Personalised Bento Lunchboxes from Petit-Fernand – Review & Giveaway

As a primary school teacher and a parent I’m a big fan of personalisation – anything which makes it easier for children (or their teachers) to identify their property is a win.

Petit-Fernand offer a range of personalised bento-style lunch boxes with customisation options including colour, font and background images meaning you can perfectly tailor your child’s lunch box to suit their likes!

Ahead of our trip to France last month, we ordered Ben, Chloe and Amy new boxes featuring the limited edition nautical and Liberty prints (you’ll need to be quick if you want to order one as they aren’t available after 17th June but there’s new limited edition prints on the way and the standard range are super cute too!)

Petit-Fernand liberty print lunch box

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Grass & Air Light Catcher Mac – Review & Giveaway

Now that spring finally seems to have arrived, it’s time to pack away the big bulky winter coats and swap them out for something a bit lighter.  Of course the British weather can never be trusted so we’re still rocking a waterproof over here in Manchester as we face those April showers!

This spring my girls are wearing matching Grass & Air Light Catcher macs.  Now if you’ve not heard of Grass & Air before, they’re a Manchester based brand with a passion for getting kids outdoors whatever the weather . . . this is an ethos I can get on board with.

Grass & Air Light Catcher rain coats

Sisters wearing matching Grass & Air rain macs

The Light Catcher rain macs are a new addition to the Grass & Air range, similar to their “Rainster” but with a super cool twist – as well as being fully waterproof the Light Catcher macs feature a high tech reflective print which means in normal daylight it is barely visible but when the light hits it, it reveals a cool raincloud print!  In addition to the subtle reflective raincloud print the raincoats also feature reflective zip detailing.  This is a far cry from those reflective yellow arm bands we used to get from the road safety people as kids and I know for sure my Grandad would have flipping loved the idea of a reflective coat!  He was so safety conscious and I hated it, I thought it was boring and totally uncool – not words you could associate with the Grass & Air Light Catcher macs that’s for sure!  My kids have no idea that their rainclouds are actually a really clever safety feature, they just think it’s a bit of a novelty!

Grass & Air Light Catcher with reflective coral zip detail

Grass & Air branding

Of course during the spring and summer months the girls are not likely to be wearing their raincoats in the dark, they are long in bed before the sun sets now, however that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of grey, wet days ahead of us – this is Manchester after all!

One of the things that both girls really liked about their new raincoats is that aside from all the practical features I’ve just mentioned above, they’re actually really quite pretty.  The gathered waist detail and longer length made the coats feel grown up and almost dress-like and as such made them an instant win with my girls!

Grass & Air raincloud Light Catcher

Grass & Air longer style raincoat

As you can see from the pictures, both girls have plenty of growing room in their Grass & Air rain macs as well as room for a jumper underneath.  Because of the longer style, the nipped in waist and elasticated cuffs they can get away with their coats being a little big (yes, I am one of those Mums but, if I’m investing in outwear, I want to get as much wear as possible out of it and usually aim for two years!) Amy is wearing age 5-6 and Chloe 7-8 and I would say these are very much true to size – both girls are quite tall and as such are generally wearing a size above their actual ages of 4 and 6 anyway.

Grass & Air Light Catcher raincloud print

matching navy Grass & Air macs

I’m thrilled to be able to offer you the chance to win a Grass & Air Light Catcher mac in either the Raincloud print as pictured on Chloe and Amy or the shorter Lightening Bolt style.  Just complete the rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*We received the girls Grass & Air Light Catcher macs free of charge for the purpose of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Tile Style Bluetooth Tracker – Review & Giveaway

Tile bluetooth tracker - find lost keys

“Col, where are your keys?”

“I don’t know love? On the side? In my bag? On the table?”

“Why can’t you just put them in the same place every time?”

Welcome to a typical conversation in our house . . . Dave keeps his keys in the pot, where they should be . . . he always knows where his keys are.  Mine on the other hand?  Well I put them down wherever I happen to let go of them after coming in the house – they could be dropped back into my handbag, popped on the dining table, the kitchen side, in the door or, very occasionally, in the pot where they actually belong.  It drives Dave insane and if I’m honest wastes precious minutes of my time when I’m trying to leave the house and can’t find the damn things.

Tile bluetooth tracker - find lost keys

See that little white and gold square on my keys? That’s my new Tile Style – part of the pro range of Tile Bluetooth trackers.

Weighing just 11g and less than 4cm x 4cm, this little beauty is a discreet, stylish addition to your key-ring.  And yet, it’s a complete game changer.  The Tile Bluetooth trackers are the modern day equivalent of those key-rings you used to whistle at in the 80s except this time you use your phone to ring your keys.  Such a simple idea but insanely successful.   Whilst whistling for your keys was never all that effective, your Tile Bluetooth tracker can be reached up to 100ft away and, if it’s too far for that, your Tile app will record it’s last known location.  Oh and the Tile Style is waterproof up to 1.5m deep for up to half an hour, just in case you drop your keys in a puddle or the swimming pool!

And, if you can’t find your phone?  Well then you double tap the button in the middle of your Tile and it will ring your phone for you, even if it is on silent.  This has already proved ridiculously useful as I’m notorious for leaving my phone on silent after a day at work and then not being able to find it – just another thing that drives Dave crackers!

Of course I’ve used my Tile Style on my keys but there’s a whole range of Tile Bluetooth trackers from super slim ones to tuck inside your purse or wallet to tough ones for your sports gear.  Personally I’m tempted to invest in a number of Tile Mates to attach to the kids’ special cuddly toys and I’ve suggested to my Dad that he might want to the get the sport one for his keys too!

The one downside that I’ve come across thus far is that the battery life of your Tile is guaranteed at a year and after that you need to be prepared replace your Tile.  However, this is where the “reTile” program comes in and gives you the opportunity to upgrade to the latest Tile technology at up to 40% discount – you can’t really say fairer than that can you! (Oh, and your Tile is made of 99% recyclable materials too so that’s one less thing to worry about!)

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a Tile Style worth £29.99 (and a whole lot of peace of mind) then just enter using the rafflecopter below – ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* I received my Tile Style free of charge for the purposes of review however all enthusiastic thoughts and opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links*

Epic Adventures with Bobux – Giveaway

Regular readers will know we are big fans of Bobux and have been working with them now for over three years! (In fact just this week I took delivery of three new pairs of shoes for the girls – they’ll be featuring on my instagram soon so keep an eye out!)

Bobux have been making children’s shoes since 1991 and their key focus is on healthy foot development without compromising on style.  I’ve grown up on a strict diet of “proper shoes” and “looking after your feet” so wouldn’t dream of putting my children in anything less than super comfortable, well fitting shoes.  I often find buying new shoes for my kids really stressful – the weight of responsibility of looking after their precious little toes weighs heavy on my shoulders!  (I also have a real thing about avoiding pink shoes which thankfully has got easier as they’ve got older.  Bobux are superstars on this front offering every style in a range of colours from the sensible navy or brown to the more exciting gold or even daring patterns!)

Last week Bobux launched their “Epic Adventures” campaign showcasing the power of our kids’ imaginations – “One small step, epic adventures every day”.  They have created three beautiful cinematic videos showing how the simplest of things can be come the biggest of adventures with a little imagination.

To celebrate this, Bobux are also running a free gift with purchase promotion which means that every Bobux purchase will receive an interactive kids’ “Playbook” full of activities and things to entertain your little ones.  (You can also download this to print at home on the Bobux website)

EpicAdventures - GWP - Playbooks Bobux

Over the course of the next month (ending 4th May) Bobux are running weekly #BobuxPlaybook competitions across their social media channels and, even better, I’ve got a chance for you to win here too!

To celebrate the Bobux “Epic Advenures” campaign I’m able to offer you the chance to win your choice of Bobux shoes ready for your own Epic Adventures!  Just complete the Rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Geomag Panels & Mechanics – Review & Giveaway

Ben is basically king of construction in our house. His obsession with all things LEGO started at the age of 4 and he can now confidently put together models aimed at children far older than him. We’ve tried other construction ranges (Meccano, K’nex etc) but nothing has quite grabbed his attention in the same way until now.  When Ben saw the boxes of Geomag he had been sent to review – he couldn’t wait to get his hands on them!

Geomag Panels 464 Set 

The Geomag Panels set consists of  192 pieces – a mix of magnetic bars, steel balls and bright, transparent geometric panels which fit together easily to build stable structures.  Ben started off making a simple structure from the instructions using just the rods and balls before moving on to one of the most complicated structures on the sheet – I did suggest he might be better of building the smaller things first and building up to that once he’d got a handle on how the Geomag Panels worked but no, Ben knew best!

Geomag Panels 192 Set

It didn’t take him long to get to grips with the instructions or how the Geomag pieces worked – and what I was really impressed with was his perseverance when things didn’t quite work for example if he knocked a panel or rod out of place.  This would have driven me insane but he just popped it all back together again and carried on.  Perseverance is a key word in education at the moment and only last week Ben’s teacher was talking to me about the need for him to challenge himself more so when he was happy to persist with building his chosen structure even though it didn’t go right for him first time, I was thrilled.

Geomag Panels - magnetic rods and steel spheres

Geomag Panels - bright coloured panels

Geomag Panels - bridge building

Geomag Panels - building a bridge

Geomag Panels - adding coloured panels for strength

With 192 pieces, this set provides endless possibilities for creating ever evolving constructions – the examples on the instruction sheet are just a starting point to demonstrate what the Geomag pieces can do – I can’t wait to see where Ben takes them next!

Geomag Mechanics set

The Geomag Mechanics range is an evolution of the Geomag Classic line – adding in different shapes and colours which allow you to investigate how magnetic forces can trigger mechanical movement.  Ben has been looking at magnetism at school this half term so he immediately realised that using the magnets to repel one another was going to make his structure rotate and move.

Geomag Mechanics, whilst aimed at age 5+, is a more complex system and as such is intended for more expert players – children who have already got to grips with how the Geomag system works.  Typically Ben decided to have a go at the Geomag Mechanics system first, depsite my suggestions that he might be better of starting with the Geomag Panels set . . .  As he’s 8yrs old and fairly experienced in construction toys, he did manage to make the first Geomag Mechanics build without out too much stress – a little frustration and a few mistakes are of course great for learning!

Geomag Mechanics

Geomag Mechanics

Geomag Mechanics - clear instructions for the build

Geomag Mechanics - magnetic rods and steel balls

Developing fine motor skills with Geomag Mechanics

The sense of achievement when he managed to successfully complete the structure and then make it move, made for a very excited young man!

STEM skills with Geomag Mechanics

The teacher in me of course is dancing at the opportunities for fine motor development, understanding shape, fostering problem solving skills, designing and making . . . Geomag are ticking so many STEM boxes right there!  I think Geomag have as much of a place in the classroom as they do at home.  Maths and Science are very much Ben’s ‘thing’ – he as ambitions to become an inventor and I forsee a future in engineering for him if I’m honest so being able to play whilst developing skills which might help him achieve those ambitions is a bit perfect!

You can buy Geomag at Smyths and The Entertainer and also find them in the following places online:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube

And, if you’d like to win a Geomag Panels set worth £90 then just complete the rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualifcation! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment at Liverpool Echo Arena – Giveaway

This Easter, Disney on Ice will return to Echo Arena Liverpool to perform Worlds of Enchantment featuring high-speed stunts from the crew of Disney/Pixar’s Cars, underwater fun with The Little Mermaid, a daring escape by the Toy Story gang and of course Frozen sisters, Anna & Elsa who were practically made for Disney on Ice!

Having seen Disney on Ice a number of times now I’m really looking forward to this show offering some variety with a number of characters we’ve not seen on the ice before – I have a personal soft spot for Toy Story so am really excited about seeing that played out on the ice!

Cars at Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Toy Story at Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Frozen at Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Frankie Bridge (you might remember from The Saturdays) is to become the first ever celebrity to take part in a Disney on Ice performance in the UK – she will be performing just two nights and one of those is to be at Liverpool Echo Arena on Wednesday 11th April!

You can follow Disney on Ice in the following places:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIceUK   

Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #WorldsOfEnchantment

YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce  

Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

and tickets are available here

I’m thrilled to be able to offer you the chance to win four tickets to attend the opening night of Disney on Ice -Worlds of Enchantment at Echo Arena Liverpool on Wednesday 11th April 2018.  Just complete the Rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.

KS1 SATS Prep with Letts – Giveaway

*Commissioned post for Letts*

The start of the second half of the spring term at school signals a countdown to an array of statutory testing for many children – be it the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, or SATs in Years 2 and 6.  The validity and benefit of each of these tests is of course a post in itself but if you have children preparing for tests later this year it stands to reason that you will want them to feel prepared and able to do their best.

This year, Chloe will take her Year 2 SATs – and I don’t expect this to phase her at all if I’m honest – her school don’t put huge amounts of pressure on their six and seven year olds and the tests are simply treated as “jobs” to do.  And, whilst I do want her to do her very best and will be pleased if this is rewarded with high scores, in reality I know that the results of the tests mean very little to the individual child.

Essentially “revising” for the Key Stage 1 SATs test isn’t something I would particularly advocate, however there is nothing wrong with doing extra work at home to reinforce what is being taught at school!  I know I loved a good workbook when I was younger and Chloe is much the same.  She was genuinely excited when I presented her with the Letts KS1 SATS Success Revision Guides for Maths and English.

KS1 SATs prep with Letts

The books are very much ‘revision’ guides, giving you a brief overview of the different topics your child is expected to know by the end of Key Stage 1.  The books are filled with tips and tricks to help your child to understand and remember the important bits of each topic alongside helpful suggestions of ways in which you can further reinforce this as a parent.  Each page also features key word definitions which as well as being helpful for your child, could be a complete lifesaver for you as a parent – things in education are so different now compared to when we were at school and the technical language our children learn can be a bit mind-blowing at times.

Lett KS1 SATs revision guides

All the information is clear and concise and laid out in a child-friendly way so that, left to their own devices, your child could probably manage to work their way through a good chunk of the revision guides by themselves.  Of course, they would get far more out of them if you sat down together and did it though as this means that you can check their understanding and address any misconceptions as they arise.

Practice KS1 SATs test questions

Throughout the books there are opportunities for your child to practice and test their knowledge as well as practice SATs style questions to work on too meaning that you can both ensure your child is confident and prepared when May arrives so that the tests just feel like any other school job, nothing to get stressed about or panicked over.

Letts workbooks for KS1

If you’d like to win a bundle of Letts KS1 SATs Revision Guides the enter using the Rafflecopter below – ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BIC Star Wars Stationery Range – Review & Giveaway

Ben hates writing.  He always has.  There’s so many things he would rather do than pick up a pen.  Even as a three year old, he saw no fun in mark-making or trying to write his name.  Of course this wasn’t such an issue when he was little but as he gets older and the expectations to write more increase, it’s something we need to address.  I’ve never quite been able to decide whether he doesn’t have great handwriting because he doesn’t like writing and can’t be bothered to practice, or whether he doesn’t like writing because he has poor handwriting – either way, he’s full of words and great ideas but putting them down on paper just isn’t his thing.

We all know the difference that new stationery can make when it comes to getting us organised or inspiring us to get on with our work and it would seem that Ben is no different.  When we received a bundle of Star Wars stationery from BIC, his eyes lit up and he was keen to get his hands on it all and start writing – although, in the interests of honesty the first sentence he wrote was “I have no idea what to write”  before asking me if he could draw instead.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

BIC Star Wars Stationery - 4 colour pen with Star Wars characters

BIC Star Wars Stationery - Star Wars 4 colour pen

BIC Star Wars Stationery - four colour pen

BIC Star Wars Stationery - Star Wars themed pencils

BIC Star Wars Stationery - pencil

BIC Star Wars Stationery - Tip-ex mouse

BIC Star Wars Stationery - tipex

BIC Star Wars Stationery - Star Wars glue stick

The BIC Star Wars stationery collection features instantly recognisable characters from the famous Star Wars saga – even as someone who has never actually watched a Star Wars film (I know!) I could still tell you who all of the characters were on Ben’s new pens!  And of course, the BIC Star Wars stationery collection isn’t just for kids – we all know someone whose day would be brightened by a Yoda ball ben . . .

The BIC Star Wars range includes:

… covering just about all of your stationery needs in one Star Wars themed hit!

If you’d like to win a selection of BIC Star Wars stationery – just complete the rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

*We received a selection of BIC Star Wars stationery free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own. This post contains affiliate links.*

THORPE PARK Resort Annual Pass Giveaway

I don’t know about you, but when things are quiet and the bank balance is low in January I find myself making lots of plans for the year ahead so that we’ve got plenty to look forward to.  The first half of our year already looks pretty packed for one reason or another but I’m determined to squeeze in plenty of days out and weekend adventures in where I can.  One thing which is featuring pretty highly on our list for the first half of the year is a trip to THORPE PARK after we had to cancel our plans for last summer when Chloe injured her leg.  Although THORPE PARK doesn’t reopen until the end of March (just in time for the Easter holidays) you can plan ahead and purchase your THORPE PARK Resort Annual Pass now.

 THORPE PARK Resort Annual Pass 

The THORPE PARK Resort Annual Pass offers great value for money with benefits including:

Pay for a day, come back for a year!

Invites to Exclusive Events

20% Off Food and Beverages

20% Off Retail

Up to 20% Off THORPE SHARK Hotel Stays

Discounts to bring friends throughout the year

Please note: Special Events (e.g. FRIGHT NIGHTS) will incur an extra charge

Prices for the THORPE PARK Resort Annual Pass start at just £53.50 and can be bought here however, to celebrate the new year, I’m giving away four THORPE PARK Resort Annual Passes to one lucky winner!  Just complete the Rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’re going on an adventure THORPE PARK Resort Annual Pass Giveaway – Terms & Conditions

There is 1 prize to be won and there will be 1 individual winners selected. The winner will receive: Four THORPE PARK Resort Annual Passes

Terms and Conditions:
(i) This prize is subject to availability.
(ii) The prize must be redeemed before dates decided by We’re going on an adventure.
(iii) Excludes all FRIGHT NIGHTS event dates
(iv) This prize does not include transport costs to or from THORPE SHARK Hotel or any other expenses incurred by the Participant whilst at THORPE PARK Resort.
(v) This prize is subject to the THORPE PARK Resort’s terms and conditions which can be found at https://www.thorpepark.com/terms-conditions.

Vosene Kids 2 in 1 Fruity Goodness Shampoos – Giveaway

Much as I love that my girls have lovely long thick hair (well one of them does, the other would if she’d stop tying knots in it and pulling them out but that’s another post altogether) I don’t love washing it.  Chloe’s hair, like mine, is very thick and takes quite a bit of washing and drying.  I tend to do it just once a week after swimming at this time of year (more often in the summer when she’s likely to have been sweaty or dipped it in ice cream . . .)  Thankfully I think we’ve found a routine that means we can get her hair washed quickly and with no tears now but it’s still a bit of a pain.

In order to make hair washing as easy as possible we like to use products which are kid friendly – ones which will make the girls hair lovely and clean and shiny but which they also like the smell of.  All too often products which are designed for kids are way too sickly sweet for my tastes but the Vosene Kids 2 in 1 Fruity Goodness Shampoos are lovely – they’re fruity and fresh and leave the girls’ hair smelling lovely and clean.

Vosene Kids 2 in 1 Fruity Goodness Shampoos

The Fruity Goodness range is dermatologically tested, tear-free, paraben & MIT Free and perfect for a stress-free bath time every day.  If you’d like you try the Vosene Kids 2 in 1 Fruity Goodness Shampoos yourself – then enter this giveaway for your chance to win a bottle of each.  (As ever, please ensure you do this accurately to avoid disqualification!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway