Shopkins Real Littles Vending Machine

The world of collectable toys are huge with kids at the moment and my gang are no exception, they love the element of a surprise toy and LOVE to fill my house with little bits of toys EVERYWHERE. So as I am a glutton for punishment and I love to stand on these little toys I, of course, said yes when I was offered the chance for them to take a look at the Shopkins Real Littles Vending Machine.

real little shopkins vending machine pack
Shopkins Real Littles are now in a vending machine, you can find and collect mini packs and Shopkins that are real brands from the supermarket. You can stock the shelves with some of your favourite brands from the freezer department & confectionary aisles. Open up the iconic new vending style package and discover 8 Real Littles Mini Packs and 8 Shopkins. You can see 12 on display in the vending machine and there are 4 surprises hidden inside that make your collection of 16. You will find popsicles, ice cream snacks, crisps, ready meals, frozen meals, slushies and more! Look out for Limited Edition Shiver Shopkins and the Special Edition Slush Puppie in the pack and with over 40 to collect your kiddos are definitely going to be asking for more!
opening the blind bags
So the best bit for my gang is finding out what the surprise toys in the pack are, so Spud got straight to it opening the 4 blind bags we got in the bottom of the vending machine box. We got 2 Shopkins and 2 of the boxes that the Shopkins belong to. He loved the vending machine style of the box, it reminds him of his holidays and the vending machine he was obsessed with in the hotel LOL
I was quite impressed with how well made and how detailed the packaging is and  I liked the fact that it wasn't just little rubber toys. All of the 8 Shopkins match up to the packing and actually fit inside!! Parent bonus points for me as it's less for me to have to tidy away or step in when they leave it all lying around and refuse to pick it up.
The Shopkins themselves are colourful and eye-catching and they are a welcome addition to our already bulging collection of Shopkins. The kids definitely prefer these ones though as they come with the corresponding boxes.
My kiddos love to go through their haul and mark them off on the collector guide and see what they have compared to what they need. This range is particularly extensive thanks to the different categories breakfast, dessert, snacks and then your subsections ice cream, crisps, frozen meals and slushies, the whole of the supermarket is available.
We have loved having a look at these new season 14 Shopkins and they fit in great with our current collection. That's what I love about Shopkins they won't lose interest as new ones are being brought out for their haul. Available to buy in Smyths Toys, Amazon and other good toy shops with prices starting from £11.99.
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A - Z Of Autism - B Is For....

So if you read last weeks A is For then you will know what all of this is about, if not here is a little recap. I'm a Mum of 3 autistic children and way back 13 years ago when my eldest was diagnosed I really struggled to find real-life info about autism. So here we have the A to Z of autism, I'm not a Doctor or health care professionals, these are just some words on what autism means for us. Each fortnight is the next letter of the alphabet, do head over and check out A (highlighted above) and let's get on with B!


My boys are so clumsy and seriously lack balance and coordination, Neither have been diagnosed nor tested but I strongly suspect that they have dyspraxia, it's often a sideline diagnosis for some on the spectrum. Dj is going to be tested for it after Christmas, they struggle with buttons, zip, hopping, kicking a ball and riding a bike etc. 

Another balance for me is to do with life personally, I have 3 kiddos on the spectrum and they all have such different needs, trying to balance these needs is sometimes a struggle. I have one who stims loudly accompanying one who likes silence! Its a balancing act and one that occasionally tips over. I am extremely lucky that our house has been adapted to allow all 4 of the children to have their own room, this is so important in allowing balance and harmony in our household, everyone needs their own space.


You will often hear autism is more prevalent in boys and I think I have to agree. I know so many more boys then I do girls on the spectrum, but for me, I think its because girls present differently to boys. I know my girl certainly did, I have 1 child who goes to a specialist school and it is very boy heavy lol. 


This is broad covering word, ASD children have many types of behaviours and the list is quite substantial if I list all of my 3 kiddos behaviours!! We have found with some behaviours that we have to discourage them and provide an alternative. I will go into this more as we go through the alphabet on specific behaviours.


There is much debate on whether autism is there from birth, it is noticed around the 18-month mark as the left and right side of the brain merge over the central cortex of the brain. It's something that many people will argue for and against. I actually took part in a study with my none autistic child when he was a baby a the Birbeck University in London. This consisted of us watching a video with him and his reaction being filmed. Some videos were of facial expressions, cartoons, tv programmes and just shapes on a screen. I was recorded interacting with him, reading with him and playing games. We went 3 times in total between the ages of 6 and 24 months.

For me, I believe it is around from birth, especially if I compare my 3 ASD children to my non-ASD child. L was a very serious baby, he didn't enjoy being tickled, always had to be swaddled, startled at the slightest noise and was quite a grumpy baby in general. He was happiest at home in his own surroundings.


I have had my fair share of battles and I'm not one to moan, but it's so unfair that you have to battle for every little thing my ASD kiddos need. I think it is very much a postcode/area lottery as I know many places in the country are so much better equipped. But everything in my area is waiting lists, ticking boxes, having to prove your need. I have just won my latest and hopefully last battle for a few years. I have been battling for an EHCP for DJ for the last 4 years and I finally got one last week! More on that in an upcoming blog post.

Can you relate to any of my B's? Would there be any that you would add to the list, see you in a fortnight for C

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A-Z Of Autism - A is For....

As promised here is the first in a fortnightly posting of the A to Z of Autism, as a Mum of 3 children on the spectrum, I found it hard to find real information when my littles were diagnosed. The internet is a raft of scary info, some not always correct or just set up to scare you. I wrote on a blog a few years ago and the A-Z of autism posts were extremely popular. So now that blog has long gone I decided it was time to reprise the series and start again. It worth me pointing out I am not a doctor or health professional, this is just me as a Mum telling you some of the things I have experienced. So let's go, some posts may be short as there won't be many words!! 


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. In children with ASD, the symptoms are present before three years of age, although a diagnosis can sometimes be made after the age of three. I have 2 children diagnosed with classic autism.


Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people. Autism is often described as a 'spectrum disorder' because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees. I have 1 child with a diagnosis of Asperger's.


This can come hand in hand for some people with autism, 1 of my boys suffers particularly badly with anxiety and it's all-consuming for him and affects all aspects of his life. We try to keep a handle on his anxiety by watching for his triggers. The last thing we need is an anxiety attack as these lead to massive meltdowns. Anxiety can affect an autistic person physically and psychologically, the main triggers for anxiety for us is sensory processing, school expectations and social interactions. We try to limit these as much as possible to prevent an anxiety attack, but life is unavoidable and we cant always prevent it.


I have always been careful to encourage my children to partake in the real world. I am mindful to not push them too much to do things they find uncomfortable. I did this as I didn't want them to refuse to go outside in the real world. Several people of the spectrum develop agoraphobia as the idea of going outside is too much for them to bear, so staying inside where they feel safe is the better option. I learnt very quickly about this after my firstborn was diagnosed. If he didn't like a situation, for example, the supermarket I just wouldn't take him again as I didn't want to distress him. This made doing everyday tasks very difficult. So for my other children, I slowly introduced more things that made them uncomfortable in small doses, the results are that they are happy to go to most places now.


I have a lot of experience with aggression from my 3 and this can be triggered by all kinds of things. Frustration, temper tantrums, anger, upset the list is endless. This is obviously something we try to avoid but sometimes sits inevitable that the pot will boil over. The boys tend to be shouters if they are angry/aggressive, they are very rarely hands-on and push or shove or break things if they are angry. My daughter, on the other hand, is a whirlwind, she will hit, bite, spit, scream at the top of her lungs and break anything she can get her hands on, She has been know to turn her room upside down when in a rage and she's still only 12. As I said we try to avoid these incidents. we live in a mostly autistic household so we run things with military precision for ease.


Some people presume when someone has autism they lack ability, this is seldom true. My tribe have bags of ability in all different areas of their life. Their ability astounds me, Miss S has an amazing memory and can recall things I have no recollection of! This does have a downside though LOL, never tell her something that you aren't going to follow through on!! Mr L has a fantastic ability for drawing, although he doesn't share it with the world.

Do you have any experiment with autism? Do you have any A's to add into the mix? If you like to look of this series make sure you give us a follow on social media to keep up to date with our new posts. The next post will be up in 2 weeks and will be obviously B is For.....

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