May 25

Capture The Flag – Review

We love a good family film to settle down to on a weekend and Capture the Flag came at the perfect time for a family film afternoon with the grandparents!  Capture the flag is an entertaining adventure that takes you on an exciting journey into space, with a boy, his father and grandfather who come together to protect the legacy of the original moon landing.thumbnail_IMG_0510

Finding a film that we can watch with Monkey and Mouse (8 and 6 years old) and Granny and Grampsy (in their 60s) and that they will all enjoy is sometimes difficult; with different interests and the age difference they don’t always like the same thing.  Capture the Flag actually fits the bill – Grampsy loves Space (as do the kids) and with reimagined animated scenes of the famed Apollo 11 mission, this film really does offer fun for all ages – it is a great take on NASA and space exploration.

Space travel runs in Mike Goldwing’s family: both his father and grandfather were astronauts. But the plucky 12-year-old’s estranged grandfather, Frank, has lived a life isolated from his family after missing out on the chance to make history as a member of the Apollo 11 crew.

However, when Mike discovers that an eccentric billionaire plans to fly to the moon, claim its vast, valuable mineral resources, and destroy the American flag planted by the Apollo 11 astronauts, the countdown to a spectacular adventure begins! Mike, teamed with his grandfather, best friends Amy and Marty, and a clever chameleon, blasts off on an incredible moon-bound mission, determined to thwart the billionaire’s evil plan!

I loved it because it is good clean, safe fun – it is well written and is lovely to look at! It is nice to have a film on the shelf that can be watched over and over and it maintains the fun, the excitement and the adventure. I am a little worried we will wear out the disc! The Digital download is already available as it was released on 23rd May, if like me you would prefer the Blu-Ray or DVD you can get it on 30th May!

There is extra fun to be had by downloading this colouring sheet too! CapturetheFlag_ColouringSheet_A4_R1.1

Have a look at this clip from ZeroDegreesWest on Vimeo.

May 22

My Little Pony: Princess Twilight Sparkle Review and competition

My Little Pony is back on our TV with the latest DVD “My Little Pony: Princess Twilight Sparkle”.  The first volume of the fourth season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. This time Twilight Sparkle has fully transformed from student to princess, from library to castle, and is learning to lend a helping hoof to friends old and new.image011

We put this straight on when it arrived and it became a permanent fixture in the house! Monkey and Mouse couldn’t wait to se what adventures the Pony’s got up too and they were not disappointed!

The pony pals are travelling across Equestria encountering all kinds of exciting events including fantastical performances at the Summer Sun Celebration, mysterious royal disappearances and even more wild adventures. Every colt and filly in Ponyville is getting involved as these episodes debut on DVD.

Princess Twilight Sparkle has set out on an adventure to learn what it means to have true friendship. She looks to save Equestria from the attacks of a deadly plant, visits an abandoned castle with Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Rarity, and enjoys a whole host of escapades with the gang. Although Princess Twilight Sparkle is a natural born leader, when a bat infestation threatens Equestria, it is Fluttershy that is called in to save the day.image010Full of the adventure, fun and happiness you would expect from My Little Pony; this DVD is fantastic and certainly a must for any My Little Pony Fan! I can’t believe that My Little Pony is still going so strong, but I am so pleased it is – Mouse and I share a real love for it! She knows I loved them as a girl and it is something we bond over. The DVD is great for our ‘mummy and mouse’ time and we love watching it together, to be honest Monkey loves it too!

Do you want a chance to win a copy? Then just follow the widget below to be in with a chance. Good Luck!

My Little Pony: Princess Twilight Sparkle DVD

Apr 29

Art Therapy Colouring Books from Parragon

Colouring books for grown ups are becoming more and more popular; I have one – in fact I have more than one and I love it. I know it is not for everyone but I find it so relaxing to sit and colour, it also massages your creative juices which is brilliant.

The biggest problem I have with my colouring books is that the Mouse always wants to share them! Well I think Parragon may have the answer to that. 13084049_10156908633305445_13283951_nThese Art Therapy Books are fantastic, we have a Disney Princess one and a Frozen one. They are perfect for Mouse and perfect for me! They are designed perfectly to suit an adult, the patterns are lovely and provide plenty of room for creativity.

Of course the topics of princesses and Frozen are very popular with Mouse so they are perfectly designed for her too!

Some of the pages feature the characters and some are filled with patterns that are relevant to the topic (lots of snowflakes and icy looking ones in the Frozen one).

They are good quality with a cardboard front and back covers; the paper for the colouring pages is relatively thick – not too flimsy and perfect to be used with pencils or felt tips!

It really is relaxing to sit and colour, satisfying to see what you create and fun to sit down with the children and do the same activity! So, get out your colouring pencils and find some calm!

Apr 13

Pulsin’ Kids’ Fruity Oat Bars Review

There are some NEW deliciously wholesome oat bars made with real fruit and natural ingredients on the scene and we were very pleased to give them a taste and to tell you about them! 12992897_10156849782325445_1418729192_n

Pulsin was founded by three friends who met at university in 2007; they have developed award-winning nutrition products  that are suitable for vegetarians (many are also suitable for Vegans) and are formulated without sugar, wheat or gluten.  Pulsin have are now using their expertise to make nutritious products for children.

We were lucky enough to receive three different flavours of the Fruity Oat Bars; Apple and Blackcurrant, Strawberry and Orange Choc Chip. The Monkey and the Mouse couldn’t wait to dive in a have a taste!

The bars have been lovingly created for kids aged three to nine years, which is perfect for my two (Monkey is 8 and Mouse is 6).  Having seen them both enjoy the bars and knowing that they are good for them I am more than happy for the kids to have them! 12992314_10156849780840445_2075702886_nMonkey and Mouse have told me that they are ‘awesome delicious’ and ‘delicious quadruple billion’. Daddy has claimed the chocolate brownie we were sent!!

The great thing for us parents is that they are healthy and tasty (you don’t very often get both)! The kids love them and they can be eaten on the go as a snack or as part of a lunch (perfect for the school lunchbox!).  The  Pulsin’ Kids’ Fruity Oat Bars have reduced sugar and only contain natural sugars.

Pulsin’ co-founder and nutritionist, Ben Lewis says “When I first looked at the kids’ snack bar category I was shocked at the level of sugars and artificial ingredients in many products which parents routinely give to children as snacks, especially as kids are even more sensitive to poor nutrition than adults! I believe kids deserve better quality food so I set about creating the Pulsin’

The Bars are also made with a nut free recipe, count as one of their five a day, are gluten-free, dairy fee and soya free with no artificial ingredients. You are going to struggle to find another snack suitable for the children that are tasty and that tick all them boxes!

Apr 10

Q Pootle 5: Pootle the Explorer Review and Giveaway

The stars of hit CBeebies animated series Q Pootle 5 are back with a brand new DVD featuring seven episodes from hit CBeebies animated series Q Pootle 5 will be flying on to shelves on 11 April 2016, courtesy of Abbey Home Media and we are excited! QPootle5---Pootle-the-Explorer-(2D-packshot)

We have loved Q Pootle 5 for a long time and I am very happy that the kids still love him as he is such a loveable, cute and nice character! This DVD is another fantastic addition to the Q Pootle 5 range; it is full of fun!

Q Pootle 5 and his friends, Oopsy, Eddi, Stella, Ray, Groobie, Bud-D and Planet Dave, love to have fun in Space, finding adventure and tackling the everyday problems of the final frontier! Join them for seven spectacular episodes including Pootle The Explorer, The Cosmic Whipple, The Groobie Woogie and A Friend For Ray.

Q Pootle 5 is based on the best-selling books by the hugely popular children’s author and illustrator Nick Butterworth and the series features an outstanding voice cast including: Ed Gaughan (Bunnytown, Black Mirror); Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey, Poppy Cat); Steven Kynman (Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam); Richard Ridings (Peppa Pig); and Ella Kenion (Cuckoo, The Hive, Swashbuckle).

A firm favourite with kids across the UK, Q Pootle 5 is a series that will spark imaginations and raise a smile from children and parents alike. Pootle The Explorer will be a must have for any family this Spring.

I think the great thing about Q Pootle 5 is that it is so nice, it doesn’t need to add anything more, it is a great chance to escape into a lovely  world of fun and wonder, and it a chance to fuel their own imaginations!

I would recommend this to anyone with little ones and I really hope my two love it for a while longer (I am sure I definitely have a year or two left with Mouse!).

To celebrate the release I am lucky to be able to offer one lucky person the chance to win a copy.  All you have to do is follow the entry options on the Gleam widget below!  Don’t miss out on this exciting prize! Enter today.

 Q Pootle 5: Pootle the Explorer

Apr 01

Easter Crafts with Baker Ross

We have had a slight delay on our Easter Celebrations this year due to a bad bout of flu for me and a slightly less bad bout of flu for others. Luckily the local schools seem to have matched this and although the kids were off for Good Friday and Easter Monday they then went back to school for four days before the Easter holiday started.

So we are still on Easter holidays and have lots crafts to fill the time with thanks to Baker Ross.

As they have before, they sent us a great batch of items as a Baker Ross blogger and we couldn’t wait to dig in. Their crafts are great for anytime of year, so even though we are a little late with Easter the children had no qualms about having some creative fun!
The first thing to try was the 3D scratch art bird decorations; they are really simple to do and so effective. You literally scratch a pattern into your bird with the provided yellow stick, next you build the bird with the pieces and then add a ribbon! They are super for creativity, simplicity and fun! I actually did one and found it therapeutic!

The great thing about birds is they are suitable for all year round too!

A pack of Golden Eggs has come in handy for indoor fun whilst we have been poorly; they are made of plastic and can be used for all sorts – obviously craft is the main use – decorate and give as gifts, fill and use for an egg hunt or add ribbons and decorate an Easter Tree!

The other ideas we came up with were playing catch, juggling and using in our shop play (once decorated they can be easter eggs for sale!).

Cross Stitch kits are great for children, they really give them something to focus on and to have fun with. It develops co-ordination and creativity and helps them learn to do fiddly bits. The Easter Cross Stitch contain five sets which include a pre-punched card template, coloured yarn and safe plastic needle. They are so cute and look really effective when done.12988157_10156839068945445_1436273279_n-1Baker Ross has so much more to offer for Easter, Spring and other times of the year; there are kits, pens, paper for decoration, things just for fun, things with a practical use and so much more!

The Bird Fuse Bead Kits create some really gorgeous looking birds, the set goes well with other fuse bead kits too and the children’s imaginations can run wild!

The Easter Egg Jigsaw Puzzles were a firm favourite this time round, Monkey especially loved designing and colouring his own puzzle and then playing with it after. He took it to his room to play with in the morning and showed it off to everyone who came round to the house. Again another simple but very effective craft, Baker Ross is definitely one that will stay in this house – I always think of it when occasions are coming up!


I have to reiterate too, that although this post is called Easter Crafts we would use them all year round, they could come under Spring Crafts, Food (Egg) Crafts, Animal Crafts or just ‘Crafts’.


Mar 30

Birthdays and Birthday Cake!

The end of March is a busy time for celebrations for us; we have birthdays, anniversaries and to throw in the mix a retirement this year! So over the last week both Monkey and Mouse have become a year older.

Mouse is now 6 and is growing into one amazing little lady; after the massive delay of her starting school you would not be able to tell at all. She is where she should be in relation to her peers and is excelling in some areas within school and most importantly she is loving going every day.

Wherever Mouse goes she spreads kindness and people often comment on how caring and lovely she is. She loves all things pink and girly but is also rough and tumble and loves nothing more than being outside and getting muddy! Her current favourite toys are her Lalaloopsy Dolls and her My little Ponies and she really loved crafting. Each year I make a cake for them and try to decorate with something they love, so this year Mouse got a My little Pony Cake! 12895359_10156786467055445_72765054_n

Monkey is now an 8-year-old young man; I have really noticed a change in him this year, he has become older – which I know seems strange but I can really see why children become a ‘Junior’ at this age, I have seen that this is a different stage of life. Saying that he is still young enough to be a child, he looks his toys – his superhero Mashers, figures and still has his favourite teddy who he must have to sleep with at night. He has become a real bookworm and he is loving the Captain Underpants range of books. He is enjoying life and can make anyone laugh – bringing a  smile to any room!

Monkey loves Sonic the hedgehog and even dressed as his for World Book Day – so his cake was Dr Eggman — Sonic’s arch nemesis! 12919253_10156786495110445_1871729105_n

We have had a great time celebrating and we are looking forward to seeing what the next year brings!

Mar 29

Blokpod Review

I have two Lego obsessed children and the obsession seems to be growing by the day! Both of them have just had birthdays and guess what? That has meant more Lego in the house!

Storage is a problem for Lego; we have tried separating into small containers that soon got mixed and were no longer sorted and now we have a giant box of Lego currently and this is great in the sense that all the bits are together but finding the little bits is always difficult.

So when I was asked to review the Blokpod I jumped at the chance!

The Blokpod is a storage system that doesn’t just store it sorts too! The idea of it is that you pour the toys in the top and the bits fall through according to the size of the bits; the smallest fall through to the bottom and largest bits stay at the top. (We are using with Lego currently, but it can be used for other things).

We had to give it a bit of a wiggle to get the bits moving, but Monkey loved this bit, he felt like he was helping! in fact we found it best to put a smaller amount it, wiggle and then add more.


We are loving the Blokpod, the kids say that it makes finding the little bits easier and in my eyes that is a good thing. The plastic seems to be pretty sturdy so I am hoping it will last a while too.

The only small issue I have is that the price (when I got it the price was £44.99) – I am not sure I would be able to afford as many of them as I would like; if you have more than one you can fix the layers together to make bigger storage and I love this idea! 12910859_10156780681215445_2129434178_n

I would recommend this if you are looking for a storage and sorting solution!  I received the Blokpod at a discount rate in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Mar 28

Transformers : Robots in Disguise – A New Mission Review and Competition

Transformers have a new DVD out and I have a new chance for you to win!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise – A New Mission is released on DVD and digital download on the 28th March 2016 and it promises to be a good ‘un; I can tell you that it lives up to that promise as we have been given a sneak preview! image004

Transformers: Robots in disguise  can be seen airing on Cartoon Network, it is a collection of out of this world episodes bringing the beloved world of robots back to our screens and this family for one is very pleased. Monkey is a massive Transformers fan and he can’t get enough of it.

This DVD volume, A New Mission, includes Pilot Episode 1, Pilot Episode 2Trust Exercises, More Than Meets The Eye, W.W.O.D?, As The Kospego Commands! and Collect ‘Em All! giving you the chance to catch seven mind-blowing episodes!  

Set years after Transformers: Prime, we follow fan-favourite Bumblebee as he marches his motley crew of Autobots back to Earth after being summoned by Optimus Prime. A prison ship called Alchemor has collided with Earth and the Decepticon inmates are ready to do battle once more.

After years of quiet on Earth can Bumblebee, with the help of trusty comrades Strongarm and Sideswipe, apprehend the escaped Decepticon inmates? Will the future of Planet Earth be put at risk once again?

We really love the Transformers and it is something that all four of us can watch together and enjoy; it takes Daddy and me back to our childhoods and that gives it a special edge to see the Monkey and Mouse enjoying it too. The characters are fantastic and  I love how vivid the colours are. Monkey especially enjoys watching them and it is handy to have the DVD as he wants to watch it at times it is not on the TV.

The story lines are brilliant and certainly keep the kids watching, they are entertaining and fun!

I am able to offer you the chance to win your very own copy of the DVD; just follow the gleam widget below to enter using as many or as few options as you would like – Good luck!

Transformers : Robots in Disguise – A New Mission  

Mar 24

Blaze and the Monster Machine: Blaze of Glory

If you are looking for a new fun DVD to keep the little ones entertained over the Easter holidays, this may just be it. Released on 14th March 2016, it is perfectly timed!

Get your engines running and blaze into action in Blaze and AJ’s premiere mini movie event; Blaze and the Monster Machine: Blaze of Glory! Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 23.26.08Blaze is Axle City’s greatest hero, and champion of the racetrack! Whenever there’s trouble, he is the truck everyone turns to for help as he can do things no other truck can! 

With Blazing Speed, special turbo powers and extraordinary knowledge, burst onto the scene with the fastest monster machine in town, and his driver AJ as they meet new friends, overcome Crusher’s dirty tricks, and use speedy stunts and science to save the day! 

Blaze knows everything about science, technology, engineering and maths. With his human driver and best pal AJ, when Starla the cowgirl truck loses a piston, the duo need your help to use force and speed to get to it before Crusher gets his greedy tires on it! 

Check it out for your pre-schoolers, unfortunately I don’t think it will be long before my two are out of this age bracket – that makes me a little sad as it means they are goring up! Monkey is already a little old for Blaze but it is good for Mouse, even though she is above the target age, she enjoys Blaze for a bit of chill out viewing!

This is a pre-school interactive adventure that is full of fun and although it is not something that we will all watch together it will entertain Mouse when she needs to relax and watch something bright and lovely. It runs for 64 minutes, so it is perfectly timed for keeping the little ones busy whilst you are making dinner or doing something you need them to sit in one place for!

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