Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review

LM loves Num Noms. For those not in the know, they're a series of cute little characters which look a little like scoops of ice cream. They are all individually decorated and have their own sweet, or sometimes suprising, fragrance!

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Sweet Sampler Magazine

Series 4 sees the addition of nail varnish and glitter lip gloss to the range and LM was delighted to be sent some to try out recently. She received the Num Noms Series 4 Deluxe Lunchbox Sweets Sampler (RRP £16:99), two Num Noms Lights Season 2.1 mystery packs (RRP £4:99) and a copy of the brand new Num Noms magazine (£3:90).

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Sweet Sampler

The Num Noms Series 4 Deluxe Lunchbox Sweets Sampler contains 12 Num Noms from the Sweets  theme. One of these is secret and two are from the brand new sparkly lip gloss range! These are fancy cake and macaron themed and LM loved identifying each Num Nom from the included collectors menu.

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Opening mystery packs

I think our favourite was Confetti Cookie, she's so pretty and she smells lovely! Our secret Num Nom was Lemon Pinkfill. She looks so cute with her little bunny ears.

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Sweets Sampler

LM loves the cute little lipglosses included in the Sweets Sampler. She received Mint Swirl Gloss-Up and Lemon Drop Gloss-Up. Both smell lovely and offer a tiny hint of colour and a lot of sparkle. Perfect for every little girl to stash in her bag for days out.

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Sweet Sampler lip gloss

The Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 are the first that LM has owned. She received two mystery packs which are shaped like little milk cartons. Inside each is a Num, a light up Nom and a ring so you can wear them!

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Rings lights

LM opened them to find Bridget Banana and Clara Candy, with light up Cherry Gem and Bubble Gem. These are so cute and LM loved wearing the rings when she put the Num Nom together.

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Ring Light

The Num Noms magazine was a real treat. LM, like most little girls, loves seeing her favourite characters in magazines, and seeing the treats that come bundled with them. This mag had so many free gifts including a click camera which shows a different Num Nom every time you look through the viewfinder and press the button, invitations to a Num Noms party, stickers for the new Num Noms collectible sticker album and some scented holographic Cherry stickers (LM's favourite scent), a keyring and a magnetic photo frame!

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Magazine free gifts

At £3:90 cover price this is a real bargain and the monthly magazine will make a great pocket money treat for Num Noms fans. In addition the mag features giveaways, puzzles and lots of features. LM wants to stick the full colour central poster on her bedroom wall.

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Magazine

In addition to the items we have featured Series 4 will also see the launch of a Num Noms Collectors Case (a must have for us as we're constantly finding them around the house, it will be great to be able to keep all of LM's favourite Num Noms in one place), Num Noms Surprise in a Jar and a nail polish maker! Look out for the full range of Series 4 Num Noms and Series 2.1 Num Noms Lights in all usual stockists.

Num Noms Series 4 and Num Noms Lights Series 2.1 - Review Opening mystery packs

To find out more about Num Noms visit Num Noms from MGA Entertainment.

Product supplied for evaluation purposes.



L.O.L. Surprise Dolls Lil' Sisters - Review

LM has had her eye on the range of L.O.L. dolls for some time now so, when the opportunity came along to take a look at one of the new Lil' Sisters range from MGA Entertainment, I knew she would love to try them.
L.O.L. Surprise Dolls Lil' Sisters - Review MGA Entertainment

Blind bags are all the rage in our house. Both Bud and LM love the opportunity to have a surprise and add to a favourite collection. Lil' Sisters (and their big sisters the L.O.L. Surprise dolls) take blind bags to the next level though! Instead of one item the Lil' Sisters have five layers of surprise inside and LM was keen to take me through every single one of them!
Unwrapping L.O.L. Surprise Dolls Lil' Sisters - Review Blind bag MGA Entertainment

The Lil' Sisters arrive in their own green ball which your gradually unwrap to reveal each surprise. The first layer sees the outer wrapper removed to give you a sticker which provides you with a clue to the contents. Our's said 'Smarty Pants' and showed a pair of blue jeans and a lightbulb. The next layer is a pink wrapper which revealed another sticker. This is collectible and gives you a hint to the secret your Lil' Sister holds (ours said 'changes colour'). Once this layer is removed you are presented with a hot pink capsule which holds the three remaining surprises.
L.O.L. Surprise Dolls Lil' Sisters - Review MGA Entertainment Blind Bag

Our capsule pops open to reveal four little packets with the remaining suprises inside. Three are spotty to show that they are accessories while the larger striped one contains the Lil' Sister doll herself. LM opened the accessories first. The first bag contained the keyring attachment to pop onto the ball-shaped capsule to clip your Lil' Sister on to your bag to take with you wherever you go (LM did this but soon got frustrated as the capsule pops open on it's own, scattering the contents quite readily). The next bag contained a red mobile phone which is for the L.O.L Surprise big sister to use. The last one contains an accessory or outfit for the big sister, in this case LM got a hat with a big feather plume on it, this looks perfect for if the L.O.L Surprise doll wants to join the majorettes.
L.O.L. Surprise Dolls Lil' Sisters - Review MGA Entertainment Blind Bag Contents

The Lil' Sister herself was in the final bag. LM got the cutest little baby girl, with red nappy and cute wink. Her collectors guide tells us that she is Lil' Majorette and she's from the Spirit Club. Going back to her sticker, we knew that she would reveal a surprise when we got her wet so we immersed her in a cup of iced water and she showed us!
L.O.L. Surprise Dolls Lil' Sisters - Review MGA Entertainment Blind Bag Colour Change

LM adores these dolls and I can see them being an occasional treat for her going forwards. We're lucky in that she has a cousin we can pass swaps on to but, if she didn't, I think I would be less keen to buy as they are being bought blind and duplicates aren't easy to avoid. They are more expensive than other blind bags, with an RRP of £4:99 so I'd love a secret way for parents to identify who is inside, even if the children can't work it out. They are a really lovely companion to the L.O.L Surprise dolls and I know LM will be adding some to her forthcoming birthday list.
L.O.L. Surprise Dolls Lil' Sisters - Review Blind Bag MGA Entertainment

To find out more about Lil' Sisters and L.O.L Surprise dolls visit L.O.L. Surprise' online home.

Doll supplied for evaluation purposes.

Warner Bros Christmas DVD Wishlist

Grab the mistletoe and get ready to find the perfect gift for that special someone this Christmas.

Warner Bros. has the ultimate selection, whether you’re looking for him, for her, or for festive favourites to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit. 

I've been looking at a few of the Warner Bros. DVDs on offer this Christmas and I've decided on my favourite to share with you all.

Warner Bros Christmas DVD Wishlist Middle Earth Hobbit Lord of the Rings Box Set

I'm a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings universe and have been since I discovered the world by reading the books as a teenager. In my pre-children days I used to re-read the books every year and I was first in line to see each of the movies on their release. I was keen to see The Hobbit films but cinema trips are few and far between for us these days so I've caught up on them on DVD and On Demand services.

The idea of having all six of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films on DVD in one place is brilliant and this box set brings the six theatrical releases together. As a busy mum I don't have the time for all the DVD extras I used to enjoy so this is perfect! 

There are a range of fantastic Warner Bros.  titles available at HMV.com, which will make perfect gifts. Will you be buying any DVDs to give to your loved ones this Christmas?

Join #TeamElf or #Team Santa with MCFC this Christmas

There's a wide range of festive events available in Manchester and this weekend we went along to preview one of the more unusual offerings - the brand new Christmas themed tour of the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City FC. Our football allegiances lie elsewhere (in League One with Bolton Wanderers) and I haven't visited the Etihad since it was the City of Manchester Stadium and the Commonwealth Games were hosted there, so I was keen to explore!

Join #TeamElf or #Team Santa with MCFC this Christmas Manchester City Tour

On arrival for the tour the group is split into #TeamElf and #TeamSanta and you'll compete in some friendly challenges along the way so make sure you choose your colours wisely! We were #TeamElf. The tour starts with  the chance to have your photo taken wearing your 'team colours' in the form of elf and Santa themed Christmas jumpers. Only Bud was willing to don a jumper from our group and he was really pleased with the photo we picked up at the end of our tour which saw him superimposed against the Etihad, with the Premier League trophy beside him (there is an additional charge for the photos).

While Team Santa were having their photos taken we had the opportunity to explore the visitors centre and take a look at some of City's recent silverware. Our guide, Dominic, showed us some of the highlights and then we were straight in to our first challenge - decorating Christmas trees. Each member of the teams had to place a decoration on their tree. Team Elf were victorious but, due to an incident with tinsel tangling, we were deemed to have placed two decorations on in a single go. We conceded half of our points and embarked on the stadium tour.

First stop on the tour was the Chairman's Lounge where tickets to watch the match, with a slap up meal prior to the match cost around £600! We saw the front of the stadium and the site of the 'blue carpet' where the City team enter the stadium before each match. The Etihad has it's own access road which allows vehicles to drive directly on to the pitch, if required. The Lounge itself is a lovely space and, from there, you can access the Premier League's largest directors' box, complete with padded and heated seats!  This is also the first chance you get to take in the full stadium in all it's impressive glory. It was very different from when I was there watching athletics in 2002!

Join #TeamElf or #Team Santa with MCFC this Christmas Manchester City Tour

The Media Centre was the next stop and the children got the chance to pretend to be Pep Guardiola, his most recent signing and their agent. It's a quick step from there into the Away Team dressing room, complete with Lionel Messi shirt, and our next festive challenge. This split us into our teams again and we each had a ball to throw at a row of snowmen to try and dislodge them from their perches on the away team benches. Amazingly each team scored 10 points so we were level going on to the next game.

This took place in the Home Team dressing room. Bottle Flipping! Those are two words that will strike fear in to the hearts of many mums with primary school age chidren! Thanks to the skills of the children from Tired Mummy of Two and Extraordinary Chaos Team Elf streaked into a comprehensive lead. The dressing room itself will delight City fans, giving them the chance to sit where their heroes do, in their very comfortable Recaro seats.

Join #TeamElf or #Team Santa with MCFC this Christmas Manchester City Tour

The last big point on the tour is the most important. We were led into the tunnel and then out pitchside. The children explored the dug outs which and we were all very careful not to touch the pitch! From there we made our way back through the stadium and on to our final Christmas game which saw each of us trying to chip a football into a Christmas basket. I'm slightly ashamed to say that not a single one of us managed this which meant that our Team Elf lead proved unassailable and we were the winners!

Join #TeamElf or #Team Santa with MCFC this Christmas Manchester City Tour

Back in the Souvenir Shop and Tour Centre we had the chance to look at our photos, make our own Match Attax cards, and receive our City Santa hat prizes (we passed ours on to my Sister in Law's family of blues). Our tour guide, Dominic, demonstrated an extensive knowledge of the club's history and a real passion for his team which was infectious.

Join #TeamElf or #Team Santa with MCFC this Christmas Manchester City Tour

We all enjoyed the tour and the festive elements make it the perfect Christmas treat for any football fans who would like to explore this impressive stadium.

Manchester City will be offering all those that have been on the Stadium Tour in December a 20% discount off all purchases in the City Store that month. So why not treat a loved one to an exciting day at the Etihad Stadium or pick up a perfect City Christmas gift and don’t forget for every City Christmas jumper purchased the Club will donate an additional £5 to local community projects delivered by City in the Community, who are celebrating 30 years of empowering lives through football.

Tickets for the tour cost £17 per adult, £11 per child aged 5-16 and £12 for concessions and will run on select days throughout December. Visit www.mancity.com for more information and to book tickets.



Cinderella at Octagon Theatre, Bolton - Review

On Monday night Ian, Bud, LM and I attended the press night for Cinderella at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton. The Octagon is our local theatre so we were delighted to take the children for their first experience of this theatre, and to see their Christmas 2016 show. I'm no fan of the traditional pantomime (even though the children are) so I was looking forward to the Octagon's festive alternative.

Ben Occhipintii's production takes the traditional fairy tale and modernises it with a completely different take on the story. Remember the mice in the animated version? Well, these become the kitchen rats of Cinderella's home and her unexpected allies who tell the story from their slightly quirky, and often sweetly innocent perspective. 

Cinderella at Octagon Theatre, Bolton Review

The play has a tiny company, of just six actors, with the five rats taking on the additional roles including ugly sisters, stepmother and prince, and just a change of headgear making the switch. In addition to telling the story through their dialogue, the rats play grand piano, double bass and percussion instruments on stage, while singing too! The tubular bells especially provide a really festive note, there's something about hearing them struck that instantly transports me to Christmas. It's a hugely energetic production with few of the cast leaving the stage for too long and props and costume changes being hidden in the corners of Cinders' kitchen .

Cinderella at Octagon Theatre, Bolton Review

There are some surprising elements, watch out for the terrific stepsisters - Thisun and Thatun, played by Alicia McKenzie and Anne O'Riordan - who offer the truly 'laugh out loud' moments of comedy in their short time on stage, without any of the 'boo hiss' responses generated in pantomime, and are real fun as their rat alter egos Claws and Teeth too. Alexander Bean is very sweet as Whiskers and slightly bewildered as the prince who has to take a wife while Tomas Wolstenholme switches from a brief, but compelling, turn as Cinders' father through Ears the rat to a King who has decided that his son needs to marry and the sooner the better! As the Stepmother Felicity Sparks gives the play the antagonist but balances this with her beautiful piano playing and warmth as Tails the Rat. Cinderella herself is played beautifully by Lucy Faint and she brings a sympathetic realness to the role that has the audience rooting for her from the very start.

Cinderella at Octagon Theatre, Bolton Review

My children are 4 and 6 and they were utterly delighted by the whole play. In fact, LM cried all the way to the car after the final curtain as she didn't want it to end. When asked what her favourite part was she chose everything! Bud loved the male rats, predictably, and I was struck by the fact that he would probably pronounce the animated and live action film versions of Cinderella as 'girly' but this production definitely wasn't and really appealed to him. The familiar love story is dialed down somewhat and it's really a true story of friendship and beating the odds. 

Cinderella at Octagon Theatre, Bolton Review

Cinderella runs at Octagon Theatre Bolton until Saturday 14th January 2017. To book tickets visit octagonbolton.co.uk/ we would highly recommend it!

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre

The intu Trafford Centre grotto has returned for Christmas 2016 with a Polar Expedition themed attraction taking it's place in Barton Square for the festive period. We were delighted to be invited down to visit the grotto again and headed down to see Father Christmas and the Elves there.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

We can always rely on the intu Trafford Centre to offer a really immersive experience and this year is no different. From the instant we arrived the grotto Elves create the Christmas experience and this doesn't slip the whole time you are in there. The Experience takes place in 15 minute slots so we joined the queue for the 11:30 start and were immediately met by one of the Christmas Elves who chatted happily to the children about their wish lists and kept them beautifully entertained.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

From their you are taken into the reindeer stable where you meet another elf 'Sherry Trifle'. Families sit on benches and the children are encouraged to sit at the front for a better view. Sherry talks to everyone about the reindeer and introduces the newest member of the team, a very cute baby reindeer named Norbert who has a secret talent! From there you meet more elves and some very sweet animatronic animals. Each time you have to wait the Elves are there to help keep the children distracted. They were counting robins and finding out the names of the Polar Bear and his cubs which passed each short wait before the children even realise they're in a queue.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

The next section was a very effective Virtual Reality display which gives you the chance to 'meet' a few polar animals as they 'jump' on to the ice cap in front of you! Little E's mind was blown by this and he quickly had to retreat to Daddy's arms, it was very realistic and the children loved seeing the animals appear. 

After another snowy, festive display with a Husky that LM paid particular attention to it was time to meet the big guy himself. I always really enjoy meeting Father Christmas as the intu Trafford Centre as he always takes such a great interest in the children and you never feel rushed at all. Bud happily shared his list and LM found her voice and very quietly told him what she would like. She's never spoken to Father Christmas in any of our previous visits so this was a big step for her! Sadly Little E found it all a bit overwhelming and got a bit upset when he got too near Santa but, at almost 18 months old, sometimes things are just a little confusing! All of the Elves, and Father Christmas himself really looked the part and their costumes were great.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

All three children were delighted by their gifts, Bud and LM received a small Playmobil set each. I was so pleased to see these as we love Playmobil in our house and they are such high quality toys. Little E received a picture book published by our friends over at Miles Kelly. At the end of your visit to Santa you will have a group photo taken and there is the opportunity to purchase these at the exit with prices starting from £5.We bought the print photo at £7, Little E's expression is rather hilarious so I'm saving it for future embarrassment!

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

We all had a lovely time at the intu Trafford Centre Polar Experience and we would really recommend it if you are looking to visit Father Christmas over the next few weeks. To find out more information and book tickets visit intu Trafford Centre.

Win with Frozen Fun with Disney on Ice at the Echo Arena, Liverpool

Disney on Ice fans will be aware that the current tour is on it's way around the UK at the moment and we are so excited to be seeing it in Liverpool on the 30th November. I've teamed up with the Echo Arena and Disney on Ice to bring you a fantastic giveaway where one lucky winner will win a family ticket for opening night in Liverpool, alongside some Frozen fun!
Win with Frozen Fun with Disney on Ice at the Echo Arena, Liverpool

ARE YOU A TRUE FROZEN FAN – TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE IN THIS FUN QUIZ!

As excitement levels mount for the arrival of Disney On Ice presents Frozen this winter, we have the ultimate Frozen quiz for you!

Frozen fans – it’s the moment of truth, how well do you know your Anna from your Elsa or your Olaf from your Sven…. make sure you don’t “Let It Go” until you’ve got top marks (see what we did there?!).

Let us know your score by tweeting us @disneyonice @echoarena @redrosemummy

Here we go and good luck! (Answers are below)

1. In which kingdom do Anna and Elsa live?

2. Who helped Young Anna recover from being hit by Elsa’s powers?

3. Who likes “warm hugs”?

4. What is Kristoff’s profession?

5. What phrase does Elsa repeat when trying to control her powers?

6. Why do the guards open up the gates of the palace?

a. Bonus: How long have the gates been closed?

7. How many salad plates do Anna and Elsa own?

8. Anna and Hans finish each other’s ______.

9. What is the “amazing smell” Anna and Elsa detect at the coronation celebration?

10. Who does the crazy dance with Anna at Elsa’s coronation?

11. Why doesn’t Elsa want Anna to marry Hans?

12. What does Elsa build during the song “Let It Go”?

13. What is Sven’s favorite snack?

14. Which animals chase after Anna, Kristoff and Sven when they begin to search for Elsa?

15. What is Olaf’s favorite season?

16. What animal does Olaf dance with in his song about summer?

17. What is the name of the enormous icy snowman Elsa creates?

18. Fill in the blank. “Some people are worth ______.”

19. When Elsa breaks Arendelle’s eternal winter, what does she do to keep Olaf from melting?

ANSWERS:
1. The Kingdom of Arendelle
2. Grand Pabbie
3. Olaf
4. Ice Harvester
5. “Conceal it…don’t feel it…don’t let it show.”
6. Elsa’s coronation
6a. 13 years
7. 8000
8. Sandwiches
9. Chocolate
10. The Duke of Weselton
11. Because they just met
12. An Ice Castle
13. Carrots
14. Wolves
15. Summer
16. Seagulls
17. Marshmallow
18. 'Melting for'
19. She magics him his own personal flurry

Win with Frozen Fun with Disney on Ice at the Echo Arena, Liverpool

Disney On Ice  presents Frozen is live on ice and skating into Echo Arena, Liverpool from 30 November – 4 December. Be magically whisked away to wintry Arendelle by dazzling special effects and astonishing skating as you sing and dance along to inspiring songs including “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters  Anna and Elsa, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all!

Hosted by  Mickey and Minnie, with special appearances by beloved Disney Princesses and characters from all-time favourites like Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King. Plus, warm up for the show and learn the snowman dance, during the Fit to Dance pre-show.

This unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime. Experience the Full Story – Live on Ice!

Come see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Rapunzel, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Timon, Pumbaa, Nemo, Dory, Mickey, Minnie and many more!

Win with Frozen Fun with Disney on Ice at the Echo Arena, Liverpool

Get your tickets today at disneyonice.co.uk or www.echoarena.com

For your chance to win a family ticket to the opening night of Disney on Ice presents Frozen, live at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on 30th November, please complete the Gleam widget below. The family ticket is valid for one adult and three children or two adults and two children. Please read the terms and conditions. Good luck!

Disney on Ice Liverpool Family Ticket