Friday, 11 April 2014

Musical Rainbow Tea Party From LeapFrog

Its my total pleasure to be able to show you another product from LeapFrog. Suitable for ages 12-36 months this fantastic toy teaches colours & matching, manners & greetings and counting. It has 10 pieces, basically everything you can see in the picture. The teapot sings 7 different songs and has over 50 phrases and sounds including a realistic sound of pouring tea. It also lights up when you make the pouring tea action by tipping it up and it tells you when the teapot is empty and prompts the child to press the button on the front to fill it back up. There are 2 different volume levels which is handy at times.

Little Moo loves playing with this and pouring cups of tea for mummy and then pretending to drink the tea too, a girl after my own heart, I love a good cuppa! 

Since playing with this toy she is picking up the names of the colours really quickly and before long she will know them really well. I think this is a great way to learn colours as it has kept her engaged in play for a good 20 minutes which is fantastic concentration for a child that is not yet 2.

Both of the little ones are playing with it as I type and are making playdoh cookies and food to go with their little tea party. Pretend play is so much fun and yet so important for their development, they are like little sponges learning and soaking everything up. I have to say there is only one thing about this toy that I would change and it comes down to packaging. 
There are 2 holes in each teacup where they have been attached to the packaging and sometimes the little ones like to take their pretend play a little step further by using water as their pretend tea but they are unable to do this with this toy because of the holes and a simple change of packaging would solve the need for the holes although this toy is not meant for water play it would be good to have that option if they wanted. Other than that we really love this toy and give it a big thumbs up. 
You can buy the Musical Rainbow Tea Party for around £19.99 but at the moment they are only £14.99 on amazon, what a bargain. I would definitely be happy paying that for a toy that has brought so much entertainment and learning qualities for us.

We were sent this toy for the purpose of the review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A trip to the woods

Its funny that we sit here and look for places to visit for family days out, usually ending in spending money on entry to somewhere and fuel to get there but that means we sometimes miss what is right on our doorstep! We just went literally around the corner and went for a stroll through the woods that we have never been to the whole time we have lived here! It was a lovely sunny day, clearly not the last couple of days as it hasn't stopped raining. Typical for the Easter  holidays so it looks like we will be finding some craft projects for the little ones to keep them entertained in the hope that the weather brightens up and we can get some fresh air and exercise. It its lovely being out and seeing signs of spring, growth and new life and great to see the kids playing nicely together and having fun. This was only a short walk as the Mr had to go to work but it was just good to get out.
G seems to love climbing and managed to find several places that he could climb and he even found a few places to hide, he is developing new skills all the time and he loves being outdoors.
The older 2 enjoyed trying to stay upright whilst rolling logs across the ground. All this fun in under an hour, it was a real shame we couldn't stay longer. A very refreshing trip :)

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Henry HuggleMonsters Roarsome Scooter Review

Based on the hit Disney show, Henry Hugglemonster, Golden Bear is introducing a Roarsome new toy collection including all of the favourite characters from the show that are bound to delight and entertain little monsters everywhere!
The family TV series follows the adventures of fun-loving, five-year-old Henry Hugglemonster, the middle child in a happy, madcap close-knit monster family – the Hugglemonsters. Each story transports pre-schoolers into Henry’s world as he guides the young audience through the ups and downs of being part of a loving but bustling family. The series is based on the award-winning children’s book “I’m a Happy Hugglewug” by Niamh Sharkey who is Irish Laureate for Children's Literature, and also executive producer for the series which has been watched by over 6.2 million viewers aged 4+ since its launch less than a year ago, on Disney Junior.
 Henry HuggleMonster is one of the favourites here so the little ones were delighted to receive this new toy from Disney. Henry's roarsome scooter is recommended for age 3 and above although little M who is nearly 2 loved playing with this too and there are no small parts so I felt perfectly fine letting her play with it. Henry can be detached from his scooter and he says 6 different phrases, his arms and legs also move so you can put him in different poses. 

He comes complete with batteries so no need to faff about when you take him out of the box, he can be played with straight away. I think he is rather cute! He rolls along the floor easily when pushed and its easy to put him on and off his scooter too.  Henry HuggleMonsters Roarsome Scooter can be bought for £14.99

Monday, 31 March 2014

Mia tui - Minnie Amelie Bag Review and discount code

I have always loved bags so when I was asked if I would like to review a lovely bag from Mia Tui I jumped at the chance. I was sent a Minnie Amelie in steel blue. I wasn't sure what to expect as I have never seen a Mia Tui bag in the flesh but when it arrived, it was in its own protective bag and it looked brilliant quality. The pictures just don't do this bag justice, it really is beautiful. I have been after a bag that doesn't look like a changing bag and that can be versatile so I could use it for the gym (if I ever get there) or for days out or even if on a rare occasion I was out without the kids and I have to say this bag ticks all my boxes. There is one small zipped pocket on the outside, perfect for keys, phone or small purse. On the inside the pink Material that it's lined with is totally waterproof, how brilliant is that because at some point kids drink cups always end up leaking. There are 2 pockets that can hold drinks upright and are even big enough to fit a
bottle of wine and they are insulated 
too so will keep drinks cold or warm. It comes complete with a little wet bag which I have used to put toothbrushes in when we went to Nanny's house. Something else you don't usually get with other brands is another small handbag just for mum with 2 extra straps depending on how you want to hold the bag, this was amazing to have as I used the bigger bag as an overnight bag on one of those rare nights out and I actually got to stay away from home for the whole night! It was great because I just took the little bits I needed out of the big bag and put them in the little one while we were out and it meant I wasn't carrying a big bag around with me all evening. There is also 2 other pockets, one on each side that are extendable and are big enough to fit an ipad in. You can fit enough supplies in this bag for a day out with the kids and it has 2 different handles, one set for on your shoulder or a longer adjustable strap that easily fits over the handle bar of a pushchair. It also has a phone and pen pocket and an attachment to keep your keys or a dummy in the same place so you can access it easily each time. This bag has won a gold Mother & Baby award for the best travel product and a silver practical parenting award. 

I also have a discount for you to use on any purchase from the Mia Tui website, just enter the code Mad15 at the checkout.

We were sent this bag free of charge for the purpose of this review all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Costa Food Fun Challenge

As you may have seen in a previous post, we took part in the Perry on tour challenge for Costa Coffee. Well they have a new spring menu and have asked us to take part in their new food fun challenge. Costa kindly sent samples from their new menu to take part in the challenge and I have to say some of it never made it to the challenge, they look irresistible or maybe I just have no will power when it comes to sweet treats!
Their new menu includes the huge Belgian chocolate jaffa - a vanilla sponge with a zesty oozing orange curd topped with a Belgian milk chocolate ganache and enrobed in dark Belgian chocolate, Your mouth is watering already isn't it?

Ultimate jammy biscuit (also huge) - all butter shortbread biscuits with a sweet raspberry jam filling shaped just like an old favourite, Ginger muffin - a ginger sponge packed with stem ginger pieces and filled with a gooey ginger syrup and topped with a vanilla icing and a piece of 
crystallised ginger, Marshmallow
crispy bites - crispy rice pieces mixed with syrup, honey and melted marshmallow, all enrobed in a thick layer of Belgian milk chocolate, Hot cross buns - a sweet dough packed with raisins, sultanas, citrus peel and Easter spices, Easter chocolate crunch, crunchy cornflake pieces smothered in rich Belgian chocolate and covered in even more Belgian chocolate and three mini eggs and finally farmyard gingerbread all hand iced and made with the unique Costa recipe. Wow, there is a lot of new things and every one is really yummy.
So down to the challenge, I have to admit that all I could think about was eating them and not creating any food art and I let temptation get the better of me but I only had a little taste as I knew I had to hide the box until the kids were in bed or wouldn't of had any left to create with. Our challenge was to create some food 
art using the new menu, I made a frog which you can see on my Instagram feed but I felt like I need some inspiration which I got from the farmyard gingerbread. The 2 older children were really keen to help and I think did a great job of helping and I think the reward of being able to eat the treats at the end inspired them too. The tractor at the top was made using lasagne sheets and other pasta, a playmobil figure (OK not edible but we needed a driver), marshmallow bites, some little icing farm animals and the big Belgian chocolate jaffa. Our pig is made from mini marshmallows and a gingerbread pig, our cow is made with cous cous, gingerbread cow, marshmallow bites and the Belgian jaffa and then our main creation has a popcorn sheep, orange and pasta for the sun, peeled cucumber and marshmallows for the flowers, the mud is made from coffee, we wanted to use coffee beans but we don't drink a lot of coffee in the house, we always visit Costa for that! we also used pasta for the nest and an egg for the little chick, then the barn is pasta, hot cross buns and marshmallow bites oh and last but not least some marshmallow clouds.
We had so much fun creating things for this challenge and even more fun eating the treats, thank you Costa and for my lovely mothers day treats too, I shall be making full use of those.

We were sent samples from Costa for the purpose of this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Super Loop Bands from Interplay

Interplay  have introduced a new set to their myStyle craft range, Super Loop Bands. 
Easy to make and vibrantly coloured Super Loop Bands without the need for a complicated loom! With myStyle Super Loop Bands you can create 5 stretchy, rainbow coloured silicone loop bands. Just follow the 12-page step-by-step colour illustrated activity guide to learn the basic techniques then use your creative talents to make more Super Loop Bands in a variety of different colour combinations. 
Although this is aimed at girls ages 8+ my oldest son has enjoyed making the bands more than anyone and has since bought more bands so he can keep creating. Everything you see in the photo on the right is what you get in the box. 5 different coloured sets of bands, metal clasps and an instruction booklet. In my opinion, these bands are really strong and sturdy and take a more rounded shape than some of the other brands on the market. There is only one design in the instruction booklet and we think there are more possibilities than the one design so if any improvements were to be made for this particular set it would be to include more designs in the instruction book
 We love the finished results though and as the bands are rounded the finish looks so neat and no matter what the skill of the user, you will always get a neat finish. My daughter says they are comfortable to wear too. The mystyle Super Loop Bands are priced at £9.99 you can find them at for more information and where to buy.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Making Pirate Treasure

My little monkey loves pirates and always carries various bits and pieces around with him, usually small plastic playmobil swords or his Jake and the neverland pirate sword. I love how they have little obsessions with things, C has had a lot of them in the past and as it happens one of his obsessions is collecting things, things that most of us would normally throw away. Well he has been collecting beer bottle tops. I am not entirely sure why or even if he knew why but then I guess he must have had this fantastic idea to make pirate treasure. He is very good at making things and I can't take any of the credit for this as this was all down to C. 

To make these its really simple and just involves using a hammer to shape them, starting with the sides and making sure the sides fold inwards then laying them flat and making sure there are no sharp edges they then become shiny pirate dubloons. This is a great thrifty idea if you have a pirate fan, you could even take this a step further and spray them gold.
The little ones love them and have had a few arguements over them but they have brought hours of fun, so for once I was glad of one of C's obsessive collections :)

Mum Of One
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