Friday, 30 March 2012

Win a cbeebies live family pass

With thanks to HIT entertainment and the wonderful Mike the Knight I have a fantastic opportunity for one of my readers! Huzzah!

I have one family pass up for grabs for any venue for the cbeebies live reach to the stars 2012 tour.

This is a last minute competition and closes TODAY at 4pm - winner will be picked using and contacted at 4.15pm and IF you want to go to the Wembley show this weekend you MUST reply with your details by 4.30pm TODAY.

Want to win? All you need to do is let me know which cbeebies live character you most would like to see - for us it's Mike the Knight and his horse, Galahad.
You MUST include your contact details - twitter id or email address is fine!

Good luck everyone!
Emma in Bromley xx

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Jungle Junction toy review

We were absolutely over the moon to be sent a host of Jungle Junction toys by Flair to review. Jungle Junction is Disney Junior's BAFTA nominated pre-school series full of adorable animals on wheels, lots of vibrant bright colours and puzzles for children to help solve.

Both Blake (nearly 3) and Maegan (9months) helped me review them!

Maegan loves the fluffy pink Zooter plush, this cute little piggy on wheels is a winner for children aged 10months +. Maegan found great fascination from pushing zooter along the floor and pulling it by the ears and playing with the wheels - I'm impressed with how long this toy kept her entertained! 

Maegan Darcie Clement playing with Jungle Junction Zooter PlushBlake Preston Clement playing with Jungle Junction pull back Ellyvan

We also had a pull back Ellyvan which you pull back and let go - this gets quite a bit if distance going on our wooden kitchen floor - its also not bad on carpet!
Great details include a trunk which you can turn as it makes a clicking sound and the rear doors actually open - you wouldn't believe what Blake has managed to fit in elyvan!
Pull back Ellyvan suitable for ages 12months +

Maegan and Blake Clement playing with Jungle Junction Toadhog bath toyBlake Preston Clement playing with Jungle Junction Hippobus and Beetle bug playset

There was a collectors edition squirty bath time character too - we had lots of fun and a few tantrums over sharing our one in the bath! We have Toadhog - who in the cartoon is a bit grumpy, there's nothing grumpy about this lil' bath toy though! He's a wonderful vibrant green and very squirty! Maegan took to him so much, he's been left to dry out and come to play with the non-bath toys too! Recommended for 12months + 

We also got sent the Hippobus beetle bug playset.  If you ping Hippobus' ear, she makes a great selection of sounds including contagious cute giggling, bing bongs and beeps!

There are 5 brightly coloured little beetle bugs and each has it's own colour coded seat in the bus.

There is a small door or a big door to chose from - the larger one opens up to reveal an awesome extending slide for the beetle bugs to play on, there are also two road signs included and a card playmat and sticker set.
Always a winner- this comes with batteries included!
Suitable for ages 3+ 

Emma in Bromley xx

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Here comes the Easter bunny!

We're a church of England family so we take part in Easter celebrations, much like Christmas, I try and teach my children why we are celebrating and what it really means as well as all the chocolate and presents! We try to strike an even balance, sometimes it's hard - such as trying to explain what the Easter bunny has to do with Easter!

Which brings me on to this years' theme ... The Easter bunny (last year was fluffy yellow chicks).

It turns out that the bunny has a lot to do with the beginning of spring and fertility - for me, I see both as an act of God which is how I get my religious angle in!

We've been choosing gifts and doing crafts with our children based on the Easter bunny theme and have been sent a sylvanian families celebration sea breeze rabbit family by Flair to review. I spotted them in The Entertainer toyshop in the Glades, Bromley for £20.

It's a special 25year edition and comes with a mum (Doris Columbus) dad (Lawrence Columbus) and 3 children (Tristan, Morgan and Nessie) family of bunnies all in cute nautical outfits and a set of miniature postcards. The box has a lovely little story for each family member on the back - I love the stories that with each character.

For me, I'm rather fond of it! I was about 7 when I started collecting sylvanian families in the 80's and I'm pleased to see, they're just like I remember!

I have to say my little boy loved playing with them! He's very much into learning about animals and family so these are perfect! My little girl is still a bit to young to play with them properly but she certainly expressed a lot of interest!

Covered in soft fur, pose-able limbs and removable clothes with absolutely amazing detail - these are hours of fun, and let's face it, we all love a special edition! And so it begins, for the second time in my life I'm collecting sylvanian families!

Also by Flair, you can get Milky the bunny who looks simply adorable and is very soft, he's interactive! Although I found him in the girls section of our local toy shop, I'd say a rabbit is as much fun for a girl or a boy - same with Sylvanian families!

Sticking with our Easter bunny theme, we used air drying clay and a bunny cookie cutter to make some Easter bunnies to decorate with paint pens for family and friends.

I hope you like them!

Happy Easter,

Emma in Bromley xx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Fireman Sam Mountain Rescue DVD review and competition

"Great steamy puddings!" we were lucky enough to be sent a copy of Fireman Sam, Mountain Rescue DVD to review and also we have a copy for one of you lovely readers to win!

The latest HIT Entertainment Fireman Sam DVD is out on 26th March, rrp £12.99 60mins -

Expect 6 action packed entertaining new adventures, full of pontypandy regulars and also a host of new characters - I'm already a fan of survival expert Moose Roberts and motorbike mad Blake (my two year old) loves the newest rescue vehicle - Mercury the quad bike!

I love watching cartoons with Blake, he likes to act out what he's watching so we've had quite a few fireman Blake afternoons! I couldn't help giggle at the giant cake in one of the episodes - Norman got stuck in it!

And the mountain climbing episode reminded me of growing up in the lake district, although I'd say it was a very similar mountain and train to Mount Snowdon!

All-new episodes of Fireman Sam air daily on Cartoonito. For more information about Fireman Sam, please visit or follow all the latest news on Facebook and Twitter @firemansamuk

I have one copy of Fireman Sam Mountain Rescue for one of my lucky readers to win.

To enter, please answer the following question.

What's the name of the new rescue vehicle quad bike?

Please remember to include a way of contacting you in your comment eg, twitter@ , Facebook ID or email address.

Competition closes on Monday 26th March at 12 noon. Open to the UK only. Prize will be sent directly from the PR agent. Winner picked by Please respond within 3 days or another winner will be chosen.

Good luck everyone!

Emma in Bromley xx

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Easter eggs with benefits!

We all love chocolate don't we! I think it's, Blake's favourite food and he's only two!

We partake in lent - I've given up chocolate but in the name of a good review, I had to be a little teeny tiny bit naughty ;)

We were sent an Easter egg for review purposes and I was lucky to chose from a selection of HIT entertainment characters - Thomas & Friends and Fireman Sam. I do think that when it comes to children's eggs, there should be a little eggstra in the box besides just chocolate. The range includes eggs in mugs, meal time sets, mini eggs and eggs in buckets!

I love the set we received - it comes with a melamine breakfast bowl, spoon and beaker all featuring Thomas from Thomas and friends.

Great value I'm sure you would agree at around £4.38 for the set plus a 50g milk chocolate egg.
stockists: Asda, Co-Op, Debenhams, Iceland, Morrisons, Mothercare, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Toys R Us, Waitrose and Wilkinsons.

Ahhh yes, the milk chocolate egg ... Wrapped in bright red alluring foil, a good size (for children - obviously, mummy sized easter eggs should be too big to fit through the door!) smooth creamy delicious chocolate rugby ball shaped parcel of yum! Perfect size for Blake in two sittings - and a small nibble for mummy - to check the quality of course!

Yup, I broke lent to have a taste! Was good quality tasty chocolate and Blake certainly agreed!

The bowl came in handy for saving some for later while I used the beaker full of milk as a distraction for hiding the rest of the egg for later!

I think this egg is a great little bargain and spot - Easter for children should last a little longer than the 10 seconds it takes to devour the chocolate :) I always look for sets with a little more to them - I think the joy lasts longer and also the eggstras provide much needed distractions and longer lasting memories!

Emma in Bromley xx

Saturday, 17 March 2012

National Science and Engineering Week part 2

It's national science and engineering week this week from 9th-18th March.

I do love the science museum in London, did you know the basement has a huge discovery area just for preschoolers?

There's a big construction area with sandbags, hard hats and wheel barrows! Lego and building brick stations, a huge water play area with aprons and a sensory area to name a few! - all free (just donate to the museum in one of the collection boxes as a thank you) and there's a buggy park to leave your pram while you play!

I'm going to use the week to help Blake make a solar rover and a living world - read more on that on my blog post from earlier this week!

Last year the national science and engineering week website had some great fifi and the flower tots printables for pre-schoolers which are still up on the website.

Did you know our local lovely furniture and gift shop, Inside Out Living did a blog tutorial showing you how to make a lava lamp?

Emma in Bromley xx

Friday, 16 March 2012

Dinosaur Train Review

Dinosaur Train UK, 4pm weekdays on Nick Jr.

My two year old has been so excited by the adverts for dinosaur train for ages now so he was over the moon on Monday when it started on Nick Jr.

As always, we sat down and watched it together, I'm not complaining, I love dinosaurs! Doesn't everyone want to be a palaeontologist at some point or other?

You can tell that this cartoon has had input from early childhood education experts, science educators and palaeontologists - the information in it is correct!

Little buddy is a dinosaur who was adopted as an egg by a different species - a family of pteranodons, although he is one of the family, they go on trips via the dinosaur train to try and discover what species Buddy is (a T-rex).

The train can go through a time travel tunnel so we can learn about dinosaurs that wouldn't have lived in the same period.

There are bits which are repetitive on purpose to help children repeat difficult dinosaurs - my two year old has mastered Stegosaurus and stygimoloch already!

And lots of cute bits about working together and the importance of family.
I like some of the detail such as the conductor, a troodon, using his large claw to punch the train tickets!

The show has been carefully created to start out with a question to answer and details have been kept accurate - such as which time period flowers appeared etc.

Each show is 22mins long, there are 40 episodes and are currently running as double episodes at 4pm weekdays on Nick Jr.
Aimed at children aged 3-6 to encourage scientific exploration and promotes critical thinking. Prehistoric and natural history curriculum based.

Dinosaur train is a Jim Henson company animation and created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!).

Emma in Bromley xx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

I dont like you

I've always known the day will come where my lovely little man will tell me he doesn't like me, I've also always known it will hurt but of course he wouldn't mean it ... But I've always thought it would happen when he is about four.

So I had a shock when my gorgeous little two year old said, "I don't like you, Mummy" I wasn't quite prepared for this - particularly out of the blue and at the dinner table! And yep! It did make me tearful and if that wasn't enough it was quickly followed by "I don't like you, Mummy, you make me sad"
I'm not quite sure what it is I have done to warrant such a statement and I know he doesn't mean it when he says he doesn't like me but I'm struggling to get my head round the "you make me sad" part!
I know you're supposed to ignore these comments but they're pretty hard to ignore coming from a two year old!

Emma in Bromley xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

National science and engineering week 2012

My two year old is like a sponge soaking up everything and it's great! I get asked about a million questions a day, all starting with ten rounds of "mummy"

He's starting to take an interest in science - we often do little experiments - usually with paint or other things from our craft box and I would say we've got engineering covered with thanks to building bricks and making robots from things in the recycling bin!

I was really lucky to be sent two kits to review in honour of national science and engineering week (9th - 18th march) and have loved getting Blake involved!

Great gizmos 4m science kits endorsed by the science museum has plenty of green kits - from building trash can robots to weather stations! We are doing a weather project so the weather station kits are on our shopping list already!

I've been talking to Blake about how we can use energy from the sun, one of his favourite books is the hungry caterpillar and I've been talking to him about the roll the sun plays so I was excited to test out the great gizmos solar rover kit - Blake can use it to learn how sunlight is turned into energy, the solar rover kit is a tin can car which we built to glide across the floor using solar energy – and the hotter it is – the faster it moves!

It was fairly simple to build although I did have to go back and check the wires as the first time it wouldn't run, but we got there - tested it by light bulb as there wasn't enough sun today. You can either use a fizzy pop can or the plastic body in the set. We started out with an empty pop can but swapped as the plastic body is easier for Blake to decorate.

Blake enjoyed helping me build it and we talked about different bits such as what the reflectors were for and which bit was the engine and how solar energy can be used.

We were also lucky to be sent an InterPlay my living worm world - Blake is a bit worm obsessed - he crawls around singing "I'm a wriggly worm" and points them out when we go puddle jumping!

I have to admit to being a little disappointed - it said on the box "just add worms" but the kit is actually missing soil - we're not in a position to just pop out to the garden for some so will have to wait until we can buy a small bag of compost. We hadn't realised this until we opened the box so a very excited toddler had to be quickly distracted. The kit includes 4 different shades of sand, the plastic housing, feet and a cardboard shade - there's also a great booklet full of worm facts - did you know, theres a worm that can grow to be 3metres long!!!

You can either go worm hunting - which is our plan! Or you can buy worms either from the order form in the box or a local supplier - we can buy earthworms from a local pet shop.

Looking forward to updating you with a worm photo! Blake will get to see the worms burring and churning the layers, watch them make chambers and eat leaves.

My living world From InterPlay is available for ants and triops too! - triops is already on blake's shopping list!

Interplay have a great collection of kits available - I can imagine Blake loving the weird slime laboratory when he's older! And having four nieces and a daughter, I'm imaging the lip balm factory would be a major hit!

Both the kits we reviewed are aimed at slightly older children but I chose to do them with Blake as he is at a stage where he wants to get involved and be my little helper - he asks a lot of questions!

What are you doing to get involved with national science and engineering week?

Emma in Bromley xx

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

How to cook squash and other stories

I've been lucky recently and enjoyed reviewing and giving away some amazing things, so imagine my delight when I got an offer to give one of my lucky readers a box of free food! and not just any food, but Riverford Organic food! 

I think by now, you've probably noticed I'm keen on Organic given the content of some of my previous posts!

I remember the first time I tried to prepare an avocado - I didn't know how to chop it and peel it, if I peeled first or not and ended up with a lot of slushy green mess! I turned to the internet to see what I was supposed to do with it!

I like to be adventurous with fresh fruit and veg but it can be a little daunting when your not really sure how to prepare it with minimum waste ... and slush - I've also used the internet to look up how to prepare a mango, pak choi and Pork Chops - I'm mostly veggie but my husband and children aren't - I went veggie at the age of 12 so I've had to learn what to do with meat in recent years!

Riverford began in Devon in 1987 delivering to 30 homes and have grown to now deliver to over 40,000 homes from a network of organic farms who share the same ethos  - keep up the great organic work!

I'm happy to share with you all, some exciting videos from Riverford Organic showing you exactly what to do with a squash - including, and now noted - squash do not like to be stored in the fridge! - explains a lot *blush*

How to cook Squash

Chicken Farming 

Riverford offer more than lovely organic food, they also show you what to do with it on their you tube channel and also have a fab new cookbook out - 
Riverford Organic cook book – Everyday and Sunday – Recipes from Riverford Farm by the farm’s founder Guy Watson and head chef Jane Baxter

I grew up in North west lancashire, my secondary school had its own farm and we were taught the benefits of organic farming - something I still truly believe in even though school was over half my lifetime ago. Where possible we buy organic in our household. Save the planet, go organic!

On to the giveaway! I have one box of Riverford organic goodies for one of my readers. open to UK residents - please check that Riverford deliver to you before entering.

Please answer the question below and leave a way of contacting you - eg twitter @beachpebble

In the video - how to cook squash, what type of squash does Guy Watson prepare?

Besides the compulsory action above, you can gain bonus entries if you wish by:
Tweet this competition including @beachpebble
Like my Facebook page
Pin this comp on Pinterest
Follow my blog on GFC 
Please leave a separate comment for each action, maximum of 5 entries per person.

Closing date Saturday 17th March at 12noon, the winner will be chosen at random, please reply within 3days of notification, otherwise another winner will be drawn.

Emma in Bromley xx

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mike The Knight DVD review and giveaway

We were really lucky to be sent a copy of Mike the Knight: Knight in Training DVD to review.

Mike the Knight is a sweet new series for Pre-schoolers and comes from the producers of Fireman Sam, Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder.

Mike is a lovely little Knight - in training and lives in the medieval kingdom of Glendragon and the DVD follows him through five exciting adventures to help, serve and protect Glendragon.

Mike the Knight and the Scary Dragons
When Mike’s dragons try to act scary, Sparkie is better at it – but Mike doesn’t notice how upset this makes Squirt. When a forgotten Squirt gets stuck up the tower, Mike learns not to favour one of his friends over the other.

Evie’s Birthday Present
Mike thinks the perfect birthday surprise for Evie is a knightly cake – but, trying to keep the surprise, he won’t let her join his mission. In the end, he learns that letting her do what she wants is a much better birthday gift!

The Fluttering Favour
Mike and Evie battle to win a knightly favour. But, trying to outdo each other doing good deeds for the Blacksmith, they just ruin things for him! It turns out that working together is a much better way to win a Queen’s favour!

Trollee’s Sleepover
Trollee comes for a sleepover but when Mike discovers that guests are treated differently, he feels that things aren’t fair. It’s only when Trollee leaves, upset, that Mike learns why guests should always be made to feel special.

Mission Home
Mike is so sure he can find his way back from the end of the kingdom that he has all the signs taken down. But that just gets everyone else lost! Mike has to learn to think of others instead of just thinking of himself.

Bonus Features includes the songs from the episodes and printable lyrics sheets.

Mike is joined in each mission by two dragons Sparkie and Squirt, his horse Galahad, and his little wizard sister Evie.

Listen out for the exclusive ditty "huzzah for Glendragon" which pops up quite a bit :)

Mike the Knight: knight in training is out on Monday 19th March 2012 with an rrp of £12.99

My little boy loves sparkie and squirt the two dragons and made me watch the "scary dragon" episode several times before we were allowed to move on to the the other episodes!

There are a few preschool cartoons that I also like to watch too and this is one of them, It's also a good one to allow conversation too - Blake likes to chat about what he's watching and then play out what he's just seen.

We have a Rody inflatable horse which has currently been renamed Galahad after Mike the Knight's adorable little horse!

To be in with a chance of winning one of two copies of Mike the Knight: Knight in training DVD please answer this question...

If you were a medieval knight, what would you name your pet dragon?

Please answer in the comments section below and let me know how I can get in touch with you eg, twitter @beachpebble

Open to the UK only
Winners will be sent their DVD directly from the PR agent.

Besides the compulsory action above, you can gain bonus entries if you wish by:
Tweet this competition including @beachpebble
Like my Facebook page
Pin this comp on Pinterest
Follow my blog on GFC 
Please leave a separate comment for each action, maximum of 5 entries per person.

Closing date Thursday 15th March at 12noon, winners will be chosen at random, please reply within 3days of notification, otherwise another winner will be drawn.

Emma in Bromley xx

TK Maxx Bromley re opening

Don't we all love a TK Maxx bargain - especially for our little ones! The Bromley store has never failed to come up with a great little find!
You may have noticed our local Bromley branch has been going through a bit of a change lately!
The store is due to re-open soon on Saturday 17th March, it's going to be an exciting event!

The first 200 people through the doors at 10am will get a £10 gift card as well as getting to check out the smart new store. How generous is that!

"We are really excited about our new look store. There’s no change to our exciting shopping experience giving customers savings of up to 60% off the RRP on all their favourite high street and designer brands across fashion, accessories and homeware,  but now we’ve made it an even more stylish place to discover those bargains,” said store manager Ryan McArdle.

TK Maxx in Bromley gets daily deliveries of exciting new products - up to 10,000 new items a week so I'm sure you will find something you love! TK Maxx buyers work hard to give us up to 60% off this season's designer brands.

I'm going to be torn, do I do handbags or baby wear first!!! 

Looking forward to having TK Maxx back and seeing the smart new layout!

Make sure you are there for the 10am opening on Saturday 17th March to be in with a chance of receiving one of the 200 £10 gift cards!

TK Maxx 64 High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1EG
Tel: 0208 460 1719

Emma in Bromley xx

Friday, 2 March 2012

Want to be in an NHS film for Mums and Dads to be

Please read below, the message from film maker Sarah...

Dear Mums and Dads to be - would you like to help other new mums and dads by taking part in our films for the NHS?
I both live and work in Beckenham running my own business and looking after my son Louis. I am making 100+ films for the NHS on pregnancy and childbirth and am looking for local residents to take part this Tuesday 6th March. Might you be available? I am looking for:-
2 pregnant women (6 months+) and their partners to have lunch in a local restaurant
A local restaurant keen to have their premises in the films
1 pregnant woman (6 months+) to be filmed swimming in a local pool
We are also looking for mum to be very near her due date who is planning a home birth and who would be happy to have their experiences filmed.
The final films will be available on the NHS Choices website later in the year. Their aim is to give advice to mums and dads to be about common questions and concerns around pregnancy and childbirth.
Thank you all very much for your time. If you'd like to find out more please contact me on or or 020 8658 0092.

Best wishes