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May the Force be with you, on Disney Infinity 3.0


What a difference a day makes. Twenty-four little hours. Yesterday we were fans of the original Star Wars trilogy, and had enjoyed episodes I, II and III. But today we are converts to the simply fantastic Star Wars adventure - The Force Awakens. We sat transfixed by the film at the cinema this morning, and were compelled to open our brand new The Force Awakens Play set for Disney Infinity 3.0... and we were not disappointed!

Following the overall plot of the film, with a few twists and turns to make it even more enjoyable, The Force Awakens is a must for any Star Wars fan. The Play Set contains Finn and Rey, so you can jump straight into the game with a friend.
The game opens with you flying a Tie Fighter to try to escape the First Order - a good excuse to fire at will. Shortly after you land (of sorts) on Jakku, and the game transforms to a first-person platform adventure, before opening out into a much wider free-play type environment. You have to complete missions and help other characters to be able to move forward, all the time aware of who might be after you.

Here's the official Disney trailer for you to enjoy:


The lovely people at Disney also kindly sent us the two other Star Wars Play Sets, as well as a few extra characters. So to complete our Star Wars collection on Disney Infinity 3.0, we also have Rise Against the Empire and Twilight of the Republic.

With the Twilight of the Republic Play Set, you get Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. The aim, of course, is to defend the Republic, starting with a battle to get into, and then to overcome, the droid factory. In this game, based on episodes I, II and III, you learn to use the Force, travel to different locations, and have to uncover secret plots to be able to bring peace to the galaxy.

The Rise Against the Empire Play Set comes with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia and is based on episodes IV to VI.. Using blasters and light sabers, the idea is to overcome evil with the Force for the light side. You start, of course, on Tatooine and must complete mini-challenges and games to move through the levels. These include racing, defeating specific characters, and even getting the band back together so that famous music can play again.

All the games have the great music you expect from Disney and Star Wars, and worlds and characters that both look good and move in realistic ways.

All three play sets have been a huge hit in this household. Being able to play as some of the original characters (Luke and Leia) as well as the newest (Finn and Rey) has been great. And on Disney Infinity 3.0, you can use the characters from one Star Wars adventure in another of the Star Wars games once you unlock them by finding their character coins - just switch the figure over and off you go. As with all Disney Infinity 3.0 games, the characters are then added to your Toy Box and available for adventures that never end, and their own special abilities and skills can be upgraded to make them even more useful in the game.

Power Disc packs are also available, to unlock new character abilities, gadgets, costumes and team attacks.
The controls across the three games are very simple, and very similar, making it easy to move between them. Throughout the games there are helpful hints and guides to lead you to the next mission or checkpoint, and there is in-game help if you get stuck.

If you have a Star Wars fan (or two... or three!) in your household, these Play Sets will be very popular!

More information about the three Star Wars Play Sets for Disney Infinity 3.0 can be found on the Disney website.

You can read our beginners guide to Disney Infinity 3.0 here and our review of the Inside Out Playset here.

Disclosure: We were sent three Star Wars Play Sets and additional characters for Disney Infinity 3.0 for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own. Images courtesy of Disney/Disney Pixar. 

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Walking in the Woods (and a JIA update)

It was almost a year ago that the doctors broke the news to us that Miss T was likely to have Juvenile Arthritis. It came as a shock. Having been through it as a child myself, I realise that it perhaps shouldn't have been such a shock but it was. 

She was lucky to receive a formal diagnosis soon after that so that treatment could begin. 

We have so much to be thankful for. I wrote about that recently in a guest post for Head Over Wheels. But there are also times that have been tough. It's been hard to see her in a lot of pain at times. It's been hard seeing her take so much medication including weekly injections and regular blood tests to check for serious side effects. 

It's been frustrating to find that each time we tried to reduce her naproxen, the left ankle would swell again and so we would have to re-start the naproxen again (The ideal scenario is to cut it out completely and for the methotrexate injections to keep the swelling and pain at bay).

Whilst we have encouraged her to keep active, there has been a very fine line between keeping mobile and overdoing things whilst the joint has been swollen as that could cause damage and pain.

Last week we went for her physio appointment at Great Ormond Street. She has been doing intensive physio excercises since our last appointment in December. And the hard work has paid off. The physio was really happy with her progress. Her legs are strengthening and more importantly the swelling seems to have finally reduced - Hurrah! 

With that good news it felt like we'd been given the green light to encourage her to do that bit more than she had been doing. For a while we've been restricted to visiting places where her wheelchair can follow because she was prone to having sudden bursts of pain and would then need to sit and rest. But yesterday we braved a little winter walk in some woods. We left her wheelchair at home and Miss T did brilliantly and had a super time. 

I was grinning from ear to ear as this is the sort of adventure we had missed over the past year - being able to get properly muddy in the woods. 

 And the boys had a whale of a time too - we found a rope swing to play on:


I'm hoping that the pain stays away so we can continue with little adventures like these!

Linking up with:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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"Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you." Review of Inside Out on Disney Infinity 3.0

We love the film Inside Out, having watched it last summer - it had just hit the in flight movie timetable on our return journey home from Canada. For anyone who hasn't seen the film, the core characters are emotions experienced by 11 year old Riley when she moves home. So when the lovely people at Disney sent us a Play Set (with Joy and Anger) and a couple of extra characters for Disney Infinity 3.0 we couldn't wait to get stuck in.

Here's nine-year old D's 30 second take on the game:

 You play, of course, as one of the five emotions that dwell in Riley's mind. When she starts to have a bad dream, it is up to the emotions to restore order and save the day (well, night). As with other games for the Disney Infinity 3.0, you can choose which character you play as, and you can either play alone or with a friend.

Each emotion has their own special abilities, and you will need to use more than one character to complete the game. And, being Disney Infinity, you can upgrade each character within the game and make them even more useful as you progress.

And each emotion has their own fantastic characteristics and quirks. My personal favourite is Disgust, as she throws witty and sarcastic remarks as you move around, particularly if the other player in two-player mode drops out.
Early on in the game you get used to popping balloons - they look nice, but are cluttering up Riley's mind and need sorting out. As you progress, you must find core memories and return them to their rightful places, defeat Subconscious swamp monsters, move mind workers around, and battle the terrible broccoli. Being set inside Riley's mind, the landscape is constantly changing and it is simply stunning to watch the game unfold.
You can watch the official trailer for Inside Out on Disney Infinity 3.0 right here:

 Of course, once you have played with the characters in the game itself, they become unlocked in the Toy Box and can join you on your truly infinite adventures!

More information about the Inside Out Play Set can be found on the Disney website.

Disclosure: We were sent an Inside Out Play Set and additional characters for Disney Infinity 3.0 for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own. Images courtesy of Disney/Disney Pixar. 
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Disney Infinity 3.0 on Nintendo Wii U - Our beginners guide!

We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the fantastic team at Disney, and we were so excited when our new Disney Infinity 3.0 starter kit and characters arrived. The boys have seen Disney Infinity at a friend's house and really wanted to get stuck in.

Knowing the box was on its way, I did a little bit of research to find out more about Disney Infinity and how to set it up. But despite loads of websites talking about it, very few actually gave an insight of how to set it up and what it can do. So we thought that this would be a great place to start!
Disney Infinity 3.0 is the latest in the gaming concept from Disney. Their website gives details of compatibility if you have already got Disney Infinity 1.0 or 2.0. We didn't, so we started from scratch.

Setting up for the first time
You will need a base, the game software (available on disk or download), and at least one character piece. You can get all of these in a starter kit, and then simply buy more characters and other game pieces as you wish.

Step 1. Plug the base into the Wii U via the USB connector. You can also buy the game for other consoles, and it is available for PC and handheld devices (tablets and phones).

Step 2. Switch on the Wii U and insert the game disk. Load the game.
Step 3. You will be asked to register with Disney once the game loads. This is really simple, you just give your name, email and password.

Step 4. Well, that's it really. All ready to go. To start you off there is a a demo that takes you through Star Wars, Inside Out and finally a race where you play as Mickey Mouse against Donald Duck and friends.
Once you have the game set up and have mastered the easy controls, you are good to go. With Disney Infinity you have two main ways to play, and infinite possibilities. By placing a Play Set piece on the base you can play the levels created by Disney. For these, you need to use the characters from that world (so Inside Out characters in the Inside Out world when you use the Inside Out Play Set piece, for example).
The other way to play the game is free play. You create worlds from nothing, or build on templates provided. Create vehicles, land, buildings and enemies. Then go and explore, defeat the enemies, run, drive and fly. The possibilities are truly infinite.
One of the great things about Disney Infinity is that you can switch characters whilst playing. So if you need to use a special power that your character doesn't have, take it off the base and replace it with a figure that does... and your character in the game changes and off you go! Each character has different strengths and skills, and you can develop and power them up by playing and completing challenges. Disney Infinity also has Power Discs to give additional powers to your game. These are simply placed on the base as you play.
We have had Disney Inifinity 3.0 setup for just a couple of days and only just scratched the surface of everything it contains, but we all love it!

Watch out for our reviews of some of the new sets coming soon.
Disclosure: We were sent a Disney Infinity starter kit, and a selection of additional playsets and characters for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own. 
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Guestposting at Head over Wheels

Today we are guest-posting over at Head Over Wheels. The Head Over Wheels blog is a positive online space for wheelchair users.

Miss T is an occasional wheelchair user at the moment because of her JIA and one of the things I hope comes out of Miss T having this condition is for people to become more aware that arthritis can and does affect people of any age. Early diagnosis is crucial for successful treatment and the greater awareness there is, the more chances of an early diagnosis.

You can read our guest post here.


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When Happily Ever After becomes #HealthilyEverAfter with Disney

Once upon a time there lived a family who wanted to live a little healthier. And for us being healthy consists of two main areas that are within our control to improve...

One of those is to be more active - this doesn't necessarily mean heading to the gym but rather those little lifelong changes that can be made to get outdoors a bit more and incorporate more movement into our daily lives.

The second area is healthy eating. I'm always conscious of making sure that we all eat plenty of fruit and veg as a family. So we've been inspired by some of our favourite Disney films and characters to get healthy this year.

Disney have launched a #HealthilyEverAfter campaign to encourage families to get active and eat healthily. On the Disney Healthy Living site you can get lots of inspiration and ideas. Here is Disney's #HealthilyEverAfter video to give you an idea of what it is all about.


We also love some of the healthy eating inspiration like the Olaf bento style lunch on the site. Olaf and his friends from Frozen have given us plenty of inspiration to get active this winter too.

At this time of year it can be so tempting just to stay indoors, snuggle up and watch films. And there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes. But it's also crucial to get outdoors and get active - your body will thank you for it. It can shake off those cobwebs and the fresh air will stop that lethargic feeling I get when I stay cooped up indoors for too long in winter.

The kids love getting outdoors whatever the weather - whether it's dressing up in waterproofs and jumping in puddles or going out for a winter walk. Watch our video to see what happened when we woke up to find a very 'Frozen' day...

When it comes to eating veggies, I used to be a firm believer in exposing babies and toddlers to plenty of tastes and textures believing that they wouldn't become fussy eaters. It worked a dream for my first two children. They have always been happy to try all sorts of vegetables no matter how weird and wonderful.

Then Miss T came along and she too was given lots of different tastes and textures to try but she just did not want to try new vegetables! So I've had to incorporate more and more vegetables into the meals I cook rather than serve the vegetables separately. She is far happier eating them this way. I make meals like Macaroni cheese with butternut squash added in. Chilli con carne with added aubergine and carrots. Mashed potato with leeks mixed in.

I decided to turn to Disney again for inspiration and this time it was the Disney scene from Lady and the Tramp that we lovingly call 'the spaghetti dogs'. Everyone seems to know and love this iconic scene where Lady and Scamp share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs and find themselves nibbling on the same piece of spaghetti until their lips meet.

We recreated the scene in our video which also shows just how easy it is to get those veggies into meals. Just by finely chopping onion, carrots, courgette and celery and mixing them in with the beef mince you can easily incorporate all those veggies into a family meal. Serve with wholewheat spaghetti to give it another healthy twist.

I would love to hear how you inspire your family to be healthier and more active? I know that @Disney_Uk would love to hear your stories too using the #healthilyeverafter hashtag.

This post is part of Disney's #HealthilyEverAfter campaign with BritMums sponsored by Disney. Share your stories and be inspired at DisneyHealthyLiving.co.uk and live Healthily Ever After (#HealthilyEverAfter).


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