If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!
The Penny Board 27″ skateboard vs the 22″ board
Spike age 15:
As the weather is getting warmer, we are all coming out of hibernation and looking forward to spending more time outdoors – on my Christmas list this year, a Penny Board 27″.
I loved how it was packaged, (and will be using the big box to keep some treasures in!)
Ronnie age 13: I have had the smaller penny board for a couple of years, which I bought with my own money, and I love it – it’s still works really well, and I enjoy taking it out on our street after school.
Having tried a friend’s longer Penny Board, I found that the larger of the boards was easier to navigate around corners and I really think the big one is a lot better, because I would definitely recommend getting the larger board as you get taller (My brother agrees and he’s 15 and 175cm, and I’m 162cm)
As I skate on the road (which is a quiet London backstreet) you don’t feel the bumps as much as you would on a normal skateboard – and I would definitely say that it’s worth saving up to buy the REAL Penny Board, rather than cheaper copies as the quality is absolutely excellent, the wheel mechanism smoother and just looks so cool!
Spike age 15: We also found that the bigger size cruises easier and turning is smoother. The 27″ board is a bit longer and wider than the smaller 22″ size, offering a bit more surface area under your feet, and hey my feet are getting bigger every week now!
The Design on the board
The Gunmetal Red Metallic Fade 27″ is the perfect board if you want to shine with a little more stability. the Metallic Fade is a unique look you can’t find anywhere else in the cheaper market. It is made with the same high quality formula Penny is known for, with a distinctive faded finish.
Perfect for riders of any skill level, the Penny Board itself is quite flexible so that balance is easier and the colours are really great, I like that and the bearings inside the wheels are very smooth so that you can travel for quite a time without having to boost yourself again!
What we wouldn’t give for FIVE minutes peace and quiet!
We KNOW that the Holiday period is meant to be about being sociable, and playing with all of the new toys and gadgets – we KNOW that, yet, wouldn’t it be just delicious to sneak off and find five minutes peace and quiet to yourselves?
Our friends at Mahabis asked KidsChaos to share what we would do with those FIVE minutes, so we put our feet up and had a ponder…
Five things you could do with #5minutespeace and #thegiftofdowntime
1) Write a to-do list… even though that sounds like WORK, it will actually make you feel less anxious about things you may have forgotten about – jotting down your top priorities for the week ahead.
2) De-clutter your kitchen junk drawer (in fact, that could go for your handbag, your sock drawer and your magazine rack as options too!) Set an egg timer… and stop when it pings 5mins… (it’s actually very therapeutic!)
3) Give a friend a quick call on the telephone, just five minutes to ‘check in’ with someone who might like to hear your voice, rather than read your text!
4) Have a read of a chapter of Michael Townsend Williams’ book Do Breathe: Calm your mind. Find focus. Get stuff done. “we breathe better, we think better, feel better and do better. Finding stillness inside, we create success outside.” Or take five mins to download his app here BreatheSync.
5) Put the kettle on, make a cuppa, and put your feet up!
It’s really amazing what can you do in five minutes hey?! It will honestly make you feel more productive and that you are on top of things, taking five minutes out to reflect.
Mahabis have published their very first Christmas advert, about finding 5 minutes peace this Christmas. This time of year can be so hectic, and we realise how rare it can be that you have time to put your feet up. Needless to say, spending five peaceful minutes away from noise will energise you, to be able to concentrate on the demands of family life (like making pancakes together, or being thrashed at the latest Christmas game)…
As a kid myself (Ali @incredibusy writes) my dear Dad – a Formula One fan, took us to car tracks to watch the racing, bought us toy cars (he had two daughters – and gender seriously was not an issue!) and a Scaletrix track which we played with to its death. The big ice cream tub at Granny’s full of toy cars has be played with by my boys and their cousins, so the tradition and delight in all things motor sports has continued.
We recently acquired an Anki Overdrive track and a couple of cars, and I’ll have to say that I LOVE it (see my Instagram stories – much to the amusement of my followers) – – however, I’m handing over to my 14yo to tell you more:
Spike age 14:
We’ve had train tracks, and car tracks before – and loved them, so I’m here to tell you that the Anki overdrive is a fun and immersive game for all the family. There are many engaging modes to play, both by yourself and with others. its quick and easy to set up and you can begin racing within minutes.
We easily downloaded the app onto both Mum’s iPhone and my Samsung Galaxy android. It’s really intuitive and simple to use…
The starter kit comes with enough tracks to build up to eight different courses to keep the game fresh and exciting. There are also two ‘lifters ‘ that raise the tracks and create even more customization options.
As well as this, the starter kit contains two supercars: ‘ground shock’ and ‘skull’ , my personal favourite supercar is ‘ground shock’ as the glossy blue colour looks really cool.
The app interface is easy to understand and the graphics are amazing. There are many different races you can partake in such as ‘battles’, ‘battle races’ and ‘king of the hill’. There is also a solo challenging campaign mode were players can rack up wins and earn ‘money’ to spend on cool gadgets and weapons in the store.
The weapons are epic, varying from charge beams, to chain guns and psychokinetic rays. There are also boosts like healing boosts and revolver damage boosts.
The multiplayer mode is heaps of fun; me and my brother spend most of our time on Anki overdrive ‘battle racing’ shooting, boosting and swerving around corners. definitely our favorite mode!
The track is easy to dismantle and pack away when you have finished play too (Mum told me to write that bit) – overall we absolutely love it!
We’ve had ourselves a full and active summer, we just didn’t want it to be over…
Youngest started at ‘bigger than ever’ school and we thought, that’s it, Autumn is on its way – And then, with great joy, we packed our tent into the back of the car and took ourselves off for a long weekend to North Wales. We were meeting my sister, husband and Gracie the dog, for an amazing family weekend at The Good Life Experience, and WHAT a wonderful family festival.
Located in the grounds of the Hawarden Estate, former home of Prime Minister William Gladstone and now owned by his great-great grandson Charlie Gladstone and his wife Caroline (they of vintage lifestyle brand, Pedlars). You may have seen us talking about Pedlars over on aGreenerLifeforUs.com too – as they’ve been one of our #sgiew (@sogoodineveryway) photo challenge judges.
It’s a stunning location, with a castle, rolling grounds, a lake… before you even start to take in the iconic helter skelter, the beautiful bell tents, and general loveliness that goes to make this such a fabulous spot for a family festival of Music, Culture, Food & The Great Outdoors.
The Good Life Experience was founded in 2014 by four friends Cerys Matthews, Steve Abbott and Charlie & Caroline Gladstone, and they’ve crafted a festival that is wonderfully entertaining, based around themes of slow living, hand crafts, and the great outdoors, with a bit of poetry and live music thrown in for good measure. Fabulous guest speakers, art & craft workshops, swing bands and lindy hop dancing, coffee stops, ceramics, archery, axe throwing, Jennie Maizels‘ sketchbook clubs, Alex Pole forge kitchenware, plasticine stop motion animation, bushcraft, a dog show(!) and so much more!
Between the six of us, we managed to cram a LOT into the weekend, listened to the amazing (and hilarious) Doctor John Cooper Clarke, adventurer Ben Fogle talking about his life, DJ78 with his classic wind up gramophones, and John Higgs, talking KLF and the spectacular Swing Patrol swing dance class… yes, I’ve looked them up on the internet, there IS a class near me!
We marvelled at Neil from the Harwarden Estate and his amazing pumkin carving, we danced and cheered for the amazing Stealing Sheep.
As Tim at Gather Outdoors said, it’s great to meet up with so many like-minded people all in one place (and many that we follow and interact with on the ‘gram!)
So with much delight, we introduce our latest invention, the Milk Carton Skull Lanterns!
Spike age 14:
We really wanted to have a go at making some skull lanterns, and thought the milk carton would be perfect for this, and it wasn’t until we started planning the graphics for it that we realised how brilliant it was that the handle itself created two brilliant indentations that were perfect for the skull’s eye sockets!!
We’ve since made LOADS of these are they are so easy to make, you can either print off the FREE printable here, or use marker pens, like these * affiliate links which work really well on plastic bottles – for full instructions watch my Mum’s incredibusyyoutube video here.
For the PRINTABLE Skull’s face template click here
We have a few rainbow crafts on the blog that we can call upon, however, having teenagers and pre-teens in the house, it’s good to push and encourage their creativity, as they have become more and more drawn to staring at their screens and not wanting to be quite as creative as they used to be…
So we have FOUND A WAY and that is stop motion animation – so – check this out, we set up a tripod, take a series of photos, and make an animation! What fun…
For this particular craft, we took a square canvas* and some old crayons, and got busy, you can watch the stop motion in the youtube link below….
You will need:
Glue Gun (or tape, glue gun is quick and easy though!)
Watch the video here for instructions, basically, glue the crayons to the top half of the canvas.
Prop the canvas at an angle and start warming the crayons with the hair dryer.
Move the hair dryer to the top of the crayons, and start heating from the top so that they melt DOWN… note, the red didn’t melt as fast as the other colours, yet it still looks OK in the final result.
Lower the canvas to a smaller angle so that the crayons don’t drip off the end of the canvas, have fun, and don’t worry if the crayons ‘splatter’ that’s all part of the fun and creativity!
The one thing I really struggle to put into the recycling bin, is the toilet roll tubes, I can always think there is SOMETHING we can make with them, whether it’s planting seedlings in them, or making these lovely bird seed feeders. They are so easy to make, and the kids are tickled to be using peanut butter, to spread onto the loo roll tubes, cra-azy eh?!
So simple to do… basically, spread the peanut butter on the toilet roll tube, and sprinkle the bird seeds over the tube, pushing the seeds onto the peanut butter ‘glue’.
We do find some peanut butter a little dry, so – do as you do with toast! – paste a little layer of butter on to the tube before you spread the peanut butter onto the tube.
Then, slip the tube onto a thin branch, preferably in view of the window. We love eating our breakfast and watching the birds eat theirs – we have a favourite chubby blackbird in the garden, will try to get a photo of the bird seed feeder in action!
The carrot cake is a classic, and this carrot cake recipe’s a super-simple variation on that delicious theme. Just add grated carrots to the dry ingredients, which include both plain and wholemeal flour for extra texture.
Once you’ve beaten in free range eggs and some butter, you’re away – just pop it in the oven. The tangy lemon icing on this carrot cake recipe contrasts with the sweet, cinnamon-flavoured cake to really bring the flavours to life.
200 g (7oz) self raising flour
115 g (4oz) wholemeal flour
350 g (12oz) caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250 ml (9fl oz) butter
3 Large carrots, peeled and grated
4 organic free range eggs Icing
2 unwaxed lemons, zested
225 g (8oz) Fairtrade icing sugar
Mix together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in carrot and gradually beat in Flora Cuisine and eggs. Pour into a greased and bottom lined 20cm (8-inch) square cake tin.
Bake in preheated oven 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4 for 45–55 minutes. Cool on a wire cooling rack. Icing – Zest the lemons. Squeeze out the juice and add to icing sugar in a bowl with the segments. Mix gently and spread over the cake. Sprinkle with the zest.
Note – make sure your icing is not too runny – we had lots of fun scraping the icing off the board as it dripped through the cooling rack!!
This week it’s the kids’ turn to write a review… it seemed appropriate – as this one is ALL about them, and we took them on the train to FlipOut in Wandsworth – really easy to walk there from the station, with a group of teenagers, and probably the most popular party destination for SW19 families it would appear! Lots of our friends had recommended it to us, so we were all eager to try it out… this is what they thought, over to Spike…
Last week it was my birthday, and having heard how brilliant FlipOut is from all of my friends I decided that FlipOut was the place to go; it didn’t disappoint, I have been to many other ‘trampoline parks’ but flip out was by far the best.
It has a massive array of things to do such as the bouncy basketball court that was hilarious and we had loads of games on that and challenges like shooting backwards and shooting after a 360, and there was a MASSIVE foam pit that you could flip into, or just jump (that is just as fun) and you could have a race in the foam but because it was so uneven and soft we all ended up sinking. My favourite thing however, was the ‘valley’ trampoline, this was basically two trampolines opposite each other making a ‘v’ shape and you could wall run and bounce from wall to wall.
Another fun thing about FlipOutis that there is loads of space to just bounce from trampoline to trampoline and to play games like tag or stuck in the mud if you are with friends. There are trampolines on the walls at an angle as well so you can bounce literally ‘bounce off the walls’ and there are also SUPER bouncy trampolines that spring you high up into the air. There is a really cool wall with a super bouncy trampoline next to it and kids and grownups compete to see who can get the highest.
The atmosphere at FlipOut is brilliant, there are walls lined with graffiti that makes the place feel really atmospheric. There is also a battered black London cab that serves as a clock because the time is shown in red on one of the blacked out windows. Loud and energetic music also fills the air making it a really enjoyable experience. At the entrance there are two really long trampolines that act like lanes and some really fun trampoline races can take place. If ever you get tired you can just take a short time out for a drink of water and a snack and then bound straight back on.
FlipOut caters very well for all ages because it has a pro zone where pros can back flip and wall run without disturbing any less experienced trampoliners. FlipOut also has a large area which is designated for little children only and it has a mini foam pit. As well as this the pro area can be accessed by anyone as long as they can land a back flip. on top of this there are three super bouncy trampolines in alcoves at the edge of the building so you can jump alone if you feel like it. Also, all under fives have to be accompanied by an adult.
After leaving FlipOut I was really energized and enthused to do some more trampoline activities and come back again because after you leave the weightless world of FlipOut then you are dying to go back again. The time allotted is perfect because you are exhausted after all the bouncing that you feel that you don’t NEED to go on again, even if you want to. overall I really enjoyed the flip out experience and would rate it a 10/10!!
for any extra information visit the FlipOut Facebook page: @FlipOutwandsworth