Boring Lunchboxes?

We've got easy ideas that take seconds to make!

Looking for some Summer Fun?

We've got lots of ideas!

Thinking about Summer?

Why not kick back and relax?

Having a Family Movie Night?

Why not take a look at what we've been reviewing and what we thought?

Don't know what to cook?

Why not take a look at what we've been eating?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

K'NEX Construction Toys- Could you be the next ultimate K’NEXPERT builder? #Review

I never had any K'NEX as a child, I remember one of my cousins did as I played with it one rainy afternoon when there was a family party happening downstairs and us children had got rather bored. I think I had high aspirations of building a working Ferris Wheel like on the box, but I think in the end all I ended up doing was making some random works of art. When K'NEX asked if we'd like a box to have a go at trying to be one of their ultimate K’NEXPERT builders I said yes, hoping that the children would be inspired, instead they looked at me as if I'd gone crazy!

K'NEX Construction Set

Of course as I explained what it was that they were supposed to do they looked a little more interested, but the box was left alone for most of the Summer. Big Boy was seen however, emptying it out on the floor and placing things in size order, one rainy afternoon!

Pile of K'NEX

So it seems that for us as much as we love the idea of K'NEX, that the reality is unless Mummy or Daddy plays with it, it's going to go unplayed with. At least that's what we thought until I opened up the box last night to have a play myself and found this Ice Cream inside!

K'NEX Ice Cream

It seems, that either Top Ender or Big Boy (my money is on Big Boy) did have a go!

If you or your family think that you could be the next ultimate K’NEXPERT builder, then enter the competition which will be judged by a panel of experts including David Church of Royal British Legion Industries, with 15 years K’NEX building experience including the construction of a life-sized Monster Truck, and Joe Smith, Chief Development Officer at K’NEX.

The judging panel will be looking for originality and creativity when searching for their winners. The hunt for the ultimate K’NEXPERT builders in the UK is open until October 31st 2014, so you haven't long to submit a photo of your construction, plus up to 200 words on how they came up with the idea and how many K’NEX pieces were used. Full entry information and terms and conditions can be found at www.knex.co.uk.
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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Microwave Dinners

After my review post about the One Touch Microwave by Sage, I was after suggestions of meals that would feed the family and that used the Microwave as more than just a tool for reheating the food. Basically I wanted to be the sort of person who would be able to rustle up a brilliant meal in minutes and have people be amazed that I did it by using the Microwave. I called my sister up, she too uses her Microwave as something to quickly heat up leftovers, or to make quick things in so we got to work thinking up some ideas of some meals that we could cook using the Microwave, other than the Chicken and Vegetables I made.

Microwaved Chicken and Vegetables

And this is what we came up with.

Baked Potatoes.

One Pot Pasta.

Poached Eggs.

Quick Casserole.

Quick Quiche.

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon.

Nachos.

Prawn Curry.

Salmon Salad.

Soup.

French Toast.

Risotto.

Meatloaf.

Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Frittata.


My plan is that each week, I'll make one of the dishes and report back if it's been a success or not and give a basic recipe too. If you have any other ideas, let me know and I'll add them to the list!
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Monday, 20 October 2014

Barbie Fashion Design Maker #Review

Everyone who knows Top Ender knows one basic fact about her, when she grows up she wants to be a Fashion Designer. It's all over her blog, it's the only thing she chats about when talking about future careers, when looking at the local Schools that she could attend over the last few weeks, it's been one of the deciding factors (do the Schools offer Design Textiles or similar) and if you took a peek at any of her digital art you'd find hundreds of different clothing designs.

It wasn't that much of a shock therefore, when she suggested some items we might like to look into buying for her that the new Barbie Fashion Design Maker, aimed at girls aged 5+ ,was on the list.

Barbie Fashion Design Maker #Review

What was a shock for Top Ender, was when Mattel asked if we'd like to review the design maker and without Top Ender knowing I accepted the review and before we knew it the package arrived and Top Ender was busy downloading the app onto her tablet. I hadn't even realised there was an app to go with the doll.

Top Ender using the Barbie Fashion Design Maker #Review

The app is really simple to use, you can pick through the various options to create different outfits for Barbie. You can add belts, photographs of you or pets or other things you've photographed and change colours and fabrics and basically it's a load of fun, and I may have borrowed Top Ender's tablet to have a play myself once or thirty times. Although she didn't allow me to save any of my creations as apparently they didn't meet her strict criteria of being fashionable. Or anything anyone would wear ever.

The hard part was when it came to printing the clothes.

Did I not mention that you print the clothes? Oh. Well, what happens is after you've created the outfit, you print it on special paper and then peel the paper off and stick it to the Doll and you can stick it back to the paper if you want to give the doll a new outfit.

The first problem was I couldn't work out how to print the outfit from the tablet app. Luckily Daddy worked out that all we had to do was save it as a PDF, send it to ourself so we can get it from our email and print it from the main PC. There is an update coming that will mean you can print from the tablet app, but for the mean time this is a work around. You could of course just use the website, but Top Ender really likes the app.

The second problem was when Daddy went to print it. Daddy decided to print the PDF on a piece of ordinary paper first just to check that everything lined up.

It didn't.

I claimed however that it was different paper and that would make a difference, so ignoring all sense I loaded the printer up with one of the fabric sheets. Which promptly got stuck in our printer and didn't print properly.

Trying to get the Barbie Fashion Design Maker to line up

I waited a couple of day before trying again, as I didn't want to disappoint Top Ender and ran into the same problem. Now, we have a front loading printer, so I thought it was possibly this that was causing the issue but the fabric sheets do say that they are possible to be used in these sorts of printers!

Barbie Fashion Design Maker printer issues

We've now run out of the paper to print the designs on, and I'm sure that we'd be able to buy refill packs eventually, I just can't be searching for the right thing. Top Ender loves the app and the doll and I love the idea of the doll, I just wish it worked a little better for the RRP of £49.99.

We were sent the doll to review.
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Saturday, 18 October 2014

New Ink, New Printer, No Need To Remember #Review

I used to hate putting the bins out for the bin men each week. Mainly because I'd always forget, and so the next week I'd have a million bags (okay so that's a slight exaggeration) to put out. Then I hit upon a genius method, where I would set a weekly reminder on my phone and then race the children to see who could get the most bin bags to the top of the drive in the shortest amount of time. The same thing could be said of changing the ink in the printer. I hated using the printer, because I was never sure when I was going to run out of ink and by the time I remembered to add it to my shopping list, we'd run out of ink and Top Ender would be giving me death stares because I hadn't been able to print off her homework.

Top Ender giving me death stares but still looking pretty - How does she do it?!

And even then I'd still forget to get the ink.

Then a miracle happened. HP asked if I'd like a new printer and a trial of their service where the printer sends a message to HP saying it's running low on ink. Then HP sends ink out in the post in a handy sized box, that fits through my letter box and I'm ready for when the ink does run out and no more grumpy children, who can't have their homework printed out.

HP ENVY 5530 Printer

The system works on a tiered pricing model, (where you can adjust your plan or cancel at any time), based on your printing needs (this is for business too). On top of the pages you get per month, you also get blocks of 15, 20 or 25 pages for £1 depending on which plan you opt for.

·         £1.99/month for Occasional Printing (50 pages per month)
·         £3.49/month for Moderate Printing (100 pages per month)
·         £7.99/month for Frequent Printing (300 pages per month)

I've seen that the system has been advertised on TV, but I've seen it in store at both PC World and John Lewis, and you don't ahve to buy a new printer as it does work with some of the existing HP Printers, visit hp.com/instantink to find out which and more about the system!

The printer has been put through it's paces, as the children have printed several photos for School, pieces of School work and worksheets to do at Mummy home school. I've been printing off meal plans, to do lists (I love me a to do list!), lskdjf and I've had ink delivered to me once so far, which was rather exciting (I guess I'm really bored if I find an ink delivery exciting!) especially when the next day the ink did run out and I was able to swap out the ink quickly and without any hassle!

The most important thing I've printed recently was Top Ender's Baptism programmes

Top Ender's Baptism programmesTop Ender's Baptism programmes

And of course, Daddy has been printing out all his great creative fun surprises for the children too!

We love the printer, and I'm loving not having to worry about ink! Is it something that you'd consider doing?

We were sent the printer and given free ink too.
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Friday, 17 October 2014

Creative Fun

I like to think of myself as creative. I'm not sure why, because it is so far from the truth that everyone can see that I'm a total fraud, however it makes myself feel better to think of myself as being a creative sort. Then every so often I do something, Instagram it and get liked and inspire others and suddenly I am actually a creative sort.

Halloween Spooky Light Up Eyeballs

Well, I am for about five minutes and then Daddy goes and does something which is so loving and creative that I realise he's the true creative in our marriage. If I didn't love him so much, I'd probably be annoyed. It all started when we were in London and Big Boy decided to name his bottle of Ribena, Barry.

Barry the bottle of Ribena, wasn't allowed to be thrown away, instead Barry the bottle of Ribena was hugged whilst we were on the underground, and stored in my handbag at all other times. When we got home, Barry was placed on the Fireplace and the next morning when BB woke up, Daddy had made Barry look more like a Barry and less like a bottle of Ribena.

Barry the bottle of Ribena

It was the start of Daddy's surprises for the children that he would create for them to find to know that he was thinking of them, even though he was away at work.

This week, he left two surprises. There was one for me in the bathroom, which I found in the middle of the night, instead of in the morning like he was expecting.

Toilet Paper Art

And one for the children, which he had to point out to me because despite staring at the Fireplace I missed it completely.

A paper mouse hole on the fireplace

And so now every week, the children and I look forward to are ready for some fun when Daddy leaves. I wonder what he'll do next!
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