Sunday, 12 June 2011

Nick Jr Campaign: ‘Help Dora Help’

Nick Jr. launches nationwide initiative to get pre-schoolers exploring

Nick Jr., Nickelodeon’s leading pre-school channel, announces the launch of the Help Dora Help to bring exploration to life in nurseries and pre-schools across the UK. The campaign, supported by The Princes Foundation for Children and the Arts, consists of a free activity pack, giving nurseries and pre-schools educational activity resources, and the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £20,000.

The free activity pack, developed by Nick Jr. education experts, follows the Early Years Foundation Stage development goals and provides stimulating learning opportunities with the theme of Dora the Explorer’s adventures. It contains six activity session plans, a practitioner’s guide and other teaching aides to encourage pre-schoolers to use their imagination, solve problems and develop their sense of physical adventure.

The award fund allows pre-schools and nurseries to apply for a grant of up to £20,000 for educational and learning purposes. Runners up will be awarded discovery and learning equipment packages and Dora the Explorer will visit a selection of the successful nurseries. There will also be the opportunity for the nurseries to be featured on Nick Jr.

Tina McCann, MD Nickelodeon UK, said: “As a broadcaster dedicated to offering pre-school audiences the best entertaining and educational content, we’re delighted to continue our support of pre-school education in the community with Help Dora Help. The campaign mirrors the very essence of what Dora the Explorer and Nick Jr. offer children - early years development and personal discovery.”

Nurseries and pre-schools can apply for the free Help Dora Help Activity Pack and Award Fund at

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Review and Giveaway: GOSH Long Lasting Brow Pen

I have been trying to wear much less make-up of late in a never-ending quest to improve my skin. However, there are a few make-up items I really couldn't live without and they are an eyebrow pencil (until I discovered the GOSH brow pen) and mascara. There is something wonderful about having groomed eyebrows and fluttery lashes, something that just makes you feel gloriously feminine.

And so when I was asked to review a brow pen I jumped at the chance as I am always eager to perfect my brows. I have trialled a myriad of various eyebrow shaping kits. I first realised this was the pen for me, when my mum commented on how nice my eyebrows were looking (I mean, who normally comments on eyebrows?)

And so I felt that the GOSH pen had a number of advantages over an eyebrow pencil - these being:

  • It doesn't need sharpening
  • It doesn't smudge or melt in hot weather.
  • The very, very fine brush lets you be 100% precise with your application.
  • The shades are varied and delicate enough even for a redhead like me.
  • It lasts all day so there is no need to re-apply.
  • It's perfume free.
Besides this it is just very natural looking, it is very easy to be heavy handed with an eyebrow pencil and yet with the GOSH pen it is very hard to overdo it.

At £5.99 it is very competitively priced for such a good product and I will definitely be buying more when this one runs out!

And so if any of my readers out there fancy trying out this gorgeous Brow Pen then here are the details:
PRIZE: 1 x Brow Pen for 3 lucky winners

(a) Follow my blog and then leave a comment below saying that you have done this. If you are already a follower then please leave your follower name.

(b) 'Like’ the GOSH UK page!/pages/Gosh-UK/137224756349645 .


Good luck! Hope you like the products as much as I do!

Competition closes on the 29th June

Review: TUMTUM revolutionises mealtimes with clever cutlery and delightful dishes.

Whilst some mess is almost unavoidable with young children, I was quite unaware until I tested out TUMTUM products just how varying the degrees of mess could be. I’m talking about the difference between a full-scale cleanup operation which lasts me around 30 minutes and a quick-wipe over which takes just a few minutes. My usual routine of wiping up spilt milk (and yes, I could cry over it on some days) and removing about a thousand starchy ground-in to the floor rice grains whilst giving Torville and Dean a run for their money after skating across the floor on a squished grape would fill most people with dread at the thought of mealtime . And so after a long day in the sunshine with my children, I was feeling rather drained after all the running about and the last thing I felt like doing was coming home to the madness that goes along with mealtime in my house.

Until I used the TUMTUM products I was quite unaware that such perfectly shaped dishes and cutlery existed and also just how much they could help with quelling the madness of mealtimes. I had grown accustomed to eating my food cold as every mealtime meant that I had to feed my toddler son otherwise all the food would end up on the floor. My main problems were the fact that if I gave my son his usual toddler dishes, he could pick them up easily and throw them off his highchair tray. The cutlery also seemed too small to get any substantial amount of food on which led my son to get frustrated when feeding himself. But then I tried TUMTUM and without sounding too over the top they revolutionised my mealtimes.

So here’s my opinion on these wonderful TUMTUM products that I have discovered:

TUMTUM Trainee Egg Set

Whilst I was fully aware that an egg is supposed to be one of nature’s most perfectly balanced foods, it didn’t seem so perfectly balanced when 20 minutes of eating led to an absolute age picking up the hundredth piece of eggshell and egg off the floor after lunch. Egg had even managed to find itself under my sofa – Yuk!

And then I tried this TUMTUM Trainee Egg set and straight away my son was entranced with the colourful design of the friendly looking animals gracing the egg set. He pointed out bunnies and chickens and then we got on to the most important part of the testing – the eating! He picked up the longer than average spoon (which is also designed to suit the contours of the egg) and I watched with baited breath. Wonderfully because of the egg cup being integrated within the plate/tray and the fact that it has a non slip base it didn’t move about and because of the long spoon he fed himself perfectly. He didn’t have to look far for his soldiers because they were all neatly lined up on the plate too. The look of satisfaction on his face was a picture! Further to that, I loved how easy this was to clean. Obviously when cleaning up after eating eggs you have to be meticulous and so it is reassuring that there are no yucky crevices like some egg cup designs have. Even better is the fact that I can put in the dishwasher!

I was incredibly impressed with this egg set and I can’t wait to show other mums of my amazing find. With its very functional and beautiful design you really can’t go wrong!

TUMTUM Tiny Dining Set with scooping corners

I love how innovative each and every TUMTUM product is. This one is totally unique because of the scooping corners which provide a stopping point for peas, beans or blueberries to be easily loaded on to forks and spoons. I was over the moon at how much these plates and bowls helped my toddler son with feeding himself. And he was very eager to eat up all his food to uncover the friendly character faces beneath the food. These are also non-slip and so far they have stayed put on my son’s highchair without being thrown. Whilst the interiors of the bowls were ultra child-friendly with the characters featured inside, the exteriors of simple colours such as greens or reds made these look very stylish. I’m sure if I was in a competition I could score some points as a trendsetting mummy with these TUMTUM products.

TUMTUM Tiny Double Sided Cutlery and TUMTUM Tiny Beaker

Lastly, I wanted to mention these brightly coloured products which have livened up my drawers and cupboards and more importantly put a smile back in to mealtimes. The cutlery is immediately appealing with its brightly coloured handles and even better is the fact that if you line up the handles of the fork, knife and spoon you can form a zebra character. Turn the cutlery over and realign and you have another character – very novel idea! The cutlery is so much better than the cutlery we have been using for my son, it is slightly bigger and more importantly each fork, spoon and knife is specially shaped (slightly curved around the edges) to keep food from falling off and has I have mentioned above – it worked a treat! My son happily shovelled in mouthfuls of peas and anything else he chose using these cutlery items. Brilliant!

The beaker has put an end to the days when my son refused to drink water – now he can’t get enough from this brightly coloured beaker. The straw helps him slurp his way through his daily requirement of water. Because of the fact that the straw comes in two parts it means that the straw is very easy to keep clean and the curved interior means that no water is wasted. Brilliant!

Thanks to TUMTUM for revolutionising our mealtimes.

For more info please visit

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Book Review: Little Grey Donkey by Nicole Snitselaar

SYNOPSIS: Every day, a little girl called Serafina comes to visit Little Donkey. But one day, she doesn’t turn up. Little Donkey is so worried about his friend that he decides to go and look for her. In this touching tale, Little Donkey overcomes his fears in order to make sure that his best friend is safe and well. Charming text and unique illustrations capture the beautiful moments between the little girl and her best friend, donkey, making this delightful picture storybook a beautiful bedtime read.

REVIEW: This was the other book we were lucky enough to get our hands on this month. I loved it firstly because I felt it gave my children a glimpse of other cultures. I don't know what country the book is meant to be set in but with a name like 'Serafina' and the landscape and scenery I am guessing it is somewhere in the Mediterranean. I feel this book is a lovely way to introduce small children to other parts of the world.

This is a great heart-warming book with a lovely moral for children; with the message being that with love you can conquer any fear. The story plot and the way in which it is told keeps the reader enthralled in the story and eager to find out what is going to happen next. I liked the fact that Little Grey Donkey could speak and so could illustrate the emotions that someone would go through if a loved one failed to turn up one day. Because of the anguish that the Little Donkey is encountering you instantly warm to the character and my children were both making comments along the lines of "poor grey donkey."

We are taken through a range of frightening scenarios such as narrow and steep cliffs, having to brave getting in a boat etc and as he conquers each fear there is a reiteration of the line "Then he remembered Serafina, swallowed his fears and..." basically overcome the fear. It's a powerful message and one which I could even relate to; I mean since having my children I have had to brave going out without my face make-up on if one of them has become ill suddenly- a big thing to me! Ha Ha! But on a more serious note, I hope they remember this book when they grow up and realise the importance of sometimes taking risks to accomplish your goals in life.
And if the lovely storyline wasn't enough then we have the gorgeous hand-painted illustrations and also the added bonus for younger children of being able to go through the book and spot the animals and creatures in white. My toddler son loved doing this and it is a great way of teaching them new animals.

I love it when an ending of a book makes you smile and this one certainly does. As I said before throughout the book there is a reiteration of the line above, but when Serafina asks Little Grey Donkey how he managed to find her his reply (the ending) is a twist on the line:

"I thought of you, swallowed my fears and was filled with ....... love"

So I felt this book encompassed many angles; introducing the reader to a new culture, teaching children an important life lesson of not letting your fears rule you, giving us wonderful illustrations and even giving us the little extra detail of the mini-creatures scattered throughout the book for younger readers to find. Wonderful!!

Rating 4/5

For more info please visit