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Mimi Rose and Me

Mess Free Fun with Little Brian Paint Sticks and Face Paints

The best way to keep my little one occupied and engaged with anything is to always make it fun. The more creative the better. Like most families, we have been spending more time together at home and it has been so much fun and this adventure will become some of the most cherished memories we will have. But as we are coming towards the end of it all it seems to be getting harder and harder to think of creative ideas that are going to keep her occupied.

We love getting the craft box out and it has been amazing throughout this strange time, well apart from the clean up. But let's be honest most of us don't have the time or energy to go full on paint, glue sticks, sequins and glitter every single day. But that doesn't mean that we don't want to be creative.  So we are only too happy to welcome new ways to capture her interests and have as much fun as possible. 

We were so grateful to be kindly sent some really cool products from Little Brian to help keep us occupied. We first came across Little Brian Paint Sticks a few years ago, and I can honestly say they are amazing and such a great way to little one to have so much fun without all the mess. But we have recently discovered that Little Brian have added a few more products to their already impressive range and we couldn't wait to try them. Have you ever tried of Little Brian?

Little Brian Paint Sticks are a convenient, quick and easy way to involve children in painting without the mess and preparation of usual paints. Even though these paint sticks may lack the experience of using squishy liquid, they can be just as much fun with all the different ways you can unleash a little creativity. 

These paint sticks come in a great variety of beautifully vibrant colours and packages that most parents will want to have a stash at the ready for their little ones. They are water soluble and feel almost like a glue stick where you need to twist at the bottom to reveal the colour, the paint has no odour and dries really fast, so much faster than conventional paints. The sticks are really chunky in size meaning that they are perfect for little hands that want to show off their art skills, but without all the mess!!!

As well as conventional places for artwork, you can actually use these on windows! Whether your little ones take their artistic skills to windows around the house or in the car, they can get creative without getting into trouble and more importantly you can be safe in the knowledge that it will come off! But that's entirely up to you if you tell them.  

Little Brian Giant Paint Sticks

Brand new to the paint stick range is the biggest paint stick you will ever see, but this isn't just any paint stick. The Little Brian Giant Paint Stick is crammed with 30 colours from the paint stick range; 12 classic colours, 6 day glow colours and 12 metallic colours. My little girl absolutely loves this as it provides a handy places to keep and store all her paint sticks. Do you want to get your hands on one? Then don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway over on our Insta page?

Not only does it seems pretty appealing to little ones, it will also bring hours of fun for all the family. The only thing I did find with this tub was that you had to empty out the whole tub to get the colours you wanted, so a little window or perhaps an opening on the side would make this user friendly, especially little ones. 

Little Brian Paint Sticks Bucket

For adventures on the go this Little Brian Paint Sticks Bucket is perfect. There are 20 super silky paints in strong vibrant classic, metallic and fluorescent colours in a handy bucket with a carry handle. Inside there are 12 classic colours, 6 day glow colours and 2 metallic colours that you can easily take away on travels. With a chunky feel the paint sticks are ideal for little hands, and great for use on a variety of materials – paper, wood, canvas glass windows. They also can be used for other art techniques like: stamping, overlaying, dotting and etching. As the paint dries so quickly there is literally no mess, no need for hand washing.

Little Brian Face Paints

I'm sure you can tell already, that we both LOVED these. It has been a little while since my little girl had her face painted, but she could tell straight away what they were for. The Little Brain Face Paints come in a set with 12 colours and a booklet of different designs to help get you started. We did really well as we made our way through the booklet. 

The face paints were really chunky in size so trying to get intricate detailing on the designs was really hard to do, buy we made our sticks into a pencil shape that really helped. The face paints were so easy to use and glided smoothly over the skin, and washed away without leaving any stains or irritation. 

As you can probably see we both had lots of fun with these face paints. Everyday she would want a different creation and over time my face painting skills improved. Our favourite designs were unicorn, tiger, ladybird and a bee. However I was allowed to get away with not getting my face painted, so even my daughter has a go at making me into  Dalmatian. It felt so odd on my skin and nothing compared to makeup but washed away so easily. What do you think of her design? It was such much fun, well until I had to answer the door to the postman. My daughter thought it was hilarious, while I was completely mortified.

We LOVED the Little Brian Paint Paint Sticks and Face Paints and we had some much fun without all the faffing of a clean up. These paint sticks are one of the best inventions and something that every parent needs for their little ones. If you want to find out more about Little Brian Paint Sticks head over to their website here. If you want to purchase Little Brian Paint Sticks they are available on Amazon, Smyth Toys, and Argos.  You need to go and grab some for yourself to find out.

What do you think of the these Little Brian Paint Sticks?

**We have been kindly gifted some of these products in the list but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

9 Easy Ways to Improve Your Wi-Fi at Home.

Living in the digital age where information is given and received at a fast pace, reliable internet is vital. As a blogger I know only too well the importance of a good, reliable and fast connection. But we've all been there! You're feeling inspired and need to sit down to allow that inspiration to flow through your writing, but you have to wait. And wait. And wait and WAIT. All of a sudden the endless buffering begins. 

It's frustrating when your network slows down but there are a few tricks you can use to boost your Wi-Fi signal. There are some things you can do with everyday objects around your home to make the most of that connection and relieve some of the frustration and stress.

Don't Hide Your Router

Let's face it routers are ugly little things and stick out like a sore thumb. I know seeing that little black box on top of my sideboard is so unappealing. If we're honest most of us try and hide them, but by placing the router in a closet or cabinet makes your connection SLOWWW. Believe it or not walls and doors can also affect the speed of your connection too.

By finding a secure and central location in your home can work wonders. But remember to try and keep your router high up on either a table or unit as this can really benefit in getting a fast and stable connection. We have tried all kinds of places for our router but it works best in our bedroom on our bedside unit away from windows and other electronic devices. 

Disconnect Unused Electronics From The Network. 

If you have multiple computers, phones, tablets, printers, TVs, and other accessories using your wireless network at once, you might be slowing down your wireless network. So go through all your electronics and turn them them off or disconnect the devices you aren't using to improve network speeds. 

Keep The Router Away From Other Electronics.

Believe it or not Wi-Fi signals may experience interference when placed near the TV, computer, or other electronic devices. So it's best to try and keep your router away from such devices for a better signal strength. Keep them high and off the floor too. 

Update Your Router's Firmware.

Updating your router firmware can help improve connectivity and keep your router secure. It is always recommended to install the latest available updates to keep your network safe and efficient. Every router is different, but there's usually a somewhat similar process for upgrading the router’s firmware. Check your router manufacturer’s website for a user manual that includes specific instructions for your make and model.

Change The Wireless Channel or Frequency Band.

If it’s not possible to position your Wi-Fi router away from potential sources of interference, then consider changing its wi-fi channel to one that’s less busy. It isn't quite as simple as changing channel on your TV but you can change the channel your router uses for Wi-Fi in order to avoid interference from neighbouring networks.

Boost Your Wi-Fi Range. 

The humble router can only cast the Wi-Fi so far. For those who live in big houses, or houses with thick walls, receiving signal in all corners of your home can be problematic. By boosting or amplifying existing signals will enables all wireless devices within that expanded coverage space to connect to internet or similar wireless network.

There are areas in your home that don't get a Wi-Fi signal, you may have a dead spot, you're out of reach of your router, or perhaps an architectural feature in your home is preventing the signal from getting through. If there are places in your house, where you can’t get any a good signal, then a Wi-Fi network booster will help extend your current Wi-Fi network ensuring that the connection reaches all corners of your home and eliminate those dead spots.

As a blogger being connected is vital for writing content, uploading photos to sending pitches to companies and connecting with followers on social media. So a fast, reliable connection is essential. JL Audio Visuals offer a wide range of solutions to ensure that you get the stable and reliable connection that so many of us want to achieve - no matter what the size of the problem. 

Reboot Regularly 

With most new routers there is usually no need for them to be rebooted regularly. However, if you connection drops out all the time, then rebooting your router is often all it takes to get you back up and running. In general, it's a great idea to reboot every couple of months. 

A router reboot can fix some connectivity issues, from no connectivity to slow wireless connections, and should be one of your first steps you take when trying to improve connection. Not only that, it's also a good security practice to reboot the router every once in a while

Remember To Switch Off 

Most networks are under demand at the moment because of the pandemic with more families online together during the day. But remember switching off can also be beneficial to families too. You  can always making adjustments to bandwidths or figure of what time of day you're over consuming and make the relevant changes. So if you have children at home while you’re working, ask them to sit together to watch a video on one screen rather than having each in their own room consuming massive amounts of bandwidth. 

Upgrade Your Internet Plan

We have just recently changed our internet provider and honestly, they are awful. We have had nothing but issues with our connection right from the beginning. From our telephones wires getting cut, new routers, to corroded wires and consistent dropping in and out. It has been a bit of a nightmare. Their solution? Allowing us to get out of their contract for free! It just shows that some providers just don't want to get to the bottom of a problem. 

Unless you upgrade your service, the default plan you started with remains the one you’re subscribed to, so it’s worth checking with your provider. Just make sure to upgrade your router and cable modem at the same time. So depending on your situation you can either adjust your plan or perhaps consider changing your provider. 

It can be so frustrating when your network slows down but there are a few tricks you can use to boost your Wi-Fi signal. Believe it or not by doing these simple steps to help. Every household strives for a good, reliable connection and by carrying these simple steps to help boost your Wi-Fi is normally all it takes to get the most out of your connection. 

Do you know anymore way that can help improve your Wi-Fi at home?

Exploring Yorkshire: Mother Shipton’s Cave

We are still feeling happy, rested and refreshed after our little staycation to the dales a couple of weeks back. It was just what we needed. Are you going on holiday this summer? 

You should, you deserve it. There are so many wonderful places to explore and the Yorkshire Dales is our favourite place to go. With the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, beautiful waterfalls, heritage and so many sheep. It is a great place to disconnect from the world, walk in the hills and just take a breath.

We wanted to go and explore as many adventures as we could and Mother Shipton's Cave which is the oldest attraction in England was the first place on our list. With a petrifying well, mystical cave, picturesque woodland and an amazing adventure playground, it’s easy to see why it has been visited by millions of people over the years. The adventure playground that includes an enchanting Pixie Village Trail, making it an exciting outdoor adventure for all the family.

About Mother Shipton

As the legend goes Mother Shipton was the daughter of Agatha, a local girl who found herself pregnant and unmarried at a young age. When she refused to tell the identity of the father she was shunned from the village. Agatha found shelter in a cave and one stormy night with thunder banging, lightening crashing and gales blowing, she gave birth to her baby daughter, Ursula. Shortly after the birth the baby was placed with a local family and the mother was send away to a convent. 

Life wasn't easy for Ursula. With a large crooked nose, a bent back and twisted legs many taunted her. So she went back to the cave where she was born preferring to live her life alone in the woods. Years later she married a young carpenter from York, Tobias Shipton but life together was short, as he died two years later. The name ‘Mother’ Shipton came years later when Ursula became the oldest woman in the village.

Mother Shipton made a living telling the future and fortunes of those who asked. She foretold the fates of several rulers within and just after her lifetime, as well as the invention of iron ships, the Great Fire of London, the defeat of the Spanish Armada and even the end of the world. It is an intriguing tale to learn about. 

Arriving at Mother Shipton's Cave

Due to the social distancing measures all admissions to the cave needed to be booked online in advance, with allocated time slots allowing 2.5 hours to explore the attraction. Entry to the cave is £25 per car term-time weekdays, £30 per car weekends and school holidays (max 7 people per car), including parking. Please note that minibuses and motorhomes will not be allowed. Unfortunately, pedestrians without a car will not be able to visit at the moment. Dogs are welcome in all areas of the Mother Shipton’s park, apart from the adventure playground which was clearly signposted. 

The Cave and Petrifying Well in Mother Shipton’s Park are both natural rock formations, situated in the centre of a mile-long, woodland park. Therefore access can only be gained via the many many steps within the park. But don't worry there are hand rails and little seats in between for those who need a rest in between. 

The Pixie Village

As you know, my girl loves the thought of fairies and pixies, so to her, the Pixie Village was an absolute dream for her imagination. Deep in the captivating woodland, filled with fairy rings and secret doorways, pixies are waiting to play! As you make you way through the magical woodland keep your eyes peeled for for those tiny little houses. 

But due to the social distancing measures the cottages were too confined for interaction for visitors so there were large screens placed over the doors and no visitors were allowed to touch the toadstools or the pixie houses. But visitors were provided with a trail sheet to explore the natural woodland at their own pace.

The Adventure Playground at Mother Shipton's

We all loved the new adventure playground which has a variety of equipment for all ages. The park is situated partly on a hill where you will find lots of more fun and exciting things to play over the hill. Dogs are welcome at Mother Shipton's apart from the adventure playground due to health and safety, but we all took it in turns to have some park fun with our daughter. 

There were swings, climbing frames, a huge slide, a zip wire and a huge pirate ship with a sandpit. On top of the hill there were more swings, seesaws and some really cool dinosaurs that our daughter just loved. 

The Petrifying Well 

A little way on from the playground you will walk down a series of steps towards the Petrifying Well which is a fascinating and picturesque spot. The waters comes over the rock and falls down to the clear pond below and for many centuries people believed that the water had miraculous healing powers. In the early 1600s samples of the water were examined by medical physicians who agreed that these waters, were in fact a miracle cure.

There are minerals in this waterfall can turn lots of things in just a matter of a few months. There are lots of random objects hanging from the rock's edge including a hat, a boot, pots and teddy beats.

The Cave

Slightly on from the Petrifying Well you will walk up a few steps to Mother Shipton's Cave. But, you'll be surprised as it's not some dark, cold eerie cave, it's more like a cove within the rock side. There is a statue of Mother Shipton as well as signposts and audio available to tell you all about her story. As we walked around the cave, we all turned around to look back at the Petrifying Well and saw that Giant Skull that visitors having been calling for years. It's pretty eerie, however the photo I took was out of focus. 

The Wishing Well

During a visit it is an old tradition to make a wish. The wishing well is fed by the same magical waters as the Petrifying Well and has been wished in for over three hundred years. But if you do want to make a wish there are some important instructions you need to follow to ensure that you wish will come true. Obviously we all made our secret wishes and hopefully they will come true one day.

The Museum 

We were coming towards the ends of the attraction and joined a queue, to our surprise, it was for the museum and gift shop. However due to the social distancing measure and the size of the museum we all needed to wait before going inside. We waited for around half an hour and entered the shop all masked up ready to look at some more interesting facts about this mystical place. 

Many of the items have been donated by famous people over the years from John Wayne's Hat, Agatha Christie's Bag and for the most valuable item was a shoe left by Queen Mary when she visited in 1923. As well as seeing some of the prophecies she foretold and events centered around Mother Shipton's. There is also a little gift shop full of wild and wonderful things. We brought some 'magic water' from the Petrifying well as well as some pencils and fairies to put in our little fairy garden. 

It was a great day out for all the family and Winston loved the walk and all the attention from other visitors. An intriguing and quirky place that children will love.

7 Must-Haves Supplies For a Puppy

Everyone knows that puppies are cute and adorable but becoming a dog owner is a big responsibility. But to make sure that your puppy settles into their new life quickly, you need to be organised and have everything they possible need before collecting your new pup. 

We have had our puppy Winston a few weeks and it has been full of exciting adventures. Our first few days with him was quite worrying as he became lethargic and started to lose his fur, but a change of food with a daily vitamin added into his diet he became a different puppy. We discovered that Winston was allergic to grains which did mean a lot of changes - but we did our best to be as prepared as we could. Winston has had his last vaccinations so we can take him along our adventures,  and now we have started lead training so there are a couple of essentials that we need to stock up on. 

Mikki Care Magic Dog Bed.

All dogs and puppies love to snuggle and this bed is perfect for that as it provides enough support and security for our boy Winston. It’s incredibly soft and well padded on the sides and the bottom. The interior edges are deep enough that he can burrow and snuggle into it. At first Winston thought that it was a toy or a blanket but now loving how soft and snuggly his bed is. We use this laying flat and use the cord to bring up the sides, however that cord became a bit of a problem as our puppy wouldn't leave it alone. There is a little pocket that you can tie the cord and place inside, but my inquisitive puppy always manages to find it and chew. So we have resorted to taking the cord out altogether and using the bed as a mat which we place inside his crate for bedtime. 

Mikki Car Harness

If you follow our latest posts you will know that we have just come back from our little staycation in North Yorkshire, which was also Winston first holiday. Like with children, we wanted to be as prepared as we could as we made the four hour journey up north. We didn't want him to be overwhelmed with the journey so we tried to keep him as entertained as possible ensuring that we stopped for toilet break regularly, we also needed to take our time with the stops as it was a hot day. But like with most things, safety comes first. There are a number of products out there that are perfect for dogs and their car safety.

For short car trips, dog seat belts are easy (and quick) to put on and take off, while longer trips call for a full car harness. The Mikki Car Harness ensures safe and comfortable car journeys for you and your dog and clips in to your car's seatbelt system. The chest belt is padded to offer maximum protection and the clever swivel link allows your dog to turn around without getting tangled. 

Mikki Recall Training Lead

Dachshunds can be very independently minded dogs. Who knew? While their unique spirit gives them a lot of character and can provide hours of entertainment, it can also make them resistant if you do not approach training with the right approach. Even though we have had Winston a few weeks, we can already tell that he had the mind of a toddler and attitude of a teenager - meaning he can be one stubborn pup at times. 

We started lead training as soon as we could fit a collar around his neck and would walk up and down our living room. As soon as he had his last vaccinations we ventured out into the open and he was such a good boy. However we now feel its time to go one step further and begin recall training which isn't going to be easy with our pup. The Mikki Recall Training Lead is perfect for teaching recall and controlling our puppy from a distance. With double crossed box stitching for extra strength and durability which can stand the test of time and those little nibbles he loves to do with his leads. 

Mikki Grooming Brushes

The earlier you can get your puppy used to being groomed the better! A good shampoo and conditioner for your puppy can really make a difference to their skin and coat help preventing diseases and other health conditions. Not forgetting a soft bristle brush that will be gentle on your pups new skin. The Mikki Porcupine Brush has a combination of soft and hard nylon bristles to enhance grooming action and reduce any excessive brushing force. As our miniature dachshund only has a short coat and because he lost a little first in those first few weeks due to an allergy this brush is perfect for his coat length and condition.

The Mikki Smooth 'n' Stroke Glove is a dual purpose glove to invigorate the skin while maintaining a healthy coat. The rubber bristle pad massages and cleanses the skin and the velvet finishing palm catches loose hairs and adds shine. At every possible chance our puppy would pull it off and run away with it because he though it was a toy, but after a couple of grooming sessions he loved it and actually fell asleep. 

Nylabones Starter Bones for Puppies

Puppies love to CHEW! But if you decide to get them for your pup its all down to preference. For our dogs we have always used Nylabone as they have a whole range of chews and healthy edibles. They are really good to prevent destructive behaviour, anxiety, and to strengthen teeth. But seeing as our puppy is a few weeks old we wanted something that will help with teething but without causing damage. This Nylabone Puppy Twin Pack are a great starter for our puppy that has a veggie flavour bone that can graduate to the chicken for a life bone once our puppy is ready. 

Winston also loves this Nylabone Puppy Chill & Chew which is lamb and apple flavoured that features colour-changing soft material that are especially catered for puppies. These chews are designed to help encourage proper chewing habits, discourages destructive chewing and help clean teeth. You can also pop this bone into the freezer with the colour changing technology showing when the bone is frozen for an extra dimension to a teething chew

We have loved every second with our puppy Winston and at times it does feel as if we have a baby. toddler and teenager rolled into one. But we know that there are more adventures ahead of us, so its good to know that we are prepared as we can as he grows and develops.  

**We have been kindly gifted these products but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

Blast into Summer with Stomp RocketⓇ

There is no doubt that the summer of 2020 will be different to any other summer. No one was expecting a season of cancelled holidays and social distancing. Swimming pools being closed, stadiums and live music events have not fans. It will be a summer like no other. So of course you want to be sure to keep your family and other families safe this summer in such strange times, but even things will feel completely different this year it doesn't mean that there are not some fun and exciting ways to have fun. 

As the warm and sunny afternoons are still upon us, it has made us realise that we need to make the most of summer, especially before normality resumes in a few weeks. If a summer needed to go out with a bang, it's this one! There are endless activities that you can do this summer that will bring you hours of fun. 

But we knew more than anything we wanted to make the most of afternoons playing outside in the sunshine. It is always fun, super exciting and there are so many opportunities for children to learn and development from all their surroundings. From a walk in the woods, to playing at the park or going on a scavenger hunt. The great outdoors gives children plenty to explore. 

And exploring is exactly what we have been doing and making some wonderful memories together during the process. As things seem to still be pretty restrictive many families are are unable to live spontaneously, everything needs to be planned or pre booked making finding the fun, well not as exciting. 

But one change that has been pretty exciting for us is welcoming our brand new puppy into our home. We decided that now our daughter was old enough and have been asking A LOT, we got her the best birthday present a girl could wish for. We are all so in love with our new puppy Winston and he really has changed the dynamics within our family. Everyday we take him to the local park as a family, he still has a lot to learn about the world but he really is becoming such a lovely little puppy. 

Our walk this week was a little different as I had a little surprise in store. Stomp Rocket!!!! What is more fun that running, jumping and stomping to launch mini little rockets into the sky???

For those who don't know, the Stomp Rocket is THE toy that you NEED. Every family needs to try this Stomp Rocket at least once to see how much fun you can really have without some kind of fancy gadget, or the need to part with those pennies. Stomp RocketⓇ really does launch rockets 400 feet into the air. Yes really! You and your family will have so much fun together trying to launching these rockets into the sky. This Stomp Rocket is 100% child powered so there is no need for any batteries, fuel or any charging. Winning! As well as being great fun, it’s also a way of encouraging children to take an interest in STEM subjects. So that they can become the engineers, technicians and astronomers of the future.

Inside each box there is a Stomp Rocket launch stand, a launch pad with air hose and 3 super high performance stomp rockets designed by aeronautical engineers. It was so easy to set up, all we needed to do was add the air hose to the launch stand and we were ready for blast off. We popped the black tube into the rocket launch and then pop the rocket inside. A run, jump and stomp was all that was needed to launch our rockets into the air. They can really go up high into the sky!

We also tried using Stomp Rocket in our back garden but these rockets are really powerful and can go so high into the sky which did mean that our rockets did end up in the neighbours garden a few times. So personally if you want to get these rockets high into the sky then they are best suited in a wide open space so you can get the most out of launching, just watch out for their landing. 

Ok, I'm not even ashamed to say this but this Stomp Rocket is NOT just for children. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even puppies can have just as much fun, if not more. Does anyone needs an excuse to unleash their inner child every now and again? Stomp Rocket is also a great way for a healthy competition between family members and rocket launching. It is pretty addictive. Who can launch their rocket the furthest? For us, of course my husband, the big kid won. But he did has a lot of practice runs. 

As well as being great fun, it’s also a way of encouraging children to take an interest in STEM subjects. So that they can become the engineers, technicians and astronomers of the future. So before you welcome autumn and start carving pumpkins and wearing your cosy sweaters, take some time to say goodbye to summer and get a Stomp Rocket!

There’s flying fun all day and night for the younger kids with Stomp Rocket Junior Glow. This set of four foam-tipped, glow-in-the-dark rockets soar up to 100 feet! Battle for the title of strongest stomper with Stomp Rocket Duelling Rockets. This set comes with two launch pads so friends can face off simultaneously, sending their rockets up to 200 feet. While Stomp Rocket Ultra lets you run, jump and STOMP to launch four foam-tipped rockets up to 200 feet in the air.

The Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes includes three unique planes: the Looper makes giant loops; the Glider does tricks and glides over 100 feet; and Wild Cat flips, turns and soars. Learn by changing the launch angle, by stomping harder or softer, by launching with wind or no wind. Unless you'd prefer to play indoors with the Stomp Rocket BLO-rockets. These have 4 in 1 games such as Catch A Rocket; Distance Launch; Target Practice; Dodge Rockets. It really is lots of fun and now all available from Amazon, John Lewis, Hamleys and Toymaster.

What do you think of the Stomp Rocket?

**We have been kindly gifted some of these products in the list but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

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