If you’ve been to your local Zizzi in the past few weeks you may have noticed something different. Not only is there an exciting new Bambini Kids Menu but every child will find Crayola Twistable Crayons served up with it! As Crayola Bloggers we were invited along to our local Zizzi restaurant to try out the new menu and get creative with Crayola Twistables, it’s such a hard life! We were greeted at the restaurant, on a busy Friday night, by friendly staff who showed us to our table and presented the kiddywinks with their menus and activity packs which include chef hats, stickers and of course Crayola Twistables. Imogen and Joseph got straight into decorating their hats as they tucked into their starter of carrot, cucumber and dough sticks. Whilst waiting to decorate their own pizzas, they got busy colouring in the Mona Lisa and getting creative with their stickers on their menus. Time to decorate pizzas with ham, baby plum tomatoes and olives! For dessert the kiddywinks had Zizzi Bambini Cones, a selection of very delicious ice cream with miniature cones to fill and chocolate covered popping candy to decorate. All of this was finished off with a Chocacino. We all had an amazing time at Zizzi, it’s never easy eating out with children but both Imogen and Joseph were well behaved (because they were kept busy), well fed and we were all incredibly well looked after. Each and every Zizzi restaurant is also giving your little one the chance to win a family meal AND a bundle of Crayola goodies every month. Just let them get creative on their menu with their Crayola Twistables for a chance to win! Full details and the new Zizzi Bambini Menu is online here.
Joseph, like many three year old boys, is mad about anything Disney Cars or Disney Planes so he was ecstatic when a delivery from Ravensburger arrived with two awesome Disney Planes jigsaws for him.
Imogen has always been a jigsaw whizz but Joseph has never really shown that much interest, that is until now! He received two puzzles the first being a 35 piece featuring characters from the new Disney’s Planes Fire and Rescue film. In this puzzle Dusty, Windlifter, Blad Runner, Cabbie and Lil Dipper coming to the rescue of Piston Peak National Park which is threatened by a raging wildfire. The second was a 4 in a box set which has a 12, 16, 12 and 24 piece puzzle included. Each puzzle features Dusty, Lil Dipper, Cabbie and Windlifter individually. Joseph’s really enjoyed seeing the new characters from Disney Planes & Rescue and now can not wait to see the film. He loves the puzzles and has taken his time to complete all of them all by himself, without any frustration I may add! The puzzles are really good quality with bright colours and nice details . Just like all Ravensburger puzzles the pieces are made from thick, recycled board with a matte finish to avoid glare.
Both of these puzzles as well as others are available from Amazon with prices starting from just £3.99.
Back in March Imogen held a Be My Bear bear building party with her closest friends, it was an awesome 6th birthday party even if I do say so myself and all of the children went home with lovely new friends.
Recently Imogen was given the chance to review a new kit from Be My Bear perfect for the Summer holidays, the Make a Bear Anywhere kit.
This lovely kit includes everything needed to make your very own bear friend including a pre-sewn bear skin, stuffing, a wish star, teddy passport and a lovely little suitcase for all of teddy’s essentials.
All Be My Bear bears are no sew bears, meaning that there is no sewing needed to create your special friend. The bear making process is very simple, at the back of your bear is a Velcro opening and inside that is a one way zip.
Fill your bear with lots of the fluffy stuffing to make him super cuddly, make a wish on your wish star and pop inside the bear and then close the zip and trim off the thread to prevent opening.
Included in the kit is a birth certificate so you can record their name and date and place of birth, Imogen decided upon the name Emily for her bear. There’s also a little teddy bear sized passport so that you can record your bear’s travels. It also has fun games, a world map and section on history and world facts.
The super cute suitcase means that your bear can literally go anywhere with you, Emily’s suitcase is always packed so that she can dash off anywhere in a hurry, she’s a bit of a jetsetter don’t you know?!
The Make a Bear Anywhere kit is superb and guaranteed to occupy any child on a long journey, Imogen has had hours of fun with Emily and has taken her on lots of pretend holidays filling in her passport every time and she’ll definitely be coming with us on our Summer holidays. Sadly the catch on Emily’s suitcase broke quickly after it arrived but the Be My Bear team have been extremely helpful and are replacing this for her.
The Make a Bear Anywhere kit is available from www.bemybear.com priced at £19.99 or just £15 each if you buy two or more. Make sure you have a look at their party kits as well with 8″ bears starting from just £6.00 each!
Lucky Joseph had a lovely surprise in the post this week from his friends at Fisher Price in the form of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Soap n Suds Car Wash.
This lovely little play set comes with a poseable Mickey Mouse figure, red car, petrol pump, sign post and car wash. Just like the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse the whole playset is designed in true Mickey Mouse style from the bold, primary colours to the Mickey Mouse ears on the arches of the car wash.
Firstly Mickey’s car needs to go the fabric curtain to get bubbly, then stand Mickey on the blue lever and slide it across to roll the car along and through the blue rollers to give it a proper scrub.
Finally, give Mickey’s car a blow dry with the super silly car dryer, a wonderful red, oversized hair dryer held by a gloved Mickey hand!
With a gleaming car all Mickey needs next is a full tank of petrol, luckily the playset also includes a petrol pump with a moveable arm so that he’s ready to go!
As with all Fisher Price toys the Soap n Suds Car Wash is quality made, has some lovely features and moving parts which amuse Joseph no end. It makes a great addition to the Slide n Fly Clubhouse, which Joseph reviewed at the end of last year.
The Fisher Price Mickey Mouse Soap n Suds Car Wash is suitable from ages 2+ and is currently half price at Asda at the moment at just £10.00!
Yes, I know the kids haven’t even finished for the Summer yet but having tried to purchase plimsolls in the last few days of August one year I do try and be as organised as possible for September. Usually most of my back to school shopping is done and dusted before August meaning that the rest of the Summer is ours to enjoy. In September Imogen will start her year last year as an infant in year 2 and Joseph will start at the school’s pre school 3 days a week. Having spent time with their new teachers and in their new classrooms both are very excited and looking forward to what the new school year brings. Matalan recently gave us the chance to test out their school uniform and whilst I buy a lot of the kids clothes from there (Imogen is very partial to their applique t-shirts) I’ve never bought any school uniform there, so I was intrigued to see if the quality and value for money matched our usual uniform haunt. I was sent a great selection of uniform for Imogen including short sleeve blouses, a pinafore, pleated skirt, a gingham summer dress, socks and shoes. Imogen was rather taken by the Summer dress which is described as a “Flippy Gingham Dress” (£7.00), it has some lovely girly details like puff sleeves, a bow detail at the waist and a wonderfully full skirt, perfect for twirling! For the start in September Imogen can create two different looks with the skirt and pinafore, both equally as smart.
Both are Teflon coated, to repel stains, and the box pleat skirt (£4.00) has an incredibly adjustable waist, ideal for Imogen as she’s tall and skinny. The pinafore is double breasted with an empire waist and button detail. They look great with the short sleeved blouses (£6-£8 for two) which, again, have some lovely details such as flower shaped buttons, scalloped collar and flower embroidery on the pocket. These are 65% and 35% cotton designed to keep your child cool and also minimise ironing, that has to be good! Joseph was sent a three pack of polo shirts and a pair of trousers ready for his start in pre school. The polo shirts are great value for money at just £4 for three! They’re 100% cotton and really soft and a great fit on Joe. Joe’s trousers (£5-£7) are pull on, so there are no zips or buttons to contend with, which will be really helpful when getting dressed and undressed for PE and taking himself to the toilet. They are also Telfon coated and have an adjustable waist. I got dinky three and a half year old Joe the smallest size available, age 3, and whilst they’re a little long at the moment I’m sure by September they’ll be a great fit. Whilst I haven’t repeatidly washed the kiddywinks uniforms, every item has been through the wash at least once and pleats have stayed in place, nothing has shrunk and it all needs minimal ironing. The quality is good with hard wearing fabric and some great little details. Price wise Matalan is slightly cheaper than the supermarket we usually buy our school uniform from and with them stocking everything from lunch boxes to shoes and underwear Matalan really will be our one stop back to school shop this year! The full Back to School range is available in store on online and can be viewed here www.matalan.co.uk/back-to-school
Our friends at Interplay recently sent Imogen and Joseph their Butterfly World Kit from their My Living World range for review. This kit contains everything needed to rear and observe the amazing lifecycle of butterflies, including:
- Pop-Up Butterfly Rearing Cage
- Jar Cover
- Small Plastic Pot & lid
- Paint Brush
- Informative Guide written by Nick Baker
- Caterpillar Order Form
The plan was for us to collect our own caterpillar eggs or caterpillars using the equipment supplied and the knowledge in the guide book. Having just planted veggies in the vegetable patch at home, I honestly didn’t see this being a problem – they seem to like my broccoli! However the weather was not on our side and the local caterpillars were hiding! So we sent off for the live caterpillars from the supplier recommended by Interplay, Gribblybugs.
A couple of days later a small, well packaged box arrived containing a pot with five very small caterpillars. The pot contains everything the little caterpillars need until they turn into pupae.
Over the next 14 days we watched our caterpillars eat and wriggle around their pot. They got bigger and spikier everyday until hanging themselves upside down on the lid of the pot and the chrysalis were formed.
Then once all five caterpillars have turned into pupae, it’s time to move them (very carefully) into the butterfly rearing cage. Pop the plastic lid off the pot and carefully remove the special paper lid that the pupae are attached to and, using the double sided tape provided, stick to the roof of the cage.
The butterflies will normally emerge within 10-14 days, however we had a bit of a shock after only 5 days (it was incredibly hot which apparently helps) and found our first butterfly emerging as we came home from school.
Over the next couple of days we watched all five of our Painted Lady butterflies emerge, feeding them on a 10% honey solution as detailed in the booklet.
This weekend we released our butterflies in the garden, it was a lovely experience, they flew around our heads and perched themselves in the garden before heading off for pastures new.
The entire family has loved watching the caterpillars and the butterflies, it’s been amazing and has taught us all a lot. Imogen and Joseph were always aware that they’d have to set the butterflies free and so it didn’t upset them in the slightest, in fact they were delighted to see them happily flying around.
The booklet contained in the kit is really very informative and Imogen is still reading snippets of it now and again, learning about butterflies and their lifecycle. The Butterfly World kit is priced at £12.99 but can be reused (we’ll certainly be doing it again) and caterpillars from Gribblybugs are available at the discounted price of £9.50 using the code in your booklet. This is a great, educational kit that is bound to keep children entertained over the school holidays and will make a fantastic “holiday project” to write about and tell their friends. Imogen has taken pictures of her butterflies and one of the pupae to show her friends and teachers at school.
Imogen loves all things fairy, she has a growing collection of figurines at home and her favourite book is The Complete Book of Flower Fairies which permanently lives underneath her pillow. In the midst of rubbish week with Imogen suffering with an ear infection a surprise arrived from Interplay for her. Her very own fairy garden, it was as if the fairies knew she needed a boost!
This lovely craft kit contains almost everything (you’ll need to add your own compost or soil) needed to create your very own fairy garden at home including:
• Fairy Garden Bowl
• Fairy figurine
• Oyster shell (water feature)
• Sparkly Fairy Cottage
• Clothes Line with posts & pegs
• Fairy sized blanket
• Grass seed
• Coloured gravel
• Fairy mushrooms
• Fairy flowers
• Fairy dust (glitter)
• Fairy stars
The kit also contains full colour instructions which are really easy to follow, even for non readers. Imogen was very keen to get her fairy garden ready for it’s occupants and once the compost was added she slotted together the pre cut glittery fairy house.
Once the house is assembled there’s a pearly oyster shell water feature, multi coloured fairy path, miniature toadstools and a washing line with dinky pegs and fairy sized blanket to put in place.
The finishing touches are twinkling stars for the water feature and the path as well as flowers to dot around the garden and a sprinkle of grass seed.
The kit is beautiful and Imogen and Joseph spent a lot of time creating the perfect garden for their fairies and it’s been played with and perfected ever since. Our grass is growing rapidly thanks to it’s sunny position in Imogen’s room but she takes great care of it with a small pair of scissors. It’s available to purchase from Interplay here priced at £12.99, we’ve already brought another one as a present for one of Imogen’s friends.
Imogen has managed to build up quite a collection of Blue Nose Friends and was overjoyed to see the latest four friends arrive for her to review.
The newest friends on the Blue Nose block are Soprano, Denzil, Tatty Puppy and Pandora and they bring the total collection up to an impressive 135! Each of the friends is ultra soft and cuddly with their trademark blue nose and patchwork detail but each has their own personality.
Soprano is the pint-sized Shetland Pony who loves to sing with friends… because everything’s better in harmony!
Tatty Puppy is the loveable pup who’s on a mission to make you laugh… watch out for those cheeky pranks!
Pandora is the beautiful pearl oyster who loves to hide… if you can find her, she’ll dazzle you with surprises.
Imogen quickly announced the very pretty Pandora as her favourite and Joseph has claimed super cool Denzil for himself. The new Blue Nose Friends are adorable and prefect for adding or even starting your own collection. They are priced at £5.00 each and available from www.carteblanchegreetings.com.
I’ve spoken on this blog many a time before about how I’d love to transform our overstuffed attic into a playroom for the kiddywinks and now I am thrilled to be able to say that we’ve done it! Well to a certain degree there are still things to be sorted, storage being a major issue. But for now they have somewhere to play independently, watch what they want to on TV or play on the Wii.
One of the things I didn’t think about though was keeping an eye on them two floors up. Most of the time I sit up stairs and join in the fun and games but there are times when they don’t want me around or there are simply other things that need to be done. We had recently been discussing baby monitoring cameras so that I could watch what they were doing and then the opportunity arose to review the Watchbot 3.0 camera.
Here’s our video review….
The Watchbot is a great camera with a huge range of uses from anything from home or holiday home security, baby monitoring or even as a nanny cam! With motion detection, night vision and email alerts it has everything that an expensive CCTV system has at a fraction of the cost. The Watchbot 3.0 is available in black or white at the amazing price of just £149.95.
Watchbot are also giving you the chance to win £600 of their products is this competition. To enter simply do so via Rafflecopter below, good luck!
This Wednesday I’ll be joining with Ravensburger on Twitter for a Twitter Frenzy, between 1pm and 2.40pm we’ll be chatting about craft and there’ll be a chance to win some fabulous prizes, there’ll be one given away every ten minutes!
Ahead of the frenzy Imogen received one of Ravensburger’s range of 23 Mandala-Designers, the Doc McStuffins Junior Mandala Designer.
Inside the box in a design station, mandala, 10 pieces of paper, a black marker, 3 coloured pencils and instructions with design ideas.
It’s really easy to set up, simply slot the paper in-between the design station and the mandala making sure that the arrow on the design station is aligned with one on the sixteen on the mandala. Inside the instruction booklet there are a number of designs that can be copied or you can, of course, create your own.
When you have decided upon your design simply draw around the shapes with the marker pen turning the stencil as you go using the arrows as a guide.
The marker pen has a flexible nib which is great for getting around the stencil with ease. It’s also nice and chunky meaning that Joseph (3 and a half) also has a really good go at one too developing his fine motor skills at the same time. The design station has space on the side for both the marker pen and the coloured pencils which Imogen loved, apparently it’s just like an artist’s desk! Ideally I would have liked to have seen a few more pencils included, three just don’t give enough colour variety for Imogen’s liking.
The Doc McStuffins Junior Mandala designer is available from Amazon priced at £9.99 and don’t forget the Twitter frenzy this Wednesday (28th May) between 1pm and 2.40pm, you’ll need to be following @RavensburgerPC and the hastag #GetCrafty on Twitter. See you there.