Category Archives: Reviews

A Tamagotchi Friends Playdate

Last weekend the kiddywinks invited their very best friends over for an Easter playdate, an extra special Tamagotchi Friends playdate.  Like our usual playdates it was a good excuse for the Mums to catch up and the children to get messy with some glitter! The wonderful folks at Tamagotchi thoroughly spoilt us with an abundance of Tamagotchi Friends goodies including colouring sheets, craft supplies, posters, chocolate eggs, Tamagotchi sweets and a Tamagotchi Friend for each of them to take home! Tamagotchi The children got straight into some colouring in and a great job they did too, just look at the gems in Julietchi’s hair sparkle! Tamagotchi We then made some fabulous Tamagotchi Friends paper plate faces, some got a little more involved than perhaps they should have done! Tamagotchi The children had a great time decorating their faces, colouring in and, of course, tending to the needs of their new Tamagotchi Friends as well. Tamagotchi Friends I’ll admit that I had a late nighties Tamagotchi even though I was possibly a little too old for it and I was quite surprised at how much bigger the new Tamagotchi Friends are.  Egg like in shape they don’t have the key chain they used to and come in a variety of colourful designs.  The basics, however, are the same and this sadly includes the graphics which I would have expected to have been upgraded.   Once your Tamagotchi hatches you’ll need to feed it when it’s hungry, bathe it, potty train it and give it medicine when it gets sick.  There are games to play and these will earn you Gotchi points which can then be spent on meals, snacks or jewellery in the shop! Tamagotchi Friends There are new features and the best of these is the pause button (press the first and third button at the same time) which will keep your Tamagotchi Friend happy if you don’t have the time to give him the attention he needs, this will come in handy when Imogen goes back to school after the holidays.  Another new feature is the “bump”, by bumping Tamagotchis together you can send gifts or text messages go on playdates or when your Tamagotchi is old enough they can even get married! Tamagotchi Friends Imogen has been really struck with her Tamagotchi Friend and has been taking exceptionally good care of her.  It’s taught her that pets, even if they are virtual, need an awful lot of looking after and I am really pleased with how well she has taken on the responsibility.  Mum friend Stephanie says “I am totally amazed and proud of how Sebastian has looked after “Bob” his Tamagotchi.  He’s barely put the thing down and has helped Seraphine (his younger sister) look after hers.”

Overall the new Tamagotchi Friends get a massive thumbs up from us and they’d make a great non chocolate Easter gift as well.  There’s more information on the Tamagotchi Friends website, which includes character introductions, games and webisodes from Dream Town.  There are some cracking (sorry) Easter offers to be had on the Tamagotchi Friends as the moment as well with £5.00 off in most toy stores taking them just under the £20 price tag.

Our Waitrose Easter Egg Hunt

The Kiddywinks were the very lucky recipients of some lovely Easter treats this week, courtesy of Waitrose.  As well as tasty sweets and yummy chocolate eggs Waitrose also sent a special Easter Egg Hunt Game to teach them all about Spring and the new life that it brings.

Easter Egg Hunt

With carefully hidden treats dotted around Nanna’s garden I armed the children with baskets, to collect their goodies, and myself with the list of questions and their Easter exploration began!

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt

Throughout the hunt, as well as collecting treats, Imogen and Joseph learnt all about Spring and the outdoors with questions such as “What is a bunny rabbit’s home called?” and “What does a butterfly start it’s life as?”  After all Easter is all about new life!

Easter Egg Hunt

The Woodland Friends Easter Egg Hunt was perfect for the hunt as it contained four pop out signposts to guide the children to the brightly coloured foil covered chocolate eggs, at just £4.00 it’s a bargain too!

Thank you Waitrose for inviting us on the hunt, it was great to get the children into this glorious weather.  If you’re on the look out for Easter inspiration have a look at the Waitrose website, it’s full of recipes and baking ideas that the children can get involved in too.  You can also download the game here.

Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue ~ Chuggington DVD Review and Giveaway

Today sees the release of a brand new Chuggington DVD and lucky Joseph was lucky enough to review a sneak preview, just in time to keep him occupied whilst he recovered from a nasty ear infection.

Chug Patrol Ready to Rescue

Chug Patrol: Ready to rescue has a total running time of 71 minutes and includes four Chuggtastic episodes from series four, the 23 minute feature length special Chug Patrol, from which the DVD its name, and the first ever and never before seen Chuggington music video: Chug Patrol: Ready to Roll. This catchy rock/pop song introduces who’s who in Chug Patrol, one of the new teams seen in Series Four of Chuggington.  Here’s a sneaky peek!

Episodes included are:

Chief Wilson
Wilson takes a test to assess his new Chug Patrol skills, but he forgets something important and fails. Later, when a real emergency arises, Wilson handles the situation perfectly and gets Old Puffer Pete out of trouble. Jackman is impressed – maybe Wilson will even make chief one day.

Park Patroller Wilson
When Old Puffer Pete goes sleep-riding around Chuggington, Wilson must find a solution to keep him safe.

High Rise Rescue
Hodge gets stuck on a platform high up in the air, but Wilson’s clever thinking saves the day.

Fearless Wilson
When Brewster slips into the river, Wilson must overcome his struggles with the speed booster wagon to get there super-fast and help his friend.

As a huge Chuggington fan Joseph really enjoyed the DVD and has watched Chug Patrol: Ready to Roll over and over again, he now proudly knows most of the words and bops along!  The DVD also includes a fun activity sheet and stickers, Joseph thoroughly enjoyed sticking the stickers on his sheet and it now hangs proudly in his bedroom.

Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue
Chug Patrol : Ready To The Rescue is available now with an RRP of £7.99 or if you’re feeling lucky you can enter our giveaway via Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fireman Sam Toys Review

Joseph has an obsession with “nannos”, what you or I would possibly call Nee Naws, any vehicle with a light or ladder on top is considered a nanno including the neighbour’s decorator’s van that is usually parked outside our house much to the boy’s delight!  Fireman Sam is his ultimate hero, so Joseph was ecstatic when a bundle of Fireman Sam toys arrived for him from Character to review. His bundle included Mike’s Workshop playset, Bessie and a figure pack including Fireman Sam and Tom, added to Jupiter who was already in Joseph’s toy box, he was quite simply in Fireman Sam heaven.

Fireman Sam Toys

Bessie, a vintage fire engine, was the first to catch Joseph’s eye and she’s beautiful.  She’s a push along vehicle with a shiny bell, storage compartments at the side, room for one figure at the front and a wind up hose on a reel at the back.  Joseph was quick to notice that she was an old girl and decided that she needed a little maintenance to get her ready for the emergency call, so popped her to see Mike in his workshop for a service.

Fireman Sam Toys

Mike’s Workshop comes complete with a Mike figure, removable “Weldomatic” kit with two long bendy hoses, work bench and working garage door.  Both Bessie and Jupiter fit nicely inside the workshop with room for Mike to fix them.

Fireman Sam Toys

The outside of the workshop is fairly plain, as you’d expect it to be it, but just above the door it has flip up and down flames, Fire in Pontypandy!!!!  This gives the playset two purposes, somewhere to fix the engines and somewhere to hose down and at just £14.99 I think it’s great value for money.

Fireman Sam Toys

Fireman Sam Toys

There’s a huge range of Fireman Sam playsets and vehicles in the range from Character, each of the playsets come with a figure but the vehicles (£9.99) don’t, these are available to purchase separately in packs of two at £4.99.  The figures are fully articulated and to scale with the playsets and vehicles meaning that they fit nicely inside.

Fireman Sam Toys

The toys have sparked some great imaginative play with both Imogen and Joseph.  There’s ben plenty of fun had and Joseph is now eager to build his collection and recreate Pontypandy in the kiddywinks newly created but not quite finished attic playroom.

The entire range is available from Character online with prices starting from as little as £4.99.

 

Alternative Easter Gifts from Playmobil

As Playmobil Ambassadors, Imogen and Joseph received a very special early Easter gift from Playmobil in the form of one of their hugely popular eggs. Playmobil Easter Egg Imogen received bright pink egg containing lots of flowers, butterflies and other parts to make herself her very own Flower Fairy and Enchanted Tree whilst Joseph’s blue egg encased a cool biker with a motorcycle. Playmobil Egg Both were very eager to get to assembling their Playmobil creations, which Imogen did without help and Joseph did with very little.  Both utterly chuffed with their new toys, they then wondered off to introduce them to the rest of the Playmobil gang.  What followed was hours of wonderful, imaginative play with fairies motorbikes, bikers riding unicorns and lots of giggles!

Playmobil Easter Egg

There are four different eggs in this year’s series to collect including a Robo Gang Spy with Glider and a Native American Girl with Forest Animals.  Each is priced at £5.99, around about the price of a decent sized chocolate egg with novelty gift, but the Playmobil eggs will provide an awful lot more enjoyment and last a lot longer.  I know what the kiddywinks would prefer!

Also new this year is the Playmobil Easter Advent calendar with ten doors to open on the count down to Easter, each containing a part of a wonderful Easter scene full of bunnies and Easter eggs.

Playmobil Easter Calendar

Henry Hugglemonster Roarsome Scooter Review

This Spring sees the eagerly awaited launch of Golden Bear’s range of Henry Hugglemonster’s toys and Joseph was very lucky recipient of Henry’s Roarsome Scooter hot off the press!

Henry Hugglemonster Roarsome Scooter

Henry is the middle child in the Hugglemonster family, a close knit but madcap family, and the increasingly popular Disney Junior series follows the five year old’s daily life and the ups and downs he faces.

Henry Hugglemonster’s Roarsome Scooter comes with an articulated Henry figure, who is sensibly wearing his helmet, he’s a great resemblance to his TV counterpart and instantly recognisable as is his scooter!  When the button on Henry’s tummy is pressed he’ll say one of six fun phrases from the show, such as “Hugglemonsters always find a way to make things better” and his trademark “Roarsome!”

Henry Hugglemoster Roarsome Scooter

Joseph has had plenty of fun pushing Henry around on his Roarsome scooter and Henry keeps his balance very well and zooms off without tipping or falling.  Henry can also be detached from his scooter which leads to all kinds of fun and games, tea parties being the norm!  At around 15cm tall he’s a great size for small hands and priced at £14.99 he’s also great value for money.

Henry Hugglemonster Roarsome Scooter

Golden Bear’s Henry Hugglemoster toy range also includes plush toys of the large, small and talking variety and fun figure packs.

Summer Hugglemonster

The full range is available to purchase from Golden Bear online.

World Book Day Inspiration from Netflix

Last week saw World Book Day, the day Imogen had waited impatiently for ages, it’s a REALLY big deal at her school with a full week of reading based activities, balloon releases and of course the all important fancy dress.  Imogen chose her favourite book character early on, Mary Poppins, and her outfit was purchased, customised to make it more accurate and an impressive paper mache parrot umbrella was crafted.

World Book Day Fancy Dress

Since Imogen started to read independently at the beginning of the year, books have become a huge part of her life and she’s now a total bookworm.  One thing she loves is watching her favourite stories come to life as TV series or film adaptations and Netflix has a huge selection to chose from.  Here’s a selection of both of our favourites available on Netflix now.

A Series of Unfortunate EventsLittle WomenMary Poppins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netflix have come up with these five great ways to make story time even more fun, guess which one is our favourite?
1.) Dress up as the characters from your favourite books with your child for story time. You don’t necessarily need expensive outfits, whip out the face paints and get creative!
2.) Discuss the book after reading; did your child enjoy it? What did they learn? Would they like to read it again? Who was their favourite character and why?

3.) Read out loud and give spirit to the characters – make it a family affair! Whether that be mum, dad or a grandparent children will relish the opportunity to spend time with the family.

4.) A great incentive to get your child reading is to watch the TV show or film on Netflix after you have finished the book as a reward.

5.) Make story time fun with an easy to follow craft idea on how to bring your favourite book to life, below….

“Read the Book, See the TV Series” craft idea

Try out this easy craft idea that you can do with your family before or after you read the book and watch the film on Netflix. Personalise your child’s room with book pages from his or her favorite story.

1

 

Materials you’ll need:
 Favourite book
 Craft block letters (available at Hobby Craft)
 PVA Glue
 White craft paint
 Foam brush
 Photocopied pages from your favorite book
 Scissors

2

How to do it: Photocopy your favorite images from the pages of your favorite book at an office supply store or with your home printer. (If the images are too big or too small for the craft letters, reduce or enlarge the size of the images.) Paint your craft block letters with 2-3 coats of white paint. Let dry. 3

Cut out your images from the photocopies and arrange them on the letters exactly how you want them to look. One idea is to tell the book’s story with pictures or words on your craft letters, or you can just place your favourite images anyway you like on the 4letters.

Then, using the foam brush spread PVA glue on the back of each image and place them on the letter.  Wrap any paper ends that extend outsider the letter tops around the letter sides and unto the back, if necessary. Once you have glued all of the images where you like them, spread PVA glue over the entire top and sides of each letter.

5

Let dry completely and voila!

 

 

 

As soon as Imogen’s birthday party is out of the way we’ll be making these for both Imogen and Joseph, very simple but very effective.

LighterLife Fast – The Results

For the past month I’ve been trying out the LighterLife Fastpacks as part of a 5:2 weight loss plan.  During the month I’ve not weighed myself at all, although I’ve been very tempted to, and today was results day.  I’ve lost a staggering 11 pounds in a month and I’m thrilled, but how was my LighterLife Fast experience?

LighterLife Fast

I’m not going to lie, having 600 calories a day, even if it is only for 2 days a week, is tough.  I would find myself hungry most of the time throughout fasting days and try and fill myself up with water and black coffee, which didn’t work and by the end of the day I’d find myself grumpy and slopping off to bed early.  I  also missed bread and fresh fruit and vegetables, which I tend to eat a lot of.  The meals, soups, shakes and bars are really tasty though with my favourite, the toffee bars, satisfying my sweet tooth and providing a much needed mid afternoon energy boost.

Despite vowing not to fast on work days, I actually found it of benefit to do so, as the meals are so convenient to prepare, just needing a kettle or microwave.  Coming through the door at the end of the day to the family sitting down to their evening meal though was unbearable. So I decided to stay later at work on a fast day and eat at my desk and get some extra work done, bonus!

LighterLife Fast

Overall I liked the flexibility of the LighterLife Fast plan, meaning that I didn’t have to restrict my diet for special occasions or weekends and because I lack discipline and would never weigh food or count calories myself the Fastpacks are ideal.  Having lost nearly a stone has defiantly given me the boost I needed to try and keep the weight off and maybe even shift a few more pounds, another five would be lovely.  Although I will be continuing on the LighterLife Fast plan I’m going to give it a break for a couple of weeks and resume at the end of March to get myself ready for the Summer.

For more information on LightLife Fast have a look at www.lighterlifefast.com

 

PaediaSure Shake Review

Ever since weaning, Imogen has been what my health visitor described as a “difficult eater”.  She would gag on food with texture and then flatly refuse it.  Despite all of the best advice and help from my GP and health visitor I still struggled.  We’ve since discovered that she has a rather large pair of tonsils which my GP believes could be the route of the problem but despite frequent and nasty bouts of tonsillitis they still remain.

Over the years I’m not sure whether Imogen’s eating has improved or I’ve simply got used to what she will and won’t eat but she certainly doesn’t eat the quantity or variety that her peers do.  She seems to go though phases of eating and non eating, which generally coincide with sore throats, tonsillitis and general illness.  During a non eating phase the only things that will pass her lips are custard, milkshake, apple juice and the occasional ice lolly.  It’s a struggle and I’m sure her nutrition suffers as a result, which doesn’t help her on the way to recovery.  It’s a vicious circle.

Netmums recently asked if I’d like to try PaediaSure Shake to try and help Imogen out of this difficult phase.  PaediaSure Shake has been specially designed for children and contains a balance of 26 vitamins and minerals, protein, vitamin D and calcium for strong bones, as well as iron to support brain development.

PaediaSure Shake

PaediaSure Shake comes in a round tin, similar to formula, and 5 scoops of the powder is mixed with 190ml water to create a shake.  Imogen was fully aware that this was to be different to a Nesquick and cold milk combo but It was gratefully received and she confirmed that it tastes just like a milkshake and is very tasty.

Imogen is not using the shakes a meal replacement, after all that’s not the idea behind PaediaSure, it’s to be used in-between meals alongside a healthy and balance diet, although I’m not entirely sure how this is supposed to happen!  Imogen is also following the 12 week Back on Track Eating Plan designed by PaediaSure and whilst it’s going to be a slow process I’m already seeing good results just two weeks in.  Her appetite seems to have improved and she sat down to a lovely Sunday roast this afternoon and actually ate undisguised meat, something she’s never done before.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how she improves as we carry on.

If you have a fussy eater then I’d definitely recommend Paediasure, especially if you are worried that their nutritional needs are being neglected.  The shakes are suitable for children aged 1-10 and in three different flavours (strawberry, vanilla and chocolate) from Boots priced at £9.99 for a 400g tub.  There’s also a wealth of information and advise on the PaediaSure website fussyeaters.co.uk

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Zelfs Twirl n Swing Toadstool and Mascerade Zelf review

Zelfs were THE collectable of 2013 and 2014 is seeing a new fantastic range of Zelftastic characters and playsets to the world of Zardenia, lucky Imogen was sent one of the new Masquerade themed Zelfs and the Toadstool Twirl and Swing Playset for review.

Zelfs

The new series has 12 medium (8cm) Zelfs, 6 of which are Masquerade themed, each have their own personality, power mark, hair accessory and come to look after their unruly hair!  Imogen received Buttershy who has a lovely set of glittery wings, a purple tiara and a hot pink comb.  Buttershy has the trademark shock of Zelf hair which is pink and yellow.  Imogen loves moulding Buttershy’s hair into crazy creations!

Buttershy Zelf

Other new releases include the ultra rare Ruby Zelf and White Tiger Zelf and later this year will see the introduction of Zelicious Medium Zelfs, they are all scented with familiar sweet smells such as chocolate, mint, and strawberry.

This year also sees the introduction of Zelf playsets including the Twirl n Swing Toadstool.  The Twirl n Swing Toadstool comes with an exclusive Ribbita medium Zelf and charm.  The has three leaf shaped seats which will seat medium sized Zelfs and a simple turn on the top of the swing will take your Zelfs on a hair-riffic spin!  It’s a pretty basic playset but is well made, very colourful and Imogen has had plenty of fun with it.  It’s priced at £14.99, very reasonable when you consider that a medium Zelf is £5.99.

Zelf Twirl n Swing ToadstoolZelf Twirl n Swing Toadstool

Again, there’ll be new releases later in the year including the Bee Sweet Treehouse which will include the exclusive Honeybee Zelf.  The entire range of Zelfs is available from Character Online.

If you fancy getting hold of the super duper rare and very beautiful Ruby Zelf then take a look here at how you can get one for yourZelf!

Ruby Zelf

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