My Family

My Family

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Playing Pie Face for National Board Games Week! #Review

Playing Pie Face for National Board Games Week! 

So, last week was National Board Games Week and with the help from the Pork Farms Board Games Championships we got to join in by playing Pie Face for a night.

My three children have been asking for this game for so long but I've had my reservations about it due to the mess factor. I did try to get them a copy at Christmas but it was sold out so last week I surprised them with it for our very own family games night and they were delighted. My little man who's 5 was jumping up and down, he was that happy with it.

We do have lots of games that we could have chosen from but I thought something new would be much more exciting and it was. We had so much fun playing it. Yes we did get a bit messy but that was okay and it wasn't a bad mess. In fact it was quite a yummy mess.

Pie Face is a very exciting game filled with fun and suspense, and somebody’s going to get splatted! You just put some whipped cream from home or the wet sponge (If you don't want to bye cream) on the "hand" of the game unit and start turning the handles. 

The hand could go off at any time, so keep your fingers crossed and hope you’re not the one who gets a splat in the face. The aim of the game is simple, you score a point for every time you turn the handle without getting a pie in the face and the one who scores 25 points first is the winner. It's a little scary turning that handle but it's very funny when you get splatted or at least it's very funny when it's someone else and not you, I should say.


We had a great time playing Pie Face for our games night treat. We've not plaid it again since but I'm sure its' only a matter of time before it makes a reappearance real soon.

Thank you Pork Farms and Hasbro for making our games night so much fun!

Disclosure: We received our Pie Face game as a sample in return for an honest review.

Monday, 2 May 2016

History lessons, Crazy Mazes and Kings of the Castle - Our Day at Warwick Castle #Review #MerlinAp

History lessons, Crazy Mazes and Kings of the Castle. Our Day at Warwick Castle.

Rainy days and Monday don't get us down, oh no. A few drops of rain and busy Bank Holidays won't keep us inside. We packed out coats and headed off to Warwick Castle for the day. It's been a long time since we last visited and so much has changed since then so today seemed like as perfect day as any for our long over due visit and with our new Merlin Annual Passes in hand, there really was no reason for us not to go now, was there.

There's lots to see, do and learn at Warwick Castle. The kids were so excited to be inside a real castle and loved being able to take a tour of the inside as well as being able to climb the stairs all the way to the top. I think the sign said there were over 500 steps in total around the castle so if you're looking for something on the flat, then the towers definatley aren't for you but we loved them and the views from the top were amazing. I'm so glad I had my camera with me to capture them. Warwick Castle is set in the most beautiful surroundings.

Warwick Castle is full of exciting adventures waiting to be had, stories waiting to be heard and history waiting to be learnt. The Time Trail was fun with big screens telling stories about the castle's history. We got to see characters from the Castle's past as they travelled  through time on an adventure through Warwick Castle’s dark history of bloodshed, death, treachery & destruction. Warwick Castle’s unknown story was told in full for the first time

We got to visit the Princess Tower and check out the castle's awesome Interiors. The Great Hall was very pretty and the bedrooms were just beautiful. I did we lived in a house like this at times. High ceilings, grand rooms and hired help, what's not to dream about. 

With 64 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens there's lots to discover like their topiary peacocks, Victorian rose garden and of course the Pageant Playground which is a great little playground perfect for your princes and princesses.  It's designed as a mini-fortress with slides, walkways and swings. It was a bit wet for us to play in today but I'm sure we will get to play on our return, hopefully in the Summer when it's drier and warmer.

The kids favourite part of today was the Horrible Histories Maze which is brand new this year, it opened on March 19Th 2016. When you enter the maze you choose your path through time to unravel history in the world’s first Horrible Histories adventure maze!

There's lots of fun challenges once inside, like invading a Viking ship, surviving the trenches and uncovering evil plots. We were in there for a good half hour as we got lost several times. On your way in, you pick up a little card with five places to find and when you find them there's a cute stamping station to stamp your cards. Once you've found them all you return the card to the shop to exchange it for a little treat, which was a lovely incentive. Getting in was easy but getting out was a little bit trickier, or at least it is when you have three children all running in different directions and you're trying to round them all up most of the time. Eventually we did manage to find our way out just in time to head home.

We've had a wonderful day filled with step climbing, sight seeing, magical mazes and more.
My youngest (aged 5) loved being at the top of the castle and getting up there was all part of the fun. He was running up the steps like a little pro unlike his 13 year old sister who spend the afternoon loudly letting us know how much here legs were tired. It was just great to get her away from the TV and her phone for a few hours so I'm pretty pleased with that. 

Warwick Castle is fun for all the family, young and old alike. We really enjoyed our visit today but didn't get to do everything we would have liked to so we will be going back real soon. We didn't get to go The Castle Dungeon today so that's now on our list for next time.

Our day wouldn't have been possible without our Merlin Annual Passes so thanks Merlin!
I wonder which of their 32 attractions we will be visiting next - I can't wait!

Disclosure: We are Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors 2016 but our reviews are written in my own words, expressing my own opinions and 100% honest. They are not influenced.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Behind the scenes at McDonalds, Seeing What's New and Making my own Big Mac! #ad

Behind the scenes at McDonalds, Seeing What's New and Making my own Big Mac!

Ever since I was a little girl I've always loved a McDonalds treat every now and again. My love of McDonalds started with the simple childhood love of their chicken nugget happy meals and grew into an adult love of Big Macs and McChicken Sandwiches. Yes I know it's not the healthiest of food but it sure does taste good and as I say, 'everything in moderation'.

Today I was invited to go behind the scenes at a local McDonalds restaurant too see how it all works. How it's all prepared and how it's all served. I also got too see some of the new changes that they've made and have to say, I was pretty impressed but most of them.

The new digital kiosks are pretty cool. You can browse, choose and order your food from these. There's lots of choice and several swaps available, you can swap your fries for a salad shaker or maybe you'd prefer to swap your fizzy drink for a juice or a coffee. I've seen these digital kiosks before but never used them as I didn't know you could place 'special' orders on them. Today I learnt that you can 'Customise' your order just how you like it. For me I'm forever ordering my Big Mac without the lettuce or my Hamburger without pickle. On these new digital kiosks you can do just that. There's the option to remove the ingredients you don't want with this new 'Customise' option - It's pretty awesome and definatley something I will be using myself in the near future. The kiosks take card only but another cool feature they have is a scan option which allows you to scan those bus ticket offers too.

There's even a Table Service option now, how cool is that? For those with their hands full, maybe sore feet after a long days shopping or just a brood of children to watch over. This could prove a really useful service. You can choose one of three Zones to sit in so the staff know where to bring your food and simply sit down and wait. Enjoying a McDonalds has never been more enjoyable. You can now order, pay by card and take a seat until your food is brought to you. I think it's a great idea and will hopefully help a lot of people out.

Inside the kitchen I saw how everything was cooked and put together. The kitchen itself isn't very big but it is very clean. Everything is in order and neatly in it's place. T revolutionised kitchen design is very clever making service fast with freshly prepared food. The staff work in a kind of Tag Team style to create our favourite McDonalds meals. One person does the bread, buns or wraps. The next adds the sauces and salads and one adds the meat or fish. It was great to see everyone in action and working together as part of their fantastic team. I'd never realised how quick they have to work. Organisation is key and the staff work well.

The highlight of my afternoon I have to say was learning how to make a Big Mac and getting to make my own. I was given an apron, hat and hair net just like the real staff have, it was great. I never realised how excited I'd be to be in the McDonalds kitchen. My Big Mac may not have been perfect but I got a pass which means it was good enough to be served to the public (it wasn't served though as I ate it). I did have a little help but it was still mine.

My family and I have been enjoying McDonalds for years and won't be stopping any time soon. With their restaurants evolving and changing with the times, things are only going to get better. Ordering has become easier, Service has become quicker and the taste has remained just as good as it's always been. I've really enjoyed my visit today and feel like I've really learned a lot. Seeing how the food was prepared for myself has made me feel much more positive about our future visits but next time I'll leave the Big Mac making to them.

Disclosure: I was invited to join a team of bloggers for an afternoon of behind the scene fun at a Birmingham McDonalds. This post is a sponsored post written in association with them.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Phillips New Anti-Allergen range - Making Vacuuming Easy #Review

Phillips New Anti-Allergen range.
Making Vacuuming Easy.

Phillips Anti-Allergen range is a brand new and very exciting product area for Philips and designed to make your home healthy and free from allergens, which ultimately lead to allergies, which a whopping 1 in 3 Brits suffer from. All of their new products are designed to alleviate and extract up to 99% of allergens in the home; including dust, pet hair and dust mites which lead to allergies. From a pet loving home, we're very excited about these.

There are seven new products in their range and over the past few months we have been busy testing out two of them. We've been playing with the Anti-Allergy Bagless Ultimate Vacuum Cleaner and the Anti-Allergy 2in1 Lithium Vacuum/Mop Wet & Dry- Cordless.

I've loved using both of them but I do have a clear favourite out of the two. The Anti-Allergy 2in1 Lithium Vacuum/Mop Wet & Dry- Cordless has been outstanding - I love it!

Save yourself time by combining the vacuuming and mopping. Both are tasks that I often put off so being able to do them both in one go, is pretty awesome.
This 2-in-1 wet and dry vacuum cleaner and mop quickly cleans up daily messes in one go. It's so lightweight, I carried it around the house and up and down the stairs with ease. Its one of the lightest vacuums I've ever tried.

Offering powerful wet cleaning, without compromising on cordless suction, this product can vacuum up dirt whilst cleaning stains and spillages from hard floors in your home – it's ideal for pet owners.

I have been delighted with my new toy. I've hardly put it down since it arrived. My old (heavy) vacuum has been passed on to another family member and there's been no looking back.

One of my favourite things about it, is how smoothly it moves. The joint allows it to move freely in all directions so you're not stuck just going back and forwards. I managed to fly around the kids bedrooms avoiding all the toys and misplaced objects n seconds. There;s no need to waste time picking everything up any more when you can just breeze round them (unless you actually want to clean under them that is). Vacumming was never one of my favourite chores to do at home as my vacuum was so heavy and bulky. I hardly ever did the upstairs as I just couldn't carry it up but not any more. This new cordless vacuum is so light that even I could pick it up and carry it easily upstairs. Upstairs is now clean - yay!

Next up we had the  Anti-Allergy Bagless Ultimate Vacuum Cleaner. This one is has a cord but is much more powerful than the other one. It's a little heavier but not much noisier. 

has an Energy rating of Class A and is made to help you clean your home and protect your family from allergens. This vacuum cleaner helps to reduce allergy triggers in the home through its filtration process and powerful performance levels on carpets and hard floors.

Some of it's highlights include: 

  • Ultra Clean Air with the HEPA 13 Filter. Filters the exhaust air of up to 99 per cent of allergy triggers* from cat and dog hairs to dust and pollen, helping you to manage a clean and allergen reduced home.
  • A-Class Performance on Hard Floors. Up to 100 per cent of dust is picked up. The hard floor nozzle has soft brush hairs to protect the floor against scratches, and delivers excellent dust removal in crevices and along walls.
  • Clean Floors Throughout the Home. Remove allergens settled deep into carpets and hard to reach places with the Tri-active 3-in-1 nozzle. In one go it gently opens the carpet to remove the dust deep down, sucks up larger particles and sweeps up the dust and dirt alongside furniture and walls using its two side brushes.
  • Powerful Suction Performance. To ensure an exceptional cleaning performance, our vacuum cleaners are fitted with PowerCyclone 7 technology. PowerCyclone 7 works in three steps to help you clean, contain and filter dirt and allergens from the home.No Need for a Dustbag. This no mess bagless vacuum cleaner features Nano clean technology which reduces unpleasant dust clouds when emptying your 2.2 L dust bucket; more dust settles at the bottom of the dust bucket and slides out for easy, mess-free disposal.
  • Lightweight and Easy Handling. The Philips Ultimate is lightweight (6.2 kg) and has an operating radius of 11m; ideal for large spaces and taking up/down stairs.

Again this vacuum was lightweight, not quite light enough for me to carry it up the stairs easily by myself but still much lighter than my previous one. The design is very eye catching and very easy to use. I loved the ease of use, you could push it around without any real effort. It makes vacuuming a little more enjoyable rather than being boring, hard work.

I've enjoyed testing out both of the new vacuums, each one is quite different and has it's own good and bad points. My favourite has to be the Anti-Allergy 2in1 Lithium Vacuum/Mop Wet & Dry- Cordless. It's taken my cleaning experience to a whole new level. Cleaning has never been so easy or as much fun. It's made me want to vacuum the house more often.

I'm happy to continue using my new Phillips Anti-Allergy 2in1 Lithium Vacuum/Mop Wet & Dry- Cordless for years to come I hope. Cat hairs no longer linger on my chairs. Mud no longer clings to my carpets. I'm much happier, knowing my home is healthier now.

You can check out all the Phillips Vacuum Cleaners online on their website.

Disclosure: I received my vacuum samples in return for an honest review. All the opinions expressed within it are entirely my own and 100% honest.

It's National Board Games Week - Will you be Joining In?

It's National Board Games Week - Will you be Joining In?

Families across the UK are set to battle it out to be crowned games champion as part of National Board Games Week. The UK’s leading pork pie manufacturers, Pork Farms is celebrating the nation’s favourite pastime during the first National Board Games Week, starting on April 25, and your family could win a board games bundle plus a year’s supply of Pork Farms’ pork pies by getting involved. We're happy to say, we'll be joining in.

All you and your family have to do is register at and play either one or all of the family favourite board games listed on the site. There's loads to choose from, including: Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Connect 4, Jenga, Guess Who and more.

We're going to be having our very own games night this week so we're all very much so looking forward to that. I shall hope to see lots of you joining in with the games fun too.

Disclosure: We will be receiving a game to join in with this games night promotion.

Monday, 25 April 2016

How cute is my little Storm Trooper in his brand new jacket #Review

How cute is my little Storm Trooper
 in his brand new jacket.

When I first saw the title Noisy Sauce a few weeks ago, I'd imagined a shop that sold sauces, or food or something along those lines but boy was I wrong. Noisy Sauce are actually an online shop dedicated to children's fashion. Whether you're searching for t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts or other officially licensed merchandise featuring their favourite movie, cartoon character, comic book superhero, tv show or band - Noisy Sauce has the all.

When asked if we would like to review something from their shop my little excitedly chose the Star Wars Force Awakens First Order Stormtoooper boy’s varsity jacket which I have to admit was the perfect choice for him. Ryan (aged 5) loves Star Wars but was yet to own any of their official clothing range so he was over the moon with his lovely choice.

This jacket's a classic varsity style with colour contrasting sleeves and body in grey and black, the neck, cuffs and hem come in a striped look. The jacket has grey popper detail, side pockets which are a good size, Ryan loves big pockets and was pretty impressed with the size of these. There's a cool Stormtrooper patch across the chest and the Star Wars logo can be seen in white across the bottom in an embroidered style adding to the premium look of the garment. This kids jacket offers a standard fit and finish with official branding and tags attached. Ryan was delighted, his little face lit up when he tried this on at home.

Just look at how cute he looks in his new jacket, he's so happy with it as am I. The overall quality of the jacket is really good, it's nice and thick but not too heavy, perfect for these temperamental April months. The logos are big and clear so everyone can see that it's an official Star Wars piece of clothing. The pockets are a good size which made Ryan happy and the buttons are well attached so they won't be popping off any time soon.

Ryan loves wearing his new jacket, he's worn it to school all week. I'm actually struggling to get it of him, he loves it that much. This jacket costs £19.99 which is a really good price.

There's lots of other characters other than Star Wars over on Noisy Sauce. Why not pop over and check them out for yourself. I think they should start doing adults clothing next.

Disclosure: We received our jacket sample in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and entirely my own.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Calvé Peanut butter is coming to the UK #Review

Calvé Peanut butter is coming to the UK

There are only two countries that eat more peanut butter than the USA and they are Canada and the Netherlands. The favourite Dutch brand is CalvĂ© Peanut Butter, which has an incredibly strong ‘cult’ following. In the Netherlands, many people start eating CalvĂ© as children and it will be their preferred peanut butter throughout their lives, and it is considered the national brand of peanut butter. Since production of peanut butter began in 1948, CalvĂ©’s iconic advertising campaigns have ensured that the brand has continued to be a family favourite. It is now available to the UK public for the very first time and we've so excited to say, we've got some here to try. So, what did we make of it?

CalvĂ© Peanut Butter comes in three varieties; Smooth, Crunchy and Light.

They're all pretty self explanatory really, the Smooth is smooth. The Crunchy has bits of peanuts in it to give you a crunchy texture and the Light has 30% less fat in it.

 I've always been a Crunchy fan for as long as I can remember but Daddy loves the Light option as being 33% less fat than the other two yet tasting just as good is pretty impressive. We eat peanut butter all the time in our house so we were very excited to try out this new and exciting brand. Whether it's spread on toast or put in a sandwich, we get through several tubs a week here. The taste is quite different to our usual brand but that doesn't make it bad. The flavours are very rich, it's like a very 'posh' peanut butter. 

At first I wasn't sure weather I liked it or not but after a few tries, I came to quite like it. The children were not so keen, I think it was a little too full on for them but Daddy was pretty impressed with the Light variety. He uses his peanut butter on his sandwiches instead of a sauce to add flavour and protein, whilst keeping sugar levels down as he's on a high protein diet. My favourite was the Crunchy, the peanut pieces are very small, much smaller than what I'm used too but the overall taste was very nice. Would I change from my usual brand? I don't think I would but that's just my opinion and everyone's taste buds are different.

The CalvĂ© peanut butters will soon be rolled out to UK retailers but in the meantime, the full range can be found on the Pragmatic International Holdings Amazon pages.

Disclosure: We received our Peanut Butter samples in return for an honest review.