Friday, 24 May 2019

Truth Bombs Party Game Review (Age 14+) Sent by Big Potato Games

My entire household love Big Potato Games. They make and distribute slightly more grown up games, with an element of adult humour and understanding that makes them ideal for teenagers and young people, or for playing together with your older children. We've been sent Dan and Phil's Truth Bombs to review. A 14+ rated game for 4-8 players which is incredibly easy to play straight out of the box and it's a massive hit here.

Truth Bombs Party Game Review front of box with colourful explosion

Inside the box you have everything you need to play: 70 double-sided Question Cards, 7 Coloured Card Mats, 160 'Target' (or Answer) Sheets, 8 Pencils, A Scorepad and the very short Rules.

Truth Bombs Game box contents including rules, target sheets etc as listed

The double-sided Question Cards have print repeated upside down at the opposite end - like a playing card, you can read from either side of the table. This stops everyone constantly picking them up to read them. Genius move.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Reviews Revisited April 2013-2018 - including Handheld Gtech, 1 Year School Shoes, Games, Digital Kids and Ninjas

I'm a bit late with my Reviews Revisited posts for April - naively I assumed my operation and recovery would go swimmingly and I didn't get them written in advance - there's a lesson there...

Here is a look back at items we've reviewed during April since the blog started in 2013. The cream of the crop, the things I've loved and the items that simply turned out to be so much better than I ever imagined. I'm not including the turkeys because who needs reminding about something that wasn't as good as expected or broke 3 weeks later...


Back in 2013 I reviewed one of my own personal dream toys. I was given a hefty discount in return for a review, but I'd have done one anyway because the Wonderworld Eco-House is still one of my favourite toys ever.


It's had many, many hours of play and aside from a couple of repairs to the water butt and windmill, it's pristine. One for my Grandchildren.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Blue Lagoon Family Game Review (age 8+) Sent by Asmodee.

This month's review for Asmodee's Blogger Boardgame Club is the gorgeous Blue Lagoon. We were sent this family strategy game a few weeks ago, so we were able to play with one of the big kids who was home for Easter. Suitable for 2 to 4 players aged 8+, the aim of the game is to spread out and colonise as much of the board as possible and then collect the resources necessary to keep your population happy.

Blue Lagoon Family Game Review box front with pacific style drawing and wooden longboat with native people smiling

Inside the box are lot of different elements, including 1 board, 4x5 wooden 'villages', 32 wooden resources, 4 x 30 settlers tokens, score pad, instructions and a little drawstring cloth bag for storage of resources.

What is in the box for Blue Lagoon game tokens models cloth bag

This is a gorgeous game and it feels lovely to play with. The resources are wooden shapes that are not entirely obvious at first, but that's half the fun. Left to right: Coconuts (food), Precious Stones (money), Water (H2O), Statuettes (religious icons) and Bamboo (shelter).

Monday, 20 May 2019

Amazing Pets & How To Keep Them Book Review And Giveaway (Sent by Wild Nature Press)

Wild Nature Press have two excellent book releases for children this spring and they've sent us a copy of each for review, plus I'll be giving away a copy to one of my readers. Amazing Pets & How To Keep Them is a beautiful hardback large scale book written by Stewart McPherson, and crammed with information and full colour images.

Perfect for any young nature lover, Amazing Pets lets you explore some of the more exotic and usual small creatures you can keep in your own home, sensibly and ethically, and gives you an idea of just what you'd need to look after them...

Amazing Pets & How To Keep Them Book cover with images of creatures

Recommended for readers aged around 8-12, Amazing Pets is split into sections, starting with 'Golden Rules'. This is a serious book for people who care about creatures and it's right that it starts with some simple rules to prevent anticipated errors which might end very badly.

Amazing Pets and how to keep them golden rules example page

RHS Spectacular Plants & How To Grow Them Book Review And Giveaway (Sent by Wild Nature Press)

Wild Nature Press have two excellent book releases for children this spring and they've sent us a copy of each for review, plus I'll be giving away a copy to one of my readers. Gorgeous large scale hardbacked books full of information and colour images, they're perfect for any youngster who wants to 'grow your own'. Spectacular Plants covers exactly what you'd imagine - the strangest, oddest, most colourful and carnivorous plants you can grow at home...

RHS Spectacular Plants & How To Grow Them Book cover showing drawn images of plants

Perfect for readers aged around 8-12, even the contents page is exciting. This Royal Horticultural Society endorsed book starts with an explanation of how plants feed, grow and reproduce and then plants are split into sections:
Carnivorous Plants, Unbelievable Flowers, World's Smelliest Flowers, Funky Fruit & Veg, Sensitive Plants and then Unbelievable Spectacular Plants (including record breakers).
RHS Spectacular Plants & How To Grow Them review contents page

Friday, 17 May 2019

Bedding For Bigger Kids - Fallout and NASA Review & Giveaway(Sent by Dreamtex)

Dreamtex are a name you may not recognise, but I bet you've seen their excellent quality home textiles in store or even in your home. They work with licenses from some of the biggest names in TV, print, game and film, and are committed to corporate social responsibility, working with Sedex & Oeko-Tex approved factories, to ensure that international ethical standards are constantly met.

Dreamtex single bedding sets in packaging Fallout ISA NASA

My boys have had some awesome bedding over the years, but they're getting bigger now and some of their tastes are changing. They've been sent reversible Fallout and ISA NASA bedding and I'm quite jealous. I'd happily have either of these on my own bed.

Fallout vault boy pillowcase he is doing thumbs up

Fallout has been a big hit here for well over 10 years and most of us have played at least Fallout 3 to the end (I got the completist's favourite, the Platinum Trophy - this is one of my proudest moments). This duvet set really is excellent.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

HARIBO Vegetarian Sweets Range Review (Sent by HARIBO)

Yes it's true! One of the biggest sweet names in the UK has increased and revamped their vegetarian range just in time for National Vegetarian Week, and they've very kindly sent us a bundle to try. As the only vegetarian currently living in our house full time, I'm claiming these as mine!!


The Giant Strawbs Gone Mini are a brand new addition to the range, the flavours of the Jelly Beans have been tweaked and Funny Mix has a new recipe with real fruit juice.

It was down to me to take on the difficult job of taste testing... and I did get the view of a regular HARIBO eater as well. He's been eating HARIBO for 25 years and his informed opinion was "They taste the same as the non-vegetarian ones". So there you have it...

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

May #TBCSmiles #MHAW

It's time for this month's smiles and it's Mental Health Awareness Week. Smiles are infectious and while the right one can melt your heart and make everything okay, a grin or smile from anyone will almost always help. This photo is from BlogOn Conference - not quite winning 'most Bloggers in a lift', but possibly a contender for best reflection...


We are all now more aware of our Mental Health. We know how important it is to be open and honest if we are struggling, and we know we should ask for help, but it'll be a long while yet before we can all do so freely without embarrassment, feelings of failure or worry we'll be laughed at.

One of the most important lessons I've learned over the last few years is that we are all allowed some attention - it isn't a crime. Labelling anything as 'attention-seeking' belittles it and equates it to being mardy. People want attention because they need something, and it generally reflects their health mentally. Risk-taking or extreme behaviour is a shout to be noticed, and a 'cry for help' is exactly that.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Summer Half Term Round Up for families in Manchester and the NW UK

The holidays are almost upon us again and a lot of children in the Manchester and North West area now get 2 weeks off and a slightly shorter Summer, so you'll be pleased to know there are plenty of places you can go and things you can do - and I'll add to this post as emails come in!


Here's a round up and it's really eclectic this break, so there should be something for everyone! Never forget your local Museums and Libraries, and many parks and leisure centres will arrange special events!

Friday, 10 May 2019

Timber Festival - back in the Derbyshire Woodlands 5th-7th July 2019 (Press Visit)

Last Summer we had the most amazing time at the first ever Timber Festival and I'm delighted to say they've invited us back again this year to review. The setting is Feanedock, a gorgeous 70 acre woodland in the National Forest in Derbyshire, and the programme is absolutely packed with all kinds of theatre, music, dance, performance, arts, workshops, discussion and debate for adults and children aged around 5+.


Timber won Best New Festival at the UK Festival Awards and they were a worthy winner. My boys are now 9 and 10 and were ecstatic when they heard we would be returning this year - even when we told them we'd definitely want to go and see Stuart Maconie talk about rambling again.

Timber is the festival for hippies, eco-warriors, tree-huggers and laid back types of all ages. If you want to sit in beautiful, natural surroundings listening to live bands, talks and stories, watching theatre and joining in debate, it might just suit you too.


There is an eclectic mix of entertainment on offer at Timber and a hint of what you'll find is listed below. I'm particularly excited about Cardboardia myself... The photos are from 2018 and don't represent exactly what you'll find this year, but it'll give you a good idea...

Pickles' Purrfect Plan by Carolyn Young Children's Book Review (sent by Matador)

Pickles' Purrfect Plan is a rhyming book for younger children and we've been sent a copy to review by Matador Books. Written by Carolyn Young and illustrated by Jo Blakeley, it tells the story of Wizard, Witch and Pickles the cat, who live together in a cottage in the woods.

I wouldn't usually cover books for children younger than my own, but I'm impressed with Pickles' Purrfect Plan. The story is sweet, the illustrations are excellent and the rhyming format works very well.

Front cover depicting cat wearing wizard's hat Pickles' Purrfect Plan by Carolyn Young Children's Book Review

Pickles, Witch and Wizard live a humble life in their cottage in the woods. One day a storm comes and the cottage is damaged. They search the house, but don't have the money to pay for repairs.

Pickles has a plan to help them and once they go to bed, he springs into action - with more than a little help...

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Sleep Tips To Improve Your Mental Health (paid collaboration with Tempur)

13th -19th May is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, and while I think we are all a lot more aware of how common mental health problems are, they're impossible to measure and rarely have a simple fix.

I'm working in a paid collaboration with Tempur, the people who make those incredibly comfortable squidgy mattresses, and they have just released the results of a Mental Health And Sleep Survey looking at what effect quality of sleep has on mental health and wellbeing. We all now know that our mental health is as important as our physical health and needs to be looked after, but how does sleep, and the quality or lack of it, affect us?


Physically, lack of good quality sleep gives us eye bags, it makes us crave carbohydrates and we store more fat. which can lead to weight gain. Among other things it affects growth hormones, testosterone and insulin levels, blood pressure and repair systems in the body. Not getting enough sleep can make you heavier and it can make you ill, and you'll stay ill for longer and find it harder to lose weight.

Mentally, lack of good quality sleep has a huge effect too. We know the obvious signs, we are tired, irritable and grumpy. Lack of sleep also makes it harder for us to learn and remember, it's responsible for lack of libido and motivation. We can feel hungry, clumsy and down, even depressed.

We've all been there, and those days that start like that never do seem to get any better...

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

BlogOn Conference 2019

Last weekend was the 11th BlogOn Conference, at Hotel Football in Manchester. Despite a few major post-op panics hiccups over the past 3 weeks, I made it! It was a bit different for me this time because I couldn't be involved in bag-packing, but with a chair and a table I was still able to join Sim in our usual job checking everyone into the conference.

Bizarrely it didn't rain. This happens only when people visit, to make us look like liars when we say it always rains in Manchester.

Hotel Football Old Trafford and Sir Alex Ferguson Way

The goody bags were all laid out ready, you can see the contents on social media by looking up #blogongoodybags . There's a big team who are there from really early on to help Laura on the day. I felt like a cheat just sitting down at the sign in table.

BlogOn Goody Bags and Check in desk with notebooks and masks

I spent almost the entire day sitting down, but I got a lift selfie in early. Cleverly I handed Sim my camera - I'm a bit too short to get everyone in unless they all bend down! This was as packed a lift as I was happy with really. My main aim for the whole day was not to be bumped in the belly.

BlogOn Lift Selfie with lots orf bloggers in a lift.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

A Stone Called Fred by S.M.Locke Young Adult Fiction (Sent by Matador for review)

A Stone Called Fred is written by S.M.Locke and has been sent to us by publisher Matador for review. A relatively light-hearted fiction book for teenagers and young adult readers, the focus of the story is Jack, who one day awakes to find a mystery object on his kitchen table. The object often appears as an ordinary stone, but Jack spots it glowing, sometimes it buzzes and it definitely has some pretty fantastical properties.

This is a Twilight Zone style shorter story that I'm sure Roald Dahl would have been happy to include in any series of Tales Of The Unexpected. I loved it.

A Stone Called Fred by S.M.Locke Young Adult Fiction book cover showing cartoon space theme

Jack discovers that by touching the stone he can become invisible and even when he leaves it at home, somehow it will appear nearby, as if it is following and keeping an eye on him. Other people can touch the stone without any effect, so Jack feels it's special to him and even names it. Fred.

Jack's neighbours find the whole thing really amusing and aren't sure if he hasn't just had a bump to the head. His girlfriend is a journalist and has been away with work, but when she comes home, Jack has to try and persuade her that Fred really isn't just a large pebble.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Podric Moon by Barney Broom (Young Adult book sent by The Book Guild for review).

Podric Moon And The Corsican Tyrant is the first Young Adult fantasy book release from respected screenwriter and director Barney Broom. The book's main focus is young Podric, who is a computer games champion with ambition to be a jet pilot like his father, and his relationship with eccentric local games developer Archie.

Podric Moon and the Corsican Tyrant by Barney Broom Book Cover showing green eye

Podric Moon is suitable for older teenage and young adult readers. There are some mature themes including mild sexual references and scenes, and a trigger warning as two of the female characters are assaulted.

The book opens with the death on duty of Podric's father, an RAF Pilot. Podric decides not to return to his boarding school in Ireland and the whole family move away from their RAF housing into a small rural UK village. It is there that Podric meets Archie, a games developer who has had major success in the past, but is struggling to spark interest in his games now.

Together Podric and Archie work on a new and far more immersive version of VR, called Ultimate Alternative Reality (UAR) and they use Archie's game based on the Napoleonic Wars as their world. The realism is hard to ignore and life in Napoleon's time isn't quite as romantic and fun as it first appears, although it definitely has it's moments.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Timeline Science Museum Game Review (Age 8+) Sent by Asmodee

The latest game to arrive at our door courtesy of Asmodee is Timeline: Science Museum. We love Timeline games and this special Science Museum edition has quickly become a favourite. Simple and quick to play, they bring out the competitive spirit in everyone and any game is full of shouts of "no waaay" and "I'd never have believed that".

Science Museum Timeline Family Game in attractive metal tin

Everything is stored in a really neat compact metal tin which will last forever and is completely portable. It also looks great on the shelf and is instantly recognisable.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Tiger Livy Children's Book Review and Giveaway (In aid of the Cure JM Foundation).

Tiger Livy is a book for younger children which is written by Erin Garcia and Betsy Miller, with illustrations by Ivreese Tong. The main character Livy is a little girl with a serious chronic illness and is inspired by Erin's niece, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis aged 5. We've been sent a copy for review and the authors have also kindly offered a copy each for two of my readers.


Livy struggles at first to cope with being ill. She is sad and confused and getting better feels like it will take forever. With help from her wise Grandfather she begins to look at everything differently. She sees the scars on her legs as tiger stripes, reminding her that she is as brave as a tiger. She sees her vegetables as tasty prey that will make her strong.

MBE STEM Science Kits Review and Giveaway (age 8+) Sent by Thames And Kosmos

I like science toys best of all and I'm delighted that my boys love them too. Thames and Kosmos have a huge range of science, mind and exploration toys, games and puzzles. Their brand new MBE range of science kits includes 8 different sets designed to allow your child to explore their world and learn something new and exciting, and at only £8.99 each, they make a great birthday gift for friends.

The new kits are designed to introduce different scientific topics, with fun facts and interesting hands-on experiments, and Thames and Kosmos have sent us 2 to review - Amazing Minerals and Crystal Geode.


The Amazing Minerals Experiment Kit is a nicely presented digging kit with 2 tools, magnifying glass and the familiar chunk of plaster containing the hidden treasure.

Thames And Kosmos Amazing minerals STEM kit box contents

Thursday, 25 April 2019

That wasn't the plan.... Umbilical Hernia Episode 3.

If you follow my blog or know me then you'll know I had a second hernia mesh surgery on 10th April, placed above the last one. It was going to be great. I'd spend a week or so lounging on the sofa hernia-free, watching TV and reading books, and slowly come back to blogging over the following week in a nice, laid back style. Few easy blog posts, couple of giveaways. It's not happened. I honestly never make advance plans and this is time I'm very grateful.

Hospital wristband on female wrist

The surgery went well, my surgeon and the team did a really tidy job, I went home the same day and my 8inch long scar will be a beautiful silver line before I know it, but the darn thing just wouldn't stop bleeding. A week after the op I was on antibiotics and starting to feel some nasty pain a little way from the actual wound.

Monday, 15 April 2019

April #TBCSmiles 56 Months

The smiles are usually a bit of a pause on the blog, this week they're the sole action. As many of you may be aware, 5 days ago I was in hospital having pretty exciting surgery and I really haven't been incredibly well over the past few weeks. I cleverly drafted most of this post in advance because I wasn't sure just what fun painkillers I might be on right now. Fingers crossed most of it is at least legible!


My surgery was a second mesh hernia repair, placed above the first one. My insides were just so weak that despite losing a quite substantial amount of weight over the last few years, I sneezed last April and my intestines escaped. It was a bit of a shocker at the time.

The surgery went really well and I was actually allowed home the same day, much to my family's delight. They're all a lot happier if they can see me - I understand this entirely. My younger children especially understand too well that people can just die unexpectedly, and their need to be there to keep an eye on me themselves is massive.

I know no-one really trusted me to be a good girl, keep my feet up and simply relax, but nature took over on that one. My 18cm wound has very kindly refused to heal politely, so at the moment I am very much doing NOTHING. Literally nothing except taking myself to the toilet every hour or so and drinking lots of fluids - these things are related. There's really no better incentive to make me sit still than yet another bloody stain spreading across my t-shirt and the threat of having to go and be re-stitched. I admit defeat, cleaning can happen next month.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Hunt The Double-Yolker Giveaway with HARIBO Starmix (Paid Partnership)

If I ask my family what their favourite sweet brand is then HARIBO is going to be the winner - my partner adores them and would rather have HARIBO as a sweet treat than anything else. It's no surprise to learn that HARIBO is the UK's leading confectionery brand. It doesn't matter how old you are, the sight of those colourful sweets always makes your mouth water.


This Easter fans of HARIBO Starmix have an extra treat - in the special limited edition ‘Hunt the Double Yolker’ bags you could win a premium UK family break.


Thursday, 4 April 2019

National Geographic Break Open Geodes Set Review (Age 8+) Sent by Bandai

This month's review as Bandai STEM Ambassadors is a real favourite of mine. Of all of the science sets we've ever played with, Geodes are most magical to me. Geodes are naturally occurring volcanic rocks which each contain amazing crystal formations. They come in all sizes and with a variety of different crystals inside, and you never know what you are going to get until you crack them open.

National Geographic Break Open Geodes Set Review pack shot

Excitingly National Geographic sets now come with cardboard inserts and plastic is kept to a bare minimum. There's no set up time and you can crack open your Geode as soon as you have located a hammer, so Earth and Christmas morning-friendly.

National Geographic STEM Geodes Set Review cardboard insert

The National Geographic Break Open 2 Geodes Set includes 2 geodes, plus essential safety goggles, learning guide and even a display stand for your favourite discovery. There's also every young explorer's essential - a magnifying glass.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Shadows Amsterdam Family Game Review Age 10+ Sent by Asmodee

Shadows Amsterdam is a really different game for 2-8 players aged 10+. Players split into 2 opposing teams and each team takes the role of a detective agency trying to solve a crime first. Play is 'real-time' and a two team race to the finish. We've been sent a copy to review and I particularly love this one, even though a lot of the time your results come from pure guesswork rather than skill or intuition!


The game is housed in a gorgeous sturdy, small scale box and almost everything is made from stiff paper or card, so it's very earth-friendly. You can see from the box that illustration is a huge part of this game and all of the images are gorgeous.


You'll only need 5 minutes to press out a handful of parts before first play, after that set up takes 5 minutes each time.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

3 Years With Gary The Cat - and still not a crazy cat lady!

Astoundingly it's been 3 years since we won the world's most expensive free cat. Well, 3 years and 2 months, I'm a bit late on this post. I'm all over this cat thing now though. Ask me anything about cats and I can make up an answer that sounds plausible.


I know people on the internet like cats, so you may not have heard of Gary before, you might just have clicked on because there was a cat picture. Here's Gary's backstory and it's really because of the internet that he's here. He also wouldn't be here if he hadn't turned up at the home of someone who is ridiculously soft, and despite a previous loathing of cats, took him in.

Without the internet we wouldn't have known that there was a cure (scalpel) for Gary's sensitive genetic ailment (very very tiny penis) and it would have been curtains. Since his operation Gary's health has been brilliant and he can pee whenever he wants, thankfully usually outside or occasionally still in the bath. Annoyingly he's stopped going to the toilet in the toilet, although it was always a bit disturbing to walk in on him - especially if he was reading the paper.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

The Clock People:Clockwork Chronicles by Mark Roland Langdale Young Fiction review (Sent by Matador Press).

The Clock People: Clockwork Chronicles is Mark Roland Langdale's 5th book. A children's fantasy story written in a very distinctive style, which makes you feel that you are being told the story by an elderly and eccentric narrator.


The book centres on The Clock People. They aren't entirely sure who they are, but stories and legends tell of giants living in a wider world beyond their imagining, and small people who live inside clocks.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Easter Egg Hunting with Transformers BotBots Age 5+ (Sent by Hasbro for review)

This Easter why not ease off the sugar and give your children something that'll last a little bit longer. We always try to find small toys to go with the chocolate eggs for our Easter Egg Hunt and the BotBots that we've been sent to review by Hasbro are perfect.

Twerple Burple, who is disguised as a soft drink Transformers Bot Bots review

These are 'Blind bag' collectible miniature transforming rubber robots, which come in different tribes for you to collect and battle with...

Transformers Bot Bots review single pack blister packaging

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Chill Factorᵉ Beginner Ski Lessons Review - Can You Learn To Ski In A Day? (#Ad)

If you haven't heard of Chill Factorᵉ, it's a massive indoor ski slope and Snow Park near to the Trafford Centre and just off the M60 Manchester ring road. This Spring they have a new campaign 'Fresh' and want to encourage people to learn a brand new skill. It just so happens my partner and 9 and 10 year old boys have never been on skis before, and Chill Factorᵉ reckon they can teach just about anyone to ski with their beginner ski lessons...


The course includes 6 hours tuition plus breaks. If you are over 10 years old then you can complete the course in one long day, but our youngest is only just 9, so we signed them up for the Ski Beginner 2 Day Course.

Our sessions were over two evenings from 6pm-10pm, which was a little late for the boys, but these are the latest sessions offered. Mornings, afternoons and daytimes are also available. I didn't join in on the slope, but it meant I could enjoy the comfort of the cafe (with free guest wi-fi) and keep an eye out from a distance.


Beginner Ski Lessons at Chill Factorᵉ must be booked in advance and remember to add clothing hire if you will need it.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Philly & Friends: Who Do I See In The Mirror? Children's Book Review and Giveaway (18m+) (Sent for review).

The latest book we've been sent to review is really a picture book and is suitable for reading together from 18 months to around 7 years or older. Philly & Friends: Who Do I See In The Mirror? is the debut book by author and Mum Vese Aghoghovbia Aladewolu and is beautifully illustrated by Irene Omiunu.

I don't usually review books which are a bit young for my children, but on this occasion I've made an exception because not only am I friends with the PR, but as soon as I heard the content, I thought it sounded like exactly what youngsters in today's world need...


Who Do I See In The Mirror? follows a young girl doing everyday activities. As she goes through her day, she notices parts of herself and comments on them. Everything is positive, "I love my full lips", " I love my curly hair". She knows that she is also amazing inside her heart and mind, and she can see just how beautiful she really is.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Easter entertainment for families in Manchester and the North West UK

It's Easter and the weather is likely to be predictably unpredictable. Inside or out, here are some of the things you could be getting up to in Manchester, Liverpool and the rest of the North West UK during March, April and May - for families with children of all ages...


If you have anything suitable you wish to add, please send over the listing plus a photo to thebrickcastle@gmail.com
It does not have to be huge, expensive, glamorous, famous or theatre - it can be any public event or activity for families in the North West over the Easter period. We especially like to add FREE and low cost events, such as those you will find at your local libraries and museums.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Choose Your Own Adventure House Of Danger Family Card Game Review Age 10+ (Sent by Asmodee).

Asmodee and the Blogger Boardgame Club have sent us House Of Danger to review this month. A really brilliant choose-your-own-adventure card game, suitable for 1 or more players aged 10+. All players work cooperatively, taking the role of a troubled amateur detective and psychic investigator. You've been having nightmares and believe the visions you see really mean something. It's the players job to find out what the cause of your nightmares is and what the visions mean...


This is a compact and neatly boxed game, which is entirely made from printed card and very Earth-friendly. You can start to play through the first mini-chapter immediately using the quick start guide, which worked very well for us. We were instantly hooked!

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Reviews Revisited March 2013-2018 2/2 Sorgenfresser, BioShock, Shiny Hair, Raptors and Star Wars...

I get a lot of pleasure from looking back at a review item later on and knowing I was right with my initial opinion. Some things stand out as being great, while others not so much. Here's a look back at some of the best or most reliable things we have looked at over the past 5 years....

These items we reviewed in the the second half of March 2013-2018...


Biff the Sorgenfresser or Worry Eater was a big hit here from the day he arrived in 2013, although to my knowledge my children have never actually posted any messages into his mouth. These were new and exciting 6 years ago and I'm delighted to say that they are incredibly popular now, used in schools, homes and other venues UK wide. He still looks as good as new, yet he's been a constant on someone's bed for 5 years, been fed a multitude of sticky things and been washed a few times. Nice one Biff...

Friday, 15 March 2019

6000 Smiles... #TBCSmiles - 55 Months.

It's that time of the month again and I think most of us in the UK can just about manage a smile, in spite of the weather, Brexit and the whole state of the UK. Politics eh, maybe we should just focus on the weather - and the smiles!

We've reached a really special milestone today and I'd like to thank every person who has ever added the hashtag #TBCSmiles to a photo. The hashtag has been going for a while now and when I started I never anticipated I'd ever be able to say we'd reached 6000 of your grins, laughter and happy moments, but as I looked this morning, that's where we are! It's got to be one of the best and happiest hashtag collections on Instagram and it really does make my face sore from grinning.

Thank you to all of you!

Monday, 11 March 2019

Reviews Revisited March 2013-2018 1/2 inc. LEGO storage, robotic balls, bangs and Yoxo

It's often a great idea to come back to a review item later on for a really informed opinion. You're unlikely to find anything we bored of quickly here, or anything which broke 3 minutes after the review went live, because I'd be a fool to remind you about it, but you will find some of the true gems we have looked at over the past 5 years....

Here's a look back at things we reviewed in the the first half of March 2013-2018...


In March 2014 The LEGO Movie was the biggest hit in the cinemas and in our house. Everything was awesome and that included the LEGO Storage Blocks, Lunchbox and flask we were sent by local shop and online retailer Store. Still in use, as good as they were 5 years ago and in fact our collection of LEGO Storage Boxes has even grown since then (please excuse the photo quality, it was the olden days)...