My Family

My Family

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Wedding Planning Update - It's a Waiting Game

Wedding Planning Update - It's a Waiting Game

With less than 6 months until the big day, there is so much I should be doing right now but as you're all aware, things have changed recently so our plans have been put on pause. A few weeks ago, I found myself in a major panic and was worrying about what would happen to our wedding day but now that I've had time to stop, think and process it all, I'm a lot calmer about the whole situation. I think, mainly, I've realised, it's kind of out of my control.

There's lots of talk online about what will be open, and what won't. What things 'could' be like and what restrictions could be set in place when it comes to wedding ceremonies. I'm not worried about these things as what will be, will be. As long as I get to marry the man of my dreams on our date, that's all that matters to me. I thought 'd wanted the big party and the huge celebration but after thinking about it all, does that really matter? Yes, of course I would love for my family and friends to still be able to join us but I'm preparing myself for the worst case scenario which was just allowing 6 people before we were all put in lockdown. 

Numbers wise, I'm not that worried but Money wise, I am!. I've already paid out thousands of pounds in deposits which I really don't want to lose. If my Venue reopens and says that my wedding reception can't go ahead, I'm hoping I may get my money back but there are no guarantees so we'll just have to wait and see. My biggest worry is that the venue will say our party can go ahead but we'll have to half our numbers and get rid of the social elements of the party that I love. What if we can't dance together? Or we can't sit and chat together? For me, those things are the whole point and if I can't do those things, then I'd rather cancel.

It's a huge waiting game for us and many other couples who are sadly finding themselves in this situation right now. I guess only time will tell what is going to happen for our big day. Inside my head, the best case scenario is that we'll go ahead with a smaller number of guests and make the most of our day whilst my worst case scenario is that we'll go ahead with the wedding ceremony with just our kids and won't bother with the reception at all.

Either way, I already have my dress and my shoes which I will get married in and we have lots of party things already booked and paid for which we can just get sent to our home to enjoy. I mean, I'm not planning on wasting my sweet cart and doughnut tower, am I?

I'll keep you updated if anything changes so watch this space . .

Sunday, 26 April 2020

#WIN an Ideal Games Bundle & Make Staying Inside More Fun.

WIN an Ideal Games Bundle & 
Make Staying Inside More Fun.

Seeing as staying in is the new going out lately, we've been checking out some games from Ideal / John Adams Toys to help keep you entertained. Not only did we receive a lovely bundle of games to play, but there's also another bundle of the same games for one of you.

The bundle consists of 4 games in total; Shake Off (SSP £19.99) 7ate9 (SSp £12.99)
Clock It (SSP 24.99) and Think Words (SSP £19.99) It's a nice selection of games to play.

Our favourite game out of the four is Shake Off which is a fun, energetic game, where you have to move around to get the highest number of movements to win. Spin the spinner included to see where you and your opponent will have to wear your Shake o meters and how you have to shake. The spinner shows you where you'll have to clip your Shake o meter onto your body… It will either be your arm, leg, waist or bum. You then set the timer to either 15 or 30 seconds, press start and prepare to shake. It's really funny to watch them frantically shake to see if they can get a higher score than their opponent. This game is made for 2 players at a time and is a great game for keeping them moving whilst at home.

Next up we have 7ate9 which is a quick thinking, fast playing card game using numbers and maths. It's a mental maths challenge made for 2 to 4 players. This one's a little crazier as there's no turns in this game, as players race to get rid of their cards first by finding cards with numbers they can correctly lay. It's fast but fun game that the kids liked playing it a lot.

Our next game is Clock It where you have to 'say, mime or draw' in a race against time.

You need to describe what's on the card without saying the actual name of it out loud. You can put your doodle skills to the test and draw what card the clock lights up or have a go at miming it to the other players. It's a frantic race against the clock to see how many cards you can get before the alarm rings. It includes 3 play modes and is suitable for 2 or more players. This one got a little crazy at times but it was a fun game to have a play with.

Last but no means least is Think Words which is another quick thinking letter pressing game where you have to Name It, Press It and Pass It! This game takes seconds to learn but gives hours of play and it's great fun for all the family. You get 10 seconds to say a word that matches the category and press down the matching letter on the Think Words wheel. You then press and reset the timer, then pass to the next player who must say another word starting with one of the remaining letters. If you can’t think of a word in time, then you’re out for that round. The last player left wins the round. It's suitable for children 7 years and over and playable for between 2 and 8 players making it a great group game for the family. 

We've had lots of fun playing our new Reveal Games but now it's time to tell you how to enter to win your very own bundle. To WIN - Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entry options as you like. It's completely up to you how many you do but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. 1 lucky winner will be chosen at random after it closes on Sunday 24th May  - Open to the UK.

Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter App. 
This Giveaway is only open to the UK. The giveaways ends on Sunday 24th May x

Disclosure: I received my bundle of Ideal Games in return for an honest review of them.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Great Games for Keeping the Kids Entertained at Home by TOMY #Review

Great Games for Keeping the Kids 
Entertained at Home by TOMY 

We're now into week 5 of staying at home and getting into a pretty good routine of playing indoors. We've been so lucky over the past few weeks to have so many great games to play to keep us entertained. I don't know what we would do without them, they've been amazing.

Over the past week or so we've been playing some great games from TOMY as they kindly sent us some games to play. We have three games; LOGO What Am I?, Rapidough and Articulate! For Kids. Each one is a great game to play for a nice family fun filled afternoon.

Articulate! For Kids is the next game in the Articulate! family, designed for kids. It’s the fast talking description board game where players have to describe as many card entries as possible to their teammates in 30 seconds without saying “rhymes with” or “sounds like. It can be played alone or with the main Articulate! game to form a family version for all to play!

It's RRP is £19.99 and it's suitable for 4-20 players, for age 6+ to 12 years.

It's an easy game to play with minimum set up required. It's fast paced but lots of fun. I like that it's a real team building game as you'll need to work together to win. Playing this, and having to work together without even knowing, they'll be a dream team before they know it. 

Being in a team also means that there won't be a single Loser of the game which in turn, means there won't be any solo tears. At least the losing pair can be losers together. Ha.

Rapidough: the game where, if you guess too slow - you lose some dough! 

It's a team game of sculpting charades. Each turn the team sculptors must create the entry shown on their card. The first team to guess what their sculptor is making wins the round. 

But there’s a twist, as the winning team gets to take a ‘plug’ of dough from the losing teams dough. The result is quite funny as the losing teams end up with a pea sized piece of dough.  It's a fun and competitive way to keep children entertained during these times. It's RRP is £27.99 and it's suitable for 4+ players at a time and it's aimed at children 8+ years.

This game will be perfect for parties as it's a real feel good, group game. We enjoyed playing it but feel it would be better if we had a few more people to join in. At least we have four of us here so we could have two teams of two. Play dough is always fun to play with so the kids enjoyed playing with it to make the fun things they needed to make during the game. Something's are quite tricky to make but that all adds to the fun of playing it, I guess.

LOGO What Am I? is the “no questions” board game version of LOGO. The aim of the game is to describe, draw and guess the brands and products shown on the cards. Then the first person to reach the centre of the board wins. The logos and products shown on the playing cards will be recognised by all ages, making LOGO What Am I the perfect game for families. It's RRP is £24.99 and it's suitable for 2-6 players, aged 8+ years and over. 

The game is so easy to play and only takes a few seconds to set up which I really like. Each player throws a dice to move around the board, drawing and describing what they see on their card for others to guess. It's silly and funny, a real light hearted game to play together. 

We've enjoyed playing all three of our TOMY games this week and are so grateful for them right now. Staying at home has been much easier and so much more enjoyable with these great games to keep us busy. Playing a game sure beats watching the TV all day long.

What's your favourite TOMY game to play at home?

Disclosure: We received our TOMY games for free in return for an honest review.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Enjoying some Indoor Fun with Wicked #Review

Enjoying some Indoor Fun with Wicked Review

This week we've been playing with Wicked; a fun, young toy company whose focus is now on trying to get kids (and adults) away from their phones and tablets, and help keep them active both inside and out in the garden (if they have one). It's so important during this strange time of household isolation that we keep active and keep fit as and when we can.

We were sent three of their best sellers to have a play with: 

Wicked Indoor Booma - Perfect for tricks throws and catches with their indoor returning boomerang. It's quite tricky to get the hang of, we haven't quite mastered it yet but we're having lots of fun trying. We only have a narrow garden so we're having to be very careful with it otherwise it's going to end up going over one of the neighbours fences - oops.

It's Features:

Guaranteed Return Flight

Soft and safe, easy to throw and catch

Full throwing instructions included

Made from ‘Memorang’ polymer

Can be ‘tuned’ for different flights

Fun for all ages

Flight range 15-20 metres

Available in blue, red and yellow

RRP £8

Wicked UKick - Not allowed to play football inside the house? Then why not practice your keepy ups safely in the house with the UKick. Voted Best New Toy at London Toy Fair, UKick is tipped to be the biggest playground craze of the year. It fuses elements of badminton and street football. The aim of the game is to keep the UKick off the ground for as long as you can. You can use your hands or your feet and play alone or with friends.

We absolutely love this. It's our favourite toy out of the three we've been playing with. Ryan's been playing with it on his own, he loves counting how many times he can hit it up in the air without it touching the floor. His highest record so far, as of this morning, was 11 which is pretty good for a 9 year old but my highest score so far is 16 (yes I had a go too).

The UKick is a great way of keeping active and exercising whilst having fun.

It's Features: 

Improves hand-eye coordination

Fun, original way to keep fit

Feathers and pro discs are fully customisable

Adjust the amount of pro discs to up the skill level

Set to be the biggest playground craze of the year

Ages 6+

RRP: £8

Wicked Mega Jump - Keep fit with this ball bearing jump rope, with a fully adjustable rope so that any age can use it. Everyone loves skipping so a new skipping rope was always welcome here in our house. Ryan loves to skip so this went down really well with him.

This rope is great whether you're a complete beginner or an advanced level jump roper. It's  super smooth rotation is key, that's why Mega Jump has high quality ball bearing axles for super silky smooth spins. The rope first needs to be the correct length for the jumper so they've made it super easy to adjust the length to suit each person. Just take of the cap on the end, remove the clip inside and cut the rope to size you require, it's that simple. 

It's a fun skipping rope suitable for all children and adults alike.

It's Features:

300cm rope length

Ball-bearing axle

Quick rope release mechanism

Available in blue or red handles with yellow rope

YouTube tutorials teach you how to do cool jump rope tricks

RRP: £8

That's three very different toys for you to think about, each costing just £8 each, that will keep your children both active and happy whilst you're all staying safe at home over the next few weeks. We've had lots of fun playing with them this week and will continue to do so for a good while more to come. As long as the sun keeps shining, then we'll keep playing.

All these toys and many more are available on the Wicked Website for home delivery.

Disclosure: We received our Toys for free in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Colouring Eggs & Hunting them too. We're Having a Happy #HARIBOEaster

Colouring Eggs & Hunting them too. 
We're Having a Happy #HARIBOEaster

During these challenging times, many of us are in need of a way to lift our spirits. So when HARIBO set me a challenge to deliver as many moments of childlike happiness as
possible this Easter, I was over the moon and just had to say YES! For me, when you think of 'childlike happiness' I automatically think about colouring in so our first task for this Easter weekend was colouring in our Easter Eggs. I printed off some pre drawn eggs from the internet which is free to do, and then challenged the children to a colouring in competition. Winner was to get a HARIBO prize, everyone was so excited and got to it.

Seeing as I was the judge, I couldn't really choose myself as the winner, that wouldn't have been very fair, so instead I declared them both Joint Winners! And Yes, I know I took the easy way out but we're all at home together right now so I'm trying to avoid confrontations. 

The Prize - a mini packet of HARIBO Eggs Galore.

Now that they’d had a small taste of how yummy HARIBO’s new treats really were … it was time to set up the main event – the Easter Egg Hunt. I popped outside when they wasn't looking and spread the mini packets all over the garden for them to find. They were hidden in flower pots and under the slide. Behind the playhouse and on top of the trampoline. There was lots of packets for them to find as the big bag contains a whopping 30 mini bags. 

There's definitely no shortage of sweet treats in our house right now. Yum!

I was thinking of setting up a really exciting Treasure Hunt with whitty clues and everything but unfortunately my children aren't that accommodating and just wanted to run around like crazy children until they'd found them all. That was their idea of 'fun' so who was I to argue.

As well as hiding the mini bags, I hid two of HARIBO's larger friends to find too. Whilst Chick 'n' Mix hid happily in the hedges,Bunny hung out quite happily on the swing but not for long. 
They were soon snapped up by my rather over excited children, who even though they are 9 and 13 now, are never too old for a good old fashioned garden Easter egg hunt. There was so much childlike happiness in our back garden this weekend and it was so lovely to see.

We've always loved HARIBO and their treats but I think we love them even more now. 

We've had such a lovely Easter weekend with our HARIBO treats but it doesn't end there as we're planning to continue enjoying as many childlike moments of fun as we possibly can over the next few weeks. Whether it's by colouring in, playing a game or simply being silly.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter whatever you got up to.

Disclosure: This post is a paid partnership with HARIBO.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Getting Creative at Home with ColourMazing #Review

Getting Creative at Home with ColourMazing

If your children are anything like mine, and they love to colour then ColourMazing is going to be right up your street. Seeing as 'Staying In' is the new 'Going Out', we've been looking for lots of new ways to get more creative at home. This weekend we've been playing with ColourMazing from John Adams and have to say, it's actually been really fun. 

ColourMazing is a new, innovative and exciting way to colour in. You squeeze your pens to spread the ink, blend the colours seamlessly together and watch as the ink magically stops at the lines. It's a totally different way of coloring in from the usual way we're used too.

We've been playing two of the ColourMazing sets this weekend. The ColourMazing 3D Garden Friends and the ColourMazing 3D Jungle Adventures. I gave the Garden Friends set to Lily and the Jungle Adventures to Ryan, both were very pleased with their sets. 

With the Jungle Adventure you can make a pop up monkey scene, create a flying bird with wings that flap, make your own theatre show with finger puppets, plus a beautiful jungle mobile. ColourMazing is a great way to keep children entertained at home as a fun activity.  

Each set includes four craft activities to decorate and make, as well as six magic ink pens.

Ryan loved colouring in his puppet but he found it quite difficult to get the right amount of squeeze on the pens to make them work best. We found if you squeezed them too hard, the ink would splodge out too fast making the ink go over the lines but if you didn't squeeze it hard enough, nothing would come out at all, so it took a little practice to find out how they work best. Our Monkey may not be the neatest little Monkey, but he's our Monkey and we love him. He's like a special Super Monkey with a bright and colourful Superhero Mask.

The ColourMazing 3D Garden Friends set lets you watch your secret garden grow right in front of your eyes. The butterflies flutter to make your own theatre show with the finger puppets and you get to make the beautiful garden for them to live in too. Lily really liked it.

The set includes four craft activities to decorate and make, as well as six magic ink pens.

Lily loves to colour in so had great fun giving these a go. They're a little tricky to get used too but once you've got the hang of the pens, and the right amount of squeeze, it's really easy and lots of fun to do. There's several things to make so it's a nice activity to keep them going for a while. Lily has been happily colouring and creating all afternoon, and a happy Lily means a happy Mummy. I have to admit, I've even had a little go with these myself.

Again, the end results may not be perfect but we were happy with them.

ColourMazing are adorable and make for a nice relaxing and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon or two at home. They're really nice creative sets that are suitable for children aged 6 years and over that don't make any mess and are nice and easy to use. They don't need any parental help or guidance and will keep the children entertained and happy for hours.

They're available from Argos, Amazon, Smyths, Very and Toymaster.

Disclosure: We received out ColourMazing samples for free in return for an honest review.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

#WIN a Retro Sweets Hamper

#WIN a Retro Sweets Hamper 

Hi everyone, I hope you're all well. Sadly I can't get hold of my usual Cadbury prizes right now so I've found something a little different to give away this month, I hope you don't mind.

This Month there's a rather fun looking, Retro Sweets Hamper to be won. It may vary slightly from the one shown in the picture, depending on availability given our current situation but it will be worth the same value and be very close to the shown contents above.

To WIN - Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entry options as you like. It's completely up to you how many you do but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. 1 lucky winner will be chosen at random after it closes on Thursday April 30th  - Open to the UK Only - Good Luck xox

This is not a sponsored Giveaway - The Prize is paid for by myself.

Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter App. 
This Giveaway is only open to the UK. The giveaways ends on Thursday April 30th x

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Entertaining the Kids at Home with Spin Master #Review

Entertaining the Kids at Home with Spin Master 

We’re all facing some extraordinary times as we stay at home with our families to protect ourselves. I am very lucky that we're all here at home together right now for the next few weeks, could be months. So whilst we're all at home we're going to be looking for easy ways to keep our kids happy and engaged while we stay indoors. We're going to need some engaging toys that help create challenges, take time to complete, and offer a sense of achievement – or toys that simply keep stress levels down. All of these right now are ideal!  

Spin Master has a number of toys available that fit the bill, from Meccano through to Cool Maker art and craft sets and Kinetic Sand. They have plenty of creative toys to keep your kids busy whilst they’re home from school. We've been playing with a few of them this week.

The Meccano Dinosaurs are for children aged 8 years and over may require a little help from an adult if they're on the younger side of the recommendation. Ryan is 9 and found this quite hard so we had to build it together and even doing it together, took us around 3 hours.

The Meccano 10 Model Set, Dinosaurs comes with 179 Parts, 2 Real Tools and 1 Instruction Sheet. Meccano sets encourage kids to learn about STEM skills while having fun at the same time which is great. This set is definitely one to help pass some time in your day at the moment and great for spending time with your children. It's a real, working together kind of activity that can bring you closer to your kids which can only be a good thing.

Ryan absolutely loved making his Meccano Dinosaur but if I'm very honest, me on the other other hand, didn't find it quite so enjoyable as it was quite fiddly at times and hard to make, but we did it and he so was so happy with it which made it all worth while in the end.

Online Stockist details include: Amazon, Argos, Smyths and The Entertainer.

After spending several hours building with my boy, it was time to get creative with my girl. 

The Cool Maker KumiKreator 2 in 1 Necklace and Friendship Bracelet Maker makes it fun, quick and easy to create cute, stylish and intricate Kumi bracelets and necklaces. Lily and I enjoyed making some pretty bracelets together and Lily loved being able to wear them all.

The DIY kit includes 60 spools of colourful string and everything you need to make up to five Kumi bracelets and two necklaces. You get to select a bracelet or necklace pattern from the design books included or create your own, it's up to you. Next, you choose from five different colours of string, load the ready to use spools into the machine following your design and spin to create. We used the Youtube Video suggested inside the box to watch how to set it all up which was very helpful. Turning the handle of the machine makes the spools dance around the machine, magically weaving your braid together in minutes. 

When your bracelet or necklace is finished braiding, you simply remove it from the machine and customise it with a stylish clasp – no knots are needed which is really great to know.

The bracelets so easy to make and very pretty:

Lily's made two cute bracelets so far, one for her brother and one for herself. It's kept her quiet and very happy for ages which is a rare thing to happen in our house as she's not really into toys anymore. Being 13 is that age where they'd much rather look at their phones instead of playing with toys but not this week. Lily has really enjoyed making her bracelets.

You might have seen our Candylocks Review which I posted earlier this week, the sweet smelling dolls with easy to style hair - well, they're available from Spin Master too.

Spin Master have some really great toys available to keep your kids happy and entertained whilst we're all staying at home to stay safe during this unprecedented time in our lives.

Disclosure: We received our Spin Master toys for free in return for an honest review.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Candylocks Dolls and Candylocks Pets are So Sweet #Review

Candylocks Dolls and Candylocks Pets are So Sweet

Candy Locks from Spin Master are adorable scented collectable dolls with hair so soft that it looks and feels just like cotton candy! Available in a range of packages, girls will love their cute special features and ability to style their long, sweet smelling, gorgeous flowing locks! 

The Candylocks Doll and Pet set costs £12.99 and is aimed at children aged 5+ 

The Candylocks scented collectible dolls and pets with matching hair that's super soft so that it looks just like cotton candy. This 2 Pack of beachy besties includes one 3 inch tropical themed Candylocks Doll and her adorable pet BFF! With 15 inches of ombré hair wrapped around the doll and long colourful hair wrapped around the pet, both are hidden inside the pack for a lovely surprise. When you open up the packaging and unwrap the hair to reveal your Summer Pop Party Candylocks besties! With a matching tropical treats theme, a bright and summery outfit on your doll and colourful graphics on your pet, they’re both ready for some long awaited fun in the sun. With delicious scents like mango, peach, lemon and more, every Candylocks duo smells as sweet as they look and they really do smell good.

Meet our new besties, Posie Peach and Fin-Chilla. Aren't they adorable?

The unique texture of Candylocks’ extra long hair makes it easy for kids to work with by hand, without any hair styling tools. It holds its shape well and doesn’t come apart. Ypu can easily create handmade braids and buns, twists and ponytails, the hairstyle possibilities are endless. Inside each Doll and Pet 2 Pack, you’ll also discover two dual purpose accessories, including a transforming hair accessory that becomes a pet bowl or water dish when you flip it over which is such a cute idea. There are 8 Candylocks Doll and Pet sets to collect (each sold separately). Lily loves her new cute besties, they're so pretty.

Candylocks Pets cost £4.99 and are again recommended for children aged 5+ 

Simply unwrap and open up the watermelon pet bed to discover your secret pet waiting inside. Pull your cutie out and unwrap its hair to reveal your Summer Pop Party Candylocks Pet. You'll find  super cute unicorns, lovely llamas, delicious dogs, cute cats, fun foxes and more (each sold separately) There are over 20 Candylocks Pets to collect (including one ultra-rare!) each one comes with a different scent, fun name and tropical treats theme. These loveable pets are bright and summery, with adorable details that match their theme.

 Meet our new Candlocks Pet - Hailey the Hamster. She's totally adorable.

With delicious scents like pineapple, peach, lime and more, the Candylocks Pets all smell as sweet as they look. The texture of the Candylocks Pets extra long hair makes it easy for kids to work with by hand, without any hair styling tools. It holds its shape and doesn’t come apart. You can easily create braids and buns, twists, ponytails and more. Inside the packaging, you’ll also discover a surprise hair accessory to add to all of your fabulous hairstyles. You can play with your new friend inside the pet bed or close it up to take it with you on the go. For even more hair play fun, add the Candylocks Dolls to your collection. Collect all of the Candylocks Pets and get ready for a Summer Pop Party! 

Lly really loves the Candlocks dolls and pets as their hair smells so good and is really fun to plait and style. Being so thick it stays in place much better than normal dolls hair does too.

Disclosure: We received our Candlocks Doll and Pet for free in return for an honest review.