Toys

Toys we play with including reviews

I’M A STYLIST Styling Head Review #AD

It’s been a long time since the twins played with a styling head; they had one about five years ago and after an initial flurry of interest, the moment passed and the styling head was stuck on a shelf until I gave it away to Sophie my granddaughter. So, it was with great interest I accepted BritMums request to review the I’M A STYLIST styling head. How would it go down with my two discerning tweens?

All mums of tweens will nod their heads agreeing with me when I say that 10 going on 11 is a tricky age when it comes to dolls. The twins are in an in-between-stage where they don’t want to appear childish in front of their peers but there are some things (like favourite teddies – ssshhh) they still don’t want to let go of. Lucy, the I’M A STYLIST styling head, fits in perfectly as she is beautiful and comes with all the latest fashion accessories making her very trendy.

I have become very aware this past school year of their search for independence and their claim for taking control over their personal identity. In the past, I’ve always bought their clothes and shoes but recently they politely refuse to accept my choices and we go on shopping trips together where they can both freely choose (to a certain extent) their ‘look’.

Their group of friends is extremely important to them and I hear them chatting with them on their phones all the time about hair, makeup, fashion and Arianna Grande – who has taken over the bedroom walls. Frequently, in the mornings – just as I’m about to leave the house – I get asked to do an Arianna ponytail.

When they get ready to go out, makeup and hair is an important part of their ‘getting ready’ routine. It’s been fun watching them learn to apply the various products and learn how to use them – there were no YouTube tutorials in my day! I have noticed, however, that they aren’t very adventurous when it comes to hair styles. I think they lack practice and this is where I’M A STYLIST Lucy, steps into our lives.

Choker necklace – ‘model’s own’

The 33cm tall beauty arrived with earrings, hair accessories, magnetic eyelashes and self-adhesive gemstones and as we unboxed her, the girls’ eyes were shining with excitement; they couldn’t wait to get their hands on her.

Can you imagine their delight when they discovered a second wig in the box? A lovely rich red colour. The styling heads have a ‘CUT HAIR DON’T CARE’ feature and a wide range of wigs to choose from including blue and lilac. They are so easy to change as well; each wig has an elastic that runs around the edge which fits into a notch around the head. It can then be pulled and tied in place. It holds securely and can stand all the brushing and styling little divas wish. Just don’t let them loose with hair spray or gel!

I’M A STYLIST styling head comes with

  • Magnetic eyelashes that are easy to apply and come in a special keepsake box.
  • Interchangeable excellent quality wigs available in different colours. New wigs are on the expensive side at £39 though.
  • Earrings
  • Removable top.
  • Suction cups on the bottom of the styling head for extra stability when styling.
  • Reusable packaging which can be used to store the styling head neatly.

The I’M A GIRLY brand is new to me but I’m pleased to note the brand promotes inclusivity and diversity and is aimed at both girls and boys. They also produce an I’m A GIRLY fashion doll which comes in natural proportions, varying skin tones and hair colours and different of styles. The I’M A GIRLY products are designed by girls and boys aged 9 to 13 on its KIDS4KIDS panel. I’M A STYLIST styling head is available in Harrods and Hamleys RRP £75.

Competition – Your child could be part of the KIDS4KIDS panel!?

Do you have a child aged 9 to 12 who’s creative and interested in design and fashion? They can win a place on the KIDS4KIDS design team designing clothes and accessories for the product range. The winners will have the opportunity to meet with the I’M A GIRLY team in London and design clothes for the Fall Winter collection. It will be an afternoon full of drawing, playing with fabrics and brainstorming outfits!

Let your little designer show their creativity by entering. Here’s how!

  • Download this sheet with an illustration of the I’M A GIRLY doll: IAG _ Drawing Template
  • Your designer can draw on it, create a collage from images, fabrics and colours etc. to create their very own and individual outfit
  • Once their creation is finished, take a picture of it and send it to info@imagirly.com
  • Competition ends 21 May 2019
  • The KIDS4KIDS design team will choose the best designs and winners will be announced 24 May 2019
  • The winners are invited to take part in the design session in London on 15 June 2019 2-5pm*

*travel not included

The project is sponsored by I’M A GIRLY.

Read the Terms & Conditions

DISCLAIMER: This post is part of a paid project with I’M A GIRLY and BritMums, promoting the I’M A STYLIST styling heads, that just landed in Harrods and Hamleys. They are hip, cheeky, trendy and a bridge between childhood and teenage years. See the styling heads, the fashion dolls and accessories at www.imagirly.com/uk/

National Chocolate Cake Day with Num Noms

 

National chocolate cake dayThis is just what you need in January to beat away the cold and dullness of the first month of the year – National Chocolate Cake Day!

Who knew?

Num Noms got in touch and asked if we’d like to do a spot of chocolate cake baking to celebrate the day which, of course we replied yes to! They sent us through a Series 4 Deluxe set plus a couple of Mystery Pots. Before we go any further, let me explain what Num Noms are…

Num Noms Deluxe

The Nums are hollow characters made out of a soft rubber material in bright colours with faces and a very close resemblance to cakes. Noms are the inner bits that fit inside and can include a variety of characters like nail varnishes, lip glosses or motorised characters. The beauty is you can change the Num as often as you like.

The twins were delighted to receive the Num Noms Series 4 Deluxe set and spent ages playing with them and sorting them out in their bedroom. The mystery pots are a great idea as they are an economical treat with a lovely Num Nom inside.

Num Noms Series 4 Deluxe

National Chocolate Cake Day

Now let’s get back to the chocolate part of this post …

Num Noms sent us through two Bake in the Box chocolate cakes and lots of ideas to decorate with. I must say, I have not seen the Bake in the Box before and it is a perfect product to entertain children and not end up with a whole kitchen to clean!

National chocolate Cake Day baking

The ingredients come in a sachet which you pour into the box and simply add milk. Stir it all until a smooth mixture forms and bake in the oven.

Bake in a box chocolate cake

Once cooled you can eat or decorate.

As you can imagine the girls had great fun making, baking and decorating their chocolate cakes. I would definitely recommend the Bake in a Bo cake as a great baking project with the children and judging by how much my two love their Num Noms, I’d say they make an excellent gift too.

Disclosure: We were sent the Num Noms Series 4 Deluxe box and a couple of Mystery Pots for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.

WIN a Project Mc2 Experiment with Doll

Project Mc2 doll

The twins love the Project Mc2 girls and I am happy to let them watch as they are inspiring. The Project Mc2 characters are proud to be nerds, proud to be geeks and show that intelligence is something cool. A way of thinking that is close to my heart and I am keen to encourage too.

As Year 5 has kicked off, we are looking forward to a successful year with their new teacher, where they slipped last year I am encouraging them to catch up and do extra at home. I am bribing them with pocket money to sit down and do an exercise or two of Mathletics each day, call me harsh but they are liable to burst into tears over maths as they totally lost their confidence last year. I am of the idea that if I can beat that fear over the next few months, I will have won the battle and they will be more confident in maths as they go through the remainder of their school life. It’s worth it for me and I am determined to get them to the best of their ability again.

The Project Mc2 doll series help me on that journey and as I encourage the twins to do extra, they are reminded that these girls do too and yet they look great, they are funny and intelligent too.

Project Mc2

The new set of dolls added to the fun existing list are the Project McExperiments with Dolls. Each doll comes with her own experiment using ingredients found at home and can be performed over and over again.

The experiments include: Make your own Lava Lipgloss with McKeyla McAlister, |Create your own Gummies with Adrienne Attoms, Make your own Light Up Earrings with Bryden Bandweth, Design amazing Tie Dye with Camryn Coyle, or Create Glitter Tattoos with Ember Evergreen

The dolls, based on the girls in the show are fully movable and can be dressed and undressed. Their hair can be played with and they inspire hours of fun play. Do you know someone who would be happy to receive a Project Mc2 Experiments with Dolls? I have one doll up for grabs in the competition below.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Family games for Christmas

I realise how early it is to be talking about Christmas but we all know that before we know it, it will be knocking at the door. Trust me, if you are in retail or marketing you have already started speaking about Christmas and laying down plans to make your business boom in this period.

On that note, I am starting to receive ideas to share with you and of course, those that appeal to me are the ones that get a mention.

This post is all about family games because it is something my family make a big part of the day when we are spending time together. We have ping pong, a dart board, Pass the Pigs and many other fun games to play together… who didn’t have a go at Pie Face?

The Very Merry Christmas Game

very merry christmas game

Christmas crackers, Carol singers, Christmas presents and Brussel sprouts go into making the Very Merry Christmas game. The idea of the game is to scheme your way around the board to get all the best presents which you can only open at the end of the game. What lavish gifts will you find in your stocking? Or will it be full of naff tat?

Suitable for age 8+. 2 – 4 players can enjoy the game or it can be played in teams. The board game has 42 Cracker cards and 32 present cards to land on and collect, you can use the Christmas cracker cards to steal a better present from someone else’s stocking and if you land on a carol singers space you have to sing your favourite festive song to prevent losing one of your gifts.

As with all games, there is always the card you want to avoid – in the Very Merry Christmas game it’s the dreaded sprout cards which have a bad effect on you, watch out for those!

The Very Merry Christmas Game will be available from Debenhams and Amazon for £19.99

Mr & Mrs Family Edition

Mr and mrs family game

Think you know your partner, family and friends well? The Mr and Mrs Family game will put that knowledge to the test!

The game is aimed at players aged 10 and above and requires 2 or more players. It is based on the popular family TV show hosted by Phillip Schofield and has 100 question cards plus some blanks for you to write your own questions on.

Work your way through the questions and the Paddle round questions before arriving at the It’s a Match stage. There is sure to be a lot of laughter as you play, plus some blushing and some blank looks too!

Mr & Mrs Family Edition RRP £19.99 from Debenhams, John Lewis, WHSmith, Amazon, Next, House of Frasier

Mr & Mrs Pocket Edition RRP £9.99 from Debenhams, John Lewis, Amazon

Disclosure: I was sent the board games to review for the purpose of this post.

Top tips for looking after a trampoline

old trampoline

When we moved into our current home we inherited a trampoline from the previous owners. It was barely used and I have no idea why they left it behind but after a quick bounce from Dad and a thorough check we decided to hang on to it. Great decision because the girls have used it so much! It’s a perfect excuse to get them out of the house all year round and from tiny bounces they have evolved into ‘bum drops’ scissor jumps, star jumps, and 360s.

I am amazed at how long it has lasted. We have had to replace various parts over the years like the padding that goes around the bottom and the net too, but it was a photo I took earlier this year and posted on Facebook which drew some comments in from our friends.

Deathtrap!

I think that was the one that really opened my eyes and made me start searching ‘parts for trampolines ‘ online.

The photo was of the children bouncing away merrily with no safety net. The net had deteriorated over the winter and I hadn’t got around to replacing it. Plus every time I made a mental note to do so, it would immediately be covered by another trillion mental notes.

Deathtrap!

It might seem a bit harsh but all it takes is a nasty landing and you could potentially be looking at life changing injuries and even fatality.

parts for trampolines

As my trampoline is an odd size and shape (just different to the standard size) I couldn’t find the right net for the right amount of poles, all of my regular searches showed plenty of items but none that fitted our trampoline.

Would I have to throw it away? Where does one start with disposing of an old trampoline? the thought of dismantling it is enough to make me want to sit down and open a bottle of gin!

Time to get my finger out, I sat down in front of an empty browser began my search – parts for trampolines.

People of the internet, I came up trumps!

I found the perfect net and springs from the website – Parts for Trampolines, as all of ours were rusty. I was able to order online and the products arrived swiftly plus, they were easy to assemble thank lawd! No swearing from Dad.

parts for trampolines

Top tips for looking after a trampoline

Keep it clean – That might sound odd but dirt and debris left on the mat can eventually damage it or get caught in the springs. To clean it all you need is a bucket of soapy water and a soft brush, if you’re clever you could even convince the kids to do it for you. Surely it would be fun? Make sure they also check for spider webs, bugs, insects and build up of leaves and dirt. If you store your trampoline in the winter, make sure it is completely dry before packing away.

Placement – I discovered this one on my searches. A well placed trampoline can extend the life for years. Look for a shady spot but make sure there are no overhanging branches or other objects nearby that avid jumpers might bang into! Plus, if it’s directly under a tree, that’s going to be a lot of leaves to clean throughout the year! Do we have to say – don’t place it near the barbecue or the fire pit? Possibly yes, let’s cover all bases.

If you are going to place it next to your fence, make sure it’s not by your neighbour’s fire area as embers caught in the wind can travel and land on your rubber mat singing burn holes into it.

parts for trampolines

Parts for trampolines

Are all of the springs connected? Are they damaged?

Are there any holes in the net?

Are any of the poles broken or bent?

Is the netting ripped?

Is the trampoline standing on a flat surface?

Look out for wear and tear on the mat or any sagging or tension issues. Excessive stretching of or damage to the springs.

Is the mat excessively stretched? Is it frayed, ripped or has the stitching come undone?

Check the frame connections. Is it bent? Are the welds broken?

parts for trampolines

Weatherproof your trampoline

Look for a rust resistant frame and a rugged mat. If you have bad winters remove the mat, leaving the frame where it is. The springs can be stored in a box and oiled before reusing. If you can’t store away, turn the frame on its side to prevent leaves or snow collecting on the mat and weakening it. Just make sure there is nothing sharp close by that could rip the mat.

A weakened mat won’t hold a jumper and they could find themselves jumping straight through! So keep an eye out for any accumulation during the winter months and remove it as and when. If it’s snow – it’s the perfect spot for making snowballs, just don’t tell the kids ;)

You can also invest in trampoline covers which protect the mats from frost and make the cleaning of debris easier.

If you have high winds you’ll need to think carefully about the trampoline, we found ours shunted and bent one year after a strong storm. You could look at getting an anchor kit if you didn’t want to dismantle it. over the windiest months. Trampolines have been known to travel quite far, next door’s garden, onto a parked car …

Rules for the trampoline!

To keep your trampoline in the very best shape there are a few rules to put in place that EVERYONE has to adhere to, no excuses for anyone.

No shoes

Only one jumper at a time – we need to be more rigid on this rule.

No climbing up the safety net.

 

Above all have fun! Look after your trampoline and you’ll have years of bouncy fun!