Sunday, 20 May 2012

Help Dora Help Returns for a Second Year

Second Year of Campaign is set to Award £20,000

London, 15th May, 2012 – Nick Jr., the award-winning pre-school channel from the Nickelodeon network, today announces the 2012 launch Help Dora Help, the campaign that brings exploration to life in nurseries and pre-schools across the UK.

The campaign, supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts consists of a free activity pack, giving nurseries and pre-schools educational activity resources. Nurseries will also have the opportunity to apply for an award of £20,000. The pack follows the Early Years Foundation Stage development goals and contains six activity session plans that provide stimulating learning opportunities with the theme of Dora the Explorer’s adventures. The themes for this year’s pack are: Cooking, Sports Day, Fairy Tales, Animals, Seaside and Music.

Registration is now open at for nurseries to apply for a pack. They have until 22nd July to work through the activities with their pre-schoolers and put together their application for the £20,000 award.

Once this year’s applications have been submitted, an expert panel led by Nick Jr.’s Wake Up World Helena Dowling, alongside Nick Jr. representatives and partners including The Prince’s Foundation, Dora Magazine and Chad Valley will choose five finalists. The public will then be able to vote for their favourite application and decide who is awarded the £20,000.

Each of the five finalists will be awarded discovery and learning equipment from Chad as well as a classroom visit from Dora the Explorer and all five finalists’ award bids will be filmed and aired on Nick. Jr.

In 2011, Hope Nursery School in Belfast was selected. With the award the Nursery selected to build a play area featuring numerous play structures, a puppet theatre, garden, sand and water area.
Tina McCann, MD Nickelodeon UK, said: “The quality of applications in 2011’s Help Dora Help campaign were incredible. We’re delighted with the way the award has been used at Hope Nursery and equally excited to engage with pre-schoolers and practitioners across the country once more throughout 2012.”

Nurseries and pre-schools can apply for the free Help Dora Help Activity Pack and Award Fund at

Saturday, 19 May 2012

It's been a while

I can barely remember the last time i sat and wrote a blog post because i was either fired up about something or just because i wanted to.
Things have changed considerably of late, with taking the huge step of finally closing down La Chic Unique and concentrating more on what i need than everyone else i certainly feel more like i wanted to than i hoped i would.
Im no longer making or selling my wares, this has taken a huge pressure off me and given me more time to do things that should be important but never really are.
Just to sit with the girls and laugh about, well nothing really, has made me see that being successful as a person isnt the same as being successful as a mama. And to be honest id rather be a great mama than a great anything else.
Ive curbed my creative passion, ya know that itchy feeling inside that makes it so you cant sit still, by growing again. This has ticked two things off my current WANT list. Ive longed for the opportunity to be more self sufficiant and after the success we had last year with potatoes and peas i figured hell why not, i can so do this! We as a family agreed on some chickens to for fresh eggs so thats been a great experience and they havent even arrived yet! its been nice to discuss things more and taking more time to plan and purchase things has really made me drop a gear which i havent do in what feels like forever!
Our modest size garden is starting to look beautiful and will soon be inhabited with 2 chucks, we are currently "remodelling" our large shed into a play house for the girls which has really inspired my creative side so for once im getting to have it all so to speak.
We have spent a lot of time on the house recently too, when i say we i mean me, making it feel more like a home than a house and now i dont have to cringe every time someone visits! (yes i am secretly very house proud!)
Im enjoying just taking everything back to basics and just simply enjoying life. This is an aim for me, its bugged me for such a long time how my dad missed out on so much from being ill for such a long time. i still miss him, no less than i have for the last 3 years, but instead of feeling sad i wanna do all those things he never got round to or put off for a time when he didnt have to do other stuff.
This has really inspired me to be more inventive with cooking, saying no much less to the kids, accepting that compromise is the spice of life and putting things off isnt an option.
I even said to the hubby the other day, all im short of is a dog and a camper van and i wouldnt want anything else from life. No im not a millionaire, or have the perfect figure of have a "normal family" but im happy in my day to day life, no not happy, content. perfectly content with the decisions i made, the things i have and where im going. Content is nice, its like a spring sunny morning straight after its rained. All fresh and sparkly. I like it. It feels like a long time coming to be fair.
So my advice for you dear reader, would be to sit back, look at what youve got and if its worth keeping, simply enjoy it. Dont make it difficult because you can, dont make it hard because its easier and dont let things pass you by because they are scary.
Life is desceptively short, you may feel at 20 that you have an eternity to fill your life with all those hopes and dreams you have right now but hey.. why do you wanna wait til your 65 to do them when really you can do them right now.  Change jobs, ask the hot guy out, read that mountain of books, learn a new skill or craft, have a baby, have a dog/cat/goffer whatever! just do it instead of saying...' yeah i will next month when (insert crap excuse here) all it takes is setting say an hr a day aside to achieve that dream/hope/aspiration you have been harbouring for years and no its never to late!
So go, fill your life with simplicity, enjoyment and contentment, and most important of all... SMILE! (it doesnt only release chemicals that make you feel great but its free AND its contagious!!)

L xx