Sunday 29 June 2014

Win Tickets to the Cirque Du Hilarious on Blackpool Central Pier this Summer.

Cirque Du Hilarious are currently touring Butlins and will be taking up residence in Blackpool this Summer in the Central Pier, before heading over to Newcastle for their annual sell out panto. Headed up by Clive Webb and Danny Adams, the Cirque Du Hilarious show is a fantastic mix of slapstick comedy, death defying acts and pure stupidity.

   The Cirque Du Hilarious will be at Blackpool Central Pier from 21st July until 31st August, with 2 shows each day at 1.00pm and 3.30pm. Tickets are available now priced at £10 for adults and £8 for children. A Family Ticket admits 4 and costs £26. 

Cirque Du Hilarious have given me One Family Ticket (4 people) to give away to one of my readers. 

Jungle Dogs - more sensible hotdogs

I'm a vegetarian, so I don't really work with meat and I don't often promote it, but my partner and 4 of our children eat meat. I don't mind them eating meat and I'm happier if it's better quality. They love hot dogs, but finding a decent quality hot dog sausage can be really tricky.

Jungle Dogs children's hotdogs review

I was asked if my children wanted to try Jungle Dogs, and I'd heard good things about them, so I agreed.

Saturday 28 June 2014

A fabulous day out at Warwick Castle (review).

A couple of weeks ago we took 5 of our children to Warwick Castle for the day. I haven't been since the early 90's, so I knew it would be different but I didn't realise how much. It turns out pretty much the only thing that's the same is the castle itself.

day out at Warwick Castle with teens and infants review

Thursday 26 June 2014

I went to Britmums Live!

It might not seem a lot to some people, but getting on a train and going to London is a big deal for me. Leaving my partner and kids for a whole weekend is a big deal for me. I was pretty terrified.

I cheated and got my partner to drop me off early Friday morning at Pippa RedRoseMummy's house, so I wasn't on my own panicking about missing my train or leaving my bags. We met up with Jen from MyMummy'sPennies and 2 1/2 hours later we were in London and meeting up with the rest in our group of 9 who were staying together. It was lovely to see everyone.

Bags dropped at the hotel, off to The Brewery and we joined the queue to get in. And I was accosted by a BBC reporter. My friends can all move quicker than me - darn them!

Thanks to Jen from MyMummy'sPennies for the photo
I've been to BlogOn twice, and I knew this was 5 times the size, so I was prepared for what was coming. Going in I just couldn't believe how many faces I recognised - bloggers who I've read and admired all standing there in real life 3D!

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Club Penguin Review

Club Penguin isn't a new thing to me, our teenagers played it when they were younger. They all had accounts and played together and individually, we even bought Club Penguin soft penguins for 2 of them to take to bed. Now it's the turn of my younger ones to have a look.

Club Penguin game and magazine review

Club Penguin is an online game world aimed at children aged around 6-14. Anyone can set up a free account which gives access to most things, but for all the little extras you can subscribe from £2.50 per month.

You can dive straight in, or take a look at the video to find out what it's about - my boys wanted to get started. 

Club Penguin game and magazine review - choose your penguin colour and name

StressFreePrint Business Card Giveaway

You might remember a little while ago I reviewed Business Cards from StressFreePrint. Well they were a MASSIVE hit last weekend at Britmums Live, with virtually everyone who took one commenting on how nice they were - and I handed out loads. If you missed it, my full review is here....

The Brick Castle Business Cards from StressFreePrint

I'm delighted to be able to offer one of my readers 500 StressFreePrint business cards as a prize. StressFreePrint will work with you to create your own business cards to your liking, using your own images, logos and information.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Mediflow Waterbase Pillow Review

A pillow that you fill with water? Really?

When I got the email about Mediflow Pillows I was really intrigued. I didn't want to review a gimmicky thing that was going to be rubbish. I went to look at the Amazon reviews - there are thousands. Not only are there thousands, but they pretty much all said things like "I was sceptical", "Amazing", "Excellent, best night's sleep I've ever had".

It's the best selling pillow on German Amazon, and more than 4 million Mediflow Waterbase Pillows have been sold to date.

Now I don't actually sleep well. I've never slept well. I wake with headaches and I only seem to sleep through if I go to bed shattered. It had to be tried.

Mediflow Waterbase Pillow Review

Friday 20 June 2014

I'm off to Britmums Live in 8 hours!

My bag is packed, I've mentioned everything I can think of to all my family members and I've launched a 7th giveaway.

Someone's responsible for bringing the bin in, the fridge is stacked, and the 3 oldest ones know exactly when someone should leave to pick up the 2 youngest from pre-school and school.

I'm meeting Red Rose Mummy, My Mummy'sPennies and It Started With A Squish at various times and places along the route, and by lunch I should be in London.

Nervous....oh yeah. I've only left the kids and my partner for one night in the last 6 years, it'll be really weird. Still, I'll be back Sunday and I'm sure while I'm away they'll all be fine - and I will barely have a chance to think of them while I'm meeting some amazing bloggers and listening to some fantastic speakers. Not to mention spending time with some good friends and having maybe the odd tipple and cupcake.

If you're going, say hiya and ask me about Drumond Park  - makers of LOGO, Rapidough and Gross Magic, and also my lovely sponsors. I have 2 live giveaways running at the moment for Don't Laugh! The Electronic Board Game and Pumpaloons - which is fantastic fun indoors or out.

If you aren't going away this weekend - could someone please remind my kids to feed the fish?

Thursday 19 June 2014

Giveaway - The new Transformers: Age of Extinction comic review

On 27th June Titan Magazines will release a brand new comic - Transformers: Age Of Extinction. We've been lucky enough to have a sneak preview and although the recommended age range is 6-12, my 4 and 5 1/2 year old boys think it's brilliant!

The New Transformers: Age Of Extinction Magazine

Tuesday 17 June 2014

The LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Vehicle and Minifigures set 21108 Review

I was a bit stumped for my partner's birthday last month, but I knew what to get him for Father's Day - the LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set 21108. He's been following the story of this set since it very first appeared on LEGO Cuuso (now LEGO Ideas). We both voted for it - how could you not? It's genius.

A special Father's Day Present

Sadly the Fire House wasn't forthcoming - which we guessed as it would make a really huge set! However we do have the Ecto-1 and the 4 Ghostbusters themselves - Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddmore.

The LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Car and Minifigures set 21108 Box

Chorizo and Blue Cheese Omelette Recipe ~ Man-Up Your Meals Recipe Book Review

Man-Up Your Meals is the latest recipe book I've been sent from Parragon. Very different to anything I've reviewed from them before, it's a book full of big, hearty recipes, hints and tips. It's also, on the face of it, a very light-hearted, jokey book.

Man-Up Your Meals recipe book review with Red Onion, Chorizo and Blue Cheese Omeletter Recipe

The recipes are graded like a Haynes Manual, ranging from Australopithecus to Human, and around half of the book really is incredibly basic sandwich making and 'how to cook a bit of meat without dying from food poisoning'. Our 16 year old girl is infuriated by it, while I take it as a joke and find it funny. The main reason I take it as a joke is BECAUSE IT'S TRUE!

Monday 16 June 2014

Pumpaloons Review and Giveaway from Drumond park

I've previously mentioned that Drumond Park are my sponsor for Britmums live next weekend, and I have another fabulous giveaway from them today. 

Pumpaloons has been around for a couple of years now, and it's a fantastic game for the Summer because you can take it outside and play! It's also really excellent for getting everyone up and moving - but you can be as active (and competitive) or calm as you want, so anyone over 4 can play.

Our Healthy Superhero - by our 4 year old.

Plum Baby and Tots 100 set a challenge to Blogger's younger children to design their own healthy superhero. I put the youngest member of our family, our 4 year old, on to the challenge.

He had strong ideas immediately. He's been talking to a Dentist at school and knows sugar is not healthy. He keeps warning us all to stop adding sugar to our food - whatever we're eating! He also knows that fruit is much better for you than sweets, and is keen to get that message across, so fruit features strongly with his Superhero.

Meet FruitMan! 

Sunday 15 June 2014

FruitBowl Children's Lunchbox Snacks Review

FruitBowl make fruit snacks for children that are a bit different from your usual snack. My children would call them sweets, but they're sweets made from fruit.

FruitBowl children's fruit snacks range review

We were sent a great selection to try out - Fruit Flakes, Fruit Peelers, Yogurt Raisins and Fruit Shapes.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Foodies Festival at Tatton Park Ticket Giveaway (3 winners)

The Foodies Festival Tatton Park 2014 will take place in just over a month over the weekend of Friday 18th July to Sunday 20th July. 

Last year I was asked to review the Foodies Festival at Tatton Park and although I was looking forward to it, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was brilliant! We took 6 of our children and had a full day out. You can read my full review here.

Foodies Festival Tatton Park 2014 Ticket Giveaway

The range of foods on offer is astounding, and the quality excellent. Last year between us we ate Ribs, Gourmet Burger, Jerk Chicken, Spring Rolls, Thai Noodles and Vegetable Curry! Plus ice cream, cheeses, pickles, brownies and various other samplings...

If you don't have 6 children under 16 with you, then there are workshops and displays all day long where you can watch the experts and learn about new techniques and flavors.

There's a Chefs Theatre and a Drinks Theatre and even a daily Cocktail Competition. There is also a Children's Cookery Theatre - something my children will be very interested in.

When the children get bored, or you've eaten your own body weight in delicious food, there is the whole of Tatton Park to explore, including the beautiful grounds and house, and a huge play area for the children.

Foodies Festival tickets are on sale now priced £10/£12. VIP tickets cost £35/£38 and include a sparkling wine reception, goodie bag and other extras. A 3 day ticket is £18. There are discounts for concessions and children under 12 have free standard entry. Tatton Park is a National Trust site with a £5 entry fee for vehicles. The grounds open at 10am each day during warmer months and last entry is 6pm.

Foodies Festival Tatton Park have given me 3 pairs of standard entry tickets to give away to my readers.

Entry is by rafflecopter and you gain an additional entry for each task you complete. The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday 29th June, when no further entries will be accepted. UK entries only please. Additional terms and conditions are shown on the rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I've been given 2 tickets to Foodies Festival Tatton Park in return for hosting this giveaway.

Friday 13 June 2014

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid Set 70160 Review

The LEGO Ultra Agents are a brand new series which has been released this Spring. We've been sent the Riverside Raid set 70160 to review.

The Riverside Raid set has 88 pieces, which include 2 minifigures of Adam Acid and Agent Max Burns, along with Max's 2-in-1 Quad Bike and Jet Speeder vehicle and 2 crates full of toxic compound.

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid 70160 Review Agent Max Burns and Adam Acidminifigures

The minifigures are beautiful, the transfers are lovely and incredibly detailed. There's a real story there immediately and plenty to set off imaginative play.

The vehicle is brilliant. A 2-in-1 quad bike and jet speeder vehicle with twin removable stud shooters and a winch. 

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid 70160 Review 2 in 1 vehicle

The speed boat sits on the top of the quad bike, and lifts off really well. Although the speed boat fixes nicely, removal is clean and easy. Nothing comes apart at all, and you are left with 2 robust vehicles that withstand my 4 and 5 year olds playing with them no problem.

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid 70160 Review 2 in 1 vehicle

The Riverside Raid set is recommended for age 7-12, and you can see why because it uses some fiddly techniques to create a really quite complex (yet still small) vehicle, however my 5 1/2 year old can build it by himself.

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid 70160 Review Full set

Included in the set are 2 crates with toxic compounds inside. They are nicely done with removable lids and handles for the minifigures and the winch. The winch can also be used to tow the jet speeder.

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid 70160 Review Winch and Toxic Crates

The stud shooters are brilliant. We're used to the flick to fire missiles on vehicles, and while they work well, they get lost and misplaced and it limits play. We have hundreds of single stud bricks!

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid 70160 Review Jet Speeder

I'm incredibly impressed with this build, not least because it's really sturdy. The way the speed boat comes away is divine. The stud shooters might annoy some parents who find 'ammo' on the floor, but single stud bricks don't even hurt when you stand on them, so that's got to be a bonus!

LEGO have released a free interactive Ultra Agents story app. for Android and IOS where you take the part of the secret agent, creating your own ultra Agent avatar, searching for clues to solve crimes and complete missions and save Astor city from the super villains. 

With every mission you complete you get nearer to discovering the evil puppet master behind the super villains, and you can unlock alternative building instructions for existing models that can be downloaded as a PDF and saved.

LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid 70160 Review minifigures

The LEGO Ultra Agents Riverside Raid set retails at £9.99 and is available from the LEGO shop online or in store. For less than £10 I think this set offers excellent play value, as do all of the Ultra Agents sets. I just have to save up now to buy the Ultra Agents Mission HQ 70164!

We were sent Riverside Raid set 70160 for review as LEGO Family Bloggers.

Thursday 12 June 2014

The Football Game From Orchard Toys

The World Cup has kicked off with Brazil and Croatia already having played the opening match, and it seems everyone is going football crazy - including Orchard Toys!

Orchard Toys Football Game for children aged 5+ review

Football Game, the Right Start Gold Winner for 2012, is a brilliant take on Snakes and Ladders - with a twist.

The aim of the game is to get from the start to the finish, receiving assistance from your own team, and being sent back down the pitch by the opposing team.

Unlike Snakes and Ladders, each of the 2-4 players has their own board, and there are spaces at the end from where you can make an attempt at goal. When you reach the goal mouth, you 'shoot' by using a spinner. If the goalie is behind the ball, they save - if not, you score! 

Orchard Toys Football Game for children aged 5+ how to score a goal

During the game if you land on a Whistle Square then the whistle spinner comes into play. A yellow card sees you miss a turn, and a red card means back to the start. Landing on a free kick gives you another throw of the dice.

Orchard Toys Football Game for children aged 5+ red and yellow cards

This is a game recommended for players aged 5+. My 5 year old is ill and sat this one out, so I decided to play with my 4 year old. As soon as his 16 year old brother saw the game, he offered to play instead.

Each game only takes around 5-10 minutes and it's really very fast-paced, especially with only 2 players. I think that's why the recommended age is so high. You can also feel quite demoralised if you get sent right back to the beginning, but my 4 year old was in a great mood, and in fact he won - shouting "Goal" and celebrating in true footballer style....

My 20 year old joined in at this point and they played about a bazillion more games over the next half hour, before realising that they could adapt the game really easily. I think this is one of the best things about Orchard Toys games, they're almost always ready and waiting to have new rules and adaptation depending on who plays.

By turning the boards end to end, the boys realised they have a large pitch with a goal at each end, and could expand the game and make it longer and harder to win. They decided to 'score' rather than have a winner after one goal, and their game became more and more complex. It ended up far beyond what my 4 year old could keep up with, but by this time he was enjoying the paper packaging that came in the box!

Orchard Toys Football Game is fantastically simple to grasp and great fun to play. It's quick and for the most part rewarding. It reinforces number skills and counting, but most of all it encourages the players to join in together with the excitement and pace of the game, and have a great time laughing and playing together.

Football Game entertained 3 of my boys for a good couple of hours and I'm sure it'll get plenty of play over the next few years. It's a perfect game for when you have 20 minutes and want something light and fun.

Orchard Toys Football Game retails at £9.50 and is available direct from Orchard Toys website, with free postage on all orders of £20 or more, or from all good toy and game retailers.

We were sent Football Game for review.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

LEGO Mixels Series 2 - Gobba and Lunk

The new Summer 2014 LEGO ranges are out - Mixels Series 2, the Arctic LEGO City range and the Ultra Agents. LEGO have sent me a selection to try out and show you, and we're starting with the new LEGO Mixels Series 2.

LEGO MIxels Series 2 Review Gobba and Lunk

We've been sent 41510 Lunk and 41513 Gobba. Mixels are available in sets of three, each set can be joined together to make a new larger Mixel - or just rebuilt however you fancy using all the great elements in the builds. There are 9 Mixels in each series, and in some of the bags you will find a bonus Nixel enemy! All Mixels are recommended for age 6+.

LEGO Mixels Lunk Frosticon review 41510

Lunk is one of the three Frosticon Mixels. Lazy, but very powerful, and with an ice blast sneeze that can freeze his enemies, he's really rather useful!

LEGO Mixel Lunk Frosticon review 41510

Lunk has 51 bricks and at 9cm is really tall with an incredibly long neck and huge frozen 'sneezes'. I think he looks like someone with a streaming cold - and isn't actually very happy about it.

LEGO Mixels Lunk Frosticon from Cartoon Network review 41510

Gobba is one of the three Fang Gang Mixels. The Fang Gang are hungry Mixels who will plant anything to see if it will grow into food - and they'll eat just about anything, so I guess for the most part it usually will.

LEGO Mixels Gobba from Cartoon Network review 41513

Gobba has 57 bricks and is over 6cm tall and wide. He's actually very cute and I think works very well. He's the most character-filled Mixel I've seen and is really excellent for posing.

LEGO Mixel Fang Gang Gobba 41513 Review

His face has such a great range of expression that you can't fail to be amused by him.

LEGO Mixel Fang Gang Gobba and Frosticon Lunk 41513 41510 Review

The Mixels were easy to build and my 5 1/2 year old was able to build them both by himself except for one fiddly bit with Lunk's belly. There are a lot of small elements that tiny hands can't put together or pull apart yet, so for that reason it's not possible for my 4 year old to build them yet - although he can sure play with them and rebuild to his own design!

I like these Mixels more than Series 1, they have more interesting movement.and loads of expression - but that could just be because I think Gobba is brilliant.

At £2.99 each I feel the LEGO Mixels offer excellent value for money. They're a brilliant toy for children and great for a collector or builder as they have so many interesting and rarer elements.

LEGO Mixels Series 2 are available from the LEGO shop online or in store and cost £2.99 each. You can catch the LEGO Mixels animated series on Cartoon Network. You can also join in the fun online and find loads of building instructions and designs at

We were sent our Mixels for review as part of our role as LEGO Family Bloggers.