Author Archives: Faye

Playmobil Advent Calendars

There are now only 11 sleeps until the 1st of December and the start of advent.  Imogen and Joseph are already counting down the days until they can officially start their Christmas countdown and this year they’ll be doing it with Playmobil.

Playmobil have sent them one of their new for 2014 advent calendars “Santa’s Workshop” and they can’t wait to get stuck in!

Playmobil Santa's Workshop

Behind each of the 24 doors is a different Playmobil surprise which will ultimately create an awesome Santa’s Workshop scene complete with Santa, elves, a reindeer, sleigh, lots of gifts and other accessories.

Santa's Workshop Advent Calander

There’s also the added bonus of a memory game once all of the doors have been opened and pieces revealed!

Other new Playmobil advents this year are Unicorn Fairyland and Dragon’s Treasure as well as the classic Police and Pony Farm.

Playmobil Unicorn Fairyland AdventPlaymobil Dragon's Treasure

 

The entire range is available from Playmobil priced at £18.99.

Festive Fashion Round Up

We have a tradition in our house that involves the whole family gathered on Christmas day in their most festive attire, be it fancy dress, garish, flashing jewellery or the more traditional Christmas jumper.  It started on Imogen’s first Christmas back in 2008 and has quickly turned fairly competitive.  Here’s a little round up of what our family will be “rocking” around the Christmas tree this year.

Mamas and Papas have a great range for the youngest members of the family.

Girl's Two Piece Snowman Outfit

Girl’s Two Piece Snowman Outfit – £24.00 – Sizes Newborn – 18 mths-2 years

Snowflake Knitted Romper

Unisex Snowflake Knitted Romper – £24.00 – Sizes newborn – 9-12 months

Both of the Kiddywink’s Christmas jumpers were sorted quickly with just one trip to Next this year.  Imogen has chosen this red gingerbread jumper whilst Joseph opted for a light up number!

Gingerbread Jumper

Gingerbread Jumper – from £18 – Sizes 3 months to 6 years

Light Up Reindeer Jumper

Light Up Reindeer Jumper – from £15 – Sizes 3 months – 6 years

Tony and we both be sporting Tipsy Elves this year, they’re the biggest retailer of the “ugly Christmas Jumper” and their selection had Tony and I crying with laughter as we selected these beauties.

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus men’s Jumper – £38 – Sizes S – XXL

Santa Jumper Dress

Santa Jumper Dress – £38.00 – Sizes XS – XL

There’s a huge range to chose from, from traditional fairisle with a comic twist to the well, eyebrow raising and whilst their jumpers aren’t what I would class as “cheap” they’re quality made and a proportion of each sale goes to Stand Up To Cancer to help children in their fight against cancer.  What’s more for every new like on their Facebook page they’re donating $1 of warm clothing and kid-friendly merchandise to Children in Need, click here to do your bit.

Just because I couldn’t resist, here’s a picture of my very own “tipsy” elf!

My Tipsy Elf

Sponsored Video: Toca Ink

As a child I loved temporary tattoos, we weren’t allowed them to wear them at school so every school holiday and sometimes at the weekend my sister and I would be treated to a couple.  I have very vivid memories of my mother scrubbing my arm to remove a particularly stubborn, glittery one before a ballet exam as she muttered under her breath.  I don’t have tattoos now and don’t want one but see absolutely no harm in my children enjoying the simple pleasure of a temporary one from time to time, in fact Joseph is sporting a rather fetching Spiderman one on his right arm at the moment!

Another thing that my kids adore, that I quite simply was born in the wrong generation for, is their tablets.  They both have their own with carefully selected apps for both educational and relaxation purposes.  During the Summer holidays we discovered Toca Boca, a Swedish children’s digital gaming company with a huge range of fun apps to simulate imagination.  Joseph is a massive fan of free app Toca Kitchen Monsters and Imogen loves Toca Tailor Fairy Tales.  They adore the bold, colourful characters and I relish in the knowledge that all of Toca Boca’s apps are free from advertising and in app purchasing.

Toca Boca has collaborated with Brooklyn based tattoo artist Virginia Elwood to create the first in their Artist Play Series, Toca Ink, which combines the fun of both temporary tattoos and the Toca Boca characters.  “As a tattoo artist for over 10 years now, I regularly see how tattoos spark kids’ curiosity,” said Virginia Elwood. “Kids always want to touch a tattoo, ask questions about them and even have one drawn on them. Creating the Artist Play Series temporary tattoos was a fun way of making Toca Boca tangible for kids in the real world. I spent a lot of time playing the apps to understand the character’s personalities to transfer them to a temporary tattoo design.”

In this video you can see Virginia at work on the creation of Toca Ink.

This post has been sponsored by Toca Boca

Our #DesignaFriend Party

Yesterday Imogen’s bestest friends joined us for our DesignaFriend party as hosted by UKMumsTV and lots of other blogging families across the country.  We were sent a whole host of DesignaFriend goodies from the popular Argos range and, of course, the party essentials including cake!

During our party we designed our own DesignaFriends…..

030 DesignaFriend DesignaFriend

decorated cakes…

DesignaFriend

and the girls all joined the DesignaFriend Secret Club by making their own club cards.

DesignaFriend 065

Because a party just isn’t a party without games, we played pass the parcel too.

DesignaFriend

There was even time for a DesignaFriend fashion show!

DesignaFriend DesignaFriendDesignaFriend

After all that fun and excitement it was time for Imogen and her new pal Daisy to relax.

DesignaFriend

The DesignaFriend dolls and their great array of outfits all went down a treat with Imogen and our guests who instantly fell in love with their new friends.  The dolls are stunning and at 46cm a really great size for girls their age.  Each comes with it’s own unique outfit and a charm bracelet for you to wear and with each outfit you collect you can also add a different charm to your bracelet.

Argos have some great offers on the DesignaFriend range at the moment with dolls starting from just £14.99 and there’s a heap of half price outfits too, you can see the whole range here.

 

Crayola Marker Maker Review ~ #CrayolaBloggers

As Crayola Bloggers we have the not so difficult task of trying out their latest, exciting products.  This time it was time to try our hand at making our very own marker pens with Crayola’s Marker Maker.

Crayola Marker Maker

 

The Marker Maker kit contains everything needed to make 16 markers of your own colour choice including three bottles of ink (red, blue and yellow), barrels, tips, plugs and caps for the markers, cores to fill with ink as well and stickers to label your markers and two boxes to decorate and store your markers.  The Marker Maker station looks a lot like a chemistry lab with test tubes to mix ink and tweezers to move ink filled cores and Imogen loved this making her feel like a proper alchemist.

Crayola Marker Maker

To make your own marker you’ll first need to pop the tip into the barrel of your marker and place into the centre of the station.  Then choose a colour from the colour mixing guide, this will tell you how much of each colour you’ll need to mix, next carefully squeeze the required ink into the test tube.

Crayola Marker Maker

When your ink is ready carefully and slowly, using the tweezers, place one of the marker cores into the test tube and wait for it to soak up all of the ink.  This doesn’t take too long and there are two test tubes so you have get a proper little production line going.

Crayola Marker Maker

With all the ink soaked into the core you’ll then need to use to tweezers again to place it into the marker barrel, then pop on the plug and press down on the lever and listen for it to click twice.  You need quite a lot of strength to do this so it was quite literally a case of all hands on deck!

Crayola Marker Maker

When your marker is ready all you need to do is label it!

Crayola Marker Maker

Imogen loved mixing the colours, watching the ink being soaked up and assembling her own markers.  She made a huge variety of different coloured markers and took great pride in colouring in her box to safely store them away.  Joseph joined in too and learnt an awful lot about colour mixing which he proudly shared with his nursery teachers and gained himself extra brownie points for!

Crayola Marker Maker

The Crayola Marker Maker is available from Amazon and other toy retailers priced at £19.99 and would make an awesome Christmas present for the any crafty, creative child.

What’s in the #DesignaFriend box?

Just in case you didn’t know… UKMumsTV are holding a DesignaFriend  Twitter party this Wednesday (12th November) between 4pm and 6pm and we’ll be hosting our very own here at home.  Imogen has invited her best friends to join in with all of the fun and we’ve been sent a whole host of goodies to make our party a huge success.  So, what’s in the box?

Design a Friend The box is packed choc-a-bloc with DesignaFriend goodies including two very beautiful dolls who come dressed in gorgeous outfits and their own charm bracelets.

Design a Friend

There are lots of Design a Friend games and activities including pass the parcel and everything we’ll need to create our own DesignaFriend and exclusive DesignaFriend club card.

DesignaFriend

Because a party is not a party without cake we’ll be decorating our very own and of course there are awesome DesignaFriend goodie boxes for each party to take home.  These are filled with stunning little DesignaFriend outfits, charms for their bracelets and sweet treats!

DesignaFriend

 

Make sure you join me (@fayerios) and @UKMumsTV on Wednesday between 4pm and 6pm over on Twitter with the #DesignaFriend hashtag as there’ll be lots of fun to be had and plenty of prizes to give away too.   There are downloadable DesignaFriend templates over on UKMumsTV as well as a competition to win your very own DesignaFriend.

We’re Having a #DesignAFriend Party!

Next Wednesday I’ll be hosting another Twitter party along with UKMumsTV and some other lovely fellow bloggers and this time it’s for the awesome range of Design a Friend dolls from Argos!

DesignaFriend

Imogen and her closest friends will partying, playing as well as designing their very own doll friends as we talk everything #DesignAFriend on Twitter.

DesignaFriend

DesignaFriend2DesignaFriend1

The party will take place over on Twitter between 4pm and 6pm on Wednesday 12th November and as usual there’ll be lots of prizes up for grabs in spot competitions.  Make sure you’re following @UKMumsTV and the hashtag #DesignAfriend for your chance to win.  See you there!

Club Chic Fashion Dolls Review

Lucky Imogen had an awesome delivery from Vivid recently, the entire range of the Club Chic dolls!

Club Chic Dolls

Based in Bear Valley Hills, the Club Chic girls are totes the trendiest, coolest bears around! Each Club Chic doll has their own individual style and comes complete with personalised fabric outfits and a super-styling hand bag that you can use too! So who are these VIBs (Very Important Bears)?

Left to right they are:

Crystal a super famous movie actress, she loves shopping with her Club Chic friends for new clothes and accessories to add to her vast collection!  Crystal loves being glamorous and thinks that diamonds really are a bear’s best friend!

Violet likes to stand out in a crowd and her cool alternative fashion choices make this clear.  An amazing artist celebrated for her spooktacular art, she’s never shy of experimenting with edgy colours in both her art and her fashions!

Lil’ B has been a legendary hip hop dancer since her early teens! When she’s not down at the skate park you’ll most likely find her dancing to her favourite beats! It’s all about the music for this funky bear!

Candy is a bear who just loves to party!  As an international supermodel Candy travels around the world on a regular basis!  Her favourite colour is pink (duh…) and she loves having her photo taken.

Pippa is the youngest and the super-sweetest of the bunch! Her look is seriously cute, but behind those bashful pig-tails is a girl with some serious smarts! When she’s not playing with her latest gadget she’ll be most likely putting up the latest goss on the Club Chic girls on her blog! Making geek look totally chic!

The dolls are really well made with beautifully painted faces and each one comes with their own accessories as well as a handbag which closes with velcro and can be used as a purse.  They have hair just like any doll that can be brushed and styled and as they’re all the same shape they can all swap outfits.

Club Chic Dolls

Despite their oversized heads the Club Chic dolls can stand unaided and they have articulated arms and legs so that they can be positioned during play.

Club Chic Dolls

Although Imogen could identify with the personality traits and careers of all of the dolls her favourite is Candy, mainly because they both share a love of anything pink and love having their photograph taken.

Club Chic Candy

The Club Chic dolls are reasonably priced at around £16.99 and available from a number of toy retailers as well as larger supermarkets. For more information on them check out their very website www.clubchicdolls.com

Stoptober – How Did I Do?

Over the past month I’ve been taking part in Stoptober, the 28-day national stop smoking challenge, with the help of Boots who set me four weekly challenges to celebrate the changes I was due to experience becoming a non smoker.

The first was all about preparing myself to go smoke free.  Knowing my smoking triggers, learning how to beat my cravings and giving myself a goal to aim towards.  This week was undoubtedly the hardest with a pounding headache cursing me for the first few days which made me incredibly moody and and saw me have a little bit of a cry on more than one occasion.  I persevered and started stashing money I’d usually spend on cigarettes with the aim of purchasing a new pair of boots by the end of the month.

The second challenge was a lot easier and one that I quite literally stuck my teeth into!  With smoking dulling my taste buds and me being a whole a week smoke free my taste should have been returning to normal so it was put to the test with a tasty Coffee, Chocolate and Avocado cookie recipe.

Coffee, Chocolate and Avocado CookiesCoffee, Chocolate and Avocado Cookies

They tasted incredible and were a huge hit with the whole family, especially Joseph who I’m sure is giving his Mummy a little bit of encouragement here with his “you’re doing great Mum” thumbs up!

In week three Boots sent me a lovely half way treat which was also to be my third challenge, “The Smell of Success”, a lovely bouquet of sweet smelling flowers so that I could enjoy the return of my sense of smell.  This is something I noticed return very quickly especially during week two’s challenge making coffee for the cookies, it’s one of my favourite smells and one that has obviously been dulled for a long time!

047

The final of my challenges was entitled the “Look of Success”.  Smoking can have a big impact on your appearance, not only staining your teeth but affecting your complexion and reducing the nutrients in your hair but these can all be reduced by quitting.  I received top tips from fashion photographer Claire Pepper on how to take the selfie.

Boots UK Look of Success Selfie Tips

Over the past four weeks I’ve been on a long journey, one that has been extremely hard but with the help and support of family and friends as well as the team at Boots with their challenges I’ve noticed small changes in me that have made a huge difference.  I am now smoke free (and fully intending on staying that way too), as well as healthier and a lot more well off with new boots on order as well as money saved towards to my next target, a MacBook!

Although Stoptober may be over, it’s never too late to stop smoking and Boots have loads of information to help you find the right way to do it.

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Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet Review

Joseph has a steadily growing collection of Peppa Pig toys and they’re some of his favourite so he was really pleased with his new addition the Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet.

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

Like most children his age he’s obbessed with any form of transport so the Jumbo Jet instantly appealed to him.  The yellow and red colours are bright, bold and very gender neutral.  The playset comes with the jumbo jet as well an exclusive Peppa Pig figure with a jumbo jet on her dress and two red suitcases.

Peppa PIg Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

The side of the jumbo jet opens and there’s seats for three characters and the Peppa figure included is just like the others in the Peppa Pig series, with articulated arms and legs, so that she can fit nice and comfortably in the seat.  Joseph likes to sit Peppa in the front seat so that he can pretend she’s Pilot Peppa and is flying her friends off somewhere exciting, asked where he’ll normally reply Toys R Us!

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

At the back of the jumbo jet is the luggage hold which is opened by squeezing both sides together, at first Joseph found this really tricky but slowly he’s got the hang of it.  The hold is large enough to carry to two suitcases as well a stow away if there isn’t enough room up front.  The cabin and hold are separated so there’s no chance of luggage flying around the cabin no matter how bumpy the flight and believe me there’ve been some bumpy ones!  The jumbo jet free-wheeling wheels underneath as well as a pivoting front wheels enabling it go around corners with ease.

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo JetJoseph loves the jumbo jet and it’s been a really welcome addition to the rest of his Peppa Pig collection.  As with the rest of the range it’s well built and sturdy and designed for small hands to play with with ease.  Ideally I think he’d like to see it with a few more seats but I think that would make it far too big for him to handle and George seems more than happy to travel in the hold on the odd occasion when Air Peppa finds itself overbooked!

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo JetPeppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

 

The Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet is just one of the new range of Peppa Pig toys available from Character and is priced at £19.99.

 

 

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