Category Archives: Reviews

#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

 

Back “Tu” School with Sainsbury’s

Boys White 3pk Short Sleeved Shirt

Tu at Sainsbury’s are committed to making Back to School season easier for everyone.  They’re well aware that most school uniform is worn for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week and for 39 weeks of the year, so they’ve created durable, high quality uniform at incredible prices available in sizes 2-16 years.

To prove their durability they’ve put them to the test ensuring garments will withstand the daily wear and tear of school life. All have been wash tested making sure that colours stay true and bright and the cotton rich fabrics ensure that they keep their shape up to 100 washes.  Trousers, skirts and pinafores have been rub-tested up to 100,000 times to withstand hours of playground antics.  Tu’s Advanced Technology Cardigan also uses a special cotton rich blend knitwear, meaning reduced bobbling and shrinkage.

Unisex red sweater 2pack Unisex Sweatshirts from £4.00 for a two pack

Boys’ trousers are finished with a resin on the centrefold and pleats on woven skirts and pinafores are heat set to ensure creases look sharp after washing and wearing.  Packed shirts, including the new Bionic Shirt are all also non iron, which certainly will shrink my Sunday night ironing pile by at least half!

Boys Black 2 pack trousers  Boys Trousers from £6.00 for two pairs.

The new Bionic Shirts and Polo Shirts are made from 100% cotton making them breathable but they are also water and stain repellent, perfect for Joe’s start at nursery this year.  Talking of Joe’s start in nursery, the Tu range starts at age 2 which really has saved me a huge headache.  Although Joe is 3 and a half, he’s a little on the dinky side and wears size 2-3 or in some brands 18-24 months!  Sainsbury’s Back to School range also features button and zip free trousers and increased zip length on pinafores, making it easier for children to dress and undress themselves, saving precious time trying to get children out of the door in the morning rush.

Boys White 3pk Short Sleeved ShirtGirls Cap Sleeve Blouse Sainsbury's Pink Satchel -ú19.99Sainsbury's Pink Satchel -ú19.99

In the past I’ve bought all of Imogen’s school uniform from Sainsbury’s and I’ve never been disappointed. It’s a major purchase and is worn considerably more than any other item of clothing, even after numerous wears and washes there’s no bobbling or a single button or hem is out of place. School uniform that gets grown out of rather than worn out saves me a fortune and makes me one happy mum!

Back to School 2013

Back to School September 2013

The Tu Back to School range is available in over 500 stores nationwide now in sizes ranging from age 2 to 16 years. Packs of two uniforms start from as little as £13.50 and include a 2-pack of sweatshirts (from £4), a 2-pack of skirts/trousers (from £6) and a 3-pack of polo shirts (from £3.50). Sainsbury’s also have a huge range of Back to School stationery, lunch boxes and school bags that will suit every taste. Top of Imogen’s Back to School list is this Pink Satchel that she eyes up every time on the weekly shop!

Pink Satchel

To view the full Back to School range from Sainsburys as well as some pretty awesome packed lunches ideas check out www.sainsburys.co.uk/BackToSchool

Cool Bandz Review

I’ve forgotten just how many loom bands I’ve picked off the floor and out of my hoover and the hours that I have spent trying to teach Imogen the latest designs that she’s seen on Youtube so I was really relieved when she was sent a Cool Bandz kit from our friends at Flair.

Cool Bandz

Cool Bandz are laminated bands a lot like the wrist bands that you get at concerts and festivals so Imogen declared them as super cool even after a quick glance at the box!  Inside the box is the Cool Bandz unit, 24 pre cut wrist band strips, 12 clips, a sheet of stickers and a sheet of gems and a roll of adhesive tape. Cool Bandz

It’s simple to set up with the tape needing putting into the dispenser and then the dispenser popping onto the unit.  Once assembled the unit has a lift up lid at the front with a long slot for the bands and two large compartments for clips, stickers and gems.  In a house as chaotic as ours this is great for keeping everything in one place.

Cool Bandz

To make a Cool Bandz all you need to do is select a band, there are plenty to chose from, and decorate it with stickers and or gems.  Then simply push the band through the tape dispenser from the left hand side as far as you can then pull on the tape at the right hand side until all of your band has been laminated.

Cool Bandz Cool Bandz

Then you simply need to punch a hole in each end of the band using the punch at the back of the unit and snap a clip on to keep it in place.

Cool Bandz  Cool Bandz

The clips included are re-useable so once you tire of one band or it doesn’t match an outfit you can simply store the band in the box and use the clip on another.  Imogen loves the Cool Bandz and quickly used up all of the band strips that were included in the box but we’ve since been using wrapping paper, magazines and Imogen’s original artwork in the Cool Bandz maker.  It’s a lovely set that she’s been back to again and again so far over the Summer holidays making Cool Bandz for everyone!

Cool Bandz

Cool Create Cool Bandz are available from Flair priced at £19.99 and if you haven’t yet signed up then joint the Cool Create Club now, there are competitions and the chance to have your child’s craft showcased on the Cool Create wall.

Barbie and the Secret Door Princess Alexa Doll Review

On the 1st September a brand new Barbie movie is released on DVD, Barbie and the Secret Door.  In this film Barbie stars as Princess Alexa, a shy princess who discovers a secret door.  She steps through the door and enters a neon-bright land filled with magical creatures and surprises.  Here she meets Romy and Nori, a mermaid and a fairy, who explain that their ruler Malucia is taking all of the magic away from their land.  Princess Alexa soon discovers that in this magical land she has magical powers and works to restore magic to their land.

To celebrate the imminent arrival of this new movie, Mattel sent Imogen the feature doll from the movie, Princess Alexa herself.

Barbie and the Secret Door princess Alexa Doll

Princess Alexa is dressed just as she is in the finale of the movie in a full length, brightly coloured neon skirt covered with matching vinyl flowers.  The bodice of her dress is a shimmery pink and decorated with bright orange flowers, she is holding a long wand, wearing a tiara in her hair and has a rather fabulous pair of shoes, of course!

Barbie and the Secret Door Princess Alexa Doll

When you wave Princess Alexa’s wand (by pulling down on her arm) the bodice of her dress lights up and flashes with colour changing lights along with two short song snippets from the film.  Imogen was quite simply amazed by this.  She has singing Barbies and ones with colour changing hair but nothing as cool as a Barbie with a light up dress!

Barbie and the Secret Door Princess Alexa Doll

Princess Alexa has been welcomed with open arms into Imogen’s vast collection of Barbie dolls and she’s really enjoyed playing with her and making her interact with the others and the one solitary, very happy Ken.  There have been sleep overs and karaoke competitions, which of course Princess Alexa always wins!

Barbie and the Secret Door Princess Alexa Doll

Princess Alexa has an RRP of £24.99 which is slightly higher than the cost of the average Barbie doll, however with her light up dress and vocals she’s far from the average doll so I think it’s great value for money. She’s currently priced at £17.99 at Amazon and the DVD Barbie and the Secret Door  is also available for pre-order at £8.00.

Our #Zelicious #Zelfs Party

Last Wednesday the kiddywinks bestest friends joined us for our Zelicious Zelfs Twitter party as hosted by UKMumsTV and plenty of other blogging families across the country.  The party was held to celebrate the new range of Zelfs recently launched by Character, the Zelicious Zelfs! We were provided with plenty of goodies to make our party go with a bang including party games, goodies for party bags, a selection of Zelicious Zelfs and cake, because without cake there is simply no party! Zelicious Zelfs

During our party we played “Guess the Zelicous Zelf” where the children were blindfolded and used their noses to sniff out which Zelf was which…

Zelicious Zelfs Party Zelicious Zelfs Party

We decorated cupcakes to look like our favourite Zelfs…

Zelicious Zelfs PartyZelicious Zelfs Party

and then ate them! Zelicious Zelfs

Other games included “Name that Zelf” and my favourite of the day the game I called “Zelf yourself” which involved an awful lot of multi coloured hair extensions and a lot of laughter!  There are lots more Zelicious hairstyles over on the UKMumsTV Zelicious wall.

Zelicious Zelfs Party Zelicious Zelfs Party

Zelicious Zelfs Party

All of the children had a great time and despite being completely over excited were remarkably behaved if not a little bit messy. Huge thanks go to UKMumsTV and Character for having us, we had a blast!

The Zelicous Zelfs are just part of the Zelf range available from Character and prices start from at little as £1.99.  UKMumsTV are also giving you the chance to win the Zelfs Bee Sweet Treehouse here.

Peppa Pig Muddle Puddles Deluxe Playhouse Review

Joseph still very much loves Peppa Pig, let’s face it who doesn’t?  So he was jumping for joy when a delivery arrived from Character containing their brand new Muddle Puddles Deluxe Playhouse!

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse

The playhouse has four rooms, lounge, kitchen, bathroom and Peppa and George’s bedroom, and is fully furnished with moveable pieces of furniture as well as some that are moulded into the house. Peppa Pig Muddle Puddles Deluxe Playhouse

The house is nicely decorated with stickers that, much to my delight, are already stuck on!  The playset also comes with Peppa and George (complete with Mr Dinosaur) figures who are stood on little bases making it easier for them to stand up.  They also have jointed legs so that they can sit down.

Peppa Pig Muddle Puddles Deluxe Playhouse

On one of the foldup sides of the house is the garden, complete with muddy puddles, this is Joseph’s favourite area of the house and he’ll spend ages bouncing Peppa and George up and down in them! Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Playhouse

But who hasn’t taken off their muddy boots and left muddy footprints all over the house?

Peppa Pig Muddle Puddles PlayhousePeppa Pig Muddy Puddles Playhouse

Through the kitchen, up the stairs and in the bathroom there are little muddy footprints, clearly evidence of some jumping in muddy puddles action, there’s even a big muddy splodge on the side of the bath!

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Playhouse

The Muddy Puddles Playhouse is foldable, so at the end of the day it can be packed away at the end of the day by folding but the stairs do have to be removed and neither Imogen or Joseph can do this by themselves and to be honest I find it fairly tricky myself without removing the floors.

Once folded though it’s a lovely size (about 30cm tall) and a great, true likeness to Peppa’s house on the TV.  It has a twistable closure and because all of the furniture, stairs and figures fit inside there is no chance of pieces getting lost.

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Playhouse

As with all of the Peppa Pig range from Character, it’s well made and all of the figures and accessories are compatible.  Joseph and Imogen (even though she has declared herself too old for Peppa Pig) have thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Muddy Puddles Playhouse at priced at £29.99 I think it’s great value for money seeing the hours of enjoyment it’s given them.

Your Invitation to our #Zelicious #Zelfs Twitter Party

This Wednesday (30th June) between 2pm and 4pm Imogen, Joseph and their best friends will be partying Zelf style with the brand new range of Zelicious Zelfs that have just hit the shelves!

There are six Zelicious Zelfs, which are just part of the third series of Zelfs, and each comes with it’s own scent and accessory.

Zelicious ZelfsBack row, left to right we have Chocola who is chocolate scented, comes with her own chocolate fountain and who’s Zelf power is Bliss.  Buttershy (also a series 2 Masquerade Zelf) who is berry scented has her very own berry seat.  Bubblee smells of bubble gum, has a bubble gum tree to sit in and her special Zelf power is her bubbliness!

Front row, left to right are Vampula (another series 2 Masquerade Zelf) she’s strawberry scented and has her own strawberry wishing well.  Frostette is cupcake scented and has a cupcake umbrella, her Zelf power is sugary goodness!  Lasty Spellinda (who was also a series 2 Masquerade Zelf) has a minty scent and has a matching wheelbarrow.

Imogen, who’s already an avid Zelf collector, obviously adores all of them with Frostette marginally a favourite.  Their little accessories are great and add a whole new dimension to her play with them, we’ve had lil Zelfs in wheelbarrows, wishing wells and all sorts!

Zelicious Zelfs

During our party, here at home, we’ll be playing Zelf themed party games such as name the Zelf, decorating cupcakes and giving ourselves crazy Zelf hair, I’m seriously excited about that one! I’ll also be Tweeting along with UKMumsTV and lots of other fellow blogger hosts.  As always they’ll be loads of prizes up for grabs along the way so get following @UKMumsTV and the hashtags #Zelfs and #Zelicious for all the party fun and games.  We hope to see you there! Zelfs

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