Author Archives: Faye

Sing-a-long with Netflix

Imogen has always been a bit of a diva.  She’s a very self confident little girl who often tells me that she was born for the stage.  This September, as an addition to her ballet classes, she starts musical theatre on recommendation from her dance school.  She’s really looking forward to it and can’t wait to star in her first production.

Imogen has always loved a musical and she can often be found in her room watching her favourites and choreographing her brother unsuccessfully!  During the rainy days of the Summer holidays she’s been watching quite a few on Netflix.  One of the ones she’s watched over and over and over again is All Stars.

All Stars

All Stars is a UK made film starring Theo Stevenson (from Horrid Henry: The Movie), who Imogen does have a little bit of a crush on.  The story tells the story of two children who bring together a group of misfits and put on an ambitious dance show in order to save their youth centre from demolition.  There’s an awful lot of music and great dancing as well as a story line that kept Imogen gripped until the end.  A lovely heart warming family film that we’d highly recommend.

Other musical titles that Imogen has added to her “ones to watch” list are Pop Star and Standing Ovation.

Pop StarsStanding Ovation

The gaiety of Imogen’s viewing choices has certainly had an influence on my own evening viewing with Dream Girls scheduled for this evening, to accompany a pile of school uniform labelling and labelling.

Dream Girls

There are plenty of other musicals on Netflix, perfect for a bit of light-hearted, dance around your living room type entertainment including the classic Hello Dolly staring the legend Barbra Streisand and Sister Act 2 with Whoopie Goldburg.

Hello DollySister Act 2

Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio Review

Back at the beginning of the Summer Imogen was lucky enough to review the Cool Bandz from  Flair’s Cool Create range and during the school holidays she’s been busy testing out a couple more of their creative sets.  The latest of of these was the Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio. The Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio is suitable for children aged 5+ and comes with 1 Bloom Pop Maker, 6 sticky pads, 6 flower bases, 6 silicone buttons, 18 flower spacers, 1 unpopper tool, 1 display tree, 45 sparkly gems, 2 sheets of fabric flower petals and instructions. Bloom Pops If you’ve seen the Bloom Pops television advert then you’ll know the phrase “Pick! Stack! Pop!” and that is simply what you need to do to create your very own Bloom Pop flower. You’ll need to start bu putting one of the flower bases onto the station and then chose your fabric shapes and stack them up using one of the blue spacers in between each one. Bloom Pops Once you have finished designing your Bloom Pop place one of the silicone buttons in the centre and place Poppi on top.  Press down on Poppi’s head and she’ll press your Bloom Pop together. Once put together you can add the sparkly gem stickers and one of the double sided sticky pads to the back so that you can wear your creation like a badge. Bloom Pops You can also use the swirls of the tree’s branches to display your Bloom Pops for all to see.  The display tree does sit nicely in the base station but it can also freestand, so Imogen has put hers in pride of place in her bedroom to show off her Bloom Pops.  Bloom Pops
Imogen has loved creating with the Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio and has made a variety of different combinations thanks to the large amount of accessories included in the set. Bloom Pops can simply be unpopped with the handy unpopper tool and the pieces repopped together but there are only 6 bases and buttons limiting the amount that you can make in one go.

Bloom Pops
Overall the Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio has been a big hit and has easily keep Imogen occupied during the wet days of school holiday, she’s added Bloom Pops to cards for friends, decorated photo frames with them and accessorised her favourite outfits with them.  The Bloom Pops Design Studio is available from Flair priced at £19.99.

Playmobil City Action Construction Review

A couple of weeks ago I told you all about the awesome Playmobil Fairies toys that Imogen received as part of the Playmobil Playologists programme and now it’s the turn of the City Action Construction toys that Joseph has been lucky enough to test out.

Joseph’s bundle contained the Road Roller with Asphalt set (4048) and the Large Front Loader (5469).  As always, he was keen to get them set up straight away and I was really pleased to see that they needed very little assembly, he’s not the most patient of people.

Playmobil City Action

The Front Loader is an impressive size, measuring approximately 33 cm in length, and comes with one construction worker figure along with a removable hat.  It has large rubber tyres with plenty of tread, allowing it to be pushed along any type of surface.  The figure fits nicely inside and his hand can grab onto the steering wheel and because the vehicle is articulated it can easily be pushed around corners.

Playmobil Large Front Loader

The front loader’s basket can, of course, lift up and down and this is easily done with the yellow handle just behind it.  Much to Joseph’s delight the bonnet of the front loader also lifts up revealing it’s engine.

Playmobil Large Front Loader

The Road Roller and Asphalt set contains two pieces of road, which can be connected together and fits with other Playmobil roads in the series, two construction figures, road barriers, road cones, “men at work” signs and a road roller.

Playmobil Road Roller with Asphalt

Joseph loves setting up the road, barriers and signs ready to fix imaginary holes in the road.  Just like the front loader, the road roller is articulated and the figures will sit nicely inside and even on the bumpiest of rides don’t fall out.  Joseph’s only frustration is that the rollers are a little stiff and don’t turn around when pushed on a smooth surface.  This is somethings that he’s learnt to live with it and now doesn’t seem to bother him.

Playmobil Road Roller with Asphalt

Both of the toys work well together and Joseph is delighted with them, spending hours playing creatively with them.  He’s now eager on the collecting the entire City Action range and has added dump trucks and excavators to his expanding Christmas wish list.  Just like all Playmobil toys they quality made and withstand an awful lot of rough play, Joseph seems to bash these around an awful lot and they aren’t showing any signs of that.

The Front Loader is priced at £29.99 and the Road Roller and Asphalt set is amazing priced at just £11.25 and both are available from www.playmobil.co.uk.

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge Review and Giveaway

In our house the CBeebies bedtime hour means just that, with baths normally already done 6pm-7pm means time to unwind, catch up with Iggle Piggle, do a spot of reading and of course enjoy the CBeebies bedtime story.  At the very end of this, right before it goes off air, the CBeebies Bedtime Song is played and the kiddywinks toddle off to bed.  I have long believed that the song has magical powers!  Now, thanks to Golden Bear, the kiddywinks have their very own Squidge (I’ve always wondered what his name was) ready and willing to sing them to sleep at the press of a button!

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge

Sweet Dreams with Squidge is super soft and comes dressed in his nightcap ready for bed, he’s around 23cm so a lovely size to cuddle or even use as a pillow as Joseph likes to do.

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge

With a simple press of the little star shaped button, Squidge will sing the CBeebies Bedtime Hour song and softly glow with different coloured lights to soothe your little one off to sleep.  Squidge is suitable for ages 10 months plus and takes 3AAA batteries which are included and can be replaced.

Joseph has quickly become very attached to Squidge and as well as taking him to bed every night he carries him around everywhere, usually swinging him from his nightcap.  It’s a great toy but sadly there is no volume control and I personally think it’s a little bit too loud to soothe anyone to sleep, although this doesn’t seem to actually be the case!  In an attempt to quieten Squidge down a little I have placed a small piece of tape over the speaker and this has done the trick.

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge is available from Amazon priced at £19.99 and you can see him in action here.

Golden Bear are giving Me and My Kiddywinks readers the chance to win 1 of 3 Sweet Dreams with Squidge toys in our latest competition.  For your chance to win please enter via Rafflecopter below, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Packing a Healthy Lunch with Capri-Sun

This #CapriSunSchool shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Joseph starts pre school in September and during the Summer holidays the whole family has been preparing him for the start of his school journey.  Imogen has told him all about each of the teaching staff, which ones are nice and which ones you need to be on your best behaviour for.  He’s been learning to dress himself, recognise his name (so that no one steal his snack!) and take himself to the toilet.  Having never been in any form of childcare environment it’s bound to come as a bit of a shock to him and unlike his big sister, who did half days, he’ll be attending for three full days and staying for lunch.

After seeing some amazing pictures on Instagram and Pinterest from fellow bloggers I was very keen to give Bento style lunches a try and have been stocking up on little picks, cookie and sandwich cutters and silicone cups for a while now.  Just like everything else, I was keen for Joseph to experience packed lunch before his first day at school so we headed to Tesco on a  #CollectiveBias shop to stock up on all things packed lunch.  Whilst there I discovered these little beauties that would give Joseph’s first Bento lunch the perfect theme, dinosaurs!

Dinosuar Snacks

Snacks sorted we also brought granary bread, ham, sliced cheese, fruit and yoghurts before we started looking for drinks to wash it all down with.  The choice of juice drinks for children is incredibly daunting taking up a full aisle of Tesco, there are fizzy drinks, real fruit juice drinks, ones with no added sugar and ones that feature a picture of everyone’s favourite cartoon pig!

Tesco Soft Drinks

In the end we opted for Capri-Sun, a fun, refreshing drink I remember from my childhood with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Capri-Sun

Back at home I set to making Joseph the best ever dinosaur lunch that any three year old could ever dream of, armed with cutters galore I whipped him up this.

Dinosaur Bento Lunch

Along with a crunchy apple, some chocolate dinosaur shaped biscuits and a Blackcurrant Capri-Sun, which sits incredibly neatly underneath the sandwich “belt” of his Mini Nude Food Movers lunchbox, it was ready for his judgement.

Dinosaur Bento LunchHis reaction was amazing, sitting down nicely to finish the entire thing and remembering his manners to give me a huge “Thanks Mum”.  Well done Joe!

Dinosaur Bento Lunch

Dinosaur Bento Lunch

 

 

Back to School Review Round Up

With less than two weeks until the kiddywinks head back to school are you prepared?  I’ve put together some of my best Back to School finds that should ease the last minute rush just a little.

Imogen and Joseph were each sent a rucksack from LamaLoLi.com, a website choc-a-bloc with branded and fully licensed clothing and accessories for the whole family, Imogen chose Disney Princess and Joseph Disney Planes.

LamaLoLi Rucksacks

Both of their chosen rucksacks have a 3D print effect on the front with Joseph’s featuring Dusty, Rochelle and Ripslinger and Imogen’s with Rapunzel and her Palace Pets horse Blondie.  From a practical point of view they have a grab handle and thick, padded straps to make even the heaviest load comfortable to carry.  At 28 x 23 x 10 cm they are the perfect size for lunch boxes leaving room for a waterproof too.

LamaLoLi Rucksack

There’s a great selection of bags of every style as well as pencil cases and some lovely stylish coats perfect for the Autumn and they can all be found on www.lamaloli.com

I was recently introduced to Smash’s Nude Food Movers on a trip to Sainsbury’s where I managed to bag a bargain with these Triple Snack Tubes at just 67p each!  I was amazed at the quality and genius design which are ideal for break time snacks as well as providing a solution to Imogen’s hummus problem.  Now she carries hummus in one, carrot and cucumber sticks in another and mini breadsticks in the third!

Nude Food Movers Triple Snack Pots

Being so impressed with the quality and design, I chose the Mini Rubbish Free Lunch Box for Joseph’s nursery lunch box.  It features two separate compartments, a sandwich “seatbelt” and two removable, leak proof pods.  We’ve been practising eating lunch from it this week and mightily impressed!

Nude Food Movers Mini Rubbish Free Lunch BoxNude Food Movers Mini Rubbish Free Lunch Box

You can see the entire Nude Food Movers online here www.nudefoodmovers.com.au/ and they are available in the bigger UK supermarkets.

Imogen is a lot like me and has always been obsessed with stationery, this year she has chosen the Butterfly range from Sainsbury’s to start the new school year with.  The matching range is huge and includes everything from calculators to notebooks.  Most of the Back to School stationery now has up to 70% off so make sure you check it out.

Butterfly metal tube pencil set alt £3.99Butterfly multi pocket pencil case

We’re also hoping to find stock of the obviously hugely popular pink satchel at Sainsbury’s before September because apparently the school’s green book bag simply just isn’t cool enough for school!

Pink Satchel

If you’re still on the hunt for school uniform then don’t forget to check out the TU range at Sainsbury’s and do it before 25th August as there’s is 25% ALL TU clothing and that’s a massive saving.  The full range of Sainsbury’s Back to School can be seen at www.sainsburys.co.uk/backtoschool

#PoundlandSummer ~ Make Your Own Puppet Theatre

In the second of our series of Poundland Summer posts the kiddywinks and decided to turn our hand to a spot of arts and crafts and made our very own puppet theatre complete with puppets and the whole thing cost less than a fiver!

To make your own you will need:

  • A cardboard box – free, if you don’t have one at home most supermarkets will gladly pass theirs on
  • Poundland Plastic Table Covers – £0.25 (£1 for 4)
  • Poundland Wooden Lolly Sticks – £1 for 80
  • Poundland Rubber Stampers – £1 for 5 (we bought 2 sets, dinosaurs and mini beasts)
  • Poundland Googly Eyes – £1 for 300
  • A glue stick – £0.25 (4 for £1)
  • A selection of paint
  • Paper
  • Little bits of ribbons and any embellishments you have lying around to decorate

Make Your Own Puppet TheatreTo make your theatre, you’ll firstly need to cut out the back of the cardboard box and then pop some small bits of cardboard in each corner to help the box stand up straight.

Make Your Own Puppet Theatre

Then cut out your plastic table cloth to size and attach to the front of the theatre as curtains.  They can be decorated, left plain or can you use a small bit of ribbon as a tie back like we did.

Make Your Own Puppet Theatre

You can then add a sign on the top of your theatre using the left over cardboard should you wish or leave it without, it’s entirely up to you.

Once your theatre is complete you can move on to making your puppets.  To make these all you need to do is use your stampers and paint to make a selection of puppets.  Once dry you can cut them out, add wiggly eyes and a lollypop stick to hold on to.

Make Your Own Puppet TheatreMake Your Own Puppet Theatre

All that’s left then is to put on your very own puppet show!

Make Your Own Puppet Theatre

 

Back to School with Blacks

As well as the start of the new school year September also means the start of Autumn and that usually brings a downturn in the weather.  School runs become cold, wet and blustery and far less enjoyable.  Luckily Imogen will be prepared this year thanks to Blacks, the outdoor specialists, who sent her through a selection of goodies for the new school year.

Back to School with Blacks

Included in her package were a pair of Peter Storm Wellies, an Osprey Koby Daysack and a Peter Storm 3 in 1 Jacket. Imogen fell instantly in love with the wellies which are mainly purple with a pink trim and spots which apparently makes them very Disney Frozen and pleased her no end.  They have a nice tread on the outer sole to prevent from slipping and will be perfect for puddle jumping on the way home from school.

The Osprey Koby Daysack is just the right size for her and with it’s multitude of pockets, both inner and outer, it will be ideal for carrying her books and lunch to school.  It’s also waterproof with comfortable, padded straps and will be very handy for field trips where she has to be prepared for eventuality and that means a heavy bag!

Back to School with BlacksBack to School with Blacks

Lastly, the Peter Storm 3 in 1 Jacket has to be my favourite, currently on sale at just £25, it is every coat that your child will need for every season.  The jacket has a warm inner fleece with pockets that can either be worn by itself or zipped inside the waterproot outer shell.  The shell has a hood, which can be zipped away when not in use and can, of course, be used without the fleece.  It’s a great versatile jacket and worth every penny which is why I’ve already brought Joseph a blue one!

Back to School with BlacksBack to School with Blacks

To make sure your little one is prepared for all weathers this school year head over to www.blacks.co.uk.

Playmobil Fairy Island and Unicorn Carriage Review

As Playmobil Playologists, Imogen and Joseph came home to a VERY exciting delivery a few weeks ago.  Playmobil PlayologistsJoseph was the lucky recipient of some construction toys from the City Life range (the review of his toys will follow shortly) and Imogen had a fabulous bundle of new additions to the Playmobil Fairies range, the Unicorn Carriage with Butterfly Fairy and the Fairy Island with Jewel Fountain.

Naturally Imogen was keen to get started straight away and set up the playsets all by herself following the step by step instructions.

Playmobil Playologists

Firstly she put together the Unicorn Carriage which, of course, we all know is the ONLY way that fairies travel when they are tired of flying.  The carriage and the unicorn both have some beautiful details, like the flower design on the wheels and the stick on gems that decorate both.  There is also a gem that sticks onto the butterfly fairy’s dress and she also has a magical staff, detachable wings and a flower stand.

Playmobil Unicron Carriage

Next Imogen put together the Fairy Island, this is a little more complex to put together than the carriage but only took her about 15 minutes in total.  Fairy Island includes two fairy figures, a unicorn foal, swans and signets and birds.

Playmobil Fairy Island

The Fairy Island has lots of lovely features the two most prominent being the weeping willow tree and the light up jewel fountain.  The jewel fountain takes 3 AAA batteries, and these aren’t included, and will emit a colour changing glow through the jewel stones that are placed on top.  The petals that surround the fountain fold down so that the fairies can protect their best kept secret.

Playmobil Fairy Island

Other lovely features include the flower carousel, where the fairies can stand and spin, a glow in the dark lantern and a pendant that hangs beautifully from the flower trellis but can also be added to a necklace and worn as a pendant.

Playmobil Fairy Island

These two sets work beautifully together, Imogen especially likes the fact that she has a Mummy and a baby unicorn and adores the light up jewel fountain.  She will happily sit and play with her Playmobil fairies for hours using her imagination to make up stories involving magic spells, evil queens and secret potions that the fairies brew in the fountain.

The Playmobil Fairies range is available to purchase and view in full on the Playmobil website www.playmobil.co.uk

#PoundlandSummer ~ No Bake Cake Pops

As a Poundland ambassador I’ve been set a challenge and this is probably one that all of us Mums strive to do during the school holidays, to entertain my children during the Summer in a variety of different ways by spending as little as possible.  So, in a short series of posts I’ll be trying to show you how to do just that!

In this, the first post, we set to task with the kiddywinks favourite activity, baking.  I’ve been desperate to get my hands on some of the Poundland Jane Asher baking range for some time now so was delighted to have picked this little lot from my local Poundland. Jane Asher Baking Range

We decided that our first “bake” wouldn’t actually involve turing the oven on and made “No Bake Cake Pops”.

All you need to make your cake pops is a pre made cake (one without icing is best so we used a madeira sponge), a small amount of buttercream, chocolate, a selection of sprinkles to decorate and a mini cake pop mould and a cake pop stand with sticks.

Start of by crumbling the cake into small crumbs, this was the children’s favourite bit but it can be quite messy!  Then add a heaped teaspoon of buttercream to the cake crumbs and mix until you have a soft, doughy mixture.

No Bake Cake Pops

Then press the dough into both sides of the cake pop mould, pressing down firmly to squeeze any excess out.

No Bake Cake Pops No Bake Cake Pops

Then pop the mould into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to firm it up, this is really important especially if it’s a hot day.  Whilst you’re waiting melt some chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Once melted, cool the chocolate to room temperature and then remove your cake pops from the freezer and add the sticks.  Then you can start decorating, dipping into chocolate first and then into a selection of sprinkles!

No Bake Cake Pops No Bake Cake Pops

Whilst our cake pops won’t any awards for their decoration, they certainly were delicious and the kiddywinks had an awful lot of fun making them!

No Bake Cake Pops

 

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