Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Getaway:Review

All of my older children have been fans of the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series and there is always great excitement when a new book is released. The realistic, comedy fiction books that are aimed at older children and teens have been capturing the imagination of children since 2007 and have gone from strength to strength.

We have all loved watching the trials and tribulations of Greg Heffley and his family and friends as he struggles with life in and outside school.

His chaotic life with his lovable family and quirky friends draws you in and really allows you to bond with the characters.

There is always great excitement with each new book release so you can imagine the excitement when we were sent a copy of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Getaway to preview before its release.

This time we see Greg and his family setting off to warmer climbs to avoid the stress and strain of the Christmas holidays.

As you have probably guessed the visions of a relaxing few days soaking up the sun turns into a disater even before they arrive at the airport.

Flight delays, stomach problems, sunstroke and venomous spiders are just a few of the problems the family encounter on their suposide relaxing getaway.

I will now leave you to find out if the whole of Christmas is ruined of if they manage to grab some kind of good from the usual disastrous situation.

This book has not failed to live up to the other editions and would make a for a great present under the tree this year.

Camp Bestival-The Best Christmas Present EVER

When it comes to Christmas presents I always have a bit of a dilemma with myself. The children compile lists of plastic toys that I know will be discarded before Boxing Day, and every part of me wants to fulfil their wishes…however the sensible side of me thinks all that money would be better spent on experiences that will last a lifetime rather than faddy toys that will last for minutes.

If we look back over our year then one of the experiences that sticks in all our minds the most is certainly Camp Bestival – the family festival that has to be seen to be believed.

This year sees fantastic musical acts taking to the stage such as Rick Astley, Clean Bandit an Simple Minds. Regulars to the festival are Mr Tumble and Dick and Dom will be returning to amuse the children…well and the adults too!

One of the shows that my little ones are most excited to see though is Dinosaur World Live that looks absolutely outstanding.

This really is the kind of gift that I would love to find nestled under the tree on Christmas Day and if it sounds like something your family would love to receive to then there is a great promotion running until 11th December.

If you book your tickets before this time you will receive a whole host of fantastic stocking fillers such as nautical tattoos to go with this years ‘Sets Sail’ theme, character stickers, a hand illustrated Christmas card and a limited edition sew on patch.

If you would like to spread the cost then you can still sign up to the 30 week payment plan and still receive all your goodies!

Take a little look at just a few of the reasons we love Camp Bestival so much:

Scree Free, Quality Time: This for me has to come top of my list as it is something that is so lacking when we are at home. Its a chance to put away those phones, leave the iPads alone and just enjoy spending time together talking, laughing, playing and having fun.
My lot spend a huge time arguing and fighting when we are at home, and don’t get me wrong it is never an argument free trip but we are certainly more drawn together as a family and that bond gets a little tighter.

Good Food: As a family we are often drawn to places with our bellies and I can assure you if you are a foodie like me then Camp Bestival won’t fail to stimulate your taste buds.
From ice cream covered waffles to juicy burgers, scucculent corn on the cob to crispy chips every palate will be catered for and every belly filled.
Th little ones can also get more hands on and prepare their own food which was a big hit for mine last year.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors: The whole trip involves being outside which can seem a little daunting but there is actually nothing better.
From enjoying the hustle and bustle of the main festival to simply chilling out round the tent or hiding away in our favourite place – The Dingly Dell there is a whole host of ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

Late Nights: As a Mum of five bedtimes are pretty strict in this house for the sake of everyones sanity to be honest. Camp Bestival allows us to kick these rules aside and just let them all stay up until they drop. They love being up until way after dark, huddled up in their trailer listening to music and watching Mum and Dad’s silly dancing.
The last night has to be the favourite though with is spectacular firework display that is simply not to be missed.

Learning New Skills And Using Their Imaginations: Camp Bestival isn’t just about the music and acts on stage, it holds so much more and really allows the children how to build skills by trying things they may not have come across before such a circus skills, woodwork and cooking and bundles of activities that allow them to use their imagination and just LET KIDS BE KIDS!

I hope this has given you a little snippet of just some of the fun Camp Bestival can bring and has you wanting to experience it for yourselves next year!

PlayStation Family Showcase

Gaming is something that has never really grabbed my attention for any length of time and aside from playing Packman and Tetris when I was younger I have never really given it a lot of thought.

This however is the complete opposite for my eldest son who is an avid gamer and in fact has been trying to convince me for the last two years that gaming is a viable career and a path that he really wants to follow.

With this in mind when I got the invitation to Playstation’s Family Showcase I was hoping that they would open my eyes to something I know very little about.

Walking into the event at the cool and quirky Perseverance Works in East London the boys eyes lit up and neither of them new where to start first.

The whole area was set out into different sections with a huge variety of games to try your hand at, plenty of refreshments to keep you refulled and if you fancied a bit of a break from the screen time then there were lots of crafts to keep you busy and some yummy cupcakes to decorate with lovely Cookie Girl.

The boys quickly found the NBA 2K17 basketball game and sat together playing whist I grabbed a coffee and chatted to the hilarious Ellie from ‘Scummy Mummies’ who was there to host the event.

Archie seemed to quickly find his favourite games FIFA17 and the super cool Gran Truismo and settled down to challenge the experts that were walking round to help out with any tech questions…there were more than a few from me!

Frankie however was overwhelmed with the choice and flitted backwards and forwards between games such a the fabulous new Lego Ninago Movie game that really bought one of his favourite movies alive in front of his eyes, Marvel Superheroes that went down a treat as he got to play some of his favourite superheroes and Crash Bandicoot which was in fact one of the first games I ever bought Archie.

There were even two fantastic games – That’s You and Knowledge Of Powergames that allow the whole family play together with the use your smart phones or tablets to answer questions and really interact together that would make the perfect alternative to the usual board games this christmas!

Watching the boys play together and make new friends by joining up and using the two player option on the games really made me see gaming in a different light. I had always seen it as a solitary pastime that kept them very isolated when in fact games can help team building skills, make healthy competition and create social skills. All of these things I had never really considered before.

I think the boys christmas lists have certainly grown since this event and I would definitely advise any of you to check out some of the games I’ve mentioned as they would make super gifts for any gamers out there.

Please Don’t Let High School Take Your Sparkle

It’s that time of year again when the children are returning to school to start a fresh year of new and exciting challenges…for some it might not just be a new classroom it could be that big jump from preschool to reception or primary to secondary school.

In our house it is Izzy that will be taking that big leap to high school and to be honest she is taking it all in her stride.

It can be a huge change for both the child and parents with so many unknowns for everyone.

With Izzy being my third to take this step I don’t really have any anxieties about the whole process as it is a familiar school for us both and something I’ve had many years of practice with.

I am however getting a sinking feeling that the pressures of fitting it will cause her quirkiness to disappear and she will feel the need to conform and follow the crowd.

My little bare footed hippie certainly knows her own style but as she has got older the thoughts of others have been swaying her a little and as I’m sure we all know the pressures of a such a big change and that dreaded teen angst creeping in can have such a huge impact.

I know with the older two that I found the move to secondary school the biggest change as their it is such a tricky age. They are really trying to find themselves and this means much less parental involvement is needed in their day to day goings on which can be pretty hard.

They look to others for recognition and this is where I noticed a change with my older two as my opinion moved down the pecking order and their peers were not the people they wanted to please rather than me.

With this in mind I really hope she doesn’t loose  her huge zest for life, her don’t care attitude towards everything she does and her individual style. I hope she learns to withstand everything that it thrown at her over the next few years and let her inner sparkle continues to shine bright and be that one that stands out in the crowd.

Project Mc2 Preview Afternoon

During the summer holidays we were invited along to a super secret spy premiere party to celebrate the new series of Project Mc2 that has been released on Netflix.

‘Smart is the new cool’ is the tag line for the four super cool best friends that are trying to get across that learning is fun and doesn’t always have to be boring and uncool.

They combine their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, art and maths to solve their undercover missions.


With this as a theme for the day the children were set on a super spy mission with the great actors from Sharky and George events and set to trying out all sorts of sorted and wonderful science experiments with Mad Science East London who really opened up number three’s eyes to a completely new and fun way of learning.

A great series such as this wouldn’t be complete with some supercool merchandise to go alongside it and we were all really impressed with what they had to offer.

The girls themselves are dressed is trendy outfits and each ones interest is shown though the addition of the little extras such as making your own glitter globe and making your own light up bracelet.


There is also a secret spy kit to try and solve your own missions and and by far the favourite with number four was the H2O RC car with working lights and the addition of water that makes steam from the exhaust.

All the children were really taken with the first episode and loved all the merchandise, but what really won it over for me was the whole ethos behind the show and how they have turned the stereotypical superheroes and girl gangs on their heads and have come up with something completely different.

It was a hit for boys and girls alike and has definitely bought a new thirst for knowledge to my little ones.

My Captured Moment:Brotherly Love

  

When number five was born,to say that number four’s nose was put out of joint would be an understatement!

He did not take to him at all and it’s only really over the pasting or so that he has started to show him some real love.  

As you can see from this picture now a little to much at times!

  

Image Of The Week:All Grown Up

  

Children are a challange at every age.  Sleepless nights with newborns, tantrums with toddlers, strops and arguments with teenagers; but none of us would have it any other way.

Children growing is a learning curve for both the children and parents.  They are experiencing things for the first time as we are as parents.

With my eldest turning 18 next month I can say that we have taken on every challange along the way and both got lots of them wrong!

I’m sure there are many more challenges to come but for the most part we have got through all the big milestones together and they given us the parent/daughter relationship we have today and I wouldn’t have it any other way X