Taking the #DinnerTimeChallenge with HelloFresh

Since becoming a stay-at-home dad 5 years ago, I have been cooking the majority of our dinners. Generally, I’ll feed out daughter first, and after my wife comes home from work I’ll get on with our dinner, while she does bath & bedtime. We will then have our dinner (and wine) while watching TV.

This also happens in a similar fashion on weekends. So we very rarely eat together as a family.

Frankly, now our daughter is 5-years-old, there is no excuse for us not eating together as a family more often.  We can’t even blame having a fussy eater child, who we need to make another meal for, as she likes most things we do – probably even more. We’ve just gotten into this habit. One could even call it a rut.

HelloFresh asked us to undertake the #DinnerTimeChallenge – to eat as many meals together as possible. They made this a lot easier by giving us 4 family meals a week, as part of their weekly recipe box delivery service.

They also provided us with some interesting stats – some of which applied to us. We are one of those 73% of UK families who don’t get together round the table to eat meals together, and 69% of adults who eat dinner watching TV (or similar). We also feed our child first, like half the population.

This is all a great shame, as we love food in our house, and our daughter sees it as a real treat for us to eat together as a family. Having a family dinner is guaranteed to put a smile on her face.

So we undertook the challenge, with HelloFresh’s family meals for us to cook. Frankly, it is a brilliant service. You get the ingredients to create each meal, including individual portions of herbs & spices – as well as the recipes created by their team of chefs.

HelloFresh recipe cards

The meals are imaginative, healthy, straightforward to make, and most importantly (to me) delicious. It’s really reignited our own interest in trying out new dishes, and given us great kick up the behind to have more family meals.

One of our family meals was this Butternut Squash & Pancetta pie.

And it’s not just me doing the cooking. My wife has made as many as me, and our daughter is keen to help us in the kitchen – and she’s at the age when she is actually helpful (especially in washing up!)

The 5-year-old helping out in the kitchen (she really was a help!)

I’m really glad we undertook this challenge, as it’s inspired me to help us act more like the family we want to be – in this case, one that shares their love of food together.


We have been provided with a 3 month Hello Fresh subscription for the purposes of this review. To get a £25 discount from your first Hello Fresh delivery, click here.

Review: It’s not just ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’. It’s Batgirl’s as well.

There are many reasons to love The LEGO Batman Movie. It’s funny, it continues the irreverent approach of The LEGO Movie, Will Arnett’s performance as the caped crusader is as terrific as in that movie (all Donald Trump’s tweets should be read in this voice), and it’s a Batman film that we can actually take our children to see.

But another reason I love it, is that it features Batgirl. Continue reading Review: It’s not just ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’. It’s Batgirl’s as well.

LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Super Hero High set review

The headline set of LEGO’s DC Super Hero Girls line is this Super Hero High one, and in many ways it highlights the strengths of this superhero brand aimed at girls.

First the basics. The set has 700+ pieces in 5 numbered bags. It has 3 minifigures – Supergirl, Poison Ivy, and Lena Luthor – and as well as the school, there are extra vehicles for Ivy and Lena. The minifigures are in the style of the LEGO Friends figures – which are taller, skinnier, and have less articulation than classic minifgures.

We spread the build over 3 days. The suggested age is 8 to 12, but like most of these use that as a guide only – my 5-year-old daughter and I had a great time making it together, with her doing most of the building.

This is a really intricately designed set, that in Tetris like fashion manages to pack a lot into a seemingly simple building – with a number of different environments and interactive elements.

The central structure has an entrance that leads to a classic US hallway with lockers. Above that there is a cafeteria (which appears to be serving sushi), and the clocktower opens via a dial to reveal Poison Ivy’s bike, which launches down a drop down ramp.

Either side of this are two classrooms – one is a sewing class (where the girls learn how to sew capes), the other is a science class. On top are two roof garden areas, and the final element is Lena Luthor’s heli-craft, with a claw to grab the crystal that tops the school.

DC Super Hero High sewing class
The DC Super Hero High science lab

Additional elements include a stud shooter, disc cannon, and little creatures called Kryponites. There’s also a workstation with tools for Ivy to make repairs on her bike.

While this is clearly a set aimed at girls (as is the rest of the line), I think it is done so in a way that doesn’t exclude boys (even more so than the likes of My Little Pony). Yes, there’s a sewing class – but it’s for making superhero capes. Yes, the minifigures are in the ‘LEGO Friends’ style, but they are still cool looking figures with authentic non-stereotypical colours. In fact, overall the colour-palette is varied and pleasingly not dominated by pink, or even pastels.

It also encourages a range of play. The superhero girls can be merely hanging out at school, or they can engage in action based adventures of the heroes defending the school against villains.

These LEGO sets are the pinnacle of what the DC Super Hero Girls line represents – a toy aimed at girls, that doesn’t compromise their imagination. For many girls it will offer a gateway into superheroes and comic books who might need have been exposed to it otherwise. But this has been done in a way that shouldn’t exclude boys, although some more male characters & minifigures would be welcome.

This is a cool set to have, and is as good starting point as any to begin a LEGO DC Super Hero Girls collection.


The LEGO DC Super Hero Girls Super Hero High set has an RRP or £74.99.


We were sent this LEGO set free of charge for the purposes of this review.