Monday, 28 November 2011

All About The Boys - Cyber Monday giveaway

Many thanks to all who entered this giveaway.

The winnner picked by Birthday boy Jarvis this morning is :

CONGRATULATIONS -  Karen from @missingsleep

This Giveaway is now closed.   Another one coming soon xx

If we are to believe all the hype that is "Cyber Monday"  i.e the Monday that follows Black Friday in America, all to do with Thanksgiving and the start of shopping for Christmas.  Everybody will be online shopping like mad today.

I thought it might be a good day to offer a giveaway from my own online shop All About The Boys instead.

I sell discounted authentic designer clothes for children.  All upto 60% below the UK RRP.  Stock sells fast and new items arrive on a regular basis.  I buy direct from trusted suppliers in America, who I have been trading with for over seven years.

To take part in the giveaway, just pop over to my website All About The Boys  have a little look around and leave a comment below telling me what item you would like me to send you if you win !  Simple as that.

You can have one additional entry for each of the following :

Follow this blog & leave a comment

Tweet the following  :  I've entered @allaboutheboys designer clothes giveaway

Facebook the following  I've entered All About The Boys designer clothes giveaway

Giveaway will end at 8pm on Monday 5th December.  Open to UK residents only.  Winner picked at random.  No cash alternative.

Thank you and good luck xx

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks

Hot wheels are always a big hit in our house.  We were recently contacted by Mattel and asked if the twins would like to review the new Hot Wheels Wall Tracks.  This is a genius toy that fits on the wall for play !  Perfect if you are short on floor space or just like to try and keep a tidy home !  We love how it looks on the wall in the twins room, really adds to the decor.  You do need approx 3 sq ft of wall space to fit it on but it can easily be removed from the wall if you only want to put it up for play.    It comes complete with 3M command strips which stick to the wall to secure  the tracks.  They do remove very easily, although it does say they might not be suitable for walls with wallpaper.

Milo set to work building several variations of the suggested layout and preferred not to use the easy to follow template.  Mattel has a great  video tutorial

You can continue on the track on the floor with the traditional Hot Wheels floor tracks so the combinations are endless.  Milo has spent hours discovering which combinations work best.   Not just a fast track game but also great for teaching children about problem solving, basics of design etc.

The video shows the Hot Wheels starter set and drift valley spin out set.

There are several sets to choose from, the basic set starts at around £16 with the starter set retailing for around £28.  A great value for money classic toy.

One of the things I love most about this toy is NO BATTERIES REQUIRED ! Woop! 

We were sent Wall Tracks to review and keep, no payment was received and all views expressed and photographs are my own.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

First Love

I made dinner for Jacob and his girlfriend tonight as it is the anniversary of them meeting two years ago today.    When I went into the dining room to clear up afterwards, I found this on the table.  I'd like to think it was a little thank you to me for making them a special  dinner, but actually would be more thrilled to think I had taught my son how to be a romantic soul.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Christmas is Coming

The twins were born in December, as you can imagine that particular Christmas was not quite as organised as previous years.   Jacob, Nigel and I spent most of the time in our PJ's staring at these two strange creatures who just cried, ate and slept ! 

Out of that time a new tradition in our family was born. 

I buy the whole family new pajamas for us all to wear on Christmas Eve.  We get changed into them in the early evening and all cuddle up on the sofa to watch something Christmassy on the tv (well in my perfect "this is how christmas should be " imagination).  It usually turns into  "ouch, your foot is touching me" or "I can't see, stop leaning on me" .

I try to buy as much as possible from independent retailers all year round and even more so at Christmas.  Being an independent seller myself I know just how hard it is out there at the moment.  Trying to compete against the big chain stores is not easy.  Whilst browsing through independent online shops I came across some lovely ideas for Christmas presents.    Please do pop over and take a look at these great sellers and when you are next in the shopping mood please consider shopping independent.

Gorgeous Organic Ella & Otto Sleepsuit & Moose hat from Baby Duck Store

Perfect snowflake shoes from Baby Not Included

I thought we were the only household where all the men make a point of wearing odd socks !  Looks like somebody else likes the idea too. Fab set of 3 mens weekend Oddsocks from   Two Magpies 

Too die for Oilcloth pink flower bag from Funky Diva Designs

What can I say !  A girly chocolate gift pack from The Chocolate Library

Beautiful Bouy pendant from Sea Sparkle

Hope you find something to inspire you to buy from an independent retailer.  Please do leave a comment if you have come across any great independent retailers you think might like a mention on the blog.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Multiple Mayhem Carnival

Firstly, many apologies for the lateness of this carnival post.   I've been a bit busy with half term entertaining the twins and visitors, Halloween party, back to school and then catching up with the work I couldn't do when the twins were off school.  Anyway excuses over, here we go. 

This is my first time of hosting this wonderful carnival which celebrates everything that is good, bad and downright amazing about being parents to twins or dare I even say it ; Triplets or more !

My little darlings !

Reading through all the contributions below and probably being the mum to the oldest multiples in the group, my boys are seven next month (please accept my apologies if I am wrong) I can certainly relate to all of the posts, having gone through all of the situations at one time or another.

Karen from Tales of a twin mum tells us the classic bath time dance story and the very different reactions her twins have to bath time.  A lovely, funny story.  

Debbie from Johnson babies (love the blog name) has the age old dilemma of the feeding routine.  Still makes me wonder how on earth I coped mostly alone during that time. 

Marianne from Marisworld gives us a round robin of her 3&1/4 yr old twins including the "oh I remember it well" day they started pre-school and the worry of the will they come up to scratch in the assessments.

Rebecca from Here come the girls (another fab name for a blog) has the flashback to discovering she was pregnant with twins and the classic  comment "do twins run in your family? "  .  That moment I personally, will never forget.  We were in for an early scan due to bleeding, 3 months earlier I had miscarried a baby, only to find out that I was now pregnant with twins !  oh how we laughed !

Mich from Mummy from the heart tells us about co-sleeping and has the most adorable photographs of her twins.  We tried and sadly failed with this one.  My twins were kick boxing champions at the age of two weeks, no chance of peaceful co-sleeping for us.

Kerry from Multiple mummy gives us the potty training lowdown.  My view, don't panic, let them go at their own pace, after all very few children attend their first day at school still wearing a nappy. 

Heather from Young and Younger has the forever endearing tale of the special bond between twins.  In our case not always apparent until that is they are apart !  It never fails to touch me, however much my boys fight (and they do, a lot)  when they are apart there is almost puppy like pining for each other.

Finally the wonderfully funny Emily from More than just a mother raises a smile with her embarrassing behaviour Ron Weasley tale.  Please tell us Emily that you will put the poor boy out of his misery.....

So there we have this months Multiple Mayhem Carnival, Please do take a moment to follow the links to the posts for a wonderful read.  A great roundup of the tales of twin parenting.  If you have twins or more multiples we would love you to join in next time.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

WowWee Light Strike interactive battle game Review

I was recently contacted and asked if I would like to review the Latest Light Strike interactive battle game from WowWee.  Having had their fair share of guns, lightsabres etc I was not sure that this would be suitable for the twins.  Whilst mulling over the email, my eldest son came into the room and I asked his opinion.  "What about me mum, I never get anything to review"  He had a point.  As it turned out, this game in our opinion is probably best suited to age  10 - 15 years.  It requires a certain amount of skill to understand the operation of the light strikers, the fast pace and the objective of the game. 

We received :

Two complete sets of Light Strike Assult strikers with targets. - £39.99 RRP
Light strike enemy scanner - £9.99 - £12.99 RRP
Light strike machine gun BI Pod - £9.99 - £12.99 RRP
Light Strike refactor Launch  - £9.99 - £12.99 RRP
Light strike scope   -  £9.99 - £12.99 RRP
Light strike ITS -  £24.99 RRP

Jacob's friend Pete was drafted in to "play" and the lads got to work unpacking the boxes.  Their initial thoughts on the strikers were their impressive skins "shiny" (for want of a better word) decals, the good weight and quality feel of the light strikers. 

Designed to look like futuristic weapons, they look and sound really impressive with all the flashing lights and commands when in operation.  

Including :

Instant reload for fast action
weapon selection
Team Selection
Health meter
light and sound that puts you in the middle of the battle
ammo meter
fingerprint verification - I kid you not !
single fire/semi automatic

 On the down side each striker requires 3 x AAA and 4 x AA batteries !

Accessories include :

Refrector Launch system   to defeat enemies with one super shot, with real recoil action and enables you to gain a tactical advantage.  This fits underneath the striker. -

Rapid Fire system - rapid fire super ammo provides major blasts, real recoil action and gain a tactical advantage . This also fits underneath the striker.

Scope   LED targeting system, increases gun range upto 100 feet, defeat your opponent with one shot in sniper mode

Enemy Scanner   Detect Enemy movement within 30 feet and gain a tactical advantage

The boys found all of the above accessories added to the enjoyment of the game, were not essential but gave some advantage to the player depending on which add on they chose.

 An added feature of the game is the Intelligent Targeting System which provides three settings, a medic, a bomb and a sentry gun. Whoever controls the ITS gaines an advantage during the game.

Game Objective

You can have upto four teams, each team represented by a different colour and the main objective is to depleat the opposition's health by shooting sensors and lowering life points, whilst running around, jumping over things, hiding behind things and getting as dirty as possible !  All good fun boy stuff. 

Our View

 The lads found that to play the game properly you needed to be outside, when played in a confined space indoors you could "kill" your opponents without them being in sight, due to the lights bouncing off the walls or ceiling.

They loved the voice command effects and really felt that they added to the enjoyment of the game, especially the fingerprint verification . 

Overall the boys really enjoyed playing with the strikers and certainly felt they were up there with the best interactive target games.  There are enough options available to keep the games fresh, you can play alone or have unlimited numbers of players in the four teams.  Certainly one to get the kids running around outside.  I also really like the fact that there are not hundreds and hundreds of "bullets" or discs to pick up or to risk injury with !

On the downside as with many toys is the unfortunate number of batteries required to operate the strikers.

Visit the Official Light Strike website HERE 

This is not a sponsored post but we were sent the strikers to review and keep.  All views expressed and photographs are my own.

Many thanks to WowWee for the opportunity to review this product

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Choose a Christmas Charity

Once upon a time (in the 1960s actually), there lived a beautiful, sad and lonely girl.  She spent her days dreaming about the family she never knew, the life she thought she would have had (an American G.I. father was her favourite.  One day he would come back to England and take her home to her family).  The beautiful girl lived in a children's home, no family, no love, no hugs, just the essentials required to bring an unwanted child up. 

The beautiful girl found herself in her sport.  She excelled at running.  She ran and ran everyday.  Running from her pain and towards her future.

One day, like many innocent girls with nobody to guide them, she met "the one" she loved him with all her heart and believed his promises of eternal love, she soon discovered her dreams were dust .  She was carrying a child and was alone again.

Scandal in the children's home, she was 16 years old and pregnant, she was sent away in disgrace to a Salvation Army Mother and Baby home. A christian charity, one of the few in those days who would take unmarried pregnant girls in. She had to work for her keep, cleaning, scrubbing floors, washing.  Long days, no love and all with the knowledge that when her baby came it would be taken away from her and put up for adoption.

She lay awake at night talking to her baby, muffling her cries into her pillow, crying for the life she never had, lonely and alone.

On her hands and knees scrubbing floors, the baby decided it was time.  The beautiful girl was taken to hospital and there her tiny baby daughter was born.   They told the beautiful girl "You must nurse the baby for six weeks and then we will take her away from you " .  Every moment of every day she marvelled at her beautiful child and loved her more and more.  A seed started to grow in her heart, she would fight, she would never give up her tiny child.

When the day came for the baby to be taken away, the beautiful girl refused.  She would not let anybody have her baby "don't be a silly girl, you are only 17 years old, you have no family, you cannot go back to the children's home !  what do you think you will do ?"   She refused to give in, holding tightly to her tiny baby.  "She is mine, she is all I have, I will not let you take her from me".

The beautiful girl won her battle to keep her baby and was moved back to the Salvation Army Mother and Baby home where she worked and worked and worked.  Her baby by her side .

The beautiful girl is my mother and I am the baby .

Please join me this year in the run up to Christmas and actively support a charity on your blog.  If you are unable to raise money for your chosen Charity at least raise awareness for them by blogging, tweeting and facebooking about them.


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