Sep 09

Summer Holiday Memories

Today is the third day of the Monkey and the Mouse being back at school and the first day this week of me being off work and at home alone. If I am honest I am having a bit of a sad day, life stuff and missing the kids is having an impact so I thought I would look back at the highlights of the summer holidays and share them with you.

We have had a great Summer, doing some things we love, some things we have never done before and generally just spending time together!

Sep 02

Lunch Box Ideas with Hartleys Jelly

With the school term fast approaching here here are three Lunch Box Ideas to encourage the children to eat their lunch at school

The Novelty Factor

My two like anything with the novelty factor (I guess like most of us), give them different packaging or a known brand they are undoubtably going to wolf it down! Yoghurts in pouches instead of boring old yoghurt pots and Jelly in it’s own pot is going to win!14182099_10157441478925445_1425886577_n

The Treat Factor

I know most mum’s like myself want to give our children healthy lunches. On the other hand the children are going to want things that are a treat. The answer is to make a healthy lunch with a twist of ‘treat’ and Hartley’s Jelly can be that treat.  Jelly considered a treat in this house and is a reminder of parties and all things fun. However to keep us mum’s happy there is a no added sugar range that we can use! 14194264_10157441478870445_2054993495_n

The Colour Factor

When we want to make something more attractive we add colour to it. Make lunches colourful and then children will be drawn to them. You can use colour in more than one way, you can theme the whole lunch around one or two colours, or as is often talked about you can ‘eat a rainbow’ and add in loads of colours. 14194218_10157441478600445_1109162208_n

Hartley’s Jelly Pots are the perfect size for lunchboxes an they have a wide range of flavours to keep your little ones happy.14169607_10157441479035445_1411411672_n
 In store from July onwards, Hartley’s will offer consumers the chance to collect 12 special edition green lids from across the No Added Sugar Jelly Pots (115g), to claim a free Hartley’s lunchbox and stickers.  You can claim your exclusive lunchbox by heading to the Hartley’s website . Along with your lunchbox you will also receive a sticker sheet of Hartley’s much loved characters and a sticker alphabet for children to personalise their lunchbox.
We received the lunchbox, stickers and some Jelly to write this post as part of the  #HartleysYourLunchbox Challenge with BritMums

Sep 01

Minnie Mouse Fashion Doll Review

My daughter has had the nickname ‘Mouse’ since she was born and has had a love of Minnie Mouse for nearly as long. She is always on the lookout for Minnie Mouse to add to her collection and so was more than excited when the brand new Minnie Mouse Fashion Doll (from IMC toys) arrived for us to play with.

There are three different sets of the Minnie Fashion Dolls, all of which include a Minnie Doll, three different outfits (dress, shoes and headband), a mirror and a couple more accessories. and we received the Fashion Fun set. In our set we had some hat boxes, a mirror, handbags and headbands to go with our outfits!IMG_2764

Many hours have already been spent playing with Minnie and her outfits, she has been played with alone and alongside other toys. My Mouse is really loving the set and has already said she would love to have the other sets too.

I am impressed with the quality of the doll, she is approximately 5 inches tall and is made of sturdy plastic. The dresses and accessories are made from a flexible plastic and are easy to get on and off, Mouse can happily do it without adult support.

Minnie comes in a box which is designed like a dressing room so adds to the play of the set. The dressing room can fit everything back in too so can be used for storage, always a bonus in my book!

Mouse’s favourite game to play with Minnie is currently fashion show, swapping the outfits and generally having fun – Minnie mouse even has an audience!

Mouse has played with this more in the last few days than any of her other dolls, she treats Minnie like a real celebrity and says that any fashion model should have their photo taken over and over again and of course Mouse is always happy to be the paparazzi – so here are her photos from Minnie’s latest photo shoot!

We really love the Minnie Mouse fashion doll and I am very happy for Mouse to put the other sets on her Christmas list (sorry to mention the C word). It is a lovely set, that i can see having a long life in our house. It is well made and I am sure has durability that means that it will last a lot of play!

Aug 28

Sunday photo



Aug 18

Fuzzikins Cozy Cats Review

The Monkey and the Mouse have been after a pet for months…..well years actually, so when I was given the chance to review the Cozy Cats Craft set I thought it would be perfect for them (maybe even satisfy the need for a pet?!).IMG_2745The box is very attractive and looks perfect for a gift or a treat, the monkey and mouse were very excited to open it; they could not wait to customise their own cats and cat’s beds! Within the box you will find – three plain white cats, three felt tips, three sets of beds to make up (each set contains the bed and decoration bits).  There is even a ‘practice your colouring’ bit on the box! IMG_2747Seeing the inside only excited the kids more, they wanted to get creating straight away. They chose a cat each and began to colour and build. The beds are made of felt and are relatively easy to assemble, there is a lolly stick to help you poke through the tabs to keep the bed together. This may be fiddley for little fingers, but Monkey managed it fine at 8 years old and Mouse at 6 years old only needed limited help. IMG_2749The cats themselves are soft to touch, almost a fleecy feel. You can use the felt tips to draw directly on them and make them your own. Ir goes on easily and once dry doesn’t come off. Monkey and Mouse enjoyed making their cat the way they wanted without too much instruction from the set itself.

They both took their time in getting their cats to be just the way they wanted, each talking it through with the other and pointing out the different accessories you get with each cat – they were both very impressed there was a cape for one of them! The decorations are lovely and include fish and hearts made from felt. The felt shapes are self adhesive so there is no worrying about messy glue. This is perfect for the children who don’t like getting glue on their fingers! IMG_2756I am very happy with the set, it kept the kids entertained for quite a while and they have played with the figures they have decorated after finishing the design.

Mouse says

“The set is great and I would like to have some dogs now”

Monkey’s verdict

“This is a box of awesome and I think our cats are sic”

(just to clarify that this Sic is not the poorly kind but the ‘Cool’ Kind)

There is another set of Fuzzikins – the Dozy Dogs and I can see that being on the list of things that Monkey and Mouse either want to save their money for or would like to add to the Christmas List. Would we buy it? Yes we would, it is a lovely set for crafting that is perfect for a gift, a treat or an everyday craft buy.

Aug 03

Possible RSI

I am sat here in front of the telly, trying not to do anything. Both of my arms are in pain, and I’ve got a doctor’s appointment later to sort out what it might be, but until then I’m trying to rest them.

Do you know how hard it is to do nothing? It’s the School holidays – I’ve got the Monkey and the Mouse at home wanting to be entertained, I’ve got work to do from the day job that includes working on the computer and I have blogging to do to do. Heck I have bogging I WANT to do!

When I got up this morning the Monkey and the Mouse told me straight away that daddy had left strict instructions for me, that if I did ANY work today they had to tell me off. They even listed what I could and couldn’t do; work, lifting, moving and especially typing.

Mouse is one of those people who knows when there is something wrong without anyone saying anything, she reads feelings and always wants to help. So, I agreed to do as little as possible until I see a doctor, to stop her worrying.

But I had an idea, I would write by microphone, I would tell the computer what I wanted it to type……There is a good chance that none of this makes sense is it tries to decipher what I’m trying to say!

I don’t know what to do to help my wrists and arms, when they feel like this you quickly realise how much you use them! I am doing extra hours at work in a slightly different to my normal day job which is data based, so it is mainly typing, tidying up systems, looking up things on the computer and generally using my hands/wrists/arms all of the time. There is a good chance this is what has caused my arms to start hurting and I think I may have some kind of RSI (although I am not a doctor)!image

I am trying to rest the arm as I figure this may be the doctor’s advice too, and wearing a tubigrip thing, but as it is my right arm hurts most and I am right-handed this is tricky….and of course sods law means that because I’ve been trying to use the other arm a bit more – that wrist is now hurting too.

Roll on the doctors! Do you have any advice? Any miracle cures if it is RSI?


Jul 29

Speedy Bin Game – Review and Competition

This week we have mostly been playing Speedy Bin! The Monkey and the Mouse were very excited when it arrived and they couldn’t wait to get stuck into playing!image

In the box there is the bin and the paper.  You have to construct the bin before you can play the game, but it is simple to put together.  The construction took us less than two minutes. Once built, the next step is to roll up all the paper into balls.  The you are ready to play! 13835597_10157272361830445_1170308620_oEach player takes their own colour of paper and the aim is to throw your paper into the bin. Speedy Bin runs on batteries and as the game is played he moves about the floor with his lid opening and closing. The end of the game is when the bin stops running around and the one who has managed to throw the most balls of paper into the bin is the winner.

The Monkey and the Mouse both love the game and want to play it over and over again. There has been no falling out over the rules or who has won, just a shout of ‘let’s play again’ when a game ends.

It is a great game, simple to play but so full of fun – it’s gets the kids running about and laughing (a lot). I found it fun to watch too, both of them trying to plan where the bin will go next but being too excited not to throw the balls of paper quickly.

I would recommend this game; it is aimed at ages 4 years up and I think it is brilliant for different aged children to be able to play together.  The only downside I have is that once built the bin doesn’t fit back into the box for storage…but all the paper fits in the bin so it becomes its own storage, so it is not really a problem.

I love that my two laugh so much whilst playing this and it is something that we can play too!

I am sure that you would like your own copy wouldn’t you? Well, the lovely people at IMC Toys are very kindly offering you a chance to win your own ‘Speedy Bin’.  All you have to do to be in with a chance of being the winner is follow the options on the Gleam widget below!

Good Luck!

Speedy Bin Game

Jul 24

My Sunday photo



Jul 18

LEGO DC Justice League: Gotham City Breakout Review and Competition

Lego is awesome, I don’t know anyone who would disagree with that. DVDs are great for entertaining the children when you need to do some housework or for you to spend a relaxing afternoon together. So, put Lego on a DVD and you have to be winning, right?!pastedImage

We definitely thought we were wining when we were asked if we wanted to review the latest Lego DVD “LEGO DC Justice League: Gotham City Breakout“, it was released on DVD and Blu-ray™ on 4th July and the quick review of it, is that it is awesome! 

The caped crusader reluctantly lets Batgirl and Nightwing take him on a long-overdue holiday from crime fighting, while Superman and the Justice League watch over Gotham City.  When Batgirl and Nightwing take Batman on a trip down memory lane – literally – to visit a key mentor from Batman’s formative years, the Bat trio encounters old nemeses, and invaders from the centre of the earth show Superman and other Leaguers just how busy Batman is on a regular basis. 

It is almost like you are watching two different stories as you follow Batman on his ‘holiday’ and you watch the others keep an eye on Gotham! It is fantastic, so many recognisable character join the fun (including my favourite – the Teen Titans!) and it really does keep the kids entertained.

It runs for 72 minutes, which is a perfect length for my two, it isn’t too long that they get fidgety but is long enough to fit in lots of adventure! The animation is brilliant (as you would expect) and I love how colourful it all is! We would definitely recommend it to families, we have been watching it on film nights as light relief and something we can all appreciate! 

You have a chance to win your own copy, all you have to do is follow the widget below!

LEGO DC Justice League: Gotham City Breakout

JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. © 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configuration and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group of Companies. © 2016 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. 
© 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

Jul 11

Confessions of a Summer Parent – #TheGoodStuff

There is no denying that the summer can be a challenge; six long weeks of a school holiday to entertain children who are used to having something to do constantly for at least 6 hours each day. To add to that you still have to do real life; your job, housework, shopping, visiting, preparing, looking after a younger sibling.

So what can you do to get through it, what cheats are there to survive the longest of the school holidays?

Here are some of mine………


There once was a mum of two

who over the summer did not know what to do

she switched on the telly

put popcorn in their belly

and had chance for a hot brew




There once was Me and my brood

and they insisted they wanted food

to give me a break

I told them cheese on sticks to make

And they were in a happy mood!


There once was a happy house

with mum, monkey and mouse

the house was a mess

mum couldn’t care less

the tidying could be done by the spouse!


There once was a working mum

who needed to supply some fun

she told them all day

On their tablets to play

and she got her work done!image


There once was a family of four

who just could take anymore

mum bribed them with sweets

to make everything neats

And once again you could see the floor!


This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor

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