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Mother Distracted

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Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Ultimate Kids Party Planning Cheat Sheet

There's nothing like organising a children's party to raise a parent's stress levels.  As your kids grow, their capacity for mischief and mayhem grows exponentially and what was considered a fun time in the past is now very 'last term'.

Image Credit:  Clive Reid
We've found that the number of parties has tended to reduce, or rather parents can no longer afford to entertain the whole class.  In any case, friendship groups are forming and changing and as classes are split, best friends tend to change quite often.

London-based party organisers Twizzle have created this very useful cheat sheet which I am able to share with you here.

Caitlin and Ieuan are now 8 and 7 and have left the soft play party behind them but I much prefer it when parties are organised at the weekend rather than in the middle of the school week. Plus, if they have too late a night we all pay for it the next day!

The current trend here in Cardiff seems to be either Quasar, trampolining or football, with make-over parties for the girls still going strong.

Kids parties are certainly not cheap and there is no reason why you have to fork out lots of cash when, weather permitting, a summer picnic or winter barbeque on the beach might do.  If you're brave enough to host a party at home you have my heartfelt admiration and if the idea fills you with terror and your child isn't overly fussed on a formal birthday party, why not have a family tea and then spend the cash on a couple of day trips of your child's choice?

Anyway,  here's Twizzle's guide to hosting the ultimate, age-appropriate kids party.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.


The Ultimate Kids Party Planning Cheat Sheet
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Friday, 22 July 2016

New Releases, Free & Bargain Books Link-up - 22/07/2016



How are you all this week?  Summer has really arrived and it's been sweltering, hasn't it? Ideal weather for sitting under a shady tree with a book.

The kids are now on holiday.  It's day 2 and we're surviving so far. This afternoon we are going over to our local library to sign them both up for the summer reading challenge.  I'm determined to instill in them the joy of reading a book.  And not a Pokemon in sight.

Here's hoping you have a good week too and find some time for a nice relaxing read.

Here are the fab books on offer this week.  You're sure to find something that takes your fancy.

Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Click HERE for this week's awesome selection.

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Life as Leels | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | All Romance Reader
Tuesday
It's My Side of Life | Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures | Bound 2 Escape
Wednesday
Beck Valley BooksA Library of Reviews | Cinnamon Hollow Reviews
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Taking Time for Mommy | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance | A Bit Bookish | Mother Distracted | Colorimetry
Saturday
Totally Addicted to Reading | 3 Partners in Shopping | Angie's Angle I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings
Sunday
Lynchburg Mama | LibriAmoriMieiAli - The Dragon Slayer | Wondermom WannabeMy Bizzy World |  Deal Sharing Aunt 


For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Click HERE for this week's awesome selection.

And don't forget you can always add some of your own!
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Theatre Review: The Hunting Of The Snark at The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Last night Caitlin, Ieuan and I attended the press night for the Sherman Theatre's brilliant new production in association with Alice House and RGM Productions, "The Hunting of the Snark".


Commissioned and directed by Gemma Colclough,  The Hunting of the Snark is a new adaptation of the Lewis Carroll poem which is a tale of adventure, bravery and, most importantly, family. 6 actors took to the intimate theatre space that the Sherman Theatre is renowned for and transported the audience to a world of incredibly odd creatures, songs, fun and outright silliness.

The Boy - Kate Spencer
In the tradition of all the best moral tales, the characters are known by their type or role - with the exception of  Steve, who produced the sound track to the show with the help of a guitar and drum.  There was The Bellman, The Butcher, The Baker, The Banker and his son,  The Boy.

The tale links them all together and they travel to Snark Island to hunt the mystical creature which has been recently spotted after a hundred years.  Do they capture it and take it back with them to sell?  Is the Snark all that it seems?



An enormous discovery is certainly made by one of the characters and it changes lives for ever - but that's all I'm going to tell you.

The staging is simple but brilliantly effective.  At one point the moon appeared and Ieuan gasped.  The songs are witty and full of enough adult references to get the parents laughing and there is plenty of slapstick silliness for everyone.

The Butcher - Polly Smith
The show runs for approximately 75 minutes and this may be slightly too long for very little ones but it was just right for Caitlin (nearly 9) and Ieuan (7).

They loved it so much Caitlin asked to go and see the show again and Ieuan has not stopped talking about his favourite character, the hilarious Bandersnatch, ever since.

The Bandersnatch - Neal McWilliams
Given that The Hunting of the Snark was written by Carroll in 1874, the cast have done a fabulous job of bringing the poem bang up to date and creating a really memorable show.

Here's what Caitlin and Ieuan had to say.

Caitlin

"The Hunting of the Snark was awesome.  I enjoyed it so much.  I really enjoyed it because it had an adventure and the characters were amazing.  When I danced in the Lord Mayor's Show it was scary and I thought the actors were very brave.  I would really love to see the show again."

Ieuan

"My favourite part of the story was when the Butcher tried to catch the Snark. The funniest part was when the Bandersnatch turned up and did funny poses.  He sang a song about himself and I also liked it when the Jub Jub bird stole the Banker's trousers".

The Hunting of the Snark runs until Saturday 30th July with tickets at £9. You can book online or telephone the box office on 0292064 6900. The Sherman Theatre is situated at Senghennydd Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4YE.

And, this Christmas The Sherman Theatre is bringing to life another classic in The Borrowers. Directed by Amy Leach (Associate Artist; Dukes Theatre, The Egg and Shakespeare Schools Festival). Their Christmas production for 3 – 6 year olds and their families sees the return of co-production partners, Theatr Iolo, in Hans Christian Anderson’s, The Emperor’s New Clothes / Dillad Newydd yr Ymerawdwr.

We can't wait!
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