Smiling like Sunshine

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sponsored Post:World Baking Day

Remember my post about World Baking Day. Well, the time has come and I spent this morning baking two brownies as I have intended. One for us and one for our elderly neighbor.The recipe can be found here.
As I have been baking this brownie for a while, I know the recipe by heart. Luckily it only requires 7 ingredients.

Today I didn't let the kids know in advance that I was baking. They came to the kitchen and asked me if I was baking something. Love that moment!

When the cakes were done, we let it cool a bit. Once ready, I told the kids that we would take it to the elderly neighbor. He is a lovely man who chats with the children. Most mornings we see him on the way to school and he advises the children not to play the teachers up.
The children loved the idea. They were super excited each wanted to carry the cake. At last we agreed that I would carry it!
Unfortunately he wasn't at home! So we decided to take it to a friend who lives close by. They were surprised to see us at the door with the cake. Who doesn't love a home made cake? Better yet, someone brings it to you out of the blue! We are all so busy with our own lives. Little things like this make such a difference,don't they! It is a grate feeling making someone else happy. The bonus is that making someone else happy makes you happy. I think the idea behind World Baking Day is lovely. I will try and surprise some other friends very soon although the next World Baking Day is next year!
If you would like to join in with The World Baking Day and make bake your own happy cake, visit World Baking Day website . You can also follow them on Pinterest,Twitter,Instagram and Facebook.

Sponsored by Stork.

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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Montessori Inspired Preposition Activity

Here is a new grammar game that I prepared for Derin (5yo). This activity supports children's prepositional language. Around the age of five, we tend to think that the children know all about these words. However some of them can be tricky for some children.

So I used two objects from our dolls house: A baby figure and a chair. Then I prepared the cards. Normally,in a Montessori environment, all the cards are colour coded according to Montessori grammer materials. However we aren't planning to delve into the grammar so I used blank cards as I am using this at home with my son only.

I have laid out the cards to build a sentence and placed the baby behind the chair.
 All the cards with prepositions are placed on the left hand side.

Next we chose the card that says "in front of" and positioned the baby accordingly.
As you may have noticed children have a sensitivity for small objects so the dollshouse miniatures are of interest to them. You can use different objects such as a teddy bear and a cardboard box or whatever you have around your home and make your own activity.

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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Planning for Retirement with Skipton

Having just turned 40, the prospect of retirement is becoming more real for me. I have worked for many years and paid for my NI contributions. We had also paid for private pensions but stopped once we started living abroad. I had a big gap whilst looking after the children. I was adamant that I wanted to be at home with them during their early years. Having done another training during those years,I only returned back to work last January. As I work part time,my NI contributions are low. 
In the meantime, we also started to pay for another private insurance about two years ago. This is again in my home  country. As you can see, I feel somewhat prepared for retirement but at the same time I feel that there is room for improvement and I need a helping hand.

This is where retiresavvy comes in. Mumsnet Blogger Network have asked me to review the Retiresavvy portal from Skipton Building Society, which aims to demystify the subject of retirement. I wanted to do it as I  am aware that I need to put some time to work on this subject for the best possible outcome that will affect the whole family.
The website is very user friendly. I like the question it asks you:
How prepared are you for retirement?
You then tick a box that applies to you: Unprepared,half prepared and fully prepared. In the next page, you get things that you are advised to consider for a better outcome.

retiresavvy say "We want retiresavvy to drive awareness of the issues facing retirees and those planning for retirement, and be a strong and positive force for change. " On a mission to achieve this, they try to make the website very clear, jargon free as the pension issues are very hard to understand.
The website has many articles on many aspects of the subject that are useful both for people that are planning retirement and those that have already retired.
There is also a forum that you can register to chat with others.
I personally found the Jargonbuster and FAQs very informative. There are also  real retirement stories  which I found quite interesting as real people give tips about things they wish they had known. Financial things aside, there are also tips about adapting to retirement, staying healthy and keeping busy in retirement. 
Do check them out as well as the social media channels of retiresavvy. They are active on Facebook, Twitter  and other channels. They also have informative videos on Youtube. It is never too early or too late to think about retirement and I hope you find this website as useful as I do.

I was asked to review by Skipton and the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. All views are my own. I was entered into a prize draw to win vouchers as a token of thanks for blogging. View other blogs on this topic here:

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