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.