1 Aug 2014

Book Review - The Case of The Exploding Loo

The Cast of the Exploding Loo

An interesting book title isn't it? That's what I first thought when I was emailed by Rachel Hamilton about her book. I read the synopsis and thought, yes this is something I'd love to read with my boys. Something a little bit quirky and fun. It also helps that Rachel is super lovely and I got to have her on my blog a few months back, about how you can mix book writing and babies. Right up my street, being the aspiring writer that I am. Yes aspiring to be a writer, than hopefully an author. One day. I can dream.

Anyway one to the book:-

Synopsis - Quirky twelve year old Noelle (Know-All) Hawkins may be one of the brightest girls in her class but even she can’t explain how her dad, wacky scientist Big Brain Brian, spontaneously combusted while sitting in a portaloo. It’s true that he was working on a new top secret Brain Ray machine and was on the point of a great break-through when he vanished – could this have had something to do with his disappearance? Know-All is sure all is not as it seems and with the help of her sister Holly she is determined to find out what really happened to her dad!

Review - My seven year old and I loved it, laughing aloud at so many parts of this book. I think it's a great book to read with and to your children, also perfect to be read on their own by older readers. I loved the unusual layout of the book, cover and quirkiness.

The main character in the book is Noelle or Know-All, she's a great character who is smart, funny and very inquisitive. She is like an encyclopedia, with a photographic memory, it's very cool. Her dad is a scientist and she puts her knowledge to the test in trying to discover what has become of her dad after all that is left of him is a pair of smoking shoes when a toilet explodes. You will never guess where this book is going and will be taken along in the rollercoaster ride with Noelle in trying to uncover the mystery.

Being quite a fast paced book, which has a lot going on in it, I was worried that Lucas would get a bit lost, but once we started we couldn't put it down. There is a lot going on in this book, but there are clues along the way and it all works really well together. We really liked reading about Noelle and her chats with her teachers and disagreements with her sister. While giggling. The book comes to a great conclusion and I love the little illustrations throughout the book. The scientific parts and the general geekiness is cute and clever without being boring. I think this book is very well done and a joy for boys and girls to read.

Overall - An excellent debut from a wonderfully talented author. This book is a fun, clever, easy read, that will have you giggling along the way. I can't wait to read the next one.

Disclaimer:- I received a copy of this book to review, but I also bought a copy of it. 

30 Jul 2014

Win The Awesome And Fun Quercetti Marble Run

We've been having great fun over the Summer holidays with Quercetti Marble. This has brought us lots of enjoyment and family fun. We have another review and giveaway with being part of the Asobi Ambassadors program. This months toy was definitely one of our favourites. Last month we got to review and giveaway Safari Ltd Toys, then the fun and high flying Curiosity Kits Rocket Launcher, the previous month the fantastic PL-UG Ultimate Den Building Kit and the month before the Seedling Colour The Globe. This month we got to have lots of fun playing with the Quercetti Marble Vortex Run. We even have one of these sets to give away to one lucky reader.

Quercetti Marble Run

Getting the Kids Involved In Gardening

Gardening is a great way for children to learn new skills and have fun, whatever their age. According to The Royal Horticultural Society, research also suggests that children will perform better at school if they are involved with gardening and many will develop a greater interest in healthy eating if they get to grow their own veg. There are also so many educational and developmental benefits to be gained from gardening including self-confidence, physical activity, responsibility, discovery, cooperation, creativity and a love of nature.

There are many ways to encourage children to get involved and enjoy gardening activities, some ideas are below:

24 Jul 2014

Review - Fisher Price Little People Happy Sounds Home

I am a huge Fisher Price fan, I think that their items are well made, colourful, bright, sturdy and worth the money. They last for years and our Fisher Price toys are played with again and again. They are always top of our Christmas lists for under 5's and the new Imaginex Range is a big hit for my bigger boys. I fondly remember playing with the record player and the phone as a child and it's lovely to see them making a re-appearance. Ahh the memories. 

Fisher Price Happy Sounds Home

23 Jul 2014

The Gallery 194 - Animals

This week's Gallery Prompt at from the lovely Tara over at Sticky Fingers is Animals.

I grew up with animals and mentioned my life with cats a few weeks ago. However, with my husband and oldest being allergic to cats, all we have just now are guinea pigs. They are fab, but have lots of pictures of them on here.

When we were on our way home from our holiday in Sherwood Forest we decided it was time to stop for a bite of lunch and freshen up. We came across this quaint little place called Llama Karma Kafe, ever been? It's a great little cafe, excellent food and service, in fact it even has a Gluten free menu which please hubby no end, but most importantly through their conservatory and out the back are animals. Llama's no less and a few other creatures. So while you are enjoying a lovely bite to eat you can watch the animals wondering around.

The boys went out with my phone and took these pictures, pretty good I thought and this is what sprung to mind when I saw Tara's prompt of animals.


Llama Karma

18 Jul 2014

Vlogging Virgin

Many of you will have seen on my twitter feed that I was keen to join in +Nickie O'Hara and +Kate Sutton #vloggingchallenge they are setting on a weekly basis. However, I hate the sound of my voice. Well, that's not quite strictly true. I don't mind how it sounds in my head, but when I hear it on a recording it makes me cringe. I think I sound like some kind of hybrid Scottish Smurf on helium. I have the blue tinged skin to go with it and everything. I even asked +Ruth Arnold if there was voice changing software I could use. I pushed those fear aside and recorded not one but three vlogs. I haven't listened to them yet, there is no editing and it's just on my iPad, so I'll let you make the judgement. Should I give up now or keep going?

I actually quite liked doing it, watching it is maybe a glass of wine or two or ten's job. Next time, if there is a next time and I hope there is, I'll use better software. Anyway here goes nothing.....

16 Jul 2014

The Gallery 193 - My View Right Now

This week's Gallery Prompt at from the lovely Tara over at Sticky Fingers is My View Right Now.

I received Tara's email on Saturday, late afternoon, and had just returned home from the worst shop on earth Ikea. I hate shopping as it is, but this shop irritates me no end. It's always mobbed and you can only walk in one direction. Heaven forbid if you want to go back and pick something up you seen and were unsure of at time. Then you go round and round in circles, it's never ending. Until you see the food and you know the end is in sight. Anyway, I digress. I signed up to do a writing course with +Keris Stainton after getting the feed back from the literary agent at Britmums. I decided I needed some space for me. I don't have a room, or corner or anything. My lovely hubby agreed and I got a little desk in the living room. He'd just finished building it and I was about to try it out when I got the email. Here is My View Right Now.


I am really looking forward to having my own little space and will customise it as I go along. I hope it's what I need to knuckle down and get on with my writing and be more productive with my blog. I love to write and sitting on the couch or in bed with a laptop just didn't feel right. Do you have your own little space at home? I'd love to hear about them.

Extracting the Dental Demons from Your Child's Imagination

None of us enjoy a trip to the dentist. In fact, dental visits are often seen as being one of the most stressful experiences of our adult lives. If us adults are so very afraid, imagine how our children feel. I am often asked if there are any ways to help a young child cope with a trip to a dentist in the UK. This is an interesting question and it is worthwhile taking a look at some great parenting tips that will help remove the fear from a child and allow him or her to appreciate the benefits that these professionals can provide.


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