Dec 06

Comics for Christmas – Gift Guide

This year I have found myself reading a lot of Comics and do you know what?! They are awesome!

Husband is a massive fan of comics and has been as long as I have known him and it seems to have rubbed off on me. To be honest, I think one of the main reasons I love them is because they have turned our reluctant reader into a book worm!

Christmas is coming up fast and we always buy the children books, so this led me to think about what Comics would make good Christmas Presents or Stocking fillers and here is what I came up with – welcome to my first Gift Guide for 2017 – Comics for Christmas! This is a list of five comics that I have enjoyed that would be suitable for children too!HeaderNew

 

 

 

24879168_10159757452515445_1811291192_oThe first one is ‘Outlaws: Wanted’ – the all ages Charity Comic produced by Nottingham Comic Con; it features a whole load of artists and writers including Marc Laming (Star Wars, Planet Hulk, X-Men), Roger Langridge (The Muppets, Thor, Popeye), The Etherington Bros (Long Gone Don, Baggage, The Phoenix Comic), Steve Beckett (The Beano) and Laura Howell (The Regular Show, Angry Birds, The Beano).

It is full of different comics to make to laugh and giggle and is brilliant to share with the little ones too! To make it even better during the season of goodwill – all monies go to Charity. It was funded on Kickstarter earlier in the year so the whole £5.00 heads to help people.

 

24879062_10159757452495445_1709197221_oComing from Level 8 Comics is Late Knights; written by Jon Laight and illustrated by Matt Strott (both people I think are awesome and have loads of talent) – this is a fantastic all ages/kids comic.

The story follows the Late family – a family of spies – who with their skills and gadgets are on a mission to protect the world. With Baddies like Miss Fur Frost and Chamelgran, you can be sure of a lot of fun!

Both Monkey and the Mouse have read this and they absolutely love it, they can’t wait for the next one in the series! A perfect comic for younger readers or those young at heart!

 

 

24879197_10159757534025445_1874305760_oThe Etherington Brothers are an immense force in the land of kids comics; they are full of passion for comics and have some serious talent!

We have a lot of their books but for this list I am going to tell you about Baggage. Featuring Randall – a happy-go-lucky but disaster-prone lost property officer, this is a tale of adventure, hilarity and mystery. It is brilliant fun and Monkey has read it over and over again!

Check out their other comics too, they have something for kids of all ages!

 

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Next up is Brain Shoodles from Emily B Owen. This comic does have a serious undertone and a grown up theme of Anxiety and Depression but I have included it as I think it is a perfect read for your teenagers – in the area I work in I see depression in children, so anything that can help is good in my book.

Brain Shoodles is written in such a way that it is entertaining but also helpful! Simple but awesome images are used to illustrate the points and the bonus is you will have some laughs along the way too! Perfect for a stocking filler or buy it for yourself!

 

 

24957129_10159757452770445_2586187_oLast but not least is a little festive, I picked this up at a Comic Con and I love it. A Christmas Carol done by Joe Matthews and Dave McCluskey. It is a beautifully illustrated version of the classic tale, it is lots of fun and lovely read. I love comics that take a classic and make it modern and it works wonders with our Reluctant reader.

It is more pricey than some other comics at £10 but I would definitely say it is worth it.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for comics; they make great stocking fillers, perfect pressies and they have a practical role is encouraging reading! It has worked for Monkey– he always has his head in a book or comic now!

 

Disclaimer: I am involved in the Notitngham Comic Con but my opinion of Outlaws: Wanted is an honest one – we were very lucky with the people who contributed! I bought the other comics at various comic cons!

 

 

Dec 01

Competition – Win Pass the Pigs!

I love Pass the pigs! I grew up with it  and we often played it as a family. I was shocked to find that my husband had never heard of it when we got together, but now it is played often in our house and it is great – the kids can play too! It is a perfect size for travel too, so it has been on many trips with us and we have introduced it to friends too!Pass the Pigs logo

I am sure you’ll be snorting with laughter if you play with these piggy games for Christmas.  The original party animals, Pass the Pigs, use hilarious pigs for dice. Will you roll a sider or start makin’ bacon? Having fun with friends, on the road entertainment, or just chilling out – the game is on for every pig in the parlour!

Fantastic fun for the whole family, Pass the Pigs is so easy to play. Simply throw the 2 piggies up in the air and see how they land. Compare the pigs landing positions with your scorecard and earn points, the first to 100 wins.Pass the Pigs points

Pass the Pigs comes in a handy travel case, pop into your bag and you are ready for a game anytime, so if you are traveling to see family it’s the perfect entertainment on the go. Pass the Pigs Party are ideal for when you want to play with family and friends at Christmas.Pass The Pig_master

Pass the Pigs 

  • Hours of fun are guaranteed with this exciting Pass the Pigs game. Perfect for taking on the road, the Pass the Pigs game comes in a handy travel case, so there’s never a dull moment to be had!
  • Pass the Pigs is a game of skill for 2-6 players, it comes with a handy carry case, 2 pencils, 2 pigs and a pocket-sized score card.
  • Suitable for ages 3+ and available for £9.99rrp.Pass The Pig Party_master

Pass the Pigs party

  • The version for party animals! Now there are EIGHT pigs in the game to play with. Roll your piggies to try and be first to match the position on your card, get bonus points if you do it on your first go! Be the first to rack up 100 points. £14.99rrp.
      • 8 small plastic piggies (four pairs)
      • Deck of 30 cards
      • Carry case

 

If you fancy a chance at winning your own Piggy fun, follow the Gleam Widget options below to enter. The winner will win a copy of Pass the Pigs Original and Pass the Pigs party!

Pass the Pigs Competition

Terms and Conditions: Judges Decision is final.  Only valid entries will be counted. Winners will be notified and they have 48 hours to claim their prize. In the case of no claim a new winner will be drawn!  The prize will be dispatched direct from supplier. Winners will win one copy of Pass the Pigs Original and one copy of Pass the Pigs Party.Competition is open to UK only. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook. Disclosure: I will be sent samples to host this giveaway. I have used the pictures in this post with permission.

Nov 17

#JingleMingle with Prezzy Box

Anybody who knows me well knows I love Christmas; I love everything about it and I am constantly trying to bring forward the day that we put the tree up (as husband tries to push it further away!)

So when I was invited to spend a Christmas Themed evening with Prezzy Box a couple of weeks ago –  it just escalated my excitement level even more, i do not need an excuse to talk Christmas in October but it is good to have one.Photo 26-10-2017, 18 53 48

So, a couple of weeks ago I joined several other bloggers and headed to Baresca in Nottingham (which is lovely and we will definitely be visiting again) to enjoy a festive evening!

On arrival I was pleased to see that the room had been decorated as if Christmas had arrived all ready – the tree was up and there was lots of present ideas’s to see!

There were workshops running too, I took part in the Christmas Wrapping workshop  and had so much fun. Carolyn was brilliant and showed us lots of ideas of how to wrap you pressies without spending and small fortune and they still look fantastic! I made my own bow and it is definitely something I am going to do at Christmas!

I then moved on to a ‘Make your own Fragrance’ session with The Perfume Studio.  It was brilliant we were told all about how it works and how different blends are smelt – it was really interesting! I, along with the others, were able to make our own fragrance there and then and even got to name it!

I was delighted to see as well that you can buy ‘at home’ sets, a perfect gift maybe!

I really enjoyed this session; I think it is a brilliant idea for birthdays, hen nights, girls nights and a regular night!

I had a lovely evening out and it really got me in the mood for Christmas!

We were lucky to listen to some hints and tips from the lovely Becky Sheeran (you tube star from Talk Becky Talk) and Prezzy Box.  The rest of the evening was spent with a glass of prosecco, nibbles and checking out the pressies. I got lots of ideas for those I have to buy for this year – here are some of my favourites (all available from Prezzy Box).

Disclaimer: The event I went to was free and I was given a goody bag to take home, however I was not obliged to write this post, just wanted to tell you about the nice evening I had!

Nov 13

Review – JoJo Siwa Bow and Microphone

I have managed to miss a lot of ‘trends’ with Mouse, she is more into sports than anything.  However, JoJo Siwa is a big thing in the world of Mouse and her friends, they love her singing, her fashion and her youtube channel. We were sent some JoJo merchandise to take a look at and to give you an honest review of – I was sue they were going to be a hit!Photo 11-11-2017, 13 15 45When the JoJo Siwa Bodacious Bow and Light up Microphone arrived Mouse was absolutely delighted. She has been looking at JoJo Bows and was so chuffed to now own her own. Also being a lover of singing the microphone held as much excitement.

The Bodacious Bow is styled just like the ones that JoJo is famous for. They come in lots of different bright and beautiful colours – we were sent a blue one with silver hearts on it and it is lovely! I really like the colour and Mouse loves it. Attached to it is also a rainbow coloured hair extension.

The bow is put easily into the hair using the clip on the back (like an alligator clip)  and the colour matches the bow. Both the material and the hair is soft, Mouse loves wearing it and it hasn’t irritated her at all.Photo 11-11-2017, 18 14 38

Mouse loves this bow and I can see it becoming a key part of her wardrobe. Mouse admires JoJo and has said that it is nice to be able to have something that is like a famous person you like who sings good! I know that this Bow will feature on Mouse’s Christmas list – she will need different colours of course!

The light up microphone is a one piece toy; it is made from plastic and is a real working microphone. You need 2 x AAA batteries, but that is all the set up you need.

The top of the microphone lights up and you can press a button to sing along to JoJo’s hit boomerang. Alternatively you can connect it to your MP3 player and sing along to another song.

Mouse couldn’t wait to get singing on the microphone – with her bow in her hair she felt like she was JoJo Siwa! We had some minor problems with feedback from the microphone but we think this was from being too close to it when singingPhoto 11-11-2017, 18 17 53I wasn’t sure whether the microphone was going to be a bit of a novelty, but so far it has been picked up and played with loads. Mouse really does love to see and anything that she can sing into is going to be a bonus. It is a sturdy plastic decorated with a lovely pink bow and has been dropped on our living room floor but has not broken.

I think these are going to be very popular over the coming months – especially for Christmas – and Mouse agrees, she says that lots of her friends would like them!

Both the microphone and the Bodacious Bow have a RRP of £14.99 and can be found in several toy shops.

Nov 10

Mi-Mic Review

If you had asked me a while ago if I would voluntarily introduce something that would make the children louder, let’s say something like a microphone into the house – I would have laughed my socks off.

However, it turns out that when you have a daughter who loves singing, a son who loves gadgets and parents who love to see them smile  – you jump at the chance to introduce a microphone (a bluetooth microphone) to the home when offered one for review with a great big ‘YES!’

So, The Mi-Mic from Toyrific arrived and from the moment it did, it had us all excited, especially our little performer – Mouse!!Photo 31-10-2017, 20 55 35You can buy the microphone in three colours; Pink, Black or Silver. In the box you get the bluetooth Karaoke Microphone speaker with removable microphone stand, a USB charging lead and the instructions.

The Microphone is really easy to use; it runs on an internal battery that is easily charged vis the USB lead. You switch on the microphone by holding down the Power button, it is announced that the Mi-Mic is on, pair with a bluetooth device (phone, tablet etc) and you are ready to go. Once I had paired the Mic with my device, it connected automatically next time we switched it on.

The linking by bluetooth allows you to play any song from your device through the Microphone speaker, so all you have to do is sing along!Photo 31-10-2017, 20 58 29There are several things you can do direct from the microphone. You can alter the volume, play and pause songs and even skip to the next or last song. We have had quite a bit of fun with the echo function – pretend to be real life pop stars and even the platform at the train station!

The LED lights are on the bottom, in a ring around the speaker and they really add something to the Mic. The lights can be off, on as one solid colour or flashing, they really add something.

This microphone is a whole Karaoke package – speaker, Mic and disco lights – it is brilliant! We have had loads of fun with it and when I say ‘we’ I do mean all of us! We have used it at home most evenings this week, Mouse has given of several different types of performance, we have sung together and we have even used it just as a speaker.

Last weekend we headed to friends for a bonfire night party, knowing there would be several kids we took the Mi-Mic with us and it went down a storm. It provided the entertainment and stopped people getting bored – My friend even did a song between courses at the dinner table which bought a smile!

Photo 31-10-2017, 20 58 13We love the Mi-Mic; I can see it being used here for a long time! I love that it isn’t too clunky, which means it is easy to move around (and take out and about with us) and easy to store.

The fact it is charged by a normal USB has meant that if we misplace the wire (which we may have done temporarily) we have plenty others from phones that are compatible.

I think this is a perfect gift for those who love to sing and can see it being on lots of lists for Christmas!!

You can find it available from several good toy shops, for more information visit Toyrific on their social media here – Facebook and Twitter

Oct 30

Chocolate Egg Suprise!

I recently went to Manchester for Blog on Xmas and it was great (I will tell you more about that at another time), whilst I was there I discovered the Chocolate Egg Surprise and knew that it would be something my kids would want to get their hands on!

So, when I was offered one to test run, you bet I said a very quick yes!Photo 25-10-2017, 14 19 19

The Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker is from Jakks and suitable for ages 6 +. There are 24 pieces in the box; the chocolate egg surprise maker, 1 dispenser, 2 egg moulds, 4 capsules (2 each of pink and blue), 10 chocolate measuring bags and 6 foils – to decorate. Photo 25-10-2017, 14 22 16The chocolate Egg maker is really simple to use if you follow the instructions; they are clear and are done by step by step. The first thing you do is measure out your chocolate and place in the measuring bag. You then put the bag in warm water and leave for ten minutes or so whilst the chocolate melts. I have never melted chocolate like this before, but it was really effective! Photo 25-10-2017, 14 31 21 (1)The Monkey and The Mouse were loving that they could do it without any help. While we waited for the chocolate to melt they filled the capsules to surprise each other – of course they wanted to fill their chocolate with sweets, however, you can put anything in it – bracelets, blind bag characters, trinkets, notes Photo 25-10-2017, 14 33 54Once your capsule is full of goodies, place it in an egg mould and lock it up, then place into the egg maker – this is nice and simple just push into the slot! 

You then take the bag of melted chocolate and snip off the top and place the head of the dispenser into it, securing it in place and then placing it in the hole at the top if the Egg maker. You push down on the plunger and the chocolate spreads down into the mould and covers your capsule. There is something strangely satisfying about seeing the chocolate slowly surround the capsule.

Photo 25-10-2017, 14 40 49Once completely covered you pull the mould back out of the maker and place the whole thing in the freezer to set the chocolate. Once set you can free the egg and cover in the foil to make it look pretty before you give to the lucky recipient. The monkey and The mouse exchanged eggs and were so happy with the result. It was an egg made from thick yummy chocolate and with a lovely surprise inside! What could be more fun!

The only down fall I found was that some of the pieces (not all) were a little tricky to clean so that job got left up to me!Photo 25-10-2017, 15 44 14We absolutely loved spending time together making chocolate Eggs and will definitely be doing it again, the children already have a list of people they want to make eggs for. This is a great kit, easy to use and easy to store. I would definitely recommend this as a fun thing to do, would be a perfect gift too.

Available from all good toys stores.

Oct 01

My Sunday Photo

Ok so his is actually my 3 Sunday photos, but I couldn’t decide which one to share! We have had a busy week this week, work, training, preparing for the up and coming Nottingham Comic Con and celebrating birthdays! The last one has meant a week of nice food and the meal we had out at the local pub was delicious, we had a great night filled with giggles too!

 Photalife

Sep 30

Speedy Doc Game Review

I have to be honest – we are fast becoming a bit of a gaming family. I am not talking about video gaming, we have discovered a new found love of board/table top games! We are always very excited when we get to try out a new game, and was equally so when we were offered ‘Speedy Doc’ to test drive.

Photo 10-09-2017, 19 49 35

In the box you get the Doc himself, a sheet of different coloured ‘Zeros’ and the instructions. It doesn’t seem much but it is everything you need for the game (apart from batteries). You have to pop the Zero’s from the card and that is it – you are ready to play!Photo 10-09-2017, 19 51 59

So first thing to do is to pop some batteries (3 x AAA) into the Doc, then place the Zero’s in the back – there is a handy storage pocket and finally switch him on using the simple on/off switch on his back!22156652_10159474732680445_1678520860_n

The game itself is a fast paced game that is lots of fun; the box suggests 8 years old plus but Mouse is 7 years old and had no problem joining in with us.

Each round consists of a topic and you take it in turns to say something linked to the topic – just keep going until someone duplicates an answer, says something unrelated to the topic, you run out of time or the Doc tells you to stop!

The Doc runs the game; from telling you who will start, how much time you have, what topic each round is and how many Zero’s the loser takes!22156975_10159473199295445_276535615_nThe Doc runs the game well, he is clear and concise about what he wants (the instructions are always on hand to remind you if you are unsure)!  The game boasts over 500 topics to play (obviously we haven’t got through them all yet).  What we have found is that some topics were a little tough but there is an option to end that one and change topics.

We have had so much fun and a lot of giggles playing this, the kids have even got it out without any prompting, and played just the two of them – without any arguing!! Yep, nice sibling fun without killing each other!

I love the personality of the Doc, he brings more fun to the game and I have found the kids talk back to him. Simple to play means simple to enjoy. Not too big and easy to store! I can’t see a negative!

In fact I can see Doc coming out when the kids are in bed and the adults are looking for something to play with a drink in hand too!22172017_10154708615446780_1897708796_o

Disclosure:

I was not paid to write this review, however I was given the game to keep to be able to test and offer my/our honest opinion on it!

Sep 07

Spider Catcher Review

I am not scared of spiders so I am the resident spider catcher both at home and work; however i wouldn’t touch one by choice so currently my catching equipment of choice is a glass and a piece of card.

Enter the Spider Catcher from Brainstorm21441910_10159372813960445_261376894_nWith the recent news that spiders are coming and they are going to be big, I was very excited to receive this for review, probably more excited than I should be – I mean I can still be the resident spider catcher but be further away from them, it is approximately 65cm long!

In the pack you get the spider catcher, which is long, brush on the end and a handle that you squeeze. The brush has a cover over the brush and there is even a plastic spider in the pack to practice on. 21441932_10159372861500445_580828152_n

 

The spider catcher is really easy to use, it is a sort of a ‘ready, aim, fire!’ strategy. On the opposite side to the brush you have a trigger handle, you gently squeeze and it opens the brush.  You then hold the brush over the spider so the bristles surround it, release the trigger and the brush gently closes around the spider, keeping the little guy safe and sound inside whilst you walk somewhere nice to release him.

To let him go, just press the handle again and the spider will drop out and run away.21552149_10159372947800445_1107800287_nBecause the bristles are soft and harmless to the spider, you can use it to catch the spider when he is stood still or moving about. I was worried the first time I used it to whether I had killed the spider, but when I re-opened he was fine and ran off. I felt a huge sense of relief as I really don’t like to kill things.

I love that the Spider catcher offers you a safe environmentally friendly way to the pest control in your home as no chemicals and batteries are required for the Spider Catcher. 21443028_10159372947720445_483640220_n

Some more good news; you can use it for insects too! The Spider Catcher can catch spiders and daddy-long legs from 2mm (0.08 inch) in length up to 25mm (1 inch).

I love having this in the house and anyone can use it, the children have used it and the spiders have lived!! I would recommend for anyone but especially if you have a bit of a fear of spiders, it gives you a way to move the spiders without toughing them!

Disclosure:

I was not paid to write this review, however I was given the Spider Catcher to keep to be able to test and offer my/our honest opinion on it!

Sep 03

#FeelGoodSummer with Come Round Party

I was recently asked to hold a #FeelGoodSummer with Come Round. I was sent a great party pack to try out the delicious drinks and have some fun with friends! Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 22.22.01The party pack was fab, tea light candles, face masks, bunting, a Lean in 15 book and plenty of Feel Good Drinks to go around! As soon as we saw the flavours of the drinks; we were impressed.

Feel Good infusions are100% natural drinks* with no added sugar and the flavours are ‘Strawberry and Mint’, ‘Apple and Rose’ and ‘Lemon and Elderflower’, the main question was which to try first!

We had loads of fun, putting on facemasks, drinking the drinks and generally having a good old catch up!Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 22.22.52

The drinks are really refreshing and we had some left so took them on a car journey and to work and they worked well in these situations, the kids love them and I don’t mind them drinking them because I feel they are healthier than some of the alternatives.

If you like something a little different then I would recommend these drinks, Lemon and Elderflower is definitely my favourite!21291681_10159356698330445_493448526_n

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