Kangaroo Beach – The Great New Show from Nick Jr for Pre-schoolers.
Kangaroo Beach is a great new water safety beach show aimed at pre-school aged children. We live in Devon so we’re close to multiple beaches and is definitely a happy place for us as a family. Freddie loves anything water-based and we can’t wait to get him water confidence safely when we’re able to book swimming lessons for him.
What is Kangeroo Beach?
Kangaroo Beach is a 26 x 11’ minute animated surf-safety series for preschoolers and their families produced by Cheeky Little Media and created by Tim Bain, who has also written for PJ Masks, Go Jetters, Bluey, Fireman Sam, and Bob the Builder among other shows for a slightly older audience.
Kangaroo Beach is about four young animal friends, Pounce, Gemma, Neville, and Frizzy, who spend an action-packed summer at the spectacular Kangaroo Beach, training as junior cadets with their lifeguard heroes. When an emergency breaks out, the cadets step up to help keep the water safe.
The series will appeal to young audiences by exploring the wonders of water play, whilst helping to promote an essential message about water safety in every episode. All the water safety advice from water safety professionals is accredited by the Swimming Teachers Association, the Uk’s reputable water safety charity.
The message behind the show is to inspire swimmers in a way that promotes safe water play which as parents is top of the list.
Kangaroo Beach Characters
There are four main characters:
Pounce is a super Jumping Joey who wants to be a big muscly hero like Bondi.
Frizzy is a Fabulous Koala Bear – the most adorable star on the beach!
Gemma the Platypus is a Champion Cadet who loves exploring the ocean and meeting new sea creatures.
Neville is a hairy-nosed wombat and expert sandcastle digger!
As well as Sandy, Big Trev, Bondi and Lin, and Wei.
What we thought of Kangaroo Beach
Well first and foremost, it stopped Freddie in his tracks. When he finds a show that he likes, he goes into a telly-trance. We always say that a bomb could go off and he wouldn’t notice until the electricity went out!
We loved it! Freddie asked when he was going to the beach next, and can he learn to surf. I think we might teach him to swim before we let him loose with a bodyboard.
I thought it was a great show, not too long, and great characters. One of the phrases on the show was the highlight for me “On it like a seagull on a Chip”! I’m going to try and get that into a conversation this week.
As it was our last day in isolation (contact) we created our own little beach scene and Freddie pretended he was swimming whilst he watched. It didn’t last long before he slipped back into his telly-trance. I even caught Belle (10) glued to the TV.
We loved it and have already watched several episodes.
Kangaroo Beach is available on Nick Jr weekday at 09.30 – make sure you watch it!
After months and months of seeing posts on meal subscription boxes, we finally took the plunge and ordered our first Hello Fresh box a couple of weeks ago.
I got a referral code from a fellow blogger so that she received a discount off her next order which is quite a nice thing to do.
You can sign up via the website or via the App (iphone and Android). I downloaded the App which is so easy to use.
The choice of meals is really good, and there are several different categories to suit your palette including Family Recipes, Quick Meals and Chef’s choice.
How does it work?
When you first download the App you will be asked for your preferences. Ours are family meals and quick meals which as a busy Mum takes the hassle out of looking for new recipes that both kids will eat and we will enjoy also. You select the number of people the meals are for. There are four of us, but Freddie doesn’t eat very much and Chris has quite large portions so we opted for the four people. Then you pick how many recipes you want per week. We opted for three and then the rest of the week we eat relatively simple meals. I’ve started to meal plan which works so well for us, and reduces the food shopping bill as well as my sanity at having to come up with seven meals each week. Choose your delivery date and enter your payment details. It’s as simple as that! All of the food comes already portioned into the exact amount that you need for the recipe. The meat and chilled products come in a separate insultated bag with cool packs and the remaining ingredients come in numbered brown paper bags each relating to the correct recipe card. The cards are really easy to follow and can be kept to use time and again.
Choosing what to eat
This is the fun part. It’s like ordering from a menu. If you don’t make a selection one week, it will be made for you based on the preferences you have chosen which could be a nice way to try something new. Otherwise you just log into you app and make your weekly meal choices. I’ve included Belle in the meal selection as she’s become quite particular about what she eats reently which is hopefully just a phase.
Are you locked into the subscription?
Absolutely not. You can pause the subscription whenever you want and reinstate it again when you’re ready. So if you’re going on holiday you would pause for the duration, but you could change the delivery date so that you get a box the day that you get back when there’s usually nothing in the fridge.
What about all the packaging?
This was one of the things that I had thought about before placing an order. As everything comes pre-measured there are a lot of little sachets and plastic packaging to enable this to reach our door as fresh as it can be BUT Hello Fresh have obviously thought all of this through and you can read about there commitment to sustainability and reduced carbon foot print here. Receiving your ingredients individually portioned means a reduction in food waste which is a huge thumbs up.
I love it! I love a subscription box or service and the time it saves me constantly looking for new ideas to feed the family. Our first box was discounted, and there are always lots of discounts around for new customers. We thought that the price of the boxes after the initial discount was a little bit pricey, but having said that, the rest of the week we eat relatively simple meals such as pasta, jacket potatoes and salads so it evens out the cost of the shopping.
We’ve had three deliveries so far and there’s only two meals that we’ve enjoyed all the meals except maybe a couple of dishes. One was a pasta dish that just didn’t have enough flavour for us and the other was lovely but took a lot longer to make than the recipe card stated.
This post isn’t an #AD in any way as we are paying for this subscription ourselves, but if you would like to try a box and get a £42 discout (essentially a FREE box) then send me a DM through Instagram for the code.
Our Peppa Pig journey started with Isabelle who is now ten years old and continues with Freddie who is two years old. Did you know that the show has been running since 2004? I had to google it!
Peppa Pig has come a long way since we first started watching it. There are a lot more characters, not to mention all the Peppa Pig themed everything from toys, hair accessories and bedding.
Freddie loves Peppa Pig but his favourite character is George Pig and his dinosaur, so we were thrilled to be sent the Peppa Pig Shopping Centre to play with.
What’s in the Box?
The shopping centre is set out across two floors featuring six different shops with the clever help of interchangeable signs. There is:
Ice Cream Parlour
Fruit and Veg Shop
There is even a working lift that the characters can go up and down in which I think was Freddie’s favourite feature. As with any supermarket, there is a tannoy with buttons with real supermarket sounds such as the ‘ding dong’ to alert shoppers to special offers, checkout sounds and lift music.
The shopping centre came with twelve accessories including a Peppa Pig character, shopping trolly, cash register, a plate of cookies, a restaurant table and chairs and a plate of cookies.
The shop areas can be changed by the clever use of swivelling signs.
I should give the restaurant table a special mention since the table rotates between having Pizza and ice cream on the plates.
I knew that the lift would be Freddie’s favourite feature. Pop Peppa in the lift and press the button for her to go up to the next level, and then push it back down to do it again……and again……and again! Freddie only turned two in June and is quite heavy handed, but this was robust enough for him to do on his own without any frustration.
What’s a shopping centre without real life noises. The microphone has working buttons with a check out sound, lift music and the kind of ‘ding dong’ that you hear before an announcement is made. The microphone is detachable, so could be accidentally lost should you need a bit of peace and quiet.
I really wished that I’d caught Freddies gasp when I showed him the shopping centre. He could not wait to get it out of the box and thankfully it wasn’t screwed to the box and didn’t require any assembly. The only thing we had to do was put the batteries (not included) in the microphone and it was good to go.
Freddie was two in June and so toys generally have to be quite robust for him to play with, but this playset ticked all the boxes in terms of sturdiness and managed to keep his attention for a long time, in fact I had to prise the pieces out of his hands so we could pick his sister up from school. His favourite feature was the lift which he was able to do without any help and enjoyed putting Peppa and her shopping the lift.
Overall, this has all the plus points that we look for when buying toys for Freddie. The only thing that would have been nice addition would have been if there was a Miss Rabbit character since she does all the jobs in Peppa Pig.
The Peppa Pig Shopping Centre is marketed at children age 3+ but Freddie has already been playing with Isabelle’s Peppa Pig toys and I’m quite happy that he is able to play with it as intended. It retails at £39.99 at Smyths Toys and other retailers and would make a great Christmas present for any Peppa Pig fan.
*We were sent the Peppa Pig Shopping Centre in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Freddie has only just recently been introduced to Fireman Sam, but as soon as I showed him the Fireman Sam Fire Rescue Centre playset he knew who it was and got very excited to start playing with it.
The Fireman Sam Rescue Centre unfolds to reveal the inside of the headquarters in Pontypandy featuring a working zipwire, the kitchen where the crew have their tea, a platform with a pulley and training dolly and best of all a working fireman’s pole. It also come with an articulated Fireman Sam Character.
Once you’ve finished playing with the set, it can be folded away for easy storage and has a carry handle so can be easily taken on a playdate.
The zipwire has a suction pad that can be suctioned onto a flat surface. We found it stuck quite well to our dining table leg. You can then clip Sam onto it and whoosh to the rescue.
Pulley and Training Dolly
As part of the rescue centre there is a pulley system and training dolly so that the fire rescue team can practice for live rescues.
The set comes complete with a Fireman’s pole which Sam clips onto before whizzing down to the rescue.
There are other characters and vehicles in the range which would make a great addition to this playset.
If you have a Fireman Sam fan, they’ll be pleased to know that there is a Fireman Sam Special – Return of the Norman-Man showing on Cartoonito at 5pm, Thursday 5th November. There are also some cool Fireman Sam stop from animation clips that you can watch on the Character Options YouTube channel.
Freddie really enjoyed playing with the playset but found it tricky to get Sam onto the firepole and the zipwire. Once it was set up he happily played with the set for a while and liked to carry it round from the lounge to the kitchen before setting it up again.
His favourite part was the zipwire, he would place the training dolly on different part of the playset before Fireman Sam came to the rescue after following Dolly’s pleas for help.
It’s great that there are additional toys and characters to add to the set as a Fire Engine would definitely complete this set up.
As Freddie is only two, he was a little bit heavy handed when it came to the zipwire so the suction cup kept coming off which led to a few wobbles, but this was a great set for us to play together and with a little bit of help was more than able to play independently.
*We were sent the Fireman Sam Fire Rescue Centre for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
In this day and age we’re all finally realising that to maintain life as we know it, we have to make sustainable choices going forward. Living in a world where everything is instant and available it’s easy to fall into a disposable way of living.
However, it is hard to change some things when it’s all we’ve known. One of these things is our choice of sanitary products.
There have always been two options, sanitary towels and tampons.
Did you know that a disposable menstrual pad is made up of 90% single use plastic and even tampons contain plastic too AND the average person wlll use around 11000 sanitary products in their life time. Thats a pretty shocking figure!
Unfortunately a lot of these products are still being flushed down the toilet which has major implications. You can read more about the Cost of our Periods on the WUKA site.
Still a Taboo subject
As a women I would much prefer it if this natural process happened in a different way or not at all. At that ‘time of the month’ I feel irritable, hot and emotional and wish I could lock myself away from the world for at the first two days of it.
Having no periods during pregnancy and breastfeeding was a huge bonus for me.
Having said that I’m not one to wear it like a badge or use it to excuse attitudes or behaviours towards other people or work.
Are Reusable Products the way forward?
I’m not a newbie when it comes to reusable or washable products. I’ve used both washable nappies and wipes with no problems. It’s just a different process.
I’ve seen washable sanitary pads and admit that I shot these down as an option straight away. My mind went into overdrive with thoughts of:
How and where I would keep the used towels if I was out and about or at work
Where to keep the used towels for the duration of my period
Would I smell
Would they leak
I had similar thoughts with the menstruation cups with regards to leaking as well as the actual process of using one.
And then I heard of period pants……
How does WUKA Wear work?
WUKA stands for Wake Up Kick Ass which I think is a great phrase for all women.
WUKA pants are is made from a sustainable super absorbent hi-tech fabric which can hold approximately four tampons worth of liquid. These can be worn for 4 – 6 hours on a heavy day and up to 8 hours on a lighter day. making them perfect for overnight.
The fabric has anti-bacterial properties to eliminate unpleasant odours and are machine washable.
Even better, the underwear looks like a sporty pair of black briefs which are a little thicker that a usual pair making them a super comfortable option.
WUKA Wear is available in a variety of sizes and flows to suit your needs. There are also teenage sizes available as well as matching bralette. Pop them in your dark wash minus the softner and air dry.
Where can I buy WUKA Wear?
You can buy them direct from the WUKA Website but even better you can pick up a pair in your local Sainsbury’s whilst you’re doing your food shop which is definitely a step in the right direction.
WUKA Wear retails at £20 per pair online or exclusively to Sainsburys from 15th March 2020.
I was sat well and truly on the fence with these, but having had three children and my periods getting heavier with each one I was willing to give these a go.
They look and feel like a sporty pair of black briefs similar to ones that I have in my drawer if not sightly thicker. I’ve tried them on with both skirts and jeans and there are no obvious differences between the WUKA Wear and my regular underwear.
I would have loved these for the days after having my babies instead of the huge maternity pads.
Like the initial outlay for washable nappies these seem like a big expense, but if you were to work out the cost of pads and tampons over time it wouldn’t take long to reach the same figure.
I’d like to give these a couple of tries before I give an overall opinion so keep up to date with me over on Instagram and I’ll also do a follow-up post.
*I was gifted a pair of WUKA Wear Period Pants for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links which means I will receive a small referral fee if you click on a link and make a purchase at no cost to you.
Huge Mama points for anything Unicorn or Blind Bag so the points for ticking both of these boxes are huge!
What are Uni-Verse Surprise Unicorns?
The Uni-Verse Unicorn Surprises start off as a cloud which dissolves in water to reveal four blind bags containing:
A matching Unicorn Toot or Tear Friend
A collectors card
Two Unicorn Accessories
The Uni-verse Surprise Unicorns single packs retail at £9.99 from all great toy retailers and are suitable from age 5 upwards.
What do they do?
Each Unicorn Surprise starts off as a puffy cloud with an emoji style expression that you have to dunk in warm water where the cloud turns into a gloopy slime to reveal four blind bags. The colour of the water changes dependent on the land they came from.
There are forty Unicorns to collect and they come with a variety of accessories which are interchangeable amongst your collection.
What did we get?
Glammin Cameryn from Glam-A-Ganza land and she came with a little tear shaped friend, a set of wings and a nail polish.
Dilly Dolly Dotty from Funtasyland who has the shiniest bright pink hair. She came with a little Cloud friend, a hairbow and a handbag which she holds in her mouth.
Moo Moo Molly from Pet Party Peak who has crazy hair and comes with a cloud friend, a bell and a milk carton.
Sunburst Sydney from Mist-terious Land and she came with a yellow cloud friend, a bottle of sun lotion and a sunshine accessory.
Isabelle was very excited to be unboxing the Uni-verse Unicorn Surprises and was really pleased that she managed to get ones from different lands. She was very impressed with the added slime factor as part of the unboxing. As with all blind bags Isabelle likes to have a look at the checklist and has a good feel to see if she can guess which one it is.
We were both surprised at how quickly the clouds dissolved to slime. We had a towel on hand to dry off but the slime was quite greasy so a proper hand wash was needed. Isabelle was really pleased with the unicorns that she got and would like to add to her collection.
*We were sent a selection of Uni-Verse Surprise Unicorns for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Following on from our previous review of Chalkola Marker Pens we were sent a new Bumper Set which includes some pretty funky colours such as AstroTurf Green and Pink Lemonade, and we weren’t disappointed.
What can you use Chalkola Markers for?
Chalkola Marker Pens can be used in loads of different ways. Pubs and Restaurants can use them to create stunning Specials Boards, and there are loads of ways for you to use them at home.
The Chalkola markers are so easy to use. Activate the nibs by giving the pen a shake and pressing down so that the colour comes through. The colours are so vibrant and fluid so you can get really creative.
What can you use Chalkola Markers on?
As well as being able to use the markers on a blackboard they can be used on glass, whiteboards or any other non-porous surface.
They’re easy to remove using a wet cloth or even a wetwipe ready to use again.
We were sent the pack of 30 which has some amazingly named colours such as Beetle Bug Green, Lake Green and Pink Lemonade.
We used the markers to create a Trick or Treat sign for Halloween which I thought was quite effective with our bowl of sweets, and Isabelle likes to create different designs and display the chalkboard in her bedroom.
We also used the markers to decorate Freddie’s mini pumpkin which looked amazing.
Other ways you could use the makers would be for writing up meal plans, shopping lists or messages.
The markers are both child safe and odour free. The dustless, non toxic formula is both eco-friendly and safe for use at home. There are different tips available depending what you want to use them for.
There are a range of different pack sizes and colour options. We used the 30 pack which were a mixture of classic and neon colours, retailing at £22.95.
We were already fans of the Chalkola markers as they can be used in so many ways. They last a long time which is great to know as a parent. Isabelle isn’t the best at putting the lids back on pens, and thankfully these don’t dry up which is also plus point.
Isabelle uses these for playing teachers with her dolls and teddies and is very happy using these. They wash off really easily and we’ve had no problem with the markers staining clothing or carpets.
The Chalkola Marker Pens get a huge thumbs up from us.
*we were sent a set of Chalkola Marker Pens for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
It literally feels like the kids have only just gone back to school, yet here we are edging our way to yet another school holiday. Isabelle’s school do things a bit different in that they lump all the teacher training days together so that we end up with a two week break instead of one.
In some ways it’s great but not so much if you’re looking for holiday club type childcare which doesn’t exist during the first week. Thankfully this isn’t an issue for us, and it does mean you can have an October break a bit cheaper if you go in the first week.
Starting Year 4
Isabelle went into year 4 in September which, as with every new school year she gets quite anxious about everything from not liking her teacher to who she’s going to be sat next to.
Being in year 4 means that there’s less play and more work, but there are also some perks like being able to take your own pencil case. Isabelle, like me is a magpie to stationery and loves everything from gorgeous notebooks to pastel coloured paperclips.
A couple of weeks before she went back to school she got her bag ready and not one, not two but THREE pencil cases full of pens, pencils, erasers and highlighters. There was enough to supply the whole class so we had to come to a bit of a compromise with the amount she was allowed to take.
Personalised Stationery is the way to go
Obviously as parents we encourage sharing, but there have been many occasions when some of her things have been borrowed by her classmates and not returned so either name label stickers or better still personalised stationery is a great way of things not ‘going missing’.
Isabelle was kindly gifted some personalised stationery from GiftPup who do a range of gifts for every occasion and can be personalised as an added touch. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that all kids love things with their own name on it and even better if it features a unicorn on it.
We received a set of twelve white glittery rubber topped pencils that are personalised with Isabelle’s name. They came in a white presentation box all sharpened and it was very satisfying to see twelve unused pencils all lined up, must be the stationery lover in me.
Isabelle still does the majority of her work in pencil since she has yet to gain her pen license (ridiculous if you ask me) and does a lot of drawing at home so we’ve always got a lot of need for pencils. She has been particularly precious about these pencils and likes to keep them in the box all nice and neat.
We were also sent a Unicorn Notebook which says ‘Isabelle was born to ride unicorns”. She is going to use the notebook to keep note of the books that she reads at home so that she can do the online quiz at school which increases her reading level.
Personalised Water Bottle
As well as the notebook and pencils we were sent a Personalised Water Bottle in keeping with the unicorn theme. I think this was our favourite thing since water bottles seem to disappear off the face of the earth on a regular basis. It’s an aluminium bottle which comes with two lids. A screw top drinking cap and and a hand carabiner clip which could be clipped onto a school bag. It’s a nice size (600ml) so perfect for taking to school.
A Little bit about GiftPup
GiftPup offers a range of Personalised Gifts for Men, Women and Children for all occasions from the Birth of a Baby to a Wedding Celebration.
To help you decide on your gift there are a range of options to choose from including gender, budget and the relationship of the person you’re buying for. This narrows down your search and helps you choose a gift they will enjoy.
There’s loads to choose from so pop over and have a browse.
Isabelle was very pleased with the items she received. She’s totally into unicorns and her name being on everything is just the icing in the cake. As a Mum, it’s great having things for school that stand out from her friends stuff, and less stuff to label is even better.
Our favourite item is the water bottle which is a great size and has been keeping her drinks cool which is great. Isabelle loves that it can clip onto her bag!
*We were sent some items for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Cortex Challenge Game Review – Cortex Challenge is a card based game for 2 – 6 players of eights years and above. As part of the Blogger Board Game Club we were sent a copy to see what we think.
74 Challenge Cards
10 Touch and Feel Cards
6 Touch Challenge Cards
24 Brain Pieces
The game is quite a small box which when added to our growing collection is a bonus. It also means that it’s a great choice for taking on holiday.
The Aim of the Game
Cortex Challenge is a game of fast thinking, memory and speed skills. The cards have eight different challenges on them including touch, duplicates, logical series, mazes, and colour puzzle just to name a few.
The top card is turned over for all players to see. The first person to work out the task has to slap their hand on the card and explain the answer/puzzle to earn themselves a piece of brain.
The winner is the person to collect all four brain pieces.
This is definitely a game for us. The puzzles and challenges are really fun and Isabelle is annoyingly quick at working out the puzzles and the touch cards were really good, but hard to work out.
A bonus is that this game only takes around 20 minutes to play so can be played whilst dinner is cooking or when we have a bit of spare time.
Cortex Challenge retails at £12.99 which I thought was very reasonably priced and can be bought from all major game retailers.
Little Brian Face Paint Sticks Review – All kids seem to love having their face painted and Isabelle is no different. We’ve stood in endless queues at fetes, fairs and school events so she can be transformed into a Butterfly or Unicorn.
When we were asked to review Little Brian Face Paint Sticks we were more than a little but excited. I was slightly worried that my actual face painting expertise might look more like a five year old armed with their Mums make-up bag but was willing to give it a go.
They look like marker pens and twist up like a glue stick, and it looks like we’re going to get quite a few faces out of them. The idea is that you can create the faces by using the face paint sticks like using a pen, so drawing on their faces.
We were given the challenge to create a Ladybird, a Dragon and we opted to have a go at the Unicorn. The set comes with a sheet which gives you step by step instructions on how to create twelve different faces from a Dog to a Tiger.
I created the Ladybird using the face paint sticks as per the instructions. The paint glides on the face nicely, but it is quite tricky to do the smaller, detailed parts so I opted to use a paint brush with a little bit of water.
The paints are very quick drying which is perfect for kids with no patience like Isabelle. I love that the colours are as bright as they should be and were very easy to wash off.
Isabelle is keen to give the Face Paint Sticks a go on her own, and I feel quite confident that she would be able to use these with minimal mess.
All in all these Face Paint Sticks would be a great buy to use at a birthday party or just to do on a lovely sunny day. The colours are lovely and bright, and apart from a little help for details with a brush they were extremely easy to use. The Face Paint Sticks get a big thumbs up from us.
*we were sent a set of Little Brian Face Paint Sticks for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.