A Makeover For My Phone From Caseapp

Case AppI’d been getting a bit fed up with my phone.  My old case was broken and I’d had a screen protector on for ages which was showing signs of wear.  I’ve got an iPhone 4 which I’ve had since they were the latest thing and it had started to get a bit battered.  In fact, I’d been thinking about changing it, but I was reluctant to because of the expense.  CaseApp asked me if I’d like to review one of their phone cases and I thought why not.

I’m really glad I took CaseApp up on their offer.  I picked a favourite picture of H taken at one of our favourite places and ordered my case.  This was really easy to do.  Within a few days my nice new case arrived.  The picture quality is really nice and H was chuffed to bits that he was going to be on my phone case.  I got rid of my old case and changed the screen protector (which really helped the responsiveness of my phone screen).  The phone looks great and I’m happy with it again, so I’ve shelved plans for buy a new one.

If you’d like to win a CaseApp phone case (available for a range of models and makes of phone), then enter our competition on the rafflecopter below.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 15th October 2014.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Down With Mint: No Mint Toothpaste

no mint toothpasteUntil a few years ago, H was a hardcore mint lover.  He’d happily have an extra strong mint with us in the car and toothpaste was usually minty.  Then somehow, something changed and now he doesn’t like mint.  He often says something is minty when he doesn’t like it, even if it isn’t particularly minty.  Minty foods are fairly easy to avoid, so that’s no big deal, but toothpastes are often minty and this has proved a much bigger problem.

It is possible to buy some toothpastes that aren’t minty, but there aren’t many no-mint toothpastes around.  We were using one from Sainsburys which was strawberry I think.  It had pink packaging, but it was a bright, vibrant pink and H seemed ok about it.  Then it disappeared from the shelves and the only one Sainsburys stocked was a Hello Kitty one.  This was ok in terms of taste, but H pulled a face at the packaging (I knew he would) and it isn’t really the sort of thing I could send him with on a sleepover.

Big Green Smile recently got in touch about their range of children’s toothpastes and I was pleased to see that they offered a number that weren’t mint.  There was actually a choice of brands and a choice of flavours.  So H has been using a couple over the last few weeks to see what he thinks of them. Both are made without using chemical nasties like sodium laurel phosphate and neither contain fluoride. The two we have been trying are:

I’ve tried both myself too as a 7-year-old doesn’t always give you all the information you are looking for when you write a review.  H found the Jack n’ Jill toothpaste to be his least favourite of the two.  It’s a clear gel toothpaste with a very subtle flavour.  I’d say that the flavour isn’t strong enough really.  It might be that it’s difficult to have a stronger flavour and stick to your principles about natural flavourings, etc. though.

The Green People’s Mandarin and Aloe Vera scored higher with both of us and won H’s vote of approval.  It’s a more traditional toothpaste: opaque and just a little chalky.  The taste of the mandarin is much stronger and you could easily identify the flavour as orange in a blind taste test.

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Learning Italian

Learning ItalianNow H is in the juniors there’s a bit more choice in terms of after school clubs.  Last year there was just football and tennis offered for the odd half term.  This time he’s been offered football and Italian.  Sadly football is on a night we can’t make, but H was keen to have a go at Italian club.  As H is at a catholic school, there are a few children either with an Italian heritage or actually native speakers, in fact there is a boy in his class whose parents were born in Italy.  H’s grandmother learnt Italian for a number of years in adult education classes (until the requirements of meeting Ofsted targets made adult ed a lot less relaxed and rather more stressful with more emphasis on homework, exams and attendance records).  So Italian was a good choice of language for H.

I’ve previously tried to encourage language learning without much success.  I bought the BBC Muzzy series in the hope that would help, but it didn’t really seem to work.  Maybe we should get it out again.  I speak German quite well, so I tried reading to him and speaking to him, but he just kept correcting me: ‘No Mummy,it’s not a Frosch it’s a frog.”  Hopefully, now though he is ready to learn and will enjoy speaking another language.

The only downside is that because the club was so popular, H is only doing it till Christmas so other children can have a go.  Added to that the school have decided not to run it today because of parent’s evening (not sure why as the club is in a classroom not the hall and is taught by an outside teacher) and next week we have a teacher training day on Monday, so he’s not going to get that many weeks of learning before it all stops.  I’m hoping it will inspire a love of language learning as I’ve always found it makes travel more interesting and rewarding, when you can speak the local language.

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Week 39 of 2014

climbing and balancingThis week has been dominated by our kitchen project.  Last Friday our old kitchen was ripped out, in preparation for the building work which started Monday.  We escaped for the weekend and went to visit the in-laws, who had invited us so we could escape the mess.  We enjoyed a visit to the local farmer’s market; H got to see his cousin and his cousin’s dog Eddie; we went to the park; and there was homemade chocolate cake. Sunday evening saw heading back to our empty shell of a kitchen for the week ahead.

RSJsOn Monday the builders arrived, as did the skip.  They set to work knocking down the chimney breast in our kitchen.  Basically it formed the wall between the kitchen and the utility room, but was about 60cm deep, so it took up quite a lot of room.  So we decided to remove it and open the two rooms into one to have just a large kitchen.  As we needed to support the original tiled fireplace and the shared chimney above, we had to put in some steels to hold stuff up.  Here are our steel beams in the garden before going in.

kitchen renovationSo this is what our kitchen looked like for most of the week.  You can see the bare brick where the chimney came out.  The steels are in and hidden behind the pink plasterboard.  The builder managed to break a bit of next door’s plaster when putting in the steels, so there was that to sort out too.  Thankfully our neighbours were very understanding.  There have been some extra jobs of the sort that you find with old houses.  We had to have a rewire of the socket circuit in the kitchen because there was a fault that couldn’t easily be found (I got my electrician brother in to double-check this for me).  There were water and heating pipes where we weren’t expecting them and they will need to be boxed in.  The floor was a mess once the tiles came up.  This wasn’t entirely unexpected as there were two rooms with different flooring and of course, the bit where the chimney was too. So we will need the floor levelled too.  So some extra expenses and more work to be done, so I may have to wait a bit longer till we have the funds for some of my appliances. Now the plastering is all done and we have a bare shell of a room ready for reconstruction next week.



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