Jun 13

Spinmaster Air Hogs Jet Rocket Review

We are always on the look out for things that the whole family can enjoy – no matter what their age. We had a weekend recently where we were getting together with my mum and her husband, my brother and our nephew; add in the four of us and you get a right group of mixed ages.

We took along the Air Hogs Jet Rocket that we had been asked to review in the hope we could have some fun with it (or in the very least that the young ones could entertain us older folk!).image00003In the box you get everything you need to play; you get the rocket, the stand, an air pipe and the pressure pad.  It is really easy to set up and has instructions that are super easy to follow too (the Monkey could definitely do it alone at 9 years old and I think Mouse w at 7 years would be fine too).image00007.1The kids were eager to get playing and they quickly devised a game where they took it in turns to be the ‘launcher’ and then everyone (and I mean everyone in the close vicinity!) had to try and catch it!

It was very surprising how high the rocket went when launched, we were really impressed – it really gave a challenge to the game! There were a few times the rocket landed in a place where a chair/ladder and a long stick were needed to retrieve it!

It was lovely to see so many smiles whilst the kids play; however they decided that they didn’t want to keep all the fun to themselves and instructed that everyone needed to play and have the fun of being the captain of the rocket!! So the grandparents were instructed to get involved (in fact the parents and the uncle were too but there is no photographic evidence of that). We played the game of launch and catch for well over an hour and there were lots of giggles.

The toy itself is very sturdy, even though it has been through the test of different ages, genders and sizes of people it is still going strong! The rocket itself has landed on concrete, wood, grass and a roof or two and is still in perfect flying condition, with a few very small markings on the tip.

I love simple to set up and simple to play games and this one is both. It is very much loved and it travels around in the boot of the car ready to be got out and played with wherever we are! I also love that it has brought fun to many members of the family.

We think this is great to buy for yourself or as a gift for others and at £9.99 it is a reasonable price too!

May 26

A trip to Birmingham and Hatchimal CollEGGtibles

We are looking forward to spending a nice weekend as a family, ending with a Bank Holiday Monday. Whilst we plan what to do, it has me looking back to the Bank Holiday at the beginning of the month.

It was an early morning as we packed the car with coats and sweets and we set off on a road trip to Birmingham. We really like Birmingham, It is somewhere we have visited a few times as it is not too far away and we have always enjoyed it.   The kids were very excited as we had tickets to a meet and greet with Tiana from the You Tube Channel ‘Toys and Me’ –  to meet a ‘real life’ you tuber your own age is apparently the best thing ever!!

The reason Tiana was in The Entertainer in Birmingham was to launch the new Hatchimals CollEGGtibles; a collectible toy that you hatch yourself.  Tiana is a popular young lady so there was quite a bit of queuing time, but queue we did and the kids then got to sit with Tiana and have a photo!

Both Monkey and Mouse were happy to walk away with a Hatchimal CollEGGtible Blind bag, they could not wait to get it hatched and find out which new friend was inside. Inside the blind bag you get one Egg (there are other pack sizes available too). You hatch the Egg by rubbing the heart until it turns from purple to pink, then you press gently and the egg cracks.

Once you have opened you can find out who you have, there are over 70 to collect and each one belongs to their own little family. The bottom of the egg can be used as a nest/stand for the CollEGGtible.

After we had discovered who our new companions were we headed off for a walk around Birmingham City Centre and the Bullring. We had fun looking around the area and the shops, taking photos and generally having a giggle!Photo 01-05-2017, 17 34 36

We then finished our day sight-seeing, shopping and dropping, we headed home tired but content and a great Bank Holiday had by all!

May 24

Manchester

Words still fail me.  At this time I can’t add anything new to what has been said by thousands already, so sad and something I will never understand.

I am thinking of (and will continue to do so) all those who have lost loved ones, those who are injured, those who were there and families and friends of all involved.

Thank you to the people who ran towards the arena to help, the emergency services (both on and off duty), people who were just nearby, taxi drivers, hotels, workers, parents of others that were there – you are amazing! 18644721_10158813036920445_540201138_n

Apr 19

Review of Craftbox Fairy Charm jewellery

The last two weeks of March is majorly busy for us, often including entertaining various children because both the Monkey and the Mouse have their birthdays within 3 days of each other. On the lookout for craft items at Mouse’s request for her birthday tea party, I was over the moon to be offered the Fairy Charm Jewellery kit to try!
Photo 25-03-2017, 09 32 13 (1)The Craftbox kit from Interplay contains all you need to make some fab jewellery; 5m Stretch Cord, 10 Clasp beads, 5 clasps, 12 key ring, 8 Metal Fairy Charms, 4 Enamelled Fairy Charm and 320 beads of various shapes and colours. The colours (pink, purple, fuchsia, green and silver) within the set are gorgeous and really go well together, Mouse was very excited about the set. Photo 25-03-2017, 12 14 20The stretch cord is pink and perfect for threading the beads on, Mouse, her friends and Monkey (yes even Monkey joined in) all found the threading easy and had a lot of fun making different patterns on their own creations. It is suggested that you can make up to 10 pieces of fabulous jewellery, this is dependant on what you make (whether you choose keyrings, necklaces or bracelets) as you cut your own lengths of cord and you may be able to make a little more than 10!Photo 07-04-2017, 17 07 30The charms are lovely and although it is a fairy set there are other charms too, some are coloured, some are plain silver, all are very pretty! I was surprised if I am honest, that Monkey wanted to join in – I thought that the colours and charms may be too girly for him, but he was very happy with the horse charm he chose for his first piece and he says the colours are great for jewellery.Photo 25-03-2017, 09 32 17I am impressed with the kit, it kept the children entertained, they made something they could keep and they found it simple to use. It created conversation about what they were making and what they were using to do it. The kids have had great fun with this set and have been asking whether there are other sets with different colours and charms (which there are by the way, I have my eye on the snow fairy and the mermaid sets). We have necklaces and bracelets so far and even Smiley has a new collar!

Photo 07-04-2017, 17 12 30

We would buy this set again for us to play with or would buy as a gift for others, it is lovely and has brought lots of smiles! We would definitely recommend to others. Our groups of children 6 years plus all found it great to play with and simple to do!

Mar 31

Ten Years Married

Thirteen and a half years ago the Hubby and I got together, I would like to say it was a story of Romance but we were young and it was more of a story of two people being the same but different and falling together in a weird twist of fate.

Ten Years ago today we were married – at this time on that day I would have been on my way, all dressed in white feeling like a princess. I was nervous, not nervous about getting married – I knew I was doing the right thing there. I was nervous about whether my loved ones had found the church, whether I would trip walking down the aisle and whether people would have a nice time.  IMG_1607We have had loads of adventures over the years; we have been to new places together, experienced new things together and grown together. Now I am not saying it is has been easy, because it hasn’t (there have been easy times but some times quite the opposite too).  I don’t think it is supposed to be easy though. If it is too easy then you don’t try and if there is no try then you have lost your drive!

“Nobody said it’s be easy, they just promised it would be worth it”

– Anonymous

Some of my best moments through the years may seem simple to others; walking in the rain because we caught the wrong bus, dressing up as various things (the tube station ‘elephant and castle’ being a funny one) for parties, having silly sayings because they made us laugh but meant nothing to others. Fancy dress usWe have added to the family….twice! We have been blessed with two fantastic children who brighten our lives daily. A young man who is full of love and wants to bring justice to the world and our little lady who cares about anyone and always wants to make sure people are ok. 1929588_12093470780_2618_nWe are having new adventures all the time and will continue with ‘firsts’ together, the children bring many firsts into our lives and we will continue to go to new places and do new things as we have done so far.

We have been through lots of good and some bad (not going to talk about the bad though as this is a happy post) – the trips we have taken, the change of jobs, moving house, fighting for schools and putting on a comic con are all things I am proud of.

I am so glad we are doing life together, here is to ten more years!1385616_10153329443125445_642237043_n

Mar 30

Meccano Motorcycle Set Review

I remember playing with Meccano when I was growing up and I love that it is still available now, I really like it when the kids play with something that I know from my childhood.

We were sent the 5 in 1 Motorcycle Set to have a look at and Monkey couldn’t wait to get his hands on it – he has always loved construction and now he is growing up, he is happy to take on builds that are a bit more of a challenge.17690069_10154223476566780_1429847378_nThis is aimed at children aged 8 years plus so was perfect for Monkey. It made a great activity for Monkey and Daddy to do together, so whilst Mouse and me did some ‘girly stuff’, they set to it.  Monkey took the lead and opened the box to find all the bits needed (all 174 of them), the tools needed to put them together and the instruction booklet! 17619351_10154223476561780_912874793_nThe instructions were clearly set out and easy to follow. I think the colourful pictures helped too, they showed clearly what needed to be done and showed the pieces that you needed. 17670962_10154223477121780_1067137561_nMonkey and Daddy set to it and it seemed like they built it really quickly; we weren’t waiting long.  Daddy tells me that a lot of it Monkey could do on his own, but there were some fiddly bits that he needed to help with.  Daddy mostly helped with holding it still whilst Monkey put it together.Photo 18-03-2017, 15 02 32

This is a 5 in 1 set so there are 5 different motorcycles you can make with it, on top of that you can make your own creation (the bonus of Meccano is you can take it apart and put together again, you can do your own design and then change it)! The instructions include all five designs in them. 17619658_10154223476966780_938784928_nMonkey says that he loved building this and that he felt really proud when it was finished, he found it fun and he would tell his friends to buy it.

“I liked doing this with Daddy and I think I will be doing more Meccano in the future.  I like that when you have finished you then have a toy motorbike to play with until you want to change it into a different one” 

17619411_10154223477071780_1653947401_nWhat I really like as a mum about this product is that it is fun to do and Monkey enjoyed it. I liked that it was something that him and Daddy could do together, but know that if needed he could do it on his own.  I love that the Meccano is sturdy and can be played with after it is built – it doesn’t fall apart!

The advantage of the 5 in 1 is that once a certain style of bike has been gotten bored of, a new one can be built and that makes it feel like a new toy all over again.  Meccano has lasted a lot of years and it is easy to see why it is a versatile toy that is fun for children and adults and the option to re-build over and over adds something a bit extra!

Mar 17

Space Wars Review

In this house we have two massive fans and two fairly big fans of a certain wars in space film franchise, anything that is remotely linked or appears like it could be linked in the eyes of the little two is very welcome here! So, when we were asked to have a look at the Space Wars Aerovane target blaster – we of course did a great big jump at the chance!

It is from Map Toys and have an age rating of 4 years plus. In the box you get the space blaster, bullet, bullet clip and the Aerovane with Alien targets. It requires 2 x AA batteries17354813_10154191127981780_992597143_n

On receiving it there was some minimal construction.  There is two stands, the motor and the vane to be put together to make the aerovane; It is easy to put together and was really quick too – which was good because the youngest members of the family were getting impatient to play! The Alien targets are magnets and just ‘stick’ to the vane.

The rest is even easier, you switch on the motor and the vane spins round – then it is as simple as load, aim and fire! The aim is to shoot of the aliens (and save the world!!).17380023_10158471661975445_524035158_o

Monkey and the Mouse take it in turns to shoot at the Aerovane to see whether they can knock off an alien or two and at the end of the game they add up their scores (each alien has a number and they use this as what each is worth).17342240_10158471659925445_1336951931_o

Monkey’s Review

“This is Epic and Awesome!”

Mouse’s Review

“I like it because I can do it easy and it is a lot of fun. Me and Monkey play together and sometimes I win! I have even beaten Daddy too!”17328003_10154191127556780_1199706218_n

I am impressed with this, I like the fact that it comes with something to aim at (instead of them shooting at my head!!), it is well put together and it is sturdy.  The aliens are only magnetised but stay on until they are shot off, which is good as there is no frustration a having to stop play to reapply the aliens.

As a mum, I also like the fact that it is not massive; so it is easy to store and doesn’t take over a whole room when they are playing with it. It has kept them entertained for ours and Monkey particularly can’t wait to show his mates next time they come round – I can see a full scale tournament happening! 17357574_10158471661695445_989541185_o

Mar 03

Review of Fairy Garden Magic Bean Pot

We are very happy to say that our inside garden is expanding, we have had another addition from the Fairy Garden range at interplay land in the house and we had lots of excitement when it did.Photo 19-02-2017, 15 38 26There are two different Magic Bean sets – Joy and Hope, both lovely!

We were lucky enough to be sent the Joy pack to have a look at and we are very happy, after all who doesn’t want more Joy in their life!

In the box there is the pot (measuring approximately 11111cm high), a sitting fairy, green spade, a perching bird and some seeds of Joy. Photo 19-02-2017, 15 45 42 (1)It is a simple (but fun) set to assemble.  All you need to add to it is some compost and you are ready to go. You start by popping some compost into the pot, then dig a small hole (with the provided spade) in the middle. Next, place the seed of Joy in the hole and cover with more compost. That’s it! You are ready to watch the journey of your plant.

The fairy can sit on the edge of the pot and watch over it for you and Mouse has used the spade and bird for decoration too. It is a lovely set and Mouse Says this

“I like that it is something I can do on my own and I don’t need much help, it is pretty and I really like it!”Photo 19-02-2017, 16 00 55

What I love about the Fairy Garden range is that it is so easy to do that Monkey and Mouse are able to play independently with very little guidance. It gives them a sense of satisfaction and responsibility. The final product looks pretty and I don’t mind having on my windowsill at all.

Mouse is taking the looking after it very seriously and she is loving the responsibility of having her own plant. Would definitely recommend you starting your own fairy garden!

Keep an eye on our Instagram for pictures as it grows! You can find out more about the Fairy Garden Range on You Tube HERE and you can buy from Amazon

Feb 25

Review of Fairy Flowerpot

Both Monkey and Mouse love the outdoors and nature but recently we have not had as much opportunity to get out and about as we normally would like. A perfect time I think to give the ‘Fairy Flowerpot’ from Interplay a test run! Photo 19-02-2017, 15 37 33Within the set you get the flowerpot and the fairy, along with a pack of ‘easy to grow’ seeds. Everything you need to know to put it together is in the instruction booklet! All we had to provide was some compost – Monkey and Mouse couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty (Literally).Photo 19-02-2017, 15 42 15 (1)Nice and easy to do; Monkey and Mouse were able to do it with minimal supervision. You start by putting compost in the pot, the instructions are really clear and tell you how much to put in. Photo 19-02-2017, 15 46 18Next up is the seeds; you use about half the packet and spread them out a little, Monkey felt like a real gardener doing this!

Cover it up with more soil and you are done! It really is as easy as that, the fairy can go in her little doorway and keep an eye on her home and your growing seeds. Monkey decided that we should decorate the pot more and make a home for the fairy. He used cocktail sticks, tape, thread and paper to make some bunting/washing line. It was starting to look like a garden; so he added some buttons and wire to make a table and chairs too. Photo 19-02-2017, 16 23 11 (1)Now, we wait! We have got them on the windowsill and are keeping the soil moist. Both Monkey and Mouse and tending to it and checking on it regularly. They can’t wait to see them growing (Keep an eye on my instagram for growing updates!).

Monkey’s Thoughts

“I really liked this Fairy Garden, I found it easy to do the planting and a bit hard to make my decorations. I liked that the fairy had a door to stand in and we could make it into garden by adding things we had made. I think it is great and I would tell my friends to get one”

Mouse’s Thoughts 

“I thought it was good, I liked it because you can add things to decorate it. You can open the door and it is fun. I like planting seeds in the house”

I am really impressed with this kit, it is a lovely set and both the kids enjoyed preparing it and now are taking their responsibilities of looking after it very seriously. The pot itself is made of plastic and it study enough if it is dropped (we tested this by accident).

Others bonuses are that the pot can be reused, you can decorate to make it your own and if you lose the instructions you can download them from the interplay website! I think this would be a lovely birthday gift and it spreads a love of nature!

Feb 19

Writer’s Block

The blog has been quiet recently and over the last few months I know my posts have been sporadic. Unfortunately something happened in the real world that had an impact on our lives and my mind….this led to blogger’s block.

Bloggers block that has meant many a times I have sat and not know what to write, I have written half posts and not been able to finish them and wondered whether all the words had left me!

The good news is that I feel like I am back!! Words have returned and I am looking forward to writing regularly again, I thought I would share some tips of things I have done to help me – they may help someone else break their writer’s block too!

Give yourself a break

It is ok to get writer’s block and it is ok to have a break! I had to learn to accept that this was ok, that everyone sometimes need to recharge their batteries. I found myself feeling guilty that I wasn’t writing, the only things I wanted to write about i couldn’t publish! I had a rest, no pressure to write, just time to chill and recoup.  It will mean that when you go back to it you are raring to go and full of energy!

Get out and about

Fresh air works wonders! I started doing the school run on the bus (not through choice if I am honest) but it gave me the opportunity to walk a bit too and I liked it. I found that I could see the world, breathe and gain inspiration. I would get off the bus and sit at the bus stop for ten minutes, just watching, drinking in the atmosphere, taking note of the world around me – it became inspiring.Just give your self time to breathe, at the park on a walk or in your garden! Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 11.08.03

Rediscover things you are passionate about

This is a hard one as it depends on whether you know what you are passionate about, when i lose motivation or become a bit low I find it difficult to focus on things I enjoy. But I know there are things, I love being creative, especially with the kids. I am passionate about my family and seeing them smile. Instead of writing I picked up a book and read, I found some new writers and helped me to enjoy words again. We made plans as a family, time together, time away from day to day life and things that were just fun – these have helped re-light a fire in me and have often found me thinking – I can blog about this!

Spend time with people you love

Continuing from above, people who you love are inspiring by nature. Spend time with them, enjoy time with them and find that your want to write about life will increase. I have spent a week with my Dad who lives abroad, I found that during the week I started to think about sharing things on social media more and thinking ‘i could blog about this’ or ‘I know a linky for this day out’.

Write about anything for fun

Don’t force yourself to blog, write for fun. I have been writing with a real pen and paper!! Just jotting stuff down, writing limericks and poems and just trying to think of words. None of these will be published anywhere, it just helped get some words flowing. I also got a great little book for Christmas – 642 tiny things to write about! It is full of prompts to write about – Things like ‘tweet the original storyline of star wars’, ‘describe your most recent kiss’ and ‘write about a time you broke a bone’. It is brilliant for making you think and it is fun! Again, it is not for publishing just to help you keep your words flowing! Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 10.51.57The good news is that i think my words are back, i actually want to write again and am looking forward to getting some stuff down on paper/the internet. I will keep doing ‘real life’ too though – that where the best inspiration comes froms!!

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