Thursday, 19 May 2016

"You know what's about to happen. Do you really wanna punch your wayout of this?"

With the release of Captain America Civil war a couple of weeks back, (which I am still yet to watch, grrr...! I have however read all of Civil War and it was truly amazing), Me and the boys went through our usual pre-superhero movie release routine and went window shopping online for the awesome products tied into the movie. The Disney store (as expected) had an awesome selection of products, everything a budding superhero could possibly need. The product that caught our attention the most though we're the Iron man gauntlet gloves and they were a definite must for the boys superhero armoury.

When they arrived, Opeie instantly dropped what he was doing and ran upstairs to grab his iron man mask for full effect. Then, of course, it was time to do battle. I'm so jealous of the superhero toys available these days, I'd have been in my element as a child being able to have Iron Mans gloves (even though I am definitely team cap). The gloves have light-up repulsors on the palms and shoot out rockets... AWESOME! The only negative about these gloves (and it's a big one!) is that they don't fit me! Come on Disney store, you must know that when the kids have gone to bed we're sitting watching the movies wearing this stuff, or maybe that is just me.

There are so many great civil war products to choose from and we've now got our eye on the Captain America and Black Panther masks to go with the boys collections.

If Iron Man's Gauntlet gloves aren't exciting enough (come on, you know they are), the boys also have the Civil war Deluxe figurine play set waiting for a rainy day stuck indoors. Which if the last two days is anything to go by maybe very soon. The set includes Captain America and Iron man (of course), Vision, Hawkeye, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Ant-man, Black panther, Falcon and War Machine. So I love forward to battling with those very soon.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

"A Pirates life for me..."

If you are a regular reader you will be fully aware of how much of an impact a certain brick has on my relationship with the boys. I've been in complete awe of Lego for so many years. This is a company that shaped a huge chunk of my development and is now doing the same thing for those two very special boys of mine. The last few years though have been the most exciting, being able to blog for Lego is obviously like a dream come true and being able to share what I know and the passion I have for LEGO with the boys and help to unlock their imagination is truly amazing too. Aside from those things, one of the huge reasons for this excitement is the vast variety throughout all of LEGO's awesome themes. There really does seem like there is no end to what this unstoppable company has to offer. Lego's own creations like Mixels, elves and Nexo knights etc are keeping kids everywhere (and us older geeky builders) entertained and well stocked with new parts and ideas, and new TV and Movie themed kits seem to be popping up all the time, which personally I cannot get enough of. Who would have ever though that the Ghosbusters would get a firehouse headquarters! (I can't stop pining over this kit haha).
With the new angry birds movie hitting the cinemas I was not at all surprised that LEGO would be in on the action and when I first saw the kits online I knew I needed a closer look at these interesting Angry Birds kits and bizarre Minifigures. Like me, the boys love anything LEGO so Opeie was really excited to see the Piggy Pirate Ship in his room waiting to be built. We've got to that point now where Opeie is really independent and wants to build on his own, which although, selfishly is a little disappointing for me because I love to be involved, is great for Opeie's development. Learning how to follow plans confidently at his age is a great skill to have.

The Piggy pirate ship is one of the larger kits from the range so I knew that Opeie would need a tiny bit of daddy help but he got stuck in and surprisingly built the entire kit pretty quick. I'm always on the look out for interesting parts when these new themes and kits come out and I watched eagerly as Opeie excitedly connected each brick.

The finished ship looked great and the fact that the oars and paddle wheel move when pushed really added to the play fun. The only downside to the kit for us was the Minifigures, as they are single piece figures (apart from hats). Opeie's favourite part of building a LEGO kit is putting the Minifigures together so I think he was a little disappointed with that missing. That didn't stop his imagination and creativity kicking in though and he knew exactly what he wanted to do with the ship as soon as we had completed it.

Our LEGO building recently has been all about the trains and with the release of the Disney Minifigure range (which are fantastic), Opeie requested that we build a stitch themed train. They have had track running around their room for the last few weeks so I wasn't at all surprised that the Piggy pirate ship recieved an upgrade of train wheels to the base. Thats what I love about LEGO, where kids often lose interest in many toys when it comes to LEGO every build and creation can be transformed in to something new with only a few extra parts.

 We didnt move from this spot for a huge chunk of the afternoon, with the pigs and birds sailing the plastic rails being chased by Disney's finest. The catapult included in the kit was great for blowing the trains off of the tracks and with swords and shields at the ready there was tons of swashbuckling action to be had. We changed the crane boulder to lego magnets too and had them picking up all sorts as Opeie drove them around. There is no toy quite like LEGO, its versatility makes it (for me) the most intelligent building toy on the market with endless possibilities.

With 6 kits released in the Angry birds range, The Piggy Pirate Ship has got us looking at other kits from the range and we have our eyes on the Pig City Teardown and Bird Island Egg Heist , both of which would look great added to the boys latest LEGO train set up. 


Friday, 13 May 2016

“Put aside the bug net, and try out this precious little beauty instead!”

After seeing Seth get so into Pokemon omega Ruby I really wanted to see what was so addictive about open world role playing games. So when I started playing the legends of Zelda twilight princess HD a month or so ago I was completely hooked. The only disadvantage to the game for me was that it was a WiiU game and although the boys have all the time in the world to get stuck into a game of that size, I find it really difficult as when they are playing I'm usually cooking tea or cleaning the house. I love playing the WiiU but for me, it's all about my 3ds because I can fit short bursts of playing into whatever I am doing.

Over the last few months, I've been reading up on all the hype surrounding YO-KAI WATCH coming to the Uk and I was eager to give the game some of my gaming time. The layout of the game is very similar to the Pokemon franchise with a huge free roaming world that you unlock as you proceed through the story. You start in a town called Springdale and what starts as an innocent hunt for bugs, kicks off a huge YO-KAI adventure when you meet Whisper, a YO-KAI that gives you the ability to see (the usually invisible to the human eye) YO-KAI, through the use of the YO-KAI WATCH. The idea behind the game is so much fun, with YO-KAI being the main cause of all the things that are going on in the town. Do your parents keep fighting? Or for no apparent reason do you angrily snap at people and say things you don't mean out of pure frustration? Then there is probably a YO-KAI near by responsible for all of your troubles.

Thankfully they won't be causing you grief for too long thanks to your YO-KAI WATCH that helps you track down the little trouble makers. You can then befriend them and use their powers for good, helping you to battle against other (much larger) YO-KAI along your journey through the game. The battles do start off fairly easy, especially the YO-KAI that you find hiding in trees and under cars etc throughout the town (they are everywhere and it is fun searching for them). I felt like I was tricked into a false sense of security though because as you progress through the game you really need to be strategic about the YO-KAI that you use and the items that you are carrying to assist. 

The boys love 'Terror time' in the game when venturing out at night. You have to sneak around trying not to get caught but if you are spotted the Oni chases after you and you have to run as fast as you can to get to the exit.

With over 200 YO-KAI to collect I can see that this is going to keep me occupied for a very long time. I've seen some great shots of YO-KAI that I've not encountered yet so I'm really looking forward to continuing the game. Aside from the main story, you can spend your game time levelling up your YO-KAI too and can even splice characters together to make more powerful ones. One of the things that appeals to me the most about this game is that if I don't have time to continue the story for a bit because of having things to do I can just have a quick wander through the town, helping the citizens of Springdale with their various issues, earning you a great selection of objects to use in battle.

The YO-KAI craze is huge in Japan and I think it's on point to be a huge success I've here too.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

"The universe is mostly empty space without you"

It's crazy to think that 6 years ago I didn't have this...

... I sit here at my computer practically every night and think about just how lucky I am to have such an amazing family. These three beautiful people have completely turned my world around. They give me purpose and have made me the person I have always dreamed of being.

I've never been more smitten and I will always be so thankful of that unexpected chance meeting, one early morning at uni.

“Riding bicycles will not only benefit the individual doing it, but theworld at large.”

I am loving this bike building with Seth at the moment, the pedals we ordered arrived yesterday and the look on his face when he opened the package was priceless. Seeing the boys get excited about things they are creating is really moreish. His new bike (for when he's that little bit taller) is really starting to come together now and it's making me want to build one for myself.

Since starting the build Seth mentioned that he would love his own tools for tinkering with his bike so he was really chuffed when we received a package from dotcomgiftshop after being included in their 12 dynamite daddy blogs. that included a bike multi-tool and a puncture repair kit. It is always lovely to hear what people have to say about the blog and I'm touched to come in their top 12. Thanks to the great package all Seth needs now is his own mini tool box.

Again Seth did a great job of attaching the pedals himself and they look great. We've also now ordered brake pads and some skyway handlebar grip's to go with his swanky wheels. All that's left on Seth's BMX list is brake levers, calipers and a saddle and then we can concentrate on designing decals, which I think he is excited about the most.

We had talked about replacing the brake cables with something a little more colourful, but then Seth came up with the idea of making use of the remaining patterned duck tape from our Pedalflow. While he played with his friends outside a few days ago I sat in the garden and wrapped his cables, it was a really nice touch and a great idea by Seth.

This bike is all Seth and I'm really proud of how interested he has been during this build so far. It's important to have hobbies and as I've said many times before it's great to have a couple of projects on the go with your kids. These are experiences that they will remember forever.

"It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage."

Part 2 of our London trip, because clearly the Gruffalo took full control of that last post. After finally getting into London and getting over the initial 'what the !@%£ is with all this traffic', we made our way to our friend's house and it was clear that like myself, Opeie didn't have any energy to do much else that evening, so we took it easy. Visiting Sam and Jamie is amazing, they are such lovely people and when we visit, it is like having a couple of fantastic tour guides on hand. We spent the evening discussing where we should go and narrowed our day down to the Horniman museum, because we only spent 30 minutes there on our last visit, Greenwich Observatory and Richmond park. We had the Micro Scooters loaded into the boot ready for action and we set off early to make the most of the day.

When we arrived at the museum it was closed for another half an hour so we made the most of the beautiful surrounding gardens and whizzed around on the scooters. The smooth winding path around the grass areas was great for picking up some speed and we could have happily scooted there all day.

When we entered the museum I looked to see if the lockers were scooter friendly but they were tiny so I carried mine while Opeie casually scooted around. Thankfully no one asked him to get off of it so we were left to our own devices. The Horniman museum is a great resource for our home education adventures and it is great for Opeie to see animals that he's never heard of even if seeing them like that is a little eerie. Opeie thought that the wall of dog heads was "really cute" until he realised they were real heads and he moved us along quickly with disgusted look on his face.

On the way out Opeie picked up a new fashion accessory which he ended up rocking for the remainder of the day. Even as a bug he is still absolutely adorable!

After the Horniman museum, we scooted back to the car and then made our way over towards Greenwich observatory. The weather was lovely and we were both itching to get back on the scooters as soon as we saw the winding paths running from the top of the hill. We've scooted so many amazing places over the years but this had definitely been one of my favourites, we were scooting so fast. The great view and huge grassy area gave us the chance to stop off and have some lunch, lightening the load in my backpack, phew!

We hadn't planned on going to the Maritime museum and I had no idea that it was even there but as soon as Opeie spotted that giant ship in a bottle as we scooted by, it jumped straight to the top of our to-do list. They have a huge manned cloakroom there which meant I got a break from carrying the scooters round which was a relief.

I love nautical themed things especially art work and the Maritime museum was great for taking photos to document our visit. Everywhere you look there is something interesting to learn about (and then use as a backdrop in your pictures). We both loved the ships figureheads mounted on the wall and Opeie managed a cheeky face swap to send Mommy at work (I'm trying to start this as an ongoing game, but I'm yet to receive anything in return... spoil sport!).

When we first arrived at the museum I wasn't sure if there would be anything for Opeie's age group but there is so much for younger children to do and we both had a great time. Opeie got to sail a virtual ship, unload and reload cargo, see what it was like to live on a ship and there was drawing and colouring that he could proudly display. We had so much fun that we ended up losing track of time and had to rush back to the car because of the parking being up.

(Oops, there I go again! come on Mrs. M join in!)

Inevitably, the morning/afternoon of scooting and visiting museums was too much for my little side kick and he had clearly reached his peak when we got back to the car. It was time to head back to our friends house for a relaxing evening with good food and great company (and an early night for us both). Another amazing scooting adventure in London.

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