Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Review: Sylvanian Famillies Christmas Set

Rosie, aged 3 (very almost 4!) absolutely adores Sylvanian Famillies. Since we agreed to be involved in reviewing these toys, she is absolutely over the moon when the package lands on the mat. She really loves playing with them, either with Alice or alone. She is quite the independent player - when Alice is in school in the mornings she tends to potter about with her toys, dressing/undressing them, feeding them and putting them to bed. She names them and does their voices - it is really lovely to see her play.

We were recently sent the Sylvanian Families Christmas Set to try out. Needless to say, Rosie was more than willing to get involved.

The set includes rabbit in a Christmas dress, a snowman, a christmas tree with decorations and flat pack boxes to make presents, with stickers and accessories. This little set is a perfect Christmas scene - and one that can be played with over and over again. Sylvanian Families always have lots of attention to detail and this is something that Rosie definitely appreciates.

Rosie decorating the Christmas tree

The Sylvanian Families Christmas Set price starts from £19.99 and would make an excellent present. If you would like to keep up to date with Sylvanian Families including details of their latest ranges do check out their Twitter page. 

Rosie loves her Christmas set

Disclosure: We were sent this Sylvanian Families Christmas set free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are our own.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review: Michael Rosen, Bear Hunt Experience, Liverpool

We are big Michael Rosen fans. I remember our drama teacher in primary school reading The Chocolate Cake and I remember thinking how amazing it was. Warren has Michael Rosen books that are literally thirty years old on the kids' bookshelf. So, as you can imagine, we were delighted to be asked to attend the launch of Michael Rosen's Going on a Bear Hunt experience.

The exhibition promises to be a look inside Michael Rosen's mind and is in a purpose-built installation in Liverpool One. The launch was in Waterstones where we were served champagne and of course, lots of yummy chocolate cake!

Maybe the most exciting thing for us was the fact that Michael Rosen himself was going to be at the launch. We are massive fans and we wanted to get our books signed by the man himself. At the opening, Michael said a few words about the importance of reading, of books and creating for our children. We then grabbed him to sign our books. It was great and he was lovely.

The exhibition itself is a walk through Michael Rosen's mind. Inside you will find Michael Rosen's house, his school, and of course a wood where you can actually go on a bear hunt! I will let the pictures show you what you might find!

Overall I would say that this a is a great exhibition for fans of Michael Rosen. There was a real sense of family history in the installation and perhaps a sense of where the ideas come from, the imagination and the lived experience that is all around us. The kids had a brilliant time, we really enjoyed this.

Disclosure: We were invited to the launch event and to the exhibition free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are our own.

Review: Yard and Coop, Liverpool

We love eating out as a family. Now that the kids are a little bit bigger we can try and take them to places that we might not have dared take them a few years ago! It's not that our girls are badly behaved, but children are children - they get restless and that can sort of kill the mood in a relaxed restaurant environment! However, now they are 13, 5 and 3, we find that they are much more chilled out and better suited to new and exciting restaurants.

Yard and Coop is one of those restaurants. Situated in the heart of Liverpool on Hannover Street, Yard and Coop promises yummy buttermilk-fried chicken. We weren't disappointed!

As it was the launch night, there was live music on and a photo-booth. We had a lot of fun in the photo booth, as you can see from the photographs!

The menu is varied and offers a lot of different chicken-based dishes. I also loved that they offered a haloumi version of each dish - great for veggies or non-chicken fans!

Amazeballs washed down with a little beer!

The kids menu was also perfect for us - three different dishes, we chose chicken and chips for the kids and safe to say that they ate theirs all up. We ordered BBQ chicken wings as a started - these were delicious - and we also tried the "Amazeballs" - sweetcorn balls with a chilli dip - these were amazing and definitely deserved the label "amazeballs."

As you can see from the pictures, the food was well presented and actually really yummy. Emily had a smoothie for her dessert, the kids had ice cream as part of their meal and myself and Warren were too stuffed to fit in anything else!

Overall, we really enjoyed this restaurant. The bill came to around £60 for the five of us, which is about what we would spend on a family of five to eat with drinks and desserts. The kids had a lovely time, and enjoyed colouring in. They also really enjoyed the pots of Lego that were also brought to the table - what a great idea!

Disclosure: We were invited to Yard and Coop and our costs were covered for the purpose of this review. All words and views are our own.

Diary Decorating with Gel-A-Peel!

We love crafting. As much as we enjoy taking the kids out at weekends, sometimes there is nothing better than sitting in together and enjoying some crafts. Now, I never said we were good at crafting - I just said we enjoy it - there is a big difference!
On a quiet, rainy Sunday we were chuffed to be supplied with a Gel-A-Peel kit and a blank diary for us to decorate. Gel-A-Peel is a kit that contains gel and stencils to make jewellery, decorations or anything you like with coloured gel that sets in place.

Rosie having fun!

So we got to working on our diary. Rosie and Alice still like messy things, and Gel-A-Peel is pretty messy at times! We made swirly patterns with the gel and followed the guides - the girls had a lot of fun!

Our patterns on the stencils - as carefully as we could!

Once the gel had set, we peeled off our designs and stuck them to the diary. I think you'll agree our diary looks absolutely A-MAY-ZING.

Our designer diary!

Well, amazing-ish.

We had a great time doing this together. Gel-A-Peel is perfect for older children who want to make jewellery and design their own decorations. It was good fun!

Disclosure: We were sent Gel-A-Peel for the purpose of this review, all words and views are our own.

L.O.L Surprise Review

We were delighted to be sent an L.O.L Surprise to review. These adorable bundles of fun come with seven layers of surprises.

The L.O.L Surprise we were sent came in a ball shape sort of like an egg-surprise. The kids love this type of toy - I think that it's the anticipation that gets them every time! These round balls, as you open them have seven layers of surprises inside, ours were as follows:

* Shoes
* Outfit (dress!)
* Water Bottle
* Secret Message
* Stickers
* Accessory (cute headband!)

The final thing to unwrap was the doll itself. The girls loved unwrapping this toy. They said their favourite part was revealing the doll at the end, and everything else included perfectly complimented it.

Our doll as posed by Alice!

Our special doll also had another surprise - when you put water in the dolls mouth and squeeze her - she cries real tears! The ball that the doll comes in also doubles as a bath. (As you can tell, the kids have played with this doll and its accessories a lot!)

These dolls are great for a present. If you have a child who loves unboxing and unwrapping lots of little toys then this might be the toy for them. Prices start from £8.99, and of course they can play with the doll over and over. I know that ours do!

Disclosure: We were sent the L.O.L Surprise free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are our own.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Sleep Posture to Support Your Spine

As a very busy parent, sleep means a lot to me. I know that sounds a bit weird, but having had all of the sleepless nights with young children and now managing the home, working and doing my degree, it's really important that I get a good night's sleep. I must admit, I am a bit of a night owl and I don't get that many hours sleep. In fact, I used a sleep app last week and I averaged about five hours a night, which is not great, but I seem to function quite well on that.
What I think is important about my sleep pattern is that I sleep soundly. I rarely wake in the night and I hope that I don't toss and turn too much!

The kids' sleep is quite another matter. They are up and down before they have even nodded off. You can imagine the kind of requests we get - "Mummy can I have a drink?" "Mummy can I have some supper!" The list really is never-ending with them. However, eventually they do fall asleep and only sometimes wake up at an ungodly hour and get in with us. We can cope with that!

Research suggests that a good posture in bed is helpful for a restful night's sleep. I think especially as we age things ache and creak - a good night's sleep with good posture could probably work wonders.
Adjustamtic beds have been created to help you do just that. Check out this video to see what they say about posture in bed:

Sleep is so important. I know that with our busy lifestyles and running around it is something that we don't get enough of. We work late, we're up early and we're in bed late. Sleep posture has really got me thinking and has really make me think about the importance of posture, to make the most of that sleepy time!

Disclosure: This post was brought to you in collaboration with Adjustamatic. All words and views are my own.

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