Thursday, 22 March 2018

Tech Deck is back! (age 6+) Review For Spin Master

Tech Deck are a long-standing toy in my house. 96mm Fingerboards that look as good as the full sized skateboards, with designs from genuine brands and which you can customise in a variety of ways. You can also use them to perform tricks just like a real board - but in miniature and with fewer grazed elbows.

It was around 15 years ago that my eldest boys started playing with Tech Deck and they may have been away for a while, but over that time these tiny replica skateboards have barely changed in construction, although the design is very different.

We've been sent 3 of the new Tech Deck sets to review - the Sk8shop Bonus Pack, Single Board Pack and a Classic Series pack. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

A Mutant Plasma Orb Christmas by Nick Patrice Book Review (age 7+)

A Mutant Plasma Orb Christmas is a recent release from author Nick Patrice. A funny and mainly light-hearted story for independent readers aged around 7+, It does have a slightly deeper side and doesn't tread heavily over children's emotions and fears.

The story centres on Freddie - big brother to 4 year old twins and living in an old, draughty house with his long-suffering Mum and his Dad. Life is hard and relationships are tense. In contrast his best friend Clive lives in a sparkling new house with all of the modern gadgets and a seemingly blessed life.

Toy of the moment are Mutant Plasma Orbs, small rechargable balls which contain little characters. Freddie's are left out in the rain, fixed by Clive's Dad the Professor, only to then suffer an accident involving Nectar Pop. Freddie's world suddenly becomes a lot more interesting...

Monday, 19 March 2018

Sophie La Girafe MSF Award Teething Gift Set Giveaway (2 Winners)

I don't usually cover products for babies, but for Sophie La Girafe I'll make an exception. She's been around since 1961 and has soothed over 50 million babies.  This year for every special Sophie MSF Award Set sold, they are collaborating with Medecins San Frontieres to provide 3 Measles vaccines to children who wouldn't otherwise have access to immunisation.

I'm a huge advocate for vaccinations, there is no doubt that they have saved many thousands of lives and are the safest option for your child. Measles is a particularly nasty disease which can cause pneumonia, brain damage, deafness and even death. Around 1/4 of children under 5 who catch Measles will need to be treated in hospital*. Sophie's collaboration with Medecins San Frontieres will take vaccinations to children who very often would not be able to access medical care if they did catch Measles.

Hopeless Heroes Blog Book Tour - Independent Readers aged 7+

I'm delighted today to be taking part in the Hopeless Heroes Blog Tour with Sweet Cherry Piublishing and answer some Hopeless Heroes themed questions!

Written by Stella Tarakson, the Hopeless Heroes series of fiction books are ideal for newer independent readers aged around 7+. Lively and funny stories with witty, monochrome illustrations, they are modern with a huge twist of history...

The Hopeless Heroes series star a young boy named Tim. Tim lives with his Mum in a regular house in a regular street, and then one day he breaks a vase. This is no ordinary vase however, it's from Ancient Greece, and when it breaks it releases Hercules!

Having Hercules around certainly livens up Tim's world, as well as giving him company when his Mum is at work. It's actually a lot of fun and Hercules turns out to be very useful - although he is not the only Ancient Greek to make it to our modern world, and some of them aren't here just to hang out peacefully with Tim.

We've already read the first 2 books in the series, Here Comes Hercules! and Hera's Terrible Trap! and I gave my readers a sneak peek in a previous Hopeless Heroes post.

Without any more rambling, here are my answers to the Hopeless Heroes related questions...

Saturday, 17 March 2018

How to solve a smelly washing machine with Dr Beckmann.

I have been a regular user of Dr Beckmann's cleaning products for almost 30 years now. Reliable and easy to use laundry and appliance cleaners that have stood the test of time, and cost very little.

Dr Beckmann also have an excellent database of washing and cleaning information on their website, including answers to the questions they are most commonly asked, and a fantastic Stain Clinic which should be able to advise you on anything you can possibly spill down your shirt.

I've been asked to share one of the questions that Dr Beckmann are asked very often, and it's one that I think everyone who owns a washing machine has definitely wondered at some point...:

Q. “My washing machine is beginning to smell, what can I do?”

Friday, 16 March 2018

Celtic Herbal Natural Handmade Skin Care Review and Spring Giveaway

Celtic Herbal are a Welsh company who hand create luxury skincare and other products using carefully extracted botanical oils and natural ingredients. They don't test on animals and their products don't contain sulphates, parabens, chemical preservatives or petroleum or palm oil. Good for you and good for the environment. Perfect pampering for your skin as we approach Spring and start stripping off the layers...

Celtic Herbal sent me some of their gorgeously indulgent products to try out, and they have also offered a giveaway prize for one of my readers.

I was sent the Wellness Gift Box and it's gorgeously presented in a very smart box. An excellent present that makes you feel spoilt before you even undo the ribbon. Inside the box doesn't disappoint, 4 beautiful products - the Exotic Wood & Ylang Ylang Soap, Bath Salts, Bath Oil and a Travel Candle.

Scholastic Books Spring Bundle Giveaway & #KeepReading Competition!

World Book Day may have been delayed all over the country due to snow, but Scholastic were on time in releasing their special World Book Day Book Club catalogue. Including over 400 carefully chosen books from more than 70 different publishers and a host of amazing authors, the price of  everything in the World Book Day Club catalogue is also heavily discounted by as much as 70%.

To help promote the Spring catalogue and celebrate World Book Day, Scholastic have a fabulous #KeepReading competition with a chance to win £30 of books for your child AND their school or nursery. Scholastic are inviting children to send in a video or written review of a book that they have recently enjoyed. There are three different age categories, 0-6, 7-11 and 11+, with one prize for each category. It doesn't have to be professional, and it doesn't have to be a particular book - but it does have to be the child's review, not yours!

To enter the review competition, share your child's book review with Scholastic on social media. State which age category you are in, use the hashtag #KeepReading and tag @ScholasticUK and @WorldBookDayUK 

The three winners will be able to choose £30 worth of books for themselves and nominate their chosen school or nursery to receive a £30 credit to their Scholastic account, which can be exchanged for free books. Entries need to be received by midnight on Thursday 29th March 2018.

Scholastic have also offered one of my readers an awesome bundle of books from the World Book Day Book Club, and it seems only appropriate that I got my 8 and 9 year old boys to give their thoughts...

Thursday, 15 March 2018

43 Months #TBCSmiles

It's the 15th and time for this month's smiles. As usual you guys shared some belters. I think the snow was exhilarating for everyone and we all blew away a few cobwebs. I've never had so many outdoor photos - not even in mid Summer, and your snow photos made me miss it already and  hope we get it more often. Nice one to everyone who got a snowday, boo humbug to all the bosses and schools who didn't let some of you have a day to play too...

I was tempted to do a special Mother's Day 9 Smiles this month because there were so many family shots. It was lovely to see. Mother's Day is hard for so many people, for so many reasons. For every mother without a child, every child without a mother, every single parent doing 2 jobs and yet getting no card or day off, absent family and missing relations. It's one of the most bitter-sweet of annual events, a reminder as much of what we have, as what we have lost. I hope your day was a good one.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Badger And Crab's Adventure - Children's Book Review (age 7-9)

Badger And Crab's Adventure is the latest release from author Catherine Trimby. Recommended for independent readers aged around 7-9, it tells the story of an unlikely friendship and has a message about preserving and looking after our UK wildlife, rather than feeling we have a right to control it for our own amusement or gain.

The story is centred on a badger and a crab, who meet one night on the beach. It isn't Badger's usual haunt, but he answers a cry for help and finds himself in a whole new world of sand and wetness. They have a common enemy, humans, and when both face imminent danger, they have to come to each other's rescue to survive.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Fletter Game Review - Fast-Paced Tabletop Card Word Game For Age 8+

Our latest game review is the tabletop card game, Fletter. A quick fire word game for 2-4 players , using 110 specially designed cards. Fletter is easily portable and a great game for taking away with you. Recommended for age 8+, although the letter cards are also brilliant for younger family members to practise their spellings or even learn their letters.