Friday, 30 January 2015

Keeping Warm with Vertbaudet - Review

Last week I wrote a post about some of the gorgeous Winter clothes available from Vertbaudet and mentioned that we would be reviewing some of their pieces. Well, we've received some lovely items and the kids have been feeling cosy whilst the snow has been falling.

First up are the accessories. I don't let the kids leave the house for school without a hat, scarf and gloves on at the moment, which they hate of course. Too many things for them to carry about at school apparently. But they do need them because it is so cold and it isn't fun having really cold hands and heads!

I love the colour lilac/purple on Miss C; I think she really suits it. She's been looking for a snood for ages and I have to agree that it is much easier for her to put on than a scarf is. It also means she won't be using it as a lead for playing dogs at school. The mittens are really cute and I love that they can be opened up and buttoned back to make fingerless gloves; really handy for eating snack in the playground. Z's hat, scarf and glove set are such a beautiful and unusual colour combination, which is great when every single boy in your class is wearing a navy or black hat, scarf and glove set. They also remind him of his favourite character Dennis the Menace, even though they aren't black and red. 

The hat, snood and mittens set costs £17 and are available in lilac, grey marl and olive for age 2 up to age 14. 

The hat, scarf and gloves set costs £17 and available in age 2 to age 14.

I'm a huge fan of Vertbaudet jackets, so much so that we have quite a collection. They are always so well made and great for whatever weather we need them for. They wash really well too. They have handy pockets and are easy to fasten or zip up and often have really handy extras like being reversible or, like this one, which has a detachable fleece body warmer. 

This 3-in-1 parka is available in plum, petrol blue (which is the one we have), orange and fuchsia print. The hood comes with a removable fur trim which is great as I hate when it rains and the fur gets wet. It tends to stick to your face which is really not nice. The parka is made with showerproof fabric so rain doesn't go through the coat, making it damp on Miss C. There is also a reflective patch at the back of the parka for visibility which is really great as we're still walking to school in the dark some mornings. 

This is an age 6 on Miss C, who currently wears an age 4 jacket from another company to school. It fits really well and there is still room for her to grow in to it. She was delighted to wear it along with her hat, snood and mittens. I think they go well together too! 

The 3-in-1 Parka costs £35 and is available in age 2 up to age 14. Vertbaudet also stock a good range of jackets for boys too. 

Another way to keep warm in the Winter is by layering tops. The kids will usually have a vest, a long sleeve top and a jumper on if we're going out in the cold.

This hooded sweater from Vertbaudet is really soft and cosy but not too heavy; it's just right! I love the red trim around the hood and the cute heart motif on the chest. This is an age 6 and is still a bit big for Miss C to wear just now but will do her good at horse riding to wear over her body protector. It's available in two colours; strawberry or cream and costs £22. You can buy it from age 2 to age 14. 

Vertbaudet have a fantastic sale on their Winter items just with up to 60% off. With the cold weather not looking like it's going to leave us any time soon, I might need to get stocking up. 

We received these items of clothing from Vertbaudet for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Should you Claim for an Injury?

When Husband was involved in an accident that caused him severe back pain, he didn't think about claiming money as a result. He was more worried about whether he'd be able to feel comfortable again. Whenever he lay down, his back was sore. If he had to stand for a period of time, his back was sore. Sitting down or driving was causing him pain. He just wanted to feel better.

He spent time off work and had physiotherapy on his back. Eventually it felt much better although he still gets the odd pain if he doesn't pick something up properly or if he stands up too fast. 

It was a year or so after the accident that Husband was approached and asked if he wanted to pursue an injury claim. This was on a no win, no fee basis. Leo Claims are a company who specialise in personal injury claims and work on a no win no fee basis. This means that you'll only pay a fee if you are awarded compensation. 

We thought it might be a time consuming process and due to the nature of where the accident happened, we weren't sure if it was worth pursuing. However Husband was assured that everything would be dealt with for him and all he needed to do was give details of what had happened when he had his accident and how he had been coping since. It was pretty easy and stress-free in the end. 

After a month or so of investigation, the solicitors came back with a very generous offer. We decided to accept the offer because, at the time, we were struggling financially and it would definitely help us out. 

So is it worth claiming for an injury that wasn't your fault? In Husband's case it was. The process was straightforward and, whilst we wish he hadn't had the accident in the first place, it meant we had a bit of security at a time when we needed it the most. 

Featured Post.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Glitterbelle - Review

Glitterbelle is a Princess who is brand new to Parragon Books. She loves to have fun with her friends and she loves all things glittery. We received two of the activity books from the Glitterbelle range to review.

The first book we received is the Glitterbelle: Me and You journal. This is a fun diary that children can fill in themselves or share with friends. It asks questions about their friends, what they like to do and what their dreams are. It is a bit old for Miss C to use herself but it's something that I'm sure she will love when she is a bit older. This is similar to the books I had when I was younger and I loved filling them in. The book is hardback so it won't wear easily with lots of opening and closing and it has a lovely purple glittery elastic band to keep the diary closed. The pages are really pretty and beautifully illustrated. It would make a great gift as a small present for a birthday party.

The second book we received is Glitterbelle: Doodle, Dazzle, Create! This book features a story with Glitterbelle and her two best friends planning a sleepover at the palace. The book encourages children to join in with the story and get creative by making tiaras or colouring in pictures. It also comes with a mini notepad tin that can easily be carried in a pencil case or bag. This book was more suited to Miss C's age and she enjoyed looking through the book and deciding which activities she wanted to do first. Again the pages of the book are really pretty and fun with easy to follow instructions throughout.

Also in the Glitterbelle range is a storybook called Glitterbelle: The Sparkliest Princess Ever and a dress-up sticker book called Glitterbelle: Dazzling Dress Up.

All of these books are available to buy from Amazon.

We received these books for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Everybody Learns Lexia Reading Program - Review

We recently received quite a few workbooks aimed at both Miss C and Z from Everybody Learns to review. Everybody Learns is a group of teachers who believe they can make a difference to a child's learning. They use the Lexia Reading program which is used worldwide but in only 10% of UK schools. The program focuses on learning phonics in a fun way. The books we received are designed by teachers and they aim to develop phonic skills through a variety of structured reading and writing activities.

Miss C is currently learning to read at school. She has learnt all of her sounds using the Jolly Phonics program. She took to it quite quickly however she'll only read when she feels like it. So I was really surprised when she picked up one of her workbooks and started working her way through it herself. Miss C received the Lexia Reading and Writing Workbooks for Younger Children, Levels 1-4. Each level has 2 workbooks with an average of 49 pages. Miss C loved all the pictures in the books and wanted to colour them all in when she had finished each page.

Here's a bit about what each level focuses on:

Level 1 - Letter formation (a-z), matching sounds to letters (a-z), reading and spelling three and four letter words.
Level 2 - Reading and spelling words with blends (FR in frog, NG in wing), reading and spelling words containing digraphs (CH in chop, SH in fish) and reading and writing sentences.
Level 3 - Reading and spelling words with a silent "e", learning the meaning of words and comprehension questions.
Level 4 - Reading and spelling words containing vowel digraphs (OI in point, OA in float), reading and spelling two syllable words and further comprehension questions.

The books are well put together and have a lot of repetition in order to reinforce the learning the child is doing. Each page has something slightly different though to keep the child engaged. Miss C has been working her way through the first workbook and it's amazing to see just how much she knows from what she has learnt at school.

Z couldn't wait to get stuck in to his books; the Level 3 and Level 4 Lexia Strategies for Older Students Reading and Writing Workbooks. There are 2 books in each level (Level 1-4) with an average of 50 pages in each book. Z is working his way through the Level 3 books confidently.

Here's a bit about what these two levels focus on:

Level 3 - Reading and spelling words with suffixes (jumper or rusty), reading and spelling two syllable words and reading paragraphs and stories.
Level 4 - Reading paragraphs of information and answering comprehension questions.

Everybody Learns also have an interactive course called the Lexia Home Reading Course that you can subscribe to and use on a computer, laptop, Mac, iPad and most Android tablets. There are various subscription packages that you can buy which will then give you access to the Lexia Home Reading Course to use straightaway. The workbooks can be used alongside the course too!

For the complete set of workbooks, they are currently priced at £24.99 for the Level 1-4 books aimed at older children. The complete set for younger children is currently sold out however you can buy individual levels which contain 2 workbooks for £8.48. I feel these are quite reasonably priced for the quality and content of the workbooks.

I love workbooks like these that I can use at home with the kids. I tend to bulk buy workbooks just before the Summer holidays so the kids can carry on with some work during the break. I think it's important for them to keep their brains active.

We received these workbooks for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Play #TheGallery

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Studying for my HNC in Early Education has taught me a lot of things but the most important thing and most repeated thing I have learnt is that children need play in order to learn. They thrive on having play in their lives. They use it to build knowledge of the world around them. They use it to process new thoughts and ideas. They use it to bring purpose and meaning in to everything they see and do. 

My children, of course, love to play. Sometimes they don't play together but when they is magical. They play with Miss C's animals together or they'll build LEGO creations together. They love to play Minecraft together. When they are outside, they love to play on the trampoline or ride their bikes or play games together. 

I love this picture from Summer when Z and Miss C were playing at the park. Miss C was loving having Z push her on the swings. I can just picture her when she's older telling her children or grandchildren how her brother used to push her on the swings when they played together. 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

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