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Things I have loved whilst blogging

Last week I posted about things I had learnt from blogging over the two years I had been doing it and today I am going to share some of the amazing products and places I have discovered thanks to blogging.

As I mentioned blogging can be hard work sometimes but the experiences I have had from it have been well worth it.

There are lots of things that stand out as being great but these are some of my very favourite things from the last two years.

  1. So many great books. I have read too many awesome books to list them all individually but have loved having lots of brilliant books to review and it has been fantastic to discover new authors who I might not otherwise have come across. One of my favourites is Abi Elphinstone who I am a huge fan of since reviewing her Trilogy on my blog.
  2. Finding new games- I especially like games that the whole family can enjoy together and we have found some great ones through the blog. One of our family favourites is the Randomise Game If you haven’t come across Randomise before then you should read the review I wrote a while ago- it’s really great fun and so very funny to play. We have played it so many times since and I would recommend it to any family that enjoys playing games together.
  3. Things that other people enjoy. It’s awesome finding a new product that I love but I have really enjoyed finding things my sister and brother love too. My sister has especially liked Aquabeads and Pusheen, both of which is she has been lucky enough to review for the blog.
  4. Challenges- I would never have even known about the kids version of Tough Mudder without the blog. My friend and I were lucky enough to do the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder last year and it was an amazing experience. I would love to do it again and it got me into running a 5K run for charity too and helping as a steward at another.
  5. Amazing days out. We have been lucky enough to be invited to lots of great days out, I have enjoyed them all but some of the ones that I really liked were BRICKLIVE and the ‘Summer Saturdays’ Day at Newmarket Racecourse
  6. New experiences. It also falls under points 4 and 5 too but was so amazing it deserves a heading of it’s own! Our favourite experience as a whole family has been our visit to Camp Wilderness– the bushcraft day was so unlike anything that any of us had ever done before, we all learnt loads and came away having had a really fantastic day. It was such a different thing to do with my Mum and Dad- I would recommend the camps to anyone!

 

  

 

As  you can see I have been very lucky over the last two years, I have had lots of fantastic experiences, met some brilliant people and learnt a lot. I have loved having my own blog, even though at times in has been hard work and I have caught ‘writer’s block’.

I can’t believe I have managed to keep it up for two years and am holding a competition to celebrate this! One of our lucky readers will win their own copy of the brilliant Randomise Game, a copy of a fantastic children’s book -my current read- The Midnight Gang, by David Walliams, a £10 Amazon voucher to treat themselves to one of the amazing products we have reviewed and a 3 day place for a child age 6 to 15 at one of the awesome Camp Wilderness camps during the Summer Holidays- the lucky winner can choose between Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cheshire or Kent subject to availability.

This prize bundle is worth over £260! Good Luck!

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Making My Dad’s Day with bakerdays

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to treat my Mum with something lovely for a blog post so I was thrilled when the people at bakerdays got in contact with me to see if I would like to treat my Dad.

bakerdays make the most amazing range of personalised cakes for all occasions- you can literally have anything on them…including your own face!

They suggested we might like to order one of their cakes for our Dad for an early Father’s Day treat which was a brilliant idea. We got to choose from the selection and personalise it as well as deciding which flavour to go with. You can imagine Lottie and I had lots of discussion about that! We eventually picked a Darth Vader cake as Dad and I both love Star Wars and added our names to it. We didn’t take quite so long to decide that we both wanted to try the chocolate cake!

It arrived on Friday and I couldn’t believe it but it really did fit through the letter box! I was a bit worried that it might get smashed but it was so well packed it was in perfect condition. It came in a tin that fitted it brilliantly and then this was wedged inside the outer packaging so there wasn’t much room for it to move.

   

 

 

 

 

 

Along with the cake itself bakerdays also put some candles, some balloons and a party whistle in the package which makes it all really fun and is great for a celebration.

My Dad was really surprised by the cake and very pleased with his treat- he let us all share it and it cut into 6 proper size pieces. We thought the cake was delicious, it had lovely chocolate pieces in and the icing was sweet and tasty. It made a brilliant and unusual early Father’s Day treat.

bakerdays have kindly offered one lucky reader the chance to surprise their Dad with an amazing personalised cake for Father’s Day- the winner will be able to choose from vanilla, chocolate, lemon or fruit and can even specify gluten, wheat or dairy free. For your chance to win make sure you enter below! Visit bakerdays for more information.

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May the Fourth Be With You! Star Wars Competition

I am quite obsessed with Star Wars. I have watched all the films and read lots of books, I have t-shirts, LEGO, Stationary, teddies and Pyjamas. I probably know more about Star Wars than I do anything else!

As lots of my friends are equally big fans we spend a lot of our school play times talking about Star Wars and playing Star Wars type games. You can imagine we are all getting quite excited about Star Wars Day!

We have been excitedly checking the deals at the LEGO store and seeing what else is happening. Now I just need to convince my Mum that she really does want to take us all the way across to the LEGO store after school on May The Fourth!

I asked if we could run a competition for Star Wars Day and my parents agreed but now we have brought the prize I am too excited for someone to win it so I am starting it a bit early.

We are giving one lucky winner the following Star Wars bundle-

Rouge One on DVD

Star Wars Wallet

Star Wars Fridge Magnet

Light Sabre pen set

Star Wars Activity pack

Star Wars disposable watch

Star Wars Hero Mashers Shadow Trooper

Star Wars Travel Mug

Good Luck!

 

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My Top 10 Days Out for Easter and a Chance to Win an Amazon Voucher

We have been working with a great new website, Wiki Places For Kids to share some of our favourite days out and have found some brilliant suggestions from other people.

When they asked us to team up with them and come up with a list of suggestions for family fun in our local area (Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire) over the Easter holidays we got straight to work.

So many other schools seem to have broken up already and I are feeling quite jealous as we are still a week away from our holidays. Even so we are looking forward to visiting some of these places when we finally get there!

Great Days Out in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire

Stanwick Lakes

We have had a pass for Stanwick Lakes ever since I was a baby and it is one of our favourite places to go- especially when it is warm enough to get soaking wet in the sand and water play areas. It’s nice for a walk and has a great play area to run around it. There is an indoor play area and a café too. They often have other events going on too.

Salcey Forest

There are lots of different routes you can take at Salcey Forest including an awesome treetop trail and currently the Gruffalo Trail which we did the other week- my little brother and sister loved it!

Xtreme360 Trampoline Park

I recently discovered Xtreme360 for a friend’s birthday and it was brilliant. We had such a good time on the trampolines and I liked the fact there were different types. I am hoping to go back soon and my sister is desperate to visit. This is definitely on my list for a fun few hours.

Spy Mission

Spy Mission is an awesome place to visit with a couple of friends. I have been to a few birthday parties here and it is always brilliant. I would recommend this for children age 6 and upwards.

Twinwoods

Twinwoods in Milton Ernest is just about the most amazing place you can go for any sort of adventure you might be looking for-you can do the climbing wall, drive in the race room, fly in the wind tunnel, surf, swim or go to the play area- there is something for everyone and I would love to go back and try surfing again.

Wood Green Animal Shelter

I really like visiting Wood Green Animal Shelter, it’s a great place for all the work they do with animals and it’s a nice place to visit too. Even if you aren’t looking to adopt an animal you can still have a look around- see the animals who are waiting to be rehomed, visit the maze and little playground and pop to the café. It’s a lovely place to have a walk around.

Wicksteed Park

We haven’t been to Wicksteed Park for a couple of years but now my brother and sister are both old enough to come with me I would love to go back. I really enjoyed all the rides there and have had a great time when I have been in the past.

Woburn Safari Park

For a bigger day out we really like Woburn Safari Park Even if it’s raining there is still plenty to see and as you do most of it in your car it doesn’t matter if the weather is bad. We spent ages watching the monkeys last time- they are so funny. I like the fact that you can drive round the actual safari park more than once if you want. There is also plenty of other animals to see when you get out of the car-we loved the penguins. We enjoyed riding on the swans on the lake too.

Laser Planet Milton Keynes

I went to Laser Planet in Milton Keynes with my friend a couple of months ago and we had a fantastic afternoon, we played team games and individual battles and got a score sheet after each game. It was really cool. You can go with friends or on your own and can either have one game or play for the whole day. If you like computer games this is awesome!

Daytona Milton Keynes

Daytona Race track is one of my favourite places to go. I love doing their Arrive and Drive sessions and have been a few times- I have raced against lots of different people and it’s great because you never know who you are going to be up against. It isn’t a long outing but it makes a great activity for a special treat.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my favourite local days out. If you are looking for inspiration in your own area then you can visit Wiki Places for Kids for some brilliant ideas.

Win!

In the meantime we have teamed up with Wiki Places for Kids to offer our readers the chance to win a £20 Amazon Voucher- check out the rafflecopter form for details.

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Splashing About- TERM Wellies Review and a chance to win!

We seem to have spent the last few weeks battling illnesses and bugs so when the weekend came and everyone was well we were all desperate to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air. It also seemed a perfect time for Lottie to try out her lovely new Term wellies that she had been sent to test.

Lottie had a birthday party in the morning so we  all went off to pick her up and after a short delay with a very flat tyre we headed off to the lakes.

We had a great afternoon scooting and running around and enjoyed the play area. Lottie really enjoyed wearing her new boots which until then she had just been wearing to dance around the house in.

She says they are REALLY comfortable and lovely and warm. I am quite jealous as they don’t go up to my size! I would definitely have a pair if they did. Sam loves them too, he keeps stealing them from the cupboard and putting them on when Lottie isn’t looking! We will need to get him his own pair so that she actually gets to wear them when she needs them!

There is a really good choice of colours. Lottie went with the bright red pair and they are really nice. They have a toasty inner lining which keeps them warm in the winter and can come out in the Summer. This also allows a bit more room when your feet grow. They have a little reflective bit at the back too which is useful to help keep you safer at night.

My Mum says that at £21.99 they are a little more money than she would normally spend on wellies but that she can see why because they are much better quality and Lottie can wear them for hours without complaining they hurt her feet which she normally does! She also says they are ‘true to size’. We got Lottie a size larger than her normal shoe size which is what we do with wellies but actually the normal shoe size would have fit her fine.

Maybe no party clothes  next  time!

 

I really like the Term wellies and my sister would definitely recommend them (she would wear them all the time if she was allowed to wear them to school!) We are pleased to have been able to team up with Term to offer you the chance to win a pair of these fantastic wellies in your choice of colour and size EUR 21 to EUR 35.

Good Luck!

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Supertato Veggies Assemble – Our Review and a chance to win!

Supertato Veggies Assemble by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet   Our Review and a Chance to Win a copy!


Lottie has had some fantastic books to review recently and Supertato Veggies Assemble has quickly become a story-time favourite. 


‘The Evil Pea is on the loose and there’s anarchy in the aisles’- who knew there would be so much excitement in the Supermarket at night?! It’s down the Supertato to save the day but when the peas gang up on him he has to call for back-up to save himself and the desserts.

This is a great book for young children, it is fast paced, funny and exciting and my 4 year old sister really likes it. It has the added advantage of being fun to read so this is one of the few books for younger children that I don’t mind reading to her (which is lucky because I don’t think my Mum wants to read it twice a day!) Even Sam stops and listens to this book and he is not quite one yet- I think that is because there are plenty of chances for funny voices which he likes… it’s quite hard not to say ‘Supertato’ in a deep superhero type voice!

We have previously enjoyed Barry the Fish with Fingers by Sue Hendra and think she has done a great job here too. I would recommend this book for children age 2-5 but if you are a big brother or sister who is going to read to younger ones then this is a fun story to choose to share with them. 

You can buy Supertato Veggies Assemble here or enter our competition below for your chance to win a copy.

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Birthday Party Fun!

Birthday Party Fun!

I was so excited to have my birthday party celebrations this weekend.

I had a fantastic time with 11 of my friends at an outdoor laser party centre. We played loads of different games, got really muddy, and tried out different types of laser guns and planted a pretend bomb. 

The man who ran the laser tag and led the party used to be in the Army and he taught us lots of extra stuff including how to get a knife off someone if they were trying to attack you- he said we had to practice with bananas though if we tried it at home!

When we got back to base camp he cooked us all up hot dogs and let us see the different guns they use for the adult Airsoft games- I think my Dad would like to try that.

We all had treats and cakes and then went outside for another play before it was time to give out party bags and go home. I think this was one of my favourite parties ever, I loved the spy party I had last year but this was so much fun running around in the outdoors. None of my friends had ever done this ever so they were excited too and all really enjoyed themselves.

As a birthday treat for my readers I have one party bag to give away to you filled with fab treats including-

A Star Wars notebook
Star Wars pen
A Mini star wars toys or bracelet making kit (depending on your choice)
An adult colouring book
A pack of colouring pencils
Sadly no birthday cake but plenty of SWEETS!

You can enter to win over on our Facebook page here

Winner will be chosen at random after competition closes on Tuesday at 7pm. 

Good Luck!

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Nickelodeon STEM Product Range from The Entertainer and a Giveaway

The Nickelodeon STEM Product Range from The Entertainer and a chance to win a set from the range!


I was so excited to be contacted by The Entertainer to see if we would like to participate in their Twitter Party (later today from 4pm to 5pm- follow @entertainertoys and @whatlukedidnext) and I was even more excited to be sent and Exploding Booms set from the Nickelodeon STEM range to test. 

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the products within the range help children learn about these topics in a really fun way- you can make anything from soap bombs and fragrances to stink bombs, build circuits and perform experiments. It is an awesome range and ideal for children age 5 plus (with adult help) and around 8 plus with less supervision.

We tested the Exploding Booms set and found it really great. The instructions were straight forward to follow and the additional equipment needed was minimal – basically vinegar for a couple of the experiments and lemon juice for one so just normal household products.


We liked the exploded boom bags- these were straightforward and fun and easy to do without help- just blow them up and make them bang! We also made a volcano which was amazing- I loved the chemical reaction and thought the addition of colouring made it really cool. We had great fun with water bombs too. 

We still have several more experiments to carry out and I am especially looking forward to making the rocket which looks fab.

These sets are being sold exclusively in The Entertainer or online here and are currently just £10 making them perfect for Christmas.

Don’t miss your chance to win a set from with the Nickelodeon STEM range kindly supplied by The Entertainer.



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The Giveaway is open to UK residents only and the prize will be a product from within Nickelodeon STEM range chosen and supplied by The Entertainer. 
Winner will be determined by Rafflecopter and we will notify them within 2 working days of the competition close date using the details supplied at point of entry.
Once the winner has responded their details will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget

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A Review and a Competition

Our review of LEGO Awesome Ideas AND your chance to win a copy!

LEGO Awesome Ideas book ©2015 The LEGO Group. Produced by Dorling Kindersley under licence from the LEGO Group 
As you have probably worked out by now I love my LEGO and it is rare when we are not building something or playing with something we have made so when I was offered the chance to review the LEGO Awesome Ideas book I jumped at the chance.

We have had the original LEGO Ideas book for a couple of years now so I was excited to see how the new one compared. I loved the last book as it had some great ideas and found it really interesting reading about the Brickmasters however I felt that it was full of things that most children wouldn’t be able to make straight off- the new LEGO Awesome Ideas Book is completely different from this point of view- there is some amazing creations but there is also loads of tips as to how to make them and some really great ideas as to how to adapt things.

My friends and I had a great afternoon looking through the book and deciding what we would like to make over the next few weeks. I really feel that we could have a good go at a lot of the things and love the fact that because it is an ‘ideas book’ rather than an instruction manual you can easily adapt the ideas to suit the pieces you have available. Whilst I like the excitement of opening a new box and set of instructions and making the sets up I also really enjoy taking a few pieces and seeing what I can create from them so this books suits me perfectly as it gives a starting point and provides plenty of helpful solutions.



The book is set up in sections so you can work on one complete project- such as Modern Metropolis or Fantasy Land and there are lots of small things you can make in each section if you are pressed for time.

Lottie and I have been having a play and Lottie has been making her usual LEGO house so I have been making furniture for it like the sofa and the table with stools shown in the book. I am in the process of making a glass fronted building which will be a greenhouse. We have made some vehicles to go with the traffic lights, fire hydrants and other Modern Metropolis things we have been making too.

                                                
                         
I can see we are going to have hours of fun using the book and am sure we will keep going back to it time and time again. We are really pleased to be able to offer you a chance to win a copy of your own but if you can’t wait to get hold of it you can buy LEGO Awesome Ideas here on Amazon
                                                         

Now for your chance to win a copy of this AWESOME book!

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Danger Is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog

A Review of Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog         by David O’Doherty and Chris Judge and a chance to win a copy

We have been sent some amazing books to review recently and I was thrilled to receive a copy of Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog.

‘Docter Noel is facing his most terrifying situation EVER – a little dog called napkin has come to stay. That may not sound particularly dangerous but every POD (Pupil of Dangerology) knows the only safe pet is a pet rock. So now Docter Noel is stuck in a wardrobe while Napkin wrecks havoc around the Dangerzone. And all the while Docter Noel is supposed to be writing his new VERY IMPORTANT handbook on Dangerology (Level 2). 

That is until the Pet of the Year competition is announced and Docter Noel hatches a plan to impress his neighbour Gretel. There’s only one problem. Serial safety-flouter Max Wurst us the judge…

For Docter Noel, it’s never been clearer that danger is still everywhere.’


I LOVED this book. I hadn’t read the first handbook but it didn’t matter I was still able to get straight into this second book- it was really funny and very silly and really made me laugh.

I thought the quiz was awesome and the pictures were fantastic. I would definitely give this book a score of 10/10 and would recommend it to any Dangerologist age 7+. Even if they were a grown up.

I am definitely adding the first Danger is Everywhere book to my ‘must read’ list!

We are delighted to be able to offer one lucky entrant the chance to win a copy of this must have handbook for themselves.


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