Friday 30 June 2017

R/C Inflatable Despicable Me 3 Minions and Fluffy the Unicorn Review for Bladez Toyz (age 3+)

Before Christmas I reviewed the R/C Inflatable Star Wars Toys from Bladez Toyz and they were awesome. This week they released new inflatables to tie in with the cinema release of Despicable Me 3. We've been sent Mel, Tom and Fluffy!

Inside the box you have the inflatable itself - and you will need to blow it up but it's very quick! There is also a drive unit which is attached to the base of the inflatable, a handset, instruction manual and repair patch.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Sandcastle Waterpark - Blackpool Has It All Review 2017

The second of my 3 posts from our day in Blackpool is Sandcastle Waterpark - the UK's largest indoor waterpark. We were guests for the Blackpool Has It All campaign with Visit Blackpool, Merlin Entertainments and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We've been intending to go for ages, but never quite managed it before...

Sandcastle is really easy to find, a huge building on the seafront just South of the South Pier. There is a busy car park nearby, the tram stop is very close and it's a nice 1 mile walk from SEA LIFE Blackpool and Madame Tussauds, the two other attractions we reviewed. We went by tram, included with our Blackpool Resort Passes.

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Maze Hop: Time Travel Book Review for Carlton Kids

Maze Hop Time Travel by Anna Brett is another very different sort of book for children aged around 7+. Including 48 mazes which connect from page to page, joining the characters George and his dog Milly, you weave your way through time from prehistory and dinosaurs to the present day and even beyond, with space tourism in the future.

This is a lovely large format book which has 64 pages, most of which are split into 2 halves, each with a maze that connects to the one with the following time period. The pages are not in the correct order, it's up to the reader to find the maze which connects. This is also a genuine history book and the illustrations and text give an insight into each period in a way that is very accessible to all readers.

Monday 26 June 2017

Vegetarian Society Cookery School Review - Vegan Toolkit Workshop

A couple of weeks ago I was invited down to the Vegetarian Society Cookery School in Altrincham for the launch of the Vegetarian Society Approved vegan trademark. Our day was spent participating on the Vegan Toolkit Workshop - one of several courses on offer at the Cookery School.

You can read my post about the new Vegetarian Society Approved vegan trademark here.

I've been Vegetarian for 32 years and I've spent most of that a keen cook for a large family, so I didn't know how much I'd learn on the Vegan Toolkit Workshop. In fact I learned plenty and all in a really friendly, relaxed atmosphere - despite the fact that the 8 of us cooked (and ate) over 20 dishes in only 6 hours!

Saturday 24 June 2017

SEA LIFE - Blackpool Has It All 2017 Review

Last weekend we spent a full day as guests in Blackpool as part of the Blackpool Has It All campaign with Visit Blackpool, Merlins Entertainments and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We rode on the trams and reviewed 3 of the seafront attractions - Sandcastle Water Park, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE.

We're very familiar with SEA LIFE Manchester, we've visited many times, but SEA LIFE Blackpool is different. Whereas Manchester have Turtles and Octopus and more Tropical creatures, Blackpool have more Sharks, Jellyfish and Rainforest creatures. (Click on any image to make it bigger).

Friday 23 June 2017

Word Has It! Family Game Review for University Games

Word Has It! is a game for 2 to 4 players aged 7+. The aim of the game is to build a longer word than your opponents during the time limit of only 40 seconds. Your word has to start with a given letter and be on the theme shown on the card. It's fast, it's fun, but it's quite tricky!
Packaging is brilliant, with barely any plastic, only 2 bags to hold the letter pieces in transit. Everything stores inside the box afterwards with no dismantling.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Mor Sausages Review (for meat-eaters - but do include veg)

I'm vegetarian, so I don't often review meat, but when my partner fancies it, I'll accept on his behalf. Mor Sausages did interest him because they promise more than your average sausage, and he was very keen to try them.

Mor Sausages Review (for meat-eaters - but do include veg)

Mor have 4 varieties of sausage, each with some more surprising ingredients such as beetroot, chickpeas and super green veg. They are gluten-free and much lower in fat than regular sausages, with pulses such as rice or lentils, plus herbs and spices inspired by foods from around the world.

Getting Ready For Summer With Milton (Giveaway)

Milton are well known by every parent as a company who make sterilising equipment for babies, but it doesn't stop when your child is 12 months, they have products for every member of the family. Milton can clean everything from your patio tables and paddling pool, to your hands before you eat...

We've been sent a 500ml 3in1 Antibacterial Surface Spray, 30 Antibacterial Surface Wipes and 100ml Antibacterial Hand Gel to review. We've used Milton before and I've never found it lacking. The products are all inexpensive and can mean the difference between a great weekend and a sore one.

Wednesday 21 June 2017

We're Going On A Bear Hunt with Ready Brek - Children's Book Giveaway

Ready Brek has been around for the last 80 years - giving our children enough slow-burning energy every morning to see them through until lunch. We're Going On a bear Hunt may be only 28, but Michael Rosen's classic story has also become something of an institution.

Both Ready Brek and Bear Hunt are committed to keeping children healthy, active and enjoying the outdoors - and they make a great team. New Ready Brek packs have a Bear Hunt Guide on the back, with games and activities for your very own bear hunt.

Each pack also includes a delicious recipe, there are 3 to collect and they are really easy to make with your children, nutritionally balanced and energy boosting to keep your adventurers going for hours.

Monday 19 June 2017

Digital Kids Show 2017 Discount Code And Line Up Announcement

Digital Kids Show will be back at Event City in Manchester from 18th-20th November and we'll be there again! My boys love all things digital, so they were in their element. Just about anything tech, gadget, game or internet which is child-safe and kid-related is represented at the show...

We had a really full day last year and in April I posted my full review of the 2016 Digital Kids Show, so if you want to get a better idea of what's there, take a look. Scalextric, Anki Overdive, Magformers, Virtual Reality (including Oculus Rift), board games, beta games, retro games, parkour, inflatables - there was so much to 'do', Digital Kids Show is fantastically hands-on.

The LEGO Batman Movie is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray

We loved The LEGO Batman Movie, that tongue-in-cheek humour and dry wit is hilarious, and the kids laugh for more obvious reasons. A great mix of lightweight storyline and pathos which leaves everyone in a good buddy mood.

We first saw The LEGO Batman Movie in London and then we were given a digital download code to 'buy and keep' so that we could watch it again. I can honestly say I enjoyed it almost as much the second time.

Friday 16 June 2017

Treetop Nets Review, Heaton Park, Manchester

Treetop Nets has recently opened at Heaton Park in Manchester and we were invited along to review. Treetops Nets is exactly what it sounds like, an aerial adventure completely encased in nets. Visitors aged 3+ can bounce, run, jump and slide in complete safety without the need for a harness.

There are only 4 attractions like this in the whole country and Treetops Nets is the biggest, with over 2000m2 of giant trampolines, walkways, slides and tunnels all made out of netting, suspended between the trees and rising up to 12m off the ground..

Stunningly you can barely see it from outside, so we missed it and went into the park, when in fact it's just to the side of the St Margaret's (play area) car park.

Thursday 15 June 2017

34 Months #TBCSmiles

The last few weeks have been full of heartbreaking events that have left the entire country stunned. In 4 weeks we've had 2 terrorist attacks and the horrific fire in London. We also had a General Election and have been left with the fallout from a minority government scrambling to maintain power. It's like the plagues descended and the UK is a bit of a mess.

I have had my own moments of despair over the last month, mainly wondering when it was we stopped caring for other people? When did humanity fail? Why would humans treat other humans so badly?

It's easy to become despondent and fearful for the future when things like this happen, but take the advice you will give your children. Most people are good, look for the helpers.

As events have unfolded it became astoundingly evident that people have realised we have the power to help. Using only our brains and what we had to hand, the most amazing things have happened.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Gormless Gods And Hapless Heroes by Stella Tarakson Book Review (age 9+)

My 8 1/2 year old son is a really voracious reader, so we are always searching for new books to read. He's a big fan of history and humour, so Gormless Gods And Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker And The Ancient Curse seemed a perfect choice for him.

The story features a young lad called Tim who has struggled since losing his father. He feels life is hard on him and his Mum. She has to work 2 jobs and he has to do his bit to help. He is busy dusting when the phone rings and he accidentally smashes a very expensive ancient Greek vase.

When the vase smashes everything becomes a bit strange...starting with the surprise appearance of the Ancient Greek hero Hercules...

Tuesday 13 June 2017

27 Years With My Rubbish Tattoo

My oldest tattoo is 27 years old. It wasn't even what I wanted when I went to get it done.

Having a Tattoo was different back then. When I got my first tattoo I was 18 and I went to the only tattooist I knew of in Derby. The windows were boarded and when you opened the door it was fairly dingy. A small, dim room with old dark brown wood on the walls and a bench full of design books.

When I walked in the tattooist was on Guinness and his mate was swigging from a can of Special Brew. It was exactly as I expected.

I knew the hard bit was opening the door and I didn't want to repeat that, so there was nothing else to do than say "hello, I want a tattoo". Probably obvious, but it was a good start.

This is not my tattoo.

Scooby Dooby Doo....DVD's A-Plenty! (Review)

Over half term Warner Bros sent a bundle of Scooby Doo DVD's to keep us entertained on rainy days - all available for under £6 each and a long time family favourite. No-one of any age here objects to a spooky mystery or two and some meddling from those pesky kids.

We were sent 5 DVD's including Scooby-Doo's For the Love of Snack, Surf's Up Scooby-Doo, Ruh-Roh Robot, Pirates Ahoy! and Scooby-Doo Run for your Rife, as well as some free printables that you can find on the Warner Bros Kids Scooby Doo website.

Monday 12 June 2017

The Vegetarian Society Approved Vegan Trademark Launch

On Thursday last week, to take our minds off the General Election, the Vegetarian Society invited a small group of bloggers to their Cookery School in Altrincham, Manchester. We were there as part of the launch of the Vegetarian Society Approved vegan trademark to support the highly successful Vegetarian Society Approved trademark.

I was well aware of the Vegetarian Society and it's charity status because I joined when I was a teenager. I also knew where the Cookery School was because I've been past several times. In fact, when we reviewed Ayuda House B&B and drove past, I actually said "I'd love to go to one of their classes". My wish has been granted.

Sunday 11 June 2017

The Body Shop Bolton 1st Birthday and Summer Taster

Over half term I popped over to The Body Shop in Bolton to help them celebrate their first birthday and take a look at their Summer products. Formed in 1976 in Brighton, The Body Shop have always attempted to be as ethical as possible, and when I was a teenager were one of very few options for cruelty-free products.

30 years ago The Body Shop was somewhere new and magical, and I loved to shop there. Each birthday and Christmas you'd hope for those familiar bottle shapes. Teenagers today are not so different and I took my 17 year old daughter and her friend with me into Bolton.

Saturday 10 June 2017

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge Play Set And Figures Review

A new movie means new toys and Spin Master have sent some of their brand new Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge toys for us to review. We have Jack Sparrow's Pirate Ship Play Set and the Battle Figure 5-Pack.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazars Revenge Jack's Pirate Ship Play Set (age 4+) packaging took ages to open, so you'll need scissors and 10 minutes on Christmas morning, but scores well for mainly using card and paper string which can be recycled.

Friday 9 June 2017

Nerf Super Soaker Floodinator Water Blaster (age 6+) review for Hasbro

It's Nerf time again and this review does not fire darts, Summer is coming and Hasbro are bringing out the Super Soakers. The Nerf Floodinator Water Blaster is a really huge pump action water pistol with a 2 litre tank and it claims to shoot up to 38 feet...

Unpacking is brilliant. I love the packaging, it's entirely card and paper string and can be recycled in the paper bin. It took seconds to cut the strings and release the blaster.

I was stunned at just how light the Floodinator is. Compared to dart blasters and powered Nerf I'd expect it to be light, but it's very impressive indeed. Filling the 2 litre tank does ofviously change that, giving you a load that is just manageable for my 7 year old.

David Walliams' Gangsta Granny Live On Stage Review - Manchester Opera House

David Walliams' bestselling children's book Gangsta Granny has been brought to the stage by Birmingham Theatre Company and we were among the very lucky people to be attending the opening night at Manchester Opera House.

The story features Ben, who always has to stay with his Granny when his dance-obsessed parents are busy. Ben finds this incredibly boring, until one day when he finds some clues that make him realise his Granny is far more interesting than he could ever have guessed...

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Name A Star - Star Name Registry Gifts Review And Giveaway

The Star Name Registry is the UK's no.1 online star registry. Naming your star is as easy as filling in a really short form and it will be added into the Star Name Registry within 24 hours. You star will be visible from the UK and their gift sets are ideal for just about anyone. We've been sent the Extra Bright Star Gift Set to review.

The Extra Bright Star Gift Set comes in a plain presentation box. Pretty and protective, I was able to just tie it up with a ribbon to give it as a gift - and my partner had no idea what was going to be inside, nor would he ever have guessed.

Monday 5 June 2017

Penguin Pile Up Game (age 5+) From Ravensburger Review

I spotted Penguin Pile Up on the Ravensburger stand at Blog On Conference and really wanted to try it, so I pestered the poor man until he handed it over. A balancing game which can be played solo or by up to 6 players aged 5+, this is one I knew my 7 year old would love.

Everything fits neatly inside the box and there's no waste packaging or plastic aside from the outer plastic wrap and the bags for the separate penguin parts.

Friday 2 June 2017

Meccano Chevrolet Corvette Model Kit 6036477 (age 10+) Review

Our latest review for Meccano is the Chevrolet Corvette Car Model. A 279 piece model for age 10 and over, this gorgeous bright yellow vehicle is the most grown-up oldest-rated Meccano model we've reviewed so far.

Inside the box you have the all-important instruction booklet plus 3 bags of parts. One of the bags contains 6 smaller bags, including one housing the Meccano tools.

Hotter Shoes For Summer (Review)

Last week I was invited to the Bury branch of Hotter Shoes to take a good look at their Summer collection. A huge array of sandals, pumps and lighter shoes in a fabulous variety of colours and all with the Hotter Shoe 'Comfort Concept' sole.

I first visited Hotter Shoes almost 3 years ago and took home a gorgeous pair of blue shoes. I still love them. I've worn them a lot and they've been reliable and comfortable. No frays, holes or loosening seams and miles of walking. I even went so far as to protect and waterproof them last year in my Liquiproof review.