April 24, 2015
by Mirka
8 Comments

Olivia’s Journey to Dry Nights with DryNites® Begins

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Not long ago I was approached by DryNites® to become one of their ConfidentKids247 brand ambassadors, and I think the idea behind their “pyjama pants” is brilliant and exactly what our Olivia needs right now.

Just before the Easter holidays we were invited to a craft event organised by DryNites®, where the lovely Tamara Melvin was showing us how to make a pyjama bag, which I along with a few fellow bloggers then had a go at creating too. 

I am pleased to say that my sewing abilities were not too bad. I used to sew a lot when I was in my early twenties, but then stopped. Daddy ( who studied to be a fashion designer) even bought me a new sewing machine soon after Isabelle was born, and sadly it was used only when he was creating my London Marathon 2011 top and when he was designing Isabelle’s outfit for her Perform show a few years back.

Olivia was fascinated by all that was happening, helping me and loved what I have created with a bit of Tamara’s help.

Now Olivia’s little pyjama bag is ready to be filled with her DryNites® and pyjamas each morning, encouraging her to use DryNites® Pyjama Pants as part of her regular bedtime routine which will give her that extra confidence boost. It’s perfect for sleepovers too as there is a toothbrush and toothpaste holder on the inside!

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I would like to share a few bedtime tips I was given by DryNites®, which I hope will help me and Olivia on our journey to “Dry Nights” too!

 

A structured bedtime routine

  • A structured bedtime routine can help your child wind down from a busy day and prepare them for a restful night’s sleep, while helping them feel more secure and comfortable about night time.
  • Child Psychologist, Emma Kenny, says: ‘Children who are not dry at night can often become distressed at the thought of bedtime so parents can help them overcome this by creating a happy and calm routine. A bedtime story and a good chat and cuddle before going to sleep are all good ways to help a child relax.’

 

Top tips from DryNites® to ensure bedtime is not a stressful experience

  • Bedtime routines work best if you reserve the hour before bedtime for quiet play. This will help lower a child’s activity level and prepare their nervous system for relaxation
  • Parents should give their child advance notice that it is nearly bedtime and encourage them to enjoy bedtime with questions such as ‘what story would you like to read’ or ‘what bath toy would you like to play with’
  • After their bath read a story to your child which will help them relax and offer them comfort before bedtime. It is also a great way to incentivise them throughout the day about what story they would like to read
  • Parents should use this time to talk to their child about their day and ask them if they have any worries
  • Many children are afraid of the dark, so ensure there is easy access and lighting to the toilet at night
  • Encourage a good level of fluid intake throughout the day but try to avoid sugary and fizzy drinks, especially towards bedtime as caffeine and sugar can affect the production of urine

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April 21, 2015
by Mirka
2 Comments

Any Questions? Ask Cortana!

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During the Easter break, just after our lovely holiday in Tenerife I took both girls to the Madame Tussauds in London. We were gifted the tickets not only to check out the latest wax additions in this museum of wax figurines, but also to test Cortana on a new Nokia Lumia 735 phone which we were also gifted.

You could have seen me reviewing my previous Nokia Lumia 1020 a while back, which means I am used to a Windows phone and once my older daughter Isabelle saw the new white Nokia Lumia 735 she was very curious to find out who would be the owner of this little beauty as I already have a smartphone?

She is very keen on having her own smartphone, but me and daddy do not think she needs one right now, so at the end she was a bit disappointed as she thought it would be for her to keep. What do you think? What age is appropriate for children to have their own smartphones?

Anyway, I knew our visit will be more suitable and interesting for Isabelle, but then I had nobody to look after Olivia and decided that this opportunity was just too good to miss out on. At the end I was pleased that even or 3 year old Olivia had a good time!

Do you know all the celebs below?

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One of the reasons we were sent the new phone was to test the Cortana’s efficiency. We were given some questions about a few celebrities, and I was very pleased to see we managed to find answers to them all without any problems!

Cortana is Microsoft’s personal smartphone assistant which can make your life much easier! With the power of Bing behind her (yes, it’s SHE), Cortana gets to know you and looks out for you.

She’ll keep track of things that interest you, make helpful suggestions, remind you of appointments and help you stay closer to the people who matter.

It’s super easy to use, just type in your question or press the microphone sign and ask, and in seconds you get the answer you need.

Even with my accent ( as a born Czech) Cortana had no troubles in recognising the words and in no time I found out how many children Colin Firth has ( the answer is 3, did you know?) or how tall Jennifer Lawrence is ( 5 feet nine inches)!

Finding out the answers to the few given questions has just given me a tiny feel of what Cortana can do. She can do much more as I was later testing at home.

She can tell you exactly where you are if you get lost, she can remind you of your appointments, someone’s birthday or one thing I really like is reminding you to buy something when you are near that shop. Just create a note and let Cortana know you need to be reminded for example “to buy some bread when you are near Tescos”, and it will do so once you are close to a Tesco store!

Do you need to find a place to eat with your kids? Cortana will come up with a list of suitable places in seconds. You can also specify you are after highly rated places, to make sure you get the best for your little ones.

As a born Czech, I always have tons of questions, and often my darling English husband does not know the answers to them or is too busy to answer them. Having two very curious daughters also means I often get asked questions I do not know the answers to.

Not anymore, Cortana is here to help. I am very impressed with Cortana and have been using her on a daily bases, definitely my best personal assistant ever!

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April 15, 2015
by Mirka
15 Comments

The Gallery: Spring!

IMG_0733I love spring, and both my girls were born in spring, Olivia in late March and Isabelle late April. This spring we were very excited about spending Easter in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.

This was the first time we were having a beach holiday at this time of the year and we loved it. Despite two days or rain (yes, I know, how typical, trying to escape rain here in London to get some in sunny Tenerife) it was very hot and both girls even enjoyed the very cold Atlantic ocean and the black sand!

So today I am presenting you my two spring babies!
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April 14, 2015
by Mirka
0 comments

What to be NETFLIX-ing this Spring? #StreamTeam

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After seeing all the lovely reviews on Netflix website, I just cannot wait to be laughing at the episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy schmidt: season 1

From “30 Rock” executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock comes this hilarious comedy series starring Ellie Kemper (“The Office,” “Bridesmaids”) as a woman who is rescued from a doomsday cult and starts life over as a nanny for a socialite (Jane Krakowski from “30 Rock”) in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers and a couple of past-due library books, she takes on a world she didn’t think even existed anymore.

And now something for the kiddies!  All new to Netflix!

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I know it’s after the Easter now but as we were away for it, enjoying sunny Tenerife, it was not until today we did the Easter egg hunt! I am so pleased there are a few Easter oriented movies to watch on Netflix to get my girls in the right mood.

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Harry the Bunny: A bunny named Harry performs songs that help children’s education around ideas

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The Adventures of the American Rabbit: This animated feature follows a gentle bunny who suddenly finds he can change at will into a crime-fighter decked out in an American flag costume

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Semisweet – Life in Chocolate: A documentary follows four groups of people whose lives are wrapped up in the complex world of chocolate

And how was your Easter?

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April 12, 2015
by Mirka
1 Comment

Remakes of Animated Classics

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Photocredit @Pixshark.com

Since I was a little girl, I have always loved fairy tales. I will never forget the times when I was ill, lying in bed while my dad or mum were reading me some lovely stories to cheer me up and to keep me in bed to get better. It was a fantastic way to get my imagination going wild.

Back then we did not have DVD players yet, and the only way to watch my favourite movies was to wait for the to be shown on TV. As at that time I was living in the communist Czechoslovakia, Christmas was the best time to see all my princess movies, and love remembering the excitement that filled the house when all children were waiting for their fairy tales to be on TV.

I think it is a shame a bit that children these days will never have the same as they are used to having all their movies on DVDs or downloaded on a computer. They can watch them anytime parents allow, and it’s just not the same. On the other hand, we cannot stop the technology going forward.

When I see my little Olivia playing games or watching movies on my iPhone, I have to laugh. At her age there were no smartphones at all, not even mobile phones!

One thing that has stayed is luckily going to the cinema. Even as a little girl I used to take it as a special treat as it was expensive, and it still is, but it also usually is worth the money. I love taking both my girls, and lately we have been very lucky and attended some movie premieres too.

We all love fairy tales, and love seeing the remakes of animated classics. One of my old time favourites is Cinderella, and cannot wait for the release of the latest Cinderella remake. Did you know you can watch Cinderella at Cineworld from 27th March? Cannot wait my girls, and really hope it’s going to be as good as the movie critics have been saying so far!

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Photocredit @Pixshark.com

“After her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella (Lily James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters, who reduce her to scullery maid. Despite her circumstances, she refuses to despair. An invitation to a palace ball gives Ella hope that she might reunite with the dashing stranger (Richard Madden) she met in the woods, but her stepmother prevents her from going. Help arrives in the form of a kindly beggar woman who has a magic touch for ordinary things.” Credit @IMDb

” In association with Cineworld”