A Mothers Ramblings: November 2011

Tuesday, 29 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 was young!

The RRP for the Magical light and sound tri-scooter is £39.99 and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom products are available at all good retailers and you can find them on Facebook too.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

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:
Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Cereal

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

Quinoa is grain-like. Its seeds are related to spinach. It has to be processed to remove a bitter coating before eating.

Amaranth is a herb. It's rich in protein and essential amino acids. One seedhead can contain 500,000 seeds.

So now I know!

The newer product is Maple Sunrise which adds buckwheat and rice to the ingredients, but appears as a series of flakes, crunchy bits and little balls. The flavouring is handled by maple syrup, which makes this a lovely rich cereal - great taste and crunch.

Nature's Path Maple Sunrise Cereal

Pippa says that Nature's Path believes that gluten free doesn't have to mean boring and dull, which is how she finds a lot of the Gluten free products that we eat on a regular basis at home. In fact she didn't want to try the Nature's Path cereals as she was convinced they would taste of cardboard, but the couple of spoonfuls that she stole from my bowl pleasantly suprised her.

Each Nature's Path product is ideal for anyone following a wheat free or gluten free diet (and they are endorsed by Coeliac UK) but are also tasty enough for anyone to enjoy... if they can wrestle the box from me that is!

Of the two I will certainly be buying the Maple Sunrise again and if you want to try them for yourself, you can check online at www.naturespath.co.uk to check if your favourite supermarket or shop stocks the cereals and their other products too.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

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 knew that there had to be a way around this, but I wasn't sure what and it was only when Big Boy was born that I realised what we should do. That year all the gifts under the tree for Top Ender and Big Boy were colour coded.
Colour coded Christmas Paper for different People

All the gifts that were in red paper with big circles were for Top Ender and all the gifts that were in blue paper with big circles were for Big Boy. That way it didn't matter who was handing the gifts out they just knew at a glance whose gifts were whose.

Since then I haven't bothered with tags for gifts for Daddy, Top Ender, Big Boy or I having a simple colour code method instead.

This year I found some great paper in Wilkinsons that fitted our needs perfectly. There was Green paper with white circles which I have used to wrap up Big Boy's gifts, Red paper with white circles which I have used to wrap up Top Ender's gifts. As my Mum is with us on Christmas Day I have even given her white paper with red dots. Daddy and I were going to share the stripy green, red and white paper that came in the pack and I was going to add different coloured ribbon so we could tell the difference between our gifts. Luckily before I had wrapped up any of our gifts I found a similar Red, Green and White stripy Paper in Sainsbury's, the only difference being that the Sainsbury's paper had Snowflakes on! It was decided that I would get the snowflakes paper and so there are lots of colour coded wrapped gifts hidden away here.

Colour coded wrapping Paper - A Fun Family Christmas Tradition

So what do you think of this simple method of wrapping gifts? Is colour coding paper to different people in your home on Christmas Day something you might consider doing? Do you think it would help young children who can't read, those who can't read without their glasses on or even an Uncle who has had slightly too much to drink? Let me know in the comments and remember I like to be called a Genius!

Friday, 25 November 2011

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!
Pippa at the Dentists
Yes that is a picture of me at the Dentist having a wisdom tooth removed and smiling.
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.

It was hard on Top Ender who acted so brave until the last moment when she cried as we dropped her off at our lovely Neighbours house because she was scared that her brother would be hurt and she didn't fully understand what was going to happen. We agreed that I would call the School as soon as Big Boy was out of surgery and have someone pass a message on to her that everything was fine.

It was hard on Daddy and me because this was out of our hands and we had to put our trust into the Dental team who would be treating Big Boy to make the choices that they were trained to make. We were scared and worried and frightened and just wanted to be there for Big Boy without having to actually be the evil parents making him stay in hospital and have his teeth removed rather than risk further issues in the future.

As it turns out everything was fine.

Daddy and I sat either side of Big Boy's hospital bed holding on to his hand whilst he slept off the anaesthetic. The four teeth that were removed were in a pot at the end of the bed waiting to be taken home for the Tooth Fairy to collect. Jen sent me a text to let us know she was thinking of us and it was reading this that made me cry. I cried with relief that it was over, that no sinister plot line was added to our family story, that Big Boy had to have his teeth removed, that Top Ender had been secretly worried about what was going to happen and because it felt good to release in this way. We could hear everything else going on in the ward, but in our little curtained area there was just calm and love as we watched Big Boy sleep.

Gums will heal, bruises will fade but that feeling of calm and love will last a while longer I hope.

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.

Bananagrams Challenge Three - Fruit

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 the fun on the Bananagrams Facebook page and if you want to, you can buy your own Bananagrams set through Play.com and if you click that link then I might earn a few pennies through it as it is an affiliate link and we all love a few extra pennies!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

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.
Winnie The Pooh Lego Duplo HouseWinnie The Pooh Lego Duplo Picnic Set

Winnie the Pooh Lego Duplo Pooh Sticks Bridge

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 creating stories for Pooh and his friends to act out (well apart from the youngest who just enjoys shouting POOH! at the top of her voice without being told off for being rude!).

There was another set in the parcels sent out and this was the Lego Duplo Play with Letters set which is where the educational part I love so much comes in. I love that whilst you are playing with these bricks you are looking at the alphabet, that children are becoming familiar with our written language and that this is an easy way to teach them sounds with the cute little images on the bricks.

Lego Duplo Play with Letters Set

My sister is rather like me and when she plays with her girls she explains what she has, what she is holding, what she is doing and this is reflected in the way that her children learn. They love playing with the bricks and have been busy lining the alphabet bricks on the window sill in the correct order as well as making trucks, houses and of course alphabet towers!

I really rate Lego Duplo as a toy for children because of all the positives that I have mentioned in this post and because with prices starting at £3.99 there is something for every budget. Even if we weren't Lego Duplo Experts I would say this and my very last reason for loving Lego Duplo... they are big enough that you don't tend to find them with your feet like you do Lego pieces!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

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 evening watching a film.

Sakata rice crackers are made from "polished" rice. I had to Google that, but it just means that the outer husk and the inner bran layers are both removed, leaving your common "white rice". The white grains are crushed into "rice flour" which is combined with water and steam to make a dough. After being cooled, rolled flat and cut, the shapes are dried, and then roasted and flavoured.

Sakata Rice Crackers

They are also made in...... Australia. Yeah, I didn't expect that part!

I received packets of the Plain, Cheddar, Classic BBQ and Sour Cream/Chive crackers to try, and found they were perfect for snacking! With the exception of the Plain crackers, which really didn't taste that nice at all, the others were lovely and I could easily find myself polishing off a packet in one go - so it's fortunate that they are virtually fat free.

They are great with dips or or their own, and you get a generous amount in each pack - I ate them all before I could count, but it's probably about 30-40 crackers in each pack. The family* also found them nice, which is always a plus - we try to eat the same things and at the same time, and for the family that means adapting to new flavours and recipes as much as me.

The good news is I don't have to travel "down under" to pick up more of the ones we did get sent (Plain, Cheddar, BBQ and Sour Cream), because you can buy them in Waitrose, for around £1.99 a pack (50p off coupon if you like the Facebook page though!). Apparently there are other flavours like Chicken (must try!), Greek Feta (curious...) and Seaweed (er, really?) available in Australia and so I hope that Waitrose will stock them soon.

*Note from Mummy: Actually by "Family" Daddy means him and the children, as I only got to eat one of the BBQ ones which I sneaked out of the open pack in the kitchen!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

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;

Slow Cooker

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 potato touching the side and bottom of the slow cooker (that gets you the crispy skin) with no liquid and then when you come back to them, it will look like this;

Slow Cooker with Jacket Potatoes in

And then you can whip them out and turn them into Mice!

Jacket Potato Mice

Or you know serve it with Casserole, or beans or tuna or whatever else you like to eat with Jacket Potatoes!

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!

Morphy Richards Slow Cooker

So all of my slow cookers have been Morphy Richards, which was quite handy when Schwartz asked if I wouldn't mind being part of a campaign about their range of Slow Cooker recipe mixes in conjunction with Morphy Richards Slow Cookers. A very nice chap came and filmed me making dinner for my family and then filmed us eating it! You can see the video below just don't laugh okay?!

(The video can be seen at http://youtu.be/A1n-7C_tN3E)

If you enjoyed that video then there are some more that you might recognise a few people in, and you can find them here, here and here! Now as much as I love Schwartz this isn't a post about them (even though it easily could be as the recipe mixes are actually really lovely and we eat them on a Thursday when Daddy isn't around as they aren't gluten free) it's about my passionate affair with my slow cookers. What I love is that you can throw the ingredients in, switch it on and then leave it for the day, or indeed the night if you fancy waking up to a cooked breakfast.

One of my favourite things to bake in the Slow Cookers is pudding and when the other night I mentioned chocolate cake done in the slow cooker not surprisingly everyone wanted to know how to make it. I can't remember where I first got this recipe from, but it has had a couple of adaptations and so now it belongs to me!

Pippa's once stolen but now it's hers Chocolate Cake for the Slow Cooker

1 Packet ready to mix Chocolate Cake Mix
1 Packet Chocolate or toffee (if you are wanting to mix it up) Pudding mix (Angel Delight or similar)
5 Eggs (You can get away with four if you aren't using Gluten free mixes as I have to now)
250ml Water
450g Sour Cream (Trust me)
175ml Vegetable Oil
50g Plain Chocolate Chips
50g White Chocolate Chips
50g Milk Chocolate Chips (or if like me you hate plain accidentally buy two packs of milk...)

Wipe around the inside of the slow cooker with a bit of oil, you can spray it with something like the sunflower spray but I don't like them. Combine the dry ingredients in a big bowl, the wet ingredients in another and then mix in to the dry bowl (which should be massive). Add the Chocolate chips in once smooth.

Pour in to the slow cooker and then cook on low for 7/8 hours. I used to put it on at work at 9am and we would eat it at about 5pm before we went home! The top should be spongey and spring back when you push it after this time and if it doesn't then you did it wrong and it wasn't my instructions...

Serve hot with cream or ice-cream or the favourite for my old boss, custard!

Let me know if you make the Chocolate Cake, so I can come round and help you finish it...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

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.
Seaweed on a Groyne

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 fade but it lets the places change and it's up to us that we don't forget.

Faded Keep Access Clear Sign

I don't think that Daddy realised that the 360 picture he took on the beach was going to be so important to me, that they would help me freeze a moment in time and feel more secure in my little cocoon of memories but it has.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Friday, 11 November 2011

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 not real! The Elf is a toy, you move it! Do I have to tell you the truth about Santa too?" I laughed
"Yeah, I think you might!" she giggled back

Elf on a Shelf - A Fun Family Christmas Tradition
I want to call him Kurt, he looks like a Kurt to me.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

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 A Perfect Christmas

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 change they end up staying in an inn in a tiny village called Tannenbaum where the girls think they may have discovered Santa's workshop... only problem being they are in Minnesota!

Top Ender and Big Boy loved the film and sat happily the whole way through on the sofa. We all agreed that this was a great Barbie movie and it was great to see Skipper in a film (I think this might be her first time but I'm not sure). The songs are very catchy and I have been humming a couple of them since we watched the film and if you watch the trailer below you will be too. It's a great film to watch as a family as it will remind you that Christmas is a good time to spend together having fun (which as you know is what we are all about here at A Mothers Ramblings!).  

(Video can be seen at http://youtu.be/l4G7__3PijU)

The film has a U certificate and has an RRP of £14.99 and includes out takes, a music video and a sneak peek at the new Barbie film for Spring A Mermaid's Tale 2 and this film is a must for any Barbie fan's Christmas stocking!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

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.
Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension Wii Game

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.

Zhu Zhu Pets: Quest for Zhu DVD Cover

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 hamster! At last they arrive at the Palace of Zhu but find out that what they hoped was the end and bringing forward their dreams they find that the palace has been taken over by Mezhula and enslaved all the hamsters. They work together using their skills to save the day and Pipsqueak realises that her home was where she wanted to be all the time.

Zhu Zhu Pets: Quest for Zhu Team

Top Ender and Big Boy loved the film and have watched it several times since we got it, they love the bonus sing-a-long music videos and have had friends round for tea for the only reason of having them join in too!

The DVD is available now on both Blu-ray 3D and DVD and has a U certificate so is perfect for all the family and will make someone's Christmas stocking extra special. The RRP for the DVD is £14.99 and for the Blu-ray 3D has an RRP of £24.99.

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.
Big Boy as a Superhero

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

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.

Dr Deborah Weber from Fisher Price

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 short talk us Mums (and a couple of Dads) had a chat and a catch up with each other. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Luschka (Whom I adore as she is so wonderful and so beautiful too) and even had time for a quick chat with a few other friends (Karin, I'm going to say it again I have bump envy) too.

Me and Luschka

I started telling the Fisher Price team about the night before when Big Boy had announced that for Christmas he wanted a dinosaur. I was puzzled until Top Ender let me know that there is a new toy on the market from Imaginext a Mega T-Rex and that she thought that it might be from Fisher Price. I had looked at Top Ender with the sort of look I normally reserve for times when she has told me something that I know to be untrue before googling the toy and finding out that it was indeed a Fisher Price toy! I had no idea and now Big Boy was sitting in the Fisher Price Toy area playing with this T-Rex. I had placed an order for it the night before with an online toy store, but they have cancelled my order so I will be searching for the best price on it this week.

Top Ender in a Giant Inflatable Fisher Price Play Ring set

This is what is great about Fisher Price, they aren't just baby toys or baby products (although my sister has her eye on the new Fisher Price high chair which has a removable tray that can be put in the dishwasher) but they do products and toys that are suitable right through the preschool years.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

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.

Rastamouse DVD

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 herself too old for anything on CBeebies, but when Big Boy told her that it was good she agreed to watch it for a few minutes to humour him. When the DVD ended Rastamouse had a new fan in the form of Top Ender.

Along with the DVD we were sent a Rastamouse plush Toy, which hasn't been out of Big Boy's hands since he took it out of the packing. He loves it so much that I had to steal it off him, when he was sleeping in order to take this picture!

Rastamouse Plush Toy

The plush toy stands 9inches tall and when you squeeze his stomach he either sings or says one of his phrases from the show. The other three main characters are also in plush form and I think that Big Boy is after them for Christmas as he has loved playing with the Rastamouse toy and we have been waking up over the last few mornings to the gentle strains of Rastamouse filling his bedroom which is much better than the usual MUM! DAD! I'M AWAKE! MUM! DAD! I WANT SOMETHING TO EAT!

The DVD and the Plush Toy has an RRP of £12.99.