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

 

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.

 

LoopDeLoom – Review

LoopDeLoom is a fun spinning weaving loom, that is not only simple but fast! LoopDeLoom from Map toys is available online for RRP £24.99, and is suitable for ages 8+.

The LoopDeLoom box contains the loom base with 15 pegs, a ball of multi coloured yarn and instructions. The basic set up for the LoopDeLoom is very simple the pegs are fitted in alternate directions, so that when the lever is moved from left to right the pegs turn. The instructions guide you on how to do this, and there are also online videos.

Once you have decided on the size of the piece you want to weave and cut the yarn to length then you clip the warp threads into the pegs. To weave you simply take your weft tread and hold it taught across the top of the pegs pulling it down between the center of the pegs. Rotate the lever and repeat.

LoopDeLoom weaving is really that simple! In the instructions it tells you not to pull the weft (weaving) threat too tight, and I found if you do it causes the end pegs to start to touch and will make your weaving shrink. If you forget to turn the lever the thread will simply slide out. So you can’t really go wrong.

Once you have a reasonable amount of weaving you can move it down the pegs and this will tighten the wool. This was very satisfying as you watched the weaving grow, and I found you get very quick after only a few goes. If the pegs get to full you simply slide out a peg from the weaving. Making sure that you place it back into the base of the loom the correct way around.

To finish the piece you can knot the ends or sew them depending on what you plan to make. Knotting my piece was simple with a neat fringed edge that looked pretty. LoopDeLoom was great fun and perfect for a child that has a little patience as the results grow quickly. The enclosed multi coloured wool is also pretty and is a great first make.

For more ideas on what you can create with LoopDeLoom visit the website and video tutorials.

Disclaimer we were sent this loom in return for a review.

Bath’s Top Rated Indian Cuisine: A Review 

While the winter blues have us all begging for a bit of spice in our lives, I’ve investigated Bath’s top Indian restaurants that are sure to add pizzazz back to our palettes.

The Rajpoot

If you are looking for an award-winning meal, all fingers point to The Rajpoot. A favourite of many, this restaurant caters to Indian food gurus and the “extra mild spice, please” beginners. The Rajpoot offers a romantic but functional environment that can fit a work event or date night. If you are aching for a fine-dining, fully ethnic Indian food experience, the Rajpoot has what you are longing for.

Bombay Lounge

For friendly service, great décor and a comforting meal, the Bombay Lounge has you covered.  This place has an extensive menu that can please both vegan and carnivore, with loads of customisable options to meet your needs. If the coziness of your home has you wanting to lounge in pyjamas for the evening, have no fear: Bombay Lounge is featured on Hungry House, a takeaway app that allows you to browse through menus and have your cravings delivered to your doorstep.  Bombay Lounge is also budget friendly and definitely does not compromise on quality.

The Boojon Tandoori

Named one of England’s best curry places, Bath’s The Boojon Tandoori is a local hotspot. Although traditional curry is winning the title at this location, the menu option ranges from poppadum’s to pilau rice to vegetable Jalfrezi. The Boojon Tandoori boasts quality and quantity without forfeiting your newly established budget for 2017: most dishes are in the £5-£9 range.

Bengal Brasserie

Meat lovers, you will love Bengal Brasserie off of Milsom Street. Locally known for the most succulent chicken and lean lamb, this restaurant has a beautiful interior and top-notch staff.  For vegetarians, do not fret: Bengal Brasserie also offers a generous meat-free menu to please everybody at the table.  If you are in a hurry, takeaway options are available here (and at a 10% discount on weekends!)

The Eastern Eye

For a glamorous dine-in experience, I recommend The Eastern Eye. With beautifully decorated murals on every wall and domed ceilings, you will quickly be transported out of Bath and into another world. Voted restaurant of the year for the Southwest Region, The Eastern Eye has an extensive and detailed website that promotes its many features and offers a history lesson on the beautiful building. The menu is user-friendly and offers a variety of options included a lovely buffet. For those seeking the full Indian food experience, The Eastern Eye is where you want to be.

Disclaimer this is a collaborative post.

Keeping warm this winter with Didriksons

The boy will be keeping warm this winter with Didriksons, and their 2016 winter range of kids clothing. We certainly don’t have the extreme conditions that they have in Sweden where Didriksons clothing is designed. This hasn’t stopped the boy from putting Didriksons to the test.

The Boy was sent Theo Boys Jacket in wheat, and I was pleased to see that he hasn’t outgrown the Didriksons range as they have a great selection of coats for older children. He was also very excited to own a beanie hat and chose Mason Youth Beanie in Dark Lilac.

To say the boy is thrilled with the mason beanie is a slight understatement! I think it must be cool to own one, and he has been so happy that I have a problem getting him to remove it. I think if he could sleep in it he would. The quality of the beanie is lovely and you can tell it has good thermal qualities as he tells me how cosy the beanie is. The  colour says dark lilac, I would say its more of a burgundy colour but this suits the boy and he loves it.

Keeping warm this winter will not be a problem for the boy with the Didriksons Theo coat, I love the thermal qualities and the quality of the coat. The boy now cycles to school each day and the longer length means even in the rain he stays mostly dry. The boy loves that there are plenty of pockets including a good size inside pocket which he can pop his beanie in. He also likes the thumb hole cuffs which stop the arms from riding up while he cycles.

Didriksons have a great range of coats, something for everyone. I love the quality and fit of their products and know that they will last and wear well. You can see exactly how waterproof or warm each product is from the useful website features tab. I love that 100% waterproof means that the boy wont come home soggy, and he is just super happy because he has a beanie, so it is win, win!

 

Disclaimer: we were sent these items in return for an honest review the words are our own and have not been altered.

Star Wars Timeline – Review

Star Wars Timeline is an easy to learn game like the other Timeline games. Players place their dealt cards in the order the scenes appeared in the films. Sounds easy? Well it proved more difficult than we first thought.

Star Wars timeline is available from stores and online and comes in two editions. The first covers the original three star wars films (episode IV, V and VI) and the second edition the prequel of films (I, II, III). Each Tin contains 110 cards and are suited for ages 8+. 2-8 players and RRP £13.99.

Star Wars Timeline is already a favourite game and will make a great gift for any Star Wars fan. The boy was excited as he stood a real chance of beating Dad Dragon. The question would be how much could he remember? The answer was more than his Dad! Each of the cards comes with a scene or quote from the film and then these are numbered on the reverse so that you can check where in the sequence they appear.

There are plenty of easily recognizable scenes like the incident in the trash compactor or the first sighting of the death star. Putting them in order though caused much discussion in the family. It isn’t until you turn over the car that you can see which of the films your quote appears so even remembering which film was fun. Once we had completed a few games we discovered that the boy was indeed very good at remembering exactly where in a film a scene or character first appeared.

Star Wars Timeline is my whole families favourite card game for 2016, and is the perfect game for us to take with us and play with family over the holidays. My only disappointment is that the Star Wars edition of timeline cannot be played with any of the history editions. This I guess was to be expected with a fictional story, but somehow might have been fun!. Each Star Wars Timeline edition can be played on its own or mixed up with the other edition to play as a huge timeline game. This could be played with more players and I think will be a fun game to play with all the boys nephews.

Would you like a chance to try the Star Wars Timeline games? My Amazon affiliate links are below or enter my giveaway on gleam.

 

Star Wars Timeline

Disclaimer we were sent these games in return for an honest review, our words have not been altered.

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 2nd January 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
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

The Game about Wikipedia

The Game about Wikipedia is a new game from Spin Master games and is a celebration of the well-known online encyclopaedia. Suitable for 2 – 4 Players aged 8+ RRP £16.99.

The game about Wikipedia box contains 300 wiki theme cards, 4 whiteboards with markers, 100 tokens and an egg timer. Game play is easy to learn and the winner is the one at the end with the most tokens.

wikipedia

Starting with the youngest player you draw a wiki theme card, each contains 3 games. The first is a trivia question. Turn over the timer read out the question and the other players make a note of the answers on their wipe clean board. Questions might be For which James Bond film did Roald Dahl write the screenplay? Other questions have multiple choice answers and there are 3 tokens available for the right answers.

The next part of the game about Wikipedia is all about page views. The timer is turned and the three subjects are read out players then rank these as to how many views they get on Wikipedia in an average month. One token is received for each correct answer.

the-game-about-wiki

Finally players are challenged to list 5 items in the disambiguation section. In this section all the players answer. Match your answer to that of the question master and you will win another token. This has to be the most fun as you have to think about how the person reading the question might answer and not the actual answers. Play continues until the tokens run out and the winner is the one with the most tokens.

The Game from Wikipedia is a great family and grown up game, and has caused lots of interesting discussions in our family about what we know and some things we had no idea about. The Game is fast paced as you have the timer to keep you going although for the boy we tended to be flexible on time as he gets stressed under pressure. Once you have mastered the format then it is more about the varied facts and interesting information you can learn in the Wikipedia game.

The Game about Wikipedia is available from your local toy store or online retailers like Argos, and Amazon.

 

Disclaimer we were asked to try out this game in return for an honest review, the words remain our own and have not been altered.

Didriksons #ForEveryRainyDay – Review

Didriksons have a great range of coats #ForEveryRainyDay, not just for kids. Now that the Autumn is quickly changing into winter I am putting the Didrikson Hana Multi Jacket to the test.

The Hana Multi Jacket comes in three colour combinations, Black, Dark Lilac, and Midnight Blue. In sizes 36-42 these translate to UK size 10-20. I have always bought one size up from my normal sizing so chose a size 38 which is a perfect fit and still allows me to wear a thick jumper underneath. The bonus of the Didriksons Hana jacket is that it is two coats in one, with a waterproof outer and insulated inner jacket.

didriksons

I love this style of jacket for the British winters which can be unpredictable with wet warm weather or dry cold. Being able to unzip and remove the inner coat means I have great value for money by not having to buy two winter coats. I have been impressed with the quality of the Didriksons coat range and love the styling and detail on each of their coats. The Hana has a good range of features with the adjustable elastic at the hips and also on the hood which can be dethatched.

didriksons-1913

I love that Didriksons coats always have plenty of pockets, the Hana has a great outer pocket which is perfect for your mobile phone. The side pockets are both deep and have zips to keep valuable safe like keys. There are also inner pockets for those bits you might want to keep dry. Didriksons coats all come with STORMsystem fabric which offers 100% true waterproofness, something that has been invaluable on the walk to school. I can guarantee that it will rain between 3:15 and 3:30 when I collect the boy. Staying dry has been better than having to dash home to change clothes. Yes a Didriksons coat will keep all it covers dry, unlike some high street fashion brands that I have tried.

Didriksons have great styling and one thing that drew me to the Hana styling was the contrast coloured zips. I think this is a nice touch making the Hana Jacket stand out. Didriksons have a great range of all weather coats and Jackets for all the family to find your local stockist visit http://www.didriksons.com and be prepared #ForEveryRainyDay

Disclaimer I was sent this jacket to review, the words are my own and have not been altered.