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Saturday 26 October 2013

Review: Sheer roller blind from Web Blinds

I'm in love with my new blind, take a peek -

It is available from Web Blinds

Disclosure: I received this blind free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Friday 18 October 2013

David Walliams - Demon Dentist Review & Giveaway

Huge congratulations to Robyn Logan and Esme Mccrub, the lucky winners. I've emailed you, please supply me with your name and address so the prize can be sent to you.  Thanks, Mich x

It was JJ’s birthday the other week and being the cheeky kind of Mum I am I gave him David Walliams latest book, Demon Dentist. I knew that he would love it, when the last Walliams book went on sale he rushed out and bought it but this one came as a review, he does not need to know that though!

JJ loves to read before bedtime and from that very first day of receiving Demon Dentist he started to read it, now under a week later he has finished it and announced that it is epic (his word for anything that is any good). JJ says this will be a great book for both boys and girls and he thinks you probably need to be about his age or a bit older to really enjoy it (about 9 years plus).

Here is the blurb (JJ's words not mine) -

Darkness had come to the town. Strange things were happening in the dead of night. Children would put a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy, but in the morning they would wake up to find… a dead slug; a live spider; hundreds of earwigs creeping and crawling beneath their pillow. Evil was at work. But who or what was behind it…?

I could hear JJ chuckling to himself as he read this book, proving yet again that Walliams is the king of comedy, not just for adults but kids as well. You can check out more David Walliams books at World of Walliams.

I had a chat with JJ about Demon Dentist -

How long did it take you to read the book?
I'm a really fast reader, so it only took me a couple of days to read this.

Who was your favourite character and why?
The social worker is, because she is really funny.

Does it have a good plot?
Yes of course Mum, all his books have a good plot.

What was the best bit of the book?
Definitely when the dentist takes out all the children's teeth.

Is it as good as the other David Walliams books?
It is really good, it is either this one or Gangster Granny that is my favourite.

This book has an RRP of £12.99 but it is available on Amazon right now for the bargain price of just £5.00.

Happy little man on his birthday
You can win 1 of 2 copies of David Walliams Demon Dentist. It will make a super Christmas gift for a child. Enter below, Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received this book free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Thursday 17 October 2013

Review - Lyclear head lice products

The dreaded head lice arrived in our house this week, it is that time of the year that I just dread!

Miss M and I tried out the Lyclear spray - as this is designed to get rid of head lice in one go and to be honest I can't be bothered with too much fuss. I just want them gone!

  • The odourless spray kills 100% of head lice and eggs in 15 minutes. 
  • You just need to hold the spray about 10cm from the dry hair and then cover all the hair and the scalp. Then a good massage from roots to tips paying particular attention to the neck and behind the ears and leave the product on for 15 minutes. 
  • Following the application, you rub normal shampoo directly into hair before wetting it and then rinse with warm water and wash again. I'll be honest I had to wash our hair 5 times to get it clear of this oily solution, not sure if I used too much?
  • Once it is all washed out you comb the wet hair with the Lyclear anti-lice comb to remove any lice or eggs. (great that you get a comb provided)
  • It is available in a 100ml spray bottle which provides up to 4 applications depending on hair length.  Both Miss M and I have long hair and I think we will get 3 applications out of this spray bottle.
  • The RRP is £11.99 from pharmacies and supermarkets. 
  • The product is suitable for adults and children from 6 months.
  • I'd definitely use this again as it did not stain our clothes and was not messy to apply.

Miss E tried out the Lyclear shampoo - this is similar to other products I have used before and to be honest I did not realise it was a different formulation to the spray until after I had used it.

  • Lyclear Shampoo is clinically proven to kill 100% of head lice 
  • You apply it by pouring onto the head and getting an even coverage and then massage in.
  • Leave it on for 10 minutes then wash and rinse the hair thoroughly. I had to wash Miss E's hair just 3 times with this one to fully remove it and it left her hair beautiful and soft.
  • As before you remove the dead head lice and eggs with the fine toothed comb provided, thoroughly cleaning the comb after each use. 
  • Here is the downside that I had not seen before using this one - it needs to be repeated after 7 days. 
  • Available in a 200ml bottle which provides up to 8 applications. Again I think perhaps I used too much as the bottle I have would not do 8 applications but Miss E does have very long hair. 
  • RRP is £14.99 from pharmacies and supermarkets. 
  • Suitable for adults and children over 2 years of age, however my little Miss E proved to be allergic to this formula and thus I would not use it on her again, just look at her face. It only contained mineral oil, perfume and foaming agents so it must have been the perfume or foaming agent used that her skin did not like. The other product did not contain either of those.

More information can be found at: www.lyclear.co.uk

Disclosure: I received these products free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Saturday 12 October 2013

Review: Sand Art

I had a very nice email asking me to review this product, from a lady just starting up her own business after her own little girl fell in love with a sandart product she had been sent by a relative.
I have fond memories of sand craft as a few years back JJ had sat for a quiet few hours and done some sandart pictures and I knew the concept would appeal to my little crafty one Miss E so I said yes and awaited my delivery. I did not have to wait long as the products arrived quickly and were well packaged.
As soon as Miss E saw them she started to badger me as to when she could sit down and do it, I agreed Sunday after Church would be a good time and I did not hear the end of it. In fact she was going on so much as I had a nice coffee with a friend after Church that I let her go home and start on it alone (Daddy was already there and don't forget the Church is in our back garden!).
It shows how simple this product is as Miss E got herself started and she was having a fine time applying the sand when I walked in 20 minutes later. Miss E is not big on reading so she had not looked at the instructions but she had got herself a tray to capture the sand and started to remove the sticky parts one at a time and sprinkle the sand on. She had a pile of unused sand on the tray and this seemed a shame as it was all getting mixed in colours but when I looked at the instructions. I see what we should have done is used the instruction booklet folded under the sand and then it could have been used as a funnel to get the leftover sand back into the vial with the right colour.  Doh so simple!

I also discovered that that plastic outer pack has X shaped holes in the back so you could push the sand vials (like test tubes) through and they would stand up and reduce the risk of spilling anything.  I thought this looked a good idea but personally I think it did not work that well, as one of the X shapes just crushed right through, so the kids sand vials just laid on their tray and as they all had little removable lids that was fine.

The Sand Art kits sell for £9.00 each and for that price you get 4 pictures, 12 vial of coloured sand, 4 plastic covers to laminate the finished products and a lifting tool. Each picture works out at £2.25 each and if you have the kind of child who will sit down and enjoy this for a good period of time then I think it is worth that money. If you have one like my Miss M who wants everything completed in 10 minutes and an instant fix then it probably isn't.

The actual pictures are smaller than I had imagined they would be (I put  medium pritt stick on the picture so you can gage the size) but they do make a great quality picture in the end. There is a super selection of packs available with designs to suit all children.
The lifting tools make it easy to raise the covers so that the sticky part is exposed but to be honest Miss E did not seem to have had any trouble before I showed her to use this. I also like the fact that each picture is sold with a little plastic cover so that the picture can be treasured forever.
If you want to find out more or order a Sand Art set then check out - http://www.sandart-creations.co.uk/ This is something that I'd happily buy as a gift for child.

Disclosure: I was sent three sandart kits for my children to try out. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Getting your kids cleaning...

Miss E's favourite kind of cleaning up!

I do think it is really important to get your children helping you with the household chores from an early age. I'm not talking Dickensian style or anything - no 6 year old chimney sweeps but my 6 year old twins do set and clear the table, make their beds, tidy their playroom and much more. Not all in one day but practically every day there is something so they can feel they are contributing to the family.

In fact all my children have been helping me from an early age, Miss M has a particular love of hoovering, although our hoover as a tad big for her and with her arm cast at the moment it is not practical but she can still be involved. JJ is up for cooking and he has done full meals before, roll back to my Grandmothers time and children would have prepared the family dinner at age 10, so why not now?

We use chores as a way for the children to understand that all tasks a family have to undertake are valued and things like cleaning and cooking are not just Mummy's jobs. The house and clothes do not just miraculously clean themselves. I'd like to be able to tell you this means that the children keep things tidy as they know they are making work for us all by being messy but that would be a step too far - they are kids after all. I just have to be glad they help me sort it afterwards.

Some tasks you would assume should be off limits to a child but actually with supervision they can do most things. You need to be careful of what cleaning products you use but water and elbow grease do a great job of many things.

A couple of years back Miss M was going through quite a testing stage and she drew all over her bedroom door, I made her use some Cif and scrub it all off and when she finished about 30 minutes later she did not show any sign of remorse so off we went and she cleaned the toilet bowl too! That one did have an effect and she remembers it to this day and swears she will never want to do that again!

Of course Miss M did not have any bleach or cleaning product in the loo as she cleaned it and something like de-scaler I'd never let any of them touch but all the kids know the warning signs on the bottles and understand the implications of touching cleaning products and why they should leave them alone unless directed by a responsible adult.

I'm sure I've posted before that I actually enjoy cleaning and this does seem to be wearing off on the kids, not so much on JJ but definitely on the girls. Miss E even gets out the broom or duster and asks me if she can clean up, 'why not?' I say enthusiastically, it is one way to earn their pocket money.

How about you, do you get your kids involved in the household chored and cleaning?

Thursday 3 October 2013

Children who brush their teeth once a day ....

...are a third more likely to develop tooth decay.  My heart sank as I read that, I had no idea the statistics are so shocking. I hate to admit it but one of my guilty secrets is that I often forget to get the kids to brush their teeth in the morning. We are really good in the evening, it happens every day no fail but the mornings are a different kettle of fish.  Other parents manage it so why can't I?  I think maybe I just need to go back to basics and write myself a note to put up in the kitchen and then make myself a time slot by doing the packed lunches the night before. I can't take the risk that my kids will all end up with decayed teeth. I remember the shame I felt when JJ had to have a filling as I had not been monitoring his tooth brushing well enough.

My little Miss E has just lost her first tooth (and she is so excited) but of course with big teeth coming this makes it all the more important that all three of my children brush well and try to eat more of the right foods. Take a peek at this info-graphic, it is enlightening....

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Review: Minecraft Beginner's Handbook and 2014 Annual

This post could also be titled the day Egmont made JJ whoop for joy! Last Saturday JJ was not in a great mood, he was not sure why but he just was not that cheerful, so I presented to him a couple of gifts and boy did they work.

JJ is 10 years old and absolutely crazy about Minecraft, he has been playing for near on two years now and he would class himself as an expert.  He plays alone and online with friends, they have dedicated servers they play on and he would happily spend hours building virtual worlds and mining and farming to save his life and avoid the monsters!

Minecraft Beginner's Handbook

This A5 hardback book is 80 pages long and packed with information for any new Minecraft player.  JJ tells me they are called Minecraftians but the book tends to refer to players as Minecrafters - who knows, I don't. I have to say I did not find the cover very inspiring but it fits wit the look of Minecraft and JJ instantly recognised it, which I suppose is the important thing.  He has been the absolute envy of loads of his mates at school when he showed them this book.

Despite JJ having played for a couple of years now he tells me there are still a few things in the book that he could learn (such as red and yellow sheep can be bread to make orange sheep - well who knew!) and even if there was not anything he loves having the book anyway. He spend a good few hours in the first day reading his handbook and devouring every word.

It retails at £7.99 which I think is a fair price and a 10 year old can pretty easily save enough pocket money to buy that for themselves.

As you can see the quality of the book is high and the information is accurate. JJ loved that there is loads of input from Minecraft creator Notch and lead game developer Jeb.

I'd say this handbook is a great little tool for parents wanting to learn a bit more about how Minecraft works.

Minecraft Annual 2014

The annual is in traditional format, like the Beano and many others, at A4 size. Again it is a hard-backed and high quality book with 66 pages. There is a range of information covered like step-by-step exciting builds and projects. There are also fun parts which are Minecraft themed but do not require your child to go on their computer or such, things like quizzes, mazes and crafting items.

The annual also retails for £7.99.  Both books are released on 10th October 2013 and are available for pre-order on Amazon.

Then in December another book will also be released - The Redstone Handbook.

Disclosure: We were sent these two books free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.