Sunday, 28 August 2016

12 Healthier Lunchbox Snacks On Test - Will The Kids Eat it?

As schools everywhere ban chocolate from lunchboxes, you might be wondering what you'll put in your child's lunchbox, and will the kids actually eat it? We've been sent loads of different 'healthier' snacks over the last year or so, here are some of those we've tried, and what my 6 and (almost) 8 year old children thought of them...


The nutritional information I give is based on the product websites or packaging and is correct to the best of my knowledge. Some links are to older reviews and information given back then may have changed. Prices given on this page are correct at the time of typing on the product website, major supermarkets or Amazon.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Pokemon Go! Photo Competition from NCC Home Learning

It comes as no surprise now if you see someone stop suddenly in the street and start swiping their phone screen before giving a little fist pump and carrying on. Clearly they're playing Pokemon Go!, and had spotted Charizard waving at them.


Animated Pocket Monsters aren't the usual thing to see when going about your everyday life, and these encounters can lead to some pretty amazing and amusing images. NCC Home Learning have a Pokemon Go! photography competition running until 30th September 2016 for you to share your Pokemon Go! photos.

Vapiano Kids Menu Review & #LittleVaps Competition (Manchester Corn Exchange).

Yesterday, in the unnatural Manchester heat, my two young boys took me out for lunch to Vapiano Italian Restaurant in the Corn Exchange. They were invited to review the kids menu and see how Vapiano measure up to the discerning palate of children, and as we were there we could also enter the #VapKids video competition...


I've been to Vapiano before as a guest when Manchester Mummy reviewed, so I knew what to expect - in fact some of my photos are from that day, so that I wasn't distracted from my children too much this time.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Anki OVERDRIVE Robotic Supercar Racing: Family Bundle Review

Anki OVERDRIVE is slot car racing without any of the hassle. Robotic supercars on a track that takes 5 minutes to set up or change, with up to 3 of your mates. And if your mates aren't available, you can just race against the computer...


I first saw the Anki DRIVE a couple of years ago, and was besotted at the time. Anki OVERDRIVE is the upgrade - better, faster, stronger, so I was truly delighted when Anki gave us the chance to review their Family Bundle pack. In the pack are the Starter Kit, Speed Kit, Collision Kit and Corner Kit, as well as two extra cars.

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Utterly Awesome Just So Festival Review 2016

We made it! Yeeay! It was impossible for us to overnight at the Just So Festival this year, but we were lucky enough to be invited along as day visitors. I'm pleased to report it made an absolutely excellent day out, in fact we didn't leave the site until almost 10pm! The only downside was that we would have stayed all weekend if we could...


The Just So Festival is a children's festival held annually at Rode Hall in Cheshire.  It is a festival for families with children of all ages, but especially up to around 11, and this year we took our 6 and almost 8 year olds with us..

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Letts 'Back To School' Book Bundle Giveaway and 30% Discount Code

Letts have a huge range of learning books for children and young people throughout school and college, from the earliest letter and number skills for age 3, right up to A level revision. With the 'Back To School' panic now underway Letts are offering all of my readers a 30% discount on their entire range of books, and one of my readers can win a huge £50 bundle of books suited to their child.


After the Summer break we're all busy preparing uniforms, shoes and PE kits, but getting children back into a learning frame of mind is really important. There are lots of great books to choose from and Letts has some really engaging and motivating learning books.


For younger children Letts have ranges such as 'Monster Practice' and the new 'Wild About...', and we reviewed some of the Wild About books this June...You can find our full review of Letts Wild About Workbooks here...

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hyperfire Blaster Review (age 8+)

One of the most popular items we've ever been sent to review arrived a fortnight ago. The Nerf N-Strike Elite Hyperfire Blaster from Hasbro takes dart firing to a whole new level with a 25 dart cartridge and staggering 4 x D cell battery level of power.


Baby and infant toys are great, but as your children get older they move on, and if they're anything like my boys then it won't be long before they are drooling at the big kid toys. Nerf are definitely a big kid toy, and with our oldest being 22, they're a long-time firm favourite in our house.


Your blaster arrives in a box which is large enough for storage afterwards, there's a pull out drawer and it takes very little time to remove.  Set up is quick - insert the 4 x D cell batteries, load the cartridge, insert the cartridge, shoot.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Education Quizzes For School Age Children Website Review

The Education Quizzes website is a huge resource for children throughout their school years. Quizzes are written by teachers and grouped by age range, from age 4 KS1 up to 16 year olds taking their GSCE's, including a section for children who have English as a second language, and some more in-depth topics such as Flags of The World or London.


Choose the age range suitable for your child (KS1, KS2, 11-Plus, KS3 and GCSE), and then from the list of subjects. Within each subject there will be a number of relevant quizzes, there seem to be at least 10 in each, but some subjects such as KS1 Science have around 100 quizzes! All of the core school subjects are covered, and some topics have their own section too, more extensive parts of the National Curriculum such as Times Tables. Quizzes for younger children are mainly image based, whereas older children have less pictures and more text.

Monday, 15 August 2016

24 months....2 years.

The last two years of my life have sped past so incredibly slowly. A moment in time that I'll carry with me forever, memories that will never ever be distant, yet every minute since has dragged into an eternity and I cannot remember life before her loss.

I wish I could say that I had the confidence I found 3 months ago. My days are spent collecting the pieces of our lives and frantically trying to put them back together, carrying on in that way that I appear to manage so very well.

But it feels like a lie. I watch over my shoulder the whole time, I stuff random collections in bags, and grab what I can as quickly as possible before running away to hide again. The need to be under cover is so great when above our heads is the most huge of clouds. One of our children is not with us at the top of our mountain, cannot bear to start collecting up those pieces. And that tortures us all.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Plan Our Date Monthly Subscription Box Review, Discount Codes And Giveaway

As all parents will understand, date night with your partner can end up a rare and illusive beast, especially if you are lacking in regular babysitters. Life gets in the way and before you know it the closest you've come in 2 years is the occasional 2 person meal in the kitchen, which is lacking a little in excitement and romance. Plan Our Date help to give you back that spark of unknown, and inject a little surprise and 'couple time' into your relationship.


Each month they send out a little box of treasures for you and your partner to have a date night with a difference. We've been sent the July box to review, and when I peeped inside at first I wasn't sure it was for us, but it's good for everyone to try something new, and doing it together with just your partner really does serve to help you focus on each other for one very rare evening...