Sunday 30 August 2015

That first day at school....again

That first day at school. I've been there a good few times now, and you would think it would all be old hat. After 17 years of taking my little one to school that first day in September, you'd think I'd be able to saunter in there and casually drop off my child with a flippant wave and a quick 'hiya' to the teacher. Actually I'm way too soft for that. Nope, I'll be the one who won't look you in the eye and is desperately hopeful no-one tries to sympathise with me. I'll be the who sheds a little tear on the way home (I've always managed to hold it in until they're in the door at least) and frankly I won't even be able to adequately explain why.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Vamousse Protective Shampoo Against Headlice Review

Vamousse are relatively new to the UK market, launching last Summer 2014. They aren't only about treating headlice once you have an infestation, they're also trying to prevent your child having to suffer in the first place.

Vamousse Protective Shampoo against Headlice Review

I know a thing or two about head lice. I've previously written a very comprehensive post which pretty much covers everything you need to know about headlice, including photos and a video showing a headlouse walking. Raising 7 children has made me somewhat of an unreluctant expert,and I'm always more than happy to try any new product as long as it doesn't contain chemicals we know to be harmful to humans.

The Just So Festival LEGO Scooby Doo Photos

If you follow The Brick Castle on Instagram or Twitter then you may have noticed we're having a bit of fun this Summer using the #MysteryMachineOnTour hashtag, taking photo's of our LEGO Scooby Doo Mystery Machine and Shaggy, Scooby, Fred and the Zombie. We did lose part of The Mystery Machine in the process, but it's been well worth it.

If you missed my review of The Mystery Machine, that went live just before we went on our holiday to the Isle Of Wight. It's the perfect handbag sized model to take on tour..

The Spellbound Forest

The Just So Festival 2015 Review

I love festivals, my family love festivals. We've been to a fair few between us and we thought we had a good idea of what to expect. We underestimated. It's absolutely brilliant back-to-basics simple fun. Just So Festival is like taking the best bits from the kids field at a grown up festival and multiplying it by 73.

Just So is about playing battleships and pillow fights, balancing stones and plates and people. It's about passing pirate training in the morning and learning the ukelele in the afternoon. Just So is making faces from clay and drying them on trees in the sun, finding fairy houses in the woods and making 3D monsters to scare your brother. Just So is about song and story and magic and music. Poetry and chants and tribes. Just So is about being allowed to be a child.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Enchantment Tour 2015

Autumn will see the return of the Disney On Ice UK tour. The Worlds Of Enchantment Tour will run from 25th September, arriving in Manchester on October 14th. This year for the first time characters from Frozen will be included in the show, alongside Cars, The Little Mermaid and Toy Story.

Disney On Ice Autumn 2015 UK Tour Worlds Of Enchantment

To celebrate Frozen joining the show we were invited to join some other blogger and journalists and their families and we were asked "do you wanna build a snowman?". It turns out snowman building on a rooftop in Manchester in August is even more fun than it sounds!

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Drumond Park Barbeque Party Review and Giveaway

It's August, barbeque season is in full swing. Up and down the UK there are people who haven't created anything more complex than 'toast for 2' in the last year, attempting to sufficiently cook a full meal for 30 in the pouring rain, using nothing more than a small fire, a large fork and a comedy apron. But somehow, it's always good...

Drumond Park's Barbeque Party thankfully has weather-resistant plastic food - which isn't burnt to a crisp on the outside and raw in the middle. The barbeque itself is also somewhat cuter...

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Bandai Power Rangers Dino Charge toys review

The latest series of Power Rangers is Power Rangers Dino Charge and the first episode will air on POP on Monday 31st August. In Dino Charge the Power Rangers have to protect the Earth from intergalactic bounty hunters searching for the ancient Energems that were left in the care of dinosaurs. When an asteriod wiped out the dinosaurs the Energems were lost, and it's up to the Power Rangers to find them first. We've been sent some of the new Dino Charge toys to review.

Bandai sure know how to make a parcel look exciting - and although I knew they were sending us Power Ranger Dino Charge Toys to test, I couldn't help but be excited myself when I saw the box....I wasn't quite as excited as my 2 young boys though when they saw it!

Bandai Power Rangers Dino Charge toys review
Bandai Power Rangers Dino Charge toys unveiled

Monday 24 August 2015

Space Blast - Themed Party Packs Review.

We have a young man here who will soon be 7, so it was very handy when I was given the opportunity to work again with Party Bags And Supplies. They do exactly as you'd expect, and save you the job of going to multiple places to find your themed party bag fillings and tableware.

We are reviewing a Themed Party Pack. When it arrives your parcel is really neatly wrapped, with 4 party bags in each brown bag, and tableware below.

Even though Party Bags And Supplies have an immense range of TV and movie themed products ranging from Frozen, Transformers or Jurassic World to Angry Birds, Barbie and Peppa Pig, my son went for one of the non-franchised themes - he chose 'Space Blast'.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Air Motion Pro low-snag hairbrush review

The AirMotion Pro has to be the hairbrush with the most exciting name in the world - and it really does deliver a virtually snag-free brushing experience, even when your children brush their own hair. The special design aims to relieve the tension brushing causes, and be much more gentle than traditional brushes. This isn't only good for children, it's good for anyone's hair.

AirMotion Pro low-snag hairbrush review

This is a technically advanced hairbrush, and is nicely packaged to reflect that. Inside the box the brush itself is quite different. The handle has a soft touch rubberised coating, and the shape fits really nicely into any size of hand and is quite small, so ideal for children.

AirMotion Pro snag free hairbrush review

Saturday 15 August 2015

1 Year, 12 Months, 365 Days

A year ago today I woke up to find one of our children was dead. This morning when I woke up, Elspeth was still dead.

She's still dead every morning, so you'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I don't think you can ever get used to it.

My second thought each morning is 'are the other children alive?' and I have to go and check. I dread having to actually go into someone's bedroom to see if they're alive. I hope that if I haven't heard them already, they'll be snoring so loudly that I can hear them through the door, or they'll answer audibly when I shout. I check on the little boys in the night whenever I wake, and I'm pleased if I've seen them in the early hours because I know there's less chance anything happened.

Losing a family member to suicide robs you of so much more than that child. It takes your sleep, your daydreams, your confidence, your trust in things you knew to be true. It takes your understanding of what is normal and moves it to another level. A parent crying is normal, a child screaming because someone has left him alone in the bathroom is normal, counselling is normal, feeling a failure is normal, and having no confidence in anything is normal.

Thursday 13 August 2015

What are the essentials in your bag this Summer?

I was asked if I'd like to write a blog post listing the top 10 essentials in my bag. This is a fairly easy job for me right now because I'm still travelling light after my hernia operation and keeping my handbag contents to a minimum - yep, you heard right. My handbag currently weighs less than a small bison. It's a miracle....

1. Phone. It has to be. It's my camera, my contact with all of our kids, my social media, my email, my torch, my news and my GPS - plus I'm sure around 400 other things. Just occasionally I make a call on it too...

2. Purse. Teenagers can smell from 40 metres whether a purse is empty or not. Try to change all of your notes into small coins as quickly as possible because they've actually been known to refuse shrapnel on the grounds that it's 'too heavy' or 'I'm not taking a wallet'. This does leave you with a massively full purse, but you always have change for parking and shopkeepers love you when you pay for your shopping in 20p's......maybe.

3. Keys. Don't leave home without them...

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Scruffs Hardwearing Shorts For Men Review (They've a sale on!)

Scruffs are makers of hardwearing clothes that are ideal for workwear. They're also ideal for camping, gardening, home mechanics and whatever else you want to get up to. Plenty of pockets, reinforced material and easy to wash.

We've reviewed Scruffs clothes before, a brilliant sweater that looks as good today as it did then, and it's had a heck of a lot of wear and wash, and a lovely bright blue t-shirt. It seemed only right to bring out my eldest son as model again...

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Interplay Electric Racing Truck Review

The Interplay Electric Racing Truck is a cardboard motorised vehicle model in the Technokit range. Aimed at children aged 8+ it's quite a technical build and the model maker will need to use their brain a little in order to put it together successfully following the included instructions.

 Everything you need is included in the box - excluding 2 AA batteries.

HARIBO Frenzy Limited Edition Sweet Box Giveaway

Who doesn't like Haribo? They're the sweet of choice for grown ups and children the world over, and this Summer they've launched special Frenzy editions of the very popular Starmix and Tangfastics. They'll only be available for the next few weeks though - so you have to be quick!

HARIBO Frenzy Limited Edition Sweet Box Giveaway

The Frenzy editions feature lots of unusual flavours and flavour combinations - this is Haribo - but not as you know it! It's Haribo with a tropical twist - and perfect for Summer!

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Hotel Kids Only: Amsterdam - Children's Holiday Boredom Busting Book Review

Hotel Kids Only: Amsterdam is a big book full of information, activities and ideas specially designed to entertain children who are on holiday - in Amsterdam! When they aren't at home children can find it difficult to amuse themselves while adults do all that boring stuff like shopping, sorting meals, driving and getting little ones to sleep.

Hotel Kids Only Amsterdam Children's Holiday Book Review

Saturday 1 August 2015

Lamaloli Children's Clothes Review

On the Lamaloli website it says 'home of the world's favourite characters', and a quick look around confirms that - Minions, Star Wars, Disney, Super Mario, Hello Kitty, Skylanders and a host more. Lamaloli have licences for over 40 different TV and movie ranges. All of my children's favourites are available on t-shirts, pyjamas, swimming costumes and an array of clothing and accessories.

Lamaloli Licenced Children's Clothes Review

We were given a voucher to choose some clothes for review, and my young lads took ages to choose becausethey liked so many of the clothes! We could have spent our 40€ five times over, and I did top up the order to get a few extra bits for the Summer, because the prices and designs are lovely.