Tuesday, 30 July 2013

School's Out and Surf's Up with LEGO Friends!




School’s out and the summer holidays are finally here so what could be better than celebrating its arrival with Disney channels latest blockbuster, ‘Teen Beach Movie’, sponsored by LEGO Friends.

Set in Puerto Rico, the movie is set to be a summer smash hit with kids, young and old, sure to be singing and dancing along to the infectious songs and dance routines. Featuring hot new stars, Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell, the story centers on the main characters and their mutual favorite beach musical film, set in the 1960's.

As part of the LEGO Friends partnership with the movie, Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff has joined the LEGO Friends musical flash mob on Brighton Pier to dance to Surfs Up!, the signature song from The Disney Channels newest film. The routine has been performed to celebrate the start of the school summer holidays, as families flocked to Brighton for the summer break. 100 young girls aged 10-12, all recruited from theatre arts school, Stagecoach delighted passersby with a polished overwhelming performance that led to members of the public joining in with the fun and giving the routine a go!

To ensure the fun was captured for all to see, LEGO Friends have produced a video of the Lego Friends flash mob. 


To find out more about LEGO Friends visit www.legofriends.co.uk.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Teen Beach Movie Soundtrack review.



For weeks the girls have been going on about the latest Disney Movie that was being premiered on Disney Channel on 19th July 2013.

I had to laugh as it took me back in time when the eldest daughter had exactly the same reaction to High School Musical, so when they were given the opportunity to review the actual soundtrack, they were just a little bit excited!!


Here is What It’s All About:
‘Made for kids age 6-14 and their families, Teen Beach Movie introduces confident, resilient surfer McKenzie and her carefree boyfriend Brady, a fan of the retro surf musical movie, “Wet Side Story.” On the morning of McKenzie’s planned departure for boarding school, she and Brady catch one last epic wave which mysteriously carries them right into “Wet Side Story,” circa 1962, where they meet Seacat, Giggles, Rascal and Cheechee, among others. Amidst the spontaneous song and dance, there’s trouble in paradise — it’s bikers versus surfers for control of the local hangout but Mack and Brady unwittingly interfere with the movie’s star-crossed plot, one that would pair a surfer (the teen matinee idol Tanner) and a biker (Lela, the sister of Butchy, the biker gang’s leader). Typical of the teen beach movie genre, a kooky subplot has mad scientists Les Camembert and Dr. Fusion scheming to alter weather patterns and take over the local hangout and then, the world’
Songs On The Sound Track:
  1. Oxygen – Maia Mitchell
  2. Surf Crazy – Spencer Lee, KellyHawkes & Cast
  3. Cruisin For A Bruisin – Ross Lynch, Grace Phipps & Jason Evigan
  4. Falling For Ya – Grace Phipps
  5. Meant To Be – Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Grace Phipps, Spencer Lee and Garrett Clayton
  6. Like Me – Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Grace Phipps, Spencer Lee & Cast
  7. Meant To Be (Reprise 1) – Grace Phipps & Spencer Lee
  8. Cant Stop Singing – Ross Lynch & Maia Mitchell
  9. Meant To Be (Reprise 2) – Ross Lynch & Maia Mitchell
  10. Surfs Up – Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell & Cast
  11. Coolest Cats In Town – Spencer Lee, Grace Phipps & Jason Evigan
  12. Surf Crazy Finale – Cast
With Bonus Tracks:
  • Cruisin’ For A Bruisin – Instrumental Version
  • Falling For Ya – Instrumental Version
  • Surf’s Up – Instrumental Version



Before the movie was even aired I knew that the girls would like it as they are huge Austin and Ally fans, so the fact that Ross Lynch was starring was guaranteed to be a winner.

I am guessing from the fact that the CD has been blaring out from Neva's bedroom for the past week that it has been a success, and Xene has been demanded to download the songs onto Eowyn's MP3 player means that it has certainly got her interest too.

Eowyn loves Can't Stop Singing and Neva's favourite is Cruisin for A Bruisin.

Schleich Dragon Knights Review

Since Xene was given two Schleich animals for her first birthday, fourteen years ago, our household has been keen Schleich fans. I also love that Schleich is in Schwabisch Gmund, which is the twin town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire where I grew up and also where I spent a couple of exchange programmes, whilst at school.

So, when we were given the opportunity to review their new range of Knights, I knew this would be perfect for at least three of the children, although I have to say I have seen all of the children pick them up and pretend play with their siblings, which is always a good sign!

This is what Schleich have to say about their new range :

Schleich are bringing a whole new concept of knights to the market this year. Rather than the clich├ęd battle against good & evil, powerful dragon knights will be throwing the gauntlet down to the wise order of griffins. Shimmering armour, flowing capes, fearsome expressions, the new band of knights lining up for action from July 2013 look suitably ferocious. 

And here they are in action...


Tyrus was very keen to get them out of the packet!

Tyrus waiting for his brother to come home

Tyrus and Kaide battle stations

Our verdict:

As usual, fantastic quality and craftsmanship from the Schleich people, the Knights have all of their correct body detail, the horse is sturdy and even Tyrus aged 2 can place the Knight on the horse without any trouble.
There are no sharp edges making them a perfect play piece for the younger children too.
The extra large footplate on the Knights means that they are able to stand on almost any surface and the boys don't get frustrated because they fall over.
There is lots of scope for pretend play and all of the children have enjoyed playing with them, as well as daddy too.
If you are looking for a good, sturdy Knights playset that will last a long time, then these boys are definitely for you. There are more to collect in the series and of course the Griffens too.

It kept them amused for hours!




Sunday, 21 July 2013

Butlins Skegness - At Night

 Not only does Butlins have a fantastic entertainments programme throughout the day, but the entire place is alive at night too. Having a varied age range of children, there was something for everyone.
The girls were very keen to see the Katy Perry tribute Show and Eowyn spent all evening singing and dancing along to the songs, although it was extremely busy and almost impossible to find a seat, so my recommendation would be to get there early!!
It was  a very professional show and very popular with the audience.



 One evening had a show called Stars from the X factor, so we went along as we were curious how up to date the acts would be. On arrival at the Show Bar we were met with a sign telling us that the bar was full to capacity and they were unable to let anyone else in, which was the first time we had witnessed this, during our stay, so we guessed it must be someone quite popular!
The attendant on the door was very apologetic to the people that were still queuing and she did tell everyone in the line that the act would in fact be appearing in the Reds Bar a short distance away in an hour's time, if we would like to make our way over there.
 This show was not publicised, but the act had agreed to do an extra show in order that all of the people unable to see the first show, could also see it, this was yet another example of Butlins going the extra mile for their guests and proves that they certainly do offer a first class service.
The Reds Bar was very impressive, the only negative with it is that everything takes place upstairs, so to access it with the pushchair, you had to use the lift, which was fine on the way up, but after the show had finished a rather large queue formed, when all of the pushchairs and wheelchairs needed to exit, and there is only one lift!
As you can see the Reds bar was also extremely busy and there was standing room only.




There were rumours flying around the room, which X factor star would be appearing and when the act appeared on stage the room was split 50/50 on sheer glee and complete disappointment, depending on your views of .....


Rylan Clarke!!


I have to say I am not really a fan, but he did put on a very good 45 minute show, which went down a storm with the entire audience.

There are many other things to amuse you during the evening, all of the amusement arcades are open and there are films showing at the cinema.


Everywhere is nicely lit, meaning that a simple stroll was also just as nice, away from the noise and entertainment.

And here are a few more examples of all the exciting things you can do on an evening at Butlins, courtesy of the children...



Saturday, 20 July 2013

Decision Made! ITS GOING TO BE A WATERBIRTH.


After my post about my birth choices, I had some lovely comments and conversations on Twitter, with lots of mums experiencing fabulous water births.
A wonderful company called Birth Pools Online, gave me some excellent advice and links about a waterbirth, they can be found on twitter @birthpools
On closer inspection of their website I fell in love with the Pool, not only is it heated throughout the entire rental, it has a lid that can be locked to prevent late night swims from the children!


They have a five week rental, which they deliver at 37 weeks, so I have my pool being delivered on 14th August and to say I am a little excited is an understatement!


So now UI am just counting down these very hot sticky days until they deliver the pool.
The website says that it is extremely easy to erect, so I hope they are correct, look out for my video of Asa and I trying to put it together, this could be worth a watch!!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Spelbound Explore Splash Waterworld in Skegness TODAY 2pm

Join Spelbound as they take an exclusive look around Butlins’ newest waterpark




Holidays give both children and their parents a chance to relax from the grind of everyday life, and research shows for kids, the best holiday is one in which they can simply spend time with their family and where everyone is happy and relaxed.
As we fondly remember summer days gone, by the sea or local swimming pool with our own parents, those special days are exactly the ones our own children will reflect on in the future, they are some of the best memory builders

But while our children’s lives may appear vastly different to our own childhood, the joy of jumping into a swimming pool will always be the same…

Butlins recognise this and has played a massive part in the history of our nation. While the resorts have come a long way since their beginnings in the 1930s and this summer the quintessentially British holiday company will open its newest waterpark.

Log on to our live interactive WebTV show where Spelbound will take you around the opening of the Butlins Splash Waterworld in Skegness and have a sneak preview of the nation’s newest and most exciting waterpark.

We spent a HUGE amount of our Butlins break in the various pools, all six children absolutely adored it, there was so much choice and activities to do, from the Lazy River to the Water Slides, the wave machine to the Rapids, there really is something for everyone to do.



Wednesday, 17 July 2013

ChillFactor The perfect Answer for these hot days!

It’s hot, hot, hot, but not as hot as ChillFactor!
Kids’ toy slushy maker sells out in many stores as temperature soars!

After several days of 30°c+ heat all around the UK,  it’s definitely sizzling, but nothing is as smoking  hot at present  as Character Options’ ChillFactor™ Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker.
Manchester based toy company, Character Options, is fighting to keep products in stock for mums who are eager to own a ChillFactor Squeeze Cup for all of their kids, but this little gadget isn’t just a hit with the kids; it is also proving an after dinner must-have for adults who are using it when the kids go to bed for “cocktail o’clock!”
Families all over the UK are using the ChillFactor handheld slushy maker to cool off in this rare English heat wave and are enjoying deliciously icy concoctions within seconds as soon as they come home from school. Now with the summer in full swing the ChillFactor phenomenon is growing.


ChillFactor™ went on sale in late May and is almost certainly to be one of the top “toys” of the year    and retailers such as Smyths Toys, Amazon and Argos are having stock delivered airfreight to keep up with consumer requests. Now, with the weather supposedly remaining hot for the upcoming weeks ahead, Character Options certainly has a task ahead.


Jon Diver, Joint Managing Director of Character Group commented: “We are experiencing unprecedented demand for our ChillFactor Squeeze Cups. As soon as stock is in our warehouse it is sent straight to retail, but in order to meet the demand the usual shipping methods will not nearly be enough and air freighting product has been the only option.  We are forecasting that over the year we will sell over half a million ChillFactor units, which let’s face it is a whole lot of slush!”

First gNappies Video So Cute!


Changing the way the world changes nappies.
Celebrate gNappies first gVideo and make the change.

Conventional nappies take 500 years to break down.
Wet gNappies are completely compostable/biodegradable within 150 days. With each baby needing an average of 6,000 changes, choosing gNappies gives you the option to create a different future for our planet.
  
gNappies invited gMums from all over the UK for a gTea at Orleans Park Gallery Gardens by the Thames.  Videoing for posterity, the first gVideo was born. 

“An amazing product in its own right, gNappies deliver everything that's great in a conventional nappy, but has improved it to deliver environmental credentials with a 100% biodegradable, compostable*, disposable insert, combined with a breathable covering that's better for your baby's skin.  I feel very privileged to be part of the worldwide team that's changing the way the world thinks about nappies." Louise Kjellerup Roper, gNappies European Managing Director.   

It is this belief and the cold facts about conventional nappies that drove husband and wife duo and gNappies co-founders, Kim and Jason Graham-Nye to find a better way. “We both imagined our unborn child all grown up and asking us “What were you thinking?!.”  After intensive research and hard work behind disposable nappies, gNappies was then born.

www.gNappies.com gNappies gPants start from £14.95 and the limited edition gRegal gPants are £22.95

*wet gNappies inserts are 100% biodegradable in home compost as per independent tests or ask councils to use their facilities.

I Have Some Fabulous News...

No, I have not given birth early, although with this heat, a few days early would be very welcome!

I had the fabulous news today that I have been chosen to be a Britax Mumbassador...


As I am about to embark on being a mummy of seven, I began reflecting on the different pushchairs and car seats I have had over the past 15 years, many of them have been Britax products and I really do love them, so I guess you could say this is my dream company to promote!

Britax is one of the world's leading manufacturers of travel solutions for children, with an impeccable reputation of creating safe and stylish products for families, including car seats, pushchairs, travel systems and more.

As a Mumbassador I will be able to bring you the latest news and tips from Britax and with the other Mumbassadors bring you some honest reviews on their latest products, with some input from the big kids, who always have something to say!!   There will also be the chance for you to enter competitions and to ask the Britax safety team your burning questions.


You can follow @BritaxUK on twitter and find them on Facebook here.

I met some of the wonderful Britax team at Brit Mums, who were very knowledgeable and passionate about their products.


So keep an eye out in the not too distant future for some more Britax posts.

Monday, 15 July 2013

All You Need To Know About i-Size Car Seat Regulations


Confused by car seats?  Mark Bennett, car seat safety expert from BRITAX explains the new regulation called ‘i-Size’ that all parents should know about

To put simply, i-Size is a new regulation for child car seats that will make it easier for parents to choose and install the right seat, making travelling safer for children.  
One of the most significant changes parents need to be aware of, is how long a child should remain in a rearward facing car seat.  Under existing laws, parents could switch their baby from their rearward facing Group 0/0+ seat into a forward facing Group 1 seat when they reached 9kg or approximately nine months.
The new i-Size regulation means parents will have to keep their baby rearward facing until they are at least 15 months old and the move will be based on the size and age of the child rather than weight.  The new length and age classification will help make it easier for parents to check that their child is ready to be moved to the next stage car seat.
The new regulation is also about the reinforcement of ISOFIX seats use, which are easier to fit correctly and safely than those secured with the car seat belt.  Only a third of belted seats are fitted correctly which can have serious implications in the event of a crash*.   Side impact collisions are one of the most severe types of collisions on the roads** and for car seats to adhere to the new regulations they must pass the newly introduced side impact safety standards.

Why is this regulation coming into force?  Well there are a number of reasons, but in a nutshell, parents are too keen to move their babies forward facing on the premise they believe their child will be happier facing forwards rather than waiting until they have actually outgrown the seat.  Parents are also unaware babies are much safer rearward facing in the event of a collision.
Below 13kg a baby’s neck is not yet that strong and keeping your baby rearward facing for as long as possible (up to at least 15 months) will help protect their vulnerable neck in a frontal crash situation.
So much research evidence has built up on this from crash testing that the EU has introduced this new regulation to keep babies rearward facing until 15 months. BRITAX has accompanied and strongly supported the development of i-Size right from the very beginning.

So how does it affect you?  As soon as i-Size approved car seats are on the market parents will be able to choose between a seat that abides by the older ECE R44/04 regulation or i-Size. The current ECE R44/04 regulation is not replaced by i-Size, and instead will continue in tandem until 2018. The introduction of i-Size simply means that consumers now have an extra option when buying a car seat for their baby/toddler.

When should you change to forward facing?
Here are some guidelines on switching:
Don't do it just because your baby's feet are pushed against the car's back seat.
Wait until your baby is closer to, or ideally at, the maximum age (15 months) for her rearward facing seat than the minimum weight (9kg) for the front facing seat.
BUT do move them if their head is protruding over the top of the Group 0/0+ seat. If they outgrow the seat in height but have not reached the minimum weight for a Group 1 seat, you should then invest in a combination Group 0+ & 1 seat. That is simply the safest option.
You can already consider purchasing a combination Group 0+ & 1 seat as your baby’s first car seat from birth. DUALFIX and MAX-FIX from BRITAX will allow your child to travel rearward facing until they reach 18kg

What is the current law when it comes to car seat safety?
The law requires all children to travel in an appropriate child restraint until they reach 135 cm tall or their 12th birthday (UK, NL, DEN) or 150 cm tall or their 12th birthday (GER, AU, CH, IT, CZ) – whichever comes first. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure this is the case.
Under the existing laws, parents could switch their baby from their rearward facing Group 0&0+ seat into a forward facing one when they reach 9kg (around nine months old).
Now the new regulations, called ‘i-Size’, have come into force mid-July 2013, parents that purchase a child car seat approved under i-Size will have to keep their baby in a rearward facing seat until they are 15 months.
There will be no change to the overall law about child seats being compulsory to the age of 12 or 135 cm/150 cm tall.

*Farid Bendjellal, 6th International Conference on Protection of Children in Cars – Munich 2008

**Casimir “Child Car Passenger Fatalities – European Figures and In-Depth Study”; Alan Kirk; Loughborough University, UK; Conference:  Protection of children in cars, Muncih, 2011

Monday, 8 July 2013

Bababsling Winner Is It You ?

Thankyou to everyone that took part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt, and for all the support and comments I have received throughout.

The winner of the Babasling on Hex Mum is

Sarah Queenan
@Smillsy13

Congratulations, please send me your details to mandijmorrison@aol.com and I shall pass them onto the company.



Pools and Barbecues - Our #MSMbignightin

As a large family, going out for an evening is quite an expense, just as finding a babysitter so that Asa and I can go out is also expensive, before we start!!

So when MoneySupermarket challenged Bloggers to have a big night in with £50 to spend, we all sat down to discuss what we should spend the money on!!

My first thought was a lovely romantic meal with my husband, good food, candlelight, a bottle of wine chilling in a bucket of ice, then reality kicked in....

The children are never all asleep until 11pm, I am 32 weeks pregnant with constant heartburn and it wouldn't be a family night!

So, what did we decide....

The weather has finally started to resemble summer, much to the disgust of my ever expanding bump, but good for everyone else!!

Therefore, something in the garden was the favourite choice. The two things the children enjoy doing in the hot weather is splashing in the paddling pool and having a barbecue, so we decided to combine the two.

A Pool Party and Barbecue.

The £50 was spent on a new Paddling Pool, as ours was well past its best, at a cost of £30 and the other £20 we spent on food and drink for the barbecue

Burgers, Sausages, Chicken Wings, Rolls and Salad

and for dessert

Marshmallows, Strawberries and Chocolate.

and drink

Fizzy Coke

And here are the results























As you can see, they all had a wonderful time, and it was great to spend an evening as a family, I am pleased to say it also wore them out, and every one of them went up to bed without any fuss and quickly fell to sleep!

Top Tips For A Family Night In

- Ask each member of the family what they would like to do, try your best to include it all
- Try something a little different
- Check the weather forecast before attempting outside activities.
- Be resourceful, the paddling pool will now be used all summer.

And above all HAVE FUN !

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Butlins Skegness - Activities and Entertainment Throughout the Day

All six children had a wonderful time during our stay at Butlins, there were so many activities available it was quite overwhelming at the beginning. You will never hear the words "I'm Bored"



 Dotted throughout the park were lots of statues and structures that all of the children HAD to climb on!!
There were various photo opportunities throughout the entire park, this waa by far their favourite and looking on the Butlins website, this is  popular family photo, although our whole family would have had a little bit of trouble fitting!!






The Skyline Pavilion had numerous shows and activities on throughout the daytime for the younger children

The older children may enjoy watching a film at the cinema, it is within the same complex, so not far for them to go, but gives them a feeling of indepndence


A very large sweet shop, that we visited before our journey home to buy each child a small treat and to get something for the grandparents, to say thankyou for looking after the rabbit and chickens whilst we were away!!

 There was a very tasty milkshake bar, that  the girls and Tyrus sampled whilst Asa, Kaide and Lochlan played Crazy golf, sshh don't tell them!!



There are numerous coin operated rides throughout the complex, although the girls did just seem to enjoy sitting in them and having their photo taken!!


The funfair was extremely popular with everyone, they even offer a chaperone service for children whose parents do not like to go on the rides - that won't ever happen in this family, as we enjoy them as much as the children, although I was only allowed on the carousel in my current condition!! The only thing that was slightly annoying is they would not accept Xene aged 15 as an adult to ride with the younger children, even though she towers above me...



Bob The Builders Yard was very popular with the youngest three



All of them enjoyed the Giant Beach and a perfect place to play Hide and Seek, and just a short hop from the real beach!!


There are various Play Areas both indoor and out, for all different ages, all of the children loved to run off steam, and the big ones were able to supervise the little ones, which meant I didn't have to squeeze my expanding belly into any small spaces!


The boys really enjoyed having `boy time' with dad playing Crazy Golf, made even better by the fact that Lochlan won a free game of golf, by completing a challenge on the last hole.

All of the activities were great and the children loved them all, however their highlight of the entire holiday was the Splash Waterworld, which we all went in nearly every day, for at least a couple of hours!!  Every single child loved it for different reasons, because there were so many different pools and activities, it really did cater for ages 2 to 15.

Neva adored the Lazy River, that pushed you around, with various spouting water canons.
Tyrus, Eowyn and Kaide loved the shallow pool that had small slides to go on, Tyrus became braver every time he went on it and ended up sliding backwards at one point!!

Xene and Lochlan went on the large water chutes with dad, although the queue was quite long they said it was worth the wait.

The wave machine pool was a huge hit with all of them, especially when the lifeguards threw numerous inflatable toys and balls in to liven it up!!





AND if that doesn't make you want to take a holiday at Butlins Skegness, here are my six lovely children to give you a video about it all xxx




Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Ravensburger Puzzle Club - Big Ben 3D Puzzle

As part of the Ravensburger Puzzle Club we were sent Big Ben 3D puzzle for the whole family to enjoy. It has a recommended age of 10-99.

The puzzle consists of 216 pieces, a base to build it onto, two plastic squares to stabilise it and a top piece, that all interconnect together to create one of Britain's most recognisable landmarks

To begin with Neva and I sorted the pieces numbered 1-100, whilst Asa began assembling them.
Lochlan and Kaide sorted from 101-216.


We had previously constructed the Eiffel Tower, so we sort of knew how the pieces fitted together, although the children struggled to fold the corner pieces, so that was my job!

The only part that Asa struggled with was the top, not because it was particularly difficult, but because his hands were too large to fit inside the pointy top!
Thankfully the smaller handed people were there to give a hand.


As you can see, Kaide and Neva were very pleased with themselves when the puzzle was completed. The puzzle was quite easy to construct and it didn't take very long, the 3D element, certainly kept the children's interest and it was a real family activity.