|REVIEW|the game of things

Are you looking for a game to play with older kids, family and friends at Christmas?  We’ve been sent The Game of Things to try out, which we will be using when hosting New Years Eve this year.  

Aimed at over 14’s and recommended for more than 4 people, The Game of Things isn't really a competitive game, it’s more a game of laughs. Younger children can play if they are able to read and write but you need to ‘edit’ the cards first to remove any inappropriate ones! 

|FOOD|chocolate and banana ready brek

T loves Ready Brek and Despicable Me, so I thought I’d make a special Ready Brek for him, fit for minions!

We were recently sent the new DM3 dvd and a DM3 mineez toy so we made a morning of it and enjoyed watching the film after eating our special Ready Brek.

|CREATE|easy felt snowman Christmas decoration

I always like to help T make a Christmas decoration for his Grandparents and Auntie, I know my mum and my sister love having one each year to add to their tree. We usually use them as gift tags on their gifts from him.

This year we are joining in with The Mad House’s Kid Made Christmas decorations daily blog hop along with lots of other great bloggers, pop over and see the amazing crafts that have been made.  Yesterday the fab Le Coin de Mel showed us how to make a gorgeous reindeer advent calendar, which is definitely worth looking at. 

|REVIEW|air hogs micro drone

At the very top of T's wish list is a drone, so when buddy the elf on the shelf sent him one on loan to try out for Father Christmas, he was pretty chuffed.

The Air Hogs DR1 micro race drone is aimed at children aged 8+ but I was pretty confident that T would be able to fly it.

|LETS LEARN|halloween worksheet download

Do you need 5 minutes to yourself this half term?  Drink a hot coffee or even just unload the dishwasher in peace with the aide of our free Halloween worksheet 😉

Half time is great when you get to spend it with your kids (sadly I’m not this one 😢) but we all need 5 minutes to ourselves to catch a breath, don’t we?

|GIVEAWAY!|rubiks junior

T loves his Rubik’s cube, but he struggles with it a bit, he loves twisting it round and trying in vain to get a side filled with just one colour but he’s not yet managed it.

We’ve recently become John Adams Rubik's bloggers , which we were thrilled about. And were sent some Rubiks junior animal puzzles, these have proved to be much better for our little puzzle solver.

|REVIEW|monster island dvd - out now!!!

With Halloween coming up there’s no better time to share a spooky family film and Monster Island fits the bill perfectly! 

Just the right balance of spookiness and a great storyline, it’s definitely a film we’ll watch time and time again. 

|MAKE|Hexbug cardboard roll bats

Love Halloween crafts?  Well this activity is just for you then!  We saw Red Ted Art share a great craft on their Instagram stories for fantastic litte cardboard roll people which moved around using Hexbugs!  I knew I had to give that a go but wanted to change it up a bit for Halloween.

|FOOD|spooky snack mix

I don't usually let T have this many sweets but as it's Halloween a few treats don't hurt do they?

This snack mix is super easy and is made mostly from ingredients found at the supermarket. 

It was perfect for sitting down with a new monster DVD (review coming soon!) as a nice little treat.

|GIVEAWAY|Vremi Kettle and Ice Trays RRP £26.98

Let me just start this by saying 2 words 'tea' and 'gin', yep, you know, those busy Mum necessities we all need to survive!

Well, I have the perfect little whistling kettle here for you, for your afternoon tea and the most fabulous silicone ice cube trays to make enough ice cubes to keep you in gin and tonic all week! 

|GIVEAWAY|PROJECT MC2 Experiments with dolls RRP £24.99

As you know if you are a regular reader, I am a great fan of learning toys or allowing children to learn through play.

That's why I'm really pleased to bring you this fantastic giveaway, one of the new Project Mc2’s geek-chic heroine dolls.

|LET'S LEARN|What we learned this week - week 6

Week 6???? I know it's week 6 and this is only my first actual update, if you were waiting for this after I promised I'd be writing up how we get on, sorry, life just got in the way.

If you've no idea what I'm talking about, let me briefly explain. During the school holidays, T asked me to start doing 'activities' with him again it's something that we used to do a lot when we had Fridays together. Now we have time each day together I decided to dedicate time each day for some one to one time. Just he and I during the week, and with Daddy at the weekends. 

|REVIEW|Paddington Bear night

To mark the release of the Paddington 2 family movie on 10th November we recently had a 'Paddington Night'.
We were sent a game and a colouring roll from University Games, which formed the base for our evening.


Spark is a thrilling film about an intergalactic teenage monkey and his band of side-kicks. Spark is an orphan after he lost his parents as a child to evil villain called Zhong who destroyed his planet. 

Zhong now plans to destroy the universe and Spark and his friends need to step up to stop him. 

|OUT AND ABOUT|paradise wildlife park

With a large and varied selection of animals, indoor and outdoor play areas, a woodland area, a large paddling pool, crazy golf and platformed high rise viewing platforms. You can see why Paradise Wildlife Park is striving to become one of Britain's top animal attractions.

If you like your big cats (as we do!) Paradise Wildlife Park really is for you, their amazing 'big cat territory' includes, a white lion, white tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, tigers, snow leopards and ocelots.

WARNING! This post is very photo heavy, there's a shorter in a nutshell type synopsis at the bottom of the post, if you would prefer that!

With viewing platforms built all around the park, you get to view the animals much better than if you are on the ground.  Although you can get up very close on the ground! 

T really enjoyed seeing his favourite big cat, the cheetah running around its enclosure and marvelled at feeding us with us him cheetah facts 😂

The Hubs loved watching his favourite, the white lion laying lazily next to the fence.  You can see how close you can get in this photo, and we have a great view from above! 

This beautiful jaguar was my favourite, I think the first jaguar I've seen and he was a beauty. There's also a female with a baby which is super cute, but we didn't manage to get a great shot of her on the day.

The tigers were gorgeous and happy to roll around and play right next to the fence so everyone could get a good look at them.

Paradise wildlife park doesn't just have big cats, there are all sorts of animals including camels, snakes including the biggest anaconda I've ever seen in my life! Wolves, reindeer, tapir, monkeys well, over 400 actually! 

As well as outdoor exhibits, there are quite a number of indoor ones including Angkor reptile temple which T really loved.

The peguins have a lovely enclosure with a viewing platform over the top to get a great view. They didn't do much swimming the day we went but you really could get great all round access, which I imagine is invaluable during busy times.

The wallaby enclosure is amazing, you can walk in and about with the wallaby's which is a lovely experience. They are still quite shy and keep their distance, but it's lovely being able to get so close.

At one time The Broxbourne Zoo (as Paradise Wildlife Park was formerly known) was named Britains worst zoo. How different things are now, with conservation and animal welfare right up there as high priorities of the park, the park now works hard to 'become the most successful and best wildlife park for education, conservation and preservation of wildlife in Britain'.

You can read more about the amazing conservation work here.

As most places have these days there are the entertaining meerkats, such funny little characters.

We were lucky enough to be able to make the bird display where 4 types of birds were flying, we saw macaws, a great grey owl (wow! What a beauty!) a cara cara and a harris hawk.

There's a great selection of other birds too, and they vary the talks and animals who fly.   We really enjoyed the bird talk, the keeper was incredibly knowledgeable and very interesting. She was also really happy to spend time talking to T afterwards when he had a question to ask!

Not only does the park have lots of amazing animals, it has numerous other attractions too, including inflatables, crazy golf and play areas including special needs equipment.

We had lunch at the park, which we found to be very reasonable and tasted good. Prices in general for refreshments were very good value.

1. The park is very wheelchair and pushchair friendly, I don't think I saw anywhere that wasn't accessible. 

2. There's plenty to do both on nice days and wet days. 

3. The Paradise wildlife park is not just animals, there's literally loads to do as well as the animals, the perfect place for a full day out. 

4. There's ample parking. 

5. You can get cheaper tickets by booking online and also using groupon offers. 

6. There are numerous displays and talks going on throughout the day, we only managed to catch one but that was down to us not checking what they were beforehand. 

7. The park is easy to get to from the M1. 

8. The viewing platforms make it easy to see all year round, especially when it's busy. 

9. There are 400 animals, what more can I say?? 

Prices (standard - look online for offers)
Child: £16.50
Adult: £19.80
Senior: £16.50
Disabled & 1 carer: £16.50

Disclaimer: we were kindly given free access to the park in return for our honest review. All opinions and words are our own. 

|GIVEAWAY!| xtava curling wand RRP £45.99

So, as busy working mum's know it's ruddy hard getting ready in the mornings without having to wash, dry and style your hair each morning too, like we all did with our free time in the good old child {stress} free days. It's not so bad with long hair - hello messy bun!  But if you've shorter hair let's face it, you've had it. 

|FAMILY|keeping kids occupied on road trips

How do you survive road trips with small children?  Finding things to keep T occupied during a long journey is high up there on my list of priorities when planning a road trip.  I'm working with www.kwik-fit.com on this post to provide some top tips to keep your small ones happy during travel time, making for a smoother and safer journey.

|GIVEAWAY!|baby annabell

Here's another little giveaway for you, just in time to put away for Christmas.

Baby Annabell is at the top of many little ones Christmas lists, so I'm pleased to work with Zapf creations on this and offer you this fab prize.

|GIVEAWAY|llama united book

Earlier in the year we were lucky enough to be sent a copy of the fabulous book Llama United by Scott Allen.

|BRAND NEW ME| ~ Happy ~ Healthy ~ Fit ~ 1

How are you doing? As you know I'm on a journey to improve my health through changing my eating habits, taking more care of myself and getting fitter. It's been a rocky road and I've had many diversions and obstacles but I've definitely made progress. 

I've been struggling with how I'm going to track this and so I'm trying something new, to just list 9 goals each month and then track how I'm doing against them. 

|LET'S LEARN|Our new 'let's learn' project

If you follow me on Instagram you will already know that T and I have started some home learning again. I'm not sure if it's the summer holidays or just a need for us to have some focused time together, but he asked me at the start of the holidays if I would do some 'activities' with him and he asked if we could do things together more, so we've started again and have been loving it.

Although I will be making a plan each week (to save time on the day and help with my anxiety!) I want this to be relaxed and flexible. Already I've changed my plan if T or The Hubs suggests and idea, the weather changes or we fancy doing something different!  

|FUN|emoji rocket blasters

LarabeeUK - kids craft activity- emoji rockets

Does anyone else have piles of the little yellow kinder eggs laying about the house?  I always think they *should* come in handy but can never think of anything to do with them.

With T's latest obsession being anything emoji related, I thought we'd try our hands at making some emoji alka seltzer 'rockets'. I did this activity a few years ago with cousin J when T was small and he loved it so I though T would too. 

|BRAND NEW ME|gagets for healthy cooking

We all could use a little hand in the kitchen couldn't we?  I'm finding that trying to prepare healthy meals for the family is really time consuming.  It's great if I've time to spend hours on meal prep, but most nights I don't and so I really rely on kitchen gadgets to help make mealtimes smoother and speed up the time needed to get a healthy meal on the table.

|FUN|15+ fabulous 'forest school' type activities

As I've mentioned many times before, we're spending more time outdoors as a family, we are always looking for fun outdoors things to do, looking for something just that little bit different, I turned to the blogging community, who didn't let me down with these wonderful posts!  I know we'll be trying most if not all of these over the coming months, there really is something for everyone here, and if that's not enough, there's a post at the bottom from Kiddy Charts with even more ideas. 

|REVIEW|the diamonds, the dagger and the classy dame Murder Mystery dinner party game

So, has anyone ever arranged a murder mystery night before?  It's something we've been wanting to do for ages but it's just never happened.

We're currently trying to organise one with our friends and we've been sent the Inspector McClue Murder mystery dinner party game 'The Diamonds, The Dagger and One Classy Dame' to review. 

|FAMILY|Oxford Castle Unlocked

A couple of weeks ago, we were very lucky to be invited to visit Oxford Castle Unlocked, we were booked onto the tour which lasts 1 hour and for T to attend a ‘Knight school’.

|GIVEAWAY|Mokuru fidget spinner RRP £15.90

Has the fidget spinner craze hit your house yet?  Do you have a fidgeter would benefit from a high quality alternative design fidget spinner?  Well this might be the giveaway for you!

|GIVEAWAY|gel-a-peel kit and sunglasses

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.

This summer if you are heading out to a festival or summer day out your children are going to love the Gel-a-Peel pearly pastel kit.

I'm working with Gel-a-Peel to bring you this great, creative giveaway, we are also including a pair of sunglasses for you to decorate, see the designs below to give you an idea of what you could create.

|FOOD|25+ family breakfast ideas

Do you ever find yourself having the same breakfasts over and over again because you can't think what else to have?  We do so I turned to my blogging friends to ask them what their favourite healthy family breakfasts are.  There are some brilliant suggestions here, I hope it gives you some inspiration for the school holidays or for nice family weekends :)

|FOOD|avocado on toast

Avocado on toast
by Leandra Bramham
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Ingredients (Serves 1)
  • 2 slices multigrain bread
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 7 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 dsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli's
  • Juice from 1/2 lime

|BRAND NEW ME|July healthy favourites

Whilst starting on my new lifestyle I've found loads of things which are good for my wellbeing, handy for meal prep, or just downright delicious!  I thought I'd do a monthly round-up of new discoveries, to share and hopefully inspire you too. I know I like discovering new products and I hope you do too. I've even thrown in something I tried and didn't like this month too.

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.

The food will mostly be vegan, vegetarian or plant based, and any beauty and cleaning items will be cruelty free.

1. 5 blade spiralizer
This has been a godsend to me, my little hand spiralizer is ok but when I'm spiralizing for a salad, I need something more heavy duty like this.


 2. Pukka lemon, ginger & manuka honey tea
Although I'm mostly dairy free and plant based now, i do still eat honey, I drink this tea daily now since I've stopped having regular tea with milk. The lemon and ginger is really strong and the kick of honey adds just the amount of sweetness not to need any sugar.


 3. Wax melt warmer
I really love having a wax melt on the warmer especially when the house is nice and clean and tidy, it  helps with my wellbeing and general anxiety.


 4. Himalayan salt lamp
There's so much in the media about the effectiveness of these and whether they can actually cleanse the air of negative ions when they are this size. It's completely riven that larger lamps can cleanse the air but I think the jury is still out on these smaller ones. Nevertheless it's still one of my favourite things. The gentle glow is so relaxing and the colour is beautiful, so even if that's all it does, I'm happy!


 5. Aroma diffuser
I find calming all of my senses helps tremendously with managing my anxiety, making sure I always have the diffuser on in our bedroom with an essential oil mix, really helps me relax, unwind and meditate before bed.

6.Avocado on toast!
Oh my gosh, considering I eat avocados at least once a week, I cannot believe that I'd never tried this before, so I have it a go last week and it was the MOST amazing thing ever!  Here's my recipe.


7. Violife vegan cheese
Cheese has been one of the most difficult swaps for me on my dairy free journey, I've tried so many different types of dairy free cheese, and they were all vile until I found Violife! Even T and The Hubs eat this one, it's just a shame it's so much more expensive than regular cheese! 
8. Aldi The foodie market, Peanut and choc chip brownie bar
These bars are absolutely divine, I keep these at work to have in meetings when everyone else is tucking into cakes and biscuits. I'm yet to get T or The Hubs to try them, but that just means there's even more for me!

And one thing I'm not loving at all this month!

Menstural mooncup
So I had this crazy idea to try a mooncup each month instead of using more 'conventional sanitary products.  Well without going into too much information, I just couldn't get on with it, I don't know, I might try again next month but sadly I don't think that these are for me! 

What are you loving this month?  Let me know on comments so I can discover some more new things! 
Much love, L 💕