Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Have You Tried 'Baby Sensory' Classes?

When my littlest one was a small baby, we went to baby yoga classes and massage classes.  To be truthful I went in the beginning as it was an opportunity to catch up with a few friends and get out of the chaos in the house caused by a new baby.  You know what I mean, right?

Anyways, turns out that my teensy baby and I loved it.  It was very soothing, relaxing and enjoyable for us both.

Baby Sensory

Baby Sensory South NI's profile photo

A friend recently started a business called 'Baby Sensory' and having listened to her talk about it with such passion, she has convinced me it's a perfect outlet for parent (or grandparent) and baby to bond in a relaxing fun way.

Here's what she has to say about it all....

As a first time mum, I attended Baby Sensory classes with my son in 2014.

Initially they were to give me something to do and get me out of the house, but I can truly say the classes became so much more than that. Baby Sensory changed my life!

Over the weeks I watched as my little boy responded to the sensory activities and experiences, developed and reached key milestones and even began signing at only 8 months! Most of all, Baby Sensory classes became OUR time and we had fun!

I can remember coming home after classes and trying out all of the new things we had learned that day and then waiting patiently for dad to come home from work to show him too.

Being a Primary School teacher, I could see the value and the impact it had on me and my son and I understood the research that went into each class.

I knew I had to be part of it. So...here I am 2 years later running classes across South NI.

So, how about giving it a go? 

If you'd like to find out more about Tierna and her fab new baby programme, check out her Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/babysensorysouthni/

You can also find out more about the concept and classes on the Baby Sensory website http://www.babysensory.com/en

Live Long and Prosper
Karen x

Friday, 29 April 2016

Hope's Relief Intensive Dry Skin Rescue

I'm always on the look out for a good moisturising cream that I can use on the girls.  At an early age, they all had dry skin of some sort.  Nothing serious, just dry skin mostly on their torso that needed a little TLC every now and then.  

Recently, an Australian brand called Hope's Relief contacted me to ask if we'd like to sample their new Intensive Dry Skin Rescue cream.

I was interested so I checked out the cream first as I didn't want any harsh chemicals on the skin. 
Here's the science ;)

'...packed with Natural Active ingredients including: Hospital Grade Organic Manuka Honey NPA 10+, Gotu Kola, Aloe Vera, Organic Calendula and Licorice Root to soothe and repair damaged skin.

It is free from sodium laurel sulphates, parabens, coal tar, artificial colours and fragrances and contains no mineral oils or petrochemicals.'

And a little bit more info:

'Hope's Relief's intensive dry skin rescue cream is one of the world's leading natural creams carefully formulated to relieve eczema prone, itchy, cracked or dry skin. Having already established a trusted reputation amongst mums everywhere, Hope's Relief is gentle enough to be used on skin of all ages for long term use.'

The range is suitable for all ages, even for newborn infants.

Our Thoughts

We give it an 8 out of 10 - pretty good results I think.

After only 3 applications at night before bed, I could feel a definite improvement in the littlest Gribbon's skin.  In fact, we've been using it a few times a week and we've been 'dry skin free' for a while now.

I've also been using it on my hands and had good results - personally I feel that it can be quite oily for use on the hands, so only a little bit is needed to deliver good results.

Have you heard of it?  I'd give it a go if you need an effective moisturising cream free from all the nasties.  Check out stockists on their website.

Live Long and Prosper
Karen x

We received a free sample of this cream for our use.  All opinions are honest and our own.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Lily's Driftwood Bay: Message In A Bottle DVD

A few weeks ago, The Gribbon Girls were invited to a fun packed day full of Lily's Driftwood Bay adventures.  Unfortunately we couldn't make the event as we had other plans but the event organisers kindly sent us the new DVD to enjoy.

lily's driftwood bay dvd

As soon as it arrived in the post, little fingers had it out of the jiffy bag and into the DVD player ready to watch.

The Story

For those of you who haven't seen the series on TV yet, here's a little insight into Lily's world. 

She is a 6 year old girl who lives with her Dad and her best friend 'Gull' on a beach.  Everyday she creates an adventure packed world full of imaginary characters that she creates from the driftwood and surprises that wash up on the beach.

The DVD (featuring 10 episodes) was definitely a hit with the Littlest Gribbon as she practically watched one episode after another.  She usually watches the series on Nick Jr, so she was already familiar with Lily and the other main characters such as Salty Dog the Sailor and Wee Rabbit the Art Lover.

A Local Company

One of the best things for me about the programme is that it is made by a local Northern Ireland company, Sixteen South.  I always like to give 'local produce' a little push :)

We believe that Lily has all the makings of a mighty girl - full of imagination, curiosity, courage and kindness. 

I think your little one, boy or girl would love her too.  Check her out and let us know what you think.

Live Long and Prosper
Karen x

Family Fever

Note:  We received this DVD free of charge but were under no obligation to blog about it.  We did blog though as we enjoyed it so much!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Gribbon Girls Review: Blown Away by Rob Biddulph

Title:  Blown Away

Author:  Rob Biddulph

Illustrator:  Rob Biddulph

Publisher:  Harper Collins Children's Books

Rating:  8.5 / 10 (Two little thumbs up!)

Blown Away Rob Biddulph

What is the storyline?

The story is about a penguin called Blue and his first adventure flying a kite. Along the way, he meets lots of other animals who live in the cold like him such as a polar bear and a seal. 

Blown Away Rob Biddulph

The kite takes them to a country which is too hot for him and his friends and he meets new animals such as a pretty peacock and a clever elephant.

His new friends help him make it home again.

I enjoyed looking at the pictures and some of the story was funny.  Like when the elephants use their trunks to blow the penguin back to his home!

Who is your favourite character?

Wilbur the seal is my favourite because he looks cute and is very kind as he tries to help his friends. 
Blown Away Rob Biddulph

What is your favourite part of the story?

My favourite part of the story is when the elephants use their strong big trunks to blow Penguin Blue and his friends back home.  I think it is very funny that an elephant can blow a kite across the world. 

Blown Away Rob Biddulph

My Thoughts

We got this book from our local library recently and the youngest Gribbon Girl has read it over and over.

The little penguin takes us on his surprise adventures from cold home to a warmer new climate where he meets new friends who are different but very willing to help him get home.

With a little teamwork, bright ideas and fun - they succeed!

Rob Biddulph has beautifully illustrated his own tale, making this a sweet easy bed time story for young girls and boys alike.

It also got us googling the old question of 'can penguins actually fly'?  Well, what do you think?  Can they???

Live Long and Prosper
Karen x


Monday, 4 April 2016

The Gribbon Girls Review: Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson

Title: Hetty Feather 

Author: Jacqueline Wilson   

Publisher:  Random House Children's Publisher UK

Rating:  10 / 10

What is the storyline?

The book is about a girl called Hetty Feather. She had no family so she grew up with a foster family. She eventually ended up in a hospital which wasn't a real hospital but a place where children with no family went to stay.  Most of the adults that looked after them were mean!!!  The story is about her life there and all the problems and good things that happen to her.

Who is your favourite character?

Hetty Feather is my favourite because she is brave and she has fiery red hair.  In the story, we can see that she is a mighty girl!

What is your favourite part of the story?

My favourite part is when Hetty finds out that her real mother is alive.  She is so happy and I can imagine how happy she would be.

Image result for hetty feather

My Thoughts

Set in Victorian times with a feisty heroine, this book is full of warmth, fun and emotional twisting tales.

This is the first in the Hetty Feather series and Molly would love to read more but I've been advised that the other books are recommended for age 11+.  I'm disappointed as she really had a intense enjoyment for the storyline.  I think maybe I'll have a quick read myself of the next book and make a decision then.

Have you any experience of the Hetty Feather series?  I'd love some advice on the suitability of the next books in the series for an 8 year old.

Live Long and Prosper
Karen x

Family Fever

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Does your local school or park have a Buddy Bench?

Have you heard of the Buddy Bench?  Have you seen one yet in your local primary school or park?

Well, here's a picture of one that has been recently installed in my daughters' local primary school. 

The 'Buddy Bench' is an initiative being driven by The Paddy Wallace Fund for Autism.   There are big plans for the Buddy Bench this year and the aim is to have one bench installed in every town in Northern Ireland throughout 2016. 

It is hoped that the initiative will promote inclusion throughout local communities, encourage children to be kind to one another and encourage children to reach out to each other.

The kids in the school told me...

'if you have no one to play with during break or lunch time, then you can go sit on the bench and other children will come and ask you to play.  Or if you have  fight with your friend, then you can go sit on the bench and your friend will know that you want to be friends again.  It makes things better in the playground.'

'The bench is big and bright yellow, so it makes it easier for us to remember to use it.'

The ethos behind the bench is to eliminate loneliness and foster friendships in the playground.  If a child finds him/herself alone and with no one to play with, the bench is a place they can go to and hopefully find someone to play with.

I hope that the bench can be another way to eliminate bullying amongst children.  If you've read my blog for a while now, you'll know how passionate I am about eliminating ALL forms of bullying, no matter how small or seemingly innocent. 

I honestly believe that any action or spoken word which truly hurts a child's feelings, should be considered and never dismissed.  Following consideration, I appreciate that there are occasions were it is appropriate that no action is taken, but the 'consideration' is the important first step to the end decision.     

Go Get A Buddy Bench - Make A Friend, Be A Friend

So, now you know what it's all about.  Go check your kids' school and find out if they have one.  If they don't, then find out how you can get one installed there.  Maybe a local business or organization could fund it, or the PTA or the school itself?

I'd love to know how you get on or if you've already seen one.  Please leave me a comment here on social media Tweet, Instagram or Facebook me.

I just love this bench!

Live Long and Prosper
Karen x

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The New Lidl SS16 Fashion Range

I was treated to a lovely breakfast fashion launch in The Merchant Hotel last week.  Thanks to Lidl NI, I dined on delicious mimosas and mini breakfast muffins (not just any old bacon sarnie, it was The Merchant after all!).

Whilst we munched, we heard about the fab new SS16 fashion range from Lidl as gorgeous gals modelled a sample of the range.

Lidl SS16 Affordable On Trend Fashion

Here's a flavour of the new range.  I'll let the photos do the talking...

My hero pieces from the range are the boyfriend jeans at £7.99, the £2.99 aviators and a perfectly-sized woven white basket bag at £7.99. 

My feet are going to look pretty fine in the rose gold slider metallic sandals at only £7.99!

Cool Fashion For Kids Too

There are the usual staple pieces such as shorts and t-shirts on offer but my favourite pieces are the swimwear.

£2.99 for the flamingo print swimsuit below - I want one for me actually!

Get There Quick!

The Lidl debut range was a sell out last year, so if you want an on-trend affordable fashion bargain for this coming Spring and Summer, make sure you get down to your local Lidl store quick! 

Fashion drops will be made mostly on Thursdays and I'd guess they won't stay long on the shelves.

Let me know if you get anything!

Live Long and Prosper
Karen x 

Photos:  the photos above are a mix of photos taken by me and supplied by Lidl NI.