Monday 28 May 2018

Casdon Hetty Cleaning Trolley *Review*

Elarna loves to clean. Well, in all honestly she likes to copy me cleaning! She will quite often follow me around when I'm cleaning and dust, sweep, hoover and mop......well try to anyway. For her 2nd birthday we bought her a cleaning set but over time bits have been lost or broken and it's sadly had to be binned. Imagine how happy she was when she received the deluxe Casdon Hetty Cleaning Trolley. A very suitable replacement for her broken cleaning trolley and she was super delighted!

The deluxe cleaning trolley consists of: 
  • A hand held vacuum with working suction (oh yes, it actually sucks stuff up!)
  • A mop and bucket
  • A dustpan and brush
  • A broom
  • Detergent bottle
  • Spray bottle and wipe
  • A cleaning trolley to store all the accessories in

There is also the 'Henry' version of the trolley available too which is in red if you don't fancy the pink version. Retailing for around £27.00 it' not the cheapest but for us it's worth the money as it's used alot, pretty much on a daily basis. I find this deluxe version much better than previous version we used to have as the other one always used to fall over as the base wasn't as good as this one. This one is much more stable however so stays upright. 

I love the way everything fits nicely within the trolley, each part has its place making it nice and tidy and accessible to the child. The accessories included are the perfect size for little ones and light for them to use. Elarna just adores it, she is often found pretend mopping the floor, dusting or doing some speed sweeping as you can see below!

Setting the trolley up takes minutes it's simply a case of snapping a few bits together and sticking the stickers on and then it's good to go. The little hoover does require 3 x AAA batteries which aren't included, don't expect to be hoovering a whole house with it mind, it will suck up little crumbs and things like that but the fact that it sucks up anything at all is genius! I have had both Alfie and Elarna to offer to help with the cleaning which is clearly a bonus!

Speed cleaning, see how fast the broom is moving!

Overall this is great, it has been a total hit in our house and a very popular toy, I love that is also encourages cleaning and tidying up. 

* Please note we were kindly sent the cleaning trolley free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Sunday 27 May 2018

My Sunday Photo - 27/05/18

He turned 6!!! My main man growing up, he has had a great time celebrating. 3 days of fun, oh to be a child!


Friday 25 May 2018

Advice when Choosing Sun Protection.

What You Should Know when Choosing Sun Protection Products
Everyone needs sun protection all year round. Still, it’s better to pick a sun protection product that best fits the season and the particular activities you will be taking part in. There are a lot of sunblocks, sunscreens, and other products out there that are designed to protect you against the rays of the sun, and you need to carefully consider each before buying an item that suits your needs and preferences.
For example, if you want something that will keep you from getting sunburned while swimming, then you should go with a water-resistant product. But if you want sun protection for everyday use, then a product like MIZON’s UV Sun Protector Cream SPF50 PA++ should give you adequate protection without leaving a sticky residue. There are also lotions, lip balms, and hair products that offer a measure of protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
Definition of terms
Aside from knowing why you’re buying sun protection beforehand, it also pays to know the level of protection a particular item offers. Here are some of the terms that you’ll often find in these types of products:
Sunblock. As the name suggests, sunblocks work as a physical barrier that protects the skin from the sun’s rays. They often contain zinc or titanium oxide, which forms a protective layer on the surface of the skin and prevents UVB rays from getting through. Sunblocks are often thicker and more visible, and they can also have ingredients that block pores and cause acne. On the plus side, zinc and titanium oxide won’t irritate sensitive skin. Also, most sunblocks are water resistant.
Sunscreen. Unlike sunblocks that work like a physical barrier, sunscreens work by absorbing majority of UVA rays before they reach the skin. Most sunscreens contain avobenzene and oxybenzene, which can sometimes cause skin irritation. Sunscreens have the consistency of a regular lotion, not to greasy or thick, and thus can be used even if you’re applying makeup. As they don’t offer intense sun protection like sunblocks do, it’s best to look for products that work as both sunblock and sunscreen, or those that offer broad spectrum.
Photo credit:

Broad spectrum.
Broad spectrum or multi-spectrum protection refers to products that offer protection against both UVA and UVB.
UVA. UVA is one of the types of rays in the UV spectrum that damages the skin cells. UVA damage leads to tanning, as well as wrinkles and other signs of skin ageing. Products that protect against the effects of UVA carry the term broad spectrum.
UVB. Like UVA, UVB also damages the skin and causes sunburn. More than that, it plays a key role in developing skin cancers. The SPF determines the level of protection a product offers against UVB.
SPF. A product’s SPF or sun protection factor determines how long it will take for the sun’s UV rays to redden the skin while using the said product compared to if you’re not using it. For example, a product with SPF 15 will give you 15 times more protection than if you’re not wearing it. Those with fair and very fair skin that never tan or tan minimally are recommended to use products with SPF 30 or higher, while those with darker skin are recommended to use products with lower SPF.
PA+. The PA rating system was developed in Japan to represent how much UVA protection a particular product offers. The more plus signs there are after the PA, the more protection it offers. PAs can have as few as 1 to as many as 4 plus signs after it. Unlike the SPF system which is time related, the PA system is measured according to how UVA rays darken the skin’s complexion.
Now that you know what the label in your sunscreen or sunblock means, you’ll have an easier time looking for a product that will provide you with adequate sun protection.
*Collaborative content.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Blogger's Best Linky!

Welcome back to the Blogger's Bests linky. We can't wait to read your posts and see what you've been sharing this week. I can't believe it's Wednesday already how is this possible! I'm actually off now until Tuesday, wahoo! It's Alfie's birthday on Saturday so am taking him out on Friday and he's having a few celebrations over the next few days. It's going to be tiring! Sarah and I will be taking some time off over the half term break, probably around 2 weeks , ahhhh bliss!

So Sarah from RunJumpScrap and I would like to introduce you to the Blogger's Best linky. A place for any post, whatever the post, the best post of your week or simply a post you are proud of and want to shout about it. This is the place to share it and we can't wait to read them. The linky will open at 05:30 on a Wednesday and remain open until Friday 23:55.

There aren't many rules because lets face it, rules are boring right? However, linkys only work if you share the love and support your fellow bloggers so what we do ask is.....
  • You comment on the host posts and at least a couple of others, of course if you want to comment on more  then please do!
We would also love if you could .....

  • Tweet us over on Twitter (I'm @helsy_1983) and Sarah is (@runjumpscrap) so we know you're joining in ( and please do use #bloggersbest) and we can give you a retweet

  • Join us over on Instagram with the hashtag #bloggersbest and tag us in, we both love a bit of Insta! You can find me here @helsy_1983) and Sarah is @runjumpscrap

  • Add the badge at the bottom of your post so we know which post you've added to the linky
But these are pretty much all the rules. Sarah and I will continue to have featured posts each week and will of course be retweeting your links when you link up. We're really looking forward to hosting a fresh and vibrant new linky and hope you'll enjoy linking up too! Spread the word, Blogger's Best is the place to be!

Run Jump Scrap


Monday 21 May 2018

Paradise Wildlife Park *Review*

Nestled in Broxbourne deep in the Hertfordshire countryside is the Paradise Wildlife Park. Founded in 1984 the park is known for its breeding and conservation work. It has been voted Hertfordshire's top tourist attraction and has a trip advisor rating of excellence. We are always looking for fun and family friendly places to visit especially with an animal related theme for my zoo and reptile mad son. When we were invited along to Paradise Wildlife Park to visit for the day and experience the new and VERY exciting World of Dinosaurs exhibition I had 2 very excited children on my hands. 

This picture cracks me up, my husbands face haha!
Broxbourne is about 90 minutes from us, it was a fairly straightforward journey and really not too far for us to travel, we went through some rather lovely countryside and twisty, turny roads as we were approaching the wildlife park. On arrival there were plenty of car parking spaces and we parked up only a couple of minutes walk from the entrance. It was a bit of a damp day but the weather did start to clear as we were arriving which was a good omen, there is nothing worse than walking around an open air zoo in the rain!

There is a fabulous amount to see, the park is big enough to have a wide variety of species to see but not so big you feel like you're rushing around and not seeing everything. The enclosure's are well spaced out and I found they were of adequate space for the animals and catered for their needs, the animals we saw all appeared happy and content which for me is very important when visiting places like this. 

There are several places you can get hands on with some of the animals which is lovely. Elarna particularly enjoyed this experience, Alfie has never been one for stroking and feeding the animals though......unless it's of the slithery type. He couldn't wait to see the reptiles!

Some of the animals you'll see when visiting are snow leopards, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, lions, pandas, gibbons, snakes, lemurs, tapirs, penguins, camels, zebras, wolves, meerkats and so much more. This is just a small selection there really is so much to take in. 

The paths are spacious and pushchair friendly, it's mostly accessible but there are a handful of ramps and steps to negotiate to get a higher view of some of the animals. Wear comfortable shoes as you'll be doing lots of walking from one place to another. There is a good selection of eating places around the park however I felt there wasn't a huge amount of picnic tables from what I could see which could pose as a problem if it was super busy and in high season, we didn't really have an issue as it wasn't super busy. When we visited it was just nicely busy, and we were able to enjoy everything and see it all without having to wait or being shoved out of the way.

The most exciting part of the trip (before the dinosaur's) was without a doubt the Angkor reptile house. As with all animal related visits all Alfie really wants to see is the snakes and spiders so Elarna then follows his lead. After we had seen many of the bigger animals we couldn't keep Alfie any longer from tracking down the reptile temple. He was completely in his element, his highlights being the (flipping huge) green anaconda and reticulated python as well as all the other slitheries. He just flipping loves snakes!

It took us quite some time to make our way out of the reptile house, although I didn't hugely mind as I love seeing the kids faces light up when they enjoy seeing animals they love. The only downside is Alfie then requesting a larger snake as a pet......regardless of us actually owning our very own snake (just a cornsnake mind you).

After making our way around the rest of the park we let the kids have a go on one of the play grounds that are available around the park, there was a great slide that was free to use here also which gave us a slight breather for a few minutes while they had a go on it - shame we encountered a very rude bunch of people at this point with children pushing in and general no respect for anyone else, but we didn't let this spoil our time, it did however make us move on from the slide sooner than we wanted to.

After taking some time to enjoy the penguins and meerkats we decided that it was time to head over to the exciting new addition to the wildlife park....... 'world of dinosaurs'. Scroll down past some more pictures to read all about this exciting new feature. 

The world of dinosaurs is a super exciting, new attraction which opened only a few weeks ago. Featuring realistic, life sized dinosaurs that move, snap, roar and interact this is sure to be a very exciting new feature to the park. We were so excited to see it all, having visited a couple of similar things in France we had high expectations!

On entering the bone lined walkway into the world of dinosaurs it's clear to see that alot of time and money has been invested in this to ensure that visitors have an amazing time. There is music and sound effects from the beginning to enhance the experience and there is also the option of having a dino train ride around for even more fun. 

On walking around we were all blown away by these animatronic dino's. Seriously these things are flipping amazing the detail in them was incredible, even down to the way the body of the dinosaurs actually appeared like they were breathing, it was really was quite something and a little creepy!

Due to the size of the dino area it wasn't busy at all and we were able to amble around at our own pace taking in the intricate nature of the dinosaurs and read a bit about them. 

The dinosaurs are motion sensitive so will activate when you walk past them, they roar, move and grunt and some even spray water at you. Alfie thought they were brilliant.....Elarna was a little scared and wanted to be carried around so something to bear in mind if you have littlies.

The T-rex photo opportunity was fab, as were the selfie points dotted around the much fun! Having the addition of the jeep within the park really did make you feel like you were an extra in Jurassic Park! 

You are free to wander around the trail and if you want can walk around again or take the train as mentioned above. This is an outdoor exhibition and we were very lucky that the rain had stopped and it was dry but the paths may not be great if it rains or it might not be as enjoyable if it was wet.

We really had such a brilliant day we wouldn't hesitate heading back over to the paradise park. There was lots to do, it was fun, interactive and full of lasting memories. On our way home we stopped for a bite to eat and I would say we definitely deserved the below .........

So, if you're in the area or not far away I would highly recommend a visit it is such a great day out.

* Please note we were kindly gifted free entry to the park in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Make Learning Fun!

How Parents Can Make Learning Fun
As a parent, there is nothing you want more for your children than a good education. It isn’t just inside of the school setting that children learn as, we know, they are learning and absorbing new information every minute of every day – their mind is like a sponge.
Of course, different children learn in different ways – whereas some may be more predominantly visual learners, others learn best when someone sits with them and carefully explains step by step. Whatever category your little one(s) falls into, they will almost certainly take in more if they are having fun whilst learning.
Make a Game of it
Children love games and, when there is an educational value associated, they provide a lot more than a simple adrenaline rush. Games that children’s minds such as trivia games (Trivial Pursuit, anyone?) and memory games are fantastic for helping to retain information. In fact, it isn’t just children that can learn a thing or two!

Active Learning
Active learning is a phrase that you will no doubt have heard at least one teacher say, but what does it mean?
This is when the learner which, in this case is your child, is participating and playing an active role in an activity that is designed to teach. Whether this is to help the child retain information, teach a new theory or acquire a new skill, active learning has been proven to be very successful from an educational point of view.
Science is perhaps the best subject to take an example from, with various experiments taking place in classrooms up and down the country. Now while we are certainly not recommending you invest in a Bunsen burner to use around the house, there are a number of educational science sets that parents can buy for children to conduct their own experiments with, without the fear of an explosion!

Exam Revision
If your child is a little bit older, they might be preparing themselves for exams such as SATs, GCSEs and A-Levels. This can be a particularly stressful period for students, with so much pressure put on them to achieve the grades they are hoping for.
There is only so much that one person can retain from endlessly reading through text book after text book until silly O’clock in the morning. Offer to help by adapting games to suit whatever subject(s) they are revising for. When throwing in a little bit of healthy competition, you will be surprised just big a difference it can make.
Not Everyone Has the Same Opportunity
Whilst in the United Kingdom, education is a right of every child; this still isn’t the case in many other countries where education remains a luxury. If you see this website, you can see some of the campaigns that are being held to make education more accessible to children around the world.
It is for this reason why we should feel grateful that our children have the opportunity to go to school and that we can help to aid their education at home. What we can so easily take for granted is arguably the greatest commodity that anyone could ask for.
All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
As important as education is, it is important to know when to switch off. Extra-curricular activities are great, but at the same time remember to allow children to be children. Overdoing it is as helpful as not doing it at all, so allow some time to relax.
With fun games, whether completely original or adapted versions, and healthy competition, your children will certainly have fun whilst learning – the best of both worlds!
* Collaborative content