It’s October once again, and that means a couple of things for me. First and most importantly Izebella turns a big five on October 5th, secondly it’s about to get a whole lot colder and my heating bill will start to rise and then of course, right at the end it’s Halloween!
Yes love it or hate it, Halloween is once again almost upon us. A time for the ghosts and goblins to come out in hoards, bang on our doors and expect sweets and treats, and I won’t even start on those dreaded clowns who think they are a reincarnation of Pennywise.
Anyway no Halloween would be complete without spooky products, costumes, sweets and more. Yes it’s all getting too commercialised, my dear gran would no doubt say if she was still around; but it’s once a year and it’s lots of fun.
To kick off my Halloween posts, I have Snazaroo face paints.
Snazaroo are now a really well known brand for this type of product. These mini kits come in really useful for Halloween as they have all the colours needed for a certain spooky character, the image on the packs. Therefore no wasted colours and no big box.
So we have the vampire face and spooky purple spider. We all had a go at painting faces, it’s not really something I do often and to be honest I am a bit rubbish at it. It’s a whole different ball game to applying make up.
I guess practice makes perfect but it was my first attempt. Jordanna practiced on her friend too.
This is probably a much better attempt than mine.
The face paints blend in well and none of the children had any sort of reaction despite Jordanna having fairly sensitive skin.
The packs come with brushes and sponges which help with blending and it all washes off easily with soap and water or even baby wipes.
Head over to Snazaroo to view a whole load of Halloween themed face paints and accessories! 🎃👻☠️👿😺
Appy kids co have lots of lovely fruity drinks for children. The drinks are a perfect size for school lunch bags, or for taking on day trips.
There new drinks come in character themed pouches with lots of fruity flavours such as apple, orange, mixed berry and multi fruit. These pouches come in boxes of 5 and include straws.
Paw patrol, Dora, and turtles and just a few characters that appear on these drinks. Each drink combines water with fruit juices to give a refreshing sweet drink that is low in sugars.
These drinks can be purchased from most supermarkets.
Anyone who enjoys a good old bag of crisps will love a bag of slabs.
Slabs are mammoth sized crisps. Not only are they big in size but they are also very thick too. Not as thick as wedges but they certainly pack some chunkiness compared to the rest.
These are like big chunky man sized crisps. The sort you could imagine a group of men on a building site happily tucking into. Of course anyone can eat them and they are also full of awesome flavour too.
There are five flavours in total to choose from, so a bit of something for everyone. Most of the flavours being based around more traditional crisp flavours such as the mature cheddar and onion and the salt & malt vinegar. For those who don’t like the flavoured crisps there is a sea salt variety too. My favourite being sweet red chilli.
Two packet sizes – a 40g single serve and the larger 80g bag for the greedy gets! I think the larger may be meant for sharing?
As these crisps are so big and thick, the way a crisp should be, it means hardly any crumbs. The odd chipped off chunky broken bits maybe but no small crumbs at the bottom of the packet with these.
Slabs are a very new product so are only available to buy in a few select stores at the moment. They are available to trade via the slabs website and will be on display at various foodie fares and shows across the country. I am hoping the crisps will appear in local stores or supermarkets in the near future.
Nothing beats playing outside when you’re a child. Children just don’t seem to mind the weather like us adults do and will happily play out come rain or shine, warm or cold.
Izebella loves being outside and playing with outdoor toys such as prams, bikes and scooters. We are already familiar with Skates UK having already featured a few of their products. This time it’s Izebellas turn for a new scooter.
It seems to be a stage up from the basic beginners scooters and is suitable for children 5 years and over.
Izebella will be 5 very soon.
Ours arrived ready assembled, which is always a bonus for me as I’m hopeless putting things like this up. The instructions are really minimal, the scooter comes folded and to unfold I had to pull the bottom tube and twist it.
Now this may sound easy but it took me a good few minutes to work it out and release the catch. I had to pull quite hard, but this may be because it’s new and takes a bit of getting used to.
One of the reasons I chose this particular scooter is for the fact that it folds down. This is useful as it saves on space and when folded it can just be put in the cupboard or shed with the rest of the toys.
It’s quite a simple design, very similar to other 3 wheel scooters. This one feels much sturdier than others that we have had. It’s also a lovely bright colour. (More colour options available)
It has a wide deck with a grip pattern to ensure feet are locked into position when riding. It helps to stop feet sliding off and there’s lots of room for both feet on.
The smaller back wheel is wider than normal which helps Izebella balance better. The handlebars can be adjusted to three height positions, thus again is by a pull and twist tube located just under the handlebars. Then at the back wheel of the scooter is a flex brake for a smoother stop.
Obviously Izebella was very happy with her new scooter, what girl wouldn’t be with its bright pink and purple colours. She currently has the handlebars on the lowest height as she is at the very younger age recommendation for this product.
She is more than able to ride about on it, up and down our street without help and no accidents on this so far.
It’s not a large scooter, especially not when folded. This means that it’s perfect for traveling with too, taking away on holiday or just putting in the car/on bus for a day out. It’s not heavy either.
Skates UK sell this scooter for £59.99. It’s also sold at Smyths and on Amazon for the same price and comes with a choice of different colours. If you buy from Skates UK you also get a free bonus scooter pack worth £15.00.
Two weeks today and my youngest Izebella turns a big five. When this blog first started she was just 6 months old. She is growing up way too quick and very much looking forward to her birthday and special party. The presents bought, outfit bought and now it’s just the waiting. She’s been asking everyday for weeks “how long until my birthday?” and gets a little frustrated when I’ve told her not for a few weeks.
Yesterday she had a special delivery of a birthday buddy which is part of the Ackerman Sleepzzz Until product line.
This is a very special buddy bear who can take some of the frustration of waiting away. Birthday buddy comes as both a girl and a boy. In the box is the special buddy bear, a countdown calendar and stickers.
The calendar which can be hung or stood up has a 14 day tear off countdown. The 14 days prior is when most children start getting really excited thinking about their birthday. Each day Izebella can tear off one of the pages revealing a number less each time. This can also help with important number recognition too. Each number sheet also has a space to record what Izebella has done on each day and she can be rewarded with a sticker a day until her birthday.
Yes just like those Christmas elves, our birthday buddy will be closely watching Izebella up until her birthday to make sure she behaves, if she wants her presents that is!
So it also helps with behaviour, in Izebellas case I know it will as she was good as gold last year when the elves made an appearance so this is a similar thing for her.
Birthday buddy is also good for hugs. Our girl version which is now named Lucy even comes with a removeable dress.
They cost about £19.95 and Christmas versions are also available.
Dragon’s Green is the first book in a thrilling magical new series, The Worldquake Sequence by bestselling Scarlett Thomas and it’s out in paperback in September. It’s sold really well so far and has had rave reviews from across the press, likening it to the work of J. K. Rowling, as well as from the people that really matter – kids! It’s for 8-12 year olds and its main character, Effie Truelove knows all about magic, time in her grandfather’s library has made sure of that. But there’s still much she has to learn. About the Otherworld. And about the Diberi, a secret organisation with plans to destroy the entire universe. Effie and her school-friends are the only ones who can stop them . . . and time is running out.
This is Dragon’s Green by author Scarlett Thomas.
A book which Jordanna is presently reading at home. It’s full of Magix and adventure. The main character Effie Truelove promises to keep her grandfathers magical books safe as well as defending the universe with her friends from a terrifying secret organisation known as Diberi.
The book is aimed at children ages 9-12 years. It is a fairly long read being just under 350 pages so it’s more than fine for children over 12 too and even adults who like their magic adventures. There are no images or sketches in the book, it’s just text so it’s down to the reader to use their imagination with this one.
It’s a magical enchanted adventure that’s full of surprises throughout.
Available as both paperback £7.99 and Ebook £6.39 from book stores and Amazon.
With less than one hundred days left until Santa makes his worldwide trip, it’s now the time of year when many parents consider what to buy or even ask their beloved children what they want.
A popular one for boys over the years has been remote control cars or other RC vehicles . They come in many forms to suit most budgets. Some being great, others falling apart within weeks.
We have been having lots of fun with one RC viechle model and that’s the NIKKO Velocitrax from Toy State.
The veichle resembles something inbetween a car and a tank. It comes in orange and green colour choices. In the box is the Velocitrax machine along with the remote control. The good thing is that all batteries come included in the box too.
The car has a rechargeable battery, charged by an included adaptor.
Velocitrax is one of the better well designed RC cars. It is designed to go over most terrains meaning it can be played with inside and out.
It is rapid with an impressive 9mph speed. This may not sound fast but when you consider the size of the thing at that speed! Yes we need to make sure no toes, fingers or valuables are in its way.
The controller is basic. Two buttons, right and left. Each one controlling one side of the cars tracks. The buttons can be pressed to go forward and backwards only so nothing complicated. Pressing just one button will make the car spin rapidly. Pressing them both together makes it go forwards or backwards.
This is us, testing it out inside and getting used to just how fast this thing is.
And yes it even works on a thick carpet too without problems, many RC cars won’t budge on it.
It is certainly much better when used outside, and also much safer for ourselves, our furniture and our feet. It goes over anything, be it mud, stones, leaves, sand, even water and snow (tho we have not tested it on water yet)
It tends to flip a lot when it hits and obstruction and sometimes needs turning the right way so again this is why I’d recommend more outdoor use than indoor.
With a fast speed and a huge 40m range, who wouldn’t want one of these in their Christmas sack. Be it boys, big boys and even big girls, this is one RC toy that I would highly recommend. Just watch those fingers, toes and pets on first use.
This toy comes with an age guide of 8 years and over, meaning it’s not suitable for younger children or toddlers. There are no small parts but the car is very fast and can easily injure a smaller child.
This seems to be available in the majority or toy and gift stores including Smyths, menkind, Argos and Amazon. Prices seem to vary between £39.99 – £49.99.
If there is one type of toy that Izebella especially loves to play with then it’s probably Play doh. This stuff needs zero explanaton, it’s been around for years and years and will be here to stay for many more. It’s the stuff that kids love but parents fear, parts stuck or trampled into expensive carpets and that ever so familiar smell – it’s Play doh.
Hasbro have launched some new play doh sets known as kitchen creations.
Kitchen creations give all the fun of cooking for young children but without the mess. We have two sets – The magical oven and a Sizzlin stovetop.
Both sets need batteries as they both make cooking sounds and the oven lights up.
The contents of the sets are similar, both containing several pots of coloured play doh and various play utensils and plates.
Once everything is unpacked and batteries are in, it’s time to start making and creating. There are no real rules when it comes to play doh but my girls had no problems in realising that it’s a kitchen set and play doh food was the main objective here.
The magic oven works via a magic lever which lifts the plate of food up towards the light to cook it. It also makes a ding sound when done. It opens and closes and has a fake time display so it does resemble the real thing in a way.
The sizzlin stovetop does not light up but makes a sizzling sound as if the food was cooking in pans.
Both of these products work really well together and especially so with siblings together as there are lots of items in each one.
I did make the unfortunate mistake of allowing my giddy 4 year old to open and begin to play with the play doh on my living room carpet, oops! It was quickly moved onto a large splash mat in another room.
Yes play doh does get stuck in carpets and especially so deep carpets. It is best played with on an easy clean surface, Lino or wooden floor, table or on a good washable floor covering. As long as parents protect their carpets then this stuff really is not anything to dread or be wary of. It does come out of the carpet with a bit of cleaning and is a safe fun product that most kids love.
Both of these play doh sets are sold at many supermarkets and toy stores including Amazon and The Entertainer. Each set costing between £20-£25 each.
Yeahhh! It’s another snack subscription box from the other side of the world – Hong Kong to be precise.
Watch my unboxing video to see what’s inside!
Hong Kong Crate subscription deliver monthly and ship worldwide. It’s $30 a month which roughly works out around £23 or so. Lots of snacks in this one, both savoury and sweet. Subscriptions can be purchased via Crate joy.
So in this house we have so many collectible little figures. Everything from shopkins, to tsum tsums and Splashlings. All looking rather girly and certainly aimed more towards girls.
Well now comes something a little different yet still totally collectible!
It’s these “Awesome Little Green Men”, but they aren’t just green, there are also little blue awesome dudes here too. Maybe it should be called Awesome green and blue men, but anyway these seem to gear more towards the boys, but of course in this gender neutral toy world, anyone can play with them.
Just like other collectible figures, they come in blister packs and blind bags/boxes meaning it’s a surprise each time. And as for what they actually are – well they are like mini solidiers. Some come with weapons, others with viechles. Each with a name and number just like the real thing.
There are two sides to this battle – Green and Blue. They aren’t just pretty standing figures either as a battle game can be played with these guys. There’s a fair few to collect and even their dog tags too.
I do think this may be popular amongst younger boys. The battle packs costs £24.99 and blind boxes £3.99 each. Buy from Smyths toy store, Amazon, Very and other toy retailers.
Find out more on these awesome little green men and the battles here!