I am now mostly over on www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk…
FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED IN THE BRAND NEW THOMAS & FRIENDS™
DVD ‘GO GO THOMAS’
The latest Thomas and Friends DVD is OUT! I know a fair few mummy’s who will be rushing straight out to buy it if only to give themselves something new to watch! Thomas fans are hardy and will watch their DVDs over and over – for the Mum’s it’s definitely a good thing when a new DVD comes out so imagine what the excitement is like for the little fans themselves! Read all about it here then enter my competition to WIN yourself (and your little Thomas fan) a copy!
Pistons are popping, boilers are bubbling, and wheels are wobbling on the Island of Sodor as Thomas and the gang get ready to whoosh like the wind in the new offering, ‘Go Go Thomas’!
Thomas and his friends are charged up and ready to Go, Go! Thomas shows Gordon that being quick is as useful as being strong, while Flynn, the fire engine, learns to put his pride aside and race to the rescue. Thomas causes some trouble on the tracks trying to be a model engine for a new photographer, while Spencer’s on the move, ignoring warnings about electric engine Stafford’s battery. Thomas pumps his pistons to Misty Island to help fix Ol’ Wheezy. Will the number one blue engine be on track and on time? Ready, Set… Go, Go Thomas!
Now, Florence usually asks me to turn the more boyish programmes over in favour of more pink and sparkly children’s TV but with Thomas she is always happy to watch and enjoys it. I know that she isn’t a super fan like some of her little boy pals but I think that it goes to show, even if you’re not mega fans, the programme is rather watchable. Personally, I prefer the old-style Thomas, the style I watched when I was little. Back then it was more like the toys that were being filmed. These days with CGI animation, although the story lines are just as enjoyable, I think it’s lost a little of it’s old-fashioned edge which I found really appealing… But that’s just me and I’m not the one watching am I… Florence, definitely prefers the new! I often google old programmes to show her what I watched and while she will watch them, I know that she prefers the new modern ones much better and why wouldn’t she?! Just as I used to laugh at the things my Mum watched as a child and wonder how anyone could have enjoyed them, she looks back at the television I fondly remember and sees dated shows… Thomas has kept with the times and his army of fans throughout each decade that he’s been around are testament to his popularity. If he didn’t keep modern he would probably go out of fashion and he’s not about to do that any time soon!
The new film has all the charm of the programmes, excitement of the other films and brings something new for the long-suffering parents of Thomas fans who have to watch the same episodes on repeat daily. Just as usual with a Thomas film, new characters are introduced while old favourites don’t get forgotten! A must for any Thomas fan and certainly enjoyable for the rest too!
If you want to get your hands own your very own copy of the DVD then enter my competition to WIN one! All you have to do is send me an email to email@example.com with your name and address by midnight on 9th April 2013! To find out more about this and other exciting competitions I’m hosting on the rocknrollerbaby blog do follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby!
I have not been paid to write this post but I was sent a copy of the DVD for review and offered a copy for a competition prize.
I was 21 when I got together with Jonny. In some ways it feels like only yesterday and in others it feels like we’ve been together forever…
I say got together because actually we had met many years before that. We’re from Norwich which is fairly small and for a year (when I was 12 and he was 13) until I went to drama school in London, we were at the same high school together…
I say we were at the same high school but actually Jonny was in a completely different one to me! Same school yes, but total social standing away from each other…
Jonny was the King of the corridors and I, although not at the bottom of the pile, was not royalty either. So, I knew exactly who he was back then. I remember speaking to him, (he doesn’t remember speaking to me) and I remember walking past him and his female equivalent (Queen of the corridors) girlfriend in the City and thinking, WOW! He’s amazing! (what a geek I was!)
Jonny was friends with all (as The Mamas and Papas would say) the ‘in crew’ at our school. He was super hot, a lovely guy and in the football team, who were all the popular ones you see… He didn’t know it apparently but those of us not in the in-crew definitely did.
Later on, at around 17, we were at college together. I actually don’t remember him there but Jonny says he remembers me walking across the campus with my DM boots, mega short skirt and ‘the world owes me a favour’ expression! He says he thought ‘Oh yes, I like her’! Funny that he remembers then and I remember earlier.
Around that same time I do remember seeing him singing in a bar. I was with my friend Anna and Jonny (he’s a musician) was singing ‘Come Together’. I thought ‘Oh my god, it’s that guy from school – he’s amazing, his voice’! If he’d come over that day we could have easily got together then… I’d have gone out with him like a shot. Hearing Jonny sing that song was the first time I’d ever heard it and I taped it from my dad’s album that weekend because I liked it so much.
At 19 and 20 I had an on/off relationship with one of Jonny’s best friends. (It’s Norwich, I told you, it’s small)! I was totally in love with this guy (well, not really but I thought I was at the time) and he treated me very badly. He picked me up and put me down then picked me up again but I always went running to him when he called, he had me transfixed. I see him occasionally now and wonder what all the fuss was about? I shed many tears over that one – goodness knows why! Jonny was living in London by then so not really hanging out with F (my friends called him Fuckwit at the time) and I remember noticing that he wasn’t around.
One time I was down in London and missed the last train home. I spent the night at Liverpool St Station and when I got home F said to me ‘why didn’t you ring me, I’d have got Jonny Knowles to come and get you and you could have stayed at his’. I remember at the time thinking that I could never have done that, Jonny and I had only ever chatted briefly, how could I have stayed at his house… I wonder now if that could have been another time when we might have got together…
Anyway, Christmas of the year I was 21 and F had dumped me again; we were all in the same pub and Jonny popped up and saying ‘Oh hiya, how are you, F’s over there by the way, have you seen him?’ I explained that we weren’t together anymore and then I remember just thinking ‘bloody hell, I don’t give shit where F is’!
Then Jonny and his mates (including F) went off to another bar and I summoned all my best stalker powers and gathered my pals together for an assault on all the bars I knew they’d go to… Lucky for me my friend’s were so lovely and didn’t mind!
That night still makes me smile. We did a little more than exchange numbers but nothing too outrageous and I went back to his Mum and Dad’s with him for a coffee. It was Christmas Eve and he told me the stocking on the end of his bed was for his little cousin. I obviously know now that there wasn’t a little cousin at all – the stocking was all Jonny’s!
He called me on Boxing Day and we had our first date that evening. The rest of the Christmas holidays we spent snogging and laughing and falling in love. There was a bit of trouble with F who thought it was an outrage, apparently he didn’t want me but wasn’t that happy about me dating Jonny. I worried it might affect Jonny’s feelings for me. It felt like I’d been waiting my whole life for this boy and I to fall in love and I didn’t want anything to ruin it! Thankfully it didn’t!
That was 12 and a half years ago now and although we’ve been through good times and bad, we’ve always clung on to each other and stuck out any rough waves. I think I was always destined to be with Jonny! We met at 12 and got together nearly a decade later. There were many times before that when we could have met and fallen in love, we probably even saw each other as babies. His Mum almost certainly will have walked past my Mum when we were both in our buggies. My chubby baby legs and his dangling down from our seats as we will have crossed paths for the first time… It’s Norwich, we both lived there from being born, that WILL have happened. But it took us till 21 to get together… I do believe it’s fate and we weren’t supposed to be together before that but I’m so pleased we didn’t have to wait any longer. I’d be lost without my Jonny, my best friend and so much a part of my heart. My story might not be terribly romantic but I feel very lucky to have it! And him! (He makes pretty beautiful babies too)!
A baby me and a baby Jonny. We almost certainly crossed paths on the street, our Mum’s shopping with us in our buggies or similar!
I was 21 here and Jonny had just turned 23! I knew he was ‘The One’!
A rare picture of the two of us together this year! Not much has changed, less hair for him, darker hair for me… Oh and…
We have these lovely little people now too!
MY LIFE WITH 2!
I had my first mortifying parenting moment this week when Florence’s teacher took me aside to tell me that my usually lovely, friendly and delightful girl had pulled a clump of another girls hair out at nursery?? I felt so ashamed especially when I was told she wasn’t provoked in any way whatsoever and nor was it the girl who has been painting Florence’ face and upsetting her but someone completely different! She honestly never behaves that way so it was a bit of a surprise and her teachers said the same thing! She came home very shame faced and when I said ‘NO TV OR CHOCOLATE TONIGHT’ she didn’t even argue. I kept hearing her mutter under her breath as she played in her bedroom ‘Sorry Mummy’… I guess they all behave badly sometimes but that sort of behaviour is 100% NOT on and she knows that! We had a cuddle on the sofa and a chat about it and I’m pretty sure she knows how wrong it was, was having a mad moment and won’t do it again. Well, here’s hoping! There’ll be no TV for a week if she does!
Jimmy has gone from his 1 step, to 3 steps, to 6 steps… And now I would say he’s properly walking! Amazing! He still crawls of course as that’s faster but he actually gets himself to a standing position without even holding on and just toddles off! I know it’s only walking but awww, it’s so sweet and I’m so thrilled for him!
We did a little modelling job this week and the photographer and artistic director for the job couldn’t believe he was walking, they were very impressed! Then yesterday I saw a Mum at play group that I haven’t seen for a while and she said ‘He’s not yours is he? NO! He can’t be doing that, he’s TOO little’!
I think walking at 10 months is little but then Jimmy just looks younger than he is as well as he is so tiny and it’s doubly funny to see!
Jimmy just toddling past as he does and running through paint at messy play! Love it!
I can’t believe how quickly he’s growing up! I had Florence on my lap the other day and thought how did you get so big so quickly? Seems like five minutes since she started walking! She crawled at 5 and a half months and was SO good at it that I don’t think she had much incentive to walk. She had a little go but didn’t properly until the week of her first birthday – gosh she was a gorgeous little mover – still is! I LOVE watching them grow, just wish time didn’t pass quite so quickly!
My lovely little mover Florence with her Mover pram on her first birthday, the pram was her present from us. I know she’s holding on to it here but this same week Florence took her first proper unaided steps. She’d done the odd one before but it was around here that she got very confident!
Well, that’s it from me this week, HAPPY EASTER everybody! We’re going to TRY very hard not to eat TOO much chocolate. I’ve got a load of chocolate Nakd bars so that we can indulge but not with proper chocolate every day! They’re fab and so healthy that I even let Florence have one after breakfast this morning and she thought that was a MEGA treat!
Florence having a healthy post breakfast treat with a chocolate Nakd bar!
We will definitely be eating some proper chocolate over Easter don’t worry but we’ll have the chocolate Nakd bars some of the time to try for a little damage limitation to my waist line!! See you next week but in the mean time follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby
I was not paid for any part of this post.
For Florence’s birthday one of her little friends bought her a game for a gift and it’s turned out to be one of the best games we have! I have not been asked to blog about this board game and no PR company is aware that I am doing it, I just felt that it’s such a good game I really had to shout about it!
The Three Little Pigs game by Orchard Toys is totally fabulous and Florence asks to play it pretty much daily so how could I not write a review?!
The simple rules of the game follow the well-known fairy tale story and once you have built (like a jigsaw) the board, you move around it trying to land on squares with straw, sticks or bricks to build your collection of little pig houses! You need to land on each one twice and each time you are given a corresponding piece of house wall. When you have two of any one, you can fit them together to build the house.
You have to watch out for opponents landing on a ‘wolf’ square though as when they do they get to spin the dial to see if they can blow your house down and steal one of your walls! The only house which can’t be blown down is, of course, bricks!!
After collecting and building all three houses it’s time to make your way home to the middle of the board before anyone lands on a wolf and blows one of your houses down! We love shouting ‘WOLFIE’ whenever anyone does and even when Florence’s houses get blown down she’s in fits of giggles!
This is a really great game perfect for a three-year old but also thoroughly enjoyable to play as an adult! On more than one occasion Florence has been ‘out’ first because she’s won the game and Jonny and I have continued to play to see who comes second… Perhaps that says something about us being a little bit competitive, ha ha!
My Mum and Florence enjoying a game of ‘Three Little Pigs’!
It’s super easy to understand and play, uses lots of good learning techniques and even just putting the board and houses together is great fun for them! I’d not been introduced to Orchard Toys before now. I’d heard of them but not really paid much attention! On the basis of how brilliant this game is I’m definitely going to be buying more from them in the future!
The game is for 2 – 4 players, for ages 3-6 and everything fits rather nicely in a slim-ish box with a handle on the top.
I have not in any way been asked, paid or incentivised to write this post.
My daughter is only three years old so we are not regular viewers of the popular pre-teen dance orientated programme Shake It Up however we are familiar with the Disney Channel and we have come into contact with it!
I think anything with dance and singing appeals to my little girl so if we’re at my Mum’s (who has the channel) and it’s on then Florence will undoubtedly be dancing along even if she’s not really watching as such!
It’s an incredibly popular programme it seems! All about best friends CeCe Jones (Bella Thorne) and Rocky Blue (Zendaya) who have dreamed about becoming professional dancers ever since they were little girls. Their big break finally comes when the girls get jobs as dancers on a local TV dance show called “Shake It Up, Chicago.” Now, in the third season, Rocky and CeCe must re-audition for their spots on the show and balance their dance lives with school, boys, and family. Through it all, these two best friends always stick together.
So, the programme does go a bit over Florence’s head but the music doesn’t and when I mentioned to friends with older girls who ARE fans of the show and said we were going to review the new ‘Shake It Up’ album, ‘I ❤ Dance’, they all said we’d love it! They weren’t wrong!
The new album cover!
The album, which is available to buy on Amazon for £9.97 or with each MP3 download for just 89p, is fun and funky with catchy lyrics and dance-able beats! It totally appeals to my little lady who is, like most girls her age I would say, into glitter, sparkle and being a girlie girl!
Florence loves dancing and enjoys all music from nursery rhyme songs to old Beatles albums of her Daddy’s. I’d say she is already really musical and of course with Daddy as a musician, I’m sure it’s in her genes. She has an eclectic taste, sings and dances all the time and this album hit the spot for her!
We ALL love the special remix of the theme song by Selena Gomez and have been jigging around to it since we heard it! Our other favourites are ‘Future Sounds Like Us‘ because it’s really poppy, ‘These Boots Are made For Walking‘ (Obviously a cover) and we liked the rapping on ‘I Can Do Better‘!
Great little album which won’t annoy the adults, the whole family can sing along to in the car and encourages dancing by the sheer beats! It’s up temp, glitzy and very, very girlie!
Little girls will love it! Why not show them this sampler on You Tube to check the songs out before you buy?
I have not been paid to write this post.
I’ve often spoken of our love of Tiny Love toys! Ever since I discovered their play gyms when Florence was a new baby. Way before I started blogging or reviewing, I’ve been singing their praises!
They’re always bright and colourful, always interesting and they’re always a hit with children! The other thing about them is that they last incredibly well! We’ve had some of ours for ages yet they still look good as new!
One of our faves at the moment in Andy Apple who I have mentioned on my blog before. Andy Apple is one of five fruity characters in a collection of toys which are suitable from 3m+. He can hang on the side of the buggy, cot, whatever really and is a lovely little cheeky faced character apple with dangly legs and arms!
He rattles, he jangles, he has multi textured fabrics! There are hoops round his legs, mirrors on his feet and his bobbly soft plastic hands are fab to chew and relieve teething pain! The best bit about him though it that he opens up and inside is a baby red apple with a green leaf on top and a wiggly worm embroidered on it! Pull the baby apple out and it jitters back in again with a lovely little vibration!
We’ve had ours hanging on the rocker napper (also Tiny Love of course and another favourite of ours) for ages and Jimmy has played with it both standing up against it and when he’s been in it too!
Florence having a cheeky rest in the rocker napper while Jimmy plays with Andy hanging on the side!
We also take it out and about with us and attach it to the buggy bar. It has a really easy to use clip which could be attached to a buggy hood too!
Florence likes to pull the wiggly worm out for Jimmy to enjoy the vibration! We also love the mirrored other side!
Jimmy really likes his Andy Apple, it’s easy to see why!
I have not been paid to write this post.
Florence isn’t really old enough to play with Harumika but when I was sent a set for review and she saw it in the box she became so entranced by it and wanted to play with it so much that I decided I would let her have a go…
Harumika gives you everything you need (manikins, material, tools and information) to design your own mini clothes! A fashionista and designer in the making’s dream! It’s a world away from the sort of toy for this purpose that we had when I was little! I had a ‘fashion wheel’ which enabled me to draw a combination of about 100 different outfits using paper, a black crayon and transfer rubbing. Harumika is SO much better! It’s actually MAKING the clothes! Pretty amazing huh!
No wonder Florence wanted to get her mitts on it as she is, despite me never actively encouraging, into girlie toys and a total girlie girl! Of course making fashionable, pretty and sparkly clothes appeals! This is recommended for children aged 6 or over so it really is out of Florence’s age range however and I was going to give it to my 12-year-old sister to review for me but I’ve only seen her once recently and I forgot to take it with me, so… Florence’s luck was in!
I thought Florence would need help when we were lucky enough to try the Pop Diva set, but actually she was well away and was entirely capable of doing it on her own once I showed her how! You get with this set, the manikin, a long dress corset and a short one, loads of material and ribbons, the tool to poke the material into the holes provided which secure in place where you want it to sit and stickers and jewels to customise after the outfit is complete. I guess you could add your own material if you had some off cuts from a haberdashery and obviously any stickered jewels you may have too! Look how much fun we had making outfits! And where it came into its own for me was the fact that you don’t need any scissors, or glue for that matter, so it’s also mess free too!
She loved playing with this and because no glue is used, you can simply pull the dresses off when done and start all over again so it lasts and lasts!
Customise with jewels and stickers which obviously will lose their sticky after use but you can buy similar items to use another time too!
I helped Florence a tiny bit at the start by showing her what to do and holding it for her as she used the tool to secure the material but she went on to do this one all on her own! I love her belt sticker!
It’s actually quite addictive and even I had a go on my own! One of my creations! Not as good as Florence’s I think!
We both had lots of fun and what I really like about the set is that it comes with material ready to make corsets, dresses etc but you can completely bespoke it as well and go off on your own little tangent! It’s easy to use, Florence is only 3 but loved it and the pieces can be put in a box and used again and again! Great fun!
Bandai produce Harumika and as with all other Bandai products I have come into contact with, most recently when I reviewed ‘Badge It’ for them, (love Badge it, I’m even going to buy a re-fill pack to make badges for Jimmy’s birthday party!) I have been impressed with the quality of the products and how well they work. Just as with the ‘Badge It’, which I thought could easily have been a bit of a flop, this works in exactly the way it says it will and the results are completely satisfying. I remember being a child and something would be promised like with my icy drink maker, and then it never really came off when you tried it… Not so with the Bandai products I have used. They absolutely do what they say they will!
I was not paid to write this post but I was sent a ‘Pop Diva’ Harumika set for the purpose of review.