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.


SnapFish Review

I was given the opportunity to try some snapfish products for Father’s day.

They provided a voucher and left me to choose the items I wanted, so I decided to go for a varied range.

The boys had great fun designing artwork to be used on the magnets (apologies Grandad and Poppa, Tim’s pictures of you aren’t very flattering and Sam thinks one of you stands by the tennis game in the garden while the other spends all day on the ‘go-e’ round stairs.

The magnets we received were lovely, but you do need to be good with a scanner if you are using childrens artwork and some colours show up better than others.


I also chose a mousemat, set of 2 placemats and a 7*5 jigsaw puzzle.

All the items are good quality, my one comment would be pick your photo carefully as they come back very high quality, it wasn’t until the products arrived I realised the picture I had chosen showed the tail end of Tim’s chicken pox.

The website is generally user friendly and fairly self explanatory, although it would have been nice to have a feature on the site to add text to things like the magnets which I had to do in another programme, save and then add to site, for most people this isn’t difficult, but I know there are a few who would prefer to have everything made as easy as possible for them and this feature could do that.

I was very impressed with the speed of delivery and the secure packaging and would definitely recommend to anyone looking for some unique gifts.


This post is a review of Snapfish, I was provided a free a voucher to purchase the products I have reviewed. All opinions are my own or those of my family.

D.I.Y. T-Shirt review

When I was offered the chance to review a design your own T-shirt package with my boys I jumped at the chance, an opportunity for them to spend time with Mummy and Daddy, making something that will last, while getting messy. logo The communication with the company has been great discussing what the boys are into and what transfers they would like for their t-shirts and ensuring that we got the right sizes. t-shirt (8) The transfers the boys choose t-shirt (10)The boys loved watching Daddy iron the transfers onto the T-shirts, I think they were intrigued as to what he was actually doing and were surprised when they didn’t come off again, however much Tim picked at his!

Then came the really fun bit, where they got to play with the tubes of paint, which were really easy for little hands to squeeze. For our youngest maybe a little too easy so we rectified this by allowing him to squeeze and then arming him with a cotton bud to spread it around.

When we did them we found something to put between the layers of the t-shirt, I would say this is a good idea as the paint can go through, particularly if they squeeze the tube hard, and without the layer inbetween it would have gone onto the back of the t-shirt. With prices from just £4.99 for the complete kit, I think it is a really great activity, the boys both enjoyed doing it and were really proud to wear their t-shirts to nursery to show their friends today.

This post is a review of Buytshirtsonline, I was provided a free Fruit Of The Loom D.I.Y Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt Design Kit . All opinions are my own or those of my family.

Goodbye to 2014

I know I have been quiet for a while, I last posted just before Christmas, and then as I know you will understand things got hectic, we had 12 people here for for the few days around Christmas.

Then New Year arrived and I thought I would write a post, maybe a review of 2014 or similar, but it just wasn’t that easy. So this isn’t an exciting post, it is more a catch-up, I am just giving links back to what has been going on, as even reading through some of them myself is very emotional, so the thought of actually writing about some or it again, well lets just say it isn’t going to happen.

For anyone who has been following my blog for a while you will know we really haven’t had the best year (2014) in our household.

So here is a short run down

I suffered pancreatitis and ended up having my gall-bladder removed

Sam was diagnosed with a possible heart murmur, which luckily has turned out to be nothing

Then came the issues with Tim, we started with possible chicken pox, that by the time we left A&E was tachycardia (increased heart rate), heart murmur and low levels of hemoglobin (iron levels)

we thought he was having a reaction

Next thing you know the real ‘FUN’ began

we were discharged from hospital, readmitted, transferred, discharged, readmitted (anyone seeing a pattern?)

numerous visits and phonecalls with doctors  and hospitals

we added in more allergens 

So now for the positives

It has been hard but we have tried to stay positive this year,

due to everything going on Daddy and myself were both able to see Sam get his first swimming badge

we still managed to go on holiday even though I was only a couple of weeks post-op.

and after a year like ours even things like blood in urine, a positive hospital appointment, hearing Tim saying he wants to get dressed, and things like McDonalds can make us happy

sam tim 2014So that has to be one of the worst reviews of a year you will ever read, but it is the best you are going to get.

Now we move on, Tim has already had his first hospital appointment for 2015, so I will update on that over the next few days.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015

Gro-clock review

A couple of years ago we had issues with my eldest son waking very early in the mornings, I had read about a product called Gro-clock so we decided to give it ago.
A few weeks ago I was asked if I would consider reviewing the exact same product and I jumped at the chance, so now both my boys have them.

groclock 2When the box arrived the boys ‘helped’ me to open it, Tim was very quick to show everyone how this was

yams clock
(hopefully soon he’ll learn to say Sam)

groclock 3

So I spent time explaining to Tim that yes Sam has one, but this one is for him, and there we were rushing up the stairs to get it in his room.

groclock 5

Not only did it need to go straight in his room, but then the boys had to try it out

unfortunately it didn’t work, as you may notice from the pictures this was 11.40 in the morning and no they didn’t stay in bed until 7am the next day, well I could dream couldn’t I?

So now for the serious review, not the why didn’t the boys stay in bed for almost 20hours!

My review is simple, straight forward and to the point, this is an amazing product!

Easy, this is being said by a mum that was only ever getting 4am or maybe the occasional 5am wake ups and now most of the time has around 6.30 to 7am wake ups and this week has even had a couple of mornings I have had to wake him up!

So how did we do it?

We took it slowly, we realised that if he was used to waking up at 4am there was no chance that one day we could say,

look you have this magic clock, you know how normally you wake up at 4am, well tonight you get to press this button on the clock and then tomorrow you won’t wake til 7am

we knew it just wouldn’t happen.

What we did was initially set the clock to change from Star to sun at his normal wake up time, we made it sound all exciting when we put him to bed and let him press the button. The next morning we were woken, still at a very early time, to yells of

I’VE GOT SUN, I’VE GOT SUNgroclock 5

so we were one step in the right direction, he was obviously excited by the clock.

Over the next few weeks we changed the ‘wake-up’ time 10 to 15mins later each day, we then did the same as we had needed to do to get him to go to bed and if he woke before the sun came up we would sit in his room with him until the sun came up, trying (even at unearthly hours) to be all excited when it finally appeared.

Within less than a month we had success and were never getting a shout from his room before 6.30.

Tim has never been as bad with early mornings so it has been much quicker to ‘train’ him, and he has had the bonus of a big brother to teach him what to do. It was really sweet to hear him that first morning having been instructed by Sam and shouting


My one negative about it,
although you can lock the clock so that no one can change the settings, this only works until the sun comes up.
When I set the clock at night I lock the clock and they are unable to change anything, however once the sun has appeared if they press any buttons they can change the time etc.

But this is a small negative by comparison to being able to have a good nights sleep.

This post is a review of Gro-clock, I was provided a free Gro-clock. All opinions are my own.

Follow-up to Santa Letters

I don’t know if you remember but a short while ago I did a review on Letters from Santa.

The boys are never allowed to do anything Christmasy until December arrives, so last weekend they wrote their letters to Father Christmas

They posted them and thought no more of it.

Then this weekend I asked who was getting the post and that was it, as usual the boys were of

Two little boys in the porch collecting the post. They were more confused than excited

I think Sam bringing the letter to show me it had his name on it was just lovely


The boys loved the letters, and were amazed that Santa knew the names of their friends and what gifts they had asked for, and are excitedly looking forward to colouring in all the Christmas cards, posters, games etc

Clever Tykes Books – review

I was asked if I might be interested in reviewing some of The Clever Tykes Books

Clever Tykes is a series of children’s storybooks promoting important life skills and characteristics by providing positive entrepreneurial role models

This is not the normal sort of thing I do on my blog as they are more suited to slightly older than my children ideally 5 to 11years olds (mine are 2 and 4 years) but I have read them to my children and lent them out to some of my Brownies and Guides

The books I was asked to review were

Walk it Willow is about a girl who starts a dog walking business

Change it Cho opens up a fuit stall

Code it Cody creates his own computer game

If you want a more detailed summary of each book it can be found on their website here

The books were well written, with lots of pictures between the text to break it up, as I mentioned it definitely wasn’t suited to my 2 year old, but it was never intended for that age.

However even though they are aimed at 5years upwards my just turned 4 year old was interested in them and happy to sit and listen to a few chapters at a time.

The Brownies and Guides that borrowed the books all loved them, so probably the best way to tell you what they thought is just to let you know what they saidWillowiPad-150x200Wow – I love dogs, this is just the job I want to do, can I really do it?

the pictures are really cute

Code-it-Cody-iPad-cover-150x200my friends at school always think the only thing computers are good for are playing games, can’t wait to show them there are other things and I’m going to get rich doing it!!!

it’s made me start thinking more about what I want to do when I’m older

ChoiPad-150x200It seems so real, why do they tell us we have to eat healthy and then don’t provide us with the stuff to do it, maybe we should get our own fruit stall at school

I loved the picture of the shopkeeper, it was funny.

The girls all loved the books and the Guides have decided next term that they want to spend some time looking at what things they might be able to do both now and in the future

This post is a review of Clever Tykes Books, I was provided a free copy of each books. All opinions are my own or those of members of my Brownie and Guide unit.