Gingersnap Lightbox & Extra Letter Packs

Gingersnap lightboxes are one of the fun, new trends in interiors this year and sure to be a hit at Christmas as they would make the ideal gifts for many.  Being able to customise and change the lettering, gives them a vast array of uses, from a simple slogan or quote to a fun message for friends and family.

With various styles of Gingersnap lightboxes available I received the A4 black lightbox to check out and review along with two extra letter packs.  The lightbox is simple to use with a easy on/off switch on the side.  You do need to add either 6AA batteries or you can use an adaptor (not included).  I opted for batteries and it’s lasting well so far.  The unit has three lines which you can slot in the transparent backed letter, numbers and symbols to create your unique message or quote.  This lightbox comes with 85 black pieces to slot in and create a retro cinematic feel sign.

The extra letter packs that are available are in my opinion just brilliant!  They really add to the variations and fun of the messages and quotes that you can write adding personality and colourful fun.  I received the coloured letters, numbers and  symbols pack as well as the emoji pack which each contain 120 pieces.  I absolutely love them and there are so many that I can’t show you them all here but there really is something for everyone and every occasion.  I couldn’t wait to start using them and enjoying seeing the messages around my house.

We’ve found lots of occasions to use the lightbox so far and try to change the message every few days.  My little boy has even got stuck in and asked to put a message on the lightbox when I wasn’t looking.  He then showed me and it said ‘I love you’ followed by all the emoji’s he felt represented that – so sweet.

Overall I love the lightbox, it looks on trend and modern around the house and adds a bit of light which attracts attention to it from guests.  I love being able to change the message and can see it getting lots of use throughout the year.  If you haven’t already got one then they would be a great little purchase but with Christmas coming up they would also make great gifts so check out Gingersnap to see which is your favourite and which you might buy as gifts this year!

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

Play Fun Speedy Doc Game

Play Fun Speedy Doc is a family friendly game aimed at ages 8+ with quick paced rounds of questions where you all have to think of answers until someone duplicates or can’t think of one.  The Doc himself runs the games and controls who starts, how much time you have and how many ‘zeros’ the loser of each round should take.

The game required no setting up other than batteries being inserted and the ‘zero’ cards being pushed out of the perforated card.  I love that there is a handy storage space in the back of Speedy Doc to keep them safe and use as required during play.  There is a simple on/off switch on the back of the doc and then he is ready to go.  You don’t really need to read the instructions other than how to get him to repeat something or pause the game as he guides you through and takes control of the game.

To control Speedy Doc you press lightly on his head, so to start a game someone presses his head and then he starts the first round.  He will tell you which player should start by saying something like ‘the player with the longest hair’ and tell you whether to continue left or right.  He’ll then ask a question such as ‘name a sport you can play at school’ or ‘name countries beginning with B’ and then you go round giving your answer.  After you speak you need to press the doc’s head and then it’s the next player but beware, if you take too long to give your answer, he will time you out and that will be the end of the round.  He’ll then tell you how many ‘zeroes’ to take before proceeding with the next round.  After several rounds he’ll declare the end of the game and the person with the least zeroes is the winner!

To keep things interesting Speedy Doc with make random changes in the game such as switching the order of the players or telling the player who just got a ‘zero’ to give it to another player.  We found the game fast paced and fun, with lots of silly answers coming out as we tried to think of ideas for the answers.  You can tell the doc if someone duplicates or says a wrong answer and he’ll end that round.  Being suitable for ages 8+ is probably right as younger ones aren’t able to think of enough answers to keep up, although my almost 7yr old joined in and we let him off for some of his answers to involve him in the game.  My 9yr old enjoyed it though (well maybe not when she got a zero) but it does bring out the competitive side in people but also gets you using your brain and thinking of things to answer the question. We enjoyed it and think it’ll be a great game to bring out on Saturday nights and at Christmas when we can have lots of family fun!

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

Smiggle opens it’s 100th UK Store

Smiggle an Australian stationery brand has hit the UK by storm over the last year or so, with it’s 100th store opening last weekend at the Drake Circus shopping centre in Plymouth.  I was invited along to take a look around and see what exciting goodies the store has to offer as although I’ve heard and seen glimpses of the store online I’ve never actually visited one in person.

The first thing you can’t fail to notice as you enter the store are the neatly lined rows of brightly coloured goods, almost so many you don’t know where to look first.  It’s like being a kid in a sweet shop as you eye up the rows of treats wondering which one to choose first.  The shop is very pleasing on the eye and although similar items are spread across the store they are displayed in a colour coded manner.

Whether you want pink, purple, blue or aqua, Smiggle has it all but not only are their products colourful, they are oozing with fun designs and unusual features that stand out from traditional stationery products.  The range of pencil cases is vast and they are packed with cute details that it’s hard to choose between them.  I thought the range of drinks bottles were particularly fun and quirky being made of squeezy silicone that can be rolled up when empty to save space!

Not only do they have lots of bright and pastel colours but they also have a vast range of blues, greens and blacks so there really is something to suit everyone’s tastes. They had a good selection of lunch bags that looked really cool and perfect for keeping your food protected ready for lunchtimes.

Something I haven’t mentioned is that a lot of the products are actually scented with fun fruity fragrances,  you can’t fail to pick up something without having a sniff, making it that much more appealing to drop into your basket to buy.  Of the more unusual products that I spotted were some fun glittery silicone digital watches that display the time when you press them and some funky headphones that kids will love.  There were also some fun animal shaped water spray fans to keep you cool in the Summer, I really liked these as did my children.

A new range to hit Smiggle shops is ‘besties’, a collection of six limited edition character pencil cases and key rings in pastel shades with cute faces.  We tried out a key ring below which was scented in strawberry and we can’t stop sniffing it!

A really different style of pencil case which will really keep you organised is the one above, a small carry style bag with a handle and zip up pocket on the back.  You can unzip three sizes to reveal a fold out section with four sides to slot all of your pens and pencils into – no more searching around in the deep depths of a traditional pencil case for your favourite pen.  We also tried the Neon scented gel pens which as you can imagine smell very fruity.  Each come in a different shade and fruit scent and they also come in a handy snap close case.  They also work incredibly well giving a really vibrant shade to write with.

Overall I’m really impressed with Smiggle, not only for the amazingly bright and scented range of products available but also the quality seems to be good, the pens are lovely to write with, the pencil cases are well thought out with lots of zips and pockets and the keyrings among other things smell delicious.

Whether you are young or a little bit older and love stationery then be sure to check out your nearest Smiggle store for a really fun stationery experience that can’t fail to make you smile with it’s bright, happy vibe.

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

Scotland Yard Board Game for National Unplugging Day

This year’s National Unplugging Day is being held on Sunday 25th June 2017 and they are asking parents around the UK and beyond to pledge to #GoGadgetFree and spend the day from morning till night without any technology.  I think this will really help bring families together for some fun without glancing at their phones or tablets every five minutes!  To celebrate going gadget free we have been trying out the Scotland Yard game from Ravensburger and I have to say we spent most of last Sunday playing this, laughing, having fun and enjoying each other’s company.

Notorious criminal Mr X is on the run in Central London. Can Scotland Yard’s finest detectives track him down, or will he escape forever?

One player takes on the role of Mr X, whilst other players take on the role of detectives and work as a team to try to find him. Mr X only reveals his location every 5 moves, but the detectives can get clues as to his location by looking at his travel log, which reveals his chosen method of transport. The detectives also move around the board using taxi, bus and underground tickets, and must try to surround Mr X, and then move to his hidden location to catch him and win. But the detectives don’t always win and Mr X can escape to any of the 199 locations shown on the detailed map of Central London!

The game consists of a large quality playing board depicting the streets of London.  Between the 200 stops are taxi routes, bus routes and train lines.  Mister X has unlimited use of any of these but each of the detectives has a limited amount of tickets so has to use their method of transport between destinations wisely as they try to locate Mister X

Mister X has a board on which he records his movements but all the other players can only see is his mode of transport before he pops up on the board at certain points.  Everyone wanted to be Mister X so we took turns on each game.  You get a special cap to wear to try and hide your eyes from the board so other players can’t guess by your eyes where you are looking.

The game was faster paced than I expected and actually a lot of fun.  We all loved the game and played it over and over.  Both children and adults found the game appealing although you do need to be the recommended 8yrs plus to really get to grips with strategies when moving in order not to get caught out.  We did play a simpler version for our youngest little boy and he loved joining in on the action.

I’d really recommend this game for families as it offers something for everyone along with a bit of healthy competition between the detectives and Mister X.  The detectives can discuss tactics between each other which gets the family talking and the time soon went buy and none of us had touched any technology throughout the play.  Scotland Yard is a great game to play for National Unplugging Day with the aim to #GoGadgetFree.  Give it a try, it’s lots of fun and great to get back to good old fashioned board game family times!

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

Air Hogs E-Charger Dragon from Spin Master

Air Hogs E-Charger Dragon from Spin Master is aimed at children ages 8+ and is a sturdy well built plane that charges in just 30 seconds allowing it to fly up to 100 yards through the sky.   The children were keen to try it out so we headed out to an open space to see how far it could fly.

The plane is easy to fly and charges really quickly.  The charger requires 3 x AA batteries and then it’s ready to go.  Once you are ready to fly you simply unfold the charging pin on the top of the charger, push it into the charging port on the underside of the plane and hold the button on the charger in for 30 seconds.  As soon as you remove the charger you can hear the power in the plane waiting to be released into the air.

We found you do need to throw it quite well into the air and let it catch the wind but when you do get a good throw – wow!!  This thing really does fly!

It was hard to film it in action because it was sunny and it flew so fast but I managed to get a couple of short clips of the plane in flight.  The children loved it when it twisted and turned through the sky and it definitely went some distance so really do make sure you are in a good open space.

We thought the power on this plane was great and really gave it a boost to fly through the sky.  Once it lands you do need to charge it up again for the next flight but for us it was a challenge to see what flight paths we could get it to do.  When it went well, it really goes for it but it is definitely set at the correct age guidelines.  My 9yr old and husband were quite able to set this off in the air, although my 6yr old struggled but being aimed at 8+, this made sense.

Overall the Air Hogs e-charger is a great gadget toy for the over 8’s that gets them running around in the fresh air chasing after the plane as well as a lot of fun watching it zooming the sky.

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

Emojito Party Game from Tactic Games – Family Fun

Emojito party game from Tactic is a fun family game where you imitate emotions whilst the other players guess which one you are trying to be.  With a game board, set of full colour emotion cards and player pieces, it’s a fun, fast paced game that certainly brought smiles, giggles and lots of “Can we play again?” comments to our house.

Recommended for ages 7+ I knew my two children would enjoy Emojito.  My daughter is 9 and my son is 6 but he is very humourous, funny and enjoys things such as making faces so I knew he’d be able to join in and we could accommodate the game around him.  The children were eager to set the game up which consists of a game board, player pieces, a dial for each player to mark their guess on (this stops any cheating or people changing their mind) and a good sized deck of emotion cards.  The cards are really bright and colourful using animals to demonstrate each emotion. 

The idea of the game is to pick a card and that is the one the player has to try and imitate, and then you place that along with a further six cards around the board.  The other players then have to guess which of the seven cards you are trying to be and put the relevant number on to their dial.  Everyone then shows each other the number they have chosen and anyone that guesses correctly gets to move around the board.  Each time you pass the chequered line you collect a ‘trophy’ card (any card that is in play on that round) and the eventual winner is the first person to collect five trophy cards.

Once we got into play mode, the kids loved it.  Making and imitating faces was so funny and the other players were giggling away trying to guess which card they were trying to be.  We had lots of fun and ended up playing this many times over consecutive days and it’s now a regular game that comes out to play several times a week.

We found the Emojito game to be really fun, creating great interactions with each other and caused lots of laughter and enjoyment.  Both children loved creating different emotions and it was certainly a bit different from other games we already own which maintained interest and kept them engaged in the game play!

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

Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws

Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws from Flair are a fun new interactive range of straws for children, that along with the fun element also encourage health benefits by using a straw as opposed to a cup.  In the Farmyard Animals range there are four straws to choose from, Horse, Cow, Sheep and Pig.

Each straw is quite solid and easily slides inside the animal so can simply be removed for washing.  The animals stay put at whatever height you put them on the straw although we did find you need a sturdy cup to use them with so they don’t tip the cup over.

The children’s faces were all smiles when they saw them and they couldn’t wait to try them out, not quite knowing what was going to happen.  When they heard the animal sounds as they drank through the straws they were in fits of giggles and thought they were really funny!

The straws are great fun and the children love using them, it certainly encourages them to drink plenty of liquid everyday as they kept asking for refills so they could use the straw again.  Also drinking through straws is much better for oral health and helps prevent tooth decay.

So what did the kids think:

Mister B – “They are amazing – I love them, can I try a different one now?”

Miss M – “Brilliant, they are really funny, can we use them for dinner later please?”

As you can see the Sip n Sound animal straws have been a success with my children and they can’t wait to share them with their friends when they come round.  Being reusable and easily washable I think these will get many months of use!

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

Bunchems! 3D Creations Fun for Kids

Bunchems! from Spin Master are clever little colourful balls that stick together and can be built up to create 3D structures simply and easily.  Just as quick you have built one, you can also pull it apart and rebuild into something totally different.  My children have been eyeing this up over the last few months so I knew they’d be eager to try them out and have fun seeing if they were as good as they thought from the adverts!

We received a Mega Pack and Under the Sea glow in the dark pack of Bunchems! to try out.  Within these sets there are plenty of coloured pieces to start playing with a long with what I thought was a good selection and variety of accessories which can be stuck onto your creations to add personality and bring them alive.

My 6yr old who has been eager to try these for a while, got stuck straight in and was building things all by himself.  I was really impressed at how easy and quick they are to build and certainly kept both him and his 9yr old entertained all afternoon.  The circle pieces have tiny hooks on the end of the spikes which simply hook together as you push them close.  There are also small holes in one side which the accessories attach to.

Within just a few minutes my little boy had recreated this rather cute bird that he saw on the front of the box.  He was very proud of it and I was amazed he made it so quickly and independently.

Before long I was being shown lots of wonderful creations – they all look fabulous!

I think Bunchems! are great and perfect for a range of ages although I’d say my 6yr old enjoyed them the most.  They are non messy and great to do on a table or tray and can just be stored in a box when play has finished (we found a lidded plastic box perfect).  For a different way to craft, create and have fun, then Bunchems! are a great toy to try out.

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

Date Delivered – Date Night in a Box

Date nights can be easily missed the longer you’ve been together especially if you have children and don’t have a babysitter on hand.  So Date Delivered have come up with the perfect solution, a date night in a box delivered to your door monthly, quarterly or even as a one off!

The set up is simple and you can fill out your preferences on food, drink, activity likes and dislikes to help them tailor a box towards you and your partner.  We received a ‘Guess the Grape‘ box to try out and see what we thought.  The box came excellently packaged and presented, it really did feel special and as if plenty of thought had gone into it.  Our box consisted of three mini bottles of wine, each inside a cloth bag so that you couldn’t see what it was along with two packs of Soffle’s spring onion and Italian cheese Pitta Chips.  You also get a set of cards, one giving you wine tasting tips, some cards describing different grape flavours, a fact card about wine and some game instructions.

The box definitely made us sit down together in the evening, rather than doing our own thing and on pouring the first glass of wine we were laughing as we tried to pick flavours out of the wine (as much as we like drinking wine, trying to guess what grapes it is made from is a whole different ball game!).  The cards helped with ideas and it was funny listening to the flavours each other thought was in the wine.  Alongside this we had the Soffle’s Pitta Chips which all I can say were utterly divine.  They just melted in the mouth, had a delicate flavour and were the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine – I’d definitely purchase these again if I saw them for sale somewhere.  We enjoyed each small bottle of wine before moving onto the next one, making the game last throughout the evening and keeping the conversation going.

So what did we think of the box?

We like the concept of the box and definitely thought that it made us spend time together and have a laugh.  Some of the wine facts made us giggle especially knowing we actually get through rather an astonishing amount of grapes throughout the year!  Having the little grape guessing game to play rather than just drinking the wine encouraged conversation rather than doing our own thing on an iPad etc.  The snack was also the perfect accompaniment and the boxed package came beautifully presented.

At £33.95 a box, I do think this is quite high for what’s included, although having the whole package boxed up and delivered to your door is the bonus and means you don’t have to plan anything yourself.  Also the card prompts included turn the night from just eating and drinking to a fun night full of conversation and laughs.

If you struggle to fit in date nights then maybe a box from Date Delivered would change that and make you spend more time with your other half, whether it’s while the kids are still up or once they’ve gone to bed.  It certainly makes you spend quality time with each other that can often be missed in a relationship!

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

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Christmas Crafts with Baker Ross

Christmas decorations made by the children are so lovely to see and they love making them, so what could be easier than some cute little festive kits from Baker Ross.   They have some really lovely ones to try out this year and my two children have spent the last week or so beavering away after school getting them ready to hang throughout the house.  With everything from scratch art, sewing, sticking and colouring available they really do get to try out different skills and produce some beautiful, fun pieces.

wp_20161126_10_28_58_pro-1Eager to start making decorations the children have been busy creating, loving every minute of putting these simple to use kits together.  The scratch art caught both their eyes and they were engrossed in scratching the black overlay to reveal rainbow colours underneath.

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The results of the scratch art are incredibly effective and we have these pinned up on our kitchen wall to brighten it up over the festive season.

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Miss enjoyed making the padded reindeers and I was really pleased at how she just got on with the sewing herself.  All I had to do was tie knot in the end of the wool for her.  I think these look absolutely fabulous and are decorations that we will treasure for many years bringing them out again as they look so cute and effective!

6tag_051216-200956The Santa and Elf foam sticky packs are really simple to assemble and kept the children occupied for ages creating all different combinations of glasses, hats, gloves etc. on the character templates.  Again they look fabulous and I can’t wait to string them along my front room to add to the festive feel!

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Again, more successful crafting with Baker Ross, the kids love the kits, they are minimal mess and the results are incredibly fantastic.  I know our house will look bright, colourful and festive this year!  Why don’t you get your kids crafting with Baker Ross kits for the festive season?

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

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