Dec 14

Red Riding Hood Returns to Lakeside Nottingham this Christmas

This weekend we are starting our Christmas treats off we a trip to Nottingham Lakeside Arts to see their Fantastical Fairytale – Red Riding Hood and we are really looking forward to it.

We have been gifted a family ticket to the Press performance tomorrow. The show is running from Monday 10 to Sunday 30 December.

“Once upon a time there was a young girl who went to spend the night at Grandma’s house… and her little brother came too. She just wanted to go to sleep but he was excited and wouldn’t settle down. To help lull him to sleep, the young girl promised to tell her brother a story. But when you start acting out your favourite fairy tale, who knows what’s in store?!”

From the Olivier Award-winning children’s writer Mike Kenny this adaptation of the classic children’s tale returns to Lakeside Arts this Christmas. It promises to be a lot of fun with enchanting music and songs from Julian Butler (Charlie and Lola)!

It sounds like a perfect family afternoon out  as the show is aimed at children aged 5 years old and above and families.

Lakeside first co-presented Red Riding Hood and after being on tour nationally for 7 years, this enchanting show is back with its wonderful mix of imaginative storytelling and catchy songs. Mike Kenny is one of Britain’s leading writers, specialising in young people’s theatre. He is the recipient of the Olivier

Award for his The Railway Children, Time Out Critics Choice – Best Children’s Play for Diary of an Action Man and Arts Council England’s Children’s Award for Playwriting for Children.

In 2013 the University of Nottingham honoured him with the title Doctor of Letters for his work. Matt Aston’s directorial credits include Touched (featuring Vicky McClure) by Stephen Lowe for Nottingham Playhouse; Snow White by Mike Kenny in association with Lip Service Theatre Company and Seance on A Sunday Afternoon (Premiere) by Stephen Lowe for Nottingham Lakeside Arts.

The cast consists of two fantastic actors, Annie Kirkman and Adam Ryan, who will play the parts of the brother and sister. The creative team includes designer Laura McEwen, lighting designer Richard Statham, musical director / composer Julian Butler (Charlie and Lola, choreography by Claire Cunningham and graphic designer Ruth Disney.

We are really looking forward to having a watch tomorrow and will tell you all about it once we have been!

Tickets can be booked online at www.lakesidearts.org.uk/redridinghood or via the Lakeside Box Office on 0115 846 7777.

Dec 09

Guinness World Record Challenges (Review)

I am sure that most people at some point in their lives have wanted to break a Guinness World Record, my kids are no different and when they saw this game advertised they were very interested in playing. We have been sent this to try out (which has made the kids very happy) and let you know what we think!

In the box you get  the game board, 150 question cards about Guinness World Records titles (600 questions), 10 orange ’30 seconds’ challenge cards, 10 purple ‘best time’ challenge cards, , a notebook, an orange ping-pong ball, five coloured counters, the dice and the‘Guidelines for Challenges’ book.

There are some things you need to be able to play that are not included in the box; luckily they are easy to come across – for example timer, tea spoons, coins and socks.

The game is aimed at 8 years old and above which is great for our family and we couldn’t wait for our family game night to play this and have a go at the challenges.

The object of the game is to cross the finish line with 3 challenge cards in your possession before the other players; you must have at least one challenge card of each colour (orange and blue – the third can be any colour). Who wouldn’t love a game where you get to show off your impressive record-breaking skills!

Setting up is easy; each player picks a coloured token and they are placed on the start position, shuffle the cards and place down on the board where indicated (the number of cards depends on the number of players).

Whilst playing you roll the dice and move the correct amount of places if it shows a number unless you get the special symbols that mean you go direct to a challenge square! Warning: Completing challenges is lots of fun and a cause of much hilarity! The other spaces are question squares that give you facts about World records and ask you something based on it. If you complete your challenge or answer your question correctly then you get another go!

The challenges vary from sticking spoon to your face, bouncing balls into glasses and spinning coins; I found that I can not build a house of cards but daughter is fab at hopping!!

This game was filled with fun, challenging yourself and achieving new things is an added bonus! The kids said it was one of the better games we have played and it made them feel like they were playing a grown up game! We laughed loads playing it (especially when Daddy had to do lots of Star Jumps), we winced at some of the facts – stretchy skin and the words nipple hair and even got a little competitive!

We have had a brilliant time playing this game and if we didn’t already have it, it would definitely be on the Christmas lists!

Find more information on the Website and follow them on Social Media – Insta: @wire_pr and Twitter: @wirepr

Nov 05

Perudo – Game Review and Competition

We love a game night in this house – whether it be Family night with the kids or a night with cheese, wine and friends! We were very happy to be sent Perudo to have a play with as it is actully good for both scenarios as it is suitable for ages 8 years and up. (2-6 players can play).

Perudo has some famous friends including Stephen Fry who says it is ‘The second most addictive thing ever to come out of America….’ and Richard Branson who says that ‘Whether on a balloon or a plan, even a train, Perudo is the game…’ – with endorsements like that we were expecting good things

The game comes in a great tin;  inside you get 6 different coloured cups, 1 lid, 30 dice, 1 cloth pouch and the rule book. It fits in the tin perfectly which makes it great for storage (which is really important for a mum like me). The tin also comes in handy if you want to take the game around with you to gatherings…say during the up and coming season of Christmas.

This is a game of skill (well partly) and bluffing! Each person starts with a coloured cup and five (matching coloured) dice and a cup, which is used for shaking the dice and concealing your dice from your opponent. You take it in turns to predict how many dice of certain numbers (for example three, sixes) are hidden under the cups around the table. Each round the loser loses a dice, as players lose all their dice they are out and the winner is the only person with dice left at the end.

The rules seem a little daunting but after a couple of rounds you find it is simple to play. The more you play the quicker you can go, the fun builds as you work out which one of your friends can bluff the hardest! You can play with as little as 2 players, although we like to play it with more – it adds to the options of number combinations and the laughter.

This Friday (9th November) the 29th Perudo Championship will take place in London with over 140 players battling it out to see who will become this year’s ‘World Perudo Champion’. This sounds amazing – a whole competition dedicated to this game! If you are interested in attending to cover the event or even take part please email perudo@perudoworldchamps.co.uk for more information.

To find out more about the game or about the championships head over to the Paul Lamond Twitter: @perudo_plg or Facebook: Perudo – Paul Lamond

If you fancy winning your own copy of this game just enter via the Gleam Widget below – I am off now to try and beat the husband at this game!

Perudo Game

Nov 05

Life Update

Well, I’ve been a little quiet over the past few months, I was going to take a bit of a break over the summer but life got so busy it meant that writing took a back seat for longer than planned. However, I am back and I have updates.

So what has been going on?

We had a fantastic holiday over the summer, spent some time in the Sun, did a lot of swimming and drank cocktails with friends. We also got to see my dad who lives out there, much fun was had.A team of us also ran a residential for 90 children who may not normally get a holiday, it is great to see the smiles on their faces activities. There was a lot of fun; sports played, chats had, smiles shared, games competed in and food eaten! It was great.Both kids have made massive progress in the chosen sports Monkey’s now the captain of his schools basketball team and also plays for the development squad of the local team (Nottingham Hoods). he is a determined player who loves the sport and he is improving his skill week on week!Mouse has been signed to the Notts County girls under nines team, she is loving every moment of playing football with other girls who also love the game. They play in a boys league, so have to play hard but they certainly don’t look out of place.As we do every October, we put on Nottingham Comic Con. It was a six year and we feel it went really well. Money was raised for charity, lots of people had fun and the feedback has been great. The best bit though, is that parents have been telling us about how the children have been inspired by meeting, creators.

To finish it off I have been suffering from a bad bout of Flu, now recovery slowly and ready to blog again!

Jun 28

Wobbly Worm Game Review

We are definitely a game loving family, board games, card games, outdoor games – we just love to play! We were very excited to received Wobbly Worm from Spinmaster for review, another game that we can hopefully have lots of fun together playing!

Can you hoop the loopy worm? Wobbles the Worm has fallen out of the apple tree and he’s all dizzy! As Wobbles bobs and spins around, players try to get their three hoops over his head. Get rid of all your hoops first to win! Wobbly Worm is get-up-and-move-around fun for preschoolers!

Within the box you get The apple shaped base, Wobbly Worm (made up of four body parts, three connectors and a head) and 9 rings!

The set up is really easy, you connect the body parts with the connectors and stand on base, clip on the head and then insert 2 batteries (it runs off 2 x C batteries) – you are then ready to go!

To play all you do is press the start button and then try and get your hoops over the worm, the first player to get all three of their coloured rings over wins! Simple! Well…..simple to play with the added fun of the Wobbly Worm twisting and turning.  The bottom of the apple rocks and causes the worm to turn and the worm himself moves backwards and forwards so he wobbles to make it more difficult.

Although it is designed for pre-schoolers my two (aged 8 and 10) have loved playing with it and it is something that we can all play together, adding in extra challenges to make it more difficult – being further away, wearing a blindfold etc! When I suggested it might be two young for them they disagreed and said in no uncertain terms that they love it!

It is also fab for them to play with our friend’s children who are younger, lots of fun to be had with simple rules!

The worm can be made to three heights (with it’s biggest height being 3 ft) so can be made to sort your child.

The rings come in three different colours, so each player can have their own and they come in three different sizes, the bigger one being the easiest to get over. They are made from plastic and are strong without being too thick or heavy.

We are loving Wobbly Worm and would recommend it for all the family to play inside out out! We take it in the garden to have a bit more space and create run around challenges.

You can see more about the game here on the Spinmaster website

May 23

The Vibe Collection from SWATCH

Following on from the previous post about the Neon Workshop I attended with Swatch I would now like to show you and tell you about the new Vibe collections and my new Watch.Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 13.45.24The word Swatch in itself brings up memories for me as I had a SWATCH Pop Watch when I was a teenager and I loved it. I love to see how the brand has developed and that they now have such a vast range of watches – there really is something for everyone.

The recently Released Swatch Vibe Collection is no different, there are different styles, different styles and different colours.Photo 25-04-2018, 18 14 35I love this new range, the colours are so striking; even the black watches have a splash of colour on the dials, I think there is a watch for every occasion. There are ones with fun designs too; including one with fish on and one that is definitely bee inspired.

I was given a Swatch for myself  at the end of the event and I was very pleased with the one I got – It is bright Pink and with it’s fab silicone strap and a stylish aluminium dial it is perfect for the summer! Photo 19-05-2018, 14 52 04 (1)I love my new watch, the pink is lovely and bright, the purple, yellow and silver make the colour ‘POP’ even more. It is a watch that is light enough to wear throughout the day – I have a thing about feeling constricted around the wrist and this watch hasn’t caused me any problems.

It has a slightly louder tick than my other Swatch (from the Skin Range), but it is ok (I just don’t wear it to bed). Being a mum I have to ensure things like this are robust enough to last. I am pleased to say that this is all good on that front. I have worn it on the school run, shopping, playing basketball in the park and more and it is still very much in tack!

So in the Watch department – I am set, the only thing I have to think about it – is which one is the husband going to buy me next!

 

May 23

Neon Workshop with SWATCH

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an event and I don’t mind telling you that I was excited. I was excited as not only was it being held by SWATCH (a brand I love) but also because they were putting on a Neon Workshop!

I went along to One Thoresby Street (Artist Studios) in Nottingham and joined some other bloggers to learn about the history of Neon, take part in making a neon light and see the new Vibe Collection from Swatch.Photo 25-04-2018, 18 26 11The session started with a great introduction by Neon Workshops, it was really interesting listening to the history and learning things about the life of Neon, the environmental benefits, how to get the different colours and most importantly how to make our own Light!

I have always liked the thought of glass blowing/moulding so was excited to learn that we would be making our own Neon Light and to do that we would have to cut and bend some glass.

That long tube of glass in the first photo is where we started, we scored it and snapped it to make a length of glass that was workable. Then it was our job to heat it up and bend it. I enjoyed this so much, the feel of something solid becoming malleable, turning straight glass into something bended and interesting. I really enjoyed the workshop. Keep an eye on my Instagram to see my light in action!

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 13.45.24The workshop was brilliant and they are accessible by anyone, check them out if you fancy having a go!

I felt very lucky to be included in this workshop and at the end as a massive bonus we were given our own Swatch from the Vibe Range to keep. The next post will give you a better look at the range and a review of my new Watch!

Photo 25-04-2018, 18 14 35

May 11

Whacky Shots battle pack Review

If your children are anything like mine; they love things that they can both collect and play with. Whacky Shots is a new action toy that includes cards that you can use to play or you can also trade. Photo 10-05-2018, 12 57 12 (1)

 

We received the Whacky Shots Power Pack that includes eight Whacky Shots (two from each of the four teams), eight cards with bases, one target net, six crash cones, collector booklet and two Power Launchers.

The Monkey and Mouse were keen to get the pack open and start playing. There is minimum set up; you have to attached the net to and two legs to the ring and Pop the eight cards in their bases to stand them up, that’s it – you are ready to go!

Photo 10-05-2018, 20 15 21

There are four teams; Earth Heroes, Mutant Beasts, Invading Aliens and Rogue Robots. All you have to do is pick your warriors, stretch and launch – launch into battle!! You can launch your warrior of your finger but in this power pack you can use the Power Launcher for extra distance and accuracy.

To play against an opponent, each of you pick your team (you are to have at least one from each element in your team), select your cards and stand them facing away from the opponent. The cards show power, speed and skill statistics.

Photo 10-05-2018, 20 17 59

If you hit one of your oppositions cards, it is turned and shown to the other players; if your warrior beats the element of the card you win, the card remains down and you get another shot. if it doesn’t beat the element the card owner wins and the card stays in play and is returned to its original position.

You keep going until only one player has a card left standing and they are the winner.

If you remember which cards you have hit and have remained standing, you can target your warrior with the correct element to defeat in a future shot!Photo 10-05-2018, 20 16 28

Fire beats nature – nature beats electricity – electricity beats water – water beats fire. Team Atomic beats them all!

This is a lot of fun and because it is easy to set up and get the play started I can see it being used a lot.  To hone your skills you can use the net and crash cones to practice. You can make your own games up and can even play solo if you want to!

The Monkey initially found that they could fire from their finger much better than from the Launcher. The Launcher took a little bit of getting used to, but now they are avid launcher users, as they can use them well.

The Whacky Shots comes from Brainstorm Ltd and is great and there are 60 Whacky Shots in Series 1, so it is a real collectible. I am sure any interested child will want to collect them all! The challenge is to find the rare glow-in-the-dark Whacky Shots for extra atomic power!

Follow Brainstorm Limited on Facebook, twitter or Instagram

 

Apr 16

Review – Tech Deck Finger Skateboards

You may recognise Tech Deck – the finger skateboards from 20 years ago; awesome mini versions of the real thing, controlled by your fingers and a whole load of fun!

The Good news is that they are still fab and the even better news (for us) is that we were asked to have a look at them and tell you about them. 30550783_10160327930090445_1106467590_oThe excitement in the house was massive when this awesome bundle arrived, and it wasn’t only the children that were raring to open and play. This is literally like Christmas to us

We were sent the Transforming SK8 Container (transforming Ramps!!), an SLS pro series Fun Box with Rail, a four pack of skateboards and a single pack from series 2.

The skateboards are great, proper little replicas of the real things; complete with wheels, trucks, picture underneath and the grip tape on top. The single pack came assembled and was ready to play with straight away. It came with extra wheels and the tool to change them.

The fours pack was more time consuming to set up but also more fun. You got one ready to go and three where you needed to add the grip tape, the trucks and the wheels using the provided screws and bolts (which are teeny weeny and easy to lose, so my tip is to do this somewhere you can see them well).30549979_10160327978530445_87748474_oMonkey and Mouse were capable of putting them together, they just needed a little help now and again. The ramp and rail were really easy to set up. For the rail there was just a couple of bits to slide together, for the container it was clip one lid on and it was ready to go.

They both loved checking to see whether their new boards were common, rare or ultra rare. This is a feature that makes them collectible and I can see the children saving their pennies to buy more to complete the set – obviously with their fingers crossed for the ultra rare ones each time.

Monkey and Mouse are loving playing with these, they give their own commentary to what is happening in their competitions between their skateboards. Monkey describes it as ‘awesome’ and says ‘I really like how the skateboards are like my real skateboard’.

The storage container transformable ramp is definitely a favourite; you can use it as a half-pipe or you can take the ramps out and attach to other parts to make a more varied ramp. It features skateboard stands and a grinding rail out to the side. Playing with it is fun and It then all packs away into itself, which as a mum I appreciate as it makes it easy to store when not being played with.

 

Both Monkey and Mouse have said that they would like to buy more ramps, rails and pipes to extend their skate park.

Things I love about this are; it’s a toy that can be played with alone or with others, it is a toy that can be fun for children and grown ups, they are sturdy and can be used for what they are meant to be used for and they are a lot of fun!

Tech Deck have a You Tube channel where you can see the skateboards in action and can pick up more idea of how to play!30784835_10160328271705445_366136352_n

Mar 21

World Book day 2018

I love World Book Day. You have all them children talking about the books they love and dressing up as characters they would love to be – it’s helping Children’s literacy by having fun! What could be better?!

The only problem this year was that the snow came….boy did it come! School was closed – booo!

Thankfully our school knew how much the children were looking forward to it (and how much time and effort parents had put into costumes) so they rearranged it for the Friday just gone!

This time around my two chose costumes that were not too difficult to put together, but were definitely the characters from their current favourite books!

Mouse is the biggest fan of Bear Grylls and his series of books for kids ‘Bear Grylls Adventures’; she is reading one after the other and flies through them – I need them to release the next ones quicker to keep up with her! So, when asked which character she wanted to be, her answer came quick and firm ‘Bear Grylls’.

Monkey was a reluctant reader in a previous phase of his life, but more recently he is always reading. He absolutely loves the Etherington Brothers who he first met at Nottingham Comic Con and he discovered the series of books ‘Freaky and Fearless’ written by Robin Etherington.

He has read all three books and is now re-reading them. Love the passion he has for these books, his character had to be ‘Simon’ in his outfit from book one!

IMG_4718I am looking forward to seeing these two dive more and more into books and I can only imagine what cthe costume will be next year!

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