London: Winter Wonderland, Zippos Circus, and Mr Men & Little Miss

On the rare occasion we went to London as a child, my fondest memory was always the wonderful window displays in places like Oxford Street and Regent Street at Christmas time. They always looked so grand and somewhat magical. I remember spending a long time mesmerised by the lights and winter animals.

Now that T is of an age where he’s into Christmas and all it’s magic and wonder, we decided to take him to London last weekend to get the Christmas season started with a bang. We had also been invited by the YHA to stay in one of their hostels so we thought we’d take full advantage and take a look at what London had to offer.

I was also interested to see if it still had the same magical feel as it did when I was a child.

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Monster Splat [AD- Review]

With family game nights being a firm favourite when it comes to things we like doing of an evening, it’s becoming a challenge to find new games to play. Don’t get me wrong, there are several games that we play time and time again, or ones that are always at the top of T’s suggestion list if given the choice. But, sometimes, we don’t fancy playing tumbling monkeys four times in a row.

This month, we were sent Monster Splat to play with, a game by Ravensburger that requires a little bit of coordination and skill, but is a lot of fun at the same time!

Please note: At the end of this post is an affiliate link, meaning I get a few pennies if you purchase the game via my link.

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Night Out: Curry Leaf Cafe (The Lanes), Brighton [AD – Review]

Last week, we were invited to dinner at the Curry Leaf Cafe in The Lanes, Brighton, which was a new one for us, surprisingly, considering they have been in the city since 2014 – serving authentic Indian street food. During the day, the cafes offer a wide range of ‘nibbles’ and light bites; such as naan wraps, Thali platters and salads, and at night the cafes turn into buzzing restaurants serving a variety of curries.

Curry Leaf Cafe actually have two cafes in Brighton, as well as two take-away kiosks located at Brighton Station and, more recently, Churchill Square! Their original, and first, cafe is located in the heart of Brighton Lanes and a few yards up from the seafront in Ship Street. Their other cafe is located in Kemp Town.

We were lucky enough to be invited for dinner at their cafe in Ship Street, which couldn’t have come at a better time as we had just arrived home from our holiday the day before.

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Dough Nab The Game [AD – Review]

A few weeks ago, as part of International Coffee Day, we were invited to try our Dough Nab – a fun new game (which, sadly, does not include real doughnuts) for the family. We really enjoy playing games together as a family, so we’re always interested in finding new ones to fill our evenings!

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s rules are similar to that of a snatching or matching game where the aim of the game is to match as many cards to the three doughnuts in front of you before the other player, however there are plenty of “special” cards to shake things up along the way.

The game is aimed at 8 year olds and up, however T is 4 and got on with it just fine (once he understood the rules) Here’s how we got on:

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Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride and Protest [Gift]

Last month, we were sent Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride and Protest, a new book by Jamie Lawson and illustrated by Eve Lloyd Knight. A book about LGBTQ history, dating back as far as 1790. Although we’re the living result of LGBTQ History, we still don’t know it all, and we never want to stop learning either. This book helps me and my community do just that.

Unlike most moments in history that carved our children’s future – I use heroes like Emily Pankhurst and Martin Luther King Jr as example – and despite having a rich history, LGBTQ-specific history is so rarely spoken about and referenced. This is partly to do with ignorance and a lack of respect for our community, but it’s also because a lot of the time people are unaware of the contributions LGBTQ people had on history.

Did you know that Alan Turing – father of modern computing and all-time war hero – was Gay and later chemically castrated for being so? Also, in the 1940’s, when Nazi Germany was beaten and survivors of the Holocaust were rescued, people with LGBTQ identities were transferred from the concentration camps, where they were tortured and almost died, to a prison to continue a life-long sentence for being LGBTQ because it was illegal to be LGBTQ in Germany.

These are just a handful of stories featured in the Rainbow Revolutions, but there’s more. Here’s my review and why you NEED this book on your book shelf.

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OKIDO Which Way? Game [AD – Review]

When I was in school, the first introduction to coding was via a computer programme where a you would create a string of commands – such as Right 100, Forward 2, Left 210, and so on – where a little turtle (I think it might have even been called Turtle!) would then follow those commands to make a shape. It was very basic and, quite frankly, dull and if you missed one step – which would have no doubt taken you hours to write – your diagram would be completely ruined!

Nowadays, it’s no longer like that. Instead, there are a range of STEM activities to teach children the basics of coding without them realising that they’re learning how to code!

Last week, we were introduced to our first ever coding activity – the OKIDO Which Way? Game – an exciting game where you’re invited to create different “tracks” for your car, simulating the art of coding.  Continue reading