31/52 Living Arrows

 You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This week I hadn't had a chance to take photos of Blake as much as I would have liked as I had been feeling under the weather. However yesterday we headed to soft play for one of Blake's friends 3rd birthday party. Blake loves soft play and adored playing on the slide and the spinner. Unfortunately a lot of the photos we took of him have turned out blurry however this one I do love and isn't as blurry as the rest of them turned out. 

Living Arrows

Craft time with mini mosaics

Blake has been getting more into crafts recently than he use to. When we returned from our break away to Camber Sands I was glad to receive 2 Mini Mosaic Craft Time kits from Brainstorm. 

The mini mosaics are kits with over 200 sparkly adhesive foam tiles which children stick on to decorate. There are 6 different designs to choose from unicorn, kitten, dragon, angel fish and dolphin. They are designed for children aged 3 and above, however at 2 and half Blake loved them too. 

They are an ideal craft activity for children to do on a rainy day or when travelling as they are mess free, simple to do and a great pass time especially with the summer holidays now here. 

As I said above the kit comes with over 200 sparkly foam tiles and a picture to stick them on. They are easy to peel, stick and create. The image is colour coded so that your child is able to see where to stick each foam tile. They may need help with this if like Blake and your child doesn't know there colours well yet. 

We were sent the kitten and unicorn to have fun with and Blake.  Blake and I worked together to do the picture and he loved sticking the foam tiles to the picture. There is even some left over tiles which we will be using for Blake to do his own crafty picture with.  

As the tiles are quite small I can see why the activity is suitable for ages 3 years and over. 
The activity due to the small pieces means that it helps children to develop their hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. 

Blake was very happy with our creation and so we are going to add it to his memory box. We can't wait to start on the unicorn one now. 

If you fancy giving the mini mosaics a try than you can purchase them on Amazon RRP:£19.99 for 6 pictures.

Our Staycation Pontins Camber Sands

We've not be long back from a last minute holiday that we booked to Pontins Camber Sands. Now one the things I know you shouldn't do when you have booked a holiday is look up reviews. This was a big mistake, as it made me worry about what we had booked, as the reviews were so bad. I wanted to share with you our experience of staying with Pontins and what we got up to on our week away. 

A holiday is what you make it.  The apartment that we stayed in was ok,from the reviews that I had read a lot of people were saying that they had broken beds and there wasn't a good enough amount of kitchen equipment. For us the apartment we stayed in had none of these issues. We did however feel that the apartment we stayed in could have been cleaned a whole lot better. 

When it came to the things to get up to at Pontins I have nothing to compare it to as we have never stayed in places like Pontins, Butlins, Park Resorts before so have no idea what the others are like.  

We visited the arcade quite a bit the 2p machines are far too addictive! We ended up collecting enough tickets to get Blake a few little prizes from the prize shop. Blake was even getting involved with using the 2p machines and going on a few rides. 

There was also a soft play area which Blake wasn't too keen on however there were two parks on site that Blake loved. The first was the Jurassic World which had many dinosaur models dotted around with 2 different slides.

There was also a park not far from the bar where the floor was all sand and the slide was on a large pirate ship. I can say that this park was definitely a hit with Blake.

They also had entertainment which we ended up not going to as Blake hated the loud noise which was a shame. 

Food wise it was expensive, the food was good but definitely not worth the price we paid. The on site shop is also pretty pricey too so it's worth heading into Rye or Hastings to find a supermarket instead. 

We got up to quite a bit outside of Pontins too and headed to Rye one day to see what they had there. Unfortunately Rye Castle and a National trust house we had planned to visit was closed.  So we ended up going to a local church and climbing up to the bell tower and in Stuart's case the roof. This was then followed by a lovely lunch a cafe called the Fletcher's which we full recommend the sandwiches were so good. 

On another occasion we visited Camber Sands beach. On holiday visiting the beach and eating fish and chips is a must. We had a lovely time at the beach, Blake ended up getting into a puddle fully clothed and looked a right mess afterwards. However it was lovely to see him so happy and making memories. 

We also headed to Hastings one day where we ate lunch at Eat @The Stade this was again a lovely meal. Stuart and I both went for the ultimate burger which had, cheese, bacon and loads of mushrooms with a side salad and chips. We then visited the Bluereef aquarium which Blake loved and then headed to get some ice cream which again is a must when on holiday. 

So overall we had a lovely holiday. Have you ever been to Camber Sands? Or maybe you have stayed with Pontins before? I'd love to know. 

Win 1 of 2 VR Real Feel Racing Virtual Reality Systems

VR Real Feel Racing is the only virtual reality gaming system that gives you control with a real steering wheel.  Accelerate, brake and steer with Max Force Feedback to feel the vibrations in the steering wheel when you bump other racers or the wall! 

While other VR driving games may use head tilts to control the action, VR Real Feel™ Racing provides a far more intuitive driving system through the steering wheel.  

Featuring a 42mm lens headset that harnesses the power of Apple or Android™ smartphones to deliver pixel-popping graphics in stereo 3D and a patented Bluetooth™ steering wheel with Max Force Feedback™, players can steer, accelerate, brake and change the view with the steering wheel. 

VR Real Feel Virtual Reality Car Racing Gaming System with Bluetooth Steering Wheel and Headset Goggles Viewer Glasses for iOS iPhone and Android.

Experience stunning 3D high definition graphics with pixel-popping graphics in stereo 3D with 42mm industry standard lenses for optimum viewing

Patented Bluetooth Max Force steering wheel to steer, accelerate and brake for ultimate control! Unlike other VR headsets, no more tilting head to turn - this is the way virtual reality racing was meant to be!

VR headset has a comfortable foam face, adjustable straps, and an adjustable phone cradle that will hold up to an iPhone 7 Plus

Available now for £39.99  from Smyths , Toys R Us , Amazon , Halfords and Debenhams

- Enter via the rafflecopter below
- Leave a comment below anwsering the question in the rafflecopter 
- The more entries you complete the better the chance of winning

- This competition will close on  2nd of August 2017 at 12.00am GMT 
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, twitter or facebook
- Open to UK residents ONLY
- You must be a UK resident and over 16

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win Jungle Jam Brazil book

Today I have been given the chance for one lucky person to win the second book in the Jungle Jam series Jungle Jam in Brazil. 

Gina the Giraffe loves being part of the Jungle Jam band but she is nervous about leaving her home and trying new things.
Follow Gina on her courageous journey and learn about the fabulous music and culture of Brazil.
“The band is getting ready for their biggest show yet. 
They are going to Brazil in a jumbo jet.”

- Enter via the rafflecopter below
- Leave a comment below anwsering the question in the rafflecopter 
- The more entries you complete the better the chance of winning

- This competition will close on  2nd of August 2017 at 12.00am GMT 
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, twitter or facebook
- Open to UK residents ONLY
- You must be a UK resident and over 16

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Living Arrows - 30/52

 You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This week has been a busy one for us as we headed to Pontins Camber Sands as a last minute holiday before the schools broke up. I really struggled this week for choosing a photo of Blake as I managed to capture some lovely moments, from fun on the beach to enjoying the arcade. 

I settled on this photo as it was Blake's first time in an arcade, and he absolute loved the 2p machines. Does anyone else find them machines so addictive? I swear we spent quite a bit in there so we could get enough tickets to choose some prizes for Blake. I just love how much he is concentrating in this photo as he was being so careful putting the coins in the slot, we even let him have his own little pot of 2p coins. 

Living Arrows

Fun with Hape Toys

Hape are a brand over the last year I come to love thanks to their colourful and high quality wooden toys. Hape recently sent some wooden toys for Blake to play with, first is the Rainbow elephant and baby interlocking puzzle, to increase the challenge, try building with a timer or without the puzzle base. Blake hasn't taken much interest in the puzzle at the moment, I feel that is due to him not really enjoying puzzles as its not an activity he likes to stick to for long. I do think the puzzle is great for him to also learn colours and a great way for us to talk about what know about elephants. 

The next item is the Maple 50pc Block Set, which has been a real hit with Blake over the last few weeks. Blake spends quite a bit of time playing with these blocks and really concentrates on what he is doing when stacking them on top of each other. They are brightly coloured and ideal for small hands and helps with dexterity and hand-eye coordination. They are of great quality too and easier for Blake for building towers than duplo or megablocks are. They also come with a handy canvas bag for easy storage which is also great as we plan to take then with us when we go away to Camber Sands.

Do you like Hape toys? Do you prefer wooden toys? I'd love to know as always. 

Living Arrows - 29/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This week has gone really quick, we've not been doing anything majorly exciting apart from sorting out a few bits and bobs, as we have booked a last minute holiday to Camber Sands.

This week Blake has loved playing with his building blocks, so much that we will be taking them away with us. Blake has really been putting so much concentration and being really careful with his building blocks and built a tower much taller than we were expecting him to be able to do. He does get upset when they fall over though unless we make it into a game and say "All fall down!" 

Living Arrows

Getting medical advice / seeking treatment online

So many people are turning to the internet when it comes to being unwell and not able to get an appointment with their GP. It's important when looking for advice online that you use a reliable site such as The Independent Pharmacy to get professional medical advice online.This way you know that you are getting the correct advice for minor illnesses and ailments. 

There are many common conditions that the Independent pharmacy can help give advice with from migraines to conditions such as bacterial vaginosis. They are also able to advise the best over the counter medications for your condition. 

I really don't like seeing my GP unless absolutely necessary and so I've found looking online for the best over the counter medications ideal for me. I have used them for advice on a range of minor ailments and saved both my time and my GPs. 

During the summer I suffer from Hayfever which of course is annoying and during winter I tend to get coughs and colds frequently. This means that by seeking advice online, for example the best cough medication depending on the type of cough I have. 

When getting advice and treatment online it is important to read the instructions and use them as advised. 

Have you ever got medical advice / sought treatment online?

Parks/playground facilities and safety

It's no surprise that Blake's favourite place to be is outside and in particular the park. Going to the park isn't just all about having fun its also great for children's development. Blake learnt to climb at the park and its also a great for children to confront danger and interact with other children around them. 

Blake is starting pre-school in September and one of the things I looked out for when visiting the pre-school was a well-maintained school playground and other outdoor play areas. Soft surfaces over time can wear away due to constant use and so both schools and park areas need to be kept in good condition to prevent accidents. 

Many parks/playgrounds have bright and colourful soft surfaces which makes it more fun for children as they are very visual. Take Blake's pre-school for example, in the main area that the children play in they have faux grass which I love as it looks very attractive. I know that Blake is going to be in a safe environment when using equipment such as slides, bikes and scooters. 

Not only is it important for the soft surfaces to be checked but also other equipment that children will come into contact with too. Its important to check parks when you are with your child/ren and report any damage to surfaces and equipment. We have many parks nearby where we live including a splash park which Blake loves. Splash parks are gaining in popularity and so soft surfaces are important especially as there is a higher chance of slipping over. Our local splash park was recently closed for maintenance which made me feel that they saw the splash park as an important area for families as its so popular.  

Does your child love being outdoors? Are your local play areas/ playgrounds up to scratch?

Time to tighten your belt?

Life can throw unexpected things at you for example you may wake up one day and find you have no job. We have been in that position before, having to rely on benefits whilst finding employment. This is why its important to handle your finances correctly especially with the cost of living rising. 

Sometimes you have to take out loans with places such as Cash Lady, use credit cards or borrow money from other sources. It is important though to monitor your spending, so that any debt doesn't spiral out of control. 

Recently we have found that our financial situation has now changed and so it's time to give our finances a shake up. So here are a few things that we need to start doing: 

We need to look into what we have coming in and what is going out. Now that our situation has changed we need to start a fresh budget and see where our money is going so that we can live within our means. 

Cut backs
We need to be a lot more stricter and say no a lot more often. It's time to see if we can find cheaper alternatives when it comes to not just our utility providers but with what we eat and drink. This means finding ways to save money on grocery shopping. We also need to look into new ways we can be frugal/thrifty as possible and still have fun. 

Even though our situation has changed it still important to put money away for emergency's. Luckily we have no debts to worry about which makes it a bit easier to do so. 

I'm also planning on finding new ways to save money by reading other blogs that focus on money and by joining facebook groups as there is always someone out there that may have thought of something that you may not have. 

It is time for you to give your finances a shake up?

Living Arrows - 28/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This week has actually been quite a productive one. The photo I have chosen for this week is from last Monday as it's one of my favourites out of what I have taken this week. 

The weather has yet again been lovely this week and this photo was taken at the beach area of one of our local parks. We had met up with friends and Blake had taken an interest in both the beach area and splash park. I had no spare clothing for him to enjoy the splash park though so have promised him that we will go soon. However he loved the beach area and was running around the place, enjoying the sand between his toes. 

Living Arrows

Living Arrows - 27/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This weeks photo was taken when we visited Mead Open Farm yesterday. We've taken Blake to the farm a few times now,it was nice for him to be out of the buggy  with the freedom to run around and explore. He loved looking at the ducks, chickens and the rabbits however we found he wasn't to keen on the noises from the goats and the sheep. 

The soft play was also a hit with him, I wish we had the chance for him to go on the tractor ride however he was too tired so hopefully we can do that next time we make a visit. 

Living Arrows