16 May 2019

Review: Nine 2 Nothing Card Game

The family and I love a good card game and with travelling quite a lot we like to take them with us to keep occupied on our journeys or when the kids get a bit bored. The brilliant new Nine 2 Nothing Card Game is right up our street. Invented by Summer, a 7 year old girl, whilst bored on a family holiday it had an immediate effect and everyone by the pool started playing it! Its gripping, simple to learn and fun to play. We took it on our recent holiday with us and even when the kids were away at the clubs us adults had fun with a game or two.

So how do you play the game? Well the clue is in the name. Each card is numbered from a 9 to a 0 and the first player to get rid of their cards wins. It’s simple but oh so hard to do and keeps you on the edge of your seat. You basically shuffle the deck, deal each player 9 cards face down, place the rest of the cards in a draw pile face down and turn over the top card and place it next to the pile so it starts you off.

Play starts with the player to the right of the dealer and you’ve got to work your way down from 9 to 0. So, if the first card is a 7 then the next player must lay down a 6, they can put down as many or few 6’s as they have in their hand. If they don’t have a 6 then they pick up from the middle. Unless they have a wild card which they can use in place of the 6 – they must use this to replace it with! If they pick up a 6 from the draw pile, it can’t be placed down until their next turn. Then once a 6 has been placed, it’s the next persons go to lay down a 5. This continues until you get to 0, then you start back at 9 again.

If the draw pile runs out of cards – you flip them over (without shuffling) and carry on the game. There are 2 wild cards that can be used as any number. If you can go, i.e have the next Number or a wild card, then you must go. The winner is the first person to lay down all their cards. It really is a fun game and you can see the pace picking up with anticipation as the game continues. It’s great and so easy for the kids and us adults to enjoy without faffing on instructions or tricky rules.

Summer is also very kind and always thinking of others and from the moment her dad said “we should make this game to sell”, Summer decided she wanted to give back, so for every pack bought they will donate another one to a charity or school giving more opportunities for children and families to sit down and enjoy some quality time together playing a fun family game. I think that’s such a lovely kind thing to do for others and Summer definitely has a good head on her. Well done Summer.

The Nine 2 Nothing Card Game is designed for ages 5+ years and for 2+ players. It retails at £8.99 and since it’s a pack of cards it’s very handy for taking on your travels. We’ve had it whilst glamping or on our recent flight and it’s perfect to pass the time and interact with the kids whilst having fun. It’ll definitely be a staple in our travel bags for future trips. I'd highly recommend as we loved it.

I was gifted this game in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

14 May 2019

5 Star Luxury at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife

At the start of this year I made a conscious effort to try and book in as many holidays as possible for myself and the family. We love travelling and a bit of adventure so getting away from the front door is a must if we can. Whilst browsing the Jet 2 holidays website I came across the lovely Hard Rock Hotel, and after much reading and researching decided to book as it looked ace. And I'm honestly so glad I did.

The Hard Rock in Tenerife is a massive 5 star luxury hotel with lots to offer. They have an amazing kids club which is open 9am to 9pm. Four different pools (kids pool, normal pool, adults only and beach club), a teen room full of Xboxes/ Playstations/ VR etc and a lovely play park right outside the kids club complete with sand pit and accessories. They even have floats for the pools which the hotel provide, think giant unicorns and flamingos!! It really is brilliant.

The Beach Club pool was one of our favourites. It was heated for starters, had an artificial beach with giant pillows to relax on, DJ booth with fab music being played and some aqua aerobics to keep you fit. We spent a lot of time here as a family enjoying ourselves. It's such a chilled hotel as well, nothing is too much trouble for the staff and they were all great with the kids.

I booked us in for Half Board and it was worth it to be honest. Plenty of choice for breakfast although the restaurant was always a bit mental past 9am. Breakfast was until 11am so you had plenty of time in the mornings. The dinner buffet was lovely as well, especially great for meat eaters and seafood lovers. The husband would eat all the meat and I would eat all the seafood. Happy as Larry. They had a little buffet for the kids too so they were quite happy.

Outside of the hotel there are a few shops and restaurants so plenty of places to get food if you choose only bed and breakfast. I did half board as it just makes life easier with kids sometimes. There are also a few other a la carte restaurants onsite at the Hard Rock and if you're half board they give you a supplement of 30 euro off per adult and 15 euro off per child so plenty of options.

We loved our stay that much we hardly ventured far from the hotel. However Siam Park is 20 minutes down the road in a taxi and we visited the Jungle Park zoo which was only 25 minutes in a taxi and cost around 20 euros so it was fine. The kids had a great time and everyone really enjoyed themselves.

If you have any questions on our stay at the Hard Rock Hotel do feel free to message me as happy to answer them as best I can.

13 May 2019

Treat Your Dad on Father's Day with Moonpig

Father's Day in the UK this year is on Sunday 16th June, so not that far away really. To help you get your thinking caps on and get some ideas formulated for your old man, I've put together a little gift guide from the lovely moonpig website. I spent last Saturday celebrating Father's Day with them and got to take my Dad along for the fun. It was an ace day and we made some fab personalised cards which I'd highly recommend.

Anyway, have a read on below to see some of my top moonpig Father's Day picks which will be sure to put a smile on your Dad's face next month.

Personalised Cards
Let's start with a lovely personalised card. I don't mind normal shop bought cards but there's something so lovely about a personalised one. It feels like you've put more effort into it and taken the time to tell your dad how you really feel. There's even cards on moonpig from the dog! How brilliant is that.

Little Tipple
My Dad likes a little dram now and again so this personalised whisky is perfect for him. It's a blended whisky and you can personalise the label with your chosen name and message. I think it's a great gift to give and hopefully it'll last a wee while.

Cheese Please
I do love a good cheese hamper and so does my Dad. This one from moonpig looks delicious and a perfect set for all the cheese lovers out there. Included in this set is; Founders Stone Merlot 187ml, Ploughmans Chutney 125g, Scarlett & Mustard Red Onion Marmalade 125g and Miller's Elements Earth 100g.

Balloon Treat
Nothing says thank you more than when it's written on a balloon. Moonpig have a handful of balloons for amazing Dads and I think it's a great way to show your appreciation. My Dad would love it.

Smelling Fresh
My Dad travels a lot with his work so this nice wash bag and accessories would be perfect for him to take on his travels. Included in this set is: 1x Body Wash 75ml, 1x Face Wash 75ml, 1x Aftershave Balm 75ml, 1x Moisturiser 75ml and 1 x cotton black face cloth.

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.

2 May 2019

Monkeying Around with Go Ape

The other half and I had a child free day to ourselves last weekend so we popped along to Go Ape for a bit of fun in the tree tops. We headed up to Aberfoyle near Stirling which is Scotland’s first Tree Top Challenge. This high ropes course is situated in the stunning scenery of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. I’ve been to Go Ape a few times before, one was team building with work, but that was years ago. It was nice to go back and try it out again and see if I could take the leap of faith, like Tarzan, into the giant net!

Go Ape in Aberfoyle is definitely a zip wire lovers paradise. It is one of the best high rope courses in Scotland (not forgetting the other Scottish courses near Aberdeen and Edinburgh!) and is home to two of the longest zips in the UK. You'll fly the distance of around four football pitches (over 400 metres!) at heights of up to 46 metres above the ground. It really is something you have to experience first hand. I know swinging from the trees might not be everyone’s ideal child free activity but it was actually so much fun. I always think it’s a great bonding experience as you have a good laugh and a good chat as you’re working your way through the different challenges as they present themselves.

There are a few restrictions you’ll need to take note of before you book yourself in though. You must be a minimum age of 10, over 1.4 metres in height (4ft 7”) and weigh no more than 20.5 stone. Children aged 10-15 years must be supervised by an adult 18+ years. Children of 16 and 17 are allowed to supervise themselves. If you are taking kids between 10-15 years it’s one adult to two children in this age bracket. All of these details are on the website for you to look over which is very handy.

As well as the lovely zip wires there is of course the aerial obstacles and crossings through the trees. You can pick which routes you wish to tackle with handy difficulty ratings on each one which are easy to identify. We tried to go for the most difficult routes to challenge ourselves but it was good to know that if we got tired there were easier routes too. We loved jumping into the big net near the end of the course. A lot of people avoided this though because it does feel like you're falling. As long as you've done everything from the safety briefing you'll be totally fine. It was a strange but lovely feeling when you get over the fear!

Do be prepared for Go Ape before you turn up on the day by wearing sensible footwear which is sturdy and suitable for outdoors. I wore trainers which was fine as it was dry. If it was a bit rainy I would have been better with walking type shoes. Also wear sensible clothes and ones you don’t mind getting dirty. When you land from a few of the zip wires you will fall into the wood bark and you will get dirty. If you have long hair tie it back and it’s probably a good idea to wear gloves as your hands can get a wee bit sore grabbing at all the ropes.

The hubby and I really did have lots of fun though. It was brilliant laughing at each other as we tried to cross the different obstacles ha ha. It’s £33 for an adult and £25 for a child however if you book far enough in advanced there’s always a wee discount or two online for you to take advantage of. Well worth a look anyway. It was a really good fun day out and my muscles were aching afterwards. The course can take between 2-3 hours but take your time and move at your own pace going round. It’s nice to stop and take it all in sometimes.

I was gifted this experience in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

30 April 2019

Review: NEW Eldrador Creatures by Schleich

When you hear the word Schleich you think of good quality children’s toys which are strikingly beautiful whilst being so robust that they’re made to last. The new Eldrador creatures being added to the current collection fit right into that category nicely. My son was lucky enough to be sent 4 of these brilliant mythical beasts to review and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on them. Aimed at ages 7-12 years old these figures are perfect for collecting or playing with.

As with all the fabulous Schleich creations there’s a wonderful back story to ignite the imagination. It seems to be all about the Super Weapon in Eldrador and all the creatures want to posses its power. Here’s the tale so far: “From the four worlds of Eldrador, the lava world has managed to get hold of the super weapon. This provides the hot-headed creatures with an evil power that they can use to rule the other worlds of water, stone and ice. Only by seizing the super weapon can the others manage to save their own worlds. But this is not so easy! The weapon is stuck in lava rock deep inside the lava world and is being watched over by the red-hot fire lion! So they can possess this power themselves and put a stop to the lava world, the best and strongest warriors from the water, stone and ice worlds are entering the battle to regain their worlds. A fiery pursuit of the super weapon ignites – and grips all of Eldrador. The frost monster – not generally a fan of hot temperatures – is the first to make it into the depths of the lava temple. Will he manage to knock the fire lion out cold?”

How exciting does that sound! My son read this himself and was buzzing to get the creatures he was sent out of the box. So what did he receive? Well he got a Fire Bull (£9.99), an Ice Spider (9.99), a Battle Crab with Weapon (£14.99) and an Armoured Turtle with Weapon. All four of these creatures are brand new to the Eldrador world as well as the Lava Scorpion and Ice Griffin. So 6 new beasts to get your hands on. As you can imagine the attention to detail on these figures is second to none. They really have been well made and they’re a great size for small hands. I feel they’re quite sturdy and my son found them easy to move around and act out his epic battle for the super weapon.

Each of these creatures has a lovely description to give your child an idea of where they live and what their personalities would be like. For example the Ice Spider can be found in the labyrinthine caves of the ice world where it awaits it’s victims. One bite from the spider is enough to put opponents on ice for a very long time. If the spider ever finds itself surrounded, it keeps a cool head: with its eight eyes, it can keep multiple opponents in view simultaneously and defend itself against them. Schleich also provide a fun fact which is just fab. Did you know that is the Ice Spider spins its webs too quickly, it gets its legs tangled up. That puts it in an even worse temper! Love it.

The Ice Spider and Fire Bull are fixed figures meaning they cannot move however the Battle Crab and Armoured Turtle have some manoeuvrability which is great for battles.  The Battle Crab has a fully rotating upper body with movable wrist and arms. It also means you can swap the weapon into the opposite hand. The Armoured Turtle has moveable arms and wrists and the weapon can be swapped too.

So what did we think of these new Eldrador creatures? Well my son loved them and I was pretty impressed with them too. They’re fantastic for children with active imaginations and who love the world of myths and legends. I would have absolutely loved to receive these as a child myself and so I can see how they really do appeal to inquisitive minds. My son has already been scouting out the other figures in the range and reading up on what they do. I think he’ll be adding a few to his birthday wish list.

You can find the Schleich Eldrador Creatures from a wide variety of retailers including Smyths Toys.

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.

22 April 2019

Review: Carlton Books - The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer's Guide & Take A Stand!

This month Logan received two lovely books from Carlton Books to review. The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer's Guide and Take A Stand! Both are fabulous books but the Pokemon one takes me back to my youth. When I was in primary school is when my obsession with Pokemon began. I remember a friend showing me the game on his gameboy and I was hooked. My interest gradually faded when at high school however I still have all of my Pokemon collection and it was great to sit and read this book together with Logan.

The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer's Guide is packed full of fun and interesting information as well as stats for every Pokemon.It's an unofficial guide but well worth a purchase for those Pokemon fans in your house. Inside you'll find Pokemon reviews, toys, card games, movies, facts and tips. It has every single 800+ Pokemon including strengths, weaknesses and combat stats. It's a fabulous Pokemon encyclopedia.

This book has 64 pages of Pokemon magic and retails at £7.99. Logan loved his copy. He's read it cover to cover several times and it sits proudly in his bookcase. He loved reading about the Pokemon games and asking me if I had played them. When I told him I still had some his little eyes lit up. His favourite part of the book had to be the Pokemon stats. He made me google each Pokemon so he could see more and was intrigued by their evolution stages. Honestly a lovely book to have in your collection.

Take A Stand! is another brilliant book. It's an inspirational fill-in book about your heroes and you. This gorgeously illustrated keepsake book will help young modern rebels find their inner hero. It's full of quotes and stories from the likes of Spartacus, Gandhi and Stephen Hawking to JK Rowling and Anne Frank. Young readers can find out what their heroes would do in a range of challenging every day situations such as peer pressure, bullying, anxiety, school work and more. It really is a great read.

I love the fact that this book has lots of sections for your child to fill in as well. It has areas to reflect on each situation and how they might react. Places to write about family and friends as well as a lovely calendar at the back. It'll definitely keep your child occupied for a while and it's a book they can go back to constantly. Like a sort of reflection diary.

This book has 80 fantastic pages and retails for £8.99. Logan really enjoyed reading about all the heroes stories. He found Spartacus particularly fascinating and how his fellow soldiers and friends protected him by not handing him over to the Romans. I found this book a fascinating read myself, I always think every day is a school day so it's lovely to learn some new facts.

Both books would make excellent gifts and I'm sure the recipient would be very happy to receive one. Do check out the Carlton Books website for more information and other brilliant books.

I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

19 April 2019

Giveaway: Wallace & Gromit’s Musical Marvels Tour Coming Soon!


THE musical event of 2019 is coming! In May and June 2019, Carrot Productions will tour Wallace & Gromit’s Musical Marvels across the UK. I don't know about you but my kids personally love a bit of Wallace & Gromit, in fact we watched some on CBBC the other day. A Close Shave I think it was called. It takes me back to the episodes I used to watch as a kid. It's a classic that never really gets old no matter what your age.

So if you love a bit of Wallace & Gromit, like my family do, then be sure to join everyone’s favourite dynamic duo as Wallace prepares to perform his musical masterpiece My Concerto in Ee Lad with help from his faithful canine companion Gromit…what could possibly go wrong?! This fabulous interactive experience features specially created animations as well as live orchestral accompaniment and escapades from the Picture House Orchestra and presenter Matthew Sharp. And if that wasn’t enough, for the first time ever, you can also enjoy the Academy Award® winning Wallace & Gromit film The Wrong Trousers with live orchestral accompaniment. It’s set to be a grand day out for the whole family!

I honestly can't wait to tell Logan about this as he'll be so excited for the show. I don't think he's ever seen a show with a live orchestral accompaniment so it'll be a brilliant new experience for him. We're popping along to the show at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 8th June but there's also performances in Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool and many more. Check out their website for more details and helpful information.

Luckily for you lot as well you could be in with a chance of winning your very own family ticket to see the show in a location of your choice! Yes, any location you choose (excluding Beaconsfield premiere on 15 May and anything marked as Schools Only). Could be Leicester, London, Birmingham or Edinburgh like me. Simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.


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