Category Archives: review

Hydration with WUBL

It is so important to keep the kids hydrated this summer but, there is so much choice. How do help them make healthier choices? WUBL have come up with a lovely child friendly solution. We came across wubl a few weeks ago.

I love that is created by family as a solution to a problem they noticed. Here is their introduction in their words.

Hello, We’re Mark and Leigh and we’ve created WUBL!. We’re a dad and an uncle on a mission to improve children’s health by reducing the amount of sugar that they consume. This started when I realised that there wasn’t a truly 100% healthy and fun drink for my daughter Daisy and as soon as my wife said: ‘Why doesn’t anyone put water in cartons for kids?’ I told Leigh and our mission began. So we created WUBLWater, a kid’s drink that’s sugar and nasties free AND fun, with cool characters called WUBLs that children love, supported with an amazing and safe online world for kids to play in called WUBLWorld.


Mark kindly sent us a few cartons to review, so over to my chief reviewers.

Emily age 9
The WUBL spring water is good to take on school trips because it is just like a carton but just full of water. .You can take it almost anywhere,a good place I would suggest to take it is to a swimming pool also,the straw which is attached is extendible, and I think it would be suitable for younger people, because it is less spilable than a normal water bottle. .I like the design because it isn’t a normal design you would see on an every days carton. It is a bit of an an unusual picture as you can see.The WUBL water is in a carton. I also like that it is not just called water, or spring water because it would be boring, but I like the name wubl because it is fun and creative.

Jasmin aged 10
Jasmin checked out the website…
The website is good for preschoolers as the activities are easy and fun. I think at the the beginning when there is the rocket it should be more obvious that you should press the big red button because preschoolers may not know what to do. On the website there is a story, a design a world game, videos and a page for parents with videos about how they made WUBL and how they came up with the idea.
The packaging is good because it is especially designed for preschoolers so it is less spillable. I took it on a school trip to Legoland and it did not leak but my water bottle normally does. It is better than a plastic bottle as it is better for the environment also it takes up less space and is easier to open. It tastes like normal water.

Mum
We all went swimming and took the cartons of WUBL to drink after our swim. In the pretty packaging the girls were happy to drink it instead of the sweet alternatives that were available there. It was good to have that alternative available to give them.
Anyways, enough from us. Maybe your family should try wubl for themselves?

Trampolining fun


Hi I’m Emily and I’m Jasmin, today we are going to be reviewing this brand new trampoline park called Better Extreme at Gosling park Welwyn Garden City.

Emily

Just before you enter you have to watch a safety program which I think is a really good thing so you know what to do to not get hurt.

On the inside they have all sorts of things such as the diving board, trampoline, dodgeball, trapeze, trampolines, slackline, wrestling and long trampoline.

Jasmin

My favourite part was the trapeze because not many trampoline parks have a trapeze and also the slackline because it is was challenging to complete.

 

The diving board was fun because you could could jump up quite high into the foam pit.


Emily

I like this trampoline park because if you are thirsty or hungry you can get a drink or a biscuit for free. (They kindly provided this for us families reviewing on the day)

 

One of my favourites was the wrestling which was a bar and you have these protective things and you try and get the other person into the foam pit. I think it is good because it is kind of testing how strong and how long you can balance for.

 

Jasmin

I fought my mum on the wrestling and she won.  

Emily

One of my other favourites is the trapeze which you have to swing on and immediately letgo so you fall in the foam pit. I think it is good because it shows how far you can get into the foam pit.

 

Mum (Sarah)

I was so excited when I found out we had been invited to review this brand new trampoline park. We have been along to rush a few times and my girls loved it. I’d never had a go as I was too stingy to pay to play as well. We were lucky to be invited for free. I had a go with the girls. It was a LOT of fun.

 

The park was really well laid out and lots of activities were on offer. My girls’ eyes lit up when they went in. They ran for the trapeze first of all.

We were there for two hours and the time flew by.

The staff  were really enthusiastic.and friendly. A  few mentioned they had always wanted to work in a trampoline park.

The park is opening in early December. My girls have already asked when we are going back.

Weekend box review

As a creative family we were very excited to be asked to review the weekend box. I’ll hand you over to our brilliant reviewing team.

Hi, my name is Emily. I am writing this review. The packaging is interesting and you also get it sent in the post so it is the right size to go through the letter box. The weekend box has lots of interesting things including facepaint and stamps you can put on your face. I did my own facepaint and I was a tiger. I followed the instructions in the kit. I used sponge to put the yellow paint and a brush to paint whiskers with black face paint. It was fun.
When you finish the box you get to write on the certificate and colour it in. I would recommend it to boys and girls from age 6 to 14.

Hello my name is Jasmin, and today I will be doing a review of the weekend box Snazaroo. The kit includes a mini face paint pack and a birthday paint stamp kit. There are five different colours and two stamps, a small sponge and a brush. I used the stamp to put a yellow emoji on my cheek.
The packaging is designed to fit through the letterbox and is very bright and colourful.
I liked the weekend box and would recommend it to 3 to 10 year olds.

Disclaimer:
We were sent this box to review in return for and honest blog.

Review Soundpeats D3 headphone

We have a review of Soundpeats D3 from our official tech reviewer Josh.

The packaging for the Soundpeats D3 has a stylish yet quite minimal design on the packaging. The packaging itself is nothing special but is good quality for the price. Inside the box is another smaller box containing the D3 and the accessories that come with it. I found the micro USB cable which comes pre-packaged in the box with the D3 to be too short and found it awkward to plug in as it is so short. Also in the box with the D3 was two other ear tips for the D3 which are for people who need slightly larger ear tips or slightly smaller ear tips as the D3 comes with a medium sized ear tip already on the D3. The included manual was very informative and included diagrams of how to use and operate the D3.

The D3 was very simple to pair to my phone as to pair it all you need to do is hold down the multimedia button for around 5 seconds and then you can pair the D3 to your device. After it is paired I tested the sound quality of the D3 and found that it has good but muddy bass and reasonable mids and highs. The call quality on the D3 was reasonably good as it sounded a little bit tinny but you could still clearly hear the person on the other end. The microphone built into the D3 sounds quite tinny but you can still clearly hear what I was saying from the receiving end of the call.

The multimedia button on the D3 was quite useful as with one tap you can pause or play whatever you are listening to or if you are in a call you can tap the button once to hang up. Tapping the button twice calls the person you have contacted most recently. I found this quite simple to use and I am quite surprised with the responsiveness of it. The battery life on the D3 after intensive use is only three hours, which is the same as Soundpeats claimed the talk time on the D3 were. This meant I had to charge it in the middle of the day after using it. It takes about 3 hours to charge with the micro USB cable included. This just meant that the time I spent using the D3 was slightly reduced as they needed constant charging. The short battery life of the D3 is consequence of it being very small, light and portable. This raised a concern that it could be lost very easily as the D3 is very small.

Overall the Soundpeats D3 are a reasonable quality Bluetooth headset for a fairly low price and as it is such a low price. I feel some corners have been cut quality wise in some areas but are overall good value.

Summer adventures at Oxford Castle

Though many of us enjoy the prospect of the Summer Holidays, a break in the routine, time together as a family with less pressure whether you stay at home or go away. Days out as a family are a great way to spend time together and learn something too.

As we are such a cultured family, we were thrilled to be offered the opportunity to visit Oxford Castle. It is only an hour from us and we’d not even heard of it before. It is run by the same company, continuum attractions, who run The Canterbury tales experience we visited back in April. http://lingotastic.co.uk/2017/knights-school-and-chaucer-the-canterbury-tales-experience/

We left the car at Thornhill park and ride. and headed into Oxford. The nearest stop to the Castle is Carfax tower.
The castle was a bit tricky to find on foot. We had to rely on Google maps to get there.

The castle has an amazing history, from the Norman keep, the site of the Empress’s escape, the catacombs where scholar Geoffrey of Monmouth taught and penned the king Arthur stories, to the Georgian Prison wing. It is the site of St Georges Chapel where many believe education in Oxford was born 900 years ago.

For hundreds of years, the site has held both famous and infamous residents, serving as a religious site, a home for royalty, a centre of justice and as the County Gaol.

As the Keep has such a long history, there are many people featured in it, and a handful of their stories are brought to life during the entertaining tour.

We arrived a bit early and had time to peruse the shop and cafe. Whilst sat in the cafe the girls did a bit of language spotting. There was a tour going on in Spanish, one in Italian, a group of Mandarin exchange students some French students, a Polish family, a Bulgarian family that we spotted. I was so proud they could identify all those languages.

We’ve visited a few castles in our time but the fact this one had been the site of a prison for 800 years and many executions had happened there made me a bit uneasy. My children are aged 8 and 10 and some parts of the tour made them uneasy, especially the story of the seven year old girl imprisoned for borrowing a perambulator. This tour is suited to older children and adults. The access, (as it is an ancient building) means you need to be steady on your feet to take part. I would not recommend the tour to those of a nervous disposition.

There was some colouring for children in the in exhibition room which the girls did whilst we perused the exhibition.

The highlight of our visit was Knight’s school. The blokes leading it were really knowledgeable and keen. My girls could not wait to get started on swordfighting. The enthusiasm was infectious. It was great to see them really engaging in this. As we chatted to the lads it made more sense. George and Robin are actually keen fencers themselves so running Knight’s school is just a continuation of what they do day by day anyway.

We spent five hours around the site, including climbing the Mound of the 11th century Motte and Bailey Castle.

On balance, the kids enjoyed the tour, the Knight’s school being the highlight for them.


Oxford Castle Unlocked is open daily from 10.00am to 5.30pm (last tour 4.20pm).

Standard admission prices:
Adult: £10.25, Concession: £9.25, Child: £7.75, Family (2 adults, 2 children): £35

Oxford Castle Unlocked is a 1000 year old castle which also served as a prison for over 800 years. The visitor attraction opened on 2 June 2006 and gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the real people who lived and died throughout the site’s turbulent past. Visitors are able to walk through the ancient buildings and experience the stories that connect the real people to these extraordinary events.

If your children would like to hear more about the King Arthur story, we really enjoyed this version.

Disclaimer:
Our family was given free entry to the Castle for the purpose of reviewing the attraction. These are our own opinions.

Natural help for depression

We were asked by Focus Supplements to review their product. I think mental health is SO important to talk about, so we jumped at the chance. Maik reviewed the product and wrote this review.

Depression is a disease of modern life, and the solopreneur lifestyle perhaps carries a higher than average risk of developing depression. According to statistics for mental health charity Mind, one in 10 people will develop depression at some point in their lives. Recently the situation has become bad enough for national press to take notice, with headlines such as “Antidepressant descriptions in England double in a Decade” in the Guardian in July 2016.

Without going into too much detail, I can say that as a family we have had quite a difficult year, both in terms of work and on a personal level. Never having been a fan of antidepressants, and coming from Germany where doctors are as likely to prescribe natural and herbal supplements as they are pharmaceutics, I was very pleased when we were approached by Focus Supplements to review their 5-HTP.

5-Hydroxytryptophan, to give it its full name, is produced from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia Simplicifolia. It works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin, which is why it is used to treat diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.

First impressions? Having received a tub of 180x 200mg capsules, I was immediately impressed at the potent dosage being offered. A lot of other 5-HTP, sold both online and in leading health food stores, is offered in 100 mg or even just 50 mg capsules. So my initial expectation was that this had to be a pricier supplement compared to the ones I had previously seen. Having purchased 5-HTP before, I was used to paying upwards of £15 for a pack of 60x 100mg tablets. But I was in for a surprise when browsing Focus Supplements’ (very nicely laid out) website: for the same price I could have three times as many capsules at twice the strength, in other words a full 6 months worth. Very impressive indeed, especially when first class delivery is also free. Hardly surprising then, that Focus Supplements went from its humble beginnings as a simple eBay store to selling internationally through they own website and Amazon within a few years.

So what about the effects of taking 5-HTP? I took these capsules daily together with St. John’s Wort, another natural antidepressant supplement, as many people have found that the two enhance each other’s effects. A word of warning though, as there is a small risk of a condition called serotonin syndrome which may result from combining the two, with symptoms including confusion and hallucination, so do be careful and seek medical advice when experiencing any adverse reactions! Thankfully, I did not experience any of these effects, but found a significant improvement to my quality of sleep, as well as my mood and general wellbeing.

Conclusion? This is a good quality, high strength supplement at a very, very reasonable price, which I would not hesitate to recommend if you are looking for a natural mood enhancer. We were sent the product free of charge in return for our review, but I can honestly say that I know where I will go when my six month supply runs out, and I suggest you do the same: focussupplements.co.uk

Mental health is just as important a physical health. It makes such a difference when people start to talk about it more openly to each other. My challenge for you this week is to start a converation with another about mental health, whatever the language!Let me know how you get on! Sarah x

Disclaimer:
We were given this product in exchange for a review. These are our own thoughts on the product.

New school shoes?

Back in Easter, we were asked to review a pair of wellies by Term Footwear. My eldest daughter loves them!

I was overjoyed to be contacted again a few weeks ago about reviewing a pair of school shoes. This time it was the turn of my youngest daughter.

We followed the link to the website and looked around. There were three designs available and eventually she choose a pair she liked in her size. The shoes arrived in the post quickly, only 2 days later.

As a mum, I was so happy they were so sturdy. She normally ruins shoes fairly quickly, what with running around, climbing trees, and playing football. These shoes are real leather, so are perfect in this heat, and they are easy to clean up and polish. Looking at the shoes, I’m sure she’ll grow out of them before she’ll manage to wear them out!

Her school is a 40 minute walk from home, so we get a lot of walking done, and I’ve heard no complaints at all about the shoes rubbing. We’ve only had them a week but we’re really putting them through their paces.

Anyway, enough from me, let’s hear what Emily thinks:

I like the design of the shoes. They are comfortable to wear at school.

So here she is heading to school in her shoes.

If you are looking for some sturdy shoes for your kids ready for September check out Term Footwear.

Disclaimer
We were offered these shoes in exchange for our own honest review. These are our own thoughts and opinions.

Use Bidvine to find a singing teacher

I was asked by Bidvine to have a look at their site, so here goes.

As one who sings regularly I realise I need to protect my voice. I’ve sung for a long time but had very limited professional training. I’ve been thinking about getting some singing lessons for a while, so this brought the perfect opportunity.

My first reaction was surprise at the range of services available on Bidvine,

They have:

Writing, translation and transcription

Business

Photography

Repair and technical support

Personal

Legal

I was gobsmacked by the range of services on offer: from Pokemon Go training to personal chefs, from bodyguard services to songwriting, from Cantonese translation to software development. Anyway, I was actually looking for singing lessons. I sing a lot, in classes, at home and professionally. I’m aware that I need to look after my voice, and I’ve been meaning to book some singing lessons for a very long time.

I went though to this page https://www.bidvine.com/singing-lessons
As I was looking for singing lessons, there was a form to fill out about my current musical skills, past training, styles of music I like to sing, etc. It seemed a really comprehensive list, so my teacher would be fully informed before the lesson and we could get going almost as soon as the first lesson started.

As soon as I had submitted my reply, there was an e mail in my inbox to acknowledge it all.

The process was really simple and straightforward I found it really easy to use.

Bidvine is perfect for people who do not have time to trawl through the Yellow Pages (retro) or the Internet to find what they need.

The website itself is very clean and nice looking. It is really simple to navigate your way around.

There is even an app if you want to search on the go…

I had no idea that Bidvine existed before. I’ll definitely be using it again.

Disclaimer.

This is a sponsored post. I received payment for this post but these are my own views.

Knight’s school and Chaucer -the Canterbury Tales Experience

We were so excited to be asked to review the Canterbury Tales Experience. It was a brilliant introduction to ‘Olde English’ culture.

We had only vaguely heard of Chaucer prior to our visit to Canterbury, so we took out a few books from the library to help familiarise ourselves with the story (Yes, I am uncultured!). The books which were most helpful were: Illustrated Canterbury Tales (Illustrated Story Collections) , Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales by Marcia Williams (4-Feb-2008) Paperback, and The Canterbury Tales in Modern VerseChaucer in Modern Verse. This meant we were familiar with the stories, and had talked about them with the kids, before we got there.
As we toured, we realised this preparation was not necessary as the stories were told really clearly, with lots of illustration from the set.

The multilingual audio guide told the stories as you reached each set. The guide was in English, Dutch, German, French, Japanese and Italian, as well as a less bawdy kids-English version. At the start, children​ were encouraged to choose a medieval costume to wear as we joined in the pilgrimage to Canterbury and listened to the stories along the way.

The guides begun the story in the Tabard Inn in London, where we joined the pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury. The experience lasted about forty minutes, with a combination of live interaction and audio guides. It was really cleverly done: our favourite of the five stories was the one where the lady showed off her bottom (The Miller’s Tale).
medieval clothing, swords and helmets, and, surprisingly, mead for an authentic medieval experience. We had to take a bottle of locally produced mead home, of course!

After we had visited, we went into the churchyard, which had been transformed into a Medieval Story Garden complete with Knight School, herb garden, storytelling tent and Maypole Dance tuition. We spent an hour there and the kids loved it. Emily liked the Knight School best. As a mum, it was great to see my 16, 9 and 8 year olds all training to be knights together, though they did need reminding a few times not to fight each other. The guide was brilliant at keeping it under control and safe, which with children and swords is no mean feat!

Our amazing guide taught us all about medieval medicine in the herb garden, and we played a brilliant ‘match the herb to the illness’ game. My girls liked it so much they played it three times.

My favourite part of the Story Garden experience was the maypole dancing. It took a lot of practise and co-ordination to get the final effect to work. There was a lot of hilarity as we got tangled up along the way, chatting to other families we had only just met.

My middle daughter loves books, so the story tent was just her thing; full of medieval stories – including one by JK Rowling, which we promised to buy a copy of for her later.

When I checked my watch, I was surprised to see that we had spent over an hour in the Story Garden – my youngest even restarted the Knight School with another family, as she enjoyed it so much.

The Canterbury Tales Experience was suitable for all our family, aged from 8 to 42

If we’ve convinced you to join in the fun, there are a few special events to add to the overall enjoyment.

Monday 1 May, 11am – 3pm
Medieval Story Garden: Mystical Beasts
An assortment of Mystical Beasts will descend on The Canterbury Tales’ Medieval Story Garden for May Day, with themed activities including a Mystical Beasts Hunt, Longbow talks with our costumed character and the opportunity to practice some beast-slaying skills at Knight School!

Saturday 27 May – Sunday 4 June, 11am – 3pm
Medieval Story Garden: Magical Patterns
The Canterbury Tales team will be exploring the magic of patterns this May half term with a variety of activities in the Medieval Story Garden. Have your hair beautifully braided, marvel at the magic patterns in kaleidoscopes, try your hand at maypole dancing and enjoy a demonstration of Astrolabes, ancient instruments for determining time and the position of stars, which Chaucer himself was fascinated with.

Saturday 22 July – Friday 1 September, 11am – 3pm
Medieval Story Garden: Summer
Venture to The Canterbury Tales church yard this summer for a selection of medieval activities, all included in the visitor attraction’s admission price. Split into four zones, the church yard will be transformed into a Medieval Story Garden, offering younger guests the chance to try Maypole Dancing, hone their dragon slaying skills at Knight School, observe Medieval Medicine demonstrations and be enthralled by a tale in the Storytelling tent from a costumed character.

Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 December
Artisan Christmas Gift Fair
FREE ENTRY
A special festive market with a medieval twist. Shoppers will be able to step back in time to the streets of 14th century England and browse gifts from a host of talented Kent artisans and crafters.

Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 December
Magical Medieval Christmas
Enjoy a magical medieval Christmas at the award-winning Canterbury Tales attraction. Serenaded by carol singers, guests will meet Santa’s elves, write a Christmas wish to post in the special mail box and visit Santa’s grotto where there will be a gift for every child.

Disclaimer

We were given free admission to the experience in exchange for a review. These are our own thoughts and opinions.

If you jump in muddy puddles…

We were so excited to be given the chance to review these Term Footwear wellies, and the Easter holidays were the perfect time to try them out. To find some muddy puddles. My daughter choose the purple ones as purple is her favourite colour. She was very impressed with them, and wanted her picture taken next to these beautiful purple flowers.

It has been a dry few weeks, so we had to venture into the woods to find some water. As you can see from the pictures, we had a lot of fun! Surprisingly, the boots were tough enough to handle tree climbing as they had a good solid grip. They were also flexible enough to wear for riding a scooter. These boots are perfect for young feet, providing protection and support from cold and wet conditions, being warm in the winter and dry in the spring.

Jasmin got very muddy whilst playing in muddy puddles, but the wellies were easily washed off and were as shiny as ever.

I asked Jasmin to say a few words about the wellies.

The wellies were very comfy and also really good because, if it was sunny, you could take out the lining sock so your feet didn’t get too hot.

I would recommend these wellies to my sister, Emily, as she likes she likes climbing trees and jumping in muddy puddles.”

If you would like to buy your own pair with a special Easter discount, use the code below.

Disclaimer
We received these wellies in exchange for a review. These are our own thoughts and opinions.

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