Looking Back 2016


2016 has flown by, I can't believe that in the next couple of days we are heading into 2017. Looking back there have been many challenging and fun moments of 2016, within the world at large, personally and blog wise.

2016 saw my eldest son head into secondary school,  we attended a stunning family wedding and my hours at my long term job also changed, I'm also working an additional job, which has been tiring but extremely rewarding, it's amazing how positive feedback can lift and elevate you, it's nice to feel appreciated and know that you are making an impact. 2016 also saw me step up and take on a community role as a local committee member which has been another eye-opening experience that I'm enjoying. (although I'm sure they chose me as I'm such a good moaner).


Blogging wise it's been another great year working with some amazing people and brands, full of great experiences with the family and many great memories that we can fondly look back on, it's hard to pick a favorite as each day and experience has been amazing in its own right, I certainly feel blessed to experience so many great things with those that I love, no matter how big or small. I've defiantly enjoyed the challenge of running a blog, family, working and committing myself to the local community, sometimes I actually think I thrive on the manic-ness of it all.

Life can seem tough at times, and like most I've had some up and downs in 2016, but the lessons that I have learned stand me in good stead for the future. I'm certainly grateful for some of the missed opportunities that didn't happen knowing that sometimes the things that we think we want to happen, are not always for the best thing for our life at that time!!! For me my kids have always been my first priority and come before my job and career. every cloud really does have a silver lining! it's just sometimes we don't see it, and we need to step back and see things for what they really are, I'm grateful I have been blessed to see the blessings even when things do go wrong!!! or in this case right.


I'm sure next year will have some challenges as well as more amazing experiences.Thank you to all of my lovely readers and the supportive blogging communities.Thank you to all of the clients, brands and press relations people that I have worked with over the past year. But the biggest THANK YOU is to my much-loved family for putting up with me and my crazy ways x

Disney On Ice Frozen - Review

 Olaf

We adore Disney On Ice, so to get the opportunity to watch Disney On Ice Frozen was absolutely amazing, we loved the Disney Frozen movie, so to see the magic of the movie on the ice was a spectacular experience.

Annna and Hans

We were in awe as we taken through the main elements of the story, watching the loving, yet at time distant relationship between the two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. It's Elsa's coronation day, but Elsa soon finds herself revealing her hidden powers, which then forces her to leave Arendelle, Anna set off on her journey to find her sister and bring her back home, but Elsa is determined to remain free.

Anna and Krisoff

On Anna's journey, she meets Kristoff, his reindeer Sven, along with our all time favourite character the hilarious snowman Olaf. It was stunning as our favourite characters from the movie came to life in their beautifully designed costumes and elegant skating, which consisted of elegant lifts spins, completae of course the mesmerising songs from the movie. There was something really special watching this Disney On Ice Frozen, simply perfect and entertaining throughout.

Elsa Frozen

Disney On Ice Frozen gives Disney Frozen fans the chance to watch our favourite Disney story live on ice. Disney On Ice Frozen is now in London's O2 arena until the 30th December, visit the Disney On Ice website www.disneyonice.co.uk.

#ShareTheLove Campaign with Whitworths

Whitworths

Whitworths has launched a cool #ShareTheLove campaign, sharing the perfect children's story about The Cake That Made Christmas, a fun downloadable e-book. the book is beautifully illustrated, sharing the story of baking and sharing your creations with loved ones, and as it's Christmas what a nicer time of the year to share a delightful story. We love spending time together and baking is always a great way to connect and have some much-needed fun.

The Cake That Made Christmas

What a really love about the story is that it's a book about making someone happy through baking, and there is also a delicious Whitworth's Cranberry and Almond cake recipe inside the e-book, to help you make the perfect cake this Christmas.

The Cake That Made Christmas Book

The Cake That Made Christmas can be read online shared or downloaded.  You can find the link to the e-book here www.whitworthsprizes.com

Christmas with Cadbury: Cadvent

Cadbury Christmas Jumper

This Friday 14th is Christmas Jumper Day, so to celebrate Cadbury has created a cool tasty looking festive jumper knitted entirely from chocolate.

Cadvent

The festive jumper was created by food artist Jacqui Kelly, and will go on public display at Cadbury World in Birmingham, it took three people over 80 hours to make, and used over 320 metres of chocolate ‘wool’, which was hand rolled and twisted together to create a cool knitted effect. Featuring the iconic Cadbury logo, the jumper features a winter wonderland scene and is adorned with some of the tastiest Cadbury Christmas treats, including the Cadbury Dairy Milk Mousse Snowman and Cadbury Dairy Milk Snow Bites.

Cadbury Hat and Scarf

The festive chocolate jumper looks amazing, but if you would like a more wearable version of this stunning jumper, then check out Cadbury's limited edition line of Cadbury Christmas jumpers. My son adores his cosy yet cool Cadbury woolly hat and scarf.

Cadbury Knitwear

The Cadbury Cadvent knitwear collection can be purchased via www.cadvent.co.uk from £15.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them


To celebrate the release of the movie Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, we were given some cool goodies, which will make the perfect gift for Fantastic Beasts fans, from a cool book from Scholastic, a  Panini sticker album and stickers, cool wall calendar from Danilo, and must have posters from Pyramid and GB Posters. The kids especially loved the gadget decals from Paladone.


Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them  - A fabulous magical adventure by J.K. Rowling, long before Newt’s book became required reading at Hogwarts, Newt finds himself surrounded by danger when magical creatures escape causing destruction. We are really looking forward to watching this movie its sounds amazing.

Fantastic Beasts

We all loved the Character Guide which gave us a great insight into the characters from the movie, the boys absolutely loved the decals and had lots of fun decorating all the gadgets around the home and they look rally cool on the back of my mobile phone.

Harry Potter Decals 

For more information check out  Fantastic Beasts via twitter and the #FantasticBeasts hashtag.

The Greatest Gift #ChristmasIsForSharing

The Greatest Gift Animation Kit

Christmas is the perfect time for us to all spend time together and enjoy each others company, Sainsbury's has just launched a delightful Christmas Advert on the very same theme of families spending time together over Christmas. The Greatest Gift  advert is a cool animation featuring vocals by James Corden that tells the story of Dave, a hard-working loving Dad, who realises that the greatest gift he can give this Christmas is his time, Dave has a fantastic idea after seeing a gingerbread man in his daughter's bedroom.


To celebrate the release of this advert Sainsbury's has also released a The Greatest Gift smartphone animation film kit for children, the box doubles as a reversible stage, and inside is a backdrop and press our puppets, stickers to enable you can create your very own characters, also inside is Dave and his family in  press-out cardboard characters,  so  you can use to create you very own animation,the kit comes complete with an edible Dave gingerbread man. We cannot wait to get started and create our very own mini animation, we are really looking forward to seeing what we can come up with. All you need to get started is the Sainsburys Story Studio App via Apple Store or Google Play.

The Greatest Gift #ChristmasIsForSharing

Sainsbury’s have partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital to help families be together as over 50% of children treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital are from outside of London, so they are raising money to fund accommodation that means patients’ families can stay close by in difficult times. So if you buy The Greatest Gift animation kit £2 donation or if  you buy a Gingerbread Dave 50p from every one sold goes to the Great Ormond Street Charity

The Greatest Gift film kit can be purchased online or in store for £5, as can the Gingerbread Dave for £1.

Sing - Movie Review

Sing - Movie Logo

We were delight to head to the Odeon in London's Leicester Square to watch the  movie Sing from the makers of Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, Sing animated movie is a fun entertaining feet tapping feel good movie, Following Buster Moon the owner of a theatre, determined to put his theatre back on the map, Buster Moon comes up with a plan to host a singing competition with a grand prize, and soon animals from the entire town turn up to take part in the competition.

Buster Moon

Buster selects five finalists, Mike a smooth-talking mouse (Seth MacFarlane), Meena a extremely shy teenage elephant (Tori Kelly), Rosita pig a loving mum who wants a break from her 25 piglets (Reese Witherspoon), and a young gangster gorilla Jonny who's defiantly not looking to follow in his father's footsteps (Taron Egerton), along with punk star porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson) who ditches her arrogant boyfriend and go it alone.

Rosita pig

The story follows Buster Moon and his five wannabe singers as they set to change their lives for the better, as they all have one thing in common they all love to sing!!! and they are hoping that Buster Moon will change their lives forever. But all is not what it seems and they soon find themselves joining forces to put on an amazing show when the theatre and Buster moons dreams come crashing down literally around them.

 Sing screening

This fun movie is full of catchy tunes and fun characters, each with their own story to tell, a story of following your dreams and not giving up.

decorating cookies

We had the most amazing morning, joining in with some cool Sing themed activities, Sing is an awesome movie and thoroughly entertaining, we loved it. Sing features over 65 hit songs that you will most defiantly know and love.



Sing will be out in cinemas January 27th 2017.

Ice Skating with the stars of the show: Disney On Ice Frozen

Frozen - Elsa and Anna

We were really excited to head to an exclusive VIP skating session with the Disney On Ice skaters at the Tower of London ice rink, we were looking forward to learning a few skills as well as meeting the stars of the show who bring Disney On Ice: Frozen to life.

Ice Skating

Once we arrived we excitedly stepped out onto the ice, the kids were feeling rather confident, but I found it ever so hard to at first get my balance, after some good advice from the skaters, I was able to slowly make my way around the edge of the ice rink.

Ice Skating  Disney On Ice stars

My son had some advice one to one with one of the skaters who walked him through some fun and practical skating skills.We had the most amazing time getting to practice and learn from the professionals.

Professional Ice Skaters

After our skating session we were in for a real treat, as the stars of the show showed us some of their amazing moves, spins and lifts, and after trying ice skating for myself I'm in total awe just how amazing and skillful the Disney On Ice skaters are, so much so, that  more than ever I cannot wait to watch this year Disney On Ice Frozen at London 02 Arena. Dinsey On Ice Frozen is currently touring the UK, check out the following link and see when Disney On Ice is coming to your town, as huge fans of the Movie I certainly cannot wait to see the show.

Anna and Olaf

Disney On Ice Frozen is appearing across the until the 30th December visiting Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Aberdeen, Sheffield, and London. For all tour dates, visit the Disney On Ice website www.disneyonice.co.uk.


Spy Missions

Spy Missions Croyden

We were on a Mission last weekend, as we headed to Spy Missions is Croyden, we were really looking forward to the adventure ahead.

Spy Missions Tasks  Inside Spy Missions

As we entered Spy Missions we were introduced to our guide who then told us our mission, which was to board the hijacked USN Steadfast Battle Cruiser stop the missile and save the day. We were lead by our guide through a series of different rooms, each which had a challenging puzzle and adventure, we had to solve puzzles to get clues and codes to help complete our mission and stop the missile attack.

Spy Missions

There were lots of tunnels to crawl through, lasers to navigate and climb and crawl through, and even a slide, Spy Missions tested our mental and physical agility, but before long we had saved the day and stopped the missile our mission was complete.

Spy Missions   Spy Missions Activities

We loved our time at Spy Missions, although the time went by rather quick, but in fact, we were there for an entire hour and the time had just flown the past, the kids said that they had a great time and they would love to do it again.

For more information and to find our your nearest Spy Missions Headquarters check out www.spymissions.co.uk.




We were given tickets to Spy Missions, however, all thoughts in this review are strictly that of our own opinion.

HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND: THE NUTCRACKER ON ICE

THE NUTCRACKER ON ICE

We love visiting Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park London, its the must visit attraction to go to this time of year, full of Christmas spirit and festive-themed activities, stalls and attractions from Zippos Circus to The Magical Ice Kingdom, along with ariel views in the Giant Observation Wheel, whats more its free to enter into Hyde Park Winter Wonderland which gives you a great opportunity to explore and soak up the festivities and decide which attractions you would like to visit, the vibe inside is amazing and we quickly forgot that it was damp and wet as we explored the Christmas Market and sang along to the jolly Christmas tunes which echoed throughout.

Hyde Park Winder Wonderland

This year we were in for a real treat as the first time there was an amazing new attraction to explore, The Winter Palace Theatre, and until Monday 2nd January 2017, it will be home to the amazing production of The Nutcracker On Ice, featuring The Imperial Ice Stars.

Hyde Park Winder Wonderland Logo

Whilst we excitedly waited for the show to start and had a delicious soft drink in by the bar, before long it was time for the show to start, as we entered the arena we were greeted by an amazing starry sky scene of tiny twinkling lights which filled the walls and ceiling, inside the palace there are around 950 seats giving The Winter Palace Theatre a very intimate and cosy feel, which also means that all of  the seats have an excellent view of the ice rink stage.

Hyde Park Winder Wonderland Nutcracker On Ice

We sat in awe as the show started, and a dusting of snow  filled the ice rink stage and the projected scenery screen changed, then the Tchaikovsky music began, out came the stars of the show who graced the stage with their outstanding skating skills, we were treated to an hour of astounding lifts spins, stunts and illusions, all which told the scenes from the classic tale, each lift and spin and dance was perfectly choreographed to the music, it was simply breathtaking to watch

Mesmerising entertainment for all the family, a must see at Winter Wonderland.  Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open now until Monday 2nd January 2017. For tickets and information on The Nutcracker and all other attractions check out hydeparkwinterwonderland.com and see more of the Nutcracker Here: podcats.co.uk/nutcracker. Winter Wonderland is located ar Hyde Park, London, W2 2HU, and is open from now until the 2nd of January from 10am - 10pm everyday.




Sharing this post as a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel (www.mumsnet.com/bloggers-network), a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid to attend this event and I remain in full editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. 


Disney: Moana - movie Review

Moana

Moana (Auliʻi Cravalho) is an adventurous and inquisitive young women, who has a calling to explore the sea, but has been forbidden to do so by her father the Motunui chief. Moana suppresses her feelings and settles her heart to follow in her father's footsteps and becoming the leader of her people.

Moana image

But despite these attempts, Moana still finds herself drawn to the ocean. Moana and her people realise that the island fruit and fish stocks are on the decline.

Maui (Dwayne Johnson)

Moana's grandma shares a hidden secret that her ancestors before she was, in fact, voyagers, with this knowledge Moana finally follows her heart to fulfil the ancient quest to save her people, and sets of to find the all-powerful demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) who can hep she save her island. But the journey ahead is dangerous, but Moana is determined to prove herself and save her people.

Osnat Shurer and  Auli'i Cravalho
An amazing introduction to the movie courtesy of the Producer Osnat Shurer and the voice of Moana Auli'i Cravalho.
Disney Moana Logo

We absolutely loved every minute of this action adventure, another amazing movie from Disney. Moana's adventure is an inspiring one, of following your dreams and finding out who you are and what you want, with a good helping of courage and strength, Moana has a couple of tear jerking moments along with some very light-hearted and funny scenes, an adventurous and exciting journey. Moana is an amazing family movie.


Moana will be in cinemas nationwide from December the 2nd.

Family Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas Trees

With Christmas just around the corner, like most, you will be thinking of the perfect gift for your loved ones, so we wanted to share some of our favourite family products that we love.

Presents

Gaming - Buying gift that the whole family can enjoy is great fun as it means it something everyone can enjoy together.

Pokémon Sun Pokémon Moon

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon arrive on Nintendo 3DS family systems just in time for Christmas, Get ready to head to the Alola region to discover a whole new world, new Pokémon, and new adventures, The story begins just after the main character moves to the lush islands of the tropical Alola region – an area full of never-before-seen Pokémon, including some new takes on classic creatures. No sooner have they arrived than their adventures begin to unfold, and they meet many fascinating people and Pokémon on their travels.

Fifa 17  gamplay

Fifa 17 - Watch the story unfold and on and off the pitch where you follow the journey of Alex Hunter choose Alex's reactions and help him make decisions, which contributed to the story mode to ultimately get Alex into the Premier league. for more information check out PlayStation-family event.

Movies


Pete's Dragon

Petes Dragon - A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, Pete’s Dragon is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon.

 Zootropolis

Zootropolis -  Judy Hopps is a determined rabbit from Bunnyburrow, Her dreams are finally coming true as she heads for Zootropolis to become the first ever rabbit police officer, Judy soon finds herself on traffic patrol rather than catching the real criminals, Judy is determined to prove her worth and eventually finds an opportunity to embark on her first big case teams up with  sly hustler fox Nick Wilde.

Food

Thorntons Continental Chocolate

At Christmas, as there are always so many more amazing treats available. so if you love Thorntons Chocolates then this advent calendar is for you, each day until on the countdown to Christmas you will get a tasty Thorntons Continental Chocolate treat.

Thorntons Continental Chocolate Advent Calender

Behind each door, you will find a delicious Thornton's Cholacate from Expresso, Sicilian Lemon, Salted Caramel Praline, Chocolate Milano, Apricot Danish, Hazelnut Slice, Alpini Praline, Seville Caramel, Vanille Truffle, Viennese Truffle.



Thornton's Advent Calendar is only £ and can be found at Thorntons £12.50 in store and online via www.thorntons.co.uk.

  Grand Ferrero Rocher   Grand Ferrero Rocher inside

My Husband is a huge Ferrero Rocher fan, so to receive any of these Ferrero Rocher will make his day. Ferrero Rocher Grand is a huge palm sized Ferrero Rocher chocolate shell and inside is two delicious Ferrero Rocher's.

Ferrero Rocher collection

Ferrero Rocher collection consists of all-time classic Ferrero Rocher -  layers of crispy wafer and hazelnut, covered in milk chocolate. Raffaello - an almond surrounded by a soft creamy praline wrapped in a coconut wafer shell and coated in coconut flakes. Ferrero Rondnoir -  delicate wafer with a smooth chocolate cream, surrounded in dark chocolate and almond pearl hidden inside.

Ferrero Rocher

Ferrero Rocher makes the perfect gift for chocolate lovers, available from all major supermarkets, The Grand Ferrero Rocher RRP £5.24 and the Ferrero Rocher collection box at £13.64.


Toys


Supersize Thunderbird 3

We love this cool Supersize Thunderbird 3 with live action smoke technology, at the push of a button you can watch as the Thunderbird 3 blasts off leaving behind a trail of smoke. RRP £49.99. For more information check out Supersize Thunderbird 3.

Thunderbirds Are Go Action Figure  The Mechanic

Thunderbirds Are Go Action Figure - The Mechanic, a cool looking villain who is unpredictable, the movable figure comes with an attachable ion hammer and neuron driver. Perfect stocking filler for Christmas. RRP £9.99.

Oddbod Fuse

This Oddbod Fuse is a voice interactive soft toy, which has two fun modes walking mode and super sounds mode. Talk, clap and make a noise and listen to your Oddbod responded by chatting away in their fun Oddbod language. RRP £29.99 For more information walking, talking, voice activated Oddbods.