Friday, 22 May 2015

Is Playing Out Getting Outlawed?

Kids on a Nottinghamshire street have been banned from playing football in front of their own houses. Their parents were even threatened with a £100 fine if they were caught.
It all kicked off after neighbours in Ena Avenue, Sneinton moaned to police about noisy children playing football in the street. They said they were worried a ball would smash a window or damage a car.
Officers said there were enough complaints to warrant a letter to parents warning them against rowdy behaviour that might damage property and letting them know they could be fined if their kids stepped out of line.
It’s not the first time children have been given a metaphorical clip round the ear for having fun.
Last summer, housing officials in Worcester sent four families in Wensleydale Drive a letter warning kids about playing in the street on health and safety grounds.

Not everyone has a nearby park or rolling meadow to run around in.

 Gone are the days when kids used to turn up unannounced on a friend’s doorstep, asking if they could come out and play.

Whatever happened to jumpers for goalposts and using chalky stones to draw hopscotch on the pavement?

Our children already live comparatively sedentary lives. So do adults, for that matter. Dads are more likely to be screaming at the ref on the telly and checking out the football betting news online than they are to grab a pair of shorts before heading off for a sweaty game of five-a-side.
It’s just odd that we’re told our children need more fresh air and exercise and, in the same breath, told to keep them indoors.

Perhaps this is just nostalgia talking. These kids from the 1950s grew up in a different world.

There’s more traffic around for a start which makes playing out a lot more dangerous than it was in our parents’ day.
But there’s also a lot more going on inside the house to keep kids happily entertained without setting foot outside the front door.
Loads of television and music channels, video and computer games create a virtual world that’s so much more tantalising than the real one.
Even texting and social media mean kids don’t actually have to see their friends to have fun with them.
The very idea of riding your bike up and down the street or skipping happily to a song in your head is now so far removed from normal life that campaigners have launched a nationwide scheme to bring it back.
Playing Out was set up in Bristol in 2009 when a group of parents desperate to introduce independent outdoor play to their children closed off their road to traffic for three hours.
Now the scheme has been rolled out throughout the country with more than 30 local councils signing up to positive street play policies. And more than 100 streets are regularly closed off to allow kids to play happily and safely for a few hours.
The project is helping families reclaim their share of the streets. It’s their neighbourhood too.

**Written By Jenna Wilson, Jenna is a freelance writer and mum of two from Nottingham. When she’s not running around after the kids she enjoys gardening, reading and a glass of wine or two!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Why Bingo's The Perfect Recipe For A Fun Night In

When you have kids, it’s kind of inevitable that you’ll spend more evenings at home than anywhere else. For a start, once you’re a mum, you’re too tired to go out that often! Also, there’s something nice about being at home and knowing that your kids are tucked up in bed. It gives you a warm and cosy feeling.
However, that’s not to say that the daily routine which nine times out of ten ends up with you slouched on the sofa watching TV can sometimes feel a little monotonous. Of course, it would be great if you could devote your evenings to a fulfilling activity such as sewing or quilting, or another kind of craft activity, but you need to have a certain amount of energy to do that kind of thing.

Is too much sofa time getting to you?

That’s why it’s great to have an alternative to TV and online bingo can be a great option. It’s a game that requires very little effort on the player’s part as the game’s software marks any numbers on your cards that correspond to the calls. So, you can just sit back and watch the game’s progress once you've decided which game to play and how many cards to buy.
Sites such as 32red, Booty Bingo and Take a Break also offer new players incentives to sign up. These are usually in the form of free playing credit. If you want to play any of the 32red bingo games, you can get an extra £32 of credit for every £10 you put in as a first deposit on an account. That will pay for many bingo games as they only cost a few pence at a time and, with a win or two, you could soon be adding to your playing fund.
Bingo’s a good game to play and not only because it’s good value and easy. With sites offering 24/7 schedules, there’s always a game about to start, no matter when you log in. It’s also a way to socialise, as once you have a game in play you can join the chat room associated with that game and share the fun with other players.
As well as being good to play when you’re home by yourself, online bingo is something you can play with friends if you’re having a girls’ night in. All people need to do is bring their phone or tablet and sign in to the same site as you. It’s just like going out to a bingo hall together without having the inconvenience of having to share the venue with other people! In just a couple of weeks’ time, people will be hosting Night In for Macmillan to raise funds for the cancer charity. You could host your own Night In and make it a bingo night!
Of course, bingo doesn't have to be saved for the evenings. It’s a great five-minute game for whenever you want a break. And, who knows, you could hit the jackpot while you’re playing one day!

**Article written by Diane. Diane is a mum to three, physiotherapist and a recent convert to the world of online bingo.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

5 Ways I Like To Spend A Night In

It's not often I go out on the town. Not anymore anyway. Now I am far from being ready to hang up my heels and go into early retirement but the whole prospect of going out on the lash just doesn't appeal to me as much as it once did. So more often than not I find myself indoors for the night and looking for a way to spend my evening and here are my top 5 choices..

1. Catching up with all my Sky + recordings. Ok so this is going to make me sound ridiculously sad but I have so many recordings set up on my Sky box, I very rarely get to watch any of them at the time of airing so literally have to catch up with everything and watch an obscene amount of programmes in one night. I get far too excited than I probably should at the thought of a whole night to myself with nothing but my Sky planner.

2. Our regular "Treat Nights". Since being on Weight Watchers , Saturday nights have become my treat night. Not only is it a day I look forward to because I can treat myself to something yummy but its also a day Aally has come to love also. She loves treat night more than me as it means pizza, popcorn and a movie. She is a big movie buff like me so loves to settle down in front of a good flick with a big bowl of popcorn.

3. Eyes down for a bit of bingo. I have played online bingo for a few years now. Nothing excessive just every now and then. I love the thrill of being close to a win and given that I cant always make it to the bingo halls online bingo is a far better option. I can socialize and win some money (hopefully) without even leaving the sofa. Most sites offer great bonuses for new players too. Just check out a bingo comparison site and see which big bonuses you could claim. Who knows you might be the next jackpot winner!

4. Game Night. Aalliyah is an absolute board game nut! As much as she is glued to her iPod or the Xbox most of the time, she loves nothing more than playing a good board game. I always make sure she gets lots of new games for Christmas so she has enough to last throughout the year. Game nights are brilliant and we love to get competitive with knock out rounds of monopoly, connect 4 and battleships live. She actually has around 4 games still sealed from Christmas that we are yet to try out so I think is game night is on the cards again soon.

5. Catching up on the chores. Ok I wasn't actually doing these in order but somehow the housework has ended up in last place (Funny that) Now I know most of us don't see housework as a pleasant way to spend an evening but with work and other things in the week, sometimes things just get in the way and I put things off until the next day (then the next, then the next) A pattern forms and before you know it the washing is piled high and the dust is an inch thick. Sometimes I enjoy just catching up on the cleaning at the end of the week.

So there are my top 5 ways I would usually spend my night in. Exciting eh? How do you spend a quiet night in if you are lucky enough to have one?

*Written in collaboration with 

Friday, 1 May 2015

The A - Z Of Me

After seeing many bloggers taking part in the A-Z of me challenge, I decided to give it a go myself as I saw it as a great way of sharing a little more insight into our little world..

So here goes ..

A is for Aalliyah. The ultimate love of my life and my best friend.

B is for Black Ops . Just one of my guilty pleasures. I love playing Xbox with Aalliyah (even if I am ridiculously bad at it)

C is for Cancer. Something that we have had to face as a family on far too many occasions. My mum has battled it numerous times and is currently finishing up treatment to kick its butt once more.

D is for Dinner. Yes I am one of those annoying people that snap away at meal times and share my food with the world. Because I am following the weight watchers plan I am often instagramming my meals for my fellow weight watching followers,

E is for Emma. That's me! Emma Louise (of course)

F is for Fitbit. I have just treated myself to a Fitbit charge watch. I am logging all my activity and really trying to up my mileage with my walking.

G is for Gordon Ramsay. Anyone that knows me with know I am a bit of a Gordon Ramsay NUT! Totally in love with him and his shows. I had my day made a while back when he tweeted and followed me on Twitter!

H is for Hell's Kitchen. One of my all time favorite shows! I literally plan my whole week around settling down to this! #shutitdown

I is for Irish Lotto. Something I have always been interested in playing. I have always been put off at the thought of having to go into a betting shop but now I know you can buy lottery tickets online I've played it for the next 5 weeks. So keep them fingers crossed for me! 

J is for Jam tarts. Love them but its always the apricot ones that seem to be left in the packet.

K is for Kicking the habit. I used to be a smoker (Quite a heavy one in fact) But have been smoke free for about 4 years now and have never looked back.

L is for Love. Something I finally feel open to. After being on my own for so many years I finally feel comfortable at the prospect of a new romance.

M is for Minecraft . This game quite literally took over my house and much like my slight COD obsession I am quite the Minecraft lover. Seriously , You wanna see the excitement of finding diamonds after a hard days mining.. Too far?

N is for Nicky. My amazing big sister who I admire and love with all my heart. I honestly couldn't wish for a better sister. She is my rock and my best friend.

O is for Ordinary Lies. A brilliant program on BB1 recently. I am a big TV/movie lover. This was a great series and if you didn't get a chance to watch it then you should definitely check it out on iPlayer.

P is for Photography. Something I have always dreamed about studying further and only just had the confidence to even think about going for it. Looking into further study at the moment and hoping to pursue my hobby and turn it into something more professional.

Q is for Quorn. I hold my hands up . I am a fully fledged carnivore and I love my meat. But I have also (since joining weight watchers) found a new love for Quorn. It makes a pleasant change and I love the mince in particular.

R is for Running. Something I have always assumed I could never do, but you know what? Since losing weight and keeping up with my fitness I do often have an urge to run. Granted, I can barely run a mile and at such a slow pace but nevertheless.. I run.

S is for Snake. My little sidekick is such an entertainer she has recently made her own Youtube channel. She is now know to everyone by Aally the snake. She makes me laugh so much with her weird and wonderful videos.

T is for Toys R Us. It's where I work. I started out nearly 2 years ago as a Christmas temp and was offered a permanent position shortly after.

U is for Unfriended. A new film which is due in the cinemas very soon and one that I am very keen to go and see. It looks like a great movie. I am a huge horror fan so anything dark or sinister wins my vote.

V is for Venison. Something I had gone my whole life without trying until recently. I absolutely love venison burgers at the minute. They are just divine and so lean. Absolutely no fat and so low in points for us Weight Watchers.

W is for Weight Watchers (Of course) I decided to join weight watchers a couple of years ago after tipping the scales at just under 20 stone! I decided enough was enough and needed to do something about it. I have since lost 5 stone. I have a long way to go and it certainly has its ups and downs but its a lifestyle change and I am in it for the long haul.

X is for Xbox. As I mentioned before its a guilty pleasure of mine. Not only for gaming but I have all my apps on there too. In particular Netflix which is also another love of my life.

Y is for YouTube. As I mentioned before Aally has her own channel and I am such a YT addict . I can sit for hours on end watching anything from hair tutorials to science experiments. I am hoping to start my own channel soon and delve into the world of vlogging.

Z is for Zumba. Something I have never tried but have been invited to go to next week. I have a feeling I may pass out after ten minutes so wish me luck.

So there you have it. The A-Z of me. I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me and if you feel inspired to write your very own A-Z do let me know so I can pop over and have a read.

*Post written in collaboration with