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!!

Jan 04

Bye Bye 2016

Another year ended and so much has changed, things have happened (not all good), lots of well-known people have passed on and the kids have got older.

My blog has suffered as some things I wanted to blog about I couldn’t and other times things impacted me and I had major writers block. I was going to write a post to try to get it all out but instead I am going to look back on happy times and look at how the kids have grown!15871108_10158088895010445_898750835_nMonkey entered the year as a shy, unconfident 7-year-old. His learning had taken a bit of a hit in year three and he felt he wasn’t good at much. In March he turned 8 and we have seen him grown up very quickly; both physically (jumping 2 clothes sizes and catching up with peers) and mentally; he is developing his personality and his more grown up attitude. Monkey has started new clubs at school that are helping with his confidence too; basketball puts a big smile on his face and French Horn shows him he is really good at something.

Currently majorly into MineCraft, Pokemon and Dan TDM he is very similar to most of the boys in his year at school and to top it off in the proud mummy stakes – his learning has gone back up, massively and he is doing awesome thanks to a Teacher who focusses on encouragement and changing styles with different children.15870638_10158088909590445_238270238_n

Mouse started the year as a 5-year-old, hadn’t even been in school for a year because of the delay starting – you wouldn’t have known though, the girl does love learning. Now she is developing a ‘6 going on 16′ attitude, don’t get me wrong; she is really well-behaved – just very independent. Mouse has taken up Gymnastics and has found she is a natural, she loves it and will be continuing this year. She continues to be my ‘princess that likes mud’ (not sure that will ever change), some days she is doused from head to toes in pink and sparkly things, the next in her football kit pretending to be a Pokemon hunter climbing rocks.

Currently her favourite things are Shopkins, Pokemon and Disney infinity – I think we might have a Disney Fan girl on our hands in the future!IMG_2720

We have had lots of good times over the year, a fab holiday with awesome friends in Tenerife, Parties, days out and a new job for hubby. We have made new life long friendships and strengthen old ones, my mum got engaged to a man that makes her smile and the husband and I ran another successful Nottingham Comic Con. I always think pictures speak louder than words, so here is a collection of fun!

There have been things i would rather not think about but ultimately they add to your past to grow you, hubby and I got through them together and we have an awesome family. We are lucky that everyone we love made it through and we have our health.

Here is to a great 2017 for all!

Dec 16

A Movie Gift Guide for Her…

As I published a gift guide all about movies for him yesterday, it is only fair that I do a ‘for her’ guide too! There are many reasons I need a ‘for her’ movie; girl’s night, chilling out on my own night and date night (if the hubby is feeling generous to let me pick the film).

Warner on hand; there are some real heartwarming films in their range for the ladies in your life!for-her-6-dec-v1

Lets start with a good old Romantic Comedy – Me Before You. A young girl gets a new job and forms an unlikely bond with the paralysed man she is caring for. I love watching a Rom-Com, seeing the story build, playing with your emotions. This is a definite watch for the next girls night; PJs, Popcorn and romance, what more could you want!

The Intern is about working in the world of fashion, the twist is that a 70-year old widower has decided to come out of retirement and become the intern in the company. Although it sounds like a straight film, it promises to be filled with fun and laughs.

The one I will be saving to watch with the other half is The Heart of the Sea, based in the real-life maritime disaster that inspired Moby Dick.  This film follows the story of the surviving crew after a whale of huge size and power sinks the boat they are on. Full of action and adventure I am sure that I can convince hubby to pull up a chair and watch with me.

Now to the classic of Wizard of Oz – just in case you don’t know the plot; Dorothy gets swept away into a magical land when a tornado hits her town, along the way she meets some fun characters and has lots of fun whilst she tries to get back home. If you haven’t seen it, it is one to watch, if you have seen it, it is one to watch again! Perfect for if you have a film night with the kids too!

Last but by no means least we have How to Be Single – this promises to have you laughing your socks off, it stars Rebel Wilson who always has me giggling. Four young women navigate themselves around New York and the world of love. The best way to describe it is probably Chick flick with added fun. I can not wait to watch this one! for-her-6-dec-v1 2


You can buy all of these here.  Warner Bros. has the ultimate selection of films – not just for the female of the species, check them out I bet you will find something you would like!

Dec 14

A Movie Gift Guide for Him…

Less than two weeks to go until the big day – *does a little dance* – It’s Christmas time!! I love Christmas and I love spending the time with my family and friends!  Before we get to the fun of Christmas day there is the shopping to finish and if you are anything like me there are definitely a few relatives of the male variety left to buy for!

Warner Bros. to the rescue – who doesn’t love a good film?!

Films feature heavily in our Christmas time, we have a Christmas film for putting up the tree, we have film nights with the kids, snuggled up with Popcorn and a blanket and the hubby and I have film nights to chill out after all the wrapping and generally spend some time together outside of the festive madness!for-him-6-dec-v1_1

In this gift guide I am going to tell you about some awesome movie ideas for the men in your life (truthfully they might be good for the women in your life too, there are definitely a couple on my list!).

Superhero films are becoming more and more popular; Batman Vs. Superman is one of those films the hubby and I regret not seeing at the cinema so are definitely looking forward to the DVD being under the tree.  I never thought that there would be two of my favourite superheroes at war with each other and as you can imagine it just opens up scope for other threats to the people and this puts mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known! What will happen?! This promises to be full of excitement and action and we will definitely be watching this Christmas!

Creed is not something I would choose to watch, but I know my hubby and his friends would definitely be into it; it is an American sport drama and full of manly attractions – sport, action, Rocky Balboa…..yes Rocky Balboa is back as a trainer for his former opponents son! Promises to be a good watchfor-him-6-dec-v1_1

Following a series of unconventional robberies targeting international financial markets, a FBI agent goes undercover to join a group of extreme sports athletes in Point Break this is a remake of the fantastic 1991 film and is definitely worth a watch!

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Depp are two of my favourites, the other half thinks they are good actors too. Both are in Black Mass – Depp playing real-life serial killer James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in this biographical crime drama. Real-life based movies have so much to learn in them, find out more about the story and be entertained at the same time!

In Mad Max Fury Road, a women rebels against a tyrannical ruler who is enslaving apocalypse survivors, she makes a daring escape with some female prisoners and a drifter called Max. Full of action it is bound to keep you watching till the end, I think with the violence in it though I will leave this one to a boys night!

I know there is now too many to choose from isn’t there, this is a great bunch of films but to make it more difficult Warner Bros. have loads more on offer; whether you’re looking for him, for her, or for festive favourites to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit!!  Make someone’s christmas, get them a film that can turn into an evening of fun!

All can be bought from HMV and would make good stocking fillers or main presents. A film is not a short-term gift as you can re-watch the fun over and over!  With these thrill seekers all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the adventure!

You have a chance to win this bundle yourself if you head to my twitter and Retweet this tweet (ends 21/12/16)

Nov 23

Review of Bellz

We love games, board games, video games, even made up games; especially this time of year when it is darker in the evening and we just want to cosy down each night with something fun. We were very happy to add Bellz from Spinmaster to our collection and give it a test run!Photo 17-11-2016, 18 57 58When the game arrived the kids couldn’t wait to play. The bells definitely attracted them to it.  In the box you get 40 bells, a double ended magnet and a travel pouch. The bells come in different sizes and in four different colours, they are fairly light but not too flimsy. The magnet has a smaller magnet one end and a stronger one the other and the travel pouch actually becomes the playing board too. Photo 17-11-2016, 18 58 47The idea of the game is to collect all of your own colour (of which there are 10) but you are not allowed to collect any other colour. You take it in turns until one of you has all your colour. You can select which magnet you use – sometimes the bigger one is too strong for what you are going for so you need the weaker one. Photo 17-11-2016, 18 59 47It is a simple game to play and it is also a lot of fun. The rules are simple and children can follow well. I love the fact that we can play as a family or the kids (aged 6 and 8) can play just the two of them.  You can simplify it further by just playing who can collect the most bells (regardless of colour).

The travel pouch is fantastic for storage (everything fits in) and is a great size for travel. We will definitely be taking it when we go away to hotels or to families houses to keep the kids entertained. Photo 17-11-2016, 19 02 48The Monkey and the Mouse often get it out to play and I only know because of the bells jingling and the giggling! They have so much fun playing it and has said that they definitely think other children would love it too!

Nov 19

Country Kids in Kent

Last weekend we have a fab weekend away visiting friends, it was so nice to catch up and watch Monkey and Mouse interacting with their gorgeous little boy. Another thing it did was reignited a want for fresh air. I haven’t joined in Country Kids for ages, not for a lack of want – just circumstance.

Last weekend we made two visits to the wood to walk their lovely dog. We built Dens, looked at mushrooms, ran, walked and played on rope swings (even I had a go). It was awesome!!

Here is some snaps, they are not the best photos as it was drizzling with rain. The rain didn’t matter though it was just good to be outside, to have fun and to breathe!

Country Kids

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