Dinosaur Week: Day 7 – Pick your Poison: Dinosaur Swamp Slushy (and a review of Kali Stileman)

The final post of my Dinosaur Week!

I’ve made it!

(pours a large G&T at 8am)

It’s been absolutely ROARSOME!

Thanks so much to the lovely folks at Stickerscape, WOW Toys and Kali Stileman for joining forces with me to make it happen.

If you’ve missed any of my posts over the last week, you can find them all here:

Day 1 – Stickerscape/Kali Stileman Wall sticker review

Day 2: Dinosaur Footprint Fossil Shortbreads

Day 3: Edible Dinosaur Eggs

Day 4: A Day out at the Natural History Museum

Day 5: Fizzing Dinosaur Egg-scavation activity

Day 6: Dinosaur Lunchbox Ideas

Day 7: Dinosaur Swamp Slushy (this one!!)

This final post is a drink recipe fit for any Dinosaur themed party, or just to cool down on a hot day.

It’s a Dinosaur Swamp Slushy that’s super easy to make and will have the kids chomping like a T-Rex to get at it!

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Ingredients

(makes a small bowl full, enough for 4 children)

1 pint of crushed ice

200ml grenadine syrup

300ml water

A small amount of Green food colouring

A small bowl

Some straws

Dinosaur toys to decorate

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 Method

1 – Place the ice, grenadine syrup, water and food colouring in a blender capable of whizzing ice.

2 – Blend and pulse for 1 minute until the ice has been crushed down to a slush.

3 – Pour into a bowl, add straws and place toy dinosaurs around the swampy watering hole!

Slurp away!

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 My boys loved sucking up this Dinosaur swamp slushy!

Do share any photos with me over on Facebook or Instagram if you have a go at it!


Who is Kali Stileman?

(and a card review)

Kali Stileman is a married mum who just so happens to be a bit talented when it comes to art and drawing/painting.

Her creations are colourful, fun and eye catching. I love the Dinosaur wall stickers she designed, that we were sent to review via Stickerscape, and she also has a lovely range of height chart wall stickers

She creates beautiful cards, gift wrap, cushions, wall stickers, gift tags and name labels (these are available via Stickerscape) which are available via her website.

Her right hand gal is Lucy. She is lovely to liaise with and she works in the office doing all the admin for Kali, which allows Kali to be more creative! They are quite the team and their website is easy to use and just as colourful as their products.

I got sent some beautiful cards from them the other day in a range of different designs (see the above photo) and they are absolutely gorgeous.

I love the fact the paper the cards are printed on is textured and the colours Kali uses are so vivid, they really catch your eye.

One of the cards I was sent has a speech bubble on the front so you can write your own message on it, or if you order direct from Kali’s website, they can print the message onto the card for you. A fab way to personalise something and very handy if you keep a stock of them at home ready for all the kids parties your little ones get invited to, you can just write the age on the front yourself.

They’re of a fabulous quality but priced at approx. £2.50, so they’re still very reasonable and worth the few extra pennies for that special little one’s birthday or occasion.

Kali has also thought about more unusual occasions such as baby showers and has cards for occasions such as these too.

You can find Kali’s lovely products on her website and over on Stickerscape’s as well.


If you’re interested in any of Kali’s Wall sticker range at Stickerscape, I am very excited to be able to give Life is Knutts readers 20% off their order (thanks to Stickerscape!) if you enter the code DINOKALI at the checkout until 10th October 2016.

Disclosure: I was sent some cards, wall stickers and name labels by Kali Stileman and Stickerscape for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, words, photos and opinions are my own.



Dinosaur Week: Day 4 – Knutty Explorers: A Day out to the Natural History Museum

“Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching”.

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Day 4 of my Dinosaur week, in association with Stickerscape and Kali Stileman, see’s me tell you a bit about our day out to the Natural History Museum in London.

A wonderfully educational, fun, interactive and FREE place to visit with all the family.


I love the Natural History Museum.

The kids and my husband love it there too, so it is pretty much one of the perfect days out for us as a family.

I could spend all day just looking at the architecture of the place, let alone the exhibits. The mind boggles at how they built such a majestic building so many years ago. Cathedral like, imposing, majestic. Every corner you turn there is another ornate carving, another curiosity to catch the eye. I wonder as I touch one of the terracotta carvings, how many other people before me have studied it, have noticed it’s quiet beauty, hidden away?

The Natural History Museum has Dinosaurs galore, fabulous exhibits about how our planet came to be as well as how it works, creatures past and present that grace our land, seas and skies, and so much more. There really is something new to learn around every corner, even for mummy and daddy!


 Getting there…

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We are lucky in the respect that we live a 10 minute walk from our local train station. We walked to our local station with the kids, who were super excited to be going on a train (and me truth be told, I am still very much a tourist when it comes to London which can drive my London savvy husband a bit bonkers when I want to stop and take a photo every few hundred yards). We went to the ticket booth rather than using one of the machines and my husband asked for the cheapest way for us to get to Travelcards for the day because we would need to use the underground. It’s always good to test the ticket office and see what they can do/what deals they have on, you might just get it a bit cheaper! She told us it was best to get 2 adult travel cards and then 2 child return tickets from where we live to Waterloo, because children travel free under the age of 11 on the underground.

Once at London Waterloo, we then had to get the underground from there to South Kensington which is the closest station to the museum (the Science Museum is also just next door and the Victoria and Albert museum is also around there too so you really can have a full day out just in that small patch of London).

The journey was fine (it was a Sunday morning to be fair) and we got a seat on the train and the underground just fine – not like a weekday morning commute thankfully!

Once we emerged from the underground station, we could then see the museum sprawling out in front of us in all it’s glory.

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 Entry…

We queued for about 15 minutes at the front of the museum in order to get in, this was at about 10:30 am. Sadly, due to the world we now live in and possible terror threats, all bags have to be checked before you enter the museum so make sure you have your bag open and ready as you get close to the entrance which does delay your entry somewhat but, needs must. Just be prepared for a bit of a queue and take some drink and snacks from home to have whilst you wait.

 Entry to the Museum is free, but we did buy a special kids activity book for them to do on the way round for £5 because the proceeds go to help keep the museum free and to also pay the people that work there. The activity book was really informative, had a map in the back which the boys used to plan our route around the museum and it had lots of questions to answer to get their brain boxes working (and mine to be fair!). There are various donation boxes about the place for you to pop a few pounds in if you wish.

The whole place is wheelchair and pushchair friendly so if you have little ones, lifts are available but at busy periods, you will have to queue.

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 What did we do there?

First up, no prizes for guessing, was the Dinosaur exhibit.

We came to the museum last year but it has changed since then and the overhead walkway they used to have is no longer open. I’m not sure why that is, but we couldn’t go up there.

The first thing the exhibit takes you to now is the robotic T-Rex. This has also changed slightly from previous visits in that it didn’t seem quite as dark and noisy as it was. That said, there were still some petrified children clinging for dear life to their parents legs in there so it’s possibly a good thing that they’ve toned it down from that respect. The boys love this part of the museum and watched it for a good 5 minutes before moving on and making space for someone else to stand and watch.

You can see robotic exhibits, fossils, evidence of a real life Dinosaur hunt by studying fossilised dinosaur footprints as well as much more. You could spend a good couple of hours in this one section but, because it’s the main feature of the place, it will be busy. We had to wait for a while in order to see/read some of the exhibits but the boys were thankfully feeling patient and dutifully waited their turn. There is a lot to see and take in whilst you’re waiting and we did some of our activity book then too.


After the excitement of the dinosaurs, we went to look at the Earth Zone.

To get to the earth zone, you can go on an escalator which literally takes you through the centre of the earth. This was one of the highlights along with the dinosaurs for the boys.

Once up there you can learn all about the power of the earth, how it was formed, the rocks, elements and minerals that we can find on our planet and many other mind boggling things. This is one of my favourite bits of the museum. I find it all fascinating and the boys loved pushing the buttons on different exhibits whilst learning a bit about the place we call home.


 As the museum was now getting quite busy, it was just after midday, we decided not to go in the animals section but instead we went up to see the original cabinets on the top floor which are home to an enormous rock collection. It may sound a bit boring but this is one of my favourite parts of the museum. It’s normally quite quiet up there for starters and I love rocks. There, I said it. I have a massive collection of the things in a huge vase at home which I’ve collected from various holidays. The sheer range of different rocks we can find on our planet is astounding and you’ll be able to see many percious stones up there, as well as more ‘normal’ common ones. There is also an enormous meteorite up there which is magical to see and touch. To think this lump of iron flew from outer space, onto our planet is completely brilliant. It makes you stop and think for sure…


 We didn’t eat or drink at the museum but there are many places to choose from if you wish to do so.

Instead, we chose to finish our visit to that end of London with a walk through Hyde Park, out onto Oxford Street and then onto Soho/Covent Garden for a look around. We also looked for some of the BFG Dream Jars (these are on until 31st August 2016) but only managed to find one…

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We stopped off at Byron Burger (16-18 Beak St, London W1F 9RD) for some lunch with the kids and we would thoroughly recommend it. Great food, activity sheets for the kids, milkshakes as big as your head and  hard shakes for the grown ups if you fancy one! We can give the Honeycomb/Chocolate hard shake with Rum a thumbs up!


 We loved our day out in London.

Tired feet, aching legs and a head full of new memories as a souvenir.

Perfect.


 Until 10th October 2016, you can get 20% off all Kali Stileman Wall stickers at Stickerscape by using the code DINOKALI.

They have a wonderful range of wall stickers suitable for girls, boys and for around the home so do give them a visit online!


Disclosure: I was sent a set of Dinosaur wall stickers to review by Stickerscape. All views, thoughts, opinions, photos and words are my own.



Dinosaur Week! Day 2 – Get your Bake On: Dinosaur Footprint Fossil Shortbread

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My kids are all Dino mad.

The big one is Jurassic World obsessed, the middle one loves visiting the Natural History Museum, as well as looking at and doodling on his rather snazzy new wall stickers from Stickerscape, and the toddler, thanks to a certain pink talking pig and her Dinosaur mad little brother, loves them now too.

Dinosaur! Grrrrrrrr!”

via GIPHY

Seen as it is the summer holidays. we have been doing lots of baking and crafts at home. This is one of those many baking activities.

I made some shortbread the other day and gave half the mixture to the kids to get creative with.

They washed up some dinosaur toys they had and gave them a dry (good training for dish washing I say!) and then they used the Dinosaurs to make footprint ‘fossils’ in the shortbread dough. Once baked, the Dinosaur footprints are preserved in time forever more, well, by forever I mean until they get scoffed!

Here is the recipe for the shortbread biscuits.

Happy baking Dinosaur discoverers!


  Ingredients

(Makes approximately 20 Shortbread Rounds)

150g Softened Butter

80g Caster Sugar

150g Plain Flour

75g Semolina

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

(extra flour for dusting the surface)

(Toy Dinosaurs, cleaned and ready for Stomping!)


 Method

1 – Pre-heat the oven to 160’c (fan)

2 – Place the softened butter and caster sugar in a bowl.

3 – Mix until light and fluffy.

4 – Add the vanilla, flour and semolina. Mix with a fork until incorporated and the mixture forms a dough like ball.

5 – Place the dough on a lightly floured surface

(TIP: I always place cling film over my worktop and roll the dough out on that so when it comes to clearing up, I don’t have anything to do other than fold the cling film up and throw it in the bin) and roll it out until it is 5mm thick.

6 – Using a circular cutter, or a cutter shape of your choice, cut out the shortbread and place on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper.

7 – Now take your Dinosaurs and carefully, but firmly, push them down until their feet sink into the dough and leave a footprint when removed.

(Tip: Dipping the Dinosaur’s feet in some flour before stamping helps to stop them getting stuck in the dough!)

8 – Once done, place in the oven and bake for approximately 25/30 minutes. Keep an eye on them from 25 minutes as you don’t want them to colour very much, just a very light brown colour around the edge is perfect.

8 – Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Dino-riffic!

Chomp away!


If you have a go at this recipe, do share it with me over on my Facebook Page or on Instagram by tagging me, @lifeisknutts

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Disclosure: The links to Stickerscape in this post are part of my Dinosaur Week I am running with them and Kali Stileman. I was sent some of their Wall Stickers to review. All words, thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own.



Dinosaur Week! Day 1: A review of Stickerscape Dinosaur Wall Stickers, featuring Kali Stileman.

For the next few days on my blog, I am going to be sharing everything Dinosaur with you all. No, I’m not going to be talking about how old me (but mostly my husband, lets be honest) are getting, I’m talking about the pre-historic creatures that once walked our magical little ball of rock!

I will post a blog each day with different Dinosaur related products, baking ideas, craft ideas and we will also be getting ready for ‘back to school’!

(*Cheers with joy whilst holding a gin in a can aloft*)

So, how did this Dino week come about? Let me explain…

Photo/Logo from Stickerscape.com

Photo/Logo from Stickerscape.com

 

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Stickerscape to see if I would like to review a Chalkboard Dinosaur Wall Sticker as well as some of their Dinosaur themed wall stickers designed by the talented Kali Stileman.

 

Dinosaur collection wall sticker pack

Photo from Stickerscape.com

 

As coincidence would have it, I have been on the lookout for some appropriate wall stickers for my middle one’s bedroom, which was still looking a little blank and sparse since we came out the other side of a load of building work last year, so I jumped at the chance!

We do have some experience of wall stickers already. My eldest asked for a Spiderman Comic strip type one for his room a few years ago and it was quite a large one. Putting it on the wall was a 2 man job and almost ended in me wrapping my husband up in the giant sticker (much like a Black Widow wraps it’s prey) because he was annoying me so much. To be fair to him, it was a bit of a pain, so much so, a large amount of ‘effing and jeffing’ ensued. Thankfully the kids weren’t home to hear that debacle! What appealed to me about these Dinosaur wall stickers from Stickerscape, was that they would cover a large expanse of wall once up, but without the faff of it being in one, giant, awkward sticker. These wall stickers come as individual images which you can then cut out and place on the wall where you see fit. Perfect!

After a few days of waiting for the stickers to be made, they arrived and we excitedly opened up the thick cardboard tube which they were packaged in, so as to ensure that they arrived to us in tip-top condition. My middle one was very excited. He has been the one who has been subjected to the most hand me down clothes, hand me down toys and so on, so for him to have something of his own, that was new, made him full of excitement. It was lovely to see his little face light up…

 We carefully unrolled the stickers and read the instructions. These were very clear, to the point my 8 year old was happily understanding what we needed to do because he wanted to help me put them up in his brothers room.

 I had already earmarked a spot in Zak’s room where I wanted to put the stickers.  He has a blank piece of wall near the doorway in his bedroom (a kind of small corridor) and I have made this into a little area for him to hang his uniform and bags to help him get organised for school. I figured I could put the Dinosaur Chalkboard and wall stickers in this area so we can use it to write what Zak has coming up that week, to help him remember what he needs on what day and to tell him what events are coming up. A hopeful attempt at getting him to be a little more independent and to begin getting himself organised, rather than me having to do it all for him. Here’s hoping…

We cut the stickers out as per the instructions and laid them out on the floor in an arrangement we were happy with. We then began applying them to the wall.

This was really fun and very easy to do. We had gone for the regular size wall stickers (they have 2 sizes available, regular and large but the regular size was plenty big enough for our space we had chosen) and my 8 year old helped me peel the backing paper off and smooth them onto the wall, using an old gift card to remove any air bubbles as we went. They really did go on easily. The regular size Dinosaur scene retails at £20.00 (price correct at time of publishing) and I was quite surprised at the price given the quality of the stickers. They really are very good and nothing like I have seen before with their bright colours and textured appearance.

Once on, we stood back and had a look at our arrangement. It really looks brilliant and Zak was over the moon with them.

The way the stickers are printed is of very high quality and we love the fact you can see the paint texture in the stickers, almost as if you have had them hand painted on your wall! We also love the fact, even though many people sadly still see a gender divide and think Dinosaurs are more of a boy orientated interest, that this has been ignored by Kali and she has used bright colours including pinks and purples in her designs. Zak is a fan of pink, so to have an image that wasn’t ‘girlie’ or princess like on his wall, but with one of his favourite colours in, was brilliant. Well done Kali, we love that about your products!

#BoysLikePinkToo

We placed the Chalkboard Dinosaur above the completed Dinosaur scene so Zak can write his reminders on it and see them as he goes in and out of his room. He was really enthusiastic about using it and spent a good 30 minutes drawing, doing maths, spelling words and messing about with his Chalkboard Dino. Again, this went on the wall really easily and we had no issues with air bubbles or the sticker ripping. They really are great quality. These retail at £25.00 on the Stickerscape website which I think is good value for a durable, well made, multi-use and large wall sticker. They have plenty of other designs on there too so do head on over and check them out!

 We have loved reviewing these Stickerscape and Kali Stileman wall stickers.

If you’re looking for some fun, and good quality, wall stickers for your home (they do some amazing personalised chalk boards which I quite like the look of for the downstairs – shhh! Don’t tell Mr Knutts!) we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to friends, family and Life is Knutts readers.

 If you’re interested in any of Kali’s Wall sticker range, I am very excited to be able to give Life is Knutts readers 20% off their order (thanks to Stickerscape!)  if you enter the code DINOKALI at the checkout until 10th October 2016.

 To find out more about the very talented Kali Stileman and her products, click here.

And click here to see more of what Stickerscape have to offer!

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Disclosure: We received some Kali Stileman Dinosaur wall stickers and a Stickerscape Chalkboard Dinosaur sticker in return for this review.

All words, thought and opinions are my own.

@lifeisknutts




Pick your Poison: Soho Juice Company – Pineapple Mojito (or Aku Aku)

“There’s always time for a cocktail, darling!”

 

Soho Juice Co

Image from Soho Juice Co. website

When I was sent a new cocktail mixer to try the other week, I couldn’t believe my luck.

A legitimate excuse to have a cheeky cocktail! Though, let’s be honest, I don’t need much of an excuse… 😉

I was contacted by The Soho Juice Company to review their new cocktail mixer which is a delicious mix of Lime, Lemon, Cucumber and Mint. It’s the perfect base mixer for LOADS of different cocktails and saves you the hassle of having to buy lots of ingredients and mix them all yourself. Perfect for when you have friends over and you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen concocting and muddling!


 The Soho Juice Co. was setup by two friends who had a brain wave whilst they were sat drinking a Bloody Mary in an overpriced bar in Soho, London. All the best brain waves happen whilst you’re drinking I find…

They were a bit sad about the way cucumber, when used as a drink garnish, is just lobbed into a drink and often left there, unloved in the bottom of the glass, at the end of your drink. So, they came up with a way to use the humble cucumber in a new, fresh and exciting way as a major ingredient in a mixer and thus, Soho Mixer was born.


I tested the mixer on it’s own with ice, and I have to say it’s just as yummy on it’s own as a mocktail which is ideal if you’re pregnant or a non drinker.

The mixer I was sent came with some mini spirit bottles to and I have sampled each type of alcohol with the mixer. A tough job, I know…

After testing all the spirits, I can report back that my favourite one to have with it was…Tequila. It made for a pretty brilliant Margarita with the mixer and this is a tipple I could make and enjoy A LOT.

Below is a recipe for a Pineapple Mojito (or Aku Aku) from the Soho Juice Co. recipe book…


Soho Juice Company Pineapple Mojito

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*This is a recipe from the cocktail ideas book I was sent along with the Soho Juice Mixer. It is a really fab cocktail and very refreshing on a sunny day (if we ever get some!)*

Ingredients

40ml – Rum (I used a spiced Rum but normally you would use a white rum. Malibu would also work well I think)

25ml – Pineapple Juice

25ml Soho Juice Mixer

15ml – Gomme

4 Cucumber Slices

10 mint leaves

Crushed Ice


Method

1 – Add all the ingredients to a blender, but saving a couple of mint leaves as a garnish.

2 – Blend until smooth and pour into a glass.

Enjoy!


 You can find out more about the Soho Juice Co. here. 

I really loved trying it out and I am excited about trying some other cocktails with it to see how they turn out. My next one will probably be a Raspberry concoction with it seen as I got some rather delicious Raspberry Vodka the other day. Stay posted for the recipe soon!


 I was sent this mixer in order to review it. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thanks to the Soho Juice Co. for sending it to me!

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