Power Rippers – No batteries needed!

This week we’ve been testing out a new toy called Power Rippers! Despite what you might think this toy needs no batteries, hurrah! The power for the Power Ripper comes from your own hand. The faster you pull, the faster your ripper will go!

power rippers

There’s 16 fab Power Rippers to collect in the first set. With lots of different characters available from sharks to robots. With single Power Rippers starting at a RRP of £4.99 theres something for everyone’s budget.

power rippers

The way they work is with a rip cord which slides easily inside the ripper and you pull and pull until you’re happy with the speed, then let it rip!

Want to race the Power Rippers with friends then you can with the 2 in 1 Competition Play set which also opens up into a battle arena!

power rippers

Rev up your Power Ripper and watch it loop the loop on a long track. Or battle with friends for the best time against each other in a head to head loop the loop. Set up the track however you want and add a fantastic jump at the end. Be quick though to catch the action. These Power Rippers don’t hang around long!

power rippers

In battle mode you can go head to head with friends to battle the Power Rippers in the arena, think robot wars on a mini scale. Will your Power Ripper win the ultimate battle and keep going longer than the other rippers?

When you’re finished for the day, pack everything back up in the case and it’s ready to travel anywhere!

Overall Experience

power rippers

What we loved:

  • Theres no batteries needed so it’s just set up and go
  • Theres lots of way to play, we liked the long track best
  • The battle arena was fun to watch and more a game of luck than skill which is great for smaller children
  • We got quite a lot of play from the set and the boys were keen to play again the next few days
  • The track set up is pretty easy to do with lots of configurations possible

Other thoughts:

  • It can be tricky to get the hang of starting the power ripper on the track so be sure to practice lots before you agree to battle with friends (unless you want to lose!)
  • Mind your fingers! Power rippers are powerful so keep your fingers well out-of-the-way of the fast spinning wheel!

Power Ripper Video

Most of our video footage had to be shot in slow motion as the Power Rippers are just so quick!

If you want to find out more visit the Power Ripper website.

Power Rippers are available now in many toy shops across the UK.

We were kindly sent the toy for review but were not paid for the content, all our views are our own.

Radio Controlled Minion – Mel

This week we are celebrating all things minion. With the release of Despicable Me 3 on DVD and Blu-ray it’s time to rekindle the minion love in time for Christmas.

radio controlled minion

Bladez toyz kindly sent us our very own radio controlled Mel Minion to test out. If you like me have minion mad people in your house this little guy makes a fantastic gift.

radio controlled minion

Aimed at ages 3+ he comes with a simple remote control. The remote control features just one large button with just two options.

radio controlled minion

Even little hands are able to grasp the concept of moving Mel around the room. The two controls are forward and spin. So you have to spin Mel to the direction you want then move him forwards.

All the inflatable r/c toys in the Bladez range do need inflating once you get them out of the box. But don’t worry you won’t need a pump. I managed to do this in just a few breathes without feeling dizzy! Far easier than inflating some party balloons that’s for sure!

radio controlled minion

Look out in the box too for a small repair patch incase any minor accidents happen with the inflatable you’ll be able to repair him. I did have to stop my youngest from trying to ride the minion!

We loved playing with the radio controlled minion, he is a great first introduction for little people to remote control toys as he’s just so easy to control. He worked well on both carpet and hard wood floors. So whatever you have he’s fun to control.

radio controlled minion

The Workings

You will need 6 AA batteries to power him, 4 for the minion and two for the remote control.

radio controlled minion

So be prepared on Christmas day with the batteries if it’s a gift as they are not included. He comes with a switch on his base with a choice of “Off”, “On with sounds” or “On without sounds”. The sounds on Mel are minion noises which do repeat after a while so if you get fed up of hearing it (which my boys didn’t!) then you can always run him without them!

Available to buy at The Entertainer and other toy shops.

With thanks to Bladez for sending Mel. I was not paid for this review, as always opinions are my own.

5 second rule junior

This week we’ve been playing 5 Second Rule Junior kindly sent to us by University Games. 5 second rule junior

5 Second Rule Junior is aimed at children aged 6 and up and is a junior version of the already popular 5 Second Rule game. You do need a minimum of 3 players for this game so its worth remembering that if you’re going to be buying it as a gift.

5 Second Rule Junior has a simple concept to play but is harder than you first think. 5 seconds really isn’t that much time when you’re against a clock!

How to play 5 Second Rule Junior

The winner is the first player to get to the finish line of the relatively small game board. Which on first glance seems easy. But it’s not all that easy to think quickly and stay focussed in 5 seconds!

5 second rule junior

To advance forward on the game board you have to answer the question on the card and name 3 examples of the question asked. Younger players are allowed to just give 2 answers. An example fo this would be “Name 3 things you take on a car journey”.

5 second rule junior

If the player answering the question names the 3 things within the 5 seconds then play passes to the next player to answer the same question. You can’t name the same things though. As you can imagine this gets harder and harder as the question goes round. Someone at some point will lose! For those players that have successfully managed to name 3 things (or 2 if they are younger) then they all move forward a space on the board. Or two spaces if the question has gone round that many times!

In addition to the plain spaces on the board there’s some helping hand spaces too which allow you 10 seconds for your question if you land on them.

5 second rule junior

What did we think?

We really enjoyed playing 5 Second Rule Junior. So much so we’ve had it out each time we’ve had visitors over half term. It’s a fun way to keep the children entertained. The concept is easy to understand and game play has lasted just long enough to keep everyone’s attention. As most of the players get to have a go at each question you really do have to concentrate on game play. This avoids duplicating someone elses answers.

My 6-year-old was quick to get in a sulk if he couldn’t get his 2 answers. However he was easily pleased with being allowed to use the timer. The timer makes a silly sort of mooing noise each time it’s turned over! Be sure to use the timer though on a flat surface. If you don’t all the tiny ball bearings won’t move down and time 5 seconds properly…and nobody likes a cheat!

5 second rule junior

We were not paid to review this item, as always all opinions are our own.

yeti in my spaghetti

This week we’ve been playing ‘Yeti in my Spaghetti’ board game so that we can write a little review.
Yeti in my spaghetti

Yeti in my Spaghetti is a board games aged at ages 4 and up however my 3 and half year old did enjoy joining in and understood how to play.

yeti in my spaghetti

You’ll need two or more players for the game and by gaming standards it’s pretty easy to understand how to play.

Theres only 3 main components to the game, the yeti (now he’s pretty cute!).

The bowl and the spaghetti. The aim of the game is simple. Don’t let the Yeti fall all the way into the bowl if you want to be the winner! The rules are simple to, just take it in turns to remove single pieces of spaghetti. Easy you might be thinking. Well yes easy to understand, difficult to be the one to not topple that cute yeti!

yeti in my spaghetti

Pros:

We loved how simple it was
We also loved how even little people can join in
Game play is relatively short so it keeps small peoples attention span
Easy to set up, even for small people
Theres only one thing to focus on and thats the Yeti
No potential choking hazards like similar games with smaller marble sizer pieces
Easy to put away
If you just want to fill a few short minutes its quick and easy to play!

Cons:

The spaghetti needs keeping together when you remove it or you’ll end up loosing it
Other players will endure the grumps if the loser doesn’t like the fact they’ve lost!

My 6 year old desperately wanted to make a video review of the game so here it is (it’s only short but it gives you a good idea of the game!)

Thanks to University Games for sending us the game to review. I was not paid for the review and as always we are free to write are own honest opinion.

This week we were offered the chance to review a bunch of flowers from Prestige flowers.

prestige flowers

Of course I couldn’t say no to a bunch of flowers being delivered. I love getting flowers. Flowers really brighten up the house. Part of the reason I also said I’d love to review a bunch is because I’ve been thinking about sending flowers as Christmas gifts this year to family and friends who live far away. When you order online prestige flowers will arrange to deliver the flowers via Royal Mail to the chosen recipient in a beautiful packaged box.

prestige flowers

I think a bunch of flowers would be lovely to receive just before Christmas because it would last through the festive season. We always have people popping in and out at Christmas and having fresh flowers would be lovely. When you do you’re mad last minute shop for fresh food a few days before Christmas I never think to get flowers for the house too. To receive a bunch as an early Christmas present would be fab. Which is why I’m going to be sending some myself this year.

The flowers that Prestige flowers sent for me were a stunning bouquet of autumnal colours.

Prestige flowers

As I opened the box I was blowed away by the beautiful combination of like pinks, autumnal yellows and pretty red touches.

Fresh from the Box Flowers

I lifted them out carefully and was amazed that they opened up into a gorgeous bunch. They had survived a journey in the postal service thanks to the robust packaging.
Prestige flowers

As with all flowers they will last longer with proper care and attention. It is recommended to cut their stems at a 45 degree angle every few days so that they can soak up lots of water. Be sure to top the water up daily too and use the flower food included. When someone has taken the time and money to send such a thoughtful gift its important to make the most of them.

I almost didn’t want to remove the beautiful wrapping from the outside of the flowers. It was clearly wrapped with care and hand tied before sending. All the stems were beautifully lined up and symmetrical. I know though to keep them at their best the care is vital.

Thankfully it was easy to trim them and make them look just as beautiful as they did when they arrived.

Prestige flowers really are stunning. You can tell that they are passionate about creating a great looking product. A product that arrives with the intended recipient in perfect condition. I hope my bunch last a long time. They look fab brightening up the kitchen table during the current rainy weather.

Thanks again to Prestige flowers for sending the bunch to review. I was gifted the product in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid to write about the flowers. As always I would only review items I really like or should by myself.

Prestige flowers

National Stationery Week

When I found out it was national stationery week I was very excited. To me holding a week to celebrate all things stationery is to many the same as ‘Eat as much chocolate as you can week’. My mum has always said I was born with a pen in my hand. From the moment I could draw I would. I’ve always loved writing from an early age.

national stationery week

I remember one of the jobs at school was to tidy the stationery cupboard, my hand couldn’t go up quick enough. I was in my element getting close to lots and lots of stationery! There something special about the smell of a fresh box or pencils or a pad of paper.

Since growing up and being able to afford my own little luxuries I can often be found online browsing youtube videos of pens and other items. Things I can add to wish lists for when birthdays come around.

Bullet Journal

In the last couple of years I have discovered something called Bullet Journal. If you don’t know what it is then just google it, or look on youtube. Its a paper way of keeping your life organised. I now always carry with me a dotted notebook and keep my whole life in it. List, lists lists! Lists help to keep me organised. I’ve yet to find an app as good a a pen and paper. To me a list or plan on pen and paper is real. An app can easily be closed and ignored. Once pen hits paper it almost becomes more real. My bullet journal is decorated on the outside with wash tape and stickers.

national stationery week

My worst habit it probably buying notepads. I have a whole shelf at home on the bookcase dedicated to notepads. I put myself on a self imposed ban for a while. One person can not possibly need so many notepads…can they?


In the fantastic package I was sent to celebrate National Stationary Week there were lots of fun things including this beautiful dog page markers which I adore!

national stationery week

Favourite Pen

The thing that I really wanted to try was the fountain pen, I’ve not used a fountain pen in many years. Probably since I was at school.

Theres something very special about pushing an ink into the end of a fountain pen, hearing the click as it pops the end so the ink can flow through down to the nib. The shiney nib with its tiny rounded end.

The way it flows on the paper as the ink comes out, its something I’ve fallen in love with all over again.

national stationery week

The Week Ahead

Each day during national stationary week theres a different theme:

Monday 24th April – Pen and Pencil day

Tuesday 25th April – Get Crafty

Wednesday 26th April – World Stationery Day

Thursday 27th April – Thank you Thursday

Friday 28th April – Fountain Pen Friday

Saturday 29th April – Signature Saturday

Sunday 30th April – Write a letter day

All the information about National Stationery week can be found on the website. There’s loads of ideas of how you can get involved and get children involved too. My eldest needs lots of encouragement when it comes to writing. Its not his strongest subject at school but with all the fun things in our package I don’t think it will take him long join in when he’s using rainbow pencils!

Finally why not join in by showing everyone your stationery love or ideas, use the hashtag #NatStatWeek to share!

 

 

Now you might be wondering why Legoland Discovery Centre is having a launch. If you live in the Northwest area you’ll probably realise that Legoland Discovery Centre has been there for many years already. Even a fantastic place like Legoland Discovery Centre needs a facelift every so often!

This week we were kindly invited down to a VIP launch night for Legoland Discovery Centre. Keen showcase it fabulous attractions including the new Lego Ninjago City adventure.

As existing Merlin Annual Pass holders, we have been regulars visitors to the Legoland Discovery Centre. We live quite close so are lucky that we can pop in frequently. The Legoland Discovery Centre can be found at Barton Square (part of the Trafford Centre).

You may think that the attraction being based at a shopping centre wouldn’t be that big but you’d be wrong. You initially enter via the ground floor but are quickly directed upstairs and through the Lego factory tour where Professor Brick explains all about how lego is made. This is possibly my eldest favourite part, he knows it word for word he’s been through that many times. He still always wants to watch though. I won’t describe the whole process as I don’t want to spoil it for your first visit!

Once through the factory the first thing you will come across is the Lego Ride. It’s a good idea to ride it at this point. Although you can go back once inside the main area the children probably won’t want to leave!

What’s New?

This is the first time we’ve been back to Legoland Discovery Centre since the fantastic refurb and the boys were impressed. A whole new soft play area. The previous one was looking tired and a change is always great. It’s now Ninjago themed with a great ballpool area.

We were also surprised to see a moving climbing wall has been installed too, this looks like great fun.

The other thing thats been updated is the cafe. Previously the cafe offered a range of sandwiches, sweet treats and drinks. With an eating area just adjacent to the cafe.

Theres a new seating area too which looks much nicer than the older picnic bench style seating.

We were very glad to see that old favourites were still there, the go kart ride and the wizard ride as well as the build and race area.

legoland discovery centre manchester

And one of the boys favourite the 4D cinema!

New attractions alongside the new play area also include a Creative Workshop and a Circus area. We didn’t get chance to do either on the launch night as we ran out of time. The play area really did keep their attention for quite a while!

legoland discovery centre
Of course any day out wouldn’t be complete with a visit to the gift shop and as you’d expect the Legoland Discovery Centre shop is floor to ceiling lego. With something for every budget you’re sure to find so the right thing to come home with to remember your trip.

Thanks to Legoland Discovery Centre for inviting us down to see the new attractions, we’ll be back soon!

The Legoland Discovery Centre does get busy at weekends and school holidays so I’d advise you to book online to guarantee entry. Prices start from just £11 per child and £15 per adult when purchased in advance online. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre website.

My eldest watches quite a few different youtube videos and enjoys them. When we were recently sent some Num Noms to play with he wanted to do his own version of an unboxing video. So here it is his first official youtube debut for my blog!

 

 

I think he was a bit nervous to begin with but he soon settled into it!

HOMELESS BOOTH CENTRE ARTISTS LAUNCH POP UP ART EXHIBITION

Homeless Art


This week, the Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel has handed over their Discovery shelves to the art group from the Booth Centre. The group of artists who are currently homeless, or who have recently experienced homelessness, have created some amazing pieces to share their view of ‘Travel’ through a new pop up art exhibition.
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Each artist contributing to the exhibition, is working with the Booth Centre whose core aim it is to bring about positive change in the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and helps them plan for and realise a better future.

They do this by providing advice to find accommodation, education, training and help to secure employment, free healthy meals, support in tackling issues with health and addiction, and creative activities to boost confidence and self-esteem.

Danny Collins, a former homeless artist exhibiting this week, added: “Rough sleeping is tough, I was on the streets for four years after suffering from post-traumatic stress having left the army. I just couldn’t settle once I left which eventually resulted in my homelessness. I’d first tried the art class when I joined the Booth Centre. I had never painted before. I find it relaxing and enjoy getting involved. It really helped to build my confidence.”

For the exhibition, Danny decided to paint a bridge he used to sleep under when he was homeless. Danny adds; “It seemed fitting to go back to the start of my journey and my corner of Manchester that for four years was home as a rough sleeper.”

Amy Hinks, Development Manager at the Booth Centre, added; “Danny is now in his own accommodation which he’s in the process of decorating. Our regular art workshops help people with experience of homelessness to develop their skills and confidence, and to make steps towards embracing new opportunities like getting their own flat or moving on to employment. Working in partnership with the Renaissance Hotel has enabled our artists to showcase their work in a very public space which they’re all really proud of.”

Homeless Art

Anyone interested in seeing the art can find the pop up exhibition at the Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel (Blackfriars Street, Manchester, England, M3 2EQ) this week from 6th to 12th Feb, 2017.

Marriott and Renaissance hotels have an ongoing programme to support its local communities. In 2016 this included projects to develop local play areas, training and skills sharing projects for those in search of a job; as well as events and partnerships with variety of charities and organisations supporting the homeless around Manchester.

Cameron Mcneillie, General Manager at Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel said; “The hotel has always been such a big part of Manchester’s identity and we feel it’s important to keep giving back to charities and projects such as the Booth Centre which help the most vulnerable communities across Manchester.”

Amy Hinks from the Booth Centre adds; “This month the official statistics were released highlighting that the number of rough sleepers in Greater Manchester has increased by 41%, and this is only a snap shot of the real figure. Without the support from companies like the Manchester Renaissance hotel, we wouldn’t be able to help as many people as we have this year. It is vital that we all work together to support the growing number of homeless people in our community, especially during the cold winter months. We’d like to thank the Renaissance Hotel for their commitment and support.”

Lego Batman

This Saturday just gone it was preview weekend for the Lego Batman Movie. So we headed out to our local cinema to treat the boys to a morning out! We went for a morning showing , hoping that we won’t ruin any adults who may also what to watch (the Flixster doesn’t always sit still or quietly!)

We needn’t have worried though he was great throughout the film. He’s still only 2 but will mostly sit though a film. Especially when its something he likes.

The combination of Lego and Batman had both of the boys captivated. I say both I should say all, since hubby liked it too!

Lego batman movie

If you like action (in the form of lego action) then this is most definitely a film you will enjoy. I laughed quite a lot too. Given that I don’t normally go for action films I have to say it was a good watch! There are quite a few adult jokes, I’m not talking rude panto style innuendo , I mean jokes that adults will laugh along with.

16386967_10154053563365194_7801391735062608272_n

Thomas most defiantly enjoyed it. Having not spoken all the way through he was sucked into the whole movie. It is quite long for a lego film (at almost 2 hours – 110 minutes I think) however the plot line moves quickly along and in no time it was already the credits so you’re not sat there hoping it would end soon.

I think it will be one the boys want to buy on blu-ray when it comes out, just like the original lego movie they loved it!

In short if you like lego and batman go watch the film. Its out on general release from this Friday 10th February.