Monday, 29 February 2016

Gruffalo 4 in a Box Puzzle from Ravensburger

I like to keep puzzles handy for the children to help themselves to - 
I find they are great for "time outs" when the little people get tired or squabbly 
and anything that stimulates a little brain power is great!

Ravensburger's Gruffalo 4 in a Box Puzzle set contains 4 individual puzzles to 
complete (all mixed up in the same box) .
Each puzzle is made up of a different number of pieces to vary the difficulty level
 - my 6 year old and 4 year old have both enjoyed the challenges!

" A roasted fox, a scrambled snake or owl ice cream what will Gruffalo have to 
eat as he's extremely hungry and on the hunt to find some food in the deep 
dark woods! But Gruffalo thinks everyone is afraid of him and he will not get 
any food! 
Piece together this colourful four shaped jigsaw puzzle showing the Fox, Snake, 
Owl and The Gruffalo to find out what he actually eats for his supper! 
The puzzles are cut to different piece counts – either 10, 12, 14, 16 pieces, 
making the set ideal for use within a family with different aged children or a 
playgroup. Finished puzzle size 19 x 14cm approximately."

The pieces are all really good quality and sturdy with brightly coloured images. 
We've really enjoyed these puzzles - and the Gruffalo story is one we know well
enough to recite as we solve the jigsaw!

Emma in Bromley xx 

Disclaimer - I received the Grufflo 4 in a Box Ravensburger for my consideration, All words, thoughts 
and link choices are my own.Trenner

2-in-1 Sticker Magic Review

We've been busy making stickers with the 2 in 1 Sticker Magic from Flair.

"2-in-1 Sticker Magic is the fun and easy to use sticker machine! Create and customise your own stickers! It magically turns any picture you like into lovely personalised stickers! Simply laminate to give a nice glossy finish to your favourite images. Place your design on the sticky tape, twist the handle and see it magically turn into a unique personalised sticker. Use the fabulous images included, or draw your own designs to make pretty customised stickers! You can turn any drawing, picture or photo into a very cool sticker to stick anywhere or share with friends!  RRP £19.99"

2-in-1 Sticker Magic with Blake Clement

2-in-1 sticker magic is pretty much ready to use straight from the box, the tape roll  and sticker roll are already loaded.
2-in-1 Sticker Magic
The kit comes with 2 sheets of printed images for you to personalise or cut out and turn into stickers by placing face down on the tape and turning the handle clockwise.

2-in-1 Sticker Magic

Blake (age 6) and Maegan (age 4) really enjoyed drawing their own designs on paper to cut out and turn into stickers.
2-in-1 Sticker Magic

As you turn the handle clockwise, your stickers come out at the front face down. It's completely manual so no batteries are needed (and as you use the safety scissors for cutting, there are no sharp parts)

2-in-1 Sticker Magic

The stickers come out on a continuous roll so you need to carefully cut out your designs a second time. We liked to place a few designs on the tape at a time, otherwise you end up with a lot of blank unused tape and sticker roll. 

2-in-1 Sticker Magic
We used some of the stickers we created to decorate home made birthday cards.

2-in-1 Sticker Magic

And for creating our own super hero characters - which we later recreated with the plain paper roll instead of the sticker backing so we used the 2-in-1 sticker magic to laminate creations. We've done this to make the designs into simple drinking straw puppets and bookmarks.

2-in-1 Sticker Magic
It's a little awkward to swap from sticker backing to paper roll so a grown up needs to do that bit and the very first time we used it, the stickers weren't coming out so I had to reload the sticker roll. The set comes with very clear diagrams and instructions.

2-in-1 Sticker Magic
Flair also sell refill packs which is handy as the set comes with enough to create 15meters of stickers - we used about half in just one afternoon so I'll be ordering a refill pack soon!

The 2-in-1 sticker magic is part of the Cool Create Range which has its own online club:

“For all things creative, competitions and more, children can sign up to the Cool Create Club online and parents can follow @CoolCreateClub on Facebook and Twitter”

Disclaimer - I received a 2-in-1 Sticker Magic for my consideration - all thoughts, words and link choices are my own.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Lego Nexo Knights Magazine Launch

Today sees the launch of a new Lego magazine focusing on Nexo Knights.

Lego Nexo Knights Magazine

Launching 24th February

- Issue one comes with a Lance Minifigure™

- Comes with a NEXO KNIGHTS™ toy every issue

- Each issue is packed with news, comics, hero facts, puzzles, posters, competitions, colouring

- On sale every 4 weeks

- Normal issue price £3.25

Blake (age 6) - an avid Lego fan, gives the magazine a big thumbs up.

Lego Nexo Knights Magazine

The first issue comes with Lance - (and his breakfast!) one of the lead characters - perfect to get you started!

Lego Nexo Knights Magazine

Each monthly issue will come with a Lego Nexo Knights toy to collect.

The magazine features 34 pages of colourful comic strip stories, activities and posters.

Lego Nexo Knights Magazine

Lego Nexo Knights Magazine

The lead characters include 4 boy Knights and 1 girl knight too.

Lego Nexo Knights Magazine

Overall, I'd say the magazine and the toy is good value for money and Blake has really enjoyed this issue -  the magazine has been a hit and we can't wait for issue 2 already!

Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer: we received an advance press sample of the magazine for the purpose of this article. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2016

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I wanted to offer up some beautiful and thoughtful ideas.

It's hard to believe but this stunning bouquet arrived in a flat letterbox friendly box! Perfect for those of us who find ourselves quite some distance from our mums on mothers day  - or even better, you can subscribe to a regular delivery of your choice. I would love a fresh box every month - wouldn't you?

The Freya - "The perfect dusky-lilac rose, and discovered this gorgeous bloom which we paired with fragrant stocks and delicately scented freesias. Wisps of green bell added throughout create the feel of an English meadow." 
I adore the subtle well coordinated mix of colour with gentle fragrance.

Bloom and Wild the Freya bouquet - Letterbox flowers for Mother's Day

Bloom and Wild the Freya bouquet - Letterbox flowers for Mother's Day

Bloom and Wild the Freya bouquet - Letterbox flowers for Mother's Day

Bloom and Wild the Freya bouquet - Letterbox flowers for Mother's Day

Yankee Candle have brought out a limited edition pillar candle jar for Mother's Day celebrating their beautifully scented "Fresh Cut Roses" fragrance. "An intoxicating English garden of fragrant heirloom roses."

Yankee Candle Fresh Cut Roses - Mothers Day
Yankee Candle Fresh Cut Roses - Mothers Day

This elegant family address book from Mums Office features a textured cover (available in a selection of colours) with gilt edging.
The internal pages allow enough space and detail to include all family members and add notes such as birthdays and other details along with addresses.
"The FAMILY Address Book is landscape in format, has a whopping 228 pages of luxuriously thick white paper, a hardback cover with rounded corners, 2 coordinating grosgrain ribbons, an alphabet step index and a pocket on the inside back cover to hold stamps, change of address cards, etc."
Mums Office Family Address Book - Mothers day
Mums Office Family Address Book - Mothers day

I'm amazed with the results I've had with Hope's Relief intensive dry skin rescue cream using as a handcream, the changing season and central heating leave me with extremely dry hands which split in the creases, I've found Hope's Relief to be fast acting with astonishing results. Hope's Relief' - Australia's best selling intensive rescue cream, which is now available in the UK.

Hope's Relief intensive dry skin rescue cream
Hope's Relief intensive dry skin rescue cream

I absolutely love this classic mixing bowl which can be personalised - I've gone for the magical phrase Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo on mine because that's what my daughter says when we are mixing up some fairy cakes together!

personalised Mixing Bowl

personalised Mixing Bowl
personalised Mixing Bowl

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Safer Internet Day 2016

Today is Safer Internet Day 2016 
What is Safer Internet Day?
Safer internet day, now in its sixth year, is coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre. The day sees hundreds of organisations involved in promoting safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
Tips for parents on internet safety from The Department for Education and UK Safer Internet Centre
  • Have an open and honest dialogue with children about staying safe online
  • Encourage them to tell you which sites they might be using and talk to about anything they see online
  • Set boundaries and make an agreement on what they can and cannot do online. If the agreement is broken, restrict internet access for an agreed period of time
  • Read up on information available through schools and official sites, such as ParentInfo, to make sure you are aware of issues and armed with information
  • Arm your children with advice:
·         Be careful what you say online. Respect others and do not retaliate or reply to offending e-mails, text messages or online conversations – leave the conversation
·         Be careful what pictures or videos you upload. Once a picture is shared online it cannot be taken back
·         Only add people you know and trust to friends/followers lists online
What is government doing about internet safety?
In 2014 the government made internet safety a compulsory part of the curriculum. Schools are also able to teach e-safety during PSHE lessons and every school is required by law to have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying including cyber-bullying.
In December last year the government also announced strengthened measures to protect children from harm online - including cyberbullying, pornography and the risk of radicalisation. Under the proposals all schools will:
·         Need to have appropriate filters and monitoring systems, so that no child can access harmful content via the school’s IT systems and concerns can be spotted quickly; 
·         Be required to ensure that they teach their pupils about safeguarding, including online. 

The government also announced a further package of measures including:
  • Two practical guides on social media – including one to help parents keep their children safe online produced by the UK’s Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCISS)  – to help children understand the risks and benefits of social media, and prevent risks becoming problems.
  • New online training, launched in the new year, will offer support for professionals, including nurses, doctors and teachers who work with children and young people.
  • An updated Thinkuknow site offers a completely refreshed suite of articles and guidance on all aspects of child internet safety, as well as providing specific advice for parents and carers on preventing their children from becoming victims of sexual abuse and exploitation both online and in the ‘real world; and
  • New industry-led awareness raising initiatives including Google’s ‘Internet Legends’ tour which will travel around the country delivering assemblies to school children in 40 locations during this school year, to help kids stay safe online, so they can get the most out of all that the internet can offer.

In addition ParentInfo, a new government funded online service, offers free expert advice to schools on how children and young people can stay safe online. This information, packed as a Tool Kit, can be hosted on individual schools websites making it easily accessible to parents and carers who can then discuss these important issues at home. It’s already available in 2,500 schools giving parents practical advice and tips on issues such as sexting, and online bullying.
We have given schools powers to help them contain cyber-bullying during the school day by banning or limiting the use of mobiles and other electronic devices. Teachers also have the power to search for, and if necessary delete, inappropriate images (or files) on electronic devices, including mobile phones.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
 “As a parent I understand the real importance of internet safety in protecting our children. The internet is a powerful tool which can have brilliant and virtually limitless benefits, but with this does come some risk.”
“We are working hard to address these online risks but we can’t do it alone, parents are vitally important in making sure that children stay safe online. We want to make sure young people are educated, and parents as well as teachers, are knowledgeable and actively involved in promoting internet safety so that children are able to safely enjoy all that new technologies have to offer”

Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer: I was sent this information from The Department for Education and wanted to share it with you because I felt it was important.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.

We all love Peppa Pig in our house so we were very excited to see the new Peppa Pig Construction Sets by Character suitable for ages 18m+ my children are 4 and 6 and love this set. 
Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.
We've started off with Grandpa Pig's boat and its very exciting! The box displays simply all the pieces in the box and its clear to see which figures you get in the set. 
Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.
The instructions are easy to follow - the parts you have already completed are greyed out so that the colour focuses you on the step to be done - its really simple, Meg (age 4) was able to follow the instructions without any help. 

Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.
There are sticks in the set so that you can customise your boat - so much fun - everyone loved deciding what to stick where. 

Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.
Grandpa Pig is a lighter shade than the boat and has articulated legs and arms and a moving head. 
Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.
We loved how much detail Grandpa Pig has - right down to his whiskers! Great to Build and Play - the boat is free wheeling too!
Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.
Do you like how we customised our boat? there had to be a pirate flag! and of course some fish!

Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set.
Blake (age 6) really wanted me to show you how easily he turned the boat into a flying rocket ship boat with wings! The fully constructed boat has wheels so you can push it around which is a really great feature. 

Peppa Pig Construction Kits - Grandpa Pig's Boat Construction Set. Duplo
Just so that you can compare - we added some duplo - we found the bricks were compatible with the sets we have and I thought this image is a great way to show you the size of Grandpa Pig - he's bigger than a duplo character. 

Disclaimer: I was gifted a Grandpa Pig's Construction Set for my consideration. All thoughts and images are my own. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Valentines Day 2016 - A Cosy Night In.

Valentines day 2016
As parents it can often be a little difficult to find a way to celebrate Valentine's - its not that straight forward to just pop out for a meal or a movie and you can't expect an interruption free evening at home so trying to create that romantic little moment thats all important to connect on can be a challenge!

Mr and Mrs Cushions from Jemimas Locket Faux Fur Throw B&Q
The key is to get cosy - you've got to grab that relaxing snuggle feeling so spread out a faux fur throw  and squidge into a couple of comfy cushions - these Mr and Mrs cushions from Jemima's Locket are absolutely perfect with their romantic blend - great to snuggle into and settle down for a romantic evening in. 

Beefayre Bee Mine Rose Candle

Fragrance is always one of my favourite ways to set the tone and nothing beats a candle as either a gift or a great way to create the setting. This Rose scented bee mine candle from Beefayre is literally made for love - the scent is amazing and the glass the candle is set into is beautiful. 

I made up some note books from Snapfish as I liked the idea of using photos to reflect our family (our love) to use on a daily basis - that little reminder at work or when I'm writing a shopping list! I love to add a dash of romance to every day life  - besides choosing from a really great range of cover designs to personalise with your own photos - you can also opt to include a printed message on the inside cover too - your own secret love note!

And just because we are a family - I had to make one up for the children too so that can also have a little gift on Valentine's day and feel included too. 

Stock up on movies, popcorn and chocolate and take a moment to connect with your partner (whilst keeping your fingers crossed for no interruptions from the little people upstairs!)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Emma in Bromley xx

ps. I Love You x