We were sent a measuring gauge and will be sent a pair of shoes in exchange for writing this post

School shoes were always an expensive no brainer when I was a child. Once a year we would be taken into town about a week before term began to be measured in the one decent shoe shop. It would be alarmingly busy so there was a guaranteed wait of what felt like a month and usually there would be a choice of 2 styles in our size if we were lucky. We would be given a warning to take care of our shoes because they needed to last. Every year we all (Mum included) absolutely dreaded it.

Fast forward some years and I had become a parent. Off I took my newly walking son to our local shoe shop (rhymes with barks…you know the one) and after a bit of a wait we had his feet measured. As I watched the teenage shop assistant with my son I just wasn’t convinced that they had got it right. So, when we left the shop we walked to the department store (which sells the brand that rhymes with barks too) and had him measured again. We went to 3 different shops in the end (what? I’m thorough!) and we were given THREE DIFFERENT SIZES. That was the day I decided that that particular brand was not worth the money they charge.

So good to see that a change has come.

Treads is changing the game. The brand was born out of the frustrations of a parent – which is always a good start. It means that the brains behind it know about what children – and parents – need from a school shoe. Back to school can be a horrendously expensive prospect for a lot of parents. School shoes often make up a large part of the budget so it really is important that we choose a great pair.

The idea of Treads is fundamentally a pretty simple one. Well made school shoes which can be bought online and are built to last – even if your child appears like mine to be ridiculously heavy footed. Some days I feel like I spend the lions share of it instructing Moose to stop stomping and “is that a herd of Elephants up there?!” can be regularly heard to be shouted up our stairs (apologies again dear neighbours about the noise… I can assure you I do ask nicely before the shouting begins, promise.)

So what makes Treads any better than all of the other school shoes on the market?
  •  Permair® leather – Breathable performance leather
  •  “Strobel” construction – The upper is placed in a mould and the sole is injected around it
  •  Reinforced heels – Prevents splitting through stamping
  •  Shock absorbing insoles – Easy to remove too!
  •  Flexible injection moulded soles – Hard Wearing, non slip and non-marking
  •  Reinforced seams – Additional strength
  •  Easy clean – Wipe clean surface
  • Texon® board inner – Designed to reinforce sole and wick away moisture
  • Treads come in a range of different styles and sizes to suit boys and girls aged 6 to 16 (unless your child has massive paws like mine in which case they also suit 4 yr olds..)

So confident are Treads about their shoes being built to last, they offer a 12 month guarantee. A whole year!

AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DRAG YOUR CHERUBS TO A SHOP. A change indeed.

At Home Measuring

There are 2 ways to do this. You can download a free paper measure which you then print out and use to measure your child’s shoe size. The other way is to purchase a foot measuring gauge which is then posted to you to use at home. We tried the latter.

I was so excited to receive our Treads Foot Measuring Kit in the post. For the £5 it costs I was surprised that it felt much better in quality than I had expected. Definitely something that can be put away to use next summer.

The gauge comes with an easy to follow instruction booklet which even after 3 hours sleep and a morning of Teen Titans I could follow without stuffing it up.

This is how easy it was to measure Mooses feet for his Treads school shoes.

It really is that simple.

Measure the length. Measure the width. Input the measurement on the Treads website and then order the shoes and wait for their arrival!

We cannot wait to receive Mooses new school shoes and, with the way he gets through shoes, really make use of that 12 month guarantee. We will be able to request a new pair if any of the following happens

  • the sole has split or is removed from the upper
  • the outsole is worn through into the midsole
  • the stitching has failed resulting in a split or torn seam
  • the leather upper is cracked or damaged forming a hole
  • a strap has detached or split leaving it non functional
  • the eyelets are detached from upper.

I am really impressed by what I have seen so far and I will be sure to post an update when the shoes arrive.

Win a pair of Treads school shoes

I am so pleased that the fabulous people from Treads has given 1 Mummy&Moose reader the opportunity to win a pair of Treads school shoes of their very own. To be in with a chance of winning, follow the instructions and make sure you enter by 23:59 on 19/08/19.

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We were sent these products in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own. 

Baby Shark DO DO DO DO DO DOOOO. If you don’t know what Baby Shark is then please comment below to let me know which rock you have been living under – I may want to move in!

When he is not busy building, Moose and his friends love Baby Shark and know all of the dance moves!

I am pretty sure that 99% of people opening this post will know all too well about this particularly aquatic ear worm. To add to the fun, Spinmaster have brought out some Baby Shark toys.

Lets Go Hunt

You will need 2x AA batteries to get started. The Baby Shark Lets Go Hunt game is bright and colourful. It plays the catchy tune as players use their miniature fishing rod to catch as many fish as possible. To make this a challenge, the pond that the fish are in rotates while the music plays and the fish open and close their mouths.

The Baby Shark Lets Go Hunt game is suitable for 2-4 players aged 4+. Moose loved this game and we had a lot of fun trying to best our scores on each go. We put a time limit on it to up the ante after a few games!

I think that this game is great for hand eye coordination. It’s simple enough for a 4 year old to set up and when I had to go and do other things Moose was happy to continue fishing by himself so it’s not just a multi-player toy.

Wooden Sound Puzzle

Moose has a lot of the wooden shape fit style puzzle but this one is a little different. Each member of the shark family has its own special place. When you slot them in, their part of the Baby Shark song plays. Pretty cool! Moose liked playing with this puzzle but I feel like it would be better suited to a child aged 2-3 (4 at a push).

That said, he liked it when I turned the pieces so that they were face down and selecting the correct piece presented a bit more of a challenge. You will need 2x AAA batteries for this puzzle. No volume control but you could switch it off and still use it as a puzzle.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We were sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own

Moose absolutely loves building with bricks at the moment. The tablet he used to play with daily has been in a cupboard for god knows how long and from the moment he wakes up all he wants to do is build with LEGO.

I’m certainly not complaining. There is a reason why the market leader in building bricks is consistently top of the charts when it comes to children’s favourite toys. That stuff is pricey though!

We hadn’t heard of Strictly Briks before we were sent a set to review a couple of weeks ago. I was almost certain that nothing else would match up to “that brand”.

I was happy to be proved wrong.

The Strictly Briks Classic Trap and Gap is a set of stackers and base boards with ramps and trap doors. Moose immediately grabbed his toy cars. He wanted his Strictly Briks set to act as a garage/car park. He spent a long time building little walls on each level and then suddenly his garage was a house!

Along with the Strictly Briks Classic Trap and Gap we were sent a 156pc bag of bricks. Moose loved being able to build little pieces of furniture and he soon moved some mini figure super heroes into his creation.

The base boards in the Strictly Briks Classic Trap and Gap set are 10″x10″ which is not a size offered by LEGO. I thought that the base plates felt a little on the thin side. I did like that they are stackable though. So you can attach them on top of other bricks as well as using them as a base.

All of Mooses LEGO minifigures (and there are a lot) were compatible with Strictly Briks and not in a this-is-going-to-pop-off-any-minute way. They really do fit well!

Would we buy Strictly Briks?

The price point of Strictly Briks earns it some serious brownie points. The Strictly Briks Classic Trap and Gap set has an RRP of £21.99 and the 156pc bag of Strictly Briks retails at just £6.99.

I think this along with the variety of sets in their range makes it difficult not to consider it. We do love LEGO but Moose can’t tell the difference. At his age he just wants to play and Strictly Briks seems like a decent choice to me!

This product was sent to us in exchange for our honest review. All opinions remain our own. 

 

Moose absolutely loves Dinosaurs. His favourite CBeebies programme is Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures and he can happily reel off a whole list of obscure Dinosaur names at any given opportunity. As well as Dinos. he also loves collectables and surprise eggs. You can imagine then how pleased he was to receive the new Smashers Epic Dino Egg to play with!

Smashers Epic Dino Egg Smashers Epic Dino Egg

What’s inside the Smashers Epic Dino Egg?

The egg itself is a plastic casing which can be reassembled so you can use it to store stuff inside. When you smash it open you will find a yolk bag and a small map. On one side of the map is a list of the collectables you might find and on the other side a a scratch and reveal style map.

Inside the yolk bag you will find 5 compounds hiding Dino binos. To discover which Smashosaurus Dino you might have you need to scratch the panel off the map and use the compound. As well as this you will also find 6 of the smaller Smashers eggs, an egg stand to help when rebuilding the eggs and an excavation tool.

The rebuilder tool is SO handy. We have played with Smashers previously and I found them difficult to put back together again. With the rebuilder, it’s a cinch! I would recommend also purchasing the collectors tin. This comes with one smashers egg plus an exclusive dino inside. It’s great for storing all of the smaller Dinos inside.

How to find your Dino bones

Dino Dirt: Yellow kinetic sand style substance which you pick apart to find the bones! This comes in a resealable bag.

Fossil Rock: This was a solid bit of what I think was chalk. We eventually had to call for back up in the form of a big sister to help with this one though. It took a long time for Moose to use the tool to get into it and he did start to get a bit frustrated.

Fizzy Lava: This was Moose’s favourite. Basically an orange bath bomb. He dropped it into a bowl of water and watched in delight as it fizzed and bubbled away.

Smashers Epic Dino Egg Smashers Epic Dino Egg

Glowing Slime: Moose described this stuff as Bright green Dinosaur snot. I couldn’t prove otherwise so I just nodded along and thanked my lucky stars that I had chosen for us to open the Smashers Epic Dino Egg outside!

Ice Age Putty: Moose quite liked this stuff. Not as sticky as slime but still nice and tactile for little ones to search through for the hidden Dino bones.

What Did We Think

This toy was pleasantly surprising. There was a lot to do. Loads to keep Moose occupied for well over an hour. I would highly recommend opening the Smashers Epic Dino Egg outside. A Tuff Tray would be ideal for it. The Fossil Rock in particular creates a lot of chalk dust. I really liked the little collectible dinosaurs. The larger Dinosaur was really nice quality, easy to assemble and Moose will definitely get a lot of play out of it.

Smashers Epic Dino Egg

The Smashers Epic Dino Egg is not a cheap toy but I do think it is good value. There is a lot going on here and the toys that you get to keep after all of the activity is over with is a good quality one.

We found Crazy Eyes the Brachiosaurus inside this one but there are also a T-Rex and a Triceratops (my favourite) to collect.

Although we were sent this Smashers Epic Dino Egg I am planning to purchase another to give to Moose for his birthday. I have no idea how I will wrap it mind you.

The Smashers Epic Dino Egg retails at RRP: £24.99, is suitable for ages 5+ and is available at Smyths, The Entertainer, Argos, Tesco, Asda, B&M, SAINSBURY’S Supermarket and all the major retailers.   https://smashersworld.zuru.com/

 

 

There used to be a pretty good variety of Chinese restaurants in Peterborough but that has long since been the case. These days finding a good eat-in Chinese option is a pretty tough call.

One Saturday, Mum and I found ourselves pulling up outside her local Chinese restaurant.

The Royal China. What it lacks in kerb appeal – and it really does – it makes up for with it’s food and hospitality!

We were quickly seated and were offered a set menu which seemed like good value for money. The set menu is a 3 course option at £15 per head.

There is plenty of choice. We opted for mixed starters which consisted of 9 different dishes to try. The satay chicken was by far my favourite and probably the best I have ever tasted.

The spicy To-Ban Beef was a dish I hadn’t tried before but was lovely – nothing was overly spicy. Other dishes were 2 different styles of spare ribs, crispy seaweed, sesame chicken toast, prawn toast, spring rolls and chicken with chilli and garlic. It was brought out to us within 15 minutes of ordering and we were asked a couple of times if we would like any of the dishes topped up which was nice.

On to the duck!

Plenty of succulent duck meat and fresh chopped spring onion and cucumber with pancakes. I thought that the hoisin sauce was a little too salty but not enough to complain about. Mum didn’t notice it at all and we happily munched our way through all of it.

The main course

I feel like to get a good measure of how good the place is you need to try a Sweet and Sour dish at a chinese restaurant. With that in mind, I opted for the Sweet and Sour Pork. Mum went for the healthier Cantonese Pork. We both decided on noodles for our side dish.

My Sweet and Sour Pork was absolutely lovely. The balance was just right and the pork wasn’t too chewy and nice and crispy. Don’t be put off by the small portions, it was made really clear to us that we only had to ask if we wanted more and they were more than happy to oblige.

Mum’s Cantonese Pork was well received and the bit I tried was delicious. The noodles were lovely too. Nicely flavoured and not too oily which is something I have encountered at other establishments.

We honestly didn’t feel the need to order any more than was brought out to us but we were asked several times if we were sure. In the interests of a thorough investigation of the food on offer, I decided to leave room for dessert.

I was glad I did

The desserts are not included in the set menu but they are really reasonably priced. To add one to your meal, Royal China charge just 90p! I opted for the cheesecake but there was a pretty good choice on offer. Ice cream, toffee apple (when do you see that on a menu?!), profiteroles, banana fritters, or lychees.

As well as my cheesecake I also ordered coffee. The coffee here is really good. I don’t know about you but I hate it when I have had a nice meal and then a bitter coffee ruins it at the final hurdle!

A nice surprise

Along with our coffees we were presented with a little plate of complimentary pick & mix style sweets. I had thought that I was a sensible grown up of 37 years but it turns out that being presented with free sweets has much the same effect that it had on me as a child. It was a lovely touch.

The Set Menu

royal china werrington peterborough set menu

Would we go again?

So I guess that’s the most important question, isn’t it? Before we visited The Royal China I checked out Trip Advisor for reviews. I read that the staff were a bit rude, that the place was freezing cold and it wasn’t an entirely pleasant place to visit.

What we found was a welcoming, well set up Chinese restaurant that while it looks a little run down outside is a great choice for a meal. All of the members of staff who we encountered were very polite and professional. We were very well looked after during our meal without it feeling intrusive. The menu was incredibly good value and the food was utterly delicious! We will definitely be back for a return visit and I quite liked that there is a separate section which would be good for hosting larger party sizes making it a good option for family get togethers.

Looking for other restaurants to try in Peterborough? Why not check out our review of Turtle Bay