Friday 30 October 2015

Naturelly Jelly Juice Giveaway - Natural Fun Fruit Jelly Juice For Kids

A little while ago we were sent some Naturelly Jelly Juice to try and it was a much bigger hit than I expected.

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, gluten-free, Kosher and Halal, the Jelly Juice is 70% fruit juice with no added sugar or sweeteners, no artificial flavours or colours. Too good to be tasty? Not at all - we all loved it!

Naturelly Jelly Juice Giveaway - Natural Fun Fruit Jelly Juice For Kids

Naturelly's Jelly Juice is exactly what it says it is - a thickened juice that has the consistency of soft jelly. That's quite a novelty for a vegetarian, and jelly is usually a treat for my children too, so there was real competition over who had the last Jelly Juice.

Thursday 29 October 2015

A trip to the Guinness World Records HQ - an Officially Amazing day

On Tuesday this week I was invited down to London to visit the Headquarters of Guinness World Records to celebrate their birthday. I took my 2 younger children and 1 of my teenagers, and not only did it go well, it was actually Officially Amazing and records were broken!

Monday 26 October 2015

Vegetarian Beef Wellington Recipe ~ with accompanying drinks from ALDI

As Winter draws in we all start spending more time indoors and looking to comfort foods to keep us warm. That's no different just because someone is a vegetarian, and cooking a main protein dish for someone who doesn't eat meat can be a daunting prospect for a carnivore.

Easy Vegetarian Or Vegan Beef Wellington

We've a split of 4 vegetarians and 4 meat-eaters in our household. After over 30 years as a veggie, more than 20 of those raising my own veggie kids, I've tried and failed with a good few dishes. One dish which has proven consistently popular and makes everyone feel like I've gone to a lot of effort is the Vegetarian Beef Wellington. It's filling and tasty and a perfect veggie option whenever we go to the trouble to cook a joint of meat for the carnivores.

Simple Vegetarian Or Vegan Wellington Pie

Sunday 25 October 2015

The 100 Facts range from Miles Kelly Books (7+)

The 100 Facts books from Miles Kelly are bestsellers worldwide, translated into more than 30 languages and with over 80m copies sold so far. Suitable for readers aged around 7+, there are currently 80 different books. From Mummies, Birds, Bears or Armour to Horses, Bodies or Evolution, there really is something to cater to all tastes.

100 Facts Books from Miles Kelly

My 7 year old loves facts, he loves to share something interesting and surprise us all with his knowledge. He's interested in new technology and how things work, so I chose him 100 Facts Science and 100 Facts Inventions.

Saturday 24 October 2015

Aquabeads Deluxe Set Review - Aquabeads aren't just for girls!

Aquabeads are very small round beads which become sticky once they have been made wet. When they're dry the glue sets and you can keep the creation you've made. The Aquabead Deluxe Set contains over 1200 solid beads. Aquabeads are great for making badges, photo frames and plaques and even 3D models such as boxes.

Aquabeads Deluxe Set Review - Aquabeads for boys!

I'd heard about Aquabeads a long time ago but hadn't got around to trying them, plus the boxes were very pink, so I wasn't sure if my 5 and 7 year old boys would dismiss them as a 'girl thing'. Once you get past the box though, they're not really very pink at all....except for the pink ones.....

Aquabeads Deluxe Set Contents - Aquabeads designs for boys

Tuesday 20 October 2015

LEGO Mixels Series 6 - Gurrgle, Forx and Snax!

At the beginning of October LEGO released their 6th series of Mixels. I love Mixels because they're an entire character in a bag, with loads of special and rare and interesting parts, and they cost only £3 each! REAL pocket money prices.

Mixels are also great for treats, party bags and stockingfillers. Suitable for around age 6+, they're excellent value for the number of bricks and other elements included in the pack, and will fire any child's creativity because they're expected to take them apart and make their own creations.

Drumond Park LOGO Lite Review

My latest review for Drumond Park is LOGO Lite. A family game for 2-4 players aged around 12+. This is a LOGO game with a difference though, because the LOGO Lite version is boardless, instead using a clever circular spinner to hold the counters needed to win the game. Without a board this is around half the size of a standard game box.

Inside the box even the spinner comes apart to save space. This is a much more portable game that is great to take with you when you are visiting friends and family.

Monday 19 October 2015

Halloween Half Term at Sealife and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Trafford Centre, Manchester

We had an awesome time on Saturday visiting both Sealife and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre at intu Trafford Centre in Manchester. This year the staff really have made a huge effort to ensure your experience this Halloween is special.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and Sealife Half Term Halloween activities 2015

It is the staff who make these attractions so great for us. Every single time we've been, the staff have been absolutely lovely. Helpful and kind, attentive to the children and generally appreciating the fact you've probably spent your budget on entry fees and driven a while to get there.

Friday 16 October 2015

LEGO Minifigures Series 14: Monsters - The Halloween Edition!

The latest series of LEGO minifigures which were released at the beginning of October are absolutely perfect for Halloween. 'Monsters' isn't entirely true, there are some perfectly 'normal' characters there too, you just have to spot them...

LEGO Minifigures Series 14: Monsters Review - The Halloween Edition!

Lets start with the definite non-monsters. These are dressed up! They are in their Halloween trick-or-treat costumes. The Skeleton Guy and Plant Monster are clearly 'people' underneath, you can tell by the eyes. We're split here on Tiger Woman, but I think costume.

LEGO Minifigures Series 14:Skeleton Guy Plant Man Tiger Woman

Littlest Pet Shop: Lights, Camera, Mongoose DVD Review and giveaway

The latest release from the Littlest Pet Shop is Littlest Pet Shop: Lights, Camera, Mongoose! and is available on DVD and Digital Download from this Monday - October 19th.

Littlest Pet Shop tells the stories of Blythe Baxter, a young girl who lives with her Dad above the pet shop. Blythe spends her time caring for the animals and having some fairly bizarre adventures.

Littlest Pet Shop: Lights, Camera, Mongoose DVD Review and giveaway

Thursday 15 October 2015

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Enchantment Tour 2015 Manchester Review

Disney On Ice arrived back at Manchester Arena last night with the World's Of Enchantment Tour, and we were some of the lucky people who had tickets to see it. This year the show features Mickey And Minnie and the gang, as well as characters from Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Cars and brand new for this year - Frozen.

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Enchantment Tour 2015 Manchester Review

14 Months....

The last month has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride that has exhausted all of us. I mentioned last month that one of our children wasn't coping so well, and that's affecting their physical health. With one of our children ill the stress levels increase and you end up with tetchy remorseful adults, and tearful children who feel they have done something wrong. The whole household is constantly apologising to each other. It's terribly British.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

After-school Super Heroes with Heinz and Warner Bros.

Until the end of October whenever you buy a 4 pack of Heinz Beanz, spaghetti or soup, you also buy the chance to win some amazing prizes - including loads of Warner Bros Super Hero goodies and an unforgettable Super Hero holiday to Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles!

Heinz have teamed up with Warner Bros to promote the After-School Super Heroes! Not children, nor with a secret identity, and usually going unrecognised and unthanked. After-School Super Heroes are the Mums and Dads who still don their superhero outfit and brave the kitchen after a hard day which probably started far too early!

Wagamama Take Away Review

Who knew? You can actually get take away from Wagamama, and by an accident of fate I ended up being one of the first people in the UK to try their brand new take away packaging.

Wagamama Take Away Review

If you haven't heard of Wagamama, they are a restaurant that specialise in Japanese inspired foods - ramen noodles and rice dishes prepared with lashings of fresh, carefully chosen ingredients while you wait - and if you wish watch!

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Rock Face Mens Shave, Shower And Skin Care

Rock Face make 10 different products for men who like to 'look good and smell great with a minimum of effort and fuss'. The range includes everything you need for shave, shower and skincare, from Anti-Perspirant Deodorant and Shower Gel to Anti-Ageing Moisturiser and Shave Butter.

Every product has the same mild and very masculine scent, avoiding those heady clashes of fruit, woodland and Grandma's soap which so often creep up and surprise the average bloke. It's a pretty nice smell too - a fresh woody smell - think arctic ski slopes. This is probably the skincare of choice for the Milk Tray man.

As part of my November Christmas present giveaways I will be giving one reader an entire set of Rock Face body care, and Rock Face asked me if I'd be interested in a review too. I said "sure, but ermmmm, have you seen any recent photos of the men in my house?". It's grim up North, it can be cold in the Winter (Autumn...Spring...Summer). They mainly have full beards!

Road Trip To London For The Talk To Mums Family Playtime

Last Saturday my 7 year old and I went on an adventure to London to go to the Talk To Mums Family Playtime. I had absolutely no idea what to expect because I haven't ever attended anything which offers sessions for bloggers as well as their children.

It was a very early start as we had to catch the 7.15am train from Manchester - I wasn't alone either, Red Rose Mummy (Pippa) and My Mummy's Pennies (Jen) were on the same train with their children - all equally excited and suffering the lack of coffee!

Monday 12 October 2015

50 Utterly Silly Stories from Miles Kelly Books (age 7+)

50 Utterly Silly Stories is a huge collection of short stories and extracts for children written by a host of authors including Rudyard Kipling, Lewis Carroll and L Frank Baum. The stories have been gathered together by Belinda Gallagher and this epic 512 page book is beautifully illustrated throughout, starting with the outside cover.

50 Utterly Silly Stories book Review (age 7+)

My 7 year old is now a competent reader and loves books. He's desperate for new things to read, and enjoys fiction as well as factual books, and given completely free choice from the Miles Kelly website he chose 50 Utterly Silly Stories.

NOW TV - Only pay for the TV, sport and movies you want to watch!

We cancelled our Sky package about 3 months ago because we actually felt after 11 years of watching movies every day, we'd caught up with the back catalogue. We are happy with Sky Movies, but just felt we didn't need it all of the time and some months we didn't get our money's worth. We knew we would want to look at alternatives and NOW TV was one of the options we were looking at anyway, and then I was asked if I wanted to become involved with the NOW TV Blog Squad.
NOW TV still hosts Sky Movies, there is no ongoing contract, you pay for 1 month, so if there's nothing to watch, you're super busy or on holiday, you can take a couple of months off free of charge and then go back when you want.You aren't tied in to a huge bundle contract, and so you pay for only what you wish to have access to that month.

Thursday 8 October 2015

Earth To Luna Figurine Giveaway

Earth To Luna is a new children's series which airs on Tiny Pop (Freeview). It is mainly aimed at pre-school children aged around 2-6 and follows the adventures of a 6 year old girl, Luna, her brother Jupiter and pet ferret Clyde. Luna is passionate about science and sees the world as a giant laboratory, full of interesting things to discover and experiment with.
We love science, so anything that encourages youngsters to become excited about their world is brilliant. If it then gives them answers to vital questions such as why things happen and where they come from, that's even better in my book. Young children can learn so much from watching short TV shows, it's a great preparation for starting school and can give them an excellent base for understanding much more complicated subjects later on. My boys are getting a little old for the pre-school style of Earth To Luna, but they can still learn a lot from it, as can I!

Half Term Events For Families In The NorthWest

I have been sent a bazillion press releases about things that will be happening over half term, here are a few of the ones I like best for families...

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Greater Yarmouth Windmills

I've holidayed several times in Greater Yarmouth, including in Autumn, and had an amazing time. It may not have the heat to lounge on the beach in your swimwear, but it has loads to offer to couples or families, indoor or out.

Greater Yarmouth Windmills and Attractions

Here is a guest post from the Greater Yarmouth Official Tourism Website telling you about some of the places you could choose to visit, and where you can find their amazing giveaway to win a fabulous week long holiday for your entire family..

Marvel Kids Spiderman Online Free Games Review

Any regular reader knows we're big Super Hero fans here, and we like Marvel a lot. It'll also come as no surprise to find that my kids like playing computer games and apps. Being asked to review the Marvel Kids Spiderman games was hardly a chore for my 7 and 5 year old boys.

Marvel Kids Spiderman Online Free Games Review

There are 8 different games to play and they all start with a comic strip introduction to the story and the challenge ahead. The games are actually very different and compliment each other well. 

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Og On The Bog family game review from Drumond Park

For the last couple of weeks we've had a horrid troll in our living room grunting and passing wind and being generally disgusting. And making my youngest son laugh - a lot. Og On The Bog is our latest family game review for Drumond Park, and he's proven a surprisingly popular hit.

Monday 5 October 2015

Hotel Tycoon Family Game Review and Giveaway

Hotel Tycoon is a game designed for 2-4 players aged 8 and over. Using a traditional board and playing pieces, players travel around purchasing land, building hotels and then charging their opponents to stay in the hotels until all but one player has run out of money and you have a winner!

I'd heard of Hotel Tycoon before as it was previously released as 'Hotels' in the 1970's, but I've never seen it in person. The first thing to mention is just how complex and creative the new design is. The board is really big, and split into the various resort areas...

Paracords Survival Bands Giveaway from Interplay

Last week I posted our review of the brilliant Paracords Survival Bands kit from Interplay. It's a great kit to make genuine Paracord Survival Bands for children and young people over 8 - and adults too.

Including a compass, carabiner, chalk and other items, the kit has full instructions on how to change a 2.4m long piece of cord into a useable item that can be unwoven in seconds when necessary.

6 Ways To Impress Your House Guest

6 Ways To Impress Your House Guest

Having friends or family over to stay can either be a stressful experience or positive, memorable one. We’re entering that time of year when family tend to start booking their reservations to stay at your home and why not give them the luxury hotel experience? Here are some tips to help create a stunning guest room.


Storing as many of your books in your spare room as you can is not only a great way to give a really comforting space to your guests but it also frees up a lot of storage space around the rest of the house. A variety of books, some tasteful lamps and a comfortable reading chair to curl up in lets your guest know they have their own space where they can escape to guilt-free to just enjoy themselves with a good read.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2 Review

This morning we were one of the lucky families at the Odeon Cinema in Manchester for a preview screening of Hotel Transylvania 2 arranged by Mumsnet. I really liked Hotel Transylvania, as did my 2 young boys, and so we were hopeful the sequel would be good. There are no spoilers in my review.

The story focuses on a vampire, Count Dracula, and his daughter Mavis, her partner Johnny and their families and friends. They run the Hotel Transylvania, a hotel originally a haven for monsters which now also accepts human guests.

Friday 2 October 2015

The Project MC2 Doll - Complete With Her Own Science Experiment!

Project Mc2 started as a TV show on Netflix in which a group of girls become spies and use Science and Maths to solve problems. It aims to help show young girls that 'smart is the new cool' and Science can be fun that's relevant to them. The people behind Project Mc2 have now released a range of accompanying dolls, each with their own scientific experiment in the box with them.

The Project MC2 Doll - Complete With Her Own Science Experiment!

The Project MC2 Doll Science Experiment make a lava lamp

Thursday 1 October 2015

Make Your Own Paracord Survival Bands with Interplay (age 8+)

Our latest review for Interplay is one I have had my eye on since I heard about it. Paracord Survival Bands are survival wristbands made from carefully woven cord which can be quickly unwoven and is strong enough to be used in an emergency situation. We might not be about to face a zombie apocalypse, but how many times do you find yourself thinking that a piece of string or rope would have been handy?

Make Your Own Paracord Survival Bands with Interplay (age 8+)

The Interplay Paracord Survival Bands are made from "military grade parachute lanyard rope" or 'Paracord'. They are strong, they actually can save you in an emergency and as this is 7 strand Paracord it should bear around 400lbs+ of weight - more than enough to lift, pull or rescue any person.

What you need to make paracord survival bands

Dora and Friends DVD review and giveaway.

My two young boys liked Dora The Explorer when they were younger, but they are a little old for it now. Nickelodeon favourite Dora however is also aging it seems, and is moving on in the guise of Dora And Friends, featuring an 8 year old Dora and a new gang, as Dora has moved to a new house and school by the sea.

We've been sent a copy of the new Dora And Friends DVD to review and both of my boys really like it. It is a lot more 'mature' than little Dora, and suits junior school aged children. Dora and her friends still use occasional Spanish words throughout, teaching your child without them realising they're learning another language, and the essence of the DVD is friendship and celebrating what makes us different.

University Fees - How Much?

This is a guest post on behalf of Experian

University fees – how much?

As a family, we have always wanted our children to be happy first and foremost but we would also like to think that, one day, they will all go onto to study at university.

Obviously it’s not the end of the world if they choose to take a different path in life (which some of them already have), especially if the skills they need for their chosen career do not require a university level education. However I would love to see the kids be successful in well-paid jobs and graduate with a degree if that’s what it takes to get their dream job.