Giveaway | Celebrating National Puzzle Day With Jumbo

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Today is National Puzzle Day. I absolutely love doing jigsaw puzzles and have done since I was little. It's been a while since I did an 'adult' puzzle, I just do simple kids ones with little J these days but I still love them. I have teamed up with Jumbo and I am happy to announce that I have a special 'National Puzzle Day' giveaway for my readers.
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Disney | Disney Store Wisdom Collection - Dumbo

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On the 18th January 2019 Disney Store released the first collection of a series of 12 from their new Wisdom range. The collection is limited release and each collection features a soft toy, a mug, a journal, a t-shirt and a pin set. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to collect this series but after seeing Dumbo I fell in love and so it looks like I will be collecting all 12 over the year.

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Giveaway | Gelli Baff, Slime Baff and SnoBall Play

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You may remember a few months ago we had lots of bath time fun with Gelli and Slime Baff. Little J loves anything slimy and gooey so he absolutely loves having a Gelli bath each week and I'm sure your little ones will too so I am giving you the chance to win a set. 
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Giveaway | Milton Antibacterial Products

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 There seems to be a lot of bugs and sickness going round lately and I only just said to John that I think this is probably the first Christmas that no one has been ill. We have been doing our best to keep our home clean as sometimes, especially when the kids are off school we can become a little lazy with the cleaning. We have been using Milton Antibacterial products recently so our lack of sickness could be because of them but either way it's such a relief that no bugs hit our house.
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Tech | All You Need To Know About the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

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I have been lucky enough to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Note, the first phone I have owned with the S-Pen and most powerful Android Phone made to date.  In a family of Apple fans, I moved over to Android a few years ago and haven't looked back.
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How Many Disney Movies Have You Seen?

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I often get updates from The Disney Store about new products that they have arriving in store soon. I love browsing the new arrivals and often find myself spotting a 'must have' item that I have to buy there and then. Although I don't want to buy this particular item I spotted the other night it did catch my eye and encouraged me to write this post. Disney have released a huge collection of their movies on dvd and blu ray containing 55 movies. Now this boxset is their classics and doesn't include Pixar or films such as Mary Poppins but it got me thinking out of the 55 movies how many had I seen.

boy looking at the disney castle

So the collection begins at the start and that film is Snow White which was released in 1937. I've only ever watched Snow White a few times but Snow herself and the dwarves are probably some of the more well known characters.

Next there is Pinocchio which was released in 1940, Fantasia also released in 1940, Dumbo 1941 and Bambi 1942. I think I have only watched these once in my whole life but out of these four Dumbo is my favourite. Dumbo and Bambi both pull on your heart strings something that Disney do in almost every movie nowadays.

The next six movies in the collection, Saludos Amigos 1942, The Three Caballeros 1944, Make Mine Music 1946, Fun & Fancy Free 1947, Melody Time 1948 and Ichabod & Mr Toad 1949. I haven't heard of any of these before and don't really have any interest in seeing them but if they were on TV I may give them a watch.

The next 13 movies in the collection I have seen and some of them are favourites. Everyone knows the story of Cinderella which was released in 1950. I love the story and the movie however out of all the princesses she is my least favourite. I'm not actually sure why but she doesn't really interest me.

In 1951 Alice In Wonderland was released and although I like the film it was very wacky and I would say well ahead of it's time.

Peter Pan, 1953 and Lady & The Tramp, 1955 are two of my favourites. Everyone loves Peter Pan and Tinkerbell is one of my all time favourite characters. It's odd just how popular Tinkerbell became as she doesn't speak in the movie but in terms of merchandise I have tons of Tinkerbell items.

winnie the pooh

Sleeping Beauty 1959, 101 Dalmatians 1961, The Sword in the Stone 1963, The Jungle Book 1967, The Aristocats 1970, Robin Hood 1973, The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh 1977, The Rescuers 1977 and The Fox & The Hound 1981 are next in the collection. I have seen them all and remember very clearly watching The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh almost every day when I was younger. I Just loved it when he floated up to the bee hive singing 'I'm just a little black rain cloud'.

Not seen any of the next three films. The Black Cauldron 1985, Basil The Great Mouse Detective 1986, Oliver & Company 1988.

Next to be released was The Little Mermaid 1989 and I think this was the point when I became obsessed with Disney. I absolutely love Ariel and the idea of there being mermaids under the sea when I was 9 was just magical.

It was quickly followed by Rescuers Down Under 1990, which didn't thrill me too much but then we had a run of 26 movies which made me 100% sure I was a Disney fan.

Beauty & the Beast 1991, Aladdin 1992, The Lion King 1994, Pocahontas 1995, The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996, Hercules 1997, Mulan 1998, Tarzan 1999, Fantasia 2000, The Emperor's New Groove 2001 and Atlantis 2001 where all released over a 10 year period.

Beauty and the Beast is another favourite of mine and I could watch it over and over again without getting bored. I do have one problem with Beauty and The Beast and that's when the Beast turns back to a human, I was slightly underwhelmed. If I'm honest I would prefer the Beast!

The Lion King was another movie to make you cry within the first few minutes. Mufasa's death is probably one of the saddest things ever. Still makes me well up thinking of it.

In 2002 Lilo & Stitch was released and it is a favourite with all of us here. Stitch is crazy and funny and probably one of my favourite characters that isn't a princess.

Treasure Planet 2002, Brother Bear 2003, Home On The Range 2004 and Chicken Little 2005 followed and although they weren't the best movies they are still watchable.

The Wild was released in 2006 and we loved this movie. If I remember correctly it was either released at the same time as Madagascar or just after and it didn't do as well. I actually refer The Wild to Madagascar but that wasn't a popular verdict.

Meet The Robinsons 2007 and Bolt 2008 again were two movies that went under the radar a little as audiences were waiting for a long overdue princess movie. Luckily in 2009 The Princess & the Frog was released. Not only was this the first Princess movie in over 10 years, Tiana was the first Princess to be of African - American heritage.

Man and woman holding a tangled lantern
In 2010 Tangled was released and to this day is my all time favourite movie and Rapunzel is my favourite princess. I absolutely loved the movie when I first watched it and have seen it so many times over the last 8 years. I have an ever growing Rapunzel memorabilia collection which I love. Tangled ticked all the boxes for me, The story, the songs and I just love Mandy Moore who provides the voice for Rapunzel.

Wreck-It Ralph was released in 2012 and we've actually watched it again recently awaiting the new movie Wreck It Ralph 2 to be released.

Frozen took the whole world by storm in 2013. It was the first time that a movie had two princesses and the story wasn't about finding or loving a prince. It was about sisterly love. If you have no idea what Frozen is or you don't know all the words to 'Do you wanna build a snowman' or 'Let it go' then I'm guessing you have been living on another planet.

We have only just watched Big Hero 6 for the first time a few weeks ago even though its 4 years old. Little J is really enjoying watching movies at the moment and he picked this. We loved it and Baymax is just the cutest.

The last two Disney classic movies were both released in 2016, Zootropolis and Moana. Moana is another one of my favourites. The songs are great and I really love the storyline.

So that is the complete Disney classics movie list. I have highlighted the ones I have seen in green and the ones I haven't in blue. I have seen 41/55 which is quite good. There are quite a few in the early days of Disney that I know I will not watch but if I watch any of the others I will pop back and update.

How many have you seen?

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Are Your Children Staying Safe Online?

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Everyone has heard of Fortnite, the online multiplayer shooter phenomenon that even allows players to play across different consoles in the same game. Maybe your child is playing Fortnite right now, do you know who they are playing with, what they are hearing or being told, the ages of the people they are playing with?  Probably not - in fact I would say definitely not. After all the Battle Royale game is based on 100 people online together on one map, playing in teams or alone - and these 100 people could be from anywhere in the world.

Fortnite is very popular here. Both big and little J love the game, and I also play from time to time. We have spent plenty of money on the games virtual currency V-Bucks, which allows the purchase of visual upgrades to your characters skin, glider, pickaxe and of course allows you to buy the famous dances which are fast taking over the world. So although we are fully aware of the online risk, we are prepared to manage that risk, because we understand it, and know which options and settings are safest for little ones.

However, this morning we found that Little J was in a game, on a team with two other small children and one Eighteen year old man who seemed quite happy chatting away to three five or six year olds. I am not saying there was anything wrong with that as it stands, however the risk is always there. We dont know who he is, where he is from or why he wants to chat to young children, but we decided to end the game there and move to another setting.  What would you have done?

So below is a guide to the 'safest' settings on Fortnite for your children, and whilst there will still always be online risk, you can help to eliminate that risk by using the guide.

Options Within Battle Royale

Battle Royale has a constantly changing set of modes, with different game objectives and ways to play, however they all share some fundamental underlying online options that are customisable within the mode.

Solo Mode 
This is as it sounds, you play alone within the game and are playing against 99 other players.  Here, you can choose whether your gamertag is displayed or not, and you can choose to be in a 'party' with other gamers or not. The 'party' connects gamers using mic's connected to a headset or the controller so that they can talk about the game.

Here, the safest online options are to hide your gamertag and not connect to any party. This will increase the chance of remaining anonymous within the game.

Other Game Modes 
Here you can see some of the other available game modes at the time of writing. Food Fight and Disco Domination are new game modes, with the same idea of having a number of players online together. Within these modes players can join a squad of other players to make up a team, usually either teams of four or fifty.

The important thing to notice about the options within both modes is just above the accept box when you start the game. There are options that say either Fill, or Don't Fill.

The Fill option will put you in a team and connect you directly to those players in the team. So whether you have a mic connected or not, you can hear what the other players are saying though the TV or your headphones.  In addition if you are mic connected then they can hear and talk to you.

The Safest option here is to make sure that Don't Fill is selected - this will reduce the chance of being connected to other gamers and should mean you can remain anonymous online.

We have always been careful to monitor who both Little J and Big J are connected to when playing online, whether they are playing Fortnite or any other game. Online safety is becoming more and more topical by the day as more people have access to devices, and more people are choosing to spend time online rather than go out.

Do your little ones play Fortnite? If you have any other online safety tips, please let us know.

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Our 2019 Bucket List

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Every year I make a bucket list full of hopes and goals and most of them we achieve but I forget to tick them off as I go along. I've wrote our 3 bucket lists out and will try and remember to come back and update them once we have achieved.
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Happy New Year 2019 | A Look Back At December 2018

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Christmas has been and gone and it's now 2019. We hope you all had a magical Christmas and a Happy New Year. Our Christmas was busy as always, it was nice to be off work so I could spend time with my family and make lots of new memories. Today is our official back to work and school day so it's nice to look back at our December.
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