We were really pleased to be asked to review the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case. We’re going on holiday next month and it will be Isabelle’s first time on a plane. The journey is relatively short as we’re going to Spain, but there will be plenty of opportunity for Isabelle to get bored so we’re going prepared.
What do you do on journeys to keep boredom at bay?
The last time we went away I put together a little bag for her to open once she was in the car which had a kids magazine, some colouring pencils, some snacks and a sticker pack which went down a treat.
We play all the usual games such as eye spy, count the number of (whatever colour) cars.
We also let her take her tablet with some of her favourite apps on.
The other week she had a little lego set in the car which was a disaster as she dropped some of the pieces which nobody could reach as we were driving along. I don’t think we’ll be doing that again.
Cue the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case
Not only does this case look super cute with the star print which comes in a choice of Blue, Pink and Red, it as both a case handle and a detachable longer bag handle. It’s really well made from oilcloth to withstand the heavy handedness and has everything you need to keep a little one busy on a journey.
A Pencil for drawing and writing
A Set of 12 colouring pencils
A Pencil Sharpener
A pair of scissors
An Activity Book
The activity case has a built in easel with elasticated straps to keep your activity page in place whilst you colour it in.
Each of the activity books are packed full of exciting activities and games. Each page has a perforated edge so that you can easily tear the page out to use.
We love that these aren’t run of the mill activities, but cute puppets and games that you colour then cut out to create something to use.
We were sent the full collection of activity books which will provide many many hours of entertainment for Isabelle. These can be bought separately to top up as and when you need them.
Also in the Pipity range is the Pipity Portfolio which is an expanding file where all of your kids creations can be kept safely together. These are also available in the matching Pink, Blue and Red Star design. I initially thought that the portfolio was for us parents to keep the creations safe which do tend to rack up, but I was quickly corrected by Isabelle that it was so that she could keep the things that she had made so that she could play with them.
Pipity was founded by Kate who was inspired by her own happy childhood memories of cutting and sticking and creating wanted to give her own three children the same experience. The Pipity has everything to spark the imagination and keep little hands busy.
Watch our video which shows you what you get in the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case.
What we thought.
As a mum I think the Pipity is pretty awesome. Isabelle loves all things crafty and I know this kit will keep her happy and busy during any journey. The case has everything you need so no scrabbling around for things or having to add extra bits to my bag. It also gets a huge thumbs up from me personally as Pipity is a Devon based Independent Business which I love to support having been there myself.
Isabelle was so excited when the Pipity came out of the box. Before she even opened it she was doing her catwalk walk as pranced up and down with the case hanging off her shoulder. She’s going to love carrying this herself. She loved all of the activities, with the puppets and dolls being her absolute favourite. I should post the outtakes of the video that we did as she spent way too long messing about with the scissors (why do kids love scissors so much) AND the bendy ruler cracked her up.
This is a total winner for both of us and it will be coming with us to Spain next month!
We were squealy excited to be sent a further Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Box through the post. Crafting definitely plays a huge part in our lives. Making something together post dinner time has become a bit of a regular routine for us which gives us something nice to do after work/school.
I didn’t tell Isabelle that she was getting another box as she drives us totally insane when she knows something is coming through the post. She thinks that it’s going to appear at the door five minutes after it’s been ordered. It was a lovely surprise when it arrived, and I think I was just as excited to know what was inside as Isabelle was.
I did wonder whether this box was going to beat the previous Activity Box that we received, but we weren’t at all disappointed.
What was in the box?
Safari Criss Cross
Safari Colouring-in sheets
Safari Dotty Art
Safari Memo Pad
Safari Greeting Cards
Safari Foil Stickers
Parrot Collage Kit
Isabelle’s favourite piece in the box was the scissors. She was so excited to get her own pair of scissors. Doubly so that they had monkeys and bananas on them!
So over to Isabelle who will walk you through what she got in the box.
As you can see, she was thoroughly impressed with all of the things that she got in the box, especially the monkey scissors.
I’ve sneaked the colouring sheets and activity sheets to put away for Isabelle to do on plane when we go on holiday next month.
There isn’t a single thing in the box that Isabelle wasn’t excited about or looking forward to making.
Value for Money
There are various options for the subscription boxes as well as various payment options. As well as the monthly subscription boxes you can get one off themed boxes including Birthday, Superhero, Unicorn and Fun on the Farm just to name a few.
If my convincing isn’t enough, pop over and check out their social media:
My Happy List – last week I didn’t post anything as it really was a week of slog at work and not much else.
However, this week has been a bit less stressful.
Sleep – I’ve slept a lot better than usual this past week which is always something to feel happy about. This was a big deal especially since Chris has an awful cough and he’s been hacking away most of the night.
New working hours – i was a bit worried about changing my hours at work as three days seems like the best work/life balance and my new job is four days a week. However, given that this is going to be a different job completely I’m up for the challenge (and I have been working full-time for the past year). I have also wangled a Friday off which fits in better for childcare.
Holiday Shopping – we’ve done a bit more holiday shopping this week and I’ve actually bought some swimwear that doesn’t make me want to throw-up!
Park Day – we went to my brothers yesterday and took the kids to the park. It was lovely just sitting in the sun whilst the kids played. Now that they’re eight, six and six you don’t have to chase them round the park and help them on and off stuff. It also meant I could have some baby cuddles from my nephew. ?
Dog walking – I love walking Charlie, preferably on my own. I can walk and think, or not. He has no expectations or demands, just walking. I can see my old age in front of me where flashes of 100 stray dogs and no people spring to mind. Ha ha!
Our bargain food haul from approved food – I’m loving all the TV programmes at the moment on how to eat for less, and making savvy purchases to save money. We never used to be very savvy when it came to shopping. Gone are the days where we shopped at the same supermarket and bought whatever we wanted, sometimes not even taking note of the price. We stopped shopping like this quite a while ago, and now alternate our shopping trips dependent on what we need such as store cupboard staples, fresh fruit and veg and meat.
I was really pleased to be asked to try out www.approvedfood.co.uk which essentially is a bargain online shop where you can buy food that is either surplus or short dated stock.
I placed my order at around 8.30pm on Tuesday 4th July with an expected delivery time of 2 – 3 working days and it was delivered on Friday 7th July.
You can buy everything from cupboard staples such as pasta and rice to all the kids chocolate biscuit treats, toiletries and cleaning products and even a healthy and beauty section.
What we bought
Amoy Plum Sauce x 2 = £1.00
Amoy Soy Sauce Reduced Salt x 2 = £1.00
Bottle Green Elderflower Sparkling Presse x 4 cans = £1.49
Cavalino Bucks Fizz x 1 = £1.99
Chupa Chups Air Heads x 3 = £0.99
Combos Cheddar Cheese Cracker x 3 = £0.99
CorNiche Apple Teddy Marshmallows x 5 = £1.00
Don Mario Fusilli x 2 = £1.00
Don Mario Spaghetti x 2 = £1.00
Fabiola Pasta Spaghetti x 2 = £1.00
Flash All Purpose Cleaner x 1 = £0.99
Foxs Nice Creams x 2 = £1.00
Foxs Triple Layered Biscuit 10 pack x 1 = £0.99
Giovanni Di Firenze Tomato Pasta Sauce x 2 = £1.50
Globe World Foods Plum Tomatoes x 3 = £0.99
Go Ahead Yoghurt Breaks x 3 = £0.99
Golden Wonder Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodles x 4 = £2.00
Gratify herb baked mini dippers x 2 = £1.00
Jacobs Jaffa Cakes x 2 = £1.98
Maryland Double Chocolate Chip Cookies x 4 = £1.00
Napolina Conchiglie Pasta x 1 = £0.95
Purina Delibakie Stars Turkey and Bacon x 1 = £0.99
Quaker Oats – Oats so Simple Morning Golden Syrup Bars x 1 box = £0.99
Real Handcooked Variety Pack Crisps x 2 = £0.02
Ryvita Crackerbread Pepper Flavour x 2 = £1.50
Simple Soothing Facial Toner x 2 = £1.00
Wubba Dog Toy x 1 = £2.99
Grand total = £32.34
Postage and Packing is worked out by box. We had one large box which cost £5.99.
Fun Fact – I quite liked the Fun Fact at the end. Mine was that I’d saved £44 by buying from Approved Food which is the equivalent of 36 litres of fuel. That’s a total bargain in my book.
The offers come in daily and since signing up, I’ve received quite a few emails with all the latest offers.
What we think
Approved Food is definitely a website worth a monthly visit to fill your cupboards. Nothing lasts very long in our house what with a pot noodle eating cookie monster of a teenager and a six year old who loves a treat or two and a midnight munchie man around. I think my favourite bargain is the kong dog toy which are usually quite expensive and was very much appreciated by Charlie!
Have you shopped at Approved Food?
Let us know what your BEST bargain was.
*We were given £30 credit to spend for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
I love notebooks, notepads, pens…….actually everything from moustache shaped paperclips to novelty pencil sharpeners. I was just a little bit excited to be asked to review a notebook from the Doodle Collection.
My daughter has inherited the same magpie like attraction for cool stationary.
I have a particular thing for notebooks, even if I don’t have a particular use for one. I like to select a nice pen and alway write neatly in my notebooks. I hate making mistakes or crossing things out in my notebooks.
I have several notebooks on the go for different things.
Diaries, planners and calendars are also a fave of mine. I always get either a calendar or diary for Christmas so I like to set aside an evening to write out my calendar or diary with a nice pen (preferably several different colours) and a glass of wine, and make a bit of an event of it.
The company is based in India but all their full range is available to buy on Amazon.
They have a huge selection of notebooks, diaries and planners in all the colours and designs you can think of.
We’re really loving Flamingoes and Unicorns at the moment so when given a choice I went with a Majestic Misfit Notebook. I really love the wording on the front:
It’s A5 in size and has a sturdy cover
200 lined pages with a scribble section on every other page
Thick paper, nice for writing with an ink pen
Perforated edges on each page which is fab if you make a mistake
What we thought
I really like this notebook from the size to the thickness and quality of the paper. The size is great for popping in your bag but it’s not too small. I love the flamingo design and is easy to lay flat to write on.
I’ve already pinpointed this Notebook for when I start my new job next month to take notes. Until then it will be sitting prettily on my bookshelf.
Which Notebook would you choose from the Doodle Collection?
This week has been pretty much a working kind of week with not so much in terms of having fun. However, we have managed to sneak in a couple of bits during the week.
Subscription Box – Isabelle received a Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Subscription box. These boxes are amazing so we spent a bit of time doing an unboxing video which I will share with you once I’ve done all the prettying up. Isabelle loves You Tube kids so she’s loving doing the little videos, but we have to try and tone down her Americanised barbie voice that she keeps putting on.
Dog Walking – With the lighter evenings it’s been much easier to get in an after dinner/before bed dog walk with Charlie. I’ve had to do a bit of bribing with Isabelle, but once she is out she really enjoys it especially if she takes her scooter.
New job – With all the excitement of getting a new job, this week has been a bit of a comedown as since being offered the job I’ve heard nothing more. Every time I think about it my stomach does a little flip of excitement……
Holiday – 5 weeks and 6 days to go…..
Sleep – I’ve slept slightly better this week since the stress of last week with my interview prep. In the last week I’ve probably on average only woken about twice a night which is good for me, and I’ve managed to drop back off straight away. I need to do a bit of research on insomnia as it’s become my norm for over a year now. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Blogger Night Out at Revolution Torquay– I met with some fellow bloggers in Revolution, Torquay for some scrummy cocktails and yummy food. The cocktail menu was awesome. It’s great getting together for a natter about all things bloggy, as I’m sure for most or us our regular non-blogger friends have no idea what I’m talking about. I had a burger with cheesy wotsits (actual wotsit crisps) in it which was very nice.
A new beach – We thought we’d try a new beach this weekend so today we went to Anstey’s cove in Torquay. It’s not a sandy beach its pebbly but it was a total treasure. We had Charlie with us so we had a bit of a paddle, but next time I’d love to take out a Kayak and go and explore the other coves which you can only access by swimming, sailing or climbing over the rocks to get to. We’re really looking forward to going back.
That’s it from me this week. Having said that I would still consider it to have been a good week.
There’s something a bit special about going to the circus. Is it the Big Top, the Clowns, all the sparkly costumes or maybe the oodles of sweets and candyfloss that kids are given a free pass to stuff their faces with.
It was exciting to be invited along to watch the show. The last time I took Isabelle to the circus we were chased across a field by a horse and turned up wet and bedraggled only for Isabelle to sleep through the entire show. She was under two at the time so all is forgiven.
We spotted the Big Top and the excitement began. We went in through the Big Top which was quite dark with disco lights all around and loaded up with popcorn, drinks and candyfloss. There was no formal seating plan so you could chose where to sit yourself. We were lucky to get seats at the front in the middle so Isabelle didn’t need to sit on either of our laps which was nice.
The show which was an hour and ten minutes long was action packed throughout with acrobatics using swings and ribbons to twirl and whirl through the sky, Mr N the funny Clown, plate spinning, trampolining and other shenanigans.
Mr N the clown was so funny. Mr N did lots of really silly stuff which the crowd, us included thought was really funny. He popped out between each act and had all the kids and adults enthralled in his funny antics.
When it was time to pick a helper from the audience he picked – ME – to hold a balloon above my head whilst he had a balloon arrow. Using the balloon bow he shot an invisible arrow which popped the balloon.
Later on in the show he picked on us again – Chris this time, was chosen to catch popcorn in his mouth which he missed. Mr N gave him another chance and when he went to throw the popcorn he threw the whole bucket over him.
We watched ariel acrobatics which was pretty amazing and similar on a swing.
At the beginning of the show there was an act where a man and a woman took it in turns to go inside material tubes and each time they came out they were wearing different clothes. Isabelle’s face was complete and utter astonishment. She thinks that it would be cool for us to get some of the material tubes so it’s quicker to get changed.
The grand finale was called the Ring of Death which was an enormous wheel with two circles which two acrobats climbed inside and outside whilst it was spinning. I think I gasped the first time it whooshed round as I was sat completely in line for first squashing as it was so close. There were lots of open mouthes as it went round at speed with the two of them going around and around.
The time went really quick and everyone joined in clapping along and laughing. Isabelle loved all of the sparkly costumes that the ladies wore and her face said it all really. Isabelle left with a sticky smile and another memory stored away of a fun family day.
Visiting the Circus
Paulos Circus will be at Darts Farm in Topsham until Sunday 9th July when they will be moving on to Newquay.
Tickets are only £7.00 per person but if you have a look around there are lots of £2.00 off vouchers. This can be applied to all tickets purchased. For more details on where the Circus is visiting next pop over to the website www.pauloscircus.co.uk.
If you do get the chance to go we would definitely recommend it.
*we were gifted tickets to the show but all opinions are our own.
I’ve been looking to for the Happy Days linky to try and break my pessimistic outlook which has taken over for the past year.
I hate that I look at all the negatives, but I think it’s fair to say that the last year or so has been quite tough for various reasons.
Life’s too short and all that, but more so when I look at my once chubby faced little boy turning eighteen in April. It speeds on by, and he’s now taking driving lessons and is starting an apprenticeship in September.
For that reason I’m going to take stock of the good things.
My Happy List
New Baby – Technically this happened over a week ago but my brother and his fiancé had a baby boy. He’s so squeezable. He was early so is the tiniest baby we’ve had in the family but he’s gorgeous!
The weather – it was scorching last week. I’m not a sun worshipper but it’s nice getting up and going to work in the sunshine. We finally managed to buy a cheapish paddling pool for Isabelle and Daddy had it all set up for when she came home from school on Tuesday. After sitting on a hot bus on the way home I took my shoes off and got in with her (in my work clothes) which she thought was great since she soaked me!
The paddling Pool – this should have its own title as it’s use after school everyday this week has been great. Isabelle is loving being able to get changed and straight in to cool off.
Last day of college – After two years, Ryan has officially finished college and about to embark on the world of work. ?
Holiday – it’s only six weeks and five days until we go on holiday. We cannot wait!
New Job – I spent the most part of last week swotting for a job interview. Trying to cover every possible question that they might ask. I heard that there was quite a lot of competition but……….I GOT IT!! I’m terrified but mostly excited.
Family day out – life is tiring at the moment but we are trying to make the most of our weekends. Yesterday we went to the circus (post to follow). It was really lovely and then we went for a wander around Darts Farm which is always nice. We love their food hall.
Holiday Shopping – Did I mention that it’s only six weeks and five days until our holiday. We’re off holiday clothes shopping today. Ha ha!
A Tip Top Big Mac is what I made at McDonalds even if I do say so myself.
Myself and some fellow bloggers were invited to take a look around one of Plymouths City Centre McDonalds where some pretty impressive changes have been made to improve the service that customers receive and streamline the whole McDonalds experience.
Self Service – If you’ve been into your local branch recently it may be one of over 50% of restaurants that have the touch screen self-service points in addition to the usual counter and drive through services.
You may have even already visited one of the restaurants that have table service on offer. Fear not as these services will be rolled out nationwide in the near future.
The self service points where you order and pay for your food are a really quick and convenient way to order food. It displays the whole menu with size options and meal deal options.
Using the screens couldn’t be simpler. All the food is displayed using pictures and gives you various options (including dips for meals that include this). The touch screens are so easy that you could let your children use the screens to pick choose and order their own food. The best thing about the screens is that the menu is visual and there are options on there that you may not even know is available.
Table Service – This has probably been a long awaited addition to the McDonalds restaurants and will make ordering so much easier for the vast majority of us.
As a parent, standing in the queue and ordering the food and then finding a table can be such a pain in the butt, and then you forget to get the straws or napkins.
These days are long gone. The self-service machine allows you to choose table service. They have plastic table number plaques which are Bluetooth enabled that you pick up which are all numbered (I’m sure they have an actual name). You tap this number in and once your order is placed the server will be able to find you via the number plaque. The server comes armed with a toolbelt loaded with napkins, straws and sauces so there’s no need for you to leave your seat.
Behind the Scenes
We got to have a nose around behind the scenes which was quite impressive.
We started off in the staff room where we were given our very own McDonalds apron, hat (plus hairnet) and name badge. I was totally sold by this point but I am quite easily pleased!
The kitchen, whilst busy was very orderly and everybody was going about their work like a well oiled machine.
I’ve always been quite impressed by the number of staff that are working in any restaurant at any given time. There are approximately 40 staff on at any given time and more at peak times.
We had a look at the walk-in fridges and freezers at all the fresh ingredients that are delivered almost daily and YES they do use fresh eggs!
Some of the restaurants have a seating area where tablets are available. I always assumed that these were just for children, but as well as games available you can use the tablets to get news updates, check your emails and log-in to your social media sites.
Rest assured that the tablets have strict blocks so that unsavoury sites are not accessed by our kids.
You can also keep up to date with all news that is McDonalds including calorie content and community projects that McDonalds support.
The Best Bit
We got to make our very own Big Mac’s.
All of the burgers are made specific to McDonalds. There are clearly labelled charts above the work station to ensure that all burgers are made the same.
You can watch my video but this next bit is completely from my memory.
Get your bun ready
Pop it into the three sections of the special bun toaster
Get your box ready
Put the bun in box
Shoot the Big Mac sauce gun at both parts of the bun
A sprinkle of onion
A slice of cheese on one side
Two slices of gherkin on the other making sure that you separate so you get pickle in each bite
Add a burger on each side
Put the middle part of the bun on top of the bottom bun
Shut the box
BOOM the Big Mac is good to go
I totally aced my Big Mac making skills as you can see in my video.
Cool McDonalds Facts
They use fresh ingredients. Contrary to what many people think where possible fresh ingredients are used and delivered to the restaurants daily.
No food is sat around – The burgers are freshly prepared to order
All waste is recycled. This was the biggest surprise for me. All food and packaging waste is separated and recycled including the oil used in the fryers
McDonalds aim to have a ‘Zero Waste Policy’ in all restaurants by 2020
To reduce the carbon footprint, delivery lorries deliver and pick-up at the same time so that no empty lorries are driving around
Since the introduction of the self-service touch screens more salads have been ordered. This maybe since the entire menu is visual on the screen it’s much easier to see what’s on offer
McDonalds work with local councils and volunteer for litter picking with the Love Where you Live campaign
McDonalds support local community projects and sports clubs
I bet you’re just a little bit impressed as was I. We like to take Isabelle to McDonalds for a treat and we allow her to choose her own meal whether it be a burger and fries or fish fingers and a fruit bag. It’s all about moderation!