My Family

My Family

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Our Family Christmas 2017 and our 2018 New Year Wishes

Our Family Christmas 2017 and 
our 2018 New Year Wishes.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, where ever you man be and what ever you may have gotten up too. We had a lovely quite Christmas spent with family and friends. 

We've opened lots of lovely presents and eaten our own body weights in festive food. We've sang Christmas carols and laughed out loud a lot. We've dressed up and dressed down. We've watched many a festive movie and lazed around in new PJ's. We've played family games and pulled crackers a plenty. We've shared and given and had a merry old time.

We visited family and spent time with the ones we love and exchanged gifts with all our friends. It's been a lovely few days and we've enjoyed and the made the most of every one.

Christmas is all about the 3 F's for me: Family + Food + Fun!

This is what Christmas looks like with my family - Its all good fun!

After such a lovely Christmas, my mind now turns to what 2018 will have in store for us but I'm happy to say that I'm not looking for a 'Bigger, Better' New Year. There are a few things I would like to happen, like a bigger house which is my main wish but overall 2017 was a really good year for us as a family and another one just like that would be perfect. 

So Merry Christmas to All and here's to Wishing you a Wonderful New Year.

May 2018 be Everything YOU hope it will be and more ..

Love from me (Christine) and my Family x

The Stick Man Live at the Birmingham Town Hall #Review

The Stick Man Live at the Birmingham Town Hall

We had the pleasure of going to see The Stick Man Live at the Birmingham Town Hall yesterday morning. Lily and Ryan a lot older than most of the children there but that didn't matter to us as we all love the Stick Man story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and have grown up reading it in our home. It's such a lovely story that is know well by most young children. Although aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, it's much loved by all.

The Scamp Theater's delightful adaptation of the book was wonderful to watch. This award-winning production features a trio of top actors and is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves. There's also lots of audience interaction too which the kids loved.

The kids loved clapping along and had a good laugh out loud. We all know the story of The Stick Man very well so it was lovely to see it live like this. There's lots of special effects and live music. The actors worked so hard and were very good. They really brought the story to life and made it so enjoyable to watch. The show lasts for around one hour but it soon speeds by, like they say. Time flies when you're having fun and fun is what we all had.

Performances will be running up to three times a day from Thursday 28th December 2017 to Friday 12th January 2018. Standard tickets cost £12.50 per person but there's also a Premium ticket option available and a group discount price for 8 or more is available too. 

We had a wonderful morning watching the show and would happily recommend it to all our family and friends. If you love the book, then you'll love this Live show.

Disclosure: We were invited to see the show as guests for free but all the opinions expressed within this review are 100% our own and completely honest.

Chad Valley Cupcake Animated Unicorn #Review

Chad Valley Cupcake Animated Unicorn

Our third Chad Valley Play Panel delivery brought us a beautiful new friend to play with, Cupcake the animated Unicorn. Isn't she lovely? This magical creature comes with 2 mini cupcake treats and a brush to brush her mane. Once you've added batteries (which are not included) you press her left ear to Press left ear to hear her neigh & whinny sound, see her head move and watch her nodding head, wiggling tail & walking movements. Press her right ear to hear her neigh & whinny sound, see her head movements and watch her nodding head and wiggling tail. She also makes the cutest chewing sounds when you put the cupcakes into her mouth. When you brush her mane gently she will move her head with glee. Lily loves Unicorns and now loves her new Cupcake Unicorn friend too. She's fab!

Cupcake the Animated Unicorn had a RRP of £49.99 but she's at a new great price right now which means you can get her for just £28.99 which is an amazing price for this toy.

She's pretty and pink and looks so sweet. Lily loves her sparkly unicorn horn and magical glittery wings. Cupcake has a beautiful pink mane and tail which is great fun to brush. Those bright blue eyes are just stunning too. Lily really loves her new friend and plays with her every day. They go for walks together (in the house of course) and play together all the time.

Please note that Cupcake is not a ride on toy and is not suitable for children under 3 years of age. My 10 year old, Unicorn loving daughter Lily absolutely loves her new Unicorn friend Cupcake. No matter what you're age, I guess you're never too old to love Unicorns. Both Lily and I love Cupcake, she's a delightful toy to play with and makes Lily very happy.

 She's so lovely and really does bring a touch of magic into our home and lives.

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

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

There's some Brand New Sports-themed collectible Toys in Town - Meet #Smashers by Zuru.

There's some Brand New Sports-themed collectible Toys in Town - Meet #Smashers by Zuru.

We are delighted to be able to show you the brand new toys from Zuru called Smashers. 

Today is their big launch day here in the UK and we are so excited to be apart of it.

Zuru Smashers are a brand new sports-themed collectible toy that come in a little red ball which you have to Smash open to reveal the toy inside. There's over 100 to collect from Super Rare to Bad Sports, Game Changers to Hard Hitters. It's all very exciting and my Ryan is over the moon to be seeing these before any one else today. We were sent a giant Pinata which Ryan had to smash open this morning to reveal all the Smashers inside.

Just look at that excited little face, he was so happy wacking the Pinata, a little too happy.

Smashers are available in single packs, 3 packs and 8 packs. There's also Collectible Tins for storing them in and Buses for playing with them on. All the toys are available from today.

Prices start from £1 and range up to £19.99.

If you have sporty sons aged 4-11 then these are toys aimed at them. Do they play and/or watch sports? Do they know their footy players, cricketers and British Olympians? They will love these little toys if they do. Ryan is a huge sports fan, he loves to have a go at them all and now loves these little cuties. After opening just a few, he now wants them all.

Once you Smash them, You can Battle with them, Collect them and Store them.

Disclosure: We were sent our Smashers and a Pinata for free the purpose of this post. 
Our full review will be coming soon. 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Ultimate Bouncy Castle Experience has Come to Birmingham! Can You tame The Beast? #Review

The Ultimate Bouncy Castle Experience has Come to Birmingham! Can You tame The Beast? 

272 meters of pure adulterated bouncy fun! The Beast is the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course and it's here in Birmingham from Friday 8th to Sunday 17th of December. 

You'll find it in Birmingham's iconic NEC building along with a giant Ball Pit, Street Food stalls and a live DJ with dance floor. It's the perfect day or night out with friends. Tickets cost £20 and can be booked online or on the door subject to availability. Parking costs £5 with your Beast ticket which is £7 cheaper than the usual cost. Everyone loves a saving!

I went along today with my friend Toni to try and tame the Beast. I won't lie and say it was easy as it wasn't but I managed to finish the course and complete every obstacle along the way, so Yes, I did it! I tamed the Beast and loved every minute of it. It took us 22 minutes to complete which was pretty good going as we did struggle to get over the obstacle walls. 

You can only go round once but believe me, once was enough. It was really fun but very tiring. I could have used a nice lie down once I'd finished but instead I opted for a sit down in their Giant Ball Pit. The balls were nice and cold and a great way to cool down afterwards.

There's several Street Food stalls where you can grab something nice to eat and a fantastic Cocktail Van too which serves up some great cocktails, I went for the Woo Woo which was yum! There's hot dogs, burgers and fries from the American stall. Ice Creams, sweets and other Desserts from another and Crepes from the next. I had some yummy Skin On Fries which cost £3 but were a really great sized portion. Way too many for me to eat them all.

I had a fantastic afternoon today at The Beast and would definatley go again. The atmosphere was electric and the music is playing loudly throughout the room. People were dancing and having fun every where I looked. It was so much fun, it was like taking part in the Pat Sharpe's 80's Fun House Show that I used to watch when I was growing up. It was every child's dream bouncy castle, only for adults and not children. It was so great to have something aimed at the adults for a change, I mean, why should the kids have all the fun. 

The Beast is here in Birmingham until Sunday December 17th so if you're around, you should so go and have a try. It's tough but not too tough that you won't be able to do it.

It's all about having fun and that's what I had today - so much fun!

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Making Bath Times Fun with Baby Born and her Interactive Bathtub with Foam #Review

Making Bath Times Fun with Baby Born and 
her Interactive Bathtub with Foam.

Bath times aren't always fun times for little ones. We have those times when they don't want to  get in and then we have those times when they don't want to get out. It's all fun and games in our house. My youngest two aren't too bad now that they're a bit older but my teen, well she's another story. Lily, my 10 year old likes baths but always wants to be doing something else instead so when I heard about Baby Born and her new interactive Bath Time range, I though they were worth a shot to make bath times more fun for Lily and her dolls.

Baby Born is one of Lily's favourite dolls and often shares her bath times as she's got a hard body but now she doesn't have to as she's got her very own bath tub and Wash Basin.

 The BABY Born Interactive Bathtub with Foam Play set is so lovely. There's lots of little features with this tub including a new foam feature which is the button on the right that you press or pump which makes bubbles. The hand held shower head really works too when you press the button on the right. There's also another button on the side of the bath that starts the LED lights and sounds. Baby Born's bath time has never been so much fun.

 Baby Born also gets her own rubber duckie which is cute. She looks like she's having the best bath time ever! I kinda wish I had a bath like this one for myself, it's that cool.

The BABY Born Water Fun Wash Basin is another great little toy. Not quite as fun as the bath but still lovely. It's a fully working vanity basin with a real water pump, it has cute lights and sounds too. The mirror lights up and the Baby Born tune plays out loud. There's a tumbler holder which holds her tooth brush and makes gargle and teeth cleaning sounds. The set includes a towel, towel holder, tumbler, toothbrush and duck plug. I think Baby Born really loves her ducks just like my Lily does which is a nice thing to have in common.

Lily loves her new Baby Born bath and often takes it into her baths now so they can both bath together. Bath times has got a whole lot more fun and we have Baby Born to thank.

Disclosure: We received our Baby Born Bath time range samples for free for the purpose of this review. All pictures and opinions expressed and used are 100% honest and our own.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Birmingham #Review

Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Birmingham 

This afternoon I took my children to Wonderland to meet Alice and her charming friends at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham. The show takes the classic Lewis Carroll tale and makes it very modern and fun. The costumes are lovely and the story is just magical. Both my children and my Mum had a great time. We did enjoy the second half slightly more as the audience had more audience interaction. There was lots of singing and clapping along and dancing too. As the show went on, the audience seemed to get lost in the magic and cheered and booed out loud at some points. It was very enjoyable, like a Christmas Panto.

The famous Tea party scene was lots of fun and had my children singing along and tapping their feet. The Old Rep Theatre is quite small but the staging was all very well thought out and the set was lovely. It's only a small cast but everyone played their parts wonderfully.

Alice In Wonderland is running right up until December 30th and we would definatley recommend going along to see it. Tickets cost just £16.50 for Adults and £13.80 for children but Family Tickets and Group offers are also available. For the price, it's a great show.

After the show we were lucky enough to meet some of the cast and boy were my children happy about that. The Mad Hatter lifted my boy up in the air and laughed together, it was lovely. I think Alice was quite taken with my Ryan too, as she stopped to speak with him.

It was really nice to see a new story based on an old classic. There were some parts from the book but there was also lots of new parts that made it lots of fun to watch. We loved the energy levels and excitement which ran throughout the show. The Queen of Hearts played a great Baddy and Alice an even better Goody. No theatre sow would be complete with them.

We've had such a wonderful afternoon in Wonderland today. We only wish we could have taken you all with us. If you're in Birmingham this month, go see it - it's fantastic!

Disclosure: We were invited to attend the show for the purpose of the review.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Jet2holidays launches the “Ultimate School Trip” Nationwide Competition.

Jet2holidays launches the “Ultimate School Trip” 
Nationwide Competition.

Jet2holidays have launched a nationwide competition where schools can win places on the Ultimate School Trip and there's some good news for you, it launches today! The inspiration behind it comes from research which showed schoolchildren wanted 10 holidays a year and all of their school friends to go with them. They wanted it, so Jet2holidays have granted it!

From today, schools across the UK are in with the chance of winning a place for an entire class of 9-13 year olds on the Ultimate School Trip with Jet2holidays. In total a whopping 9 classes and their teachers will spend a long weekend on Friday April 20th - Sunday April 22nd 2017 at the Sol Katmandu Park & Resort with celebrity hosts, Dick and Dom. 

The trip will include a VIP send off at the airport, a welcome dinner with celebrity guests and the ultimate school disco and show. It's an amazing prize! 

Dick and Dom will be on the road with Jet2holidays helping to promote the competition over the next fortnight as they travel across the UK on their UK roadshow. There will be 9 stops:

  1. Wednesday 15th November Manchester (Warrington and Preston)
  2. Thursday 16th November Leeds Bradford (Knaresborough and Leeds
  3. Monday 20th November         London (Dagenham)
  4. Tuesday 21st November         Birmingham 
  5. Wednesday 22nd November Glasgow (Paisley)
  6. Thursday 23rd November Edinburgh (Kirkcaldy)
  7. Friday 24th November         Newcastle and Boldon
  8. Monday 27th November         East Midlands (Derby and Leicester)
  9. Wednesday 29th November Belfast

More details can be found at

To enter, pupils are challenged to use their imaginations to produce their own promotional piece for the Sol Katamandu Park & Resort. It can be anything from a poster, a poem, a video or a song. What they come up with, is entirely up to them. It's a nice chance to have some fun with their friends and maybe even win the trip of a lifetime. It's very exciting.

The judges, who include Dick and Dom, will shortlist five schools in each of Jet2holidays’ nine airport regions which will then go to a public vote. The final nine class winners will then be announced on Tuesday 13th March but all of the 45 shortlisted schools will receive £1,000 worth of school equipment vouchers which is an amazing runners up prize. 

My 10 year old daughter is very excited to get involved with her class. Will your child be entering? It's a lovely chance for your children to win the Ultimate School Trip.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Christmas Competition: #Win £75 of Argos Vouchers

Christmas Competition: #Win £75 of Argos Vouchers 

Christmas is Coming and I want to help. 

Today I am launching our 2nd Argos Giveaway with thanks to Chad Valley and the fatastic Play Panel that we are apart of.  There is another £75 Argos voucher to be won by one of you lucky readers. I love giving away prizes before Christmas, it's so festive and fun.

It's nice and easy to enter using the RaffleCopter Form below. There are several ways to enter but please do feel free to do as many or as few of the entries as you choose but remember, the more you do, the more chances you have of winning. It's very exciting!

Terms and Conditions: The Giveaway will end in 17 days time on the 17th of December. 1 winner will be drawn at random using RaffleCopter from all the correctly made entries and contacted by email within 3 days of it ending. Open to the UK Only I'm afraid. Good Luck.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Magical lantern Festival Birmingham #Review

Magical lantern Festival Birmingham

Last Thursday I went along to the pre - opening of the Magical Lantern Festival Birmingham in Kings Heath Park. It's set to run from 24th Nov 2017 right up until 1st Jan 2018 so there's plenty of time for you to go along and see the pretty lights for yourselves.

This year's Christmas themed Lantern Festival will illuminate the park turning it into a spectacular fusion of dual culture, vibrant colors, and artistic sculptures! It's a magical experience where you'll discover life-size lanterns in all shapes and designs. You'll see  a 'Gingerbread House' and a magnificent giant lantern recreation of the iconic 'Birmingham Central Library'. My favourites were the Pink Flamingos and cute Frogs down by the lake, they were beautiful so make sure you don't miss them out if you go, it's easily done.

The festival is not just beautiful hand-sculpted lanterns though as there is an entertainment area with street food stalls and drinks area. There's a lovely little Cadburys Hot Chocolate stand which was very popular. There is a Santa's Grotto but this will cost you an extra £10 per child (includes gift) There are a handful of fairground rides for children and a merchandise marquee where visitors can buy a souvenirs of their experience to take home.

 Tickets cost:

Adults: Weekday £12 (In Advance) £14 (On the Day)
Adults: Weekend £13.50 (In Advance) £15.50 (On the Day)
Booking Fees will Apply.

Children: Aged 4 -15 Years: Weekday £8 (In Advance) £10 (On the Day)
Children: Aged 4 -15 Years: Weekend £9.50 (In Advance) £11.50 (On the Day)
Booking Fees will Apply.

Children under 3 are free and Family Tickets and Group Tickets are available.

If you love pretty lights and giant lanterns then you will love this. I had a nice time but I wasn't sure if it's worth the price that's charged as it only covers entry. Once inside the rides and refreshments all need to be paid extra for. I bought an Ostrich Burger with Jack Daniel onions from one of the stalls which cost me £6, that gives you an idea of the prices.

It's very cold out at night here in Birmingham so please do wrap up warm, I wore a nice big coat and a woolly hat and was nice and warm. There's nothing worse than being cold when you're trying to enjoy yourself. I don't tend to take my children out on night time events because of the cold but there was lots of children there who were loving the displays. It's a family friendly place to visit and suitable for all ages. There are walkways laid down so you won't have to walk on the muddy grass which is a nice idea as they also show you the way.

The Magical Lantern Festival Birmingham will be in Kings Heath Park right up until January 1st 2018 but if you're not in Birmingham, then why not check out their website to find out if there's one near to you. There's one in London, Manchester, Scotland and Yorkshire.

Disclosure: I was invited and given free entry to this event in return for an honest review.