Thursday, 21 August 2014

Chicco Fit and Fun Monkey Strike review and giveaway

I love the idea behind Chicco's Fit and Fun range - toys designed to get kids active, trying, playing and challenging themselves with different sports.  All this encourages important skills like balance and co-ordination.  The whole Chicco Fit and Fun range, including Goal Strike and Fishing Island is designed to be played inside or outside, which is great in summer and winter!

Chicco's Fit and Fun Monkey Strike game is right up my two monkeys' street.  Designed for 18m+, this bowling and stacking game is really thoughtfully designed for flexibility, endurance and most of all fun.  My two couldn't wait to try it out!

We set it up in bowling 'mode' first of all.  The six monkeys come in two parts, and fit really well together.  I love their cheeky faces, and really appreciate the numbers one-six and different colour coding which helps toddler girl become familiar with numbers and colours, and is a good reminder for our son too (we used it as prompts so he could add up the numbers a he knocked the monkeys down).

The bowling ball is hollow and sturdy plastic and at just bigger than a tennis ball is a great size - at 18 months, toddler girl can hold it in one hand, and at nearly six, our son can easily use it too.  It really encourages motor development and co-ordination; the monkeys are stable but slightly weighted to fall easily, but they do need the ball to hit them to knock over. 

Toddler girl loves to knock just one over and retrieve it to play, but our competitive son likes to try and get a strike every time (trickier than it seems)!

The monkeys are multi-functional too, and can be stacked and played with in loads of different ways.  They're a great size at around 15cm high and 10cm across and are a vibrantly coloured sturdy plastic build.  Toddler girl loves to grab the top half of the monkey and try and build a tower.  The monkey faces and white cup bottom are also great for water, sand or even bath time play.

I love that toddler girl and our son can play together and enjoy it.  It's flexible and study enough to engage them both, get them moving and laughing together.  Our son loves to stack the cups and rebuild the pins when they've been knocked down!

This is such a flexible toy that is great for all ages.  It's strong and sturdy enough to be played inside or out, and is multifunctional to guarantee it will be played with loads.  It's brilliant value too - with an RRP of £14.99 you really can't go wrong.  Ours hasn't been put away yet, and is definitely a favourite with both kids.  We love it!

Would you like to win your own Chicco Fit and Fun Monkey Strike?  Complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.  Don't forget to tweet everyday for even more entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Family Fever
  • You must be resident in the UK to enter. Prize will be shipped to a UK address.
  • Competition runs from 21st August 2014 until 23:59 on 1st September 2014.
  • Entry is via one and/or more of the methods in Rafflecopter widget.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  Winning entries will be checked and must be current at time of checking.
  • There is one prize.  The prize is one Chicco Monkey Strike toy.  Chicco may substitute for product of equal or greater value in the very unlikely event the prize is unavailable.  There is no cash alternative.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted by email or on Twitter (if appropriate) by 10th September 2014 and asked to confirm their delivery address within 48 hours.  If no reply is received, a new winner may be chosen.
  • Winner's details will be passed to Chicco's marketing and PR team, so the prize can be shipped.
  • We'll do our utmost to get the prize to the winner within 14 days, but can’t guarantee it.
  • The winner's name, as registered when logged into Rafflecopter will be displayed after the end of the competition.
  • Judge’s decision is final.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Close friends - when distance doesn't matter

Our son and I went camping for a couple of days at the weekend.  I took him to stay at a friend's house that I went to university with.  It was the annual get together of the circle of friends I was in at uni.

We are lucky that one of our friends had a very big field for a back garden - here's base camp, with supplies:

Isn't it weird how when you're really good friends with people, time and distance don't really matter?  All of us are scattered around the country now, some married with children, others not.  We have different types of jobs, different lives now, and yet, we're still the closest of friends.

It used to just be the girls, then it became the girls with their boys (now husbands mostly!), and now it's the girls, boys and children.  Even the kids get on really well and played happily together.

Between all of us, conversation is easy and silences comfortable.

I am so lucky to be able to call such wonderful people friends. x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Time by Jungle - #TuesdayTune

Radio 6 is where I go if I want to hear some new music, and over the last few weeks this has been played quite often.

"I'll run all night,
don't let me.
Just let it out,
time and time and time and time again."

It's another summer anthem that it is impossible not to move to.  Laid back, funky, but uplifting, I love it.

I'd love to know what you've been listening to this week..

Monday, 18 August 2014

Family life is...

Looking through the pictures on your camera, and wondering why you took a blurry picture of some gravel.

And then realising your son had the camera for a good 10 minutes earlier on.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Volume #WoTW

I love words which can be interpreted in many ways - my weeks are rarely linear.
Our son is loud, and this week I seem to have been asking him to turn the volume down even more than usual (and that is a lot!).
The volume of terrible news seems incredibly high this week.  I hate burying my head in the sand, but this week I have been unable to hear anymore about war, depression, politics and celebrity.  I have definitely tried to reduce the volume of negativity in my head.
And finally, I've been working through a volume of blog posts and actions I haven't had the time to do for months.  Tagging - check.  Images - check.  Thinking of ways to take my blog to the next level - check.
I'd love to hear how you interpret volume for your week...
Linking up with Jocelyn at The Reading Residence for word of the week.

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Seriously delicious breakfast pudding - yoghurt, fruit and granola

I often see fruit, yoghurt and granola as a 'luxury' breakfast option.  They're so delicious our son likes to call it 'breakfast pudding'!

They are so simple and cheap to make and really are delicious.  They take seconds too!  I use fat free natural yoghurt, and the granola just sweetens it enough to take the edge off.

Seriously delicious breakfast puddings
Serves two

Four tablespoons frozen summer fruits
Four tablespoons fat free natural yoghurt
Two tablespoons granola (the Aldi tropical fruit crunchy granola is absolutely delicious and well worth a trip to the store for)

I re-use Gu pud glass ramekins to make them look posh, but any small bowl will do.

Defrost the frozen fruit in a microwave for about 30 seconds, stir and then microwave again for another 30 secs.  Mash it up very slightly, and don't throw away the juice!

Put two tablespoons of fruit in each ramekin, and then layer two tablespoons of yoghurt on top.

Top with a tablespoon of granola, and pour any remaining juice on top.  Tuck in pretty quickly, before the granola goes soft.  Yum!

These make a great breakfast, or we sometimes have it for pudding after tea.  Our son, who is always hungry, has been known to ask for it as a snack!  Enjoy :-)

Monday, 11 August 2014

The British Tag - #12 questions

The lovely Charlotte at A much prettier puzzle recently tagged me in the British tag.. 12 questions originally created by Sammi from Beauty Crush all about the best culture in the world - the culture of Great Britain.

Here goes..!
1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? + How many sugars?
I'm actually not a big fan of tea, and don't normally drink it... if pushed I'd probably say I have one a day, usually in the evening without sugar, although with some chocolate ;-)
2. Favourite part of your roast?
Definitely the yorkies - is there any other part of a roast?
3. Favourite dunking biscuit?
Rich tea - the trick's in dunking them for *just* the right amount of time so they don't fall into your mug.
4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
I do seem to talk about the weather a lot.  It improves my day no end to know what the weather's doing, and don't we all love to moan when it rains, when it's too hot, too cold etc?  We never have the 'right' weather in this country!
5. Favourite word?
Juxtaposition.  Doesn't it sum itself up so well?  It's a lovely word to say too.  I wish I got to use it more (I guess that's a bit sad really!).
6. Cockney rhyme slang?
I don't know if it's 'proper' cockney rhyming slang, but my husband refers to our kids as the 'bin lids'.  How wrong is that?
"Is the bin lids' tea in the oven yet?"
7. Favourite sweet?
I am totally in love with Willie's Cacao chocolate.  Although it's not strictly a sweet, it is made in Devon from Willie Harcourt-Cooze's Venezuelan cacao beans and I love it.
8. What would your pub be called?
This is a really tricky one!  Probably something along the lines of 'The Sleepy Hollow' - because I love to curl up in front of a warm fire in winter and have a nice snooze.
9. No.1 British person?
This is another tricky one - it depends in what context!  If I had to pick one, I'd probably go for Chris Evans.  Full of life yet with hidden depths, can often be found down the pub and does a pretty good job of getting me out of bed every week day.  I think he's great!
10. Favourite shop / Restaurant?
My absolute favourite restaurant is the gorgeous and boutique restaurant at Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds.  Before kids, husband and I used to go there... we will return when both ours are old enough to leave with grandparents for the night.
11. What British song pops into your head?
It's Been a Hard Day's Night by The Beatles.  Our son recently visited Liverpool and saw The Cavern and a statue of John Lennon.  He's been asking about The Beatles since, and for some reason this song has stuck in my head!

12. Marmite?

Of course, what's not to like?!

Next up

I tag the lovely Elfa at Californian Mum in London, Sara at Mum Turned Mom, Emma at Bubba Blue and Me, Julie at Mama Owl and Alison at A Fine Piece and a Blether.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

My Sunday Photo

Our son loves table tennis and was so pleased to see some Kettler table tennis outdoor tables at CarFest North last weekend.  He spent ages playing with his Dad, and only stopped when it rained!

Husband thinks this foldable Smash 11 Kettler table would look perfect in our garden, and folded away would fit perfectly in our garage over winter.  Ermm...!

Linking up with One Dad 3 Girls for My Sunday Photo.


Disclaimer: this is an unsponsored post, we just really like the look of this table!