Tuesday 31 July 2012

Tuesday Toy Review: Tatty Teddy and My Blue Nose Friends

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My daughter was very excited that we were sent some of these new collectables to review and test out. Tatty Teddy I knew from greetings cards etc but these are a new idea aimed at girls aged 4+. As the blurb says:

Set to be the next big craze for little girls, the iconic styled My Blue Nose Friends collectable range includes 22 adorable 6cm pocket size characters to collect, all with different personalities and unique qualities! Soft to touch and with their own characters, girls will love to collect the whole range!

We were sent three characters plus Peanut's Lamp House:

My daughter has had fun making up stories to go with the characters and getting them to have a good time being Best Friends.

The house is also a battery operated night light which uses the milk bottle as an on/off switch. It is a neat toy as it all closes up with the characters on the inside.

Other items in the collection include: 

  • My Blue Nose Friends Tatty Teddy's Heart House (around £39.99)
  • My Blue Nose Friends Little Motor Car (around £14)

The characters can be bought as singles for around £5 or in multi packs with up to 10 characters for about £20. I can see that for some girls this could be a very addictive collection!

In conjunction with the product launch its Best Friends Forever week at Entertainer stores across the country. Why not nip along with your daughter to see what is going on?

Monday 30 July 2012

Monday Review: Paper FX

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 We were sent this new crafting set for ages 7 and up. It comes with everything you need (except scissors to trim the final product):

The premis is that you:
  1. Tear it
  2. Crease it
  3. Weave it
  4. Make it
At first my daughter did't get out the comprehensive instructions and we struggled following the very simple ones on the box! Then I discovered the proper instructions and things moved on a lot.

Tear It

The paper tearing device as a wide and narrow setting. We learned that you have to have a very firm pressure along the tearing edge to make it neat:

Crease it

The next gadget puts parallel creases into the paper to enable folding. Again a steady hand was needed to get them straight:

The instructions for each project tell you how many strips you need and whether they are open or closed. The closed ones need to be glued shut:

Weave it

Once you have the right number of strips its time to move on to the weaving machine:

The machine makes weaving the strips very simple as the turning wheel alternates which strips are up and which are down.

Create it

As this was our first project we stuck with something simple and went for a coaster:

OK so it wouldn't win any prizes and doesn't look quite as good as the ones on the box but we did it! This is definitely a product that needs practice at to do well. 

It would make a fun thing to have at sleep over to keep a group of young ladies out of mischief. At 8 my daughter was definitely on the younger side of the crafting side but I can imagine that she will get better at using is as she gets older. I quite enjoyed the girlie time we had together making it and wouldn't mind doing more with her.

We used left over bits of wrapping paper and surplus crafting paper so that we weren't wasting things. You could even use old newspapers or magazines to make a funky bag. It has an RRP of £19.99 and should provide hours of entertainment on wet days (perfect for a British summer then!).

Saturday 28 July 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday K Village

Today K Village celebrated 2 years since it reopened with a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. We nipped in to see what was going on and stayed for 1.5 hours! Lots of fun with Lakeland Radio, Bouncy castle, face painting, Wacky Wimbledon and a free party tea for the kids!

The place hasn't been doing well since it's revamp and I wonder what they can do to turn it around?

Friday 27 July 2012

Friday Flowers

Got a replacement camera yesterday and have spent quite some time trying to take lots of flower photos as I've missed the detail you can get from a proper digital camera. All of these were taken in our street and my garden. So I apologise but time for some gratuitous flower photographs:

Thursday 26 July 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful with letter I ( #R2BC )

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart
Well it's the school holidays so plenty of reasons to be cheerful!

1) I am a Proud Mummy

My 8 year old swam several lengths of the local pool which is the first time she has ever done it. A real landmark achievement and I hope she builds on this and keeps up the swimming. My 5 yo did a quarter length and I'm sure he will get further by the end of the holidays.

2) Insect Paradise

I went with a friend and her boys to Roanhead at Furness yesterday. Having seen no butterflies or moths most of this wet summer it was a delight to see so many enjoying the nature reserve.

3) Infitessimal taste of summer

We felt like it was summer yesterday with our day on the beach. The boys got to skinny dip and I got a slight tan. What is it about a nice beach day that says summer?

4) Inside

This is my son's idea for an I! There has been some major tidying up in kids' rooms and in fact most rooms looking better. Though looking round my front room right now it looks wrecked!!

Michelle is having a well earned summer break so several of us regulars are standing in for her! So next week (2nd August) look over to Seasider in the City for the bloghop!

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Jigsaws For Family Fun

We have all just got into jigsaws and thanks to a jigsaw roll we can now do the, without clearing a table first. It's been great doing them side by side with everyone working to their own level:

I will have to train my daughter not to finish my puzzle whilst I'm putting her brother to bed though:

It's interesting trying to teach a child jigsaw skills. To me it's totally logical to do all the straight bits round the edge first when possible. Neither of my children agree with me! For my 5 year old he starts with a recognisable section and works on one part at a time. My daughter has a gungho attitude and doesn't work on any particular section at once.

I worked on an 8 plus jigsaw with my son and together we worked it out quite quickly:

Shame a piece was missing from previous attempt...

My daughter has gone for an advanced grown up puzzle of 500 pieces many of which are a similar colour to each other. I have a feeling it could take us some time to complete:

Monday 23 July 2012

Living Streets: Ice Cream Calculator #icecreamwalk

Way back in May when the weather was a lot nicer I signed up for the Living Streets walking challenge and clocked up a lot more minutes and miles than I would do normally. The Living Streets team found it such a successful campaign that they have now launched their Ice Cream Calculator. This is what they have to say about the campaign:
You may have been donning waterproof jackets rather than sunglasses in recent weeks, but don’t worry: the Living Streets ice cream calculator is here to bring a bit of sunshine into your life. We’re all guilty of over indulging over the summer holiday period with ice cream treats being a real favourite – whatever the weather! Living Streets has designed an interactive ice cream calculator tool, To get people walking and burn off those ice cream treats. Just simply enter how far you’ve walked to find out which ice cream treat you have burned off. There’s a fantastic prize draw to win a healthy instant lolly maker too! www.livingstreets.org.uk/icecreamcalculator

It was incredibly scary to see that for a 90 minute walk at a moderate pace it only burns off 166 calories and that doesn't add up to much on the ice cream front. Usefully you can also see how many calories some typical ice creams are  so you can work out in advance how far you need to walk it off...

And to keep with the summer theme, for all photography lovers they have created a Pinterest challenge called; ‘Glimpse of Summer’. Where they want you to tag the glimpses of summer you see when out walking using the hashtag #glimpseofsummer. They will then add the favourite to the Living Streets Pinterest board. http://pinterest.com/livingstreetsuk/glimpse-of-summer/

So what are you waiting for - get out there and walk!

Saturday 21 July 2012

Schools Out for Summer

Today marked the start of the summer break for me and I won't need to be back in school until August 23rd (GCSE results day). My children broke up on Thursday and are off until September the 5th. It seems an awfully long time to fill with a limited budget...

They kicked off their break with a trip with granny to Bassenthwaite where they watched the ospreys and even saw one catch a fish. I hope I can go there with them soon. That was followed by taking granny to an adventure trail which looked pretty scary from the photos with a zip wire and all sorts of obstacles.

I kicked off my break with a night out in Kendal with some friends, first a drink at Burgundy's then a gig at Bootleggers. The band Munkizunkl just happens to have to of my friends husbands in it! They performed plenty of classic rock tracks and the crowd were really getting in the mood on the dance floor. Wish I'd had the stamina to stay for the second half!

Today was spent doing some big chores before the school holidays properly start. My mum defrosted my freezer (a very over due event) and I know now what I have got in. Looks like I don't need to buy any protein or veggies for a week or so any way. We also cleared a lot of stuff from the kitchen and it seems quite a bit bigger!

We then intended on going swimming but somehow none of us picked up the swimming bag so when we got to the leisure centre we had no way to swim :-( Instead we had a quick trip to the DIY store to get some bits and got rid of the recycling! Not exactly a fun trip for the children..

When we got back my daughter got on with painting the bird feeder (and a few unintended items) a nice bright red:


My son requested the paddling pool as a small way of getting over the swimming pool incident. So I despidered it, cleaned the air intakes so I could blow it up and he could have some water fun:

not really the same as the proper pool!

The children then joined in with several other children in the street to play on bikes and have adventurous games together. Our cul de sac really comes alive on nice summer days and it feels safe to leave them all playing together.

Meanwhile I cracked on with getting more stuff into the new shed and sorting out the garden. Its amazing how much is vanishing into the shed but it needs some hanging hooks and shelving to make the most of the space. Before putting the loppers away I had a go at chopping back some of the saplings and extra branches on the trees down my path. I had to stop when the green bin started overflowing:

So a very satisfying start to the holidays. Let's hope the weather stays dry so we can carry on making the most of it and being outside.

Friday 20 July 2012

Kellogg's #ColourMeInRK Colour Me In Rice Krispies

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I was lucky to be selected by BritMums to show case the new Kellogg's Colour Me In Rice Krispies. These are a great new idea so that your child(ren) can colour in Snap, Crackle and Pop on the back of the packet.

We were sent a large packet of Kellogg's Rice Krispies (currently my daughter's favourite and she won't eat any other brand!) and a giant craft box of pens etc to colour in the picture.

My daughter was so quick to get started I nearly didn't get a chance to grab a photo:

This a lovely way to entertain children especially if the weather isn't good. My daughter is hoping that her creation will win the prize that BritMums and Kellogg's are offering for the best colouring by a blogger's child. What do you think:

Thursday 19 July 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful: the H edition ( #R2BC )

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Michelle has given an H prompt so here we go:

1) Holidays

My children broke up from school today and I finish tomorrow! We have so much planned including my daughter on a 2 day hike with granny, a trip to the Olympics and a week camping in Abersoch. In between hopefully we will be able to enjoy our wonderful county.

2) Home

I have a new decent size shed that comfortably takes all our bikes and outdoor bits! I never knew how thrilling such a thing could be having never had a new one before:

Thanks to my dad, landlady's dad and friend who built it this afternoon. Now I just have to work out the best way to put everything in...

3) Happy reading

Both my children had great school reports from their various topics and subjects. They are progressing nicely and hopefully will keep up the good work when they return to new classes in September. Their school has mixed age classes and both will be in the younger half of their's meaning 2 years with that teacher.

4) Having me time

As I am working tomorrow my parents have borrowed the children for the next 2 nights and I will be able to chill for the next 36 hours. Looking forward to going out both nights though not drinking as I'll have to drive... Seems a long time since I was child free :-)