Showing posts from November, 2011

Ben and Holly Scooter Review

We received a Ben and Holly Magical light and sound tri-scooter to review from Entertainment One.

Top Ender and Big Boy love Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, as do their cousins and when the Ben and Holly Magical light and sound tri-scooter was sent for us to review from Entertainment One, I knew that it would be their cousins that would get the most enjoyment out of it, so I asked my sister if it would be okay if I could spoil them a little with the Scooter as a gift. Luckily she said yes and so they are now the proud owners of the tri-scooter... or at least they will be come 3pm Sunday afternoon when we take it round!

I couldn't send it to my niece's without having a look at the tri-scooter first though. I think that it looks funky as it has a purple and pink colour scheme and with the lights and sounds from the show activated by Holly's magic wand it sounds like it would be quite fun to ride on. I just wish I was small as I would have loved to have owned this when I wa…

Nature's Path Gluten Free Cereals - A Review By Daddy

We were sent two packs of Gluten Free Cereal to review. As they were Gluten Free I got to eat them!

In my recent post on Gluten Free food I spoke about snacks and main meals, but completely forgot what is supposed to be the "most important meal of the day". And that is apparently Breakfast. The snacks I reviewed came from Australia, but the two breakfast cereals I've been road testing are from the UK (Berkshire, in fact), so there is a true international feel to my gluten free experiments but we are at least slightly closer to home.

The first Nature's Path cereal I tried is their Mesa Sunrise. These are cereal flakes made with organic corn, flax, quinoa and amaranth. Now, they taste good and don't have the stodginess that some gluten free cereals develop after time spent in milk, but I wasn't entirely sure what three of the ingredients were so here are some facts:

Flax is also known as Linseed. It's seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Quinoa …

A Genius Christmas Tradition

When someone calls me a genius I take the compliment (even if it wasn't intended as such) and run. This week however I have explained a Christmas Tradition of the A Mothers Ramblings House to a few different people and each time I have explained this tradition the person I am explaining it to has sincerely called me a Genius and I've stuck around so they can be nice to me a bit longer.

One of the traditions that I brought to the AMR household from my own family was everybody gets to play Santa when handing out presents from under the tree. One person would sit nearer the tree and would hunt out a present for everyone in the room. Everyone would open their gifts together, say Thank You, have a quick fiddle or sniff or whatever and then the next gift would be delivered to where they were sitting. Top Ender loved this, but when she was small and couldn't read she had to play Santa with someone who would pass her the gifts from under the tree and tell her who it was for.

I kne…

Dental Surgery, The Worst Mother Ever And A Lot of Love

Wednesday morning after dropping Top Ender off at my lovely lovely Neighbours house just after 7am (Have I mentioned how lovely my Neighbours are?), Big Boy, Daddy and I went to our local hospital for the surgery to remove and check over Big Boy's teeth. Actually before we go any further Sally if you are reading this you might want to stop because we all know you hate my pictures of the Dentist!
I'm not going to talk about keeping Big Boy amused whilst we waited for his surgery slot, I'm not going to talk about how heart breaking it was trying to get Big Boy to be calm as he was put under general anaesthetic, not how when he came round he was screaming and covered in his own blood and the only thing that was calming him down was me getting up on the trolley and hugging him and getting covered in his blood even though I hate blood and have been known to pass out on sight of it. I'm not even going to talk about dental hygiene again.

Wednesday was really hard on all of us…

Banangagrams Challenge Three!

We were sent a set of Bananagrams so we can take part in the challenge, and if we win a challenge we win more cool games! Also there is an affiliate link at the bottom of this post. It's not going to earn me a fortune but maybe if you click it and buy some Bananagrams I might be able to afford a bottle of Dr Pepper!

The Bananagrams Blogger Challenge this week was to create a crossword of Fruits, with the success of challenge two behind us (Yup we won!) we started with the Bananagrams word and went from there with everyone having a go as they walked past the fridge.

Top Ender added Jam because whilst it isn't a fruit, it is made from fruit and so I allowed it to be added. Daddy added Xigua, which is a small Watermelon and basically I came up with the rest. I'm not having any of you tell me that Coffee, Wahoo and Ivy aren't fruits either. Sure enough we call coffee beans but they are fruit and don't eat Wahoo because that's poisonous!

You can join in with some of…

Lego Duplo Experts Winnie The Pooh Review

We were sent the sets to review.

There are three things that I love about Lego Duplo more than the rest. It's not that it fits with Lego so you can make super big structures, not that it is bright coloured and can help teach children colours and will make them want to play with it, not that it is sized nicely to fit a Toddler/Pre-School child's hand and so easy for a Toddler/Pre-School child to handle although they are all good reasons to love Duplo. No, the reasons that I love Lego Duplo so much are that it comes in some great sets and because the designers think so carefully about adding extra educational value to the toys.

In the latest delivery of our Lego Duplo Expert review sets we were sent a Winnie The Pooh's House set, a Winnie The Pooh Tigger's Expedition set and a Winnie The Pooh's Picnic set.

As we have a lot of Duplo I gave these three boxes to my Sister for her three daughters to play with. All three girls loved the sets and have had so much fun creat…

Sakata Rice Crackers - A Review by Daddy

We were sent several packs of the Sakata Rice Crackers to try. I ate them all.

One of the first things that people always say to me on discovering I am a Celiac is "Oh, you must miss..." followed by the name of a delicious food that contains Wheat. In fact, since starting to avoid certain foods, I have in fact found the range of things that I eat has increased - having to think intelligently about meals and snacks has meant I am now choosing foods that I would never probably have eaten before. Meanwhile myself, Mummy and even the kids are now quite adept at recognising the sorts of food that contain wheat - and between us we can read allergy labels in about 10miliseconds from a distance of 50 feet!

Main meals are normally fine - I have to avoid a fair amount of "ready-meals", but most home-cooked food is either naturally Wheat and Gluten free, or can be adapted to suit. However, I like my snacks too, whether it is during a break at work, or sat on the sofa in the eve…

Slow Cooker Jacket Potatoes

Absolutely ages ago I found out something amazing about my slow cooker that honestly nearly blew my mind. I did mean to put it in my post that went live this morning about my Slow Cooker but I forgot... When I did originally find out about it, I tweeted about it, I put it on facebook and it was such an amazing little nugget that the next day when I saw some friends for the Super Savvy Me filming one of the first things that they all asked me was about this amazing discovery. Now if you were paying attention you will have noticed that I have already told you what this amazing thing is in the title of this post, I discovered that my beautiful little Slow Cooker can make Jacket Potatoes.

Honestly this is amazing news. If you have one of these;

You can wash potatoes, give them a quick stab (you have to stab potatoes it's the law) wrap them in foil and then leave them in the Slow Cooker for a few hours (8 to 10 if cooked on low, 2 to 3 if cooked on high) with as much as possible of the…

Slow Cookers, Schwartz, Chocolate Cake and Me

I didn't get paid for this blog post, but for the video you will see I did get a slow cooker, dinner and paid for my time. Not that it is relevant, but you know full disclosure and all that.
Several years ago I got a slow cooker. I can't really remember why I wanted one but I know that I got it and that I was in love with it. For Christmas that year I brought one for my Mum and Dad and I printed off a folder full of recipes and included some of my own making and I couldn't enthuse enough how I loved this simple piece of kitchen ware. When my mum didn't need her slow cooker any more (it was for a family and there was just her) she gave it to me, and when my Nan didn't need her slow cooker any more (she managed to find a smaller one) she gave it to me too. I did manage to kill one of them but I like having more than one as it means I can make dinner in one and pudding in another!

So all of my slow cookers have been Morphy Richards, which was quite handy when Schwartz a…

The Beach

I love going down to the beach at my Nan's. There is something so calming about the water and the sand and of course there are a million different memories for me there too. My grandparents moved to the seaside 25 years ago and every summer my sister and I went to stay with them for a couple of weeks (not to mention half terms and other seasonal celebrations such as Christmas and Easter) and so this small village is a huge part of me. I know its rhythms, its smells and its sounds. I love the way the people in the village say my name with their slower drawling Norfolk accent, the way that you can hear the sea from my Nan's garden, that I can walk up any road and know someone who lives there.

So much had changed since when we went down last and I'm wishing that I could pause time and keep the village as it is in my memory. I know that one day we will go and it will be unrecognisable as the place so many of my memories were made. I guess time doesn't just make the paint f…

The Poor Cat - Wordless Wednesday


Auntie Giggles - A Christmas Mystery

aka "The one where I almost tell my 30year old Sister the truth about Santa"

I called my sister the other morning to tell her about a new Christmas tradition that I am starting this year as I wanted to know if she would like to join in. I started to explain to her that the Elf on the Shelf was a small Elf that came and lived with you for December and each night using Elf magic travelled to the North Pole to report direct to Santa on what he had seen during the day before using his Elf magic to return to your home and indulging in a spot of mischief such as building a Snowman out of Marshmallows or hiding in the Christmas Tree.

I explained that I would pay for this if she was interested and it would be part of my Christmas gift to her and her family. She paused for a second and I assumed this was her thinking it over.

"How Does it Work?" she asked
"What do you mean?" I queried
"Well, how does he move about?" she questioned
"Kitty, it's n…

Barbie A Perfect Christmas - DVD Review

We received a copy of the Barbie A Perfect Christmas Film.

We love Christmas here at A Mothers Ramblings, we will happily watch Christmas films all year round and come the start of November you will find us watching a Christmas film as a family every weekend and then we really step it up in December with a Christmas film every single day. Top Ender informed me a few weeks back that there was going to be a Barbie Christmas film out soon and I made a mental note to make sure that Saint Nicholas added it to her clean shoes during Advent. Then by a perfect chance we were sent the film to review.

Barbie stars with her sisters, Skipper, Stacie and Chelsea in a seasonal musical where they discover that the perfect Christmas isn't necessarily about going to see a show, or a concert or going ice skating but being together and having some good old family fun. The sisters are on their way to New York, to do the things that they have planned but when a snowstorm forces their travel plans to c…

Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension Wii Game review

We love the Disney's cartoon series Phineas and Ferb here at A Mothers Ramblings, like us the brothers want to live everyday to the fullest all in their pursuit to have fun. This year saw the first Disney Channel Original Movie of Phineas and Ferb's adventures titled Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension and this has inspired a new game (available for the Wii, PS3 and DS) where you can play as one of eight characters (including Phineas, Ferb and Agent P!) and when I pulled it out of the padded envelope for Top Ender and Big Boy to play one afternoon I don't think we realised just how much we were going to enjoy it.

Zhu Zhu Pets: Quest for Zhu

We received a copy of the film to review.
When I told Top Ender a copy of the Zhu Zhu Pets: Quest for Zhu film was waiting for her to watch on the way home from School one night, I thought that Justin Beiber had suddenly walked in front of us with the screaming that suddenly came from Top Ender. Apparently this was going to be the best ever film and she was going to make sure that her Zhu Zhu pets could all come and sit with her to watch. Big Boy, Top Ender and several Zhu Zhu pets (that I didn't even realise we owned) came and sat on the sofa to watch as Pipsqueak travels to the other size of the Zhuniverse (see what they did there) on a quest to find the Palace of Zhu, where they believe that all their dreams will come true.

Along the way she meets Chunk, Num Nums and Mr Squiggles (all of which I recognise from the games and toys that Top Ender and Big Boy have) and they journey together across the Amazhun Jungle, the wild and wacky ApeHam, past Zhurasics and a giant yeti hamste…

Big Boy Giggles - I have to go on my own?!

This past weekend we were due to go to Drayton Manor, to watch the firework display and to have another go on the Ben 10 ride! but Top Ender was quite poorly and so we had to cancel at the last minute. We thought it best to break the news to Big Boy gently and so Daddy took him to one side and explained that Top Ender couldn't go to Drayton Manor because she was poorly and had to stay in bed. Not to be put off Big Boy thought for a moment and then told Daddy;

"You can take me!"
"Well, I don't really feel very well either" coughed Daddy
"I have to go on my own?!" said an unbelieving Big Boy

I think to make it up to him we are going to have to go up for the Drayton's Magical Christmas which runs from November 26th to January 2nd, but only because it snows three times a day and Santa will be there! I just hope that Big Boy forgives us for not having gone last weekend.

Fisher Price Party at The Baby Show

Fisher Price gave us some toys in a goody bag and had offered to pay for my travel.
Last week Top Ender, Big Boy and I were invited to the Fisher Price Party at the Baby Show. Having been to the baby show before I knew that there would be a lot to look at, and for the ladies who are pregnant in my life a good chance for me to hunt out some unusual baby gifts or something new that I wish had been invented when my two were small. I was also really interested in talking to the team at Fisher Price as they have been a huge part of my life (and of Tops and BB's and their cousins) as so many of the toys that we play with or have played with are part of the Fisher Price range. It was really interesting hearing from Dr Deborah Weber about how the designers look at how children play with toys and they use this and feedback to make some truly great toys.

Whilst Deborah had been talking the children played in the toy area with a huge selection of toys for the Fisher Price Range. After the sh…

Rastamouse DVD and Plush Toy Review

We were given a DVD and plush character to review.
When Rastamouse first started on CBeebies, I wasn't sure about it. I heard so many other Mummy Bloggers on Twitter talking about it and how they loved it but I just didn't know if it was something that I would be able to get into and it is only if I show enthusiasm for a new programme that Big Boy or Top Ender show any interest. Eventually I managed to get everyone to watch it together and Big Boy quite liked it, even I thought that the crime solving antics and the idea that everyone gets to make up for the bad thing that they have done rather than being punished was a good thing for Big Boy to learn.

We were asked if we would like to review the newly released DVD (Da Crucial Plan and other adventures) and when it arrived, I got top Ender to sit down with Big Boy to watch it whist I pottered about doing the dishes in the kitchen and preparing our evening meal. Top Ender was a little annoyed as at seven years old she thinks herse…