#TeenTalk With Gaby Logan And Boots

Those foreboding teenage years sadly have to come to us all.

I remember as clear as day that awkward moment when my mum thrust an Usbourne ‘Our Bodies’ book into my hand looking decidedly more embarrassed than me, and the day my dreaded period arrived seemed much more filled with the worry of telling my Mum than the actual mechanics of it all.

This all happened for me in the early 90’s and you would have thought that by now things would have moved on  and these subjects that parents once feared and avoided would now be much easier to broach.

Sadly 68% of parents still find it difficult to approach puberty topics with their teens, a quarter of parents asked in a poll avoid these subjects all together and 33% of parents wish they could talk openly with their teen.

The other week I was invited along to the Haymarket Hotel in London to have afternoon tea with a group of lovely bloggers that was headed up by Gaby Logan and teen expert Sarah Newton.

Armed with tea and cake we chatted about the #TeenTalk campaign that Boots are running for it’s second year to try and support parents as they navigate their teens through the tough years of puberty by providing parents with much needed advice and support to talk to their teens with informed confidence.

Gaby Logan is currently hitting this phase in her life with her preteen twins and this is how she has been handling this phase with her children. 

 “As a mother of twin teens, I understand the challenges of communicating with teens all too well! They suddenly go from wanting to tell parents everything, to one word answers. But as every parent knows, you desperately want to give your children all the guidance, help and support they need and being able to communicate effectively with your teens is crucial to this. What I love about the #TeenTalk campaign is that is helps to give parents the confidence to start and maintain a strong, open and honest conversation with their child through puberty and beyond”

For me broaching the subjects of changing bodies, personal hygiene and sexual relationships is something that I have never shied away from with my own children and I have always tried to answer  questions that arise at any age instead of leaving it to a big, built up ‘chat’ as they approach their teens.

As a mother of a daughter that I have already been through it all with and a 14 year old son I do also know that as with everything no child is the same and the way you broach these subjects can’t be the same for them all, but as the teen guru Sarah Newton said we need to keep the conversation going.

My own parents were very closed shop about it all and simply giving them a list of the things that should happen and leaving it at that probably isn’t the best way to go about it.

Let their inquisitive minds be filled with all the information that you think they need to confidently go into thier teens with the ability to make informed choices on what path they are going to take when one of these hurdles come along.

Be it a boys first shave or a girl feeling ready for her first bra are all huge steps in the eyes of a teen and they still really need that help and reassurance from thier parents that the decisions they are ultimately making are right.

From the 10th May -6th June Boots will be giving away a free #TeenTalk guide with every purchase of Venus, Always, and Tampax products.

These products are perfect for helping teens through this transitional period and they are even kind enough to be giving away a free gift for anyone with teen daughters.

It was an fabulous afternoon filled with relieving memories of our own teen years and experiences some of us had already had with out own children.

By listening to all these stories on thing that has stuck in my mind is that as long as you are well informed, open and honest then you can’t go far wrong.

The Art Of Brick:DC Super Heroes

Lego is a toy that from my experience all children love. It allows them to be creative, use their imagination and helps heaps with their fine motor skills.

For my youngest two mixing Lego with superheroes would be the perfect combination and that is exactly what has been done with The Art Of Brick:DC Super Heroes.

The extremely clever artist Sawaya has teamed up with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. to recreate DC characters, vehicles and the environments they are found in out of over 2 million Lego bricks. 


We were all astounded with the intricacy of each and every sculpture that the boys found very hard to keep their hands off of. In fact only my youngest two could have a kerfuffle in the middle of the exhibition…coming close to taking out a huge container filled with carefully sorted bricks!


Sticky fingers are however allowed to wander at the end of the exhibition where there is the chance to create your own masterpieces, grab a snack or play on some Lego themed video games.

I’ve not spoiled the exhibition by including lots of pics in this post as it lovely to see them first hand.

Tickets are easily purchased online and there is the option to by on the door but I wouldn’t leave it to chance.

We were there for about an hour in total so the entry price is a little high in my opinion, but it really is a sight worth seeing.

Dinosaurs Invade London At Jurassic Kingdom

Who would have thought that tucked away in a suburban part of town there would be grand Georgian house with stunning grounds homing a whole host of dinosaurs!

Last week we went on the hunt for them and wasn’t disappointed.

After a more than a little fraught journey to from South London we made it to Osterley House in Isleworth, which a a stunning National Trust property with acres of beautiful land that is just perfect for hosting Jurassic Kingdom which is there from now until the 17th April.

It is accessible by public transport but a long walk from the train station for little legs or a short bus journey but the buses are only scheduled every 20 mins which was a long wait for my impatient children.

The car park however is huge and free to National Trust members of £7 all day.

Time slots are available to book easily on line for the event and I would suggest you allow yourself plenty of time as there is lots to see and do.

The Jurassic Park style entrance paved its way into the attraction itself which has you following a path through the grounds spotting dinosaurs as you go.


Some are static but the majority have moving limbs and sound effects which the children loved.

It is a far more interactive experience than I had imagined and there are dinosaurs that you can climb onto, a sand pit that lets the little ones try their hand at becoming an arciologist and digging out bones and an education tent where you can sit and watch a short show that explains a little more about dinosaurs.

As far as eating goes the places is perfect for picnicking as there are so many great places to pitch up. There is also a small selection of fast food stands where Izzy count resist the churros!

The children also has a great time making us of the National trust facilities which are always a winner by tree climbing, den building and swinging on the rope swings.

All in all it is the perfect day out for dino fans and even those that aren’t so keen could easy make us and enjoy everything else Jurrasic Kingdom has to offer.

*we were given tickets for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Country Kids

Swapbots:A New Generation Off Augmented Reality 

I have written several times about the perils of screen time and how it has had a detrimental effect on our family.

My teen has had several periods where he has been drawn in by the addictive world of gaming and it has really taken over his life.

This said though the world we live in today is driven by technology and for children to get on this is an integral part of their learning that can be hugely benificial if used in the correct way.

The people behind the fantastic new augmented reality toy-Swapbots have come up with the perfect solution to this.

Swapbots are collectable toys that through the use of augmented reality creative an amazing interactive video game that is based around a physical toy.

Swapbots are formed of a set of nine characters of which each character is made up by three interchanging blocks.

Each block has its own superpower and can be chopped and changed to make your own unique character.

This amazingly  amounts to a huge seven thousand and twenty nine character combinations that can be brought to life through the free Swapbots app that is easily downloadable on your device of choice.

All the player needs to do is select their  character combination, point their  device at the toy and watch it come to life in front of their eyes.

From here the Swapbots can be cared for, taken on exciting adventures or pitted at battle with each other.

Many of you may worry they this is just another pull into the lost world of screen time, but as I said in reality we live in a technology driven world and this is so much more than just your run of the mill gaming app.

It encourages thier problem solving skills, allows them to use thier imagination and allows interaction with the outside world whilst using elements from the digital world.

Take a look at it in action HERE 

*collaborated post 

Cultivating Little Ones Green Fingers

The sun has been raising its head a little over the past few weeks and after a winter of neglect it is time to get out into the garden and get it ready to enjoy over the spring and summer months.

The garden is the perfect place to teach your child so many wonderful things, so why not don your gardening gear and see what your garden has to offer.

A company that covers functional yet fun clothing for adults and children alike is Engelbert Strauss. They supply high quality pieces that will withstand being out in muck and grime of the garden whist still looking good.

Stimulates The Senses – The colours of the flowers, the scent they give off, the texture of the dirt and the taste of the fruit and veg that can grow there will engage your children’s sense of smell, taste, touch, sight and sound.

Builds Motor Skills – Digging with thier spades, filling up the watering can and picking out weeds will all help to build your child’s gross and fine motor skills.

Learning About Lifecycles – From planting that very first seed to watching a flower grow and then eventually wilt and die, will teach your child the importance of the lifecycle of plants.

The same thing can be done with fruit and veg. Simple things like strawberries and tomatoes are easy to grow and the children will love being able to watch them get bigger by the day and then enjoy the fruits of their labour once they ripen.

Our local garden centre is full of great items to get things started and allows the children to be immersed in the whole process right from the start by picking out the seeds or plants at the garden centre and taking them home to cultivate them all by themselves. 

Bug Hunting – Children love a bug hunt and what better place than just outside your backdoor is there to explore where all the creepy crawlies live.

So with the Easter holidays approaching why not keep these things and mind and set up a few activities to enjoy outside.

How about growing some juicy strawberries, planting some seeds to see who can grow the tallest sunflower or make a list of some of the most common mini beasts and see how many you can find.

*collaborated post

TOMS Animal Initiative With WildAid 

TOMS are a company that have been on my radar for many years now, as not only do they make beautiful shoes for both adults and children…they also have a fantastic ethos behind what they do thus enabling them to provide over 70 million pairs of shoes for children in need over the past 10 years.

This is why I was very excited to go along to an event at their flagship store on Carnaby Street the other week to see how their generosity was stretching to yet another great initiative.

I was firstly taken back by the store itself to be honest.

I had only ever bought TOMS shoes from concessions in shops such as Office and didn’t realise they offered so much more than just their trademark canvas shoe.

The shop itself is home to a beautiful coffee shop serving delicious coffees and snacks as well as a huge range of shoes, boots, sandals, bags and sunglasses.

After taking in everything they had to offer we got down to taking about the new animal initiative that TOMS are working on in conjunction with WildAid.

The majestic giant pandas of Sichuan are in such grave danger that there are now less then 2000 in the world.

TOMS have bought out a limited edition range of vegan shoes for both adults and children by taking inspiration from this beautiful creature.

They are hoping that through this they will be able to to provide impoverished students living ammongest these pandas with the education they need to protect these endangered animals.

I known I for one in this age of throw away culture would love to be able to purchase a beautiful yet practical shoe and feel pleased that I have helped in some way towards the fight for this magnificent animal.

Getting Rid Of Anxieties With ‘The Worry Plaque’ 

Number four started school in September and amazingly he has settled well and has come on absolute leaps and bounds in terms of his learning and behaviour which is something I never expected.

He is however a complex little thing and he is extremely hard to work out. He bottles things up and is a real closed book.

When he is worried or anxious he tends to  lash out and problems are usually masked with aggression.

It is so frustrating and upsetting for all of us when he reacts this way and although it is an outlet for him it never really gets to the crux of the problem.

When we were asked to try out The Worry Plaque from The Irish Fairy Door Company I didn’t really hold out much hope in it working for us.


The plaque is battery operated and can be mounted to the wall. We are yet to find the perfect place for it so it is currently on number four’s chest of drawers.

The idea is that the child places their hand onto the handprint. The handprint appears red whilst they tell the fairies their worries and when it turns green all their worries are taken away by the fairies and the negative energy they create is then turned into good energy to grant lovely new wishes.


Number four is an extremely pessimistic child for someone of the tender age of five but he has been complexly encapsulated with the magic of this and has been a firm believer that all his worries will be safely taken away for him.


I couldn’t be happier with this fabulous idea that is perfect for little ones that find expressing their feelings hard.

Their are also a whole host of short videos online that show the fairies talking about worries such a bullying, falling out with friends, fears of spiders and many more.

A little bit of fairy magic has done the trick for us and I highly recommend giving it a go for yourselves.

*we were given this plaque for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.