Wednesday, 26 September 2012

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the Bed Of Nails giveaway is ...


Please send your details to

Congratulations xxx

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ravensburger James Rizzi 1000pc Puzzle Review

I have been very fortunate to become part of the Ravensburger Puzzle Club which means I get to actually sit down and complete a puzzle.

This is my first puzzle that I have been sent to review, when I sat down to begin, it felt very nostalgic, I can remember sitting with my nan as a young child, she always used to have a puzzle on the go, and when I went to visit, I would help her to fit the pieces.

This jigsaw is a 1000 piece puzzle by James Rizzi, depicting Times Square.

I have found there are two types of puzzle people, the random, put pieces together type - definitely my husband and the organised, split into outside and inner, which applies to me!!

The first thing I noticed was how well made the pieces are, they are very strong and not at all flimsy, meaning the puzzle fits together very easily, each piece is individual, so there is no mixing up where pieces go. I sorted all of the outer edge first and assembled that, the actual fitting together of the outer edge and the border was quite easy for this puzzle as there were distinct areas that could be grouped together.

Once this was achieved I then had to set to work on the people and the buildings!! Which wasn't as easy, the older children would walk past and find another piece that fitted, so it really was a joint effort.

The entire puzzle took us about four evenings, once the youngest children had gone to bed, I really enjoyed this bright, vibrant puzzle and I am looking forward to the next puzzle to review, I have definitley rekindled my love of jigsaw puzzles, so thank you Ravensburger xxx


Monday, 24 September 2012

Toyologist review - Monopoly Millionaire

Our third Toyologist review involves money ...
I have always loved playing Monopoly, when I was a child, a game of Monopoly would go on forever, in fact we used to play it in the evening and it would get left there until the next night because it would take so long to finish a game.
So I was very intrigued to give this version a go, the idea being the first player to a million wins, and each player will collect a minimum of £100,000 each time they pass go, meant that it would not continue forever....

To start the game, each player is given a certain amount of money, now this is the first improvement, the money is chunky and not flimsy pieces of paper that get blown off the table every time someone closes a door, so chunky that the little one took quite a liking to it and continually tried to chew it!!
As it is the first person to a million, there is no need for large amounts of each denomination, so they all fit rather nicely into the money holder, placed in the middle of the board, and no-one has to be the banker as it is easy to help yourself.
The playing pieces are so cool, you start off with a choice of scooter, paper aeroplane, toy car or a rowing boat and you can progress to two larger sized vehicles, but beware, you can also shrink back down to your little one as my very cool bike got demoted back to a tiny scooter.
You move around the board and it still has the traditional Go To Jail, actual jail and chance cards, but each property that you land on is either bought or put up for auction, which got very entertaining and competitive as the children kept upping the price, I ended up paying £25,000 for a property that was worth £5,000 but I HAD to have that property!

The children really enjoyed playing Millionaire Monopoly and Neva the 9 year old thought it was excellent because she won, although I had built up quite a good (if a little expensive) property collection, but that is not what this game is about, it is being shrewd and making a quick million.
A very entertaining and quick to learn game, which meant all of the children aged 9 and above were able to play by themselves, kaide aged 6 was on my team, although he loves maths, so was my own personal banker.
I would definitely recommend Millionaire Monopoly, especially for a family with older children, a great twist on the original game and a much quicker game to finish!!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

I'm doing the Jenny Craig!

If you have been following my blog, you will know that earlier this year I made the decision to shift the baby weight, however the only thing that I did learn was that I was rubbish atdieting and exercising and I am too much of a junk food eater, so when I was given the opportunity to try the Jenny Craig plan, consisting of Breakfast, lunch dinner and snacks being delivered to my door I jumped at the chance!!

Two weeks ago a very large box arrived filled with lots of packets and dishes, a lovely folder and detailed instructions. I decided that I would begin the plan on Monday, I weighed myself Sunday night and weighed in at exactly 10 stone, now I know to a lot of people that is not heavy but for my 5ft 2" frame, I should be a lot less, my ideal weight would be 8 and a half stone ish.

I was assigned Alex as my personal consultant, who rang me at the alloted time Monday morning to discuss the plan and the diet food, to also check that I had received everything correctly, we discussed my goals and how to stick with the plan.
The one area I needed to work on was ensuring I had breakfast when I got up and not three hours later after the children had gone to school and I had a minute to sit down, as I was in fact starving my body, so this was noted, although I couldn't promise it would happen every day!!
My own personalised menu was sent to me, listing which jenny craig meal I should be having, along with extras I could add to it to make a more hearty meal.
The first thing that shocked me was how much I didn't eat throughout the day, well not proper food, more like high sugar and fat snacks!!
I can eat pretty much anything, although I am not a fan of Tuna, so that seemed to be the only meal I wasn't too keen on having, but they do provide you with an alternative which has been the most helpful document, knowing what quantities I should be aiming for each meal.
The meals are varied and on the whole very tasty, the only one I really did not like was the Pasta Bolognese, but other than that they have been very nice.
My cupboards and fridge are stocked with much healthier choices, which in turn meanthat the children are also opting for the fruit instead of a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar, so everyone's a winner.
After five days of folllowing the plan, I was amazed when stepping on the scales to find that I had actually lost 8lbs, so alreadya third of the way to my target, although I suspect this week will not be quite so dramatic, especially as I had kaides birthday which involved a meal out and birthday cake!!
Come back in a few days to find out this weeks verdict!!


Toyologist - Hex Bug Scarab Review by Hex Mum Mandi !

When we received the list of toys that we would be receiving in our first box as a Toys R Us Toyologist, this one made me chuckle!
Everytime the advert comes on the television, all of the children sing together, "Whats that coming over the hill is it a hex bug or a Hex Mum" so they were incredibly excited and noisy when opening....

This little Green bug is very realistic and as soon as I switched it on it was difficult to catch!
The crawling toddler wasn't too sure to start with and crawled in the opposite direction, the older children, however, thought it was great and began hatching plans to scare their insect phobia nan with the Scarab.
The way that it flips over is fascinating and I am sure the makers had great fun designing this.
We don't get many REAL bugs in our garden as our 20 chickens kind of keep them to themselves. At the moment our lead cockerel Ginny has been following Asa around the garden, in a stalker style fashion, so he decided to see what Ginny and Co thought of the Scarab, as any type of bug usually gets chased and eaten...

As you can see the big brave Cockerel isn't so brave now! I think Asa may be swiping this toy to keep in his pocket to deter his stalker.
Overall opinion: The Hex Bug Scarab is very fun to watch for a little while, although it does use batteries very quickly and the level of entertainment is good, but it doesn't do much else, other than scuttle around the floor and flips back over when you put it on its back, which is pretty cool, but play value is limited.
Although they have yet to test it on Nanny and Grandad in the Hex Mum residence.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Happy Birthday Kaide

Today Kaide celebrates his 7th birthday, I wrote about his birth last year, you can read about it here.

This year I thought that I would post some photos from his last seven years...

Our second little boy who we named Kaide Ronald Peter Morrison.

Our cheeky little monkey age one, who looks extremely like both Lochlan and Tyrus at this age.

Our little toddler who could always be found with some kind of food in his hand!

As you can see, at aged 3, he still has a good appetite!

Kaide is a very active little boy and loves any form of sport or physical activity, he never sits still.

Kaide is one of the oldest in his class at school, although one of the smallest in height! He loves school, especially maths.
Kaide loves being outdoors, he will often be found riding round on his scooter, no matter what the weather is like, but he also likes playing on the wii, although he still manages to jump up and down whilst playing.


Friday, 14 September 2012

When A Rugby Scrum Goes Wrong! Not for the Squeamish

Last Saturday Asa began his 16th Rugby season at Broadland-Great Yarmouth RFC, they were playing away at Fakenham, so we kissed him goodbye and told him to "catch a fly" when kaide was little he could never say "Score A Try" so it has just stuck!!

The afternoon passed like any other, until I received a phonecall at 3.30 pm which was smack bang in the middle of the rugby match.
The conversation went like this
"Hello, Its only me, don't panic, but I have got a rather large hole in my leg, I am waiting for the ambulance to take me to the nearest hospital, I will ring you later" ....

Over the years I have had a few injury phone calls, busted knee, broken nose etc, but never any that required an ambulance and never so far away from home.

I remained calm and waited for an update. My first logistical problem was retrieving Asa's car from Fakenham Rugby Club! A good hours drive away, but thankfully on the way to hospital Asa rang to say he had actually gotten a lift with one of the lads, so his car was at the clubhouse, only a ten minute drive away and he was being taken to the Norfolk and Norwich hospital,a 40 minute drive from home, in fact at the time he was more concerned about me fetching the car, a quick phonecall to my dad and both parents came round, mum to sit with children, dad to drive me to pick up the car, which was a task in itself!!

Asa obviously had the car key with him at fakenham, but thats OK because we have a spare, its one of those silly credit card style keys, so I pointed it at the car and nothing, think the battery must be dead!! But that's OK because it has a `proper' key I can use, apart from we hadn't had the car long and I had no idea where to put it, so after ten minutes of searching, poking and prodding I eventually found the correct hole!! Which then set off the alarm, cue me dashing through the drivers door and shoving the credit card in the ignition, aha silence!! If anyone had a video camera nearby, they could well earn themselves £250 on You've Been Framed...

So, I drove the car home and the meantime Neva and Lochlan had spent the night sleeping out with Asa's parents, so they returned in the middle of all this, they stayed around for an hour to find out if there was any news, by this time it was 6pm and I had heard nothing, so I made the children Pizza for tea, guarantees no arguments and they will all sit quietly and eat. At this point Asa's parents went home and said they would collect Asa from the hospital when he had finished, however, knowing my husband very well I knew he would not want them to pick him up, he would prefer either myself or me and the kids, so I waited some more....

I had an email at 7.30pm to say just seeing the Doctor, oh and a lovely photo, which I will not post until the end in case you are squeamish, or you may not get to read the whole story.!!

At 8pm I received another email, very complex stitching now starting, should be 45 minutes. In fact it wasn't 45 minutes it took over 2 hours to stitch internally and externally.

He send me a text message at 9.15pm to say If you leave now that should be about the right time, so that is what we did, after talking a couple of times on the phone to parents, I realised that they were not going to offer to look after the children whilst I collected my husband, so my choices were to let them collect him (I had already established this was not what he wanted) or load all six children into the bus and go find our daddy, so that is exactly what we did!!

Ten minutes into the journey I realised I wasn't 100% sure where the hospital was located, luckily I had my tech savvy 14 year old daughter to find the directions!!

When we were a few minutes from the hospital Asa rang to tell us he was ready and would be waiting outside, as I drove into the hospital, he rang me again to say he had just seen us and I had drove past him!!

We safely collected him and on the way home, he told me the full story....

He was playing Number 8 at the back of the scrum, as he put his leg in to flick the ball, the entire scrum collapsed sideways onto his leg, the worst thing in the world for my husband would be a broken leg as it would mean months not playing rugby, so in true Asa ex American Football player style he twisted around and managed to avoid being landed on, unfortunately someone's stud had already lodged itself into his leg and his twisting has resulted in a four inch long and over an inch deep hole in his leg, which missed all major muscles, ligaments and arteries by 5mm...
Luckily he had some very quick thinking team mates that applied pressure immediately, I do not want to think of what may have happened if that hole had begun bleeding in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere...
The ambulance was called, and although they came from Wisbech and would usually take a patient to Kings Lynn hospital, they very kindly agreed to take him to the hospital nearer to us, so I am eternally grateful to them.
I would also like to extend my massive thanks to the two wonderful doctors that took two and a half painstaking hours to stitch both internally and externally and ensure my husband was put back together with the minimal scarring.

If you are squeamish, I would recommend not looking any further, suffice to say it is not pretty, but today he will have the stitches removed and I am sure he will be itching to return to the field.

The first photo he sent me on the way to hospital!

Just before he began a two and a half hour stitching session


The first look after 48 hours

SpinMania Game Review and Giveaway

You will have worked out by now that our family LOVE playing games, of any sort, so when I was asked if we would like to review Drumond Park's New Plate Spinning Game, Spin Mania we jumped at the chance.

The game consists of a motorised Spinning Machine with an electronic timer, three orange helicopter-like rotary plates, a ‘spin-spike’, and three purple stands on which to set the plates once they are spinning correctly.

The challenge is to ‘spin-up’ the three plates on the Spinning Machine one at a time – and then, using your spin-spike, transfer them, still spinning, to the three separate stands. All three plates must still be spinning on their stands as the player rushes back to the timer, stops the clock, and marks the time taken. Then the next player or players strive to beat the time recorded.

What’s very special about this game is that the player’s opponents are going to make things very tricky indeed! Before they start, all players must agree the playing area – this will be a specific room or rooms inside the house, or a defined area outside. Before each person takes his or her turn, the other players secretly place the plate stands around the agreed area. Each one must be reasonably easy to see – they can’t actually hide a stand, although it can be quite difficult to get to – under a table, for instance.

So players don’t just have to have excellent powers of concentration and steady hands – they need eagle eyes and a good turn of speed, too! Children can play and practise this clever and enthralling new action game on their own, but it’s much more fun to battle it out with one or more opponents in each round. And if they want to make a real party of it, there’s plenty of scope for team challenges, too!


I have to be honest, when I first read about it, I was very scepticle about how it would work, but the children were very keen as we have plate spinning sets in our playhouse, so they were all pretty confident that they could balance them easily.
The plate spinning machine is brilliant, my one year old loves sitting and just watching it spin the plates, but gets a little confused when he picks it up and the noise stops, which is a lovely safety mechanism, meaning that my three year old cannot walk around with it trying to play builders and `drill' my walls!!

The older children got very competitive and I found myself climbing on chairs to reach purple stands that were placed on top of bookcases, or crawling on the floor, trying to put the plates under my coffee table.

It really is a very compelling and challenging game, I love the fact that the game can be made easier or harder depending on who you are playing it with, meaning that all of the children could play together, with just a simple placement of the sticks in the most relevant places.

It can also be played outdoors, however the chickens were not too keen, especially when one of the children came charging up the garden with a bright orange spinning plate!!

The rrp of SpinMania is £22.99 and for a list of stockists please visit

It really is an entire family game that will have them laughing and trying to be as imaginative at they can, especially when it involves making it difficult for their parents!!

If you would like to win your very own Spin Mania game, I have one to give away, to be in with a chance of winning, just head over to Drumond Park and comment below which game is your favourite.
For extra entries you can
~ Follow my blog via Networked Blogs, GFC or email
~ Like Hex Mum on facebook
~ Follow @Hex_Mum on twitter
Closing Date 5th October 2012
Good Luck

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

First Toyologist Review - Chocolate Lolly Maker


So, here is our first review for Toys R Us Toyologists....

When we received the list of toys we were going to review, the children were ecstatic about the chocolate lolly maker, they had seen it advertised on television numerous times and they all seemed very keen, I was not convinced!

This was the first item out of the box and within five minutes I was being pestered to give it a go, luckily I had read the box which stated no chocolate included, so I had already bought a large bar of chocolate to give it a go. The box suggests chocolate drops, but a large bar worked just as well.Image

The little dish to melt the chocolate was very easy to use and the chocolate melted quite quickly, although it was only big enough to melt enough chocolate for one lolly at a time, which was a little frustrating as we had six very keen and hungry children to satisfy!Image

The moulds were easy to fill and they were sturdy enough, even for the three year old to help. We put them in the freezer for ten minutes and then added a message stamp on the back, then returned them to the freezer for a further twenty minutes. When the time had finished, we took them out of the freezer and they came out really easily from the moulds, the lolly shape and pattern was excellent and the mesaage could be clearly read on the back.

Since getting the lolly maker we have been through five large bars of chocolate, and it was only when the older children were at school did I manage to test out the wrapping of them as they had been eaten before we even got to the wrapping process!!


The price for the Lolly maker is £17.99, which I think is a fair price for the amount of enjoyment the children are getting out of it, although it would be even better if there was some way to include chocolate, perhaps in the way of a voucher, I am sure many top brand chocolate companies would be pleased to be associated with it.

This is a great product for parent and child interraction, although I would not recommend it is done without supervision as I can envisage quite a large mess, although they did manage to make some lollies with the assistance of their fourteen year old sister, without destroying my kitchen. Next week is Kaide's birthday, so I am sure we will be making some Happy Birthday lollies ready for it, if they can leave them alone long enough to wrap!!Image

The youngest of the family certainly enjoyed his older siblings playing with this toy!!

I am sure this will continue to be popular in the Hex Mum household, until the dentist tells them otherwise!!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

We Are Toylogists hooray

We are very proud to announce that The Morrisons have been chosen to be one of the 24 Toys R us Toyolgists for 2012. We will be testing out The Blue Group, aged 7+ years.

However, if you have children younger than this, there are two other groups that will be very busy putting toys through their paces. The Purple group aged 0-36 months and the Green group aged 4-6 years, so there really is something for everyone.

We are very excited, although a little shocked, in fact when we got the telephone call I was completely speechless.
Box 1 will be with us very soon, so we cannot wait to see what fantastic toys we are going to be playing with, and hopefully point you in the right direction for those all important lists for Father Christmas.

If you visit you will be able to find out about all of the lovely toyologists and our adventures.



Make A Wish UK - Remember May

Back in the summer of 2010 Make-A-Wish UK granted the wish of five year old May who was fighting a rare cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma – she wished to be a princess for the day. Sadly May passed away just a couple of months after her wish, two years ago today, on 31st August 2010.

May’s family have been involved with Make-A-Wish ever since, raising as much money as they can to ensure that other families going through the same awful experience can have their wish. May’s Dad, Neil, has made this short video and would like as many people as possible to watch it and support Make-A-Wish:
It's only a minute or so long, so please watch the video if you have a moment to spare. And if you could share it with as many people as you can it would mean so much to Neil and his family. If you are able to make a donation too, to help grant a wish to another child like May, you can ‘Remember May’ at