A full term of Swim Academy Lessons

Today marks the start of a new half term of Swim Academy lessons for Amy.  Having moved up to her “big girl’s swimming lessons” back in November, we’re now a full term in and it’s time for an update!

For those of you who don’t know, Swim Academy is the next level, ‘all grown up and swimming by yourself’ big sister of Puddle Ducks.  This means that Amy now gets in the pool by herself whilst I sit on the side (warm and dry) watching her!  At first I was really quite nervous as to how she would take to this – she was so used to having me to cling onto, however she’s taken to it like a duck to water . . . (I know, I know, I couldn’t resist!)

Although it’s a big step up from the Puddle Ducks Little Dippers class to Swim Academy – there isn’t suddenly an expectation that your child can swim by themselves!  The adult to child ratio in the pool is 1:4 and the sessions feature a mixture of swimming practice where all the children are swimming at once using appropriate supports (eg a woggle under each arm, or a single woggle across the chest depending on the confidence and ability of the individual child) or focused activities where the adults are concentrating on one child at a time while the others wait safely on a step at the wall.  You might remember that I wrote quite some time ago about how much waiting around Ben and Chloe seemed to do in their council run swimming lessons, but this really isn’t the case for Amy at Swim Academy.  At most she has to wait for three children to take their turn before it’s her go again meaning she has a chance to have a rest but not to get bored or for me to feel like her lesson time is being wasted.

For me, the biggest change is that I’m obviously sat at the side of the pool watching Amy swim from a safe distance, which means I can really see what she’s getting up to – how hard she’s trying (or not) and the progress she is making.  I love being able to watch her swimming independently (albeit very slowly) across the pool on her woggle.

Because Amy’s Swim Academy lessons are more grown up than her previous Puddle Ducks sessions, there’s a lot less singing which surprisingly hasn’t bothered her.  She soon got used to the new routines, structures and instructions.  Swim Academy lessons are less about games and confidence boosting and more about learning to swim properly – getting the breathing right, learning proper strokes (eg Amy has started to learn how to move her legs for breast stroke).  That’s not to say her lessons aren’t fun – she clearly has a whale of a time but as an observer I can see how things have stepped up and where they’re going – which is great!

Obviously Amy has good weeks and bad weeks – there have been lessons where she’s cried and clung to Claire or Kirsty for dear life and weeks where she has astounded us by happily swimming with her face in the water and blowing bubbles or even attempting a surface dive.  One of things I’ve noticed is that now her lesson is on a Thursday tea time (as opposed to a Monday morning) she’s more susceptible to being really tired – on those days where she’s worn out, her lesson is a bit of a nightmare so to combat that I’ve insisted she has a sleep on a Thursday afternoon when she gets in from Nursery.  A couple of hours in bed and a good snack before we set off to her lesson makes a world of difference to her performance.  Over the last couple of years of swimming lessons it has been really clear that the timing of Amy’s lesson is really key and so that’s something worth bearing in mind if your own child isn’t entirely enthused by their swimming lessons!

*Amy swims with Puddle Ducks Greater Manchester free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

PizzaExpress & World Book Day

*This is a commissioned post for Mumsnet and PizzaExpress*

It’s happening loves, World Book Day is on the horizon.  I’m sure it’s only five minutes since the last one however frantic costume based negotiations have begun in the Team WGOAA household . . . basically this involves them coming up with whatever character they want to be and me figuring out how we can make it work with whatever we already own, with minimal effort.

I have a full on love / hate relationship with World Book Day if I’m honest.  Fostering a love of books and reading? Yes I’m down with that.  Encouraging children to share their favourite books with one another? Yes that’s a winner too.  A whole day of celebratory book based activities in school? Yep, I’m all over it.  Arguing with kids about whether Spiderman is really a character from a book or not and parents feeling guilted into shop bought “character” costumes from opportunistic supermarkets however, is really not my bag.

One World Book Day celebration we can all get on board with though involves pizza!  Yes ok, stick with me.  Pizza and books isn’t an obvious natural fit, I get that.  However, PizzaExpress have joined forces with World Book Day in a special, first of it’s kind, collaboration!

We popped along to a local PizzaExpress earlier this week to investigate.  Sometimes eating out with kids is plain hard work – stressing about them being noisy and disturbing other customers, worrying that they’re making a mess or wasting the food you’ve just spent your hard earned cash on and yet other times, it just all works.  I think a lot of this is down to your choice of restaurant – choosing somewhere that’s child-friendly and naturally a little noisy is always going to make life easier.  PizzaExpress is just that – family-friendly without being tacky or low quality.  The children’s menu is far more varied than I would have expected, offering gluten-free and dairy-free options if needed.  The staff were all super friendly and keen to make sure that the children were entertained and that we were all really well looked after.  The food was delicious – we might have gone all out and had three courses – all in the name of research you understand?  All in we had a really lovely evening where Dave and I were able to actually relax and enjoy our dinner whilst making the most of some quality time with the kids – and you all know what a win that feels like when it comes good!

PizzaExpress - starter

PizzaExpress - children's dough balls

PizzaExpress Fiorentina pizza

PizzaExpress Piccolo bolognese

PizzaExpress honeycomb cheesecake

It’s not unusual for children’s menus to feature a bit of colouring in or a word-search to try and keep the little one’s busy whilst they wait for their food but PizzaExpress have really upped their game on this collaboration with World Book Day.  With a focus on encouraging kids to “use their imagination and unleash their creativity” through reading and sharing a story at PizzaExpress – this isn’t a “sit down and shut up” job but more a “get the whole family involved and have a proper conversation” situation which I absolutely love.  Ben and Dave spent ages playing snakes and ladders in the standard children’s activity pack whilst the girls got on with the colouring in the special World Book Day inserts.

PizzaExpress and World Book Day menu inserts

The special edition “Dough Ball Times” not only includes a £1 book token but is packed full of suggestions for age-appropriate texts (featuring some of our favourites like “The Day the Crayons Quit” and “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” or “Wonder” along with others we’ve not come across before like “Claude in the City” or “Bumble Bear“) for your child to put their book token towards!

Pizza Express World Book Day - Dough Ball Times

The main focus though of the Dough Ball Times is the special World Book Day and PizzaExpress bookmark competition.  You can enter using the special Piccolo menu insert or online here.  It’s super simple to enter – simply design your bookmark, take a photo and upload into the pizzaexpress.com/worldbookday with first prize for each age group being a £250 book token!  (That’s a lot of books!)

Pizza Express & World Book Day - bookmark competition

Children's World Book Day activities at PizzaExpress

Win a year's supply of books with PizzaExpress and World Book Day

If you go into PizzaExpress on World Book Day itself (1st March in case you’ve forgotten!) then you will find that staff are all dressing up for the occasion and customers can vote for the “best-dressed” PizzaExpress restaurant team!

It had been ages since we’d taken the kids to PizzaExpress but I can assure you, after such a lovely evening, we’ll be back very soon!

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 7 – 2018)

Welcome to your Tuesday Tried & Tested! It’s back to school for us this week, and as much as I loved half term, I do enjoy getting back into some sort of routine!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week, we loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

Oxo Tot review from Life With Boys. We both used this range when we were weaning our little ones. It’s so practical, and has some really clever features to make life that little bit easier (and less messy!)

#TriedTested featured blogger

Brio Pull Along Bumblebee review from Counting To Ten. Pull along toys are always a winner, and this bumblebee version is just beautiful. A real classic you could pass down from one child to another.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

We're going on an adventure




KS1 SATS Prep with Letts – Giveaway

*Commissioned post for Letts*

The start of the second half of the spring term at school signals a countdown to an array of statutory testing for many children – be it the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, or SATs in Years 2 and 6.  The validity and benefit of each of these tests is of course a post in itself but if you have children preparing for tests later this year it stands to reason that you will want them to feel prepared and able to do their best.

This year, Chloe will take her Year 2 SATs – and I don’t expect this to phase her at all if I’m honest – her school don’t put huge amounts of pressure on their six and seven year olds and the tests are simply treated as “jobs” to do.  And, whilst I do want her to do her very best and will be pleased if this is rewarded with high scores, in reality I know that the results of the tests mean very little to the individual child.

Essentially “revising” for the Key Stage 1 SATs test isn’t something I would particularly advocate, however there is nothing wrong with doing extra work at home to reinforce what is being taught at school!  I know I loved a good workbook when I was younger and Chloe is much the same.  She was genuinely excited when I presented her with the Letts KS1 SATS Success Revision Guides for Maths and English.

KS1 SATs prep with Letts

The books are very much ‘revision’ guides, giving you a brief overview of the different topics your child is expected to know by the end of Key Stage 1.  The books are filled with tips and tricks to help your child to understand and remember the important bits of each topic alongside helpful suggestions of ways in which you can further reinforce this as a parent.  Each page also features key word definitions which as well as being helpful for your child, could be a complete lifesaver for you as a parent – things in education are so different now compared to when we were at school and the technical language our children learn can be a bit mind-blowing at times.

Lett KS1 SATs revision guides

All the information is clear and concise and laid out in a child-friendly way so that, left to their own devices, your child could probably manage to work their way through a good chunk of the revision guides by themselves.  Of course, they would get far more out of them if you sat down together and did it though as this means that you can check their understanding and address any misconceptions as they arise.

Practice KS1 SATs test questions

Throughout the books there are opportunities for your child to practice and test their knowledge as well as practice SATs style questions to work on too meaning that you can both ensure your child is confident and prepared when May arrives so that the tests just feel like any other school job, nothing to get stressed about or panicked over.

Letts workbooks for KS1

If you’d like to win a bundle of Letts KS1 SATs Revision Guides the enter using the Rafflecopter below – ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A February Half Term Diary Update

I think it’s fair to say that, traditionally, February half term is probably my least favourite holiday. It’s still cold and almost always wet so it can be more challenging to keep the kids busy without spending a fortune! That said, I do think it signals a move away from the dark dreary winter days as you know that Easter can’t really be that far away!

This half term seems to have been a particularly funny one with a real split in dates – not just one or two local authorities on a different timetables but a real divide across the country and in fact just in Manchester it seems to have been about half and half across the various authorities (and believe me – we have quite a few!)

Luckily for us we have been able to spend most of half term catching up with friends. When I asked Ben, Chloe and Amy what they wanted to do over the holidays the first thing they said was to see Emily and Oliver followed by a trip to soft play and of course there was the unspoken expectation of a “Butler / Burgess Day”.

WGOAA February Half Term

On Monday, Mich and I combined the Butler / Burgess Day with the soft play request as it meant that we didn’t have to worry about the weather and the kids could run off some steam whilst we had chance to chat.  Mich made the genius suggestion that we take advantage of the split half term and travel to a soft play in an area where it wasn’t actually the school holidays and this proved to be a wise move as it meant the centre was relatively quiet, although they still charged us peak rates which I thought was a little mean!  We picked a large (and expensive) soft play to make sure that they boys were well occupied and spent a lovely couple of hours there.

We hadn’t actually seen Emily and Oliver for quite a while as the October half term and Christmas holidays in York didn’t seem to align with ours in Manchester however, this time we struck lucky.  Usually we meet up in the Leeds area for a picnic and space to play, but I think it’s fair to say that February is never really going to offer up picnic weather and we decided that I’d take my gang over to York for a play date at Lizzy’s on Tuesday.  (You might have seen her freshly baked bread on my instagram stories!)  We stopped off for tea at Granny and Grandad’s on the way home too, having not seen them since New Year!

Wednesday was very much an “at home day” – getting some tidying up done and ticking off a few jobs with the reward of McDonalds for tea and then a trip to the cinema on Thursday to see Paddington 2.  Chloe really wasn’t all that bothered about going but then actually loved the film in the end – we all did.  Dave took Thursday afternoon off work so I could nip over to Leeds to get my hair done and have a cheeky dinner date with Kirst.

 

We ended the week with a really lovely play date in Heaton Park with Molly and her girls.  The sun shone, the kids got on and everyone had a really nice morning.  Bonus Mum Points for me for having time to making a flask of hot chocolate for the kids before we left too – this is the second time I’ve thought to do this now, my three are going to start to expect it!

It feels like the week has flown – but we’ve made the most of it and, let’s face it, it’s really not that long until the next holidays – just less than six weeks till Easter and we’re so busy that I know it will be here before I know it!

Siblings – February 2018

I’m so pleased to say that it’s the middle of February and that we have survived the longest, most miserable part of the year intact!  Typically for us the start of the year is intentionally very quiet, we plan very little in the way of adventures and essentially hibernate for a few weeks – this means lots of rest time for Ben, Chloe and Amy at home whilst Dave and I tend to try and get stuff done around the house.  Last year this meant rearranging the dining room to create an office space for me to work, this year it has been more about odd bits of jobs like painting or making some new shelves.  We’ve got quite a big list of things we’d like to try and get done in the house this year, which to be honest is no different to usual, we just need to save up and get on with working our way down the list.

Of course this rest time is much needed for all of us, but does mean the kids can get a bit fed up of being in each other’s pockets and there’s definitely been times where I’ve had to send them to their rooms to have some time on their own just to stop them bickering!

Ben and Chloe are much closer again at the moment, enjoying spending time playing on the Xbox together which Amy really isn’t all that bothered about at the moment and as such she tends to feel a bit left out.  I have often worried that having three children would mean that one would be left out and I think that’s happening more and more, but luckily it’s not the same one each time – the girls play dress up together, the big two play Xbox, Ben and Amy play rough and tumble – they all have different things to offer each other.

As they get older, there is definitely more jostling to assert authority – Amy is no longer happy to just go along with what the other two want, Ben is determined to be the leader, Chloe just wants to please everyone.

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 6 – 2018)

#TriedTested badge

Welcome to your Tuesday Tried & Tested!  We’re on half term this week but the forecast is rubbish so it’s a whole lot of indoor plans for us.

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of.  You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week, we loved:#TriedTested featured blogger

The Earl of Sandwich, Disneyland Paris from Life as our little family.  KA makes some great points about planning ahead when it comes to eating out at Disneyland Paris and The Earl of Sandwich looks like a great place to start!

#TriedTested featured blogger - Janine's Little World

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach ‘N Tag Movi from Janine’s Little World – We’ve both always been big fans of Fisher-Price so weren’t surprised at all to see another great educational offering from them.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

We're going on an adventure



A Space Race with BEAR Yoyos

*This is a commissioned post for BEAR*

I remember when Ben was in Reception and he told me that he wanted to learn about “Space” – I suggested he asked his teacher, and was more than a little gutted when he replied “But we don’t tell our teacher what we want to learn!”  Luckily, Space turned out to be a full on topic when he was in Year 2 and he absolutely loved it.

Now, with fairly epic timing as Chloe will soon be studying Space in Year 2 herself, BEAR are flying off to outer-space for this year’s BEAR cards theme, featuring their Grrreat Space Race around the solar system, stopping off at each of the planets and learning fun facts along the way!

Ben, Chloe and Amy were super excited to unpack their BEAR Space Cadet boxes and find matching space themed pjs for them to wear whilst trying out the new BEAR Space Race game . . .

Matching Boden space pjs

Our limited edition Space Race kit features four astronauts in their space ships, you insert a straw into the back and blow hard (and I mean really hard) to make your astronaut fly off into space, the ship which flies the furthest wins!

BEAR Space Race aliens
There’s even a special chart to record the race results on!
BEAR Space Race record sheet
As you can imagine, the sibling rivalry flared and everyone blew as hard as they could to make sure that their alien flew the furthest!
BEAR's Grrreat Space Race
The free, collectable cards which come in every pack of BEAR Yoyos have always been a big hit with Ben and Chloe in particular who love to read up on all the fun facts – I think this year’s space theme is our favourite so far!
BEAR Yoyos Space Race fact cards
BEAR Yoyos have been a regular feature in my backpack and the kids’ lunchboxes for several years now – made with 100% pure fruit and veg, with no added sugar or concentrates, BEAR Yoyos provide the kids with at least 1 of their 5 a day and are low in natural sugars.  (In fact each packet of Bear Yoyos contains the same amount of natural sugar as a small apple!)
Yummy BEAR Yoyos - one of their five a day!
Yummy BEAR Yoyos only contain natural sugars

If you want to join in with BEAR and their Grrreat Space Race, you can pick up BEAR Yoyos in your local supermarket and once your cubs have collected 10 bear codes, they can be sent to BEAR’s Cave (the address is on the side of the pack) in exchange for your very own solar system poster and stickers!

To find out more visit: http://www.bearnibbles.co.uk/ and @BearNibbles on twitter / instagram!

Twinkleboost – AVIVA Community Fund Winners

In association with theAviva Community Fund 2017 

The Aviva Community Fund 2017 funding winners have now been announced with over 590 community groups being awarded funding from the Aviva Community Fund, ranging from up to £1,000 to £25,000!  (Click here to find winners from your local area.) 

As you know, last year I wrote about Farsley Celtic Girls FC, a local group from Leeds who were awarded funding from the Aviva Community Fund in 2016. They used the money to buy new football kits for the members. 

Farsley Celtic Girls FC - Aviva Community Fund

This year, I was lucky enough to visit Twinkleboost who recently found out they had been awarded £4,926 by the Aviva Community Fund this year that will help make a real difference in our local area. 

Twinkleboost, Wythnsawe
Twinkleboost, based in Wythenshawe, is one of over 590 winners of the Aviva Community Fund 2017. To see the full list of winners and to find winning projects in your area, visit:  Aviva Community Fund

Twinkleboost, based in Greater Manchester, works to deliver speech and language training to parents in deprived communities.  Research has shown that vocabulary at the age of five is the best predictor of whether children experiencing social deprivation are able to escape poverty later in life. 

As a primary school teacher myself with experience of working in one of the most deprived postcodes in the country, I know all too well the impact the that speech and language can have on children’s progress at school so I was really excited to hear about Twinkleboost and find out more about how the project works and what they will spend the money on.  

Twinkleboost - Peter Rabbit story session with Laura Harding

The weekly classes, for babies age 0 – 18 months, are run by Speech and Language Therapy Assistants and each session is based around a story interwoven with activities and sensory experiences as well as clearly explained speech and language techniques and signing.  This isn’t just an airy fairy nice way to get out of the house for an hour with your baby – there’s a real purpose to the session. 

Laura Harding from Twinkleboost - speech and language story session

Twinkleboost story and sensory activities - baby playing with net scarf

The Twinkleboost programme not only supports the language development of the babies who are attending, but empowers and equips their parents with the skills to promote language development at home. This is done to such a high level that parents who attend seven or more Twinkleboost sessions are actually awarded with a certificate in “Supporting Speech and Language development in the Early Years”.  For some parents, this certificate has been a foot in the door to their next job.  And, on top of supporting parents and their children, Twinkleboost offers opportunities for volunteers to come and help out, often Speech and Language students who want to build on their placement experience.  The effects of the project are far reaching. 

Twinkleboost babies

And yet, despite this highlevel speech and language work, the group is just a whole lot of fun and laughter – which frankly is just how learning should be!  The people attending the session I visited this week were so warm and welcoming and they clearly all loved attending the group.  I chatted to one parent who had been bringing her little girl for about 8 months and another who was attending her very first session and couldn’t wait to return the following week.  Parents can sign up to the class on a weekly basis (many are provided free of charge via local Sure Start centres, others charge a small fee to cover costs) with up to 12 babies in each group. 

Sensory exploration and messy play at Twinkleboost

I was particularly impressed to discover that as well as the 30 – 40 minute Twinkleboost session each week, parents are sent an email after the session to consolidate their learning – giving them tips and tricks to try out at home and reminding them of the techniques learned in class as well as YouTube videos and additional support on social media.  As I said, this isn’t just an hour out of the house with your baby.  Twinkleboost is making a difference. 

Last year Twinkleboost worked with 259 parents and 285 children in some of the most deprived areas in Greater Manchester.  Now, thanks to the funding from the Aviva Community Fund, it is able able to reach even more families to empower them with skills to help break the cycle of poverty. 

Community groups such as Twinkleboost or Farsley Celtic Girls FC are more than just something to do each week.  The effects that these groups have on their members and families go so far beyond that; boosting confidence, teaching new skills and providing potentially life changing opportunities.  32 millions Brits have felt the positive impact of community groups and, with the help of the Aviva Community Fund, this will continue the be the case.  

Twinkleboost is just one of over 590 projects and charities that secured funding from the Aviva Community Fund this year.  The nationwide initiative, now in its third year, launched in September 2015, called upon passionate residents to submit a project close to their heart to be in with a chance of securing funding ranging from up to £1,000 to £25,000.  

Over 6,500 groups entered the funding initiative, each galvanising the support of their local community to vote for their entry in four categories: Health & Wellbeing, Skills for Life, Community Support, and Inclusivity.  

5.5 million votes were placed this year and the 828 groups with the highest votes were shortlisted as finalists. Awards in the £1k category were decided on by public votes, with winners in the £5k, £10k and £25k categories selected from the finalists by a judging panel.

Don’t forget to have a look and see  which groups in your local area received funding, and if you know a group who might benefit from funding in the future make sure you tell them about the Aviva Community Fund

If you’d like to find out about other Aviva Community Fund winners and find out who won in your local area, visit this page here .

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 5 – 2018)

Welcome to another week of Tried & Tested!  I don’t know about you but I was so pleased to see the arrival of February – it seems one step closer to spring!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of.  You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week, we loved:#TriedTested featured blogger

Disneyland Paris must do’s from Life as our little family. This is SUCH a handy guide for anyone planning a visit, with lots of tips to make the most of your visit.

#TriedTested featured blogger

The Gifted Notebook review from Northumberland Mam. It’s no secret that I love a bit of stationery, and I have to admit that I am now eyeing up this notebook for my ever growing collection.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

We're going on an adventure