Joanne

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Gift buying made easier with Wicked Uncle

Christmas gift shopping can be a very stressful experience for a lot of people. I especially find it stressful and it’s the only part of the season that I dislike, but once the shopping is…

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Peterborough STEM Festival 2019

Every year Peterborough hosts STEM FEST, a free event to encourage children and educate the public around the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Held at Kingsgate Centre and sponsored by Anglian Water, One Alliance and BGL Group, the festival hosted businesses, education centres and organisations that are leading the way in STEM activities. The day hosted various workshops, activities and a whole range of things for children to get involved in.

On arrival, it was clear to see that there were lots to get involved in and certainly an event that you could spend a whole day at. Moving room to room, we tried to get involved in as much as we could. There were lots of coding activities for children which mostly used Scratch, a children’s coding programme, from which children could either code robots to move or play games on the computer by designing codes to pass levels. The first activity we took part in was coding a built cardboard car that had a CPU processor attached to a set of wheels. The children could set whatever directions they wanted the car to follow and release the car on a track to see what it did.

Hackspace is a community workshop that provides space for everyone to create, build and socialise within the STEM community. Using the 3D printers, CNC routers and other technology, there are specialists on hand to help you understand how to use the equipment and start to create whatever project you want. At STEMFEST they were demonstrating just a sample of the equipment they had, including a ‘pi’top, a laptop built with the Raspberry Pi processor. In the same room, there was also a science section with some simple games and activities designed to test your child’s ability to follow instructions while educating them on some simple scientific principles.

The main auditorium hosted a wide variety of different organisations all showcasing how they use some of the latest technologies to support industry. This was really interesting as it showed you how technology was becoming integrated into business to solve challenges faced in engineering and design. One particularly interesting part was Anglian Water who, using Virtual Reality, is able to walk around proposed sites yet to be built to assess design, identify areas for improvement and change and ensure that the site is completely fit for purpose before they even lay their first brick; something that previously would only have happened after the site was built, delaying implementation of the services and cost money. The children were able to play with the VR headsets to look at how water treatment and waterworks plants are built – although they just had fun walking in a digital world.

There was also a retro gaming area, which Leo absolutely loved, that hosted lots of the old systems most of us (oldies) grew up playing, like the Amstrad, Nintendo System (NES), Super Nintendo System (SNES) and more. There were also various stands with technology and software bits for sale to support children in building and developing lots of the ‘gadgets’ they were able to play within each of the various rooms.

The event hosted various speakers and workshops throughout the day but we were unfortunately not able to attend any as we got lost in the activities that were on offer at the various stands and rooms and by the time we moved to the area had missed all the shows.

All in all, it was a very interesting and eye-opening day for the family and showed how technology is everchanging our world. What was most interesting is that it showed how technology can be utilised in industry and started to sow the seeds of how much further technology can go, if you use your creative mind.

I thoroughly recommend this for anyone with children who have the slightest interest in technology and whilst the children enjoyed the day, in my personal opinion the activities are better suited for children 6+ or for children who have a very keen interest in STEM activities. Lydia, who is older, is far more interested in science and technology whereas quite a lot of it went over Emily’s head.

Pick your own Pumpkin at Hill Farm, Chesterton

If you are looking for a spooktacular pumpkin patch to visit this year then I can recommend Hill Farm. I have been quite a few times before over the summer to pick our strawberries and blackberries but have never been to pick my own pumpkin before.

Hill Farm is open for Pumpkin picking from September 28th 10am to 5pm and is free to enter.

Don’t forget your wellies as it can be very muddy.

I love how much effort they have put into decorating the farm, I especially love the witches lair. There are Halloween decorations placed everywhere for the kids to enjoy and really get them in the mood.

Depending on the size of pumpkin/s you want to pick there are wheelbarrows available for you to use close by.

you don’t realise just how many different shapes, colour and sizes there are until you see them all together in a field.  Leo had so much fun squelching through the mud trying to find the perfect pumpkin for him and I was really surprised that he had picked himself a smallish one to take home.

Of course, I made him pose for a picture holding a giant pumpkin too.

 

When you have finished, just take your pumpkin back to the shop and they will sit it on top of a sizing table and that will tell you how much it will be.

Then you can buy yourself a cuppa from the cafe, sit down for five minutes whilst the kids play in the playground before you head home.

Hill Farm Pyo Website

Gifted | Nixplay Seed 10″ Digital photo frame review

I am so excited to tell you all about the Nixplay Digital photo frame. I was sent the Seed version in the 10inch widescreen model to review and now that I have had it a few weeks I am in a position to tell you about it and give my honest opinion on this product.

Not everyone has the space on the wall for every gorgeous photo they want to show and people living in rented accommodation are not always allowed to put photo’s up due to making holes in the wall. My mum’s flat is very small and her mobility isn’t great, so she struggles to put up lots of photos. She would really appreciate something like this where she can showcase a wide selection of photo’s while only taking up a small amount of space, plus she would save money on photo frames.

The photo of the frame on the box is the actual size of the product so you can see its true size straight away, which is great as there is nothing worse then guestimating and being disappointed once you have opened the box.

On the back of the box, there are six key features of the product describing it’s unique selling points;

Instant Sharing Share moments from anywhere in the world using the Nixplay mobile app or email.

Nixplay Friends Invite family and friends to send photos directly to your frame.

High-Resolution Display Clear and vivid colour reproduction.

Simple Set-Up Connect to a WIFI network and display your favourite photos within minutes.

Cloud Account Access all your photos from different devices and platforms in one place.

Hu-Motion Sensor Frame turns on automatically when you enter the room.

In the box, you have your photo frame, remote control, a quick set up guide booklet and your power cable which is a USB cable and a supplied powered adapter; the USB cable must only be used with the adapter. I like that Nixplay has supplied adapter attachments so this can be used in Europe and America, as well as here in the UK. The power cable is also rigid and bendable so you can use it as a stand. You wouldn’t be able to mount the frame on the wall as the back of it is wide and would stick out so Ideally this is better on units, sideboards, etc.

You can stand your frame in either portrait or landscape orientation and the frame will automatically adjust.

One thing I really like with the Nixplay is the motion detectors on the bottom left corner. The thought of having to keep switching it on and off every day would annoy me and it probably more than likely wouldn’t have got used. This, however, turns itself off if no motion is detected after ten minutes (you can change the time in the settings) and then back on again automatically once motion is detected, which means you are not wasting unnecessary power and reducing your carbon footprint by not having it switched on all of the time.

The remote control gives you complete control of the photo frame allowing you to adjust the settings, flick through photo’s faster, swap playlists, pause/ resume and switch the power off.

I found setting up really simple and easy to do. As soon as you have plugged your device in it will ask you to enter your WIFI password which can be done using your little remote control. Then you will be asked to either create an account or log in, again very straight forward to do. You can either do it on your desktop or download the Nixplay app and do it through there, which is what I did.

The Knight Tribe - Nixplay Seed

Now I had set it up I was ready to start uploading my photos straight to my photo frame. I found the App really easy to navigate around and the whole process is very straight forward. You can create various playlists and invite family and friends to contribute to the album from their devices too, which is pretty cool as I plan on giving this to my Mum.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5gTXOSWsGQ[/embedyt]

 

 

 

The Nixplay Seed is available to buy online here

** I received this product in return for an honest review **

 

 

 

 

The Knight Tribe | Talland Bay Beach, Cornwall

One of the main reasons for me wanting to visit Cornwall was to visit their picturesque beaches. They always looked so beautiful in photos like something you would see abroad and I wanted to see them with my own eyes.

Whilst on holiday during the summer holidays, one of the first things I did was google beaches near Looe in Cornwall and Talland bay beach kept popping up. It was 1.7miles (6minutes) away from where we were staying at Trelawne Manor.

All the reviews were really good and near enough all of them warned you about the scary single lane road which you have to go down in order to get to this hidden gem. Well, they weren’t lying, and I am so glad that we were following another car down so we didn’t have to manoeuvre to let anyone past as there was nowhere to really move and I felt very claustrophobic.

Heres why.

We had read online that there was a small car park behind the Beach Cafe and to get there early as it can fill up very quickly. We found where we needed to go really easily by using google maps. You will see a sign for Talland Bay beach and Cafe which you will need to follow, past the public toilets and round to the car park.

Parking is Pay and Display and for three hours I think we paid around £3.60. There are longer and shorter stay options available but we decided three hours would be enough for us. There are no disabled bays, however, because it is a small car park and there isn’t far to walk to the beach anyway.

 

Talland Bay beach car park

Talland Bay Cafe and shop

I was so excited about visiting this little Cornish cafe and it did not disappoint with their three beach huts and plenty of picnic bench seating to sit back, relax, and have a cuppa whilst you take in the breathtaking views around you. We couldn’t go all the way to Cornwall and not have a Scone on the beach – it would have been rude not to. The kids also enjoyed tucking into their cornish ice creams.

They have a little shop where you can purchase nets, buckets, spades, wet suits, beach shoes, bodyboards and much more.

The beach wasn’t your usual sandy beach. It was a mix between seaweed, pebbles, and minimal sandy patches but surprisingly the kids didn’t seem too bothered by the lack of sand. Lydia couldn’t wait to run into the sea and jump over the little waves with her daddy – she’s my little mermaid. Emily and Leo preferred to stay on solid ground with me and run in every now and then. The water was clear like it is in the photo’s I had seen, but cold, very cold, although it wasn’t a particularly hot day, so I was expecting it.

After playing in the sea for a little while, it was time for a quick sandwich and then the kids wanted to go rock pooling with their new nets we had brought from the shop.

As we made our way over to the rock pools we came across this which I thought was really good and I just needed to share.

When the tide goes out, you are left with a really lovely section of rocks that housed lots and lots of little pools. The kids, especially Leo (who is now a keen fisherman), really enjoyed wandering around the rocks in search of sea creatures left behind in the pools and almost started competing to see who could find the biggest creature – or the most. Leo was pretty much straight in there, moving his nets through the pools capturing some little fish and little crustaceans.

Rock Pooling

Lydia and Emily mostly went with daddy as they searched but had not been able to capture much until nearer the end of our little rockpool adventure. Lydia was finally able to catch a larger little fish and just before we were about to leave she was able to catch a little starfish – she was very pleased with herself about this. We hunted for crabs and although we did manage to see a couple, we were unable to catch them.

Once we had finished, we returned the creatures back into the pools and said goodbye to this lovely little bay before heading home. The kids had a fantastic time, it was just a pity the weather wasn’t warm enough to have enjoyed it for longer. For anyone who is interested in going, the water is cold so a wetsuit, if you have one, will help with the water. ‘Wetsuit shoes’ – for want of a better description – will also help as there are fish that will sting you if you walk barefoot. They will also help with the rocks when you go pooling.

The Knight Tribe - Talland Bay beach

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading my review on this lovely little gem and have found is useful. We had a really lovely day. You can read the rest of our holiday review here.

To read more on Talland Bay click here.