Monday, 27 April 2015

Advance notice: Bank Holiday Bonanza Competition

MAY DAY, MAY DAY ! I couldn't resist posting an alert about Friday's blog post, which will feature a prize bonanza for all families to enjoy. It will be easy to enter, I will only ask to leave a comment, no tweeting, facebooking, taking a selfie while standing on your head or other weird request... Expect great prizes to keep little hands busy!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Meet Michela - future YouTube star???

Despite 10 years+ in journalism and 7 in marketing, My daughter Michela, 8, is more camera confident than I will ever be. Here is a video she shot with my tablet on her own while I was in the other room working on my computer, aged 7.  Needless to say she got a big part in the school play but I can't show that as other children are involved.

And below is her first ever 'complete' video, shot with ancient digital camera, where Michela talks about brands. Totally improvised and off the cuff.

Sorry, Tesco & Robinson, Michela's favourite is tap water!

Last day of Easter Holidays - for some - keeping kids entertained

While my daughter is back in school, many schools in the UK are still closed because of the long Easter break. If you have been away, you might have extra chores to do, including getting school kits ready. So why not treat your kids to a movie, a new book, or both? I have cherry-picked among the latest releases for a DVD and an illustrated book suitable for school children and younger siblings too.

Why not watch a DVD?

Shaun and Bitzer put their best paws forward
There is nothing more topical than a spring lamb! Picture Perfect is a collection of the best Shaun the Sheep's episodes and is available on DVD for the first time since their TV airing. This cute, mischievous lamb first appeared in Wallace & Gromit's film A Close Shave and has been seen by TV audience in over 170 countries. 

Shaun is a sheep who doesn’t follow the flock – in fact, he leads them into all sorts of scrapes, turning the peaceful Mossy Bottom Farm into mayhem! Shaun and his pals run rings around the hard-working sheepdog Bitzer, as he tries to stop the Farmer finding out what’s going on behind his back. 

This DVD also contains a special bonus from Aardman Animations – 5 brand new Morph episodes - a treat for parents who grew up with this iconic children's series. 
Michela has watched the TV series when she was younger, but still found it very funny at the grand age of 8. It's a gentle, humorous world, with a good dose of slapstick comedy and clever, realistic animation - you will be abandoning your chores and sit down with your children to watch! Besides who doesn't love to see cute animals gamboling in a farm?
The DVD has a running time of 70 minutes and retailes at RRP £9.99. It includes the following episodes: Duck • Bitzer for a Day • Bitzer’s Secret • The Stare • Ping Pong Poacher • Save the Dump • Picture Perfect • Hidden Talents • Fruit and Nuts • The Intruder.

Why not read a book?

Watch out, the dragon is hungry!

Teapot and the Dragon, written and illustrated by teacher Nick Jordan (Clink Street Publishing) is the story of spirited princess Rosehip, who is not delighted at the prospect of getting married to a handsome prince. Enter a hungry dragon and the adventure begins...

Teapot is an island ruled by King Fennel and Queen Camomile. Tradition states that their daughter, the beautiful Princess Rosehip, must choose a husband. Unfortunately, Rosehip has dreams of adventure and excitement, which don't include a wedding. 
Oblivious to Rosehip's wishes, Prince Spoon of Cup & Saucer and Lord Lid of Lid, arrive to ask for her hand in marriage. But a fearful dragon, who just loves scoffing a princess with a side of chips, is spotted by magician Murmur. The horrid beast makes its nest on the island and soon its stomach is rumbling... 
Michela is a tomboy so she readily identified with Rosehip. She was transported into the quirky world of Teapot and didn't come back to reality for a long while, giving me much more than the proverbial '5 minutes of peace'. She really liked the colourful illustrations, especially the page with the monster lizards and fearful dragons. 

Teapot and the Dragon is available to purchase from online retailers including and from bookstores, RRP £8.99 paperback, £4.99 ebook. For more adventures, please follow @Teapotions on Twitter. 

Watch this space for an exciting blog post featuring a competition bonanza... win prizes just by leaving a comment!

PS The book above will be one of the prizes among movie memorabilia and other goodies for families!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Easter Bunny is 8 & a Cake Competition!

8 years of birthday cakes

This post is inspired by a blog competition, based on a really tasty ideas: cakes! It made me think of birthday cakes as a few days ago was my daughter's 8th birthday. She was born between Easter Monday and Tuesday, so she is effectively an Easter bunny and literally a spring lamb too!

I decided to make a collage of all the birthday cakes, all homemade, some better looking than others depending on how much time I had to put them together and one made by her dad (guess which one). 

My lucky sample of Mr Kipling's cakes, handy for parties!
So for us it's not just Easter that is better with cakes! To keep the theme going, we are having a party with a few friends from school and it will be a case of pin the tail on the bunny! 

We might also enjoy a lot of cake, we have a bought one for the 'official party' and other treats as a few adults are staying.

This post is an entry for #betterwithcake Linky Challenge, sponsored by Mr Kipling. Click the link if you want to enter the competition!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter basket... happy school holidays!

Our Easter basket

Muscari, dwarf daffodil, English native
 primroses, chicks and plastic sheep