Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas For All The Family

I have to admit that I haven't bought any Christmas gifts yet this year which is not like me as I usually begin as early as September. However I have started to make a note of some gift ideas that I have seen on other blogs and I have been sent some fabulous gift ideas to share with you. I have popped them below and I hope you enjoy having a browse.  

For The Kids

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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Hello Canvas - A Memory Captured

I haven't mentioned it on my blog as I just haven't got round to writing about it yet but back in April we visited Walt Disney World in Florida. It was a trip of a lifetime and something I know none of us will ever forget. I am planning on writing about our adventures and showing you all our photographs but for now you can have a sneak peek of one of our favourites as Hello Canvas have created a beautiful framed print for us to treasure forever. 

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Review and Giveaway - Shark Bite

We have a new addition to our every growing games collection this month and it's Shark Bite by Drumond Park. I've mentioned it before but even though he is only 4,  little J absolutely loves playing games and playing them regularly as a family as really helped with learning to share and take turns. Little J loves 'fun' games and Shark Bite really is just that. It's a game where you have to go fishing in a shark's mouth before he snaps it shut.


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Board Game Club Blogger - Pandemic

I have said before just how much we enjoy playing board games. We love playing games suitable for kids, family and adults. We love finding new games to play so when we were asked to join the Blogger Board Game Club a few months ago we had to say yes. It’s the perfect opportunity to try our new games and add to our ever growing collection. When this month’s game arrived we were excited to see it was an ‘adult’ type game. Pandemic puts you on a disease fighting team with the hopes that you will not only keep four deadly diseases at bay but also discover their cure.

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Monday, 6 November 2017

Review and Giveaway - Disney Guess The Film

You will all know how much we love Disney so when we were asked to review Disney Guess The Film game we jumped at the chance. It actually combines two of our favourite things Disney and games. Little J is at the age now when he can happily sit and play a game. He is able to take turns and the days of throwing tantrums if he didn't win are way behind us. He was actually really excited when he saw the box as it has 'Cars' on it and he is such a huge fan of Disney Cars movies.

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Review - Hot Wheels Roto Revolution

Hot Wheels has been popular with us since Big J was small. We have amassed a decent sized collection of Hot Wheels cars, and Little J loves each and every one of them . We were asked to review the Hot Wheels Roto Revolution Track Set, and Little J was so excited to try it out.

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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Review - Mi Mic

As a family we love trying out new gadgets so we were eager to receive Mi Mic Microphone. We had seen it on TV and it looked great and lots of fun. The Mi Mic Microphone is a karaoke microphone and speaker in one. 

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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Giveaway - Super Wings Scan 'n Talk Flyer Jett

You may remember back in the Summer I teamed up with the lovely people at Alpha Animation and became a Super Wings Ambassador. If you missed it then just to let you know Super Wings is a hugely popular, action-packed, animation series that can be watched twice daily on Cartoonito. Little J absolutely loves watching Super Wings and we have just started to watch series 2. I have teamed up with Alpha Animation again for a fabulous giveaway to win a Scan 'n Talk Flyer Jett.


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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Review - Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure

I'm not sure who was more excited about receiving the Oregon Smart Globe Adventure a few weeks ago, little J or John and I. I absolutely love anything to do with maps, countries, capitals but have never actually owned a globe so this was very exciting. The Smart Globe Adventure is an interactive globe giving you the chance to explore and learn about 220 countries, interesting facts, play games and even unlock a 3D Augmented Reality feature using an app on your smartphone.

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Monday, 30 October 2017

Half Term Travel With Virgin Trains

I know a lot of my readers will be enjoying Half Term this week although up in the North of England a lot of schools enjoyed their autumn break last week. We had lots of plans for half term but as you may have read little J got a stomach bug so all our plans went on hold. However as we missed out on a week of adventures we are planning a weekend away and I can't wait. You may have read recently that John and I headed to London for the day to see Wicked The Musical. We got the train bright and early and we were in the capital in no time. I love sitting on the train knowing that we will be in a new city soon, it's now one of my favourite things to do. We are lucky to be able to get a Virgin Trains Pendolino train and it's so nice to sit back and relax and let someone else do the driving. For our next break we will be taking advantage of the Virgin Trains family ticket at a fixed price for up to 2 adults and 4 children.

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Thursday, 26 October 2017

Giveaway - Milkshake! Brand New Besties DVD

I have a very exciting giveaway to announce which is definitely perfect for this time of year. If you like to snuggle up on the sofa watching TV with your little one then you will love the new DVD from Milkshake - Brand New Besties

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Giveaway - Teletubbies Big Hugs CD

We have mentioned on our blog before that we are huge fans of the Teletubbies and you may have read recently that we reviewed some Tiddlytubbies which are a new addition to the Teletubbies Dome and they are so cute. As parents we have been fans since big J was little, over 15 years ago. I absolutely love that they are still going strong and they have just released a new CD called Teletubbies - Big Hugs.
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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Surviving Half Term With A Poorly Little J

Little J finished school on Thursday and he was so excited and ready for a week off school. It's his first half term since being in full time and he is so exhausted. I didn't think it would be as tiring for him as it has been but like everything he just takes it in his stride. On Saturday we went Pumpkin Picking which was the first of many planned activities for this week. On Saturday night just before bedtime he vomited. At first we weren't sure whether it may have been something he ate or whether it was a bug so we waited to see what would happen next. 

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Monday, 23 October 2017

Pumpkin Picking At Kenyon Hall Farm

Last week my social media was full with photographs of people Pumpkin Picking. It's something we have never done before so we decided to go on Saturday morning. I googled the best places to pick a pumpkin in the North West and lots of choices came up. I then researched a few that were local to us but we actually decided on Kenyon Hall Farm based on a friends recommendation. She went last year and said it was really good. I headed to the website to check out where it was and for those local it's by Warrington just off the M62. Saturday morning it was raining so I hoped not many people would want to go picking in the rain but I was wrong, it was so busy.

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Friday, 20 October 2017

Scarefest At Alton Towers 2017

Last weekend we headed down towards Stoke for our October visit to Alton Towers to celebrate Scarefest. We have been going every year for as long as I can remember and each year it gets bigger and better. Now that we have little J we have to divide our time between the main park and CBeebies land however based on his no fear attitude when it comes to rides it wont be long before he will be wanting to get on the thrill rides!

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Preview - Xbox One X

It hasn’t been that long since I reviewed the Xbox One S, the 4K slimmed down version of the Xbox One. However, Microsoft have now announced that pre-orders are available for the next version of Xbox, the Xbox One X. Released on 7th November 2017, Microsoft are challenging the PS4 Pro for power. 

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review and Giveaway - 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.

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Our Sainsbury's Halloween Goodies

What do you get if you pop into Sainsbury’s for bread and milk with a 4 year old? A trolley full of Halloween goodies!! Last week was the first time I have seen little J be so excited for Halloween. As we walked through the door of our local Sainsbury’s we were stopped in our tracks by a huge display of Halloween decorations. Little J instantly ran over and started pressing try me buttons on light up lanterns and dancing pumpkins. At one point he had three dancing characters on the floor watching them as they spun around. I do usually buy one or two new decorations each year to add to our collection so I had a silly idea of asking little J to choose two new items . . . he wanted everything. 

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Is Taking The Kids To The Pool A Dad Thing To Do?

Both boys absolutely love the water and we try to take them swimming as often as we can. I probably shouldn't say we, I actually mean John takes them swimming whenever he can. I'm not fond of swimming or water if I'm honest. I don't feel confident at all and if something were to happen I don't think I would react well. I'm not quite sure where this fear has come from but I would hate the boys to pick up on it so I tend to take a step back. Don't get me wrong I will go in from time to time but if I can get out of it I will. 

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 15/10/2017

Yesterday we spent the day at Alton Towers for their annual Scarefest event. We have been going every year for as long as I can remember. It's such a great day and it's the first time all season you can experience the rides in the dark. I will pop a full post on soon about all the scary things you can get up to but for now here's our Sunday photo.

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Friday, 13 October 2017

Our Favourite Bedtime Stories

Story time is a huge part of our bedtime routine. It was something we used to do together with big J and now little J too. Once little J has had his bath and is in his PJ's we climb into bed with him, snuggle under the duvet and read a book. Over the years we have collected so many great stories and our favourites do change all the time, but here is our top 6 stories we are reading at the moment. 

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Review - Havex Machines

For the past week or so we have had lots of fun playing with Havex Machines. We had seen an advert on you tube for them and they looked amazing so little J was excited to receive two to play with. The tag line is Race Transform Battle and that is exactly what they do. The Havex Machine comes with a small micro car very similar to Micro Machines for those old enough to remember. You can play with the car but once you are ready to battle you drive the car into the Havex Machine and it triggers the machine to transform in to a bot ready to battle. 

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Review - PJ Masks Headquarters

Little J first heard about PJ Masks quite late on when we stumbled upon it on TV. We had no idea what it was but it was really good. Now, he absolutely loves it and like most boys and girls runs around our living room pretending to be Cat Boy, Owlette and Gecko. He recently was given some PJ Masks figures from his Grandparents which was perfect timing as we received PJ Masks Headquarters to review recently.

PJ Masks Headquarters Playset Box
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Monday, 9 October 2017

Little J's School Days - Starting Reception

Little J has now been at School for almost a month. It's come around so quickly that I hadn't had time to really think about what that means until now. My little boy, my baby is doing 9-3 in school 5 days a week. It's insane how quickly the time has flown by and although I still can't get used to the fact that he is not with me 24/7 he seems to have settled really quickly. 

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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 08/10/2017

John bought me a new book this week - The Creakers by Tom Fletcher. I cannot wait to read it. Huge fan of Tom and his wife Giovanna's books and this was a bargain at just £6.49.

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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Review - Chad Valley Street Showdown Racing Track & Cars Set

You may have read our recent announcement that we are back on the Chad Valley Play Panel and we are super excited. We love receiving toys and as part of our new role we were very lucky to receive the new Street Showdown Racing Track & Cars Set last week. Little J loves cars so was super excited to try this out.

Chad Valley Street Showdown Racing Track Box
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We're On The Chad Valley Play Panel and Giveaway

I am so excited and honoured to let you all know that we have been chosen once again to be part of the Chad Valley Play Panel. I mentioned last year just how much we love Chad Valley toys and how Argos and Chad Valley were a huge part of our childhood. I think everyone I know would spend the lead up to Christmas writing out their Christmas lists from toys in the Argos Catalogue. I used to write out the product codes too. Chad Valley have been making toys for over 150 years and I really do hope they continue to make toys for little ones for many more.  

Chad Valley Play Panel Ambassador Badge
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Sunday, 1 October 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 01/10/2017

Last night we headed up to Blackpool to see the Blackpool lights. It's something we do every year but usually we have our winter coats on, hats, scarves, gloves etc but yesterday we just had our rain macs on. It wasn't very cold yesterday so it didn't really feel right seeing the lights on a warm day. We are so used to walking round Blackpool with the cold wind on our face. We might have to take another trip up before they finish. Anyone else been to see the lights yet?

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Review - Disney Mickey Roadsters Super Training Tracks

We are huge fans of all things Disney and especially Mickey Mouse. Little J absolutely loves the new edition to Disney Junior, Mickey and The Roadster Races. We first heard about it when we were in Walt Disney World and little J wanted to collect the cars. Then when we got home we found it whilst browsing the TV. If you advent heard of Mickey and The Roadster Races before its very similar to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so you can imagine that its very bright, colourful and features the main Disney Characters. We were recently sent The Mickey Roadsters Super Training Tracks to review and as you can imagine it was a big hit with little J. He loves making tracks and cars so two of his favourite things in one package. 


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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Review - Thomas & Friends Adventures, Cranky At The Docks

There has been quite an increase in children’s toys adverts over the last few weeks and we have been receiving Christmas catalogues from local toy shops too. This can only mean one thing, Christmas is coming. I was unsure what little J would be asking for this year as he just loves everything but I know one thing that will definitely be on his Christmas list and that is a Thomas Train Set. He loves Thomas & Friends and was thrilled when he received Thomas & Friends Adventures, Cranky At The Docks. We have had lots of fun playing with the play set and he’s also managed to merge it with other Adventures sets he has too.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Review - Ticket To Ride, First Journey

Playing games is something we have always enjoyed and over the years our board game collection has grew and grew until now we can only have a section downstairs and the majority have gone in the loft until we are ready to play. As big J got older our games become more for adults as he was able to understand more complicated games and had a longer attention span. One of our favourite games is Ticket to Ride. The game is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. As part of the Board Game Club, last month we received Ticket To Ride, First Journey which is aimed at younger players. 

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Review - Little Green Men Battle Pack

For the past few weeks we have having lots of fun and battles playing with Awesome Little Green Men. Little J watches children opening 'blind bags' all the time on you tube but these Little Green Men combine blind box opening with actual gameplay and it's lots of fun. 

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Review - Kinetic Rock Crusher

Little J has played for many hours with his Kinetic Sand set so when we received Kinetic Rock I knew it would be a hit. The Kinetic Rock Crusher set is very similar to the sand however it is made up of tiny pieces of rock. The Rock Crusher set consists of a small bag of Kinetic Rock, a construction worker figure, dumper truck with removable bucket, rock crusher, rock shaping mould, a tool and a sign. Once we had opened it we soon realised that the box doubles up as a box to play with the rocks in. It is designed as a construction site and perfect to help contain the rocks in one place. 


Creating the play box was easy and within minutes of opening the packaging we were ready to play. 

The dumper truck is ready for you to fill up with kinetic rock and little J loves filling it to the top and then emptying it out.


The rock moulds together but can easily be broken up just by picking it up.


He did need a little help turning the rock crusher once it was full with rock. It is difficult to turn when full.


 It wasn't long before he had added Star Wars figures and Cars to the play set. 

The Kinetic Rock is made of a thick consistency so you can mould it but when you pick it up it will run through your fingers. I found it very therapeutic and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

*****

What We Loved

A great edition to the Kinetic range. We love the sand however I think this is little J's favourite. 

The box doubles as a play box. It's designed as a construction site so adds to the imaginative play. 

Kept little J entertained for hours and it is something he has played with everyday since. 

What Could Improve

The Rock Crusher is quite hard to turn when full.

Our construction man lost a leg very early on and we could not put it back on. 

The rocks are not as magnetic as advertised. They get everywhere. We are fine with it and make sure we have a mat down whilst playing. They do stick to your clothes and you will need to pick them off one by one. 

*****

You can find out more about the Kinetic Range by visiting Spin Master. Kinetic Rock Crusher is available at most good toy stores and online at Amazon

Michelle

Disclaimer - We received Kinetic Rock Crusher set for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post does contain an affiliate link.


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Monday, 11 September 2017

Giveaway - Win Zomlings Series 6 Goodies

Playdays and Runways have teamed up with Magic Box Toys UK to offer one lucky reader and follower the chance to win Zomlings Series 6 goodies. The Zomlings series 6 range features blind bags with 105 characters to collect, a starter set, different capsules, different zom-mobiles, blister packs and various play sets.

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 10/09/2017

Little J had his haircut this morning ready for starting school. His hair was so long and becoming messy. Now he's had it cut he looks so grown up and his face looks like it's completely changed. 

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Monthly Bucket List - September 2017

I have decided to start up my monthly bucket lists again so I can keep a note of all the things I want to do each month. I usually start the month with a list of things I need or want to do and by the end I haven't actually achieved anything. It's so frustrating so from now on I'm going to make time to complete my list. 

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Review - Fuzzikins Craft, Campervan Carry Case

When it comes to toys Little J is open to everything. He has never really been a lover of just one type of toy. even though he loves cars he would also play dinosaurs or batman alongside them. It's great for us as parents as if I had to play with just cars all Summer it would drive me insane. We recently received Fuzzikins Craft Campervan Carry Case to review. Now I know it is like a car as it has 4 wheels and a steering wheel but it really is much more than that. 

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Monday, 4 September 2017

Little J's Pre School Days - September

Time flies so fast and I can't believe that in a few days time little J will be starting school. He absolutely loved nursery and all his friends so he is really looking forward to seeing them all again. I and trying to be happy for him because I know he is ready and keeps asking how may more sleeps till big school but I am dreading not seeing him all. He just seems too little to be away from us 9-3, 5 days a week.

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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 03/09/2017

September for us means the beginning of a school year. This year is a little special as I have one child  who is going in to his final year in seniors and another child just beginning his school journey in reception. 

I don't often think about the age gap between big and little J because they get on so well and do so much together but when we were buying school shoes it hit me. Big J can no longer fit in to the kids range at Clark's and went shopping in the men's section. Where does the time go?

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Review & Giveaway - Gassy The Cow From Drumond Park

Last month we received a very exciting delivery from Drumond Park, inside was Gassy The Cow. If you have little ones that watch the TV you will have probably seen Gassy already as it is always on the adverts and little J always says "I want that". I suppose its very appealing to children given the fact that Gassy trumps and poo's . . . a lot. 

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Review - Teletubbies Giggling TiddlyTubbies

We absolutely love Teletubbies and it's crazy to think that big J used to watch them 15 years ago and now little J does too. A few weeks ago we were sent Teletubbies Giggling TiddlyTubbies Umby Pumby and Ping.

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Review - Brio World School

You may have read our post last year when little J received a huge box and inside was a Brio Fire Station and Helicopter. He absolutely loves Brio and this was his first Brio World set. Since then we have bought a few more sets and a few weeks ago he received the Brio World School playset.

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