Thursday, 31 May 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful Week 22 #R2BC

What's Made Me Smile This Week?

Another week has flown by, bringing with it a whole host of reasons to give cheer!

1:  Half way through Ian's 90 day redundancy notice, there is a ray of light.  Another employee has accepted another job in a different department meaning that Ian's role is now potentially safe!!  HR refuse to commit to putting it in writing, but this is as close to a reprieve as we can hope for.  So fingers crossed we won't be yet another victim of the economic recession.  I hadn't realised just how worried we actually were, as I was trying to put a positive spin on it all.  But the sudden sense of relief in both Ian and myself is palpable!  A huge weight has lifted!

2:  It's the Jubilee weekend and we are looking forward to the two extra days off!   Kizzy went to school in her Jubilee attire today and looked gorgeous.  She is so excited about the Diamond Jubilee and has learnt all sorts of facts about the Queen!   She had a special picnic lunch which included a gingerbread queen!  They released red and blue balloons and the choir was recorded singing The National Anthem for Shropshire Radio.

Kizzy, Next

She is also very proud of her Grandad who marched in the Coronation as a Coldstream Guard back in 1952!  It has made it all very real to her having him as part of the historical event.

Coronation, soldiers, army, Jubilee

She showed this photograph to her class, Grandad is in the very middle of the front row looking very smart in his uniform!

3:  Ella is just four exams away from finishing her GCSEs and Megan is one exam away from graduating from University.  It is a difficult time in the year, but both of my grown-up girls have coped really well and will soon be able to relax and enjoy the summer.  It will be lovely to spend some extra time with them, I love their company.

I couldn't be more proud of Ella who has had such a tough year.  She has now officially left school (and has a signed shirt to prove it) and will be starting a new college in September.

Ella, leaving school

Megan has a lot of exciting opportunities coming up...not exactly sure what they will be, but she has a few ideas and knowing my daughter she'll be embracing them with open arms!  She has also relaunched her blog Not Met Megan with the tagline:

"Looking forward to meeting all those new people who have Not Met Megan yet."

So do drop by and say hello and make her day :)

megan, graduation, blog

4:  My last reason to be cheerful is that it is half term next week.  I love it when the kids are off school.  No early mornings, no school runs and permanent sisterly entertainment on hand for Freddy!  I cannot believe we are this far through the school year already.  I really must try and find a nursery for Fred in September!!

That's me for this week...check out other reasons to be cheerful and link up at Mummy With A Heart!

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Warburton's Naan Bread

Authentic Indian Naans From Warburtons

I love curry and all the accompaniments that go with it.  However, it is sometimes difficult to find restaurant quality sundries straight off the supermarket shelf.  That is until Warburtons launched their new Naan breads!  Soft with a light bubbly texture, these square naan breads are available in plain and garlic flavours.

naan bread, Indian, Warburtons

The Garlic Naan comes with a sachet of garlic infused oil that you drizzle over prior to cooking.  Use as much or as little as you like depending on your taste.

Warburtons, naan bread

Pop into the oven to heat through for 2-4 minutes and enjoy some really delicious Naan bread fresh from the oven.

Warburtons, naan bread

They can be served with curry or you can get inventive and top them with favourite toppings.  How about spinach curry and paneer for a twist on traditional pizza?  Or cut it half and fill with a tasty filling like Quorn Tikka!  You can even tear and share to dip into mango chutney or raita!

bread, bakery, Warburtons

We enjoyed sampling the Warburtons Naan, served with a lentil curry and rice.  Everyone was impressed, especially little Freddy who chomped down on his naan bread with gusto!  They are definitely some of the best quality and nicest tasting that I've had from a supermarket brand.  They were nice and doughy with a bubbly texture.  I really liked the garlic infused oil which added a gorgeous flavour.  Definitely one for the weekly shopping list!

School Run Style By Joe Browns

My Outfit For The School Run Style Blogger Challenge

As a mum of five children aged between 3 and 24, I've already done almost 19 years worth of school runs with a further 15 years worth still ahead of me!  That is a lot of my life given over to the twice daily trip to and from the kids' various schools!

Generally speaking, I pull on my school run uniform of jeans, Uggs and a black hoodie before dashing around after my kids in a noble attempt to get them to the school gates on time.  My 'inner fashionista' has been put on hold as I have negotiated school bags, packed lunches, uniforms and early morning tantrums (some of which are mine!)

How I dream of encapsulating that effortless and understated style that I see adopted by women influenced by the growing trends worn by the Celebrity Mum.  These Yummy Mummy converts stand outside the school gates waving goodbye to their little darlings...while I do the drive by, stop and drop!

Joe Browns are encouraging Mummy Bloggers to take a look at their website for inspiration to come up with our own school run style.  I have always loved Joe Browns clothes.  The hippy chic floral prints, the quirky tees and the surfer style summer wear are all so funky and stylish.  When the brochure arrives I pore through every page and create a wish list that I'll never get to buy.  (I'm afraid Mummy's desires come last in a long list of things we need as a family of seven!)  However it does not stop me from dreaming.

Below is my perfect school run outfit.  Practical yet feminine, focusing on a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched with other items, I love this combination which would look great...and definitely not mumsy!  The styling is not a million miles away from my usual preferences, but everything is so much more girly, fresh and eyecatching.   Although I've chosen subtle colouring I'd stand out and not blend in, with the contrasting shades of blue working together with the touches of floral (without falling into the trap of becoming an overdressed older lady!!)

Joe Browns, style, clothing
My School Run Style

Awesome Fit Jeans will go with anything and as they come in a 34" inside leg, even someone like me who is 6" tall, will not have to worry about having trouser legs that look like they have argued with their shoes.  The fact that these are 'awesome' fitting jeans suggests that they would be so much more flattering than my current pair of ill fitting jeans which always result in me looking like a builder within half an hour of wearing them.

I love the Ditsy Delight Vest which comes with a matching scarf to accessorize the outfit.  The subtle floral print is completely on trend and has a Bohemian feel that is perfect for the summer.  It is feminine but not fussy.  Its length hides a multitude of figure sins and would make me feel confident (comfortably covering the overstretched skin on my belly following five pregnancies!)  The scarf could be used with other outfits making it a really versatile accessory.

Joe Browns

The gorgeous floral Espadrille Pumps are perfect summer shoes.  Easy to wear, cute, feminine, stylish and comfortable.  These 'girls' shoes' would make me feel so pretty!!  They are also sensible flats...essential when chasing after my three year old when he makes a break for freedom across the school playground!

The Remarkable Coat defies convention.  With asymmetrical hemlines and funky detail stitching, this coat is really unique.  The polka dot inner will add a splash of colour.  I love the belt-up style.  It's casual enough for everyday wear, but could be dressed up for a night out.  Gorgeous and funky!

Joe Browns

The Essential Denim Bag has a 60s style retro look and an original mock padlock fastener.  It is a casual and relaxed bag that can be used for holding all your essential mummy bits and bobs.  A stylish way to keep everything to hand whilst on the school run!  (Bribery snacks, toddler toys, baby wipes and a packet of paracetamol are all essentials!) 

So this is my entry into the School Run Style outfit that is true to me and my needs but that would make me feel more feminine than frumpy and is pretty but still practical!  Love it!!

Check out to find your school run style.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Celebrating the Jubilee Weekend With Aldi

A Right Royal Knees Up with the Big Jubilee Price Bash At Aldi

This weekend heralds the much anticipated Diamond Jubilee weekend.  With people up and down the country celebrating all that is British, Aldi is offering some great priced products to make your party go with a patriotic bang!  I have been sent a selection to try out.

If you are having a street party, Aldi have a range of party ware in Union Jack, Official Jubilee and Keep Calm and Carry on designs.  Packs of 8 Cups, 8 Plates and a Tablecloth cost just 99p each.  I love the quality of their tableware.  Jubilee Face Paints will  add an element of fun and at just £1.99 for six crayons are a real bargain.  Fly a Union Flag with pride for just £1.99!  The eyelets allow you to hang it from any pole with ease. Tall Top Hats will prove to be the crowning glory of any party and are available in red or blue for just £2.99.  The velvet feel, novelty headwear are emblazoned with the Union flag and will definitely get you noticed!  I love the Keep Calm and Carry On mug twin packs that cost just £2.99.  They will make a great souvenir after the event!  I really like the popular Keep Calm and Carry On design and am really pleased that it appears on so many of the Aldi Jubilee range.  It is so stylish and so very British!

Also available are a range of kitchen textiles.  The tea-towel three packs for £2.99 are great quality and value.  In the same three themes of the party ware, they are colourful and cute.  This floral Union Jack design is just gorgeous.  It's a touch Cath Kidston but at a fraction of the price. 

With hundreds of great everyday savings you can buy food and drinks that represent great value and quality.  A four pack of Great British Ales is just £4.99.   Or treat the kids to a huge jar of sweeties for just £2.99.  The Let's Party range offers buffet goodies from just £1 a box.  So whether you are having a small family gathering or a street party for all your neighbours, Aldi can help cater for your needs!

So have a fantastic weekend and celebrate in style with Aldi.

These offers and many more fabulous items are available in store while stocks last.  Find out more on the Special Buys page at

Russell Hobbs Jubilee 30% Discount Code

Voucher Code for Russell Hobbs Heritage Range

To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, Russell Hobbs are offering a fabulous 30% off their Heritage range kettle and toasters.  Stylishly designed with a timeless appeal, the Heritage Collection would look perfect in any kitchen.

Heritage Kettle
Heritage Four Slice Toaster

The voucher offer is 30% off the Russell Hobbs Heritage range – in red, blue and cream on the selected products (Kettle, 2 Slice Toaster and 4 Slice Toaster).

Voucher code is JUBILEE30

Terms and Conditions:
> Voucher code ends 06/06/12
> Only one code per product
> On selected range while stocks last
> Enter the code at the checkout to receive the discount

Tilda Kids Rice

Join The Adventure With Tilda's New Range For Kids 

Tilda and its new Tilli the elephant character will be helping busy mums to feed their hungry hoards with the launch of its delicious NEW rice and veggies range – Tilda Kids. 

Tilli’s range is full of goodness providing 1 of your 5-a-day with a selection of the best natural ingredients to make four tasty child-friendly rice and vegetable meal accompaniments, sure to help busy mums keep their little ones happy and satisfied during mealtimes.

Kids can choose from familiar classic flavour varieties such as Cheese & Tomato, Sunshine Vegetable, Sweet Vegetable & Wholegrain and Mild & Sweet Curry!

Available in 125g pouches each meal has been specially developed to cater for a child’s taste pallet and growing appetite. They can be eaten on their own or as an accompaniment to all their favourites. 

Tilda, rice
Tilda Kids Rice

 What’s more, each pouch takes only 40 seconds to cook in the microwave, is full of goodness, no nonsense and carries the Tilda reassurance of being made using only the finest quality ingredients containing ‘1 of your 5-a-day’, and is a nutritious alternative to other starchy carbohydrates that children need for energy.

Tilda, Tilda Rice, Tilda Kids
Ready in 40 Seconds

The new range also caters for fussy eaters as each pouch contains a blend of hidden vegetable puree as well as small pieces to help boost your youngster’s vegetable intake!

Tilda Rice, Tilda Kids
Sunshine Rice

The new Tilda Kids range is available in Tesco stores and most Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda stores and on Ocado, with an RRP of £1.15 for a 125g pack.

We were sent some samples to try out.  Freddy thoroughly enjoyed his serving of Sunshine Vegetable Rice.  It was tasty and packed with hidden butternut squash, sweetcorn and carrots.  It is all natural and is 'real' food for little people.  It is so quick and easy to prepare in just 40 seconds in the microwave.  They can be served with a tasty sauce or with your child's favourite Quorn product (if like us you are vegetarian!)

Tilda, rice, Tilda kids

Tilda Launches Mums Helping Mums Campaign

Tilda, has launched its Mums Helping Mums campaign in support of the United Nations World Food Programme. The campaign will benefit WFP’s Mother & Child Nutrition programmes over the next three years.  During April to July the ‘Mums Helping Mums’ logo will be featured on Tilda’s Pure Basmati 1kg packs, highlighting the partnership and encouraging mums to help make a difference by supporting the initiative.  For every pack of specially-marked Pure Basmati sold, Tilda will provide one nutritious meal to a new or expectant mum.

 Jon Calland, Head of External Affairs at Tilda comments: “Rice is an integral part of an infant’s diet, as it provides a number of key nutrients and vitamins.  However, many people around the world cannot afford even the basic ingredients that provide these essential nutrients for their children. We share the World Food Programme’s vision of a world without hunger and are proud to be partnering with them for this special project.”

The Tilda Pure Basmati Mums Helping Mums pack is available in all major supermarkets priced from £4.49.For further information on how you and your mum can make a difference to mums around the world visit

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Monster in Paris Review

Available on Blu-ray Family Pack & DVD
June 4, 2012

Be prepared to get acquainted with a tuneful talent of monstrous proportions this summer as Franc the musical flea wins hearts and minds in A Monster In Paris, arriving on Blu-ray Family Pack and DVD from June 4, 2012, courtesy of Entertainment One.

A wacky inventor, his camera-crazy best friend and a madcap monkey make a massive mistake when let loose in a mad scientist’s laboratory. With lotions and potions spilling everywhere, the troublesome trio accidentally creates Franc, the product of a reaction between a common flea and one of the scientist’s mystery concoctions. What they fail to realise, however, is that this ‘monster’ is actually a soft-centered soul with a spooky talent for music.

With the help of a feisty nightclub singer, Franc becomes the talk of the town, just as stories of Paris’s newest monster attract the attention of the egotistical police commissioner, hell bent on securing a big prize to help his battle to become mayor. The unwitting scientists and the singer must team up to protect Franc, a monster with more than a musical career to protect!

The brilliant value Blu-ray Family Pack includes 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film, catering for all your entertainment needs in one handy package. And with fun-packed extras including ‘Charles’ Challenge’ and a ‘Meet The Characters’ featurette, there’s even more to keep you occupied!

What We Thought:

We watched this film together and it was a huge hit with the older girls.  After a slightly strange start, the plot quickly had us quite transfixed as Franc was created and unleashed into the Parisian streets.  With elements of King Kong and Beauty and the Beast, the theme of the persecuted gentle giant tugged at the heartstrings.  Franc's singing talent (voiced by Sean Lennon) left a heartwarming glow that really enabled you to feel the humanity of the monster. The film was poignant and quite beautiful! It left you rooting for romance, acceptance and justice...and it delivered.

A Monster in Paris is definitely one for the older kids who will understand the story and the theme, although Freddy aged 3 did love the musical numbers and the action packed car chase and finale that took place on the Eiffel Tower!


Release date:                                                                   4 June, 2012
Running time:                                                                   87 minutes         
Cert:                                                                                      U                                                                            
Price (DVD):                                                                   £15.99
Price (Blu-ray Family Pack):                                            £19.99

Ryvita Gets Patriotic

Designer Ryvita by Kelly Hoppen

Ryvita has partnered with world renowned British designer Kelly Hoppen MBE to design a special tin to celebrate all that's British during this exciting year!  The 'designer' Ryvita tin has a striking modern assymmetric design incorporating the Union flag.  It will hold a pack of your favourite Ryvita crispbreads keeping them fresh while adding a splash  of Kelly's unique style to your kitchen.

It is available to buy from the Ryvita website for £4.99 (including postage) and is available while stocks last.

Ryvita, Kelly Hoppen, Union Jack
Ryvita Designs For 2012

In addition, Ryvita have launched a range of limited edition Union Jack Packs to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Available for packs of Original, Dark Rye, Multigrain and Sesame Ryvita, they will be available for approximately three months.  It's never been easier to show your patriotic colours!

For more details go to

Monday, 28 May 2012

Your Al Fresco Recipe Could Win A Holiday!

Enter The Al Fresco Chef of The Year Competition

My Al Fresco Holidays trip to France is getting close and we couldn't be more excited.  The prospect of a week of relaxation in a beautiful French resort on the coast will be exactly what my family needs to unwind and have some quality time together.  Add to that the programme of daytime and evening entertainment, good food, a spa, a tropical water park and local attractions and we will have a marvellous time!

 Al Fresco Holidays specialise in providing family holidays in luxury mobile homes in the best holiday parcs across Europe.  With 56 resorts to choose from you could be sunning yourself in Spain, soaking up the culture of the South of France or relaxing in the Italian Riviera!  The self-catering holiday homes allow you to be as flexible as you want.  The well equipped luxurious accommodation and the addition of a decked veranda, lend themselves perfectly to the idea of Al Fresco dining.  You could be enjoying a sumptuous meal  or a relaxing picnic with your family in the sunshine in a beautiful setting.

Thomson, Al Fresco holidays, al fresco dining
Al Fresco Dining

The Al Fresco Holidays Blog is running a Chef of the Year Competition looking for a recipe that would be perfect for al fresco dining this summer.  The prize is an amazing family holiday to an Al Fresco parc of your choice!

To enter simply upload your favourite recipe and an image to the Wine and Food section of the blog.  Whether you have a brilliant barbecue recipe or a perfect picnic recipe, you could become Al Fresco's Chef of the Year!  But hurry...the competition closes on May 31st 2012 at 5pm!!!  A team of Al Fresco reps will be judging their favourite.

Whether you have a drink, dessert, salad, marinade, burger or pie recipe to share, as long as you can enjoy it Al Fresco you can enter it!

I have shared my recipe for Summer Berry Gateau, a light sponge base topped with Chantilly whipped cream and juicy summer berries.  The perfect end to an al fresco meal!

It is really quick and easy to enter so pop over and add stand a great chance of bagging yourself a fantastic Al Fresco holiday in the sun!!

Flip 'n' Tip Fred...Wow!

Perfect Present Ideas For Pre-Schoolers

We are huge fans of Wow Toys.  No other toy is as robust and toddler friendly in our opinion.  Daddy puts Wow toys as his number one brand that he wished he'd had when he was a boy.  He loves how much 'play' they can withstand, and the fact that they care friction driven and have so many features to explore really impresses him.  

Our little boy Freddy's third birthday is fast approaching, and he was sent a Flip 'n' Tip Fred by the lovely folk from Wow.  It really is a perfect birthday gift for him.  Not only do they share the same name, but Flip 'n' Tip Fred will be joining Freddy's much loved and played with Wow collection.


Flip 'n' Tip Fred is a recycling truck complete with three bins and a boy and girl recycling team.  The chunky truck has lots of lovely play features.  A front bucket scoops up bins and a clicking lever tips them into the back of the truck.  A clicking, side door slides open to empty them out again.  The three recycling bins fit into sections, each with a matching picture to help sort the rubbish.  A handle then flips them into the rear.  Friction power drives the vehicle with a realistic engine sound and a revolving waste crusher spins round, all adding to the fun.

Wow, Fred
Flip 'n' Tip Fred

The truck is suitable for children aged 18 months and over and the developmental benefits grow with your child.  From early motor skills and sensory development through to role play and exploration, Wow Toys deliver fabulous play value at every stage.  With a Great British design, the Flip 'n' Tip Fred truck is colourful with a friendly face, a perfect addition to any toy box.

Wow, toddler toys
Sorting the Recycling

Like all Wow toys no batteries are required which is great, saving money and keeping things simple!   They can be played with straight from the box.  The green theme of this toy also allows you to teach little ones about recycling.  Freddy loves pretending to pick up the bins and empty them into his truck.  He recognises the green waste, the paper and the bottle recycling from the images on the bin lids and on the corresponding sections on the truck.  It encourages vocabulary and discussion about green issues from a very young age, which is a really positive thing.  The recycling team are dressed in outfits with a logo on the back that Freddy studies with great interest!  It is nice to see both a boy and girl figure included.

Wow, Fred
Wow People!

The truck is perfectly sized for small hands and everything is designed for little ones to use independently.  There is nothing fiddly or frustrating about playing with a toy from Wow!

Wow, recycling
Perfect for Little Hands

Yet again, we are completely impressed by Wow!  Freddy absolutely loves this toy.  He explores every lever, door, handle and wheel.  He pops the people in and out, acting out scenes and engaging in imaginative play.  He loves how he can push it along using it's friction power, and that it is strong enough to scoop other toys out of the way with its bucket. 

Wow, truck, toddler toys
Fun With Fred!!

Flip 'n' Tip Fred is one of the wonderful range of Wow Toys available for girls and boys.  Check out the website at and discover a world of toys that don't break their promises!

Neverland Film Review


 “"A rollicking family adventure" TV Times


Step back in time to when the greatest story of all began, as Neverland arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on May 28, 2012 courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Featuring a stellar British cast including Rhys Ifans (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 1), Anna Friel (Limitless), Charles Dance (Going Postal) and the voice of Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) as Tinker Bell this production also sees the return of Bob Hoskins to the role of Smee, a part he made famous in Steven Spielberg’s Hook.

Originally broadcast on Sky this magical adventure marks the beginning of the Peter Pan story and introduces Peter (Charlie Rowe), a happy-go-lucky orphan who makes a living by pick pocketing alongside his pals on the streets of London and lining the pockets of ringleader James Hook (Ifans).

When Hook is charged with a particularly lucrative job - stealing a mysterious orb from an antiques shop - he involves his lads, but things go awry when the orb is dropped and the entire gang is transported into a distant world the locals call ‘Neverland’.

On arrival the newcomers quickly realize they are not alone, and when confronted by a hoard of swashbuckling pirates led by Captain Bonny (Friel), a tribe of Native Americans and a swarm of tree spirits, allegiances are formed and the group is torn apart. Will any of them ever return to London?

Introducing The Lost Boys, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, The Indians, a hungry crocodile and Neverland itself, this is an adventure for all the family. Neverland on Blu-ray and DVD also includes exclusive interviews with the cast, a look behind the scenes and a making-of featurette.

What We Thought...

Neverland is an action packed adventure which serves as a prequel to the Peter Pan story.  With stunning special effects and an all star cast, this production is an ideal family film.  The idea behind the Utopian Neverland, as explained by the enigmatic Mr Flood (played by Charles Dance) is brilliant.  The subsequent destruction of that dream is a sad (and all too recognisable) indictment of humanity.  

The characters of Hook and Peter and the relationship between them drives the plot.  The back story adds a whole new angle to a much loved tale explaining the presence of the pirates and the 'injuns' and introduces Tinkerbell as a beautiful tree sprite.  I loved the explanation for why Peter could fly and watching him learn to master this new and much coveted skill was a great scene.

The DVD ends as Peter and the Lost Boys' adventures begin and with Hook hell bent on revenge.  It left us wanting more!!  

Neverland Blu-ray and DVD Details
Release date:                    28 May 2012
Running time:                    240 minutes
Cert:                                      PG                                                                         
Price (Blu-ray):                 £24.99                  
Price (DVD):                       £19.99                                         

Blu-ray & DVD Special Features:
  • Theatrical version
  • Cast Interviews
  • Neverland Where It All Began Featurette
  • Neverland Access All Areas Featurette

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Bakestone Bread...Win A Year's Supply!!

I am one of the Bakestone's Bakers Dozen, a lucky bunch who get to test out a delicious selection of baked goods every month.  From rolls, muffins, potato cakes, loaves, barms, baps and fruity buns, Bakestone's treats are utterly delicious!

This month, Bakestone are proud to announce the launch of their brand new Facebook Page at
It will be featuring recipes, competitions, chat and news from Bakestone HQ!

To celebrate, they are running a competition to win a year's supply of bread (it closes on May 31st so be quick!)  Just check out the WIN tab on their Facebook page.

This month we were also sent a selection of all time favourite baked treats.  This included a four pack of Bakestone Jubilee Fruited Teacakes.  With the Diamond Jubilee coming up, these will make a delicious tea time treat.  Generously studded with dried fruit, they are perfect toasted and buttered. Kizzy tested them out and thought they were delicious!  Soft and light, the raisins, currants and sultanas added a rich fruity flavour.

Jubilee Fruited Teacakes

The 400g Sliced Seeded Loaf and the Sliced Tiger Loaf are both great for toast or sandwiches.  The generously cut slices are soft and keep fresh and they have a good flavour.  The Seeded Deli Rolls were my favourite and included poppy and sunflower seeds which added a lovely taste and texture.  We had a BBQ and used the deli rolls, adding a veggie burger and some salad.  Perfect al fresco dining!

Find Bakestone goods in local shops across the North of England...great value and the finest bread for your dough!!

Journey 2 The Mysterious Island Film Review

Warner Bros are inviting us to 'believe the impossible and discover the incredible' with the release of Journey 2 The Mysterious Island.

To celebrate, we were sent this incredible bundle of film merchandise all contained in a giant leaf!  How totally cool is that?!

The Rock, DVD, The Mysterious Island

As a huge fan of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (I had the hugest crush on him in his World Wrestling Federation days) I was really excited about watching this movie.  We received the Triple Play pack to review which includes the Blu-ray, DVD and Ultraviolet Digital copy.  (A 3D version is also available.)

The Rock, Journey 2 the Mysterious Island, blu-ray

The story follows angsty teen Sean Anderson (played by Josh Hutcherson from the first movie) who receives a coded message from a mysterious location where no island should exist in the Pacific Ocean. Convinced that this message is from his grandfather on the Mysterious Island, as written about by Jules Verne, Sean is determined to investigate. He is eventually joined by his step-dad Hank (The Rock!!), a hilarious helicopter pilot Gabby and his daughter (played by High School the Musical's Vanessa Hudgens!)

After a perilous helicopter flight they discover the beautiful island and set out to find the sole inhabitant who sent the distress signal before earthquakes threaten to swallow up the island into the sea.  It is an action packed adventure involving giant animals, volcanoes made of gold and a lost city.  Flying on giant bumble bees, battling a giant electric eel and coming face to face with a rampaging mama lizard provide some edge of seat entertainment!

Along the way bonds are formed, relationships are tested and lessons are learned as the group pull together to save themselves from the sinking island.  There are a lot of funny moments many of which emanate from the strained relationship between Sean's grandfather (brilliantly portrayed by Michael Caine) and Hank.  As the story progresses, the tensions diminish and are replaced by family feel-good moments.  Hank's ukele playing and the pec popping scenes were personal favourites.

Journey 2 The Mysterious Island is definitely an extremely enjoyable family movie. Both parents and kids will love this fast paced, funny and action packed adventure!


RELEASE DATE: 28 May 2012
GENRE: Action Adventure
DVD /BLU-RAY PRICE: Blu-ray 3D £29.99
Blu-ray Triple Play £24.99
DVD (single disc): £19.99

Silent Sunday - Two in a Tub

Flexibath, sunshine, water play

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Friday, 25 May 2012

Win Goodie Bags and a Men In Black Blu-Ray Box Set

Men in Black 3 Competition

To celebrate the release of Men In Black 3, at cinemas 25th May, we are giving our readers a chance to win Men In Black 3 goodie bags, with one lucky winner also getting the Men In Black double pack Blu-Ray box set.
Men in Black, Will Smith
MIB I and II

In Men in Black™ 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back... in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K's life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him -- secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.

Like the facebook page here:


·         4 x MIB3 Goodie Bags
·         1 x Men In Black Double Pack Blu-Ray box set

Men in Black, Will Smith
Goodies Galore

To enter the competition simply answer the simple question on the Rafflecopter form as a comment below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

• The winners will be drawn at random from all the correct entries, and only they will be contacted personally. Prize must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. There will be no cash alternatives.
Sony Pictures UK and Inside the Wendy House do not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries due to the Internet or email problems. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Entrants must supply full details as required on the competition page, and comply with all rules to be eligible for the prizes.
• No responsibility is accepted for ineligible entries or entries made fraudulently.
• Unless otherwise stated, the Competition is not open to employees of: (a) the Company; and (b) any third party appointed by the Company to organise and/or manage the Competition; and (c) the Competition sponsor(s).
• This competition is a game promoted by Inside the Wendy House.  Inside the Wendy House’s decision is final in every situation and no correspondence will be entered into. Inside the Wendy House reserves the right to cancel the competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and if circumstances arise outside of its control.
• Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering this competition.

• Prizes unclaimed after 28 days will be deemed to have been forfeited and Inside the Wendy House reserves the right to either offer the prize to the entrant whose name is next drawn at random or to re-offer the prize in any future competition.

 ** This is a sponsored competition brought to you in conjunction with Sony Pictures UK.**

Albelli For Father's Day Gifts

Photo Books...Perfect Presents For Father's Day

This June 17th it is Father's Day.  For the well organised among you, this may mean that you are thinking of what to buy your dad to mark this special day.  One idea for a really thoughtful present that will bring a lifetime of joy is a photo book.  Filled with favourite, family photos, a photobook really is the perfect keepsake that any dad will be thrilled to receive.

Albelli was voted no.1 by the gadget show (sure to impress any geeky dads out there!) and promises 100% satisfaction.  Moments captured on camera can be used to make a beautiful, bespoke photo book.  Don't keep those digital snaps stored on a computer...they deserve to be turned into something special!

There are many different sizes and formats to pick from with prices starting at just £6.95.  The designs and layouts can be personalised according to the style you want.  Covers can be personalised using a photo, or you can choose a coloured linen cover, or a luxurious leather finish.  Pages can be upgraded to a high gloss finish and extra pages can be added to include all those extra prints.   Each photo book really is as unique as you make it!  There is an auto-fill option if you want to make a photo book really quickly online.  You simply select your chosen photos and the book is created for you.  Alternatively you can create your own using the downloadable tools, giving total control over the design.

The website includes some inspirational ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  Ideas such as a Year Book, or a Family Tree or a 'This Is Your Life' style book can be created for your dad.  You could even photograph children's artwork and include drawings, which will preserve favourite portraits forever!

I was offered the chance to make a photo book for Father's Day and decided to make a book dedicated to our  recent holiday in Disneyland Paris featuring Ian on the cover!  I made a folder of photos I wanted to use then  used the downloadable tools to edit, organise and arrange my photos exactly how I wanted them using a plain white background.  I opted for a photo on the front cover which is an optional extra.  It is a lovely way to personalise the book with a photograph of dad!!

There are loads of masks, frames and backgrounds available to really add impact to your end result, but I went for a simple theme, using the maximum number of photos.  It is up to you how you want to present your pictures.  Text can be added to tell the story and share thoughts and memories.

Another optional extra is to get the pages upgraded to thick, glossy photo quality paper.  It really makes the finished product look like something special.

The finished book arrives well packaged.  The customer service is excellent and the turnaround is prompt.  Emails keep you informed of your book's progress.

As ever I am really impressed by the quality of the Albelli Photo Book that I created.  I'm sure that Ian will love seeing all our holiday snaps brought together in a gorgeous, glossy, quality photo book with his photo on the front cover!

Take a look at and discover their range of photographic products and be inspired to make your dad a beautiful and thoughtful gift this Father's Day.

Drift Racing At Silverstone...The UK's Fastest Blogger 2012

Driving A Caterham 7 With Buyagift

Today I got up at some unearthly hour, to which I am not accustomed, and headed to Silverstone Race Track to take part in a Caterham Driving Experience along with my daughter Megan who blogs at Not Met Megan.  We had no idea what to expect but as ever were up for whatever challenge came our way.

We arrived at 8.30am for signing in followed by a briefing where we learned that we would be learning how to drift!  This basically means we had to throw the car into a tight corner with the throttle pressed to the floor, so that the back tyres slide the car around sideways!  Not exactly my usual style of conservative driving on the school run. But hey, I'm game for anything.

Caterham 7, Silverstone
Helmet On!
The Caterham 7 Sports Car is a speedy little vehicle (it's also a bit of a tight squeeze as I found out when I got my bum stuck trying to get into the driver's seat!  Thankfully they had a slightly larger model to accommodate my ridiculously long legs and child bearing hips!)  

Silverstone, racing day
The Caterham 7
My first try out on the circuit was an absolute fail!  In the 'too-small-car' I couldn't move my feet from throttle to brake, so in full-on terrified mode I chugged around like a granny negotiating a hospital car park much to the hilarity of Megan and a few of the Daddy Bloggers who were also at the event.

Caterham 7, Silverstone
Driving Off!
Thankfully for me, the Caterham crew are the most incredible bunch of patient guys who really wanted us to get the most out of the experience and sorted me out with the car that was big enough for me to move in.   This allowed me to unleash my inner boy racer and really get stuck in.

Jamie from The Life and the Times of a Househusband

We took turns in the three cars to attack the circuits that included slaloms, hairpin bends and donuts!  We had great instructions, guidance and encouragement from the crew which really helped us to gain in confidence and hone our drifting skills. 

Silverstone, racing
Getting Into A Drifting Slide
I am never going to get a job as a stunt driver for The Fast and The Furious, but I felt myself getting more aggressive and going for it more with each turn.  It felt like I was tearing up the tarmac, throwing my car around,  loving every screech of the rubber and every plume of smoke as the car went into a spin. (It may have felt as impressive as that but I probably still looked like a mum on a school run to the pros!) It was exhilarating and an incredible experience that I would most definitely recommend to anyone.  

At the end of the day we had a drifting competition to find the God of Drifting!  I was unlikely to be able to compete with the majority of my fellow bloggers (some of which were uber competitive and uber talented Motor Bloggers) but I was fully up for the personal challenge!   I scored a not too shabby 70% which I was very proud of considering my appalling start!  The overall winner was well deserved with a very impressive drifting technique.

The day was made so much more fun thanks to great company.  Everyone was so enthusiastic and encouraging.  From the Buyagift team, to the Caterham crew to the other bloggers, it was a day full of laughter and banter.  It was great to meet up with some Daddy Bloggers.  I loved hearing their thoughts on the blogging community and enjoyed their tales of being Stay At Home Dads.  It was an amazing event, run brilliantly well and something I won't forget in a long while.

I was so proud of Megan who had only passed her driving test last month.  She threw herself into the driving (and kept us all laughing and well entertained!)  She improved massively and her confidence levels soared.  This was a great Mum/Daughter date! has a whole range of driving experiences available in various locations across the country.  Whatever you fancy....whether you'd like to drive a tank, a Caterham 7 or a Ferrari...there will be an experience for you.  Driving experiences would also make fabulous Father's Day Gifts.  So maybe you could  treat your own Action Dad!

I am still on a bit of a high.  Driving home from Silverstone was quite strange.  The temptation to throw a donut on the M1 was really quite powerful and I definitely took corners with a bit more oomph!  Thanks to the team for such a great day out!

**The Caterham Experience may have been provided by, but the adrenalin fuelled opinions on how cool this was, are all my own!**


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