Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Portable North Pole

Christmas is just over a week away and Christmas here is not complete without the lovely video from the Portable North Pole. In the past we have always gone for the free video as Nate was too young to really understand it, although he has always enjoyed it. This year we were offered the chance to review it by receiving the premium service.

The first difference I noticed from the free version was the amount of personalisation which was lovely, for those with siblings there was the option of adding names to the book. There was also the option to upload up to five pictures, there was a spot for uploading a picture of your house.

As part of the premium video package, I could also download the video which is perfect for us as Nate has a habit of asking to watch things especially when there is no internet connection. I have two videos downloaded both the classic which was perfect as a before bed treat and the premium which is slightly longer at 5 minutes 12 seconds over the 2 minutes 22 seconds of the free version. Under the premium video options there are three different videos to choose from, at the minute Nate has only seen the Secret Places one where you see the elves working.

This year PNP also bought out an app which has a children's corner, where there is an advent calendar and the ability for the children to view their videos. Nate has particularly enjoyed the advent calendar as each day gives you a different activity of course his favourite activities are the noisy ones.

To receive 20% off a purchase at Portable North Pole use this code: BLG20BKP.

After seeing the difference between the premium service and the free, next year we will be using the premium as the older Nate gets the more he enjoys the PNP videos.

disclaimer: I was given the premium package in return for this review.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Maker faire Elephant and Castle

In November there was a make faire at UAL, a maker faire is predominately a geeky fair with lots of electronics about. I have a bit of an interest in the computing specifically ways of controlling computers. 

However, yesterday we went for Nate's enjoyment. The first thing we came across was Bare Conductive. They use conductive paint to make circuits on cards and more recently have created a board that you can programme to do a whole host of things. One of the projects they had on show was a guitar.

The next was Primo, who make the cubetto robot. I was hoping to see this is action and was not disappointed. Nate happily played with it and wanted to solve the problems that were thrown at him. They use arrows to show which way the cube will travel in meaning that it is suitable for young children. However, I'd suggest playing on the floor so when they get the arrows the wrong way around, the robot won't fall off the surface. 

The last thing that has Nate playing until he was forced to stop was Electro Dough. Electro dough uses home made play doh to create electric circuits. We really enjoyed putting as many leds in the dough as the battery could light. It was surprising how I only had to explain to once to Nate that the LED's legs had to be in two different balls to create a circuit. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Advent Calendar biscuits

Last year I made Nate an Advent calendar and I've been thinking about what to put in this years one. The stickers and a chocolate went down well last year.

While looking around for ideas, I came across the Mason Cash, advent biscuit cutter and moulds in Lakeland. I decided to buy it and so we spent this weekend making the biscuits to test it out. 

Everything you need except ingredients is in the box. There are five different recipes within the box, with a Christmas theme. 

At first I rolled the dough out a little too thick and so wasn't going to have enough dough for 24 biscuits. 

The biscuit cutter is perfect for little hands with its handle, none of the dough got stuck in the cutter which is sometimes a worry with the enclosed cutters.

Making the chocolate. 

The finished biscuits were lovely, we made the cinnamon shortbread biscuits and were nearly all eaten as soon as the chocolate had set on top of them. 

Tomy boon Glo

Recently Nate has started to be a afraid of the dark and with my love of all things gadgets I've been looking for a nightlight.

I found the glo, which looks lovely on a bed side table, or even on the floor next to a cot bed. Where this nightlight is different from others is it has three removable balls. The stems in which these balls sit change colour or can be a static colour. 


The balls that sit in the stem glow in the dark for about half an hour after they are removed, this was something that wasn't very clear when I was looking at the website. It said they don't get hot and there are no electrics in the balls but not that they were glow in the dark. The idea of removable balls I think is great as it allowed Nate to take one into bed with him and to hold unto until he fell asleep. However, there is the potential of them to get lost, I haven't found out if you can buy them separately but it would be a good idea if you could.  

Some of the colours it cycles through are brighter than others but for Nate the colours are bright enough. There is also the option of setting it to a static colour so if you would just like the bright white light or the red light then you can. 

This is of the balls glowing in a completely dark room. So when the night light goes off and it's just the balls glowing there is still a bit of light being produced. 

Nate really loves this nightlight and he especially loves the balls being removeable as it means he can hold on to the glowing ball and explore under the covers or under the bed, while he searches for aliens.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Potty training regression

After weeks of minimal accidents at home, Nate has had four in the last 24 hours. Even with me asking he's denying he needs to go and then seconds later says I've wet myself. Sometimes it's because he's watching/playing/interested in something and doesn't want to stop. Other times he just doesn't want to go for a poo and so refuses to completely empty his bladder and then within minutes wets himself.
I'm frustrated. Not with him really but changing clothes at 4am, stripping the bed and a screaming three year old all mixed in with him not sleeping through the night (no not ever) is ever so slightly too much. 

This soon shall pass.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Dry like me review

While we have been potty training, as it has been lead by Nate we have been trying not to interfere with his desire to be in big boy pants and so when the opportunity arose to try a product that sits in his pants I jumped at the chance.

If you are looking for something that catches everything for a non-potty trained child, this is not the product for you. If you are looking for something that supports your child on the road to becoming potty trained this is perfect. We have used both the early potty training pads and the normal pads. The normal pad will deal with a little leak, in Nate's case sometimes I think he forgets or gets distracted for a moment and will come to me saying he's wet himself but he's dry other than the pad being slightly damp and then he'll finish his wee on the toilet. For me this is perfect as I don't want him to feel like he's in nappies and therefore can be lazy when we are out nor do I want to traipse around three changes of clothes just in case not to mention three sets of wet pants and trousers.

The pads give Nate the freedom to choose the pants he wants to wear on any given day but still having that little protection in case he has an accident. Nate will happily get the pad out and put it in his pants as well.

The pads with a little pocket to keep them in if there is nowhere to dispose of them.

In Nate's favourite Spiderman pants.

Disclaimer: We were sent some to review although had already purchased the early training pads previously

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Days Out - Gorilla Perfume

I am a bit of a fan of Lush (understatement alert) so when they launched Gorilla Perfumes in 2010 without knowing what they were launching I signed up to go along. That first launch of perfumes was amazing, each room being dedicated to a perfume and the rooms were set up in such a way as to complement the perfume or tell a story.

The last week Gorilla Perfume has launched another set of Perfumes this is their 3rd Volume and the gallery was called Gorilla Perfume presents : Death, Decay & Renewal. I visited twice, once with Nate and another time without. Both times were enjoyable, although this time I didn't feel as immersed in most of the scents, there were props for all but the first time I missed a couple of perfumes without searching for them. To keep Nate entertained there was a comic with each page telling a story about each of the perfumes, this was used for us at least as a way of smelling each of the perfumes as you sprayed the page that related to the perfume. 

On the day I went with Nate the three sisters (3 of the perfumes) were missing but on the second visit they were there. I'm glad I went back as Sarie was by far my favourite perfume.


Three of the perfumes were not for sale (not including the 3 sisters), these were Mycellium, Cyanide and Dead Meadow. Cyanide was another favourite for me, it smelt of marzipan to begin with and then settled down to a slight almondy smell with a floral undertone. 

Dear John and Dad's Garden Honey and Camomile

Kerbside Violet

Dead Meadow

The Three Sisters

The exhibition was a lovely way to spend an hour or so and the shop contained a few of the original perfumes which had been repackaged. The layout really worked although it wasn't as good as the original or the second exhibition it didn't stop me or Nate from enjoying our time.