Chilean Easy Peelers – Review

Chilean easy peelers are a great fun snack and one my whole family love. They remind me of dark winter evenings. I used to spend my weekends at my Nan’s curled up on the sofa with a little orange which she used to peel for me and watching the A team.

I started popping little oranges in my sons lunch box when he started Junior school. They soon became a sign of Autumn and a way to make him smile when he was having a hard week. I like to draw silly faces on a Chilean easy peeler. Something silly and easily done with a marker pen. It was guaranteed to make some funny comment at the end of the day. I think his favourites were always pumpkins or a Santa face!

Now I use these little Chilean easy peelers for after school. They are such a quick snack especially for a midweek car journey. In our house they always come with a square of kitchen roll for wrapping up the skin. I love that Chilean easy peelers are high in fibre, vitamin C and 87% water. The perfect way to stay hydrated, or as a great on the go pudding. The boy says I am swearing when I mention the F word (Fruit) but as a mum I know these little oranges are a much better alternative to chocolate and biscuits.

“This post is an entry for the BritMums #ChileanEasyPeelers Challenge, sponsored by Chilean Citrus Committee.

 

 

Mysterium – review and giveaway

Mysterium is a game from Esdevium for 2 -7 players ages 10+ RRP £34.99

We have had Mysterium for some time now and I had been a little put off by the lengthy rules. The boy decided that we should give it a go as we have been playing lots of board games this week. Our favourite of the moment being Colt Express. I would suggest that you have a good read through the rules of Mysterium. Familiarise yourself with the set up and this will make the game much easier to play the first time.

Mysterium is not a traditional board based game and comes with a mixture of cards and standing elements. There is a great page to explain the set up but we found that setting a pretend game up was the best way to work out what each part is used for. Whilst our first time of setting up took some time, subsequent times it has been less than five minutes.

Mysterium is a co-operative game, so rather than battling against each other it is about the ghost and psychics working to help each other to discover the identity of the ghosts killer. There are two phases to the game the first you need to work out the different killers. The second you work out the poor departed persons murderer. Each part is good fun, and at first seemed complicated but as we discovered how each person thought the play became easier.

There are two roles in Mysterium, the Ghost the one player who can see who the potential killers are, where the event happened and the weapon. And the rest of the players are the Psychics trying to work out what happened. I can see some comparisons with Cludo, but I love Mysterium and have always disliked Cludo! I have no plans to write out every rule for Mysterium as the rule book covers that. I loved the additional rules for larger groups of seeing who is the better guesser. It is great that there are different levels of play too. We started on easy as the game suggests, and moved onto medium when we were confident we had all the rules correct.

For a more atmospheric game you can download a spooky soundtrack from the makers website, or simply just play at Halloween when its dark outside. I loved playing the ghost and not having to speak at all, teasing the psychics if their guesses were correct of not. It turns out that the boy thinks more along the lines which I do, with my clues to my killer and out of the half-dozen games we played over the weekend was usually the first to guess the correct answers to each part of the Mysterium puzzle.

As for winners, depending on the number of players you can all win. Finding the killer means the ghost is freed. I have to say we all took turns as ghosts and we all failed at some point! I would recommend Mysterium for family’s that love to play together. You can make it as spooky as you like and would be the perfect fun party game for Halloween.

Mysterium is available now from toy stores, use the handy store finder here.

For your chance to win this great family fun game enter via my gleam app below:

Mysterium

Disclaimer: we were sent this game in exchange for an honest review and have not been paid.

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 29th October 2017
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

Accentuate – Rainbow awards review

Accentuate is a game for 4+ players ages 16+ RRP £17.99. We were sent this game as part of the Rainbow Awards testing panel and have received no payment.

Accentuate is a team party game and I can remember when it was on Dragons Den! The box contains two sets of cards one has an accent and points and the other a film quote. there is a timer and also special pictorial dice.

Firstly you need to set up your teams and choose who will be the speaker. Team one then rolls the dice which gives you a special instruction such as swap, pass, play and all. Then a black film quotation card followed by a white Accent card. you then have till the end of the 30 second timer to say the quote as many times as you like in your version of the accent. Your team then have one chance to make a guess of the accent, film and year of release.

You score points from the card for the accent, 1 point for the film and 2 for the year. The winning team is the first one to 15 points or you can play to the amount that suits you. Accentuate is such a simple game to play and learn it would be perfect for a party. It was a bit tricky playing with just the three of us so I don’t feel we were able to have the full Accentuate experience. We will have to save that for the festive season.

Accentuate is available now from toy stores, online and via my affiliate link below

Disclaimer we were sent this game as part of the Rainbow Toy Awards testers panel for 2017, and have not been paid for this post.

King Pong – Review

King Pong is one of the latest games from Drumond Park. Suitable for 2-4 players ages 8+ RRP £24.99. 

The box contains everything you need to set up the King Pong game including 4 sets of 5 coloured balls and the base pyramid with trays. Set up is fairly straightforward, and you will need some space and a waist height table to enjoy playing King Pong. This is defiantly not a sitting down game!

 

I love the simplicity of the rules for King Pong meaning that once you have set up the game it is ready to go. choose how many players and which coloured ball you want to start with. Portions of the cube can be blocked off for 2 or 3 players. Using only one hand the idea is to bounce the balls through holes in the cube walls and into the other players trays.

Game play may be simple and this added to the fun and giggles. King Pong is a game I can see adults getting competitive over and kids just loving. It turns our that Dad Dragon was a bit to good for me, and the boy. The winner is the one to get rid of all their balls from the tray before the other players. We found a typical game lasted less than five minutes. The game is fast and furious and something that you need some space for as there were balls everywhere!

I am sure King Pong will be a great success over Christmas like previous Drumond Park games and I have one to give away to one of my readers. If you would like the chance to win King Pong to play with your family enter with my Gleam app below:

King Pong

King Pong is available now from toy shops online and from Amazon via my affiliate link below.

Disclaimer, we were asked to review this game and have not received payment for this 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 Sunday 22nd October 2017
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

Colt Express – Review

Colt Express is a Bandit Train game for 2-6 players aged 10+ RRP £27.99. This game is an award-winning board/card game with a bit of a difference.

We first reviewed Colt Express from Esdevium in November 2015. It is still a family favourite and one we have enjoyed revisiting now that we have a Monday night free to play games as a family. Play is fast and exciting and the boy is enjoying punching and shooting us off the train as much as he did before. Have a look and see what you think of this game which would make a great Christmas gift.

The box contains, 6 playing pieces and 6 sets of action cards. Marshal, Locomotive, 6 cartridges, 13 bullet cards, 17 story cards, 18 purses, 6 jewels, 2 strong boxes. Also assembly instructions game rules and 6 player profiles.

colt express

Colt Express sounded just the sort of game that my family would enjoy so I was interested to see what they would think to this different style of board game. The box looks fairly traditional but once you open it you will find that unlike other games it has no board. Instead you have to build the Colt Express train which will act as the playing platform for your pieces. There are 6 carriages, the Locomotive, as well as money, jems and even a few scene setting cacti. When you first set up this game it is worth noting that it will take some time and care freeing the pieces, to build the train cars. We found that if you tried to rush this process there was some damage to the playing pieces. The card is of very good quality, but it was almost impossible to avoid a few tears in the pieces. Assembly instructions are included and this took about half and hour to complete.

colt express board game - Copy

Once you have built the Colt Express Train it is worth having a good read through of the game rules. We decided to have a play through to get a feel for how the game worked and did find that the rules are quite complex. Once you have played a few times the rules become clearer and we found after two games we had worked out where we were going wrong. The basic idea of the game is to move your bandit playing piece around the carriages of the train using action cards, collecting as much money as you can. There is extra bounty to be earn’t for being sharpest shooter, and robbing the Marshal.

colt express game

You start the game buy choosing your bandit, each has a special power that comes into play when you get into the second part the “stealin’ phase” of the game. You set out the locomotive with the marshal and one of the strong boxes. You then need to add a carriage for each player. Each player has a set of 10 action cards, six bullet cards and a purse of $250 to start. Shuffle the 7 round cards and choose 4 to start your story as well as one end story card. Set up the train with the number of loot tokens indicated on each of the carriage floors. Choose a starting player and this person puts their bandit in the last carriage. Even numbered players go in the next carriage along, and odd numbers in the back. Now you are all set to start the first phase, the Schemin’.

colt express bandit game - Copy

Colt Express game play has two phases, Schemin’ and Stealin’ In phase one  you take it turn to lay action cards following the descriptions on the round cards. This is quite tricky to work out the first few times you play. There are additional rules, and this is the part where you have to concentrate on where you opponents end up!  Once all the cards are placed it is time for player one to read through the story in the “Stealin” phase. This is the fun part, as if you have “Schemed” correctly then you will be collecting the loot. Get it wrong and there is plenty of shooting into thin air! There are added events on some of the story cards meaning you need to think about where your bandit ends up at the end of a story too. At the end of the 5 parts to the story the Bandit with the most Loot, including shooting bonuses is declared the winner. In our case this was most often the boy, but I have managed to win back one game.

This is only a brief explanation of the game rules as there are additional play rules for experts, 2 player games and games with more players. Once we had mastered the basic play Colt Express has been a great way to spend a wet cold evening. It is a game that the boy feels he has no disadvantage with his age, with both an element of luck and mastery needed. The added special abilities of the bandits mean you tend to find a favourite player and stick to them. We had fun banning dad from his favourite player Ghost, or playing with players we hadn’t tried before. Colt Express is best played in a group of 3 or more and I can imagine is great fun in a bigger group, the age recommendation is about right as you need to have a good understanding of the complex rules and cause and effect each action card has on a player. There have been plenty of laughs as well with Colt Express as sometimes you have no option but to shoot or punch nothing, or even better being shot by the marshal and not ending up on the part of the train you thought. We even managed to persuade Granny to give it a try, and despite not really understanding fully what was happening, she said she could see it was good fun and something a bit different.

We have reviewed this game as part of the Bloggers Board Game Club #BoardGameClub

Colt Express is already winning awards, and we agree it is a great fun family game. Esdevium distribute this game in the uk, and you can find out more by visiting their Facebook and twitter pages. Colt Express is available to buy now from Waterstones, or Amazon. Have a look at my Amazon affiliate link below

 

Codenames – Review for Bloggers Board Game Club

Codenames is a game for 2 – 8 players aged 14+ RRP £16.99 and is the first game to be sent to us as part of the Bloggers Board Game Club.

As a family we like to spend time playing card and board games. It is the perfect way to reconnect as a family and learn and have fun at the same time. The Bloggers Board Game Club picked Codenames as our first family game. We started playing it when the boy finished for the summer and it has already become a favourite.

Codenames can be played as a party game but is ideally suited to playing with four people. Codenames is a secret agent word game, and although the instructions seemed lengthy at first it is simple and quick to play. As a family of 3 we discovered that we can play in a couple of different ways. With roles as Operatives and spymasters being changed over as we discovered who was best at the clues.

Codenames gameplay starts with the word cards being shuffled and laid out in a grid 5 x 5. A codename card is picked at random telling you which team will start as well as the location of the spy’s, bystanders and assassin. The object of the game is for the spymaster to give a one word clue to the location of their coloured spy’s without the operative finding their opponents spy’s or the assassin. Covering up each word card as it is guessed correctly until you find all your spy’s or the assassin who makes an instant looser. The gameplay is that simple and the rule book gives you examples of guesses and how to best use your clues. There are some firm rules, but you can play to your own rules too.

We loved playing Codenames and discovered that Dad Dragon found it much more difficult to think of the word clues. The boy had a great way of coming up with some alternative ways of thinking and ended up winner on more than one occasion. Codenames can be played in a short time so will be ideal as an addition to our train game list, although it does need some space to lay out the cards. Sometimes the simplest of games are the ones that are the most fun and we have enjoyed playing Codenames.

It has been a great way of looking at words and expanding vocabulary and connections of words. I would recommend Codenames to family’s that like a competitive game as well as those that don’t as you can play with just two players against an invisible opponent. I think you could also played codenames with younger children as the boy is only 12 and loved working out the word clues.

Codenames is available now from online retailers like Amazon, as well as your local store.

Disclaimer: we have been sent this game as part of the Bloggers Board Game Club with Esdevium Games and have not been paid for this review. #BoardGameClub

 

#TearsIntoSmiles with Elastoplast

The #TearsIntoSmiles campaign has challenged me to turn those tear filled moments into a happy ones.

I don’t think there is a household in the country that doesn’t have a selection of plasters. We have long been fond of the ones with fancy pictures, as somehow they seem to make things just a little bit better. I used to have to stock up in the USA on these fun additions to the medicine cabinet, with favourites like the lion king and winnie the pooh. Now there are lots to choose from and the Star wars ones are an instant hit.

When the boy has an accident I used to take on the strategy from his nursery which was to treat the wound with magic liquid (water) and then a big hug and a plaster. The boy was always ready to show off his Piglet or Eeyore. The boy loves to be outside, and his favourite at the moment is water pistol battles with his dad or friends. Bumps cuts and bruises are part of childhood and turning the #TearsIntoSmiles is a great way to make things better. I love the video from Elastoplast turning real tears into these miniature paintings.

Making sure that you get out and about in the fresh air is the best way for kids to learn about their surroundings and their limitations. The boy has had his fair share of bumps and scrapes. With a love of Fencing we now carry a first aid kit with us to every event. This kit will always contain a few plasters as well as cool packs and cream for bumps and bruises. I still use magic water, and you cant beat a big hug to make everything feel a little bit better.

This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

 

Getting Dressed Up with JD Williams – review

With the long weekends, come the spring and summer weddings. I had a wedding of some good friends to look forward to. With nothing to wear, JD Williams came to my rescue. I live in Jeans and tunic tops and was not sure where to start. JD Williams have a great selection of dresses with items from occasion wear to everyday.

I was very hopeful that I would find something suitable for a spring wedding. I started with a few searches in the JD Williams online store and found I could narrow down my search by colour, size, style and even occasion. I had wanted a mid length flare dress and had a shortlist of about three. One stood out and despite it being a label I was not familiar with, it kept drawing my attention. JD Williams did have brands I had heard of, and plenty of choice.

The Nightingales dress that I ordered was perfect, and I chose to add the matching shawl as you never know with British weather. I love the cotton content, and the fit was very good. JD Williams also have a large range of shoes, and many come in extra width sizes. The first pair that I chose were too big. It seems that maybe my feet are shrinking. The second pair fitted like a glove and I have been very impressed with the fit, and style. I chose flats as there is so much standing to be done at a wedding, not to mention the dancing.

I love my Nightingales dress from JD Williams, and am looking forward to taking it on holiday later this month. I think the fit is superb, and great quality for the price. The shoes have been much admired and despite not breaking them in before my friends big day there was no rubbing. I can honestly say that I have been very impressed by my first online dress shopping experience. If I’m lucky enough to be invited to more weddings I know where I will be looking first.

Disclaimer I was sent these items in return for an honest review, the words are my own and have not been altered

 

Jamie Raven Card Magic – Review

Jamie Raven Card Magic is one of four magic sets available online from Paul Lamond RRP £10.95 suitable for ages 8+.

Ok, so it is confession time as we didn’t know who Jamie Raven was, but the boy has always loved magic sets. We were excited to see what the Jamie Rave Card Magic box contained . The box includes a two packs of cards, a mystery box with spare cards and a secret membership card which gives you access online to the tricks.

The boy was a little puzzled that the Jamie Raven card magic set doesn’t contain any instructions, but once you have accessed the internet and been emailed the link it all became clear. ( My email went to spam so check there if you don’t get an instant reply)

Jamie Raven is the self-proclaimed runner-up, or “First placed Human” from Britain’s got talent series 2015. His website is easy to navigate, and once the boy had learnt the first trick he was keen to learn some more. Each trick video is easy to follow as Jamie performs the trick for you to watch, followed by a step by stem explanation of how it works and finally some tips on performance.

The boy learnt 4 very simple but amazingly effective tricks which he was then able to perform confidently on Bingo granny. He certainly had us all thinking and I loved the mind reading trick as I had no idea how it was don’t until the boy showed me. We decided you could do variations of each trick and could see how you could make them your own with a few simple additions!

We all had great fun learning Jamie Raven Card Magic tricks. The boy liked the easy to learn from videos and Jamies presentation style means I think anyone could easily master these tricks.

Visit Jamie Ravens website for more information on the trick sets available, or purchase your set from my affiliate link below.


Disclaimer we were sent this set in exchange for review, the words remain our own and have not been altered.

Admiral Young Driver – Review

Admiral Young Driver program is a safe way to teach children aged as young as 5 to control a car and start the enjoyment of driving. The boy was a little nervous to try out the Admiral Young drivers programme. He needn’t have been as he had a great time.

The boy want’s to be a policeman when he is older and learning to drive will be a big part of the job if he does eventually choose this as a career. I have always wanted thought its good to learn things early so driving lessons was on my list of things to get the boy to try. We booked a 1/2 hour lesson with the Admiral young drivers at Southampton WestQuay car park.

The boy was worried he might drive over the edge of the car park. The booking in lady quickly put his mind at rest, as apparently this is a question she is asked often! There are some height restrictions for the drivers and they should be over 10 and a minimum of 1.42m tall. The boy was soon seated in the car and there are proper cushions to bring the seat height up to the correct height. I was allowed to join in as a passenger for the lesson, while dad stood at a safe distance and took pictures.

The top-level of the WestQuay car park was set out with junctions and obstacles and with other Admiral young drivers there is plenty to be aware of while learning to drive. The boy was put at ease by his instructor Barry, and within 5 minutes they had completed the pre drive checks and we were moving.

Each new Admiral young driver is given a diary which is completed after each lesson. This is a great record of what you learned as well as being something to record the steps and progress. As a first lesson the boy learnt to make pre drive checks of mirrors, seat and starting the vehicle. He then went on to control the vehicle and completed junctions and a slalom.

I was very impressed by the teaching, and the instructor moved the lesson on at the speed that each student needs. The boy was clearly in control and loving every minute. There was time to ask lots of questions and the instructor had lots of knowledge of the Skoda citigo that we were driving.

The half hour Admiral young drivers lesson was a good length for a first lesson as the boy said his legs felt a little wobbly after all the clutch control. The boy has also asked when he can have his next lesson, as he enjoyed it far more than he thought he would and I think maybe a few lessons a year at his age certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Visit the Admiral Young Driver website for all the different options from lessons to Birthday parties and even the chance to drive a Bentley.

Disclaimer we were asked to try out the young driver programme in return for a review, the words remain ours and have not been altered.