Category Archives: Uncategorized

Diary of a Brilliant Kid is the tweenager’s atlas for navigating life

This interactive collection of stories, quotes, theories and yes, science, guides you through the difficult years between ages 8 and 12 to help you make sense of yourself and the world around you. Everything is changing! And that’s okay! It’s actually more than okay it s exciting. These changes are the opening salvo of your gradual transition into grownup, and it’s the perfect time to define who you are, how you think and how you choose to face the world. Is it a lot? Yes. But this book can help you sort things out and come out the other side shining.

The journal format gives away the plot; Spoiler Alert: the Brilliant Kid is you. No matter how you feel, no matter what’s happening in your head right now, you are not broken. You are a unique collection of talents and dreams and wants and surprises, and you have an entire lifetime ahead of you. Aren’t you curious to discover just how awesome life can be? This book takes you inside your own head, out into the world and everywhere your dreams may take you.

 

 

 

  • Learn how to make the kinds of choices that make you feel alive
  • Conquer the three Rs of happiness: relationships, relationships and relationships
  • Get a handle on today, tomorrow and what comes next
  • Bounce back from the tough stuff, and discover the seven words that will change your life

There’s a lot to learn, but one lesson is clear: never be afraid to shine. Stand up, stand out and be spectacular whatever that means to you. Diary of a Brilliant Kid gives you the map and compass so you can start your own journey today.

For more information visit Diary of a Brilliant Kid 

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY, VISIT OUR COMPETITIONS PAGE!!

Seriously ill children and their families across the UK enjoy Starlight’s Summer Escapes!

Starlight Children’s Foundation hosted a series of summer events for seriously ill children and their families across the UK. The children’s charity, which provides support to families through extensive hospital entertainment and wish granting, held a total of five Starlight Escapes to give children and young people with serious and lifelong conditions some much-needed time away from their hospital beds and treatment.

The Escape season kicked off in June with two boating parties at Sonning and Hampton Court. Here children got dressed up in pirate gear and enjoyed a host of pirate themed games, including walking the plank, before families set off on a real pirate adventure down the River Thames.

The next memorable day out was the charity’s Sky-High event at Preston Capes in Northamptonshire. Both children and their families from the surrounding areas, enjoyed the thrill of helicopter rides, plus rides on a vintage bus, fire engine and tractors when back on the ground.

Sam Hines, mum to Starlight wish child Brandon who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy said ‘It was the most enjoyable day we’ve ever had, the lads absolutely loved it, especially the helicopter ride.

It was amazing from start to finish. We struggle to get both boys out and about due to them both being in wheelchairs, but everyone was so helpful. It was so refreshing for us all to get out as a family and make memories. It will definitely be a day we won’t forget”.

Starlight then held their annual Summer Party at Belmont Farm in London on one of the hottest days of the year at the end of July. The outdoor fete-style party has become a much-loved day out for Starlight wish children and their families, as well as families from local hospitals and hospices.

The jam-packed day included clay pigeon shooting, an animal petting area and pony and trap rides to arts and crafts, a bouncy castle and fete games.

The charity then rounded off their summer of fun with their biggest event of the year at Popham Airfield in Winchester. The event, which was attended by almost 700 people, included helicopter and aeroplane rides at what was an unforgettable day of adrenaline fuelled action!

The fun didn’t stop back on solid ground, with pony rides, magicians, entertainers, face-painters and rides on some very special motorbikes and supercars. The day also finished with Starlight’s first ever ‘Floss off’ with children, families, volunteers and staff all taking to the dance floor to show off their best moves!

Starlight’s Escapes are supported by volunteers, who offer their time, expertise and vehicles to create a truly special day for the families. The events have become crucial days out for families with seriously ill children, as they provide them with the opportunity to spend memorable days together at a time when they need it the most.

Roberto’s mum, who attended the boating escape at The Upper Thames Yacht Club at Hampton Court, sums up the Starlight Escape experience as;

“Days like today are a great moment to pause and remember the gift of being a family, to have

time together that isn’t about trips to hospital, needles or bad stuff. They really are ‘respite days’ – a way in which to escape and feel a million miles away from the normal stuff”.

For more information and to find out how you can help Starlight provide more days out for seriously ill children and their families visit www.starlight.org.uk

Special Needs Parents launch trendy tube feeding clothing brand “Tubie Kids”

In 2010, Zayne & the family were blessed with a beautiful and very special baby girl who was born with very complex respiratory and gastro medical issues making her number 7 in the world with her rare genetic condition called “Duplication 22q12q13”.

Little did they know that the tiniest things we normally take for granted in life such as eating orally and swallowing saliva was actually life threatening for their baby girl.

After spending months on end at Great Ormond Street Hospital and undergoing treatments and investigations, a year on, the family proudly started a new journey and became tubie parents. This meant that their daughter Karma had to be fed via a tube that was surgically placed directly in to her stomach.

Finding fashionable tube friendly clothing was proving to be pretty difficult.  At feeding times, the family would have to fully undress her to get to Karma’s feeding tube.

Their solution at the time was to cut holes in her clothing to access her feeding button or thread the feeding tube through bodysuit popper openings. This worked for a while until she started to outgrow the traditional baby onesies available in the high street shops.

The clothing situation as a whole was not ideal especially when “out and about” in cold weather with respiratory issues. Let alone from a dignity point of view!

Zayne, Karma’s mum, stated that “Our children become fashion conscious and like to look and be the same as other children. Colours and style is a way of saying who they are without having to speak”.

Karma is non verbal, has a bubbly and cheeky personality and they wanted tube friendly clothing that reflected that. This inspired the family and the brand “Tubie Kids” was born in April 2018.

Their fashion line is fresh, vibrant, full of colours and personality which the market lacked.

The adaptations in designs are so discreet you would not even tell the difference. This allows tube fed children, also refered to as tubie kids to be kids in their own right and express their own personalities through colours and designs without having to compromise dignity, comfort or functionality of the garments.

Their sizes currently start from 3 yrs to 12 yrs old. However, they will introduce larger sizes in the future if they receive requests for them.

Zayne pointed out that “All the items are sensory friendly”. They have been designed to incorporate flat seams and no labels throughout. The fabrics used are soft to feel and 100% high quality cotton for long lasting durability. They have also selected dual sizing so the children don’t outgrow them fast.

Leanne (a Tubie kids customer) said “ The quality and design are flawless, so glad I stumbled across their facebook page by complete accident they are exactly what we’ve needed for a long time”

Nicola (another Tubie Kids customer) stated “I’m absolutely in love with these new tubefeeding t shirts! They are very well made and of very high quality material. I love the fact that they actually look like a t shirt, they have another hidden vest underneath with a large hole to access the peg/button. Highly recommended them!”

 Prices range from £14.50 to £16.50 and can be purchased from their online store www.tubiekids.co.uk

For more info:

Contact Zayne on [email protected] or via their fb page @tubiekids

PureStyle of London has launched the first subscription-based “Home Fragrance Club’ which offers consumers a new mix & match experience in this category.  Additionally the consumers can as well opt for the one-time-purchase Gift Set, which is great to give to family and friends.

Consumers can choose their own size and colour candle or diffuser and reeds with their favourite fragrance!  This can be done with the convenience of being at home and selecting and choosing online from their sofa and getting the final product conveniently delivered on the doormat and replenished if preferred.  All products are locally hand poured and social engaged and environmentally friendly!

Just a few long-lasting fragrances:

  • Neroli Rose [Rose Garden] is a delicate, sweet Orange Blossom and calming, soothing Rose intoxicate the senses
  • Citrus Lavender [Unwinding Moments] – Fruity vibrant citrus combined with soft calming lavender evoke the scent of an English garden
  • Nordic Pine [Morning Walk] is an aromatic and woody, a bracing walk through the pine forest on a bright frosty day. Relaxing!

For more information click here

The West Kent Family Grapevine is delighted to be able to give away a Reed Diffuser ‘Indulge’ to celebrate the launch of these great fragrances.  Visit our Competitions Page for a chance to win.

 Having studied at the renowned Elsa Van Der Nest Culinary Academy in Cape Town, South Africa, Laura has enjoyed cooking all her life.

Laura noticed a gap in the ready meal market for organic, additive and preservative free meals and decided to start her own business focusing on producing meals for busy families, working couples, hungry singles and older generations who are perhaps not mobile and unable to cook for themselves.

Harley’s Home Cooked strive to achieve excellence, aiming to always use seasonal ingredients locally sourced from independent suppliers. 

-Sample Menu-

Harley’s Home Cooked also cater for parties and events and have a wide selection of canapes and bowl food’

For more information please have a look at Harley’s Home Cooked Facebook Page here or email [email protected]

 

 

 

Considering everything from hormones to Homer Simpson, from parental leave to the pay gap, Dads Don’t Babysit asks why fathers are sometimes unwilling, but more often unable to share the pleasures of parenting.

More and more men want a bigger role in their family – bringing up baby, hanging out with their kids. Yet it’s not happening. At home and in the office, from the breakfast cereal ad to the bedtime story, parents are subject to different pressures and expectations about what their role should be. Mums and dads are prevented from making a free and fair choice about how they share parenting.

It’s time to put that right.

Using the latest research, personal insight, interviews, and some cartoons, two dads make the case for equal parenting. They show that more and more parents want to split bringing up the kids fairly; why this can be good for everyone involved; and why this is proving so difficult in practice.

They set out the biggest barriers to sharing parenting more equally, and offer real solutions for putting it right in an accessible, personal and light-hearted way that any parent or parent-to-be will relate to.

About the Authors

David Freed is a successful dad blogger who writes about sharing parenting on his blog Dad’s Turn: Raising Little Bear (www.Dads-Turn.co.uk). A social scientist by background, he was one of the first dads in the UK to take half a year of Shared Parental Leave, sharing responsibility for his son equally with his wife. Whilst doing so, he developed first-hand experience of how great it can be being the lead parent, but how despite some small progress in recent years, he is still out of place as a dad in a week-day world of mums. He now works part-time to look after his son during the week.

James Millar is a father and went part-time in 2014 whilst a Westminster journalist. He’s blogged about that experience and the way people treated him at the time – the suspicion that he lacked ambition because he was taking time to look after his child. James has been a journalist for more than 20 years and published ‘The Gender Agenda’ with his partner in summer 2017. Dads Don’t Babysit grew out of that book.

For a chance to win a FREE copy, visit our Competition Entries Page

 

 

 

GRAND OPENING OF EXCITING NEW COFFEE SHOP EXPERIENCE

 Esquires Coffee is launching a brand new store in Tunbridge Wells

Ethical community coffee brand Esquires Coffee is launching a brand new store in Tunbridge Wells. Opening on Tuesday 28th August, the new store will offer a great range of Fairtrade and organic coffee, teas and chocolate, as well as tempting food from brunch and lunch through to dinner, and children’s menus.

Offering much-loved classics as well as healthy, vegan and vegetarian dishes, all dishes are available to eat in or take away in fully compostable boxes. Delicious, seasonal food offerings range from smashed avocado with chilli, lemon, rocket & tomato, and Nutella French Toast to halloumi fries with za-atar, sumac & a lime yoghurt dip, and Esquires’ signature Panko Buttermilk Chicken with hot pepper mayo & mirin pickled cucumbers or Paratha Bacon Roll.

Esquires focus on sustainability and social responsibility; all fruit and vegetables are locally and sustainably grown where possible. It also supports the local community and uses independent and family run suppliers whenever possible. All eggs are British, free range and are laid by Copper Marans hens on farms in the South of England. The fresh meat is free range and sourced from farms in leafy Suffolk and salmon is sourced ethically from suppliers all over the British Isles.

Esquires Coffee Tunbridge Wells takes pride in its community spirit and central location on Mount Pleasant Road, one of the main shopping roads in Tunbridge Wells and not far from the famous Pantiles.

Waqas Yaqoob, Owner of Esquires Coffee Tunbridge Wells says, “Whether you want to meet friends for a quick coffee, take your time over a long lunch, pop in for a bite to eat with your dog, or study with friends, our shop is much more than a coffee house, it’s a cool and quirky environment, filled with communal tables and cosy seating. With the added benefit of delicious food and, of course, great coffee, we can’t wait to welcome our local community in!”

The store will open on Tuesday 28th August at

Esquires Coffee Tunbridge Wells, 70 Mount Pleasant Road,

Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RJ.

Opening hours are

Monday to Friday 7am – 9pm, Saturday 9am-9pm and Sunday 9am-6pm.

MICHEL ROUX JR. GIVES HIS SEAL OF APPROVAL FOR THE COOK BOOK AS EXCITEMENT BUILDS AROUND THE BOOK AND THE FOODIE BUSINESSES INVOLVED

Excitement is building for The Cook Book Sevenoaks/Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells. This will celebrate many of the chefs and local restaurants in West Kent and feature an abundance of recipes for you to try from your favourite eateries in the area. Many local businesses signed up to be in the book from the outset, with others following shortly afterwards.

Children’s charity Tree of Hope are pulling this book together and have already gained the support of Kent born celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr. who is firmly behind the book and has offered to write the forward.

Michel Roux Jr. comments: “As a boy born in Kent, I champion this book and the wonderful stories it tells. As a chef, I cannot express enough how important local producers are and how each one should be celebrated. The work that Tree of Hope does is so crucial for children and families across the nation and it is hugely important that we all continue to support them”.

As well as gaining the support of Michel Roux Jr. for the book, Tree of Hope has also welcomed the services of well-known designer Dan Smith who has designed the vibrant front and back covers for the book. He is responsible for designing the runaway success BOSH and was recently behind Jodi Picoult’s campaign and has designed covers for John Grisham.

The Cook Book will be published on November 1st in conjunction with independent cook book specialists Meze Publishing. There is sure to be a large demand for the book, so to be sure to get your very own limited edition copy you can pre-order the book by visiting:

www.treeofhope.org.uk/shop

Gill Gibb, CEO at Tree of Hope comments: “We are overwhelmed by the support we have received for The Cook Book from local businesses and the local community and can’t wait to see the final copies once they are printed. There is a real sense of pride in the book from everyone involved. We also want to say a special thank you to Michel Roux Jr. and Dan Smith for wanting to be part of this book. Your contributions have made it extra special and one to stand out from the rest.”

All profits from the book will raise funds for Tree of Hope to enable them to help more sick and disabled children get the treatment and therapies they need

About Tree of Hope

To find out more about the work of Tree of Hope please visit www.treeofhope.org.ukTree of Hope was founded in 1992 in Bexhill by Corinne Gardner, who wanted to help two local children with rare diseases to have a better quality of life through operations and treatments not available on the NHS. She did so by raising funds with their families. We are now a national charity supporting more than 800 sick and disabled children to have operations, therapies and specialist equipment that are not available through the NHS or social healthcare. We provide support to families to set up their own fundraising campaigns for life-changing treatments and help them raise to over £2m every year. We offer each family an online platform for fundraising, advice and guidance, and support throughout their campaign.

 

Tree of Hope is a registered children’s charity which receives no grants or donations from local or central government. All money raised to help our families comes from fundraising efforts from the public, companies and community groups, and donations from individuals, towards each family’s campaign and to cover the costs of running the charity, which is based in Tonbridge, Kent.

THE COOK BOOK – A CELEBRATION OF EVERYTHING FOODIE IN WEST KENT

Local Children’s charity Tree of Hope has announced they are pulling together ‘The Cook Book Sevenoaks/Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells’ in collaboration with Caroline Kings from Eat Around Tonbridge, Food Photographer Severien Vits and Events Organiser and foodie Charlotte Rogers. This book will be a celebration of the chefs, restaurants and producers in West Kent and feature stories and recipes from these businesses. It has long been known that Kent has a great diversity in terms of its food and The Cook Book is also a way of bringing the local community together in a celebration of our wonderful food culture and history.

Interest in ‘The Cook Book’ has been rapidly building and with an abundance of local, well loved eateries already signed up to be in the book this promises to be a must have buy this year for all foodies. Notable locals already featuring include Whiting and Hammond, The Smallholding, Cocolicious, Fuggles Beer Café, Sulstons, local chef Russell Goad, Papermakers Arms and The Lemon Grove. Contact Kate Bourne at Tree of Hope on 01892 535525 to request your favourite dish appears- but let us know soon as the book is almost full.

Bruce McMichael of The Lemon Grove comments: “Sharing recipes, ingredients and food is a great way to build a strong, sharing, caring community, and I am proud to be working with Tree of Hope on this amazing book representing many of our towns’ innovative and creative chefs, producers and restaurateurs.”

Doug White of Fuggles Beer Café comments: “We believe that pubs still hold a place at the heart of a community and communities are all about supporting each other. We are hugely proud to be working alongside Tree of Hope and helping them support those who need it the most.”

The book will be published in conjunction with independent cook book specialists Meze Publishing who have previously published a number of best-selling regional cook books. The book will be published on November 1st and available to buy at all participating outlets and you can be sure to secure your limited edition when we release pre-order details- watch this space.

Gill Gibb, CEO at Tree of Hope comments: “We are incredibly excited to be putting together The Cook Book, a celebration of the wonderful food within the local area and also to celebrate a real sense of community and pride in this project. We are great food lovers at Tree of Hope and from talking to people in the area, we believe there are many more that are going to really appreciate this book.”

All profits from the book will raise funds for Tree of Hope which is inspired by the success of the charity’s first annual Dine and Donate campaign which took place earlier this year and raised over £10,000 for the charity.

To find out more about the work of Tree of Hope please visit www.treeofhope.org.uk

Tree of Hope was founded in 1992 in Bexhill by Corinne Gardner, who wanted to help two local children with rare diseases to have a better quality of life through operations and treatments not available on the NHS. She did so by raising funds with their families. We are now a national charity supporting more than 800 sick and disabled children to have operations, therapies and specialist equipment that are not available through the NHS or social healthcare. We provide support to families to set up their own fundraising campaigns for life-changing treatments and help them raise to over £2m every year. We offer each family an online platform for fundraising, advice and guidance, and support throughout their campaign.

Tree of Hope is a registered children’s charity which receives no grants or donations from local or central government. All money raised to help our families comes from fundraising efforts from the public, companies and community groups, and donations from individuals, towards each family’s campaign and to cover the costs of running the charity, which is based in Tonbridge, Kent.

Dr Michelle Dickinson (MNZM) – prize winning nanotechnologist, researcher and educator – has made it her life mission to make science and engineering accessible for all. Her new upcoming book The Kitchen Science Cookbook is packed full of fun ‘recipes’, each teaching an important scientific principle in a format that is perfect for parents and children to enjoy together. Available on Amazon.  Find out more at https://uk.kitchensciencecookbook.com/

 

 Marshmallow Catapults

Scientific Principle: Energy                           

Time: 30 minutes

Introduction

Catapults have been used throughout history to launch objects at and over the walls of castles by converting potential energy to kinetic energy. This experiment uses the same theory – but with objects you can eat!

Equipment & Ingredients2 elastic/rubber bands

  • 1 plastic teaspoon
  • Masking tape
  • 7 wooden skewers
  • 5 large marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Create a triangular base with three of the wooden skewers, joining them with a marshmallow at each corner.
  2. Place one skewer upright into the centre of each of the three marshmallows used in the base, then bring the tips of the skewers together to transform your triangle into a pyramid.
  3. Secure the three skewer tips with an elastic/rubber band, then place a marshmallow over the top.
  4. Use masking tape to attach the spoon to the end of the final skewer.
  5. Feed the spoon-skewer combo through the centre of the pyramid, placing thewooden end into the base triangle marshmallow at the front of the structure and holding the spoon end at the back of the structure.
  6. Place the second rubber band over the top of the pyramid and loop it under the spoon to hold the spoon off the ground or table.
  7. Place a marshmallow on the end of the spoon, pull it backwards against the rubberband and let go!

The Science Behind Marshmallow Catapults

Catapults work by converting energy from one type to another and transferring thisenergy from one object to another. When the spoon is pulled back against the rubber band, energy is added to the catapult system. This energy is stored as potential energy in both the spoon and the rubber band. The further the spoon is pulled back, the more potential energy is stored. When the spoon is released, the potential energy converts to kinetic energy (energy in motion) and the spoon propels forward, releasing the energy stored in it. This energy is transferred from the spoon to the projectile marshmallow sitting in the spoon, and causes the marshmallow to fly through the air. Because the spoon and skewer combo are long and bendy, they act as a lever, pivoting on the marshmallow base and enabling the projectile to be propelled a long way relative to the small amount of effort.

Explore Further

  • What happens if you shorten the length of the spoon-skewer lever? Why do you think that is?
  • Can you construct a catapult using a shape other than a pyramid? How about a square or a rectangle?
  • How does changing the length of the rubber band affect how the marshmallow flies?
  • Can you aim the marshmallow so that it lands in a bowl across the table

 

Scrumptious Slime 

Scientific Principle: Viscosity Time: ​45 minutes cooking time, 2 hours cooling time 

Introduction 

This slime flows like a liquid but can be rolled like a solid – and the best part is that it’s edible!

Equipment & Ingredients 

  • Saucepan
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • 395g (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 10g (1 Tbsp) cornflour/cornstarch
  • 45ml (3 Tbsp) chocolate syrup

Instructions 

  1. Pour the milk into the saucepan and heat on a low heat.
  2. Slowly stir the cornflour into the warm milk. Continue heating and stirring over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate syrup.
  4. Place in a sandwich bag and refrigerate.
  5. Once cold, roll and squeeze into any slimy shape you want – and watch it flow!

The Science Behind Edible Slime 

Cornflour or cornstarch is a starch made up of long chains of sugar molecules called glucose  which are joined together in a coiled up ball. When exposed to heat and milk, the starch particles absorb water from the milk, causing them to swell. These swollen particles start to press up against each other. This reduces the movement of the liquid, resulting in it thickening or becoming more viscous. Eventually the starch particles burst, freeing up long strands of starch which swell further and absorb the fluid outside the particles. This traps the remaining water in the mixture and turns it into a highly viscous gel or slime. The slime flows like a thick liquid but can be rolled around like a soft solid. The advantage of this recipe is that the slime is edible once you have finished with it!

Explore Further 

  • What edible treats could you add to your slime to add more texture? Does this change the way that it flows?
  • How does the slime flow differently when it is warm compared to when it is cold? Why is this?
  • Can you think of other ingredients you could add, instead of the chocolate sauce, to make different flavoured edible slime?