Montii bottles from EatWell-UK – Giveaway

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.

KS1 SATS Prep with Letts

*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

*Read more reviews here*

BIC Star Wars Stationery Range – Review

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:

*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.*

*Read more reviews here*