Saturday, 26 September 2015

Gross Magic Set **REVIEW** and GIVEAWAY!

Are you looking for a gift this Christmas that is sure to keep any child entertained? Then look no further than the Gross Magic set! The Gross magic set is full to bursting with truly outrageous gags and tricks that plumb new depths when it comes to horrendously bad taste yet fantastically gross magic!

Your children will soon be expertly slipping from revolting tricks to stomach turning gags with the help of the Gross Magic set. The set comes with instructions on how to complete the tricks which are clear and easy to read. Some tricks did require more practice than others.

The Gross Magic set is definitely great value for money and is full to the brim with props and other gross items to aid in your gross trickery! The set contains enough products to complete over 40 tricks. Intriegued what is inside? Think slime, poo, cockroaches and eyeballs and your half way there, although there are many many more as you can see from the picture. Of course what Gross Magic set would be complete without a few bogie tricks and this set definitely has several of those!

Over all James really enjoyed the Gross Magic set. Whilst the set is aimed at ages 8+ James is only 6 but still thoroughly enjoyed playing. Some of the tricks did require some practice but I think this would be the case for an 8 year old too. James found it hilarious to scare his Nanny with the fake cockroaches and amaze his Grampy by making poo stained loo roll clean again!

I think this set is great value for money and is a fab way to inexpensively get children intrigued and laughing at the intrigue of magic. I am certain this will be a set that will be brought out time and time again especially when friends come over.

The Gross Magic set is priced at £19.99 and is aimed at children aged 8+. To find a stockist visit the Drumond Park website.

Do you know someone who would love the Gross Magic set? Then why not enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only. Winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter and then emailed via the email address provided during entry. Winner will need to reply within 28 days or another winner will be randomly selected from the correct entrants. Prize will be provided via company. 

**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 

All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

My reality of being a stay at home parent.

Before I start I would just like to say this isn't a post about bashing a person about the way they parent. It isn't a post about which way is best it is just my thoughts as a stay at home mum! As mums we all make decisions that are best for our families at the time whether it be staying at home or going to work.

From the outside it may look like I have it pretty good. My husband goes off to work whilst I get to stay home and look after the kids.

I have all that precious time with my babies and don't get my wrong I feel so truly blessed to be able to have that time and that connection with them. However its not all days at the park and sunshine, sometimes I feel totally lost in my world of being "mum". My days are often ruled my meal times, nap times, tantrums and school runs and whilst it is extremely rewarding it can be lonely sometimes too.

I miss the conversation with actual adults, now don't get me wrong I do see other adults, I have conversations with other adults. However these are usual "play dates" with our children and our conversations are more rants about how little sleep we have had as we try and dislodge our child from the ball pit they have become stuck in at the soft play, or a half-hearted conversation which can barely be heard over the screams of your over tired, possibly hungry child.

I am also always wondering whether I am doing a good enough job! This may sound silly but at work if your doing well or not so well you get told and you know about it, you can put it right and get back on track. However being a stay at home mum means I don't really have that reassurance which certainly makes way for the insecurity and doubt in my parenting abilities. Sometimes I just want someone to tell me im doing OK or my children are right on track.

Being a stay at home mum can be lonely! Whilst I am sure people have visions of us stay at home mums visiting parks and soft plays in large groups all having a coffee and a get together that's really not very realistic, well for me anyway. In the early days I spent most of my days in the house, alone and counting down the hours til my husband got home from work just for a bit of company.

Of course don't get me wrong I adore being able to be at home with my children, watching them hit their milestones and being able to watch them grow and I am extremely grateful for that, it can be and really is so rewarding. I have met some fantastic other mummy friends and if I could give anyone one bit of advice it would be to push yourself to get out to baby groups/ parenting meet ups etc, you will be surprised at how much better you can feel talking to other mums and realising you are not alone in how you feel.

I just want people to realise its not always as good as what it may seem. Being a stay at home mum can be a lonely, daunting and stressful job too!.

Are you a stay at home mum? Do you have any tips for other mums?


Monday, 21 September 2015

Fisher-Price Princess Walker **REVIEW**

Evelyn finally reached that big milestone of walking a little over a month ago and whilst she is still a little wobbly she loves to walk everywhere. Now she is on the move she loves pushing things along and taking her teddies on walks is great as it seems to steady her much more and gives her lots of confidence.

So when we were given the chance to try out the new Fisher-Price Princess Walker we jumped at the chance as I knew Evelyn would love it, and I wasn't wrong.

The princess walker is perfect if your child is learning to walk right up until they are confidently walking, the wide, sturdy base and easy grasp handle are just right for little toddlers. As I mentioned above Evelyn is already walking but this is still helping her grow in confidence, speed and stability.

The Fisher-Price princess walker is great for developing motor skills and also encouraging role play scenarios. Evelyn is a huge fan of this baby walker and she loves pushing around her dolls and teddies around in it.

The princess walker also has the added feature of music and lights! With a simple press of the heart shaped wand at the top it rewards your toddler with magical sounds and lights along the top of the walker. Evelyn loves this added edition and happily bops her head and wiggles along to the music as she strolls along. To run the music the walker requires 3 AA batteries which are not included and has 3 settings - off, on quiet and on loud.

We are giving the Fisher-Price princess walker a huge thumbs up! This has been one of Evelyn's favourite toys since it came out of the box. It seems to be really well made, strong, sturdy and built to last as with all Fisher-Price products we have tried. Evelyn has pushed this indoors and outdoors on all different surfaces and it still looks as good as new.

The Fisher-Price princess walker is suitable for ages 9 months + and is priced at £34.99. The Fisher-Price princess doll which you can see in the pictures above can be purchased separately and is priced at £9.99. Stockists include Smyths, Toys R Us, Argos and Amazon.

If you want to know more about either product of more products from the range you can visit the Fisher-Price website here -


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Monday, 14 September 2015

August Degustabox **REVIEW**

If you like the idea of a range of food and drink items being delivered to your door each month for a amazingly low price then Degustabox could be for you!!

Degustabox is a monthly food/drink subscription box which is delivered to your door each month for the monthly cost of £12.99. Each month the box will contain between 9 and 14 items which will be a mix of food and drink, sweet and savoury and guarenteed excitement as your rumage through your box to discover your goodies.

Here is what we received inside our August Degustabox.

Dr Oetker Mug Cakes

The Dr Oetker mug cakes where the first thing I pulled out of the box and my face lit up! We were sent the 3 flavours available which are chocolate, chocolate chip and lemon and I can confirm all are delicious! These mug cakes are perfect for creating a sweet indulgent pudding in under 2 minutes, you only need to add milk and pop in to microwave! These are perfect to have in the cupboards for when you need a quick sweet/cake fix.


There are very often different brands of coconut water inside the Degustabox which is great if you like coconut water, however I do not so these often get wasted unfortunately. Its not really a big issue for me though as its only 1 product in the box and would be a great addition for anyone who does enjoy such products.


In this months box we received 2 products from the Barilla range an Arriabbiata tomato and chilli sauce and the Barilla penne rigata pasta. The Arriabbiata sauce is a delicious blend of spicy chilli's and 100% authentic Italian tomatoes. The Penne rigata is made in Italy with carefully selected durum wheat and the shape is inspired by the shape of an old style pen. I loved that they included these 2 products in the same box as you can use these 2 products to create a delicious meal!

Walkers biscuits

Walkers is a brand I hadn't heard of when it comes to biscuits so I was excited to try these when I discovered them in the box this month. I received the chocolate chip, lemon and fruit and oaty biscuits, each flavour came in a cute pack of 2 biscuits. I can confirm that they all tasted great and as the packs come individually wrapped packs of 2 these would be perfect for lunch boxes and picnics etc.

Bahlsen biscuits

You just can't go wrong with chocolate biscuits! The Pick ME Up biscuit bars have a delicious crunchy outer biscuit with a solid chocolate centre which put together make a chocolate delight, a must try. I hadn't heard of the Leibniz biscuits before but I can confirm they get a huge thumbs up. Whats not to love about a chocolate biscuit generously coated in creamy white chocolate.

Delicious Alchemy Oaty cookie mix

I was thrilled to see that Degustabox were including a Gluten Free item in their box this month, whilst I am not Gluten Free it just shows the diversity of products available in the Degustabox for me! I made these cookies which were extremely easy to make with my son on the weekend and they were delicious! A crisp outside with a soft/chewy middle.


If you think "Diet food" when I say Ryvita then think again. Ryvita have recently had a major overhaul and whilst doing this have added a wide range of different flavours. I found these to be perfect to grab for a quick lunch topped with simple ingredients like cream cheese and tomato make a delicious filling lunch. I also found them perfect for a lighter option for dipping in to soup!

I love how Degustabox gives me the opportunity to try new and existing brands that I may have not tried before. I also love how the box isn't contained to 1 type of item and contains a real mix each month.

If you fancy trying Degustabox for yourself you can use the code - XP1PP to receive £3 off your first box making it under £10!

You can also find degustabox via one of their social media pages or there website here - - Website - Facebook - Twitter


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Exante Diet, Shakes **REVIEW**

Before having kids my weight wasn't something that really bothered me, ok so I was curvy but I was happy with my weight. However since having James and Evelyn I have put on some weight and its something I am definitely not happy with.

I have tried a few "healthy eating" type at home plans but I am so weak when it comes to temptation, I felt like I needed a bit of a kick start to my diet to see some results a little quicker to give me that boost and kick up the bum to stick with a diet.

So when the lovely people at Exante offered me some of their shakes to try I thought this could be the kickstart I needed and I excitedly awaited my delivery.

Exante is the UK's number 1 online meal replacement diet and is cost effective too, with meals starting at just 63p each it really can be accessible to everyone! Exante also has the biggest online range of products including lots of vegetarian options and with FREE next day delivery there really is no reason not to give it a go if you are thinking of losing weight!

I received a fantastic selection of shakes which included the flavours -

- Chocolate Mint
- Vanilla
- Orange and Pineapple
- Chocolate 
- Lemon and Raspberry
- strawberry
- cherries and berries
- Banana
- Creamy Coconut 
- Blueberry
- tropical

But if none of the flavours above take your fancy there are even more flavours available on the Exante website!

I was a bit apprehensive about using the shakes at first and wasn't holding out much hope for the flavour/texture as lets face it these are a powder mixed with water, however I was pleasantly surprised! One thing I will say is you really need a blender of some sort to make these shakes as without they are a little lumpy and don't seem to mix together properly. Made with the whisk the shakes thicken up quite a bit and have a real hit of flavour.

My favourite shakes have to be the chocolate (of course what girl doesn't love a chocolate shake on a diet!?) and the Lemon and Raspberry. I know this sounds obvious but the chocolate shake really tastes like chocolate which really surprised me for a diet shake. The Lemon and Raspberry is a must try as it has the punch of lemon and the sweetness of the raspberry which made for a delicious shake especially if you have a sweet tooth!

Exante don't just do shakes they also sell diet meals, diet soups and diet bars all to help in your weight loss journey. You can also buy Diet Packs which contain everything you need to follow the Exante diet for a set period of time which is a fantastic no fuss option. Exante even give you the option of a "pick your own" diet pack so you can choose what is included meaning you can make sure that it only contains things you like or like the sound of!

Over all I am giving the Exante shakes a thumbs up. It was tough the first few days as I used these for breakfast and lunch and it was hard not having any actual food to eat but my body soon got used to it and I enjoyed picking out my flavours for the following day.

I didn't follow the whole Exante plan as I only had the shakes to try but I would definitely consider trying more of the products in the future and following the diet plan more strictly as I think this could be the real boost and kick start I need to get my weight loss journey going.

So if you are looking to loose weight what are you waiting for? Check out the Exante website here -


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Thomas & Friends - My First Rail Rollers Spiral Station **REVIEW**

Now that Evelyn has turned 1 and is now on the move we have had a big overhaul of her toys and its been out with the "baby" toys and in with the noisy, musical, light up, stand up toddler toys which has been met with shrieks of excitement from Evelyn!

One new toy Evelyn has been trying out is the Thomas and Friends - My first rail rollers spiral station.

This rail rollers spiral station allows children to drop their favourite engines into the top of Tidmouth sheds and watch them zoom down the spiral tracks. As they speed past the track signs which spins as the rail rollers hit it they then reach the bottom and are greeted by the fat controller who guides them into the clear lift tube to start the journey over again!

The track comes in several pieces which are really easy to put together and are just clicked in to place. I also liked the fact this toy doesn't require any batteries or fiddly bits to assemble so you don't have to worry about the batteries running out or replacing them etc.

Evelyn loves watching the rail rollers speed down the track and even her brother who is 5 has been having lots of fun racing them down the track with his little sister. The rail rollers are a good size perfect for little hands and can be easily gripped, Evelyn is able to pick them up unaided. She did struggle to master the lift handle at first but once we had shown her a few times she had it masters and was soon whizzing the rail rollers up and down the engine lift.

There are several ways the rail rollers can get around they can either spin around the track, drop down the centre (there a windows on the side so you can see it traveling down) or they can go up and down in the lift.

The Thomas and Friends - My first rail rollers spiral station makes a fantastic toddler toy as the bright colours are eye catching and the chunky parts and ease of use make it easy for toddlers to handle and master by themselves.

We would definitely give the Rail rollers spiral station a big thumbs up as it definitely kept Evelyn (and her big brother) entertained and both were giggling and encouraging their rollers as they watching the rail rollers whizz down the track. It feels sturdy, strong and built to last which is a must with toddler toys especially.

The Thomas and Friends - My first rail rollers spiral station is aimed at children 12 months + and is priced at £32.99. The set comes with two rail rollers (Thomas and a diesel engine) although more rail rollers can be brought separately. It is available to purchase from many stores and online include Argos.

Check out the range over at the Fisher Price website here -


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Partylite Candles **REVIEW**

I love candles!

I love the atmosphere they give, the smell, the soft glow and the flickering flame. I adore how they can create a cosy feeling, a romantic atmosphere or just generally make the house smell beautiful and all from a few simple candles!

So when I was recently contacted by a lovely lady at Partylite and offered some of the candles to try out I jumped at the chance and eagerly awaited their arrival. 

The candles arrived quickly and very well packaged snuggled safely inside a box full of packing beans to avoid any damage. 

I received 3 different types of candle to try and here is what I thought of each of them. 

The first set of candles I tried was this trio of candles from the Forbidden Fantasy range. Seduce, Desire and Tempt are the scents in these candles and you can sample all three new black Forbidden Fantasy fragrances with this trio. These looked great on my fire place and they glow with a lovely soft flickering flame. The smell isn't to over over powering either. They have a burn time of 35-45 hours each and the beautiful simple glass votives can be used again and again! 

The next candle I tried was the Partylite wild strawberry Escentials jar which smelt amazing before I had even taken it out of the box! Even just using one candle the smell was fantastic and really filled the room with a sweet, fruity strawberry smell. The candle works best if you let it burn for a while (until the wax has liquefied to the edges). It has a burn time of 40-60 hours. 

The final candle I tried was the Natures light scented jar. I have to admit that I wasn't sure about this candle at first as I had never tried a wooden wick candle before and I wasn't sure how it would smell once burning. However this quickly became my favourite candle! The wooden wick glows with a low wide flame and crackles just like a real log burning fire! A few of these on a fireplace or mantle if you don't have a fire would be amazing for creating a simple yet cosy effect. The Tamboti Safari™ scent we tried is an alluring blend of herbs and citrus enhanced with amber, cedarwood, musk and spice. It has a burn time of 40-60 hours. 

Since trying these candles I have to say I am such a fan of Partylite! The candles smelt amazing with a smell that really lasts long after the candle has been blown out. The glass jars they are in are sturdy, strong and classic which can be used time and time again even when your candle is all finished.

You can check out these candles and so many more via the Partylite website here -


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Starting Year 1!

Last week James went back to school after the 6 week summer holidays but this time he was heading into Year 1, no longer part of reception, in fact it was 1 year today that he started school for the very first time.

As we headed through the school gates we saw all of the new children who would be starting reception and they all looked so small! I can't believe that was my James just last year, I still remember the nerves and emotions running wild but this year was slightly different.

Knowing just how much James loves being in school made heading back for the start of Year 1 much easier. I didn't have that emotional feeling I had before because I knew he was going to be so happy to be back with his friends. Of course I still had some nerves for him, it is a new teacher, new classroom and lots more work but I hope that he will take that all in his stride just as he did with reception year.

Here he is in Reception (left) and Year 1 (right) one year apart exactly -

James finished reception last year on such a high with an excellent report and excelling at lots of the criteria and subjects. He left with a flare for reading that certainly didn't leave during the summer holidays and a passion for learning.

My hopes for James this year are that he continues to enjoy school and makes lots of new friends. I hope that he continues his flare for reading and his passion for learning new things and always trying his hardest. When I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up he said he wants to be a policeman on a motorbike, it will be interesting to see how that changes through the years!

Did your little ones start school this week or head off in to a different school year?


Friday, 4 September 2015

Uggly's Pet store **REVIEW**

Ever since James tried out the Ugglys pet shop dirty dog wash van he has been hooked on the Ugglys pets! The gross sounds made and the unique looking characters that always make him smile (You can see our review for that HERE). So when we were given the opportunity for James to try out the Ugglys pet shop I knew it would be a big hit!

Upon receiving the Ugglys pet shop it does appear that the pet shop consists of 4 compartments however 2 of these are fake and made of cardboard, so are to be discarded with the rest of the box and so what you are left with is actually 1 pet home and the entrance compartment for your pet shop. One of these if fixed and the other can be moved around.

Just like the Ugglys wash van the pet shop homes also make gross noises when pressed down by the pets which did make James chuckle. The roof also makes gross sounds such as burping when pushed so the toy offers plenty of interaction. This set also came with a new exclusive character (Manic Monkey) to add to James collection which of course went down a treat.

Overall James thoroughly enjoyed this and has enjoyed playing with the 2 sets together so we will be definitely adding to our Ugglys pets collection. The colour's are bright and eye catching whilst the gross theme definitely runs through all products featuring pictures and sounds etc. We did feel the packaging was a little misleading but this didn't really effect James enthusiasm as he was so excited about playing with it. The Ugglys pet shop is priced at £12.99.

The toy is aimed at ages 5+ and James is 5 so seems to be the perfect age to enjoy the silliness and grossness of the Ugglys collection. The toy is not suitable for children under 36 months thoug due to chocking hazards!

To see more from the Ugglys pet shop range check out the Character toys website here -

Have your children tried out any of the Ugglys range? Do they have a favourite character?


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

DK Carol Vorderman Workbooks **REVIEW**

One of the things I always worry about during school holidays such as the summer holidays and the half term holidays is keeping James occupied and still eager and interested in learning. 

I am always looking for different things to keep him engaged with learning and his mind still ticking over even when not attending school, so when we came across the range of Carol Vorderman workbooks from DK I was excited to see how James would get on with them. 

Carol Vorderman is the number one bestselling children's education author* and is the author of the 10 Minutes A Day Spelling Fun and 10 Minutes A Day Vocabulary workbooks, newly released as part of the English Made Easy range published by DK. Carol Vorderman MA (Cantab) MBE, is one of Britain's best-loved TV presenters and is renowned for her skills in mathematics. She has hosted numerous shows from light entertainment with Carol Vorderman's Better Homes and The Pride of Britain Awards, to scientific programmes such as Tomorrow's World, on the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. Whether co-hosting Channel 4's Countdown for 26 years, or advising Rt. Hon David Cameron on the future of UK mathematics education, Carol has a passion and devotion to explaining educational subjects in an exciting and easily understandable way.

As James is 5 we received the books aimed at his age range which were - 

- 10 Minutes A Day Spelling Fun (ages 5-7) (DK, £5.99)
- Made Easy Spelling Punctuation and Grammar (ages 5-7) (DK, £3.99)
- 10 Minutes A Day Maths (ages 5-7) (DK, £5.99)

There are also workbooks available for ages 7-11 if you have slightly older children! 

One thing that is unique about these books is that they feature a timer! I love this added feature and it certainly got James interested too. The timer is easy to use with a simple start and stop button so even children can activate it themselves. The idea is to set the timer as the child begins and they simple complete 10 minutes of the workbook each time. The timer is automatically set and once 10 minutes is reached it will beep to let you know.  

James has quite a short attention span, as I am sure most 5 year old's do! So getting him to sit down and capture his imagination can be quite challenging but these books certainly did just that, he was actually asking to do some more each evening! Each page is set out spaciously and easy to read with eye catching colours and tasks meaning they really grab you in the to page and grab children imagination and attention. 

These workbooks fully support the new National Curriculum at Key Stage 1 and 2, and are designed to help your child with schoolwork and home practice in a fun and engaging way. 

We have started doing 10 minutes of spelling and 10 minutes of maths a night and James hasn't moaned once as its only 10 minutes it doesn't take to long or seem like to much work even though he seems to be learning so much through just 10 minutes a night, and most importantly he seems to be having fun whilst learning! 

Parents don't worry, if there are any questions you are not 100% sure on then all of the answers are at the back of the book so you can check all of the answers are correct! Some of the books even come with little gold stars for younger ones which you can stick on the page (or give to them) when they complete tasks or pages. 

To find out more about 10 Minutes A Day Spelling Fun and 10 Minutes A Day Vocabulary and further education titles by Carol Vorderman, visit

Do your children like doing workbooks? 


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **