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Monday, 25 September 2017

Rave-A-Roo review - Kids. Play. Rave. Repeat.

On Sunday morning we went along to Selfridges at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, so Freddy could take part in an exciting Rave-A-Roo kids' party event.  Rave-A-Roo is a daytime, mash-up music festival for children with a live DJ, madcap party hosts, inflatable toys, bubbles, confetti cannons, crafting, fun and games. It's a high energy event to entertain the whole family, with old skool tunes and clubbing hits.

Rave-A-Roo


The party hosts, including Jungle Jane and Disco Duck, entertained the kids using a mixture of music, dance and storytelling. With props such as inflatable ducks and bananas, hula-hoops, beach balls and bubble machines, the scene is set for little ones to immerse themselves in the party atmosphere. They used their imaginations to join Jungle Jane and her friends on a trek to the jungle, sailing their boat across the sea to the tune of Oops Upside Your Side (that brought back memories!) and played a game of Sleeping Tigers. The children also enjoyed bashing a dad volunteer with inflatable bananas!

Rave-A-Roo


As well as the dancefloor and the madcap antics, kids can also take part in some crafting activities. Freddy decorated a pair of fancy sunglasses with some bling and did some neon clay modelling. He also had his face painted with some day-glo facepaint, perfect for the clubbing scene. There were also some healthy refreshments to keep the kids energised. Rave-A-Roo is a well structured event for children with a great balance of high octane activities and opportunities to chill out and get creative.

Rave-A-Roo


The finale of the show included confetti cannons firing confetti into the crowd of dancing children. It was really impressive and Freddy loved it. Seeing the kids all jumping up and down in the multi-coloured cloud of rainbow confetti was wonderful.

I was so proud of Freddy for joining in and taking part. He can be quite shy in crowds, but the hosts were so engaging and involved all the children making them comfortable and eager to be a part of the fun. The volume levels were not too high, making it good for little ears. We had packed Fred's ear defenders in case the music was too loud for him, but he didn't need them.

Overall, we were really impressed with the Rave-A-Roo event. They are for children aged up to 10 years old, and Freddy at 8 was definitely an ideal age for it. We were able to sit and watch him having fun, while enjoying a cup of complimentary coffee. Parents of younger children were on the dance floor with their little ones.

I would definitely recommend the Rave-A-Roo experience for children. I'll be keeping an eye out for future Rave-A-Roo events! Freddy absolutely loved it.

Find out more at www.rave-a-roo.com/.

Schleich Dinosaurs - Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor

New to the Schleich Dinosaurs collection is the dinotastic Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor playset, which promises some exciting pre-historic adventures for young dinosaur fans to enjoy. It is part of a range of realistic dinosaur figures and accessories that combine to recreate through play, the days when the dinosaurs ruled the world.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap


The Schleich Large Skull Trap set includes a Velociraptor figure, which features movable arms and jaw, along with a Compsognathus and a bearded dragon lizard so you can begin playing straightaway. The giant fossil-like skull makes the perfect play location for children to explore. The realistic looking, sharp toothed skull opens up, allowing the hollow cavity inside to be used as a trap for canny dinosaurs to catch their prey. The trap snaps shut when the tip of the skull's nose is pushed downwards, making some interactive, jaw dropping action to inspire imaginative pre-historic play. Budding paleontologists will love to act out a Jurassic adventure with the Velociraptor using the lizard as bait to catch the larger Compsognathus!

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


The skull and the dinosaurs are made to Schleich's usual very high standard. The detailed models are of an excellent quality and are each lovingly hand painted to create a toy that will look great on display when not being played with. The dinosaurs look so realistic with their textured skin, sharp claws, teeth and colouring. The skull itself is very sturdy and well made and the jaw and teeth are rubberized to avoid fingers getting trapped.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


I really like this playset. The quality of the skull will see years of play and it looks so impressive with its detailing and large size. All three of the dinosaur figures fit inside when the jaw is closed, making it easy to store the pieces together. The opening angle of the skull can be adjusted to two positions and the mechanism feels really strong and secure. There is nothing flimsy about this toy, it is such good quality.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


At £24.99, the Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor would make a great Christmas gift. It is a standalone toy in its own right or will be an excellent addition to an existing dinosaur collection, adding a new dimension to playtime. It is recommended for children aged 4+ but will suit children much older due to its realism and collectibility.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


 Find out more and discover the Schleich Dinosaurs collection at www.schleich-s.co.uk.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Thor figurine from Schleich

It's such a great time to be a superhero fan these days. All the recent superhero films, games and merchandise, have captured our imaginations, renewed our love for old favourites and brought many new and exciting characters to our attention. Whatever your age, everyone can have a favourite superhero.

Schleich, producers of detailed, hand-painted models, have a range of excellent Marvel figurines to collect, including Spider-man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Dr Strange, Venom, Falcon, Iron Man and Green Goblin. One of the latest editions to this super Schleich collection is the mighty Thor!

Based on the titular character in the upcoming Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok (which is in cinemas from 27th October) the figurine is an excellent likeness with his signature weapon, his hammer Mjolnir. Thor stands on a rock with his hammer held aloft, in a powerful stance. He wears his superhero costume, complete with cape and helmet.

Schleich Marvel Thor


The Thor figurine stands at just over 7" tall and is well designed and beautifully detailed. It is perfect for grown-up collectors and superhero fans, and for children who will enjoy recreating movie scenes and assembling their Avengers to fight against evil forces. The figures will look great on display in any kids' bedroom, where they will be ready for action.

Schleich, Marvel, Thor


As with all Schleich figurines, the quality is excellent and the figurine comes boxed, making a lovely gift idea for Thor fans of all ages.

The Thor figurine is £9.99 and is suitable for ages 4 and up.

Find out more and see the whole range of Marvel figurines at www.schleich-s.co.uk.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Introducing Nergi - the Kiwi Berry

I love fruit and vegetables and enjoy eating plenty of both as part of my plant based diet. I thought I knew most of the produce available in the UK, until I received a package containing some wonderful looking little green fruits, called Nergi Berry Fruits. Also known as the Kiwi Berry, they are a vivid fresh green colour with an edible outer skin.

kiwi berry


Inside, they look like a mini kiwi fruit with green flesh and blackish seeds around a white centre, however they do not have the fuzzy skin that kiwis have. Slighty larger than a big grape, they can be popped in your mouth whole. They have a delicious sweet, fruity and slightly tart flavour and are 100% natural.

Kiwi Berries


Nergi Berries are now in season until November. The little green berries are a superfruit packed with antioxidant vitamins C and E, contain dietary fibre and trace minerals and are just 52 calories per 100g, making them a healthy choice for snacking. More robust and less messy than other berries, they are great for eating on the go.

The Nergi Berry has existed in the wild for centuries, and with careful cultivation and natural pollination, they are now being grown using sustainable practices in small farms in France, Portugal and Italy, where they are handpicked when ripe. You can find them in supermarkets now (I saw them in Lidl and Tesco this morning packaged as Kiwi Berries) sold in 125g punnets, containing approximately 15 fruits.

My kids loved them. Kez said they were like a cross between a 'grape, a cherry tomato and a kiwi' which I think is a very good description. They would look wonderful in a fruit salad cut in half, but we just ate ours on their own as an after dinner snack. I love discovering new things to eat, and will definitely be buying more before the 2017 season ends on the 15th November 2017. They are a great addition to a modern, healthy lifestyle.

Find out more about this superfruit at http://nergi.info/en/get-to-know-me/.

Monday, 18 September 2017

A Unique, Handcrafted Gift to Celebrate Your Family - Family Birthstone Drops

With Christmas fast approaching (yes, we are now less than 100 days away from the big day!) my thoughts are turning towards Christmas planning. This year, I am looking at ways to create a more compassionate and sustainable festive season, and will be sourcing more food and gifts from independent businesses that share my ethics and values. I love the idea of giving unique, personalised gifts that are lovingly made by craftsmen, rather than things that are mass produced in factories.

Something that perfectly ties in with my Christmas wishes this year is this beautiful, handcrafted birthstone family tree set in a tactile wooden drop.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


Made using reclaimed and repurposed woods such as mahogany, each Family Stone Drop begins as a hand carved ergonomic and tactile wooden drop. The ornaments are then handset with the birthstones of your family, configured in an arrangement approved by you, to create a bespoke piece that is completely unique and as individual as you are. Each creation comes with a numbered and dated certificate, in a beautiful presentation box.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


My Birthstone Family Tree has the gemstones of Ian and I at the top, with my five children and two grandchildren included below us. Each of the three generations portrayed has a different sized stone, ours being the biggest and my two grandbabies having the smallest stones. It's a beautiful representation of our bloodline at this moment in time, displayed in a very unique way.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


I love having something that represents the people I love most in the world that I can display in my home. It's a great talking point! I also find it very comforting to hold, making me feel close to everyone. It really is so tactile and feels so nice in my hand. There is something about wood; the warmth, the texture and the smell, that I love. And knowing that this is made using specially sourced, reclaimed wood makes it eco-friendly, creative recycling at its very best.

The family stone drop would make a wonderful gift for any parents and grandparents this Christmas. The presentation of the piece makes it perfect for giving. The unique design and loving craftsmanship makes something precious to treasure for years to come.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


The birthstone family trees will soon be available to order on Etsy but if you want to express an interest or find out more, you can find the talented craftsman behind the product on Facebook, where you can drop him a message!

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts

Planning my Christmas Countdown with Elves Behavin' Badly

It's that time of year again, when the first thoughts of seriously having to prepare for Christmas really begin to niggle at the edge of your mind. We know from experience that the last few months of the year quite literally fly by, so being prepared is the key to getting through the festive season without too much undue stress. So, now the kids are back at school, I'm doing my best to make lists and make plans in readiness for Christmas.

Usually I buy advent calendars for my children to countdown the days to Christmas, but this year I have other plans and am going to be trying something new and exciting thanks to Elves Behavin' Badly inviting me to be an official blogger for the 2017 season. They sent us some lovely Elves Behavin' Badly goodies to try out so we can join in with the fun world of the mischievous Christmas elves. This is perfect timing for us as we have become fully vegan this year, so the usual cheap chocolate confectionery is being taken off the menu. This new Christmas countdown idea will be a great alternative this advent.

Elves Behavin' Badly


The elf phenomena has been going for a few years now, but this will be my first committed foray into sharing some inventive elf adventures in the run up to Christmas, to entertain and amuse my children. Each day in December I will be getting creative with the elf goodies I have received, pulling pranks, playing games and having interactive fun with the cheeky elves. Every morning there will be a new scenario for the kids to discover. Much more exciting than opening a cardboard window for a morsel of chocolate! 

elf on the shelf


Elves Behavin' Badly has an unbelievable range of elves and accessories, to make Christmas 2017 the most exciting yet! The original 12" dolls are being joined by a jumbo 26" version and a teeny 5" baby elf. They have original elves with velcro hands as well as fully poseable, bendable deluxe figures.Twin elves, Elfie and Elvie are available as a boy and girl pair for double trouble. Plush elves are joining the vinyl faced elves this year for little ones who prefer their elves more cuddly and a cuddly reindeer friend Rudie has also joined the team. There is even a risque black and grey dressed elf for some naughty adult elf frolics! The scope for some fun filled elfcapades just keeps growing.

Elves Behavin' Badly


The range of accessories is huge with an elf sleigh, advent counter, bed, blanket, swing, elf door, post box and even a dummy security camera among the offerings. There are art sets, decorations, stationery and novelty items available so we can immerse ourselves in the Elves Behavin' Badly phenomena throughout December.

The beauty of the Elves Behavin' Badly as an advent idea, is that it encourages children to be good. Although the elves themselves may get up to some mischief overnight, children know that the elves report back to Santa with news on how they are behaving in the run up to Christmas. All children want to be on the 'Nice' list, so hopefully the arrival of the elves will encourage best behaviour all round.

The Elves Behavin' Badly website has some great inspiration with lots of ideas for elf antics. Also check out elvesbehavinbadly on Facebook and Instagram. I'll be sharing some of my favourite elf escapades throughout December, so keep an eye out for my Elves Behavin' Badly Christmas Countdown!




Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Oral-B Pro 2500 Electric Toothbrush Review

I have managed to get to 48 years of age without needing a single filling, which is something that I am pretty proud of. The importance of dental hygiene is something that I have always instilled in my children from a young age, and so far all five of them have managed to avoid getting any cavities. 

We were sent an Oral-B Pro 2500 electric toothbrush with a 3D whitening brush head to try out courtesy of Pure Smiles, a Fulham based family run dental practice specialising in treatments to make you feel good about your teeth. 

Electric toothbrushes give up to 100% more plaque removal than manual toothbrushes and the compact, round head cleans better for healthier gums in just 30 days. The light up pressure sensor of the Oral-B Pro 2500 alerts you if you brush too hard, helping to keep gums protected and avoiding gum recession. The Pro 2500 has a two minute timer to make sure you are brushing for long enough (the average adult only brushes for 45 seconds so this is a very good reminder.) It pauses every 30 seconds prompting you to move on to the next area of your mouth for thorough cleaning. There are two modes to choose from: daily care and gum care mode. Gum care mode controls the brushing pressure and includes a massage mode. The Oral-B Pro 2500 can help give you a whiter smile as of day one by gently removing surface stains with its arrangement of bristles and its 3D polishing action.

The electric toothbrush is rechargeable and comes with its own charging station. One charge will last for 28 minutes, which is a week's brushing. The charger plugs into a 2 pin shaving adapter. There is a handy travel case included making it ideal for using on holiday, providing solid protection for the toothbrush and two heads.

The Oral-B pro is really nice to use, making my teeth feel cleaner and making me more aware of my brush time and helping me avoid overbrushing and gum damage. Switching from manual toothbrushing to electric takes a little getting used to, especially with regards to how much pressure you use to clean your teeth. The electric toothbrush requires a much lighter touch, but knowing that this is protecting my already receding gums is reassuring. It is a simple brush that is very effective performance wise. It is compatible with other Oral-B toothbrush heads including the floss action, cross action, sensitive clean and trizone, for every oral care need. Oral-B is the number #1 brand recommended and used by dentists worldwide, so I feel very confident using this electric toothbrush.

This is a good value electric toothbrush (currently £36 on Amazon) which is also available in black with a cross action brush head.

electric toothbrush


Contents: One electric toothbrush handle with two modes, charger, premium travel case, one toothbrush head, ships with UK 2 pin plug.

Oral-B offers a 30 day challenge, guaranteeing satisfaction and  the toothbrush comes with a 2 year limited warranty.

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