My Brother Is A Superhero and sequels by David Solomons Photo by SpanglesPlace
Books we love, Reads

My Brother is a Superhero – a well-worn kids book is a great sign

Reading recommendation for superhero kids

My Brother is a Superhero is a book that comes highly recommended from our household. You can tell how highly by how shabby our copy is. The spine is creased, there is wear and tear around the edges of the cover. The cover is actually coming lose from the spine. The book is well-loved and has been well read, several times over. If you like to see pristine books look away…

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Harry Potter Prisoner Azkaban meeting Hippogriffs 2 - Photo by SpanglesPlace
Activities and days out, Books we love, Reads

The Hippogriff of Hogwarts: in awe of Buckbeak

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Recently we visited the Making of Harry Potter WB Studio Tour. The props, costumes, sets and artwork from the making of the Harry Potter films impressed us hugely. From stepping into the Great Hall to seeing the scale model of the exterior of Hogwarts there were many moments of wonder. We saw and interacted with thousands of objects and items. But the moments which I found most inspiring were encountering life-size models of the Hippogriff, Buckbeak. Artists made three Buckbeak models for the filming of Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. 

I have come to the conclusion that to me Buckbeak is the most amazing beast of the Harry Potter books and films. In this post I will be explaining why I am so in awe of Buckbeak.

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work at home space keyboard and mug Photo by Spangles Place
Establishing a routine, Motivation Monday, Working Mum's Survival Guide

Setting up the right space to work at home in a small home

Recently I have been looking at getting out of the back to school rut for work at home Mums. In this post I will be looking at an important consideration for those working at home. Finding a space to be in a work frame of mind and where you can stay focused is crucial.

Whatever your kind of work is; when working at home you may find yourself distracted by the endless parade of household tasks that come up. When you have a defined place to work in you can put housework aside.

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Dragon books by Cressida Cowell Photo by SpanglesPlace
Books we love, Reads

The Wizards of Once’s fascinating landscapes have already drawn us in

Cressida Cowell’s new book The Wizards of Once is now available. As mentioned in a previous post, the author’s How to Train Your Dragon book series was a big inspiration for my son’s reading. His imagination was set soaring by the viking and dragon adventures. He even decided to use the nickname Toothy after reading about the adventures of the pesky but cute little dragon Toothless.

The Wizards of Once depicts a fascinating world

Like How to Train Your Dragon, The Wizards of Once contains delightful, detailed drawings and maps drawn by Cowell. It’s easy for children (and admittedly adults too) to get caught up in the fascinating worlds depicted.

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Kids reading Books Photo by SpanglesPlace
Books we love, Parenting challenges, Reads

Kids should be reading more for enjoyment – and parents should be too

It was a surprise, but a very welcome one, when a “family reading time” was introduced to our daily routine. This was not an initiative of us parents or a suggestion from school to improve kids reading. The child of the house had introduced it. Whether our children are reading enough is often a concern for parents and for schools.

Kids reading at schools and tests

There is rightly an emphasis in schools on kids reading. “Are children reading enough?” –  is probably a good question to ask. Another question which comes up a lot is, “are they retrieving the correct information when they read?” And kids are tested on their reading in schools from an early age.

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Find inspiration in surprising places - career goals Photo by Spangles Place
Creative Mums, Establishing a routine, Working Mum's Survival Guide

Checking in on your career goals – key questions for work at home mums to ask

Previously I wrote about the importance of goal setting for work at home and self-employed Mums. Even when we have an overall plan or general idea that we are working to, we can sometimes get side-tracked from our career goals. Reminding ourselves of our purpose can then help us to set realistic daily targets to work towards achieving them.

Getting side-tracked can particularly be the case if your career goals are long-term, or creative. Especially if they will involve some tough work and many steps to get to. They can too easily become goals which are set aside from day-to-day life. They then become something to “get around to some day”. Or we can start to see our goals as unrealistic dreams. This is an opportunity to check in on your career goals to ensure that you haven’t lost sight of them. It also might be a time for setting new goals.

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goal setting for motivation Photo by Spangles Place
Establishing a routine, Working Mum's Survival Guide

Motivation to boost your work at home routine – why set goals?

In my last post I considered the back to school rut work at home Mums can find ourselves in. First comes the realisation that we are stalling and lack motivation. It’s not unusual for worries and doubts to set in and you are not alone if you feel like this. In this post I will look at why it’s useful to set goals to reboot your work at home routine. This can help you to look beyond overwhelming to do lists and find out where your motivation lies.

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hot chocolate for working mums Photo by Spangles Place
Establishing a routine, Working Mum's Survival Guide

A working Mums guide to getting out of the back to school rut

Rebooting the back to school routine is just as important for working Mums as for the kids.

So, you’ve got through all your back to school to-do lists. You made sure all the uniforms still fit and bought new items if needed. You’ve got your children’s names in their clothes, shoes, PE kit, bags, you name it, you’ve named it. Perhaps you sewed the name tags on, maybe you ironed them on. I admit I just wrote them in pen because it’s the easiest way let’s be honest… As long as the names are in there in some way it’s all good.

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RSPB Conwy reserve Photo by SpanglesPlace
Activities and days out, Getting the geeks out into nature, Walks

North Wales places to go: Deganwy & Conwy

In this post I share more of our tips from experience of North Wales holiday activities. This post covers Deganwy and Conwy, with extra geeky tips for families like us. Our perspective is as non-drivers and includes information on public transport links and walking access. Previously I wrote about Llandudno. Initially we looked for accommodation in the very lively seaside town. But we found that although there is a lot of places to stay, they fill up early. Looking further afield we found a place to stay in Deganwy, a small town further down the estuary towards Conwy.

Deganwy is a good option for a base from which to explore the Llandudno area, the Great Orme peninsula and areas further inland including Conwy and Snowdonia National Park. It’s also a stunningly beautiful area and more peaceful than Llandudno, so we were glad to find it.

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homemade Iron man helmet making photo by SpanglesPlace
Activities and days out, Getting the geeks out into nature, Museums

Budget kids activities for late summer holidays

As the end of the summer school holidays approach, we share are ideas for low-budget activities and day outs with geeky and heroic twists.

In my last post I discussed the moment that for us the holiday mood lagged and we needed a break from activities. Once we got back into the swing of things we started to look for more things to do. One of the important things was that they needed to be low-budget.

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