Archive | reviews RSS feed for this section

Alice Is Chosen As One Of Tesco’s Toy Testers

17 Nov

A month or so back, myself and ten year old daughter Alice Sara were invited into london for a very exciting reason. My daughter was off to try out for a spot on the tesco toy testing team.
If Alice passed the audition then her voice would be heard amongst thousands as she casted her opinion on some of the top toys this Christmas.

Was she Nervous? Hell no, not my daughter! To be honest she couldn’t wait to get in there and see what tesco had on offer. Let’s just say she wasn’t disappointed, not when she found these guys waiting to be played with.

20131108-132010.jpg

Turns out that the toy she picked to play with would be the one she took to the casting room. As soon as she saw the two monster high dolls her face lit up like a traffic light. We chilled out, had something to eat before it was finally Alice’s turn to do her thing! Of course it was the monster high dolls that she chose to take with her to the casting room, and as we entered I felt the butterflies flutter in my stomach for her. Nonetheless I don’t think she felt a thing. Alice confidently said her hellos to the three people sat on the panel before jumping right in and doing her thing. The fact she has 32 of these wonderful dolls sat in her bedroom must have gone some way to help as even I didn’t know she know as much as she did about these freaky but totally chic monster fashion dolls.

I felt so proud of her. She didn’t seem to flinch an inch and took the whole thing in her stride. A true star in the making they told her and I for one couldn’t have agreed more.

So yes we had a fantastic day but did this little star make the final cut? Of course and I didn’t doubt her for a second.
Alice was truly over the moon when the email inviting her to london to make the toy testers video popped up in my email feed. Yes, she will now test two great toys in front of the camera. This all took place at the end of October when we headed off to the Camden studios for a spot of filming.

20131108-131709.jpg

20131108-131758.jpg

It was a long morning but Alice loved it. Tesco’s did well to keep the kids entertained when not filming and Alice was actually sadden when it was time to go home.

Alice was a star in front of the cameras as she demonstrated a new Lego friends toy and a monster high colour me chamber.
And here’s that little star in the final video! I think her opinions and that of the other children will go along way in helping parents when facing the huge task of Christmas shopping. After all children are the toughest critics and definitely the most honest!

20131108-131852.jpg

Advertisements

Shopping At Westfields With Kids

10 Sep

I dread shopping with kids but during the summer holidays I’ve learnt that shopping with kids doesn’t have to be as hard as we think it is.
On a recent visit to Westfield Shopping Centre in London’s White City with the toddler I actually experienced a stress free days shopping.
Myself and my sister Charlotte both took our little ones with us on a trip to the shops and both came out alive!
There was no tantrums, no bored faces, not even a single whine.

Westfield’s have made it there mission to make shopping with kids easier by providing ways to keep them entertained and happy. We started our shopping experience by trading our pushchairs for some funky kiddi cars. The boys were dead impressed with their stylish new wheels and we were impressed by how simple these were to Manoeuver around the shopping centre.

20130910-071648.jpg

Then it was off for some fun. There was plenty of stuff happening inside the shopping complex to keep the kids happy. We got creative making pasta sun flowers and pretty pictures. The staff were excellent, really friendly and helpful. This event was taking place near the food court in the middle of the shopping centre so it was really easy to find. The area had been converted into a child friendly space with toad stool seats and tables, balloons and fun and exciting games to play.

20130910-071742.jpg

Once done we checked out the shops. I love Westfields and the selection of stores on offer. What’s more given the children were aboard their kiddie cars they didn’t mind the constant popping in and out of shops. I must admit that the kiddi cars made the whole shopping experience a much more stress free process.

By lunchtime, myself, sister and our boy racers had built up something of an appetite so it was off to the ‘Greek’.
I used to work in Greece so appreciate the beautiful food they make. The Greek is located just outside the main centre so we were able to sit in the beautiful sunshine. The staff at the Greek were very accommodating they parked our kiddi cars and showed us to a table which was half inside and half outside, this was great as it allowed us to keep the boys shaded from the sun.

The lunch menu was very pleasing with lots on offer. The kids were given croyons and a colouring book to entertain them, avoiding boredom as we waited to eat. The food was absolutely amazing. The kids had beautiful chicken and I had a beautifully cooked lamb koft with rice. We tucked into flat bread and a vast selection of dips before the boys wolfed down some strawberry ice cream.

20130910-071831.jpg

The day was finished with a last round of the shops. With the end of summer nearing 😦 there was a good selection of sale items in the various stores. We spent a good proportion of the day in the Disney store and the entertainer were the boys got spoilt with Mickey Mouse toys.

We were itching to visit the Vue cinema which is located on the top floor in Westfield’s. Yes, I fancied seeing the new Disney planes movie but as we had my sisters little boy who is just 18 months with us that day we decided to give it a miss as we didn’t think he’d be able to sit still for an entire film. We instead decided this would be left for another day another time.

After all… Our days shopping had been so stress free there was no need to ruin it now.

So there you have it! Shopping with kids doesn’t always have to be a nightmare… And believe me I never thought I’d hear this mum say that!

Westfield’s always lay on entertain during the summer holidays and school half term breaks to ensure shopping trips are fun for all! To find out what’s happening at Westfields and when, then just check out the website as well as their twitter and Facebook pages.

Is it a bird or a plane? No it’s A Flutterbye Fairy

13 Aug

Flutterbye fairies by Spinmaster toys are super cute dolls that just happen to have wings and fly.
Recommend for children aged 6+ Alice 10 couldn’t wait to see what they were all about.

Heres what Alice Said… “Firstly these fairies are really pretty, they have lovely hair and beautiful wings. I didn’t think they would fly like they do I thought they wouldn’t be that good! But mine flys really high and I can control it by guiding it with my hand. It’s actually really cleaver and a lot of fun.”

20130813-184311.jpgAlice and her little flatter friend

Alice was super impressed with her little flutterbye fairy and to be honest so was I. The spinning skirt is constructed from a soft material so even if it hits your beloved widescreen it won’t damage it! Well, it didn’t ours and it hit numerous times during her first attempts at fairy flying. One person who looked slightly unimpressed had to be dad when the fairy accidentally on purpose flew at his head at speed (I really should leave the flying to the kids… Evil laugh!).

20130813-184427.jpgUp…Up…

20130813-184557.jpg</a>…And Away

The charging base is pretty simple to operate.The fairy charges reasonably fast and you get a good degree of flying time on a full charge. Yes, this does take a high number of batteries, six to be precise however, good quality batteries have lasted the test of time and we are still currently on the same batch we started with.

20130813-184714.jpgFlying lessons were had

Alice is 10 and loves the flutterbye fairy I’m pretty impressed to at 31. The fairy is aimed at kids 6+ and I feel this is a good age. Once you get the hang of using the flutterbye its as easy as riding a bike so 6 year olds will fully enjoy the challenge and achievement when mastering their pretty little fairy.

We love it and therefore recommend it to others with confidence.

Zulily Review And Competition

8 Aug

When I was asked to review zulily the online store that brings you daily designer deals for kids at discount prices, I jumped at the chance.

With the sun blazing it was time to get the toddler a trendy new outfit to struct his stuff in.

Here’s what he wore while attending a summer barbecue and chilling with his little buddies all courtesy of Zulily.

20130808-161202.jpg

20130808-161319.jpg

20130808-161401.jpg

I love Harley in yellow and this Funky Monkey tee did him a treat. He loves the cool motorbike image that is printed on both the front and the back. The shorts are also very cool! My younger brother (now in his late twenties) was a huge Batman fan and he would have love these back in the day! That’s why I’m calling these Harley’s new retro shorts.

As for the hoody, its incredibly smart and fashionable but as you may have guessed, a little to on the warm side to be wearing it just yet. I’m sure this will get loads of wear during the colder english months to come.

Sadly I was unable to get some great images of the front of his outfit as he was far to busy engaged in his play session with he’s cousins… Yes, it’s hard work trying to photograph a lively 3 year old boy when he has a sand pit and push along car in front of him.

So now for some exciting news! Zulily’s have kindly offered one of my readers the chance to bag themselves a £20 voucher to send on a deal of there choice over on the Zulily site.

But firstly here’s a bit more about Zulily and how it all works…

Zulily was founded by two dads when they couldn’t find unique clothes for their children at affordable prices… You can read the Zulily story here!
They are a members only site that generally has 30-90% of the retail prices on today’s children’s fashion.
They run around 8-10 events a day
and work with smaller, boutique brands as well as bigger brands so there is literally something for everyone’s taste.

What’s more as a member (which is free) You can earn zulily credit through referring your friends – £10 per friend referred once their first order ships. Now that’s what I call an Incentive!

Zulily also have a monthly Cuties Instagram competition, which is featured on there blog. I regularly enter this one as they have some fabulous prizes up for grabs and some fun monthly themes.

They also have an iPhone app that you can find HERE

So… Lets get this competition started! Fancy winning a Zulily voucher for the value of £20? Of course you do!!

20130808-164306.jpg

To be in with a chance of winning answer the compulsory question below…

… Just tell me what fashion means to you and your little ones! Are you an anything goes kinda mum? Maybe you only do designer or maybe you just don’t care as long as they are clean and comfortable your happy! Just tell me by commenting in the comments section below.

For extra chances to win just do any or all of the following.

Tweet… “I want to win a £20 Zulily Voucher with @Clairelouise82 and @Zulily adding the URL to this competition.

Pin the competition on Pinterest

Use any of the share buttons below excluding email and like it buttons.

Follow @Clairelouise82 on twitter

Follow @Zulily on twitter.

Important… Please leave a separate comment for each action you carry out and one extra entry for each action will be added into the final draw.

It’s as simple as that… Good luck everyone.

Terms & Conditions

Competition open to UK residents only. Closes on the 4th September 2013 at 11.59pm. Email or twitter handle must be left with all comments to ensure I can contact you in the event that you win. Prize will be sent by Zulilys so your address will need to be passed to them via myself. Winner has a total of 72 hours to claim their prize from the time of winning notification being given.

Bubble Shooz Review & Competition

23 Jun

20130623-011525.jpg

All kids love to pop bubble wrap don’t they?

Come on… I’m pretty sure it is all kids! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid resist the overriding urge to run to their mother as they unwrap a parcel while shouting the words “Bubble Wrap” before grabbing a hold of the stuff and going for it! Place some bubble wrap into the hands of anyone regardless of age and watch how long it takes them to start indulging in some hardcore popping action!

Yes, I was once a child too you know! Coming home from school to discover bubble wrap laying about your house is something of a kids heaven. So, in discovering that ‘Vivid‘ had designed a toy to mimic that of bubble popping came as no surprise to me. When asked if the kids wanted to give “Bubble Shooz” a try and then share their thoughts in a review, we jumped at the chance and I couldn’t wait to check these babies out! Whats more I was offered a pair to give away to readers, so keep reading to find out how you can win a pair!

So… Just what is this toy and how does it work? Basically the product comes in the form of a pair of shoes… “Yes Shoes!” These can be adjusted to fit kids with a shoe size of 12 plus. Kids just strap these shoes on over their regular shows and then simply walk about as they usually would! Only, as they do, the sound of bubble popping can be heard coming from their feet.

Ok, its not really the same as that of the traditional popping of bubble wrap but kids seem to love it all the same. At first I sat asking myself “Whats the point?” Then I realised there isn’t really one and doesn’t really have to be when it comes to kids and toys. I don’t know what it is but this kind of thing has them excited.
For me I’m happy with my traditional bubble wrap popping action which is mainly because I feel like a bit of a tit wearing these (oh yes I did try them on). Seriously, these brightly coloured shoes are better off sticking with the kids.

Sadly as stated the shoes start at a size 12 and my toddler is a 8 so not quite there yet. Admittedly he did throw a bit of a wobbler as he watched big sister put them to the test. Its a shame because at 3 I think he would enjoy these especially given that following the tears he giggled madly as his sister went Pop… Pop… Popping along!

20130623-014909.jpg

With cool bubble styling on the base of each shoe, the Bubble Shooz are great for indoor or outdoor use – listen to the sound of popping as you walk around the house or garden for poptastic fun.

Bubble Shooz have a retail price of £19.99 and are available to buy now from all good toy stores.

So… If you basically want to mimic the popping of bubble wrap minus the mess then I guess these are for you!

Want to win a pair of bubble Shooz? Well, here’s how!

20130623-011630.jpg

Compulsory Entry…

Tell me what unusual item used to excite you as a child? Was you the child who played with the boxes rather than their toys at Christmas?

The above is a compulsory action that you will need to complete in order to successfully enter the competition.

Here’s some extra chances to win. Do any off the following (all if desired) and leave me a comment for each one completed to gain an automatic extra entry into the random competition draw.

Note… All comments for all actions including the compulsory one need to contain either a valid contactable email address or twitter handle. This is to ensure winners are contactable.

Additional entries (cannot be gained without having first done the compulsory action)…

Follow me on twitter (@clairelouise82)

Pin the competition to one of your Pinterest boards and comment sharing that link with me so I can find it.

Tweet… “I want to win a pair of bubble Shooz with @Clairelouise82 and @Vividtoygroup Adding The URL to this competition!!” Comment with the link to your tweet.

Comment on another Non Competition post and comment telling me which one

Subscribe to this blog using feedburner and let me know which email address u subscribe with (feedburner button located in sidebar).

Visit and subscribe to my sister blog Mummy of Many Talents (featuring crafts, fashion and vintage flare) comment telling me the email addy you subscribe with.

Competition closing date is August 20th 2013 at 11:59 PM. Entries submitted after this time with not be entered into the final draw (even if your comment is showing as submitted).

Competition is open only to those in the UK only normal T&C apply and can be found on the blogs disclaimer page.

Note: Winner has 72 hours to claim their prize once contact has been made.

Review – Diggs Nightcrawler New To Wonderbook PS3

4 Jun

20130606-112853.jpg

Ever wondered who bumped off Humpty Dumpty? Turns out it wasn’t the accident we all thought it was and now its time we discovered who’s responsible for the death of this unfortunate egg.

Sony have done it again! A fabulous new game for kids on the PS3. The new Wonderbook game requires players to have a camera and move controller… With these tools you can finally uncover the truth behind Humpty’s fall.

This is a one player game designed with children in mind! Diggs Nightcrawler, Library city private detective and best friend of Humpty’s, is the prime suspect in his best friends death. Maintaining his innocence, Diggs has no choice but to launch his own investigation to clear his name and find the real culprit. However Diggs requires that of a fresh young mind to get to the bottom of the mystery! That’s where you come in. Meanwhile the police are asking for everybody’s help to book Diggs once and for all.

This maybe one for the kids but who’s to say mum can’t get in on the action too? This is a game the entire family will enjoy together. Its an action packed story and game rolled into one with action and surprises on every page. We already love using Wonderbook on Little mans ps3 and have enjoyed playing along to the first Wonderbook release “Book of Spells!” But its my opinion that the wonderbook’s second release “Diggs Nightcrawler” takes the wonderbook experience to a whole new level!

The game has many features such as popups and puzzles, plus you can replay chapters to score for clues you may have missed! The move controller acts as a magnify glass to let you get up close and solve the crime.

Diggs Nightcrawler gets a big thumbs up from us! Now we can’t wait to see what Sony have in store for us next.

The game has already hit the shops and is priced at a really reasonable £13.99 check it out here at Amazon

Check the game preview on the youtube video below.

SiGG & Cuipo Helping To Save The Rainforest One Meter At A Time

26 Apr

We as a family love SIGG Switzerland bottles and are very lucky to get to review their products from time to time. When our latest assignment was delivered, we were really excited about what SIGG had provided.

You see, the latest addition of SIGG bottle designs are so much more than a cute image on your bottle. Yes, the SIGG Cuipo range are just as bold and brilliantly designed as always but when you purchase a bottle from this range you actually save one square meter of a Tropical Rainforest.

The first set to be released are available in two sizes. These are 0.6 and 0.3 litre bottles.

What’s more with every bottle comes a unique code that once activated online costumers can actually view the square meter of Rainforest they have just saved via google maps… Seeing really is believing! Just visit http://www.cuipo.org/ to activate

The CUIPO PRESERVE PANAMA

The Cuipo Rainforest Preserve is located near the Darien National Preserve in Chepo, Panama. Historically, dense forests and rocky terrain shielded the Chepo Rainforest from the outside world. Improved transportation made this land accessible and development has threatened this ecosystem. As agriculture, logging, development, mining, and tourism expand into these pristine areas, rainforest is gradually disappearing. Cuipo has acquired 13,354,600 square meters (3,300 acres) of rainforest to set aside for preservation.

Funds from the Cuipo bottles are donated to “One Meter at a Time” a Cuipo non-profit foundation dedicated to preservation of the tropical rainforest. The foundations aim is to safeguard and preserve each square meter of rainforest in perpetuity.
By teaching skills required for gainful employment in preservation, One Meter at a Time also employs locals and indigenous groups as park rangers and stewards of the preserved rainforest.

John Oswald, Co-founder of Cuipo said “We are thrilled to be expanding the Cuipo brand to include reusable bottles. SIGG not only produces top-quality bottles, but the company also produces a highly environmentally responsible product.”

Scott Shea, UK Commercial Director for SIGG said “Cuipo is a great social enterprise which genuinely makes a differencein the safeguarding of our planet and shares SIGG’s core values. We hope our collaboration will raise the profile of Cuipo in the UK”

And finally what we had to say (we meaning myself and three little monsters)

The SIGG Cuipo bottles are beautifully designed and as always, made to a high standard. To know that your purchase has helped to save something as important as the Cuipo rainforest makes buying one of these bottles all the more rewarding! Its not often you’re given the opportunity to see just where your money is going and how it will make a difference. SIGG have given us that and have done so in a brilliant fashion.

With our busy life’s, I admit that the Rainforest is often far from my mind. But looking into what Cuipo are doing, my eyes have now been opened to the importance of our Rainforest and how it plays an important part on earth!

Did you know that plants from the Rainforest have actually been discovered as cures for certain types of cancer? Well… I shamefully didn’t and my sister has overcome a cancer battle! This left me wondering… Did the Rainforest play an important part in keeping my little sister alive?

As for the SIGG Cuipo bottles and their designs, I must admit, these are just the cutest ever. What’s more, its thanks to SIGG and its 0.3 Cuipo Tiko, that the toddler has waved good bye to his baby bottle for good. He just loves the smaller Cuipo bottle and feels so grown up while using it.

20130426-045612.jpgThe SIGG Cuipo Tiko used by the toddler cost £16.49

The other designs we received were the 0.6 Fight Deforestation bottle and the 0.6 B.Y.O.B bottle. We actually took all three bottles away on holiday with us during the last half term. We chose the SIGG bottles particularly because We like to use Them in the car while embarking on long journeys. Not only does the water/juice contained within the bottles taste fresh and chilled for longer, but the lockable caps prevent any back seat spills which is a god sent for any parent.

20130426-045813.jpgThe Fight Deforestation bottle £17.99 and my favourite

And below is the B.Y.O.B. bottle that my daughter has claimed £17.99

20130426-050028.jpg

There is another bottle in the Cuipo range and that’s the ‘Steve the sloth’ bottle. We wasn’t sent this one but my guess is its just as great as the others…

20130426-050402.jpg‘Steve the sloth’ £17.99

So… Fancy a brand new trendy SIGG bottle? Want to help save a tropical Rainforest? Then you’ll be pleased to know that the Cuipo range of SIGG bottles are now available to buy online via http://www.sigg.com or http://www.cuipo.org and of course from all good SIGG retailers across the UK.

Find out more about the range over on the SIGG Facebook page (oh, and a little tip… Keep your eye open as SIGG hold some fabulous competitions on their page)!

The Talking Om Nom Review

24 Apr

When we arrived home from a recent holiday I found a little cute green thing waiting to greet us.

20130424-010214.jpg

Yes, it’s Om Nom the adorable sweet munching green thing from the very successful game and app ‘Cut The Rope’

It was the boys who instantly feel head over heels in love with him. What with his great big eyes and cute Om Nom sweet munching noises, who wouldn’t?

To be honest the little man didn’t get much of a look in and Alice Sara didn’t get near the thing full stop! Why? Because the toddler has sort of claimed him as his own. We are off to Butlins for the weekend on Friday and I’ve already been informed that Om Nom is coming too! Watch out Bognor Regis… Lock up your yummy sticks of rock as Om Nom is coming to town.

20130424-010301.jpg

Children who love the game will love the all new adorable talking Om Nom plush by Vivid Toys! Even those who have never even played the game will have a hard job rejecting the Om Nom.. The toddler is proof of this!

All you have to do to get Om Nom talking is gently push the very top of his head. Note… The batteries are non replaceable, though I’ve been informed they have lasting power so here’s hoping.

Om Nom can be brought from all good toy retailers and has a RRP of £9.99

Oh, and if this isn’t exciting enough kids can also get their hands on cute collectable Nommies! Perfect for pocket money spenders at just £1.99.

Check out the Vivid Toys website to find out more.

Disclaimer: The children were sent the Talking Om Nom free of charge for the purpose of this review. Nonetheless all opinions are honest and that of my own.

Review – Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (3D -addition) On 3DS

21 Apr

20130421-202335.jpg

Monster High 3D Skultimate Roller Maze is currently the game of choice in our house. With a 10 year old daughter who is indeed monster high bonkers, what else would you expect.

Alice-Sara was made up at being given the opportunity to review a game based on the wacky monster high characters. She already has a huge collection of the dolls… Near on 50 to be exact so she of cause liked the idea of seeing them come to life in a 3d game.

20130421-234021.jpg

Roller Maze reminds me of super Mario cart and I love Mario cart! However, instead of little mushrooms sat behind the wheel of little cars, we have freaky but somewhat awesome leggy monsters on roller skates racing one another around various different courses.

Skultimate Roller Maze, allows you to Pick your favourite Monster High character to race the crypts of Monster High and other schools. Along the way you must collect power-ups while trying your best to avoid other monstrous obstacles.

Each character has its own unique abilities designed to help them win the race.

FEATURES
Race as Your Favorite Monster High Character Each with Unique Abilities
Compete on Multiple Treacherous Courses with Distinctive Themes from Your Favorite Monster High Episode
Customize Your Character and Team to Scream to Victory
Capture Monstrous Pick Ups to Help Your Team
Unique Gameplay Modes to Keep the Racing Spirited
Discover Freaky Hidden Items as You Race Your Team to Victory
Choose Multiple Difficulty Settings to Match Your Skull Skill

If like Alice-Sara, your child is a monster high fan, they certainly won’t be disappointed with this game. Having the release in 3D makes it all the more exciting.

Alice gives this game a big fat 8 out of 10… More courses and music would be an added bonus but on the whole its really great and we love it.

Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (3D) is available to purchase from most well respected UK retailers now!

Disclaimer: We were sent the game free of charge for the purpose of this review. Nonetheless all opinions are honest and that of my own and my daughters.

#Win Mike The Knight Magical Mishaps On DVD

11 Apr

Who Love’s Mike The Knight? I know we do.

Harley is potty about Mike the Knight and was delighted to receive the brand new DVD title “Mike The Knight Magical Mishaps” to review. His now watched it so many times that I can hear the characters voices going around and around in my head.

20130411-210236.jpg

The DVD features some great episodes such as…

The Polka-Dot Horse
Sir Super
The Many Knights
The Mission Mess
The Glendragon News
The Real Sword

Mike, the brave young hero and Evie, Mikes little sister and wizard in training who’s magic can be somewhat temperamental, embark on a host of fun adventures together in this 72 minute DVD. All 6 episodes are packed full of fun adventures and are sure to keep any little Mike the knight fan amused from start to finish.

Here’s Harley meeting the Knight himself..

20130411-204253.jpgpicture taken at Butlins Bognor Regis

So, fancy winning a copy of this great DVD for your little Mike The Knight super fan?

Here’s how…

Compulsory: Comment telling me who you’re knight in shining armour is?

Extra entries can be gained by doing any of these…

Tweet: “I want to win Mike the Knight Magical Mishaps with @Clairelouise82” adding the URL to this tweet. Then comment with the link to your tweet.

Pin the competition on pinterest
Then comment with the URL to your pin.

Enter another of our competitions via competition tag in sidebar. Comment to tell me which one you’ve entered.

Competition will end at 11:59 pm on the 2nd May 2013.

The DVD is available to buy from all major retailers now.

Disclaimer winner has 72 hours to respond to winning notification or risks a redraw. Winner drawn at random from entries in the UK Only. No bulk or automated entries will be included.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

%d bloggers like this: