A Fantastic London Day Out with AttractionTix

Living so close to London we visit frequently.

I love it!

I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of the whole City. No matter how many times I walk along the Thames or drive past the Houses of Parliament, or scurry along the little side streets in the West End…. it can still take my breath away. There’s something truly magical at every turn.

I’ve visited many of London’s attractions too but I don’t think I take time out to do this enough, so when AttractionTix got in touch recently to ask if we wanted a day out visiting some… of course we jumped at the chance!

They were offering an amazing day out for us by the South Bank. AttraxtionTix supply tickets for the best attractions, theme parks and tours all over the world and offer UK exclusive packages that you can’t get at the attractions themselves! They will also offer in-depth guides and essential information that will help you to perfect your holiday plans, with a choice in how you pay and how you’ll receive your tickets. They also have a UK call centre, which is always helpful!

First up, a visit to Sealife to check out the brand new Ocean Invaders Jellyfish experience! We were so excited about this. My younger three children have never been can you believe?

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

The Jellyfish area is a brand new part of the Sealife attraction and is visually stunning! It’s a little bit dark like being under the water I guess, and lit up beautifully with gorgeous colours, showing off the pretty Jellyfish.

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

There are different zones as you wander around the Jellyfish experience, which is the largest in the UK here at Sealife London. You can learn all about their life cycles and the different types… the good ones and the bad ones! Did you know they’re older than any of our ancient reptiles?

There’s also lots of interactive areas, as you would expect at Sealife.

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

My children loved this Jellyfish game played out on the giant screen! There’s lots of hands on buttons to play with and holes to poke their hands in… always a big hit with kids, and simply gorgeous tanks of these truly beautiful creatures bobbing around!

The ocean Invaders Jellyfish exhibition is fascinating and a wonderful treat for all the family.

Sealife has so much more to offer too…. even though you could spend hours gazing at the Jellyfish.. we loved the huge tanks with the sharks and giant turtles in…

sharks sealife

…as well as the colder, icy area where there are lots of cute penguins. This was a very popular area and very busy… lots of eager children with faces pressed up against the glass to watch the penguins waddling around or swimming in the water! There are many feeding times throughout the day at Sealife for a number of the creatures so be sure to catch those.

sealife london penguins

We could’ve stayed in Sealife all day. We arrived when it first opened as we were treated to a special Bloggers Breakfast, but I think this is probably the best time to arrive because it was quiet. It started to get very busy as the morning wore on.

After Sealife, we headed out to lunch before meeting back up for a River Cruise! We joined the London Eye River Cruises for a gorgeous, relaxing journey up and down the Thames, taking in the best views in town!

river cruise the thames

A River Cruise is really a great way to see the sights! Not only is it incredibly relaxing and fun, but also very informative. There’s a live, commentary along the way that’s interesting and at times, very funny! It’s also inexpensive from as little as £11 for an adult.

Last but not least, we headed to Shreks Adventure! This is something we’ve wanted to do for ages. Sadly no photo’s were allowed to be taken but I can assure you it’s very good fun!

I was a little apprehensive as it says the recommended age is 6yrs old as may not be suitable for younger or sensitive children. My twins’ are 7 but they are very sensitive so I wasn’t sure they would like it. They don’t really like the element of surprise and Shreks Adventure had this in abundance!

The tour itself takes you on a journey through Shreks world, with real life actors taking on some of the famous roles from the films. There’s a 4D wrap around cinema screen which looked amazing, my daughter said it was, but my twins didn’t want to go in that so they were taken round the back to watch the short film on a normal TV. Then the adventure jumped from room to room, with some of the eager children being chosen to carry out tasks, which they loved!

There are some dark rooms and jumps and bangs along the way, but my twins settled into it and by the end they were really enjoying themselves!

Now they know what to expect, I think we will have to visit again to get the most out of it!

At the end there were a series of zones dedicated to some of the other famous Dreamworks animations!

shreks adventure

We had such a fun filled day out… made even more great by the wonderful company we were in. The lovely Emily from Family Four Fun and Emma from The Joy of Five – both with their families, joined us for all the action! My feet were literally dropping off by the end and the kids were suitably shattered, falling asleep on the train home!

Booking a day like this through AttracitonTix is definitely the best way to do it because you have all your tickets before hand, which gives you piece of mind. No worries about being turned away because the attraction has sold out for the day! It also means you can combine any attractions you like to tailor your day to suit your personal tastes!

I love making memories like this for my children. It’s days like these that really stick in their minds forever, to look back on with a huge smile!

Disclaimer: We were given complimentary tickets to review the attractions here, but all opinions are honest and words my own.

Emirates Childrens Book Launch

We were recently invited to the Emirates Aviation Experience in Greenwich, to celebrate the launch of the their new book for children, Monkey on a Plane. The invitation also included a wander round the Emirates Experience and a trip on the cable cars so we were very excited about this!

Hosted by the book’s award-winning children’s author and illustrator duo, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, the morning promised to be a fun filled event with exciting activities.

emirates children book monkey on a plane

On arrival to the Emirates Aviation Experience we were treated to some continental breakfast before heading off to hear all about the book! Emirates has launched its first ever children’s book, Monkey on a Plane! which is available now for families to download and read from the Emirates Flight Time Stories website.

It was released on World Book Day as part of the Emirates Flight Time Stories programme, which encourages families to get creative and take inspiration from their holidays, and aims to get people excited about travelling during their story time.

We were lucky enough to have the book read to us by the author and illustrator, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre.

emirates storybook for children

The children were each given a copy of the book and they all followed along with the story with enthusiasm and interest. It was a big hit! Monkey on a Plane is a lovely tale about Enrico the Monkey, who is bored of living in the forest so packs a suitcase to board a plane and embark on adventures all over the world! The illustrations are beautifully bright, fun and colourful!

Philip and Sarah took inspiration for the book from a story written by Maddison Penney, aged four from Dorset, who last year won the opportunity for her idea to be created into a book.

As well as the reading, our children also took part in a fun drawing session, whereby Sarah did a master class with step by step instructions on how to create lead character from the book, Enrico the Monkey. Us parents joined in with this too which was brilliant fun!

Lots more drawing and colouring in happened and everyone got involved! The children received a fab goodie bag to take home with a cute travel cuddly toy companion, complete with blanket and a copy of the book, which was duly signed by the ever so lovely Philip and Sarah!

emirates flight time story

We were then free to explore the Emirates Aviation Experience which was a real treat. I didn’t actually know this was here, even though I’ve been on the amazing cable cars right next door to it! When I heard we would be coming to this event here and would be able to look around, I really didn’t know what to expect. A museum about planes? Well I thought my twin boys might like it but I wasn’t so sure about myself.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! It’s an amazing place! Wonderfully high tech and bright inside with interactive aviation displays and life-size aircraft models! It was full of hands on stuff for the kids to mess around with. It’s not very big but we spent rather a long time here…. the children loved it!

From sitting in seats to experience the feel of travelling in an Emirates Aeroplane…..

Emirates aviation experience

… and checking out the amazing video wall displaying an A380 aircraft turnaround and touch screen game! My boys spent literally ages at this part….

emirates aviation experience

…..To playing in this model cockpit. This was fabulous… who wouldn’t want to mess around in here? There were even captains hats to don too but I didn’t manage to get a photo with my boys wearing them!

There’s even a real life Flight Simulator here which can be booked in advance. It’s not suitable for children under the age of 9 but my older teenager would love it so we are going to come back with him next time!

After the event, we were able to visit the Emirates Air Line cable car, to enjoy new views of London with a trip over the Thames. We have done this before and it’s a great experience. Flying over the river, seeing the magnificent Millenium Dome and the Royal Dockyards…. it’s incredibly cheap at just over £3 a ticket and a real novelty thing to do!

Emirates cable cars

We had a great time visiting the Emirates attractions and hearing all about the lovely Monkey on Plane book.

The beautifully illustrated book is also designed to encourage young children to use their own imagination through creative writing and drawing tasks. This includes challenges and tasks for them to complete including dedicated space for them to draw their own monkey and write their own travel-inspired story.

To find out more about Emirates Flight Time Stories, please visit: https://www.emiratesflighttimestories.com/.

Maths Help Online with the Smartick Method

Recently I found out that one of my twins, H, did rather badly in a maths assessment at school.

He’s only 7 and the youngest in the class. Both of my twins struggle a little bit at school, not to the extent of needing additional help, and because of them being premature August born, it’s almost like it’s to be expected! Which isn’t really fair.

Their teacher (who I really like and who my twins really like too) read out everyone’s results of the test to the class, which meant EVERYONE knew H got the lowest score (9 out of 40)… bless his heart! No one was mean to him about it but a few kids said things like ‘It’s ok, you tried your best’ ….. which singled him out and made him very embarrassed!

He cried when he got home and said ‘I can’t do anything, I’m rubbish at everything!’

I was so annoyed with his teacher…. I don’t want him to feel bad about himself because of a stupid maths test at only 7 years old! I told him in no uncertain terms that he is NOT rubbish at anything and he is in fact the most wonderful human being on the planet…. But something like this could put him off maths and learning for life…. his confidence had really taken a knock so I made a promise with  myself to help him more at home.

smartick method maths kids education

A lovely friend put me in touch with Smartick… an online maths learning platform for kids, as they were looking for bloggers to review their program. I jumped at the opportunity as I really liked the sound of it and felt it was something we could realistically incorporate into our schedule without too much effort.

Smartick is designed in short daily sessions of 15 minutes of maximum concentration. Children need to login every day and do their maths. This helps create a study habit and routine, it avoids burnout and keeps children motivated and coming back for more. Smartick recommends that they do it at least 5 days a week to truly experience the benefits of the program.

We started Smartick during the Easter holidays with the free trial period of 15 days, that anyone can try at any time, and I put all three of my youngest children on it as the age range is from 4-14.

H was obviously the first to give it a go and the animated look of the website made it appealing straight away. We set up his profile and off he went. The first couple of sessions are assessment based, although they look exactly the same as any session, but the answers H gave and how long it took him to answer were giving Smartick an idea of where he was at. The questions weren’t too difficult, in fact some were ridiculously simple…. but this was intentional as going over the basics is the most important aspect of grasping maths. It was perfect for H. Other questions ranged from simple adding and number bonds, some games and then some problem solving questions. I sat with him and helped guide him through each question and it was great to see him get excited when he found the right answers.

smartick method maths program

There’s a temperature bar on the left hand side of the screen which shows gold stars, these add up the more questions you get right! This is a great incentive, my twins love seeing this bar go up when more stars added to their collection!

If the student gets a question wrong, a little pop up box will show them the right answer, and at the end they have the opportunity to do their corrections and obtain more stars! There’s also a fun area for them to go into after the session is finished. The is a little virtual world where they can create their own avatar and are able to spend their stars they’ve earned as money to buy things for their character, like pets and things for their house! It’s so cute, my children love this.

Because none of the questions in the sessions were too difficult and H was able to find most (not all) answers without help from me, he didn’t get fed up, bored or frustrated in any way…. which CAN happen to kids when they get the answers wrong regularly. I’ve also found that online games we’ve tried before where there’s a timer involved, makes both my twins upset if they can’t work out the answer quick enough. It makes them panicky and angry then they just want to stop. Which is absolutely pointless. With Smartick, although there IS a time limit to each question, it’s so long that this very rarely runs out. But it IS useful for times when kids are dawdling a bit!

Each screen is very simple in appearance and incredibly easy to navigate. We are using a laptop but you can use an App downloaded on tablets too.

The Study Program at Smartick is mapped in such a way that allows the student to progress naturally and fully adapt to the level of each student. There are video tutorials when new concepts are introduced and guided exercises when the program has detected that the student is taking too long to respond to certain questions. The exercises are generated on the spot and based on a number of variables that the algorithm behind the Smartick method measures. Among those variables will be effectiveness (if the child has responded correctly or not), the speed of the answers, performance history etc. The platform does not have preloaded exercises, but rather has its own “intelligence” that always seeks the highest level of competence of each student. Always backed up and monitored by a team of educators.

I find this incredible. The program is completely tailored to the unique way your child works!

My twins are not doing the same sessions each day but they quite often like to watch each other and see what the other is doing which is funny, and also means they’re kind of doing TWO sessions instead of one per day!

My daughter, aged 11, is doing ok at maths at school. She’s no mathematician but she doesn’t struggle. There’s always room for practice and improvement, so I was interested to see how she would get on with Smartick. Again, each session starts off with the basics. For her it’s timestables. This is an area that she does need practice on and doing the multiplication sums (which includes some very tricky ones) over and over has been drumming home the core necessities. I just think this is the best way to improve anyone’s maths! Then the session moves on to more challenging topics.

She is really enjoying the program.

H is thoroughly enjoying it too and I can already see him starting to understand concepts that he didn’t get a few weeks ago. For example he’s been working a lot on subtraction and now he knows exactly what to do when he gets questions like this….

smartick method maths

It’s also opened my eyes to how my twins minds are working.

I’ve learned that H doesn’t always read the questions properly and this was, obviously, affecting his results. I am working on this with him now as we go through the sessions. He was trying to reach an answer in the wrong steps but again… now that I know this, I can help. He also gets distracted easily, although I’ve noticed this already improving which is wonderful.

O likes to race ahead with his session. He actually WANTS to do it and asks me if he can do his daily session without me having to tell him! He also likes to get on with it on his own. He is more studious than H though, whereas H is a lot more laid back. O is eager to see his star tally rise so will work fast on his questions to fit more into the time frame! He doesn’t need me to sit with him unless there’s a new topic that he’s not sure about, then he will ask for help.

They both seem to enjoy their little log in area to their own program and the fact that it’s only 15 minutes makes it achievable. It honestly doesn’t even feel like it’s 15 minutes. The sessions fly by.

Parents get the results from their child’s session instantly delivered to their inbox. They can also access the tutor web anytime and check progress. There are detailed metrics on the performance of the student and lots of various tutorials that they can go over to reinforce learning. I like this area… you can even compare how your child is doing compared to the other children their age!

I’m so happy with the Smartick Method. I can honestly say I’ve seen H’s confidence in learning maths already starting to grow and I didn’t want to stop once the initial trial ran out, so we have signed up for another three months! The kids are loving it and I absolutely can’t wait to see what progress has been made at the end of these three months!

If the past two weeks are anything to go by, I’m sure H will be top of his class the next time he has an assessment! But seriously, all I want is for my children to enjoy maths and enjoy learning… and that is exactly what Smartick is giving them.

 If you want to give it a go, sign up now for your FREE 15 day trial and see how it goes.

Sip N Sound Straws

My children love straws, especially my daughter. She always wants one with her drink! Her favourite drink is tea though so some of the curly straws I’ve bought in the past I end up throwing away because if they’re not rinsed out immediately, I find they don’t clean easily and I worry about the bacteria!

These new Sip n Sound Straws by Flair are absolutely fantastic! Not only do they come with a cute farmyard animal attached that bursts into life, making animal noises as your drink passes through, but they are rather wide, which I love… meaning they are super easy to rinse and wash out!

sip n sound straws

We were recently sent four of the different animal straws to review at home… there was a pig, a sheep, a cow and a horse! My children were so excited to open them and try them out!

sip n sound straws

We made the drinks and they got stuck in! My 7 year old twin boys opted for juice and my daughter went for milk!

The cute little animal sound.. either a moo, a baa, an oink or a neigh comes out as they suck the drink up the straw! I mean… how fun is that? What child isn’t going to be impressed with this? There’s also a little button on the back of the animal which you can press to hear the animal sound, even when you’re not drinking, which is great because my kids just love listening to it randomly! The button also means you can switch off the sounds if they become annoying… which I have to say they don’t because they’re not THAT loud, which is a good thing!

sip n sound

The animals are made of a sturdy material, meaning they can be played with separately too and can be easily removed from the straws for thorough washing.

sip n sound straws

My children absolutely love the Sip n Sound Straws, as do their friends who have all used one whilst over at our house on a play date. I’m pretty sure they’ve gone home and asked for one immediately after their visit! They would make a fun addition to any children’s party too, where kids could create their own snack time tune!

Using the straws I think is a fantastic, sneaky way to encourage kids to drink more healthy drinks, which is so important… especially now we have the summer months approaching! Straws also have other health benefits for the mouth, including less tooth cavities and less stains!

The recommended age for the straws is 3+ but a child of any age would find these fun! My 11 yr old loves them and uses one every single time she has a drink now! Even my older teenager has had a go and passed them around to his friends.. and he’s 18! :)

Sip n Sound straws are priced at around £5.99 and are available at all the good toy retailers as well as other selected stores.

 

Boss Baby Movie Previews – Our Day from Two Perspectives

Ever since I read about new film The Boss Baby being released, from a press release I received at some point last year, I just knew it sounded and looked absolutely unmissable!

the boss baby review

We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview screening at London’s Westfield, with a visit to the fantastic Kidzania first!

Because the film explores view points from different perspectives, as in the adults v’s the children, I thought I’d write about our day from two perspectives… one from me and one from one of my twins..O.

So on the morning of the event.. having to get up early to make sure we were at the venue for 9am…

O is up nice an early encouraging me to hurry up “it’s The Boss Baby today and I’m so excited”! So he sit’s on the sofa and watches TV.

I, meanwhile am also up. But unlike O, I am running around like a headless chicken. Once I’ve jumped in the shower and tried to find something to wear, I shoot downstairs to ask the three kids what they’d like for breakfast. O’s twin, H wasn’t feeling great last night and we were all a bit worried as to whether he’d be ok to go out, but he seemed better this morning! We were all pleased. However, the three of them are staring at me blankly as I ask them the million dollor question…. what would they like for breakfast! Grrr…. “We’re in a hurry you know……”!

During breakfast the kids chat excitedly about the film, wondering what it will be like.

I am running around again choosing outfits for all three children. After breakfast I give said clothes to them and encourage them to get dressed as quickly as possible.

O take his clothes.

I continue to get ready and clear up after breakfast. I do my makeup etc then I go to check back on the kids.

O is sitting watching tv. In his Pyjamas!

I turn the TV off and remind him that if we don’t leave soon we will miss the film! This seems to spur him on.

Once at Westfield O is excited to be at Kidzania, although we have been before so he’s done a few of the activities there.

kidzania baby boss

He decides he doesn’t want to do anything and instead wants to eat some of the specially prepared breakfast treats that have been put out for us!

I take my daughter and her friend over to the Newsreaders part of Kidzania because she wants to do that.

kidzania london newsreading

I leave O eating with my friend and his twin. His twin H has informed me that he feels sick! Gosh.. ‘not now’ I’m thinking… beginning to go into panic mode!

O continues to happily stuff his face and manages to go up to the different food and drinks tables to get one of everything… bacon butty, pastries, cakes, apple juice, black current juice, oh yes and a little pot or two of fruit!

I have no time to eat anything at this point. My daughter finishes her news reading ‘job’ so we then head over to grab some last minute food ourselves, although now we’re getting called away  because it’s time for the film to start and we need to get over to the Vue cinema. H is hanging off me complaining of feeling sick which I’m now very worried about!

O skips happily through Westfield’s beautiful shopping centre to the cinema which is located inside Westfield itself. Not a care in the world!

Once in the cinema I encourage all the kids to go to the toilet. Past experience has told me this is a must. H needed a ‘wee’ right at the very end of a film once and when we got back into the auditorium, the credits were going up!

We pick some seats. I put H right on the end who keeps saying he’s ok to watch the film (he’s not going to let feeling sick get in the way!) but I’m very worried about him. I’m actually extremely stressed at this point. I give him a bottle of water to sip and hoped that the film would take his mind of it poor thing!

Meanwhile, this is O… he’s sat ready, 3D glasses on and just can’t wait for The Boss Baby to start!

I think you can see the pattern created throughout the morning…

As a Mum, I spent the entire morning flitting around like a manic woman in various stages of stress and O spent his morning completely relaxed, doing as he pleased, feeling excited and happily looking forward to the film! Two very different takes on the morning!

the boss baby movie reviews

Actually I think all the other children, apart from H spent the morning like O. All just with one thing on their minds…. the film! The girls here in the pic above eagerly awaiting for it to start… we took our seats straight away and it looks here as though the whole place was empty, it wasn’t. It was absolutely full by the time the film begun!

Kids just don’t care about anything do they? They’re usually just in their own little worlds while us Mum’s are in the background taking care of everything! But that’s as it should be. My children are very considerate of me but I wouldn’t want them to take on any of my stresses or worries. I want their childhood to be as happy and carefree as possible. There’ll be enough stress when they grow up and try to make their way in the big wide world!

So what is the film like?

Our verdict on The Baby Boss….

The movie starts off with only child Tim, narrating, telling us about his perfect happy life with his wonderfully attentive perfect parents! He has a delightfully overactive imagination and loves nothing more than inventing games to play! We then witness his whole world begin to fall apart when his parents have a new baby! Obviously highly exaggerated but absolutely hilarious to see the horror on Tim’s face and the carnage that immediately ensues when his little brother The Baby Boss (voiced by Alec Baldwin) arrives!

But this is no ordinary baby brother. This one can talk like an adult, carries a briefcase and wears a suit! This is a baby with an agenda…. he’s with Tim and his family to fulfil a mission, set by the Baby Corporation he comes from, to ensure that the baby species continues to be the most desirable thing in the world… as it’s being pushed aside by the arrival of something even cuter!

The Boss Baby (like all babies!) begins to take over the whole house, causing mayhem and taking ALL the attention. Tim tries to ‘expose’ him but without fail, until one day the two of them hook up to help each other out in a bid to make everyone happy again!

The boss baby movie

Created by Dreamworks Animation, the film offers the heart-filled message about the importance of family and is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy of all ages.

We loved the film. The children were all suitably captivated throughout. I mean, it must’ve been good, H didn’t complain once about his tummy ache during the whole film, and was even hopping and skipping on his way out of the cinema he enjoyed it so much! We laughed out loud and I must admit to shedding a tear towards the end, but then I’m an emotional wreck when it comes to anything even remotely soppy!

A big thumbs up from us and definitely one to take the children to during the Easter holidays! The film is so unlike anything we’ve seen before in terms of storyline, that I would say you simply cannot afford to miss out. A great movie for all the family!

The Boss Baby is out now across the UK.

Here’s the trailer…..

The Girl On The Train

I recently received a fab delivery containing a copy of newly released box office smash The Girl On The Train DVD… along with some of my favourite choccies and a box of popcorn!

Girl on the Train DVD film review

It was a coincidence being asked to review this movie because at the time of receiving the email, I’d just started reading the best selling book by Paula Hawkins, which I’d borrowed from a friend at work. I’d heard it was really good so it was something I’d wanted to read for ages. Then the film came out and I was like Nooooo, I have to read the book first!

Anyway, the book (a psychological thriller) was certainly a page turner and I did manage to finish it in super quick time so I could watch the DVD! I couldn’t wait to find out how the film compared to the book. I’d heard that some people thought the film was actually better, which is unusual as it’s normally the other way round!

So, in case you’ve neither read the book OR watched the film, it’s about a young woman (The Girl) Rachel (Emily Blunt in the film), who has lost her way after her divorce and lives in a bit of a fantasy world. She drinks too much and interferes somewhat with her ex husband Tom (Justin Theroux – pic below with Emily) and his new wife! She finds herself watching the world go by every day on her commute to work and sees the same people in the same houses along the railway lines. It’s some of these lives she unwittingly gets involved in when she sees something from the train one day. The story then takes you on a dark, mysterious journey as Rachel tries to uncover the truth.

The Girls on the train film review Barry Wetcher/Universal

So, my honest opinion having seen the film now, was that I think I watched it too close to reading the book, where every single detail was still etched in my mind. Films can’t cover every single detail so of course, bits are always missed out. If you haven’t read the book or at least not so recently, it would be a million times better!

I think it’s probably a difficult book to portray on the big screen because of the diary style writing and the jumping back and forth between lives and times but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

The book is set in London with the commuters travelling to Euston. This is the route I take to London as I live only 15 minutes away from Euston on the train, and although the other stations are fictional, I could really relate to the Victorian houses and views from the train. In the film, the commute is into New York and the houses are quite substantial so it didn’t quite capture me in the same way!

Emily Blunt is brilliant. I think she captures perfectly the desperate, pathetic character of Rachel. She’s a complex, mixed up character who hasn’t got a clue what she’s doing half the time because she’s always either drunk or hungover! But you find yourself willing her on in the hope that she can either do something right or sort herself out! Emily Blunt definitely carries the film as she is such a huge part of it.

The film definitely draws you in from the start and like the book (even though I knew the end, let’s pretend I didn’t!) you find yourself eager to know what’s going to happen next and where it’s going to take you. There are some great twists and turns in the story which is what makes it so good and the film didn’t lose any of the suspense. The cinematography was instrumental in keeping the tone of the film dark and rather grim at times. I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more from the character of Anna, as I don’t think her nastier traits came across too well and the ending seemed a little rushed but does keep you guessing right up until those final scenes!

I thought the film moved along at a very fast pace. It seemed to have finished as soon as it started, which is obviously a very good sign!

I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train and would highly recommend. I have lots of friends who have seen it and not one said they didn’t enjoy it.

I will certainly be watching it again… that’s if I get the chance because a couple of relatives and work colleagues have all asked if they could borrow my DVD first!

You can buy the DVD and Blu-ray now from all good retailers.

#LOLSurprise Launch Party

On Monday we headed into Westfield, London for the L.O.L Surprise Launch Party!

Popular young YouTuber Toys AndMe was there, who was going to do the big reveal and ‘unboxing’ of these these fun new collectibles.

LOL Surprise launch Westfield London

We then got to meet her afterwards inside The Entertainer toy shop which was lovely because all three of my younger kids have watched her You Tube channel!

The L.O.L Surprise Dolls are set to be massive!

You get seven layers of fun with every L.O.L. Surprise doll! Inside there is a secret message sticker, a collectible sticker sheet, a water bottle charm, a pair of shoes, an outfit, an accessory and a L.O.L. Surprise!
The event was open to the public and caused quite a big stir. Hoards of children queued up to get their hands on the toys, which I can’t blame them for… they DO look so enticing with their ball shape and gorgeous colour!

Inside The Entertainer, the kids all sat down unwrapping the L.O.L Surprise Dolls, eager to see which combination of goodies they had inside!

LolSurprise dolls

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The L.O.L. Surprise doll itself is the best layer of the surprise! Dress her in all of the accessories you’ve revealed. Each character is completely different and there are over 45 dolls to collect in Series 1!

We were at the event some of our blogger friends including Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby, Katy from Modern Mummy, Emma from Joy of Five and Karen from N4 Mummy, which made the day even more fun! We all plotted up in the food courts of Westfields and plonked all the kids together on this long table, where they proceeded to unwrap their many L.O.L Surprise Dolls! So exciting are these… uncovering all the little secret hiding places for the bit and bobs inside that they appealed to the boys in the group just as much as the girls!
LOLSurprise Dolls Westfield Bloggers
Even though my daughter is a bit older (she’s 11), and not particularly into dolls anymore (sob!), she LOVED these little collectibles! She has since messed around with them quite a lot at home which is wonderful!
We had a great time at the event and finding out about the L.O.L Surprises. They retail at around £8 which I think is reasonable, considering you’d pay almost £5 for a small packet of trading cards! You get a lot more for you money with these and a lot more play factor too!
You can pick them up at most good toy retailers.

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