Brio Ant with Rolling Egg - Review

Although I adore wooden toys for children, my children had never owned any Brio products prior to the Stacking Clown that we were sent to review a few months back. It was an instant hit and the kids still play with it daily now. When we were given the opportunity to review the Ant with Rolling Egg, I did think that it was a bit of an odd idea for a toy but I accepted just to see how it worked as I was a little intrigued.



The Ant with Rolling Egg is a pull-along toy. The ant makes up the main body of the toy and there is a bright yellow string attached to the front. The egg sits right in the middle of the ant's back where there is a slight dip. The wheels are large meaning that as you pull, the egg spins. It is such a simple toy and I cannot believe how much C and E like it. E especially loves pulling it around the room. The little bouncy antennae and tail have been the source of many laughs too.


The design is very simple which is what I like about Brio. Their toys don't need to be over the top and complex for children to like them. The block colours are a massive plus for me and E (who is currently learning her colours) likes to point them out to me. The wood is finished perfectly and I love how shiny the paint job it. The toy helps to develop motor skills, perception and balance. This is the first toy that E has had where she is recognising balance. She knows that she has to pull it slowly so the egg doesn't fall off.



The Brio Ant with Rolling Egg is recommended for children aged 19 months+ so it is perfect for 21 month old E. C at almost 4 loves it too so I do think it will be played with for quite a while. It retails at £17.99 and you can find it at most toy stores. You can find out more about the range at the Brio website and keep up to date with all things Brio on Twitter.

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

 

Look in my Letterbox #61

Last week was so, so busy for post. Especially with wins. I've been entering so much more lately so it's nice writing these posts every week as it's spurs me on to comp more over the following week. So, here's what arrived! I'm linking up, again, with Alice-Megan's Look in my Letterbox linky.

Wins:
Num Noms
 I have been desperately trying to win some of these for what feels like forever. A couple of weeks ago, we won one single surprise tub but I really wanted the deluxe pack. My friend Jenna (Chic Geek Diary) actually won these and gave them my address as she already had loads. How lovely!

Dress
I won this from The Mumington Post. I am over the moon! This will be perfect for date nights. 
 
Vital Baby bib and mat
This was a little Twitter win. It will be great for a friend of mine who is expecting.
 
Leggings
I won these on Instagram and you got to pick your own prize. This print is technically boys but E rocks them!
 
Glass
I won one of these months ago on Twitter. After about a month had passed I chased it up and eventually received it but now this one has come too?
Marshmallows
This was a Twitter win too and oh my goodness, they are huge! We, of course, made s'mores. There are still tons left!
 
Dory Lunch Bag
I won this on Twitter too. C and E are obsessed with Finding Nemo so this will be perfect for C when he starts preschool in September.
 
Frozen bike
A couple of weeks ago, you might remember me posting about winning a bike for C. Well, I've only gone and won one for E too - Frozen, no less! She is obsessed with Frozen and I honestly can't believe my luck. I won this on Instagram from Smyths toys. I haven't opened it out yet but it's this bike.
 
I Am Not A Dinosaur book
A surprise win from Primary Times! I love when they just turn up. C will absolutely love this.
 
Swaddle
Another Twitter win! I'm actually sending this to Jenna (who sent me the Num Noms) as she's currently stocking up for when she has baby number two - whenever that may be!

Purchases:
DVDs
I won a £20 Amazon voucher on Twitter and since they took the Toy Story movies off Netflix, I had to get them for the kids. I had £8 left over so put an extra £2 towards my order and got Deadpool too.

Others:
Upsy Daisy dress 


We were sent this from an Instagram boutique to promote them. I will do a little post on the blog this week too.

Did you receive anything nice last week?
 

C has cracked Potty Training!




For a good few months, I didn't think that I would ever be writing this post. Potty training definitely felt like the hardest aspect of parenting for me. I first introduced a potty to C at 18 months old as we were sent one from TOMY to review. Of course at 18 months, he wasn't really interested so I left it for a few months. I kept trying and trying and trying but every time I took his nappy off and he saw the potty he would scream bloody murder, tears streaming down his face and I'd feel really guilty for being the one to make him feel that way.

In February this year, I took C to get his preschool jabs. The doctor asked me how he was getting on and one of her questions was if he was potty trained. I explained to her that he was finding the process really upsetting and she reassured me that he was still young and had plenty of time to learn before starting preschool. This made me feel so much better as it had been something that I was worried about. C is tall for his age and I kept thinking that people would think badly of us for him still being in nappies or think we were lazy parents when that really wasn't the case.

About a month after this, I decided enough was enough and we had to get out of nappies. If I'm honest I was sick of buying them and I knew at 3.5 years old, he had the vocal capacity to do it. At the very beginning, we did have a few tears but I explained that he was going to school soon and all of the other boys and girls would be using the potty and he came round to the idea, especially as he knew that mummy and daddy use the toilet too.

I think that waiting so long to do it definitely was a positive. I can count on one hand how many accidents he's had and I think it took us only two weeks to be completely dry in the day. We've since mastered pooing in the potty (probably the scariest thing for him!) and most nights he's dry but I put pyjama pants on him just in case. 8 out of 10 times it's still dry in the morning.

We started off using the Mickey Mouse potty from TOMY that we had been sent to use but the hole was quite small so he'd get wee all over the floor. I won a My Carry Potty a few months previously and honestly, it's such a great potty. The hole is big enough for him, there is a little lip so you don't have to worry about wee coming over the side and of course you can close it over to bring out with you. 


C got really excited by praise, especially when it came to pooing. His daddy promised him that he'd get a new toy if he did it in the potty so that really spurred him on. He's a pro now!

Chris and I don't drive so shopping can take us all day as we walk everywhere. I would tend to worry and stick a nappy on him for this but he really surprised me by staying dry and just asking to use the toilet. It was definitely my own anxiety that was holding us back when it came to leaving the house nappy free. Choosing his own pants was good for him too. He originally went for Gruffalo briefs but he has a preference for boxers (so we had to get Avengers ones!) over briefs - I think he wants to be like his daddy!



We have even progressed from the potty to the big toilet thanks to the OXO Tot Sit Right. I will get into the ins and outs of this product early next week as I will be writing a full review.

But for now, yay! I have a potty trained child and it was painless! I am so proud.




Kids Summer Sandals at Brantano - Review

I am obsessed with buying kids clothing and shoes. I think about 80% goes on them. With summer on its way, we were given the opportunity to try out a pair of summer sandals for E from Brantano's range. Choosing a pair was tough. They have such a gorgeous selection and at the end it was between the Sketchers Paw Princess (E actually saw these and wanted them herself - I think it's because they had a cat on them!) and the Hush Puppies Vikkie Smart Sandals.


I chose the Hush Puppies in infant size 5 as pink would go with more of her outfits. E was wearing size 4 and I knew she wouldn't be in them very long so I went up to be sure she'd get the wear out of them all summer. As soon as they arrived, E said "ah pretty shoes!" and asked me to put them on right away. I think the pink glitter was a sure winner!




I love that they have a thick sole but still look fashionable. I know that they're supporting her feet well. The little flowers are E's favourite feature, I think! I struggle with new shoes and the tiniest bit of thread poking out irritates me to no end and I'm left with sores and blisters. E has worn these shoes almost constantly for about two weeks now, all without socks on, and she hasn't had a single issue. They fit well and she can walk perfectly in them. I love that they have Velcro straps around the toe as well as the ankle so I can fit them to her foot width easily.





The Hush Puppies retail at only £30 (but are actually on sale right now for only £20!) which I think is very reasonable for such a fantastic and high quality shoe. This particular shoe is available in sizes 4-9 but if your child doesn't wear this size, I'm sure you could find something from the Brantano Summer sandals range to suit.
(We received these sandals for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
 

Transforming E's Nursery to a Big Girl Room

E is very quickly approaching two years old and judging by her funny little character and how much she talks, she definitely isn't a baby any more (as much as I hate to admit it). First bedrooms, when you're preparing for baby to arrive tend to be just that - babyish. Now that I have a toddler, I need a more grown up room for her.

Of course I have bits in her current room that I could keep like her gorgeous little framed picture from Pink Rabbit Designs on Instagram. It's pink and glittery - of course that can stay in!




If you follow my blog or social media accounts, you'll know that I like entering the odd competition. I was lucky enough to win some bits that I'm saving to put in her room when it's done up. I won a gorgeous pink, floral teepee from Vobe which I was wanting to put in the corner as a reading nook. I think if I had some pink and cream scatter cushions on the floor inside it would be really cosy. Another win that I had was a voucher for a wall sticker company called Koko Kids. Obviously, I stuck with pink and chose floral woodland designs.




When it comes to the bigger items, Room to Grow have some gorgeous children's furniture bits. Our house currently looks like a library and there are books everywhere you turn. The Parisot Alice bookcase is the cutest kids bookcase that I have ever seen and I think it matches the picture in my head of what I want E's room to look like. On further inspection, and as I want everything matching, I noticed that the Parisot Alice range also includes a 3 drawer chest, bedside table, desk, dressing table, bed and wardrobe. I want it all! I think she'll end up having a better bedroom than me!




I tend to mostly stick to online stores - just because it's easier! - but Next's bedroom range always draws me in. They have a beautiful Vintage Ditsy Print bedding set and matching curtains which would match the wall stickers I have perfectly.


Finally, I have some little bits that I feel would just finish the room off. The bow holder was another competition win from xlilbowpeepx on Instagram. E may be only 21 ones but she has about 300 bows so I definitely need tons of storage for them. The name bunting was also a little win from Sweetpea Craft Cottage and the Shakespeare quote is one of my favourites. 




I'm so excited to get to work on E's big girl room (through tears of course, as I come to terms with the fact that my baby is no more!). I think she'll love it! Then I'll have to get to work on C's!

This is a sponsored post.

Look in my Letterbox #60

Even though I had a couple of days this week with no post arriving, it's still been really busy and I've got lots of lovely things to share with you. It was a good week for wins, it seems! As ever, I'm linking up with Alice-Megan's Look in my Letterbox linky.

Wins:
Cushion
 I won this in a Father's Day giveaway on Facebook. It will be perfect for Chris's chair.
 
Roald Dahl Collection
This was a blog win which I am over the moon about. I love Roald Dahl and Chris and I had recently spoken about introducing them to C.
 
Biky Biky vest
 I posted last week that the bike that I won for C arrived, I won this Biky Biky vest alongside it. They sound like such a great invention!
 
Nandos voucher
 I won this in a Facebook giveaway run by my local Nandos. You had to guess the score of that evenings football game and I was one of the ones who guessed correctly. Chris and I will probably use it for date night!
 
Cinderella plush
This was a little Twitter win from Sky Movies. E loves her Disney princesses but she keeps calling her Elsa!
 
Mickey Mouse figurines
 I take part in Disney Junior's tea parties on Facebook every Tuesday at 11am. They always have prizes to give away and until now, I have been unlucky. I was actually so surprised when I got the message to say I won. The kids love the set.
 
Baby Mori clothing
This was a win from an Instagram giveaway run by Annabel Karmel. The prize was £100 to spend at Baby Mori between you and a friend. My friend Jenna from Chic Geek Diary tagged me so we each got £50. I picked E up these gorgeous cardigans and leggings.

Dentinox goodies
This was a blog giveaway win. They'll make a great gift for my friend who is expecting.

Purchases:
Bow
 I bought E a baby blue dress so of course I needed a bow to match. I saw these oversized personalised ones from Sweet & Berry and just had to get one.
 
Funko Pop
 I bought this as Father's Day gift to Chris. It's from one of his favourite games.
 
Reviews:
Necklace
 I've received this gorgeous necklace to review from Kaya Jewellery. I am a sucker for anything personalised.
 
Reward box
 C has gotten this little Pirate Reward Chart to test out. It looks so cool!
 
Lunch items
 We also got these fun little lunchbox bits to review too! Review should be up next week.

Other:
Warner Bros DVDs
 I recently ran a giveaway for these DVDs on my Twitter page and received the copies for myself too.

Did you receive anything nice this week? 
 

The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy / A Rainbow books - Review + Printables

We absolutely the Dinosaur that Pooped books and we've been lucky enough to review a few books in the series in the past.




With Father's Day approaching, I jumped at the chance to review a new publication to the existing series by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter - The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy. 



Previously the books have been paperbacked stories but this one is a smaller board book so it's great for younger readers too. My daughter E (aged 21 months) really enjoyed being able to hold it and flip through the pages too.



The book starts off showing a mess that daddy has made and Danny and Dino need to try and find him. It is a great book for learning number skills. As the pages go by you see ten pairs of pants, nine pencils and so on until number one. In typical Dinosaur That Pooped fashion - yep, you guessed it - Dino poops out daddy!

We also received a copy of The Dinosaur That Pooped a Rainbow. This one is also a board book and it works in the same way only with teaching colours. As soon as the books arrived, the kids wanted to read them right away and have read them every night since. C has almost completely memorised them too! Both kids love the end where the see the word POO in massive letters. I really love books that can be funny and educational all in one package.








You can purchase these books from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1Vgtrv


I also have some really cool The Dinosaur That Pooped printables to share too.
You can make your own Dinosaur Father's Day card, complete with your childs' drawing of their daddy by follow the link here - http://bit.ly/1O7un44


You can find some really cool Dinosaur themed activity sheets for your children here - http://bit.ly/288oLx4




They are sure to keep your children busy over the next couple of days.

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

Last Minute Father's Day Gift Guide - Warner Bros DVDs + giveaway!

I find that men tend to be really into their movies (at least the ones I know are!). When I buy gifts for my partner or dad I tend to get lots of little presents rather than one big one and they always expect at least one DVD. With them being at work all day/week, their favourite way to relax at the end of it all is by getting stuck into a really good film.Action or sci-fi tend to be genre of choice in their case and Warner Bros have some fab releases that would make the perfect Father's Day gift - or for any occasion! With choices like Mad Max Fury Road, San Andreas, American Sniper, Interstellar, Godzilla and Black Mass; you're sure to find something your father will enjoy. The only ones Chris and I have seen is Interstellar which we both really enjoyed so I can't wait to see how the rest fare. You can order copies here: http://amzn.to/1UjpyRJ


I also have a little Father's Day competition over on my Twitter page (the pinned tweet) where you can win the bundle of DVDs that I have mentioned above. Please read the T&C's below before entering and good luck!

    T&Cs:
  • Entrant must follow my Twitter account (@x_walter)
  • Entry is by retweeting the competition post. If you wish to reply to the giveaway post, it would be great if you could use the #WBFathersDay hashtag
  • One entry per person
  • Winner will be chosen via a third party app ensuring a fair winner
  • Giveaway will run from 14th June until midnight on the 19th June so obviously the prize will be sent after Father's Day
  • UK entrants only
  • No bots - I will disqualify these entries
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