Category Archives: Review

A Mammoth Christmas!

My Little Man is often tired on a Friday afternoon after a full week at preschool and, with the weather becoming colder, damper and generally more unpleasant, it is a good excuse to crack out the snuggly blankets and the DVDs.

Last year was the first time he really understood Christmas and, as he clearly remembers what a big deal it was, he’s already getting excited about the impending celebrations.

We’ve decided to take him to see Father Christmas this year (last year we thought he might have found it all a bit odd/scary) as well as a few other Christmassy activities.  Some things we are doing indoors, like making a ‘cut & stick’ list for Santa and colouring some special pictures for decorating the house.  However, sometimes he’s too tired even for that and all he really wants to do is relax with a spot of TV.

There’s nothing I love more than a film with a Christmas theme (Elf, quite simply, ROCKS) so finding an animated film with this theme that also has all his favourite Ice Age characters in it is fantastic!

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas is released on DVD exclusively in Asda from 21st November and there are some special in-store activities taking place this week.

For my local readers the Asda in Thurrock will be hosting an activity day on Monday 21st November from 9am – 4pm and for my readers further North the Asda in Rotherham will be hosting their activities on Tuesday 22nd November from 10am – 4pm.

The activities taking place are:

  • A meet and greet with Ice Age characters Sid and Scrat
  • Free goodies
  • The making of an ice sculpture in store
  • Free face painting

And here’s a teaser of the forthcoming Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.  I spoil you, I really do!  Enjoy…..

A carnival in your living room!

A few weeks back we were invited to a special screening of Rio at London Zoo in advance of its release on Triple Play Blu-Ray and, knowing how much Little Man loves birds, we were delighted to accept!

The fun started for Little Man as soon as we told him we would be going on a long tube journey.  He loves trains of all sorts and has never travelled underground on the tube, only going the few stops locally that are all above ground.  Well, he was excited but also strangely calm.  In fact, he quickly mastered the art of appearing like a regular commuter who does the same journey every day.

I hope there won't be any delays!

We were a little flustered by the time we arrived due to silly me underestimating the walk through Regents Park to get to London Zoo but, once inside the pavillion, we very warmly welcomed and Little Man was delighted to be given two plush toys (Blue and Jewel of course!) to keep him occupied.  He also managed to occupy himself with various sandwiches and crisps which were absolutely delicious!

There was a lady there painting Blue onto all the children’s faces and I was convinced that there was NO WAY Little Man would get this done as he has always shied firmly away from face painting on previous occasions.  However, once he saw every other child there had either already had it done or was in the queue waiting patiently to get it done, he, of course, didn’t want to miss out!  I was really impressed with how still he sat while it was being painted on and, as you can see, the results were fantastic!

How cool?

It was now time to watch the film, and I can honestly say it was really enjoyable.  As with most animated films there is humour not only for the children but also for the adults who are watching along with them which is always welcome!  The colours throughout were amazing but the carnival scenes were particularly vibrant and fun.  When we got home I asked Little Man if he would like to watch the film again which got a resounding “YES!” in reply, so I guess it will be making its way onto his list for Santa!

His favourite part of the film was, and I quote, “Little Blue dancing in the jungle” and mine was Linda getting caught up in the dancing on the carnival float.

The bit he liked least was “Mean Nigel” and I would have to agree!  Nasty birdy!

After the film there was a Meet the Macaw experience when one of London Zoo’s parrots was brought into the room by her keeper.  She was a very impressive bird who seemed to enjoy displaying the full span of her wings upon instruction from her keeper.  Beautiful!  Little Man even managed to get tickled by her very long tail feather as he walked past which prompted lots of giggles!

An unexpected bonus to the day was that we now had some free time to explore other areas of the Zoo which was absolutely brilliant!  Little Man was really excited to see the Big Cats particularly but the penguins were also a lot of fun!

We had a really fantastic day and I would recommend the film to anyone!



We were invited to London Zoo for this special screening as guests of Premier PR.  I have received no payment or other compensation for this review and my opinions are, as always, honest.

Rio – Join the Party!

My little man loves birds.  Me, not so much with the flappy things…..

He’s even started a ‘feather collection’ *boak* which, let’s be honest, consists entirely of pigeon feathers which aren’t the most colourful.  We don’t really get many opportunities to spot exotic birds in our particular area of East London / Essex so when I was invited to attend a special screening of ‘Rio’ at London Zoo next weekend followed by a ‘Meet the Macaw’ experience, I fought the fear, thought of the grin that would be plastered all over my little man’s face and accepted!

I can’t wait until next Saturday to watch this film.  It’s from the same team behind Ice Age so it’s bound to be funny and to completely captivate my 3 year old.  Watch the trailer and tell me you don’t want to see it too…..

Rio is released on Blu-Ray triple play from 24th October 2011.

Millets Farm Maize Maze – Saturday 6th August 2011


We were very kindly invited by Hallane from Energy PR to go and test run the Maize Maze at Millets Farm Centre in Oxfordshire.

Having never walked through a maze before (my overgrown jungle of a garden doesn’t count, does it?) we were all very excited on our 1.5hr journey there.  Obviously, this being an August day in England we were prepared for a wide variety of weather, well, Little Man was at least!   I think his bag contained a raincoat; jumper; long-sleeved t-shirt; shorts; sunglasses; sunhat and suncream!  There was also a large golf umbrella in the boot of the car.  To be fair, in the end we needed almost all of these!

Millets Farm Centre was very well-signposted from quite a way away with the usual brown ‘Place of Interest’ signs and we located it really easily.  Parking was plentiful and right in the middle of the various things to do.  We stuck our brolly up against the increasingly heavy rain and walked over to the Maize Maze entrance with a sense of fortitude.  Luckily, the day soon brightened up which my flip-flop clad feet were very pleased about!

When you buy your entrance ticket (Adults (16+) £6, Child (2+) £5.25 with savings for groups of 3 or more) you are given a wristband to wear which entitles you to come and go freely from the Maze Area throughout the day.  I thought this was great value for the number of mazes, games & activities there were to occupy you.

Millets Farm have been very clever in the fact that they have tailored the mazes to different abilities so there really is something there for all age groups.  There is the Fortune Maze, which you should allow 15-20 minutes to complete and is suitable for anyone, even the very young (as long as they’re accompanied of course!); the Mad Hatter’s Tea Time Table Maze, which takes approximately 25-30 minutes to complete and is also suitable for all; and the White Rabbit Maze which is a large maze, involving clues and questions so is more suited to those with slightly older children.

We tackled the Fortune Maze and the Mad Hatter’s Maze and felt that this was probably enough for Little Man’s legs to cope with when we combined it with the other things we wanted to do.

After the mazes, some games and a spot of lunch we decided to have a look at the farm animals and take Little Man for his 1st ‘Pick Your Own’ experience which was a huge hit!

We rounded the day off with a wander round the gorgeous farm shop where we just had to treat ourselves to some of the yummy things on offer.

It would be impossible (well, not impossible but very time-consuming and I’m getting cramp in my hand!) to describe everything we got up to that day but, suffice it to say that we had an excellent time and would recommend it to absolutely anyone for a great day out with something for all!

I’ll leave you with some photos that illustrate just how much fun we had, thank you Hallane and thank you Millets Farm Centre.

Thank you for reading!

Lady of Essex x


We were invited to try the Maize Maze & PYO as guests of Millets Farm Centre but I was not asked to provide this review; I just wanted to because it was so ace there!