family barbecue for my son's birthday, catering for four generations of family. Two days were spent baking vegan cakes and biscuits, preparing salads, shopping for veggie burgers and sausages and decorating the house and garden in a Ninja theme. It was a fabulous weekend, but I am so tired today! 

family


Poor diet and lack of sleep can have a huge impact on our wellbeing and cause fatigue, lethargy and a lack of motivation.  Consequently, many of us are not enjoying life quite as much as we should be.
The Berocca Energy Report has been carried out to see how tiredness is affecting us as a nation.  66% of Brits view tiredness as their number one health concern and as a result, many of us are missing out on living our lives to the full.  Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 42% admitted that low energy levels were preventing them from trying new experiences.

The report was launched to encourage Brits to look after their own energy and fatigue levels, so they can be ready to embrace life’s opportunities.  It comes as a response to over half of the UK (52%) admitting that they cancel or avoid social engagements entirely due to feeling too tired.

Energy crashes are disrupting daily lives with top activities being missed out on including:
  • Trying new experiences (42%)
  • Meeting new people (35%)
  • Spending time with friends and family (28%)
  • Reading books (28%)
  • Going out for dinner (27%)


23% of  Brits report having regular energy spike and crashes, but two thirds of us (62%) want a natural energy solution that is not dependent on caffeine or sugar.

The Berocca Energy Report aims to inspire Brits to seek natural energy alternatives and embrace the activities they were once too tired to do. Getting fit  (36%), achieving personal goals (24%) and spending more time with the family (20%) are the things that those surveyed said they’d do more of if they had more energy.

To stay energised, one thing we can do is to make sure we are getting the essential energy releasing nutrients in our diet. Berocca, the UK’s No.1 energy and vitamin supplement, is packed full of 8 B vitamins  including vitamins B1 and B2 which work with your body to release your natural energy. They are suitable for vegans. Starting the day with a Berocca can help you feel energised, so you can stay on top form even when life gets busy, and embrace all the challenges that come our way.

Berocca


Berocca Energy Tablets are free from caffeine, sugar and artificial stimulants and are best taken as part of your morning routine to set you up for the day ahead. Simply drop one orange, mango or mixed berry effervescent tablet into water and wait for it to dissolve to make a fizzy, fruity flavoured, refreshing drink.

Berocca is available in tablet packs of 15 £4.85, 30 £7.39 and 45 £12.59, available from Boots.

For more information visit Berocca.co.uk or follow on Twitter (@BeroccaUK) and Facebook (@Berocca).  Follow the hashtag #BeMoreBerocca and start saying yes to more of life's opportunities.

family fun

Friday, 14 July 2017

SpinZipz Light Up Fidget Spinners

Freddy absolutely loves fidget spinners. The whole fidget toy craze has captured his imagination and he enjoys the focus that he gets from playing with them. The latest fidget spinners in his collection are the SpinZipz two blade, light up spinners from Zing.

fidget spinners


With coloured LED lights and stackable features, they are just the thing for everyday play. The lights automatically come on when the SpinZipz is spun, giving a double light effect with a different colour on each side of the spinner. You can connect two of the light up spinners to spin together, which looks particularly impressive in the dark.

SpinZipz


The SpinZipz can be spun between your fingers, balanced on one finger or spun on a flat surface. It is easy to double them up and spin two together. The two bladed spinner is small enough to easily tuck into a pocket, so you can carry one wherever you go over the summer, to keep you entertained.

spinner


The SpinZipz are smooth, well balanced, nicely weighted and comfortable to play with. Three bladed SpinBladez are also available.

SpinZipz are £7.99 RRP and SpinBladez are £9.99 RRP.  They come in a variety of colours and are available from Smyth's Toys.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Garnier Ambre Solaire Sun Protection for Kids

Summer is at last here and the sun is doing its very best to shine. We've had some lovely warm days so far this year, so I'm hopeful that 2017 might actually give us the summer we have all been hoping for. With this is mind, it's really important to make sure we have appropriate sun protection for our families to keep everyone safe from harmful UV rays. When it comes to children, their skin is very delicate and vulnerable, so it's important to make sure they are well protected when out in the sun. Garnier Ambre Solaire have a range of sunscreens designed especially for kids' skin, which are hypoallergenic and tested under paediatric control.

sun cream, summer


We received a selection to sample, which includes their top sun protection products for kids and babies.

Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Anti-Sand Sun Cream Spray SPF50 is a unique sun protection spray with a sand repelling action. It's perfect for the beach or sandpit as it helps avoid that itchy sand feeling. It is water resistant,non-sticky and absorbs instantly. The spray mechanism works continuously at all angles making it easy to use, even on wriggly kids!

Ambre Solaire Easy Peasy Kids Swim Protection Spray SPF50 is great to apply before hitting the beach or the pool. It is very water resistant and has a moisturising formula to protect delicate skin. It offers very high protection against sun-induced skin damage. The Ambre Solaire Easy Peasy Trigger Happy Spray SPF50 has a trigger action spray applicator for speedy application. It is very water resistant and instantly absorbs into the skin.

Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Baby in the Shade SPF50 sun cream is a formula that is hypoallergenic, free from perfume and parabens and especially designed for babies' delicate, sensitive skin. It is enriched with a mineral filter for advanced protection against UVA and UVB rays. It gives extra protection to babies who are shading from the sun, and gives reassurance to parents, knowing that their little ones are properly protected. It comes in a convenient 50ml tube that is perfect for popping into your handbag or baby changing bag.

Whether you are on holiday or playing in the garden this summer, it is so important to keep children's skin protected from the harmful effects of the sun. Always make sure sun protection is applied 20 - 30 minutes before going outside and topped up immediately before leaving the house or hotel room, and then reapplied regularly.



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Snowballing in July #snoballsinsummer

Snowball fights are always a lot of fun in the winter (if we get snow) but the downside is that you get freezing cold and soaked through. So what about bringing the fun of snowballing to the summer months? This is exactly what Zimpli Kids, the makers of Gelli Baff, have done with their new Snoball product, which allows you to have all the fun of snowballing without the need for winter weather.

The Snoball Battle Pack includes four 25g bags of powder that when added to water turn into a realistic looking, mouldable snow-like substance. Each bag makes 15 snowballs, so you get 60 snowballs altogether for some summer snowballing fun.

snowballs


The Snoballs are 100% bio-degradable, stain free and are non-irritant. So playtime is safe and fun!

snoballs


Freddy couldn't wait to have a go with the Snoballs. We made up one of the packets and had a good bucketful of the stuff to have a snowball fight in the sunshine. The 'sno' is soft and gooey so doesn't make a solid ball like real snow can, so they are completely safe to throw and won't cause any harm to whoever gets pelted!

snowballing


It really is good fun to have something safe to throw around, but with the same appeal of a snowball. It is less wet and messy than having a water fight, but equally fun. There is also a real novelty factor to having a snowball fight in summer!

Snoballs


Afterwards you can collect up the snow and put it in your general waste dustbin or leave it to degrade naturally and wash away. It is harmless to the garden.

It is a really fun product that allows you to enjoy snowball fights all year round! You can find the Snoball Battle Pack on Amazon and in Toys R Us, currently priced at £4.99 for a 60 SnoBall Battle Pack. Perfect for kids' parties or family summertime fun!

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