Snoopy and Charlie Brown brings back fond memories so I was delighted when I was given the opportunity to share the joys of these characters with my son Ramsey.

The Peanuts gang make their feature film debut in Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie, and we were asked to give our verdict.


The first thing I was loved was how this film was safe to share with children. There were no dire warnings of foul language, sex or violence on the back. It made me realise how rare it is these days to share a film with kids without checking and double-checking it is OK for them to watch.

In Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved Peanuts gang appear in the feature film as they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation.

The plot like so many Charlie Brown stories appears light but has deep meaning. Charlie falls for a little girl and is too scared to approach he or to tell her how he feels. I guess plenty of us have experienced exactly that sort of anxiety when someone takes our heart.

He tries to impress and seems doomed to always end up with egg on his face or jelly on his dance shoes. I really felt for him and hoped against hope that it would all come right for him in the end.

According to the creators, “The Peanuts Movie will prove that every underdog has his day”.

Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. I felt the Snoopy plot did not really add much to what was already a powerful story of apparently unrequited love. Ramsey agreed with me that he was more engaged by the story of Charlie Brown.

I loved remembering the diverse set of characters in Charlie Brown and it made me want to read and watch more. Underdog or no underdog, Charlie Brown has stood the test of time.

“It’s a good film and I would recommend it” he commented.


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Do you suffer from dry eyes?

You might feel that your eye has grit or sand in it. Perhaps your eyes overwater so you have to wipe your eyes regularly. Are your eyes red and sore?

It is not a huge issue for me but my husband feels his dry eyes are often one of the signs of tiredness. He also feels air conditioning systems in office environments don’t help matters.

Dry eyes cause irritation and difficulty focussing especially on vdu work.

dry eye

Dr David Mantle FRSC FRCPath, medical adviser at Pharma Nord says of Omega 7 (sea buckthorn oil capsules): ‘Sea buckthorn oil is extracted from berries of the sea buckthorn plant, a medicinal shrub originating in the Himalayas. It is a particularly rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), specifically omega-7 (palmitoleic and cis-vaccenic acids), omega-3 (linoleic acid) and omega-6 (alpha-linoleic acid), together with antioxidants (tocopherols, tocotrienols, carotenoids). The PUFAs and antioxidants present in Pharma Nord’s Omega 7 sea buckthorn oil capsules act in synergy to maintain the structure and function of mucous membranes throughout the body, including those forming the outer surface of the eye. In a randomised controlled clinical trial, patients with dry eye syndrome given Omega 7 as an oral supplement (2gm day for 3months) showed a significant improvement in symptoms.’

If dry eyes are a regular problem it is worth a check up with your optician in case it may be symptom of underlying health problem.

Sown & Grown is an exciting new cereal brand.

Sown & Grown comes in six varieties (three granolas and three mueslis) and is slowly being rolled out across the UK, exclusively in Sainsbury’s.

We are always keen to try new cereals and to try out healthier options.

Sown and Grown was developed by husband & wife team Phil and Rachel Toms. Sown and Grown uses only British grains. Rachel is a home economist and mum which reassures me that the right sort of brains are behind this new cereal.

We loved how it came in a tube with a seal top so it stays fresh and does not spill everywhere. We are going to experiment with it and see if it can be added to crubles and the like.

We tried the granola and let’s just say it did not last long at all in this house!

Here is what Him Indoors has to say “Enjoyed the granola, probably more than I do muesli. The Blueberries gave a sharp tangy flavour. Could we have more please as it all went so quickly we didn’t have time to note down the good points?”

It is National Board Games Week takes place from April 25th to May 1st. To celebrate we held a family night playing old favourites and a new game too.

I love how board games get families together especially across the generations. I still have Monopoly from my childhood and recently got a version for my local city.

Fortunately my husband is a huge Monopoly fan too and I am still waiting for him to make those millions.

My teen loves Frustration and my daughter loves Cluedo.

Board games are for life not just for Christmas! They play a big part in our home education journey too.

Here’s how to participate in National Board Games week which is a great reason to gather together away from various video games.


Sign up to receive a free printable pack of ‘bingo’ cards and winners’ certificates that relate to Monopoly, Jenga, Trivial Pursuit, Connect 4 and Guess Who

If you hold a family board games night, any pictures/videos of your family games night can also be entered into a competition to win a stack of board games and a year’s supply of pork pies!

I am taking part in the Asda Mobile Digital Detox Challenge for 7 days starting from 25th April 2016.

Asda Mobile have provided me with a basic mobile phone along with an Asda Sim card topped up with £10 credit.

Does your smartphone dominate your life? Does it lead to you ignoring your family, friends and colleagues as you check emails and social networks? Are family days out more about getting the right image than throwing yourself into the experience?

A study carried out by the Huffington Post discovered that the average person checks their phone 85 times a day, receives just over 100 emails and spends around three hours, actively, on the internet.

My challenge involved using a basic phone only for texts and calls. I have not made one call or sent a text since starting the challenge. Although this is not part of the challenge, it is interesting how as soon as you take the time to question whether you are unwittingly on a digital treadmill, your phone use starts to change.

It’s a bit like when you change your eating and exercise habits and wondered why you ever liked unhealthy foods and a couch potato lifestyle.

I have enjoyed not having the ball and chain of the smartphone on the bedside cabinet. It has made it easier for me to either pursue another interest like reading or to switch off completely. How lovely to have a cuppa in the morning without immediately checking my phone!

I am also getting through jobs that matter more efficiently rather than “wasting time” trawling through Instagram and other social networks. If I don’t tweet, it appears the world does not end!

I have enjoyed getting out and about leaving blog and social media business to wake up and smell the coffee, to feel the sun on my skin and to explore my local surroundings. It is important to remember the world offline is a fascinating place if we take our eyes of our screens and actually look.
Why don’t you join in a mini challenge and see if you can manage without your smartphone for 24 hours?

Digital Detox Infographic

I challenge my readers to also take part in this and write a post detailing their experience mentioning (and linking to) my blog and Asda Mobile. I would love you to experience the liberating feeling of saying goodbye to the smartphone even if only for 1 day. Here are the terms and conditions.

If you take part in the “mini challenge” you must add a link to your diary post in the comments.

Data Protection – Any personal data relating to entrants will not be disclosed to a third party, this will be strictly used for the Asda Mobile digital detox challenge only.

Winner selection – The winners will be required to respond within 14 days of notification confirming their acceptance of the award. In the event a winner does not respond to communications within 14 days of notification or if any award is declined or not redeemed, we reserve the right to disqualify that winner and present the award to a reserve winner.

Winner notification – Winners will be notified via email w/c 9th May 2016.

Prize – You have a chance to win £100 worth of Asda store gift card.

The terms & conditions of the challenge which includes the information that we request you include in your blogpost.

By accepting this challenge you are agreeing to these terms & conditions and you are releasing us, our directors, officers, employees and agents from, and indemnifying each of them against, any and all liability or any loss, damage or injury of any kind arising from or in connection with this challenge.