Thursday, 31 July 2014

Skate Hut Review and Giveaway

At a recent car boot sale Peanut bought some inline skates, they are a rubbish fit and really not the best for learning to skate so we discussed getting some quad skates. at this point The Golden Child declared he wanted. Skateboard no that he was a big boy! Let me tell you it's been a good 10 years since I last skated and it was a disaster I couldn't stop in my proffessional in line skates so had to skate into a bin! The bruise lasted weeks. So it was with trepidation that I agreed we would think about new skates and a board and  learn to be wheelie wonders!!! Please be aware by trepidation I actually thought "oh c**p I know nothing about teaching kids out door stuff like this, and the last time Spartacus was on a skateboard he broke his elbow and sprained an ankle, we are set for certain disaster". So hoping they would forget about it I distracted the kids with cbeebies and left it with some vague nods of agreement when they questioned me further.

But as if the skate gods knew of my ambiguity on the subject a rather apt email arrived asking if we would like to work with Skate Hut! Well obviously this is meant to be the summer we learn to skate so I agreed and set about choosing some gear. The website is easy to navigate and has a HUUUGE choice and more accessories and parts than I knew existed not to mention cool shoes and clothes! Thankfully they are a friendly bunch and they were happy to offer advice when I tweeted them a desperate plea for recommendations. We chose the Monster Skateboard Starter Pack and these Rookie Bliss Quad Skates and the order arrived really quickly
The kids were totally stoked (see how I'm trying to be hip and cool) when they discovered this huge box was for them

The Golden Child was so shocked he couldn't speak and he just hugged his board, Peanut was really happy with her skates and so we suited up in our protective gear and started practising. The general consensus on my Facebook page is to let them just get on with it and not to fuss, and make sure they are near grass so they have a soft landing.

I m pleased to say they did really well, with no broken bones as yet, I feel we made the right purchases and I'm sure I'm going to have my heart in my mouth the more confidence they gain.

 Peanut's skates adjust really easily to make them longer or shorter, they are however quite a narrow fit and as my children are blessed with big wide feet  I will have to keep that in mind when she moves onto her next set. They look gorgeous and she was quite steady moving about, she found the stoppers easy to use  and was skating tentatively really quickly.

The Golden Child however is a born skater he was on his board and wheeling happily after only a couple of topples! Hisboard  is big and sturdy and makes for a smooth steady ride and the safety helmet and pads that came with it are brilliant for him. He loves the monsters on the underside of the board. It's taken a few knocks but looks no worse for it and I think it's brilliant value for money. If you are looking for skate/board/scootering gifts then I would highly recommend Skate Hut as your first stop.


You can connect with them on their Website and on Twitter and Facebook. 

But because they are an amazingly lovely lot over there at Skate Hut HQ they've offered one of you lucky readers the chance to win a £30 voucher just fill out the rafflecopter below and we will choose a winner from all the correct entries. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Proud as Punch

A really quick post and rather overdue but I wanted to share with you all that my brilliant husband came top of his class in his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology with a First Class Honours Degree, a course accredited by CIAT and CIOB.

We had a lovely day celebrating his success and watching him get his scroll. He has worked really hard (obviously aided by his brilliant wife) to support us and gain amazing results in his acedemic work whilst ensuring family time doesn't suffer!


The kids really enjoyed seeing him all dressed in his cap and gown and listening as we explained what university was and how they could do the same when they were older.

Most of his classmates are heading straight to work and are all busy searching for construction jobs in the UK Spartacus however is fortunate enough to be self employed and is taking this opportunity to continue with his studies, moving on to a Masters Degree.

Good luck to all of his alumni and we will keep you updated of his Masters progression.


Friday, 25 July 2014

Tales of The Termite - 11 months

I'm nearly 1! But sssshh mammy hates to hear it!  I have some rockingly great tricks this month, my best is this kissing thing.  have discovered how to give kisses which mummy just loves. It's dead easy you just lean toward the other person and say 'mmmm' then they go all soft and squishy and say how lovely I am. Top it with one of my super cuddles and honestly I can get anything I like. Everyone says how cuddly I am but really I can't see why anyone wouldn't want to just hug, it's so nice! 

I have loads of toys I've enjoyed playing with and one I really love is my 'fort' it's so much fun playing peekaboo from here and the big kids love to come sit with me which I just love!

Ok so I have also discovered telephones, I'm not sure how they work but let me explain, I pick something up, hold it to my ear and say hello (note from mummy- she actually says 'hi hi'or 'erroh' shes so clever) then mummy asks 'who's on the telephone?' And I hand whatever is in my hand to her, she has a chat and gives me it back normally saying 'it's for you it's the monkey/giraffe/daddy/grandad' it's lots of fun and you can use anything, the Tv buttons, a teddy, daddy's computer mouse.....

Seriously though my favourite thing is a manky old horse head , it used to be on  a pole that the big two would put between thier legs then run about, but I kept hitting myself so now it looks like this....

I find it wherever it is, take it to Daddy and shout 'da da da da' he picks me up, presses the button and we ride along to the horsey noise and then the horse gives me a kiss! 

I can play this for hours and hours but sometimes daddy tries to ignore me and that makes me baaaaaaaaad tempered. 

Sing My Name Alarm Clock Review and Giveaway

I was sooooo pleased when the guys at Sing My Name asked us to review a clock. I have a strange issue that some of you may envy, I have to drag my big kids out of bed most mornings! At 5 and 4 they are LAZY! please don't hate me too much though Termite still doesn't sleep so I'm not being spoiled by the gods of sleep.

What They say

Our personalised alarm clocks are a fantastic gift that kids simply love. When the alarm goes off the clock sings a fun 'Wake Up' song which features the child's name as part of the lyrics! Children love hearing their name and our alarm clocks are popular with kids all over the world. You'll even find them being sold in prestigious UK stores, such as Hamleys and Harrods. These clocks make a superb personalised gift, perfect for Birthdays, Christmas, Christenings, or even to celebrate the first day of school.
Teach your little one how to tell the time with the help of their personalised alarm clock. Kids wake up too early? Get them into a routine of waking up at the time you want, by encouraging them to get up when the clock sings their name. Have a teenager you can't get out of bed? Set a LOUD personalised song they'll love to hate or record your own funny wake up call.
Our personalised alarm clocks are not only favoured by children - adults love them too. Are you looking for a fun birthday or retirement gift? Our personalised clocks are guaranteed to make adults laugh out loud, and they can even re-program the clock with their own music to make a truly useful gift after the joke is over.
Personalised alarm clock specifications include:
  • High strength, durable ABS plastic body
  • Solid chromed metal bells, feet and handles
  • Great sound quality
  • Demo function which lets the child play their song whenever they want
  • Snooze function
  • Re-programmable with your own music or sounds, making it a long lasting gift
  • Easy to use software on board - nothing to download or install
*Re-program function requires Windows PC and standard USB cable, not included
*Product requires 3 x AA batteries, not included

What We Say

Peanut loved it when she first saw it, obviously it being  pink made it a winner from the get go. I will admit I prepared myself for annoyance but actually the song is pretty catchy and very soon we were all singing it! We did have a little trouble when we set and switched on for a wake up at 8, but the kids went to bed at 7 so just as peanut fell into deep slumber she was awoken by the clock, poor thing has rarely woken anyway but naturally so the shock really scared her. I think that at 5yrs she may be a tad too young for anything more than mammy stroking her head as a wake up but she does love it. 

I like that you can plug it in with a USB Cable and re-programme it. But I think that at an RRP of £25 I would have liked to see batteries included.

Overall this is a nice gift and It will last a long time, I think kids will really love it and actually we still sing the song sometimes so its obviously quite a catchy one!

You can connect with Sing My Name via Facebook or Twitter

Now those lovely guys at SIng My Name would like to offer one of my lovely readers a clock of your choosing, so to be in with a chance of winning simply fill in the rafflcopter below.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Buggabandz Review

I hate Mosquito's! I don't like to kill insects because they play an important part in the eco system BUT oh my days Mosi's are evil and they just make me ill. No I'm not being dramatic let me paint a wee picture for you, are you sitting comfortably?

In 2006 Spartacus and I tootled off to Egypt on our honeymoon, first stop Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza, a truly spectacular sight in so many ways but I got bitten, about 10 times all up and down my legs! perhaps sitting outside in the desert wasn't wise but I did have repellant on so foolishly thought I was safe. Next stop a flight to Luxor where we landed on my birthday. Now picture 10 mosquito bites that have swollen to the size of  your palm, turned bright red and started to weep fluid!!! Yes folks that was the  glamour that my poor husband was faced with on day four of our honeymoon. Follow that with a trip to an Egyptian hospital with very few English speaking medical staff, all of whom seemed intent on making me get into a bed, a hysterical Monkeyfooted mummy (although technically I was still simply Mrs Spartacus  then) and a hot horrible taxi ride and you have an idea of how our first day ,my birthday remember, in Luxor went.

I've now needed injections and medication to counteract the effects of mosquito bites on about 10 seperate holidays, I've been bitten in Cairo, Luxor, Sharm, Crete, Lanzarote, Rhodes, Kos, Africa and India!! So on top of the cost of many varied potions, sprays and lotions, those little blighters, or should I say BITERS, have cost us a fortune. You will  understand then that I was dubious when I read the gushing feedback about Buggabandz. I am however willing to try anything to save having these allergic reactions so I waited patiently for my review pack to arrive!

What They Say

BuggaBandZ® is an emerging brand designing and producing Natural Anti Mosquito Fashion BandZ for people of all ages.
BuggaBandZ contain essential oils derived from natural plant extracts proven to protect against Mosquitoes and a variety of other nasty insects such as Midges, Black Flies, Sand Flies, Fleas and Ticks.
BuggaBandZ diffuse a distinctive scent which forms a protective shield around the area of use, keeping pesky bugs a safe distance away!

BuggaBandZ® are so light and comfortable, you’ll hardly know you’re wearing them!
Simply pop open the resealable pack, take out your stylish BuggaBandZ and slip em on… It’s that easy!
Due to the high quality silica gel we use to make our new range of wristbands, BuggaBandZ may be worn over and over as a fashion accessory long after the scented aromas discontinue…
We designed the new BuggaBandZ range to be worn loose and comfortable which in turn allows the scented aromas naturally and gradually diffuse over seven days.

Bugga Goes InFlight from BuggaBandZ on Vimeo.

What We Say

I am amazed, astounded, surprised, over the moon, overjoyed and ridiculously happy to say THEY WORK! I mean they really really work. We popped them on on our first night, and could instantly smell the natural oils. They look fairly cool and thankfully my white one blended in well with all my outfits! At the end of night one... No bites, not one, and so this continued for the rest of the holiday. We only wore them on an evening although we did put them near the kids' beds over night to protect them in their sleep. 

Now I hear your doubt so just to show that it wasn't a fluke, that there were actual Mosquitos, actually biting people. I counted seventeen other parents that I have chatted to who all had bites. Also because I'm kind and lovely at the end of our holiday because the band still had some scent and seemed to still be working we passed them on to the lovely kids club assistants. This however meant that I went to the airport without protection. In 2 hours in the airport I was bitten thirteen times! Within 24 hours of being home they had swollen larger than a credit card and were red and angry!

The BuggabandZ boffins say these only last 7 days but we had protection for the whole of our holiday, I would however recommend buying a spare if you are going away for a fortnight just in case. At an RRP of £9.99 they are amazing value for money in my humble opinion. 

So yes my lovelies if like me you are considered an all you can eat buffet by Mosquitos, I would  recommend this product without a moments hesitation. I can't wait to get more for our summer holiday and I'm keen to try these new BuggaLoopz on the pram as well, an absolutely genius idea! 

If you'd like a chance to win a set of BuggaBandZ  click here to enter our competition  and we will draw a winner from the CORRECT entries next week. 

Oh and don't forget to check out Buggabandz on Facebook and Twitter they really are a lovely company 

Monday, 14 July 2014

BuggaBandz Giveaway

My lovely friends over at BuggaBandz are keen to spread some anti-bug love. So they are offering a family pack of brilliant BuggaBandz.

If you missed my review you can read it here

Simply enter via rafflecopter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Playing Nice on Social Media!

I love facebook, it's no secret. But one thing that gets my goat is the ability for other people to freely pass judgement whilst hiding behind thier keyboards.

Just recently I've witnessed several
Instances on public pages of people judging parental choices. Let me give you some examples;

You are a disgrace of a parent if you let your kids go to kids club on holiday, they could end up like Madeleine McCann !!! (This statement was so offensive to me that I almost couldn't bring myself to write it!) 

It must be nice to give up your  job and stay home with your kids some of us can't and you's are a bunch of moaners talking about it being a full time job, you've got it easy!

It's obviously the parents fault when a kid has a tantrum if you are a good parent your children know how to behave.

I'm not writing this to address those comments above, because honestly I'm sure you are all competent enough in using   your brains to see the nastiness in them. No, I'm writing this to say that parenting is hard

Its  hard to work when you are leaving your kids with someone else to go to work. Are you missing out? Are they missing you? Are they OK ?

Its also hard to give up a career you love even when it's the only solution for your family, it's hard to miss out on the excitement of that career and wonder if you will ever get back into it. Despite enjoying your family time and freedom its still a very big change. 

It's hard to make the right choices, stay calm, keep them entertained, are they eating right, getting enough fruit and veg, are you too strict or not strict enough, should you give them more freedom or are you giving them too much? 

PARENTING IS HARD we all know this. So why, when any parent can tell you about tough days and parental mistakes would anyone judge another parent? Don't get me wrong I'm guilty of it I stand in judgement of parents who smack, who smoke and who call thier children stupid. I stand in judgement of many things but I'd rather open a conversation about these subjects than type something awful
in a public domain. 

To anyone who has ever been a keyboard warrior I'd like to suggest that you follow these rules .... 

If you wouldn't say it to your gran don't say it on social media

Think about this, would you say the sentence you just typed to someone's face? And by someone I mean a person you have just met! Imagine walking up to a stranger in the supermarket and saying 'I blame you, you are a bad parent and that's why your child is crying' would you? No? Then maybe leave it off social media.

Please remember you may be miles apart and it's only Facebook, but your words can have an effect they can make people hurt, doubt themselves, give up or do something worse. 

Play nice people, technology has made the world a smaller place. A place where you can find pretty much anything you need any time you need it, I still see the internet as a gift but that's because I'm geet old (there's a northern term for you). Let's keep social media for the purposes of time wasting and helping people, not for being bullies.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Festival Fun at the Seaside - by Barny Bear


Hello there I'm Barny and I love to try new things, I'm always ready for a new adventure.

I've arrived at a strange place called Monkeyfeet HQ. I came with 4 fellow chocolate bears and in a seperate shuttle (box) 5 of my Strawberry friends.

There's much talk here among the little people (Peanut, Golden Child and Termite)  about a parade we will be going to so I'm very excited. Apparently we wil march through the town singing and dancing ending up at the seaside to launch a summer parade.

I'm worried for my fellow chocolate bears, the mummy one here has taken two of them today. She took one this morning and he never returned, then this afternoon she came back for another with a rather guilty look on her face and a cup of tea in hand! 

Today I heard the mummy person tell the daddy person she doesn't think any of us chocolate bears will make the parade and picnic because she loves us too much. This confused me. She told him we were so gorgeous and light and our chocolate is so creamy that she has trouble stopping herself from taking more!

Today is the day. With much excitement we have all been packed into a large red bag and placed on something called a pushchair. The Monkeyfooted ones are dressed in bright clothing with ribbons and balloons and musical instruments, we met up with lots of other mini meastro's and all gathered together to play and eat our picnics.

The kids were too excited to eat much though so most of the food was packed back away and we went to get ready to start our march, it was so much fun with the crowds waving at us, and listening to all the kazoos and singing. Peanut was dancing alongside The Golden Child but  Termite  fell asleep about 5 minutes in almost dropping me from her iron grasp and she slept through the whole thing.!

Ah its the end of the parade we've all sat down again to chat and play and The Monkeyfooted ones have  popped me and all my bear friends on the picnic blanket so we can all join in with the fun....

Monkeyfooted Mummy Here, Im afraid Barny couldnt finish his diary because the kids ate them all up! Ha ha, seriously though  I can say first hand these cakes are lovely and they went down a storm with the little (and not so little 'ahem') ones. A great little snack to carry about as they are individually wrapped and just the right size,.you can find ut more here but it would be more fun just to pop out and get some, then go on your own little adventure.