The cute marks on her nose are from carpet burns inflicted during an indoor gymnastics demonstration, by the way :)
Recent gifts from my loving twins!
Ellie wrote out my shopping list for me – her reading and writing is really coming along! Although I did give her a lot of help with spelling.
And later spilt water on it: sorry ’bout that.
Jake gave this little toy – and said that “every orange thing is a kiss from me”.
I love my little nearly 6-year-olds so very much. Sorry to get soppy!
Can you think of anything better than having a bar in your own home? It sounds like an expensive project, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a guide on how to make the perfect bar to suit your social needs.
Gather your chosen palettes and position them in the way you’d like your bar to sit. Choose the correct height and width of the bar and, if necessary, saw the parts off that you don’t need. Use another palette and saw off each section so that you’re left with numerous wooden slats.
Concentrate on building the front of the bar first, select a couple of slats to nail onto the top of the palette, this section will be the top of the bar.
Next you need to attach the palettes together, again using nails hammer the sections together, giving you the frame of your bar.
When positioning your bar, remember to make sure that behind the bar is enclosed, leaving an open section to enter and exit from.
Believe it or not, you’ve don’t the hard part. You should now have your assembled bar.
Now that you’ve built your bar, you need to consider maintenance. The last thing you want is for your bar to only last a few months. Start by sanding down the wood, removing any possible lose bits that could cause splinters. Then use a varnish to cover the wood, this will help maintain the life of the bar, as well as making it practical to use in the garden too. Now you’ve done this messy bits, you can concentrate on the exciting part, the details.
Detail and Alcohol
How you decide to design your bar is entirely down to personal preference. If you’re hoping to use the bar to entertain guests, why not display some nice spirits on the bar top along with some photographs or gimmicky items. If it’s more personal use, get all of your favourite beers or wines and position them neatly on the bar, next to a couple of glasses or maybe even a decanter for added effect. If you’re wanting to use the bar outside, which is a great option especially when it comes to summertime, think about adding lights around the outskirts of the bar. This will add character to the bar, and if used outside will help create the perfect social area for you and your friends. One thing to remember if using the bar outdoors with lighting, install yourself a weatherproof junction box, this simply ensures that the cable for the lighting can be outside without any risk or potential dangers.
Now you can sit back and enjoy your hard work, why not crack open a bottle of wine or pour yourself a well-deserved pint.
Written by Jasmine Smith
Who remembers space hoppers?! (It’s OK; you don’t have to admit it if you don’t want to.)
The good news for those of us who do – whether we’ll admit it or not – is that they seem to be making a comeback!
And for those who don’t – read on! (Hint: they’re great.)
I was delighted to receive from the fine people at confused.com not 1 but 2 great space hoppers – complete with natty pumps – as part of their #Jumponit campaign.
Jake and Ellie were very excited about this, and also were determined, as ever, to do as much as they could themselves.
So, first step: Pump it up!
It was fun! but then we had a bit of a surprise:
Even so, we were pumped and ready to go, so there was nothing else for it but to head out & test-drive our new bouncy toys!
Fair warning: some of this was filmed by a 5-year-old boy. He did his best…)
I love how Jake tried to make his hopper smaller by trying to let some air out! And I’d forgotten just how much fun a good bounce in a space-hopper is!
Also: I’d like to point out, please, that there was a storm here the night before. My garden is messier than usual, honest…
As you can see we had a lot of fun, thanks to confused.com: Jump on it!
This is guest post by Alex Johnson
The LEGO Company are no strangers to allowing people to see what goes on inside their organisation. With the hit LEGO movie released in February 2014 and their new ‘Brickumentry’, the LEGO group are bigger than ever. While their gender neutral playsets has been developing since 1974, LEGO has reached a peak of their gender neutrality with their new playsets of female scientists.
Most recently they allowed Channel 4 into their head offices and factories in Denmark in a documentary called ‘The Secret World of Lego’, a programme that showed millions of viewers how the LEGO brick has changed the lives of many children and adults.
This is a guest post by Edward Gould
There has been much made of violent video games aimed at the adult market which have found their way into the hands of teenagers, but what about games aimed at younger children? Well, it obviously depends on the other media that the children in question are exposed to, but the latest studies tend to point out the positive effects of screen-based gaming rather than negative ones. A 2014 study conducted by the University of Oxford among some 5,000 ten to fifteen year olds found that those who played video games faced fewer problems with emotional issues and possessed lower levels of things like hyperactivity. According to the study’s author, “being engaged in video games gave children a common language” which helped them to socialise. Of those questioned, three quarters played video games on a daily basis and they were found to be more likely to help people in difficulty, get on better with peers and enjoy greater satisfaction with their lives.
According to no less an authority then the British Council, which promotes the UK in overseas territories, video games can be of great educational benefit, too. Video games consoles played by preschoolers which require physical movement, such as Nintendo’s Wii system, can help to improve coordination and motor skills. Likewise, fast-moving games can lead to improved decision making processing and speed up children’s ability to think on their feet. Another study cited by the British Council focussed on the classic video game Tetris which was found to relieve stress in youngsters after they had been exposed to something upsetting.
Of course, most parents would rightly want to monitor what sort of internet activity their children are up to and this is no less the case when it comes to online gaming. Playing the role of a Marvel superhero is something that most kids like to when dressing up, but they can also get a similar experience online at Marvel Kids. Websites which are set up for children, like Marvel’s or Mattel’s allow parents that bit of reassurance they need to leave their kids unsupervised while they play.
However, younger children, in particular, ought to be monitored if they are on a general gaming website where some of the content for kids is mixed up with inappropriate material for younger minds. Child-friendly games at such sites can often be found in the puzzle section and these can be great fun for parents and children to enjoy together, so monitoring should not be thought of as a burden, rather an opportunity to have some fun interacting with the screen activity together. Word-based puzzles are good for improving spelling and reading. Indeed, many types of online puzzles can promote logical processing in children as well as other cognitive abilities.
Jake wasn’t feeling well on Friday; nothing serious, and he was fine the next day.
In case you’re not fluent in ‘Ellie’ it says “Dear Jake, love you, I hope you get better soon, love, ‘bye”
Definitely a magic moment!
For more Magic Moments just click the pic:
It was ‘back to the future’ yesterday, when there was a vintage car show and fair here. Of course the car I was most interested in was the only one there that wasn’t actually a real car. Isn’t it great? You can’t see it here but it had all the flashing lights working as well! Jake and Ellie haven’t seen the films so I had to explain it all to them, which prompted a discussion (from Jake) about the possibility of time-travel.
There were also many other amazing cars here: Mustang, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and my other favourite a 100-year-old mint condition Model T Ford.
There were also bouncy castles and other fun things for kids – including free lollipops! – and in truth I didn’t actually manage to spend all that much time with the cars. But we all had a great time.
Now, all we need is 1.21 Gigawatts of power. Anyone got any going spare?