Friday, 31 October 2014

The Zombie Aquabot Review and Giveaway


Leo is a big fan of HEBUG and he can often be found tormenting each of his HEXBUG bugs, letting them scuttle around the enclosure until he opens up the gate so that they can escape to greener pastures. Over the last couple of months Leo has been enjoying a completely different kind of Hexbug experience, with the Zombie Aquabot.

The HEXBUG Aquabot is a robotic fish that swims around in water, I first saw these rather clever HEXBUG additions at a Christmas in July event last year. When it arrived I knew that Leo would be rather impressed, so I quickly put together a big bowl of water and released the fish from the packaging. Of course you try telling a 3 year old to wait a moment so that I can work out how to get it working… Patience and 3 year old really do not go hand in hand.

The Zombie Aquabot is Grey in colouring and looks like a shark. Along the sides of the fish there is a glow in the dark skeleton. The idea behind the Aquabot is to give kids the experience of owning a fish without all of the responsibility, there is no need to clean the Aquabot out or even feed him. The kid’s are just left to enjoy the fun elements of owning a fish, and you the parent don't have to worry when they inevitably get the fish out of the water... 

The Aquabot comes ready to play with straight out of the box, all you have to do is prepare a bowl of water (if you don’t have the Hexbug Aquarium) and place the fish in the water. The Aquabot is equipped with a sensor that activates when the fish has been submerged in water, this in turn makes the robotic fish swim. If you get the Aquabot back out again the sensor lets the robot know and it turns back off again.



When the Aquabot is active he will swim around for a little while and then he will turn off to preserve battery. So if your little one’s are anything like Leo in terms of playing one minute and getting distracted the next, the battery will preserve it’s self unless they take the fish out of the water and re-submerge him to wake him back up.

In terms of the Aquabot’s swimming ability he tends to go around in a circle, I didn’t notice any change of direction or diving as I was expecting. He seemed to swim around at the same level bumping into the sides, which for me was a little disappointing, but Leo still absolutely loved it.

There are a selection of different Aquabot designs available, depending upon what you are after. You can purchase a set that comes with a Aquabot and a fish bowl which I think is a nice touch. Since we were sent the Zombie fish for review, we have actually purchased a second Aquabot and a bowl for Leo to play with them both. They are especially popular at bath time.

Over all the Aquabot has been thoroughly enjoyed by Leo, and it’s not hard to work out why! What’s not to love about a zombie robotic fish?


Giveaway Time!

I am pleased to be able to give one lucky reader the chance to win their very own Zombie Aquabot! All you have to do, to be in which a chance of winning one is follow the Rafflecopter widget below.
Good Luck!

Disclaimer: We were sent the Zombie Aquabot for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.


Monday, 27 October 2014

The Brabantia Body Analysis Scales Review & Giveaway


I posted over recent months about my new lifestyle plan, I have made changes that really have been for the better, for me anyway. I feel much more comfortable and happier in myself for making these changes, and this has been reflecting in all aspects of my life. When you feel good, everything is good.

I have been tracking my progress with a few means, I have been sharing them on this here blog, I have been taking photos so that I can see the visual changes that are so easily missed when you look yourself in the mirror each day, I have started taking measurements so I can have a more roundabout idea of how I am doing, and I have been using the Brabantia Body Analysis Scales.


The Brabantia Body Analysis Scales have been such a godsend for me, I can do much more than simply weigh myself. I have been able to create a personal profile based on all of my personal statistics, it takes into account how active I am, it knows that I am 5.5 in height and it even knows my age. The scales memory can hold up to 8 different users details and it is really easy to flick through each users profile using the entry keys. Using the information I have input it can tell me so much more than just how much I weigh, when I first select my profile and stand on the scales, it tells me my weight. When I continue to stand on the scales it will then present me with further statistics such as my water percentage, my fat percentage, my muscle percentage and my BMI. 


I have found all of this extra information so valuable and I have been keeping sporadic recordings of weigh in’s over the last couple of months just to see what changes have occurred. One of the reasons I find this extra information so helpful is that sometimes just seeing your weight alone is not incredibly helpful, now I am regularly attending the gym and using weights, I am slowly but surely building up muscle. So while I have been losing weight, I am potentially also putting weight on with additional muscle growth, so it has been handy to see the comparisons between my muscle and fat percentages in comparison with my weight.


A nice little touch with the Analysis Scales is that they come with a personal diary that you can use to write down your statistics and keep track of your progress. I have been doing exactly this, but I haven’t been as efficient as I possibly should have. I haven’t been writing them down with each weigh in, I have been doing so every now and again just to see if there has been any significant change.

I have found the scales to be accurate with their readings, but they do need to be placed on a solid even surface or else they can read in-correctly. I have mine placed on a wooden board that I store under my bed when not in use, that way it is always on hand in a morning.

In terms of how the data is presented to you, I find it really easy to read. Each measurement has a different icon, and the instructions give you a breakdown of what means what so that you know exactly what you are looking at. It took me a little while to work out the order in which it was all presented but now it seems to have stuck, and it is really easy to follow.

The Brabantia Body Analysis Scales come complete with a 5 year guarantee, and priced at just £46.00 they do not break the bank. For everything that these scales do, and the rather generous product guarantee that is included, I think these are a great addition to any household.


Giveaway Time!

Following on from our review of the Brabantia Body Analysis Scales, I am really excited to have a additional one to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do, to be in with a chance of winning your very own, is follow the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I was sent the Brabantia Body Analysis Scales for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

The one with the doctor's appointment


You know your child better than anyone, you know their capabilities and their weaknesses, where they may need a helping hand or a word of encouragement. When it comes to Leo I feel like I know him inside out, I know that he watches people and takes everything in, he listens and takes parts of the conversation that you didn't even realise he was listening to. He loves children and plays happily, never one to lash out and should someone else hurt him, he looks at them, then looks at me pondering why they would do such a thing. Leo really is a great little boy, even if I do say so myself.

Earlier this month I booked Leo in with our family doctor who just so happens to be the surgeries pediatrician, after discussions with nursery and obviously the ill feeling that came about from the 2 and half year check last January, I just wanted to hear another persons perspective on my little man. I booked the appointment and took Leo along, he was as good as gold as we sat in the waiting room. He climbed all over me giggling the entire time, and thankfully kept his high spirits even when the doctor was running 30 minutes late.

When Leo's name was called we made our way into the appointment, she asked us what she could do for us today? And really I just wanted her to observe Leo and see what she thought? Was there more I could be doing to bring his speech along? Did she think there was another reason for the speech delay? 

Leo wasted no time in getting a few toys out, among them were the building blocks which he began to build up straight away. He started chatting to me about what he was doing and wanting me to play, it gave the doctor the perfect opportunity to observe Leo without him really realising that was the reason we were there.

The doctor watched and listened and heard Leo putting sentences together, she heard him constructing the words and putting them together to from sentences and said that she wasn't worried. She went on to say everything that I had believed all along, she told me that all children are different, that they all develop in their own time, that there is such a wide spectrum of 'normal'. All things that I knew, all pearls of wisdom I had clutched to when everyone else seemed to be concerned over my beautiful boy and those hoops that they needed him to jump through. We discussed the speech therapy options and the upcoming appointment that was booked in, she told us that she thought this would be enough to just open Leo's speech up further, but she was confident that he was going to keep developing and would be absolutely fine.

That appointment for me was so positive, finally someone else could see that my little man was yes a little behind with his speech, but the comprehension was there and the language was coming on all of the time, I stopped feeling guilty about not worrying there and then, because I wasn't worried. I was and am so confident with how Leo is developing, and finally having someone else within the health profession confirm this made me feel even better.

Leo is a bright, happy little boy who loves to learn. His memory is spot on and if you have promised him something you best remember because he certainly won't forget. Speech has been the only obstacle in his way, and as the days roll by and the weeks turn into months, I can see his progress right before me. I am so pleased with how he has come on since the Summer, and in my eyes there is absolutely no question about it, he will be absolutely fine.







Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Y-Volution Carver Review


I am not one to sit on the side line and let my toddler have all of the fun, oh no! I like to be involved and be a part of the action, so when the chance presented itself to try out the Y-Volution Y Fliker Carver – an adult scooter… I could hardly contain my excitement. The Carver is a scooter like no other I have ever seen, and it moves in a completely different way to your traditional scooter.

The Carver arrived in a big box, a box that was immediately handed over to Luke to put together. It took less than 15 minutes to put the Carver together and I know that if Luke had even glanced towards the instructions, and realised that the Allen Key were included within the box (just like I told him they would be), he wouldn’t have been running around looking for one like a headless chicken. So my advice would be.. Don’t do a Luke! Check the box first, it comes with absolutely everything you need to get the scooter set up.


Setting up the Carver is simply attaching the handlebar to the foot plates and making sure everything is secure.

Of course as Luke had put it together he called first dibs on using it. Leo watched as Daddy had his first go on the Carver, or ‘Mummy’s scooter’ as he has been calling it. To propel the Carver forwards you have to wiggle your body in order to gain momentum, that first ride is always funny to watch. Luke did make me giggle as he wiggled his bum and began to take those first nervous movements forward.

Within a few minutes Luke seemed to have the hang of getting the Carver moving, spinning shapes and even stopping thanks to the brake on the handlebar. So I informed him that it had to be my turn by now!



I placed my feet on the two foot plates provided, I began to wiggle and began to move the Carver forward. I felt a little nervous to start with, I had never ridden anything like this, not even as a child. I kept going and began to pull some wobbly shapes, it’s so easy to steer the Carver and within a few minutes I was building up confidence.

As the weeks have gone on the entire family has been making good use of the Carver, and it is so easy to use once you get used to how to do it. We have all been enjoying it, and Leo has loved having us big kids (his parents) out to play. Luke has pretty much claimed the Carver as his own, my younger brother and sister have been borrowing it and have managed to build up speed and pull some rather fabulous shapes!



I have personally found the Carver brilliant, I love the exercise that you do without even realising it. You can actually burn over 700 calories an hour using the Carver, and after playing with it for 10 minutes I could feel the muscles in my legs being given a good work out. The way you have to move to propel the Carver is just genius and I have found that it handles exceptionally well.

The Carver is a really unique looking scooter, it has 3 castor wheels. One at the front,  two at the back and the way they are positioned makes it a really sturdy ride. The castor wheels are brilliant as they just roll in any direction, this is great when you are drifting around a corner or carving some shapes out. I have become more adventurous the more I have used this scooter, and the more confidence we build with it, the faster we go.



We are currently using this on the drive at my parent’s house as they  have lots of space for us to make use of it. We haven’t tried any really extravagant stunts yet, but having seen videos of what the Carver can do, and having handled it myself I know that it would be more than capable to do much more than what we are currently doing with it. It’s described as the ultimate performance scooter and it really isn’t hard to work out why, it’s designed to perform tricks and stunts and comes in 3 different sizes so that kids and adults alike can enjoy them. The 3 sizes are Junior which is suitable for kids as young as 3, right up to 5 years of age. There is the 5+ and the 7 through to adult which is exactly what I have been using.



What I have really been loving about the Y Flicker Carver is just how easy it is to steer it is, and ultimately the brake on the handle bar. It is always nice to know that you can stop, especially if you find your toddler deliberately targeting you, and by targeting I do mean hurtling towards you at speed! The brake makes so much difference, traditional scooters usually have the foot brake on the back of the scooter, so having an easy to reach handle bar brake has been a godsend.

The Carver isn't all about stunts and driving it really fast, it’s great exercise, great fun and something completely different. We are thoroughly enjoying the Y-Volution Carver and Leo is LOVING having Mummy and Daddy out to play.

The Carver retails at £99.99.


Disclaimer: I was sent the Y-Volution Fliker Carver for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.  

Joules Clothing


With Autumn well and truly upon on us, thinking back to the summer that brought with it the weather we had all been craving, sunshine...Seems like a distant memory. That warm weather had shaken away any winter blues that we may have been harboring and it meant that the shorts and t-shirts could be broken out of the wardrobe and worn for the first time of 2014.

Leo had been sent a pair of new shorts from Joules, the BOB Boys Cargo Shorts and with the summer sunshine we made the very most of them. . I really liked the camouflage print and had wanted a pair in a similar style to this for a while.


With Leo being a tall toddler and with his 3rd birthday coming up, we had opted for the 3 year old sizing. They fit him perfectly and have lots of growing room, not to mention how great they look on my handsome man. So far the shorts have been modelled by Leo with his red Lightning McQueen canvas shoes and a selection of red tops.

The shorts wash well and they still look as great as they did when they were new. I think it’s important to know how clothes wash, as you really don’t want to find out that as soon as they have been through the wash a few times, that they aren’t going to last as long as you had hoped.

The BOB Boys Cargo Shorts retail at £24.95.


Along with Leo’s shorts I was also sent a rather lovely Joules Quilted Jacket. I fell in love with this coat the moment I saw it online, and when it arrived I loved it even more. The coat is fitted so it fits closely in all the right places. It looks slimming and is so comfortable to wear, perfect on a breezy day or when there’s rain in the air.

I opted for it in Black as I figured it would be easier to match up to what I was wearing on any given day, but it also comes in Navy and Red. I did really like the Red colouring but having been down this path before, I thought it would be more practical to go with Black.


The coat is:

-          Made out of premium fabric
-          Has a fitted body and sleeve
-          Quilted with cord shoulder and elbow patches
-          Contrast zip and lining detail
-          Popper fastening to the front
-          Showerproof
-          100% Polyamide
-          Machine washable

I actually found out just how shower proof this jacket was while on holiday in Cornwall back in August, it was a chilly day and I had decided this would be the perfect jacket for the weather. It was while we were out on a visit to St Michael's Mount that the torrential rain began, and it wasn't long before the persistence of the rain was dripping in on my bare skin. It has been perfect in showers, but if like me you find yourself in a never ending rain storm.. You may want a poncho to wear over the top!

This coat has quickly become my favourite, and it is a real treat for me as I have never had a coat like it before. It retails at £109 which is actually more than I have ever spent on a coat before, but I can see why it is worthy of such a price tag. You can currently grab it at the bargain price of £59!

As usual we have been really impressed with Joules, we love their clothes and we always get so much wear out of everything we have ever purchased from them.


Disclaimer: We were sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Art Nouveau Amber Pendant


As we begin to look forward to the festive season the mind starts to ponder the gifts that we will be purchasing for those closest to us, and let's face it the gifts we may hope to receive. With October now in full swing, the days growing colder and the nights having truly drawn in, it really is starting to feel a lot more wintry around these parts, and it is only natural that we look to fill our dark dismal days with something sparkly and beautiful.. Or is that just me?

I was recently sent a rather beautiful pendant that I have been really excited about sharing with you all. It is certainly an item that I will be making the very most of over the upcoming festive period, I expect that there will be a number of nights where I will be able to show case the Art Nouveau Amber Pendant.

The pendant is set on a Silver chain and there is no denying the varying hues of Amber that run through the stone. I have always admired Amber but never added any to my jewelry box until now, and it is defiantly a stand alone piece within my necklace collection. For me personally I usually opt for something more simple, and I can usually be found wearing my Silver finger print pendant that I had cast of Leo when he was 7 months old. This is a very special piece for me and is usually something I wear daily. The Amber Pendant will be an item that I wear for special occasions, and is going to look rather dazzling when it makes it's debut over the next couple of months. 

The pendant retails at £99.99 and would make the perfect stocking filler for that special lady in your life.. Don't you think?

I know that with each year we talk about Christmas that little bit earlier, but whether we choose to accept it or not we are officially on count down to the big day. I know that I like the idea of beginning my shopping that little bit earlier than the masses, and I would be telling porky pies if I said that I hadn't already tucked one or two things away, and over the next few weeks I intend to get a list together and beginning to strategically work my way through it.

This year I intend to be one step ahead of the game, I don't want to be sat up on Christmas Eve running around like a headless chicken. I want to be prepared, in my PJ's before 9pm and snuggled up with a good Christmas film accompanied by a rather large glass of Mulled Wine. 

When do you start Christmas shopping?

Disclaimer: I was sent the Art Nouveau Amber Pendant.for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

  





Speech Therapy


Speech therapy is something that I have been talking about since January, it is an aspect I had never thought that we would need to pursue with Leo in the beginning, but as he has got older and not said as much as his peers it is something we have realised we will need to explore. It all started back in January at Leo's 2 and a half year assessment, and it is here that I feel that we were let down. 9 Months later we have never heard back from our Health Visitor, she never did call us back up for the check up we were promised despite me calling repeatedly, she couldn't even find the time to return my voice mails. I still feel very let down by the system as if she had done her job properly, we would have been well into the system by now, but as it happens we have gone through nursery and managed to avoid our Health Visitor all together which has been a much more tranquil solution, as I am beyond angry with how she has treated us, and how she has just let Leo fall through the net.

I can't fault the nursery at all, they have helped us no end since Leo began with them in January, I have seen such an improvement in him and have absolutely no doubt that he is coming along nicely. I want the speech therapy in place to just give us that extra push and to make sure that my big boy is ready to start school next September. After a rather long wait (at least 20 weeks) we were issued a appointment to see the therapist for an initial assessment. Last Monday I popped along to the nursery for a meeting so that they could observe Leo and make a start with spurring Leo on. We met in the office and Leo was allowed to play with puzzle pieces on the table, he was presented with two different images and asked which one he would like, it was here they wanted him to use his words and tell them. Of course Leo did this no problem and they were happy with what they were hearing. In the half hour that we were in the office they heard him putting sentences together and really giving it a go. I came away feeling positive after this appointment, and for the first time I didn't feel like strangers were passing judgement on why Leo's speech is delayed. When I walked out of the 2 and a half year check I felt awful, I felt judged and that I was failing as a parent. No one deserves to feel like that, these people are here to help us achieve the best for our children, and that is all I want for Leo. I want him to be absolutely everything he can be, and I want to do my best to put him in the best stead to achieve his dreams. That's all any parent wants right? 

I know having spoken with Luke about the speech therapy that he was worried that Leo would fall behind, that he may be bullied and he may take a while to catch up, but strangely I haven't felt worried. Maybe I should feel worried? But I don't. I know that there is nothing wrong with Leo, I know that he is putting more and more together with every day that passes, it was just Saturday that he told me 'My feet are tired', 'I want to go on a train', 'I want to see the fish', I don't want to go to bed', and it was just last night he was singing 'I'm all about that bass, no trouble' to me, and it was just today that he was copying everything that I said and falling about in raptures giggling. Yes his speech has been delayed, and sometimes he speaks before he thinks and his words come out in an order that doesn't seem completely logical at times, but he is getting there. He will be fine. 

I no longer blame myself, I know it is not my fault and it would have been a relief to be told that back in January. It would have been complete magic to come away with some positive encouragement after that appointment, but I left feeling like I had let Leo down in some way. I am so glad that I shrugged that negativity off and focused on my boy the same way that I always have. I am open to all the help and advice that anyone puts my way, I welcome it with open arms because I only want the best for Leo, I have taken him to groups, special need groups along with everything else that we have always done. We read books, he absolutely loves his books, we play games and we head out into the world. Children progress at different times and rates, and I am so positive about the development I see each day, I am glad that we have been given the speech therapy that will spur my little guy on further, and although I shouldn't say it... I am secretly giving that snarky health visitor the finger. 

39 Months Old


With another busy few weeks on our hands we seem to have passed through another month. It has been one with ample opportunity for adventure and one full of smiles and laughter. We have had a busy month you and I, what with a fun filled day out at Thomas Land, another with Mike the Knight and finally a trip to the Gloucestershire Light Railway where we both spent an entire day with Thomas the Tank! To say you were excited was an under-statement, you were excitedly skipping around and telling me all about the day ahead. You were going to ride on Thomas and meet the Fat Controller, you were going to see all of your favourite  trains on a real working railway.


It was a day out for just the two of us, and you were in your element when the time came to actually meet Thomas. The magic of the day only grew when Thomas’s driver actually let you go inside the engine room. There was a growing line of people and by this point you were point blank refusing to come out, you were looking all around and pretending to drive the train. This one experience for you made your entire day, and the driver could see just how much you loved trains, he even told me that you would most likely be a steam train driver one day! 




This month saw you heading back to nursery for your funded place, you went back with no teething problems at all and I was so pleased with how well you were doing. I could see improvements in you all the time, and I had been so happy when nursery had told me that they too had seen these changes. We have been waiting for your speech therapy consultant appointment to come through, and as usual have found that nothing is straight forward. The first appointment they cancelled and re-booked it, only for them to make a second error and us not being able to enter your appointment. It was after this that nursery told us that they wanted to push the appointment through quickly as they felt you were further behind. I agree that you are further behind than your peers but it is not that you are not developing and coming along all of the time, with me you have proper conversations, you tell me about your day, and you comprehend absolutely everything. It may sound crazy of me to say, but I am not worried about you, I know that you are doing well, you set your own bench marks and there is such a wide spectrum of 'normal', and little man, you are perfectly, absolutely without a doubt normal. Your 3 years old, charismatic. demanding, beautiful and perfect in your very own way. 


39 months see's you still napping giving half the chance, although we are seeing more of a resistance to nap even if we both know that you need it. 


Your doing so well in your big boy pants and nappies are only with us at night time these days. I haven't even thought about crossing this bridge just yet as I know it is going to be harder than combating the day time. This is something we will address in the New Year...

Until next month baby boy...

X



The Spills & Thrills on Sodor Take-n-Play Set Review


Leo turned 3 at the end of last June, and in anticipation of this Fisher Price who know of Leo’s love for Thomas, very kindly sent him a new set to try out. The Thomas and Friends Spills & Thrills on Sodor Take-n-Play set was a hit before it even came out of the box, as soon as Leo saw that it had train track and his favourite number 1 engine, excited doesn’t begin to give justice to Leo’s reaction.

Spills & Thrills on Sodor is a plastic track that you piece together and then lay against a wall, this tilts the track so that you can put the included die cast Thomas train on while gravity does what it does best. I had to follow the instructions to put it together as I wasn’t sure where each piece of track should be placed. Some of the track once placed cannot be removed again, so I wanted to make sure that I got it right first time.. And avoid any disapproval from my 3 year old. 

Following the instructions the set was soon together, I had managed to keep Leo entertained with his new Thomas train while I constructed his new track.  Of course he couldn’t wait until it was completely built to try it out, so mid completion Leo was hurtling Thomas down the tracks!


Leo has been enjoying this set since mid-May, and he is still enjoying it as much today as he did when he first received it. With Leo’s love of trains, and of course his love for Thomas, this ticks all of the boxes that Leo looks for in a toy. It has tracks for him to play with not just Thomas, but all of the cars out of his car box, and it comes with a high quality Thomas die cast train.

As a parent looking at this toy I can see exactly why Leo loves it so much, it’s bright, colorful and full of adventure, but obviously we both look at toys in a different light. For me l have found that the plastic tracks don’t stay in place at the bottom of the track like they are supposed to, so it means that I have to keep popping them back in when Leo notices and has a toddler melt down. I think for the money it could maybe benefit from being stronger plastic. Although having said that, the set features a carry handle at the top which means Leo can carry it around himself.


Leo is using the Spills and Thrills on Sodor to play out imaginative scenarios, and as the weeks go on the games are getting more adventurous. I love to just sit back and watch Leo playing his games, listen to the story lines progressing as he makes each character perform in his very own game of make believe. He puts all of the train sounds in and improvises them to reflect whether Thomas is driving fast, or slowly. He knows that bigger trains make different noises and that steam trains have whistles.

It really is fascinating to just sit and watch a child play their very own games.

Over all we both really like this set, I do think at £24.99 it is priced higher than I would like to pay for it, but now seeing how much Leo enjoys playing with it, I can see that it certainly provides the play value.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Thomas and Friends Spills & Thrills on Sodor Take-n-Play set for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Top 5 awkward office moments


There are many perils to working an office, especially if you work in close proximity to others, trying to get through your shift without becoming a talking point can be difficult at the best of times.
From having lipstick on your teeth, toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe or letting everybody hear your annoying ringtone, there are many office faux pas that lead to awkwardness and embarrassment but the following have to be the top 5:
5. Spilling the morning coffee - You arrive in the office, a little groggy from the night before and what better way to wake you up than a steaming cup of coffee, you walk slowly to the kitchen, make your morning brew and head back to your desk, spilling the contents all over it. There are not many things more embarrassing that calling the tech team to request a new keyboard or phoning the director to tell him that the important contract he’s due to sign is ruined.
4. Tripping hazards - If your office is a health and safety controlled environment, and it should be then the reality of tripping over something is very slim….very slim but not impossible. Catching your foot on a cable, slipping on a rogue piece of paper or just tripping in general can be highly embarrassing, if you should fall foul of this mishap then make sure you own up to the fall, skipping away like nothing happened can often look even worse.
3. Wardrobe malfunctions - Wardrobe malfunctions can affect any of us and at any time, but doing it in the office of just before a big meeting can be particularly cringeworthy. For men it doesn't get more embarrassing that sweat patches under the arms and leaving the zip down on their trousers. For the ladies in the office however there can be little more cringeworthy than having a ladder up the back of your tights or worst still, tucking your skirt into the back of your underwear.
2. Swinging on your chair - It’s getting towards the end of the day, your jobs are done and you take one last call. leaning back on your chair, you begin to rock back and forth, before ultimately plummeting to your demise. Not only is it dangerous but it’s a sure fire way to make you the victim of the office jokes for a few hours.
1. Accidental emails - Without question this is the biggest and sometimes most costly office faux pas. We’ve all heard the horror stories of those who finish off an email to their boss with a kiss on the end, and once you hit that send button there’s no coming back. Aside from bearing the brunt of a few jokes, sending an accidental email can be far more serious than you think, employees have often faced disciplinary action or worse still been fired on the back of bad mouthing a co-worker and sending it to that very person. It take but a few seconds to check the recipient of an email, and it could just save both your career and your dignity.

This article was written on behalf of Calibre Furniture, specialist providers of office equipment and furniture for all budgets.

Disclaimer: This is a Featured Post

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The psychology of early years learning


Our physical environments can have a major impact on our ability to learn, and this is especially true for young children. In their early years, kids constantly interact with their surroundings by touch, taste, smell and hearing. Because of this, well designed learning environments can play a significant role in encouraging children’s physical and mental development, promoting their powers of creative expression, boosting  their confidence and fostering social skills such as cooperation and trust.

Therefore, when you’re creating classrooms for youngsters, it’s important to pay keen attention to every last detail. This brief guide to the psychology of early years learning could help you achieve your goals.

Zones

All good early years classrooms contain different zones where children can engage in various activities. For example, areas may be set aside for creative tasks, reading and play. Research suggests that classrooms with well-defined activity spaces encourage youngsters to becoming more involved in constructive pursuits.

For the best results, it’s helpful to build a degree of flexibility into your classroom design so that you can change activity areas as and when you need to.

Stimulation

On a related point, these environments should be complex in terms of their design and contents. While it’s important not to overwhelm kids with too much detail, the most effective early years classrooms feature a range of materials, floor coverings, activities, shapes and colours.

The furniture you buy can help add to this level of variation. After all, it’s now easy to purchase chairs, tables, storage items and other products in a wide range designs and styles. For example, you can invest in soft seating to contrast with your existing chairs. Kids’ tub chairs complete with a padded foam finish make an excellent addition to classrooms and these novel items come in a selection of different colours.

Lighting

Lighting can have a profound impact on the overall look and feel of learning areas too. These rooms should feature a good level of illumination and, if possible, they should benefit from plenty of natural light. It helps to have at least some windows at child height.

Also, it is important to be able to control lighting levels to provide the right conditions for specific activities, such as watching videos.

Displays

Youngsters take pride in showing off their work and so your classroom displays should include examples of pupils’ projects. This can help to bolster kids’ self-esteem and it can also increase feelings of belonging and community. Try to change your displays on a regular basis so that children don’t become bored of them and make sure you make full use of colour and texture.

Safety

Of course, classrooms must be safe too. This means you’ll need to take great care to ensure that youngsters are not exposed to dangerous materials and substances. Any accidents that occur within learning environments can dramatically reduce children’s confidence. In the worst cases, such incidents can also cause pain and suffering.

Well worth the effort

Creating the perfect classroom for young children does require some time, effort and investment, but it should prove to be well worth your while. By tapping into the psychology of early years learning when you’re designing classrooms, you can help to improve the experiences of your pupils. In addition, you can make life easier for your teachers. After all, it is much simpler to communicate effectively with youngsters and to guide their learning in high-quality environments.


If you’re keen to enhance your classrooms by adding impressive new items of furniture, you can check out the selection of products offered by firms such as Furniture At Work™. It provides a variety of desks, chairs, stools, drawers, shelves, activity tables and more that could be just what your organisation is looking for. 

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