Weaving my way through motherhood whilst trying not to mess up adulthood.

Leap Pad 2: Worth the fuss?

In January Lei turned four.

Every year I say, I'm not going to make a big fuss as  she most probably won't remember it. Well, those years are gone and she has now branched into the year where she does remember; and with her starting nursery and the other children having parties, Lei was even more aware.

So, despite the snow threatening to ruin the afternoon, Lei and twelve of her friends enjoyed running about in an indoor play centre, followed by a light dinner and birthday cake.

Once home, presents were opened and I gave princess a gadget I thought would really help with her learning as well as keep her entertained during car journeys and such.

The such gadget is a Leap Pad 2.

We'd seen the adverts, I'd read the reviews, yet when it came down to buying it, I was torn.

 Should I get a leap pad 2 or a child friendly tablet?

 Is she too young? 

Maybe I should just get a doll.....

In the end, I got the Leap Pad 2, picked up some batteries, then waited until she had unwrapped it, to download all the free stuff she got with the Pad.  I chose not to buy any cartdrige games as I thought I would just download the games like I would for a tablet. Well, was I in for a shock at the prices for the games! £20.00 or less, with the cheapest I found at the time being for £ 7.00. I truly believed, I would have been able to get games for as cheap as the Dr Panda games, which I have on the tablet.

Here are the cons and pros from my experience of having a Leap Pad 2



Cons

  1.  Battery life doesn't last very long and after a few short plays a red battery pops up. I did buy an AC Adapter, although I  think it should be a charger as essentially, all it does is allow for the child to play whilst connected to a power source without the need for batteries. Not ideal if in a place where I can't always connect to a socket.
  2. Games are way too expensive. I do understand that some of the games are character based and this would bump the price, but even the non character ones are still expensive for a game that will only get played a few times.
  3. Princess says: Sometimes the games are tricky
Pros

  1.  There is no doubt that this is an educational gadget. I first brought a cooking game and was worried that Princess wouldn't be able to do it as it's all about measurements and counting. I needn't have worried, within a few months she had got the hang of it and didn't need my help anymore.
  2. Princess loves music and more often than not, when is playing with the Leap Pad 2, she is listening to the 'punctuation' song. "punc-punc-punc-punctuation" .She hasn't a slightest what it means , but hopefully when she's learning it at school one day, it might make a bit more sense.
  3. Princess says: My Leap pad is the best!



Overall view:  I feel like my tablet gets played with alot more by Princess and seeing as I won the tablet just before Christmas, I could have saved my self some money by not getting the Leap Pad 2 and just letting her use the tablet.



Would I recommend: No. Especially if you have an Ipad or tablet, even if you don't I think the the overall cost for games works out too expensive in the long run.

Have you got a LeapPad/2 at home? What do you think?




Tattoos: An expression of art

I like tattoos.

 I was going to say love, but then thought I better hold back on grand emotional statements, seeing as I don't have any myself.

When I was younger I used to enjoy getting those transfer tattoos that came folded up around a stiff stick of  bubblegum, the ones that usually lost its flavoring five seconds after it being in your mouth. They were usually dragons and I would stick it on my arm and feel ever so proud; and that sadly is my tattoo experience to date.

The reasons for me not having any are well, for one I'm scared, not of needles but of pain  and two, I'm worried.

My skin doesn't heal well,  a small cut will leave a mark and after having the implant fitted into my arm and then removed, I now have a not so pretty scar to remind me of the rod that once was.

When I was seventeen, my best friend and I were going to get matching zodiac sign tats. Well....she got hers and seven years later she's still waiting for the Gemini to match her Scorpio.

When my princess was born, I did consider getting her name inked, but then wimped out at the stage where I was just asking about the price. So I think it's safe to say that I won't be taking needle and ink to skin anytime soon. 

That said, I do enjoy looking at other people's tattoo art; I say art because that's what I think it is. Not everyone would agree and that's fine.

Tattoos are a form of art, a form of expression. Some people express their selves through dance and music, I express myself through words and writing. When my thoughts first turned to getting a tattoo, I wanted writing ,although I cringe at what I wanted ( The words: life without passion is unforgivable- P Diddy's slogan on his unforgivable perfume range)  

Being as I believe it is art, I think it should look that way as well. A good quality tattoo shows compared to a cheap job done for a fiver of a cartoon character cuddling your name in a love heart. If the cartoon character is done by a  good artist it will look good...

Cheryl Cole's tattoo artist has just revealed a rose covering her behind and many are saying it's awful and she's ruined herself. Harsh words and I completely disagree. If the tattoo artist had not revealed the photo, how would we have known that she'd had it done? We wouldn't have, and that's why I like it, because it was obviously done for herself and not to please anyone or for publicity.


 In April, Katie Hopkins and Katie Waissel shared the This Morning sofa to discuss tattoos and Katie Hopkins expressed her dislike for tattoos and said, "I think as an employer I certainly wouldn't employ someone with tattoos, I'd worry what my customers would think of them. And socially I think we still look at tattoos as graffiti."
 My friends and family have tattoos and are successfully employed, so there chances of employment have not been hindered nor does it prevent them from doing their jobs to high standards.

I think that too much of a big deal is made out of what others choose to do with their bodies. If it is not causing any harm or displaying any signs of serious side effects, then there is nothing wrong with body art.

What are your opinions on tattoos?








University: When you have children.





" You should study part time"

"Why don't you wait until she's at school?"

"Are you sure?"

These were a few of the questions I kept getting asked when I decided to attend university four years ago.  I began in October 2009, My princess was born January 2009, making her only 9 months old.

I studied Creative Writing and I loved every second of the course and of being at university, but as I filled in my UCAS form, I did wonder how on earth I would manage.

Where would my baby go while I'm in class?

Is there a creche?

Will the work load be too much?

Yes, I was fretting, when I really shouldn't have.

First of all, I had the best childminder, who looked after my daughter to first class standards, so I never once worried. If I ever had late lectures, my mum and dad were also great supports.

Support.

There were nights when  Lei wouldn't sleep, so I would rock her on my lap, while I wrote an assignment and as I relied on writing while she slept or napped this would often be tiring. Sometimes right there and then I wanted to give up. Quit. But with my family championing me on, my biggest fans and cheerleaders, I battled through.

 I never once had an extension and my assignments were always handed in on time. I had a reason to work hard, I had a reason to do well and my little princess definitely spurred me on.

I graduated July 2012, with a 2:1 BA Hons .

I did  it!

And so can anyone, whether you have children or not, but more so if you have little ones to make proud.


My top tips for studying when you have a little one are:

  1. Have a time table- when you have children you have to be realistic and you have to be organised. There is no way you are going to be able to cram in a three hour study session in your university library at seven pm, when you have a little prince or princess waiting to be put to bed at that  time. I did my work when Lei was in bed, but I did it at home. If I wanted to go to the library, I did it while she was at the childminder or before my lectures.
  2. Don't feel like you are missing out- Now, if you are going into university as a mature student, you might not be interested in getting drunk and going out dancing to student nights. However, when I started I was still fairly young and there were many others my age, without children who were often out, enjoy cheap drink deals and dancing to the latest chart hits. I only had two student nights; and not because I couldn't get a baby sitter, but because I didn't want to go out. My priorities had changed. I would have rather had an early night sleep and wake up refreshed. I wasn't missing out....Night clubs were there before I started university and well, they are still there now!
  3. Keep on top of assignments- Is sooo important! You have a little one, you have assignments.It is a juggling act. I found the assignments that I had to hand in just after the Christmas holidays the hardest and I must admit that for the first year I was often in a mad panic come hand in day; because I chose lounging in front of the television with a slice of fruitcake much more appealing than writing up a contextual study. What I did to avoid the panic was to do as much as possible before the holidays, and  as my course was a writing one and we had the opportunity to workshop our work to get advice, I did that as often as I could. If you have that option, definitely do it. It helped me out A LOT!
  4. Enjoy the experience- You've taken the plunge and that in itself is amazing! The three years go by so quick, and if you started when your little one was a baby, by the time you've finished you would have shed the nappies in favor of big girl/boy pants and hopefully just shaken off the terrible twos (fingers crossed). The hard work's paid off and you should be ever so proud! 

Best of luck!



Book Review: Perfect People


Source



Peter James had me at the title.

In a world where every other person is surgically enhanced or plucked and pruned until they no longer recognise their own reflection, I was intrigued.

This novel is the result of ten years of research and planning and although I am not used to the scientific descriptions used in the book,  I wholeheartedly believed the concept and the portrayal of the situations that unfolded throughout.

Perfect People tells the story of John and Naomi who have tragically lost their first born to a rare genetic disorder passed on by both parents. Keen to avoid such a fate with any other children, they seek the help of geneticist Dr Leo Dettore who has a rather unique method of ensuring that their unborn child is 'perfect'.

The couple get what they paid for...and more and their lives descend into a complex maze of understanding what has been created and how to control it.

Peter James is an exceptional writer and definately has the gift to keep you engaged from the first word right through until the end. My only one objective is that I did get slightly confused when the narrative switched to that of the religious objectors who are against Dettore and I did find it a bit heavy going at times, but otherwise the plot progresses smoothly, right up until the brilliant ending.

The ending of the book is unbelievable. There are moments when you read a novel and can quickly suss out what will happen or how it will end; but with Perfect People I could never have guessed the ending and I had to re-read it more than once as I was in such shock.

I recommend this book and even if you don't enjoy it, it will definitely make you think. I love books which leave you pondering long after the last chapter. 

Rating: 4/5


Once Upon a Time....



source



I love reading.

I get excited at the prospect of a new book. There was once a time when I had to put a spending ban on myself, as I would often walk into a book shop just to 'browse' or walk down the book aisle in a supermarket and leave with two or three books.

My earliest reading memory is my mum reading me the Spot books by Eric Hill and My little pony.

Source

When I started to read by myself, the first book was an Enid Blyton Omnibus. I read that book over and over again. I read it while I ate my breakfast, I read it before I went to bed. The poor book is battered and hot chocolate stained, but gosh is it loved. I found it recently and it pleased me no end to read it to my little princess. I read a chapter a night to her and she listens and asks questions. This just makes me bursts with happiness that she not only likes the books that I enjoyed as a child, but also that she enjoys reading.

My copy of Enid Blyton's Omnibus

Talking of childhood books, one I can't wait to introduce  to Lei's' bookshelf is Ronald Dahl. The master of make believe, the puppeteer of engaging and magical words. Ronald Dahl is a legend and I think that it is fantastic that his legacy is being passed on and enjoyed by so many from across the globe. One of my favorites is the Twits, the grubby, misfit twits held my attention for many an afternoon as I re-read the story over and over again.
Source
Having got through Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and most Sweet Valley high books, I was on the look out for something else, something a little more fulfilling. This is when I was handed Virgina Andrews Heaven; passed on to me by my mother it was another one I reread so many times that it began to fall apart.  I have since brought a new copy, and have read many other titles by Andrews. My favorites are, My sweet Audrina, and  Flowers in the Attic (The movie destroyed the story)

Source
 When I was pregnant I read a lot of 'chick lit' with nothing to really do, I passed the weeks away, delving into books by Sophie Kinsella and Sophie King. My favorite Sophie King novel being The School Run. Sophie Kinsella is known for the shopaholic series, unfortunately I have only read the first installment as once I started university, my taste in genres changed and I found myself leaning towards a new Sophie in the form of  Sophie Hannah, who has written, Little face and Kind of cruel.

Source


Now, I would say I read every genre from  Fantasy and dystopian worlds like The hunger games to the sensual characters in an Eric Jerome Dickey novel.  Although I must say,  if it does not engage me and make me forget the real world then it will be placed promptly on the book shelf, not to be looked at again. A bit like Fifty Shades of Grey......

 I buy a lot of my books but still take my little one to the library as I have such fond memories of going to the library when I was younger, so we  try to go every two weeks. She loves picking out books and filling her little bag up. It's such a shame that many libraries in our area might be closing, but I guess they can't really compete against kindles and audio books.

I prefer a hard copy book and like to look at my books on the book shelf but I have read a few short stories on a kindle and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm still not a hundred percent converted though.

I am always on the look out for new authors and interesting reads and I look forward to sharing my reading journey on my blog.

Now where did I put my book.....



Nothing to hold but the memories and frames

July 24th 2013.

I will always remember that date. The  excitement of buying new clothes, shoes and makeup,then the  struggle to fit it all into our 15 kg allowance suitcase and 5 kg hand luggage, two hour train journeys onto two hour flights. This was the date I went to Ibiza.
The infamous Ibiza egg in the centre of San Antonio

We landed in Ibiza at 2:40 am and after collecting our luggage it was only a short transfer to the hotel,Piscis Park. Now, when we booked our hotel we all did the obligatory thing of reading reviews on TripAdvisor, and we were worried about the theft that seemed to be mentioned in 7/10 posts. However, I will offer my own opinion on the hotel as I personally didn't deem it to be that bad at all.

Hotel

Directed to the lifts, which were the size of a very small broom cupboard we proceeded to take the lifts two at a time. The scariest thing happened as Kelila and I got into the lift. At first it wouldn't move, the doors kept opening and then just as we were about to give up, it moved....then stopped. The doors opened and we were face to face with a blank brick wall, no way out! Thankfully, the lift 'readjusted' itself and took us to the floor we were needed to be on.

 As there was six of us we had six rooms, and although we initially asked for all of our rooms to be on the same floor, this wasn't the case. Instead we got two rooms on the second floor and one on the third and told we wouldn't be able to change it until the morning. There were also no remote controls available for the air conditioning and were told once again to wait until the morning. We just about melted that first night.

A few other times we tried the lift and it wouldn't move, often we would go up and down the stairs and see the same people from on our way up still standing in the lift as the doors open and close but remain rooted on the ground floor.
Piscis Park Hotel

  • Tip- Don't use the lift

Our room was very basic, a twin room with two beds, claustrophobic bathroom, a table, a bench and two side dressers. But hey! It was somewhere to sleep at night, the door closed and we didn't get bitten by mosquitoes.

  • Tip- Get a safe. We had a near break in, where some drunk idiot in the room next door jumped onto our balcony and tried to get into the room. Our door was locked, thank God, but for peace of mind, get a safe and lock doors at all times. 
  • Tip- If you want a sun lounger by the pool, you will have to be ready and waiting before 10 am. We never made it.

Basic Hotel room

Reps

The reps will try anything to get you to buy tickets. Our Reps came into the room on our first morning after breakfast and we brought four events. My thoughts on this would be to hold off buying from the reps unless you really want to go to one of the events that they are offering as more often than not, you can buy tickets for cheaper elsewhere.

One of the reps also tried to scare us into believing that she had something important to tell us that she couldn't say to us in front of anyone else. We were all worried, and thinking up all sorts of scenarios, only for her and her rep partner to come into the room and try to sell us tickets to a festival at butlins. We were not impressed at all.

  • Tip- Reps can be misleading


Nightlife and day events


We lived for soul city. Free entry and such a good party vibe. If you enjoy R'n'B & Hip Hop you will be well on your way for dancing the night away.  We also went to an Afro beats event at Itaca.

One of the events that I loved was the Hed Kandi boat party with DJ Barry. On first appearances, it looked like there would only be eleven of us on the boat and we felt a bit disheartened. However, when life gives you lemons you gotta make lemonade, and not only did we make lemonade we made ice pops, cakes and slush puppies with those lemons and had the best time!

Hed Kandi champagne cocktail

I will always remember the boat party, the care free vibe of everyone dancing, all worries and stresses forgotten as we danced until the sun set and it was time to return to shore.

Dj Barry

We didn't do the main zoo project party, but one that the reps put on at the abandoned zoo called candy.  The zoo is amazing, Selina and I immediately  found a nice spot in the shade on one of the pool beds and just soaked it all in with a burger and lemonade. Once the pool closed, we headed to the seal pit, to dance as DJ Barry once again, played the best summer music.

Seal Pit

The summer song of choice in Ibiza was Robin Thicke's- Blurred lines, it played everywhere at least once.
Ocean Beach Club with Wayne Liniker

Another good event was the Ocean beach pool party where we were able to take pictures with Wayne Liniker from The only way is Essex.
Soul city, soul soul city!

  • Tip- Be careful of the 'ladies of the night' who stand ready to prey on the drunk and lonely. 


Beaches

Reggae Reggae Beach





The beach across from our hotel is apparently man made and it showed, the water wasn't clean and the sand not as pure as when we ventured out to Reggae Reggae beach or Bora Bora.

Reggae Reggae is beautiful, although I think the locals believe that we were disturbing there 'hideaway' and asked us why so many Londoners were on the beach. ( He didn't ask as politely as that)

  •  Tip- Hold on to your hats on the water taxis.They might get blown away.

Food

Wok's across the road from the Pisces Park Hotel does the most tastiest Chinese food for fifteen euros, and a takeaway tub for only five euros. We ate here twice and had a takeaway once, if we return we will definitely be returning. The owner even gave us free shots on our last day. Brilliant.


Overall

My first girls holiday was good fun and I am looking forward to booking the next one with my girls. As you would expect with a group of six girls we didn't all agree on what we should be doing at all times, but by the end, it all came down to letting it all go and remember that we were all there for a good time.


Until next time Ibiza






Blogger Template Created by pipdig