Who Said Riding A Bike Was Easy….

….Or not all children are the same. 

We bought our daughter a balance bike when she was 2 years old. Was she interested – no! Then when she was about 2 and 3/4 years old, she decided now was the time to ride. 

(Riding her Frog Balance Bike on The Otley Chevin.)

At 3 years old we started going to lessons with In Gear Cycling on the beautiful Otley Chevin. She had things to learn, and learn she did from Jonny. She stated off as the slowest in the group and nearly a year later she became the fastest. 

She was ready for a bike around June 2016, so after some investigation, we decided to visit Islabikes on our way back from our summer holiday in Devon. After all, they are lightweight aluminum kids bikes, designed to fit a child rider perfectly. All my research said that a lighter bike is easier to learn on. Supposedly, a move from a balance bike to a pedal bike is a doddle. Many just get on and go. 

At our Islabike visit (30 minute session booked in advance), she was measured for the correct bike and taken out on the track to try it. As I had suspected, she did not just get on and go, but we adults liked the bike and decided to buy one. It had to be pink!

Islabike Cnoc 16
(An impressive quality kids bike)

Since we got it, we have tried to get her riding it but she just didn’t get pedaling, so in the summer, I even booked her in for a session with Dave Burns of I want to Ride My Bike. He said that in an hour session, he gets kids riding. Ha ha! Not her, she was one of his very few failures. He uses Islabikes in his sessions. (I would still highly recommend him)

In the autumn, Jonny told us only to bring the bike to her cycling lessons. She was getting closer to riding but other things failed her. Firstly being too cold – I then bought her a warmer coast. Next week her feet got wet in her mesh trainers – I bought her some gortex boots. Now lessons for the beginners class are off till spring time. 

We have been taking her to the park to practice and at almost 4.5 years old, she is nearly getting the hang of cycling. We can’t let go of her yet though. 

I had envisioned the transition from her balance bike to cycling being easy peasy, after all, I kept reading this, and my nephew had shown this to be true. Really I knew it wouldn’t be like this for her. She can be slow to pick up new skills (balance bike) but when she is ready she will be ready. She does things at her own pace. She can be stubborn too, which doesn’t help. Also, she had never used anything with pedals before this bike. I think, If she’d used a tricycle, I’m sure that this would have helped. 

She is her own person and will be pedaling all by herself very soon. I keep forgetting that 4 1/2 is still a young age to learn to ride. 


The Wet Brush Review

Or how a brush revolutionised brushing my 4 year olds hair. 

I’d heard about this brush but I already owned a Tangle Teaser, so why would this be any better? Having spent day after day having painful hair brushing sessions with my daughter, I decided to get some new hair brushes with a Black Friday offer. 

This arrived, along with a Wet Brush comb and a Kent Bristle and Nylon Brush. 

Well of the three, The Wet Brush has been the big winner and given a thumbs up by me and the 4 year old. 

Hair brushing can never be entirely pain less, as there will be knots in longer hair from time to time, but I have genuinely been surprised at how good this brush is for both of us. Hair brushing has become such an easier task to do with the 4 year old, whether it’s brushing Wet or dry hair. 

My husband has been impressed with how the bristles have been engineered to just bend at the right time. It intreged the nerd in him, so he went off to read about it on the internet.

It’s so good that I use it too now and have just ordered another one for our swimming bag. This time we are going to try out the midi size. 

Tili Box from QVC

Beauty boxes are all the rage at the moment. These are boxes that are posted to your home, containing samples of make up and skincare products to try. There are lots of different subscription beauty box services, where for a monthly charge, you get a surprise box of skin care and make up samples to try. For many the low cost and idea of trying something new each month is appealing, especially when they are high end products that you don’t want to just buy and try. I get that feeling of having a parcel arrive, opening it and the excitement of seeing what’s inside. After a day working, this can be a lovely treat. 

Tili or “Try It, Love It” is QVC’s take on a beauty box. It is more expensive than some beauty boxes at ¬£20 (delivered) but it isn’t a subscription service and you can see what you are getting in advance. If it doesn’t contain things that you want to try, don’t buy – easy. 

I’d heard good things about the Tili box, so when I read that box 3 was available, I went to take a look. It looked interesting and as it is based on the products that QVC sell, I knew the price of products that it contained would be of a good standard, making it a reasonable value box too. 

The box arrived in just a couple of days, – – super fast delivery from QVC. It was a lovely thing to arrive home to, after a week away. 

It’s a pretty pale green box with the products wrapped in tissue paper and sitting on a bed of shredded tissue. It looked gorgeous and felt like I was getting a little bit of luxury. Care had been taken to wrap the two glass products in bubble wrap. 

Inside the box are 10 samples, a mix of skin care and make up. I like that there is a mix and not just skincare. The box includes:

1 x Essie Mint Candy Apple Nail Polish (12ml) – a pastel mint green

1 x Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Coconut Breeze (40ml)

1 x Molton Brown Dewy Lily of The Valley & Star Anise Bath & Shower Gel (50ml)

1 x Australian Bodycare Skin Wash (50ml

1 x This Works In Transit Camera Close-up (20ml)

1 x Elemis Gentle Foaming Face Wash (30ml)

1 x Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner (15ml)

1 x Decleor Aromessence Mandarine Oil Serum (5ml)

1 x Doll 10 Lip Velvet (2ml) in one of three surprise shades – I received Material Girl (classic pink)

1 x Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick Extra (1.6g) in one of two surprise shades – I received Moonlight (creamy champagne)

For me the Elasticizer sample is great because I already use it and I’m looking forward to trying it in the coconut fragrance. Coconut is a favourite smell of mine. 

I have been wanting to try Pixi Glow Tonic for a little while, so a sample size is a good way to see if it’s for me or not. 

I already use Essie nail polishes. This isn’t a colour that I would choose but I will try in spring time. I may be pleasantly surprised. 

Molton Brown sample shower gels are great for weekends away. I have used several that I got with present purchase for trips away, so this will be coming with me on my next trip to London. 

I’m not a fan of skin washes, as I like to jot cloth cleanse. I may be giving the two included in here away. 

When I’ve worked out the best way to use This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up, I will give it a go. I’m never sure about products that claim they can multi task. 

The make up and serum oil will be all given a try out. 

I’m quite excited about trying this purchase out, and as I try them, I will review them on here. 

Choosing a School – My Difficult Experience

The 15th January was the closing date for primary school applications in England. This should have been a relatively easy decision for us, but It surprised us by being more difficult than we imagined. 
We got the letter about applying in October and found out what our priority school was. As we sit between two primary schools, we hadn’t been 100% sure which one was our closest but had the right inkling. Not that, that really mattered, as we are lucky to have an abundance of great primary schools in North Leeds. 

November 17th 2016 was the day the problem of choice occurred. Our two closest primary schools had decided, very handily, to have their open days on the same day and we decided to see a third nearby school in the afternoon. 

In preparation, we noted down things that we wanted to know – bullying policy, religious views, after school clubs etc., looked at their website and had a rough idea in our heads what we though about each one. 

That date will now be remembered as the day that the confusion began. All three schools were good, in their own way. We had hoped that at least one (and the one that we thought) would drop off our list or at least drop to a lower priority school to us but no, the one we planned not to like, threw a curve ball at us. 

Here began two months of umming and erring, what if we do this, what about that, pros and cons. Hubby worrying more than me – he’s a natural born worrier. I probably buried my head in the sand for a bit as 15th January seemed ages away. 

The biggest issue, was, that one was a religious school. My husband, isn’t a big fan of religious schools but like me, liked this school and it’s head teacher more than we had expected. How Much did we want her to go here and how much does going to a school the same religion as her really matter. There is no real right or wrong answer to this, just an opinion that you believe in.

Sensibility, finally helped us to come to a decision. A lack of after school facilities, and no retired family member able to collect her 3 afternoons a week consistently (after much discussion), meant that we had the decision made for us in the end really. We couldn’t find a local childminder either, who Take and pick up from the school, with space. Our first choice is our local priority school, that we can walk to, that has good SATS results, is Ofsted Outstanding, people say good things about it and has before and after school club facilities. Not a bad choice at all really. 

Am I completely happy. No. Is this irrational. Yes. Will it be the right choice for my daughter. I’m absolutely sure that it will be. 

Roll on 18th April, to see where she has been allocated to.