Category Archives: Reviews

Cars 3 Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen Review

Last month we were asked if the boys would like to review the new Cars 3 Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen to celebrate the launch of Cars 3 coming out on DVD. The boys love Cars and we took them to see the Cars 3 movie at the cinema. With both of the boys super interested in cars and they love to play with remote control cars I knew they would love the new Lightning McQueen.

The Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen is no ordinary remote control car! This 3 channel radio controlled Ultimate vehicle have full movement and are 1:16 scale. The controller is a steering wheel which made it easier for Archie to get used to and be able to use. Oscar obviously found it easier to control and had it speeding around the kitchen. It will be great in the Summer on our garden patio, skidding and drifting.

The control has the basic steering functions, a ‘rev up’ function where you can see Lightening McQueen shake as you rev up the engine. When driving the car you can make it drift around corners and do doughnuts. Oscar loves it! Another feature is the smoke button. You fill up the small tank underneath the car with water and then when you press the button you can watch as you burn rubber by blowing smoke behind their tyres. Its really effective and makes it seem really real.

When you get too close to a wall, you can hit the brakes and watch as the car stop in time, the brakes top almost instantly. As well as all of these amazing features the Lightening McQueen has lights and sounds too.

This is a great toy for any Disney Cars fan or any car fan in general. The boys have had hours of fun and as you learn to control the car you can perform more and more stunts and tricks.

The Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen 1:16 car has an RRP of £59.99 and is available HERE.

#Blogmas Day 8: The Stick Man Live Review

Yesterday we went into London with a few of Archie’s friends and their Mummy’s to see The Stick Man Live at Leicester Square Theatre. We took the train as we thought the boys would enjoy it, but I wish now that we had driven. Getting around on the London Underground with pushchair’s is a mission, one that I will never do again! Also on the way home we were evacuated off of our train as there was an issue with a vulnerable lady trying to jump off the platform at the next station and we ended up having to get a cab the rest of the way home!

Image result for the stick man live

Anyway rant about trains over we arrived at the theatre and were given our tickets which were front row seats. My friend kindly brought Archie a stick man cuddly toy which he absolutely loves and they sell them for £10 each. We then brought some popcorn, grabbed a booster seat and sat in our seats ready for the show.

What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree?

We booked the 11am show which was a good time rather than lunch time when the kids would have been hungry. We also got an absolute bargain with tickets only costing £23 in total for Archie and I.

From the minute the show started Archie was completely engrossed, dancing along to all of the songs and having so much fun. There are only three people in the show and its amazing how they can pull off such a fantastic show between the three of them and not that many props. It really was an amazing show!

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The actors also interacted with the children, throwing a beach ball into the crowd, which Archie caught and threw back to them. It was really good.

The show runs for 55 minutes, which is perfect and not to long that the children get fidgety. Afterwards the cast kindly had a photo with Archie and his friends.

The show was absolutely fantastic and if your little one is a fan of The Stick Man then this stage show is a must!

The next shows are:

  • 18 – 24 DEC MILTON KEYNES The Stables
  • 26 DEC – 12 JAN BIRMINGHAM Town Hall

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Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 7: Santa Spectacular At Willow’s Activity Farm Review

Yesterday we went with our friends to the Santa Spectacular At Willow’s Activity Farm. Willow’s Farm is a fantastic farm and full day out situated in London Colney, Hertfordshire which is near St Albans. We absolutely love Willow’s and visit on a monthly basis as there is always so much to do and they run fun programmes throughout the year, so there is something new to do on every visit. We have visited the Santa Spectacular for the last three years and it has always been a fantastic day out!

We arrived at Willow’s and each child was given their Elf Passport to stamp on the way around, a Create-A-Cuddle workshop token and a token to visit Santa.

Firstly we went and watched the 3D Film; Christmas Adventure. The boys were engrossed in it as they haven’t ever seen anything in 3D before. Luckily as we walked out the Nativity Story was starting where the story is told with real animals and the children can dress up.

We then went to the Create-A-Cuddle workshop and swapped our token for a reindeer, stuffing and a coloured heart. Archie loved stuffing his reindeer and chose a blue heart to go inside. You also get given a birth certificate for your reindeer and a lovely gift box for him to live in.

After we walked to the farmyard and saw all of our favourite animals, including new baby piglets and Santa’s Reindeers.

As we were walking around the farm we looked out for the 9 reindeer pictures to write in the Elf Passport to complete the reindeer hunt so we could collect our magic Reindeer food from the gift shop on the way out. As we also completed the Elf Tasks 1-7 in the Elf Passports and collected the stamps Archie became a fully fledged Willow’s Elf!

One of Archie’s favourite things about Willow’s is taking a ride on Tristan the Tractor and even he had had a Christmas make over. On board there were bells for everyone to shake and he played Christmas songs the whole way around. The festive wood ride had been decorated with Christmas decorations and snow and the kids loved it!

We then walked back up to the Grotto to meet Santa himself. The grotto was decorated beautifully with lots of twinkling lights and a lovely place to take a beautiful photo. We waited in line chatting to Holly the Elf and then went off to meet Santa. He was really nice, asking the children what they would like for Christmas and chatted away to them. He then gave each of the children a golden key which allowed them to pick absolutely anything from his Toy Shop. There were so many toys to choose from and finally Archie chose a Doctor’s kit which he hasn’t put down since and even took to bed with him.

We had a lovely day at Willow’s Farm and the Santa Spectacular is amazing with so many fun things to do. You can save money by buying your tickets online instead of on the day. Tickets are £18 per adult and £34 per child (2-15), under 2’s are £19.50 when booking online. The all inclusive price includes:

  • Meeting Santa and receiving a golden key to his Toy Shop where children can choose one of the hundreds of gifts piled from floor to ceiling to take home
  • Create-a-Cuddle workshop runs all day and children can make their own reindeer cuddly toy to take home along with a naming certificate and special gift box
  • Attend Elf Academy and learn some of the basics on becoming one of Santa’s elves including how to tiptoe like an Elf and the important letters of the Elf-a-bet
  • Pop your glasses on and take off on a 3D adventure with Santa in a 3D film
  • Join in the fun at the Christmas shows including Christmas Storytime, our Elf Sing-a-Long and special Nativity performances featuring some of the farmyard animals
  • Write a letter to Santa and pop it in the post box to receive a free reply delivered to your home and make other Christmas crafts
  • Glide around the synthetic ice rink with ice skates available to fit all sizes
  • Hop on Tristan the Runaway Tractor for a ride around the festive wood
  • Meet Mischka, Santa’s reindeer and all of the other Farmyard animals

Obviously all the usual Willow’s things are included to; Festive Funfair Rides, Cotton Tail Village, Woolly Jumpers indoor play barn with spectacular slides and soft play and the Peter Rabbit playground.

It really is a spectacular day out for all over the family to enjoy this Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 5: Our Annual Trip To Harrod’s Christmas Grotto 2017

Yesterday we picked up Oscar from school and drove into London to go to the Harrod’s Christmas Grotto 2017. Every year in September I eagerly await the email to let me know when I can book our visit. This year the bookings opened in October and at 9am I got my email and by 9.05 our slot was booked! When booking you pay a £10 deposit per child over 3 years old, under 2’s are free. On the day of your visit to the grotto you get your deposit back to spend on your Harrods reward card. The boys then get to choose a new decoration for the Christmas tree with it.

So we picked Oscar up from school and drove into town and parked in our usual spot. When we got to Harrods we walked around the outside and looked at all of the decorated Dolce & Gabbana windows. They were really good, and had a photo by the huge Christmas Tree. We were a bit early so we then looked around the Toy Kingdom on the third floor which is every child’s idea of heaven.

When we arrived at the grotto which is located right by the Toy Kingdom Oscar presented our ticket and then we went into a roped off area that had Christmas colouring, mini golf and other games and lots of friendly elves to play with. The boys were given green bells to look after and then when the green bells group were called we went through a red curtain into a beautiful room with a huge Christmas tree and two of Santa’s elves.

They told the children all about the magic of Christmas and every child got an ‘Official Elf’ badge and a Harrods gold chocolate coin. The elves were really friendly interacting with the boys asking them what they would like for Christmas. We were then called through to meet the big man himself and Oscar and Archie knocked on the door and Father Christmas greeted them.

He was really nice, congratulating Oscar on learning to ride his bike since he had last seen him and asked him about school and his friends. Archie wasn’t so sure to start with but within minutes was giving Father Christmas a high five and telling him he would like a blue car for Christmas. We then had our annual Christmas photo taken with him (this is our eight year at Harrods).

Oscar and Archie were then given lovely red gift bags with a Harrods teddy inside as their gift. They were over the moon. We said our goodbyes and went to view our photo, which we brought to go with all the others which was £14.50.  The boys also posted their letters to Father Christmas in the special postbox outside.

We then went and brought our Harrods 2017 bear decoration (we buy one every year) and Oscar also chose another bauble. We had a great time and its just so magical and we love it! We always then walk around to Pizza Express for some dinner then drove home. Needless to say the boys were shattered by the time we got home and went straight to bed!

Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 4: Our Pines & Needles Christmas Tree & Decoration Service

Yesterday was a very exciting day! One I had been counting down too since my Pines and Needles Christmas Tree delivery and tailored decorating service had been booked in. Pines and Needles are the Christmas Tree Specialists and offer a huge range of services to suit everyone.

You can go to one of their stores and pick your perfect tree and they will deliver it straight to you, or you can have them place the tree and add the lights and decorations for you and then they can come and collect and dispose of the tree after Christmas too.

As it is our first Christmas in our new house I really wanted a show stopper of a Christmas Tree for our hallway. When I saw that Pines and Needles would bring me the perfect tree and decorate it all for me, I knew this would be perfect. You also get to keep all of the decorations that the tree is decorated with choosing from three different level packages; Festive, Classic and Deluxe. We chose the Deluxe package in Gold and Silver and 360 lights for our 7ft Nordmann Fir Tree and the stand. I love that I now have decorations for our hallway tree for years to come!

Anyone who knows me well knows that Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love to decorate the boys rooms with their Christmas books and duvet covers and make the whole of the lead up to Christmas Day as magical and as special for them as possible! On Christmas Day we always have the whole family over for lunch and I love hosting and having everyone we love around us enjoying themselves!

Getting back to yesterday….. I received an email confirming my chosen time slot which was between 8 and 1 and then at about 7.45am our personal driver text me to let me know a more specific time. I also got an automated text when they were on their way from their last appointment to mine, telling me that my tree was on its way. You can also use an online tracker, the link was sent to me via email.

The van pulled up outside at 11am and I watched at the window as the two Pines and Needles men, dressed in their Christmas hats and kilts brought my tree and decorations to the front door. Wearing the kilts is a great touch, showing that Pines and Needles are a British brand with Scottish Heritage.

Firstly they set up the stand and placed the tree, then the lights and decorating began. They were total perfectionists and kept taking a back step and checking, then rejigging until they were happy. They took so much time and attention to get it perfect. The two men were super friendly and in full Christmas spirit. They did a fantastic job! After they were finished they even packed up all the rubbish and cleaned up the mess too!

I am absolutely over the moon with our tree and when Oscar got home from school he was so excited and the boys absolutely love it! Its a proper traditional Christmas Tree and it is so much better than what I visualised that it would look like. I have my show stopper tree!

Pines and Needles offer a fantastic service with a smile. They couldn’t have done anymore to make it any better, it really is a 5* service! We are so happy with our Christmas Tree and I will pack our Christmas decorations away neatly after Christmas so that next year they can come back with a new tree and decorate it for me again! I think next year I might even go for a 9 or 10ft! Thank you Pines and Needles!

Disclaimer: We were gifted the Christmas Tree for the purpose of this post. However all opinions are honest and my own and we absolutely love our tree and would use them again and again!

#Blogmas Day 3: Jump With Santa At Energi Newport

Last Sunday we went to Energi Trampoline Park in Newport, Wales to attend one of their special Christmas Jump With Santa sessions. If you are looking for something special to do with the kids in Newport this Christmas, then Jump With Santa is for you!

Energi Leasuire Parks

When we arrived we were given our special Christmas edition jump socks and were briefed by one of the Energi Elves and we watched the safety video. The children were then allowed onto the trampolines, then a fun video of Santa arriving at the park was played on the big screen and then when all of the children turned around Santa was standing behind them on top of the stairway to heaven.

The children ran over to him in excitement then Santa made a spectacular entrance by flipping into the huge Christmas airbag.

The boys had so much fun jumping, dancing and playing with Santa. It really is something for all the family to do together and enjoy. Sessions are exclusively for Jumpers aged 2 -16 years old. (All Jumpers aged 2 – 4 years must have full parental supervision on the Trampoline Arena). It’s a great way to get your older kids, who wouldn’t normally visit Santa to have some Christmas fun. A few of the older boys were having a dance off with Santa like you can see in the video I made below.

Santa and his Energi Elves danced along with the children, they all joined in to do the conga and the staff kept the kids entertained the whole time. Santa played dodgeball, challenged the kids on the ninja assault course whilst the adults with older children sat back and relaxed in the cafe with a coffee and a slice of cake.

At the end of the session each child were given a cute soft toy! All Jump with Santa Sessions are one hour and priced at £12.95 per child and will include admission to the Trampoline Arena, Christmas Socks and gift from Santa himself. There are limited spaces on these #JumpWithSanta sessions so book online now to avoid any disappointment. The remaining sessions are on:

Sunday 3rd December 11am & 2pm

Sunday 10th December 11am & 2pm

Sunday 17th December 12pm & 3pm

Friday 22nd December 4pm

Saturday 23rd December 11am & 2pm

Don’t worry if you have little ones under 2 as they also have a lovely soft play area too. There are also Jump With Santa sessions especially for toddlers on Friday the 8th of December 10am & 11am and on Friday the 15th of December 10am & 11am. These exclusive Toddler Sessions are £7.95 per Toddler including a gift and jump socks with one supervising adult attending free of Charge. All Children must be aged 2 -4 Years.

There are also lots of other fun things going on at Energi Newport this Christmas!

FESTIVE BEATS!

Join in on Friday 22nd December and Friday 29th December for their fantastic Festive Beats sessions which will be accompanied by the best Christmas Hits, Party Tunes and all your favourites. During the sessions the lights will go down and the music up as we party like it’s going to be 2018! Admission is £7.00 per Jumper and the following age restrictions apply:

6pm -7pm 5 -11 Year Olds

7pm – 8pm 5 -16 Year Olds

8pm -9pm 11 -16 Year Olds

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS AND GIFTS!

On Sunday 10th December they are hosting a Christmas fair full of local craft and gift suppliers in the Cafe Area to showcase their products and be a perfect venue to pick up some fantastic last minute gifts without all the hassle of going to the shops whilst your children jump and have fun! Stress free shopping!

CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEARS DAY FAMILY JUMP

On Christmas Eve and New Years Day they are running Family Jump Sessions all day. Family Sessions are suitable for ages 2 – 100! and are priced at £7.95 per jumper. An ideal way to burn some energy so your little ones get to bed early on Christmas Eve and a great way for you to relax in peace with a cuppa and a cake on New Years Day whilst the kids have great fun! (Jumpers between 2 – 4 years must be fully supervised on the Trampoline Arena.)

Get jumping and have fun!

Merry Christmas!

Hot Wheels® Track Builder Stunt Bridge Kit Review

If you haven’t seen the Hot Wheels Track Builder Stunt Bridge Kit yet it is set to be one of the Hot Wheels favourites this Christmas! As you have seen from my previous post the boys love Hot Wheels, especially Archie who is obsessed with cars!

The Hot Wheels tracks you can build with this kit are endless, there are so many possibilities! Oscar and Archie can use their imaginations to build whatever stunt/track they can think of, especially as it is fully brick compatible so you can add bricks to build it up and make the jumps as difficult as you like. Oscar built different jumps out of the bricks to see if he could get the cars to fly through the bricks and back down on to the track. It has a fully motorised bridge (you need 2 x D – not included) and the bridge goes up and down and you have to time it right to fly your car through the air and land it safely on the track the other side. You can launch 2 Hot Wheels cars through the motorised bridge and hope that your car knocks your opponents car off the track in mid-air! Trust me it gets very competitive! I can see this being a big competition on Christmas day with all of the family over!

You can add your Hot Wheels Track Builder Stunt Bridge Kit to other track you may already have to make one epic stunt track. The kit comes with a cars that is very lightweight which means you can make it fly even further through the air and across the large gap in the bridge. Oscar got so excited playing with this set and kept playing over and over until he managed to complete the stunt he had designed. There are three sets in one with multiple configurations, you can make a different stunt track for each day of the week, the possibilities are endless!

I loved the most that the boys had to get creative and build different tracks that they had thought of! Its great when you see them use their imaginations and how they bring their thoughts, ideas and creations to life! Also having the two track play the boys could race against each other and play nicely together.

For £34.99 this is a real bargain considering the size of the track and bridge you are getting and its a track that the boys will play with over and over again as every time you play you can build something new and exciting. Within the box is over 70 pieces to play with! Your little one will be thrilled to open this on Christmas Day!

 

Disclaimer: The Hot Wheels set was gifted to us for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own!

My First Scalextric Review

A few weeks ago Oscar and Archie were sent the My First Scalextric set to review.  Archie is absolutely obsessed with cars at the moment and I knew he would love a Scalextric set of his own.

The track is super easy to assemble and only tool a couple of minutes which was good as Archie was hoovering over me in excitement ready to play. It is aimed at children aged 3+ and after a few goes with Oscar teaching him Archie had got it and raced around the track without holding the controller at full speed and crashing.

With a five year age gap between the boys it was nice to watch them play with something properly together and have great fun racing against each other. Within the set comes two rally cars; yellow and red although the set is fully compatible with the Micro Scalextric range of sets and cars, allowing you to extend your track and add new cars. I have brought a few more cars for Archie for Christmas to add to his collection.

Scalextric is one of those toys that every generation of our family has owned. My Dad had a huge track with loads of cars when he was little, then my brother had a track and now my boys. As they get older we want to build a huge track and have a Scalextric room in the loft where they can keep their rack out and race over and over again. Scalextric is a proper traditional family toy that every age group can enjoy and is always a great gift at Christmas as you can have a lots of races with all the family!

The controls have magnatraction technology helps to keep the cars on the track, and variable hand-controllers allow the speed of racing to be adjusted depending on skill level which is great when you have your little racers starting out for the first time.

The My First Scalextric set is only £39.99 and there is free standard delivery over £30! Order now ready for Christmas!

Disclaimer: We were gifted this item for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own!

Hot Wheels® Roto Revoluation™ Track Set Review

Oscar is seven, almost eight and has been a fan of Hot Wheels since he was about three or four. We have lots of different track sets and with Archie turning three in a few weeks he absolutely loves cars and plays with the tracks too. When we were contacted by Hot Wheels to see if we would like to review the Hot Wheels® Roto Revoluation™ Track Set I knew both the boys would be ecstatic!

The Roto Revolution Track Set includes 2 launchers and 2 Hot Wheels cars.​ The track is quick and simple to put together and required 4 x D batteries to keep the Roto Revoluation spinning around and around. The instructions are easy to follow and we were up and running within a few minutes.

The Hot Wheels sets are evolving all the time and this set in particular is great fun. The concentration on the boys faces trying to aim and shoot the car at the right time is so funny and they both got quite competitive. Once you get perfect timing your car flies around the loop the loop and crashes into your opponents car. The car remaining in the loop wins. You can set up a full blown battle against your friends. Fun that lasts for hours!

Its great fun and Oscar got me challenging him too, you really have to focus and be accurate to get your car on to the loop. I was surprised how good Oscar was at it and he patiently taught Archie as well.

Needless to say the boys absolutely love this track set and would make a fantastic Christmas present for any Hot Wheels fan! The track is aimed at children aged 5+ although Archie played with it easily. It is only £34.99 an Amazon.

Our Morning At The PJ Masks Halloween Party

We had such an exciting morning yesterday I drove the boys into London to the Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly for a PJ Masks Halloween Party. Oscar and Archie dressed as Catboy and both watch the show so they were very excited.


When we arrived we went into a room full of PJ Masks themed activities. The boys made their own masks on the craft table, Oscar had his face painted, had balloon swords made and got to play with the new range of PJ Masks toys which are all on Archie’s Christmas list. He kept picking up all of the toys and saying “me home”. He wasn’t very happy when we had to leave them in the room. We then got to meet Catboy, Gecko and Owlette. All of the children’s faces were a picture as they were all so excited to meet their favourite TV heroes.



The children also got to take part in a Diddi Dance class which was great fun who are now in partnership with PJ Mask’s and are holding a Super Dance Party in all of their classes across the UK from Monday 30th October to Sunday 5th November to raise funds for the Youth Sport Trust  which is a national children’s charity dedicated to transforming the lives of children and young people through the power of sport and physical activity. For more
information about how you can take part, head over to:

https://www.diddidance.com/pj-masks-super-dance-party

We then went into the cinema and got a sneak preview of two brand new unseen episodes and the trailer from the new series. With fantastic new adventures and exciting new characters this is set to be an amazing series. You can catch the brand-new episodes on Disney Junior every day at 5.45pm and on Wednesdays throughout November and December! Don not miss it! I’ve already set up my series link on record!


There is also a range of fantastic new PJ Masks products are launching at retailers nationwide and will be in stores ready for Christmas. The boys were so lucky to receive a ginormous bag of PJ Mask’s goodies with some of the new merchandise inside and a PJ Mask’s balloon sticking out of the top.


They each were given a PJ Masks Twist Top Bottle which is RRP £4.49. A copy of the PJ Masks Magazine, which is a monthly magazine which is £2.99 with bumper issues at £3.99. A copy of the PJ Mask’s 2018 annual which is RRP £7.99. I used to love getting an annual at Christmas! A PJ Masks Time to Be a Hero Fleece Blanket which is RRP £9.99 and is super soft and snuggly. The PJ Masks: Time to Be a Hero DVD which will have already watched three times! It is RRP £9.99 and would make a perfect stocking filler. PJ Mask’s box of puzzles which are 3+ and perfect for Archie as he is really into puzzles at the moment. The box which contains four puzzles is only RRP £5.99.


Much to Archie’s excitement they were each given a PJ Masks Vehicle & Figure Assist Pack and got the Catboy version so he was very pleased to have his own PJ Mask’s toy. The rest he will have to wait for Christmas to get. The pack is RRP £13.99 with five different ones to collect.


Also in the goodie bag was an Owlette PJ Masks Bean Plush toy. It is the perfect size to cuddle in bed and also fit in a bag to take around with you. Characters available include the fast and agile Cat Boy, the high flying hero Owlette, the super climber with super strength Gekko, and villains Luna Girl and Romeo. They are RRP £8.99 each.

Last but not least was a PJ Masks Blind Bag. These are great at only RRP £2.69 they are nice little treats and each bag containing a surprise character. You can collect all the characters in the PJ Masks world and look out for the ultra rare character!


Everything is available at all major retailers and online on Amazon.

Like I said we had the most fantastic day and the boys absolutely loved it! We can’t wait to see the rest of the new series! Thank you PJ Mask’s!