Friday, 24 October 2014

Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins!

Next week will be half term and with the way the weather has been, I'm planning for a few indoor play days!
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

I received a wonderful game to play and review - Don't Rock The Boat by University Games. My five year old loves it because it's penguins - his favourite animal, pirate-y and absolutely loads of fun!
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

It's a great "fine motor skill" game because it's all about balancing and small movements.
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

You take turns balancing the little penguin pirates on the pirate ship without making the boat tip!
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

The game comes in a few pieces but only takes a few minutes to set up and after only a few goes, my five year old can set up the game himself. 
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

There are 16 of these sweet little pirate penguins and you all start the game with the same number of penguins (any left overs can be set to one side) 
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

Starting with the youngest player - you each place one penguin on the boat.
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

There's lots of fun little places you can balance your penguin such as in the crows nest or dangle him by his bandana knot!
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

If the boat rocks and penguins fall down but remain on the boat, keep playing but if at least one penguin falls all the way off the pirate ship, then the game is over! 
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

With a pirate ship and little penguins, it's really easy to come up with your own little games too - my youngest is three and couldn't quite manage the official game so we played a few variations so everyone could join in! ... We also used the little Penguins for working out our maths number sentences and making up little stories!
Dont Rock The Boat - Pirate Penguins

All the contents fit back in the original box and - good thinking - on the game rules there is a photo to show you how all the bits fit back in the box - brilliant! - partly because the kids were so excited when we first got the game out that everything was out of the box before is had a chance to see how it all fit in! 

"Ahoy, mateys! Arrrrr ye ready to set sail on a rockin’ adventure with a crew of 16 pirate penguins? Take turns balancing the pirate penguins on the ship without making it tip! Be ever so careful, if you rock the boat and send the penguins overboard, ye might have to walk the plank! A fun balancing game for all buccaneers!"

recommended for 2-4 players age 5 up

Emma in Bromley xx

Thursday, 23 October 2014

What Happened at the Doc Mcstuffins Doctober Twitter Party?!

I was a host for a twitter party recently! It was the second one I'd com been chosen to host and I was really excited because Doc McStuffins is one of my 3 year old daughter's favourites - it was the theme for her 3rd birthday back in June - her favourite character depends what day it is! ... not only is my daughter a big fan but my five year old son also enjoys watching! He really likes Chilly the snowman and Stuffy the Dragon! 
Doc McStuffins Doctober Twitter Party

Twitter parties are chaos and when I tell people about them I get one of two reactions -
1. Ohhh cool I love a good twitter party, I'll be joining in and hoping to win something!
2. What's a twitter party?

So what is a twitter party? Well, during the set party time - I have an actual party going on along side lots of twitter interaction - the point is to introduce something new to followers, get the hashtag trending - this event had the super fab hash tag of #Doctober and the objective for followers is to win an awesome prize!

So, yup! At the same time as being glued to twitter, I'm also hosting an actual real life party in my living room! I'm so grateful for my grown up guests for helping control the party while I was busy tweeting! 

Doc McStuffins Doctober Twitter Party

We had a party, with lots of games and lots of lovely food and CAKE but most importantly, we got to play and see the new Doc Mcstiffins toys from Flair!

Doc McStuffins Doctober Twitter Party Cake

Doc McStuffins Doctober Twitter Party cake

I'm just going to let the photos speak for themselves because this was absolutely loads of fun and total chaos! 

Doc McStuffins Doctober Twitter Party

Doctober Doc Mcstuffins Carry Along Case
Doctober Doc Mcstuffins Carry Along Case

Doctober Doc Mcstuffins Role Play Set
Doc Mcstuffins Walk n Talk Mobile - I'll be reviewing this one in a separate blog post
Doctober Doc Mcstuffins Walk n Talk Mobile

What did the party achieve?
Lots of playing with new toys!
Lots of Cake!
Lots of mess!
Lots of fun!
On twitter there were 15 blogger hosts including me and during our two hour twitter party we managed get #Doctober trending and reach over a million people! That's amazing isn't it! 

Emma in Bromley xx 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Tree Fu Tom - Toms big spell DVD

Tree Fu Tom, Toms big spell dvd
Both my children enjoy Tree Fu Tom, and I love that it's an interactive show where it encourages the viewers to play along and do the movements. The latest Tree Fu Tom dvd - Tom's Big Spell is an enchanting collection of 7 stories and I've been pleased to have this to hand during all these rainy days we keep getting! It also sits well for halloween season and half term!
My children love all the insect based characters and the adventures they get up to, along with that element of magic!

Tree Fu Tom DVD - Tom's Big Spell Take a trip to Treetopolis, a world where movement creates magic in the hit CBeebies show Tree Fu Tom. Featuring the voices of Sophie Aldred (Doctor Who) and Mark Bonnar (The Paradise, Silent Witness) the multi-platform fantasy adventure series released the new DVD Tom's Big Spell containing seven big world adventures was released on 6 October. 

Tom appears to be a normal eight-year-old boy but when he puts on his magic belt and performs a special sequence of movements (known as Tree Fu) he transforms into a tiny but mighty, magical super-hero. Children are all encouraged to join in the Tree Fu magic moves.
Pre-schoolers will be spellbound as they join Tom, Twigs and all the other enchanting friends in Treetopolis on seven all-new exciting adventures. Tom is off to the castle for an exciting day at Spell School, but when he can't master the new spells straight away a drop of Magic Potion Lotion looks like the easy answer. However books begin to fly and broomsticks run riot as the newly enchanted objects turn naughty! Tom needs you to help him perform Big World Magic to restore calm to Treetopolis. The DVD also contains six other magic episodes including Bad Tom, The Cavern Coaster, Woodgrubs, Chuckleberry Tom, Don't Go Slowly and The Last Squizzle. So what are you waiting for? It's Tree Fu time!

Available now.

Emma in Bromley xx

*I received a copy of the DVD for the purpose of being able to review it

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lunchboxes - Potential Breeding Grounds for Bacteria

I was sent this article to share and I also received one packet of Dettol Wipes (rrp £2) I wanted to share it because Dettol's research highlights that only 48% of parents clean and disinfect their child's lunchbox everyday and I was surprised by that.

Lunchboxes potential breeding grounds for bacteria
Research carried out by the Dettol Back to School Study shows that only 48 per cent of parents clean and disinfect their child's lunchbox every day. 
 This means crumbs can build up and the lunch box can become a breeding ground for bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus. However, a quick wipe with a dishcloth may not help as research has found that nine out of ten dishcloths in the UK are ‘heavily contaminated’ with bacteria
Lunchboxes often remain in warm conditions in schoolbags for hours, without being refrigerated, meaning that they are in the room temperature‘danger zone’ where bacteria multiplies most rapidly, increasing the risk of food poisoning. In these conditions, one bacterium such as salmonella could become several million in just eight hours. 
In order to help reduce the risk of foodborne tummy bugs, Dettol has compiled three easy top tips for parents to follow: 
  • Pack frozen water bottles into the lunchbox as freezer packs. This will cool down the food inside, helping to prevent it from hitting the danger zone, and the water should be ready to drink by lunch time.
  • After lunch, children should be encouraged to discard all leftover perishable food and packaging, emptying crumbs straight into the bin. Avoid reusing packaging such as sandwich bags and tinfoil because they could contaminate other food.
  • Wipe down the lunchbox with an antibacterial wipe, such as Dettol Anti-bacterial Cleansing Surface Wipes, before packing in order to kill 99.9% of bacteria.
Emma in Bromley xx

Monday, 20 October 2014

Maria Made It - Beautiful Bespoke Gifts and Jewellery

I'm pleased to share with you this wonderful handmade gift, made by a very talented local mum, Maria from Maria Made It

Maria Made It  Heart Frame with Silver Fingerprints

I have a beautiful heart shaped slate frame featuring two fingerprints - Blake's is on a silver star charm while Maegan's is on a silver heart charm.
Maria Made It  Heart Frame with Silver Fingerprints

Maria Made It  Heart Frame with Silver Fingerprints

When you first get in touch with Maria, she will take care to consider your requirements and you will recieve some sketches along with the modelling compound and clear instructions on achieving a good print - mine was for fingerprints but Maria also works with hands, feet, paws and drawings too!
Maria Made It Handprint keyring

I had chosen a frame, Maria works with a company who handmake frames so she can get the right one for you, but not only that, frames can be tricky to post if you are planning to send your present - Maria  can make the silver charms and advise you on the right adhesive so you can attach them to your own frame too! 
Charms can be used to create amazing pieces - I love these stars all grouped together.
Maria Made It Fingerprint Stars

Maria is a very talented jewellery designer and can make you a bespoke piece or gift - I particularly love her little silver fingerprint birds.

Maria Made It fingerprint bird

And bunnies! 
Maria Made It fingerprint bunny rabbit

I love that I've captured my children's fingerprints at age 3 and 5 because I think it's lovely to remember that these special gifts are suitable for any time in your children's lives, not just when they are newborns! 
Maria can also capture your child's drawings in silver too - how clever are these!
Maria Made It childrens drawings recreated in a silver charm

Maria can also make up a bespoke memory piece for those babies who become extra bright stars in the night sky.

As a talented jewellery maker, Maria can make stunning pieces
Maria Made It Penguin

Brilliant beadwork.
Maria Made It Stars and Hearts earrings

Maria is a very busy lady and her order books will be closing mid November for Christmas gifts so make sure you place your order early!

Some pieces can have an engraving on the reverse.
Maria Made It Engraved Star

Look out for Maria Made It at school fairs in the run up to Christmas and you may also be interested in hosting a party with Maria, where the host has plenty of choices such as a discounted piece, discounts for the whole group or a charity donation - Maria doesn't charge for parties, simply asks for a minimum of 3 orders. 
Maria Made It Stall

Visit the website
or order on Facebook 

Bring your Bear Day with Paddington Bear and Action Medical Research

Paddington says “be bear-illiant” for children’s charity

Bring Your Bear Day

In the year of his big screen debut, Paddington Bear is asking nurseries and schools across the UK to help raise vital funds for his favourite charity, Action Medical Research, by taking part in its annual Bring your Bear event.
It’s very easy to join in, just choose any day during the school year when the children bring their teddy bear, or a favourite soft toy, along with them for the day. Each child brings in a £2 donation with their bear to support vital research to help sick babies and children.
Many Bring your Bear participants organise a whole day of fun activities, such as reading Paddington stories or holding a teddy bears’ picnic. Children can also take part in a drawing competition with a chance to win a visit from Paddington himself, as Action Medical Research is his favourite UK charity.
Every nursery and school that registers will receive a free fundraising pack, including a poster and Paddington stickers, and access to an online toolkit full of useful materials. These include tips on linking the event to the Early Years curriculum and activity sheets to download.
Gina Campbell, event organiser at Action Medical Research, says: “Bring your Bear is all about putting the ‘fun’ into fundraising and is the perfect event to get children excited about helping others. Every year we get fantastic feedback about what the children have got up to and with the Paddington film due to hit cinemas on 28 November this year, the lovable bear will be even more popular! Please join in and help us – and, of course, Paddington – make 2015 a ‘bear-illiant’ year.”
Money raised will help fund medical research into conditions affecting babies and children. Medical research can save and change children’s lives. Yet surprisingly, medical research into conditions that devastate children’s lives is poorly funded.  Action Medical Research is currently supporting work around stillbirth, epilepsy, meningitis, cerebral palsy and brain cancer, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
To register and receive your free fundraising kit visit
Follow on twitter @actionmedres and @amr_events
Like our Facebook page at and
Follow us on Pinterest at

There are some wonderful activity sheets for everyone to print off too :-)

Emma in Bromley xx

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Vintage Style Filament Light Bulbs

I moved house recently and I daydream interiors! I'd love to have the cash to splash on redecorating every room! 

I like to share some of the wonderful things I come across and these Vintage Filament light bulbs are brilliant! 

"Throwback to yesteryear with this vintage-style light bulb, tapping into the steampunk trend with a Victorianna influence. A gorgeous focal point in any room, it'll finish your d├ęcor with an original twist."

Vintage Style Filament Light Bulbs
Vintage Style Filament Light Bulbs
Vintage Style Filament Light BulbsVintage Style Filament Light Bulbs

These are just a selection of the Vintage Light Bulb designs available on special offer until Tuesday 21.10.14 prices vary but most seem to be about the £10 mark 

Emma in Bromley xx

Friday, 17 October 2014

National Chocolate Week with Santa Maria

It's National Chocolate Week and I was sent something a little different to try for the occasion - 

Santa Maria Cocao and Ancho Chilli Seasoning

This rich, tomato based cooking sauce is inspired by mole, a traditional Mexican sauce. Made with a blend of herbs and spices this recipe is enhanced by the rich, bitter-sweet taste of ache chilli and cacao. 
Price: £1.89
Availability: Tesco

The jar suggests using chicken but I'm always trying to find something a little different for veggie sausages so I added the sauce and veggie sausages to a casserole dish and roasted, I served with rice and it was delish! You can taste the hint of chocolate from the cacao and I enjoyed trying something new, I use Linda McCartney veggie sausages as I find they really soak up all the flavour of the cooking sauce and they really had quite a bit of a kick from the chilli!

The Santa Maria website has some wonderful chocolate recipes to try out too:
A juicy, rich chocolate cake with wipped cream and roasted black pepper.

Chocolate Cake

A juicy, rich chocolate cake with whipped cream and roasted black pepper.

A classic dessert with a lively contrast between smooth chocolate and salty, crunchy chips. Worth trying!

Chocolate Truffles - Super simple, but really tasty truffles. Dark chocolate, chilli and raspberries are a real flavour bomb!

Chocolate Truffles 

Super simple, but really tasty truffles. Dark chocolate, chilli and raspberries are a real flavour bomb!

How are you celebrating National Chocolate Week? 

Emma in Bromley xx