Friday, 30 September 2016

Snuggles My Dream Puppy



Part of the Little Live Pets range, this Snuggles My Dream Puppy is adorable and erfect if like me you dont want an ACTUAL puppy pooping around your house! Its soft and fluffy and his tummy moves to make him seem like he is  breathing like a real puppy he snores sleeps and needs feeding too and he (sorry ours has been designated a boy, yours can be a girl if you want!)  has already been listed in the Argos Christmas Top Gift List.

Check out our video here
video













We Love
His realistic actions
He comes with an adoption certificate
There are lots of ways to play with him, feed him, stroke him, tickle him and give him kisses (he kisses back!
He has loads of different sounds

Room for improvement

We just love him, so much so I had to make a new video so you could hear all about him instead of watching my kids fight over him!

You can find Snuggles at Character and you can enter competitions and download free My Dream Puppy activities at My Dream Puppy Club


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

St. Marys Inn A Perfect Family Venue



 Situated just a short drive from the centre of Morpeth St. Marys Inn, feel like its in another world, set in lovely surroundings and hosting a welcoming bar, lots of little nooks and crannys to sit in and hotel accommodation dripping with rustic charm. The hotel is just a mile from White house farm and 10 minutes from Morpeth High Street so is a perfect place to eat if you are planning a family day out.

We went along to enjoy afternoon tea for Mr Monkeyfeet and I, with the kids choosing from the Children's Menu 





We were given colouring in pages and pencils, even a pencil sharpener! Our drinks were brought straight away and there was no rush to make our menu choices, always good with my indecisive bunch. The Kids went for Sausage and  Chicken Dippers, the quality of the food is brilliant, the chicken dippers were home made and the sausages were good quality full of flavour and locally sourced. The gravy was amazing too so flavoursome I really want the recipe. The kids had a choice of fat chips or skinny chips and they got a drink and dessert all for £5. No teeny portions either they were decent sized meals!



My most favourite thing about eating here though? Absolutely nothing was a problem, we changed things from the menu and they bent over backwards to ensure Termite got a lovely allergy safe meal, even going so far as making her a 'special' banana split.

Dairy and Soya Free banana Split, It was almost bigger than Termites head!!!!








We adults were brought pots of tea and a huge platter of goodies for our afternoon tea with Egg Mayo, Beef and Horseradish, Salmon and Ham and Pease Pudding Sandwiches, 3 types of scone with butter cream and jam  to accompany and then 4 of the most lovely desserts.




We could not possibly have finished it all ourselves, but never fear our children are like dustbins and were happy to help.








You see Peanut in the background, waiting patiently for me to share!!!






Priced at £14.95 per person I can't tell you what amazing value this is, we have had smaller afternoon teas and paid more than this, there was food left even with the help of two dustbin children and the quality was awesome, I can't say enough how full of flavour everything was, the scones were the perfect balance of soft and crumbly, the sandwiches fresh and lovely especially the beef which was cooked to pink perfection no old shoe leather here.

If you ever spend time in Morpeth you'd be mad not to give St. Marys a try they have an amazing range of GOOD food on offer and the service is great not to mention the beautiful layout ensuring you feel like you have your own little corner of the place.


Heres a quick tour



You can connect with St Marys on InstagramFacebook and Twitter 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Brio Fire Rescue



We recently received this Brio Fire Rescue set to review, great news for us as we are huge brio fans and already have a lovely collection. This set retails at £39.99 and includes a trin and carraige , a fire engine and trailer two fire officers, lots of track with a bridge and crossing and the fire house.

You can see more in this video


We Love

  • I love the people in this set, they are pose-able and fix onto the ladders of the hose so are great for playing with
  • Its so easy to put together and is universal so fits with any other Brio Set
  • The bright clours
  • the noise of the fire engine ( agreat hit with termite as you can see0
  • The educational play value
  • The chunky pieces are great for little (and somewhat unco-ordinated bigger) hands 
  • Fab long lasting quality, Brio really is the type of brand that you can pass on to generations!






Thursday, 22 September 2016

Why Jennifer Aniston Isn't Laughing at Brad and Angelina

You know why Jennifer Aniston isn't laughing at Brad and Angelina divorcing? Because she isn't some mythical wicked witch!

Image result for jennifer aniston





You can't have missed the news that Angelina and Brad are divorcing, unless of course you, like Mr Clooney, were  ensconced in the UN, in which case I'm sorry I broke it to you so bluntly!

Image result for brad and angelina


You probably haven't missed much of the rumour mill churning out such fabulous snippets as
  • He's having an affair
  • She's such a nightmare that she drove him to drugs
  • He's angry and unreasonable
  • Jennifer Aniston has claimed its karma 
  • Aniston is laughing heartily at the situation

And I'm damn sure you haven't missed the Jennifer Aniston memes. Now I'm no humourless northern bird. I can admit I see the attraction of creating and sharing them is hard to resist BUT while they may appear funny, what they actually do is cement the idea that women are mean and enjoy the suffering of another female, that we sit and wish the worst on our fellow females because that makes us feel better. We make the idea of women constantly discounting and belittling other women seem ok. 

Let me tell you I've had my heart broken, by someone I loved, he moved swiftly on to someone else and then asked her to marry him, something he never had any intention of asking me. I will admit, that news was a hard pill to swallow. But when he left her, also brokenhearted, with a head full of wedding plans and a family to tell, I didn't celebrate smugly in her pain, I didn't dance around gleefully, I felt bad for her. I felt her pain having your heart broken hurts, losing a relationship sucks, and yeah now with a zen like attitude and the hindsight that he wasn't my 'one' I can be truly happy for past loves because they led me to my path and I'm happy as a pig in muck with my life I can honestly say I genuinely do not wish pain upon others.  

An educated guess, given Jennifer's successful career, is that she has moved on, and lets remember we are all worth more than our prior failures. Given that Aniston appears to be happy with her life, a reasonably sensible and educated lass I'm pretty sure she ain't dancing naked in the moonlight giving praise that her Wicken spell succeed because that would make her the bad guy in this and she isn't.

This Angelina and Brad thing isn't anything to do with Jennifer Aniston yeah she was married to the guy but I imagine she feels sad for the kids having to go through this because rest assured this is going to be the most public divorce for a loooooong time

So please lets try to remember this is about a family falling apart not about maintaining the patriarchal myth that women are sly, wicked, untrustworthy and always seeking to revel in another woman's failure. Because we all know that women standing together and helping each other is a force to be reckoned with. This situation isn't about pitting women against each other in some sort of virtual celebrity death match, because this isn't about Aniston. This is about the pain of an entire family in an awful situation.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Great North Snow Dogs Everything You Need To Know

'Presented by creative producers Wild in Art, working in partnership with St Oswald's Children’s Hospice, Great North Snowdogs will bring together businesses, artists, schools and community groups to create a public art trail of beautiful Snowdog sculptures, based on the story The Snowman and The Snowdog, by Raymond Briggs.
For ten weeks during Autumn and Winter 2016, the North East’s streets, parks and open spaces will become home to a series of individually designed Snowdog sculptures, painted by both well-known and undiscovered artists.

This will result in a sculpture trail, sponsored by businesses and individuals, showcasing the rich cultural offer and wealth of artistic talent in the area. Local people can become ‘tourists in their own city’ with a trail map and dedicated app will lead them from popular tourist destinations to lesser known areas of the region.
 Once the trail ends, the sculptures will be auctioned at a glittering event in December 2016, to raise funds for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice. A separate trail of smaller Snowdogs, created by local school children and community groups will also be exhibited, celebrating the talent of the young people of the North East.' *

Things You Need To Know




  • You can download an app for android or iphone here and track the snow dogs, some of them have special offers for you when you find them
  • Real 'get in the map' paper maps are avaiable from many locations for a small fee (click here for a list)
  • There will be Snow Dog themed events across the region stay in touch with Snow Dogs for more information by following them on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram 
  • All of the large dogs will be auctioned, with an expected minimum price of £4000 and the money raised will go straight to St Oswalds Hospice to privde hospice care for adults young people and children with life limiting conditions.
  • Tyne and Wear Metro, one of the Snow Dog, sponsors have journey planners available online to help you find your chosen dogs.
  • The trail runs until November for the big dogs and until January for the Litlles
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY PLEASE BE KIND, some awful people have already caused terrible damage to the dogs, so please please 'Pat Don't Sit' and don't let your kids climb on the dogs, they need love and kindness.
We were lucky enough to be invited along to the official Snow Dog launch in Sunderland Last night and had a great time seeing some doggies and some really lovely people, the kids loved talking to the awesome Leighton Denny (of course I wasn't awestruck) who told us about his creation 'Rhino The Resue Dog'  He showed the kids video on his mobile of his real life Rhino the Dog lapping up some sun in his shades whilst enjoying being chauffered around! Rhino was a rescue dog who Leighton says rescued him more than he rescued Rhino


We also managed a snap with Sunderland AFC ladies football team, who were all just lovely









We are also running a photo competition on our facebook page, simply comment on our pinned post with pictures of your Snow Dog finds and we will choose a winner at the end of November



*From http://www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Twozies

I'm sorry!!!



There I've apologised, but I'm afraid I'm about to tell you about another collectable craze... Twozies are the NEXT BIG THING! They will be top of Christmas Lists and I swear kids are going to love them. So what are Twozies? Well they are babies and pets! Each baby has a matching pet and so you have to try to collect them all and match up babies with pets! They come in surprise bags, play sets and shadow boxes, which can be stacked or mounted on the wall.

Hers our unboxing video


Twozies are available from Character and you can connect with them on Facebook 

Singamalings- Silly Little Singing Things

Singamalings are 'Silly little singing things', cute plush toys that Sing, Jabber and Harmonise! So they can sing their own little songs, harmonise with you or another singamaling or just make cute little noises (their very own language).

Check them out here

and here is our video review ....



Singamalings are available from Argos priced £9.99, suitable from age 3 up and you can catch up with them on YouTube

Project Mc2

Project Mc2 is a Netflix original series featuring cool characters  McKeyla McAlister, Adrienne Attoms, Bryden Bandweth and Camryn Coyle – who make up Project Mc2. They’re on a (secret) mission – to make sure tweens  know that it’s cool to be smart and to love S.T.E.A.M subjects (that’s science, technology, engineering, art and maths).

Season 2 launched on netflix in mid august and along with it came these fab character dolls, each coming with its own  experiment, choices available are ...

·
McKeyla’s Glitter Light Bulb
The show’s main character comes with her own glitter light bulb experiment – that shows how simple tap water can actually conduct electricity. Mix water and food colouring, add glitter and glycerine and watch as it really lights up!
Adrienne’s Bath Fizz
Culinary chemist Adrienne teaches children how to make their own bath bomb in this innovative kit. Using citric acid (because it is a solid) and baking soda – plus optional ingredients such as glitter, sprinkles and food colouring - in the mould provided. Guaranteed to make your bath more fun!
Bryden’s Panda Speaker
Tech genius Bryden comes with a Panda speaker – you just have to complete the electrical circuit to make the music play. Feed an apple slice to the panda to play your favourite song!
Devon’s Puffy Paint
One of the new members, Devon teaches you how to mix household ingredients such as flour, water and salt to make ‘puffy paint.’ The salt forms crystals when the paint dries (to make it sparkly) and the process of the water evaporating makes it appear ‘puffy’.
Ember’s Garden
Learn about the science of gardening with Ember’s Terrarium (an aquarium for plants). Add rocks, soil and seeds to see the water cycle in action and learn why it is essential to plant life.

We were sen a Bryden Doll which we reviewed here


Dolls are priced at £24.99 and are available at all good toy stores and you can follow Project Mc2 on Facebook and Twitter 

Friday, 16 September 2016

The Sisterhood and Building A Village




A little while ago I found myself faced with a situation I hate, a female who I know well was attempting making herself look better by making other women (me included)  look silly/wrong/less educated. It dawned on me that this person had no clue, not a single idea she was doing it and that her upbringing, was in a generation of women who were socially  led to believe that other women are 'out to steal your job/partner/life whatever!' Now I had decided I would write about this and discuss the idea of a patriarchal generation who have encouraged this distrust and discounting or other women....

Then I had a really crap week and a half, the start of school has been tough,...

  • My boy is sad and anxious his sensory issues are in overdrive and he is worrying for England. 
  • I've left my baby every day for 3 hours and she makes me suffer for this every afternoon with tiredness grumpiness and fierce (sometimes painful and exhausting) clinginess. 
  • The man is still swimming in a sea of giant waves of grief from the loss of his Mam, and as a 'fixer' it kills me that I can't make his sea calmer
  • No one is sleeping
  • My biggest girl is truly no bother but the stress of everyone being upset makes her concerned


I won't lie its been emotionally and physically exhausting and I've vented on Facebook a lot , but the spirit of sister hood, the tribal way of supporting one another has shown itself, meaning I'm inclined to write about that more than the spirit of bitterness I had originally planned. Let me tell you about the sow of solidarity I've had...

  • A phone call out of the blue from a pal, ten minutes after my first ever Termite drop off 'hey mama monkeyfeet I'm just ringing to see if you need anything, hug, cake, tea a sympathetic ear....' cue huge racking sobs!
  • I've been messaged with ideas to help my boy
  • I've been sent reassurances that I'm not alone
  • I've been hugged and patted and swamped with empathy and sympathy
  • I've been sent inspirational quotes and lovely compliments on my parenting
  • A friend in a similar situation has gone out of her way to post some worry dolls for The Golden Child
Worry Dolls: Set of 6 in a colorful bag
  • Another sent me this text 'you looked sad and stressed this morning, lets have a cuppa tomorrow'
  • My most calm, kind mamma friend has simply nodded and ahhed in all the right places showing that she may not have a solution but she feels my pain
Yes I'm a bit tearful and soppy right now because my faith in the power of the tribe is again in full swing! But I have said it before and I will say it again 'it takes a village' In decades and centuries gone by women have shared responsibility, woes, advice and childcare. There has historically been a full expectation that women stick together and help each other and sometimes in this current culture of isolation, hiding away behind a computer and the idea that asking for help shows weakness we forget that sisterhood is a strong bond between females, not just family, that the niceness in people means together we can make things better.

I'm thankful for my village near and far , close pals, and those who are only seen once in a while I'm grateful that the spirit of sisterhood stands strong and I will not dwell on those who have lost their way instead I shall double my village-woman efforts to lead them back.

Thank you to each and everyone of you this week, I may be bawling like a baby but they are happy relieved tears


Back To School For Peanut - Another Goretex Big Day

There goes summer! Instead here comes back to to school and soggy socks from the wet school run!

My peanut likes to run and jump and play and so wet autumn days need some preparation because hteres just no stopping this little (well not so little anymore) adventurer. Last year we made the mistake of buying cheap, and we ended up buying twice! The sole came off  Peanut's cheapy boots and they let in water from day one. Wellies aren't comfortable enough to wear all day and certainly not the best for running around in  so we NEED comfy protective boots and these Superfit Goretex  ones are just the ticket...

Heel - 7-00179-01










Heres a little video too





I love how warm they are and stylish enough that Peanut will wear them everyday, and I know they are built to last and because they are made with  Goretex we have no soggy socks! What do you think? Do you ever buy cheap shoes or do you think its just not worth it in the long run?

My First Bananagrams


Have you heard of Bananagrams? We love it, its kind of like scrabble but without the board or the score keeping! We are huge fans, so we jumped at the chance to review My First Bananagrams . The game is aimed at 4 and up and has loads of ways to play ....












We love


  • The tiles are brights and colourful
  • The games support the curriculum in most schools
  • The kids have loved making word with no clue they are learning!
  • The tiles are marked to ensure they are the right way
  • There are loads of ways to play
  • The game is easy to throw in a bag to take out and about with you
  • The instructions are clear and plentiful



Room for Improvement
I can't think of any, we love this game!

Follow Bananagrams on Facebook and you can buy the game on amazon