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GIVEAWAY and Review: Timmy Failure - Now Look What You've Done

Well have we got a treat for you today. If you've got kids who love to read, this set of Timmy Failure books will keep them very happy. And we have a set for you to win by completing the rafflecopter widget.

But first, here's what 11 year old J thinks of Timmy Failure. We were sent books 1 and 2 so J has written a little review for each.

Timmy Failure - Mistakes Were Made

Timmy runs a detective agency with his pet polar bear called Total. He has a lot of cases to solve and he uses his mother's Segway as his failuremobile. He leaves it outside whilst talking about an important case but it gets stolen! Timmy lies and says that it is needed for a play. Timmy has to try to get it back before his mum finds out that her Segway is missing. Total has to be sent to a zoo as a result of bad grades. I give this book 10 out of 10.

Timmy Failure - Now Look What You've Done

This book is hot off the press as it has only recently been released. 

Timmy is trying to win a detective contest where you have to find out who took the missing globe. With Total, his polar bear, he is determined to win the contest. Unfortunately, Corrina Corrina (his arch-enemy) has entered the contest as well.

Total gets distracted a lot and tries to eat torpedo Bob (his aunt's parrot.) After he misses the deadline he tries to get sent to Glouberman academy- the school for naughty kids. Glouberman academy have their deadline a month after every other school so he wants to hand in his entry there. The winner will be announced at a school dance. The theme is a night in Paris.

Thanks J for the reviews. Both my boys really enjoyed these books. They are a fun read and there are plenty of cool illustrations throughout.

9 year old D loves drawing comic style characters and just this evening I found this in his room:
He'd drawn his own picture of Timmy Failure. I had a quick flick through the book myself and saw that there is a 'How to Draw Timmy Step-by-Step' section at the back of the book. You can also learn how to draw Total, his Polar Bear.

I thought this really was a great little touch to the book as it's going to give kids the confidence to have a go at drawing and actually end up with pretty great results!

Anyway, let's get onto the very exciting matter of the GIVEAWAY! YAY!

GIVEAWAY - Win a set of 3 Timmy Failure Books

You can enter to win a set of 3 Timmy Failure books by completing the rafflecopter widget. Entries will be checked. This giveaway is open to UK residents over the age of 18. For full T&C's please see the T&C's detailed in the rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you aren't lucky enough to win this time, you can get hold of your own copy from Amazon here. It's received rave reviews and seems to be an extremely popular book for kids.

Disclosure: We were sent books 1 and 2 for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own. The publishers are providing a set of 3 Timmy Failure books to 1 winner. This will be sent out directly from the publishers or their agents. 

'You can't buy happiness but you can buy a bag and that's kind of the same thing' #ItsInTheBagBaby

I'm already an ambassador for Pink Lining. Why? Because since I've had my Pink Lining Yummy Mummy changing bag, it has come everywhere with me and I've told everyone about it. Friends have 'oohed' and 'aahed' over how lovely it is. Strangers thinking about buying a Pink Lining bag have asked to peek inside to help them decide. Pregnant mums expecting their first child have asked questions about how many bottles and nappies would fit in.

I let them feel the quality of it. I show them all the pockets inside. I explain that it holds plenty of bottles and oodles of nappies. I tell them how it has changed my life.

Judging by how impressed they were, I'm pretty confident several of those people have gone onto buy a Pink Lining bag. So in many ways, I believe I already am and always will be an ambassador for the Pink Lining brand. 

But I would LOVE to make it official. Pink Lining are searching for blogger ambassadors to work with and if there was one brand that I would love to work with more than any other it would be...you guessed it..Pink Lining. 

As well as the quality, longevity and practicality that their products offer, they simply ooze style too with their distinctive prints and designs.

I love how the brand has grown and added to its product range. Now it's not just me who has a Pink Lining bag in our family, but little Miss T has a gorgeous Pink Lining satchel from the Pink Lining Child range (and you will get to hear from her later on).

You can also get Pink Lining Holdalls, washbags, wallets, Tote bags, rucksacks and even phone covers. The Pink Lining child range also has some fabulous lunch boxes and wheelie cases. And this is just a few of the items I've mentioned from the Pink Lining brand. There are too many wonderful things to mention them all. But a quick look around their website will leave you wanting almost everything!!!  

So Pink Lining is a brand not just for new mums needing a changing bag but for families with different and changing needs and I feel like Pink Lining has been there alongside us on our journey as parents. 

Owning a 'Yummy Mummy' bag helped me begin to believe that I could start to feel like a yummy mummy rather than feeling overweight with the extra baby weight I was carrying, frumpy as I had no time to buy myself any new clothes, and generally a mess as I seemed to have no time to look after myself when my baby was born. Everytime I went out with my Yummy Mummy changing bag, I started to walk a little taller and started to feel better about myself. 
All this fits into my Pink Lining Yummy Mummy bag!
Pink Lining want us to share what we carry in our bags and whilst we normally keep our videos short and snappy, this has unintentionally become a rather long video but that really goes to show just how much can fit in a Pink Lining bag. 

If the video is too long, then I'm just going to urge you to watch near the end where there is a bit of a tip about how I use the 'wets' bag that came with my Pink Lining bag along with a couple of more unusual items I keep in there (dice and a pack of playing cards). As it is clear I can see through it when I'm looking for something and can find it at a glance. 

My 'alternative' use for the wets bag
And as I'm not the only one with a Pink Lining bag in the family, Miss T was keen to show what she keeps in her bag.
All this fits into Miss T's Pink Lining Satchel
So if you want a shorter video to watch, with someone cuter, here is Miss T showing what's in her Pink Lining bag. Her satchel has proved so useful for visits to granny, play dates and the hospital visits that she is having all too frequently because of her juvenile arthritis. And even the Pink Lining Child range can fit soo much in. Just look at her stunning Poppy England tutu that fitted in there along with all her other things! 

We love the clever design on the children's satchels where you can showcase your little one's drawings in the clear section on the opening flap. Miss T is currently proudly displaying a painting she did by printing pink shapes onto black paper at preschool. 

You've heard about just how much we already love Pink Lining so finally, a little bit about us and our blog...

We love baking and making, children's story books and having adventures of our own. We blog about our holidays and family times, and the ups and downs of life (but mainly the ups). We love working with brands that we adore and are passionate about on a longer term basis so that we get to know the brand better and they get to know us better. 

So Pink Lining, we love you and always will and we really really hope that you will love our blog too. 

This is my entry into the Pink Lining Ambassador search. You can find out more about Pink Lining here


Siblings - June 2015

For this month's siblings photo, I managed to get a snap of them all together at this year's Open Farm Sunday earlier in the month. We always try to get to a farm for Open Farm Sunday as it's such an educational and fun day out.

And as June is J's birthday month, I took the opportunity to grab a couple of pics of the three of them whilst J blew out his candles.

dear beautiful

What the Jackdaw Saw - A fabulous new Julia Donaldson book in Association with Life & Deaf

When the lovely people at Macmillan Children's books heard that Miss T had been having a rough time lately with her juvenile arthritis, they kindly sent her a few books to cheer her up.

As we LOVE Julia Donaldson's famous rhyming books, we turned to this one first. It's called 'What the Jackdaw saw' and I have to admit being rather puzzled by the first few pages.

As the Jackdaw flies around to invite various animals to his party, he finds them touching their heads. Very bizarre I thought - as did the Jackdaw it seems.

Until finally we find out just what they were trying to tell him. It's a fun one to re-read once you know the secret as there is a big clue in the illustrations with the storm cloud getting closer and closer and bigger and bigger.

Finally the Jackdaw 'gets' it with the help of a wise owl and manages to invite lots of friends to his party.

As well as the very clever storyline - which has been written not just by the talented Julia Donaldson but also with the help of deaf children in association with the non-profit organisation Life & Deaf. It's illustrated by another very talented person, Nick Sharratt, who we know from many other fabulous children's books.

The author's proceeds from this book will go to The Life & Deaf Association. So what better reason to get a copy...enjoy a great story, learn a little BSL and get to help a brilliant cause all at the same time.

The book has an audio CD to accompany it where the audio story is read by (one of Miss T's all time favourite people) Justin Fletcher. There is also a video on the CD which tells the story in British Sign Language. This video doesn't feature Justin, but the lady signing is very enthusiastic and expressive and the illustrations from the storybook are shown in the background. I couldn't get the video to show in our DVD player but it worked on a computer.

The video is also really handy for learning the signs that are pictured at the end of the book as you can see them being done for real rather than just from a still picture so it makes it far easier to learn how to sign those words yourself.

Me and Miss T had great fun reading this. Thank you Panmacmillan for your kindness in sending us this book.

It's available to buy from Panmacmillan here.


'Life is always better with a closet full of tulle, frills and glitter'

Miss T had a special delivery arrive for her this week. And it was stunning. Perfect for cheering her up after all she's been through in recent months with her diagnosis of juvenile arthritis.

I always find I'm short of time when it comes to blogging and so rarely get to write up about new brands we've discovered other than the brand reviews we are specifically asked to do. But this petticoat from Poppy England was SO gorgeous that I had to capture the moment on our blog.

Here's Miss T modelling it. I ordered the large children's size (age 4-7) because she is a tall 3 year old and keeps outgrowing her clothes so quickly. Choosing the colour was tricky because it is available in so many pretty colours. We chose the gorgeous plum colour.

And I couldn't pick out my favourite photo so I've included lots!

And whilst looking on the Poppy England website, I have totally fallen in love with some of their ladies dresses. You can get matching grown-ups and children's dresses like the stylish Budgies collection. I've added the Iris Navy budgie to my birthday wishlist and Miss T would look stunning in the matching design. I think the Georgina Navy budgies would look adorable on her. 

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Small Talk Kent magazine for introducing us to Poppy England as this gorgeous petticoat was a prize draw win in the last issue of Small Talk magazine. Thank you Small Talk and Poppy England. Miss T really is a lucky little girl!


A Splatoon kind of Birthday!

J loved Splatoon so much he wanted his birthday cake in a Splatoon style...!
It's J's birthday this week. He'll be 11. And on Saturday he had a couple of friends round for a gaming party. We'd only just received the download code a couple of days before that so we kept it a surprise for the day of the party.

When we told our boys that Nintendo had sent us a copy of Splatoon for the WiiU to review, the squeals of delight could be heard down the street! We then watched J tell his friends as they arrived and I wish I caught their reaction on camera. It was awesome. J and his two friends had the biggest grins on their faces as they just kept repeating in amazement - 'Splatoon!''Splatoon''Splatoon!!!' Whilst jumping up and down.

They soon wanted to get started. They had all heard about this fun new game and really wanted to drive straight in so, after they each ran through the tutorial, that is exactly what they did.
Little Miss T stuck to playing her own game on the DS as Splatoon is rated PEGI 7
In Splatoon you play as an Inkling - a person who can turn into a squid during the game. A unique style of game - part shooting, part strategy, part puzzle, totally complete frenzied fun. There is a range of game types to play. In each, you must play the part of a character carrying a weapon - the difference from any other game is that you fire ink (remember, you are part squid).

In the two-player contest, you have to shoot to pop balloons, with the winner being the one that pops the most. Of course, covering your opponent in ink is also fun and slows their progress too. As this is the local multiplayer mode, the boys have spent quite a long time on it, battling each other and thrashing Daddy.

The online multiplayer mode sees you teaming up with 3 other players, and taking on 4 opponents. You simply have to cover more of the ground in your team's colour than the opponent does in a set time. As you progress, you earn credits to upgrade weapons for future contests. Despite the other players being far better than Daddy, he still earned points based on his own personal progress, so it really is a fair battle even if you do not win the round. 

Then there are the missions, which see one player taking on a series of challenges in a story mode to try to rescue the missing ZapFish from the Octarians. Our J loved this, as he particularly likes any longer term challenges in games.

The controls were quite easy to pick up, despite there being a lot to remember. Switching from the WiiU game pad to a handheld controller for the two player game was a bit more difficult, as it has no motion sensor, but the kids managed it faster than Daddy!

All in all this is a fantastic fun game,  and one I am sure we will keep coming back to. Do watch the video over on the Nintendo site as it really does give a flavour of the fast-action ink-blasting fun.

As his friends were leaving at the end of the party, all we could hear was them saying things like 'awesome' and 'best day ever!' So I think they really liked it too.

Now back to birthday planning for his actual big day. He's asked for two cakes - a big one for his mainstream class with the Splatoon theme and a smaller one for his ASD unit with the Tomadachi Life Apartments on it! Tomodachi is his other mega favourite game and you can read about that here.

Disclosure: We were sent a download code for Splatoon as part of the Nintendo UK Family Blogger Network, for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.