Sunday, 30 October 2016

International Wallpaper week with Graham & Brown.

Did you know that 3rd - 10th October was International Wallpaper week?

With this is mind we were recently contacted by the fabulous people over at Graham and Brown and asked if we would like to use their products to make over a room for international wallpaper week.

As it would happen we had recently stripped all the old wallpaper from James and Evelyns bedroom ready to decorate so we jumped at the chance to be able to decorate it with Graham and Brown.
After some time spent looking through the Graham and Brown website (there are so many lovely wallpapers and paints to choose from), I eventually decided on these.

Paint in the shade "Mermaid" and this funky monochrome "Superstar" black wallpaper

Since Evelyn and James share a bedroom I wanted something that wouldn't feel to gender specific and think these colour work really well.

The paint was lovely a thick and went on really well. It meant as we had white walls underneath we only needed one coat and it provided a really good coverage.

Next up we had the wallpaper to apply. Now neither myself or my husband are decorating experts and we were a little nervous about putting up wallpaper. However the Graham and Brown "paste the wall" wallpaper made it super easy to do. The wallpaper is a great quality meaning it makes it so much easier to put up and hard wearing when up.

The print itself is really bold and stands out against the teal colour of the walls and the white furnitue which I love.

Why not get inspired like us by International Wallpaper week and see if you can transform a room in your house with wallpaper. It could be a whole room for maximum impact or why not have a feature wall like us and make it a real wow factor. Its amazing how much difference having wallpaper in a room can make, giving it a real personality and focal point.

If you want to check our more of the paint or wallpaper available head over to the Graham and Brown website and prepare to want to decorate!


**I received these products free of charge in order to write my review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.**

Monday, 24 October 2016

Hatchimals **REVIEW**

Its one of the most talked about toys in the run up to Christmas this year and has already begun topping the Christmas lists of children everywhere, of course its Hatchimals!

These cute interactive magical creatures live inside their egg until you interact and play with them, enabling them to hatch and you can meet your surprise creature being held within the egg.

We actually hatched our egg live over on our Facebook page so if you want to watch head over to our Facebook page and watch our live Hatchimal egg hatching video.

Hatching your Hatchimal is pretty simple and lots of fun. The whole process can take anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes and requires you to interact with your Hatchimal during this time. Whilst your Hatchimal is still in its egg you will see its eyes lighting up. These lights are an indicator to how your Hatchimal is feeling and how you can keep it happy. Inside the box you will find a booklet which will tell you what each colour means and how to react to keep this to hand when you are hatching your Hatchimal.

After a little time your Hatchimal will begin to start pecking at the egg, its important your Hatchimal is placed on the floor whilst it is pecking and this will be indicated by a white/rainbow light shining from inside your egg. Your Hatchimal will continue to peck around the middle of the egg until cracks have formed all around the outside. At this point you can give your Hatchimal a helping hand coming out of the egg by carefully peeling away the top section of the egg. Now you can finally discover which Hatchimal you have hatched!

Here is ours ....

Once your Hatchimal has emerged from its egg it will sing a HATCHY BIRTHDAY song!

I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how much the kids would play with our new little hatched friend once the excitement of the egg hatching was over but I didn't need to worry they love our new Penguala friend.

Once your Penguala or Draggle has hatched it will go through 3 stages baby, toddler and kid. As your new Hatchimal moves through the stages it will interact with you doing things such as walking, talking, dancing and even repeating back things you say in its own voice. Our Hatchimal has recently started dancing which the kids love to watch, its such a fun interactive toy which really appeals to the kids.

I know that since Hatchimals are so sought after this Christmas stock has been pretty limited but don't forget you can keep an eye on stock at your local Argos store where you can reserve online and check stock in all your local stores regularly with ease. To check Hatchimal stock at your local Argos visit the Argos website (I have popped links below to a Pengualas and Draggles egg via Argos so you can easily check stock).

Hatchimals Pengualas Pink Egg.

Hatchimals Draggles Green Egg.

After hatching our very own Hatchimal I can confirm that this toy has been a big hit! It was so exciting watching our Hatchimal pecking its way out of its egg and building up all our suspense to meet our Hatchimal. Once it had hatched the kids loved nurturing and caring for their new Penguala and trying to keep her happy and meet her needs. The dancing and games you can also play with them are lots of fun too.

Has your little one asked for a Hatchimal this year? Which one are they hoping for a Pengualas or Draggles Egg?


** We received this toy free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words, opinions and thoughts are my own.**

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Colours of the sea Ariel **REVIEW**

There aren't many people out wont have seen or heard of the film The Little Mermaid. Its a Disney classic and even as an adult its a film I still enjoy to watch. So you can imagine my delight when Evelyn showed an interest in watching Disney films and of all the films we have watched together The Little Mermaid has been one of her absolute favourites. So when we were given the chance to try out and review a Colours of the sea Ariel doll I knew it would be a big hit with Evelyn.

Colours of the sea Ariel toddler doll from the Disney film "The Little Mermaid" who is able to fully submerge in the water and say 14 enchanting, recognisable phrases. Ariel's tail also shines and sparkles creating a beautiful light show when she is submerged in water at bath time. Of course Ariel wouldn't be without her trusty friend flounder though, who also comes included with this doll as a fun bath water squirter.

Ariel isn't just confined to being a bath toy though, she is so much more! With her wide tail she is able to stand unaided which has been perfect for when my little girl has wanted to use Ariel to play tea parties with. Her tail also light sup outside of the water too.

Ariel is larger than other standard size dolls making her great for toddlers as she is easy to hold and move around.

I was a little worried how her hair would cope once it had gotten wet as lots of dolls hair seems to get knotted and matted when wet. Ariel's hair however stayed silky soft and smooth and was easy to brush out and dry once out of the bath with her hair returning to almost the same style as it was when she arrived.

Would we recommend Colours of the Ariel? Definitely! She has been a huge hit with Evelyn and whilst the phrases can become a little repetitive for us adults little ones will loves them. The light show her tails gives off at bath time has made for great bath time fun and the lights are actually quite bright even under the water, lighting up a good portion of the bath water. She comes complete with the batteries required and so as soon as Ariel is out of the box the fun can begin. The doll feels sturdy and fantastic quality and it by far Evelyn's new favourite toy, its come everywhere with her bath time or not!

Does your little one have a favourite Disney Character?


** We received a colours of the sea Ariel doll which we used to create this review. All words, opinions and photos are my own.**

The Grossery Gang - Mushy Slushy play set **REVIEW**

We were recently asked if James would like to review the new Grossery Gang Mushy Slushy play set from Flair and with the word Gross in its name I knew it would be a hit with James, we of course agreed!

If its gross, smelly or just looks funky its sure to be a hit with James and that is why I knew he would love this set so much.

The Grossery Gang are the craziest grossest collectibles around with attitude to match. There are over 150 characters to collect over 6 gangs, make sure you keep an eye out for ultra rare and special edition characters too.

The Mushy Slushy play set lets you launch your figures in to the slushy machine, pull the leaver and watch them fall in to the slushy cup below. The Mushy Slushy play set includes 2 exclusive characters Rotten Raspberry and Grimey Lime too.

(Launching out Grossery Gang figure in to the cup!)

We really like that the Mushy Slushy play set is ready to play with as soon as it is out of the box, it doesn't really require any assembly or stickers adding just un-box, remove your figure and play its really that simple! Perfect for when you have children at your ankles wanting to play immediately. The actions within the play set are easy to grasp too so no frustrated children trying to work out how to use it, just lots of gross fun to be had.

The Grossery Gang Mushy Slushy play set is priced at just £14.99 which I feel is great value. It has so far provided hours of fun for James and even Evelyn has enjoyed launching the figures. I love that the set can be added to with the addition of more characters and so never gets boring.

Have you heard of the Grossery Gang before?


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Unilever #BrightFuture Challenge!

Im ashamed to admit that the future and being "green" and economical is something that barely crossed my mind before I became a parent, however becoming a parent total changed my view on all this.

As a parent we of course want the best for our children but that doesn't just stop at home, it should extend to the world we live in and how we treat it too. I was recently invited to take part in the #brightfutures challenge with Unilever and it has definitely been an eye opener. Its made us as a family look at the things we already do, the choices and decisions we make and things we could improve on.

Unilever’s #BrightFuture initiative focuses on small changes that can make big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.

What we are doing -

Recycling - This is a big one for everyone and something we should all be doing and its so simple to do too! We have separate large plastic containers for each thing such as plastic, glass, cardboard etc which the kids regularly help us to do. I think its so important to teach them about recycling and just how much of a difference it can make. We had for some reason put off recycling food waste but recently started and its been a real eye opener about just how much food waste we had!

Recycling doesn't have to stop at just boxing things up, we often use cardboard boxes, tubes, sheets etc as well as bits of wrapping paper, bubble wrap and old unused wall paper for crafting. The kids love creating pictures of cuts off from the wall paper when we are decorating.

Using less water - Using less water is something we make a conscious effort to do and its so simple to do. Turning off the tap whilst brushing our teeth saves water from just running down the drain and washing at 30 can make a huge difference.

As part of the campaign we received some Persil Non Bio washing detergent which is perfect for getting those clothes clean, especially the children's! Persil is encouraging our children to get outside and play, inspiring them to grow and learn and enjoy being outdoors. When washing clothes we could use less water and wash at lower temperatures, helping to educate our children about the little changes we can implement to make a difference. Furthermore, Persil has backed a global initiative ‘Learning for Tomorrow’ partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the world’s toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education.

Reusable Bags - With the 5p bag charge now in place reusable bags are becoming much more popular and that is great! I actually find reusable bags so much easier with less risk of breaking whilst I dash from the car to the house and they also seem to hold much more! We recently started using Trolley Bags which have been so easy to use and taking away our need to use plastic carriers completely.

What we are going to do -

Both myself and my husband have recently been discussing an allotment. I would absolutely love to have our own little space on an allotment where we can grow our own food and also teach the kids about growing how food is grown and where it comes from. I think this would definitely be a big step for us but one I am hoping we can take next year!

With lots of our children now learning about more environmentally friendly and more sustainable ways to live its no surprise that six out of ten parents saying that they have started to live in a ‘greener’ way at home at the suggestion of their children. I think its great that schools can encourage our children like this, teaching them from a young age just how important it is. 

We live in a country where we often take "little luxuries" like clean fresh running water and education for our children for granted and campaigns like this make me realise just how lucky we really are. I think the work Unilever and the #BrightFutures campaign is doing is amazing and something we could all take a look at to make those changes.

What steps do you, or would you like to take to create a brighter future for our children?


This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Stretchy Scooby Doo **REVIEW**

I remember watching Scooby Doo when I was a child and whilst the picture on screen may have got a little clearer I love the fact that the stories and characters are all still basically the same!

At age 7 James has recently got in to watching Scooby Doo so when we were given the opportunity to review a new Scooby Doo toy I knew James would love it.

The new Stretchy Scooby Doo is the same recognizable Scooby Doo character but with a twist, he can be stretched up to 3x his original size and still ping back to normal. It still features all of Scooby's classic features such as his blue collar and scared face.

From his neck down every part of stretchy Scooby doo can be stretched out of shape, he can even be tied up in knots and he still returns to his original shape and size! I have to admit I was apprehensive as to whether Scooby would actually return to his original shape without some signs of stretching or sagging from the stretching but I was wrong! Scooby pinged back to shape within seconds of stretching with no signs of him being stretched at all.

Stretch Scooby Doo is aimed at children aged 5+ which I would say is fairly accurate. Whilst Evelyn (aged 2) enjoyed playing with Scooby it can be quite tough to get him to stretch and so this part wasn't suitable for her. James is almost 7 and was able to stretch Scooby himself though so it is definitely doable for a child. It may require an adults help though if you wanted to really stretch him out!

Over all James loves the stretch Scooby Doo and thinks its great fun trying to stretch him a little more each time he plays with him or twist, stretch and knot him in different ways! He is currently priced at £19.99 and you can find out more or purchase your own Stretchy Scooby via the Character Website.

Do your kids watch Scooby Doo or do you remember watching it growing up?


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van **REVIEW**

Sylvanian Families is a well known name is most house holds, whether it was you who played with them when you were little or its now your own children its something most of us have seen and played with.

Evelyn is just getting to that age where she wants to play with smaller toys and loves imaginative/ role play toys and so I thought now would be a great time to introduce her to her very first Sylvanian Families set!

We recently received the Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van and it has been an immediate hit with Evelyn.

I love all the detail in this set right down to the little food items available from the van. Included in this set is the Hot Dog Van itself, a special shop manager uniform including a sun visor, a menu, a bottle of ketchup, a bottle of mustard, a cup of orange juice, a cup of tea, a serving tong, 8 dog wrappers, 6 snack wrappers, 3 sausages, 3 buns, 2 pretzels, 5 kinds of hot dogs, 2 waffles, a rabbit-shaped waffle and a squirrel-shaped waffle. 

As you can see there is so much included in the kit and the attention to detail is incredible. The pieces are quite small so it would definitely be worth have a safe place to keep these when not being played with as it would be such a shame for them to be lost as they really finish of this set. Even the inside of the van is full of cute little details! 

The Sylvanian Familes hot dog van feels strong and sturdy and has that same cute, quaint feel that flows through the whole Sylvanian families range. I really like that this toy doesn't require batteries and it really inspires kids to use their imagination and create play and stories with the set. 

There was only one thing I could think of that would improve this set and that would be if it included a little Sylvanian Families character in with the set. As this was Evelyn's first set we didn't have any characters and so this is next on our list to buy but it would have been lovely to have one included as you never know which Sylvanian Families set will be your first!

If you are looking for a toy that will be played with for years and years to come and that will never really lose its charm then the Sylvanian families range is for you. This timeless classic toy is one I know Evelyn will be playing with for some time and thanks to the great quality I know it will stand the test of time and hours of play.

Do you own any Sylvanian Families sets? Which one is your favourite?


**I was not paid for this post, We were given the opportunity to try out the sylvanian families hot dog van which I used to write this honest review. All thoughts and opinions within this post are my own**

Tickled Pink Halloween Fancy Dress **REVIEW**

I can't believe its October already and with that brings Halloween!

Both James and Evelyn love dressing up so for them Halloween is a great opportunity for them to dress up and get suitable spooky! We tend to take them along to a organised Halloween party rather than trick or treating and so that means they both get dressed up to join in.

So when the lovely people over at Tickled Pink Fancy dress offered us Halloween costumes for both James and Evelyn to review the kids were so excited! I let them choose their own outfits, James went for the Jolly Rotten Pirate Boy costume and Evelyn chose the Elegant Glitter Witch costume both of which I think were great choices. There were so many great costumes to choose from though!

                  Jolly Rotten Pirate Costume                                        Elegant Glitter Witch Costume

The Jolly Rotten Pirate Boy costume is made up of a gruesome printed top, printed trousers and hat. The detail on both the top and the trousers is very good and pretty detailed. James loved the bloody body parts and thought they were great. The quality of the print of the costume is good too, I have put this through the wash and the designed has not faded, peeled or cracked at all! This costume is available is size small (4-6 years), medium (7-9 years) and large ( 10-12 years). I would say this costume is true to size and as the trousers are elasticated they do seem to stay up pretty well. The only criticism I would have would be that the pirate hat this outfit comes with gets quite squashed in the packaging so will need some folding and adjusting before wearing.

To complete James look I used some gory scar and cut transfer tattoo's a pirate sword and some face paint for his eye patch!

The Elegant Glitter Witch costume came as a one piece dress plus a matching witches hat. The skirt of the dress is made up of 3 layers, a base layer which matches the top and 2 layers of tulle (1 black and 1 orange). The skirt is then covered is gold swirls and stars making it a very cute spooky outfit. I would recommend giving the dress some time hanging up as the skirt had become a little crumpled in the post but hanging for a day or so solved this! This costume is available in small (3-4 years) or medium (5-6 years). I would say the sizes are roughly true to size but if anything a little on the smaller side. Evelyn usually wears 2-3 years clothing so we ordered the small and it fit really well, there is definitely room left to grow though!

I paired Evelyn's costume with some spotty pink tights and a glittery broom (which can be seen in the photo below).

James and Evelyn absolutely love their Ticked Pink fancy dress Halloween outfits and can't wait to wear them to the Halloween party at the end of the month! Both costumes feel like good quality and are a great price too (both outfits were priced at £14.99 each).

If you want to check out these outfits or more of the great outfits Tickled Pink Fancy dress have to offer check out their fancy dress website.

Are you or your children dressing up for Halloween? If so what as?


**I was not paid for this post, We were given the opportunity to try out 2 costumes of our choice which I then used to write this review. All thoughts and opinions within this post are my own **

Monday, 3 October 2016

Lakeland Chocoholics Hamper **REVIEW**

We all have that one person in our circle or friends or family that we struggle to buy for at Christmas time, but have you ever considered buying them a hamper?

There is a fantastic range of hampers to suit all tastes at Lakeland including a Cornish tea cup hamper, a cheeseboard hamper and even a gourmet hamper packed full or gourmet delights! I have to admit though when the lovely people over at Lakeland offered to send us one of their hampers it was the Chocoholics hamper that caught my eye!

The Chocoholics hamper contains -

  • Grandma Wild’s Milk Chocolate Coated Cranberry Biscuits (150g.)
  • English Tea Shop Chocolate Rooibos & Vanilla Tea Bags (20 bags)
  • Euro Confectionery Belgian Cocoa Truffles (150g.)
  • Arden & Amici Chocolate Chip Panettone (100g.)
  • Buttermilk West Country Luxury Chocolate Fudge (100g.)
  • Beech’s Milk Chocolate Bar (60g.)
  • Chocca Mocca® Drinking Chocolate (150g.)
  • Atkins & Potts Decadent Milk Chocolate Dipper (100g.)
  • Joe & Seph’s Smooth Caramel & Belgian Chocolate Popcorn (32g.)

As you can see the hamper contains a fantastic selection of luxury chocolate goodies, the perfect gift for any chocoholics you know! 

I love the range of products included in the hamper and that all the products are full size products rather than sample sizes. The beautiful hamper the products come in looks lovely too, perfect for a gift and could easily be used for lots of things such as storage even once the contents of the hamper has been eaten. 

I think a hamper can make a great gift if you are struggling to decide what to buy for a friend or relative and with the huge range Lakeland have to offer you are sure to find something to suit. I know I personally would love to receive one of these as a gift, wouldn't you? 

Some of my favourites in this hamper were Belgian truffles! They were absolutely delicious and so moorish yet decadent they felt like a real luxury treat. The Chocca Mocca drinking chocolate is also amazing! It is actual chocolate chips which you can melt in to hot milk to create the most delicious hot chocolate around. Its the perfect winter warming drink. 
I have to be honest there wasn't one product we didn't like in the Chocoholics hamper, even the kids enjoyed some of the treats inside.

The Chocoholics hampers is priced at £39.99 and is a Lakeland exclusive! I think this is a pretty good price considering the amount of luxury products you get in the hampers and the beautiful hamper its self!. 

Why not check out the other hampers available at Lakeland HERE and let me know which one you would choose! 


**I was not paid for this post, We were given the opportunity to try a Lakeland hamper which I used to write this honest review. All thoughts and opinions within this post are my own**