Foster Family Sought For Six Siblings In Greater Manchester

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 17 March, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Foster Family Sought For Six Siblings In Greater Manchester

When care staff working for children's services in Salford began searching for a foster home for six brothers and sisters who wished to stay together, they can't have expected to be inundated with responses.

But that's exactly what happened - more than 100 people got in touch to offer support for the siblings who do not want to be separated.

The Manchester Evening News reports:

Care staff in Salford say they’re facing their ‘biggest-ever challenge’ to find a new home for the six children.

The youngsters, aged eight to 15, cannot return to their parents and are desperate not to be separated.

The family of four brothers and two sisters, includes a young child with learning difficulties.

Council bosses want to keep them in Salford and are searching for a loving couple to take them in.

The search is on for a couple with experience of caring for children, with one partner at home full-time. Full training and support will be available to the foster family, with an allowance in excess of £65,000 a year.

The paper also reports that the children would prefer to stay in Salford or Greater Manchester, so social services are particularly appealing for people who live locally and could care for the children.

The children have apparently also offered to split into two groups of three if a home for all six of them cannot be found, but the council are reportedly "determined" not to separate them.

I don't know about you, but it cheers my heart right up to think of so many people stepping up to help these youngsters. And I'm keeping everything crossed that a foster family will be found which won't require the siblings to be separated. 

Will There Be A Toys-To-Life Lego Game Soon?

by Nada in Misc on 17 March, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Will There Be A Toys-To-Life Lego Game Soon?

Are your kids into Toys-to-Life games like Skylanders and Disney Infinity? You know the ones that are a console game but with use of figures? A little birdie has told us that Lego are to release a Toys-to-Life game.  OMG! OMG! OMG! Never mind my kids, I am freaking hyper about this! Who isn't going to be?

So, when is this Toys-to-Life Lego Game to be released? There's lots of speculation that suggests the end of this year, and I guess during the run up to Christmas would be logical. However, Lego don't need it to be peak shopping time for this to be a success. Anything Lego is collected and loved by adults and children alike. It's highly collectable and each figure will be sought after.

What we don't know is the cost involved, how much the Starter Pack will be, how much each additional figure will cost, remains a mystery. One things for sure is that it we won't have to wait long to find out. To be honest, we don't know the theme of the game either but we can't wait to.

I will actually camp outside a game's store to bag one of these when they come out and I bet I wouldn't be the only one!

Could this be the toy of Christmas 2015, already?

In the meantime, you will just have to settle for 20% off Lego City at Toys R Us, here.

Elton John Calls For A Boycott On Dolce And Gabbana Over IVF Comments

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 16 March, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Elton John Calls For A Boycott On Dolce And Gabbana Over IVF Comments

It looks as if the internet is about to blow up again.

First the fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana caused a furore when they described IVF babies as 'synthetic'.

Domenico Dolce said:

"I call children of chemistry 'synthetic' children. Rented wombs, semen chosen from a catalog."

Then Elton John called for his fans and followers to boycott D&G on account of the fact that he and husband David Furnish have two children, Zachary and Elijah, via IVF.

Elton said via Instagram:

"How dare you refer to my beautiful children as "synthetic". And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF - a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.

"Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana."

And THEN the internet broke. Well sort of. The world and its mother (including loads of celebs) took to Twitter to share snaps of their own bouncing bundles of joy, made possible via IVF, along with the hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana.

Now I don't mean to be flippant but I wasn't exactly clad head to toe in D&G before all this blew up, so I'm hardly in a position to boycott them. But what's your view? Where you offended by the comments, or do you think it's just tomorrow's chip paper?

Meningitis Vaccine To Be Offered To Teens

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 16 March, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Meningitis Vaccine To Be Offered To Teens

You'll have no doubt heard on the news today that teenagers in England are to be offered a vaccine against a deadly strain of meningitis. It follows a significant rise in the number of cases of meningitis being reported.

The BBC reports:

Just 22 people contracted Meningitis W in 2009, but that number rose to 117 last year - an increase of over 400 per cent.

Now there are plans to roll out an immunisation programme in a bid to stop the disease spreading. 

Personally I wouldn't hesitate to have my teen vaccinated against meningitis, although I realised vaccines are topic of debate for some.

Currently, babies are vaccinated against meningitis with a booster available around the age of 14.

Leaving aside that issue, it's worth reminding yourself of the signs and symptoms of meningitis:

In older children, teenagers and adults, the symptoms of meningitis can include:

  • a fever, with cold hands and feet
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness
  • confusion and irritability
  • severe muscle pain
  • pale, blotchy skin, and a distinctive rash (although not everyone will have this)
  • a severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light
  • convulsion or seizures

Do bear in mind that any of these symptoms can appear in any order, and not every patient will exhibit all of them. Under the new plans, all teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 years old will be offered the jabs.

If you're concerned for someone's health DON'T wait for a rash to develop - seek medical help immediately and outline your concerns about any symptoms of meningitis.

Frozen Fever Song "Making Today A Perfect Day" Released on iTunes

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 15 March, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Frozen Fever Song "Making Today A Perfect Day" Released on iTunes

If your children are dragging you along to see the new Cinderella film because of the short film Frozen Fever then here's a bit more info on it to keep them going until then.

The brand new song from the film has been released exclusively on iTunes, and it's called "Making Today A Perfect Day". Frozen Fever is about a surprise birthday party being thrown for Anna, and the song is a big chunk of the film at nearly 5 minutes long, so don't listen if you want to keep it a surprise!

We only have audio for the song, with no new pictures or footage yet, but the lyrics might just give a clue about what could happen in Frozen 2 when that full length movie gets made.  With Kristoff shouting "I love you, baby!" to Anna could a wedding or baby be part of the new story? It's all shrouded in secrecy still right now, but it's fun to guess what might happen!

If you want a preview of the song before you buy you can hear it on Disney Playlist here.

Mmmmm....Cadbury's Release Four New Flavours Of Ice Cream

by Nada in Misc on 13 March, 2015 at 10:38 am

Mmmmm....Cadbury's Release Four New Flavours Of Ice Cream

I can't believe I am going to say this...but forget Ben and Jerrys because there's a new kid in town. Cadbury's have released a new ice-cream range called Marvellous Ice Creams. There are four different flavours to choose from: Jelly Popping Candy, Zingy Raspberry Choc Brownie, Salted Caramel & Sour Cherry and Fairground Candy Crunch.

I can confess to spooning three quarters of Jelly Popping Candy Ice Cream down my throat the other night and boy was it good. It started off as I will just have a wee taste to me shovelling it in like a snow plough. To call it a good ice cream would be an underestimate, it's PHENOMENAL!

Click here to read more...

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (12A) Now Booking

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 12 March, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (12A) Now Booking

As well as the new Cinderella film, the new Avengers film Age Of Ultron is being released in time for the Easter holidays, and there us a huge amount of excitement over this one. It's official release date in the UK is Friday 27th April, but there are a few days of previews before that, with both Odeon and Vue having a one minute past midnight performance on the first day they can show the film.

I've been told that the advance ticket sales are already pretty big, so if your are thinking of watching this over the opening weekend either yourselves, or older kids, then it's a good idea to book your tickets in advance.

Click here to read more...

Frozen 2 Officially Announced By Disney!

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 12 March, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Frozen 2 Officially Announced By Disney!

After rumours yesterday that there was no full length sequel in the works, Disney's head honchos have today confirmed that there will be a Frozen 2!!

Here's what the Disney blog has to say about it:

It’s of-f-f-f-f-icial: Frozen 2 is in development at Walt Disney Animation Studios with directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho, the Oscar-winning filmmaking team behind Frozen.

The news was announced at this morning's Annual Meeting of Shareholders by Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company; John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; and actor Josh Gad (voice of Olaf and all-around cool dude).

That's all we have right now, but as soon as there is any more news you will be the first to know! You heard it here first! :)

Watch this space!

Woman Wins Right To Claim Cash From Ex Twenty Years After Divorce

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 12 March, 2015 at 9:51 am

Woman Wins Right To Claim Cash From Ex Twenty Years After Divorce

A woman whose relationship ended in divorce 20 years ago has won a landmark Supreme Court ruling to the right to claim cash from her ex-husband.

The BBC reports:

Kathleen Wyatt, 55, had lodged the claim against Dale Vince, 53, who has become a multi-millionaire.

Mr Vince had previously appealed successfully against Ms Wyatt's claim on the basis that it was too late.

According to various reports, the couple were "penniless" when they divorced but Mr Vince is now a multi-millionaire, while his ex-wife has struggled to raise their son due to financial hardship.

Click here to read more...

You're Special: Why That's The Wrong Thing To Say To Your Kids

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 11 March, 2015 at 6:07 pm

You're Special: Why That's The Wrong Thing To Say To Your Kids

Do you regularly tell your child that he or she is special?

If so, your child is apparently more likely to become a narcissist, according to a study of 565 children in the Netherlands. Which is another way of saying they're more likely to grow up believing they're better than others.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, found that children whose parents regularly told them that they were special were more likely to exhibit narcissistic tendencies.

Click here to read more...

New Pixar Film 'Inside Out': Could It Help Children Talk About Their Emotions?

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 11 March, 2015 at 5:20 pm

New Pixar Film 'Inside Out': Could It Help Children Talk About Their Emotions?

There is a new Pixar animated film coming out this summer called Inside Out, and it's subject is the emotions of an 11 year old girl. It's not as weighty as that sounds, as the emotions are shown as little cartoon characters going on a big adventure and it looks like it will be enjoyed by most of us purely on that level.

The new trailer has just been released and there have been many positive reactions from professionals in both childcare and mental health. The story line sees a family moving to a new area, and deals with the emotional impact that the new school, new friends and growing up in general is having on the daughter, as well as her parents.

Click here to read more...

Toys R Us Autism Friendly Shopping Event Is Back!

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 11 March, 2015 at 8:00 am

Toys R Us Autism Friendly Shopping Event Is Back!The Toys R Us Autism Friendly Shopping Event is back, and the next one is scheduled for 29 March 2015.  The times of the events in England and Wales are 9am to 11am, Scotland 8am to 10am, and Northern Ireland is 11am to 1pm*. After these times, the stores will be open to the public. (Please note that you will not be able to pay for your shopping till  10am (Scotland), 11am (England & Wales) or 1pm (Northern Ireland) due to Sunday trading laws).

The main difference between this event - in honour of World Autism Awareness Week- and a regular shopping day is a 'relaxed shopping environment'. This means that on this day there will be reduced fluorescent lighting, no loud music or tannoy announcements and autism friendly signage, which are just some of the initiatives they'll be carrying out to ensure a more calming influence in store. 

Toys R Us promise a lovely event which has "helped so many families in encouraging their growing children to venture into a world that can sometimes be very scary, daunting and unnerving to them".

Due to Sunday Trading legislation, Toys“R”Us are unable to perform any sales transactions, process any Direct purchases or complete any Returns until the official store opening time at 10am (Scotland), 11am (England & Wales) or 1pm (Northern Ireland).
This may cause concerns to some families whose children may struggle with the patience of waiting between choosing their items and their parents being able to pay for them. Any parents, who wish to return later that morning to pay for shopping, will be offered this opportunity.

*Exceptional Times: Bayswater 10am to 12pm, Burton 9am to 10.30am Kingston 10am to 11am, Silverburn 8am to 10am, Stirling 9am to 11am.

Cinderella & Frozen Fever NOW BOOKING @ Vue Cinemas

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 10 March, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Cinderella & Frozen Fever NOW BOOKING @ Vue Cinemas

We know how much you've been waiting for your chance to book tickets to see the new Disney Cinderella film, whether it's for Cinders herself or for the inclusion of the short film Frozen Fever.

Although the Cinderella isn't released until March 27th and it doesn't have a confirmed certificate as yet though it's expected to be (U) , Vue are the first cinema chain to open their advance ticket sales, and you can book now!

Timings will depend on your local cinema, as will prices, but you will find all the information on the Vue website through the link above.

You'll be the first ones with tickets for Frozen Fever!...erm I mean for Cinderella. ;)

When Adoption Breaks Down

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 10 March, 2015 at 2:14 pm

When Adoption Breaks Down

You can't have missed the story in the news about Claire Patterson, who adopted a little boy in 2011 and subsequently returned him to social workers when it emerged that he had disabilities which prevented her from being able to care for him.

Claire was a single adopter and understood that the little boy she chose to adopt had no health issues, but it later emerged that he had brain damage.

She has shared her story with The Times, and gone on to start an organisation called Adoption Disruption UK which provides support for people for whom adoption breaks down.

The Daily Mail reports:

‘He had neurological damage, or brain damage, and had been born that way,’ Claire said.

‘He was having 36 seizures a day and his epilepsy was a symptom of something much bigger. He didn’t know who I was.'

Handing the child back to social services meant complying with a legal care order which, the papers report, Claire felt implied that she was somehow to blame, so she went to court to fight for ‘no fault’ ruling, which would also enable her to adopt again. She now hopes to adopt a child aged between three and six years old.

Claire writes this about her intentions for her website:

I realised that there was no online support group in the UK or anywhere specific offering advice, counselling or consolation. Had I been able to reach out and talk to another Adoptive Parent who had gone through something similar I know I would have felt less alone. Hence the idea to link Adoptive Parents together so they can chat/meet up and so forth. This is to be an informative site, dedicated to being a lifeline to parents in distress.

It's a heart-breaking, emotive story, and personally I applaud Claire for talking about her experience of an adoption not working out, and for seeking to help others with similar stories of adoption disruption.

I'm not sure anyone can possibly say what they would or wouldn't do in similar circumstances, but the critical element of this story is clearly that Claire isn't the only adoptive parent to have an experience like this, and greater support should be available. Good on her for making that happen.

What's your view?

Parents Call Police To Report Misbehaving Children

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 10 March, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Parents Call Police To Report Misbehaving Children

I don't mind admitting that I've uttered a few foolish threats to my kids in my time. I'm guilty of everything from 'Wait till your Father gets home' - they merely rolled their eyes at me and by the time Daddy was home I'd forgotten what the transgression was - to 'I'm going straight in to see your school Principal in the morning about your behaviour!'

They were idle threats, of course, none of which I followed through on and thus it'll come as no surprise to anyone that none of them worked in terms of persuading my kids to behave themselves.

Which is why I wasn't all that surprised to read this morning that a new reports reveals that some parents resort to calling the police when struggling to discipline their kids. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all.

The BBC reports:

Parents are frequently calling the police to discipline their disruptive children, a report has said.

Children were often detained when parents and care homes could not cope, said Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for England and Wales.

But actually it's no laughing matter - the report found that "vulnerable children and adults were being locked in police cells as a substitute for social care" and that police "were the default response for vulnerable people in crisis".

Could you ever imagine calling the police to discipline your children? I hope to goodness that I never run out of tricks to the extent that I'd have to do so.

What's your view?

Dads Feel Under Pressure To Bake Brilliant Birthday Cakes

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 9 March, 2015 at 11:53 am

Dads Feel Under Pressure To Bake Brilliant Birthday Cakes

We've heard all about the mum wars - mothers competing for the edge over their counterparts on everything - but it seems dads are just as likely to be embroiled in a touch of competitive rivalry, according to a new survey - especially in the kitchen.

The popularity of cooking shows like the Great British Bake-Off is apparently partly to blame, and has triggered a wave of birthday cake wars between competitive parents, the study found.

Click here to read more...

Monster & Bad Dream Repellent Spray!

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 8 March, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Monster & Bad Dream Repellent Spray!

Do you remember that £79 duvet set we told you about that was supposed to help cure your child's fear of the dark? I was the one who didn't like the idea, agreeing with the comment on our facebook page that said it was "validating the existence of monsters" so not helping in the long run.

However... my son isn't as convinced as I thought he was about monsters and bad dreams not being real. But we've come up with a plan to get rid of them so I thought I'd share it.

Click here to read more...

NEW Cinderella Experience in the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Harrods, London

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 8 March, 2015 at 1:56 pm

NEW Cinderella Experience in the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Harrods, London

Have you heard about the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Harrods in London? If you have a young girl who loves Disney Princesses then this is the ultimate gift experience for them.

It involves a session at the boutique where they get to be transformed into a Princess by their very own special Fairy Godmother! They can choose which Princess they want to be, and the Frozen Experience is massively popular. There is also a new Cinderella Experience package with a choice of dresses and accessories (including the lost shoe) based on the new live action film due out next month.

Click here to read more...

How To Be In A Channel 4 Programme

by Nada in Misc on 7 March, 2015 at 9:29 pm

How To Be In A Channel 4 Programme

Ever watched a television programme and thought I would like to be on that. Well now you can. If you are sat there thinking you'd like to apply for One Born Every Minute then unfortunately, they have not long closed applications for this. Just follow the link below of the show that you are interested in and follow the instructions on the Channel 4 site. You may be asked to attend an interview.

Here's a list of which Channel 4 Shows are looking for applicants:

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings April 2015

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 7 March, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings April 2015

The Autism Friendly Screenings being shown at all the main cinema chains are attracting huge interest, and seem to be growing in popularity all the time. The variety and frequency of the screenings are getting better as they are being supported, which can only be a good thing for families affected by autism.

We will try to keep you up to date with the screenings so that you can plan accordingly, and so that you can book tickets in advance to avoid any disappointment as well. These are the screenings for the next month:

Click here to read more...