Tuesday 18 December 2018

Cinderella at the Marlowe Theatre

There is one thing I haven't done since I was a child is going to a panto. Seriously isn't it a Christmas tradition? Well, I just haven't been as I thought it may be something I wasn't interested in but I was so so wrong. Seriously everywhere you go its Panto season (oh yes it is). We were gifted some tickets to see the show and even meet Buttons and Cinderella at the end. Ami and Son Son were far too excited and inundated them with questions. 

I have heard that the Marlowe theatre has a reputation of being one of the best pantos around and it was no exception we laughed from start to finish. My children came with me Ast (12) Ami (6) and Son Son aged 5 all came along too. Ast wasn't too sure being too cool for Pantomimes but he had such a good time.  He said his favourite part was the pun jokes which since I have heard is a tradition at the Marlowe. The pantomime brings both the traditional story of Cinderella creating both old and new story together. 

The Panto had some things you would expect such as silly costumes, ghosts in the woods and songs to sing along too. There are lots of highlights too including a real pony on stage which was Ami's favourite part. Also a very quick on-stage dress change with Cinderella which I thought was ever so clever. Let's not forget the wheelbarrow of puns which includes 35 Disney themed puns at a quick speed. 

My children were excited too because Mister Maker (Phil Gallagher) was in the panto too. He was hilarious in the show and even came up with some on the spot jokes which made the show even more fun. Other stars include Ben from Eastenders and Cories Sally Linsay. Other actors from the Westend (although they don't like to talk about it). Let's not forget the aerial silk display which my children were on the edge of there seats for. 

One of my favourite things was the hilarious comedy Dames Donaldina and Melania. The ugly sisters in Cinderella. They provided some wonderful costumes and witty jokes. The timing was just perfect and they really made the show in my book. They even picked on a poor audience member which we all found hilarious. 

 By the end of the show, we were all standing in our seats having a dance. For me it as the best show I have seen in a long while. We laughed throughout and even Son Son stayed put on his seat which is no mean feat. Check out the Marlowe website and see if there are any cheeky tickets left as its running until the 6th of January or if not why not book for next years mother Goose. 

Monday 26 November 2018

Ravensburger Collectors Cupboard 1000 piece puzzle - Review

There's one thing I have to admit to not doing in my adult life and that's a 1000 piece puzzle. Don't get me wrong it's not because I have been too snooty or anything just has never crossed my mind. When I was contacted to review a 1000 piece puzzle and after my last 1000 piece puzzle I thought why not. It was something me and Asti did together and both enjoyed spending our evenings working on a puzzle together. We have been sent the collectors Cupboard by Ravensburger. The puzzle is a cupboard full of collectors pieces from shoes to buttons it has it all.  

Having been a complete puzzle beginner ( I have only done one 1000 piece before) I have found I love completing a puzzle. I must have spent nearly a week sitting at the table in the evenings and my days off. I am clearly not that quick but it was very good to relax me after a busy day. I also found that the time just flew by and some nights I was staying up late because I lost track of time.

This time Asti was keen to help like he did the last. I found that sometimes he would come down early to help and we would chat about our day. Being the eldest of three he has two younger siblings who usually take a lot of my time in the day. We both got small satisfaction when we found the right pieces and the collector's cupboard started to take shape. We found all the easy parts first then it all started to come into shape. 

To start off with it was something me and my eldest would do in the evenings. In fact, he would come off screens early to help. I googled how long a 1000 piece puzzle took and it said 5-6 hours, whereas I can say it took us well over 20. There is so much going on in the puzzle so it makes it interesting and if what a little bit more difficult. 

You can buy the Collector’s Cupboard puzzle from Amazon, Hobbycraft or other usual outlets. There are lots of puzzles in the Curious Cupboard series there are plenty of other jigsaw puzzles to choose from. They make perfect presents which are something I didn't think I would ever say but we really enjoyed these puzzles. For me and Asti its something to do when the nights are dark and long. 

My eldest son has ADHD so the puzzle actually had a calming effect and I actually saw him yawn which is something he never seems to do. It really helped him relax and calm down from a busy day at school. For me, I found my self-completing parts throughout the day, then getting lost in time and being late for things.

The puzzle has been a big hit in my house and we have had the pressure of competing to get the use of the table in the front room back. We need one of those puzzle mats now that we are proper puzzlers (after 2 puzzles that is). I am sure people will give me some after I have been saying how much we enjoyed this one. 

Sunday 25 November 2018

Milly Feels better Doll - Baby Annabell Review

Sometimes the kids get sent something that really appeals to me. Ami recently got sent the Milly feels better doll from baby Annabell collection. Ami was overjoyed as she had seen it on the adverts and thought it was something that her mummy does at work. If you are an avid reader of this blog or more my social media you would know that I am a neonatal nurse and spend my working days cuddling babies ( not just that but making them better for home). i work in my local special care unit which Ami absolutely loves. Ami enjoyed being a nurse when baby Milly came.

Baby Milly is one of the new dolls in the Annabell collection, she has something a bit different to the rest as she gets poorly. She comes with five accessories that include a stethoscope, medicine powder , thermometer and syringe. She also comes with an outfit and hat too. She needs a couple of batteries (not included) so as soon as she came the kids were desperate to get her working.

Ami was excited as Milly comes with a stethoscope and she has seen those on the cots at the neonatal unit. Milly is educational and the idea is that you can make her feel better again. One feature we loved was when she is poorly her cheeks turned red and she does a funny cry. You can then use the thermometer to take her temperature, use the stethoscope. Then you can give her some medicine via the spoon and she stops crying and her cheeks go to normal colour. Milly Will start to feel better again. She also comes with an injection too if that ill.

Like most Annabell dolls her eyes open and close when she is laid down. She also laughs when you tickle her too which is a great feature if pretending to make them better. Ami was over the moon and we have played doctors and nurses over and over again. She is desperate for a proper cot and even asked for that big one she saw on the neonatal unit. The other day I took her around my work and she told the staff all about her baby who she makes better. She was so proud telling them how she made them better. They then said she could work there and she was ever so pleased.

That's why I love the Milly feels better doll. It brings my work home in a good way. I can show Ami what I get up to and we can play together. Ami is always asking me about the babies and if they were boys and girls. Its true to say we both love babies ( don't get any ideas my shops shut to more babies).

Milly Feels better Doll retails at £35 and is available at most toy shops. She is such good value for money and does a lot to keep all doll loving fans pleased. Its a perfect gift for any child this Christmas.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Orbeez Wow Review


We were recently sent some Orbeez. I don't know if you have seen them around but they are all the rage with my kids at the moment. They also love anything that comes in some kind of blind bag surprise form, they also love anything that they have to open by taking packaging off. 

The Orbeez come in a globe form. They are filled with clear Orbeez so you cant see which figure you have in your globe. It works by taking the packaging off then unscrewing the top and pour a little bit of water in the top. As the water goes in the orbezz become more invisible and show which creature you have. 
You can then get the toy out by using the little key provided in the ack and make the magical creature spin. you then pour the water out (the little Grill in the globe stops the orbeez falling out. You can then use the key to get the magical pet out. The base then becomes the stand for the pet. 

They are great pocket money treats and my two loved them. You can play with the toy over and over again as long as you keep the orbeez sealed they should last a while. My kids took them out and make potions and other things with them. The orbeez cost £5.99 which are a lot cheaper than other pocket money on the market. They will also make perfect stocking fillers at Christmas too. 
For more information and fun competitions head to charactercreate.co.uk.

Saturday 18 August 2018

Scheich Bayala Unicorn and Stallion Review

My daughter loves unicorns and all magical creatures. She loves anything to do with pretend play and also loves animal figures. She recently made a museum of her animals based on our local museum that has a massive range of stuffed animals.

We were recently sent some of the Schleich Bayala range, which as you can imagine Ami was over the moon about. We have quite a few other Schleich toys and have found the quality toys and love the fact that each one is hand painted. Which when you see the toy up close you can see how much detail has actually gone into the toy. The toys have glittery paint which is always a win in our house. Along with unicorns, there is also elves and fairies in the collection too. 

We were sent the Stallon and the mare from the collection, both the figures are decorated beautifully with lovely flowers, gems. The Mare has jewellery on her body the colours are beautiful along with a trademark unicorn horn. The stallion has beautiful blue wings and glitter. 

One thing we love about the Schleich toys is the quality. They are sturdy toys and made to last, it doesnt make me feel so bad when the toys aren't made of tatty cheap plastic. The fact that they are handmade makes it that extra special you can tell that a lot of attention has gone into the toys. Its perfect for any child who loves pretend play.

All in all, we loved the Baylala range. Both the figures are beautiful and not only a toy but a beautiful ornament for a shelf (or a museum collection of your like my daughter). Both the figures retail at £14.99 and available at most toy shops.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Teletubbies Live at the Marlowe Canterbury.

Seriously who doesn't love the Teletubbies? Just look at them they are sooo cute. My kids love them there favourite being the baby in the sky for some reason. So with that, we are off to watch the Teletubbies live show at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. The children have been to the Marlowe before to watch the Christmas panto so I am sure they will have a great time watching the Teletubbies live (now we just need to get my husband round to the idea of it too)

 We look forward to joining in with our friends Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a show that explores all of the Tellytubby land. We will get to look out for the things we know and love in the show such as noo-noo. Hopefully will give us a bit of peace during the summer holidays. The show is jam packed with songs from the show and new songs too. 

The Tour has been going around the UK for the last year or so and have finally made it to a theatre near us. Teletubbies is based for any age from babies to Pre-schoolers. It is a great show to take your little ones to as everyone is in the same boat with fidgety children. I am looking forward to not telling them to sit still and be quiet. I can imagine everyone is in the same boat just looking for something to do that the kids will love. I am sure my two will love i when there are songs and dancing.

If your little ones like the Teletubbies then it is one to try or even as a chance to take them to the theatre for the first time. It's short and just the right amount of fun for a great trip out.

It runs from the Marlowe on the 25th and 26th of August at multiple shows across the two days. Prices range from £15 per ticket and look said to be a great end of the summer treat for all the family. Find out more about whats going on at the Marlowe and even books tickets here.

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Vampirina Boostatic Backpack and Scooter Review

My children have been kept busy this summer with a wild range of toys. Not only has it been Amis birthday but she also has been sent lots of wonderful toys. One of Ami's favourites has been some toys from the Vapirina set. If you are not aware of Vampirina its a animated series on Disney Jounier. Its based on a vamire eho is also a ballarena. Its based on Vapirina who along with her family run a B&B guest house for ghouls and other monsters. 

With that we were sent the Vapirina Bootastic Backpack aling with Poppy (one of yhe other characters in the show) sooter. Both Ami was ever so excited with she loves anything to do with bags so the idea of a toy she can play with and espeically show her love for school with she was going to love.

The Boo-tastic Backpack includes the backpack that is similar to the one in the show. Vampina is very funky and wears spider web glasses that are contained in the bag set. In the set there is also a necklace with sounds and lights, bat shapped har clips, key ring that attaches to the bag and some stickers. The great thing is that they can all be stored in the bag too. 

The backpack is made of plastic and the straps are adjustable. It opens at the back and can store quite a few little bits. I dont know if you have children like mine that take the most random of toys around. Ami loved the bat hair clips along with Son son who didnt want to miss out. Ami loves dressing up so the glasses were a great addition to aid role play. They loved the skull necklace that played sounds when pressed. 

We were also sent the figurine set, there is two in the collection Vamprina and a Poppy set. Both sets come included with a litte furry animal. We were sent the Poppy and Wolfie set. The sets contain a scooter, a figure, pet and skateboard (for the pet). They both attach together so in our toy Poppy could scoot along with her dog Wolfie. The figures can easily slot into the scooters as have a static base. Poppys ars are movable along with her heads. Its easy to put her on the scooter along with wolfie. 

Both the toys are great for any Vapirina fan. They toys are bright and eye catching. The back pack espevislly for any child who really wants to be like the TV show. The bag retails at £24.99 which is reasonable for the aount of stuff in it. The figure and scooter Retails at £14.99 and both toys are availble at most toy shops.

Vampirina Toy review

Monday 13 August 2018

Smooshins Surprise Maker Kit Review

My kids love any kind of squishy toy at the moment. It seems to be the latest craze with my daughter she is obsessed. She has a few random ones like a carrot and unicorn rainbow one, so when we were asked to try out the Smooshins Surprise maker kit I knew it would be right up her street. You may be wondering what we are going on about but the Smooshins helps you to make your own squishy figures again and again. 

Our Top tip before starting is to read the instructions. I thought I had read them but then found even more instructions in the box and found out we had done it wrong in the first place. The first Stage is to pop the colour pouches which you should set a timer as you only get 90 seconds to mix the mixture 

The colour pouch then gets placed in the surprise maker and you squeeze all the contents into the mould. It then locks and won't open for 4 hours. We did ours in the evening and left it overnight for better results. once the mould is ready you can choose the pieces to go with it in the surprise bags. Also provided is a stand.

We didn't realise that you could only make one at a time so stupidly mixed two packs and one was wasted. My kids did enjoy the Smooshins Maker as they love surprises. They like the surprise of not knowing what mould was in the kids and the pieces provided. The great thing is that the moulds are encased in an egg so you don't know which one is inside. Also, you can create up to 10000 different characters with 6 different colours and all the accessories. 

The Smooshin Surprise maker kit contains 2 surprise moulds, 4 colour pouches and 4 sets of body pieces. The set comes with 4 colour moulds but they can be purchased separately to make more. 

All in all, make sure you read the instructions carefully before starting. Ami did need some help pushing the mixture in the maker set as it was quite tough to start off with. The first time we did it we let it go longer than 30 seconds and it was very hard to push through. Our end results were not perfect, to be honest, but Ami loved them. She has taken them to show her friends her all want to make them themselves. 

Wednesday 8 August 2018

National Doll Day with Baby Annabell

Did you know it was National Doll day on the 5th? 

Well, we did of course... we celebrated like we do every day with me pretending to be the Nanna whilst Ami went to work and I was left with the baby dolls. Often during the day, I get a call to say the dolls are having a sleepover and she’s off out with her friends. Obviously if your reading this it’s all make-believe and my 6-year-old daughter does not work or have a better nightlife than me but she likes to pretend she does. I enjoy it when my mother comes round as I say give the baby to great grandma, she loves that.

As I digress into our endless play of dolls we were sent the very important doll that’s been very sought after in our house... drum roll, please... it’s the Baby Annabell brother interactive doll. Ami has been after this and it was top of her birthday list (she’s been planning her birthday for months). She had seen it on adverts and really wanted the doll. Obviously, she has tons of babies what can be so special about another doll.

We have the baby Annabell doll and Ami really enjoys playing with it. The brother doll is just the same and has all the same accessories that Annabell has but rather than striking blue eyes the brother doll has dark brown eyes. The heart on the tummy is also blue rather than pink. 

Baby Annabell’s Baby Brother is a rather cute doll, he looks great and he is interactive too. All he needs is three AA batteries. He comes with his own baby bottle which can be filled with water, a nappy, a dummy, bib and a little lamb locket with a photo of himself. Soft bodied with a hard head.

One of Amis favourite features is the fact that he actually drinks from his bottle. He even cries when it’s time to be burped and has some wind. He makes cute noises and even moves his mouth when you play with him. I find my self-rocking the baby and holding it like a real baby. He sucks on his dummy too which Ami thinks is the sweetest. He even blinks and shuts his eyes to sleep. 

Ami loves changing nappies on her dolls
So when she found out that he actually pees she couldn’t fill that bottle up quick enough. All you do is fill the bottle up and feed he baby and when you're ready you press the blue heard on the tummy. Then he tiddles away. You can use a potty or even the nappy provided. 

We are big fans of baby Annabell dolls, if you followed this blog you would know the number of dolls we actually have. One thing I love is the quality of the dolls. We have had another interactive doll for a
A few years now and it’s still going strong. Although he does sound similar to the interactive baby Annabell doll it hasn’t made a difference to Ami she loves him. With Ami she loves anything real life and how much more real can you get than a doll that pees. 

Thursday 2 August 2018

Celebrating Friendship with Baby Annabell

Ami and her best friend are baby mad. Literally, both absolutely adore babies. They both love baby Annabell too and between them have most properly all the collection. When we were asked to review an Annabell to celebrate friendship I knew they were the perfect pair. We were sent an interactive baby Annabell along with a card with friendship bracelets. I asked Ami who she wanted to give it too and her friend Milly was first on the list. 

Ami was in her element she loves making cards for her friends and always her and her friend Milly are sending letters to each other. One thing I love is how much they love babies, they both have the same doll and are sharing clothes and bottles. So off we went to the beach and we took Annabell and the card for her friend. They were both overjoyed and Annabell was dressed in a coat seriously that baby has a lot of clothes already. 

Another member who loves babies is Son Son. He is forever being the Dad to all the games. He now has to be both the babies dads... Thankfully he is not at the age where he really understands what that actually means. At the moment he is just the dad to all the babies. 

We have lots of baby dolls in our house I think maybe near the twenty mark over the years but none quite like Baby Annabell from Zapf Creation she is brilliant. She requires batteries (that are not supplied) and is fully interactive. Ami and Son Son were over the moon.  She comes complete with some lovely little accessories and is wearing a really lovely outfit. Ami loves a baby doll that is the same size as a real baby. Annabell is also heavy so it feels like the real deal.

So what actually does Baby Annabell do? She does everything. She gurgles and laughs when you cuddle her, slurps on her bottle which can be used with water (she also wee's if you sit her on the potty and press her tummy much to son son's delight ) she also burps to let you know when she is all done. She sucks on her dummy and her little mouth actually moves like a real baby it’s so clever! You can wind her and rub her back to make her burp.  

But it’s not all fun and games, rather like a real baby she sure does cry and even has real tears. It's all very life like I've found myself burping Annabell and thinking what am I doing! Annabell comes with a nappy too which Ami loved she changed the baby about ten times in a row. 

Baby Annabell was a huge hit with both of my little girls they absolutely love her. Priced at £49.99 she might not be the cheapest of Dolls but is worth it. Annabell is such good quality to she will be around for many years.  Obviously, we have had interactive dolls before but I don’t think that we have had one that does quite as much or looks quite as realistic. She really does look and feel like a real baby. 

Ami and Son Son have loved Annabell and still do. They play with her all the time taking it in turns to feed her then put her on the potty. Ami now wants more Annabell toys for her birthday were getting quite the collection.