Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Playgrounds and Pokemon - Another Big Day With Goretex

I scoffed at the idea of Pokemon and refused point blankly to download the app. Mostly on the grounds of hating to do what everyone else  is doing. But after a bit of thought and a chat with some Pokemon pals we went for it, and I have to say I kind of like it! But I shall tell you all the great things in another post. The biggest reason though is that it gets you out and moving, so armed with these awesome Goretex shoes from Superfit  to ensure we'd be most comfortable

we set of for a day on the quayside, catching Pokemon and checking out the great Playground Project at the Baltic

'A focal point for ideas about education and childhood, about urban planning and public space, about architecture and art, about creativity and control, the playground has repeatedly resisted institutional and ideological appropriation and grown in its own, sometimes anarchic, ways.
The Playground Project will bring back many exemplary, but now often forgotten playground initiatives, pioneering acts and adventures with a playground in which children (and inner children) can run, hide, climb and imagine. The exhibition includes Marjory Allen (Lady Allen of Hurtwood), Assemble, Joseph Brown, Riccardo Dalisi, Richard Dattner, Aldo van Eyck, M. Paul Friedberg, Michael Grossert, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Alfred Ledermann, Yvan Pestalozzi, Group Ludic, Egon Møller-Nielsen, Niki de Saint Phalle, Mitsuru Senda, Colin Ward and others.'

The Playground project is amazing and the kids had loads of fun it was really busy though as we arrived at lunchtime so I would recommend arriving earlier in the day or later especially on a weekend. The Playground Project will be at Baltic until 30 October.

So for all you Pokemon fans we caught about 10 different and new to us Pokemon in and outside of the baltic and the quayside has lots of Pokestops and even a Gym or two so well worth an afternoon adventure ...

Follow the other Goretex Adventurers and connect on Facebook and Twitter

We are Goretex Ambassadoors and were sent these shoes free of charge 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Will My Child Ever Sleep

Yes I did google 'Will My Child Ever Sleep' more than once! This post was written, in most part, in 2014 when the Termite was barely 1 and was not sleeping and had not slept for a long time, I've decided to post it in the hopes that some of you who are feeling the sleep deprivation may feel better knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel, Sadly I cant tell you how long your sleep tunnel is, Peanut slept from 16 weeks pretty much, The Golden Child not until 13 months and Termite, well there are still nights she wakes us up but she didn't sleep for more than 3 hours ever until she was 23 months!

So for all you sleep deprived parents, who cant remember whether its the left boob or the right, whether you put in 6 scoops or formula or 7. and even remember to put on pants in the morning I PROMISE sleep will come, and maybe you too will look back with rose tints at the nights you got to snuggle a teeny tiny in the dark quiet nights! But know that you are not alone in feeling BAD, here is my post...

July 2014
When Termite was weeny I embraced the night time get ups as a chance to write, it's short lived I told myself so take it as a gift of time! Soon enough though she started sleeping all night and we embraced that even more firmly. Then at 16 weeks we had our immunisations and that was the day the sleep ended! Most nights I'm up every 90 minutes to two hours and let me tell you most nights I'm now too tired to even string together a sentence never mind blog ! The novelty has truly faded, so too have the well though out posts. A look at my draft folder will reveal 37 unfinished posts, this one in fact, bemoaning the struggle of sleep deprivation,  has been started and discarded at various unearthly hours about 17 times! I've begun posts on the rules of sleep club, the things that sleep deprivation affects, the trade offs and the torture and the standards that start to slip. Let me tell you, there was a time not long ago that I could be organised and well planned, now however most days feel like just a survival effort. If we can get to bed time alive and well, clean and fed then we will take that as a win.

I know it sounds very dramatic but in the wise words of a fellow sleep deprived mum 'sleep deprivation seeps into every part of your life, every single relationship' and it does I've missed out on days out and activities because either I've been so tired I couldn't drive safely or honestly it was just too much effort to get ready and get three kids there. I've left pans on, or more insanely not switched on the oven so simply and cruelly found tea sitting just as raw as I last saw it an hour earlier when I put it in the oven! It makes you snappy and short or tearful and irrational. I smile and give reasons for her owl-like night behaviour because the truth is some babies just don't sleep well but behind my smile lies a scruffy emotional overwhelmed loon who sometimes thinks it would be easier to move house than tackle the seemingly endless list of chores to catch up on in order to have a tidy house. Because honestly some days it's just too much to contemplate the laundry or mopping or hoovering! 

At 11 months my nightly affirmations (after 7 straight months of broken nights) are ...,

'The Golden Child didn't sleep until 12 months, you're nearly there'

'This too shall pass'

'Embrace the chance of baby cuddles this time is fleeting'

But I will be honest most nights I praying to my god that I can have 4 straight hours or that the whimper won't turn into a full on wail 'please please let her sleep tonight' 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Tonka Tough Mothers!

Oh I can't tell you how happy I am to be a Tonka Tough Mother, we love all things Tonka and the kids are so excited that they get to be ambassadors for such a big brand.

Let me tell you a bit about the brand, TONKA originated in 1947 in Mound, Minnesota originally created and manufactured by Mound Metalcraft (manufacturer of garden implements).

The company began selling metal toys, which soon became the primary business. In November 1955, Mound Metalcraft changed its name to TONKA Toys Incorporated. The name TONKA comes from the Dakota Sioux word "Tanka" or Tonka, which means "great" or "big".

In 2001, TONKA trucks were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York.

For almost 70 years, TONKA trucks have been the undisputed kings of the sandbox for decades. Built on the notion that “a toy shouldn’t break just because a child plays with it,” they’re strong, sturdy and long lasting. Back in the '70s, TONKA even had an elephant stand on one, just to prove their point.

Our first assignment was to try out the Steel Classics range, check out our Vlog review of the T.S 4000 Front Loader ....

We Love

  • The Steel Classics range feel really hardy and tough geat for the rough and tough play here at Monkeyfeet HQ
  • The Front loader has movement just like the real thing
  • Its easy to use for little hands 
  • Suitable from 3+ (but I reckon with supervision you'd be fine younger
  • A lifetime Guarantee
  • The range has a great selection to chose from so an ideal suggestion for Birthday and Christmas gifts

Room For Improvement ?

Honestly nothing.! It does what it is supposed to, its great quality and it is fun to play with
Steel range prices start from £19.99 and  you can find out more and connect with Tonka on Facebook 

Friday, 26 August 2016

Quixels Kingdom Castle Attack

We were recently sent this amazing Quixels Kingdom Castle Attack playset to review, here are The Golden Child's thoughts ...

We Love

  • I love the educational aspects of this, problem solving, planning, colour matching
  • Great for fine motor skill development
  • Brilliant for developing concentration
  • No mess, no glue, just water
  • Everything packs away to be played with another day
  • You can but more quixels sets online to create even more characters

Room for Improvement

  • Maybe plenty of spare quixels 'incase' you make a mistake like we did!

RRP 29.99 and available from Character Online 

How Outdoor Play Builds A Healthy Brain - Guest Post

There’s no denying the effect thatoutdoor exercise has on our bodies. Not only does it help tackle obesity, it also reduces the risk of heart disease and improves core motor skills at the same time. Sound too good to be true? Well, it gets even better. The outdoors are more than just a chance for children to keep their bodies healthy. Through the process of outdoor play, they are also developing their minds.

For some, outdoor play might just be a collective name for outdoor activities. But to experts, it is a much more specific term. Children use play as a way to learn about their environment and the people surrounding them. Outdoor play helpschildren make sense of the natural world and get to grips with their own capabilities within it. While play time might seem like fun and games, it is also a great opportunity for children’s development to flourish.

The Effect Of Outdoor Play On Development

The outdoors is an abundant source of engaging and stimulating activities. Children crave outdoor play because it is such a fundamental part of their development. It teaches them the importance of making independent decisions, taking calculated risks and exploring the very realms of possibility. When opportunities for outdoor play are limited, children tend to lack these vital skills. Finding the time and the resources to initiate outdoor play can be difficult, but it should also be considered a top priority.

Even as babies, children begin to understand the importance of interacting with their surroundings. By the time they are one year old, this fascination has stretched to include familiar people, too. Through parallel play, toddlers begin to socialise with other children — though, for the most part, this play is still independent. It’s only when they reach the age of two that they begin to test out the ideas of cooperation and sharing.

By providing your child with as many opportunities as possible for outdoor play, you ensure they are given the time and space to develop healthily. The outdoors areproven to relieve stress and anxiety, making it much easier for your child to relax around others. Along with the unstructured element of parallel play, this effect creates the perfect recipe for fun and engaging learning. Children are naturally wired to enjoy the outdoors, so it’s a great place to get them thinking and creating.

Outdoor Play Equipment Vs Screen Time

Outdoor playequipment can be an ideal way to engage children in outdoor activities. As they grow, children need more and more challenging scenarios to keep their brains active. Nowadays, we’ve become far too reliant on technology for this purpose. Unfortunately, tablets and smartphones can only go so far towards helping the mind stay motivated. In fact, with children more and more likely to become digitally addicted, we could begin seeing their attention span decrease and their ability to socialise drop with it.

Outdoor play carries none of these unwanted side effects. Play equipment such as children’s climbingframes, wooden swings and sand and water pits all offer the brain something more useful to feed on. School playgroundequipment at many schools also offer the same benefits. They aren’t just visually stimulating projections; they are actual, tangible objects. Children can spend hours playing on an outdoor climbing frame and still find plenty of ways to keep it interesting. A smartphone app quickly becomes very one-dimensional. If we’re going to addict our children to anything, then surely it should be quality, outdoor activities?

It can be easy to overlook outdoor play in favour of less taxing pastimes. But, by doing so, you can actually prevent children from developing properly. Children’s brains are designed for play and the outdoors can provide them with all the stimulation they need to learn and grow.

This is a collaborative post 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Betty Spaghetty Relaunch

Do you remember Betty Spaghetty? I was a bit too old for them the first time around what with me being geet old! But I do remember them being very popular. Well they are back! Relaunched this autumn and sure to be a big hit with your kids, take a sneak peak here .....

My three love playing with these and I love how imaginative they have been, creating little stories and plays (as you can see in the video). These are very tactile toys, you just want to play with them and they have a huge variety of outfits once you start swapping and changing.

RRP £29.99 (for this triple pack)  and available from most big toy stores.
You can follow Betty Spaghetty on Facebook 

Item sent for review, all opinions are our own

Happy 3rd Birthday Termite

And there you were, 3 years ago to this very moment born at home just like we planned, within an hour snuggled in bed with all of us. 

Happy 3rd bitthday my littlest girl, my last baby and my most velcro of children! You still love nothing more than being close to Dad or I and are quite content to just watch a movie or read a book with us. You make us laugh so much and we still can't believe that you still love to be a 'cat' after  more than 2 years of meowing at us!!

I cant tell you how much my heart aches thinking that you are now 3, that I have blinked away your babyhood and that soon I will walk away from you at nursery and a fabulous new chapter in your life will begin, one where I leave you every morning me feeling sad that my little pal isn't there to chat to! I wont lie, I ain't ready , not even close, to say that my youngest is in school now. It means you are no longer a little baby although I know you still like to think you are sometimes.

I love you with all of my heart and you complete our family just perfectly my long awaited 3rd (well not that long we still had 3 under 5 ha ha!) You are funny and kind, fierce and determined, smart and strong and so very sweet that my heart is filled with pride for you  You love your brother and sister so much and its so lovely to see how eager you are to be just like them, even if that means you climb, jump, run, catapult yourself into situations that make my heart stop. You are a fiery adventurer and I love you more than all the sweets in the universe my little pussy cat.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Northumberland National Park

Just recently we were invited along to Walltown Country Park, part of Northumberland National Park for a family day. Its quite a long drive for us, but the idea of pizza making, zip lining (we were all too youg or too scaredy cat to actually try this) and bushcraft spurred us on and I braved the big scary (not really scary at all) roads.

The family day used a voucher system which you could pay for in advance to get a great deal or pay on the day, advance vouchers were 10 for £25 and on the day 10 for £40 or £5 each. Vouchers could be used for Zipline, Bird of Prey, Bird Box Making, Archery, Rock Climbing, and Pizza Making.

10 voucchers would  be more than enough for a child to do a whole day of activities but with 4 children in tow we had to choose wisely, we decide on bush craft, pizza making (always for the food with my lot!)  and rock climbing, you can see some of our adventure here..

Bush Craft was absolutely our favourite activity, and our whistle's even worked! We built dens, and a fire, we toasted marshmallows and had a very lovely hour with the rangers.

Pizza making was very good fun, and with delicious homemade stone baked pizza at the end too!

The rock climbing was great and the climbers were helpful and encouraging, I can't believe how eager Termite was during the whole day to just get into the thick of everything, actually I can she is totally the one who always has my heart in my mouth!

The quarry itself is an amazingly beautiful location, just one of many amazingly beautiful places in Northumberland National Park which covers a vast area of over 1000 square km from Vindolanda right up to the Borders with plenty on offer, check out these 25 Things to Do. The park is looked after by an army of Park Rangers who we found friendly and enthusiastic happy to chat about the things to see and do.

Walltown Country Park

We came home duitable muddy tired and happy and will definitely return next year.

This family day was part of National Parks Week, an annual celebration of the UK's 'Breathing Spaces. We had a brilliant time and we shall definitely be exploring some more of the Northumberland National Park in the future

We were compensated for attending this event but all opinions are our own

Monday, 22 August 2016

Baby Annabell Stroller Review

Termite is at an age where she loves playing with her 'babies', we have even created a little role play 'baby nursery' area under her bed ....

We have had prams in the past for our dolls, but space is at a premium at Monkeyfeet HQ so we need a dolls pram that will be able to be tucked away nicely, I'm pleased to say this Baby Annabell Stroller ticked all of our boxes, check out Peanut's review here....

Termite loves her new pram and is now saving her birthday money for a Baby Annabell interactive doll to add to her collection (the one featured has been kindly loaned to us after an unfortunate incident with some paint and our own 'My First baby Annabell'!!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Schleich Horse Club Riding Centre

Schleich are one of our favourite brands, they create great high quality educational toys and are passionate about encouraging engaging and educational play . So we jumped at the opportunity to review the Schleich Horse Club Riding Centre ...

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And oh my, Mammy Monkeyfeet is smitten never mind the minis (who also totally love this). Let me show you around ...

We Love ....

  • The attention to detail
  • The quality
  • The versatility
  • The collectable element, this gives people something to buy for birthdays and Christmas gifts that can add on for more play
  • Its great for imaginative free play
 Room for Improvement ?

OK I'm totally biased because I'm in love with this set, but trying to be impartial and offer a balanced review ..
  • The Price is high, at £99.99 this is a big gift BUT I really think its worth every penny, I would much rather spend the money on this than similarly priced 'block building' sets, which will either be built and left gathering dust or be built then thrown in a toy box never to be used again in their intended form because pieces are missing. At least this has hours, days, weeks even years of play in it.
  • The build wasn't the easiest, I will admit to swearing but the instructions were clear and the build when finished is sturdy.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Festival Fun With Bratz - #SummerOfBratz

Its no secret that our peanut is a Bratz fan, she is always very excited to receive a new edition doll and this Music Festival Bratz was no exception, she was thrilled to be able to tell you all about it...

Peanut is loving this doll and she wanted to let you all know about this awesome #SummerofBratz competition on Twitter , simply  share and tag your best holiday snap of you and your Bratz to win this great prize....

We were sent this item in exchange for a review all opinions are our own

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

C'est La Vie Moments

When I was asked by Tena Lights to take part in their 'C'est La Vie' campaign I knew they had the right girl for the job! They wanted to send me a kit full of helpful things to get though those everyday 'oops moments' and for me to share my oops moments to help encourage women to know that even though every day Oooops moments happen (including light bladder weakness), that they shouldn’t hold you back from doing the things you love!

The kit contained .... 

  • Anti-Static Spray: Windy outside and worried your skirt will blow inside out? A quick spray of anti-static spray will clear that right up 
  • Double sided stylist tape: Wave goodbye to any future wardrobe malfunctions with double sided tape, perfect for keeping your dress in the correct position all night long 
  • Nail polish remover pads: Having your own at-home manicure and the nail varnish goes everywhere? We’ve all been there. C’est la vie! These nifty remover pads will clean up the polish on your hands and the carpet 
  • Mini Sewing Kit: From a hole in your tights to the zip breaking on your skirt, a mini sewing kit is the ultimate life saver! 
  • Make up fixing mist: Ensure make up never slides down your face, especially when the weather is warmer, by setting it with an infallible misting spray. Your foundation will always be on point! 
  • Cleansing wipes: Smudge ruined that perfect eyeliner flick or lipstick smeared on your teeth? Wipe off straight away, with cleansing wipes. What’s more, they’re perfect for removing any other messes that come your way during the working day, from leaked ink to lunch down your top! 
  • Facial tan: Whether at the beach in the summer or skiing in the alps,  when your wearing sunglasses, it’s so easy to end up with unsightly white patches around the eyes. Fear no more and use a little facial fake tan to blend them in the rest of the tan 
  • lights by TENA Liner: The hero health product for women to say C’est la vie to those unexpected little leaks

A lovely set indeed but I fear that the parenting stories I heard when I gave a facebook shout out for 'oops moments' weren't covered by any of these....

Imagine if you will, being invited to a posh soft play area for the second birthday of the child of one of your most yummy mummy friends. The room is small and intimate it's a soft play area and cafe all together so you can see everywhere in the play area from everywhere in the cafe.

Now imagine if you will the fear that strikes as you see the look of panic cross your (newly toilet trained) daughters face, you know that look means only one thing ,she didn't leave the play area in time. 

She was crawling across some webbing when I saw that look, just moments before I saw the liquid dripping through the mesh, and it spiralled from there. Me holding my one year old son, looking frantically for my husband to come help whilst  calmy talking my daughter out of the soft play. Hissing for mark to get someone to come dry up the mess I scoot the children off to the bathroom.

Upon my return the Husband explained that he went for clean up equipment but didn't ask anyone to keep the area clear. Two running children some slipping and more running children.... The result was a pile of three year old children, not unlike a rugby scrum, all lying in a puddle of wee! 

Yes folks I am that Mum the one who had to brave it out whilst watching the NCT mummies have to change their children's clothes because they were soaked in my daughters wee! And the best way to just carry on? Shrug your shoulders with a 'c'est la vie' and know that parenting will bring us all those moments that we just have to carry on with, like  ...

Lois ' Having Sunday lunch in a carvery. Eldest, who was about 3 and a half at the time, spied a plus sized lady returning from the counter with her plate and waited until she was walking right past our table to ask at the top of her voice, 'why is that lady so fat mammy, is it because she's eating ALL THAT DINNER?'
 Lois also flashed the postie when she took in her parcel delivering during her breastfeeding days but didnt even realise until she put the parcel down!

Rachel 'My youngest, 6 at the time, shouted very loudly next to said lady in Asda "mam why is that lady wearing SO much make up just to go shopping, you tell Betty (eldest daughter) not to wear too much all the time."
The lady did have it caked on and didn't look amused , I was so embarrassed. The each person chooses what they want to wear line was used'

Jo ' My daughter  asked me once if she could 'put yellow things up her bum when she's a big girl'. We were in boots. I wasn't sure I'd heard her right and then I realised she was looking at the boxes of tampons....'

I will admit, soft play is no longer my favourite activity. But C'est La Vie, having children is not without its moments! 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

5 Minute Fun

We were recently contacted by 5 Minutes Fun, a great new initiative to help create fun educational and FREE activities to inspire little minds. We all know it can sometimes be hard thinking of fun new things with the little people and this great scheme sends an email every morning with a fun free activity that can be done anywhere, on the go, school run, in the house...

Here is a video of 4 of our activities, some other activities we did whilst we were out and about just on the spur of the moment and I didn't manage to catch them on video. As you can see the activities are super easy and can be developed to include even more fun. Our absolute favourite (which Im sad I didn't video, but that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun) was taking our favourite toy on an adventure. we only walked around the block but she (pinky the oobicoo) met an elf, a fairy, three aliens, five pokemon and rescued Percy and Prunella Pigeon from the clutches of Sammy Seagull!!!

Termite loved taking part and now refers back to activities we have done already, like the chick one, but more surprisingly for me, the big two (who are 6 and 7) took it all very seriously and were asking what our daily challenges were! I'm really pleased with the programme and we now do our 5 Minute Funs on the way home from school! 

If you would like to sign up to the daily emails you can do so via Facebook, and you can connect with 5 minute fun on Twitter and Instagram for even more inspiration and cool ideas.

A Day of Culture with Goretex

Just recently we headed to The Customs House for a browse around their galleries and knowing we would be doing some walking (and extreme puddle jumping...) Termite was firmly in her new Superfit Goretex Lumis 

We had a great time emulating the artwork, and even managed a game of trains on the seating ( I love how they can create good fun anywhere)

Termite, enjoyed modelling her new shoes for Mummy and was especially happy that she was about to be allowed to go to her favourite place, and the reason she loves The Customs House soooo much....

The Fountians .....

Check out our movie...

We had a lovely afternoon, Mammy and Daddy got to check out some lovely art and the kids got to run wild in the fountains, go home in blankets and then snuggle with popcorn and a movie. A real perfect Sunday afternoon, and better still the shoes were dry the next day and you wouldn't know they had been complete soakened! Watch out for more Goretex adventures soon from Peanut and The Golden Child

Connect with Superfit on Facebook 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Celebrating Sisters Day with Baby Born

August 7th 2016 is national Sisters Day, and to celebrate, Baby Born have sent Termite (the smallest sister) her very own Sister Doll , and here is what she thought....

We Love

  • Termite loves the doll she thinks she has a new pal
  • The doll has poseable limbs so is easy to dress for little hands
  • Great accessories to share

Room for Improvement

  • The crying function takes quite a squeeze and left us a little underwhelmed

You can find Baby Born on YouTube and Facebook

Friday, 5 August 2016

Ravensburger Science X Prehistoric Expedition

We love a good dino activity here at Monkeyfeet HQ so when Ravensburger's Science X Prehistoric Expedition arrived, promising over 15 activities we had one very excited Golden Child.

Here is his video

We Loved

  • The set is crammed with activities some solo and some that need help
  • The T rex was completed really quickly with no parental input and looked great
  • There are a wide range of things to do with loads of educational information to go alongside them

Room for Improvement

  • The additional equiptiment needed for the triops meant that we havent yet started them
  • The thermometer for the triops is ridiculously small and fiddly to check

Overall though this is an amazing set with loads of information, great ways to make learning not feel like learning and The Golden Child loved it, his poor sisters never got a look in!

Follow Ravensburger on Youtube 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Grossery Gang Yucky Mart Review

You will probably have heard of Grossery Gang? We definitely had. They are like shopkins, trash packs, ugglys pet shops and all the other collectable (foot hurting) small objects that our kids adore? You know where I'm coming from don't you?

Well we were very pleased to be reviewing these nasties! Here's our video

We Love
The kids love playing with them, I love how much their imagination runs away when they are making up 'Grossery Store' shows
The set has plenty of interactive features
The kids love the collectable aspect of it

Room For Imporvement
Not much, the set was really fun it would be great to get more items included with the shop, with over 150 to collect we are going to have a lot of swapsies!

Priced at £19.99 the Yucky Mart is available from Flair Plc, you can also buy a host of other sets like this Mushie Slushie Set which is next on my shopping list apparently

Grossery Gang Mushy Slushie Playset

Shibajuku Girls

Say what now? Shibajuku dolls? have you heard of them? Created by Madeline Hunter from Melbourne these dolls are larger than average and style on Harajuku and Sibuya street fashion from Japan. The girls are dressed very stylishly and come with accessories to share .....

We Love

  • Ok so we loved the doll (by we I mean Peanut!) she thought it was cool and trendy and loved the name Suki, she loved that they aren't everywhere so she has something unique.
  • They have fully posable limbs and glass eyes and real eye lashes
  • The outfits are easy to change around

Room for Improvement

  • The accessories weren't well made and some fell apart before we had even taken them from the dolls hair
  • For me, more normality please, less makes up and more normal body shapes for our young people to aspire too

Overall these are a nice alternative to skinny minny Barbies and much more normal than monster high. Priced at £24.99 they are more expensive, but more exclusive than Barbie and there are 5 very different dolls to collect, you can read about their characters and buy them exclusively in Smyths

Chill Factor Ice Cream Magic Tray - Review

We struggle with ice cream for our Termite, allergic to both dairy and soya her choices of store bought are fairly limited. So when we were asked to review the new Chill Factor Ice Cream Magic Tray we were very excited. The idea of Termite being able to create her own ice cream was like music to her ears!

Heres us using the tray ...

Overall, it was a little less exciting than the kids had thought but the ice cream was tasty and Termite has asked every day to make more!

Heres our recipe 
1 small can of coconut cream
10 strawberry (stalks removed)

Whizz the ingredients until smooth and then follow the instructions for the Ice Cream Tray

Priced at £19.99 this is a little expensive for the amount of work (around 1o0 minutes for the second batch) that goes into such a small amount of ice cream. But on a positive note the ice cream is in your control and the kids can learn about making good food that isn't full of junk. Also if you co ordinate the ice cream process with another activity like chopping fruit or a game you will save them losing interest!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Thaikun Kids Menu - Review

Coconut mojitos and maggots! Just a couple of highlights from our recent visit to Thaikun in the Metrocentre.

The restaurants theme is Thai Street food and they really have the vibe sorted from the bike outside, the old shipping container, pallet walls, old electrical equipment like fans and tvs for decoration hanging electrical cables, bare pipe taps and neon signs the place looks amazing and has a lovely atmosphere.

Staff were friendly explaining the menu and talking to us about Termites  allergies, which was no problem at all for them.  We did have a little confusion at being handed these kids menu's upon seating, 

choosing from this only to discover this was just for entertainment as it had colouring in on and this was the kids meal ...

Kids menus have bugs and Veggie sticks to start . The kids starters were small but for me perfect as it didn't spoil their appetite but did offer distraction while waiting, it would be nice to have an accompanying selection of  sauce samples for dipping just to encourage a kids to try a wider range of flavours.

The bugs! Two small pots of maggot type worms were given to us and we all tried them, and videod us all for evidence but in transferring my videos to an SD card I have corrupted all of my files so you will have to take my word for it! To be totally truthful they didn't really taste of much though.

For Mains the  kids all chose chicken and each chose a different sauce, I love that the sauce comes separate because it means you can try before you commit which was great as the BBQ sauce wasn't great, the satay however was lovely and the Curry really really tasty. The noodles looked plain to me and a bit stuck together and the kids left about half each of their noodle portions, we loved the dinner trays though and the chicken was tasty.

Dessert was a Mini Milk ice lolly! Obviously all of these have milk in but termite was promptly offered a mango sorbet.. 

Dessert for the kids in my opinion was a let down, the food we ate was amazing, tasted fresh and good quality so having a mini milk for dessert felt a bit manufactured, it would be lovely to see maybe a fresh juice lolly or just fruit salad  or something more in keeping with the style of the restaurant.

The adult menu has loads of options but we opted for the sharing starter of dumplings, Thai fish cakes, spring rolls and sticky beef . Our starters were awesome and.plentiful, everything was full of flavour and there was enough so that the kids could share with us too.

For mains we chose the pinto to share with red curry, beef with basil and chilli, sticky rice and pad thai chicken...

...the mains were perfectly portioned, and though we did both think they looked small when they arrived, we both commented how full we were after eating, so those serving tins are deceptive! We were so stuffed we couldn't order any of the delicious desserts.

3 kids meals, 2 cocktails and a beer came to £68 which is around average for our dining bills, and I think  priced reasonably for the food and service we received, the place was busy and everyone was served with the same friendly service.  Would we go back? Yes definitely. This has moved to the top of my husbands Qube favourites and the kids love love loved it.

There were some slow patches to the food service but I guess with fresh cooking this can happen. And although we didn't get any National Geographic Activities (and we love Nat Geo Kids) we did keep occupied making creations from the serving dishes!

***Disclosure we did not pay in full for this meal, all thoughts are our own***