Thursday, 24 November 2016

What's inside the Thomas Minis advent calendar, a sneak peek behind the doors of this Christmas calendar exclusive to Asda stores. One week until Christmas advent countdown.

Thomas Minis Christmas advent calendar 

This year I have bought Thing 5 the Thomas Mini's advent calendar, exclusive to Asda this Christmas. 

Priced at £24.99 and contains 24 Thomas mini collectibles with 6 being special exclusive Christmas edition models. 

I took a sneak peek inside the Thomas Mini's advent to see what there was lurking behind the advent doors! 

Thing 5 has a few Thomas Mini collectible trains already and I thought this was ideal to get his collection really growing. Usually you would buy Thomas Mini's in a blind bag for around £2-£2.50 per train and it's a gamble as to whether you are going to end up with one that you already have. 

The price of the advent calendar compared to buying the single packs is very good and Thing 5 will love having a train to add to his collection each day. 

The advent calendar has a flip down section so as you open each door and get a train out you can place it on the printed track play section and either display them until you have all 24 or start playing straight away, I know what Thing 5 will be doing! 

So here is what is inside the Thomas Mini's advent calendar this year. 

24 Thomas Mini collectible trains for each day of advent. 

Santa Thomas can be found behind door number 24

The 6 exclusive Christmas trains can be found behind the last 6 doors. 

The full list of trains is as follows; 

Diesel 10
Iron Bert
Racing Thomas
Racing Spencer
Racing Flynn
Electrified Henry  # unreleased
Sweets Skarloey
Sweets Sidney
Sweets Ferdinand
Sports Porter
Sports Salty
Sports Edward  # unreleased
Holiday Thomas (exclusive)
Holiday Henry (exclusive)
Holiday James (exclusive)
Holiday Ben (exclusive)
Holiday Diesel (exclusive)
Holiday Toby (exclusive)

The advent calendar is an Asda exclusive and pops up online now and again so do keep an eye on the website and in local stores. It can also be found on eBay, Amazon and other websites although unfortunately at higher prices than was originally sold by Asda. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

What shall I buy my four year old for Christmas? Thing 5's ultimate Christmas gift guide aka what he would like for Christmas including a Micro Scooter, pants and pickles!

Christmas gift guide for the tour year olds

Yes it's the festive season again and there is only 44 shopping days left until Christmas. I have started buying a few bits but will be doing the majority of my Christmas shopping in the next week or two.

The Thing's have been letting me know what they would like for Christmas and today we reveal what is on Thing 5's (aged 4 years) Christmas list. 

I love Christmas and it's always made more special by having the five children in the house to wake up on Christmas morning. 

They have all written me a list and told me most days what they would like Santa to bring them so here is Thing 5's Christmas list. 

First of all he would like a new scooter, his main request being that it is green. He had a Mini Micro scooter as did Thing 4 but they both need to upgrade to the Maxi Micro scooter. They use their scooters lots and Thing 5 would like to ride his to school like his friends do. 

Maxi Micro Scooter in teal green or bright green? RRP £119.95

Second on his list is a helmet to wear whilst he is riding his scooter. He has also found one on the Micro scooter website that he likes. He can be quite a speed demon on his scooter and we should really have some head protection for him whilst he is scooting his way around. 

These Micro Scooters helmets are fab and there are so many colours and patterns to choose from. RRP £24.95-£29.95 

Next up is a Minecraft diamond sword. Both Thing 4 and 5 want this for Christmas so I can foresee some festive sword fights going down! This is a foam sword made to look like the sword you would craft in a Minecraft game. 

Minecraft diamond sword. RRP around £19.99

Last year Thing 5 asked for some pickled onions and pants from Santa. He told everyone and that was all he wanted. This year his request is pickles and pants. Of course Santa will happily provide what he has asked for! I think this may become a Christmas tradition for Thing 5 even when he is grown up! 

This giant jar of pickles is from Costco and we buy it very often. I did think of buying a small jar but most of Thing's like pickles and they won't hang around for long! 

Last year he chose the Cath Kidston boys 2 pack of boxers and this year he will get the same. As for the pickles, I am are Santa knows just which pickles Thing 5 wants! 

Cath Kidston 2 pack of dino/astronaut boxers. RRP £12.99

As well as what is on his list I have already bought him the Thomas Minis advent calendar, the cost of which gets incorporated into his Christmas 'budget'! At £24.95 it contains 24 Thomas Minis which when bought separately cost £2.50 each. He already has a small collection of Thomas Minis and this will really build his collection. I have also bought a Thomas Minis carry case to store them all in (although we may need more than one!)

Thomas Mini's advent calendar, exclusive at Asda. RRP £24.99

Thomas Mini's carry case from Asda. 

What is on your four year olds Christmas list? Is it all toys or is there anything unusual on your little ones list too? 

Pickering's Gin Baubles! Set of six gin filled baubles ready for the Christmas tree and where to buy them from.

Pickering's Gin baubles

OMG, gin in a bauble. Christmas could not get much better for gin lovers. Forget the gin advent calendar, now you can decorate the tree and get a Pickering's gin treat in the process. 

A set of 6 different coloured baubles in each pack and each bauble containing 50mls of Pickering's gin (that's a double measure). The Pickering's Gin baubles cost £29.99 for 6 and come in a presentation box (as below).

The Pickering's Gin website states; 

Let the festivities be-gin! Introducing our gin-filled Christmas tree baubles, the perfect way to add some instant cheer to your tree.
Each bauble is filled with 50ml of Pickering’s Gin (that’s a double measure to you and me) and is decorated with a Pickering’s ribbon to hang from your tree.
Each pack includes 6 differently coloured baubles. Baubles not available individually online. Limited number available, please order early to avoid disappointment.
These Christmas baubles are filled with Pickering’s Gin, so please don’t leave them where children or animals can reach them, whether on your Christmas tree or elsewhere. We also ask that you don’t give them as a gift to anyone under the age of 18.
The baubles proved so popular that they are currently out of stock on their website although they have stated that there will be a second release in early December. They have also stated on their Facebook page that they will have limited numbers available at various christmas food events such as BBC Good Food Show, Birmingham. Foodies Christmas Festival @ EICC, Edinburgh & London, Truman Brewery.
Another stockist has just gone out of stock in the past 48 hours but do keep an eye on the Moonshine and Fuggles website who have stated they may get more stock. 
I have found a stockist that still has stock at the moment and if you want to get your hands on some gin baubles (who wouldn't!) they are still currently in stock here on The Pip Stop website. You can also get 10% off your first order if you subscribe to their newsletter.
So what are you waiting for gin and christmas lovers. A festive tipple that will look good hanging on your Christmas tree. How long will they stay full for though?! 

Friday, 7 October 2016

The mother's letter to the bullies who drove her son to kill himself. How we as parents can do more to prevent bullying in school and via social media.

The mother's letter to the bullies who drove her son to kill himself. How we as parents can do more to prevent bullying in school and via social media.

I watched yesterday on This Morning as the mother of Felix Alexander opened up about her sons death just six short months after losing him. 

Felix was just 17 years old when he took his own life because he had been bullied for seven years. 

Bullied in school and via social media. Every day he went to school and was taunted by classmates, one instance being because he wasn't allowed to play a particular computer game that others were playing.  

Over the seven years of bullying Felix's confidence and self esteemed plummeted and he became Felix, the boy who everyone hated. 

BUT WHY????? 

Why did this escalate to the extent that it did. Moving from bullying within the school onto social media platforms where, even at home, he was taunted and called names by people he knew, people from school. 

Part of the open letter that Lucy, Felix's mum, wrote following the death of her son.

There was no reason for this to happen. As I said earlier, one reason was because he didn't play a particular computer game. Why does that make him any different from anyone else. 

Why does the colour of your hair, or the way you dress, or the brand of trainers you are wearing define others perceptions of you. Why is it acceptable for people to sit behind a keyboard, behind their computer screens and mock and bully people for the things they do or don't do. 

I am certain that in our current social media culture people find it so much easier to say things online, like they can't cause offence with their words because they aren't saying them face to face. The word 'BANTER' gets thrown around a lot too. 

'Oh I didn't mean it, it's only banter' 

However, once those words have been said, they can't be unsaid. You've said that to someone and those words can make a huge negative impact on that person. You may think you are the only person to have said something bad but when someone is affected every day by words said by many they get battered down until they can't take any more. 

For this to have gone on for seven years is shocking. To go to school every day and be subjected to the bullying that he did and then to see it online too is awful. There is so much that I see on social media about bullying and none of it is positive. None of it is about prevention and protection. It is all about the aftermath, the effect it has on a person and then a whole family. We see videos of people being bullied physically and you wonder why someone could even stand there and film it rather than step in and help. How they can stand there laughing whilst someone else is hurt.

Just this week we have had an instance of hatred via social media resulting in my child having a huge meltdown. The whole family suffered whilst he dealt with the negativity he had received via social media. One person taking it into their hands and deciding that today is the day I am going to say things to someone else via social media because it's easy to type it in a message and press send and then not think about the consequences. 

My child bottled this up for days, he let his anger hide away until it got too much and then the fall out was immense. What if we hadn't have found out? What if he had let it stay bottled up and the abuse had carried on? After the fall out we witnessed the other day from it, had it got any worse I don't know what he would have done. 

That is how people are affected though. It eats them up inside, they can't get away from it. It carries on relentlessly and it doesn't stop because sometimes others aren't quick enough to step in. Others won't step in and say I will help, I will be your friend, this needs to be stopped. 

We as parents need to step in and take a closer look at what our children are doing when accessing social media. It doesn't matter how old they are it needs to be monitored. Do you know what your child is up to when they are online? Do you know who they are talking to or what kind of conversations they are getting in to? Do you know what kind of things they are watching online? 

KINDNESS. Where has our kindness gone. It seems that some find it easier to jump in and be nasty and bully someone rather than join in when someone is being kind. We are all the same, we are all human and we all have feelings that get hurt easily. 

Whether we play Xbox or PS4, have blonde hair or brown, where we live, what we wear, how much money we have, which school we go to or where we go on holiday. None of this defines who we are as a person, we are all the same.