Heroes of the City YouTube Channel Review

We’ve been enjoying playing with the Heroes of the City app for a good long while now. It still gets played with regularly, especially now the small boy has inherited my old iPad. He has also discovered YouTube and we let him watch cartoons and things on it sometimes. He was really delighted to discover that Heroes of the City had their own YouTube channel. I was delighted too because it’s been the school holidays and it’s kept him happy for half an hour while I’ve got on with a few chores.

Heroes of the City is an animated TV-series for preschool children about rescue vehicles, it is set in a small town where everybody gets to be a hero. The TV-series contains a lot of warmth and teaches the importance of friendship and what we can be achieved by helping each other and working together.

I love that there’s a proper Heroes of the City YouTube channel now and so does the small boy. He loves watching the adventures of Pauli Police Car and Fiona Fire Engine as well as the clumsy Calamity Crow. He loves emergency vehicles so anything emergency or rescue themed is always a winner.

On the Heroes of the City YouTube channel there are already 6 hours of video including music videos, compilations, Crafting with Calamity Crow, Memory Games and a range of full episodes and shorter clips for smaller children. The videos are high quality and are suitable for children 2-6 years and the YouTube channel is available in 18 different languages.

It is now firmly part of our YouTube repertoire and it’s something he can enjoy alone, or watch with us and we can talk about the themes as a family. If you want to take a look at the Heroes of the City YouTube channel you can find it here.

Heroes of the City YouTube

A bit of downtime with my little dude

Being a small boy can be tiring; always on the go, running around, screaming, weeing on the floor, pouring Cheerios everywhere, it is an exhausting business. So every so often we like to give him a pyjama morning.

There’s probably a really good scientific reason why children just need a bit of downtime every so often, we adults do, so I can’t see there being much difference for little ones.

Our small boy leads a busy life, he goes to nursery 3 days a week, playgroup one morning. We go on endless walks and park visits. His weekends are usually a whirlwind of Dads & Tots playgroup, swimming, birthday parties and seeing friends and relatives. We have to fit a lot into his week, I get tired, so he must do too. An occasional lazy pj morning is a huge treat.

I do love our pyjama mornings. We snuggle in bed with some breakfast and get the ipad out. He knows how to work it better than most, so he opens YouTube and starts watching what he wants. He’s 3, he likes to watch Curious George, Thomas the Tank Engine, Fireman Sam and Chuggington.

How lovely, you might think. But he doesn’t just watch the English episodes. He’ll happily spend a happy hour or so working through the back catalogue of Polish Fireman Sam, or German Curious George.

Lately he’s discovered a YouTube channel where a slightly odd man demonstrates and plays with Chuggington toys. He loves them. He loves watching other people play with toys online. It seems a bit weird to me, but it makes him happy. I guess it’s the modern equivalent of my brother spending hours pouring over the toy pages of the Argos catalogue.

Right now, this very minute, I’m sat in bed in my pjs typing this. He’s sat in bed next to me in his pjs, watching Chuggington and enjoying some milk and what’s left of an Easter egg. He’s happy, I’m happy. I’ll switch the laptop off in a few minutes and we’ll cuddle up and watch something together, he’ll stroke my hair absent-mindedly while we enjoy a few quiet moments together.

I think our pj mornings are just as special as all the lovely busy things we get to do together. I think it’s important that he just gets to relax, snuggle with mummy and not always be on the go, doing, doing, doing. Sometimes it’s just nice to just be.

Just chilling in bed with Mummy

Toddler Fun Learning Videos on YouTube

I hate this time of year, if you’ve got a poorly toddler and the frozen rain (otherwise known as sleet) is lashing against the window; you’re less inclined to go out and about for ambles round your local park. Poorly toddlers are notoriously narky and difficult to entertain, which can result in some delightfully epic tantrums (not always his).

This afternoon it was particularly nippy and the toddler was particularly grumpy, so we decided to snuggle in mummydaddysbed™, drink hot chocolate and check out the YouTube videos from Toddler Fun Learning.

Toddler Fun Learning is a family-run British production company who produce videos for toddlers that look fantastic, but help your little loved ones with their counting, spelling, vocabulary and lots more. I was all over this concept because the boy is obsessed with YouTube, plus he has hearing problems which means his speech is a tiny bit behind, so if this can help then all the better.

watching videosWe watched a selection, including Twinkle Twinkle, Learn to count on Number Farm and The Wheels on the Bus. He loved them all. We watched them together (I’m very firm that the iPad is NOT a babysitter) and we sang along and chatted about what we saw; a cow; a hopping rabbit; a red tractor etc.

photo (28)He watched some of them several times over but particularly fell in love with “Lets Build a Steam Train: Learn about train parts“. He adores everything train related and this video showed all the pieces of a train with the words, I left the room briefly and returned to find him watching it for about the eighth time and reciting the words, which for me was brilliant I was so pleased.

He seemed to love all the videos, was engaged with them, laughed and got excited by them. We loved that the farm cartoons were mixed up with real footage of animals, he got so excited by that. I think the videos are great and a lovely learning tool for parents to enjoy with their toddlers.

NB. In a toddler nod to Hitchcock an orange cat appears somewhere in each of the videos. There’s no bonus prize if you spot it, but it is kinda fun.

The Toddler Fun Learning YouTube channel can be found here.

The Roost – Bloggers & Brands 2014 YouTube Video

photoIn December the lovely lot at The Roost put a shout out to bloggers to send them a short video on what their hopes, dreams and ambitions were for blogging and working with brands in 2014.

What with me being a try anything once kinda gal, I thought I’d inflict my ugly mug the YouTube watching population. Thankfully (for you) they didn’t include the whole of my performance, but do keep an eye out for me. I think it’s a really well produced video about Bloggers & Brands, I’m really proud to be a part of it. Let me know what you think!


What are my Guilty Pleasures?

Guilty pleasures. What are guilty pleasures? In my book, they are things you like to do that you’re slightly embarrassed about. I’m an open book (if you’ve read my blog posts you’ll probably have gathered that) and I’m quite open and unembarrassed about stuff that other people might call a guilty pleasure.

I used to love Take That despite being a confirmed indie kid. I’m quite happy to admit a sneaky fascination with You’ve Been Framed and you know what, who doesn’t love a Caramac? See, nothing to see here, keep walking.

After much head scratching I’ve decided that my ultimate guilty pleasure is Quentin Tarantino. Now I know that’s nothing to be ashamed of, but I love his films. From True Romance (which he wrote but didn’t direct) which is just an awesome piece of film, to Reservoir Dogs. I adore Inglourious Basterds, every frame is superb, funny, graphic, brave, a little bit silly and just wonderful.

If I need to find my happy place, then really nothing hits the spot better than the Kill Bill films. Oh my goodness, if I ever need to feel empowered and like I need to dig myself out of an awful hole, then I just crank up the cruel tutelage of Pei Mei on YouTube and I’m in my safe and happy space.

That scene where she punches herself out of the coffin is just outstanding and life affirming and so powerful for me. That brave, courageous woman against the world fighting for her daughter. Beautiful. Only thing is I’ve never liked Pulp Fiction. Bit odd that, isn’t it. Sorry.

What are my most Guilty Pleasures?

I don’t really feel especially guilty about any of my pleasures. Maybe they’re just too innocuous for anyone to feel too bad about.

So those are my guilty pleasures, they’re not so terrible really. What are yours? Come on, spill the beans.

Today (suicide & self harm)

Today by the Smashing Pumpkins is one of my favourite songs (YouTube it, go on) but the song is not about the greatest day ever, it’s about suicide.

I’ve had a run of good days, still with raging insomnia, but a few good, calm-ish days. I’d been feeling ok about myself and my life. Starting to think I was maybe getting on an even keel at last. I was very wrong.

I woke up this morning crazy agitated, really twitchy and in a panic. I don’t know why. A few days ago, even though I was in my happy place I felt an uncontrollable urge to walk out in front of a car. I didn’t obviously but the thought was there.

Last night I cut myself again, I’ve not done that for a good month. It felt good, it stopped the noise in my head telling me that I’m a hateful human being. That I’m ugly and worthless. It stopped, briefly. Then I just felt bad for being weak and cutting again.

This morning I’m thinking dark thoughts, shameful thoughts. Thoughts about harming myself. I’ve got enough pills to do it, to end it, to stop the pain, to stop the noise once and for all. I wont do it. I can’t do it. But I want to. I really want to. So I will cut and bleed instead. I will scratch at my hateful skin until it’s raw.

How long can this pain last? How long till I can be happy? How long can I be like this. How long? How long.