Fun With Phoenix Trading

Over the Easter holidays we tried out some great little activities from Phoenix Trading. If you’ve not yet come across them they are a direct selling, independent card publishing house and have sold in excess of 150 million cards worldwide. Phoenix Trading does not sell its products through conventional retail outlets; instead they market an exclusive range of cards and stationery through their international team of over 10,000 worldwide Independent Phoenix Traders. They sent us a few great items to try out and see what we thought. We received:

  1. Colour-In Tablecloth 
  2. Bunting Paper Dolls 
  3. Little Woodland Animals Frieze Colour-In

Colour-In Tablecloth

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The tablecoth is 39″ by 39″ and printed in black & white for your little ones to colour in their own choice of colours. There are lots of different things to colour from unicorns to rockets.

The kids found this great fun and would you believe they coloured, sat next to each other without fighting!! This was very engaging for them and could be used with pens or pencils depending on which they/you prefer to use. I also think these would be lovely on the tables at children’s Birthday Parties or even adults. Why not? Certainly a talking point!

Price: £6.00

Bunting Paper Dolls

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The paper dolls come in as 10 pop out cards of 1 girl/1 boy – so 20 in total and with a 4 metre ribbon for threading the finished dolls on to.

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Pop each doll out to draw on with pens or pencils or even get the craft box out and stick bits on to make your character. My children chose to do a mixture of both.

The dolls come with holes pre-cut to make threading with the ribbon easier to make the bunting. These kept them amused for ages especially when the glue sticks came out, they love a bit of sticking (or making a mess in their case!)

Price: £6.00

Little Woodland Animals Frieze Colour-In

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This is a frieze with 5 panels in black & white that folds out to make a fun picture for colouring in.

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Enough room for 2 children to sit side by side and colour or lots of different parts to colour for 1 child. Featuring lots of different woodland animals having a party complete with cakes and balloons.

Price £3.00


Overall we really enjoyed trying these out, the kids because it gave them something really fun to do and me because it gave me 5 minutes peace!! Our favourite was most definitely the tablecloth as this was great value for money. You can make a game out of finding certain things on it before or after colouring it in.All the items would also make a great choice for those rainy days when the kids are bouncing off the walls and you can’t get out.


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

Marigold Are 70!

When I hear the name Marigold I automatically think of the yellow gloves my Nan always wore to do the dishes. No matter how many times you offered to help, she’d say no and carry on. A few times though I did manage to get her to hand over those coveted gloves and let me wash a few cups even though they came up to my elbows! My Mum uses hers for all sorts of different things from doing some pottering round the garden to polishing her favourite Wedgewood plates.

We were sent some Marigold products to celebrate – would you believe – their 70th birthday? They’ve been around for all that time and are still as great today as they’ve always been.

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As well as the Extra-Life Kitchen gloves we also received Oops-Away cloths

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Cleaning Me Softly non scratch scourers and Thirsty Sponges

Extra Life Kitchen Gloves

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Bright yellow (just as I remember them all those years ago) these gloves are triple layered so they’re strong and tough which makes them ideal for lots of jobs not just the washing up. They can protect your hands during a whole host of jobs around the house including the dreaded toilet cleaning! They are very grippy,with a safe hold pattern to avoid that horrible feeling when a plate slips out of your hand and smashes into the other ones in the bowl! They are also fitted to the hand and go in at the wrist. If you’ve ever tried cheaper ones which fall down and come off you’ll know how important this is. These are now my go-to every time I do the dishes and it means my nail polish stays on a bit longer too!

Oops Away Cloths

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These pretty pink cloths come as a pack of 6 and can be used for lots of different jobs, including mopping up spills. Kitchen roll can be handy for this but also works out expensive when you can use these clothes again, they stay strong when they’re wet and don’t fall apart. They were also great for cleaning the kitchen work surfaces and wiping round the bathroom tiles.

Cleaning Me Softly

These non-scratch scourers come as a pack of 2, they are Teflon tested and approved. One side foam and the other rougher for those tough dishes. Casserole dishes can be a nightmare with burnt on sauces but these made quick work of removing it. I was really impressed with how easy it was to scrub away dirt without taking the coating off the non-stick pans, as well as cleaning glasses without marking.

Thirsty Sponge

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Come as a pack of 2 extra absorbent sponges. They’re nice and thick, made from 100% natural absorbent sponge, are strong and can be washed up to 60° (can be popped in the dishwasher/washing machine) which means its perfect for those dirty jobs, it means you can be sure they are clean again ready for the next job. We used ours to clean over the plastic patio furniture which had been in storage for a while and even though they were dusty the sponges cleaned them up no problem.

As you can see my daughter got her hands on some of the products to help out (i’m not complaining) and wiped over the kitchen table with the Oops Away cloths while wearing the gloves!

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More information about Marigold products can be found on their Website and Facebook page. What is your favourite Marigold product?

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

Dear Diary 16th April 2017

Date: 16/4/17

Number of times I’ve been called Mum: 3215

Number of fights broken up: 42

Dear Diary… More and more lately, probably because its half term I’ve been wondering how the pigging hell anyone ever gets anything done once they’re a parent? Every single second of the day someone is calling me. If I walk upstairs you can guarantee someone will call me. I’ve literally just walked away from them, what can possibly have happened in those 12 seconds? Really. Then I forget why I went upstairs in the first place. How am I supposed to look at little lady’s drawing, look at OH’s changing around of a room, shut teens door to stop the stench and look for Xbox controller batteries for little man all at the same time?! I swear they think I can though. And then…and then? When I get a bit hair offish OH says I’m a moody cow. Typical.


The kids have driven me round the twist. They’ve literally hung off my leg all day, surely at 7 and 4 they should be able to find something in that bedroom full of toys to play with without dragging me away from my endless piles of washing? But no.

They’re bored.
They want a drink.
They want something off the shelf.
They want a drink.
They can’t find Lego Batman.
They want a drink.

It’s Easter there’s chocolate everywhere and they can’t find a thing to do. What is going on? I’m sure at their age I was hiding under my bed with a stomach ache having eaten a whole egg in one go and waiting for the inevitable almighty telling off I was ripe for.


I thought today was going to be a day where I had to have one of those awkward conversations with the kids.

“I don’t want to die Mum”

Came from Little Miss in the back of the car. Oh crap, how do I put it? “Well everybody has to….” I started to say.

Little Man: “You won’t die til you’re old. Or get hit by a car.”

Little Man : “Yeah then you’d be squashed dead. All over the road.”

Little Miss: “Look Mum there’s a McDonalds over there, I want a Happy Meal.”

Annnnnd that was the end of that conversation. Think I got out of that one quite nicely thankyou.


I don’t think the kids are all that impressed with my singing capabilities. Dancing round the kitchen to Love is a Battlefield and singing into a tin opener attracted some ‘god you’re embarrassing Mum’ looks. Good job the teen wasn’t there. He would have spontaneously combusted from the absolute shame of having such a saddo for a Mum. Like that time at I went to a work do with Mum and she got up to dance to Status Quo. Always that same cringy dance and air guitar – for the love of god – with Bob the van guy.


OMG the little lady was quiet for a while today. Suspiciously quiet. When I checked there seemed to be nothing untoward going on. Maybe my own paranoia? Nope. Big nope. I should have learned by now to always trust my instinct. On getting her changed for bed, the realisation came that orange felt pen was covering the lower half of her body. Like some sort of half-human half-Oompa Loompa mash up. “Why did you do that?” I asked. “Just wanted to see what it looked like” she said like it was a perfectly normal thing to do. I tried the good old baby wipes. Wouldn’t come off. Tried showering. Wouldn’t come off. Tried alcohol gel. Wouldn’t bloody come off. I’ve resigned myself to having a half orange kid for a while.

 

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My Pocket Money Toy Subscription Box

We were recently asked if we fancied trying some new subscription boxes for children. The chance to amuse the kids for a bit to stop them fighting? Of course I’m going to say yes! The boxes are from My Pocket Money Toy and contain a range of fun toys and books, some educational and STEM and aimed at the age range you choose when ordering.

The lovely lady with the idea behind the boxes – Shirley – is a parent like a lot of us who struggled to find really good quality, affordable and educational toys and so the idea for My Pocket Money Toy was born.

My Pocket Money Toy was founded to solve two problems; a lack of time (busy working parents), and a lack of good quality toys in local shops.  The idea for toys in a subscription box is not a new one but it has taken some time to turn the idea in to reality.  The boxes have been spurred on by a genuine love of subscription boxes, why wouldn’t we want one a great one for our children!

There are several options available tailored to your childrens ages. You can choose from one offs:

Or go for a subscription of 3 months/6months/1 year and get great value for money.

These options can be easily chosen when ordering, have the parcel delivered with your childs name on, my kids loved that theirs were directly addressed to them and you have the option of having a gift message too.

As my children are 4 and 7 I received the 3-5 girl box and the 6-7 boy box. They came well packaged in a shoe box sized cardboard box with lovely iridescent shredded plastic to keep the toys safe.

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As you can see the children were really excited about opening them up to see what they had. The items were nicely wrapped in tissue paper which made it more fun and exciting for them to open.

In the girls 3-5 box:

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  • Make Believe sticker colouring book
  • Old Macdonald Lotto
  • Pony Mosaic craft
  • Chick finger puppet

In the boys 6-7 box:

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  • Wordsearch pad
  • Story cards
  • UKick
  • Ogosoft Ball

Both boxes also included a lovely little card welcoming them to their box and a small colouring sheet.

My children were really pleased with their boxes, my son particularly liked the wordsearch pad, his little eyes lit up when he saw it and he disappeared off to his room to play with it as soon as I’d taken the photos!

My daughter was amazed with the mosaic pony and had great fun putting the little pieces onto the picture.

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The boxes also come with a Spectacular Stamp Book to collect a stamp each month towards a free toy.

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Overall we thought these boxes were brilliant, a great mix of fun and education with the excitement of opening a ‘present’. They’d be fab for Birthdays/Christmas or for family members who don’t live nearby as well as for your own children.

You can find My Pocket Money toy:

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

Fun With L.O.L Surprise!

Easter wouldn’t be complete without a hunt would it? So when we were offered something a little different to chocolate for our hunt we were intrigued. We were sent a L.O.L Surprise! to hide along with a diva bow which my daughter hasn’t stopped wearing since she wore it for the hunt.

If you haven’t heard of L.O.L Surprise! they are collectible dolls that you can unwrap layer by layer to reveal secret messages, accessories, outfits, and doll. Each doll also has a secret surprise that is activated by water. There are 28 different dolls in Series 1 to collect and each one has a particular surprise such as colour change, spit, tinkle and cry.

We hid the L.O.L Surprise! and let my little lady find it.


Once she’d found it, she had the exciting task of opening it, removing the 5 layers of wrapping – each with a surprise inside.


Once she’d finished with that fun below is what was inside:

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We looked at our checklist and found that we had a ‘fancy’ Centre Stage doll dressed as a ballerina complete with tutu and tiara.

Then we needed to see which Surprise feature she had. We filled up the little bottle that came with her and found that by squeezing her cheeks she was able to cry! The ball she comes with can also be used in several ways – as a purse, bathtub, dollstand and hangout so there are many ways to play especially if you add to your collection with more dolls. We thought they were really cute and would make a lovely present for your little ones.

L.O.L Surprise eggs are priced £7.99 and are available from Argos, Smyths and The Entertainer stores.

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