Sunday 31 July 2016

Chrono Bomb Children's Spy Game Giveaway

We've just reviewed Chrono Bomb, and we love it, so I'm delighted to have a copy to give away to one of my readers. Suitable for children aged around 6+, this is Ninja Spy training in the comfort of your own home...

Set the timer and get to the end of the course and deactivate the bomb before it explodes! You can make the game even more tricky by adding in cards that the players need to collect as they work through the course...

Saturday 30 July 2016

Chrono Bomb Game Review - Ninja Spy Training For Kids!

One of the latest games we've been sent to review is very different from anything we've played before. Chrono Bomb is possibly the most active game my children have ever played, requiring you to weave your way through a course of lasers to get to the bomb and defuse it before it explodes. It's pretty brilliant.

My boys love the Ninja Training Camp at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, and now they can play it at home. Chrono Bomb box contains 7 very fancy clips for you to build your course, including the start and end special clips.

Thursday 28 July 2016

Creativity On The Go: Art - Children's Book Review

Three of the latest releases from Carlton Kids books are additions to the Creativity On The Go series. Three books (Holiday, Horses And Ponies and Art) full of projects and activities, puzzles, stickers and games to keep your child entertained for hours. We've been sent Creativity On The Go: Art by Ruth Thomson to review.

This is a really informative book. My 7 year old is fact mad, but also really enjoys drawing and colouring, so it turns out this is perfect for him and he's spent hours on it.  He's fascinated by the history of art and artists, and we've all learned about Van Gogh, Munch and a raft of other painters from all over the world in different time periods.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Project Mc2 Circuit Beats: Children's Science With Fruit!

My children have all loved Science, and I'm very fond of the Project Mc2 doll range. Based on the TV Show of the same name and promoting scientific experiments (especially to girls), one of their most exciting experiment kits is Circuit Beats - which allows you to discover the electrical conductivity of everyday stuff and play music at the same time...

Monday 25 July 2016

Summer Round Up - Things To Make Your Summer Go More Smoothly.

This Summer I've been sent a selection of bits and pieces which can make my Summer easier and more fun, and they can do the same for yours too. For the garden, pool, beach, and even the travel to wherever you are going...

Stabilo Cappi Fibre Tipped Pens are a genius idea for preventing children from dropping or losing all of their colouring pens - and the all-important pen lids! The lids snap onto the pens tightly, and have a loop at the top so that they can thread onto the enclosed plastic ring.

Urban Armor Gear Phone Case Review.

My phone has a hard life. Not only is it constantly on, in use and out of memory, but it gets dropped, banged and bashed a lot.

Urban Armor Gear make rugged, lightweight cases which are drop-tested to military standards. Designed to protect your precious equipment from all that life, and your 6 year old, can throw at it.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Alpha And Omega: Family Vacation DVD review and giveaway.

Alpha And Omega features the friendliest wolves you can encounter, and they are back on Monday 25th July with their 4th adventure. Alpha And Omega: Family Vacation pretty much gives away the storyline in the title, but what Kate, Humphrey and their pups don't know as they head off on their first family holiday, is that trappers are on their trail...

Alpha And Omega: Family Vacation is a brand new animated adventure which is action-packed, but has a lot of humorous moments, as well as a few emotional scenes. It's suitable for very young children, and the peril is incredibly mild.

Friday 22 July 2016

What to do during the Summer holidays in and around Manchester!

There are literally about a million things you and your children can get up to in Manchester and the rest of the North West UK this Summer! Most public parks, libraries and museums will have events and activities for families, and lots of it is incredibly cheap or even free. Take a look at the #70things list from The Arts Council for some great inspiration.

Here are a few of the things going on within Manchester or no more than 1 hour's drive away. I've tried to keep the cost below £10 per person at maximum...

Thursday 21 July 2016

HARIBO Frenzy Mini Carnival Kit Giveaway!

Summer is well and truly here, and the holidays are upon us. To help with the fiesta feel, and get us ready for the Summer Olympics this year in Rio, for a limited time only HARIBO have released 2 new Frenzy Carnival sweet bags featuring the iconic shaped sweets from Starmix and Tangfastics, but in a frenzy of exotic flavours and bright colours.

We were sent a very special HARIBO Mini Carnival Kit to celebrate, and one of my readers can win their own too!

New Bop It! 2016 Family Game Review (age 8+)

Bop It! first appeared in our house around 17 years ago and since then they've regularly added to the range, changed the design and developed new features. We've had several different Bop It! versions, most recently a White Bop It! Extreme. The Extreme model is no longer available, and this Autumn sees a brand new updated Bop It! 2016 release which is action orientated and uses motion technology to full effect.

You can play competitively against yourself or others, trying to complete as many moves as possible correctly when directed by Bop It! The new version features 10 different moves including whip it, drink it, selfie it, hammer it, answer it, cradle it, saw it, sing it, golf it and comb it, and has 3 solo and social play options - Classic, Beat Box and Pass It.

Monday 18 July 2016

Young Honey Tree Post Box Stationery Subscription Review And Giveaway

Young Honey Tree is a postal subscription service whereby your child is sent a very carefully crafted box of beautiful stationery each month. The emphasis is on quality and care, with each box contents costing £30 or more if you were to buy the items individually.

This is bespoke stationery, and each monthly shipment will contain fun, beautifully designed exclusive items from the UK’s leading illustrated bespoke stationers. The post box contents include items such as greeting cards, postcards, notecards, gift tags and stickers, and is designed to fit through your letterbox, so you don't need to be home to accept delivery.

In my box we have a theme of wild birds, in a variety of styles to suit different tastes and occasions, but all fairly delicate and well matched, and excellent quality thick papers and cards with beautiful printing.

Finding Dory at Sealife Manchester this Summer

This Summer Sealife Manchester at intu Trafford Centre is offering visitors a chance to spot a few very famous marine celebrities as the characters from the Disney Pixar movie Finding Dory pay a visit....

Hank the Octopus from the Disney Pixar movie Finding Dory is hiding in some of the tanks along with a secret letter and visitors who spot him, take note of the letters and solve the anagram puzzle can take home a small reward.

Friday 15 July 2016

23 Months...

This isn't a blog post I wanted to write and it isn't one you were hoping to read. 23 months after losing Elspeth and one of our children is back in hospital long term. Finally they are beginning to discuss their sister's death truthfully, and admit how much they miss her and need her. And finally, when they have truly reached rock bottom, is everyone hopeful that they can see the way through to climb out.

Thursday 14 July 2016

Fishtales Family Movie Review and DVD Giveaway

The latest family movie from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is Fishtales. Released on Monday 11th July on Digital Download and from Monday 18th July on DVD. Main characters Ollie, Cleo and Puffer are animated against a backdrop of real underwater footage, and it's actually a lot better than that makes it sound. Think David Attenborough meets Bedknobs And Broomsticks and you get the idea.

When their best friend Ollie the octopus is chased by sharks, Cleo the angler fish and Puffer the pufferfish enlist the help of the fun-loving, worldly manta ray, Crash. Crash and Cleo especially know a lot about the undersea world, and explain everything they see as they go a journey of discovery and wonder exploring coral reefs, the open ocean and freshwater lakes in order to find their lost friend. The group encounter and learn about many fascinating creatures including jellyfish, moray eels and sea turtles.

Rory's Story Cubes Batman Edition Review (age 6+).

Rory's Story Cubes are a genius invention that helps expand a child's vocabulary, imagination and understanding of the world through storytelling. Nine small plastic cubes with a different picture prompt on each side, giving you a million possible combinations and infinite adventures. We've been sent the brand new Batman edition cubes to play with.

My boys haven't seen Rory's Story Cubes before, but they both adore stories and storytelling, so I knew they'd be a hit. They are both also very keen on Batman - double hit. Suitable especially for age 6+, inside the box we have the 9 story cubes, rules of play and a carrying case.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Heck Foods Meaty Sausages Review

A little while ago we reviewed the new vegetarian range from Heck, and as they're so well-known for their flavoursome meaty sausages and we have 3 meat-eaters here, it would have been remiss not to take a look at those too.

We were sent 5 different varieties of sausage to try - Zesty Chicken, Heck 97%, Fair & Square 97%, Smoky Paprika Chicken and Chicken Italia. 

Heck Zesty Chicken Chipolata Sausages (10 sausages/340g for £3).

Monday 11 July 2016

Cash 'n Guns (Second Edition) Family Game Review (10+)

There's no better time spent at home with our teenagers than a family games night, and Cash 'n Guns from Ludovic Maublanc makes it a games night where you point rubber guns at each other and try to steal as much as possible from the other players. It's great...

Cash 'n Guns (Second Edition) is our latest review from distributor Esdevium Games. Best suited for 4-8 players aged 10+.

Each player takes on the role of a gangster, and the scene which unfolds is what happens next after a huge heist. The loot needs to be divided up, but everybody wants it, and everyone is carrying a gun!

Sunday 10 July 2016

Baked Alaska with Oxo Good grips Kitchen Tools

Oxo have recently added more products to their Good Grips Kitchenware range, including some great Squeeze And Pour Measuring Cups. They have sent me a selection to review, and it seemed a great excuse for a cake. My youngest wanted to help, so I let him take over...

The first item we used is the 2.8l Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl (£13). Lightweight, yet a good size with a really impressive rubber base, it holds position really well while you are whisking and stirring. A lovely shaped bowl and your mix comes out easily

Thursday 7 July 2016

What do British holidaymakers miss the most from home?

When you go away on holiday there are always certain home comforts that you do miss, however much fun you are having. A survey by the bedding company Silentnight found that 'Family' didn't come top, instead 6 out of 10 of the British public miss their own bed more.

The survey, carried out by One Poll, asked what made a dream holiday for UK consumers. Peace and home comforts are top of the list, with 52% of British holidaymakers wanting rest and relaxation above everything else. I know when I go away, it's far easier to come home shattered than rested. You need a week off work to get over it.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Liquiproof Protector for Fabric, Suede, Nubuck and Sheepskin Review

Liquiproof is a protector and waterproofer for fabrics that is inert and harmless. Odour-free with zero toxicity, it carries no allergic warnings and is the world's only permanent, invisible, water-based, eco-friendly, non-flammable and 100% breathable spray suitable for footwear.

The proofing will not only waterproof and oil-proof your fabrics, it'll also help prevent anything staining them - it should wipe straight off. Liquiproof secured funding from Touker Suleyman on Dragon's Den, and it's pretty easy to see why.

Liquiproof Protector for Fabric, Suede, Nubuck and Sheepskin claims to provide a truly waterproof finish to pretty much any fabric, (except leather, which has it's own product - Liquiproof Leather Protector) without affecting flexibility.

Just imagine waterproofing the bottom of the legs on your jeans, protecting the front of your favourite white t-shirt from dinner spillage stains, or having the only waterproof comfy snuggly blanket at the festival.

Monday 4 July 2016

How To Remove Carpet Stains with Zoe Brewer And Dr. Beckmann

The popular interiors blogger Zoe Brewer has joined forces with Dr. Beckmann to bring you a 2 minute masterclass in removing carpet stains. Keeping all of your carpets clean and smell-free can be a real challenge, especially if (like me) you have pets around the house, but Dr. Beckmann’s Carpet Stain Remover is the perfect solution.

Dr. Beckmann’s Carpet Stain Remover has an rrp. of only £3.59, and for two years in a row has been awarded two of Which? Magazine’s coveted awards - ‘Best Buy’ and ‘Best Value’.

Bricktastic LEGO Show Manchester 2016

Yesterday we had an awesome day out at the Bricktastic LEGO show at Manchester Central. 5 of us went - I took my partner and 3 of our boys aged 6, 7 and 18. I can honestly say we all had an excellent time, we spent over 4 hours in the show, and could easily have stayed longer.

I make no apologies, this post is photo heavy, you don't need me to say much, the pictures speak mainly for themselves. Click on any photo to enlarge. Sorry I didn't catch all of the builder's names at the time - and that I couldn't include the other 50 or so photo's that made it past the first cut!

We went straight on over to the back wall, where we were greeted by aliens, and the robot turtles of Peter Reid, and space...

Friday 1 July 2016

The Grill Sergeant Barbeque from Paladone Review

There's nothing better in Summer than eating outdoors. Sadly living in Manchester the rain does it's very best to prevent us, but we waited for a drizzle break amid the downpours, and managed a barbeque the other evening - on our back porch. Well, we'd promised the kids...

Paladone distribute all kinds of quirky and fun gadgets, gifts and household products, and they have sent us their 12inch Grill Sergeant Portable Barbeque to review. I thought he'd just have a fancy paintjob, but it turns out he's a well-designed barbeque that works really effectively.

Your Grill Sergeant arrives in a box and you have to assemble it yourself. You only need a screwdriver and a pair of pliers, and about 10 minutes. 25 minutes if you have a 6 year old assistant.