Wednesday, February 10

Review: Andy's Amazing Adventures Magazine

Both my children love to get magazines from the newspaper shop, it's their Friday treat after school.  Of course being young still they both just go for what plastic toy they want on the front and never really look inside the actual magazine other than to get the stickers out.

Newly launched today is a brand new children's magazine called Andy's Amazing Adventures.  You are most likely familiar with Andy's Dinosaur Adventures and Andy's Wild Adventures on CBeebies - this magazine is based on those adventures.

Emmy is a HUGE Andy fan, she went to a preview of Andy's Dinosaur Adventures at the Natural History Museum back in 2014 and met Andy and she still talks about that day even now and loves the show.

This magazine has the usual toys on the front like all children's magazines - I do however like these ones though as apart from the T-Rex grabber they aren't little plastic toys which can get broken within minutes typically.  The 5 mini dinosaurs are sturdy one piece figures which actually stand up well (there is nothing more frustrating to a child than a toy which keeps falling over while you are trying to play with it).  The T-Rex works by pressing down the front legs which makes his mouth close.  This has string inside to make it work which after playing with vigorously I can imagine will break fairly quickly.

The magazine itself is aimed at children aged 3 - 6 years so would appeal to both Emmy and Harry who fall into that age range and it also supports the Early Years Curriculum.

Inside you can find things to make, games to play, stories to read and pictures to colour, as well as over 40 different stickers.  There is actually quite a lot packed inside this magazine.

The wording is very age appropriate and the stories and pictures engaging and eye-catching.

It contains lots of animal facts which Emmy loves.

There is a chance after the stories to recap and remember the story to check to see if your child was listening as Andy asks questions relating to the story and they need to fill in the gaps.

There isn't a lot of writing pages within this book so I personally think it's better suited to aged 4-5 as the actual activity pages are on the basic side.

Overall though it is a nice magazine which will hopefully be completed and not just tossed aside for the toys.  Reasonably priced at £2.75 I can see this being a new magazine of choice for my adventures.

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Review & Giveaway: Spaceform Mini tokens from Getting Personal

The shops are filled with mushy lovey cards, heart shaped balloons, teddies and chocolates but if that's not your thing (it's certainly not mine - I don't do all soppy although I do do chocolate and wine) then you will love these Spaceform mini tokens from Getting Personal.

They don't even have to be for valentines, there are so many available options that you could give one to your best friend or a single friend to make them smile.

These are my favourite ones to give as friends gifts - for no reason gifts:

"DRINK WINE RESPONSIBLY - Don't spill it" - £12.99

"GIN & BEAR IT" - £12.99

"Friends for life" - £11.99

"CHOCOLATE IS THE ANSWER - who cares what the question is!" - £12.99

However if you are looking for Valentines gifts for that special someone then these are my favourites:

"You're the gin to my tonic" - £12.99

"Let's fool around" - £9.99

"I love you slightly more than wine" - £14.99

"Have I told you lately..." - £16.99

These mini tokens are H 4cm x W 3.9cm x D 0.5cm and come presented in a paper box frame to keep them protected.  They are all individually hand crafted through 38 separate processes which means not no one token will be 100% identical.

Due to the size of these they could be kept in a wallet or purse 9(as long as you are careful as they are made from glass) or kept on a shelf or on your desk.

Very cute and a lovely keepsake memento.

Giveaway Time:

Now this won't arrive in time for Valentines day however I am giving away a GIN & BEAR IT  spaceform token as pictured above with kind thanks to

If you would like to enter this giveaway please fill in the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway will end at Midnight on 5th March 2016 - Good Luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, February 9

7 different wedding favor ideas

Looking back on my wedding which was in March 2007, there was so much to plan and organise that a few of the smaller to-do's got left to the last minute.  I guess I thought that these items weren't as important - after all the big jobs such as the guest list, table plans and wedding dress shopping took so long it was essential to bump down the smaller things such as the table decorations and the wedding favors leaving as almost an after thought.

Seeing friends and family begin to plan their weddings I do regret going down the traditional sugar almond route for my favors - it was an easy option I guess, the done thing and to be honest I really didn't but much thought into it except for making them up myself.  Making up the boxes, adding the sweets and painstakingly writing gift labels and hand tying with ribbons.  It was a tedious process and it was so boring I would have much rather watched paint dry.

So with wedding season fast approaching I have hunted out a few variations for wedding favors to save you the job:

Personalised shot glasses - customise with the bride and grooms name and the wedding date for a lovely keepsake which you can actually use too.  The more you order the cheaper they are.  Prices start from £1.80 (order of 38 and reduce when you order larger quantities).  Available from Confetti

Heart Shaped scented soap, these also come with free matching Thank You gift tags.  Currently on offer for £1.04 each from Light in the Box

Tuxedo/Gown candles - these are a gift with a difference.  Each candle features a Tuxedo on one side and a Wedding dress on the other.  Priced at £3.55 each (or £2.69 if you buy 6 or more).  Available from Wedding favours kingdom

Personalised miniature wine or spirit - these are available in lots of label designs from plain text to pictures of the happy couple with drink options including red/white/rose wine, prosecco, blended/malt whisky, rum, vodka or brandy.  Prices start from £2.79 available from Just Miniatures.

Two Peas in a Pod ceramic Salt and Pepper shakers - these are just adorable and would be perfect for a garden themed wedding.  Priced at £2.95 each and available from A wedding less ordinary

Personalised chocolates.  Add the Bride and Grooms names along with the wedding date for a sweet and edible keepsake.  Available from wrapped for you 100 chocolates costs £26

Personalised mini Love Hearts - everyone remembers Love Heart sweets, you probably even swapped them at school with your secret crushes or first loves, now you can personalise the roll of sweets with the Bride and Grooms name and wedding date.  Available at varying costs depending on the amount you buy - for example 50 rolls of sweets would cost £21.50 (43p each) - Swizzles

"This is a collaborative post"

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Sharing the love with friends #BratzBFF

Valentines doesn't have to just be for couples, in school the children make cards for their parents as a token of love,  but of course there's many different types of love.

I love my children, my parents, my family and my husband but it's a different type of love for each.
Children are the same, they love their parents, siblings and family but there's also love for their friends.

Emmy is very lucky to have 2 best friends, they do lots together. Play together at school,  visit each others houses, go to the theatre as a birthday treat and up until recently were all in the same swimming class, now 2 of them are and we are awaiting the third gaining her green hat to join them again.

It's a sweet friendship and most of the time they get on so well.

With Valentines coming up Bratz asked if Emmy would like to exchange a special gift with her friends to spread the love and help show that special bond of childhood friendships.

Three parcels arrived and Emmy wrote special messages to her friends. I also wrapped up a 4th as they were to open after school and I didn't want Harry to feel left out. Harry dictated a message he wanted to write to his sister for her parcel.

"I love my BFF because she plays with me"

There were beaming smiles all round when they received their gifts. Just adorable.

Inside were Bratz Remix dolls for them to enjoy, Bratz dolls are best friends as are the girls, they can swap and share and play together.

The Remix dolls come complete with headphones and an iPod and are ready to party the afternoon away in their party attire and cost £12.99 each - there are 4 different friends to collect Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha and Jade.

To say they were happy with their gifts would be an understatement,  they loved them.
A lovely gesture and a just because I love you gift. The best kind of gift in my book.

Harry's letter to Emmy " I love my BFF because you always read to me at bedtime and give me kisses" - obviously I wrote it but he dictated his own message, he does adore her (most of the time).

The girls would like to say a huge thank you to Bratz for their gifts.

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Saturday, February 6

Project 366: 31st January - 6th February 2016

This week has been hell for me - I haven't been this ill for a very long time, I had been fighting off a chest infection and what I can only describe as the worst cold ever (not flu as such as I have been able to move, but only just - doing the school run then sleeping until it was time to collect the troops), it's not been a great week, I've ached all over, my joints were freezing and sore and I have sneezed more than I ever have in my entire life - but the worst seems to have past, thank goodness as it's Emmy's birthday party tomorrow!

Our Week:

Day 31:
Sunday lunch out, I was too ill to cook so we headed off to Brewers Fayre for a carvery.  Last week I wrote about the half-term activities they will be running for the kids, including a disco and meal deals.

Day 32:
I was feeling poorly and having dropped Harry's Monday morning at Pre-School we were home together all day.  Full of beans and jumping over me and the sofas I admit it was a struggle so I blew up the ready bed and declared an indoor movie camping afternoon.  Harry was very happy with this and we watched Minions together, well I did nap next to him. (Awesome parenting, obviously NOT but desperate times call for desperate measures to get through the day).

Day 33:
10 out of 10 again for Emmy on her spelling test - she also went up in assembly to collect a silver award for her hand writing.  One child per school year is chosen for these awards.  I am one proud Mummy.

Day 34:
Emmy spotted a giant teddy while shopping in Tesco a few weeks ago, she wanted it.  We said she could have it but would need to save her pocket money and buy herself.  She has been doing extra jobs and on her best behaviour to save up.  Today she had enough so when Daddy came home from work he took her to buy it.  She was so pleased with herself.

Day 35:
Emmy's birthday.  6 today and a full day at school.  We opened her presents in the morning, took sweets into class and then went off to Zizzi's after for dinner. We had the restaurant to ourselves and Emmy and Harry turned it into a dance floor.

Day 36:
My best friend and her kids came over for a belated birthday tea.  Emmy opened the remainder of her presents, the kids all played with the new toys and we all ate hotdogs and watched a movie.  Ruth and I did the grown up Friday unwind of sharing a bottle.

Day 37:
Belated birthday treat day was today.  Emmy is having a birthday party tomorrow and as a treat she had her nails painted in the nail salon today and then went to have her hair washed, cut and blow dried.  I can't believe just how grown up she looks with her hair straightened.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

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