Brain Training - without a device!


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I am part of the Board Game Blogger Club and am sent board games occasionally to test out. We were recently sent Cortex Challenge, a brain training game.

The box is small and on opening it took a little time to figure out what we were meant to do. After reading the rules and working out what to do we started playing the game. 

About Cortex Challenge

  • Challenge yourself in a fun, quick-thinking game that will test your brain power to the max!

  • Race other players to be the first to match symbols, correctly remember all objects on a card or find the route out of mazes, amongst many other tests.

  • Winning challenges allows you to add pieces to your all-important brain puzzle, which must be completed before your opponents in order to win the game!

  • Cortex Challenge is sure to tax the mental abilities of players both young and old!

What we thought

The idea of the game is to look at the card and do what the instructions say, when you’ve figured out the answer you cover the card - hopefully before anyone else does. There’s an interesting “touch” element to the game too with touch cards. If you have the right answer you keep the card. You collect the cards and when you have two of a particular type you can trade them in for a brain piece. When you have completed your brain (have 4 brain pieces) you win.

The game takes about 15 - 20 minutes to play and even in one game we learnt a lot. To start with we all did the tests at the same time but soon figured out that LP, our 8 year old, needed a head start. Within 10 minutes the Hubby and I were way ahead and LP was sulking. He couldn’t work out why he couldn’t do it, he decided he was “just rubbish”.

With each card we gave LP either a 2 or a 3 second lead in which he could look at the card and no one else could. To be honest it didn’t help him much because he tried to work out the answer and cover the card in those 2-3 seconds. Inevitably the Hubby and I were way ahead and by the end of the game one card decided who won - and it was me!

Obviously I was really pleased with winning (I don’t win games often) but after playing just one game we realised that Cortex Challenge is not a “family” game. You can’t have adults against children because it’s just not fair. Adults can work out answers far more quickly than children (at least in this game) and that makes the children feel like the game is unfair. 

We told LP that next time he wants to play the game he should just play with BP, that way he might have a chance at winning. 

On the box it says that this is for ages 8+ and while I think that’s right you need to have people with similar abilities against one another. All 8 year olds would be fine, all children probably fine, but a family with two adults and two children - not great. I felt bad for LP.

Cortex Challenge was a fun and quick game which can be slotted in to fit around other things and I’d be inclined to play again. 

Cortex Challenge is available to buy for £12.99 and is suitable for 2-6 players aged 8+.

Have you ever tried a brain training game?

Post Comment Love 22nd - 24th September


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Friday again - how did that happen?! Well anyway, it's Friday and that means it's time for Post Comment Love with Stephanie and me. I'm catching up on my reading but I'm sure I'll be over to your post soon!

With the boys back at school and things finally settling down into a proper routine I'm feeling a lot better. I like the routine, I can organise food and activities for the boys after school and I don't need to worry about having something to do. This week I've been totally "on it" with regards to the blog and I'm getting caught up, albeit slowly. 

I still need to sort out my room, it seems to have got more messy recently and I think it's something to do with me wanting to start a new project. I've got papers and crafts all over the place and I think it's hindering my creative brain. I've got ideas floating around in my head but then I get this sudden thought - what if I'm wasting my time? What if I can't do this? I know it's because my room is untidy and I can't organise my thoughts properly but it doesn't stop those fears rearing their ugly heads.

How are you enjoying the kids being back at school?

Blogger Showcase Penny from Pebble Pen

Penny is a 19 year old blogger and an avid book blogger. She likes the sound of coffee and cake and her perfect night out would be a meal and drinks with close friends. Check out what else she had to say over on Stephanie's blog where Penny answers our Blogger Showcase Questions. 


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at

Thank you for popping by.

Post Comment Love
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Three Things All Stressing Brides-To-Be Should Be Told


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The role of the bride comes with some intense pressure. Almost always, it’s down to them to plan a wedding as well as to make sure that they look the absolute best they have ever looked (and are likely to look). It’s no wonder pre-wedding jitters are so common. But a lot of ladies are putting too much pressure on themselves when they put themselves in that role for the first time. There are three things, in particular, they should learn to make the way to the wedding much less stressful.

Lists and calendars are your friends

Have you ever wanted to feel what it’s like to manage and administrate a thousand things at once? If you don’t get a wedding planner, that’s exactly what you have to look forward to. Organizing your own wedding isn’t impossible at all, but it can be very easy to lose track of some threads. You might look like a crazy person, using checklists from Real Simple and plotting out a calendar of what needs to be done and exactly when it needs to be done. However, when you’re in the thick of the planning and all the engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and so on leading up to the wedding, it’s very, very easy to forget something. Whether it’s a tablecloth, a guestbook, or a wedding car, big or small mistakes can add unnecessary stress.

Don’t worry about unique, don’t worry about traditional

You do you. That’s one of the single best pieces of advice for when it comes to choosing the different design elements of the wedding. There’s pressure on one side to impress people by being unique. There’s pressure on the other to conform to tradition. Find what works for you. Don’t be afraid of using sites like 77 Diamonds to find some of the trendier choices if that’s what you want to do. You might have to talk some relatives around and have some long conversations with your partner, and occasionally you might have to find compromises. If you don’t honestly represent yourself in your own wedding, however, you will constantly think back and wonder what it might have been like.

Delegate, delegate, delegate

Why are you choosing the bridesmaids you’re choosing? A likely answer is because they’re your absolute best friends, your sisters, and the most important women in your life. But the practical answer is because brides need help. A work-shy maid of honor is going to be more of a pain in the neck than a help. Bridalguide has some excellent suggestions on what you can rely on her and the other members of the wedding party to help you arrange. At the same time, don’t expect her to make any final choices, that’s way too much pressure. She’s there to help you find those final choices and then make sure they’re all set once you’ve made them.

Above all else, cherish your memories of the wedding day

Even if you don’t only have one wedding in your life, you only have one first wedding and if you don’t take the time to sit back and take it all in, you will regret it. 

Collaborative post

Parents: Is It Too Late For You To Start Learning?


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As a parent, you can sometimes feel like you just don’t have enough hours in the day. Making sure you’re looking after yourself and simultaneously looking after your kids can be tough. However, it’s important to ensure that you’re happy and satisfied with your life too. Some parents do this by making sure they continue their education. You might think it’s too late for you to start learning, but this is never the case!

There are many benefits of learning even as we get older. Not only do we learn new skills and interesting information, we get more happiness and a better sense of satisfaction from life. You may even be able to make a career change! 

Distance Learning

Distance learning is a good way to learn if you’re worried you won’t have time. With distance learning, you can study at your own pace and take exams as and when you feel ready. However, it’s important to note that you need to be very self motivated to do something like this, and able to learn alone! 

Evening/Weekend Classes

Evening and weekend classes are another option for busy parents. You may be able to do one night a week studying your chosen course part time, depending on what it is. If you’re struggling to fit in your studies and things at home alongside your classes, there are services you can look at. You could hire someone from Brill Assignment to take care of a piece of work you haven’t had time to do. Alternatively, you could do the work yourself and hire a cleaner to take care of the household chores for the day! There’s always an option if you’re short on time. 

Living A Balanced Lifestyle

Living a balanced lifestyle is crucial for parents who want to continue learning. Plan out your weekly schedule as best you can. Purchase a calendar for this with time slots so you can pencil in the things you do regularly, e.g. take the kids to school and make dinner. Then try to pinpoint the times you're usually wasting time. Can you cut down on TV and social media time? Then, pencil in when you’ll study. Make sure you even pencil in your relaxation time too, so you know you have a good balance and you get everything done! 

Find Ways To Make More Time

Perhaps there are ways you can create more time to study. You don’t want to burn yourself out, but you want to make sure you get everything done so you’re not stressed or rushing. Maybe you could study while your child does their homework too? Even little 15 minute slots are great for revising or catching up! Make the most of your time and you’ll do great. 

There you have it. It’s never too late to start learning. Learning is a brilliant way to create a fuller, more satisfying life. 

Learn something new and it’s unlikely you’ll regret it. 

Do you have any tips that have helped you? Leave them below!

Collaborative post

What it's like to start a new fitness routine


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Okay so if you have seen photos of me recently you'll know I could do with losing a few (okay, many) pounds. I spent all last year gaining weight even though I knew I didn't want to. I just couldn't help myself, the cake was too nice. But of course it always catches up to us doesn't it? So when the boys went back to school I decided it was time to sort myself out and that's why I started a new fitness routine.

It's been 2 weeks

I started this new routine a little more than 2 weeks ago, it hasn't made that much difference to my body shape but it has made a difference to me. 

So what's the routine?

Well, I get up at 6am every day, put on my trainers and turn on our treadmill. I do a brisk walk (about 3.5mph) for 30 minutes - that's it. For now it's all I can manage without turning a nice shade of lobster. I have done this every day since 6th September and to be honest I thought it would have made more of a difference by now but these things take time.

  • In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can. 

Nikos Kazantzakis

Weight loss

So far I have lost a little more than 5lbs - again it's not much but it's progress and I'm taking that. Any weight loss at the moment is good and shifting the 4 stones plus is going to take some doing. I'm not focusing on that though, that would just discourage me from doing the exercise because it's virtually impossible. However if I lose any weight at all I see that as a win. 

Monitoring food

The other thing I've started doing to aid the weight loss/fitness routine is to monitor what food I'm eating and being careful not to overdo it. Using the MyFitnessPal app I'm adding my meals every day and if I'm close to my calorie limit then I don't have chocolate, if - by some miracle - I've got calories left for a treat I allow myself that treat. It's not easy, I love chocolate and cake and it can be difficult to refuse when it's there but if I want to make progress I need to keep the willpower for this. 

Where to get willpower

To be honest I'm not sure this will come if you don't truly want it. I was truly at my happiest when I weight 10 stones - I was healthy, running for about an hour almost every day, I could eat almost what I wanted, and best of all I was alert all day. Being heavier means I have less energy (I'm ready for bed by 10pm) and that impacts the rest of my life. The lethargy and laziness is just a consequence of being overweight and if I want those things to change I need to have the willpower to change. 

  • Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds. 

Gordon B. Hinckley

How do I feel?

I won't lie - it's not easy. Dragging my bottom out of bed every morning at 6 am has got more difficult as the colder weather rolls in. I don't want to leave my bed in a morning, it's far too cosy. The restrictions on chocolate and sweets is difficult too, particularly if I have a bad day food-wise. But on a positive note I do still have the occasional chocolate bar (think Club or Penguin) and my meals, while healthy, are filling and enjoyable. I'm not overdoing it, and I think that's the key to keeping hold of my willpower. 

If I restrict myself too much or try to do too much exercise I'll lose motivation and give up. I'm being mindful too, checking in with how I'm feeling and trying to adjust according to my emotions. I haven't, so far, had to deal with the week before my period - that'll be tough. But again, I can do it. 

The point?

The point of this post is to say that if I can do it, weighing 14st 7lbs when I started, then you can too. You just have to push yourself a little bit. You don't have to do 30 minutes of brisk walking - do whatever exercise YOU enjoy. If you don't know what that exercise is then try to find it, try out different types of exercise until you find one that you kind-of enjoy. It is difficult in the beginning but starting out slow is the best way to make progress and when you do (and you will!) make progress you'll be motivated by it.

I'm not going to do weekly updates on my progress because I think the pressure is too much but I'll check in occasionally and let you know how I'm going.

As always if you have any questions put them in the comments or head over to my Facebook Page and I'll be sure to answer. 

What would be your top tip for starting a new fitness routine?

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