Archives for June 2017

Timeless Toy Story with Thinkway Toys

toy story

The Toy Story films are so dearly loved in our household. Not only do the children love them, but they’re films that I, as an adult, could happily sit and watch over and over again!

I remember when we went to see Toy Story 3 at the cinema….  I had the twins but they were babies at the time, so we took my Teen, who would’ve been 11 and my Girl who was 5. Can you believe that was way back in 2010 when it was released? It doesn’t seem that long ago at all…. but I literally cried my eyes out at the end. That part when the toys all hold hands in the furnace, accepting their fate, then right at the end when Andy takes the toys to the little girl’s house and drives off…. all grown up and going to college! It really got me!

That scene has even more meaning to me now, with Teen being 18 and all grown up himself. I can’t watch it without becoming incredibly emotional.

Teen has grown up with Toy Story you see. The first one was released in 1995, to critical acclaim. I remember the hype as it was the first feature length computer animated film ever made. At the time I didn’t have children but a few years later my friend lent me the video (ha remember them?!) to watch with Teen when he was a toddler and I was just blown away by it…. everything about it was utterly brilliant. The fantastic storyline, the life like, amazing animation and the fantastically witty script.

My little baby boy was immediately hooked!

My Girl loves all 3 of the Toy Story films too, as do my twins now, and we’ve watched the original, plus the subsequent ones, repeatedly. We never, EVER tire of them…. each one as good as the last… they really are timeless!

This week, we were sent a very special parcel from B&M Stores who have collaborated with Thinkway Toys, producers of some of the best Disney toys, as they thought it would be lovely to send us some goodies to enjoy a family movie night together, watching the original Toy Story movie!

Our parcel included two of Thinkway Toys’ best loved Characters…. Buzz Lightyear and Woody… my Twins were overjoyed!

woody and buzz lightyear toys from thinkwat toys

Thinkway Toys is a Canadian-based company responsible for creating, producing and distributing creative and innovative high quality toys. They’ve produced toys for companies including Disney, Pixar, Universal and Warner Brothers since the early nineties. Licensed properties include the Toy Story films, WALL-E, Monsters, Inc., A Bug’s Life, The Incredibles, Cars 2, Despicable Me 2, Minions, Wreck-it Ralph, Planes, Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Dark Knight, and the Star Wars saga.

Our parcel also included the Toy Story DVD, a lovely cosy blanket and a brilliant ‘movie night’ snack box!

B and M stores movie night

I’m not sure we’ve ever owned the original Toy Story film on DVD so it was great to receive this! The kids couldn’t wait to watch it. All my children, including Teen, headed up to my bedroom to watch and the twins snuggled up under the lovely, soft blanket which costs only £9.99 at B&M Stores… such a bargain!

cosy blanket toy story

We grabbed the Butterkist Movie Night snackbox which included 2 bags of popcorn and a fantastic selection of sweeties and they all fought over who had what, in a nice way of course! But there’s loads to choose from so they were all happy with what they got. I think this is a great idea for a product and the children got really excited by it!

It was great watching the Toy Story film… it really is such a classic. We know all the words and it’s such a nice easy watch! I can’t imagine there being anyone in existence that hasn’t seen the original at some point… but if you haven’t, you really must!

Thinkway Toys produce some amazing toys….. I actually have to admit to having the original Buzz Lightyear and Woody that belonged to Teen when he was a little boy. We also have Jesse, who joined the cast in Toy Story 2… she belongs to my daughter!

IMG_1089

They are brilliantly robust toys and certainly built to last but as you can imagine, they are a little old now (we must’ve had them around 15 years) so having these brand spanking new Buzz and Woody’s arrive has been wonderful!

We haven’t sat down and watched a film all together for a long time so a huge thank you to B&M Stores for putting together this lovely, thoughtful parcel for us. It’s important to make time as a family and having the little treats to go with watching a film makes it feel like a proper event!

There is a brand new Toy Story movie in production… Toy Story 4…. which will be released in the summer of 2019! How ridiculously exciting? Can’t wait. So this parcel really is getting us in the mood already for that…. I’m sure come 2019 there will be huge Toy Story mania across the globe as everyone rushes out to see the next instalment!

It’s a long way off yet but…. in the meantime… I’m hosting a Twitter Party, along with a few other Bloggers, next Tuesday, 27th June 1-2pm… where we will be talking about all things Toys! We would love you to join in with us if you can… using the hashtag #imathinkingtoy and there will be B&M vouchers up for grabs too.. so keep your eyes out for that!

ToyStoryMPU

Collaborative post

Starting my Anti-Ageing Skincare Journey

I’m always on the lookout for new lotions and potions to help make my skin look more youthful. But are there any moisturisers out there that actually perform miracles?

No.

So at the moment I’m using my basic skincare favourites… usually swapping around with products that I’ll buy in Superdrug or Boots, but keeping to similar price points. I’m not splurging too much because I’m just skeptical that the high end, mega expensive products will pretty much do the same job as my cheaper brands.

I’ve researched this topic loads, I’ve exhausted all angles to be honest, and there’s nothing that points me to a particular brand or product that is going to give me the supersonic results I crave. Yes, some products receive better reviews than others but am I prepared to pay over £50 for a moisturiser (I looked at one yesterday for £80!) that hasn’t really got any additional ingredients in than something I can purchase for £25… or less even! Yes they may have certain ingredients that feel lovely on your skin and if that’s what you’re after, then by all means, splash the cash! But I want ingredients that are proven to make a difference! Plus, all the websites, blogs, magazines I read have differing views on what’s considered to be the ‘best’ product!

The most important thing I’ve learned is that it’s all about personal preference. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Also, we all have different problem areas we want to target on our skin, so one product won’t fit all!

For me, it’s sagging skin (lovely) and wrinkles. I’m in my early forties and my skin has been relatively good so far, but I want to start buying products now that are going to seriously target those two areas.

That means I need some of the important ingredients in my products like Peptides and AHA’s, which boost collagen (the main substance that keeps the elasticity in the skin), Hyaluronic Acid for moisurisation, Vitamins and Antioxidents and, for morning moisturisers, an SPF. I do already look for these and try and ensure my creams have at least some of these in.

The really big gun though that some beauty experts rave about is Retinoid.

Retinoid is derived from Retin-A… a chemical that’s used in creams to treat acne and other skin disorders. Retin-A is so potent that it can only be acquired from a doctor, on prescription. It’s use in mainstream products hasn’t been allowed so far, due to certain side effects like skin peeling and sensitivity to sunlight. But Retinol is a very watered down alternative and is becoming a popular ingredient in moisurisers. It’s supposed to be the best way to boost collagen. The difference between this ingredient and others, is that it has been proven to be able to penetrate the skin deeper, rather than just the surface.

While Retinol isn’t powerful enough to give dramatic results, for me I think it’s worth giving it a try in this diluted form to see how it goes. It does need to be used with caution and won’t be suitable for everyone but I’d like to climatise my skin to it with the intention of increasing the strength later on.

With that in mind, I’ve purchased this night cream….

retinol cream

I spent quite some time in Boots recently, checking out products with Retinol in and found this one.. the Super Facialist Retinol+ Night Cream. It’s a brand I’ve never heard of before… not sure whether that’s a good or a bad thing…. but I compared a couple of similar products and this one seemed to get straight to the point and with it having the cheaper price tag (£13), I was swayed!

The main active ingredient is the Retinol. It doesn’t say how much is in there, probably not much, but that’s fine. It says to use every third night initially then if your skin doesn’t have an adverse reaction, you can build up to using every night. I must stress that Retinol does make the skin sensitive to sunlight so it’s very important that you use a daytime moisturiser with a high SPF, or a separate sunscreen altogether.

I’ve only used this a couple of times so far and my skin seems to be ok with it at the moment.

There are more anti-ageing products I’ve got my eye on and want to try, but I don’t want to introduce them all at once. I will try one new one at a time so that if my skin flares up, I will know what’s caused it. I don’t normally use an eye cream so this is definitely the next thing I want to buy, along with some skin soothing oils that seem to be a new trend right now.

I would also like to try some of the Philosophy at home treatments like this one….

philosphy microdelivery peel

I’m getting serious about my skin now, as it’s only going to get worse if I don’t take action and I’m curious to find out if I can make a real difference just by having a really good skincare regime. As well as eating healthily and drinking lots of water obviously!

I’ll update in a couple of weeks!

The Wind in the Willows at The Palladium

As you all know, we love the theatre and I’ve just received an exciting invitation to see the brand new, much anticipated, West End musical, The Wind in the Willows, which opens on 29th June! I’m so excited!

I’ve been hearing about the show for over a year and thought it definitely sounded like a must see so I can’t wait to see it on opening night and tell you all about it!

There’s some well known faces taking on the main roles…

the wind in the willows london palladium theatre

the wind in the willows london palladium theatre

the wind in the willows london palladium theatre

the wind in the willows london palladium theatre

Produced by Jamie Hendry and based on Kenneth Grahame’s treasured novel which has captivated generations of readers for over a century, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS has been adapted for the stage by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. This riotous comedy follows the impulsive Mr Toad whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious trouble. With his beloved home under threat from the notorious Chief Weasel and his gang of sinister Wild Wooders, Toad must attempt a daring escape leading to a series of misadventures and a heroic battle to recapture Toad Hall.

Featuring eye-poppingly beautiful design, exuberant choreography and a gloriously British score, The Wind in the Willows brings an explosion of anarchy, humour and heart to the famous London Palladium!

the wind in the willows london palladium

the wind in the willows london palladium

I remember The Wind in the Willows as a child and I just know it will be great as a lavish West End musical… I’m taking my daughter with me to see it and we both can’t wait!

First Preview: Friday 16 June 2017.
Opening Performance: Thursday 29 June 2017.
Booking Until: Saturday 9 September 2017
Performance schedule: Monday at 7pm Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm Tuesday & Saturday at 2:30pm
Tickets from: £15 *NO BOOKING FEES*
Kids Go Free: Subject to availability.

Visit The Wind in the Willows website to find out more and book tickets!

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