Ballerina DVD

Ballerina was one film that the twins saw at the cinema and said immediately they wanted to see again, they adored it. I knew that when it came out on DVD it would be worth purchasing as the girls could watch and re-watch as many times as they liked. They do three dance lessons a week including tap, modern and ballet so, Ballerina really speaks to them and inspires them to improve and follow their own dreams.

The story is centred around Felicie, a young orphan with the single passion of becoming a prima ballerina. Felicie doesn’t walk anywhere, she dances and leaps and twirls and springs. Tables and chairs don’t get in her way, she glides over them, slides across them or pirouettes around them. Felicie is obsessed with dancing. Her best friend in the orphanage is Victor. Victor is an aspiring inventor, he is always making machines or objects, some work out but most don’t. However, this doesn’t deter Victor in his mission to become a famous inventor. He is also a tiny bit in love with Felicie. Together the children hatch a plan to escape the orphanage and run away to Paris where their dreams can come true.

Ballerina follows the children and watches how they do everything in their power to make their dreams come true, including the odd lie here and there (Felicie).

It is a very enjoyable film and one I shall enjoy watching again with them too.

In case you want to add it to your home viewing bookcase then today – 17th April you can, Ballerina is available for Digital Download and also in Blu-ray and DVD versions courtesy of Entertainment One.

Cast includes:-

Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Super 8) as aspiring young dancer, Félicie;
Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Lawless) as Félicie’s best friend and aspiring inventor, Victor;
Carly Rae Jepsen (Castle, Grease Live!) as former prima ballerina, Odette;
Maddie Ziegler (Pretty Little Liars, Dance Moms) as a snobby trained ballerina, Camille Le Haut.

Download the free activity sheet below for the Ballerinas in your home.

Ballerina activity sheet

Disclosure: We were sent a DVD to review – all opinions are our own and we really do love this film!

 

girls on bikes

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it?

In fact, husband went as far as to say to Bessie, as she stepped on the coach to leave with the Year 4 group Kingswood Camp bound, ‘Pick your jacket up! You’re going to lose it if you’re not careful!’

Yes, you already know where this is going, don’t you? One school trip later and one lost jacket.

dab pose

The teacher looked me as if I was dumb when I said, ‘It’s brand new.’ As we were specifically told not to send them with anything new. Do jackets count? Their old jackets have been around for two years and are looking very much the worse for wear. Husband, who delighted in reminding me told me, ‘Send them with their old coats.’ as I was packing and sorting out all of their kit. Did I listen? Of course not!

dad and girls

Blacks had sent these perfect Berghaus jackets to review. They were waterproof, had removable fleeces on the inside, looked very smart and would be perfect for the weather at this time of year. The programme at Kingswood is fantastic, building dens, climbing high, zip wires and a lot of activity. They would be the perfect jackets to wear, fit for all weather and tough.

We had even tried them out on a visit to the coast a couple of weekends ago and decided they were fabulous.

Now we only have one and I am writing emails, contacting via Facebook and disturbing the teachers via email too to see if I have any luck getting it back, after all, it’s a really good coat and like all mums, I bought it big so it would last a year or two.

Westgate on Sea - ice cream

Blacks really have some great gear for kids for all weathers and all seasons. I must remember to thank them for the black waterproof trousers that were sent through as they did return, covered in mud but that’s what they were for. With elasticated waistbands that are easy to pull over jeans or leggings, they came in very handy on rainy days.

I do apologise if this post is shorter than usual but I really do want to find that jacket, you would too if you had one. So I’m going to start phoning and emailing until I am sure that nobody has the jacket. Wish me luck!

girls going on a school trip

Disclosure: We were sent two jackets for the girls to review and some waterproof trousers from Blacks, I really do like them and I’d love to find the lost one. All opinions are my own. You can find them on the following social channels too.

Twitter: @blacks_online     Instagram: blacks_online     Facebook: blacksonline

 

dad in a polo shirt

This weekend saw us return to Thanet to our family caravan, to open it up and get her ready for 2017.

Birchington Vale, previously known as Two Chimneys, was bought by Park Holidays UK and when we saw their plans for a new clubhouse and expansion of the park, we couldn’t resist investing in a static caravan of our own. Here’s our latest pic of how they are getting on.

Birchington Vale clubhouse progress

Our caravan has been closed since November as we knew we wouldn’t have time to visit, so you can imagine our excitement this weekend returning after such a long time?

I had a list as long as my arm of things to prepare and take with us; bedding, towels, items for the kitchen that I had taken home and some fun games for us to do together.

With the car packed to the hilt we set off and arrived for lunch.

Birchington Vale zipwire

There has been lots of progress on the clubhouse and we peeked through the bushes at the brand new play area with zip wire! The girls can’t wait to have a go on that!

Sunday was an early start as we were all excited to be there! The one day we can all sleep in, there were four of us in our bed by 7am!

We decided to go for a walk on the Ramsgate side of Thanet and parked after the town towards Dumpton Gap. It was a mild morning and we took a long walk along the prom stretching along the bottom of the cliffs. Bessie has brought her bouncy ball with her and if I had a pound for every time I said, ‘Don’t bounce it you’ll lose it.’ I’d be a rich woman today.

Thanet coastline

She did of course, lose it. They were throwing it against a cliff and it landed on top of a shelter, so dad climbed up (he hates heights) and retrieved the ball for her.

I know many wouldn’t have bothered but it was the ball from her latest Baebox and she was devastated at the thought of losing it, so up dad went.

dad rescuing the ball

‘Now, hold on to it and be careful!’ I said. Do you think she listened to me? Of course she didn’t it.

They were trying to see who could throw it as high up the cliff as possible and on the last try, it pinged off the cliff at an angle where no one was waiting to catch it and bounced, bounced, bounced off the prom and into the sea.

It is March.

The water is freezing.

But dad, unable to see Bessie cry, striped down to his underpants and braved the water much to the shock of a couple of cyclists who had stopped for a breather.

The water was a bit deeper than he thought it was going to be but he managed to fish the ball out of the bobbing waves.

dad rescuing the ball from the sea

That’s our dad that is, a superdad. He’s even got the red polo shirt to prove it!

 

Disclosure: Dad was asked to look at the polo shirts for men on Jacamo, a fabulous website with lots of great stuff for men.

Alice Weekes donating hair for wigs

A couple of weeks ago Alice wanted to have her hair cut short. Having heard about people donating hair for wigs coupled with the news her cousin Megan has been diagnosed with leukaemia and would lose her hair during the chemotherapy, she decided she wanted to donate her hair for a wig too.

She sent off her cut hair to the Little Princess Trust and to make the most of the moment we also decided to ask our family and friends to support her decision with donations to the charity. We had discovered that a single wig can cost from £350 – £500.

We set our target of £500, to cover the wig that Megan would be given, and we were totally overwhelmed to have smashed it making a grand total of £660.00. One of my favourite memories will be Alice asking me to check how much we were up to during the first few days.

donating hair for wigs

Donating hair for wigs

Bessie has been watching all the fuss quietly from the sidelines, she still doesn’t want to cut her hair off just yet but she has mentioned that one day, she would like to do the same.

The Little Princess Trust got in touch with us this week as they are organising a very fun event with Shrek’s Adventure! in London. They are looking to find a real-life Rapunzel and have asked us to help spread the word.

The #RealLifeRapunzel campaign is all about looking for the longest hair donations, do you know somebody who fits this bill?

For this competition, hair donations must exceed 12″/30cm and Shrek’s Adventure! in London will be offering the winner and four finalists fantastic prizes.

The finalists, together with three guests each will be invited to a VIP experience on the 29th April as part of ‘National Princess Week’. What will this include?

  • The VIP day will kick off with breakfast at Starbucks,
  • a VIP tour of the attraction,
  • free haircuts in Shrek’s ‘Throne Room’,
  • a makeover
  • goodie bags to take home.

There will be more surprises on the day too.

Weekes twins

Monica Glass, Little Princess Trust Charity Manager said, “The charity is looking for especially long hair donations at the moment and so the search is on!  Whilst we help boys as well as girls across the whole of the UK and Ireland, at the moment there is a need for particularly long hair donations.  It takes a number of donations to make a single wig and of course the longer the hair donation, the longer the wig.”

Steve Blackburn, General Manager of Shrek’s Adventure! added, “Shrek’s Adventure! London is home to lots of princesses and we are really proud to be working with the Little Princess Trust, spreading awareness of the incredible work they do and encouraging those with long hair to donate it for the benefit of children suffering from hair loss.”

How to enter the competition

  • Visit The Little Princess Trust competition page
  • Upload a clear photo of your hair, detailing what length you are willing to donate
  • Write, in no more than 350 words, why you think it is important to donate your hair

Closing date 31st March. finalists will be notified by the 7th April

There’s more, if you would like to donate your hair to The Little Princess Trust then you can have your haircut and styled on the 29th April, free of charge too. Terms and conditions apply, for more information please visit the website on the above link.

The Little Princess Trust are the charity who make wigs for boys and girls suffering from hair loss. To date they have given away nearly 5,000 real hair wigs to young people suffering with cancer and other medical conditions and they are constantly on the look out for people having their hair cut to donate it to them ( a minimum of 7″/17cms is required).

Donating hair

It’s been a very busy month, the full time position is full on and every moment is precious these days, hence not so much going on in Mari’s World blog. We have also had bad news in the family, my cousin’s 16 year old daughter has been diagnosed with leukaemia mid January. This was a huge blow to her, in the midst of studying for her GCSEs and plans to go on a be a journalist. It has shocked everyone around her and once the shock starts to fade, then your thoughts turn to what can I do?

Fundraising is the biggest and easiest task to take on and Alice declared she wanted to cut her hair to donate it to the Little Princess Trust so they could make a wig for a child suffering from hair loss thanks to chemotherapy.

We booked up the appointment and watched the YouTube video on how to be prepared.

 

What do you need to know if you want to donate your hair

Before hair cut

  • Your hair must be washed and completely dried.
  • Separate your hair into smaller plaits as they are easier to cut
  • Tie with a rubber band at the top of the plait
  • Plait and hold with another rubber band at the bottom
  • Cut hair and place in clean plastic bag
  • Post to The Little Princess Trust – Little Princess Trust, Aderans UK, Unit B4, Dolphin Way, Shoreham-By-Sea, BN43 6NZ, (UK)

Why Alice decided to donate her hair

Just Giving fundraising page

Our first step was to set up a Just Giving fundraising page and luckily we were able to create it so every penny went directly into The Little Princess Trust pot, that saved us from having to collect money from sponsors and pass it on which can get confusing if you are not organised. You can see Alice’s Just Giving page here.

Alice Weekes donating hair

The hair cut

Preparing for hair donation

Your hairdresser may well have done this before but it’s always best to go prepared with some rubber bands and a plastic bag anyway. Alice enjoyed the process as much as the final haircut and I made sure I took photos of her so we could use them on our Just Giving page.

The fundraising

cutting the hair

Once we got home and had eaten we took some more After photos and set about fundraising. Facebook was our first port of call as it is where I have most of my conversations and am most well connected with friends, family and acquaintances. Alice was very excited to see the funds come in and was constantly asking me throughout the day how much we had reached.

How much to raise

hair cut

We set our sights high – £500.

We discovered it costs the Little Princess Trust between £350 – 500 to make one wig and they are donated free to all children who have lost their hair through cancer treatment. It was a huge ask of our family and friends but we hoped with Alice’s kind gesture people would take heart.

They did and by the end of Saturday we had reached £420.00!

We put a reminder up on Sunday morning and reached £490.00 by lunch time.

By 3pm on Sunday we had reached her goal and now, because we are a competitive lot, we want to see if we can get anywhere near sponsoring a second wig?

Can you help?

donating hair

 

Before I sign off I wanted to share some facts that I found on the Clic Sargent website that are a reminder of how it can happen to anyone at any time and how we need to keep raising awareness.

Clic Sargent Young Lives VS Cancer

When cancer strikes young lives, CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. We provide expert support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally, so that they can focus on the important things, like getting well.

  • Today, 11 more children and young people will hear the devastating news they have cancer.
  • Every year in the UK around 3,600 children and young people under 25 are diagnosed with cancer. Around 2,000 are aged 16 to 24-years-old
  • Although eight in 10 will survive cancer, it is still the leading cause of death from a single disease among children and young people in the UK
  • It is estimated there are 10,000 survivors of childhood cancer aged 24 and under living in the UK. Around 30% of survivors have a chronic health condition and a further 30% have another ongoing health-related problem.
  • The type of cancer and its treatment varies for each child or young person, but treatment normally starts straightaway and can last up to three years
  • CLIC Sargent research has found that children and young people with cancer travel an average of 60 miles, up to five times a week, for hospital treatment (A long way from home, 2010, research focused on 0 to 18- year-olds)
  • Two in three parents surveyed by CLIC Sargent said they had built up debt to make ends meet as a result of their child’s cancer. More than one in four had borrowed over £2,000. Two in three parents surveyed experienced a loss of earnings and three in five parents said they had to reduce the number of hours they worked. (Counting the costs of cancer, 2011)
  • CLIC Sargent research shows that two-thirds of 16 to 18-year-olds fall behind with their education as a result of cancer and its treatment (More than my illness, 2010)
  • Half of young people surveyed by CLIC Sargent said they had to borrow money as a result of their cancer with more than 17% borrowing over £1,000 and 6% borrowing over £2,000. (Counting the costs of cancer, 2011)
  • Parent’s spent an average of £600 a month in additional expenses during their child’s treatment (Cancer Costs, 2016)
  • Over half of young people (52%) and almost half of parents (49%) visited their GP at least three times before their cancer was diagnosed (Best chance from the start, 2016

Alice Weekes hair cut