Keeping Your Car Safe When You Have Children

My partner Chris passed his driving test in May 2017 and it was the best thing to happen to us. With two young children, doing shopping could take all day and we rarely had day trips as it could cost a bomb unless it was relatively local.

Having a car has been a huge help and it has been very important to Chris to make sure that it's in top condition. Even nine months after getting the car he religiously checks everything to make sure it's all working, especially as we will be putting our children into the car. The last thing he wants is for something to go wrong when they are strapped in the back. 

The first thing we insist on doing is making sure that both car seats are fitted and secured correctly (it's also important that if it's your first car that your children are in the correct car seat for their age/height), then ensuring that the children are buckled in with no twisted seatbelts. Not wearing winter coats is important as the belts cannot be tightened fully and may not work properly in the case of a crash.

Checking that all the lights work correctly before setting off on a journey is an important one. The last thing you want is to be on a busy road then realise that a light isn't working as you could quite easily cause an accident. Chris is still a restricted driver as he hasn't yet been driving a year so it's still all new to him and does, on occasion, have to refer back to his car manual and test them out by having me stand by the car and tell him if they're working or not. This can be a bit time consuming but definitely worth doing to be on the safe side.

On Christmas Day last year, we had a lot of family to visit and a very short amount of time to get round everyone. We were roughly ten minutes from our house when, bam, flat tyre! This was the first time it had happened and luckily we had a spare in the boot. It took ten minutes for Chris to replace it and get us on our way again but then we had to make sure we purchased a new spare as soon as we possibly could in case it happened again. It's so important to check your tyres regularly for any foreign objects that may be stuck (this is what happened in our case) but also ensuring that the tread and pressure is ideal.

Our car is up for MOT in April and although Chris checks the car as much as he can himself, he is definitely planning on getting it in for a service beforehand. He thinks that this would be beneficial to pay for so that he can be told of any problems and get those sorted, so that his car isn't failing and he isn't wasting money on having to rebook his MOT over and over again. The important thing is finding the perfect servicing station such as Ossett Tyre House which offers all types of car servicing in Wakefield and surrounding areas. Fingers crossed all is good and his "new baby" passes!

(This is a collaborative post.)

Shrove Tuesday - Num Noms Inspired Pancakes! #NumNomsPancakeDay

Happy Shrove Tuesday!

At three years old, this is the first year that E has been excited about making pancakes on "Pancake Day". The only thing the girl loves more than food are collectible toys with Num Noms being top of her list!

Num Noms set us a really exciting challenge - to make some Num Noms inspired pancakes. We received some goodies to help us get started, as well as some Num Noms series 4 sets for us to take flavour inspiration from.

We were familiar with the Starter Packs (RRP £9.99) and we were so excited to smell the Ice Cream Sandwich scents - Wintergreen Crème is definitely my favourite. I'm a sucker for mint! 

We also already own some Glitter Gloss-Up and Polish-It Noms (£3.99) as E received a couple for Christmas. E is such a girly girl and loves applying lipgloss and having her nails painted.

The Num Noms Lights boxes (£3.99) were completely new to us and Erin totally fell in love with them - who doesn't love a light up toy?

After the excitement of seeing which Num Noms we got - it was time to make pancakes! I'm a lover of anything that makes my life easier so pancake mix in a bottle is a game changer and you just can't go wrong.

E put on her trusty Num Noms chef hat and helped me pour the mixture into the super cute heart pan. The fun part was deciding how to decorate them when they were ready. She decided to base her pancake on Candy Karma with her candy floss scent, but first she made sure to spread her beloved Nutella on first, followed by lots of hundreds and thousands.

Now the best part - eating! E had so much fun creating her Num Noms pancakes and receiving her Pancake Champion certificate! I get the feeling that she'll be wanting to make these a lot - yum!

You can purchase Num Noms from Smyths, The Entertainer and all good toy retailers.

(We received the items mentioned for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Superzings 'Rivals of Kaboom!' - the new collectibles in town!

C and E are huge fans of any collectible toy so as soon as we get wind of a new set being released, I hear a chorus of "Mummy, can we get those?!"

Superzings are newly released and so much fun. They are by Magic Box Toys who also make Zomlings, which we have reviewed here before. The Superzings definitely remind me a lot of Zomlings and for Series 1 of Superzings, the theme is 'Heroes and Villains'.

There are over 80 coloured figures to collect with each of them being every day items brought to life with their own capes and eyemasks. Series 1 has 36 regular characters in two different colourways but, as with most collectibles, there are silver, rare and super rare figures to try and find. C is utterly obsessed with heroes and villains so I knew this theme would be a hit. He especially loved how each individual hero had its own nemesis, as shown on the character leaflet that comes with each set. It also gives you an insight into the Kaboom City background for the characters and it reminds you of a comic book.

Speaking of the sets, there are so many ways to collect and a set for every budget. The blind bags are only 80p so even just buying one of those for your child whilst out shopping will keep them happy and excited to see which character they get, but also not break the bank for you.

You can also get hideouts, which are obviously to hide from your enemy and inside each of these you get one Superzing but again, it's a blind bag so you don't know who you'll get! These are only £1.50 each.

Every hero and bad guy needs their own car to get from A to B and outsmart each other. In each Supercar box you get one supercar and one Superzing for £2.50.

If you have a little bit more money to spend, or are just starting off your collection, the Starter Pack (£5.00), Blister Pack (£7.00), Mission Pack (£12.00) or Kaboom Trap (£5.00) are perfect as they add to the playtime and enjoyment.

The Superzings range is aimed at children aged 4-8 years and is available to buy from The Entertainer, Tesco, Asda, Co-op and Spar!

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Flush Force Collectibles - Review #theflushforce

I have spoken so many times on the blog and over social media about how much my children, C and E, love collectible toys. The best part for them are opening blind bags and being surprised by which character is inside. Flush Force take this further and make it a bit more exciting. My son loves a bit of toilet humour so I knew they'd be right up his street.

"Toxic sludge has mutated everything in the sewer! Now the Flush Force is coming up your toilets to attack! It's up to you to collect them all and flush them back."

There are four products available in the range; Number 2 Pack (£2.99), Filthy Five Pack (£5.99), Bizarre Bathroom 8 Pack (£10.99), and The Collect-a-Bowl (£14.99) so there's something to suit every budget.

The toilets work in the same way as the blind bags that we've all come to know and love. You simply add water into the tank and shake, shake, shake! With 150 foul characters to collect and their 'flush-to-reveal' technology, it's always a surprise to see who's lurking inside. I think it's great that they're a bit more interactive and engaging, rather than just ripping a foil bag open.

If the water turns green, you have a rare Clogger and if it turns purple, you have a super rare Unflushable! Unfortunately we didn't get any rare or super rare collectibles but the children weren't bothered by this at all as it didn't detract from the fun. They loved getting their hands wet (we had to put a towel down due to their overzealousness!).

Each Flushy belongs to its own group such as squishy Squirmin Vermin, colour-changing Grimy Grubs or unflushable Putrid Parts. Each set that you get comes with a character leaflet so you can find out their name and tick them off as you collect. Five year old C can read so he had a good giggle at some of the names like Turd Mite and Turd Bird.

The Collect-a-Bowl not only comes with four exclusive Foul Floater Flushies but it's great to put your characters in (it holds 50+!) and flushing! The handle really works and when pushed, it emits the sound of flushes and farts. I think C sat for around 15 minutes straight just laughing at the fart noises - typical boy! As if all this wasn't enough, you can even download the FREE app to explore Flushville, play games and much more.

The Flush Force range is aimed at boys aged 4-10 years but of course my 3.5 year old girl loved them too. They are available to buy from Smyths, Toys R Us, Argos, The Entertainer, Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's, Toymaster as well as independent retailers.

If you want to keep up with all the grossness, follow the Flush Force YouTube channel here. There will also be a Twitter party this evening, Friday 9th February, where you will have the opportunity to learn a bit more and win some for yourself. Just join in between 6-7pm by following @spinmasteruk and joining in the chat with #FlushForceFriday.

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Valentine's Gift Ideas (+ TWO giveaways!)

We are finally into February after what felt like the longest January in history and now begins the countdown to Valentine's Day. I know that choosing Valentine's gifts, especially if you've been together for a long time, can be difficult so I've put together a few items that I think would be great to gift to the one you love. If you read on to the end, I have two fabulous giveaways for you to enter too.

First up, cards! Hallmark have a really sweet collection of cards in lots of different designs and styles. Some of their bestsellers are showcased below - I love them all!

Going clockwise, we have 'To the One I Love, Love is in the Air, My Boyfriend and I Love Spooning with You. Inside the last one it says "the forking ain't bad either" very funny!

If we go clockwise again, we have a super cute Minnie and Mickey Mouse pop up style card, My Husband, For My Wife and I Only Have Butterflies for You.

Continuing on with Hallmark, they have a really cute range of couple Itty Bittys. Lady and the Tramp was one of my favourite Disney movies as a child (the spaghetti scene is iconic!) so I love that you can buy the Itty Bittys versions of the characters. They also have a cute little bride and groom so if you recently got engaged, married or are getting married soon, they would make the perfect gift. The Hallmark cards vary in price but you can purchase them here and the Itty Bittys are £6.00 each at Amazon.

I think beauty products - for both men and women - can be a great idea for a gift. You know they will actually get used and not sit on a shelf gathering dust.

Moosehead shaping dough (available from all good beauty retailers)  is a nice little gift addition for your man to perfect his hair. It's great for thick hair and leaves a matte finish.

Gold aftershave splash has a beautiful scent and it won't break the bank at only £8.95 at Amazon.

Sleek Makeup i-Art is a liquid eye colour and the shades are to die for! So easy to apply and they really make your eyes pop. Who doesn't love a metallic eye? These are available from Boots at £6.99 each.

St Moriz Dry Oil Self Tanning Mist is great if you like a natural bronzed tan. It is fast drying and leaves you with skin that glows naturally and deepens in colour throughout the day. You can purchase it from Boots for £9.99.

Scunci Bun Maker is absolutely genius. I am rubbish at doing hair and leave mine down 98% of the time so anything that is a hair hack is a winner in my eyes. You can purchase this from Amazon for £5.00.

The Sleek Makeup i-Divine Storm palette is just beautiful. It contains 12 super-pigmented, mineral based eye shadows which are designed to suit everyone. The pearlescent shades contain mica particles which highlight and illuminate. You can pick this up from Boots for £8.99.

Dove have a gorgeous little gift set which I think would make a lovely gift if your partner has just given birth. It contains bath item for both mother and baby so it's a lovely, caring present idea. You can purchase it from Boots for £12.00.

Every lady loves a pamper and getting time to herself. 7th Heaven (or you may recognise them from their previous name Montagne Jeunesse) have a pamper pack which contains everything that you need to treat yourself or your loved one.

It contains 2 hair masks, 8 face masks, a strengthen nail and cuticle masque, a soften glove masque, a soften sock masque, a flannel and headband and a pom pom. Everything needed for some relaxation time! You can purchase it from Argos for £19.99.

No outfit is complete without some gorgeous nails and lashes. imPRESS manicure have some beautiful press-on nail designs and I'm totally in love with these purple ones with a flash of sparkle.

KISS lashes are absolutely amazing and ever since I discovered them, I wondered why I hadn't tried them sooner. They do so many different styles and lash adhesive to ensure you have no fallers! You can pick these up at Superdrug.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, I have a giveaway for you to enter.

Want to spice things up in the bedroom this Valentine's Day? Look no further than the So Divine Kiss Kiss Vibrating Rabbit.

With three speeds and seven patterns, it's sure to have your needs covered. It even heats to body temperature (37-38 degrees) to leave you with a warm and happy glow.

You can purchase this from So Divine at a price of £64.99.

Anytime I receive a gift, I love a little surprise of sweets or chocolates. Jelly Belly have some super (pun intended) hero themed jellybeans which I absolutely love! If superheroes aren't your thing, how cute is the little bottle of bubbly? You can purchase these from Jelly Belly.

I love that the Beauty and the Beast obsession is still going strong and I'm clearly not the only one judging by my Facebook and Instagram feeds. This little jewellery box is absolutely adorable. I love that it isn't too cartoony and actually quite fancy. I love it! It's only £9.99 from Paladone.

If Beauty and the Beast isn't your man's thing, how about Snow White? This little mug and sock set, also from Paladone, makes me laugh so much with its little image of Grumpy the dwarf. Such a cute and funny little gift! This is only £12.99 from Menkind.

Bottega Gold Prosecco is a yummy Valentine's gift. It's floral and fruity on the nose and on the taste buds, it's an array of candied and exotic fruits. The gold bottle is designed to protect the wine from any light, ensuring the best flavours. This is £21.95 from 31DOVER.

The PopaBall prosecco shimmer is amazing! Simply add some into your prosecco to create the perfect uniform drink. It adds a bit of a shimmer with its raspberry flavour and rose gold hearts. What a way to make your beverage a bit more exciting! You can pick this up from 31DOVER for £7.95.

I love a bit of cheese and I don't mean the food kind! Cheesy music, quotes, movies; you name it, I'll love it. Genie Gadgets sell the best cheesy Valentine's Day t-shirts ever and I can't even begin to explain how much I love them. They really made me giggle when I opened them out and they have so many different design, images and colours to choose from! They are £12.99 per t-shirt and you can see all the designs here.

Maybe your partner is more of the outdoorsy sports type and this skateboard from Skates would be right up their street? It comes complete with a 100% Canadian maple deck, 5" lightweight pro trucks, 53mm 55DD wheels complete with ABEC 7 chrome bearings.

You can purchase it in either blue or orange and it retails at £44.95 at Skates. Want to win one for yourself? Enter via the Gleam widget below.

Skates skateboard

I'm also giving away this little bundle of lash and nail goodies. Again, just enter via the Gleam widget below.

Nail and lash goodies

T&C's (

  • One winner will win one skateboard in a colourway of their choice, stock depending. 
  • Giveaway will run from February 5th until February 11th. Delivery is not guaranteed before Valentine's Day.
  • UK entrants only
  • 18+
  • No automated entries
  • One entry per person 
T&C's (Nail and lash bundle)
  • One winner will win the bundle pictured. 
  • Giveaway will run from February 5th until February 11th. Delivery is not guaranteed before Valentine's Day.
  • UK entrants only
  • 18+
  • No automated entries 
  • One entry per person 
(This post contains items that I have been sent in exchange for inclusion.)

PJ Masks 'Let's Go PJ Masks' DVD released February 5th!

Ever since PJ Masks hit our screens, my two children have been completely enamoured with it. If you aren't familiar with the show, it follows three 6 year old children; Connor, Amaya and Greg by day,  but by night they transform into their magical superhero alter-egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko!

Last year saw the release of the first ever PJ Masks DVD (Time to be a Hero) and now, Entertainment One are releasing another - Let's Go PJ Masks! This DVD follows the trio as the solve mysteries and learn valuable lessons along the way.

C and E were very lucky to be sent a preview copy and as soon as it was opened they popped themselves onto the sofa, eager to watch. The DVD runs for 72 minutes and features six super fun episodes.

Gekko and the Snore-A-Saurus
Luna Girl turns a sleepwalking Cameron into her very own human puppet. It's up to PJ Masks to save the day...but Gekko has to stop messing around first!

Catboy and the Shrinker
Romeo and Night Ninja team up to shrink the PJ Masks with Romeo's shrinker invention. When Catboy gets shrunk, he forgets that even a little guy can save the day...if he can use his small size to his advantage.

Blame it on the Train, Owlette 
When the new Fairground Flyer goes missing from the fair, Owlette is determined to get it back quickly. But if she wants to defeat Romeo's new super train, she'll need to learn that a little patience goes a long way.

Looking After Gekko
When Night Ninja steals the school bus and converts it into his very own super-vehicle, it's up to our heroes to stop him in his tracks. But for that to happen, Gekko needs to learn that asking for help doesn't make you weak.

Catboy's Tricky Ticket
Catboy only has two tickets to the Jayden Houston concert and has to decide which of his best friends to take to the show. Owlette and Gekko offer him presents to sway his decision and Catboy's newfound greed could ensure Luna Girl ruins the concert for good.

Clumsy Catboy 
Romeo plans to use his newest device to make everyone in the world so clumsy that they can't stop him from taking over the world. But when agile Catboy is the first to be "clumsified", he can't admit it and tries to save the day without any help.

I don't think either child took their eyes off the TV once while watching, they were just excited to see what was going to happen next! If your little ones love PJ Masks as much as mine do, you need to get a copy so they can't watch whenever they like!

PJ Masks 'Let's Go PJ Masks' is available on DVD and digital download on Monday 5th February or you can preorder it from Amazon right now!

(We received a copy of the new DVD and a blind bag in exchange for this post.)

My Top Online Pastimes

As a child of the 90's, I basically grew up with the Internet. I still vividly remember the first time my dad bought a desktop computer for the house, then eventually one just for me when I was a teen. I'd spend hours on the big social media sites at the time, perfecting my Top 8 friends on MySpace or giving my 'luv' on Bebo, as well as chatting to my friends who I'd just spent all day with on MSN Messenger when I got home from school.

Now, at the ripe old age of (almost!) 26, the Internet is still a very big part of my life. If I'm completely honest, I probably spend too much time with my phone held up to my face but I think that's part and parcel of being a blogger.

On an evening when my two children are in bed, I do like to sit and relax away from blog work. Most nights I'd read a chapter of whatever novel I'm working through at that moment or binge watch something on Netflix or NowTV (right now I'm loving Rupaul's Drag Race!) but I always find myself drifting back online in some way.
Here are my top three things to do online!

1) Enter online competitions
I am sure that if you're a regular reader or if you follow me on social media, you will be well aware of my obsessive competition entering. I am 100% sure that I probably annoy people with all the giveaway shares but you know what? People actually win this stuff and I fully encourage everyone to get involved.

I've won some amazing prizes in my six years of entering from an iPad mini and £1900 diamond earrings to baby items and household stuff - like my sofa!

2) Playing bingo online
I know, I mentioned that I'm only in my mid-twenties but bingo, contrary to popular belief, is not just for old ladies. I was so wary before starting because you do have to spend a little bit of money to win money and handling money/card details over the Internet did worry me a little bit.

Luckily, for the over-anxious people such as myself, websites actually exist to bring your reviews of bingo sites so you can find out exactly what the site it like, if there is a deposit bonus or if you get free spins etc. Click here for a little example of one. I think this is brilliant because it almost gives you peace of mind that the site is legitimate and you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign up and give any personal details.

3) Playing online games
I am a massive fan of games such a 8 Ball Pool or iSketch where you play against someone in a different part of the world in real time. I'm quite a competitive person and it's a nice way to relax and have fun at the same time.

I also enjoy games such as FarmVille or Café World which you can play on Facebook where you are given tasks, can build things, plant or cook things depending on the game and invite friends to send you things that you need in order to complete tasks and progress to the next level.

What do you do to pass the time online?

(This is a sponsored post.)

What are the best car video games?

I was first introduced to video games by my father at around the age of five. I specifically remember playing Super Mario Bro's and Street Fighter on Nintendo 64 and there began my love of games.

20 years later, gaming systems have changed, the gaming culture is huge and the games that are being released are getting more engaging and realistic. Driving and car racing games have always been a popular choice but which ones come out on top?

Motor retailer Lookers have conducted a survey to find out which car racing games that we, the public, love most.

Crash Team Racing
If you haven't heard of this game, where have you been?! It was released almost 20 years ago and it is a spin off of one of my ultimate favourite games - Crash Bandicoot. Ooga Booga!

In the game, you get to play as the well-known Crash Bandicoot characters and race opponents in different situations. You get the opportunity to obviously steer reverse and break, but also hop over obstacles, crash through crates like the original game, use weapons to get ahead and boost your speed with a power-packed option.

Super Mario Kart
This one is definitely my number one and I'm sure it's an instant winner on most people's lists.

The game launched in 1992 and has sold around 9 million copies worldwide to date, making it one of the world's best selling games. My son even plays it on the Wii at his grandparents house. Mario will always have a special place in my heart.

To play the iconic Super Mario Kart, you choose your character; Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, Bowser, Donkey Kong Jr. or Koopa Troopa then take part in a manic go-kart race around multiple crazy tracks. Players can get special powers and the chance to launch shells and bananas at their opponents to throw them off course to get yourself to the finish line first.

Super Mario Kart has been so successful that there have been multiple sequels on further generations of Nintendo consoles as well as Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U.

Need for Speed
EA has produced lots of massively popular games such as FIFA and The Sims but one of its most popular titles is Need for Speed. It focuses on illegal Street racing and players are given tasks and races to complete all while dodging and outrunning law enforcement agencies.

NFS is actually the most successful racing game franchise ever! It's sold over 150 million copies and has a whopping 23 main instalments of the game. In fact, it's so well-established that there was even a film made in 2014 based on the game starring Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame.

The octane-fuelled driving experience game includes everything from crashing through buildings and stripping billboards to passing under trucks and taking part in cross-country racing. Players also have the ability to tune cars, change alloys, swap engines and gear boxes for better power outputs as well as stick spoiler on the back for a sleek aesthetic that's suited to the characters disdain for law.

Micro Machines
Micro Machines is another classic video game that continues to be a strong contender even when pitted against the newer, modern racing games. When playing Micro Machines, you get the chance to control a range of miniature vehicles, racing them aroused unusual tracks such as on top of kitchen tables and in gardens.

There were plenty of sequel versions to this game - and why not? The 'shrinking down' of the player mixed with the manic racing style and household themed objects equals hours of fun!

Published by the video game powerhouse Ubisoft, this game centres around a character named John Tanner. Tanner is a former race car driver turned undercover police detective. Five main editions of the game have been released since its first foray into the gaming world in 1999.

Driver was noteworthy at its time of release as it allowed players to explore each city as an open world environment and it also won the Game Critics Awards 'Best Racing Game (1999)' award.

Fun Fact: Once the single mode player has been completed, players have the ability to drive in Newcastle Upon Tyne where one of the developers, Reflections Interactive, is based!

While no means a mega seller, the game was well received and well rated on gaming websites. One of the most fun features of the game included a 'film director' mode allowing the players to shoot a movie.

What's your favourite car based video game?

(This is a sponsored post.)

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