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
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  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
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Chemist Direct everyday essentials and more

Chemist Direct are an online chemist and something I wouldn’t have considered using before now. I was excited to be given the chance to try them out, and with an online credit I was interested to see how far my money would go. I had the idea that I would see if I could get all my holiday travel essentials in one place from the Chemist Direct website. I was impressed with how easy it was to find everything on the site. There are different ways to navigate to your products, via suggestions, drop downs or the search bar. The website is super easy to use, and checkout was just as easy.

Chemist Direct are not just there for your winter medicines like cough syrup and cold remedy’s but have a vast range of your everyday essentials. The website has everything from shampoo, toothpaste and lip balm. As well as the type of products you expect from any high street Chemist. I was able to find all my family bathroom essentials, as well as a few treats and even tested out the non prescription medicines buy getting Dad’s Hay fever medication. The traffic light system means that it was easy for me to see when this part of my order had been accepted.

chemist direct

There are plenty of special offers on the Chemist Direct website, and the prices were very competitive. I was particularly impressed with the prices of the hay fever tables at less than £3 for 90 days. I was very impressed by the vast range of products with both named and own brands, I was able to get a few things for our holiday back in the summer including a family first aid kit which thankfully we didn’t need. Sea Bands for the ferry crossing, which were amazing! and Athletes foot spray which we never leave behind when there is a communal pool.

Chemist Direct also stock vitamin tablets for the boy, hand cream for me, and shampoo for Dad. The best part of the Chemist Direct service was the speed of Delivery. I ordered at the end of the week, and with e-mails keeping me updated my delivery was with me by the Monday morning.  Overall I will certainly be using Chemist Direct again as it was much easier than trying to get into town for my medicine cupboard top ups. There is even free delivery on orders over £40 or free next day delivery on larger orders.

Visit the Chemist Direct website for current offers, or follow them on Facebook, and Twitter.

Disclaimer we were given credit to spend in order to try out Chemist Directs service, the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

 

 

 

 

What do Holidays mean to you?

What do holidays mean to you?

Holidays when I was small didn’t happen often. I remember my first trip to the Isle of Wight, aged 7 where discos, soft toys and sweets were the most important element. As I got older I remember trips to Cornwall and Devon, dramatic scenery and eating chips on the harbour walls. But most of my summers were spent with my Nan and brother on the beach at home.

holidays one

My first foreign trip wasnt until I was 21, and my boyfriend (now other half) treated me for my birthday to two days in Paris and EuroDisney. The trip has so many lasting memories, the rain, thunderstorms and lightning that struck the Eifel tower making the front page of the papers. Weird food and ending up in McDonalds where our lack of language skills, nearly landed us with 15 strawberry sundaes, and an everlasting love of all things Disney.

holidays two

Being young, and carefree, holidays became our luxury and when we realised that we could choose our destination, without our parents dictating where we should go. Destinations of Austria, where we nearly got stuck on a mountain in a storm and made coats out of binbags. Cornwall, Blackpool, and Devon have always been favourites and the beaches are some of the best in the world.  A tour of Italy where we drove for 48 hours with friends to the Tuscan landscape full of olive trees and some amazing views. We ate peaches the size of your hand, and pizzas that were unlike the ones at home.

holidays three

Further afield now, and Las Vegas where we entered a slot machine tournament, and I won! You could eat for $3 a day, and the noise of machines throwing out coins deafened us. New York, we walked for miles and found some surreal shops. The Macy’s Parade was amazing watching huge balloons floating down narrow streets. We spent a month in America staying with families. San Francisco, Arizona, Utah and Florida, so many different states and all sorts of different people.

holidays four

We had a budget last-minute holiday to Barbados, where all we could afford to eat was Peanut Butties. But in the sunshine it didn’t matter, we fished, with the locals, and saw a side of Barbados that the rich never see. Miami was another favourite where we ate grapefruits on the beach for breakfast, used public transport ending up in the “no go” area, where we quickly got back on the bus.

holidays fiveOur last trip abroad alone was when we married, having fallen in love with America and especially Florida. We decided rather than spend money on a big wedding we would get married in the home of Mickey Mouse, and spend the money on a cruise. This was an amazing trip, from the New York shopping, to the Florida Wedding. Then setting off for the Caribbean where we fell in love with the Island of Grand Cayman, the snorkelling, being eaten by fish and swimming with stingrays.

holidays six

Then the boy arrived, and things changed. I didn’t want to fly for hours with a small baby, and just the thought of it filled me with dread. Instead voucher holidays, to caravan parks, it was thrilling to find somewhere new. The Isle of Wight where we went back to the places I remember visiting all those years before. They are still there, and pictures in the mouth of hell. In Devon and Dorset we travelled on trams, picnicked on the beach, watched cheesy shows and laughed every time we played Bingo. We took another road trip when the boy was young, with mountains, and even snow. We ate amazing fresh pizza, and saw Roman landmarks. Pisa was a favourite climbing all the way to the top for the amazing views.

holiday 7

We had dreamt of taking the boy to Florida and wanted to wait until he would enjoy and remember this trip so he was nearly 5 before we went. This trip was amazing, filled with smiles and laughter, we have so many memories of the things we did, people we met and mostly the look of wonder on the boys face. This is something I will remember more than the torrential rain.

family eight

The weather forced us return, and this time Halloween, the weather was much kinder. The trip was mixed as traveling with a 6-year-old, meant late slow mornings and pushing a sleepy child in his pushchair till the early hours! We discovered rollercoasters, the boy became a Jedi, and went trick and treating American style.  We made friends with a dolphin called Dixie, ate lots of fries and blue  ice cream.

holiday nine

Three years on and we have just returned again from Florida. This time the boy was 9 and could ride all there was to offer. We saw dolphins in the wild, and space ships up close, ate Dole whips and funnel cake, we made new friends and played magic games with mystical cards. In-between Florida trips we have filled our summers with days on the beach, weekends to Blackpool and Devon. Weekends away in hotels as we toured theme parks, and even the odd night in a tent!

holidays ten

In writing this I have learnt one thing, there is no such thing as “the perfect holiday”. Our holidays sometimes haven’t gone to plan. Sometimes the weather has been against us, other times just circumstances, with each one leaving a lasting mark in our memory.

So Mark Warner, my perfect holiday would be one with my little family, there may only be three of us, but we love to go out have fun explore. But most importantly we enjoy making new marks on our memory.

family

 

This time last week – #CountryKids

This time last week we had only just arrived back from our two week holiday in Florida, it was wet and cold and all we could do was dream about the fantastic holiday we had, had! I hope to share lots from our trip, once we get over the small thing called Christmas! but in the mean time here are a few of our pictures, two weeks spent outdoors without coats!

florida1

florida2We made so many family memories while we were away, from exploring our Caribbean island, swinging in hammocks. Meeting the wildlife, one very brave squirrel in Magic Kingdom. The newly named Popcorn Pecker birds, the boys craze for selfies everywhere, rides and staying up past midnight. Then there was food with ice creams, dole whips, mickey pretzels, puddings all washed down with chocolate milk.

florida3

florida4Holidays are a great time for us to reconnect as a family, and spend time just having fun. I hope we will be able to go back one day and had better start saving now!

#countrykids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Summer Cycle Ride

It has been the perfect weather for a summer cycle ride, and something we love to do as a family. While the weather was still good we thought we would go out and try out my new cycle helmet. Yes I realised its time I followed the rest of the family and wore one. The boy chose the inland cycle route, which is a great track out towards the nearby town of Barnham. The place we catch our trains to London! It’s a great route and one I like as it has no traffic.

summer cycle ride

The track was busy, with dog walkers, and other cyclists, and we soon arrived at the other end, where I knew there was a new play park area. The boy and Dad enjoyed playing a game of football, and basketball. The boy enjoyed playing and climbing in the new playground and I enjoyed the sunshine and quiet.

outdoor fun summer bike ride

I was trying to get the fit right on my new bike helmet. TMart.co.uk are a great website for all sorts of outdoor gear, and the Adult Cycle Helmet I was sent to review was perfect. The only problem was my head was too small. I am aware that it is important to have a well-fitting helmet, so after a couple of attempts, I decided the helmet is better fitted to Dad! I think the yellow colour rather suits him, and he found it a very easy helmet to adjust and wear.

summer cycle ride tmart

While I now use the more subdued grey helmet, I am very impressed with the range of TMart helmets that they offer on their website. The price for this yellow cycle helmet was less than £17 which is a competitive price, and with all the safety certificates. The helmet was easily adjustable and very lightweight. The delivery was well packed and speedy, so great service all round.

summer bike ride

 

The cycle ride home was beautiful as we watched the diggers finishing off the new road, and there were hundred’s of butterfly’s in the hedgerow. I kept having to stop to take photos, but the boy was gone. He loves the freedom of this cycle path, and we think they should build a few more. Cycling in one of the activities that will join our Summer Holiday activities list, and I think the boy would rate it in his top five things to do!

park fun

Disclaimer I was sent the cycle helmet in return for an honest review.

#Country Kids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I is for…

I is for…
Well that’s is where I got stuck, I have been thinking for the last 24 hours what I has meant to me and I just came up blank. I decided there was only one way to find a picture and that would be to fire up my external hard drive, and have a look at all the old baby pictures for inspiration.

With only 106 days till we leave for our Florida Holiday, I was again drawn to the many folders of Disney pictures. They all bring back so many happy memories of our last trip. There has been lots of talk about the trip this week as I have just paid the final invoice and it seems all that more real. Defiantly more real than it did when I booked the trip a year ago! So with my head full of pictures I have chosen this one of the boy, to me it shouts Imagination. The one word that Disney has been built on, something the boy has bucket loads of, and I hope he manages to keep hold into adulthood. For most of the holiday the Polar bear travelled with us and had to have its photo taken, the boy wasn’t afraid to be a bit different and use his imagination. He was 6, and doesn’t remember much from the holiday, I am hoping the memories from our trip in October will last a little bit longer, and that he will take his imagination and see where it leads him.

Disneyworld

Thanks to PODcast for the Linky, my other posts can be found here B C D E F G H

180 days till Disney

Today marks 180 days till our Disney holiday, and while this is not an important day in most people calendar it is in our house. Today will be the first of the days where I can start to make dining reservations on my My Disney Experience, and I have a couple of special reservations planned.

If like us you haven’t been to Walt Disney World Florida for a while, things have changed in the parks. With the removal of the ticketing for Fastpass, and change over to the new Fastpass+ system. I have been reading up on the new system and am both curious about the new Magic Band and Fastpass system as it potentially will make the holiday more tailored to our family. While there is some apprehension as to how easy the system will be to use while on site.

Disney 2010

Magic Bands have been phased in across the parks for about a year now and I have read with interest both the positive and negative reactions from guests on various forums. Yes I really do go into that much detail on my Walt Disney World planning. I have found in the past, having an idea of how the systems work allowed us to make the most of the 14 days on site. Some people may like to have a more laid back nature to their break, but when we go I fill our time as I am never quite sure if we will be able to return.

Disney 2011

So if like me you like to plan then don’t forget to look on the Walt Disney World website as park hours are released 180 days prior to your trip. I like to have a calendar with a rough idea of which parks on which days. If only to utilise the extra magic hours for guests staying in Disney hotels. Another good source of information is Dis Unplugged, they have twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest information. This will of course include the launch of the new Seven Dwarfs mine train, scheduled for live testing in the next few weeks. Moms panel is also a great forum for getting answers to your particular questions from people in the know and Mums who are used to planning their Disney Holidays. I know I have used them in the past for information on taking the boy when he was smaller.

disney christmas 2011

This might be the boys last visit to Walt Disney World, I hope not but at 9 I would guess he might be too old in future years for the magic and fun of my favourite place to holiday. I know Disney is not for everyone, and would love for everyone to go to a place that makes me feel special, and safe!

Whether you plan the heck out of your visit or like to go with the flow, I hope you have a fantastic time full of some very special memories, I know we have our share of them.

 

 

Weird Fish a little treat for me!

I came across Weird Fish clothing through a competition, and since entering I have received their weekly offers and e-mails. I was very excited when I was offered the chance to review for them. I love pretty casual clothing, and as a busy Mum I tend to find myself looking at clothes for the boy and not myself, so this is a real treat!

Choosing from the Weird Fish website was very difficult, not because they don’t have much, or the site is clunky! Quite the opposite, there were so many lovely items it was hard to narrow a choice down. When I found myself coming back to the same tunic dress, I knew it was the one to try. Ok I have said the word Dress! and anyone who knows me will say what? as I live in jeans and t-shirts. In my old job people thought there was something wrong if I wore a skirt, so a dress would be a shock.

The Phoebe Printed Stretch Tunic Dress featured in the Weird Fish sightseer spring outfits, and jumped out at me with its bold retro pattern as something I wouldn’t normally choose, but with such a lovely colour blend I was eager to give it a try.

phoebe tunic dress from weird fish

The tunic dress turned up in a lovely little personalised package and I was surprised at how small the package was. The first thing I noticed was the material, it is cotton! I don’t usually shop online, as I like to feel material before making a purchase, this fabric was a big surprise. From the description and pictures I had thought the material would be a jersey or even synthetic mix. So 95% cotton with 5% elastine for stretch was a nice surprise. It will be lovely and cool and perfect for our holiday later in the year. It wasn’t even creased from its journey so I know it will wear well which is essential as I truly hate ironing.

A versatile printed tunic dress with a slight stretch. Features button detail on the capped sleeves, neckline and centre back, for a synched in shape. Can be worn as a dress or a tunic

I chose a size ten as I don’t have a large bust, and found that the sizing on the dress is very good. The Frost grey Phoebe print is also available in a tunic top and I think in this case I would have chosen an eight with the fabric stretching enough to fit snugly. The button detail is a lovely addition and gives enough shape to the tunic dress to add a few curves which I need. The print of the dress is lovely and just as I imagined with a nice mix of grey, pinks, yellows and blues and exactly as pictured on the website. The length feels good and I love the sweat heart styled neckline with button detail. Finally washing, I was pleased to see the label recommends a cool 30* machine wash, I get disappointed if a favourite item needs hand washing.

weird fish tunic dress

I have often admired friends wearing this style of dress with thick tights or leggings, I am not quite brave enough yet to bare my legs so went for dark jeans. I love the pre matched outfits section where you can see the Phoebe Printed Stretch Tunic Dress matched with dark slate leggings and a little green cardigan. (This will have to go on my holiday wish list).

The Phoebe Printed Stretch Tunic Dress costs RRP £39.95 which I think for the great quality and versatility of this dress is a superb price. In fact I have been surprised at the affordability of lots of the Weird Fish clothing. I have fallen in love with this print, and know that I will get plenty of wear from it, Now we just need some summer weather so that I can get some colour on my legs!

Why not pop along to the Weird Fish website as they have a great selection of Men’s and children’s clothing, currently they have an offer for a FREE poncho in the lovely Phoebe pattern when you order over £70. Postage is FREE for standard delivery in the UK or you might be lucky and have a store near you. I know I will be looking for some more great holiday staples next time I go near a Weird Fish store, and hope I can Escape the Ordinary again soon!

Disclaimer, I was sent this dress to review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

Family Fever

Push has gone!

Push has gone and this has made me very sad, infact the whole family are a little sad about Push leaving. I can all hear you saying that I have gone a little mad! well yes in a way I have mad at Disney for removing one of the quirky little pieces of magic from the Magic Kingdom.

When I saw the first rumours of this iconic little trash can due to be axed, I didn’t want to believe it and at the time I didn’t know his name was Push. After a couple of days the rumours were denied by Disney who said they had no foundation and that Push would continue to entertain family’s in his Tommorowland residence.

GalleryV1_MK-47

For those of us luck enough to have visited Disney World In Florida and meat Push, he will remain a truly magical character. Not that he has stared in any film, or appeared on tv. He has still entertained us, I will remember the look on the boys face when Push first talked to the boy. The boy was 4 1/2 when we went the first time, we had had awful bad luck with the weather, and this particular day it was dry. We were eating a snack and as you do pop your trash in the bin. This is something the boy toddled off to do, so when the bin started chatting to him and said thank you, you can imagine the look. In all of the 6 visits I have made this was the first time we had met Push, and we sat for some time watching his antics as he lay in wait for unsuspecting passers by. I was looking forward to our visit in October, and hoped our paths would cross, but it seems that Disney may have decided otherwise.

DisneyPhotoImage104

There are campaigns on the internet of course, but I think this little bit of magic will be resigned to the hearts of those who were privileged enough to meet Push on their holidays. Push is a special Trash can who will be thought of fondly by all that met him!

My Personal Planner for 2014

Today I need to get organised and start planning for the rest of 2014. With the big holiday in October, and what will hopefully be a great summer I certainly could do with some help. This is where www.personal-planner.co.uk steps in! Personal planner as the name suggests offer a very personal and unique way to get organised. With a great range of planners, notebooks and now wall planners that you can make totally unique by customizing via the very easy to use website.

Personal planners were born from an idea in 2006 when wife Paula discovered “There’s only boring planners out there!” finding a need for something that can be changed to exactly the needs of the individual, Anders set about finding a solution.

I have loved every second of my experience with this website, none of the usual frustrations, and the ease of use means I think just about anyone can create something beautiful. The steps are simple:

Step 1: Choose a product, with personal planners, notebooks, wall planners and accessories.

Step 2: Choose your size, planners come in small, medium, large and A5. (I chose a large as I liked the landscape shape)

Step 3: Get creative!

An art board opens up with easy to understand graphic’s change the text, colours, fonts, patterns, and images, or use the design templates already made for you. It really was very easy to use, and I spent a long time viewing all the options in real-time on the screen,with literally hundreds of different combinations, there was so much choice.

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By clicking the simple forward back arrows you can design the cover, as well as internal pages. Stick with the design templates, or fill the planner with all your favourite patterns and colours. You can alter dates and how they are viewed with the nice addition of all you personal dates. I love the fact that you can also start on any month of the year, again a simple tick box and preview, making this a perfect birthday gift. Choose up to four modules across the bottom of each two page week, these include graphs notes and even exam reminders. Finally finish off the back pages with overviews of the coming year, or note pages and lastly the owners information, you wouldn’t want this planner getting lost!

Each planner comes beautifully spiral bound with a coloured elastic to keep it neat, an easy clip in ruler, and a neat plastic clear compartment to keep loose notes. I can honestly say that as a graphic designer,every part of the design process was a pleasure. Even the responding e-mails once you have placed your order, and telling you when the planner will arrive have all been effortless.

If you are stuck for gift ideas, then you can order a gift certificate easily redeemable on the website, so your friend or family member can enjoy the experience of making their very own planner.

My enthusiasm for the Personal planner may be a little over the top for some, but just sometimes a product or company take you by surprise. I can be the most critical person and sometimes things just don’t live up to my expectations. This time it is not the case, and I am looking forward to getting organised not just with my blog, but the all important holiday!

If you would like the chance to win your own planner or notebook, then please enter my giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer, I was sent a gift voucher to design my own personal planner the opinions remain mine and have not been altered.