Ben & Holly Playground Playsets - Review

C has recently switched from watching kids TV shows without advertisements to those with. This mean that we are subjected to tons of toy adverts and subsequently, C wants every one. We recently saw the Ben & Holly playsets advertised so when we were offered the opportunity to try a couple out, I knew they'd go down well.

We received the Ben & Holly Magical Playground Playset - Slide with Holly and Ben & Holly Magical Playground Playset - Swing with Holly from Character Options.



As soon as they arrived, C spotted the "Ben & Holly" logo before I'd even got them out of the packaging and I could just see the excitement building up. When he got a proper look at them he told me, "Ben and Holly! I can't believe it!" I opened them for him straight away and he got playing.

The sets are really sturdy and they come with either a Ben or Holly figure - both of ours had Holly. C really enjoyed pushing her down the slide and the swings of the second playset have little grooves to keep her in - she only fell out when C was a bit too vigorous with the pushing!



I love how bright and colourful they are, it's like they've been lifted straight from the show. Even 18 month old E recognised what they were. Each piece of the set and Holly figures are the perfect size for little hands.

My favourite thing about the Ben and Holly playsets are that there are little clasps so that they join together. C has had so much fun with these that I definitely think we will buy additional sets and they can join up to make one big set!


I would definitely recommend these sets to any Ben & Holly lovers. They are suitable for children aged 3+ and they retail at £9.99 each.


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

Brio Stacking Clown - Review

The age gap between C and E is pretty close (2 years) but I've noticed that many of the toys that C owns and plays with are a little too old for E who is 18 months.

We recently had the opportunity for her to try out Brio's Stacking Clown which is suitable for children aged 19 months+. This is a classic toy from 1955 and you can really see why it's been popular for so many years. As soon as E saw the box, she was trying to prise it open to get playing. I think she was attracted to the bright colours.


Inside the box is the base and stick and eight rings of different shapes and sizes to slot on the stick. E has never really perfected these fine motor skills before so I was eager to see if she knew what to do. Straight away, she was picking up rings and slotting them on. She even had a little technique where she placed her thumb in the hole and slotted it on the opposite side, ensuring that she still had a good grip. We didn't have any incidences of her not lining it up properly so I was really impressed! 


The rings are the perfect size for her little hands. Of course, she was putting them on in any order she liked but when I played with her and told her what colour to lift, she did try. She hasn't really learned her colours yet but I think this will be a great help for us over the next few months and she'll start to recognise them. 


After watching his little sister playing, C (3.5 years) wanted to try too. The big difference with the two of them is that C can tell what order the shapes go to make it look like a clown. I think from watching and helping her brother, E will get there eventually too.

The Brio Stacking Clown has been loved by both children and by me too. I honestly cannot fault it. I love wooden toys as they tend to be durable and long lasting. With a boisterous boy, the pieces have been thrown a little! All of the pieces are well-made with no sharp edges or issues of paint flaking off. I would definitely recommend this and at £13.99 I think it's really affordable too for the quality. This is the first Brio product that we've tried and doing this review and looking at the website, I have some other gift ideas for upcoming birthdays!

You can find out more about the range available at the Brio website and you can also keep up to date on their new Twitter account. 

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

Look in my Letterbox #49

I can't believe I've been linking up to Look in my Letterbox for almost a year! I usually join in with linkies but get bored after a few weeks but this is definitely my favourite one. I love being nosey! This week was pretty good with wins again. I've been comping loads lately and it seems like it's paying off.

Wins:
Dates
This was a Facebook win but I didn't enter! My friend Tammy entered and tagged myself and Jenna and because Tammy won, we won too! I've never tried a date in my life!
 
Book
I won this from Create Me Books via Bump to Baby blog. We love books, especially personalised ones. C loves it!
 
Book
I entered this on Twitter because I thought it sounded really interesting. I'm all for educational books and I think it will be great to teach C.
 
Marvel Memory Game
This was a kids magazine win that appeared in the post. They had 25 to give away and I've seen quite a few people saying they'd won one too. C was so happy to see his name on a parcel and excitedly shouted, "It's The Hulk!" when he opened it.
 
Bows 

I love my Instagram shops and lottiesbows had a giveaway running so I had to enter. I previously bought a bow from her before because she makes them to match Next's range. I was so chuffed to have won and picked three of her Next bows to match a few of E's new outfits.
 
Canvas
I won a Twitter giveaway from Snapfish where the prize was a £25 code. I love having photographs of my kids around the house. I have a few canvases of both but C's ones are mainly from when he was younger so I wanted to get an updated one.
 
Sippy cup
Dr Browns had a Twitter giveaway running (I think there were 10 to win) so I entered for E as we really struggle with finding the perfect cup. I shall see how she gets on! 

Purchases:
Bows 
I love bitsandbows sale nights on Instagram. I am slightly obsessed and have to join in on every one even though E does not need any more bows! I especially love the little dinosaur bow. It will go perfectly with her Frugi dinosaur romper.

Reviews:
Stacking Clown
E received this Brio Stacking Clown to try out. Both kids can't get enough of it!

Did you receive anything nice this week?

Baker Ross Easter Crafts

Of all the Baker Ross craft bundles that we've received, I knew that this would be the one that C would be most excited about. Ever since he discovered the Kinder Egg opening videos on YouTube, he's been obsessed with all things egg and this box contains quite a few egg bits!

Inside our Easter box was:

  
Easter Bucket Buddy Kits (£3.60 per pack of 3) 
Easter Stampers (£3.60 per pack of 10)
Chick Eggs (£1.99 per pack of 10)
Easter Honeycomb Decoration Kits (£2.75 per pack of 5)
Easter Egg Sand & Glitter Art Decorations (£2.75 per pack of 10)  
Easter Foam Stickers (£2.99 per pack of 100) 
Egg Hi-Bounce Balls (£1.65 per pack of 5) 
Pastel Coloured Sand (£9.99 per pack of 6)

Firstly, he was so excited to see the plastic Chick Eggs! He wanted to put little toy figures inside and just thought they were the best thing ever because he sees similar ones in YouTube videos. I think I'm going to steal them to fill with mini chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday.


The Egg Hi-Bounce Balls were also a hit. He's only ever really had regular bouncy balls so he was a bit thrown when they started bouncing in funny directions. 

The Easter Bucket Buddy Kits were the first craft activities we did. There are three designs to choose from; chick, lamb and bunny and he asked to make the Chick bucket. Everything is foam with a sticky back so they are so easy for a three year old to master. I just had to tell him where parts went and take the backs off but other than that, he did everything himself. He was so pleased with the result and he wants to leave his basket out next Saturday to see if the Easter Bunny will fill it with anything.





Stickers are another of C's loves - in fact don't all toddlers love stickers!? The Easter pack comes in 25 different designs and C loved trying to stick at least one of each down on the page! The Baker Ross stickers are all foam so again, all I need to do is remove the backs and let C work away.



Stampers are one of C's favourite things to see in his boxes. They are the perfect size for his hands and because they are foam, they're comfortable too. He loves paint so they make painting fun!


The Easter Honeycomb Decoration Kits were so fun that I even did one too! You can choose to make either a chick, lamb or bunny. C chose the chick (again!) and I went for the bunny. I dug out the colouring pencils and we coloured them in. The honeycomb part is so simple. They are ready to pull over so all you need to do is remove the strip to reveal the sticky bit then stick it to the base. Super easy and they look so cool!




The Sand Art, I felt, was a little old for C but Chris and I loved it! The Egg decorations have removeable plastic as they are sticky. Each part is covered and you can remove them one by one so you don't overlap the sand. Once you've removed one part, just shake some sand over it and tap the egg on the table to remove the excess. Keep going until you've completed the egg. The end result was really impressive! 





This has been one of our favourite themes - the sand was a huge plus in my eyes! You can purchase all these bits through the Baker Ross website. They'd be great fun for the kids to do in the run up to Easter!

(We received these items as part of our role as Baker Ross Bloggers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 


Siblings: March 2016

For the past few months, I felt like I was kind of repeating myself when it came to these Siblings posts. I did write a lot about how C and E would bicker, fight, push each other over, pull hair and all the rest of it but this month has been an absolute dream. I think they've just discovered a new found love for each other.


E is becoming a bit more chatty and understanding of what others are saying which I think helps. They are always hugging and giving each other kisses. C can be pretty agressive by demanding, "Get me a hug!" which E is more than happy to oblige with most of the time. C loves to grab her hand and tell me that she wants to go for a walk with him, as if he can read her mind! But it's nice that he's so caring towards her. He knows that he's the big brother and she'll learn things from him.





One of my favourite things that I noticed this month is how they look out for each other. E can come to me and ask for juice so when I ask her to go get me her cup she always brings C's too. This goes for snacks and other items too. She always makes sure C has the same and he'll do the same. He watches to make sure E has some of what he has too.



They also just want to spend so much time together. They love cuddling up and watching movies and having little parties. They've been an absolute pleasure to watch and I feel like my heart could burst. I just hope it continues! 

 

Supertato: Veggies Assemble by Sue Hendra - Book Review

We are all massive book lovers. Anywhere you look in our house, there will be books around and I'm really glad that we've passed this love onto our children. 

C especially gets excited when he gets books in the post and when we received 'Supertato: Veggies Assemble' he couldn't wait to read it in bed that night. The book is written by Sue Hendra and most of you will probably be familiar with some of her other books; 'Norman the Slug' and 'Barry the Fish with Fingers'. C has never read these books before, nor the original Supertato book but we always watch CBeebies and he's heard the stories being read by some of the presenters. He recognised Supertato right away.



The book is set in a supermarket where one of the frozen peas has turned evil and switched off the freezers, causing the rest of the frozen food to be in danger. Supertato comes to try to save the day but is outnumbered by peas so he calls on his SuperVeggies to help. 

It's a really fun book and C asks to read it quite a lot. He loves joining in and shouting "Supertato to the rescue!" It's the perfect length to keep his interest and every page is bursting with colour.


As a grown up, I had a few little bits that I really enjoyed. Supertato summons the Veggies by shining a V signal. As a huge Batman fan I thought that was quite funny as well as Supertato tricking the peas into a box by disguising as a party.

It isn't just a fun book but it's educational too. From reading, C learned that some vegetables have to stay frozen or else they turn bad. He's actually made a comment about it when I was taking a bag of frozen veg out of my own freezer one night for dinner! At the end, tomato corrects Supertato when he thanks the Veggies by saying that he's really a fruit - a nice little addition.


Supertato: Veggies Assemble is published by Simon & Schuster and will be released on April 21st 2016. You can pre-order a softback copy on Amazon now for only £5.24 (RRP £6.99).

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

E at 18 Months

I am so late with writing this post. E truly suffers from Second Child Syndrome. With C, I always made sure I had his updates published on the 21st of every month. E was born on the 5th and it's now the 14th and this post has just gone live - oops!

  Anyway, I sound like a broken record but I cannot believe that my baby is a whole year and a half old. Time - stop flying by!

It feels like in the space of a month she has turned into a little madam. She's getting cheekier and when we tell her off for something, she'll snap back with, "No!" Her facial expressions are brilliant too. If looks could kill! 

We've discovered that she is just as clumsy and accident prone as her daddy. When he was younger, he gathered a whole range of injuries - even being in a hospital quite a lot. In the space of a week, E has managed to fall over and bust her lip open twice - in the same place! 

E used to be a really good eater and started to go off her food a little. I freaked out a bit and thought she was starting to follow in her brother's footsteps and was becoming a picky eater but her appetite has come back in full force. She's been drooling a lot so I think I'll put the appetite loss down to teething. Speaking of teeth, she has 8 now with 9 and 10 coming through. They don't seem to bother her too much.#

Her speech is incredible. She really tries to copy everything we say with her new favourite being, "look!" whilst pointing at something. "Shoe" and "sock" are new words. There are probably tons more but I haven't been keeping track - bad mummy! She understands more than she can say. If I ask her if she'd like something, like a banana, she'll nod her head or when I'm filling her juice cup up, I'll ask her to go into the living room and bring me her brother's cup in. She'll do it no problem.

E is obsessed with Frozen and Peppa Pig. Frozen, mostly. When we go shopping and she sees anything with Anna or Elsa on, she'll point and tell me "Look! Anna!" or "Elsa!" She might not be able to have a conversation but she attempts to sing Let It Go and Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? For Let It Go she only really knows how to sing "go!" and "any more!" but we're getting there. For Do You Wanna Build a Snowman she'll only say "man" but at the end where Elsa tells Anna to go away and Anna replies with "okay, bye" - E repeats that every time! 


A video posted by Rebecca (@13rebecca13) on


She is really showing her little personality now and I love it. She is so funny.





Look in my Letterbox #48

Another week, another Look in my Letterbox! I've been doing really well with competitions lately (I'll do a post at the beginning of April with my March wins but you can take a nosey at my February wins if you haven't already seen it!) so this week I've received lots of lovely prizes!

Wins:
Octonauts Playsets
This was a lovely start to the week. I always enter the competitions in children's magazines for C and E. This one came addressed to C so I snuck it in the kitchen to open before he could see it. It came from Fun to Learn Friends magazine but the original prize wasn't available so they sent these two which have a higher RRP!

Wall Stickers
I won £60 to spend at Koko Kids in This Enchanted Pixie's blog giveaway. I haven't got a photo because they're quite big and I don't want to take them out of the tube before I'm ready to stick them on but I went for the Moon & Stars for C, and Mini Vintage Floral Woodland and Mini Vintage Floral Hearts for E. We're hoping to move house this year so they will be perfect for decorating the kids bedrooms.

Hello Nature book
This was a Twitter win on World Book Day from Laurence King Publishing. C loves it already but some of the activities are too old for him but we can always do them when he's a big bigger.

Cheerz photo box
I won this from Squidgyboo's blog giveaway. I am constantly snapping photos of the kids but never get them printed. This little box contains 45 polaroid style photos of our family. So cute!

Personalised book
This was another World Book Day win, this time on Facebook from Penwizard! C thinks it's great seeing himself in the story.

Razor
I won this on Twitter from Wilkinson Sword for Women in their #RandomActsofKindnessDay giveaway. A handy win!

Dr Seuss Glasses
This was another Twitter win from Family Holiday Association. They were promoting #ShadesDay which is on April 1st. C is obsessed with glasses for some strange reason and he's really pleased with this win. He's always changing them up and putting the glasses on every teddy he can find (and himself!).

Cuddles Magazine
Cuddles magazine do Facebook competitions every week for different prizes and I always enter. I was chuffed to win this because I know they have entry forms for competitions inside. Plus the kids will enjoy the magazine of course!

Cat food
This was a little Twitter win from Meowing Heads. I don't have cats myself but I do know who it will go to! :)

Face Mask
Ooharr ran a huge giveaway on Twitter for samples of the face mask. I can't remember exactly how many they were giving away but I know it was a lot. This will be perfect for a little pamper night.

Reviews:
Ben & Holly playsets
C has recently discovered the joys of TV advertising and just wants everything he sees. He's been drawn to the Ben & Holly playset ads so when I received the email asking if we'd like to review, I knew I couldn't say no!

Shopping Trolley 
 I love Casdon. I can't remember if I had any products as a kid but my sister is 10 years younger than me and I remember her having quite a few. C is at the perfect age for their range now and this is the first product of theirs that he's gotten to try!

Purchases:
Dr Martens
 It was my birthday on Wednesday and my dad gave me his bank card to order myself a present. Last weekend, I spotted Jayne Kitsch's blog post about the new Adventure Time Dr Martens that were being released and I fell in love with the Princess Bubblegum and Marceline boots. I uhmed and ahhed over which ones to get but the PB's are just amazing and I couldn't not get them. They are so beautiful! C has a pair of the infant Jake the Dog boots so I think now we'll have to get Chris the Finn's and E the Marceline's!

Others:
Face mask
I also received a little freebie face mask from SoPost! The texture is quite odd, I was expecting a cream, but it smells lovely.

No bows this week but I have bought from a few shops and won some this week so hopefully they'll be in next week's post.

Did you receive anything nice last week?

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