House of Fraser Grey Stripe Polo Shirt

Our sweet Caillou was sent a beautiful Grey Stripe Polo Shirt by House of Fraser  to try it out.
He instantly fell in love with it when it arrives, because if there's one thing Cai loves, it's comfort. He is quite fussy with clothing, he much prefers things that are soft and cosy, and this shirt is a winner!

it's warm enough to be worn without layers, but not so thick that you can't layer it with a longsleeved shirt underneath, making it perfect for this funny British in-between weather we get, where it is freezing in the mornings but warm by lunch time! The shirt itself is beautiful and well made, and has a pocket at the front. Cai particularly liked the cool fabric badges that are sewn onto the chest of the shirt, he says they look like badges he might have earned as an adventurer!

This cool Grey Stripe Polo Shirt by House of Fraser has quickly become Cai's Winter favourite, and I love how well made it is, and well it washes, perfect for my active tiny person!
If you are wondering whether to buy this for your little one, don't hesitate. I feel that this shirt will last a long time, it's beautiful, warm, and super comfortable!

Portable North Pole

As you probably know, we are Jewish, which means that we don't celebrate Christmas,
but sweet George has always loved Santa! 
Since Georgie started going to school he has been hearing a lot about Santa these last few weeks, and goodness, he is excited! Georgie is still non-verbal, saying only very few words, but Ho Ho Ho is something he loves to say!
We were so happy to try out the Portable North Pole Console again this year, an absolutely perfect way to add magic to the holiday season! We use the Portable North Pole Magic Pass, which costs £9.99 and includes a personalised video from Santa, an HD video download of your messages from Santa, and a really brilliant new feature called the Reaction Recorder which records your tiny person's reaction to seeing their Santa message! How cool is that?!

The Magic Pass also includes unlimited Santa Calls with loads of super funny scenarios, and even a special Christmas Eve video and lovely Birthday Message from Santa on your child's birthday!
George's favourite part of the Portable North Pole Magic Pass is the magical Storytime with Santa, which gives you a new video each week in December. 
I wish I could show you a picture of sweet Georgie's face when he saw that Santa was talking to him, he was so beautifully happy and giggly, but also very jumpy, so we didn't manage to catch a good picture! 
If you are wondering whether the Portable North Pole Magic Pass is worth buying, to us it most definitely was. If you have a tiny person who loves this magical time of the year, if you want to add to your family's traditions and create new memories, the Portable North Pole is a great way to do this. 
Ho Ho Ho!

Magic Dip - Design Art Centre

Have you heard about this awesome craft kit called Magic Dip? We had the absolutely huge pleasure to try it out the other day. The packaging states "If you can dip it, you can colour it", which is of course a pretty big claim, but the box shows jewellery, phone cases and even shoes being coloured, so we were pretty excited!

The kit contained a special stand that holds your supplies, different colours of special marbling paint, fixing spray, glitter, two different sized bowls, a stirring stick, tongs, gloves, different plastic accessories, a bangle, a headband, birthday cards, and a plastic photo frame.

To set up the marbling paint you have to fill your bowl with at least 300ml of warm water. The next step is to squeeze in some drips of one colour, then drips of another colour. You then use the stirring stick to make swirls on the surface of the water.

Using the provided tongs, you now dip your item into the water. You have to be relatively speedy, as the paint dries quite quickly. Dip your item, lift it out, and place it on some paper to dry! You can then sprinkle on the provided glitter and use the fixing spray to hold it in place!

We dipped all of the provided plastic bits and still have lots of paint left over to dip other things. The instructions suggest that you can even dip ceramics like mugs and plates! Doesn't the design look beautiful? We loved the galaxy like swirls!

This was a pretty magical craft to do, and we really had so much fun doing it, it's a really creative and fun experience, and we love that the designs are different every time!! We can't wait to try out dipping some more things, they will make great gifts, too!

You can buy these cool kits on Amazon or in your local toy shop!

Kazoops - Just Imagine – Volume 1

Have you heard about Kazoops? It's an animated CBeebies TV series about a six-year old boy named Monty, and the family pet pig. The series is based on the amazing songs by songwriter and performer Scott Langley, and each episode debates big and important questions like "do things have to be the same all the time" or "do all games need rules?".
While I can't say much about the TV series, I know for sure that the music is absolutely amazing!
Kazoops have just announced the worldwide release of Just Imagine - Volume 1 on Friday 28th October, and, oh, we've been dancing!

You can listen to one of the songs below. They remind us of the beautiful, happy, and sunshine filled songs of Jack Johnson.
Kazoops are definitely not the kind of music aimed at children that makes the grown-ups roll their eyes, we've all been singing along together.

These unique songs really inspire children's imagination, and the lyrics are both clever and funny.
Putting on a few songs for a quick wriggle-break is a great way to turn any moment into a happy one!
You can buy the whole album or download songs individually, or just stream the music online!

in 2017 the awesome Kazoop songs will be released in 18 other languages, which sounds like an awesome way to learn a few words in a different language! Now, go wriggle to some awesome tunes, but don't wriggle too much, or you'll end up like these two, all wriggled out!

You can find Kazoops - Just Imagine – Volume 1 on Amazon here:

Just Imagine, Vol. 1
Cheeky Little Media

Kids Parcel

We received a super fun Kids Parcel surprise box in the post!

Kids Parcel boxes are these really cool, handpicked boxes that are sent to your child. Each box costs £29.99 and you can also include a free personalised message!

Each box is individually packed for your child, and there are different toys and activities, so there is something for everyone. It's so fun to receive a surprise, and with the Kids Parcel, it's a surprise for both the grown-up and the child!

There was much excitement when my two mice unpacked their special box. It included a great mix of items! Kids Parcel boxes are ideal if you are not sure what to get for someone's birthday, we loved our parcel!

Our box contained an adorable toy puppy, a beautiful fairy light craft kit, a pink Pukka Pad notebook, some playing cards, a pack of tsum tsums, and a bop it! game. 

It was the perfect parcel to receive on a rainy morning, and Little couldn't wait to start making the beautiful fairly lights!

Cai fell in love with the sweet puppy immediately.

We think Kids Parcels are a brilliant idea, such an easy way to get a great selection of toys.
We had a beautiful day making fairly lights, reading stories to the soft toy, playing cards, and trying to beat Daddy's bop it! high score. 

Thank you, Kids Parcel , for a fantastic surprise!

Photobook by Saal Digital

If you are anything like me, you have just about a million photos of your tiny people and all your brilliant adventures.
Just the other day we were talking about how nice it would be to look through a photo album again, and how that's not something we really do, so when the amazing people at  Saal Digital asked us whether we wanted to review one of their stunning Photobooks, we enthusiastically agreed.

We spent two weeks sorting through all of our family photos, picking favourite memories, happy moments and important milestones. 
The Saal Digital photobook software was fantastic. I was kind of dreading the part of actually putting together the pages, but there were pre-set layouts you could pick if you wanted to, stickers and text to add, and beautiful backgrounds, too!

We had a lot of fun picking the right backgrounds for each page, making collages of lots of pictures, or having two pages for an important memory.
The book arrived a few days after ordering, and goodness, it was stunning. We picked a 54 page book with a shiny cover and matte pages, and it is just perfect. I had expected the pages to be paper, kind of thing, but this book is not fragile. 

We loved looking at all our special memories in the book, so many things to see, to remember. 

This book has become such a family treasure already, sharing our family's journey through pictures. I wish we had done it sooner. We have had so many beautiful moments since this book arrived, giggling over the time a much younger Little made breakfast, Georgie's beautiful first steps, sweet Cai's birth and Mama's terrible haircut at the time!

I am so glad we created this beautiful photobook through Saal Digital , and I am sure we will create many more. I'm thinking maybe we could create one for each year from now on, opening it together on the first morning of the new year!
 

Ravensburger 3D Puzzles

We have had a huge amount of fun yesterday with these fantastic Ravensburger 3D Puzzles!
The sets with which we played were the Vase, Jewellery Tree, and Vanity Box versions.

One of the first things we noticed after opening the boxes was that on one side the puzzle pieces they were numbered and had arrows on them.

On the other side of the sturdy plastic pieces were beautiful, vivid colours!

Putting together these amazing 3D creations was so very satisfying! Being able to use the numbers as guides meant that there was never a moment where Little felt frustrated with the puzzles. Attaching the supporting plastic pieces to the finished puzzle was easy, too!

The beautiful Jewellery Tree came together so nicely, and the end result is stunning! One side shows a nighttime scene, the other a cheerful daytime scene. Little loved putting her jewellery onto the display, and the tray beneath is great for hairclips and other accessories! 

Our absolute favourite was the vase. Little said that she felt like a potter, creating a vase out of the smooth, curved pieces. The vase is fantastic, and includes a cup that twists into the base, so it is really usable!

The vase, too, features the beautiful unicorn pictures, one on each side. We were really absolutely amazed by how sturdy and smooth the finished vase was! 

The third puzzle in this collection was the Vanity Box. This puzzle included a puzzle for all four outside panels of the box, lining paper to make the inside beautiful, too, and a plastic top, bottom, and little bowl to go into the top of the box.

What was special about this puzzle were the corner pieces, which clicked into place. It was easy to build, and grew quickly!

This box, too, featured the different unicorn scenes. We loved seeing them so big, as the bright colours really made it stand out!

I particularly liked that all three puzzles are things that are actually useful, and Little loves that they all match, making her bedroom look really lovely and coordinated!

We were super impressed with these puzzles, we hadn't really done 3D puzzles like this before, but we will definitely be getting some more. It was such a peaceful morning spent putting these together, and the joy on Little's face, for putting them all together by herself, was just wonderful. 
 

Shimmer 'n Sparkle - Sew Crazy - Sewing Machine

We love all different sorts of handmade things, and so, of course, we love to sew! Little has been asking for her very own sewing machine recently, and we thought that the Shimmer 'n Sparkle Sew Crazy Sewing Machine looked really good for a first try.

This neat sewing machine comes with everything you need to get you started. It has enough fabric for a little project, comes with pre-filled bobbins, a little notions box and, almost most importantly, it comes pre-threaded! It also includes a lovely range of sewing patterns aimed at children. 

The machine can use batteries, or you can buy an adaptor and plug it in. It has a foot pedal which you can use to operate the machine, and two speed settings.

Little chose a headband as her first self-directed sewing project. She picked the included polka-dot fabric and got started straight away! I liked that even though it is a proper sewing machine, it has a finger-guard around the needles, so I didn't have to worry about Little getting hurt.

The machine also has a light which you can turn on to help you see your work better.

The little built-in scissor attachment was really useful, too!

The sewing machine is easy and intuitive to use, and the instructions for the patterns are clear and easy to follow. The threading instructions and trouble-shooting tips are well explained and easy to understand, too. 
Little was so happy with her very first project, and she already has big plans for Winter gifts for her friends.

The Shimmer and Sparkle Sew Crazy Sewing Machine makes a fantastic first sewing machine for any child who is interested in learning more about sewing their own things, especially if they want to do this independently without much help from a grown-up. I can't wait to see what Little makes next!

I Do 3D Pen

Ever since we first saw a video of 3D pens, we had been wanting to try one. Little loves to draw, and Cai loves to build and design things, so we were super excited to play with the IDO3D 3D pen.

Inside the box are pens in different colours, a special blue light for hardening the things you draw, a special foil on which to draw, some patterns to trace and little plastic accessories to use with your creations.

We looked through the different projects and also had a look on the IDO3D website from where we printed the pattern for an awesome dream catcher!

Using the 3D pen was a LOT of fun. Some of the designs require you to draw the pieces flat on the special foil and connect them afterwards into a three-dimensional shape, but you can also use the pen and special light to draw vertically! This took quite a bit of practice, but it was so cool to be able to bring our drawings to life in this way, exploring a whole new way of creating art!

Following the patterns was easy, as you can just trace them straight onto the see-through foil with your pen, and then harden them with the little light. It took a lot more concentration than we thought it would, but the end results were very cool, and I think with a little more practice we can make some even cooler creations! 

If you'd like to know more about the IDO3D range, you can read more about them on Flair's website. You can buy lots of different sets on Amazon, too. 

Season 2 U Hugs Dolls

U Hugs are cute customisable dolls. These cool figures are made of a soft plastic, and each doll has 16 little holes in their body, which means you can attach the little accessories that come with the dolls, so you can create your own unique style!

Each U Hugs doll comes with their own accessories, which you can store in a secret compartment in their back when you are not using them. If you have more than one doll, you can mix and match their accessories, eyes, hair, clothes and shoes to create your very own unique little person, and now you can even buy packs of just accessories! It's fun to build up a collection and create a little friend that matches you perfectly, and swap any you don't want for your doll with a friend!

Each U Hugs doll also has a pretty diamond shaped pin at the top of their head, which you can use to hang up your U Hugs figure to display it!

We liked creating this sweet woodland pixie from the "Time Off Elf" and some added bits from the "Cheeky Kitten", and the little ones can't wait to collect more accessory packs to really make these lovely creatures their own!

You can find out more about U Hugs here, and find some Season 1 U Hugs below!

Season 1 - U Hugs:

The Wolf Wilder

The Wolf Wilder is a book that is set "a hundred years ago" in Russia.
Feodora, called Feo, lives with her Mama in a little cabin in the woods. Together they un-tame wolves that are sent to them by aristocrats once they tire of the wolves or the wolves eat a finger or toe that, technically, belonged to someone.
One day, some of the Tsar's soldiers show up at their cabin, and Feo's world changes forever.
I don't want to give away the story, of course, but Feo, desperate to save her mother from the evil and cruel General Rakov, finds an unlikely friend, and, together with her wolves, starts a revolution. The Wolf Wilder is a story of fierce bravery, of friendship, of dreams, hope, and of how it only takes one person to start changing the world.
This book reads like a fairytale, like a classic story that needs to be told. The characters are beautiful, and delicately crafted.

Our favourite quote from the book was: "And I don't know where courage comes from. But I do know that if you can scrape together just a bit, more of it comes without trying."

I started out reading this book to Little, who is ten. Cai, who is six, joined us after the first chapter. There were moments in the book that made him cry, that made all of us cry, but he never once wanted to stop listening. There is death, and there are scary moments, but even those are told in such a captivating way that they weren't too much, even for my gentle boy. 

The Wolf Wilder is something so genuinely special. It has joined our list of books that we will keep recommending to friends, giving it for birthdays and holidays. 
Share it with the brave people in your life, with stormy girls, revolutionaries, with wild people, and, most importantly, buy a copy for yourself.

After finishing this book, we all felt we wanted more. We wanted a reminder of Feo's bravery. We decided to make a wolf paw print necklace, so we could carry a part of the book with us on the outside, too. Find out more here...

The Wolf Wilder
By Katherine Rundell

Twozies Playsets - Review

Today we are reviewing the absolutely fantastic Twozies!
Twozies are a super fun collection of adorable babies in animal hats who each come with a little animal friend! There are over 140 different characters to collect, and you can try and match up each of your babies with their matching pet friend!

Twozies come in fun little blister packs that retail at pocket money prices, making it easy to quickly build up a whole collection. They are also really great for swapping with friends when trying to match your baby with their favourite animal.

There are also several cool playsets in the Twozie collection.

The beautiful Two Sweet Row Boat set contains two little Twozies with their matching animal friends, a row boat with secret ways to play, tiny cakes for your Twozies and a fantastic shadow box frame with a pretty scenery background!
The Two Cool Ice Cream Cart also contains two Twozies with matching animal friends, an ice cream cart with secret ways to play and a shadow box frame with a cheerful background.
The Twozie playsets can be attached to the wall with any reputable brand wall hooks to create a whole shadow box display in which you can play or display your collection! This is probably our favourite about Twozies, it really sets them apart from other collectable items, coming with their own little play scene that doubles as a display case. Perfect for collectors!

We really loved that the Twozies have movable heads, which makes them fun to play with, not just collect!

The Twozies all seemed to have their own sweet personality, and we love creating stories and setting up our very own Twozie town, with Stretch the Giraffe as the mayor. 

We really love playing with Twozies, and we can't wait to add more new friends to our collection! If you, too, want to start your own Twozie collection, you can read more about them on Character Online or buy them on Amazon or your favourite toy shop!

Hetty Household Cleaning Set by Casdon

We were sent this lovely Hetty Household Cleaning Set toy by Casdon
We are a big fan of roleplay toys, and anything open ended is usually a big hit, so we were very excited to try out our new cleaning collection.

The cleaning set contains a dustpan and brush, a broom, a dusting cloth, a sponge, three little bottles, a cardboard "carpet cleaner" box, and one soft mop. The set costs £10 and is great value for money!

All the bottles have the iconic and adorable little Hetty face on them, which Caillou loved. It was his first experience with this brand, and he really loves anything with faces, so it made him really happy!

The toy itself is great for open-ended play. My little ones love playing house, so being able to scoop up pretend dirt and make their space nice was great!

They had great fun doing a big clean to prepare their house for the pretend arrival of a visitor. 

The dustcloth and sponge are awesome for pretend cleaning all the toys, which was a lot of fun to do. It really inspired a whole big new way of playing house, including all those chores we do in the real world that had not been a part of their play so much before.

We really enjoyed being able to add this fun cleaning set to our collection of make-believe toys, it is well made and I think it will last a long time!

To find out more about Casdon and their range of make-believe toys, you can visit Casdon on Facebook or follow Casdon on Twitter !

Branch Out World - Picture Book Explorers

While we are trying to find our way in our new life, with George going to school, but still needing around the clock care from us when he is at home, (He does sleep a good 4-5 hours each night now!) we have been looking at easy ways to fitting in a lot of homeschooling.

We recently tried out a Picture Book Explorer pack by Branch Out World, and it has been so much fun working through all the different ideas, making them suit our family. 

Picture Book Explorers is a literature based unit study. There are lots of different ones, but we picked the one based on the book I Took the Moon for a Walk

The unit study covers different themes of the picture book, exploring different areas like maths and science, looking at the pictures and words, and looking at the setting of the story.

The author of these brilliant unit studies kindly agreed to let us share an adaptation of one of her crafts here on the blog with you! View it here.

Where's Wally Activity Books

These sweet activity books are so much fun! In the first book, Where's Wally Across Lands, you join Wally on a fantastic journey across ancient lands. There are lots of different activities, puzzles, brain teasers, quizzes, and a whole page of stickers, too. We loved the pages about ancient Egypt especially, decoding ancient messages and designing our own Egyptian city using lots of tiny triangles!
As with every Where's Wally book, there is of course plenty to search and spot in this book, too, and it is definitely going to help keep the little ones busy during the Summer holidays!

The second activity book, Where's Wally In Outer Space, is just as full of fun activities, including fun mazes, word search and puzzle games, spot-the-difference-pictures and activities you can expand. We loved the Half Alien Half... page. The book suggests tracing over the cards on the page and cutting them out to create lots of different mixed up aliens, but we decided to copy them onto card paper instead, as we knew we wanted to do this activity again. We had a lot of fun putting together funny creatures with mismatched legs, and then we created a box for the cards and decorated it with some of the stickers that came with the book!

Our absolute favourite is the Where's Wally The Colouring Book! This colouring book is incredible! The pages are so busy and detailed, they are super fun to colour in. We use colouring books to aid mindfulness and to create opportunities for quiet moments, and the Where's Wally Colouring Book is absolutely ideal for it. Not only can you colour in the busy pages, you can also look for Wally and other things to spot on the pages, too!

The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog - Master of Disguise by Jeremy Strong

As you probably know, we absolutely love books. There's nothing better than a rainy day spent on the sofa with a few good books and a cup of tea, and we really enjoy doing crafts related to books, it makes for even more fun! 
The other day we read The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog - Master of Disguise by Jeremy Strong. It's about a very speedy dog called Streaker, and his clever owner, Trevor. 
In this book, Streaker gets into trouble and Dad wants to send her to Boot Camp. On top of all that, dogs in the neighbourhood keep disappearing. Trevor and his best friend Tina have to come up with a plan. 
The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog - Master of Disguise is a fantastic book for children from about age 7. Cai loved this story, there was a lot of actual laughing out loud when people or things got knocked over by Streaker's speedy running, and plenty of guessing about who may be behind the mystery of the disappearing dogs! 

In the story, Trevor and Tina have to disguise speedy Streaker to save him from Boot Camp, so we thought it would be fun to create our own speedy dog, and disguise him, too! Please take a look.