I have a confession to make. Even though I know that tactile play is incredibly good for a child’s development I avoid messy toys… like sand.

kinetic sand

Imagine my joy when we were sent a bag of sand to play with

Moose was genuinely thrilled, the idea of indoor sandcastles made him positively giddy in fact. Me? not so much. It’s not so much that I hate cleaning but I already hoover 3 times a day because someone (me) made the interesting life choice to adopt a turbo shedding hound so adding more “stuff” to clear up is never my first choice.

Inside the box

You will find a 1.5kg bag of sand as well as 8 plastic sandcastle moulds and a set of instructions. The box itself forms part of the playset which I thought was handy as it helps to contain the bits.

The instructions tell you how to fold the box to allow for play but our flap kept coming loose. It made no difference anyway.

What did Moose think?

He loves the stuff. He spent ages just touching and playing with the sand at first. It feels a bit like wet sand but because of what I can only presume is magic, it sticks to itself and leaves no mess. NO MESS!

It’s non toxic and gluten free so good for any little ones who have an intolerance to gluten but who are prone to sticking everything into their mouths. Moose has a friend who fits this description so it’s nice to know they can play with the Kinetic Sand without that added worry.

We found the moulds really easy to use and Moose was happy after a little while of playing together to just sit and build his sandcastles by himself. I would say that with supervision this toy would be fine for a preschooler but 4-6 would be the ideal age range I think.

I thought that the sand provided was plenty but you are able to purchase more sand separately and in lots of different colours too!

Would we buy it?

The short answer is yes. I have already put another set on the Christmas list and I think it would make a great present for other peoples children too! The price of this set was £19.99 which considering it’s claim to “never dry out” is pretty good considering the hours of play value I am sure Moose will get out of it.

This is how much I found on the floor after an hour of Moose playing with it. Not bad!

We have decided to store the sand in plastic tubs just to make sure it stays in the best condition.

We were sent the set in exchange for an honest review.

 It was a Sunday when the Fuggler arrived. That should have been our first warning that something was very, very wrong..

The parcel arrived on our mat with an audible thud. Loud enough for Moose to hear. At the time I didn’t pay the noise much heed. It was an oversight I would come to regret. So many regrets. You see, once the Fuggler has made its presence known to his chosen child there is sadly not much that their adult can do.

How could we have known what was to come?

Fugglers (for those who have yet to be affected by the coming invasion) are Funny Ugly Monsters. These misunderstood little rascals have come to infiltrate your home. They want nothing less than your utmost attention and if you do decide – even after my warnings – to adopt one then you do so at your own risk.

This is an account by Snuggla the Fuggler (as he was to become known) of the events which took place during our first week together.

I would highly recommend that you stop reading now and find yourself a lovely, happy toy in a fetching pastel colour. Something which plays a tune perhaps. Anything but this..

 

Day 1

My first day with the Humans and I decided to befriend the most attractive of the bunch. Fudge appears to be in charge of most of the major decisions in this house so  I thought it would be of benefit to me to get her onside. She has lovely teeth, like me!

fuggler training dog

Sefiiiiie

 

fuggler and dog

Encouraging Fudge to roll over. This seems to entertain the Humans.

fuggler in fridge

My favourite spot in the house.

Last thought of the day: Just because an iPhone does fit into the toaster, it does not mean it should be put in the toaster. iPhones are less tasty than bread.

 

Day 2

The Humans have decided that I need to travel with them on something called a “short break”. We have spent the day at Wookey Hole which was full of deep dark caves – perfect for jumping out at unsuspecting tourists. I have discovered ice cream.

wookey hole

I have assigned Bess as my transport. She looks thrilled to have the job.

fuggle ice cream

Sharing an ice cream with Moose (the boy human)

fuggler

Fuggler do not stop, look or listen. Ever.

fuggler in bed

Snug as a (monstrous) bug in a rug. I claimed the biggest bed. Victory is mine.

Last thought of the day: Cats don’t like to take showers

Day 3

We have arrived at a place called Butlins. The Humans have promised me that if I am good I will have a lot of fun here. We have already been to the funfair, I like the carousel but I intend to go back when everyone is sleeping to free the horses.

fuggler

Bess is doing well in her new role

Family bike fun!

I was VERY good at golf. Had a nice chat with the pirates too.

Last thought of the day: If you drop an Oreo you can still safely eat two thirds of it.

Day 4

I spent some time with Bess today. We travelled by bus to the shops – as you can see, she is warming to me.

I chose Pizza for dinner. Cheese is my favourite.

Last thought of the day: We eat pizza from the inside out.

Day 5

A trip to Warwick Castle. I felt very much at home here, especially in the dungeons. Lovely and dark and damp and the humans reminiscing fondly about the time that a whole load of people got the plague. Such fun.

fuggler warwick castle

Hi, I’m Snuggla the Fuggler. Welcome to my crib…

I can relate

Everybody say CHEEEESE!

Last thought of the day: Fizzy milk is not okay.

Day 6

Off to another castle today. My generous offer to drive was declined but I very much enjoyed the trip. Managed to hide myself in the oranges at the supermarket. Moose took ages to find me. Mum was not pleased.

They see me rollin #fugglife

I am the hide and seek master

Moose and I. He is fast becoming my best friend.

hehe well I am a Fuggler after all..

Last thought of the day: I do not have diplomatic immunity.

 

Day 7

Kinder eggs are the best thing I have ever seen. Moose kindly shared his with me and I want more. I said I will dedicate my life to tracking down the bird who lays such a wondrous egg. Moose says I am silly. I like him. I think I might just stay with these Humans.

silly Snuggla the Fuggler

The best kind of hugs

Last thought of the day: Goldfish don’t bounce.

The biggest problem with Fugglers

is that before you know it they will be a part of your Family and you will grow to appreciate their little quirks.

Despite their grotesque appearance they are really just looking for love and who knows, maybe you are just weird enough to be the right Humans for them?

If you are brave enough to think you could offer a home to a Fuggler of your own you can adopt one from Smyths toys where they can be found in large (£24.99) or medium (£14.99)

Each Fuggler is totally unique. Gangly arms, pointy ears, giant heads, small heads – discover what makes your Fuggler weird. They even come with BUTTonholes sewn onto their…well, you know.

Check them out but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

fuggler selfieWe received the Fuggler in exchange for our honest review. Moose adores him and sleeps with him every night.

We had been itching to try Turtle Bay since it opened in Peterborough last year so it didn’t take much for us to say yes when asked.

MrG has a love of all things Caribbean (especially rum) and he was very excited to sample what Turtle Bay had to offer. We thought it only fair that we let the children come along too. None of us are well versed in Caribbean cuisine so we took a look online beforehand.

There is a Turtle Bay app where you can book your table and earn rewards too!

turtle bay peterborough

Turtle Bay is situated on the outside of Queensgate in the city centre opposite St John The Baptist church. As well as offering a great food menu it also offers a vast array of cocktails and mocktails and a lot of rum!

turtle bay games

Turtle Bay’s famous happy hour lasts from 11.30am – 7pm and then starts up again at 10pm! This makes it the happiest happy hour in town with ALL of their cocktails available at 241 during that time – a must for cocktail lovers and rum enthusiasts all week long.

Starters

For our starter we chose the Just Jerk Platter. Included in the platter was marinated jerk wings, glazed pork ribs, beef patty, jerk chicken flatbread, sweet corn fritters and a super green salad.

As you can see it was huge! So tasty and I would absolutely recommend this as a great start to your Turtle Bay experience. I loved the sweetcorn fritters and the salad was really good too.

Main Meals

I was a bit unsure about bringing the children to a restaurant famed for being spicy. The children’s menu (or, Little Turtles) was really good though. I like that it offers choice and it’s not just your all too common fare of “something, chips and beans”.

Moose decided on the chicken flatbread with fries and I thought the portion size was really good! Bess decided to order the goat burger from the adult menu which she found a bit too hot. She said that if we were to return she would like to order from the childrens menu.  She tried Moose’s flatbread and loved it.

turtlebay flatbread

MrG who is not really a lover of spice either chose to try the Shack Stack: a seasoned beef burger topped with jerk pork belly, mature cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and jerk bbq sauce. He loved it!

Trying something new

Something Turtle Bay has recently changed on their menu is that the burgers and wraps have reduced in price but now don’t come with a side (other than a little slaw). The idea being that you choose from the sides on offer and order as much or as little as you would like. I think this is a great idea, especially for the lunch crowd.

I opted for the Jerk Pork Belly which arrived with rice ‘n’ peas, crispy rind and a pineapple chilli salad. The pork belly itself was absolutely delicious and went perfectly with the rice and the salad. I also ordered crumbed plantain because it felt like the right thing to do. It was.

turtle bay jerk pork belly

Sadly for me it was my turn to drive so I couldn’t sample the alcohol but I would definitely come here for a night out (I am a Mum so, lol) as the cocktails look amazing.

Between us however we did try the peanut butter smoothie, the Reggae Sunsplash, the virgin kolada and the Virgin Raspberry Reggae. All were lovely, my favourite was the Virgin Kolada and Bess loved the Reggae Sunsplash.

turtle bay apple juice

Moose asked for an apple juice and was most impressed when it arrived in a bottle!

We all agreed that we were just far too full for desserts this time but we all said we would like to come back to try something from the dessert menu for sure.

We were given a meal in exchange for review. All opinions are our own.

Brand new from MGA Entertainments comes the Crate Creatures. There are 4 new “beast” friends to collect. Each one stands at 7″ tall and comes with 45+ unique creature sounds and with its favourite food.

I thought this would be a great toy for Moose to try and since the Crate Creatures are for aged 4+ and he just had his 4th birthday we agreed to see what they were all about. To say he was excited to get his hands on one was a bit of an understatement.

crate creatures surprise

 

The first thing we noticed was that on the box it warns you “DO NOT PULL TONGUE”. Of course, as soon as I said this Moose did exactly that and was met with some pretty disgusting noises.

4 to collect

There are 4 Crate Creature Surprise “beast friends” to collect. All with their own origin story and if nothing else, you’ve got to love an origin story!

Each creature arrives in their own crate. This doubles as both packaging and an integral part of the way your child plays with the toy. I love this idea. The crate has a padlock and chain and on the side of the crate is a crowbar. This is how your child will open their padlock and the crate itself.

crate creatures

Snort Hog

This bog warthog hails from the muddy jungles of Tuskk. Unlock him from his crate to discover the slimy snot that squirts out of his nose, knock him over for his snotty growls and record your own message to hear him grizzle back. Listen to him crunch on his corn dog with over 45 unique sounds of appreciation for his favourite food.  Take it away before he’s had his fill though and watch his four furry arms flap up in horror. Get him back in his box, and lock him up before he gets too mad!

When the Crate Creature arrives it will be in demo mode. To access all of your new toys functions you will need to open the velcro on its back and switch it to on. It has a loud and quiet volume setting too. A shiny star to the person who included this feature.

This toy does come with 3x AAA batteries but how long they last will depend on how much they were pawed at while still in the shop. 

What did we think?

I did wonder whether Crate Creatures Surprise would be worth it’s £39.99 RRP. That seemed quite expensive at first but I was surprised by how good the build quality of the crate and the creature was (it’s fur is super soft) and by how many features it has such as being able to record your own voice.

It feels like it would last a long time and Moose has played with Snorthog daily since he arrived. I would say that this toy would be perfect for boys or girls aged 4-10.

Moose loved that Snorthog made farting, burping and grunting noises and that bogies can be made to come from Snorthogs nose. Bogies, apparently, are hilarious.

Crate Creatures retail at around £39.99 and are available from Smyths Toys

 

I am a big fan of the microwave

. Working from home and organising a family means that time is valuable. I try to feed my lot a pretty varied diet but some days I simply don’t have the time to prepare a meal (or 3) from scratch as well as getting everything else done. On days like those, the microwave comes into it’s own.

When I was asked by www.ao.com to try out the KOR6M5R microwave I was really happy. Their timing was impeccable as ours had died not a week earlier!

Space saver

As you can see from the photo above, we did not have space for a large model. Luckily this Daewoo model fits into the available space beautifully. The KOR6M5R is a 20 litre capacity which might seem small compared to other microwaves but it’s absolutely fine for us and we are a family of 5.

The Daewoo KOR6M5R is touch control and has an auto cook function with 5 programmes tailored to cooking certain foods at the push of a button.It has a simple to use display and I found the defrost function very handy when I forgot to get food out of the freezer for dinner this week!

Eco Friendly

I really like that this is a zero stand-by appliance. This means that after 2 minutes of the microwave not being used, it reduces the stand-by power consumption to nothing. When you are ready to use the microwave again, you simply open the door. Great for those of us who don’t like to have a house full of appliances on stand-by adding to our bills and to the planets energy consumption.

What I really like about using a microwave though is that on those hot summer days when you really don’t want to add to the temperature of the house by having the oven on, you don’t have to!

What do you like to cook in your microwave? I love this cookie dough mug cake recipe by Running With Spoons

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