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Showing posts from March, 2020

Snowdonia Chronicles - Sarah Mussi

The Snowdonia Chronicles is a three part fantasy adventure story aimed at readers aged 12+ and written by multi-award winning children's author, Sarah Mussi. I was sent all three books by Vertebrate Publishing and, given the crazy times in which we're living, I was super grateful to be able to lose myself in them this afternoon! Initial Thoughts: This is a thoroughly modern YA romance that just happens to be set against a backdrop of ancient Welsh mythology. As I was reading I kept thinking it would be a great way to introduce the Mabinogion and general Welsh folklore to readers who might not otherwise be interested. We follow the story through first person POV, via main character Ellie, along with clever use of text messages and status updates. The story is easy to follow, even with the fantasy elements and interwoven Welsh language, and the characters are all well drawn enough for you to become quickly invested in their destinies. Now on to the book by book reaction.


AZ I AM Girlz is a girls yoga brand which supplements teaching with a wide variety of products designed to promote positive self-awareness. This includes a range of seven 12 inch dolls with enough articulation to actually carry out those yoga poses! They are made from recycled plastic, with rooted hair and screened faces. You can purchase the dolls online via , with prices starting from $17.95. The Toy Box Philosopher did an a really detailed review of Alanna. Just check out all that glorious articulation! ★  Asana Yoga Girl - box front / contents / box back . ★  Dara Singer Dancer - box front / contents / box back. ★  Niyama Nature Girl - box front / contents / box back. ★  Pratya Zen Girl - box front / contents / box back. ★ Sama the Healthy Chef - box front / contents / box back. ★  Yama Surfer Girl - box front / contents / box back. These two are no longer listed on the website so are presumably discontinued: ★  P

This Week - 29/03/2020

What a week! Last Friday it was perfectly safe (allegedly) to send your child to school - today the country's on lockdown. Marianna and I self-isolated for the week because I felt like I was coming down with a cold. Turns out it was just a cold as I've not developed a cough or had a high temperature. (I've scarcely managed to break 36°C.) On Saturday we went out for a walk for the first time and dropped off a pot Marianna had made for my mum and dad. We returned weighed down with enough chocolate to sink a ship after M complained I had refused to stockpile for her sweet tooth... The worst part of the week - worse than feeling utterly useless as other councillors deliver food and stuff, and worse than trying to dream up ways to fill hours of home schooling - has definitely been seeing Marianna scared and upset. She keeps asking who she'll live with if we die, and whether or not it will hurt to die from coronavirus. :( We did clapping for the NHS from her bedroom

Home School Timetable

Previously I'd only ever spent about 30 seconds considering home schooling before deciding, actually, I'm more than happy to delegate that responsibility to the education system. Now the choice has been taken away and we're trying to adjust to the new regime. 9:30 - 10:00 am, Dancing Marianna gets to pick some songs for us to dance to. I get to dance and sort out the washing. 10:00 - 10:30 am, Welsh We're doing 30 XP points a day on Duolingo and then watching a cartoon or two in Welsh. (I've got a post listing 50 Free Welsh Language Resources if you're looking for inspiration.) 10:30 - 11:15 am, School Work AKA the tasks sent home from Marianna's class teacher. Alternates between maths, literacy, and other subjects. 11:15 - 11:45 am, Snack Time 11:45 am - 1:00 pm, Home Project Typically a video explainer, some vocab, drawing a picture or two, and then doing a craft or carrying out an experiment. Next week we've got making a lip bal

Friday Five: Favourite Fashion

Five of my favourite fashions throughout history... #5. Batwing Sleeve Nothing says comfort like slouching around in a batwing sleeve. #4. Pussy Bow Blouse If it comes with a bishop sleeve, so much the better. #3. Shoulder Pads Power dressing for the win. #2. Gibson Girl I love the whole Edwardian silhouette, whether it's the practical blouse and skirt or frilly summer dress. It always looks so elegant. #1.   Circle Skirt There is only one downside to the circle skirt - ironing it! What is your favourite look? Let me know in the comments! :) For more like this, click the image below:

50 Free Welsh Language Resources

Unlike literacy and maths, Welsh really isn't a subject we'll be using everyday without a concerted effort to do so. Every morning we've been doing three Duolingo lessons with Marianna - challenging for me and repetition of basic words and concepts for her - and then watching a couple of Welsh language cartoons to listen to the rhythm of the words and so on. Here is a list of free Welsh language resources from around the web, ranging from GCSE revision guides to adult basics to children's cartoons uploaded to YouTube. Hopefully you'll be able to mix and match to suit your own needs over the next few weeks and months. (I'd normally direct people to places like Sain Wales to buy hard copy media, but they're closed for the duration and we should try to lighten the load on the postal service to essentials besides.) Apps . Handy rundown of Welsh language kids' apps from Montgomery Church in Wales School. Atebol . Welsh language story time on Yo

Sindy Surprise House

Sindy's Surprise Villa House is a three room fold out 1/6 scale doll house from 1996. Here are some photos from Amazon of how it looks straight out of the package: My mum gave Marianna a well played with one this week and I've got to admit that I'm super impressed with it! In the kitchen you can open the doors of the fridge and freezer, the washing machine, and the cooker. Plus you can slide the hob on and off, and slide the kitchen tap over to have the sink empty or full. The living room is missing its fold out sofa, but there are still little surprises to be found - you can pop a video out of the VCR, and the CD player and tape decks open. My favourite room has to be the bedroom with its en suite shower though. The wardrobe folds down to form a bed and if you pull the tab at the window you can change the view from day to night! For more like this, please click the image below:

Coronavirus Torfaen

*This post is no longer being updated* Links to and brief overviews of up to date info on what's happening in Torfaen. For council services information, check out Torfaen's special coronavirus webpage . All customer care centres are closed, instead you can apply for things online , email, or ring 01495 762200. For business advice click HERE . Wales is currently on a 'soft' lockdown for three weeks with all non-essential high street stores (essential = supermarkets/food shops, newsagents, pharmacies, bicycle shops, banks, post offices, home and hardware stores, pet shops, vets, funeral homes, laundrettes/dry cleaners, and petrol stations) closed and bans on public gatherings of more than two people not from the same household. If you are not a key worker you can still go out once a day to exercise, buy food and / or medicine, attend medical appointments, and to look after vulnerable people. Police have the power to fine and disperse pu