Monday, 30 July 2012

#ColourMeInRK Kellogg's Rice Krispies Colour Me In Packs

Summer time is here, and this being Britain it unfortunately means plenty of rainy days and stir-crazy kids who are bored because they cannot go out to play.

But this is where Kellogg's Rice Krispies can help!

For this summer only Kellogg's have changed the design of their Rice Krispies box and allow children to colour in and design their own cover, perfect for rainy days!

We were sent a large box of Rice Krispies and a lovely box of pens ready for the children to try and design their own packaging and much to my 7yr old's disgust, the baby decided to give her a hand!

So here is my 7yr old daughter's design with help by her 2yr old sister! What do you think? Do they have a career in packaging design ahead of them?

This post is my entry for the BritMums #ColourMeInRK competition, sponsored by Kellogg's.

Paper FX Review

My 7yr old LOVES anything crafty or creative! She would spend all day colouring and drawing if she could, although unfortunately it also means that sometimes her creativeness ends up places where it shouldn't, such as walls and floors!

Much to her delight, we were sent Paper FX to review from Flair!

Paper FX is a cool paper weaving kit which allows you to make coasters, bags, mouse mats, pencil cases etc out of paper. What I love most is that it doesn't have to be special paper that costs a fortune to buy, you can use anything from old magazines, newspapers, wallpaper etc.

All you need is a little imagination and some paper and you can create some fantastic items!

Inside the box you find the weaver unit, a creaser to fold the paper, a glue stick (although once this has been used up you can use any glue), a tearer which not only helps you tear the paper, but to tear it in the right size so no fiddly measuring is needed, and twizzle sticks, base maker and cable ties which all help you create your masterpieces.

The instruction book is easy to understand with detailed drawing to help you understand the instructions and full of ideas to help you design and make your masterpieces. It is however worth reading through the book before hand to help you work out how it all works. I especially likes how the instructions tell you how many strips of paper you need, what size and whether they're open (unglued) or closed (glued).

For our first masterpiece, DD1 and I made a very simple coaster. She needed a little help to begin with, but she especially enjoyed using the creaser! Once I'd gotten her started she soon caught on and before too long had weaved her very first coaster!

Paper FX is aged from 7yrs upwards and my daughter proves that 7yr olds can easily create their own masterpieces, although they might need some help, especially in the beginning

I really like Paper FX, especially as you don't need any additional parts (except paper which we all have too much of floating around) and is a great way to recycle! My 7yr old loves it and is eager to make more and is planning on making Granddad a pot like the one in the instructions above for his birthday!

An ideal present for a special little girl for her birthday or Christmas!

Paper FX is a Flair product and available from most good toy shops and online

We were sent Paper FX for free on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought about the product. I received no payment and the review is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the product and I retain full editorial control and integrity.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

#SatCap Saturday is Caption Day

Normally as I'm working on a Saturday I don't get chance to join in with Saturday's linky of Caption This, but as I'm actually off today I thought I would join in!!!

This picture was taken recently on our family day out to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway and is my 5yr old in the tunnel on the miniature train

Fancy having a look at some more or maybe joining in? Why not head over to Mamasaurous and checking out all the fantastic blogs in her weekly linky

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

NameitLabels - Iron-On Name and Sticky Labels Review

Today is the last day of school for my children and also the last day in infants for DD1. A time when you see how much clothes and belongings they have lost throughout the year, because of the simple fact that they didn't have their name on!!!

This year we haven't had that problem, thanks to the wonderful labels we were sent to try from Name it Labels.

I must admit that before writing this review I hadn't heard of Name it Labels and usually bought my labels from eBay, but sadly each and every time I've been let down by poor quality labels, where the iron on label has fallen off after a few uses or haven't stuck in the first place.

I'm pleased to say that I didn't have any difficulty or this problem with the Name it Labels!

The iron on labels are easy to use and suitable for any item of clothing or fabric that can handle a medium to hot iron. They even come with a backing sheet to place over the label when you iron it on to help protect the label and a few extra labels so you can have a little practice. The instructions on the packet of iron on labels are clear and easy to understand and I managed to use them successfully first time.

My favourite though has to be the self adhesive vinyl labels that we were sent. Totally versatile they can be used on most objects with a smooth, hard surface. The labels are microwave and dishwasher safe but should not be used in ovens or soaked in hot water for a long time. I have used these on the kids fruit boxes so they know whose is whose whilst at home and at school, and despite being washed daily in the dishwasher, they still look as good as new!

I've also used them on their DSi's to tell them apart and as it was toy day in school today for the last day of school, I felt safe letting DS take his DSi with his name on it and DD2 took her Innotab, again with a label on showing it was hers!

The self adhesive labels can also be used in shoes and wellies, again handy for at school and making it easier for the child to recognise their own shoes quickly. The shoe labels are ordinary vinyl labels which you cover with a clear shoe cover to protect the label and are easy to apply.

The self adhesive labels have clear and easy to understand instructions on the packet and are easy to apply.

We were sent their Original Starter Pack to review, one for each child and in each pack you get:
* 30 Iron on Labels
* 30 Vinyl Label Stickers and
* 12 Shoe Overlays
Which cost £11 and works out at 18p per label!!!

They are completely personalisable, with a choice of;
* Print type
* Print colour for iron on labels
* Optional icon
* Label colour for the vinyl name stickers.

I really liked the fact that instead of just boring labels with their name on it, you could choose from a selection of 52 different icons and each of mine were allowed to chose their own icon.  DS chose a football, DD1 chose a butterfly, DD2 chose some ballet shoes and the baby chose a balloon.

Something else which Name it Labels sent me, is something I think every parent should use, especially when you go out for the day, to a zoo or a theme park or even to a festival! At places like that it is soo easy to lose your child, no matter how careful you are! I remember when we went to Chester Zoo a few years ago we lost DS in the shop and thankfully we found him about 20 minutes later in the car park stood by the car! It was the longest 20 minutes in my life and I'm just grateful that he had the sense to wait by the car. But for younger children it can be harder, and whilst you can teach your mobile number to your older children, what if it was your 2yr old who wandered off.

Thanks to Name it Labels I have the perfect thing for when we attend LolliBop festival in August. I.D wristbands!

The I.D wristbands are single use wristbands for children, printed with IF I AM LOST and your emergency contact phone number on either a pink or blue wristbands and white or clear stickers with your details. There are 10 wristbands in a pack and at £5.00 for ten it works out as just 50p per wristband and is worth a lot more in peace of mind!

I have been pleasantly surprised with Name it Labels, the website it easy to navigate and you get easy to use, robust labels for a reasonable price. In fact, I will be ordering more parts from Name it Label's ready for when the children start back to school in September, especially as the baby will be in playschool as well!

But that's not all, Name it Label's don't just specialise in name labels, they also specialise in lots of other personalised gifts, such as party stickers and bags, baby favours, shaped name labels, personalised holdall and personalised wash bags. It's well worth a look!

Name it Labels can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

I was sent a combination started park of labels for each child and one pack of I.D wristbands for free on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought about the product. I recieved no payment for this review and it is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the product and I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

#Win a Family Ticket to LolliBop Competition


LolliBop is the biggest UK festival for kids and it is being held in Regents Park London on the 17th, 18th and 19th August. 

It's a magical land of endless fun for the under 10s and the best summer day of for the families. Bringing you all the thrills and excitement of a festival vibe, but without the hassle of camping and long car journeys. Plus once you have paid your ticket price, everything is FREE (apart from food, drinks and gifts from our markets)

Now going into its 3rd year, this 3 day event is the UK''s only festival where all the entertainment is for children. Keeping the pint sized festival goers busy all day with an action packed programme that will delight your little ones, with an abundance of shows and activities to keep all ages entertained from 0-10. Most of the programme is the same over the 3 days, so you wont miss out whatever day you decide to visit. 

With appearances by;
Dick & Dom
Mister Maker
The Gruffalo
Moshi Monsters Mash Up Tournament
Shrek the Musical (Sunday only)
Transformers Optimus Prime
Music by Jassa from Art Attack
Mr Men and Little Miss Party Roadshow
Stavros Flatley
Roald Dahl Museum and Storytelling Centre
The Science Museum (workshops)
Horrible Histories (workshops)
The Mad Hatters Tea Party
The Queen of Hearts Croquet
Vida (girlband)
The Highliners
Titan the Robot
Clifford the Big Red Dog
LolliBop Animal Curiosities
Tiny the Dinosaur
Little Angel Theatre
Face Painting 
Dance Workshops
Street Theatre
Plus lots more!!!! (See here for full line-up)

Tickets are available from their website and cost £25 for a single ticket, £95 for a family or 4 ticket and £138 for a family of 6 ticket (group tickets are also available) provided you book online in advance and are for one day only. Walk up tickets on the day are a lot more, costing £33 for a single ticket, £119 for a family or 4 tickets and £177 for a family of 6, so I really do recommend buying your tickets in advance if you want to go!

So does this sound like a fun day out to you? It certainly does to us and in fact we are going to be attending the LolliBop Festival on the Sunday and the kids can't wait!!! We went to a Nick Jnr one a few years ago and had such a lovely time, and the children enjoyed getting to see their favourite characters live and it made the day extra special 

The organisers have very kindly offered me tickets for you my lovely followers!!! One of you lucky people are in with the chance to win a family of 4 tickets for the LolliBop festival for the day of your choice!!!

***Please note this is for tickets only, it will be your own responsibility to get there and home***

To enter all you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (Porthmadog) Review

This year on May Day Bank Holiday, hubby wasn't working so we decided to take the children somewhere for a day out treat... but where? We wanted somewhere near to home (as our car isn't very good on long journeys) but that wouldn't break the bank (which as a family of 6 most days out do). Then I remembered a visit we'd made 2yrs ago to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog, and the fun we'd had.

Once decided hubby made some sandwiches whilst I organised the troops and we set off for Porthmadog!

The Welsh Highland Heritage railway is a little steam railway situated next to Porthmadog train station. It started life as the Croesor Tramway in 1863 bringing slate down from Croesor Valley to Porthmadog where it could be shipped by sea or rail. In 1923 the Welsh Highland Railway was completed and used part of the Croesor Tramway line to link Porthmadog with Beddgelert and Dinas near Caernarfon. However in 1937 the Welsh Highland Railway (WHR) was closed as it was losing money. 

In the early 1960s, the first determined efforts to revive the WHR began and in 1961 a group of enthusiasts formed a society which became the Welsh Highland Light Railway. Eventually they established a base in Porthmadog and a short length of line was laid to Pen y Mount and a public service commenced in 1980. This length of track is now known as the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway.

Although the actual train ride doesn't take very long, with young children that can actually be a bonus as they aren't long enough to get bored! We had a short ride, about a mile long, to the end of the line, where the children were thrilled when they were allowed to change the signals, and watched with interest as the train decoupled at one end and coupled at the other.

On the way back to Porthmadog, you stop off at the engine sheds. Here you can have a ride on the miniature railway, which despite having rails only 7 inches apart, it still manages to carry passengers over a girder bridge and a minature viaduct and through a tunnel, before going inside the shed. 

Inside the engine sheds you can discover the history of the Welsh Higland Railway, climb into the cab of the diesel and steam engines, work the levers and discover how things worked and how many tons of coal the fireman has to shovel each day to keep the engine working. The video simulation means you can see inside the boiler of the steam engine where the water boils to power the wheels. Meet Beano the horse and see how slate trucks were brought down from the quarries before steam locomotives came along. You can even sit at the controls of our small blue shunting locomotive and discover why you drive it sideways, or climb up in the cab of the large red diesel engine where the driver even has a radiator to keep warm. There's also lots of fun activities for kids, from making rubbings from engine nameplates, pushing the little engine for a ride, and even having a go at shunting trucks.

Back at the main station in Porthmadog, there is a lovely little shop, full of books, toys and knick knacks, as well as a little Thomas train chuffing around the top of the store. The staff are very friendly and welcoming and nothing is too much trouble. Next door is a delightful little tea room, which is very welcoming and great for families. The staff are friendly and the food is lovely with plenty of choice and not too expensive with plenty of choice.

Price wise the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway is excellent value for money with a family day ticket costing just £15 for 2 adults and 2 children, Adults £6, Seniors £5 and Children £3 (children under 5 and dogs are free). The all day pass also means you can ride the train as many times as you want. The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway also has several events planned throughout the year, which are always good fun. We went to the Teddy Bear picnic a few years ago and they loved it, especially watching the naughty teddy running away with the guard chasing him to get his flag back, and they loved winning a little prize for correctly counting all the teddies they could see hidden around the railway. I'm also hoping to take them on the Santa Train this year!

Getting to the Welsh Highland Railway is easy, there's free parking for cars, the mainline from Birmingham to Pwllheli (Cambrian Coastline) stops right opposite and buses stop within a short walk.

For a fun family day out, whatever the weather, I certainly recommend the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

LazyTown Fit Fruit and Super Squash Drinks Review

LazyTown is a popular kids TV show about Stephanie, an optomistic and active girl with bright pink hair, who goes to visit her uncle, the Mayor of LazyTown. Unfortunately LazyTown is full of lazy people and children, especially the laziest super-villain, Robbie Rotten, who is always up to no good in his quest to have a quiet nap. Fortunately for Stephanie, LazyTown is also under the watchful eye of Sportacus, an athletic, super-active, slightly-above-average hero, who runs, jumps, flips and flies to the rescue. Sportacus always manages to save the day and helps the kids of LazyTown foil Robbie's latest lazy schemes.

Sportacus and Stephanie are always supporting their friends and viewers to be more active and to choose healthier food such as Sports Candy (fruit and vegetables) instead of choosing unhealthy foods such as sweets.

LazyTown is recognised world-wide through channels such as a television series, live events and branded consumer products. This way LazyTown encourages kids to be more active and lead healthier lives.

LazyTown targets children of all ages. What they learn in LazyTown stays with them long after they leave, making their lives better through improved healthiness and their parent' job just a little bit easier. For parents, LazyTown is a tool to raise healthy kids. LazyTown works because raising healthy, well-adjusted children is an objective shared by the creators of the show ad parents across the world!

Now Gerber and LazyTown are releasing their own brand of healthy fruit juices called Fit Fruits.

With fruity flavours and featuring Sportacus, Stephanie and Robbie Rotten, Gerber's new range of LazyTown juices are a fun, nutritious and refreshing way to provide kids with one of their 5 a day. Free from artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners and preservatives, and packaged in convenient sizes for little hands, each carton provides the equivalent of one portion of fruit.

Fit Fruit juices contain 75% juice, which means that each 200 ml serving is lower in sugar than pure juice, but still 100% natural and tasty for kids.

Fit Fruits comes in three great flavours - Apple and Blackcurrant, Lemon and Lime and Orange and peach.

Fit Fruit juices are available to buy instore and online at Sainsbury's and Asda

Gerber are also releasing another LazyTown juice product, a Super Squash that you dilute yourself with water, which is not available yet but will shortly.

We were sent samples of both the Fit Fruit and the Super Squash for the children to try and they were both a big hit! Whenever I try a new juice with the children I watch their behaviour as some drinks do send them a little silly after having it, but I saw no silly behaviour from them. I was also happy to send them with cartons in their lunch boxes, happy that I was giving them something healthy whilst not embarrassing them in front of their friends. 

I also tasted the drinks and found they tasted nice, of fruit with no sugary after taste and being a type-2 diabetic that is very important to me, especially as by having a parent with diabetes it increases the risk of the children developing diabetes and I hope by lowering their sugar intake as children, I will help decrease their risk of type-2 diabetes when they get older.

All in all I was very impressed with the LazyTown juice's and I will buy them for the children as the cartons are ideal for packed lunches, picnics, or even a quick drink whilst out and about and the squash is ideal to have in the house, or even to make diluted for out and about.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

#R2BC - Ill Kids and School Reports!

What are my Reason's to be Cheerful this week?

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

1. Kids are all healthy and back at school! We've had some sort of bug going round this house which has hit everyone except me! Saturday night DD2 woke up sick, then Sunday it was the baby's turn who gave daddy a scare as she was asleep on her back when she started. I ended up spending the night on the sofa with her and every time I dozed off she would wake me being sick again! Monday night DD1 woke being sick, but this time it was daddy's turn to get up with her as I was too tired after my night on the sofa! She ended up staying off school Tuesday as she was still ill, which upset her as she was supposed to be spending the day in Year 3 ready for moving up in the summer. Daddy also woke up feeling ill Tuesday morning but he went to work as he was driving the van. Tuesday night I had just gotten into bed when the baby started being sick again and whilst I was in the lounge I heard DS start who was in the next room. So Wednesday daddy stayed home as he was still ill and I was exhausted after another sleepless night. I took the girls to school even though DD1 complained of feeling tired, only to have to return at 11 and pick up DD1 as she wasn't very well. Brought her home and within 5 minutes she was her usual full-of-beans self!!!! DS was moaning all day that he wanted to go back to school, but only cos there was a disco after school for all the Juniors! Finally, last night, I had a really good nights sleep and no one was sick so they're all in school today!!!

2. Took the baby to playschool to register for her in September. She's 2 and a half now, but with the summer holidays rapidly approaching, there isn't much sense in starting her now only to have her break up for 6mths. I walked to playschool with two friends who have daughters the same age as DD2 and the baby and as we walked in I made a comment about how it didn't seem that long ago we were picking up our 5yr olds from playschool and carrying our newborns!!! 

3. I went to school on Monday to discuss the girls and their IEP's with their teachers. Whilst there I saw DD2 chatting away in Welsh to DD1's teacher! At home we're English speaking but all the children attend a Welsh school, which is also the one I attended as a child. Being a Welsh school it means that the children are taught through the medium of Welsh, and English is introduced as they get older. In fact, I was 6 when I moved here from Lancashire in England, yet when I left the school aged 11, despite the fact that no one in my family knew Welsh, I was fluent as though I had been speaking it all my life. Unfortunately my Secondary school was more English and as I never used my Welsh as we live in a rather English corner of Wales, I forgot my Welsh and I am no relearning it with some friends at school. What makes it so amazing to hear my little 5yr old chatting away in another language, is that up until a few months ago she rarely spoke a word in English outside of home, let alone Welsh!!! (See Proud Mummy)

4. Last week the children brought their school reports home and they were fantastic!!! DD2's teacher said that she would spend all day in the creative corner if she could, but that she was a polite and well behaved child who has made good progress this year and she is very pleased to hear her talking and communicating. DS' teacher wrote that he is always polite with adults and he is popular amongst his friends. He is a sincere pupil and very obliging child but does have a tendency to daydream and gets distracted easily. DD1's teacher wrote that she shows enjoyment and willingness in class, concentrates well and always makes an effort. The two older ones also have an excellent attendance figure of 98.8% for the year, DD2's is a little lower at 89.3% but she's spent more time off due to her operation. 

So there are my Reasons to be Cheerful this week. What are yours? Why not link up with the Mummy From The Heart and her weekly link-up below and don't forget to check out some of the other posts and share the love!!!