Author Archives: Faye

Christmas at Poundland

It’s been over two years since I became an ambassador for Poundland and it’s no secret that I love the place especially at the most expensive time of year, Christmas. This Christmas Poundland have set me three challenges.  To create one look from there Christmas ranges, get crafty and creative something festive and stock up of stocking fillers and to do it all for under £30!

This year most of the kiddywinks stocking fillers have come from Poundland that I have stashed away during the year, complete bargains including Disney Cars Squinkies for Joseph and Polly Pocket blind bags for Imogen.  My most recent haul included this impressive bundle of Disney Frozen goodies which includes a hair wrap, shimmer lip balm, a 5 ring set, Anna and Elsa bath sponges and a colouring pencil set all for a pound each!

Poundland Disney Frozen Range

In Joseph’s stocking this year will be a Disney Toy Story 3 hardback book and two Microblox festive characters, Santa and a Snowman.

Poundland Stocking Fillers

They’ll also have one each of these lovely Nestle festive figures, both a pound each a massive 50% saving compared to the supermarket’s price of £1.50.

Milkybar Snowy OwlSmarties Robin

My second challenge was to get decorating using one of the many different Christmas themes available from Poundland.  I decided to decorate our hall as it always seems get neglected at Christmas and lacks a little sparkle.  I chose the Cosy Christmas range as the base colours of blue, cream and read with a splash of grey fitted in well with the colour scheme.

Poundland Cosy Christmas

I picked our the Merry Christmas felt banner, wood and felt Noel letter decoration, star lanterns and hanging felt decorations as well pack of 10 baubles.  I filled an old glass jar with the baubles and a set of LED battery operated lights and I think it makes a really nice feature.

Poundland Cosy Christmas

I also decided to have a little bit of fun with some soft toys, a snow blanket, a couple of icicle drapes and some more LED batteries operated lights……

Poundland Sliding Penguins

…. and created a wintery slide for our new plush friends!

Penguin Banister Slide

The last of my challenges wasn’t the easiest as I’m not a particularly crafty person.  After some time spend on Pinterest I decided that I’d attempt to make a photo frame wreath.  Armed with a white ornate photo frame, some pretty ribbon baubles (again from the Cosy Christmas range), a spool of festive trim and a couple of left over baubles from my bauble jam jar I got to it.

Poundland ChristmasAfter removing the glass and the back from the photo frame I simply threaded the baubles with the ribbon and blu tacked them into the position, trimmed off the excess ribbon and added a large bow to finish.

Photo Frame WreathI spent a total of £28 topping up the kiddywinks stockings and fully decorating my hall leaving me a couple of pounds to get a chocolate mould from the infamous Jane Asher baking range and to try out Poundland’s new Make Up gallery range, the Gorgeous Flawless foundation is awesome and a steal at just a pound!

If you’re searching for Christmas inspiration then there’s some great, easy to make gift ideas on the Poundland Youtube channel.

The Top Tech Toys this Christmas

Unsurprisingly tech toys have some of the top spots on what’s predicted to be the biggest selling toys this Christmas, whether it’s wearable technology, virtual pets or the latest games console here’s my top picks of the newest tech toys on the market this year.

Xeno is a cute interactive baby monster with amazing animatronics that really bring him to life!  With over 50 different expressions he will interact with you, other Xenos and will his dedicated free app!

Xeno

Xeno has an RRP of £79.99 and you can read our full review here.

Teksta have a lovely range of robotic pets and the Teksta T-Rex is hotly tipped to be a favourite in Christmas stockings this year.  He’ll respond to your voice, and you can control him with your hand movements.  Feed T-Rex his bone, watch him crunch, munch and spit it out followed by an almighty burp!

Teskta T-Rex

There are also various puppies and a kitten (you can see our review of her here) available in the Teksta range and they are priced at £59.99.

The Kurio has the be ultimate table for children and new for 2014 are the Kurio Phone, Kurio Tab, Kurio XL and Kurio Pocket.

Kurio XL

Kurio XL

With a whole host of parental as well as time management controls they have to be the safest tablets on the market for children.  With a range of sizes from the 4″ pocket to the family sized 10″ XL the Kurio has a tablet suitable for everyone!  The new Kurio Phone is first Smartphone especially made with children in mind, it’s stacked with safety features such as Geofencing, Ichaper Mobile Chaperone technology allowing parents to remotely manage the phone’s usage and amazing In Case of Emergency features.

Kurio Pocket                                                            Kurio Phone

Kurio Pocket                                                                                               Kurio Phone

Kurio Tab

 Kurio Tab

Prices range from £79.99 for the Kurio Pocket to £169.99 for the Kurio XL and they are available from Toys R Us and Argos as well as other online retailers.  You can find out more about the range and find the right Kurio for you on their website www.kurioworld.com

Another of my favourite tech toys is the SparkUp Magical Book Reader.  With SparkUp you can record your voice reading ANY book a camera will scan the pages of the book as you do this.  Then when your child wishes to hear you read the book, they just clip SparkUp to the book and press play.  If they skip a page then SparkUp will cleverly do so too!

SparkUp Magical Book Reader

The RRP of The SparkUp Magical Book Reader is £39.99, however it currently has an amazing 58% off at the bargain price of £16.99 on Amazon.

November’s New Blue Nose Friends

Imogen has built up a fair collection of the cute and cuddly Blue Nose Friends and is determined to collect them all so she was ecstatic when the new characters released for November arrived for her to review.

The new Blue Nose Friends are Scamp the Gerbil, Sasha the Silk Moth, Blanche the White Stoat and Hugo the Killer Whale and they bring the total collection up to an impressive 143! Each of the friends is ultra soft and cuddly with their trademark blue nose and patchwork detail but each has their own personality.

November 2014 Blue Nose Friends

Scamp is a daredevil gerbil who leaps into the unknown… but when evening comes he prefers to snuggle with friends.

Scamp

Sasha… the beautiful silk moth who weaves mystery wherever she goes… follow her and you’ll soon be in a spin.

Sasha

Blanche…the pure white stoat who loves to keep things clean… but she always has time for friends.

Blanche

Hugo… the happy orca who loves to leap and laugh, make him smile and he’ll create a big splash for you.

Hugo

Imogen’s favourite of the four is Sasha the Silk Moth who is special edition and has beautiful pearly wings and Joseph, who has a slight sea creature obsession, has claimed Hugo as his own.  At just £5.00 each the Blue Nose Friends make great stocking fillers and are available from the Carte Blanche shop online.

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!

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