Saturday, 31 December 2016

£75 Argos Gift Voucher Giveaway

To celebrate the ending of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 we are offering one lucky Playdays and Runways reader and follower the chance to win a £75 Argos voucher. We were so proud to be asked to be part of the Chad Valley Play Panel and have loved reviewing so many fabulous toys this year.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Chad Valley Airport Playset Review

Just before Christmas we got a special delivery from Chad Valley. As we are part of the Chad Valley Play Panel, little J was sent the Chad Valley Airport Playset to try out. It was perfect timing as little J was getting fed up waiting for Santa to bring him new toys. Little J absolutely loves everything that involves cars, planes or trains so the Chad Valley Airport Playset was the perfect choice. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Ravensburger Stick Man and The Gruffalo Puzzles Review

This week we had an early Christmas treat when Stickman and The Gruffalo jigsaw puzzles arrived. We love The Gruffalo and Stickman so we were thrilled. The two jigsaw puzzles are by Ravensburger and are based on the popular books written by Julia Donaldson.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Win Mr Blooms Talking Veggies

On The 9th day of December I have teamed up with Little Babas Toys and Costumes to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a full set of Mr Blooms Talking Veggies


Friday, 9 December 2016

Win a Baylis and Harding Gift Set

On The 9th day of December I have teamed up with Baylis and Harding to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Baylis and Harding Gift Set


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Win Shuffle Games

On The 8th day of December I have teamed up with Cartamundi Shuffle Games to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Connect 4 and Game of Life.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Festive Menu at Beefeater

A few weeks ago we were treated to a delicious meal from the new Festive Menu at Beefeater. We have never dined at a Beefeater restaurant before so we were all excited. When it comes to eating out we do usually like to try different places but the Beefeater has never popped up and I'm not sure why as we have many close by.

Win Say Hello Glove Puppet

On The 7th day of December I have teamed up with East Coast Nursery to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a 'Say Hello ' glove puppet.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tech Savvy Dad Tuesday - My First Scalextric

Scalextric has always been one of favourite toys, from growing up to today, there has always been at least one set around, even if it’s been stored in the loft until one of the little ones has been old enough to play.  I think I was more excited than anyone when ‘My First Scalextric’ was due to arrive for Little J to try. The box is quite compact and reminded me initially of the micro sets. We have had a couple of these over the years, transformers being the last I remember.  Included in the box are a simple track set up, controllers, adapter and 2 reasonably sized BMW cars.

Win Little Tiger Press Christmas Book Bundle

On The 6th day of December I have teamed up with Little Tiger Press to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Christmas book bundle.


Monday, 5 December 2016

Monthly Review Round Up - November

Can't believe we are in December already. November went very quickly and I am guessing this month will too and the big day will soon be here. Last month we were sent some goodies to try out, so here is our Monthly Review Round Up.

Hollands Micro 2 Go Pastie Slice Review

When I was younger Hollands was the only brand of pie I knew. It was the brand my Nana and Grandad bought, My Mum and Dad and whenever you had a pie from the chippy it would always be a Hollands. Growing up I was never a lover of meat based pies but I loved Cheese and Onion. A cheese and onion pie with lots of tomato sauce, yummy.


Although I do like Hollands pies I have to admit sometimes waiting 35-45 minutes for a pie to cook when you have hungry kids and a hungry husband can sometimes be off putting. We live in a world were everything seems to be faster than it has ever been. People want things done in seconds not minutes and minutes not hours. So when I heard about the Micro 2 Go range from Hollands I knew they would be a hit instantly, not just here but in many homes.

The Micro 2 Go means that you can eat a delicious Hollands Pastie Slice in under 2 minutes with the taste and flavour of your favourite pies. Ok, I have to admit it does sound too good to be true but we were all up for giving them a try.

At the moment you can choose from Peppered Steak, Cheese and Onion, Chicken Balti and Steak and Guinness. I absolutely love Cheese and Onion so this was the perfect choice for me to try with Daddy choosing Peppered Steak.


The pasties come in a neat microwavable box which you open a little by pulling the tab before you pop in the microwave. Once it's in just pop on for 1 minute and 30 seconds and stand for 1 minute once cooked.


Once it's cooked and left to stand you can open the box by pulling along the yellow tab. This will then break the box in half and you can either take it out and enjoy on a plate or eat straight from the box.


 I was expecting the pastry to be a little soggy but it kept the texture and the taste was amazing. It really was delicious. The pastie was full with flavour and it did just taste like a Hollands Cheese and Onion pie but without the long wait for it to cook.

I always say this but I do like to provide meals from scratch for the boys but sometimes that doesn't work and I need something quick and satisfying for them, these pasties do the trick.

*****

What We Loved

Great idea from a trusted brand

Easy to heat up and under 2 minutes to cook

Convenient and perfect for busy times

Pastie kept its flavour and texture

Taste amazing

4 flavours to choose from

What Could Improve

I know I have put the flavours available in the What We Loved but even more choice would be great.

*****

Hollands Micro 2 Go will be available in all good supermarkets and you can read more about the  range by visiting Hollands

Win Nick Jr Ready Steady Dough

On The 5th day of December I have teamed up with The Entertainer to offer one lucky reader the chance to win Nick Jr Ready Steady Dough - Swirly Whirly Sweets.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Win A Disney Cars Puzzle Play Mat

On The 4th day of December I have teamed up with Tatamiz to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a large foam Disney Cars jigsaw style play mat.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Win Bed Socks from Suttons

On The 3rd day of December I have teamed up with Suttons to offer one lucky reader the chance to win two pairs of bed socks, perfect for chilly Winter evenings.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Win Og on the Bog by Drumond Park

On The 2nd day of December I have teamed up with Drumond Park to offer one lucky reader the chance to win Og on the Bog

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Signed Tigeropolis Books Giveaway

On The 1st day of December I have teamed up with Tigeropolis to offer one lucky reader the first two Tigeropolis books signed by the author.



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Switch It Up and Drink Smart

this is a collaborative post

As soon as the Christmas season begins we usually have lots of invites for nights out, get togethers, and meals and to me this means lots of fun but others its an excuse to have lots of alcohol. I am not a big drinker in fact whenever I go out I am usually the driver and would much rather drink water or a glass of diet coke than wine or vodka. To me drinking is a social thing and people use it to have great time but I don't need it. Don't get me wrong when I was younger I would party all weekend but I was younger then and had no responsibilities but I now one night of partying would make me feel ill for a week after and with two kids and a husband to look after I much prefer to to stay alcohol free. Recent research commissioned by AB InBev was done to demonstrate the benefits of smart drinking encouraging Brits to 'Switch It Up' 

Glass of Coke with my meal rather than alcohol

Monday, 28 November 2016

Our 2016 Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas will soon be here and whilst I love buying presents I often get stuck for ideas on what to buy. So this year I decided to make notes every time something caught my eye on TV or whilst browsing the internet.



Firstly I will start with ideas for the kids. Now Father Christmas still brings all our Christmas presents here however we do have family and friends for buy for so it's always worth jotting down some ideas.


 Chad Valley - Wooden Fire and Police Station.

Regular readers will know that we were selected to be part of the Chad Valley Play Panel and part of our role was to try and test Chad Valley Toys. One of our favourite so far is the Wooden Fire and Police Station. It has a RRP of £29.99 and it is such good value for money. you can read our review here and it definitely gets a thumbs up from us.


Nick Jr - Ready Steady Dough

Little J recently spotted the Nick Jr Ready Steady Dough range in the Entertainer Toy Shop and has since put it on his Christmas list. He loves Nick Jr and play dough so I know this will be a hit for little ones out there. Even Willy Wonka would be proud of the colourful candy in the Ready Steady Dough Swirly Whirly Sweets Set.

This Dough set's full of tools, moulds and shapes to make sweets that look just like the real thing.

Fill up the sweet machine with dough and turn the handle for swirly eye-popping patterns.  You could even open your own sweet shop.


Drumond Park - Pickin Chickens

Games are always a favourite at Christmas time and one of our favourites is Pickin Chickens. It's is the latest in a long line of much loved, instant-action table-top games from Drumond Park. Beautifully designed and destined to become a perennial favourite, this lively, fun and supremely tactile game will help young players quickly grasp the concept of taking turns, learning their colours, making decisions and practising memory skills - all while they beaver away to save their precious chicks from that sneaky jumping fox.


Smiggle - Sky High 2 Tone Clock

Smiggle is a brand I have only recently become aware of after a shop opened in our town centre. It's full of amazing gift ideas and I could probably make a Smiggle gift guide but I have narrowed it down to 2 ideas. Firstly the Sky High 2 Tone Clock. I absolutely love this and think it is a perfect stocking filler.  

Press down on the sky high alarm clock & see the time project onto your ceiling or wall. display includes time & temperature, back lit display (for night time) plus musical alarms to choose from.


Smiggle - Glimmer and Shimmer Bracelet Kit

Glimmer, shimmer & get creative with our diy bracelet kit. with everything you need to create funky accessories & simple step-by-step instructions, you'll be glimmering & shimmering all over.


Sense Organics - Reindeer Pyjamas

We have a tradition that every Christmas Eve we all go to bed wearing new PJ's. We absolutely love the quality of Sense Organics Pyjamas and the reindeer pattern is perfect for the festive period. You can view the full range available at Sense Organics or Amazon


Harry Potter Complete 8 Film Collection

As huge Harry Potter fans we couldn't miss this off our gift guide. It's a must have family movie collection. The 16 disc blu ray set features all 8 movies 

Year 1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Year 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Year 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Year 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Year 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

Year 6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Year 7 - Part 1: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Year 7 - Part 2: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 


Pete's Dragon

The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. This is the newly released version of the movie and a must see this Christmas.


This December, Rogue One will premiere in Cinema's across the UK and I know that Star Wars gifts will be at the top of many Christmas lists this year.

Here are a few of our top picks. 


Star Wars - NERF Episode VII Chewbacca Bowcaster

We are huge fans of Nerf and their blasters have given us many hours of fun over the years creating our own Nerf Wars. This Chewbacca Bowcaster is just one of the Nerf's available within the Star Wars range.

Star Wars - Itty Bittys
From a Hallmark Galaxy not so far away comes a group of itty bittys perfect for any Star Wars fan. Old favourites like Yoda™, Chewbacca™, C-3PO™, R2-D2™, Darth Vader™ and Stormtrooper™ are joined by some new favourites Rey™, BB-8™ and Kylo Ren™, a must for any Star Wars collection


Star Wars - Cufflinks

Perfect novelty gift for any Star Wars fan. A range of retro cufflinks are averrable to buy from Happy Happy Loft over on eBay.

Choose From:
STORM TROOPER
DARTH VADER
AT-AT
MILLENNIUM FALCON
STORM TROOPER / DARTH VADER (one of each)
STAR WARS (logo round)

 If you'd like your cufflinks sent in a gift bag or gift box, please add to basket before checkout.

Size: 1.5cm x 2cm

To view the range available visit Happy Happy Loft



The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

If you are a regular to my blog you will know I am a huge fan of McFly. One of the band members Tom Fletcher has created a beautiful Children's fiction book in time for Christmas. His love of Christmas and Dinosaurs are merged in his first novel The Christmasaurus, following the adventures of a young wheelchair user, William Trundle. An exciting festive read for all ages.



Santa's Magic Key

We have already begun reading Christmas stories here and will continue right up till Christmas Eve. This gorgeous festive gift set contains a story book and special magic key from Santa himself. Simply hang the key on your front door on Christmas Eve and Santa will do the rest. The essential present for every home without a chimney at Christmas.


Friday, 25 November 2016

Go Ahead Snacks Review #SnackSmart

We love reviewing new products as it gives us the chance to try out new stuff we may have missed in the shops. However when we were asked to review some Go Ahead goodies it reminded me of a brand I used to love but just forgot about somehow. We used to eat Go Ahead bars a few years ago but stopped and I'm not sure why as they are so tasty and low in kcals.

Our Top Five Takeaway Apps

*Collaborative Post

Its nearly time to decorate our home ready for the Christmas celebrations. We have a tradition that every year on decoration day, we will tidy up, then get the decorations from the loft. After that the usual ornaments and pictures take their turn up in the loft for a month or so, and then the decorating begins. At about the time we are sorting the teddies and ornaments, we will usually order a takeaway meal to be delivered. Now I remember when we first started the tradition of decoration day we would go out for something to eat, but we would find ourselves short of time and rushed. Over the years that we have been ordering in I think that Pizza has been the most popular choice, but then is that because until recently Pizza was one of the only things you could get delivered?

Annabel Karmel Frozen Meals Review

When it comes to mealtimes I have mentioned before that I do like to cook from scratch but realistically there are days when this does not happen. Being a parent it's busy, busy, busy and there are days when I just have to throw something together quickly if we are running late and I haven't had time to prepare something. Having said that I still make sure what we eat isn't junk and that it is something that is nutritious and healthy. When we were asked to try out Annabel Karmel Frozen Meals I took a look at the website and the products and I was impressed. Annabel Karmel has turned her best-loved children’s recipes into nutritionally balanced freezer fillers for parents like me that have days when we are just too busy to cook.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

TechSavvyDad Tuesday - S+ by ResMed Review

*Guest Post By Daddy

Sleep. Does anyone ever get enough these days? I know that being a dad to two boys, one a toddler and one a teen, there is a huge differential in the times that they sleep. Little J is often asleep by 6pm and up again ready for the next day at 5am whereas Big J will be in bed by 10pm on a school night and much later at weekends. I get to sleep in-between these times but generally I have some ‘Dad’ time that means actually I think I average around 6 hours each night. I know that's not enough, but how can we monitor and improve our sleep? I have tried a few apps from the google play store over the years, with mixed results. I have never stuck to one app to try to improve my sleep as I haven’t yet been convinced that any of them actually work. I have been trying the S+ by ResMed to try and improve my sleep.

Monday, 7 November 2016

The Lion Guard Defend The Pride Lands Play Set Review

Being huge Disney fans we are quite shocked that we haven't sat down yet and watched The Lion Guard TV series which is based on The Lion King movies. We've heard of it and it has been on our 'to watch' list for a while. When we were asked to review The Lion Guard - Defend The Pride Lands Play Set it gave us the excuse to sit down and watch an episode before it arrived. Little J loved it as did I. It's a lovely series following Kion, Simba's youngest cub.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Epic Moments From The Middle Earth Collection

*Guest Post by Daddy

This week I have noticed that Christmas is already everywhere. Shops, adverts on TV, Online ads, you can’t get away from it and its not even 5th November yet. This got me thinking about some of the traditions we have at home for Christmas, one of which is to watch the extended editions of all three Lord Of The Rings movies, we attempt this usually in one epic sitting when Little J and Big J are having their Christmas day out with their grandparents.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Chad Valley Wooden Fire and Police Station Review

You may have seen our very exciting post recently about Mummy 2 Monkeys being chosen to be part of the Chad Valley Play Panel. We are so excited to be involved with a brand that means so much to us. Chad Valley was a huge part of I and Daddy's childhood and I have fond memories of toys I used to play with. I really must dig out some photographs of me as a child on christmas morning opening lots of Chad Valley toys.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Saturday Morning Visit To Mini Moose Land At Chill Factore

Having two boys with a large age gap it can be difficult to plan days out that they both will enjoy. It has been a chore in the past as you want them to both have a great time but luckily for us we have one attraction close by that they both love. You may have seen my previous posts on Chill Factore and how much the boys enjoy visiting. The Chill Factore is an indoor ski and snowboarding centre and is home to the UK's longest indoor ski slope. They also have a fabulous Arctic Playground just for under 4's called Mini Moose Land which is perfect for little J. We were invited to pop along recently and have 1 hour of Mini Moose Land fun.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Disney Princess Colours of the Sea Ariel Toddler Doll Review

Both little J and I were excited when Colours of the Sea Ariel from JAKKS Pacific arrived this week. I knew she was on her way but I didn't tell little J so when he opened the box his little face lit up. He loves Disney and Disney Princesses and is always trying to play with my collector Disney dolls so at first he wasn't sure whether he could touch her or not. When I told him Ariel was for him and she could go in the bath he instantly pulled her out of the cardboard box and wanted me to open her.

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