Awesome Little Green Men:Review

My youngest two are huge lovers of anything to do with the forces. From police men to soilders  they are always having role play games together where they are catching robbers or battling it out in fields.

Any toys related to this are always a big hit so I had high hopes for the Awesome Little Green Men when we were asked to review them.

Awesome Little Green Men are blind boxed collectibles that have over 100 recruits and vehicles to collect in series one.

Each box comes with a figure, dog dog on a chain and and a new recruit poster.


There is also a battle pack that comes in a super cool truck shaped box and six figures that would make a perfect present to start off their collection.

The figures are more than just collectibles as the aim of the game is to build the best troop with General Pain and General Panic at the helm.

The figures to me are a new take on the traditional army figures of old and it makes a welcome change to have something different from the normal doll or animal theme.

With Christmas fast approaching these would make great stocking filling or a great little pocket money treat.

* We were gifted these toys for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinion.
 

Jamie’s Italian Guilford:Review

I am a little ashamed to say that even though I have been a huge fan of Jamie Oliver since his ‘Naked Chef’ days I have never set foot in to one of his restaurants.

His immense passion for food and will to share this with every walk of life is one of the things I love about him and I know this love and passion will be passed into all his restaurants.

We were recently asked to go along to Jamie’s Guilford branchto see what we though which was a very exciting prospect for me.

A short drive into Guilford lead us to a quirky shaped building that homed Jamie’s Italian.

We were shown upstairs to our table in the brightly coloured restaurant that had had an industrial feel softened by glimpses of rustic Italy.

We had the youngest two with us which is always a challenge when eating out as their attention span leaves a lot to be desired.

Luckily as soon as we were seated the boys were given activity sheets and fantastic viewfinders that they could chose their meal from…these were a hit with the big kids too!

The children’s menu was a great mix of the usual suspects mixed with dishes such as fish stew and gnocchi which is really refreshing to see as not all children like a plate of beige food for every meal!

Oscar went for the baby beefburger which was served with a portion of sweet potato fries and a delicious salad.

Frankie had a bit of a harder time in choosing as his multiple allergies were a little hard to cater for, but our waitress worked round them and was able to alter the happy chicken lollipops that were also served with sweet potato fries and much to Frankie’s excitement a salad in a jar that he could shake himself to cover with dressing.

 

They still had plenty of room for pudding and Frankie was extremely happy with his strawberry and mango lollipop whist Oscar went for the more indulgent warm chocolate brownie that much to his delight was topped with popcorn.

 

Darren and I went for the Super Lunch which is a great value set menu where you can chose from a good variety of dishes and have either two or three courses.

The greediness in me went for the three courses while Darren only opted for two.

Pate is on of my favourites but I can be a little fussy with it. I wasn’t disappointed and the creamy chicken liver pate that covered the crispy bruschetta and made for the perfect combination.

I’m not normally a burger fan but the Gennaro’s Chicken Club caught my eye and I was really glad I went for it.

The soft brioche roll was filled with succulent chicken, crispy pancetta, spicy mayo, rocket and juicy tomato.

If you are a follower of my blog and have read my restaurant reviews you will know that my husband is a creature of habit and calamari and steak are choices pretty much every time we dine out.

Jamie’s Italian had a little twist on the usual calamari and was instead a selection of battered fish and squid that have been coated in a delicately spiced fennel flour and served with a sharp garlic and lemon aioli.

The steak was a little different too as it had first been marinated then served with a garlic butter, crispy fries and a beautiful purple slaw that set off the meal wonderfully.

The children full and happily playing I endulged in Jamie’s favourite lemon polenta cake which was served with cream and a fruit coulis.

The texture the polenta gave the cake was a good change to a traditional sponge style recipe but I could have done with a little bit more of a lemony kick.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of Jamie’s Italian from the warm welcome to the delicious food.

I think the real pull for me though was the attention to the children’s menu that was not only vast and full of variety but allowed the children to get hands on with their choices and preparation of the meal which I always find is key to encouraging them to eat and try new things.

If you have been inspired to try Jamie’s Italian out for yourself then from now until the 31st August one child eat free with every paying adult so it’s the perfect time to try it out.

Prezzo #LaFamiglia Challenge 

Meals times are a battlefield in this house and there is always some sort  of issue that turns what should be happy family time into something less than enjoyable.

If we are eating at home or out there are no exceptions and the only difference to being out is that my stress levels increase as I am all to aware of everyone else around us.

For me the biggest problem is waiting. I have the most impatient children and having to wait between courses is something they are not to keen on.

This is where the La Famiglia from Prezzo is a fantastic option and something we could wait to try out for ourselves.

We were asked to take up the #LaFamiglia challenge with Britmums and were more than happy to take up the challenge.

We headed of to our local Prezzo in Reigate and were settled by out super friendly waitress who immediately kept the little ones amused with a spot of colouring.

 

While the little ones were busy creating I looked over what La Famiglia had to offer.

The set meal consists a large sharing bowl of pasta and there is the choice of the classic spaghetti bolognese, spicy penne arrabbiata or a penne alla rusticana.

Two mouthwatering garlic breads, two side dishes of either fries, oils infused fries, mixed salad or rocket salad.

And lastly four soft drinks with the option to swap for house wine for an extra £7 and not forgetting pudding, there is either the choice of ice cream or sorbet.

The meal is aimed to feed two adults and two children so even with a large family such as mine at the great price of £30 for  everything if we order double it would still work out a great deal cheaper then a meal out ordinary costs us.

Whist we chatted over our drinks it wasn’t long before our pasta arrabbiata and garlic bread arrived.


The children loved that they were able to help themselves to as much or as little as they wanted and to me this saved the whole argument about everything being eaten.

Pretty full there was of obviously sill room for desert.

There was a great selection of ice creams and sorbets to choose from but the salted chocolate sounded way to tempting for any of us to pass up on.

I would highly recommend trying out this great addition to Prezzo’s already fantastic menu.

The relaxed atmosphere and family friendly vibe put me at ease whilst we were there and I think tun would find it hard to beat the quality of food at such areasonable price. 

A Dogs Purpose Screening

A couple of weeks ago I got to have some much needed one on one time with Izzy when we attended the screening of A Dogs Purpose at Picturehouse Central in Shaftesbury Ave.

Izzy is a huge dog lover and has aspirations of owning her own kennel when she gets older, so you can imagine her excitement when she realised we were going to watch a film that is based around her favourite fluffy animals.

Inside the theatre we were given ‘pic&mix’ sweets that were cleverly served in dog bowls, cleverly in keeping with the theme.


Izzy was beside herself as we realised it wasn’t only humans that were there to review the film but a whole host of dogs that had been invited along too; in fact she got to cuddle the insta famous Boo French Bulldog sisters, Coco and Boo the whole way through the screening.


A Dogs Purpose brings to the big screen a loving and devoted dog that has had a bit of a rough start to life until he is saved by his new owner Ethan that he enjoys many adventures with both good and bad until the sad moment finally that all animal owners dread and I had already preemted would happen in the film.

It then takes a real twist and sees him reincarnated over several decades coming back as different dogs that show him very varied lives.

I won’t spoil the ending for you but lets just say it was something I certainly wasn’t expecting.

This film took us through every emotion imaginable and we were in fits of laughter one minute and shedding tears the next.

It shows the huge bond between mans best friend and their owners and has got me thinking that it might not only be cats that have nine lives!

 

Chi Kitchen:Review

Ordinarily if someone asked you to come along to have lunch at at a department store I’m sure you wouldn’t be filled with excitement.

Admittedly when I was asked along to a review a restaurant inside Debenhams, Oxford Street my imidiate thoughts were curled up sandwiches in plastic wrappers and serve yourself coffee.

Upon arriving at Chi Kitchen this couldn’t be further from the truth.


With a completely separate entrance at  the back of the store as well as an internal entrance that welcomes you straight into a super cool champagne bar that overlooks the sushi preparation area, it wasn’t like anything I had experienced before.

The attentive staff saw us to our table and talked us through the vast menu that is a real voyage through South East Asia; offering dishes from Thailand, China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Korea.

My husband who is a real sushi lover opted for the salmon and tuna sashimi and California rolls.


The presentation was absolute perfection! The fish was served on a bed of perfectly handcrafted vegetables with clouds of billowing dry ice.


I opted for prawn dimsum and Thai green curry.

The dimsum were light and airy balls of perfection they just melted in the mouth.


The curry was the perfect blend of creaminess with a spicy kick that wasn’t to over powering.


I don’t normally go for puddings in Asian restaurants as I’m normally a bit disappointed with the small choice and factory supplied choices that are normally on offer.

Chi Kitchen however didn’t fall short in this area and it was at tricky choice between a passion fruit cheesecake and a mango creme brûlée.

The brûlée won and the crispy topping hid a delightfully creamy centre that I didn’t want to end.


Our meal was a complete experience for all the senses and completely smashed my preconceived ideas of superstore dining.

It is certainly somewhere to try whist out and about shopping or somewhere to make more of an evening of which is on our list to do next time!

The Perfect Break At The Old Barrel Store Margate

We discovered the delightful town of Margate last year and immediately fell in love with the up and coming, quirky seaside resort.

When I was offered the opportunity to have an overnight stay at the Old Barrel Store in the heart of Margate town I was over the moon.

We had a short and easy drive into Margate with just the youngest two and easily found the property nestled just off one of the quaint streets that house some wonderful shops selling anything from vintage homeware and clothes to yummy retro sweets.

The boys ran to the front door of the grade ll listed flint cottage to be the first in to investigate.

We were lead straight into the kitchen that had everything you could possibly need including a cupboard stocked with all the essentials you need to prepare meals that you wouldn’t necessary want to drag along with you which ead a lovely touch.

The kitchen also housed a visitors book full to the brim with positive comments and lots of great tips and piles of leaflets to help you get the most out of your stay.

We headed from here into the living area that was a real step back in time.  The furniture and accessories had all been perfectly sourced to create a wonderful vintage feel which is a huge love of mine.

Although the decor is immaculate it still felt homely and with the addition of plenty of toys that could be used indoors or taken down to the beach with you I was at complete ease having the two little wirlwinds with me!



The living room leads straight out into a pretty little garden that is perfect for the children to play in, cook a yummy BBQ or simply relax and have a drink while soaking up the sun.

With bucket and spade in hand he boys were itching to get down to the sea which is literally a few minutes walk away.

They ran up and down the beautiful stretch of sandy beach and were even brave enough to take a paddle in the sea that was still extremely chilly!

It wouldn’t be a trip to the seaside without some seafood which we grabbed from Manning seafood stall which is situated right by the Turner Contempary.

We then made our way to Dreamland amusement park that the boys were itching to get to. We had a good few hours there trying out everything it had to offer and we were all extremely impressed.

We had worked up a good appetite so headed down to GB Pizza where we sampled the best pizzas I have even tastes and I challenge you to say anything different!

With two extremely tired boys in tow we headed back to the cottage for bath and bedtime.

The bathroom again was immaculately decorated and had a wonderfully calming atmosphere perfect to start a relaxing evening.  The children were thought of again in here with a slip mat provided to prevent any accidents with slippery little ones!

All cleaned and ready for bed we headed to the children’s room which had the vintage theme carried through.

There were pretty vintage decorations, plenty of books for bedtime stories and crisp white, cosy bed linen that the boys fell asleep in within minutes.

With the children fast asleep for the first time in months we savoured the moment by having a cheeky glass of wine while enjoying our beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

It wasn’t long before we made our way to our cosy room that had a good sized bed, ample storage space in the wardrobe and the all important hairdryer that I’ve often found missing in many self catering properties.

We woke up after a good nights sleep and the only night number five has ever slept through and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading out to do some more exploring.

We bumped into some very friendly neighbours as we made our way to the shell grotto that I had wanted to visit on our past trips but had not yet got round to.

It was only a short walk from the cottage and was strangely situated in the middle of a residential street that I was not expecting.

Once inside it was a magnificent sight and well worth a trip.

The boys were itching to get back to the seafront and I was desperate for an ice cream.

We stopped at Melt ice cream parlour in the Sands Hotel that served the most delicious ice cream in a beautiful setting.

Sadly it was now time to make our way back to pack up the car and say goodbye to the Old Barrel Store.

We had a perfect stay in a wonderful cottage that was steepted in history and loving resorted to create the most wonderful holiday getaway.  The passion for their cottage really shine through and nothing had been overlooked, everything you could ask for was there for you to make your stay as easy as enjoyable as possible.

The Old Barrel Store would make a fabulous weekend getaway as a couple as much as a family holiday with all the family.

If you are looking for a seaside getaway with a difference then look no further than this fabulous cottage.
*we were given an overnight stay for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

Japanese Nappy Review

When it comes to nappies I have tried almost everyone on the market so when I was asked to try out the Japanese ‘Moony’ nappies I was more than happy to give them a try.

  
The first thing I was shocked by was the super quick delivery.  They are available to buy on Amazon and were delivered promptly the next day.

The pretty packaging was appealing and although it was all written in Japanese there is no real need for any instructions when it comes to using a nappy – well with maybe the exception of my husband!

The material was wonderfully soft and fitted snugly onto number five.  They have a pull up design that I find a pain to change when you are out as you need to fully remove the babies bottom half, whereas a  traditional nappy with sticky sides would be my preferred choice.

I really liked the addition of a wetness indicator on the front that lets you know when the nappy needs changing.

We had no leaks at all whist using them and the soft material has prevented any chafing or nappy rash that you can sometimes get.

They are more expensive than I would ordinarily pay for a nappy come in at £22.50 for 54.  This would be worth paying if you had a child that suffered with skin irritations such as eczema or bad nappy rash as the high quality material would alleviate any issues with nappy wearing.