Friday 31 August 2018

Planning Our Dream Garden

Chris and I have lived together for the past seven years and during that time, we have only ever lived in terraced housing with little to no outdoor space. We've since had two children and we are at the stage where we are looking to buy our own house, as opposed to privately renting like we are right now. We have a few "must haves" such as living in a suitable area close to the children's school, having a third or maybe even fourth bedroom, a garage and most important, a garden!

I feel like I'd love a garden for the children to run around in and play whenever they like as outdoor time is so important and it's much easier than taking a trek to the park. I would also really enjoy having a more grown up space for us. I've put together a little plan of what I would have in my dream garden (although I doubt I'd get the size!).

Outdoor Toys
 Photo by Luana Azevedo on Unsplash

This is probably the most important for me. I'd love to get the children one of those huge outdoor frames that comes with a swing, slide and lots to climb - it would keep them entertained for ages and would feel just like being at the park. Both children have also expressed interest in having a playhouse so I think we'd opt for a wooden one just so it lasts a little longer. I've also seen some companies that specialise in outdoor chalkboards that fasten to a fence. C and E would both definitely love that and it saves them from using chalk on the patio. Win win!

Food Area
I spend a lot of time on Instagram following home accounts and I am completely envious of Mrs Rackley Home's food area outside. Beforehand, I'd happily just have a patio with some gorgeous rattan furniture and a fancy barbecue, but she has gone that little bit further and installed her own built in pizza oven. I need one of those in my life too! It would be lovely to invite all the family around for a nice alfresco meal in the summer with the children playing next to us.

Grow Your Own 

This is one thing that Chris and I have always said that we would like to do - grow our own veg! There is no way I could have a garden without cordoning a little part off just for growing vegetables. It would save us so much money and it would be a great way to get the kids interested in it and teach them where our veg comes from.

Home Cinema
This is another thing that I didn't know I needed until Instagram came along, this time courtesy of Lust Living. Okay, it probably isn't realistic because you'd need a huge amount of space but hey, a girl can dream! Just imagine sitting outside as the sun goes down, with your favourite movie playing via a projector. Bliss!

I admit, I am not green fingered at all and wouldn't know how to keep a plant alive but it's definitely something that I'd love to learn if I had a garden. I'd probably opt for artificial grass for the main part (just so it looks pretty and green all year round!) but I'd love a "frame" of beautiful, brightly coloured flowers around the edge of the garden. I think it would really set the whole area off and just make it a lovely place to be.

What would you have in your dream garden?
(This is a sponsored post.)
Thursday 30 August 2018

The Hard Side of Parenting

When you first plan on having children, it's easy to think of your life with a cute, little baby to cuddle, kiss and dress, teach it new things and help it explore the world. The thought of unconditional love between you both is second to none but although you do get all the lovely stuff, there are definitely some harder times too.

I have been a parent for close to six years now, with my eldest being four so we are well out of our "baby" days. I would like to think that I am experienced enough at all aspects of parenting (minus teenage years of course, I imagine that's a whole new kettle of fish) and I'd like to share some things that, in my eyes, can be tough and have you reaching for a glass of wine on an evening. Life isn't always as it's portrayed on Instagram!

Illnesses and Ailments
This is something that will be ongoing from newborn right up to teenage years and it is the one thing that I still struggle with now. Both of my children had colic as newborns and if you haven't had a child with colic, you are lucky! It was probably the first time that I thought, "This parenting thing can be kind of tough" and I'm not ashamed to admit that I did cry on occasion both out of frustration of not being able to settle the baby to sleep so that I could get some sleep, but also because I felt bad that I couldn't take that pain away quick enough. It's a lot harder when they can't speak and tell you what's wrong too.

As the children get older, you have many other things to contend with, especially when they start school. Threadworms and nits are always lovely, especially when you have to disinfect your entire house and my absolute favourite, sickness bugs where you are the parent so if your child is up in the night vomiting all over the bed and floor, guess who's gotta clean that up?

Of course your child may have skin condition such as eczema, or like my daughter E, keratosis pilaris (sorry kid, you got that from me!) but all I can say is, thank heavens for online stores like The Independent Pharmacy where you can browse and buy in the middle of the night when you're up comforting a child with sore skin.

I am all for letting my children make their own decisions, know their own minds but sometimes it comes back and bites me in the @$$. I've written before about how C has ASD and one thing that he does a lot is question authority. If myself or his daddy give him an instruction or tell him to do something, he will challenge it a lot and "answer back" (we get a lot of "You can't control me"). A lot of the time he doesn't realise that he is doing it, he's mostly mimicking us and as much as it gives us The Rage, we have to acknowledge that it stems from the ASD and try and explain why he can't do that as the last thing we want is him getting in trouble at school.

E, on the other hand, is the definition of a Sassy Diva who thinks she can do what she wants, when she wants. Now, after four years of parenting her compared to six years with her brother, I'm willing to bet that this is a girl thing and will only get worse as time goes on. Lord, help us with the tween/teen stage!

Potty training
Those words almost give me shivers and I am so glad that I will never have to potty train again. There is so much to think about; is my child ready? How do I introduce a potty? Are they too young/old? Should I use pull ups or go straight to pants? And don't even get me started on night time!

C was a late bloomer and didn't train until he was around 3 and was out of bedtime pull ups by 3.5, just before nursery started. Although he took his time getting there, it was relatively easy and it only took us around a week to be dry in the day. I went in feeling optimistic with E because I'd done it before. Wrong. She was terrified of the toilet, would keep having accidents even though she knew where the toilet or potty was but I knew that it was just because she liked the security of a nappy and introducing a potty was daunting. Obviously, we got there in the end and it was like a switch had been flipped. 

Mum Guilt
This is something that I get a lot and it's usually over the silliest of things. I didn't spend a lot of one on one time with the kids because I had a ton of cleaning to do, we didn't leave the house for two days because it was pouring down, we had a busy day so it was McDonald's on the way home rather than a nutritious home cooked meal, I lost my £%$& because E kept kicking her brother and C hit her back so I was a bit of a shouty mum. It happens and that's okay

Would you add anything else to my list? What do you struggle with?

(This is a sponsored post.)

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Finally Getting Myself in Shape

My weight is something that I have always struggled with. As a child, I was quite chubby with a round face. My "puppy fat" phase, if you will, which kind of disappeared as I got older.

When I was in my mid-late teens I was always slim, no bigger than a UK size 10 but of course, I was obsessed with my appearance and thought I was fat back then. I definitely put this down to the celebrity culture in the 2000's making me feel like I had to look a certain way.

At the age of 17, I got my first job in a large discount retail store and that's where I met my lovely, long-suffering partner Chris. I spent a lot of time either in work, relying on Boots Meal Deals, Burger King or crisps for lunch or at Chris's house where we would sit in, watch a lot of DVDs in the evening and order takeaways. Needless to say, although I was busy on my feet and spent my time walking to and from work, the weight did pile on and by the time that I fell pregnant with my first child, I was at my heaviest weight of 11st which wasn't good for my 5'4" frame.

I didn't pile too much weight on during my pregnancy which I was really happy about but if you've read my birth stories, you'll know that he was born prematurely at 33 weeks. Both of us were very ill so we had hospital stays, meaning that I lived on hospital food for a few weeks. I ended up losing a lot of weight which I definitely put down to eating better when I was in there and I finally felt comfortable again.

I managed to keep the weight off until I fell pregnant with my second child. This time round, I had a really bad relationship with food and I definitely saw pregnancy as an excuse to eat and it has only gotten worse since I had E. I put all the weight back on, plus more. E is turning four next week and I really have no excuse - I can't call it baby weight! I don't suit carrying a lot of extra weight and I definitely don't feel comfortable in my own body anymore. It's affecting my mental health and I don't enjoy clothes shopping as I don't think anything suits my shape.

With both of my children being out at school as of next week, I am going to find myself with a lot of extra time and I will definitely be spending a lot of that getting myself in shape. I have already suggested joining a gym with Chris (I don't feel confident enough to go it alone just yet!) and I own weights and kettlebells for working out at home - YouTube is amazing for finding fitness videos!

I also want to spend some time meal planning and changing how I eat. I am terrible for skipping meals, especially breakfast, and I know it's true what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. I never feel like eating proper food first thing in the morning so I may even opt to buy a My Juicer UK and make a nice fruit smoothie in the morning to kickstart my day.

I absolutely love most foods, especially vegetables, so I know I won't struggle with that but I know that I need to reduce my portion sizes and eat more frequently throughout the day. Hopefully this means that I won't find myself getting peckish and wanting to reach for an unhealthy snack!

I think what I will find most difficult is cutting out my fizzy drinks but I am hoping that with time, I won't miss it once I lose that craving for sugar.

I'll keep you guys posted with my progress!
(This is a sponsored post.)

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Summer Infant Slumber Buddies Deluxe Puppy - Review

Back in February this year, my eldest child C was formally diagnosed with autism. I've written about the possibility of his diagnosis in the past and I will go into more detail on receiving his diagnosis in a separate post soon.

C is very much a sensory seeker meaning that he loves different textures, sounds and lights. I was recently offered the opportunity to review a Slumber Buddies Puppy from Summer Infant and although that might seem a little strange for me to accept for an almost six year old, I felt that it would be something that he might enjoy and may give him that sensory stimulation that he looks for.

  The Summer Infant Slumber Buddy is effectively a sleep aid for babies. The one we received was the Puppy but it is also available in a range of different animals from dinosaurs to bunnies. As well as just looking like a puppy soft toy, you have the plastic "shell" on its back with cut outs of stars, moons and planets with three buttons at the bottom. The first button shines a coloured light through the shapes, projecting them on the ceiling and walls. If you continue to press the same button, you can switch the colour (red, blue and green).

  The second button plays a sound. There are five different ones that you can flip through from heartbeat, lullaby and nature. C tends to always opt for the nature sounds as I think they can be more calming for him, especially when he is starting to feel himself getting upset or angry. The final button is just three different volume controls, we tend to keep ours on the lowest to make it more peaceful.

  C took to the puppy straight away, mostly for the light aspect. He is very aware of feeling himself getting angry or upset and recognises that he needs to take some time away on his own. He's been taking his puppy to his bedroom and burying himself under the duvet, playing a sound and light of his choice. Usually this does help diffuse his bad mood and he gets a lot happier faster - it definitely cuts down on meltdown time!

  Recently he had been a little bit afraid of going to bed and would come downstairs at least four times a night, in hysterics, and we found it difficult to calm him down. I started leaving the Slumber Buddy next to his bed with the light and sound already on, hoping that it would make him feel 1) sleepy and 2) safe with the lights. There are three settings inside the puppy where the battery pack is where you can choose whether to shut it off after 15, 30 or 45 minutes which is great as you don't need to worry about it being left on all night and wasting the battery. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not but we have had no issues with sleep since!

I think this is absolutely amazing and it surpassed my expectations. His little sister E loves it too, the fact that it is cuddly is a massive plus! We have been using it all through the day, not just at night time. It's great for anyone with sensory issues and I can definitely see it being brilliant for smaller babies too.

The Slumber Buddies retail at £24.99 each and you can find out more at the Summer Infant website.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Tuesday 21 August 2018

Mrs Wordsmith Social Journey Subscription Box - Review

I am fortunate enough to be able to bring you a lot of reviews from toys to homeware products and very rarely do I come across something that I fall in love with instantly, but that's exactly what happened with Mrs Wordsmith's Social Journey.

Mrs Wordsmith Social Journey is a subscription box suitable for children aged 2-5 years old and its aim is to develop deeper social and emotional intelligence through introducing new vocabulary on the basis of words that the child will already know.

Instantly, anything with the word "social" in it, and I am like a moth to a flame. One thing that I haven't written much about on the blog yet is the fact that C has been officially diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder which really affects his ability to interact socially. Before receiving our one month's subscription to the Social Journey, I thought that it would be a great way to help him add to his vocabulary (even though he is at the higher age range and will be 6 next month) and maybe help him verbalise his feelings and emotions better. I went into this review with positive thoughts and it has completely blown that out of the water and excelled my expectations.

Inside your box you receive:

  • Instruction booklet
  • A Picture Book
  • Word of the Day Activity Book
  • Word of the Day stand
  • Word Cards
The first thing that you are instructed to do is read your picture book. Inside that book there are five sets of words and for this month's box, they were: Self-awareness - hungry words (hungry, peckish, starving and thirsty), Resilience - eat words (eat, nibble, gobble, gulp), Creativity - make words (make, invent, design, concoct), Communication - funny words (funny, silly, hilarious, hysterical) and Community - share words (share, collaborate, include, together). Each set of words begins with a short explanation of the types of word you are going to learn about then each individual word has its own short story and beautiful illustration. You are also prompted to ask your child a relevant question at the end of each story.

C absolutely loved the illustrations and found himself in fits of giggles at some of them (mostly the bubble beards in the 'Hilarious' story). The stories were well suited to his age and he understood them all. It was really lovely to see the same characters throughout the book as it held it all together. Involving your child at the end with a question is a great idea. A lot of the time, C would just say "I don't know" but once I pushed a little more, he really thought about it and gave me some great answers. For example, in the 'Invent' story, you are prompted to ask your child what they would invent if they could invent anything. After a few seconds of thought, C replied, "A robot that would do all of the things that I don't like doing."

Once you have finished your picture book, next up is the Word of the Day Activity Book. This book contains a sheet of paper focusing on each of the 20 words that your child has been introduced to in their picture book. You place your activity book on the stand with the first word displayed for a day or two so that your child can soak up the meaning.

Each word has three activities: Say It (where you will read the word aloud and encourage your child to repeat it, focusing on the pronunciation), Trace It (having your child trace around the outline of the word. This is configuration and will help your child become familiar with it and be able to recognise it when it's in a longer text) and Pencils At The Ready where you rip off the activity sheet from the book and do one of four activity types.
  • Letter jumble - circling the letters which appear in the word to recognise letters and identify letter shapes
  • Colouring - colouring the illustration to boost the retention, develop fine motor skills and improve concentration
  • Free writing - practising forming letters independently
  • Drawing - encouraging your child to engage with and interpret their newly learned word

This is a great way to get your child learning. C has had so much fun doing these that it doesn't even feel like he's learning. After we have finished our word for the day, we put another up on display until the next morning, where he can't wait do his activity sheet. The fact that it's one a day for 20 days is a good thing as I feel like he has enough time to take in and remember what he's learning, rather than being bombarded with a lot at once.

Finally, the Word Cards. These come in their sets and, as you can imagine, each of the words that your child will have learned previously has it's own individual card with the word and accompanying image from the picture book. There are different tasks that you can do, depending on how difficult you want it to be.

  • Peek-a-boo - look at the card and read the word aloud. Cover the word and see if your child can remember the word based on the picture.
  • Storytime - see if your child can tell you a story based on the picture and you can help by asking a question that is relevant.
  • One player game - set all the cards out and see how fast you can put them in the right category
  • Two player game - place the cards in a pile face down, each player draws one card each then race to see who can get their card into the correct category first.

I loved doing these with C and truly felt like it was a little bit of a bonding moment. One thing he really struggles with is losing a game so the two player game is definitely one we will be playing a lot of to try and get him used to it and not have a meltdown. I've also discovered that he has a eidetic memory and the covering of the words is simple for him!

I honestly cannot recommend this enough and I would go as far as to say that it is probably my favourite thing that I've reviewed to date. For someone like C with ASD, visual stimulation and learning is fundamental but your child doesn't need to have ASD to really benefit from this. It will be amazing for starting school and if you begin this early on, they'll be flying when they do eventually go into school. I've since overheard C ask his little sister if she is feeling peckish and telling her that he is starving. It is really nice to hear him using his new words and putting them into context.

The Mrs Wordsmith Social Journey is £21.95 per month but you can choose one bulk payment of £233.40 which works out at £19.45 a month and they also ship throughout Europe and the US.

You can find out more about the subscription at the Mrs Wordsmith website.

(We received this subscription for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Sunday 19 August 2018

PJ Masks Lights & Sounds Robot - Review

Ever since PJ Masks hit our screen, my kids became instantly obsessed. Our home is filled with PJ Masks merchandise with everything from pyjamas to toys and even duvet sets! 

If you've watched the show, you'll be familiar with the main PJ Masks characters; Cat Boy, Owlette and Gekko. One of the villains of the show, Romeo, created a cute robot that the PJ Masks would be drawn to in the hopes of them bringing him to HQ so that Romeo could infiltrate it. This backfired for Romeo as PJ Robot genuinely liked the PJ Masks so joined their side.

We were sent the PJ Masks Lights and Sounds Robot to try out and being massive fans, both kids recognised him straight away. He looks like he's been plucked straight out of the show with his blue cat print on his front, coral red wings and green lizard tail - all the PJ Masks colours.

As well as just looking like the robot from the show, he does everything that robot does too. Each time you press his head, his face lights up a different expression, he makes his typical, what I call "beep boop" robot sounds then spins and darts off across the floor. Just like having the character in your home!

I really like that there is a switch on the bottom so you can stop the rolling movement. On occasion, especially when the kids are playing in a restricted place with the robot and their PJ Masks figures, they like to just have the sounds without the movements. The robots arms are poseable too and C especially has liked the texture of these and changing them depending on how he thinks the robot might be feeling.

Both C and E have fallen in love with the PJ Robot - anything with lights and sounds is always an instant hit in our house! You can purchase your own from Argos and The Entertainer at a price of £29.99 and it is suitable for children aged 3+.

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

Saturday 18 August 2018

Which Type of Online Gambling is Right for You?

I love the Internet. Since the introduction of smartphones we have everything that we could possibly need right at our fingertips. Need a phone number, location address or to keep in touch with your friends and family all over the world? Not a problem! The internet has also introduced me to my favourite hobby - entering online competitions. 

I've made no secret about the fact that I like entering as many competitions as I can find, as long as I like the prize! I love that competitions have mostly gone from print and can be found online easily and the same can be said for gambling. Although there are bricks and mortar bookmakers, a lot of people are looking to try online gambling too.

I am the type of person who worries a lot and I never want to get myself into a situation where I am paying out a lot of money and not getting much, if anything, back. At the moment, I tend to stick to solely playing the National Lottery online (much easier than going and buying a ticket at the shop!) plus your numbers are checked automatically and you are emailed if you have won anything. My dad, on the hand, does like a little flutter now and then and gambles in a few different ways.

He keeps a little bit of money aside each month after he gets paid just to try and win a little more with. It's not a lot so he doesn't really miss it if he isn't lucky, he knows his limits. He watches a lot of football so the majority of his gambling will be done via football bets and he can do quite well on those because he can think statistically and there are so many different odds for different things. My father has tried to explain odds to me but it goes completely over my head so that type definitely isn't for me!

Another of his favourites are slots where you choose how much to deposit in then click to spin a wheel or pull a lever and see where the arrow lands or what items fall. He's forever phoning me to tell me how many shamrocks or pots of gold he got and I think his biggest win to date is around £500 for a 20p stake!

Personally, if I were to foray into the world of online gambling, I would choose online bingo. It may seem stereotypically girly (apologies to any men who play online bingo!) but I think it's much more fun and it's great to get a bit of a sweat on! Obviously it's worth remembering to only play with the money that you physically have a gamble resposibly.

Do you gamble online? What's your favourite game to play?

This is a sponsored post.

Friday 17 August 2018

Taking Time for Yourself After Having Children

My children are now almost six and four and whilst they are no longer babies, I've felt like I've gotten myself into a rut. As soon as C was born almost six years ago, gone were the days where I could do what I liked, whenever I liked. All of my time and effort went into looking after him, making sure he was happy and entertained and my needs always came second. When E was born two years later, my workload was doubled and finding time for myself got very difficult - not that I'm complaining, being a mother is wonderful!

With the children becoming older and more independent, I've found that I do have a little extra "me time" and I've already started doing some things just for me to help keep my sanity and keep my mental health in check. Here are a few things that I am either currently doing or plan on doing when my darling daughter starts nursery next month and I've got a little extra time!

1. Self Care Sunday
This is something that I make sure I do every week. Things can get really busy throughout the week and I always feel like I'm spinning plates. Taking a little time at the end of the week after the children are in bed is so important to me. Usually my Self Care Sunday's consist of a long bath (LUSH bath bomb optional) with a candle, glass of wine and an episode of whatever show I'm currently binge watching on Netflix. It's a great way to wind down and prepare yourself for the week ahead. 

2. Cleaning
This might sound like a bit of a weird one to put under "taking time for yourself" but trust me! There is nothing I hate more than sitting in a messy and untidy house, it exacerbates my anxiety and I'm very much a believer of "tidy house, tidy mind". After a day indoors with the kids, my home will look like a bomb has hit it but I will never go to bed leaving it like that as I just don't feel like my mind will be relaxed. I feel a real sense of accomplishment seeing something go from dirty to sparkling.

3. Diet & Exercise
After having my second child, I put on a lot of weight and I am still carrying it now, four years later. We are eating the same things all of the time so I want to try and zhuzh up our diet and branch out, trying new meal plans and ensuring that we are all definitely getting our five a day because, admittedly, I don't feel like I am. Getting more regular exercise is top of my list for when both children are at school/nursery because I'll have that block of time to go to the gym or a run, clearing my mind and knowing that I am helping my body at the same time.

4. Teeth
This is a bad thing to admit but I shamefully haven't been to the dentist since I was pregnant with my first child. I had braces for a few years as a teen and since I got those off I've loved how straight they are and have always taken care of them. Obviously pregnancy takes its toll on your teeth and I am a little worried about having them checked over again as it's been so long. I am definitely going to make a point of booking in to somewhere like Docklands Dental and having regular checkups. Although I've been brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, they aren't really to the standard that I want them to be so I'll be looking into getting them whitened too.

5. Having my hair done
I don't know if this is just me or a regular mum thing, but I am so bad at keeping my hair in check. It's recommended that you get your hair cut every six weeks but I think I go about 12-18 months without so much as a trim because it's so hard to find the time when you have young children. One thing that I plan on doing when E is at nursery is having a reminder on my calendar to book in to the hairdressers regularly because when I've had a cut and blow dry I feel so much better!

6. Reading
In this digital age I do everything on my phone. Blogging, browsing and uploading to social media, making lists, filling in my calendar - everything is on a screen! I've now started making sure that I put my phone away at least an hour before I go to sleep and switching it for a good book. I used to read a lot before children and all that somehow fell by the wayside. Since I've started up again, it's become obsessive, I cannot wait to see how plots turn out and it's made me get a better sleep because I don't have the blue light from a screen in my face last thing at night.

Do you have any other tips/ideas to add? I'd love to hear them!

This is a collaborative post.
Wednesday 15 August 2018

Back to School with Vampirina - Bootastic Backpack & Spooky Scooter Set Review

E starts nursery in September and she won't let me forget it. She cannot wait to learn new things, play in a different setting all day and most importantly, make some new friends!

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that E is quite the fan of Vampirina on Disney Junior, owning her very own Vee costume and microphone. She was over the moon to receive some spooky goodies to try out - the Bootastic Backpack Set and Spooky Scooter Set from Flair.

The Bootastic Backpack is a fantastic set that comes with the hardshell backpack - just like Vampirina wears in the show! It comes with lots of little accessories too:

  • Lights and sounds necklace
  • Sunglasses
  • Bat wing hair clips
  • Backpack clip
  • Two sheets of stickers

The addition of the accessories made E positively shriek with glee. She can be a very stereotypical girl at times and loves jewellery and sunglasses - anything to add to her sassiness! Her favourite is definitely the lights and sounds necklace and she has played with it so much that she's memorised every phrase that Vee says so she can mouth along, pretending that she is the one saying it. It's very funny!

E has very thin hair so the bat wing hair clips don't stay in very well unfortunately! Maybe when she is a little bigger and loses her, what I call, "baby hair" they will stay in. The backpack clip attaches nicely to the loop on the side of the backpack and E instantly recognised the Creepy Caroline character.

  All of the items fit well inside the backpack, with lots of extra space for any additional things that she decides that she needs. The fact that a lot of it is glittery is a massive win in her books. The backpack itself has one strap that goes across the chest. I did feel that even though I'd loosened it fully, it was still quite short and looked tight. E didn't complain at all though and seemed comfortable wearing it.

She cannot wait to bring it to school and who knows, maybe some friendships will develop, just like in the show, over a mutual love of Vampirina!

The Vampirina Bootastic Backpack Set is suitable for children aged 3+ and can be purchased for £24.99 from Smyths. 

To go with her spooky backpack, E was also sent a little Scooter Set. There are two character sets available; Poppy and Wolfie or Vee and Gregoria - we received the latter.

  These wee sets are made from sturdy plastic. Vee is fully articulated and can move her arms, legs and waist. Vee and Gregoria both have holes in their bases so they can stand on the scooter and skateboard without falling. The scooter and skateboard can then attach together so if you push Vee around on the scooter, Gregoria can follow behind.

  E absolutely loves toys like this as they encourage her imagination. She has been pretending that they are going on trips to the pack and talking about what they are going to do that day. As a parent, I love that Vee is depicted with a helmet and safety gear - great to teach your child to always wear theirs, just like Vee does!

  The Spooky Scooter Sets are also suitable for children aged 3+ and can be purchased from Smyths for £11.99.

(We received this items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Friday 10 August 2018

Puppy Dog Pals Toy Collection - Review

If you have young children who love Disney Junior, I'm sure you've heard of Puppy Dog Pals. The show first aired in UK earlier this year and it's been a huge hit with both C and E. The show follows two little pug puppies, brothers Bingo and Rolly, who have fun travelling around their neighbourhood when their owner isn't home. 

Flair/Just Play have a Puppy Dog Pals toy range and we were lucky enough to get a little box of goodies sent to us to test out. In our box, we received Pet and Talk Pals Rolly, Surprise Action Rolly and Pals on a Mission Scuba Rolly. The kids were thrilled as Rolly is their favourite character.

Pet and Talk Pals Rolly - £9.99

This is a cute little plush toy which is perfect for small hands. My kids always like to take toys with them when we go out so I know this wee Rolly will definitely come on lots of adventures with us. In addition to the cuddle factor, he also has a little button on his back which, when pressed, bobs his head a little and plays one of over ten sounds and phrases!


Surprise Action Rolly - £14.99

Both children's favourite toy of the bunch! Rolly is made from sturdy, hard plastic so can withstand my kids' rough play. He has a button on his back which, again, says a phrase when pressed then he runs off. As an adult, I actually find it quite funny and love the way his little legs run! Both C and E have enjoyed chasing him around the room. Both Surprise Action Rolly and Pet and Talk Pals Rolly come with their batteries supplied - hallelujah!

Pals on a Mission Scuba Rolly - £9.99

These are what I like to call "restaurant toys". These little action figures are perfect for shoving into my handbag and taking with us for meals out to keep the kids entertained. Most of the action figures we have don't have much substance to them and are literally a plastic figure that does nothing.

Scuba Rolly comes with a removable scuba mask and propeller. The propeller can be spun and Rolly's collar has a little button which makes it light up red when pressed. These add a little something extra to the usual action figure toy and the kids actually made me build a "swimming pool" out of a cardboard box and blue tissue paper for Rolly to go scuba diving. They both like this one more than I thought they would!

The Puppy Dog Pals Toy Collection are available to buy from all good toy stores such as Smyths, The Entertainer and Amazon.

On Wednesday 15th August, UKMumsTV are hosting a #PuppyDogPalsToys Twitter party between 1-3pm. Please come, join in, chat about the toys and there will be prizes to be won!

(We received these toys for the purpose of this review and we have also been paid for our time. All thoughts and opinions are our own and have not been influenced.)