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product review

Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set – A Review

I thought Aiden (12) would love the Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set and when it arrived he was quite excited.

It only took me about 15 minutes to put it together and I have to say I was impressed that I did it without any help; I usually just leave those kind of toys for Ant to sort out!

 

 

 

It was all ready and waiting for them when they got home and the two big kids of the house (Ant and Aiden) had the first play.

I’d like to say that they loved it but unfortunately, I can’t.
First of all, they couldn’t get the little cars to go round the first lot of loops with just pulling back on the car and after a while, they gave up.
They ended up pushing it through the (rather noisy) battery powered motor.

Once they’d got them working with the help of the motor, they then got annoyed with them flying off the track all the time. They soon gave up and didn’t want to play anymore; they were talking about design faults and stuff so I went to check out other reviews on the Internet and found that the cars flying off the track isn’t really a design fault, in fact, that’s supposed to be part of the fun!

Kaycee and Ella (7 and 5) both thought it was great fun and loved when the cars went flying off the track!
Just goes to show the difference between the boys and the girls; the boys wanted more structured play and I think, more control over the cars, (they must have forgotten that it’s called a crash set!) while the girls just wanted to see them jumping off the track and trying to get them to crash.

Kaycee took some videos when they were playing so I thought I’d share one with you.
Be warned, the camera has really picked up the sound and it sounds louder on the video than it does in my living room but even so, it is quite noisy and I ended up making them play outside with it because it was giving me a headache.

* I received the Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set in return for a review. However, the review was
written by me and reflects my personal opinion.When I accept a product for
review, it does not guarantee a favourable review.

Robinson’s Fruit Shoots Smencils – A Review

Kaycee loves writing stories so I knew she’d love the *Smencils when they arrived! They’re described as gourmet scented pencils and they’re made using recycled newspaper; they come in a plastic tube (it says on the website that the tubes are corn based and are biodegradable)  which I assume is to preserve the smell.

We had five different Smencils, Apple, Orange, Summer Fruits, Blackcurrant & Apple and Tropical.
They do actually smell good enough to eat! The orange one was a little overpowering but the others were simply gorgeous.

I like the fact that they’re made from recycled newspaper. When I told the girls they looked a little confused, looked at the pencils and said, ‘they’re not newspapers!!’. I then had to explain what being made out of recycled newspaper actually meant!

For more info and to see the whole range of products, visit Smencils.com

* I received the Smencils in return for a
review. However, the review was written by me and reflects my personal
opinion.When I accept a product for
review, it does not guarantee a favourable review.

Chicago Town Takeaway Pizza – A Review

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we LOVE pizza in this house! Some of us like it more than others but generally, when it’s pizza for tea, we’re all happy; me because it takes no preparation and less than half an hour to cook and the kids because they can use their fingers to eat!

We jumped at the chance to try Chicago Town’s new BBQ Feast Takeaway Pizza.

It says on the box, “Fresh dough base – real takeaway taste” and I have to agree, it did taste like it had been delivered hot to our door.
It’s topped with BBQ sauce, Mozzarella, meatballs, pepperoni and onions. The crust is also stuffed with BBQ sauce.

 

When the vouchers arrived and I found that the price of the pizza was £4 I figured we wouldn’t be buying them with our own money; we never spend more than a couple of pounds on frozen pizza usually but after seeing how big it is and how lovely it tastes, it’s definitely worth the money.
It’s a big saving on a real takeaway and tastes just as good, if not better than some that we’ve had delivered in the past!

The kids have been slightly obsessed with BBQ ribs lately so I assumed they’d all love a BBQ Feast Pizza.
Ella (5) had to be the one to prove me wrong! She said it was too spicy for her but I think she had a small appetite that day because none of us thought it was spicy at all. She only wanted to eat the chips and even then she hardly ate any.

Kaycee thought it was delicious, as did my mum who’s not usually a pizza fan. I loved it and just writing about it now is making me hungry!

There’s an added bonus if you buy one or more! before the end of August because they’re currently running, ‘The Best Seats In The House’, promotion.
You can win a 40″ 3D Smart TV, Surround Sound System, Xbox Kinect and other great prizes.
All you have to do is go to www.chicagotown.com/bestseats and enter the code that can be found inside the pack.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will be good for my readers. Acceptance of payment by any means does not guarantee a favourable review.

Designafriend Review – Kaycee & Ella LOVE Them!

DesignAFriend

Designafriend

Ella’s been pushing Rose around in Kaycee’s new Hello Kitty pushchair all morning . When I asked which toy was her favourite, I should have known the answer!

They each had a Design A Friend doll for Christmas with extra outfits and accessories; Ella received Freya and Kaycee got Chloe, who has also been renamed and is now known as Jasmine.

Pretty Packaging

I must admit, when the girls opened them on Christmas Day, I was extremely impressed and if I’m totally honest, a tiny bit jealous that I wasn’t 6 again!
They came in pretty pink boxes and the contents were wrapped in tissue paper; to say the packaging provided a brilliant first impression would be an understatement.

Designafriend

As soon as they were out of the box the girls oooed and ahhhed over everything from the gorgeous hair to the pretty clothes.

Designafriend

Charm Bracelets

They got most excited though when they found two charm bracelets, one for the doll and one for them; they were even more excited when they opened the extra clothes and found each one contained a charm for them to add to the bracelets.

Designafriend charm bracelet

Out of everything they had for Christmas, these dolls have stood the test of time. They haven’t been abandoned to the bottom of the toy box once and surprisingly, they’ve kept all the clothes, handbags, headbands and shoes together in a box.
Usually, with any toys that have extra parts, we end up searching for them after a couple of months and while the odd shoe has gone astray, for the most part they’ve taken really good care of everything.

No Skimpy Clothes

I’ve been trying to think of some negative points. When I read reviews, I want to know the bad as well as the good. To be totally honest, I can’t think of any.
I do however, love the fact that these fashion dolls, unlike others, don’t have skimpy clothes and they’re not wearing make-up. We want our girls to stay innocent children for as long as possible. We don’t believe make-up and adult style clothes made small for little girls is the right way to do this.

We’ll be adding to their clothes collections this Christmas because we know it will definitely be money well spent.

 

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza – A review

We were sent a voucher for a Dr Oetker Ristorante pizza a couple of weeks ago and we only just got round to actually fetching it from the shops!

The kids asked for baked potato and spaghetti in tomato sauce with their pizza.
With the exception of Ella (she’s not keen on pepperoni; it’s a bit spicy for her so she gave hers to KayCee) we all really enjoyed our dinner and I especially enjoyed the short time it took to get dinner on the table!

On those evenings when things are a bit hectic and time is running away with you, it’s great to be able to get dinner on the table in under 15 minutes.

I can’t say whether these pizzas are the best pizzaria taste this side of Naples because I’ve never been to Naples but they are delicious!

Bags of Love – A Review

I recently received* a personalised Kindle case from a Bags of Love, a
website that specialises in photographic present ideas.

The case arrived within 2 days of being ordered, which was the first thing
that impressed me.
The second thing to impress me was the actual product!

To say I’m pleased with the kindle case would be a huge understatement. I LOVE it!
It’s soft to the touch, the quality of the printed photos on the material is excellent and it’s really well made.
My photos don’t do it justice at all!

I spent ages on the site, trying to decide what to order!
They have birthday gifts, valentines gifts, new baby gifts, anniversary gifts for men, Christmas gifts and a whole host of other gift ideas.

I’ve seen loads of things that I know family members would love to receive at Christmas or as birthday gifts and loads more things that I’d love to treat myself to!

I’ve added the link to my favourites and I’ll be visiting it the next time I need a personalised gift 🙂

* I received the Kindle case in return for a review. However,
the review was written by me and reflects my personal opinion.When I accept a product for review, it does not guarantee a favourable
review.

Redakai – A Review

I’d never heard of Redakai but of course, my 12 year old son had and he was really pleased when I showed him the pack we’d been sent to review!

I’ve always been sceptical about these kind of card games. Aiden started collecting Pokemon cards a few years ago and I just saw them as a waste of money. I couldn’t understand how the battles you see on the TV or on the Gameboy, (yes, I’m showing my age now! I was hooked on Pokemon on the Gameboy when Aiden was a toddler!) could translate to a card game.
To be honest though, I never took the time to find out how you actually played it. Maybe if I had, I could have spent more quality time with Aiden doing something he loved; I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually enjoyed playing Redakai!

I did take me a while to actually understand the rules and aim of the game but with help from Aiden, I eventually got the hang of it.

Now I know how to play, I can’t understand why I got so confused in the first place; it’s really quite easy! I think I probably expected it to be more complicated so I was over thinking it when I read the game play instructions.

In the box you get an assortment of Character cards, monster cards and attack cards. You each pick a Character card then use monster cards to help your own character and attack cards to attack your opponent. Monster cards can heal damage you’ve been dealt from an attack and they can also increase your defence zones.
You do need a box each really to be able to play a proper game but seeing as we only had one box sent for review, we split the deck in half and played a mini game for the purpose of the review!

Aiden won the first time we played but I’m ready for a rematch! A lot of games aimed at children can become a bit of a chore because of the mind numbing boredom but this game kept me interested and was enough of a challenge to stop me getting bored too quickly.

The cards are stored in the plastic box and they’re very strong, which is a plus point in this house because Ella (4) won’t be able to do as much damage as she would if they were just made of card!

We both love the 3d effect and the movement on the attack cards is great.

Official Info….

  • Redakai comes to life with amazing Blast3D™ Technology!
  • Redakai has innovative “Stack to Battle” gameplay. Stack attacks to damage your opponent, and stack monsters to power up your own defenses.
  • Redakai is highly visual and intuitive, easy for kids (and parents) to learn, but a lifetime to master.
  • There are two versions – Basic and Advanced game play. The Starter Set enables you to play the basic gameplay.
  • For Boys 6-12 yrs old

Spinmaster say “Start your training to become a Kairu warrior with the Redakai
Starter Pack! Face off against any opponent with your arsenal of animated
attacks. Use the X-Reader to store your X-Drives, and then transform it into
your battlefield for a one-on-one Kairu showdown! Master the power of Kairu
with the Redakai Starter Pack! Comes with 16 X-Drives plus 7 bonus X-Drives! And
a two in one battlefield/ storage case.”

NEW Redakai X-Drive
Starter Pack –
worth £9.99

 

Pairs in Pears by Bananagrams

We received a PAIRSinPEARS game from Bananagrams the other day and I have to say, we LOVE it! The first time we played, KayCee (6) was helped by Grandad and I was ‘helped’ by Ella (4)!
To play, you each have a certain number of letter tiles (the number depends on how many players there are) and you have to work fast to make pairs of connecting words in the same pattern.

If you’ve never heard of it (and to be honest, I hadn’t) here’s the blurb 🙂

PAIRSinPEARS is a word construction game for age 6+, where players race to make pairs of connecting words in matching patterns. PAIRSinPEARS comes in a pear-shaped cloth pouch, containing four full alphabet sets in four beautiful and distinct designs. The game provides a great way for children to develop memory and cognitive skills while learning the alphabet, pattern recognition, vowels, vocabulary, rhyming and more.

We played a couple of games until it was bedtime which led to the girls complaining that they weren’t tired and would like to play just one more game!
They went to bed when I promised we could play again the next evening when they got home from school 🙂

As promised, we played again the next day and Aiden (11) joined us. We didn’t play the timed version because KayCee can’t do it fast enough so we played the Pairs Points version. You don’t have to match up the designs in each word but if you do you get double points.

It’s a perfect game for Kaycee; she fell in love with words once she learnt how to read and she’s always practising her spelling and reading. The game is helping her learn the difference between consonants and vowels. She’s really good at it and has won a few times.
It hasn’t worked out quite so well for me….I keep getting all the Q’s. I mean, how is it possible that no matter how much we mix them up, I pick the Q’s every time?!

I’m definitely going to be checking out the other games from Bananagrams; they’ll be great as birthday presents for the girls 🙂

* We received a free PAIRSinPEARS game in return for an honest review.

Fairy Princess Tent – Review

The lovely people at Big Game Hunters sent us* a very pretty, Fairy Princess Tent to review.

It arrived while the girls were at school and I hadn’t told them about it because I wanted it to be a surprise.
We spent all day Saturday sorting and re-arranging their bedroom trying to make room to fit it in! I told them we were making more room to fit all the new toys in that Santa was going to bring them! It wasn’t exactly a fib because we needed to do that as well and the girls got rid of loads of toys they no longer play with 🙂

It arrived just as Ant was going back to work after his lunch so he took it upstairs for me and left me to it.
I was a bit skeptical that I’d be able to put it together, especially as it was made from wood and needed screwing together, rather than metal or plastic poles that slot together. I usually leave ‘putting together’ jobs to Ant but I wanted it all done for when the girls got home so I did myself 🙂

I needn’t have worried at all. The instructions were very easy to follow, however, I do think the 15 minutes time frame given for putting it all together is a bit very optimistic! It took me about an hour to put it all together (including taking a few photos) which for me was quite good, even if I do say so myself!
The screws went in very easily and the only real problem I had was with Instruction 2. It said to screw the upright poles in but there were no screw holes in the plastic fittings. The poles were an extremely good fit though so I had no worries about it coming apart.

The canvas is waterproof and very thick. I must say again, the quality of the materials is excellent. I was very impressed. The colours and design are lovely and I knew the girls were going to fall in love with it!

I shouted them upstairs when they came home from school and Ella gave a little squeal of excitement when she saw it. They both ran straight inside, giggling and saying how ‘cool’ it was!
As soon as they’d got over the initial excitement, they ran to the dressing up box to put their princess dresses on. They moved pillows and duvets in and made a bed for them to share!

They played in it for quite a while and the only problem we had was with the tie strings that hold the door open. KayCee rolled it up and double knotted it. It took me ages to get it undone and I think a velcro fastener would have been more practical.

They both kept thanking me for getting them the ‘beautiful castle’ and giving me kisses and cuddles.
To see my girls so happy and excited was really lovely and the Fairy Princess Tent gets a huge thumbs up from this family!

Guess where they slept last night?!

*We received the tent free of charge in return for a review. My review was honest and accurate.

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