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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Celebrating National Sandwich Week with Num Noms

This year National Sandwich Week runs from May 20th to the 26th; a week to celebrate the versatility and deliciousness of this iconic, culinary British invention. I love a good sandwich, packed with a delicious vegan filling such as a meat-free BLT or a chickpea and cheese melt or hummus, falafel and salad. They are easy to eat and taste great! What's not to love?!

Num Noms, the super cute scented collectable, food inspired toys are celebrating National Sandwich Week, challenging us to come up with a Num Noms inspired sandwich creation. Their Series 4 Dessert Tray collectables include a range of Ice Cream sandwiches: Terry Berrywich, I.C. Sandwich and Wintergreen Creme, all fragranced with the scent of berry, chocolate or mint. Ice Cream Sandwiches are another great way to celebrate the sandwich this week. We like to make a vegan Oreo and Swedish Glace ice cream sandwich dessert. It is very indulgent, rich and delicious!

With Num Noms, you can create thousands of flavour combinations using the scented characters, stacking them together and making your own unique blends. Num Noms fans can also enjoy the official magazine, packed with fab free gifts. The Num Noms lunchbox is a great addition to the range and is perfect for packing up your sandwiches for enjoying on the go!

Num Noms


My own mini chef Freddy donned his Num Noms chef's hat and got busy in the kitchen to create his very own sandwich creation to celebrate National Sandwich Week. He chose the Num Nom "Mocha Frappe" as his design inspiration for an open sandwich made with vegan chocolate spread and chunky peanut butter on half and half bread.

Num Noms Inspired Sandwich Making


Freddy had great fun spreading and cutting to make the shape and colour of Mocha Frappe and used blueberries for making the eyes, nose and bow. A slice of strawberry made the mouth and completed his Num Noms inspired sandwich creation. 

Num Noms Inspired Sandwich


Freddy really enjoyed eating his chocolate spread and peanut butter sandwich, which was extra tasty on accounts of it looking like a Num Nom!

Look out for Num Noms at retailers such asSmyths, Amazon, Argos and find out more at numnoms.mgae.com.

Friday, 4 May 2018

VelociTrax Pro from NIKKO - Super Fast and Furious RC Fun

Remote control vehicles have always featured on must have toy lists. There is something about taking full charge of a vehicle and watching it zoom about under your control that keeps kids entertained for ages. Freddy has always loved playing with remote control cars, making race tracks or obstacle courses and testing them to their limit. So his was really keen to test out the VelociTrax from Nikko.

The VelociTrax  Pro from NIKKO brings you full-function omni-directional radio control action with super fast speed,  ultra- manoeuvrability and futuristic styling. It has a big range of up to 40 metres and an impressive top speed of 14km/hr. It's a real action vehicle, ready for indoor or outdoor adventures.

VelociTrax Pro RC Vehicle from Nikko


This very fast and furious VelociTrax features 360-degree spins and allows you to race through any off road terrain and over obstacles using its robust caterpillar tracks. It has really impressive manoeuvrability and the spinning trick is a lot of fun! With its superior traction, it is great at getting over obstacles and Freddy made a course that saw the vehicle power over wooden planks, go through grass and mud and even knock balls out of the way. Controlling this speedy vehicle is a bit manic, but that adds to the fun.



I was very pleased at how tough and durable the VelociTrax vehicle is. As it is so quick, there are a few crashes involved when playing with it, but the bodywork is well made and it has withstood some serious playtime. It is better used outside where its speed and ability to power through obstacles can be fully enjoyed, but Freddy also enjoyed throwing 360 spins indoors on the laminate floor. It also looks really good with its futuristic design and colourful tracks and bodywork. It offers some great RC fun!

VelociTrax Pro RC Vehicle from Nikko


The car comes with a 7.2V Ni-Mh rechargeable battery that can be charged within 1 hour with the included quick-charge charger. This gives 20 minutes run time. The remote requires 3 x AAA batteries, which are included. The 2.4GHz remote allows for 10+ player head-to-head racing with a range of 40m, so if your friends have one, you could organise some serious races. It is suitable for children aged 8 and over.

You can find Nikko RC vehicles from Smyths, Amazon and Argos. At the time of writing, the price of the car ranges between £30 to £50.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Make Your Own Slime with So Slime DIY Cosmic Slime Shakers

Like most kids his age, Freddy is obsessed with slime! We have tried numerous times to make our own using detergent and PVA glue, but have never had much success, ending up with nothing more than a sticky mess and sore hands. So when he was offered the chance to try out the So Slime DIY Slime Shakers from Canal Toys, we were hoping for a good result, and we were not disappointed.

The Slime Shakers give a safe and fool-proof DIY method of making your own cosmic slime by simply adding water to the sachet of slime powder in the shaker pots. You shake the pot (with the lid on!) for 30 seconds, wait for five minutes and then the slime is ready to play with. It's as easy as that.

So Slime DIY Cosmic Slime Shakers


The Cosmic Slime Shakers make a metallic purple, greeny-blue and pink pot of slime. Each can have glitter or confetti added for extra sparkle. Each pot also includes a little surprise figurine such as a cat, mermaid, unicorn, cloud or star, which can be added into the mix. There are three other fun and imaginative designs in the Slime Shakers range; Rainbow, Creepy and Insect each with their own unique colours, decorations and characters. So whatever your child is into, there is a style of slime to suit them.

The slime can be kept in its colour coordinated pot to keep it fresh and clean. The slimes and figurines can be combined for colourful cosmic effects and extra fun.

The So Slime DIY Slime Shakers are a great rainy day activity for families with children aged 6 and over. The DIY element adds extra educational play value to the product. Freddy could follow the instructions and make the slime, adding the powder, glitter and water up to the measuring line on the pot, then shaking it vigorously. He was pretty pleased with the results knowing that he had done it himself. Once made it can be stretched, oozed, squeezed and played with, for hours of slime-filled fun. 

So Slime DIY Cosmic Slime Shakers



The 3 pack Slime Shakers are £9.99. The fact that it is safe for kids, is made easily using just water and is mess free keeps everyone happy. The So Slime range is recommended for children aged six and over. The So Slime DIY products are available in UK stores now and include the DIY Slime Shakers, DIY Case and DIY factory. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Move Over Water Pistols, Here Comes the Slime Blaster!

Zimpli Kids, the creators of Gelli Baff and Slime Baff  that transform water into slime or goo, have a brand new product that is perfect for the summer. Set to revolutionise the classic seasonal water fight, the Slime Blaster is a pump action gun that shoots slime at your opponents, adding a brand new weapon to your arsenal. It's fun, it's messy and it's brilliant!


Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster


The Slime Blaster uses a 100% safe Slime formula, and can shoot a blast of slime up to 7 metres. Simply fill up the water tank with water, add the slime powder sachet, shake and wait 5 minutes to create the slime then get ready to fire.


Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster


Each Slime Blaster comes with 12 x slime blaster sachets giving 200+ slime shots. That's plenty of slime action for an exciting outdoor slime fight.

Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster


The gun itself is funky with its white, orange and green design. The water tank unscrews easily from the end of the blaster to fill it up. The Slime Blaster water tank comes with a cap so you can secure it while waiting for your slime to develop. The pump action works well and fires the slime a good distance. We all really like the Slime Blaster as it brings a very unique and novel twist to the traditional water fight concept.

The slime rinses out from clothes and washes off skin easily and is completely safe and non-irritant. The Slime Blaster is recommended for children aged 5 and over. Slime sachet refills are available to buy separately once you've used up the supply that comes with the Slime Blaster.

The Slime Blaster is available from stockists such as Tesco and Amazon. (I have found  them currently on offer at  just £13.50 at Tesco Direct so it's worth searching for a good price.)

The Slime Blaster is definitely going to be a summer favourite for us this year!


Monday, 16 April 2018

Engaging Teens and Helping Shape their Future with the National Citizen Service

My daughter Kezia is going to be sixteen years old this year. My youngest daughter is all grown up. Life is a whirlwind of homework, friends, concerts, YouTube, make-up tutorials, playing music on vinyl, vegan snacks, Snapchat and shopping trips. 

She is fast approaching the time when she has some big decisions to make with regards to her future post-16 options - whether she chooses to do A'Levels at college with a view to going on to university, or if she opts for a more vocational course and an apprenticeship. Whatever she chooses to do, I'll be there to support her and encourage her every step of the way, hoping that I've helped her develop the tools needed to thrive in the big wide world.

There is one decision that I hope she decides upon that will help her to shape her future and grow as an individual at this important time in her life. The National Citizenship Service is a once in a lifetime opportunity for 16 - 17 year olds to take part in a 3 - 4 week experience that helps build confidence and self belief, giving teens a taste of living away from home, developing important skills and meeting new people. This would be a great opportunity for Kezia to do something challenging while embarking on a journey of self discovery that could really help her to grow as a person. As well as the fun and adventure involved in taking part, participation in NCS will also look good on a UCAS personal statement or CV.

Teenagers


NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland, to help create a more cohesive and engaged society and helping to tackle some of our country's biggest social challenges. The two to four week programme takes place in the school summer holidays, and includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for learning essential life skills, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.


By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens. These Generation Z teenagers have the power to change the world for the better. They are tomorrow's adults; our future leaders and influencers and could prove to be an unstoppable force!

National Citizenship Service


The NCS programme puts young people through a series of challenging activities to take them out of their comfort zone and develop their strength of character and leadership skills. They are given the chance to really connect with their communities through social action, organising events or raising money for local charities. This year more than 100, 000 16 - 17 year olds will be taking part in the scheme. The benefits of the NCS is great, not just to the teenagers who take part, but to their communities and to society as a whole. Investing in our young people is an investment in our country's future. For every £1 spent, the NCS summer programme in 2016 delivered up to £2.42 of benefits back to society.

This opportunity is a chance for teens to do something really worthwhile over the long summer holidays. As a parent, I think this is definitely worth pitching to my teenager as it will be way more rewarding to her than lazing in bed until midday throughout the whole of August! I hope she'll say yes to NCS.

NCS is amazing value for money. The whole experience including food, accommodation and travel costs just £50, which is an incredible bargain when you think of what your child can gain from taking part.  (Bursaries are available on a case by case basis and support is also provided for young people with additional needs.) Even if you have commitments over the summer, you can register for further details and NCS will try to find a spot for all interested teens at a time that suits.

There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. To sign up now, go to the NCS website using this link: www.ncsyes.co.uk.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes - The Flash on DVD

If you are looking for a great alternative gift to Easter Eggs for the kids this Easter, then look no further than Warner Bros new direct to DVD animated film: LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes -The Flash.  This animated adventure features DC Comics' speedy superhero the Flash in a 75 minute adventure.

When the Joker attacks Metropolis, the Justice League unites to fight him and stop him. Meanwhile, Reverse-Flash manipulates the Speed Force to put the Flash into a time loop that forces him to relive the same day over and over again—with progressively disastrous results. The Flash must find a way to restore time to its original path and face his worst enemy before all is lost.

It’s up to Batman Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and their new recruits: The Atom, Krypto the Super Dog and Ace the Bat Hound, to help The Flash to recover his powers, defeat his nemesis Reverse-Flash, save the universe and escape the time loop in an exciting finale!

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes - The Flash on DVD


With the classic LEGO Super Hero movie humour, this is a great film for keeping the kids entertained over the Easter holidays. It's a fun-filled, action packed adventure that LEGO Super Hero fans will really enjoy.  It was nice to find out more about The Flash and his story!

You can buy it from Amazon for just £7.

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment - a show for all the family

Last night we had the privilege of attending Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. We enjoyed a VIP Meet and Greet with Mickey Mouse himself before the show, which was a real treat.

Before the show starts, there is a short pre-show, Fit to Dance. Children are encouraged to get up out of their seats and join in with some energetic moves to music. It was a great way to get the kids warmed up while they are waiting for the main event.

The show itself is introduced by Disney favourites Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy bringing their own slapstick comedy and fun. First up is Toy Story starring Andy, Woody, Buzz and Jessie alongside the toy soldiers, Mr and Mrs Potato Head, Hamm, Slinky, Rex, Bull's Eye, Barbie, Ken and Lotso. As Andy prepares to leave for college, the toys find themselves in a sticky situation ending in them having to execute a daring escape from Sunnyside Daycare.  The costumes are just so incredible and a highlight in definitely the Ken and Barbie storyline with Ken's fashion show!

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment


Next up is The Little Mermaid with beautiful ice dancing, great fishy characters and wonderful music. I loved watching Ariel and Eric's love story and their fight with Ursula the Sea Witch.

Mater, Sally and Lightning McQueen take to the ice as they help Mickey's car get souped up and ready for action. Seeing the full sized cars on the ice was very impressive.

The story of Frozen closes the show. With incredible special effects, brilliant ice dancing from Anna and Elsa and the amazing music from the movie, this part of the show is a real spectacle. Olaf brings some comedy and visual humour and is a real crowd favourite. The story of Frozen lends itself so well to the Disney on Ice show and it is done so beautifully.

The show is just so lovely. We all really enjoyed it. From the talented, skillful and impressive ice skaters, the entertaining choreography and storylines, the magical costumes and the Disney soundtrack, everything comes together to create something that the whole family will love. From my 8 year old son Freddy to my teenager Kez and her best friend Amelia to my husband Ian, everyone had a great time.

The show is touring and will be in Birmingham until April 1st. Find out more and book tickets at: www.disneyonice.com/gb/en-gb/worlds-of-enchantment.

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