Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Myro, the Smallest Plane in the World Apps & Audio Books

- Myro, the Smallest Plane in the World, Launches in the UK -
The Nation’s King of Pantos and I’m A Celebrity winner, Christopher Biggins is taking on a new role as narrator for a series of Children’s Audio story books and iPad story Apps set in Australia called ‘Myro, The Smallest Plane in the World’.
The series follows the adventures of a little British Microlight called Myro – mischievous, curious and prone to disaster – as he settles into his new home ‘Down Under’ in Australia. The stories have stunning images and great story lines and are packed with songs and sound effects, all brought to life by a cast of actors led by the energetic Christopher Biggins.
The stories of ‘Myro, The Smallest Plane in the World’ are fun, exciting and link into school curriculum themes such as Technology (Aeroplanes), Science (Australia and Animals), Literacy and Music. They also cover important social and developmental themes such as teamwork, culture, friendship and organisational skills.
Commenting on Myro, Christopher Biggins says,
“I’m very excited to be narrating Myro, The Smallest Plane in the World. I had such a great experience in the Australian jungle, and now it is time to bring my love of the country to a new generation of children.
“The main characters are often getting into and out of scrapes– and there are subtle lessons and happy endings at the end of each story, which I love. My aim is to see Myro move onto the small screen as a TV series and then into theatres as a stage play – so watch this space as like Myro, I think these exciting new productions will take off!”
Myro School’s Story Sacks and School’s Musicals are also launching up and down the country, with the first musical recently being performed in Edinburgh with 120 children on stage dressed as aeroplanes and animals.
Myro is created and published by Nick Rose, who bought a Microlight in 2004 and flew it around Australia. He then began developing the series when he realised there was a gap in the market for a quality series of children’s story books and iPad story Apps about aeroplanes that encourage children (particularly boys) to read at an early age.
What did we think of Myro?
We started with the Myro and The Jet Fighter Story App first which was pretty exciting as we've only just got an iPad and Isla is loving using the 'big phone'. I uploaded it and then we read it for the first time at bedtime. I chose to turn off the narration as I like to be the one who reads to Isla at bedtime. If she was to look at it herself then the narration is perfect and the characters all have a voice as well. I was really impressed with the illustrations, they're so bright, colourful and cheery. I also liked that on each page of the story there were these blue hotspots where you can touch them and a character will speak, Isla especially loved that. I really like how interactive it is. The story is sweet and Myro proves to be a very courageous little aeroplane. I was initially worried that a story about an aeroplane wouldn't appeal to my Barbie obsessed little girl, but I needn't have as she loved the story. At the end there are a few extras, including a bit where you can learn the phonetic alphabet.
We also received a copy of Myro Arrives in Australia Audio Book. We've listened to it once so far, but it was good because there was some recognition of Myro from the app. The car stopped being a place where I got to listen to my music or my radio shows a very long time ago, so when we have something new to listen to it's a relief, as kids LOVE repetition, Hokey Cokey 20 times anyone? I think that we'll enjoy listening to Myro and I'm sure that more Myro stories will be on someones Christmas list.... I totally agree with Biggins comments above that Myro would be great as a TV series, it's a modern day Jimbo and The Jetset!
With their gripping stories, beautiful images and irresistible characters, Myro, The Smallest Plane in the World is sure to find a place in everyone’s heart. For more information on ‘Myro, The Smallest Plane in the World’, please visit www.myro.com or become a fan of Myro’s on Facebook and on Twitter @ MyroAdventures
Launched on 30th October, the iPad / iPhone Story Apps are downloadable from the App Store, with the Audio Story Books + CDs available from Waterstones, Amazon.com and Independent Booksellers.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Willy, Poo, Bum....and Other Toddler Speak

As recently as the last month Isla has started to be a bit more cheeky and is using some words that I know she deems to be naughty as when she says them she's laughing but I know she's also testing out whether she's allowed to say them. We've had bum head, poo head and maybe even a combination of willy, poo, bum head. Inside I'm laughing my head off as I do remember doing all this with my little sister (pig bum I seem to remember as being one of my favourites...) but I'm also hoping that not too many people outside of our house get called these names. I've obviously told her that it's rude and she shouldn't say it but I guess it is par for the course. 

Another conversation that I was hit with last week was about willies. I really couldn't contain myself on this one and did end up howling with laughter:

The scene, in the bathroom, bathing Isla:

Isla: I haven’t got a willy mummy.
Me: no you haven’t
Isla: have you got a willy?
Me: no, boys have willies
Isla: does Noah have a willy?
Me: yes
Isla: does he have a big willy or a little willy?
Me: a little willy
Isla: does daddy have a willy?
Me: yes
Isla: Does daddy have a big willy or a  little willy
*lots of stifled laughs from me*
Me: I would say its medium sized……

Sorry to my OH but I *had* to share this as it is a classic! She is fascinated by our bodies and all the different bits, so I guess we've probably got a bit more of this kind of thing to come in the future!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Soft Talking Poppy Cat Review - Great Christmas Stocking Filler

I was recently sent a Soft Talking Poppy Cat for the kids to try out and for the first time since I started my blog I had a dilemma about what to do when it arrived as Noah is now a lot older and takes an interest in everything, especially things Isla is playing with. He has also developed quite a soft spot for Poppy Cat as for the last few months we've been reading a pop up Poppy Cat book at bedtime. He's not quite into TV yet so he doesn't really know her from the TV programme. I knew that Isla would assume it was hers, so I just decided to tell them they had to share. Obviously this means zilch to Noah, he doesn't understand sharing, but Isla does so I was interested to see how this went! It went something like this: 
"I'll play with it first mummy and then Noah can have it", I had to remind her after a long while that her turn was up and it was his turn now, this led to a bit of snatching on Noah's part, but on the whole I think she got the idea that it wasn't solely hers.

Back to the toy. This is part of a new small collection of Poppy Cat toys that have sprung out of the popularity of the fab animated show that's on Nick Jnr. The series is great for pre-schoolers we reviewed it here when it first came out and Isla loved it. It's based on an award winning book series by Lara Jones that has sold more than 2.5 million copies.  We were sent a 22cm plush talking Poppy Cat. She says 5 different phrases when you squeeze her tummy and is of course voiced by Joanna Page. Since Poppy Cat arrived she has mostly spent her time in Isla's clutches but when Noah does get his hands on her he loves hearing the phrases. He really does love talking toys - but funnily enough now I think about it I don't think they make many talking toys aimed at boys - he's always loved Isla's talking Dee-Li from Waybuloo and her Princess Holly talking toy.....

This Soft Talking Poppy Cat retails at £9.99 and would make an excellent stocking filler for any PC fan! Also in the range are Poppy Cat dominoes, five piece figure sets and a wind up Poppy Cat amongst other things.

For more information on the pre-school series, please visit www.poppycat.com, or become a fan of Poppy Cat on Facebook (www.facebook.com/officialpoppycat) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/PoppyCat_).
We were sent the talking Poppy Cat to review, all views are our own

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tortilla Recipe - Using Up Eggs!

We're very on-off when it comes to eggs. We all eat them but sometimes they can be easily forgotten in the fridge and I sometimes find I have eggs that need using up ASAP and I've found the best way to use them up all in one go is to make a really tasty Tortilla. I made one recently and it was so delicious that I decided to share it here:


It's worth me adding that my quantities are in relation to the size of the frying pan I used and that all my judgements are really done by eye!

6 small Potatoes, cubed
Red onion, sliced
2 Garlic cloves squished and chopped
8 Eggs, beaten
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Olive oil

* Firstly roast cubed potatoes for 30 mins at 200 degrees
* While waiting for the potatoes to cook fry off the onion and garlic in olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes
* Once the potatoes are cooked remove them from the oven and add to the pan with the onions, add a bit more oil if necessary
* Spread the potatoes and onions around the pan evenly
* Whisk up the Eggs, season with salt and pepper and pour in the pan
* Heat should be Low - Medium - keep an eye on the eggs that they don't stick and keep running a palette knife round the pan
* Once it seems like the tortilla is cooking through, and becoming one big pancake style thing, sprinkle your cheese over the top and move the pan to the grill so that the top of the tortilla cooks under there
* Keep checking on the tortilla and take out from under the grill once you think the eggs are cooked through and the cheese is nicely browned - slide on to a plate and cut a nice big wedge to eat with salad!

I love this recipe, it's simple and tasty and makes a nice lunch for the family. It can be eaten warm, but is just as delicious cold. I sometimes add a few other ingredients, sliced peppers and courgettes if I've got some that need using up, if you do this then reduce the quantity of potatoes. Enjoy!

This post is an entry for the #eggmainsinminutes Linky on BritMums. For more ideas on what to do with eggs check out Main Meals in Minutes site http://www.eggrecipes.co.uk/mainmealsinminutes


Friday, 12 October 2012

Brother Max Carry & Hang Bear Nightlight - Review

Nightlights are great little things I think. They can help to stop fears about the dark, they can help with night time trips to the toilet or to mummy and daddy's bedroom. This one by Brother Max is also particularly cool as it changes colour, from yellow, to orange, red, pink, green and blue (you can also have it on a setting whereby the colour stays the same - whatever floats your boat I guess) . The other thing I love about it and I think is the USP - is that it can hang on the bedroom door handle and it makes it easy for holding and carrying around. I love the design and I love that it just glows - it doesn't emit masses of light - just enough to see in the dark. If fully charged it will give 12 hours of illumination. You needn't worry about the light being warm to touch either - it stays cool. And that is it really, it is a really cool product. Oh and it puts a smile on Isla's face.....

Brother Max sent us this night light to try out and all views are our own.

Cow And Gate - Super Group - Noah Stars!

Viral video by ebuzzing

As you'll know a few weeks ago Noah went to the filming of the new Cow and Gate Advertisement and I wrote about it here. I was so convinced that he wouldn't be in the final cut for the advertisement and so you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that he actually had made it into the ad! So here's the ad in it's glory. With or without Noah in it I think it's a fantastic advert, but knowing that he is there really makes me smile. I've seen it on TV a few times now and I have to watch it every time. He's not one of the main stars - he's more a support artiste I like to think! If you want to spot him he is the little boy with the bright blue jumper on with a teddy bear on the front - he is in a scene where he is sitting down with 2 other babies and also standing up in the background next to a white electric guitar - I don't blame you if you can't spot him, not even his own Grandmother recognised him - slap wrists Mum!! Enjoy!

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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Noah at 15 months - "Garden" and other words...

The time since Noah's 1st birthday has flown by and it feels like his development has sped up 100%! He's nearly 15 months and he now says a few words. So far his favourite word is "Garden". He has loved being out in the garden all summer and now I fear that he will be fed up of being cooped up inside during the colder months. The mere mention of the word "Garden" and he's off to pick up his shoes, pointing at the back door repeatedly saying "garden"! So much so that we were outside in the back garden in the rain one Sunday morning. I couldn't say no to him and I love how the rain makes no difference to him. He's not conditioned yet to want to stay in when the skies are grey and wet. Hmm, might not love this so much as the winter kicks in.... 

He has progressed from saying Dadda to Daddee, Mummee, Nanee and he says "Isla" all the time. Other words he says: "ball", "bubble", "cup", "cat" and "up" when he wants to go upstairs. He does so many animal sounds in response to seeing pictures, oinks like a pig, roars like a lion, even bigger roar for Dinosaur etc - he loves the Peekaboo Barn app on my phone and I've found it such a useful tool for getting his nappy changed without wrestling with him. He also says 'Bi, ed, us' - which is his way of singing the song Big Red Bus.

He loves music still. Dances immediately on hearing it. This fits in nicely with Isla's current love of musical chairs and musical bumps! He joins in, not quite understanding why he has to sit down suddenly or why he's getting pushed off a chair. He also enjoys nursery rhymes, particularly 'Row, row, row your boat". To be honest, he dances even if there's no music on if you ask him to.

He LOVES anything Thomas the Tank Engine! He now has so many Thomas t-shirts/ PJ's that I'm worried he might not wear anything else. The minute he saw some Thomas tracksuit bottoms my mum bought him from Sainsburys yesterday he started stripping off the trousers he had on! The Thomas thing even goes so far as yogurt - he loves the pots with the characters and is visibly disappointed if we don't have those ones.

We're still regularly waking in the night (read 'regularly' as EVERY BLOODY NIGHT!).  This does get me and the OH down actually. And he does want a bottle to get back to sleep. It's really tricky as Isla and Noah share a room now, so what the hell are we meant to do when he's screaming the house down other than give in to what he wants? So most nights he has a bedtime bottle and then he will wake anytime between 11.30pm and 3am and need milk. He then goes back to sleep and either sleeps until between 5am and 6.30am depending on the time he has woken up initially and if it's the earlier time then he gets another bottle and gets put back down again - we've manged to get him out of the habit of rising for the day at 5.30am (touching lots of wood while I write this). I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel to be honest with the nightly waking. He eats enough food during the day so it has definitely become a habit and if he was our only child then I think we would leave him to cry himself back to sleep but because Isla gets disturbed we can't do that really.

Back to happier things, he adores Bobcat and is actually really gentle with him when he strokes him. Although his excitement does get the better of him sometimes he does screech a bit when he sees him which freaks Bobby out a bit.

Cars and trains are his current favourite things, he will zoom around the floor with them for ages, making car and train noises as he does it. I can watch him play for ages, he finds it so easy to do it on his own, he doesn't need to be accompanied while he plays. He is also an avid Lego Duplo fan, he can build for ages. We also play hide and seek so often with Isla that when he hears people counting for any other reason he covers his eyes like we're having a game of hide and seek.

I feel so much love for my little boy, I feel such pride when I see him growing and changing but a tiny part of me mourns him not being a baby anymore. Which feels odd to me as I found it quite hard when he was a little baby!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Justin's Funny Faces Sticker Activity Book - Review

As you know we like Justin Fletcher A LOT! If Isla catches 'Something Special' on TV at any time then it's quite tricky to drag her away from it. She loves all Justin's silly characters and so this new book 'Justin's Funny Faces Sticker Activity Book' is perfect as she can make up silly characters of her own!

Isla was really excited when I showed it to her and I did have to stop her from filling in the whole book in one go. The idea is that there are lots of blank faces and lots of stickers to make the faces come alive. There's a face for a pirate, a snowman face, a princess and so on. The funny thing is though that Isla never wants to make the face as it should be, so we have a snowman that looks like a princess and a monster that looks like a snowman. That's the beauty of it though, you can peel off the stickers from the pages and use them on other faces. Here's some of Isla's funny faces!

The Queen had a bit of a temperature....

Isla is 3 and it's perfect for her pre-schooler age group. This book would make a great Christmas Stocking filler as it's quite inexpensive at around £3. While we're touching on the subject of Christmas (i know, i know, we haven't  even done Halloween yet!), there will be a Justin Fletcher Annual coming out soon too that would also be good for little ones stockings. 

If you'd like to keep tabs on Justin then you can follow him on twitter @_JustinFletcher and like him on Facebook

You can pick up Justin's Funny Faces Sticker Activity Book from all good bookshops and from Amazon from the 4th October.

We were sent this book free of charge to review all opinions are our own.