My Mummy's World

Monday, 8 January 2018

January Swago with Spin & Win

I'm not sure if you've heard of Swagbucks before, but if you haven't where have you been? I've been a part of Swagbucks for quite some time now and its been a great help towards purchasing presents and generally just paying for things around the house, and with it being January, I'm sure we could all do with any extra cash we could get. 

The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during their January "Swago" promotion starting Monday, January 8th at 9am PT and running until Monday, January 15th! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have until 12pm PT on Monday, January 15th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, January 15th to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of January, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Crafting with Elves at The Elves Workshop, Resorts World Birmingham | A Review

Since becoming a parent of two, the last thing I want to do is go Christmas shopping, not because of being a scrooge or anything. However, the thought of dragging them around the shops seems a nightmare, they are quick to get bored and the hustle and bustle is too much for me. I'd much rather do a mix of visiting the shops before it gets too busy then online shop after that. However, this weekend we visited Resorts World in Birmingham, and although it was full of festive shoppers it wasn't too crowded and the atmosphere was lovely. 

Our purpose of visiting was to look at the Elves' Workshop which has been put up especially for the little ones amongst us. Its a perfect little getaway where the children can just let off some steam. As I mentioned taking them is stressful as they easily get bored so having somewhere like this is perfect for them. Bonus points if you take someone else with you who can sit in there with them whilst you shop.

Stepping into the Elves' Workshop is like stepping into a children festive paradise, there is so much for them to do whilst surrounded by so much festivity. There are toys to play with, activities to do, crafting, lots of crafting and books to read too. Then you have the elves on hand to help your children and interact with them too. 

Now, my children are the least crafty when it comes to colouring, especially Jack but he still had so much fun, we came away with many a tree decoration and fridge magnet all decorated by themselves. 

The Elves Workshop is located near Patisserie Valerie and is open every weekend from 10am until 6pm in the run up to Christmas. 

Whilst at Resorts World, we also headed into Pixel and Vortex which are the entertainment areas with so much fun for both little kids and the big kids. There are many a different game and its virtual reality heaven in there. After a stressful day of shopping, its the perfect way to unwind. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Christmas Gift Guide | Stocking Fillers & Last Minute Gifts

Finding last minute ideal gifts or stocking fillers is something I always struggle with. Although I try and get everything done early on there is always someone who doesn't say what they would like until nearer Christmas. 
We've got a little list of some last minute gifts and some stocking fillers. 

Haynes Manuals.

Haynes are well known for their manuals, especially within the car industry. However, over the last few years they have expanded the range, and they now do a whole range focused on other points. They have the Haynes Explains range which includes Football, Christmas and Pets amongst others, which are priced with an RRP of £6.99. They also do a range aimed at parents, these include the Baby Manual, Toddler Manual and Dad Manual. 

Ellas Kitchen Christmas Dinner.

Just in time for the Christmas season, leading baby and toddler food brand, Ella’s Kitchen has launched Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner. This festive pouch is created for tiny taste buds and includes organic turkey, potatoes and all the trimmings (even brussels sprouts), so little ones can enjoy Christmas dinner together with the rest of the family!
Ella’s Kitchen wants to help every little one come together around the table at family mealtimes and partners with Save the Children to donate 30p from each Jingle Belly pouch sold to the charity’s ‘Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!’ programme - offering vital help to low income UK families by providing essential household items such as tables, high chairs and cookers that many take for granted, yet families in poverty can struggle to provide. The pouch has an RRP of £1.39 and perfect for the little ones within the family. 

Baby Dove Sets.

Baby Dove have a lovely range of gifts, not just for Christmas that would be perfect to combine for a new family. There is a gorgeous Keepsake Box with an RRP of £15 which includes a range of products within a keepsake box containing booties and a hat.
They also have a lovely mother and baby set which includes products for both mum and baby. This has an RRP of £12. 

Warner Bros. DVDs. 

Now, its not Christmas without a movie or seven is it? Films make the perfect stocking filler, they can be picked up fairly cheap these days and are small enough to pop within, they are also very last minute as you can pick them up anywhere. They last on and on, and can have many uses from them. 
Lily O'Briens Chocolates. 

Chocolate is always a hit as a gift, unless your on a diet or diabetic I guess. However, they again are easy enough to pick up from anywhere and in varying sizes make perfect last minute stocking fillers. As a time for sharing and indulgence, nothing says Christmas like receiving a beautiful assortment of premium chocolates. To celebrate the festive season, Lily O’Brien’s, the luxury chocolatier, is creating a festive experience with its delectable range of quality chocolates.

Duraflex Glassware.

Duralex Glassware has been made in the beautiful historic city of Orleans, France since 1945. They are the pioneers of tempered tableware and provide a large selection of drinkware, tableware and kitchenware. Their most iconic glassware range is the Picardie followed by the Provence and Gigogne. A new range perfect for winter cocktails or a whisky on the rocks is the Manhattan. All the glasses are toughened and are all shock resistant, able to hold hot or cold liquids and are dishwasher, microwave and freezer proof.

Milton Portable Steriliser. 

For the smaller ones you could get a mini portable soother steriliser. They are perfect for soother sterilisation on the go. You can always guarantee to drop a soother when you are out The steriliser comes complete with 10 tablets within the unit and additional tablets can be purchased, with each lasting 24 hours each. You can see our full review of this here

We received press samples for the items featured above. 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Getting Festive with Drayton's Magical Christmas | A Review

Drayton Manor is one of our favourite places to visit, both of the children love it there. Although we've been there a couple of times, we've never experienced the Magical Christmas event but we've heard so many fantastic things. This year sees the 10th anniversary of the special festive event at Thomas Land and with that its transformed into a magical, festive wonderland. 

Both Jack and Isla loved seeing all the festivities which were happening, from the snow topped buildings, to the massive Christmas trees, garlands and wreaths everywhere you turned you'd be sure to spot something festive. It truly was a magical place. 

During the event all rides within Thomas Land are open as well as a few within the main park. As not much is open, the queues aren't too bad and quickly go down. Throughout the day there are also additional shows going on st the balcony of Knapford Station. Four times throughout the day Sir Topham Hat is joined by some of his colleagues, to sing songs, tell stories as well as a few jokes and mainly just spread the Christmas cheer. At the end of the show snow falls and its such a magical experience. 

Of course, Drayton Manor Zoo was still open and with a few changes from when we last went, they seem to be making improvements. Some of the animals were tucked away but majority were out to play and entertain the crowds, I'm talking about you monkeys. You can of course walk to the zoo or take a ride on a festive Thomas or Percy who are decorated for the festivities. 

If your feeling chilly, there are plenty of places where you can have a warm up including the 4D cinema showing Ice Age Christmas, lasting around 15 minutes. A perfect place to have a little warm up ready for more festive fun. 

Now we can't forget the most festive part of all, entering the Castle of Dreams to see Father Christmas himself. We queued along the walkway, where we got the the elves, who entertained the children until it was our time to go through into the waiting area, which was one family at a time. We then spoke with this elf before going through to Father Christmas. The room in which we went to was magical and beautifully decorated to incorporate many things we associate with Christmas.  Father Christmas was lovely and spent time talking to all of us and not rushing us through, before showing Jack how to do some magic and take our photo, then giving each child a gift.

The gift from Father Christmas was a bag containing a festive book 'My visit to Father Christmas at Drayton Manor Park', a chocolate lolly and a golden ticket to return the following year. 

After finishing our visit with Father Christmas we went through the castle, where we had the opportunity to purchase the photo before entering the middle of the castle where there was face painting, a sleigh and a small gift shop. After leaving we walked around and spotted two reindeer in which the children were amazed by, although asking many questions. 

The Castle of Dreams experience was lovely, but I think I expected something a bit more, especially as its an additional expense. I think more festivities along the way to build up to seeing Father Christmas. 

After our visit we headed back to Thomas Land to go on more of the rides, as the night drew in the lights were turned on and it looked even more magical - there is just something about festive lights. 

At the end of the day, there was a festive parade starting at Sodor Airport making its way through the park to the lake, where later the fireworks would be shown from. We sat and waited by the lake for the parade but could hear it on the announcements and it sounded amazing, I wish we would have followed it. 

Although the middle of November for our visit, it certainly made us feel very festive and begin to feel Christmassy. Seeing the smiles on both of the children's faces made everything worthwhile. They truly enjoyed their day, and I think its somewhere we will continue to visit at Christmas time. 

Drayton's Magical Christmas event is running on selected dates between 18th November and 31st December. You can find out more and book your tickets here.

Please Note: We received complimentary entry into the park and complimentary entrance into the Castle of Dreams to write about our experience however all thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway.  

Strolling with the Britax Holiday | A Review

This summer Britax launched a lovely new stroller, in the form of their first super lightweight which is conveniently called Holiday. 

This latest addition is suitable for children from 6 months to 15kg (around 3 years) and is one of the lightest pushchairs on the market. The Britax Holiday comes in at just 5kgs and with the handy carry handle, this pushchair is the perfect companion on your travels. When folded up its free standing with a compact size of 60cm length by 25.5cm width and can easily fit within a variety of spaces. It would easily fit within any boot space and also within the overhead compartments on a train or plane. 

The Britax Holiday includes a hood which has a built in UPF of 50+ to protect your little ones and ventilation meshing on both sides of the seat and above the head. There is a fairly large basket for such a compact pushchair which would easily fit in small essentials. The wheels work fairly well too, there are two swivel wheels at the front and the rear ones are fixed and they have been great at speeding along the hard terrains. Surfaces such as grass and sand it didn't work as well on but it's not really the stroller for that. It features an adjustable 5-point safety harness which is always something I look for, with padded shoulder straps and built-in shorteners for the straps in the seat to ensure the perfect fit. It has been well designed with easy to clean fabrics which is always a bonus with children. 

This has been one of the easiest pushchairs to operate that I have ever owned, there is a simple fold and unfold which is simply done in one motion - although two hands are required. There is a little grey button on the cross beam along the handlebars which you depress initially, the lift up the black catches which are located on either side of the handlebar and push forward to fold. Its done so quickly you will be amazed!

My only negatives regarding this pushchair are that I wish the hood was a little longer to protect more of your child, its sufficient but sometimes I could see Isla squinting as the sun would catch her, and in the summer months or holiday sun this may be something to consider. Also, there is no recline feature. Whilst this isn't so much of a problem for us as Isla doesn't nap much these days, those with younger ones may wish for this feature. However these two ever so slightly negatives would not put me off purchasing this, even when Isla was younger as its such a perfect fit for us. 

The Britax Holiday is available within six colours: Aqua Green, Coral Peach, Cosmos Black, Flame Red, Ocean Blue and Steel Grey, with a RRP of £120. 

Over our time of testing this recently we have used within a variety of situations, and even Islas Grandad who can never fold and unfold our pushchairs has been using it and found it simple. Its been easy enough to take with us as Isla always is wanting to walk but then after so long will want a sit down as its light enough to carry its been ideal. 

Please Note: I received this stroller in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

CHECK with HECK Sausages

This month you may have seen that HECK sausages had a slight re-brand on their packaging and are now called CHECK; well its all for a good cause. 

The company are helping to raise money towards the Movember Foundation through the sale of the sausages whilst reminded and encouraging men to CHECK. Last year was when HECK began this journey and after the great success have decided to again this year. 

There is a personal story behind this for HECK too, as their very own Jamie Keeble, co-founder, found a small lump in one of his testicles which turned out to be cancerous. After his own diagnosis he realised the importance for more young men to be aware of the signs and symptoms; with research commissioned by HECK they discovered two thirds of men don't know what cancerous lumps feel like within their testicles. 

When HECK asked me to help out with this, I was happy too. Saving lives with a simple re-brand and sausages - what better way! 

We teamed our sausages with two of our favourite vegetables, to encourage you to check your meat and two veg. We had a carrot and swede mash, teamed with our heck sausages and an onion gravy. 
Without being in a recipe form as its simple enough, we boiled our carrots and swede whilst our sausages were in the oven. We then set to frying some onions until slightly caramelised and adding to a stock made of oxo, red wine and seasonings. Nice and simple and all complete within 25 minutes. 

HECK's special CHECK sausages are available now within various supermarkets raising money towards the Movember Campaign - which is a fantastic cause. 

Guys, and gals, remember to check your meat and two veg and see your doctor for anything suspicious. 

Please Note: We received two promotional packs of sausage in exchange for this post, all words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

BRIO My First Take Along Train Set | A Review

I've mentioned a number of times how much both of my two love trains, as in really LOVE. Between them, one thing they enjoy playing with together is their wooden train sets, so when the opportunity came for us to review the My First Take Along Train Set, I knew it would be perfect. 

It arrived with us whilst Jack was at school and Isla was eager to get it open and have those initial plays with it, getting ahead on the action. 

The BRIO My First Take Along Train Set is aimed at children 18months + and is the perfect starter train set. It comes within its own carry along case which forms part of the train track. When you open the case there are additional pieces to complete the set, this includes a train, a train carriage, 2 slopped tracks and 2 track ends. 

The pieces easily fit together to make a simple track, placing a slope either side with a track end on to form a track which goes up, round and back down. I initially showed Isla how to build the track then every other time shes been able to place the pieces down herself to remake the track. 

 When Isla had finished playing she could easily place all the items back inside the case herself and tidy away for another play day. This track has been on many adventures with us, taking it to my mums when she was looking after them, and also out to a meal with us, although it can be fairly big to place on a restaurant table. 

One thing I love about this set, apart from its ease of use and manoeuvrability is the fact you can extend the track. Jack added some of his other wooden track onto the set to make it larger and these have stayed inside for when either of them take it out. 

The train and carriage, as with any BRIO set are attached with magnets which Isla enjoyed clicking together and pulling apart. Within the carriage is bell which is great for the younger children to be able to follow the train along and encourage the sensory development.

The BRIO My First Take Along Train Set retails around £29.99 and is worth every penny. 

Please Note: We received this track in exchange for an honest and impartial review. All words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.