My Family

My Family

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Countdown is On! Men's Gift Guide - Something for All Budgets.

The Countdown is On! Men's Gift Guide
Something for All Budgets.


Last week, I shared my Children's Gift Guide with you but I am happy to say that luckily, Christmas is not just about the children. So this week I'm going to show you some gifts for the men in your lives. Some men like D.I.Y and using their hands whilst others would prefer to use their hands to play Video Games. Some men love chocolate or edible treats whilst others would prefer an alcoholic drink of some kind to relax with in front of the TV.

What ever the man in your life loves, from the Foodies to the D.I.Y enthusiasts. Have a quick look at my gift ideas below, they're just ideas but they may inspire you, who knows.

 For the D.I.Y lovers in your life there's the Amtech 3.6v Li-ion Cordless Screwdriver. It has 6 adjustable torque settings and a 180° swivel handle for improved access in confined spaces. It's compact palm size design with integral LED light make skit the perfect stocking filler idea for Christmas. It has both forward and reverse functions and a lovely soft touch finish. It comes supplied with a charger, 10 screwdriver bits, 60 mm magnetic extension bar & a storage holster. It's a nice little gift for the D.I.Y beginner or Pro in your life. 


If you'd like something a little bigger, then the Amtech 141pc Tool Kit could be for you. 
The Tool Kit includes: 240mm water pump plier, 6 x 100mm screwdriver, PH2 x 100mm screwdriver, bit handle driver, 6pc combination wrenches (8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15mm), 11pc 25mm screwdriver bits (slotted 4, 5, 6, 7mm, Torx T10, T15, T20, Phillips PH1, P. That might not make a lot of sense to us but I'm sure it would make perfect sense to any D.I.Y man.


Both tools could make great little gifts and they won't break the bank as they both cost under £30 each. If the man in your life likes his tools or doing D.I.Y, these could be perfect.

If your man doesn't like D.I.Y then you can swap the tools for some edible treats instead.

From Find Me A Gift. Com I have a rather lovely Christmas Decoration with a twist. The Whisky Christmas Bauble comes beautifully presented in a golden box looking very luxurious. It's not your average Christmas decoration as the Clear plastic bauble has been hand-filled with 20 cl of a unique blended whisky from the heart of the Lake District. 


It's the perfect little treat for the Whiskey lover in your life. This one will be hanging on my parents tree this year as a lovely little Christmas treat for my Dad who's the biggest Whiskey lover I know. I love the fact that it's a nice sized drink but not a whole bottle which can often be too much. It will cost you £17.99 and you will need to be over 18 years old to buy it.

If you like your food better than your drinks then this next gift is for you. Also from Find Me A Gift. Com these Chocolate Sprouts are so life like and look amazing, just like real sprouts but so much yummier. I don't like normal sprouts but I'd make an exception for these ones.


These sprouts would make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loathes the sight of the much-hated vegetable like me. When they open the packet they'll be horrified to see what you've treated them to, until they look a little closer and their disgust turns into delight. The box contains eight solid white chocolate Brussels sprouts handmade in the UK by Choconchoc and costs £9.99. I'm thinking of popping one of these on the kids Christmas Dinner plates this year just to see their faces. I wonder if they'll tell the difference just looking at them? I bet they won't as they really do look like the real things. They're such a great idea for scaring a loves one or just treating someone to something a little different this year.

If you don't want to buy your man socks or underpants this year then why not try out one of the ideas above. I think the Whiskey Bauble is going to be a popular one in my house.

Thanks for looking and do let me know if you decide to try any of the gifts yourself.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Chad Valley Be U Jewellery Bead Tree Set #Review

Chad Valley Be U Jewellery Bead Tree Set Review


Last week we received our second Chad Valley Play Panel delivery and the toys inside were so lovely. Lily and Ryan have been playing with them all week and this time they have decided to review the Chad Valley Be U Jewellery Bead Tree Set. You may think it's just for girls as it's a jewellery maker and it's pink but it is not. Both Lily and Ryan have loved this set and have had such fun making bracelets and necklaces for all their friends and family.


Priced at just £14.99 it's a bargain. You get to make and store your own beautifully beaded jewellery for yourself or your friends and family with this lovely jewellery making set. With so many beads inside, you can make unique and colourful bracelets and necklaces for everyone. Then when you're finished you can display them on your own jewellery bead tree.


There are 3 separate individual cases, that click together in a neat triangle when you store it away. There are hundreds of beads and charms and pendants inside. We really loved that the elasticated wires and threads were included and there's plenty of them so you can get lots of use out of them. Another great thing is the clasps that come included. Instructions come included but everything is so easy to use that we didn't really need them. Ryan is only 7 and managed to make some really lovely bracelets all by himself. Lily, who's 10 loved making these and it was so lovely to see them sat together at the table having fun. I think they've made over ten bracelets so far and are still going strong, its' a great set worth the money it costs. Their school friends are all loving the bracelets they've been made too.


I love how hard they've concentrated on making these and how creative they've been with their patterns and designs. These are just a few of the bracelets they have made, aren't they pretty? I really love seeing them play together like this and how they're being so creative.

It was Children In Need at school last Friday so Lily made herself a pretty yellow necklace to wear. It was very pretty and she was so proud of herself for making it. She wore it with pride!


 Lily and Ryan love this toy so much and chose it as their favourite out of all the toys we were sent this month. It's their Top Pick and definatley gets my approval too, It's fab!

If you have a jewellery loving child or a creative child who loves beads like my boy, then this would make a great reasonably priced Christmas Gift for children aged 5 and over this year.



Disclosure: This review is written as part of our Chad Valley Play Panel Reviews.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

#Competition - Win a Cadbury Christmas Selection Box Hamper!

#Competition - Win a Cadbury Christmas 
Selection Box Hamper! 



I promised myself that I wouldn't say the C word before November but it's here, so now I can! Christmas is coming and I for one am so excited. I love Christmas, it's just so exciting!

This competition is my Christmas Present to you (Yes, I am going to pay for it) It's hopefully going to help raise one lucky readers Christmas Cheer and help them have a Merrier Christmas. I'm going to keep it nice and simple to enter like always, so just pop your details into the RaffleCopter Form below and cross your fingers. Please feel free to do as many or as few of the entries as you like but remember, the more you do, the more chances you have of winning. There's a whole load of lovely chocolate up for grabs. Now, who wants it?


Terms and Conditions: Open to the UK only. All entries will be checked. One winner will be drawn at random using the App from all the correctly made entries and contacted by email. Competition closes on the last day of November and contacted within three days. Enjoy x

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Countdown is On! Children's Gift Guide - Something for All Budgets.

The Countdown is On! Children's Gift Guide.
Something for All Budgets.


It's finally November so I can now say the C Word - Christmas is coming!

I am so Excited! I LOVE Christmas.

This year I've broken down my Gift Guides into smaller chunks to keep them simple. Today I'm going to show you a few gift ideas for gifts for your children this year. There's something personal, something yummy and something a little more pricey, so there's something for all.

First off, there's something yummy. Family favourites, HARIBO have launched a rather Sweet Christmas range. There's lots of new products ranging from Starmix Tree Decorations to Selection Boxes. Festive sweets always come in handy and are perfect for a cheaper gift when you don't know someone too well and don't know what to buy them.


Next up is my something Personalised which comes from Personalise.Com. You can't beat that personal touch when it comes to Christmas, I love those every day items with the kids names on them. They sell a whole host of gifts for children of all ages. Their personalised towel, bottles and cushions are fantastic and come in low prices which is always great news.


 For the girls they have beautiful Disney Princess Cushions (£24.99) which are gorgeous. They're so big and plump, and really comfy. I love the pretty design of the five Disney Princesses together on the front and then the simple yet lovely personalised touch of their name added onto the back. With 5 Princesses there's sure to be one your child loves.

The cushions are available in many designs including Marvel and Star Wars too.

If you don't fancy a cushion, they also have lovely Disney Towels (£19.99) like the Moana one you can see below. It's a nice size and comes with a lovely design on the front. Again it comes personalised with your childs name on it but this time it's written across the front, not the back. I like the colours on this one as it's very unisex based, it's not pink or blue which is great because both boys and girls who love Disney Moana can enjoy this gift, perfect!


For the boys they have some cute yet very handy Football themed Water Bottles. My boy is a huge Aston Villa fan so it had to be a Villa Bottle (£12.99)  I really love this one as the football shirt on the back comes with his name across which is such a lovely touch. Ryan always has his name on the back of his shirts so this one will be no different which is ace.


Last but not least I have my something a little more pricey from Toy State. The Nikko Radio Controlled cars are awesome and come in lots of varieties and prices.  One of the cars available is the Nikko Velocitrax (£49.99) which comes in two colours, Electric Orange or Neon Green. It's aimed at girls and boys aged 8 years and above and comes with all it's batteries needed included. It's full-function remote control action has some fast and futuristic styling! One of it's main features is it's 360-degree spins and ultra-maneuverability that can handle any terrain so it's perfect for playing with on any surface both indoors and out.


It's the most expensive gift on my Gift Guide but if you're looking for a 'main' present then this could be the perfect choice. Radio Controlled cars are always fun and who doesn't love a car that can spin right the way round and travel over any surface. I'm sure the kids would have great fun trying this out on Christmas Day, my boy loves cars and will love this one.

So, there you have it. My first Children's Gift Guide for 2017. There will be more coming up so do watch this space if there's something else you are after. Christmas is Coming!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Monday, 23 October 2017

Disney On Ice - Passport To Adventure in Birmingham #Review

Disney On Ice - Passport To Adventure in Birmingham


This weekend we went to see the brand new Disney on Ice - Passport to Adventure show at our local venue, the Birmingham Arena. With two excited kids in tow, we headed off for a fun filled night of Disney and Ice skating, Treats and Flashing lights. We've been to see Disney on Ice lots of times over the past few years and have loved every show we've seen. 


Dressed in their favourite costumes, I had one Elsa and one Captain America. He knows Captain America is not Disney but he didn't care, he just wanted to join in the dressing up fun. We had great seats, centre to the stage and only just a few rows back. The kids were so excited, they both love Disney and watch Disney Movies all the time at home.

The show was set in two halves with an interval or toilet break as we call it, in the middle. 

But before the show even starts the audience are treated to a short Fit to Dance class with two rather cute Zootropolis characters. They had the whole arena, Hopping up and down.

In the first half we saw some beautiful ice skating from Simba and nala in the Lion King and some exciting adventures from Wendy and Peter Pan. I loved the Ice Skating, it's so beautiful and rather magical, isn't it. The costumes and characters were all pretty awesome too. The kids loved the music and sang along, as did I but we'll not talk about that too much.


 The second half brough us treats from Ariel and her friends in the Little Mermaid and best of all we got to see Elsa and Anna and thier friends in Arendale from Frozen. Everyone was so excited when Olf came out, the whole crowd actually cheered, it was pretty amazing!


 I think Frozen was the hit of the night, it was definatley our favourite part of the show.


We've seen many shows like this before but this one was quite different.  I felt the stories were much longer than they've been in previous years as we only saw four different ones this time. In previous years you saw a lot more in shorter scenes. The show that we saw was brilliant but I couldn't help but miss Moana which I though they may have included but didn't. I guess they were trying something different this year but for me, I think I prefere it when there's more shorter stories so you can see more characters as there's so many to see and love. The kids loved the show and enjoyed it very much which was all that mattered in the end. Two happy children meant one happy Mummy so mission accomplished. 

Disney On Ice - Passport to Adventure is a thrilling show filled with lights and fireworks, laughs and adventure. There's flying and even real snow on some parts. I didn't take too many photographs as I didn't want to spoil it all for you as there's still time to go along. 

If you love Disney, Music and Ice Skating, then you'll love this show.

Disclosure: We were invited along to watch the chow for free in return for an honest review.

Cucina Rustica Birmingham - Food and Wine Pairing #Review

Cucina Rustica Birmingham -  Food and Wine Pairing 


 Cucina Rustica is an authentic Italian Restaurant nestled on Ludgate Hill in the heart of Birmingham's City between the busy Shopping Center and the beautiful St Paul's Square in the Jewelery Quater. It's easily accesible from both directions, it was just an 8 minute walk from Birmingham's New Street Station which is the way I got there on Friday afternoon.

I was invited for a 3 course food and wine pairing lunch with a friend, so we popped along on Friday afternoon. Cucina Rustica is a beautiful restaurant, with low lighting and fresh flowers (red roses) dotted all around. It's all very relaxing and stylish and very romantic. It would be the perfect place for a 'Date Night' but is also great for local Office lunches too.


My Menu consisted of the following:

Appetiser: Small Anitipasti

Glass of Prosecco to accompany.

Trio of Starters: Fungi con Fomaggio di Capra
Fegatini di Pollo
Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Glass of Fiano Salento to accompany.

Main Course: Cosciotto D'agnello

Glass of Nero D'avola Montepietroso Sicily to accompany.

Trio of Desserts: Tiramisu
Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel
Pera cotta al Barolo

Glass of Visanto del Chianti Classico


The fresh breads and olives were a lovely appetiser treat. Light and fluffy and a great way to start a meal. I'm not a fan of olives myself but my guest Alison who was joining me for lunch, loved them. There was bottles of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar on the table so I happily dipped my breads into the Balsamic Vinegar which is something I just love, it's yummy. 

Served with a glass of Prosecco which is my favourite so what was not to love.


 The Trio of Starters were very pretty, I loved the colours, so rich and warm. My favourite of the three was surprisingly the Chicken Liver which was delicious in it's rich creamy sauce. I've never tried it before but definatley order it again, it was very, very nice indeed.

Served with a lovely fruity white wine which suited the tastes spot on. I'm not a huge white wine drinker as often white wines served at restaurants are very dry so this was a pleasent surprise. I quite happily finished the whole glass with my Starters and it was lovely.


The Main was amazing!  The Lamb Shank was huge, such a large portion, and that meat, well it just fell of that bone. It was beautifully cooked, crisp on the outside yet still slightly pink on the inside. The mash was so lovely and that gravy, it was rich and flavoursome and oh so good. I loved my Main course, I can happily say that, that was one of the best Lamb Shanks I have ever tasted. I would go back to Cucina Rustica for that Lamb alone.

Served with a glass of red wine which went perfectly. It was very warming and subtle.


The Trio of Desserts were delightful, I especially loved the Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel.  

The Dessert Wine which acompanied it sadly wasn't for me, it was very thick and high in sugar and very strong tasting. I've never tried a Dessert Wine before but the lovely Waitress was happy to tell me all about it. The service from the staff at Cucina Rustica are wonderful. Everyone is so attentive and helpful. Nothing is too much troble and service comes with a nice warm smile which is always a treat. Our Waitress was so sweet, she couldn't have been any nicer to us, but not just to us, to everyone around us too as we watched on.

 
Overall, I had a wonderful first experience of Cucina Rustica. The food is good, very good. The staff and the service are delightful and the place itself is very warm and charming.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal in return for an honest review.