Saturday 30 April 2016

Casdon Woodplay Wooden Kitchen Set - Review

May is Woodplay month at toy company Casdon and I am so pleased to have been able to review one of their fabulous wooden toy sets which are aimed at children aged 3+. There are three boxsets in the range; Pirate Island, Beach Villa and a Kitchen Set. C absoutely loves pretending to cook so I had to opt for the kitchen set. He's always playing with the large wooden kitchen when we go to softplay.

When the box arrived it was smaller than I thought it would be, but in a good way. It's great for carrying around especially on Saturdays when we visit my parents so he can bring it with him easily. One of the first things that I noticed, obviously after accepting this toy for my son to play with was the fact that there were only girls playing with the kitchen on the box. It's not a massive deal but boys like kitchens and cooking too so it would have been nice to show that it's a toy that is aimed at both genders.

All of the pieces were kept inside the main oven part of the kitchen set and it was so simple to put together, it was just a case of slotting the utensil rack into the top of the wooden box part then setting up all the little play pieces. Opening and closing it is easy enough for kids to master with a little bead and elasticated string.

Included in the set are:

  • Bamboo wooden box
  • Utensils rack
  • Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Knife
  • Fork
  • Plate
  • Pan
  • Pan lid
  • Pizza
  • Egg
  • Pepper pot

All of the pieces are made from bamboo wood so it's not too heavy for C to carry around but still sustainable. We did have a incident where he dropped it from a height and the corner cracked. It was nothing that a little wood glue couldn't fix though.

The paint work on the set is beautiful and they've really thought of everything. The cute shelves and jugs on the side are my favourite. The wood itself is finished and varnished so I had no worries about splinters or other injuries. We received this set about 3-4 weeks ago and it has been played with every single day by both children. C especially (aged 3) loves to cook for mummy and daddy and it is lovely watching him get so much enjoyment out of it. The other two woodplay sets are definitely being purchased for this kids birthdays this September.  

The Woodplay sets retail at £25.00 which I think is a really reasonable price for what you're getting and how much children will have, and you can purchase them from Amazon. If you want to find out more about the range, you can do so at the Casdon website. You can keep up to date with all things Casdon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(We received this item for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Tuesday 26 April 2016

E at 19 Months

I am so late with this post. E turned 19 months on the 5th of the month and if I'm honest, I don't think much has changed since my last update about her. 

Her speech is incredible. We have a wooden abacus with the alphabet and image relating to the letter and she repeats every one when I show her and it's like she files it away for use later. She just randomly comes out with the words. I hear "whatsat?" constantly and then she just answers her own question and tells me what the item she's pointing at is.

She is still Frozen obsessed but she has also developed a love for Bing (Bim!), In The Night Garden (especially Makka Pakka and Iggle Piggle) and My Little Pony, or boh-me" as she likes to call them.

We have a few teeth coming through and the bottom two next to the front ones have just cut. They don't seem to be giving her much bother and I actually didn't even know she was teething until I saw them through already! I'm really lucky that she does so well with teething.

I haven't had her weight and measured in about a year! She still hasn't had her one year check. She is snugly in 18-24 month clothing with size 4 feet and she could eat me out of house and home so I think she's bang on target.

We recently had a trip to the park and her brother can be very apprehensive and need reassurance for everything but with E, she just goes off on her own and does what she likes. C was taking too long getting up the steps to the slide so she just shoved him out of the way and went to climb up in front of him!

She has been getting embarrassed for the first time, usually when strangers speak to her. She'll turn her head away and blush. At home she chats a lot but when we're out and lots of other people are around she will sit quietly and just take everything in.

We are potty training her brother at the moment (I'll do a separate post on how we're getting on next week) and every time he sits on the potty, she takes herself off to sit on the other one - with her nappy on, of course! She copies everything her big brother does but this also has its drawbacks because she's learned phrases like "let go", "go away" and most annoyingly, "mine!"

Sunday 24 April 2016

Look in my Letterbox #53

Yay! It's Look in my Letterbox time again! I had a good enough week but I got nothing in the post for a few days. I am waiting on some wins that I'll need to chase up soon - my least favourite thing to do! As ever, I'm linking up with Alice-Megan.

Frozen pyjamas
I won these on Twitter and I was delighted. C is obsessed with Frozen but most merchandise seems to be aimed towards girls. He was so excited when he opened them and he shouted, "Frozen jammies! I'll look like Olaf & Sven!" Adorable.
Skip hop cup

This was a win from a giveaway that was run over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. C loves it especially because of the dinosaur!
Yardley goodies
This was a simple like and comment win from a giveaway that Yardley London ran on Instagram. They smell so good!
Photo frame
I entered this with the aim of printing a photo of my partner Chris's grandad, putting it in it and gifting it to his mum. I was so pleased to win. I hope she loves it. It is cream and grey - the purple hue is from my curtains being closed when I took the pic, ha!

Doc Marten boots
I follow tons on handmade baby clothing stores on Instagram and I have notifications set up for my favourites. One of them posted that she was selling her daughters Doc Martens for only £18 including postage and I had to snap them up. They were in immaculate condition - soles and everything - so they were an absolute bargain!

Colman's sauce
This is a little freebie for me to try out as part of the Unilever panel. I think it looks nice and can't wait to try it.
Manuka Doctor
This was another freebie with an RRP of £12.99. I've gifted it to my dad as he loves his skincare bits! 

Did you receive anything nice this week?
Thursday 21 April 2016

Look in my Letterbox #52

Oops, I am seriously late with this post. It's almost time for next weeks one! I've barely blogged this week as Blogger has been playing up and not letting me upload pictures *shakes fist* Anywho, I finally got it going again and here we are - this weeks Look in my Letterbox! As ever I'm linking up with Alice-Megan can you believe it's been a whole year since I started these posts!?

Warner Bros DVDs
I'd seen so many bloggers hosting giveaways for these and I was so pleased to win one because C had recently seen the Scooby Doo Meets Batman on in Lidl and wanted me to buy it for him. He was delighted and had me put it on to watch right away.
Little Chicken's Egg-cellent Adventure DVD
You may remember that I had this in my LIML last week - yep, I won another copy! Both were surprise wins that just turned up so I'll be gifting this to a family member.
Tea towel
I love this but it makes me want to eat biscuits! I haven't bought tea towels in about 6 years so it's a nice win.
E was still using her massive tank of a pushchair and I'd been saying to Chris for ages that we needed to buy a buggy because E is getting far too big and heavy. This was perfect timing and I just couldn't believe it.

Fierce Pierce book
This was a blog win and one C was happy about. He loves his books and the fact that it is pirate themed is a huge plus.
Teebusters t-shit
Teebusters run daily giveaways on Twitter but they don't tag winners, just upload an image with the winner's handle. Luckily, I checked back the day after I entered and saw I'd won (you only have 24 hours to claim!) You don't get to choose the tee, just the size and this is what I was sent. It's not too bad, I will wear it.
That's not my squirrel book
This was a Toppsta win. We already have three of the books in the That's not my... range from when C was little and E now loves them.

Bing puzzle
Both of my kids are obsessed with Bing. E even now shouts "Bim!" whenever she sees him.
Baker Ross crafts
C's favourite type of post! I'm really impressed with the selection this month.

Wow Toys reward charts
I love these! C is currently potty training so his will be perfect for that.

Benefit it's potent eye cream
A SoPost freebie! I've only ever used Benefit eyeliner and I love it so hopefully this is just as good.

We also got C's nursery letter and he got into his first choice - hooray!

Did you receive anything nice last week?

Monday 18 April 2016

C is Going to Preschool!

Back in January, we filled in the form with C's pre-school choices. I think we chose five different ones. Our first choice was the one we desperately wanted him to get into, second and third were perfectly okay and we wouldn't be disappointed if he got in there and the last two were more space fillers or safety nets.

C had been going on for ages about how he couldn't wait to go to school and make friends so we waited patiently, then letter-arriving time sprung up on us. On Saturday morning, I grabbed the white letter as soon as it hit the floor and saw the school stamp of our first choice in the top corner and tried not to get my hopes up. I was delighted to see that he had in fact gotten in and even C said "oh my word!" He's been really excited all weekend, learning the name of his new school and I keep having to remind him that it's a few more months until he starts!

There are a few school activities during the summer so I am excited to take him and possibly meet some of his new classmates.

He has a family member who attends the primary school so that will be nice for him, plus it will probably be a natural progression from the pre-school to primary school; not just for him but most of his classmates too meaning that he'll keep the same friends. Then, when it comes to E's turn to apply, we'd have more of chance of her being with her brother.

I'm still a little in denial of how my little baby is big enough for pre-school but I can't wait for him to begin on this amazing journey.

Friday 15 April 2016

Flair Plasticine Softeez - Review

Earlier this week, I posted C's 3.5 year update and I mentioned that he loves all things creative so I really try to encourage that streak. He loves building and making things so I knew the Plasticine Softeez range would be a hit.

I remember playing with Plasticine when I was younger and it being really hard and tough. The Softeez range is, as you can imagine by the name, a bit softer. It does feel hard in the block but once you've rolled it around in your hands for a bit it softens up. 

We received six 150g slabs of different coloured Plasticine (RRP £1.29 each), a Tub of Fun (RRP £4.99) containing two cutters & five small bars of Plasticine and the Under the Sea Play Box which comes with a plastic background image (great for putting down on the table so residue isn't left),  12 small bars of Plasticine and nine accessories such as rollers and cutters.

C has played with different types of softer dough before but never Plasticine. He had the best time making his under the sea image and loved telling me what all the different cutters were. I did have to help him roll it sometimes as it's a little harder than what he's used to. Drawing eyes and shapes with the tools provided is something completely new to him and he had to give every creature eyes.

C tended to mostly flatten the Plasticine and use the cutters but because of the toughness, it's easy to mould it into 3D shapes too. The Plasticine Softeez really brought back memories for me and I think I had just as much fun playing with it as he did. 

The only things I wasn't a fan of were the fact that once it's rolled it really sticks to whatever you've put it on which is why I was pleased that the Under the Sea set came with a background mat. I did have to use one of the tools to prise the shape up without ruining it. It doesn't leave a residue on your hands which is something that I'm not used to. It's not a big deal, hands are easily washed - I just don't like having my hands dirty!

All in all, I am really impressed with the Plasticine Softeez range and I think they are really well-priced. The cutters and accessories are made of hard, smooth plastic with no sharp bits so I had no problem with letting C use them on their own. The big selling point for me is that they never dry out. C tends to leave dough out of the tub which destorys them so this, I think, makes Plasticine Softeez a cut above the rest. As well as the Under the Sea Play Box you can also buy a Cupcake Creations set. Each of these retail at £9.99 and are recommended for children aged 3-5 years.
You can find out more at the Flair website and you can keep up to date on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday 13 April 2016

C at 3.5 Years

The last update I wrote was when C had just turned three. Before this, I did them monthly but writing C at 37 months, 38 months, etc just seemed silly plus I didn't think I would have enough to write about how he was changing in that time. I decided to then do six monthly updates.

Since writing that last post, I feel like he's changed so much. The little toddler he was at 3 seems to have developed into the most amazing child.

He is honestly the funniest person I have ever met and I don't know where he gets it from. He has us in stitches every day with the little quips that he comes out with. As well as his speech developing wonderfully, he knows so many words and it's great to be able to have proper conversations with him and knowing that he can express his feelings, his memory is incredible too. He remembers songs that he's only heard a handful of times, he can recite the alphabet, can count to 100 and he's been recently learning to spell and write his alphabet. 

He still loves CBeebies and typical toddler shows but I can tell how he's growing because he's discovered a love for Star Wars and superheroes. Frozen is the ultimate favourite movie at the moment. He is always singing the songs and telling me what is going to happen before it does when we watch together. 

I'm mostly encouraging his creativity these days. His favourite things to do are puzzles, play dough modelling, painting and roleplaying like making figures "talk" or pretending to shop, cook and clean.

C does have temper tantrums and likes to wind us up to no end but I see that as a typical kid thing for this age. Some days he's great and we have no issues at all and others, as much as I feel guilty saying this, I can't wait for bed time so my head can have a rest!

He has his first friend in the form of D whose mummy writes at Us Two Plus You. We've had a few playdates over the past month or so and they get on like a house on fire. C always tells me about how much he loves him and that he's his best friend. 

Potty training is going well at the minute. Since he turned two a whole year and a half ago I've been so stressed over it. Hes quite tall for his age now and I worry that people were thinking that he looked far too old to be in a nappy but once I realised that it's completely up to him when he wants to do it, I felt happier. I didn't want to force him so when he recently started to accept it, I was so glad we waited. He's doing amazingly well. In saying that, we haven't yet ventured out of the house without a nappy or introduced pants. It's simply been a case of a bare bum around the house as I didn't want to introduce too much at once. He takes himself off to wee when he feels he needs to and I could count on one hand how many accidents he's had. I think it's so cute when he says "I feel a wee coming!" then rushes to the potty. He is getting a little irritated though. He asks for nappies but I think that's because he just wants to play and having to stop to go to the toilet is a bit of an inconvenience for him. I hope he gets used to it soon. Now I just need to brave taking him out and getting the pants on!

Finally the biggie. We've applied for nursery! We should get the letter this Friday (I think!) and I am so nervous. He keeps telling me that he can't wait to go to school and make friends so I have no worries about him actually going because I know he'll love it. I just hope he gets into his first choice as he has family that attend the primary school. I know I'll be the mum bawling my eyes out when I drop him off on the first day.

Where has my baby gone?!

Monday 11 April 2016

Win a copy of Q Pootle 5: Pootle The Explorer on DVD

My kids are both massive CBeebies fans and I don't think a day has passed in the last 3 years where it hasn't been on my TV. Q Pootle 5 is one of C's favourite shows to watch and today (11th April 2016) sees the release of the new Q Pootle 5 DVD - Pootle the Explorer!

Q Pootle 5 is based on the best-selling children's books by author and illustrator Nick Butterworth and it boasts a fabulous voice cast with talents from Ed Gaughan (Bunny Town, Black Mirror), Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey, Poppy Cat), Steven Kynman (Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam), Richard Ridings (Peppa Pig) and Ella Kenion (Cuckoo, The Hive, Swashbuckle).

Q Pootle and his five friends - Oopsy, Eddi, Stella, Ray, Groobie, Bud-D and Planet Dave - love to have fun in space, finding adventure and tackling the everyday problems of the final frontier. In this DVD, you can join them for seven spectacular episodes titled:
  • The Cosmic Whipple
  • Pootle The Explorer
  • The Groobie Woobie
  • A Friend for Ray
  • Rocking Not Rolling
  • Beat Box Bud-D
  • Planet Dave in a Spin
The show is a firm favourite with both children and adults across the nation and it is sure to raise a smile and spark imaginations. The DVD retails at £7.99 and it even comes with a free poster inside. You can keep up to date with all the goings on at the Q Pootle 5 Facebook page.

The lovely people at Abbey Home Media have very kindly offered a copy for one of you to win! All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. 

Good luck! 

  • The giveaway will run from 11th April until 18th April
  • One winner will win one copy of Q Pootle 5: Pootle the Explorer on DVD
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only
  • Prize will be sent directly from Abbey Home Media
  • No automated entries
  • One entry per person
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
More competitions at ThePrizeFinder

Tiger Prints Kids T-shirt - Review

A while ago we were given the opportunity to review a t-shirt from Tiger Prints.

Tiger Prints is a family-run business based in Bedfordshire and the range was created after Mary decided that she wanted to create good quality, fun tops that were made in the UK.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I have a slight obsession with kids clothing so I was excited to try on out. I let C choose his own and in typical C fashion, he went for a light blue tee with a dinosaur print on it. 

When it arrived, C couldn't wait to wear it. We went for a size 3-4 and as a 3.5 year old, it fits perfectly. The quality is amazing with 100% cotton tee and cotton/Lyrca ribbed neckline which makes it soft to touch and comfortable to wear.

We have had this for a good few weeks now which means it's gone through the wash a lot. I'm really impressed by how the printed picture hasn't cracked and it still looks as good as new. 

The dinosaur tee is available in a wide range of colours and in sizes from age 2 up to 13 and even in adult sizes too. If dinosaurs aren't your thing, there are tons of designs to choose from so you're sure to find something to suit you.

The Stegasaurus Dinosaur t-shirt retails at £12.00. You can find out more about the range at the Tiger Prints website and you can also keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Sunday 10 April 2016

Look in my Letterbox #51

This week has been busy enough for post. I am a little surprised that I didn't receive more as I am waiting on tons to arrive. Maybe next week will be a bumper edition! As ever, I'm linking up with Alice-Megan's Look in my Letterbox linky.

Handmade doll
I won this from Milson Creations on Facebook. She has clearly put so much time and effort into it and she is so beautiful. E loves her.

Little Chicken's Egg-cellent Adventure DVD
This was a surprise win that turned up in the post. I did a quick search on MSE and I think it's come from Primary Times. 

Itty Bittys 
I won these from Not a Frumpy Mum. I was only expecting Batman and Superman so Wonder Woman was a nice surprise. Superhero-crazy C has claimed them!

I won these gorgeous string bracelets on Instagram from @madebygreenberry

Shabby Geek boxes
 I wasn't sure about whether or not I should include these but they did arrive so why not? In saying that, they are on their way back after a serious arguement between us trying to get a refund. I will go into more detail in a different blog post all about my shocking experience with Shabby Geek!

C loves other types of play dough so I thought he'd really enjoy this as they look quite similar.

Casdon Kitchen
 C loves roleplay and the kitchen at soft play is his favourite. I am a little sad that there are two girls playing on the box though!

E is a brand enthusiast for @leahannboutique and when she reopened she sent us these new bows from her collection.

Squishy Pop
I got a email to say that Evolution PR were giving away hundreds of these and I managed to get my email in quickly. The kids love it!

Did you receive anything nice this week?