Mellow Mummy: June 2017 : Taking life as it comes...

Monday, 26 June 2017

Feeling Refresh'd with Robinsons

Last week was a proper scorcher but I'm not going to complain - I love summer. I love lazy evenings in the garden, I love eating family meals outside and I love being able to enjoy a nice drink with my girls.



Whenever us grown-ups share a bottle of wine or a cheeky beer in the garden, my girls like to share a special drink too. Their latest craze is the Robinsons new Refresh'd drinks which are a light and fruity treat, perfect for hot evenings or accompanying a barbecue.



Refresh'd comes in three different flavours; Apple & Kiwi, Raspberry & Apple and Organe & Lime.  My girls enjoy all of them but the Apple & Kiwi seems to have been a particular hit that they've asked me to go back and buy plenty more of (there's a good special offer in my local garage where I can get two 500ml bottles for £2).

Refresh'd is a natural spring water drink flavoured with fruit and sweetened with Stevia; the girls love them as a slightly more interesting alternative to water to keep them refreshed on hot summer's days.


Sunday, 25 June 2017

My Little Pony Bedding from Character World

There was one morning this week when I went into the girls room and it was a total and utter tip - clothes everywhere, hairbands, books, single pieces of jigsaws, empty water bottles and a pile of discarded sheets from the hot weather. So this morning I asked the girls to tidy up and gave them an incentive - a brand new set of bedding from Character World featuring their favourite My Little Pony Characters; Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle and Pinky Pie.



Character World make full bedroom textile sets for children in a range of favourite character themes including My Little Pony, Marvel, Care Bears, Lego, Minecraft, Trolls, Shopkins and many more. At present, if you buy a set of Character World Kids Bedding from Tesco you could be in with a chance to win a 4 star all-inclusive holiday to Majorca with Ice Lolly holidays. The competition closes on the 31st July.



Lara and Holly's bedroom looks fab now. Both bunks are fitted out with a My Little Pony duvet cover and pillowcase. Each girl has a My Little Pony cushion as well so that they can snuggle up when they are reading or watching TV; on one side is the face of Rainbow Dash and the other, Twilight Sparkle. To complete the set, Lara and Holly each have a fleece blanket which they've chosen to settle under in preference to a duvet in this hot weather as it is lighter and easier to shake off.



While the My Little Pony duvet cover is largely pink, the big bold bright colours of the ponies fit in well with our Rainbow-themed bedroom (Rainbow dash has always been popular in our house) and we love the big chunky colours on the cushions as they make a big statement.



Lara and Holly have already found a few good uses for their blankets - to cover over their unsightly pile of clothes, cover over their shoes, to protect their bedding from cat hair and to roll up and support their head when they're reading. I think Holly also plans to use her blanket for a teddy bear's picnic later today.



You can find curtains, cushions, beanbags and bedding in the Character World range online - look out for them in Tesco and Argos. My girls are super-happy with their new My Little Pony bedding and I bet they ask for these covers to be put back on again straight away after every time we wash them.

Friday, 16 June 2017

101 Brilliant Things For Kids To Do With Science

Dawn Isaac's 101 Brilliant Things for Kids to Do With Science is the follow up to her fab book 101 Things for Kids to Do Outside.  And Brilliant science is always a hit with Lara and Holly, we we jumped at the chance to review Dawn's latest book.


Inside the book, you'll find 101 different ideas for short activities that are awesomely fun, but each have a scientific lesson to learn. Lara, who is just about 8, has absolutely lapped this book up. Lara isn't just interested in the messy/interactive experiments and activities, I've seen her genuinely want to find out more about the science behind each activity.  Holly, who is now 5, is happy to join in and I know she is soaking it up too.

After school, the girls and their childminder like to choose an activity from the book. They've made boats in the bath, helicopters in the garden, messy tricks, big bubbles (cube-shaped ones in the picture below). At the weekend, Lara has been enjoying some of the kitchen-related science activities...



Last weekend Lara asked if she could buy some lemons, some bicarbonate of soda, some cream and some gelatine. She's been browsing 101 Brilliant Things for Kids to Do With Science and checking the cupboards to see which ingredients/accessories we already have, and which we needed to buy.  The book is perfectly targeted to Lara's age range and the style of writing is fun and engaging to her with hints of childish humour that encourage her to have a go and try something new.



The results of Lara's shopping list were soon revealed. Lara made her own fizzy lemonade by mixing bicarb soda with acidic lemon juice and water. She rather overdid the bicarb though so the chemical reaction was pretty wild... then the next day she and Holly did the same in the garden and thought it was hilarious to see the bubbles overflowing.

Later on, Lara asked me to help her make a mousse. A lemon mousse made from whipped egg white and whipped cream - a tasty experiment that teaches about trapping air in between strands of protein to help thicken a mousse. A fresh homemade lemon mousse was outstanding and Lara had great fun making it.



This weekend Lara has more plans - homemade air fresheners using gels and essential oils as well as a mandala made from natural objects in our garden. There's enough different ideas in this book to keep the girls going all summer and they are all so quick and easy to do. Each activity explains the sciency-bit in kid-friendly terms and gives you ideas of how you can take the experiment even further with your own explorations.

If you're looking for ideas of screen-free time for your kids then I really highly recommend 101 Brilliant Things for Kids To Do With Science.

  

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Scholastic's Lollies Awards - Voting Now Open

Bedtime. The girls are supposed to settle. And yet, I'm reading them a poem about Zombies eating brains. And they're crying with laughter.

And then, the one word poem. About poo.  Lara nearly wet herself with laughter.

Aren't children weird?



I've been reading the girls poem's from Joshua Seigal's poetry book, I Don't Like Poetry. It's a wonderful poetry book that has been shortlisted for the Scholastic Lollies awards in the category for laugh-out-loud books for 9-13 year olds.

Michael Rosen and a panel of expert judges have put together a shortlist for the Lollies.  The Lollies are awarded in three categories: Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book, Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8s and Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13s. The shortlisted books in each category are as follows:

Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book
Oi Dog by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)
Eat Your People by Lou Kuenzler and David Wojtowycz (Orchard Books)
Prince of Pants by Alan Macdonald and Sarah McIntyre (Scholastic)
Danny McGee Drinks the Sea by Andy Stanton and Neal Layton (Hodder Children’s Books)

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8 year olds
Thimble Monkey Superstar by Jon Blake and Martin Chatterton (Firefly Press)
Hamish and the Neverpeople by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler (Simon and Schuster)
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up by Simon Cherry (Usborne)
Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms by Jim Smith (Egmont)

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 year olds.
I Don't Like Poetry by Joshua Seigal (Bloomsbury)
The Best Medicine by Christine Hamil (Little Island Books)
My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord by David Solomons and Laura Ellen Anderson (Nosy Crow)
AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field (Harper Collins)

The winning book in each Lollies category will be decided solely by children’s votes, with schools and parents encouraged to help kids get involved and vote via the Lollies website, www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies, or via the Scholastic channel on the PopJam app.

Lara and I have been reading I Don't Like Poetry - it's blimming awesome. There is something very magical about reading a good poem and I'm so glad Lara feels the same way too. When Lara first heard the poem that shares its title with the book (I Don't Like Poetry), a big grin came across her face as she realised that the poem uses all of the poetry mechanics it complains about such as similes, metaphors and onomatopoeia. Lara has enjoyed this book so much that she took it to school to show her friends. There are lots of laughs but also some more serious poems on topics that older children know and understand - really strong, powerful poems. Some rhyme, some haiku, some very deep creative writing and we all loved it. I Don't Like Poetry definitely gets our vote in the Lollies.
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