Celebrating National Picnic Week With John Adams

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Disclosure - We received the three travel games below for the purpose of this giveaway. Any thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Boy playing games while having a picnic
As you can probably tell from our blog we love being outdoors and travel around a lot. One thing we love to do together is have a picnic. There isn't anything better than heading out with a picnic to enjoy. Between the 21st and the 30th June it is National Picnic Week and we have teamed up with John Adams to giveaway a travel game that you can enjoy while you are out and about.

We love playing games and usually take a selection with us if we go out for the day. We recently received a selection of new games from John Adams to enjoy and as they are travel size they are perfect to play on the go.

I am giving one lucky reader the chance to winner a Travel game from the following three we have been playing this week.

Orthello, Trominoes, Rumikub,
Triominos Sunshine
Triominos Sunshine is a bright and colourful version of the classic game Triominos. Triominos is the classic triangular domino game which is lots of fun. Each Triomino tile has numbers on players score points by matching numbers on the three-sided playing pieces to pieces that are already in play.

Little J really likes this game and he found it quite easy to understand the rules although does need help with the scoring part of the game.

Othello On The Move
Othello is a classic fast-paced strategy game. The idea behind the game is you must try to trap your rival's playing pieces and turn them over. The lead can change at any moment with a flip of a disk and the player with the most pieces of the same colour wins.

We've never played Othello before but we're enjoying the travel version. It's easy to set up and use and John and I have been playing in the garden in the evening.

Rummikub Travel
Rummikub is a numbers strategy game which is played with 106 tiles. The object of the game to be the first player to Rummikub. Rummikub means you have placed all the tiles from your tile rack onto the table before anyone else. You can lay your tiles down in number runs and colour groups.

The travel version of this game is so compact you could fit all the tiles in a small makeup bag or pencil case.

Although our giveaway may be closed you can still enjoy the games by buying online at Amazon

Celebrate National Picnic Week and Win A John Adams Travel Game


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June Bedtime Stories | Our Favourites

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Disclosure - This post contains affiliate links

A selection of books
This month we headed to the library so that little J could choose some new books to read at bedtime. There were so many to choose from however he did manage to narrow it down to just 12 and these are a few of his favourite bedtime stories.

Animal ABC Book
Animal ABC
Learn the alphabet and meet amazing animals along the way using the lift and flap.

Little J really enjoyed this and it introduced him to animals he had not heard of before such as Quokka, Uakari, Ibis and a Yak.

Lunchtime book
It's lunchtime for one little girl, but she's just not hungry. A visiting crocodile, bear and wolf however are starving. It's just as well that children taste revolting.

We love this story all about food, friendships and fun.

Mixed book
In the beginning there were three colours, Reds, Yellows and Blues. All living together in harmony until one day Red says he is the best. No longer happy with living together, the colours decide to divide but just as it seems there's no turning back, cool blue and bright yellow save the day.

This is a really lovely story about understanding, love, acceptance and also shows what happens when colours mix. 

Something Fishy
Something Fishy
There is something fishy going on, but not in a good way. When a cat wants fish, nothing else will do and bringing home a new baby really doesn't help. Who saw that coming?... not the jealous cat.

Little J loves this story and insists that John reads it to him with funny voices. I love listening to him chuckle. 

You Choose Book
You Choose in Space
Zoom into Space for an adventure where you choose what happens next. Which alien would you most like to be friends with? What fantastically freaky food will you munch for lunch?

After reading You Choose in Space little J also wants to try and find You Choose and You Choose your Dreams too.

What stories have you been reading this month?

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TechDen The Home To Healthier Screen Habits | Review

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

Boy looking at a TechDen
Screen time for your children. Is it a problem?  There are clearly some different thoughts out there when you have a look at some of the recent press around screen time. One thing is for certain though, only you the parent can really decide how much screen time you want your child to have.

We limit Little J's screen time to an amount we feel is appropriate depending on what his day has been like. We look at what time he got up, what he has done before and after breakfast and what activities he has done during the day. Some days he is more tired than others and he may have more screen time that day.  For us, that makes sense, but for him, its difficult to understand how it works!

This is where TechDen comes in. TechDen is the first ever combined physical storage and charging device with its own app to give the user the ability to control screen time on each device. Once the device is in the Den, it's locked away with an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to support parents decisions around screen time restrictions.

The TechDen App is what makes the device so unique. TechDen works with the main app being installed on the parents device and the childs versions of the apps being installed on their devices. The parent is able to predetermine the amount of time available to the child and also how many sessions are available throughout the day.  The system works by requiring the devices be returned to the Den before the end of the allocated time.  Before time is up, the child will get countdown reminders so they are ready to return the device rather than have a "2 minute warning", and they can also request extra time through the app. The parent device will receive all notifications of requests, with the ability to approve or deny requests straight away.

At the end of the session, if the device isn't returned to the Den the parental device will receive notification so that intervention can take place if needs be.

The TechDen app also can operate on a rewards system which can support the child with habits and a sense of achievement.

The Den itself is simple enough to use, and a really great feature is that once the device is away and charging, the doors wont open to the childs request for the device unless it's in one of the predetermined sessions of availability. To make it simple for the child, if the light is green they can use the device and if the light is red they can't. The Den was bigger than we expected, however if you think about a unit that would house and charge two tablets then its easy to see why the size is as it is.

I could see that TechDen could be really useful in cutting down on arguments around device time, as often these can be a result of lack of time planning or parameters set to begin with.  TechDen can support by ensuring that everyone knows the rules to start with and offering simple but effective techniques towards device access.

If you want to know more about TechDen then visit their website here for parental views and guides on how it may work for your family.


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Max Photo - Photo Book | Review

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Disclosure - I received a discount code towards the purchase of our photo book. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Max Photo - Photo Book
We have been so lucky over the years to enjoy many adventures together as a family of four. I often look through my hard drive full of photos with a smile on my face remembering all the memories we have shared together so far. I had an idea a few months ago to create a photo book of our adventures from the last six years but never got round to it so when Max Photo offered me the chance to review a photo book I knew exactly what I wanted to create.

Having the idea to create a photo book is the easy part it's actually choosing the photos that you want to put in which is tricky as I love them all. After browsing the website for photo book ideas I chose a hard cover medium landscape book.

The book is approx A4 size and comes with a standard 20 pages. Once you are ready to create your photo book you click personalise and you can then add your photos ready to start your book.

The website lets you save your progress so there is no need to rush and try and get your book created all in one day. Adding the photos took me days as I wanted to make sure I had the right photographs and it was tough to narrow them down.

Once I had all the photos in the album I was then ready to design the book. The front and back cover is a full A4 size landscape photo then each page can have a different layout and there are lots to choose from. One page could be one large photo and the next could be 5 smaller photos, its entirely up to your personal preference. I had a mixture of different layouts as it depended on the photographs.

Max Photo - Photo Book
You can also give your book a title. I chose Our Adventures 2013-2018

Max Photo - Photo Book
Max Photo - Photo Book
After about a week of creating I was ready to checkout. The standard cost for a medium landscape photo book with 20 pages is £25 however you can add more pages at £1.50 per page (2 sides). My total cost for the book was £52 with free delivery to a Max Photo store.

My book was ready to collect within 5 working days. I am so pleased with the finished result, it's beautiful.

I love that I can now browse through my favourite photos without having to trawl through the computer hard drive.

I actually saved the book on the Max Photo website and I was able to duplicate the order within 30 days, which I have done to give as a gift so it saved me having to create it all again.

Max Photo - Photo Book
I'm actually considering creating more photo books as I love how easy it was to create, that I could take my time, personalise each page and the book itself is lovely.

For more information you can view the personalised photo books available by visiting Max Photo

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Photowall Canvas Print | Review

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

Personalised Canvas
We love our family pictures around the house and have a number of canvas and framed large pictures that we like to  keep up to date as much as possible. Choosing a provider to bring your digital photographs to life on a large scale can be daunting as there are so many different services offered these days. For our latest canvas we wanted something a little bigger than we have had previously, and Photowall had exactly what we wanted.

The online process was simple enough. As you would expect we needed to upload our photo, in the highest quality possible. The higher the quality of the picture, the better the final version of your canvas is likely to be. After uploading its time to choose the size of your canvas. Finally you can choose whether you want the canvas to stretch over the sides of the frame, or to leave the frame on view. We always choose the stretch option, as we like the photo to go all the way around.

Our canvas was printed within 24 hours and dispatched really quickly. It arrived less than 48 hours after ordering which was a really impressive turnaround.  When the canvas arrived it was not the shape we expected!  Instead of a large rectangular parcel, we had a long, but small parcel that would be more at home when posting an umbrella or something of that nature.

Personalised Canvas
We quickly realised that the canvas needed to be self built from the included rolled up canvas, frame pieces and screws.  Every other canvas we have delivered has been ready made, however this was a bigger size than we have had before.  Instructions are provided and overall it isn't difficult to put the canvas together, although I was a little nervous as the canvas itself is delicate.

Personalised Canvas
Once you attach the four frame sides to the canvas and push them together, there are pre drilled holes for you to put brackets over and fasten with the screws that are provided.  Honestly, it took me two goes to actually get the canvas on to the frame properly as I always seem to miss an instruction somewhere along the way with anything involving construction.  However once completed, the canvas looks fantastic, with the quality of the finished product evident when it is up on the wall.

Personalised Canvas
So, if you don't mind a small amount of DIY, and are looking for a quality canvas then you should give Photowall a try, you won't be disappointed with the final outcome.

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Helping To Raise Awareness For Continence Week

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Disclosure - This giveaway is in collaboration with Pelviva and I have been compensated for my time.

Family overlooking the water
When I found out I was pregnant with big J almost 18 years ago now, I remember reading every baby and parenting book I could find. I wanted to know everything about pregnancy, labour and giving birth. Those books helped me so much with what to expect and how to deal with almost every scenario. There were some things that I skipped past and one of them was pelvic floor exercises. If I knew then what I know now I would have done all my pelvic floor exercises because now I know how important they are and how much I suffer because I didn't do them.

During pregnancy, childbirth or the menopause your pelvic floor muscle becomes weak. The weaker it becomes it may not be strong enough to prevent your bladder from leaking and that's why some people suffer from bladder leakage. 1 in 3 women actually experience bladder leaks and this can happen when they cough, sneeze, exercise or urgently need the toilet.

If you suffer from bladder leakage you will know what a massive impact it can have on your daily life. It isn't nice when you need to cough or sneeze and you have to cross your legs tightly or hold yourself which I know I have done myself plenty of times and seen women do it to.

Not being able to go running or play on the trampoline with the boys has been something I have missed out on due to not doing my pelvic floor exercises however Pelviva - an award winning muscle re-trainer has been designed with this in mind. Pelviva exercises your pelvic floor muscle for you. It uses a unique technology which works naturally with your body, making your pelvic floor muscles contract and reconnecting your brain to your pelvic floor.

The Pelviva treatment has been clinically proven to improve bladder leaks in 84% of women in just 12 weeks.

Pelviva is a discreet, disposable, single use intra-vaginal medical device. Made with a soft body responsive foam, adjusting to differences in female anatomy and movement during use. Treatment is over a 12-week period, with 30 minutes usage every other day.

This week is continence week (17-23rd June) to help raise awareness of continence issue across the globe that can have a huge effect on peoples lives. I know that this can be embarrassing to talk about even amongst friends but like I said earlier 1 in 3 people suffer so you are not alone.

To help raise awareness I have teamed up with Pelviva to offer one reader the chance to win 1 months supply of Pelviva worth £199.95. All you need to do is complete the entry form below and come back daily for bonus entries.

Our giveaway may be closed but you can still experience Pelviva by finding out more information on the Pelviva website


Giveaway closes 30/6/2019 at 11:59pm
Upon entering this giveaway you agree that should you be the winner your details can be passed to the promoter to arrange fulfilment of your prize.
All other entrants details will not be used in any way. They will not be added to a database, mailing list or passed to the promoter. 
Entrants must have a valid UK address. 
Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 
All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 
1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 
Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winner within 3 days of the competition closing. 
The winner must respond within 28 days. If no response a new winner will be chosen. 
This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. 
The Prize : 1 Months Supply Of Pelviva
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EasyRead Time Teacher Watch | Review

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Disclosure - We were sent the EasyRead Time Teacher Watch for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post also contains affiliate links.

Boy looking at his watch
Most kids will be excited to just have 6 weeks left in school before the Summer, however little J is really looking forward to learning all about their new topic at school this term, learning to tell the time. Time is something we have tried to teach little J in the past but he wasn't ready. We were recently sent the EasyRead Time Teacher watch and we are hoping combining the watch and learning about time in school he will soon be a whizz at telling the time.

The EasyRead Time Teacher Watch comes in two different versions, minutes past and minutes to the hour or 12 and 24 hour. We tell the time using minutes past and minutes to so we chose this watch for little J.

Boy looking at his watch
We ordered the EasyRead Time Teacher minutes past and to watch with a red and blue face and a blue strap however there are lots of colour choices available.

How the watch works is very simple to understand. To read the time in minutes-past and minutes-to the hour we have taught little J the three simple steps that make up the 3-step teaching system.

Step 1. Read the number at the end of the long hand

Step 2. Say which side the long hand is pointing to (past or to)

Step 3. Read the number at the end of the short hand

Put it together and say it like it is. 10 minutes past 10.

EasyRead Time Teacher Watch
The watch has a 33mm diameter and the large clear dial shows every detail little J needs. The hands tell him which numbers to read.

EasyRead Time Teacher Watch
EasyRead Time Teacher Watch
I was so pleased to read that the watch strap is washable as little J being a typical boy gets very muddy I know the watch strap won't stay a nice shade of blue for very long.

Little J is really enjoying telling the time and has picked it up quite quickly thanks to the watch. I am hoping it has given him a little head start when he begins his 'time' topic in school this month.


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Celebrating 35 Years Of Tetris | Review

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Disclosure - We were gifted the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Tetris game and Tetris Card game
I only found out about two weeks ago that the 6th June is World Tetris Day. It's a day to celebrate one of the most recognised video games of all time. This year World Tetris Day is also a time to celebrate the 35th birthday of Tetris. To join in with the Tetris fun we have been sent Tetris Dual and Tetris Speed games to play and also a set to giveaway.

Little J loves games so when he saw the duo he was quick to open them and hand me the instructions. I am always the one to read the rules and then teach everyone how to play.

Tetris game and Tetris Card game
Tetris Dual is a quick thinking head-to-head, tabletop strategy game based on the original Tetris. Set up was easy and play is very similar to Tetris in that your aim is to drop the Tetrimino shapes displayed on the LCD screen into the play grid. You score points by placing a shape next to one of your own colour, completing a full row and cleverly blocking your opponent.

Tetris Dual Game
Little J got the hang of this really quickly and after a few games he beat me, which shocked me as I had always thought of myself as the Tetris Queen.

Tetris Dual Game
It's a really quick game in that you have to think and act fast as the more shapes you can fit in to the grid in the time limit the more points you will score.

Tetris Card Game
Tetris Speed is a fast card game where a card is placed down in the middle and the remaining cards are divided amongst the players. The card in the middle shows the next Tetrimino shape to be played, so players must race to play a matching card from their hand but if you take your eyes off the cards for a second someone else may have played that card and already moved on to the next shape.

I thought little J would really like Tetris Speed as he loves card games such as snap and top trumps but I think it may just be slightly too old for him as he got quite frustrated when he could hold all his cards in one hand and again its very fast paced so while he was still looking for the correct shape we had already moved on to the next. I do think though this will be one for him to enjoy in the future.

Our giveaway may be closed but you can still enjoy Tetris games by purchasing them on Amazon.

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Animal Kingdom Ride Guide and Spoilers | Walt Disney World

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Animal Kingdom entrance
Animal Kingdom only has a few rides as it is mainly animals and attractions. If you are planning to visit Animal Kingdom and experience the rides then take a look at our ride guide and spoilers.

Pandora - The World of Avatar

Pandora The World Of Avatar
Na'vi River Journey

Type of Ride - Slow moving boat ride along the river. Each boat seats approx 20 people fitting 4 comfortably per row.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - Still fairly new so the queue times are extremely long. The effects used on the ride are stunning and the detail both in and around the ride are beautiful. You feel like you are actually in Pandora
Min Height - No
Fast Pass + - Yes
Ride Photo - No

On the Flight of Passage RideAvatar Flight of Passage

Type of Ride - Fly on the back of a Banshee through  Pandora. Each ride seats 1.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - This is a 3D/4D experience. 3D glasses are required. You mount the ride like a bike and then are securely fastened around your back and your legs. If you suffer from motion sickness then I would not advise riding. Flight of Passage has long queue times so a fast pass is recommended. I have seen the queue go beyond 200 minutes however I will say it's worth the wait. The effects used on the ride are some of the best we have ever experienced. At times you can actually feel the Banshee breathing and even smell the environment you are in too.
Min Height - 44"/112cm
Fast Pass + - Yes
Ride Photo - No

A Hippo drinking fro a streamKilimanjaro Safaris

Type of Ride - Safari Ride through the African Savanna. Each Jeep sits approx 20 with 4 sitting comfortably per row.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - Your safari jeep is driven by a tour guide who will tell you all about the animals along the way and also stops for photo opportunities. The safari is approx 22 minutes long. It is amazing to see so many different animals in a short space of time. If you are wanting to take pictures or video then try to be either at the beginning or the end of the queue in your row. This way you will be able to see clearly out of one one of the sides of the jeep. Its not quite as easy to see past people in the middle of the jeep.
Min Height - No
Fast Pass + - Yes
Ride Photo - No


Kali River Rapids

Type of Ride - A wet ride through the jungle rivers on a raft. Each raft can seat 10 people.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - There are lockers free of charge for 2 hours, adjacent to the entrance. Everyone on the ride gets a little wet however depending on where you sit you may get soaked. The raft spins so it is impossible to tell. Gets busy on hot days
Min Height - No
Fast Pass + - Yes
Ride Photo - No

EverestExpedition Everest - Legend Of The Forbidden Mountain

Type of Ride - A rollercoaster ride through the Himalayan mountains in search of the Yeti. Each row seats 2 comfortably.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - When the train reaches the end of the track midway through the ride take a look to your right and you will see hundreds of bobbles. I'm not sure why but people seem to throw their bobbles there. Parts of the rides involves the train going backwards.  As you go up the lift section take a look to your left for an amazing view of Orlando, you can see for miles and I am always surprised at how flat the land is.
Min Height - 44"/112cm
Fast Pass + - Yes
Ride Photo - Yes

Tricera Top SpinDinoland U.S

Primeval Whirl

Type of Ride - Spinning rollercoaster with lots of dramatic drops and curves. Each capsule seats 4 comfortably.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - Reminds me of the old cat and mouse ride were you reach the end of the track and it will dramatically turn the corner making you think you will fall off the edge of the track. Doesn't move too quickly though so still suitable for young riders.
Min Height - 48"/122cm
Fast Pass + - Yes
Ride Photo - No

Two boys on Tricera Top spinTriceraTop Spin

Type of Ride - Soar above Dinoland U.S.A in this slow moving dinosaur ride. Each dinosaur seats 4 comfortably.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - You can control your dinosaur making him go up or down by using the lever in the front.  From this ride you can see the fairground down below, here you can play games to try and win prizes. We didn't win much this time, winning one small dino teddy.
Min Height - No
Fast Pass + - No
Ride Photo - No


Type of Ride - Take a prehistoric tour to save a dinosaur from extinction.
Hints, Tips or Spoilers - Dinosaur is a very dark and bumpy ride which can be extremely loud in places as you meet lots of dinosaurs along the way. Although the minimum height for this ride is low it may be too scary for some younger riders.
Min Height - 40"/102cm
Fast Pass + - Yes
Ride Photo - Yes

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Why I Still Love 90's Music

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We will soon be going on a little road trip and I've asked the boys to send me over a Spotify playlist of 50 songs each so including my own we will have 200 songs to shuffle through whilst we are on the road. I sat making mine last night and every single song I've added is from the 90's. I absolutely love 90's pop music especially the Spice Girls, Steps and 911. The 90's was a great time for me, I was in my teens, got my first job and loved going out dancing on a Saturday night. 

man and woman smiling at the camera
Luckily the bands I loved back then all started to make come backs over the past 4-5 years as part of reunion tours. I have been lucky though to relive my youth by seeing a few of my favourite artists in concert again over recent years and here are a few of my highlights.

Steps were huge in the 90's and although nowadays they are classed as a cheesy pop band, their reunion tour last year was huge. It was amazing to see them up on stage doing what they do best and seeing thousands of people in the crowd joining in with their dance routines, myself included.

Favourite Steps Band Member
Claire - Her voice is amazing.

Favourite Steps Song
The Way You Make Me Feel

Favourite Steps Dance Routine

911 on stage
I was never really a big 911 fan but when they changed their image and sound and released More Than A Woman I fell in love. I actually wanted to marry Lee and was devastated when I found out he was dating Lindsay from B*Witched, haha. 911 and other bands took part in The Big Reunion series on TV a few years back which then led to a tour. I managed to get tickets and it was a brilliant night watching all the boy bands from the 90's performing together. I actually have no idea how Jimmy and Spike can still pull off those dance moves 20 years later.

Favourite 911 Band Member 
Lee. He was gorgeous and I wanted to marry him when I was 16

Favourite 911 Song 
A Little Bit More

Favourite 911 Dance Routine
More Than A Woman

Spice Girls
Last but not least The Spice Girls. Their music was the soundtrack to my late teen years. You may have read on my blog recently that although I had tickets to see them last week I missed the Spice Girls concert and was absolutely gutted but I'm hoping they will be back on tour again. I actually wanted to enter the recent Walkers Campaign to find The Spice Girls Biggest Fan as I think I would definitely be in with a shot of winning.  Although I didn't see them this time around I did see them back in 2007 when they headed to Manchester for their first reunion tour. There is always a part of a concert that sticks out and for me it was when the five girls were on stage singing Viva Forever and Geri slowly lowered down on a platform so she wasn't on stage anymore. The idea behind it was that she had left The Spice Girls at the point of Viva Forever being released which I took really badly so when they did this on stage, I cried.

Favourite Spice Girl
Geri ' Ginger' Halliwell. I loved her and wanted to be her when I was younger.

Favourite Spice Girls Song
Spice Up Your Life. This was the first song of their much anticipated second album. It was more edgy than what they had done before and I love it.

Favourite Spice Girls Dance Routine 

There are loads more bands I haven't mentioned however I still love them all and I'm definitely a 90's girl at heart.

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