Holding back the river

Time

I wish It was possible to keep hold of Time

To pause it

To place a moment in a jar, lid on and screw it up as tight as possible

I wish life would just give me a chance to live

To hold back the river and calm down

I don’t want to be dragged along in the current

Whizzing down stream, life passing by

As peaceful as it may sound, resting in the water and allowing the current to carry me

Means I’m missing out on what is passing by

I don’t want to swim up stream either

I don’t have the energy to fight the currents

Yes, it means I am alive

That I am strong

But, just for now I would like the river to raise either side and allow me to be me

Just hold back the river

Allow me to rest

To keep my boys by my side

Without the struggle of life

Time is too short to just go with the flow

Time is too short to live a hectic lifestyle

I wish It would slow down

Let us really take in what is happening around us

I don’t want to go with the flow anymore

I want it to slow down and part

The same water cannot be touched again, just like life

Once a time has passed it will never happen again

Holding back the river for just one moment

Allow me to hold the precious ones around me

To take in

To breathe

To rest

And then, after that moment I will be ready for the next journey

The adventure of life

 

 

Customising with Gel-a-peel #review

I love a good craft project, especially when its one that combines summer and neon pens.

I had never heard of Gel-a-peel before, maybe because my boys are more into football or climbing trees. But when we was contacted and asked to join in on the gel-a-peel summer campaign I couldn’t wait to introduce it to my boys. The box itself doesn’t really appeal to my boys as it was a little girly but once I showed them what the pens could do they were showing signs of interest.

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We was sent a gel-a-peel box which contains 3 glow in the dark pens and a pair of sunglasses for the boys to decorate and customise to their own taste.

What’s in the box:

  • 3 glow in the dark gel tubes
  • 16+ design templates
  • Gel tray with shapes and letters
  • 4 designed tips
  • 1 plastic sheet
  • Instruction sheet
  • Cleaning tools

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The pens are easy to use. They come in 30g tubes and made from silicone. You can create any fashion accessory in 4 easy steps

  1. Choose a template or create your own
  2. Pick a colour gel pen and a tip
  3. Place the plastic sheet over the chosen template and trace over it. Use some tape to secure it to the table (your drawing sheet may slip otherwise) Once finished leave it to dry. Each template tells you how long it takes for it to dry
  4. Once dry, peel it off and now your ready to wear/use it

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We found that when you are tracing over the template onto the plastic sheet you need to make sure that the lines are nice and thick, be generous with the pen but try to keep it even. Overlap the lines and reinforce thin spots. Our bangle, in the shape of a cherry snapped when we was putting it on, but the magic of these pens is that they can easily be fixed. Just apply more gel to the break and wait for it to dry.

The boys made me a lovely bracelet following the instructions. They also used the tray to make some letters and using the gel pens they attached them to the bracelet

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Cute isn’t it!

These pens are such a brilliant idea, fun and easy to use.

My son couldn’t wait to decorate his sunglasses with the pens.

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He chose the fine tip to decorate around the frames and a the star tip to leave little stars on the arms.

 

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The tips included are round tip, rake tip and star tip. Remove the cap and plug from a gel tube, then twist on your chosen tip. The longer you squeeze the bigger the shape will be. These tips help you create different effects.

Once you have finished with a pen and tip just place the lid back on the pen and clean out the tip with the tool provided. I found that the next day, once the gel had set and dried I could easily pull it out of the tip ready to use again with another pen.

The Tray is easy to use, not only does it have the alphabet in capital letters but also, numbers, 4 emojis and 5 different shapes. You use the round tip to completely fill in the shapes and then use the cleaning tool to remove out any bubbles in the gel. Then use the squeegee tool to remove any excess gel from the tray. Once your chosen shapes are filled in leave them to dry, loosen them with the cleaning tool and just peel them out ready to use on your designs.

He chose to use some of the shapes to decorate his sunglasses

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We left our sunglasses over night to completely dry out before we wore them.

My son was really pleased with his glasses, it makes them extra special as they are his own design. He couldn’t wait to try them out in the sun.

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They have been packed and ready to use on holiday. His very own customised pair of sunglasses, an original that he knows that no one else with have. This pack of pens are glow in the dark so will be ideal for customising any accessory ready for the summer festivals

The pens are a really good idea for any child to get creative, they are advised for children over the age of 8.

My only complaint about them is that the advertising is aimed at girls and really boys will enjoy this activity just as much. As you can see from my son’s face in the above pictures, he enjoyed the activity and the outcome of his design.

Gel-a-peel is available to buy from £14.99

We was sent a box for the purpose of this review

Num Noms Series 4 Has Arrived!

One of the most anticipated new-series launches has arrived in the UK… Num Noms Series 4 !
The wacky collectibles are set to bring new themes and flavours in the shape of cookies, cakes, candies and pies – delicious!
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What are Num Noms?
Num Noms are cute little collectible squishy characters that are themed around yummy food, not only do they look the food but they also smell like them too. The Nums are the soft and squishy outer shell and the Noms are hard inner shell that come as Lip gloss, erasers or stamps. Stack them together to create wild and wacky combinations. And if you are brave you can then recreate the combo in the kitchen for real and dish up a surprising fun piece of food.
My son loves to collect them and has quite a little collection going on now. He prefers to have the stamp or eraser noms over the lip gloss noms but that is just because he says that they are bit girly for him ( but between you and me, he still plays with them) He plays his own little game with them and makes up stories with them. He creates a Num Nom village where he scatters the little characters about and they all have their own jobs, like Num Nom news reporters who tells the Num Nom news.
He was very excited to receive the latest series in the collectible craze.
Not only are there new flavoured Num Noms but there is also the official Num Nom magazine that is packed with fun things to do, posters, stories and games.

The Desert tray is the ultimate Num Noms collection all in one box! Mix n match Nums & Noms to create delicious flavour and scent combos! It’s a surprise which mystery Num is hidden behind the question mark.

Lunch Box Includes:

10 scented Nums; including the mystery one

2 flavoured Glittered Lip Gloss Noms

Collectors Menu

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The Desert Tray smells delicious, just like a cake shop. My favourites have got to be the Mocha Frappe and Mint Shake as they actually smell like their namesake. There are all sorts of new characters from B-day Surprise, Autumn Spice to Candy

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Have I mentioned how yummy they smell? They really do smell sweet.

Sometimes it’s hard to get the real aroma from individual Nums when they have come from a big box as I think that they pick up the scent of the other Nums.

The Cookies and Milk Num Noms Series 4.1 starter pack is the perfect little set to get started with collecting these adorable, squishy character.

What’s in the box?

3 character themed Num Noms

1 scented glitter lip gloss Nom

Tongs and Cookie Jar

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Included in this pack is Rainbow Crumb, Sprinkle Berry, Nilla Whip Nums and Razz Cookie lip gloss Nom

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I can just imagine a rainbow cookie with a berry topping and a squirt of vanilla cream.

There are 120 Num Noms in series 4 to collect to create sweet flavoured recipes with

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Place them in the cookie pot and stack them up

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The glitter lip gloss is only small but it goes a long way. It glides on the lips smoothly and leaves the lips feeling a little sticky but makes them shine.

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The new Num Nom magazine is packed with lots to do for the children

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It comes with a few little freebies too; a toy camera, a rubber key ring, party invites and a magnetic picture frame.

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Nums in series 4 are:

Cookies – wafer, chip, fortune

Creamery – cafe drinks, smoothie, milkshakes, fro-yo

Fancy Cakes- Teacakes, Bundt

Creme Filled- Macarons, Sandwich

Baked Goods – Pies, Donuts

Pasta Nums

In each group there is a special edition Num to collect

We have packed the magazine as well as some Num Noms to take away with us on our holidays as I am sure they will keep the children entertained on the journey.

As the Nums are squishy and light they are great for taking away with you. They fit into little pockets and take up no space in a case.

Series 4 is available now to buy in shops.

We was sent a selection of Series 4 for the purpose of this review. Picture and words are my own.

 

An Amazing Experience for my Young Animal Enthusiast at Colchester Zoo

It was my sons 1oth birthday and I wanted to get him something a little different, as I was strolling through the internet I came across an animal experience at Colchester Zoo. This would be perfect for him as he absolutely loves animals and is always talking about becoming a zoologist when he is older.

The Zoo academy introduces children from the age of 10 – 15 to what it is like to work with animals. It gives them a behind the scenes experience with a few of the animals from the zoo. With expert tuition from the keepers, the children get to meet some incredible animals and enjoy a ‘hands on’ lesson that they will treasure forever!

The experience includes: 2 hours with the animals and keepers, a whole day entry into the Zoo and a souvenir pack which includes a certificate.

The programme is designed to introduce children to a broad range of keeper skills. The Cadets go behind the scenes and learn how to carry out health checks, train animals, complete water tests, design enrichment and more! From the coatis and owls to our tortoises and stingrays.

It was a morning experience starting at 10am which meant that we would have the rest of the day walking around the zoo with the family after he had finished being a Zoo Cadet.

It was a lovely hot day and we was all very excited especially the birthday boy. I got to go along with him as he had to have an adult with him and what was even better was that he was the only child booked onto the experience so he had 1-1 time with the animals and keepers.

We was introduced to the keeper who would be showing Joseph around for the first half of the experience. And was walked on over to the first part of the behind the scenes to prepare some enrichment for the Parrots.

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He was shown what to do and then Joseph began making some of his own. He wrapped up the food in paper, then he hid the paper inside some card and then wrapped it all up again in an egg carton. Enrichment teaches the Parrots to forage for their food and challenges them

Meet Gizmo, Isn’t he a cutie! He loved the attention he was getting from us and went absolutely mad when we walked away, when we turned back to face him he whistled at us.

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After we said our goodbyes to Gizmo, Joseph was introduced to A ring-tailed Coati, a medium-sized mammal that is from the Racoon family. He was an excitable little fellow and was keen to come see who was visiting her in her home. The keeper placed a lead onto the Coati and asked Joseph if he wanted to take her for her daily walk. Obviously, he said yes. It was like walking a dog.

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The keeper kept some treats for her in her pocket and when she was behaving on the walk, she was given some. The Coati was very much like a dog and was well-behaved.

After the Coati had her walk we said goodbye again to Gizmo, as we was passing and was led on over to the bird of prey where Joseph was introduced to some Owls. He was told that the barn owl needed to be weighed and that would be his job. They keep a diary of how much the birds weigh so that they feed them the correct amount of food.

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Joseph had to keep his hand still as the owl was perched onto the glove on his hand.The owl got a little fluttery as he was adjusting himself and managed to scratch Joseph with his talons. This didn’t faze Joseph, he was just more determined to walk along with the owl.

Once in the weighing shed, he placed the owl onto the scales and using small weights he had to balance out the weight.

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If a bird is under weight then it will have little energy to fly

Once the weighing was done, Joseph walked along with the owl through the wild display area where we met the next zoo keeper that would show us around on the rest of the behind the scenes experience.

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He had a smile constantly on his face throughout the whole morning, he was so happy. It was lovely to see him doing something that he totally loves. He looked so at home and comfortable with the animals.

We was taken into the butterfly enclosure and again behind the scenes to see the cocoons of some butterflies and to release them into the enclosure

He was very careful as he carried the butterfly gently within his hands to let it go through the hatch

After he had released a few butterflies we made our way over to see the Tortoise. As we have a pet tortoise at home he was very excited to get close to a much bigger one.

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He wasn’t allowed to pick him up but he did get to stroke him.

The whole time he was walking along with the zoo keeper he was told information about the animals. Joseph was full of facts and told the keepers a thing or two too. He knows a lot about animals and is always watching videos, documentaries and reading books about wildlife, animals and nature.

I didn’t even know that he knew as much as he did. He amazed me. I was so proud of him.

The next place we went was behind the scenes with a creepy crawlies. I’d say they were mini beasts but they wasn’t quite mini, they were huge!

I even had a little stroke of the hissing cockroach, they are so smooth.

Did you know that cockroaches are cleaner than humans? They are always washing themselves I’ll remember that next time I see one whilst abroad lol

The last part of the Zoo Academy was to test the water for bacteria and animal poo in the stingray enclosure.

With glasses and gloves on he was ready to do the experiment

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Using a syringe he sucked up some of the water that had been collected from the stingray pool and he squeezed it out into a tub where he added in some drops from a bottle that would check the N02 and PH levels

 

Once he had checked the levels it was then on to the last job and that was to feed the stingray. He sat on the edge of the pool and lent over with a big rod and handed over the food to stingray that swam past

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It was an experience that he will not forget in a while. A truly memorable day

His words “It was amazing!” He wants to work with animals even more so now.

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The staff was friendly and the whole experience was very well organised.

 

 

 

 

 

Orlando’s Planet Hollywood Re-Opens

***Press Release***

PLANET HOLLYWOOD’S TRANSFORMED ORLANDO FLAGSHIP LOCATION

HAS RE-OPENED ITS DOORS

 America’s iconic celebrity themed restaurant Planet Hollywood recently re-opened following multi-million dollar investment, the 36,000-square-foot restaurant is the largest in the resort and has a whole host of entertainment for the family.  This includes a 4,500-square-foot video wall, three dimensional interiors, outdoor terrace and curated collection of Hollywood memorabilia.

Centrally located to all the nearby attractions, the restaurant overlooks the heart of Disney Springs, the dining, retail and entertainment district located at Walt Disney World Resort. Multi-million dollar renovations have transformed Planet Hollywood’s iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace and lounge, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel. The 36,000-square-foot restaurant invites patrons of all ages to “Dine Amongst the Stars” with an immersive theatrical dining experience unlike anything before. Pop in for dinner for two, or make a reservation for the entire family. You’ll find Guy Fieri’s burgers and sandwiches, state-of-the-art multimedia, live entertainment, and rare, selfie-worthy artifacts from Hollywood history.

An enhanced, yet timeless menu highlights Planet Hollywood’s classic dishes, introducing a savory selection of “Big Bite Burgers” and over the top Signature Sandwiches from dynamic chef, restaurateur and television personality Guy Fieri and new decadent sweets that include hand-dipped milkshakes and indulgent shareable desserts. A curated beverage program features a variety of wines, bottled and draft beers, as well as cocktails served in specialty glassware to cater to the needs of all guests, from groups with small children to young adults and seniors.

Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, each floor was created to provide a different experience so guests can return again and again, discovering a new adventure each time. Walls and glass displays throughout the restaurant are adorned with imagery as well as a curated collection of memorabilia that pays homage to a long tradition of film making and Planet Hollywood’s continued commitment to the new, rising stars of the entertainment industry. Along with a state-of-the-art 4,500-square-foot video wall, Planet Hollywood guests will be mesmerized by three-dimensional interiors that come to life through Trompe L’oeil 3D technology, an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist not on the screen but in the space itself.

“We wanted Planet Hollywood to re-invent what is expected from themed dining. What we’ve created here is a stand-alone destination that evokes the feeling of early 20th century Florida and fits into the greater story of Disney Springs,” said Planet Hollywood International Founder and Chairman Robert Earl. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome guests, and our wonderful staff, into this newly reimagined space.”

The Stargazers lounge, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor expansion overlooking Disney Springs, allows guests to relax under the stars while enjoying cocktails and live entertainment al fresco. A dedicated beverage menu, focused on Florida craft beers, touts 20 different taps as well as 10 signature cocktails infused with classic Floridian ingredients, such as the Stargazer with Stoli Blueberi vodka, lemonade, fresh blueberries and basil, and The Observatory with Stoli vodka, Limoncino Bottega, Monin Peach Tea and Candoni Prosecco.

Planet Hollywood, Orlando is now officially open to the public and is open daily from 11am until 1am.

For more information, visit www.planethollywood.com

This is a press release, no payment has been received for this post

Keeping the Children Busy with Rock Painting Activity

Summer holidays are well and truly here but in Great British style the weather is not! The hot summer days seem to be over now and we are left with windy, rainy days instead. Weather like this makes it hard for us parents to keep the children entertained outdoors, especially when it comes to keeping the budget at a low cost.

Since the children have finished school for the summer we have had pretty crap weather, I don’t want to keep the children indoors (otherwise my house looks like a bomb site) I want to see them outdoors enjoying the time that they have off school, playing with friends and making new ones.

I came across a Facebook page called ‘Love on the rocks uk’. It’s a page where people paint on rocks then hide them for others to find. All they ask of you is to get creative as you want with a rock and some paints and then write on the back “love on the rocks” with the Facebook symbol then hide the rock within your community; a park, forest or a beach promenade. Take a photo of it and share it on Facebook for other rock hunters to find it. Once found, the hope is that people will look up the Facebook page and join in with the fun.

This activity is cheap and fun. Not only are you getting creative but also getting out and about in the great outdoors.

We visited Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex for the Wind in the Willows Trail and whilst we was there we found some rocks to paint on. We took some felt tip pens and sharpies with us. Found a quite spot to sit down at and got drawing

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That’s what is great about this activity it keeps the children busy, it’s fun and they get to explore at the same time.

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The eldest drew a sunset onto his rock, using tippex for the shadow on the sea

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Our little collection of love on the rocks

We found a few spots in Hanningfield to hide them and left them feeling very happy with ourselves, that maybe we can put a smile onto someones face.

Would love to see the face of the child/adult that finds these rocks. They’re not a work of art but they are fun

A shadow of a cat sat in front of a sunset
A shadow of a cat sat in front of a sunset
Love on the rocks written on the back
Love on the rocks written on the back

Why not join in on the fun. Wouldn’t it be fun to spread the love of rocks further afield. I am thinking of hiding some abroad