Sylvanian Families Brick Oven Bakery Review

Sylvanian Families have been around since 1985 (now I feel old) and I remember playing with them at friends houses all those years ago, it was one of those toys I always had on my Christmas list but wasn’t fortunate enough to get, my fault entirely though it was usually on a list with a million other things!! My daughter however has several of them including a school bus. They’re still as cute as ever and we were sent a Brick Oven Bakery to play with.

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Inside the box

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The set includes:

  • The bakery building itself which has a cabinet for dairy products, table, trolley and a pull down shelf oven.
  • Various bakery items including breads and pastries.
  • Baskets and trays for displaying the bakery products.
  • Tongs.
  • Card boxes of bread, milk and cheese.
  • A till.
  • Tiny paper bags.
  • Stickers.

Some of the bakery items are really cute and feature the faces of Sylvanian Families characters. Others include a whale, fish and turtle. Just under the lid on the inner flaps of the box are instructions on putting the little boxes together and where to put the stickers.

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There is also 1 figure – Mrs Hedgehog – included. Mrs Hedgehog really is sweet with her green gingham dress and matching headscarf. She also has fluffy ‘spikes’ and moveable arms and legs.

Our Thoughts

There are small parts present so the set is suitable for children aged 3+ it was just right for my 4 year old girl, she found it easy to place the stickers where they needed to be and we worked together to pull the parts from their plastic fixings. Something I really like with this set was that their was hardly any rubbish to dispose of, just a few plastic bits and the cardboard box it comes in – which we kept to store the Bakery in.

The set can be added to which makes a larger playset. Add ons that can be connected are  Cosy Cottage Starter Home, Toy Shop, Seaside Icecream Shop and more which is great for Birthdays/Christmas if family members wanted to get sets that can be played with together.

The set is well made and not flimsy, the bakery items are small but solid. There isn’t much putting together of the main body at all  – just placing the furniture inside.

There’s plenty of room for your little one to add other characters inside, not just the one it comes with – lets be honest poor old Mrs Hedgehog would get pretty bored having no- one to sell to. Although she could just eat all the goodies herself. Win.

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Shown here with some extra characters added to show how much room there is. How cute is the baby by the way? Awwww.

As you can plainly see by my daughters face above she loved this set and has enjoyed playing with it, even asking for the rest of the Hedgehog characters to go with it!

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*We were gifted the set for the purpose of this review however all opinions remain honest and our own*

What’s My Arse Got To Do With It?

There I was Friday afternoon, just left work and popped into the vape shop for the other half (guaranteed to make you feel old & uncool those places – especially in a suit) out I scarpered and wandered round the corner when I was suddenly aware of a couple of teenage lads behind me making comments such as “look at the size of her arse” and making noises like an elephant pounding the pavement. As I turned to look what they were yabbering on about I realised they were talking about me. My ARSE!

The initial shock just made me waddle a bit quicker to just get the hell out of there. Embarrassed, I didn’t say a word. In hindsight (as they say it’s wonderful) I wish I’d let rip and torn them a new one or been like really grown up and flashed them a V. It’s just not in my nature. Instead I tend to spend hours going over all the things I SHOULD have said.

First of all, what’s it to you? Why do you care what size my arse is? Was it blocking your view of the trainers in Sports Direct? How exactly does it impact on your life?

What makes you think it’s ok to not only say something so bloody rude but out loud somewhere public where other people can also hear? Elephants though dude? Could have made an effort.

Would you still think it was funny if your girlfriend/Mum/sister were on the receiving end of it? What if some little knobhead ran up to your old Nana laughing at her “fat arse” eh? Totally hilarious right?

If your idea of someone being an elephant is a size 12 then there’s something seriously wrong with your idea of ‘normal’. Should everyone live on lettuce to meet with your approval?

Initially I felt ashamed that my arse had been the focus of such negativity but then later on I realised that actually, I don’t know those lads nor do I actually give 2 sh*ts what they think of me but what if they’d said that to someone who was bothered? Someone perhaps younger and more impressionable or already struggling with how they feel about their body? Why should they have to sit at home and cry over such spiteful comments? Or worse?

Ok so maybe my bum is a bit Lumpy Space Princess and I could do with losing a few cream cakes but honestly when it comes down to it? It’s none of your sodding business! So next time you feel like taking the mick out of someone who’s arse is nothing to do with you go home, bleach your eyes or whatever makes you feel better and think about how maybe you should just say nothing. Or better still change your whole outlook on life. People come in different shapes and sizes and there’s nothing you can do about it. What you find attractive might be the next persons unattractive. That in itself isn’t a problem, opening your big fat gob, voicing it to the world in a bid to shame people however IS. So basically what I’m trying to say is:

Take your opinion and shove it up your arse.

julie-x-2

 

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules Review

Being a parent can be tiring in itself , add in the housework, maybe a job and some days you can be left feeling absolutely exhausted. It’s always nice to know there’s a little help on hand when you need it. I’ve been giving  Pharmaton Vitality Capsules a try for 30 days to see if it can help me enjoy my little parenting wins.

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Pharmaton Vitality Capsules contain a balanced combination of standardised Ginseng extract G115, vitamins and minerals needed to relieve symptoms of tiredness leaving you feeling mentally and physically alert! Pharmaton Vitality capsules have been proven to enhance energy levels in over 30 clinical trials and can be used for:

  • Relief of short periods of daily fatigue associated with a busy, hectic lifestyle. Symptoms of daily fatigue include temporary periods of exhaustion (for example caused by stress), tiredness, and a feeling of weakness or lack of vitality (loss of energy).
  • Prevention and treatment of symptoms caused by an unbalanced diet.
  • Pharmaton Vitality Capsules work by enhancing mental and physical performance through the combined action of Ginseng G115, vitamins and minerals on the basic.metabolic processes.

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The capsules themselves are fairly large but not overly so and they are very smooth so easy to swallow.  They have no horrible aftertaste which is always a bonus. Memories of my Mum making me take cod liver oil come flooding back… I found it easiest to take the recommended 1 capsule with my breakfast to make it easier to remember, I’m awful at remembering tablets. It also meant I took it on a full stomach and had no side effects at all. I found them to be really helpful at keeping me going during a stressful week where my daughter had the dreaded chicken pox as she wasn’t sleeping very well and as she was off school wanted a lot more attention than she usually does. It felt like the longest week ever but they gave me the extra oomph I needed to get through.

My little parenting wins are:

  • My kids always eating their vegetables and enjoying them.
  • The littles staying in bed, once they finally go to sleep they do tend to stay there all night.
  • My middle child recently developing a love for reading, something I hoped they all would.
  • Finally finding the Holy Grail of school shoes that my daughter hasn’t destroyed within days!

The less said about the teenager the better however 😀 If you’re feeling shattered and could do with a bit of a pick-me-up it’s well worth giving these a try to see if they can help give you your pep back.

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules are available for £9.45 for 30 at Boots

Julie x (2)

*we were sent the capsules for the purpose of this review however all opinions are honest and my own*

Jumbo Hi-Tower In A Bag Review

When we were offered the chance to review something fun for the garden by Big Game Hunters it didn’t take me long to decide on a giant tower game as we play the normal size Jenga quite regularly and the kids really enjoy it. I chose the Jumbo Hi-Tower as my 4 yr old daughter is only little and I wanted her to be included in the game. This set has blocks sized 15cm x 5cm x 3cm and builds a tower starting at 0.6m tall and can go up to 1.56m as the blocks are placed on top during the game. There are bigger versions available for you to choose so if you had a really big garden (which we don’t anymore) or wanted to play with older children/adults then you could go for the really big ones!

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The blocks come in a handy reusable storage bag so there’s no worrying about losing bits or trying to find somewhere to store it. It also means you can carry it, so great for taking to the park or perhaps to a family barbecue once the weather warms up a bit!There are 58 blocks in total and they are made from solid pine wood from sustainable sources. The blocks as you can see are actually quite pretty to look at and they are all smooth so no nasty bits for fingers.

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The kids found it easy to take the blocks out of the bag and build the start tower and they knew exactly what to do, if you’ve never played it the idea is you take it in turns to remove a block  from the tower and place it on the top. If your kids are anything like mine they’ll enjoy taking the daftest pieces to make it as precarious as possible but it does make it good fun!

As you can see the blocks aren’t overly huge and I felt they were the right size for our garden and children. They really enjoyed playing with the game and it’s a good way to get the kids out in the fresh air – although we did have to time it right playing as here in Wales we tend to get an awful lot of rain!

The Jumbo Hi-Tower is available for a very reasonable  £19.99. There are lots of other fun items available on the website too – outdoor games, swings, trampolines to name but a few. I actually think the WigWams look like great fun too.

Julie x (2)

*we were gifted the game for the purpose of this review however all opinions remain honest and my own*

 

Maths Rockx App Review

Maths Rockx is an educational app designed to help kids with their times tables via song. The idea being that by making it fun and catchy they’re more likely to remember them. Made by a primary school teacher who’d been teaching for 15 years who found that kids didn’t really know their times tables anymore and would teach them to her pupils along with beats and rock songs.  I remember sitting in a classroom trying to learn them in that droney voice and struggling with the higher numbers so if your child is finding it hard to remember them it’s great to try new ways of learning.

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My 7 year old tried it out with me. He really enjoys learning new things. The app itself is brightly coloured and looks inviting for children. The app covers timetables from 2 to 12 and has a different song for each number. You choose which way around you say your times tables we do 1x, 2x, etc rather than the other way round. They can either sing along with the vocalist for each song or just have the backing music once they feel more confident. The songs are easily recognisable from the likes of Pharell, Lady Gaga and Pink.

There is also a quiz to test them on the times tables once they feel they have got to grips with it or if you want to see which numbers they are particularly finding it hard to remember. You can set it to beginner or harder, which gives them less time to answer.

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We thought the app was really great fun and a joy to use with your children rather than just telling them things you can really get involved, sing along together and enjoy helping your little one to learn. It’s great for kids just starting to learn them or to help reinforce them in the memory of a child who’s already learning them.

The app is available from the App Store or Google Play at £9.99 for the full version with all tables. Also available in a free version with the times tables seperately for 99p each.

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*We were given the app free for the purpose of this review however all opinions remain honest and our own*

I Woke Up This Morning

I woke up this morning,
Looked like Ozzy Osbourne.
My hair was well scary,
My mascara left on.

The kids came in screaming,
Over whose toy it is.
All I could think of,
Is “What fresh hell is this?”

I’ll go for a pee now,
With an audience of two.
It’s not even funny,
Someone get me a brew.

Go down to make breakfast
and find the homework.
Dig out my straighteners
to look less like a berk.

Where the hell have the shoes gone,
Always running amok.
They’ve buggered right off now,
Along with one sock.

Leg it out the door fast.
For another school run.
Going nuts on their scooters…
“Please don’t fall on your bum!”

Rock up at the school doors,
With minutes to spare.
It’s started to rain too,
So I mumble a swear.

I lug both the scooters home,
Getting smashed in the shin.
I musn’t throw them in a bush.
Is it too early for gin?

I waltz through the front door,
And fling off my shoes.
I start on the cleaning,
But I’d rather a snooze.

I fill up on coffee,
So I don’t fall asleep.
Get on with the washing,
From this 70ft heap.

I might get 5 minutes,
To sit on my bum.
Before I rush off again,
For another school run.

julie-x-2

BIC Colouring Review & Giveaway

When I was contacted by BIC with an offer to review some of their products it didn’t take me long to say yes as the kids had ‘accidentally’ put some coloured BIC pens in the trolley on a shopping trip earlier that day so I knew they would be very happy to help me review! We received a pack of BIC kids Ecolutions Evolution colouring pencils and a pack of Conte felt pens. There’s a chance to win a set of both at the end of this post. BIC is a household name that started with the iconic Crystal pen in 1950 and now has a huge range of products.

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The Ecolution Evolution colouring pencils came as a pack of 12 (there are also packs of 18 & 24 available) and contained all the colours you would expect for children to happily  colour with. They’re wood free and made from 50% recycled materials and are very strong, so if your children are like mine and are a bit rough sometimes then you know they won’t snap and splinter. They sharpen well without any rough bits like some of the cheaper pencils we have bought in the past. Each pencil is embossed with gold lettering and makes them look very professional.

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The Conte felt pens came in a metal tin of 10 (also available in 20) brightly coloured thin tipped felts. The nibs are very strong so when the kids go all out colouring their masterpiece you don’t have to worry about them being pushed in. They can also last for up to 3 months (wow) without the lids on although they do come with lids that click on to keep them properly. They’re made from water based ink which means they wash out because someone ALWAYS draws on something they shouldn’t don’t they?! It wiped clean from the kitchen table easily.

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As you can see the kids had a great time trying them out, tongue out for concentration. All the best artists do that don’t they? They are both just the right thickness for drawing Minecraft characters that my son is obsessed with currently!

Overall I was really impressed with the quality of both sets and the children have continued to use both since we opened them. The Conte set I think would also make a lovely present for someone who enjoys adult colouring as the tin they come in is lovely.

For your chance to win 1 pack of both Conte pens and Ecolution Evolutions colouring pencils enter via the Rafflecopter below!

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1. The giveaway is open to residents of the UK only.
2.There is 1 prize available.
3. There is no cash alternative offered.
4. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above.
5. The winners will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.
6. The giveaway will run until Midnight 19/03/17.
7. Once the giveaway is over the winner will be contacted for their details to arrange postage of their prize.

Julie x (2)

*We were sent the items for the purpose of this post however all opinions remain honest and my own*

Hedrin Protect & Go Giveaway

If you have school aged kids then it’s quite likely you’ve either had to deal with the dreaded head lice or had the letters home advising you to check your childs hair. As the saying goes ‘prevention is better then cure’ so it’s a good idea to use something to repel the pesky little gits to stop them in their tracks. We’ve tried Hedrin Protect & Go previously and found it really great plus it smells amazing! I’m giving my lovely readers a chance to win one of 5 bottles to help with your fight against them. There’s lots of info and tips on the Hedrin website Once a week take a peek. Hedrin Protect & Go Spray is available in 120ml £4.29, 200ml £6.29 and 250ml £7.29. Available from pharmacies and leading retailers nationwide.

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1. The giveaway is open to residents of the UK only.
2.There are 5 prizes available.
3. There is no cash alternative offered.
4. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above.
5. The winners will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.
6. The giveaway will run until Midnight 19/03/17.
7. Once the giveaway is over the winner will be contacted for their details to arrange postage of their prize.

julie-x-2

*This is a collaborative post*

10 Facts About The Blogger #allaboutme

I’ve been nominated by Paul at Cheeky Dad Blog for a blogging challenge where I tell you lot 10 facts about myself. Going to be a challenge finding 10 interesting things believe me. I’m right boring.

1. I hate being late it’s an obsession of mine. I’ve only been late for work once in 20 years and even then I did it spectacularly. I got stuck on the M4 for 3 hours and I’d forgotten my mobile so you can imagine my boss wondering whether I’d been abducted by aliens because I’m never late. They were about to call the cops in when I strolled – by strolled I mean run in hair all over the place and my face red as a tomato.

2. Although I call him ‘hubby’ I’m not married. We’ve been together 10 years and to be honest I’ve never been one of those girls who dreamed of a huge white dress and all that nonsense. I also can’t think of anything worse then standing up in the front of the room with all eyes on me. No ta.

3. There’s an 11 year gap between my 1st & 2nd children. I was so traumatised the 1st time I never wanted to do it again. I came round to the idea though (obviously) and all those people who said it wouldn’t be so bad the 2nd time round? Bloody liars. And when they said the 3rd would be a piece of cake? Even more lies. She was the worst birth of the lot. I am positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably NEVER having any more.

4. I have a secret love for the N64. When my son was around 7 or 8 I was a single Mum and a bit skint I was offered the console with games for £20. I bit her hand off and thought he’d love it. What I wasn’t expecting though was that I’d love it just as much. My boy and I lost hours playing Ocarina of Time, Majoras Mask, Banjo Kazooie, Mario and Goldeneye. I can’t say I like any of the consoles or games since really and these days you can’t lob the controller across the room in a rage cos they cost way too much and are flimsy as.

5. I have lots of scars, I was a right knob as a kid and ridiculously accident prone. The main one is next to my right eye from where my Dad was watching the A-Team in the dark , I tripped over his Adidas Samba’s and smashed my face on the coffee table. Cue my Mum calling my Dad all the dickheads known to man and my Uncle with the huge hair getting a phone call to get his Cortina over to our house quick as you like to take me to hospital. I screamed that much that my Dad told the Dr he wasn’t allowed to stitch it and to use butterfly stitches which then left a bad scar. What a baby eh?!

6. I hate being cold, it makes me a right grumpy moo. I’m the one who watches TV in the evening fully clothed with my dressing gown over the top, a blanket over my lap and thick socks. Sexy or what?

7. I have 3 tattoos. 1 is a seriously crap cover up that covered a seriously crap tattoo to start with. If you’re going to have 1 think it over and find a decent tattoo artist. The other 2 are good ones thank god. Someone once told me that getting a tattoo was worse than giving birth. She hadn’t had any children though. WTF?!!

8. When I was 18 I worked in a nightclub. Best job I’ve ever had. We had ahem ‘celebrity’ nights and I’ve sat in the staffroom with the guys from Steps. Bet you can’t beat that 😀

9. I love some cartoons more than the kids and have been known to intentionally watch them when they’re not around. If you’ve never seen Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time or Clarence you’re really missing out!

10. I’m allergic to nuts.Ever since my Mum made us Cherry Bakewells and I ended up like the Elephant Man I’ve had to avoid the sodding things. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve told people and they’ve sniggered and asked how I managed to have 3 kids. Eye roll.

I now nominate Alan from OMG It’s a Girl and anyone else who fancies giving it a go.

julie-x-2

Feeling Better Kid Style With #VicksTricks

It’s Winter, it’s cold and the kids are forever picking up something. It can be quite miserable for everyone involved when they do. Britmums have set a Vicks Tricks challenge and asked us bloggers to chat about the things we do to help our little ones feel better when they are poorly.

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When my children aren’t feeling 100% I try to get them smiling again, to take their minds off feeling rotten. To help us along the way we also received a goody bag from Britmums which included the lovely bedtime book  ‘The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep’ some cute finger puppets, some all-important Vicks First Defence and some magic tricks videos you can try at home as you can see below.

Vicks have conducted some consumer research, which looks at British parents most common at home remedies. Here are the key findings:
• Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
• This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
• More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC
And when it comes to keeping children entertained:
• Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
• Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
• 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)
Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet highlights that “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further, is parental care and concern.”
Corinne advises that “listening to a story or watching a film is a good idea, as it is soothing and promotes laughter (an immune booster). But don’t let them play video games, watch scary films or spend hours on screens. This will keep their minds over-stimulated, when their immune systems need gentler stimulation and rest.”

The ways I try to help when my children have a cold are:

  1. Get the duvets downstairs, snuggle up nice and warm.
  2. Put a great Disney movie on or some funny cartoons – we love Adventure Time, Clarence and Gumball. All great for a good giggle, guaranteed to make anyone feel better.
  3. Good old Vicks Original Vaporub, rub on the chest and my Mum swears on the sole of the feet. Says it always worked for us when we were little and so it’s a tradition that has carried on. You’d know the smell of it anywhere! Definitely helps you breathe easier.
  4. A cuddle from their favourite soft toy. For my son it’s Luigi (obsessed with Mario Bros that one) and for my daughter Bebe the puppy.
  5. Vicks First Defence spray is brilliant for when you spot the signs of 1 of them coming down with something you can get the rest of the family using it to stop the cold before it gets any worse.
  6. Making handwashing and fun with some really bright coloured yummy smelling handwashes.
  7. Lots of cuddles and reading books together, makes sure they relax and you get to spend some quality time together. It can be hard to get to sleep when you’re all bunged up so The Rabbit who wants to go to sleep is a great book to try and help them drift off.
  8. Nice warm drinks, mine really like some hot chocolate. None of them like honey so we can’t try a hot honey and lemon drink although other children would enjoy it i’m sure.

julie-x-2

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.

*We were sent the items to help with the writing of this post*