Air Hogs Remote Control Batmobile

Air Hogs Remote Control Batmobile from Spin Master is an impressive little vehicle, it looks stunning with lots of sleek detail and a bat shaped remote control, but importantly it moves with ease over various indoor terrain and is simple to manipulate.  Aimed at ages 8+, my 8yr old couldn’t wait to try it out and soon had it zipping all about the house.

The car is fairly small but packed full of detail making it look really sleek and a quality car. Based on Batman V Superman, this car was is made to look like it and has a brushed metal look finish although it’s actually just hard durable plastic, made to withstand knocks and bumps as it zooms around the floor.  We love the styling on it and give it top marks for looks.

batmobileThe remote control is great too, a simple but smooth lined bat shape with easy to touch controls.  Both the car and remote have an on/off switch and both require 3 AA batteries to work.  They both have a small red light so you know when they are on and ready to use.wp_20161016_11_46_35_pro

So then it was time to try it out.  We were really impressed with the performance of the Air Hogs Batmobile with it’s quick sharp turns and excellent manoeuverability.  It was simple to control and moved fast.  With a bit of practise you can soon get used to knowing when to stop it and how quick you can take a turn.  Everyone has loved this and it has had plenty of use on just the first set of batteries which are still going.  This is an excellent remote control vehicle that I’d really recommend, it doesn’t get stuck on edges of carpets and rugs and whizzes around faster than you can follow it.  With it’s edgy design too, it’s perfect and has just the sort of performance I’d be looking for if I was to purchase a remote controlled vehicle.

Here you can see a short clip of my 8yr old whizzing it around the house:

We love the Batmobile but there are also lots of other remote controlled vehicles in the Air Hogs range so make sure you check them out!

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

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Lush Halloween and Christmas 2016

Lush is perfect for Christmas treats, amazing smelling gifts and pampering yourself from head to toe in naturally handmade products that leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and totally relaxed. I was excited to find out from Lush Plymouth about the latest arrivals for this years Halloween and Christmas ranges, some brought back from previous years and others new and intriguing.

lushThe array of goodies on the shelves as you enter the shop keep your eyes wandering in excitement whilst the aroma hits you and instantly makes your feel relaxed. I love looking at all the Christmas gifts wrapped in pretty boxes or super cute tins. They have a great choice to fit everyones tastes and price points.

We started off by having a demonstration of the Halloween range which has some super cute items including Boo a fun little bath melt, packed full of cocoa butter and ginger oil for a relaxing, softening bath. The bath bombs that stood out for me in this range are Autumn Leaf which looked so pretty as it melted away in the water and Monster’s Ball which looked fantastic as it dissolved as well as having the most heavenly fragrance full of both lime and neroli oils. What also looked amazing was the way the eye of the monster floated around in the water as the rest of the bomb dissolved – eek, a little creepy but perfect for Halloween!

lush-2Then is was time to check out the Christmas ranges and there were so many fun things, even my children would be spoilt for choice by some of the cute bath pieces. The Christmas Penguin bubble bar looks too cute to break up but it’s worth it for the mountain of bubbles it produces. Santasaurus would sit just perfectly in my little boys stocking this year, a reusable bubble bar meaning he could have several baths swishing it around creating bubbles whilst relaxing and playing in an aroma of orange and bergamot oils. lush-3For me I was tempted with the Golden Wonder bath bomb. It looks rather grand as it’s shaped like a huge present box and covered in a gold shimmer. It has one of my favourite fragrances, lime oil in it and as it melts away in the water is a secret surprise inside. Why not try one out for yourself for a long relaxing treat?

Another bath bomb that looked fascinating as it swirled around in the water is Northern Lights.  With it’s purple barrel shaped exterior, it spun around fizzing away in with colours shooting out of each end.

As well as all the bath treats are some rather fun looking soaps such as Shooting Stars with a fresh citrusy fragrance, Snowcastle which looks really creamy and Santa’s Postbox.  I must also mention the shower jelly’s that had extra large versions on display in the store, Santa’s Belly and Snowman look like great wobbly fun for in the shower!

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At the end of the event I was able to choose some of the goodies to take away and try at home.  It was easy to pick bath and shower products as that’s what I normally stick to in Lush, but looking for a body product I wanted to try something new and different that I wouldn’t normally use.  With my favourite Rose Jam shower gel in my basket (a must for any fans of Rose fragrances), a couple of exciting looking bath bombs and some soap samples, I decided to opt for my something else a little bit different.

wp_20161028_12_07_03_proI’ve never really used any of Lush’s face and body products so decided to go out of my comfy bath bomb box and try something new, not just for myself but to share with you, my readers. I tried Bûche De Noël, a facial cleanser, a totally fresh, natural cleansing product packed full of ground almonds, kaolin, fresh mandarin, dried cranberries and cocoa butter.  It does have a very festive touch to it but how would it work?

I’ll be honest, the first couple of times I used it, it is a little messy.  You need to take a generous pinch and mix in your palm with a few drops of water to make a paste and then massage across your face.  It has a light exfoliating action but gives a really deep clean.  I still wasn’t too sure about it, that is until I washed it off – Oh My!!  My face felt incredibly baby soft, smooth, ultra cleansed and looked really fresh.lush-buche

Lush at Christmas as you can see is packed full of amazing and exciting products that smell divine.  They have a fabulous gift range which is worth checking out and lots of fun little products that would make ideal stocking fillers!

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

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Savisto Retro Food Stand Mixer

I think one kitchen gadget that most people would love to own if they don’t already is a stand mixer.  They look great and are fantastic for a multitude of baking scenarios from beating, whisking and kneading dough.  Savisto is not a brand I’d heard much about before but am excited to try out their Retro Food Stand Mixer which retails for under £100 which is an amazing price for what you get.

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The Stand Mixer comes with three attachments, a transparent lid and a silicone spatula.  The large stainless steel bowl has an impressive capacity of 5.5 litres, is ultra light to carry and has a chunky handle that’s easy to grab hold off.  It looks fantastic and I know I will fit whatever quantity of mixture I want to make up in it.  The whole stand mixer has a stylish look and a smooth, curvy structure which is easy to wipe down after use.

savistoIt may look impressive and stylish, but the big question is how easy is it to use and how well does it work?  So with my little boy Mister B’s 6th birthday party on it’s way I got started on a basic cake batter.  Being a little unsure on how the mixer would perform, I made my first batch with just four eggs but having done that you could easily fit a batter double the size in the huge bowl!

Each of the three blades simply fits on with a push and twist.  It’s so easy that you can chop and change if required.  Also if you want the lid on you need to click that into place before the blade attachment.  Below you can see me creaming the butter and sugar together, the finished chocolate cake batter, and mixing up a minion yellow coloured buttercream to top the baked sponges with.

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Once your attachment is in place simply turn the lever to release it back down into the bowl and add your ingredients.  Mixing was an absolute dream, just turn the dial to the required number (you have six speed options) and off it goes.  It works really efficiently and is a total pleasure to use.

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I split my first batch of cake batter into two tins for two layers of the main birthday cake.  Later I made a third layer and multiple cupcakes in various sizes.

savisto-3I ended up making several batches of cake batter plus a couple of batches of buttercream which I couldn’t have done in the time without the ease of the Savisto Stand Mixer.  It’s quick, efficient and the bowl is so easy to scoop the mixture out of and wash up!  A huge bonus from the clunky, 16yr old food processor I have been using to do my baking up to now.  The bowl is large and smooth making it so simple to clean, if you are changing what you are mixing, you can easily wash it out in a couple of minutes and use again.

bba56b32-d5b5-4c0c-bd6b-62bf27142848With a multitude of cakes made it was time to decorate which took me way into the late hours but fortunately the birthday boy was thrilled with the results just like I was thrilled with the pleasure of using the Savisto Retro Food Stand Mixer. 1ed18c4c-6600-4e18-a6d0-7781510d1532-1When a gadget is easy to use it always makes life simpler and means it’s something that you will use again and again.  I can’t emphasise how simple this stand mixer is, you just click the bowl and required attachment into place, then turn it on to one of six speed settings.  Et Voilà!  A cake is made! wp_20161015_08_35_18_pro

I’m very impressed with Savisto, for the both the price and style.  They sell a range of kitchen gadgets so do check them out and see what they have.  There’s probably something on there that would make a great Christmas gift and I can certainly say that I recommend the stand mixer for any keen bakers out there.

I fancy trying a meringue based recipe next with my new Savisto Stand Mixer to try out the whisk attachment, so keep your eyes peeled as I’ll share my results in a future blog post!

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

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#FrubesMoves Dance Off Challenge

Frubes have long been a favourite brand with my children since they were toddlers as they are an easy to eat small portion that’s so handy to take out and about.  Available in Strawberry, Red Berry, Peach, and Banana flavours, they contain vitamin D and calcium for strong bones so are ideal snacks for children to have on the go.

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Frubes have partnered with the latest family film of the year, The Angry Birds Movie, and created a fun dance off between the Angry Birds and the mischievious pigs who are enemies in the film.  You can hop on over to the Frubes website to play the dance off and battle between them.

My children love a dance, particularly 6yr old Mister B who loves to show us his moves, so along with big sister Miss M they set about showing each other their moves before enjoying a Frubes tube to re-energise!

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Dancing is a great way to burn off energy and also a lot of fun.  I find whenever I put some music on, my two like to get moving.  We also highly recommend Frubes as a tasty after snack, in fact my children enjoy them at any time of the day, but being healthy I don’t mind.

If you pick up a pack of Frubes now in the supermarket, you’ll have a chance to enter their fantastic competition for families to win the chance to head to the Bahamas for a fun-filled island holiday to spot exotic birds and swim with pigs!  Just look out for the unique code inside the box. The competition includes a weekly draw to win a whole host of Angry Birds Movie merchandise, with a grand prize of a family holiday for four to spend six nights in the Bahamas!

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes

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My Handsome Little Man is 6!!

Last Sunday my handsome little boy celebrated his 6th birthday.  I’m so proud of him and everything he has achieved over the last year, more than I could have imagined.  He started school just over a year ago and sailed through the foundation year, so much so that he got awarded with a special book ’50 Utterly Silly Stories’ at the end of the year for his amazing achievement of reading 188 books throughout the year and outshining the rest of his class in his all round abilities!

blake-6To think he’s come this far is amazing.  Mister B and his older sister  Miss M are like chalk and cheese in so many ways yet have an amazing sibling bond and come together to play and help each other throughout every day.  I’ve always known Miss M falls in the upper half of her class but expected Mister B to be Mister average with his silly ways, jokey nature and clown antics, but it seems he’s proved me wrong in many ways.

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He’s different to his sister in that she is incredibly sporty and always eager to try new things.  Mister B is more laid back (think daddy!) although he has an incredible imagination, can play independently and come out with some amazing stories and fun ideas.  He’s also very humorous and loves to tell a joke.

A couple of the areas he was slightly behind in over the last year have suddenly hit a turning point over the last few months.  On our holiday this year we had a private swimming pool which the children disappeared in two or three times a day (obviously with and adult or two in tow!).  The first few days Mister B was there in his armbands, but by day 3, he had ditched them and was jumping in, diving under the water and swimming a whole width on his own!!

Over the Summer we managed to upgrade both of the children’s bikes after a friend was selling some fairly new ones quite cheaply so we managed to get them both the next size up. The only downside was that Mister B’s new bike didn’t come with stabilisers.  This proved a sticking point for many weeks as poor Mister B was terrified about riding without any support, yet daddy insisted he tried.  It was a fraught time which I found quite hard, but then this amazing company followed me on twitter.  Intrigued I looked into their product and sent them a message and we ended up reviewing the amazing BikyBiky cycling harness which turned my little boy from a nervous cyclist on stabilisers to a fairly confident rider on two wheels in just a couple of weeks!

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I cannot believe within the last 3 months my little boy has ditched both his armbands and his stabilisers – amazing progress for him!

So I was so proud last Sunday when he turned 6 years old.  I baked a rather vast amount of cakes for him using my new Savisto stand mixer and we celebrated with a big Minion themed disco which I felt he deserved due to all his hard work.

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The children had fun, Mister B danced the afternoon away showing everyone his funky dance moves (with a bit of break dancing thrown in!) and the party proved a huge success. (Excuse the red disco light in Mister B’s eye in the photo below – couldn’t have timed that worse could I ?!?)

blakes-partyThe day after his party was his actual birthday and as we had family visiting, we went to a restaurant for lunch where we all enjoyed too much food and had a good time!

4f93577e-eb94-4786-a566-9d689d846a46All in all we spent a whole weekend celebrating Mister B’s birthday, it was hard work for me, but rewarding watching my son hit a milestone and celebrate everything he’s achieved over the last year.

As much as I hate watching the children grow up (it goes way too fast!), I can’t wait to see what Mister B achieves next and where the future will take him.  I love him to bits (as we all do our children) and he never fails to give me a hug at every given opportunity.

Good luck Mister B in all that you do and every venture that life takes you on in the upcoming year!!

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Real Baking for Kids with the Great Baking Set & Cake Pops

With The Great Bristish Bake Off on our tv screens at the moment, it gives us all encouragement and motivation to head to the kitchen to bake up our own creations.  My children both love this programme and it really inspires them to bake themselves and these children’s Real Baking kits have come just at the right time from Vivid Toys.  We tried the Cookie Kit and Chocolate Pen a few weeks ago, but today we are sharing with you how we got on with the Great Baking Set and the Cake Pops sets.

wp_20161002_15_51_11_proThe Great Baking Set contains all the basic equipment needed to make some mini cupcakes. You get a couple of bowls, one with a suction base to help it stick to the worktop, a 4 hole silicone baking tray, spoon measurers, an egg cracker, cake cases, icing nozzle and bags.

Miss M started off my creaming the eggs and sugar together to make a basic cake batter.

real-baking-cakesMister B being younger has not had much experience in cracking eggs so was keen to try the egg cracker.  I think this is great for really young ones as it ensures a clean break with no eggshell to remove.  Miss M being older and already used to breaking an egg prefered to do it on the side of the bowl as usual.

real-baking-cakes-2They then added some flour and cocoa powder before filling the cake cases as well as the cake pop and donut moulds from the Cake Pops set. real-baking-cakes-3The donut style moulds looked great when the cakes where turned out and the children really loved these as they looked different and fun.  Miss M was then eager to have a go with the piping bag, so she mixed up some butter and icing sugar, then added a bit of blue colouring to make her icing.  She found the icing bag easy to squeeze out of and the nozzle was a good size for icing her cakes.   real-baking-cakes-4

I love her finished creations, they look so delicious and yummy, and although I did get a little taste the children couldn’t wait to tuck in.  The cakes are actually a really good size for children and make a good treat or reward for them.  real-baking-cakes-5We then moved on to complete our cake pops.  The set contains cake pop moulds along with the donut shaped moulds, some chocolate cone shaped moulds and sticks.wp_20161002_15_47_37_proWe’d already made the cake pop ball shapes along with our cakes above, so the next step was to pour some melted Divine chocolate into the cone shaped moulds.  We put a stick in the centre and carefully balanced these in the freezer.  After about 15 minutes we took them out and I helped carefully remove the chocolate which I think looked really effective.

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We then pushed the cake balls onto the top of the sticks, dipped them in some melted Divine chocolate and covered them in sprinkles.  I think they look absolutely fantastic and really effective.  It’s a shame you can only make four at one time as we would love to have made a few more at the same time.

real-baking-cakes-6 Overall we’ve had fun with the children’s Real Baking kits and the kids have been inspired to want to bake even more.  They’ve had a go at different techniques and created various things and it’s great to get them involved in the kitchen although I have to say my two are always keen when it comes to making something food orientated. wp_20161002_18_12_27_pro All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Halloween crafts from Baker Ross

Kids just love Halloween and there are a range of fun crafts to make from Baker Ross that fit the Halloween theme.  We’ve been trying out a selection of those available including some super cute pom pom decorations.

wp_20161008_12_48_58_proWe started with the Haunted House Photo Frame Magnet Kits which are super easy to make and look really effective which keeps little ones occupied and they get to see a great result within a short amount of time.  All the pieces are made of foam and there are lots of brightly Halloween coloured shapes with a sticky peel off back which allows you to build up the images around the frame.

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Mister B loved making his frame and decided to frame himself in the middle until we have a chance to print out a photo and stick to the back.  When you have put a picture in the centre there are some sticky magnets to attach to the back which then allows you to use these as spooky pictures to attach to the fridge.

baker-ross-halloween-2The next Halloween craft from Baker Ross are the super cute Pom Pom Decoration Kits.  I absolutely love these as do the children who did require some assistance making these but they were really intrigued to see the wool turn into a pom pom shape. baker-ross-halloween-3These look fabulous, Mister B made the purple bat which he is really proud of and his sister Miss M made the green spider.

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As you can see these look fabulous and we will be hanging these up by their ribbons to decorate the fireplace in time for Halloween.  A really effective craft that is fun and looks great – I think I’ll be keeping these tucked away to hang up again next year!

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We finished up by colouring in some skull patterned mini gift bags.  These are a lovely size to pack a few sweets in, perfect if you are having a Halloween themed party for kids or if you have a few young relatives popping round at Halloween.  A fun activity for kids to colour in and then fill their bag with a few goodies.

baker-ross-halloween-4My children were delighted with the Halloween crafting range from Baker Ross this year and think that all the items look great and it has got them increasingly excited for Halloween this year.  They are now planning their costumes and deciding what designs we should carve in our pumpkins this year.wp_20161011_16_38_32_pro

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

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Creating a #brightFuture for the children

I’ve always inspired my children to look to the future and encourage them that the small things they do now can make a big difference to life as they get older.  From what they learn themselves either from school or tv programmes, they are quite aware of recycling and helping to protect the environment.

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We have two bins in the kitchen and they are always asking which bin to put their rubbish in, the normal waste bin or the recycling bin.  They also like to have a rummage too from time to time and turn our rubbish into a fabulous creation!

Here is Mister B’s wonderful junk model volcano!

blakes-volcano-march-2015We also try to be helpful to the environment in other ways such as turning lights off when we can, keeping heating to a minimum and trying to avoid running taps when unnecessary! (I’m a terrible one for that when cleaning my teeth!)

We recently moved house and now have a large garden which is really lovely and within that we see a lot of wildlife such as birds and squirrels.  We also have a large compost bin at the end which we try and fill with scraps with melt down and we can then use to feed the garden with.  We also try to grow our own vegetables which has only been on a small scale this year as we’ve just moved in, but we had our own tomatoes and herbs which is really lovely for the children to help water and harvest.

We’d like to be more self sufficient in future years and aim to grow courgettes, beans, potatoes and several other vegetables which not only the children enjoy helping with but leads us to a better future eating home grown produce and relying on pesticide free goods.

Watch this space for our growing adventures over the next year to see what we achieve!

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever

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Meccano 25 Model Set 4×4 Off Road Truck

The Meccano 25 Model Set 4×4 Off Road Truck is a fabulous set for confident builders of construction sets.  It is aimed at ages 9+, but my soon to be 9yr old was keen to get stuck in and give it a try along with the help of her Meccano loving granddad!

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The set comes with 443 durable metal parts, off-road wheels, real tools and instructions.  There are 25 models to choose from or of course you can always build your own, but we started off with a big chunky looking 4×4 motorised truck.  There are lots of pieces, that come in various bags, but we found that putting some of the tiny bolts and screws in small pots helped us with staying organised during the build and stopped them rolling across the table.

meccano-2It was lovely seeing both my dad and daughter working together with an almost 60 year age gap.  My dad’s favourite childhood toy was his Meccano sets so this brought back great memories and is a type of toy he really enjoys.  For Miss M this was a challenging build but something she really wanted to try out and put her all into attempting to build and of course her little fingers helped to manipulate some parts in rather small gaps that were difficult to get into. meccano-3 I loved Miss M’s determination as she constructed the Meccano, it wasn’t easy and she did require some assistance but throroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot from following the instructions and finding the correct pieces.  The build was definitely fiddly in places but I think the results are worth it when you see the finished creation.meccano-4I didn’t time how long it took, but it definitely requires a good few hours to put a large set together like this but that adds value to it and is something you can attempt in one day or spread over several sessions. meccano-5 Here we are with the finished truck.  It looks really study and tough although you do have to be careful with pieces working loose so it’s good to go over it as you construct it to tighten each of the nuts.  I will say also that with this model you use every single one of the tiny nuts included.  It would have been nice if they had included a couple of spares as if you do lose one, you wouldn’t be able to complete the build.meccano-6Some fun features on the truck are the opening doors and the pull out winch at the front which can be rolled back in as desired.  There are also a couple of wing mirrors on each side of the vehicle which is a nice touch. meccano-7

The vehicle is motorised and with batteries will move along the floor itself.  We did have some initial issues with the drive shaft working loose, but after Granddad looked over it, we now have a working model.  The switch is a little fiddly to reach to switch it on but once it’s on it’s fine.  The children loved watching it move back and forth across the kitchen floor and we have a lovely build from Meccano which we’ll keep on a shelf when not being played with.

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

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Kids Cycling Harness from BikyBiky

Ever struggled to get you little ones to ride a bike without stabilisers?  Then I think I have found a great little way to assist them, build their confidence and get them riding on their own.  BikyBiky have created a fabulous soft padded cycle vest that is aimed to support those aged 2 to 7 years old and will take a weight of upto 50kg.

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I have two children, a rather sporty 8yr old who insisted on ditching her stabilisers at age 4 and within a few days was confidently cycling along on her own and a 5yr old boy who has been rather reluctant and lacking confidence in all areas.  He finally ditched his armbands in the swimming pool on our Summer holiday this year so my next area to target was riding without stabilisers before his sixth birthday.

We managed to buy some new larger bikes for the children earlier in the Summer from a friend, but they came without stabilisers. We knew this would be our opportunity to give Mister B the extra push he needed to get riding and we wanted to try to achieve this before the Winter and before he turned 6.

The BikyBiky jacket is really well made, has exceptionally strong velcro and feels really snug and secure on.  I was very impressed with it as I wasn’t too sure how well it would fit or how durable it would be, but this is built to last.  Mister B was chuffed with it too and loved the little velcro badge on the front.

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On the back is a handle for an adult to hold or grab should the need arise.  Over the last few months we have had numerous attempts at getting Mister B to ride, with daddy holding the back of the saddle (back breaking work!) but we really were getting nowhere and as soon as we let go, Mister B would fall to one side.  He was incredibly wobbly, lacked confidence and we just couldn’t make it off the driveway.  With the jacket on and daddy holding the handle on the back, it left Mister B a little nervous at first as no one was holding onto the bike.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say the first couple of weeks consisted of Mister giving up every 5 minutes and daddy getting a little annoyed at his lack of determination.

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But after a few days break, they tried again and the next thing I knew I was being called out to the drive to see a little boy with a huge grin on his face, saying “I can do it mummy, I can ride my bike!”

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I managed to capture one of his first few wobbly rides in action, see below:

From this day onwards his confidence has grown.  Within just a few weeks he can cycle alone, albeit a little wobbly.  We are fortunate to have recently moved and have a supermarket 5 minutes walk from us, so on a Sunday afternoon after closing, we have been taking the children round there for Mister B to really practice freely as the pavements by us are a little uneven and he tends to veer into the garden walls or towards a parked car!  The car park allows him to really get to grips with his balance and steering, oh and to practice breaking of course which he forgot to do one time and ended up cycling straight into a large metal recycling bottle bank – oops!

Here he is practising with his sister:

He has come so far in the last few weeks and this is all down to the BikyBiky cycling harness.  I highly recommend this and just wish I had discovered it last year, as I’m sure he would have been riding back then.  It is brilliant, such a great product and a few people that have seen it at our house have been really impressed too.

A cute littel extra that comes with the BikyBiky jacket is a pop out certificate enclosed on the cardboard hanger.  Mister B was eager to get his and wrote his own name on it once he had proved he could ride and couldn’t wait for me to sign it to make it official – bless him!

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I’m so proud of my 5yr old’s achievements this year and look forward to him turning six later this month, now as a 2 wheeled cyclist and a swimmer without the need for buoyancy aids. Yay!!!

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

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