My Family

My Family

Friday, 24 August 2018

ZURU’s New X-Shot Swarm Blaster #Review

ZURU’s New X-Shot Swarm Blaster #Review

The new X-Shot Swarm Blaster from ZURU is bug-tastic fun. 

The Flying Bug Attack range includes two awesome sets, a single and a double. The single pack which is what we've been playing with comes complete with a Swarm Blaster, a motorised footpad launcher, two flying bugs, a dart clip and 12 reusable foam darts. It has everything you'll need for a bug-tastic time. The X-Shot Flying Bugs Attack will cost you £19.99 and is available from all major retailers. It's a pretty decent price for what you get.

It's all really easy to use and great fun to play with. It's perfect for playing outside come rain or shine. You load the foam darts into the auto-sliding side clip, place the flying bugs onto the motorised launcher, press down to release them into the air, take aim  -  and FIRE!

The Swarm Blaster is great for shooting those pesky bugs which go really high once released from the motorised launcher. I was surprised at just how far they actually went. The bugs are great flyers and do go really far when launched so you'll need lots of space when playing with them. We may have lost a few darts up on the roof when playing in the back garden as it's a little smaller than we'd like but that's OK as we're taking it on holiday with us next week where there'll be lots of open space outside for the kids to play with this in.

Ryan loves shooting toys so as you can imagine, he loves playing with this. He loves this set as it combines shooting darts out of a cool looking blaster with the challenge of moving targets in the form of the flying bugs, which makes game play a whole lot more fun.

Disclosure: We received our X Shot Swarm Blaster in return for an honest review.

Inflata Nation Birmingham - The Inflatable Theme Park that Opens Tomorrow!

Inflata Nation Birmingham - 
The Inflatable Theme Park that Opens Tomorrow! 

Last night we went along to the pre launch event of Birmingham's newest attraction. Inflata Nation Birmingham is a brand new inflatable theme park that opens to the public tomorrow! We were amongst the first people to see inside and I have to say, it's pretty impressive. Located in Unit E of the Stechford Retail Park, it's nice and easy to find and has ample parking for your visit. Inside the unit, you'll find a giant inflatable theme park with gigantic slides and Gladiator style games and the biggest ball pit I've ever been in before.

This place is what my childhood dreams were made of, a room filled with giant inflatables that children and adults could play on. Everyone loves a bouncy castle so what's not to love about a whole room filled with them. The kids were so excited when they walked in the room. Their little faces lit up with excitement, they were bouncing of the walls before they'd even got started. It wasn't only the children who were excited though, as daddy and I were pretty stoked. It even managed to get my teen excited and that takes some pretty hard doing these days but with a room that looked as fun as this one did, we couldn't help it.

Inflata Drop - Try this jaw dropping inflatable slide and land in a giant ball pool. 

Inflata Dual - A wibbly wobbly gladiator duel platform. 

Prices for your first hour of play cost £5.95 for under 4's and £9.95 for anyone older.

Spectators are FREE of charge!  

The prices are quite expensive but after having such an amazing time, I'm inclined in thinking, it's kind of worth the costs for a family treat every now and again. 

You can add an additional hour at the cost of £3.00 for under 4's and £7.00 for everyone else but that's where costs start to build up. I think I would have liked it if the prices were for an hour and a half as the cafe there served some great burgers and other treats which you wouldn't really get enough time to enjoy if you only had 1 hour to play, rest, eat and drink.

There's a lovely cafe area with lots of tables and chairs for you to relax on in between playing and there's even an upstairs seating area which has a great view over the arena. 

Days out that excite the whole family are hard to come by these days but Inflatanation managed it last night. Each one of us had such a fantastic time and loved having some good old fun together. We battled it out in the Gladiator game, Played the human version of Hungry Hippos and took turns racing each other through the inflatable assault courses. We screamed sliding down slides, climbed walls and swam through a pit of balls which I loved.

Inflata Duo - A giant dual lane drop slide, that you can enjoy with friends.

Inflata Wall - Take on the wall and you'll be scaling our giant inflatable climbing wall.

Inflatanation opens to the public from tomorrow, Saturday August 25th and is well worth a visit or two. It's probably best to book online in advance to save time on your visit and to make sure you get the time slot that you'd like. I can see this place getting really busy once the word gets out. They also cater for parties which each of my children now want. I can't really blame them though as I'd want a birthday party here too if I was there age. Heck, I still want one now at this age. This place has a kind of magic of making you forget how old you are. I think I happily bounced around for hours last night without a care in the world. I must admit, I am feeling it a little this morning though, I think the magic must have worn off - ouch.

If you love bouncy castles and inflatable fun, then this place is defo for you!

You can find it at, Unit E Stechford Retail Park, Flaxley Parkway, Stechford, Birmingham, B33 9AN.

Disclosure: We were invited to the pre launch event as guests. I've written this review of my own free will. All the photographs and opinions within it are 100% honest and all our own.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Cookhouse and Pub Oldbury - Kids eat for £1 from Monday-Thursday, 3:30 - 5:30 pm #Review

Cookhouse and Pub Oldbury - Kids eat for £1 from Monday-Thursday, 3:30 - 5:30 pm

Today we took the family out for a meal at the The Cookhouse and Pub Oldbury which sits back little from the round on the Wolverhampton Road but is still easy to find. It's a nice large place with ample parking and a lovely outside seating area for lovely days like today. 

We'd heard about their 'Kids eat for £1' offer and just had to check them out. With fresh new contemporary interiors it's got a really inviting, friendly atmosphere. There's an open plan kitchen, the Cookhouse and Pub is quickly establishing itself as Oldbury’s go-to destination for dining and drinking. The staff were all lovely, and couldn't do enough for us today. Everyone was smiling and chatting and generally being friendly. It looked like a great family place and we all felt very comfortable eating there. It was very chilled out and relaxing.

The Kids eat for £1 offer is available Monday to Thursday between 3.30 and 5.30 pm. For every adult meal you purchase, you can get your child's two course meal for just £1 which is really great value and perfect for the Summer Holidays where we're all trying to save a few pennies. There was plenty of choice on the Kids Menu and I have to say that the kids and I were pretty impressed today. They had everything from Hotdogs to Burgers, Cod Cubes to Popping Chicken. It was nice to see so much choice for the kids today, they were spoilt.

On the table, there were kids activity packs with a pot of crayons that kept the kids busy for ages. They had great fun doing the puzzles, colouring and making the puzzle it tuned in to. 

After a tough choice choosing from the Menu, Lily went for the Burger, Chips and Corn whilst Ryan went for the Cod Cubes, Chips and Garlic Bread. Each dish came with two sides but the kids could swap and change both of them to make their meal just the way they wanted it. I thought that was a really nice touch as it sure made Dinner time for my fussy eaters so much better. Each of them got the dinner they wanted and so enjoyed very much.

For Starters they both had the Garlic Bread with Cucumber sticks which was lovely and fresh. It was served cooked just right and so warm. It was delicious and they both loved it.

The portion sizes were more than plentiful, both Lily and Ryan had loads to eat.

Lily's burger was served on a wholemeal bun which was a nice healthy touch. 

Ryan has lots of Popping Chicken so he was happy.

For an extra 75 pence they could add a dessert which always goes down well with my two.

Lily had a Funny Face Sundae which was a nice sweet treat to end her meal with.

Ryan who's a little fussier with his desserts went for the mini doughnuts with chocolate beans and chocolate sauce. He loved that it came separate so he could eat what he liked. 

The kids meals were really good, both kids were full up and happy by the end of them.

The Adult meals were just as good, we were all served our meals nice and hot and each one was delicious. We had no problems today at all, everything was great and we had such a nice time. We were in the restaurant for more than and hour and a half and never felt rushed at any time. We were able to sit back and relax and enjoy our time spent there.

We enjoyed a real mixture of foods today. Let me show you some of our highlights.

The Grazers were fantastic, we chose three different ones to share. The Garlic Flatbread with Cheese was surprising as it was much bigger than I'd thought it would be and tasted great. Each one was delicious and very moreish but the Flatbread was the winner for us.

The Garlic Flatbread with Cheese Grazer was so big - more than enough to share.

The Sweet Potato Fries and Calamari Grazers were both delicious too.

The Mains were great, each one served up a good size and none of us went hungry. I went for the Beer Battered Chicken Burger which was delicious. It was cooked really well and was brimming with flavours. It was nice to see a good portion of chips served with it too.

Daddy went for an Upgraded Mixed Grill which looked fab. It was cooked just to his liking (Medium) and went down a treat. I didn't hear daddy moan once and believe me if it wasn't great, he would have. He can be quite fussy at times so it was nice to see him enjoying it.

After all the food we'd eaten, there wasn't much room left for adult desserts but we didn't wanna let the side down so opted for some smaller versions which came served with your choice of tea or coffee. I'm glad we did in the end as my Lemon Mouse was fantastic.

Daddy went for a Cappuccino and a Mini Mud Cake which looked so good.

I went for the Mini Lemon Mouse with a Tradition cup of Tea.

Both were great, the nicest end to a family meal, we've had in a while.

At the end of a meal, no one really looks forward to getting the bill but boy was we in for a lovely surprise today. The bills at Cookhouse and Pub come with a little twist to make you smile. Your bill is served up with a shot glass full of mini treats which surprised us in a really nice way. We'd never been so pleased to receive a bill in a restaurant before. The kids were delighted, it was the perfect end to our visit today. We entered the restaurant not knowing what to expect but we left happy, relaxed and smiling. We had such a lovely afternoon.

If you're looking for some where friendly to eat this summer, why not check them out if you have one near by to where you live. I only wish we'd lived closer so we can go back soon.

Disclosure: We were invited to receive a complimentary meal in return for an honest review.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Project Mc2 Ultimate Spy Bag #Review

Project Mc2 Ultimate Spy Bag Review

Back in April of this year we reviewed the Project Mc2 A.D.I.S.N. Journal - Where Smart is the New Cool which Lily loved. Loved so much in fact that we decided to review another of their fab toys. This week we've been checking out the Project Mc2 Ultimate Spy Bag which is the Ultimate Spy Bag – as worn by culinary chemist Adrienne Attoms in the Netflix show. 

Lily was over the moon when this arrived as she's always wanted to be a detective. She's forever hiding her belongings and locking her things away to keep them 'safe' from her little brother and now with the help of this exciting kit, she can. The bag itself is really cute, pink in colour and so pretty with its silver coloured carry strap too. From the outside it looks like any other bag but the inside tells a completely different story as it opens up to reveal a forensic fingerprinting kit. The bag contains an air blower disguised as a perfume bottle, a magnifying glass hidden in a make-up compact, a torch hidden in a nail polish bottle, test tubes, secret messages and much more. It's every little girls detective dream come true.

The Project Mc2 Ultimate Spy Bag is aimed at children aged 6 years and above, retails at £39.99 and is available from Smyths, Argos and all good independent toy retailers. Lily has been having great fun playing detective all afternoon. She's been searching for fingerprints all over the house. Her main aim from now on is too see if anyone has touched her phone. 

She's now on a mission to collect all the fingerprints she can find to record on her fingerprint record cards. She already has mine and her little brothers stored for future reference. 

Lily loves this set, I think it would have definitely been on her Christmas List this year.

Lily's favourite things about this bag are:

The secret message launcher that looks like a lipstick. She's been having great fun writing secret message for me and then firing them over the back of the sofa to me all afternoon. She did start off by firing them at her little brother but she soon got bored of that when he ran away and it wouldn't shoot them that far. I got several messages of 'Hello Mummy' which was very sweet and I was just happy that it had managed to keep her quiet for a little while.

The fingerprint dust, she's amazed herself learning all about how to dust for fingerprints and even more so on how to remove them and store them with the simple use of sellotape. 

The bag contains several beakers, test tubes and a really cool booklet filled with secret agent experiments for her to have a go out. There's one with lemonade and baking soda which sounds like lots of fun. We haven't done it just yet as I've got to stock up on the baking soda first, oops. Until then, she's having fun just reading all about them. Lily's gonna love her Science lessons when she goes into Year 7 this September, those were the days.

Lily loves the Project Mc2 Ultimate Spy Bag. She's had great fun playing with it so far and is looking forward to more fun once we have the ingredients she needs for her experiments.

Disclosure: We received our Project Mc2 Ultimate Spy Bag in return for an honest review. All pictures and opinions expressed are 100% ours and completely honest.

Hotel Transylvania Toys #Review

Hotel Transylvania Toys Review

You may have heard about the latest Hotel Transylvania Movie, Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation. My kids and I loved all the movies, each one is just as comical as the last. You'll often hear the sounds of a 'Blah Blah Blah' every now and then which is a famous line of Count Dracula's in the second movie. My little boy just loves to randomly shout it out.

If your kids are big fans of Hotel Transylvania like my lots are then you'll be really excited to hear all about their brand new toy range brought to you by Jazwares and now available in Smyths stores as well as other big toy sellers on the high streets. We're got three different toys from within the range to show you today. My kids were so excited, see how we got on.

First up is the Hotel Transylvania Ghostly Goodnight Mavis' Room Playset which retails at £19.99. It's one of three sets that are available and comes with 8 pieces to play with. This one is Mavis's bedroom which is perfect for little Mavis fans. It includes lots of bedroom props as well as her bed which is a coffin that can be opened and closed with a magic key.

There's also a secret collectable hidden inside the coffin bed for you to unveil. You place your key in the side of the coffin and it pops open revealing what's hiding inside for you.
We found a Rare Bat Mavis inside ours which the kids were delighted with. 

 It's a really lovely little set and the kids are enjoying playing with it. The Mavis character doll is also really lovely, she has movable limbs and removable clothes which adds to her fun. You can take her little shoes off when she's ready for bed and pop them back on in the morning. Lily loves the Mavis Doll, I think that's she's one of her favourite characters of all.

Next up, we have the Hotel Transylvania 4 Figure Multipack Assortment which retails at £12.99. It's a set of 4 10 cm figures made up of  Mavis and family and friends. They're all moulded with 9 points of articulation and someof them have removable clothing items.

Figure sets are always great fun as you can play with them pretty much any where. You can play with them at home, on the go or even in the bath. Figures are always a nice way to let your child's imagination run free and these ones are no different. they're well painted and look just like the real characters from the movie which is always a good point as no one wants figures that look nothing like the people they're supposed too I guess. We've been playing with them using our play set as they do make a great addition to your play.

Last but not least we have my favourite, the Hotel Transylvania 3 - Monster Mayhem Series 1 Mystery Packs. Each box contains a magic key to open it and a mystery collectable inside.

 We were lucky enough to be sent 4 of them to unwrap and enjoy. They retail at £3.99 each which makes them the perfect 'pocket money' toy for children wishing to collect them.

Out of all three toys, the bling boxes were the most exciting. The kids loves opening them up to see what was hiding inside and were delighted with the characters that they found. 

They now want to collect them all so I know what they'll be buying with their pocket money next. The great thing about these is that the boxes are re usable and great for keeping your new collectables safe inside. With over 60 different characters to collect, it may take us a while. I also like that the boxes come in both green and purple making them suitable for both boys and girls which is always nice. Both my son and daughter love these little boxes now.

 We've had great fun playing with our Hotel Transylvania Toys and now can't wait to collect some more over the next few months. Both Lily and Ryan love Hotel Transylvania and are more than happy with the toys too. I wonder what collectables we'll collect next.

Disclosure: We received our Hotel Transylvania Toys in return for an honest review. All pictures and opinions expressed within this review are 100% ours and completely honest.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

PAW Patrol Live - The Great Pirate Adventure at Arena Birmingham #Review

PAW Patrol Live - The Great Pirate Adventure 
at Arena Birmingham.

Yesterday we headed off to the Arena Birmingham to watch the brand new PAW Patrol Live - The Great Pirate Adventure. My little man used to love PAW Patrol, it was one of his favourite shows to watch when he was growing up. He's outgrown it a little now he's 8 but he was more than happy to go along to see the live show. I surprised him by bringing some of his school friends along which made our day even more special. Everyone was so excited to see each other and enjoy a fun filled live action show together. Our youngest guest was 5 so he was more suited to the show, age wise but I think once it began, they all enjoyed it. We had great seats with a lovely view and the kids loved waving the Pirate Flags they'd be given as we made our way to our seats. Every time they shouted 'Pirate Parrot' they waved their flags in the air. It was very pantomime style but the kids loved joining in every time.

PAW Patrol Live - The Great Pirate Adventure follows the exciting story of Pirate Day in Adventure Bay and how Mayor Goodway is getting ready for their big celebration! The show wouldn't be exciting without a Pup Rescue so Ryder and his team of pups had to rescue Captain Turbot from a mysterious cavern. As they do, they discover a secret pirate treasure map which is the main theme of the show. The PAW Patrol set out on their adventure to find the hidden treasure for Mayor Goodway’s celebration before the naughty Mayor Humdinger finds it first. It's a great story filled with music and songs. The characters costumes are so great, it was a really nice show to watch and we even got to meet the newest pup - Tracker!

The show tour started in Edinburgh back in July and will continue to move around the country for the rest of this month and into the first week of September. The tour is still yet to visit the following venues on the following dates in case you'd like to go to one of the shows.

Cardiff Motor Point Arena - Wed 22 Aug
London The SSE Arena, Wembley - Sat 25 - Sun 26 Aug
Leeds First Direct Arena - Wed 29 Aug
Bournemouth International Centre - Sat 1 - Sun 2 Sep
Brighton, Brighton Centre - Sat 8 - Sun 9 Sep

Tickets prices start from just £15.00 plus booking fee. Family tickets are available and Infants under 1 can go free when sitting on their parents lap (no ticket required).

All persons 1 year and over must purchase a ticket.

We enjoyed the show and would happily recommend it to any PAW patrol fans. My boy was a little over the age of most children there but he enjoyed watching and taking part. Being a bit older meant he could sit still and watch the show and actually enjoy what was going on.

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