Portable North Pole – Review

When I was offered the chance to write a review for the Portable North Pole I could not have been more excited



I have used their free videos in the past and have always really enjoyed watching the boys excitement when they get to watch them.

I was lucky to be provided with a free unlimited pass which is exactly what it sounds like – unlimited videos and unlimited phonecalls along with getting all the videos in HD.
When I saw that this pass is only £9.99 it is definitely something that I would consider another year, as there are 7 different videos to choose from and 19 different phonecalls, including ones for the New Year and birthdays. So when you have more than one child who wants to know that Santa thinks they are special it is great.

The website is really simple and easy to use, once you have chosen your product the website takes you though a series of steps to complete, from name (including checking that Santa pronounces it correctly) to putting in pictures of special events that have happened throughout the year. My only complaint is having to decide which videos and calls you want to use, it is just as well I have an unlimited pass as they are all really good and I am planning to use several with the boys.
As you can see from the images below the quality of the videos is really high.

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It is also the little touches that make it all really special, once you have made all the really hard decisions about what video you want to use and which pictures of your child you want to add into it, you can then download a certificate for your child.


I am looking forward to putting these up in the boys bedrooms next to their stockings so that Santa can be sure that he needs to leave gifts for him on that magical night.


This post is a review of PNP, I was provided a free unlimited pass to make videos and calls to review. All opinions are my own or those of my family.

Any readers of this blog can receive 20% of any orders by entering code BLG20PNP at the checkout.

Binky Goes Nuts

Ok so this post is about someone (I use that loosely as it is a cartoon character) with a nut allergy, not something that is one of our main worries in this house, but an allergy is an allergy.

This morning I came out of the shower to find my boys sat on my bed watching Arthur.
I have watched many episodes in the past but this was one that I had never actually seen. If you want to see what they were watching click on the picture below

binky goes nuts

It began randomly with a butterfly landing on Binky’s arm and him coming up in a rash, unlike many people who have to fight to have their children tested for allergies, or even get anyone to listen, by the next scene Binky is having skin prick tests and has had blood tests done. But I am so glad we found out what was wrong with him quickly.
Binky turns out to be allergic to nuts, which to him is no big deal as he says he isn’t that keen on them, but his mum understands just how big a deal this actually is.

We watch about label checking, how worried his mum gets about everything,


how upset Binky gets that his mum is no longer keen to let him do things on his own, like going to the sweet shop.

His mum has informed all his friends at school, which as you can imagine he isn’t keen on, but it is just as well as it is when he has another reaction with a friend that he actually realises just how seriously he has to take this.

We see him having nightmares about food, being chased by peanut butter, and being made fun of for having to sit at a separate table at lunchtime.
It is lovely to see friends watching out for him by not letting others sit at the same table incase they have something that will make him ill, and then to see that other friends have ensured they haven’t eaten nuts all day and are ‘safe’

We watch his mum staring through the school dining room window and talking to him on a mobile, this is certainly not something I have ever done, but maybe that is because Tim is only 3, I can certainly understand why she might be doing it.

And it is wonderful to see that Binky spends time finding a restaurant that is able to cater for his needs AND more importantly serves his favourite food.


I am sure that most people watching this just thought, oh look another episode of Arthur,
but my boys were hooked, breakfast in our house was one big discussion about having allergies and keeping people safe, Sam felt soo proud that I trust him with his ‘cow milk’ to sit next to his dairy free brother.
They understood that this programme was showing what we deal with on a daily basis.

Thank you Binky for making allergies part of everyones lives, allowing them to be normalised, showing that anyone can have them and that with help and support from their friends can live a normal life.


It would be great to hear from anyone dealing with allergies on a daily basis themselves how you feel it fitted in with how you or your children have felt.



Clangers planet

As you probably know by now the Clangers are back on Cbeebies

For Tim’s 3rd birthday he had a set of Clangers and both boys then saw on the back of the packet that you could get a Clangers planet.

I decided that they love using their imagination and that if I bought them the official planet at some point, that there would be little need for imagination, so we started a project, it took a few weeks to complete, but we now have our own planet and somewhere to store the Clangers when not being played with.

We started with an empty shoe box


Cut the sides down, ensuring that they would be able to be folded up and the lid put back on for storage


Then the boys set to work adding rocks, doors for the bedrooms and a soup well


Now came the very sticky and messy part


Then we had to leave it almost a week to dry, the boys were very generous with the glue!

and finally the Clangers had somewhere to play and live


The boys have had loads of fun and at some point we are thinking of adding something into the lid as well.

First do no harm

Last night I sat down and watched the film ‘First do no harm’


This post is not to tell you how good or bad the film is, or even what it is about, if you want to know the details then go to Wikipedia and have a read, but in brief, there is a family, the son gets sick, he doesn’t respond to the normal treatments, then they finally manage to find something that works for him.

The reason for this post is because although I have watched it many times before and shed a tear or two at some point through it, this time I pretty much blubbed from start to end.

Why you may ask, well it bought back soo many memories, although what this child goes through is nothing like what Tim went through, in fact it is probably a million times worse, I can understand what that mother must have been feeling.

And there are a few quotes from the film that I thought I would share with you.

Firstly the soundtrack for the film is Somewhere over the rainbow, I don’t know what it is about that piece of music, but it gets me everytime.

I think one of the biggest ones for me is

‘Why don’t you go home and get some rest’

This can be said by hospital staff, friends, family, it doesn’t matter who, I know when I was staying in with Tim I was desperate to go home, I had left another child behind, I felt soo guilty that I wasn’t giving him as much attention as he deserved, I wanted to just get out of there, it didn’t even need to be to home, I felt I needed to breathe get away from it all, just step back for a while and let someone else deal with it, but I couldn’t if he couldn’t do that then how could I, his mother, leave him to go through it all on his own.

The next one counts for last year and this

‘Joint decision making without information’

It is amazing how often we are expected to make choices and decisions based on only half the information, in regards to Tim in hospital last year I am fairly sure they were giving us as much information as they had, unfortunately he was causing them confusion so they were struggling themselves.
However this year with completely different things I have been going though it seems that you can really be expected to make decisions with only half the information, then someone will sound surprised about the decisions you have made based on the information you have. Weeks later you get drip fed a bit more and suddenly think, maybe that is why they were surprised that I made the decisions I made!

Again this one fits this year and last

‘I miss us’

When I spent so long in hospital with Tim this was very true, and again this year it fits, but unfortunately due to the position I have been put in there really is no going back.
In Sam’s words

‘Why were we 4 and now we are 3’

I have no answer to give him for that, but it is the way that things are from here on.

And this final one is more about this year

‘My family are not going on welfare’

I have always been a believer in paying my own way and supporting myself, but unfortunately sometimes something happens to destroy your life and you have no choice!

Tonight no sad films, and no tears!

Lots of changes and firsts

I know I have been quiet for a while, but my life has changed drastically, for anyone who isn’t already aware, now it is just me and the boys.

But after an exciting week I thought it would be a good time to share some of the boys firsts.

It began last weekend

Due to Tim being in hospital at various points this time last year he had never had a birthday party, so last weekend was his first birthday party, with a few of his friends from nursery, they all seemed to have a great time, playing games and eating chicken nuggets and chips.

This week was Tim’s first swimming lesson in the pool on his own, without me. He was amazing, I told him to go and sit with the other children on the side and he did it straight away, joining in with everything. Well almost everything, at one point he did stop halfway across the pool to shout

Mummy, I can’t do it

as soon as I told him he could and was doing great he got going again and was fine for the rest of the lesson.

We had a first of being in a new hall for Brownies and Guides this week as the one we were meeting in is due to be demolished, not only was it a new venue, but also a new night for the Guides and the first time that they have started meeting at the same time.

and probably the biggest first of the week was Sam’s first day at school

and on a lesser note, we also have our first Aloe Vera plant, kindly donated by a friend.
I am not sure how long it is going to survive as Tim has also had his first taste of Aloe Vera, when I turned around to hear him saying

can I eat it?

I was very quick to remove it from him!

Growing things in the garden

seed growing

Today the boys ate some fruit in the garden, Sam had decided that rather than me cutting his cherries he wanted to try eating them with the stone still in, then wanted to plant them.

He was a good big brother and let Tim have one to plant as well.

When I asked Tim what he was growing I got the usual answer

don’t know

so I asked him if he knew what the seed had come from

yes Sam’s cherries

so far so good, or so I thought

Then I said, so if it is from a cherry, what is it going to grow into