Time sure flies when you're having fun. I can't believe that today marks my three-year blog anniversary. I remember agonising over a blog name, and then being so nervous when I pressed the 'publish' button for the first time (if you want to read my random first blog post, here it is). I expected to quit the blog after six months, but didn't. Instead, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more. I made friends. And filled my life with something quite unexpected. Blogging has made being a Stay-At-Home-Mum so much easier.
I remember feeling astonished when my blog turned one. And now at three years old, I am taking stock. Thinking about where my blog will go. Will I switch the focus? Maybe I will have a re-design. Whatever happens, I hope you will continue the journey with me. It has been a blast!
If you live in/near London, then no doubt that you have heard of KidZania. It is the ultimate role play experience. It is basically a city that is scaled down for children. Small shops, small businesses, a small hospital, a small fire engine that drives around with small shouty kids. And while everything is scaled down, it still feels big for children. They get to go into a new world, where they are the boss and where mummy and daddy stand on the sidelines (have a look at my vlog below to see more of this child-sized city).
As you leave Westfield, it feels like you are heading into an airport and going on a voyage. When you arrive into the city of KidZania, all children four and over are given 50 KidZos (the local currency). The money could quickly be spent on lots of fun experiences (such as making chocolate, learning how to play drums, painting lessons). Children can earn money by getting jobs, just like in real life. But unlike real life, you could hold 10 jobs in a couple of hours' time. Moozles' favourites jobs are surgeon, journalist and working for the power company. But there are loads of jobs to choose from, including banker, police officer, shop worker and baby nurse. The Kidzania experience lasts four hours, though you are of course able to leave early (your children might be quite tired from all that working).
My make-up bag is looking pretty empty. I don't wear much make-up anyway, but it has gotten to the point that my 7-year old now has more make-up than me. *sob, sob* So I've been looking for some new beauty products. And as always, I need new lipstick (can you ever have too many lipsticks??). I am sure you're all in the same position. Plus, with spring approaching, who doesn't want some new make-up to brighten your face?! So, when House of Fraser asked me to hold a giveaway for my readers, I jumped at the chance.
I'm not really into presents. Take me to a nice restaurant or treat me to a lie-in, followed by breakfast in bed and lots of sweet treats. So when Spicers of Hythe asked me to review a box of goodies and run a giveaway in honour of Mother's Day, how could I say no?!
Although I was tempted between the Chocolate Feast and the Exquisite Refresher, in the end I decided to choose The Delicious (£21.91) as I was swayed by the Half Chocolate Oat Flips. Plus it includes a little gold box of truffles. Why can't more things be put into little gold boxes? But I digress. I was pleasantly at the prices of the hampers. Normally hampers cost close to £50 for quality items and nice packaging.
The hampers, depending on which one you choose, arrive in baskets of different colours and shapes. Some arrive in jute bags or boxes. It's fab that the baskets and bags can be re-used. Mine arrived in a black woven basket. I might use it to hold knick-knacks or papers, or re-use to make someone else a gift basket.
So enter the giveaway. You could send it to your mum, grandmother, aunt or sister. Or keep it for yourself. I won't tell.
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Have you seen the Book of Life? It is an animated musical comedy that sees the hero, Manolo, go on a magical quest to rescue his true-love. Husband and Moozles watched it at the cinema last year and really enjoyed it.
To celebrate the release of the Book of Life on DVD and Blu-ray on 16th February 2015, you have the chance to win one of three fab bundles that include: Blu-Ray player, £100 worth of family DVDs and a £100 voucher for Chiquitos restaurants. And the best part is that the entry is really fun. Go to Win With Book of Life and complete one or more of the activities, then upload it onto their Facebook page. You can colour and decorate a colouring sheet or create a cool costume. And if you're a keen videographer, then you can download some quotes from the film and record your child impersonating their favourite character.
The film looks to be beautifully animated, and I cannot wait to watch it. I don't have long to wait since we are lucky enough to have a copy. Maybe you would like your own copy? Why not enter the Rafflecopter below.
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The Book of Life is being released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday, 16 February.
When Baker Days contacted me about trying a cake by post, how could I say no? I love cake, and it is even better when it is delivered straight through my letterbox.
Baker Days offer cakes for a whole variety of occasions, including Christmas and birthdays, and they even offer One Direction cakes for the tween in your life. And the cupcakes are pretty cute too! They make cakes of different sizes, but I think the letterbox cakes are quite sweet. Perfect for sending to a loved one to let them know that you are thinking of them.
The cakes come in a choice of sponge, chocolate chip sponge and fruit cake. There are also gulten/wheat-free cakes and fairy-free cakes available for an extra £3.50. And there are so many different styles as well. And cakes can also be personalised with names and photos. So everyone can find the cake that suits their friends and family the best.
The cost for a Letterbox cakes begin from £14.99. The cakes are made on the day they are shipped so are nice and fresh when they arrive. Since the cakes are supposed to last for 14 days, I thought I would try ours out after seven days. Our cake was made from vanilla sponge and it tasted really nice. The kids gobbled up their slices in a flash. The cake was a perfect size for the three of us (and there's even a small slice left over for Husband to try when he comes home).
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I was sent a letterbox cake for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
One of the toughest parts about being an expat, after being apart from family and friends, is missing the food of your homeland. When I moved to London, 13 years ago, I could not get my hands on any American food items. But these days it is a lot easier to find American groceries in the UK. Besides some basics you can find at the big supermarkets, there are specialty online websites that offer American food and drinks.
American Soda is one website that offers a vast range of American drinks, candy, food and baking goods. All of which can be delivered to the UK, Ireland and Europe. To celebrate my one-year blogging anniversary, American Soda are offering one lucky reader to win some fab American goods. And you don't even need to be an American expat to enter!
On offer is a six-pack of Dad's Root Beer, a tub of Marshmallow Creme, a tub of Toasted Marshmallow Creme and a credit of £5 to spend on anything you might like to try. If you're not familiar with Marshmallow fluff, besides eating it sinfully from the tub, you can use it to make rice krispies treats, gooey brownies and cookies and lots more. You can also use it as a frosting on cakes or cupcakes. Check out this Huff Post piece for more ideas, and mouth-watering photos.
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No need to wait for the future. The future is here. Braun have developed a thermometer that can take a temperature without touching your skin. Whoa. What? That's right. Your little one has a fever, and you can sneak in their room and hold the thermometer near his/her forehead while he/she sleeps. Like a ninja! Although maybe in the future, you will be able to say your child's name into a computer and it will tell you their temperature (I might give up blogging and become a thermometer designer).
Last Thursday I attended a launch of the two newest Braun thermometers: the NTF3000 (above) and the ThermoScan 7. The latter is an ear thermometer that can be adjusted according to the child's age. Did you know that a definition of a fever is dependent on a child's age? Considering I have two children, I probably should have known that a fever in a three-month old is not necessarily a fever in a three-year old. This is useful when you have children of differing ages that need their temperature taken.
Luckily, Dr Ranj (presenter of Get Well Soon on CBeebies), was on hand to offer information on how to deal with a fever as well as to answer questions. He's a paediatrician, and experienced with handling children and worried parents. The launch wasn't just fever talk. We also had yummy, and cute, food. And I may have made Dr Ranj take a photo with me. And I may have made him record a video for my kids. Basically, I bothered Dr Ranj while everyone else was polite (and British).
I was really impressed with the new range of Braun thermometers. We have an older version of the ear thermometer, so I know what a good name that Braun have in the world of thermometers. I was quite pleased to be able to take home one of the Braun No-Touch thermometers. The thermometer has a super sensitive sensor, which can be used in two ways: touching the forehead and placed up to 5cm away from the forehead. As it does not need much cleaning, I can take my entire family's temperatures in a matter of seconds. NinjaMum!
The lovely people at Braun are giving one of my readers a chance to win a No-Touch NTF3000 Thermometer (retails for £52.99 at Argos). If you want the chance to take a temperature like a ninja, enter via Rafflecopter.
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Good luck! x
I was invited to the Braun launch and given a thermometer for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
*Photo credit: first two photos - Braun Therms website, photo w/ Dr Ranj - Rachel King
When my daughter Moozles and I were invited to an event to play with GoldieBlox, I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought maybe it would be pink Lego. Boy, was I wrong. GoldieBlox is a construction toy that uses the principles of engineering to help build spatial and problem-solving skills. Each box comes with not only the construction tools, but also a book containing a story about Goldie, a child inventor who saves the day by building cool machines. Moozles loves books and stories and I found this to be a great way to get her interested in building.
Moozles, who is six years old, is not really interested in building blocks. She has some Lego Friends which she has made a few times. She is more interested in drawing, crafts and reading. But she really enjoyed the Goldie Blox. The book contains a few different ideas for what you can build, but you can also freestyle. Moozles is not a freestyle kind of gal. She likes to make things as instructed. Here is the parade float she made yesterday, with only a couple of modifications.
GoldieBlox was developed by a female engineer, who got the toy made with financial backing from Kickstarter. She didn't know she could be an engineer until a math teacher encouraged her when she was 17. My daughter currently wants to grow up to be an ear doctor, a builder, a teacher and a waitress. But how many little girls want to grow up to be engineers? I have to admit that my daughter didn't even know what an engineer did. I had to explain that engineers design and build things. Moozles was amazed to hear that engineers can build bridges or airplanes. And was excited that maybe she could do that one day.
If you have a little girl, aged 2-9, you should give GoldieBlox a try. Moozles loved it and asked me to leave a box out for her to play with when she woke up this morning. I love it when an educational toy is actually fun. Each GoldieBlox set/box costs £19.99-£24.99 from Interplay UK. Have a look and see. Or you could enter my giveaway (my first giveaway!!) for a chance to win a box and some other goodies (all new, unused and unworn).
I am giving away a GoldieBlox and the Parade Float worth which sells for £19.99 (recommended age 6-9). I'm also giving away a super cute 'More than just a princess' t-shirt that would fit someone aged 5-9. And as an added bonus, I'm including LadyBird World (for ages 5-10), so your little one can learn about ladybirds and even learn how to keep them safely as pets (another fab educational product from Interplay UK which sells for £9.99).
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We were invited to play with GoldieBlox for the purpose of this review, and were given a few boxes of blocks and toys to take home. All opinions are completely my own.