Dear Bed… Wish you were here!

Dear Bed…

Are you like us? with six out of ten families in Britain that miss their beds while away on holiday. This is according to a survey by leading bedding company Silent Night, which looked into what made a dream holiday for UK consumers.

Peace and home comforts are top of the list, with 52% of British holidaymakers just wanting rest and relaxation above everything else. 41% of respondents listed a good night’s sleep as a key criteria for a dream holiday, with 75% of respondents saying that fluffy pillows and duvets were more important than a balcony or mini bar in the hotel room.

Yes that is me, I’m such a light sleeper that I very rarely get a full nights sleep away from home. Added to the fact that I have a memory foam mattress at home and I’m just not used to a conventional mattress anymore. This all equals a pretty crabby Mum Dragon who is always pleased to be back in her own bed.

beds on holiday

This doesn’t mean I don’t like holidays, I love to go away. I have been luck enough to have visited some pretty dreamy destinations. Florida is a favourite and I would love to go back. We might have to start saving as the boy has his sights set on a Caribbean cruise. I have also been entering competitions to win holidays, like the one being offered by Silent Night in their “Win the holiday of your dreams competition”.

florida bed 

Sadly only 11% of Brits are confident that they will get to visit all their dream holiday destinations. So I guess I am an exception that I have managed to visit several of my dream destinations. Silent Night want you to have the chance to visit your dream destination with their holiday of your dreams competition, you can find details of how to enter here. They have also given one of my readers the chance to win a prize of a double duvet and pillows, by entering via the gleam app below.
PB0987__spring_into_summer_pillows (3)

Silent Night bedding

The Silent Night Dream Holiday survey was carried out with a database of 1000 UK adults to launch its Dream Holiday promotion which offers consumers the chance to win a Dream Holiday, as well as lots of other prizes. OnePoll carried out the research.
Disclaimer I was asked to help promote the Silent Night Giveaway by running this competition.

Terms & Conditions:

The giveaway is open to the UK only

  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Sunday 4th September 2016
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky

 

Batman Edition Rory’s Story Cubes – Review

Batman Edition of Rory’s Story Cubes are a great new edition to the range. Rory’s Story cubes were the first game we ever reviewed so will always have a place in our family. Suitable for one or more players, aged 6+ RRP £11.99.

The Batman edition was an instant hit, and perfect for a little in pocket game, on a family holiday or a day out. The boy wanted to try out the Batman Edition as soon as he saw the delivery arrive. There is minimal packaging and no rules as such. The idea is simple, just throw the dice and make a story with the facing pictures. There is a leaflet with descriptions of the dice illustrations, but as with all the Rory’s Story cubes its all about making up an exciting story.

batman edition

The box contains 9 pictured dice with a neat plastic case to keep them in. We found you can easily play with your Batman edition dice in the car as you can shake and replace in the case. Mixing the Batman dice in with other editions means there are endless story possibilities. The simplest ideas are often the most fun, and I even young children would enjoy making their own games up using the Batman dice.

batman edition story cubes

I love that the boy had different ideas of how to fit the dice illustrations into his action packed Batman inspired story. You don’t have to be a fan of Batman to enjoy making up stories. The boy enjoyed making up the names for the villains, and we all had a laugh making up stories. The Batman Edition is the perfect way to improve vocabulary even in the most reluctant reader or storyteller.

batman edition cubes

We loved this edition of Rory’s Story Cubes, and think it will be a great addition to the range available on their website. Have a look for the new Moomin edition too, perfect for fairy-tale stories.

For your chance to win these Batman edition Rory’s story cubes enter below with Gleam.
Batman edition Rory’s Story Cubes

 

Disclaimer were sent this product in return for an honest review.

Terms & Conditions:

The giveaway is open to the UK only

  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Monday 12th September 2016
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

 

The Wedding – What if? – Review

The Wedding is Number 16 in the series of What If puzzles. This 1,000 piece puzzle is available from Ravensburger for RRP £11.99.

The weeding is a fun illustrative puzzle where the picture on the box is not the finished puzzle picture. Some of the elements remain the same but others change and until the puzzle is finished you wont see the full picture. This is the second What if? puzzle that I have completed and I do find them more of a challenge than a standard picture puzzle. The boy likes these puzzles too as he likes the sense of humour and spends time spotting all the jokes.

wedding

The wedding as you might have guessed shows a wedding party, but not as the bride had hoped. The puzzle picture is what might happen if the groom was in charge of sorting out the wedding reception. I found this puzzle tricky to complete and took me a little longer than I normally would spend on a 1,000 piece Ravensburger puzzle. The picture is bright and engaging and despite not having a full picture to work from was not hard to complete.

the wedding what if

I started with the edges, followed by the block colours. The speech bubbles are also easy to pick out, and from then on you have an idea of where the picture is going. The finished picture has some funny touches, but I wont spoil it for you by showing you the completed puzzle as you will have to try it for yourself. I think this puzzle would make a fun gift for a friend who is getting married, or simply if you like a puzzle that is a little more challenging.

Ravensburger puzzles are available from toy and game retailers as well as online from Amazon and other online sites.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Days Edinburgh – Review

Happy Days Edinburgh is a great illustrative puzzle from Ravensburger which is part of a series of puzzle with a retro feel. This 1,000 piece puzzle is available from retailers and online from Amazon, RRP £11.99 suited to ages 10+.

This is the second puzzle I have completed in the Happy Days series from Ravensburger. Happy Days Tenby is one of my favourites so I was looking forward to the bright inviting illustration of this puzzle. This puzzle depicts Edinburgh town and is the 12th puzzle in the series. Happy Days Edinburgh is illustrated by Kevin Walsh, a well-known artist of historic and retro prints The illustration for this puzzle has a lovely nostalgic feel, and with bright colours which made it great to complete.

Happy Days Edinburgh

I found this puzzle easy to complete as there are plenty of starting points. Starting with the edges. I then picked out the red of the cars and the yellow and blue of the little girls dress. The figures were easy to pick out too. The bus signs and flags next ant then the background and road were soon filled. The boy helped with this puzzle and enjoyed the little details on the bus and van.

happy days puzzle

I have not had the chance to visit Edinburgh, and this puzzle certainly gave me a feel for the city. With the hustle and bustle and classic kilts which you would expect. I love the Illustrative details on Happy Days Edinburgh and am looking forward to doing some of the other puzzles in this series soon. I had no problem completing this puzzle in around 4/5 hours, and as the boy joined in a little less. If the family join me for a puzzle I know its a good one, giving Happy Days Edinburgh the thumbs up!

happy days edinburgh puzzle

You can click on my Amazon link below for the best price on the Happy Days Edinburgh Puzzle. Visit the Ravensburger website for details of this and other puzzles in the Happy Days series.

 

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review.

 

Friendship Bracelets from My Style – Review

Friendship Bracelets from My Style are great kits with everything you need to make 10 projects and are available from the InterplayUK website for RRP £7.99.

The boy and lots of his mates love to make friendship bracelets so I knew this kit would be suited to a boy as well as girls. The kit contains nine different coloured cords, safety pins suction cup and instructions to make 10 projects. I love the box too which keeps your friendship bracelets safe and is easy to open.

friendship bracelets

The instructions are easy to follow, and once you have learnt the basic forward and backward knots, you are encouraged to make more complex pattered friendship bracelets. The boy chose his favourite colours from the supplied cords and decided on a v chevron pattern. Using a safety-pin to hold your project tight is a great idea. The pins supplied are small and we found a larger pin was easier and less bendy when pulled tight. You can alternatively use the sucker on a shiny surface to hold your bracelet.

friendship bracelets chevron

We found the Chinese knotting thread in this kit is bright, but does have a tendency to slip when you first start. There was some patience needed to get an even pattern as your bracelet is made. There is plenty of cord in the kit to make bracelets of all length’s and a handy ruler printed across the top of each instruction page means that all you will need is scissors.

friendship braelets finished

The finished bracelet is very effective and makes a great gift for friends and family. Once you are confident with each style of the friendship bracelets you can add beads and even charms. The boy loved the finished friendship bracelet in purple blue and black, his favourite colours. The addition of a silver cord makes for a fun and different bracelet.

I can see us making a few of these friendship bracelets as gifts as they are so easy to finish and look great. For more great My Style Craft kits have a look at the website of follow them on social media.

Disclaimer we were sent this kit in return for an honest review.

 

Wyke Farms Cheesy scones

Wyke Farms are celebrating a whole host of awards including being the first dairy in the UK to be awarded a triple Carbon Trust Standard for carbon, water and waste. Knowing that Wyke Farms are doing their bit for our planet somehow makes their cheese and butter even tastier (if that is possible).

Wyke Farms have 150 years of family farming experience. Wyke Farms’ cheese and butter is made with the milk from their cows grazing the lush pastures of the Mendip Hills in the centre of the Cheddar making region in Somerset.

I decided that I would try out a simple Cheese scone recipe with my Wyke farm cheese and butter. For this recipe you will need: 225g self raising flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 25g butter, 150ml milk, 30g Wyke Farms strong cheese.

wyke farm

Preheat the oven to 220 c, and sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Next lightly rub the butter into the flour to form breadcrumbs. mix in the Wykes Farm cheese, and then combine with the milk to make a dough. the less you tough the mixture the lighter your scones will be so I mix in with a knife, and try not to handle the dough too much. Then its time to press out the mixture, and cut out your shapes. Place on a baking sheet, and either glaze with milk of beaten egg.

wyke farm scones

Cook at the top of the oven for 15/18 minutes until risen and lightly coloured. Cool on a wire rack. We enjoyed ours warm from the oven with lashings of Wyke farm butter, and some carrot chutney. Wyke farm cheese and butter is available from the dairy section of your supermarket. We love Wyke farm cheese, and hope that the farm continue their success in the coming year.

wyke farm cheese

Disclaimer, we were sent a range of Wyke farm products to try, the words remain our own and have not been altered.

Confessions of a Summer Parent

Confessions of a summer parent, yes we have all been there! The moment when a game of hide and seek turns into Mum sneaking off for hidden bar of chocolate, or is that just me?

I start off in week one of the summer holidays fresh, ready to tackle the world. With my weekly planner, a mixture of days booked, and exciting activities planned. Baking, working together, meeting friends. You know the kind of things.

Week two we have started to get into the bad habits of late nights, irregular meal times and too much screen time. The boy wants to spend his days on the computer, yes its minecraft. Things not quite going to plan, and lack of summer sunshine never helps.

confessions

By week three, and you can throw the planner out of the window. Mornings are spent with long lazy lie ins, and afternoons gardening, cleaning and catching up around the house. While the boy spends too much time on computers and tv, I try to tempt him away.

Week four and its time for a change. We like to go away, and Dad dragon has booked a week off. I however have a confession and haven’t managed to find anywhere reasonable priced to stay! Whoops. Resulting in a grumpy husband and a staycation. I quickly get my thinking cap on and prey for good weather, the odd ice cream and trip to the beach, I manage to save the week.

confessions pictures

Entering week five and already the panic has set in. Do the shoes fit? Wjat happened to your PE kit? Is it still at school? Where can we get those bits of uniform? Ah yes I had forgotten all your school trousers have holes! So its time to get the iron out and the name labels on order.

By week six we are on the home straight, and this is where my confessions of hidden chocolate come in. The boy however has sussed out my hiding places and can hear the crinkly sound of an opening wrapper. Like lightning he can intercept me, with a well placed “where’s mine?” and before we blink its the new school year.

confessions summer

I love the summer holidays, the best days are the ones that are unplanned. The days where we get on our bikes and see where the wind takes us. As a family doing silly things and often free activities are the ones, which have the fondest place in our memories. I am lucky, I get to spent the whole summer with my boy, there are good and bad days, but when he goes back to the school routine, there is a big gap. He is already going into his last year of primary school, so my summers are running out. I had best get the planner out and hiding the chocolate ready for summer 2016.

This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor

Ravensburger 3D puzzles – Review

Ravensburger 3D puzzles have a great range. Everything from castles to minions, and also light up night edition models like the Chrysler Building.

The Chrysler Building is just one of a new range of Ravensburger 3D puzzles that light up. The puzzle contains 216 pieces, standing 48cm tall when complete RRP £24.99. The boy was very keen to help me complete this puzzle. We chose to use the numbered pieces rather than completing using the patterned side. Starting at the bottom we built the puzzle up using the clear inserts. I will admit this was a little fiddly. You will need some patience to complete this model.

ravensburger 3d puzzle night edition

 

Once complete and with the addition of 3 AAA batteries, this Ravensburger 3D puzzle lights up in ever-changing colours. The shape is very authentic to the Chrysler building in new York. With lights shining up from the base this model was fun, and great to look at when complete.

 

The Empire State building is also available as a Ravensburger 3D night-time edition. The puzzle contains 216 pieces, requires 3 AAA batteries (not included) finished height 48.5cm RRP £24.99. The Empire state building was our favourite of these puzzles.

ravensburger 3d puzzle

There was so much detail to look at on the completed model. With 5 different light effects that scroll through. This model is almost as good as the real thing! Fitting some of the flooring and clear pieces again takes some patience, but it is worth it when finished.

Finally we completed the final New York Landmark the Statue of Liberty. This Ravensburger 3D model has 108 pieces, is 37.5cm tall when complete RRP £19.99. The Statue of liberty has great detail and was we were a little disappointed that there were not more pieces. The base of the model is made up from the puzzle pieces.  The statue comes in a few pieces, but it would have been nice to have a few more.

ravensburger puzzles

The models still has some great features and when complete, looks very authentic. The clever way that Ravensburger 3D puzzles fit together allow some complex shapes and a great finish.

We have enjoyed our Ravensburger 3D puzzles, especially the night editions, as these would be perfect on display for any fan of New York City!

Disclaimer, we were sent these puzzles in return for an honest review.

Enjoy Water Challenge

We have been challenged by Robinsons and BritMums to find ways to keep hydrated as a family and enjoy water. With two out of three parents saying they don’t know how much water their children should be drinking each day. I don’t feel alone in saying that this challenge needed to start with me!

The boy drinks lots of water when he does sports. Getting him to enjoy water on other days it is like asking him to chop a leg off. I bought him a large one litre sports bottle which he takes to school and day trips. Its huge and takes up so much room in his bag. It’s great for his fencing competitions, when he needs to keep hydrated, not so good on a day out.

enjoy water

Robinsons have launched the “Enjoy Drinking More Water” campaign to help families like ours enjoy water. With a range of Squash’d flavours they hope to encourage families to fruit up their water. This idea has proved a hit with the boy who loves these little squeezy bottles.They have great fruity flavours too with Orange and peach, summer fruit and my favourite pink grapefruit. The best part is they have no added sugar, and we adults rather like them too!

So over the last couple of weeks we have been keeping a chart of our water intake. The boy has loved adding fruity stickers to his chart and trying to increase how much he drinks each day. Robinson’s Squash’d bottles have been taken to Dad dragons work, for him to try. I have been drinking more at home, and the boy loves watching the water change colour as he adds a dash of Squash’d. This has helped us to enjoy water and drink twice as much as we did before.

enjoy water more

I think the important part of drinking more is to get involved as a family. Don’t nag! that never goes down well. So having a bottle of water on a desk or next to a chair means it’s always to hand. Pop a bottle or Robinsons Squash’d in your bag to liven up the dull bottles of water, and finally get outside and have fun.

This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons

Love the Sales

Love the sales is a website for people who love a bargain, or like me who don’t buy clothes unless they are on sale! I never seem to have the time to spend money on my clothes so tend to pick up bits and pieces as I see them. I was interested to find out more about the Love the Sales website, and see if I could find something in the Vera Moda Sale.

Using the website is easy, you don’t need an account and it isn’t a shop, you simply register an email, then fill in as much information or as little as you like. You can add your favourite labels and stores, with not just clothes but home and garden and pretty much everything in between. I thought about getting the boy something new, but he has more clothes than he wears, so instead thought I would treat myself.

love the sales

Love the Sales was easy to use, and I soon found my way around, with some great bargains to be had. I live in Jeans so first stop was a new pair of dark denim skinnies. Love the Sales allows you to search for colours, sizes, labels so you only see the items that are available currently. I quickly found the right size and decided to choose some summer tops to complement my new trousers.

vera modea love the sales

I chose a tunic sleeveless top with a high neck because I liked the pattern. A floaty summer tunic, plain green top and a rather nice cotton jumper for the chilly evenings. Because each item was on sale the total value of my clothing should have been £126.00 but cost just £58.00 saving me over 50%. Love the sales are not a shop so for each item you are redirected to order from a high street store or online retailer. Postage may be extra dependant on the store or collection options, but even taking this into account saving over 50% of the retail price is enough for me to keep my eyes peeled for more Love the Sales Bargains.

Via lovethesales