Winter Adventures with Barny Bear

There’s nothing my two love more than going out on an adventure, but the weather has been grim, the rain hasn’t stopped, it’s cold and to be honest I’d rather be snuggled up on a nice warm sofa.  But as I’d promised the children a little walk out in the fresh air, I couldn’t let them down.

So it was time to wrap up warm, put on the rain suits and wellies, and off we go to see what we could find.  Miss M and Mister B were excited to go out in the rain and walked hand in hand along the pavement towards a little grassy area that we had heard about.  We were heading for an area that we’ve never explored before to make things a bit more interesting and not knowing what we might find.

barny bear 5We hadn’t gone far but we soon came across something very exciting along the pavement.  Lots of muddy puddles!!  Before I had a chance to say anything, they were jumping up and down in the puddles with excited grins on their faces, giggling away like it was the best thing they’d ever done.  It’s amazing how much such a simple thing can bring so much pleasure.  They were so happy that I stood and let them enjoy the moment!

barny bear 2We then found an opening between some houses which we went through, down some zig zag paths to a river with a little bridge across.  We tried to play pooh sticks but there were lots of leaves and it didn’t quite work out, so we carried on until we came across a clearing with piles of leaves.  Once again they were off lifting piles of leaves into the air, watching them float gently back down to the ground.  Then Miss M found two large sticks which she held in the air and declared herself to be a tree!  Mister B soon copied but then decided that his big stick was going to be a sword and waved it around from side to side.

barny bear 3After a while we continued along the paths where Miss M spotted a bench and immediately ran over, took off her wellies and emptied them out.  Yes you guessed it, they were full of muddy water from all the puddles she had jumped in earlier!!

barny bear 4By now I was getting rather cold, and their little tummies were rumbling, so we decided to make our way back to the house.  Back over the bridge, along the zigzag paths and along the pavement past the muddy puddles and then in the bush, something glistened!  What was it, they delved in to find out and would you believe it, they only found a couple of boxes of Barny Bears in there!!

Barny Bear1The grins on their little faces said it all, they love Barny Bears!!!

They’ve tried chocolate Barny Bears before but here we had some new flavours, Strawberry and Apple.  Each Barny is a soft, moist sponge and in the shape of Barny Bear himself.  The bears are individually foiled wrapped for convenience and they couldn’t wait to tuck in.  It didn’t take long for their Barny Bear’s to disappear into their hungry little tummies, but the consensus was that although they liked both flavours, the strawberry Barny’s got the biggest thumbs up from us!

This post is an entry for BritMums ‘Winter Little Adventures Challenge’ sponsored by Barny, individually wrapped bear-shaped sponges with a hidden filling. Find out more about Barny here.

Mr Nutcase Personalised Phone Cover – Review

Mr Nutcase produce personalised mobile phone and tablet covers to any design of your choice, be it one of their instantly available designs, a design of your own or by adding your own photo.  Even the readily available colours and patterns can be additionally customised with clip art and text.  You really can make a truly unique case.

I decided to surprise my husband with a new phone cover and with him having an iPhone I had the choice of an Ultra Lightweight Slimline case or an Executive Flip Leather Style.  I would have liked to get the leather style case for him but on these only one side is printed and the other is plain white which I feel isn’t really suited to him and not a particularly manly choice.  If they had the same option in black then I would definitely have gone for this – hopefully this option will become available in the future.

So I went with the Ultra Lightweight Slimline case and chose a photograph of our children to go on the back.  I could then customise the colour to go either side of the picture and add any text clip art I wanted.  I decided to keep things simple and went with just one large picture.  I must point out that you can create a picture collage on the cover using one of the many varieties of collage templates they offer.  The choice is excellent.

Mr nutcaseWhen the cover arrived quite literally the next day, I was very pleased with it and put it on my husbands phone when he wasn’t looking.  He was thrilled when he first saw it and thought it was a great way to carry a picture of his children around with him.  The picture looked good and for some reason I hadn’t really thought about the sides of the cover.  I imagined they would be dark like the background of the photo but instead they were transparent – something I actually really like and think gives a fresh, modern feel,

We are very happy with the Mr Nutcase phone cover, the delivery service was excellent, the availability of design and customisation is great and the finished product is of a good quality.  I’d definitely use Mr Nutcase again for a personalised cover.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the phone case in order to write the review.

Cool Create Daisy Chains Crafting Fun – Review

Cool Create Daisy Chains is a fun new craft set aimed at young girls who enjoy making jewellery.  Miss M loves anything craft related, so she couldn’t wait to get started when she saw the box.

WP_005251The kit contains:

  • 1 flower making unit
  • 30 fabric flowers
  • 20 flower beads
  • 10 round beads
  • 1 picker/hair clip
  • 4 clips to join jewellery

daisy chain 1The kit is designed to allow you to make flowers that are daisy chained together and turn them into jewellery and hair clips.  The flower making unit is cute and gives assistance in putting the flowers together by layering petals, beads and stalks, then using the picker tool to lift the petals over the stems to create the flowers.

daisy chain 2Miss M who is 6 immediately grasped the concept of building the flowers, although they can be a little fiddly, but she was trying to rush.  By going slowly and carefully the flowers all came together more easily.  Once each flower is made you can chain them together to form a daisy chain using the flower making unit to assist you.

The daisy chains can then be joined in circles of varying lengths to make bracelets and necklaces or even a daisy chain to wear around your hair.  The picker tool can also be used to make a hair clip by attaching a flower to it.

Miss M thoroughly enjoyed the Cool Create Daisy Chains and once she got started she didn’t want to stop.  It was great to see her sitting making the daisy chains independently once she got to grips with what she was doing and only required minimal assistance from me.  She loved picking out the different petals and flower centres and had them all lined up ready to make although she did get a little frustrated that the petals didn’t stay at the top of the stalks.

daisy chains 3daisy chain 4The flowers can be taken apart after and used again if you so wish although I would have like to have seen some more stalks,  petals and beads in the box so more things could be made at a time.  Miss M was only able to make one bracelet, necklace and a hair clip which she loved doing but wanted to carry on.

The set is aimed at ages 4+, which is about right but would probably require more assistance at that age.  I loved it because Miss M enjoyed this on her own once she knew what to do and she really enjoyed making the daisy chains, in fact when I asked her opinion she said “I love this, it’s so much fun”, which I think says it all!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the craft kit in order to write the review.

Horrid Henry Early Reader – Book Review

Horrid Henry’s Sleepover by Orion books is part of their early reader series which I think is perfect for young readers to bridge the gap between large style picture books and paperbacks.

Horrid Henry sleepoverMy 6yr old daughter loves Horrid Henry, is always giggling at his antics on television so a Horrid Henry book is ideal for her.  She is a fairly competent reader for her age and is able to sit and read this herself although does require some assistance with certain words so it’s good to sit down with her and listen to her read aloud.

The story follows Horrid Henry going to a friends house for a sleepover.  Although he’s done it many times before, he’s always got up to his usual mischief and been sent home but things work out slightly differently on this occasion and he chooses to go home rather than being sent home.  You’ll have to read the story to find out what happens…

Horrid henryMiss M loved Horrid Henry’s Sleepover book as I predicted and it’s been beside her bed since we received it.  She find’s it hilarious with some of his antics and the pictures really break up the text in the early reader books which keep her entertained and maintain her interest in reading.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the book in order to write the review.








Pancake Pile-Up Relay Game – Review

Pancake Pile-Up from Learning Resources is a fun, fast paced team game that all the family can enjoy.  With two teams of up to six players in each, this is a game that encourages team work, promotes physical activity and builds a competitive atmosphere that everyone get’s involved in.  Also for younger players it helps develop recognition with the different toppings on the pancakes and also hand eye coordination as they balance the pancakes on the spatulas.

Pancake PileupThe game comes with two plastic spatulas, 10 soft plastic pancakes (in 5 different flavours), two plastic pieces of butter, 10 order cards, two cardboard plates and instructions.  Being soft plastic, the pancakes are durable and won’t break which is what you need when you are carrying them across the room. The box is made of an extremely sturdy cardboard which is fantastic to store the game in, but the bottom is actually used as part of the game play.  It has the image of a griddle on it, upon which you place the pancakes and this is where you collect them from during the game.

pancake1First you need to separate players into two teams and then select an order card which shows you the order of the different flavoured pancakes that you need to stack.  Also place the plates at one end of the room and the griddle with the pancakes at the other.

Then it is time to start, with the first player in each team running across to the griddle with their spatula, selecting the correctly topped pancake and running back to their team, carefully balancing the pancake on the spatula and placing it on the plate.  The next player in the team then runs across and collects the next pancake on the list until a tower of pancakes is built that matches the order card.  The first team to successfully do this are the winners!



When I showed my two children the Pancake Pile-Up game, their eyes lit up and they were eager to play.  They both love playing games and often prefer them to toys so I knew they’d be excited at a new game.  They immediately took charge and decided to be team captains and picked their team members from a choice of mummy, daddy and their grandparents.  Then the relay started and they were away, I have to say the atmosphere in the room was brimming with cheers, encouragement and excitement as we took our turns at collecting a pancake for the pile.  Once the pile was complete and we had a winning team they immediately wanted to mix the teams up a bit and play again.

pancake4The suggested age range for this game is 4-8 years, so this was perfect for 6yr old Miss M.  Mister B is only 3yr’s old but is more than capable of playing this and totally grasped the game although did require a little direction.  He often got caught up in the excitement and came back with a different flavoured pancake to which he went for but non the less we let him off as he was enjoying it so much!

pancake5Pancake Pile-Up is such a simple game but one that children absolutely love and it really does bring people together.  Normally we are sat down to play games and children can get bored or distracted, but with Pancake Pile-Up we were all (adults included) totally engrossed in the game throughout as we cheered, motivated and encouraged each other along in a bid to be the winning team.

We love Pancake Pile-Up, it has been a huge success with our family.  I think the relay team aspects and the physical side of it really add to the fun and enjoyment.  My children have played with it again and again sometimes just by themselves racing to build their pile of pancakes.  We are seeing family this weekend and my children are keen to take it with us to play with Auntie K, Uncle K and Cousin L.  I think this game is versatile and would make a great children’s party game, and definitely one to bring out at Christmas.  But with pancake day on it’s way this year, it’s perfect to get children thinking about Shrove Tuesday and planning their desired toppings for their pancakes.

If you have young children and are looking for a fun, quick paced family game that everyone will enjoy, then why not give Pancake Pile-Up a try?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the game in order to write the review.

Woodlands Devon – A Family Day Out

With the half term nearly over, we have barely spent any time as a family, due to the husband being on a course and working long hours throughout the week.  So with the weather looking dry and a hint of sun looming we decided to something that the children would enjoy and get us all out for the day this weekend.  Having a little Google last night I thought we’d give Woodlands a try, not somewhere we’d been before and the winter prices were very reasonable and even cheaper by booking your tickets online!

We took a chance on the dry weather warning and I booked some tickets this morning, we set off and 50 minutes later we arrived.  Glorious sunshine and an empty carpark – just what I like!  We passed through the entrance gates and the look on Miss M’s face said it all – she was full of grins, overwhelmed and couldn’t wait to explore.  The first place she found was this amazing wood and rope castle which she dragged Mister B through even though he was scared, but being quiet and not many people about, he braved his way through with Miss M’s encouragement

woodlands 9Before long Miss M spotted a digger sand play area and rushed over to have a go!woodlands 1Then Mister B caught sight of the Wild West village and had fun exploring the many buildings including the bank, church, jail and even the stable where he fed the horse leaves from the ground – bless him!

woodlands 2Miss M was keen to have a dig and ride the tractor until she noticed a zip wire and eagerly climbed aboard.  With it being so quiet there were no other children around so she happily zoomed up and down for a good ten minutes.

woodlands 3Next it was time to wander over and see the animals – lots of rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, goats etc and a great little play area full of toy tractors with trailers and pretend logs to put in and move around.

woodlands 7After playing in and out of pretend houses, Mister B getting banished to prison and Miss M riding down a huge bumpy slide, we saw in the distance a huge rocking pirate ship, one that Miss M was desperate to go on.  I decided it was best if daddy accompanied her as I just don’t enjoy big rides these days as much as I did 20 years ago! lol  She chose to sit at the very back and due to it being quiet went on the ride three times continuously enjoying every moment with a huge grin across her face.

woodlands 8Meanwhile Mister B wanted a go on the swings and have a play in the nearby play area.  I have to say I couldn’t believe how many little play areas there were dotted around – so much to keep little ones occupied although we spent the latter part of the day in some of the many indoor soft play and ball pool areas.

woodlands 6One ride they were both determined to go on was the water bumper boats!  Unfortunately Mister B got scared when we reached the front of the queue so Miss M went on first with daddy while we watched.  He soon regained his confidence to go on and went with daddy whilst looking very cute in the little life jacket.

woodlands 4We had a thoroughly entertaining day at Woodlands, one I’d highly recommend particularly at the fantastic price we paid.  There is so much to keep little ones entertained and at this time of year there are no queues.  Some of the bigger rides are closed but my children are generally to short for them anyway.

The day was about the children having fun, getting out and being somewhere they loved and could be free.  I loved to see my children running around, out in the fresh air, seeing the animals, giggling as they played both indoors and out but for me I just adored the peacocks wandering around freely.  I’ve always had a fondness for them and for many years when I was a child I had a peacock’s feather displayed in my bedroom.  So to see a peacock come to full plume was amazing!  The perfect end to a perfect family day!

woodlands 5

Canvasdesign Photo Canvas – Review

Canvasdesign produce high quality photo canvasses in a multitude of sizes from just 6 inches square right the way up to 40 inches!  I’ve never had a photo put onto canvas before but was intrigued as to what it’d be like so keenly took up the opportunity from Canvasdesign to try one.

I chose a photo of my two children from the start of this year, Miss M’s 6th birthday, it is one of few I have where both children are looking at the camera and there aren’t any random objects or people lurking in the background.

canvasThe canvas arrived wrapped very securely in what seemed like endless layers of corrugated cardboard – this kept the children amused for the rest of the day while mummy could sit back and enjoy her new canvas!! lol

Once I got to bottom layer and saw the canvas, I have to say I was highly impressed, the quality is excellent!  The canvas was really thick too, a good one and a half inches deep, wrapped around a solid pine frame.  The canvas comes supplied with a hanging kit, although I didn’t use that due to the solid stone walls in my house that are a nightmare to drill through and I also have the original picture rail which we prefer to use to hang pictures from.

Our canvas has taken pride of place in our front room above the tv and being approximately 28 by 18 inches, a custom size, this fills the space nicely.  I’m very happy with it and love looking at it each day.

Canvasdesign have a simple website where you can upload your photo and it will guide you through sizes and prices.  If you are thinking of purchasing a canvas then I’d highly recommend that you take a look, you won’t be disappointed!

And if you haven’t already, then why not enter my giveaway to win a photo canvas of any size from Canvasdesign HERE.

You can also get a 15% discount by using the code BLOG15

Why not check out Canvasdesign on Facebook and Twitter!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the canvas in order to write the review.


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Pastry Canapé Ideas using Pidy – Review

Pidy are a supplier of a wide range of ready to fill pastry products, with many small canapé size shapes ideal for parties and gatherings.  We were sent some mini round vol-au-vent shaped pastry cases – Zakouski’s and some Spoonettes.

Pidy2For the Zakouski’s, it is suggested to heat them in the oven prior to filling to give a delicious, light puff pastry.  I did this before letting them cool slightly then adding my filling.  I decided to make a Feta cheese, Wild Rocket Pesto and Tomato filling by mashing 80g of Feta cheese with 3 teaspoons of the pesto and spooned this into each pastry case.  I then added a quarter of a baby plum tomato to the top.

Pidy1Personally I found these absolutely delicious as they included some of my favourite flavours.  I made these when I had some visitors to get their opinions too, and they loved them and we all agreed that the pastry was really light and crisp.  So quick to make as well, perfect for when you are short on time or have lots to make or just purely for convenience!

I then decided to try the Pidy Spoonettes, in which I thought I’d put a sweet filling into.  As I’m trying to eat healthily at the moment, I used a pre-made chilled low fat chocolate and hazelnut dessert that I simply spooned into the pastry spoonettes.  I then added a quarter of a strawberry on top to finish off!  A very quick, simple and heavenly sweet canapé!

Pidy3I’ve really enjoyed trying the Pidy pastry range, it’s really opened my eyes up to the sort of products available to make your life easier.  With a busy family the idea of making pastry canapés often puts me off due to time but with these Pidy pastry shells, it literally takes minutes.  I would definitely use these for a family celebration where we have a few people round and a few drinks or New Year’s Eve would be a good time to use them as well.

Thanks to food PR agency CLIP Creative and PR for the samples



Muddypaws’ New Friends – Picture Book Review

Muddypaws is a dog belonging to a young boy called Ben.  When Ben attends school he leaves Muddypaws at home, until one day when Ben takes Muddypaws to puppy school for the day.  This is a delightful story from Parragon books that teaches about friendship and having fun.

MuddypawsWith beautiful lifelike illustrations, the pages are engaging to look at and my children enjoyed looking at was going on as they listened to the story.  Muddypaws gets to make new friends at puppy school as well as learning new doggy skills, which with perseverance and encouragement from his friends he finally masters.

Muddypaws 2This is a cute story of friendship and shows the support and fun of having friends, both new and old.  My children both enjoyed listening to this story, Miss M even took a turn of reading it out loud to Mister B.  A great story for animal lovers.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the book in order to write the review.


Nothing But Snacks – Review

Nothing But. are a new, healthy snack that not only contains real vegetables but each pack contains 1 of your 5 a day portions of vegetables.  I was fortunate to receive a couple of packs of Beetroot & Parsnip and Mange Tout & Red Pepper flavours.

Nothing butI was really excited to try these for many reasons, I love vegetable snacks, I’m trying to follow a healthy eating plan and I’m vegetarian.   They are also suitable for vegans, are gluten free with no added fat, sugar, salt or preservatives.

These are literally freeze dried vegetables in a packet with just 26 calories a pack for the Mange Tout & Red Pepper snack and just 36 calories for the Slice Beetroot & Parsnip snack.  You can’t get better than that!

I was amazed by the bright, vibrant colours of the vegetables, they looked crunchy and inviting.  When you bite into them they are light as air, although the taste of the vegetable clearly comes through.

Nothing but snack 1I enjoyed these and think with them being one of your five a day and low calorie makes them ideal for healthy eating, although you have to bear in mind that they won’t be overly filling.  I also would have liked to have seen a few more in each bag than there was.

What I did discover though it that these make the perfect low fat accompaniment to houmous.  I had some red pepper houmous in the fridge and dipped the freeze dried vegetables into it – absolutely divine!!  It gave an added burst of flavour and for me is an ideal healthy, low calorie snack.

Nothing 3

Nothing But, for me, make a delicious snack with houmous and I’d definitely have this again.  They are also available in another flavour, Pea and Sweetcorn which would be interesting to try.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write the review.