Vampirina Bootastic Backpack & Spooky Scooter Set - Review

I still can't get my head around the fact that Noah starts school in September! I honestly don't know where the past four and a half years have gone and I'll admit that I'm in denial about the whole thing! Noah's a little nervous about starting school so I decided not to bleat on about it during the holidays, but instead, read books and play games which are in connection to starting school. With that plan in action, you can imagine that I was delighted when we were sent the Vampirina Bootastic Backpack and Spooky Scooter Set to review.

Noah is a huge fan of Vampirina, so am I actually! It's a delightful show, one which has great family values and kind messages throughout, which I think is hard to find these days. He also loves figures, so he was very excited to open the Spooky Scooter Set. There are two Spooky Scooter sets to collect, Vampirina and Gregoria and Poppy and Wolfie. We received the Poppy set which we were really pleased about as we already have a Vampirina figure from a past reviewBoth sets come with a figure, scooter, attachable skateboard and a spooky friend. 

Poppy and Wolfie look just like they do in the cartoon, They are made of a 
sturdy and durable plastic, which I just know will stand the test of time. Noah couldn't wait to play with them. The Poppy figure is decent sized and articulated, which makes the figure engaging and great for role play both on and off the scooter. Noah likes pushing Poppy around on the scooter, watching Wolfie follow right behind on the skateboard. With the figures being removable the kids also like to play as standalone figures too. The Spooky Scooter Sets are suitable from 3 years old and retail at the very reasonable price of £11.99. 

Next, we have the Bootastic Backpack set which is just the ticket to practice for back to school. Eight pieces are included with this set; the backpack, light and sound pendant, sunglasses, a pair of bat wing hair clips, keyring and 2 sheets of stickers. 

Noah was the most excited about the backpack itself and couldn't wait to open it up and to keep all his Vampirina goodies safe and sound inside. I have to admit, it's a winner with me too because it keeps everything nice and tidy! It looks just like Vampirina's rucksack and the accessories really help children to play the part.

The light up pendant necklace is very popular with the kids. They both love to wear it, then like to press it to see it light up and replay Vee's popular quotes. It is quite fiddly to put on though, Noah is 4 but needs me to help him with it. The bat wing hair clips are a nice addition for when they want to look like Vampirina, but wouldn't stay in either Noah or Ava's hair. I think it would've been a better idea to have them on a headband instead to avoid this issue. The sunglasses and keyring are awesome and are currently stashed away nicely in the Bootastic Backpack with the rest of the accessories. The Bootastic Backpack is suitable from 3 years and retails at £24.99.

I think these new Vampirina toys from Flair are fantastic and a welcome addition to their existing range. They'd make great back to school gifts for either your child or others. The Bootastic Backpack, in particular, would be an icebreaker, as it would catch the eye other Vampirina fans in the class, a lovely way to encourage friendship - just like in the TV show! Both toys are available now, online and in leading toy stores such as Smyths Toys.

- We were sent these products for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own.


Ava - 17 Months Old

Can you believe that it's been three months since I last wrote an update on Ava? This wasn't planned, every week I'd have the post on my to-do list but something would crop up and I just didn't have the time. I expect this post to be huge, it's been three months after all, and well it may as well have been a year because she's changed so much! I'm so glad to have this time now, to type everything up and have it to look back on. 

Ava is truly one of a kind and people always comment that "she's been here before!" Which never fails to freak me out! First of all, she's so funny! She lives to make you smile and laugh, or just to get a reaction whether it be a good one of a bad. She's very independent, which has been a learning curve for me as Noah was totally the opposite. I find myself having to take a step back with her and let her get on with things because she gets frustrated if she's not able to do things herself. This, of course, means that she picks up new skills really quickly because she likes to practice and has so much patience. She's very intelligent and quick to learn. She's also extremely affectionate and often gives kisses and cuddles without prompting. If I was to describe her in five words they would be; independent, intelligent, intuitive, funny and affectionate.

She often speaks 'gobbledygook' but is doing really well with her words too. She tries to learn new words every day and here are some that she already knows; 
hiya, ta, hi, Mam, Mama, Mummy, Dada, Daddy, Nanna, Grandad, cat, hat, cheese, shoes, car, ta ta's, choc choc, tea, that, wee wee, poo poo, baby, dip dip. I've brought out the same flash cards that I introduced when Noah was 17 months old to try and teach her new words. I'm also encouraging her to join two words such as "Hiya Mama!"

I've not weighed her for a while but she is a stocky little thing, although she's lost a lot of her lovely puppy fat since she's started running everywhere. She wears 12-18 month clothing but I don't think it'll be long until she's moving into the next size. She wears a size 5 nappy and her feet are size 4.5.

Over the past couple of months, she's been cutting lots of teeth at the same time but she has been handling it quite well. She has a whopping 14 teeth, with 2 others just cutting through. So she's on the brink of having 16! Almost a full set. On a whole, she's not poorly very often but she had her first tummy bug a few weeks ago. Thankfully it was only a 24 hour kind of thing.


Our breastfeeding journey came to an end 14 months as slowly she weaned herself. I remember the last time I fed her so clearly. She'd actually not nursed for an entire week, she was feeling poorly and I ended up feeding her. I was surprised there was any milk left but there was and it was lovely to be able to nurse her when she was unwell. I think it was a lovely end to our breastfeeding story. I have to admit that I really miss breastfeeding but I treasure every moment of our journey together. It was such a special time. 

Ava now drinks cows milk and usually has a 12oz bottle in the morning, a 7oz bottle before her nap and another 12oz before she goes to bed. She also drinks a flask of water every day. When it comes to food, she tries everything and anything and has the regular three meals a day, with desserts and snacks in between. Her favourite food at the moment, believe it or not, is gherkins! We go through a large jar a week between her and her Daddy! Gherkins aside she also loves; cheese, ham, chicken, all fruits and veg, yoghurt, shreddies and chocolate! Like Noah, she isn't overly fond of bread or toast.

Ava now sleeps through, hurray and has done for a month or so. She has a bottle at night, a cuddle and then usually goes straight to sleep. She can sometimes stir for her dummy during the night, but other than that it's bliss. Although I must mention, she doesn't sleep in her own cot, she's still in our bed. Thankfully we have a huge super king bed so we've all got plenty of space to stretch out yet at arms reach when she wants a cuddle. She usually naps for two hours in the afternoon in her pram. She'll actually climb into it herself, with her dummy waiting for her bottle. So basically, she sleeps fantastic, just not in her cot!

Milestones & new tricks
* She's been able to walk and run for months, but now she can jump and boy can she climb. She loves to climb, it's her favourite thing to do and she has no fear whatsoever!
* She likes to feed herself with a fork or spoon and usually protests if you try to help her.

* She can say over 20 words which I've listed in the post earlier.
* She understands pretty much anything you say to her. If you ask her to go and get her shoes, she'll fetch them and try to put them on. She can do it, but they usually go on the wrong foot. If you ask if she wants to go for a walk she will go and get her coat and shoes.
* Leading on from that, she loves to try to dress herself. She can put on her socks and likes to try to put on other peoples shoes. I often find her walking into the room with my shoes on or with Noah's shorts on her head.
* She loves taking care of her dolls and is a proper little Mummy. She will cuddle and carry them around. Feed them with a bottle, lay them down to go to sleep and put a little blanket on them.
* She now lets us know when she's doing a wee or a poo in her nappy and will hide when she's doing a number two. I recently won a potty from Oxo Tot so I think in the next few weeks we will introduce her to it.

Likes and dislikes

Her family and the cat. Exploring, climbing, running and jumping! Getting up to mischief. Playing make believe, peekaboo, dancing and reading books. All animals, cats in particular. Her dolls and looking after them. Playing with Noah and all his toys. Dressing and feeding herself. Cuddles in bed. Making a mess! Peppa Pig, Daniel Tiger, Llama Llama and In The Night Garden. Rock music and listening to Daddy on guitar. Copying whatever Noah does. Going for walks and trips to the park. Gherkins! Music and nursery rhymes. She doesn't like bugs or having her teeth brushed.


L.O.L Surprise Biggie Pets Dollmatian - Review

Noah has been a fan of collectables for as long as I can remember, he loves them and has so many different collections on the go! Being the animal lover that he is, the L.O.L Pet's range has always appealed to him and he's always telling people that "they aren't just for girls you know!" Which I think is very true, toys are toys! With this in mind, he was overjoyed when one of the new L.O.L Surprise Biggie Pets arrived for him to review! 

There are currently 43 L.O.L Biggie Pets to collect; a hamster, a rabbit, a cat and a dog. We received the dog version for the purpose of this review, the Dollmatian as it's lovingly named. Before we opened the huge L.O.L ball we noticed that in the box were a couple of wear and share accessories, a pair of funky glasses and a couple of bracelets too. The glasses are spy glasses and can be used to find codes that unlock certain surprises.

It was then time to open up the huge L.O.L ball and we were so excited! I think Noah and I both squealed in delight when we opened it up! Dollmatian is utterly adorable and they don't call them 'Biggie Pets' for nothing, big but just the right size for a cuddle. Dollmatian is great for play, but can also be worn as a rucksack and can be used as a piggy bank too.

You can always count on surprises with L.O.L and the same can be said for Biggie Pets! There are over 15 different surprises inside and we started with the half a dozen blind bags that were hidden inside Dollmation. There was a lot to discover inside them, poop a scoops, a wishbone, a fortune spinner, accessories for the pets to wear and so much more. 

Once we'd opened up the blind bags it was time for the ultimate surprise because each Biggie Pet comes with either 2 or 3 babies. The babies are hidden inside little boxes, surrounded by kinetic sand. We were amazed to find 3 baby surprises and wondered who we'd find.

Noah thought it was great digging the pets out of the sand, however, it did take him some time. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on the child. This activity is a great way to keep them busy, but if they are the impatient kind then I think they'd get a little fed up and would need your help. Thankfully, Noah really enjoyed it and was amazed to discover two kittens and a puppy. The babies are so cute and it's so much fun to dress them in the little accessories from the blind bags. I think Noah has the L.O.L Pets bug now because he's asked to collect them all. 

There are three L.O.L Biggie Pets to collect and they are suitable for 3 years and onwards due to the small bits and pieces. They retail at £36.99 each and are available to buy now, in most toy stores and online.
- We were sent this product for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own.


Living Arrows #5 - Growing Our First Sunflower

I've always wanted to grow a sunflower, ever since I was a little girl but we never got around to doing it. This year I decided it was time to give it a whirl with my own children and I was so excited! We planted our sunflower seed, in damp soil into a tiny little pot. We watered it often and placed on the window sill, making sure it got plenty of sunlight. We were amazed when it started to sprout within a couple of days.

After a couple of weeks, we replanted the sprout into a bigger pot and placed it outside in the sun. It's been growing, slowly but surely since May and has required watering multiple times a day. Sometimes I've had to take it inside, to the kitchen as its leaves tend to go droopy because of the heat we've been having lately. Thankfully, after a quick cool down, it would go back to normal again.

Our sunflower finally bloomed this week and it's done nothing but make us smile ever since. The kids have loved watching it grow every day and Noah has loved the responsibility of having his own sunflower to take care of. I had to take some photo's of the children with it this weekend as they are both so proud of their "sunflower friend" as Noah calls it. We'll definitely be planting sunflowers every year now, it's been so rewarding watching it grow. Maybe we'll plant a couple next time!

Living Arrows