Friday 25 January 2019

Learning with Tinpo! *Review*

AD: This is a collaborative feature.

Have you heard of Tinpo? This all new, colourful and fun TV show on Cbeebies is bound to appeal to your little ones and get them thinking out of the box.

Aimed at pre-schoolers, Tinpo will encourage your child to use their imagination, be curious and start to question things, as well as helping the child understand their capabilities and capture their creativity. Tinpo and his team help to solve problems and ask 'what if we tried this....?' until they get the job in hand completed.

Written by Davey Moore (Thomas & Friends) and Emma Hogan (creator of Nelly and Nora) this bright coloured and cheerful animation is certainly going to appeal to your 3 - 5 year olds. There are four Tinpos within the show each with a different role, Tinpo is the leader of his team and is reliable, imaginative, creative and very intelligent, Doug-Po is is not afraid to get her hands dirty and loves to dig, drill and demolish! Logi-Po is is the international sign for caution sees the world as it is, he is very hard working and finally Hack-Po has all the facts and loves to find things out. They are all smart and creative inventors who are always willing to lend a helping hand in Tinpotown.

We were recently lucky enough to have a sneak peek of episodes 11-15 of Tinpo which will be available on BBC Iplayer and Cbeebies very soon. Elarna couldn't get it enough of it. The animation is colourful and simple and the story lines clear and easy to follow and encourage active conversation after the episodes have finished. 

What we liked?

- Simple and clear to follow story lines

- Colourful, fun and bright

- Encourages children to think 'out of the box' and promotes active conversation and creativity

- Aimed at pre schoolers this is a great little programme to start them thinking in a bit more of an academic way

- Not too long in length so keeps the child interested and entertained throughout

Anything we weren't so keen on?

- There is nothing to dislike about Tinpo, it's a fabulous little animation

If you like the sound of Tinpo you catch it on CBeebies each day at 06:55am and 3:55pm and also is available to catch up on the BBC iplayer, have fun watching Tinpo! I would love to know your feelings, please do leave me a comment or 2 with your thoughts.

Monday 21 January 2019

2019 - The Bucketlist

I know it's half way through January but now that I've had a chance to look back on my 2018 bucketlist it's got me thinking about the year ahead. What will 2019 have in store for us and what would I like to get out of it? If there's one thing I am taking away from 2018 (other than organising too much!) is not to dwell on stuff that is out of my control. I have wasted way too much of my life worrying and stressing about things that I can't control so this year is definitely going to spent doing much less of that. 

So these are my goals and aims for 2019......

- Stop stressing so much!! I want to try and become a much more balanced individual, I have a terrible habit of over thinking things and mulling stuff over, this year I want less of that and a much more positive outlook. Life is too short to dwell on things that simply aren't important.

- Start as we mean to go on and fill the year with lots of family days out, walks in the country and generally just time together as a family.

- Meal plan! We are SO bad at this, we go through weeks where we try to meal plan and it just goes out of the window. We have a freezer packed full of food and the aim is to go through it and meal plan from there. 

- Blog a bit more for me. I didn't blog half as much as I did last year, mostly reviews which I enjoy writing but I didn't write much for 'me'. I seemed to have writers block for most of the year. I'm going to try and do much more of this but not putting any pressure on myself. I'll write as and when I get the motivation. 

- Continue to read alot more. I have my Kindle loaded with lots of great books and will slowly work my way through them over the coming months.

- Pay some debts off.....the lingering thing that keeps rolling over. We are keeping our fingers tightly crossed that our previous house which is sold goes through smoothly and we get a little bit of money from the house sale which hopefully will enable us to get a new car and fridge/freezer and pay a few debts off....fingers tightly crossed.

- Find something good in everyday. More often than not we have bad days and forget that is good in everyday. Need to remember this more often!

- Accept what will be, will be. Sometime we just can't change things, people or the way things work out. That's life and I'm slowly starting to realise that no amount of moaning, grumping and stropping can change it!

So this pretty much sums up my 2019 goals, as always I like to think that they're all very achievable but I guess we'll see how how things go and review them later this year. 

Have you set yourself any goals this year? How are things going so far?

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Top Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe.

*Home security is something we should all take very seriously. There are some nasty people out there that have no respect or care for other people's properties or belongings. The best thing we can do as home/property owners is take care and caution to try and protect our home and personal belongings. In this post I'm sharing some tips on how you can take some steps in preventative measures to stop your home being burgled or from theft.

- Security camera's. These can be a real asset to your property, especially infrared ones that pick up motion at night and ones that can be accessed while away. We have 2 camera's on our house and looking over our cars, we can access these while away from the house using a wifi connection and they really do offer reassurance. They are particularly helpful if I'm alone and hear or sense something and I can quickly access the camera's to see if they have picked anything up. 

- Burglar Alarms. Using even a simple security system can be hugely beneficial to protecting your home. Of course you may want to choose something more state of the art and sophisticated but even just a simple burglar alarm can be a huge deterrent to a thief. There are many house alarm companies out there to browse through online to find the perfect alarm system for your home. Once you choose one, make sure it works, that you use it and test it regularly! 

- Thieves are becoming more clever and keyless car thefts are a big thing at the moment. Have a read of this article if you are at risk and take measures to prevent keyless entry. Lock those keys away people!

- Check all your windows and doors are locked before leaving your house and don't leave your keys in visible view, this is pretty much an invitation to thieves to try and get them to get in. Likewise, when heading up to bed for the night check all your locks.

- Don't advertise that you are away or your house is unoccupied, again this is an invitation for thieves to break in and steal your belongings. Keep yourself safe. If it is obvious you're away make sure you have someone checking in frequently to sort the post out or feed the animals. 

There are lots of things you can do to help with your safety, just making sure you take these simple steps can make a huge difference to keeping your property, car and belongings safe. Have you got any tips you can share?

Monday 7 January 2019

2018 - A Look Back at my Bucketlist

Happy new year! I have no idea where the last year went?! It's nuts and also really quite scary where the time has gone. We have had a mixed year, not great but then not totally horrendous either. We've had some brilliant days out, some fab weekends away and 2 lovely holidays to look back on. We also celebrated my Mum's 70th birthday which meant we saw some family that we'd not seen in quite some time. Alfie (7 in May) lost 4 teeth and Elarna (4 in April) is finding her independence - I can't believe she will be starting school this year! They are both developing as individuals and keep us on our toes! As with previous years I don't set resolutions as for me they are pointless, I never keep them! Instead I set goals and aims that I like to try and achieve throughout the year. When reading through my 2018 bucketlist I feel I have definitely achieved some of my outcomes.

In brief, last years goals were great and easily achievable really. My first goal of 2018 was to book a holiday and as I had already arranged our main Summer holiday I added to this by booking some lovely weekends away with friends to Norfolk and to Legoland and then we also went away for October half term to North Yorkshire which was a well earned break.

I also said that I wanted to read more, I have to admit I found this difficult due to time and often getting into bed feeling knackered but I think I have managed to read more than 2017, especially on holiday - I can highly recommend The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Lullaby, 2 particularly good books that stick out for me this year.

My 3rd goal was to enjoy more days out, to go to Legoland and to watch Disney on Ice. We totally smashed this aim! We had loads of fantastic days out as a family, and with friends also. We had an absolutely brilliant day at Dinosaurs in the Wild as well as a couple of other days out in London with the kids, as well as lots of other trips to the cinema, soft play, trampoline parks and zoos and farms. We did also achieve our aim to get to Legoland on a special services day, it was busy and fun packed weekend and it was great to be able to spend the weekend there with our friends and stay in the themed hotel too. We did also get to see Disney on Ice which was so good and we'll definitely be booking for both again this year.  Tying in to this I also said I wanted to enjoy more walks, I would say we got out and about much more, I really do enjoy walking, country walks are my favourite and we had lots of lovely, long walks in 2018.

I had said I wasn't going to take too much on. I don't think I achieved this, we had a busy year. From about October 2018 we were nuts though, we had something planned pretty much every, single, weekend. It was too much, way too much. I also had quite a few shifts at the GP hub (out of hours service) and was finding it difficult to keep these up and maintain a decent work/life balance. Adi started his new job and although mostly home based, at times has been travelling between Norwich and London and this was making getting to be shifts tricky as we would never know what time he'd be home. We were both shattered by Christmas, we did far too much and packed way too much in, this is not happening in 2019 for sure. I want to make sure we have at least 1 weekend a month where we are home with zero planned. 

My next aim was to print and frame some pictures. I finally got around to doing this a few weeks ago and now have a nice photo wall taking shape with some lovely photo memories to look back on, I'm looking forward to adding to this in the coming year. I also wanted to sort out our paperwork which was just dumped in our filing cabinet, thankfully although a very mundane job I did manage to sort it and I feel alot better about that being sorted.

I also wanted to book our 2019 holiday at the end of the year.....yup did that, not Florida or Italy as I stated but back to South of France and Yorkshire. We have such lovely holidays that we wanted to go back....again! Can't wait :) I find booking in advance great and gives us all something lovely to look forward to.

I wanted to bake more, I'm not really sure if I achieved this, I used to enjoy baking but now I tend to just bake cakes and cookies, I did try and do more but perhaps not as much as I'd have liked to. I also wanted to drink less.....hmmmm yeah so that probably didn't happen, ooops.

Finally, I wanted to pay off some debts. This was not an easy thing to do and sadly not something that I have been able to do for numerous reasons - as mentioned at the beginning of the post, although the year hasn't been horrendous there have been a few things that have gone wrong and have required us to spend alot of money and therefore clearing debt has not been possible. It's a shame but perhaps 2019 will be a better year for this!

So this is a quick round up of 2018, I would hope that maybe 2019 might be kinder to us but we shall see. My next post is my 2019 bucketlist, what will be on it this year I wonder? Keep checking back for my 2019 goals!

Friday 4 January 2019

Becoming SEO Savvy.

I have been blogging for about years now, through this time I have learnt alot about social media, promotion, content and SEO (search engine optimisation). Of course there are things I could improve on but often these things do time and experience to become competent in. I can genuinely say when I very first started blogging I had zero clue about any of this, it was a minefield when I started to learn about it and it's a huge subject. In this latest post I'm going to talk about some simple tips to help you become a little bit SEO savvy.

First of all, lets talk a little bit about what SEO actually means. In simplistic terms SEO (search engine optimisation) is how we grow visibility in our blog/pages/websites through natural (organic) links. We use it to drive traffic to our sites and increase rankings within search engines. 

So what can we do to help with SEO?

- If you need a little assistance with SEO it might be worthwhile investing in a agency such as ppc agency to help with this.

- Create meta tags. These are little snippets of text that tell search engines what your web page or blog is about.

- Get your blog or website featured on other people's site's, this is a great way of not only getting your blog and writing out there but good for some organic links.

- Use ALT tags on images. I really need to start doing this again, it really helps with providing your reader a description of the contents of image file, you can make these clickable links also.

- Chat to more experienced bloggers or freelancers to increase your knowledge and expertise in the area, it's amazing what you can learn of one another.

So here is a handful of simple tips that you can implement to increase your SEO, as you become more experienced you will gain a much deeper understanding and breadth .

Have you get any SEO tips? Please do share them with me!

* Collaborative content

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Tips and Hints when Flying!

So much has changed over the last few years when flying. Admittedly we haven't flown for quite a few years as we tend to ferry and drive with the kids but the day will come when we do head back on a plane and will need to be aware of what we can and can't take on flights these days. Recently I've been looking into jet card programs, as nowadays, there are some great deals! The world of flying has changed and there are now more options than ever when it comes to what kind of air transport you want to take. For example, are you aware of what is allowed? How can you make air travel less stressful? In this post I will chat about just this.

- One of the first things I like to do when flying is check in online, it makes things so much less stressy when you can do this and saves such a lot of time.

- I would also suggest checking with your airline what size and weight of luggage you can check in both as hand luggage and in the hold, some airlines now allow a decent sized bag in the hold and I know some of my friends when travelling short haul for a few days will pack and fit it into hand luggage.

- Check with the airport you are flying from there are often services that can help you with your baggage and offer services such as baggage wrapping to protect your luggage while on flights, for further information on their services check out lots of useful services available.

- Do your research before you travel, we all know that certain sizes of liquid are to be taken on board in clear bottles of no more than 100ml, it's much easier if these are prepared prior to going through airport security. 

- When flying with children make sure the tablets are charged, you've packed lots of things to keep them entertained such as magazines, books, colouring and some small toys that aren't too noisy! Take something that comforts them aswell such as teddies or dummies if being used.

- Keep all your travel documents safe, there is nothing worse thinking you may have lost one so keep them close and in a document wallet so they can be easily found.

Of course there are lots of other things you can do to keep everything organised and travel with ease, have a little read of the below infographic for more information and please do share your tips with me!

* Collaborative content