The Dahlicious Dress Up day at school – Roald Dahl fun!

Today Miss M’s school is holding The Dahlicious Dress Up Day – a fun way to raise money for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.  So the idea is to dress up as a character from any of Roald Dahl’s fantastic books and pay of a donation of £1 which goes towards the Roald Dahl day charity.

Miss M was a little unenthusiastic at first not really knowing who Roald Dahl was, although when I explained that he was the author who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – a film she loves to watch, her interest grew.  We had a look online at all the different titles he had written to see what she fancied dresses up as.  And we decided upon a witch to fit in with his book The Witches.

DSCF5100We arrived for school to find a total of ten girls in her class had chosen to come along as witches!!  Amongst all the witches I spotted Oompa Loompa’s, a Willy Wonka chocolate bar (yes really!) and grandpa Joe (Charlie’s grandpa).  What a wonderful display of characters and a fabulous Roald Dahl day had at by all at the school concluding in a whole school assembly for everyone to celebrate their fabulous outfits and charity success!!

Poppy Cat Talking Plush and Character Set

Poppy Cat is a well known cartoon character and series of books loved by children, and although I had heard of her, neither my children or I have watched the programs before so I was intrigued to see how interested they were in the new Poppy Cat toys from  Golden Bear Toys and whether they had lasting play value for them.

The first toy we tried is the talking Poppy Cat which is a cute cuddly plush which says one of five phrases each time you press it’s tummy.  Both my children loved this and repeated the phrases over many times.  Mister B particularly loved the counting backwards and can now say 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 with a big grin on his face which is great.  The Poppy Cat plush is 24cm tall, smaller than other talking toys I have seen and this makes it the perfect size for a child to carry around, take out and about or snuggle up in bed with them.  It’s the perfect size for cuddling and is very soft.  A great comfort toy for toddlers and pre schoolers.

The Poppy Cat character set contains 5 figurines including Poppy Cat and her 4 friends, Owl, ZuZu the dog, Alma the rabbit and Egbert the badger.  These figures are quite sturdy and fold at the legs to enable you to sit them down.  My 2 loved these and have been playing with them everyday.  I always find them walking round the house with one or two of them tightly clutched in their hands.  They have integrated very well with other play figures we own and Mister B loves putting them to bed or sitting them down at little tables.  The only slight disappointment we had is that despite how much we tried, we just couldn’t get owl to sit up when his legs were folded and he kept falling backwards which they found a little frustrating.  Despite this they have had a lot of enjoyment and play value from a cute bunch of little figures.  Being durable and wipe clean they are a good investment for little minds to use their imagination and have hours of playing fun!!

I feel the Poppy Cat range of toys from Golden Bear offer lots of play value and are well made lasting toys that will offer play value over several years.  They also help interaction with the plush Poppy Cat talking and the figurines encouraging role play.  Overall the Poppy Cat range are a lovely set of toys that I’d definitely recommend for hours of playing fun!!

Please see our short video of Miss M demonstrating the Poppy Cat toys in full play action:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

A day at Bigbury on Sea

With the gorgeous sunshine upon us last week and knowing it wouldn’t last we decided to fit in day at the beach – probably the last opportunity we would have this year.  Having decided to descend upon Bigbury on Sea we set off early with Miss M and Mister B no knowledge of where we were going.  The constant whines of “Are we nearly there yet?” and “It’s a long, long way” soon ensued but the delight upon there faces when we parked up were most definitely worth it.

With buckets and spades at the ready we headed down the steps to the powdery sandy beach.  They were both thrilled to see the sand and run free across the beach to have a paddle in the sea.  It was lovely to see them having such fun and enjoying the outdoors.  At lunchtime we tucked into a homemade picnic then set about burying daddy’s legs in the sand!!

Bigbury On SeaThe beach got steadily busier throughout the day as the sun held high but what a lovely September day and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Late afternoon we set off home and within minutes of driving off through the country lanes I turned around to find two sleeping beauties – aww my little babies were exhausted and just couldn’t keep their eyelids open any longer.

We had a lovely family day out and with family days being limited with Miss M having started school and daddy working lots of weekends it was nice to spend time all together, having fun in the sun!!

Something Special – Mr Tumble Toys

One of the first programmes Miss M ever started to watch was Something Special.  Being primarily a programme for special needs children using the Makaton sign and symbol language at first I was unsure of the appeal but she was totally transfixed by Mr Tumble and I soon learnt of his widespread appeal among young children.  It is now a character that 22 month old Mister B is very keen on and he loves shouting out for Mr Tumble whilst watching the Something Special show.

It therefore comes as great news that toy brand Golden Bear Toys have released a new toy collection inspired by Something Special with Mr Tumble and friends.  We received the Mr Tumble Activity Toy  and Mr Tumble Phone to try.

The Mr Tumble Activity Toy is a gorgeous huggable soft replica of Mr Tumble suitable for ages 10+.  He was instantly a hit with Miss M and Mister B who both love taking him up for a cuddle at bedtime. By pressing Mr Tumbles hand he delights in saying one of 6 phrases such as “Hello, how are you?”, “Da Da!, do you like my waistcoat?”, “Ha Ha, I’m Mister Tumble”.  Mister B found these particularly amusing and loved to copy which is great as at 22 months his speech has just started to progress rapidly and short phrases are perfect for him.

He also has sensory features such as an opening waistcoat and shoe fastening that velcro’s across, along with a rattle in the feet and his nose which lights up red when he talks.  My 2 loved seeing his nose light up and Miss M who insisted on taking him to bed at night found it comforting to see the glow of his nose when she pressed his hand.

The Mr Tumble phone was an immediate hit with Miss M who couldn’t wait to get her hands on it when she saw it.  This comes with three different Tumble character discs which can be inserted to hear various phrases upon the press of a button.  She had lots of fun chatting in reply to the various phrases whereas Mister B who is younger prefered to repeat the phrases he heard.

I think both the toys are excellent for any young Something Special Mr Tumble fans and will be a welcome addition to the many toy ranges out there.  They are more suitable to the younger audience with Mister B being perfectly targeted to the Mr Tumble range and will have many adventures playing along with his new friend and phone!!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Bizzybee Cleaning Cloths & Gloves – Review

When I received some bizzybee cleaning products to try out for Mummy News I knew they would be useful as having two little ones in the house we are constantly cleaning up after them and without a dishwasher we do the washing up by hand.  But what I particularly loved about the bizzybee products was how stylish they are – I’m always tempted by the look of things – ok image isn’t everything but if I was offered a pink or a blue dish cloth, the pink cloth would win.  So after admiring the array of glamorous pink gloves and sparkly scourers I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the housework to see if the rather good looking products performed as well as they looked.

DSCF4682ScourerThe first product I tried was the scourer as the one on my the kitchen sink was fit for the bin!!  And what a gorgeous looking scourer it is.  So sparkly I loved it (the picture doesn’t do it justice).  But would it give results – well my husband was the first to do the washing up and he was very happy.  It had enough power to get through stuck on food without being too scratchy that it would damage anything.  It seems very durable and when it gets scrunched up, always pops straight back into shape. So far we are very pleased with it.

I then decided to try out some of the gloves and started with the multipurpose ones which come in a lovely deep shade of purple.  They are extra durable with a raised grip on the palm and fingers.  These as well as all the others I tried below are all considerably thicker and stronger than the current pairs of gloves I am using at home which is a big positive as we get through quite a few.  They fitted well across the hand and fingers and to be honest are the perfect pair of household gloves which I found ideal for cleaning the bathroom.

DSCF4744The next two pairs of gloves that I tried out are latex free making them suitable for sensitive skin.  Both these come in gorgeous pastel colours, a soft peach for the standard latex free gloves and a pearly white for the moisturising latex free gloves.  They come with pretty detailing around the tops and a lovely silver bizzybee logo.  I then tried them on and my fingers melted into the soft, velvety, luxury lining – absolutely gorgeous!!  Although they feel tough and strong, for me personally I wouldn’t be able to use these for really dirty jobs, I would keep them just for general cleaning when I need to protect my hands and nails.  I have never come across a household glove that looked and felt so good – Absolutely beautiful!!

My husband took on the challenge of trying out the rather gimmicky looking scourer gloves.  This rather unusual pair came with scouring pads attached to the right hand and the left hand glove was as per a normal one.  At first he found these rather strange to wear and couldn’t get used to not picking up the scourer but once he got going found them useful and a bit quicker having a 2 in 1!!  He found it particularly easy with the cutlery although did find it a little harder to pick up some larger items with the scouring hand.

I also got him to test the black heavy duty gloves which where just the job for cleaning the outside windowsills and some disposable vinyl gloves which he used whilst doing some work on his bike.  Although transparent to start with they ended up covered in thick black oil so it was great that they were throw away and left him with grease free hands.

I found the bizzybee multipurpose cloths to be quite impressive.  We had two varieties, a green traditional perforated style ideal for bathrooms and sinks.  These felt quite strong so wouldn’t rip whilst using.  The other style was a delightful red and white spotty more absorbent cloth great for wiping surfaces and spills – just what I need with two little ones around the house.  What I particularly loved about both these cloths is that they are machine washable – how fab is that?  To keep them fresher and lasting longer is definitely a bonus for me and so far, they are cloths that I would recommend.

DSCF4800When I saw the pink glamourous gloves I was in love.  What a fabulous looking pair of gloves that are both practical but a bit special, textured hearts across the palms, curvy shaped tops and a gorgeous hot pink colour.  This is my ideal glove – (although I do love the luxurious lined ones).  I chose to use these as my washing up gloves and they are great – thick, durable but with a girly twist.  They are practical in every way possible but have that glamourous style that makes you feel good doing the most menial of tasks.

DSCF4755The microfibre cloths came in a pack of 3 but unusally it contains three differently textured cloths – 1 for streak free shine, 1 for wiping and 1 for absorbing.  I love this idea of including a variety for different uses.  I do currently use a microfibre cloth but only for dusting – what I didn’t realise was that they are suitable for a multitude of cleaning across the home and in fact I am rather impressed by them.  I have been using the blue polishing cloth for my windows and mirrors, the fluffy green cloth for the bathroom which has been great for cleaning the bath and sink, and the purple textured cloth is great for wiping up after my children – great for getting all the stuck on food off their plastic table and wiping around the highchair.  And again these cloths are machine washable up to 40°C – I love them – microfibre is definitely the way forward.

Overall I am very impressed with the bizzybee product range both in the stylish stakes and the performance/durability of them.  I would definitely purchase these again in the future and highly recommend them.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Miss M starts school!!

So the last 4 years and 8 months has flown by and now my little baby Miss M has become Miss M the little school girl!!!

September2This time in her life always seemed so far away, but the first day of school arrived this week and Miss M was so excited.  She is always keen to learn, explore and try new things so is more than ready for school right now but I will miss her and realise how precious the first few years of her life have been.

The night before school she was very keen and helped to get her bags ready, make her pack lunch and lay out her school uniform.  She then persisted in staying awake until after 10pm during which time she played with multiple toys in her bed.  The final time I went into her bedroom to see what she was up to she had her magnetic letter set on the bed and justified still playing by saying ” Mummy, I’m just learning letters for school tommorow”.  How could I be cross with her?  Eventually she nodded off and the morning arrived to which she jumped out of bed and begged to put her school uniform on.  I made sure she had breakfast first to avoid any unsightly spills, then she hurried up the stairs and insisted on dressing herself entirely doing each button up on her blouse and the zip on her skirt.  I felt very proud of her especially when seeing her in the full ensemble.

With such fabulously sunny mornings it has been a pleasure to walk to school this week(not sure I’ll be saying that on the wintery/rainy/cold and dark mornings that are sure to come).  Little Mister B has walked with us and Miss M has insisted on holding his reins on the entire route to school with him obeying her every command.  It is wonderful to see them getting on so well and respecting each other as brother and sister.

SeptemberFor now I look forward to hearing all the adventures, experiences and turmoils that Miss M will have during her time at school and wish her all the best on her new journey. xx

Monster Catcher by Orchard Toys – Review

The first thing that struck me when opening the Monster Catcher game from Orchard Toys were the brightly coloured picture cards.  They are really appealing to any little ones and 4 yr old Miss M loved them.  I think monsters are quite a neutral theme appealing to both boys and girls.

What I loved about this game was the fact that it was very easy to play and grasp the rules but was also complex enough that it had several elements within the game that allowed for added interest and also longer engagement with the game.

The object of the game is to collect the most monsters, which are broken down into two halves.  There are also extra cards such as a net full of monsters, the “Monster Catcher” cards which if you are unfortunate to pick one up, you have to place all of your completed monsters into the centre of the game play.  But then the lucky person who picks up the full net card can rescue any monsters from the centre of the game and add them to their cards.  There is also a timer feature where throughout the gameplay you will come across six picture cards which are put together like a puzzle to make a picture.  Once all these cards have been found the game ends and it is time to count up each players monsters to decide who the winner is.

Orchard Toys always include an educational guide with their games on the box which for this game suggests:

– Develop matching and counting skills
– Encourage social interaction
– Develop instruction following and turn taking
– Link to National Curriculum and Early Learning Goals

We played this game a number of times with both 2 and 3 players and Miss M loved the thrill of the monster catcher cards.  Although she was disappointed when her monsters were caught, it gave an exciting element to the game and she became even more excited when she picked up the card enabling her to rescue all the monsters that had been caught.  I thought this game was packed full of elements for young children to really engage themselves with the game and become totally immersed in the play.  Being fast paced and relatively short there was constant action and always a change in who was in the lead.  As this is a game of chance rather than skill, it makes it more enjoyable for older children and adults to join in with younger players.

A great game for family’s with young children and highly recommended by us.

For a more detailed view and to see Miss M’s views please watch our video below:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.