22 March, 2018

FurReal Shaggy Shawn Review

Have you seen the newest FurReal Friend? His name is Shaggy Shawn, a cutie little Yorkie who loves to have his hair played with! 

Archie loves his real-life doggies but they don't have the fur to style as they aren't long-haired. Honey occasionally ends up with her own ear buns but that's about it! But Shaggy Shawn has lots of fur to play with as Archie has been finding out enjoying playing groomers!   

At 24 cm high he is cute and portable, fantastic for your little ones to take out and about with ease and even if us mums end up with the job of carrying him he will fit in most backpacks and large handbags! 

Shaggy Shawn comes with one accessory, his clippers which are fitted with a battery to mimic a buzzing sound.  The toy is perfectly safe to use and will not cut any hair! 
Shawn himself is also animated he will make cute happy sounds when his head is touched.

Archie has really enjoyed his new pet friend, Shaggy Shawn has been a great distraction whilst out waiting for dinner, he's kept Archie occupied during car journeys and he even goes to bed with him. 
It's safe to say he has become a favourite in the house and that is a huge thing for Archie as he's normally obsessed with his Disney Cars.

Lastly, I asked Archie what he thought of his new FurReal Friend. 

Archie, can you tell me what you like about Shaggy Shawn? 

I like him because he is a puppy, he is cute, and I like to play with his hair. Mummy, I like to stick his hair up high! 

In all this is a fab little toy, great for imaginative play and expression of creativity, children will love coming up with new ways to style Shaggy Shawn's hair.  
He is priced £24.99 and found at all major toy stores. 

If you like FurReal Toys then why not pop over to our review of Roarin' Tyler the Playful Tiger. 

* we have been sent this item as a review all opinions and photos are my own unless otherwise stated. 


28 February, 2018

PayDay Board Game Review

Originally released in 1975 PayDay is a classic board game for many of today's adults. I myself never played Payday but my partner remembers this game extremely well and was on hand to show us how to play. 

The game is set up like a calendar, it shows one month with 31 individual squares. Each square has a task that needs to be completed, the aim of the game is to get through the month with the most money once you reach payday and all your bills are paid. 

The game comes with a playing board, 4 counters, 100 task cards, 2 dice, a loan pad and money. The game is designed for 2-4 players and you can either play for one month or two depending on how long you wish to play the game for. For our first go, we decided to choose a one month game and also use only one of the dices as we thought it may be too complicated for Alfie. Again just like the option to play for one or two months, there is an option to play with 1 or 2 dices. 

As you go through the board you have the choice to pick up 3 types of cards these cards will help you with strategising. You can buy and sell items, receive money and even take money from your opponents.  

The game is designed for children 8 years +, however, I would say its quite a grown-up subject (bills and money) so it may be better suited to slightly older children as we did have to stop and explain a lot to Alfie as we went which did prolong the game. I also noticed that he started to lose interest towards the end but I don't blame him adulting isn't always fun! 

I would love to see this game modernised maybe by using a card machine of some sorts as I think it would appeal more to older children and teens this way. 

However, those who have played this game before will love this revamped edition and if you are a bit of a board gaming family it's a classic to add to your collection. 

*I was sent this game in exchange for a review all opinion are my own unless otherwise stated. 


23 February, 2018

Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus Review

Dive under the sea to play and explore with Cranky the Octopus,  the newest addition to Play-Doh. 
The set comes with Cranky the Octopus, a green base covered in small moulds, six themed accessories and 5 pots of brightly coloured Play-Doh.

Operating Cranky is extremely easy all you need to do is place your chosen Play-Doh into the base and fix Cranky on top. Turn the handle clockwise to reveal Cranky's new tentacles.

Both the boys found this extremely easy to use however smaller children will need an adults help as they may find the refilling and fixing of Cranky on to his base slightly tricky.

As mentioned above there are 6 underwater themed accessories which the boys had so much fun with.  A pair of bright red lobster scissors were the perfect tool for trimming Cranky's rather overly grown tentacles.

A pirates chest the perfect mould for making plenty of gold and speaking of treasure no underwater set can be complete without a clam for moulding a pearl ring. 
The set also comes with a fish mould, a dolphin cutter which we found so useful for making our seaweed and a textured rolling pin which we used to make coral with. 

Priced at £16.99 this is such a lovely set, easy to store in its box and a lovely idea for all those school party gifts! 

Both the boys had so much fun creating their own little under the sea adventure. Alfie is currently learning about animals at school and so we were able to add this in as education by looking into habitats and the different species living under the sea and then making them with our Play-Doh! 

 I would highly recommend buying this set we would like to thank Hasbro for gifting us this set in return for an honest review. 


30 January, 2018

Make a Statement Using Wall Murals

Walls don't have to be a blank canvas, whether you want to make a statement of colour, pattern or imagery wallpaper murals are a fantastic focal point for any room. 

The beauty with wallpaper murals is that you can choose from a huge variety and you can even use your own photos! 

Below I have listed 4 important tips to note when including a wallpaper mural into your home. 

1. Style 

Choosing your style/theme is extremely important, you are going to have to live with it so make sure you love it and also does it match in with the rest of the room's decor/style?

2. Size 

Decide on your size, there are many ways in which you can put up a mural it all depends on the space you want to transform. Also from experience make sure you measure up the right size for your Mural I always measure twice to be on the safe side!

3. Preparation 

To get the best from your mural you will need to make sure that your wall is freshly prepared.  a flat and clean wall is ideal for creating a smooth finish. Make sure to give the walls a quick wipe down so that it is free from any dust or residue that may spoil the application/overall finish.

4. Accessorize

This is probably my favourite part, picking all the little accessories to pull the room in all together.
Your mural should be the main focal point so go for colours and patterns that compliment your mural instead of clashing against it.  If you're stuck for accessories plants, storage boxes, cushions and small tables are my go to for the perfect finishing touches to any room!

What do you think of wall Murals? Have you ever used a wall mural before? 

* collaboration post- all opinions and words are my own unless otherwise stated. 


22 January, 2018

It's Oh So Disney: Pocahontas Film Facts

Welcome to the start of a brand new blog series! As many of you will know I'm a huge Disney fan, I live, eat, sleep, collect and sing  Disney all day long! 

One of my absolute favourite thing to do when I have some free time is to explore behind the scenes of each of my favourite Disney films. I have always loved watching the bonus featurettes on my DVD's as well as searching online for documentaries and any extra footage I may come across.  
The whole process of making a film especially an animated one fascinates me it is what inspired me to take Film and Media at A Levels. 

Over the course of each week, I will be sharing some fun and interesting facts on each of my favourite Disney Films.  

Pocahontas is starting the series off as it has always been a favourite of mine, created during the Disney renaissance era which personally I think is the best era for Disney films. It features all the classics from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast to Pocahontas, Hercules and The Hunchbach of Notre Dame to name a few.  

Can you paint with all the colours of the wind.....

1. Pocahontas was the first interracial coupling for Disney, young Native American Pocahontas finds love with British explorer John Smith. The Princess and the Frog has the second interracial coupling with Prince Naveen and Tiana.

2. The film was released on the real Pocahontas's 400th anniversary of her birth year, the exact date is unknown.

3.  The film took 5 years to complete due to the type of complexity of the animation progress, each scene was also rewritten 35 times! - All that hard work really paid off!

4. Pocahontas is based on a true story, unlike many other Disney films that are purely based on folklores and Mythos. Mulan is another example of a Disney film based on a real-life event.

5. Mel Gibson also provided the singing voice for John Smith, not a singer by nature Gibson said he was open to the idea but wouldn't be changing careers over it. 

6. Percy the Pug is historically accurate when researching for the film the director Mike Gabriel found out that in the 17th century British royals would carry small dogs with them.

7. Technically Pocahontas is the first native American Disney Princess, Tigerlily in Peter Pan was!

8. To bring Pocahontas to life 55 animators were used during the film's process, now that's a lot of teamwork right there!

9. Disney was also working on The Lion King at the same time as Pocahontas. Many senior animators choose to work on Pocahontas as they weren't sure on the success of The Lion King but both films did extremely well at box office especially, The Lion King which went on to be a huge success!

10. Pocahontas was the first Disney film with a human best friend.

11. Producers and Directors had to stray away from the original story of Pocahontas due to the fact that in real life Pocahontas was 10 years old and John Smith was in his late 20's. There was no romance in real life between the two characters and sadly Pocahontas died young. The film was given a Disney makeover to make it more suitable for families. However, there are some accuracies to the film Pocahontas did save John Smiths life from chief Powhatan and she did travel to England which is the bases of the second film Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World. 

12. Patrick Stweart and Stephen Fry were both originally lined up to play Governor Ratcliffe. The role was then given to David Ogden Stiers who has had a long career with Disney voicing many other characters such as, Jamba from Lilo and Stitch and Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast.

13.  Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess with a tattoo.

14.  The song If I Never Knew You was removed from the final cut for being too boring, it's actually my favourite song from the film. Luckily on the 10th anniversary, the film was released with the song included.

15. Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess to not change her outfit through the entire film.

16. Famous Comedian John Candy was to voice the sidekick of Pocahontas, a Turkey called Redfeather. Unfortunately, John passed away in 1994, It was then decided that there would be no speaking side kicks and Meeko and Flit were introduced as Pocahontas's new non-talking friends.

I hope you enjoyed the above facts if you have any suggestions on my next choice film please leave them in the comments below. 


16 January, 2018

The Importance of Car Safety

When I learnt to drive it hadn't occurred to me that I would also be the one in charge of my cars health.
I'd always thought I'd have someone else to do that for me, over the last 6 years I have had to learn for myself the importance of looking after my car.  Maintaining your car is really simple, anyone can do it, all you need is a checklist and your cars manual for guidance.

The first thing I do is make a list on my calendar and in my diaries when my car needs its servicing and MOT.  As it's a legal requirement I make sure that I have the end dates noted down and I set a reminder on my phone with plenty of time to book a suitable appointment.

Next, I make a list of all the things I need to do to my car on a monthly or weekly basis an example of these are;

Cleaning out the car // coolant and antifreeze levels //Air pressure 
Wiper blades // Lights // Tyres & tread depth // Screenwash // 
Oil levels 

These little checks can be the first signs in detecting problems that could potentially lead to bigger issues and a huge bill from your garage!

It's vital to check your tyres on a weekly basis, checking for any punctures, changes in physical appearance and the tread depth.  This will make sure your car is safe, road legal, and running efficiently. If you need to change your tyre don't always go for the cheapest you get what you pay for and especially in Winter you want reliable tyres.
Buy tyres online and have them locally fitted at Iverson tyres. 

(Image from Pixabay)

One area that often gets forgotten or ignored about is the exhaust.  The exhaust is a vital part of our car because the exhaust provides a range of jobs from improving the fuel consumption and engine's performance to redirecting the fumes away from passengers and also helping with noise reduction.

When driving listen to see if you can hear any unusual noises as these can be an indication there is a problem. As well as just listen have a good look at your exhaust check for any cracks, rusting and holes getting to know what your car looks and sounds like can help you detect problems earlier.

Do you check your car regularly? 

* This is a collaboration  post all words and opinions are that of my own.


09 January, 2018

How To Start The Mornings Feeling Positive

Starting the day can be hard especially if you aren't a morning person. I'm very much a morning person even more so now I have two children and two dogs lie-ins aren't possible anymore. 

I find getting up in the summer extremely easy as soon as the sun rises I'm up and out of bed between 4-5am with a spring in my step and all the motivation in the
world, but during the winter it's definitely not as easy.

I have written down my top 5 tips on how to be productive and start your mornings full of positivity and that get up and go feeling.

1. Shower 

Having a shower first thing really awakens me but to really make me feel pumped and ready for the day I play music. I have a playlist of music on my phone especially for that morning doom and gloom feeling!

2. Music 

As I mentioned above music is a fantastic way for inspiration, I may sing like a cat being strangled but listening to music and singing along badly really puts a smile on my face!

I also have set playlists on my phone for different things, for example, the morning playlist tends to be extremely nostalgic and cheesy music. For blog work I like to listen to calm and inspiring music and then for the car with all my errand running and school pickups, it's a full-on Disney broadway/karaoke spectacle! 

3. Get Planning 

Every night before bed I write down in a notepad or on my phone all the things I need to do or have for the next day. This allows me to sleep stress-free without worrying in the mornings one of the first things I do is to check my list which helps me with prioritising.

4. Breakfast 

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I have to agree, the days where I eat a nutritional breakfast are the days I have more energy and more motivation. 
For breakfast choose foods like porridge, eggs and even smoothies to start your day right.

5. Affirmations 

I have recently become a fan of the Law of Attraction, this isn't about finding love as a lot of people seem to think it's about. It's about how to manifest your dreams by leading a positive and happy life with gratitude and mindfulness.

Every Morning I spend 5 minutes reading positive affirmations, they could be about general happiness, money, work and even self-confidence. I  also like to search on Youtube for affirmations with meditation so  I can shut off for 2-5 minutes to absorb in the energy and the positivity. It always makes me feel happier and refreshed. 

So that's my 5 ways to start the morning with positivity, let me know what you do in the morning to feel positive and motivated for the day ahead. 


03 January, 2018

Blogging Goals for 2018

Why hello 2018!  

Such a fresh new year with so many amazing adventures to be had! This year I'm focusing all on the blog, I'm not making any resolutions in my personal life but instead focusing all on the blog.

2017 was a low year on the blog for me but I'm back with a spring in my step and what better than to start the year with a post on my blogging goals for this year! 
This year I would like to go full time with my blog, dip my toe into Youtube and really live in the blogosphere that I have been nervously standing on the outside for way too long. 

F R I E N D S 

My first goal of the year is to make more friends, over the last few years blogging has lead me to meet some lovely people and some lifelong friends but real life had ended up in the way and those friendships have drifted or completely disappeared. 

This year I would love to make some more friends and reconnect with old friends. I always feel so anxious meeting new people because I'm terrified I won't be liked and will end up bullied. I know that this is the anxiety talking and not true so this year I will be trying to make more of an effort talking to people and to not hide away. 

S T A T S 

Blogging stats over the years haven't been too much of an issue for me but if I want to make this a job I need to push myself and up my status to get work and opportunities. 

One of my goals for this year is to reach the following on my social media accounts. 


Current following: 6,021
Goal Following: 15k 


Current following: 2,371 
Goal following: 5k 


Current following: 1,214
Goal following: 5k 


Goal: 1k 

So those are my Goals, I have tried to be realistic and not ask for too much. I have found Instagram extremely hard to grow with the ever-changing algorithms that keep happening, so I really want to up my game and change things.  


Probably one of every blogger's goals is to have a large Insta following. Instagram is my favourite platform but I want to up my game and have better content so for the first few weeks into January I will be doing a ton of research into what style/ theme I'd like. 


At last but by no means least this year I want to grow and have fun with my other blog The Cotswold Sprocker (Dog Blog).  I launched in November last year and have only put a very small amount of content up so I would love to grow my blog and take on new opportunities for myself and Honey. 

Well, that's my goals for this year, what are your goals for 2018? 

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