Colours of the Sea Ariel - Review #jakksbathtime

I have spoken numerous times on the blog about how I don't believe in gender specific toys. My children are close in age and both play with the same toys despite being different genders. C loves dolls and princesses, E loves dinosaurs and cars. E has even dressed up as Buzz Lightyear whereas C has worn a Princess Anna dress up costume. I will let them play with whatever they like for as along as they like.

Speaking of princesses, I put C's name forward to review the Colours of the Sea Ariel doll from Jakks Pacific because of his love of princesses and I was pleasantly surprised to be chosen. It's quite sad that I expected him not to be chosen just because he's a boy but I love that it wasn't an issue. When she arrived, he was literally bouncing up and down and couldn't wait to get her opened out. 

Colours of the Sea Ariel is a bath toy but can also be used out of the bath. She comes with a little Flounder squirt toy for bathtime use too. The doll itself is made of sturdy plastic with the lifelike red hair - it is amazing! She says 14 different phrases that can be activated by pressing her shell necklace. She only says a set amount of phrases but once you submerge her tail in water, it activates the rest so you have two different sets depending on where you're playing with her. There is a little button on the back of her neck which makes it easy to switch the language from English to Spanish. 

C loved the fact that her tail lights up and especially thinks it's great when we turn the lights off in the bath and let her light the water up. He loves clicking through all the phrases so he can get to the part where she sings 'Part of Your World." We dug out our Little Mermaid DVD when she first arrived and he had to press it to make her sing at the point where she sings in the film. 

I've included a little video below of her lighting up in the water:

I have to admit that I was a little worried about taking a battery operated toy into the water but of course, it's meant to be a bath toy so I trusted Jakks Pacific! I also didn't want her beautiful red hair to get ruined so I was a bit apprehensive about that too. I remember taking my own Barbie dolls in when I was little and they'd get all matted. I needn't have worried though. We had no problems with the batteries and although I probably don't need to, I've been brushing her hair whilst wet then leaving it to dry and it hasn't gone horrible - success! 

The doll is recommended for children aged 3+ but C's younger sister has just turned 2 and loves it and can use it just as well. Both of the kids are utterly in love with her and I truly believe that she would make a fantastic Christmas present. I can see lots of little ones being very happy!

Colours of the Sea Ariel retails at £34.99 (but at the time of publishing, is currently on sale at Amazon) and is available from all good stockists. 

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Masha and the Bear 'Holiday On Ice' DVD - Giveaway

Hooray, Masha and her friend Bear are back in a collection of seasonal episodes that will be released on DVD on Monday October 31st.

A retired circus bear settles into the woods and prepares for a quiet new life surrounded by peace and tranquility until he is introduced to an adventurous little girl named Masha. Masha is an energetic three-year-old who lives in an old train station in the forest. Precocious, silly, and friends with everyone she meets, this energetic girl can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble.
Bear is a warm, fatherly figure that does his best to guide his friend and keep her from harm, often ending up the unintended victim of her misadventures. Together with a loveable group of friendly animals that have made the forest their home, Masha and the Bear entertains adults and children alike, teaching viewers about creativity, loyalty and true friendship.
In this special, seasonal collection, eager to learn how to skate like a pro, Masha gets Bear to teach her. With a bit of effort, Masha gets Bear down to the frozen lake where Lady Bear is already. Hopeefully Bear and Lady Bear can help Masha learn the steps.

This special Christmassy collection includes the episodes:
  • Holiday On Ice
  • One, Two, Three! Light the Christmas Tree
  • Picture Perfect
  • Tracks of Unknown Animals
  • Watch Out!
  • First Day of School
  • No Trespassing
  • The Snow Maiden
  • The Wolf and the Fox
 To be in with a chance of winning a copy for your little one(s) just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

  • The giveaway will run from October 20th until November 6th
  • One winner will win a copy of Masha and the Bear Holiday On Ice on DVD
  • Prize will be sent by the PR company
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only
  • No automated entries
  • One entry per person
  a Rafflecopter giveaway


My First Year As a Parent

Home assistance provider, HomeSense has a blog called Ketchup which provides tips & tricks for your home, gardening advice, family friendly activities and it is celebrating its first birthday - hooray! By way of celebration, I have been asked to write about my first year of something and, being a parenting blog, I've chosen my first year as a parent.

Choosing where to start my first year from was a tough choice. I know a lot of people feel like mothers as soon as they see those two lines on the pregnancy test, others when they see their baby on a screen or feel their first kicks. I've decided to go with the day my son was born. I fell pregnant when I was a month off turning 20 but still felt very young and immature. The pregnancy was a surprise but Chris and I had been in a solid relationship for two years so we knew we were strong together and could handle it. Because I still felt like a child, especially in the eyes of my parents, I hid my pregnancy from them until I was around 24 weeks gone. I think this may have been the reason that I didn't feel like a mother that early on. I spent a lot of time hiding it and not really allowing myself to enjoy pregnancy unless I was at Chris's house where I could be more open.

As you've probably guessed by the name of my blog, he was born prematurely at 33 weeks. If you haven't read my birth story, I developed severe pre-eclampsia. I lost my vision, my entire body had swollen and my blood pressure was through the roof. I was admitted straight away and four hours after having steroid injections for C's lungs, he was born via Caeserean section. I knew at that moment that I was seriously ill. I knew I could die. I knew that they had to get him out for me to be okay but I didn't care about me. That young, selfish girl had disappeared and all I cared about was that tiny baby that I hadn't met yet, coming into the world seven weeks before he was supposed to. 

The next two weeks are a bit blurry but I remember being so emotional. We were both ill, he was upstairs in NICU and I was downstairs on a ward as they tried to regulate my blood pressure. I couldn't breastfeed, which is what I was desperate to do so I had to express. My best friend brought me a manual pump but it was really tough. I wasn't with him so I had to rely on setting an alarm every 3-4 hours to express (even through the night), but I couldn't get very much out. I remember bringing my little bottle upstairs to him at around 3am and crying my eyes out to the nurse, saying that I felt like a failure. She reassured me because I was so ill too and I made the choice to switch to formula as he had been having top ups anyway. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted. Looking back now, I wish I'd done something differently. Maybe asked for more advice but as a shy, first-time mother I went along with what they recommended.

The day that we got C home was amazing but I felt well out of my depth. Chris and I actually said to each other that we couldn't believe that we were trusted to look after this little baby all by ourselves. He was really small and I was afraid that I'd break him. Obviously, I was thrilled to have C home. He was the first grandchild and everyone was really excited but I felt almost jealous that I had to share him with everyone and got very protective. A lot of people wanted to help a lot and I pushed them away. I didn't let anyone watch him whilst Chris and I did something together, I made excuses because I didn't trust anyone to look after him the way that I did. I got irrationally angry over the silliest of things like someone buying him fruit pouches because I felt like they didn't think I could buy him food myself or someone visiting over nap time and disrupting his routine. I was a far cry from the happy teenager I was before he was born. I knew that I was acting crazy and it took a good while for me to calm it down. I didn't need to worry so much. Everyone loved C just as much as I did. I learned to let go and I felt free. 

 Of course, the above was just a tiny portion of my first year as a parent. Being fully responsible 24/7 for a baby is tough but it was incredible too and made me grow in ways that I didn't know were possible. I am definitely not the same person that I was five years ago. I always said that I didn't want to have children but it's the best thing I've ever done and it is what I was supposed to do. Seeing my son's first smiles, soothing him when he was ill and teething and making him giggle are memories that I'll carry with me forever. The love in his eyes when he looked at me and cooed for me made me feel so needed. This tiny little thing needed me, and I needed him.

I have been compensated for this post.

Star Monsters Series 2 - Review

Before we had the opportunity to review, I was aware of Star Monsters toys as I'd seen them over social media and in supermarkets but I wasn't 100% sure on what exactly they were.

If you are new to Star Monsters, they are quirky little collectable monster toys. Each monster is formed from a triangular star that has fallen to earth and there are so many Essential, Evolved, Rare and Ultra Rare types to collect. In Series 1 there were 72 different monsters and Series 2 saw 72 more be added. Each Star Monster comes in a different size, shape and personality and they take on the characteristics of where they live so you can get plant, water, air and stone varieties.

C has never had any Star Monsters before so he received a little pack to get him well on his way. We received:

  • Two Star Monsters Mini Capsules (RRP £2.00 each) each of which contain two Star Monster figures, two mini capsules, two mini cards and two stickers.
  • Star Monsters Blind Bag (RRP £1.00) which contains two Star Monsters and two stickers.
  • Star Monsters Giant Capsule (RRP £3.00) which contains two Star Monsters - an Essential White and rare Evolution monster.
  • Series 2 Starter Pack (RRP £4.00) which contains a guide book explaining all the features, games and characters as well as six Star Monsters, six stickers and a collector poster
This was more than enough to introduce C to the Star Monsters world. As much I wanted him to have a read through the guide book first, he was dying to open his monsters out. After the excitement of getting all his figures, he realised that they came with stickers. C loves stickers so I showed him where to put them in his guide book and explained that we'd have to buy more Star Monsters to collect the rest of the stickers for his book so now everytime we go shopping he'll ask me to buy more to complete his collection. Beside each monster there is information about that type too.

I tried explaining the different games that you could play in the arena - Duel, Capsule and Race - but he's only just turned four so I think it went over his head a little bit and he much preferred actually playing with the figures. The value of each monster is on the base of the figure and depending on the game you are playing, you battle them in different ways to see who comes out on top. At 4, C is probably at the lower edge of the age bracket so an older child would enjoy the game aspect more but C still loves them as a whole.

We both especially love the Mini Capsules as they are little fold flat "shelves" so you can connect and stack your monsters for display or for use in games. C has his on display permanently to show them off. 


We think Star Monsters are really interesting and different. The prices are fantastic which makes them the perfect pocket money toy. C loves picking up some blind bags with his pennies when we are out shopping.

You can find out more about the universe at the Star Monsters website or you can give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
© Mum of a Premature Baby

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