Tag Archives: toys

Smiggle- Gift Voucher Giveaway

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I was invited recently to the Smiggle branch in Bluewater to open the next window on their Christmas advent calendar and see what treat could be waiting for me.

Anyone that has been to a Smiggle store will know it’s an explosion of colour and a total must for all stationary lovers. The store there is not huge but is very well stocked with both lots on the shelves and underneath the display tables ( so I cannot see you having any trouble getting a particular item you may be after).

At the moment they have lots of their fabulous Christmas Advent Stockings, that retail at £28. That may sound a little extravagant but is in line with Lego or even Yankee candle (if you buy yourself one!). However, the goodies that are in the advent would cost around £40 if they were bought individually, so a bargain when you consider that and also a great alternative to just more chocolate.

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There are the typical colour assumptions, pink for girls and blue for boys, but there are also lots of alternatives that can be gender neutral. Some of the bits can work out quite expensive but there are also some fabulous gifts that would be perfect for Christmas presents that work out at just £10-15 which is very budget friendly.

I particularl

I particularly liked this design on a black background and perfect for little monster lovers!

There is also a wonderful little colouring area set up in this store which was in use most of the time I was in the store and it was constantly busy in there. I was given the chance to peel off the next advent sticker from the window outside to get the next prize ( which I will include with the gift voucher giveaway as a little extra, it’s a Goo Glopper………………!

The store manager there, Linda, has a great manner about her and she will find out if it’s your birthday and get the whole store to sing Happy Birthday to you, I heard the singing even before I reached the store as I came down the escalator towards it. You will recognise her as she has a huge whistle hanging around her neck and she’s not afraid to use it- so be warned.

So I have a lovely £25 gift card and my Goo Glopper from behind the advent to giveaway to all you lovely stationary loving peeps. All you have to do is comment below with what you would use the voucher for and fill in the normal Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to play Teenage ‘Life’ Poker

Maybe that isn’t the right thing thing to teach your teenagers to play poker ( but my 2 a both dab hands at Texas Hold ’em *coughs*)

But this is a different style of poker, more like poker stakes with a difference- no money changes hands!

I’m totally sick and tired of my two whinging, whining, woe is me teens. Honestly I don’t know how on earth I got to the ripe old age of………43 without them. It’s a total miracle that I have made it in one piece with their infinite wisdom. C’mon all you with teens will know- THEY KNOW EVERYTHING!!

Well here’s my Teenage Poker game :

* I ‘see’ your 700 channel, 24 hour on demand TV ( in your own room) remotely controlled so minimum of movement is required- and I ‘raise’ you a one telly per household, with an amazing 4 channels to choose from, with kids shows only available on certain times AND you had to get off your arse to change channel, adjust the volume and switch it on and off!!

* I ‘see’ your health and safety gone mad child safety toes including padding for everywhere for anything used on the move, trampolines with total surround safety nets and barriers to stop you getting even remotely close to anything that could possibly damage you precious little bodies- and I *raise* you the Pogo stick, metal adjustable skates that went on your shoes and homemade go carts with no brakes and a rope to steer! ENOUGH SAID

* I ‘see’ your named brand clothes that are a ‘must have’ where literally NOTHING costs less than £60 even though the ones you are wearing are absolutely fine and still fit- and I ‘raise’ you the 80’s fashions!!!! We have been scarred for life and we have the picture evidence to prove it.

* I ‘see’ your games consoles, laptops, Ipads, tablets and Iphones with everything at an instant touch of a button teaching you nothing but lack of patience- and I ‘raise’ you……….The Atari with the exciting Pong game!!! Graphics at it’s best LOL

* I ‘see’ your door to door on call chauffeur service to all your extra curricular clubs so your precious little legs didn’t get worn out and so are kept safe from all the horrible nastyness that is on our streets today – and I ‘raise’ you the if you cant walk there your not going and the the journey to school in an easily recognisable protestant uniform across town on the bus through a predominantly catholic area  starting when I was 11 years old going to secondary school. I looked danger in the eye on a daily basis and still made it to my ripe old age!

* I ‘see’ your on your person 24hrs a day phone in touch with your friends and family wherever you are at any given moment- and I ‘raise’ you the one telephone household. A phone normally situated in the hall that had an attached receiver that stretched all of a metre if you were lucky and no privacy to talk what so ever- with everyone listening in to your conversation!

Therefore, I win hands down and if anyone should have Childline on speed dial then it should be US- your old, know nothing, haven’t lived parents.

Review- Le Toy Van Car and Mat set

I was asked at the end of summer if I would review a selection of toys from  a company called Doll Houses via Big Game Hunters at http://www.dollshouses.co.uk

The toys on offer were really for children who were much younger than my boys, however, a friend of mine agreed to review them as her youngest was the perfect age group as he has just started in reception at school.

I chose the Le Toy Van Car Playmat which retails at £27.50, and the Le Toy Van London Car Set which is £13.00.

Delivery was swift and the items were very well packaged together.

This is what was in the package!

 

The cars still boxed

The mat unrolled

On first glance when I opened the roll mat I thought it seemed a little thin considering the price! However, it has a non slip back on it which compensated as most modern family houses have wooden or laminate flooring and the backing would be very practical.

The cars seemed in keeping with most other wooden car toys aimed at that agegroup, but I thought the London set was a great  idea as it was just after the Olympics and most adults and kids could relate to it.

So I handed the toys to my friend whose children seemed to enjoy immediately. She has 2 boys and 1 girl, 1 boy just started school and 1 just started secondary school with the girl in the middle!! She did pass on that they all had a play with it so we can certainly say it’s a universal toy suitable for slightly older children than it is targeted to as well.

SO HERE’S WHAT WAS SAID……….

 

‘At first glance this mat seems rather expensive but when I compared it to others on the market I would say it offers better value. It lays flat as soon as it is rolled out and has an anti slip backing which is great for our wooden floors! The pile is flat too, which made it far easier for my children to move the cars around. I particularly liked the attention to detail e.g. Disabled parking bays and bus stops.
The London car set that came with it was great too as my children immediately identified them (living in greater London). There was only one small design fault. The steering wheel had been painted on the left! My 8 year old daughter spotted this straight away which is a shame, as the car mat is designed for right handed vehicles.
Overall I would say they were both very good value for money!!’

So have a look at their website here as they cater for both boys and girls with what looks like good quality wooden toys. With Christmas coming this company is worth a look.
DISCLAIMER: these products were sent for review purposes only. All opinions are for a candid and truthful review of the product. No other payment was received with regard for this review.

Ok who mentioned the ‘C’ word!

It’s sad that we haven’t even experienced our summer yet *cough* and already Christmas is being mentioned!!! Shoot me now!

But in all fairness if you have kids it’s best to get organised and be ahead of the game, so………………………………………………………………………..

Sneak Preview Of This Year’s Must-Have Christmas Toys

Log on to our live and interactive WebTV show to get the inside track on Argos’ Top 10 Christmas Toys countdown

Show date: 19th July

Show time: 3pm

Christmas may still be five months away, but millions of children will already be starting to think about what they want in their stocking come December the 25th.

Every year, there’s a must-have list of toys that all children are desperate to get their hands on, so what will be the big hits of 2012?

Last year it was all about talk-back toys such as Dance Star Mickey, a talking robot for girls called Fijit and Sesame Street Let’s Rock Elmo. In previous years it was all about kids’ construction toys, with the Real Construction Deluxe Workshop topping Christmas wish lists in 2010.

As the UK’s leading toy retailer, Argos will once again announce their Top 10 Christmas Toys list, a prediction of this year’s most-wanted toys and games.

Over the years many parents and grandparents have come to rely on the annual list to get the inside track on what will be on children’s Christmas lists so they’re ahead of the game when they start their festive shopping.

So what will be the new craze this year? Will digital toys continue to dominate or will we see a return to the retro? Log on to our WebTV show where all will be revealed.

We’ll also be discussing the importance of toys and how different types of toys not only keep your children entertained but also help them learn and develop key creative and problem solving skills.

Watch our live and interactive WebTV show from the launch of Argos’ Top 10 Toys Christmas event with [Richard Woolfson Child Psychologist, Mummy blogger and Toy Buyer at Argos]

The above guests join us live online at http://www.studiotalk.tv/show/sneak-preview-of-this-years-musthave-christmas-toys

on 19th July at 3pm
Click here to submit questions before the show http://www.studiotalk.tv/show/sneak-preview-of-this-years-musthave-christmas-toys

 

 

PetPlan Pet Toy Test – Review

As regulars will know I have 2 cats- one 2 yr old and a 16wk old kitten. So I jumped at the chance recently to review some of the available ‘cat scratcher’ toys that are on the market thanks to PetPlan, the Uk’s leading pet insurer, who asked me to take part in a Pet Toy Test in order for them to put the best toy up for a competition prize on their PetPlan Uk Facebook page.

The toys were quickly delivered and this is what I received:

As you can see the one in the middle is the traditional style cat scratch post, while the ones on either side are new to me- made of cardboard and look to be recyclable, and come complete with a bag of catnip to use with it. The idea for the review was to test the toys and discover which one I liked as a pet owner and also which one the cats preferred!!

As an owner I will be honest and say that I like to pay for things that will last, so the traditional style immediately got my vote!

However after having the toys in place for a few days it was easy to see which of the posts both my cats preferred:

My 2 yr old checking it out immediately!

Just checking it works LOL!!

The kitten getting his turn!

So I have to admit that I have fully changed my mind. Lets face it if you have kids or pets and you want a happy time then you tend to go with the things that they like! I haven’t even had to use the extra bag of catnip to keep them interested.

My only concern is that the cardboard ones obviously are not going to last forever or even as long as the traditional style. The ones I have been sent have already taken a battering.

But on the plus side they are very portable, recyclable, small so do not become an obstruction and to be honest in my local pet store they are available for around £7 so really don’t break the bank!

Lets face it how much would you pay for your cats not to scratch up your curtains/ furniture or sofas?

****** So pop over to the Petplan UK Facebook page for your chance to win one and see how your cats love it!******

DISCLAIMER: all views are my own and I did not receive payment for this review

Note: Petplan has provided me with these toys as part of their Pet Toy Test review programme. Visit the Petplan UK Facebook page for more information and a chance to win the winning toy!