Thursday, 20 December 2012

Ice Age 4 continental drift triple play dvd review

Emma in Bromley Ice Age 4 continental drift dvd cover reviewWe were really lucky (I jumped up and down with excitement for this one!) to receive a copy of Ice Age 4 continental drift to review - I'm a huge fan of the Ice Age movies and Blake got started on Ice Age last Christmas when I bought the Christmas special DVD. With this 4th instalment, we were not disappointed - I don't think the "Ice Age" franchise is going stale any time soon so please bring on Ice Age 5 soon! Ice Age 4 is action packed and full of the excitement you'd expect to find ... and some! This feature film includes pirates - one of my 3 year old boy's favourite things! There are bits that make even my 1 year old giggle and although there are moments of some combat scenes, I didn't feel that these were too much for Blake (age 3) who literally copies everything he sees. There's only one part which he felt was too scary (sea siren monsters) but this is a short part in the film and hasn't stopped him asking to watch the film.
Ice Age 4 has become our most watched DVD of the week and even warrants a forfeit of Blake's usual choices and favourites for tv time!
The triple play edition is excellent as it comes with blu-ray, DVD and digital copy. The digital version is on Ultraviolet which I'm fairly new at and to be honest I haven't figured out how to get the UV digital copies onto my iTunes library yet although it clearly states that you can watch it on ipad/ipod/iphone so I must be missing something obvious! The kids have their own dvd player in the kitchen and we watch on blu ray via the hubby's xbox in the living room so I really appreciate the triple play pack!

In the dvd special features, my two little people love the Gutts sing along video and the Sid shuffle dance videos.

I like guessing who the actor is behind the new character voices and was pleased that Nick Frost is one of them!

Most importantly - Scrat and his acorn pops up a lot!

Great stocking filler or extra for this Christmas!

The world’s most beloved prehistoric herd is back and this time they’re setting off on a hilarious high seas adventure! ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT sails into stores this Christmas available in Triple Play, Blu-ray 3D and DVD on 10 December from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

This all-new chapter in the beloved ICE AGE franchise reconnects families with herd favourites Manny, Sid, and Diego. Joining familiar friends of the Ice Age world on their latest journey is Sid’s long-lost and side-splittingly funny Granny plus a band of pirates led by the fearsome orangutan Captain Gutt. And no ICE AGE film would be complete without celebrated icon Scrat, whose existence revolves around the elusive acorn. Scrat once again returns with his very own exploits; however this time his pursuits result in world-changing consequences.

The regular creative voices of Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Manny, Denis Leary (The Amazing Spiderman) as Diego, John Leguizamo (Romeo + Juliet) as Sid, Queen Latifah (Chicago) as Ellie, Seann William Scott (American Pie) as Crash, Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead)as Buck and director Chris Wedge as Scrat all return. This time they are joined by new cast members Jennifer Lopez (Made In Manhattan) as Shira, Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Captain Gutt, Nicki Minaj (New Year’s Eve) as Steffie, and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Paul), as Flynn.

Loaded with a treasure trove of pirate-themed special features, ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT is the coolest animated Blu-ray this Xmas. Adding an extra layer of enjoyment, the Triple Play and Blu-ray 3D offers families the opportunity to watch the film in “PARTY WITH A PIRATE!” mode. Here, the Pirate SQUINT will guide viewers through the Blu-ray menus and even ride along for some added swashbuckling entertainment.

In addition, kids can get their groove on with the “Shimmy Shake Music Section,” a feature consisting of four fun-filled music videos to get you singing and dancing along with the herd. Adding to the ICE AGE fun is the Ice Age Village app, available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad & Android smartphones and tablets. This mobile social game boasts over 30 million installs worldwide. Consumers purchasing the ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT Triple Play or DVD will receive 10,000 free coins (in-game currency), an exclusive species and a chance to win an additional 10,000,000 free coins!

Blu-ray Disc Special Features

· Ultraviolet (UV) digital download of the feature
· Party with a Pirate (feature-length)
· Shimmy Shake Music Section
o Gutt’s Sing-Along Shanty Shimmy Shake
o “We Are” Extended Music Video
o “Chasing the Sun” by The Wanted
o The Sid Shuffle
· Through a Pirate’s Spyglass
o Voices Ahoy!
o Capturing the Crew!
· Whale of a Tale: Drifts, Rifts, Beasties and Myths
· Scrat Got Your Tongue?
· Granny and the Stink of the Sloths
· Missing Links (unfinished deleted scenes)
o Dr. Granny
o Shell Games
· Ice Age: The Story So Far
Standard DVD Special Features
· Shimmy Shake Music Section
o Gutt’s Sing-Along Shanty Shimmy Shake
o The Sid Shuffle
· Ice Age: The Story So Far

Emma in Bromley xx

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

1 in 3 dads do not read to their children

I'm always surprised by stats for literacy issues in the UK - like the one where I discovered lots of children in the UK don't even have any books at all. For our family, books are a big part of our lives every day. There's always books available for my little people to pick up whenever they want a story, and we also have story time in the day when "quiet time" is needed along with bedtime stories. It's not just me that reads to the kids either - their Daddy does too and so do grandparents, aunties and uncles - my kids are never far from books. Growing up my dad read to my sisters and I and often took us to buy new books instead of sweets! I'd assumed this was normal but after seeing the stats I see I was lucky in the story department!

Here's the official article ...

Reading is down to dads too!

New research from the National Literacy Trust shows that far fewer dads than mums encourage their children to read. In fact one in three fathers gives no reading encouragement to their children at all. What’s more, the statistics from the charity’s annual survey also highlight that one third of dads are never even seen with a book in their hand, compared with one in six mums.

There is a great case for dads to step up their involvement and make a positive impact on their children’s reading development, as the research also found that the children who are encouraged to read by their parents are achieving higher reading levels at school, and that those who see their parents reading think more positively about reading than those who don’t.
Richard Madeley is supporting the call by Words for Life, the charity’s campaign for parents, for dads to get involved with their children’s reading this Christmas when they may have extra time to spend with their families. Richard says:

“Dads can make a huge difference to their children’s reading development, and there are lots of easy ways for dads to get involved. They can read a chapter a night to their kids, read school books together, or even put up their feet and be seen reading a book or the newspaper themselves!

“I started reading to my children when they were just babies, putting on the different voices and having fun with the stories. My kids have grown up to be big book fans and I think this was partly down to me enjoying books with them from an early age. Have fun reading over Christmas dads!”

The research surveyed 21,000 children and young people across the UK. Some of the key findings are:

One in three (32.9%) dads are never seen reading by their children – versus one in seven (14.9%) mums
A worsening trend as two years ago, only one in four dads (24.9%) was never seen reading by their children
Far fewer dads than mums encourage their children to read (66.3% versus 82.6%)
Below average readers are four times more likely to say their dad doesn’t encourage them to read
One young person in seven has never been to a bookshop
The role of fathers in encouraging communication and literacy development in their babies and young children is set to become even more important under the new system of flexible parental leave being introduced in 2015. New mothers will be able to return to work two weeks after childbirth and share the rest of their maternity leave with their partner, so a dad’s input will become even more crucial.
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, the charity behind Words for Life, said:

“It’s old fashioned to think that encouraging reading is just down to mothers. Children learn behaviours from both parents, and boys in particular benefit from male role models. With the forthcoming changes to parental leave, a father’s role in their child’s communication and literacy development is set to become of even greater importance.”

Words for Life is a National Literacy Trust campaign targeted at parents and carers to give them the tools, resources and confidence to give their child the best possible foundation in communication, reading and writing skills. One person in six in the UK cannot read, write or communicate as well as they need, and parental input, particularly in the early years, plays a key part in how well a child’s literacy skills develop.

Dads can find ideas and inspiration for simple activities they can do with their children this Christmas to help them develop better literacy skills at

Emma in Bromley x

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Jingle bells music activity book

jingle bells sing and play activity book image collage We were sent a copy of Jingle Bells sing and play for review -  this is an awesome music activity book. It contains the sheet music for Christmas songs and carols, along with the words. I used to be able to read music but found myself only recognising half the notes, it's something I'd like both my children to understand and learn and Blake (age 3) was intrigued by the layout and symbols when I was explaining what they mean. The book is filled with the most lovely bright and colourful illustrations and there are lots of stickers to use to complete two different scene pages within the book. The CD that comes with it contains all the songs and has actual singing on it too so it's not just percussion, incidentally Jingle Bells is Blake's favourite. It's a lovely little addition to the Christmas season and good value at an rrp of £7.95

Layout 1

Festive fun for all the family, this seasonal songbook is beautifully illustrated and contains 18 popular Christmas songs and carols including Deck The Halls, The Holly And The Ivy, Silent Night, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Jingle Bells. The simple melody line and chord symbols make this family music pack ideal for most instruments including Recorder, Guitar, Keyboard and Ukulele.
Product Details...
Jingle Bells
ISBN: 9781780385556 Order No: MFK100089 EAN: 5020679581810
SING and PLAY activity music books include:
• Beautifully Illustrated colourful 280x215mm music book • Fun, activity stickers to complete the Christmas scenes • Sing Along CD with 18 popular Christmas songs and carols • Clear and simple melody line and chord symbols • Seasonal family songbook suitable for either recorder, keyboard, guitar, ukulele and more. • Featured guitar and ukulele chord patterns included inside the book. • Ideal musical fun for all the family

RRP £7.95

Emma in Bromley x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Advent calendar books

It's no secret at all that I'm well and truly addicted to pinterest, and a while ago I saw an idea I loooved!

Emma in Bromley - alternative advent calendar - open a new book each day

Someone had the ingenious idea of instead of having an advent calendar, you have a different book to unwrap and read each day.

Now, I love books and you've probably noticed a few of my blog posts have been book reviews, or about children's books and reading in general so naturally this idea sounded fab to me!

I showed it to hubby and he loved it too and I eagerly set about trying to see how I could do it .... You see, there's the minor issue of money - isn't it always about money! At an average of £7 a book times 24 books I'd be looking at about £170 for my "advent calendar" so not very realistic, I also looked at eBay or charity shops but even second hand at bargain prices, I'm still looking at a large sum of money and then also not necessarily the books on my hit list!

So, what books are on my list of 24 alternative advent calendar books? These are not in any particular order by the way.

1. The Pajama Elves - Hayden Edwards.

2. The Tiger who came to tea - Judith Kerr.

3. Owl Babies - Martin Waddell.

4. Belle and boo and the birthday surprise - Mandy Sutcliffe.

5. If I were an elephant - Anne wilkinson.

6. Orange pear apple bear - Emily gravett

7. Operation Alphabet (the ministry of letters) Al MacCuish.

8. This Moose Belongs To Me - Oliver Jeffers.

9. A Bit Lost - Chris Haughton.

10. The Heart and the Bottle - Oliver Jeffers.

11. Meg and Mog - Helen Nicoll.

12. Monkey and Robot, Cardboard Robot - Felix Hayes.

13. My First Gruffalo Touch and Feel - Julia Donaldson.

14. The Great Paper Caper - Oliver Jeffers.

15. Oh No, George! - Chris Haughton.

16. The Incredible Book Eating Boy (Pop up edition) - Oliver Jeffers.

17. Monkey and Me - Emily

18. The Adventures of Mrs Pepperpot - Alf Proysen.

19. Peepo - Allan Ahlberg.

20. Illustrated Stories from Dickens - Charles Dickens.

21. Moomin's Most Magical Pop Up Book - Tove Janssen. (my daughter's nickname is moomin)

22. The Lorax - Dr Seuss.

23. I Want My Hat Back - Jon Klassen.

24. Otto the Book Bear - Katie Cleminson.

My personal books of the moment? Has to be the Pop Up version of Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers - we just love that book, I bought it for my son's birthday and we read it over and over again - it has the most amazing paper engineering I've ever seen. Or the usbourne wind up books - we have the train one - it's a big thick book which has stories and on 3 of the pages are train tracks with a wind up train to run along!

I like the look of the leapfrog tag reading system for Blake and also the new leap pad explorer 2 for stories. I'd quite like to see how he got on with them - there's a new tag junior for ages 2-4 as well as the tag system for ages 4-8 to help learn independent reading and discovery - the solar system adventure map looks amazing!

Emma in Bromley x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

New Look

With a 1 year old and a 3 year old (and now being a 1 income household), I don't really get to go around the shops for clothes for myself so when I want or need new clothes it tends to be online shopping that I do.

I always find online shopping hard as you can't really get a sense of how something is going to fit or hang from a flat picture, so I absolutely paid attention when I received a press release featuring New Look's latest collections and video - not only do I believe a video helps me decide if I'll like the cut or fit of an outfit when shopping online, I love the dancing from flawless in these videos! 

If you watch the video's on the NewLook website - there is a little genius "click to buy" feature, as you are watching the video there is a little scrolling feature at the bottom which shoes you the pieces in that clip that you can click on to buy :-) perfect!

There's a gorgeous little gold sequin tuxedo jacket that I have my eye on in the shimmer and shine video and a pair of ankle boots with my name on in the baroque collection!
The onsies at the end are making me think of getting one each for myself and hubby - although as we are both in our 30's - I'm thinking more snuggling up on a cold evening than a fashion statement!


There ain’t no party like a NEW LOOK
party. And there ain’t no party like the glimmering shimmering feast of fashion-fabulousness we’ve conjured up for Christmas 2012.

Now, thanks to NEWLOOK.COM everyone has a VIP front-row seat at the ultimate runway extravaganza! Framed by those cool dudes from Flawless (the urban dance troop that made such memorable appearances at this summer’s London Games and alongside Kylie at the Jubilee Concert), our models strut, sway and sashay this party season’s hottest fashion themes in three must-see mini-shows.

Gothic Glamour is a romantically dark fashion fable, told in gorgeous jewel-embellished chiffon and ultra-feminine lace. Baroque Star features sumptuous brocades and mesmerising metallics in sexy figure-hugging silhouettes. Shimmer& Shine works glamorous satin and sequins in sophisticated shades of nude, blush and rose-bronze.

Best of all, you can CLICK TO BUY every peplum-detail dress, every body-con sheath, and every sweet little sequinned jacket. Even the cute clutch bags and hot heels are a watch’n’shop option! NEWLOOK.COM ensures it couldn’t be easier to get into the party spirit. And NEW LOOK’s super-cute onesies (featured in the finale of each video) ensure the after-party is a fashion no-brainer too.

So, whether you’re looking for a going-out frock with knock-out wow-factor or something more snugglicious for a cosy night in, the fun place to find it is hot off the runway at NEWLOOK.COM.

Which look do you prefer? 

Baroque Star

Shimmer and Shine

Here’s the link to the Gothic film "

Emma in Bromley xx