Science & Play: Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops – Review and Giveaway

As you all know we have a massive dinosaur fan here.  When we visited Charmouth in the summer monkey got to see fossils up close as well as the Charmouth Dinosaur.  He was fascinated with the idea of digging up dinosaur fossils.  Knowing of his new-found addiction the lovely people at Clementoni sent us the Science & Play set Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops so we could try our hand at paleontology!

Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops

The Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops is aimed at children slightly older than Monkey but we knew we could have some fun with this set.  It was time to get digging.

This is the ideal gift for dinosaur fans, they can dig, discover and then assemble an amazing replica skeleton.

The Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops set comes with two dinosaur sets to be uncovered, some fact cards and tools to help in the excavations.

Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops

Monkey was eager to get started with the digging, I was interested to see how a nearly 5-year-old would get on.  I knew he would need supervision obviously, but could he do any of the digging for himself?

Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops

The instruction manual that comes with the set advises placing the excavation brick on a tray with newspaper underneath.  It does get quite messy, we made use of a box lid which was great as it was high sided and kept the ‘rock’ in one place as we hammered away.

Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops

Monkey decided that we would excavate the T-Rex first, no surprise there.  Both sets have a clear motif so it’s easy to identify which dinosaur you are trying to find.  The block of ‘rock’ is made of chalk, pumice and sand.

My little dinosaur fan got straight to it once I’d explained how to use the hammer and chisel together.

Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops

It was a bit of luck but he struck ‘gold’ quite quickly.  Look Mummy! It’s a bone!  He hammered away and we could see more and more bone.  It was so wonderful to see his little face, he was so excited.

Now I’d be lying if I said he excavated the whole dinosaur by himself.  It wasn’t all as easy as the start, and I think a 7-8 year old would need some help too with this dig.  But it’s the sort of activity that you can leave and come back to over a period of hours or days.  It doesn’t have to be an instant win; which is something I really like about it.  Did Monkey get frustrated, no, not at all.  He did some digging, I did some, we went away, did something else and came back to it over the course of a day.  The excitement level didn’t ebb though.  He wanted to see what we would uncover.

When we’d finished our excavations I washed the dinosaur bones and we constructed our T-Rex.  I did have to do this myself – not that Monkey couldn’t have put the bones together, he could.  But some of the joint connectors were really tight, in fact I had to get Daddy P to push both sides of the skull together for us.  It’s made of strong plastic and Monkey is so pleased with the finish result.

Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops

We’ll be getting our hammer and chisel out again after our holiday so we can excavate the Triceratops. As I’ve mentioned, Monkey is below the age mentioned for this set, but a 5-year-old under supervision is clearly still able to have a lot of fun and learn through this activity.

The Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops set is priced at £14.99, which I think is great value considering you get two sets, and have something to keep at the end of your hard work.  The sets are available from Argos.co.uk, Hobbycraft and Debenhams.

disclaimer:  we were sent this set in exchange for an honest review.

************************

Now with Christmas drawing ever closer, we thought it would be a great idea to offer one lucky reader the chance to do some digging of their own.  If you’d like to win the Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops  set then complete the Gleam form below – good luck!

************************

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will close on 17th November 2014 at midnight.

Science & Play Archeofun T-Rex & Triceratops worth £14.99

Posted in Competitions, Reviews, Toy Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Scarf and a Half – a book review

A Scarf and a Half is today’s new book selection from Maverick Arts Publishing.  Written by Amanda Brandon and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri, this is a humourous picture book about a frantic knitter called Granny Mutton and her grandson Little Lionel.

A Scarf and A Half

Granny Mutton loves knitting but she doesn’t know when to stop.  She knits her grandson Little Lionel a scarf to keep him warm, but she knits and knits!

That’s not a scarf, that’s a scarf and a half!

Poor Little Lionel is rather disappointed when he opens the big present, he thinks he’s got a new football but instead it’s a massive scarf.  He’s not impressed, scarves just aren’t fun!

A Scarf and a Half

Luckily for Little Lionel his friends have mall got great imaginations and come up with all sorts of fun things to do with A Scarf and a Half.  Little Lionel soon realises what a great present his Scarf and a Half is and that he has a rather wonderful Granny too.

Priced at £6.99 this is a charming tale that any child will giggle at.

Disclaimer:  we were sent this book in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Book Reviews, Family Life, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

La Vinyeta with I Cook It – A Catalan Adventure #incostabrava

After a pirate themed day in L’Estartit, our Catalan Adventure continued that evening with a trip into the countryside to visit La Vinyeta with I Cook It.  We left the hotel at 6pm and headed in land for about an hour and half until we reached the family run vineyard, La Vinyeta based in Mollet de Peralada.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It The vineyards rolled out in front of us as far as the eye could see, with mountains in the background.  It was a real contrast to the landscape on the coast and it was incredibly tranquil.

We thought that we were visiting La Vinyeta for a cookery demonstration, but we soon realised that we would be helping in the process.  Tonight, Daddy P would be learning to cook – who says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick???

We were introduced to the I Cook It team of Jordi and Anna.  Jordi would be showing/helping us to prepare Gazpacho, Spanish Tortilla, Catalan Surf & Turf Paella and Crema Catalan.  We were in for a treat.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

We’re used to seeing toasted bread drizzled with olive oil on our trips to Andalucia, but in Catalunya a normal breakfast would consist of Pa Amb Tomàquet, Tomato toast, with coffee.  The tomato toast is delicious, and I could eat it at any time of day! Rub a slice of toasted bread with a ripe tomato and eat.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

As the sun set outside the cookery course began.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

Everyone who wanted to, got to helping in the making of our meal.  Monkey and some of the others were a little too young for that side of things.  He was happy to pop in, see what was happening, and run back outside with the other children and play in the courtyard.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

Daddy P enjoyed helping to make the Spanish Tortilla and is this is something we eat at home, he now has no excuse not to make it for me for a change!

We had a wonderful meal and a true taste of Spanish cuisine.  It was a great experience and something I’d love to again with Monkey in 3-4 years time when he could really participate.  At the end of the evening we came away with each menu so we can try to recreate our Catalan Adventure.  I’ll details the recipes below for you too:

Traditional Gazpacho
A cold tomato based soup
Servings Prep Time
4people 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 1hour minimum
Servings Prep Time
4people 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 1hour minimum
Traditional Gazpacho
A cold tomato based soup
Servings Prep Time
4people 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 1hour minimum
Servings Prep Time
4people 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5minutes 1hour minimum
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Put the tomatoes, onion, pepper, cucumber, vinegar, oil and bread in a liquidizer. If you want to dilute it, then add a glass of water.
  2. Put the mixture into a bowl, add salt and pepper and leave the Gazpacho to chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Serve the Gazpacho in soup bowls, add diced tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and croutons as a garnish if required.
Recipe Notes

Recipe provided by I Cook It

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

 

Spanish Tortilla
A family favourite and popular throughout Spain - the recipe below shows the most typical version of this dish.
Servings Prep Time
4people 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5minutes
Spanish Tortilla
A family favourite and popular throughout Spain - the recipe below shows the most typical version of this dish.
Servings Prep Time
4people 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Important: The size of the frying pan is important. A Base dia of 20 cms is about right for 2-3 people. If using a larger pan it should not be too heavy as you need to turn the tortilla out using both hands. Use a non-stick pan if you don't have a well seasoned frying pan. It's helpful to have a flat saucepan lid or large plate that fits the pan.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan, when smoking hot add the potatoes and onion.Toss them around in the oil to get a good coating, then turn the heat right down to simmer. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, put a lid on the frying pan and let the onions and potatoes cook gently for 20 minutes/until tender. Turn them over halfway through and shake the pan from time to time. You don't want them to brown, but just gently stew in the oil.
  3. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large bowl and using a fork, whisk them lightly. Do not over beat. Add some seasoning. When the onions and potatoes are cooked, quickly transfer them to the eggs in the bowl. Put the frying pan back on the heat, add the rest of the oil and turn back up to medium heat. Then mix the potatoes and eggs thoroughly before pouring the whole lot into the frying pan. Turn the heat down to simmer.
  4. Draw the edge in gently with a palette knife, as this will give it a rounded edge. When there is no liquid egg left on the surface of the tortilla, turn it over to cook the other side.. To do this, place a flat lid or plate over the pan. Carefully invert both so that the tortilla is on the lid/plate. Put the pan back on the heat and use the palette knife to gently ease the tortilla back into the pan. Give it another couple of minutes then turn the heat off.
  5. Leave for 5 minutes to settle. It should be cooked through but still moist in the middle.
Recipe Notes

Recipe provided by I Cook It.

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

 

Surf & Turf Catalan Paella
Another family favourite and great party food for entertaining
Servings Prep Time
8people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20minutes 2minutes
Servings Prep Time
8people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20minutes 2minutes
Surf & Turf Catalan Paella
Another family favourite and great party food for entertaining
Servings Prep Time
8people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20minutes 2minutes
Servings Prep Time
8people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20minutes 2minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Stir fry the cuttlefish and the meat in little pieces in a pan with olive oil.
  2. Cover the bottom of a pan or casserole with at least 1/2 inch of oil, heat for several minutes then add the onions. Reduce heat and cook uncovered until the onions are wilted, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking in this manner until the onions have turned golden brown and are beginning to caramelize, adding and cooking off a bit of water if desired.
  3. Add the tomatoes and mix well, then continue cooking until all liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes have begun to melt into the onions.
  4. Add the meat, cuttlefish and rice and mix together.
  5. Add both chicken and fish stock and cook over a medium heat, moving as little as possible so that the rice grains are loose. Add more liquid as necessary to keep the rice fully covered. Add some peas, artichokes, asparagus, saffron.
  6. After 10 minutes, add all the seafood and cook the rice for another 6 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and leave for 2 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Recipe provided by I Cook It.

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

 

Crema Catalan
A Rich and creamy pudding - a big favourite with Daddy P
Servings Prep Time
4people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10minutes 2-3hours
Servings Prep Time
4people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10minutes 2-3hours
Crema Catalan
A Rich and creamy pudding - a big favourite with Daddy P
Servings Prep Time
4people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10minutes 2-3hours
Servings Prep Time
4people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10minutes 2-3hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a pot, bring to the boil the milk, cinnamon and lemon peel.
  2. In a big bowl, beat together the egg yolks, cornflour and 3/4 cup of sugar until all thoroughly blended.
  3. Pour in the milk and mix until the mixture turns frothy.
  4. Slowly heat the mixture stirring constantly, just until thickened. Remove from heat immediately.
  5. Ladle the milk mixture into 4 ramekins. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin and burn it with a torch or broiler.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

 

La Vinyeta with I Cook It was a great experience.  It was an excursion we probably wouldn’t have undertaken if we were travelling independently.  But it showed us that it’s good to try something totally different.  Daddy P tried and enjoyed cooking; something he never does at home.  Monkey enjoyed the freedom to run around with new friends whilst I knew he was safe.  I could relax and enjoy watching a feast be prepared.  Even better when you could sit down and enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labours at the end of the evening with a glass of wine from La Vinyeta.

It was a shame that the La Vinyeta shop wasn’t open in the evening to be honest.  I think we all would have purchased some local wine and I would have loved to have bought some Gazpacho home too.

It has to be said that Jordi from I Cook It is brilliant.  He was humorous and obviously loves what he does.  He could interact easily with the older children and really was the perfect host for the event.

At the end of a long and exciting day it was time to head back to the hotel in L’Estartit for our last night.  In the morning we would be heading north up the coast to the town of Roses.  Another day in our #catalunyaexperience and you can read all about our adventures next week.

disclaimer:  we were guests of the Catalunya Tourist Board throughout our taster weekend. Our comments still remain our own, honest opinions

 

 

Posted in Family Life, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Wish I’d Been Born a Unicorn – a book review

We had a lovely delivery of paperback picture books from Maverick Arts Publishing recently.  I’ll be sharing them with you over the next few days.  First up is the 26 page book I Wish I’d Been Born a Unicorn by Rachel Lyon.

I Wish I'd Been Born a Unicorn

We meet Mucky, a funny brown horse who is a bit pongy – having a good bath really isn’t his thing. I Wish I’d Been Born a Unicorn is told in rhyme with lovely illustrations by Andrea Ringli.  Mucky feel lonely, and sad that he doesn’t seem to have friends.  He believes life would be different if he was a Unicorn.  An Owl tries to explain to Mucky that true friends don’t care about appearances but only in how each other feel.

But Owl decides to help Mucky become a Unicorn, he flies around the farmyard asking some of the animals to help him.  A miracle happens and Mucky is transformed, if only temporarily.

I Wish I'd Been Born a Unicorn

We follow Mucky and his reaction to the change in his appearance and then his sadness when he goes back to his normal self.  But true friends rally round and he soon discovers that the Owl really was very wise.

This is a lovely tale with a nice underlying message, priced at £6.99 we give this book a big thumbs up.

disclaimer:  we were sent this book in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Book Reviews, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Alphabet Photography Project W and X #alphabetphoto

Week 24 of PODcast‘s linky The Alphabet Photography Project. I missed last week as I was holed up in bed with a virus so it’s a double whammy for my today – W and X.  But what to pick for either of them!!  Tricky.

The Alphabet Photography Project W is Waterfall

The Alphabet Photography Project

This isn’t the best photograph ever taken, but for Daddy P this is actually not bad.  He did actually manage to get both Monkey and I in the shot, although I’ve had to crop like mad to get to this.  He has no idea what a zoom lens is for, bless him.

But here we are, a photo of me and my son next to the waterfall at Stowe Gardens taken earlier this year.  Monkey looks really happy to be posing for a shot doesn’t he!  Stowe Gardens has become a favourite again since we rejoined the National Trust.  There’s always a different part of the gardens to explore.  Monkey had discovered the waterfall on a previous walk with me and was eager to show Daddy when we visited together, not so eager to have his photo taken!

The Alphabet Photography Project X is for Xenodochium (a guesthouse for receiving strangers)  I can’t wait to see what everyone else picks for this!

The Alphabet Photography Project

This is Monkey entering the Hotel Medes II reception in L’Estartit last month.  A guesthouse for receiving strangers – a Xenodochium.  This photo is really precious to me.

Our trip to Costa Brava last month was the first time Monkey had experienced a holiday that didn’t involve going to Granny and Gramps.  He’s stayed in a hotel overnight once in his little life, but this was the nearest he’s been to a real holiday.  It’s the sacrifice we’ve had to make for me to stay at home with him.  No stay away holidays.  I was so worried about how he would cope with the whole experience, but this photo sums it up.  He loved it, he felt secure, safe, he let go of my hand and was happy to explore.  Happy to be somewhere strange, happy to be on holiday.

The Hotel Medes II was perfect for us, we weren’t there much, but it was a small, family friendly hotel, and just right for Monkey’s first holiday trip.

There were so many wonderful things about the trip we went on, but the effect it had on Monkey was priceless.  This photo represents a little boy who is growing up; becoming more independent, trying new things without automatically shying away.  A little boy who made a special friendship with another boy with a similar temperament.  A son who left my side and ran off with a group of friends to have fun in a play ground.  A Monkey who was confident enough to walk into a hotel lobby by himself. A little explorer who absolutely loved every minute of his holiday and wants to go back; preferably tomorrow!

I am so very lucky to get to do some amazing things through the blog, I never take any of it for granted.  It’s worth all the working til the early hours trying to write-up posts.  When you get to see your child blossom in front of your eyes; having the time of his life, it’s just wonderful. He won’t ever forget the time he spent in the Costa Brava, he made his own memories and I have the blog to thank for that.  Wonderful things do happen.

 

Posted in #alphabetphoto, Family Life, Out and About | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Toot the Tiny Tugboat

Toot The Tiny Tugboat

Have your kids been watching the new kid on the block on Milkshake TV this week? We were lucky enough to get a preview of the episodes that have been shown on Monday and Tuesday this week, and are looking forward to see what’s in store for the helpful little Tugboat for the rest of the week.

You may be aware of the Toot and Pop! written by Sebastien Braun. Toot the Tiny Tugboat is an animated series based on this book, aimed at children aged 4-7 years.

Monkey loves the episodes we’ve watched; he loves boats and as he has his own tugboat he connected with Toot straight away.  Monkey knows that a tugboat has a very responsible job and Toot the Tiny Tugboat shows us this through each programme.  But Toot is new to his work in the harbour, he has lots to learn and gets easily distracted.  But he always makes things right in the end.

Over the weeks ahead we’ll all get to meet Pop the Ocean Liner, Paula the Trawler, Lenny the Lighthouse, Bryan the Ferry (those of us of a certain age are going to giggle every time he appears) and Marg the Barge.

We met Paula the Trawler on Monday when Toot had to be big and brave and overcome his fears of an imaginary sea monster to rescue his friend stranded in a storm.  Monkey really enjoyed this episode. We’re also looking forward to Thursday and seeing how Toot will handle some unwelcome geese who visit the harbour.

Toot the Tiny Tugboat is a charming series for younger viewers, he’s certainly got a fan in this house.

You can catch Toot The Tiny Tugboat on Milkshake TV, Channel 5 weekdays at 6.35am

disclaimer:  we were sent a preview disc in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Children general, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

CaseApp – review and giveaway

CaseApp

I was recently asked if I’d like review the CaseApp on-line service for personalised cases for phones and skins for phones, iPads, MacBooks, iPods and certain laptops .  With Daddy P’s birthday later this week a great birthday present idea came to mind!

Daddy P is quite heavy-handed so I decided that a case for his iPhone 5 would be a better idea than a skin, I then noticed that for his series of phone there was an option for an Extra Protection Tough Case for £19.00.  That’s the one for us!

I decided to use a favourite photo from our recent trip to L’Estartit.

CaseApp

As I knew Daddy P likes this photo too.  I could have put together a collage of photos, added text, and clip art but I decided to just go for the one photo.  I selected gloss as the finish option and placed my order.  Simple as that.

Delivery was prompt and I couldn’t wait to see the result.

The silicone protection case fits on the phone first and then you snap the photo cover over the top.  I chose the gloss option which doesn’t come out so well when trying to take a photo of it – but it looks fab.  Daddy P is going to love it.

If you prefer to have a pre-designed case cover rather than your own, then CaseApp have this option covered too.  Just visit their website for more information on prices and the products covered.

Disclaimer:  we were sent a free code in order to order and review this product.  Our comments remain our own honest opinions

******************************************

CaseApp have very kindly offered one reader the chance to personalise their own case or skin – worth up to £22.  Check the website for compatibility.  Complete the Gleam form below for your chance to win a voucher code for this case/skin.  Good luck!

******************************************

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will close on 10th November 2014 at midnight.

 Win a personalised phone cover or skin with CaseApp

Posted in Competitions, Home goods, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear

Do your kids love Toy Story and the various characters?  We love the film in this house so were rather exited when someone landed at our house recently!  To Infinity and Oxfordshire to would seem with the Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear!

Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear

Aimed at children aged 3 years and over the Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear has plenty to keep fans occupied. He has space wings with mega blasters and used 3 x AAA batteries – but don’t fear, these are included.  Happy Mummy alert. Buzz stands at 12″/30cms tall.

Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear

Monkey was smitten from the off.  His friend S has a Buzz as does little E, Monkey couldn’t quite believe that he now has a Buzz Lightyear all of his own.  With wings and mega blasters too Mummy!!

Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear

The Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear has 3 different play modes – Space Ranger Mode, Flight Mode and Battle Mode.  For Space Ranger Mode – press the oblong coloured buttons on the front of Buzz to hear various phrases and the red button on his back for the sounds.  There are over 75 to discover!

Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear

To start Flight Mode, press the round red button on the front of Buzz, which activates his wings.

Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear

Then, like Space Ranger Mode, press the oblong buttons on his chest for phrases, and the red button on his back for flying sounds.

For Battle Mode, press the round red button on Buzz’s chest again to activate the Mega-blasters.  Press the phrase buttons and then the sounds button which also light the mega-blasters.Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear

The Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear has so much going on that any young fan will be captivated for ages.  Monkey loves to just sit with him, changing from Space Ranger, to Flight and up to Battle Mode and just listening to all the different phrases and sounds.

Action Armour Buzz is ready to travel to infinity and beyond with space-rangers-in-training around the world!

As you would expect from a Mattel toy, the Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear is made of robust plastic.  I can’t see any parts that are likely to snap off with exuberant Space Ranger play time.  It’s going to last, there are so many phrases to keep little ones surprised.  Yes at £49.99 it’s not cheap, but I’m sure any Toy Story fan is going to love this toy. I’m absolutely sure that this new version of Buzz Lightyear will be arriving under numerous Christmas trees this December.

The Toy Story 12” Action Armour Buzz Lightyear can be found at various retailers – including Amazon (see my affiliate link below – it’s currently on special offer too), ToysRUs and Smyths Toys

disclaimer:  we were sent this item in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Christmas Stocking filler ideas, Reviews, Toy Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross – Halloween and Christmas

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

We love it when a package arrives from Baker Ross, we always know that crafting fun is hidden inside.  We recently received a whole host of goodies so we could do some Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross.

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

We’ve been busy over the last few weeks making some things in preparation for Christmas, but also some that would work just as well for Halloween.  Monkey loved making the Butterfly Stained Glass Effect decorations we made in the Summer, so I knew the Owl versions would go down well.  I also think they’d work quite well for Halloween?

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

All you need to get going with the Owl Stained Glass Effect Decorations is a pair of scissors and some glue.  Pop out the cut-through sections, cut the various stained glass effect paper and glue.

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

It was really interesting to watch this difference with how Monkey tackled this task.  Back in the summer it was a case of stick any colour as quickly as possible, don’t think about shapes, just stick it!  This time around, he really thought about colours and where to put them.  I helped him to cut the cellophane squares to the right size, but he was in control of the rest of the making.  It was great to watch.  We’ll be hanging our owls up for a bit of a hooting Halloween.

Next up and we were back to a Christmas themed craft idea making some character boxes.

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

Monkey loves these craft boxes – you may remember he made some for Easter too.  He knew exactly what he needed to do and set to the task with glee.

He managed most of the work on these craft boxes by himself, although we both struggled to get the noses to stick.  Lots of glue and a bit of Mummy thumb pressure required.  He’s really pleased with the results.

I decided that it was time for me to have some craft time, we’d received some Ceramic House Tea Light Holders and some LED Tealights.  It was my time to have some fun and the first time I’d used Porcelain and Glass Pens.

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

The pens are really easy to use and I was pleased with my first attempt.  It’s going to look fab at Christmas with the LED tea light too.  This gave me another flash of inspiration, you  may remember I reviewed some new desserts recently – I had saved the glass containers.

A little something for Halloween with a LED tealight.

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

Next up was time for some sticking – Self Adhesive Pom Poms and Bow Glitter Foam Stickers.  The original idea was to decorate our Stocking Cards, but Monkey decided that he wanted to save those for another day.  Time to get out some foam shaped bugs and dinosaurs instead.

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

The Self Adhesive Pom Poms come in lots of colours.  Stick the self adhesive disc to your required surface – card, foam etc and then stick the pom-pom to it.  You do need to be quite firm when pressing the pom-pom down onto the disc to get it to stick, but they do look great and add a different dimension to crafts.  We’ll be making good use of them.  The Bow Glitter Foam Stickers are self adhesive.  We’ll be using them to decorate Christmas wrapping paper, as well as our Stocking Cards soon.  Monkey loved this ‘Count Bugular’, and we even used the cut out bits to make evil eyes!

Watch out on Instagram for what we do with these soon …..

Seasonal crafting with Baker Ross

For lots of Seasonal crafting ideas why not pop over to the Baker Ross website – they have some wonderful ideas to keep the kids entertained, especially with Half Term and Halloween coming up.

disclaimer:  we were sent these items in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Arts and Craft, Children general, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Time for a change

As you know we recently moved Monkey from a toddler bed to a big boy single bed.  He loves the change and has taken to his new bed really well. It’s made me wonder if it’s time for a change in our bedroom.  We have a big wooden kingsize bed frame with drawers.

Time for a change

The bed frame is a bit battered, we probably should have changed it when I moved in but it never quite happened.  It’s not my taste particularly, it’s impossible to move, making spring cleaning etc a major event in our bedroom.  I know a lot of people like having drawers on their beds; I’m really not fussed.  We have a large airing cupboard already, so I have plenty of storage space for bedding and towels.  Two of our drawers can’t be opened anyway because our bedside tables butt right up to the bed.  For me, it just doesn’t work.

time for a change

I’d love something like this Hampton bed, sturdy, but without the drawers.  I’d also like to move away from antique pine and change our bedroom furniture to oak.  Did you know that Carpetright sell beds as well as carpets?  I have to be totally honest, I had no idea.  But when I started surfing around and found out, I had a look around the site and was really impressed.  Not only did I find this lovely Hampton bed, they have a whole host of options available in bed frames or divans.

Part of me has always quite fancied a metal bed frame – that’s my childhood of watching the Walton’s and Little House on the Prairie coming through!

tome for a change

I do like this idea, it would mean a total revamp in our bedroom, but perhaps its time for a change and a move away from wood totally. We need something sold – Daddy P is over 17 stone, but I’ve always been a fan of this style of bed.  I’m sure I’d be winding my LED light string around the frame too.

What’s your ideal bed style?  Are you a bed frame or a divan person?  Drawers or not?  How do you feel about your home in general?  Do you like to live in a show home?  (not sure that’s possible with kids!) or do you feel like you are constantly just passing through on the way to school, shopping, swimming or football lessons?  Carpetright are running The House Proud Survey at the moment, you could win a £250 voucher for Virgin’s Chrome Collection of experience days by taking part!

disclaimer:  featured post.

Posted in Family Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments