All posts filed under: Reviews

Imaginary Adventures with Storytime Magazine

We are back from our travels but our adventures are far from being over for Emma. In June, we were kindly offered the opportunity to review the Storytime children’s magazine and were sent several printed issues which we took with us to Greece. I did not know if Emma would take to them since she has never shown a great interest in stories and myths before but I was so wrong! The magazine offers a compact yet amazingly varied array of popular fairy and around the world tales, ancient myths and legends and fables along with short poems and rhymes and activities related to the magazine’s content. If you think that is not enough, every month the magazine includes a short sample from a popular children’s book, we really enjoyed July’s The BFG and it really triggered Emma’s curiosity about the book and the new movie that had only been released. Emma is at the stage where her confidence as a reader is growing with almost new every page and book she reads and I believe …

A Dream Guesthouse

It has taken me a few days to get back to my blog as we had to travel down to Thessaloniki and then settle into our holiday apartment (I even manage to colour bleed all of Emma’s summer bedding, grrrr!). Anyway, here is a sneak peek of our local beach and the views we get of Thessaloniki, a city with which I have had a long love story, which started when I was 14. But this is another story, for another time… As promised, I return with a review of our wonderful bed and breakfast in the mountains. Just thinking of our stay in the Vogiatzopoulou Guesthouse in Agios Georgios on Mount Pilio and I get relaxed! ( I have added the Booking.com link because the reviews the place gets there are accurate and reflect the high standards and quality of the service offered. But please don’t hesitate to contact Vasia, the young owner, directly, she speaks English and will offer you an excellent deal!) What did we like about this place so much? First …

#PizzaExpressIceAge

We LOVE Pizza Express in this house and Emma is the biggest fan among us all so when we were contacted and asked if we would like to review a family meal, we squealed with joy! Not only because we would spend some quality time together but also because Emma was allowed to bring a friend or two, making the experience a thousand times more fun! We have two Pizza Express restaurants in Belfast but the one we almost always prefer is the one in Victoria Square. That is where we headed yesterday evening, with three very excited little girls and large appetites. As always, the staff was extremely welcoming and friendly to the girls.(We had a little four year old with us who can be extremely shy but by the end of the evening, the lovely staff managed to make friends with her!) We were offered a table immediately and drinks were brought out very quickly. While we were perusing the amazing  summer menu and reading the Piccolo one to the girls, the staff …

Insure With Max: The Insurance I Wish We Had for Georgie

  I have meant to write about the subject for a long time but I never found the right time and occasion. Insurance for children, such a scary thought, yet something that could come in so handy if anything was to ever happen to them! Back in 2014, when we had Georgie, we as a family had a basic health insurance which would have covered all of us in the event of serious illness. But the likelihood of illness clashed stringently with the joy of having a newborn in the house, and the added financial stress lead Alex to temporarily cancel it, within weeks of Georgie being born. Who thinks of illness, life-threatening conditions and death when they have just been handed this beautiful, new bundle of joy? We certainly didn’t and cancelling our health insurance seemed like a good idea, as it allowed some extra cash for those newborn nappies and cute little outfits… Fast forward three and a half months to the moment we found ourselves, with the same wonderful bundle of joy, …

Keeping Children Hydrated During the Summer

  BritMums recently invited a number of bloggers to engage in their #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge as part of the Robinsons campaign and come up with ways to to keep our children well hydrated over the warm summer months. I decided to approach this assignment as a research, and was shocked by the number of things I did not know when it comes to hydration in children! 1.Children need more water per body mass during the day than adults because they move more than we do. The recommended daily intake for a child is 6-8 glasses of liquid per day but this need increases when the weather is hot! Children can be especially prone to dehydration since they are often active, easily distracted and forget to drink. By the time they say they are thirsty, dehydration has already begun. Irritability and poor concentration are two common indicators. My tip would be to ensure children always have easy access to a cool drink everywhere they are, be in in the back garden, the car or out and about. …

Father’s Day with Scruffs

Emma’s has become more aware of special days as the years have clocked by so this year, she really wanted to get her daddy something special! We had already got lunch booked to celebrate Father’s Day but she also wanted to give him something more than a card for the occasion so when Scruffs agreed to collaborate with us again, for a third time, I knew we would have the perfect present to give Alex on the day! Alex loves all his Scruffs gear he has accumulated over the last year. You can read about his winter jacket here and about his spring one here. This time, knowing that Alex’s jeans always end up ripping when out working, we decided to go for a pair of work jeans, to begin with. I was amazed at the quality of this pair as well as the totally reasonable pricing(£34.95) . The jeans come with loads of pockets, all so very handy for busy working hands and knee pads for ground level work. They look amazing, not at …

New Resources to Support Bereaved Children

As you well know now, if you follow my blog, I am no longer able to watch a movie or read a book without putting it through the grief perspective. Recently, two children’s programs, the first, a new movie entitled Beyond Beyond and the other a book written by LeVar Burton, from Reading Rainbows, caught my attention as valuable resources that could help bereaved children in comprehending their grief and seeking support in ways that are appropriate and safe. I shall start with The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm, by LeVar Burton, since he is such a favourite with Emma! Emma has been a subscriber to Reading Rainbows for a couple of years now and absolutely loves the wide range of educational videos they provide. Since she is an emergent reader, she has found the Read to me feature of the thousands of books on offer truly helpful and this is how I got to hear the story read by LeVar myself: The book is about a Rhino and his beautiful world in which “magic …

Spring male fashion

My blog has brought in a few very nice items over the last couple of months, especially for Alex, for a change, so it is time I told you all about them. If you remember, back in winter, he was gifted a winter coat by Scruffs. I wrote all about its practicality for work here, if you want to have a look. Come spring, the lovely PR company working with Scruffs contacted us again and offered Alex one of their spring-summer lightweight work jackets. Last time, he had remarked that the medium jacket was a bit loose as a cut so this time, I ordered a small, to fit him perfectly. The jacket arrived within a few days and it was exactly what Alex had hoped for in a work jacket. The Pro Softshell is light, warm, waterproof and with reflective detailing which makes his work in the evening so much safer. Although it is a work jacket it does look quite stylish and its trim is perfect, making working up ladders that tad bit …

What Emma Loved…in March

Emma got some beautiful toys and books to to play with and review recently and it is time we told you all about them! First of all, as you know, she is in love at the moment with all things Zootropolis, she loved watching the movie and getting loads of merchandise from Disney Store, as we detailed in our last blog post. She loves them all but she has been having great fun with the Carrot recording pen, pretending to be Officer Hopps, down to a very heavy New York accent and all, hilarious! Alex splurged over Easter and got her also the Deluxe Figurine Set which has provided hours of role play fun already! Talking of sets, Emma was the envy of her wee friends these Easter holidays with the latest My Little Pony set. She loves watching My Little Pony on TinyPop and she had already in possession of the My Little Pony Pinky Pie’s Rainbow Helicopter. The latest addition, My Little Pony Swan Playset, can also play a little cheerful tune and proved …

Zootropolis, the new Disney movie

Emma has been very lucky this season as not only did she get to watch Zootropolis, the latest Disney movie, as soon as it was released, but she also received a whole bunch of beautiful toys, all through mummy’s blog! We watched the movie as a family, shortly after Easter and we all came away with some real wisdom nuggets. For Emma, the most important message was to believe in oneself and one’s dreams and never allow the society and other people’s limitations restrict what one can do. She loved officer Judy Hopps, the little bunny with a huge amount of courage, and she came away determined to make her own dream of becoming a scientist true! And speaking in a cute darn American accent as well. For the grown ups, the movie was all about manipulation of our fears to the detriment of our fellow human beings. The movie cleverly analyses the way in which an isolated incident is used to create panic among the masses, justify discrimination and ultimately, serve the interests of …