What The Postman Brought - 23/10/2017

Its that time of the week, time for you to have a nosey at what the postman brought! It has been a bit quieter this week and I go on holiday today, so my poot neighbour is having to take in all my post! I will update you on that when I get back LOL
Thank For Watching
Mandy
xx

Ben 10 Power Up Deluxe Four Arms Figure

Ben Tennyson, a 10-year-old boy, is on an extended summer vacation with his Grampa Max and cousin Gwen when he discovers a magical device- the Omnitrix watch. This amazing device gives Ben the ability to transform into any one of the spectacular alien heroes, each with its own unique abilities. Ben, Max and Gwen travel the country in their mobile home- the Rustbucket, and have a blast beating down would be villains along the way. 
You can recreate scenes from the Ben 10 TV show with the 3 Ben 10 Deluxe Power Up Figures which all have a unique surging 'Power Up' feature to change Ben 10 into an Alien! Choose from characters Heatblast, Diamondhead and Four Arms which all make sounds and light up!
We got the fantastic Power Up Four Arms Action Figure! He is super strong as well as fire and laser proof, Four Arms loves to solve problems with his powerful punches! Featuring a unique surging 'Power Up' feature to change Ben 10 into Four Arms, this deluxe figure stands at approximately 14cm tall and has a variety of authentic lights and sounds!
Cody really enjoyed the deluxe figure, he liked that all his arms are legs are movable. He found the power up button straight away and discovered if you press it once it makes a sound and lights up, if you press it and hold down he instantly powers up, you can also press him repeatedly he makes an even bigger alien blast. Cody loves play figure so I know it will be well played with, he loves imaginative play and making up his own scenarios. You can find this and all the other Ben 10 items over at Flair Plc. Check out our video and see him in action.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

Webbox Festive Dog Treats

This week Honey our Pugzu has been able to get in on the review action! We were sent a lovely box of Webbox treats for her from the new extended Christmas range. It contains all the things you could possibly need if you have a dog to buy for this Christmas.
The festive bites rrp £3 are turkey and bacon flavour, they are made from real meat and are wheat gluten free. The serving size for my dog is recommended at 3 a day and she weighs roughly 5kg, the larger the dog the bigger the serving. I love the festive bauble at just £2 and I am so putting it on the tree, it has 24 little milk bones in so it's going to be Honey's advent calendar. The festive chipolatas rrp £3 are made from fresh pork and the ideal treat for keeping the dog away from our Christmas dinner!
It's not Christmas without a bit of chocolate and why should the dog miss out! You can get them 2 of their own bars of non-toxic carob bars for just £1. The doggie deli pack is a great selection box for £4 it contains 4 different sealed packs of treats including pork strips and marbled beef bites.
Another Christmas fav in our house is pigs in blankets and this year we don't have to share ours with the dog because shes got her own. For a dog up to 10kg you can feed 4 pieces, Honey really liked these treats, she enjoyed the crunch of them. Honey is a lover of chomping chews so I knew she would love these turkey & cranberry chews, she's eaten half of the packet already if you check out our Youtube video at the end you will see her giving them a go!
If your dog likes wet food then Webbox haven't forgotten a treat for them with the three bird roast rrp £1 for their Christmas dinner is ready to go and its comes with some turkey kibble for a bit of a crunch. Of course, if your dog is larger and has a bigger appetite then the festive three bird roast is for them at just £1.29, it's a huge portion too! I've saved the best till last and the best is Christmas pudding rrp £2, its made from fresh chicken and even has some cranberries in there.
Now it wouldn't be Christmas without an actual gift for your pet, would it? The limited reindeer is limited edition and available in corduroy or plaid design for £5. The knitted bone is available in festive red and green and also priced at £5.
Honey has felt very spoilt indeed with all of these yummy treats, they are surely going to last her until Christmas! Make sure you check out our video and see us unboxing the treats as well as some footage of Honey enjoying some treats and having a tug of war!
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

Ravensburger 3D Despicable Me 3 Puzzle Review

We love a bit of puzzling for a wind down before bedtime, there is something therapeutic about puzzle building. We were contacted and asked if we would like to try out some 3d puzzles from Ravensburger based on Despicable Me 3, the kids love all things minions so of course we said yes!
With the new 3D shapes from Ravensburger you can create fantastic room accessories in 3D! This amazing Pencil Holder features the minions from the new hit film Despicable Me 3. Piece together the 54 curved plastic pieces and create a fashionable accessory or pencil holder that will add an enchanting touch to any bedroom. Just complete the puzzle, attach the plastic accessories and use the hold to store pens, pencils, make up brushes and various odds and ends. The puzzle uses unique plastic pieces, which slot together to build a sturdy and strong pot and best of all no glue is required! Each puzzle piece is printed with a number on the reverse side, so you can either assemble the puzzle by eye, or by following the numbers on the back. This model makes an ideal room decoration that you can build on your own or as a family. The finished puzzle measures 10cm high when complete. Suitable for ages 7 years and up.
This storage box features the mischievous minions from the new hit movie Despicable Me 3. Piece together the 216 strong plastic pieces to create a storage box that will add an enchanting touch to any bedroom. Just complete the puzzle, attach the accessories - and you have a storage box that is ultra-practical with a moveable shelf! Use the box for anything you like - Jewellery, treasures, letters and bits and pieces! The finished puzzle measures 23 x 15 x 13cm when complete. Suitable for ages 9 years and up.
Dj really enjoyed the challenge of the 3d model as opposed to a regular puzzle, it was a bit more of a challenge for him. I think the numbered pieces are fab and the arrows on them really helped Dj with the building of the puzzle.
He found building the sets and he found it really simple to do. It only took about 10 minutes to build to pen pot. That was after sorting all the numbered tiles out, we found it easier to sort them onto numbered pules of 10, 20, 30 etc. The larger box took us about 20 minutes, we did have a little trouble getting the lid to sit right. This is purely just because it's a 3d puzzle and the pieces move, its slots in when you have all the pieces totally straight.
They are both perfect additons to the boy's bedroom and they look fab! Both are avaulbel from Ravensburger and Amazon. They would make the perfect gift for birthdays or Christmas.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

What The Postman Brought - 16/10/2017

Hello and welcome back to another what the postman brought video. It's been another busy week, but that is fully expected for the time of the year. Im loving my Helly Hansen boots they are perfect for this weather we are having. I have also lined up some great prizes for our Christmas giveaways.
Thanks For Watching
Mandy
xx

Sparkles and Shine Bows Review & Giveaway

My Skye is not a girly girl, she's much more comfortable in her jeans and a pair of trainers. So anyway I can throw a little sparkle into her life I jump at. My good friend from Sparkles and Shine Bows sent me some amazing hair accessories in an attempt to get some glam into Skye's life. Becky is a Mum to 1 little boy and works part-time, in her spare time she can be found sitting at her machine making an array of bows and bibs.
All hair accessories are made to order and the website has a host of ribbon and colour choices. There is the option to custom make and Becky the owner is happy to hear your suggestions on what you want. If you aren't sure what you want then she offers a surprise box! The bows all come in a variety of sizes from really tiny to xxl bows. 
I love how well made the products are, there are no lumpy bits of glue on show and the fabric is really great quality. All bow designs are available in a choice of bobble, hairband, clip or slide. The tiny bows are priced at just £2 and the xl bows £3.50, so fab prices. If you want your bow in a band it's an extra 25p. 
I am teaming up with Becky to give one blog reader the chance to win £30 to spend in her online store. For your chance to win just enter via rafflecopter below. Please do read the terms and conditions before entering.
sparkle

Terms and Conditions
Open to UK & Ireland residents over 18years. 1 prize for 1 winner, chosen at random via Gleam. All entry methods are mandatory. Make sure you complete each entry correctly or you will be disqualified. Come back each day for extra entries. Winner will be contacted within 3 days of the giveaway ending. If they do not respond within 28 days a new winner will be chosen. Your details will be passed to the PR/Company and nobody else. Delivery is the responsibility of the PR/Company. Raising the Rainbows is not responsible for any damaged or missing prizes. Please allow up to 28 days for the prize to arrive. The company reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of similar value if the original isn't available. Bulk or automated entries will be disqualified. Giveaway open until 11.59pm on 12th November 2017
                                                                            Enter my other giveaways here
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
See more at - ThePrizeFinder

Disney On Ice Presents Passport To Adventure

Many many years ago I went to watch Disney On Ice, I was around 6 years old and I can still remember the magic I felt watching it. We were lucky enough to be chosen to go and ride on a cart on the ice and it was amazing! Fast forward 30 years to last night and I finally got to take Cody to see Disney On Ice. We were invited to go and watch Passport to adventure and also go to the meet and greet before the show started.
The boys were astounded to meet Mickey, little Brody managed to photobomb someone else's picture, as soon as he saw Mickey he bolted over to him! The boys had a fab time at the meet and greet, they were treated to some yummy food & drinks. We left to head to our seats and the boys were given a fab goody bag containing a cuddly toy Mickey, a show programme and a colouring book, they thought all their Christmas's had come at once.
Excited boys showing off their goody bag products
We were sat just 6 rows from the ice so we had an amazing view, as soon as the warm-up skaters came onto the ice for fit to dance the boys were transfixed and apart from the singing along we lost them to the magic of Disney.
We were taken on a journey through some of Disney classics, introduced by Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Daisy & Donald. We even got to see some of the Zootropolis, they set the scene for what we were about to see.
After the overture, we started our journey with Its A Small world, which was stunning. The costumes and sequins were spectacular and although the boys weren't familiar with Its a small world they were still transfixed by it.
Next up was some familiar territory for the boys as they sang along to all the songs. The atmosphere in the arena was electric as everyone joined in old and young, you really get caught up in the excitement.
Peter Pan is one of my all-time favourite Disney films and seeing it on the ice was so good. It was so elegant and it was amazing to see the characters fly around the arena.
After a short interval, we were taken to the next step of our journey, under the sea with the little mermaid. The boys sang their little hearts out to under the sea. Cody was quick to spot on of the performers was the same person, so I explained that the cast plays lots of different parts. He was impressed that they remember all the different songs and choreography. I have to agree with him, the cast as amazing.
Passport to adventure certainly saved the best till last with Frozen. The atmosphere in the arena was immense, hearing all the little ones belting out the songs. The boys loved the snow showering down from the sky onto the ice rink, you could feel a chill in the air and it really made you feel like you were there with them. 
The finale saw the whole cast rejoin the ice for the final song, the boys loved seeing Mickey and crew closing the show. it really shows you how big the cast is. It was a truly magical show and we enjoyed every minute of it.
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Disney On Ice Passport To Adventure runs for 2 more days at the Manchester Arena and there are tickets still available, with prices starting from £30. After that you can catch the show at the following venues:
Arena Birmingham 18-29 October
SSE Arena, Belfast 3-5 November
Citywest Hotel, Dublin 10-12 November
FlyDSA Arena, formerly Sheffield Arena 15-19 November
The O2, London 20-30 December
You can find out show times and book tickets directly from the Disney On Ice Passport To Adventure Website.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy

Finding The Right Childcare For You


Childcare.co.uk allows you to search for and connect with babysitters, childminders, nannies, nurseries, private tutors and schools and also allows childcare providers to advertise their services. The site has more than 1.5 million users nationwide and is the largest online community for parents in the UK having launched in 2009.

Site Content
I have been taking a look around the website and testing its usability and seeing what services it has to offer in my local area. The website is really easy to navigate with a lot of subcategories along the top to enable you to select the service you are looking for. You can find a babysitter, childminders, nurseries, Au Pairs, tutors, midwives and even schools. There is a handy box where you can just pop your postcode in and the service you require and it shows you your results. There is also a lot of handy hints on finding the right babysitter for you and how much to pay a babysitter. I

What Did I Find?
As a Mum of 4 children finding a babysitter can be tough, so that was my first port of call. I entered my postcode fit and then you can select a distance to search. For nighttime babysitting, I selected just 5 miles so it wouldn't be to much hassle for them to travel home after. I then had the option of a few catatgores including emergency babysitters, DBS checked sitter, evening sitter and even Montessori trained sitters. I was presented with a selection of babysitters in my search criteria. I loved the breakdown profiles on the site. It allows me to see some personal information on the person including their qualifications if the are OFSTED registered, DBS checked and there is also any reviews previous users have left. I really like this aspect as it allows you to find out what real users thought of the service provided. I think having another parents opinion helps massively when choosing any kind of childcare.

Summary
I was impressed with the services on offer and how user-friendly the site is. It's definitely a service I can find myself using as finding childcare short notice can be tricky. The middle boy has his Sats coming up too, so the option to search for a tutor for him is great. Also if you have younger children I like the nursery search option. I found it really tough to pick a preschool for Mr C as I had no one to recommend a good one to me. Have you tried Chilcare.co.uk, is it the type of service you would use? Having had a look at myself I can see it being a service I would personally use and recommend.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy

What The Postman Brought - 09/10/2017

Its a day late as we had a pretty busy weekend and I have only just filmed the video today! It was another busy week of parcel opening as the Christmas Gift Guide features continue to roll in. I still have around 20 products waiting to be delivered.
Thanks For Watching
Mandy

Are You Heading To Play Expo Manchester 2017?

My boy is a huge gamer and last year he attended Play Expo Manchester for the first time, it was actually the first mass game type event he has attended. As you know Logan has autism so large busy places don't sit well with him. It took a huge leap of faith for him to go, but he did it and he still says it was the best day ever! So I just knew I had to get him tickets again for this year. It not just 7 days away from the weekend kicking off!
Its the Norths biggest video gaming expo and its returning for its 6th year and is hosted at Event City at the Trafford centre. They are expecting 25'000 attendees. Tickets are on sale now at www.playexpomanchester.com
An exciting exhibition clash between 2 gaming scenes will be shown live at Play Expo Manchester on October 14th! Hometown heroes from England led by Manchester Battle Arena take on the combined might of Versus Scotland in a showdown across five different competitive fighting games. The games played will be Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator 2, King of Fighters XIV, and the brand new Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite in a series of one-on-one exhibitions. Well known tournament players from both countries are set to duke it out, with a high skill level sure to be shown across all games. If you want to experience the very best that the UK fighting games scene has to offer this October, PLAY Expo Manchester is where you can catch the explosive action!
We will be spending most of the day playing in the gaming areas and the cosplay arena as they are Logans fav areas. You can see everything that will be at the show on the website link above. There are lots of different gaming areas, the cosplay arena, q&a sessions and you can even have a go at Escape Room!  See you there!
Thanks For Reading
Mandy

Are You A Binner Or a Keeper?

Before I was a Mum myself I used to go round to friends houses and see their fridges covered in their children's doodles. I used to think how messy it looked, I always said that I wouldn't be one of those parents who has millions of doodles all over the house. Skip forward 10 years and as a Mum of 4 children, my house is overflowing with the kid's arty creations. I just can't bring myself to bin them! They have sat and purposely drew a little doodle and lovingly brought it home for me, I cherish every single one! We even created a wall in the dining room to display their artwork as the fridge was getting rather full.
A new study* released today has unearthed the guilty secrets of parents across London. The research revealed that 64% of parents are forced to bin their children’s artwork as a way of coping with the sheer volume, and 47% have even been caught doing it! A further 17% admitted that they often palm their kid’s handy work off to friends and grandparents as a way of clearing some space in the home.

The statistics, which were released as part of a campaign to launch over 100 billboards nationwide created using 5-11 year olds’ artwork, also highlighted parents’ pride in their offspring’s masterpieces. An overwhelming 92% of those polled by BIC®UK & ROI in London proudly display their children’s artwork in the home, with the fridge door being the most popular location according to 80% of respondents.

Most popular locations around the home for children’s artwork to be displayed, according to parents in London:

Three quarters (74%) agreed that children’s artwork on display is a sign of a happy home, 62% said it shows creative, inspired children and 54% believe it’s a sign of proud parents. Of those that do display artwork, over two-thirds do so not only because they find it heart-warming, but also because they believe it’s important for boosting child confidence and creativity.

Just 7% of those polled said they refuse to display their children’s art in the home, 80% of which do so because it clutters up the house. A quarter (25%) also admitted that it simply isn’t good enough for others to see.

Rebecca Huda from BIC® UK and ROI said: “It’s inspiring to see the impact that children’s art has on parents, and while some may feel that there’s too much to cope with, we think it’s fantastic that children are still drawing so much! It also seems that most agree - 76% of those polled in London said that creativity is extremely important for children’s development, although only 2% of parents sit down and draw or colour with their children during weekends and holidays.”

Carrie Longton, Mumsnet’s Co-Founder, said: “I think it speaks volumes that, according to BIC’s research, 83% of London’s parents don’t compare their children’s artwork to others – clearly we’re a nation of parents that understand that the most important thing for children’s development is picking up and pen or pencil and having fun, rather than producing a masterpiece.”

Launched on 17th July, BIC’s Young Artist Award was open to all 5-11 year old kids across the UK and ROI. The artwork was judged by an expert panel of creatives from the marketing, publishing and illustration industries before ten winners were chosen. The nationwide billboards, created using the winners’ artwork will be launched week commencing 11th September 2017.

Now I have 4 children I have to start cutting back on the art displays before it overruns the house. I may have to take some advice from above and start to palm it off on other family members. What do you think of the survey results above, do you fit into any of the survey results? Are you a binner or a keeper?

Thanks For Reading
Mandy

Weekly Weigh In - 3/10/17

The more eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that there was no weekly weigh-in post from me last week. That's mainly because there was no weight loss, there was no weight gain either which was great. I had a good week food wise, but I didn't drink as much water as I usually do, I also didn't move anywhere near as much as I should have. I was happy with a maintain in my weight but knew I could have done better. I started off the following week with a mindset of smashing it and getting myself moving a bit more. The week started off really well and I have really nailed the food choices now, I find I am naturally making better food choices. I still believe calorie counting is the way forward for me, it's not restrictive and as long as the food fits in within my daily allowance I can eat it. I definitely find if I feel restricted in what I can eat it throws me right off the track. This then leads me to binge eat and make bad choices, so calorie counting is working as I haven't binged now for over 5 weeks. I feel more on balance with my food so it's time to sort out getting moving more. I hate going to the gym and finding time to go in my busy schedule isn't working for me. I have come up with some ideas to get me moving and boost my weight loss. 

1. Make sure I hit my daily step goal on Fitbit. I have a goal of 8000 a day which I hit with ease and exceeded on a weekday. I pretty much never hit it on the weekends, so I plan to get them in on the weekend by taking the dog out for a walk a few times a day.
2. Use the fitstar app on my Blaze watch. these are a set of really simple daily exercises to follow. It gives me a demo and then I have to compete them as I am told by the app.
3. Lookin into getting a home gym, I don't have time to be travelling to the gym so why not bring the gym to me. We have plenty of room and the outside shed is waterproof, with a bit of a clean up it would be the perfect spot.
4. Go out for a ride on my bike, the hubby just got himself a new one which means I inherited his old one. It's the perfect size for me and although I haven't ridden for years its something you never forget! 
5. I really want to get back into swiming, my local pool has really restrictive swim times. There is a pool further away with open swimming but it would take 30 minutes to get there and then 30 minutes back!
Obviously, on top of this, I will continue to meal plan and make sure I'm hitting my protein goals for each day. I'm going for a 4lb loss this week, with 3 weeks left till we go away I would like to lose a few more lbs before we go.
See You Next Week
Mandy

Cooking With Stellar Rocktanium

My old wok was looking in a bit of a sad state, it's a well-used kitchen item, but I've had it for a few years now and it was in need of replacement. The team at Stellar got in touch and offered me the chance to review one of the new Rocktanium range. The standout feature of this collection is the rock hard revolutionary titanium based non-stick formula, Quantanium, this PfoFA-free coating gives a scratch-resistant finish that is more durable than conventional non-stick. 
The pans are created from thick aluminium with an induction base to ensure even heat distribution on all hob types, the five pans in this collection cover all today’s needs. The comfortable, hollow, stainless steel cast handles are strong and stable and enable each pan to be hung for easy storage. The vented glass lids on the saucepans and sauté pan allow you to see inside at a glance and the reinforcing stainless steel rim and lid-handle combine style with practicality. The pans have a lifetime guarantee and with prices starting at just £30 you will enjoy cooking with them for years. I was sent the 24cm saute pan.
The first thing I wanted to test out was the non-stick claim, I would usually pop a dash of olive oil or some fry light in the pan, but didn't. I was really pleased to see the meat cooking happily on the non-stick surface. The meat cooked evenly and quickly and I was able to add the veggies
The vented lid is great, I didn't have to stir the veggies I added, I just popped the lid on and let the veggies soften and the meat mingles in. The non-stick claims continued to dazzle me. The pan is plenty big enough to cook a meal for me and the Mr in. The pan is a nice weight and not too heavy to handle. The handle is stainless steel and really comfortable to use. The pan is also suitable to use on all hob types and is dishwasher safe. The pan as an amazing 10-year non-stick guarantee. Our meal we made was yummy and thanks to the lid all the flavours really infused together. The last thing I wanted to show you was how the pan looked after we served dinner from it!
It was soo easy to clean, I was able to wipe it out with a soapy cloth. No scrubbing or soaking required! I'm really impressed with the saute pan, it retails for £60 which is great for a great quality product that comes with a quality guarantee.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy

What The Postman Brought - 1/10/17

It's time for my weekly what the postman brought video. I'm still waiting for quite a few gift guide items to arrive.

Thanks For Watching
Mandy
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