Friday 27 April 2018

Old English Company - Review

I didn't really know much about Old English Company before having the chance to review but as soon as I checked out the website, I absolutely loved everything and found it so difficult to whittle down what I wanted. I love stationery, mugs and anything with a quirky quote so Old English Company with their hand lettered goods is right up my street.

When I eventually decided on my items, I chose the Charcoal Grey and Gold A5 PlannerMother Enamel Pin, Buy Me Pizza Make Up Pouch and She Believed She Could Mug.

The mug was the first thing that I decided on. I love a mug with a quote and as a blogger, I am always writing, I'm fueled by tea and coffee but I do have days where I just could not be bothered. I think this is a lovely quote to give you a little a boost of motivation in the mornings. I love it! It makes me feel like I've got this.

Similarly, every blogger needs a planner. The charcoal and gold colours go really well together and the design is simple yet beautiful. It is really well made and the card on the cover feels quite fancy. The planner has 248 pages with checklists and a place for notes. I like that you can write your own dates in and it isn't like a diary - I tend to skip some days accidentally then feel bad when I see an empty page!

I am pin obsessed - I'll admit it! I don't even know how it started. I was a emo kid as a teenager and had a tartan bag which I covered with badges so I think it's stemmed from there. I honestly spent far too long on the pin section of Old English Company and there are still so many others that I think I'm going to go back and buy. I chose the Mother one because I don't have any other pins in a similar vein and I was just drawn to the simplistic look of it. I think it would make a really lovely gift too.

Finally, I feel like this make up pouch was made for me. I love pizza, it's my vice and it really made me laugh when I first saw it. It's made from cotton and is a great size so I can fit all my daily make up in with lots of space left over. It would be a nice stationery pouch too if you aren't a big make up wearer.

I am so glad to have discovered the Old English Company website. Everything is such great quality, well-made and most importantly, so Instagrammable (yep, I said it!). The prices are definitely affordable and it's a great place to browse if you are looking for a gift or to treat yourself!

You can have a look at the full range at the Old English Company website and also keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(I received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Wednesday 25 April 2018

Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader - Review

My five year old son C is all about textures and whilst we have heard of Kinetic Sand (the number one sand brand in the UK), we'd never actually tried it to see what it was like and we didn't even know that Kinetic Rock was a thing!

C loves things like play dough and has a sensory box full of squishy things that he can squeeze and mould when he is feeling angry or upset so I thought that the texture of Kinetic Rock would be right up his street. We received the Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader to try and boy, was I right! He absolutely loves it and even sat playing with it for three hours straight upon first opening.

The box includes:
  • 8oz of Kinetic Rock gold
  • 1 deluxe construction vehicle
  • 3 attachable vehicle tools
  • 5 accessories (builder and tools)
As soon as we opened everything out, C got stuck right in with mashing together and squeezing the rock. It really does stick together! It comes with a little fake diamond that can be buried inside the rock and C's favourite thing to do was put the figure inside his digger and drill the rock out, then he went on to either switching to the construction worker holding the pick or shovel or switching the drill on the vehicle for the scoop. He did struggle a little bit switching the tools that attach to the vehicle but that was a strength issue for him, I had to step in and help.

Whilst playing, C liked to pretend and give the construction worker a voice, imagining what he would say. He liked figuring out how to use each tool and seeing which one would help him find the buried diamond first. It was lovely to see him using his imagination and trying to work out for himself which tools did what. He really enjoyed creating a real-life construction site. It is a really great hands-on toy which is brilliant for aiding a child's development.

I did umm and ahh over putting down a tablecloth but the Kinetic Rock is so easy to clean up and leaves absolutely no residue on the table. A parent's dream!

The Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader retails at £16.99 and is suitable for children aged 3+. You can purchase it from all good retailers nationwide.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Monday 23 April 2018

James and the Birthday Balloon by Nicola J. Rowley - Book Review

Being massive book lovers, we always like receiving new books in our house. We recently got our hands on a copy of James and the Birthday Balloon by Nicola J. Rowley. It's a short illustrated story which seemed perfect to read to both 3 year old E and 5 year old C.

The story follows James and Ruby who are best friends. It's Ruby's birthday and she throws a party on the farm where she lives. Each child receives a balloon from the entertainer and although they've been told to hold onto the string very tightly, Ruby accidentally lets go of hers and whilst running after it, trips and injures herself.

This is such a beautifully descriptive story that really puts you in the book and the imagery helps picture the scene. It's a lovely book about friendship and I love how James is described as being able to make everyone around him smile and be happy - just how I see my own son C. 

As well as the friendship aspect, as Ruby needs to go to the hospital after her accident, it explores her feelings about being scared but reassures readers that everything will be okay and hospitals shouldn't be scary, it is where we go to get help. Great for any child who does need to go into hospital.

We love this book and C has even had a go at reading it by himself, it's perfect for early readers. As if that wasn't enough, there is a QR code that you can scan to get the free audio book read by one of C's favourite's - Dr Ranj!

You can purchase your own paperback copy for £7.99 on Amazon.

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

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Disney Vampirina Boo-Tiful Dress - Review

We are massive Disney fans in our house and Erin's current favourite, aside from Frozen which I think she will be obsessed with for years, is Vampirina.

If you haven't heard of Vampirina, it is a show on Disney Junior which follows Vampirina "Vee" Hauntley who becomes the new kid in town after she and her family move from Transylvania to Pennsylvania. They open a bed and breakfast called the Scare B&B for visiting ghouls and goblins. Each episode is packed with music which I think is what E loves so much about it. She has even progressed from just watching the show to watching people play with Vampirina toys on YouTube, and then subsequently asking me if I can buy her every single one.

E was so excited to get her hands on the Vampirina Boo-Tiful Dress so that she could transform into Vee herself. E has always been a massive fan of dressing up, we have a huge box full of costumes and she likes just embodying the character. The Boo-Tiful dress comes with the dress, a bat wing headband and fingerless gloves.

The dress is suitable for children aged 4-6 years. E is a little under that at 3.5 but it does fit well (she wears 4-5 years on occasion) with a fair bit of growth so I would say it's true to size. I absolutely adore the dress and with its velour feel, it seems a bit higher quality than most other costumes that we own - this does mean that it must be handwashed only though. The addition of sparkles to create the web effect on the dress and the images on the gloves really caught E's eye - she's a sucker for glitter and you even have a little badge with the image of Vampirina on the chest.

The headband and gloves are a nice touch to set off the costume. The headband fits E's head perfectly and I am pleased to say that even two weeks later, the bat wings haven't drooped and still stand erect. Although the gloves are baggy on the hand, we did have to jiggle and really push her fingers through the holes to get them on properly without feeling like they were going to fall off.

This is a gorgeous little costume for any Vampirina fans out there and I've actually struggled to get E out of it, she loves it that much! It retails at £24.99 and is available to buy from Debenhams.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Saturday 14 April 2018

Crocodile Dinner - Review

Now that the children are getting a little older, we try to have family game night every week and our games collection is steadily growing. One of the things that we really need to work on, with C especially, is turn taking, sharing and coping with losing as he struggles with those quite a bit.

Sambro have released a game called Crocodile Dinner which is so simple but fun. The game comes with three crocodile masks in purple, blue and green and 13 foam fish (five green, five purple, five blue and one orange or 'gold').

The premise of the game is simple. Each player attaches the crocodile mask to their face, tightening accordingly using the straps on the side. You need to make sure that it's under your chin correctly so that the mask opens and closes as you open and close your mouth.

One player must count down from three, throw all the fish in the air and the "crocodiles" must try and pick up the fish of their masks' colour with their mouths, making sure not to use their hands. Once they've got all their coloured fish, the first player to get the gold fish wins!

C thought the game was really fun but he did struggle a little with how tight the mask had to be on his face in order for it to move. The fun factor for him was keeping his hands behind his back when trying to get the fish. He kept forgetting himself then bursting out laughing.

He liked that it wasn't too much of a turn taking game, everyone could play at the same time with made it even more competitive. It's a really great family game for children aged 5+.

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

Thursday 5 April 2018

UNTAMED Raptor by Fingerlings - Review

Last year, you might remember the craze around the Fingerlings monkeys. They were being advertised everywhere and parents were stressing to find one before Christmas as everywhere was selling out. Now, WowWee have developed a new style - Raptors! My five year old son C wasn't too interested in the regular Fingerlings but anything dinosaur related and he is on it like a shot. I have to admit, I was never too sure how Fingerlings worked and thought they didn't really do much but sit on your finger and look cute.

The UNTAMED Raptors come in four different characters with their own unique name and personality; Stealth (which we have received), Blaze, Fury and Razor. They sit on your finger and are fierce and unpredictable - not exactly like their cute Fingerlings cousins. They will either become a friend or a foe, all depending on how you interact with it. C is exactly the type to wind you up so I knew he'd try his best to anger it.

If you shake or poke him, he will roar, hiss or chomp at you. Alternatively, if you act kindly by petting his nose, he will hum, coo or purr. The UNTAMED Raptors have blinking eyes, snapping jaws and gripping claws and they react to touch, motion and sound and make over 40 different sounds - C especially like when he farts and will be in fits of giggles. Typical boy!

Upon opening, I did think that perhaps C would play with him for a short while and get bored but it does take a little while to get used to what actions or sounds to make around it and figure out what will make it react - it's all a learning curve! He would sit for ages just testing different things out. I love that it's so easy to play with independently.

They are made from sturdy plastic with a little on/off switch on the back so you don't need to worry about hearing it hiss or roar at silly o'clock, scaring the living daylights out of you. They fit perfectly onto his finger and although it's battery operated, it isn't too heavy. I am a sucker for anything interactive that responds to something that you do so I think these are perfect for little dinosaur fans!

The UNTAMED Raptors are suitable for children aged 5+ and retail at £16.99. You can find them at Smyths Toys, Argos and The Entertainer.

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

Monday 2 April 2018

Disney Ariel Styling Head - Review #StylingHeadMonth

If you follow me on social media or are a regular reader of my blog, you'll probably be aware of my three year old daughter E's love of Disney Princesses. She owns almost all of the dolls, an abundance of costumes and even her bedsheets are emblazoned with the princesses. Another one of her loves is roleplaying. 

When we were offered the chance to review the Ariel Styling Head from Flair, I just knew that there couldn't be a more perfect toy for her. She is forever brushing my hair as well as her own and her brothers!

The Ariel Styling Head is absolutely beautiful and with her gorgeous signature red hair she looks exactly like the movie version. The first thing that E commented on was it's length. There is so much to brush and she couldn't wait to get styling.

As well as the styling head, you also receive 14 hair accessories (including a hair brush, hair clips, hair ties and twirls) so you can really make her over with a fabulous new 'do. E has even been putting the clips in her own hair!

As E is only three years old and hasn't quite mastered the techniques when it comes to hairdressing, she tended to focus more on brushing and putting the clips in, something which didn't take her very long to learn at all. She was chuffed that she could do it by herself. She did however ask me to do ponytails and plaits as she finds those difficult - all will come with time!

I have to comment on the quality of the doll. I was really impressed by the volume of her hair. Sometimes you can buy styling heads where the hair is quite thin but there is a lot to work with when it comes to the Ariel one. I also love the attention to detail with regards to her crown, colourful shell bra and the shell and star necklace. They are just little bonuses to reinforce the fact that she is Princess Ariel and not just any other regular styling head.

The Ariel Styling Head retails at £18.99 and is perfect for children aged around 3-6 years.  

On 13th April, UK Mums TV will be hosting a #StylingHeadMonth Twitter frenzy from 1-2pm. Be sure to join in to hear more about the styling heads that are on the market and for the chance to win some prizes!

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