The Snowman™ and The Snowdog Great Festive Bake Off Blog Tour

The animated film of The Snowman first graced our screens back in 1982 when I was just seven years old, although it is one of those films that I remember clearly and have watched many times over during it’s annual viewing each Christmas.  The 20th anniversary film released in 2012 shares the snowman’s adventure with another little boy along with a Snowdog, of which has become one of my little boy’s favourite cuddly toys since taking part in last years blog tour.  If you haven’t seen the film or want to watch it again then keep your eyes peeled as The Snowman™ and The Snowdog will be shown on Channel 4 again this Christmas!

Snowman Bake off bannerThis year we have received some lovely Snowman & Snowdog gifts to try out as shown below.

snowdogThe Snowman Indoor Light String with LED bulbs is available from Christmas Trees and Lights priced at £15.99.  The set contains 10 moulded snowman which gently illuminate to a soft glow.  The set requires 2AA batteries to operate it, which I do like as it means they can be hung anywhere.  We chose to hang them from our picture rail between our lounge and dining room.  The children really love these lights and can’t wait for me to turn them on each evening.

snowdog 2A product that will always prove popular in this house is chocolate and when it’s a white chocolate snowman from Thornton’s, you know you are onto a winner!  The chocolate is creamy and very yummy, a firm favourite with my little ones and also myself, great for a Christmas treat!

snowmanThe fun twist on this years Snowman & Snowdog blog tour is a bake off along with the other bloggers taking part.  We have all been sent this lovely set of Snowman & Snowdog biscuit cutters available from John Lewis and Party Delights to see what we could come up with.

snowman 3I didn’t have to ask my children twice if they wanted to help, they absolutely adore baking, and as soon as I mentioned we were starting they were in the kitchen doing up each others aprons and sitting at the work top ready to begin.  Due to an imminent house move my food processor is all packed up, so luckily the children love getting their hands in the bowl and effortlessy rubbed the butter into the flour for our biscuit mixture.  They then rolled out and cut a variety of shapes ready for baking.

snowdog 3I love their results, so sparkly and festive!

snowdog 4And aren’t these snowdogs super cute?

snowdog 5Then it was mummy’s turn with the other half of the mixture.  I carefully cut and baked my shapes before attempting to ice them!  I’d had a long weekend of DIY at my new house and was feeling pretty shattered, so was a little rushed, but I gave it my best shot!

snowdog 6I really enjoyed this challenge and found it really fun to do.  I’ll definitely be trying out some more biscuit designs in the new year when I have a bit more time on my hands.

snowdog 7Mister B’s snowdog came down to the kitchen for a visit and approved of my biscuit creations of him and thought the children would love them!

snowdog 8I have to say the finished biscuits are very tasty and the children couldn’t wait to sample them. I can confirm they do taste absolutely delicious are make the perfect festive treat this Christmas time.

snowdog 9For more Snowman & Snowdog gifts and bake off adventures head over to Madhouse Family Reviews tomorrow for more wonderful festive ideas.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the Snowman & Snowdog goodies in order to write an honest review.

John Adams Sands Alive Play Sets – Review

Sands Alive play sets from John Adams are a delight to young children who love sand, enjoy using their hands to be creative and like having fun making things.  My two children were excited about the idea of playing with sand indoors and I found these sets to be quite well contained and easy to clean up.

sandWe received the Classic and Animal set to try out.  They both come with a tray to play in, a bag of sand and various moulds to shape the sand with.

sand 2Both children sat quietly playing, enjoying the texture of the soft sand through their fingers.  It’s a great product that’s non sticky, really soft, making it great for kids of any age to play with.

sand 3Mister B loved the paw tracks roller which led to lots of imaginative play with some of his figure toys over the animal prints.  What is quite amazing is how well defined the sand is one you stamp it or mould it.  The edges are really smooth and clear to see.  The shapes are easy to press out of the moulds with a few light taps.

sand 4Miss M was very proud of the sand ball that she made and it did look quite impressive.  The animals were good although a little tricky for younger ones to get out of the mould easily, but we are practising and they are getting better as we get to grips with the moulds.  We also made lots of towers for the animals to live in.

sand 5The children really enjoy playing with Sands Alive, it’s creative fun that they can play with in the house.  We just used an art mat underneath and found it simple to hoover up any excess. I think these are great play sets for children, ideal gifts and something they will enjoy time and time again.  A different, new texture that is great to explore!

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

Alesha Dixon Rose Quartz Gift Set – Review

I love a good fragrance and am always drawn to anything with a hint of roses, so couldn’t wait to try Alesha Dixon’s Rose Quartz gift set containing a 100ml Eau de Toilette alongside a 100ml Body Lotion.

Alesha Dixon Rose QuartzThe gift set is boxed with the two products inside.  The perfume is called Rose Quartz which is known as the stone of love and aims to promote a feeling of self worth, postive thought and happiness.  It’s key notes are Bergamot, Jasmine and Patchouli along with a fusion of rose notes.

I have to say I was pleasantly impressed with the smell and absolutely adore it, so much that I have worn it everyday since.  It is fresh and bursting with roses without being too heavy, perfect for everyday wear.

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All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the gift set in order to write an honest review.

Arla Chocolate Flavoured Milk – Review

There’s nothing my children love more than a drink of chocolate flavoured milk as a delicious treat during the day, so we were pleased to try these cute little individually portioned bottles of Arla Flavoured Milk.  Available in chocolate and strawberry flavours I knew chocolate would be a hit with my two!

arlaI love that they come in individual bottles as you can always open a fresh bottle and don’t have to rush to finish a large bottle in a few days.  Also children love having their own little bottles and you can ensure they get an equal amount each (yes, my 2 do compare the amounts I pour out for each of them!).  These flavoured milks contain 50% less sugar than most other available flavoured milk drinks and also have no artificial sweeteners, flavours or colours.

arla 2So what did my two think of these drinks?  Well I think you can tell by the pictures above that they were a hit, they couldn’t wait to have another one and eagerly drunk their drinks without any encouragement needed!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the chocolate milk in order to write an honest review.

My Big Monster Book of Fun – Review

My Big Monster Book of Fun from Parragon books is a jam packed activity book for little ones with over 190 pages of fun things to read and do.  It reall

WP_20151111_14_55_51_ProThe book is divided into sections, starting first with a 24 page rhyming story ‘Scaredy Boo!’ accompanied by full colour page illustrations to keep little ones entertained.  There are then sections for monster activities, colouring, T-Rex Terror, dinosaur activities, dinosaur colouring and an answer section to the puzzles throughout the book.

The activities are so varied from spotting differences, putting monsters in order, finishing drawing some zombies etc that it will keep children interested and motivated to work through the book.  It’s also an easy book to pick up and put down as an when you please.  My little boy loves this and often picks it up to do a few pages.

As well as having at home this would be great to take away on holiday to keep children entertained or whilst travelling as it’s self contained with loads of things to do, you just need a few pencils!

monster funWe love My Big Monster Book of Fun and it has provided many hours of fun.

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

Captain America Costume from Fun Warehouse

Most little boys dream about being a superhero, and my little man is no different.  His current idol is Captain America of which he would love to be so when we got the chance to try out a costume from Fun Warehouse we didn’t hesitate with which one to choose.  They have a wide variety of costumes all categorised to make them easy to find with the Superhero section being packed full of different hero costumes.  For each superhero there are varying styles at different price points meaning there is something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

captain america

Our Captain America costume arrived and Mister B’s eyes lit up, he couldn’t wait to try it on.  The costume comes in two pieces, an all in one suit that you step into and has velcro to do up at the back and a mask that has velcro to attach under the chin.  The outfit is flexible and comfortable

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Mister B got straight into character when wearing the costume and showed me his Captain America poses.  He loved wearing the outfit, found it comfortable and has had hours of fun being a superhero, which is what costumes are all about.  The outfit seems well stitched and although fairly thin is durable and easy for kids to get on themselves.  I think we’ll have lots of fun with this over the next couple of years.

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Why not check out the great range of costumes available at Fun Warehouse, there are plenty of Christmas costumes to choose from which are perfect for this time of year especially if your children are taking part in a Xmas play at school.

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

Win a Dinosaur with Chicago Town Pizza

Chicago Town pizzas are regularly eaten in this house, my children love The Deep Dish and I find The Sub handy for a lunchtime treat.  At the moment every time you buy a Chicago Town pizza, you will find a special code on the inside of the box which you can enter online in the hope to win one of six Jurassic World dinosaur toys.

chicago town

Available are:

  • Indominus Rex
  • Ceratosaurus
  • Dilophosaurus
  • Dimorphodon
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Velociraptor

Every 15 minutes between 8am and 8pm a different dinosaur is released so you can try your luck to win every dinosaur.  It’s definitely worth a try as we won on our third attempt which my son Mister B is very happy about.

If you are unsure what pizza to buy, then I am going to highly recommend The Takeaway Four Cheese Melt.  With a stuffed tomato sauce crust and topped with a combination of Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, mature Cheddar and Emmental cheeses, this pizza is pure heaven.

chicago town 2

We hadn’t tried this pizza before but got it in for all the family on Saturday night and it disappeared within minutes with everyone saying how delicious it tasted.  The crust rose up beautifully to a soft but crispy edge that just melted in the mouth.  This will definitely be our go to pizza in the future for weekend family treats!

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All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received a dinosaur and some vouchers in order to write an honest review.

Cravendale Milk Drinkers Challenge

Cravendale is a milk that my kids love.  They notice a distinctive difference between Cravendale and supermarket branded milk and find it a little sweeter and more pleasant to drink.  Now I’m going to have to be honest and admit I’ve never been a fan of milk myself but am pleased my children are growing up drinking it as their main drink to help give them a balanced diet.

cravendaleMy children drink milk anytime of the day, either that or water, and particularly at dinner time they like a glass of milk to wash their evening meal down.   Also at supper time they love a glass of milk before bed and a straw just makes their milk that bit more fun as a mound of bubbles burst out of the glass sending them into fits of giggles as to who can produce the most bubbles!

cravendale 3Milk is a staple in this household for the children, whether it be milk on their cereal or drinks during the day, we sure get through a few pints.  I just hope they don’t grow out of their Cravendale addiciton, not only are they getting a healthy boost but they thoroughly enjoy it and always have fun drinking it!

cravendale 2This post is an entry for BritMums #MilkDrinkersMilk Linky Challenge, sponsored by Cravendale

MyStyle Shamballa Rainbow Jewellery – Review

Shamballa jewellery has been a trend over recent years and this kit from Interplay to make some rainbow coloured Shamballa jewellery is a great introduction for young girls to learn and make some great pieces.

shamballaThe kit comes with a handy sectioned box to contain all your beads and accessories while you work, making life a little easier.  Included are various beads, rainbow coloured cord as well as various clasps, wire etc. enough to make various pieces including bracelets, earrings and a necklace.

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We started making a bracelet which I started off for Miss M, although I was actually surprised at how easy it was to do, I thought it might be quite a complicated pattern to do, but no, just a placing one thread over another and looping it through.  Miss M soon got to grips with this and happily completed the bracelet on her own adding beads appropriately along the design.  The set comes with a safety pin to use to attach the top of the bracelet to something whilst working on it, and we used the edge of our sofa bed which worked well and meant the bracelet hung down nicely allowing Miss M to easily see the pattern and keep the threads straight.

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You can vary the designs of the bracelets by adding beads at different places and there are also accessories to make earrings and a necklace.  Miss M made me some earrings, as her ears aren’t pierced, which I was really impressed with.  She used some wire which she twisted around and threaded some beads on too.

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Overall I have to say I’ve been impressed with this kit.  I didn’t realise how easy it was to make Shamballa style bracelets and this is a great introduction as to how it is done and the possibilities of styles you can make.  Miss M had great fun making her new bracelets!

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

Shaker Maker Disney Princess Cinderella and Rapunzel

Shaker Maker Disney Princess Cinderella and Rapunzel from Cool Create is a fun, simple plaster kit for children that allows them to create decorative pieces that they can enjoy on the shelves in their bedroom.

Shaker MakerThe shaker maker consists of a Shaker Maker pod, 2 princess moulds, 2 packs of plaster, 2 stands and a paint set, everything you need to complete this kit.

Shaker Maker 2I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Shaker Maker and how messy it would be but I have to say I was really impressed – so simple for a child to use and completely mess free!

All you have to do is add some warm tap water into one half of the shaker pod up to a certain line then tip the bag of plaster in.  In the lid, insert one of the princess moulds then screw the lid on to the base.  Shake well and then tip so that the mould is at the bottom and the plaster mixture sits perfectly in the mould, no mess, no touching it, all the hard work is done for you.

Shaker Maker 3Then gently tap the sides to remove air bubbles and leave to stand for at least an hour to dry out.

Shaker Maker 4My daughter couldn’t wait to start painting them which is a part she really enjoyed.  The paint brush that is included is really fine, much better than the usual brushes you get with kids kits, which enabled my daughter to try and add some detail.

Shaker Maker 5I think the finished results look great and this is a great kit for kids to get crafty with, experiencing plaster moulding and painting.  This would make a great gift anytime, something they can enjoy doing and something that they can keep after.  The moulds are also reusable so if you buy some more plaster you can make some more princesses!

Shaker Maker 6All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the set in order to write an honest review.