We Love Books – My First Justin’s Jokes – Justin Fletcher

Okay, so Justin Fletcher as we know, rules tv, in particular Cbeebies where it is impossible to avoid him (and why would you anyway?).

Having said that, he’s also holding strong in the album chart with his ‘Hands Up’ album, which went Top 20 on release (and still gets regular plays on the stereo here at home).

There’s the ‘Something Special’ magazine which is still going strong, plus plenty of books for older kids…

My First Justin's Jokes by Justin Fletcher

What could Justin possibly do next? Oh, just an utterly excellent joke book, that’s what!

It arrived in the post today, and was eagerly ripped open by.. me. I am a woman of few jokes, but my jokes I’ve carried with me through the years are ones that I’ll continue to take with me – and they’re BOTH IN THE BOOK. My sense of humour is obviously not as advanced as I thought.

Now, H is two and a half (going on twenty-two and a half), so we had our next hurdle to conquer – explaining jokes. I wasn’t sure how she’d react, as Christmas Cracker jokes were just a bit too advanced last year but actually, this book is just right. There’s a few jokes that she’ll get as her vocabulary improves, but on summing up the book, she got ‘Knock Knock’ quite quickly (and even started inventing ones of her own), her own personal favourite (we repeated it 15 times) is ‘Why does a giraffe have a long neck? Because his feet smell!’ – so nothing too taxing, but enough she understands why it’s funny.

Every page has Justin in a different costume (mostly in cartoon form with a photo of his face), and she did spend a bit of time saying “ooh, silly Justin, what’s he doing now?” and having a good giggle about it.

My First Justin’s Jokes is available to preorder now at Amazon, and will be released on the 3rd May 2012. ISBN 978-0-571-28823-6, published by Faber and Faber.

I was sent a copy to review, and all opinions are my own (and H’s!).

EDIT – We have a copy to give away in a competition – stay tuned…. we’ll get it up as soon as we can!

We Love Books at Mum Friendly

We Love Books – The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook

The Sound Of Music Family ScrapbookIt’s no secret my favourite film of all time is The Sound of Music. It’s a film I’ve grown up with – from wanting to be Marta or Gretl to being so old that if I wanted to be a character now I’d have to be a nun.

My first wedding anniversary was spent in Salzburg (my husband is a good man) – and yes, we did the tour. I will also happily admit to having at least three copies of the film… so yes, a fan.

I’ve also a fine collection of books relating to the film (and the real-life Maria Von Trapp), so I was pretty excited when it was announced last year that the seven actors and actresses who played the Von Trapp children would be releasing a book of their memories from the film. There’s a lot of information out there – and indeed most of the ‘children’ have their own websites with memories and photos – so what can this book offer that’s not already out there?

SO MUCH MORE.

The Sound Of Music Family Scrapbook - insideOh my. You know when you get a book and it’s been put together with love? Where the littlest things are shared but make you feel a part of it? That’s this book. It’s one I’ll have to keep out of my daughter’s way until she’s old enough to appreciate it (and wants to be Gretl), as within the book of memories (and some photos which have never been seen before) there’s a DVD of their (being Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Angela Cartwright and Debbie Turner) home movies from 1964 (which I shall be watching later on), and four fold out envelope-type pages with various bits (called ‘facsimile items’) the cast have saved – we’re talking letters to home from a 5-year-old Kym Karath (Gretl), a plane ticket to and from Salzburg to film. I’m a bit of a hoarder and this kind of stuff is something I can really appreciate – it’s an insight into the kinds of things that went on behind the scenes and how well everyone got on.

The Sound Of Music Family Scrapbook - facsimile itemsIf you’ve followed anything to do with the film, then it’s no secret the seven actors are all still in touch and remain close. This book brings their sense of togetherness – how they were all there for each other when there’s been heartbreaking things happening in real lives, as well as the happier moments.

This isn’t the kind of book you’d sit and read in one sitting – it’s one you’d keep dipping in and out of (is this what a ‘coffee table book’ is? Damn.) – with each individual ‘child’ giving their history and what happened after the film.

At the moment the book is unreleased in the UK. I’ve no idea why. I’ve no idea where my husband bought it (probably Amazon), but I have it, and I treasure it – if you love The Sound of Music, then chances are you’ll treasure it too. One day H will also grow to treasure it, but maybe when she’s a bit older. I wouldn’t want to have my facsimile items all coloured in one day…

We Love Books at Mum Friendly

We Love Books – I Spy

My child-of-the-seventies and living that through H resurrected itself last weekend when we made a trip to Hatchlands Park, and went into the National Trust shop. There on the shelf in front of me was a row of I Spy books – which I have to say, excited me a bit too much.

H is only two and a half, so they’re probably still a bit advanced for her, but that didn’t stop me buying another book on Amazon which arrived this week – so now we have I Spy in the Garden and I Spy in the Car. H is an inquisitive toddler, and while it’s not the kind of book we’d read together, it has the kind of things she’d spot on a journey in the car and be excited about – so it made sense to get her something which rewards her for spotting them.

At £2.50 for each book they’re not breaking the bank, and yep, there’s still the chance to get a certificate and badge in the back (as long as your 1000 points are independently verified by a responsible adult), which of course these days is delivered by email.

All you need to do is spy the relevant things and add the date to the book – so I suspect we’ve got a few years of use to come – although on Day One H did say “I’d like to colour in my new book” – so let’s hope it lasts…

I Spy books were apparently relaunched in 2009, but I was too busy being a new mum to notice – keep an eye out if you want something to occupy your easily distracted toddler too!

We Love Books at Mum Friendly

We Love Books – Topsy & Tim

I am going to write-up a lot more about Topsy and Tim very soon, as the books are one of the rare occurrences where I read them as a young ‘un, only to find H is now reading them with just as much enthusiasm.

But! Did you know there’s still new books being released? The illustrations are new modern ones though Topsy still has her familiar pigtails, but these days T&T are very much small children of these times and are just as popular as they were in my day.

Topsy & Tim - Holly's collectionThe Book People had a set of the books, twelve in all for a really good price, and given my addiction for buying books, we splashed out. The books were a hit, so we added more to the collection. There really is a book for almost every occasion you could think of (‘Safety First’ is good for warning about dangers, and ‘Itchy Heads’ has been updated and is very useful should headlice enter your world), it’s written in a way which your little one can relate to, and if they’re anything like H when you’ve got to the fifth reading of the same book, there’s still plenty to talk about on the page and spot on the pictures each read.

Oh, and then there’s also my addiction for car boot sales, where I’ve picked up some 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s T&T editions.

Our newest additions to the collection arrived in the post today, and I have to admit, of all the books I’ve seen, Topsy & Tim Visit London was one I was particularly excited about. Despite living 20 minutes by train from Clapham Junction, so just a little bit further from Central London, I’ve never really ventured that far. Now H is a bit older we’ve done bits here and there, and this book is perfect – it’s filling in a gap – I know where I’d like to take her, Topsy and Tim also happen to be visiting those places, and I know once we get there that she’ll be excited and will relate to it – so we get the Tower Of London (with Tower Bridge in the background), Horse Guards Parade (via the Underground), Big Ben, The Natural History Museum, Kew Gardens and Diana’s Playground in Kensington Gardens – which are all places I want to take H! Add to that there’s a London map in the back where I was able to point out where daddy works (that’s H’s daddy, not T&T’s one), and I think H is starting to understand a bit more about where she lives – seriously, if you live in London and needed a way to help your little one remember places, this is the book. It’s not too complicated and the pictures are great.

As a sidenote, the coolest thing we spotted was Topsy and Tim arriving at mummy’s friends house in London, and both of them have Trunki’s! Proper children of the 2000’s now, they are.

Topsy & Tim Go For GoldWe also received Topsy & Tim Go For Gold – a sports day related story. This one is very much your standard T&T story, with the various races on sports day – but this time Topsy and Tim have fallen out. Now I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t remember this having happened before in any of the books – but in the end there’s a happy ending, and as Shaun pointed out, also a lesson to be learnt that arguing doesn’t get you anywhere, and working together does.

H loved the story straight away, and asked for it to be read several times, which is always a good sign!

Both these titles are being promoted by Penguin in their Olympic themed book promotions – plus if your little one is at a Busy Bees nursery, they’re doing a promotion there for the London book – complete with T&T handpuppets (how cool? I wish!!), so keep an eye out.

I received these books from Penguin, all opinion is my own, and I’ll be gushing over Topsy and Tim a little bit more very soon – we’re big fans in this house!

We Love Books at Mum Friendly

Nourish Radiance Moisturiser

Okay, so, a month or so ago there was a Fudgy Bear Teddy Bears Picnic at Foyles in West London (more to come on Fudgy very very soon), and us lucky mums got a goody bag at the end. Within said bag was a moisturiser – from the new Nourish range – some Nourish Balance.Nourish Balance

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for any kind of beauty product (cast your cursor back to Christmas time when I subscribed to Glossybox, Boudoir Prive AND Carmine’s beauty boxes), and will always try it out in the quest to keep my (pretty good, even though I say it myself) skin looking youthful.

Firstly, I loved the packaging – nice and simple, but enough that it has a good identity – it’s the kind of packaging you’d spot if you were looking for it in a shop. Secondly, the moisturiser had a separate plastic lid, so your cream doesn’t leak out onto the lid – the amount of times a lid has come open and leaked all over my bag… so this was a big thumbs up too.

Relax Nourish Skin RangeSo then, the actual cream. I was using my Olay Moisturiser in the mornings, so used this one in the evenings. At first I was unsure – a cream that smelt of apple? But actually, it works. It’s a really lovely subtle scent, and a while later I’ve rubbed my skin and smelt it again (and ooh, it’s good) – I do tend to react to creams if there’s too much going on, so I’m pleased to report this went on lovely, and stayed on lovely with zero irritation on my skin.

I didn’t want to gush too much until I’d read up a bit more about Nourish, and it’s all good – despite it not saying anywhere on the website, I’ve had it confirmed they’re definitely not tested on animals which is a huge plus point. Each tub has a 24 month shelf life, so you’ve got lots which will last a long time as well.

Nourish was designed as a natural, anti-ageing skin care range that is perfect for core skin care needs (Nature) but also helps you optimise your skin around the life you lead (Nurture)

We know that our skin changes and elasticity declines over time. Skin is our first protection barrier. As we age it begins to fail and lose efficiency. Our modern lifestyle produces chemicals at a rate faster than our skin can accept. Skin damage is caused by inflammation from everyday exposure to environmental and physiological stresses. These cause the production of damaging free radicals.

The way our skin looks and ages is most influenced by two factors: skin type and lifestyle

Choose your Nourish daily routine based on your skin type (Nature) and then supplement it using additional products from the other ranges to fit your personal lifestyle influences (Nurture)

Nourish Protect RangeDry skin – Nourish Protect
Sensitive skin – Nourish Relax
Combination skin – Nourish Balance
Mature skin – Nourish Radiance

 

Nourish can be found here
and on Facebook over here

Potty Training – We’re Still Going

Okay, so I was being optimistic having just January and February as my theme – this one is going to go on for a few months, I’d imagine. Nothing bad, but there’s so much out there right now which deserves a mention – you may have a toilet trained child, but there’s always the scope for accidents.

I’ll post up reviews when we’ve had more chance to use them, but some solutions (as suggested by some lovely ladies on the Mum Friendly Facebook Group) for those random occurrences you don’t think about initially follow…

Piddle PadWe’re facing a long drive this coming weekend – which is fine – but I don’t want to go back to using pull ups for the journey – I feel like it’d be a backward step, and generally H is pretty good (apart from nights). I was looking for a washable pad which could be placed on the car seat, in case of accidents when you can’t just pull over and deal with it – and the wonderfully named Piddle Pad does just that. Waterproof on one side and lined on the other, washable – so you don’t end up having to wash your whole car seat cover – it’s a great idea, and hopefully we’ll be reporting back good things.

My Carry Potty
H chooses Her Carry Potty

Last weekend was The Baby Show, and I finally bought a My Carry Potty – there’s a few portable options out there – I didn’t fancy the toilet seat which packs down flat as the bags seem expensive, and I wasn’t sure about the other option which is like a snake, but which packs down really small (as H is quite particular!). Fortunately she loves going on the potty (as well as the toilet), and as we hit Croydon on the way home she announced she needed to do a wee, and wanted to go on the potty – so the potty was christened, and she held on for a few minutes while I found somewhere to park (something she couldn’t do back in December/January time) – and best of all the potty seals so you can dispose of when you get home. This may come in handy when we’re between service stations this weekend… can you pull over to the hard shoulder and have your little one do a wee? H loves carrying it too…

Finally I can’t even remember if I’ve mentioned the Baba & Boo Potty Training pants. They’re SO good. We’ve been using them since before Christmas – we bought the ladybird and the bee ones, and both are so cute! The bee especially – and worthy of a proper review as we’ve used them for so long. H’s nursery want her in pull ups for naps (hmmm), and once they run out she’ll be sent in with a pair of these instead.

Justin Fletcher – Hands Up – The Album – a Review

Justin Fletcher Hands UpJustin Fletcher rules Cbeebies – he’s involved in so many programmes on the channel that I didn’t even realise he actually was for half of them. H is a huge fan of Something Special and Gigglebiz (but not so keen on Justin’s House), so when we got the opportunity to review Justin’s new album ‘Hands Up’ we jumped at it.

We received a copy before Christmas – so we’ve had a few months to get used to it – I say ‘get used’ – the majority of songs are nursery rhymes, with a terribly catchy beat… it’s the kind of thing I wish had been released last September when H had her birthday party – this is the kind of album that you’d want at a party – and it would go down extremely well.

The single ‘Hands Up’ was released last year, and got a lot of support from us mums – check the video…

So here we are, and here’s ‘Hands Up’. A lot has changed in our house since before Christmas – where H was shy and watched a lot of the time, she’s now more into joining in and doing the actions – so that means we’re guaranteed a dancing toddler (and if we’re really lucky she joins in the singing).

Justin Fletcher and a DuckThroughout the album you can hear some of Justin’s characters – H even asked at one point if it was Aunt Polly – I’m not entirely sure… the album fits Justin’s Cbeebies personality – someone who’s fun and gets the kids involved and doesn’t take himself entirely seriously. What’s to lose?

(apart from maybe your sanity when your little one asks for it to be played again for the fifteenth time – although now she’s taken to putting in requests with Justin instead)

So, really, the word goes with the two and a half year old. When asked “do you like Justin’s album, her response was “yes, Justin sings ‘Wheels On The Bus’ and ‘Happy and you know it’ and says “WE ARRRRE!” where is Twinkle Twinkle mummy?” (take note, Justin).

Justin Fletcher Hands UpWe live in a house of music, H isn’t scared to request something, so we’ve had plenty of “Put Justin on please” from her since we received the album. We played it when some of her friends were over, and again, it’s one they all liked – a lot! For me, the appeal is the songs – you’ve got three brand new songs alongside classics, it’s Justin singing them and it’s fun! Everyone needs fun!

As an aside, and I’m being completely serious when I say this, were Justin to enter ‘Hands Up’ for Eurovision, I think we’d walk it – or at least, do extremely well!

Justin Fletcher Hands UpJustin Fletcher
Hands Up
released by Little Demon on the 5th March 2012
tracklisting
1. Hands Up
2. The Hokey Cokey
3. Music Man
4. The Sun Has Got His Hat On
5. The Grand Old Duke Of York
6. The Teddy Bear’s Picnic
7. Heads Shoulders Knees And Toes
8. Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf
9. The Laughing Policeman
10. Old MacDonald
11. Nellie The Elephant
12. Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside
13. Incy Wincy Spider
14. The Wheels On The Bus
15. If You’re Happy And You Know It
16. Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
17. Ten In A Bed
18. Frère Jacques
19. The Sailor’s Lament
20. Justin’s Lullaby

What are you waiting for?! BUY IT! Preorder it now!

The Baby Show, ExCeL February 2012

This will be my sixth or seventh baby show now, so feeling quite the pro at this going to fair lark, we (being Rachel, myself and our kids) jumped into my car and we did the drive across London – possibly a foolish one taking in the sights of Streatham and Tooting (lovely traffic…), arriving there with an hour and a bit left to shop.  One thing I’ve learnt from previous baby shows is you don’t need to take nappies (not an issue for us any more), and you don’t need to vary your snacks too much as there’s always tons of freebies you can pick up. Oh how wrong could we be on the latter? No Ella’s Kitchen, Organix or Annabel Karmel stands this time around – though fortunately some goody bags which did the trick.

We had the stands we wanted to see, so raced into the venue – H and I to see Pixie & Punk and Fudgy Bear as we’d got our tickets from them and Rachel to check out the Mia Tui stand.

H chooses which design she wants from Pixie & Punk

Fortunately Pixie & Punk were easy to find – so a chat with Tagore Ramoutar to thank him for the ticket and to buy a t-shirt and bag, as H loves her ‘Where In The World Is Rufus T Bear’ book – so we need a Rufus T Bear to go with it (and I love how he’s buttoned into the pocket of the shirt) – so picked out the lovely pink and cherry t-shirt – the colours are so lovely which is what made us notice Pixie & Punk in the first place. Go and check them out – if you love stripes you wont be disappointed! Even better, it’s not a pinky pink – it’s a nice un-girly one, so we approve.

Mia Tui Amelie Baby Show
Mia Tui Goodness

We knew Rachel would be at Mia Tui for a while, so headed off to find them – and despite never thinking I’d need one of the bags, I too was persuaded and hooked – the bags are HUGE! Now H is toilet trained we don’t have the need for a changing bag any more – just one bag with both our things in is needed (like spare pants, trousers, socks) – and as we’re using the buggy less and less it’s not even like I can have two bags with one hanging off the handlebars – the Amelie bag fitted that need perfectly! Even better, you got a free Amelie if you bought a Grace. It had to be done, and I handed over my money, and tried not to gush too much (after about five minutes deliberating whether or not to buy) – I’m really not a handbag kind of person, and I think that’s what appealed – I’ve seen the bags online and hadn’t realised just how big they are, plus they can be worn across your body, so you’re not putting strain on your back – we’ll be gushing more about Mia Tui very soon….

My Carry Potty
H chooses Her Carry Potty

After that my main reason for going had to be done – while H is pretty good as far as going to the toilet goes, we’re doing a couple of long drives this year and after the very excellent Paula over at Mummy vs Work recommended the My Carry Potty, we (well, I) decided it was the solution for us. Holly chose the one she wanted, we paid and got a George and Hollie book thrown in. As we’ve already got one, stay tuned as I’ll offer this as another potty training themed giveaway (and I’ve decided, even though I set January and February as a potty trained theme, actually, it’s not just about one or two months – it’s a few – so let’s keep it going!) in the not-too distant future. H then insisted on carrying her My Carry Potty, so Fudgy Bear got put into my lovely huge great big Amelie bag – until she decided she didn’t want to carry that any more – but – a big hurrah! The Amelie bag fitted a My Carry Potty in there too – you’d never have known. It’s ginormous!!!

Fudgy Bear
H admires photos of herself on the Fudgy Bear stand

We found Fudgy Bear‘s stand, alas no Fudgy, but a deal for the books so picked up two more which is always good – Fudgy Bear is well and truly in H’s life right now – and she was even more impressed to see photos of her on the stand from the Foyles reading (and quite excited too!). More on Fudgy coming very soon… I worked out what I love the most about Fudgy is the good fonts used in the books and reading materials – so many people use Comic Sans – I’ve been put off schools that use it on their website I’m so anti-that-font. So we love Fudgy even more than we already did for that.

Toddler Mum-MumNow, this lack of free food led us completely by accident (and don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect free food as such, I just knew people gave it away so it was a risk worth taking, knowing I could buy if needs be) to a new product from Baby Mum Mum – biscuits made from premium Japonica rice. There’s a Stage 1 and Stage 2 kind, and there’s many benefits which I’ll go into more when we do a more in-depth review, as they were great, and a good snack for H – the Stage 2 kind are strawberry flavoured too which went down very well!

So, with some snacks, a huge bag with some of our things in it and a need for caffeine, I started to look for the cafe (and Rachel!), and stumbled across a site 5 Point Plus. This is a really excellent idea – and one I know a lot of parents come across. We’re lucky, H is more than happy to stay put in her car seat and is often more into fastening herself in than trying to escape, but a lot of kids do try to get out – and this is designed to keep the child safe. According to the site, up to 70% of children will try to escape their harness – so it’s a much more common problem than you’d think. It’s a simple velcro-fastening band which goes around the back of the car seat, fastening to the side belts, keeping your toddler safe until you’re able to fasten them back in. Really truly, check this out. They’re for sale in Boots for £25, and if you’ve got a mini Houdini on your hands then it’s one of the best solutions I’ve seen.

5 Point Plus

5 Point Plus - how it works

We stumbled across The Gro Company‘s stand, and I gushed for ages about The Gro Clock and how well it has worked for us, then something else, and something else until I felt embarrassed. Sometimes I really can’t help myself… (there’ll be a Gro Clock review soon too) – there are plans to develop a new Gro Clock which should appear in a year or so with a new story (I suggested they make toys with the characters from the story, although I guess you could do it easily yourself), so while it wont be for us (as we’re doing just fine with one), it’ll be interesting to see.

Prima Baby were doing excellent goody bags for two issues of Baby & Pregnancy for £2 and tons of goodies, so we’ll be trying out the Halos & Horns Baby Moisturising lotion (as I do also like their fonts) when we get a chance.

Our coffee break was done, and we headed over to Buggyaccessories stand, where we said hello to lovely Emily from Bundlebean (we’re going to review here soon, we’ve had a good six months use from it now easily) until the Bay City Rollers ‘Bye Bye Baby’ came over the tannoy.

The penny eventually dropped, it’s time to go… H was bopping around or just throwing herself onto the ground refusing to walk (oh don’t you just love toddlers?) and we made our way out – just in time to grab a leaflet from me&i who do gorgeous Swedish designed clothes for kids – but we had no time to browse, and our parking ticket was about to run out. Sighhh. So I have a leaflet and I wish I’d seen more – gorgeous clothes.

So, thoughts about The Baby Show? I think this may be one of the last ones we do – I feel like we have everything we need now, and unless another small person is going to enter our world, I suspect we have all that we’re ever going to need. I was (again) disappointed at the lack of traders with potty training solutions (though My Carry Potty and Pourty are the two leading brands as far as this goes, so that’s okay), as I’d hoped to pick up a Piddle Pad which helps keep your car seat dry in case of an accident when travelling. The facilities were great, parking was good (though expensive – two hours for a fiver, any more than that for £9!),  but overall I can’t really complain. We bought the things we set out to get – and I’m a convert to Mia Tui and even surprised the lady on the Prima stand as I took everything out of the bag to try to find my camera lens cap – as Seasider in the City said, it truly is a Mary Poppins bag!

We got to Croydon on the drive home and H needed a wee. The My Carry Potty was christened in the car park just next to Reeves Corner, and oh, was I glad we had it – it was dark and I didn’t fancy holding a squatting toddler… plus of course it all remained contained and airtight until we got home!

Olay Total Effects Sensitive Moisturiser

I received and have dished out samples of the Olay Total Effects Moisturiser as part of the SuperSavvyMummys Savvy Circle projects – and have been using the moisturiser daily now for a good month. Back in my younger days I used Oil of Ulay a lot, so the chance to try out another Olay product (as they’re now known) was too good to miss – I’m pleased I’ve had a try – while it doesn’t feel as light as the one I’ve used previously, I’m still impressed – and my skin feels lovely.

The Savvy Circle projects are proving to be quite fun – you get samples, you dish them out and you talk about them – so, what’s to learn?

Olay’s Total Effects Sensitive moisturiser is lovely although I have to admit, in this colder weather I like my moisturisers thicker and feeling like they’re still on my face by lunchtime (a la E45) – so I was unsure how I’d get on with this one – but actually, on applying I could still tell for a while afterwards – and my skin has looked great since I started using it.nd light to apply – and comes with a pump which so far has been no trouble at all (I’ll be interested to see how it fares with the last bits of cream in the bottom of the tub) as far as applying goes. I received a 30ml tube which will retail for around £13.29 (the 50ml one will retail at around £19.29) – and am already finding you only need a small amount and it goes a long way.

Olay Total Effects Sensitive Moisturiser

Total Effects Sensitive Moisturiser contains the following – VitaNacin (a unique complex of Vitamin B3, Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E) which strengthen, hydrates and soothes, and protects. The lotion is also SPF 15 UVA/UVB – in other words it protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays – handy to know now the sun is creeping back into everyday life again. (hello spring!) As well as this it contains Sea Buckthorn Berry which has been used by herbalists for thousands of years – and contains sources of Omegas 3, 6 and 9 as well as some Omega 7, and white tea which helps promote radiant skin and has been used in Chinese medicine for years. Add to that some glycerin, some cocoa butter and olive extract and some calming allantoin and that’s your lot!

The cream is designed to fight the seven signs of ageing, but also meeting the needs of sensitive skin. Do you want to know what they are? I was more than a little curious at almost 42…. that’ll be age spots, pores, dryness, dullness, uneven tone, uneven texture, fine lines and wrinkles. Yep, I’m in!

Olay Total Effects Sensitive Moisturiser is available in all good stores now!

The Land Of Sometimes

We were really lucky to receive a copy of ‘The Land Of Sometimes’ to review.

You can find the official website here – it’s worth clicking on the link in another window and having your computer speakers on – this CD package is more than just a regular album with simple disc and sleevenotes – it’s a book with a picture for every song; you do the work, the music sets the scene and tells a story. Even better, this isn’t your regular kids music. There’s a genre in there for everyone – from reggae to disco, New Orleans jazz plus more – it’s definitely the kind of album you’re not going to get sick of as it sounds too samey!

The Land Of Sometimes

The story follows Alfie and Elise, two children who enter the Land Of Sometimes, ‘where four seasons pass within one day, and everyone who lives there has a song’ – if you listen with the website, there’s activities and downloads (and lyrics!) you can get pictures of the characters to colour in (H’s constant favourite thing to do) – plus more information about each character – you feel so much more a part of it.

H’s favourites are the cats, called George and Holly (funny, that…!) – even though they don’t have a song to sing (though there is one about them) – so there’s been plenty of cat colouring in lately…

The best thing we’ve found about this is it’s opening H’s mind to there being more than just nursery rhymes out there – something we’re both keen to do (although we must get a CD player for the car…)

It’s a beautiful package, and something you can tell a lot of time has gone into – heck, there’s even a song featuring Ruby Turner! The CD says ‘Recommended ages 2-99’ – which I think pretty much covers us (and the grandparents!) – it’s something which has a universal appeal.

The Land Of Sometimes was created by Francesca Longrigg and her long term writer/producer Chicky Reeves – both have long standing careers in music, and have since had children which brought about the inspiration for this project – a massive three years in the making. The illustrations and visuals come from Howard McWilliam whose work you’re sure to have seen.

The Land of Sometimes came out on the 6th February 2012 – you can buy it now at Amazon for £8.99.