Jul 24

My Sunday photo

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Photalife

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

…..

image

…..

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

Jun 30

Book Review: A Whole New World

Parragon’s new imprint ‘Paper Rocket’ for young adult fiction will feature an exciting array of both Disney and Marvel fiction titles for tweens and teens. There will be fantasy, thrillers and illustrated novels all written by best-selling authors such as Stan Lee and Margaret Stohl.

We have been lucky enough to take a look at ‘A whole new world’, a story you haven’t heard before! This is not only the first title to be published under Paper Rocket, but is also the first title  in a thrilling series that puts a twist in much-loved tales, looking at what would happen if things did not work out as planned in stories you already love!.

A twisted Tale!13576446_10157152848615445_1950133390_n

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?

With Jafar in possession of the lamp and determined to break the laws of magic and gain control over love and death, the deposed Princess Jasmine and Aladdin must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion to stop the new power-mad ruler. But their fight for freedom soon grows costly, threatening to tear the kingdom apart.

I love this concept; bringing classic tales with a twist. Something new and exciting to an old tale! This book is aimed at older children and it is perfectly written for them; with the recognisable characters and the fun inside it is perfect for Monkey.

It is certainly a book that can’t be put down and there is a queue of people wanting to read it – apparently I have to wait as Daddy is next!

We love that it has similarities to the story we already know, we love that it is written in the way a child can read alone or together with a parent and we love that it is a twisted tale! We will definitely be looking out for the next one in this series.

As a bonus we were sent a lovely Aladdin’s lamp necklace, I just have to work out now whether I am going to be allowed to keep it or whether it will be whisked away to Mouse’s collection!

 

Jun 27

Keeping the kids refreshed – #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge

I have to hold my had up and say I am one of the parents that don’t know how much water the kids should be drinking a day, and although I am lucky and the Monkey and Mouse don’t moan about the taste of water – we all consider it a bit boring.  When I heard about the #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge sponsored by Robinsons, I thought it would be fun to join in!

I started by asking the kids what they thought would make them drink more water. They drew their ideas down and then ‘presented’ them to me. Mouse decided that she would drink more water if it was a sunny hot day and she was playing outside. She drew down her idea and told me that if I could turn the Sun on she would drink more water!13552771_10153538667531780_1674249030_n

Monkey on the other hand had a  more elaborate plan, he said that is he was outside with his dog, sunbathing under a tree with his light sabre he would more than likely drink more water. When I pointed out he didn’t have a dog, he said I would have to buy him one. At 8 years old my son decided that bribery was the way forward and that if I buy him a dog of his very own he would drink more water.13536004_10153538667346780_1293403196_n

A little perplexed at these suggestions, I asked hubby what he thought. Being an artist he wanted to doodle his idea……..Fruit flavoured rain, that way the kids would just step outside and be happy to drink the rain water.13522535_10153538667466780_1503240711_nAs much as these ideas are fantastic, I am not sure how much control I have of when the sun is out or what flavour the rain is, and I am sue that buying a dog as a bribe isn’t the best option!! So what else can we do?

Well, you could use Robinson’s Squash’d. Now I will be honest, I have seen these before and not bought them because I thought they were a bit of a novelty. Now having tried them I think they are fab. Perfect size for hand bags, glove boxes, pockets and picnic boxes! Just grab so water, add one squirt and off you go. We six delicious flavours there is an option for everyone. 13553290_10153538547106780_167256834_n

Join them! After a run around, a game of football or generally something tuna dn active outdoors, all sit down together and enjoy a drink of water! If they see you doing it, they are more likely too – leading by example!

Bribe I mean Reward them, use a reward chart with some cool stickers, so they can see how much they are drinking and they will feel like they are doing something good, or tell then for every 2 glasses of water they drink they can have a glass with a ‘super duper shot’ of Robinsons Squash’d in it!!

Serve Water in a ‘special’ glass or cup. Monkey and Mouse love drinking from anything they are not usually ‘allowed’ to drink out of – a Wine Glass, Mummy’s favourite cup or a mason jar with lid and straw – Not that I have banned them from these I hasten to add, but they just don’t normally have these.13563607_10153538667136780_446204283_n

Tell them the truth!! Tell your kids why you want them to drink more, tell them it is good for them, that they will feel fresher, that their skin will be better and it will help keep their insides fresh. My two love facts and often if they know why they are doing something, they will do it. When school did a session on eating your five a day – we were counting portions for months!

“This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons

Jun 25

A (non Britmums live) Saturday in the Life of me

I was unable to go to Britmums Live this year and I was reading all the tweets about how great it was I decided to think about how I would be spending my day, so here is a ‘day in the life of MoolBoots (that’s me)’!

 

5:50 am – I’m awake, why am I awake?! No-one else is awake, it’s Saturday and I have no reason to be up – Go Back To Sleep!!

7:38 am – I am awake again, slowly open one eye – just one – and check the time. Phew it is 7:38, a much better time…….and I can hear the kids coming this way!

7:55 am – I get up and head downstairs with the children in the attempt to give Hubby a lie in.

lego8:05 am – Arguing ensues over the one piece of Lego they both must have out of the 362,938 (Approx) pieces we own!

8:30 am – Daddy is up, breakfast is served and peace is restored.

cup9:30 am – Cup of tea in hand, Lego building resumed, TV on…..this could be a relaxing day after all.

10:15 – ‘Discuss with Hubby about who has a shower first (loosely translated to who gets 10 minutes to themselves first).  I lose and have to wait.

11:00 – Monkey and Mouse are desperate to get to the school fair that starts at 11 o’clock and they mustn’t miss a single second, yet neither of them are washed or dressed yet!

11:38 am – Finally we are leaving for the fair armed with pennies to play some games and have a go on the tombola. There is a massive black cloud above as we drive there and we are hoping not to get caught in the rain.

umbrella11:50 pm – We got caught in the rain and are now all soaked to the skin

12:30 pm – Kids are eating hot dogs and hubby is going for his second Cuppa Tea, we have played Hooplah, pin the flag on the map, throw the superhero through the hole and had multiple goes on the tombola and now we are watching two ten-year olds singing Uptown Funk – Hot Damn!!!

1:00 pm – Been roped into manning a stall thanks to the kids, to be honest I love that they want to help and that they wanted to give the teacher a break. It was kinda fun too!

foot2:30 pm – Home with our swag; the bottle of wine I won on the raffle, the smellies from the tombola and the teddies the kids won (because we needed more of them!). Football is on the TV and the kids have become Indiana Jones and a Chef and are playing upstairs. The plan is for a relaxing afternoon!

kel5:30pm – Had a little nap, felt a bit rubbish. Not sure why but at times I feel completely weary and have to sleep. Feel much better now though!

8:00pm – Kids are in bed, takeaway ordered, glass of wine poured and film on the TV.

A bit different to what I would have been doing in London if I had gone to Britmums, but a great day and a lovely evening to spend with Hubby. I love my family and find that the simple things are the things I enjoy the most!

Jun 25

Great Gizmos – Dinosaur DNA Set review

We have two very big Dinosaur fans in the house, they are also very big fans of exploring, digging, mess and fun – so when the 4M Tyrannosaurus T-Rex Dinosaur DNA Set arrived they could not wait to dig in!! 13492903_10157127066500445_821541739_nThis set has so much to offer, your children can become palaeontologists in the safety of their own home. It is for children 8 years and over but Monkey didn’t want to play without Mouse though (who is 6) so they played together, Mouse had no trouble with the set at all and as a mum I would be happy for her to have a set like this too.

The set contains a plaster block (which contains Dinosaur bones), hammer and chisel, map Mats and instructions!13522508_10157127061030445_1070413488_n

You will need to download the Dinocodes app to use alongside the set, but this is easy to do and is a free app.  I was really impressed with how much this set offers; you get to dig up dinosaur bones, construct a dinosaur (that becomes a great glow in the dark toy) and then using the latest AR (Augmented Reality) technology, you can watch the dinosaurs come to life using your phone or tablet.13530592_10153534089366780_2081402086_n

Monkey and Mouse got to work on the plaster block; using the hammer and chisel to start off getting rid of the plaster and then the brush to sweep away excess near the bones. I was worried it may take too long to keep their attention but I definitely didn’t need to worry, they loved every second. It is designed to show them what it would be like in real life; that is would take time and is delicate work. It was so good, even Grampsy loved getting involved too!IMG_2425

They dug up the bones and a small test tube with DNA in it. Once all the bones were dug up, they constructed the T-rex – they loved him straight away and kept running of to dark places to see him glow!

The DNA completes the map mats and enable you to bring your dinosaur to life using the app. Lay the mat on the floor, start-up the app, scan and hey presto, you have your own pet dinosaur!

It is fantastic, one mat has a dinosaur, one has a scene and you can use them together. We actually had a volcano in the room, it looks brilliant and with the dinosaur it looks even better.thumbnail_DinoCodes

For an added bonus you can take photos or make a video within the app so you can keep the memory. You can also share it with your friends through email or over your social media.

We love this Gizmo and will be keeping our eyes out for the others too. It is full of fun, the kids love it and it has been a brilliant bonding activity for them and Grampsy too! Monkey says it is the best thing ever and no longer wants to be a builder, he nows wants to be a ‘dinosaur discoverer’!!

Jun 16

Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Rumble in the Jungle Competition

Transformers are back! On the 23rd May Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Rumble in the Jungle was released on DVD and Digital Download. We are very happy to have some new Transformer viewing to add to our collection! image001Join in the fun once more as these six new episodes continue on from the out of this world first installment of Robots in Disguise: A New Mission. When we return to Earth, Bumblebee and the Autobots are still rounding up the escaped Decepticons, but not all of them will come quietly.

 The team comes face to face with a wild Decepticon, Grimlock, who is on the rampage and out of control; however that is not their only problem to overcome this time round! The rivalry is brewing between Denny and Fixit, but Bumblebee takes the most hits as he is exposed to toxins that make him hyperactive and is being tracked down by a pair of bounty hunters determined to ensnare him once and for all.

The team also has their work cut out with a Decepticon fugitive trying to attack the Bot’s most precious commodity. When it seems their adventure cannot get any worse, Optimus learns of a threat made against Earth and Cybertron! It seems there is evil on the horizon, but can the Autobots stop it in time? Earth and Cybertron are doomed if Optimus cannot prepare himself to make the right move.

It is chaos on Earth but will teamwork save the day in this exciting new volume? 

The transformer team have really done it again with another fantastic DVD, both Monkey and Mouse love the characters and the story and they opt to watch it when given the choice. The DVD runs for slightly over 2 hours and it certainly keeps them children entertained. This latest DVD features six great episodes full of the quality fun you expect from the series; colours, characters, animation – it is all great!!

The great people of Hasbro are offering the chance for one of you to win your own copy of Rumble in the Jungle, just follow the widget below and Good Luck!!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Rumble in the Jungle

Jun 06

Triop World Competition

Yesterday you saw me publish a review of the fantastic Triop World (My Living World) from Interplay. The perfect set for any nature lover, history lover or pet lover! The Monkey and the Mouse found it easy to use and they are so excited at how they are going to see their ‘pets’ grow.triop world

Some of the things we have found out about Triops is fascinating.

Triops are crustaceans and they have the scientific name of Triops Longicaudatus.  The Triops in this set come from the USA but they can be found in many continents.

They live in small ponds that exist only for short periods after it has rained.  Triops have to go through their life cycle very quickly so their eggs are ready for when the pool goes dry.

Most exciting is they can double in size every day and can grow up to 4cm in length.

This set gives the children an amazing chance to explore nature indoors, they can see the birth and life-cycle of the Triops and they can learn history!

Have a read of the review and if you fancy a chance to win your own set, please follow the options on the widget below! Good Luck, one of you will be enjoying your own ‘Living World’ as much as we are soon!

 Triop World from Interplay

Jun 05

Interplay Triop World Review

This week we are mostly trying to grow pond monsters with ‘Nick Baker’s Triop World’ from Interplay UK; this set is great and gives you the chance to explore the world of nature in your own home. triop world

Triops (which are also known as Tadpole or Shield Shrimps) are creatures that biologists often call living fossils. They are amazing things that have survived a very many years by becoming masters of a habitat that is too tough for many  – they have seen the dinosaurs come and go! Their eggs can lay dormant for years and with a little bit of water they can be born again – springing to life.

triop setIn the set there is – instructions (always handy), the tank, detritus (dirt and eggs), sand, Triop food, spoon and pipette! The only thing extra you have to get is water, this needs to be either rain water or bottled spring water and should NOT be tap water. instructionThe kids were beyond excited to get going and see their own pets develop; the set is for 7 years old plus. Monkey is the perfect age at 8 and Mouse at 6 was happy to watch over the preparations and is very excited to see what the ‘things look like’!

We used bottled spring water from the shop, you top up the tank and then sprinkle the detritus in to the water, give it a stir and that is it – job done. finishNext comes the hardest part – we have to wait! Anyone who knows us will know that this is a small challenge for us, we are ok at waiting but for exciting things we want to see the magic…….now!!

However, saying that Monkey went to bed excited to see what will have happened tomorrow, we will have to wait a bit longer to see the Triops come to life but the journey is going to be exciting!

So far we are really impressed with the set; it is nicely boxed up (perfect box for contents, no excessive packaging that doesn’t need to be there), the instructions are clear and well explained and the kit is easy to use.

I am extra impressed at the history and information it gives you about the Triops and what they are, so much to learn for the children. It also mentions that there may be extra free pets in your set. Triops are not the only creatures that live in temporary pools and this means that the bag of eggs may contain surprises – fingers crossed here.

Keep your eye out for the follow-up posts with some picture of our guys when they hatch and tomorrow you will have the chance to win your own living world!

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