Friday, 31 January 2014

Prizes for Parents Competition Round Up 31.01.14

Prizes for parents

This is roundup of some of the best competitions available on the web, I'll keep my eyes peeled for the best prizes or freebies on offer for UK families, mums, parents and health and beauty fans.
I'll post a selection here of the ones I spot or if you have a competition you'd like me to include, just tweet me the link @beachpebble, email me or leave a comment below with the details and closing date.
#prizesforparents
Prize must be open to UK winners.
Published every other Friday.

• Win an Oxo Good Grips bundle
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 09.02.14

• Win 1 of 3 Pirates Don't play cricket books.
Entry by rafflecopter, closes 03.02.14

• Win 1 of 2 copies of Seafood on blu ray. 
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 04.02.14

• Win a selection on Leon cookbooks 
Entry by online form. Closes 13.02.14

• Win a Chicco Quattro sit and ride car
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 12.02.14

• Win a Merci Maman engraved necklace. Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 10.02.14

• Win A Gorgeous Bunch of Flowers with Serenata Flowers. Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 09.02.14

• Win 1 of 5 Tom Gates: Extra Special Treats (Not) books
Entry by blog comment. Closes

• Win a £30 voucher to spend at Delicatezza
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 10.02.14

• Win 1 of 5 sets of the Baby Care Essential DVD guide
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 03.02.14

• Win Tanqueray Gin. Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 06.02.14

• Win a £25 Spreadshirt voucher
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 15.02.14

• Win a Kodak Easyshare Camera
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 03.02.14

• Win a steam mop 
Entry by online form. Closes 10.02.14

• Win a box of Valentine's day chocolates 
Entry by raffle copter. Closes 06.02.14

• Win 1 of 5 Natures Aid Vitamin D3 drops.
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 01.02.14

• Win a Curbbz statement bracelet 
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 09.02.14
• Win a Love Boo bespoke selection box worth £65
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 26.02.14

• Win a £100 to spend at Love Knitting.
Entry by newsletter sign up.
Monthly prize draw.

• Win a selection of Italian Produce from Peccando 
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 08.03.14

Emma in Bromley xx
Prizes for Parents UK competition round up

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Nancys Pantry Child Focused Restaurant


Nancy's Pantry Dalston London
Good News for East London Families As First-Of-Its-Kind Child-Focused Restaurant Opens

Finally, a truly family-friendly eatery opening on the 9th February 2014 in Dalston, London is set to change the way families eat out with an equal focus on great food and stimulating children’s activities.
Until now, eating out with children has been one big compromise; either good quality food but with the children running riot in unsettled boredom before the mains appear; or a kid-friendly venue with dodgy food which adults have to endure.
Nourishing and nurturing
The menu at Nancy’s Pantry focuses on great seasonal dishes, from British classics to favourites from further afield. As well as all food being clearly coded with allergy and intolerance information, we offer a significant number of tasty gluten and wheat-free alternatives. The restaurant will also be entirely nut-free, helping to reassure parents, while homemade purées for babies will put paid to those warmed-up supermarket pots for the very young.

Nancy's Pantry Dalston London

A restaurant that puts stimulating play on the menu
Offering tailored entertainment in a variety of forms for children from newborns to 10, Nancy’s Pantry will feature three innovative play areas, taking science and the natural world as its inspiration. With subjects changing on a regular basis and a monthly activity schedule posted online, customers could be joining in with ice experiments one day and giant art displays the next.
How the idea came to fruition
The driving force behind Nancy’s Pantry is London mum Gemma Timms, who, with two young children herself, grew tired of overpriced ‘family-friendly’ restaurants offering nothing much more than fish fingers and a few colouring sheets: “I couldn’t understand why even in London, where we are increasingly spoilt for choice when eating out, no one was properly offering what I wanted; a restaurant designed with both children and adults in mind."
Named after Gemma’s 5-year-old daughter Nancy, it’s a family venture with Gemma, who has 10 years at the Treasury behind her, joined by her father Mike Dawson, an award-winning chef with 30 years in the industry.
This is just the beginning
The Dalston Square restaurant is already being considered as the flagship site for what is expected to become one of several Nancy’s Pantry restaurants to open in the UK over the next few years. Watch this space!


Labyrinth Tower, Dalston Square
London, UK — E8 3GP 

(020) 7254 8639 
twitter @nancyspantryeat
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/NancysPantry/

Emma in Bromley xx


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Ferry Good Fun! Fergus the Ferry App Currently Free


Anyone with little ones and iPads - Fergus the Ferry HD full version app is currently free for a short time. Includes a game and all 24 story books. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/fergus-ferry-hd/id503731996?mt=8

My little ones both love this app. The game is easy enough for my 4 year old to play and both my 4yo and 2yo love listening to the stories being read aloud by the author. You can also choose to read yourself. With 24 ebook stories as well as the game, this app is wonderful.

Emma in Bromley xx


Friday, 17 January 2014

Prizes for Parents Competition Round Up 17.01.14

Prizes for parents
This is a weekly roundup of some of the best competitions available on the web, I'll keep my eyes peeled for the best prizes or freebies on offer for UK families, mums, parents and health and beauty fans.
I'll post a selection here of the ones I spot or if you have a competition you'd like me to include, just tweet me the link @beachpebble, email me or leave a comment below with the details and closing date.
#prizesforparents
Prize must be open to UK winners.
Published every (mostly) Friday.

• Win a Kodak Easyshare Camera
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 03.02.14

• Win a steam mop 
Entry by online form. Closes 10.02.14

• Win a pack of Diamond Blend mineral eye patches.
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 21.01.14

• Win a box of Valentine's day chocolates 
Entry by raffle copter. Closes 06.02.14

• Win a 3 month subscription to Bloom and Wild flower delivery.
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 27.01.14

• Win 1 of 5 Natures Aid Vitamin D3 drops.
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 01.02.14

• Win 1 of 5 the smoke free formula book (stop smoking) 
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 29.01.14

• Win a bespoke bug little canvas art
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 28.01.14

• Win a Heroes of the City bundle
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 23.01.12

• Win a Rush prize bundle
Entry by online form. Closes 
20.01.14

• Win a Curbbz statement bracelet 
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 09.02.14
• Win a Love Boo bespoke selection box worth £65
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 26.02.14

• Win a Bathing Bunnies yellow duck towel set
Entry via the blog. Closes 30.01.14

• Win a £100 to spend at Love Knitting.
Entry by newsletter sign up.
Monthly prize draw.

• Win 1 of 2 £25 Passion Secrets vouchers.
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 24.01.14

• Win a selection of Italian Produce from Peccando 
Entry by rafflecopter. Closes 08.03.14

Lift those January Blues with the Sharp Hand of Reality

I wanted to share this press release because it's mid January - a time when most of us feel a little "blue" but sometimes we need that little peep at reality and what other people are facing. I spend most of my time marveling at how beautiful the world is, it can be easy for me to momentarily forget how cruel people can be to each other. 
What's happening in South Sudan right now is far worse than that stubborn fatty bit I can't shift or having to raid the coin jar for grocery money this month. Realising that there are mass killings occurring is hard enough without the evidence that Child Soldiers are currently being used. 

Press Release
JUBA/GENEVA/NEW YORK (17 January 2014) – Fighting in South Sudan has turned into a horrifying humanitarian and human rights disaster with mass atrocities committed by both sides, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović said on Friday at the end of a four-day visit to the country.
“The conflict has now reached the threshold of an internal armed conflict, causing untold suffering for thousands of civilians,” said Šimonović.
“Mass atrocities have been committed by both sides. During my visit, I have received reports of mass killings, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, the widespread destruction of property and the use of children in the conflict,” he said. “One month of conflict has set South Sudan back a decade.” 
Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands are now displaced, with some 70,000 people seeking protection in UN camps and 30,000 in the two UN compounds in Juba alone,” he added.
“Clearly the crisis, which started as a political one, has now taken on an inter-ethnic dimension that urgently needs to be addressed. People on both sides are absolutely convinced that the other side is to blame, which makes the situation even more dangerous. This highlights the need for an independent fact-finding commission to establish the truth of these terrible events,” said Šimonović.
“The worst affected communities are in Juba and in communities which have changed hands several times, like those in Bentiu and Bor. This has led to widespread communal violence and destruction. I have not been able to visit Malakal, so I cannot comment on the situation there,” Šimonović highlighted.
The Assistant Secretary-General visited the town of Bentiu, Unity State, which has been the scene of heaving fighting over the past few weeks.
 “What I saw was a horror. Destruction and death is everywhere in Bentiu, which has now become a ghost town,” he said. “I myself saw some 15 bodies lying on a road. The extent of the looting, burning and destruction is hard to grasp for anybody who hasn’t been there.”
Šimonović also visited Bor, which is located in Jonglei State. “All civilians have fled the city which was a ghost town. I spoke to the leader of the anti-government forces, Peter Gadet, to remind him of his and his forces' obligations to protect civilians.”
In Juba, the Assistant Secretary-General also received allegations of a mass atrocity at a police station in the Gudele neighbourhood of the city where large numbers of civilians were reportedly rounded up, taken to a building and killed because of their ethnicity. “We are continuing our investigation into this very serious incident,” Šimonović said.
In Juba, Bor and Bentiu, the Assistant Secretary-General met senior government officials, anti-government forces, armed groups, UN officials, the diplomatic community and a wide range of civil society actors, including traditional and community leaders. He also met displaced people and victims of the fighting.
“Accountability is key. An independent and impartial fact-finding commission should be established as quickly as possible.  Those who committed these terrible crimes, who ordered them or those who did nothing to prevent them while they were in a position to do so, all these people should be held accountable without delay,” he said.  “I made this very clear to military leaders on both sides.”
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has played a key role in protecting civilians over the past few weeks, Šimonović noted. “If UNMISS had not opened their gates to protect civilians fleeing the violence, there is no doubt that killings on an even larger scale would have happened. Their impartial presence is also of great importance to help prevent further atrocities from being committed and for the protection of civilians. The reinforcement of their human rights monitoring capacity is a positive step forward. Independent monitoring and public reporting is vital. Within the coming weeks the UN will be issuing a public report on human rights violations committed after 15 December,” he said.
“I call on all parties to the conflict to allow unhindered access to UN human rights monitors to places of detention, conflict zones and other locations to allow them to do their work,” Šimonović said.
“I will continue to alert the international community to the terrible human rights situation currently prevailing in South Sudan and the need for accountability.
Upon my return I will brief the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council and provide suggestions on action to be taken to prevent further human rights violations.”
The Assistant Secretary- General’s mission from 14 to 17 January was aimed at assessing the human rights situation and the impact of the fighting in the country, and at identifying areas for improvement in the situation of the affected civilian population.


Fight for world peace! ... or at least a chance for all children to have a childhood rather than seeing their parents murdered and then being forced to become child soldiers.
Emma in Bromley xx

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The End of a Very Special Book

It's no secret that I love books - I think my two little people have so many books they could easily rival the local library's children's area!

The Gruffalo - now peeled.

I started reading to Blake and Maegan when they were still bumps!

The Gruffalo is our most special book - I've been reading it since 2009 when my first born was just a bump and it's still a firm favourite for both of my children. Both my husband and I can recite The Gruffalo and it's always one of the first things we pack on a long journey along with favourite toys.

My youngest has started to occupy the stairs when she's filling her nappy and politely requests to be left alone while she's busy and comically often takes a book to read with her!

She's literally in my bad books today though! Whilst in her "busy" moment - she's peeled and ripped the cover from our most precious book :( - I'm sentimental (and border on hoarder) so I was rather tearful when she showed me that she'd managed more than a number two. It was always my intension for this book to become a keepsake. 

Emma in Bromley x



Wednesday Wardrobe Chanel Chic

Maegan Darcie Clement Chanel Chic Baby Gap knitted dress, Hello Kitty Vans, hello kitty hair clips
Today my beautiful daughter, Maegan age 2 is Chanel Chic in her adorable knitted dress from Baby Gap.

Long sleeve white tee (pack of 2) - h&m organic.

• Knitted black & white dress with 4 pockets detailing black and gold buttons - Baby Gap

• White patterned knitted tights (pack of 3 pairs) - Mini Club at Boots.

• Black velvet Hello Kitty hair slides - h&m

Hello Kitty red soled Vans - Office

Emma in Bromley xx

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

HFMD - Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

HFMD hand, Foot and mouth disease rash on legA little while ago, my 4 year old complained of a sore throat and mouth and was off food, he had lots and lots of ulcers in his mouth (he's a real fussy eater at the best of times) so I took him to the doctors and it turned out he had hand, foot and mouth disease - a contagious but short lived viral infection which has nothing at all to do with the livestock illness with a similar name - foot and mouth. His only symptoms were generally un-wellness and an extremely sore mouth. He really struggled with it, he couldn't eat or drink properly and just sipped water through a straw and pretty much the only thing he would eat was party rings and ice pops! The pain was tough - it kept him awake at night and disturbed his sleep when he did manage to drop off. Poor kid had calpol a lot! We also bought an oral spray called Difflam to help numb his throat but there wasn't anything I could do to get him to take it!


HFMD hand, Foot and mouth disease rash on footA few days later I felt generally unwell and had a handful of ulcers in my mouth but was fine with the Difflam spray. My daughter - age 2 also became unwell with it and the poor little love had the viral rash everywhere! All over her feet and hands as well as  her legs, bottom and arms, along with the mouth ulcers. She could take the Difflam spray but unfortunately she'd seen her brother's dramatic reaction so wouldn't try it! Getting her to take any water was hard - even ice pops, I was seriously worried she would become dehydrated so I ended up squirting water into her mouth with the oral syringe that came in the calpol box! We used calamine and virasoothe gel to calm the rash and calpol to help with the pain.
It took exactly a week from start to finish with both children and was extremely hard work to get through, especially when there was an overlap with them both being ill at the same time, day times meant two upset children and night times were just full of disruptions! The remnants of uninfected and painless blisters and ulcers however, remained for the best part of a month.
We washed bedding and towels daily to try and minimise spread of the virus - the doctor had warned me that it's possible to get a secondary infection in a short time space, we kept both kids separate at bathtime and we also practiced some relaxation massage and badger sleep balm rub.

HFMD hand, Foot and mouth disease rash on handMy top tips for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease:

Difflam spray
Calpol
Calamine lotion
Virasoothe gel
Drinking straws
Ice pops
Badger sleep balm 
Oral syringe for squirting water
Separate baths and towels 

Chocolate for mum and dad :)

The photos are all of my daughter, Maegan's HFMD rash (age 2)


Emma in Bromley xx









Sunday, 5 January 2014

Louise Rennison The Taming of the Tights


Louise Rennison – THE author for teenage girls
Louise Rennison is the best selling award-winning author of the phenomenally successful ‘Confessions of Georgia Nicolson’ series, which was translated into over 34 languages and went to the stage and big screen as ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’. She has won the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, the Michael L. Printz Honor Book and the Roald Dahl Funny prize for ‘Withering Tights’.


TAMING OF THE TIGHTS is the 3rd of the Misadventures of Tallulah Casey series, which also include Withering Tights and A Midsummer Tights Dream. Tallulah Casey is putting all thoughts of wild boy Cain behind her. He is literally an animal in trousers… oo-er.  Not like nice boy Charlie (who she’s totally not thinking about either). The Tree Sisters are chasing those golden slippers of applause at performing arts college but Dr Lightowler seems hell-bent on spoiling everything for Tallulah. And with all her mates loved up, can Tallulah resist the call of her wild boy. Packed with boys and mates, join Tallulah Casey and pals for more (boy snogging) misadventures and maybe you too will feel the urge to put on the Golden Slippers of Applause.


My Thoughts
Aimed at girls age 11+ I wasn't really sure what to expect, I've watched Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging but I haven't read any of the other books before. In all honesty - I enjoyed it! There are a lot of funny moments and I found myself giggling (like a school girl!) on almost every page! I don't think it mattered that I wasn't familiar with the other books but I do think it would have been wonderful to have read the three Tallulah Casey books in sequence. 
It's easy to see that Louise Rennison has worked hard and deserved all the achievements she has aquired for her imaginative books full of love, laughter and friendship. I adore the fact that Louise Rennison has taken inspiration from classic literature - although I'm pleased to say that besides a take on the name "taming of the shrew" the only other comparison would be comedy and fortunately not mysogyny! 



Summary of Louise Rennison
·         Louise Rennison won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize with Withering Tights – first in the Tallulah Casey series
·         She is also is the bestselling award-winning author of the phenomenally successful ‘Confessions of Georgia Nicolson’ series, translated into over 34 languages and to the stage and big screen as ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’.
·         She has won the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, the Michael L. Printz Honor Book and the Roald Dahl Funny prize for ‘Withering Tights’.
·         Global books sales of over 5 million copies!
·         Packed with boys and mates, join Tallulah Casey and pals for more (boy snogging) misadventures and maybe you too will feel the urge to put on the Golden Slippers of Applause.

Available from HarperCollins Children's books since the 2nd January in paperback.





Emma in Bromley xx