Phantom Boy DVD Review and Giveaway

Phantom Boy is a highly anticipated new film from the Academy Award-nominated writers and directors of A Cat In Paris is a stylish noir caper, set in the shadowy streets and alleyways of New York.

A touching story of an 11 year old boy, Leo who discovers he has a special power that he uses to help lieutenant Tanner fight a very dangerous villain,The Face.

Leo has a secret. A mysterious illness has transformed into a phantom boy, able to leave his body and explore the city as a ghostly apparition. While Leo is in hospital, he befriends Alex Tanner, a New York cop who got injured whilst attempting to capture a nefarious gangster who has taken control of the city’s power supply, throwing the metropolis into chaos. The pair unite and form an extraordinary duo, using Leo’s phantom powers and Alex’s detective work to foil the plot and save New York from destruction.

Alex and Leo are both in hospital both different reasons. Leo is in for treatment for hos illness and Alex is in a wheelchair with a broken leg, hurt from attempting to capture The Face. Leo is able to become invisible and fly through walls, his body stays still whilst he has an outer body experience. Leo is a big fan of the Police and couldn’t wait to introduce himself to Alex and help him save Mary, a journalist, who falls prey to The Face when she goes in search of him. With Leo in the air and Alex on the ground they become quite the fighting pair. They have 24 hours to save the City from a deadly computer virus.

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The film is very touching, portraying Leo as a brave young man. It is an action packed, simply animated and a heart warming film.

It has its humourous moments from the villains trusty side kicks and vicious tiny dog, Rufus. The film shows us about the power of teamwork, friendship, family, and courageous acts of kindness. Leo’s illness pulls at the heart-strings yet The Face and his gang bring humour to the film.

My children aged 14, 9 and 5 all enjoyed watching this simple animated fantasy film and found it to be entertaining. They were engaged the whole way through. Leo spends a lot of time in his hospital bed due to his illness and gets the freedom that he yearns by becoming phantom boy. He feels free from the disease by soaring up high in the sky over buildings and flying through walls.

Phantom boy is a beautiful story but also a brilliant superhero film and will leave you feeling warm inside.

Released on DVD 13th February 2017

The film features the voices of Fred Armisen, Vincent D’onofrio and Jared Padelecki.

I have 3 copies of the film to give away. Just enter via Rafflecopter below.

Competition ends 21/02/17 12am

Uk entries only please due to postage

Winners will be picked via rafflecopter

Prizes will be sent out directly by the PR company

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Tips for A Smooth School Morning Routine

School mornings can be the most stressful part of the day. Children, especially the younger ones do not understand the concept of time and If anything like my youngest boy, they will deliberately go slow once told to be quick.

I am no expert in parenting nor am I saying I know more than any other parent, But I am hoping that my tips can help someone who is struggling with the morning routine running smoothly. Having three children and one of them being a stubborn morning person, I have been the Mum that screams the house down in the morning. I have been the parent that has sat on the bottom step of the stairs, head in hands and cried. I have been stressed to the max when the youngest just wouldn’t budge and just moved like a sloth to the front door without wearing his coat or shoes. We had months of where we left late every morning for school and I felt like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, looking at my watch every 2 seconds, screaming out that we’re late, we’re late! School morning routines can be stressful but they don’t have to be if you just try to organise your time and prepare.

It’s all about preparing the night before. If you can get as much as possible all set up the night before then there won’t be as much as a rush in the morning.

  • If your child has pack lunch for school, most of it can be prepared the night before. I put in packets, juices, fruits and bars into their boxes and leave the yoghurt and any fresh food for the morning. It’s best to out the lunch box together before the children wake up, then you won’t be listening to the moans of them not wanting what you put in. I like to make the sandwiches fresh in the morning but to save time you can make them the night before and store them in the fridge.
  • Wake up at least 45 minute before anyone else in the household. This way you get to relax before the tornado hits. Grab a cuppa and a biscuit and chill for 5 minutes. I also like to get dressed before they wake up. Fewer people fighting over the bathroom.
  • Place all bags and coats near to the front door. Easy to grab before you leave the house and also means that nothing gets left behind. Line up their school shoes next to the front door too.
  • Keep all winter clothes, like scarves and gloves inside he sleeve of the children’s coats. That way there will be no searching for them in the morning.
  • Make sure the children’s book bags are looked through as soon as they come home from school. All homework taken out and placed on the table to do straight away. All letters read and signed to be placed back into the book bags ready to be handed in the next day
  • Fold up your child’s school uniform, along with underwear and socks ready for the next day, in a pile. I leave ours in the living room, so after they have had their breakfast and had a quick wash they can get dressed in front of me downstairs, then I know there will be no distractions for them in their bedroom.
  • A bath/shower is better, for time wise, to have the night before. Just freshen up in the morning with a strip wash from the sink.
  • I always put the toothpaste on their toothbrushes as soon as I can. Once I am dressed and ready I prepare their toothbrushes and leave them on the side of the sink. That way I know there won’t be snail trails of bright blue gunk all over the white bathroom suite and I always know if they have brushed their teeth. Children have a tendency to lie about brushing their teeth. I touch the brush head to see if it is wet too. It saves time too as It takes me seconds but leave it to the children and they can be in there for hours
  • NO TV. do not have the television on whilst the children are around. They will sit and stare at adverts about incontinence and women’s period rather than get dressed and ready for school. It’s like auto pilot, there not taking anything in of what there watching they just watch for the sake of it.
  • Hide all tablets, laptops, console remotes and phones the night before, then there will be no distractions in the morning when a child wants to play on a game or watch something on YouTube.
  • Make a note of anything special happening in school on your phone diary or family organiser. I have a calendar up in the kitchen where everyone can see it. On I mark down school trips, class assembly’s, teacher meetings, parents evenings, PE and swimming days and any other special events. I always check the night before and I set the alarm on my phone for a second reminder.
  • As soon as the children have woken up and are downstairs they choose their breakfast and sit at the table to eat it. They then have a wash and get dressed. We sometime have a little game on who can get dressed first (makes them go faster), they love a little competition.
  • Make up a ‘I Can DO’ chart I had one that had ‘made my bed’ ‘brushed my teeth’ ‘got dressed’ and ‘ate breakfast’ The child can put a star next to the chore that they have finished. You can reward them with a sticker, children love stickers!

The last tip is to always keep your front door keys and phone in your handbag, coat pocket or on the window sill near to the front door. You don’t want to get the children all organised for you to go hunting through the house, just as you are about to exit through the front door. This I have done many times before as I was too occupied in getting the children ready, I have even shut the door without my keys in my pocket. Check, Check, Check! That is my last advice.

Let me know if there is anything that you do for an easy, smooth running morning that I do differently. I am always up for new ideas to help

Thank you for reading

Misheard Song Lyrics

When I was younger, my Dad used to take my big brother and I away to Butlins for 2 weeks during the summer holidays. We used to love going away to the holiday site, I have many happy memories of our annual get away. I remember making friends at the kids clubs, spending my daily allowance in the arcade on Super Mario, visiting the on site fairground and riding on the rides all day long, playing pool and table tennis with my Dad during the day and of an evening watching the entertainment in the main club house. One thing that I remember the most about one of those holidays was listening to a singer on stage, he was singing ‘I can see clearly now’ by Johnny Nash.

I remember singing along to the words and thinking how it was all about a relationship break up. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realised that I had misheard the lyrics and was singing the wrong words

I sang ‘I can see Deirdre now Lorraine has gone’ instead of ‘I can see clearly now the rain has gone’ and ‘I think I can make it now, Lorraine has gone’ instead of ‘I think I can make it now, the pain has gone’

Misheard lyrics happen when you misunderstand the lyrics in the song unintentionally.

My son used to be adamant that Adele was singing about padelling

‘Paddle from the other side. I must have called a thousand times, to tell you ooh sorry for everything that I’ve done.’ Instead of

‘Hello from the other side. I must have called a thousand times, to tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done’

‘Paddle from the outside. At least I can say that I’ve tried. To tell you I’m sorry for harbinant’ (I have no idea what that word is) Instead of

Hello from the outside. At least I can say that I’ve tried. To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart’

Another song that he sings the wrong lyrics to is 7 Years. He is hilarious as he believes he is singing the correct lyrics and puts his heart and soul into singing the song. Now, he doesn’t know the whole song but the verse that he sings a lot is

‘Once I was 7 years old, my mumma told me got to the shop and buy macaroni’

I’m sure when he was 7  he was meant to make some friends or he will be lonely. He even sings it with an american twang

Oh and the latest one is the Justin Timberlake song ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’

‘Cause I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can’t take my eyes off of the buffet, moving up on the sofa

Instead of

‘Cause I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally

There was a time when the eldest used to sing twinkle twinkle little star and he couldn’t pronounce his s and the blend tw. So he sang ‘Dinkle dinkle liddle dar, ow I wonda what you are’ So cute! I must add that now he is 14 he can pronounce and sing it properly 🙂

 

I guess we’ve all got lyrics that we have misheard, what is yours?

An Epic Day At Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder

Are you looking for something to get your children out of the house and away from technology?

Let the children loose ready for an adventure on the ultimate obstacle course

Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder is a 1 mile obstacle fun mud run especially designed for children aged between 7 and 12. Mini Mudder gives children a chance to work as a team, get muddy, experience the thrill of adventure and explore their adventurous side. Each Mudder course features 8-10 obstacles that will encourage children to work and support each other.

What makes a Mini Mudder

  • Not scared of getting wet and covered in mud
  • Tough and Strong as some of those obstacles are hard work
  • Working together and helping others
  • Up for an Adventure. Mini Mudder promises to be epic
  • Agility is needed on some of the obstacles
  • Not be a whinger as only babies whine
  • Speed – running between the obstacles
  • Adventurous and ready to explore
  • Challenging – Looking at how to attempt the obstacles
  • Up for anything – Not afraid of getting stuck in

The Mini Mudder course consists of 8-10 obstacles along with lots of mud and water

  • Get tangled in Tumble Weed
  • Sprint up Mini Everest
  • Scale Mount Mud
  • Brave the Tunnel of Terror
  • Teamwork at Got Your Back
  • Conquer the Crazy Climb
  • Plunge into Mud Miles deep pit of thick sludge
  • Let the monkey in you come alive at Hangin’ On, Hangin’ Out
  • Slip through the cracks at Secret Agent Squeeze

Each Mini Mudder event is held alongside Tough Mudder. Each challenge starts on the hour every hour from 9 – 4. We was lucky enough to be invited along to the South London event held at Holmbush Estate.

Dad and the eldest boy have participated in local mud events in previous years so they were looking forward to seeing if lived up to its name sake and if it really was as tough as it offered to be. The youngest two have only ever looked on in awe from the sidelines at such events.

When I told the boys about the Mini Mudder challenge they were ecstatic and couldn’t wait for the adventure to begin. My boys are very competitive, so they found it hard to understand that the event wasn’t a race and that it was just for fun.

We arrived at about 11 and was surprised to see how bloody busy the place was, hundreds and hundreds of mud searching, adrenaline pumping adults all around gearing themselves up for the Tough Mudder Run. The atmosphere was great, everyone was in good spirits including the boys.

After a quick look around we made our way to the mini mudder arena, which wasn’t far from the finishing line to Tough Mudder. Whilst the younger ones were getting ready for their little adventure, Dad and older brother were making their way to the Tough Mudder start line.

Each Mini Mudder wave starts on the hour just after a little fun warm up with the mudder organisers. They are all then walked towards the start line and then let loose on the course.

The boys along with all the other children that took part were quick to get as muddy as they could. I mean who wouldn’t! Children allowed to get in as much mess as they can with their adults consent, that doesn’t happen that often.

It was lovely to see my boys helping each other over the obstacles and giving each other a helping hand when needed. They normally fight and squabble, but for one hour in that day they actually got along. I even witnessed them holding hands at one point. For once there was no sibling rivalry only support and friendship. There was no stopping them, they whizzed around the course in record time, taking on the obstacles like a giant in a playground. They showed determination and took on the challenges set with ease.

 

A fun day was had by all at Tough and Mini Mudder, Mummy was a little tired watching her boys get very muddy but it was worth it seeing the smiles of achievement on their faces. Each adult and child that competed the course received a headband as a keepsake. The children were rewarded with a Fruit Shoot drink at the end, it was much needed as well.

There were showers to clean yourself up and wash away as much mud as possible but we heard that they were quite cold so decided on changing in one of the toilets into clean clothes and just wiping away the mud with some baby wipes.

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They truly did conquer and all that was left to do was wash all of the mud out of their clothes (which took a good soaking in the bath for a couple of days)

If taking part I would advice you to take along spare clothes and shoes, baby wipes, black bag to place dirty clothes in, a towel in case you use the showers and cover you car seats with plastic.

To find out when the next Mini Mudder is available check out their website

We was invited along to participate in the event for the purpose of this post.

Put some wobble into your children’s lunch boxes with Hartley’s Jelly Pots

It’s that time of year where you are back to rummaging through your food cupboards attempting to put together some healthy, nutritious snacks ready to put into your children’s lunch box. Yes it’s back to school for the little ones and back to the shops for us.

If your children are like mine then they would like a variety of different types of food.

I always try to keep the lunch box filled with a balanced type of food, a sandwich, item of fruit, raisins, yoghurt / jelly and a snack. I don’t think the items of food have to be a work of art just as long the children eat it, that’s all that matters. Keeping it fun for them is a good idea but there is no need to go overboard.

What I do like to do is add in little messages or stickers for the children to read and use, a little surprise for them. They love to receive little messages amongst their wrap and fruit. Little words of wisdom, good luck messages if they have a test that day or just a little note to say how much I love them. I love seeing their little faces at the end of the day when i pick them up and they tell me that they got their message. Sometimes they reply back on the message so that i get to read it when I’m emptying their lunch box.

 

My boys are more snackers during the day rather than eating one meal. I think I most probably go over the top and add in too much for them but I like to know that they have a variety to eat from.

What I like to put into their lunch boxes:

Sandwich or a wrap – These are normally ham or cheese salad

Egg or pasta – I found these cute little egg moulders. They are shaped little cases that you place the boiled egg into and close it up to mould into the shape.

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Fruit – I normally put in a fresh piece of fruit and some dried fruit too. If I put in berries then i use a tupperware tub to put them in.

Snack – A packet of crisps, a pot of dried cereal or some rice cakes

Yoghurt/ Jelly – My boys love these in their lunch boxes, it is probably the first thing that they eat from it. I like to put both in for them, the small pots are ideal. Fruit in a jelly is an ideal way to introduce fruit into every day eating.

Fruit bars – Although my boys would rather eat a peanut bar they are not allowed them in school. I add in the raw bars, mostly made by myself from dates and coconut.

I also like to keep the added sugar in their lunches to a minimum. As a family we are keen on eating food with little refined sugar added in to them. Not only is it good for their health but good on the teeth too.

Hartley’s is a jam and jelly brand that has been feeding the nation from breakfast to after dinner snack for over 140 years, they offer Standard & No Added Sugar jelly pots which provide a quick and convenient snack. The Hartley’s No Added Sugar jelly pots have no artificial colours and flavours and are fat and gluten free. Stocked in all major retailers from only 49p, they are a tasty treat that will be sure to raise a smile.

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Get ‘Back to School’ ready with Hartley’s No Added Sugar jelly pots and put some fun into your kids’ lunchbox. There are five flavours to choose from including Strawberry, Raspberry, Orange, Tropical, Apple and Blackcurrant. They contain only naturally occuring sugars.

The No Added Sugar blackcurrant and tropical pots are vegetarian and vegan. They are the perfect size to add into lunch boxes or even into a bag for that little snack when out and about. My children find them very tasty and say that they taste like jelly made from home. They are strong in flavour and not watery like some pots you can get. I think they are ideal to add onto a party table too. I find that they are best kept in the fridge for keeping that fresh cold taste.

Hartley’s are gearing up for the Back to School season with an on pack collector scheme offer for our consumers. By collecting 12 promotional Hartley’s Jelly Pot lids, consumers can redeem a special edition Hartley’s lunchbox along with an assortment of fabulously fun stickers.

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The lunch box is a good size and as you can see from the photographs you can fit in quite a bit to fill those hungry little stomachs. Once you’ve collected the lids, claim your lunchbox here

I was provided with the lunch box and jelly pots for the purpose of this post.

My Unconditional Love

When I found out I was pregnant with all three of my boys, I never had that instant feeling of love for them. It sounds wrong doesn’t it? It wasn’t until I felt that first little flutter in my tummy (that could have easily been passed for wind) that I wanted to protect them. As the boys grew and my tummy started to expand I began to feel and see their little feet and hands pushing against my skin, I knew then that the love I had for them was unconditional. I knew that no-one would come even close to the love I had for them. A parents love and need for their children is strong.

The first time I held my boys and looked into there eyes, I only felt love. I didn’t want to let them go, put them down or leave them with anyone. I wanted to cherish as much of them as possible. I was selfish in a way, as I didn’t want anyone else to be with them. They were mine, all mine. I breathed in their sweet sweaty smell of their skin, I stroked their cute little wrinkled face, I watched as they wrapped their tiny little fingers around mine, I felt their tiny heart beat against my skin and I held them tight. As tight as I could. Motherly love instantly kicking in. No time for tiredness just time for them.

Since giving birth to my first son some 13 years ago, I havent really left them with anyone. My life changed. I became a stay at home Mum and spent my days hugging and holding my boys. It’s not that I don’t trust anyone with them but I need to be near them, I need to be close to them. I am their protector, their guide through life. We do everything together, obviously they do their own things with friends but when they are at home we are always together.

My boys are certainly Mummy boys. Where ever I go they go too. I can’t even go to the toilet without them waiting outside of the door for me. It’s me who they confide in when having troubles at school or with friends. It’s me who they come to when they are upset. It’s me who they cry for when they are hurt. It’s me who kisses all their hurt away. It’s me who they sit and watch TV with and cuddle up to on the sofa. Dad is around but it has always been Mummy. My fault entirely for being over protective of them. But I wouldn’t change it. They are independent boys, they don’t need me for anything but I am always near by if and when they need me.

From the first moment I held my boys to now my love has not faltered. I have the same fluttery feeling, my heart aches and I get a lump in my throat.

As I have said before, my boys are my life. They are the reason why I fight every day. They are the reason why I am so strong. They are the reason why I have hope.

Recently with the bad news that I received, my heart ripped in two. I know it sounds weird but I felt it. My heart ached. It pained. It was hard to breathe. My throat was dry. My boys showed me that Love will conquer. Love is strong. My heart is nothing without them. The love I receive from them is full on, mighty and energetic.

We are a team.

My love may be unconditional for them but It certainly isn’t blinded by their behaviour. My boys are no saints. They fight, shout, scream, their lazy and messy. They can push me to the limit and I may shout at them but we all know that this is part of growing up, they know that I love them and I only want the best for them.

I love how my eldest has a strong passion for running and swimming. He is caring and thoughtful. He is very clever, being a member of mensa at the age of 11. His brain is like a sponge and when he talks its like he has swallowed a dictionary/thesaurus.

I love the middle ones sensitivity. He is very caring and loving. He loves his lego and has a creative imagination. He loves to spend time with family and be close to them. He is witty and charming.

I love the shear strength of the youngest. He is strong willed and very determined. I can see him being very clever when he is older but hopefully not get side tracked by peers. He is loving and bubbly. He is shy but also determined.

All three of them put their heart into everything and always want to achieve at their utmost.

All three are my unconditional love.

 

A weekend of achievements and Personal Bests

Living in a London borough gives the children a very good chance of competing in the London Mini Marathon for their borough. Children that live else where in GB have to be within the top four runners of their region/nation.

Each London borough, region and home nation has a team manager who is responsible for selecting a team to take part in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon, which also doubles as the British Athletics three-mile road championship race. Boys and girls race in 3 age categories and there are 6 races in total.

We are lucky to live in a London Borough and back in February my eldest boy who is 13 years old, attended the trials for a chance to win a place on the boroughs team. For the third year in a row, he managed to get through.

Unlike previous years, he has tried hard with his training. He hasn’t managed to run every evening but attended the training sessions each week that was run by a local running club and went out for local runs after school. Not only has he been running but he has also been attending his swimming sessions at his club three times a week. This has really helped with his stamina. He had more drive this year wanting to achieve and try his hardest.

He was dropped off early Sunday morning, along with his other team mates, to catch the coach into the City. He wasn’t nervous but eager to get running. Not long after dropping him off, we set off ourselves as a family to go and cheer him on.

I was in pain from an op I had the day before but i needed to see him. I needed him to know that I was there supporting and cheering him on.

It wasn’t long before we saw him running past us along the embankment, he was looking strong and doing so well. As we called out his name, he got a burst of energy and it must have spurred him along. He looked over to us and smiled and carried on running.

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The boy in red shorts

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Dad and little brother went off to collect him from the finish, whilst I found a cafe to sit in and wait for my big hero to come.

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He was so proud of himself .

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When the results come through he was in complete shock. Couldn’t believe the time that he had got. Said it must have been a fluke. I say that it was determination. I have always told him that if he puts effort and time into something he will acheive.

Jaks time 17:56 Placed 23rd for the borough challenge.

Now, I have 3 boys and they all run. On Saturday saw my middle boy who is 8 years old run in a local 5k parkrun.

He had asked his big brother to take him along to the park to join in with adults and other children to run 5k. His brother ran along his side all the way, they didn’t stop and he managed to pass over the finish line in an amazing 25:47. A personal best for him.

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I love to see my boys enjoying the outdoors and feeling the freedom of running.

I love watching them grow with determination and dedication.

Little brother can not wait to follow in his big brothers footsteps and compete in the London Mini Marathon himself. I am sure big brother will be cheering him along all the way.