Keeping busy at half term

Half term is upon us, and and the weather forecast is a bit of mixed bag.  So, what can we do to keep the family entertained for a week, while the teacher take  a well-earned breather?

If the outlook is fine, and you are lucky enough to live near the coast, grab a bucket and spade, put on your wetsuits and head to the beach.  I love the seaside but I live about as far away from one as you can possibly get in England.  I do also like a nice woodland stroll and the National Forest is on my doorstep.  Over the school holidays there always seems to be great activities on for the kids, have a look at the events page and seat the beache if there’s something on near you.

If it’s wet, many local cinemas offer cheap children’s specials, or, head to your local museum. I’ve been supporting the  campaign for  Snibston Discovery Museum to be saved from closure and finally, there is some hope that the decision by Leicestershire County Council could be reversed.  If you’ve not been, its an excellent day out, so why not make the most of it and show it some support, just in case the closure decision is upheld.

You don’t have to go far from home though, grab some rocks and paint positive messages for people to find and deposit them around you local area.  I love a day out geocaching, it’s great for both humans and our dog.kindness stones

Then in the evening, when your small people are tucked up safely in bed, settle down with a new book or have a gamble with some online casino slots.  It might help you unwind after an exciting day adventuring with your children.

I’m looking forward to an alarm-clock free week and nice relaxed bedtimes.  What will you be doing?

All-in-kitchen

Pokerstars Restaurant pop up (2)If you’re at all interested in the game of Poker, you’ll know that the UKIPT is doing the rounds at the moment.

But even if you’re not quite at the level of the seasoned player, you can enjoy a fantastic night out with the All-in-kitchen.  It’s a brand new concept of playing, and combines gourmet food and tempting cocktails with games of Poker.  No matter what you end up with at the end of three hands of poker, that is what you will pay for your meal.

So, even if you have no chips left at the end, you’ll still only be paying a tenner for a three course meal worth over fifty quid.

Your remaining chip count at the end of the game, which last just three hands, will determine whether you pay £10, £5 or come up trumps and get your meal (worth over £50) completely free!

  • 10,000 chips and above: Dinner will be on the house!

  • Between 5,000 and 10,000 chips: You will pay a small fee of £5

  • Less than 5,000 chips: You still bag a bargain, with the three-course gourmet feast totalling just £10

The London event was a sell-out and the All-in-kitchen plans to follow the UKIPT around the country, so why not head over and follow PokerStars on twitter to keep an eye out for the next pop-up event and indulge your card playing and foodie fantasies all on the same night?

Paediatric Emergency First Aid Course

Spearhead-Logo-304-x-125Did you know:

SPEARHEADShocking statistics eh?  When I was at work I was the First Aider, and I’ve attended courses about how to use a defibrillator and how to deal with choking in babies.  I’d consider myself to have the basic skills to help a child (though, I have used the skills more on myself than anyone else – accident prone!) in need but helping young people is quite different than helping an adult, and, your brain does forget quite a lot over time as well.

When I saw an on-line Paediatric Emergency First Aid course I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought I would take the course anyway,  because I’m a geek and like to be equipped with life saving knowledge, just in case (I was  Brownie; “Be prepared”!).  My First Aid at work course had run over a whole week and was really in-depth, and I expected this one to be more of a revision, or,  a skim through the necessary skills.  I was wrong.

I studied the course in my own time over the course of two weeks.  This is the perfect way to do it if you are a parent, you can dip in and out of it and sit down with a cuppa and concentrate on it when you know you have a clear slot of head space.

The course contents were as comprehensive as the physical course I had attended – sure we didn’t get to practice on rescusi Annie – but the information was crystal clear and easily understood. The course is sectioned into ten modules and contains written and video information.  It has everything you would need to empower yourself well enough to handle an emergency situation calmly and appropriately.

A test at the end revealed that I might need to revise a few sections again,but I did pretty well.  I would like to go through the course again periodically as a refresher, I am hoping maybe Spearhead will comment below to tell us how long our login to the course remains valid for?

aaasupporting-BCH-Logo-5000x4287

The course costs a mere twenty quid, ten pounds of which goes to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, so for such a bargain price, I really would encourage everyone, parents, carers, just anybody at all to take this course, equip themselves with knowledge and you never know, one day you might be able to be a super hero and save somebody’s life.

 

Playtex #ContourPerfection Review

playtexI saw a call-out for bloggers to review a full cup bra recently. I was curious, because I’ve always used under-wired and unpadded bras and I couldn’t imagine what this one might look like, or, feel like, to wear.  Last week I published an interesting infographic about the history of the bra. When we visited Snibston museum recently there was an exhibit asking us to vote on what we thought were the best inventions of the 21st century and I voted for the bra.  It was a tongue-in-cheek vote but honestly, they allow women to bounce, run, and not have to think about our mammaries in daily life.

Here is some information about the bra:

Rediscover your best ever shape with Playtex’s innovative new top-cup padded bra, Contour Perfection

Playtex has recently launched a major innovation for women wanting to rediscover their ‘full’ (breast) potential. Contour Perfection is Playtex’s first bra with top cup padding, helping women restore natural fullness and a beautifully youthful shape.

Having led the way in lingerie innovation since the introduction of its first girdle in 1955, Playtex created the revolutionary new Contour Perfection bra after hearing from thousands of 35+ women, searching far and wide for a way to restore breast fullness without going under the knife.

After breastfeeding for a very long time and suffering from mastitis in the early days my boobs are a bit wonky and not as inflated as they used to be.  This bra definitely makes them both look the same again, and gives a great silhouette.  I expected it to feel bulky with the full cup padding but it’s actually very comfortable and I cant even tell I am wearing it. It’s supportive enough for a light jog, and you can’t tell which breast is the smaller one unless you look closely with my top off.

They were kind enough to send two, and when one of them was the perfect fit, I gave the other to my cousin to test, also a post-breastfeeding mum.  She loves it as much as I do and tells me that she wears it a lot.  playtex contour perfection picture

Days out with the kids in the UK

Hey moms of the world, looking for something fun to do this weekend with the kids? Want something different than the neighborhood park, a trip to the movies, or a dinner out? So let’s get to it, the most fun activities for a day out with the kids:

A trip to the Chester Zoo (Chester)

This zoo has been around for over 80 years, since 1931, and has continued to protect animals and provide education the entire time. As one of the country’s best zoos, the Chester Zoo is home to UK’s only Islands Exhibit. What does this mean? Over 60,000 square meters of open exploration. The animals are running free, and your kids can get up close and personal with everything from monkeys to birds, frogs to lizards, and rainforest animals in between. Get there early and spend the whole day, you won’t be bored! The zoo closes at 5:30 pm, so you can spend the whole day learning, exploring, and enjoying the beauty of animals in fantastic natural environments. Check more about Chester Zoo prices and tickets here.

The Legoland Discovery Center (Manchester)

Entering the Legoland Discovery Center is like jumping into the largest box of Lego bricks in the world. You’ve got everything from interactive Lego rides like Kingdom Quest to iconic Lego landmarks like Miniland. Check out the 4D cinema and don’t miss a classroom session with a Master Model Builder, who will share all kinds of insights, tricks and secrets to being the best builder possible. There are special rooms for birthday parties, and you can even take a trip inside Merlin’s potion room to discover how the grand wizard himself conducts his sorcery and spells. Well I’ve got great news – getting around the UK is super easy by train, so you’ve got tons of options all around the country. For example, trains from London to Manchester are super easy to book online, helping you plan ahead for you day out with the kids.

Culture, Music and the Port in Liverpool (Liverpool)

Liverpool is full of fun family activities, like Mathew Street (home of the world’s favorite band: the Beatles!) The Town Hall is an attraction not to miss, built in the 18th century and located in one of Liverpool’s most historic and beautiful streets. Don’t miss a trip to the parish church with it’s luscious green gardens. This is a great place to have a picnic lunch, then let the kids frolic about the gardens. After this, head on down to the river Mersey where you can take a boat tour of Liverpool. Finally, the Beatles Museum is fabulous. There are all kinds of fun activities for kids inside, from educational activities to interactive music lessons.

Get your monkey on at Go Ape (London)

Got some high energy kids who love to monkey around? Well take them for a day out at the Go Ape tree park. This park offers high rope courses for kids above ten years of age. These are breathtaking and exciting aerial adventures that will surely pump your adrenaline. As a family (don’t think you’re getting out of it, mom!) you will climb, slide, swing and scramble across the Go Ape park You will use all sorts of different rope bridges, zip slides and trapezes. Don’t be scared, because all participants get a sturdy and personally adjusted safety harness.

Win a Spartan race, plus, discount code

Since I started getting fitter, I’ve wondered about entering one of these tough person, muddy, obstacle course type of races.  So far I’ve not been brave/bonkers/fit enough but, maybe I will, one day.  I hear they are a fantastic challenge, and Spartan host races all over the country, Sprints, Supers and for the truly dedicated, Beasts.  For the little ones,they run Junior races too, and to help you get prepared, free workout tours occur nationwide.

Here’s a clip of some of the fun there is to be had:

If you’d love to enter a Spartan race, why not try your hand at winning one?

Entry via rafflecopter.

The prize is a code that will get you a free race.

In case you don’t win, I also have a code that will get you 10% off of any race:  BLOGGER15 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a large Yankee candle

Who doesn’t love a Yankee candle? Big, bold, and beautifully fragrancing your home, Yankee seem to be a very popular brand.  To celebrate their special appearances, they are giving away one large jar candle from the selection below:

Special Appearances:

This Spring Summer, we’re launching 4 limited edition special appearances; available online and in selected retailers. Shipped straight from the US; these fragrances have a true to life aromas that their description and colour reflect and are favourites across our fanbase.

All of our Special Appearances feature online and are limited edition, whilst stocks last.

We are releasing just 4 of our favourite fragrances this Spring and Summer season; which will bring the season’s to life whilst complementing some of our brand new and existing ranges.

Meadow Showers:

Celebrate the start of Spring with our very own Meadow Showers…

Daydreaming of a quiet escape…the naturally tranquil and airy scent of fresh raindrops on blades of green grass.

We’ve chosen this fragrance to mark the start of the Spring season; as it captures the dewy, bright morning starts as daylight savings comes into effect.

It also perfectly complements our recent Pure Essence releases, providing a calming and relaxing environment for anyone burning this fragrance.

 meadow showers

Oceanside:

Complement our NEW Life’s A Beach range with Oceanside…

A quiet day at the beach . . . the warm, musky scent of calm sea air with touches of citrusy sunshine.

To celebrate the start of summer, we’ve shipped straight from the US, Oceanside – a fragrance that captures the essence of our ideal Summer.

Reminiscent of long and lazy sunny days and fresh sea air – this fragrance also perfectly complements the release of one our newest ranges – Life’s A Beach.

 oceanside

Red Velvet:

Enjoy the indulgence of Red Velvet in a classic Yankee Candle…

A most decadent creation of creamy frosting atop moist cake and a touch of brown sugar. So very sweet!

We’re introducing for a limited time only Red Velvet to complement our brand new Café Culture range – inspired by relaxing city breaks and the café culture experience of people watching, coffees, desserts & pastries – released this April.

Review: I absolutely love this candle, the scent, colour, picture, throw… Everything! If you love that fresh baked cake smell baking in the oven, then this is the one for you.

 red velvet

Coconut Bay:

Bring the exotic into the home with Coconut Bay…

Intoxicating scent of wind-swept palms and coconut milk.

A favourite across the Yankee Candle fan base, this Special Appearance is returning for a limited time only.

Its fragrance evokes memories of exotic holidays – perfectly complementing our new Life’s A Beach range and Coconut Collection – All fragrances that invite the sunshine into the home.

Reviews: When I saw it was back for a Special Appearance I knew I needed it!

Coconut Bay smells like your favourite summer holiday! I’d recommend this one to everybody!

 coconut bay

All you have to do to be in it to win one is enter via rafflecopter (below).

T&C’s:

Your name and email address will be collected by Yankee.

UK & Europe only

No cheating please :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Matching Your Hairdo to Your Dress

Matching Your Hairdo to Your Dress

ladiesImage by: Benjamin Kasavan

Whether you’re off to the prom with a crush, a boyfriend or your very best friend, it’s going to be a memorable night. And what with the age of Twitter and Instagram, Facebook and others, prom has become completely immortalized. So it’s only natural you want your photos to be drop dead gorgeous.

Once you’ve found a unique prom dress online, it’s time to think about your hairstyle.

There are loads of choices and the best way to narrow it down is to choose a hairstyle that compliments the dress. Here’s a simple guide to help you make the right decision and keep you feeling comfortable and elegant, no matter the fashion trend.

Choosing the Do to Match the Dress

There are loads of dress styles, right? So the best way to narrow down your options is to think about moods and themes. Let’s say you have an elegant and classic look – then a timeless hairstyle will be ideal. But if the dress is more relaxed and flowing, you will better suit a boho do.

Think About Your Neckline

There are multitudes of necklines for unique prom dresses online. If you opt for one of the popular styles, definitely opt for an up do, set fairly low with a gentle texture like relaxed waves. Some other good options include a textured side-swept braid; a low side-swept bun or a faux wavy bob.

Hairstyles of Strapless Neckline Dresses

If you’ve settled on a strapless dress, then by all means show off the dress and your shoulders. So you could choose a sophisticated side-swept up style or even wear your hair half up half down or completely down. This will draw eyes towards the sweetheart neckline and make your shoulders look softer.

A High Neckline

If you’d prefer unique prom dresses online with high necklines, then it just seems natural to pull all the hair up into a slicked chignon or elegant topknot. This will make your neck and your dress’s neckline stand out. You could have a tight ponytail or chignon in the middle of the head or even a high up topknot for pure elegance.

Backless Dress Do’s

A backless dress can be paired with a variety of hairstyles. You’ll want to show off the intricate back so the ideal option is an up do that matches the dress’s theme – such as elegant, vintage or boho. Braids and chignons are great options, but if you’d prefer to leave your hair down, choose a wavy side-swept style or soft braid.

Halter Top Ideas

Halter tops are in again and to go with them you should choose higher hairstyles like high braids. If you have short hair and want to leave your hair down, go for a slicked back half-up style that is bound to compliment this neckline choice.

Asymmetrical Necklines

One shoulder dresses may seem like tricky options since straps can vary greatly. From simple one-inch styles to big ruffles, gems and jewels, options for unique prom dresses online are endless. Typically an off-the shoulders hairstyle will help focus on the neckline. Go for a style that won’t compete with the straps but compliment the lines of the dress like relaxed waves or a side-swept French twist.

When thinking about hairstyles, remember that the style you go for should first and foremost compliment your personal taste. If you simply cannot decide which will flatter your face and dress shape the most, visit your hairstylist for a run-through a few days before the prom. That way you’ll be certain to have chosen the perfect style for your dress and face shape.