New App Review – Club Hub UK

There’s going to be a new app on the scene soon, Club Hub UK. This has really caught my attention! I heard recently from Tessa Robinson, the creator who quite rightly is getting the news of her app out and about before the launch to let us all know that we can soon make use of it.

The app is designed to make finding activities easier…Ok that’s good enough for me already!:)

club hub 3myrealfairy

But let me tell you more….

The app is designed to locate children’s clubs and activities around the U.K

Tessas background is in acting and she started a children’s musical theatre group. She started teaching children after school, and enjoyed sharing her knowledge in everything she could in terms of acting, singing and dancing.

During this time her idea was forming which has now become ‘Club Hub UK’. Tessa thought that there should be a way that she could promote her after school club to all the parents in her local area. She then thought about creating an app where people could locate all the children’s clubs in their area too – a simple app where parents could input their child’s age and interests, and the search results would list local clubs and their details.

clubhub2myrealfairy

Tessa has really pushed her idea forward and has come second with Club Hub UK in the #InSport competition with Ideas Britain. An app where people are able to show their ideas to the world. That too is very much worth checking out if you need coaches to assist in your app ideas.

Ella Harding is the graphic designer and I really love the drawings she has done for the site.

I think this is a project that is well worth keeping an eye out for, it could be one of those apps that you start seeing everywhere and it comes to be a go to app at the weekend! Good luck Tessa!

Here are all the contact details below, I spoke with Tessa today and she said the launch is planned for August 2016. There is also some amazing news to be unveiled about a new partnership that Club Hub UK is entering into. Keep an eye on this one!!

E-mail: tessarobinson@club-hub-app.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clubhubuk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clubhubapp/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/clubhubuk

What do you think, is this an app that you’d think of downloading?

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Discussion & Book Review – The Golden Winged Fairy

 

What’s so lovely about having my own site is being able to write and post about people and things which I have an interest in.  I can write without the normal constraints…..Lucky old me:) New York based author Lala Fae contacted me and asked if I would review her book ‘The Golden Winged Fairy’. When I looked into both her and the book she had written I thought it fitted well with my blog and interests.

I liked the way that she came across and she’s been really pleasant to get to know. If you have read my previous book review here you will see that that one was carried out with my eldest son ‘M’. However, ‘The Golden Winged Fairy’ was clearly more suitable to be read with my youngest son ‘G’ who is 7.

Lala kindly sent me a complimentary copy of the book as opposed to a digital download review copy. The book is sold as a hardcopy and considering the illustrations which are phenomenal, its the only way to appreciate this book. It’s good to feel this books pages and the embossed paper, great for small children. The pages of the new book smelt wonderful too, there’s just something about it, maybe a throwback to my own childhood. It’s a proper story telling experience for the younger audience.

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The story focuses on a fairy with a difference, as G said…’a difference that she felt embarrassed about.’ We talked about the difference the fairy heroine Lorelei has and how this made her feel. All Lorelei wants is to fit in with the Silver Moon Fairies. As the story progresses I found that it led me to the natural conclusion that we should celebrate our differences.  It’s a great back up to many conversations I had with my two when they were younger in nursery and started to either be on the receiving end or the perpetrator of comments relating to individual differences.

golden winged fairy

 

I usually ask my partner to look through my posts and he’s done just that. Particularly if I feel that I’m missing something. When I know what I want to say but it’s not transferring through to the page. His feedback…..’it reads as if you’re being politically correct…why?

I thrive and enjoy being me and being honest.  I had to stop and think and then we entered into a discussion. Was it his German straight forwardness or my english political correctness that led us both to think that my writing in this review lacked punch?! It lacked that special something needed to give the book, Lala and me the true airing this subject deserved. This post now is a very different piece than it was originally and it’s more grounded for it.

Understanding individual differences is not limited to what children should be doing, as adults we must remind ourselves that differences are not the exclusive details such as the colour of our skin or language we speak, it’s also the essence and personalities of who we are. Sometimes its easy to forget and as adults it’s actually really good to talk about. Often we are so caught up at home in parenting that proper intelligent conversations just don’t happen. Today we had one and it felt good! All because of reading a children’s book.

It demonstrates that this book manages to do that on its most basic level and to start small children with such a such a book, in my opinion is no bad thing.

I would say that the book is aimed at either very young learner readers or at children who are being read to as their relaxation or nighttime story. It’s relaxing, has a positive message and isn’t too long. It can be read in one 10 minute sitting and it’s of a fairytale quality that can be read again and again. It really is beautiful.

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The book is enhanced to a magical quality by the illustrations drawn by Laura Siadak.  Lala told me she is excited to announce that she has finished her second book and that one is also currently with Laura who is providing the illustrations once more. This lady can really draw.

You can see more on the youtube video here, it’s really worth watching:

If you fancy making contact with Lala then you can find her on some of her social media platforms here:

www.facebook.com/madebyfae

twitter.com/madebyfae

The book can be purchased here amongst other places.

 

In the words of Lala…May you always glow golden.

I am really pleased to have Lala onboard with responding to your comments for this post! You might hear back from either Lala or myself. Thank you as always for all comments and thoughts about the post x

Do you remember reading fairy tales as a child, was there one in particular. Have you heard of Lalas golden winged fairy?

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Top 10 Spring jobs….to keep ahead of the pack 

1. Sort out my bullet journal! Well it’s a note-book with thousands of tiny luminous post-it notes sticking out at various angles. I’d be hard pushed to decipher what they actually meant. Still, it needs a sort out.

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2. Passenger advance information-upcoming holiday and the dreaded online information. The cheaper the airline I book the more work it takes to comply with their small print. note to self: double, then triple check this to avoid check-in meltdown at the airport with children. 

3. Travel insurance and  E111 do they still exist, what use are they??? Research – after all…. knowledge is power!

4. Check passports to see if they are still valid…too scared to look (Number 4.5 be braver woman!)

5. Get the boy’s memory boxes sorted – this would be a wonderful job to get behind me. Every time they come home with a certificate or memento they look up at me with cherubic faces and ask for it to go in the memory box. Again, like so many things you’ll read from me, in my head the memory boxes are adorned with cute little drawings and stacked in date order. In reality, well…..it’s a work in progress.

6. Get the jars together for jam making and chutneys – oh yes I’m going for it. I know you’re looking at the points above and thinking there’s not a chance, but I think jam making might just be my thing!!! There’s so many great tasty looking recipes pouring out from my fellow bloggers that I have to give it a real go. Thank you for the pressure all you amazing people;)

I can do this...really, I can!!
I can do this…really, I can!!

7. Book the boys play dates in advance – everyone else manages it so why can’t I? *sobbing*

8. Paint something outside, doesn’t matter what…it’s a spring job. Things need painting!

9. Pack away winter coats but not in the loft yet, who knows what will happen. Brit weather has a mind of its own.

10. Organise an extended family get together….it will be worth it, daunting but worth it.

That should keep me going and as I’m pretty much behind with half of it then that’s definitely plenty. How about you, has anything on my list jogged your memory for things you would like to get out of the way?

 

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My ode to him…My other half

I wrote this poem to the ‘other half’ as we were on a flight recently to Munich to attend a wedding.

If you had read my previous post here about my fear of flying then you’d know how I was getting into a bit of a state. I had so many great and supportive comments on that post, it really did help. Thanks very much:)

I’m not normally the soppy sort but the way that the other half handled my quietness and obvious anxiety was really touching. The hormones must of been raging because at how ever many thousands of feet up on the airbus 319 I found myself expressing my thoughts to him in a poem.

 

There is no agenda

There is no pretence

We’re together because we want to be,

Together even when I’m tense.

———-

Like now

As we take off

Like now

As I try to hold it down.

———-

He sits here, peaceful, majestic

Not a worry, not a frown.

———-

I love my man to Munich and back

I love him because I can,

He makes it easy to be with him

 He makes me so very calm.

———-

Like now

As he strokes me,

Like now

Gently on my arm.

———-

So, thank you sweetie for being you,

Thank you for ‘us’ too.

You’ve made this trip just fly by

Through doing what you do.

———-

This last parts so very easy babe….

Nothing more to say 

As we alight this huge great craft

‘I love you more each day’

 

 

 

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Are fairies scared to fly?…well this one is 

Well I’m packing, I’m packing first for the boys as they’re not coming with us on this little weekend trip. I’m packing for them to go to nannys house. I’m also packing for ‘us’ which is the other half and me. Making sure the wedding present for his grown up daughter is brought, wrapped and looks pretty of course. I’ve been packing a full aldi shop away at nannys house today so the boys have everything available and don’t get any ‘I’m starving’ strops that they can’t contain….unlikely at the best place in the whole world, but better to be prepared than not!

I’ve yet to start packing my own case.

I wasn’t going to post anything new on my blog this week as I thought I’d prioritise the trip. I wanted to leave everything at home pretty much sorted. I’d also decided to catch up on replying to people who had been kind enough and taken the time to comment on my posts. Oh and I wanted to read some other people’s blogs to see what was going on in blogging world. Then, squeeze in the fact that I had to work full-time I was definitely not going to post this week.

Until…..

I found myself sat outside of the school gates waiting for the boys to come bounding through. It’s started to surface, it started to grow….

I was terrified…..

scaredy pants…

You see, I’m afraid of flying, well anxious, nervous, in the sweaty palms sort of way. I’d rather not fly at all, yet I do, probably 2 or three times a year. I don’t let it stop me doing anything but I’d just rather not thank you. I don’t normally tell anyone, I just pretend I’m OK.

I wrote here last week about what I need now, ‘Wings’. Fairy, bird, whatever, I need to get my wings and get to grips with not letting this become a problem.

So, I’m trying a different approach this time, I’m blogging about it and in my head I am putting those anxious little thoughts onto the computer and diluting the impact on me. This is my pre-flight therapy…..

Do you think it will work?

 

 

 

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Beyond the Starline – Book Review

 

Beyond the Starline: Book One in the Dark Sea Trilogy: Volume 1

The author, Austin Hackney, contacted me to see if I fancied reviewing his book. This was great because right at the start of my blog and pinned to my twitter page I actually advertise the fact that I like to review books and others things that interest me. For me, this means that I can enjoy new experiences which wouldn’t normally come my way. In this case, it was to be able to read a book with my eldest son, M (who’s 10) and complete the review together. Pretty cool!

Well, that was the plan…..

 

book review myrealfairy.com

When her mother is murdered by pirates, Harriet Howland is thrust into a dangerous quest to find her missing father. A fast-paced steampunk adventure for everyone from 9 years old and up.

Who could resist? But wait….first question I had was, what is steampunk??? OK well for those of you who don’t know, which is exactly the position I was in: Steampunk is, and bear with me as this is my interpretation.. ‘a fusion of victorian style influences with high-tech cutting edge super technology’. The vision that jumped to mind (and my mummy and daddy followers will recognise this reference) is the hybrid, freaky toys that were patched together in Toy Story, the doll’s head on the metal spider legs…get my drift? You could have a look at the wiki answer but quite frankly I was even more baffled by that!  The review for the book steered off in a different direction. I found myself following a route into steampunk and looking at books in that genre to get more of a handle of the style and type of writing that was being featured. I was really interested in this and lost quite a few hours this way, looking at Austin and other authors works.

I also watched a few of Austin Hackneys youtube videos. I wanted to have an understanding of the man behind the book. I found that he’s a great visual storyteller. One of those people who look like an actor telling a story and really lives the words. It reminded me of Jackanory which I watched as a child. Try and have a look at at least one of his videos and you will see what I mean.

While I was doing this M was getting on and reading the book. We agreed on him reading 30 pages a day when he got home from school. Now, different children read in different ways and have varied attention spans. I’m finding that M’s generation are hardly reading a book. More and more time is spent on the various devices they have access to. Whether that be X-Box, PS3, Kindle, Ipads or a selection of all of them and more. We have got into a rutt in our house of allowing just the bare minimum of ‘proper’ reading time. By this I mean – M can read, he has one book on the go for school and he gets on with it. He’s 10 and gets good feedback from school, I’ve been thinking this was sufficient. Of course, it’s not!

So, this was an opportunity for us as a family to have a bit of a shake up….we needed it! Thank you Austin!

M took on the role of reading the book and I carried out the research and then dipped into the book at various stages. It worked well…. proud mummy moment, we were working together!

So, the story…without giving any spoilers. Our heroine is Harriet who’s life is upturned in an instant. Starting out in the steamy smog filled city of Lundoon . She is thrown into a world that has all the fantastical characters you would hope for. They leap before you with image inspiring names such as; Professor Poliakoff, Sibelius the sky monkey and Captain Hardcastle.

I think that this book is an escape into fantasy, which for adults who have to try and act semi sensible most of the time, is thoroughly enjoyable. It picks you up and carries you away, side by side with the adventurers.

For M one of the most exciting moments was when the squid storm was introduced into the story. He said, “It made me feel like I was there in the dangerous mission to keep the special object safe”. He said that he would recommend it for people his age and above. He smiled and became enthusiastic when he was recounting the reading he carried out on a particular day. To see him take to a book in this way was a huge plus for me.

Key myrealfairy facts – Beyond the Starline

  • The author is Austin Hackney
  • Twitter name @AGHackney chat to him, he’s a friendly sort.
  • This book is the first book in the Dark Sea Trilogy
  • You can purchase it in kindle edition or paperback and you can buy it here.

I’d love to hear what you think about this genre of book. I am also super delighted to have the author, Austin Hackney popping onto this post and giving his feedback to some of the comments aswell – so keep an eye out!

 

 

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Easy Upholstery….the myrealfairy way….

I’ve been off this week, needed to step off the conveyor belt for a few days to relax and hear myself think. I wrote a list of ‘relaxing jobs to do’

Instead of the normal bits and bobs I normally fill my time up with which usually all focus on running around and not taking it easy. I decided to get round to a job I’ve had waiting for ages… recovering our footstool. I brought it second-hand over a year ago thinking it would be a good little project one day.

I have been looking for material to cover it and went to a fabric store near where I live and nothing really caught my eye apart from a piece that was £25 a meter, well that was way too much so I had a mooch around the charity shops looking for curtains which I could cut up and use but didn’t come up with anything. So, I finally went onto Freecycle where I responded to an ad and met this lovely woman who was giving away loads of upholstery material. I went round to hers and was invited to take my pick. There were so many and all looked really good quality. I also took some up to the boys school for the textile department as she wanted as much to go to those who needed it as possible. So it was a good way to recycle and upcycle the off cuts.

I will say now that I had no idea of how to re-upholster the footstool. I’ve always imagined myself doing these creative things but normally don’t manage them because I haven’t actually got the skill, tools or time to do it! We have had a go at the Bee House and are now waiting to see what happens there.

This time was different though, I had the time, probably still lacking the skill to be fair but I had the ultimate show stopper…..the Staple Gun. Oh my days this is a fabulously lethal piece of kit and something I would only attempt using while the boys were at school.

Here’s my picture guide to how I completed it…

Before…
Before…
Before, underneath.
Getting started with the staple gun!
Its starting to come together!

Stretch the fabric over and pop staples in along the base, keep repeating.

Nearly there…
The corners were tricky but finally managed them.

Pleat and fold the corners over and imagine you’re wrapping a gift. As long as all the sides match I don’t think it matters too much what sort of pattern it makes

Whey hey…Finished!

This was such a fun project to work on, it didn’t take too long and it was relaxing, what’s not to love about that?  This wasn’t exactly fairy inspired but it sure has inspired me to take more time out to take on some more fun crafts. I hope you enjoyed it.

Is it project season where you are? I’d love to hear what ideas you have.
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Tales of a Newbie Blogger #2 – the logo trials…

The reaction to my first piece in the Tales of a Newbie Blogger series was met with such a warm response that it really spurred me on, so thank you for those who read and commented on it.

Looking back on that post as I sit here thinking about this journey, I realise that I didn’t give a little insight into me…common enough to those close to me, I’ll shout and preen about what the kids have done or what we have done as a family but give away what I’m actually thinking is a hurdle that I crash into rather than glide over.

At the start of 2016 a few things happened where I knew that I would like to make some subtle changes. Nothing major as I’m more than happy with my lot, I’ve got the most amazing partner in crime, 2 boisterous boys, full-time job and great gaggle of friends and family. Sure, its not rosy all the time and frequently I’m muttering to myself about wanting ‘alone time’, but when it boils down to it I’m bloomin chuffed with my lot.

The subtle change would come in the form of what would commonly be known in my house as, predictably… The Blog.

When I first had the idea that I wanted to blog, I thought the it would have a very clear theme which was for it to have  fairy and folklore traits…hence the name – myrealfairy. For quite a few years I’ve had an interest in starting a business with a fairy inspired background, whether that be gifts, games or fairy readings (tarot readings with a twist). As time has moved on and technology has romped forward it’s all become more possible.

I had lots of evenings and fun trying out different logos and colour formats, while dipping into the techi bit of starting up the blog. A week and the rest went by like this, as playing around with fonts and pictures was far more inviting than trying to come to grips with some of the new language which was swirling around this brave new world I was looking into.

Immediately that I started looking at free logo creators and the like, I started having emails from all and sundry dropping into my inbox offering all sorts of help with logo creation. It was not too disrupting but jeez, how does this work, they all found out so quickly! Like with life in general, free isn’t all that it seems and even though I’m a newbie blogger, I’m certainly not green.

I played around on one of the free logo sites and came up with this:

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I can’t believe that something so simple took so many hours to create. I think I overdid the time I spent on it and eventually just hit save and publish.

I love it and how it looks on the site, eek ‘my’ site. That done, so many more areas to look into and tweak.

I’m going to take it slow and steady as I had a bit of a sprint out of the starting block. There’s a lot in my life and a lot of people to love. There’s ample space for ‘the blog’ but it has to learn to nestle in with the rest.

I also made the firm decision not to worry about it being a business model, just a fun one! That has been one of the biggest reliefs.

I’d love to hear your comments and experiences with your journey.

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Bee House….is it a good idea with kids?!!!

I’m starting to have second thoughts about this already. I hope to talk myself back into it by writing this post. Let me explain a little further…

If you read one of my last weeks posts Spring Garden Makeover – our way! then you would know that we are in the throes of planning our garden spruce up.  Having two small football playing mud slingers as our opposition just adds to the fun.

I’m also wanting to make some real lifestyle changes for both of us grown ups. So much time is taken up by our jobs and the external demands on us that we both need to kick back, enjoy our time off more and make the most of what we have. The kids will benefit from this so much. We are making a good start….

So, the other evening…. the other half trots off to get the essentials in town and against his normal traits he comes back laden down, whoop whoop. What is the jewel in the crown is a ‘bee and insect house’! I’d never even seen one before.

We all love our outside space and having a fairy garden with little nooks and crannies around for creatures to make their own is a wish of mine and the other half.

Since he brought the bee house, I’ve been frantically looking up if bees will be a danger to the kids and will suddenly besiege us while we sit soaking up the rays of sun that our british summer time chooses to give us.

The general consensus is no. The best advice is to place the bee house out of the main part of the garden where it’s quiet. Place it where it’s not likely to get disturbed. Really important for us – start to educate our boys on what could happen if you poke the bee house with a large stick! Bees only sting if they feel under threat, not for fun.

Bees are in danger of disappearing from our country and are in need of a little TLC, this is our way of seeing if we can help them out and involve the boys in something a bit different.

Also, who knows what will choose to take up residence there, we could be in for a total surprise. We might have a ladybird nest….wow! I digress…..

So, under limited input from myself (I hid), the other half took his life in his own hands and found a remote spot up the bank and placed it high enough up a large tree not to be touched. It’s safe and secure, out of reach and open for business. Let see what the summer brings. Lets hope its not antihistamine!

I’m pretty happy now with the decision but I’ll wait and see. Have you tried to introduce animals into your garden or your environment that you hadn’t previously thought about?

 

 

 

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