Oct 25

#FrubesMoves Challenge

This Summer we went to watch the Angry Birds Movie, the Monkey and the Mouse absolutely loved the film and the characters are definitely some of their favourites for the year.
Both Monkey and Mouse love dancing too and actually they are both naturals at it, not really sure who they get it from! Earlier in the year they took part in a talent show and they pulled off some wicked moves including the robot!  They have always loved music and often have been found dancing in places where no one else is dancing!
P5050382They haven’t had any formal lessons, actually they haven’t had any informal ones either!! They learn from others that they know and what they see around them – I have had to reply acts on the TV or internet so they can watch the moves.
I love dancing, I love music, dancing makes me feel young, free and fun. I love a little wiggle in line with the beat, but I dont get to do it very often!
It is funny really because both Daddy and Grampsy say they don’t like dancing but when there is a party or a wedding they both end up busting some moves on the dance floor!03.7 DancingThis photo is of Grampsy, maybe the kids get some moves from him after all! Although they have a lot of awesome moves themselves and they are not shy about showing them off!

Dancing away their energy usually means that Monkey and Mouse end up needing a snack; Frubes have a range of good products that work. Monkey and Mouse love the Frube products and the fact that Angry Birds are on the packaging is a bonus for them! I don’t mind the children having treats but I like food with aspects of ‘good for them’, Frubes have Vitamin D and Calcium – both of which are good for strong bones. Just want my little dancers need!
Frubes have created a squawksome dance-off between the Angry Birds and mischievous Pigs. Staunch enemies in the film, the dance off between the Birds and Pigs means you and your family can settle the feud for good – pick a side and find out who is the ultimate dancer!Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 23.01.05As a family we choose to egg on the birds every time, I don’t know if thats because we think we are birds or we just like the good guys! You can change the background and the music of your scene and then you select your dancer/s and set them to work.Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 23.01.36
If you want a go visit angrybirds.frubes.co.uk to see who wins!
“This post is an entry for BritMums’ #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes < https://angrybirds.frubes.co.uk// >


Oct 21

Review of the Harmonica Set from RainbowColours.com

You may have read our review of the Giant Piano Mat from RainbowColours.com and heard about how we loved it, well this is the second set we have tried from RainbowColours.com – the Harmonica Set!thumbnail_IMG_1849

Within the set you receive a Metal 4 hole harmonica in the key of C, Harmonica Case, the Rainbow Colours book and 4 colour coded stickers.  thumbnail_IMG_3358

This set is designed to give the easiest possible approach to learning the Harmonica and as we found with the Piano, colours play a great part in it. You have four stickers to place above the Harmonica ‘holes’ – each coloured is a certain musical note.

Then using the coloured stickers and the coloured musical notes, you can start to learn the Harmonica (something both of the children have been asking to do for a few weeks – so perfect timing for us!).14800034_10157687162970445_1721031353_o

The book is aimed at children aged 3-15 years and it suits both Monkey (8) and Mouse (6), both can follow it and they are enjoying the learning!

The book has well-known songs in it that increase in difficulty as you go through the pages; one thing I really like is that at the end there are some blank music sheets in the back for the children to have a go at writing there own songs!14803259_10157687163105445_1560635815_o

We really love this set and are tempting the idea of buying another so they have one each, also perfect for a gift for birthdays and Christmas

Keep your eyes peeled as when they allow me to record their harmonica playing I will share that too!rainbow22

Oct 21

Giant Piano Mat from Rainbow.com Review

There is a lot of music in our house, we are all big fans and there are instruments all over the place. Monkey has just taken up French Horn at school and last year both Monkey and the Mouse saved their pennies to buy guitars. So I have to say when anything Musical arrives, my two go a little hyper!thumbnail_IMG_1843

This box arrived from RainbowColours.com and as soon as they saw it, they grinned and jumped and couldn’t wait to dive into it. I mean if you think about it, what is more exciting than a giant piano mat? Music that is giant – can’t get any better can it!?

Within the box is the mat itself and six song cards, there are no batteries included but it takes (((())))) which luckily we had in the house so we were able to play straight away.thumbnail_IMG_3362The piano is designed to give an easy approach to learning the piano; it uses coloured musical notes and keys to make it simple.  All you have to do is follow the coloured musical notes as they are on the song cards and you will feel like a professional pianist.  The cards are lovely and bright, easy to follow and have well-known songs on them.  It seems that Happy Birthday is a very popular song in our house – I feel like I have heard it on all of my non-birthdays!thumbnail_IMG_1848

There are 24 coloured touch sensitive keys which give off great sound and are perfect for the children to play on. With it being a giant floor piano, ideally you use your feet, but Mouse likes to kneel down and use her hands; the keys are sensitive enough that you can do this with ease too!

The Piano comes with eight instrument sounds and to add even more fun you can record and play back your music and hear how awesome you are!

Bonus points for parents are that there is a volume button on the piano so that means that you can turn it down if need be, it is educational and fun and it folds away back into the box for easy storage which in my head hat is a massive plus point! thumbnail_IMG_1847

It is a lovely toy that my two have managed to play nicely together with – there has been no arguing over it (although I am not daft enough to think this will never happen!).  Both Monkey (aged 8) and Mouse (aged 6) have taken to this and love playing with it….i definitely have two budding musicians on my hands!

They are able to use it with ease and without too much guidance; sometimes they follow the cards and sometimes they just throw their caution to the wind and use their imaginations – either way it fills my house with fun and laughter and that’s exactly what we all like.

I actually think this works well in a home, but think it would work equally as well in a pre-school, school or for a childminder; it would bring music to their learning and is a great size for more than one child to join in. The easy to follow teaching of songs would be a happy addition for them too!


Oct 18

Pencil Pets Puppies Review

The Monkey and the Mouse love all things creative, they really like to make new things!  They also seem to have a hobby of collecting pens and pencils!  With this is mind it seems that the Craftbox Pencil Pets Puppies from Interplay may be perfect for them!14796206_10157669290355445_1048370581_oThe idea is that you can personalise your pencil and create your own Pencil Pets. The kit comes with everything you need to make them including two pencils, the topper head and various accessories to add to them. There are glasses and hats and all sorts of stickers to pretty them up and make it just yours! 14800034_10157669289845445_2068790983_oBoth Monkey and Mouse were very happy to join in and they chose their pencils, they shared the kit really well taking it in turns to pick the accessories to add to them. Neither wanted any ideas and were able to decorate them without too much guidance. The heads were a little fiddly to put together and we did help a little to line up the holes but other than that it is a kit that Kids could do themselves.

All the contents are child-safe and the pencils are recycled which is always a bonus and the parts on the topper are interchangeable, you can swap the glasses for a moustache or the chef’s hat for a princess crown.  My two used the extra stickers for decorating other things too!

Monkey and Mouse were very happy with their designs and once I had got my photo, they ran off to sharpen them and since these have become their favourite pencils to draw with!! 14647246_10157669289030445_362583457_o

Christmas is coming and I am sure even those  who are not wanting to think about it can’t help but spy things and think ‘that’s a good stocking filler’ and this is definitely one of those things. A great price for something that the kids can create themselves and then keep and use. I already have a couple of friends children in mind that would love these!

There are other kits in the Pencil Pets Puppies range and if you are more of a cat person – they have them too!

Oct 14

Diary of a Zombie Steve – Book Review

I currently have a Minecraft obsessed 8-year-old in the house – Monkey has literally gone mad for it in recent weeks. So, on that note I jumped at the chance to have a look at ‘Diary of a Zombie Steve’ (An unofficial minecraft book) to tell you about what we think! 14658338_10157644011385445_18466777_nThe Book is the diary of Zombie Steve as he goes about his days after being offered a new job. Unfortunately as he heads towards his new opportunity in his boat he gets caught in a terrible storm and he wakes up on a desert island. I love the diary format as Steve writes about each day and what he gets up to, you follow the things he sees and the wonders he discovers. The real question is will he survive and find his way home to his new job?14697269_10157644011260445_1983965957_o

On a practical note, the writing is a great size for Monkey – it is not daunting for him as some books can be. It is well written – easy to understand and follow the story. I can see Monkey reading this over and over and I know that we will be looking at getting other titles too!
I am very happy with the book, I can’t complain about anything that encourages Monkey to read.  It is ideal for Christmas or Birthday gifts and I will definitely be buying from the range in the future!

If you like the look of it you can buy from here

Oct 13

#FloraLunchbox Challenge

The last time Monkey went on a trip with school I found putting together his lunchbox quite challenging; finding what to include that obeyed the school rules of being healthy but that would be healthy and keep him full of energy as they walked around the nature reserve was difficult.14686589_10157638918875445_1937498818_n

There are other challenges with packed lunches – it has to be portable, light enough for the children to carry. It has to be non (or limited) messy so it doesn’t go all over as they move about and it needs to be something that won’t go spoil quickly by not being in the fridge – I am just lucky that Monkey and Mouse are not fussy eaters as well!

A Flora-commissioned University of Leeds study recently revealed that only 1.6% of children in England receive a packed lunch that meets the nutritional standards set for school meals, with just 17% of lunches containing any kind of vegetables or salad. Flora wants to change that; so they have created a meal planner to help you put together tasty and nutritious lunchbox combinations.

I am surprised this is so low, Monkey and Mouse love fruit, vegetables and salad so they are often featured in their lunch boxes; cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks, Apples, Plums – all sorts! 14740956_10157638912575445_1799983006_n

We were sent a lovely lunchbox and asked to try out some of the ideas for filling a lunch box. We were given a great little guide and it was easy to follow; foods are broken down into categories and you are told how many of each to select. I was surprised by some of the items on it – some tasty items; banana bread and mini pretzels.3473-1248653-Flora-Lunchbox-builder-960x839

There are foods that the children would happily pick themselves and lots of colours that I always think helps! 14625666_10157638796510445_1226842481_oDo checkout the Flora website, they have loads of awesome recipes to help lunch boxes be more fun, it gets your imagination running too – makes you think of new things to include. Pasta salad. Chicken pittas, Vegetable kebabs and more are on our list for the future.


This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora. Check out their lunch planner and recipe ideas here  

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



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