Category Archives: Reviews

Last Minute Stocking Fillers

Well it’s nearly here, Christmas I mean, and the goose is getting rather plump indeed. I’ve most of my presents sorted and wrapped, but have to admit to struggling with my daughter’s stocking fillers this year. She loves reading, she loves books, but where was I to find the perfect sized books for my nearly three year old that would fit snugly in her Christmas stocking?

Well the Christmas fairy heard my pleas, and as if by magic, Egmont publishers sent me three books to review. And I know my little girl is going to love them all. I can’t wait to see her face light up when she tears off the wrapping paper to find Meet Father Christmas, The Last Snowball and Snowy Tracks.

Each book makes a great stocking filler, and at £2.99 each they make the ideal gifts for budding little readers.

MR MEN – Meet Father Christmas

Follow Little Miss Tiny on a journey to the North Pole to meet Father Christmas. On her adventures she flies over Muddleland, Cleverland, Nonsenseland and Coldland! This is the perfect-before-Christmas-read, and one I will certainly be reading to my toddler on the excitement of Christmas Eve.

Mr Men book

EVERYTHING’S ROSIE – The Last Snowball

My little girl just loves Everything’s Rosie. Rosie’s such a colourful character and this book doesn’t disappoint. But this isn’t a Christmas story – it’s set at the turning point of Spring, when the last snow is thawing and the animals are awakening from hibernation. Big Bear is very upset to find he has missed the snow, so Rosie and her friends come up with some very inventive ideas to give Big Bear a wintry experience to remember. The Last Snowball is a fun way of teaching young children about the changing seasons.

Everything's Rosie - The Last Snowball


Who doesn’t like the Thomas The Tank Engine stories? I know that I was an avid reader of the series as a child and now my little girl enjoys them too! The Island of Sodor has had a heavy snow fall. Thomas is tasked with delivering firewood to the stations while Gordon has to take some trucks to the Docks. But what will happen on the icy, slippery railway tracks? A tale of teamwork and cooperation, and a great winter read.

Thomas and friends - Snowy Tracks

Older Mum’s recommendation for all three titles –

Helping You Find Healthy

As a mother, and especially as an older mother, I’m always keeping an eye on my health. I had my first child aged 39. She’s now two and a half years old and I’m 41, going on 42. I don’t regret having a child later in life at all, for many, many reasons it was the right time to have a baby. The only thing that does concern me is the age my little one will be as I grow older. When I’m 50, she’ll be 11. When I’m 60, she’ll be 21. When I’m 70 she’ll be 31. As you can imagine I want to be around as long as I can, so my health is a top priority.

But how do I keep on top of things like my diet, exercise and relaxation? Before my daughter came along, I used to cycle to work, run, swim, enjoy yoga, tai chi, and regularly meditate. I really, really looked after my physical health and emotional well-being. Now, as a mum, day to day life is hectic to say the least with a toddler in tow. It’s go, go, go, leaving very little room for much needed time for me. Sometimes it can get pretty stressful multi tasking the washing, cooking, shopping, and constantly placating and entertaining a demanding two year old by turns.

So I needed to find something to measure, ascertain, where my health is currently at, that will help me get back on track. Thanks to Bupa  I’ve found just the thing. Bupa have created a really useful range of free tools, apps, and devices to help you find healthy and improve your health on all levels whether it’s emotional, mental, and/or physical.  

Given my current, worn out status, I found myself immediately drawn to The Health Age Calculator, and The Stress Assessment. These Bupa apps were so straightforward to use, only taking a few moments, as I kept an eye on the little one as she played with her teddies. The Health Age Calculator asked me a few personal questions on age, gender, medical history, height and weight, alcohol and diet, and I was very surprised by the result. I thought I was in moderate shape. But according to the calculator, my health age was 40, and that I could shave eight years off this. That was an eye opener! It then gave some very useful recommendations for improving my fitness, diet and weight.

Next The Stress Assessment. Again, it took minutes to use asking questions about my work status (full time home manager!), financial worries, sleep, marital status, and again, the results took me by surprise. I answered the questions honestly and expected the stress thermometer to point in the red! The result was that I was mildly stressed, not ideal, with the thermometer dial pointing towards the green. Apparently, I need to improve on areas of sleep (no surprises there) and worrying about money (no surprises there either), and there was plenty of advice for improvement in these areas!

The Bupa content is so bright, clear and informative. With one click, there is a wealth of information on diet, fitness, running and beating stress. You can download the free Bupa iPhone/iPad and Android app to help assess and improve your level of health, and which also includes Bupa’s targeted workouts. You can get on top of the overall health of the whole family through The Health Directory, an A-Z on all things health and wellbeing. And if, like me, you are concerned about breast cancer, there is a very useful risk assessment tool.

As a mum, I need to be able to access information quickly, and in short bursts. The Bupa find healthy free apps, assessments and tools was just the find to help identify the areas of my well-being that need working on and kick start a healthier regime. And if you are a busy mum looking to improve your overall health, and haven’t the time to read books etc, then these apps could be just the right bite sized chunks of information you need.

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