#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

DSC_1062[1]

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.

The Lego Batman Movie UK Premiere

Lego Batman Movie Premiere

Last weekend we were invited to the amazing Imax cinema Leicester Square, London, to see the highly anticipated new Lego Batman Movie!

My twin boys were beyond excited at the prospect….. I mean really, what child (especially boys) isn’t going to get hysterical about a film that combines the cooler than cool Batman, but also their favourite toy, Lego?! Yes, this film was destined to appeal to every single kid (and big kid) in the whole entire world!

We arrived in Leicester Square at the Imax and there was a little press area outside for photo’s which we made use of ;) this led inside where there was fun in the foyer! There were snacks and drinks (the coffee went down very well on this Sunday morning!) and entertainers on hand in the shape of face painters, illustrators and circus skills artists!

IMG_9765

IMG_9762

After having a mooch round we headed to our allocated screening room to grab some seats! The Imax is a great cinema with those magnificent screens and luxury seating with plenty of leg room. It’s such a treat coming here!

lego batman movie premiere

We couldn’t wait for the film to start!

legobatman movie

lego batman movie review

Right from the start, the very first scenes brought action and suspense, with Batman being everyone’s dream Superhero…. oozing charisma, immense bravery, confidence and almighty wit to save the day! So much craziness and fun is piled into the first few minutes! I glanced sideways at my twins who were literally on the edge of their seats almost shaking with excitement!

We are introduced to Batman’s arch nemesis, The Joker, early on and it’s their relationship that provides the backbone of the storyline!

the joker lego batman movie mummy endeavours

The film pokes fun at the whole Superhero thing! The main characters, Batman and The Joker in particular are massively over characterised and send themselves up throughout the film, which is hilarious!

Batman is voiced by Will Arnettt. It’s an extreme, gravelly growl, similar to Christian Bales’ but deeper! This amused me so much but it’s absolutely perfect! We learn that, although he’s an utterly amazing superhero and great at keeping Gotham City out of the hands of the bad guys, Batman is a little complacent and still a loner. He’s completely self absorbed and has no time for anyone else in his life… apart from of course, his guardian and butler, Albert! This aspect makes for a funny scene when, despite his immense wealth and supersonic Bat Cave (the vast array on Batvehicles kept here is mind boggling…. another feast for the eyes of little AND big kids!), Batman still sits eating a microwave dinner for one and laughs at soppy movies!

That’s all set to change though as he reluctantly, and in some cases, unwittingly, allows people into his life, who in turn help him in his bid to save Gotham City from the clutches of the conniving Joker once again!

I admit to being blown away by the sheer scale of this film and the attention to detail animation wise. The whole world is made out of Lego and not in any place did we forget, Every single tiny ‘brick’ had a use… this fascinated me. The huge wide angled sweeping camera scenes were just visually breath taking. There was so much content in this film, from the detail in the backdrops to the incredible dialogue.

The dialogue was what made this film stand out!

I’ve said this about a number of kids films before, when there’s been added content placed in a kids film purely for the adults that take the kids to watch. But the script for this Lego Batman movie was on a whole new out of this world level! It was pure genius. The jokes and references came thick and fast, with much of it going over kids’ heads of course… but they were more than satisfied with the action and fun bits… the adults in the audience with us at this press showing were all equally as appreciative of the humour, laughing out loud and enjoying every second!

I love the fact that Batgirl is in this movie too…. something for the little girls out there! She really proves to be a great character and role model too!

We all loved this film. My twins said their favourite bit was when Batman sang a song, which I have to admit was very funny! I haven’t seen them this excited about a film upon leaving the cinema for a long time. They could NOT stop talking about it and have asked if we can see it over and over again!

All three of my children said they thought it was much better than the first Lego movie, and they enjoyed that so this MUST be good!

It’s a fantastic film, funny, intelligent and very clever.  Definitely not to be missed. Highly recommend. 10/10.

The Lego Batman Movie is released throughout the UK on 10th February!

Here’s a little taster…..

Stick Man at the Theatre

This afternoon we headed into London to see a live show of one of the kids’ favourite stories – Stick Man.

stick man live

I think if you have children, the likelihood of you having read this book to them at some point is probably very high. It’s one of those brilliantly written stories that as a parent, you don’t mind reading over and over again.

Penned by the amazing Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo), The Stick Man is a lovely story about, you guessed it… a Stick! Stick Man lives in the family tree with his wife… his ‘Lady Love’ and their ‘Stick Children 3′. One day Stick Man goes out for a run but his day goes from bad to worse when he finds himself in all manner of silly yet dangerous situations and becomes lost! He’s chased by a dog, grabbed by an excitable little girl and thrown around, used as a flag and a nest before ending up in someone’s fire! Will he escape in time and manage to get back to his Lady Love and the family tree?

stick man leicester square

On arriving at the theatre we literally couldn’t wait to get inside! We’ve seen a number of productions at the Leicester Square Theatre, which is tucked away, almost hidden, down a little side road, and it’s a lovely, intimate auditorium. No matter where you sit, you never feel too far from the stage! It’s perfect for children.

There was an abundance of booster seats for little ones, the stage setting looked intriguing and the auditorium was full.

stick man theatre

I had wondered how Scamp Theatre were going to bring the brilliant Stick Man and all the characters to life. It’s a relatively short book with only a few sentences on each page so I was intrigued to find out how this would transfer to an hour long show! Would it be anywhere near as good as the book?

Well let me tell you… it was everything we could’ve hoped for and more.

An incredibly clever, artistic production and superb lively performances by just THREE actors, who took on all the characters from the story. Two men and one woman. They were all dressed in normal clothes but added subtle props and used their incredible acting talents to bring the whole thing to life and completely draw you in from the start. One of the actors used instruments too to help tell the story. The actor who played Stick Man held a prop that looked like Stick Man, but used his own self to act out the role! It really WORKED!

stickman_0145_photo-by-steve-ullathorne

I have to say that the longer the show went on, the more brilliant it got. It kept to the books’ storyline completely and used all the wonderful poetry throughout. The songs were simple but ever so catchy. The actors were animated and hilarious.

What made the show even more special was the inclusion of the audience! From the dog chasing Stick Man… both actors crawling through the isles of the auditorium. The ‘Dog’ even came down our row of seats, stopping at various children to give them a little squeeze… all three of mine were delighted by this! To the big beach ball that we were encouraged to catch and throw around the audience to each other! Again, the kids (and big kids!) loved this and it brought a real sense of fun and togetherness for us all. The energy it created was fantastic!

Such a big, warm, happy, fun part of the show! Love, love LOVED it!

Another scene which my twins enjoyed was with the Swan… where Stick Man is taken to be used as part of her nest! The swan was just a simple puppet on the arm of one of the actors but it’s cheeky character tickled my twins so much! They laughed their heads off and it was an absolute joy for me to witness!

stick man live theatre

‘The Stick Man is Cold’ song was a favourite of mine!

But what I loved most was that the kids in the audience were all having the most amazing time. They were calling out (a little) and joining in. They were leaning forward out of their seats trying to be as involved as possible! One little boy a few seats down from us was calling ‘Stick Man’ really loudly at one point, shouting ‘Can you hear me?’ – We were in hysterics at this and during any other show it probably would’ve been frowned upon. Not here! The actors included it in the story!

The stage lighting and twinkling lights in the set behind the actors created a very magical scene for Santa’s sleigh ride towards the end of the show. The Christmassy feel makes this a perfect show to see at this time of year, and actually, Scamp Theatre productions have been performing Stick Man in the Leicester Square theatre for a number of years now. It’s incredibly popular and I can see why!

I cannot recommend this show highly enough. It blew me away how utterly creative and fun it was. We were all completely bowled over. My children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and said they loved it just as much as the book (and a bit more!)

If you have the chance you simply MUST go and see it. It’s on now until 8th January and you can book tickets here. If you don’t get around to watching it this year, be sure to check back next year and book your tickets nice and early as it usually opens in November!

Disclaimer: We were given complimentary tickets for the show in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions my own. 

Ballerina – Review and Giveaway

ballerina movie review

A while ago we went to a special screening of new animated movie Ballerina!

To be honest, I hadn’t heard of it before the invite arrived. There hasn’t been much hype surrounding it and even now with the movie due to be released nationwide in a few weeks time, there still isn’t much in the way of a big media push. Maybe it will start soon.

But in the mean time, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that the film is BRILLIANT!

I took my daughter along as she loves ballet, as do I, so I knew the pair of us would probably love it!

It’s a heartwarming story about a young, poor French girl called Felicie who lives in an orphanage. She dreams of becoming a ballerina and devises a plan to escape with her good friend from the orphanage, Victor! They head to Paris where Felicie tries to find the world famous ballet school that she has always wanted to go, and Victor tries his hand at being an inventor… something HE has always dreamed of!

Cue lots of obstacles in her way and the realisation that achieving her dream won’t be as straightforward as she thought, Felicie must strive as hard as she can to win a place at the ballet school.

Ballerina film review

ballerina film review

ballerina

ballerina

Lots of colourful characters throughout, some kind, some downright nasty, which gives the movie lots of light and shade. I liked the underlining message that it sends children that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams. It shows that through sheer determination and a strong belief in yourself, even when it looks as though there is no hope…. things will start to go your way.

The animation is beautiful. I loved the Paris scenery set in 1879! There were laugh out loud moments and I think I actually shed a little tear too in one scene!

My daughter absolutely loved this film! We would thoroughly recommend, especially if you have a budding little ballerina in your house. Little girls are going to go crazy over it! But it’s a great film for all the family too!

Ballerina is out on 19th December so do try and make it. Have a little watch of the trailer here….

If you want to win some of this gorgeous merchandise that accompanies the film…

ballerina competition merchandise

Enter my competition using the Gleam widget below which gives your more ways to win!

Mummy Endeavours Win Ballerina Merchandise

AEG T88595IS Heat Pump Tumble Dryer Review

AEG HEAT PUMP DRYER T88595IS

I have to admit to being a bit late to the party where tumble dryers are concerned.

I’ve actually only had one for the last couple of years and even now, my current one (the only one I’ve ever owned) was a hand-me-down from a friend who bought a new one. She would continually remind me how essential a tumble dryer was and couldn’t understand why I never had the desire to purchase one!

Now that I have one of course, I can kind of see what she means. It’s peace of mind knowing that if I do have to wash clothes at the last minute…. having a teenager ensures this happens rather more frequently than it should…. I can get them dry!

I also love the fact that some clothes don’t need ironing if they’ve been in the dryer. This was an amazing revelation! And of course, items like towels came out all soft and fluffy!

But I still don’t feel as if I use it as much as other people do… I’m a bit like an older person with technology…. I haven’t quite got my head around the whole thing yet. I still like to peg my washing out on the line and only really use the dyer to ‘finish it off’ or when it’s absolutely necessary!

My lack of interest could be due to the fact that my current tumble dryer is literally ANCIENT and it only has two settings… hot and hotter! I’ve no idea how long to put clothes in for, it’s all guesswork. Suffice to say I’ve left items in for too long and ended up shrinking them. Not good!

I would also never take my washing out of the washing machine and put it straight into the dryer. I’m too worried that I would ruin the clothes (from experience) and I’ve always been concerned about the energy thing. It takes absolutely ages to dry straight from the wash!

Bearing all this in mind, you can imagine my sheer joy at being picked to review a brand new, AEG T88595IS Heat Pump Tumble Dryer worth a whopping £849! This is obviously a high end machine so I was really hoping that it would convert me into a regular dryer user. That I would finally see what all the fuss is about and I could incorporate the dryer fully into my daily laundry routine, creating a more efficient process to get through my constant mountain of washing!

AEG HEAT PUMP DRYER T88595IS

When the machine arrived I was a bit too ridiculously excited than I should really admit to! My OH installed it into the utility room.

There is literally SO MUCH functionality on this new machine… it’s like a supersonic spacecraft compared with my old one!

Here’s a list of features…

  • 9kg Heat pump condenser dryer
  • Delay start option
  • Time controlled drying
  • LogiControl touch LCD
  • ProTex soft drum
  • Sensor dryer saving upto 50% in energy used
  • Extra long anti-crease option
  • Cotton programmes
  • Synthetics programmes
  • Wool care programme
  • Easy iron programme
  • Bed linen programme
  • ProSteam technology
  • OptiSense saves time and energy, and prevents over-drying
  • A++ energy efficiency class

The first thing I noticed about the AEG T88595IS Heat Pump Tumble Dryer was the huge door and drum! I could put a whole load in this one to dry at once if I wanted, reducing the amount of cycles needed, thus saving energy. It even has a bright light inside, so you’re not digging away trying to locate a particular item by just touch alone!

AEG HEAT PUMP DRYER T88595IS

I also love the LED display… lots of information clearly showing exactly what’s happening.

AEG HEAT PUMP DRYER T88595IS

The other features that caught my attention were OptiSense, which adjusts the energy and cycle according to the load and prevents over-drying… this should ensure I won’t shrink clothes ever again (fingers crossed!). The ProSteam function… which makes use of steam technology to refresh and de-wrinkle all your clothes, even delicates and dry-clean-only garments.. how cool is that? You can now put DRY clothes into the dryer to simply freshen them up and decrease! Ditch that Iron! And the A++ energy efficiency class.. this will please my Other Half who liked to have a moan when my old dryer had been on for any length of time!

I have used my new tumble dryer a number of times now and I am loving it. I can even say that I trust it to look after my family’s clothes enough to put washing straight in from my washing machine! Being able to do this means that I’m clearing my washing baskets so much faster than before.

The price tag is relatively high but the amount of money that will be saved on energy bills is going to be significant. I have often whacked the heating on just to dry clothes in the past so to think I can dry quite a few loads of washing in my new dryer now in a fraction of the time is wonderful! The state of the art Heat Pump technology is the most efficient way on the market to dry clothes.

It really dries in super fast time. No more than half an hour for heavy items like tracksuits… my old dryer would’ve taken at least double that time. It’s quite unbelievable!

The dials are simple to use, everything is easy to read and obvious. It has a time delay feature so you can make use of the lower energy rates during the night and it’s just so super efficient.

This tumble dryer is absolutely perfect for any family’s needs. I know it’s going to make a big difference in my household.

I’m over the moon with it.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.
www.mumsnet.com/bloggers-network
I was picked by MNHQ to review this product/ service, which I received for free. This review is in my own words and reflects my true opinion.

Fun at The Marvel Universe Live show

Marvel Universe Live Cast

The Marvel Universe Live show soared into the UK in spectacular fashion and blew the socks off the venue in which it was shown!

Kicking off in Nottingham for it’s official launch, the crowds loved it! Next stop was London and the O2, which is where we caught it!

Press night was a Friday so it was a mad rush after school to get to the O2! It was the day after the massive thunder storms that hit the South East and there was severe disruption on the trains! We managed to get there though.. just in time!

We grabbed our seats as the O2 started to fill up… three very excited kids, glow necklace in place, ready for the action!

The lights went down and then the show started! It was incredibly loud from the outset, with Thor booming onto the stage in a cloud of smoke!

I loved the fact that there was a proper story line to follow and the show wasn’t just made up of appearances from the Superheroes and stunts! An original comic strip adventure, there is a battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Universe. The Cosmic Cube has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Marvel’s Super Heroes must band together and trek across the globe to retrieve the fractals and unite them.

What struck me initially were the out of this world special effects! The big screens at one end took us all on a flight through the windows of some kind of superhero jet plane! They also provided a backdrop for many amazing scenes!

marvel universe live

marvel universe live

marvel universe live

The show was utterly thrilling to watch! It was stunt after stunt in varying forms…. there were actual cars bombing about the arena, fantastic motorcycle scenes and explosions with real fire!

marvel universe live

marvel universe live

marvel universe live

What struck me initially were the special effects! The big screens at one end took us all on a flight through the windows of some kind of superhero jet plane! They also provided a backdrop for many amazing scenes!

It was exciting meeting the various characters as the story unfolded. We had to keep our eyes peeled as the Superheroes appeared from all directions… even from way up high! But that’s to be expected I guess from the likes of Spiderman!

marvel universe live

marvel universe live

marvel universe live

marvel universe live

It was like being in the middle of an epic superhero movie from start to finish! It was spectacular, I think that’s the only way to describe it!

My boys couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing.

marvel universe live

Once they relaxed (and got over the enormous BANG at the start which startled them!) my boys loved it. I could see they were following everything that was going on and enjoyed pointing at the superheroes they recognised as they came out… this got them very excited! I think you can guess who H’s favourite is!

marvel universe live

We didn’t want the show to end even though we were all very tired at the evening performance! The boys were buzzing afterwards! I’m so glad we went to see it. It’s definitely one not to be missed for any fans of the Marvel comics, films and characters. A great family show!

After the O2 the tour has taken a break but will return to the UK in December in Birmingham, before continuing into 2017 with dates in Belfast, Manchester, Sheffield and Glasgow!

You can see dates and book your Marvel Universe Live tickets here.

 

The trailer

The Railway Children – A Review

When I received the invitation to see The Railway Children at The Kings Cross Theatre, I was absolutely thrilled. It has been on my must see list since it opened for this current run almost two years ago!

I remember my lovely friend Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby went to the opening night and I was very jealous! I vowed I would simply HAVE to go see it as it sounded and looked so magical!

I almost went to see it once before but didn’t fully organise it. Now I think that was fate.

Fate, because this time, one of our favourite, much loved childrens’ entertainers, Justin Fletcher had taken over as Mr Perks and we were invited to not only see the show, but to meet Justin later for tea, cakes and chat!

the railway children kings cross theatre

My children have all grown up watching Justin in various CBeebies programmes. He’s not just for the very young as one of my work colleagues thought….. because my 11 year old daughter remembers his really early shows, like Higgledy House and Tikkabilla! Justin also appeals to parents too, as he’s become such a familiar presense in so many homes, over the many years he’s worked in children’s TV.

On Saturday, we arrived at the Kings Cross Theatre, which is tucked away behind Kings Cross Station, nice and early and eager to see the show. It’s a pop up theatre which has been specially created for The Railway Children. The land it’s on actually belongs to Google who very kindly loaned it to the production team for the duration of the run.

Once inside, we were intrigued to see that the ‘foyer’ is all decorated as an old fashioned railway station, complete with luggage, signage and paraphernalia. There are two doorways which lead into the auditorium… named Platform 1 and Platform 2. These dictated which side of the stage you sat on. The stage is a long strip inbetween the two seating areas.

the railway children kings cross theatre

The staging was very clever. Featuring a real train track… a beautiful 60 tonne vintage locomotive train makes an appearance a couple of times during the show which is truly breathtaking. The rest of the time there were stage hands almost hidden underneath, moving the blocks that filled the gap in the middle of the stage… where the story telling took place.

the railway children

Before the show started, the performers all mingled in the crowd, in character and full costume. It was at this point that we first spotted Justin Fletcher! My children were so happy to see him and couldn’t take their eyes off him! He was his usual bouncy, energetic self… he even discovered a child whose birthday it was in the audience and asked the whole audience to sing happy birthday to him! It was really lovely! My kids thought this was brilliant and clapped along excitedly!

The Railway Children is a heartwarming tale centred around three privileged children who have to move from their luxurious London home with their mother to a much smaller, run down property in Yorkshire after their father is taken to prison for something he didn’t do! The three children, Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter worry and care for their mother who is devastated for a while and initially doesn’t want to reveal much of what’s going on. But they also find lots of fun in playing down near the railway station, waving to passengers on the passing trains. They make friends with the porter, Mr Perks and embark on a lovely adventure of discovery and friendship.

The children in the show are played by adults, but it works so well. They share their story of how they became the Railway Children!

The Railway Children by Kenny,             , Written by - Mike Kenny, Director - Damian Cruden, Designer - Joanna Scotcher, Lighting - Richard G Jones, King's Cross, London, Uk, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/

The Railway Children is NOT a musical. I just thought I’d mention that because when we were on the train home, I was chatting to an older lady who said she loved the theatre but hadn’t been to see The Railway Children because she didn’t really like musicals! Of course I told her that is wasn’t and she seemed surprised!

The show is very much as the book is written.. it’s quite serious in parts and I’ve been asked if it was a bit too grown up for my 7 yr olds.. but it wasn’t at all. There were some emotional scenes (I had a little tear at the end!) but there were many fun, laugh out loud moments and all three of my children were totally drawn in and mesmerised all the way through. They thoroughly enjoyed it…. so I think it had just the right mix!

The Railway Children really is a show for all age groups. A fantastic family show and we would highly recommend it!

meeting justin fletcher at the railway children

Casting Justin in the role of Mr Perks is genius. He played the part brilliantly. Meeting him afterwards was such a treat! He was extremely warm and friendly and said he was enjoying this new challenge working in the theatre on such a high profile London show. He will only be in it until November as he then leaves to do Panto, so you need to hurry if you want to catch him as Mr Perks! I also asked him if he was still continuing on CBeebies and he said he most definitely was. He loves CBeebies and says he has no desire to leave any of that behind just yet!

He was so lovely, and even accommodated my daughters’ request for a selfie with her….

selfie with justin fletcher

We had an amazing time! The show is utterly brilliant and of course seeing Justin in it and meeting him after was an added bonus!

The Railway Children – Live on Stage must end on 8 January 2017 – to book your tickets visit www.railwaychildrenlondon.com. BAFTA award–winning presenter, actor and voice-over artist, Justin Fletcher will transform from the much-loved children’s character Mr Tumble into the equally loved Mr Perks until 19 November 2016.

%d bloggers like this: