Friday, 27 March 2015

Kano Computer Kit Giveaway

As promised, I am delighted to be able to offer one of my readers the chance to win your very own Kano Computer Kit. We adore ours, I haven't ever seen my 6 year old so keen to 'play' with something ever, and he's learning incredibly valuable skills as he plays.


Designed with children in mind, the Kano kit contains everything you need to get started in the world of coding and computer programming - you can be the one making the games and apps., and not just playing with them.

Included in the kit are a Raspberry Pi, cables, a case, a keyboard with mousepad, a speaker and two incredibly clear instruction manuals to guide you along. First task is to build your own computer, and then you start to learn how to adapt games by changing parts of the code. The system has several pre-installed apps. and games using the Python programming language, including Snake, Pong and Minecraft.


UK schoolchildren are currently behind a lot of the rest of the world when it comes to computer skills. We teach our children to use Word, and Windows, but what we really need are for them to be able to understand how and why computers work, and we need people who will be able to write new applications and programs in the future.

You can see our full review of the Kano Computer Kit in this post...


For your chance to win your own Kano Computer Kit worth £99.99, please enter using the Gleam form below. The giveaway will end on Sunday 26th April at midnight, after which no more entries will be accepted. Full terms and conditions are shown on the Gleam form. UK entries only.

Kano Computer Kit Giveaway

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Kano Kit Review - Raspberry Pi Computing For Beginners

It's a rare day that something comes for review and you have a feeling it's going to be awesome, but it's even better. The Kano Computer Kit is easier, clearer, more exciting, more fun and far more beautiful than I had anticipated.

The Kano Computer Kit review - Raspberry Pi Computing for beginners
The Kano Computer Kit review - what's in the box

At the heart of the Kano Kit is the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is a marvellous thing. The most basic of basic computers, yet still more powerful that the average home computer was until the turn of the century. Because it's so basic, it can be used to introduce anyone to actual computing and programming, and it's incredibly cheap.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Geronimo Festival Family Ticket Giveaway

The Geronimo Festival at Tatton Park in Cheshire on May 23-25 will be the North West's biggest children's festival this year, we'll be there as Ambassadors, and I'm delighted today to be able to offer a family day ticket admitting up to 4 people as a prize for one of my readers.

Geronimo Festival Family Day Ticket Giveaway
Included with your entry are an absolute host of activities for children of all ages, from the 2 year olds up to the 12 year olds. Bubble-shows, baby ballet, petting zoo and cookie decorating might enthrall your little one while their older sibling has a turn on the den-making or zip wires.

Monday, 23 March 2015

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks DVD review and giveaway

Monday 23rd March saw the release of a brand new movie from My Little Pony Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks. Rainbow Rocks is a full length animated feature film which chronicles the tale of the Equestria Girls and their attempt to break into the pop music world.


My youngest two are big fans of My Little Pony, but they hadn't seen Equestria Girls before, however they knew all about it!! It's unusual as it's a feature length movie, and I wasn't certain if it would hold their attention for the full 88 minutes - but it did and they really enjoyed it!

Minion Party Bags and Supplies

By now we should have had a 5th birthday party and I should be posting pictures of all the delicious party food the little darlings ate, but I've had flu. I've been very poorly and we've had to postpone our youngest little minion's birthday. However fear not, because the party will go ahead. I have it on good authority that by next weekend I should be all better and raring to go - if a little battered and sore, and a few lbs lighter than I was on Mother's Day!

Despicable Me Minions Party Supplies Review

We've been sent some great Minion Party Supplies from Party Bags & Supplies. My youngest is a HUGE fan of minions, and I've written about them a few times. We were lucky enough to go to a preview showing of Despicable Me 2, we've reviewed a brilliant Toys R Us Ultimate Minion, and we even made a minion from LEGO. By Friday we should have also made a minion cake, so watch this space for instructions....

Sunday, 22 March 2015

eFRAME Custom Frames Review

And what happens when there's an unwanted alien object in your parcel....

I was asked if I'd like to review eFrame, an online service who can supply frames in any size or style that suits, custom designed or ready made. I chose one of my favourite photos of 6 of our children on the way to preview SeaLife, Manchester, back in May 2013. It's not beautifully lit, it's not even properly in focus, but it was a great day out and a rare photo of most of the older ones together.

eFRAME Custom Frames Review

The website was super-easy to use, even though I haven't ever ordered a frame online. All of the options are on one scrollable page, and as you go down you see examples and explanations for everything, and your preview image is there throughout, so any adjustments you make are shown instantly.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

100 Family Adventures with the Meek Family - book review

100 Family Adventures is a thick book full of fabulous activities that families can do together in any different situation or with any level of ability that you can think of. It has ideas for in the house, in the garden, on the beach or anywhere families can play.

100 Family Adventures with the Meek Family - book review

We really haven't got up to much the last couple of years, which is a real shame as our older children all went camping every couple of weeks throughout their childhoods, so it feels the little two miss out on that. Camping might be something for later in the year, but what can we get up to right now?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

What would you save in a fire?

If the very worst happened, or seemed to be happening, and your home was at risk from fire, what would you save first? I think it's safe to assume that anything living would feature at the very top of that list, my children and partner safe, the pets would be next.

What would you save in a fire? Children and pets first

I spoke a couple of years ago about what I would save in a fire, in this post here, and events over the last 2 years have altered my opinion a little. Having a partner develop a life-threatening condition like Meningitis, and then suddenly losing one of our children with no warning, has shown me exactly what is important.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Seven months after losing Elspeth

This is a late post, but I am obviously aware it is Mother's Day, and I didn't want my update post to be a dampener for anyone. All the Mums out there deserve as lovely a day as I've had. I had a lie in, cards, croissant and Danish pastry in bed, and I came downstairs to a beautiful vase of flowers and a pile of presents big enough to match my last birthday. I didn't even have to cook all day. I love our kids...they're ace.


There have been a few tears today, just a few. It is 7 months since we lost Elspeth, and it's beginning to feel like it might be a long while now. That's double-edged because you don't want it to be a long time and you don't want to forget anything, but at the same time you want to run away as far as possible, and time is one way to achieve distance. Time is however making more sense now. We're starting to be able to plan things in the future and life isn't jumping up and surprising us so much. Less time is spent aimlessly most days. Life is more organised.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Swizzels Spring Selection Sweets Bucket Giveaway

We've just reviewed the Swizzels Matlow Spring Selection sweet tub and now I have an opportunity for you to win one of your own. Swizzels have very kindly offered one of these huge buckets full of sweets as a prize for one of my readers.

Swizzels Spring Selection Sweets Bucket Giveaway

Filled with Fruity Pops, Double Lollies, Parma Violets, Fizzers and lots more, these buckets are brilliant for Easter Sunday treasure hunts and have plenty of sweets to keep the whole family happy all Easter.

Swizzels Spring Selection Sweets Bucket competition