Review | Casdon Toy Dyson Cord Free Vacuum Cleaner

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

We have been very lucky to have a bright and sunny February half term this year and as it was warm John decided to do a little tidy up in the garden. We had astro turf laid last year and it was the best thing we have ever bought. No more mowing the grass all we need to do is hoover it. It might sound silly but its the best way to make your grass look like new again. John had a helper this time as little J has been playing with the Toy Dyson Cord Free Vacuum Cleaner from Casdon.
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Closed Giveaway | Jawsome Sharks at Sea Life

This half term we headed to The Trafford Centre to make use of our Merlin Passes by visiting Sea Life, Manchester. We have visited various Sea Life centres using our Merlin Passes over the years but Manchester is probably our favourite as it's close to home and the Legoland Discovery Centre is just next door. Sea Life is currently celebrating their partnership with Hasbro on their new event Jawsome Sharks.
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Review | Dreamworks Dragons Dawn Of New Riders

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

The 'How To Train Your Dragon' franchise has been around for nine years. With three films following the release of the latest movie - The Hidden World, a TV series and a number of games, from big screen to smaller screens the movies, shows and games are really popular with both adults and children. The latest outing for How To Train your Dragon moves to the Nintendo Switch, with Toothless and Hiccup aiming to impress on the smallest and most portable to screens. The Dawn Of New Riders game takes place within the same universe, but with an entirely new story.
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Our Favourites | February Bedtime Stories

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Here's a look at what stories we have been reading at bedtime. This Love, This Is Owl, A Quiet Quiet House, Great Women Who Worked Wonders, Car, Car, Truck, Jeep and We Eat Bananas are our favourite stories this month.
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AD | How To Get A Perfect Nights Sleep

Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Julian Charles

As a parent I am always talking about routines and how they are important for children especially a bedtime routine. We mastered the bedroom routine with little J and he is a really good sleeper, enjoying up to 12 hours a night. So if we know routines are good then why as adults do we not practice what we preach? I know I don't have a good bedtime routine, neither does John and that can sometimes cause us to have less than the recommend 8 hours sleep a night. This obviously effects us massively the next day with us often feeling tired and wanting to head back to bed rather than go to work. I've been thinking about ways that I can get the perfect nights sleep so I thought I would share my tips.
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Closed Giveaway | Blended Valley Wellbeing Aromatherapy Gift Set

One of my friends absolutely loves using Aromatherapy oils and has used them for years, always trying to get me to use them too but I have never tried them. I have been sent a Blended Valley Wellbeing Aromatherapy Gift Set to try ahead of Mothers Day and I'm actually looking forward to giving them a go. When I opened the box the smell was amazing and I'm eager to try each oil out over the next few weeks. I have teamed up with Blended Valley to offer two readers and followers of Playdays and Runways the chance to win a Wellbeing Aromatherapy Gift Set. 
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Slimming World | This Weeks Meal Planner and Fanta Chicken Recipe

Due to me being ill over the past few weeks our meal planning hasn't really gone to plan however it's a new week now and we are all feeling well so it's back it.
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Disney | Disney Store Wisdom Collection - Mulan

Last month I started to collect the new Wisdom range from The Disney Store. On the 18th of every month Disney Store will release a new addition to the collection. Last month was from the movie Dumbo and this month it is Mulan.  The collection is limited release and each collection features a soft toy, a mug, a journal, a t-shirt and a pin set. I will be collecting all 12 soft toys over the year, however I'm not sure what other parts of the collection I will buy it will just depend on whether I like them or not.
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Review | Panda The Cloud Bamboo Duvet

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

It's been about 18 months since we were first introduced to Panda when we were sent a Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow for little J. He absolutely loved that pillow but as it was a toddler size he has since outgrown it, however we did pass it on to a friend and it is still going strong. He loved the Panda motif on the pillow and would fall asleep stroking it. For the past few weeks we have been trying out another Panda product, the Cloud Bamboo Duvet.
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AD | Donated Blood Saved My Life ... Twice!

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Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Smart Cells 

If I am honest I had never given much thought to donating blood in the past. I knew you could do it and I knew it was important but I was petrified of needles so it was something I would never put myself through. My thoughts all changed after I needed a blood transfusion and I had to rely on donated blood to help save my life.
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AD | How To Beat A Cold

Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Coldzyme

You many have read recently that I was struck down last week with cold/flu symptoms and it completely wiped me out. I felt so ill and although I did need antibiotics in the end there are ways that you can try and beat cold / flu symptoms at home. Here are our top tips on how to beat the common cold.
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Tonsillitis After A Tonsillectomy

A few weeks ago I said to John how lucky we were that we got through Christmas and New Year without any illnesses. There is usually one of us if not more that gets wiped out by a cold or worse the flu, but this year we survived. I spoke too soon. Last week I woke during the early hours of the morning feeling awful. I was hot but cold, I had a headache and my throat so sore. I went to the bathroom and took two paracetamol and hoped that in the morning I would feel better, I didn't.
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Review | New PJ's From The Pyjama Factory

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

 We are definitely a pyjama loving family here and between the four of us we probably own more pairs of PJ's than we should. As soon as we are in the house and we know we are not going out again we change in to our PJ's. I don't like having clothes on in the house it feels weird, I like to feel comfy and cosy and PJ's do the trick. We recently got the chance to browse the The Pyjama Factory website and choose a pair of PJ's each, the choices were endless.
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AD | My Dream Car

Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Scuderia 

For many years I have been interested in cars. When I was younger, and still to this day I dreamed of owning a high performance car, whether it be a classic Ferrari 308 or the more modern Lamborghini Huracan. Sadly, the cost of buying a supercar puts limitations on what I can do, however I have been saving and will continue to save to see what I can afford when I come to retirement and don't need to spend all my pennies on everyone else! 
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Closed Giveaway | Norm Of The North DVD

To celebrate the release of Norm of the North - Keys To The Kingdom which is available to download today, I am giving 3 of my readers the chance to win a copy of the DVD which will be available to own on 18th February.
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Review and Giveaway | Gelli Worlds Dino Pack

You may have read recently that we had lots of bath time fun playing with Zimpli Kids Gelli Baff and Gelli Slime. Little J absolutely loved it so was very happy to receive a Gelli Worlds Dino Pack last week to play with. 
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Review | Strictly Briks

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Little J loves building and creating and the past few weeks he has been doing plenty of that playing with Strictly Briks. We hadn't heard of the brand before so were eager to find out more and what they had to offer. We were sent a selection of items and have had so much fun using our imagination to build some impressive creations.
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Review | The LEGO Movie 2 - The Second Part LEGO Sets

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

We are huge fans of LEGO whether its building and creating using our LEGO Bricks, playing one of the many LEGO console games we own, visiting The LEGO Land Discovery Centre or settling down for a LEGO movie night. It's fair to say that LEGO plays a huge part in our lives and like most we cannot wait to see The LEGO Movie 2 - the Second Part that opens up in cinemas this weekend.
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Valentines Day Gift Ideas | Baylis and Harding Pink Fizz and Elderflower Collection

Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.
Valentines Day will soon be here and if you are looking for some gift ideas then I wanted to share with you the Pink Fizz and Elderflower Collection from Baylis & Harding. I have been using Baylis & Harding products for years and they always smell amazing. I recently was sent some samples of this collection and I wasn't disappointed.
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Days Out | A Trip On Mersey Ferries

Disclosure - We were gifted tickets on the River Cruise Explorer for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Ferry on the River Mersey
On Sunday we braved the cold weather and took a trip on Mersey Ferries. As a family we have been going on the ferry for years and it's one of our favourite days out. When I was younger you would board the ferry and take a round trip with amazing views of Liverpool and also The Wirral. Now there is so much more to do than just a ferry ride. You can enjoy a River Explorer Cruise which includes attractions at Seacombe and Woodside.

As we live in Liverpool we boarded the ferry at the Pier Head. Our tickets were already booked so we headed to the collection desk which is just inside the terminal building. Boarding for the ferry begins ten minutes before the departure time. From the Pier Head, departures are on the hour.

Boys looking out the ferry window
It was really cold on board the ferry but there are seating areas indoors with lovely views and the smell of fresh coffee coming from the onboard cafe.

Our ferry time was 11am and we had a packed lunch so we ate it as we sailed over to Seacombe, the first stop on our River Explorer Cruise. The journey from Pier Head to Seacombe is 20 minutes.

At Seacombe there are three attractions. Spaceport, Play Port and Cafe Cross The Mersey.

Spaceport is a minutes walk away from Seacombe Terminal and you can purchase a ferry and spaceport combined ticket online which can save you a few pounds. We have been to Spaceport in the past and we were looking forward to Sci-Fi Icons which is a collection of Star Wars Memorabilia on display. We all love Star Wars so it was a bonus that the collection was available to see when we visited.

Upon arrival the receptionist kindly informed us that the Space Dome Theatre Show was about to begin. We headed past the 'space' attractions on the ground floor to the rear of Spaceport to enter the theatre. The theatre was in the shape of a dome and when sitting we were slightly reclined so we could view the ceiling. The show was 25 minutes long and all about space and planets. it was narrated by Rupert Grint and we all really enjoyed it. It did get us all thinking whether we are alone in this galaxy or are there aliens out there?

Once the show was over we headed to the Explorer 1 Space Ride. You are sat in  a Simulator watching the TV screen in front as you are zoomed through space on what looks like a rollercoaster as the seats move from side to side. It was lots of fun and we all really enjoyed it.

Boy looking at a star wars attraction
General Grievous statue
Boba Fett statue
We headed upstairs after the ride to view the Star Wars section. There were so many costumes, props and memorabilia to view. All the costumes looked so realistic. Little J and I played a game of 'guess the character?' and ' does he have a gun or a lightsaber?' He got every question right, he does like his Star Wars.

Star wars memorabilia
John was interested in all the old toys and can remember having some of them when he was little. If only he still had some of them, they are collectors items now and worth a small fortune.

Dad and Son looking at an interactive planet activity
Dad and Son looking at an interactive planet activity
Although learning about Space and seeing the Star Wars Collection was fun, little J liked the interactive games the most. We all played a quiz and i was shocked by how many he got right, I'm sure most were guesses but who knows he may be a Space whizz.

In total we spent just under 2 hours in Spaceport, which included the 25 minute dome show and 4 minute ride. I suppose you can take as little or as much time as you like but keep an eye on your watch as the ferry leaves at twenty past the hour so if you just miss it you will have an hour wait.

Play Port and Cafe Cross The Mersey are located in the Seacombe terminal building. The cafe offers a wide variety of food and drink and there was plenty of seating available. Play Port is an indoor children's play area and it is not included in the price of your ticket. It is currently £3.20 Mon-Fri and £3.95 at Weekends, Bank Holidays and School Holidays. Although little J wanted to go and have a play it was very busy so it maybe popular with locals.

boys looking at the river
View across the river Mersey
Next stop on our ferry trip was Woodside and the U Boat Story. When we collected our tickets we were told that the U Boat Story was included in the standard River Explorer Cruise price however it was closed. We were disappointed as there was no mention of this on the Mersey Ferry website and I had visited the site before we left to check the ferry was running despite the cold weather. The U Boat experience was closed due to ice so they cannot open it to visitors.

View across the river Mersey
We had no reason to leave the ferry at Woodside so we stayed on and made our way back to the Pier Head. The boys played word games using a pen and pad little J had purchased in the Spaceport shop.

We had a lovely day on the ferry and Spaceport. It was a shame U Boat Story was closed but hopefully we will be able to visit it another time.

View across the river Mersey
View across the river Mersey
The River Explorer Cruise is a 50 minute round trip excluding any time you spend at the attractions. You can purchase your tickets online which saves money and they have to be booked before midnight the day before you plan to visit.


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AD | I Love My Kitchen

Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Fishpools 

We have had our new kitchen now for over 12 months but I still love it as much as I did the first time I saw it. Our previous  kitchen was somewhere I used to cook in, do the dishes and not much else. I didn't like it at all. It was old, out of date and I would try and spend as little time in there as possible. When it was time to have a kitchen makeover I wanted to create a space that I would enjoy spending time in. Somewhere that was bright, fresh and modern. I am so happy to say that after 16 years of living in our home I finally love my kitchen.
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Snow White Disneybound Outfit

Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Simply Be

Snow white and the prince at Disneyland Paris
I have started writing down some Disneybound ideas for our visit to Walt Disney World this year and first on my list is Snow White. For those that don't know what Disneybounding is, let me explain. As an adult you are not allowed to wear any Disney costumes whilst visiting the parks so the  idea behind Disneybounding is you choose 'normal' clothes that are the same colours as your favourite characters. You are then able to dress up as a character of your choice without wearing a costume.

When you think of Snow White what colours do you see? Most say red and yellow when actually Snow wears a blue top and yellow skirt. The colour red is only on the bow/headband and the belt around her waist.

Here are a few ideas for the perfect Snow White Disneybound.

red hairband
The red headband with bow is the perfect start to a Snow White Disneybound. I think above everything else she wears this is what everyone remembers. 
blue top
Finding the perfect colour blue was hard but I love this from Simply Be. The Colbalt Blue Top has strap detail at the front, is the perfect colour and I love the length. It will allow you to tuck in to the skirt and add a nice red belt too.
yellow skirt
The Junarose Pleated Velvet Skirt is the perfect choice for a Snow White Disneybound. I absolutely love the detail on this skirt. It's elasticated waist too so will sit nicely on your hips. It's mid length so would be ideal for all visits to Disney whatever the season. 
Finishing off with a pair of red flats. When visiting Disney its important to wear comfortable shoes and in my opinion flats are a must. I love how these also have a red bow on the front too. 

To finish I would probably add a red belt. If you are heading to Disney in the Winter Season you could always add white gloves too.

Have you ever visited Disney and created a Disneybound outfit? I am really looking forward to sharing some more of my Disneybound ideas with you soon.


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