Tuesday, 26 May 2015

New book release for children aged 9 years and over. The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone. ‘An outstanding debut packed with suspense, adventure and heart’ Perfect for fans of J.K Rowling, Michelle Paver and Philip Pullman



The Dreamsnatcher, Abi Elphinstone’s new and debut novel for children of 9 years and older, is taking the children’s book world by storm, and was recently heralded as a ‘Top 10 Children’s Book Not to Miss in 2015’ by The Bookseller.  Now Abi is tipped to speak at leading literary festivals across the country this year. 

The Dreamsnatcher follows the story of twelve-year-old Moll Pecksniff who wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks.  The Dreamsnatcher is waiting.  He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows...  The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher's dark magic.  Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure.

Perfect for fans of J.K Rowling, Michelle Paver and Philip Pullman, The Dreamsnatcher was inspired by Abi’s own childhood spent in Scotland, where she built dens, hid in tree houses and ran wild across highland glens.  When she’s not writing about Moll’s adventures, she runs creative writing workshops and blogs about children's books and is working with The Exploration Society to plan a 
Dreamsnatcher expedition for children in August.

The Dreamsnatcher is available now in paperback, watch the gripping trailer here: www.abielphinstone.com and pick up a copy for £6.99 from booksellers such as Amazon.co.ukWaterstones and WHSmith.


Reviews… 

‘An outstanding debut packed with suspense, adventure and heart’
 – Katherine Rundell
‘Fast paced and full of charm’ – Piers Torday
‘Harry Potter dark magic territory – atmospheric and packed with drama’ – Daily Mail
'A Thrilling adventure full of magic, danger and excitement' – The Bookbag

'A breathtaking fantasy that evokes the magic and adventure of classic children’s fiction... one of my favourite debuts of the spring' 


– 
The Bookseller Ones To Watch

WIN! A Yumbox of your choice from Eatwell UK. The Yumbox Bento style compartment lunch box in Panino and Classic style and a range of colours too.

We were recently introduced to Yumbox lunch boxes. The Yumbox is a bento style lunchbox with different compartments for your various food groups. Available in 2 Yumbox styles, the Yumbox Panino designed for older children and adults and the Classic for younger children, although I would use the Classic too! Available from the Eatwell UK website.

The Yumbox Panino has four compartments and an 'Eat Well' inspired pattern on the tray. The exterior of each box is available in eight different colours and the interior tray is removable. The Yumbox Panino is made from all food-safe materials, BPA-free and phthalates-free. With a sturdy ABS (outer box), Tritan (tray) and Silicone (seal). The Panino measures approx. 22 x 15 x 5 cms and weighs 490g.

The Yumbox Panino was designed for older children and adults.  It will hold a standard sized sandwich or a salad and still has 2 extra compartments, plus a large dip well for holding fruit, vegetables etc.  It is the perfect way to pack a healthy meal to eat on the go (be that breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks)



The Yumbox Panino shown here in Gelato Blue



The Yumbox Classic has six compartments with food group labelling and a circus theme design on the removable tray. There is a V1 and V2 version of the Yumbox Classic, the V2 having an updated design to the lid and tray. As with the Yumbox Panino it also has the silicone seal lid that fits the tray. Again it is made with all food-safe materials, BPA-free and phthalates-free. It has a sturdy ABS (outer box), Tritan (tray) and Silicone (seal). It also measures approx. 22 x 15 x 5 cms and weighs 490g. 

The five main food wells in the Yumbox Classic can each accommodate ½ cup servings. Each well is labelled with the 5 food groups (vegetable, grains, fruit, dairy and protein) that make up a balanced meal for a young child.  The Yumbox Classic was designed to assist parents in presenting a healthy meal with a variety of foods to create a balanced meal. You may use less food for a toddler or fill each well for an older child.




The Yumbox Classic shown here in Lavande Purple


We received the Yumbox Classic V2 in Ananas Yellow to use for when Thing 5 starts preschool in September but we've been giving it a good test run too. It's a fab design and makes me think a bit more about what I am putting into his lunchbox. The compartments make it great for making sure the lunch is well balanced and has everything included and also means less packaged products are used by myself like crisps, biscuits etc... 




Our first attempt at a Yumbox lunch

Thing 5 loves it too. He loves having a dip to use with breadsticks or crackers and the silicone seal lid means all compartments are sealed separately so the dip can't leak into a different compartment. 

Both the Yumbox Classic and Yumbox Panino are available on the Eatwell UK website in eight different colours. These are Tutti Frutti Blue, Pomme Green, Myrtille Blue, Anguria Pink, Ananas Yelloq, Lavande Purple, Gelato Blue and Pink Lemonade. (Please note that the Yumbox Classic is a V1 if bought in the first four colours and V2 if bought in the last four colours). They are priced at £24.95 each.

We have been given the opportunity to give away one of these fab Yumbox lunch boxes to one lucky winner in the colour and style of the winners choice. All you have to do is enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter below. Competition starts at midnight 27/05/2015 and ends midnight 10/06/2015. One winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received; 

GOOD LUCK! 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 25 May 2015

Oh what a week to take time off work! Birthdays, shopping, eating out, Thing 1 turned 18! Then sickness, poorly babies and Scarlet Fever.

Wow what a week indeed. When I told the OH to book a week off for mine and Thing 1's birthday week I could never have known how the week would pan out. From the highs of birthday celebrations to the lows of Scarlet Fever.

The OH finished work last Thursday evening and we looked forward to the week ahead. With so much to fill the week with it was all planned out. Or so we thought. On the Friday we spent a rare day out shopping without any children. Thing 5 spent the day with Nanny and Grandad whilst we went and browsed the shops, had lunch out together and bought a few bits for ourselves. A rare occasion for us and we enjoyed it very much.



A cheeky new Nike purchase for Mummy!


By Saturday Thing 4 had gone downhill with a sickness bug. That was the first glitch in our plans. He was off school until the Wednesday. However by Tuesday Thing 5 joined in with the sickness bug but with an added high temperature and cough.


My poorly babies.


On Tuesday I did manage to get out for the afternoon to the Babymoov change bag event whilst hubby stayed at home and looked after the patients. The event was great and all details can be found on my previous blog post from this week.

So by Wednesday we had Thing 4 back to school and it was my birthday. Thing 5 was still suffering terribly but we bundled him up and we went for birthday lunch at my parents. Thing 5 slept on the sofa where we could see him and I enjoyed a lovely birthday lunch. The Babymoov change bag came in handy to carry everything we needed for a poorly toddler.

I had a lovely day followed by a cheeky Indian takeaway and then it was straight into preparations for Thing 1's 18th birthday. I had bought banners and balloons to decorate the house and still had to wrap the eighteen presents I had bought from him, what a silly idea!




Thing 1's birthday presents including his personalised M and M's, bonus Mummy points for that purchase! 


So Thursday was Thing 1's 18th birthday. Wow, I really don't know where that time has gone. He opened all of his cards and presents in the morning and we went out to Byron Burger for lunch, very much recommended by all. Thing 5 was still poorly so we called in a relative to sit with him so we could still take Thing 1 out as planned.


The OH then started feeling ill that afternoon. Our week really was cursed! Whilst the OH lay in bed I had more visitors in the evening to help eat some birthday cake. We had 2 huge, lovely birthday cakes that needed to be eaten. It was another lovely birthday day despite all the poorly patients.


We had 2 huge Costco birthday cakes for all of the celebrations. If you have tried these cakes you will know how amazing they are. There is still plenty left too!



By the end of the week Thing 5 still wasn't well. We thought we would see an improvement by Friday but he really was suffering. His temperature was high, he was still sick and he was just sleeping or laying on the sofa unable to move. We decided to get him to the doctors and after a thorough examination he was given antibiotics to treat Scarlet Fever. His ears inside were red, his throat was sore and by the weekend he was so fed up. He had no energy at all and hadn't eaten for 5 days and couldn't walk. My poor bubba.


Poorly Thing 5. The picture on the right was on Friday when he fell asleep sat up in the bath. 


So today the OH declared that he is going back to work tomorrow for a rest. Thing 5 has perked up considerably today although he still isn't 100% and what was meant to be a wonderfully relaxing birthday week didn't quite turn out as planned! However, that's the way life seems to go but we still had some enjoyable birthday celebrations, and lots of cake,  amidst the chaos. 



A final day of birthday celebrations on Sunday. A nice afternoon in the garden with cake and champagne!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Introducing the NEW Babymoov baby change bag collection. 29 different style and colour combinations to choose from and a lifetime guarantee.

This week I was invited to view the new Babymoov baby change bag collection. The Babymoov baby change bags come in 29 different colour/style combinations with a change bag to suit everyone and every occasion.

When I arrived I was gifted with a lovely make up/travel zip bag which was a lovely soft leather look material. After having a lovely chat with the ladies who had organised the event as well as meeting other lovely mummy bloggers including life with pink princessesBelle du Brighton and Mummy's ZoneI took to checking out all of the lovely bags that were in the room.

There was such a great choice from the new changing bag range. From the Messenger bag which is convenient and lightweight and comes in 5 different colours to the elegant City changing bag which comes in 3 colours there was plenty to choose from.

We sat and watched the live stream of the fashion show bag launch showcasing all of the bags and colours available from the new change bag range. It was lovely to see them all being carried on the shoulder to get a good look at the size of each bag when being carried.







The babyMoov Style change bag in different prints. RRP £44.99



The BabyMoov Messenger bag. RRP £29.99



The babymoov Glober rucksack change bag. Available in three different prints. RRP £69.99



There was also the Glitter bag combining elegance and practicality, Traveller change bag which is ideal for overnight visits or extended days out, the Glober change bag which is a rucksack style bag, the ingenious and complete Essential bag and the lovely Style change bag which comes in six lovely prints.






The Babymoov Glitter change bag. Available in four colours as shown above. RRP £79.99



With prices ranging from £29.99 for the Messenger bag through to £79.99 for the City bag there is a bag (and price) for everyone. The bags also come with a lifetime guarantee which is fab.





The Babymoov traveller bag. Available in four colours. RRP £69.99



The Babymoov City change bag. Available in 3 colours. RRP £79.99




Each bag has an array of pockets and compartments to store all baby/child essentials that are needed when travelling. They also come with change mats, wet bags, and other useful extras.

These bags are fabulous and I would highly recommend them as an essential baby buy. The choice of bag size, style and colour covers every option any parent should need when looking for a baby change bag. We were very lucky to be gifted a bag to take home and I chose the City bag in the tan colour. It is so spacious. It has so many pockets inside to use and also comes with a bottle carrier, change mat, small zipped accessory bag, soother pocket and large shoulder strap as well as two separate handles too. It also has stroller harnesses to hang it from the pushchair. I love it as it looks like a handbag rather than a change bag and everyone I have shown it to has said they wouldn't have said it was a change bag. I would definitely highly recommend the City bag and it is currently a best seller on the Babymoov website.


Sunday, 17 May 2015

NEW Bandai Sprukits poseable figure model making kits. A review of the different levels of model kits including Batman, Superman and Halo Master Chief model kits.

We were recently sent some Bandai Sprukits model kits to review. The model kits came in three different levels of difficulty, Level 1, 2 and 3. We received 4 Bandai Sprukits sets. The Level 1 Batman model with 36 pieces, Superman Level 1 also with 36 pieces, Batman; The Dark Knight Rises Level 2 with 88 pieces and the huge Halo Master Chief model which was a Level 3 and 161 pieces.



What are Sprukits? Bandai introduces the all-new SprüKits line of articulated figural model kits. With SprüKits, kids and adults alike can build their favourite characters and have their creation look like a great collectable action figure without needing any glue, paint or scissors. It starts with the spru, keeping the highly detailed pieces organised and safe until you need them.  Individually numbered and waiting to be freed without tools or cutting.  

Level 1 for Beginner model builders. Each kit contains between 20-40 pieces and stand 4 inches high. They have detailed sculpting including facial features and five points of articulation. Each kit takes around 15-20 minutes to build. 

Level 2 for Intermediate model builders. Each kit contains between 80-120 pieces and stands 5 inches tall. They have greater detail than the Level 1 models and a natural range of motion. Each kit takes between 60-90 minutes to build. 

Level 3 for the Expert builders amongst us! Each kit contains 161+ pieces and stands 9 inches tall. They have lifelike sculpting and Yoga Master articulation! Each kit takes between 2-3 hours to build.

My five year old was so excited to receive these and was ready to get started as soon as he opened the box. He wanted to go straight for the Level 3 Halo Master Chief model kit but we managed to get him to start on the Level 1 Batman kit. The kits are recommended for 8 years and up and when we opened the box we could see why. All the pieces are labelled and the instructions are very clear and colourful so they are easy to follow. Daddy and older brother came the the rescue and our five year old sat and over look the building process. The Level 1 Superman model was also fairly straight forward and easy to do. We loved that they were already painted and there was no need for scissors or glue and they just clipped together to make a fully moving model of some popular characters. 












The build process of the Batman Level 1 model kit


Once built the Halo figure is really impressive. A fully poseable model of the Master Chief and the children were really impressed with this one. It did take a lot longer than the Level 1 kits to make but the end result is worth it. 




The Level 3 Halo Master Chief model kit



Each model comes with its own stand too. Fans of action figures, collectors and model builders will absolutely love the exciting innovation and detailed SpruKits figures they are able to easily build, pose and display. What makes a hero? YOU DO!


Monday, 11 May 2015

A sneak peak at the Autumn Winter 2015 children's fashion Baby K by Myleene Klass baby and children's clothing collection from Mothercare.

Last week I got to go to the Mothercare press show for their Autumn/Winter collections. Included in the show was the Baby K children's fashion clothing collection by Myleene Klass.

Baby K by Myleene Klass was launched in 2005 and is a children's fashion clothing range designed exclusively for Mothercare. The range covers the baby section and goes up to age 8 years in the children's section.




The latest girls collection sees the Baby K signature styles return, along with an on-trend floral bloom print in hues of pink and orange; a key colour trend for the Autumn season. The print features on an easy to wear jumpsuit with frill detailing, drop hem dress and cuffed relax fit trouser. Orange separates can be worn with the new unisex faux leather biker jacket. A timeless black and white stripe palette is prevalent throughout the range with pretty frill and graphic details transforming casual tops and dresses into special seasonal pieces that are easily mix and matched. 







The gorgoeus girls winter coat with fur collar detail, the floral print jumpsuit and I love the long length grey girls cardigan. 




For boys, Baby K brings raglan sleeve tees in hues of blue, orange, cream and grey. Urban inspired graphic tees lead the collection and are worn with washed turn-up denims in grey, black and blue options. Finish the look with the new unisex leather biker jacket or the military style coat is back again this year in a grey colour option.





The boys grey military style coat and jeans and tee combo. A girls black sequinned body and tutu style dress. The gorgeously cool black biker style jacket for both the boys and girls. 

The Autumn Winter Baby K clothing collection will arrive in stores from August 2015 onwards.