9 December 2020

Gift Ideas for Spreading Christmas Cheer


This year I definitely think we have to spread Christmas cheer more than ever. Who would have ever predicted a 2020 quite like this! Anyway, like I said, it's all about spreading Christmas cheer and there's more ways to do this than by singing loud for all to hear - see what I did there... So read on to see my top picks for bringing the joy of Christmas even to the grumpiest of scrooges.

The Reindeer Feeder
Have you ever heard of the Reindeer Feeder before? Nope? Neither have I however he's 100% guaranteed to spread lots of festive cheer this year. So what is a Reindeer Feeder? Well it's a Shrumann who has 2 very important jobs; 1) to give Santa the all clear that everyone is asleep and he can come down the chimney and 2) while Santa delivers the presents he pops up the chimney to feed the reindeer. It's a brilliant idea and one sure to ignite children's imagination. The Shrumann comes in a lovely Reindeer Feeder gift box complete with feeding license, storybook, reusable window sticker and carrot sack. Simply stand you Reindeer Feeder on your mantel piece or windowsill and on Christmas Eve fill the feeding sack with carrots ready for the Shrumann to complete his work. It's such a lovely activity to do and would make excellent gifts for inside Christmas Eve boxes or December boxes. I'm going to put one in our December boxes for the kids to share. Check out their website for more info www.thereindeerfeeder.com.

Photography Experience Days With Paul David Smith
Since spreading Christmas cheer is top propriety this year how about treating your loved one to an amazing photography experience with Paul David Smith. There are some cracking fun experiences to be had from the likes of a Warrior Photography Experience to Mermaid Queen Photoshoot and my absolute favourite - Floating On A Bed Of Dreams Photography Experience! Honestly they all look fantastic and with prices starting from £250 it's a brilliant gift and much cheaper than a PlayStation 5, haha. You can even purchase gift vouchers direct from pauldavidsmith.co.uk so your loved one can pick the experience they want themselves. There's also photography courses available for that budding photographer in your life. Go check out the Paul David Smith website for more details. 

The Green Clean Lady
Why not help spread some Christmas cheer this year by also supporting small businesses? The Green Clean Lady is just one of those and she produces some amazing handmade cruelty free candles, reed diffusers and toilet bombs. The Green Clean Lady is based in North Berwick with her lovely little family and has been working her butt off to make a great eco friendly cleaning business. So maybe if you don't need any candles you could book her in for a Christmas house clean instead or how about home styling? Home staging / interior styling is designed to show your property in its best possible light before putting it up for sale. Or why not just treat yourself and have The Green Clean Lady come and fancy up your home for Christmas!? Sounds ace right.

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 

2 December 2020

Gift Ideas for Him - What to get the man who has everything!


What do you get the man in your life when he has everything... nothing! Haha, only joking. I'm seriously struggling for gift ideas when it comes to the men in my life, whether it be the other half, my Dad or my father-in-law, they all just buy what they want when they need it so gift ideas can be few and far between. That's why I've put together this little gift guide to hopefully inspire you (and myself) for fabulous gift ideas.  

TrendHim Leather Gloves
My husband really struggles to get a nice pair of gloves that fit. He gets really sore hands in winter so always needs a pair of gloves to hand. I'm lucky to have found a beautiful leather pair on TrendHim, a site which offers accessories and jewellery for men. I love that this business totally caters for men and has some beautiful gifts that really stand out. Shipping is free over £29 and be sure to place your orders by 17th December for guaranteed Christmas delivery. Go check them out for some inspiration. 

Il Gusto Flavoured Alcohol
It wouldn't be Christmas without a little tipple and these wonderful Il Gusto Flavoured Alcohol stocking fillers are perfect as an extra treat during the festive season. I love that they come in fab Christmas shaped bottles, from Gingerbread Men and Stars to Christmas Trees. The alcohol flavours sound delicous too. Rhubarb Gin, yes please! Or what about Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur or Turkish Delight Gin? All sound like perfect gifts and there's loads to choose from. Even better is that you can pick some up for as little as £10, bargain!

There's nothing better than a fresh smelling car and I know my other half would totally appreciate this Carfume luxury car air freshener. Not only does it smell amazing but it looks fabulous too. It's so easy to use and it can be topped up every 5-7 days to keep your car smelling great. This would definitely make a great stocking filler gift and you can purchase a gift pack too, not just a single. Check out their website for more info.

Plume Candles
It's not just women who like a nice candle, men do as well and Plume are a local Edinburgh small business who make fantastic smelling candles. It's definitely nice to support small businesses at this time of year if you can especially local ones so go check out their Etsy page and maybe make a purchase or two!

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 

30 November 2020

Unusual Gift Ideas for Children


Every year I struggle to think of new and exciting gifts to buy the kids for Christmas. Harlow's not too bad as she wants everything and anything however Logan is almost 11 and it's so hard to know what to get for him as he normally isn't that fussed for gifts, never really has been. He loves his gadgets and tech but there's only so much you can buy so that's why I've put together this gift guide on some more unusual things to buy children this Christmas. 

Young Driver

If you’re looking for a Christmas present for a 5 to 17-year old, how about giving the gift of driving? It'll be a unique and exciting experience that'll make memories to last a lifetime. My son would definitely love this and I'd love it to as it's a gift that doesn't take up space in my house haha! If you're child is aged 10 or over they can get behind the wheel of a real car with Young Driver, how amazing is that. If they're aged 5 to 10 then they can drive a specially created two-seater electric car. There's over 70 UK venues so plenty to choose from. I was surprised that there's a few near me just outside of Fife. Prices for a 30-minute lesson for 10 to 17-year olds start from £32.99, and Firefly lessons for 5-10s are £21.99. Gift vouchers are available and can be purchased from www.youngdriver.com.

Have You Ever Had a Stressor?
Is a great book written with children's mental health in mind. The book was written by iSpace Wellbeing founder, Paula Talman, a leading expert with 25 years of experience in child development and physical and mental health. Focusing on ‘stressors’ - those things that cause us a ‘big worry’ -  the book is designed to help children to open up about what’s worrying them, so that they can identify the cause and understand who and how to ask for help. It's a great little read and a good gift to give this year with all that's been going on. You can find out more info at iSpace Wellbeing

Letterbox Lab
Letterbox Lab is a children’s subscription box service that brings science to life with collectable lab equipment, gadgets and new discoveries in every box. The boxes come with everything parents and children need to start building their lab and have fun with a range of cool experiments. From building helicopters and catapults to experiments that fizz, change colour and glow in the dark, the boxes are designed to help parents spend quality time with children doing something educational and fun, with minimal fuss. The world needs scientists now more than ever, and their mission is to help inspire the next generation of innovators. Children who gain a love of science from an early age may go on to discover the next medical or scientific breakthrough that could help solve some of the wide-ranging issues affecting our planet. It just takes that one spark to light a passion for learning, and from there, anything is possible. Prices start from £11.25 and I think it's a great gift that keeps on giving. 

Tales from the Pitch Books
My son is a real book worm and loves getting stuck into a good read. I know some children do struggle with their reading but that's where tales from the pitch can help. This brand new book series is using the power of football to get even the most reluctant of readers involved. They're easy to read fictional biographies of major football stars which offer something very important to most children - facts about football players and a behind the scenes glimpse into their world. I think books are always a great gift to give so this definitely gets a thumbs up from me. Each book retails for £6.99 and they'd make excellent gifts this Christmas. 

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 

25 November 2020

Gift Ideas for Busy Mums


Everyone seems to be celebrating Christmas that little bit earlier this year, and who can blame them! The year of 2020 has been a bit crap lets be honest and as always it's us busy mums that are usually running around trying to get ourselves and the family organised. We deserve a nice treat after all our hard work so I've put together this gift guide on what to buy the busy mum in your life this Christmas. Enjoy!

treat trunk
This box of goodies is perfect for that mum who's always on the run or the exhausted new mum who just needs a grab and go snack. The treat trunk is a healthy snack subscription box designed for when you have that moment of calm and can dive into a selection of treats chosen with mums in mind. They're all very nutritious so you don't have to feel guilty about indulging in a few. I personally think it's a great idea, I mean who doesn't want a box of snacks delivered to their door every month! Each box is literally crammed full and there's a few different options to choose from on the treat trunk website so go check it out.  

Essench are a health and beauty brand who use the power of plants to help you relax and unwind. I particularly love their CBD Bath Bombs especially the one named Relax! It promises to provide the best relaxation experience when popped in the bath. Sounds fab to me. I also really love the look of their Phoenix Balm which is infused with CBD and used to help muscle aches and headaches. I get so many headaches these days so this temple rub would be ace. These products are vegan friendly, cruelty free and palm oil free which is amazing. Prices start from around £8.00 so go check them out online.

Say It With Champers
Who doesn't love a little tipple at Christmas and what better way to show you care than with a Mini Personalised Bottle of Prosecco! With prices starting at £8.99 it won't break the bank but makes such a lovely gift. I know I would totally appreciate this underneath my Christmas tree with my name on it. Great idea with that personal touch. There's loads of different options available from Say It With Champers so do have a nosey at their website for perfect gift ideas. 

Shardana Catering
If you're local to Fife/Edinburgh areas then why not get in touch with Shardana Catering to treat the busy mum in your life to a delicious home cooked meal prepared for her by her very own chef! It's an amazing experience and it means she'll get a night off and the chance to relax and put her feet up. There's lots of amazing options to choose from with something to suit everyone. I definitely think it makes an excellent gift as completely different and unusual. Find them online for more details. 

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 

3 November 2020

Review: Twisty Girlz Bracelets

My daughter loves dolls and jewellery so it's only natural that she's going to love the all new Twisty Girlz from Spin Master who magically transform from doll to collectible bracelet. But that's not all! They come with a mystery Twisty Pet as well. Super exciting. Harlow has been sent two dolls to check out and review. She was so excited when I gave them to her so hears what we thought.

As I've mentioned these fashionable dolls transform from cute girl into a bracelet you can wear. It's simple and easy to do and the dolls come with full instructions in case you need a little help. Each Twisty Girlz features a different stylish outfit and cool hairstyle and comes with a secret Twisty Pet. It's a great element of surprise to add in and Harlow loved guessing which mystery pet she would receive. The Twisty Pet comes in it's own little pet carrier, simply open up to reveal either a unicorn, elephant, puppy or kitty.

Each box contains 1 Twisty Girlz bracelet, 1 ring (Twisty Pet), 1 lead, 1 instructions sheet and 1 collector's guide. The little lead comes in so handy as it means you can join your Twisty Girlz bracelet and Twisty Pet to create a bracelet/ring combo. With a few simple twists, your Twisty Girlz doll becomes a trendy bracelet and your pet transfers into a super cute blingy ring. There's lots of different ones to collect including rare and super rare dolls.

Harlow loves both of her dolls and mystery pets. She received Glitzy Bitzy, who came with the sweetest little unicorn pet, and Kitty Katt who came with a beautiful cat pet. Both dolls are very vibrant and fun to look at with crazy cool hair, glittery skirts and amazing details. I personally think they're really fun and Harlow has been playing with them loads over the last week, both as dolls and as jewellery. They retail for £9.99 which I think is a fair price since they're a decent size, comes with pets and also have a dual purpose. They'd make great stocking fillers for sure this year or a lovely present to give the kids on birthdays or for doing well in school. 

I found the dolls easy to transform into a bracelet and the pets into a ring. After a few tries it comes naturally and you can change it back and forth without any problems. Harlow found it quite easy too (she's 5) although struggled a little bit with the pets to get them back into pet form however it was easy enough for me to help out if she needed it. I'm sure she'll grasp it better the more practice she has. Overall lovely toys at a decent price and I'm sure Harlow will be asking for more from Santa!

Products have been gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

17 October 2020

Halloween Ascarium Fun at the Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium


It's the month of October and the Halloween spookiness is in full swing. We were invited along to the Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium last week to see what their Ascarium event had to offer. We love getting out and about enjoying the Halloween activities and this event runs until Saturday 1st November so still plenty of time to get your tickets booked online. 

First impressions are that the aquarium is pretty easy to find. It's located right beside the Loch Lomond Shores shopping and leisure complex so plenty of parking dotted around plus some food venues if you're peckish. The sea life centre does have it's own little cafe if you want some coffee and cake though plus they have a few sandwiches, ice lollies & ice creams and kiddies lunch boxes.

When we entered the aquarium we were delighted to see tons of cool Halloween decorations had been put on display. This was carried on throughout the rest of the sea life centre and we were really impressed with the effort that had gone into decorating the place. As you enter there's a green screen where you can stop to get your photo taken and then take the ticket to the machines in reception to buy them if you wish. It's a nice opportunity for a family photo instead of just a selfie.

Reception staff were lovely and very informative letting us know where everything was and explaining to the kids that they could get involved with the Ascarium event with the spooky spell treasure hunt. You get given the treasure hunt sheet and a pencil then search round the aquarium to find the sea witches lost ingredients. These ingredients have a letter on them which you have to put together and unscramble to make a word. When you have the word you can take your spooky spell sheet back to reception where you get to choose a prize. It's a nice touch to keep the kids busy whilst also enjoying all the animals. As well as this the kids chose to have a fact finding sheet too. There's little fact stations placed around the aquarium and you have to find the fact and scratch off the correct answer. You get a little prize from reception for doing this too.

Both the kids really enjoyed the spooky spell treasure hunt and the fact finding sheet. It kept them occupied and also learning at the same time. Combined with all the Halloween decorations, the animals and different exhibits it was a brilliant afternoon out. The rock pool experience was even open (with extra hand washing) which meant the kids were kept pretty busy and loving every minute. We took our time going round, reading all the info boards and watching the different sea creatures go about their day. We'll definitely be back.

When the kids were getting a bit peckish we stopped at the cafe on the top floor for some refreshments and to watch people enjoying themselves on the loch. You get stunning views from the cafe and they have an outdoor viewing platform so definitely give it a visit. There's a cinema room too where you can watch a video about saving the sea and it's wildlife. The kids really enjoyed this. 

It really was a fun family day out so if you're looking for something to do that's in keeping with the Halloween theme this month then pop along to the Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium for spooktastic fun!

We were gifted a family ticket in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

15 July 2020

Review: Delicious Food from Shardana Catering

Last week the hubby and I were treated to a beautiful meal at home thanks to Shardana Catering and chef Stefano. If you're looking for something a bit special and different then Shardana Catering are definitely the people to go to. They offer a wide variety of services including; private chef hire, private catering for a special day, private sommelier service, entertainment and event packages. Nothing is too much trouble for you and your guests.

Shardana Catering are based in Edinburgh and operate throughout Scotland but can provide services UK wide on request. Stefano didn't cook in our home this time but he did provide us with a delicious meal for 2 hand delivered straight to our door. We even got dressed up for the occasion, why not!? The menu choices for our meal all looked fabulous but we managed to whittle it down in the end. For starters I chose the scrummy home cured salmon in a beetroot infused with herbs creme fraiche, lemon gel and apple pure and the hubby went for handmade smoked duck breast, pan fried asparagus, rocket and truffle oil. Both dishes were amazing and so well presented. Stefano even provided us with some cute little appetisers which was very kind. Those were tasty too.

For our mains we had braised slow cooked Ox cheek with smoked mashed potatoes and root vegetables, beef jus and baked seabass en papillote with seasonal veg, mussels and herbs. Both dishes were very generous helpings and just as delicious as our starters. Honestly couldn't fault them. Stefano also made us some bread to accompany our dishes, it was bloody amazing! I put a little butter and sprinkled rock salt over it. Highly recommend.

With full bellies we had a breather before trying our desserts, they did not disappoint though. I had the very mouth watering coffee mousse with chocolate and almond cigar whereas the hubby went for cream bomboloni. For anyone that doesn't know (I didn't) bomboloni are fluffy pillows of rich and tender fried pastry dough rolled in sugar and filled with velvety Crema Pasticcera {Italian Pastry Cream}, fresh and warm out of the oven. How fabulous is that.

I was really impressed with the quality of our food and the fact it was all still warm when delivered. Shardana Catering is all about using high-quality ingredients in its authentic and modern Italian cuisine and this definitely showed with our food. Everything was carefully prepared and packaged for its journey to us and like I said the portion sizes were generous.

From corporate events to private parties and weddings, you can wholeheartedly rely on Shardana Catering to provide the best catering service. I would most definitely recommend to family and friends.

The food from Shardana Catering was provided in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

23 June 2020

Brilliant Family Friendly Summer Games from Tactic

The school summer holidays are almost in sight which means no more home learning and a break for us adults as well as the kids. Home learning has been tough going at times so we're definitely looking forward to a break in our house. To keep us from getting bored and to make sure we have fun as a family the lovely people from Tactic have sent us a handful of games to try out and enjoy.
We really love a good board game or two in our house so were thrilled to receive three different fabulous games. So what did we get? Well we have the energetic Beach Bounce aimed at ages 4+, I Love Britain aimed at ages 7+ and an outdoor game called Mölkky aimed at ages 6+. Harlow desperately wanted to unbox and play Beach Bounce first so that's what we did.

Beach Bounce is a fun and exciting game where you can team up with other players to bounce a little beach ball and raise your flags first to be the winner. Aimed at ages 4+ you can have from 2-4 players and each game lasts around 15 minutes plus. Sometimes longer depending on the skill of the players but that just means it'll keep the kids busy so they're not wrecking your house. You start off by choosing your team, either Dolphins or Seals and you try to make 3 in a row by bouncing the beach balls and landing them in the waves (small square holes). It's quite straight forward to follow and my two certainly picked it up quickly. For each 3 in a row, your team can place their flag on the scoring island. The first team to raise 3 flags on the island wins!

It's a really great game which can get competitive at times but we loved it. The 3D game set up is fab and makes it more interesting for the kids. Players joining together as a team was a big hit for us too. Sometimes the kids joined up against us adults and won haha. I really liked that is was easy to set up and quite self explanatory, especially when you have younger children. They just want to get on with it super quick. The instructions are simple to follow though and once you've had your first go it'll be easy to keep playing again and again.

Next up Logan wanted to try out I Love Britain as he loves a fact and this game is all about British history. Or should I say it tests you on how well you know British history! The colourful map of Britain is your game board and you've to race around the United Kingdom, visit different regions and answer questions about British culture, traditions, nature and more. Roll the die to see whether you’re moving around by bicycle, by car or sweeping through the air on a plane. Each correct answer earns you a card, and the first player to collect five different category symbols wins.

Aimed at ages 7+ this is a lovely educational game for 2-4 players which definitely helps to develop memory skills as well as learning new things about our country. So many things I'm ashamed to admit I never knew but Logan was absolutely amazing at this game. His knowledge and fact recall is brilliant, his Dad and I were super impressed. It'll be no surprise to hear that Logan won most of the time as well. He especially enjoyed that on the bottom of each question card there is a fact to read out to everyone if you get the question right.

Last but not least is the brilliant outdoor game Mölkky. It's a Scandinavian style game which is quick and easy to set up. Aimed at ages 6+ with 2+ players to get going, it's super simple to set the skittles in the formation shown on the instructions and then just throw the pin to see how many you can knock over.

There are 12 skittles in total and 1 throwing pin. Each skittle is numbered 1 to 12 and once set up you must stand between 3-4 metres away for throwing the pin. You have to knock the skittle over completely before you can claim that as a score. If one skittle is knocked over then the score equals the number on the skittle. If more than one skittle is knocked over then the score equals the number of knocked over skittles. The instructions come with a little scoring card to keep track but it's worth having pen and paper handy to help out. 

The aim of the game is to score 50 points exactly first. If you go over 50 then your score is halved to 25 and you start again trying to get to 50. The kids loved it and it was very exciting to see who could knock the skittles over and who could be the winner.

I really liked this game because it's quick and easy to understand. It has a fab carry case which is perfect for taking to the park to play with friends or out in the garden. Everything goes back into the box without a fuss as well which is a massive bonus. I hate it when games won't fit back in the box! The skittles and pin are made of solid wood so very sturdy and hard wearing. Everyone can get involved with this too from young to old, it's a lovely game for some outdoor fun.

These games have been gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

22 April 2020

Review: Spinmaster Candylocks Dolls & Pets

Harlow absolutely loves a little surprise in the post and since we can't go to the shops anymore (which she really enjoyed) she's been keeping a keen eye on what's been getting delivered instead. You can imagine her excitement then when the postie turned up with a special package just for her. Inside was a beautiful Candylocks doll complete with it's own pet! There might have been some excited squeals from Harlow when she saw it.

Candylocks are amazingly scented collectible dolls and pets with long hair so soft it looks like cotton candy. They're bright and colourful and honestly smell lovely. Some of the scents used are mango, peach and lemon. This new 2-Pack of Beachie Besties includes one 3-inch tropical-themed Candylocks doll and her Fruitpop pet friend. I just love the way they come packaged too. Their ombre hair (of 15 inches) is wrapped around the doll and the pet to hide them in a cotton candy cone shape. This series has the dolls looking like popsicles in the package which is very cool.

As well as receiving your doll and pet in this package you also get a couple of cute accessories. A lovely little hat and a hair pin that doubles up as a food bowl for your pet! Harlow loved having the accessories but her favourite thing to do was of course play with their hair. It's super soft, super long and doesn't need brushed plus has a unique texture which makes it easy to style even for little hands. We've been practicing a lot of pleats recently but you can create braids, buns, twists and ponytails on your doll and pet.

There's eight different Candylocks dolls and pet sets to collect which retail for around £12.99 and if you want to add anymore pets to your collection you can purchase the separate Candylocks pets scented surprise figurse for around £4.99 (20 different pets to collect). These are a great way to start your Candylocks collection. Each pack of Beachie Besties comes with 1 Candylocks Doll, 1 Candylocks Pet, 2 Accessories, 1 Collector Poster, 1 Instruction Sheet.

Harlow has had lots of fun playing with her Candylocks and pet and uses them to interact with other toys she has. She's right into her dolls at the moment and small animal toys so this gift was perfect. She has a list as long as my arm with toys she wants to buy with her birthday money once lockdown is over and there's definitely going to be some Candylocks on there. 

This product was gifted in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

9 April 2020

Review: Zuru Rainbocorns Series 2 & Smashers Epic Egg

I don't know about you lot but keeping the kids occupied can be hard work at times! Especially during the current circumstances. With Easter on the horizon it's a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and treat the munchkins to a toy for Easter (instead of chocolate) that'll keep them occupied for hours. I'm sure they'll thank you for it with some nice peace and quiet!

Logan and Harlow have both been very lucky to receive some fabulous toys from Zuru which have been keeping them very busy. Logan received a super cool Smashers Epic Egg and some 5 Surprise Dino Strike capsules whereas Harlow got a Rainbocorns Series 2 Ultimate Surprise Egg and some 5 Surprise Unicorn Squad capsules. Both kids were delighted with their treats and couldn't wait to get stuck in. As you can imagine Harlow was most impatient to get into her Rainbocorns Series 2 egg so I let her open that first.

So what are Rainbocorns? They're cute cuddly toys and the Rainbocorns Series 2 is the ultimate surprise egg. It's like a special unboxing egg with 10 layers to hatch and discover. Think YouTube surprise unboxing and you get the idea. With series 2 of these adorable creatures there are 13 new characters to collect including Unicorns, Llamacorns, Pandacorns and even a rare golden Flamingocorn. Every egg includes a collectible teal egg, a hatching hint, scented plush, surprise sequin accessory heart, collectable Boo-Boocorns, Rainbocorn Poop, stickers, collectible accessory and collector’s guide. Lots to keep the little ones happy.

When we peeled off the first layer to get into the egg a piece of paper with a hatching hint (a clue as to what creature was inside) floated out. It had I Love Mountains on it! Harlow was then so thrilled to hatch a beautiful Llamacorn from inside her egg and I was surprised to smell it was scented. It smelt gorgeous with lovely vanilla notes which were easy on the nose. Harlow cuddled into her Llamacorn at bed time and she smelt like vanilla in the morning, so cute. There were more surprises inside with a bag of Rainbocorn poop that is also scented and is kind of like a foam goo, if that's a thing? It's great to play with and doesn't cause any mess (so thankful). The little Boo-Boocorn (which is like a mini rainbocorn baby inside an egg) we got inside was a lion type but did you know there's over 40 new ones to collect including rare twins! Harlow's put more Rainbocorns Series 2 on her present list as she's desperate for those twins. Our Llamacorn also has a sequin surprise heart that can be clipped to your backpack, hair, or clothing, and swapped with friends. You brush the sequins the other way to discover the secret, Harlow's Llamacorn had a slice of pizza on her heart.

The surprise elements of this egg are great and kept Harlow occupied for ages. She's played with all the items every day over and over again so I'd definitely buy her another one. Great as an alternative Easter present or a fab boredom buster. If you're kids also love surprises not only will they love these Rainbocorns Series 2 but they'll love the 5 Surprise Unicorn Squad. They're very similar to the surprise eggs but instead are capsules on a smaller scale. They're still awesome and have 5 surprises inside, you crack them open like a chocolate orange and peel each slice to find the surprise inside. You get a unicorn body, cool hair, accessories, goo and stickers. Rainbocorns Series 2 retail for £24.99 and the 5 Surprise Unicorn Squad retail for £6.99 each. Both great presents to give and receive.

Next up is Logan's Smashers Epic Egg. It's another surprise egg but this time you collect and build one of 3 exclusive Smash-o-saurs dinosaurs. There's lots of different elements to it and you basically slime, fizz and SMASH your way through over 25 surprises inside. There's a little scratch map which you use to excavate the Dino Egg to unearth compounds like the Fizzy Lava Bomb and Ice Age putty with hidden Smash-o-saur bones. Collect all the bones to start building your dinosaur. Each egg includes 1x Epic Dino Egg shell, 1x Dino Egg Yolk Bag, 1x Scratch Map, 5x Compounds, 6x Smash Eggs w/ rebuilder, 1x Digging Tool and 1x Exclusive Smash-o-saur Dino.

Logan loved this egg as it was more of an activity to find the dinosaur bones to build your exclusive Smash-o-saur. He used the scratch map and started at number one, scratching off the panel with a penny to reveal the Dino Dirt. It's like sand and had a dino bone inside which we took and placed aside for when it was ready to build. I really like that the Dino Dirt has a resealable package so the dirt can be played with again and again. A few of the packets are like this so a very well done there as we'll most definitely use them again. The next scratch panel revealed the Fizzy Lava so we poured some water over it and watched the lava melt away to show us the bones inside. It's like a bath bomb so doesn't take long to fizz away. After that is was the glowing slime then the fossil rock and finally the ice age putty. The fossil rock took the longest but you get a little digging tool to help you. All of these were great activities which kept Logan busy for over an hour.

It was finally time for Logan to build his dinosaur and he was so happy with the finished result. He's going to put it in his room on display and to keep it safe from his sister haha. As well as building his dinosaur there were also 6 smaller smash eggs inside the big epic egg that contain small collectible creatures. You can purchase these as separate packs if you want more from Smyths Toys but you get them included in the epic egg which is nice. Logan was happy to let his sister open these smash eggs with him and I really like that the eggs can be rebuilt and smashed again and again. Loads of fun to be had as well as pretend play potential, Harlow's already had them playing with her dolls.

I highly recommend the Smashers Epic Egg, it's a great way to entertain the kids and Harlow has asked for her own one next time. Lots of the surprises inside can be kept and used over and over so nothing will go unused, especially at the moment since no one can go anywhere. My kids quite like to play in the back garden a lot now and you can't go wrong with some dinosaurs for outside fun. Even better they can take the slime outside with them too haha. Smashers Epic Eggs retail for £24.99 and can be purchased from Smyths Toys. Personally I would order sooner rather than later.

Logan also received the 5 Surprise Dino Strike capsules and these are a great Easter alternatives as well. They're just like the Unicorn Squad ones and every capsule includes a battling dino ready to be assembled, 1 customizable weapon backpack and 1 or 2 swappable weapons to battle with. There's 13 different Dino Strike characters to collect including a rare molten gold T-Rex fossil. Logan really enjoyed opening these and building his dinosaur inside. They're a good size, great for collecting and pretend play. They retail for £6.99 which is a great price and perfect for popping in along with an Easter egg.

Both of my kids really really enjoyed their surprise eggs, so much so that they've been asking for more so you know it must be good. They're both still playing with the ones they have at the moment as the fun never seems to stop. I'd buy them myself in future as gifts for the kids or presents for their friends so I really would recommend. As I've said perfect boredom busters and a great alternative to a chocolate Easter egg. Happy shopping!

These items were gifted for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. 

31 March 2020

Easter Gift Ideas for Children

It's almost Easter time and the kids seem to receive an abundance of chocolate eggs which sit around for ages. Don't get me wrong, I do love a good chocolate Easter egg however there's so many more gift ideas out there now for an Easter treat so it's worth looking around.

I've put together a little list of alternative Easter gift ideas for children. Please do have a read and see what you think. These are some of the things my kids would definitely like to receive but there's plenty others available to choose from. At least these ones will keep the kids entertained longer than a chocolate egg!

My daughter is obsessed with Hatchimals and loves all the different varieties you can collect. I really like that there is a huge range too as it makes it so much easier to pick gifts and keep miss madam happy. Harlow is currently eyeing the Hatchimals Colleggtibles Spring Bouquet which I think is such a brilliant idea.

The spring bouquet has 6 Hatchimals with one already hatched and ready to play. The other 5 are hidden inside pretty hatchable flowers! These exclusive cuties have golden wings and are easy to hatch by removing the stem and opening the flower. You can then place them back into the bouquet for a beautiful display. Retailing at £14.99 it's a great little Easter gift that'll last.

We've had a few hexbugs in our time but they're just so entertaining so it would be rude not to get some more. There's tons of hexbug critters on the market to chose from but I particularly like the look of the Scarab and Beetle. The scarab is super fast and if toppled on it's back can right itself again which is pretty cool and the beetle has sensors in it's antenna so if it feels something or hears a noise it backs away and scuttles off in a different direction!

These are the types of toys which keep my two occupied for ages and they retail for around £9.99 so it's a decent price as well.

Bug Box Beasties
Sticking to the theme of bugs, how about a real life bug for your child to look after? Some bugs such as Madagascar hissing cockroaches are relatively easy to keep and care for plus they don't smell or bite like some furry pets do. Cleaning is minimal and bugs can be handled with care and are really very interesting. I've kept lots of furry pets in my day but I'd rather keep insects, they're loads easier.

You can purchase all manner of different inverts from Bug Box UK.

Zuru Rainbocorns & Smashers
The Zuru Rainbocorns and Smashers are a particular favourite as they're already egg shaped! Harlow loves her unicorns and Logan's into dinosaurs so they make excellent Easter gifts. The egg they come in is huge too so always look extra special. The kids love the surprise element and the anticipation of what they're going to find inside which is always a winner here.

Prices vary from around £20 and can be purchased from Argos, Amazon, B&M etc.

Items were gifted for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own. 

27 March 2020

Review: All New Super Wings Toys & Magazines!

Now that the kids are at home a lot more I've been searching for toys and activities to keep them busy, especially Harlow who is only 5 and has the attention span of a flea! We've been really lucky recently and the lovely Super Wings team sent us some of their new toys and fabulous magazines to try out.

For those that don't know Super Wings is a top flight preschool animation, available to watch on TinyPop and Cartoonito. It's a firm favourite cartoon at home and when we go abroad. Each episode follows Jett, the adorable plane who travels the globe delivering packages to children in different counties. On every delivery Jett encounters a new problem that he and his friends must work together to solve.

The Super Wings aren't just regular aeroplanes either: They have the ability to transform into amazing heroes who can run, climb, lift, dig and even dive deep under the sea! Super Wings is a fun show which is full of positive messages (I know it's for younger children but even Logan has a quick glance now and again) – from problem solving and teamwork to educational highlights and cultural diversity, Super Wings is a great way to get little ones’ to work together and think about the world we live in. The new series (series 4) of Super Wings launched on 2nd March 2020 so it'll be available to watch now. Perfect for those home learning moments when the adults need a little break.

So what toys did Harlow get sent? Well we received the lovely new Rescue Riders Playset (RRP £29.99) and one of the new Series 3 Transforming Vehicles (RRP: £9.99). Ours was yellow and called Donnie. The Rescue Riders Playset is from the latest Super Wings product range and coincides with Series 3 of Super Wings Mission Teams called the Rescue Riders. The playset is based on Sparky the Fire Truck and includes; lights and sounds, detachable ladder which can swivel 180 degrees, side mounted ‘water hose’ which can be taken out and attached to the front of the ladder, front hook which can be pulled to assist any rescues, plus pull the side leaver to release Zoe, an exclusive Super Wings character that comes with the playset. It's also compatible with the transforming vehicles, such as the Donnie we received, so Harlow has been having tons of fun putting these all together and rescuing her toy babies.

As for the Series 3 Transforming Vehicles they can transform from plane to robot in 10 easy steps. This was a favourite of Harlow's because it was simple and easy to do and held lots of pretend play potential. Super Wings fans can re-enact and master the transformation of their favourite characters from the popular TV show or create their own new adventures with their imagination. They make for great birthday presents and little gifts. A good alternative to Easter chocolate. There are over 20 characters to collect and some of the new ones are; Build-It Jett, Police Jett, Build-It Donnie, Rescue Dizzy, Astra, Scoop and Kim. All of these toys including the playset can be purchased from Smyths Toys.

As well as these awesome toys Super Wings have also brought out some magazines! Harlow loves a magazine and they're always full of fun educational activities so I quite like them too. They definitely keep her busy. The Super Wings magazine is based on the adventures of Jett and the team and is published by Signature Publishing. The first issue launched in January but you'll be able to pick up the 3rd issue now since we're in March. Every issue of the magazine comes with an exclusive bespoke toy and the magazine is packed with stories, puzzles, colouring activities and much more to keep youngsters entertained. The magazine is available at all good supermarkets and newsagents nationwide so should be easy enough to pick up on your next trip.

Harlow has really enjoyed all of her Super Wings goodies and they've been getting played with regularly and the magazines have been keeping her busy and learning at the same time. I'll definitely be buying the next issue!

These items where gifted in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


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