Thursday, 31 January 2013

Silentnight Helping Me Sleep

I participated in a sleep accessories survey for Silentnight and they assigned me with a pair of bed socks to see if my sleep would be improved.  I used to sleep so well pre-children, but once they stir, I find it so hard to get comfortable and drift back to sleep again.  I start to fidget, my feet hang out of the bed getting cold, and I look at the clock far too many times and beg for sleep to take me into its restorative folds!   It comes as no real surprise my blog is called Missing Sleep.

My bed socks were not any ordinary socks though; they were from The White Company, very soft and comfy cashmere ones.  I did feel slightly spoilt, as the bed socks I remember fondly as a child were very cheap.  But I could get used to this luxury, hubbie is blanching over my new expensive taste!

Sickness allowing I do feel they have improved my sleep, when the boys have been awake and I have attended to them in the night (repeatedly as chicken pox and a viral infection concurrently is no walk in the park may I add!) I feel I have gone back to sleep considerably faster.  I do not wake up with freezing feet as hubbie has hogged the bedding AGAIN! 

Even my fever has not been a deterrent to wear them, I know I should take them off to reduce my temperature, but they seem to remind me of calmer times in my childhood, when my great Aunty lived by the recuperative benefits of a pair of bed socks (she was also partial to those super stretchy magic gloves, I am sure she was ahead of her times bless her!).

My bed socks are definitely part of my new bedtime routine, that and trying to relax and empty my mind before I tuck into bed.  It will be interesting to see how other people who completed the survey get on as there was the opportunity to see if eye masks, pillow spray, ear plugs (tempting not to hear the kids lol!) and iphone sleep aid apps helped.

Sleep well!

Hotter Shoes Competition

To celebrate the launch of their Spring Collection I have teamed up with Hotter Shoes to giveaway a £50 voucher to one lucky person.  It is lovely just thinking that spring is on the horizon; I am bored of feeling cold already.  

So I am quite happy to admire their gorgeous new shoes and dream of warmer weather and pleasant strolls in the sunshine.  The Jewel and Leanne shoes in particular have caught my eye.
Leanne Shoes in White/Grey/Lime
Hotter Shoes are so very comfortable; when I have reviewed them previously (Shake Shoes) I was impressed, likewise so was my hubbie with the GORE-TEX range.  We are both still wearing them and they are going strong.  Hotter shoes are well-made and great quality; forget the pleasant strolls in shoes built like this you would be perfectly happy doing long distance hikes!

Also Hotter are about more than just shoes, they have jackets, handbags and travel accessories.  So you will have plenty of choice when it comes to spending your voucher.

To enter fill out the rafflecopter below by the February the 12th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dreaming of Mickey Mouse

Youngest loves Mickey, he is mad for him; he has two big soft toys he sleeps with and lots of DVD’s and other Mickey action toys to play with.  So our dream holiday would definitely feature some of his favourite characters, Disney cruises at looks like a great option!

I am going to start saving with a flourish!  You even receive a phone call from Mickey when you book a cruise, loving the tailored customer service.  Youngest would be in his element to hear Mickey on the phone (given he already has heated conversations with his nanny’s pet fish this would be a huge step up for him!).

Until we have saved enough we are going to keep enjoying his favourite Mickey film.  Although I know what I would prefer, now I have set my sights on the adult only luxurious spa and restaurants!!!  After a tough week of non-stop illness some TLC is the least I deserve, not more non-stop Mickey TV time!  So the cruise would be PERFECT for us all.

Eating without your children sounds very relaxing, than all the coaxing and begging and praying for them to eat a few mouthfuls and stop aiming at the floor!

Full of cold but still getting comfort from his much loved Mickey (still waiting for the chicken pox to get a move on and rear their spots!!!).

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Valentine's gifts: The truth behind the bow

Picking the perfect gift for your Valentine should (theoretically) be easy: whether you go for a small token to show your affection or decide to plan a grand gesture, all it should take is some time and forethought. However, in a recent survey of UK men and women conducted by top online fashion retailer, 1 in 3 men admitted to buying their partners a “questionable last minute gift” for at least one Valentine’s Day.

Of course, Valentine’s isn’t the only day dedicated to love, and most of the women questioned actually said that anniversaries are more important. As February looms, however, it’s hard to ignore Valentine’s Day, and whilst most of us don't expect extravagant gifts as standard, well over half of those surveyed said they felt Valentine’s Day is important to them. And yet, 1 in 3 women report that they have received Valentine’s gifts that were obviously last minute – perhaps demonstrating that shoddy presents are not only disappointing, but pretty difficult to get away with.

In contrast, only 1 in 5 men felt they had been on the receiving end of a dodgy Valentine’s Day present from their partner. The discrepancy may lie in a difference between the way men and women view the holiday.  “Not wanting to be controlled by a schedule or by their partner’s expectations, many men, especially husbands, either do something token on Valentine’s Day (a last minute card or candy) or they are conscientious objectors to the whole thing,” explains Bill Doherty in Psychology Today. “Eventually I realised that the cost of minimising Valentine’s Day—the disappointment and the missed opportunity to connect—is greater than the benefits of maintaining my freedom to be spontaneously romantic on my own timetable.”

Avoid disappointment by striking up an understanding with your partner. It may sound slightly unromantic, but it can help to compare notes on budget beforehand, setting a sensible limit so that neither party feels short-changed. Of those asked in the survey, a significant 4 in 10 women said they spent less than £15 on their partner’s Valentine’s gift, whereas over half of the boys said they tended to spend more than £30 on Valentine's gifts for her.

By agreeing to spend a set amount, expectations are more clearly defined, sidestepping the nightmare scenario of one person splashing out while the other scrimps - or worse, buys nothing at all!

This post is brought to you by Littlewoods

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Win a Hotel Transylvania DVD and Book

My boys and I love family film time, this looks like another hit for our collection, and I am very excited that we have a review copy on its way to us.  But one lucky follower of my blog can win a book of the The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania AND a copy of the DVD, so you can also enjoy watching your very own favourite character that goes BUMP in the night!

© 2012 Sony Pictures Animation Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Just comment below with your answer to the following question: What would you call a spooky hotel if you were lucky enough to run one?

For an extra entry tweet the following “I want to #win a Hotel Transylvania DVD and book with @missingsleep

The competition will close on the 10th of February.

This funny film revolves around the hotel owned by Dracula, where monsters can enjoy holidays away from humans prying eyes.  But it all goes slightly off plan when a human falls for Dracula’s daughter (she is 118 years old so not your average teen mind!).  It is released on Blu-ray™ 3D, Blu-ray™ and DVD on February 4th, so not long to wait thankfully!

You have another chance to win some fabulous goodies over on their facebook page by sending in a video of your child doing their best monster impressions.  The winner will be the proud owner of a new scooter!  At last all the funny faces they pull can be put to good use...

Tree Fu Tom Twitter Party

We are very excited here about the impending Tree Fu Tom twitter party!  My youngest turns 4 in February so we are using this wonderful opportunity to celebrate his birthday at the same time.  Tree Fu Tom is one of his few programs both my boys are happy to watch together, hooray for less squabbling!  Eldest usually turns his nose up at what youngest likes, declaring himself too mature (at the advanced age of 5 no less!!!)… 

I love all the magical moves that Tom gets everyone involved with when watching the show.  Up and active as much as possible even when watching TV is ideal, after all we want sleepy kids come bedtime!  Not ones who suddenly wake up and remove all hope of a decent bit of peace and quiet (whilst I try and chomp on my emergency chocolate supplies!).

I hope you will be following along with us and some other lovely bloggers on the 19th of February, between 4pm – 6pm.  You will have a chance to win some prizes with the hashtag #treefutomtoys and see how we all get along too!  We really have enjoyed previous parties we have hosted and getting to grips with new toy ranges.  Combining magic, nature and adventure my two with hopefully spend hours playing with these!

Interesting Fashions

Sometimes you wonder what your child will be when they grow up…

Having witnessed this eclectic mix of clothes and accessories, am assuming he is not destined to be involved in fashion! 

Left to his own devices with plenty of full fancy dress costumes to pick from (cowboy, police man, army officer, batman etc), he came up with this, not quite sure what his “theme” was… although to be fair to him I am not particularly fashion conscious!  Perhaps its time to be more interested in that!!!  Although with his winning smile he still manages some how to pull it off, bless him!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Reading Eggs Apps

Here I am pining for an iPad again.  This time over the fabulous Reading Eggs apps available to download, thankfully more are becoming available on Android, but I really fancy the Targeting Maths 3 app.  My son is doing well with his reading and now his writing, but Maths has probably been slightly neglected!  It is hard trying to squeeze in all the things we plan to help our children with, teaching them to swim, learning to ride without stabilizers and saying please and thank you (along with a million other hopes and aspirations!), so little apps to lend a hand to us frazzled parents whilst still helping our children achieve can only be a good thing.

We downloaded at our own cost Eggy Alphabet, the codes the lovely PR had were only for iPads but given how much my eldest seems to be gaining from all things Reading Eggs, I thought I could afford to splash out on the princely sum of £1.20.  Yes £1.20 seriously how can you go wrong for such a fabulous price and its lots of fun too, so eldest happily plays it without putting up a fight!  He has become more stubborn about certain things, because his end game is to get on Skylanders on the Wii but if the app has enough to motivate him, he still will be persuaded thankfully!  With dot-to-dot, drawing and the highlight of earning those famous golden eggs he could not get enough of it.

Also available is Eggy 250 (£1.17), which helps your child recognise 250 words by sight.  This serves as a huge boost to their reading capability as once they can recognise lots of individual words, it becomes easier for them to read full sentences.

For the prices involved I can highly recommend purchasing their apps, the learning benefits are extremely helpful AND if you need something to keep the kids focused whilst they are waiting for a doctors appointment for example, viola instant calm concentration, rather than them running amuck!  Relocating the many magazines and leaflets, saying hi to the ailing person next to them far too many times or running around looking far too healthy all of a sudden just before their appointment… (I speak from experience!).

You can find out more about the Reading Eggs apps from their website.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Parcels make me smile

I love getting parcels in the post with the big unknown of what might be hiding inside.  Especially when it’s an unexpected treat from a PR company, in the shape of some delicious chocolate or something nice for the kids (to keep them occupied and give me some peace and quiet ideally whilst I am eating the said chocolate!).

My boys now seem to share my enthusiasm, probably because our post has been considerably more interesting since I started blogging.  Here is youngest brandishing a little trowel in an attempt to remove the packaging tape… he tends to use whatever toy he has closest to hack into the box!  He is always hopeful of a new toy to review, if he decides the contents are not worthy of his full attention, then he does allow myself to regain custody of the box.

But sometimes our parcels arrive looking like they have been through a battle just making there way to our front door (even before youngest has got his hands on them!), the sides are battered and its partially opened with the contents peeking out.  In this case I lose my sense of much loved mystery and intrigue when I can see what’s inside the box as soon as I take it off the delivery person!  Luckily most of our packages come from Parcelforce and are always well wrapped and tend to arrive in one piece.

I have started sending the odd parcel as competition prizes to my lovely followers, so I do not want their package arriving even a little distressed, so I found it helpful searching up packaging hints and tips, after all I want them to feel the same thrill of a package arriving safely.

Here are the contents of one of our latest deliveries.  A pair of bed socks (cashmere no less!) from The White Company, my feet are all set for a warming treat tonight!  Not sure how impressed hubbie will be at myself for adding more layers mind!!!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Chicken Pox

Well the Chicken Pox landed on Tuesday evening, my son had a friend over for tea on Monday and his mum apologised profusely as her son she later found out had Chicken Pox.  As it happens my son was already brewing up his own spots.  He did not feel ill before hand, they just started appearing, gradually at first, but now he has lots of them covering most of his body (although his face seems not too bad fortunately, his back on the other hand is pretty much spot central!).

He has been managing well on Calamine lotion; I have been giving him a generous coating at regular intervals.  But today it seemed to be bothering him more.  So have had to give him some Piriton, as he seems quite agitated and wanting to scratch them all.

I read somewhere that new spots keep appearing for five to six days, so have a few more days to go.  Meanwhile youngest bless him has been suffering from fevers, loss of appetite, coughing and sneezing and I guess its only a matter of time till his spots arrive.  The temperature spikes have been very scary, as he had a febrile convulsion last year.  He almost had another two last night, you could see the signs, and it was very scary all over again.  We are having to alternate Baby Nurofen and Calpol just to keep on top of it.  Fingers crossed tonight is a better night.  I am grateful hubbie and I can alternate taking it in turns to monitor him and each of us get some rest in between.  I still cannot shake off the image of him fitting last May and hope the fever breaks soon.

Reading Eggs Book Packs

We have loved the reading eggs program so much, I was thrilled to hear they have physical book packs to further support and encourage learning.  Eldest was very excited when the package arrived containing the Mega Book Pack (Stage 1 and Stage 2 books).  These are excellent resource materials, I was impressed with how much was included, in addition to lots of little reading books you have activity books, flashcards and stickers.

From the online program the hatching of the egg at the end of a lesson is one of the highlights for my eldest.  He was very pleased to see the stickers included were the characters from the eggs online.  Once you have completed the books you can then add the sticker over the egg on a handy poster.  You can then proudly display their achievements on their bedroom wall, to further encourage them, showering them with praise!  Reading Eggs is also a good way to keep me on track, supporting him in a suitable fashion, with materials pitched at the right level, as left to my own devices I could start unrealistically, pitching it too difficult for him (war and peace anyone?).

This set costs £69.95 (alongside a subscription) and given how much eldest has got out of this program in its entirety I would definitely recommend it.  As a parent I was at a loss where to start with teaching him to read, obviously I had plenty of books and would read to him regularly but Reading Eggs gives more structure and incentives to keep learning.  I love that the activity books help with their writing too, so they will not only be confident readers but have improved their handwriting too.  Everything is colourful and targeted well to children 4-7 (for the Mega Book Pack), so they will have no problem maintaining their interest and concentration.  The activities are quite broad too; colouring, tracing, dot-to-dot, finding puzzles etc so lots of variety.

Reading Eggs really works, when my son’s Welsh primary school start English reading, I think they will be pleasantly surprised with how advanced he already is!

Thank you Reading Eggs for giving my son something fun and educational to do whilst off from school with chicken pox.  Next week we will review their app Eggy Alphabet.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Quick beauty tips for a yummy mummy

No matter how much we love them, kids can change our bodies for good. Pregnancy takes its toll on our breasts, tummy, hips and other features, but we may not need a boob job procedure or a bout of liposuction to look good. In fact, a little pampering while the kids are in bed is all it takes to revitalise your appearance, so here’s how to feel like a yummy mummy.

Scrub away that dead skin

Being a mum is exhausting. A lack of sleep can leave you tired and pale, but there are ways to achieve a fresh, vibrant glow. When the youngsters have settled down for the night, run yourself a hot bubble bath, squeeze a little exfoliating gel onto a sponge and scrub, scrub, scrub away. Rub in small circles from your feet up to your face and remove all that dead skin as you go. Repeat whenever you have a sneaky moment to yourself and you should notice a difference in no time.

Make the most of fresh fruit

Believe it or not, bananas, apples, strawberries and grapes are not just ideal for lunchboxes. These tasty snacks can also be turned into skin-enhancing facemasks, so why not give one a go? Simply whip a handful of fruit in a blender, mix it with a dollop of natural yoghurt and leave it on your skin for half-an-hour or so. The salicylic acid in red berries can combat acne, bananas will leave your complexion soft and supple and even plums are thought to purge antioxidants – so don’t hold back.

Take a moment to de-fuzz

Excess hair can leave you feeling very unglamorous. It’s stubbly and can snag your tights, so take a minute to de-fuzz. Shaving is probably your quickest option, but if you’re looking for a more long-term solution then try waxing or exfoliating instead. If you have a little spare cash, you could even book a course of laser hair removal while the kids are at school or treat yourself to a salon appointment. Beauticians offer everything from electrolysis to plucking, so get out of the house and enjoy a little you time.

Say hello to your straighteners

Think how great you feel when you leave the hair salon! Well, you can replicate that sassy feeling by whipping out your hair irons. These great tools can transform your curly bob into a sleek style or your flat hair into bouncy curls, so get creative and spice up your look. If you’re not sure where to start, magazines are packed with tips and styles or you could check out the many tutorials online. Struggling to do the back? Then call up a friend and have some girly time while the children nap!

Whether you have a five year old or a five month year old, you can improve your appearance easily – without opting for nose surgery, cheek implants or any other surgical procedure.

This is a guest post

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Anger Management Season 1 Review

I did not expect to like this show, but was very pleasantly surprised.  I thought the lead (Charlie Sheen) would irate me, but the jokes were entertaining and hubbie and I have been quite happy watching a couple of episodes of an evening.

I nearly gave up before I started though, the fake laughing after almost every joke was very grating, until I let myself concentrate on the show and then I said to hubbie after awhile phew glad they ditched that awful canned laughter.  He was like “what are you on about, its been going on the whole time?!?”.  So you can get past it and stop noticing it after awhile.

I love the dynamics of the ex wife, stirring at every opportunity, like the funny episode with the stalker of the lead Dr. Charlie Goodson.  Hubbie and I have been laughing lots.  It is quite an easy to watch show (although I have found out hubbie finds one of the actresses (Selma Blair) foxy so I am sulking!!!).

Available to buy from Amazon for £17.99

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Now is Good Review

This film was exceptional but heart breaking, although parts of it were easier to watch than I expected.  Some of the characters have quite comic moments, which thankfully lighten the overall mood of this very poignant film.

Her little brother is quite entertaining.  He does not always act how he should around her, asking their dad about a holiday after Tessa has died, but she seems quite nonchalant by his behaviour, better than dealing with her overbearing dad and her exceptionally scatty mother.

I think given the subject it was done well, the story is about Tessa wanting to complete a (somewhat illegal!) bucket list before she dies but she manages to enrich the last moments of her life by falling deeply in love with her new neighbour, Adam.  Hubbie even wiped away a sly tear and he usually tends to be immune to matters of the heart (well when it comes to watching things on television anyway).

Despite thinking I would spend the whole film crying, I surprised myself and laughed lots too.  It really does bring out a wide range of emotions; some films fail to make an impact but this is not one of them.  The only thing I wanted to do was shake the dad and say help your child with her list.  If she wants to shop lift before she dies, let her get on with it!  I would gladly be the diversion if it brought an ounce of happiness to her before she died, but in the end true happiness came from Adam.

Available to buy from Amazon now for £12.00 - just get your tissues ready and be prepared to be left wanting to live life to the full, following all your own dreams and aspirations!

More questions

After youngest scooting home from school we were cold and a DVD wrapped up in a blanket seemed like a good plan.  Easy I thought, sit down, relax and warm up or so you would think...?

"What's that?"

"Is that a witch?"

"But she doesn't have a hat?"

"What's this mummy?"

"Is it mine?"

x 100 more question just to get through the short trailers before Mickey even started...

I am exhausted answering questions!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Lionsgate Ape Escape Review

We were sent the hugely entertaining Ape Escape.  My boys loved everything about it, the music had them dancing and the episodes had them laughing non-stop.  The episodes are very short so when the first ended they had really sad faces, but when I explained there were 18 more on the DVD they soon cheered up!

I found it very funny for me too.  Something I am more than happy to join in watching with them.  The monkeys get up to all sorts, having driving lessons, being terrible plumbers and dreadful ice cream servers, but they do seem to try their best.  Their botched attempts at everything is why I think its so amusing. Even the villain Specter has no joy in taking over the world, as he seems far too busy dealing with his monkey minions.

It is based on the video games but we have never played these, so had missed out on having these charming cheeky apes in our lives!  I am glad that’s been rectified now.  But if your children are familiar with the video games too, then this will be an even bigger hit I am sure!

My boys gave this a big thumbs up!

The DVD was released on the 18th of February and is available to buy now from Amazon for just £5.99.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Dinosaur Train Toys are now at Argos

Whoop I hear you all cry the Tomy Dinosaur Train Interactive figures are now available to buy.  They will roll out nationwide but for now you can pop into Argos and spoil your little one with a dinosaur or two (or possibly the whole range depending on how well they are behaving!!!).

I think Boris is a great buy at £29.99, he looked very impressive when he arrived all boxed up!  He would make a dramatic birthday present, with all the lunging, roaring and chomping but of course he would not be complete without adding some of his lovely friends too.

Here is my eldest snuggling up with Ned and drifting off to sleep.

We are going to see the Walking with Dinosaurs live show in a few months so I have a feeling a few of the Dinosaur train gang will be making the road trip with us!

Friday, 18 January 2013

I love holidays

I love holidays for that welcome change of scenery and doing things you do not normally get a chance too.  My boys require quite a lot of entertaining to keep the arguments at bay and to burn through all their energy!  So my ideal holiday would have plenty to keep children occupied, so come 7pm they fall asleep with minimum fuss and effort, meaning mummy and daddy can recoup in front of the TV or with a decent book.

Holiday smiles are priceless

It does not matter for how long you get away, even weekend breaks are refreshing.  It is nice just having a break from the running around to one after school club after another and letting someone else take care of the entertainment and in my case ideally the food.  I am a hopeless cook, so find trying to rope together a balanced meal for the boys is often stressful, there are only so many ways you can present baked beans!

There was an article in the Daily Mail about why holidays are healthy, one of the suggested reasons were creating happy memories you can then call on when your feeling low.  So when I go on a holiday booking frenzy and hubbie raises any objections (with a big frown on his face) I plan on quoting how much I am helping keeping him and our boys in good health!  Mind you some holidays are such good value I do not think even hubbie would grumble about finances, like Butlins for example.  I was watching a home video at a friends house and the site in Skegness looks great, lots for children all included in the price, her girls even got to cook with Katie from Cbeebies, I was impressed!

My parents used to take me to Butlins with my brother when we were little, I think its time to introduce my boys to the whole Butlins experience... I for one have fond memories of our times there!

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Live Show

My son and his friend were sat absorbed throughout the show, attention only breaking briefly to pop another sweet in their mouths.  Very interactive show, lots of opportunities to sing, dance and clap along with the cast (even encouraging the adults to get off their bottoms!).

Suitable for 12 + months but there were some babes in arms crying intermittently bless them, until the scene where the cast “sssshhh” and get us all to do the same, the babies followed suit and it was nice and peaceful afterwards lol!

The show was a pleasure to watch with more than a sprinkling of magic, great costumes and well thought out set design and props.  This is a perfect show for Ben and Holly fans or any child under 5 we would say.  My little elf was pleased to have made the journey to Venue Cymru to see it.  In his own fine words this is what he thought of it:

“Lovely, wonderful, beautiful.  I liked the jelly flood.  I want to go again”

We giggled about the slime from the snail, the burping frog and the king’s sudden hair growth!  Plenty of smiles and laughter and the good thing is there are plenty more performances until August, leaving lots of time to make sure you take your child for an enjoyable and fun filled experience.

The show lasts 1 hour 20 minutes including the interval, but this is long enough for this age range, so good value overall. 

Head over to their website for further information on venues and dates.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sammy’s Great Escape Trailer

I do love a good family film with the boys, its a chance for us to relax and unwind a little (without any arguments and high pitched screeching that youngest is favouring of new!).

So when I saw this fabulous trailer for Sammy’s Great Escape I thought I had to share it with everyone.  The little turtle hatchlings Ricky and Ella are just so adorable and it looks set to be another hit for Warner Bros. Pictures.

We live many miles from the closest cinema, its really quite a hike to get there so you have to really want to watch something to bother making the trip!  This is one film I am willing to endure the regular bouts of travel sickness and complaints of "are we there yet?" just to get to watch it... 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Cawston Press New Soft Drinks

I was sent a lovely package containing four 330ml bottles of Cawston Press Sparkling drinks.  The bottles are the perfect size for a long refreshing drink, but if you do not finish it in one sitting you have five days to enjoy what’s left (but odds are you will have happily drunk it all in one sitting!).

Youngest was intrigued when they arrived so despite them being billed as soft drinks for grown-ups I could not resist letting him do a taste test with me.  He gave a thumbs up for the Sparkling Cloudy Apple and the Sparkling Apple & Rhubarb, he then pulled a face about the other two flavours, but again this suited me, as I really love the flavours Ginger Beer and Lemon & Lime.

The Lemon & Lime is quite a tart flavour, my hubbie called it “zingy”.  Whichever word you decide to use, it is definitely refreshing.  A perfect drink for the warmer weather or get an outdoor heater and sit in the snow drinking one with your eyes closed imaging warmer climes!

These would make great mixers for alcoholic drinks, you feel less sinful with all the healthy fruit juice in them!  They recommend the Sparkling Ginger Beer with spiced rum, which sounds quite appealing.  But if you do not drink at all, you would be quite happy with just one of these in your hand!

All four are available from Ocado with an RRP of £1.69 each.  

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tomy Dinosaur Train InterAction Toys: Video Review

Well I gave you a sneak preview yesterday with a few pictures to whet your appetite but today I am back with the video review.

Here you can see the dinosaurs in action.  I have done a little introduction first of the characters we were sent, then you can watch my boys enjoying playing with them.  Their fits of giggles says it all really, they have had some fun dinosaur adventures, youngest was a little heavy on the "bashing" (but then it does demonstrate they can survive heavy handed play!).

Eldest tends to play with purpose, usually the dinosaurs go off in search of food and he likes to use them realistically.  Youngest is wilder; the dinosaurs will do whatever he likes, at one point as you actually saw in the video he is making Boris do gun noises!  But what it shows quite clearly is the age range it appeals to, my eldest is a mature five year old and my youngest an adorable handful aged three, but both have been hugely entertained with what the toys have to offer.

I have been very impressed with the interactive features of the toys; they all have plenty to say, they respond appropriately to headbutts from Tank and tail whooshes from Morris, alongside the singing and regular chatting.  They seem quite advanced toys, if anything the only problem Tomy have created is making any other dinosaurs my pair own seem very boring in comparison!

I will give another update when they are officially released so you know where you can get your hands on them.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Tomy Dinosaur Train InterAction Toys

It was very exciting for my two being sent six of the dinosaurs from this fantastic new range!  They are quite attached to them already.  Youngest has been giving them lots of kisses!  His favourite is Boris the Ultimate T-Rex, mainly I think because its actually as loud as he is… they can ROAR together and least it burns off some of his unlimited energy!

Kisses for Boris

They are popular with the boys mates visiting on playdates, they cannot help but head straight to them to see what all the fuss is about.  They look quite striking, bright and colourful, with realistic (but super friendly) dinosaur features.  That’s before they really shine with all the interactive chatting they get up to, when a dinosaur introduces itself to the group, they all say hi in unison.  They are quite a lively bunch, bursting into song at a moments notice.

They seem well made, youngest has sat on the Ultimate T-Rex and he deserves his name sake as he survived the experience!  Although I do not recommend testing them quite so extremely!  But the quality must be there for it not to have broken under the stress!!!

Boris is built to last!

Video of them in action to follow in the next few days, when hubbie does his editing duties!  Bless I do work him hard...

Keeping Your Family Home Safe

When you have a family, your primary concern becomes protecting them from harm and misfortune.  Naturally, this is something that will always be on your mind as a parent, and you will always work to keep your children safe and happy.  However, not all of the steps you take in this effort actually involve your children directly.  In fact, just as important can be making sure that you provide a safe and stable home environment.

Having a safe and secure home environment is vital for your children's upbringing, and provides your entire family with a place to feel comfortable no matter what (especially if you owned the lovely house in the picture which is sadly not my own home!).  But, the simple fact that your home is indeed your own does not suffice for providing this sense of comfort and security. You also need to make sure that your home is secured and insured against potential dangers and risks.  Here are a few specific ways in which home security and insurance can help to preserve the safety and comfort of your home.

Home Security

Invasion - The main reason for a home security system is to protect against home invasion.  Features such as house alarms, motion detectors and even security cameras can help to prevent people from successfully breaking in.

Vandalism - Additionally, your home security system can help to prevent vandalism on your property. In fact, even putting a sign in your garden advertising the presence of a professional security system can deter both vandals and criminals, as they do not generally wish to test such systems.

Accidental Dangers - Finally, home security systems can also help to protect your family from accidents such as fires or harmful gas leaks. Gas detectors and smoke detectors will alert you to these dangers so that you can get to safety in plenty of time.

Home Insurance

Property Damage - The average policy from an established home insurance company such as Aviva will protect you from a range of property damage, from that sustained from storms and weather, to vandalism repairs.

Possession Coverage - If you are unfortunate enough to be robbed, your home insurance can help the recovery process by covering the cost of stolen property. There is no way to guarantee your actual possessions are returned, but the insurance coverage can speed up the process of moving on from the event.

Injuries - Some home insurance policies can also help to cover the costs related to injuries that occur within your home. This can help you, as a parent feel more secure about having your children's friends over to the house (the amount of toys they tip out of the toy boxes is a serious hazard I tell you!).

Not only do the above listed policies and coverage help to secure your home in a physical sense, but they also contribute to providing a sense of security that is vital for families.  As you seek to provide a stable home environment for your family and children, consider thorough home security and insurance coverage for these reasons.

Edibubble Valentine #Competition

With Valentines Day just round the corner (well a month away but with two little ones, that will soon pass in a blur of playdates and after school activities!) its time to think of all the love hearts and cheesy soppy cards you can shower your partner in!  I think heading over to Edibubble is one step better, because whatever you buy you can help chomp on yourself!  Everything looks beautifully presented and very tasty.

Louise the kind owner has offered up a gorgeous Mini Malteser Sweet Tree (worth £8.50) and a 'You Melt My Heart' Valentine Hot Choc Spoon for one lucky winner.  

Two runners up will win a Valentine Hot Choc Spoon.  Perfect to warm you up in the cold weather we are having!  

So definitely worth entering, you can give someone special in your life a fabulous treat on the 14th (or if you feel inclined after a hard week working or parenting you can just enjoy it yourself, I promise not to judge, as I know what I would be tempted to do, I have been eyeing up these sweet tree's for a very long time!!!).

To enter please complete the rafflecopter below by the 8th of February, to allow time for Valentine delivery.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 11 January 2013

Phone calls to fish

Youngest whenever he speaks to nanny and granddad on the phone, always requests to speak to their pet dogs and most importantly the fish!  Here he is looking mighty happy having a conversation with one of them... (he is yet to twig his grandparents are actually the fish!).

Bless the little things that please them

I think he might be a little disappointed at our next aquarium visit, unless I can practice throwing my voice!  If fish could talk they obviously would be very interesting...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

ACHICA Wishlist

I had heard of Achica before, having seen adverts on the television but did not quite find the motivation to have a good nose until I was dangled a voucher enticingly in front of me!  It is hard to resist an opportunity to have someone else pay for your shopping, so I quickly made a visit to the site.

I eagerly dived into the Achica homeware section to have a look after noticing so many good discounts on quality items.  Some new bedding would be perfect to jazz up our tired looking bedroom!  It certainly could do with brightening up, it’s all chocolate in there and however will I start the New Year diet when my bedspread and curtains remind me of a giant bar of Cadburys!

Wishlist item 1

After some reflection I thought the crisp white duvet cover reminiscent of hotel stays away might help the bedroom look fresh and classic (just need to remove the stickers the children kindly donate on our walls on a regular basis to complete the look!!!).

Quite inexpensively you can turn your home into a stylish retreat.  I know visiting mums on playdates would be impressed seeing delicate tealights, beautiful smelling candles and pretty ornaments dotted around the place (replacing the usual unfilled paperwork and general clutter.  They will probably think they are in the wrong house!).

Wishlist item 2

One of the modern inspired bird prints, great for covering crayon marks and I love the message!  “Most of all, be you”

The food and drink looks equally tempting. 

Wishlist item 3

As many of the food items hubbie will let me squish into my virtual trolley!  This is a great way to sample new flavours at the fraction of the price.  I would also include some gourmet popcorn for the kids, just for the novelty of the different spices.  Our family film time will be on a whole new level!!!

The beauty of the site is the offers keep changing, so you know when you revisit there will be more exciting offers on luxurious items.  I definitely recommend a visit here.