Mellow Mummy : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday, 7 February 2016

#StreamTeam My Own Mini Glitter Force

Over the Christmas holidays Lara and Holly discovered a new series on Netflix quite by accident - Glitter Force.  I have no recollection of how they stumbled upon it (Lara is in charge of the TV remote these days) and I know that if we had asked the girls if they wanted to see something new, they'd have moaned and whinged; they are creatures of habit and take a lot of convincing to watch anything new.  But it happened, and we haven't looked back.  Glitter Force is the new number one favourite show in the Mellow household - it is a Netflix original series that the girls have fallen in love with.

Glitter Force is a Japanese anime series about a group of high school girls who turn out to have magical skills - just the set of skills needed to defeat an evil emperor in a magical world where fairy tales and real life live alongside one another.  The animation is gloriously traditionally Japanese filled with cutsie characters, big wide smiles and cringe-worthy dubbing into American-English.  It reminds me a lot of animations I watched as a child and I understand completely why Lara and Holly instantly fell in love with the Glitter Force.

Lara and Holly have both taken Glitter Force into their playground games with friends - arguing over who gets to be the "blue one" or the "green one".  I think they enjoy the sparkly girliness of it (the Glitter Force get their skills by finding magical charms and putting them into their make-up compact) but this is mixed with strong images of girls taking on the world and blasting evil away with their moves!

At the end of every episode of Glitter Force there is a musical number where the members of the team come together.  Lara is very taken by the theme music and the pop songs in Glitter Force.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Making Plans for our Summer Holidays

I'm definitely not a winter person.  Even though this winter has been mild so far, I still struggle with the relentless greyness at this time of year.  Now I'm marathon training, it is extra depressing because I 'have' to get out there in the drizzle and grey to get my training miles in.  That's why I always like to have a warm holiday to look forward to - something to incentivise me to survive the winter months!  This month I've teamed up with Thomson to share the things I look for in a family-friendly summer holiday.

This year we have booked a family holiday in the Algarve in Portugal for our main summer holiday.  It feels like such a long way off, but I can't wait for it;  I know that with all the chaos at work, the months will whizz by and it will soon be the school holidays.  Because Lara will be preparing to move up into junior school, and Holly will be preparing to start infant school for the very first time, we decided to splash out on our summer holiday and we've booked an all-inclusive family holiday in a very smart hotel perched on a cliff, over-looking a beautiful sandy beach that the girls can play on.

For us, the decision to go abroad was a big one - we normally spend our holidays in the UK.  Mr. B. was, quite understandably, fairly worried about travel to a number of different popular tourist resorts and we both also worry about travelling for a long distance with Holly (who has a phenomenally short attention span and requires constant entertainment!).  We were looking for a European beach holiday within 4 hours flight from London and which could offer lots of family-friendly options without being too full-on!

Neither Mr. B. nor myself have ever been to Portugal before so the Algarve will be a bit of an adventure for us all - a totally new experience.  While we were researching and choosing our resort we had a few family holiday success criteria to fill:-

* Away from the main tourist hot spots (Mr.B. and I much prefer a peaceful holiday away from the bustle of the town) but within a short drive, bus journey or reasonable walk from civilisation so that we can explore!

* Swimming pools with warm, fresh water and lots of options for swimming with the kids.

* All-inclusive.  Mainly because, once on holiday we don't really want to have to think about sorting out money, or shopping for food.  We've had some great all-inclusive package holidays in the past and it works well for us.

* Kids playground and kids activities.  The hotel we have chosen has a pirate-themed kids area and a kids club with qualified staff; at our hotel the kids club costs extra but many resorts and hotels now include this in the price of your holiday.  I don't think Lara and Holly will want to spend a lot of time in a kids club but it is good to know that there is the option for them to do some activities that they wouldn't normally try.

* Accessible beach with plenty of sand and gentle waters for the girls to play in until their heart's content.

* Great views and beautiful sunshine.  I love taking photos on holiday and can't wait to bring back some more memories from Portugal this summer.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Yellow Moon Valentines Craft Ideas

Its February already which means that its time for us to start thinking about pancakes, and Valentines day!  In our family, and at Lara's school, Valentines day isn't so much a day for celebrating romantic love but instead it is a day to remind yourself about all of the people who mean a lot to you, and who you love as family.  For the past couple of weeks, every time we have had family or friends to visit, the girls have given them a valentines card as a little token.

Yellow Moon sent us a selection of their Valentines Day craft ideas for children.  From wooden trinket boxes for decorating, to mini hanging heart-shaped photo frames, Yellow Moon has sets of kids craft kits with lots of topical themes.

Holly has given each of our guests a little hand-coloured and hand-written "with love" card printed with an animal friend.  A pack of 8 of these cards costs just £1.99 and that includes envelopes.  They are such an easy little time-filler that I can pull out when the girls need a little bit of entertainment and the results always put a smile on our guest's faces.

Lara has enjoyed making these woven hearts.  The Yellow Moon kit includes 10 blank hearts with pre-punched holes.  Lara coloured in the hearts using pens and crayons (you'll noticed that she steered clear of pinks and reds...I thought that was very interesting!).  Then she embelleshed them with stickers and cut-outs.  We rummaged around in our boxes of wool and thread offcuts and found some brightly coloured yarn to match her colouring and then she tied it and weaved it through the holes herself.  To start off with, Lara found it hard to get going and got easily confused about which hole she needed to thread to make the design she wanted to - but by the second heart she had got the hang of it.  Lara wants to hang these from our front window when it gets to Valentines day.

Don't forget that you can earn between 5% and 20% cashback for your school on most Yellow Moon purchases.
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