The Lego Batman DVD & Toys Launch Party

A little while ago we headed into London early on a Saturday morning for a very special event! My kids like a lie in at the weekend so if they say they’re up for getting up early, then it must be for something REALLY good!

The Oxo Tower on the South Bank was the exact location…. the weather was beautiful and no matter how many times we’ve hung out on the South Bank, we still love to just admire the views!

South Bank London

The launch party was with non other than Warner Bros. and Lego, to celebrate the release of the Lego Batman moDVD. We saw the Lego Batman Movie at the cinema and absolutely loved it, it’s absolutely brilliant. So this was very exciting! We also got a sneaky peak at the brand new Lego Batman toys to accompany the release!

There are big toys and figures, as well as amazing new costumes!

lego batman toys

The Lego Batman building sets are just stunning, as you would expect! Some were all laid out on a table and my twins were admiring them closely! Some of their favourites being…

The Two Face Double Demolition set…

lego batman movie toys

lego batman toys

The Batwing….

lego batman toys

lego batman

And the Ultimate Batmobile….

There was lots of fun to be had at the launch party. Games, dressing up and meeting some characters from the movie! Hook a duck proved fun AND productive…. my kids won lots of Lego goodies which meant of course they wanted to go back for more…..

hook a duck

Rubbing shoulders with Batman and Batgirl…..

And enjoying lots of yummy food, including ice cream!

We had a great morning, the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were very lucky to receive a goodie bag upon leaving which included some more Lego Batman sets AND the DVD! Awesome!

Thank you so much Warner Bros and Lego :)

Win a 3 Months Subscription to Smartick

Maths is one of those subjects that just doesn’t come easy to some kids. It can be challenging and can really knock a child’s confidence when they continually ‘don’t get it’. If we’re not careful, as parents and teachers, and help our children as much as we can, they could slip into that downward spiral of assuming they’re simply not good at maths and therefore not try. We need to encourage them to believe that they CAN do it, even if they have to practice that little bit more.

I recently read some research that found ALL children can succeed at Maths… but they all learn in different ways and these differences need tapping into. There’s far too much emphasis on speed and calculation, whereas some children have deeper thought processes which too much testing and a lack of that personal feel can make maths become lifeless and boring. But with a bit of creativity, children can be much more engaged.

That’s why we are loving the Smartick Method which we have been using at home for the past few months. Read my previous post about how my young 7 year old son was struggling and how I thought Smartick was helping. It’s a great resource for kids maths, unlike anything else out there, and I can honestly say it’s really boosted my son’s confidence in his abilities.

smartick method maths kids education

Here at Mummy Endeavours. I’m giving away a three month subscription to Smartick so you can try it at home with your child…. I absolutely know he/she will enjoy it and reap the rewards at school!

To enter, please fill in the Gleam widget below…..

Mummy Endeavours – Win 3 Months Subscription to Smartick

 

Best of luck.

Three questions to ask when buying a Family Car

choosing a new car top tips

A new set of wheels is a big deal, and when it comes to your family, you want to make sure you’re buying something safe, economical and long-lasting. Purchasing a car on your own is daunting, and women, in particular, are often targeted by unscrupulous dealers and salesmen looking to unload faulty or unsellable vehicles. When it’s time for a new vehicle, then these are just three simple questions you need to ask to make sure you get a car that’s right for you.

  1. How safe is it?

Safety is the number-one priority when it comes to purchasing a new car. The latest driver assistance technologies have the potential to save thousands of lives on our roads. Look for technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which uses sensors to identify road hazards and can slow and even stop vehicles before a collision; electronic stability control (ESC) which activates when a driver loses control of a car in an accident, and lane-keep assist, which warns drivers when they stray outside their lane. As well as new technologies, vehicles should also include curtain airbags, which will protect you and your children from a side-impact crash and reduce driver death by nearly 40 percent.

  1. How big is it?

Chances are, if you’re a busy parent with several children, then your car needs lots of space! Between taking little ones to sports, supermarket shopping, prams and trips away, a hatchback or sedan just isn’t going to cut it. As how big the boot space is if it isn’t listed, both with the back seats up and down. A ‘big’ boot with the backseat up is considered anything over 500 litres and should be plenty of space for a busy family. It also pays to look at whether you need a five-seater or seven-seater car. Numerous large SUV models have an optional two seats in the back seat, which is ideal if you sometimes carpool or drive children’s friends or relations around but don’t necessarily require a van for day-to-day use.

  1. How much fuel does it use?

A car may seem cheap up front, but turn out to be a huge expense with a large, inefficient engine. Ask the owner or salesman about its fuel rating. If they’re a commercial dealer and don’t know, then that’s a red flag and suggests they don’t know a huge amount about their own cars. You can also check a car’s fuel consumption online. Remember that petrol will be an ongoing expense, so if you’re tossing up between several models with similar safety features and size requirements, then choose the one with the lowest fuel consumption – this will save you the most money in the long run.

You don’t have to learn everything there is to know about cars to when it’s time to purchase your next family vehicle. If you’re concerned about getting a cost-effective, safe vehicle for your family, then it’s worth looking at online websites featuring cars for sale, such as Auto Trader, which will clearly display all the relevant information you need, allowing you to make an informed choice.

Collaborative Post

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!

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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!

Camp Bestival Ambassador 2017

camp bestival ambassador

I am so excited to be chosen as a Camp Bestival Ambassdor this year again!

Our time at Camp Bestival last year was the absolute highlight of our year and my children haven’t stopped talking about it since. That’s how you know you’ve created some of the best lifelong special memories for your children, when they go over their experience of it time and time again.

It’s fair to say we can’t wait to head back there this year and we are counting down the days.

The magical, amazing festival for families that is Camp Bestival at Lulworth Cove in Dorset, really does have something for everyone.. amazing live acts, brilliant music, comedy, crafts, sport, circus, funfair, bars, food and so much more! I defy anyone to not LOVE it as much as we did!

It’s the perfect place for novice campers too as all your neighbours on the camping site are families and everyone helps each other out. Everyone is super friendly and just so happy… enjoying these few days at the start of the Summer holidays  which really does kick the summer off perfectly!

camp bestival 2016

But you don’t have to take your own tent if you don’t want to! There are so many different options available to you if you don’t fancy pitching up yourself! There’s the pre-pitched site….. normal tents but are already pitched for you to step right into. There’s a variety of funky tents to hire like the Bells and Yurts, fromt he basic to the luxurious. There’s the wooden Pod’s and the Cloudhouses! The choice is extensive so they can be sure to have the perfect sleeping options for you. There’s even a pop up Hotel this year! So pop over (get it) to the Camp Bestival website where you can see for yourself the choices on offer!

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Being at a Festival with the kids is a wonderful feeling for them and for you. We stayed up late, donned the glitter, danced in a field at the main stage while listening to some amazing music! It’s a surreal experience to do this with kids but one that will stay with you forever!

The lineup this year includes acts such as Mark Ronson, T’Pau, Madness, Leftfield, All Saints, Anne Marie, Lightning Seeds and many more. That’s just the main stage. There are literally hundreds of other acts and attractions to see, in fact… you’ll be stumped for choice as to where you want to to be as you’ll certainly want to be in two places at the same time!

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Being with great friends was, for me, the best thing! Myself and my best blogging buddies, Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby and Katy from Modern Mummy, left the men at home, pitched our tents together and had a blast all weekend while our kids ran riot!

 

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There’s only two months to go till Camp Bestival so you’ve still got time to book those tickets! I cannot recommend it highly enough…. everyone that goes always goes back… this will be my friend Ruth’s fourth year and Katy’s fifth….. if that doesn’t tell you how awesome it is then I don’t know what will!

This will be our second year and we really can’t wait!

Hope to see you there ;)

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