Mellow Mummy : Taking life as it comes...

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Disney On Ice - 100 Years of Magic Preview

As we walked out of the O2 arena way back in January, following our first ever Disney on Ice experience, Lara picked up a leaflet for Disney on Ice, 100 Years of Magic which will be playing at major arenas up and down the country from the 26th of September 2014 to the 5th of January 2015.  She was so wowed by the amazing show that she had just seen and begged me to take her again next year.

We've now seen a couple of Disney on Ice shows and they have both been AMAZING.  Magical, musical and full of smiles.  We are planning on watching Disney on Ice 100 Years of Magic at the O2 again this Christmas as a special treat for the girls.


100 Years of Magic promises to be a skating spectacular that celebrates 100 years of Disney.  The show features over 60 Disney Characters from 18 different stories so it is guaranteed to appeal to girls and boys and people of all ages.

As usual, Micky and Minnie mouse will be leading the show but this time there will be lots of other favourite faces too as well as favourite songs to sing along to as the skaters show us how its done; "A Whole New World", "Beauty and the Beast" and "Can you feel the love tonight" are all songs I'm looking forward to.

I'm sure Lara will be on Disney Princess-spotting duty but for me it is about the stunning costumes, clever choreography and the genius bits such as character outfits and vehicles that really make the Disney on Ice shows stand out.  I really can't wait to see the show!



Disney on Ice 100 Years of Magic starts in Glasgow on the 26th of September and continues through Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Dublin, Belfast and then London.  It is a wonderful experience that I promise will bring a smile to your face and have your children captivated.


Friday, 29 August 2014

Elle Macpherson Hot Wax Review

Yay - more sunny weather coming next week which means, I may yet manage to wear my skirts again before the summer is out.  Traditionally I'm a razor sort of a girl when it comes to my legs but, when I'm feeling flush, I do like to get my legs waxed at the salon but there are four reasons why, until recently, I've done my best to avoid waxing at home:-

  • I'm rubbish at applying wax neatly with a spatula
  • I'm rubbish at getting the temperature of the wax right (I either get it so hot it burns, or too cold so it doesn't apply well)
  • I get bored easily of applying wax and ripping it off
  • It is sticky and messy work

The Elle Macpherson Hot Wax Epilator by Homedics was a little beacon of light that meant I might be able to avoid the cost of the salon and wax at home.  So, how did I get on?



The Elle Macpherson Hot Wax Epilator is a hand-held home waxing system.  You buy replaceable wax cartridges which you place into the epilator and then place it into its mount and switch on to heat it up.  The wax takes about 20 minutes to heat which takes some patience but compared to my normal microwave exploits the wax was certainly at a much more appropriate temperature for use!!!

You roll the wax onto the leg using the very nifty applicator and then apply a normal waxing strip over the wax for removal (there is an art to pulling off wax strips!).  I found the roll-on process to be so much easier than having to mess about with a pot and a spatula.  After application though, it wasn't any different to normal.  I was very grateful when I was finished though because there was hardly any cleanup to do.  Just put the lid on and let the wax cool down for next time.  Easy!



In terms of addressing my home-wax stresses, I think it has certainly helped with the application of the wax but I don't think it can help me with the time it takes and the mess I tend to make!  I think I'd need some sort of super-gadget to solve that for me!


The Elle Maxpherson Hot Wax Epilator costs £34.99 and you can buy it in Argos, Amazon, Debenhams and House of Fraser along with replacement wax cartridges.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Leapfrog Leapband Review

You may or may not know that earlier this summer, I started running.  For my birthday, Mr. B. bought me a GPS running watch.  After that, both girls wanted to join me running... so far I've managed to avoid it because I think they may slow me down while I'm trying to learn to run but eventually I'd love it if my two girls were to join me on my runs.  Then the LeapFrog LeapBand came into our lives and suddenly Lara felt all grown up with her own activity tracking watch - just like Mummy's!!!


Mummy and Kids LeapBand fitness watches


The LeapBand is the latest gadget from our friends at LeapFrog and it has a really different slant on things - in the past, most of our favourite LeapFrog kids tech has been designed to encourage learning but the LeapBand is designed to encourage fitness and activity through a virtual pet game.  I think it is a fabulous idea.

Physical activity and sport doesn't feature awfully highly in the priorities at Lara's school (although there are lots of other good things they do well!) and, until recently, I wouldn't have said that physical activity featured much in our home life either so I was really excited to be able to offer Lara the LeapBand as a way of inspiring her to get up and get active throughout the day.  I know from my own GPS watch that the little prompts to move throughout the day make me take a short walk around the office, or sometimes even longer.

The LeapBand was launched earlier this month by star athletes Greg Rutherford and Beth Tweddle who really wanted to stress the fun element of the LeapBand.  As with all Leapfrog products, the LeapBand is designed to use fun to create that little spark to make your child want to go and do more and find out more.  Maybe that two minute jumping up and down activity in your living room could be that spark which leads your child to be an Olympic gymnast or athlete?

leapfrog leapband


The LeapBand comes with a number of activities pre-loaded but, when you connect it to your computer (using the downloadable Leapfrog connect software) you can upload more onto it.  I've configured Lara's to have all of the 50 available activites to make sure she gets a lot of variety.  Some of the activities are challenges such as "jump up high and clap your hands 5 times" and others ask them to act like a different animal such as "wiggle like a caterpillar" there are lots of imaginative role play ideas too such as pretending to pick flowers or pretend to swim.  I had expected a few more traditional sporting activities for older children (the LeapBand is recomended for children aged 4 to 7 years old) because actually it is Holly, my youngest, who seems most taken by these role play challenges.

leapfrog connect for leapband


On the age recommendation, I think the LeapBand could be tricky for an older child to wear.  Lara is a very tall and well-built 5 year old and she finds the firm, semi-flexible strap on the LeapBand to be too tight and inflexible for her to wear comfortably, even on the widest setting.  It fits a lot better on her younger sister (2).

The thing that really keeps Lara interested in the LeapBand is the pets.  The colour-screen on the LeapBand displays your currently selected pet.  The more "joules" your child earns through physical play, the more pets they unlock.  The default pet is a colourful unicorn but so far Lara has unlocked two more pets.  These pets also feature in the matching Petathlon games app which you can download if you child also has access to a tablet or smartphone - the game is available on iOS, Android and on the LeapPad.

Petathlon Games is a good quality, free app with fun games featuring the pets, all with a sporting theme.  Finding out about the game has inspired Lara to want to unlock more pets through more challenges - exactly what the LeapBand was designed for!!!  

leapband petathlon games


My favourite feature on the LeapBand is the ability for me to configure quiet times when Lara shouldn't be using her gadget.  You can set times of day and days of week when restrictions should be applied and during this time, if your child tries to play, all they see is the watch face displayed.  Last week we took the LeapBand on holiday with us and I was stressed that it always kept showing the watch face... it was only later that I realised I'd configured it so that Lara can't use it during school hours during the week!!!

The LeapBand costs around £29.99 (which I think is good value) and comes in a range of different colours.  You charge it via USB through your laptop or USB charger.

  
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