Incredibles 2 100 Piece Puzzle from Ravensburger

Incredibles 2 is due out in cinema’s on 13th July 2018 and brings us the fun loving family of superheroes who love to fight crime and beat the villains.  With baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superhero powers it’ll be fun to see how he gets on in this adventure helping the others.  To celebrate the release, Ravensburger have produced this fun new 100 piece puzzle aimed at 6 years plus.

My boy aged 7 was excited when he saw this and couldn’t wait to get started.  I know he is able to do this unaided and despite him asking for help initially, I just verbally guided him and let him put all the pieces in place.  He started with the edges and soon got to grips with finding pieces and before long was flying along at his own pace.

The finished Incredibles 2 puzzle is a really good size and looks great on the floor or table.  The individual pieces are also well sized and great for little hands.  The size of the pieces also allows for more recognition of what area of the puzzle it may belong too, e.g. the writing across the bottom was easy to spot on pieces and one of the first edges my boy completed.

As you can see my boy was thrilled to complete the puzzle and felt proud that he had achieved it all by himself.  I love watching them do simple things like puzzles as it gets their brain working and takes them away from technology for a while.

On the other hand, don’t forget to head to the big screen from 13th July onwards to catch the new Incredibles 2 film and see the adventures of this superhero family in action!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Vegan Friendly Toiletries from A Pony Called Steve

A Pony Called Steve is an ethical and vegan friendly company that produce the most utterly divine scented products to fill your bathroom with joy.  With a quirky edge and retro feel, the array of fragrances are ones that bring back memories and sound edible but have been brought up to date in a modern natural way and can now be part of my daily bathroom routine.

If you’re wondering where the name ‘A Pony Called Steve‘ comes from then I suggest you read this, but for me I’m won over by their unique but familiar fragrances.   It’s clear from the initial sniff that they source high quality, cruelty free ingredients to make the most highly fragranced, but natural smelling products.  Their range is toiletry based so think along the lines of soap bars, liquid hand soap, body wash, bath fizz, body lotion and even candles.

The quirky scents are what draw you in with names such as Pear Drops, Cherry Cola, Parma Violets, Mojito, Honeyed Raspberry to name just a few, they all sound great and if they smell as good as the Pink Lemonade then I can assure you that they will be worth worth trying out.  Everything is packaged in fun, colourful designs that will look great in your bathroom and make delightful gifts.

Onto the Pink Lemonade products that I’ve been trying out, the hand soap and bar of soap.  To be quite honest these smell totally luscious – I could sniff them all day and I do love smelling my hands after washing them.  The fragrance is just divine – not at all artificial, just natural and quite frankly amazing.  The product itself lathers well in both liquid and solid forms and leaves my hands/body beautifully clean.  I love these products and they are most definitely the sort of thing I’d add to my birthday/Christmas lists and think would make a great gift for others too.  Being as natural as they can, no testing on animals whatsoever and vegan friendly, they are well worth checking out as one of the fresh new brands around and one I’d be more than happy to receive myself!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Screechers Wild – The Race Car Machine Hybrids – Review

Screechers Wild! are the multi tasking race car vehicles that transform into creatures with explosive 360-degree flip morphing action.  They turn in an instant and my 7yr old was hooked once he tried them out and has been playing with them ever since.

With three different levels of vehicles in the range along with a Rapid Disc Blaster and a Speed Launcher there is much fun to have with these all action ready to go toys.

The car’s act as a normal toy car until they drive into or have a disc spun at them through the disc launcher.  This is when they magic happens and within the blink of an eye, each vehicle instantly transforms into a beast, the higher the level of vehicle the more complex the beast is.  Our orange and black level 2 vehicle turns into a dinosaur and is one of my boy’s favourites. The disc blaster is a funnel shaped device that you can stack full of discs.  Upon pushing the plunger a disc fires out and if it hits one of your vehicles at the front it instantly transforms it. There are various coloured discs and my boy was particularly pleased to have a silver and gold one in his set.

The speed launcher is another fabulous device that sends your car shooting across the room.  So if, as my 7yr old likes to do, you line a row of discs up and shoot your car towards them, it’s likely to hit one and transform as it hits it.  He finds it amazing watching them flip in and instant and morph into something else.

The Screechers toys have proved to be a massive hit with my boy and are definitely up there with his top toys.  The are played with everyday which is a good sign and he loves to tell anyone who visits all about them and give them a demonstration.

These toys are packed full of action and keep kids busy with them whizzing across the floor.

From what I have seen so far interest is maintained and these toys are something kids will go back to again and again for lots of fun and action play.  If you haven’t caught them already, then be sure to check out Screechers – the cars that flip in an instant from car to beast mode!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Vegan Flower Peel Serum by Spa Technologies

If you are looking for cruelty free and vegan skincare products with natural active ingredients then Spa Technologies is the place to go, with a vast array of products designed to improve your skin with a strong emphasis on anti ageing so helping to combat those fine lines, wrinkles and dehydrated skin issues we start to suffer from as we age.  Being in my 40’s I’m also keen to seek out nutrient rich products that really work for my skin and help me attain that youthful glow.

The Flower Peel Serum is a multi purpose vegan skincare product and with it’s natural ingredients promotes gentle exfoliation along with nourishing the skin using antioxidants and anti inflammatory ingredients.  Stimulating new cell growth leaves skin smoother and more youthful looking which is what most of us aim for.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: 

Hibiscus Flower Acids : A complex of pure hibiscus flower extract comprising of a wide variety of acids (Phytic, Pyruvic, Mandelic and Azaleic acid), as well as powerful antioxidants and anthocyanins which are bio-flavonoids providing cell protection. Concentrate of pyruvic acid for gradual exfoliation; converts into lactic acid in the dermis without irritation. Clinical studies show: 9% more hydrating and 15% more keratolytic than Lactic Acid and non-irritating, 20% greater cell renewal compared to other AHA’s, 30% greater anti-wrinkle activity compared with AHA’s
Salicylic Acid: Beta-hydroxy acid decongests pores in treatment of problem skin. Gently exfoliates surface skin which decongesting pores.
Green Tea Extract: Antioxidant concentrate.
Laminaria Algae: Pure paste of this nutrient rich marine seaweed harvested off the coast of Iceland, it has an abundance of vital elements including zinc, copper, manganese, potassium, iodine and magnesium. Soothing emollient, it promotes circulation for a healthy glow.
Hyaluronic Acid: Intense moisturisation.

I found the serum a pleasure to use, it easily glides onto skin and then is absorbed quickly ready for a layer of moisturiser on top.  It leaves your skin feeling fresh and renewed and definitely boosts your skin compared to not using it.  Having used it for a couple of weeks now I would definitely miss it if I didn’t include it in my skin care routine as it really makes a difference leaving skin brighter and smoother.  If you are on the look out for some vegan skincare products that work, then definitely check this out!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Gourmet Chocolate Pizza for Father’s Day

Pizza’s are our families go to Saturday night food, so it goes without saying that a pizza from The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company would be an amazing gift for anyone especially this customised one with a Happy Father’s Day chocolate logo in the centre.  What dad wouldn’t want to receive one of these this Father’s Day? (the bonus being he can share it with you too!)

We received a seven inch pizza from The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company complete in a sturdy pizza style box, with cheeky cut outs on one side so you can see the luxury chocolate gift that awaits you.

There is a cellophane layer over the pizza to keep it sealed but once you peel this back the smell of the chocolate just oozes out at you – this is when I knew we were onto a good thing that is clearly made from high quality chocolate.  They use smooth Belgian chocolate that just melts in the mouth and this is evident when when we came to the taste test.

For Father’s Day the pizza has an extra chocolate plaque in the centre with a message perfect to give to your dad at this time of year.  The pizza is pre cut into eight slices, although they are generous in size so you may want to break them into smaller pieces to make it last longer (should you have the willpower!).  The smooth Belgian chocolate base is a good thickness and decorated with milk chocolate curls, red, blue and purple rainbow drop buttons, and milk and white chocolate rice balls

Everyone was wowed at this when I showed them and I certainly think it’s a brilliant gift to hand out for Father’s Day.  It tastes utterly delicious and it definitely impressed me more than I thought it would particularly in it’s quality, taste and presentation.  The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company is well worth checking out for gift ideas whatever the occasion and they also do a variety of flavours so there really is something for everyone’s tastebuds.  Go check them out now!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

CanvasChamp Photo Canvas Review & Giveaway

CanvasChamp are one of the newest canvas providers on the market and they offer some amazing prices along with good quality canvases that look fabulous on your wall.  If you are interested in other ways to present your photos they also offer metal prints, engravings, cushions and acrylics to mention just a few so they really do have something for everyone in lots of different styles.

We tried out a basic photo canvas which I’m really pleased with.  The frame is approximately an inch thick for my 16 x 20″ (40 x 50cm) canvas so it looks good quality with a chunky feel. The quality of the photo came out really well and looks bright and  clear on the canvas.  It also comes with a centre hook to use to hang on the wall although we are still deciding where to place ours, as we are just starting to decorate the downstairs of our house.

The ordering process was really simple from uploading the photo, adjusting it’s position, and selecting the finishing touches you wanted.  You can even change how the photo is wrapped around the sides of the canvas or leave the sides white.

With an array of photo gifts available from CanvasChamp alongside the canvases and excellent prices on each of the products this is definitely somewhere I’d come back to when I want something personalised created using one of our photos knowing that I’ll get good value for money and a product that is made to a good standard.

CanvasChamp are offering one of my readers a 10 x 8″ photo canvas so if you fancy a new piece of personalised wall art for your home then get your entries in below:

CanvasChamp

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Head Over Heels Gymnastics – Books & DVD Review

Head over Heels Gymnastics is a fantastic new way to learn, practice and perfect your gymnastics skills in your own home.  Whether you are a beginner, a bit more advanced, have lessons already or just want to learn alone from home, then these guides for children are incredibly user friendly, simple to follow and progress at a good rate to see your child learn, improve and be challenged!

We received Head over Heels Gymnastics Volume 1: Boys & Girls Floor Skills book which really does incorporate all the moves a young gymnast will encounter in there first few years.  My daughter has been attending weekly gymnastics lessons for the last couple of years and loves it so much that she practices at home (notably with headstands on her bed, and feet up against the painted wall) when she is able.  The book is extremely well thought out and has been designed perfectly for someone to follow step by step to ensure they get the move/position correct.

The first major bonus of this book is the spiral binding of the book along with the fact that it has a 3D element that allows it to stand up so you can view it as you perform the moves – this is a fantastic feature and really enables the book to be used as you practice.

The book is very clearly laid out with a contents page so you can go directly to the skill you wish to practice or if you start from the beginning it takes you through a warm up then gradually guides you from simple moves to those more challenging and even helps you with mini routines at the end.  What I like about this book is that it comes with full colour photographic pictures guiding you through each move so you can see exactly how to perform and accomplish them to your best ability.  The step by step guides are brilliant and I can’t fault them, you can see every move, there are arrows to guide you and in some cases crosses to show you if you are doing the wrong thing. I also love the ‘post it’ style notes that give you all the hints and tips you need to perfect the move.

As much as my daughter is ultra sporty and partakes in all sports be it rugby, football, swimming, athletics etc. her elegance has never been her strongest point but I love the fact that she enjoys gymnastics as it gains her a lot of strength and flexibility skills. So here is her interpretation of some of the gymnastic skills from the Head over Heels Gymnastics book.

She loved doing this in the garden as she had more room and could run around doing things like cartwheels as well which I usually dread when she does indoors as I fear her feet hitting the light fittings!  She was able to see the book and flip over the page as she wished.

We also received a dvd Volume 3: The Floor Beam which is equally as fanatastic as the book. Even if you don’t have any sort of floor beam at home, you can simply use your floor.  We just put two gym mats down leaving a gap in between which represented the beam and my daughter tried to stay in the gap. What I liked about the dvd are that there are various age children showing you the moves and you can literally just copy and follow them as they do things.  It’s really broken down step by step and moves at a slow pace guiding you as you go.  Miss M has had a few tries at this and enjoys following it.  I was surprised by how much content is on it and think for anyone child who really wants to gain experience then this is a great dvd to have to practice at home with.

Overall I have to say I’m impressed with the Head over heels about… Gymnastics! set of books and dvds.  There’s very little in the way of books to guide you in this sport so this really a unique range and across the set there really is something for every little budding gymnast out there – so go check them out!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Treads Boys Leather School Shoes – Review

Treads are a brand that believe they have created the ultimate school shoe, one that is indestructible during playground play, where the stitching will not come undone and the soles will not wear out.  In fact they stand by this claim and offer a 12 month guarantee by which if any part of the shoe does fall apart during normal wear then they will replace the shoe free of charge. 

With a selection of 8 boys shoes available at them moment I think the styles cover all tastes and likes so there is something for everyone. There is also a line of girls shoes due to come out next year so keep you eye out for those – I certainly am!

We decided to try out the Madrid shoe from Treads, a very sturdy looking shoe with velcro fastening, just what my little boy prefers. I was particularly attracted to the extra strengthened toe area which looks like it will stand up to a lot of wear and avoid that dreadful scuffed toe look.

The shoes also have dual fit technology meaning that by simply removing the orange mid layer inside will make the shoe wider, giving a more comfortable fit for those with wider feet.

As you can see in the pictures below the shoes look very smart on my boy and I just love how incredibly sturdy and durable they look.  They are comfortable and stylish for the school day, but also suitable for all those playground games, running around and football that take place at break times when we see the majority of damage occur to school shoes. 

We are really happy and impressed with the Treads school shoes so far and are keen to see how well these will fare over the next few months. If we can get anywhere near 12 months from them before his feet grow I’ll be very happy to say the least, normally at the end of each term his shoes look wrecked, so I’m hoping these live up to their indestructible claims.  All I can say so far is they certainly look incredibly durable, well built and tough so I have high hopes!

Head over to Treads now for a look at their school shoes range and let me know what you think?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Meccano 10 in 1 Rally Racer – Review

Meccano 10 in 1 Rally Racer is a fabulous kit with ten different variants on the build along with a Meccablock motor inside so your vehicles can travel along once built.  With a suggested age of 8+ this is great for those keen to build and improve on their S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills.

With 159 parts to the Rally Racer from Meccano, some of them quite small, it’s a good idea to have some small pots or a tray to tip the bits onto, which not only helps you find what you need but prevents them from rolling off the table.

My 10yr old built this model herself completely unaided and was perfectly able to do so.  There are a few tricky parts to tighten up but if you use the tools provided then it makes it so much easier (as I had to remind her several times when she was trying to put bolt on in a place that was hard to reach!).

The build is fairly straight forward for someone used to this kind of construction but is also satisfying once built.  Not only does this set produce a model, but it’s a working model and if you put batteries inside of the motor you can actually allow your vehicle to move along by itself!

My daughter was thrilled with her first build and is delighted to find that when she breaks it apart she doesn’t have to build the same one again as there are nine other different variations on the model to try.

This Meccano set is great in all aspects, it’s quality pieces, it’s fun to build, you can build multiple variants of the model and it’s packed with loads of S.T.E.M. skills for your child to think about and use during the creation.

My daughter loves these Meccano sets and finds they hold her interest and she’s always keen to see the end design.  With an rrp of £19.99 this can be found at most good retailers so keep your eye out for a great value product and toy that mid range kids will love!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Union Jack Sneaker 3D Puzzle from Ravensburger

Union Jack Sneaker 3D Puzzle from Ravensburger is a fantastic creation that doubles up as a pen pot once built.  The 108 piece puzzle is made from plastic pieces and also has a few plastic templates to help hold the shoe in place.

As soon as I showed the 10yr old, she was straight onto building this.  The style and theme appealed to her and she loved the idea she could keep it on her desk afterward full of her pens and pencils.

The pieces slotted together with ease and she was able to assemble this without any assistance.  In fact it didn’t take long at all,  I left her to it whilst I did some housework, came back to take some photos and she was just putting the final pieces in.

We are really impressed with the look of this and it stands really well and sturdily.  We’ve had admiring comments from those that have visited too.  As with other Ravensburger products we have tried, the standard is great and it looks good.  I really love the fact that it is useable too.  My boy tried some other puzzles from Ravensburger previously that have turned into useful storage items to so if you know any minion fans, then check out these 3D Minion puzzles too.

Back to the Union Jack sneaker puzzle and I’ll finish off by saying that we love it and would recommend it to anyone that loves their puzzles, loves the Union Jack image and loves a sneaker (my girl lives in them!).

This is a puzzle that can if you want to take apart and build again but for us, it’s found a new home on my daughters desk and is now crammed full of her favourite pens!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.