Ready Brek – the Super Smooth Oat Cereal to Start Your Day!

Ready Brek has always been a part of my life from very young when my mum used to make me a bowl for breakfast on a cold Winter’s morning before school.  The lovely warm feeling in your tummy is the perfect way to set you up for the start of the day.

Having teamed up with Despicable Me 3, Ready Brek is offering lots of chances to with prizes with codes inside each pack.  My little boy had already requested for me to buy some after seeing adverts on television before we even received these boxes to try out!  I’m more than happy to buy him some as the cold frosty mornings are upon us as it’s really important to ensure the children get a healthy breakfast at the start of the day.

Benefits of Ready Brek include:

  • Rich in calcium
  • Rich in vitamin D
  • No added sugar or salt
  • High in oat fibre

We do like our Ready Brek just as it comes out of the box for breakfast but are also fans of the chocolate variety – they even do honey or seriously oatey if you fancy them!

Other than eating the Ready Brek for breakfast or supper we do like to bake with it and one of our favourite recipes that we make is Secret Ready Brek Cookies – chocolate Ready Brek with a hidden white chocolate square inside.  Why not give them a try?

Despicable Me 3 fans will love the new toys that are out now – perfect stocking fillers for Christmas.  Firstly the DVD of the movie which my children loved watching again after seeing in the cinema after it was first released.  I just know my little boy will watch it again and again checking out Grue’s latest tricks and adventures.

He was also rather thrilled with the Mineez Fizz ‘n’ Surprise Submarine which he took in the bath with him.  It’s like a bath bomb that fizzes on the outside and out pops a little plastic submarine complete with two minion figures inside.  This is now his favourite bath toy so we have minion adventures every night in the bathtub!

Overall I think Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3 make a great team and it’s definitely appealed to my children.  What’s not to love?  A super tasty warming breakfast along with fun and games with the minions!

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

Meccano M.A.X Robotic Interactive Toy with Artificial Intelligence

Meccano M.A.X is just the most cutest robot you ever did meet, especially when he’s been built by you – I think just anyone would love to meet a M.A.X. under their Christmas tree this year!  Aimed at ages 10+, this S.T.E.M, engineering and robotics toy features artificial intelligence alongside customisable programming to create a unique character that can talk, play games, tell jokes, deliver items to others and move around in a way that you can control using voice commands, buttons on the MeccaBrain, or the free app.

M.A.X. comes with 332 parts along with electronical items such as a sensor, servos, rechargeable battery, usb cable, sticker sheet and a couple of tools all securely bagged along with instructions to enable the build.

  • 1 AC/DC Wall Mount Charger (10.4W)
  • 1 Rechargeable Ni-MH Battery 1800 mAh
  • 2 Hand Tools
  • 1 Sticker Sheet
  • 1 Instruction Sheet for 1 Model
  • 1 M.A.X Brain Module
  • 1 IR Sensor Module
  • 2 Smart Motor Modules
  • 1 LED Module
  • 1x 3 kgs Servo
  • 1x 1.9 kgs Micro Servo
  • 1 USB Cable

The instructions are full colour, a good size and show exactly what parts you need for each stage of building.  My daughter who built this particularly liked the 1:1 image of each screw so that she could check that she had the correct size as required.

With a 1-3 hour build time I let my 9yr old (10 in a few weeks) have full control and let her see how she could manage by herself.  She did brilliantly only asking for a little help when there were tricky nuts to get on in hard to reach places but overall she built this totally on her own following the step by step instructions.

Once M.A.X. is built you do need to visit the Meccano website to download some initial software into his brain – it’s then up to you to teach him and build up his knowledge and abilities, unlocking further stages of his brain as you go.  Basically the more you play and interact M.A.X. the more things he is capable of doing and also becoming more personal to you.

The first time you switch him on, he starts asking you personal questions to get to know you such as likes/dislikes and what gender you are etc.  Then it’s time to play and have fun.  We’ve been trying various movements with him that you can record and play at any time, so if for example you record him moving from the kitchen to the lounge, you could put a chocolate bar in his hand in the kitchen and get him to deliver it to the person in the lounge with your personalised sequence of movement.  My little boy also liked tickling him by pressing the arrow buttons and thought it was hilarious when he replied “I think I’m going to pee my robot pants!”.

As you can see from the above picture he is just one of the cutest robot out there.  M.A.X. also comes with built-in infrared sensors, enabling it to move with agility and avoid obstacles in its path which is great, no falling over and risk of damage.

Our Meccano M.A.X. has fitted perfectly into our home and the children love to wake him up after school and have a little chat, they love it when they unlock more of his stages and can’t wait to see what he gets up to next.  He tells us about his dreams and we can show him objects in the house, it’s all very new and exciting and keeps the children on their toes every day as to what phrase he will come out with next or what new feature he will perform.  We still have a lot of learning and playing to do so I think that although this toy retails at £149.99 (it does seem to be on offer for less in most places at the moment though) it does actually represent great value for money for both the build of the item and the technology you get with the product.  We are really looking forward to pushing M.A.X. to his full potential and think this is one of the best interactive toys we have seen for this price point.  Definitely one we’d recommend as a main present this Christmas!

Available from all good toy retailers – Smyths, Argos, The Entertainer etc along with Amazon, M.A.X. Meccano is readily available and I’d say would make a great top gift this Christmas!

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

Appy Kids Drink Pouches

Appy Kids drinks mission is to be the number one healthy drink for families and help them make healthier choices every day.  With a range of low calorie fruit drinks in handy pouches with straws, adorned with kids favourite characters we were keen to try them out. 

When a child sees packaging in their favourite character they are always attracted to it, but at the end of the day it depends whether they like the taste or not.  For me these drinks from Appy Kids look great, are well suited to on the go, out and about and travelling, are healthy but how did they fair in the taste test.

Each drink is low calorie, has added vitamins and vegetarian society approved.  I love the pouch style too as even when it’s empty it’s flat so if you can’t find a bin it’s simple to carry around.  The verdict though lies with the children as if they won’t drink it there’s no point buying it.  Miss M absolutely loved the Appy Kids Dora pouches which were Summer Fruits flavour and by far her favourite, Mister B liked the Paw Patrol Orange flavour or the Turtles Multi Fruit which shows there is a flavour for everyone.

Overall we were really pleased with the Appy Kids range of drinks, they suited our needs, taste buds and at the end of the day I’m happy because I know that I’m giving my kids a healthy, low sugar, low calorie fruity drink that will cure their thirst without any added nasties in it.  Definitely worth checking out, for us personally these are the ideal out and about option for drinks, great on a family day out or after swimming lessons, worth keeping one in your bag at all times!

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

The Pizza Kitchen Pizzas from Chicago Town

When you mention the word pizza my families eyes all light up – it’s their favourite dinner option so we couldn’t wait to try the new range from Chicago Town called ‘The Pizza Kitchen’.  With four flavours in the range there is something for everyone and with me being vegetarian I was pleased to see that two of the choices, Cheese Medley and Garden Vegetable would be ok for me to try out.   The other flavours Deli Pepperoni and Roasted Chicken are great for meat eaters.

One of the key features of this new The Pizza Kitchen range is the deli crisp crust.  A crispy edging that reminds you of Tiger Bread and that is my families favourite choice of fresh loaf so to have something similar as a pizza base is almost too good to be true. The toppings are all loaded generously too so you can be sure to get plenty of flavour however big or small your slice is.

First choice by the children was the Deli Pepperoni, the 7yr old’s favourite.  He loves a bit of pepperoni and with the delicious base, this pizza from Chicago Town certainly hit the mark with him.

I tucked into the Cheese Medley and Garden Kitchen which were both lovely to eat.  The base is crisp but light and just right for the toppings.  This is definitely a pizza base we’ll all be back for more of.  I found the toppings to be juicy and flavoursome, a great match against the base and between us all the pizzas disappeared rather quickly.

Overall The Pizza Kitchen range of pizzas from Chicago Town have been a hit with both adults and children alike and being the sort of family that enjoys pizza on a Saturday night in, we will be adding these to our weekly shopping list!  Why don’t you give them a try too?

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

The Birthday Thief – A Personalised Book for Kids

The Birthday Thief is another personalised book for your child from the wonderful range at Wonderbly.   Along with Kingdom of You, this book takes your child on a journey where things go a bit wrong but it all works out in the end, with this book being personalised by finding your child’s birthday again, looking for both the year and the date.  All of the books contain your child’s name throughout with the main character of the book representing your child, with options to personalise hair colour etc.

The story is easily followable with not too much writing on each page.  What I like is that each page is full colour and packed full of illustrations that my son loves to look at and digest whilst reading each page.  He has a good look and points out things and really gets immersed into the story before we move onto the next page.  The story has plenty going on to really keep children entertained and the text is broken into small verses with added rhyme to make it fun to read.

We love these personalised books from Wonderbly and they are great keepsakes for children who always love to see their name upon the pages.  They make particularly great gifts either for birthday’s or Christmas – why not check them – you’re sure to know a child that will love it just as much as mine did!

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

Amphora Aromatics Reed Diffuser Kit

Amphora Aromatics Reed Diffuser Kit is the perfect home accessory to fragrance your room with pure essential oils leaving the air with an aroma that boosts your mood and morale.  With 15 different fragrances available there’s sure to be something for everyone and suit your individual tastes.

We received Meditation to try out which contains an uplifting and balancing blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Clary Sage.  The natural reeds draw the special blends upwards and then disperse the gorgeous scent into the air and throughout your room.  The kit comes presented in a pretty box that would make an ideal gift for friends and family.

So what did I think about it?

Well I have to say the combination of fragrances comes across like a bunch of lilies and I did have one visitor ask me if I had some lilies somewhere and they were looking around my room for them.  I found it very pleasant and warming, giving the room a lift as you entered.  I find it best to turn the reeds upside down every few days to keep the fragrance fresh and flowing.  It’s nice to have a scent in the room as you walk in and I found my front room the best place for this one.  With a great choice of fragrances available – why not try one out for yourself?

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

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure AR

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure AR is educational but fun and teaches children an amazing amount of facts about more than 220 different countries using a smart pen to guide them across the globe through learning facts and fun interactive games.  There are 5 games, 19 English challenges and 6 French language challenges.

  • HEAR – The SmartGlobe talks and speaks about lots of fun facts. Listen to the country’s national anthem, capital, or history. Over 4,000 information pieces are stored in the globe’s digital memory.
  • TOUCH – Use the SmartGlobe pen to touch all over the globe. The stand base and world globe contain digital touch points almost everywhere!
  • PLAY – Learn and have fun! Contains 25 games that will teach your children about world facts, while capturing their interest.
  • PORTABLE – Take the globe anywhere. Operates on 3 AA batteries (included) so no cords needed.
  • AUGMENTED REALITY – New for 2017! Use the Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe AR app to bring the globe to life with animals and dinosaurs!

The Smart Globe is a lovely size and brightly coloured which makes it really appealing.  With batteries included it was ready to go and my 9yr old was eager to check it out.  The base contains the controls to use for the smart pen and you have the option of games or facts.  The variety of facts are great and a fabulous way for children to find out about a particular country, either one they are interested in, doing at school, or just a new one they fancy learning about.  The facts cover everything from currency, capitals, national anthems, landscape features and interesting facts about the countries.  Miss M quickly found the games and spent a large amount of time trying to find countries and continents as per the game instructions.  Once she got the hang of where to press on the country and got more familiar with the continents, she was whizzing around and even though she struggled on some, she had so much concentration and determination to continue that she sat playing on her own for a fair amount of time.

Here’s a small clip of Miss M in action playing the countries game on the globe:

There’s an app you can download onto smartphones and tablets where you can experience 3D Augmented Reality such as landscape, animals, landmarks and dinosaurs, literally coming to life in your hand.  With so much to explore and fun to have this globe has to be a great way for kids to learn geography and one they will pick up and do on their own and be happy to learn from.

We’ve been really impressed with the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure and for the price of £59.99 think it’s well worth the money and something that will be a great boost to children of primary school age and even a little older.

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

Ben 10 Deluxe Power Up Figure

Ben 10 and his Omnitrix (alien watch) is a key part in the Ben 10 series and sees him transform into various different alien beings taking on their appearance and powers whilst still being a ten year old boy underneath.  The perfect way for a kid to have fun and play for the day.  Flair have launched a range of three Power up Figures fully articulated and with their own lights and sounds.  Here we check out Heatblast.

The Ben 10 figures stand at around 14cm tall and easily stand unaided with a steady balance.  Arms and legs can be moved easily for imaginative fun and play but the big feature with these figures is the little button on the top of the back which can be pressed as little or often as you want giving your alien a surging burst of energy.  The character lights up in various ways and makes a great selection of sounds.  From little blasts the more you press the button, the more it powers up creating larger and better sounds.  By holding the button down you get an instant alien blast which really adds to play value.

My just turned 7yr old enjoyed this figure and found the sounds really encouraged play and his imagination to get working.  He is often found carrying the figure around the house and imitating it’s blast off sounds.

A fun toy for Ben 10 fans and one that’s durable for lots of play but has an interactive side to add to the excitement!

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

Lush Halloween & Christmas

When it comes to special occasions Lush always bring it out the bag with an array of exciting products to fit the season and always manage to be innovative in their designs and ideas.  I was lucky to get a preview of the Halloween and Christmas ranges and am pleased to be able to share with you some of their fun themed products.

One I’d definitely buy for my children this Halloween is the Ectoplasm bath bomb, with citrus fragrances it bubbles up and leaves a slimy layer on top of the bath water, which is great for softening the skin but even more fun to play with.

A new addition to the range of lip scrubs and stains is Black Rose which looks so pretty.  If you are a fan of the other lip products then this won’t disappoint and gives a lovely deep pink colour on application of the stain.

Bewitched has to be one of the cutest Halloween bubble bars with it’s black cat head and yellow eyes.  Packed with bergamot it smells rich, spicy and fills the bathtub with bubbles and you can use it several times over which is a bonus.

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Moving on to Christmas, there were some exciting new arrivals, how about these Golden Pear soaps.  With a rich luxurious lather, these are a pleasure to wash with packed with lots of golden ingredients – pear puree, cardamom oil, agave syrup, orange oil, cocoa butter, almond oil among other things.

One thing I must mention are the new Lush Naked products, that is products without packaging – quite literally with no plastic bottle or tub.  So how does that work then, well a shower gel or body conditioner is thickened up until it is in a solid state but still lathers and feels like the product it should be.  In the picture below you can see the Snow Fairy Naked body conditioners.  This is a new idea but one that we should all be embracing as think of how many fewer plastic bottles would end up in landfill!

Man in the Moon just has to be the bubble bar for my son, the colours and style are right up his street although the added cocoa butter is great to keep his skin soft and moisturised.  Lime and neroli oils keep this one smelling fresh and clean.

Snow Fairy cold pressed soap looks pretty and would make the perfect stocking filler for any Snow Fairy fan.  With it’s familiar scent it’s a great way to lather up in the bath or just use for washing your hands.

Twilight Sparkle Jar has to be the cutest things I’ve seen for a while.  This massage bar melts into the skin with it’s moisturising cocoa butter along with lavender and tonka.  When you are done, simply tip it up and shake a golden lustre powder over your skin to leave your you shimmery and soft.

Some great ideas from Lush this year – what will be on your Christmas list?

 

LinkIt – the fun family fast paced Card Game

LinkIt is one in a series of card games aimed at ages 6+ and for between 2 and 8 players.  The fast paced games consists of a series of cards covered in pictures and you have to find a link between two of the pictures.  The unique game has been designed to help children sharpen visual perception and language skills in a fun and competitive atmosphere.

The cards in LinkIt are circular making them a bit different but user friendly and I really like the storage tin that they come in.  This is brilliant and makes it great for storage and an ideal travel game.  With two children aged 9 and 7 I couldn’t wait to have a play and see how they found it.

There are two sets of cards, orange and blue backed which need separating, the orange go in the centre of the table and the blue are dealt out between the players.  All the cards have colour images on and the idea is to find a matching image between your top card and the top card in the central deck.  As easy as it sounds, it can be tricky to find one as the images vary in size across the cards and it takes a bit of quick thinking to find a pair.

The sort of pairs you need to find are things like a baby and bottle, football and goal, camel and desert, rabbit and carrot, mouse and cheese etc.  The first couple of rounds took a little getting used to the pairs but we soon all got the hang of it and everyone was eager to find a match with their card. We found it fast paced, competitive but fun and a game the children wanted to play again and again.  Although they find it fun it really does help sharpen their perception and learn to spot things quickly and I found my 7yr was as able as the adults in this game with his eagerness to win.  Over the last few weeks we have played this multiple times and being quite a quick game, you can fit in a round anytime.

The LinkIt game is great fun, in particular my 7yr old thought it was the brilliant and is now one of his favourite games.  I love it because it’s quick, light hearted fun for all the family and being compact and in a tin makes it a top travel game – we’ll definitely be taking this on our 4 hour train trip next week!

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