Monday 23 December 2019

Blume Dolls Baby Pop - Review

[AD/Gifted - We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through to buy anything through a link on this page, I will earn a few pennies at no extra cost to you.]

We received the original Blume Dolls a little while ago and absolutely loved them so we were very excited to hear about the new addition to the range that will be available in selected Tesco stores from December 26th - Baby Pop!

As the name suggests, instead of full size dolls like the original Blume Dolls, inside Baby Pop you will find babies! These work a little differently but come with a whole host of features that are super fun.

Firstly, you will see five different plants growing out of the top. You simply pull these out and you'll hear a pop! Twist the plants counter-clockwise and see what's hiding inside. Will you get 3, 4 or 5 babies?!

In the first couple, we found some cute accessories for the babies like sunglasses and a pizza slice but then we found three babies in the next three! They are super cute wearing little swaddles and each have a different expression on their face so you know their mood. You get a collectors sheet so E was very excited to match up the dolls with the image to see if they were rare or common.

It might look like that's all there is to the Blume Dolls Baby Pop but if you pull the bottom off the container, you'll find a hidden nursery! E was very surprised by this and was even more surprised when she opened the toybox and looked underneath the beds to find even more items - cuddle toys for the babies, another swaddle so you can mix and match them, a highchair and even some stickers to decorate the nursery!
Once you've removed the swaddles from the babies, you'll see that they are each wearing nappies. If you dip them in cold water, the nappies will change to either pink or blue, depending on gender. All of our babies were boys, much to E's dismay.

The fun doesn't stop there! The lid of the Blume Dolls Baby Pop toy turns into a swimming pool so you can fill it with water for your babies to have a little splash in. You'll find a hidden ladder, in two pieces, hooked inside the main part of the container which slots onto the lid/pool for extra fun!

E has had so much fun playing with the new Blume Dolls Baby Pop and I think it's great that they have put so many different aspects into the toy. E hasn't yet got bored with it and even uses the dolls and playset with her existing larger Blume Dolls too.

The Blume Dolls Baby Pop will be available to buy from selected Tesco stores on December 26th.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Thames & Kosmos 'The Colour Monster' Game - Review

[AD/Gifted - We received a copy of the game for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

When we were offered the chance to try out the new 'The Colour Monster' game from Thames & Kosmos, I jumped at the chance. It is based on the popular children's book of the same name and although we aren't familiar with it (although I'll definitely be buying a copy now!) the premise of the game really appealed to me, especially with having an autistic child who sometimes struggles with emotions.

The Colour Monster encourages discussions of emotions and how to help children understand them. 

Inside the box you get:

  • a game board
  • dice
  • Monster figure
  • child figure
  • 2 x shelves
  • 8 x jars
  • 5 x colour tokens
Before you begin, you need to build the two shelf units and place the jars circle side facing out. The Monster and the girl figure will both begin on the pink splash of colour on the game board and the colour tokens will go on the relevant splashes. Each colour represents an emotion; pink is love, green is calm, blue is sadness, yellow is happy, black is fear and red is anger.

Each player takes turn to roll the dice and they can the move the Monster or their friend (who is there for support) across the game board. 

Once you have stopped on a colour, you must tell everyone something that makes you feel that emotion then you pick a jar to put the colour token into. Each jar will have a colour on the back so you have to guess the right one to get a match. Three of the jars have mixed emotions. If you get the right jar, you slot the token in. If you get the wrong jar, you must put the jar back. If you choose a jar with mixed emotions, you must turn it around so that the colours are on display. If all three end up being turned around during the same game, the Monster will be confused and overcome with emotion and need to go to bed. You win if all the tokens go into the correct jars without the Monster becoming confused.

Both C and E absolutely love this game and have even been asking Daddy to play it with them while I've been at work. It's not like any other game we have played before and it is so nice to encourage a discussion. It made me realise that I very rarely talk about my own emotions with the kids so doing that for a change was refreshing and it is lovely to hear their thoughts and feelings too - some of which did surprise me a little.

The drawings are stunning and it's just a lovely family game that will grow with us and be played a lot. It's recommended for children aged 4+ and retails at £38. You can find out more about The Colour Monster at Kosmos Games.

Saturday 7 December 2019

We're Off To Find a Unicorn - Book Review & Blog Tour

(AD/Gifted - We received a copy of this book to review and take part in the blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

I am so excited to be taking part in the blog tour for We're Off To Find a Unicorn by Eloise White and Cory Reid, published by Owlet Press.

Our house is like a library but I couldn't resist saying yes to the opportunity to read and review this wonderful story - mostly because E is unicorn obsessed.

We've hunted for bears, elves and eggs... now we're hunting for everyone's favourite - unicorns! But readers will not only enjoy looking for the hiding unicorn in the pages, they'll also learn about our world's endangered wildlife along the way.

We're Off To Find a Unicorn is loosely based on E's favourite story of all time - We're Going On a Bear Hunt. The language is repeated throughout and by the third or fourth time, both children were able to say it along with me.

The story follows a mixed race family with one member of the family in a wheelchair; both things that we don't usually see in books so I thought that it was brilliant to see a little diversity. We see it in real life every day so why not have it in the stories that we read? They are on the hunt for a unicorn but what do they come across instead? 

The family explore lots of different environments and stumble upon a few endangered animals, ones that wouldn't usually be included in the books we've read in the past, such as a pangolin and bush baby. I felt that this was great conversation starter for us as the children had a lot of questions about the animals and I could explain more about how animals become endangered. 

E quickly discovered that as we read, she could see the unicorn hiding in each page with the family none the wiser! The imagery is beautiful and really captivated both C and E.

We're Off To Find a Unicorn is a lovely little book for young children, being both fun and educational.

You can purchase a copy for £7.99 directly from Owlet Press

Don't forget to take a look at the other blogs taking part in this blog tour too.

Thursday 5 December 2019

Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

[AD/Gifted items and affiliate links - Some of the items featured have been gifted to me. I have also included affiliate links. Clicking through my links and making a purchase means I will get some pennies with no extra cost to you.] 

Following on from yesterday's post, I'm back with another gift guide - this time for kids! If you are like me and confused about the abundance of products that there are out there available to buy for children, I've put together a little list of smaller items that I think would make a lovely present.

Bibetta Newborn Plush Bib

It's so hard to buy for a newborn or young baby at Christmas. My own two were three months old when their first Christmases came along and I think I just bought for the sake of it. Practical gifts are great for this age as they won't know any better and mum and dad will be so appreciative. This plush bib from Bibetta is super soft, absorbs dribble and wetness and is quick drying to protect baby's skin. The little teddy bear motif is adorable too! You can purchase this from Bibetta for £5.99. 

We love a family game, especially at Christmas time, and this one is so much fun and easy for all ages. It is a game of suspense which my two children love! Simply hang the fruit and other jungle friends onto the orangutan but, watch out! Soon, it will all be too much and he will spring up and everything will fly off! It's sure to make for lots of laughs. You can purchase this from Amazon for £12.99.

Lucky Fortune
These Lucky Fortune toys resemble Chinese fortune cookies but inside you'll find a surprise bracelet with a charm and a paper fortune. There are over 100 different bracelets to collect within four different rarity levels. The Collector's Guide that comes with them even doubles up as a Fortune Teller! They are a cute little twist on collectable toys and retail at £4.99 for one, £8.99 for the BFF pack containing two and £14.99 for the four pack Take Out box. You can find these on Amazon.

Personalised '...Goes to Sleep' Book
If you are a long time follower, you'll know that I love books and I love personalised items too. This '...Goes to Sleep' book puts your child in the story which I think gets them excited and keeps them engaged. It's been created in partnership with The Children's Sleep Charity and it is proven to help children sleep better through the night. 

The story and illustrations are just beautiful; E has been mesmerised by the imagery when we read and it's lovely to include as part of a bedtime routine. You can purchase your own personalised copy from the Goes to Sleep website for £16.99.

Angry Birds Game Pack
Angry Birds 2 was released in the cinemas in the summer of this year so all the Angry Birds related toys are back in again! We absolutely loved the first Angry Birds movie but haven't had a chance to see the second yet - I definitely think we'll be getting it on DVD.

The Angry Birds Game Pack is perfect for fans of Red and the gang. Simply push the button on each bird's bottom and watch them go from happy to angry! You get five characters to play with and you also get unique game card to scan for an exclusive in-app game! This can be purchased from Amazon for £11.99.

Nintendo Switch Steering Wheel

I think many children will have a Nintendo Switch on their Christmas lists this year - Santa is bringing C one - and there are so many accessories that you can buy to go along with the actual console. My son is obsessed with Super Mario so Mario Kart will definitely be a game that he will want to buy. For racing games, the Steering Wheel 2 pack is perfect for popping the Joy-con controller inside to play easily. You can purchase these from Amazon for £9.99.

Micro Scooters

I included Micro Scooters in my adult gift guide and they do a fantastic range for children too. The Mini Deluxe LED Scooters (£109.95) are my favourite though and I love that they can be personalised with the child's name too. 

To match with the child's scooter, they do a wide range of accessories too from lunchboxes (£9.95), fingerless gloves (£12.95), windmills (£6.95) and helmets (£32.95) meaning that everything will complement each other and look beautiful together. All of these items can be purchased from Micro Scooters.

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Christmas Gift Ideas for Adults

[AD/Gifted items and affiliate links - Some of the items featured have been gifted to me. I have also included affiliate links. Clicking through my links and making a purchase means I will get some pennies with no extra cost to you.]

I can't quite believe how fast this year has flown by and here we are, almost a week into the final month of 2019. If you are anything like me, you'll be panicking about what to buy your loved ones for Christmas as soon as December hits. I'm here to help with a gift ideas for adults. I will have a children's one to follow.

BlueRock Bamboo Toothbrushes

It is so incredibly important that we all do our bit to help look after our planet and preserve it for future generations. Even over the past year or so, I'm more conscious about what I'm buying, whether it can be reused and I don't go a day without using my reusable water bottle and coffee cup.

BlueRock specialise in bamboo toothbrushes for adults and children (BlueRock minis). They are naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, it lasts just as long as a plastic toothbrush but of course, it's much better for the environment. They are even supplied in plastic free packaging.

The bamboo toothbrushes are available as one off purchases (£3.50-£3.90 per brush depending on order amount) or you can buy subscription for 1-4 months. With every toothbrush purchase, BlueRock will also make a donation to marine life conservation.

I think this make such a great gift for the eco-conscious and just generally as a way of easing someone into sustainability.

I have a discount code for anyone who would like to try BlueRock bamboo toothbrushes. Just pop MOAPB15 into the box at the checkout and you can get 15% off any 4 pack or 15% off the first delivery of your monthly subscription!

Guylian Chocolates
Everyone loves a fancy chocolate at Christmastime and where better to look than at Guylian? With sustainability being a priority, they have removed the palm oil from all of their chocolate recipes and have replaced it with shea butter and sunflower oil meaning that they taste even better, smoother and they also contain less saturated fat and sugar. 

Guylian have quite a range to choose from so you are sure to find something to suit everyone.
The classic Praline Sea Shells are made using hand-selected Mediterranean hazelnuts which are then roasted and caramelised to perfection. They are absolutely delicious and perfect if you have a chocoholic in the family! You can pick up at 250g box for £5 and a 375g box for £7.50.

If you have a more sophisticated and cultured chocolate lover to buy for, the Guylian Belgian Deluxe Assortment is the way to go. The box contains a mixture of the Sea Shells, Opus Luxury Assortment and Seahorses. The Opus Luxury Assortment have divine melt in the mouth flavours whilst you will find crunchy biscuit, caramel, coffee and milk truffle flavoured Seahorses. You can get a 369g box for £10.

Finally, for someone who loves to really indulge in the evening, the Guylian Temptations pouches are perfect. These contain beautifully wrapped Belgian chocolate Seahorses contain flavours of coffee, original hazelnut praline, dark praline, soft caramel, milk truffle, and crunchy biscuit. These are available in two sizes; 330g and 496g and you can pick these up for around £4-5.

Adult Micro Scooter

Who said kids get to have all the fun? Micro Scooter have branched out from children's scooters to adult ones too. I think these would be great to get out on as a family all together - imagine the fun you'd have! They would also be great if you are wanting to be a bit more eco-conscious and leave the car behind on your commute.

Available in Berry Flex Deluxe, Blue Flex Deluxe, Micro Classic White and Micro Speed Mint, there will be one to suit everyone. You can even opt to get it personalised with a name too. These are available to buy from Micro Scooters with prices starting from £139.95.

Stripey Blankie Knitting Kit

If you are buying for someone who is a novice at knitting, the Stitch & Story Stripey Blankie Kit is beautiful. I feel like there is nothing better than a baby blanket that has been knitted with love and it's a great way to practice and get a feel for knitting.

It comes with a complete beginner's guide to knitting, beautiful Merino wool, a sewing needle, the Stripey Blankie pattern and you can choose whether you would like needles included or not. This retails at £52 with needles and £44 without. 

BBC Countryfile Live

For fans of Countryfile on the BBC, they are doing two events next August in Castle Howard, York and Windsor Great Park. There is so much to see and do from watching interviews live on stage to watching some fabulous chefs in the Le Creuset kitchen and many more. You will also have the opportunity to meet some of the stars too - Matt Baker and John Craven to name a couple.

The tickets are priced at £12 each on the Countryfile Live website and you can add a festive gift wallet for just £3. 

Sandisk Flash Drive

Things like this are always great for techy people! the SanDisk Extreme Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive lets you quickly copy and go. It is up to 35 times faster than a standard 2.0 drive so you would be able to transfer an entire 4K movie in less than 40 seconds. It is also password protected to ensure that it doesn't get into the wrong hands.

You can pick up a 64GB flash drive for $19.99 or a 128GB for $31.99 from Western Digital Store.

T-Zone Glitter Face Mask

I love a wee pamper and it's so important to get some time for self care. The T-Zone Glitter face masks make a lovely little addition to a present and I actually think they work especially well for part of a Secret Santa gift.

It helps to draw out impurities and keep your skin clear and the Witch Hazel Extract helps refine pores. I love that the glitter is biodegradable and is made from plant cellulose. You can buy these for around £2.99.

Sleep Master Sleep Mask

These are divine! Made from beautiful satin fabric they feel so nice to wear and they even come with a little matching bag to pack them away in and some little ear plugs. I think the Sleep Master Sleep Mask would be perfect for anyone who travels a lot, works shifts or just likes complete peace and quiet at bedtime.

My partner works shifts so would definitely use this a lot when he is coming off a night shift. They have fantastic light elimination and the padded band helps to reduce noise. You can purchase this from Amazon for around £20.

Tru Bamboo Cheeseboard and Porcelain Markers
I absolutely love a cheeseboard at Christmas but I've always been the type to just stick it all on a plate and everyone eats what they want. Tru Bamboo have changed the game for me with their beautiful extra large bamboo cheeseboard and porcelain cheese markers.

The cheeseboard itself is amazing quality and even has a little drawer containing your cheese cutting tools. The fact that it is made from bamboo means that it is naturally antibacterial and it is hard wearing too. I love the little engraved panda image on the drawer too - a cute touch! 

Combining the cheeseboard with the porcelain markers makes it easier for your guests to tell which cheese is which and it just makes it looks so aesthetically pleasing too. They even come with a gold pen to label with. These can both be purchased from Amazon with the cheeseboard retailing at £24.99 and the porcelain markers are £4.95.

Personalised Socks

I am a sucker for anything personalised and I think these socks from Sparks & Daughters are adorable! The My Little Bear socks can be personalised for either mummy or daddy in a range of colours and you can include up to three children's names. The socks are super soft and great quality so would make a lovely gift for a loved one.

These can be purchased from Sparks & Daughters for £15.