Books, Family - Adventure, featured

Eternal Seas book tour and an ILLUSTRATION COMPETITION

It’s been a very busy few weeks. Eternal Seas published on 28th September and went on tour straight away!

I’d like to thank all these amazing independent bloggers for reviewing the book, as well as sharing extracts, and allowing me to take over their sites for a chat. They all comment on the action-packed adventure, strong and likeable characters, family values, writing style …. I cried many times when reading these reviews, it’s a very emotional moment when you release your baby into the world, and the feeling when people love it is totally overwhelming. So I’ll let you explore the links, and in no particular order here they are …

https://acatabookandacupoftea.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/blog-tour-eternal-seas/

https://obcminireviewers.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/blogtour-review-eternalseas-by-lexi_rees-rararesources/

http://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/2018/09/eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-book-tour.html

https://oddsocksandlollipops.co.uk/childrens-book-reviews/eternal-seas/

https://thesecretworldofabookbloggerblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/eternal-seas-lexi-rees/

http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/blogtour-extract-eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-rararesources-lexi_rees-giveaways/

https://lacyace.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-review-adventure-magic/

Blog Tour: Eternal Seas by Lexi Rees {Guest Post}

http://madonreading.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees.html

https://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/btr-eternal-seas/

http://themidnightreview.co.uk/wp/?p=192

https://booksforboysweb.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/1879/https://whisperingstories.com/eternal-seas-lexi-rees-book-review/?platform=hootsuite

https://maitaylor567291325.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/bizarre-honeymoon-thanks-to-the-most-unusual-gate-crasher/

https://maitaylor567291325.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/eternal-seas-lexi-rees/

https://jessbookishlife.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/eternal-seas-review/

https://bookwormforkids.blogspot.com/2018/10/sneak-peek-and-authors-thoughts-eternal.html?spref=tw

http://catandmousereading.blogspot.com/2018/10/eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-blog-tour.html

https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/blog-tour-eternal-seas-lexi-rees/

https://writingwithwolves.co.uk/2018/10/04/blog-tour-review-giveaways-eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees/

#BlogTour Eternal Seas by Lexi Rees @lexi_rees @rararesources

http://raereads1.blogspot.com/2018/10/eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-lexirees.html

https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/blogtour-eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees/

https://chrikarublog.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/author-interview-lexi-rees/

https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2018/10/blog-tour-eternal-seas.html

https://chrikarublog.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/book-review-eternal-seas/

https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/blogtour-bookreview-for-eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-lexi_rees-rararesources-eternalseas/

https://beereaderbooks.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees/

https://jennifergilmour.com/eternal-seas-review-lexi_rees-rararesources/

http://www.juliathum.co.uk/notebooks/eternal-seas

https://norwayellesea.blogspot.com/2018/10/new-release-spotlight-review-eternal.html

 

CHILDREN’S ART COMPETITION : DON’T MISS THE CHANCE TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE SEQUEL

Would your children like to see their illustrations published in a book?
  • Six lucky winners will have their illustrations printed in the sequel to Eternal Seas
  • Winners and runners up will also have their drawings featured on www.lexirees.co.uk and on social media
Drawings must be in black and white, and can be in any of the following categories
  • Finn and Aria sailing
  • Aria flying up in the sky
  • a cat
  • mountain ponies
  • a snow eagle
  • a demon-goddess
Don’t worry if you’re not Picasso – that’s not what I’m looking for! Here is an original illustration of Aria with her dreamcatcher from Eternal Seas which I did with my son. I’m not a professional artist, I just love drawing. Have a go! I look forward to seeing your entries.
Aria with Dreamcatcher
Please see detailed terms for entry requirements
  • Open to children aged 13 or under
  • You can enter as many categories as you like
  • Winners will be chosen by Lexi Rees
  • Children’s name and age will be published together with their illustration. Parents/ guardians must confirm they are happy with this when they enter. Other information (e.g email address) will not be shared.
  • No purchase necessary
  • Closing date 31/1/19
  • Entries must be scanned or photographed in high resolution and emailed to lexireads@hotmail.com. The winners may need to post originals if the images are not high enough quality for printing. Postage costs will be covered in this case.
  • Full entry details can be found on www.lexirees.co.uk

 

 

Family - Adventure, featured

Five reasons snakes make the best pets

I love animals. I grew up on a farm with Clydesdale horses in the garden (their grandparents used to be working horses, but these were just “field ornaments”), sheep,  Collies (best sheepdogs, of course), and cattle. My best ever party was when my entire class of 5 year olds tried to milk Daisy, the worlds most patient cow! Then when I got older, the cows became cats. This is my cheeky pony – he keeps me on my toes, and makes the worst days all better.
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So now we have a collection of animals.
But last week DS went for a sleepover at a friends house. Turns out he has a python in his bedroom. I thought this was a computer coding language. Nope. A snake. Not what you want to find out via whatsapp!
snake-pet
I used to have nightmares about giant snakes attacking the house. I’m pretty sure that scene in Harry Potter with Nagini is based on my dream.
Rest of conversation went like this …
Me: “I’m coming to rescue you!”
DS: “Don’t worry mum, it’s quite safe. It’s only little.”
Me: “30cm?”
DS: “About a metre.”
I asked his friend what having a pet snake was like, and he said it was mostly boring as it slept all day. Well in that case, surely it can party with the hamster in the kitchen at night then?
When DS got home, safely, the next day, we made a list of reasons why a snake is a great pet …
  1. You won’t have to look after the class hamster in the holidays, in case it gets eaten
  2. No barking, caterwauling or hamster wheel squeaking at 2am
  3. Cheaper than a horse. Trust me on this one!
  4. You can pretend you’re in Slytherin even if you got another house in Pottermore. You never know, parseltongue might be a GCSE in the future.
  5. Your mother will never come into your room.
Seriously, if you are considering a snake as a pet, please do lots of research. The RSPCA is a good starting point https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/other
But when I am getting rid of the hamster, dog and horse and setting up a reptile house?
No way. Never. No matter how convincing DS is, I know it’s still me who will need to clean the cage. See reason 5.
End of.
Family - Adventure, featured

Seven Best Dog Breeds for Families and a COMPETITION

I’ve got sooooo much for you today! Firstly, I have a guest post from the dog-crazy Gina at PawLife, then a Giveaway PLUS some FREE sheets on dog care, and a book review … I don’t know where to start 🙂 You’ll just have to keep scrolling down!

Guest post by Gina from PawLife.com.au

Dog’s make great companions for adults, but when it comes to children you want to ensure that your future dog is a tolerant breed. There are some dog breeds for families that will blend in nicely. Your dog will become your child’s best friend and playmate.

When choosing a dog breed that will be suited to your family, there are a few factors that you should consider.

Size: When it comes to choosing a dog, size does matter. Bigger dogs tend to have a more placid temperament while smaller dogs can be slightly aggressive and territorial.

Temperament: The general nature of dog breeds will give you a broader understanding of their temperament and personality trait.

A few questions to ask yourself and your family before making any decisions of adding a dog to your family;

* What is the breeds personality trait?

* Are you adopting a dog?

* Do you know the history of the dog?

* Will the dog get along with all family members?

* Will the dog get along will other animals in the family?

A few questions to ask yourself concerning your children;

* Will your children accept a dog into the family?

* Do your children know how to treat a dog?

* Are your children responsible?

* Are your children ready for a dog?

Seven Best Dog Breeds for Families

1. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are smart and can be easily trained. They are a highly active dog and enjoy the outdoors. This breed is perfect for busy families that enjoy going to the beach, running and parks.

2. Pug

When owning a pug, you need to ensure your children do not overfeed this breed. They are prone to becoming overweight from being given snacks and too many treats. This breed loves to sleep and eat. Not overly active, they do enjoy a little daily walk. Perfect for snuggling up on the couch and watching a family movie.

3. Mixed Breed (Mut)

You don’t need to get a purebred breed. Mixed breeds are also great for families. Mixed breeds generally are very loyal as they have traits from both sides of breeds. Larger mixed breeds are recommended for families with small children.

4. Border Collie

We all know that collie is regarded as one of the most intelligent dog breeds around and also very loyal. They require a lot of attention and yard space as they are very active and also need mental stimulation. This breed loves children and is perfect for the outdoor family.

5. Boxer

Boxers are a popular breed as they are fun-loving yet very loyal and have a protective demeanour. This breed is very energetic and can get overly excited so if you have small children you will need to ensure your boxer is calm and trained as they may unintentionally bowl over your kids.

6. Newfoundland

This is breed is a gentle giant, their size can be overwhelming but are great with children. They build strong bonds and are great for families that are in snowy climates.

7. Beagle

The Beagle is one of the most common breeds in America. They have been around for thousands of years and if you have a pure breed they are known for the white tip tail. The Beagle breed is a very vocal and social breed. Loyal to the bone and great for families.

 

Training is extremely important that you put in the time to train your dog if they are to be around children all of the time. Also, your children must to taught how to care, treat and understand the dog’s body language. With these tips, you will have an awesome family dog.

Having records at hand in case of emergency means one less thing to worry about when your dog is sick. You can download your FREE Dog Bundle Pack from PawLife.com.au

* A printable Dog-friendly human foods list

* A printable 6-page Pet Record and Information Pack that includes:

o Pet Record sheet

o Pet Sitter Information Sheet

o Medication sheet

o Vaccination Records Sheet

o Flea, Tick & Worm Treatment Schedule

o Contacts Sheet

These sheets have been created to be easily printed so you can stick on the fridge, give to pet sitters, family members, friends and your vet.

 

 

Thanks Gina. It’s me again now. Did you know that Meghan Markle has a rescue beagle? I just love this story.

Meghan Markle’s beagle called Guy

 

*** NEW BOOK ALERT ***

So, if you are taking the plunge, Gina has published a book called The PawLife Guide: Dog Care at Home

Pawlife - gharding-pawlife-guide-cover-d1

DOG CARE AT HOME gives you the information you need to have a happy and healthy dog no matter what your dog’s current stage in life, in just 10 minutes a day. Over 200 hours of research including interviews with veterinarians and fellow dog owners around the world, Dog Care at Home is the all-in-one book to have at home, with six veterinarians that have contributed to this ultimate guide, rest assured you are in reliable hands. Inside you will discover: – Choosing the right breed – The basic steps of raising a puppy – What vaccinations are for and why your dog needs them – Travelling with your dog – How to perform CPR on your dog – Health and hygiene including dental care – Choosing the right veterinarian – When it’s time to say goodbye – And much more! PawLife’s Dog Care at Home is the answer for all your dog parenting needs in one comprehensive guide that ensures your dog lives a long, healthy and happy life.

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-Care-Home-Ultimate-Healthy-ebook/dp/B07HGR9ZNF

 

*** COMPETITION TIME! ***

We couldn’t share all this without a Giveaway – Win a 12 Piece Dog Toy Starter Box from Zenify (Open Internationally)

pawlife-giveaway-V1.jpg

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494139/

 

Author Bio

pawlife-gina-harley-author-photo

Gina is an enthusiastic dog lover, so much so that she founded her own dog blog business called PawLife, which has been awarded top 10 Australian Dog Blog. This wouldn’t be possible without her best friend Harley, who is a toy poodle mix. They are continually going on new adventures, testing out new squeaky toys.

Gina recently discovered her writing passion and wanted to create the ultimate guidebook that would support, educate and inspire pet parents and yet to be pet parents around the world. Gina and Harley are originally from Australia, where the weather is always beautiful. This is Gina’s first book and looks forward to writing many more to help fellow pet-parents; with her fur-baby Harley by her side.

Social Media Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pawlifeau/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/PawLifeAU/

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/pawlifeau/ Website- http://pawlife.com.au/

 

 

 

Family - Adventure, featured

STEM, Confident Teens, And How To Help

Today I have the wonderful Caroline Walker on my blog.  Caroline runs ConfidentTeens, an organisation which supports teen girls to value and believe in themselves. Their empowering programmes enable girls to build self-awareness, inner confidence and bigger ambitions for themselves, so they are able to best navigate their teen years and beyond. Following last weeks blog on introducing STEM activities for young children, we now look at teenagers, particularly girls, and STEM.

Encouraging girls to consider STEM careers

With 2018 marking the centenary of (some) women winning the right to vote we can celebrate the progress that has been made for girls and women in many spheres of life in the UK.

However in the area of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers there is still much to be done. It is striking that in 2018, women make up only 14.4% of all people working in STEM in the UK, despite being about half of the workforce.

And we can trace this imbalance back to subject choice at A-level and university. For example in 2016 only 1.9% of girls choose Physics A-level, compared to 6.5% of boys.

The contrast between male and female participation in STEM subjects beyond GCSE is stark – according to WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) only 33% of girls who take maths and science GCSEs programme progress into any form of Level 3 core STEM qualification, whether that is via A-level, advanced apprenticeship or vocational qualification routes. This contrasts to 80% of boys from the GCSE cohort that progress to a Level 3 STEM qualification.

And this matters to the UK economy. WISE estimates the STEM worker shortfall to be approximately 69,000 per year. Without significant change, this means the UK’s vital STEM industries are under threat. WISE also estimates that 50,000 talented girls are lost every year from STEM jobs. So if we can encourage girls to consider STEM for their GCSEs and afterwards, we can all contribute to addressing this shortfall.

And there is an impact on a personal level as well; girls are missing out on more lucrative careers. For example, women with maths degrees earn 13% more than other women graduates five years after university; women with degrees in economics, requiring high levels of maths ability, earn nearly 20% more. Over a whole career, that is a massive financial difference.

I believe there is a link between the low levels of self-esteem amongst many teen girls and this low take-up of STEM subjects at A-level and beyond.

And research bears this out, even with girls who are expected to get high grades at GCSE there is an issue of confidence. In a recent study of all the girls surveyed who were expected to get grades 7-9 in maths or sciences (equivalent to A-A* previously), 50% said they agreed with the statement: “I often worry that it will be difficult for me in physics classes.”

By addressing issues of confidence and resilience, we can encourage girls to consider STEM subjects in their A-level choices. In turn this could lead to STEM degree choices and their future careers.

These three ideas encourage girls to build their confidence, and consider STEM options and careers as a result:

1. Raise aspirations

Many young people see STEM careers as the more difficult choice. So our starting point is to encourage higher aspirations so that teens consider all careers, including – but not limited to – STEM careers.

Goal-setting can form part of the way we support young people to raise their aspirations. We can start with a one month goal, and developing a step-by-step plan to achieve that goal. Once this

habit is established, three month or one year goals could be introduced. What’s key is to encourage your teenager to reflect on their achievements and progress, and celebrate this – and not just focus on the next goal.

It’s so important to encourage young people to believe in themselves – and their futures – though consistent and positive encouragement and supporting them to develop and learn.

This is well expressed by Hilary Clinton:

“To all the little girls who are watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams”

2. Encourage curiosity for role models

Teenagers gain ideas for their careers from family members first of all, as well as from popular culture. We can support them further by encouraging a curiosity around a wide range of role models and careers, and encourage them to find out how individuals have overcome set-backs to achieve their goals.

It’s key that as adults we need to be aware – and address – any gender stereo-typing in our language when discussing different careers.

News stories can be a resource for inspiring role models, for example the female pilot, Captain Shults landing a plane after an engine exploded in Spring 2018, and the comment from newsreader Kate O’Donnell:

“Part of me hopes that many, many girls – and boys – heard that audio of a woman, in command of an aircraft, handling an emergency with calm focus and competence. In the age of Disney Princesses, Mean Girls and Barbie, we need those voices”

And expanding on the ideas of role models, perhaps there is an opportunity within your social network to arrange some work experience for your daughter, to give her the opportunity to see a STEM career in action?

3. Encourage a Growth Mindset

I believe supporting a growth mindset in teenagers is an invaluable factor in encouraging them to consider studying STEM subjects, and for their career choices.

A Growth Mindset is believing that we are all capable of developing new skills. What’s key is the effort we put in ourselves and the strategies we use in our learning and development. In contrast, a Fixed Mindset is having set ideas of what we are good or bad at (for example “I’m rubbish at maths”). With a Fixed Mindset we focus only on the end-results, with an emphasis on what other people say, rather than on our own resources, efforts and views.

By supporting young people to have a Growth Mindset leads them to relish challenges and be open-minded to their choices. Dr Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” fully expounds this concept, and gives useful insights into the language and approach we can use to encourage a growth mindset in young people.

Unfortunately there is no magic formula for addressing the shortfall in girls taking STEM subjects, but by raising aspirations, promoting a wide range of role models and encouraging a growth mindset approach we are supporting teen girls to believe in themselves, their capabilities and the possibilities for their future career – and that that could include STEM.

At Confident Teens we run Confidence and Resilience programmes in schools for teen girls, supporting girls to develop their self-belief, resourcefulness and skills for handling the pressures of the teenage years. For example, one 13 year girl fed back after participating in a programme “I’ve learnt how to value myself and everything about me” To find out more visit ConfidentTeens

 

Biography

Caroline Walker

 

Caroline Walker’s first career was in marketing, initially in the corporate world before running her own marketing business. In 2014 she was struck by how much pressure teen girls face whether that’s exam performance, their appearance, getting on with friends, worrying about their future and so much more – all lived out in the unforgiving glare of social media. Caroline retrained and established Confident Teens, an organisation supporting teen girls to be confident, resilient young women. Confident Teens runs confidence and resilience programmes in schools to support teen girls to develop pride in their individuality and develop their own strategies and skills for handling different situations.

Family - Adventure, featured

How to make every day an exciting STEM adventure

I was lucky to go to a senior school which focussed heavily on the sciences with more science than arts classes at A level, so I’m thrilled that the importance of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) is getting more profile generally, particularly for girls. Thanks to our school, many of my female school friends are very successful doctors.

So I’m thrilled to have the amazing Suzie Olsen on my blog today. Suzie is a systems engineer in Phoenix, Arizona. She currently works on the search and rescue system for the US Coast Guard. She is also the author of Annie Aardvark, Mathematician and creator of the blog STEM Spark. Suzie’s spark is to encourage students, especially girls and minorities, to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She lives with her husband and child, performing STEM experiment after STEM experiment with her own kid. Please do check out her website – it’s fantastic.

I asked Suzie to pull together three easy STEM activities we can all try with our kids. Enjoy!

 

STEM Adventures are Everywhere

In my book, Annie Aardvark, Mathematician, the main character Annie loves math so much that she decides she’s going to have a math adventure while she forages!  She finds different things to count as she hunts for her daily meal, ending with ten ants.  Annie exclaims, “What a fun math adventure!  I can’t wait until my next one!”  And just like Annie, you and your children can have a fun STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) adventure anywhere you go! Below are a couple of different ideas for your STEM adventure.

Engineering Adventure

Whether in the city or nature, there’s a couple of different ways to have an engineering adventure.  The first is look for a problem to solve: is there an area in your neighborhood that needs improving or fixing? Is there an animal having an issue with collecting food?  Is there human or animal congestion where you are at? Is trash gathering in one place on the ground?  Try engaging your kids in an impromptu brainstorm on different ideas on how to fix the problem, and then decide which idea is the best one for fixing the issue.  Give it a twist by qualifying during the brainstorm how the best idea will be judged (such as “What’s the most fun way to fix this problem?”) If possible, try building the solution, put it in the problem area and test it.  Did it work? Did it reduce or eliminate the problem?  (This process is called the engineering design process.) Another fun engineering adventure is to collect different materials from where you and your kids are, like trash, sticks, stones, forks, plates, and so on and try building a mini-house out of these materials.  Can you get the house to stand alone?  And if so, how long does the house stand?

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Science Collection Adventure

A flower or leaf collection is a fun way to have a science adventure when you and your children are out and about.  Your child could carry around a reusable bag and every time they see a leaf or flower they don’t have, they can gather it up and put it in their bag.  Then once home, you and your child can dry the leaf and flower and glue it into a scrapbook.  You can research online together the name of the flower or tree that the leaf came from and then label it in the scrapbook.  Of course, be wary of poison leaves (like Poison Ivy) or flowers (like Oleanders) and make sure you have permission before plucking a flower or leaf off a tree (anything found on the ground is probably okay).

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Math Counting Adventure

Whether taking a walk around your neighborhood or hiking a trail in the mountains, children can count the objects they come across, just like Annie did in her first math adventure.  If it’s a familiar or frequent route, try creating a pre-made checklist going from 1 specific item up to 10 specific items they must count (or just impromptu count whatever they see).  Items you can have your kids count while they’re on their walk include rocks, flowers, weeds, birds, lizards, other types of animals, insects, leaves, clouds, people, airplanes/vehicles, buildings, trees, and so on.  There’s no limit of what kind of item they count, so as long as they’re having fun hunting for that item and counting it!

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Wherever you and your children may be, I hope you have a fun time on your STEM adventure!  Happy STEM’ing!