Wednesday 30 September 2015

How to make a LEGO Wheelchair Footballer

LEGO is great. You can make anything, right? Well actually, maybe you can. A friend of a friend has a son who uses a wheelchair, and he made it onto his local Wheelchair Football Team. As a surprise for him our friend enlisted our help to make a LEGO minifigure to celebrate his achievement.

How to make a LEGO Electric Wheelchair Footballer

You don't reinvent the wheel (or the wheelchair) if you don't have to, so to start us off we had a quick look around and there are lots of designs of wheelchairs that people have made using LEGO, and some of them are excellent, but we didn't see anything spot on for this young man's electric wheelchair.

Halloween Specialbuys from ALDI

We reviewed some of the Halloween Specialbuys from ALDI last year and they were ace, so I'm very happy to bring you a preview look at a few of this year's new products, which will be on sale from tomorrow Thursday 1st October - not least of which the utterly insane and fantastic Banjo Playing Skeleton!!

How To Make Toys More Affordable?

This is a guest post written by Michelle Ross


Toys not only make your kids time more precious, but they also let them learn new stuff. From improving their mechanic to social skills, appropriate toys can play an important role in child's development. But along with this advantage, comes a huge disadvantage – cost of toys. In fact, some toys which you would love to gift to your child need a lot of cash to purchase.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Persil's Cook With The Kids - complete with birthday cake!

This Autumn Persil Washing Up Liquid have launched a new on-pack collector points campaign called 'Cook With The Kids'. Every bottle of Persil washing up liquid has a code which can be redeemed online for points. The points can then be exchanged for all kinds of Cook With The Kids goodies including aprons, silicone whisks and cupcake cases, and more.

You can also exchange points for money off Haven Holidays, and each time you redeem a code, you are entered into a draw to win a £250 supermarket voucher!

I love baking with my children and have many blog posts labelled 'cooking with kids'. My Food Page  lists the recipes I post and almost all are designed to be simple and serve as a collection for my own teenagers (should they decide they're bored of instant noodles). I believe that we all eat, so we should all have an idea of how to feed ourselves. I include my family in cooking as often as possible.

Monday 28 September 2015

The Magic Door Store Review and Reader Discount Code.

At some point in our lives we've all believed in fairies, and if you are lucky you still do. Strange, beautiful swirling and swooping creatures who dance around and leave a trail of glitter, much like your average 5 year old girl. The Magic Door Store lets you invite them into your home, but not just fairies, all magical friendly little people are welcome, including elves.

The Magic Door Store Review and Reader Discount Code.

My Little Pony ~ Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales DVD Review And Giveaway

It's very nearly October and Halloween is creeping up on us. Next week sees a specially timed release from My Little Pony. Available on DVD and Digital Download from 5th October, Spooktacular Pony Tales is from the Friendship Is Magic series and features 6 mysterious tales from the Ponyville residents.

My Little Pony ~ Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales has a runtime of 2 hours 6 minutes and includes the following episodes:

  • Boast Busters
  • Stare Master
  • Luna Eclipsed
  • A Dog and Pony Show
  • The Mysterious Mare Do Well
  • A Canterlot Wedding Part 2

Featuring all of the familiar characters, the My Little Pony DVD's are great whether you have watched My Little Pony before, or not. Aimed at a younger audience, the movies are Universally rated, so that gives you a good idea of how spooky Spooktacular Pony Tales is.

The ponies are friendly and each has it's own character and look, so there isn't too much confusion over who is who, even to a new fan. The Friendship Is Magic storylines are simple to follow, and always have the underlying messages of friendship, care for others and fairness. Spooktacular Pony Tales has the additional message that 'sometimes it's okay to feel a little bit scared' in relation to dressing up and celebrating Halloween.

This is actually our 3rd My Little Pony review from the Friendship Is Magic series. We've previously reviewed 'May The Best Pet Win' and 'Baby Cakes'. My boys still enjoy watching them, and this DVD was no exception. My boys may now be 5 and 7, but thankfully they haven't yet grown out of enjoying a nice story and laughing at quite innocent little jokes.

Hasbro Studios have kindly offered a copy of  My Little Pony ~ Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales as a prize for one of my readers. Entry is by Gleam form below. The first question is answered as a comment on this post, and no entry is mandatory. UK entries only please. The giveaway will end at midnight on Wednesday 21st October. Please see the bottom of the Gleam form for full terms and conditions.

My Little Pony ~ Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales

We were sent our copy of My Little Pony ~ Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales for review.

Friday 25 September 2015

Scruffs Classic Thermo Parka Review

Scruffs make hardwearing clothes that'll survive a bit of rough treatment. Originally a workwear company, they realised that actually sometimes we all want clothes which look good enough to make us feel good, but which will last more than a season or two.

Scruffs hardwearing clothes Classic Thermo Parka review
Parents worry about their kids the whole time, and it doesn't stop when you get to 16, or 18, or ever. My 21 year old works bars, clubs, festivals and events all year round, often not finishing until the early hours or even coming home on the first bus in the morning. I worry. I worry he's cold and wet and collapsed in a ditch with hypothermia. It's my job. And kids never wear a proper coat....until now!

Scruffs Classic Thermo Parka review

Elastoplast Vintage Tin and Plasters Giveaway

In the UK we've all heard of Elastoplast. Synonymous with 'sticking plasters', they're a manufacturer we all trust and have always known very well - right from those early days when we fell over and grazed our knees as small children. It may well come as a surprise though to find out Elastoplast have been around for long enough that our Great-Great-Grandparents were just as familiar with them too.

In fact Elastoplast was first founded in 1896, and now sells over 200 different products globally under the brand names Elastoplast, Hansaplast and Curitas. From 'invisible' plasters and those impregnated with silver to help prevent infection, to completely waterproof plasters and butterfly shaped-plasters for the tip of a finger, the range is huge.

Elastoplast sticking plasters Vintage Tin Giveaway

There is an Elastoplast product for every cut and graze - and the best seller is the Aqua Protect. 100% waterproof, elastic and breathable. I can see why they're most popular -  they are what I use, especially if I cut my hand during preparing tea.

Elastoplast plasters and red tin

Elastoplast have recently launched a very cool Vintage Tin, which is not only lovely to look at, but deeply practical. It's water tight and really the perfect thing for plasters, so it's lovely they have brought it back. Not just good for sticking plasters though, it will keep those important little bits like lip balm, safety pins and tweezers safe and clean, even in the depths of your bag - and you'll be able to find them straightaway when you need them!

Elastoplast new release vintage red tin

To promote the launch Elastoplast have offered not one, but two Vintage Tins plus a bundle of plasters (including the Aqua Protect) for one of my readers. It's a giveaway that's useful to everyone! My plasters have been incredibly useful to me already with my young lads - we've had a cut knee and a nasty splinter since Tuesday....

Range of Elastoplast sticking plasters

To enter the giveaway please use the Gleam form below. All entries are optional and each extra task completed will earn extra entries into the draw. The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday 18th October. UK entries only. The bundle of plasters might not exactly match those shown in the images.

If you need help using Gleam please visit my giveaways page (where you will also find my other giveaways).

Elastoplast Vintage Tin and plasters bundle giveaway

We were sent our Elastoplast Vintage Tin and plasters for this post.

Thursday 24 September 2015

EasiYo - fresh live home-made yogurt made easy.

I'm delighted today to tell you about another affiliation, this time with EasiYo. Originally developed in New Zealand the EasiYo makes it simplicity itself to make your own yogurt at home. It takes around 5 minutes mixing and preparation, a few hours wait for the yoghurt to set, and there you have it. Delicious and fresh yogurt ready for the fridge or table....

 EasiYo home made Yoghurt Maker Review

I was intrigued by EasiYo. I have never made my own yoghurt at home, although I always fancied it.  My kids love yoghurt, and I knew we'd have no shortage of taste-testers, so I really looked forward to the delivery.

EasiYo yoghurt maker and pot

Super Hero yourself and win an amazing basket of toys from Warner Bros. and DC Kids

We love Super Heroes in our house, and Batman is a long time favourite. The man who always works in black, or very dark grey is definitely one of the best despite having a serious lack of actual super powers.... Today I am promoting a giveaway on behalf of Warner Bros and DC Kids where you can win a whole basket of toys including Batman and his Batmobile!

DC Kids have recently launched a brilliant game on their website called Super Hero Me! Create your own ultimate super hero. You choose how they look, what powers they have and the all important name! That's mine above - Commander Cobra.... she can climb walls, and probably regularly does....below is my son's character Silver Defender - he has elasticity.....

Tuesday 22 September 2015

LEGO Scooby Doo Stop-Motion Animation from WB Kids - and a £150 Smyths giveaway!

If you follow me on social media then you may well have noticed just how much we love our LEGO Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, despite the fact that we lost part of it off Yarmouth Pier!

You may even have spotted that our latest LEGO acquisition was the Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion (review will follow). We even blogged about our Mystery Machine On Tour when we went to the Just So Festival, and I will at some point post about the Isle Of Wight #MysteryMachineOnTour

It seems we aren't the only ones who love LEGO Scooby though, WB Kids have taken it a step further and are creating stop-motion animation from the Scooby Doo LEGO sets. They're only about a minute long, each one tells a little story, and they're very well done!

Cobra CDR 840 E HD Dash Cam Review

When I was given the chance to review a shiny new HD dashcam from Cobra, how could I refuse? The HD picture is incredibly clear, even in low light, and it has night vision! It removes easily from your vehicle, is neat and small, and it looks good.

This is Manchester. To get just about anywhere you go on the M60, and heaven help you if you need to travel across the country, because then your option is the 'ever-slow-due-to-an-accident' M62. There's a fair bit of traffic, a lot of impatience, and you see a lot more accidents than you'd like.

Miffy Is Coming To Your TV (with Sensory Miffy toy giveaway)

I read Miffy books with my children, and I well remember Miffy from when I was a child. In fact Miffy has been with us since 1955 and is celebrating her 60th birthday this year. One of the oldest lasting children's favourites, the Dick Bruna classic Miffy is returning to our TV screens in Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small

Launching on Tiny Pop on 2 October 2015, at 7pm, this is the first time Miffy will be seen in CGI and is ideal for bedtime. The episodes in the series are a comfortable 7 minutes long, perfect for your pre-school viewers.

Monday 21 September 2015

LEGO Marvel Carnage's SHIELD Sky Attack Set 76036 Review

We're big fans of Super Heroes here, so the new Marvel sets are something our young lads will get a lot of play value from. The SHIELD Helicarrier might be a bit beyond us, but at £11.99 the Carnage's SHIELD Sky Attack is within most budgets.

LEGO Marvel Carnage's SHIELD Sky Attack Set 76036 Review

A few of the bigger Marvel Superheroes sets have a recommended age 7 or 8, but the smaller sets are age 6 and this is a nice easy one which my 5 year old can build alone quite quickly. With 97 pieces it's actually quite a complex and sturdy model, and great little play set. Inside the box we have 2 bags of bricks, instruction booklet and a small sheet of stickers.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Finding Peace on International Peace Day.

Monday 21st September is International Peace Day, declared by the General Assembly as "a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples".

In light of the current refugee crisis throughout Europe and beyond we are all painfully aware that the world is not at peace, and far too many people have their lives affected and ruined by conflict and war. There is not peace among all nations and peoples.

It's impossible for me to look at those people and not think of their personal peace. Their children or parents lost, the life they used to know has gone. And on top of that they are having to run, and give up everything else they have. I can't understand where they find the strength to carry on. There is not peace within these people. 

In the last couple of years focus of inner wellbeing in the UK has begun to swing, and meditation and mindfulness are being taken as seriously as tablets and potions.

Saturday 19 September 2015

Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum Review

I'm no spring chicken any more, I'm a post 40 blogger. As I have got older my skin has become drier and more patchy, with rosy red areas. I'm not a big wearer of make up, but that doesn't mean I've given up on my appearance and I am always happy to try something that says it will 'help fight visible signs of fatigue' and 'intensely hydrate skin'. Sounds good to me.

Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum Review

Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum is for use after you wash/tone and before you moisturise. Ideal for morning use to iron out those overnight wrinkles, it is probably more useful to women over 30.

Pictopia Disney Edition Family Game Review (age 7+)

Pictopia Disney Edition from Wonderforge is a picture trivia game recommended for age 7+. A board game that works very differently from most we have played, this isn't one for younger children as it has more complicated rules, but it's easy once you start to play and the variation in questions really adds to the gameplay.

A Disney game would not be something I'd have thought to buy before, but we love this. My partner and I have even played it when the kids aren't there. It turns out there really is plenty of Disney to suit everyone.

Friday 18 September 2015

The LEGO Awesome Ideas Book Review

The LEGO Awesome Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz was released by Dorling Kindersley at the beginning of this month, and it's my favourite LEGO ideas book yet. Like other books released by LEGO it doesn't just give instructions about how to build exact models, it is full of techniques, hints and tips and should really spark your LEGO creativity.

With a 3D cover packed with some of the amazing things you can create using plans found in the book. it impresses before you even open it (although it does make it hard to photograph!). Inside the book is split into 5 distinct sections - Outer Space, Modern Metropolis, The Wild West, Fantasy Land and The Real World.

Thursday 17 September 2015

LEGO Ninjago Temple Of Airjitzu set 70751 Review

The most important thing to say about the LEGO Ninjago Temple Of Airjitzu is that it's stunningly beautiful. Truly a gorgeous model that I've spent the last few days really enjoying. It was a lovely build and uses some amazing build techniques as well as ingenious use of existing LEGO elements. It's not a simple build and the 14+ suggested age guide is right.

 LEGO Ninjago Temple Of Airjitzu set 70751 Review
LEGO Ninjago Temple Of Airjitzu set 70751 Review Box Front

Tuesday 15 September 2015

13 Months

In most parts of the world suicide is still a crime. It's not important to me on what grounds unaffected people around the world decide suicide is a crime, but I do think personally it counts as theft. It takes so much more than your friend, relation or acquaintance. So much more than they could ever see. It takes your stability, your comfort, your confidence, your time, your sanity. It takes your innocence. It takes away your trust and belief in everything. Things that don't happen do happen, nothing is unexpected. We live in a world where children really die. We live in a world where there is no clarity and everything is confusing and stressful. You wonder if anything will ever be normal again. You look at other people having fun and you remember when you were like them. You smile and you think back to when you were allowed a little naivety.

It's been 13 months since we lost our oldest girl and I had intended to stop my monthly updates and just post about the smiles, but this last month has been one which really does show how fragile we still are individually and as a family unit.

Monday 14 September 2015

Transformers Prime Season 3 Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising Review and Giveaway

We're big Transformers fans here and Predacons Rising is the latest installment of the Beast Hunters series. Featuring computer generated animation the Transformers series of movies are bursting with excitement, action and colour, and Predacons Rising is no exception.

Transformers Prime Season 3 Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising is a full length movie with a runtime of 1 hour 3 minutes and is rated PG because obviously it contains some peril and fantasy violence.

Carbon Monoxide- Know The Risks And Signs plus Detector Giveaway

Today sees the start of Gas Safety Week. This is the time of year when we all start to get a bit chilly and the central heating gets switched back on for the first time in months - but has yours been checked? Build up of carbon deposits and dust inside the flue for the boiler can mean Carbon Monoxide is released into your home.

Carbon Monoxide is a silent danger. Colourless, tasteless and odourless it can make you very ill, or even in extreme cases suffocate you, often while you sleep. Each year in the UK around 200 people go to hospital with Carbon Monoxide poisoning and 40 of those will die.

Friday 11 September 2015

How To Spot Meningitis In An Adult

Here is my personal experience of how to spot Meningitis in an adult, young person or older child. No two cases of Meningitis are the same, just as no two cases of a cold are the same. There will be similarities because the way they attack will be the same, but it is how your body copes and reacts that determines what happens next. Some people will never realise they had Meningitis and some will die.
Fortunately my partner is still here.

More adults get Meningitis than children (although children under 5 are most at risk - know the signs).

Young people are the second most likely age group to develop Meningitis, with year 1 University students the most at risk group.

Bee Good Honey And Wild Flax Daily Moisturiser Review

Bee Good are a UK company I've reviewed for before and I still feel their Intensive Hand Cream is the best I've ever used. The Honey And Wild Flax Moisturiser is a great everyday moisturiser for most skin of any age or type. Light, easily absorbed and with a gorgeous scent which makes me think of Spring and Summer meadows, this is my new handbag essential.

Bee Good Honey ANd Wild Flax Daily Moisturiser Review

I have dry skin and use a night time moisturiser overnight, but quite often find my forehead and cheeks dry during the day, so I do tend to reapply moisturiser more than most people. The Bee Good 50ml tube is perfect for carrying with me in my bag - it's not heavy and it won't break or leak.

Thursday 10 September 2015

Higgidy Pies and Quiches at home - and out and about.

Higgidy pies and quiches aren't just your everyday pastry meal. They are a very special pie or quiche. Made using excellent quality fillings and without any nasty additives, everything on the ingredients list is a real thing you can go and buy yourself from the supermarket, with a name you can recognise. These are pies made in a real kitchen by real people.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

St John Ambulance 1st Aid Kit Giveaway

When he was 18 months old my eldest child choked on a piece of orange. It took a couple of minutes to realise he really was choking, a minute to explain myself to the 999 operator on the phone and 3 more minutes for the Paramedic to get to my house. Thankfully it only took 4 minutes to stop him choking, so he was breathing again when the hero burst in through the door.

They were the longest 4 minutes of my life and 20 years later I remember each second.

I didn't panic. I knew what I should be doing, I had done a Paediatric First Aid Course run my my local St. John Ambulance. It gave me the confidence to know I was right and to carry on. I recognised the danger signs immediately, and when my son went completely quiet I knew it really was time to act fast.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Itty Bitty's From Hallmark - TV, comic book and movie stars plush collectibles

This October sees the UK launch by Hallmark of Itty Bitty's. I'm not usually a soft toy lover, but I'll make an exception for these because frankly they're ace. Little plush comic book, TV and movie stars with beans in their base so that they stand up without help. Retailing at £6 each, they'll be an incredibly popular stocking-filler this Christmas...

Transotype Drawing Light Table review - also handy for artists.

If you have an artist in your house like we do, then you may have considered a light table before, but until we received the Transotype LED A4 Dimmable Drawing Light Table for review I actually had no idea how much fun they can be without lifting a pencil.

Drawing light tables are absolutely brilliant for imaginitive and sensory play and learning with children....

Monday 7 September 2015

Rattle Me Bones game from Drumond Park (age 5+) Review and Giveaway

Rattle Me Bones is one of this Summer's new Drumond Park games, and it's quickly become a favourite in our house - particularly with the younger 2 boys. It has a nostalgic feel and is nicely made with a pirate treasure theme - who wouldn't love trying to steal an old pirate's treasure!

The game is suitable for 2-4 players aged 5 and up, and the rules are simple. Spin the spinner to see which colour treasure you are allowed to attempt to steal.

Saturday 5 September 2015

LEGO Star Wars General Grievous Buildable Figure Set 75112 Review

Yesterday was #forcefriday and we were sent a mystery package from LEGO. Much to the delight ofmy 6 year old it contained 2 of the brand new Star Wars buildable figures sets to have a play with - 75112 General Grievous and 75111 Darth Vader.

General Grievous has 186 pieces and is recommended for age 9+. It's a tricky build. Much harder than the Darth Vader buildable figure, and my 7 year old couldn't quite do this one on his own.

Friday 4 September 2015

LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader Buildable Figure set 75111 review

Today is the infamous #forcefriday and we were given the opportunity to take part by LEGO, who have sent us 2 of the brand new Star Wars buildable figures sets to have a play with - 75112 General Grievous and 75111 Darth Vader.


Darth Vader has 160 pieces and is recommended for age 9+. Inside the box are the instruction leaflet, 3 bags of bricks and a fabric cloak.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Windowsill Herb Gardening with children

We are lucky in that we have a big garden. Most of the wildlife are very welcome - we have a hedgehog and an owl (who poos consistantly over my van wherever I park it), we've lots of birds and butterflies and occasionally we have a squirrel or two. Unfortunately we also have a huge amount of slugs.

I love growing edible plants and I think it teaches valuable lessons to children. Growing your own food teaches about the life cycle, and the amount of effort required to make food. It encourages your children to try new tastes, and have pride in their own achievements.

With only potatoes and onions surviving outside, plus wild berries and herbs, we are bored of disappointment and do the most we can to help our plants survive, including starting them off inside and growing them inside on a windowsill.

Smart Eggs 2-Layer Labyrinth Puzzle Eggs

Smart Eggs are a great new puzzle which is as beautiful to look at as it is to attempt. Each egg is designed very differently and offers a unique 3D labyrinth puzzle experience. The much larger 2-layer Smart Eggs are considerably more challenging than the single layer, but all are a tactile puzzle that fidgets and whittlers will adore.

We recently reviewed the single-layer Smart Eggs and now we've been sent a 2-layer Smart Egg to try. There really is a world of difference between them, and the (recommended age 10+) 2-layer puzzles make the single layer eggs look like a training model.