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Reading Eggs – Review and 5 week free trial

I recently used a code for a 5 week trial for Reading Eggs and I’m allowed to share it with you (see below for instructions and the code).

For those who don’t know what Reading Eggs is, it’s a web site that helps children learn how to read using really fun games.
Ella and Kaycee have been on it tonight and both of them loved it.
Ella didn’t want to go to bed, she kept asking to play, ‘just one more, pleeeaassseeee mummy?!’ till I had to be forceful and say that, no, it was too late to play again!

I took some screenshots to show you the kind of games Ella was playing. She’s 5 and when she first started, she had to do a test that helps them find out what level she was at.
Then the games began!

She had to make the word using the sounds it makes when you spell it out loud, f-oo-d


Spin the wheel then match the word to the picture it lands on.


Match the words to the pictures.

Tomorrow I’m going to be working with Kaycee. She was on her net book on the site while I was helping Ella and she asked if I could work with her for a while.
I was really pleased to see that although both children were on the same account, there’s no restriction to them logging in at the same time.

Kaycee’s working on the 7+ section of the site. With each activity they do, (on the older and younger sections), they earn eggs which can be spent in the shop, on furniture and decorations for their house as well as clothes for their little character 🙂

I wouldn’t normally consider buying a subscription to a site like this but after seeing how much Ella loved it and seeing how great the challenges are, I’d definitely consider it.
Reading Eggs Prices


To register for your free 5 week trial with Reading Eggs simply:

Visit and click on the ‘Parents Click here’ button

Register your email address and create a password
Activate your account and add your child
Once set up is complete add your promotional code UKB24MBT in the ‘Have a promo code?’ box located on your parent dashboard and click ‘redeem’

Click on ‘Start Reading’ to begin your learning journey with your 5 week free trial
Another good point I nearly forgot to make is that I actually enjoyed sitting with Ella and helping her. Sometimes these things can be really boring for the adult! I’m looking forward to seeing what the 7+ section of the site has to challenge Kaycee tomorrow 🙂

Hama Beads – My girls LOVE them!

The girls came home from school yesterday and the first thing they saw were the Hama Beads; they instantly wanted to get them open and start creating but I told them dinner and chores came first!

I think it was the first time they cleared the table after dinner without arguing and without it taking half an hour!

Ella’s kit included two boards, shaped like a puppy and a kitten.

Kaycee got a heart, hexagon and butterfly board.

The girls have used Hama Beads before, unlike me. It was my first time and I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed creating on the different boards, with my girls. We spent at least 2 hours working on our creations and I’ve never known the girls to focus on something for so long and then complain that they had to pack it away when bedtime came!

Kaycee said she loves Hama Beads and the only thing she wants for Christmas is more beads and boards and some clothes for her baby Annabel 🙂

I’ll definitely be ordering more sets for me them for Christmas!


For more Hama Bead ideas, check out the following links 🙂
Please note: We were sent the Hama Bead kits in return for a 100% honest review.

Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set – A Review

I thought Aiden (12) would love the Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set and when it arrived he was quite excited.

It only took me about 15 minutes to put it together and I have to say I was impressed that I did it without any help; I usually just leave those kind of toys for Ant to sort out!




It was all ready and waiting for them when they got home and the two big kids of the house (Ant and Aiden) had the first play.

I’d like to say that they loved it but unfortunately, I can’t.
First of all, they couldn’t get the little cars to go round the first lot of loops with just pulling back on the car and after a while, they gave up.
They ended up pushing it through the (rather noisy) battery powered motor.

Once they’d got them working with the help of the motor, they then got annoyed with them flying off the track all the time. They soon gave up and didn’t want to play anymore; they were talking about design faults and stuff so I went to check out other reviews on the Internet and found that the cars flying off the track isn’t really a design fault, in fact, that’s supposed to be part of the fun!

Kaycee and Ella (7 and 5) both thought it was great fun and loved when the cars went flying off the track!
Just goes to show the difference between the boys and the girls; the boys wanted more structured play and I think, more control over the cars, (they must have forgotten that it’s called a crash set!) while the girls just wanted to see them jumping off the track and trying to get them to crash.

Kaycee took some videos when they were playing so I thought I’d share one with you.
Be warned, the camera has really picked up the sound and it sounds louder on the video than it does in my living room but even so, it is quite noisy and I ended up making them play outside with it because it was giving me a headache.

* I received the Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set in return for a review. However, the review was
written by me and reflects my personal opinion.When I accept a product for
review, it does not guarantee a favourable review.

Robinson’s Fruit Shoots Smencils – A Review

Kaycee loves writing stories so I knew she’d love the *Smencils when they arrived! They’re described as gourmet scented pencils and they’re made using recycled newspaper; they come in a plastic tube (it says on the website that the tubes are corn based and are biodegradable)  which I assume is to preserve the smell.

We had five different Smencils, Apple, Orange, Summer Fruits, Blackcurrant & Apple and Tropical.
They do actually smell good enough to eat! The orange one was a little overpowering but the others were simply gorgeous.

I like the fact that they’re made from recycled newspaper. When I told the girls they looked a little confused, looked at the pencils and said, ‘they’re not newspapers!!’. I then had to explain what being made out of recycled newspaper actually meant!

For more info and to see the whole range of products, visit

* I received the Smencils in return for a
review. However, the review was written by me and reflects my personal
opinion.When I accept a product for
review, it does not guarantee a favourable review.

Chicago Town Takeaway Pizza – A Review

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we LOVE pizza in this house! Some of us like it more than others but generally, when it’s pizza for tea, we’re all happy; me because it takes no preparation and less than half an hour to cook and the kids because they can use their fingers to eat!

We jumped at the chance to try Chicago Town’s new BBQ Feast Takeaway Pizza.

It says on the box, “Fresh dough base – real takeaway taste” and I have to agree, it did taste like it had been delivered hot to our door.
It’s topped with BBQ sauce, Mozzarella, meatballs, pepperoni and onions. The crust is also stuffed with BBQ sauce.


When the vouchers arrived and I found that the price of the pizza was £4 I figured we wouldn’t be buying them with our own money; we never spend more than a couple of pounds on frozen pizza usually but after seeing how big it is and how lovely it tastes, it’s definitely worth the money.
It’s a big saving on a real takeaway and tastes just as good, if not better than some that we’ve had delivered in the past!

The kids have been slightly obsessed with BBQ ribs lately so I assumed they’d all love a BBQ Feast Pizza.
Ella (5) had to be the one to prove me wrong! She said it was too spicy for her but I think she had a small appetite that day because none of us thought it was spicy at all. She only wanted to eat the chips and even then she hardly ate any.

Kaycee thought it was delicious, as did my mum who’s not usually a pizza fan. I loved it and just writing about it now is making me hungry!

There’s an added bonus if you buy one or more! before the end of August because they’re currently running, ‘The Best Seats In The House’, promotion.
You can win a 40″ 3D Smart TV, Surround Sound System, Xbox Kinect and other great prizes.
All you have to do is go to and enter the code that can be found inside the pack.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will be good for my readers. Acceptance of payment by any means does not guarantee a favourable review.

Designafriend Review – Kaycee & Ella LOVE Them!



Ella’s been pushing Rose around in Kaycee’s new Hello Kitty pushchair all morning . When I asked which toy was her favourite, I should have known the answer!

They each had a Design A Friend doll for Christmas with extra outfits and accessories; Ella received Freya and Kaycee got Chloe, who has also been renamed and is now known as Jasmine.

Pretty Packaging

I must admit, when the girls opened them on Christmas Day, I was extremely impressed and if I’m totally honest, a tiny bit jealous that I wasn’t 6 again!
They came in pretty pink boxes and the contents were wrapped in tissue paper; to say the packaging provided a brilliant first impression would be an understatement.


As soon as they were out of the box the girls oooed and ahhhed over everything from the gorgeous hair to the pretty clothes.


Charm Bracelets

They got most excited though when they found two charm bracelets, one for the doll and one for them; they were even more excited when they opened the extra clothes and found each one contained a charm for them to add to the bracelets.

Designafriend charm bracelet

Out of everything they had for Christmas, these dolls have stood the test of time. They haven’t been abandoned to the bottom of the toy box once and surprisingly, they’ve kept all the clothes, handbags, headbands and shoes together in a box.
Usually, with any toys that have extra parts, we end up searching for them after a couple of months and while the odd shoe has gone astray, for the most part they’ve taken really good care of everything.

No Skimpy Clothes

I’ve been trying to think of some negative points. When I read reviews, I want to know the bad as well as the good. To be totally honest, I can’t think of any.
I do however, love the fact that these fashion dolls, unlike others, don’t have skimpy clothes and they’re not wearing make-up. We want our girls to stay innocent children for as long as possible. We don’t believe make-up and adult style clothes made small for little girls is the right way to do this.

We’ll be adding to their clothes collections this Christmas because we know it will definitely be money well spent.


Magix Photo and Graphic Designer 2013

I saw that Honest Mum had launched a new competition when I was checking my Facebook news feed this morning. It caught my attention because it mentioned photos; I’ve had a growing interest in photography since starting my blog so I had to go check out the post.
The prize is a copy of Magix Photo and Graphic Designer 2013 🙂

I downloaded a trial and have to say I’m really impressed with it. I’m not an expert at editing photos by any means, (that’s the husbands speciality!) but I love how the photo of the snail I took last month is brighter and the colours stronger in the second photo. The best bit though is that it only took a few minutes to do 🙂
Looking at it now though, I think I may have sharpened the photo a little too much but as I said, I’m still learning so I forgive myself!


I’ve been finding tutorials to see what other things it can do and I’m now going to go and learn how to take an object from one picture and put it on a different picture!

Head on over to Honest Mum to check out the competition for yourself 🙂

Free cake from McVitie’s!


McVitie’s are giving away free cake and all you have to do is like their McVitie’s Facebook page 😀

You can choose between a full size Jamaica Ginger cake (hubby’s favourite!), a packet of Jaffa Cake bars (my favourite!) or a packet of Chocolate Hobnob Flapjacks (the kid’s favourite for lunch boxes!).

After you’ve liked the Facebook page, click the link on the wall, go to the app and print out your voucher.

Why not grab yours in time for the Jubilee weekend and enjoy it with a nice cuppa!

Help for an anxious child


Help for an anxious child


Children are like blank canvasses and what happens in a child’s life
shapes how they live the rest of their lives.
Parents have a huge responsibility in creating the environment in which
children develop into well-adjusted, confident and enquiring adults.  This is the greatest responsibility any human
being could ever have, surpassing by far any workplace responsibility.   There is no training for being a parent and
how we parent mirrors very closely the patterns of the parenting we received
ourselves.  As adults, looking back to
our childhood, we often recognise the negative effects of some parenting interventions,
which occurred in our own lives.
Patterns of behaviour set in childhood are much harder to alter in
adults than they are in children who are still in the formation stage of their

There is far more information now available to parents about how
children develop and there is a greater awareness of the possibility of helping
children overcome many of the issues, which negatively affect their lives.    We have long accepted that adults are helped
to cope with and change problem areas in their lives through using a wide range
of therapies.  It is now acknowledged
that children’s therapy can also change behaviours and responses, which have a negative
effect on their lives.  Neuro Linguistic
Programming (NLP) is one of the safe therapies used with children. It works by
altering negative behavioural patterns, which have been learned and
internalised through their life experience.
This is not meant to suggest that parents are at fault when their
children show symptoms of distress or insecurity.  Many children develop irrational fears, have
problems with sleeping or revert to bed-wetting; these are all symptoms of
underlying anxieties, which blight children’s lives.

NLP is a gentle therapy, which
operates through harnessing the child’s imagination; playful activities are
used to uncover the underlying issues, which are at the root of the child’s
problems.  The Therapy Lounge hypnotherapy based
in London
, using NLP, empowers children to manage their own emotional
responses to the stresses in their lives and it shows them how to take control
of these emotional responses.   The child then learns how to change their
response to their individual issue, this allows them to move through childhood
with the ease and curiosity, which should be every child’s right.

The purpose of working to alter
the negative responses, which children exhibit as they strive to cope with
problem areas in their lives, is to give to them a mechanism that will allow
them to continue their growth and development toward confident adulthood.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a
“sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash
payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only
recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will be good for
my readers.

Guest Post – Olympic Medal Tutorial

How to make a foam medal


The Olympics are coming up, and children will be getting into the
spirit.  Why not get together with
friends to have a mini sports day with all the children? You can provide
winning medals for the games and really get their competitive juices flowing.


Below is a great tutorial provided by cutfoam who offer foam cut to any size.
For the gold medal, you
will need;


Yellow, plus one other colour, sheets of foam.
Gold glitter


(adjust the colours of foam and glitter for
silver and bronze, and you can even make runners-up medals for the rest of the






Using a mug and a smaller cup, cut out two
different coloured circles –the yellow one largest.  Also cut out two Number 1’s – again, one
slightly smaller than the other and this time the yellow one smallest.




Glue the smaller circle in the centre of
the bigger yellow circle.  Then glue the
larger Number 1 in the centre of the smaller circle, with the smaller yellow Number
1 in the centre of that.  Allow the glue
to dry.


Cover the medal in gold glitter and allow it
to dry thoroughly.





Make a hole at the top of the medal, and
pull a ribbon through the hole to tie around the neck of the winner!


tutorial was brought to you by
Cutfoam, the cushion foam specialists
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