Revision Hints and Tips

Lucie is 14 years old and currently in year 10 at school, most of her evenings are spent with her head in a book (her choice) and because of her sheer determination to succeed she has excellent predicted grades at GCSE level. At the start of term in September this year Lucie was in panic mode, her scores were good but not what she wanted and she has worked so hard to improve her grades meaning she has jumped from a C to an A* in some subjects.   Last week was parents evening and every teacher we visited said the same thing to me, they could tell that Lucie was passionate about the subjects she was learning and they also knew that she was doing a lot of reading and practise at home.

It won’t be too long before mock exam season will be upon us and Lucie will be locked in her room cramming into the small hours, it’s going to be hard enough for her with a toddler in the house!

Lucie finds that having a revision timetable helps especially when you have lots of important tests that fall around the same time and uses a white board for this so things can be easily erased and changed.

Making flash cards work for her as a revision technique, but her favourite revision method is to do practice papers, she has them for each of her subjects and although I can’t always mark them as accurately as a teacher could it gives her a good idea about how well she has done.

Research has shown that shorter 20-30 minute spells work best because a person’s concentration levels are higher; this coupled with exercise – even just a short jog – and making sure your kids find the right balance between study and leisure can all help in achieving top marks.  Lucie does regular exercise outside of school including jogging and Zumba which she enjoys and will continue with during her exams, it allows her to get out of the house and not only improve her fitness but socialise with her friends.

But what else should students take into consideration when it comes to effective revision?

Recent research from malt loaf makers Soreen has shown that being hungry can affect a person’s ability to make decisions and concentrate. Clinical trials carried out as part of the study showed that hungry participants were twice as likely to make the wrong decision compared to participants who had eaten.

The research also found that hunger pangs can significantly increase feelings of irritation and anger, which can adversely affect concentration. This shows just how important it is to ensure that your kids are fuelled during this time.

Regular snacks consisting of a slow release carbohydrate will keep glucose levels in the brain from plummeting, which impacts negatively on concentration. By combining the snack with some good quality protein you can slow the release of the carbohydrate and ensure the brain is working as efficiently as it can.

Lucie is really bad for skipping meals especially when she is busy or engrossed in something like homework projects, she has recently told me that she would prefer to have a selection of snacks in Tupperware boxes brought up to her room such as mixed seeds, dried fruit, nuts and flapjacks which will hopefully keep her energy up.

The video below has some top tips from Dr Christy Fergusson on how to make sure your kids are in the zone when it comes to studying.


Gifts Via Post

This year I’m doing things a little differently when it comes to Christmas gift guides, a lot of the blogs I read tend to do the same sort of thing and newsfeeds get swamped with the same products which is great for the brands mentioned but not so great for the reader who may be looking for something that’s a little bit different.  I thought I’d make my gift guides this year useful and hope that other people like me might just be looking for the same sort of thing.

My first gift guide instalment is gifts that can be sent via the postal system and I’ll concentrate on the items that fit into the large letter and small parcel category because if you’re sending an item via post you want to keep your postal costs down.

This year I won’t be visiting my family or friends until after Christmas, the 28th and 29th December to be precise so I’m posting my presents, some of the items in this guide are the actual items I’ve purchased and others are one’s that I would have purchased if I had more money to spend on people.

Tactus Smootch phone case

The Tactus Smootch (from £9.99) is a reusable phone skin and protective case for hands-free photos and videos.  The case has micro-suction technology allowing you to stick your phone to smooth surfaces including glass and mirrors, without leaving a sticky residue.

If the gift recipient is a fan of taking a selfie or using facetime this could be the perfect gift.  There are seven colours to choose from meaning there is something for everyone.  The Tactus Smootch is available as skin for the iPhone 5/5s and as a protective case for the iPhone 6.


The Sunday Girl Company has a fantastic range of aprons for adults and children, my favourite is the royal blue sweetheart adult apron (£24.99) but I’d be happy with any of the  ultra glamorous range. ‘Let Them Eat Cake’, inspired this French Joie de Toile design which would make the perfect gift for someone who likes to keep stylish whilst entertaining. The collection incudes a Little Miss Sunday Girl apron in Royal Blue for mini Mademoiselles (£14.99).


This beautiful silver plated bangle (£14.95) by Beryl Betty with a subtle twist would make the perfect gift for a friend or loved one who you don’t see often enough.  Inscribed with the words ‘Even though you’re far away…you’re in my thoughts every day…’ Bangle’s are presented in an organza bag with a care card inside a black box tied with ribbon ready for you to present as gift. The bangles are silver plated and in time the plating will slowly wear off to show a copper coloured bracelet.

burts bees

The Burts Bees Endless Shine Trio (£9.99)  contains mini tubes of Blush, Pink, Wink, and Flutter would be a perfect stocking filler for someone who likes a bit of shine from their lip product.

Magnets cream fridge

These fridge magnets (£10 for 12) from Instajunction are a great idea for sending pictures of yourself of your children to friends and family who don’t live near, you might actually like them so much that you decide to keep them for yourself!


travel walletPeople who love to travel will love this Travel Wallet (£29.95) from Hampton Blue.  The travel wallet is made from leatherette with a bicycle and floral design on the outside. The design includes a bicycle, flowers, suitcase, bird print and some cute stitching. There is also the inscription ‘Packed and Ready To Go’ on the front cover.   Inside you will find lots of different compartments for passports, a pen, hotel information, documents, tickets, currency and also spaces for essential cards and other tickets and information. There is also a small zipped pocket with a scissors pull for lose change. The wallet is fastened with a grey leatherette strap with stitched heart motif.  Just perfect for travelling in style.



The Little Mr and Mrs bookmarks (£5.00) by Little Man Shop would make the perfect present for a couple, If you love the idea of these but don’t have a couple to give them to you can also choose from snowman, little man and romance bookmarks which are equally adorable.

pop goes your name

I can’t think of a better gift to buy a child than a Pop Goes Your Name CD (£12.95).  The POP Goes Your Name album is a collection of fun and upbeat songs, personalised for your someone special. Children can experience a selection of musical styles, with catchy melodies and sing-along lyrics whilst hearing their own name being sung back to them. The songs are written for children in their early years. From Noisy Farm to Rock it Out, the album is full of themes and sounds that children can recognize and understand and is guaranteed to get mum & dad’s feet tapping too!


The Adventures of The Cuddle Pirate

The Adventures of the cuddle pirate


The Adventures of The Cuddle Pirate is a fabulous series of children’s books written by Kelly Elsworthy and Illustrated by Becky Dench.

It’s never too early to instil into your children the importance of healthy eating and in each of the books you will travel over land and sea with the Cuddle Pirate and his shipmates, embarking on great adventures and discovering tasty healthy food on the way!

The book doesn’t just have healthy eating heroes, there are a whole host of baddies like Sugar Shark and his gang who just love junk food. They like drinking fizzy pop and eating sweets, chocolate and crisps. Their mission is to ruin all of the healthy food the Cuddle Pirate and his crew discover on their journeys by sneakily adding sugar to it.

cuddle pirate picture

The characters are colourful and fun and the members of the Cuddle Pirate’s gang all have food related names such as Pickles the parrot and Tomato Tommy the ship’s cook.

The Cuddle Pirate is captain of the “Grapevine Galleon” and leader of the crew. He’s big, strong and cuddly!

He knows when little boys and girls eat up all the good things on their plate. And for those who do, the Cuddle Pirate sends them cuddles in their dreams.

The Cuddle Pirate carries a tiny telescope which magically grows bigger and bigger so he can see for miles across every ocean. This helps him to spot the nasty old Sugar Shark and his gang who are forever trying to spoil the crew’s quest.

cuddle pirate pictures

The books are not only a fantastic read for children but for adults too, although Arthur is too young to understand about the importance of healthy eating he really enjoys looking at the pictures in the book and sits and listens to the story over a couple of nights.  I find that by describing the picture in the book it helps Arthur to improve his vocabulary as he is using words that he might not usually come across.

My favourite character is the Sugar Shark, he reminds me of Dr. Claw who is Inspector Gadgets nemesis, Like Dr. Claw the Sugar Shark never can quite manage to act out his nasty plan as he want’s because the Cuddle Pirate and his gang are always there to stop him.

cuddle pirate recipe

Each book has a recipe, the one shown above is from the first book The Adventures of the Cuddle Pirate and the Giant Jelly, it’s a great trifle which Lucie and Arthur made together (Arthur helped to put the swiss roll in the bowl).  Not only does the book encourage healthy eating it also provides a recipe to allow your children to become creative in the kitchen.

You can find more information about The Cuddle Pirate and purchase the books here.  We love these books so much that we also bought the kindle version from Amazon so that we can read when we’re out and about.

*Press Sample


The Power Of Christmas Songs

I’ve spoken many times about the struggles I have getting Arthur not only to go to sleep at night but also to stay asleep.  At 21 months old he still wakes twice a night for milk and sometimes doesn’t actually go to sleep until gone 10pm at night and never ever sleeps past 6am.

I’ve found on a couple of occasions that if I play certain Christmas songs via my phone or ipad I can get Arthur to sit down, relax and have a cuddle which in return can make him sleepy and on one or two occasions has actually put him to sleep.

What are these magical songs I hear you ask, believe it or not they are not your typical songs that get radio play or feature on the usual Christmas albums which is why you may be surprised to find out what they are, some of you may not have heard any of them.

I’m sharing these songs with you today in the hope that if you suffer from sleepless nights like I do these songs might just work with your children too.  The Christmas songs are not miracle workers but they do seem to relax Arthur and if they work for your children I’d love to hear about it.

In no particular order the songs are as follows:

River – Joni Mitchell

Silver Bells – Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell

Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby

Christmas Alphabet – McGuire Sisters

If you have any suggestions for Christmas songs that Arthur might like I’d love to hear them!


My Little Cosy Box


If you’re new to the world of My Little Box you can find out all about it here, if you have found yourself here because you want to find out what was inside the My Little Cosy Box you have come to the right place.

my cosy little box

This is my 3rd My Little Box, each one has been as well thought out as the others but I personally like this one the best.  The box has an autumnal feel to it and on the day it arrived I was looking for a pick me up as I was stuck indoors with the heating on trying to warm up and outside it was windy, wet and miserable so to answer the door and receive a package from France really did put a smile on my face.

my cosy little box

Just like previous boxes My Little Cosy Box is a mixture of lifestyle and beauty, this time there were three beauty products that I immediately had to open as they were not only perfect for me but perfect for the season.

my little cosy box

First of all we had the lifestyle items which this month were a gorgeous little espresso cup which is currently housing my hair grips and my little bouilotte by Tsumori Chisato which is a little cushion to heat in the microwave, I’ve passed this on to my mother as she is a big fan of heated pillows and will get lots of use from it.

my cosy little box

The beauty products this month are my favourite by far and I’ve been using them every day since they arrived.

The first item is a single colour eyeshadow by Yves Rocher in coffee brown (£13.20) a company I used to order from in my late teens but for some unknown reason stopped using, I love the deep colour, coverage and lasting power I get from this eyeshadow and I’ll definitely be ordering more products from the brand in the future.

The second item is a black waterproof eyeliner by Arcancil (£5.50) I’d never previously heard of this brand before and it couldn’t have come at a better time as my trusted Dior pencil was on it’s last legs.  I’ve never used a waterproof pencil before as I was always worried that I might struggle to remove it but this seems to have great staying power and is incredibly easy to remove.

The third and final item was a My little beauty volumising mascara (£15.11) the mascara has a great formulation and although it doesn’t add as much volume as I would usually wear it’s actually great for daytime use.  I would definitely consider purchasing this one again.

This box just keeps getting better and better and it’s a real pleasure to receive unlike subscription boxes I’ve had in the past.  If you’re considering signing up you can fin more information by visiting My Little Box (It’s not an affiliate link and I’ve not been paid to say nice things, I bought the box with my own hard earned money)