Friday, 28 June 2013

Bin Weevils Bling Collection

My children love playing Bin Weevils online, often they argue over who's turn it is to get access to the laptop. On the Bin Weevils site your child can build their own nest, play games and interact with each other.
In the Bin Weevils Bling collection set you get 6 plinths, 1 Bin Weevils leaflet, 1 bling sheet, 6 Bin Bots collectible figures & 2 Bin Weevils character figures, all stored in the Bling Collection tin.

The 6 crystallized Bin bots characters are Brainless bot, Munch bug, Mulch Mite, Slug Bug, Hug Bug & Barf Bot. These little characters names make them sound not that desirable but I assure you they are not as terrible as their names suggest, my son loves them and can often be found playing with on his bed. 

The 2 Bin Weevils characters are not just any old characters, they have been blinged. Tink & Clott are both gold & have great detailing to them, their arms are also movable.

The Bling Collection tin is just £9.99 & is suitable for children aged 5+. I would recommend them because my 5 year old has spent many hours playing with them, he has used his imagination to play with them in various ways. He has not bothered with the stickers or plinths and mainly played with the characters, they can all be stored in the tin so you are less likely to lose a character.

I was sent this item for the purpose of the review, all opinions are my own.

BritMumsLive 2013

Personalised Coke bottles from BritMumsLiveI have been lucky enough to attend BritMumsLive twice now, my first visit was in 2012 & I came away from the event knowing I wanted to return next year. I started my hunt for a sponsor rather early because I know how hard it can be for a blogger to find a sponsor that they are passionate about. I was very lucky to have Cosatto agree to being my Sponsor, I had been a Brand Buddy for them for a year & love their products. I think the Yo Golightly is still my favourite, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it for the first time. They also have new products coming out that I know you will love but I shall save that for another post. 

My husband spied pictures of me with various characters, the penguins & Alex the lion from Madagascar(well I think that is his name).  
The penguins from Madagascar & I at britmums live 2013
The penguin from Madagascar whispering sweet nothing to me. 

He then saw the picture below, Hedwig and I. Now I wouldn't say I am a big Harry Potter fan, however the children and my Husband are so I knew who the owl was & I thought it would be cool to have my picture taken with him(when else would I get this chance). 
Hedwig the snowy owl from the films Harry Potter sitting on a perch having pictures taken with attendees of BritMums Live p
Hedwig and I 

After seeing these pictures, and hearing my stories of lusting after a pair of shoes that were in TK Maxx & my night out drinking with the girls, my Husband said "It is just a girls weekend out really isn't it" I shot him a look and replied "NO" he asked "so what did you learn" I did a quick reply of "lots". This led me to wonder what I did learn & if in fact I learnt anything that I didn't already know.
The answer is yes I did learn new things, I learnt lots

I attended a session called Is your blog camera ready, now this session was not what I originally thought it was going to be about.
Leading this session were, Robin Houghton @RobinHoughton, Peggy Poyser @PerfHappyMum & Emily Quinton @emilyquinton.
I learnt quite a bit from this session, the main lesson learnt is I now resize my images so my page can load quicker, I have a great camera that takes great pictures but the file size is always huge & in the past I have not bothered resizing. From now on I will, I promise. 

The next session I took away knowledge from was a session called Become a You Tuber. Leading the session were Christine Beardsell VCCP Content, Claire & Lucy Mcdonald @crumbsfood & Lindsay Atkin @liliesarelike. In the session I learn how to make my videos searchable, I very often forget about the description but I learnt that this and the title are very important if you want people to be able to view your video. I shall put this to test on my videos. They mention google analytics for You Tube, I shall be looking into this as I have never really paid any interest to the stats of my You tube.

A session that was on my must list was Photography #britmumsphoto, this session was led by Julia Boggio @juliaboggio. Now I attend many sessions on photography and often don't learn much but this year I have learnt something from the 2 photography sessions I have attended one being this one and another being from Jay Mountford from when I attended Cybher .
On this session I learnt how to take pictures with no natural light, i learnt tricks that I will try to put into place. I learnt how to make our images searchable for google by filling in the alt text, Julia said to describe the image like you are describing it to a person who is blind. 

I learnt about filters, now I am a filter fanatic and often go over board but Julia said something that will stop me killing my images by the over use of filters.
"Why does this photo look like a cat has pissed on it" 

A picture of a glass of water that has been edited using filters that now makes it look like a cat has used it as a urinal.

I will be kind to my pictures from now on!

Last up is one I already do, now I think everyone should know this so i am sharing it with you. Always save the original image, so if you edit it and save you always have the original image to fall back on after you realize your over use of filters makes your photos look like a cat as used it as a urinal. 

BritMumsLive 2013 was amazing, I met up with great friends and even managed to make a few more. I drank till I became Merry and slept in the most comfortable bed ever at The Montcalm.
I met with some amazing Brands, Britax, MAM, Parragon Books, Soda Stream, Panasonic, Vitamix, Butlins, CocaCola & Argos just to name a few.
Thank you to BritMums and all their sponsors for another great event, see you next year.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Walk the Walk Sun Walk

The Grant-making charity Walk the Walk have organised The Sun Walk London
On Sunday 30th June 2013, London’s Battersea Park will host a unique and wonderful cocktail of 3 amazing walking challenges, live stage music, circus sideshows, stalls, dancing, delicious food, stilt walkers, clowns and escapades and experiences for all.
There’ll be plenty of entertainment for the children, including popular Children’s TV Stars Andy and Sid, who will be holding their own unique show! Stars from Strictly Come Dancing will also be hosting three exclusive “Dance the Dance” workshops, with the chance to get up close and personal and meet the dancers afterwards. Join Anton and Erin, Darren and Lillia, and Matt and Nicole for an unforgettable experience! Tickets for Andy and Sid’s shows, and for Dance the Dance are available at or on 01483 741430.
For the whole family, there’ll also be free live music in the park from X-factor star Misha B, chart-topping band Sam and the Womp, singer/songwriter Sam Gray and the Urban Voices Collective, the singing group famous for performing at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
There is free entry into SunWalk City all day. But if you really want to do something to make your day extra special, sign up now for one of the three Power Walking challenges - a 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon. You are not only going to have a day of experiences and visual delight, but you’ll be getting fitter, reaching your own goal, and raising money and awareness for breast cancer.
The whole family can take part, with a Power Walking challenge for every ability and as always all Walkers over the age of 13 will wear the Walk the Walk trademark of brightly decorated bras – with this year’s Circus theme, there promises to be some wild and wonderful creations!

Walk the Walk has raised in excess of £86 million for vital breast cancer causes, since it launched 17 years ago, with money granted for research into breast cancer and to help improve the lives of those with cancer now. Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk The Walk said: The SunWalk is going to be the most exciting day, not only do we have our 3 fantastic challenges, all day music from live bands including Sam and the Womp and Misha personal favourite is the exclusive opportunity to learn to Dance the Dance with some of the country’s favourite dance stars from Strictly - imagine learning to Jive, Tango or Salsa with these stars of the dance floor. Meanwhile our younger visitors can meet the much loved Children’s TV stars Andy and Sid for their BIG party, while the rest of us can get into learning circus skills, enjoying all the attractions or just sitting back with great food and enjoying the atmosphere. It is just a fun magical day ...and best of all it is going to achieve so much for all those with cancer. You will just have to come and find out for yourself”!

Gaby Roslin, Radio presenter on BBC London 94.9 said:
"The SunWalk is such a family affair and the fact that we can all do the walk, together, as a family and raise money for such an incredible charity, means we wouldn't miss it for the world. As a patron of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, to whom Walk the Walk has granted over £18 million, I feel overwhelmed on the day, seeing all those women and children who are there to raise money too, because someone they know had or has cancer. Nina is an inspiration, what an amazing woman. I feel blessed to know her and to be a part of this".

Memory Monday 25/2013

I have been a little lazy when it comes to my Memory Monday lately so I apologize. This weeks Memory is of someone who I would consider one of my best friends, I talk to her almost every day, when I don't talk to her I stalk her(just kidding), she makes me laugh even when I feel down. She is my blogging guru and my tube guru too(she taught me how to navigate the London underground). So who is my friend you ask, she is the lovely Danielle from Blog By Baby, it is amazing who you meet through writing a blog, I have met her a handful of times yet I feel like I have known her forever.

You never know when someone will walk into your life and make it a brighter one.

Friday, 14 June 2013

I am off to Britmums Live & I have a little give away

So this time next week I will be seated at one of the fabulous sessions at Britmums Live thanks to my amazing sponsor Cosatto. I can not believe it has come around so quickly, it doesn't seem that long ago that I was leaving the doors of The Brewery laden with bags stuffed with all sorts of goods. This year I am more excited because I know how many skills I will learn at this event & I know how much fun I will have. I am looking forward to meeting up with a few friends, sipping a few glasses of wine & basically having a child free weekend.
See you at BritMums Live! 2013

Cosatto are my fabulous sponsors for this year, I have had the pleasure of being a brand buddy for them & putting their bright yet wonderful products to the test over the last year. They are on a mission to save the world from boring baby stuff. 
To celebrate(because it is exciting times) Cosatto have a little prize for me to give away to one of my lucky readers. The prize is the amazing Cosatto Yo in Toffee Apple!
The Yo Toffee Apple is a bright & beautiful pushchair,  its funky design is sure to turn heads as you are out & about.
To enter just fill in the rafflecoptor form below
This giveaway closes 12th July 2013 at 12am (UK) 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Chirk Castle The National Trust

Chirk Castle, a medieval fortress of the Welsh Marches 

We recently visited Chirk Castle, will plenty to do you will not grow bored. Every room I entered a wow left my lips, the rooms are truly stunning, the ceilings are breath taking & history is all there to be learnt. 

I will not go on about the History of the castle because that is the joy of visiting, you will want to hear that information from the tour guide or learning whilst exploring the castle at your leisure.

We took a visit down to the Kitchen garden and came across some smelly pigs and some cows out grazing in the fields. It was ever so peaceful. 
A walk through the little shop where you can purchase local produced goods, gorgeous blankets to wrap yourself up in or stunning plants brings you out into a court yard. A little further up we discovered the children's ride on tractors, we pushed the girls around the designated track whilst they giggled with joy.
The older children(the husbands) took the tractors back to the shed, they of course had to have a little ride(it is Peter Pan syndrome)

Walking up the drive to the castle you are surrounded by woodland,  to the right the ground is covered with a blanket of blue bells and to the left huge trees tower above you.You come out on top of the hills with views for miles, it was quite overcast on the day we visited but you can sure appreciate the castles surroundings. Will the Archer is stood on guard, he held a sword up to his shoulder & looked at us in a scary way. Being the big wimp I am I hid behind others in our group.

Whilst walking through the rooms, your eyes will be jumping from one stunning item to the next, it is quite a lot to take in.

From dark rooms to bathrooms that allow the day light to flood the room.

Every room you enter you must look up, the ceilings are as beautiful as the paintings 

The dungeon is 9 meters below the courtyard, being in the dungeon filled me with a feeling of dread & I didn't spend too long down there. The climb down the steep steps is not suitable for the elderly or very young children.

an 18th century Chinese blue & white porcelain ovoid ginger jar decorated with exotic birds among peonies 

 A visit to to tea rooms is a must, fill up on gorgeous cream teas or delicious 100% rump beef burgers. Sadly we ran out of time before we managed to visit the gardens so will will return on another day.

Monday, 10 June 2013

My First Crayola Washable Markers

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that we are hosting a My First Crayola Twitter Party on Monday 10th June from 8 till 9.30pm, if you are free come join us. #myfirstcrayolaparty
To be able to tell you all about My First Crayola I have been sent a selection of Crayola's My First Range to try out.

You can read our review of the My First Crayola Palm Grip Washable Markers My First Crayola Colour and Flip Book, My First Crayola Colouring and Sticker booksMy First Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station or read our review of the My First Crayola Washable Markers.

The My First Crayola Washable Markers I think are a must for any child. The markers are easy for a toddler to hold, they come with a rounded tip which gives your child more coverage than a thin nib. In our set we got 8 bold, bright colour that are just the tool needed to colour in all those lovely pictures, not only did I mention they are washable?. Now I know when ever I see washable I do think "yeah right" to myself however on this occasion I was proven wrong. 
I left my daughter in the care of my mother in law & gave her the markers and a book to keep her amused as I nipped out. On my return I discovered that they both had a fun time & some how my daughters top was covered in colour! I wondered how much stain remover would be needed to get the top back to just one colour. Then I thought I would put the washable part to the test, my mother in law who is my stain guru looked at me and said "I didn't like that top anyway" which makes me think she helped to colour it in. 
In the washer it went on a standard wash with no stain remover, I waited patiently for the cycle to end and to my surprise it washed out, every single mark had gone. I smugly informed my mother in law that she will see her grand daughter in said top again in the near future! I also discovered my beige sofa had a few colour marks on too, I quickly jumped up in a panic and my mother in law said "don't worry just give it a wipe with a damp cloth and it comes off, what else did they get up to whilst I was away?  
I have now learn't not to automatically think yeah right when I next see a product that claims to be washable because on this occasion Crayola Markers really are washable. 

I was sent a pack of My First Crayola Washable Markers, I was not required to review these but have done so because I think they are brilliant.

My First Crayola washable markers with palm grip

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that we are hosting a My First Crayola Twitter Party on Monday 10th June from 8 till 9.30pm, if you are free come join us. #myfirstcrayolaparty
To be able to tell you all about My First Crayola I have been sent a selection of Crayola's My First Range to try out and I have to say I am impressed with the large selection that you are able to buy for young children.
You can read our review of the My First Crayola Colour and Flip Book, My First Crayola Colouring and Sticker booksMy First Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station, My First Crayola Washable Markers or read our review of the My First Crayola Washable Markers with Palm grip below.

On opening our box my youngest 2 children both made a grab for the My first washable Markers that are specially made for toddlers. They are perfectly made for our toddlers small hands which allows them to grip the markers with ease. They come in 4 rather cute designs, Green Monkey, Yellow Lion, Blue Elephant & Red Bear. My daughter had great fun selecting a colour, she would pick up the lion & we would say Yellow, she would then draw with ease whilst roaring. Children love to draw, even if it is just lines they are drawing, it all helps to develop their fine motor skills. I These washable markers are suitable for children ages 12 months & upwards, I think they are great to get your child drawing and making those marks on the paper. Should your child have too much fun & get any on any clothing, I can honestly say they wash out thanks to them being washable markers.

I would highly recommend them to family & friends.
The RRP is £4.49 for 2 markers.

I was sent as selection of the My First Crayola range, all wording and opinions are my own.

My First Crayola Colour and Flip Book

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that we are hosting a My First Crayola Twitter Party on Monday 10th June from 8 till 9.30pm, if you are free come join us. #myfirstcrayolaparty
To be able to tell you all about My First Crayola I have been sent a selection of Crayola's My First Range to try out.

You can read our review of the My First Crayola Palm Grip Washable Markers  , My First Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station, My First Crayola Colouring & Sticker books, My First Crayola Washable Markers or read our review of the My First Crayola Colour and Flip book below.

The My First Crayola Colour and Flip Book has provided so much fun to both the little ones and us adults. We have all taken turns trying to put the funniest head onto the funniest body then giving our character funny legs. I quite like the lambs head, with the knights body and a monkeys pair of legs. The smaller ones tended to actually match the heads to the correct bodies and legs.

With over a 1000 possible combinations from the 30 funny characters the hours of play you get from just one book is excellent.
The sky is coloured in on every page so there is no vast colouring of skies needed, your toddler can enjoy colouring in each character.

Each Colour and Flip book comes with 3 washable markers, I would recommend buying a pack of washable markers with this book just so your child can have more colour choice.

The My First Crayola Colour and Flip book has a RRP of £4.99, I think it is a fair price to pay and they would be perfect for taking on days out or on holiday to keep the little ones entertained. I would recommend it to family and friends.
Will your birds head have a cows body and octopus legs?

My First Crayola Colouring & Sticker book

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that we are hosting a My First Crayola Twitter Party on Monday 10th June from 8 till 9.30pm, if you are free come join us. #myfirstcrayolaparty
To be able to tell you all about My First Crayola I have been sent a selection of Crayola's My First Range to try out.

You can read our review of the My First Crayola Palm Grip Washable Markers  , My First Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station, My First Crayola Colour and Flip book, My First Crayola Washable Markers or read our review of the My First Crayola Colouring & Sticker book below.
We received two of My First Crayola Colouring & Sticker books, on is At The Farm and the other is Seaside Fun. Both of them have easy to recognize scenes, and are fun to do. Each page has a partly coloured in scene which helps a toddler because there is not too much colouring needed, small children get distracted easily so it is just the right amount of white space. Each book has a story to read too, all of my children love being read stories so this feature my daughter and the others really enjoyed. 
Each book has 24 colouring pages and 30+ reusable stickers, the stickers are easy to attach and take back off the page. This is something my daughter thoroughly enjoys, she can change the scene by moving the stickers around. 
The pages are of good quality too, even when the markers were pressed quite hard onto the page they never seeped through to the other pages. Each book is suitable for ages 12 months and upwards, at this age they do tend to just draw in scribbles but this is all part of learning those skills. My daughter who is 24 months still likes to scribble rather than fill the white space with colour, she would draw a line and then declare "I did it" whilst looking rather proud, we would then all applaud her. Not only can they colour, the scenes allow you to teach your toddler & have a discussion on the names of items & animals, mine were both really interested in both books because we often go to the seaside & visit farms so all items are recognizable  
The books have a RRP of just £2.49 which I think is excellent value for money. I would recommend these books to family & friends and will purchase more in the future for my children and the smaller ones in my extended family as gifts.

My First Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that we are hosting a My First Crayola Twitter Party on Monday 10th June from 8 till 9.30pm, if you are free come join us. #myfirstcrayolaparty
To be able to tell you all about My First Crayola I have been sent a selection of Crayola's My First Range to try out.

You can read our review of the My First Crayola Palm Grip Washable Markers , My First Crayola Colour and Flip Book, My First Crayola Colouring and Sticker books, My First Crayola Washable Markers or below is our review of the My First Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station.

As a child I loved doing brass rubbings, I loved watching an image appear on my paper by rubbing a crayon over a brass rubbing plate. The My First Crayola Rub-Art Station is the same thing only it appeals to younger children with its farm yard theme. In this set you get the rub art station, 4 washable crayons, 2 double sided rubbing plates and the rubbing tool. The rubbing tool is made in a way that makes it easy for a toddler to hold onto it, it fits the crayons into the groove easily allowing them to rub the crayon across the paper with ease. Whilst they are rubbing the crayon across the paper the rub-art station plays farm yard noises and music, this encourages your child to keep rubbing the paper. 
My daughter who is 24 months did get a little confused as we have taught her how to hold a crayon correctly so rubbing went against all we had shown her so far but after a few attempts she got the hang of it. The Musical Rub-Art Station is suitable for ages 24 months and upwards which I think is around the right age for a child to begin to use it & the RRP is just £9.99. You will also need to purchase paper in a 4" x 6" for you child to make their rubbings on, I cut up some A4 paper into the correct sizes, you will also need 3xAAA batteries in order for the station to play the sounds and music. 
This one was quite a popular one with the children, the younger ones have no problems holding the rubbing tool. My son who has special needs kept asking if he could use it despite him being much older. I think because it rewards with music & sounds it makes it much more appealing to a child. I would definitely recommend it to family and friends.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

You're invited to our My First Crayola twitter party #myfirstcrayolaparty

This Monday I will be hosting a My First Crayola Twitter party & you can come along too.
Monday 10th June 
We will be having lots of fun playing with some of the My First Crayola range during the day with my lovely little guests & after the party is over and the children are tucked up in bed we will be telling you all what we think of the My First Crayola range.
If you would like to join in follow the #myfirstcrayolaparty hash tag on twitter, grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea & sit back & relax.

If you would like to follow me on twitter you can do so here & 
you can find Danielle at blogbybaby on twitter too. 

We will be playing with:
My First Markers
My First Character Markers
My First Colour & Flip Book
My First Colouring & Sticker Books
Musical Rub Art Station

I will individually write up what we thought of each product so you can read our views at your leisure.
Please do come along to the party and join in the fun, there will be giveaways too, to find out more head over to blogbybaby by clicking on the image at the top.

Monday, 3 June 2013

It's an invasion, we're under attack

Ok, maybe the title may seem a little extreme to most, gardeners however would understand & people who are allergic to them will totally understand me. Unfortunately these little seeds, yes those floating white things know as dandelion seeds that have been soaring the skies cause my son to get hives, if one should touch him then he will have an allergic reaction which results in us desperately trying to get antihistamine in him & keeping his lungs as clear as possible with his inhalers. 
The past few days they have been coming down into my garden by the thousands, at one point I thought it was snowing despite the glorious clear blue skies. The sun has been shining & most children will be out enjoying the lovely weather we have been having, but not my son. It breaks my heart that he can not just be a carefree child, rolling in the grass, bouncing on the trampoline or even playing in the sandpit is not an option for him at the minute as they are everywhere. 
Spiders webs are coated in them, huge clumps are gathering in any possible corner, even the flowers are coated in them. I wish I could cast a giant protective net over my garden that would catch the damn things so my little man could enjoy the garden. I am hoping that the invasion does not last long and he can go back to doing what he does best, having fun!

Goodbye snoring, hello sleep.

good night sleep anti snoring ring
Have you spent most of your nights trying to block out the dreadful noise of your partner snoring?. If like me you spend far too many hours nudging your loved one telling them to shut up or you might even use gentle force(or a swift blow with the elbow) then the Good Night Anti-Snoring Ring could be just what you need. I was sceptical when I pulled the ring out of its little bag, I read the instructions and set about making sure it was placed on my husbands hand correctly. Off to bed we went, together, we never go together because I need at least half hour to be able to get to sleep before he breaks the nights silence with his noise as my son calls it. We both lay in bed & I waited for the snoring to begin......nothing came though. I lay there thinking, no way! I convinced myself that he must not be breathing but upon checking him, he was breathing. He did not snore once, not once!
Anti-Snoring RingThe second & third night didn't go as silently, he snored, albeit lighter than usual but a snore is a snore. I was confused, it worked perfectly the first night. I read the instructions again & asked my husband which way he had put on the ring. Yes he had put it on the wrong way! So the moral of the story is read the instructions twice, then pass them to your partner for them to read twice.
Over our time of using the Good Night Anti-Snoring Ring we have had nights of sheer silence & nights when the snoring as crept in(mainly if alcohol as been consumed). 

The ring comes in 3 different sizes & is available to buy for £30. It works by using acupressure, no drugs & no nasty side effects involved. What is even better is that if it does not work for you after using it correctly for 21 days they you can us the money back guarantee.

Even though we have had nights of snoring occasionally I would still recommend this product to family and friends because it has significantly reduced my husbands snoring resulting in us both have a much better nights sleep.

I was sent the Good Night Anti-Snoring ring for the purpose if the review.