28 September 2017

Review & Giveaway: Carlton Kids Books - Beasts, Gods and Monsters!

Our previous delivery of Carlton Kids Books in our house has gone down an absolute storm so I really couldn't say no to more. Why would I want to discourage reading for my kids after all? This months delivery saw Logan receive two new totally awesome books. One is called Gods and Monsters and the other is called The Fantastical World of Beasts. Anyone who knows my son will know that he's obsessed with mythical creatures and beings so these books have been a huge hit.

The Gods and Monsters book comes with a free pendant (talisman) so of course Logan was drawn to that first. Who doesn't like a freebie! He enthusiastically wore the pendant the first time he read the book as he was convinced it had special powers. How cute is that. He practically sped read the book to soak in as much knowledge as he could about each god and monster presented to him. This book really has a good variety to read about for example; the ancient Greeks, ancient Rome, Vikings, giants, dwarfs, the Egyptians etc. It really is an interesting book and when I sat down to read it with Logan I could feel myself getting just as interested as he was.

I think Logan's favourite monster in the book had to be Ammit, devourer of the dead, as he's totally intrigued by the underworld! The ancient Egyptians believed Ammit waited to devour the hearts of those who were judged to have led a wicked life. It had the head of a crocodile, the torso of a lion and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus. Basically all the dangerous and ferocious animals known to the Egyptians. All in all a fantastic book and one I'd highly recommend for school aged children.

The Fantastical World of Beasts book is truly amazing. The illustrations have been well thought out and you can tell a lot of work has gone into them to make this book great. Logan has seriously read this book at least 50 times already. It's his go to book at bed time now and he really enjoys it. He never gets bored of reading the stories and has even asked to go hunting for mythical creatures and beasts! It's great he's still young enough to believe in all these creatures.

Inside the book you can find tales on beasts of the earth from half humans to deadly spiders and Cerberus. There's stories on goblins, elves, water monsters, dragons, witches etc it's all fantastic and highly addictive reading. Perfect to let your child's imagination run wild!

Each book is well worth purchasing and they don't break the bank either at £8.99 for Gods and Monsters and £14.99 for The Fantastical World of Beasts. You could however win both of these books in my fab new giveaway so why not enter via the rafflecopter widget below?

23 September 2017

Disney On Ice: Passport to Adventure

It's been six months since our last Disney On Ice show so when the family and I were invited along to the new Passport to Adventure extravaganza I happily accepted. The previous two shows that we attended were just the hubby, son and I however this time I decided to tempt fate and bring miss diva chops along. I noticed at the other shows some really young children were in attendance and no one seemed to mind them jumping, racing and dancing around. I had my fingers firmly crossed that Harlow would enjoy the show and hopefully sit still sometimes!

The Passport to Adventure show was held at the Glasgow Braehead Arena (like the last show) and started at 6.30pm. It was a quick change of clothes for Logan when he got in from school and then we jumped in the car to head through. Living in Fife it can take a little while to get to Glasgow depending on traffic but I was delighted to find it only took an hour on this occasion. It meant that we were able to do some shopping and eat some dinner before the show started.

The Arena is connected to the Braehead Shopping Centre so very accessible plus ample free car parking which is very handy. After the kids had scoffed down their dinner and we had chosen a few things from Lush and Smiggle (as you do) we headed into the Arena to collect our tickets and find our seats. As with all shows there's plenty of snacks, flashy light up toys, cuddly toys and all sort of merchandise you associate with Disney at the ready to purchase. It seems to be a thing now that we purchase some kind of flashy light up device whenever we go to a show so that's what we did again. Logan was very pleased with his dragon sword and Harlow loved her Elsa snow wand.

Our seats where fab as always. We were seated in Block K Row F and had a brilliant view of the whole ice rink. Both the kids were very excited and Harlow was jumping around like crazy! When the show started though she sat down for a while to see what was going on.

There's tons of Disney characters as you well know but the show opened with It's A Small World song which was really nice. It set the right theme as a show full of adventure. Following that there was a trip to Africa to see the Lion King, then to London with Peter Pan and before you know it we were under the sea with the Little Mermaid. Of course no Disney On Ice show would be complete without our favourite sisters so Anna and Elsa from Frozen finished everything off nicely.

We all had a really lovely family evening and the kids enjoyed the show so much. Harlow sat still for all of 30 minutes but it didn't matter as you were encouraged by the characters to get up and dance which we did. I'd highly recommend visiting a Disney On Ice show if you get the chance even with young children it's a great experience.

The show is currently touring the UK with Passport to Adventure tickets still available for the Braehead Arena in Glasgow until 1st October. So if you've got a spare couple of hours then definitely purchase some tickets online and get yourself to Glasgow for some fun family times.

I was given 4 tickets to the show in return for an honest review.

21 September 2017

Review & Giveaway: Hugzzies - A Warm Hug

It's starting to come into the darker days now with more rain, chilly winds and the flu bug flying around like no ones business. I do love the cosy nights that Autumn and Winter brings but I definitely do not like the trillions of bugs and colds that normally come with it. The first people usually affected by the bugs in our house are the kids and it's hard to sometimes help them feel comfortable when they're not feeling their best. Step in Hugzzies - a cute furry friend ready to give warm hugs at a moments notice.

Hugzzies are super soft teddy bears with a microwavable lavender infused wheat bag concealed inside that hugs around the waist giving the feeling of a warm hug, for use at home or on the go. There's currently five different Hugzzies in the range which include a; cat, dog, monkey, panda and rabbit. The kids were lucky enough too receive one each to try so Logan picked Mikey the Monkey and Harlow picked Betty the Bunny.

As well as being super soft each Hugzzies has a velcro waist band which fits comfortably and securely around your child's waist to provide maximum warm hugs. The removable lavender infused microwavable wheat bag is easy to use with instructions included on the bag. Heat is often used to treat pain and the Hugzzies are a great fun way of making your child's tummy or back feel better when it's sore. Of course it can be used on arms and legs as well if so required.

Logan and Harlow both love their Hugzzies with Harlow even stealing a shot of her big brother's Mikey the Monkey when he's not looking! Logan particularly likes his as he loves the feeling of heat and how warm it is against his skin. Being autistic the Hugzzies provide a perfect sensory calming feeling for him from the pressure around the waist to the warm wheat lavender bag inside. It really is fabulous.

Now I do like a product that has more than one purpose and Hugzzies fit right into that category. When you remove the wheat bag from it's pouch the Hugzzies can then be used as a children's bum bag for storing toys and those all important travel essentials like plasters and snacks. It's a great way of giving them something to occupy themselves with when out and about.

I also love that the Hugzzies can be used cold. Just pop the wheat bag into the freezer for a few minutes and you have your very own personal cooling aid. I really am totally impressed with the Hugzzies and what an excellent present they would make for a little boy or girl. Definitely something different to give for birthday's and Christmas.

Hugzzies are very reasonably priced at just £9.99 and can be purchased directly from the Hugzzies website. You can of course win your very own Hugzzies right here on the blog by entering the rafflecopter giveaway below. It's simple and easy and takes seconds.

9 September 2017

7 Top Tips for a Fabulous Disney Party

I'd just like to confess that I'm no expert at organising kids parties but I've held a few over the years. I've done the whole do it yourself and also the pay someone else to do it for you so I like to think I've learnt a thing or two from my experiences. Sometimes though I really like the do it yourself parties but wish I had a little helping hand along the way.

That's why I was delighted to hear that the Disney Store have now launched their very own Disney Party website to help with planning, ideas and of course the all important Disney accessories for an awesome birthday bash! So to celebrate we had our own little Disney party and I thought I'd share my top tips for having a fabulous kids party of your own.

Planning Ahead
Making sure you know what you're doing in this party business is key so planning ahead can make all the difference. On the Disney Store website there is now a Disney Party Planner just for you to help ease the stress of throwing an amazing party bash. Having this planner means everything is kept in one place and you can even order up some personalised invites as well for FREE!! The invites can then either be printed or emailed to the guests. It's honestly amazing and I actually love it. I'll definitely be using this when I come to organise the kids parties at the end of this year.

Have a budget and stick to it. Parties can get way out of hand when it comes to the pennies so honestly decide what you want and what you can afford then keep it at that. Kids are honestly happy with a few balloons, cake and games so there's something out there to suit every budget. You'll be pleased to hear that the Disney Store party accessories are quite reasonable in price and definitely competitive.

You'll need to think about the number of guests you'll want to invite to your kids party as this can of course affect everything from budget, food, size of venue to what particular games you're going to play. Definitely worth thinking about as soon as you start planning.

I love love love a themed party! For my son's 4th Birthday we had a brilliant pirate theme with the cake, balloons, food, decor, bouncy castle etc all coming under the pirate look and feel. It was fantastic and my son really enjoyed it. There's just something so lovely and cool about a themed party where everything matches. The Disney Party store of course have all your themed needs met with tons of Disney characters and all the accessories you'll need to host an amazing party.

You've got your number so now you just have to decide what sort of food to go for. I like to keep it easy with things like ham or cheese sandwiches, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, crisp selection, strawberries and grapes or fruit skewers, selection of sweets, cupcakes etc. Or you could go fancy as I once had a super hero themed party for my son and did a fab Captain America Shield Platter, it went down a storm. So the world is your oyster when it comes to food ideas and the Disney party planner has plenty.

Sometimes you just need a little bit of inspiration for the games don't you. At what age do you have which games, how many should you have, how should I do pass the parcel! The choices are endless and you want to make your kids party amazing so why not check out the Disney Party Planning ideas section to figuring out what games you want at the party.

Party Bags
Last but not least the all important party bags. I've actually seen kids keep their eyes peeled for party bags and no one likes to leave without getting their hands on them. A good party bag usually has a few toys in them along with a slice of cake and some sweeties or chocolates. I like to keep it in theme normally if doing a themed party but last year wasn't a theme so I just had a random assortment of party bag fillers.

So there you go, my 7 top tips for having a fabulous Disney party. I'd love to hear if you've had any Disney parties recently and please do check out the Disney Party Planner as it's honestly amazing.

I was sent Disney party accessories from the Disney Store UK. All opinions are my own.

7 September 2017

This Month's My Pocket Money Toy Subscription Box

Another month has whizzed by and another My Pocket Money Toy subscription box has landed on our door step. Last month was a fabulous space themed box and this month was more of a mixture with fun educational toys. I tried my hardest to get an unboxing video but the kids were literally fighting over the box and it's contents so didn't look too good haha. I'm sure it's not just my kids that fight over everything! Thankfully they were both completely thrilled once again with their subscription box from My Pocket Money Toy.

So what did the kids get? First out of the box was a really cool educational jigsaw called My Body. This jigsaw is a fun shape full of interesting facts which captured Logan's attention immediately. It's recommended for ages 4-7 and suited my son well, he has a massive thirst for knowledge of any kind so putting the pieces together and reading about the body had him captivated.

Next up out of the box were two Unicorn Eggs. Yes you read that right and I know you secretly want one now. I was always fascinated with these types of toys as a child and remembered my Mum and Dad putting a pretend crocodile in the pool when we went to America, it was great. Anyway back to the unicorn eggs. The idea behind these toys is that you put them in water and they magically grow. It's also a good way to test your child patience and something you can come back to day after day for a good week or so.

The next surprise was a lovely Galt Wordsearch Pad which has 40 wordsearch puzzles to try and solve. This is perfect for doing on a rainy day or worth saving for when going on holiday. I can see Logan using this in the car on long drives down South or opened up on the tray table of an aeroplane. It's sturdy and good quality so won't fall to bits when using it.

For some time now Harlow's been asking to paint her nails like Mummy so when she saw a cute bottle of Snails child friendly nail polish she was over the moon. She received a gorgeous baby pink shade and couldn't get it open fast enough to paint on her nails. I really like the fact it's safe for little nails, is parabens free and can be washed off.

Last but not least there were of course some nice little colouring in sheets for the kids to complete. Again great for a rainy day and Harlow enjoyed colouring in hers last month so definitely handy to have.

If you haven't already subscribed to this fab subscription box for kids then you really must do it. It would make an excellent birthday or Christmas present and it's simple and easy to subscribe. You can either order a one of box or you can get a subscription for 3, 6 or 12 months. The boxes are split into age groups of 3-5, 6-7 and 8-10 years. You can also choose whether you want a boy or girl box or gender neutral which is a really nice touch.

We all can't wait to see what's in next month's box so keep you eyes peeled for our review.

I was sent a My Pocket Money Toy subscription box in return for an honest review.

5 September 2017

Our Caravan Holiday at Haggerston Castle

Last month during the school holidays I spotted an amazing deal for a weekend break to Haggerston Castle which was just too good to pass up. I literally saw the deal on Facebook Thursday afternoon, packed a suitcase and off we went Friday morning. Instead of £600 for the weekend I paid a third of this and it was well worth it. I hired the caravan through Lodge and Caravan Hire and choose The Winchester as our accommodation, and can I just say we weren't disappointed.

The Winchester is a platinum grade caravan that sleeps up to 6 (two bedrooms and a sofa bed) with lovely wrap around decking outside with table and chairs. You might think it's just like any other caravan then but it's not because this one is situated right in front of a small play park which is ideal for the kids. I'll go as far to say this totally made the holiday for the kids as Logan could make friends and Harlow could run around and play, all the while we could relax on the decking and keep an eye on them. It was perfect!

Haggerston Castle is quite a large site but it has plenty of activities and entertainment to keep you busy which means this holiday can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. There's a bigger play park just round the corner from where we stayed in the Golf Village area which will keep the kids happy for hours. There is of course a swimming pool, entertainment bar, amusements, soft play and tons of outdoor activities. Some just to name a few are horse riding, pedal boats and pedal karts, trampolining, archery, shooting etc. So much to do and see. Our favourite part had to be the amusements though and Logan loved the special virtual reality area they had above it which he spent hours (and too much pennies) in.

The weather was very kind to us when we were away considering it was a downpour back home and we made the most of it by hiring a pedal boat and pedal kart. Note for the adults - pedaling is blooming hard work! There is also plenty of places to eat out such as a fish and chip shop, burger king and the bar or you can bring your own food to the caravan or purchase from the onsite supermarket and eat in.

All in all our weekend was a fast blur which everyone enjoyed and we couldn't quite believe it when it was time to come home. We'll definitely be back again next year.

This is not a sponsored post and I didn't receive anything for writing this. We genuinely had a fab holiday and I wanted to share.

3 September 2017

Review: PURE Pet Food

We're lucky enough to have two lovely dogs as part of our family, and I don't know about your dogs but mine often become less excited about their food the more they eat it. The only time I've ever really seen them get excited over their food was when I used to make them up a raw batch of chicken wings and other meats. I did this before the toddler arrived but I found myself with less and less time to make the actual food so I ended up switching to dry kibble. As you can imagine it's not all that exciting for my two pooches and they often got fed up with it. This is were PURE comes in.

PURE are a naturally dehydrated pet food brand whish is made with nothing but fresh and raw ingredients in a human grade food facility in the UK. It's prepared with a gentle method called dehydration and means the moisture is removed from the food, locking in the nutrients and goodness whilst preserving them. I'll let PURE explain further: "Our dehydrated meats are lightly heated at around 90c, just enough to remove any harmful pathogens whilst preserving the nutrients without the need for harsh cooking processes. They are then carefully dehydrated to remove the moisture, leaving the meat you find in Pure packed with almost 300% more protein than you would find in fresh meat."

My two dogs, Lexie and Tulli, were lucky enough to receive 2x tasty 4kg boxes of dog food. When you add water to each 4kg box it actually equates to 16kgs in fresh food which is amazing. I received the Turkey Terrific which has a super sensitive recipe, great for my Lexie who has major skin problems. I also received the Chicken Dinner which is perfect for picky and sensitive dogs. Excellent for Tulli then as she sometimes turns her nose up at food.

I started out with the Turkey Terrific and I can honestly say it went down a storm! It was like I was feeding the girls raw food again. I haven't seen them get that excited about food in a long time. Inside each box you get a food scoop and a bag clip to keep the dehydrated food fresh and moisture free when not using it. There's a big list of instructions on the back of each box which looks daunting at first but after making the food a handful of times it became second nature and I didn't even need to look at the instructions. You basically use the provided scoop to measure the amount of dog food you'll need (using the guide provided). Then you add warm water (as per the guide) and stir altogether before leaving 10-15 minutes to rehydrate. Waiting was the hardest part for my girls and if you've ever heard a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cry well that's all I got for 15 minutes solid. It's well worth the wait though.

After using the food for a month I felt that Lexie's skin looked a lot healthier and she had a bit of a glow about it. She definitely looked forward to every meal time and reminded me frequently when dinner time was drawing closer. Tulli never turned her nose up at her PURE dinner either and scoffed the lot. I've never seen a cleaner bowl, it was licked spotless every time.

The price for the Turkey Terrific flavour 4kg box of food is £59.99 and it's £49.99 for the 4kg box of Chicken Dinner. I think the pricing is very reasonable and totally competitive considering these boxes rehydrated to 16kgs worth of fresh food and a bag of 15kg dry food from some brands is between £40-£50 in the pet shops.

So would I recommend this dog food? I totally would, I didn't have any issues with the girls being on the food and they really enjoyed it. In fact they loved it!

I was sent 2x 4kg boxes of PURE dog food to try in return for an honest review.
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