Now if you’ve never heard of Dobble I need to explain how simply amazing it is….read on! If you haven’t heard of Harry Potter…where have you been? Now combined together I think you’ve just about got the perfect quick to play fun game for just about every age!

As part of the blogger board game club this month we’ve had great fun playing Harry Potter Dobble. Last month we were busy playing Timeline the Science Museum edition.

We first came across the game called Dobble a fair few years ago. As soon as we found out about it I bought it. In a nutshell its a matching game. The aim of the game (however you play it, and there are various ways to win) is to match a symbol on the card in your hand with one on the table. The key point being that only one symbol on each pair of cards will match.

Now as you can see on these two cards its Severus Snape

Now this is the part that frazzles my brain, I don’t understand how only one symbol can match at any one time given that all the symbols are in play. But essentially its true. I’m sure a mathematician could explain it!

Easy you’d think!? WRONG! The symbols are all different sizes and different ways round. Sometimes as hard as you try the match seems impossible to find….until someone else points it out to you! It’s addictive! You have to find the match to prove people wrong. I digress. Can you tell I love dobble!

A picture of the setup of Harry Potter Dobble on a wooden table.

So Harry Potter dobble then is just like regular dobble except all the symbols are Harry Potter themed. It’s ace for Harry Potter fans. You’ll spot all your favourites including characters, objects and a personal favourite the screaming mandrake!

Theres a whole host of ways to play the game and they are all explained in the included instruction. Games are available for up to 8 players at a time.

A picture of some of the rules of Dobble this one is hot potato game.

What we love about Harry Potter Dobble:

  • It’s super easy to play
  • The games are quick
  • Pretty much any age can enjoy it (my middle baby has played since he was around 4)
  • The rules are easy to understand
  • It’s very portable and comes in a storage tin
  • It doesn’t require much space, just a surface for the cards which can be airline tray size or smaller

I don’t think there’s anything not to like about Dobble. We od have one tip though. If you are taking it in your hand luggage leave the tin behind and pop the cards into something else. Twice we’ve been searched at airport security because they can’t tell what the Dobble tin is on the X-ray!!

A picture of Harry Potter Dobble in its packaging, showing a small round tin in a cardboard box. The tin says Dobble HP on the front.

It’s available to buy from lots of places including the Amazon. The link I have put in is an affiliate link which means you pay exactly the same price but I get a couple of pence from the sale so I’m super grateful if you do use the link.

Thanks to Asmodee for sending us Harry Potter Dobble to play. I have not been paid for this post.

a tin box with the game timeline science museum inside

Recently I was asked to be part of the blogger board game club and of course it’s something we do a lot so I was delighted. The first of our board games to review is Science Museum Timeline. I’ve played timeline games before but never actually owned one so we were excited to try this.

My 8 year old Thomas is quite the brain box and so this game is right up his street. On his recent school report his teacher described him as ‘a walking encyclopaedia’ which made me laugh because it’s pretty accurate.

If you’re not familiar with the timeline concept of games its basically putting events in the correct order. There are now lots of variations of the same game depending on what you are in to which is great. You can get variations including events form history, star wars, inventions etc and each game comes with 110 cards so you’ll never be able to remember them all! This means you can play them again and again for long lasting play.

Science Museum timeline comes in a square tin containing the rules and 100 play cards. Each card is double sided. One side has an event or achievement based on the Science museums collection of scientific, technological or medical achievement form access the globe. The other side has the exact sam thing but also the year it happened.

Each player is dealt a certain amount of cards based on how many are playing.These are dealt with the date side down. No cheating now! Of course if you like a challenge by all means deal more! Then the remaining cards are placed date down in the centre. One card is turned face up on the table to start the game. The youngest player starts and has to compare their top card with the card on the table, and decide if it happened before or after. Once they have decided they place it date face up on the table next to the original card. Where they right? If yes it remains there, if not its discarded and they have to take a new card from the draw pile. Play then continues round the table.

Summary

The aim of the game is to be the first one to get rid of all the cards in your hand. Not quite as easy as it first appears!

What we loved about this game was that it is quick to set up. It’s simple to understand, and easy to play. The challenge comes in trying to put event dates in order. We loved that you are also learning things as you go along. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s really tricky. Another bonus is that it can be mixed with other versions of Timeline for even more game play.

What I particularly love is that it’s compact. It doesn’t take up much room and would be ideal for travel. As you can see we played ours outside in the sunshine.

If you want to buy Timeline its available from amazon here. That link is an affiliate link which means if you buy through there it costs you exactly the same but amazon will give me a couple of pence from the sale.

Thanks to Asmodee for sending us the games to play. We look forward to other games in future months!

To be open and honest with my readers I’ll pop this at the start. We were sent the Dino Epic Egg for the boys to play with at no charge. I have not been paid for this post. As always to keep my blog authentic I only post about products I would buy myself. Felix loves dinosaurs and smashing things so the two things combined are perfect!

Alongside the egg we were also send a pack of 8 Zuru smashers dino egg and a collectors tin (this will come in handy for Felix to store all his little dinos!)

So Smashers Dino Epic Egg does what it says on the tin (or egg!). It is huge! With over 25 surprises to be found inside, to build the exclusive Smash-o-saur Dino!

You can smash the smasher on the ground a wall or any hard surface. Be sure to check where your small people are planning on smashing it first though!

The Smashers app allows you to interact with your collection and earn Smash Points to become the ultimate Smashers champion!

Inside each Epic Dino Egg, you’ll discover more surprises like Smash Eggs with a Smash Egg rebuilder and digging tools. With access to Rare and Ultra Rare characters like the Skull Smashers, the smashing will never end! 

Now on to the smashing part!

**SPOILER ALERT**

Want to see what we found inside ours?

So at first I have to be honest I was skeptical, would there be enough inside to justify the price? I’m a convert! One by one each thing has been played with. The Ice age putty was a hit (especially with me!) because its not sticky. It’s like real old fashioned putty.

Each element contains dino bones to build a large dino, as much as I wanted to feature that on the blog, honestly they’ve not even opened some of the elements yet! It really is lasting!

The bath fizzier was a hit and they both had fun fishing the dino bones from the water once it had fizzed out. Thankfully the bones float!

They’ve yet to get on to opening the fossil rock, dino dirt or slime. That’s this weekends fun to come! Not to mention being able to smash open the little eggs to see which dino’s we are adding to the collection. Lets hope we get a super rare one!

We filmed our smashers Dino epic egg, if you want to see the full thing have a look below

The Smashers Epic Dino Egg retails at RRP: £24.99, is suitable for ages 5+ and is available at Smyths, The Entertainer, Argos, Tesco, Asda, B&M, SAINSBURY’S Supermarket and all the major retailers.

In 2018 we were lucky enough to stay at Walt Disney World Beach Club – Stone Harbour Club Level Room for 2 whole amazing weeks. Now when I was doing my research for this vacation although I found lots of info about the Walt Disney World Beach Club hotel. I didn’t find that much about the Stone Harbour Club level rooms or lounge. So whilst we were there I tried to make sure I took lots of film and pictures to share once we were back.

If you want to see our travel day video click here.

I’m still working my way through the footage and trying to find time to edit it all. For the first one I’ve put together a room tour.

Stone Harbour Club – Brief Room Tour in Photographs

We stayed in a standard studio room up on the Stone Harbour Club level. The room number was 5708.


 

There were 5 of us, two adults, two children (7 and 4) and a baby (under 1). The Stone Harbour club level room entitled us access to the club lounge which serves refreshments throughout the day. As well as its own private concierge cast members who you can contact at anytime at their desk up until 10pm. Special shout out to Robin from the desk who made our trip magical, the boys miss her a lot!

 

The room we stayed in had two double bed (I’m not sure what size they were as US sizing is different) so I will refer to them as doubles as they defiantly fit two people. It also had a single sleeper size sofa. It was advertised for a room suitable for 5 people and I’d say that was fair. Before we went I thought we’d be cramped in the room but actually it was ok size wise.

The bathroom area had a twin sink vanity area. A large mirror and a small illuminated vanity mirror. The toilet area was separated by a lockable door and had a toilet, and small bath with shower over.

 

 

The entrance area contained a fridge and coffee pod machine. There was also a wardrobe with sliding door with two robes, an iron and board. The safe was inside the wardrobe and suitcase stands. Inside the wardrobe there was also spare pillows for the bed.

the plate showing room number 5708

 

The television area had some surface space as well as draws and cupboards.

There was a desk area with a smaller pull out table on wheels. We used the table as a dining table on the days where we ate in the room.

The balcony had a view over the hotel roof, you could see the main entrance area as well as the globe at Epcot.

Video Tour on YouTube

I’ve done a video with a commentary (please forgive my boring voice!) which probably illustrates the size of the room a little better than photographs do.

Still looking for Christmas gifts? Check out the choices I made for some of my friends and family!

This week I was gifted a few items by Paladone when they kindly asked if I wanted to receive something as a present for Christmas.

They sell so many wonderful items and there’s always something for everyone.

I picked out three things with certain people in mind which I will wrap and gift them this Christmas.

These are the three items ready for wrapping and sending to the North pole so that Father Christmas can bring them back with him. (Or that’s what we tell the boys!)

a picture showing three gifts, a star wars lamp, a enchanted rose lamp and a fun graffiti light to use with a smartphone

Star Wars Gifts

The first item is for a star wars lover! This Tie Fighter desk lamp is perfect for my Star Wars obsessed hubby! I hope he doesn’t read this…..I don’t think he will!

It’s USB powered so when sitting on a desk work area won’t take another plug, just plug it in to a USB outlet. Why am I always running short of plugs? If you are not then you could always use a USB plug adaptor instead if you’re putting it in an area with no computer.

The Smartphone Light Graffiti can is going to be given to my 7 year old. He had an iPad for his birthday this year so this is something he would love to play with.

For this gift you use a long exposure app to write words or draw pictures with the tiny can. The app captures what you are drawing and makes it look like a graffiti art without actually making any mess!

Disney Gift

The fabulous Disney Enchanted Rose Light from Beauty and the Beast  by Paladone is a very special choice for a friend of mine. She adores the film and this is going to be perfect for her. It’s USB powered meaning it’ll look amazing on her desk while she’s working away at the computer. I know she’s going to love it.

a beautiful rose stands in a glass dome with some petals falling off

Some of my other favourite items by Paladone are in the Harry Potter section. There are some beautiful gifts for fans of the books and films. Unfortunately in this house my boys haven’t caught on to Harry Potter yet despite my best efforts so those gifts would be a waste for now. I’ll save buying Harry Potter items for another year. Or maybe I should buy them for myself!

With grateful thanks to Paladone foe helping me to tick some people off my list!

 

 

Give the gift of Floof It’s October so surely I’m allowed to talk about Christmas now?

Most people who know me well know that I adore the Christmas time. Every year I can’t wait to get started with the planning. I love buying gifts for people. I adore the day itself. Made even more magical now that I have my own children to make magic for.

So in the run up to Christmas time I will be sharing review posts of items I have agreed to test out. The reviews will always be my own work. I will not be paid for the posts. This is my blog so I can write what I like. All the items I review will either be bought by myself or sent to me (with prior agreement) and I will personally try them all and let everyone know what I think of them.

picture of floof box

Without further ado I’ll jump right into the first thing I’ve agreed to review…Floof! Yes I know it’s an odd name but to be fair it’s quite catchy. I can tell you are probably sat there now repeating it in your head..Floof..Floof….Floof!

picture of floof mr and mrs snowman set box

So what is Floof?

The official description is: Floof is a marshmallow-like molding material that has to be felt to be believed. This kinetic toy is as soft as a pillow, as light as a cloud, and as malleable as clay. Use it for fidgeting, building, or as a pure tactile treat. Since Floof never dries out, you can always keep some out and ready to play.

So to get hands on with some Floof I’ve been playing with the Builders set and the Mr and Mrs Snowman set.

picture of the inside contents of floof builder set, which has a play tray, a packet of floof and 4 tools to build with.

 

It’s recommended for ages 3 and up, but thankfully it’s non-toxic so no need to worry if you have younger ones around that get hold of it. Obviously with any substance I’d advise using it under adult supervision.It’s really hard to describe what floof feels like. It’s similar to a mixture of the kinetic sand stuff and the fake snow at Christmas.

Hand full of fluffy floof

I like it, it feels soft and squeezy.

squeezed ball of floof

One of the massive bonuses for me is that it doesn’t dry out. So you can leave it out or leave the lid off and it’s all still fine and ready to use again and again.

Inside the Mr and Mrs Snowman Floof kit you get a packet of Floof, a snowy scene background and some snowman accessories.

In the Floof builders kit you get a packet of Floof,a play tray (which I think is great for younger children over 3). As well as some tools to use with Floof.

 

Clean Up Carpet Test!

Now if you are a mum reading this you’re probably thinking that’s all well and good but does it get stuck in the carpet? I can report that I did a test and no it doesn’t! Hip hip hurrah! I even managed to vacuum it up very successfully when I’d finished the carpet test!

floof on the carpet all rubbed in

Now you see it (my best effort to actually rub it in too!)

plain carpet after floof is all vacuumed up

Now you don’t!

Would I recommend it? As an alternative to any other kind of moldable dough yes absolutely. The downside I’d say is that it only comes in one colour. However for the fact that it never dries out and it can be cleaned up very very easily (this part is the winner!) then it’s a hit with me! It also feels lovely too, I can imagine little ones who like to feel new textures will love Floof! There are various sets of Floof available at different price points which would make a great stocking filler and give little ones something to do.

If you like me have young children desperate to learn to drive then this post is for you! This weekend we had a new experience. Well one of us did! Thomas was invited along to his first ever driving lesson!

If you’re aged between 5 and 17 you can learn to drive a car with Young Driver in an area near you. Little people aged between 5 and 10 years old they offer lessons in a firefly car. These little cars tour the country and slots book up quickly so be sure to book early. For those young people ages 11 and above get to drive in a real car!

 

Information sent by email after we’d booked was very clear so we easily found the venue (just look for the big red bus!).

 

Thomas was super excited to get signed in when we arrived. Everything was well signed so we knew where to go. Theres a short disclaimer form to sign upon arrival by the accompanying adult but after that its get set go!

Ready, Set…Go!

 

The little ones who are taking part in the firefly vehicles get 20 minutes in the car. This is broken down into a 5 minute instruction session with a member of the staff and 15 minutes driving in the car on the road system laid out.

 

 

 

 

When the instructions are finished it’s time for the parent or guardian to get in the car and be driven around! Don’t worry though you get an emergency stop button just in case your child goes wild!

The little fireflys are great fun! There’s an accelerator pedal and a brake pedal, as well as a switch to change between forwards and backwards motion.

Theres venues all over the country including Scotland and Belfast so where ever you are based there will hopefully be one based near you. You can check venues on the website.

20 minutes passed quickly however I think it was just long enough to enjoy everything and park up at the end.

Felix couldn’t miss the opportunity for a photograph too although he’s still a little young to drive or have a ride.

Passing his Test

At the end of the lesson Thomas was given his very own driving licence which he was super chuffed with. I did have to explain though that he couldn’t actually drive us home afterwards in our car!

Thanks to the Young Driver company for invited us along to take part in a lesson. I’m sure we’ll be back when the middle monkey turns 5 as he was desperate to have a go! Thomas has made us promise for his 11th birthday he can go in the real cars too!

We did take some footage on camera and as soon as I’ve edited a video together I will be posting it up too!

You can find out more information about the Young Driver lessons here.

Thomas tests Thomas Track Playset!

This week the boys were sent a new toy to test, and test it they did. With thanks again to Bladez toyz who sent us the Thomas Track Playset. As always I only ever mention things on my blog that we would buy ourselves. I have not been paid for the review, the words are my own. We always only give our honest opinion.

First off where can you buy one? You can buy it from Argos here. If it’s something you think your children would enjoy too. The link is not an affiliate link so I won’t make any money at all if you click through.

Thomas Track playlet comes with 8 puzzle pieces and a motorised Thomas train. The Thomas train requires 1 AAA battery to be installed which is not included. You will need a tiny philips head screw driver for installing the battery.

The concept is simple. Just click the pieces together to make a track for Thomas to run along on. There are grooves in the puzzle pieces for the motorised wheel to run along.Apparently there are 50+ track combinations. The boys enjoyed using the pictures on the back of the box to make some tracks before going off and making their own combinations.

Overall the boys loved it. The pieces are really easy for small hands to connect together which is a bonus. The fact that you can make so many different tracks keeps play interesting. Thomas will also run without the track which is another bonus and way to play. It has provided hours of entertainment so far and we haven’t had to change the single battery yet. The only downside I could see is that it does need a battery so at some point it would need replacing.

We thought we’d make a little video to demonstrate it to you! Enjoy!

Don’t Rock the Boat – Or you’re out!

We love family games in our house so Don’t Rock the Boat was a welcome addition this week. Games that have a quick setup. Easy to understand. Most importantly fun to play with our age children!

don't rock the boat

University Games kindly sent us ‘Don’t Rock the Boat’ to play. It’s suitable for age 3 and over. You will need a minimum of two players (although to be honest my 6 year old enjoyed playing alone in what he called solo mode!) up to a maximum of 4 players.

The concept is simple its a balancing game.

don't rock the boat

 

 

There’s a boat which is set up to balance. A whole load of pirate penguins. Players take turns to balance a penguin on the boat anyway they like. If a penguin falls off when it’s your turn you lose and the player last to place a penguin wins.

 

 

My boys were finding inventive ways to hang or place the penguins. It clearly states in the rules that it doesn’t count as a lose if a penguin falls over. The penguin has to fall off the boat to count as game over. This point was taken to the extreme in our house as penguins were hung all over the boat!

don't rock the boat

Conclusion

Another great game from University Games. Quick and easy to set up. Simple for little ones to understand and most importantly easy to play!

don't rock the boat

My favourite point has to be worth mentioning too……

This guy on the back of the box made me chuckle for quite a while!

don't rock the boat

Slimline Wine –

Remember the ronseal adverts – does what it says on the tin. Well this week I’ve been sent some Slimline wine. Does what it says on the bottle!

slimline wine

Quite often as a blogger I will kindly get offered things or sent things to review and/or write about. However I don’t want my blog audience to just keep seeing reviews. Thats not what I’m about. I will only ever write about things that I’d actually buy and use.

Since I’m on slimming world at the moment and also love a bottle of red wine, when this arrived I thought perfect!

It’s a simple designed bottle and is new on the market. It claims to be a zero sugar, zero carb wine.

slimline wine

 

 

 

 

It’s available in white, red,rose and also very recently sparkling too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’m no wine expert. My credentials are only that I have been drinking wine since around 21 years of age (thats about 15 years….cough cough!) I only started really liking red at around age 25 so roughly 10 years. I know what I like wine wise. I’m not a red meat eater so tend to just drink red on its own rather than with a meal as many people do. I couldn’t tell you the ‘underlying flavours’ or what vintage is what. I just no if a wine tastes nice to me and is easy to drink.

So with a little trepidation I thought I’d give the Slimline Wine a whirl as my weekend drink.

slimlinewine

 

 

The website has this description “A proper Red, with all the depth and flavour you expect although a little lighter on the tongue. Made from Barbera grapes.” For those counting calories there are 55 per 100ml in the white wine. So much less than normal wine.

Did I like it?

Yes – I was really surprised! I was expecting it to be a different taste to regular red wine. It absolutely does not have any taste in it that would give it away as a low cal wine. I honestly didn’t expect it to be as nice as it is. I thought that perhaps it would be a little like no alcohol wine in that it’s an ok substitute. How wrong I was. In a blind taste test I’d never be able to tell that there is a difference at all. To me it was easy to drink….a little too easy. I was soon on a lovely second glass! It needs to be pointed out that its 10% vol alcohol wine so similar to usual wines. Again a fact I was surprised by.

Where can I buy it?

Currently its available to order on the website.

You can also find out more about the wine on the website too.