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Littlest Pet Shop Sweetest Pets Bakery.
Another small set from The Littlest Pet Shop range made by Hasbro. This set is the Sweetest Pets Bakery set. The R.R.P is around £15, I paid £10 just before Christmas 2013 from The Toy Entertainer store.
Inside the bakery set you will find the bakery building, 1 full size pet, 1 smaller pet, a small plastic oven and some bones.
The bakery measures 17 cm high, 16 cm wide and has a depth of 6 cm. There is an open window with ledge on the back and a side entrance for the pets on the right hand side. There isn't a lot to the bakery to be honest most of the decoration is along the back wall and consists of a sticker which hasn't been placed on very neatly and has a few air bubbles. There is a sign hanging above the pet entrance that has a slight swing to it.
The full size pet is a little white cat according to the description but my daughter insists it is a dog to be honest I can't tell she is mainly white with purple and pink details and very pretty looking and her head moves around. There is also a smaller pet lamb although I think she looks like a poodle, she is yellow with a pink bow in her hair and a tiny 3 cm tall and her head moves too.
The oven to the playset is in plain pink plastic and there are also some bones or kibble I think the Littlest Pets call it.
When we first opened this I did think it looked slightly cheap looking, there isn't much to the bakery and compared to other Littlest Pet Shop sets we have this is very basic and doesn't do anything. But it's one of my daughter's favourite sets she likes to use it as a house more than anything so she can play with the pets inside playing out stories with the pets coming to visit and having parties before being tucked up in bed.
The small bones or kibble as my daughter calls it are a particular hit with her, she likes to play The Littlest Pet Shop app on the iPad part of the game is to look after your pets by grooming and feeding them with the kibble so she was delighted to have real kibble to feed her pets.
This set has been a hit in our house but I do think it's expensive at £15 and worth much nearer the £10 mark. Just recently we have purchased some more playsets for around the £10-£15 mark and these look much more substantial than the bakery from a buyers point of view I would give 3 out of 5 but my daughter loves it and its her opinion that counts most she would give a 5 for the kibble alone , so rounding up I think a 4 out of 5 star is appropriate.
~*~ Lala-Oopsie Mini Brittlestar Sea Horse ~*~
Lala-Oopsie are a spin off from the Lalaloopsy dolls , the range is absolutely massive now, with dolls, sisters, babies, ponies, horses, princesses, mermaids, houses, and more. These are a new range of Sea Horses that were released last year. Like most of the mini dolls the R.R.P is £6.
~*~ Brittlestar ~*~
Brittlestar comes in pink and is wearing a crown, and has the trademark black button eyes. She has a solid one piece body and head and fixed fins ( or are they wings i'm not sure ) Her mane is made from a rubbery plastic spirals, its very tactile, you can pull it and play with it and it springs back into the spirals. She measures 11 cm from crown to tail.
She comes with her own pet octopus and a comb for her mane.
~*~ In Play ~*~
My daughter being a massive Lala fan was very pleased with the sea horse, she is very pretty and there is lots of detail to her in the plastic, but she hasn't had as much play as other Lala toys we have. I think for my daughter she is a bit too basic, being one piece she doesn't sit or stand and unless being held she can only lie down on her side. One of my daughters favourite things is to prop the iPad up in the roof of her dolls house, then she gets out all the little chairs and tables she has from various play sets, then she sits all the dolls on them so they are at the cinema and she plays them Lalaloopsy videos. She loves watching the videos and playing along with the toys at the same time, but sadly Brittlestar seems to get left out and spends most of her time tucked up in bed on the next floor.
The comb does work and goes through the mane, and her pet octopus is very cute, my daughter had probably had more play from that even with it being tiny as she will use the pets from Lala to play with her Littlest Pet Shop toys too.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
Whilst she is sweet and is the same good quality as other toys from the range for us the play has been limited and I haven't rushed out to buy other sea horses. I think my daughter would of got more use out of her at a younger age, when she was younger and used a pushchair she would of been a great toy for holding and playing with, she would also be good in the car where you don't have a table to play on, but these days my daughter is more interested in dictating the music choice and singing in the car than playing.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
For us she hasn't been such a hit, she's pretty but has limited play, we would go for one of the normal horses that are able to stand over the sea horse.
3 out of 5
~*~ Learning Resources Fraction Equivalency Cubes ~*~
I spotted these on Amazon when I first went to look for normal cubes that they use in schools for counting. I was looking to buy some to aid my daughter's maths homework. Originally I was going to purchase a set of 100 to help with normal addition and subtraction but wondered if I had left it a bit late as she was already starting to add and subtract in her head. So when I spotted these I thought they would be more lasting in terms of the use my daughter could get from them.
I was lucky enough to pick them up for £6, they are currently £8.99 with free delivery when spending £10, but the price does fluctuate so it's always worth keeping an eye on them if you want to buy them yourself.
~*~ In the Pack ~*~
The fraction cubes come in a plastic case which is great it keeps them together and safe and you are less likely to lose any. There are a total of 51 cubes in the pack they are colour coded and all can interlock with each other.
Although advertised as fraction cubes each cube has fraction, decimal and percentages marked on them. The cubes are;
1 red whole ( 1, 100%, 1.0 )
2 pink halves ( 1/2, 50%, 0.50 )
3 orange thirds ( 1/3, 33.3%, 0.33 )
4 yellow fourths ( 1/4, 25%, 0.25 )
5 green fifths ( 1/5, 20%, 0.20 )
6 teal sixths ( 1/6, 16%, 0.166 )
8 blue eighths ( 1/8, 12.5%, 0.125 )
10 purple tenths (1/10, 10%, 0.10 )
12 black twelfths ( 1/12, 8.3%, 0.083 )
~*~ In Use ~*~
To start with there is no reason why they can't be used for simple addition and subtraction, when my daughter was learning she started off with all the numbers that add to 10 , before moving on to 20 , and so on. With 51 cubes altogether that's plenty to keep you going if you just use them as cubes and ignore any markings. In the past we have used Lalaloopsy dolls, cereal, smarties, and grapes for a visual aid for counting and the cubes can be used in just the same way.
Now my daughter is year 2 its time for fractions , this is what the cubes are made for and they don't disappoint. Each of the faction markings is clear and easy to read, and they interlock together just like a building block and are easy to use for even a younger child. There is a small activity guide with the cubes just telling you how they basically work but this is how we have been using them. I usually do this at the dinner table while I am cooking tea so even though i'm there in the room there is no pressure and I try to make it a fun activity to pass the 5-10 minutes till the food is ready. Also my daughter is a terribly fussy eater so we use fractions to help make her eat more , when she says she has had enough after 2 mouthfuls we tell her to cut things in half, quarters etc and try to get her to eat more.
To start we looked at 1/2 fractions , I would put 1 of the pink 1/2 cubes on the table then ask my daughter what else she thinks make a 1/2. When she has her selection of cubes she thinks makes a half I then get her to measure up, because each of the cubes has been split exactly right each one whole one measures the same , as do the 1/2 , so if she puts 2 1/4 fraction cubes together they will be the same height as the 1/2 cube so instantly she can see if its right. This is a great visual aid , not only can they see straight away if they are right, they can also see where they have gone wrong and it enables them to move forward in there thinking of how to get the right answer, if the cubes are too short they know they need a bigger fraction etc. We started with the basic 1/2 using the 1/2 cube and then 3/6 etc before moving on to quarters and then mixing them up to create some strange fractions to see if they could be done.
What I have also done is wrote some simple addition sums on paper 1/2 + 1/2 =, 1/4 + 2/4 = , 7/8 - 4/8 = so she can use the cubes to help her with the answers, and now we are progressing on to mixing up the fractions.
My daughter also plays with them just as bricks, if they happen to be in sight when she is playing with her toys they often get included and she likes to stand her Littlest Pet Shop Pets on the top of them which is great as she is learning while not knowing about it.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
I bought these for my daughter who is 6 years old and in year 2 I think they are perfect for her and she will continue to get lots more use as she moves on to learn about decimals and percentages . Her teacher has already commented on how well she has grasped fractions and I really do put that down to the cubes as she is a child that benefits from a visual aid to reinforce her learning.
My son is in year 6 and while he hasn't used the cubes as he is lucky that he is gifted and finds maths particularly easy, he did say how good they would have been when he was learning about equivalents especially for the 6, 8 and 12th fractions that don't convert to a decimal so easily, and he also said that most of his class wouldn't be able to convert say 5/12 to a decimal in their heads, so I think there is a large age range and that the cubes will see you through Primary School and beyond depending on your grasp of the subject.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
Perfect for primary school learning and possibly beyond . They make a great visual aid to learning. Strong and durable there is no reason why they shouldn't last for years I always make sure ours are put back in the case so we haven't lost any yet.
Very reasonably priced for an educational aid that works well.
5 out of 5
~*~ Minecraft Large Foam Sword ~*~
My son has been a huge minecraft fan for years now and it was only last year they started releasing merchandise to go with the game. One of the first things out was this large foam sword with a R.R.P of a massive £24.99 it wasn't something I was in a rush to buy, but whilst in America we spotted it a part of a buy one get one half price and with the exchange rate it worked out at £10 so I could hardly say no.
~*~ The Sword ~*~
The sword measures 60 cm long and has a handle width of 30 cm and a thickness of 1.5 cm and is made for a thick strong foam . The design is exactly the same as the swords they use on the game and is instantly recognised by fans.
The design of Minecraft is everything is made of blocks and this is transferred to the sword which although is made from 3 pieces of foam sandwiched together it has a block design image printed on both sides so it looks like its made of of blocks.
~*~ In Use ~*~
Despite being 11 now my son loves this sword and has actually played with it a lot more than I thought he would of, had he been 6 or 7 still I would of had no doubt that he would of used it , but as he's now in the last year of primary school he seems to be growing out of toys. We were on holiday when we bought this and he first had fun in the hotel room, running around , jumping on the beds ( naughty I know, but those Disney beds are built for Americans so my 4 stone weakling son wasn't going to do much damage and to be honest it was nice to see him being a 'typical kid' as he's such a sensible boy) Anyway he was having a great time and his sister obviously couldn't miss out so she was playing with it too. Bossing him around as usual telling him to be Steve or the Creeper.
When we got home he showed it off to all his friends who are also Minecraft mad, who were all impressed and wanted to have a go.
Now its displayed when not is use, due the the shape it just so happens to hang off the end of the shelf in my son's bedroom which he was pleased about .
It still gets played with every so often, he likes to hide behind the door and jump out at his sister and the sword just adds to the fun.
Even though the sword looks like it has sharp edges they obviously aren't as they are made from foam so its comfortable to hold and swing about, but its does still hurt if you are hit with it.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
There are a few marks on the sword now, but nothing to complain about just normal wear and tear where it has been played with.
As with all the Minecraft merchandise it is too expensive for what it is. I'm sure you could pick up a decent foam sword in a fancy dress shop for around £5, as essentially that's all it is , but it's Minecraft and if you have children you will know how amazing cool it is to them.
This sword will earn you massive best parent brownie points but put a dent in you wallet so I have to take off a star, but your Minecraft fan will love you forever.
4 out of 5
~*~ Indesit Moon SIXL 145D Washing Machine ~*~
I purchased this washing machine around 4 - 5 years ago now when my old white Beko one died. I was waiting for it to die so I had the excuse to buy a non white washing machine so was quite excited at the thought of a new machine.
Originally I had set my sights on a black machine, but back then there were few on the market and the only choices were an expensive Smeg one which was out of my price range or a average machine that was £100 more just for the black and was only a C rated. So I stumbled across the Moon, originally it came in a silver / grey with a blue door but luckily for me they had just released a silver one with a black door and dial.
Not only did it look good it was rated A for efficiency and priced at around £300 and comes with a 12 month parts and labour guarantee, as well as a 5 year parts guarantee.
~*~ The Moon ~*~
The Moon's dimensions are 59.5 cm wide. 85 cm high. 53.5 cm deep.
It has a capacity of 1 to 6 kg, and a spin speed of up to 1400 rmp.
The self cleaning detergent dispenser drawer is fitted to the inside of the door and has 3 compartments.
The 1st for liquid detergents, the 2nd for powder or tablet detergents and the 3rd for fabric softener.
There are only 4 wash cycles on the Moon
60° C which has a max load of 6 kg and a cycle time of 145 minutes and suitable for all white cotton.
40° C with a max load of 4.5 kg and a cycle time of 105 minutes it's suitable for all coloured garments and has an easy iron function.
30° C delicate cycle for silk, viscose and curtains but not for wool, this can be done with or without the final spin and has a cycle time of 50 -60 minutes depending on that final spin. There is a max load of 1.5 kg.
30° C daily wash/ cold water rinse, this programme can be used to wash lightly soiled cotton or synthetic fabrics and those with wash at 30 on the label and has a cycle time of only 30 minutes and a 3kg max load.
Auto Rinse Management - The rinse function is monitored and controlled in every programme by the special sensors. If the garments are very soapy at the end of the wash, the rise cycle will be extended automatically until the detergent is removed completely.
The display dial has lights that go on throughout the wash to give you an indication of how far into the cycle you are.
~*~ In Use ~*~
Turning on the machine you are greeted with a r2d2 type beep, beep ,beep in a little tune, it did make me smile and I will be honest it still does. Open the door and place washing inside, the detergent dispenser on the inside of the door is a great little invention on the Moon, it rinses completely clean after each wash and I have never had to clean, or empty any build up in it which I had previously had to do with an outside detergent drawer. You can also add detergent straight into the drum if preferred.
To start the programme it couldn't be easier with a press of the button on the central top dial , a beep sounds and away you go.
The programmes, I manly use the 40° C wash and a decent branded washing detergent, this provides good clean results that I can not fault. Rarely have I ever had to rewash anything, if I do need to it's usually down to a chocolate or tomato stain that I would usually pre-treat. The only slight downside is I do find this programme seems to take a long time, they state 105 minutes but it seems closer to 120 by the time its finally finshed and you wait to extra 2 minutes for the safety light to go out to release the door.
The 60° C wash I use for anything icky, if the children have been sick or if milk has been spilt ( I have a thing about sour milk) then in it goes and again comes out clean and fresh. I can't say I notice any difference between the results on a 40 or a 60 with normal washing.
The 30° C delicate wash I have only used once on a silk dress, it wasn't marked in any way just needed freshening up and it can out clean and fresh and in perfect condition.
So, so far its all good and positive and a great machine until we get to the 30° C quick wash. How handy to have a quick 30 minute wash I thought well ....
I have tried to use this wash 4 times now and every time the same thing happens, the washing isn't dirty or stained just normal everyday wear. Now if you imagine the inside of a Cornish Pasty, now imagine what your washing would look like if you left one in the pocket of something. That is the only way I can describe what the washing looks like when it comes out, like its been washed with a pasty, there are horrible bits all over it. Each time I have racked my brains as to why it happened , and I have no answer , and each time I have then had to rewash on a 60° C to get rid of the bits. Hence why I have only tried it 4 times, and after the 2nd time it happened I only tried again to kind of prove I was right and it was weird and it was happening.
It's like the cycle isn't long or hot enough to get rid of the dirt, but where the dirt comes from I have no idea, and it doesn't happen on any of the other cycles.
The door seal has started to go mouldy and perish but I do keep the door shut at all times, due to the washing machine being in the middle of the room, having children, and the design of the door being heavy due to the dispenser it doesn't open at a small angle and sticks out which just isn't practical or safe.
The mould is clean though as in it doesn't transfer to the clothes when put in or taken out , and I have scrubbed it with mould cleaner and a cream cleaner and it doesn't come off it's more like a stain.
Where it has started to perish is at the bottom of the seal, as I don't dry it after each wash there is a small amount of water left which over time causes the rubber to go.
Writing this has prompted me to order a new one costing around £20 from Amazon. I can't complain at that as I could spend time drying it but life is too short and £20 after nearly 5 years of constant use is not a lot to pay out.
The spin on the machine has a load balancing system which means even on a fast spin the machine does not vibrate very much and does not move around at all. The noise is no more or less than other machines and just your average washing machine noise.
~*~ Thoughts ~*
Having only 4 wash cycles was a positive for me, my last machine everything was washed on a programme 5 and this one I use the 40° C wash for 95 % of my washing so having endless programmes is not necessary for me. I love the inside door dispenser not only for looks but practicality as it keeps clean.
I have never had any trouble from the machine, other than a small leak which was my own fault for having something trapped in the door and general wear and tear on the door seal.
I like the fact you can't see the washing inside I as I think it looks tidier, in our house we get through tons of tea towels in the kitchen, that get chucked in the machine till the next wash and it's nice to not have them on view.
But the weird 30 minute wash is such a disappointment and does detract from what a great machine it could be.
I have read other reports of a smell coming from the washing machine but I have never experienced that problem myself.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
A great looking machine especially for the cost, and the efficiency but due to the quick wash problems I am finding it hard to rate .
For me personally its been a 4 out of 5 machine as the quick wash is not worth having, but as most of my washing goes on the 40° C cycle and it wasn't a programme I had on my machine before this, so I don't feel any loss. However if you are already a quick wash user and that feature is one that brings your attention to the Moon you would be highly disappointed and wouldn't rate it so highly.
Due to this being my personal review I will give the Moon 4 out of 5 , but I would ask do you need a quick wash to anyone before recommending.
4 out of 5
~*~ Disney Fairies 7 Figure Set ~*~
Whilst on holiday last year at Disney World, my daughter spent lots of her holiday spending money in the parks , after every ride there is a shop bursting at the seems with Disney goodies, most of which are over priced. The fairies were sold as Disney Park Exclusives and were amongst a range of other princesses and characters all boxed and each being sold for $14.99 plus tax which is roughly £11, these were very reasonably priced and by the end of our 2 week stay she has accumulated the whole collection.
Since coming home I have seen all the sets being sold here either from the Disney Store or on Amazon, the exclusive part is the box is different and as that ends up in the bin its a bit of a con to be labelled as such.
~*~ The Fairies ~*~
The collection contains 7 fairies all of which stand at 10 -11 cm tall. All the fairies come connected to stands attached into their backs and their legs have clear bands wrapped around the bottom of the stand to secure them. The stands are the same as all the fairies wings and made of a clear but not see through, glittered plastic.
The most recognisable of the Disney Fairies,Tinkerbell is wearing her trademark green dress but this one is glittery and painted onto the figure rather than made of material, she is striking a flying pose with her magic wand in her hand ready to sprinkle the fairy dust.
Is a frost fairy that lives in the winter woods and stands out with her ice white hair and dress that shimmers like ice, the figure has a good likeness with her glittery clothes and white hair, Perriwinkle is the only fairy in the set with round shapes eyes all the others have almond shaped.
Is a water fairy and has long black hair, brown eyes and wears a dark blue dress, again the figure is a good representation but the finish on Silvermist is poor, with bad paintwork around the hair that crosses her shoulder this means her face looks a bit weird, and because she is posed leaning to one side, the uneven base means she is the first one to fall over.
Is a fairy with attitude, with her long dark hair pulled up into a pony tail and her plum coloured clothes the figure is a good one , she looks like she should and due to her pose she is more stable than the others and doesn't fall down as easily. Unfortunately her paint work on her face is poor .
Is a light fairy and very pretty in her bright cheerful yellow dress against her dark skin and hair, the figure is wearing more of a mustard yellow outfit, but it's still glittery and her face and paint job are nice she is one of the better figures.
Is a garden fairy and pretty in pink which is probably why she is my daughters favourite out of all the fairies, and she is the best of the figures in the set , she is wearing a simple pink glitter dress and has a simple pose so she is the most stable.
Is an animal fairy and trademark is her long brown hair tied back into a plait. She wears a glittery orange outfit. For some reason the figure has a flatter rounder face than the others I'm not sure it is supposed to be like that as in the films her face isn't a different shape to the others.
~*~ In Play ~*~
My daughter loves playing with figures, anything she can hold and move about easily to play out her stories and she is happy for hours. These figures are easy to play with , they are the perfect size for small hands.They move about easy enough and all stand independently on their stands although they are not the flattest bases so there is a wobble to each of them and they do fall over with the slightest movement. With having all 7 fairies she can recreate the actions for the Tinkerbell movies that she likes to watch. The poor paint work is less of a bother to her as I suppose in play she is not looking that closely, but the bases do bother her. One of the things she likes to do is set up all her figures along the windowsill, under her window she has a radiator with a cover so its like having 2 shelves, she sets them all up and plays out make believe stories. Unfortunately these are the worst ones for falling over , and often end up on their sides to be played with which is a shame as my daughter loves the clip clop noise of moving them along as she likes them to walk not just fly.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
First impressions are that it's a nice set but on closer inspection there are lots of faults , the paintwork is pretty poor, lots of missed bits or bumpy bits that look like the paint has been touched when wet and dried uneven.
Some of the faces are a little strange looking too , like a bit too much botox has been injected giving them an almost scary look.
The bases are a disappointment too , and out of the 7 or 8 different sets of figures my daughter bought they are the worse ones in terms of stability. They are just not flat enough so they rock when being stood up. I would imagine a younger child would find it very frustrating not being able to stand them up on their own.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
Disappointing, and the worst set of the lot , for the money, had the finish been better I would of been pleased with them, but the poor paint job added to the rocking bases, and the ties around their legs to keep them on the stands which almost seems like an after though, when they realised they would not stand up without them.
It's just not what you expect from Disney, only half the figures have a good finish, with most of them having small faults if you were being picky, but at least 3 should not have made it past quality control.
There are better Disney Fairy sets out there I would give these a miss.
2 out of 5
~*~ Minecraft Magnets ~*~
Minecraft is a huge craze especially with children , what started as a basic building app game has turned into a worldwide best selling game and now here comes all the merchandise that comes with such a hit .
We bought our pack while in America , my son spotted them in Walmart and with cries of 'No way ! they are mental i'm definitely getting them' they were popped in the trolley. After adding Tax the magnets were around £6-£7 once converted into pounds. Once we came home I checked to see if you could buy them over here and you can although they are more expensive with them being available from Amazon and other online stores for around £18 - £20.
Yes I am kicking myself for not checking while in store as I would of picked up a few packs for gifts!
~*~ In the Pack ~*~
Inside the packet come 2 sheets of 80 magnets giving a total of 160 magnets each measuring 1 inch square.
Each sheet contains
1 x workbench
1 x furnace
1 x chest
1 x TNT
1 x bookcase
1 x jack-o-lantern
2 x snow
3 x coal
2 x iron ore
1 x gold ore
1 x diamond ore
1 x redstone ore
4 x lava
4 x water
2 x clay
5 x grass
3 x trees
5 x leaves
3 x sand
3 x gravel
7 x brick
7 x stone
7 x wood
7 x cobblestone
7 x dirt
~*~ In Use ~*~
The magnets weren't opened till we had been home a few days and were promptly stuck on the fridge. My daughter at 6 years old and also a Minecraft fan has had more play time with them than my son , as she will move them about and build things where as he is just happy to have them and look at them as they are cool, and his friends always comment on them and how cool they are when they see them.
The problem with magnets and this is nothing against these magnets, I find and have found in the past when my children have had other magnets is that invariably they end up on the fridge. That is fine when you have toddlers and they use the magnets as an activity, but as my children have grown up I like the fridge to not be so cluttered full of magnets and the sticky finger prints from where they have been played with.
Ideally these would be displayed in my son's room, but looking round there wasn't a flat surface that was suitable, the only thing you would want to stick magnets to is his radiator and obviously that isn't flat.
To solve the problem of where to put them, when his room is decorated this year we will paint either a large pin board or a section of wall with magnetic paint that you can now buy, so they can be displayed properly.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
Overall the magnets are a good quality and we have had no problems with any of them not being magnetic enough. The finish on the front is good and none of the pictures have started to peel off and all the magnets remain nice and flat.
Would I buy them at the Amazon price ? Probably, if I had somewhere suitable to display them other than my fridge then yes I probably would , my son certainly thinks they are cool and as he is getting older it's harder to find things he likes, so for a gift for a Minecraft fan you can't go wrong.
Also all the official Minecraft merchandise is expensive so comparing it to other things available for example the foam sword we also have was over £20 for a bit of foam, when you compare the magnets don't seem so overpriced.
But having said that £10 would be a much more realistic price.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
One of the better Minecraft goodies available, my son and daughter would give these 5, but the price is still a little ouch for me so
4 out of 5
~*~ Lego Lunch Box ~*~
Both my sons were big lego fans both starting when they were 3 or 4 and lasting a long time, we have boxes and boxes of the stuff , If I could put all the sets back together again i'd be a very rich woman indeed .
A couple of years ago now Lego started bringing out other ranges than just the lego bricks this is where we first saw the lunch box . I ordered it from John Lewis as they were the only ones who had it in stock. At the same time I also ordered the water bottle, they were both around the £10 mark .
~*~ The Box ~*~
What's in the box ? well nothing !
It measures 20 cm in length, 8 cm high and has a width of 10 cm and looks just like a giant 8 brick complete with the Lego name on each of 8 top bits just like the bricks. The lid lifts off and there is a single compartment inside.
The box is dishwasher safe but not suitable for the microwave
~*~ In Use ~*~
This was a birthday present for my son when he was 9, along with the water bottle. He was very impressed when he opened it an couldn't wait to take it to school and show his friends. When I asked him did anyone notice your lunch box he said yeah his friends were jealous and thought it was brilliant.
Unfortunately, as good as its looks its just not a great lunch box
I am the one that makes his packed lunch and the box just isn't big enough and it's a real struggle to get enough in it.
Sandwiches are okay as long as the bread had a square shape to start with , then you can fit them and a packet of crisps in. If your bread is the taller more rounded top the sandwiches and crisps won't fit together . The most I have ever got in the box has been sandwiches, crisps which were from a multi bag so usually a smaller packet, and a two finger KitKat.
Apples and any other fruit that's round won't fit as the box isn't tall enough and Bananas take up too much room there's no room for anything else.
The opening of the lunch box, while easy to do as the lid just slides off also means that it's not that secure and if your school is like ours, where lunch boxes get put on shelves or trollies, if knocked over everything could spill out.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
As a child's lunch box it's just not practical enough or big enough , but as a Lego box for a Lego fan its still a nice item. We gave up using it as a lunch box after about 3 days as my son was complaining ofsquashed sandwiches.
So now its just a Lego box and he tends to keep his rare Lego figures in here away from his sister.
3 out of 5
~*~ Minecraft Hangers ~*~
My son recently bought this in store at the Toy Entertainer for £5 , and it's also available on Amazon for a couple of pennies more with free delivery. It was a total spur of the moment purchase, we had queued up to pay for his sister's Littlest Pet Shop toy, and at 11 years old now my son hadn't seen anything that appealed to him, when he spotted this at the till.
The Hangers come in lucky style bags , as in you can't see the contents and it's a lucky dip which figure your get.
There are 10 different Hangers available .
Steve, Skeleton, Creeper, Zombie Pigman, Zombie, Cow, Sheep, Pig, Sword and Pickaxe.
~*~ Inside the Bag ~*~
Once opened the figure comes packed in a plastic covering , which then has a piece of cardboard wrapped round it , so very cleverly or sneakily depending on which way you look at it, they have made it impossible to feel what's inside like you can with some lucky type bags.
So what's a hanger ?
Well its a small plastic toy that's connected to a plastic clip, so you can hang it from places.
Before my son opened it I asked him was there any he was hoping for, or not wanting to get ? and after looking at the 10 different ones available he declared they were all pretty cool and he didn't mind.
So surprise surprise we got the Cow.
The cow is a decent size and stands nearly 6 cm tall not including the hanger clip, and is made to look exactly like the real Minecraft cows and is made of blocks , the cow has a rectangle shaped block body, and the 4 legs are moveable. The head is also a block but with tiny block ears and can be turned around .
The cow has a cow block print and face details and is quite cute in a funny way.
The clip is a decent size and made of a strong plastic and connects with a metal ring. ( like on a keyring)
~*~ In Use ~*~
So what to do with your hanger, the first thing that came to mind was to attach it to his backpack on the zip. You can clip the plastic part of the hanger through the circle in an average size zip and it fits fine, but on second thoughts although the clip closing is quite secure its also very easy to open, and the though of it getting lost or pinched at school we thought again. You can take of the plastic clip to leave the keyring style ring and attach that to your zip and I did suggest this to my son as a safer way, but he wanted to hang it in his room which proved move difficult than it seemed with not having anything suitable to hang it from this is not the fault of the hanger but my son's decor. So he now sits on his shelf and my son is happy with that although my daughter does take him now to play with occasionally so he isn't lonely.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
My son being a Minecraft geek was very pleased with his Minecraft Hanger, there aren't that many official Minecraft products to buy as yet , so when he spots something new he is keen to buy and he wasn't disappointed with the hanger he got , or what the actual toy was like, as from the outer packaging you can't tell the size or the quality before parting with your cash.
My son is very sensible with his money and doesn't part with it easily so for him to see it and buy it straight away, without pondering about how much that will leave him, or cheekily trying to get someone else to pay for it, means it definitely has the appeal factor.
As a parent would I buy again , Yes and I already have, when this was such a hit with my son I ordered a couple more packs from Amazon . Normally I find it very hard to buy him little treats as he is growing out of toys, unlike his sister who collects everything ! So these are just perfect for that.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
A great little treat for a Minecraft fan , would make a nice alternative to an Easter Egg or for a stocking filler at Christmas. The actual toy you receive for £5 is probably just about worth the money for what it is, then add to it the Minecraft element and you are on to a winner.
The only down side and I will take a star off for this , is the 'luckiness' of the bag, with 10 characters to collect and at £5 a time if you end up with lots of doubles its going to be very annoying and very expensive.
4 out of 5
== Gaviscon Peppermint Tablets ==
Since getting older and finding some foods just don't agree with me anymore, I always have some form of indigestion relief in the cupboard and in my handbag. These ones are from Gaviscon and come in a box of 8 and were from Poundland where they were obviously £1. The most recent ones purchased a couple of weeks ago have expiry date December 2015.
They are peppermint flavour chewable tablets.
== In the Box ==
Inside the box the tablets come in a blister packet with foil covering and are easy to get out by pushing from the back. The tablets are round and flat and about the same size as a Smartie sweet but are creamy off white in colour.
The tablets contain 250 mg sodium alginate, 133.5 mg sodium hydrogen carbonate and 80 mg calcium carbonate as the active ingredients. The tablets do not contain sugar or gluten.
Now that doesn't mean anything to me, but what they claim to do is give fast soothing relief that's long lasting.
Dosage , when symptoms occur, Adults including the elderly and children over 12 years, take two to four tablets after meals and before bedtime.
You can take this product when pregnant or breast-feeding.
== In Use ==
I do try to avoid most of the foods that upset me , but every so often the lure is too much and I eat them knowing I will regret it later and need some relief. Two of the foods that cause trouble are cucumber and white bread , I was told it was the cucumber skin as it's very hard to digest so I always peel it but it makes no difference and sadly for me I love cucumber sandwiches and will not give them up completely so this is when the Gaviscon comes in.
Personally I have never taken as many as stated on the dose , most of the time I find 1 tablet does the job, about 10 minutes after chewing I start to feel relief from the pain and within 20 minutes I am feeling like back to normal. On one occasion I had to take two tablets but I had eaten pastry and boy did I know about it , it was very painful and not something I want to repeat but 2 tablets and 20 minutes later you would of wondered what all the fuss was about.
== Conclusion ==
Gaviscon gives great relief, quickly and effectively at a great price.
5 out if 5
~*~ Hello Kitty Activity Pack ~*~
I recently picked up this Hello Kitty activity set from Amazon for the bargain price of £3.06 with free delivery when spending £10. This is not the first of these colouring sets that we have had , they are widely available with lots of different characters on. Full price they tend to be around the £10 mark but I have always found them on offer for around £5, so to get one for just over £3 was a great buy.
~*~ In The Box ~*~
The case comes boxed and is in the opened position inside so you can see through the window on the box at what is inside.
Once opened the case pulls out and measures 29 cm x 48 cm, contains include:
12 chunky felt tip pens
12 wax crayons
12 oil pastels
12 coloured pencils
12 watercolour paints
Ruler, Eraser, Pencil sharpener,Sponge, Paint palette, Paint brush, and HB pencil
3 colour in posters that measure 42 cm x 29 cm.
The case is made from plastic , with the inside moulded so all the pieces have their own space to clip back into. The case then folds in half and has a popper fastening to close. Once closed it measures 29 cm x 22 cm with a depth of 4 cm and has a carrying handle fixed into the top.
The outside of the case has a Hello Kitty design and has a wipe clean plastic clear covering.
On the outside of the box are some activities to cut out and make including an easel stand to display your artwork, a Hello Kitty stand up for you to colour, and a small picture to colour in also.
~*~ In Use ~*~
My daughter loves arts and crafts but mostly drawing , she likes to have free rein on the pictures she creates and this set gives her that. She
The felt tips come in a nice range of colours and have a Hello Kitty wrapper around them. They are a nice size for children's hands with being shorter and more chunky than the usual felt tips , they are not as long lasting as Crayola but last well enough.
The crayons are good and not too waxy like some cheaper crayons that don't show up too well on paper, these show up well.
The pencils come already sharpened and have Hello Kitty embossed on them, they are pretty sturdy and I can't say they have snapped or needed sharpening any more than other pencils we have.
The paints need a small amount of water and give enough colour on the paper to show up , the palette clips over the paints so when not is use they don't get messy.
The oil pastels were the least used in previous sets that we had when she was younger , that was until she learnt about Monet at school , now she enjoys using the pastels and the effects you can get from them smudging them with the sponge or her finger.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
Like I mentioned before this is not the first set we have owned, and probably won't be the last , they are great value for the mix of items , and has the neatness of all being closed up and portable to take with you. All the contents clip into their own space , this makes it easy to pack away and also easy to see if there is anything missing . It all stores very easily thanks to the case being rigid and flat , ours is the cupboard on top of the A4 drawing paper ready to be used again. It is very handy for homework with the range of contents and because it gets packed away properly each time you know there is a eraser, ruler or sharpener in there when you need one.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
Fantastic set , if bought for £5 or less you have yourself a bargain , or a nice gift for a party, I actually bought 2 of these 1 for my daughter and another together with a large Hello Kitty drawing pad for the next party that comes along.
I do consider these disposable, as in once the felt tips have run out and the paint used up I do tend to take the pencils out as this it what is usually left at the end, and get rid of the case and get a new one, for the price I don't think that's frivolous , as it would cost you more to re fill the case.
5 out of 5
== Tesco Diarrhoea Relief ==
Another staple in the first aid kid at home, and for taking on holiday is something for diarrhoea. I usually buy J. Collins browne Mixture, and swear by the stuff for any dodgy stomach problems , but its not widely available and also comes in a bottle so not as easy to transport. So when shopping for holiday toiletries in Tesco I headed toward the Immodium and was about to purchase when I spotted these Tesco own brand ones for only 85p compared to the Immodium, being £2.30 comparing the packets I couldn't see much of a difference in the ingredients so went for the cheaper option.
== The Capsules ==
Come in blister packs and contain 6 in the packet , the capsules are nice and small and very easy to swallow
The instruction are for oral use. Swallow whole with water. Adults. the elderly and children over 12 years : 2 capsules to be taken initially, followed by 1 capsule after each loose motion, up to a maximum of 6 capsules in any 24 hours. Not recommended for children under 12 years of age. Do not exceed the stated dose.
When bought they had a shelf life of 14 months.
== In Use ==
Lucky no one needed to use these on holiday but after Christmas the combination of too many rich foods and to many puddings took effect on me. I will not suffer, as soon as the first sign is there I'm in the first aid kit straight away , why suffer when there is no need . Taking the recommended dosage of 2 tablets I'm very happy to say that was the end of that, and no more were needed. I was very surprised at how quickly and well they worked especially for the price.
== Thoughts ==
Do what they say they will, all for an amazing price of 85p what more could you want
5 out of 5
== Hello Kitty Saves the Day DVD ==
This was another gift to my daughter at her birthday party, and is available from Amazon for £3.99 with free delivery.
The dvd comes from M.G.M and runs for 55 mins. and for ages 2-5 years.
== The Dvd ==
The dvd comes in the usual plastic case, there is no leaflet inside the dvd , but the disc does have a picture of Hello Kitty on it. There are 5 episodes on the dvd. The menu is very simple and present on the screen straight away so no annoying trailers to skip through. The options are play all, or episode selection.
Ep 1 - Peter Penguin.
Fly away to Never Say Never Land as Hello Kitty helps rescue Dinglebell from the wicked Captain Claw. In a great adventure ending in a pie fight.
Ep 2 - Tar-Sam of the Jungle.
Tar-Sam the ape-penguin loves swinging from the vines with new pal Kitty-Jane. But when Hunter Catnip comes slinking through the trees it'll take Tar-Sam and all his jungle friends to stop her.
Ep 3 - Paws of the Round Table.
Once upon a meow, brave King Arthur defeated a mighty dragon to rescue the beautiful Lady Bunnyvere, but not without the help of his magic sword Excalibur and of course Hello Kitty.
Ep 4 - Crocodile Penguin.
Hello Kitty's newest pal is Crocodile Penguin, wrestling champ of Australia, and with a little unintended help from Catnip and Fangora, he will soon be champion of the world.
Ep 5 - Grinder Genie and the Magic Lamp.
Magic comes to life when Hello Kitty and Sam find a lamp with a genie inside, make 3 wishes and save Grandpa Kitty from the evil Sultaness Catnip.
The cartoons almost have an old fashioned look to them , and remind me of cartoons I would of watched as a child , the pictures aren't as clear and are not as bright and in your face as cartoons these days. I must admit to thinking it would be a little boring for my daughter and didn't know whether the stories would keep her entertained as although she is a Hello Kitty fan and knows some of the other characters this dvd introduced other characters she hadn't seen before. The characters play out well know tales , Tarzan, Peter Pan, Aladdin, King Arthur, some of these were familiar to her so she found them very funny i'm not sure they are meant to be funny but she laughs at them.
This was my daughter's first experience of a Hello Kitty cartoon of any kind, and she was a fan and watched it over and over, her Grandmother then bought her more Hello Kitty dvds which have more of a modern look and she does seem to prefer the newer ones and asks for those more often than this one, but every so often this one comes back down off the shelf.
== Thoughts ==
This is an okay dvd and if picked up very cheap at a pound or two, it's worth it , but considering how cheap dvds are these days you could get something a lot better for £4 as compared to Disney or Pixar films this looks very dated.
3 out of 5
== Minecraft Steve Action Figure ==
A quick run down of Minecraft , it's a game available on pc, ios, android and xbox and I believe playstation have it too. It's a creative and building game which allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. There is no real object to the game so players are free to build and do as they please with various materials
It's been a huge hit all over the world and was awarded a Golden Joystick Award for best downloadable game and as of 2013 it has sold over 33 million copies.
My children are massive fans and this was a gift for my son for Christmas. Available from Amazon for £7.99 including delivery.
Steve is the character players control when playing Minecraft and is intended to be a generic human.
The figure of Steve comes in a blister pack , also in the pack are a coal block and an pick axe all made out of hard plastic.
Steve looks exactly like he should very square and block like. His legs bend at the waist and both arms and head are moveable. Both arms have a zigzag slot for the axe to fit it.
The pick axe has the same zigzag on the handle and fits well into the arms and doesn't fall out.
The block is 3.5 cm square
== In use ==
My son was 11 years old when he got this and is past the age of playing with toys, I bought it purely for the fact it was Minecraft related and though it would look good on his shelf in his bedroom and was a bit of fun.
That was until my Husband got hold of it and started a silly game of Where's Steve ? , he hides Steve all over the house and the children go look for him. He has had him stuck to the dashboard in the car when he picked them up from school, and even wrapped him up with his sandwiches for lunch. Steve has certainly made himself at home here and gets up to all sorts of mischief and has created lots of laughs.
My daughter borrows Steve and he makes an appearance in her Littlest Pet Shop stories that she like to act out with her figures , he is a bit tricky to stand up, due to being slightly top heavy so you do need to have him leaning back slightly but that doesn't bother her.
== Thoughts ==
Initial thoughts were oh is that it ? £8 for that ! , I knew it was only 3 1/2 inches high when I ordered it but it does look very small even in the packaging. Still I knew my son would like it, but thanks to Dad's silly game , Steve hasn't ended up as an ornament on a shelf he's well he's everywhere , they haven't grown bored with him or the game yet.
I have already had the idea of incorporating him into my son's birthday cake design this year as he is the perfect size for that.
I have to take 1 star off for the price there is no way it's worth £8 for what essentially is a tiny figure and a block. But if we were to lose Steve would I buy another one ? Oh yeah , I'd have no choice the children would be heartbroken as he's part of the family now.
4 out of 5
== Littlest Pet Shop Light Up Dome ==
Sometime last year Toys R Us were doing a free delivery promotion , so taking advantage I looked for some Christmas presents. My daughter had already expressed her wish of Littlest Pet Shop for Christmas so when I came across these sets at the bargain price of £4.99, I ordered 2 thinking if they sent the same set twice, one could go in the present box and be used for any parties she gets invited to, as it was 2 different sets came and I was so pleased with them my daughter ended up getting both.
== In the Box ==
When the sets came the first thing that surprised me was how big they were and they certainly looked worth more than the £4.99 I had paid. Inside the box you have the dome or stage as my daughter calls it , 2 Littlest Pet Shop pets and 2 small accessories.
The dome measures approximately 23 cm across, 16 cm high and has a width of 8 cm at the largest points.
The dome has a backdrop made of cardboard that features a different scene on each sides and can be changed around very easily as it just slots in at the top. One side features the LPS bedroom at night time and the other side has a night time camping scene.
The dome lights up by pressing the button on the front , the light stays on for 25 seconds approximately, and the batteries were already fitted inside.
The pets that come with the set ( in the picture ) are a cat and a bear and are the usual LPS pets with moveable heads. Also with the set come tiny accessories for the pets a teddy bear and a bowl of popcorn.
== In Play ==
My daughter has had lots of play time out of these already , she mainly uses the dome as a stage , she likes to press the button to turn on the light then have the LPS dance and sing for their friends or perform shows. She also uses them as a base for a house and has the LPS take naps in the bedroom setting and of course go camping too. I think it provides some nice options for play as well as lending itself to being used in different ways depending on your child's imagination. The dome lends itself to other toys and Disney Princesses and Lalaloopsy have all had a turn on stage.
The pets are the usual LPS pets are are very cute and good quality you can turn their heads around and the pets sit or stand unaided depending on their style.
== Thoughts ==
A fantastic bargain , the next time Toys r us have free delivery I will be ordering more in the hope there might be more sets she hasn't got yet , or if they are doubles they will be going into the present box for her friends birthdays as they make a great present and my daughter seems to have started a LPS craze within her friends group.
The cheapest way to buy the LPS pets is in blind bags which are £2 and you obviously can't pick which pets you get and they are the very basic pets, other LPS pets are £5 just for the pet on its own, so £5 for 2 pets, the dome and the accessories has got to be a winner.
5 out of 5