Sunday, 23 July 2017

Was Chester Bennington A Coward?

Over the past few days suicide has barely been out of the headlines. Chester Bennington has been discussed a lot in our house and always with the same end to the conversation. Suicide isn't harmless, it has a massive, rippling negative effect, and anyone who treats it with purely sympathy is sweeping a lot under the carpet.

There's been a real backlash condemning Brian Welch for his outburst against his friend, and I don't agree with it at all. I think he's allowed to call his friend a coward. He will think that. He'll also spend time thinking his friend was selfish, nasty, foolish, wasteful, hurtful. When you end your own life, the people left behind will without a shadow of a doubt spend time thinking that all the pain they are feeling, and the hurt and sadness that they and your loved ones, your friends and everyone else is going through, is due to you.

As those who are left try to make sense of the shock, as they scramble to rearrange what is left of their life into some sort of workable order, and struggle to see why they are bothering, they will find it almost impossible not to think of the person who died as a coward.

Blaming the person who died isn't an option because we know full well it's not their fault. As Brian Welch found out, you'll be pilloried for suggesting it. Everyone will wave their fists and say that 'you don't understand'. You do. You know that actually the person who died was the one unable to understand. Right there and at that second, they forgot why they shouldn't. They couldn't see the right path ahead and you weren't there to save them. So you can't blame them, you have to try to lay blame somewhere else. Probably at least partly with yourself.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Lottie Dolls (age 3+) Prize Bundle Giveaway

My boys don't play with dolls any more sadly, generally they prefer more wheeled or construction toys - cars and LEGO. I am however still a big fan of Lottie Dolls - dolls that look like children, with the healthy body shape of your average 9 year old.


There are loads of different dolls and doll sets, as well as outfits and accessories. Because Lottie Dolls are like 9 year old children, they do things that 9 year old children like doing. A couple of years ago we reviewed a boy doll from the range, Finn the Kite-Flyer and the 'Gone Fishing' accessory pack.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

What's On for Families in Manchester, Liverpool and NorthWest UK this Summer

Summer is nearly here! Yeeeay! Here are loads of events and activities to keep the family amused rain or shine over the Summer holidays in Manchester Central, Wider Manchester, Liverpool or the North West UK. I try to collect as many cheaper ideas as possible, never overlook your local library and museum as they often have special events and a lot of them are free!


Manchester Central



THE LOWRY

Silentnight Pure Cotton Pillow Pair Giveaway

Everyone has heard of Silentnight, they are the UK's biggest bed manufacturer and you probably have some of their bedding in your house. Voted the UK's Most Trusted Bedding Brand in independent survey, their products are reliable, they have a range to suit all pockets and the prices are good.


This month Silentnight are teaming up with the online store and TV shoppping channel QVC to promote their Silentnight Pure Cotton Pillows. Exclusive to QVC, they have a 100% cotton percale cover and are filled with anti-allergy, silk-like hollowfibre, offering excellent comfort and softness for your money.


Silentnight Pure Cotton Pillows are also washable up to a temperature of 40°C and come with a 2-year guarantee, so you can expect them to last as well as more expensive brands.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Joie Trillo LX Group 2/3 High-Back Booster Car Seat Review For Kiddies Kingdom

On Sunday 30th July Kiddies Kingdom will have a grand opening for their new and humongous showroom in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire - for opening week they have amazing offers including up to 75% off and free gifts for customers.


At 9000 square feet, Kiddies Kingdom will have the biggest showroom in the North. Already one of the UK's leading online baby and toddler retailers, you'll now be able to take a proper look and feel, and often even a quick try before you buy.
The Kiddies Kingdom store will offer everything you could hope for from a larger retailer, including a Price Match Guarantee and Baby Wish List service, but they also offer extras including an Embroidery Service to personalise any suitable purchases and a full-sized car where parents can practice their car seat fitting skills.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms Children's Book Review

The shortlist for the 2017 Scholastic Books Laugh Out Loud Awards - or the 'Lollies' - has been selected by Michael Rosen and a panel of expert judges, and my 7 and 8 year old boys are reviewing a couple of the nominees, starting with Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms by Jim Smith.


Before you even open this 240 page book, you know it's going to be quite different. It has a comic book style which is really accessible to the 6-8 year old intended age group. Perfect for newer independent or reluctant readers, with short paragraphs of text and plenty of illustrations.

Pie Face Sky High children's game review for Hasbro (age 5+)

Stunningly we've so far managed to avoid any games where we get a face covered in squirty cream, but our time has finally come thanks to our latest review for Hasbro. Pie Face Sky High! is a 3 feet tall version of a fairground 'Test Your Strength' machine, but instead of ringing the bell, you can splat someone else in the face...


Everything is bagged separately in the box to prevent scratching, and there are several parts. You'll need to assemble your game before you can play, and you need to allow about 10 minutes.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

#TBCSmiles 35 Months

Summer is here! Or was here....or at least popped by... There are loads of awesome sunshiney photos among this month's #TBCSmiles, plus it's awards season and so many graduations and trophies - well done to all of you. Well done to everyone who did something to be proud of.


We did things to be proud of, including a day out in Blackpool where we actually relaxed - for the first time in years no-one cried, no-one had a tantrum and no-one wanted to go home early (I'm mainly talking about the grown-ups). It's actually quite scary to have less to worry about. You have to try hard not to fret over the 'nothings' instead.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Splendor Family Game Review (age 10+) for Blogger Board Game Club

Splendor is recommended for 2-4 players aged 10+. Players take the roles of merchants and over a 30 minute game the aim is to trade and upgrade your developments, attracting noble patrons and prestige. The first player with 15 Prestige Points is the winner.


Inside the box we see this is a token and card game with no board. The tokens are lovely, a nice tactile size and representing gems and gold. This is your basic monetary system.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Hot Wheels Fidget Spinnerz are far more beautiful than you knew...

When Bladez Toyz offered me Hot Wheels Spinnerz to review, I'll admit I didn't realise what I was agreeing to. 3 fidget spinners turned up and I was momentarily disappointed as my 7 year old has been obsessed now for months. But then I realised why he likes them...they are really beautiful spinners and mesmerising to watch.


The Spinnerz are available in Hot Wheels or Barbie designs (for those who prefer something a little more pink) and we did have a moment or two wondering how to extricate them from their packaging.