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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Thor figurine from Schleich

It's such a great time to be a superhero fan these days. All the recent superhero films, games and merchandise, have captured our imaginations, renewed our love for old favourites and brought many new and exciting characters to our attention. Whatever your age, everyone can have a favourite superhero.

Schleich, producers of detailed, hand-painted models, have a range of excellent Marvel figurines to collect, including Spider-man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Dr Strange, Venom, Falcon, Iron Man and Green Goblin. One of the latest editions to this super Schleich collection is the mighty Thor!

Based on the titular character in the upcoming Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok (which is in cinemas from 27th October) the figurine is an excellent likeness with his signature weapon, his hammer Mjolnir. Thor stands on a rock with his hammer held aloft, in a powerful stance. He wears his superhero costume, complete with cape and helmet.

Schleich Marvel Thor


The Thor figurine stands at just over 7" tall and is well designed and beautifully detailed. It is perfect for grown-up collectors and superhero fans, and for children who will enjoy recreating movie scenes and assembling their Avengers to fight against evil forces. The figures will look great on display in any kids' bedroom, where they will be ready for action.

Schleich, Marvel, Thor


As with all Schleich figurines, the quality is excellent and the figurine comes boxed, making a lovely gift idea for Thor fans of all ages.

The Thor figurine is £9.99 and is suitable for ages 4 and up.

Find out more and see the whole range of Marvel figurines at www.schleich-s.co.uk.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Introducing Nergi - the Kiwi Berry

I love fruit and vegetables and enjoy eating plenty of both as part of my plant based diet. I thought I knew most of the produce available in the UK, until I received a package containing some wonderful looking little green fruits, called Nergi Berry Fruits. Also known as the Kiwi Berry, they are a vivid fresh green colour with an edible outer skin.

kiwi berry


Inside, they look like a mini kiwi fruit with green flesh and blackish seeds around a white centre, however they do not have the fuzzy skin that kiwis have. Slighty larger than a big grape, they can be popped in your mouth whole. They have a delicious sweet, fruity and slightly tart flavour and are 100% natural.

Kiwi Berries


Nergi Berries are now in season until November. The little green berries are a superfruit packed with antioxidant vitamins C and E, contain dietary fibre and trace minerals and are just 52 calories per 100g, making them a healthy choice for snacking. More robust and less messy than other berries, they are great for eating on the go.

The Nergi Berry has existed in the wild for centuries, and with careful cultivation and natural pollination, they are now being grown using sustainable practices in small farms in France, Portugal and Italy, where they are handpicked when ripe. You can find them in supermarkets now (I saw them in Lidl and Tesco this morning packaged as Kiwi Berries) sold in 125g punnets, containing approximately 15 fruits.

My kids loved them. Kez said they were like a cross between a 'grape, a cherry tomato and a kiwi' which I think is a very good description. They would look wonderful in a fruit salad cut in half, but we just ate ours on their own as an after dinner snack. I love discovering new things to eat, and will definitely be buying more before the 2017 season ends on the 15th November 2017. They are a great addition to a modern, healthy lifestyle.

Find out more about this superfruit at http://nergi.info/en/get-to-know-me/.

Monday, 18 September 2017

A Unique, Handcrafted Gift to Celebrate Your Family - Family Birthstone Drops

With Christmas fast approaching (yes, we are now less than 100 days away from the big day!) my thoughts are turning towards Christmas planning. This year, I am looking at ways to create a more compassionate and sustainable festive season, and will be sourcing more food and gifts from independent businesses that share my ethics and values. I love the idea of giving unique, personalised gifts that are lovingly made by craftsmen, rather than things that are mass produced in factories.

Something that perfectly ties in with my Christmas wishes this year is this beautiful, handcrafted birthstone family tree set in a tactile wooden drop.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


Made using reclaimed and repurposed woods such as mahogany, each Family Stone Drop begins as a hand carved ergonomic and tactile wooden drop. The ornaments are then handset with the birthstones of your family, configured in an arrangement approved by you, to create a bespoke piece that is completely unique and as individual as you are. Each creation comes with a numbered and dated certificate, in a beautiful presentation box.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


My Birthstone Family Tree has the gemstones of Ian and I at the top, with my five children and two grandchildren included below us. Each of the three generations portrayed has a different sized stone, ours being the biggest and my two grandbabies having the smallest stones. It's a beautiful representation of our bloodline at this moment in time, displayed in a very unique way.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


I love having something that represents the people I love most in the world that I can display in my home. It's a great talking point! I also find it very comforting to hold, making me feel close to everyone. It really is so tactile and feels so nice in my hand. There is something about wood; the warmth, the texture and the smell, that I love. And knowing that this is made using specially sourced, reclaimed wood makes it eco-friendly, creative recycling at its very best.

The family stone drop would make a wonderful gift for any parents and grandparents this Christmas. The presentation of the piece makes it perfect for giving. The unique design and loving craftsmanship makes something precious to treasure for years to come.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


The birthstone family trees will soon be available to order on Etsy but if you want to express an interest or find out more, you can find the talented craftsman behind the product on Facebook, where you can drop him a message!

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts

Planning my Christmas Countdown with Elves Behavin' Badly

It's that time of year again, when the first thoughts of seriously having to prepare for Christmas really begin to niggle at the edge of your mind. We know from experience that the last few months of the year quite literally fly by, so being prepared is the key to getting through the festive season without too much undue stress. So, now the kids are back at school, I'm doing my best to make lists and make plans in readiness for Christmas.

Usually I buy advent calendars for my children to countdown the days to Christmas, but this year I have other plans and am going to be trying something new and exciting thanks to Elves Behavin' Badly inviting me to be an official blogger for the 2017 season. They sent us some lovely Elves Behavin' Badly goodies to try out so we can join in with the fun world of the mischievous Christmas elves. This is perfect timing for us as we have become fully vegan this year, so the usual cheap chocolate confectionery is being taken off the menu. This new Christmas countdown idea will be a great alternative this advent.

Elves Behavin' Badly


The elf phenomena has been going for a few years now, but this will be my first committed foray into sharing some inventive elf adventures in the run up to Christmas, to entertain and amuse my children. Each day in December I will be getting creative with the elf goodies I have received, pulling pranks, playing games and having interactive fun with the cheeky elves. Every morning there will be a new scenario for the kids to discover. Much more exciting than opening a cardboard window for a morsel of chocolate! 

elf on the shelf


Elves Behavin' Badly has an unbelievable range of elves and accessories, to make Christmas 2017 the most exciting yet! The original 12" dolls are being joined by a jumbo 26" version and a teeny 5" baby elf. They have original elves with velcro hands as well as fully poseable, bendable deluxe figures.Twin elves, Elfie and Elvie are available as a boy and girl pair for double trouble. Plush elves are joining the vinyl faced elves this year for little ones who prefer their elves more cuddly and a cuddly reindeer friend Rudie has also joined the team. There is even a risque black and grey dressed elf for some naughty adult elf frolics! The scope for some fun filled elfcapades just keeps growing.

Elves Behavin' Badly


The range of accessories is huge with an elf sleigh, advent counter, bed, blanket, swing, elf door, post box and even a dummy security camera among the offerings. There are art sets, decorations, stationery and novelty items available so we can immerse ourselves in the Elves Behavin' Badly phenomena throughout December.

The beauty of the Elves Behavin' Badly as an advent idea, is that it encourages children to be good. Although the elves themselves may get up to some mischief overnight, children know that the elves report back to Santa with news on how they are behaving in the run up to Christmas. All children want to be on the 'Nice' list, so hopefully the arrival of the elves will encourage best behaviour all round.

The Elves Behavin' Badly website has some great inspiration with lots of ideas for elf antics. Also check out elvesbehavinbadly on Facebook and Instagram. I'll be sharing some of my favourite elf escapades throughout December, so keep an eye out for my Elves Behavin' Badly Christmas Countdown!




Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Oral-B Pro 2500 Electric Toothbrush Review

I have managed to get to 48 years of age without needing a single filling, which is something that I am pretty proud of. The importance of dental hygiene is something that I have always instilled in my children from a young age, and so far all five of them have managed to avoid getting any cavities. 

We were sent an Oral-B Pro 2500 electric toothbrush with a 3D whitening brush head to try out courtesy of Pure Smiles, a Fulham based family run dental practice specialising in treatments to make you feel good about your teeth. 

Electric toothbrushes give up to 100% more plaque removal than manual toothbrushes and the compact, round head cleans better for healthier gums in just 30 days. The light up pressure sensor of the Oral-B Pro 2500 alerts you if you brush too hard, helping to keep gums protected and avoiding gum recession. The Pro 2500 has a two minute timer to make sure you are brushing for long enough (the average adult only brushes for 45 seconds so this is a very good reminder.) It pauses every 30 seconds prompting you to move on to the next area of your mouth for thorough cleaning. There are two modes to choose from: daily care and gum care mode. Gum care mode controls the brushing pressure and includes a massage mode. The Oral-B Pro 2500 can help give you a whiter smile as of day one by gently removing surface stains with its arrangement of bristles and its 3D polishing action.

The electric toothbrush is rechargeable and comes with its own charging station. One charge will last for 28 minutes, which is a week's brushing. The charger plugs into a 2 pin shaving adapter. There is a handy travel case included making it ideal for using on holiday, providing solid protection for the toothbrush and two heads.

The Oral-B pro is really nice to use, making my teeth feel cleaner and making me more aware of my brush time and helping me avoid overbrushing and gum damage. Switching from manual toothbrushing to electric takes a little getting used to, especially with regards to how much pressure you use to clean your teeth. The electric toothbrush requires a much lighter touch, but knowing that this is protecting my already receding gums is reassuring. It is a simple brush that is very effective performance wise. It is compatible with other Oral-B toothbrush heads including the floss action, cross action, sensitive clean and trizone, for every oral care need. Oral-B is the number #1 brand recommended and used by dentists worldwide, so I feel very confident using this electric toothbrush.

This is a good value electric toothbrush (currently £36 on Amazon) which is also available in black with a cross action brush head.

electric toothbrush


Contents: One electric toothbrush handle with two modes, charger, premium travel case, one toothbrush head, ships with UK 2 pin plug.

Oral-B offers a 30 day challenge, guaranteeing satisfaction and  the toothbrush comes with a 2 year limited warranty.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Become a Singing Superstar with The Rocket Singing Machine

I have a family that absolutely loves music. The kids sing, dance, play instruments and perform at any given opportunity. So when we were offered the chance to try out the new Rocket Wireless Singing Machine from Character Options, we were delighted to put it through its paces.

This high tech mic is an all in one music experience set to revolutionise how we interact with our favourite songs. Perfect for parties, anyone can feel like a singing superstar as they sing along to top tracks and latest hits. The device can link wirelessly via Bluetooth to any Windows, iOS and Android Smart device, and is able to play music from any online streaming service, your music library, YouTube or karaoke apps. The light up base and hi-tech design make this a very exciting product for families to enjoy together, from little ones aged six and above (with supervision) to music loving teenagers to the young at heart!

Rocket Mic


The Rocket Singing Machine has a speaker on one end and an amplifying microphone at the other. It comes with adjustable voice enhancing echo, mic noise cancellation and volume control and includes a headphone jack. It can be used as a stand alone wireless speaker or as a novel karaoke machine. You can even connect it to Siri and ask questions or request songs from up to 10 metres away!

Could You Be A Rocket Star?

The Rocket Singing Machine has an exciting competition to find a star to become the face of the Rocket Mic. Simply send in your child's best singing video to the Rocket Star page by 11.59 pm September 24th 2017 for the chance to win cool prizes including a Rocket Singing Machine of your own. Click through the image for more details.



We have had such fun with the Rocket Singing Machine. To get started you need 3 AAA batteries (which are not included) and it is then super easy to pair to your smart phone or device. We used Freddy's Spotify playlist and he was quickly able to sing along to his favourite songs with the vocal effects adding an echo to his voice.

Rocket Mic


The ergonomic design is nice to hold and the sound quality is good. It definitely creates a party atmosphere and is very easy to use. Everybody enjoyed their moment in the spotlight singing along to their favourite songs. The fact it can also be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, for karaoke or as a standalone microphone gives it multiple uses. The space age design with the light up base is cool and quirky

Rocket Singing Machine


The Rocket Singing Machine is available in pink or white and retails at £29.99 and is available online here.

To find out more about the Rocket Star competition and how to enter your children's singing video visit: www.therocketstar.co.uk.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Neatlynamed - Name labels for kids' clothing and belongings

According to new research, commissioned by Neatlynamed, manufacturers of labels for children’s clothing and belongings, mums spend a staggering £1,589 replacing items lost by their kids before the age of ten - and spend nearly two days in total looking for them. Having had five children myself, I can definitely agree that we have misplaced hundreds of items over the years.

The research of 1,000 mums with children aged three to ten found the average child misplaces a total of 483 belongings between the ages of three and ten - with hats, jumpers and cuddly toys among the most commonly lost items, with 62 % of possessions NEVER being found again.  55% of mums admitted that losing items can sometimes be traumatic. I remember my daughter losing her favourite cuddly toy dog and spending hours on Ebay trying to find an identical replacement. Definitely a bit traumatic!

School or nursery is the place children tend to lose things most often. My children have definitely lost plenty of items of school uniform, gloves, hats, PE kits and coats during their time at school. However other items seem to simply disappear when playing inside at home, with the fridge, tumble drier or the roof of the car being common places for these missing items to later turn up. 50% of those surveyed said they have known their little ones to lose items within just 20 minutes of getting them for the first time. Another finding that I can relate to! One of my daughters lost her brand new Minnie Mouse sunglasses within minutes of buying them.

Four in ten mums admit they’ve had to replace the same item repeatedly and 47% of kids have even lost items belonging to their mother.  Only 16% of mums believe that their little ones really appreciate the value of their belongings, although personally (like a third of mums) I think that most children simply don’t consider the possibility of losing things and inadvertently mislay them. 60% of mums think that losing items as a child helps them to appreciate the value of things later in life.

Thankfully, three quarters of mums put name labels on their youngster’s belongings to help prevent them becoming permanently lost with 64% of those polled saying items initially lost and subsequently found had name labels on them.  I have always labelled my children’s belongings and have retrieved numerous items from the lost property basket at school thanks to them having my children’s names on them.

The cost of sending children back to school with the cost of new school bags, uniforms, stationery, lunchboxes and water bottles is pretty huge.  So it is important to protect their belongings by clearly labelling everything. In a school you can get hundreds of identical objects and other children can easily pick up the wrong sweatshirt or cardigan. Name labels increase the chance of misplaced belongings finding their way back home again.

name lables, back to school


Neatlynamed provides a range of self-adhesive stickers and name labels designed for children’s clothes and personal items. This includes its Peel ‘n Stick clothes labels, iron-on labels and shoe and sock labels as well as stickers for marking personal belongings. All labels can be personalised with a child’s name, choice of colour and an icon.

Neatlynamed has also launched its new range of Disney themed clothing labels to help engage children in looking after their items and ensure they are easily identified. The new brightly coloured labels feature some of the most popular Disney characters including those from Cars, Planes, Frozen, Disney princesses as well as Mickey Mouse and friends.

I received some of the labels to make sure my children's belongings are properly named. I absolutely love the Peel 'n'n Stick clothes labels as they are so easy to use. No need to get out the iron or the sewing kit, you simply stick them to the care label inside the item and they attach to it securely. They can withstand the laundry process for about 8 months and are swimwear safe. The personalisation allows for a cute icon to feature alongside the child's name, adding a fun element for children to get involved in. Freddy chose a cool little monster for his labels. 

The new Disney labels are really lovely and feature a whole host of Disney favourites. With labels suitable for either clothing or belongings, Disney fans will love labelling up all their things ready for the new school term. We love the characters and the appealing designs and they come in a useful variety of shapes and sizes.

Ordering is very simple online and delivery was speedy and at n extra cost. The labels are of a high quality with good, clear printing.


You can check out the full range of products and place an order at www.neatlynamed.com.

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