Sunday, July 24

Fire Power: Super Soaking Fire Hose Backpack Water Gun Review

Summer is here in case you've missed it - although that said don't blink as this may be it as it is England after all and you can guarantee that now the kids have broken up there will be rain.

Thankfully the kids were sent a really cool Fire Power water gun with a difference in time for the sunny Summer days.  This is a backpack water gun made to look like a fireman's hose hence the name Fire Power. 

This is a pump action water gun with two spray settings - single stream and spray action.  To change the water stream you need to twist the top of the barrel in the direction of the arrow fully and then turn back to change again.

When this item arrived the hose needed attaching to the bottom of the backpack - this is a little tricky to do and requires a little wriggling into place, the other end then is attached to the pump.

The yellow cap at the top of this water gun is where you fill it with water, unscrew the cap and fill then of course replace the cap.

You then need to adjust the straps of the backpack to fit your child and then make sure they are outside as you will get wet!

Fire Hose super soaking backpack water gun

Harry got the hang of this straight away, a little too quickly for my liking if I am honest as I didn't get chance to move out of the way and was soaked.  He was able to pump the spray and aim where he wanted too.

He did struggle to change the setting of the spray himself so kept it on the same one until the barrels were empty and I changed for him.  This water gun has a range of 30 feet.

We have found that the straps keep falling off of Harry's shoulders as the weight of the water tugs on the straps and they come loose, we eventually combatted this by knotting the straps so they fit and don't come loose again.

Great fun has been had by all with this toy but I do think I will need to purchase a second to even up the odds a little and to stop the fighting.

Harry now runs around the garden pretending to be a fireman putting out fires with his fire hose which is just the cutest thing ever.  The tank of this water gun empties in around 5 minutes and is very quick to refill again from the tap or garden hose.

Available from Amazon and other good retails (RRP £12.99) however currently on offer from Amazon for £9.70

Disclaimer:  We received this item in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are our own

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Friday, July 22

Feeling organised for a change - getting back to school ready

Every year since Emmy started School I have celebrated the start of the Summer holidays with vigour that we have a whole 6 weeks off and plenty of time to do everything.  Of course the time passes far too quickly for all of our liking - even with the “I’m bored” from the kids or the “Please just 5 more minutes to answer these emails and get this work done” from me.

It is a struggle for me as I do work from home, and being self-employed there is no sick pay nor holiday pay, if i don’t do the work I don’t get paid, however at 3 & 6 years old the kids find that hard to understand and NEED me as soon as the laptop is out.  I do as much as much work as i can in the evenings but of course with children who don’t sleep well and trying to tire them out in the day I am shattered myself but needs must.

This year with Harry and Emmy in School and both in uniforms I am determined to be more organised as there is nothing worse than the end of Summer rush to get everything ready, the supermarkets are stores start to run out of the T-Shirt sizes I need and I have never managed to send Emmy back to School with a pair of Plimsolls which are the correct size yet! - Just why every year I forget I do not know but the day before term starts is the day I remember she will need to try them on, only for them to be too small.

NOT this year though - I have teamed up in advance with Debenhams to grab my essentials early on, before the rush and before I forget yet again - this means I can enjoy the Summer without worrying about this job later down the line.

Back to school essentials with Debenhams

I am one of those Mum's now who go for practical as both children are in school uniform, gone are the girls pretty collared Polo-Shirts and in are the Unisex versions (Sorry Emmy - although she knows no different I'm sure), this is of course because once Emmy has outgrown them then Harry can wear them and because they actually wear a similar size now so if I'm not up to date with the washing it doesn't matter as much.  With packs of 2 starting from just £4 I have stocked up on these so hopefully we won't have the bottom of the washing basket dramas by week 2.

The same goes with the School Jumpers, Emmy has a few larger School logo'ed Cardigans which still fit her so I have chosen Jumpers as Harry can have when he moves to reception next year. His jumper colour for Nursery is Yellow however they are actually allowed to wear Blue too - this was implemented as many children have siblings in the main school and the uniforms are passed down - to avoid added unnecessary costs to parents Nursery children have the option to wear the Blue jumpers should they which.  Harry has started in Yellow because all his friends did and I didn't want him to feel left out, once those are too small though he will be wearing Emmy's blue ones she has outgrown (I've a pile ready and waiting).

Emmy's plimsolls are on order ready this year, no waiting until they are all sold out - I think I have been clever this year and ordered them in the next 2 sizes.  Her current ones still fit so come September she will either wear these or I will be ready for another growth spurt! - The great thing about Plimsolls is they are unisex too.

I couldn't resist new school shoes in a size up for Emmy as they were in the sale for £6.40, these are also the next size up ready.

Then with the clothing essentials out of the way - Emmy's school dresses and Harry's trousers don't need renewing just yet as I upsized when I purchased last time, it was onto the accessories for them both - Harry needed a new lunchbox with matching water bottle (although he can't use the water bottle for school due to their rules) and Emmy needed a new pencil case ready for year 2 and with everything she needs inside it was a bargain £10 - I was however tempted to buy this one for myself

Eat Sleep Blog Repeat Pencil Case
I was supposed to go to our local store to purchase the items I needed for the children however with our car dying this was impossible.  Thankfully I was able to browse the school uniform section of the website to order instead.  This possibly saved me money as I tend to get distracted in store and browse departments I hadn't planned or budgeted for or take the children with me who suddenly 'NEED' everything they see!

Delivery was very quick with updates send on the delivery process along the way, all the items I chose arrived in one package and the sizes were true to size with nothing needing to go back - of course the children haven't worn these items yet however all fit and the stitching etc. looks very good.  I will update when we are back to school if there are any problems later down the line.

Disclaimer:  The above items were bought using a Debenhams gift card in exchange for an honest post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thursday, July 21

Win £100 credit for Lottoland to play the Lottery

I've never been a religious lottery player, it doesn't bother me if weeks pass and I've not purchased a ticket and I certainly don't check the numbers weekly to see if I could have won.

I do have one line of set numbers I choose if I play online - the kids birthdays and special dates but if I buy a ticket in the shop on a whim then I'll just get a lucky dip but quickness.  I've also been known to have that ticket in the back of my phone case or purse for weeks if not months because I've forgotten it's there.  I'll then take it to the shop to have it checked and usually it's not a winner.

I have won on a few occasions now, prizes ranging from a few pounds up to £65.  Never a really huge win but I do always like to daydream and like everyone else hope for a lovely BIG win one day.

Wouldn't that be nice? I'm sure we would all be rather grateful of a lottery win?  What would you buy?

As you know from my post last week our car broke beyond economical repair a few weeks ago, this has left us carless for a few weeks as we had to make the move to being a one car family a few years ago.  It's rather annoying to say the least but we have just ordered our brand new car on a lease hire deal.  If I were to have a large win I would in an instant go back to two cars again especially with the summer holidays now here as Paul uses ours for work meaning I've no car during the week to take the kids out.

Our new car - well not ours as ours will be black.
Vauxhall Insignia Tourer 1.6 CDTi ecoFLEX

Roll on next week when our new car should hopefully be delivered, as for a second car? I would love another 4x4 as I really miss my FreeLander.

A house would be next on the list but not a new one, I love ours as it is perfect for the kids school, it's round the corner from all their friends, my Sister, my Brother and Paul's Dads house and office, and very close to my parents too.  What I would do is pay off the mortgage and actually pay someone to decorate from top to bottom while I went on holiday. 

I also want the garden completely revamped and made over, both the front and back garden.  The back especially needs attention - it all needs levelling over, the trees all need removing from the roots, the grass needs to come up and half the garden will have faux grass and the other half bark chipping where the garden toys will be.

Of course while all this is being done we would be on-board a cruise ship - quite possibly a Disney Cruise as well that would just be awesome for the children.

After a weeks worth of birthday giveaways I have a new one for you, one with a difference which actually has the potential to be life changing because there is the chance it could actually make you a millionaire!  That would be amazing right?  OK it's not guaranteed but with £100 credit for Lottoland to use on various lotteries you may end up winning - who knows if it will be a small one or a big one?

Lotto betting is a way of playing lotteries from all over the world but instead of buying a ticket you bet on the outcome of the lottery you have chosen, so essentially you choose the numbers you think will be drawn in exactly the same way you would normally.  The numbers you can choose are the same and the prizes the same - just the way you place that bet is slightly different and of course you will have access to more games than before.  (Find out how to play HERE)

For your chance to enter this giveaway to win £100 credit please enter via the rafflecopter form below.
Entrants must be 18 years and over and it is open to UK residents only.

This giveaway will close at midnight on 10th August 2016.  Good Luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in collaboration with Lottoland.

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Wednesday, July 20

Teletubbies book collection Review & Giveaway

It was inevitable that at some point my children would come across the Teletubbies.  I did think we had avoided it when Emmy showed no interest in it at all however when we cancelled our Sky package recently and that coincided with our internet issues we were then left with Freeview therefore watched CBeebies again and Harry was instantly glued when it came on.

By the end of episode one he knew all the character's names and was retelling them to his Sister and Dad and it was rather cute.  When he asked to watch it again the following day we knew he had another new favourite show. 

The new series bounced back onto our screens on the CBeebies channel last November and has been wooing it younger audience all over again after all these years - my Nephew, Harry's eldest cousin was Teletubbies obsessed when he was a similar age, he is now 19 years old!

Aimed at a young audience the Teletubbies engages this young audience through simple language, bright colours and fun scenes.  Children will be able to repeat the words and actions of these characters, copy their dances and join in with the songs, and of course give each other and you a 'Big Hug'.

Teletubbies books for children

The Telebubbies Pocket Library consists of 6 mini story board books and is priced at just £3.99.

Each of these books has a mini story about each of the shows characters:
  • Tinky Winky
  • Dipsy
  • Laa-Laa
  • Po
  • The Noo-noo
  • The Custard Machine
Each is a mini board book with 4 pages of writing and colourful pictures to illustrate.  On the back of each is a picture which when placed together form a larger picture made up of the 6 books.

Teletubbies books put together to make a bigger image

Teletubbies: Magic Watering Can is also a board book only a medium sized book priced at £4.99

This tells the story of Po's watering can, a magic watering can because everything she waters with it then grows. 

With vivid bright colours and one page of writing per double page this is a lovely book for children and while Harry can't yet read it is easy for him to follow the storyline and for Emmy to read to him at bedtimes.

Magic watering can Teletubbies book review

Teletubbies: Favourite Things, another board book priced at £4.99

This story talks about all of the Teletubbies favourite items such as Tinky Winky's handbag, Dipsy's Hat and Po's scooter but sadly Laa-Laa has lost her favourite thing.  Her friends then help her to find them.  Not wanting to give the storyline away but let's say it has a happy ending!

Harry isn't able to read these stories himself as he is only 3 however he happily repeats all of the repetitive words and guess what will come next.

Emmy although not a fan of the show has really enjoyed reading these to her brother and interactiving together with him - singing the Teletubbies songs together and of course giving each other those much important 'Big Hugs'

reading the Teletubbies books

Of course anything which gets Harry sitting down for longer than 5 minutes at a time is a huge winner for me!

Giveaway Time

For your chance to win the above Teletubbies books from Egmont Publishing please enter via the rafflecopter form below, this giveaway is open to UK entrants only and will close at midnight on 14th August 2016.  Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Internet safety and our children

Although my children are only 6 & 3 years of age a lot of modern day life is spent online, we have cancelled our Sky TV package and now only watch YouTube and Netflix.  Emmy can navigate these herself and while she only watches shows she likes and is allowed it is only a matter of years before she is sneaking extra screen time in and thinking of about hiding her browser history from us.

I am hoping that she won't feel this is necessary but having seen friends teens do it I know it is likely to happen and part of growing up - we all like to have some secrets from our parents don't we? 

Both my children have their own tablets, these are both kids Kindles so have the parental controls to limit their screen time, set the hours in which they are able to use it, time out after a set time and of course limit the websites they are actually able to visit while using them. 

As they get older these parental controls and limits will be lifted and changed accordingly however no parental control is better than actually talking to your children about what they can find online - the good, the bad and the ugly/evils of the world. 

Children will be curious about what is out there online and want to keep up with their friends by having the latest social media channels etc. but as a parent keeping up-to-date is key, a good site to familiarise yourself with is  Thinkuknow is an educational programme from the National Crime Agency's CEOP command.  It aims to ensure that everyone has access to this practical information – children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them.  It also provides the tools for parents to report any concerns they have about websites their child is accessing or what they have come across while on them.

Alongside the Thinkuknow website the programme provides educational resources, including films, cartoons and lesson plans, to help professionals raise young people’s awareness.  The below short video is a modern day adaptation of Romeo & Juliet.  It shows their famous story, but in the modern world where young people has access to so many different types of technology and social media networks.

Thinkuknow is also a website that children can use safely and has a few activities and videos which are age appropriate from the ages of 5 through to 14, it also uses appropriate language to help enforce safe internet practice for children.

This is a screenshot from the pages for children of Emmy's age (5-7 years)

Tips for children on using th internet safely age 5-7
Obviously no website can replace a parent or guardian talking about sex, relationships and internet safety with their children but it can help to give you the tools to do so in a more informed way.

"This is a collaborative post"

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