Saturday, 23 August 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Tutles - competition time!

If your children, like mine are into the wonderful TMNT then this competition is for you.

I remember when I was at school and the cartoon came on.  I remember watching it and loving it.  It's great to see that they are still around after all this time. Just goes to show how good they are really!

There is a fab competition, here are the details:

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are Getting Zippy this autumn and are giving 20 lucky winners the chance to win a pair of tickets to a Go Ape of their choice to take part in a Junior Tree Top experience.
Ninja fans can participate by heading to to take part in the Getting Zippy experience. Kids simply have to catch the Turtles as they whizz across the screen on their zip lines and take part in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles quiz for their chance to win one of 20 pairs of tickets to a Go Ape experience.
The prize of tickets to Go Ape can be taken at any of the 13 locations nationwide at a date to suit the winner. The vouchers will enable the winner plus a friend to take part in a Junior Tree Top experience at the site which includes canopy exploring, trail blazing, obstacles plus negotiating crossings and finishing with an epic wind-in-your-face zip wire!
The 20 winners will also receive £50 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Z-Line goodies including a Deluxe Playset and Figure. 10 runners up will also be chosen and will receive £30 of fabulous Turtles Z-Line Goodies!
To enter into the Getting Zippy competition, fans should head online to before the closing date of 1st September 2014 for a chance to win!
Winners will be chosen at random from entries received via print and digital entries and the winners and runners up will be notified one week after the closing date. All winning entries will be announced on Flair’s website on from 7th September.
How good is this, go on enter, you have nothing to lose and a great swinging time if you win!

THE no.1 toy for 2014 - review

Can you guess what it is?

There has been a lot of hype around this new toy.  It has had a lot of press coverage and has been rated as potentially one of the most sought after toys for Christmas 2014. It is a cheeky little toy, which will keep you and your kids (!) entertained for ages.

Have you guessed it?

Well it's the new Xeno, the baby monster, who loves to be played with.


I was lucky enough to be invited to a Xeno event, at London Zoo.  I had heard of this toy and I was intrigued to see whether Xeno could live up to the hype.

Xeno comes in a three colours: blue, burnt orange and violet.  So a colour for all tastes.
Seeing the toy in the flesh, (so to speak), was completely different to the pictures I've seen in the press.  I didn't realise that Xeno had soft, stretchy, tactile 'hair' surrounding the whole of it's body. This gave Xeno an extra huggable factor, and also it meant that if (and in our household's case, when) someone falls on this toy, it won't actually hurt so much!

The 'hair' around the body is where all the senses are for activating the monster's moods and feelings.

The features:

There are plenty of features to this little features to be exact!

When being played with, the 'hair' activated the senses, happy, sad, angry, playful etc etc. All the senses and feelings we have. You can tell what 'feeling' Xeno is having by reading his eyes. If it is sad, you can see tear graphics in the eyes, laughing means it giggles etc. Just watch it's eyes.

It is also a little cheeky monster, with some great dance moves.  Play some music near Xeno and watch him dance.  But, watch out, if he doesn't like the track he won't be interested, so make sure you choose something he likes!

If you press it's belly button Xeno will burp and if you pull his tail he will fart.  The kids, for obvious reasons, loved this.  They aren't totally grotesque noises thought to be honest.  I'm guessing as he is a baby monster he can't do loud burping and farting noises just quite yet!

You have probably noticed that green snot hanging from Xeno's nose.  On first impressions I thought this was just a visual snot, which again the kids love. But, in fact if you pull on it while on certain modes it will trigger or functions (e.g gaming).

The App

Controlling Xeno's mood swings and dancing are not the only things you have to do.  There is also an amazing Xeno app which you can download, for free on your ipad or similar device.

The Xeno app is great, it's child and parent friendly.  Meaning, that it really brings a different dimension to the toy, but also it's free and there are no in-app purchases.  The games are unlocked by playing with Xeno and the app, so children can discover more elements to the app without it costing anything.

One of the areas which Xeno on the app can visit is the doctors area.  If Xeno the toy sneezes you can 'take' the virtual Xeno to the doctors and it will be fixed. The toy uses an infrared signal to link to the ipad or device. Just make sure the toy is quite close to the device to keep the signal strong.


Xeno has five games to play.  Xeno will say "wanna play" when in game mode.

One of the games we played was where we had to watch the eye movements and copy each sequence by using its arms, head and snot, signifying top, left, right, top and bottom eye movements.

The games are rather fun and addictive.  If you win, Xeno gets upset but if he wins he gets very happy.  He loves to win.  So you have to try hard to beat him!

Another feature is that if you place two Xeno's facing each other they will 'talk' to one another. Cool!

I can see how this is a must-have toy for 2014.  It is a great looking and feeling toy.  Has great features and isn't just a one minute wonder. With the free app, and games this toy will easily still be played with well into Christmas 2015.

The RRP is £79.99. 

Disclaimer:  I was invited to an event, showcasing this toy.  All my views and opinions are my own.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Summer holidays = summer fun which doesn't hurt the wallet!

My 42 Days of Summer #Sweeet Linky Challenge

For some reason I was dreading the school summer holidays this year. We weren't going away on holiday so I was a little unprepared for the long, drawn out 6 weeks of mayhem!

When I say dreading, I mean a little concerned about how I would keep the boys entertained over this period.

We have planned various day trips within the UK and, of course, the obligatory theme parks too! But, these were trips where all the family (hubby, two kids and myself) would attend, plus any other friends too. There were also play dates, when the friends weren't away on their holidays.

But, what about the days where my husband was working and friends/family were busy? What could I do with the boys on those days?....and there were plenty of those days to fill!

I didn't want to do those big days trips without my hubby (he is my unofficial taxi driver when I can't be bothered to drive!). We all know how hard and tiring it is to cope with your children on normal days but when it's day trips away on your own, it can be even harder and more exhausting....which kind of takes the fun out of it!

Then, bingo! I devised something's which ticked all the boxes.  Eureka!

I set my boys a little challenge (well, and myself).  I sat them down and said, we are going to visit as many local parks as possible. Now, I know that doesn't sound so exciting, but here's the fun-ish part:

The rules:
  • the parks have to be within walking distance of our house OR within a 5 minute drive of our house.
  • after playing at the park, the children would both have to give the park a score out of 10
  • I would also have to give the park a score out of 10, from a parents perspective

The children were so excited. Hmm, I thought, How could I get them even more excited? That's it, a McVitie's BN Biscuit treat at the end of their play! Perfect.

I was sent two delicious flavours, raspberry and chocolate, this is going to be a doddle!

The great thing about our park challenge was that it meant that we planned something together, as a team.  We would sit at the computer looking at nearby parks, debating which one we would try first, even ones we knew. It was a really exciting process.

It also meant that we got to know the area a little better, and there are loads of 'hidden' parks which are not so obvious to everyone, which are totally amazing!  The 'secret' parks are great fun, less people and great equipment.

The children, totally got in the marking system.  They would really think hard about the reason for giving the mark and they negotiated between themselves to come up with the final answer. It was lovely seeing them work together.  Even with the small age gap, they both understood the concept and, of course, enjoyed the playing!

I've included a few pictures of the boys playing at various parks in our area.  A mixture of ones we were familiar with and new ones.  When the summer is over and we have finished visiting the parks, we are going to make a collage out of all the pictures we have taken, as a memento to our momentous "summer of 2014"




Kew Gardens

There are a few more weeks left of summer (ok, maybe just the holidays!), so we still have loads more exciting fun to be had.  Shame we have run out of biscuits already....they were too yummy!

This has truly been a great project. One which has kept all of us thoroughly entertained. AND, best of all, it has cost us absolutely nothing!  Of course, the icing on the cake were the BN biscuits.  Or should I say, we ALL 'took the biscuit'!

Have you got any great money saving holiday fun ideas you can share too?

“This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more at”


Friday, 1 August 2014

Little Live Pets - review

My boys are at the age now where they want pets. I don't mind, but my husband is a bit of a pet-phob! Shame really.

Well the kids were delighted when we recieved the Little Live Pets, butterfly.  It really took the edge off the "I want a puppy" requests!

I wasn't quite sure the boys would play with the pink butterfly version we received, which is called Precious Wings, but I shouldn't have worried. They were eager to tear the packaging and dive in.

There is a great little set of instructions to accompany the butterfly with all the ways to keep your butterfly/bird happy.

The Little Live Pets range come in a selection of either butterflies or birds. The butterflies cost £12.99 and the birds cost £9.99.  The more you play with them the more they respond. So, it really gives children an understanding of caring and nurturing needing for pets.

With the butterfly, we needed to put in 2 x AA batteries (which as most families know are essentials in a family home!) into the charger.

This is where the butterfly charges (or feeds) itself. It flutters it wings when it's charging (make sure the button is pressed to the on switch). The butterfly also needed to face in the correct direction when charging and sits correctly on the charger so the connections are correct.

When you take the butterfly off the charger, you need to hold the butterfly by the base, it's wings are very delicate.


Once charged, place the butterfly gently on your hand and watch it flutter. It is really light and smooth. The longer you play and charge it the longer it flutters on your hand and stays 'happy'.

There is also a suction cup which displays the butterfly. Press it onto a window and insert the butterfly into the holder. This is just for display but looks lovely, rather than Ian box or drawer. It is also a great prompt to charge the butterfly, rather than putting it out of sight.


This is a great little toy for all ages and sexes.  When I was playing with it, yes a grown up, I found it really soothing and therapeutic!  The gently fluttering on the hands really soothes you after a hectic day, don't ask me how, but it did!

Disclaimer: I was sent this product to give an honest review. All opinions and views expressed are my own.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Planes 2: Fire & Rescue - cupcakes

We were so excited to watch the preview of Planes 2: Fire & Rescue.  It is such a family friendly, entertaining film.

We were treated to the red carpet treatment and I think the kids have now got used to it! So, to prolong that glamorous feeling, I decided to make some Planes 2 themed cupcakes.

It's the same recipe I usually use to make 18 cupcakes, you can see it here on these previous posts too:

3 eggs
6oz butter
6oz caster sugar
6oz flour
teaspoon of vanilla paste

Mix all of the ingredients together, so they mix into a smooth batter. Have your trays lined with muffin cases and dollop 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into each case.  Top tip: mixture should site about half to 3/4 up each case.

Put it in a pre-heated oven, temp approx. 150 (each oven varies).  Cook for about 12 minutes (again, this time may vary, so keep checking).

Wait for the cakes to completely cool, then I decorated with the pre-printed planes toppers.

The kids loved these, kept the excited of the movie going for a little longer, that's for sure!

Any questions or tips on the cakes, please ask.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Up, up and away - Planes 2: Fire & Rescue

We were lucky enough to watch a preview of the new Planes 2: Fire and Rescue movie. It was a big deal to us and a big deal to the cinema. There were spectacular events on show for a spectacular show! The children were treated to balloon models, face painting, colouring books, real fire engines. It was a great to have such a buzz around the movie.

The film follows a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire.

The famous Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, super scooper Dipper, heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.



The children absolutely loved it! It really grabbed them from start to finish, their eyes were glued to the big screen.

I won't spoil it, by telling you what happens, but I have to say the story line is very sweet and has a lovely message running through it. It kept the children, as well as adults entertained (there are a few cheeky characters who get the grown-ups giggling!)

The animation is similar to the ever-popular Cars films, so you know you are on familiar territory. It was the first time my youngest has been to the cinema, and it goes to show how good the film is as he didn't budge once! He sat there mesmerised and captivated.

This is a great film for children.  When the days are getting too hot and you don't want to get burnt by the sun, take them to the cinema to watch this.  It is a lovely film, where you really don't have to worry about the message or imaging. It is definitely parent-friendly!

Overall, a great film for children, with a heart warming message. Here's a sneaky peak of a trailer for the movie:

The movie is released on August 8th.  Go and see it!

Disclaimer: I was sent to the preview to review the film. All opinions and views are my own.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - an Uggly's toy review

Some toys are so beautiful to look at.  To touch, to feel, to cuddle, to stroke.

Some toys, on the other hand, are absolutely Uggly (!).  And, I mean totally Uggly. Uggly as in The Gross Electronic Pup-Pet from Character.

Be prepared to be grossed out with this toy!

We were 'lucky' enough to receive one of these gross pets, Barf the St. Bernard.  I have to tell you, they say they are the grossest pets, and, believe me, they ARE!

Have you ever been in a crowded room and you hear a little 'toot'?

Have you been in a car and heard a 'burp?

Well, this is like that, but times it by a million!  As an adult, we were totally grossed out by the various noises the puppy makes.  The kids, were totally different.  They absolutely loved it! Couldn't get enough.

They were practically fighting over who could make the grossest sound and who could make it burp/fart for the longest. They thought it was hilarious.

The toy is like a puppet, you put your hand into it and squeeze the mouth.  It makes so many different, obscene, noises.

There are four main puppies to 'collect' and each one comes with a little leaflet about that particular one you've chosen.


Barf, the St, Barnard, also has a little 'fly' button which can be pressed and a buzzing fly noise happens, which can then be distorted using the twisting button next to it.

If you want the obscene noises to last longer then you just keep the mouth closed, with your hand. 

I had to listen to my son playing with this toy all the way from South East London to West London (an hour's journey).  I actually got quite used to it and started playing with it myself!

Although, it says its for children aged 5+, my 3 year old played with it. He didn't find it too heavy or bulky to carry.  It isn't a complex toy, so he didn't struggle too much.

It is a gross toy, so don't expect anything else. Although, quite shocking at first, you do get used to the noises, but for grown ups its a short term toy. For the kids, they love it!

If you want to give a toy to a child who likes playing pranks or is quite easy going, then this is cool. It is fun and gross all at the same time (parents might not be too happy though, but that's half the fun!)

Disclaimer: I was sent this product to review. All views and opinions are my own.



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