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Oct19
Showing posts with label Oct19. Show all posts

Moving On From Fortnite

21 October 2019

9 comments
*This post contains affiliate links, they work at no cost to you however can help towards the running of my blog.* 

fortnite figures
It's been well over a year now since Fortnite started to dominate the boys Xbox time. Big J started first and at the time John and I knew very little about the game. Big J would play it in his room and we had no need to know about the game or anything else until little J started to talk about it. He hadn't learnt about it from his big brother, it was his friends in school. He would come home and talk about characters and dances and was desperate to play it. John and I limited his Fortnite time but it has been his 'go to' game ever since when he has Xbox time until recently, he's starting to drift towards other games and is desperately searching for another game as popular as Fortnite.
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Ice Age - Scrat's Nutty Adventure Video Game

18 October 2019

21 comments
Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

Ice Age Game on Nintendo Switch
From Outright Games, makers of Dragons Dawn Of New Riders and Paw Patrol On A Roll games comes the latest Ice Age game for Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.  Scrat's Nutty Adventure is available now and we have had the opportunity to try it out on Nintendo Switch.

The game is aimed at Ice Age fans, however from my first hours play through, I am really enjoying the game and I haven't watched many of the later Ice Age films, and wouldn't say I was a fan! Little J, however is a huge fan of Ice Age, and was really looking forward to getting his teeth into this game!



Ice Age Game on Nintendo Switch

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How To Enjoy Breakfast As A Family | AD

17 October 2019

13 comments
Disclosure - This post is a paid collaboration with nutella. The idea for this post, thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Family enjoying breakfast
As a family there is one thing all four of us thrive on and that is routine. When little J was born we decided that having a routine was something we needed if we were going to be able to manage as a new family of four. Some days our routine doesn't always go to plan but one thing we always try to stick to is enjoying breakfast together as a family. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I like to make sure that we all come together to enjoy a balanced meal to get us through the day.

Preparation

If you are going to enjoy breakfast together as a family then you have to prepare. I always make sure that I have all the ingredients that I need and I try to vary what we eat each day. I always set my alarm 15 minutes before the boys wake up time so I know that I have plenty of time to not only prepare the breakfast but to have time to enjoy it too.

boy enjoying milk
 A Balanced Breakfast

My Mum has always said to me that you should eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunchtime and a pauper for dinner. It's an old saying, which is just a saying, but it has always stuck with me. Breakfast is the first meal of the day so it's important to make sure you eat as your body won't have had any food for hours while you slept.

I like to offer the boys a variety of breakfast options each day. Big and little J like different foods at breakfast time. They both have different favourite cereals, little J likes toast and pancakes whilst big J prefers waffles and croissants.

Whether we spread it on top of our toast or waffles, we enjoy one heaped teaspoon of nutella (15g, 80kcal) which is the perfect portion size per person, to be enjoyed as part of a balanced breakfast.

spreading Nutella on toast
Big J loves toast and spreading the nutella himself is one of his favourite breakfast. He doesn't like to use a knife he prefers to use the spoon, which takes a little bit longer but as long as he is happy then I am happy.

Eat Together

Every mealtime we eat together at the table. It's something we have always done and will continue to do. I'm not a big fan of take away breakfasts and eating on the go, I like to sit and enjoy my breakfast and watching the boys eat knowing that they have had a balanced breakfast before school.

smiling family at the breakfast table
There are so many distractions nowadays with iPads and phones, social media and video games, mealtimes are now a perfect chance to get away from those distractions and actually talk to each other.

Talk

When I was younger my Nan would say it was rude to talk at the table. It's funny how times change as now I feel talking at the table brings us closer. During breakfast it's our time to chat about our day ahead whether it's what we will be getting up to, what the boys have to look forward to at school, activities they have planned after school or even what we are having for dinner. It's so nice just to take 15 minutes out of the day to sit round as a family and enjoy spending time together.

Spending time together as a family at breakfast time really does make us feel a lot happier as we start our day. It's relaxed and enjoyable and I know that the boys are starting their day with a balanced breakfast. Nutella has teamed up with leading family psychologist Linda Blair, to develop the Happy Portion formula - looking at tips for a great breakfast time. The campaign helps to show that spending time together as a family at breakfast time can have a positive effect on the rest of your day, whilst enjoying one heaped teaspoon of nutella as part of a balanced and varied diet.  If you would like to read more about nutella's Happy Portion Campaign, head over to https://www.nutella.com/uk/en/happy-portion 

I would love to hear how you spend time together as family at breakfast time and if you have any tips  on breakfast time as a family please do share with #nutellaHappyPortion

Michelle
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Trick or Treat Halloween Gift Guide

16 October 2019

24 comments
Disclosure - This post features gifted items that were sent for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post also contains affiliate links.

Trick or Treat Gift Guide
Every year we always buy big and little J a treat for Halloween. It's one of our favourite times of year. We have been on the lookout out for some treat inspiration and if you are too then here is our Halloween Trick or Treat Gift Guide.

Springin Spiders Game
 Little J has been watching Ryan's Toy Review for as long as I can remember. Ryan has released a lots of toys from his Ryan's World range and Springin' Spiders Game is the perfect Halloween treat.

There is nothing better than a quick and easy game and Springin' Spiders is so simple. Just flick your spider and get the most spiders onto the web before time runs out to win.

1,2,Boo Book
1, 2, Boo! Is a spooky counting board book suitable for all ages. When a brother and sister go trick-or-treating, they compete to see who can find the most bizarre and brilliant things. They try to count all the hair-raising creatures and need your help.

skeleton costume
Little J has his Halloween costume sorted already this year wearing the Wilko Halloween Scary Skeleton Onsie. The costume has a scary skeleton design on a black background, it's perfect for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating.

first day at skeleton school book
Do you dare take part in the First Day at Skeleton School? There are monsters and witches, not to mention ghouls. They howl in assembly, fly broomsticks in the library and learn how to float through walls.

Disney Traditions Violet Vampire Minnie and Mickey
Disney Traditions Colourful Count Mickey is playing a scary Halloween host, dressed as the King Vampire and Disney Traditions Violet Vampire Minnie, is about to scare up some Halloween fun, trick-or-treating as a sweet-toothed vampire.

Disney Traditions are handcrafted in Jim Shore's unique folk-art style. Each figurine features quilt patterns, rosemaling designs, and a playful mix of colours.

The graveyard book
The Graveyard Book tells the story of a baby who escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family. Who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead.

But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

Witch wars book
When Fran the Fabulous Fairy turns up in Tiga Whicabim's shed to tell her she is a witch, Tiga doesn't believe her.  Fran points out that TIGA WHICABIM is actually an anagram of I AM A BIG WITCH and magics her away down the drainpipes to compete in Witch Wars the competition to crown the next Top Witch of Ritzy City.

Crazy Rumours Lip balm
Two lip balms that are perfect for Autumn and Halloween. Pumpkin Spice is everything nice and so much more! Cozy up to pumpkin with a touch cinnamon spice too. Candy Corn is a Halloween classic for the true candy connoisseur, sugared caramel and sweet cream.

Crazy Rumors are wonderfully colourful and flavourful vegan lip balms from the USA with big personality. Established over 15 years ago, the exceptional 100% natural lip care is still handmade in small batches for the purest and freshest balms. The mouth-watering flavours are sourced from fruits, vegetables and spices - no synthetic lab created flavours, nature creates it all.

I went trick or treating book
When a brother and sister go trick-or-treating, they compete to see who can scare the creepiest creatures. As they try to remember each hair-raising encounter, everything escalates - until they get the biggest fright of all.

I Went Trick or Treating is perfect for little monsters at Halloween! This brilliantly funny book is based on the much-loved memory game 'I went to the shop...' - but with a super-spooky twist.


What treats will you be buying or enjoying this Halloween?

Michelle
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Learn With Thomas Range

13 October 2019

32 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted the below items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies. 

Thomas and Friends Electronic Toys
Around this time of year I am always on the lookout for toy ideas for Christmas. Not just for little J but for my family and friends little ones. Since becoming an Early Years Practitioner I always seem to steer towards toys that have educational features but obviously keeping it fun for the little ones too. I really love the Learn with Thomas range from Trends, not only is it educational with lots of interactive fun, it's Thomas and Friends too which is a character we have loved for many years.


 The learn with Thomas toys are designed for those 18 months up to 4 years old however little J enjoyed playing with these especially the smart tablet and he is 6. I think it depends on the age and stage of your child but if they are a Thomas fan they will love the range no matter what age.

Thomas and Friends Flip and Learn phone


Thomas and Friends Flip and Learn Phone

The Flip and Learn Phone is a great addition to role play with the kids. Flip the phone to open and reveal a very colourful keypad. The number buttons are red, yellow, green, blue and orange which is not only eye catching but great for colour and number recognition. Press a number and it will make a beeping dialling noise. Once you have dialled your number press the green phone button to ring Thomas. He will answer ' Hello 'I'm Thomas, the number 1 blue engine'. Press the red phone button to end the call.

Thomas and Friends Flip and Learn phone
Press the ? button on the phone and Thomas will ask you to ring someone by pressing a certain button. For example Thomas will say 'Shall we ring Emily? Press number 8. This gives the child the chance to find number 8 on the keypad. Again great for number recognition. Thomas will also ask you to find a certain colour button too.

Press * to begin lots of fun sounds and press # to activate the Thomas tune. There is even a camera button which makes it very realistic for the little ones.

Thomas and Friends Smart Tablet


Thomas and Friends Smart Tablet

Most children now know how to work an iPad or tablet so they will love the Thomas and Friends Smart Tablet as it has lots of interactive fun.

Thomas and Friends Smart Tablet
The Thomas tablet is really colourful and has lots to do and see. Switch the Thomas tablet on my pressing the large yellow button at the bottom of the tablet. Then you can choose what feature you would like to play with.

Press one of the circle 'places' buttons at the top of the pad to learn about places to visit. A great way for children to learn about different destinations.

The number and shape buttons are perfect to help with number and share recognition. Press the button once and it will tell you the number press again to hear the shape.

Move down to the letters that spell out T R A I N. Press a letter once to hear the phonetic pronunciation and press again to hear the name of the letter.

Thomas and Friends Smart Tablet
Press the characters to learn their names and if you press again you can hear more about the character.

Next you can learn colours by pressing the trains.

Thomas and Friends Smart Tablet
There is a Thomas button at the bottom of the tablet, you press this to activate the quiz. Thomas will ask you a question and you have to find the correct answer and press the button. Lots of fun for little ones and encourages listening and attention too.

I have teamed up with Trends UK to offer one lucky Playdays and Runways reader the chance to win their very own Thomas and Friends Smart Tablet.

Our giveaway may be closed but the Learn With Thomas range is still available to buy on Amazon.

  

Win Thomas & Friends Smart Tablet

Michelle

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Dough Nab Game Review

9 October 2019

8 comments
Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

Dough nab Game
We love playing games as a family but sometimes John and I like to play games which are aimed at adults. We recently added a new game to our collection, Dough Nab. When I first saw the game I thought it was for younger children however its actually aimed at those aged 8+ and after playing I can understand why.



After reading the rules a few times we decided to just play and see how we got on. Dough Nab comes with three doughnuts, 60 cards, a turn tracker token and a head bakers hat. The aim of the game is to clear all the cards in your hand and also your dough nab pile.

Dough Nab Game
To start the game all you need to do is place the three doughnuts in the middle of the table. Deal out 10 cards face down to each player and place the remainder cards to the side. You then decide who goes first and hand them the turn tracker token.

Dough Nab Game
Each player takes it in turns to turn over their top card and place it face up in front of them. You continue to do this in a clockwise order until there are 3 matching doughnuts on show. If you are the first to spot three matching doughnut cards face up then you must grab the correct coloured doughnut.  You then give your dough nab pile of face up cards to a player of your choice so they have to add them to their own pile.

Dough Nab Game
To make the game more interesting there are special cards. Magic doughnut cards, the crumbs cards,  don’t nab and nab cards.

The magic doughnut cards can be matched with two doughnuts of the same colour, so you would then grab the doughnut that corresponds to the majority. For example if there are two pink doughnuts in the face up piles and you place the magic doughnut card down you would grab the pink doughnut.

If by chance three magic doughnut cards are visible at the same time you must race to grab any coloured doughnut.

The crumbs card is a half eaten doughnut and they are placed in the pack just to confuse you, they don’t do anything at all.

If you place the don't nab card down no one can grab a doughnut until the don't nab card is covered up.

If the nab card is placed down all players must race to grab a doughnut.  You then hand your dough nab pile to a player who was not grabbed a doughnut.

The winner is the player without any cards and they can wear the head bakers hat.

Dough Nab is a really fun fast paced game similar to snap only for adults. As you can see the rules are a little complicated with a lot to remember but once you know how to play you will be a whizz. I will be adapting the game so we can play it with little J who is 6 as he loves games and I'm sure he will love this too.

Michelle


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Our Autumn Netflix Binge Watch List

8 October 2019

11 comments
This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies. 

Netflix Binge List
John and I have been browsing Netflix recently looking for new programmes to watch but also looking forward to the return of some new seasons of series that we have watched over the last few years. Check out our Netflix binge list for what we will watching this Autumn.

This Is Us

We started watching This Is Us last year and we binge watched the first two seasons but we then had to wait to watch the third season, which we did just recently. Luckily season four has already started so in a couple of weeks we will continue to watch.

If you’ve not seen This Is Us before it’s a really easy watching show that follows the lives of the Pearson family. Mainly we follow the lives of three siblings Kevin, Kate and Randall known as the big three. The show mainly takes place in the present however they use flashbacks to show the families past and most recently they’ve now started to show flash forwards of what their lives look like in the future.

At times it can be a little bit confusing as you are watching three timelines and sometimes more but you will soon get into it and we were hooked. Really looking forward to the fourth season which premiered on September 24.


The Affair

We stumbled across The Affair whilst browsing Netflix a few years ago. It follows the relationship between two main characters Noah Salaway and Alison Lockhart who meet and have an affair.

We then see the impact their affair has on their partners, family and friends. I am a huge fan of Joshua Jackson and have been since his Dawsons Creek days and he is great in The Affair, playing Alisons husband Cole. The first two seasons were fantastic however the third season lost it a little for me and I really struggled to keep up, it wasn’t my favourite season however it pulled it back in season four.  The fifth and final season is available to watch now I’m really looking forward to seeing how the show ends and what happens to the main characters.


Unbelievable

Unbelievable is a Netflix Original series and we are really looking forward to watching it, after reading some amazing reviews.

 Unbelievable is a miniseries drama about a series of rapes in Washington and Colorado. The series is  actually based on a true story. It’s not our usual choice of programme but with just eight episodes I would really like to give this a try. If you have managed to watch this please do leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.


You

Last but not least I am really hoping that the rumours are true and that You series 2 will be available to watch in October. Again this was something we just stumbled upon and it’s not usual for us to watch a psychological thriller series. After watching the first episode we had to carry on and watch all 10 episodes to find out what happened to Joe a big store manager at Moonies who stalks and then begins to date a young girl called Beck. Although there is no official date of season 2  I’m hoping that  we will be able to watch it this Autumn.


Grey’s Anatomy

So this isn't a Netflix show however I had to include it on our list. I’m sure even if you’ve never watched a single episode of Grey’s Anatomy you will most probably know of the show and what it’s about. Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama that follows the lives of interns, residents and doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. We mainly follow the life of Meredith Grey the daughter of an esteemed general surgeon named Alice Gray. The show began in 2005 and is now up to series 16 which premiered on September 26.

Grey’s Anatomy is probably one of the best and worst things I’ve ever watched in my entire life. I have laughed but I have also cried a lot watching it so if you haven’t seen it and you’re beginning your Grey’s Anatomy journey then please have a box of tissues to hand.



So these are our top five binge watching programmes that we will be watching this Autumn. If you have any different series please do let us know as we are always looking for new recommendations.

Michelle
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Bunch O Balloons Party Pump and Balloons

1 October 2019

24 comments
Disclosure - We we received Bunch O Balloons Party Pump and Balloons for the purpose of this post. We also received an Asda voucher to buy more balloons. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies. 

boy holding balloons
If there’s one thing that can keep a child entertained for hours it’s a balloon. Little J absolutely loves balloons and it doesn’t matter whether they are attached to a piece of string or just inflated he will play with it no matter what. Although balloons are perfect for any occasion they do make a great addition to any party. In the past I’ve been stuck blowing up tens of balloons for a birthday party leaving me short of breath, but I know just how much the kids will enjoy them. When we received Bunch O Balloons Party Pump and pack of self sealing Party Balloons I was excited to give it a try.



Bunch O Balloons
Bunch O Balloons Party Pump and self sealing party balloons claim they can fill, tie and string 40 balloons in 40 seconds. Now I know this probably sounds too good to be true but I am always happy to try anything and I was actually keen to see if this would actually work.

The party pump pack came with 16 balloons included and we were sent an additional pack of 24 balloons so 40 in total.

Bunch O Balloons
When we opened the pump it was really compact which is great when it comes to storing after use. All we needed to do was attach the pump to the mains using the plug included then attach our balloons. You can choose between one stem (8 balloons), two stems (16 balloons) or five stems (40 balloons).  The balloons then inflate, tie and the ribbon is already attached so just ready for you to bunch together or leave them separate. It's up to you.

It was amazing to see all balloons inflate at the same time. I actually can’t wait to see how much time it will save for future parties when it comes to blowing up balloons.

Bunch O Balloons
The Bunch O Balloons Party Pump attaches to your mains electricity and it also comes with a set of of additional adaptors which can be used to inflate other items in the home, such as water toys, paddling pools or balls. It also comes with a helium adaptor which you can use to fill your balloons from a helium tank instead if you want to have floaty balloons.

Boy holding Bunch O Balloons
Bunch O Balloons Party Pump and 16 balloons cost just £14.99 from Asda and if you choose to buy additional packs of Party Balloons these cost £9.99 for a pack of 24. To find your nearest stockist check here and if you want any more information then you can head to Bunch O Balloons Party

Our giveaway may be closed but you can still purchase Bunch O Balloons online



Win Bunch O Balloons Party Pump and Balloon Pack ( £15 Asda Voucher)

Michelle


Competition closes on Sunday 20th October 2019

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 winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 
The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 
The winners will not be announced on my blog or social media until they have agreed that their name can be displayed. 
The winners 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 : £15 Asda Voucher so you can purchase Bunch O Balloons Party Pump and Balloons
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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Autumn

10 comments
boy walking along a log
I can’t believe it’s October. I know Autumn officially started last week but for me October is the beginning of Autumn. I Love Autumn and Winter, it is my favourite time of year. We always have so much to look forward to once October arrives. We probably do more between October and December than we do all year round as we have lots of traditions and already lots of events and days out planned and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you all.

October half term is always a highlight for us, we try to cram in as many Halloween type events as we can as little J just loves Halloween. October half term usually means us taking a trip up to Blackpool to see the Blackpool lights, it's something we’ve done for over 15 years. It never gets old or boring, it’s just a lovely evening out.

Lots of Pumpkins
Pumpkin picking is a new tradition for us, we only started it two years ago. Pumpkin Picking was something we’ve never considered before but after speaking to a friend she told me how much she enjoyed it with her children so we decided to pop along to Kenyon Hall Farm to pick a pumpkin. It was such a fun time little J enjoyed pushing the wheelbarrow around looking for the perfect pumpkin to pick. Last year I wrote a post listing the best pumpkin patches around the UK with the help from other bloggers. I think this year we will be heading back to Kenyon Hall Farm as we know it always has the perfect pumpkins to pick.

Halloween is something we are really looking forward to this year little J loves dressing up and trick or treating. I am going to have for Halloween soon including letting little J pick his scary costume, buying  lots of house decorations and lots of treats for the kids. I will be shortly posting our Halloween gift guide which will give you lots of gift ideas for Halloween, room decorations, costumes and treats for all the kids.

Autumn usually means the start of new seasons on Netflix. It's the perfect time to snuggle under the blanket and binge watch your favourite TV programmes. We are particular looking forward to season four of This Is Us, season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy, the new season of The Affair and I am also looking forward to watching Unbelievable after reading so many fantastic reviews.

Another highlight for us is heading to the shops to update our wardrobe and give it a more Autumn and Winter feel. Although I’ll be sad to ditch all my summer clothes I am looking forward to lots of browns, yellows and oranges in my wardrobe. I also can't wait to put on my favourite boots and wellies.

Scarefest sign
Once October has passed its time to think about bonfire night which is another special time for us as we like to try and head to Alton Towers for Scarefest or Fireworks events.  Then with a blink of an eye it will be almost Christmas, my favourite time of year

So there’s lots of things to look forward to this autumn I can’t wait to get started and sharing with you or what we get up to so watch this race.

Michelle
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