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26 August 2016

We took on the Wicked Uncle Challenge

Now who doesn't love a challenge?? Especially when it involves toys and little children!!
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So when Wicked Uncle got in touch with me to ask if we would like to take part in their Wicked Uncle Challenge and proof their claim of 
"Wicked Uncle helps people become A* present buyers!"
is true i was more then happy to oblige and see what the fuss is all about!
Wicked Uncle asked that the Candidate taking on the Challenge is a Wicked Grown Up who has no children and has no clue what to buy those little creatures!
So who better to ask then our current German house guest who with her 16 years might know all about buying cool clothes but has certainly not been near a toy shop for quite some time:
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She accept the challenge with no hesitation and off she went onto the Wicked Uncle Website to search her way through some cool toys for those 2:
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Here is what she thought about searching her way through the website to choose some cool 
presents for Finn & Molly-May:

"The website was easy to navigate around and it was really helpful having the different categories like adventurer and brainiac etc. to make the present finding more specific. This is the first time ever i bought a present online for kids and because i don't really see them much and only knew their ages and some of their likes it was great that i could choose age defined gifts. 
Overall it took me around 20 minutes to choose and put the order through but only because there are so many awesome presents to choose from, some of them i just wanted to order for myself!"

Less then 3 days later our order has arrived and we had 2 exiting little ones jumping up and down with joy who couldn't wait to open the box and see what Melissa has chosen for them:
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The Foam Cone Factory from TOMY was a instant hit with both the kids and they couldn't wait till it was bath time to try out their new pretend ice cream machine. 
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You only need to drip in a few drops of bubble bath into the cornet at the top...add water...and pull the leverThis clever bath toy uses suction pads to attach to the bathroom tiles or the sides of your bath. The three flat-bottomed cones are designed to sit on the side of the bath, ready to add pretend sprinkles from the shaker that comes as part of the set. 


Molly-May squeaked for delight when she spotted the pretty pink Dolphin Soapbox named 'Ava' and didn't stop cuddling it all day! When i told her she could take Ava for a splash in the bathtub that night and it will even help her to wash herself she did her exiting dance with a big grin on her face!
Ava is made using a soft terry cloth exterior and an anti-microbial sponge interior, she is easily worked into a lather - you just feed her some soap into her mouth.

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Finn was pretty happy with his Dinosaur Kit from Wood Workz! And whats not to like, its a fun creative set which contains 23 quality wooden pieces from renewable sources with glue, paint and stickers to make a T-Rex, the king of dinosaurs. This is something he is very much looking forward to creating with Daddy and he already told me once its finished he would like to take it to show and tell Fridays in his school.

Here is a little video for our #WickedUncleChallenge:

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All 3 presents been an instant hit with the kids and with myself too! Melissa has chosen some fantastically cool gifts all thanks to Wicked Uncle who have such a big and decent collection 
of just the right toy for everybody!
Wicked Uncle is the one and only address to give out to helpless Uncles, Aunty's, Godparents, Friends and Family who want to buy your children something cool so head over to their website now and have a browse for yourself your certainly wont be disappointed!!
It's a A* present service with some great little extras like having the gifts wrapped individually and there is a free gift tag is attached to every order, ours even came with a little thank you postcard to send to the person who gifted the present which i think is a lovely touch! You can also choose to add a birthday card (which is handwritten for the extra personal touch).
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If you need some more convincing (surely you don't by now??) head over to the Wicked Uncle Blog who will give you 4 more reasons that everyone should use their website
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You can also find them on 
Facebook: Wicked Uncle Toys
Twitter: @WickedUncle
Instagram: @wickeduncletoys
and YouTube: WickedUncle
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Disclaimer: I have been given a £40 Voucher Code for the purpose of taking part in the #WickedUncleChallenge and write about it, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.

25 August 2016

Finnster's 6th Birthday & Our Summer Holiday Adventures in Germany 2016

So this years Summer Holiday vacation started off a little bit more unusual then other years. This year my Mum asked me if she can fly over and take both children on her own back to Germany so they can spend 6 days alone together. Who's gotta say no to that? I was immensely grateful for her suggestion of me having a lay in for nearly a week and lots of time to declutter and sort the garage as well as go house/area hunting with Mr. C.

Well i did all that minus the decluttering after all epic 11am lay ins became over the week a little bit too nice to miss and you know what i don't regret a single extra wink i got because i felt refreshed and relaxed going over to Germany to be reunited with the kiddies.
Throughout the week i talked with Finn over the phone nearly every evening and i heard all the fun things he has been up to with his little sister and Oma & Opa.
From visits to his new friends/neighbours to daily swimming pool trips to the village very own little lido, plenty of ice cream and lego playing sessions with Opa as well as UNO (cardgame) matches with Oma he seemed very content and it was great hearing him all exited jabbering away in german.
Oma also told me in hysterics a detailed report about all the mishaps on the plane trip to Germany, from having all her bags taken off her to be put in the hold (which included the kids toy backpacks which Finn didn't find that amusing) as well as "loosing" the kids on the plane when they decided to play hide and seek with her, i just leave it at that!!

Here is another snipped of my Daily Talks with him:

"I put on my swimvest put the thing around my nuts - i am guessing he refers to the safety thing - and then i jumped from the 1 2 3 and 4 step into the big pool at the lido which was sooo far away and it was so much fun!) and i been to the kindergarten and sorted out the dinosaurs with Heidi" And Opa is teaching Molly-May new words todays offering is "Abracadabra" and she can count to 10 in German.

After our childfree week Mr. C. and myself made our way to Cologne to celebrate with a special "Welcome to the World - Naming Day Party" for my gorgeous nephew J. who's already 9 month!!
On that weekend we also celebrated Finnster turning 6 on the Sunday and after a nice breakfast at my Brother's Flat we all went for a walk to check out the Cologne Playgrounds and Parks:


Back at my Parents new Place we had another 2 weeks full of fun, sunshine, swimming, ice creams, family visits, toy shop discovery and much more!

I got a few nice lay ins, time to read some books for my bookclub and i also got a change to catch up with all my lovely cousins at our regular cousin meet when i am in Germany. Molly-May got to see both of her german Godmum's and spend some time with them and Finn was delighted to have found such nice new friends next door (we hardly ever saw him every afternoon because he insisted on playing Star Wars with Noah who is the same age then him!)
We even manage to have a Mummy&Son Date exploring the Willibaldsburg in my hometown Eichstaett which houses a fantastic fossil museum with some dinosaurs fossil to discover too: 



8 August 2016

Degustabox July Review

The Summer is here and yet another month has past which seem to have gone so quick thanks to the hot weather! Just before we where heading to Germany to visit our Family we received another Degustabox full with delicious new treats to discover!

So here it is in all its glory the July Degustabox:


Lets start with the sweet delights in this months box:


#1 Deliciously light in texture the Swiss Style muesli from Jordans is a blend of crispy wheat flakes, creamy oats, juicy raisins and finely sliced almonds. A simple classic and naturally with no added sugar: splendid. 
I have cereal and fruit every morning and  i am a huge Jordans fan for  while now so i loved the taste of the Swiss Style Muesli! 
 
#2 Bahlsen's delicious milk chocolate Choco Leibniz are now available in handy portion packs of two biscuits to go. Our original crisp butter biscuit set into smooth continental milk chocolate. Perfect for picnics, packed lunches or even to pop into your handbag for a tasty snack under 150 calories. It's not just a biscuit, it's a Bahlsen.
Growing up in Germany Bahlsen was and still is huge over there and a Family favourite for sure only bad thing was that i had to share some with my husband who loved them equally as much as me!
 
#3 Brookside - Dark Choclate. Exotic fruit and berry flavors blend with smooth dark chocolate. Light and refreshing. Rich and rewarding. Wholesome and authentic. It's an extraordinary taste experience you can have anytime.
I love Blueberries but i never had the taste of acai but together with the dark choclate it was
a sweet delight!
 
#4 Infusions are an exciting twist on Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, featuring 3 delicious fusions of flavours including orange & grapefruit, raspberry & pomegranate and apple & elderflower. Made with fruit juice, and with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
The new flavours of the fruit pastilles where very well put together and i truly enjoyed
the taste of them!

Onto the savoury stuff:
 
 
#5 Sarson’s, the expert in vinegar for over 200 years, now bring you a versatile full bodied balsamic from Modena, perfect as an accompaniment to salads or a recipe ingredient. The balsamic provides a distinctive gentle aroma with a tangy taste which goes perfectly on a salad or in a homemade pesto.
I am looking forward to trying this balsamic vinegar when i make a tomatoe-mozarella plate again for our next Family BBQ.
 
#6 Seabrook Lattice Food Heroes celebrate all that is good about British Food and Drink.
Three little pigs make an award-winning chorizo with a rich Yorkshire twist.
Now i let my husband try this one because it was a too adventures taste for my liking but my husband thought it was pretty nice and a good crunchy taste to it.
 
#7 Edible seaweed is an Asian delicacy, heralded as the new vegetable crisp.The green superfood, seaweed is naturally packed with nutrients, zinc, iron & B vitamins. Seaweed's superpower is its great source of iodine, a nutrient missing in most other foods, critically important in regulating hormones.
itsu's best-selling crispy seaweed thins are harvested from the crystal clear seas around South Korea. Heralded as the new, butterfly light vegetable crisp, with only 24 calories per pack, they are the perfect eat beautiful seaweed snack. itsu crispy seaweed thins are also available in wasabi
and sweet soy & sea salt flavour.
I should have probably tried this one over some salad but i thought i give it a go just as it is and although not really something to my liking i could see it working as a add on ingridient because i
do like the seaweed flavour but it was too strong on it's own.

#8 The Felix sweet pickled crunchy gherkins are handpicked and are prepared using a traditional recipe with vinegar, sugar and spices. Their sweet taste and crunchiness makes them perfect to serve with your burger, in your sandwich or as a condiment.
Our Felix Sweet Pickled gherkins are a brilliant all-rounder and a must-have in every household.
The product is ready to serve, suitable for vegetarians and is Kosher Parve.
Pickled Things are not really on my top list so i had to give this a miss but iam guessing it's a delight for somebody who likes that kind of product.
 

And last but not least the drinks of this months Degustabox:
 
#9 Amino acid enriched spring water, Rejuvenation Water is specifically designed to deal with the rigours of modern life. Using Derbyshire spring water, natural fruit flavours and a unique amino acid profile, Rejuvenation Water fuels the immune system, builds a natural resilience to stress, depression and anxiety and aids protein digestion.
I did mention it before in my previous degustabox reviews that personally i am not a huge fan of flavoured water so this one wasn't to my taste.
 
#10  Cracker Drinks Co. creates natural fruit juice drinks with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. The drinks are also naturally lower in calories, averaging around 30% less calories per 100ml than 100% juice or added sugar juice Drinks. Pineapple Coconut and Lime is the perfect example. It represents 1 of your 5 a day but is only 57 cals per serving. 
I love this drink and the combination with the rich pineapple flavour, zesty lime and some smooth coconut to top it off makes it the perfect light summery drink!
 
#11 You get all of the benefits of real aloe vera because the juice and pulp never come from powder, only a pure, powerful plant.  The drink is gluten-free and fat-free, and only use real aloe vera juice and pulp harvested straight from the leaf. With 20 blends across four distinct lines,
there is an ALO drink for everyone. From sports fans to fashionistas, we're the favourite accessory
to every lifestyle and personality.
I tasted the EXPOSED Aloe Vera drink and it's pretty hard to describe Aloe Vera i am guessing people who like it will enjoy this drink.
 
#12 At BerryWhite® All the drinks are certified organic and blended from natural non GM fruits. The exotic extracts, are also organic (naturally) with subtle flavour notes added to make drink combinations that appeal to every palate.
With such lovely ingredients there is no need to add any sugar, fruit extract or artificial preservatives.
In my box i received 2 flavours which was Lemon&Ginger (which was too gingery for me) and Cranberry&Guava (which i thought was a Little bit too bitter with the cranberry taste).
#13 The quality of the water is fundamental to the taste of Qcumber. The source of the spring water lies in the old county of Radnorshire in Mid Wales. Qcumber contains only natural ingredients and is free from artificial sweeteners, colours, preservatives and flavourings. The ingredients are: carbonated spring water, natural cucumber extract, beet sugar, citric acid. I think this drink will certaintly be added to my next homemade Pimms for some summer celebrations!

Overall we liked 9 items out of 13 the in the Box there where alot of 'healthy' drinks in this month box which i am personally not too keen on but it was still a good variety of food to weight it up.
If you want to hear more about Degustabox head over to their website or check out 
their Facebook and Twitter Pages.

You can get your very own Box with a whopping 6£ off!!
 Just add the discount code:
 "BLDEG15"

Enjoy!!
 

Disclaimer: I have been sent the July Degustabox for reviewing purposes, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.

4 August 2016

Parragon Bedtime Stories Book Review

The other day our postman brought us a exiting Parragon Book delivery!
Being part of the brilliant Parragon Book Buddies scheme we couldnt wait to check out a brand new copy of the 'Bedtime Stories - Sleepytime tales to share'.
 
The cover is all soft and inside you can find a beautiful collection of stories about bedtime, perfect to say goodnight and soothe little ones to sleep. 
'Bedtime Stories' includes classic fairy tales, plus favourites such as 'Bunny Loves to Read', I Love My Mummy', 'Underpants Wonderpants' and 'I Love You When' and many more.

We are yet to read more of the lovely Bedtime Stories but with what we read so far i have no doubt it will become one of Molly-Mays favourite books to read before heading to snooze land!
She loves nothing better then pointing out the characters and animals of the stories and the illustrations are absolutely beautiful.
As you can see at the pictures she couldn't wait to check the book out although it was nowhere near bedtime when i told her the title she went straight upstairs to cuddle up in bed and start to 'read':

Its a fantastic book for all ages and will make your bedtime reading a true fairytale!
Disclaimer: I have been sent the Bedtime Stories Book for being part of the Parragon Book Buddies Panel for reviewing purposes, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.

31 July 2016

Happy 6th Birthday Finnster!!

I still cannot believe that it was 6 years ago that you have arrived to this earth and ever since 
you have enlightened us, teached us, made us laugh, made us cry (mostly happy tears) 
and gave us so many happy memories to treasure forever!

Here is to many, many more!
Happy 6th Birthday 
to our Dinosaur loving, Star Wars mad,
pretty funny and mostly BONKERS Explorer:


26 July 2016

My Top 10 Holiday Travel Products

The Summer Holidays are finally here and thousands of Parents are looking forward to ditch the early morning chaos aka the school run and swap it for lots of fun days out and of course going taking the family on holiday. 
This year we decided to take the plunge and book a (much cheaper) term time Holiday to Majorca which isn't until middle of September but we are already looking forward to it.
So i thought it will let you in into my Top 10 must have Holiday products when travelling abroad!
Here there are:

//Zoggs Seal Flips //Usborne Wipe Clean Pirate Book//Joie Elevate//
//Beco Toddler//
//Snoozeshade//Slumbersac//Babyzen Yoyo//
//Boden Towel Dress//Trunki PaddlePack//BubbleBum//

Lets start with the Plane Journey ahead of us:

I absolutely love baby wearing (which you can read about it here "I think i caught the Bug"
and my trusted Beco Toddler which i purchased from Slumberoo is a must have item when it comes to going to the airport and waiting around (as well as on holiday when we do some day trips and she gets tired). And i am not the only one who thinks the Beco Toddler is a holiday essential 
Dave who blogs over at The DADventure thinks the same! 
Because our holiday resort is called Pirate Village there is no doubt my little Pirate Finn will want to learn about the Pirates and their Shenanigans before heading to the resort so this Usborne Pirate Activity Book is ideal to take along for him to make the time on the plane go quicker and its wipe clean so it can be done plenty of times!  Number 3 on my list is my trusted Babyzen Yoyo which is my last pushchair which i have been lustering after ever since it came out on the market. I have the 2015 model but the new and improved 2016 model called yoyo+ comes with carseat adapters and larger basket! I never looked back since i bit the bullet and got myself a preloved yoyo earlier this year it makes our airport journeys so much easier and the massive selling point for me was that its compact enough to be taken on as hand luggage which means A.) it wont be thrown around by the baggage handlers and i can use it right after i leave the plane!


Now its onto the car seats i know in other European countries there are no restrictions regarding having to use a car seat on a coach or taxi but i rather be safe then sorry so after a lot of researching i came across the very lightweight Joie Elevate which is a Class 1/2/3 Carseat and with its weight only being 5.47kg (which is even lighter then my Yoyo Pushchair!) you will have no problem transporting it to the airport shuttle, coach or taxi when travelling abroad! 
Its loaded with comfort (fully ventilated mesh sides) and fantastic extras including a integrated cup holder . Its suitable from 9-36kg has a height adjustable head rest, side impact protection to assure maximal safeness for your precious cargo! Having had another Joie Carseat for Finn for a few years now i love how easy it is to remove all the covers and give them a wash!
With Finn being 6 years i don't mind using just a booster seat occasionally on the school run 
when we have friends driving with us to come to ours for a play date. 
(Any other time he is secure in his Joie Trillo high back booster seat!)
So that's where the BubbleBum booster seat comes in so handy when you are travelling abroad. The portable, lightweight, inflatable car booster seat for children aged between 4-11 years 
easily deflates and packs away small into your hand luggage on your plane. It has a added belt positioning clip for extra comfort and inflates in less then 20 seconds!!

If you want to hear more about my reasons why i am taking car seats for both my children abroad you can read more in my recently publish post: "Family Travelling Tips - Taking Carseats Abroad!".


Now when you finally made it through the airport, plane journey, passport control and coach to your resort its all about, relaxing, sunning and jumping in the pool or exploring the ocean! When you go on holiday and your luggage allowance is limited you are trying to take as little as possible with you but with these Trunki PaddlePacks you don't have to worry about weight and space because they fold super small and are made out of very lightweight & water resistant material which makes it perfect to throw in the kids water toys (see below) and swimming costumes/hats without having to worry that it will soak through in your beach bag! And with their super cute design the kids will love wearing their backpacks themselves up to the room! Finn has got Spike the Blowfish and i recently found a bargain Flo the Pink Fish for MM to take along. Normally both kids have a backpack with some of their favourite plane toys/magazines etc when we fly abroad but this time i will just use the Trunki paddle packs so i safe myself bringing along more stuff!

When its finally time to hit the pool these Zoggs Seal flips are a great game designed to encourage children and build confidence in the water. You just blow the seal to make his head flip and due to them lightweight and small there the perfect water toy to take on holiday. MM is currently using them in the bath and loves them! For Finn i am taking some diving rocket sticks to encourage him to dive down to retrieve them, with their colourful designed there are a hit with Finn and he is always taking them to the local swimming pool when he goes with his dad!
Keeping the sun away from your little ones is always a big talking point when visiting hot countries so i will take along my trusted Original Snoozeshade for my Yoyo to keep Molly-May cool when she decides to have a little siesta through the day! 
Then their is the brand new Summer Muslin Sleeping Bag With Feet which is only 0.5tog,
 from Slumbersac a company who makes those genius sleeping bags WITH feet for your little ones. I always used sleeping bags with the kids because there both kick off the duvet - kinda kids,
so when i discovered Slumbersac a year ago i was instantly hooked and Molly-May 
loved the freedom of running around in her sleeping bag. 
Now you might wonder why i would bring a sleeping bag on holiday with me but for me its a very straightforward reason. Most Hotels abroad do have air con and for me putting Molly-May into just a short sleeved body is a no go because it will get to chilly for her as soon as she kicks off those covers so the Muslin Sleeping Bag will not only give me a piece of mind that she is covered up at night but its also loose enough for her to move around in her sleep! 
Pssst: if you want a good nights sleep for your little one grab my 15% off to get your very own Slumbersac with Feet just use the code "SBL04" (valid until 19th August 2016)!


The next product its all about keeping the little ones secure from the sun and dry after hours and hours in the pool. So that i can safe myself bringing down another towel for both kids i am getting MM a Towel dress (this one on the picture is from Boden and is currently on sale 
for only 14.70£ (instead of 24.50£). And i am still trying to hunt down a (Dinosaur) 
Poncho version large enough for Finn.
A Product which didn't make it into my Top 10 but still gets a mention is the century old Baby Talc, now believe me i was as stunned as you are right now reading this but Steph who blogs at Hello Baby let me in on a little secret and such a simple one as well! If you put some Baby Talc on the Feet of your child it will remove the stubborn sand straight away and you can slip those Sandals back on your clean and sand free feet!


That is all from me and My Top 10 Holiday Travelling Products! 
I hope you all have a amazing Summer and a great holiday wherever you will go!
Disclaimer: Some products listed on My Top 10 Holiday Travelling Products have been send out to me for reviewing purposes, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.


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