Peppa Pig Potty Training Bundle-Product(s) Review

 

Look at all the lovely Peppa Pig goodies, we, (well Olivia really) were sent!

Peppa

Olivia is a rather big fan of Peppa Pig-we recently went to London to see “My First Cinema Experience” and she loved it!

Because of this, she was thrilled with her box of goodies, and set to work placing the items where they needed to be in the house.

What was in the box?

Continue reading “Peppa Pig Potty Training Bundle-Product(s) Review”

One Third Stories-The Great Francais Word Search

We were sent a French language learning book from One Third Stories!

 

Who are one third stories?

OneOneCreated by friends of 8 years, Alex (who loves languages) and Jonny (who loves stories), they’ve been thinking of ways for years, to combine their two passions into a business.   The first time they tried they were just 17 years old and ended up dressing as penguins and sleeping on boxes full of books. (We’re going to need photos of this right?) Continue reading “One Third Stories-The Great Francais Word Search”

Mills & Boon-Growing Old Disgracefully-Book Review

‘Growing Old Disgracefully-Ada Adverse’

Those who regularly read my book reviews, will know I’m a little in love with, not only Mills & Boon but also Ada Adverse.

Growing
An incredible writer of some of the most hilarious “self help” books, I’ve ever read, Ada has done it again, with this absolute corker of a guide to “Growing Old Disgracefully”. Continue reading “Mills & Boon-Growing Old Disgracefully-Book Review”

Emirates Flight Time Stories-Monkey On A Plane

Mayflower Blogs were sent ‘Monkeys on a Plane‘, a flight time story from Emirates.

(They also sent a banana guard-which has generated a lot more interest from my children than I thought it would!)

Emirates

Created by award winning author-illustrator duo-Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve, ‘Monkeys on a Plane’ is based on a story of the same name by 4 year old, Maddison Penney. Continue reading “Emirates Flight Time Stories-Monkey On A Plane”

Clever Tykes Storybooks-Supported By Lloyds Banking Group

Clever Tykes sent us the three storybooks they have published with the support of Lloyds Banking Group.

Earlier this year the co-founders of Clever Tykes secured sponsorship to gift the Clever Tykes storybooks into all primary schools in the UK–which will give 4 million children an enterprising role model no matter what their background.
Alongside the books, Clever Tykes have also made online teaching resources, free of charge, enabling schools to teach enterprising skills to their pupils.

The books are illustrated by Sam Moore, and are perfect for the 6-9 age group they were created for.

Continue reading “Clever Tykes Storybooks-Supported By Lloyds Banking Group”

Loving The Life Less Lived-Book Review

I was sent ‘Loving The Life Less Lived‘ by Gail Marie Mitchell to review to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

 

lovingGail suffers from anxiety and depression-and has done for many years.  After struggling to try and beat her mental illnesses, she finally decided to accept them instead, using her own tips and tools, culminating in her decision to write this book. Continue reading “Loving The Life Less Lived-Book Review”

James And The Amazing Gift-Book Review

 

jamesHere at Mayflower Blogs, we love a book or seven to read at bedtime!  The book we were sent from author Nicola J. Rowley didn’t actually make it to bedtime though, as Miss Olivia was waving it in my face to read to her, the second we walked through the door after picking it up from the post office.

James and the Amazing Gift is all about a little boy-called James funnily enough! Continue reading “James And The Amazing Gift-Book Review”

10 Things Girls Need Most-Book Review

As I’m writing this, the Department for Education is reporting that a third of all teenage girls in the UK suffer from depression or anxiety.

 

Starting out as a mental health blogger, means I’m privy to a large amount of statistics.  How many men suffer from one type of mental illness, how many women suffer with another.

What I’ve rarely seen are statistics for children, until I received best selling author, Steve Biddulph’s book.

10 Things Girls Need Most, to grow up strong and free, doesn’t just focus on younger girls mental health-but an entire range of methods, and interactive tips, to enable you to bring up your daughter to the best of your ability.

 

The NHS say that 20 percent of girls are self harming-three times as many as ten years ago.

As previously mentioned, I am a mental health blogger, who suffers from mental health issues.  To read in this book that not only are a large and increasing number of young girls are suffering from mental health issues, but that there are also a worrying amount self harming and suffering from PTSD, is enough to make me want to work hard on making sure my daughter is safe and secure.

During the content of the book, there are a large amount of interactive activities for the reader to take part in.  Enabling you to think about your own background and past experiences, it becomes clear how those influence our daughter’s present and future.

 

A father who is able to show his caring makes a huge difference to a girl.  It’s a learning curve, since her world is very different to yours.  there are some secrets to make it a lot easier.

 

There are sections for both parents to write in, which personally made me realise how much of a massive part Dad’s play in their daughters lives.  I’ve heard about underestimating the relationship between a father and daughter before, but the importance of their relationship is made evident throughout this book.

Regardless of the age of your daughter or your home situation, the entire book is helpful.  You learn not only what you may have missed previously in their lives, but also what you can currently do to help them, and what you can aim for in the future.

 

Taking one chapter at a time, you can create your own ongoing support group to help you care for all your daughters together.  That’s how girls were meant to be raised-by a tribe.

During my journey through the book, the interactive activities felt like a therapy to me.  The information I was given, didn’t come as a surprise, but knowing my daughter may suffer in some way because of my past, was especially hard hitting.

If anything, during the sections of this book, and once I’d finished working my way through, any concerns I do/did have about my daughter and her future, felt manageable.
Knowing I could refer back to the book whenever I needed to, knowing that these pages held more than just information-that they held help, nourishment and education for us as parents, alleviated those fears I have for my little girl.

This book can be read again and again.  It’s not a book about how to parent, it’s not a book about do’s and don’t’s.  It’s a guide-an aid if you will, to bringing up your daughter in the best way-enabling her to tackle the world and its stresses, with strength and freedom, whilst knowing they’re guided safely by you.

10

This really is an incredible book-especially for those with daughter.  To buy your own copy, head over to Amazon here.

Mothers Day Gift Review-Mills & Boon-Turning Into Your Mother

mothers

This is just one of the hilarious exerts from Ada Adverse‘s new book-“Turning Into Your Mother“.  Another entry into the Mills & Boon Modern Girls Guide, Ada and her witticisms once again make this book an absolute joy to read.

Upon initial receipt of this book, I did assume I’d be using it as a self help guide of ways not to turn into my Mother!  However, with each turn of the page, I realised that actually, Ada has once again stolen the majority of not only mine, but quite possibly the worlds population of Mothers thoughts.

Stealing the “book crown” once again (there’s one of those yeah?) the additional pictures, are perfectly selected for each page’s content.

Personally I’ll be keeping this book for my daughter to read one day-to confirm to her it wasn’t just me that thought these things, and to show her how she’ll also think when she has her own children.
(I’d like to add I’ll be telling her that she should turn into me-I’m pretty awesome.)

 

Celebrate Mothers Day with Mills & Boon!

mothers

 

With Mothers Day closely approaching, what better way to give your own Mum a giggle than with this awesome book!

An absolute steal at £6.99, you can buy this laugh a minute “Modern Girls Guide” at Amazon-just click HERE!

 

 

 

Please note I was sent this product for free in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

Pride and Prejudice at The Marlowe Theatre-Review

pride

Last night, I was invited to the press night for Pride and Prejudice at the Marlowe Theatre.  Originally a Regent’s Park open air theatre play, the show has three weeks left of its tour, playing another four days in Canterbury, before moving on to Liverpool, Newcastle and Cardiff. Tickets are available here for The Marlowe Theatre and here for the other venues and dates.

As a 30 year old woman, who grew up reading the book, watching every screen adaptation of this reputable Jane Austen novel, and dreaming of meeting my own Mr Darcy, I knew I’d enjoy watching this stage version.
What I hadn’t bargained on, was just how much I’d enjoy it.

 

pride
Upon entering the grand auditorium of the Marlowe Theatre, the audience were met with a large structure on the stage.
From the very first scene, we were enlightened to what the structure was; a rotating scene changing creation, that enabled different scenes of the play to be altered without having to change an entire stage of props.
Cast members regularly stayed in the background, changing the few props at the back half of the stage, while main cast members kept the audience captivated with their clear and precise dialogue.

Acoustically, this dialogue is obviously helped by the Marlowe’s beautiful auditorium, but the cast themselves played a massive part in getting the audience to absorb the recitation of this well known story.

Moving on to the cast, the focus is immediately on Mrs  Bennet, played by the always resplendent Felicity Montagu.  Felicity brings out every ounce of drama and self absorbed hilarity, Mrs Bennett radiates.

Her relationship with poor Mr Bennet, played by TV legend Matthew Kelly, is acted perfectly; their tumultuous marriage, and his tolerance and desperation of her dramatics are constantly evident.  Felicity and Matthew, have a near perfect comedic timing, making the audience question whether there are two better people to work alongside each other in these two roles.

Their daughters, Mary, Jane, Kitty, Lydia, and Elizabeth, played by Leigh Quinn, Hollie Edwin, Anna Crichlow, Mari Izzard and Tafline Steen, play their individual characters with ease.

Mary and Kitty, even with their smaller roles, still have great humorous lines (and looks) throughout, and the wild child Lydia, easily shocked the audience, with her sudden change of character when she married the equally wild Mr Wickham, played by Daniel Abbott.

Daniel plays the role of Mr Wickham in the charming way the character is portrayed in the original text.  A charm that Mr Darcy definitely doesn’t have.
It is no wonder In that case, why we saw Jane initially assume she had stronger feelings for Mr Wickham.

Jane and Elizabeth are the closest of the sisters-both living for each others happiness, and their devotion to one another is a constant throughout the play.

When Jane finally becomes betrothed to Mr Bingley, the gracious contentment Elizabeth has for her sisters good fortune is played out beautifully, and, throughout the play, Mr Bingley, played by Jordan Mifsud, becomes a firm favourite with the audience.
His alternative methods of thought, and the excitement he has during every task he undertakes makes him effortlessly endearing.

Tafline, who plays Elizabeth could not be more perfect for her role.  Her quick wit, dry humour, sarcasm and relationship with her family, mirror my own, and, although I cannot hope to have the pure English-rose beauty Tafline possesses, her portrayal of this head strong confident character, is enough to make any independent young lady, look to her as their heroine.

Her strong relationship with her family, does not mirror the initial meeting with Mr Darcy, and their affiliation with one another is constantly turbulent and heated.

Ben who plays Mr Darcy, towers above his cast members, and, with his stern, brooding features, he plays the character with ease and poignancy.

The moment the audience had been waiting for showed us a new side to both characters.  Mr Darcy softened and allowed his love to rule over his terseness,  closely followed by Elizabeth admitting to her own feelings, following the kiss, both of which had the audience gasping and cooing over the romance and beauty of the scene.

Of course, Elizabeth could have had a very different life, had she chosen the interestingly eccentric Mr Collins.
Played by Steven Meo, a massive compliment has to go out to his portrayal of, let’s face it, a complete sleazeball!

For an actor to have the ability to not only make an audience cringe at the dialogue and mannerisms a character has, but to also have an excitement surround them every time they come onto the stage, is a massive talent to have-and his relationship with the unfortunate Charlotte Lucas, played by Francesca Bailey, showed us the awkwardness surrounding a relationship with this man.

Additionally to the above cast members and their incredible acting throughout, a special nod has to go to Kirsty Rider who plays the incredibly desperate Caroline Bingley.
Her affections for Mr Darcy, and her distaste for the Bennett family, are genuinely hilarious.  Even her facial expressions during scenes where she had no dialogue had the audience in hysterics.


It was also a thrill to see Dona Crook As Lady Catherine De Bourgh, and  Charlotte Palmer as Mrs Gardiner.  

Lady Catherine’s stuck up, displeasure towards Elizabeth made her the villain of the play-something Dona revelled in at the end, when she came on to the curtain call jeering the crowd into booing her.

Mrs Gardiner, although the sister of Mrs Bennet, thankfully was anything like her sibling.  Although she is supportive of her sisters self made stresses, she couldn’t be more different in personality.
A sweet lady, who adores her nieces, we can label her the wannabe Cilla Black of Jane Austen novels, in her attempt to make Elizabeth realise her feelings for Mr Darcy, when they visited Pemberley together.
Ending the show was a perfect letter scene, where the characters shared their good fortune with other members of their family.
The movement from the many members of cast, was once again, fluid and faultless, as it had been throughout.

Lights descended from above the stage, the actors took their places for the curtain call, and they were met with an incredible reception of applause (and lots of whooping).

In conclusion, this is one of the best plays I’ve ever seen, and the amazing evening was made complete, when I got to catch up with some of the cast after the show, who were all genuinely lovely.

pride
Big Thanks to the especially lovely, Ben Dilloway and Tafline Steen (Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet), for indulging me in a photo (for blog purposes obviously!)