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The search for two new faces for the ‘Argos Kidswear Range’ is on, and I’m a judge!

17 Nov

As many of you may have seen, I’ve been doing some work with Argos lately as part of the ‘Santa’s Little Helpers feature’. How excited was I when I received an email on Tuesday, inviting me to the Ideal Home show (Christmas Event) this Saturday 19th November! Yes, I have been asked to join the Argos judging panel who will be selecting one boy and one girl (aged between 4-10) out of the 40 finalist who entered to become the face of the ‘New Argos Kidswear range’.

The competition has been running a while, thousands of proud parents uploaded a picture of their little angels to the Argos Facebook page and the judges had the hard task of narrowing it down to just 40 finalist.

The two lucky winners will model in a photoshoot for the Argos Kidswear page on the website, feature on Argos TV home shopping channel, win the entire clothing collection in their favourite character as well as being given a modelling contract with Alphabet Kidz! How awesome a prize is this!

Ten runners-up will each receive a Argos Kidswear goodie bag.

All 40 finalist will be walking the catwalk and undergoing a short interview at the final. In preparation for the day, I was today sent the picture of the fab 40 and WOW… What an amazing 40 they are! This is gonna be one hard decision, I just know it.The 40 finalist in the Argos competition to find the new faces of it’s Kidswear range

I felt very privileged to be asked, I’ve never been a judge before and wasn’t really aware of the competition in-till recently, but goodness am I excited! As a mother to three beautiful children I can really relate to how excited yet nervous all the parents of the final 40 must be feeling. I’m also guessing that all are pretty proud right now, and rightly so, I would be too!

When I told Little man that Mummy was gonna be a judge in the competition, he asked if I was now like Cheryl Cole, I had to laugh, “I only wished son!”

Honestly, I really cannot wait till the big day, not only will I get to check out the fabulous exhibition, (I’m sure the ideal home show Christmas, will be spectacular event) but I also get to experience something a Little different and try something new. It feels strange knowing I’m going to help make some Little boy and girls dream come true but it’s also very rewarding and I’m totally up for.

As for the new Argos kidswear, my youngest would love the George pig and Thomas the tank engine range, and I’m sure my daughter would also be pretty keen to get her mitts on some of the gorgeous outfits. I’m already an avid Argos shopper, especially at Christmas, the clothing addition fits really well and I can see myself adding items to the christmas shopping list this year. You really can’t go wrong with kids character wear, kids just love it!
If you fancy checking out the range for yourselves, then just click here.

Current models showcasing the Argos Kidswear range

For those of you who maybe interested in popping along to the event itself, the children will take to the catwalk on Saturday 19th November at 3.30 pm at the awesome ‘Ideal home show Christmas’ at Earls Court London.

If you’re coming along then do say hello, I love to meet those that read the blog as It’s always lovely to put a face to a comment & say thank you.

Lastly… Good luck to all 40 awesome children lucky enough to get to the final (you should all be very proud) and I can’t wait to see you all this Saturday.

Just remember one important thing! Have fun!

Note: I’ll be running a fabulous competition next week, offering you the chance to win a £100 worth of Argos shopping vouchers to spend this Christmas! So keep your eyes peeled.

Win A Family Ticket To London Dungeons

16 Nov

Win a family ticket to London Dungeons

ALSO VAILD AT YORK, EDINBURGH, BLACKPOOL TOWER

I have a super fabulous competition running for all my lovely readers with an awesome prize attached… A family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) for one of London’s top attractions… London Dungeons, courtesy of Merlin’s.

There’s so much to do and discover at London Dungeons! 14 Live shows, Live actors & special effects will together bring some of London’s most horrid history to live.

If your brave enough, ride on one of the dungeons three thrilling rides, including the all new ‘Vengeance’ the ride of your afterlife and the UKs first 5D laser ride!

Discover the truth behind London’s great plague by walking through corpse-filled streets as the horror of the ‘Black Plague’ infects all those around you.

Travel back in time to 1666 and experience the burning reality of the day that left 200,000 people destitute at the hands of the ‘The Great Fire Of London.’

Will you dare take the boat ride to hell? In the darkest depths of London Underground take a ride on the rickety boat.

NEW FOR 2011
Maybe you would prefer to uncover the ghastly horror of the prolific killer, ‘Jack the Ripper’ who stalks the back streets of London in the darkest of nights, preying on London’s Prostitutes.

How about entering the ‘Extremis’ the drop to doom, where the screams can be heard for miles.

Seriously this is a spectacular prize offering you tickets to one of London’s top attractions and you guys have the chance to get your paws on it! Well, that’s if your brave enough?

Here on a boy with Aspergers we love a good competition, that’s why we are offering you lots of ways to win.

Firstly you have to do any compulsory requirements, making sure you leave a contact (email, twitter id or other) so you can be contacted in the event that you win.
Then you can enter any or all the additional ways to win leaving a separate comment for each action in-order to validate your entries.

Compulsory action
Tell me in a comment your best ever day out!

Additional ways to win

Stumble this competition using the share buttons in this post (let me know you’ve done this in an additional comment)

Digg this post using the share buttons located below in this post (let me know you’ve done this in an additional comment)

For an instant 2 additional entries… Fave this post on Technorati located in the sidebar on the right (little green box) leave an additional comment to let me know you’ve done it.

Tweet this competition adding the URL to the tweet “I want to win a family ticket to London Dungeons with @clairelouise82”

Follow me on twitter and again leave an additional comment to alert me you’ve done it.

Subscribe by email to my blog located in the top right sidebar. Leave an additional comment to let me know you’ve done it.

That’s 8 entries in all so plenty of chances to win this awesome prize.

Good Luck.

T&C

Competition will end on the 2nd December 2011 at midnight!
UK only, you must leave a contact with your entry. Winner will be drawn at random then notified & given 72 hours to claim their prize from the time of contact. Winner will need to forward their postal address which will be passed on to the PR company representing the attraction. Please note this prize offers no alternative or exchanges and will be sent with its own set of terms and conditions that are between the winner and the prize giver. For any additional terms please read the competition disclaimer on the ‘Disclaimer and PR’ page located in the blogs header.

Things the whole family can do this half term

14 Oct
Summary: London Transport Museum Author:SolGru...

Image via Wikipedia

Things to do this half term to interest all the family including the child with Aspergers.

 It’s hard when half-term comes around and your left to entertain three children one on the autism spectrum who isn’t easily pleased.

 I give it my all when taking all three of the children out together. I find that most of my problems come from Little man and his sister, Its like embanking on a world war two mission. 

 However, regardless of how many times I’ve heard myself state, “Never Again”

There’s always a next time.

 When taking three children out anywhere, great organisation is required! When one of them children are one the autism spectrum, this level of preparation goes to a whole new level.

 I admit, I’m the kind of girl who likes to do things on a whim, but since becoming little man’s mother this is damn right impossible!

 Here I have put together a list displaying a number of places we have visited.

 LEGOLAND

 Little man loves Lego (he builds buses out the stuff) he therefore loves visiting a land full of it. Alice my daughter is also very keen and always enjoys a day visiting the attraction.

Legoland is part of the Merlin’s entertainment chain. If your child is on the spectrum or has any other form of disability or is in some way considered to be disadvantaged, you can apply to ‘Merlin’s magical wand’ who provide family days out to one of their attractions (some being Legoland, Chessington and Thorpe Park).  Tickets are for all the family (only one application can be made per year) Merlin’s can also help families cover travel cost (including mileage) and occasional provide funds towards over night accommodation in special circumstances.

 If you can prove your child is notable to sustained long queues, they will receive a wrist band entitling them to enter via the exist point of each ride (note the new system does mean that on certain rides a certain time between rides needs to have passed before accessing). Photo id and proof of disability is needed to gain the wrist band. 

 We will in deed be returning to Lego land this half-term! Staff are friendly and most seem to have some idea when it comes to hidden disabilities (which is always a positive in my book)! 

London Transport Museum

(Covent Garden)

 A firm favourite with the little guy not so much with the siblings (the excitement wears of on the second or third visit)! However daughter is happy to take the tour, again…….. Given we hit the Covent garden market place following the museum with the opportunity to indulge in an ice cream (even in October)!

 Yes, we have been to the above thousands of times ( exaggeration, though it tends feel this way) but with kids entering free and adults paying £10 (you can normally find many offers at your local train station or online) it’s not expensive. However stay clear of the dinning area (Money, money, money… If you want money left, you will grab a Mac ds on your way home! Please take my word for it)! 

The transport Museum is very autism friendly so there is no worries on that front. 

Crystal Place Park. 

 Just up the road from where we live, Crystal place park host the ruins of the old palace. 

There is a large boating lake and lots of sculptures of  dinosaurs dotted all over the place, (lots of children on the spectrum love this feature) and a giant maze which little man is terrified off. There is also a big swing park with some pretty funky play equipment, a mini petting zoo (not open all year round) plus the famous Crystal palace sports ground

 The park has no entrance cost (small cost for the zoo + boating lake) Little man seems to love it as well as my other two children, (Alice and Little Harley). There is lots of space to just ran about in, which is a great way to get little man tired ( following a trip to the park seems to be the only time he sleeps of a night)

Greenwich Park

 We used to live in Blackheath which host one of the many access points to the park. Currently there are some works commencing as part of the Olympics 2012 but there’s still plenty to do. 

Sometimes during half-terms and summer holidays there is a train that can take you to one end of the park to the other (note it’s a big park) Little man is train bonkers and this is his best part of the day. There are also a number of deer kept in the park and squirrels will take nuts gently from your fingers if you offer. The park has a huge lake where peddle boats are rented out cheaply plus a large play area that doesn’t seem to get to busy since the works started out (which is better for us given little man’s social skill difficulties). There is also a massive sand pit great for sensory play (not to great if your child can’t stand the stuff due to the fact he is tactile defensive… Yep that’s little man, though this only applies to him sitting or standing in the pit).

 The park also offers a great view-point of London and appeared in the film ‘Layer Cake’

The park is famous for its time keeping (yep, it’s of course the home to Greenwich Meantime) and just outside the gates you are greeted with the lovely Greenwich Market! Little man loves this place as there is a stall which sells a massive selection of vintage model buses and vricals.

The park is free but some of it’s attractions (train and boating may require a small fee depending on the time of year). 

The Science Museum

London

 Free entry and granteed to provide a great day out. Lots of things to discover with many interactive displays for the kids to engage in. Both Little man and Alice love the Science Museum though little Harley is still a tad young to experience the full benefits of such a place. 

One of little mans favorite features is the simulators. Yes, I’ve got to admit, they are mine too. 

Please note these normally require a payable fee to ride.   

 You will also find a pretty awesome gift shop which isn’t overly high in it’s pricing. Little man brought a lava lamp on his last visit (with his tutor).

NEW CHELSEA F.C. MUSEUM 

 We haven’t visited the museum as yet which is located on site behind the legendary football stadium at Stamford Bridge. It’s reported to be a massive 670sqm and offers state of the art technology to create a totally awesome experience. Visitors can experience a mix of audio displays through to interactive tours with 16 different zone all together there is something for all football fans. Little man doesn’t play footie but his grown up with a family full of  Chelsea supporters (count me out, I only support Frank lampard *giggle*) It’s my side of the family that are Chelsea nuts and it’s my father (Little man’s grandfather) who will be taking little man this half term. My brother and nephew will also join them much to their delight. This one isn’t for me and Alice and we will do something else on that day. Not sure the youngest will get anything out of it given his only 22 months old so guess he will join his mummy and big sister on a shopping trip (that’s my kind of day out)

 We will let you know what little man thinks on his return from the Chelsea Museum. 

Check out the cool video below to give you an insight into what It’s all about.

I’m a mum get me out of here!

1 Aug

 So… a whole week has passed since the children broke up from school! There’s been sleep-overs, trips to the park, sunny days in the garden, days out, lots of play & craft making, cup cake baking, water fights and lastly, “Arguing” Yes, you heard me right, “Arguing” Big fat smelly arguments! Little man and his sister have driven me loopy with their constant, “Mum… tell him to get OUT my room” & “Mum… Tell he to stop looking at me!” Honestly I’m on the verge of a school holiday breakdown here people!

 Little man has spent more time at home these past few years then he likely has in school (thank goodness that’s all changed now that his in a school that can cater for his needs)! But to have the two of them home together is nothing other than extremely hard work! This is simply down to the constant bickering and lately physical fighting between the two of them. We went through a stage before where Little Man constantly hit his little sister which resulted in me seeking professional advice. It was a stressful time, what with the worry that my daughter was somehow getting used to such treatment from here brother, associating it with the “Norm” she just kind of excepted that this was the way things were! Of course I wasn’t happy with this, I wanted him to understand that it’s not OK to hit your little sister every time she makes you angry, nor did I want her to think It was OK for him or anybody else for that matter, to hit her! In the end I was left with no choice put to get out mummy’s big guns and call in an expert! No…. Not super-nanny, but a very nice lady who worked for the ‘Autism Outreach’ for our area, came to speak with Alice while kindly sharing some much needed ideas with myself on reducing the little guys violent outbursts. This wasn’t yesterday, but a good year and a half ago, so were talking some time here, meaning a lot has happened since. Alice has changed a lot in them eighteen months or so. She’s grown up a great deal (I’m not just referring to her mental state here, she’s actually grown quite a bit taller too). however this means that she’s more inclined to do the “Hit big brother & run for my life act” I’m not suggesting he hasn’t maybe hit her first, (which is very often the case) but… this only results in complete and utter madness descending throughout this already chaotic, crazy place we like to call home! I end up having to set chase after little man as he angrily throws himself up the stairs in this high speed chase in an angry desperate attempt to gain that all important last hit. You can bet your life on it she’s shouting a mouthful of insults and abuse at her angry sibling throughout her sprint to her room! Once at her destination, she will slam the door shut and then suddenly out of nowhere she very quickly acquires super human powers that mainly consist of strength! She uses such powers to push her chest of draws and whatever else is in arms length, in-front of  her door. It’s her one attempt to keep out a very angry Little man, who by now has gained his own super human powers, displayed in the way of fly kicks that are aimed at her poor bedroom door!

 I know Many can relate, parents all over the world get this everyday! Yet it’s that little bit more frustrating when one of your children is on the autism spectrum because it makes things that little bit more “dramatic”. Little man can carry on & on for hours. He has been known not to get them little clues us mothers give off while pulling that face, “You know the one! The angry mummy face that indicates, I’ve really had a bloody enough now!” You shake your head in an over exaggerated way while stating aloud, “Carry on kids, #*%*#* carry on!” When your child is on the spectrum they see that red face & head-shaking motion and it means nothing to them at all! If they hear the words, “Carry on kids, carry on!” their up them stairs quicker then you can blink! When asked what they think they are doing? Your given an answer that sounds like sarcasm, “Umm, I’m running back up stairs to hit my sister!” You re-phase asking, “Why are you running back upstairs to hit your sister?” They will answer, “You told me to carry on, carry on!” 

 We’re lucky that over the course of time and given this mum has pulled such a face  a million times, resulting the same tired explanation for my actions…  He now gets it, he finally understands the unwritten rules that surround my body language and sarcastic tone when I state “Argggh… CARRY ON KIDS, CARRY ON.” (Swearing is only for extreme cases when it accidently pops out!)

 Saying this, there are some things little man just doesn’t get, an example would be, “Why you wearing that mum? It makes you look like you have a fat belly!” Me, “Oh, Thanks son”  Little man, “My pleasure mum!” Of course that wasn’t quite the response I was hoping for! It’s for this reason I try to adjust my language, avoiding ambiguous language whenever I can. Though this isn’t easy you know! It’s actually quit amazing how often a person will use metaphors without really actually realising it! I guess it’s become second nature to most, myself included! I swear, if you try reducing your use of metaphors down to zero, you’ll see that these seemingly stupid little phases, such as, “Pot calling Kettle black” or “Raining cats & dogs” make up a good 50% of the English language (Well, in my case it did)!

 Still… despite some sibling scuffles, a little attitude from my daughter who’s eight going on eighteen, and some bad language from the Little dude, things are going OK! 

 Little man is coping well without his very structured school routine. His been attending his new school following this routine a little over a month now and having only just adjusted to it, it’s now gone for a period of six long weeks, just like that! I’ve done my best to make sure I’m not allowing the little guy to spend his days sleeping till 2 p.m. in the afternoon, despite him having not fallen asleep till at-least 3 a.m most nights! Yes, it’s a bit of a struggle, I won’t lie when I say, “Some days I’m tempted to leave him to sleep the sunny day away!” After all his not easy to wake! As many may know from previous post, Little man normally, I’ll say 98% of the time, wakes up in a mood so bad it puts my monthly PMT rants to shame. The big plan has been to get him up early so he doesn’t find this already challenging task any harder when returning to school in September! I swear even those nights his in bed early, (very rarely) he still converts into some kind of morning demon that I’m ashamed to admit, “Scares the crap out off me!” Mother I do apologise if I was ever this unpleasant to wake, honestly, I wish my morning battles on no one, not even that of my worst enemy (though I don’t have one, but that’s beside the point)!

 As for the bedtime routine… THERE ISN’T ONE! I cannot blame the school holidays for this, it’s been a problem on and off since he could walk. Little man will begin to follow a good bedtime routine, then at the drop of a hat it’s vanished and things get frustrating for all! These past six months or more have been no exception. It took me forever to get Little man comfortably sleeping in his own room without making nightly trips into mine. He takes Melatonin, but its effects just seem to have disappeared. For this reason, we often take breaks between doses, sometimes on a weekend or through the holidays so its effects are more apparent when restarted! However, In all truthfulness these effects begin to fade in a matter of days anyway so I’m starting to wonder, “What’s the point?” As for the trips to mum’s room these have again become nightly. His not coming and getting in my bed. I’ve explained that his now far to old to do this, he just drags his duvet and throws himself on the rug! Why has it started again? I think it has something to do with a car accident that happened a while back, it took place right outside his window! The car made the loudest screech as it skid onto the wrong side of the road at high speeds (so fast one of the wheels came flying off and into our garden) luckily, despite it being a busy main road, it was the early hours of the morning converting it into something resembling a ghost town! The car itself, ended up missing our front path, flying through the neighbours bush, finally jamming itself into what used to resemble a front gate and a brick way! The noise was horrendous, waking him from his sleep it terrified him. Since then I’ve been greeted with him and his duvet almost every night and I’m at a loss of what to do.

 On a high note, we have some pretty awesome plans for the rest of the holidays. A fellow blogger has organised for us to receive tickets for the big dip, (open air swimming pool and fake man made beach minus the sea) located on good old ‘Clapham Common.’ She was so sweet explaining about our family situation to one of the organisers resulting in them sending us out a VIP pass to avoid the queues and crowds (see, some people really do care)! 

 We’re also planing a day out with some of the members of my Facebook page (other parents and their children on the spectrum). We are attending the Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire where we will be camping over the weekend (fabulous prize I won on the the fantastic blog “Not Supermum”).  I’ve never camped, nether have the children I’m relying heavily on my friend who is coming along too. My youngest who is just 20 months old will be staying with his daddy as I think it would be a bit much for him and it’s a long way to drive him back if he fails to settle in a “Tent” We will also be making a family trip to Legoland during the last week of the holidays and we’re staying down at the coast for three or four nights at a friends empty flat (when I say empty I mean, there is no one currently living there. It is furnished). The fact itself is located across from the beach, so its over looking the sea. 

 As much as I love my children I have at times avoided taking the two eldest out together! This results in double the days out and double the expense. I know its no way to live but seriously, there have been times I’ve quite literally pulled my hair out during a day out with them both. The last few hours of the Pandamonium festival at the beginning of the month was one of those days! So… I think I’m being extremely brave with the camping idea among others! 

 Another day out I’m extremely excited about will take play in just fours days (5th August) when myself and my youngest along with and my sister and her daughter (who is 10 weeks younger than Harley) will be going on our big day out to the Lollibop Festival in Regents Park London (a three day long event). Little man is too old and Alice is out with a friend plus this is my way of making it up to Harley for not attending the camping trip. This means I will only have one child to chase around once his set loose form his buggy. I can’t wait, his going to love it! With Cbeebies presenters, The Zingzillas, Waybuloo, Charlie and Lola, plus appearances from his favourite characters, “George pig” and Bob the builder” Its going to make his year. There will be lots to do and see, and I myself can’t wait for  Baby loves Disco, Yer… We’re gonna swing our pants and Huggies pull ups during this festival which has been especially created for weeny boppers. If u fancy checking it out have a look on their website and maybe I’ll see you there.

 So… As you can see, we have an eventful summer ahead. Here’s praying (Quite literally) that all runs smoothly, resulting in a fun but relaxed August! With my head now saying, “Yer, right… Dream On Claire!” I’m making it my mission to make it a  success! Now watch this space! 

Chocolate, sun and lots of fun

19 Jul

It’s hard work having family days out when one off your children is one the autism spectrum but it’s nice to know that regardless of the meltdowns and possible blow ups Little man is prone to, that have been so clearly described in my writing throughout many post on this very blog, there are still those out there willing to take a chance on us.

I love Cadbury’s and think the Spots VS. Stripes campaign is brilliant. Some may remember a post I wrote sometime ago relating to the campaigns latest games, ‘Race Season’ where myself and a friend went on an invite only event that see us trying to break world records and eat to much chocolate.

Well, It was a joy to receive a email from the lovely Sophia, a member of the PR team working on behalf of Cadburys who had invited me and the children down to the Sainsburys Pandemonium Festival as VIP guests. The Pandemonium Festival was a celebration of the launch of Kung-Fu Panda 2 Movie and Cadburys were there showcasing their latest games, ‘Cadbury Spots v Stripes Minute To Win It games’

Minute to Win it is a massive hit TV show from the US which is bashed around wacky game playing which Cadbury are sponsoring as part of their sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympic games.

The Cadbury games crew were inviting members of the public attending the event to try out the Cadbury Spot v Stripes Minute To Win It games which are made up off child friendly mini games which were fantastic. The public were certainly up for the challenge as the Cadbury stand was heaving! Knowing little man could possible freak out having to wait in the long line on this very hot day his sister took to the line instead allowing him to join her once she had made it all the way to the front bless her. The games team were great and Ben the guy in charge was great with my little man keeping him entertained while he waited and putting up with his millions of questions about the Spots Vs. Stripes van (transport crazy)

When it came to the games Little man let the side down by declaring he was a stripe, while my daughter knew her place when she proudly announced that she was a spot like mum! The children tried out a few mini games, this one being my best!

I thought Little man was gonna take this poor guys head off at one point.

This next game was a classic. Battling against one another it was the perfect game for these monsters. With their shoe half on, half off the aim was to flick the shoe into the air aiming it at the target. The one who was closest won.

Can you tell who that was? Yes, Little Man was on the verge of meltdown mode but he proudly held it together and coped pretty well with losing. Little Sis did however rub it in with her victory dance!

Lastly it was prize giving time. Thankfully both got awards.

To find out more or play one of the Spot v Stripes Minute To Win It games visit www.spotsvstripes.com

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