The Family Friendly Features We’re Not Using On Our Kindle Fire HDX

Poor Mr P. Not only is he a blogging widow (his latest TV series he watches while I ignore him blog, of an evening, is The Shield) but for the last nine months, he has been the only member of our family without a tablet to play with.

He bought me an iPad mini for my birthday last December and the four-year-old has all but claimed our first generation iPad as her own (well, she may as well have it. It’s so old, many apps don’t even work on it anymore *shakes fist at Apple’s clever money making scheme*)

But Mr P was tablet-less. Sans tablet.

Which, I’m sure you can imagine, must have been hard for him. I mean, he only had his iPhone 5S, Apple TV and a MacBook Air to play with. Poor wee soul.

But brilliantly, we were recently given a Kindle Fire HDX and I thought it only fair that Mr P have it. And boy, is he like a kid with a new toy. Within minutes of unwrapping it, he had it set up and linked to his Amazon account, downloaded apps like Facebook and Twitter, and was setting up Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Kindle Fire HDX

What he hasn’t been doing is using any of the amazing family friendly features…

He hasn’t used the FreeTime feature which allows parents to curate content that their kids watch and control the areas of the Kindle that each family member can access.
He has watched the F1 on it.

He hasn’t used the feature which allows parents to have the Kindle shut off automatically at a certain time, so that when it’s kids’ bedtime or homework time, they can’t carry on using it.
He has played Fairway Solitaire on it.

He hasn’t allowed the four-year-old to watch many of the kids’ programmes on Amazon Prime Instant Video, including original shows like Annedroids, Tumble Leaf and Creative Galaxy.
He has surfed Buzzfeed on it.

He hasn’t allowed the four-year-old to watch Tangled, Peppa Pig and Toy Story, which are all available to stream on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
He has read the Hunger Games trilogy on it.

So while the four-year-old is not benefitting in any way from our lovely new toy, Mr P is happy. (And ssshh don’t tell him I sneakily watched a schmaltzy Miley Cyrus movie on it the other night.)

 

New Clarks Winter Boots For Me And The Four-Year-Old

The warm September we’ve had has been just lovely. We spent a day last week on the beach in Essex, sitting on deckchairs and paddling in the sea. In late September! I’ve loved getting a bit more wear out of my Birkenstocks but the one down side (and it’s a serious one I’m sure you’ll agree) to a mild autumn is this:

I want a chance to wear my new boots.

After deliberating for ages over whether to buy biker boots or Chelsea boots, I took the advice of the very stylish Carissa from Little Likely Lads and went for Chelsea boots. She reckons they’ll go with more outfits and I’ll still be wearing them in a few years time, unlike biker boots. Clarks very kindly sent me a pair and they’re currently sitting in the corner of my bedroom, staring at me, just waiting to be worn. They’re a classic black, leather boot and will keep out the rain, while being smart enough for the office and great for weekend family fun too.

Clarks Chelsea Boots

So while I can’t yet wear them, I can plan what I’ll wear them with…

Winter outfit with Clarks Chelsea boots

Zara bag, £29.99 //Uniqlo Ultra Stretch Jeans £34.90 // H&M Sweatshirt, £24.99

Not one to be left out, the four-year-old has some gorgeous new Clarks winter boots of her own. These warm caramel coloured boots have a furry trim and a practical leather toe area with a super cute bunny face.

Super cute rabbit boots for girls

Here’s how she will be wearing them (when it’s cold enough)…

Cute winter outfit for girls - Clarks boots

Little Bird denim skirt, £8 // Little Bird green cardigan, £14 // Gap top, £9.95

Have you bought new boots for the autumn? Is it just me who gets excited about wearing them?!

• I’m linking this post up to Mummy’s Got Style and her Fashion Friday feature.

I’m A Sucker For Stationery

 

Gorgeous modern desk space

Is it just me who spends hours on Pinterest looking at images of stationery and gorgeous desk spaces? Since I started working mostly from home, I’ve been creating a little space for myself to get creative, and that means lusting after post-it notes, pens, motivational prints for the wall, and anything that looks chic and will organise my chaotic life. I’m sure I’ll take some snaps of my work area soon (when it’s finally finished…) and share them here, but for now, I want to share my favourite new website for buying cute little things to brighten up your desk – or just your life.

Ban.do is an LA based company that I discovered thanks to uber blogger Oh Joy! And I pretty much want everything they stock. They ship internationally (hooray) and I’ve already ordered a phone case. Here are some of my favourite things on Ban.do – which are your favourites?

Gorgeous Ban.do buys!

Dress up your desk!

Is A Mark Warner Holiday The Most Relaxing Family Holiday Ever?

Levant Beach, Rhodes

I wouldn’t actually know – having not been on every other family holiday that exists – but I’d place money on it. As a parent of a three-year-old with boundless energy and a love of role play games (“You be Georgina and I’ll be Teacher”) the holy grail for me is a holiday where you can balance off fun family time with proper relaxation. There doesn’t seem much point in going on holiday if it’s going to be hard work, right?

And while there are an array of hotels and holiday companies which offer kids’ clubs and childcare, I’m willing to bet that not many do it as well as Mark Warner do.

I’ve just returned from a (blissful) four night break at Mark Warner’s Levante Beach resort in Rhodes. See a bit of what happened here. Admittedly, I didn’t take the three-year-old with me so I didn’t get to roadtest the childcare or experience the holiday from a truly family point of view, but I had my beady eye on everything, from the kids’ tea to the shallow children’s pool, and I was massively impressed.

The childcare staff at Mark Warner resorts all have to be fully NVQ or CACHE qualified and English speaking, but more than that, everyone who we met was super friendly and warm. You get the impression they never tire of working with kids. The childcare facilities are all bright, airy and filled with clean new toys and equipment. The kids are in age-appropriate rooms but they’re also taken out and about, down to the beach or onto the water to learn watersports (even the toddlers) meaning they’re not confined to their (super amazing) crèche rooms.

childcare-mark-warner-rhodes

 

Guests get a half day session of childcare each day for ages 2 and up included in the price of their holiday and two sessions a day for ages 7 and up. Which basically means, a holiday day would go something like this: Continue reading