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Vlog Star Volume 1

Vlogging (video blogging for uninitiated) is big business with top bloggers/vloggers pulling in six, even seven figure salaries.

Vlog Star aims to be the world’s first vlogger training, mentorship and entertainment brand: home to exclusive vlogger guides, large scale vlogger events and an app. It has Xmas gift written all over it. While I don’t think many adults will be interested, teenagers will eat this up.

vlog star vol 1

Vlog Star volume 1 comes with a 40 page booklet covering topics from setting up a YouTube channel to camera angles, lighting, content creation and tips from the professional vloggers like Essie Button and one of my favourites for women of colour, the delightful Patricia Bright.

The booklet also contains important information on how to set privacy settings, making sure that any aspiring online star stays safe online. The young among us will love that volume one comes with a selfie tripod!

If you’ve an older teenager in your life that will need a gift come December, bookmark Vlog Star Volume 1, available from 2nd September 2015 on Amazon.co.uk and .com with an RRP of £12.99.

Vlog Star Volume 2 will be out a few months after Volume 1 with the next set of expert tips and another essential vlogging tool. Bookmark this for December!

*PR sample*

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Review: Willows Activity Farm

Willows Activity Farm is a farm with a difference. Along with the farmyard animals; activities, shows, funfair rides, inflatables and adventure play are all included in the price. It doesn’t even matter if it rains, as there’s a gigantic indoor soft play area to keep you entertained and dry.

As we live in SE London it was a bit of a trek getting there (we’ll drive next time!) but it was worth the trip as we spent the entire day at the farm.

We gave the kids the map and let them choose their activities which you can see below:

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Obstacle course

Bouncy haystacks

Bouncy haystacks

Zip wire

Zip wire

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Young farm hands

Young farm hands

Carrot patch harvest!

Carrot patch harvest!

A-maize-ing maze

A-maize-ing maze

The highlight was the JCB Young Drivers Zone, A-maize-ing Maze (open until 1 September) where we tried to race against other contestants (and lost) and Carrot Patch where we picked our own carrots. They tasted great with dinner the next day!

If you live close by Willows Activity Farm also offers childcare in the form of a Day Nursery and Activity Camps.

At first glance you might think the entry price – £15.50 per child and £14.50 per adult – is a lot for a farm but Willows is so much more than that. I think of it as a day out; yes there are animals but it’s more like a nature version of a theme park. I went with my sister in law who is a head teacher and she remarked that a lot of the activities have been carefully thought out and encourage EYFS (early years foundation stage/nursery and reception age) development.

As an aside, the toilets are really clean!

I have one Willows Activity Farm ticket (can be used for an adult or child) to give away. To enter, simply follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Leave a comment below to let us know you have entered.

Willows Activity Farm
Coursers Road
London Colney
St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL4 0PF

www.willowsactivityfarm.com

*PR visit*

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Review: Smart ForFour

If you’re looking for technical review of the Smart ForFour or information on miles per gallon and such, I respectfully suggest you head over to Parkers.

If however you’re looking for a real life account of how the car handles a week in the life of a family of four, read on! Am I the only one who didn’t know that Smart cars were made by Mercedes-Benz?

Smart forfour exterior

Monday
Driving a new car takes getting used to, I never bother to read the manual so figured out for myself how to open the boot and adjust the seats! The Smart ForFour has a high biting point, which took me a while to get used to, but a quick drive around the block was all I needed to feel comfortable.

Wednesday
As it’s the school holidays we wanted to take the kids for a ride along the Thames Path so two bikes went in our usual car and two in the Smart ForFour. At first glance you think there’s no way two bikes will fit in the car but the back seats recline very easily (no help required) and two bikes (one kid sized, one adult) easily fit in the expanded boot space. The car is a dream to drive, and this is from someone who doesn’t even like driving! Reversing is a breeze with the wide-angle back camera so you can see your whole backside perimeter. It’s zippy and fast but not so light you feel like a strong gust of wind will take you away a-la the end of the movie Grease.

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Thursday
I left the car at the local DLR station and took the train into Central London. I usually hate parking at the train station as they cram the cars in like sardines but the Smart ForFour is small enough to manoeuvre past all the other cars. The kids love it and keep asking if we can keep it past the agreed seven days. Here’s hoping!

Friday
A quick dash to Tesco with two child car seats (one booster, one for kids age 5-12) in the back. Isofix makes putting in Kingston’s seat an absolute breeze. Lots of shopping in the boot fits fine. Supermarket car parks aren’t the easiest places to park but the brilliant reverse camera means I can slot into a tight space easily.

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back seats

Saturday
Meeting the girls for a quick drink. Four adults (2 front, 2 back) sit comfortable and the light steering makes Central London driving a joy. I never want to give the Smart ForFour back!

Sunday
I told the kids this was our last day with the car and they wanted to go for a swansong drive! I have completely enjoyed driving the new Smart ForFour – if you’re on the lookout for a new car, you must give this a whirl.

front seats

front seats

Are you reading this Mr London Mummy?!

It’s only right that I include some technical info so here goes:

• Fuel consumption (combined) up to 67.3 mpg, with CO2 emissions (combined) from 97 g/km
• Priced from £11,265 on the road
• Safety feature-packed thanks to its trademark steel-hardened Tridion Safety Cell, five airbags, standard Crosswind Assist and options such as Forward Collision Warning and Lane Keeping Assist
• Available in three models – passion, prime and proxy – plus a choice of 71hp or 90hp turbocharged petrol engines
• Over 40 colour schemes to choose from
• 8.6 metre turning circle (kerb to kerb)
• Full length of car 3.49 metres

While I have you, check out this hilarious advert for the Smart ForFour from Spain. It’s not in English but you get the drift!

*Test driving experience courtesy of Daimler *

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New Kiddyum Frozen Meals for Kids

Kiddyum is a new range of frozen meals, exclusive to Sainsbury’s, for kids aged 1 to 4.

We went along to the launch at Sainsbury’s head office in London and met the lovely founder, Jayne Hayes. Her passion for good food for kids is contagious!

kiddyum

A first for the frozen aisle, the mini meals contain only natural ingredients, with no added sugar or preservatives, low salt and are also free from GM ingredients, artificial colours and flavours. All are made in the UK, using only sustainable fish, and British meat and dairy.

Created by mum-of-two Jayne Hynes, the recipes have been designed to help little taste buds enjoy more complex flavours. The packaging promotes independent eating – as in right out of the tray – and is 99% recyclable.

The range contains five flavours: Cheesy Peasy Pasta, Macaroni Bolognese, Cottage Pie, Fish & Veg Pie and Chicken Curry. The only flavour without dairy and gluten (although not labelled gluten free) is Chicken Curry which we all ate. In fact, Lily ate two! You can absolutely tell the difference between your standard jar food – even the organic ones – and Kiddyum. The flavours taste fresh and true, especially the chunks of meat.

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Although Kiddyum is targeted at kids aged 1-4, older kids can definelty eat them. Probably not enough for a main meal for a 9 year old but certainly great as an after school snack or a pre-bedtime meal for your growing and extra hungry pre teen.

In the biggest British launch of a frozen meal brand for children, Kiddyum is available now in the freezer section of more than 320 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide and online at sainsburys.co.uk. Each meal has an RRP of £2.20.

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Foreo ISSA Mini Toothbrush

We never say no to anything that helps improve oral hygiene!

ISSA mini toothbrush is a very different type of toothbrush for children (aged 5 and up) that uses high-intensity pulsations channeled through soft silicone bristles. The nonporous silicone is easy to clean so there’s much less bacteria buildup when compared with your standard nylon bristles.

ISSA mini toothbrush

Kingston has never been a fan of electronic toothbrushes; I think they’ve been too big and slightly too hard for his apparently quite sensitive mouth. The ISSA mini has been fine though, possibly due to the soft silicone bristles offering a gentler brush via micro-sweeps that break up and remove 35% of plaque buildup while effectively removing stains and helping to prevent cavities. The brush also gives a mild gingival massage which can help thicken gum tissue, making them more resistant to bacterial infection.

We are converts to the electric toothbrush life but constant charging can be a pain. The ISSA mini needs none of that as it has an extraordinary battery life lasting up to 200 uses per full charge.

Kids will see a smiley face light up when they have brushed for 2 minutes, or a sad face when they stop too soon or haven’t brushed twice that day via Smile Helpers ‘Glee’ ☺ and ‘Glum’ ☹.

FOREO’s ISSA mini is available in Wild Strawberry, Enchanted Violet, Mango Tango and Summer Sky with an RRP of £89.

Find out more at foreo.com/products/issa-mini

*PR sample*

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