Thursday, 22 February 2018

Happy Garyversary - 2 Years!

Staggeringly it's exactly 2 years since Gary turned up on my doorstep, howling and terrified and unable to pee, but we gloss over that nowadays. I've discovered a lot about cats in the last 2 years, or maybe it's just Gary, I have no idea and never intend to. As it's his Garyversary, and the internet saved my cat, I thought I'd share what I've learnt.


1. Cats can sleep anywhere. Gary has his luxury Amazon Prime Cat bed at the end of our bed, and a sma─║ler, cosier box on the floor for when he doesn't want to risk being kicked in the head at night. He will however sleep anywhere. Window ledge, under the bed, on a cushion, clothes line, bag of marbles, IN the LEGO box. Whatever cats are made of, it's some sort of pain resistant cloud magic in a loose bag, and if we can harness it then we can be pain-free millionaires. Forget Tesla, this is where the real future lies.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Tile - Tracker that locates your property AND your phone! Review & giveaway (2 prizes)

I've used property locator devices in the past, but they've never been ideal. Tile is a really gorgeous bluetooth fob with a minimum guaranteed 1 year battery life and it is supported by the world's most popular Bluetooth tracking app. You can attach the fob to keys, toys, cats, bags or anything else you might lose. More than that, if you can't find your phone, you can even use your tile to find that.


Utterly gorgeous, you know you have something carefully designed before you even open the box. I'm reviewing the Pro Style & Sport double pack, which has one each of white/gold Style Tile and black/grey Sport Tile.


You download the app. and pair the Tile to your mobile phone. Give it a name, category, even a photo if you wish. Lose the Tile and you can ask your phone where it is, or where it was last spotted by anyone using the app.  If I can't find my phone, I can call it by double pressing the button on my Tile, even if it's on silent.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Children And Mobile Phones - Decreasing the risks with R2L.

An R2L is a small, rubber, sticky-backed device, which can be fitted to the rear of any smartphone, laptop or tablet. It can even fit inside most cases. It's innocuous and you'd barely notice it, but tests show it can remove 70% of the radiation produced in normal use by phones and 3/4G enabled devices, thereby preventing it from entering the user's body.


Ever since mobile phones were first introduced to the public we've been aware that they produce radiation and discharge it into their environment, and unfortunately that's often the skull and brain of the person using the phone. Despite massive improvement over the last 30 years, current advice is still that mobile phones should be avoided in children under 10 years old, because youngsters have thinner skulls and more of this unused power can seep into their brain. The World Health Organisation places mobile phone radiation in the same cancer risk category as lead, car engine exhaust or chloroform.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Yana And The Yeti - Pickled Image Family Theatre Review at The Met, Bury

Last week I was contacted by Pickled Image and asked if we wanted to review their performance of Yana And The Yeti at The Met Theatre in Bury, North Manchester. A family show with no spoken English and with a storyline almost entirely acted using puppetry, it was one of the most beautiful and serene performances I've ever had the pleasure to attend.


We're very familiar with The Met and this was the first time we've visited since the refit. It's an intimate, smaller theatre which is very friendly and has it's own bar, plus Automatic bar and restaurant next door. Pickled Image create family shows and Yana And The Yeti was suitable for age 5+. Ideal for my 7 and 9 year old boys.


The stage set was a movable, raised miniature snowy landscape that really was gorgeous, and beside it, also raised, two smaller snowy tables. Behind, projected onto the backdrop a huge snow covered mountain. When the actors/puppeteers came onto the stage, they took position and my 9 year old gasped aloud as he realised that what was being played out in close up larger scale on the snowy tabletops, was also being shown in miniature in the landscape scene on the left.

Yana And The Yeti really was just jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Spot The LEGO Ninjago Ninja! at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

What better for a Sunday morning than a swift game of 'Where's The Ninja'? We were guests of Warner Bros at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre last Thursday evening for a special event to promote the release of The LEGO Ninjago Movie on DVD and Digital Download, and my partner saw his opportunity to have a bit of a photobomb chuckle.

There's a Ninja in every photo - some are more obvious than others and some are hilariously photoshopped in because we just weren't as organised as we gave ourselves credit for. The Ninja is blue and made from DUPLO. We'll start easy...


This is really not hard, but as with all good 'spot the character' puzzles, the answers are upside down at the bottom of the page. If you are using a desktop PC, I'd suggest turning your head rather than the screen... no cheating now!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

#TBCSmiles 42 Months...

This month has been a pretty rough one for us, I know a lot of people are tired and worn out and we are all ready for Spring - although I really wouldn't complain about a few days of proper snow that the kids can play with. We seem to have had a month of drizzle and sleet and overnight snow that's vanished by morning. Even worse we had a day of snow that was all gone by 3.30pm - so harsh on the kids in school!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Double Cake Day.

Not 20. Not having a birthday, not going out for a drink. Not giggling and opening presents. Not putting on make up and doing your hair. Would you be away at Uni? Would you have a partner, a fling? Would you have a part time job, would you have used some of your birthday money to go out and celebrate? Would you have been grabbing everything life had to offer you and grinning that huge smile? Would you have complained that sundae isn't technically cake, and made sure we had another later this week? Probably.

Happy birthday El.  We miss you, we'll always miss you xxx


February Half Term Family Activities in the North West UK

Here is a compilation of activities and events that are on this February for families in the Northwest UK, Manchester, Liverpool area. Half term has really caught me out this year as my kids don't break up until Friday, but some children are already off, so apologies to anything that's already started! I'll keep everything in start date order, add more as I get them in, and try to italicise anything that is already over...

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Flush Force Collectible Toys Review and Unboxing for SpinMaster (age 4+)

If your children are anything like mine then they love small rubbery blind bag collectibles, especially when they are a bit gross and horrible. Flush Force fits the bill perfectly, with a collection of 150 different characters who hide in small plastic toilets...and start at £3.49 for a pack of 2. We've been sent a selection of the Series 1 sets to review.


Included in our bundle are the Bizarre Bathroom with 8 Flushies, the Filthy 5-Pack, the Number 2 Pack and the Collect-A-Bowl Stash 'N' Store Case with 4 Flushies.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Story Of Titanic For Children Book Review for Carlton Books (age 8+)

Probably the most famous shipwreck tale of all time, the story of the Titanic is fascinating to adults and children alike. The Story Of Titanic For Children by Joe Fullman is an excellent factual book which my 9 year old has poured over since it arrived.


This is a beautiful book and it's full of gorgeous illustrations and photographs. It is honest, but doesn't glorify or overplay any of the tragedies which happened when the Titanic sank. It is full of fascinating details and facts, as well as personal accounts and even sketches drawn by survivors.