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Movie Review: HOME

Unless your kids have been living under a rock they are, if they haven’t already, going to ask you to see Home or as Lily calls it, the Rihanna movie. Or as Kingston calls it, the Oh movie.

Home launch poster

Home tells the story of Tip (Rihanna) and Oh (Jim Parsons), a loveable misfit from another planet. Oh comes to Earth on the run from his own people, and forms an unlikely friendship with Tip who is on a mission of her own. Through a series of funny adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.

HOME features an all-star voice cast including Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez.

I loved this movie, my kids loved this movie. The benchmark of all animation (for all time it seems) is Frozen as all other movies get compared to it. Both my kids say Home is better than Frozen so hopefully that gives you an idea of how good it is.

There were tears: theirs, mine and a hysterical child in the seat in front. There were laughs too, so many laughs. As a mother to brown skinned children it was so lovely to see a brown skinned heroine with natural hair, dressed like a child (looking at you awful Bratz dolls/movie) and there were great moral lessons/talking points on friendship, being different, fitting in and kindness.

In closing, go and see this movie. You will love it. If you have kids, take them too. 10/10.

HOME is in cinemas now.

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Disney Pixar INSIDE OUT

At the Cinderella screening last week I saw a trailer for Disney Pixar INSIDE OUT. Never mind the kids, my husband and I can’t wait to see it!

The movie features the voices of Amy Poehler (love her), Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling (love her more!) and Phyllis Smith.

disney pixar Inside-Out

The movie tells the tale of Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) who live in Headquarters, the control centre inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Take a look at the trailer below and make a note in your diaries. The UK release date is July 24 2015 – just in time for the (long) six weeks break.

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The Convertible Tractor

I love a multi-purpose toy and this might be my favourite yet!

The Convertible Tractor is a 3-in-1-board book that is a story, a play mat and a fun sit-in vehicle. Think of it as educational transformers!

As soon as the Convertible Tractor arrived in the post I gave it to the kids to figure out; I told them it was a book, a play mat and a tractor but that they had to figure out how to get it into all three states.

convertible tractor

They ran upstairs and spent ten minutes or so putting it together. As a team they said! When it was done they called me to see their creation. Much time has been spent with in the Tractor position; it has been read once and they are too old for the play mat but it’s such a great idea and perfect for holidays when space is limited but toys are an absolute necessity!

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Convertible Tractor – RRP £17.00 or £13.49 at mileskelly.net.

*PR sample*

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Keeping Kids Safe Online With Norton

Last Tuesday we went to the House of Illustration in Kings Cross, London for an event regarding online security with Norton.

Our kids are growing up in a technological age very different to ours as and as they grow and technology advances, risks come with the benefits and there is a growing need to keep them safe online.

Using fairytales with a modern twist we were advised the following:

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Keeping Your Kids Safe Online
Secure the devices your children use with filters and parental controls – these features allow you to prevent them accessing inappropriate websites, monitor which sites your children visit and limit the amount of time they spend online, even when you aren’t around. The controls also limit any information you don’t want your child sharing, whether it be their name, age, phone number, or any other private information. You should turn on all the filtering and security features in your computer’s search engine to prevent your child from inadvertently arriving at an adult or other inappropriate site as they do their homework.

Make sure you show your child how to close a browser window and let them know it’s always OK to close a site if something surprising or disturbing occurs. Set high security settings with browsers, membership, and social networking sites.

Supervise their time online. Tell them never to chat, type messages, or share information with anyone on these sites unless you are with them.

Review the sites your child visits; don’t be afraid to discuss and possibly restrict sites that offend or concern you.

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Foster open communication and teach your children to tell a parent, teacher, or trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable about anything they’ve seen on a computer.

It wasn’t all about the kids. I took away some handy hints too:

If it’s connected, it must be protected!
Today we connect to the Intenet loads of different ways, whether it’s with a laptop, tablet or even a watch. Anything that connects to the Intenet must be protected, regardless of the kind of device it is.

Make sure your mobile is fully protected
Mobiles have changed how we communicate and access the intenet but they also bring with them new threats in the form of lost or stolen devices. In fact, mobile is the fastest growing target for cybercriminals.

To protect yourself and your family, make sure your smartphones or tablets require a password and ensure your devices are protected against theft, loss and cybercrime.

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You’re only as secure as your password
Your online accounts are only as secure as the username and password that protect them. Set a recurring reminder to regularly change password for all accounts.

Never share your password! Talk with your children about protecting private information (name, phone number, etc.) and teach them to never to share passwords (except with you).

Use passwords on all your accounts and devices
Use a strong password (unique and complex) on all your family’s accounts and devices. The two most important account passwords are for your social network and your email account. Weak passwords are easy to guess. They might be easy for you to remember, but they are also easy for cybercriminals to guess – locking your smartphone with 1111 isn’t safe! Make sure that each one contains at least eight characters and avoid easy-to-guess passwords such as “password”, “123456” or “qwerty”.

The event was fun for the kids and educational for the adults. It demonstrated the need to keep up to date with technology; just because we are older doesn’t mean we have to be luddites!

I’ll soon be getting a copy of Norton Family to use on my devices and I’ll be sure to write a review on how good/restrictive it turns out to be.

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Spring Cleaning With Boxman

If your family is anything like mine, you probably have too many things in your house!

Old clothes, curtains, school projects from yesteryear which you know need to be thrown out (but the tears and heartache caused when you attempt to get rid of two year old egg/cereal boxes turned into cars make it prohibitive) as well as all that stuff lurking in boxes under the bed/in the attic.

stuff

Help is at hand via Boxman; a storage company with a difference. I tried out their service and it was so very easy:

Step 1. Create an account at boxman.co.uk. Order your boxes at a time that suits you within a very handy two-hour window. No more staying in between 8 and 6 waiting for the delivery person. Collection is free.

Step 2. Take delivery of your boxes (the size of a standard office/moving crate) and fill with all the things you’re too attached to actually throw away. You can log, tag, photograph and document your boxes so you know what’s in which box and you can retrieve things easily. It reminds me of office archive but for the home.

boxman box sizes

Step 3. Arrange collection of said boxes. I logged into my account at 13:00 and was able to book a collection that same day between 17:00 and 19:00.

I filled my boxes with winter coats, their old baby clothes and toys (mine and theirs) with sentimental meaning, old photos and books.

The cost isn’t prohibitive either; it costs £5 per box to store and another £5 per box to return. For that price you get:

Free box delivery and collection
Only pay for what you use
Secure and insured storage
No minimum contracts

Monthly storage charges only start when they collect your packed boxes so you only pay for what you use. If you’ve got lots of stuff to store, you can save money on each box. Use 10 boxes or more in one collection and they’ll be £4.50 each; use 20 and they’ll be £4 each.

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Boxman could come in useful when you are moving house, whether that’s as longer-term storage or as a place to clear your clutter (a la House Doctor – remember her?) while you are trying to sell.

For more information visit www.boxman.co.uk.

*Brought to you in association with Boxman*

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