Schleich Bayala Glittering Moon Unicorns & Pegasus Mare - Review

AD - We were sent these products for the purpose of this review.

I've been a fan of Schleich ever since I was a little girl, though I don't think I ever had any of my own. I remember spotting them in museums, in libraries, or in shops on days out, and I'd be in awe of them - making a mental note of all the figurines that I wanted to collect. Over the past 20 years, the range has expanded tenfold, and they now offer a wide range of mythical creatures and dinosaurs, alongside farmyard animals, wild animals, and so on. Although I never had any myself, I'm now able to purchase them for my own children and they tend to display the same awe that I once did - which I love.

New to the Schleich Bayala universe, the glittering moon unicorns are set to enchant children, and parents alike. There are three members to this magical family; the Star Pegasus Mare - RRP: £13.99, the Moon Unicorn Stallion - RRP £13.99, and the Moon Unicorn Foal - RRP: £7.49.

All three are made with such exquisite attention to detail, the quality that Schleich is known for. Each horse is a slightly different shade of purple, adorned with glitter, sparkles, stars, and rhinestones. They have metallic shading around their hooves and their manes are long and luscious.

The Star Pegasus Mare is the largest of all three and is my personal favourite, whereas the kids adore the Moon Unicorn Foal. I've found that mythical creatures tend to inspire my children even more than regular animal figures. It's almost like they feel lie they have no limit to what they can make them do - they are magical beings after all. I've really enjoyed watching Noah and Ava play with the horses this week and I can imagine them having many years of fun with them.

Schleich Bayala Glittering Moon Unicorns & Pegasus Mare are an amazing addition to the Bayala range, a magical family of horses that are bound to spark the imagination of any child. You can purchase them online now at Smyths.

Ricky Zoom TV Series - Review & Giveaway

AD - This is a collaborative post.

Noah and Ava, despite their three year age gap, tend to enjoy a lot of the same things, especially TV shows and movies. We are always out and about, and they never ever sit still so it's nice to have some downtime, cuddled up on the sofa watching something on the TV. With this in mind, I'm always on the lookout for new TV shows for them to watch together, especially when it's wet and drizzly outside like it has been lately.

Zoom in to adventure with Ricky Zoom - a kid's TV series which is all about friendship, compassion, determination, and community. The main character is Ricky Room who is a little red motorbike, equipped with the tools to become a rescue bike just like his parents. He's a great character and his loyal "Bike Buddies" are called Scootio Wizzbang, Loop Hoopla, and DJ Rumbler. They like to race one another, try out new stunts, and team up on adventures together.

Other notable characters are;
Toot Zoom - A little lavender motorcycle with blue eyes, and Ricky's younger sister.
Hank Zoom - A red adult motorcycle with blue eyes who is Ricky's father. He has a special job as a rescue bike which Ricky wants to be when he grows up.
Helen Zoom - An orange adult motorcycle with green eyes who is Ricky's mother.
Steel Awesome - Ricky's favourite superhero.
Blip Hoopla - Loop's older brother.
Maxwell - A bike who runs the garage.
Don Hoopla - Blip and Loop's father.
Mr. Rumbler - DJ's father and a construction worker.
Officer Bunker - The officer of Wheelford.
Mrs. Bikely - Ricky's schoolteacher.

Ricky and his friends and family live in Wheelford, a town designed just for bikes. It has a real sense of community, everyone knows one another, and someone is always there to help. Ricky aside, our favourite character is Loop who is a blue dirt bike than can hover and do crazy stunts. Noah and Ava like to cheer him on and are amazed by all of the different tricks that he can do.

We've watched quite a few episodes together and I can confirm that it's one not to be missed. From the catchy theme tune, through to the loveable characters, there's something for every child to enjoy when watching Ricky Zoom. It's main message is to encourage children to stand on their own two feet and to feel confident. It has many great themes and messages running throughout - as a parent it receives a huge thumbs up from me. Watch episodes of Ricky Zoom every Saturday and Sunday on Nick Jnr.

As part of this collaboration, the kids were sent a fantastic Ricky Zoom backpack, drinks bottle, pad, pencils, and stickers. It's a great mix of products and Noah has seems to of pinched the lot. How would you like to win a Ricky Zoom backpack? To enter simply use the Gleam form below and don't forget to enter my other competitions.

Ricky Zoom Backpack & Goodies

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Winners details will be shared with the PR to arrange delivery of the prize. 
3. Competition ends 24/11/19.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only

My Sunday Photo - 43/52

My 5 Autumn Favourites

This post is a PR collaboration.

We are now well into Autumn and you can feel the change in the season wherever you go. The trees surrounding our home are now warm oranges, yellows and reds, the leaves are falling, and the drop in temperature is notable - we can now see our own breath! It's a reminder of how much I adore the season and I thought I would document my 5 autumn favourites.

1. Little Lord & Lady Clothing
I've been following Little Lord & Lady for years, in utter awe, and Noah and Ava are now ambassadors for the brand. They were recently sent various pieces from their new A/W range to try out and for me to photograph and share on social media. I'm blown away by it all, everything is stunning. Their garments are so sophisticated and luxurious, ideal for any occasion and special ones too.

2. Houseplants & DIY
I know, I know - the home renovation is still ongoing! We are almost there but it's now all about tweaking a few little things and updating some decor. My living room is my favourite room in the house, with it's neutral grey theme, with pops of colour from various houseplants I've bought recently - it makes me feel relaxed and at ease. That said, I'm looking at swapping the carpet for Engineered Wood Flooring as it will be easier to maintain and will look more effective too.

3. My slow cooker
I'll admit it. I'm one of those people who cracks out the crockpot at the slightest bit of cold weather and make half a dozen casseroles a week. It's so easy to set it up in the morning with whatever ingredients I please and 99% of the time it comes out delicious. Our current favourite is beef bourguignon with warm, crusty bread. Casseroles are a great way to get hidden veggies/nutrients into kids, which is even more important this time of year.

4. Conker picking & pumpkin carving
It wouldn't be Autumn, or October without a spot of conker picking and numerous pumpkins to carve. Noah and Ava love to explore and get messy while enjoying the outdoors so I've brought the pumpkins outside this year. We've put all the pumpkin seeds to one side, ready to take on our next walk to feed to the birds and squirrels.

5. Planning family outings 
October, through to December is always a busy time for us and we wouldn't have it any other way. We have Noah's 6th birthday coming up, as well as Halloween, Bonfire Night, WWE, Marvel Live, Butlins, and so much more. I'm so excited for the last few months of 2019.

What are your Autumn favourites?

How to Be More Involved in Your Child's Education

 AD - This is a PR collaboration.

Parental involvement is the key to your child’s academic success. The more you show your child that you care about their learning and encourage their efforts, the more they will flourish at school. Here is some great advice from an independent school for boys in Buckinghamshire on how to be more involved in your child’s education…

Make time
Encourage your child to talk to you about school and share interesting things they are learning in class. Find out what subjects they are enjoying and support their learning online or with a museum trip. This will not only show your child just how much you care about their education, but it will also provide some quality family time.

Motivate your child to do their homework by sharing this study time together. You can catch up on your emails or do an online course while your child does their homework. If they get stuck or want your opinion, you will be on hand to help.

Reading & writing
Support your child’s literacy skills with regular reading and writing tasks. For example, you can help your son or daughter to practice writing by incorporating it into your daily activities, such as writing your shopping list. You can also find out what books they are reading in class and get a copy to read together at bedtime.

If your child shows an interest in science or likes to see how things work, you can help to stimulate their curiosity with some home learning experiments. These are easy to set up using household items, such as baking soda and vinegar – perfect for demonstrating an eruption!

Get to know your child’s school, teachers, and community and keep on top of important dates. Most schools share their news, events, and achievements in a weekly newsletter, or on their social media channels. Remember to add school events to your own family calendar, so that you can all stay up to date.

Do you have any tips you would like to share?

Spinmaster Luvabella Newborn - Review

AD - We were sent this product for the purpose of this review.

I'm a firm believer in letting toys be toys and letting kids be kids. Dolls, cars, blocks, dinosaurs, princesses, you name it, both my children play with it. There's no gender stereotyping here - they've always made their own choices when it comes to the toys that they play with.

Dolls are popular with both my son and daughter as they are cute, perfect for role play, imaginative play and for expressing their emotions. Although Noah tends to sway more towards wrestling figures these days, I still spot him playing families with his sister, and it always makes me smile. With this in mind, I was delighted to agree to review the new Luvabella Newborn from Spinmaster.

Luvabella Newborn is presented in a large attractive box, just waiting to be opened and is easily taken out. It's worth noting that batteries aren't included, x4 AA's batteries are required but they are easy to pop in with a standard screwdriver. She then starts to babble and coo and that is when the fun begins.

Our first impressions of Luvabella Newborn were nothing but positive and Noah and Ava couldn't wait to play with her. She looked absolutely adorable, wearing a pink romper suit and a matching, removable headband. With Luvabella Newborn being smaller than the original, she is a newborn, after all, she is a lot easier for children to hold, carry and play with. She looks very lifelike and her eyes and mouth movements are very realistic too.

Luvabella Newborn has a soft body, perfect for cuddling, and has plastic limbs that don't move. She does, however, have a breathing motion in her chest which is a brilliant feature for making the doll more lifelike. When it comes to her face, and the movements it makes, where do I begin? Not only does her face look realistic but it moves in such a lifelike way too. She's quite mesmerising to watch and I know that Noah and Ava are amazed by her too.

Luvabella Newborn comes with her own special bottle and soother which adds even more elements to play. Take care of them and don't lose them as you cannot buy them separately, as I learned from the original Luvabella. The bottle and soother won't work by just shoving them into her mouth, you have to hold it in front of her lips until she makes an "ahhh" sound and then you gently place them into her mouth. She will them suckle the soother or guzzle the bottle. It's a little tricky at first but clicks into place once you've had a little practice and explained it to the kids.

To add to the realism she acts just like a real newborn too - she gets hungry, fussy, gassy and happy! Children can rub her back to soothe her, wind her, tickle her, rock her in their arms or lay her down to sleep. Once she's asleep her chest rises and falls and she makes the sweetest snoring noises.

Luvabella Newborn has impressed me to no end and the same can be said for the kids too. Ava seems to be taking on the mother role, whereas, Noah sees to be playing the cool uncle. Ava nurtures, and Noah entertains! They've both played with her on a daily basis since she arrived and I have to admit that I've cuddled her a few times too!

I can see Luvabella Newborn being the must-have toy this Christmas. Suitable for children from 4 years of age, retailing at £59.99, it can be purchased at most leading toy stores such as Smyths or online at Amazon.

Peppa's Laugh & Learn Alphaphonics & Peppa Pig's Sing & Learn Microphone - Review & Giveaway

AD - We were sent this product for the purpose of this review.

Peppa Pig is like marmite to parents, however, she is a national treasure to children across the UK! In fact, I don't know one child that doesn't adore that little pink pig! There's a three year age gap between Noah and Ava so there are not many interests that they share but Peppa is one of them. Although Noah is almost six years old, he'll happily sit and watch it with Ava. With them both being such fans I was more than happy to review a couple of Peppa toys from the Trends UK early learning range.

Peppa's Laugh & Learn Alphaphonics
Perfect for Peppa fans from 3 years of age, youngsters can laugh, have fun and learn with Peppa's Laugh & Learn Alphaphonics. It's an eye-catching, attractive and lightweight looking toy, which is very on-brand with the colours, and font of the letters on the buttons. It features most of the Peppa Pig characters that children adore and it has a handy volume setting which means we can turn it down and the kids can play quietly.

Peppa's Laugh & Learn Alphaphonics has seven different games, each targeting specific learning areas. It helps to teach vocabulary skills, early word and letter recognition, memory and concentration skills, listening and understanding, and communication skills. There's even a musical feature too! The handles make it great to carry around the home or to take out and about. Peppa's Laugh & Learn Alphaphonics retails at £17.99 and can be purchased online. Please note that the 3 x AAA batteries are not included.

Peppa Pig's Sing & Learn Microphone
As soon as I spotted the Peppa Pig's Sing & Learn Microphone I knew that it would be popular with Ava - she loves Peppa and she loves to sing! The microphone is brightly coloured and well made, with easy to press chunky buttons and is just the right size for little hands. There are two modes of play; quiz time and sing-along. During quiz mode Peppa asks numerous questions, testing children's observation and listening skills. In sing-along mode, there are 7 different songs to sing along to! Songs featured are; Recycling song, Bing bong song, Birdy woof woof, Big Balloon, Train song, Rainbow song and Wheels on the bus.

Not only is the Peppa Pig's Sing & Learn Microphone lots of fun it's ideal for learning too. It also helps build early number and colour recognition, hand-eye coordination, and helps to build communication skills. Suitable for children from 2 years of age, it retails at a reasonable £12.99 and can be purchased online.

These toys have been immensely popular with Ava, she's played with them every day since they arrived. The Peppa's Laugh & Learn Alphaphonics has already taught her so many words that she didn't know, like volcano and yacht - I can see her getting many more years of play out of it.

How would you like to win a toy from the Learn with Peppa range? I have the Peppa Pig Smart Tablet worth £17.99 to give away to one lucky winner. To enter simply use the Gleam form below and don't forget to enter my other competitions.
Peppa Pig Smart Tablet Toy

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Winners details will be shared with the PR to arrange delivery of the prize. 
3. Competition ends 24/11/19.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only

Organix Baby & Toddler Cookbook - Review & Giveaway

AD - This is a PR collaboration. 

Weaning my children, believe it or not, is one of my favourite parts of parenthood, but I know not all parents feel the same. I think that starting a child's weaning journey with patience, confidence and excitement creates a positive association with food from the get-go, and is key to enjoying the experience just like we did.

Noah and Ava have always been fantastic eaters, with good appetites and a broad palate - I don't know if that's because I got lucky with them, or if it's because it was a positive, relaxed, and exciting experience for them. I like to think the latter. That said, I sometimes get stuck in a rut with the meals that I make, resorting to the same home-cooked favourites that I know they'll eat. With this in mind, I always welcome fresh inspiration and new ideas, and the new Organix Baby and Toddler Cookbook has provided just that - packed full of tasty breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and sweet recipes for all the family.

Inside, before the recipes, you will also find an introduction to Organix and what they do, their ethos and the history of their brand. There's also a plethora of tips and advice which I'm sure all parents will welcome. It's ideal for most families, whether you are about to start your little ones weaning journey, or if they are well into it, whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a dab hand. It's left me feeling inspired and has been a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen too. All the ingredients for these recipes can be found in local supermarkets and each recipe caters to different ages and stages of your weaning journey as well as any dietary requirements. I looked through the cookbook with Ava and she liked pointing out the different recipes and flapped her hands and squealed "yummy" when something appealed to her.

There are so many different recipes that I plan to make, which appeal to my family, however, I decided to make the Chinese Salmon and Veggie Rice first. It was very easy to make and is delicious and crammed full of goodness. Ava devoured it within minutes and I'll be making it again soon - for the whole family.

The recipes in the Organix Baby & Toddler Cookbook are designed to help encourage little one’s love of food and fuel their wonder along the way. Retailing at around £13.00, it's available to buy from all major UK bookstores and online at Amazon.

How would you like to win a copy? Simply use the Gleam form below to enter and don't forget to head over to my social media channels for more chances to win.

1 of 2 copies of Organix Baby & Toddler Cookbook

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 2 winners who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Winners details will be shared with the PR to arrange delivery of the prize. 
3. Competition ends 17/11/19.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only

Zuru Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise - Review

AD - We were sent this product for the purpose of this review.

As fans of surprise toys, we think the bigger the better and Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise from Zuru is just that. It's huge and it really has that WOW-Factor, or should that be BOW-Factor? It's a large, golden egg, decorated with a unicorn horn and a big, removable bow. It's such an impressive looking egg, it looks very intriguing and I think will appeal to many children.

Inside the Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise egg is the biggest Rainbocorn to date, it's so big, soft, fluffy, and cuddly, the perfect size for a snuggle. Not only that, but there are 25 different surprises inside waiting to be discovered.

There are 3 different Rainbocorn's to collect in the Big Bow Surprise eggs; Bowie, Belle, and Bobbi. Ava was very excited to hatch the egg and was delighted to discover Belle who is a colourful and funky looking Flamingo Rainbocorn.

As previously mentioned, the Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise contains over 25 surprises, some of which are in pink plastic wrappers, others in small Bow-Bowcorn eggs. We opened the latter first because Ava made a beeline for them. Inside each Bow-Bowcorn egg is a mini Bow-Bowcorn collectible figure, accessories to dress them with and a ring for the child to wear.

Inside the pink plastic, packets are an array of different items, from accessories like bracelets, hair bows, and headbands, through to sticker sheets, gel pens, glitter, tattoos, and more. Ava loves to play dress up and likes to draw and craft, so again, everything inside was perfect for her.

Remember to remove the Big Bow from the top of the 
Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise egg as it is removable and wearable! Children can wear the bow as a cute accessory in their hair, or on their clothes, and the Rainbocorn can wear it too.

The sequin heart on the front of the Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise is also removable and can be swapped with the other Big Bow Surprises plushes. The reversible sequin pattern is all the rage at the moment and Ava has already spent so much time revealing the palm tree pattern.

There's also another new product in the range, the Rainbocorns Sparkle Heart. It's a pint-sized, pocket money friendly version that would also make a great stocking filler this Christmas. Inside each egg is a Rainbocorn, with a sparkly heart that you peel to reveal a hidden surprise. Also included is a colour changing Boo-Boocorns, and Rainbocorn Poop! There are 6 mini Rainbocorns to collect; Unicorn, Puppycorn, Flamingocorn, Llamacorn, Bunnycorn and Kittycorn, and they retail at £13.00 each.

I'm really impressed with the Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise and and I think it will be a popular gift choice this Christmas. It's is suitable for children from 3 years of age, retail at £49.99 and is available to buy at Smyths or online at Amazon.