Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest Challenge #OreoCookieQuest

As a family, we are huge fans of Oreos, which just so happen to be our favourite 'accidentally vegan' brand of biscuits. The fun and tasty little sandwich biscuits make a great occasional treat for all the family to enjoy. A serving of two Oreos makes the perfect after school snack for Freddy to enjoy, along with a glass of chilled almond milk and a handful of grapes.

Oreo is currently celebrating The Great Oreo Cookie Quest promotion, with special promotional packs available in store now. You can pick up a pack for the chance to win some great prizes including a once-in-a-lifetime trip to California and the Googleplex!


Oreo are challenging everyone to experience their own joyful family moments, to celebrate The Great Oreo Cookie Quest.

Making everyday moments into precious memories is something that we always strive to do. It's often the little things that happen during the course of the day, that create some of the sweetest, most unexpected and cherished memories. The times when the kids do something spontaneous and funny can lead to some genuinely joyful moments, filled with laughter.

#OreoCookieQuest Challenge

We love spending time as a family. My five children are aged between 8 and 29 years old and getting everyone together is always chaotic, noisy, hilarious and filled with absolute fun. We never fail to create some joyful family moments, creating memories to last a lifetime. These are the times I adore the most, more than anything else. And of course, it's always good to have some Oreos on hand to serve up as a teatime treat for my (mostly) vegan family!

Family Moments
Family Moments

We also  love playing board games and card games together as a family. It's nice to take some screen-free time away from technology and get back to basics with a game that involves dice and card decks instead of batteries or an app. Everyone can join in, whatever their age or ability and enjoy some quality family time. It often ends in a lot of laughs and we never take things too seriously. Rules are regularly bent!

Family Games Night

To add an extra element of Oreo fun to our games night this Friday, we decided to use them as a prize with the additional chance to enter the code on the pack to win wonderfilled prizes from Oreo! At the end of the games, Ella who was the winner, shared the packet so everyone could enjoy a post-games snack. She also scanned a cookie and entered the code into The Great Oreo Cookie Quest app, keeping her fingers crossed! Unfortunately her winner's luck ran out and she didn't win this time. Look out for the promotional packs in store now - and good luck!

Oreo Cookie Quest Promotion

This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Staccups - cup stacking fun!

Staccups is a fast, furious and fun family game from University Games. With no batteries required, it's a simple game that results in hours of competitive fun. The aim  is to stack coloured cups in order, according to the coloured tab on their base, in the quickest time against your opponent.


The contents include 32 coloured cups and a podium stand spinner. There is minimal assembly required to set up. You simply have to clip the bases onto the coloured cups and you are ready to go. The quick paced game involves reaction times and hand-eye co-ordination as you race to stack your cups in a colour coordinated order. You have to match the top of the coloured cup to the previously put down coloured base, so you have to think fast and be precise to win.


Staccups is great for 2 to 4 players with the recommended age of 8+. There are different rules for games for 2, 3 and 4 players. However, Freddy enjoyed practicing on his own to try to hone his colour matching and super speedy stacking skills! There are several adaptations of the game to include an advanced and a strategy game. The shot sized cups are colourful and sturdy.

Play begins when the button on the podium is pressed, giving a starting colour for the game. Then play proceeds with players stacking their cups accurately in the quickest time. Opponents can challenge play if they think you have cheated or made a mistake.


It's a game that makes you think and which keeps your mind alert and your reflexes sharp. I love the simplicity of the game and that it requires no batteries and has uncomplicated rules. It's a good family game for everyone to enjoy.

Staccups is currently £12.99 from Smyths Toys or Amazon. (RRP £19.99)

Friday, 9 March 2018

Gazillion Bubble Pong Game

We've all seen the game where you get to splat each other in the face with cream pies, but now we can experience the first game of its kind that lets you blast your opponent with bubbles: the Gazillion Bubble Pong game!  Everyone loves bubbles, they are so much fun. Bubble Pong brings a new dimension to our love of bubbles by adding an element of competition into the mix. The aim of the game is to compete against each other by bouncing your ball into a hole, causing bubbles to blow out into your opponent's face.

Gazillion Bubble Pong delivers fun and excitement as you bounce ping pong balls into your opponent’s side of the console. If you get your ball into the opponents goal, you score points, but more importantly, you get to blast them with a burst of GAZILLION bubbles. The first person to score 3 times wins.

Gazillion Bubble Pong Game

Bubble Pong includes 1 game console, 6 ping pong balls, 2 removable trays, 2 removable bumpers, and an 8 oz bottle of Gazillion Bubbles Solution.  The game has 4 levels of difficulty, making Bubble Pong fun for the whole family.

Gazillion Bubble Pong Game

When the Bubble Pong game is over, you can switch to bubble machine mode for some non-stop bubble fun. Perfect for barbecues and parties, Bubble Pong is  a great game for outdoors in the warmer summer months. The two in one functionality makes the Gazillion Bubble Pong Game, a great value and versatile toy. 

Young children adore the magic of bubbles and will enjoy running around to chase and pop the bubbles, while the older children will enjoy the competitive element and practicing the skills needed to get their ball into the goal to activate the bubble blower.

Gazillion Bubble Pong

Gazillion bubbles are premium bubbles, which are available in original and Big Bubble solutions. Refils come in 8 oz, 2 l and 4 l sized bottles. They are definitely one of the best brands of bubbles that we have ever used. They really are good quality, making lovely, long lasting bubbles.

The Gazillion Bubble Pong Game is priced at £19.99. Batteries (8 x AA) are required and are not included. The game is aimed at children aged 3+, so is suitable for the whole family to enjoy together. It is available to buy now at Amazon, Argos Online and Smyths.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

New Schleich Dinosaurs for 2018

This year, Schleich are introducing some new exciting dinosaur figurines to their pre-historic Dinosaurs collection including the Oviraptor, Tawa and a brand new design Velociraptor.

All of the Schleich figurines are designed with great attention to detail and meticulously painted by hand. The Dinosaurs collection enables children to explore the fascinating prehistoric era and discover its creatures through play. Each figure comes with its own mini fact file, so children can learn about these amazing creatures that conquered the Earth. Playsets are also available in the range helping create a pre-historic landscape for imaginative play.


The Oviraptor was a large flightless, bird-like dinosaur who lived 75 million years ago. The figurine is well detailed with a feathery body, beaked head and clawed wings. It's an odd looking creature and a great addition to a dinosaur collection, bringing its unique avian appearance.

The Tawa is a  carnivorous dinosaur with a slender snout and long neck. It was a lightweight, fast dinosaur with a long tail that originated in South America.

The Velociraptor is a very popular dinosaur because of their role in the Jurassic Park movies. They were intelligent creatures that hunted in packs, and who could run at up to 65 km/hr. Terrifying! This new figurine has jaws that open and close, and a mouth filled with impressive teeth. The arms also move up and down, adding to the play value. The detailing includes the clawed hands and feet, including the deadly sickle shaped claws on its toes. The yellow, blue and green colouring is quite vibrant and the skin texture has a suggestion of feathering. It's an impressive creature and a great addition to a collection.


The Oviraptor and Tawa are £7.99 and the Velociraptor is £9.99 available from

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Schleich Wildlife and Farm Animals

Learning about animals opens up a fascinating world for children and with Schleich’s vast collection of farm and wild life animals, little ones can learn as they play. With an extensive range of beautiful animal figures, Schleich puts the world in children's hands, allowing them to play, explore and discover.

Schleich animals are perfect for collecting and collections can be added to to create an entire play world for children to enjoy. Ready-to-play sets and accessories add extra elements to the play value and with new animals and accessories being added year after year, children's collections can grow alongside their imaginations.

I love the Schleich animal figures. The attention to detail is enhanced by the high quality paintwork that brings each animal to life. Children can learn so much about the animal kingdom through their Schleich collection and engage in imaginative games. We've collected Schleich animals for many years and they have been played with by each of my children. They are so well made they last for years so are a great investment that I can see being played with for many more years to come by the next generation of our family.


We were delighted to receive an Indian Rhino, a Lion, a Black Bull and a Fresian Cow to add to our collection. As expected, each figure is beautifully made with realistic detailing and quality paintwork. The Schleich animals are solid with a good weight, making them sturdy and robust and able to withstand being played with, even by younger children aged 3 and over, making them perfect for pre-schoolers, introducing them to the animal kingdom.


The Indian Rhino has wonderfully realistic, textured skin, while the Lion has a very detailed mane and whiskered face. The Cow and Bull are a lovely pair with their hooved feet, gentle eyes and long tails. The anatomical realism is very well observed in each animal figure.


The Lion has an RRP of £5.99 and the Rhino, Cow and Bull are £7.99 available from

Saturday, 27 January 2018

A Vegan Recipe for Chocolate Cake Day with Num Noms

January 27th is Chocolate Cake Day and who doesn't love chocolate cake! Especially when it's a delicious vegan chocolate cake, perfect to celebrate the end of Veganuary.

Num Noms are celebrating Chocolate Cake Day by challenging us to create Num Noms inspired chocolate cakes with some Num Noms Series 4 flair! We were sent a Series 4 Sweets Sampler, which includes the cute little Hottie Chocolate. Scented with delicious chocolate fragrance, Hottie joins other Nums such as Confetti Crunch, Tia Tea-Time and Madelyn Macaron. Perfect inspiration for baking delicious treats at home.

Num Noms Series 4

Each colourful, scented Num is cute and quirky and bursting with personality. The Series 4 Sweets Sampler contains ten Nums including a surprise Mystery Num along with two Noms. The Glitter Lip Gloss Noms come in a variety of flavours such as Mint Swirl Gloss-Up and Lemon Drop Gloss-Up. They also come in individual blind pots, making collecting fun! Inside, there is a Nom lipgloss or nail polish and a sweet foodie flavoured Num. You can find limited special edition characters and there are 120 characters to collect.

Our chocolate cake recipe is made with 100% plant based ingredients and is rich, chocolatey and delicious. It has a rich chocolatey frosting and filling and is decorated with chopped nuts. The method is very simple, so that means it is great to get the kids involved with the baking. And because it is vegan, there is no danger when it comes to licking the bowl!

Vegan Baking with Kids

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe


Chocolate Cake

10oz SR wholemeal flour
2oz cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
9oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
135ml rice bran oil
1 1/2 cups water


2oz vegan marg
3 tblspns water
9oz icing sugar
2 tblspns cocoa powder

Vegan Chocolate Cake


Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
Stir in sugar and vanilla extract.
Beat in oil and water.
Pour the batter into two prepared 7" cake tins and cook for 30 mins at 180 degrees centigrade until springy to the touch.
Allow to cool completely before turning the cakes out.

Meanwhile put the marg and sugar in a pan and heat until the marg is fully melted.
Remove from heat and beat in sifted icing sugar and cocoa.
Use to fill and top the cake.
Decorate with chopped walnuts.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Enjoy a big slice of Vegan Chocolate Cake to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day on January 27th! Delicious!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Find Series 4 Num Noms at Amazon, Smyth's Toys and Claire's. The Sweets Sampler is £16.99 and the mystery packs are £3.99. Find out more at

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Wholefoods, Healthy Eating and Veganuary Inspiration from Aldi

It's easy to believe that adopting a healthier diet is going to cost a lot of money, which for some people is enough to put them off making a healthy change. Many of the wholefood products can be very pricey when bought from specialist retailers. However, Aldi have introduced some excellent products into their stores, which enables us to eat healthier for less and makes niche products far more accessible to all. This means that there are now a few less excuses against adopting a wholefood, vegan diet in 2018!

vegan, wholefood, Aldi

Aldi have a range of Organic Bean Spaghetti (£1.99, 200g), available in Organic Edamame Spaghetti, Black Bean Spaghetti or Organic Soybean Spaghetti. Rich in plant based nutrition, naturally gluten free and vegan, this pasta is made solely from beans and provides the perfect base for a nourishing meal that’s quick, easy, naturally colourful and delicious.

Sriracha Mayonnaise (£1.65, 200ml) is a spicy, vegan mayonnaise made with water, chilli, soybean, sugar and distilled vinegar. It's a great topping for a delicious vegan falafel and houmous wrap. Aldi's The Deli chilled falafel is £1.29 for 200g and the houmous is just 69p for a pot. Both great Veganuary lunchtime staples.

Bounce Energy Balls are a sweet treat packed with nutrient dense ingredients, which are a perfect energy boosting snack (£1.29, 40g). There are two delicious flavours: Almond Spirulina and
Cashew Peanut. They are high in veggie protein with their combination of nuts and seeds.

Aldi’s Funktional Foods Powders are perfect for adding to juices and smoothie bowls, sprinkling on porridge and salads, or even mixing into soups. They are a fraction of the price of other food powders on the market and add a wonderful boost of extra vitamins and minerals.

  • Green Superblend (£2.49) – a perfect combination of Wheatgrass, Pea Protein, Barley Grass, Spinach, Ginger and Spirulina, which is high in protein to support muscle growth.
  • Spirulina Powder (£2.49) – packed with protein and vitamin B12 to help support the immune system.
  • Wheatgrass Powder (£2.49) – high in iron to help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
  • Maca Powder (£2.49) – a rich source of vitamin B2.
  • Cacao Powder (£1.99) – full of Iron, Potassium, Copper and Magnesium to help boost the immune system.

Aldi has its own range of non-dairy milks including their fortified Actif Leaf Almond Milk priced at just 99p. This is really good value, making the transition to a dairy free diet much cheaper.


Aldi also have a great selection of excellent value dried fruits, nuts and seeds including the superfood black Chia Seeds for just £1.15. Chia seeds are great for sprinkling on cereals or adding to smoothies and can also be used to make a super healthy pudding. Nuts and seeds are so versatile and play a huge part in a vegan diet as both a snack, a nutritional boost or an ingredient in both sweet and savoury recipes.

The paleo wholefood bars and raw snack bars are incredibly good value at £1.99 for five. They are gluten free, high in fibre and ideal for guilt free snacking. I love the Cashew Crush and Pecan Pie bars, made from nothing more than nuts and dates.  They are just so good! Equivalent products can cost many times more.

snacks, vegan

Other exciting finds include the Tricolour and White Quinoa at £1.29 a pack, rice noodles at 59p, brown rice at 99p and the red and green Thai Curry Kits at £1.39. The Coconut Flour and Coconut Sugar at just £1.69 each are also excellent buys for healthier baking.

You can fill your cupboards with these great wholefood products to kickstart 2018 while developing some beneficial healthy eating habits for the years to come. Wholefoods don't need to cost the earth!

The in store fruit and veg range is extensive and offers exceptional value for money. Aldi also has its Super Six fruit and vegetables on special offer in store every fortnight. I picked up spring onions, celery, tomatoes, Iceberg lettuce and beetroot for just 39p each! Who said healthy living was expensive?!

Aldi, fruit, veg, vegan

Aldi has made healthy eating more accessible and much cheaper for the masses, giving everyone the chance to adopt a healthier, wholefood or vegan diet. Find out more at

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Workout your Brain in 2018 with Breakout Manchester

You could give your brain a new year workout by playing an escape room with Breakout Manchester. With puzzles and clues to solve, objects to find and games to play, an escape room really gets your brain working. Team work and leadership skills are also put to the test as you attempt to escape from your chosen room in under sixty minutes. Each room is fully themed,  from the Wild West's Most Wanted to the horror themed Captured, which adds to the immersive feel of the games.

Breakout Manchester

This Christmas we played the 5* rated room Madchester at Breakout Manchester and we managed to retain our 100% breakout record by escaping the room with four minutes to spare. Go Team McD!

Madchester takes place in the bedroom of a Manchester super fan, who has an extensive range of memorabilia from sporting venues, bands, teams and locations from the Manchester area. It's a great room to play with plenty of puzzles to solve and things to discover. When you get stuck, the game operator sends you some cryptic clues, shown on a screen in the room, keeping the gameplay moving. Madchester is a tough game, so we were really proud of ourselves for cracking the codes and escaping.

What I love most about Breakout escape rooms is that they are great for all the family. Freddy is 8 years old and has successfully participated in breaking out of the four rooms that we have played as a family. He often spots things that we miss. Every member of the team has a part to play and can bring their own unique skills to the table. Whether you are good with words or numbers, can solve riddles, have keen observation skills and an eye for detail or are good at physical games, there will be something in the escape rooms that you do best.

We Broke Out - Madchester Breakout Manchester

Breakout escape rooms really are a fun activity for all the family, whatever the weather. You can find out more and book at


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