Disney Cars Mack Truck Playset - Review

Mattel recently sent us a Disney Mack Truck Playset to review. With it being half term and with Christmas just two months away this is the perfect time to see what's out there!
Now both boys have been firm Disney Cars fans at one point or another and already have some Disney Cars (which are at the bottom of the car toy box), they've even had a Mack Truck before but not one like this!
Celebrating the special relationship between firm friends Mack and Lightning McQueen, this opens out into a playset which can be added to other Story Sets Playsets. With a RRP of £22.99 it's recommended for children aged 3+. It does not come with a car which to be honest I found quite odd! 
The cab comes off so that it can be played with without the trailer and there's a free download app (Cars Daredevil Garage) which we installed via the App Store. 
Little monkey decided this was his toy when it arrived and it's perfectly suited to a five year old who loves planes, trains and automobiles! 
Very easy to unpack it just had two ties. No batteries required, just push along or open up and play! 
Little monkey has enjoyed pushing it around the kitchen floor and using the car wash 'onboard'. 
He loves both this Mack Truck and the App which is fun, easy to navigate and very suited to his age. I can see this being played with over and over. We now just need to find the Disney Cars we have at the bottom of that toy box! Available from Smyths Toys and Amazon.

We were sent this toy for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 



ODEON Kids this Half Term!

Yesterday the monkeys and I went along to our local ODEON Cinema Kids Club 'ODEON Kids'. I'd been wanting to watch The Secret Life of Pets but we just hadn't got around to it!

ODEON Kids is usually on at weekends and at around £2.50 a ticket (or less) we think it's a great way of enjoying a family film at a fraction of the price!

Being half term ODEON are celebrating by running ODEON Kids throughout the week. This means kids and families can enjoy lots of films at just £2.50 each, and the Kids Mix is just £3.99 with a free Trolls beaker and topper right now!


- ODEON Kids screenings will be taking place every day throughout half term, with tickets just £2.50* each for the whole family to see top entertainment including The BFG, Finding Dory and Pete’s Dragon plus more! 
- From fairytale fantasies to animated favourites, ODEON Kids offers spellbinding screen stories for the whole family to enjoy

- Tickets for ODEON Kids screenings are on sale now – with no booking fees – via the ODEON website.
This October half term (Monday 24 – Friday 28 October**) families can catch animated favourites from the past year, including The Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory, The BFG and Pete’s Dragon. Tickets for ODEON Kids screenings are on sale now – with no booking fees

*Tickets for ODEON Kids are £2.50 except at: Weston-super-Mare (£2), Dundee, Bristol and Belfast (£1.50), Worcester, Exeter, Dorchester and Telford (£1). For participating cinemas and full details visit ODEON
**In the majority of schools, October half term runs between Monday 24 – Friday 28 October in England & Wales, Monday 17 – Friday 24 October in Scotland, Monday 31 October – Friday 4 November in Ireland)
We loved the film, it was funny with lots of laughs throughout! One lady was giggling non stop! ODEON Kids means no hushing from film goers who want quiet, just like minded families taking their children to have a fun morning out, enjoying popcorn and catching a movie! 
With the new movie Trolls out now (which we are going to watch in the week) there's a great deal on the Kids Mix with a Trolls topper and cup! 
Awesome! We got ours yesterday when we went to see The Secret Life of Pets. 

We were treated to tickets and a family mix FOC in return for this post.


Autumn Dining At PizzaExpress!

I have a new job (just the one now excluding the blog) which means more working hours but more days off too! Odd I know but it's true! So once a week my bestie and I can now meet up for a girly get together and do whatever we wish for a few hours whilst our little ones are at school. It means lunch dates and being able to say yes to PizzaExpress!

I was invited to sample the Autumn menu with a friend and who better then my bestie! So on Tuesday we met up and ate a three course meal on PizzaExpress.

Old favourites have been bought back to the menu by popular demand - the Rustichella Romana and Cannelloni plus new meatball pizza - Basilicata Romana is on the menu and new melting Chocolate Fondant ‘PizzaExpress’! 

Once seated and with drinks in hand, my friend and I chose our starters. She had the Bruschetta con Funghi which looked delicious. 
"Closed cup mushroom, b├ęchamel sauce and red onion served on PizzaExpress dough, finished with chopped parsley and balsamic syrup". 

I had the Risotto Fresco, another dish from the Autumn menu which was really tasty!
"Oak-roasted, peppered salmon fillet, garlic and fresh parsley in a creamy white wine risotto, with Gran Milano cheese, chopped fresh tomato and red onion. Finished with a splash of chilli oil and a wedge of lemon".
Over chat and photo's of food we then moved onto our mains. I had the Rustichella Romana which was huge! I immediately knew hubby would be getting a doggy 'bag'. 
"Pancetta, mozzarella and tomato finished with rocket, shaved Gran Milano cheese, roasted tomatoes and Caesar dressing".

Very tasty but far too big for me to manage on my own. As predicted the remaining pizza was boxed up for me to take home to an appreciative hubby!

My friend chose the Cannelloni. She said she loved it also but again, couldn't manage it all. 
"Soft pasta filled with spinach and ricotta, baked with tomato, b├ęchamel, mozzarella, garlic oil and Gran Milano cheese".

Of course we had to sample the new melting Chocolate Fondant ‘PizzaExpress'.........We both had it and both agreed it was just Divine!

"A rich and intense warm chocolate cake with a soft melting centre, served with vanilla gelato, topped with fresh mint and icing sugar. Baked in the oven, the centre melts as you tuck into this delightful dessert".

The service was great, with a steady flow of diners for lunch but it wasn't over run! We chose a nice light spot in the window. I've got to say I've never been disappointed when eating at PizzaExpress and would highly recommend the dishes bought back to the menu this Autumn and the new to the menu ones!

Thanks PizzaExpress......we hope to see you again soon! 

Disclaimer: We were invited to dine on PizzaExpress for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.





Trick or Treat Etiquette!

You may have noticed (by the largely absent Halloween posts and photo's) that we aren't huge Halloween fans here but I felt that if your children are (or indeed readers of my blog are) that some helpful hints, tips, and safety etiquette for Trick or Treating wouldn't go a miss! 

For the first time this year the monkeys have expressed an interest in going trick or treating but they quickly changed their minds when the news of clowns going around scaring folk made the headlines! 

We celebrate all other holidays and events during the year but Halloween has never been a big one for us! 

However it's BIG news for some, so Bright Horizons child care in Islington have come up with this rather cool (and very useful) infographic!
These Do's and Don't are pretty common sense really and if followed then I'm sure fun will be had by all! 

Just stay save, don't go out alone and do enjoy those treats! 

We'll be tucked up indoors in the warm with treats of our own.

Happy Halloween! 



Dobble Kids Review & Giveaway!

Often on the road travelling to see family we like to take easy to pack toys for the monkeys to play with! This is where Dobble Kids from Esdevium Games comes in and why it's the perfect travel game for children (and adults) to play. Small and compact it fits easily into luggage and as it comes in a tin, it's ideal to tidy away, keeping the playing cards together in one place.

We were sent it a while back to review with the monkeys. Taking it on holiday with us proved an ideal time to test it.
What is Dobble Kids?
  • A game of Speed, Observation and Reflexes.
  • Race to find the one matching image between one card and another.
  • Images may be different sizes and placed on any part of the card, making them difficult to spot.
  • Every card is unique and has only one picture in common with every other card in the deck.
  • Contains 5 mini quick and easy games for ages 4+
  • For 2-5 players
Dobble Kids contains 30 cards, featuring 30 different animal symbols. 

The aim of the game 
Is to match the same animal between each game card faster than the other players. 

Just draw 2 cards and place them face up. The person who spots the same animal on both cards calls out the animal name and draws 2 new cards to play. Replay as much as you like!

Dobble Kids offers five mini-games. Three were inspired by Dobble, two are especially designed for children's version. 

With less symbols to simplify and shorten the game it's great for parties as it brings together people from different ages. Also perfect for travel as I've already said! Maybe not so for the car but for train travel and for once you get there!
The monkeys killed time waiting for us adults to get ready during our caravan holiday. It was ideal for the two of them to play together on the floor (or even at the table). Quick fire rounds make it the perfect "time waster' or 'stop gap' game.
Our two monkeys seem particularly good at spotting things in books when searching for objects and this was no different. They were certainly better than me at matching the animals and grasped the game well too.
Who wins?
The winner is the person to find the common animal before anyone else! Both monkeys won the game at one point or another. (It's only fair!)
The mini games that can be played are
  • Hide and seek
  • The Five fingers of a hand
  • The Tower of doom
  • The Wall
  • The unwelcomed gift 
In Hide and seek be the first player to have only face down cards in front of them! 

With The Five fingers of a hand, the goal of the game is to be the faster player to get rid of all their cards.

The winner of The Tower of doom is the person who has won the most cards from the draw pile when the game ends!

The aim of The Wall is to be the fastest and certainly not the last to get rid of all their cards.

During play of The Unwelcomed gift the aim is to be the player with the fewest cards from the draw pack when the game ends.
A fun set of games in one tin that the monkeys enjoyed playing. They actually played nicely without one getting cross that the other had won or cheated and of course as the games are short they each got to win as mentioned! Great for us adults to play with them too. This kids version is perfect for our two. I think maybe the original Dobble would be too old for little monkey in particular.

Available for £12.99 from Amazon.

We have a Dobble Kids Game to giveaway to one winner! Please complete the rafflecopter form below by Midnight Sunday 30th October 16. T&C's apply. Open to UK residents only. Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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