All I want for Christmas is Hue! – Giveaway

Philips Hue Go as a nightlight

*This post is in collaboration with Philips Hue* 

Regular readers will know that Dave is a bit of a tech geek so when I decided I wanted to introduce some lighting to our dark and dingy living room, he took the bull by the horns and did his research. I was planning on going pretty basic and just adding some white bulbs into the main lighting for daytime and warmer bulbs in lamps for a cosier feel of an evening but once we started looking into it a bit more, we realised that the Phillips Hue system was going to be the answer for us

Getting started with Philips Hue

Our starting point was a Philips ‘White Ambience Starter kit’ which provided us with three White  Ambiance bulbs, a bridge (this is the bit that allows the Philips Hue app to talk to the bulbs) and a wireless dimmer switch.  We also added in a Hue Lightstrip to pop around the back of the TV – I wasn’t sure about this at first but liked the idea of another light source in the room and Dave had read about Hue‘s ability to work in sync with video or audio using  the Philips Hue Sync app.

The lights are quick and painless to set up – you just screw the bulb in to your usual light fitting and set everything up via the easy to use app.  Once you’ve got the basics sorted you can name all the lights in the room so they can be individually altered, add in different rooms and set up routines, such as turning the lights on at a certain time in the morning.  There’s also additional features like the ability to set up “entertainment” areas, which we’ll go into more detail on later.  What really appealed to Dave when we started to invest in our Philips Hue system was the capacity to integrate with other smart devices, specifically the ability to control our lights with our Google HomePhilips Hue might not be the cheapest smart lights on the market however as Dave points out, the cheaper options really don’t measure up to the overall package you get with Hue.  There’s a certain peace of mind in knowing you are dealing with a big brand that have worked out all the kinks and niggles with a product over numerous generations.

Philips Hue E27 bulbs

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Geomag Mechanics Gravity – Review & Giveaway

Ben was first introduced to the joy of Geomag earlier this year when we reviewed a Geomag Panels set and  Geomag Mechanics set.  We keep both sets at my parents’ house and he makes a beeline for them every time we visit – spending hours fiddling around and constructing various creations.  The latest addition to his Geomag collection is the Geomag Mechanics Gravity Motor System.  The Geomag Mechanics sets are more complex than the Panels and as such are aimed at the more expert player – children who have already figured out how the Geomag systems work.

The Geomag Mechanics Gravity Motor System contains 11 magnetic rods and 32 steel spheres along with 126 plastic mechanical elements – the set can of course be used independently or alongside an existing Geomag collection.  Once you’ve constructed the set according to the instructions, gravity pushes the steel spheres through the Geomag gravity motor spiral and, once this is set in motion, a combination of gravity and magnetism will keep it going until  you stop it again.  There’s no batteries or electricity required for this one!

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Montii bottles from EatWell-UK

Have you discovered EatWell-UK yet?  If you’re looking for something a bit different to serve, shape or store your little one’s lunch and snacks then you need to pop over and check them out.  Stocking a wide range of goodies from Yumbox lunch boxes to LunchPunch sandwich cutters from a more exciting packed lunch to Montii water bottles in a variety of sizes or beautiful planners to help you organise your family life.

My children are all on school dinners so much as I love all the exciting bits and bobs for packed lunches, they aren’t things which would get much use in our household at the moment.  The Montii water bottles on the other hand?  I knew they would be a hit for us an promptly ordered five new ones plus extra sports caps for Dave & I.

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My Nametags – Not just for school uniform (Giveaway)

Personalised name labels from My Nametags with mobile phone number

We’ve been using My Nametags for about three years now – from labelling up school uniform and coats, to drinks bottles and reading bags or even precious cuddly toys.  We use personalised labels from My Nametags on pretty much everything.  The labels survive the dishwasher and washing machine time after time – usually I can get through a full school year without having to relabel more than the occasional t shirt! And they are so much quicker and easier to apply than the more traditional sew or iron-on labels.  I can get a whole new set of school uniform labelled up in a matter of minutes which means when we do end up buying new bits and bobs through the school year, I can just grab the labels out, stick one on and send them out the door.  No bother.

My Nametags personalised labels for school uniform

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Grumblies Interactive Toy – Giveaway

Grumblies

Grumblies live in secret, hiding from the eyes of mankind.  Short- tempered and full of mischief, bands of Grumblies roam the wild places of this earth, creating mysterious earthquakes, paranormal tsunamis and supernatural volcanoes.

Heck they sound a bit scary don’t they!  Grumblies are the latest interactive toy to hit the market and rather than being all cute and cuddly, these dudes are angry!  Poke, shake, tilt and roll them to wind them up (much like your siblings!) and when they finally reach their breaking point you will be rewarded with a full on meltdown of rage which only you can calm down.

Grumblies

With over 40 fuming reactions and custom sounds, each of the Grumblies has its own personality and design.

If you’d like to win your very own Grumblie (worth £19.99) to wind up and annoy, then just complete the Rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification!  Good luck!  (And if you don’t win, you can pop down to your local Smyths toy store to buy one!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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

*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*

*Read more reviews here*

Tile Style Bluetooth Tracker – Review

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!)

* 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*

*Read more reviews here*

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

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.