Saturday, 30 June 2012

Lou Lou Review

We love books, given how many reviews I have done for them lately might give you some idea.  But it’s surprising how you can still find little gems with new subject material out there.  I liked this very real book.  The illustrations of the Maldives were quite beautiful but other sections quite dark and moody, they really set the scene for what you are reading.

It is a good book to introduce your children to the effects of global warning.  It is very educational learning about our impact on the environment (meaning ocean levels are raising impacting life on the island).  Sadly in the story Lou Lou, her family and many others are forced to leave their homes. 

Very descriptive text highlight the sorrow of moving away and then suddenly the book is full of colour and magic with the appearance of a mermaid with a magical necklace for Lou Lou.

I must admit I envy Lou Lou for her list of important possessions, a map, book of dancing and an encyclopedia.  Shows how bright this six year old is with simple needs and wants.  If I asked my five year old about his am sure his favourite possessions would be the Wii and his DS (maybe a good thing we will be living without them for a week soon!).

This book leaves it open ended for plenty more adventures about Lou Lou’s travels finding a new home.  The author Safia Guerras has travelled extensively so you know that what she writes will be engaging and enriched in culture.  Possibly helping your child develop a love of exploration and a thirst for knowledge about the world around them.

The addition of a glossary at the end is very helpful so the targeted primary school readers can develop their comprehension. 

With an RRP of £9.99, Lou Lou is available in all good book shops.  I feel sad I was so ignorant of how catastrophically affected the islands have been by climate change, so I am glad to read books like these to hopefully educate and inform my boys.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Badger the Mystical Mutt and the Barking Boogie Review

My son was so excited to receive the sequel to the first badger book.  When he came home from school and found it, he was all “YAY next badger book tonight!”

He now repeatedly asks if there is a third book as he is desperate for more badger adventures.  So the lovely talented authors need to get busy writing (they even kindly signed his copy, making his beloved book even more treasured!).

Tired after his swimming lesson so a nice bit of Badger then bed!

This story was another hit.  My son absolutely adores Badger the main character, but I think it’s the plot, which always leaves him wanting more.  It is definitely a page-turner for young children.

Again the book much like the first teaches valuable moral lessons, like the importance of accepting who you are and not pretending to me someone your not just to be well liked!  Even with a name like Dodgy Dave does not mean you cannot have a natural flair and love of the Cha-Cha.  Although we face more bullying from the dog gang, who find dancing “namby-pamby” and are quite cruel.

Also we have an exceptionally smelly dog in the shape of Cheryl, when Badger looks past the stink and really talks to her he realises she is quite lovely just a little pongy.  Badger sensitively approaches the subject and tries to help her out.

The language is very appealing to children, with lots to make them giggle like “birds with their low-flying poos” and “windy pops” from a hot Mexican fajita diet!

We learn that following our heart and weathering the storm eventually good things will happen.

Available to buy from the Badger online shop

Orion Books Early Reader Review

Despite having enough books to start our own well-stocked library, we had yet to come across these great books by Orion.

They sent us three to get started.  Each were interesting, engaging and with appealing topics for children.  The plentiful colourful illustrations are great for my two boys to keep them attentive and focused on the story.  These books will definitely help eldest make steady progress with his reading.

The Big Sticky Bun

I liked best how being well-behaved and helpful means your more likely to earn a bun.  Which should hopefully set a good example for my two.  Two of the three mini stories have some tricky moments between siblings, which brings some welcome humour to the book!

Horrid Henry’s Sports Day

Horrid Henry despite some very challenging behaviour is still quite a likeable character.  I hope though my boys never place him as their role model… he does enjoying getting up to mischief!  However it does mean for boys particularly this book is especially entertaining.  If you are struggling to get them interested in books I am pretty sure Horrid Henry would be the way to go.

Horrid Henry even brought in a reference to the goings on in Ancient Greece.  So some educational value amongst all the pranks!  Eldest has his sports day next week – I just hope he has not got any funny ideas…

Cudweed in Outer Space

This is an exciting story about building a spaceship from scratch with the help of a pet monkey.  Having foolishly thrown away the instructions it does take slightly longer than planned but finally Cudweed sets off to space.  At which point they face the drama of almost being hit by a missile and crash landing on a large gooey alien invested planet, thankfully the bottom-scratching monkey comes to the rescue!

With an RRP of £4.99 each, they are a relatively inexpensive way to kick start a lifetime love of reading.  The website has more information and stockists.

Wonka Candy Review

My boys were ecstatic to be reviewing sweets; especially sweets they thought were freshly made by no less than Willy Wonka himself!  

Eldest absolutely loves Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; so getting eye-catching colourful and crazy tasty sweets to sample is pretty awesome.  Most of his friends were at a birthday party that day (it is completely understandable parents cannot invite everyone), but thankfully no sad face in our house, Wonka came to the rescue! 

We had the nerds, the boys loved these crunchy little tiny pieces and begged for more.  Trying to avoid a sugar rush I let them sample them in moderation.  There is no danger of me hogging them to myself in a late night session whilst the boys are in bed, as sweets are not my indulgence of choice.  I am definitely a cake, chocolate and biscuit kind of girl.  However they might have to watch out for hubbie, he was very much taken by them (and the other two boxes provided for our review).

The Original Spree had a really powerful flavourful kick when you bite into them.  Eldest thought “POWW!” they were so strong.

The Gobstopper (£2.59) layered with different colours and flavours is quite interesting.  Hubbie did keep most of these to himself (he said for health and safety reasons… but I know it was because he wanted them all in his own tummy!).  He said they last a long time and the core is particularly appetizing!

On the packets they do mention that some of the ingredients might have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children (good on them for actually owning up to that!).  For this reason I do think they need to be controlled, I would not leave them to go wild with a packet, but rather give them a small selection to savour.  With the tiny amount I gave them they both seemed fine (or no worse than normal anyway haha!).

Some Nerds sprinkled on top of natural yoghurt might help balance out the naughtiness for your children.  You might get them to eat pretty much anything with some of these for decoration!!!

Wonka Candy is available nationwide, including department stores and specialist stores.

Mini Moos Review

My boys were sent two of the available varieties to get their teeth into!  These chocolate bars are dairy free, lactose free, gluten free, wheat free and suitable for vegans.  Given all those free from you would think perhaps they might taste pretty awful but I was surprised and impressed with them as were my children.

My boys do not have any special dietary needs but I thought it was good to review them for any parents following my blog who have children who do.  Your children may feel they might be missing out unable to eat conventional chocolate.  Well I am sorry they will not be losing out in the slightest!  I might have to “develop” some intolerance just so I have a valid excuse to keep buying them!!!   Your children can have one of these bars in their lunchbox and no longer woefully pine for whatever a lucky friend has for their lunch.

The packets are sweet with the characters Rosie Rabbit for the Scrummy Hunny-Comb Bars and Mungo Mouse for the Juicy Sultana Bars.  But as funny as the packets are, the factory is very serious and rightfully so.  Made in a UK factory they ensure the machinery has never been used with any ingredients that contain milk.  So no bar will ever be contaminated with any milk residue, which is very reassuring if your children have a bad reaction to milk.

This alternate to chocolate is not only organic but also very similar to the real thing.  If you offered it to someone without the packet, they would have no idea it is dairy free.  The toppings make the bars look very appealing and mouth watering.  Studded with honeycomb pieces or big sultanas in either case, visually I wanted to give them a chomp!  Taste wise we were not disappointed the smoothness of the chocolate with the exciting topping combines for a pleasant and satisfying chocolate experience!

Head over to the website for more information and stockists.

Organix Goodies

Children are always hungry and to be honest I run out of snack ideas during the course of the day, after various fruits, yoghurts and lumps of cheese, they grind me down to try and get me to open the treat cupboard!  Luckily they cannot reach it on their own yet, well they could if they pulled up a chair, but they only seem to do that to get into the fridge freezer…

That’s where Organix come to the rescue with no junk (no added salt, processed sugars, colourings or flavourings) lurking inside; it’s a healthier alternative to all the chocolate, sugary sweets and cake I keep in stock (for myself in moments of weakness of course).  My boys actually really like their snacks.  They have a huge selection and are fun and tasty, meaning I am no longer at a loss when it comes to picking something nutritious for them to eat!

We have just reviewed some Organix snacks and all that were left were the wrappers!

The cartoon characters are quite sweet, although their “hungry” and “thirsty” requests are nowhere close to how loud and grouchy my two get!  Organix really know what is important for children, exercise, being in the fresh air and having plenty of Organix drinks and snacks to keep energy levels topped up!  Maybe if I mastered that combination my two would be little angels!

Head over to their website for more information and to purchase some.  I am impressed you can get the range online, as I always sulked, as our Supermarket did not have all the boys’ favourites.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin cooked for my roaming reporter…

Living practically in the sticks it is a shame to let good event invites go to waste, so I sent my incredibly talented friend and owner of DaisychainBaby to report back.  I am extremely jealous as if anyone needs some decent cooking tips it is me!  Sadly my very basic cooking skills I demonstrated to Lins whilst at Uni, have not improved... my mash technique was often a subject of great hilarity ("boiling the potatoes to within an inch of their lives and mashing them in the water. No milk, no butter" - Lins also forgot to mention they were still in their skins!).  Although Lins also failed to mention she sustained herself through Uni on pasta in sauce from a packet, add boiled water, voila you have a meal...

So over to Lins:

"My very first event as her official London roaming reporter took place yesterday and what a fab one it was! Armed with my trusty notepad and pen, I ventured off to a "Potato Masterclass" hosted by none other than Saturday Kitchen's James Martin! The British love affair with potatoes has been a long one, but I confess to being a bit of a philistine when it comes to potatoes and know next to nothing about them, apart from mash and roasts are my favourite. I'm certainly not alone, according to, who are on a mission to show Brits how to get the most from their potatoes.

After some mingling with our fellow attendees it was over to the pro! James Martin was on hand to show us to make some delicious recipes using the three different types of potato: a Potato, Pea and Watercress Soup; Salmon with Potato, Pickled Cucumber and Chili and finally Apple Mash with Grilled Pork Chop and Walnuts.

Pea, Potato & Watercress Soup topped with Poached Egg
I have to say, it is pretty awe-inspiring seeing someone who really, really knows what they're doing in the kitchen cooking away. I love cooking but I don't do enough of it and am only fairly average. Yesterday I learned the best way to poach an egg (make sure you add vinegar to the water and drop the egg in as the water swirls) and that any London hotel will poach their eggs up to 24 hours or so in advance and they keep beautifully in ice water for up to 48 hours! Peas are best frozen than fresh to make the soup a lovely green colour. Marcus Wareing apparently makes the best mash in London according to James, and uses 1lb of potatoes, 1lb of butter and a pint of double cream (heart attack on a plate I was thinking, but I'd still bury my face in it!) and that no matter how hard James tries, he still can't make roast potaoes better than his Mum's (bless!) Oh, and he likes butter. Tons of the stuff.

James gets mashing
We sampled all three of the dishes he made and each one was delicious, the potatoes perfectly placed as accompaniments but never stealing the show. The apple mash was simply amazing, even though I had to scoop it out from underneath the pork chop (I'm a fish-eating veggie but wasn't about to tell a celebrity chef, never mind a Yorkshireman that I don't eat meat!) - who would have thought that you could grate raw apple into mash and for it to be tasty?

Apple Mash with Grilled Pork Chop and Walnuts 
I confess - I have a new found respect for this humble staple food-stuff and am determined to be more adventurous with them, especially mixing things in with mash.

I hope this has inspired you to show more love for our potato friends - you can find some great recipes over at and Potato Week runs from 1st to 7th October 2012."

Tune in next week for my roaming reporters next exciting event!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial Review

Hubbie came home looking tired after an eleven-hour shift and was pleased when I offered him a refreshing drink of Elderflower Cordial.  He thought it revitalised him ready to get some epic evening chores done (cook my dinner, do the dishes and be my general tea dogsbody!).  Bless I do like to work him hard!

He does look remarkably cheery holding the bottle, if he continues to do the chores with such a spring in his step, I might treat him to a second glass or keep a regular bottle in the house for motivational purposes…

Being ever hopeful warmer weather is on the horizon it is the perfect drink for long summer days.  The bottles are quite eye catching and would look visually appealing if you were trying to impress visiting guests.  I quite enjoyed the drink it is flavoursome and hubbie says “mouth-watering”.  Although youngest just said, “yack” when he drank it!  So each to their own…

The limited edition bottles are available from all major supermarkets.  The Elderflower Cordial is priced from £3.15 for 500ml, there is also a Sparkling Elderflower, which sounds quite exciting, but as I did not review this I might have to keep an eye out for it when I go shopping next.

Porkchop and Mouse Interactive Storybook Review

Now we have a fancy new Android phone I can review fabulous apps.  My eldest has got the hang of the phone no problem but me I have reverted back to my old reliable brick as it baffles me (hubbie is pleased as he is in his element with any new technology and was quick to claim it as his!).  But I do know how to find the games and storybooks on there, I make a point of knowing that as good entertainment for my boys defuses their grumpy moods and distracts them when they are rampaging!

Created by the award winning children’s author, Fiona Roberton, Porkchop and Mouse is a sweet little tale, about a cat that chases a mouse he finds nibbling his beloved donuts (I am still slightly jealous of his breakfast of donuts as I have to make do with cereal!).

The story can be read aloud or your children can read it themselves.  Both my boys thoroughly enjoyed it and liked poking and prodding the screen to see what they could interact and play with on there, like birds flying past the window, turning a light on and off or finding the mail in the mailbox.  I think that is what I like best; those lovely little extras really absorb them into the story.  The boys did not even manage to find them all, as reading the press release I can see you can also play a piano and find a tic-tac-toe mini game.  So plenty to keep them coming back for more!

My preference would always be an actual physical book for my children, but I do feel that storybooks on phones, tablets or ipads do have a place too.  They are great for taking on holiday, much more portable than emptying your bookshelves into a giant suitcase and quite cheap, this one costs just £1.79.  If your struggling to get your child interested in reading, the additional interactive features will make the process more fun and seem less like a chore to them.

Available to buy from Thumbstar Games.

Organix Selection Box Review

We were sent a lovely box with some Organix treats in there to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  Given the fabulous assortment, which included some firm favourites of my youngest, I took it along for our weekly swimming and luncheon session.  He kindly shared the contents with his best buddy and according to him his “Whit Woo”.  They proved very popular as was to be expected with Organix, they are definitely a brand much loved by children.

They are tasty, interesting snacks (even I do not mind a nibble on these except perhaps for the Tomato Veg and Oat Bars, which unfortunately I do not like in the slightest but then its not aimed for me!) and much healthier than other equivalents.  So I was happy for the two of them to help themselves, being organic and junk free, it is hard to find fault with them.

The box definitely brought a little fun to our picnic.  All these snacks would be perfect for school lunchboxes.

The box included one of the new Mighty Meals, the range of flavours sound quite appealing, whilst introducing children to proper meals and big chunks of food.  They do look appetising and if you have a reluctant eater, it might be worth giving these a try.  Designed for 1 to 3 year olds they have no added salt or preservatives.  Youngest just had it for an early dinner as his brother is on a playdate.  He actually seemed to enjoy it (Tasty Beef Stew & Dumplings).  Although I did have to sprinkle some cheese on top, but then he is cheese mad!  It also smelt quite nice and was only a quick bing in the microwave so very convenient.

You can find out more on the Organix website about the new range and all the snacks in general.

Batman 2 DC Super Heroes Wii Game Review

Warner Brothers really know how to make children happy, not only did my eldest receive the fantastic new game, but a batman mask, a pot of LEGO and a great Batman LEGO Keyring but they are also responsible for bringing some of the best films and video games to us the eager consumer!

Eldest has really enjoyed playing the game, which comes as no surprise as he already owned the first LEGO Batman and played that extensively with his dad.  Although Batman 2 is even more appealing as it is the first LEGO Videogame with talking minifigures.  The new and original story, full of humour is also great fun for adults, I have never seen hubbie move so fast as when he comes home from work and puts the game on!
My eldest is 5 and he managed the controls fine, he used to find handling the nunchuck and the controller at the same time difficult but thankfully he seems to have mastered it now, opening up a whole new world of adventure.  He loves LEGO and so using special LEGO building skills in the game like building stairs to reach other platforms is pretty thrilling (and I like that the tiny LEGO pieces are contained on the screen and not all over my house for a change!).
Boys enjoy action, superhero’s and fancy special powers, so eldest is in his element playing the game.  What little boy has not wanted to fly or I am quite partial of the heat vision (how handy would that be if your were out camping, marshmallow anyone?).

“It was awesome, I like Batman, he is a superhero, he tries to kill the joker and he kills the baddies and I love the game”
His brother is quite happy to sit on the floor next to him just watching what happens, he has found it more exciting than watching TV.  As you progress through the game you can unlock additional characters, vehicles (the Batmobile, Batwing and Batboat) and master new suits and gadgets, meaning there is so much depth and countless hours of game play here.

Visually the game is pretty spectacular, very atmospheric, dark and mysterious.  The opening cinematics and the cut scenes are in-depth and thoroughly absorbing.
Available to buy on Amazon for £22.96, a bargain for a new Wii game anyway but it even comes with an exclusive Lex Luthor mini toy.  So it will be cheerful faces all round (mummy because its great value and the children because frankly it rocks!).

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Messy Pups

Living with children you do kind of get accustomed to the grot and the grime, the grass stains, the crayon marks on the wall and the spilt drinks on the floor.  You soon realise white pristine walls and light coloured carpets were not only impractical but also slightly optimistic.

Heavily pregnant you start nesting, getting the house perfect… for what? A baby to spew all over the place and then later comes the toilet training with yet more spillages.  Your child will rock back and fourth on the potty, with a gleeful look on their cheeky faces… and all the time your praying the contents stay where they belong!

All I can say is hooray for carpet cleaning shampoo, because frankly without it I think my friends would have been declining invites to our house or diplomatically placing a peg on the end of their nose!  Thankfully we are past the toilet training stage now, but I am so pleased products exist like Vanish to restore the fresh and clean smell to our home.  Why I did not invest in hardwood flooring is beyond me.  Instead I quietly try and admire the playdoh and paint splodges that will not shift and embrace living in a house surrounded by impressionist art.

But if it’s not the children, the pets are also in on it, they are adamant on bringing further chaos to our home.  When we first got our hamster, he chomped on my finger so hard, I had blood spurting out of me.  Obviously I had to put a brave face on for the children but all the time I was just figuring out how to remove blood stains.  The sofa was absolutely covered; I am surprised I did not pass out from extreme blood loss.  He has been a loveable pet since but I always keep a watchful eye on him (and bribe him with nuts and seeds so he is an extremely happy hamster!). 

When the dog lived here it was all thick black hairs everywhere, I do not think we will be featuring in Ideal Home Magazine anytime soon.  But at least with these products we are not contenders for a Kim and Aggie grilling.  It is just a shame Vanish cannot get rid of other annoying stains in my life, like hubbie when he is so engrossed in his online games, I may as well be invisible!  “Hello? Yes me your wife…”

Although least he knows where to find the marigolds!

Zoku Lolly Maker Review

We were sent this innovative lolly maker from Lakeland to review.  You store it inside the freezer for 24 hours then you can make a lolly in 10 minutes.  You can do this up to three times before you need to place back in the freezer.  Hubbie my technical consultant found the process relatively easy.

Why I love our new gadget?

Healthier – Smoothie mixture, frozen yoghurt or fresh juices could be used, so your children feel like they are getting a “naughty” treat when the reality is lots of vitamins can be packaged in a normal looking lolly!  Perfect for mummies who struggle to get some goodness in their children’s diets.

Effective – It actually works.  We have bought countless seemingly thrilling cheap lolly pop moulds (the last one was shaped like Lego characters) but the contents always get stuck in the mould.  We then try and hack them out whereby they then fall off the stick…. Leaving me dealing with two sad faces, who had been waiting patiently for their pudding!

Exciting – the only limit to how you design your lolly is your own imagination (you can have stripes, filled lollies, colourful lollies)

Convenient – if suddenly it turns into a glorious day you have the ability to make ice lollies and most likely you will not need to go out for supplies to make them (as your bound to have yoghurts, milk or fruit to liquidise or something useful to use).  Saving yourself a trip to the shops with young children is always a blessing and avoiding the constant “mummy I want” cries!

The Zoku retails at £19.99, which I would have gladly paid, given how much money I have wasted over the years on poor alternatives and having to cheer the boys up after numerous failed lolly making attempts.  If you have a larger family you will need to invest in a Quick Pop maker that makes three lollies at a time (nine in total before needing to re-freeze!).  This works out more expensive (£34.99) but again it is worth investing in a quality reliable product!

Check out the Lakeland website for more information on all their exciting kitchen gadgets.  I am usually clueless as to what I want for Christmas or my birthday but suddenly I have my eyes on a few things… maybe I should make a list to give my mum and hubbie!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog Toys Review

My eldest was positively beaming when he opened a delivery from Tomy and found Sonic toy, after Sonic toy, after Sonic toy.  Bless they really made him a happy and surprised bunny.

We thought the best way to show them in action was to create a video of his experience of them.  After all Tomy do not just make toys, they help make adventures.

So I am pleased to introduce you to Sonic Adventure 1000, a battle is about to commence; the goodies against the baddies… will good conquer evil? Watch and see…

The toys are strong, hardwearing and extremely popular.  I know amongst all of my son’s friends Sonic is somewhat of an icon.  With his super speedy skills, he is much loved by the youngsters of today.  Purchasing the action figures will be a sure fire hit for your child, letting their imagination run wild as they come up with different play scenarios.

Now I have got you thinking head over to the Tomy website and make a mental note, as these would be great as Christmas presents (the video says it all!).

mOmma Toddler Competition

My youngest son was a huge fan of eating his food then chucking his plate on the floor afterwards (I was not kidding previously when I mentioned he is semi feral!), so plastic plates became something of a must in our household… I cannot even blame it on him being part Greek (seeing as he has English and Welsh roots).

So it is with pleasure I bring you a competition for not only a plastic plate but so much more.  Mealtimes are so stressful, food is lobbed randomly around the place, after a couple of bites that actually manage to hit their target, boredom sets in and the moaning starts to leave the table.  Well hopefully for the winner this could soon change, they can enjoy an all singing all dancing Developmental Warm Meal Set.
The fork and spoon are shaped in an interesting manner, which should spark some enthusiasm to stop them decorating the kitchen in food and get down to the process of eating.  The perfect set for children taking the first step to independence and feeding themselves, for one the non-slip and non-flip technology will completely baffle them and keep them guessing… in-between enjoying the rocking motion of the spoon and fork!

To buy your set head over to Amazon and part with a very reasonable £13.99, but make sure you also complete the rafflecopter below by the 12th of July because winning is a nice feeling too.
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Wilf Runs Away Book Review

We were sent this lovely hardback book to review.  I am enjoying getting some older books for eldest, less pictures, more story, and mummy finally giving her brain cells a workout of sorts.  Eldest is definitely more engaged in these stories and pointing at words asking what they mean, which is all good signs for his ability to read and develop his comprehension.

Wilf is a very likeable character; a loveable rogue of a mutt and your child will enjoy reading about his adventures in the four short stories included in the one book.  There are some illustrations which give you some idea of what Wilf would look like, a mixture of grumpy, slightly messy but still somehow appearing cute.  He is a bit of an odd ball, he has bad moods and sulks, but that’s what makes him so funny, reading about all the scrapes he finds himself in!

The first story finds Wilf running away from home, luckily it all sorts itself out in the end, because I think he would miss his comforts of “sausages and bashed bones”!  The next story features the dogs working together to help give Wilf a birthday party to remember with the added excitement of them helping catch burglars in the process.

I will not reveal anymore, as I know you’re no doubt keen to get reading yourself.  Head over to Amazon and get your own copy for £7.19.

Little Doers Craft and Activity Box Review

We were sent an amazing craft box full to the brim with glitter, glue, paint powder, crepe paper, feathers, activity sheets and so much more.  I like that this box contained absolutely EVERYTHING I need for the boys and I to do each activity.  We were doing the bow and arrows and it mentioned Blu-Tack I was worried we did not have any (any we have youngest rolls into little balls calls them his “pets” and then promptly loses them around the place!), but youngest noticed a little pack, which even contained the Blu-Tack.  I really cannot put in words how impressed I was with this.  Nothing worse than having to stop an activity midway through, when you realise your missing a key element - which I would do often as I am a ditsy bubblehead!

The help sheets are so clear and comprehensive; completing any given activity is a breeze!  Plus they are fun to do, each activity seems well thought out so children use a range of crafting skills and really get engaged in the process.  I think it is good a list of what is needed for each activity is included as youngest was ever so excited that he ran off with little packets off glitter, sequins and paint (leaving a little trail of yellow after him!!!).  Luckily I could figure out what came with each activity pack through the useful instruction sheets and match them back to where they needed to be!

I particularly like that each activity also comes with educational fact sheets and colouring in sheets (possibly even the words for a song like we had).  So there is plenty to do and learn in one box.  Given how much fun your children will have £15 a month (which in the first month includes a painting apron, glue spreader and paintbrush) seems a small price to pay for such a convenient way to get crafting.  

My boys also had the opportunity to try out different textures, as card, wood, paper and foam were all included in the box.  You can tell someone with a child has developed this box, because they have really considered what works well.  Beth the creator and her son Milo have tested all the activities to make sure they will be successful and manageable for young children. 

When it comes to a Welsh summer there are no guarantee’s that sunshine will actually be involved, so it’s great to be stocked up with entertaining things to do indoors if you cannot get your children outside.  My youngest has quite a short attention span so it was really helpful that shapes are pre-cut to save on time, otherwise I would feel like pulling my own hair out by the end of it!

We would give this box a gold medal!

You can find out more at the website and order a box for yourself.  The boxes come in toddler and preschool/early years age categories so if your child is from 2 – 7 years they will be well catered for with one of the two choices.

Follow them on facebook and twitter to keep up to date with all their news.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Babblebib Competition

I stumbled across the fabulous Babblebib during my visit to the Baby Show earlier this year.  They have some really sweet and very groovy bibs available for sale.  Bandana bibs are all the rage now and one lucky person can win a £15 gift pack from them.  Just imagine how much dribble that will soak up, keeping your precious baby dry and looking very fashionable!

My lovely boys never had bandana bibs, they still looked cute of course, but these bibs can be matched to what your child is wearing.  If you want a dedicated follower of fashion at a young age this may be the way to go!  There is a huge range of colours and patterns.

These bibs are suitable from four months to three years old.  So when you want to despair over the amount of baby sick, drool and food chucked around the place perhaps reaching for a fresh and charming bib might go some way to put a smile on your face.

My favourite designs were The Shamrock (with cheeky gnomes), Little Einstein and Twit Twoo. I would have gladly paid £3.99 each for them.  What is even better is the more you buy the more you save, if you order 3 or 4 bibs you pay just £3.50 each.  Frankly with how fast little ones go through anything clean, you could easily make the most of the discount for 5 or more bibs and pay just £3.20 each!  Delivery is even included in that bargain price.

To enter please complete the rafflecopter below by the 9th of July.
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Fudge Kitchen Review

It is no secret I have a huge sweet tooth and pleasure in my life is usually calorie fuelled!  So I was very excited to be reviewing a selection of fudges from Fudge Kitchen.  They arrived in an attractive green gift box, which can have a personal message inside the lid included in the price; each slab was wrapped nicely inside and labelled.

On the side of the box there were tips on storage and it mentions how the fudge lasts for up to 10 days.  I shall be very surprised if any last till the end of this evening.  After a tiring day at work and coming home to a rampaging three year old, screaming at me… all I can say is thank the lord for the therapeutic properties of a decent cup of tea and something sugary!

Our four sample slices were Lemon Meringue, Banoffee Bonanza, Belgian Chocolate Swirl and Traditional Toffee.  I must say the range of over 20 available flavours impresses me; I love fudge however it comes, but it’s nice having that little bit of excitement that you are enjoying a taste sensation.  Having tried and enjoyed four of them (although I would have liked Banoffee to be more banana flavoured), I am sorely tempted to order more to experience the likes of Autumn Medley, Rich Chocolate Orange, Double Trouble and Christmas Cake.

The gift box costs £16 (plus delivery), I think it would make a lovely present for any harassed mum like me!  But am sure it would go down well with most people.  My dad loves fudge and aside from liquorice allsorts and Ales I struggle to pick nice presents for him.  Finding the assortment of delights available at the Fudge Kitchen, my dad could be in for a treat and enjoy a welcome change from his usual present.

They are very thick slabs so they do last quite well.  

I did the kind thing and shared with my boys.  Although I do think they need to go back on their seed diet so I can have the benefit of the rest tonight.  

I want to make the most of the handmade, fresh and indulgent fudge in my tummy!!!

Have a look at the website to order some or just drool over the fudge sauces and drinking fudge, both sound dreamy!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Dorset Cereal Review

I was sent a lovely selection to try out and they made for a very enjoyable breakfast this morning.  Believe it or not supposedly at least half the population of the UK skip breakfast more than once a week in favour of a few minutes extra in bed (Kantar World panel 2011), evidently they are not eating the right breakfast.  If you had some Dorset Cereal in your cupboard you would leap out of bed like a spring lamb!

For me breakfast is pretty essential, I certainly need some incentive to drag myself out of bed and breakfast kick-starts my energy levels to face whatever the boys throw at me!  I have quite boring breakfast habits as a rule, I tend to stick to the same cereal brand and rarely vary.  This means my boys are developing my lack of adventure.  I do not buy muesli normally; I am not sure exactly why as having savoured some it is a shame I have not started eating it sooner.

The boys really enjoyed the fruit, they picked out some of the nuts but nothing went to waste, the hamster was pleased to find some added to his food bowl.  The boxes are jam packed with fruit, nuts and seeds.  

They really are very tasty.  I will no doubt be buying the Simply Fruity muesli soon, because I really enjoyed how the chewy sweet fruit perfectly complemented the tasty flakes (plus I love fruit and can shy away from the seeds then!).

My mum was a woman possessed with the cereal bars so as much as I would love to comment on our experience, it’s slightly difficult when she made such light work of them… suffice to say evidently she found them very appetizing!

You can find out more from the website including stockists or purchase online.

Roaming Reporter

There is some exciting news afoot on the Missing Sleep blog...

One of my closest and dearest friends and my boys god mummy is going to become my London correspondent.  She will be attending some fabulous events over the next couple of weeks and reporting back here, with pictures and a little write-up.  How fancy do I sound now I have staff on board (admittedly unpaid but still…)

Lindsay runs her own successful children’s clothes website at the fabulous DaisychainBaby, so do go along and have a nose if your children are from newborn to six years old.  With a background that involves a journalist course am sure she will make for a very interesting read.

We used to be across the corridor buddies at university and although we do not see each other nearly as much as we should, our friendship has endured and stayed strong and am so pleased she is willing to hike around for me.  Bless her cottons.  Am hoping she will also indulge in some treats in the process because frankly she deserves them!

So any of my blogging friends who come across her please give her a warm hello!

Lucas Frank Clothing Review

Eldest was sent a very fetching Lucas Frank garment to review in the shape of a stylish Squirrel Point Hoodie (RRP £29.99).  I was impressed by the quality and how expensive it looks; my son appeared quite swanky modelling it.  Am sure people would not give children hanging about in hoodies a bad name wearing these and looking like perfect little gentlemen.

The hoodie is quite light, so perfect to wear out and about in the summer evenings.  I love the detailing, with buttons to close instead of a zip and the trademark lighthouse embroidered on the front.  It is nice to have a smarter hoodie in his wardrobe, instead of wearing only ones with cartoon characters emblazoned all other them.  Perhaps with a more refined wardrobe his behaviour might match it… no more backchat and plenty of intellectual conversation instead!

The Lucas Frank range is available from 18 months till 10 years and comprises of t-shirts, polo shirts and these great hoodies.  For timeless appeal, quality made to last and exceptional attention to detail I am sure I will be back.  Youngest is already desperately waiting for eldest to outgrow it so it becomes his!!!

You can see the complete range on the website (although perhaps I should keep this to myself so I have the finest dressed boys in town!).

Munchy Seeds Review

We were sent a selection of Munchy Seeds to sample.  I am keen to introduce my boys to healthier alternatives (instead of the highly sugared and colourful sweets they unfortunately tend to favour) and introduce them to new nutritious tastes.  

I myself am not a fan of seeds but I do not want my refusal to eat them to rub off on my boys.  Having seen how well received they were; I shall have to make a habit of buying them again.

My boys could not get enough of the Choccy Munchy Seeds with Apricot or which really surprised me the Chilli & Ginger variety.  The hamster was also keen to get in on the review and was eyeing them jealously through the holes in his bars…

The Honey seeds and Vanilla Pumpkin seeds were also highly popular.  I was force fed a couple by the boys but unfortunately my dislike of seeds still stands, I just put on a brave face for them seeing as they were enjoying them so much!  My boys were not so keen on a couple of the varieties we were sent, but on the whole they were a hit.  The ones they turned their nose up were gratefully received by my mum, who is rather partial to all seeds, I am sure she must have been a bird in a past life!

You can order them online off their website.  If you have not tried introducing them to your children yet I would definitely recommend giving it a shot.  I can feel smug if the health visitor asks any probing questions about their diet!  And mention their love of healthy seeds…

I can also imagine all the teachers at my son’s primary school admiring the contents of his wholesome lunchbox and nodding approvingly!