Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Happy New Year 2020. A New Year's resolution or not?

Happy New Year 2020. A New Year's resolution or not?

Every year I see lots of people, including myself, setting themselves new year's resolutions.

Should we really do it though? 

Do we relish the challenge of losing weight or drinking less, trying harder to keep in touch with friends or aiming high and setting ourselves even bigger challenges.

Or could we maybe be setting ourselves up to not succeed in keeping them and thus ruining our new year for ourselves?

I’m not saying we are going to fail, most will succeed in the challenges we set ourselves. However do we want to spend the year worrying that we may not fulfil the resolutions that we set ourselves?

Does making a new year resolution make you focussed and determined to succeed? Sometimes we need that something to focus on, something to set our minds to. 

Read more, travel more, take up a new hobby, aim for a promotion at work, reconnect with old friends or learn a new skill.

Each year for me it’s usually to lose weight or to save more. A good one is to try and reduce the cost of the food shopping which each year seems to spiral wildly out of control, or to stop buying so many takeaways. Both of those would then be a positive step towards the ‘saving more money’ resolution too. 

2019 saw so many wonderful things. Here's to 2020.

This year more than ever we do really need to try and save more. Spending less on food shopping and takeaways (as well as many others things!) would help us achieve other things throughout this new year including more days out and adventures that will take us further afield than usual. 

However, should there be a goal to that resolution? Should we set ourselves a monetary value to that goal or have we succeeded if we just save more than what we did in a previous year?

The same could be said for weight loss. Do we set a goal of a certain loss or celebrate any loss no matter how big or small?

Whatever we decide for 2020 and beyond each milestone should be celebrated every step of the way even if you are marching towards an even bigger goal.

Don’t be hard on yourselves but instead praise and encourage each other in anything we may be challenging ourselves to and be there for each other through the good times as well as the bad times.

One thing for sure is that I will promise to blog more and hope to make it interesting enough for you all to read! I’m also going to get right out of my comfort zone and put myself in front of the camera and vlog more. This is so far out of my comfort zone it’s unreal! It won’t happen overnight and I’m not going to set myself a target with this one but at some point you will see my ugly mug more across my website and YouTube channels, you have been warned!

Constantly living life through a Snapchat filter, look out world the filter is coming off!!! 

As for 2020, enjoy it, go with the flow and don’t put pressure on yourselves. If you want a challenge then set it, aim for the highest you can without making yourself feel like you’ve not done the best you can. If you don't have a new year's resolution that doesn't mean you have failed from the outset or are scared of a challenge. Sometimes life itself can be a challenge and getting through each day can be a success in itself. 

See you in 2020 everyone. I’m off to party in my living room in my pyjamas! 😃

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Goo Goo Galaxy Slurp n Slime Goo Drop toy review

We recently received a Goo Goo Galaxy Slurp n Slime toy from Character Toys to review and the children loved it. Anything that involves slime is very much welcome by the children in this house so Thing 5 couldn't wait to get started with this set. 

What's included; 

1 x Large Goo Drop doll
1 x Candy Comet
1 x goo drop stand
1 x bowl
1 x whisk 
1 x reGoovinator 
5 x glitter fills
2 x slime sachets
1 x passport
1 x glitter seal sheet

The set includes everything to make slime including the powder to mix with water, a mixing bowl and whisk, 5 additional sachets of glittery sparkles to add to your slime and a syringe or 'reGOOvinator' to add the slime inside your goo goo galaxy toy. 

After measuring out the required amount of water into the mixing bowl you have to ensure you mix it enough to not leave any lumps in the slime. Thing 3 helped out with this too. 

After that we added the chosen glitter sparkles and gave it another mix ready for filling up the toy. 

You use the syringe supplied to put all of the slime that you have made inside the toy. You can see it from inside it's squishy body as you fill it up. This can get a little messy and if you don't mix it enough you cam get lumps stuck in the syringe and so it can get a bit fiddly, not that Thing 5 cared. The more slime and mess the better! 

Once it is filled with the slime that you made it has a dummy that you can put in its mouth or you can squeeze it's body and the slime comes back out into the bowl, Thing 5 thought this was hilarious! 

There is 2 pouches of the slime making powder and 5 sachets of glitter to add to your slime. 

This toy is a straight out of the box and ready to go toy and very easy to use and play with which is always a good thing when it comes to set up and play time. 

The doll is of a good size and they had great fun filling it with slime and squeezing it out again. Slime seems to be a favourite in our house at the moment! 

They absolutely loved this and found it so easy to use and play with. It has been played with a few times since and it is a great toy. With a price point of £29.99 it is fab and can be found in many good toy stores as well as online at https://www.character-online.com/goo-goo-galaxy-slurp-n-slime-goo-drop 

Disclaimer - {ad} we were sent this toy for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and comments are our own. 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Review {AD} 3Doodler Start Essential Pen set. 3D art for children.

As the children get older it's always great to find new things for them to try out. Whether it be new games, toys or arts and crafts. 

When the 3Doodler pen set first arrived there was so many people wanting to try it out in our house! 

With the pen and USB  cable to charge, 48 plastic strands to get started with your 3D creations and a booklet full of fun activities to get you started this is a great activity kit for children. 

The contents of the box. 

Thing 5 just getting started with the 3Doodler Pen. 

The 3Doodler pen is so easy to use and it's so easy to set up and get started. It's very safe for children to use and with a bit of practise there is so much you can make and create. We weren't very good at the 3d creations but with a bit of practise I am sure we can make something pretty spectacular. Thing 5 is only 7 so it took a bit of getting used to for him and he wrote his name on a piece of paper with it. The colour comes out of the pen quote slowly and is controlled be the press of a button. 

This is a great product and used to it's full potential it can create such beautiful pieces of art. I will update very soon with a creation from one of the older children! 

The colour choice that the plastic strands come in is fab for getting started too. 

With a price point of around £44.99 it's a great gift for any budding artist or crafter. Available at Smyths Toys and other retailers. 

Disclaimer {AD}; We were sent the 3Doodler for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and comments are our own. 

REVIEW {ad}; Spinmaster Hatchimals Royal Snowball Pixies collectible toys

Hatchimals from Spinmaster have been a Christmas favourite for a few years now and they have lots of different toys available this year including these fab Royal Snowball Pixies collectibles. 

You get one collectible toy per pack encased in an egg which you need to 'hatch' yourself. 

With 8 to collect and each pixie coming with it's own spinning stand and 2 accessories inside there is so much play potential with these collectible figures. The figures are also jointed so you can move their arms and legs for fun play time. 

We were sent two pixies to unbox in pink and purple colours. Thing 5 had the task of 'hatching' the pixies out of their eggs. There is a heart on the front of each one which you rub for a little while until the heat changes the colour and then break through the egg like shell to find your pixie inside. 

The eggs are made from synthetic eggshell which you peel back and throw away, leaving the contents and the egg base.

Each pixie has some wings and a tiara inside the egg too which I am sure you can mix and match with your other pixies for all sorts of wonderful colour ways and styles. 

Once Thing 5 had broken through the shell we could find out what pixies he had found. We had Peach Paulette and Polar Piper. Both glittery, shiny and very cute. With their own spinning stand which was inside the egg along with the pixie and her accessories. 

With a very reasonable price point of £7.99 each these are great little collectibles as gifts or treats. With 8 to collect too it's great to hatch the egg to see which pixie you will get next. 

Ad Disclaimer; We were sent these toys for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and comments are our own. 

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Our review of the Ninja Slap game from JAKKS toys

Ninja Slap game. Are you a student or a master? Find out in this fun 2 player game of speed and skill.

Slap Ninja is the new, fast paced skill and action game. Play as the Ninja Master and use his Huge Karate Chop SLAP to defend his precious coin from his sneaky opponent. Or, play as the Student trying to tap the coin in the Ninja’s hand to defeat him. The first player to defeat their opponent three times is the winner, and the loser gets ZAPPED! It takes seconds to learn, but a lifetime to master!

Thing 4 and Thing 5 have tried the game out and absolutely love it. Taking it in turns to be the student or the master.

The ‘zap’ involves a fast vibration through the handle to the loser. 

With vocal voice effects and karate chop sounds it really is a fun fast paced game to play and the children can play two player with other friends ready to take on the winner. First to get three stars wins.

See the video below for a demo on gameplay. 

With a very reasonable price point it’s an ideal gift for any occasion and ideal for ages 4+.


  • Includes 1 Slap Ninja game
  • Test your reflexes! Who is faster? The Student or the Master?
  • Choose to be the Ninja Master protecting his coin by using his huge Karate Chop SLAP against the sneaky opponent or be the student trying to tap the coin before getting slapped
  • Defeat your opponent 3 times and they get zapped!
  • Batteries required: 3 x AAA (included)


Slap Ninja is such an easy game to set up and play. It was out of the box and ready to go within minutes and the instructions were easy to follow and understand. It is a such a fun game and we highly recommend it. 

AD Disclaimer; We were sent this game for the purpose of a review, all thoughts and views are our own. 

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Review of the fab NEW Foodie Roos toys from John Adams

On the lead up to Christmas it's always fab to see news and reviews about new toys that are on the market and we were so happy to do a review of the lovely Foodie Roos toys from John Adams. 

Each Foodie Roo plush comes in it's own ice cream style container which can then be turned into a Foodie Roo home too. With colourful designs, scents and a choice of 2 designs from each container they are a great collectable toy with lots of fun play too. 

Upon unboxing these cute little plush toys you can smell them straight away.  Each a different design and scent with smells such as cookie, pretzel, soda and fruit cup with so many more to choose from. 

There are currently 10 different types to collect including the ones mentioned above plus; cereal, gummies, soda, juice, popcorn, chips (or crisps!) as well as the rarer treats too. 

The juice Foodie Roos also sound like a juice cup when you shake them and each other themed food feels like the food inside. Each Foodie Roo is also colourfully decorated to represent the snack that it smells of too. 

Each snack container has 2 possible designs that will be inside which means 20 to collect from this Series 1 that has been released. 

The Foodie Roos are so cute. Each small but decent sized plush has cute rounded eyes and look like cute little animals and the colouring in the design is bright and eye catching. 

The container makes a great Foodie Roo home for each of your plushies too, complete with a few stickers to decorate the inside and they are also great to clip back together as a tub to put the Foodie Roo inside. 

My children loved this and they couldn't decide which was the best. Whilst one preferred the cookie/pretzel designs, another liked the added feature of the juicy sound from inside the juice cup plush. 

These are a lovely sized product and would be ideal as gifts for children's birthday parties as well as for under the Christmas tree as the festive season approaches. 

I would highly recommend these as a great toy and collectable series. 

Which Foodie Roo would you like the best? 

Disclosure; We were gifted these for the purpose of a review, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Salt dough Santa face handprint decorations. A Christmas homemade craft which is perfect as gifts for the family.

Santa salt dough handprint decorations 

Every year I make sure everyone knows about this lovely little Christmas craft idea early enough to get them done in time! They are so easy to do and very effective. I made my first ones 2 years ago when Thing 5 was just a few months old so some of ours are really small and cute. Ideal for baby, toddler and small children's hands. Ideal for the older children to paint themselves although I did get quite annoyed if they didn't do it quite right so I painted the ones we were giving as gifts.

You make up the salt dough and roll it out, not too thin. Press the child's hand into the salt dough and then carefully cut around the hand print shape. Don't forget to put a decent size hole in it for hanging once cooked and painted.

I cooked the salt dough as per the instructions above  and it cooked perfectly. Leave to cool and then paint as follows.

Nearly finished.

 I bought acrylic paints from a local stationers. White, red, black and pink. I painted the back of the hand prints first and allowed it to dry before turning it over and painting the front and around the sides. Leave the white to fully dry before painting on the other colours. I did the black lines with a very thin paint brush and black paint as I tried using a black pen but this ran and didn't look good. Once it is all fully dried I used a clear spray varnish to seal it all and give it a nice shine. Finally I found some lovely ribbon in the Christmas section in my local Sainsbury's that I used to hang them.

All finished and painted with the Christmas ribbon.

They make a fab gift for relatives and it means that each year it can come out as a decoration for the tree, I gave them all a Thing 5 sized one for the tree which was made on his first Christmas. Baby/toddler sized hands make the cutest little Santa decoration. I also found some cellophane bags with gold ribbon in my local pound shop which were ideal as gift bags and I think there were 20 in the pack.

So there you have it. An easy yet effective Christmas decoration that the relatives will love to receive when it is lovingly hand made and includes your child/s hand print.

Our Santa hand prints ready and in their gift bags.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Things not to say to your customers as a checkout assistant.

I love my job I really do. Since starting work two years ago I have made some fab work friends and also got to know some customers really well. They are friendly, chatty and always pop by your checkout to ask how you are. 

I always try and be friendly and polite to my customers, some are chatty and some would rather just do their shopping and go and that is fine. Then there are those times when you should have just kept quiet.

Here's one of those times..............

You know when you get to the checkout, you want the shortest queue but also an assistant who looks like they might want to actually chat with you while you pack the £3 million worth of shopping that seems to have jumped into your trolley. Well I am chatty checkout assistant except sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut. 

Yesterday I was unleashed from my cigarette kiosk where, quite often, you serve customers so quickly there’s no time for chatter. I don’t get out very often so the whiff of freedom must have gone to my head. 

There I am on my checkout. I have 3 customers. Lady I’m serving, regular customer behind her and one more behind him. 

Regular customer; ‘I’ve got my 2 year old granddaughter coming to stay, you need eyes in the back of your head with a toddler around’ 

Don’t we know it!

So I point at his 4 pack of beers and say ‘that’s not going to get you through the weekend, I’ve got 5 kids and that’s what I have for breakfast each morning’ 

Wtf, what did I just say?! 

Lady customer giggles nervously, she’s unsure whether I’m joking or not but looking at the state of me I’m sure she thinks it’s true. 

Regular customer is having a laughing fit. 

Third customer who didn’t want to talk to anyone but got dragged in stifles a giggle before composing himself. 

I feel like I’ve just stood up in an AA meeting and said ‘My name is Mumof5 and I’m an alcoholic’ except I’m not and now I’m backtracking. 

‘I’m joking, honestly, I don’t even drink. Plus the kids are back at school now so it’s all fine’
I shouldn’t be allowed out. I’m rethinking my checkout chat skills and heading back to my kiosk. 🤣🤣

I don’t drink, honestly 


Thursday, 12 September 2019

Our garden makeover continues, the composite decking project is complete.

The finished decking area ready for a family afternoon tea in the garden

Our decking project in the back garden finally happened over the first few weeks of the summer holidays. Dadof5 worked hard on the weekends both at work and at home to make sure this was finished so we could enjoy for a while before the autumn and winter arrive.

Dadof5 started the base framework back in July. The base had to be raised in order for the decking to be the same height as the door and the garden. We did a lot of research to make sure we used the right wood and used enough supporting pieces for the size of deck we were doing. 

The before picture shows the horrible patio and the step down from the house then up on to the garden. Another before picture is hidden down the bottom of this post! 

Realgroove bark effect composite deckboards in grey. 

We had new french doors fitted back in April which really opened up the dining room to the outdoors but the patio area had seen better days. When we extended the house six years ago we had to rip up some of the patio to put some pipework down and it never got put back properly. You also stepped down on to the patio and then up on to the garden so the new deck area meant we could level the area right across. We hadn’t sat out on the patio for ages and it wasn’t really suitable for the children to play out on.

Dadof5 and Grandadof5 worked hard to build the raised base framework in time for the decking delivery in August. It was a big project and only two of them working on it. The decking area measured 2.4 metres by 8.5 metres spanning across the back of the house.

We spent many hours discussing our decking options. I had stumbled across, and fallen in love with, the Realgroove composite decking on the edecks website while Dadof5 tried to persuade me to go for wood decking..... because it was cheaper! The composite decking was more than twice the price of wooden decking but so worth it and Dadof5 agrees. The composite deckboards were £7.99 per square metre which is approx. £20 a length and we needed 61 lengths.

We tend to do jobs and go for the cheaper option just to get the project done but we agreed that from now on we would try and get the products we would like rather than just opting for the cheapest/easier options.
I would say the decking was easy to fit but I was only observing! However it looked easy enough to fit once the workers got going. It all clipped together with fixing clips provided and once completed it looked fab. We have a few finishing bits to complete and then I need to update the rest of the garden. It’s really changed the garden and we have sat outside more in the past few weeks than we have done in years!

It’s lovely to wake up in the morning and push the doors wide open. I’ve sat outside and eaten breakfast and spent a few long summer days soaking up the sun out there too. We will be looking for new outdoor furniture before the summer next year although I do have my eye on a set already. 

I've hidden this before picture down here because quite frankly it's hideous! The patio had been lifted to lay new pipework for the extension and everything was just dumped in this space. As a result the patio area was unused and VERY unloved. 

Here’s to the hard workers for making my dream decking happen and here’s to the many other projects we have to start/finish!

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

The Halloween pumpkin patch for pumpkin picking at Crockford Bridge Farm with lots to see and do

Our pumpkin patch visit to Crockford Bridge Farm

Our family of pumpkins!

Half Term will be upon us before we know it and thoughts are already turning to Halloween. The evenings are getting darker slightly earlier already too. The kiddies have been talking about Halloween recently and want to go back to Crockford Bridge Farm and their pumpkin patch. Thing 5 also now wants a pumpkin costume and I am sure the shops are going to be extra busy over the next few weeks putting out their Halloween displays and Halloween costume stocks will be depleting fast.

Halloween always comes and goes in the blink of an eye. The children get so excited. The costumes have been in the shops for a while and inevitably we end up buying them an outfit so they can go out trick or treating. We only take them down our road and an adjacent street. They only ever knock on the door where we can see they have also done something or decorated for Halloween or they have children and we know them.

Another thing the children enjoy doing is picking and carving the pumpkins. A few years ago instead of buying them from the supermarkets I wanted to go somewhere that we could pick our own pumpkins. I found Crockford Bridge Farm in Addlestone and we set off.

At the pumpkin patch.

It looked amazing. There were so many pumpkins to choose from in size, shape and colour. There was lots of activities going on too including apple bobbing, places to sit and carve your own pumpkin, the Wonder Wood hosts an immersive theatre with a different story each year and I was so pleased we had chosen to go and pick our pumpkins. If you can and you are nearby you must go.

In 2019 Crockford Bridge Farm will open their pumpkin fields on selected dates in October with pre picked pumpkin sales from the beginning of October. This means you can pick your pumpkin directly from the field on these days. On all other days the harvested pumpkins are laid out for you to pick your own. Their annual pumpkin festival will also take place near to the end of October, during this time Crockford's Corner is transformed into a fun packed area complete with thousands of pumpkins displayed for sale, pumpkin carving and other fun activities. There is an entry fee payable at the gate.

Decisions, decisions! Which pumpkin do we choose?

Our pumpkin carving has also stepped up a gear too. Gone are the pumpkins with triangle eyes, square noses and wonky teeth. Things got serious! The OH got adventurous with a Darth Vader and Ghostbusters carving. I then had to up my game. Not that I am competitive or anything! I went for the camper van pumpkin. The children just wanted a happy pumpkin so I carved a smiley face into one of the smaller pumpkins. 

Our pumpkin carvings! 

It's also Bonfire night soon after so I am sure there will be a few displays happening over the coming Halloween season as well as the weekend after. We have our annual firework display at Nanny and Grandad's house planned. This involves tomato soup and a warm roll, followed by bratwurst then the all important firework display and sparklers before finishing off with marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Its fun for the kiddies, we just have a few small fireworks but enough to keep the kiddies happy that they have seen some and the food is always delicious and warming.

Have you been to a local pumpkin patch before? How does your pumpkin carving turn out?