Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Christmas DVD Gifts for Kids

Regular readers will know what a huge fan of certain shows Bud is and today I'm going to share his top picks for Christmas DVD gifts, if you have children who enjoy the same programmes he does. We've been lucky to receive three of his top picks for Christmas this year and these would make great stocking fillers to bring a smile on Christmas morning.

Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave

The new DVD from the Island of Sodor was released this Summer. We caught it at the cinema then and Bud loved every second of it. The new adventure sees a huge storm hit Sodor and Thomas uncover something rather unusual when he is working in the stone quarry. This discovery leads to Percy and Thomas being forced to confront their fears, which engine's bravery is this the tale of? Which engine will learn a valuable lesson? And what mystery is lurking in the quarry?

There are a few new characters introduced in Tale of the Brave which include Marion, a self-propelled steam shovel, Timothy, an oil-powered engine and Gator (Bud's favourite) an unusually shaped engine, visiting from the mainland.

This is a really welcome addition to Bud's Thomas collection and it's been a real hit since it arrived on DVD last week. He's loved having the chance to watch the film again and re-familiarise himself with some of the new characters who might be arriving in Take n Play form from Father Christmas next month.

Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave has an RRP of £12:99 and is available from all usual stockists. It's currently on sale for just £7:00 at Amazon.

Mike the Knight: Journey to Dragon Mountain

We were really lucky to be invited to visit Warwick Castle in September to see the launch of Mike the Knight: Journey to Dragon Mountain, meet Mike the Knight himself and enjoy lots of fun themed knight activities.

The film is Mike the Knight's first feature length DVD and sees Mike, Evie and their Dad the King team up as 'Team Family Glendragon' to return a stolen crystal to it's dragon guardian. With appearances from many of the Glendragon favourites, including Galahad, Squirt, Sparkie, the Vikings and Gargoyle. The adventure kept Bud on the edge of his seat and some of the songs were very catchy.

There is a really lovely story thread featuring Squirt and his family that we particularly enjoyed and it was great to see the characters develop more fully in an hour long adventure. We've had it on regular rotation on the DVD player in our house and I can guarantee you will find yourself humming the 'Team Family Glendragon' song too.

The RRP for Mike the Knight: Journey to Glendragon is £12:99 but you will find it at Amazon for just £5:00 at the moment.

Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue

This one isn't a feature length adventure, instead it brings together six of the ocean themed episodes from the most recent series of Fireman Sam. There have been some new additions to Pontypandy in this series - the Ocean Rescue Centre, a new coastguard - Ben - and two new vehicles - Juno the Jet Ski and Titan the Rescue Boat and they all feature strongly in this DVD. Of course, all of your child's favourite Fireman Sam characters are back too.

Our full review of the DVD can be seen here - Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue DVD - as well as our review of the Ocean Rescue Centre Playset. The two would make a fabulous Christmas gift for any little Fireman Sam fan.

Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue is available from all usual stockists and Amazon.

Which DVDs do your children have on their Christmas lists?

Chocolate: The ultimate Christmas gift

Whether it’s the coin variety hung from a Christmas tree or a luxury box­ full given as a gift there's no doubt that chocolate is ubiquitous during the festive season. Christmas and chocolate go together like the proverbial holly and ivy, and there’s a reason why this is such an appreciated gift.

Chocolate Yule Log

Image by Cross Duck, shared under a Creative Commons Licence
The Feel-­good Christmas Gift

Dark chocolate has the ability to improve your mood and help your body to combat disease. It contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which increases the brain’s endorphin and serotonin levels giving us a slight mood boost and it can also raise the serotonin levels in your stomach, thus helping your immune system. So if you’re giving some chocolate to a loved one this year you’re also helping to keep them healthy and free from Winter bugs; as long as they don’t overdo their daily one ounce intake that is!

A Gift for Everyone

There’s not many people who don’t enjoy a piece of chocolate now and again, even if it’s only on special occasions. But Christmas is, of course, a time to indulge your sweet tooth no matter what
age you are. Children love receiving selection boxes and chocolate figures of snowmen or Santa,
while opening that advent calendar to reveal a sweet treat in the run up to Christmas is a long-
standing tradition. The great thing about chocolate is everyone has their favourite, which means that you can splash out on chocolate personalised gifts this Christmas for that extra wow factor.

The Luxury Option
Those luxury boxes of chocolates made by the experts in countries such as Switzerland and Belgium may cost a little extra but it will be reflected in the taste. Most of the major stores will stock luxury brands; gift sets including a bottle of champagne are a nice touch as a thoughtful present. Try out a nice glass of wine with some of those fruit­ infused cocoa treats to bring out the flavour, especially those fortified sweet wines and ports.

Make Your Own Festive Treats
Chocolate is also the perfect ingredient when baking cakes, brownies or desserts. The cooking variety is inexpensive and can be used to make popular cakes such as spiced chocolate cake and  fruit cakes as well as puddings with syrup, home­made truffles and delicious white chocolate chip fudge. You can even buy gluten ­free cooking chocolate with no added sugar, which is ideal for making cakes for people with special dietary requirements.

Sales of chocolate soar over the festive period and it’s not hard to see why. This inexpensive but delicious foodstuff is a staple of the Christmas holidays, that is, until those pesky New Year’s resolutions start knocking at the door.

Partnered Post

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Three is the Magic Number - An Announcement

We have a little announcement to reveal. If you go back through my archive you'll see lots of posts talking about how our little family was complete and that LM would be our final baby. Well, over the Summer Ian and I started to talk about... maybe... not being done.

So, it seems that fate definitely agreed with us as, within a couple of weeks of deciding that we might like to have a third baby, this happened.

Baby #3 Scan Photo

Baby #3 is due in May. We're very excited.  We haven't told Bud and LM yet. Bud because he'll ask endless questions and expect 'today to be the day' for the next seven months. LM is still too little to understand although we will be breaking the news, probably after Christmas and sharing lots of books and stories about the new baby being on the way. 

I'm now almost thirteen weeks pregnant. The first trimester was hard with constant nausea although I managed to escape the sickness that was so debilitating during LM's pregnancy.  The tiredness has been overwhelming this time and I've had to slow down a little. 

The problems I had following LM's birth mean that I'm deemed 'high risk' for this delivery and I won't get the water births I have had for my previous two children. I have a meeting with my consultant in January.

I stopped blogging when I was pregnant with LM but that won't be happening this time. I'm really looking forward to recording and sharing this pregnancy with all of you. It's and exciting time!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Christmas Shopping with Tesco Clubcard Boost and Win

If you're a regular Tesco shopper you'll have noticed that Clubcard Boost is currently underway. For those not in the know, this is a way of doubling up on your Clubcard vouchers to make them go further and get more for your money in the run up to Christmas. 

Clubcard Boost

The departments taking part this year are:

  • Toys and Bikes
  • Christmas trees, Lights and Decorations
  • Gaming
  • Clothing
  • Health and Beauty Gift Sets
  • Phones and Accessories
  • Electricals
  • Cook, Dine and Home
  • Opticians
  • hudl2 Tablets and hudl Accessories
With more departments across the store involved this year it's very easy to use your Clubcard vouchers to get that Christmas shopping off to a great start..

Tesco have asked me to look at the Clubcard Boost departments and choose a gift for an 'awkward to buy for' person on my shopping list this Christmas. So I've chosen my oldest nephew. He's in his early 20s and we generally just give him money and chocolate but I thought I'd use the Tesco Clubcard Boost to see if I could track down something more interesting this year!

He's a big gamer so I took a look at the Gaming section of Tesco Direct and I'm thinking a game like The Elder Scrolls Online might be a game for him to keep him interested for a while. It's currently reduced to £37. Clubcard Boost means that you can exchange £5 of vouchers for £10 for use on the featured departments so I could use £20 of Clubcard Vouchers to buy the game which would leave me with £3 left to buy him these funky Food Socks.

What do you think?


I've teamed up with Tesco to give one of my readers the chance for a Clubcard Boost of their very own! One lucky winner will receive a nice little new year bonus of 500 Clubcard Points.

To enter the giveaway simply complete the Glean widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional options. Please read the terms and conditions.

Clubcard Boost

Win competitions at

Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue DVD

Bud loves Fireman Sam and the adventures of the Welsh fireman with his friends in Pontypandy are very familiar to us. He has quite a collection of toys and DVDs but was very excited to see that a brand new Fireman Sam DVD focusing on a new area for the team is now available. Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue focuses on the new Pontypandy Ocean Rescue Centre and introduces a brand new character - Ben the Coastguard and two new vehicles - Titan the Rescue Boat and Juno the Jet Ski.

The new DVD features six water themed episodes:
  • All at Sea
  • Whale Watch
  • The Pontypandy Cup
  • Turtle Hunt
  • The Treasure Trap
  • Stage Fright
The full DVD is just over an hour long and you can choose to watch an episode at a time or 'play all'. Having any little fans of the show you might struggle to go for the single episode option! 

Featuring all of the usual Fireman Sam characters you will see Norman get up to his usual tricks in Turtle Hunt when he and Mandy go in search of a rare turtle. In All at Sea Mike goes out alone to set some fireworks, they accidentally go off all at once What could possibly go wrong?

Bud was quite familiar with the Ocean Rescue Centre and Juno as we reviewed the Character Toys Ocean Rescue Centre Playset recently. We haven't caught any of the episodes featuring it yet so the DVD was the perfect 'on screen' introduction to it for him.

Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue is available from all usual stockists with an RRP. Currently Amazon have it for the bargain price of £5:99 which makes it the perfect stocking filler for any little Fireman Sam fan this Christmas. It comes highly recommended from Bud!

Disclosure: We received the DVD in exchange for this post. Affiliate link included.

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