Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom - Elf Tree Playset #Review

Ben & Holly's Kingdom, has been quite Popular in our house for some time so when we were asked to review the new set from there toy range the boys - well Adam in particular wanted to, they have not had any toys in this character range before.

The Elf tree set, has a lot on interactive parts such as doors that open a woodpecker that moves back and forward and also a rotating toy duck machine , you can also remove the bed and the desk. The set comes with a character figure as well.

The Elf Tree Playset has three floors to it, at the top is where the woodpecker has pecked its whole, for any child that has seen the episodes they will know the elves don't like Woodpeckers! this is also where Ben's bedroom is! The middle floor is where the desk is placed and there is also the trap door- to the toy factory.
The bottom floor has the rotating toy duck machine where all the magical toy making takes place.

The Elf Tree Play set encourages children to use there imaginations and rein-act the scenes from the actual program, The Elf Tree PlaySet is aimed at 3+ but older children will play with it as well, Liam doesn't Like Ben and Holly, but happily played with the set with Adam for quite a long time so regardless of if your child is a fan of Ben & Holly most children will enjoy the toy.

The set is Priced at an RRP £29.99 which I thought was a little expensive, but as with all character themed toys you always pay extra for the name. I did ask Adam if he liked the set and "Ben Elf"  And he sharply informed me, that was not Ben elf it was Barnaby. Its a bit disappointing that the set at its price doesn't come with the key characters Ben or Holly - however the boys enjoyed the set all the same and it wasn't long before they had added in cars and other characters to play with along side it. You can collect lots of other play sets in the range and they all connect together the other sets do have all the other characters such as Ben Elf, Princess Holly, Nanny Plum and the Wise old Elf. which will be going on Adams list for Christmas!

Overall the boys really enjoyed the Play set and we will be adding to this range of character toys.

 disclosure - We were sent the fabulous Ben & Holly's Elf Tree set, for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own

Monday, 27 July 2015

Meningitis in children

I wrote about my experience in the hospital with Jack and probably most frightening time I have experienced with my children, I know that there is lots of information about, regarding meningitis but as this lays close to my heart, I thought I would write a reminder of the facts for us to remember to be vigilant with our children.

There are two Common types of meningitis, Bacterial meningitis and Viral Meningitis 

Viral Meningitis - is mainly seen in children up to five years old, However that does not mean you cant get it when you are above this age, the outcome of this virus is usually better and viral meningitis can resolve on its own.

Bacterial Meningitis - is contagious, and is life threatening up to 40% of children with this will die and half of adults who get this will die - this is still the case even with the correct treatment - scary stuff

Symptoms in different ages will vary but looking at symptoms in babies and young children this is what too look out for.

  • A Tense or bulging soft spot (this is in young babies located on there heads)
  • High temperature (However in young children under three months this could be low)
  • They could be very sleepy have a staring expression or be too sleepy to wake up
  • Breathing - this could be fast or seem like it is difficult 
  • They could have extreme shivering
  • Rash - this could be small pin prick or purple bruising (this could be anywhere on there body)
  • They may get diarrhoea 
  • they may make unusual grunting sounds
  • they might be vomiting or refusing to feed
  • your child could be irritable when picked up, with a high pitched, moaning or odd cry
  • blotchy skin, becoming pale and or turning blue
  • Cold hands and feet (but still have a high temperature)
  • A stiff body with jerky type movements or on the other scale be still and lifeless
  • pain when moving muscles, joints or limbs.

A lot of the symptoms can be mistaken for other things, and there is no sequence in which way the symptoms will appear, only your child will become quite ill in a short space of time. Also watch out for the rash, tiny red or brown pin prick marks that can change into purple blotches or blisters, the rash can be much harder to be seen on darker skin and also check everywhere, like the palms of there hands, soles of there feet, inside the eyelids and the roof of the mouth.

Carry Out the "Glass Test" this is rolling the glass over the area where the rash is, through the glass any marks they have should disappear, and reappear once the glass is lifted off if you can still see the rash through the glass and it is not disappearing, you should seek medical attention straight the way. always remember if your child is very ill they need medical attention don't wait to see if a rash forms take them to be seen by a medical professional.

A few decades ago the outlook for bacterial meningitis was not great at all, and almost everyone would die - however now days most deaths are caused by Septicaemia which is blood poisoning and this is what causes the rash. A quarter of people may suffer complications such as hearing loss or loss of limbs.

As a parent its important to stay vigilant remember a lot of the symptoms above can be caused by lots of different illnesses, but if you are worried or suspect it could be meningitis, you need to get that person in question to a doctor straight the way, if you are a mum trust your instincts as parents we don't usually get it wrong to find out more information on Meningitis you can visit Meningitis Now Or The Meningitis research foundation.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Keep calm and colour in! #Win Zen Art Therapy for adults

Colouring books have become increasingly popular over recent years, they are relaxing can help keep stress levels minimal and if it is someone elderly it can help to regain the use of their fine motor skills - colouring is becoming an upcoming craze amongst adults.

Children have known for years that settling down to tackle a nice bit of colouring-in is a relaxing way to unwind and it looks like us grown-ups have finally caught on! Cool, Calm, Create is pre-school specialists, Redan Publishing’s first magazine to target adults and will hit the newsstands on 30th July, providing a monthly shot of art therapy to frazzled parents up and down the country.

The new magazine offers 68 pages of intricate colouring and doodling spreads designed to help focus the mind and aid relaxation. Using a bespoke blend of patterns, mandalas and tangles, issue one has a marine and ocean theme and comes with a free cover-mounted gift of 5 colouring pencils, making it the perfect gift to pick up and go and an ideal travel companion for summer holidays.

Calm, Colour, Create Magazine will retail at £4.99 and is aimed at anyone with an interest in colouring. It will be available on selected newsstands from 30th July, 2015.

I have three copies to give away. To win yourself a copy of the lovely book simply enter via the rafflecopter below. Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

all steps on the rafflecopter form are optional however you must complete at least one to be entered . Only one entry form per person is allowed (however, you can tweet with the bonus click entry daily as well to increase your chances).

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once the Rafflecopter picks a winner, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within 28 days, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will close on 4th August 2015 at midnight.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Jack had Viral Meningitis - I never thought it would happen to us

A week ago Wednesday we had, had a great day, I had took the boys to playgroup, then my sister had popped over and we had took all the boys over to the wacky warehouse down the road, Jack seemed to be fine at playgroup and once in the pub had become a bit irritated didn't really want his bottles he was a bit whiny, and unsettled but I put it down to his teeth, he was teething and I knew was not unusual for babies to behave the way he was, eventually I managed to get him to settle down for a nap.

At around 7pm he still hadn't woken up, so I decided to wake him as the other two boys had gone to bed and he needed his last bottle and his pyjamas on, as soon as I lifted him out of his pushchair, he started to cry, well he was screaming hysterically, I could feel he was really hot too touch, I picked up the thermometer and checked his temperature it was 38.9 which is really high for a baby - I gave him some calpol but an hour later he was still crying and his temperature hadn't budged.

I rang Jacks dad and we took him straight down to the walk in centre, the doctors were really concerned about his noisy breathing and the fact his temperature was so high, they sent us up to the children's admission unit, where they gave him more calpol, and ibuprofen, after a couple of hours his temperature had subsided and they told us, the reason for his temperature was most likely due to a viral infection and to take him home.

I wasn't really happy as he still wasn't well, but I was relieved they didn't think it was anything more serious we took him home it was the early hours of the morning, I was still really worried about him - I didn't sleep very well I got up a few times, to check on him by 6am he was awake and crying again, his temperature was high, so I did what the hospital had told me I gave him calpol and ibuprofen which settled him for a while.

He still just wasn't right, at around 10am it was time for his next bottle he was really warm again, I started trying to give him his bottle, to be honest he didn't really want it, he was messing about, as he pulled his neck back I noticed a dark mark under his chin, it was difficult to see as Jack is quite a chubby baby. On closer inspection it looked like a little purple bruise, I pressed it remembering all the information I have seen around it didn't disappear, I must have repeated this about four times, I put his bottle down and stripped his vest off him he was covered in a rash - it wasn't all the same, some of it was pin prick rash with raised red bumps, that did disappear under a glass then in between that rash, there were little bruise type spots that didn't disappear.

This is when I started to panic, I asked my neighbour to look after Liam and Adam, my dad had come over so he took us straight down to the hospital, and to be honest thank god I did, the doctors were not happy with him and as they were examining him, there were more of the rash and purple type bruises appearing, his temperature was high and he was really unsettled, it was heart breaking seeing him so poorly and not being able to do anything for him - the doctors decided there and then they were going to put a cannula in, take bloods and give him some big doses of antibiotics and fluids through a drip, as they suspected meningitus.

He would have to stay in hospital to determine, for definite what was wrong with him, he was really poorly those first 24 hours Jack was really ill, as a mum it was heart breaking, his temperature remained the same he was sick and had diarrhoea as well it was horrible, and really frightening, I don't think any of us had slept much for a few days it was physically and emotionally draining for us all.

By the time a few days had passed his temperature had subsided and remained the same, he was beginning to feel a bit better and he looked a bit better, although the rash - the pin prick one had spread all over it was on the bottoms of his feet to his hair on his head but the purple bruise type ones had started to fade.

By Monday morning he had been free from his temperature for over 24 hours he was crying less and was smiling more they diagnosed him with viral meningitis - the doctor just said how lucky he was, I am not really sure he was lucky I am just glad he is still here to tell the tale, although he is like a different little boy he is very clingy and cries a lot more now - but its too be expected when he had been so ill. I still don't think he is 100% well, but he is getting there - I never thought meningitis would happen to us I thought it was something that happened to "other people" I am glad I went with my instincts, I am glad I took him back to the hospital, sometimes as a mum you don't want to be a nuisance, sometimes I think I am worrying for nothing but the best advice I can give any mum is if you think something is wrong with your child take them somewhere to be seen, its always, always better to be safe than sorry.


A Cornish Mum

Binky Linky

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A quick and easy Slimming World #Recipe

  • 1 X onion diced
  • 200g mushrooms diced
  • 500g extra lean minced beef
  • 2 X teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 X teaspoon mixed herbs
  • a small bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 3 x beef stock cubes
  • Frylight

  1. Put the frozen vegetables in a a pan and boil them until soft and they are cooked.
  2. Whilst the vegetables are boiling spray a large pan with fry light and placed on a medium to high heat
  3. fry the mushrooms and onion for around five minutes
  4. Add the mince, chopped garlic and mixed herbs fry until the mince is browned
  5. Add the beef stock
  6. Drain the water away from the frozen vegetables and add to the beef mixture leave to simmer for around 20 minutes so the flavours infuse, stirring occasionally
  7. Serve with steamed broccoli or Brussels  

The meal is syn free and it makes quite a lot I usually freeze some down for later in the week its yummy not only that you can adapt the recipe to suit yourself why not try adding in some different vegetables or serving it with butternut squash instead of chips or the above vegetables!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Cheer up a friend send a gift through text, with Parcelgenie

How nice is it to spread happiness in peoples lives? How nice is it to send people a little gift to let them know how much you are missing them, thinking about them, or just want to put a smile on there face?

Well the new Parcelgenie/textgenie App lets you do just that!

"Parcelgenie! The Worlds first Instant gift messaging app lets you send real, little gifts to friends and family, No address needed!"

Parcelgenie is an instant gift service that you download as an app on your phone, available on Android or IPhone, however if you don't have either you can also order online. They have a range of gifts, all really reasonably priced. They start at £1.99 & go up to around £8.00, There are ten gifts to choose from including a good luck charm, some pretty ladybird lovebugs and their eat your blues away (a blue sweet selection). The gifts are mainly food / sweet based, It will be interesting to see if they will add a wider selection to suit more people, but for now I think they’ve a really nice little range to start off with. Plus you can also add a personalised note card!

Once You have chosen the gift you want to send the app automatically connects to your contacts in your phone, so you simply connect and choose who to send it to. You don't need the person's address as once you've arranged for it to be sent, the Parcelgenie texting app sends a text to the recipient saying you have sent them a gift & asks them for their address details. Then you get a message saying it has been dispatched. Simple as that.

When Parcelgenie contacted me to ask me to try out their new service, I bought my mum, the horse shoe good luck charm, as she hasn't been very lucky lately so fingers crossed it brings her more luck, the charm came all wrapped up in a cute little box and came the very next day after ordering. which is a great service.

I also bought a few other gifts for friends as the gifts are all lovely little things and I wanted to see what they thought, they all loved there little gifts the only negative to the service is that when they received the text all but one of my friends sent me a message asking if the gift was from me or if it was a spam message.

With the app payment is really simple, you can pay by card or by Paypal, the app links straight to your Paypal making payment quick easy and simple!

Other little gems to the app include a shake the parcel game - this gives you one shake a day to receive a gift or discount code, there is also an electronic reward card for each gift you send you get a stamp once you have six stamps Parcelgenie sends you a surprise little gift to say thank you which i think is a lovely idea!

Not only that all first time users get 50% discount off there first text order!

Go check out their range of gifts for your favourite people and let me know what you think. I really love this idea and love the gifts I will definitely be continuing to use the app.

You can find out more by visiting them here at Parcelgenie or Txtgenie  or by following them on Twitter .

Disclosure, I was sent two gift codes to review the above app, all opinions remain honest and my own.

Family Fever