The Monkeys Visit Santa at intu Lakeside!

The excitement that Christmas is coming mounts as the monkeys visit Santa! A quick dash from school to intu Lakeside this afternoon, we waited patiently for our booked slot at Santa's Gingerbread Grotto in the Christmas Village! 
One of Santa's Elf's greeted us and showed the monkeys the activities they could take part in inside the grotto whilst waiting to see the Big Man himself. They were shown how to use the scanner to see if they are on the naughty or nice list and were both thrilled to see they have made it onto the nice list! Santa greeted us into his grotto after trailing lights lit up in celebration of their niceness and jingle bells rang! 
He chatted to both monkeys about what they would like for Christmas and asked if they had written a letter to him yet! After their chat Santa gave the boys a gift each. Little monkey got a Playmobil Pirate set and big monkey a dinosaur book. 
You can't take your own photo's inside with Santa but on the way out you can purchase photo's that you are invited to pose for with him.
We took a mounted print home with us after our visit. All the elves and Santa himself were very welcoming and friendly. The grotto is pretty cool. We've been to better but have also been to worse! The grotto is amongst the fairground attractions and right behind the Ice Skating rink I wrote about a few weeks ago! It seemed popular with plenty of people queueing behind us. Both monkeys said they loved seeing Santa! 
You can purchase tickets online for £6 per child. The grotto and gifts handed out are in association with Playmobil. We're happy as the monkeys are happy. They are firm believers in Santa still and that's just fine with us. We made an evening of our invite to the grotto by eating at intu Lakeside too.

As intuvib's (very important bloggers), we were invited to see Santa and take a photo home FOC, in return for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks intu Lakeside.




Go Ahead & Snack!

I've been a fan of Go Ahead snacks for some time now but had no idea they had some new snacks in the range. Their Red Cherry Crispy Slices are a firm favourite of mine. Even though Christmas is upon us, you can still choose healthier options over all that festive food (if you want to that is)!

Go Ahead snacks are so handy to carry in your bag for a quick hunger fix, a healthier alternative instead of cake or biscuits and often a refreshing alternative to all that Christmas over indulgents.
How awesome is this hamper that we were sent! Full of the Go Ahead range including the new snacks and old favourites too. Hubby and I have been enjoying taking these healthier snacks to work with us. Ideal with my afternoon cuppa too!
The Go Ahead snacks are carefully proportioned so you can enjoy a smarter snack!
The snacks within the range include Forest Fruits Yogurt Breaks and Sassy Strawberry Yogurt Breaks. Both 73 per slice, there are 5 packets of 2 slices in each box. Also in the Yogurt Breaks range are: Radiant Raspberry, Cute! Red Cherry and Totally! Tropical.
There are seven flavours in the Crispy Slices range, which are A-peeling! Apple, Fab! Forest Fruit, Radiant! Raspberry, Ooh! Orange, Cute! Red Cherry, Blissful! Blueberry and Sassy! Strawberry. Each slice is 57 calories and each packet contains 5 packs of 3 slices. I've long been a lover of these! 

The Fruity Bakes are delicious too! With two flavours, they contain 129 calories and 6 bakes per box! 

New snacks are the Cookie Bites. Mini cookies - in flavours Wow! White Chocolate and Raspberry and Cheeky! Chocolate and Orange. Both really scrumptious. Just £1.99 for 6 packets. Under 100 calories per packet.

The monkeys have enjoyed munching their way through this lot with us. We all give them the big thumbs up! Which do you like?

Thanks Go Ahead. They sent us these snacks for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Review - Silly Sausage Game!

The Silly Sausage game from John Adams is one of the Top Toys this Christmas 2016! I first saw it at Blog On Msi in Manchester back in September and had no idea it would be so popular. 

I didn't even think about how hilarious adults would find it and a fellow blogger could not believe I'd not seen the 'rude' side to it! Ha ha.....how naive am I! She said I should add "It's meant to be for kids which is fine but the joke that goes over their head is the double entendre! Read it with a bit of a wicked grown up wink and you'll see what I mean" I guess she has a point! 

Now, back to the Silly Sausage!A super speedy sausage reaction game! Twist, stretch, poke, shake and dip it.
Aimed at children 7 years +, the monkeys did not bat an eyelid! It's definitely easier for big monkey to master than little monkey! With three modes of play and 10 games in total it basically asks commands you must follow to stay in the game! (Twist me, Stretch me, Poke me, Shake me and Dip me!)

The different modes have different levels of speed and difficulty. You do need to respond quickly! Big monkey found that out quite soon after we opened the packaging and started playing, which you can see in the video! Just switch it on and listen to what it asks you to do!
Believe me, he was more impressed than he looks! Ideal for the whole family to play I do think this could prove to cause a few giggles on Christmas Day! The warning on the Argos website did amuse me! "(WARNING(S): Not suitable for children under 3 years old. Only for domestic use".
Harmless fun that will entertain! Silly Sausage cost £19.99. Available at all good toy shops, department stores and supermarkets.
Have fun playing! 

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

Reading With Wilf Books - Review & Giveaway

Did you know there's a great new kids Books Subscription Club called Wilf Books I didn't until they got in touch and asked to work with us!

Wilf (What I’m Looking For) Books is a monthly book subscription service for children that is tailored to meet their reading/age level. Packaged up in a box, delivered to the door and with a personalised letter for the child, this fun service makes reading feel more special and individual to the child.

Wilf's aim is to recycle and re-distribute children's books to those who will love them most! 

Getting started is easy. Just choose which subscription option you would like to sign up for. Monthly, 3 monthly or six monthly. Each is £19.99, £55 and £99.95 respectively.

Then you will need to select the type of books you'd like sent. Choose from Picture Books, Moral Books, Rhyming Books, Fairytale, Concept and Issue Books or mix them up! Provide your child's age (or the age of the child the books are for) and then their name (for the personalised letter from Wilf and to address the package to)! You can select the child's gender if you wish and also add any other details you'd like Wilf to know! 

Next, sit back and wait for the box to arrive! 
Little monkey was very excited to get a parcel addressed to him which arrived as promised, packaged up with personalisation and a with a letter just for him. 
He was sent The Great Snortle Hunt by Claire Freedman (author of Aliens Love Underpants), The Gruffalo's Child (Julia Donaldson), The Smartest GIANT in Town, also by Julia Donaldson and The Cow That Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill. 

He has really embraced his reading lately so having four books delivered just for him is really special. There's an envelop for sharing back your own books (which is optional) inside the parcel too.
I think this is a lovely idea and one parcel I know either of the monkeys would love to receive each month. Encouraging sharing and reading, the parcels sometimes include stickers and activities too. Little monkey loves his books. 

The order process was so easy and once you've paid and gone through checkout, the rest is left to Wilf. The element of surprise (of which books they'll send) adds to the excitement of opening the parcel when it arrives. This service is aimed at children aged 2-9 years.

We have a Giveaway for One Months Subscription to Wilf Books worth £19.99. To be in with a chance of winning a set of books (tailored to the recipients needs) just complete the rafflecopter form below by Midnight 11th December 2016. T&C's apply. Open to UK residents only. Good Luck!
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We were sent one Wilf Books box for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Poki Review & Fire Tablet Giveaway!

Ever since the monkeys have owned their own iPad Mini's last Christmas, they have frequently asked for new games to play on them. Of course Football ones are the most popular with them. We usually use apps with parental controls on the iPad and have put the settings in place to stop them making in app purchases. However just recently I discovered Poki whilst browsing Safari. Poki is a cross-platform free game website. An online play arena with thousands and thousands of world wide users. 

Poki's mission is to become the ultimate online playground by creating engaging entertainment for their users. The adverts are in place to give free games to users. Both adults and children can play. The adverts on the site need to be screened if Children are playing I would guess.

Poki offers games in many categories including:

New Games
Highest Rating Games
Arcade Games
Educational Games
2 Player Games
Football Games...........

The list goes on and on!
We've been trying the 2 player game Heads Arena: Soccer All Stars Game seeing as the monkeys are such huge football fans and like to play together. They play, watch and talk football ALL the time!

One of Poki's most played games it has fun colourful graphics and is easy to navigate. Even I could play it (and I'm no good at these things at all usually)! 
Firstly you need to select a mode. In tournament mode you can either play solo or 2v2 in a co-op. Then play against the clock and when a goal is scored graphics appear on screen. 
There's a half time and the games run through the full 90 minutes (albeit sped up). Audio (just like with a real match) help to make the game realistic! 
Once the game is over you can move onto the next one in the tournament and play until you wish to stop. 

There's also Party Mode which means there are four types of game play: Solo, 1v1, 2v2 and 2v2 co-op. You choose which one you want to play, the county in 1v1 and then the player before playing as like before, with the game in tournament mode.

I would only allow my two to play on an online website if sat directly with them and actually playing the game with them but can see how the games on Poki are so popular. There are so many I personally would find it hard to choose which to ones play. I'm sure the monkeys wouldn't have any trouble picking though! 

We limit how much time the monkeys play games on their iPads and are grateful that they are very active and play football for real! With a good balance of indoor play, outdoor play (and exercise) they do enjoy their games/video watching and some learning online or via apps. Poki will no doubt be used more and more as they get older and the good thing about it, is that it's multi platform. 

We've teamed up with Poki to offer one reader a Fire Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB (Black) meaning someone will have another platform to play games with Poki (or whoever they chose). Click the link to read a detailed description of what a Fire Tablet offers.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is complete the rafflecopter form below! Giveaway closes Midnight Sunday 4th December 2016. T&C's appply. Open to UK residents only. Good Luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  
Win prizes with theprizefinder.com

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My Sunday Photo!

Not my photo but too good to miss! Big monkey as a mascot with Sanchez at the Emirates!



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