Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Well now I am proper exhausted, but the house is back in some kind of order after a small army of little children complete in costume, enjoyed our Halloween party!  The good thing was there was still some cake left over, so now that my two boys have crashed out I shall have a very restorative cuppa and some well deserved cake. 

After the party we did a spot of trick or treating but the rain was against us so we called it a day after a very worthy (but short lived) attempt!  I think this year seemed one of the most popular yet for trick or treaters, the door did not stop knocking and actually getting out of the house to start going round ourselves was difficult lol!  We eventually made a break for it…

So here are some pictures of our party:

The requisite pumpkin


A motley crew of children all dressed for the occasion


Plenty of sugary treats to keep them running around like crazed lunatics!!!


My youngest and one of his girlfriends (luckily he didn't try and bite her neck!  Or her mum would have been giving me a very cross face indeed!!!)


Hope you all had a lovely time!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Bisto Stock Melts Review

I love these new stock melts, they are so easy to use and are inspiring me to be braver in the kitchen!  Usually my speciality is beans on toast, but I am trying lots harder.  It was fabulous getting this package in the post and the incentive I needed to get cooking!


Hubbie was especially impressed with my Chicken and Leak Risotto.  Photo wise it does not do it justice, it all looks like one colour, but the taste was sublime even if I do say so myself, but then it had garlic, a lovely chicken Bisto stock melt and plenty of wine.  


Only problem is now I have made something so lovely, hubbie is looking at me to make more, but I like him carrying the cooking mantle.  Luckily hubbie did make a beef casserole with youngest, once everything was chopped up, he was happy to load them into the slow cooker dish.  

The end result was a warm hearty meal, that even the boys would happily eat some of.


Youngest looked the part thanks to the lovely chef hat and apron they sent.  I love the PR company as much as this new product, how thoughtful of them to include something useful that helps encourage my boys to play an active role in the kitchen.


The Bisto stock melts come in Chicken, Beef and Vegetable varieties, each pack has 6 and there is no limit to what you can create with them.  With it getting colder, you can enjoy soups and casseroles, but you can even use it to make tasty sauces to complement most meals.  They really do bring lots of great flavours to the dish and I love how you can just chuck them into what your cooking and they melt in with no mess.  So convenient to use and work out lots cheaper than buying different herbs separately to season.

I would definitely buy more of these, available in supermarkets now, for £1.89.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Stuck on You Santa Sack Giveaway

We are very excited to be reviewing some Christmas T-Shirts when they arrive, but until then I thought I would introduce you to some of the fabulous offerings at Stuck on You and host this fabulous competition to win 2 x Santa Sacks (worth £29.99 each).  When it comes to Christmas everyone has different traditions and ways of doing things, some like to store the presents in a sack, some have them wrapped in there, some don’t.  My mum always insisted we had to be up, washed and dressed before we could open as much as one present!!!  For my boys I would quite happily let them open all the presents in their PJ’s but then I love snugly pyjamas!  However you like to do things, you can find something lovely over at the Stuck on You website.

I do love the Christmas Knit Stockings (£29.99), they look very festive, my brother and I made do with my long school socks, so I am pining for never having had something quite this stylish!  It might seem expensive initially but quality products last for many Christmases to come.



If you like your children wearing something special for the day itself, the t-shirts (£16.99) are perfect to get into the spirit of things.

One of my least favourite things about Christmas, is writing Christmas cards (my other pet hate is sprouts!), I feel cramp set in quite early on and lose my Christmas card writing mojo fast!  So I think having a little helping hand, is a good idea for my sanity and help get things off to a flying start.  12 Christmas cards personalised for £9.99 seems a small price to pay!  Now I just need to find a way to hide the sprouts my mum still insists I eat come Christmas day...


For more information follow Stuck on You on facebook and twitter.

To enter the competition please complete the rafflecopter below, the competition will close on the 10th of November, leaving plenty of time for arrival before Christmas.  The winner can personalise them and see the delight on their children's faces with what Father Christmas delivered come Christmas morning!  They really are beautifully designed sacks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Music for Kids Pirate Recorder Review

It is definitely Music for Kids and not my poor ears!  My two made quite the racket, but I was very pleased with the quality of the product, the instructions and the price.  I think you get lots for £9.99, all boxed and presented well.  I am actually surprised they can sell it for that price, as it does seem very cheap for so much.  I think it would make a lovely present for Christmas, just perhaps add some ear guards for yourself until they get the hang of it!


It seems a well thought out item, with plenty to encourage an interest in music.  I like that they have simple instructions of how to hold the recorder and how to play musical notes.  The stickers are fun so they can decorate the recorder to their own taste (in a pirate theme in this pack, but there is a princess one for the little ladies!).

You even get a carry bag to keep your recorder safe and a cleaning rod to make sure it’s in tiptop condition.


I would definitely recommend this item.  Just grin and bare the first few attempts your child has.  It is for children aged 4+ and I would say the 5 year old did have more of an aptitude to it than his little brother.  At three his aim was to generate noise and lots of it… the tune was more of a musical screech!

You can find out more about Music for Kids on their website.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Hallmark’s Story Buddy Range, Meet Bigsby!

My boys love books, night time routine would not be complete without a bedtime story and a snuggle with their favourite soft toys.  Well this combination just got better as now you can have an adorable soft monster in the shape of Bigsby and a book, but with the added difference that the soft toy actually interacts with the book!  When you read the red sections of the book, Bigsby has something to add himself!


I thought I had seen it all when it comes to book possibilities; our well-laden bookshelves bear testimony to that!  We have ones that make sounds, ones you can add your hand inside as a puppet, jigsaw ones, textured ones… But nothing like this!

Bigsby would be another lovely addition for Halloween.  To show the softer side of monsters, they can be good friends and very nice to meet!  There are two more books to buy in the set, so it’s something you can expand upon relatively inexpensively (£5.99 each).

This looks so great youngest desperately wanted one on his Christmas list, when he spotted it on the Internet.  I do not have the heart to give it to him yet, as we are running out of things to actually get them for the BIG day.  We are getting closer to Christmas and they have reviewed almost solidly for a year now, what do you get the boys who have had everything!

Here is a video from Hallmark showing him in action:


He costs £19.99 which is a pretty good price given all his extra features.  A quality soft toy alone can set you back £15, so to get a book that Bigsby can talk along with on top, is quite special. 

I know my youngest will have a look of wonderment when he sets eyes on this on Christmas day!  We just need to buy Watson for eldest… Watson is the cutest lovable raccoon you could ever meet!  Otherwise we might have a grumpy older child, very jealous of Bigsby!  This might be a good push to encourage him to read aloud more often.

Available to buy in Hallmark Stores, good independents and at Hallmark

Friday, 26 October 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness and Panache

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I think its as good a time as any to start being aware of your breasts!  Hands up if you actually check them regularly? I try in the shower to see if they feel different, but to be honest I am pretty clueless as to what I should be doing.  So I am so pleased this review opportunity helped me become familiar with the work of CoppaFeel!  Courtesy of them I now have some idea of the things I should be looking out for:

Changes in skin texture e.g. puckering/dimpling

Lumps and thickening

Nipple discharge

Nipple inversion and changes in direction

Swelling in the armpit or around the collar bone

Constant pain in your breast or armpit

Change in size and shape

A rash or crusting of the nipple and surrounding area

I was offered a shocking Pink Sports Bra from Panache, I would have loved to have reviewed myself but lacking a heaving bosom, had to offer it over to a grateful friend.  She was so pleased when she set eyes on it, as it looks a great item, very well made and given her new very active fitness regime something perfect to stop any injuries from bouncing boobs!  With 83% less bounce, your boobs stay where they should be whilst you prance around like a woman possessed to the workout music.  She must be very active as she arrives at school collection time resembling a bright beetroot, bless her!


If pink is not for you, then they have a range of great colours.  But each are so very stylish!  Even if you do not do sports, bet you would be tempted just to wear one to swan around the house?  My friend says it is very comfortable, helped no end by wide padded straps and breathable outer fabric.

Available to buy from Very for £35.

I think its great Panache are helping support Breast Cancer Awareness and donating 10% of profits from this lovely bra to CoppaFeel!  It does make buying this bra even more special, you’re really helping make a difference.  I am all for any support for such important charities.  CoppaFeel! are busy working hard making sure ladies know how to check their boobs, meaning they would get treatment quicker if anything is amiss.  Founded by Kristin Hallenga in October 2009, she has worked tirelessly to educate people.

It is so important to know your boobs well and recognise the signs and symptoms of breast cancer!   Love your boobs, if you notice any changes see a doctor.

Halloween Munchies

Here are some ideas for stocking up on treats, especially if you do not tend to trick a treat and you need plenty in!  Our boys go round now (with me and hubbie in tow) so they tend to get masses, often I don’t want to share, sweets and lollies are not really my thing… which pleases the boys and hubbie no end, more for them!

Cadbury Gifts Direct

Luckily we were sent a Halloween Chocolate Gift, which is now only £10 on their website.  Quite the bargain for how much is included.


I love Cadbury’s it is my favourite chocolate in the world bar none.  So I think one of your first ports of call if your anything like me should be Cadbury Gifts Direct.  That way when the children are chomping on the lollies and the edible eyeballs, we can still indulge our own chocolate cravings.

They are tasty but spooky too, screme eggs filled with green goo and dead heads, with milk chocolate and a red caramel centre.  Very spooky for Halloween, but not at the expense of my chocolate needs!  Now everyone will be having a very happy Halloween indeed.

Aldi

We were sent a few handy samples from them.  Aldi really know how to do Halloween just check out their recipe section on their website, then pop in store and get all your ingredients ready for a scary Halloween feast.


The boys are looking forward to making the decorated apples!  A great way to get some fruit down children at a sweet overloaded time.  

We will be doing a spot of face painting courtesy of these handy crayons.  I think its handy having crayons instead of working with brushes as it will be less messy, hopefully... wish us luck!

Eddingtons

Decorating cakes is lovely and can really make a feature for your buffet spread.  But cakes shaped in a manner fitting for Halloween is even better!  Come Wednesday the pièce de résistance will be the Pumpkin Shaped Cake.  The tin from Eddingtons is perfect for this!


The Halloween moulds are fabulous, because they are well made and very versatile, you can use them for cakes as they work well in the oven or you can even freeze them if you wanted to make little chocolate shaped gifts for your party goers.  But my boys have ear marked it as little jelly moulds... handily it comes with a support to add stability when you pour your mixture in!  They have thought of everything.  A very practical gift for anyone who likes cooking and eating the results!

Assuming it all goes to plan I will make sure we have some pictures up from the party so you can see how it turned out.

Happy Halloween munching!

Stuart The Bug Eating Man Book Review

We were sent this book by Calvin Innes to review.  My boys were engrossed from the very first page; they sat absorbed but loudly going “EWWWW” on a regular basis!  “That’s so sick!  Although Mum do you know in some countries they do eat bugs”… cue for a long conversation on the relative benefits of eating bugs!  Much to my horror!


They said they enjoyed the funny book and liked the silly bugs on every page.  It is definitely a little different from the norm!  I am certainly pleased my hubbie is not a bug muncher, although if he were maybe he would not hog all my chocolate and cakes… hmmm!  Maybe I should encourage a bug diet after all! 

The illustrations are great, very quirky, although it does turn my tummy always seeing Stuart surrounded in bugs!  Facing strife from his wife Stuart decides to work on getting a job and comes up with the idea of working in pest control!  Fame and glory await him, but still he has a cloud of bugs with him wherever he may go, no amount of hard cash would make up for that!  Imagine he probably has tiny bits of bug leg stuck in his teeth… although he would be handy for collecting any dead flies from our windowsills!

Entertaining book for my two who love bugs (although they do draw the line at eating them!  The cat however is quite happy to chomp on them).  I enjoy reviewing books as it can introduce you to authors you might normally miss.  Well these books are certainly more unique, if you want something slightly different and to occasionally go “EWWWW” you have found your author.

Available to buy from Amazon for £6.29, a fantastic introduction to poetry with a topic to keep children engaged!  Just read AFTER mealtimes…

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Halloween at Asda

We were sent two fabulous outfits from Asda, along with a selection of other bits and bobs!  My boys are just desperate for Halloween to come, as they want to be busy decorating, parading around in their fancy new outfits and getting stuck in to all the Halloween fodder!

A bargain at £10 each!  You might not be able to see their cheeky smiles hidden under those fabulous masks, but they were two happy boys wearing these!


Tinsel Bat is a welcome addition to their Halloween pet collection!  They already have a Toady and a Ratty, so time to add a Batty into the mix!  It is quite a sweet bat, nice to have some things that aren’t too scary on the actual day… I don’t want the other little guests heading straight back out the front door, as our house is too spooky!


Hubbie was impressed with the chains and had to have a go at wearing them!  They do look the part with the benefit of not being real and dangerous as the children wield it around the place…

The decorations are cheap and very long...............


A fellow blogger got Halloween cake in her samples, whereas I did not, I did a quiet sob but I did have some fabulous fake tinsel red eyelashes, which have gone to help decorate the rock chick Guy for a school Guy Fawkes modelling competition!  So you win some you lose some, but with Asda you never really lose, as all their products are pretty great and suitably priced!

Head over to Asda quick smart and get the party started!

Cheekyshoes Review

Firstly the colours are bright, very vibrant and summery!  But they are exceptionally comfy so you would be hard pushed to put them away till next season.  Frankly I prefer wearing them to my slippers than keep them stored away!  But they would jazz up most outfits and bring some sunshine back on gloomy cold winter days.  There would be no mistaking you have new shoes, when your out and about in these.  The kind of colours you wear when you want to be noticed!


But the one downside was you could really see my hunched up toes through the material, which was not very flattering (although maybe I have particularly awful toes!).  I think in defence of Cheekyshoes perhaps I should have ordered a size bigger, as I tried them on my friend and my mum and their toes looked okay, hidden under the material.  They are a size 4 and a size 5 respectively and I had ordered the size 6, which I normally am.  If you look at the videos and the pictures on their site, other people do not seem to have this issue.  At school my friend did call me duck feet…

The material reminded me of a diving shoe, but they still managed to look quite stylish on.  These would be very comfortable shoes for long walks; epic days at work and just to keep your feet warm around the house (especially if you have wooden flooring!).  I do like them for the price (£19.99), just think carefully what size you order, but if you have dainty toes, you might be fine!  Perfect for throwing in your luggage as they take hardly any space and would look lovely  teamed with flowing dresses on the continent!


You can find out more from the website.  If you are tempted and I am sure you will be, you can get 30% off with the code Kiwi.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Halloween Recommendations

It’s starting to look like Halloween in our house already; we have kindly been sent lots of samples from a number of different companies.  I am hosting a mini party on Halloween itself.  Hubbie has been practising what he intends to bake, with marzipan modelling in earnest.

What has surprised me in all the samples we have been sent is the huge diverse range of decorations, outfits and treats to really make Halloween a special occasion.  Also it’s fortunately not something that might cause a fright for your bank manager because there are lots of affordable options available, kitting out your house and children for Halloween is actually much cheaper than you first think!

I particularly liked the Be Seen at Halloween reflective stickers £2.  I think these are a great idea and perfect to keep children safer in the dark, when they are going door to door in the hope of a tasty morsel!  It is very important when wearing dark costumes that vehicles can see our precious children.

The fake scars for £1 are quite good for some comedy gory moments, quite easy to stick direct onto your skin.  Or even to add to party bags if you want your guests to leave with something other than yet more sweets!

The foil garland and bunting at £1 each mean you can soon get a room looking set for the occasion.  If you want to spend a little more I would recommend the Pumpkin Piñata, least then the kiddies actually have to earn their treats and all that pumpkin bashing might burn off some of their manic sugar rush energy…


We were sent a selection of treats and a fabulous orange monster bucket to contain them.  Key to successful trick a treating is ensuring an ample sized container is carried at all times…


We were quite fond of the Strawberry laser pop; this had a projecting bat image, so was quite fun to put on walls or when they are out in the dark trick or treating it might help steady their nerves if they are afraid of the dark.  My eldest was so impressed with the torch element; he is yet to figure out it actually contains a fruit flavour lolly too…


The Halloween crackers were quite a novelty.  Come Christmas I love the ceremony of pulling crackers and have always done so, but why limit it to that occasion!  For any party or to add to party bags, these can be an entertaining addition.

I was very impressed with the outfit we received from them, my son looked very dapper as Dracula, the costume normally costs £10.  The trousers are pinstriped, the detailing with the bats and the jewel, make for a very authentic vampire experience!  I cannot believe the quality is so good for a very reasonable price.  I do not understand why I usually head for a fancy dress website first, when supermarkets are doing such great deals on items like this.



Did you realise Chocolate fingers also come in a limited edition Toffee Apple flavour?!? Ocado stock them.  When the samples arrived I was so excited, but with much reluctance I am under strict orders to save the box until the day itself so my friends can try too.  It is looking at me now as I type though… what I do for friendship!


We had another container to carry treats, but this one actually glows in the dark!  Handy for keeping a close eye on your sweet collection… the good thing is once you have bought a bucket you can just bring them out year in year out, I do love how each year though they seem to be getting a little bigger.  I wonder in a few years if I will be carrying a cauldron round for them!

The carving tools and stencil pack looks particularly useful!  As when we bought tools in the past there was no guide, you just improvised!  Am looking forward to making something quite impressive with this pack.  You shall see if we succeed next Wednesday.


My hubbie showed considerable talent achieving the marzipan modelling worms and eyeballs for our practise run for the party.  But if you want your cakes to look fabulous but you do not have the time or the inclination to get creative, a cupcake kit is the way to go.  


Although it looks as if everyone had that exact same thought as they have disappeared off their site now!  So my next recommendation would be these funny trick or treat skeleton cupcake holders.  More of a luxury Halloween party item, but nonetheless if you have the budget, it would definitely set the scene.  With the three for two offer on now, your money would stretch further anyway!



I do love this shop, but I still have an annoying habit of querying the prices.  I am gobsmacked  that things really are £1, you could go in with £10 and fill a basket quite nicely.  Some of the items might not be quite as long lasting as other shops, but at those prices, even if they only last one Halloween, you feel you have had a bargain.  There is lots to pick from you can just buy a couple of bits to improvise, like the devil wings and masks we are wearing.


For tablewear £1 for the plates AND napkins is very exciting!   In our supermarket I paid over double that for just some plain white plates for our Sylvanian party but these have a ghost and a Booo! motif (and did I say napkins too! Oh yes I did, but really what a good buy!!!).  I also see they have plenty more on their website, sulking slightly that Poundland is too far away to get some last minute supplies for Halloween... (if you have one near you, you are very blessed!).


More to follow tomorrow... time to hit the hay!  Sweet dreams of Halloween bargains for you all.

Xia-Xia Toy Review

We were sent two of these funny crabs from Find Me A Gift.  We had Tobago and Trinidad but there are two lovely lady versions too, Turks and Bimini would appeal to any little girl.  You can even buy them some luxury accommodation to live in, but I think that was too girly for our two.  But they were very pleased with the hermit crabs they had.


My boys are big fans of HEXBUGS but these are good to appeal to children a little younger.  They have a certain charm about them, especially with a small friend living in their shells and very friendly faces.  They have been able to roam about even on our carpet, which is great, as sometimes getting anything to actually move needs a hard floor!  They run around for a short while then you touch their claw to set them off again.  The longest they run around for is 15 seconds, so if your hoping for a toy that is in constant motion this is not for you.  But I like them, the little shell can hold other tiny things too, whatever your child decides is worthy of a short ride!

They are currently on sale, so a good time to purchase them.  Good fillers to pad out the main Christmas presents.  I am finding it harder living day to day, buying food and juggling bills, never mind making sure the boys have enough lovely presents for Christmas day.  But with prices like these you can soon give the impression Father Christmas thinks they are exceptionally good children!


Tobago and Trinidad are £4.99 each at the moment, I like how they arrived in plastic carry cases, nicely presented, so not a bad present for a fabulous price!  The quality of the hermit crabs seems good too, hard strong plastic not flimsy breakable rubbish.

Find out more from their website.

Help Dora the Explorer

My son is a huge Dora fan so if he thought we had a chance to help Dora he would insist I do my bit!  So I thought I would let all my followers know it is time to use your vote and use it wisely!  There are now five finalists for the Nick Jr.’s Help Dora Help Campaign.  


You can pick who you want to win from these fabulous five:

Greystoke Under 5’s, Greystoke, Cumbria - The rural volunteer playgroup would use the award to revamp their outdoor play area as well as their kitchen.

Oakmount Day Nursery, Preston, Lancashire - The nursery would use the award to purchase a minibus, ideally equipped with exploratory items such as a metal detector and telescope.

The Old Forge Day Nursery, Findern, Derbyshire – The nursery would use the award to build a log cabin with sensory room, a library and dance studio.

Parkfield Children’s Centre, West Hendon, London – The Children’s Centre would develop their Early Years playground to reflect various countries, cultures, seasons and festivals.

Walton Lane Nursery School & Children’s Centre, Nelson, Lancashire - The Centre would create a bug hotel so that children could increase their knowledge of mini beasts.

I must admit I like all their ideas!  But possibly the Bug Hotel has swung if for me, so am off to read more and get voting.   Voting is open to anyone within the UK and voters can learn more about the submissions and vote at http://www.nickjr.co.uk/shows/dora/helpdorahelp/. Voting is open until 2nd November with the winner of the award announced on 19th November.


Good luck to the chosen five, well done for getting this far!  A huge achievement for everyone whatever the result.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Halloween Cupcakes

In honour of all things scary and creepy we needed the cakes to send a shiver down the spine of anyone munching on them!  So hubbie got creative with the help of Lily Vanilli’s book “A Zombie Ate My Cupcake”.  With the party descending on us shortly, preparations needed to be under way.  Although the actual cake making will happen in earnest Wednesday morning, the design needed to be ready for mass production!  We do have at least eight hungry children attending, plus some parents (and my healthy appetite for all things cake!).

This is how he made these beauties:

Firstly follow a Halloween cupcakes recipe

Then make up some butter icing

Then for the detailing

Use marzipan for the worms and pink food colouring (use a knife to mark out the wormy sections!)

The eyes are uncoloured marzipan, blue icing and black icing

But if you’re not lucky enough to have such an illustrative book (with even Zombie hands cake included!!!) then you can of course scour the Internet for inspiration.  Halloween baking recipes are all over the place but if you know where to go you can find some works of genius.


My hubbie is so good at baking even the creepy eyes and pink worms would not put me off eating his Halloween cupcakes!  I would just chuck it in whole and then concentrate on the taste…

I wonder what other Halloween recipes I can give him a nudge to reproduce before Halloween, perhaps I should pretend to be displeased with the finished result, so he goes back to the drawing board and I get to eat more tester cakes (hmmm now I could be on to something!).  I think batch two will require some red food colouring off the eye ball to make it more dramatic!

The boys will be so excited to see these in the morning... I wonder if hubbie will try and convince them that they are real garden worms when he gobbles one down in front of them!

Take a box of eggs Review

We were sent this lovely recipe book to use alongside British Lion eggs.  I especially liked the introduction about the nutritional value of eggs (being a high quality source of protein) and how versatile they are.  I do want to include more in our diets after flicking through admiring all the pictures of delicious food.


There was a section about storing eggs and how to know if they are fresh.  I had no idea eggs could be frozen (there are tips on how to do this successfully but you need to get the book to see, no spoilers here!).

The recipes all looked pretty mouth-watering, but I decided to give the cranberry and white chocolate cookies a whirl.


They are absolutely delicious, warm from the oven; they just melted in your mouth!  It is good in a way as now I can get my boys to eat cranberries, its amazing the power of a cookie for introducing them to new fruit!!!


But I do have a newfound respect for food photographers the pictures in this recipe book are well presented and appealing.  I struggled to make my cookies look anywhere near as tasty as they were, if anything they look slightly burnt in my pictures!  Must try harder, but least everyone enjoyed a little bit of cookie heaven today…


I will definitely be dipping in this recipe book plenty more times in future; to get idea’s for both sweet and savoury food.  Lots of scope with 100 recipes to enjoy, all of which are very easy to follow and in broken down steps.   I especially like the cook’s tips because as somewhat of a novice I need ALL the help I can get…

The book is £9.99 including P&P and there is a special offer for people to buy it for £7.49 during October at www.britisheggweek.com

Poppy Cat Book Releases

We were sent the two new Poppy Cat hardback books (All Aboard! and Blast Off!) and my youngest son was very pleased!  


He is three and a HUGE Poppy Cat fan.  When we were at the Lollibop festival we heard these two books being read.  He was enthralled!  


But even tucked in his bed, without the addition of an actual Poppy Cat to add to the excitement and just his mummy doing the reading, he loved the books again!  I thought I had no chance living up to his past experience, but the books are such lovely little tales that a child soon gets caught up in them.

They are very colourful and not too long, just the perfect size for their attention spans.  With enough opportunities to ask them what they think might happen next or get involved in some actions, like pretending to be pirates (yes I did learn some tips from the professional story teller at Lollibop!).

It definitely helped me get him off to sleep tonight!  I think he must have been overtired as he had a grumpy face on until I mentioned the magic words; “we have some new poppy cat books to review”!  He was all sunshine and light then lol.


Available to buy from all good book shops, but very cheaply from Amazon, £3.49 each for All Aboard! and Blast Off!  Great bargains to tuck away for Christmas.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Build A Bear Pumpkin Pal Teddy Review

Perfect for Halloween when all the spooks and creepiness get too much for the little ones, a visit to Build A Bear to pick up one of these soft adorable teddies must be in order!  Come bedtime a new lovely companion to settle them off to sleep might help them forget everything that goes bump in the dark!

The box he arrived in helps set Pumpkin Pal Teddy apart as a quality soft toy, it also brings more fun to your purchase, as you can colour in his home and make it more unique.


Everything about this teddy appears well made, it seems like a safe teddy for your child to fall asleep with.  I love the pumpkin design, especially the pumpkin stitched nose!  My boys have him on a night share system, every night they swap him over for the next one to have his turn.  I am sorely tempted to ask when I get my turn, because he is so nice to cuddle!  My friend bought her daughter over to play and we had a mini meltdown when she desperately wanted to leave with him and could not!  My friend is now scheduling a trip to Build A Bear is a matter of urgency… but luckily you can buy them online too, over on their website.

I think he is well worth the £13.50 and brings a furry friend aspect to the otherwise quite dark Halloween celebrations.  Am sure he will be a centrepiece for our Halloween party and all the children will be lining up for a squeeze.  You can even dress him up for the occasion, with a sparkly pumpkin outfit and fetching sequin pointy slippers (of all things!) at an extra cost.  But we love him without any extra glitter and gold, he is just perfect as he is!


New Best friends!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Presents for Men Review

Well I say presents for men, but that’s just the name of the site, really there is a whole multitude of presents on there, appealing to just about everyone.  Maybe they named it so as the present I always find hardest to buy is that for the men in my life, my dad and hubbie so most likely to need to search for them.  Apart from socks and liquorice allsorts my inspiration dries up quite quickly when it comes to Christmas presents for men!  So it is helpful to have plenty of suggestions for men on there.

When it comes to shopping, most of my purchases are not on the high street, simply because we live quite rurally and choice is fairly limited.  But I do not miss the bright lights of city life anymore as long as I can access to an online shopping world!  Without that I might have some serious withdrawal symptoms!

I was sent the Toddler Waterproof Suit with an RRP of £24.99 and typically when we decide to test it out it decides uncharacteristically not to rain in Wales… but this small hiccup would not put us hardy reviewers off.  We decided a trip to the beach was in order to find sea puddles for splashing.


On arrival back home, my son’s clothes were completely dry underneath, even on his bottom where he had sat in the water.  The only wet part was the bottom of his trousers as he ventured too deep and the water came over the top of his Wellingtons.


My son seemed quite comfortable wearing the suit; it is breathable so that really helps.  It fitted him snugly and we had the size four but he is a big three year old, but this does mean you do need to order carefully in terms of size.

I would definitely recommend these and cannot wait for it to rain… am sure I will not be kept waiting very long!

We also had a Toothpaste Head - Rex the Dragon (£3.99), I have never seen these before but it definitely brought a bit of novelty to teeth brushing time.  By the end of the day I have lost my ability to be fun and creative, I just want the little blighters in bed ASAP and the relaxing to commence.  This lovely little item took some of the headache out of brushing, as they were smiley about the fact that Rex was sick on their toothbrush!  Their choice of words not mine!  But end result no grumbles and quicker off to bed!  My one concern was storage but you can use his tail to cover his mouth in between uses.  We did find of our two kids toothpastes it only fitted one of them.  So to avoid disappointment maybe ensure you have a couple of sizes of tubes in stock!


I enjoyed our experience of Presents for Men, am sure we will be back soon.